Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The exception that proves the rule

News from Greece this week is that rival religious factions have been struggling for control of Mount Athos (pictured above), that most holy site for monasteries in the Greek Orthodox tradition. The monks there have long been reknowned for their holiness of life and religious devotion. They are now making headlines with fights involving crowbars and a fire exstinguisher.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew IThe battles are over moves to closer relations with the Vatican made by the head of that church, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (pictured here). The rebel monks violently oppose the slightest steps toward unity. You can find more here from an English language newspaper in Greece: Athos Monks Injured in Clashes. While the fights are unfortunate, the relatively tame fighting has made news because the combatants are monks. It's best to remember that no denomination would like to be judged by its most extreme members. I would certainly rather not have to account for all that takes place under the umbrella of Anglicanism, nor do I think anyone should have to explain the actions of all in their denomination.

Anglican-Orthodox Connections
With this exception to the rule in the news, I thought it best to highlight how close relations have long been between Anglicans and Orthodox Christians. We find our theology to be similar in many ways, though our outward expression of it in worship does differ. Since 1989, the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue has met to discuss what unites us in our theology. The co-chair of that commission is the retired Bishop of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Mark Dyer, who was an advisor of mine in seminary.

I have benefitted both in and since seminary from reading Orthodox writers and am currently reading an Orthodox perspective on counseling by Archbishop Chrysostomos. And, of course, at King of Peace we have studied Russian Orthodox Bishop Anthony Bloom's Beginning to Pray.

About Orthodoxy
The word "Orthodox" means "right belief" or "right doctrine" and they are the churches east of Constantinople divided from those west of that great city in Turkey around the year 1,000. More information on their beliefs is online at the Orthodox Church in America page About Orthodox Christianity. The Orthodox tap into a rich vein of Christian tradition which has nourished millions of the faithful for centuries with reverent worship.

Our nearest Orthodox neighbors are the fine folks down at St. Justin Martyr Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, where they are looking forward to a joyous celebration of our Lord's birth. So take what you read in the news with a grain of salt, knowing that it is the exception to the rule that makes headlines.

In the archives are a few Orthodox-influenced sermons from King of Peace:
The Jesus Prayer
Windows into Heaven and
Becoming Like God

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor


  • At 12/22/2006 10:03 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    As an Orthodox Christian, a member of St. Justin Martyr and a personal friend, I say thank you.

  • At 12/22/2006 10:14 AM, Anonymous Steve+ said…

    I have long loved the Orthodox tradition. I had a chance to meet the priest at St Justin Martyr (Fr. Ted?) at the Orthodox Church in America's Diocese of South convention in Atlanta. I am good friends with an OCA priest in Columbia, SC. Fr. Ted (if he is still there) was a lot of fun.


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