Author Topic: Autocephalous Churches  (Read 5966 times)

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Offline Troldhaugen

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Autocephalous Churches
« on: December 10, 2006, 07:23:56 PM »
When are Autocephalous Churches recognised, if at all? Why do new branches open in countries and is this is a regular occurence? How do Orthodox Christians see new Autocephalous Churches?
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 08:11:34 PM »
When are Autocephalous Churches recognised, if at all?

Depends on who you ask.  Those who claim that the Church is a democracy, and those who belong to Churches which became "autocephalous" after the period of the Ecumenical Councils, will claim that the Churches became Autocephalous when they declared themselves as such.  The Ancient Patriarchates will claim that it is when Constantinople, in conjunction with the others, does it.

Why do new branches open in countries and is this is a regular occurence?

*Sigh* My honest belief?  Nationalism.  It is a regular occurence only in the last few hundred years - in "days of old" the Patriarchates would frequently cross national boundaries (or, conversly, be contained within the same national boundaries). 

How do Orthodox Christians see new Autocephalous Churches?

Depends.  In this country, for example, the OCA is seen as Autocephalous, even though only 2 or 3 of the 13 or 14 Autocephalous churches recognize them as such (to the other 10 or so CHurches, including the Ancient Patriarchates, they are seen as a diocese of the Patriarchate of Moscow).  Regardless, we're still in Communion with them, so that's a plus.

The whole "Autocephalous" thing is complex, enflames people.... That's why it's so hard to get answers that are a) straightforward and b) easy.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 02:34:29 PM »
The one thing I would like to say about this is that Autocephalus churches are usually created in council.  Russia was made an autocephalus church by Constantinople, but it was in council with all of the other Patriarchates and they agreed.  That's how all of them have been done. 

The OCA is an exception.  It was just created, seemingly out of nowhere.  So as Cleveland said...its complicated. 
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 03:19:38 PM »
I thought the Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian Churches were granted Autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate (after periods of turmoil during Ottoman times).
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Offline Troldhaugen

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 05:03:31 PM »
Thankyou for your replies! How do new monasteries come about then? Do they just claim themselves as a monastery that follows a particular branch of Orthodoxy or is it more complicated than that?
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 05:09:41 PM »
All monasteries must be founded with the blessing of the hierarch of the area. See the canons of Chalcedon and Protodeutero.
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Offline Troldhaugen

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2006, 05:10:58 PM »
Many Thanks!
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Offline serb1389

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2006, 07:35:53 PM »
I thought the Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian Churches were granted Autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate (after periods of turmoil during Ottoman times).

They were, but it was definately in council.  Also, you can bring the semantics in and say that it was not a Patriarch who granted the Autocephaly but the Synod of Constantinople.  (Therefore it was done in Council) but there are still issues. 

With the OCA, the MP just did it seemingly out of nowhere without consulting any of the other churches (mainly b/c they couldn't).  When the other churches were formed there was not pressure, so due process was followed. 

That has been my understanding. 

In terms of Monasticism, usually if a community wants to start cenobitic life, or monastic rule, they have to ask the local bishop, and they have to have the blessing of the bishop to be a monastery, call themselves a monastery, etc. 
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 03:34:19 AM »
Depends on who you ask.  Those who claim that the Church is a democracy, and those who belong to Churches which became "autocephalous" after the period of the Ecumenical Councils, will claim that the Churches became Autocephalous when they declared themselves as such.  The Ancient Patriarchates will claim that it is when Constantinople, in conjunction with the others, does it.

I don't think this is necessarily the case at all. I belong to a church that was granted autocephaly, by Constantinople, in the 19th century (though it had basically been autonomous for much longer) and I've yet to hear anyone argue that we became autocephalous when we declared ourselves as such. I would say that by far the most common argument you will hear is that autocephaly must be granted by the mother church. In the majority of cases (almost all I'd say) this would, of course, be Constantinople. The only exception I'm aware of would be the OCA as its mother church is Moscow. Personally, I would favour the claim that the OCA is autocephalous because to say autocephaly must come from Constantinople alone, regardless of who founded the church sounds dangerously papist to me. I would agree that Moscow probably ought to have consulted with other patriarchates first but I certainly do not agree that the final decision should rest withthe EP. In fact, it always worries me when I hear such arguments because it seems as though a section of us are heading, at the beginning of this millennium, in the direction Rome did at the beginning of the last.

James
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 04:03:16 AM »
The first Council of Nicaea decided that the Church of India is under the Syrian Patriarch of Antioch. In the 20th century, a schism occurred among Indian Orthodox Christians between those who remained loyal to the Antiochian Patriarch, and those who favored having autocephalous status. I belong to the latter group.

Do I support my church's decision on church authority? At this point, I really don't know. Though we share the same faith as the (loyalist) Syriac Orthodox Christians in India, we've given them a raw deal by leaving the issue to the secular courts rather than settling it man to man as fellow Christians.

