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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #45 on: March 16, 2009, 04:21:42 PM »

Honestly, Isa, you're the only person I've seen ever equate primacy with autocephaly, and I can't say I'm entirely convinced by your reasoning.  ISTM that autocephaly is really a relatively modern (i.e., past six centuries or so) concept that you, and maybe a few others, are trying to superimpose upon the early Church.  Can you show me how the early Church Fathers thought as you do?  Maybe then I'll be convinced.
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« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2009, 04:30:27 PM »

Honestly, Isa, you're the only person I've seen ever equate primacy with autocephaly, and I can't say I'm entirely convinced by your reasoning.  ISTM that autocephaly is really a relatively modern (i.e., past six centuries or so) concept that you, and maybe a few others, are trying to superimpose upon the early Church.  Can you show me how the early Church Fathers thought as you do?  Maybe then I'll be convinced.

This should be clearer when I get to Antioch, which is next after I'm done with Jerusalem.

I'm jumping the gun here, but for now:
Quote
Ephesus
Canon VIII.

Our brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved of God bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have reported to us an innovation which has been introduced contrary to the ecclesiastical constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and which touches the liberties of all.  Wherefore, since injuries affecting all require the more attention, as they cause the greater damage, and particularly when they are transgressions of an ancient custom; and since those excellent men, who have petitioned the Synod, have told us in writing and by word of mouth that the Bishop of Antioch has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the Rulers of the holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury, according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the right of performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent Bishops.  The same rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and provinces everywhere, so that none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors.  But if any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.

Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjured:  every Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts.  And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is here determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.xii.html
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 04:31:37 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2009, 05:42:39 AM »

No there isn't. There is just disagreement as to whether the rest of the Orthodox Church has to accept a decree of autocephaly. In the case of the OCA for instance, most Churches do not recognise it's autocephaly. It's irregular status is therefore a problem to the Conciilliar nature of the Church, not the EP.
The Antiochians don't recognise the OCA's autocephaly either btw.


Because there are no canons which deal specifically with these matters, it leaves Churches free to accept or reject both decrees of autonomy and of autocephaly.

George is right and this *is* a problem for the conciliar nature of the Church.

It will be addressed at the forthcoming Great Synod which has both topics on its agenda:

2. The manner of recognizing the status of autocephalous Church.

3. The manner of recognizing the status of Church autonomy


http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14708
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« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2009, 03:32:54 PM »

Honestly, Isa, you're the only person I've seen ever equate primacy with autocephaly, and I can't say I'm entirely convinced by your reasoning.  ISTM that autocephaly is really a relatively modern (i.e., past six centuries or so) concept that you, and maybe a few others, are trying to superimpose upon the early Church.  Can you show me how the early Church Fathers thought as you do?  Maybe then I'll be convinced.
Quote
The conciliar idea cannot be set up against primacy: not only does a council not exclude primacy, it actually presupposes it. The councils cannot be gathered together automatically; they must be convoked by the head of the diocese.[17] If there had been no single heads in the autocephalous churches, councils could never have existed; otherwise, anarchy would have reigned, with every bishop thinking he had a right to convoke councils. The Ecumenical Councils were not “at the head” of the Church, even in the period of their greatest importance, they did not regard themselves as organs for directing the Church An ecumenical council was certainly the highest institution in the Church: it tackled dogmatic problems and determined the basic principles of ecclesiastical order and discipline. Still, if they were really to stand at the head of the Church, the ecumenical councils should have been permanent, and not convoked in such a random way...I shall put off any attempt to decide whether the Patriarch of Constantinople has the right to convoke a council, and confine myself to a single remark: ever since the ninth century the de facto position of the Patriarch of Constantinople has favored his claim to this right, and yet the Patriarch is well known never to have convoked an ecumenical council: he has never even explored the possibilities of planning such a convocation. One thing is clear: if the autocephalous churches had recognized the right of the Patriarch of Constantinople to convoke, they would simultaneously have recognized his primacy in the Orthodox Church.

Of course, the last remark is perhaps liable to revision in light of recent events.

Quote
The facts I have just explained prove the special character of the place held by the Church of Jerusalem. To define this, we must begin with the presuppositions that were accepted in the apostolic age, and set aside all modem assumptions. This brings us to the following definition: after local churches had grown up, in Palestine and also beyond its borders, the Church of Jerusalem had a position of priority among them. It possessed priority by virtue of being the church most authoritative in witnessing. This place of honor is easy to understand: from Pentecost onwards, Jerusalem was the first place where the Church of God in Christ took shape, and the building up of the local churches began from Jerusalem.

There Christ suffered and rose again, there for some while they expected His second coming, and there was the dwelling-place of the Apostles. All this made a halo of special glory round Jerusalem, and the Jewish-Christians were not alone in seeing it—the Gentile Christians saw it too. There was no other church that could be compared to Jerusalem, and so its witness had the most authority. Any disagreement with Jerusalem amounted almost to deviation from the true faith, and agreement carried a corresponding guarantee of soundness. No wonder the Apostle Paul found it necessary to explain to Jerusalem what sort of gospel he was preaching to the Gentiles; it was the only way he could find out if “his race was run in vain” (Gal 2:2). His action was no sort of appeal to a higher court, a court possessed of the power to license or prohibit Paul’s missionary activities. If the Church of Jerusalem had been a hierarchical center, Paul would have needed to get its authorization in advance, a thing that he never dreamed of asking. When Paul applied to the Church of Jerusalem (represented by “those of most reputation”), he wanted them to bear witness to the truth and authenticity of his gospel. Paul himself says nothing about his motives for doing this, and speaks only of a revelation: “I went up [ Jerusalem] by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles” (Gal 2:2). Nevertheless, if we are to be guided by what we find in Acts, we could suppose that Paul applied to the Church of Jerusalem after, and because of, the conflict that had taken place at Antioch, when doubts had been expressed as to whether Paul’s doctrine was the truth. Acceptance of his gospel by the Church of Jerusalem gave witness that it was true. We can say, in short, that Paul applied to the church which possessed the greatest authority, and the Church of Jerusalem behaved as a church-with-priority.

Paul undoubtedly recognized that the Church of Jerusalem had supreme authority in matters of witness; but this recognition, to him, did not oblige him to feel dependent on the Church of Jerusalem in respect to his personal action, or in respect to the churches he had founded. When Paul looks back on his visits to Jerusalem in the Epistle to the Galatians, he makes it clear that he does not depend on the Church of Jerusalem in his apostolic activity. I think it is very unlikely that Paul believed he had to go to Jerusalem in order to give them an account of his missionary journeys.[28] The visit spoken of in Gal 2:1-10 was inspired by other motives, as we know. As for his last journey to Jerusalem, all we know is that Paul wanted to deliver personally the assistance he had c brought for their poor to the Church of Jerusalem.

The sources give us no reason to suppose that Paul was in a dependent relation to Jerusalem; nor do they give us ground for asserting that the Church of Jerusalem ever claimed to extend her power over the Pauline churches or over Paul himself. Whatever conflicts there were, if any, between Paul and the Church of Jerusalem, and particularly with James, one thing is beyond question. There was a strong opposition party within that Church, and it became stronger still after Paul’s concordat with the “Pillars” (Gal 2:9). If the Church of Jerusalem really had any power over Paul, the members of the opposition could have tried to obtain a clearly worded decision against him. At any rate, the “Judaizers”—whether sent by James, or by the Church of Jerusalem-did not behave like people who have been given a definite mandate. When a church or a personage invests people with the power that a mission implies, they do not behave as the “Judaizers” did.[29] One further point must be added to these remarks, and it concerns ecclesiology. Even if Jerusalem had possessed universal jurisdiction, it could not have reached

beyond the churches and their bishops; it could not cover individual Christians, who were dependent on their several churches; otherwise we should have to suppose that there were no churches outside the Church of Jerusalem, and this was not the case. Paul could not be dependent on the Church of Jerusalem; he was never a member of it. As an apostle, he could not he dependent on the Church of Jerusalem, either; for his apostolate was, in his own words “not of men neither by man.” He was like the other apostles in never being bishop of a church founded by himself. The theory of the apostle-bishop, so widely accepted in Catholic and even non-Catholic circles, is the product of theological speculation: the object is to prove that the monarchical episcopate was there from the beginning. The primitive churches saw an episcopus as presiding over a single local church, not over a group of them. Paul was admittedly the head-figure to the churches he founded; even so, he cannot have been the episcopus of so many all at once.

It is equally bad ecclesiology to ask the question: was the Apostle Peter dependent on the Church of Jerusalem? I confess that, for me, the problem of Peter’s primacy seems to be a false problem; but the problem of Peter himself is real. I cannot possibly tackle the subject at present, or I should wander too far from the immediate point under review. It is enough simply to say that Peter stood in a place apart among the apostles, and that his ministry was unique in kind and had no later parallels. The Apostle Peter is the rock on which the Church is built, and will remain the rock until the coming of the Lord. But Peter’s place and his apostolic ministry could never have set him outside the Church’s boundaries. Another thing to note: belonging to the Church is concrete, not abstract—that is, you cannot belong to the Church in general, you have to belong to one church in particular: the Church of God is manifested as empirical reality in the local churches. This concrete way of belonging to a local church implies a relation of dependence upon it, though we should be careful to avoid describing this dependency in modern terms of law and jurisdiction, for grace is its foundation. The dependence is really on the will of God, who rules the Church’s life. In the early days of the Church of Jerusalem, the Apostle Peter was its head; this did not make him independent in regard to the Church, for in that case he could not have functioned as its head. Conversely, the Church of Jerusalem depended, to some extent, on Peter as being its head. During this phase of Peter’s life, his course of action had to run parallel to the action of the Church of Jerusalem, in full concord. So there is no surprise in the fact that, after his missionary journey and the conversion of Cornelius, Peter reported about them to the Jerusalem church assembly. How could he possibly withhold such an amazing story from them: an uncircumcised pagan received into the Church (for the first time, according to the Acts)! When they heard these things (that is, after hearing Peter’s account) they held their peace and glorified God, saying: “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). Here was an example of the Church of Jerusalem bearing witness about the will of God, and submitting (the Church, not Peter alone) to God’s will. Legal submission (i.e., to a qualified authority) belongs to quite a different world, and Luke’s story makes no mention of it. We know almost nothing about St Peter’s doings after he left Jerusalem; but we can state with a high degree of probability that, whatever St Peter was doing, he was not dependent on the Church of Jerusalem, at least in a legalistic sense, and least of all as an apostle of Christ. If he had been dependent, we should have had to ask how and where his dependency could find concrete expression. After the “Apostolic Council” which Peter attended, as Acts recounts, he never came to Jerusalem again, so he cannot have participated in the Jerusalem church assembly. We are left with the supposition—most unlikely—that Peter sent in regular reports to Jerusalem. Still another hypothesis is suggested by O. Cullmann in his book on St. Peter: Peter was dependent not on the Church of Jerusalem but on St James in person, because he was the head of the Christian-Jewish mission.[30] This notion rests on the supposition that St James was actually the head of the Universal Church. But that is a highly questionable hypothesis without any data to support it; and it led O. Cullmann to the conclusion that the Christian Jews, no matter where they might be situated, were always dependent on St Peter. According to O. Cullmann, in one self-same church, say the Church of Rome, some of the faithful were dependents of St Peter, and others looked elsewhere. Such a supposition is quite inadmissible, because it leaves out the idea of the Church.

4. After James died, and still more after Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70, the Church of Jerusalem ceased to play the part of leading church. It disappeared from the historical stage: when it made a new entrance it appeared as a small church in the new pagan city of Aelia Capitolina, and the congregation was entirely composed of Gentile Christians. So far had its prestige crumbled, that even in Palestine leadership had passed to the Church of Caesarea; surely this is still further proof that the Church of Jerusalem had not held the primacy before the year 70. Primacy in any case is inseparably bound up with a man, not with a church. If the primacy had belonged to James, he would have passed it over to his successors; men despТsunoi like himself, that is, kindred of Christ in the flesh. To whom, then, was the priority which formerly belonged to the Church of Jerusalem transferred? The New Testament scriptures give us no guidance on this point, and so we have to look for an answer in the facts of history, and the premises of ecclesiology. If the local churches were gathered round one authoritative church in the beginning, why were they to do without such a center later on? We can strongly assert that no church could have inherited Jerusalem’s authority in full. The authority given to the Church of Jerusalem was unique and unrepeatable. True enough; but there is no need to ask whether another church could have inherited Jerusalem’s authority in full. We are only concerned to discover which had most authority among the churches—if not so great as the primitive authority of Jerusalem, at least greater than the others could boast of.
http://www.golubinski.ru/ecclesia/primacy.htm

These remarks of Afanassieff may serve as an introduction to Koulomzine's "Peter's Place in the Primitive Church" (also in the same volume "The Primacy of Peter"), where the development of Jerusalem as a local Church while having primacy is developed.
http://books.google.com/books?id=hMjoJx8FD2wC&printsec=frontcover&dq=primacy+of+Peter#PPA5,M1
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« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2009, 03:43:16 PM »

It may be not out of place to post a list of those, past and present, who have claimed autocephaly.

The bishop/patriarch of Jerusalem.

...

So it seems the primacy of the Desposyni extened to their race, the Hebrews.

You've just argued a claim to primacy within a certain geographical region.  How are primacy and autocephaly synonymous?  I just don't see the connection. Huh 

Actually I haven't argued the claim of primacy within a certain geographical region.  But I am about to.  I had intended to go on to argue what was irreducible about Jerusalem's pirmacy, and hence here autocephaly.

to be continued....
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2009, 04:23:50 PM »

It may be not out of place to post a list of those, past and present, who have claimed autocephaly.

The bishop/patriarch of Jerusalem.

...

So it seems the primacy of the Desposyni extened to their race, the Hebrews.

You've just argued a claim to primacy within a certain geographical region.  How are primacy and autocephaly synonymous?  I just don't see the connection. Huh

Actually I haven't argued the claim of primacy within a certain geographical region.  But I am about to.  I had intended to go on to argue what was irreducible about Jerusalem's pirmacy, and hence here autocephaly.

to be continued....

I was planning more, but haven't had the time right now.  I'll give it a start.

For one, when we talk about primacy, ecclesiology and episcopate, we have to start with the source: Christ.

"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus."  Hebrew 1:1

This is of course the foundation of the episcopacy, the locus of partaking of the priesthood of our One High Priest. John 20:21 "Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

Thus the New Adam, on the first Pascha, the 8th Day of Creation, the 1st of the New Creation, fulfilled man's call to the priesthood, as the head of creation and the image and likeness of God.

As the writer of Hebrews (4) continues:
"14 Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession...5:1 1 For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.... 4 And no man taketh the honour unto himself, but when he is called of God, even as was Aaron.
5 So Christ also glorified not Himself to be made a high priest, but he that spake unto him, Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee:

6 as He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.

7 Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, 8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation; 10 named of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he sware by himself, 14 saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by the greater: and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. 17 Wherein God, being minded to shew more abundantly unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath: 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us; 19 which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and stedfast and entering into that which is within the veil; 20 whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the chief spoils. 5 And they indeed of the sons of Levi that receive the priest's office have commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though these have come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them hath taken tithes of Abraham, and hath blessed him that hath the promises. 7 But without any dispute the less is blessed of the better. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there one, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And, so to say, through Abraham even Levi, who receiveth tithes, hath paid tithes; 10 for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.... 20 And inasmuch as it is not without the taking of an oath

21 (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath; but he with an oath by him that saith of him, The Lord sware and will not repent himself, Thou art a priest for ever);

22 by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant.

