Voices from Russia

Saturday, 14 November 2009

MP Threatens To Break Ties with the EKD over Female Bishop as Head of the German Body

Margot Kässmann 2

Margot Kässmann (1958- ), new head of the EKD. Shall her election lead to the breakdown of the dialogue of the MP and EKD? Shall it lead to a general declaration on Orthodox relations with bodies that accept female ordination?

Dialogue between the MP and the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church of Germany (EKD) was amicable for 50 years. In fact, the two churches are planning to celebrate this long relationship in late November. However, that celebration will be the last official contact between the two religious groups, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant. The election of a divorced female as the head of the EKD outrages many clergy in the MP. The Orthodox Church does not allow women to become priests, let alone take on leadership roles. Rev Georgy Zavershinsky noted that this election now makes dialogue between the two churches impossible. “A female bishop is a contradiction of evangelical principles”, Fr Georgy said. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias still has to rule on the matter. Conservative members of the MP support threats to ostracise German Protestants [over this matter]. Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Prilutski called the election of a woman [as the presiding bishop of the EKD] a “sign of crisis in Western society”.

However, the woman at the centre of the debate, Margot Kässmann, expressed surprise at the reaction from the Russian church [to her election] and sent a letter to Patriarch Kirill expressing her bewilderment about the attacks on her from Russia. She said that while she understood some churches do not allow women to become leaders, she also expected those churches to accept that this was possible in some [other] denominations. “Ecumenism (religious cooperation) is about accepting different churches and the roles within them”, Ms Kässmann said. “Mutual respect” was the basis for this, she added.

13 November 2009

Susan Houlton

Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany)

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4891185,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

Why Are They Lying?

Nashotah House

There has been an interesting wrinkle in the accusations that my opposition is tossing at me. I don’t know the true nature of Nashotah House (NH)… according to these sorts, at least. Hmm… Let’s look at some objective sources:

Nashotah House is an Anglo-Catholic seminary of the Episcopal Church (TEC) located in Nashotah, Wisconsin, approximately 30 miles (50 km) from Milwaukee, in the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashotah_House

Here is a little something from the official NH website:

http://www.nashotah.edu/admissions.htm

Did you notice the fulsome blurb about the priestess Marjorie Everlof, who is a graduate of NH? Like it or not, it is proof positive that NH advocates female ordination, is heartily in favour of it, and has no intention of abandoning its support for it.

I would say this straight up to Mr Munday, the dean of this institution:

“I bear no hatred towards you, your family, or, indeed, any other Anglican. However, you are not Orthodox in any way, shape, or form and I would oppose your entry into Orthodoxy at all costs. Jonas Paffhausen lied to you. He does not represent the mainstream of the Church. If you wish to know what the Church really thinks, look at the situation evolving in the dialogue with the EKD, that is, the EKD elected a female bishop as its head. Now, look at the MP’s reaction to it. We do not accept female clergy or the groups that ordain them (you belong to such a body, indeed, your presiding bishop is female). We reject the 39 Articles completely, utterly, and without reservation (frankly, those underpin your seminary). We condemn Calvinistic theology in all its stipulations (honestly, it’s the basis of your faith).

I am sorry that Jonas Paffhausen did what he did when he signed an agreement with you, for he raised false expectations. As an Orthodox Christian, I am sorry that one of my bishops misrepresented the teachings of Christ and His Church. Mr Munday, you DO have a choice. You can stay an Anglican or you can become Orthodox. The latter is very difficult for an adult, especially one such as yourself, for you would have to abandon your entire heterodox formation as a clergyman and start from ‘a cat sat on a mat’. It is not kind to lie to others… especially on religious matters. I would never be anything other than polite and gracious to you… but, I shall not lie on matters of such consummate importance. You are not one of us, neither is anyone at your seminary, or anyone else in your church, for that matter. I wish you well personally and wish that God shall look after you and yours and bring you nothing but good… yet, you are not an Orthodox Christian, and nothing can change that fact. If I have offended you, I apologise, but, I had to speak nothing but the truth to you, for Paffhausen and Hatfield lied to you. Go with God”.

I fear that it is too late for the OCA… they do not care for the rest of the Church. If JP goes ahead with the crack-brained lunacy of an “Anglican Rite”, he shall break the Church’s unity. I do not know what is going to happen after he does so, but, I fear that evidence is accumulating that proves that JP is going to do it, come what may. The screams from the supporters of JP shows that objective fact does not underpin the arguments of the pro-autocephalist party. NH is a part of the TEC. Full stop. Stop trying to tell the world that it is not. It is not by any stretch of the imagination “Orthodox”, even with a small “o”. What I find interesting is that many who are pumping for this SVS-NH combine are former Anglicans. We all know what Scripture says about dogs returning to their vomit… I fear it is true, all too tragically, in this case. (No doubt, these sorts shall excoriate me for not praising NH… but, NH is an unrepentant bunch of Calvinists and that is all they are capable of being religiously, unfortunately.)

