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Author Topic: Questions and whatnot regarding the OCA's Autocephaly  (Read 1756 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fr. George
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« on: April 11, 2007, 09:55:24 AM »

This topic was split off from the thread "Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satisfaction theory..." - http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11389.0.html

Nope. Nor are they mentioned in the Dyptich of the Church of Constantinople. 

Well, the position of the EP is that the OCA is still a diocese of the Patriarchate of Moscow - at least that's how I've had it explained by various profs familiar with the situation.  They're not in the dyptichs as an Autocephalous Church, but it's not like they're out of communion totally with us... We just consider them covered by our commemoration of the Patriarch of Moscow.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:46:27 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 11:42:36 AM »

Nope. Nor are they mentioned in the Dyptich of the Church of Constantinople.

Really? I knew the OCA was not autocephalous, but I had no idea it was in schism with the EP. Is this true?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 11:48:08 AM by lubeltri » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 11:50:15 AM »

Really? I knew the OCA was not autocephalous, but I had no idea it was in schism with the EP. Is this true?

I think from the standpoint of Constantinople, the commemoration of Moscow covers the OCA.  I know our priests can and indeed do concelebrate.

That issue curiously enough I believe is rather connected to what is running through this thread.
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 11:54:56 AM »

Really? I knew the OCA was not autocephalous, but I had no idea it was in schism with the EP. Is this true?

I think from the standpoint of Constantinople, the commemoration of Moscow covers the OCA.  I know our priests can and indeed do concelebrate.

That issue curiously enough I believe is rather connected to what is running through this thread.

My earlier response to George's comment:

Well, the position of the EP is that the OCA is still a diocese of the Patriarchate of Moscow - at least that's how I've had it explained by various profs familiar with the situation.  They're not in the dyptichs as an Autocephalous Church, but it's not like they're out of communion totally with us... We just consider them covered by our commemoration of the Patriarch of Moscow.
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 11:58:02 AM »

So you are in full communion, but perhaps the status is somewhat irregular?
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 11:59:45 AM »

Really? I knew the OCA was not autocephalous, but I had no idea it was in schism with the EP. Is this true?

Well, the OCA is autocephalous, in so far as it conducts itself as an autocephalous Church. However, its autocephaly is not recognized by the majority of Orthodox Churches in the world (not just the EP). See: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Byzantine_response_to_OCA_autocephaly

As others have said, that is rather different than being "in schism." After all, the Metropolitan of the OCA has sat on SCOBA for years, working, praying and con-celebrating alongside many EP hierarchs. In fact, in recent years, I believe the EP himself has met with the OCA Metropolitan once or twice on a less-than-formal level (i.e. the Metropolitan came to Constantinople, but was not received as the head of a Church).
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 12:15:57 PM »

In fact, in recent years, I believe the EP himself has met with the OCA Metropolitan once or twice on a less-than-formal level (i.e. the Metropolitan came to Constantinople, but was not received as the head of a Church).

Really? That's funny---Pope Benedict was received as the head of a Church when he came to Constantinople last November.

Just curious---but why the refusal of most churches to recognize the autocephaly of the OCA?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:16:22 PM by lubeltri » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 12:25:38 PM »

Just curious---but why the refusal of most churches to recognize the autocephaly of the OCA?

It has to do with their refusal to recognize Moscow's right/ability to grant the Autocephaly without the consent of the Church at large (or at least the EP, in some views).  You'll see that there are times when multiple churches recognize one's Autocephaly and others don't... It's part of the growing process, and a reaffirmation of the unique local character of the Church - how the local diocese is not just a part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but it also IS the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 12:34:36 PM »

From the parent thread:

Also - regarding recognition of OCA autocephaly. There are varying reasons - for Constantinople, it is because they now hold that they alone can grant autocephaly. For other churches, it is because they understand that Autocephaly cannot be granted to only a portion of a local church. For any American Church to have autocephaly, it has to be *all* the American Orthodox.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:46:48 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 12:38:16 PM »