23 And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing: 24 but he, because he abideth for ever, hath his priesthood unchangeable....26 For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appointeth men high priests, having infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the law, appointeth a Son, perfected for evermore.

Now, Hebrews make much of this:

Genesis 14:
1717 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, at the vale of Shaveh (the same is the King's Vale).

18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth:

20 and blessed be God Most High, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him a tenth of all.


21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread nor a shoelatchet nor aught that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: 24 save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me; Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, let them take their portion.

to be cont....
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« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2009, 04:52:35 PM »

Isa, the identity of autocephaly with primacy may be obviously self-evident to you, hence the absence of any argument from you in defense of your thesis that primacy requires autocephaly.  I don't find the connection so obvious.  In fact, I don't see a connection at all.  Therefore, you're going to have to stop using primacy and autocephaly as though they're synonymous and, instead, explain exactly how primacy and autocephaly are one and the same thing.
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« Reply #52 on: March 22, 2009, 12:59:01 AM »

Isa, the identity of autocephaly with primacy may be obviously self-evident to you, hence the absence of any argument from you in defense of your thesis that primacy requires autocephaly.  I don't find the connection so obvious.  In fact, I don't see a connection at all.  Therefore, you're going to have to stop using primacy and autocephaly as though they're synonymous and, instead, explain exactly how primacy and autocephaly are one and the same thing.

Btw, just came across this
http://tomos.umd.edu/drum/bitstream/1903/2340/1/umi-umd-2195.pdf
Autocephaly as a Function of Institutional Stability and Organizational Change in the Eastern Orthodox Church

As to your question on autocephaly and primacy, if a bishop is a bishop is a bishop, as Orthodox ecclesiology tells us, then there is no difference between bishops, as all are masters of their own house (or diocese). But that is not the case: bishops in Russia listen to the PoM and not the EP because the PoM functions as their primate, not the EP.  I'll have to write more later, it's time for bed.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 01:02:20 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #53 on: March 22, 2009, 01:22:47 AM »

Isa, the identity of autocephaly with primacy may be obviously self-evident to you, hence the absence of any argument from you in defense of your thesis that primacy requires autocephaly.  I don't find the connection so obvious.  In fact, I don't see a connection at all.  Therefore, you're going to have to stop using primacy and autocephaly as though they're synonymous and, instead, explain exactly how primacy and autocephaly are one and the same thing.

Btw, just came across this
http://tomos.umd.edu/drum/bitstream/1903/2340/1/umi-umd-2195.pdf
Autocephaly as a Function of Institutional Stability and Organizational Change in the Eastern Orthodox Church

As to your question on autocephaly and primacy, if a bishop is a bishop is a bishop, as Orthodox ecclesiology tells us, then there is no difference between bishops, as all are masters of their own house (or diocese). But that is not the case: bishops in Russia listen to the PoM and not the EP because the PoM functions as their primate, not the EP.  I'll have to write more later, it's time for bed.
So there's actually a sacramental charism unique to the primate of a national/provincial church that makes him ontologically superior to the yeoman diocesan bishop? Huh  Isn't this exactly what the RC Catechism teaches about the pope of Rome?

You also just identified an ecclesiology as Orthodox and explained how this ecclesiology views the relationship of bishops one to another, then you went on to say that this Orthodox ecclesiology is not true, that "it's not the case".  If it's Orthodox, then why don't you preach its truth?  If it's not true, then why do you call it Orthodox?
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« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2009, 11:16:52 PM »

Isa, the identity of autocephaly with primacy may be obviously self-evident to you, hence the absence of any argument from you in defense of your thesis that primacy requires autocephaly.  I don't find the connection so obvious.  In fact, I don't see a connection at all.  Therefore, you're going to have to stop using primacy and autocephaly as though they're synonymous and, instead, explain exactly how primacy and autocephaly are one and the same thing.

Btw, just came across this
http://tomos.umd.edu/drum/bitstream/1903/2340/1/umi-umd-2195.pdf
Autocephaly as a Function of Institutional Stability and Organizational Change in the Eastern Orthodox Church

As to your question on autocephaly and primacy, if a bishop is a bishop is a bishop, as Orthodox ecclesiology tells us, then there is no difference between bishops, as all are masters of their own house (or diocese). But that is not the case: bishops in Russia listen to the PoM and not the EP because the PoM functions as their primate, not the EP.  I'll have to write more later, it's time for bed.
So there's actually a sacramental charism unique to the primate of a national/provincial church that makes him ontologically superior to the yeoman diocesan bishop? Huh  Isn't this exactly what the RC Catechism teaches about the pope of Rome?

You also just identified an ecclesiology as Orthodox and explained how this ecclesiology views the relationship of bishops one to another, then you went on to say that this Orthodox ecclesiology is not true, that "it's not the case".  If it's Orthodox, then why don't you preach its truth?  If it's not true, then why do you call it Orthodox?

Just dusted this off.

No, I made no claim for a special charism, at least in the sacramental sense.  The episcopacy is an ontological whole.  But the fact remains that the Church has exercised it in a certain order (which has changed with times and circumstances). For instance there is no reason why your diocesan bishop can't bless chrism for chrismation, but they don't: they defer to a primate (and some primates, as we found on a digression from this thread, defer to higher primates/patriarchs).  There is no reason why they can't, the bishops in the West did and those under the Vatican still do (where the bishop chrismates AND lays on hands).  It is a symbolic act of the canonical order of the Church. And such acts have ALWAYS been the practice of the Church.  A striking example was the Paschal controversy: the attempt of Rome to tell Ephesus what to do gets all the attention, but the sources names the local synods and their primates who had convened over their local practice.  IOW, the Church did not assemble in Ecumenical Council (that being impossible at the time, the Empire enabling the Ecumenical Councils being its only constituent contribution to them, not a power to call them), but in the local Churches.
And all those synods defended Ephesus right to its own practice, as an autonomous if not autocephalous Church.  The episcopacy has never been a monolith as the Vatican has it, nor as atomized as the Congregationalists and even the Anglicans would have.
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« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2009, 03:04:55 PM »

It may be not out of place to post a list of those, past and present, who have claimed autocephaly.

The bishop/patriarch of Jerusalem.

...

So it seems the primacy of the Desposyni extened to their race, the Hebrews.

You've just argued a claim to primacy within a certain geographical region.  How are primacy and autocephaly synonymous?  I just don't see the connection. Huh

Actually I haven't argued the claim of primacy within a certain geographical region.  But I am about to.  I had intended to go on to argue what was irreducible about Jerusalem's pirmacy, and hence here autocephaly.

to be continued....

I was planning more, but haven't had the time right now.  I'll give it a start.

For one, when we talk about primacy, ecclesiology and episcopate, we have to start with the source: Christ.

"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus."  Hebrew 1:1

This is of course the foundation of the episcopacy, the locus of partaking of the priesthood of our One High Priest. John 20:21 "Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

Thus the New Adam, on the first Pascha, the 8th Day of Creation, the 1st of the New Creation, fulfilled man's call to the priesthood, as the head of creation and the image and likeness of God.

As the writer of Hebrews (4) continues:
"14 Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession...5:1 1 For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.... 4 And no man taketh the honour unto himself, but when he is called of God, even as was Aaron.
5 So Christ also glorified not Himself to be made a high priest, but he that spake unto him, Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee:

6 as He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.

7 Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, 8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation; 10 named of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he sware by himself, 14 saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by the greater: and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. 17 Wherein God, being minded to shew more abundantly unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath: 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us; 19 which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and stedfast and entering into that which is within the veil; 20 whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the chief spoils. 5 And they indeed of the sons of Levi that receive the priest's office have commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though these have come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them hath taken tithes of Abraham, and hath blessed him that hath the promises. 7 But without any dispute the less is blessed of the better. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there one, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And, so to say, through Abraham even Levi, who receiveth tithes, hath paid tithes; 10 for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.... 20 And inasmuch as it is not without the taking of an oath

21 (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath; but he with an oath by him that saith of him, The Lord sware and will not repent himself, Thou art a priest for ever);

22 by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant.

23 And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing: 24 but he, because he abideth for ever, hath his priesthood unchangeable....26 For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appointeth men high priests, having infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the law, appointeth a Son, perfected for evermore.

Now, Hebrews make much of this:

Genesis 14:
1717 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, at the vale of Shaveh (the same is the King's Vale).

18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth:

20 and blessed be God Most High, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him a tenth of all.


21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread nor a shoelatchet nor aught that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: 24 save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me; Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, let them take their portion.

to be cont....

I just came across something which is good for context, "From Joshua to Caiphas:High Priests after the Exile," James VanderKam.
http://books.google.com/books?id=j5fLM6jaiYoC&dq=Spartans+Abraham+letter&source=gbs_navlinks_s

which details the Herodians destruction of the High Priest of Aaron's line.  The Fathers speak of the degradation of the office as the prelude to the High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek receiving the blessing of the priesthood of Aaron in the person of his descendant, John the Baptist.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2009, 11:36:39 PM »

It may be not out of place to post a list of those, past and present, who have claimed autocephaly.

The bishop/patriarch of Jerusalem.

I just came across something which is good for context, "From Joshua to Caiphas:High Priests after the Exile," James VanderKam.
http://books.google.com/books?id=j5fLM6jaiYoC&dq=Spartans+Abraham+letter&source=gbs_navlinks_s

which details the Herodians destruction of the High Priest of Aaron's line.  The Fathers speak of the degradation of the office as the prelude to the High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek receiving the blessing of the priesthood of Aaron in the person of his descendant, John the Baptist.

Going from Hebrews, its view of priesthood, the temple and the sacricies, and the authority of the Holy City and the Holy Land, I am going to post a collection of traditions on the above which have bearing on the establishment of the episcopacy and its primacy in Jerusalem, which St. Epiphanius collected in "The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Sects 1-46"by Epiphanius, tr, Frank Williams.  Himself a Semite born and raised in Palestine, but well in contact the world outside Palestine (Jerome calls him Pentaglossis "five tongued" for his ability in Syriac, Hebrew, Greek and also Egyptian and Latin) his life spans the persecusion of Diocletian and the adoption of Orthodoxy by the state by Theodosius, and like his contemporary Eusebius, the metropolitan of Palestine, he gives us valuable information on the Church's first patriarchate.  He was ordained bishop of Cyprus, and as an opponent to Origin, was invited to Constantinople by Pope Theophilos: St. Epiphanius left when he realized he was being used as a tool against St. John Chrysostom. As can be seen, the traditions on Palestine have a bearing also on the growth of the next autocephalous Churches, Antioch and Cyprus (and Egypt).
http://books.google.com/books?id=K22xQJbzdUIC&pg=PP1&dq=Panarion+Epiphanius
Epiphanius, 29:1-9, 30:1-7, 11...25;  pp. 112-124...140


After these come Nazoraeans, who originated at the same time or even before, or in conjunction with them or after them.  In any case they were their contemporaries.  I cannot say more precisely who succeeded whom.  For, as I said, these were contemporary with each other, and had similar notions.

For this group didn not name themselves after Christ or with Jesus own name, but "Nazoraeans."  However, at the time all Christians were called Nazoraeans.  They also came to be called "Jessaeans" for a short while, before the disciples began to be called Christians at Antioch.  But they were called Jessaeans because of Jesse, I suppose, since David was descended from Jesse, but Mary from David's line.  This was in fulfillment of sacred scripture, for in the Old Testament the Lord tells David, "Of the fruit of thy belly shall I set upon thy throne."

.....since the Lord had told David, "Of the fruit of thy belly shall I set upon the throne," and "The Lord swore unto David and will not repent," it is plain that God's promise is an irreversible one.  In the first place, what does God have to swear by but "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord?"-for "God hath no oath by a greater" [Heb. 6:13]  What is divine does not even swear; yet the statement has the function of providing confirmation.

For God swore with an oath to David that he would set the fruit of his belly upon his throne.  And the Apostles bear witness that Christ had to born of David's seed, as Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ indeed was.  As I said, I shall pass ove most of the testimonies, to avoid a very burdensome discussion.

But someone will probably say, "Since Christ was physically born of David's see, that is, of the Holy Virgin Mary, why is He not sitting on David's throne?  For the Gospel says, "They came that they might anoint him king, and when Jesus perceived this He departed....and his himself in Ephraim, a city in the wilderness."   But now that I reach this place for this, and I am asked about this text, and why it is that the prophecy about sitting on David's throne has not been fulfilled physically in the Savior's case-for some have thought that is has not-I shall still say that it is a fact.  Not a word of God's Holy Scripture can come to nothing.

David's throne and kingly seat is the priesthood in the Holy Church.   The Lord had combined this rank, which is both that of king and high priest, and conferred it on His Church by transferring David's throne to it, never to fail. [mh dialeiponta eis ton aiwna]  Formerly David's throne continued by succession until Christ Himself, since the rulers from Judah did not fail until he came "for whom are the things prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations," as scripture says.[Gen. 49:10]

With the advent of the Christ the rulers in line of succession from Judah, reigning until the time of the Christ himself, came to an end.  Until His time the rulers were anointed priests but after His birth in Bethlehem of Judea the order ended and changed with Alexander, a ruler of priestly and kingly stock. After Alexander on this heritage form the time of Salina, who is also called Alexandra, died out under Herod the king and Augustus the Roman emperor. (Although Alexander was crowned also, since he was one of the anointed priests and rulers.  For once the two tribes, the royal and the priestly, meaning Judah and Aaron and the whole tribe of Levi, had been joined together, the kings were also made priests; nothing based on a hint in holy scripture can be wrong.  But then finally a foreign king, Herod, was crowned, and not David's descendants any more.

But because of this change in the royal house, the rank of king passed in Christ the kingly seat passed over to the church, the kingly dignity being transferred from the fleshly house of  David and Israel, Judah and Jerusalem; and the throne is established in the holy church of God forever, having a double dignity because of both its kingly and its high-priestly character, both ranks of king and high-priest, for two reasons: the royal dignity coming from Our Lord Jesus Christ in two ways, from the fact that he is of King David's seed according to the flesh and from the fact that in Godhead He is, as is certainly true, a greater king from eternity in His divinity, and the priestly dignity coming from the fact that He is high priest and chief of high priests, since James having been ordained at once the first bishop immediately, he who is called the brother of the Lord and apostle.  Actually he was Joseph's son, but was said to be in the position of the Lord's brother because they were reared together.

For James was Joseph's son by Joseph's [first] wife, not Mary, as I have said, and discussed with greater clarity, in many other places.  And I find that he is of David's stock through being Joseph's son and moreover that he was a Nazarite (for he was Joseph's firstborn and hence consecrated), and we have found furthermore that he exercised the priesthood according to the priestly order of old. Thus it was permitted him once a year to enter the holy of holies, as the law ordered the high priests according to what is written. For many of the historians before me of him, Eusebius, Clement, and others have reported this of him. He was also allowed to wear the priestly mitre on his head [also said of St. John e.g. Eusebius III.31.3] besides, as the trustworthy persons mentioned have testified in the same historical writings.

Now as I said Our Lord Jesus Christ is "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek," and at the same time king after the order on high and so may transfer the priesthood with its legal charter.  But since David's seed through Mary is seated on a throne, his throne endures forever, and of His kingdome there will be no end.   He would need now to reposition the former crown; for His Kingdom is not earthly, as He said to Pontius Pilate in the Gospel, "My Kingdom in not of this world."  For since Christ fulfills all that was said in riddles, the beginnings have reached a limit.

