Let me, the outsider to Orthodoxy, who is as everyone knows studying at St. Vladimir's and discerning the call to Orthodoxy, chime in.
I'll also chime in, and most likely delete the forum from my favorites afterwards for a few months to resist posting again (I seem to have little will power in this area)
In 1922 a PAN ORTHODOX synod decreed that individual Churches can adopt the Revised Julian Calendar (aka New).
It's about pan and orthodox as the Council of Florence was. A few corrupt bishops sitting around trying to figure out how to fit in with the ecumenical movement does NOT make a valid council that is authoritative for the entire Church. The calendar change was purely a ploy to bring about unity with other Christians: not only has it failed in its ecumenical goals, but it caused division Orthodoxy itself! Tell me, at this "pan orthodox" council, how many Local Churches were represented? There weren't even enough bishops TOTAL to account for the Local Churches, even if all the Local Orthodox Churches only sent 1 bishop. And I assure you, must like Constantinople's CURRENT attempt to organize an ecumenical council (yes, your read that right), Constantinple has no wish to make it either ecumenical or pan-orthodox. Such collegiality would too easily destroy it's wordly ambitions.
Some argue that this was not an ecumenical council; well I would argue there can never be another ecumenical council unless, God willing, somehow we can establish an emperor in Constantinople again (yes, I would be in favor of that!) Being unlikely, however, we should accept that a pan-Orthodox Synod is basically the same thing.
Untrue. There have been pre-councils for decades now trying to organize what questions would be dealt with, who would attend, etc. the next ecumenical council. You act as if the God-man, and His theanthropic body, the Church, has been hogtied by historical contexts! The problem with calling an ecumenical council has more to do with the freedom of various Christian groups to participate in such a council (due to problems such as Communism, Muslim Rule, etc.). An Ecumenical Council could most likely now be held if needed, though any council now would unfortunately be nothing more than a "Robber Council" as Constantinople has been scheming for decades to add to it's weight in World Orthodoxy (even as it's actual flock that it directly rules over shrinks to nothing). Some of this (up through the late 1970's) is dealt with in an article by my Patron Saint.
Now any council, ecumenical or not, does not automatically become law once promulgated. No, it must be received.
Councils that were called "Ecumenical" didn't necessarily become Law once they were written, either. Rome took CENTURIES sometimes to formally accept certain councils: that was never a reason given for breaking communion with them. Some councils claimed to be Ecumenical, and indeed had many hundred bishops attending, including representatives from many of the Local Churches, but these councils were not accepted by the Church at large.
Should they break communion over it? No! They should work from the inside for change.
Have you read the relevant quotes and historical contexts that Old Calendarists quote? I wonder if you would use the same word if speaking to one of Orthodoxy's saints who did choose to break commmunion. Either way, many Old Calendarists do not see themselves as being seperate Churches, but only as "walled off": same Church, different rooms (since one room is perceived to be infected). A number of saints speak explicitly AGAINST the "work from the inside" method (which is why I'm leaving the Antichians, and relocating to an area where there is a more traditionalist Church).
The Holy Fathers did at some times refuse communion to people they believed to be wrong. Or they refused to commune with their patriarch. But they did NOT set up parallel Churches. ...Therefore, for the benefit of the doubt, stay in communion with the others and work from the inside.
What did Mark of Ephesus do? That's what we're doing. It has nothing to do with parallel Churches or questioning the validity of sacraments. I know ROCOR, for instance, (in spite of the rhetoric usually heard) does not consider OCA, Greek, etc. sacraments invalid. They have NOT set themselves up as "THE true Church" and a seperate Church.
Let's separate "modernism" from the calendar issue. A calendar is a human creation plain and simple. Being a modernist IS a heresy.
But how can we, when the very reason for the calendar change was ecumenical and modernistic in nature? What you are saying here is the same kind of minimalistic attitude that led them to originally change calendars. "It's just man made, we don't really need it". And now you've thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Things done in the Church are many time THEANTHROPIC, both divine and human. Calendars and fasting rules and standing during worship are NOT mad made rules, they are God-man given guidelines for our salvation. We start chucking these one by one, and pretty soon you have very little except a lot of fancy language and people sitting in pews 1 day a week for a little over an hour. [sarcasm]Wow, what an ascetic, holy fathers drive, God-centered, faith![/sarcasm]
There are many anti-modernist New Calendarists, as well.
Yeah, I'm one of them
...for a few more months anyway.
Sure ROCOR broke away from them for this, but it was only in 1983 that ROCOR issued its "encyclical against ecumenism"!
This is like attacking the iconodules because they didn't have an authoritative ecumenical council until 787! What, as soon as the error pops up it must be denounced? That's not Orthodox at all. Haven't you read in those "moderate" (as opposed to conservative) books that you read that heresies usually take a while to form, and are discussed a while, before they are condemned? Isn't this a pattern that Jaroslav Pelikan identified in his five volume set on Catholic Tradition?
First you attack old caledarists for not "fighting from within" and giving the benefit of the doubt. But then even in cases where they DO try to give the benefit of the doubt, and hold of on anathemas, you still attack them! The anathemas only effect those in ROCOR anyway, and believe me, it wasn't saying anything new, it was only giving voice at a synod to what it had already believed for decades. ROCOR was at one time in communion with many of the Local Orthodox bodies in the world. Relations starting falling apart though as these churches embraced ecumenism more and more, until ROCOR was left being in communion with only a couple local Churches. This happened before 1983, and anyone who thinks ROCOR sat on it's hands on this issue until they met at the synod are mistaken.
Also, ROCOR didn't break away from anyone, they were organized under canonical principles set down by their Patriarch while his free-will was still being freely recognized, and Constantinople and many other local Churches recognized ROCOR--not as a break away Church, but as a part of the Church nonetheless. ROCOR had as much right to exist as the American Metropolia did: probably more. And guess what... no Orthodox Church, not serbia, not constantinople, no one, had a problem with ROCOR's existence until they started speaking out more and more vocally about ecumenism. SCOBA even offered ROCOR the chance to participate as a full member. You're "work from the inside" method wasn't working, so they raised their voices: this brought alienation and the beginnings of a subtle rhetoric that gets told by the "official" Churches to young fellows like you and me.
I am sorry to have rambled so much. As someone who wants to join the Orthodox Church, it breaks my heart to see it divided.
There is as much "division" (speaking administratively) today as there was in the 4th century, the 8th century, etc. The true Church, the theanthropic body of Christ, is one today, though, just as it always has been. As one saint said, "There must be heretics among you," and as another saint said. "There will always be tares in the Church, but we will not root them up, the Lord will do this".
Forgive me, I won't return for a while, I can't seem to refrain from posting when I read this board. My apologies.