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« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 04:05:28 AM by Matthew777 »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 07:04:59 AM »
I don't think this is necessarily the case at all. I belong to a church that was granted autocephaly, by Constantinople, in the 19th century (though it had basically been autonomous for much longer) and I've yet to hear anyone argue that we became autocephalous when we declared ourselves as such. I would say that by far the most common argument you will hear is that autocephaly must be granted by the mother church. In the majority of cases (almost all I'd say) this would, of course, be Constantinople. The only exception I'm aware of would be the OCA as its mother church is Moscow. Personally, I would favour the claim that the OCA is autocephalous because to say autocephaly must come from Constantinople alone, regardless of who founded the church sounds dangerously papist to me. I would agree that Moscow probably ought to have consulted with other patriarchates first but I certainly do not agree that the final decision should rest withthe EP. In fact, it always worries me when I hear such arguments because it seems as though a section of us are heading, at the beginning of this millennium, in the direction Rome did at the beginning of the last.

James

While I suppose your fears may have grounding, one major difference between the Papal-type situation and our own lies in the source of authority here... Something that isn't emphasized enough because we get lazy and refer only to the President is that decisions regarding the Autocephaly  of these various Churches have come from the Patriarchal Synod, not the Patriarch.  Part of the ecclesiology that we hold so dear in comparison to our Latin brethren is the fact that the EP (single person) has no jurisdiction over another bishop outside of the Archdiocese of Constantinople.  It is the Synod of Constantinople that holds such authority - the seat of appeal when one has a dispute with their bishop, the body to decide on the Autocephaly of the "daughter" churches, etc.  The EP is the president of this synod, but he only holds one vote (despite the amount of "sway" he may hold at any particular point).  The real power of the man, the individual EP is the ability to call the synod to session and to set the agenda, to break ties and settle disputes on the synod.

So while it seems like a lot is attributed as being within the EP's power, and/or in his power alone, 99% of it is really in the hands of his synod, and the decision is voted on by their collective (not ruled on by his lonesome).
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 07:23:29 AM »
While I suppose your fears may have grounding, one major difference between the Papal-type situation and our own lies in the source of authority here... Something that isn't emphasized enough because we get lazy and refer only to the President is that decisions regarding the Autocephaly  of these various Churches have come from the Patriarchal Synod, not the Patriarch.  Part of the ecclesiology that we hold so dear in comparison to our Latin brethren is the fact that the EP (single person) has no jurisdiction over another bishop outside of the Archdiocese of Constantinople.  It is the Synod of Constantinople that holds such authority - the seat of appeal when one has a dispute with their bishop, the body to decide on the Autocephaly of the "daughter" churches, etc.  The EP is the president of this synod, but he only holds one vote (despite the amount of "sway" he may hold at any particular point).  The real power of the man, the individual EP is the ability to call the synod to session and to set the agenda, to break ties and settle disputes on the synod.

So while it seems like a lot is attributed as being within the EP's power, and/or in his power alone, 99% of it is really in the hands of his synod, and the decision is voted on by their collective (not ruled on by his lonesome).

But just as I recognise all bishops as equal with authority only over their own See it means, surely, that I cannot consider the Holy Synod of any one See to have any jurisdiction over the Holy Synod of another. In other words, whilst I see the primacy of honour in Constantinople (and the rights that go with that) I cannot see that the Holy Synod of Constantinople has any jurisdiction over the Holy Synod of Romania. A Pan-Orthodox or Ecumenical Synod does, and the EP would have the right to preside over such, but that's it. What you suggest is marginally less objectionable than the RC position, but are you really willing to suggest that in any eventual reconcilliation, Rome's Holy Synod would have authority over Constantinople's or Romania's in their own Sees? I'm sure that most Orthodox would view such a position as untenable. To be honest these sorts of views (particularly when taken to GiC's extreme) make me wonder why there's an Schism in the first place. Shouldn't we all just have bent the knee to Rome and joined them in their heresy?

James
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 08:07:52 AM »
But just as I recognise all bishops as equal with authority only over their own See it means, surely, that I cannot consider the Holy Synod of any one See to have any jurisdiction over the Holy Synod of another. In other words, whilst I see the primacy of honour in Constantinople (and the rights that go with that) I cannot see that the Holy Synod of Constantinople has any jurisdiction over the Holy Synod of Romania. A Pan-Orthodox or Ecumenical Synod does, and the EP would have the right to preside over such, but that's it. What you suggest is marginally less objectionable than the RC position, but are you really willing to suggest that in any eventual reconcilliation, Rome's Holy Synod would have authority over Constantinople's or Romania's in their own Sees? I'm sure that most Orthodox would view such a position as untenable. To be honest these sorts of views (particularly when taken to GiC's extreme) make me wonder why there's an Schism in the first place. Shouldn't we all just have bent the knee to Rome and joined them in their heresy?

James

I don't remember saying that they would have authority over another Church... They are the seat of appeal, so if someone has a problem with the Patriarch of Romania and they don't like the answer from the Romanian synod (or if the Patriarch of Romania doesn't like the synod's answer) then the appeal goes to Constantinople (thanks to the Ecumenical Synods), and the decision of the synod of Constantinople is binding until an Ecumenical Synod (or later Synod of Constantinople) overturns it.

But it's not like the Synod of Constantinople can tell Romania, say, who to assign where, or which Romanian translation of the Creed to use.  the Issue of the creation of other "Autocephalous" Churches, however, is not just an issue between "parent" and "child" - i.e. Russia and the Metropolia.  Instead, it is a decision that affects the whole Church - which is why Constantinople, in consultation and agreement with the others, must be consulted and give permission.