For He who is always a king did not come to achieve sovereignty.  Lest it be thought that He advanced from a lower estate to a higher, He granted the crown to those whom He appointed.  For His throne endures, and there will be no end of His Kingdom.  And He sits on the throne of David, and has transferred David's crown and granted it, with the high priesthood, to his own servants, the high priests of the Catholic Church.

And here is much to say about this.  However, since I have come to the reason why those who came to faith in Christ were called Jessaeans before they were called Christians, I have said that Jesse was the father of David...if you enjoy study and have read about them in Philo's historical writings, in his bookd entitled "Jessaeans" you may discover that, in his account of their way of life and hymns, and his description of their monestaries in the vicinity of the Marean marsh Philo described none other than Christians.  For he was edified by his visit to the area-the place is called Mareotis-and his entertainment at their monestaries in the region.  He arrived during Passover and observed their customs, and how some of them kept the holy week of Passover (only) after their postponment of it...But Philo wrote all this of the Faith and regimen of the Christians.

So in that brief period when they were called Jessaeans-after the Savior's ascension, and after Mark had preached in Egypt-certain other persons seceded, though they were folowers of the Apostles if you please.  I mean the Nazoraeans, whom I am presenting here.  They were Jewish, were attached to the Law, and had circumcision...not understanding why or for what use...Not "nazarites"-that means "consecrated persons."  Anciently this rank belonged to firstborn sons and men dedicated to God...John the Baptist too was one of these persons consecratd to God, for "He drank neither wine nor strong drink." (This regimen, befitting their rank, was prescribed for persons of that sort)....but besides as I indicated, everyone called the Christians Nazoreans, as they say in accursing the Apostle Paul, "We have found this man a pestilent fellow and a perverter of the people, a ring leader of the sect of Nazoreans." (Acts 24:5) And the holy apostle did not disclaim the name-not to profess the Nazorean sect, but he was glad to own the name his adversaries' malice had applied to him for Christ's.  For he says in court, "They neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, nor have I done any of those things whereof they accuse me.  But this I confess unto thee, that after the Way which they call heresy, so worship I, believing all things in the Law and and the Prophets." (Acts 24:12-14)

And no wonder the Apostle admitted to being a Nazoraean!  In those days everyone called Christians this because of the city of Nazareth-there was no other usage of the name then.  People thus gave the name of "Nazoraeans" to believers in Christ, of Whom it is written, "He shall be called a Nazoraean." (Mat.) Even today in fact, people call all the sects, I mean Manichaeans, Marcionites, Gnostics and others, by the common name of "Christians," though they are not Christians. However, although each sect has another name, it still allows this one with pleasure, since it is honored by the name.  For they think they can pren themselves on Christ's name; not on faith and works!

Thus Christ's holy disciples called themselves "disciples of Jesus" then, as indeed they were.  But they wre not rude when others called them Nazoraeans, since they saw the intent of those who called them this.  They did it because of Christ, since our Lord Jesus was called the Nazoraean" himself-so say the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles-because of His upbringing in Joseph's home in the city of Nazareth, which is now a village.  (Though He was born in the flesh at Bethlehem, of the ever-virgin Mary, Joseph's betrothed.  Joseph had settled in Nazareth after leaving Bethlehem and taking up residence in Galilee.)

But these sectarians whom I am now sketching disregareded the name of Jesus, and did not call themselves Jessanaeans, keep the name of Jews, or term themselves Christians-but "Nazoraeans," form the place-name, "Nazareth," if you please!  However they are simply complete Jews...As to Christ, I cannot say whether they too are captives of the wickedness of Cerinthus and Merinthus, and regard Him as a mere man-or whether, as the truth is, they affirm His birth of Mary by the Holy Spirit.

Today this sect of the Nazoraeans is found in Beroea near Coelesyria, in the Decapolis near Pella, and in Bashanitis at the place called Cocabe-Khokhabe in Hebrew.  For that was its place of origin, since all the disciples had settled in Pella after they left Jerusalem-Christ told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdrew from it because of its coming siege.  And they settled in Perea for this reason and, as I said, spent their lives there.  That was there the Nazoraean sect began.

But they too are wrong to boast of circumcision, and persons like themselves are still "under a curse," since they cannot fulfil the Law.  For how can they fulfill the Law's provision, "Thrice a year thou shalt appear before the Lord they God at the feasts of Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles and Pentacost," on the site of Jerusalem.  As the site is closed off, and the Law's provisions cannot be filfilled, anyone with sense can see that Christ came to be the Law's fulfiller-not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill the Law-and to lift the curse that had been put on transgression of the Law.  For after Moses had given every commandment he came to the point of the book and "included the whole in a curse" with the words, "Cursed is he that continueth not in all the words that are written in this book to do them."

Hence Christ came to free what had been fettered with the bounds of the curse.  In place of the lesser commandments which cannot be fulfilled, He granted us the greater, which are not inconsistent with the completion of the task as the earlier ones were.  For I have discussed this many times before, in every Sect, in connection with the Sabbath, circumcision and the rest-how the Lord has granted something more perfect to us.

But how can people like these defend their disobedience of the Holy Spirit, who had told gentile converts, through the Apostles, "Assume no burdern save these necessary things, that ye abstain from blood, and from things strangled, and fornication, and from meats offered to idols?" (Acts 15)....yet these are very much the Jews' enemies.  Not only do Jewish people have a hatred of them; they even stand up at dawn, at midday, and toward evening, three times a day when they recited their prayers in the synagogues, and curse and anathemtize them.  Three times a day they say, "God curse the Nazoraeans."  For they harbor an extra grudge against them, if you please, because despite their Jewishness, they preach that Jesus is the Christ-the opposite of theose who are still Jews, for they have not accepted Jesus.

They have the Gospel according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew....Following these and holding the same views, Ebion, the Ebionites founder, emerged in his turn....for Ebion was contemporary with the Nazoraeans and, since he was their ally, was derived from them.  In the first place, he said that Christ was generated by sexual intercourse and the seed of a man, Joseph....A present this sect repudiates celibacy and continence altogether, like the others of its kind. For they once took pride in virginity because of James the Lord's brother, if you please, and so address their treatises to "elders and virgins."

They got their start after the fall of Jerusalem.  For since practically all who had come to Faith in Christ had settled in Peraea then, in Pella, a town of the "Decapolis" the Gospel metions which is near Batanaea and Bashanitis-as they had moved there then as were living there, this provided an occasion for Ebion.  And as far as I know, he first lived in a village called Cocabe in the district of Qarnaim-also called Ashtaroth-in Bashanitis.  There he began his bad teaching-the same place, if you please, as the Nazoraeans whom I have mentioned already.  For since Ebion was connected with them and they with him....And originally, as I said, Ebion declared that Christ is begotten of the seed of a man, Joseph.  Beginning later, however, various of this followers gave conflicting accounts of Christ...They too accept the Gospel according to Matthew....they too use it alone.  They call it, "According to the Hebrews," and it is true that only Matthew put the setting forth and the preaching of the Gospel into the New Testament in the Hebrew language and alphabet.

But by now some will have replied that the Gospel of John besides, translated from Greek to Hebrew, is in Jewish treasuries, I mean the treasuries at Tiberias.  It is stored there secretely, as certain converts from Judaism have dedescribed to me in detail.  And not only that, but it is said that the books of the Acts of the Apostles, also translated from Greek to Hebrew, is there in the treasuries.  So the Jews how have been converted to Christ by reading it have told me.  One of them was Josephus...a Josephus of Tiberias born during the old age of the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory...one their man of rank.  There are such persons, called "apostles," who stand next after the patriarch.  They attend on the patriarch, and often stay with him day and night without intermission, to give him counsel and refer matters of law to him.  He was descended from the Gamaliel who had been one of their patriarchs....the first Gamaliel, the Savior's contemporary, who gave the godly counsel of stopping the abuse of the apostles....Joseph was not only privileged to become a faithful Christian but a despiser of Arians as well...While all his time was occupied with these things, the boy...left to be reared as patriarch...no one usurps the positions of authority among the Jews; a son succeeds a father...when he grew up to repay [Josephus], he awarded him the revenue of the apostolate. He was sent to Cilicia with a commission, and on arriving there collected the tithes and firstfruits from the Jews of the province, from every city in Cilicia...he was very solemn, if you please, and immaculate, as apostles are-as I said, this is what they call the rank.  And he was always intent on what would make for the establishment of good order, and he purged and demoted many of the appointed synagogue-heads, priests, elders and "azanites" (meaning their kind of deacons or assitants)....

....Ebion is full of all sorts of trickery....But they use certain books as well-Clement's so-called Peregrinations of Peter, if you please, though they corrupt the contents while leaving a few genuine items...iAnd they celebrate...in imitation of the sacred mysteries of the Church, using unleavened bread,...And they say that...Jesus was begotten of the seed of a man and chosen..and He came and instructed us to abolish the sacrifices.  As their so-called Gospel says, "I came to abolish the sacrifices, and if ye cease not from sacrifice, wrath will not cease from you."  These and certain similar things are their crafty devices.  They prescribe certain degrees and directions in the "Degrees of James," if you please, as though he discoursed against the temple and sacrifices, and the fire on the altar-and much else that is full of nonsense.  Nor are they ashamed to accuse Paul...and how much can I say about the blasphemous things the call St. Paul!  First, they say that he was Greek and of gentile parentage, but that he had later become a proselyte.  Why does he say "an Hebrew of Hebrews" of himself, then, of the seed of Abraham," fo the tribe of Benjamin, concerning the Law, a Pharisee, being more exceeding zealous of the traditions of my fathers?"  (Phil. 3:5, Gal. 1:14)  And he says elsewhere, "Are they Israelites? So am I.  Are they the seed of Abraham?  So am I," and, "Circumcised the eighth day, brought up a the feet of Gamaliel, and a Hebrew of Hebrews." (II Cor. 11:22)....But St. Paul himself testifies for Peter in turn, and says, "James, John and Cephas, who seemed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship." (Gal. 2:9)...For that matter, scripture also says that Barnabas-once he was called Joseph, but his name was changed to Barnabas, or "son of consolation"-was a Cyrpiote Levite. (Acts 4:36 [a leader of the Church in Antioch (Acts 13:1) whose aunt's house was that of the "Upper Room," the first Church in the house (Acts 12:12) her son being St. Mark (Col. 4:10)]) And it is by means true that, because he was a Cypriote, he was not descended from Levi.  Just so, even though St. Paul came from Tarsus, [near Antioch] he was not foreign to Israel.

For many were dispersed because of the wars in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes and at other times, both by being taken prisoner, and by fleeing because of a seige.   The captives stayed on in certain places, while everyone who had chosen to leave for this reason settled where he could.  Thus, because of the frequency with which Israel had to flee from its enemies, the holy Jeremish said of it, "And if thou passest over to the Citian, there also shalt thou have no rest."  Now anyone can see that Citium means the island of Cyprus, for Citans are Cypriotes and Rhodians.  Moreover, the Cypriotes and Rhodian stock had settled in Macedonia; thus Alexander of Macedon was Citian.  And this is why the Book of Maccabees says, "He came out of the land of the Citians;" Alexander was of Citian descent.  But to find my place again, after giving these facts because of the chance remark.  I say that many of the emigrants who had settled in the other countries were descended from Israel...
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« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2010, 02:11:27 PM »

Honestly, Isa, you're the only person I've seen ever equate primacy with autocephaly, and I can't say I'm entirely convinced by your reasoning.  ISTM that autocephaly is really a relatively modern (i.e., past six centuries or so) concept that you, and maybe a few others, are trying to superimpose upon the early Church.  Can you show me how the early Church Fathers thought as you do?  Maybe then I'll be convinced.

This should be clearer when I get to Antioch, which is next after I'm done with Jerusalem.

I'm jumping the gun here, but for now:
Quote
Ephesus
Canon VIII.

Our brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved of God bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have reported to us an innovation which has been introduced contrary to the ecclesiastical constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and which touches the liberties of all.  Wherefore, since injuries affecting all require the more attention, as they cause the greater damage, and particularly when they are transgressions of an ancient custom; and since those excellent men, who have petitioned the Synod, have told us in writing and by word of mouth that the Bishop of Antioch has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the Rulers of the holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury, according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the right of performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent Bishops.  The same rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and provinces everywhere, so that none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors.  But if any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.

Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjured:  every Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts.  And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is here determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.xii.html
This came up here:
Considering the solution involved a unilateral declaration that, in response to the EP's forbearance in NOT interfering in the affairs of her sister Church of Moscow by claiming authority over her daughter church, proceeded precisely to interfere in the affairs of Constantinople and her own daughter churches by laying claim to them without negotiation...there is plenty to complain about.

According to canon 8 of Ephesus, no, there is not.

You keep quoting that canon. And I keep questioning its applicability. I don't think it's as clear cut as you think it is. Neither do a lot of people.

But I'll jump the gun further and deal with it here.
First, I'll introduce the interpretation from the Pedalion, which was(is) the offical interpretation of the Greek Church at the time of events of the other thread, i.e. the foundation of the Church in North America and its currrent canonical situation.
For a comparison, the translation of the canon in the Pedalion:
Quote
Our fellow Bishop Reginus, most beloved by God, and with him the most God-beloved Bishops of the province of the Cypriotes Zeno and Evagrius, has announced an innovation, a thing which is contrary to the ecclesiastical laws and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and one which touches the freedom of all. Hence, since common ailments require more drastic treatment, on the ground that they do greater damage, and especially in view of the fact that the Bishop of Antioch, far from following the ancient custom, has been performing the ordinations in Cyprus, according to information given in libelli and by oral statements made by most pious gentlemen who have approached the Holy Council; therefore those who preside over the churches in Cyprus shall retain their privilege unaffected and inviolate, according to the Canons of the Holy Fathers and ancient custom, whereby they shall themselves perform the ordinations of the most reverent Bishops. The same rule shall hold good also with regard to the other diocese and churches everywhere, so that none of the Bishops most beloved by God shall take hold of any other province that was not formerly and from the beginning in his jurisdiction, or was not, that is to say, held by his predecessors. But if anyone has taken possession of any and has forcibly subjected it to his authority, he shall regive it back to its rightful possessor, in order that the Canons of the Fathers be not transgressed, nor the secular fastus be introduced, under the pretext of divine services; lest imperceptibly and little by little we lose the freedom which our Lord Jesus Christ, the Liberator of all men, has given us as a free gift by His own blood.[77] It has therefore seemed best to the holy and Ecumenical Council that the rights of every province, formerly and from the beginning belonging to it, be preserved clear and inviolable, in accordance with the custom which prevailed of yore; each Metropolitan having permission to take copies of the proceedings for his own security. If, on the other hand, anyone introduce any form conflicting with the decrees which have now been sanctioned, it has seemed best to the entire holy and Ecumenical Council that it be invalid and of no effect.79

78(Ap. c. XXXV; c. II of the 2nd; c. XX of the 6th; cc. XIII, XXII of Antioch; cc. III, IX, XII of Sardica).

79(Ap. c. XXXIV; cc. VI, VII of the 1st; c. XX of the 2nd; cc. XXXVI, XXXIX of the 6th; c. IX of Antioch.)

