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
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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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGGeSTGUoiU&feature=related.

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.


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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
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