It’s not a pretty picture, is it? I’m only sorry that JP and Co lied to the good people at NH. I apologise most sincerely and deeply to them for that. God willing, they shall see it and reject the SVS concordat… do you really wish  unity with such people? Ask the gang at SVS why Peter l’Hullier ran off to the Caribbean and why he left Paris in the 70s… I wonder what they’ll tell you (you may also ask them about Robert Kondratick and his “interesting” notions about church funds…)? Oh… did they tell you about Andrei Dmitrievich Schmemann and how he opposed his identical-twin brother’s modernism (Andrei was the founder of OLTR, a group in France that fights Renovationism in the Church… he only died recently in late 2008… a true gentleman to his fingertips!)?

To be sure, I would offer Mr Munday a drink, shake my head ruefully, and say, “It DOES take all kinds, doesn’t it, sir?” I’m sure he would meet my gaze and say, “It certainly does, madame”.

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 14 November 2009

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

Some uninformed people blather about an Anglican splinter group known as “the Anglican Church in America”. They are no more Orthodox than the TEC. They’re nothing but Protestants too. I see little difference between them and the TEC. It’s the same Calvinist theology and the same indifferent “comprehensiveness”. Don’t forget… the MP condemned the “branch theory” explicitly… and that is the basis of the weltanshauung of both the TEC and all the other Anglican bodies, bar none. In short, Anglicans are Anglicans, and we are unable bring them into the Church as a body… history has taught us that. Individuals… yes… established groups… no… it’s just buying trouble on the instalment plan.

MP may Terminate its Dialogue with the EKD, Due to their Election of a Female Bishop as Head

Margot Kässmann

Margot Kässmann (1958- ), recently-elected head of the EKD. By its agreement with Nashotah House, SVS approved such (for Nashotah House is in a body headed by a female bishop)… reflect on that. Do recall JP’s smiles in the PR snaps… he expressed approval for such as well. Lord, have mercy!

The MP may end its dialogue with the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Germany (EKD). “After the EKD elected a female bishop, Margot Kässmann, as its head, continuation of the dialogue of the MP with that body in the form in which it was until now, is now impossible”, Fr Georgy Zavershinsky, the head of the MP Department for External Church Relations press service, said in an interview with our Interfax-Religion correspondent. He told us, “The Church, according to the ancient canons, cannot be led by a woman, just as it cannot ordain women as priests or bishops. This raises many questions about protocol. The First Hierarch of the MP cannot call a woman the head of any church”. At the same time, he added that dialogue of the MP with the EKD becomes impossible in the form in which it has evolved over the past 50 years. “However, it is not impossible to rule out other forms of dialogue, we’ve not made any official statements on that, yet. These forms are vague, now; we shall decide it more precisely in future. This question is very serious, and, of course, we should consider it as a fit topic for a ruling from the First Hierarch of the MP”, Fr Georgy said.

12 November 2009

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=32864

Editor’s Note:

What shall the Renovationist commandos at SVS do when KMG issues a statement about how Orthodox should treat heterodox bodies headed by women? It directly refers to its freshly inked concordat with Nashotah House, as Nashotah House is under the TEC, whose head is Katharine Jefferts-Schori. In the words of Fr Georgy, “Continuation of the dialogue of [Orthodox] with that body in the form in which it was until now, is now impossible”. In short, both JP and Hatfield (and their puppeteer Benjamin Peterson) spat on the Church barefaced and with full malice aforethought. Their agreement with a body headed by Ms Jefferts-Schori flies in the face of the mind of the Church as expressed so well by Fr Georgy (who is an official voice of the MP). They should bear in mind that the MP can withdraw the Tomos of Autocephaly from the OCA, a document that the other Local Churches do NOT accept, in any case.

This is far deeper than most realise… it means that the MP has decided to defend traditional practise and interpretations over the modernist notions of the professoriate at certain Orthodox seminaries in the West. Are we going to finally lay to rest the ghost of Aleksandr Vvedensky (do recall that ADS spoke of him with approval) and bid adieu to his Mad Hatter fancy of a “Living Church”? Are we going to cancel out ADS’ crack-brained (but, beautifully packaged) resuscitation of his noxious heresy? I have no idea of how this is going to work out… I know that we are on the brink of “events”, that is all. All that we can do is to play our parts, according to our abilities and station. God have mercy on us all.

BMD

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