Which St. Nikodemus interprets:
Quote
Inasmuch as Cyprus, so far as concerned secular administration, was subject to the Duke of Antioch, and was wont to send it an army commander (or general), it came to pass that the Bishop of Antioch, in imitation of this secular and civil form and law, undertook to show authority over that same Cyprus, with regard to both the religious and the ecclesiastical administration, by ordaining the bishops in Cyprus extra-territorially and not as a matter of ancient custom. This, however, was a thing that was contrary to Ap. cc. XXXIV and XXXV. After receiving Archbishop Reginus of Constantia, which used to be called Salamis but is now known as Amochostos, and the bishops accompanying, namely, Zeno of Cyrene, and Evagrius of Solon, who in writing as well as viva voce reported these facts, the Council decrees by the present Canon that, in accordance with the Canons and in accordance with ancient custom,78 the Metropolitans of Cyprus are themselves to ordain the bishops in Cyprus, and to be left unmolested and unconstrained by anyone else. But, making the Canon general and catholic, the Fathers of this Council add that this same rule shall hold also in regard to diocese (or administrations) and provinces everywhere else, to the end that no bishop be permitted to usurp and appropriate any other province that has not formerly and from the beginning been subject either to his authority or to that of his predecessors. If, nevertheless, anyone should appropriate it forcibly, he must return it, in order that the Canons of the Fathers be not transgressed, and in order that prelates, under the pretext of sacerdotalism, may not cloak a secret ambition and vainglorious yearning for secular or worldly authority, and hence becoming slaves to injustice lose little by little the freedom which the liberator of all men Jesus Christ has graciously given us with His own blood; it has appeared reasonable to this holy Ecumenical Council that the righteous and just privileges be kept clear and inviolable which formerly and from the beginning as a matter of ancient custom each province has been entitled to. Accordingly, each Metropolitan shall have permission to receive a transcript of the present Canon for security and confirmation of the privileges of his metropolis. If, on the other hand, anyone should come out with a form, i.e., a civil law or royal decree, contrary to the present Canon, it has appeared reasonable to all this holy Council for that civil law to remain invalid and ineffective.[78] Read also the Interpretations of Ap. cc. XXXIV and XXXV.
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_P13.HTM
(also has a letter and interpretation of what to with a retired bishop.
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« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2010, 02:24:55 PM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.

2. Neither Ephesus VIII nor St. Nikodemos' interpretation apply to an area like the U.S in the 19th or 20th century. That would have barred all Orthodox Bishops, including the Patriarch of Moscow and his representatives, from engaging in missionary activity here.
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« Reply #59 on: April 14, 2010, 04:17:36 PM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.

Can you produce something of more authority?

For treatment of this canon see:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA166&dq=Huillier+Rheginus&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
The church of the ancient councils: the disciplinary work of the first four Ecumenical Councils... By Peter L'Huillier
(see p. 4 ff on the Pedalion).
http://books.google.com/books?id=XgRrh2M08p0C&pg=PA95&dq=Erickson+Orthodox+Canon+law+Cyprus&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
The challenge of our past: studies in Orthodox Canon law and Church history By John H. Erickson

Also of interest:
http://books.google.com/books?id=QxhR9ihUAWkC&pg=PA100&dq=Ancient+Church+Rheginus&hl=en&ei=Xh7GS5n9IsX6lwe5lcCDDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Ancient%20Church%20Rheginus&f=false
St. Cyril of Alexandria: the Christological controversy : its history ... By John Anthony McGuckin



Quote
2. Neither Ephesus VIII nor St. Nikodemos' interpretation apply to an area like the U.S in the 19th or 20th century.
It says otherwise:
Quote
Our brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved of God bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have reported to us an innovation which has been introduced contrary to the ecclesiastical constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and which touches the liberties of all.  Wherefore, since injuries affecting all require the more attention, as they cause the greater damage, and particularly when they are transgressions of an ancient custom; and since those excellent men, who have petitioned the Synod, have told us in writing and by word of mouth that the Bishop of Antioch has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the Rulers of the holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury, according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the right of performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent Bishops.  The same rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and provinces everywhere, so that none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors.  But if any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.
Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjuredevery Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts.  And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is here determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect.
And St. Nikodemus
Quote
making the Canon general and catholic, the Fathers of this Council add that this same rule shall hold also in regard to diocese (or administrations) and provinces everywhere else, to the end that no bishop be permitted to usurp and appropriate any other province that has not formerly and from the beginning been subject either to his authority or to that of his predecessors. If, nevertheless, anyone should appropriate it forcibly, he must return it, in order that the Canons of the Fathers be not transgressed, and in order that prelates, under the pretext of sacerdotalism, may not cloak a secret ambition and vainglorious yearning for secular or worldly authority, and hence becoming slaves to injustice lose little by little the freedom which the liberator of all men Jesus Christ has graciously given us with His own blood; it has appeared reasonable to this holy Ecumenical Council that the righteous and just privileges be kept clear and inviolable which formerly and from the beginning as a matter of ancient custom each province has been entitled to. Accordingly, each Metropolitan shall have permission to receive a transcript of the present Canon for security and confirmation of the privileges of his metropolis. If, on the other hand, anyone should come out with a form, i.e., a civil law or royal decree, contrary to the present Canon, it has appeared reasonable to all this holy Council for that civil law to remain invalid and ineffective.[

Where is the exception for the US (or rather, North America) carved out?

Quote
That would have barred all Orthodox Bishops, including the Patriarch of Moscow and his representatives, from engaging in missionary activity here.
On what basis?
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« Reply #60 on: April 14, 2010, 05:07:19 PM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.

Can you produce something of more authority?

The Pedalion was a sanctioned collection of canonical texts, not an official book of interpretation or application, according to Panayiotis Boumis, long-time professor of Canon Law at the University of Athens, in his acclaimed work, Κανονικόν Δίκαιον.
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« Reply #61 on: April 14, 2010, 06:48:05 PM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.

Can you produce something of more authority?

The Pedalion was a sanctioned collection of canonical texts, not an official book of interpretation or application, according to Panayiotis Boumis, long-time professor of Canon Law at the University of Athens, in his acclaimed work, Κανονικόν Δίκαιον.

Can you (or Prof. Boumis) produce something of more authority?
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« Reply #62 on: April 14, 2010, 06:54:55 PM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.
Can you produce something of more authority?
The Pedalion was a sanctioned collection of canonical texts, not an official book of interpretation or application, according to Panayiotis Boumis, long-time professor of Canon Law at the University of Athens, in his acclaimed work, Κανονικόν Δίκαιον.
Can you (or Prof. Boumis) produce something of more authority?

I find it humorous that you would demand a statement of authority for a counter-claim to your assertion which was stated without any support of authority itself (i.e. "First, I'll introduce the interpretation from the Pedalion, which was(is) the offical [sic] interpretation of the Greek Church at the time of events of the other thread").  I find it even more humorous that when confronted with even the smallest morsel of an academic reference, you demand further authority, despite your not having provided authority to support the original point ("First, I'll introduce...") that is, heretofore, unproven.
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« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2010, 08:27:31 PM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.
Can you produce something of more authority?
The Pedalion was a sanctioned collection of canonical texts, not an official book of interpretation or application, according to Panayiotis Boumis, long-time professor of Canon Law at the University of Athens, in his acclaimed work, Κανονικόν Δίκαιον.
Can you (or Prof. Boumis) produce something of more authority?

I find it humorous that you would demand a statement of authority for a counter-claim to your assertion which was stated without any support of authority itself
Christos anesti!
Perhaps you missed this Father:
1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.

Can you produce something of more authority?

For treatment of this canon see:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA166&dq=Huillier+Rheginus&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
The church of the ancient councils: the disciplinary work of the first four Ecumenical Councils... By Peter L'Huillier
(see p. 4 ff on the Pedalion).

I thought this was common knowlege.  Evidently not.  If you can read German (und Fraktur!):
Lehrbuch des katholischen, orientalischen und protestantischen Kirchenrechts.  By Friedrich Heinrich Vering, p. 632.
http://books.google.com/books?id=xAtBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA632&dq=Silbernagl+Pedalion&hl=en&ei=y1XGS5OuB5T-M-eg_JUO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Silbernagl%20Pedalion&f=false
Verfassung und gegenwärtiger bestand sämmtlicher kirchen des Orients.  Isidor Silbernagl (1865)  SS. 14, 46, 140,
http://books.google.com/books?id=xAtBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA632&dq=Silbernagl+Pedalion&hl=en&ei=y1XGS5OuB5T-M-eg_JUO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Silbernagl%20Pedalion&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=gTM3AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA46&dq=Silbernagl+Verfassung+Pidalion+1800&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=gTM3AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA46&dq=Isidor+Silbernagl+Orthodox+Verfassung+Pidalion&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=gTM3AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA140&dq=Isidor+Silbernagl+Pidalion&cd=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
(the 1904 version, Latin script, p. 17, 38, 155):
http://books.google.com/books?id=hiIQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA17&dq=Isidor+Silbernagl+Pidalion&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=EQsQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA155&dq=Isidor+Silbernagl+Orthodox+Verfassung+Pidalion&cd=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=11JhAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA38&dq=Silbernagl+Verfassung+Pidalion+1800&cd=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

As, for instance Silbernagl at one point states:
Quote
The legal sources which the bishops use in their courts are the Pidalion [sic], a collection of the accepted canons of the Greek Church with explanations and observations in modern Greek published at Leipzig in the year 1800 on the orders of the Patriarch of Constantinople...
in the context of noting that the Phanar had legal jurisdiction over the whole of the Millet-i Rum.  Hence the Pedalion was the law code of all the Orthodox not ruled by the Russian Czar or the HRGN/Austrian Kaiser. Quite official.

Quote
(i.e. "First, I'll introduce the interpretation from the Pedalion, which was(is) the offical [sic] interpretation of the Greek Church at the time of events of the other thread").  I find it even more humorous that when confronted with even the smallest morsel of an academic reference,

This Prof. Boumis?
The Petrine ministry: Catholics and Orthodox in dialogue : academic ... By Walter Kasper
http://books.google.com/books?id=K0sbuf37A_UC&pg=PA47&dq=Panagiotis+Boumis&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Panagiotis%20Boumis&f=false
Patriarchale und synodale Strukturen in den katholischen Ostkirchen By Libero Gerosa
http://books.google.com/books?id=xIPicF3y1TkC&pg=PA51&dq=Panagiotis+Boumis&cd=4#v=onepage&q=Panagiotis%20Boumis&f=false
Die pastorale Herausforderung - orthodoxes Leben zwischen Akribeia und ... By Florian Schuppe
http://books.google.com/books?id=LhXZAAAAMAAJ&q=Panagiotis+Boumis&dq=Panagiotis+Boumis&cd=5
Alte Kirche: Der andere Weg der Orthodoxen Kirchen im Osten : zur Geschichte ... By Susanne Hausammann
http://books.google.com/books?id=-0MlAQAAIAAJ&q=Panagiotis+Boumis&dq=Panagiotis+Boumis&cd=10

According to the above, he was born in 1934, well after the period in question. Since the statement
Quote
The Pedalion was a sanctioned collection of canonical texts, not an official book of interpretation or application, according to Panayiotis Boumis, long-time professor of Canon Law at the University of Athens, in his acclaimed work, Κανονικόν Δίκαιον.

flatly contradicts the contemporary accounts (and I have no access to the work cited), I would have to know what evidence he offeres for such a statement.

Quote
you demand further authority, despite your not having provided authority to support the original point ("First, I'll introduce...") that is, heretofore, unproven.
vide supra.
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« Reply #64 on: April 14, 2010, 08:49:58 PM »

^ Hmm.  The Google books reference does not provide access to the pages you are using (i.e. p. 4 ff), however, I will eventually acquire the book anyway (it's been on the list since I became gainfully employed, albeit close to the bottom/end) and will see the reference.  As for the books in German - no, I do not speak the language, and I cannot enter a scanned page into Google translate for assistance, and I am generally a bit skeptical of the accuracy of the 3rd party analysis of anything regarding Orthodoxy, just as you may be skeptical of any, say, Western European purportedly "objective" analysis of the Arabic culture from a Western European POV.  However, I cannot dismiss the accuracy of the works you've cited simply because I cannot read them and, thus, cannot judge them based on the actual content of their argument.  There are others here participating in the discussion who may speak German and be able to entertain the argument therein presented, but I cannot be in their number.
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« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2010, 10:38:22 PM »

^ Hmm.  The Google books reference does not provide access to the pages you are using (i.e. p. 4 ff),

I checked the other links: they go to the pages in question.
The original posted was focused on the canon (8 Ephesus) itself. To the Pedalion material:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA5&dq=Huillier+Pedalion+Nicodemos&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Quote
however, I will eventually acquire the book anyway (it's been on the list since I became gainfully employed, albeit close to the bottom/end) and will see the reference.
The references/endnotes to the above link are here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA12&dq=Huillier+Ottoman+yoke&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Quote
As for the books in German - no, I do not speak the language, and I cannot enter a scanned page into Google translate for assistance,

Wouldn't do you any good I think with the Fraktur anyway.

Quote
and I am generally a bit skeptical of the accuracy of the 3rd party analysis of anything regarding Orthodoxy,

Not exactly 3rd party. As stated, the Germans published the Pedalion for the Phanar, and had to deal with it in the HREGN and Austro-Hungarian empire, which contained 3 of of the 14 autocephalous Churches of the time, and ruled another (Bosnia and Herzgovina) by concordant with the EP:under the AH system of things, canon law had legal force.  In addition, the Cisleithian Orthodox Church (Bukowina) had only German as a common language among its Ruthenians, Romanians and Serbs/Montengrins, and built up a substantial literature in that language (including legal/canonical), particularly by the great canonist Nikodemus Milash, the Bishop of Dalmatia. On him:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA5&dq=Huillier+Dalmatia&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
Besides, the cited authority, Prof. Boumis, in addition to studying at Athens also studied in Gottigen and Munich, where he stands on Silbernagl's shoulders.

Quote
just as you may be skeptical of any, say, Western European purportedly "objective" analysis of the Arabic culture from a Western European POV.
I've seen several which are quite fine. And those that aren't, sort of an Arab version of Fortescue, like Fortescue much can otherwise be substantiated without the bias.

Quote
 However, I cannot dismiss the accuracy of the works you've cited simply because I cannot read them and, thus, cannot judge them based on the actual content of their argument.  
I'd vouch for them, but that's only my word.

Quote
There are others here participating in the discussion who may speak German and be able to entertain the argument therein presented, but I cannot be in their number.
Willkommen Sie.

Btw, the Pedalion's authority has entered into US law, e.g. Johnathan v. Shea, 19 Cal. App. 3d 328:
Quote
In addition to the above factual history, the parties also stipulated that the Russian Orthodox Church was one of the major Christian churches of the world and that the Pedalion was a book which embodied the Holy Tradition of said church. It was further stipulated that the Pedalion had  [*331]  been translated into English in a work entitled The Rudder; that for purposes of ascertaining the canon law of the Russian Orthodox Church, The Rudder was accepted by the parties as an official English translation of the text and substance of the Holy Tradition of the church; that the proper interpretation to be placed upon the canons, as revealed in The Rudder, was to be established in the instant action. The parties agreed that the deposition of plaintiff Johnathan, an expert in the field of canon law, might be received in evidence....1a) Respondents' entire case was based upon the theory that when the decedent became a monk and subsequently a bishop, he took religious vows which obligated him to abide by the canon law. Under respondents' interpretation of the canons,  [**675]  the decedent was required to hold his property in trust for the church during his lifetime and will it to the church upon his death. However, a reading of the applicable provisions of the canon law demonstrates that respondents' position is without merit.