Essentially, When the OCA was declared "Autocephalous" by Moscow, it needed to be added to the diptychs of the Other CHurches to be in communion as an autocephalous Church.... The others decided not to, but didn't formally break communion, instead opting to call it what it used to be - a diocese of the Patriarchate of Moscow.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2006, 08:26:59 AM »
OK. Sorry. I appear to have misunderstood what you were trying to say. I did say that I thought Moscow should have consulted the other Patriarchates, but I also think that ultimately the decision should rest with the mother church and not Constantinople. In other words, unless there's some very good reason not to (and in the case of the OCA I don't believe there was) I think that other Patriarchates ought to accept the decision of a mother church with regard to its dioceses. And I don't think that Constantinople has any more say in such a decision than any other Patriarchate, ancient or otherwise.

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2006, 08:50:36 AM »
OK. Sorry. I appear to have misunderstood what you were trying to say. I did say that I thought Moscow should have consulted the other Patriarchates, but I also think that ultimately the decision should rest with the mother church and not Constantinople. In other words, unless there's some very good reason not to (and in the case of the OCA I don't believe there was) I think that other Patriarchates ought to accept the decision of a mother church with regard to its dioceses. And I don't think that Constantinople has any more say in such a decision than any other Patriarchate, ancient or otherwise.

James

I think whether or not the should trust a Patriarchate when it comes to one of its diocese becoming autocephalous is moot; they do reserve the right to disagree for any number of reasons, and they can show it by not including the "new" autocephalous church in their diptychs.  I mean essentially this is the permission that each of the CHurches has to give to the declaration of Autocephaly.  For whatever reason, the vast majority of the Orthodox world has not given this assent to the OCA, and so to "world Orthodoxy" (whatever that means) they are not autocephalous.  I'm just happy that they are in communion period - at least that leaves building blocks for the future.
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Offline AMM

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2006, 09:01:32 AM »
Quote
In other words, unless there's some very good reason not to (and in the case of the OCA I don't believe there was)

I have been told that a fair amount of arm twisting and political pressure was put on the MP by the Metropolia in order to get the tomos.  I'm inclined to believe that's true given what the MP has done since that time in the United States.

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2006, 12:00:26 PM »
I have been told that a fair amount of arm twisting and political pressure was put on the MP by the Metropolia in order to get the tomos.

Mmmmmm. I don't think so. The Metropolia -- honestly -- was politically insignificant. The Russian Church and Russian State wouldn't have bowed to demands from such a small group. In fact, the Metropolia had tried to get the EP to accept them in some way, since they (the Metropolia) were actually a schismatic church, but the EP did not want to create too much of a controversy with Moscow. Then along came Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad, who was really the key player in working out the Tomos over a series of meetings in the 1960s (many of which took place during, before or after various WCC/ecumenical events...Met. Nikodim was the Patriarchal representative at such things and, as such, was obviously charged with advancing Russian/Soviet prestige on an international level).

I'm inclined to believe that's true given what the MP has done since that time in the United States.

That was all part of the Tomos. Just read the document itself: http://www.oca.org/DOCtomos.asp?SID=12 It's perhaps the most astounding canonical document of all time. It lets the Russian Patriarchate claim the right to unilaterally grant autocephaly as a "Mother Church" -- thereby increasing its prestige -- while also maintaining direct control and hierarchal jurisdiction over many parishes and areas in the very area it has supposedly ceded to another "autocephalous" Church (including the all-important Cathedral in New York!).

That's why the Synod of Jerusalem, in a letter to the EP on May 17, 1971, called the Metropolia's autocephaly "more of a commercial agreement, contrary to any kind of ecclesiastical order." Or, as Metropolitan Philaret of ROCOR put it in Orthodox Life (Sept./Oct., 1970, p. 5):

Quote
We also see that the new Church, which calls itself "autocephalous," does not possess even the principal characteristic of an autocephalous church – a territory of its own which is recognized as undisputed and subordinated to its jurisdiction. And how can the Metropolia possess this when the very church that granted it autocephaly did not, in spite of your hopes, abolish its own organization in America, but on the contrary retained in the same territory a great number of parishes headed by their own bishop and did not even oblige these parishes to commemorate the hierarchy of the new, supposedly "autocephalous" Church?

Sigh. It was a crazy time. Now that ROCOR and the MP are healing their rift, I wonder if anything will change in the Metropolia.
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Offline Troldhaugen

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2006, 12:44:44 PM »
Thankyou for all your replies. So, what would happen in this situation;

A group in Kenya declare themselves an Autocephalous Orthodox Church. They elected a Metropolitan and build a church. People go there and worship. Births, marriages, deaths are catered for. Services regularly held.

Is this a legitimate church or does it need the ok of Constantinople or Russia?
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Offline AMM

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2006, 12:49:30 PM »
Mmmmmm. I don't think so. The Metropolia -- honestly -- was politically insignificant. The Russian Church and Russian State wouldn't have bowed to demands from such a small group.

This was just something I heard from somebody in the MP.  I didn't ask what they really meant.

Quote
That was all part of the Tomos. Just read the document itself: http://www.oca.org/DOCtomos.asp?SID=12 It's perhaps the most astounding canonical document of all time. It lets the Russian Patriarchate claim the right to unilaterally grant autocephaly as a "Mother Church" -- thereby increasing its prestige -- while also maintaining direct control and hierarchal jurisdiction over many parishes and areas in the very area it has supposedly ceded to another "autocephalous" Church (including the all-important Cathedral in New York!).

