Talk:Orthodoxy in the Philippines

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Revision as of 20:45, September 9, 2007 by FrJohn (talk | contribs) (Deletions)
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"clandestine and cultic"

This language is pretty strong -- maybe it would be helpful to have more identification here -- what are these groups like, what are they called? "Clandestine and cultic" should have some documentation to fill it out, otherwise this language is just regarded as personal opinion. — FrJohn (talk)

Thanks, Filipino - it's very interesting, if not helpful, to see all of those groups. Perhaps strong language is appropriate, but maybe they are not all clandestine or cultic according to your definitions? Definitely they breed confusion, and it can be good to identify groups to avoid. — FrJohn (talk)

If they are clandestine as you say "Filipino, then why are they listed with the Philippine Exchange Commission, have been recognized as religious entities by the Philippine government, and some of these groups are members of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. Please stop politicizing this entry. ---Marcus

The term "clandestine" has been removed. The groups are what they are - it isn't really of concern to us here. Marcus, can you provide any solid documentation related to the arrival of the Lebanese families you metioned in the 1800's? Thanks, — FrJohn (talk)

Antiochians in the Philippines

It appears that there is some polemic here, with Marcus representing the Antiochian side and Filipino representing the Greek side. Both have provided different histories of the origins of Orthodoxy in the Philippines, which each seem to bolster jurisdictional claims.

It's difficult for me to imagine that Antiochians aren't in communion with Greeks -- is this really the case? Was the deacon merely representing himself, or was he sent by his bishop?

I can definitely see the canonical problems here, though. It may be helpful to keep in mind that these canonical issues persist throughout the "diaspora" - hence the historical interest in claiming first landing in the country. There is no doubt that these conflicts will remain with us for some time. My hope is that on the wiki we can seek to describe the situation as completely and dispassionately as possible, with attention to the historical circumstance and competing canonical claims. We are definitely biased towards the what we call "Mainstream Chalcedonian Orthodoxy", i.e. those churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates (with the exception of Rome), but I would prefer to remain as neutral as possible in the midst of inter-jurisdictional disputes such as this. — FrJohn (talk) 10:45, June 8, 2007 (PDT)

Chris Gain is not a deacon within the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand or any Orthdox Church. His views do not represent the views of any canonical bishop in Australia --Marcus

Would you want the family names? The Syrian and Lebanese Consulates in Manila confirmed that after the opening of foreign trade, a number of Ottoman subjects from the Greater Syria province arrived in the Philippines including the Sa-id and Saliba (which became Filipino-nized into "Soliba") families. The Sa-id family has the records to show that their ancestors worked on British ships in the Philippines.

Furthermore, I deleted the references because it is too politicized and shows blind papal-cesaerism, not to mention its highly inaccurate and anti-Arab. The Greek Orthodox Church in the Philippines can not call itself the Orthodox Church of the Philippines because it is not legally entitled to do so, check the SEC registration again. Nor does it have the canonical or moral authority to do so. According to the 1, 2, 3 Ecumenical Councils, Antioch is entitled to the jurisdictional territory of the "East" which means all of Asia and for this reason Antioch had parishes in China, Indonesia, and India as early as the 2nd century in the year of our Lord. It is also known that the Patriarchate of Moscow still considers the Philippines its missionary area because of its early presence here and also a major concern has arisen with the stories coming out of Indonesia about the Greek Orthodox Church and how 3/4 of the Indonesian Orthodox Christians are now under the omphorion of the ROCOR.

However, all God-fearing Russian and Antiochian Orthodox in Australia share a general sorrow for what has happened in SE Asia after stories from Indonesia have emerged.

Also if you would have taken the time to examine the SEC registration, you would have noticed that the registration of the Orthodox Church in the Philippines was a gift from Chris Gain to Patriarch Ignatius IV of (the City of God of) Antioch and All the East. That is why Chris Gain is mentioned in the paperwork. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese has nothing to do with gifts to the patriarchate and they would appreciate it if you would stop mentioning them in the article without their authorization. I would like to repeat that the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, and All Oceania has had nothing to do with Chris Gain nor with his Iglesia Ortodoxa ng Pilipinas. The Antiochian Archdiocese was as uninformed as was the Greek Metropolitanate of Hong Kong about this gift.

May God grant you guidance and wisdom to refrain from attacking the ancient See of Antioch and for showing more discernment in your writing about Orthodoxy in the Philippines.


It seems to me that we should keep the reference in to the Lebenese families. Not sure why it is so contentious. Certainly, any canonical claims cannot merely rest on the "a few families from someplace arrived here first" argument. It's an interesting historical tidbit, anyway.
About the other matters, I kindly request that you both refrain from personal attacks and from attributing bad motives to one another, at least here. These are difficult issues, and it's a difficult time in church history (can't think of one that wasn't...). Ultimately, the bishops must work these things out. Honestly, I think that all of these "it's my territory" claims are doomed to failure in the so-called diaspora. The world has changed - increased mobility of peoples and other forces of globalization means that traditionally Orthodox peoples, each with their own histories, find themselves in far corners of the earth. Naturally, they bring their heritage -- and their hierarchy -- with them when there is no established and deeply rooted Orthodox church body in the region. The various jurisdictions will simply have to learn to live with each other under these new circumstances, observing and preserving carefully the bonds of communion which tie us together. I am sympathetic with the desire for canonical order that I see reflected in Filipino's statements, as well as the desire for an authentically indigenous Orthodoxy I see in Marcus' comments. It seems to me that these issues won't be really worked out unless there is a functioning primacy according to Orthodox canonical tradition, that bears the interests of the whole deeply in its heart. We may all dream of such a day, but it doesn't appear that this will happen anytime soon.
I want to emphasize once again that the role of OrthodoxWiki is not to take a side in these debates, but to honestly reflect the situation as clearly as possibly, avoiding gossip, speculation, and slander. The articles should reflect who says what, where, when and (to the degree it can be ascertained) why. This may not solve anything -- but that's not the purpose here. I hope this approach will be of service to people trying to figure these things out on all sides.
May God bless us and have mercy on all of His struggling children! — FrJohn (talk)


The recent deletions have been approved. Please don't rollback. Thanks, — FrJohn (talk)