July 15, 2009

Question And Answers About the Holy Synod Meeting: Two Articles

Dear Deje Selamaweyan,
Here you have two interesting articles. Article 1 is written by Dan, and Article 2 is by Matiwos. Enjoy.
Deje Selam

1. (Article By Dan)
I have tried to follow what is taking place for some times but with regards to the synod what I find amusingly or sadly strange is not knowing, particularly in the last three or more synods.

In the last synod what was the agenda? (The issues brought to the meeting?)
What is the total number of the bishops? Are they all members of the synod?

Was the meeting the General Synod or permanent synod, if there is one?

How many of them attend this synod? Do they have OBLIGATION to attend?

What is the quorum for the meeting to take place?
Did the synod discuss the issues, heard HEARINGS?

Who voted for (again not knowing what the issues brought to the meeting) and who voted against?
What is the vote number for yes and no?

Those who refused to meet with an excuse of going to church to celebrate the Holy Trinity, in the Gospel Christ said First go and make peace first True Peace, Love, charity is so much better than all burnt-offerings and sacrifice. They have put the Church in crisis and it is trying time with no peace among them
In Matthew 5:24 we read “leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Other points I want to express: the patriarch is the first among equals. Not a monarch. There are only three Holy Orders:
Bishop, Priest and Deacon. Patriarch, Arch Bishop etc is Ecclesiastical Titles. Also NOT ALL orthodox churches call their Patriarch “Holy”. Under the current circumstance it is a mockery of the word Holy and ridiculous to call the current patriarch “Holy”. I think they should be addressed as “Your Beatitude, "Your Grace", or Your Eminence. Like in all orthodox churches they all dress the same way. (Since when an orthodox Patriarch wear white robe? He is not catholic or the pop. – Take a look at the way the Copts –Egypt, and the other Oriental
hierarchy dress. http://malankaraorthodoxchurch.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=99&Itemid=265

Ours like to be different and like a monarch with a crown.
In contrast take a look at the life and service of Aba Shenuda, the patriarch of Egypt. He is Obedient to Christ, his Church the people of God. His is loved by his people as a Disciple of Christ. Look at his joy in being among his people, look at the seat he takes, a simple pew –wooden bench, unlike aba Paulos who require a throne. You hear Shenuda CRY FOR HIS CHURCH AND PEOPLE.

Yes Egyptians were not good for our church and us. That is our Weakens, which we still exhibit 50 years after we free ourselves from their rule

Has anyone witnessed aba Paulos with such humility and spirituality (For that mater do any of the Ethiopian Bishops?)? In other churches bishops stand with their people & serve their people, ours get serviced by the church people; serve the rich and those with power.

WE SHOULD PRAY. We should pray to Christ so that our action is guided by his words. In action is not acceptable at times of crisis.

2. Article 2 By Matiwos
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, One God Amen.

Mr Dan, by the Will of God, I am member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhadeo Church.

Concerning your comment: "Also NOT ALL orthodox churches call their Patriarch “Holy”. Under the current circumstance it is a mockery of the word Holy and ridiculous to call the current patriarch “Holy”"

My reaction to this is: the reason the EOTC calls the Patriarch 'Holy' is because the seat/position (Patriarch) he is occupying is the Holy Seat of Saint Mark, the first Patriarch.

In addition, you mention, "I think they should be addressed as “Your Beatitude, "Your Grace", or Your Eminence." Yet you address the Patriarch Bitsue Abune Paulos as, "aba Paulos". Again, addressing the Patriarch has nothing to do with his personality, its because his POSITION demands it.

Yet again, "Yes Egyptians were not good for our church and us. That is our Weakens, which we still exhibit 50 years after we free ourselves from their rule."

My question to this statement is, is it our weakness that the Egyptians for 1600 years did not contribute to the real development of the EOTC to be self sufficient? Is it our weakness that the Egyptians demanded an excessive amount of $$$ in gold, elephant tusks, etc, for them to send our Bishops, is this what is called 'spiritual'?; is it our fault that Copts did not take Ethiopians to Egypt and train them their language, as well as Church canons and dogma, so we could communicate with them better? Do we know for certain the EOTC fathers at the time of Copt 'leadership' did not attempt to have autonomy, which is a sign of strength? I tell you they did, but were refused because they were not seen worthy!!! And this feeling of 'holy' superiority complex still exists among them today. There are books that can help us see this, we can start with the late Abune Gorgorios' book on Church History. Again, nothing against the Copts, they have done an amazing job with THEIR OWN CHURCH progress, but when it comes to the EOTC, their contribution is questionable and this cannot be ignored as history can attest to this truth.

Two more things I would like to bring to attention. One is that the EOTC is young in terms of administrating its own affairs from top to bottom. This means there will be mistakes along the way of our growth. If we research the development history of ancient Churches like Copts, Rome, Greek, Russian, we will find out they had similar issues, and at times worse situations, this is part of growth.

The question we as EOTC servants should ask is how is MY service to the Church looking? What is God's expectation for me? What do others expect from me? The whole point is for us to look within ourselves in order to know who we are in relation to our relationship with God. Which brings me to my last point, it is terrible to compare the fathers of the EOTC with the Copts, first of all its not Christian to reveal another persons weakness openly like this. Our fathers should not be subjected to our judgments, let lone our Bishops and Priest, who have the position of leadership in the Kingdom of God, we should not place judgments on ANY soul. Our Fathers have been given their position by God, He will monitor their affairs. We are not the boss, He is. The responsibility of the laity/meamen, is serving God in what ever capacity given to us, along with RESPECTING our fellow workers of the Kingdom of God. In short, lets know our place if we want to work within the Kingdom of God and please God. Lets concentrate on OUR OWN responsibilities within the Kingdom, judgment is only reserved to the King and ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven, God Himself. Lets not squander our calling by straying away from the Word.