Respondents rely heavily upon Canon 6 of the First and Second Council of Constantinople, which provides in pertinent part as follows: 1 "Monks ought not to have anything of their own. Everything of theirs ought to be assigned to the monastery. For blissful Luke says concerning those who believe in Christ and conform to the monks' way of life:  [***5]  'Neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but, on the contrary, they held everything in common' (Acts 4:32). Wherefore unto those wishing to lead the monastic life permission is given to dispose of their property to whatever persons they may wish, so long, that is to say, as the property may be legally transferred to them. For after their entering upon the monastic life the monastery has the ownership of all they bring with them, and they have nothing of their own to worry about other than what they have been allowed to dispose of beforehand. If anyone be caught appropriating or claiming any possession that has not been made over and conveyed to the monastery, and revealed to be enslaved to the passion of love of property, that possession shall be seized by the abbot or bishop,  and shall be sold in the presence of many persons, and the proceeds therefrom shall be distributed to the poor and indigent. . . ." (P. 461.)


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - Footnotes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1 All quotations of the cannons discussed herein are taken from Cummings, The Rudder (1957), which was stipulated to be the official English translation of the text and substance of the Holy Tradition of the church.

Respondents also rely upon Canon 89 of the Regional Council of Carthage, which provides that if a bishop names as his heirs any persons who are heretics or Grecians, in preference to the church, he shall be anathematized and his name shall no longer be mentioned among the Priests of God. (Pp. 656-657.)

Appellants, on the other hand, rely upon Canon 40 of the 85 Canons of The Holy Apostles, Canon 24 of the Regional Council of Antioch, and Canon 40 of the Regional Council of Carthage.

Canon 40 of the 85 Canons of The Holy Apostles provides: "Let the Bishop's own property (if, indeed, he has any) be publicly known, and let the Lord's be publicly known. In order that the Bishop may have authority to dispose of his own property when he dies, and leave it to whomsoever he wishes and as he wishes. And lest by reason of any pretext of ecclesiastical property that of the Bishop be submerged, be it that he has a wife and children, or relatives, or house servants. For it is only just with God and men that neither the church should suffer any loss owing to ignorance of the Bishop's property, nor the Bishop, or his relatives, should have their property confiscated on the pretext that it belonged to the church. Or even to have trouble with those who are quarreling over his property, and to have his death involved in aspersions." (Pp. 60-61.)

Canon 24 of the Regional Council of Antioch provides: "The rules and regulations of the Church must be rightly kept for the Church with all diligence and in all good conscience and faith reposed in God, who is the superintendent and judge of all things, and the affairs of the church should be governed with the judgment and authority of the Bishop entrusted with all the laity and the souls of all the members of the congregation thereof. What belongs to the dominion of the Church is manifest and well known to the Presbyters and Deacons under his jurisdiction, so that these persons ought to be well aware, and not ignorant, of whatever is property of the church, so that nothing should escape their observation to enable them, in case the Bishop should exchange life, in view of the fact that the things belonging to the dominion of the church are manifest, to prevent any of them from being embezzled or made away with and lost, and to see that none of the Bishop's own things are disturbed on the pretense that they are ecclesiastical  property. For it is just and pleasing to both God and man that the Bishop should leave his own property to whomsoever he may will it, but that things belonging to the church should be kept for it; and that neither should the church sustain any loss or damage, nor should property of the Bishop be confiscated on the pretense that it belongs to the church; nor should those persons be involved in any trouble in claims thereto, with the result of defaming him after death." (P. 548.)

Canon 40 of the Regional Council of Carthage provides: "It has pleased the Council to decree with regard to Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, or any Clerics whatever, who owned nothing to begin with, that if in the course of their service in an episcopate or during their office, they buy any fields or any territories whatever in their own name, they are to be considered as though guilty of having made an inroad upon the Lord's business or the Lord's things, unless they should therefore when remained of this agree to donate these things to the Church. If, on the other hand, the liberality of anyone or succession by descent should bring them anything personally, even of that they shall bestow upon the Church whatever portion they are willing to give her. But if even after offering it to her, they should backslide, or go back on their word, being unworthy of ecclesiastical honor, let them be judged to be reprobates." (P. 628.)

The canons set forth above are clear, explicit and devoid of ambiguity, and they provide that a bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church is authorized to possess property of his own during his lifetime and to will same to beneficiaries other than the church upon his death. Although respondents rely strongly upon Canon 6 of the First and Second Council of Constantinople, that canon merely provides that an individual who becomes a monk must dispose of all his property before entering the monastery and must abstain from acquiring any property of his own as long as he continues in the monastic life.

When a monk is elevated to the rank of bishop, the canons expressly allow for the possibility that he may acquire property of his own, and the primary duty imposed upon him is to keep his own property separate and apart from that belonging to the church. Assuming that he fulfills this duty, there is no prohibition whatever against his willing his own property to beneficiaries other than the church, and, to the contrary, he is expressly authorized to do so.

Canon 40 of the Regional Council of Carthage makes it clear that a bishop may acquire property of his own. That canon states that a bishop, having previously been a monk and therefore having "owned nothing to begin with," should not purchase fields or territories in his own name with funds belonging to the church. However, the canon goes on to provide that if a bishop should acquire anything "personally," through the liberality of another or by descent, the bishop is obligated only to bestow upon the church whatever portion he is willing to give. (P. 628.)

Canon 40 of the 85 Canons of The Holy Apostles likewise distinguishes between a bishop's "own property" and that belonging to the church. The bishop is required to make it publicly known which property belongs to him and which belongs to the church "[in] order that the Bishop may have authority to dispose of his own property when he dies, and leave it to whomsoever he wishes and as he wishes." (P. 60; italics added.) We can conceive of no clearer way of stating that a bishop has full testamentary power over his own property.

Canon 24 of the Regional Council of Antioch also distinguishes between property belonging to the church and a bishop's "own things," and the members of the clergy are instructed to keep themselves well aware of the extent of the church's property so that none of the bishop's property is disturbed on the pretext that it belongs to the church. The canon further provides that "it is just and pleasing to both God and man that the Bishop should leave his own property to whomsoever he may will it. . . ." (P. 548; italics added.)

Of all the canons relied upon by the parties, the only one which purports to limit a bishop's testamentary control over his property is Canon 89 of the Regional Council of Carthage, which provides that a bishop shall be anathematized if he wills his property to heretics or Grecians. It is implicit in this very limitation that a bishop is free to will his property to any persons who are not heretics or Grecians.

Respondents contend that the proper interpretation to be accorded the canons is a question which must be resolved by expert testimony. They point out that the deposition of plaintiff Johnathan was received in evidence in the instant case and furnished the only expert opinion as to the correct interpretation of the canons. Respondent Johnathan testified that the canons obligated a bishop to leave all his property to the church upon his death and that if he failed to do so, he was under the certainty of damnation. Respondents take the position that since no other expert testimony was offered in evidence, this court is bound by respondent Johnathan's interpretation of the canon law.

The flaw in this argument is that expert testimony, even if uncontradicted, is circumstantial rather than direct evidence, and it is not binding upon the court. ( People v. Gentry (1968) 257 Cal.App.2d 607, 611 [65 Cal.Rptr. 235].) Further, parol evidence is admissible only where there is uncertainty as to the meaning of a writing, but it is not admissible to show that the writing means something other than what it says. ( Rilovich v. Raymond (1937) 20 Cal.App.2d 630, 639 [67 P.2d 1062].) Where there is no uncertainty or ambiguity to be found in a written document, the court may not properly consider  extrinsic evidence in reaching its conclusion as to its proper construction. ( Brant v. California Dairies, Inc. (1935) 4 Cal.2d 128, 133 [48 P.2d 13]; Yarus v. Yarus (1960) 178 Cal.App.2d 190, 201 [3 Cal.Rptr. 50].)

In the instant case, the applicable provisions of the canon law are devoid of any ambiguity, and this court is clearly not bound by expert testimony to the effect that the canons mean something other than what they explicitly state.

Martinelli v. Dugger, 817 F.2d 1499:
Quote
Applying this standard to the facts of this case, we find that the district court's conclusion that appellee was sincere is not clearly erroneous. Appellants concede that Martinelli's beliefs that he should eat kosher meats and that he should refrain from cutting his hair or beard were sincere in that they were truly held. In addition, the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that Martinelli was sincere in that his claims were rooted in religious beliefs. Evidence before the magistrate indicated that the laws of the Greek Orthodox religion 18 support Martinelli's assertion that the practice of his religious beliefs  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Footnotes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 Testimony before the magistrate indicated that the writings in The Rudder (Pedalion) are laws of the Greek Orthodox church. A copy of excerpts from The Rudder (Pedalion) was admitted into evidence before the magistrate.
19 Canon XCVI of the Pedalion provides:
Those who have put on Christ through baptism have solemnly promised to emulate and imitate the manner of life He led in the flesh. As touching, therefore those who arrange and dress the hair of their head by contriving to plait or waive it in a fashion which has disastrous effects on beholders, and hence offers a lure to unbolstered souls, we undertake to treat them in a fatherly fashion with a suitable penance, while training them like children and teaching them how to live in a sober and sane manner, with the object of enabling them to lay aside the deception and vanity resulting from materiality in order that they may bend their minds toward a life which is perpetually unruffled and blissful, and to enjoy chaste association in fear, and to approach God as near as possible through purity of life, and to adorn the inner father than the outer man with virtues and benignant and blameless manners, so that they may not have any trace left in them of the rudeness of the adversary. If, however, anyone should conduct himself in a manner contrary to the present Canon, let him be excommunicated.
In a footnote to the section offering an interpretation of this Canon, the Pedalion spells out what practices are to result in excommunication under the Canon:
Those too incur the excommunication of this Canon, according to Zonaras, who do not put a razor to their head at all, nor cut the hair of their head, but let it grow long enough to reach to the felt like that of women . . . This excommunication is incurred also by those who shave off their beards in order to make their face smooth and handsome after such treatment, and not to have it curly, or in order to appear at all times like beardless young men . . . Note that the present Canon censures the priests of the Latins who shave off their moustache and their beard and who look like very young men and handsome bridegrooms and have the face of women. For God forbids men of the laity in general to shave their beard, by saying: "Ye shall not mar the appearance of your bearded chin" (Lev. 19:27) . . . The Apostles and their Injunctions, Book I, ch. 3, command that no one shall destroy the hair of his beard . . . .
(emphasis added). With respect to cutting one's hair, the Pedalion indicates that "the laity ought to cut their hair unaffectedly, unpretentiously, and inartifically." It is also forbidden to cut [one's hair] and to shave it with certain circularities roundabout." The Rudder (Pedalion), Canon XCVI, Concord, at 405.
Father Elias Chourzamanis, an ordained Greek Orthodox priest, testified that he interprets this Canon as making it "imperative" that beards be long and that hair should be "not too short, not too long, just use common sense."

20 The Pedalion indicates that:
Those who kill quadrupeds or birds with a gun and who fail to slaughter them at once so as to drain out all their blood, sin greatly, as eating meat in the blood of its soul and transgressing the present Apostolical Canon . . . So as soon as hunters kill game, they ought immediately to slaughter it and drain out all the blood in it, just as is commanded by God, who says: "And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall drain out the blood thereof and cover it with dust of the earth" (Lev. 17:13).
Father Elias Chourzamanis, an ordained Greek Orthodox priest, testified that the Pedalion advises people to stick to the Old Testament tradition of draining all the blood from meats. Although adhering to this tradition is impractical according to Father Chourzamanis, "if a man so chooses . . . he can practice these things because they are postulated in the pedalion and they are borrowed from the Old Testament."
21 Furqan v. Georgia State Bd. of Offender Rehabilitation, 554 F. Supp. 873 (N.D.Ga.1982), aff'd, 727 F.2d 1115 (11th Cir.1984), supports our conclusion. In Furgan, the district court concluded that the inmate/plaintiff was sincere in his asserted religious beliefs where testimony indicated that growing a beard is "not an absolute requirement" of the plaintiff's religion, "but is strongly recommended." Id. at 876.requires that he refrain from cutting his beard or hair 19 and that he eat kosher meats. 20 Although appellants may be correct in arguing that these are optional practices in the Greek Orthodox religion, there is no requirement that a belief be held by a majority of the believers in a particular religion. 21
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« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2010, 12:05:32 AM »

Archbishop PETER only asserts that the Pedalion received official approval as an authoritative work, and held a place of honor.  It says nothing of officially supplanting the preeminent place of the Syntagma, and certainly nothing of preferring the former to the latter (or vice-versa).  As for the argument of it becoming civil law via Turkish placement of the Patriarch as Ethnarch, we both know that this means nothing when taking into account VI 102, a canon which explicitly allows the spiritual fathers and shepherds to disregard the letter of the law in cases where it will/would be spiritually beneficial.

Beyond the semantics of whether or not the Pedalion was/wasn't legally binding (which is really a non sequitur to the thread, but was brought up to point out an inconsistency), there is still the issue of the interpretation of the present issue: whether or not Ephesus 8 is actually germane to the discussion, a point raised earlier, but not addressed (or, at least, not addressed directly, but rather with a non sequitur)

2. Neither Ephesus VIII nor St. Nikodemos' interpretation apply to an area like the U.S in the 19th or 20th century. That would have barred all Orthodox Bishops, including the Patriarch of Moscow and his representatives, from engaging in missionary activity here.

The argument isn't whether the canon is valid, but rather whether the canon is germane. (That is, was there a similar case involved here?  Ancient privileges being disregarded? Ordinations taking place without the local bishop's permission?)
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« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2010, 10:21:06 AM »

Archbishop PETER only asserts that the Pedalion received official approval as an authoritative work, and held a place of honor.  It says nothing of officially supplanting the preeminent place of the Syntagma, and certainly nothing of preferring the former to the latter (or vice-versa).  As for the argument of it becoming civil law via Turkish placement of the Patriarch as Ethnarch, we both know that this means nothing when taking into account VI 102, a canon which explicitly allows the spiritual fathers and shepherds to disregard the letter of the law in cases where it will/would be spiritually beneficial.

Beyond the semantics of whether or not the Pedalion was/wasn't legally binding (which is really a non sequitur to the thread, but was brought up to point out an inconsistency), there is still the issue of the interpretation of the present issue: whether or not Ephesus 8 is actually germane to the discussion, a point raised earlier, but not addressed (or, at least, not addressed directly, but rather with a non sequitur)

2. Neither Ephesus VIII nor St. Nikodemos' interpretation apply to an area like the U.S in the 19th or 20th century. That would have barred all Orthodox Bishops, including the Patriarch of Moscow and his representatives, from engaging in missionary activity here.

The argument isn't whether the canon is valid, but rather whether the canon is germane. (That is, was there a similar case involved here?  Ancient privileges being disregarded? Ordinations taking place without the local bishop's permission?)

Ephesus VIII is rather germane in that the following conditions were met in North America.

1. The existence of a local church. It is acknowledged by most that the Russian Orthodox Church had a diocese covering at least the United States' portion of North America before any other jurisdiction was established.

2. The disregard of the privileges of the local church. Although this Russian Diocese was not ancient, nonetheless ordinations and episcopal assignments were made by alien churches without the permission of local church.

3. There was no native local church when the Russian diocese was established as the local church. Thus, the Russian Church did come under Ephesus VIII.

Father Anthony's resort to pastoral concerns are frankly more appealing than a flat assertion that Ephesus VIII does not apply without further reasoning. Notice however that even his argument acknowledges that most of the Greeks did not want anybody but a Greek bishop or church (COG of Constantinople) to be over them. This patriotic/ethnic attachment was also true of many other nationalities but is it enough to carry a canonical argument?
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« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2010, 11:13:39 AM »

Father Anthony's resort to pastoral concerns are frankly more appealing than a flat assertion that Ephesus VIII does not apply without further reasoning.