It has to do with their refusal to recognize Moscow's right/ability to grant the Autocephaly without the consent of the Church at large (or at least the EP, in some views).  You'll see that there are times when multiple churches recognize one's Autocephaly and others don't... It's part of the growing process, and a reaffirmation of the unique local character of the Church - how the local diocese is not just a part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but it also IS the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

I tend to think it actually has to do with two specific things:

The rivalry between Constantinople and Moscow.
The fundamental ecclesiological problem that plagues Orthodoxy since the rise of nationalism in the 19th century.
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 12:39:09 PM »

Since this has now been split off (as it was an overdrawn aside in the Original Thread), I would like to ask what people think of Wiki article that pensateomnia posted the link to above...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:47:02 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 12:40:54 PM »

Just curious---but why the refusal of most churches to recognize the autocephaly of the OCA?

My answer got left in another thread. Constantinople's reason is its own. The other Patriarchates have not recognized the OCA also because they understand that autocephaly cannot be given to only one part of a local church. It has to be the whole church. IOW, there can be no American Orthodox Church unless it is all the Orthodox in America. OCA's autocephaly became a wedge to exclude Antiochians, ROCOR, the GOA, Serbs, Romanians, Bulgarians and any others from participating in Autocephaly except by absorption into OCA's existing structure. The other Patriarchates (especially those with American dioceses) did protest in the 1970s, not as harsh as Met. Phillip has against the Jerusalem Patriarchate in America maybe. But it is still not enough that they would say OCA isn't Orthodox. Their unilateral attempt to coopt autocephaly at the expense of others was and is primarily a political issue (desire to rule over others) rather than a doctrinal issue.

Added: Per cleveland's question, I agree with the article in the main, though I disagree as to some of the historical arguments. For one, I don't believe New Smyrna, FL was Greek Orthodox, but Greek Uniates. I also do not believe that 'barbarians in Thrace, Pontus, and Asia' as the 'New Lands' applies to the Americas. Formally, the jurisdictional ownership of the Americas has never been dealt with by the Orthodox. Yet, the Americas first received missionaries *before* the Schism from the Patriarchate of Rome. This part is always left out of the subject - the Americas as Western Christian jurisdiction that needs restored to the Church rather than siezed by other Patriarchates.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:48:33 PM by Aristibule » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 12:42:01 PM »

I tend to think it actually has to do with two specific things:

The rivalry between Constantinople and Moscow.
The fundamental ecclesiological problem that plagues Orthodoxy since the rise of nationalism in the 19th century. 

"The rivalry" could fuel the problem, except that it doesn't fully explain why the other Churches don't recognize the OCA Autocephaly.  Also, the "rivalry" wasn't as "big" in the 60's as it "is" now.

As for the fundamental ecclesiological problem of Nationalism, I would say that it is actually behind many people's insistence on America's Autocephaly (which I don't believe to be a necessary corollary to Unity in America).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:47:21 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 12:43:48 PM »

My answer got left in another thread.

I tried to quote it above, as I didn't want to move your post (which mostly dealt with the other subject).  Sorry about the confusion.
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 12:58:41 PM »

"The rivalry" could fuel the problem, except that it doesn't fully explain why the other Churches don't recognize the OCA Autocephaly.

Indeed, there are certainly other issues.

Quote
Also, the "rivalry" wasn't as "big" in the 60's as it "is" now.

Oh, I believe it was and has been brewing for several centuries.  An article on the Metropolia in Time Magazine called "An American Orthodox" in 1970 said this

Quote
The argument over the proposed American church is merely the most recent agitation in a simmering rivalry between Constantinople and Moscow that has gone on for centuries.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909104,00.html

It all goes back to the Third Rome stuff.  It has probably gotten worse though with issues like Estonia and Sourozh in the recent past.

Quote
As for the fundamental ecclesiological problem of Nationalism, I would say that it is actually behind many people's insistence on America's Autocephaly (which I don't believe to be a necessary corollary to Unity in America).

The problem itself is not nationalism, though that has made it worse as nationalism began to grow as a force in the church in the 19th century.  It is through the rise of nationalism that the problem as been acutely exposed in other words.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:59:57 PM by welkodox » Logged
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