November 28, 2004

The Return of the Saints

I can't believe I'm the first Orthoblogger to mention this - at least amongst those on my links list.

After exactly 800 years, the relics of St John Chrysostom and St Gregory Nazianzen have been return have been returned to Constantinople. They were taken in a raid by Catholic crusaders in 1204.

This is a gesture that will no doubt be looked upon with suspicion by all the monks on Athos and others who see the Pope as the great enemy of Orthodoxy. For those who long to see the unification of the Church, this is certainly a gesture of symbolic value. I am probably far too ecumenical for my average Orthodox reader, and I generally have a lot of bad things to say about Patriarch Bartholomew, but I think this is marvellous, at least on a spiritual level.

On a practical level, I'm not so sure. The bones of these holy Fathers are being returned to Istanbul. Constantinople only exists in the legal fiction of the Church. The bones will by in tiny insecure enclave surrounded by Infidels. The Turks don't have the best track record when it comes to preserving or protecting things Christian. They might have been better off under the protection of the Vatican.

If Bart does the wise thing and abandons the Phanar for freedom, I hope he takes the bones of his holy predecessors with him.

Posted by david at November 28, 2004 10:03 PM | TrackBack

Ik ga totaal akkoord. Ware Thats, mijn oom altijd vertelde me dat. Ik houd van uw adviezen en ik zal vaker uw plaats voortaan bezoeken. Dank voor grote inhoud, houdt het goede werk. Ongelooflijk er zijn geen dergelijke goede plaatsen zoals van u. Als mijn bovengenoemde grootvader: het goede werk zal altijd appriciated zijn. Ten slotte zou ik willen toevoegen dat vele mensen niet aith akkoord zouden gaan dat het soort adviezen maar dont, harder houdt opgeeft! Hvis du vil have Christiania Mønten med hjem som souvenir, skal du spørge efter den når du handler i Fristaden. Hører du til den type der synes, at lokale valutaer er et spændende økonomisk eksperiment, opfordres du til at bruge Christiania Mønten i din hverdag.

Posted by: Grizzlie at December 6, 2004 12:34 AM
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