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Author Topic: Decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch  (Read 122303 times) Average Rating: 0
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BasilCan
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« on: February 28, 2009, 02:14:49 PM »

From www.antiochian.org

"Decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch regarding All Bishops

Metropolitan PHILIP writes:

Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese,
Beloved Clergy and Parish Councils and all Faithful of our God-Protected Archdiocese,

Greetings and blessings to all of you in the spirit of this Holy and Great Lent.

Enclosed, please find two copies of the Holy Synod decision regarding all bishops within the Holy See of Antioch. This decision was adopted by the Holy Synod of Antioch which was convened at the Patriarchate in Damascus, February 24th, 2009. The Patriarch and the Holy Synod are the highest authority in our Antiochian Church. You will find enclosed the Arabic text and the English translation which is mine. Since this was a special Synod meeting with only one item on the agenda concerning the bishops, the proposed text of this decision was sent to the members of the Holy Synod, who were not present, for their approval."

The decisions are as follows:

ThE DECISION REGARDING THE AMENDING OF ARTICLES CONCERNING
BISHOPS ACCORDING TO THE BY-LAWS OF THE PATRIARCHATE
CHAPTER VI, THE BISHOPS
Article 75
The Patriarch is the reference point of afl bishops in Damascus, Patriarchal Monasteries and Vicariates; and they are under his authority
Article 76
The Metropolitan is the point of reference of all bishops in his Archdiocese and they are under his authority.
Article 77
All bishops within the Antiochian See are auxiliary bishops arid are directly under their spiritual authority.
Article 78
The Metropolitan defines the responsibilities of the bishops and the place where they should serve. The bishop does not do anything contrary to the will of the Metropolitan.
Article 79
The aforementioned articles 75, 76, 77 and 78 are applicable in all Antiochian Archdioceses and whatever contradicts these articles Is null and void.
Issued by the Holy Synod of Antioch, Damascus, February 24, 2009 Signed by: His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch
His Eminence, ILYAS, Tripoli
His Eminence, EUA, Hama
His Eminence, ELIAS, Tyre and Sidon
His Eminence, GEORGE, Horns
His Eminence, PAUL, Australia
His Eminence, DAMASKINOS, Brazil
His Eminence, ESPER, Houran
His Eminence, BASILIOS, Akkar

Okay, this is great, but what the heck does it mean? Why did Metropolitan PHILLIP underline "all bishops." What am I missing here.

Basil

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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009, 05:00:22 PM »

Okay, this is great, but what the heck does it mean? Why did Metropolitan PHILLIP underline "all bishops." What am I missing here.

Basil
Ditto.  What's the point?  Not that I know my ecclesiology, but it seems fishy to me...almost not Orthodox.  But then, what do I know. 
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 05:40:21 PM »

Metropolitan Philip let the cat out of the bag when he installed his auxilaries as real bishops after the Autonomy.  They started acting like bishops, and that meant sometimes they did things against what he wanted.  So he brought to the Synod this new proposal to reduce their status.

The idea that bishops that have been installed in their own dioceses and are commemorated as ruling bishops (that is how I understood things to be at this point) are really just auxiliaries and can be transferred at will (which is what that says above when it says the Met determines where they serve) is highly questionable and disrupts Orthodox ecclesiology on the bishop and the local church, etc.

This could create another big problem like in England: imagine that one of the Antiochian bishops were transferred by Metropolitan Philip, the bishop says no and appeals to the Synod. The Synod backs up Met Philip, and then the bishop appeals to the Ecumenical Patriarchate Synod.  If the Ecumenical Patriarchate Synod backs up the bishop, you will see a split. I hope it does not come to that.

I may not be a member of the Antiochian Church, but I see this as something that may prove detrimental to American Orthodoxy in general.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 05:40:59 PM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 05:51:20 PM »

So there are no more dioceses?  Just one big archdiocese like before? 
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 06:22:50 PM »

It looks like so much for the "autonomous" archdiocese. Outside of the change of titles for the bishops, it looks like very little else has changed. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 06:33:14 PM »

The GOA had a similar structure under Archbishop IAKOVOS.  The hierarchs hated it.  This is a serious step back and, unfortunately could set the Archdiocese up for problems with the next Metropolitan, especially if he's not as progressive as +PHILIP.
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 06:45:12 PM »

I can't help but feel that this decision is actually being misread and may be a poor translation.
For instance: What does Article 77 mean? Whose is the "their authority" it refers to? Whose authority?
Quote
All bishops within the Antiochian See are auxiliary bishops arid are directly under their spiritual authority.
Also, "All Bishops within the Antiochian See" would include His Holiness the Patriarch of Antioch.