Yes, that situation has never made sense to me.

Quote
I wonder if anything will change in the Metropolia.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10072.msg137067.html#msg137067

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2006, 02:28:58 PM »
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10072.msg137067.html#msg137067

Yeah. Interesting thread. I think you were absolutely correct -- except no one in the OCA seems to actually care about the recognition or actions of other Churches. Moscow can continue to make a mockery of the Tomos, as long as Moscow continues to say the autocephaly is valid.

Of course, in the beginning, the excuse for this strange agreement was that the autocephaly would produce a "meaningful storm," and thereby catalyze a truly autocephalous Church in America, which included all Orthodox, instead of just a minority. To that end, many of the Metropolia's great minds put pen to paper and came up with a very comprehensive argument for why they should start such a storm. They cherry-picked bits from Church history, theology, canon law, and then they presented their argument to the public. Of course, since this argument had been constructed from the very beginning to justify a certain action, it was not entirely accurate on any front, but it convinced enough people to sign on – especially because the end seemed to justify the means.

Now that the end has not materialized, the argument has not disappeared. In fact, people continue to believe it. Thus, the OCA can afford to ignore the fact that Moscow has increased its presence in the U.S., just as it can ignore the legitimate objections of the ancient Churches, because it knows that none of these things will actually derail its communicants' own perception of what's going on.

That's been the situation since the beginning. Sure, the Patriarchates objected strenuously with words, but as long as no gets excommunicated, every OCA communicant I know is honestly content to repeat the slogans from Bogolepov et al.

Unfortunatley, most of the rebuttals to that whole interpretation of history, theology and canon law were (a) published too late and (b) not nearly as artfully put together as the work from St. Vlad's.

In this case, history is written by the smartest.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 02:29:50 PM by pensateomnia »
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Offline AMM

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2006, 03:14:50 PM »
Yeah. Interesting thread. I think you were absolutely correct -- except no one in the OCA seems to actually care about the recognition or actions of other Churches. Moscow can continue to make a mockery of the Tomos, as long as Moscow continues to say the autocephaly is valid.

I agree, they don't seem to care.  I don't get that either.

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2006, 03:17:33 PM »
Thankyou for all your replies. So, what would happen in this situation;

A group in Kenya declare themselves an Autocephalous Orthodox Church. They elected a Metropolitan and build a church. People go there and worship. Births, marriages, deaths are catered for. Services regularly held.

Is this a legitimate church or does it need the ok of Constantinople or Russia?

First of all I don't think that there has been that kind of grass roots beginings of a church since the first 4 centuries of Christianity.  Back in those days you could just get people together and vote on a bishop, priests, etc.  and then an actual bishop would come and lay their hands on them. 

So here is the real question...which bishop would come in and do the consecration of the grass-roots elected people?  Personally I think it should be Constantinople, cuz of the canon for the "barbarians" however, knowing how many churches operate now in the world, it could really be ANYONE.  They could just ask a random bishop and he would probobly do it (unless he had discernment and decided on something else). 

That's my take on it...
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2006, 03:32:56 AM »
First of all I don't think that there has been that kind of grass roots beginings of a church since the first 4 centuries of Christianity.  Back in those days you could just get people together and vote on a bishop, priests, etc.  and then an actual bishop would come and lay their hands on them. 

So here is the real question...which bishop would come in and do the consecration of the grass-roots elected people?  Personally I think it should be Constantinople, cuz of the canon for the "barbarians" however, knowing how many churches operate now in the world, it could really be ANYONE.  They could just ask a random bishop and he would probobly do it (unless he had discernment and decided on something else). 

That's my take on it...

Surely, if the Church were in Kenya it should be the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa? I never will understand how people like GiC read that canon to mean 'all barbarians everywhere' because it actually seems to have very specific geographical limitations and Africa certainly is not within them.

James
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2006, 05:30:45 AM »
Surely, if the Church were in Kenya it should be the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa? I never will understand how people like GiC read that canon to mean 'all barbarians everywhere' because it actually seems to have very specific geographical limitations and Africa certainly is not within them.
Canon 28 does not mean "all barbarians everywhere", and I don't think anyone has claimed that to be the case.. The juristictions of the Patriarchates are geographical, not cultural. Canon 28 says "barbarian lands", not simply "barbarians". Africa is not within the geographical boundaries of the Oecumenical Patriarchate because the 6th Canon of the First Oecumenical Council places Africa within the Juristiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. Again, it's geographical.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 05:34:15 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2006, 05:59:14 AM »
Canon 28 does not mean "all barbarians everywhere", and I don't think anyone has claimed that to be the case.. The juristictions of the Patriarchates are geographical, not cultural. Canon 28 says "barbarian lands", not simply "barbarians". Africa is not within the geographical boundaries of the Oecumenical Patriarchate because the 6th Canon of the First Oecumenical Council places Africa within the Juristiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. Again, it's geographical.

Thanks for echoing what I thought. I've seen quite a few others (and I'm fairly sure GiC is included in their number) unfortunately make claims to the contrary, usually as part of an attempt to show that all Orthodox in the diaspora should rightfully be under the EP.