Sorry if it seems my post was a flat assertion. I simply don't have the time to type out a long response right now.

But, basically, the reason Ephesus 8 doesn't apply is precisely because of the reality of the pastoral situation (both then and now). The canons are reactions to pastoral realities, not proscriptive laws. This is all the more the case when it comes to questions of autocephaly or governance of the church in missionary lands, where there is nothing in the canonical tradition that covers the matter. Ephesus 8, for example, did not determine how Cyprus should be evangelized or administered. It simply recognized a centuries-long reality. If we want to be legalistic and stick to its letter, i.e. that no bishop may "assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand," then NO BISHOP should ever send missionaries anywhere, since, obviously, that would be assuming control of a new province.
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« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2010, 11:29:10 AM »

Father Anthony's resort to pastoral concerns are frankly more appealing than a flat assertion that Ephesus VIII does not apply without further reasoning.

Sorry if it seems my post was a flat assertion. I simply don't have the time to type out a long response right now.

But, basically, the reason Ephesus 8 doesn't apply is precisely because of the reality of the pastoral situation (both then and now). The canons are reactions to pastoral realities, not proscriptive laws. This is all the more the case when it comes to questions of autocephaly or governance of the church in missionary lands, where there is nothing in the canonical tradition that covers the matter. Ephesus 8, for example, did not determine how Cyprus should be evangelized or administered. It simply recognized a centuries-long reality. If we want to be legalistic and stick to its letter, i.e. that no bishop may "assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand," then NO BISHOP should ever send missionaries anywhere, since, obviously, that would be assuming control of a new province.

You are obviously correct, but only regarding the second element of the Canon. The elements of the canon are:

1. The existence of a local church. Cyprus was a country (an ecclesiastical tabula rasa) before missionaries established a local church on the island.

2. Another church (in another province) trying to assume control or meddling in the affairs of an existing local church. Antioch went outside its boundaries to meddle in the affairs of the local church of Cyprus. Kind of an early misapplication of Canon 28, no?
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« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2010, 11:35:19 AM »

1. The existence of a local church. Cyprus was a country (an ecclesiastical tabula rasa) before missionaries established a local church on the island.

2. Another church (in another province) trying to assume control or meddling in the affairs of an existing local church. Antioch went outside its boundaries to meddle in the affairs of the local church of Cyprus. Kind of an early misapplication of Canon 28, no?

But, again, there's really no comparison between Cyprus at the time of Ephesus and the pastoral reality of the church in 19th and early 20th century America. St. Tikhon himself recognized and even attended worship services at churches that were (a) not under his omophorion and (b) under someone else's.
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« Reply #71 on: April 15, 2010, 11:41:35 AM »

1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.
Can you produce something of more authority?
The Pedalion was a sanctioned collection of canonical texts, not an official book of interpretation or application, according to Panayiotis Boumis, long-time professor of Canon Law at the University of Athens, in his acclaimed work, Κανονικόν Δίκαιον.
Can you (or Prof. Boumis) produce something of more authority?

I find it humorous that you would demand a statement of authority for a counter-claim to your assertion which was stated without any support of authority itself
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1. The Pedalion was the most popular format for accessing the canons in the Greek church, not the "official" interpretation.

Can you produce something of more authority?

For treatment of this canon see:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA166&dq=Huillier+Rheginus&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
The church of the ancient councils: the disciplinary work of the first four Ecumenical Councils... By Peter L'Huillier
(see p. 4 ff on the Pedalion).

I thought this was common knowlege.  Evidently not.  If you can read German (und Fraktur!):
Lehrbuch des katholischen, orientalischen und protestantischen Kirchenrechts.  By Friedrich Heinrich Vering, p. 632.
http://books.google.com/books?id=xAtBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA632&dq=Silbernagl+Pedalion&hl=en&ei=y1XGS5OuB5T-M-eg_JUO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Silbernagl%20Pedalion&f=false


My Fraktur is not the greatest but I know enough to be able to ask you how you got to your conclusion considering that Vering puts the Pedalion alongside the "des hexabiblos des harmenopulos", therefore having complimentary texts being used with each other.  I am not sure if you are saying that the Pedalion was the ONLY or if it was the PRIMARY.  Somehow I lost your point in all of this extra stuff...please forgive me, i'm just trying to understand your point.  


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« Reply #72 on: April 15, 2010, 12:08:16 PM »

1. The existence of a local church. Cyprus was a country (an ecclesiastical tabula rasa) before missionaries established a local church on the island.

2. Another church (in another province) trying to assume control or meddling in the affairs of an existing local church. Antioch went outside its boundaries to meddle in the affairs of the local church of Cyprus. Kind of an early misapplication of Canon 28, no?

But, again, there's really no comparison between Cyprus at the time of Ephesus and the pastoral reality of the church in 19th and early 20th century America. St. Tikhon himself recognized and even attended worship services at churches that were (a) not under his omophorion and (b) under someone else's.

I am inclined to agree with you not because of Ephesus VIII but in spite of it. I am not changing my view that technically Ephesus VIII was violated. What I am inclined to do is to agree with many theologians and canonists who approach the canons of the Church not from a legalistic but pastoral perspective. So, we can excuse what happened in the 1920s and beyond to pastoral concerns.

My problem is mostly with their persistence; when exactly do we go back to the eminently sensible principle embodied in Ephesus VIII--that is local control? Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?
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« Reply #73 on: April 15, 2010, 12:17:38 PM »

I am inclined to agree with you not because of Ephesus VIII but in spite of it. I am not changing my view that technically Ephesus VIII was violated. What I am inclined to do is to agree with many theologians and canonists who approach the canons of the Church not from a legalistic but pastoral perspective. So, we can excuse what happened in the 1920s and beyond to pastoral concerns.

How very pastoral of you.

My problem is mostly with their persistence; when exactly do we go back to the eminently sensible principle embodied in Ephesus VIII--that is local control? Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

Goodness, gracious.  My frustration is not with you per se, just with the same old parroted line that "the EP is trying to control the area."  It is simply not the case, no more than the Patriarch of Antioch is in control of the US because of the AOA.

Each bishop is only "in control" of his own diocese, whatever or wherever it is - and no other single bishop can change that.  True ultimate power to direct hierarchs rests in synod working with the Holy Spirit in the Church, from which flows Apostolic Succession (via election & ordination), etc.  The EP/AP/AP/JP/MP/BP/SP/CoG/CoA/etc. cannot come here to tell anyone, not even a bishop of their own synod, what to do.  Only the Synod that they preside over can do that.  The Church is always under local control insofar as the bishop is local to the diocese and he rules the diocese as the type and in the place of Christ

Beyond that, Synodal control is a different issue, and if people really object to having a foreign Synod dictating policy to local bishops, then they should word their arguments in such a way, rather than in a patently false near ad hominem.
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« Reply #74 on: April 15, 2010, 12:30:28 PM »

Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

One could just as easily ask:

Why is the Patriarch of Moscow, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the patriarch of its largest church, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that Moscow rules over the "one space of the Holy Russia" and that he, since apparently no ancient church may engage in missionary activity, is the bishop of practically the whole world?

These are questions that have been discussed for years, which all sides agree will need to be addressed in council. In reality, the Church will need to issue new canons to deal with the new reality, as She has every right to do. In general, Constantinople has tried to understand things on the basis of canon law. Moscow has tried to understand things on the basis of historical accident. Neither way will solve the problem until new legislation is promulgated. And, certainly, much common work on the local level -- without a continual denigration of the supposed exclusive error of the other side -- will be necessary before that.
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« Reply #75 on: April 15, 2010, 01:04:11 PM »

I am inclined to agree with you not because of Ephesus VIII but in spite of it. I am not changing my view that technically Ephesus VIII was violated. What I am inclined to do is to agree with many theologians and canonists who approach the canons of the Church not from a legalistic but pastoral perspective. So, we can excuse what happened in the 1920s and beyond to pastoral concerns.

How very pastoral of you.

My problem is mostly with their persistence; when exactly do we go back to the eminently sensible principle embodied in Ephesus VIII--that is local control? Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

Goodness, gracious.  My frustration is not with you per se, just with the same old parroted line that "the EP is trying to control the area."  It is simply not the case, no more than the Patriarch of Antioch is in control of the US because of the AOA.

Each bishop is only "in control" of his own diocese, whatever or wherever it is - and no other single bishop can change that.  True ultimate power to direct hierarchs rests in synod working with the Holy Spirit in the Church, from which flows Apostolic Succession (via election & ordination), etc.  The EP/AP/AP/JP/MP/BP/SP/CoG/CoA/etc. cannot come here to tell anyone, not even a bishop of their own synod, what to do.  Only the Synod that they preside over can do that.  The Church is always under local control insofar as the bishop is local to the diocese and he rules the diocese as the type and in the place of Christ

Beyond that, Synodal control is a different issue, and if people really object to having a foreign Synod dictating policy to local bishops, then they should word their arguments in such a way, rather than in a patently false near ad hominem.

Funny you should use the expression ad hominem because I had in mind the person of Patriarch Bartholomew himself. I do remember, quite vividly, the speech by his Chief Secretary. I do remember also being exposed to this issue for the first time when I read the Letter from +Patriarch Alexeii to Patriarch Bartholomew. I will be the first one to apologize if it is true that Patriarch Bartholomew had nothing to do with the Chief Secretary's outrageous speech or that he is indeed innocent of twisting canon 28 for his own ends. BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, again, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Furthermore, I also remember the relatively recent innovation in GOA when all the bishops were made subservient to the Holy Synod--in Istanbul, Turkey, which is not the most hospitable place for Christians, let alone Orthodox Christians. BTW, I appreciate your point of the local bishop being in control for I am a great fan of the Ignatian model. However,you must also be aware that each Metropolitan in your church serves at the pleasure of the Holy Synod in Istanbul. You should also be aware that the Holy Synod in Istanbul is lead by Patriarch Bartholomew and that he is powerful enough to control its policy. Finally, I have not heard even a whimper in protest of this novel interpretation of Canon 28, except for a few marginalized GOA lay persons. And, I really do not care if the Patriarch crafted the novel interpretation or is a champion of it; he is the beneficiary of it. So, what you are saying is that we should appeal this wrongful, harmful and unorthodox interpretation to a synod that agrees with it? A synod that is promulgating it? A synod that is run by the chief beneficiary of it? A synod that itself benefits from it?

Come on Father George, get real!
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« Reply #76 on: April 15, 2010, 01:45:29 PM »

The devil's work appears to be doing well based upon our inability to lay aside our passions and the hurt of historical memory as we look to the future of OUR Orthodox Church in the Americas.

Really - is the 'historic accident' of the MP's claims or the attempts by the EP to categorize Canon Law going to solve our problems, and the apparent emnity of some in America? I doubt it.

To those in the OCA and elsewhere who earnestly believe that the Greeks seek a Hellenized church which doesn't respect all of us, I say get real - we can only judge the EP by its behavior over the past seventy years or so towards those non-Greek, ethnic Dioceses in the Americas which have sought her protection. Ask any ACROD priest, and while I can not speak for my UOC brothers ask them as well - Have you been "Hellenized' while under the omophor of the EP? Has there been pressure borne upon you to make your flock Greek? I daresay the unanimous answer will be no, not at all.

To the Greeks who earnestly harbor resentment over the Tomos granted the OCA by the MP and who secretly fear that the OCA will impose Moscow's hand on the American Greek community, I ask you to speak with an OCA priest and ask, has Moscow directed your Bishops and your flock since the Tomos? Has there been interference in the governance and administration of your Church? I suspect again that the answer will be, no , not really.

As human beings, if our heart is attracted to Hellenism, Russianism or any legitimate 'ism' in the expression of Orthodoxy as a result of our upbringing or heritage, is it so unnatural or un-Orthodox to FEEL more attracted to a local parish that reflects that tradition? Keep in mind that reflections tend to dull as a mirror ages and gets hazy.  

If one thing is clear, we are not going to find the answer to the American problem through any direct historical analogy or through the exact, legalistic interpretation of one canon or another. We have no choice, IMHO, but to let our Bishops convene, trusting that they have studied the working documents from Chambesy and praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their deliberations. After all, it is the week of Pentecost that they have chosen to meet and I doubt that is a coincidence.

" O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth; who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of blessings, and giver of life: come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One."
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« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2010, 02:13:22 PM »

Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

One could just as easily ask:

Why is the Patriarch of Moscow, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the patriarch of its largest church, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that Moscow rules over the "one space of the Holy Russia" and that he, since apparently no ancient church may engage in missionary activity, is the bishop of practically the whole world?

These are questions that have been discussed for years, which all sides agree will need to be addressed in council. In reality, the Church will need to issue new canons to deal with the new reality, as She has every right to do. In general, Constantinople has tried to understand things on the basis of canon law. Moscow has tried to understand things on the basis of historical accident. Neither way will solve the problem until new legislation is promulgated. And, certainly, much common work on the local level -- without a continual denigration of the supposed exclusive error of the other side -- will be necessary before that.

I m not aware that the Patriarch of Moscow has ever made such a claim. It is true that others in the non-Greek sphere have questioned the positions of the various patriarchates in the diptychs, based on the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils that reordered their rankings based on geopolitics rather than any other criterion. While this is a valid argument, the real problem is with the political considerations behind the canons. Thus, I do hope that the next Pan-Orthodox Council (if it is truly pan-Orthodox) does come up with theological and not geopolitical criteria.  I really do not care which has the primacy of honor because for me the local church (at the diocesan level) is the most important. I do care however that no one Patriarch may be regarded as the head of the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.

I do not like any Church lording it over reluctant members. All should be done in love and voluntary submission. That said, there must be some nominal consideration of the existing canons--we have no other formal guidelines. So, while my heart goes out to those "national" and "ethnic" churches who want to be independent of the Church of Russia, I do think that POM has a reasonable canonical case when it comes to Ukraine, for example, but I am encouraged that all parties now seem to be trying to work things out.

As for the understandings employed by Constantinople v. Moscow, I have to disagree with you. Constantinople has used canons and geopolitics/brute force, at least just as much as Moscow. From a Bulgarian perspective, Constantinople has largely relied on force and politics. I suppose that to an Ukrainian, to opposite may be true. But, even if it is a wash, two wrongs do not make it a right. Besides, POM gave autocephaly to the Metropolia. What did Constantinople do to its Archdiocese in this hemisphere?
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« Reply #78 on: April 15, 2010, 02:19:51 PM »

I am inclined to agree with you not because of Ephesus VIII but in spite of it. I am not changing my view that technically Ephesus VIII was violated. What I am inclined to do is to agree with many theologians and canonists who approach the canons of the Church not from a legalistic but pastoral perspective. So, we can excuse what happened in the 1920s and beyond to pastoral concerns.

How very pastoral of you.

My problem is mostly with their persistence; when exactly do we go back to the eminently sensible principle embodied in Ephesus VIII--that is local control? Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

Goodness, gracious.  My frustration is not with you per se, just with the same old parroted line that "the EP is trying to control the area."  It is simply not the case, no more than the Patriarch of Antioch is in control of the US because of the AOA.

Each bishop is only "in control" of his own diocese, whatever or wherever it is - and no other single bishop can change that.  True ultimate power to direct hierarchs rests in synod working with the Holy Spirit in the Church, from which flows Apostolic Succession (via election & ordination), etc.  The EP/AP/AP/JP/MP/BP/SP/CoG/CoA/etc. cannot come here to tell anyone, not even a bishop of their own synod, what to do.  Only the Synod that they preside over can do that.  The Church is always under local control insofar as the bishop is local to the diocese and he rules the diocese as the type and in the place of Christ

Beyond that, Synodal control is a different issue, and if people really object to having a foreign Synod dictating policy to local bishops, then they should word their arguments in such a way, rather than in a patently false near ad hominem.

