The Orthodox Diplomacy

By Fuad Karsheh
Translated by Dima Kopti

Due to the ongoing carelessness of the consecutive spiritual leaders in the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem against the Arab Orthodox parish, the local arena witnesses an active popular Orthodox movement. Nowadays, the Orthodox diplomacy is taking its role in moving on all relevant aspects and this is through maintaining the policy of communication and cooperation with the Orthodox world in particular and the Christian world in general. On 06/07/2011 a Jordanian Orthodox delegation, visited the Lebanese capital Beirut and met some of the political Christian orthodox commissions and figures.

The orthodox diplomatic movement is not new. We for example remember the visit of Dr. Raouf Abu Jaber and Mr. Tawfiq Kawwar of the central Orthodox council to the Russian capital Moscow and their meeting with the late Patriarch Alexy on 2003.

When the orthodox diplomacy comes into action, it doesn’t take our national orthodox cause abroad in an un-orthodox framework! Unfortunately, as it is said in the orthodox discussions. The national Orthodox cause–concerning the Arab Orthodox parish in Jordan and Palestine is considered an on-going national and spiritual Orthodox concern. The current condition of the Church of Jerusalem while living under the Israeli occupation and the apparent disregard by the spiritual leaderships for all the parish’s efforts for reform through their right and legitimate demands has become a public Orthodox concern and it is unacceptable to remain silent regarding this issue, especially during the present differences and tensions existing between the current church’s management (The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem) with the Coptic Church and the Romanian Orthodox church! Unfortunately, not only the parish helplessly reads news of disagreements but also have feelings of sorrow regarding this topic in the time where we are desperately in need of the Orthodox world’s support and overcoming any disagreement of any kind.

Some opinions suggest moving for dialogue between spiritual leadership (the church’s management and parish) as if the situation is only a matter of misunderstanding over some point of views with dilemma of communication! Accordingly neglecting parish’s entire historical effort for dialogue as well as neglecting the spiritual, national and legitimate structure of the orthodox issue. They have also neglected the common sense of the other party and its history.

On the other hand the Orthodox Society hosted on 11.7.2011 his Excellency Faisal al-Fayez, the Speaker of the Parliament (House of Deputies) and an esteemed group of deputies in an open meeting regarding the orthodox issue where all issues were raised bluntly and directly. The orthodox issue will have its place in the house of parliament adopted by the speaker of the parliament and the deputies, all the doors will be knocked by the Orthodox diplomacy after the churches’ management has closed its doors. In spite of all of this I think that the dialogue will remain a proposal unless it was adopted in a prominent and comprehensive method.