James
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 06:01:47 AM by jmbejdl »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2006, 06:15:28 AM »
Thanks for echoing what I thought. I've seen quite a few others (and I'm fairly sure GiC is included in their number) unfortunately make claims to the contrary, usually as part of an attempt to show that all Orthodox in the diaspora should rightfully be under the EP.
I think GiC is referring to the "New" Lands (The Americas, The Asia-Pacific, Australia, Antarctica etc), and I actually agree with him, in that I believe that they are the Jurisdiction of the Oecumenical Patriarchate, and that the Orthodox in them should (canonically) be subject to the Oecumenical Patriarchate. The reality is that they aren't, which is why the jurisdictional nightmare that is the Church in the USA and Australia exists.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2006, 06:56:59 AM »
I think GiC is referring to the "New" Lands (The Americas, The Asia-Pacific, Australia, Antarctica etc), and I actually agree with him, in that I believe that they are the Jurisdiction of the Oecumenical Patriarchate, and that the Orthodox in them should (canonically) be subject to the Oecumenical Patriarchate. The reality is that they aren't, which is why the jurisdictional nightmare that is the Church in the USA and Australia exists.

I see no mention of the 'New Lands' in this canon, not even as a hint along the lines of 'any barbarian lands discovered in future' and I fail to se how anyone reads such into it:

Quote
Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her; so that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him.

The part I have emboldened seems pretty geographically specific to me, so how do you come to the conclusion that canonically the New Lands should be under the EP? Now, I agree to the idea in principle as I think it would be a very good idea indeed if the Americas and the like came under the EP. I object, however, to the claim that is often made that canon 28 grants this as a right to Constantinople. I don't believe it does. I have also been told in the past that all of us in the diaspora (even those of us in the UK and elsewhere in the historical See of Rome) ought to be under the EP, again based (and again erroneously in my view) on this canon.

I genuinely wish that we had an ancient canon to look to to solve the sorts of jurisdictional wranglings we have in the diaspora (and that includes here in the Old World) but I just as genuinely believe that there is no such canon and that those who claim that canon 28 is such are hindering, rather than helping, unity in the diaspora. All it does is get the backs up of people who simply cannot see how it is even possible to read such a right into the text above.

James
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2006, 07:21:43 AM »
The part I have emboldened seems pretty geographically specific to me, so how do you come to the conclusion that canonically the New Lands should be under the EP?
Read the part you've emboldened again. It lists the following Diocese as being the Juristiction of the Oecumenical Patriarcate to consectrate their metroplitans: Pontos, Thrace, Asia, and then adds that Constantinople should consecrate all the Bishops "as are among the Barbarians". This has been misunderstood by some to mean "the Barbarian Bishops in the diocese of Pontos, Thrace and Asia", but that would be phyletism. Why would the Oecumenical Patriarchate be granted the privelidge of consecrating Metropolitans in Pontos, Thrace, and Asia, and only consecrate Bishops there if they are "Barbarians"?
The Canon means that Constantinople has Jurisdiction over "Pontos, Thrace, Asia and the Barbarians".

I object, however, to the claim that is often made that canon 28 grants this as a right to Constantinople. I don't believe it does.
But in the Pedalion, the ancient Epitome of the 28th Canon says that it does precisely do this. The Epitome says:
"The bishop of New Rome shall enjoy the same honour as the bishop of Old Rome, on account of the removal of the Empire. For this reason the metropolitans of Pontus, of Asia, and of Thrace, as well as the Barbarian bishops shall be ordained by the bishop of Constantinople."

I have also been told in the past that all of us in the diaspora (even those of us in the UK and elsewhere in the historical See of Rome) ought to be under the EP, again based (and again erroneously in my view) on this canon.
No, it is not based on this Canon. The UK and the rest of the See of Old Rome are not among "the barbarians" as was understood by the Canon, and you will note that I didn't include it in my list of "New Lands".
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2006, 08:32:55 AM »
OK, George, could you possibly confirm whether or not the translation of the Greek into English as I have quoted in the previous post is accurate? I don't claim to have more than a vague understanding of Greek (and I really do mean vague) but I've never seen it rendered much differently to what I quoted.

The thing is that what I quoted does not mean, if the translation is accurate, what you read it to mean. It says that the Pontic, Thracian and Asian metropolitans, and any of these diocese's bishops that are amongst the barbarians are to be consecrated by Constantinople. That reads to me as Constantinople being over these dioceses and any barbarian lands in which these dioceses have bishops, presumably misionaries. In other words, I would take it as meaning that Constantinople has jurisdiction over the barbarians Constantinople evangelises, but no others.

Clearly, looking back at history, it did not mean all barbarians in any case, else why did Rome have jurisdiction over peoples (such as the Saxons) evangelised after Chalcedon, and why the dispute between Rome and Constantinople with regards to the Bulgarians? As I said, I'm not against the idea in principle but using canon 28 as a pretext, unless the English translation is faulty, smacks of historical revisionism.

And, by the way, I was told (though not here and certainly not by you) that canon 28 meant that the UK should be under the EP. I wasn't saying it was a good argument or even a common one but there are people that do say such things. I was not making it up.