Secondly, if "the Patriarch is the reference point of all bishops in Damascus, Patriarchal Monasteries and Vicariates" this has nothing to do with the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of America since it is neither in Damascus, nor a Patriarchal Monastery, nor a Vicariate. The only Antiochian Vicariate in the US I am aware of is the Western Rite Vicariate.
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 07:12:27 PM »


Now that ALL bishops of Antioch have been reduced to auxiliary bishops, have they lost the right to vote at Synod meetings?  This would appear so from
the updated information posted yesterday (28th February) on the Antiochian site:  "The Holy Antioch See consists of His Beatitude, metropolitans in
homeland and overseas and bishops who attend the Synod's meetings without participating in voting on decisions."
  Please see  http://tinyurl.com/cvnd67


Only the Patriarch and the Church's 10 Metropolitans at home and abroad (just Met. Philip in fact) have the right to vote. 

The US Bishops Thomas, Joseph, Antoun, Alexander, Mark and Basil  now attend Synod meetings merely as observers.   Have they been disenfranchised?



It's interesting that the website does not list Archbishop Paul of Sydney with the right to vote (even though he signed the document ushering in this
change.)    Would this be an oversight or is his Diocese not a Metropolis?

Disenfranchising all in the rank of Bishops in this way seems the introduction of a rather grave aberration into Orthodox ecclesiology.  The result is the formation of something akin to the tight control of the Roman Pope and the Roman Curia over the Church of Rome (although even that is mitigated since Vatican II by the establishment of Conferences of bishops in each country.) 

Antioch has created its own Curia in Damascus consisting of the Patriarch and the 10 Metropolitans.  Hopefully Antiochian theologians and canonists will point out the aberrations in the new ecclesiology.   But what do I know?!  If I have this completely wrong, please tell me.

I suppose it is too early for any reactions to have appeared yet from the bishops?  Will they accept this apparent reduction in their status as bishops?  I know that Metropolitan Philip in the States has already removed their right to ordain priests.  Approval must come from him.  So they have been prepared for this event in advance?

There appear to be two issues here

1.  All bishops have been disenfranchised with respect to the Holy Synod in Damascus
2.  All bishops have been reduced to auxiliary bishops of their Metropolitans.

Please do NOT think that this is Antioch-bashing.  The issue of redefining the episcopal status and authority of bishops and reducing ALL of them to mere auxiliary bishops is an attack on their rightful episcopal authority and in defiance of the canonical tradition.  It is something which should gravely concern all Christians, regardless of Church membership.  We have seen this process underway in Constantinople and it is now underway in Antioch.  Who will be next? Moscow?   Will we soon forget the days when bishops were real bishops and not just flunkeys of a Metropolitan?    That would be time to start looking for the genuine Orthodox Church.


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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 07:19:13 PM »

I may be reading it wrong but it seems the OCA is moving in the other direction.
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2009, 07:35:29 PM »

I can't help but feel that this decision is actually being misread and may be a poor translation.

I'll try to get a copy of the Arabic.  When the autonomy was being worked out, I remember the lawyers in America arguing over the English wording on a certain phrase, which both came out the same in the Arabic.
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2009, 07:46:42 PM »

I can't help but feel that this decision is actually being misread and may be a poor translation.

I'll try to get a copy of the Arabic.  When the autonomy was being worked out, I remember the lawyers in America arguing over the English wording on a certain phrase, which both came out the same in the Arabic.

I just hope it ends up being much ado about nothing and that all of the speculation here is moot.  But it if "our fears" are realized (even though Frs. Ambrose and Anastasios incline that we should all be concerned, I use quotes since most of us are not in the AOA), then let the "bashing"/speculation commence and hopefully this will be rescinded.
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2009, 07:47:36 PM »

I can't help but feel that this decision is actually being misread and may be a poor translation.

I'll try to get a copy of the Arabic. 

