Saturday, October 15, 2005

Moscow, the 'Third Rome'

I just came across the following article about the 'Third Rome' idea: Is it just me, or does it seem like the patriarch, like other Greeks I've heard comment on this issue, has completely misunderstood it? I don't vouch that the Russian government officials have it right either, but the patriarch categorically condemns anyone who even speaks of a 'Third Rome', claiming that it makes the Church into the tool of the authoritarian agenda of a particular government. As far as I had always thought I'd understood it, the 'Third Rome' idea has nothing to do with 'caesaropapism' or the domination of all Orthodox by one organisation at all. What do y'all (as we say in Oklahoma) think?


Blogger Meg said...

As a member of the GOA, I have the impression that Patriarch Bartholomew is most concerned for holding onto *his own* status as "First Among Equals," and does not wish to grasp the reality of his situation: that unless Turkey "does a 180" and recognizes the legitimacy of Orthodox Christianity, Constantinople as a spiritual force will eventually die out. I was reading (but can't recall where) that the Catch-22 of Constantinople is that the Turks won't allow anyone to be appointed Patriarch who is not a Turkish citizen, but in closing the theological school at Halki, they have ensured that no one who *is* a Turkish citizen can obtain a theological education. And since the entire Orthodox population in Turkey has shrunk to just a few hundred citizens...I think we can all see the handwriting on the wall. All, it seems, except the Patriarch.

5:40 AM EDT  
Blogger aaronandbrighid said...

My sentiments exactly, Meg! I personally have nothing but reverence and romantic sentiment for the venerable role in Orthodoxy and history of Constantinople and its patriarchate. But much of the patriarch's behaviour seems merely to present a sad spectacle that hardens my heart to his plight. Okay, I promise not to complain anymore about the EP, but to confine future remarks as much as possible to the 'Third Rome' idea per se.

5:27 PM EDT  

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