Funny you should use the expression ad hominem because I had in mind the person of Patriarch Bartholomew himself. I do remember, quite vividly, the speech by his Chief Secretary. I do remember also being exposed to this issue for the first time when I read the Letter from +Patriarch Alexeii to Patriarch Bartholomew. I will be the first one to apologize if it is true that Patriarch Bartholomew had nothing to do with the Chief Secretary's outrageous speech or that he is indeed innocent of twisting canon 28 for his own ends.

I know this was meant for Fr. George and I am in no way speaking for him, but I feel that I must answer to some of these things.

Please start apologizing now because unfortunately you do NOT know whether or not His All Holiness had ANYTHING to do with the Chief Secretary's speech, and you do NOT know whether or not he is twisting the canons in any way, and therefore guilty or innocent in any way, in regards to that issue.  If you DO know, in any way, the things I mentioned above, please contact the administrators of this forum, as that is a very heinous and serious accusation and very heinous and serious support you need to provide.  

Quote
BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, again, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Really?  it was "created" by him?  just him?  was it created by him or the ones who wrote and gathered and organized ligonier?  or was it the rest of the patriarchs who also reacted?  or was it just him?  

we have hashed and rehashed and re-re-re-hashed this many times.  If you would like to continue the conversation do it in those threads.  It is dialogically inappropriate to say that one person created something that is clearly involving many multiple people with many multiple facets to it.  plus the fact that it just makes no sense, and is therefore untrue.  

Quote
Furthermore, I also remember the relatively recent innovation in GOA when all the bishops were made subservient to the Holy Synod--in Istanbul, Turkey, which is not the most hospitable place for Christians, let alone Orthodox Christians.

subserviant? how?  the 9 bishops in the US have a yearly representation at the Holy Synod of Const.   So...how are they subservient, when they get one of 12 voices and votes at the synod itself...doesn't seem subservient to me in any way.  

It is not hospitable for any faith, just especially christians and even more especially orthodox christians.  

Quote
BTW, I appreciate your point of the local bishop being in control for I am a great fan of the Ignatian model. However,you must also be aware that each Metropolitan in your church serves at the pleasure of the Holy Synod in Istanbul. You should also be aware that the Holy Synod in Istanbul is lead by Patriarch Bartholomew and that he is powerful enough to control its policy.

If you appreciate the point, and realize that it is truly the model of orthodoxy, then we should do our work to live within that model, which is an actuality, and support our local bishops in the work they do.  

They do not serve at the please of anyone except for Christ.  

It is led by Patriarch Bartholomew, as the chairman of the synod, just inasmuch as Patriarch Irinej is the chairman of the synod of the Serbian church.  Do the serbian bishops then serve at his pleasure?  what does this model say about the OCA, or the AOA, or any of the other churches?  

Now as to the issues you have with Pat. Barth. & his "power"...those seem to be of a personal nature and should be handled in that manner.  

Quote
Finally, I have not heard even a whimper in protest of this novel interpretation of Canon 28, except for a few marginalized GOA lay persons. And, I really do not care if the Patriarch crafted the novel interpretation or is a champion of it; he is the beneficiary of it. So, what you are saying is that we should appeal this wrongful, harmful and unorthodox interpretation to a synod that agrees with it? A synod that is promulgating it? A synod that is run by the chief beneficiary of it? A synod that itself benefits from it?

Come on Father George, get real!

I believe that we have established, or are trying to establish (it's still being argued so i'm trying to be fair to both sides), that this canon has been treated the same way for more than the last 200 hundred years.  So...that would make your last point pure conjecture.  





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« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2010, 03:15:44 PM »

Besides, POM gave autocephaly to the Metropolia.

But why did it? Because it thought that was best for all Orthodox in this land? It was the strategic brainchild of Met. Nikodim of Leningrad, who had deep ties to the KGB and regularly used his international position to advance Soviet policy (including in Bulgaria, btw). The autocephaly dealt a nasty blow to ROCOR, the Soviet arch-rival. It also was a nice poke in the eye to the various ancient churches, which being outside of Soviet influence, were not amenable to Soviet aims at WCC events. Unfortunately, the leadership at SVS so badly wanted autocephaly (in part, no doubt, because of what it would mean in their battle against ROCOR, but also because they mistakenly but honestly thought that it would produce a "meaningful storm") that they overlooked that obvious reality.

What did Constantinople do to its Archdiocese in this hemisphere?

Manage to shepherd it through hard times to the present, where it is growing nicely. In my experience serving five churches in three different Metropolises, and traveling to many on official or unofficial business, I see great benefits to the pastoral direction of the last 10 years. Also, the faithful in general (Greek, Carpatho-Russian, Ukrainian, and others just under his omophorion), especially those of us who actually know His All Holiness, respect and love him greatly. It is truly a sin for you, and many other netodox, to speak against his person and motives, especially when you don't even know him. I say that in all honesty, as I have before on this forum. Unfortunately, it never seems to make a difference.
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« Reply #80 on: April 15, 2010, 04:31:07 PM »

I am inclined to agree with you not because of Ephesus VIII but in spite of it. I am not changing my view that technically Ephesus VIII was violated. What I am inclined to do is to agree with many theologians and canonists who approach the canons of the Church not from a legalistic but pastoral perspective. So, we can excuse what happened in the 1920s and beyond to pastoral concerns.

How very pastoral of you.

My problem is mostly with their persistence; when exactly do we go back to the eminently sensible principle embodied in Ephesus VIII--that is local control? Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

Goodness, gracious.  My frustration is not with you per se, just with the same old parroted line that "the EP is trying to control the area."  It is simply not the case, no more than the Patriarch of Antioch is in control of the US because of the AOA.

Each bishop is only "in control" of his own diocese, whatever or wherever it is - and no other single bishop can change that.  True ultimate power to direct hierarchs rests in synod working with the Holy Spirit in the Church, from which flows Apostolic Succession (via election & ordination), etc.  The EP/AP/AP/JP/MP/BP/SP/CoG/CoA/etc. cannot come here to tell anyone, not even a bishop of their own synod, what to do.  Only the Synod that they preside over can do that.  The Church is always under local control insofar as the bishop is local to the diocese and he rules the diocese as the type and in the place of Christ.  

Beyond that, Synodal control is a different issue, and if people really object to having a foreign Synod dictating policy to local bishops, then they should word their arguments in such a way, rather than in a patently false near ad hominem.

Funny you should use the expression ad hominem because I had in mind the person of Patriarch Bartholomew himself. I do remember, quite vividly, the speech by his Chief Secretary. I do remember also being exposed to this issue for the first time when I read the Letter from +Patriarch Alexeii to Patriarch Bartholomew. I will be the first one to apologize if it is true that Patriarch Bartholomew had nothing to do with the Chief Secretary's outrageous speech or that he is indeed innocent of twisting canon 28 for his own ends.

I know this was meant for Fr. George and I am in no way speaking for him, but I feel that I must answer to some of these things.

Please start apologizing now because unfortunately you do NOT know whether or not His All Holiness had ANYTHING to do with the Chief Secretary's speech, and you do NOT know whether or not he is twisting the canons in any way, and therefore guilty or innocent in any way, in regards to that issue.  If you DO know, in any way, the things I mentioned above, please contact the administrators of this forum, as that is a very heinous and serious accusation and very heinous and serious support you need to provide.  

Quote
BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, again, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Really?  it was "created" by him?  just him?  was it created by him or the ones who wrote and gathered and organized ligonier?  or was it the rest of the patriarchs who also reacted?  or was it just him?  

we have hashed and rehashed and re-re-re-hashed this many times.  If you would like to continue the conversation do it in those threads.  It is dialogically inappropriate to say that one person created something that is clearly involving many multiple people with many multiple facets to it.  plus the fact that it just makes no sense, and is therefore untrue.  

Quote
Furthermore, I also remember the relatively recent innovation in GOA when all the bishops were made subservient to the Holy Synod--in Istanbul, Turkey, which is not the most hospitable place for Christians, let alone Orthodox Christians.

subserviant? how?  the 9 bishops in the US have a yearly representation at the Holy Synod of Const.   So...how are they subservient, when they get one of 12 voices and votes at the synod itself...doesn't seem subservient to me in any way.  

It is not hospitable for any faith, just especially christians and even more especially orthodox christians.  

Quote
BTW, I appreciate your point of the local bishop being in control for I am a great fan of the Ignatian model. However,you must also be aware that each Metropolitan in your church serves at the pleasure of the Holy Synod in Istanbul. You should also be aware that the Holy Synod in Istanbul is lead by Patriarch Bartholomew and that he is powerful enough to control its policy.

If you appreciate the point, and realize that it is truly the model of orthodoxy, then we should do our work to live within that model, which is an actuality, and support our local bishops in the work they do.  

They do not serve at the please of anyone except for Christ.  

It is led by Patriarch Bartholomew, as the chairman of the synod, just inasmuch as Patriarch Irinej is the chairman of the synod of the Serbian church.  Do the serbian bishops then serve at his pleasure?  what does this model say about the OCA, or the AOA, or any of the other churches?  

Now as to the issues you have with Pat. Barth. & his "power"...those seem to be of a personal nature and should be handled in that manner.  

Quote
Finally, I have not heard even a whimper in protest of this novel interpretation of Canon 28, except for a few marginalized GOA lay persons. And, I really do not care if the Patriarch crafted the novel interpretation or is a champion of it; he is the beneficiary of it. So, what you are saying is that we should appeal this wrongful, harmful and unorthodox interpretation to a synod that agrees with it? A synod that is promulgating it? A synod that is run by the chief beneficiary of it? A synod that itself benefits from it?

Come on Father George, get real!

I believe that we have established, or are trying to establish (it's still being argued so i'm trying to be fair to both sides), that this canon has been treated the same way for more than the last 200 hundred years.  So...that would make your last point pure conjecture.  


Goodness, gracious! If I had known that Father Deacon Serb would have been offended my post, perhaps I would have chosen different words! Now, you know that I love you, so relax--I have no enmity in my heart, just deep disagreement, forcefully stated.

I'll try to answer your points in reverse order:

1. A new and novel interpretation of Canon 28 has been put into play by the Patriarch of Constantinople since its adoption by an Ecumenical Council. I don't care if it was yesterday or 200 years ago as you allege. The point is that it was unilateral and it was novel.  It has been disputed by the other Churches. It is nowhere close to be settled except in the mind of a cleric(s) attached to the Patriarchate. But, if it makes feel better, go ahead and consider this matter closed, even though it is on the agenda of the next "Pan-Orthodox" Council. (NOTE: Why "Pan-Orthodox"? Because, OCA has been treated like a red-haired step-child by the convening Patriarch. So much for Christian hospitality).

2. The powers of Patriarch Bartholomew and of the Holy Synod of which he is the Presiding Bishop are not to be dismissed so easily and flippantly with an appeal to the Ignation model. It is a fact that these great actors (not in the thespian but historic sense) killed Ligonier, got rid of/retired +Archbishop Iakovos, installed and got rid of/reassigned Archbishop Archbishop Spyridon, and can reassign or retire any one of the current GOA Metropolitans for a good and proper reason, which they will determine, no thank you for any kind of review! Are you now trying to tell me that having one vote out of twelve is an indication of independence? Of course they are subservient; that is the idea behind canon 34, is it not? Unanimity is required in any Holy Synod but it is sure much harder to get when you are one of twelve.

As for the relative power of the Patriarch or head of any local church, it is this bishop who controls central administration, in effect hires the staff (including the Chief Secretary), and initiates and often sets policy ipso facto. What? Do you think that if a head of church says something publicly, his fellow Synod members will contradict him in public? In this instance, Patriarch Bartholomew is a historically powerful figure, which makes any public disagreement and indeed internal opposition problematic.

3. The relative influence of Patriarch Bartholomew over the aftermath of Ligonier. While it is true that I was no a fly in the wall when these things transpired, it is not correct to criticize me for my analysis because I personally do not know for certain. OK, I will rephrase this if it makes you feel better:  "BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, among others, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople."

4. Your first paragraph was really over the top. You essentially accused me of attacking a bishop of the Church for no good reason. In my mind, I had good reasons and I have no malicious intent. He may be great as far as you are concerned, and I respect that. I also think that he is great, but I do not agree with all of his policies. I really believe that the problem of Canon 28, the speech of his Chief Secretary, Ligonier's aftermath, and the restructuring of GOA can all be laid at his feet--precisely because he is a great leader. Obviously, if he was an ineffectual puppet of his Holy Synod, I would not have dared to criticize him by name.

In any case, I would like to apologize to you for having upset you. That was not my intent.
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« Reply #81 on: April 15, 2010, 04:45:33 PM »

Besides, POM gave autocephaly to the Metropolia.

But why did it? Because it thought that was best for all Orthodox in this land? It was the strategic brainchild of Met. Nikodim of Leningrad, who had deep ties to the KGB and regularly used his international position to advance Soviet policy (including in Bulgaria, btw). The autocephaly dealt a nasty blow to ROCOR, the Soviet arch-rival. It also was a nice poke in the eye to the various ancient churches, which being outside of Soviet influence, were not amenable to Soviet aims at WCC events. Unfortunately, the leadership at SVS so badly wanted autocephaly (in part, no doubt, because of what it would mean in their battle against ROCOR, but also because they mistakenly but honestly thought that it would produce a "meaningful storm") that they overlooked that obvious reality.

What did Constantinople do to its Archdiocese in this hemisphere?

Manage to shepherd it through hard times to the present, where it is growing nicely. In my experience serving five churches in three different Metropolises, and traveling to many on official or unofficial business, I see great benefits to the pastoral direction of the last 10 years. Also, the faithful in general (Greek, Carpatho-Russian, Ukrainian, and others just under his omophorion), especially those of us who actually know His All Holiness, respect and love him greatly. It is truly a sin for you, and many other netodox, to speak against his person and motives, especially when you don't even know him. I say that in all honesty, as I have before on this forum. Unfortunately, it never seems to make a difference.

May I rephrase? I meant to say: "While the POM let go one part of herself, the POC tightened her grip on her parts and started to meddle in the affairs of other Orthodox churches, based on a spurious and flagrantly uncanonical reinterpretation of Canon 28."

BTW, you say "It is truly a sin for you, and many other netodox, to speak against his person and motives, especially when you don't even know him." That would be the case if he were a private individual. As a very public hierarch, I believe I know enough of his policies and actions to arrive at personal conclusions--even though this means I would be speaking against him. (God forbid we cannot criticize our betters, no?) 

Finally, what is a "netodox"?
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« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2010, 04:52:23 PM »

Finally, what is a "netodox"?
I think he means this word to refer to us Orthodox who post on Internet discussion boards.  Synonymous with this word is "Geek Orthodox".
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« Reply #83 on: April 15, 2010, 05:00:19 PM »

From the Pre-sanctified Liturgy, recently participated in by many of us in Great Lent, in case we forgot:

How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

Psalm 133
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« Reply #84 on: April 15, 2010, 06:00:42 PM »

May I rephrase? I meant to say: "While the POM let go one part of herself, the POC tightened her grip on her parts...

I don't see the difference between that statement and your previous one. What you, as an observer, claim is a tightening of her grip, I have experienced firsthand as a bringing of good order and increased spiritual vitality to the churches under her pastoral care.

