Monday, September 19, 2005

Eastern churches

Traditional churches unite in supporting Christian-ethics course in Ukrainian schools
Sounds good even though I’d probably oppose something like that in a non-Catholic country like the US. The Protestant religious right would love to do something that sounds like this but it’d really be rather different! This touches on the issue of religious liberty and the two approaches Catholics can take to it. Given the culture that the Ukraine is based on, this class seems a legitimate option.

Another jurisdictional pissing contest
Not between the Orthodox and schisms from them* but inter-Orthodox: Constantinople vs Moscow! (Again: they fought over Estonia a few years ago.) Or so claims an academic in an interview with the official Orthodox church in the Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church. If it’s true it seems to be the backwash of cæsaropapism (a down side of one Catholic approach to religious liberty — you start with the government seeming to favour the church and end up with the government running the church) and the millet system of the Turks (each religious group ruled separately with its own head): the patriarch in Istanbul, with no Greek flock left in Turkey thanks to Turkish persecution, would like to be a Byzantine emperor ruling all the Christians in Eastern Europe (and beyond, such as in America) again (like he did in the Ottoman Empire).

*A failing of RISU, a Roman Catholic-based religious news service in the Ukraine that posts interesting stories, is that they don’t clearly point out this distinction between the groups.

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