James
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2006, 05:42:14 PM »
Κανὼν ΚΗ' (Canon 28 of the 4th Ecumenical Synod)

Πανταχοῦ τοῖς τῶν ἁγίων Πατέρων ὅροις ἑπόμενοι, καὶ τὸν ἀρτίως ἀναγνωσθέντα κανόνα τῶν ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλέστατων ἐπισκόπων, τῶν συναχθέντων ἐπὶ τοῦ τῆς εὐσεβοῦς μνήμης Μεγάλου Θεοδοσίου, τοῦ γενομένου βασιλέως ἐν τῇ βασιλίδι Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέᾳ Ῥώμῃ, γνωρίζοντες, τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ ἡμεῖς ὁρίζομέν τε καὶ ψηφιζόμεθα περὶ τῶν πρεσβείων τῆς ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας τῆς αὐτῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμης, καὶ γὰρ τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης, διὰ τὸ βασιλεύειν τὴν πόλιν ἐκείνην, οἱ Πατέρες εἰκότως ἀποδεδώκασι τὰ πρεσβεῖα. Καὶ τῷ αὐτῷ σκοπῶ κινούμενοι οἱ ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλέστατοι ἐπίσκοποι, τὰ ἴσα πρεσβεῖα ἀπένειμαν τῷ τῆς Νέας Ῥώμης ἁγιωτάτω θρόνῳ, εὐλόγως κρίναντες, τὴν βασιλείᾳ καὶ συγκλήτῳ τιμηθεῖσαν πόλιν, καὶ τῶν ἴσων ἀπολαύουσαν πρεσβείων τῇ πρεσβυτέρᾳ βασιλίδι Ῥώμῃ, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐκκλησιαστικοῖς ὡς ἐκείνην μεγαλύνεσθαι πράγμασι, δευτέραν μετ’ ἐκείνην ὑπάρχουσαν. Καὶ ὥστε τοὺς τῆς Ποντικῆς, καὶ τῆς Ἀσιανῆς, καὶ τῆς Θρακικῆς διοικήσεως μητροπολίτας μόνους, ἔτι δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἐν τοῖς βαρβαρικοῖς ἐπισκόπους τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων χειροτονεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ προειρημένου ἁγιωτάτου θρόνου τῆς κατὰ Κωνσταντινούπολιν ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας, δηλαδή ἑκάστου μητροπολίτου τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων μετὰ τῶν τῆς ἐπαρχίας ἐπισκόπων χειροτονοῦντος τοὺς τῆς ἐπαρχίας ἐπισκόπους, καθὼς τοῖς θείοις κανόσι διηγόρευται, χειροτονεῖσθαι δέ, καθὼς εἴρηται, τοὺς μητροπολίτας τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων παρὰ τοῦ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ἀρχιεπισκόπου, ψηφισμάτων συμφώνων κατὰ τὸ ἔθος γινομένων, καὶ ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἀναφερομένων.
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Offline dantxny

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2006, 05:51:06 PM »
Quote
Κανὼν ΚΗ'

Πανταχοῦ τοῖς τῶν ἁγίων Πατέρων ὅροις ἑπόμενοι, καὶ τὸν ἀρτίως ἀναγνωσθέντα κανόνα τῶν ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλέστατων ἐπισκόπων, τῶν συναχθέντων ἐπὶ τοῦ τῆς εὐσεβοῦς μνήμης Μεγάλου Θεοδοσίου, τοῦ γενομένου βασιλέως ἐν τῇ βασιλίδι Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέᾳ Ῥώμῃ, γνωρίζοντες, τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ ἡμεῖς ὁρίζομέν τε καὶ ψηφιζόμεθα περὶ τῶν πρεσβείων τῆς ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας τῆς αὐτῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμης, καὶ γὰρ τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης, διὰ τὸ βασιλεύειν τὴν πόλιν ἐκείνην, οἱ Πατέρες εἰκότως ἀποδεδώκασι τὰ πρεσβεῖα. Καὶ τῷ αὐτῷ σκοπῶ κινούμενοι οἱ ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλέστατοι ἐπίσκοποι, τὰ ἴσα πρεσβεῖα ἀπένειμαν τῷ τῆς Νέας Ῥώμης ἁγιωτάτω θρόνῳ, εὐλόγως κρίναντες, τὴν βασιλείᾳ καὶ συγκλήτῳ τιμηθεῖσαν πόλιν, καὶ τῶν ἴσων ἀπολαύουσαν πρεσβείων τῇ πρεσβυτέρᾳ βασιλίδι Ῥώμῃ, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐκκλησιαστικοῖς ὡς ἐκείνην μεγαλύνεσθαι πράγμασι, δευτέραν μετ’ ἐκείνην ὑπάρχουσαν. Καὶ ὥστε τοὺς τῆς Ποντικῆς, καὶ τῆς Ἀσιανῆς, καὶ τῆς Θρακικῆς διοικήσεως μητροπολίτας μόνους, ἔτι δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἐν τοῖς βαρβαρικοῖς ἐπισκόπους τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων χειροτονεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ προειρημένου ἁγιωτάτου θρόνου τῆς κατὰ Κωνσταντινούπολιν ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας, δηλαδή ἑκάστου μητροπολίτου τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων μετὰ τῶν τῆς ἐπαρχίας ἐπισκόπων χειροτονοῦντος τοὺς τῆς ἐπαρχίας ἐπισκόπους, καθὼς τοῖς θείοις κανόσι διηγόρευται, χειροτονεῖσθαι δέ, καθὼς εἴρηται, τοὺς μητροπολίτας τῶν προειρημένων διοικήσεων παρὰ τοῦ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ἀρχιεπισκόπου, ψηφισμάτων συμφώνων κατὰ τὸ ἔθος γινομένων, καὶ ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἀναφερομένων.