Part of that difference in perception might be because you apparently hold a personal grudge against Greeks because of Bulgaria (although why you overlook the MP's use and abuse of the Bulgarian Church on behalf of the KGB, I don't know).

But, on a larger level, it seems to me that many Americans often think this way because the English-language Orthodox media is very different than the Greek or Russian. The highly talented professors at SVS have dominated the narrative here; most Greek sources are inaccessible to American readers; and that's true in spades for Russian sources (which ain't akin to SVS-style American Orthodoxy to say the least!).

BTW, you say "It is truly a sin for you, and many other netodox, to speak against his person and motives, especially when you don't even know him." That would be the case if he were a private individual. As a very public hierarch, I believe I know enough of his policies and actions to arrive at personal conclusions--even though this means I would be speaking against him.

I believe it behooves one to do more due diligence than is typically done before reaching such personal conclusions, especially if one is going to promulgate them online. Part of that due diligence is academic, part of it is experiential (attending many and diverse Orthodox churches in multiple countries), and part of it is personal (actually meeting the people involved). Until then, it's an internet rant, and it undermines the supposed larger point: advocating for unity and the building up of the Body of Christ. I say that because 15 years ago, I sounded a lot like you.

Finally, what is a "netodox"?

An Orthodox Christian who spends time on and contributes to Orthodox web sites (discussion forums, blogs, etc.).
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« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2010, 11:25:57 PM »

I am inclined to agree with you not because of Ephesus VIII but in spite of it. I am not changing my view that technically Ephesus VIII was violated. What I am inclined to do is to agree with many theologians and canonists who approach the canons of the Church not from a legalistic but pastoral perspective. So, we can excuse what happened in the 1920s and beyond to pastoral concerns.

How very pastoral of you.

My problem is mostly with their persistence; when exactly do we go back to the eminently sensible principle embodied in Ephesus VIII--that is local control? Why is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world as the "ecumenical" patriarch, for example, insisting on the further violation of this ancient and venerable principle of local control by his insistence that the three dioceses--the territory--given to him by Canon 28 includes practically the whole world?

Goodness, gracious.  My frustration is not with you per se, just with the same old parroted line that "the EP is trying to control the area."  It is simply not the case, no more than the Patriarch of Antioch is in control of the US because of the AOA.

Each bishop is only "in control" of his own diocese, whatever or wherever it is - and no other single bishop can change that.  True ultimate power to direct hierarchs rests in synod working with the Holy Spirit in the Church, from which flows Apostolic Succession (via election & ordination), etc.  The EP/AP/AP/JP/MP/BP/SP/CoG/CoA/etc. cannot come here to tell anyone, not even a bishop of their own synod, what to do.  Only the Synod that they preside over can do that.  The Church is always under local control insofar as the bishop is local to the diocese and he rules the diocese as the type and in the place of Christ.  

Beyond that, Synodal control is a different issue, and if people really object to having a foreign Synod dictating policy to local bishops, then they should word their arguments in such a way, rather than in a patently false near ad hominem.

Funny you should use the expression ad hominem because I had in mind the person of Patriarch Bartholomew himself. I do remember, quite vividly, the speech by his Chief Secretary. I do remember also being exposed to this issue for the first time when I read the Letter from +Patriarch Alexeii to Patriarch Bartholomew. I will be the first one to apologize if it is true that Patriarch Bartholomew had nothing to do with the Chief Secretary's outrageous speech or that he is indeed innocent of twisting canon 28 for his own ends.

I know this was meant for Fr. George and I am in no way speaking for him, but I feel that I must answer to some of these things.

Please start apologizing now because unfortunately you do NOT know whether or not His All Holiness had ANYTHING to do with the Chief Secretary's speech, and you do NOT know whether or not he is twisting the canons in any way, and therefore guilty or innocent in any way, in regards to that issue.  If you DO know, in any way, the things I mentioned above, please contact the administrators of this forum, as that is a very heinous and serious accusation and very heinous and serious support you need to provide.  

Quote
BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, again, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Really?  it was "created" by him?  just him?  was it created by him or the ones who wrote and gathered and organized ligonier?  or was it the rest of the patriarchs who also reacted?  or was it just him?  

we have hashed and rehashed and re-re-re-hashed this many times.  If you would like to continue the conversation do it in those threads.  It is dialogically inappropriate to say that one person created something that is clearly involving many multiple people with many multiple facets to it.  plus the fact that it just makes no sense, and is therefore untrue.  

Quote
Furthermore, I also remember the relatively recent innovation in GOA when all the bishops were made subservient to the Holy Synod--in Istanbul, Turkey, which is not the most hospitable place for Christians, let alone Orthodox Christians.

subserviant? how?  the 9 bishops in the US have a yearly representation at the Holy Synod of Const.   So...how are they subservient, when they get one of 12 voices and votes at the synod itself...doesn't seem subservient to me in any way.  

It is not hospitable for any faith, just especially christians and even more especially orthodox christians.  

Quote
BTW, I appreciate your point of the local bishop being in control for I am a great fan of the Ignatian model. However,you must also be aware that each Metropolitan in your church serves at the pleasure of the Holy Synod in Istanbul. You should also be aware that the Holy Synod in Istanbul is lead by Patriarch Bartholomew and that he is powerful enough to control its policy.

If you appreciate the point, and realize that it is truly the model of orthodoxy, then we should do our work to live within that model, which is an actuality, and support our local bishops in the work they do.  

They do not serve at the please of anyone except for Christ.  

It is led by Patriarch Bartholomew, as the chairman of the synod, just inasmuch as Patriarch Irinej is the chairman of the synod of the Serbian church.  Do the serbian bishops then serve at his pleasure?  what does this model say about the OCA, or the AOA, or any of the other churches?  

Now as to the issues you have with Pat. Barth. & his "power"...those seem to be of a personal nature and should be handled in that manner.  

Quote
Finally, I have not heard even a whimper in protest of this novel interpretation of Canon 28, except for a few marginalized GOA lay persons. And, I really do not care if the Patriarch crafted the novel interpretation or is a champion of it; he is the beneficiary of it. So, what you are saying is that we should appeal this wrongful, harmful and unorthodox interpretation to a synod that agrees with it? A synod that is promulgating it? A synod that is run by the chief beneficiary of it? A synod that itself benefits from it?

Come on Father George, get real!

I believe that we have established, or are trying to establish (it's still being argued so i'm trying to be fair to both sides), that this canon has been treated the same way for more than the last 200 hundred years.  So...that would make your last point pure conjecture.  


Goodness, gracious! If I had known that Father Deacon Serb would have been offended my post, perhaps I would have chosen different words! Now, you know that I love you, so relax--I have no enmity in my heart, just deep disagreement, forcefully stated.

I'll try to answer your points in reverse order:

1. A new and novel interpretation of Canon 28 has been put into play by the Patriarch of Constantinople since its adoption by an Ecumenical Council. I don't care if it was yesterday or 200 years ago as you allege. The point is that it was unilateral and it was novel.  It has been disputed by the other Churches. It is nowhere close to be settled except in the mind of a cleric(s) attached to the Patriarchate. But, if it makes feel better, go ahead and consider this matter closed, even though it is on the agenda of the next "Pan-Orthodox" Council. (NOTE: Why "Pan-Orthodox"? Because, OCA has been treated like a red-haired step-child by the convening Patriarch. So much for Christian hospitality).

2. The powers of Patriarch Bartholomew and of the Holy Synod of which he is the Presiding Bishop are not to be dismissed so easily and flippantly with an appeal to the Ignation model. It is a fact that these great actors (not in the thespian but historic sense) killed Ligonier, got rid of/retired +Archbishop Iakovos, installed and got rid of/reassigned Archbishop Archbishop Spyridon, and can reassign or retire any one of the current GOA Metropolitans for a good and proper reason, which they will determine, no thank you for any kind of review! Are you now trying to tell me that having one vote out of twelve is an indication of independence? Of course they are subservient; that is the idea behind canon 34, is it not? Unanimity is required in any Holy Synod but it is sure much harder to get when you are one of twelve.

As for the relative power of the Patriarch or head of any local church, it is this bishop who controls central administration, in effect hires the staff (including the Chief Secretary), and initiates and often sets policy ipso facto. What? Do you think that if a head of church says something publicly, his fellow Synod members will contradict him in public? In this instance, Patriarch Bartholomew is a historically powerful figure, which makes any public disagreement and indeed internal opposition problematic.

3. The relative influence of Patriarch Bartholomew over the aftermath of Ligonier. While it is true that I was no a fly in the wall when these things transpired, it is not correct to criticize me for my analysis because I personally do not know for certain. OK, I will rephrase this if it makes you feel better:  "BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, among others, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople."

4. Your first paragraph was really over the top. You essentially accused me of attacking a bishop of the Church for no good reason. In my mind, I had good reasons and I have no malicious intent. He may be great as far as you are concerned, and I respect that. I also think that he is great, but I do not agree with all of his policies. I really believe that the problem of Canon 28, the speech of his Chief Secretary, Ligonier's aftermath, and the restructuring of GOA can all be laid at his feet--precisely because he is a great leader. Obviously, if he was an ineffectual puppet of his Holy Synod, I would not have dared to criticize him by name.

In any case, I would like to apologize to you for having upset you. That was not my intent.

Firstly, allow ME to apologize to YOU!  I was fairly upset, but for a whole lot of reasons other than what you had written.  Not that it's a good excuse, but better to let you know than...not...lol. 

I just think that it's not very appropriate to say certain things about our bishops, any of them, unless we are fully prepared to back up what we are saying, to the fullest extent.  This is the critical and huge aspect of what i'm trying to discuss with you.  Allow me now to answer YOUR answers:

Quote
1. A new and novel interpretation of Canon 28 has been put into play by the Patriarch of Constantinople since its adoption by an Ecumenical Council. I don't care if it was yesterday or 200 years ago as you allege. The point is that it was unilateral and it was novel.  It has been disputed by the other Churches. It is nowhere close to be settled except in the mind of a cleric(s) attached to the Patriarchate. But, if it makes feel better, go ahead and consider this matter closed, even though it is on the agenda of the next "Pan-Orthodox" Council. (NOTE: Why "Pan-Orthodox"? Because, OCA has been treated like a red-haired step-child by the convening Patriarch. So much for Christian hospitality).

Forgive my ignorance & not being in touch, but is the canon itself up for discussion, or the issue of multiple jurisdiction & jurisdictional overlap?  I see them as two separate topics...perhaps you do not...?? 

Quote
2. The powers of Patriarch Bartholomew and of the Holy Synod of which he is the Presiding Bishop are not to be dismissed so easily and flippantly with an appeal to the Ignation model. It is a fact that these great actors (not in the thespian but historic sense) killed Ligonier, got rid of/retired +Archbishop Iakovos, installed and got rid of/reassigned Archbishop Archbishop Spyridon, and can reassign or retire any one of the current GOA Metropolitans for a good and proper reason, which they will determine, no thank you for any kind of review!

Iakovos put in a letter of resignation.  That was ultimately his decision. He could have fought it. 

Reassignment can only happen with the vote of all of the synod, so...that's a fairly massive "one man" cooperation you are pro-porting. 

Quote
Are you now trying to tell me that having one vote out of twelve is an indication of independence? Of course they are subservient; that is the idea behind canon 34, is it not? Unanimity is required in any Holy Synod but it is sure much harder to get when you are one of twelve.

Taxation without representation my friend.  lol.  By the way, the 12 number isn't 100%, i'm not 100% sure how many bishops are on the regular synod, but I seemed to remember that number, and it's easier than re-typing "however many there are on the synod"...lol. 

Honestly though, Unanimity doesn't happen in any work place, much less with bishops & in the church.  people definitely speak their minds, and theologians as well.  Conspiracy theory aside, is there really any concrete proof for what you are alleging here? 

Quote
As for the relative power of the Patriarch or head of any local church, it is this bishop who controls central administration, in effect hires the staff (including the Chief Secretary), and initiates and often sets policy ipso facto. What? Do you think that if a head of church says something publicly, his fellow Synod members will contradict him in public? In this instance, Patriarch Bartholomew is a historically powerful figure, which makes any public disagreement and indeed internal opposition problematic.

Or he is a man who gets consensus and then utilizes that consensus for the betterment of the church. Both are equally plausible. 

Quote
3. The relative influence of Patriarch Bartholomew over the aftermath of Ligonier. While it is true that I was no a fly in the wall when these things transpired, it is not correct to criticize me for my analysis because I personally do not know for certain. OK, I will rephrase this if it makes you feel better:  "BTW, I also remember Ligonier and the subsequent mess that was created by, among others, this same Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople."

It's just not good to say these things about the patriarch without knowing for sure.  This is my criticism.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Unless you can substantiate what you are saying, and the patriarch's direct involvement in any kind of theory you may have, it is not polite, correct, or I believe the regulations of this forum to be saying these things.  Plus on top of that, it's VERY bad for the spiritual state... Smiley

Quote
4. Your first paragraph was really over the top. You essentially accused me of attacking a bishop of the Church for no good reason. In my mind, I had good reasons and I have no malicious intent. He may be great as far as you are concerned, and I respect that. I also think that he is great, but I do not agree with all of his policies. I really believe that the problem of Canon 28, the speech of his Chief Secretary, Ligonier's aftermath, and the restructuring of GOA can all be laid at his feet--precisely because he is a great leader. Obviously, if he was an ineffectual puppet of his Holy Synod, I would not have dared to criticize him by name.

Yah...it was really over the top.  Please forgive me, there are times when I get ahead of myself with things. 

Ligonier was not perfect, it was not correct, and it was a brazen stance against what the patriarchs have been working to achieve on their own.  If you want to discuss if further, I believe there are several threads we can pick up the conversation in. 

Canon 28 has been talked about a great deal as well. The patriarch has said more about it, defended it more, than any other patriach because it has been attacked more, than in any other period in a long time, by other bishops.  Maybe THEY are the ones who have a conspiracy theory going?  Like I mentioned in my response, how the canon is to be interpreted is still up for grabs in the other threads. 

By criticizing him by name that means you have to connect him directly to the things you are saying.  I'm not sure you can do that. 

The bottom line is escaping me right now...but I just get very upset when people make remarks about bishops, that are over the top, without substantiation, is difficult...


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« Reply #86 on: April 16, 2010, 10:00:13 AM »

^

Father Deacon, thank you very, very much for your kind reply. I get your point and respect it. In the future, I will strive to respectfully built up a reasonable case if I am to criticize a hierarch by name.
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« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2010, 11:37:34 AM »

^

Father Deacon, thank you very, very much for your kind reply. I get your point and respect it. In the future, I will strive to respectfully built up a reasonable case if I am to criticize a hierarch by name.
Christ is risen!

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« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2010, 01:09:26 PM »

^

Father Deacon, thank you very, very much for your kind reply. I get your point and respect it. In the future, I will strive to respectfully built up a reasonable case if I am to criticize a hierarch by name.
Christ is risen!

I'm not sure, but IIRC Serb1389 is a Father priest now.

I did not know that. Well, then: Axios!!!
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« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2010, 07:25:01 PM »

^

Father Deacon, thank you very, very much for your kind reply. I get your point and respect it. In the future, I will strive to respectfully built up a reasonable case if I am to criticize a hierarch by name.
Christ is risen!

I'm not sure, but IIRC Serb1389 is a Father priest now.

I did not know that. Well, then: Axios!!!

Actually still a lowly deacon!  Thanks for the upgrade though Isa!  lol.   Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin

I do appreciate your aqueous to my request SC! 
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