The original Arabic is on this page.  Click the .pdf link on the right.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/18867


Metropolotan Philip comments that he was the person who made the English translation.
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 07:55:55 PM »

It looks like so much for the "autonomous" archdiocese. Outside of the change of titles for the bishops, it looks like very little else has changed. Roll Eyes

Dear Friar,

The reduction of all Antiochian bishops to merely auxiliary bishops has some very real canonical consequences in stripping them of what are a bishop's normal and canonical rights and authority.  In effect they become flunkeys of the Patriarch or one of the 10 Metropolitans.
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 08:19:39 PM »

On the surface, this does look like, for lack of a better word, a "power grab" by Met. PHILIP.  I know that some of the bishops in the Antiochian dioceses have actively disagreed with him particularly on some praxis issues.  Could this just be  a way to silence the bishops?  I would hate if it would come to that and I hope I am wrong.
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 08:22:33 PM »

I just hope it ends up being much ado about nothing and that all of the speculation here is moot.  But it if "our fears" are realized (even though Frs. Ambrose and Anastasios incline that we should all be concerned, I use quotes since most of us are not in the AOA), then let the "bashing"/speculation commence and hopefully this will be rescinded.
Yeah. I'm sure a bashing/speculation on OCnet is going to make all the difference. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2009, 08:29:14 PM »

On the surface, this does look like, for lack of a better word, a "power grab" by Met. PHILIP.  I know that some of the bishops in the Antiochian dioceses have actively disagreed with him particularly on some praxis issues.  Could this just be  a way to silence the bishops?  I would hate if it would come to that and I hope I am wrong.

How many regular garden-variety Antiochian bishops exist outside of America?   Isn't there Bp John (Yazigi) in Western Europe?  Any others effected by this decision?
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2009, 09:13:23 PM »

You know, if you start putting "one and one" together I think this may be an "attack" on some of the more independent Antiochian Bishops in NA. Met. PHILIP has made a big deal of "unity" in the archdiocese and has underlined "all bishops" in the preface to this statement. I really don't know what he is worried about. Is it the good work that Bishop JOSEPH is doing? Is it the relatively minor additions to current Antiochian services and praxis (additions that meet the minimum requirements of a growing majority of clergy) that some Bishops encourage or recommend that he is concerned about? To me, these "threats" are rather minor and insignificant. Is he upset that Bishops are making independent decisions? This can be rather scary?  Who originated these changes - Did it come from Met PHILIP or others? Does anyone on this list have an incite into the arabic ecclesiastical mindset? What about PHILIP's mind?

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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2009, 09:35:29 PM »

This is really significant.  Which bishop(s) is doing what, contrary to the wishes of "the first among them?"  Procedural rules changes, I don't think, can't supersede canons once a ruling bishop is ordained and installed.  A step backwards for the progressive, AOCANA.
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« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2009, 11:44:05 PM »

You know what I just noticed about the original post?  Met. Philip's signature is not on there (or at least his name doesn't appear...)...? 
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2009, 12:24:41 AM »

You know what I just noticed about the original post?  Met. Philip's signature is not on there (or at least his name doesn't appear...)...? 

Maybe, hopefully, that this "news" isn't effective then for the AOA (i.e. America).
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2009, 12:30:53 AM »

Is it the relatively minor additions to current Antiochian services and praxis (additions that meet the minimum requirements of a growing majority of clergy) that some Bishops encourage or recommend that he is concerned about?

Such as what?
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2009, 01:35:29 AM »

You know what I just noticed about the original post?  Met. Philip's signature is not on there (or at least his name doesn't appear...)...? 

Yes, his signature is there. 
See http://www.antiochian.org:80/node/18867

He also says that he did the English translation

PS. Just realised you are probably talking about the Regulations issued from Damascus.  No, his signature is not there.  He cannot have been in Damascus for the meeting.
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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2009, 10:50:39 AM »

I guess I was confused because Irish Hermit wrote this:
Quote
Only the Patriarch and the Church's 10 Metropolitans at home and abroad (just Met. Philip in fact) have the right to vote. 

but Met. Phillip's name wasn't on the ORIGINAL thing (up at the top).  Also, I was confused about Fr. Anastaseos' comments.  Thanks for the link though, definitely cleared up the confussion...sort of...

I mean, how can they vote on something like this without all of their bishops.  what about consultation with the auxiliary's?  Seems really out of place...


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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2009, 11:46:09 PM »

How does this new directive fit in with the decree in Apost. Canon 34 which states that the "first among the bishops" is to do nothing without the consent of all his fellow bishops?  Is it possible that the Antiochian Metropolitan's  could have a valid argument in defense of this new directive by proving (complete with so many examples) that nobody follows this canon anymore? 

