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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Anyone can Write anything

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    ... JRS: Prince Philip is said to have quietly returned to his Orthodox roots, and Prince Charles is clearly very much attracted to Orthodoxy, as he often
    Message 1 of 149 , Dec 29, 2005
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      Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

      > On this forum, somebody said: "Prince Michael of Kent has a lot of
      > orthodox people in his family. Prince Philip used to be orthodox". In
      > fact, having been orthodox is being an apostate, not being orthodox.

      JRS: Prince Philip is said to have quietly returned to his Orthodox roots, and Prince Charles is
      clearly very much attracted to Orthodoxy, as he often spends time at Mt. Athos. However,
      there is a law in England that the heir to the throne must belong (at least nominally) to the
      Church of England.

      In the Orthodox Church, there is "red martyrdom" and also what is called "green martyrdom";
      one could say that there is also "red apostasy", when someone renounces their former
      Orthodox faith, and "green apostasy", when they simply cease to practice it, and their
      children or grandchildren are raised foreign to the Orthodox Church.

      > That is why, I think, it is so difficult for a West European to
      > become orthodox, and why even after his convesion, he must struggle
      > against ten centuries of apostasy. The fight does not always end with
      > the triumph of orthodoxy.

      JRS: I would put it differently: people in the West who return to the Orthodoxy of their
      ancestors have a certain advantage over the "cradle Orthodox", because they know why they
      belong to the Orthodox Church and what prompted them to embrace it.

      But the corresponding minus is often a lack of balance, a lack of "deep roots"; so that,
      lacking experience and knowledge, they can fall, not back into Romanism or Protestantism,
      but into extreme and distorted views.

      One can see many examples of this if one goes over the back archives of this list, and others
      like it.

      > Russia, on the contrary, is an orthodox country, in spite of her
      > recent communist experience, thank to her martyrs.

      JRS: Thank you for saying that Russia *is* (rather than "was") an Orthodox country!

      > in the fact that orthodoxy has so deeply penetrated
      > in her people.

      > I suppose that Father John Shaw knows a lot about this, GB Shaw
      > having been as the French writers A. Gide, Aragon, the Flemish poet
      > Verhaeren and so many others, illustrious friends of the USSR.

      JRS: GBS died when I was only 3 years old.

      I never met him, although my grandfather, who was his distant cousin and was spiritually
      very close to him, actually helped lead me to Orthodoxy.

      >From the time that I was a little boy, I was challenged to "find answers", and those answers
      led me to the true faith.

      GBS unfortunately was shown a lot of "Potemkin villages" when he went to Russia, and he
      seems to have supposed that everything was as presented to him.

      > In conclusion, as Father John Shaw says, times do change.

      JRS: I think the saying is, "TImes do not change, but people change".

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
    • Glenn Fleurinck
      Mr. Kozyreff, You are painting a very romanticised but innaccurate and unrealistic picture of both Russian culture and the Russian immigrant community outside
      Message 149 of 149 , Jan 8, 2006
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        Mr. Kozyreff,

        You are painting a very romanticised but innaccurate and unrealistic picture of both Russian culture and the Russian immigrant community outside Russia.

        First, 7 decades of communist oppresion had their impact. And many contemporary russians have to go in search for their roots as they have very little feeling left with their orthodox heritage. Their was also a time mind you when " Christian" and " European" were synonymous.

        And what i know the immigrant community in this country is that they behave like any other immigrant group. A little island withing society closed in themselves. ( But yes i have some wonderfull Russian friends here just the same)
        But i still have to experience this extraordinary open welcoming bunch of people as you describe them. And I don't blame them. They are only humans trying to live the best they can in a foreign country. I have lived outside Belgium for 10 years myself I know what it's like.

        You write: " The fashion in Western "RC" churches for icons is that they look
        picturesque. They do so because they are foreign and look "primitive" or
        naive to the West."

        Allow me to disagree. For many they are part of a spiritual journey and not just some oriental fashion. I was first introduced to icons by Carmelite Friars and they definately were more then " picturesque" to them.
        The strange and delightful attraction of icons is largely responsible for my own journey towards orthodoxy.

        But then again as a westerner according to you will never really " gett it" anyway. No sir no way i would ever be fully orthodox. That is like saying : " we'll tollerate you If you really must "convert"but you'll never fully be one of us. ( and you still dare to describe yourself as open ,hospitable and welcomming?) Well my friend I find that offensive and an affront to those many converts who have experienced their conversion as a true homecomming and a return indeed to the faith of their forefathers.

        Glenn in Begium,
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Vladimir Kozyreff
        To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:03 AM
        Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Anyone can Write anything


        Dear Glenn,

        I am not talking about "ethnic groups", I talk about civilisations. Russia
        is not an "ethinc group". There was a time when "Christian" and "Russian"
        were just synonymous.

        The fashion in Western "RC" churches for icons is that they look
        picturesque. They do so because they are foreign and look "primitive" or
        naive to the West. The West produced Boticelli's Madonas or Rubens's
        descents from the cross, which are familiar to all Western people. These
        pieces of art are just that. They are not ethnically, but culturally and
        spiritually totally unorthodox. Orthodoxy is as new to converting Westerners
        as the Aztec culture is to the present Mexicans who start studying it or as
        the ancient Egyptian culture is to the present Egyptians. Some cataclysms
        in history can cut peoples away from their own roots.

        The French consider that their roots are not St Ireneaus of Lyons or St
        Martin of Tours, but the "assemblée constituante". Even their own "gothic
        cathedrals" dedicated to "our Lady" have become foreign to them. When they
        come to the orthodox culture, they cannot find any remnants of it in their
        own traditions. It is the Russian emigration which introduced them to
        orthodoxy. They have no French icons, or no French spiritual music.

        The cu!lt of beauty in the liturgy combined with the spiritual rigor of
        orthodoxy is not traditional at all in Western "RC". The principle that the
        message of Christ is not to be adapted to the times, etc., etc. makes it a
        difficult cultural effort for a Westerner who converts to orthodoxy.

        The Russians are one of the most hospitable and less chauvinistic nations in
        the world, even in exile. They never caused any xenophobic reaction in the
        countries were they arrived in so large numbers. As soon as they settled in
        their exile, they attracted the locals to them. They have never kept the
        local people from converting, they have just helped them to convert. The
        fact that I was Russian has always helped me in my social contacts with the
        local people. They never felt snobbed by the Russian community, but rather
        interested or attracted by it, because they are always so warmly welcomed..

        In Christ,

        Vladimir Kozyreff


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Glenn Fleurinck" <Glenn.Fleurinck@...>
        To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 6:16 PM
        Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Anyone can Write anything


        > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote: I think however that orthodoxy is never felt by
        > any Westerner as
        > being his roots. He discovers it by historical considerations, not by
        > any spontaneous reflex of the heart.
        > And being that only God knows the hearts of humankind this is not for you
        > to know. This is tottaly based on preconceived ideas.
        > And it is this attitude that sadly enough keeps many away from orthodoxy.
        > Many parishes are very unwelcoming to those who do not belong to their
        > particular ethnic group.
        >
        > Glenn in Belgium
        >
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