All the Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God, who made taught me what I wrote. May the prayers of our Mother Holy Mary and all the Saints be with us


tad said...

It is time to to call the spade the spade. Aba paulos is the spade and we call him the spade.

Another Tad said...

Selam Tad,

The way you speak doesn't teach Christianity. May God give you His wisdom.

Anonymous said...

We are indebted to your reports especially these days on the Holy Synod case Deje selamoch.
However, my mind is always questioning “Is the conflict really about the well being of our holy church or is a power trip” I mean don’t blame me for asking. In this era of woyane any thing can happen. I mean we are well experienced to be silent not to oppose any thing in that country including in our church matters. Remember the case of Addis Ababa St.Mariam Church case and military intervention some years ago, St Stefanos church and its complication. We are experienced that our church leaders are capable of crushing oppositions through military menses.
Abune Stifanos is a young Abun who got his Abunian rank not so long ago from Abune Pawelose. I am really confused the opposing groups is lead by pops from the same ethnic group to Abune Pawelos. There are so many possible scenarios that need to be checked!!!!
Let the almighty God look us in his mercy full eyes and give us his ever lasting solution!

Melkamu said...

Please stop finger-pointing. The Patriarch is you and me. Everything we do is reflected in our leaders. I see, many of you even are incapable of refrain from writing foul words about your fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters -- so your contribution to life less than that of a butterfly. It's clear, that many enemies of our Church and our country interefere in our affairs constantly by presenting themselves as followers of our Church. Deje Selam should try to filter those unwanted comments on its blog.

Melkamu said...

We need to know one other thing: We in the Diaspora don't have the right to behave like leaders of our institutions. We are morally and spiritually obliged to support and help them, but not to rule them. I pray very deeply to God that our next leader of our Church is the one who has never left our beloved Ethiopia -- both physically and spiritually. It's very very important, more important than we know it!

Melkamu said...

Bless you, Deje Selam! If you could, please de-activate the "Anonymous" button. Everybody can write a nickname. Thanks!

Unknown said...

It is really good to challenge the idea rather than people usually. But when we come in this case, we have seen the idea (rule) which the patriarch has been doing for our church and the issues that are raised by the members of synod to avoid administration problems. So as to me the admin problem should be solved as you people want.

So as to avoid this, I don't think it is good to give time for Abune paulos and check if he can correct this. Rather the bishops should unit to solve the problem from the root.
For abune paulos, being spritual patriarch is enough. If he can really see it from spritual point of view, that is enough for him. Other admin works even can be done with priests.

Let God help us

Abba Tateq said...

Bitsu'e we-qiddus Abune Pawlos has done a lot of harm to the EOTC. There are quite many people who have been turning away from the Church because of that. A Patriarch should first and foremost promote Christianity through his actions - but that's not what BWQ Abune Pawlos has been doing.

...and the same goes also for BWQ Abune Merqoryos... a real shame that he and some other bishops have created this schism in our holy mother church.

I can't blame anyone who thinks that these Pappasat are more concerned about themselves than the Church.

Matiwos said...

All Glory and Thankgiving be to The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God Amen.

This comment is towards 'Abba Tateq's comments, and its directed towards everyone. God is love and merciful. Most importantly He is well aware of His workers actions. All baptised in the One Holy Church are workers for one Master that's Jesus Christ, Glory be to His Name (One Lord, One Church, One Baptism). Our position's in serving His Kingdom are all different but we are all workers ultimately. That is way we are told to live in service and obdience towards one another, this way we stay in LOVE (Which is the Ultimate Commandment)

Which brings me to my point, just like the gospel says "He with out sin cast the first stone." Are any of us with out sin? Are we meeting all of God's expectations? God forbid. We are all weak and unworthy for our calling. Our calling is to serve the Church, and the Church serves the world. Is not the Church the Light of the World? This Light may be dim at this moment in time, but I guarentee you its NOT because of a FEW INDIVIDUALS, it's the MAJORITY that is at fault, from the clergy to the laity, ALL are guilty. I believe we should count ourselves as the majority. For its not Christian manner to consider oneself as perfect and blameless any way.

What is the conclusion, LETS CHECK OURSELVES, ARE WE MEETING ALL OUR EXPECTATIONS? When our Master returns, according to Scripture He will not ask: 'What did we think of the Church's condition, which Bishop, Priest, Deacon, did we support.' He wants one thing, to see us WORKING our reponsibility given to us.
Do we know what that is? We can only know WHAT our reponsibility is and then DO IT ONLY BY living a SACREMENTAL LIFE. With out this, we will not know what our calling is, who we are serving, who we are working for, what our service is about, what and how we get our compensation, etc.

Please fellow workers, lets us concentrate on OUR OWN work FIRST. Our Master is well aware of everything happening. If we need to complain about others lets complain to Him only, lets not try to start our own mini revolution, the Kingdom we work for cannot be divided so its futile. Our MAIN responsibility is to live a life of REPENTANCE first then work in the Kingdom of God (which is to say love, faith, hope, prayer, fastings, patience, kindness, all the fruits of the spirit).

If we work for God's Kingdom, which is to include all baptised in the One Faith, lets be THANKFUL for the OPPORTUNITY, and seek to FULFILL our responsibilities, with all humility, fear, thankfulness, gratfulness and reverance. If we are not called yet, lets join the Kingdom of God by getting Baptised.

Glory be to God forever Amen.

Anonymous said...

God bless you matiwos

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