I can hear it already. "If not honoring Apost. Canon 34 invalidates our authority then the Orthodox Church would have ceased to have had any authority centuries ago."
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« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2009, 12:29:07 AM »

I was told by someone in the clergy that no one knows where this came from, that Met. Philip however was not the source of it, that Met. Philip says it doesn't mean  anything, but some bishops say it must mean something.

I haven't been able to down load the Arabic, so I can't comment from that angle.
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« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2009, 12:56:42 AM »

Got it now.  Only slightly more clear in the Arabic, in particular only so, because of a difference from Met. Philip's translation and mine.

In 77, the "spirtual authority" is actually the same word he translates as "point of reference" (marji', an authority one turns to or appeals to).  When he translates "Metropolitan" in 78, it actually says "that 'marji'" "who entrusts the bishop with his [the bishop's] place of service and his [the bishop's] services/full mandatory powers (legal term: power of attorney), he [the bishop] doing all which does not contradict the will of that 'marji'"
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2009, 01:03:47 AM »

This particular announcement was to be read from the pulpit at all Antiochian churches in America this past Sunday.  It has already caused quite a stir within the ranks of the bishops, priests and laity.

In fact, Bishop BASIL of the Antioch Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America has convened an emergency meeting of the Council of Presbyters for his diocese.  My priest will be there.  This will happen in two weeks to discuss the ramifications of this decision by the See of Antioch and address a series of questions to Englewood for clarifications as to what this decision can mean.

There is talk (just rumour mind you) that this particular decision will be used to possible depose a bishop.  Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest could possibly be removed because he has drawn the ire of particularly "old-guard" Arab priests, mainly in the Detroit area.  These particular priests seem to have Met. PHILIP's ear. It could also be that this decision may be used to perhaps force other bishops, such as Bishops BASIL and THOMAS into early retirement.  Why?  Because they are the more contemplative, traditional bishops which can and does contrast with Met. PHILIP's vision for Orthodoxy in America.

The other thing to consider is just how far backwards this will be.  It was only in 2003 that the Antiochian Archdiocese created these dioceses for bishops because it was believed, rightly, that Met. PHILIP simply couldn't handle all the problems of parishes throughout North America.  The creation of the dioceses was to lighten his load, which, at his age isn't a bad thing.

Who knows what will happen?
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2009, 02:24:16 AM »

''Smells" like a schism..... Sad. It will be? It is a possibility that the bishops make a schism?
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2009, 02:42:48 AM »

This particular announcement was to be read from the pulpit at all Antiochian churches in America this past Sunday.  It has already caused quite a stir within the ranks of the bishops, priests and laity.

My Priest certainly didn't mention it...  Huh
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2009, 03:37:35 AM »

This particular announcement was to be read from the pulpit at all Antiochian churches in America this past Sunday.  It has already caused quite a stir within the ranks of the bishops, priests and laity.

My Priest certainly didn't mention it...  Huh

Already an act of disobedience since the Metropolitan ordered it to be read in all churches and published in church bulletins.   police

http://www.antiochian.org/sites/antiochian.org/files/2-26-09%20re%20Decision%20of%20The%20Holy%20Synod%20of%20Antioch.pdf

But maybe your priest was so doubtful about the announcement that he doubted the truth of it and decided to wait and ascertain if it were genuine.
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2009, 10:37:52 AM »

The action seems rather "Papal" for lack of a better term.  It certainly doesn't seem like it will be a good thing for the AOA.  To me it just reinforces the reality that jurisdictional unity is not only not likely, it is becoming less likely as time goes on.

Quote
It could also be that this decision may be used to perhaps force other bishops, such as Bishops BASIL and THOMAS into early retirement.  Why?  Because they are the more contemplative, traditional bishops

That is not at all the impression I have of Bishop Thomas.
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2009, 01:34:47 PM »

I think he is referring to  by comparison of the other Antiochian bishops in the US.

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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2009, 02:57:19 PM »

I think he is referring to  by comparison of the other Antiochian bishops in the US.

Thomas

I was.  Bishops BASIL, MARK and THOMAS seem to be cut from the more traditional paradigm of a bishop.  They are all very contemplative men.  ALthough only Bishop BASIL is a tonsured monk and spends time in Essex every year at the monastery there, all three of these men, by comparisons to the other Antiochian bishops, exemplify the more prayerful side of Orthodoxy than the administrative, outreach, etc. dimensions.