Great  :-\
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2006, 02:52:06 AM »
Thanks Apostolos.

James:
"καὶ τοὺς ἐν τοῖς βαρβαρικοῖς ἐπισκόπους" means transliterates as "and those Bishops in the barbaric ones", and in the context of the sentance, the "ones" are "dioceses", so the phrase means "and those Bishops in the Barbaric Dioceses", that is, those Bishops whose Dioceses are in the Barbaric lands.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2006, 03:20:13 AM »
Thanks Apostolos.

James:
"καὶ τοὺς ἐν τοῖς βαρβαρικοῖς ἐπισκόπους" means transliterates as "and those Bishops in the barbaric ones", and in the context of the sentance, the "ones" are "dioceses", so the phrase means "and those Bishops in the Barbaric Dioceses", that is, those Bishops whose Dioceses are in the Barbaric lands.

So is this part of the translation 'such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians' an interpolation or a mistranslation of some sort? I don't want to be arguing my point based on a faulty translation as that would make me as bad as the KJV onlyists that annoy me so much. I've never seen the canon translated in a way which does not either word this in exactly the same way or otherwise mean the same thing, which is why I've always been so adamant that canon 28 does not support wht it's proponents suggest. If the Greek, though, does not make the qualification I have emboldened above, one wonders why every English translation appears to. I would also have to change my opposition to basing the argument for the EP to lead the diaspora, or at least weaken it. The historical fact that Rome clearly had jurisdiction over some barbarians, without any complaint from Constantinople, after Chalcedon would remain at least as a fairly strong suggestion that the Church did not see things in quite the same way at the time as some folks do now.

James
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2006, 05:25:18 PM »
I have provided a portion of an English translation from the Rudder applying to Canon 28 of the 4th Council:

Quote
And it is arranged so that only the Metropolitans of the Pontic, Asian, and Thracian dioceses shall be ordained by the most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople aforesaid, and likewise the Bishops of the aforesaid dioceses which are situated in barbarian lands;that is to say, that each Metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the Bishops of the province, shall ordain the Bishops of the province, just as is prescribed by the divine Canons. But the Metropolitans of the aforesaid dioceses, as has been said, are to be ordained by the Archbishop of Constantinople, after the elections have first been conducted in accordance with custom, and have been reported to him.

(bolded text mine)

I think this is a more clear translation than what you have been using, jmbejdl, which sounds like yours was based from the Nicene/Post Nicene series.

I once did a comparison of the textual translation of some canons, comparing them from the Nicene/Post Nicene Series to those in the Rudder. There are several amazing differences, as well as even different sequences of canons! If I ever get the time, it would be interesting to delve into the reasons for these differences...but then again, I'm a geek!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 05:27:35 PM by FrChris »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2006, 06:25:39 PM »
The historical fact that Rome clearly had jurisdiction over some barbarians, without any complaint from Constantinople, after Chalcedon would remain at least as a fairly strong suggestion that the Church did not see things in quite the same way at the time as some folks do now.
Or it may indicate a policy of appeasement. Even at the time of the 28th Canon being written, Pope St. Leo of Rome rejected it. In his 15th Epistle to the Empress he writes: "As for the resolution of the bishops which is contrary to the Nicene decree, in union with your faithful piety, I declare it to be invalid and annul it by the authority of the holy Apostle Peter". Such vehement rejection of the Canon by the Pope of Old Rome clearly suggests that the Canon gives New Rome an authority which did not sit well with Old Rome.
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2006, 06:53:45 PM »
Or it may indicate a policy of appeasement. Even at the time of the 28th Canon being written, Pope St. Leo of Rome rejected it. In his 15th Epistle to the Empress he writes: "As for the resolution of the bishops which is contrary to the Nicene decree, in union with your faithful piety, I declare it to be invalid and annul it by the authority of the holy Apostle Peter". Such vehement rejection of the Canon by the Pope of Old Rome clearly suggests that the Canon gives New Rome an authority which did not sit well with Old Rome.

Interesting observation, good sir.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2006, 03:26:59 AM »
Or it may indicate a policy of appeasement. Even at the time of the 28th Canon being written, Pope St. Leo of Rome rejected it. In his 15th Epistle to the Empress he writes: "As for the resolution of the bishops which is contrary to the Nicene decree, in union with your faithful piety, I declare it to be invalid and annul it by the authority of the holy Apostle Peter". Such vehement rejection of the Canon by the Pope of Old Rome clearly suggests that the Canon gives New Rome an authority which did not sit well with Old Rome.

That I am well aware of. Rome's attitude to the canon is not the point. What I cannot understand is why Constantinople would sit back and allow Rome to act as though she also had power over the barbarians if she did not. I'm afraid that your appeasement explanation doesn't really wash with me. Constantinople was hardly hesitant to take on Rome over the situation in Bulgaria, was she?

