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Author Topic: A United American Orthodoxy: Practical Considerations  (Read 10687 times) Average Rating: 0
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #90 on: February 07, 2007, 10:06:45 PM »

I am jumping on this thread way late (and must confess, I have skimmed and not read every post) so if this is redundant I apologize. But I often thought, that, once the boundaries were settled, that all the bishops in the common diocese would serve as a "junta" with a rotating head bishop every year. This arrangement would continue until they all passed away, or voluntarily retired. Then a new single bishop would be consecrated.

This would be a way that no bishop would have to "step down" or retire unwillingly.

It's probably entirely non-canonical, impractical, etc. but it is the sort of short-tem compromise that might get people over the hump of unification
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Pravoslavbob
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« Reply #91 on: April 30, 2007, 04:49:02 PM »

So, jurisdiction is so central to the nature of the Church that some alleged infraction of the proper jurisdictional model (which has changed many times in the history of the Church) is not only ill-advised, but an actual abomination?!?

(I hope I don't need to answer that question!)

I think Fr. John Behr addressed the fallacy -- both historical, theological and spiritual -- of this strange line of thinking in his excellent article in Again magazine (Summer 2006, Vol. 28, No. 2).

Of course, Fr. John put the case mildly (based, it seems, on Peter Lampe's extensive analysis of early Roman Christianity). Regardless, the point is that the administration of the Church is a disciplinary matter, not a dogmatic one, and the exact form of the Church's governance has changed many times -- always as a reflection of the reality in which the Church found herself. When there were small, fractionated communities, there were small, "overlapping jurisdictions." When there was an Empire, there was an Imperial Church. When there were a bunch of nationalists doing the Nation State thing, there were national Churches. (Just to name a few.)

In North America, we currently have small, more-or-less ethnic communities that are only beginning to work together in substantial ways (especially in Canada, New York and New England). Administrative structures simply reflect pastoral realities. If we put more effort into actualizing the unity we already have, unified governance will follow naturally.

Sorry to be so late in replying.  Smiley  I think you miss what I am trying to say.  I am not talking about "Jurisdictionalism".  I am talking about the Church as seen in the Ignatian model, for one.  Fr. John's argument is a bit disingenuous, perhaps, because of course things were very fluid in the early goings in the Church.  "Presbyters" were in some communities the sacramental equivalent of "bishops" in other communities etc. etc.  He also gets into some other points. Of course I see room for exceptions to the "Ignatian rule", if I may call it that, but in the main, I do think that one area, (not necessesarily one city, but territory of some kind) should have one bishop.
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