Whatever happens with all of this, Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2009, 05:30:17 PM »

I actually did understand what scamandrius was saying.  I can only say that from my in person experiences, that was not my impression of the bishop I mentioned.

What is the status now of the dioceses?  I assume a diocese cannot be led by an auxiliary, and the directive says to no longer commemorate them unless they're there in person.
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2009, 05:40:35 PM »

I actually did understand what scamandrius was saying.  I can only say that from my in person experiences, that was not my impression of the bishop I mentioned.

What is the status now of the dioceses?  I assume a diocese cannot be led by an auxiliary, and the directive says to no longer commemorate them unless they're there in person.

Well, I think your impression is wrong, but you're welcome to your opinion, AMM.

As far as your second question, this means that the diocese structure within the Archdiocese would be abolished.  Prior to the establishment of the dioceses 6 years ago, there were regions lead by an auxiliar bishop.  Bishop BASIL, for instance, was in control of the southwest region.   The idea behind this decision is that the integrity of the archdiocese is being threatened with the dioceses and that Met. PHILIP's will is not the universal standard.  And this has rubbed several bishops the wrong way.  Met. PHILIP for instance has more or less insisted that priests wear Latin clerical vestments rather than the cassock.  In fact, I have rarely seen Met. PHILIP ever in a cassock; he is always wearing Anglican-like vestments.  He wants direct control of seminarians and where they should be assigned, thus ignoring the requests of the diocesan bishops who sent them to become priests in the first place.  Met. PHILIP has never and will never give a blessing for the building of a monastery, which I know for a fact Bishop BASIL really wants to do here in the midwest since we so sorely lack any.  There is a great number of other examples I could point to as well.

Again, we don't know how this will be implemented.  For the average layperson, there will probably be little to no direct effect, but on the clergy, this potentially could have dire consequences.  Many of the clergy are talking and they don't like it.
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2009, 06:39:14 PM »

What is the status now of the dioceses?  I assume a diocese cannot be led by an auxiliary, and the directive says to no longer commemorate them unless they're there in person.

Dear AMM,

I have not seen that directive about non-commemoration. Would you be able to post it here, or post a link to it. 

Many thanks.
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« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2009, 06:47:16 PM »

Well, I think your impression is wrong, but you're welcome to your opinion, AMM.

Which it may be, but it is my impression based on my personal experiences.

Irish Hermit, what I'm referencing is posted on the AOA site.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/18883
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« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2009, 07:18:42 PM »

[Irish Hermit, what I'm referencing is posted on the AOA site.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/18883

Thanks.


http://www.antiochian.org/node/18883

Archpastoral Directive + March 3, 2009

Metropolitan PHILIP writes:

To all clergy of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North
America:

We greet you in the spirit of this Great Lent.

Some of our clergy have inquired about hierarchical commemorations in the
divine services. In order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, we
would like to direct your attention to the following:

On February 24th, 2009 the Holy Synod of Antioch amended Chapter VI of the
by-laws of the Patriarchate, which now reads:

Article 76
The Metropolitan is the point of reference of all bishops in his Archdiocese
and they are under his authority.

Article 77
All bishops within the Antiochian See are auxiliary bishops and are directly
under their spiritual authority.

Article 78
The Metropolitan defines the responsibilities of the bishops and the place
where they should serve. The bishop does not do anything contrary to the
will of the Metropolitan.

Therefore, in accordance with the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch, the
following is the proper order for the commemoration of hierarchs in the
divine services:

The clergy should commemorate the Metropolitan in all divine services.

The clergy should commemorate the auxiliary bishop when he is present at the
divine service.

It is expected that all clergy will strictly adhere to this directive. May
the journey to the Empty Tomb bring you all the joy of the Glorious
Resurrection.

Your father in Christ,

(Signature of Metropolitan Philip)

-oOO-


Note: This order of non-commemoration, although relayed through +Philip, is issued by the Synod at Damascus and concerns not just America but ALL Antiochian bishops around the globe.  If a bishop is not listed as either the Patriarch or one of the 10 Metropolitans on the Holy Synod he is not to be commemorated.  I wionder how this will effect my local Antiochian priest friends since Archbishop Paul is not listed among the 10 Metropolitans?  Will they now commemorate only the Patriarch himself?
 

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« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2009, 07:25:13 PM »

I do not think this directive affects the diocesan structure; one can have a diocese with an auxiliary bishop in it, a diocese with a ruling bishop in it, a diocese with a metropolitan in it, or a diocese with an archbishop in it; the "rank" of the hierarch has not always coincided with the "rank" of the diocese he serves in (example: hierarchs of the GOA were made Metropolitans while presiding over Diocese, before they were made Metropolises).
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« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2009, 07:30:09 PM »

I do not think this directive affects the diocesan structure; one can have a diocese with an auxiliary bishop in it, a diocese with a ruling bishop in it, a diocese with a metropolitan in it, or a diocese with an archbishop in it; the "rank" of the hierarch has not always coincided with the "rank" of the diocese he serves in (example: hierarchs of the GOA were made Metropolitans while presiding over Diocese, before they were made Metropolises).

So what did they really mean (for the GOA) for a "Metropolis" vs a "Diocese" (as in effects)?
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« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2009, 07:44:54 PM »

So, if we are to read Archpastoral Directive + March 3, 2009, correctly, the local Antiochian priest will  not longer commemorate "our Father and Metropolitan PHILIP, our Bishop _____" instead he will go back to the "old way" of just commemorating the Metropolitan and not the Bishop?

This is really, really  backwards and I hope the Antiochian priests and clergy speak up!!!

Basilcan
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« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2009, 07:46:29 PM »

So what did they really mean (for the GOA) for a "Metropolis" vs a "Diocese" (as in effects)?

Being a Metropolitan (or an Archbishop) allows one to have a suffragan/Auxiliary bishop, which a few were pushing for (so far Chicago has one); the elevation from Diocese to Metropolises (a) opened up the possibility for further subdivision, (b) set up the Metropolises for further additions (think merging jurisdictions), and (c) ended the silly "Metropolitan of (insert Asian See here) and Presiding Hierarch of (insert American Diocese here)."
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« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2009, 07:51:13 PM »

So what did they really mean (for the GOA) for a "Metropolis" vs a "Diocese" (as in effects)?

Being a Metropolitan (or an Archbishop) allows one to have a suffragan/Auxiliary bishop, which a few were pushing for (so far Chicago has one); the elevation from Diocese to Metropolises (a) opened up the possibility for further subdivision, (b) set up the Metropolises for further additions (think merging jurisdictions), and (c) ended the silly "Metropolitan of (insert Asian See here) and Presiding Hierarch of (insert American Diocese here)."

So, would you say for the OCA Diocese of the West, it wasn't canonically correct for the then +TIKHON to have +BENJAMIN as his Auxiliary since +TIKHON was only a Diocesan bishop and not an Abp/Met? (since this was the case.  +NATHANIEL in Detroit has an Auxiliary, but he is an Abp.)
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« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2009, 07:55:21 PM »

Being a Metropolitan (or an Archbishop) allows one to have a suffragan/Auxiliary bishop, which a few were pushing for (so far Chicago has one); the elevation from Diocese to Metropolises (a) opened up the possibility for further subdivision, (b) set up the Metropolises for further additions (think merging jurisdictions), and (c) ended the silly "Metropolitan of (insert Asian See here) and Presiding Hierarch of (insert American Diocese here)."

So, would you say for the OCA Diocese of the West, it wasn't canonically correct for the then +TIKHON to have +BENJAMIN as his Auxiliary since +TIKHON was only a Diocesan bishop and not an Abp/Met? (since this was the case.  +NATHANIEL in Detroit has an Auxiliary, but he is an Abp.)

I wouldn't say it was canonically incorrect necessarily; just irregular by the Greek understanding of title and relationship of and administration of bishops.  Of course, in the Greek understanding the president of the Synod would be an Archbishop (like Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Albania, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria), not a Metropolitan (like the OCA and Moscow).
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« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2009, 07:57:08 PM »

Brethren:

I understand this issue is causing alot of heartache and questions, especially among the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  I know we're all trying to explore the issue, but as we do so, please remember that all of this talk should come second; we simply need to pray for the church and its hierarchs:

Lord... remember Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which Thou hast provided through Thy Precious Blood. Confirm, strengthen, extend, and increase her, and keep her in peace, and for ever proof against the power of hell. Calm the dissensions of the Churches, and foil the plans of the powers of darkness, dispel the prejudice of the nations, and quickly ruin and root out the risings of heresy, and frustrate them by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Save, O Lord, and have mercy on Orthodox Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops and Bishops, the Priests and Deacons, and all who serve in the Church, and whom Thou hast ordained to feed Thy spiritual flock; and by their prayers, have mercy on me, a sinner.
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