James
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2006, 03:31:57 AM »
I have provided a portion of an English translation from the Rudder applying to Canon 28 of the 4th Council:

(bolded text mine)

I think this is a more clear translation than what you have been using, jmbejdl, which sounds like yours was based from the Nicene/Post Nicene series.

I once did a comparison of the textual translation of some canons, comparing them from the Nicene/Post Nicene Series to those in the Rudder. There are several amazing differences, as well as even different sequences of canons! If I ever get the time, it would be interesting to delve into the reasons for these differences...but then again, I'm a geek!

Fr Chris,

I'm sure you're right. That is a clearer translation but not, in my opinion, one which changes the meaning of the one I quoted. Both the part I emboldened and the part you did appear to say exactly the same thing, which is to limit exactly how much jurisdiction Constantinople has over the barbarians. I still say that, so long as the English translations are accurate, those that try to interpret canon 28 to give Constantinople power over all the barbarians are engaging in historical revisionism as I find it impossible to read either translation of the canon in any other way. Of course, there may be some aspect of the Greek used that I'm missing but the translations certainly do not appear to support ozgeorge's position.

James
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2006, 03:46:13 AM »
Quote
I still say that, so long as the English translations are accurate, those that try to interpret canon 28 to give Constantinople power over all the barbarians are engaging in historical revisionism as I find it impossible to read either translation of the canon in any other way. Of course, there may be some aspect of the Greek used that I'm missing but the translations certainly do not appear to support ozgeorge's position.

It is not just you that sees it this way, apparently the patriarch of the largest Orthodox Church in the world agrees,
Quote
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/PatAlexisCanon28.php



Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2006, 05:43:30 AM »
That I am well aware of. Rome's attitude to the canon is not the point.
James,
But it is the point. Why would Old Rome have this attitude towards the Canon in the first place?
It would probably help if you explained precisely which "barbabrian lands" you are talking about. In other words, between the Fourth Oecumenical Council and the Great Schism, which Barbarian Lands did Old Rome take jursidiction of which she did not already have juristiction of?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 05:55:27 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2006, 06:29:51 AM »
James,
But it is the point. Why would Old Rome have this attitude towards the Canon in the first place?
It would probably help if you explained precisely which "barbabrian lands" you are talking about. In other words, between the Fourth Oecumenical Council and the Great Schism, which Barbarian Lands did Old Rome take jursidiction of which she did not already have juristiction of?

Well all the Teutonic peoples that I'm aware of were not converted to Christianity until after Chalcedon, which would mean pretty much all (other than the Celtic regions) of north western Europe. (Even the Celts only accepted Roman jurisdiction after the Synod of Whitby, which was later than Chalcedon.) Personally, I would find it very odd if you were to claim that these pagans were already under Rome's jurisdiction before they even heard the Gospel. As for the attitude to the canon, it's quite obvious that Rome felt threatened by Constantinople being made her equal, especially as in temporal terms Constantinople had already eclipsed Old Rome. I very much doubt that concern over what appears to be a very limited jurisdiction over some barbarians had very much to do with it at all.

James
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2006, 06:59:19 AM »
Personally, I would find it very odd if you were to claim that these pagans were already under Rome's jurisdiction before they even heard the Gospel.

James,
You are still talking about "barbarian people", when the Canon refers to "barbarian lands".There was already a Roman Province in Germany, for example, which predated Christianity. The city of Augsburg in south central Germany was founded by Augustus as a Roman Garrison town (hence the name Augsburg). "Barbarian Lands" refers to lands beyond the Roman Empire and it's provinces, it does not simply mean "land occupied by barbarians".
Africa was full of Pagans too, but it was not a "barbarian land" since it is the juridiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
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Re: Autocephalous Churches
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2006, 07:11:59 AM »
James,
You are still talking about "barbarian people", when the Canon refers to "barbarian lands".There was already a Roman Province in Germany, for example, which predated Christianity. The city of Augsburg in south central Germany was founded by Augustus as a Roman Garrison town (hence the name Augsburg). "Barbarian Lands" refers to lands beyond the Roman Empire and it's provinces, it does not simply mean "land occupied by barbarians".
Africa was full of Pagans too, but it was not a "barbarian land" since it is the juridiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Yes, there was a Roman province that covered part of Germany, but there certainly was no Roman province covering any of Scandinavia, the northern half of Germany, Denmark (all Teutonic and all later under the jurisdiction of Rome). Nor was there any Roman province covering Ireland or Scotland, both Celtic and likewise later under the jurisdiction of Rome.

It appears to me as though you want to have it both ways when it comes to people and lands, in that you seem to be suggesting that those lands who have people in who are ethnically related to peoples within the Empire are automatically not barbarian. I am not talking about barbarian peoples on Roman land but barbarian peoples in lands which were never under Roman rule - barbarian lands. Your argument with regards to Germany is one of the most palpably anachronistic arguments I've ever come across.The Germans were never one people until very recently indeed. They were always a group of different tribes in different states that shared a more or less common language. How Niedersachsen, Jutland or Helgoland, for instance, could possibly count as anything but barbarian lands is beyond me. The fact that almost 1900 years after the Crucifixion these regions would be part of a state that included regions once ruled by Rome is utterly irrelevant.

James
We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos