Saturday, October 13, 2007

Autocephalous Hypocrisy

I saw this news Item earlier in the week, a meeting in Ravenna, Italy, turns sour:

A delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate led by Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria walked out of a meeting of the joint commission on the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue in the Italian city of Ravenna on Tuesday,

Not surprising, given the chilly relations between the two. As much as the Russian Orthodox fuss about Catholic proselytizing in Russia, at least Rome isn't leaning on the Italian government to expel foreign-born clergy.

But alas, the bug in Russia's bonnet is different this time:

During the Orthodox meeting, Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria told the other Orthodox participants that his delegation would abandon the meeting if they did not ask the Estonian Orthodox delegation to leave.

well, that's not a very prime example of christian love for our brothers, is it? What resentment could lead to such uncharitable behaviour?

The Russian Orthodox Church does not recognize the Estonian Apostolic Church, which is tied to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, said a statement by the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church believes the Orthodox in Estonia fall under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, not the ecumenical patriarchate.

Hmm, okay, lemme see if I've got this right: Russia refuses to entertain the notion of the authority of Rome, but expects to wield authority over others. I see. Russia can be autocephalous, but christians in their territory, and neighboring areas, cannot be trusted to make their own religious decisions? They need to get over themselves.

I wouldn't be surprised if Estonians, tired of Russian political and military hegemony, aren't excited by the imposition of russian religious hegemony.

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