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Author Topic: The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church  (Read 25479 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 11, 2009, 03:15:06 AM »

I think this highlights the problem with the notion of "Diasporas" and the poor witness they give to Orthodoxy.


"
The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/the-battle-over-britains-orthodox-church-1606233.html

Eight years ago, Oleg Deripaska stepped in to save a crumbling Orthodox church in Manchester. Was his generosity the start of a Kremlin-backed crusade to reclaim Russia's spiritual outposts in the West? Special report by Paul Vallely

.....For these curiously anomalous English Orthodox Christians claim they have been pushed out of their own cathedral by a large influx of Russians who arrived in the UK in recent times, some of whom have launched a Moscow-inspired takeover of the church......"
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 03:25:57 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 03:37:17 AM »

From the article:
Quote
Bishop Basil decided that the situation was untenable and applied to have his diocese transferred from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople – who is the leader of all the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian.

This is what people think of us. They think jurisdiction is about ethnicity, and we can thank the "diasporas" for that. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not the "Leader of the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian".

We really need to find a solution to this problem, as the Primates of the Orthodox Churches all agreed and declared in October 2008:
"As Primates and the Representatives of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches, fully aware of the gravity of the aforementioned problems, and laboring to confront them directly as “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1), we proclaim from this See of the First-throne among the Churches and we re-affirm:
....our desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology. In this respect we welcome the proposal by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convene Panorthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council. In accordance with the standing order and practice of the Panorthodox Consultations in Rhodes, it will invite all Autocephalous Churches.
Source
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 03:39:08 AM »

I think this highlights the problem with the notion of "Diasporas" and the poor witness they give to Orthodoxy.


All the same I think  we can rejoice that this parish gathers several hundred worshippers of mixed nationalities at Sunday Liturgy.  Their success with missionary outreach is probably of greater delight to the Lord than any jurisdictional squabbles between Constantinople and Moscow.
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 03:56:26 AM »

All the same I think  we can rejoice that this parish gathers several hundred worshippers of mixed nationalities at Sunday Liturgy.  Their success with missionary outreach is probably of greater delight to the Lord than any jurisdictional squabbles between Constantinople and Moscow.

Their "success" is the result of a schism in the Diocese. This was once the Sourozh Diocese of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom of blessed memory. It has now been torn asunder because one of the criteria for the provision of funds to rebuild the Church in Manchester was that the diocese was expected to vote to remove itself from its relationship with Metropolitan Anthony in London and place itself under the direct authority of Moscow. This situation was untenable for many in the Diocese, with the result that the Diocese has now been torn apart, with half the Parishes and Clergy leaving to join Bishop Basil in the newly established Vicariate under the EP.
I see very little to rejoice about.

This thread will tell you more about the schism in the diocese:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9231.0.html
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 04:17:21 AM »

How can the MP declare one Metropolia autocephalous (e.g. OCA) and force another Diocese (Manchester) under MP Jurisdiction?

Doesn't seem like a religious problem - more of a political one and this Bishop made problems worse by going to the EP who already has an Exarchate in Great Britain.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 04:18:21 AM »

This battle seems to be happening all over Europe at the moment.
This is from the official website of the Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe regarding a similar situation in Nice:

DECLARATION BY THE COUNCIL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE regarding the situation in Nice, June 2008

The Council of the Archdiocese has studied the defamatory statements that have recently appeared concerning the leadership of the Parish at Nice. It observes with regret that as the date approaches for the trial relating to the title of ownership of the Cathedral of St Nicholas at Nice, personal – and false – attacks against the rector of the cathedral and the elected officers of the parish are proliferating on the part of certain people, generally outside the parish. These are being spread through the press and on internet websites closely linked to the Patriarchate of Moscow and to the Russian Federation, which is a party in the case.

Faithful to the line always followed by its ruling bishops, in the past as well as today, which consists in abstaining from vain disputes, the Council of the Archdiocese does not intend to enter here into polemic with its detractors, whoever they be, but it does emphatically denounce in the most vigorous terms this base campaign of insinuation and lies aimed at destabilising the parish of Nice and the whole diocese.

Such behaviour is unworthy, deplorable and inadmissible. It has personal implications for the Christian conscience of those who resort to it, both before the judgement of God and before the judgement of human beings. It is not acceptable that lying and slander should be used in the Church.

The Council of the Archdiocese also emphatically expresses its total support for the rector of the Cathedral of St Nicholas, Archpriest Jean Gueit, for the important work he has achieved towards renewal of the life of the parish of Nice, both spiritually and pastorally, as well as on the level of management and administration.

 

Background to the Declaration by the Council of the Archdiocese


Cathedral of St Nicholas, NiceIn February 2006, a bailiff (huissier) of the Nice court, accompanied by representatives of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Nice, came to the cathedral to implement the local Court’s ruling that an inventory of the contents and property of the Cathedral be made on behalf of the Russian Federation. Permission to enter the Cathedral, property of the local parish and registered as such under French law, was refused and in April the higher court denied the right of the Russian Federation to make this inventory. In fact, the French Ministry of Culture had just previously completed a very full inventory of the icons, wall paintings and other items in the building as part of the registration of the Cathedral as a historical monument.

The Russian Federation, through an indirect approach by their Ambassador in Paris, then began a lawsuit in the High Court in Nice in an attempt to claim the title of the land on which the Cathedral of St Nicholas is built. The case is thus now in the hands of the French legal system. The Cathedral community continued to insist on its rights, and to try to continue liturgical celebrations in a calm manner.

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Exarchate/Declaration_NiceJune08.html
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 04:27:16 AM »

^ Another political problem, not religious problem.

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat.  Parishioners in other Churches have been found guilty of violating restraining orders after being banned from Church by Priests for asking too many questions and refusing to accept audits. 
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 04:32:25 AM »

the EP who already has an Exarchate in Great Britain. 

I think this is an oversimplification. After the Communist Revolution in Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church which was not in Russia found itself in an awful situation. In 1921, Patriarch Tikhon founded the  ‘Provisional Administration of the Russian Parishes in Western Europe’ to administer to the Russian Orthodox Churches outside Russia. In 1931, the head of this Provisional Administration, Metropolitan Evlogii, decided that the situation was intolerable, and requested to be received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate which established Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe. In 1965, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I closed the Exarchate because he deemed that it was no longer necessary, since several generations has passed and more and more converts had joined. At the request of the Churches themselves however, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I reinstated the Exarchate in 1971 and declared it autonomous. And it remains autonomous to this day.
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 04:48:13 AM »

At the request of the Churches themselves however, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I reinstated the Exarchate in 1971 and declared it autonomous. And it remains autonomous to this day.

Thanks for the history.  I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2009, 04:49:48 AM »

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat. 
Really?
I know OCnet is becoming famous for outlandish claims, but I'm curious to see where you get these ideas, so could you tell me:
1) Which Exarch can take over your Church in a heartbeat?
2) Whose property is your Church building?
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2009, 04:58:57 AM »

I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink

I don't think you understand.
Those who have left the Diocese of Sourozh have not gone to the Diocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. They have gone to the Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe which is autonomous, whose history I gave you above.

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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2009, 06:47:05 AM »

All the same I think  we can rejoice that this parish gathers several hundred worshippers of mixed nationalities at Sunday Liturgy.  Their success with missionary outreach is probably of greater delight to the Lord than any jurisdictional squabbles between Constantinople and Moscow.

Their "success" is the result of a schism in the Diocese. This was once the Sourozh Diocese of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom of blessed memory. It has now been torn asunder because one of the criteria for the provision of funds to rebuild the Church in Manchester was that the diocese was expected to vote to remove itself from its relationship with Metropolitan Anthony in London and place itself under the direct authority of Moscow. This situation was untenable for many in the Diocese, with the result that the Diocese has now been torn apart, with half the Parishes and Clergy leaving to join Bishop Basil in the newly established Vicariate under the EP.
I see very little to rejoice about.

This thread will tell you more about the schism in the diocese:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9231.0.html
Thanks, George, I kind of know the history of these sad events, having friends in the UK on both sides of the divide.
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2009, 07:14:36 AM »

The Church of Russia is working towards the creation of a Metropolia for Western Europe which it hopes will eventually flourish into an autocephalous Church for Western Europe.

Here is a letter sent out by the late Patriarch Alexey (Memory Eternal).

One may read it on a website of the Constantinopolitan Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Archive/Patriarch_metropolia.html

THE PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA ALEXIS 1st April 2003 119034 Moscow, Chistiy per. 5
Doc. No. 1378

His Grace the Most Reverend Anthony,
Metropolitan of Sourozh
His Grace the Most Reverend Simon,
Archbishop of Brussels and Belgium
His Grace the Most Reverend Innokentii,
Archbishop of Korsun
His Grace the Right Reverend Gabriel,
Bishop of Komana,
Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese
of Russian Orthodox Parishes in Western Europe
His Grace the Right Reverend Amvrosii,
Bishop of Geneva and Western Europe
(Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia)
and all Orthodox parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

Most Reverend Bishops,
dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!

<snip>

We can hardly doubt that the time has come for a restoration of unity. We have already written on this matter in brotherly epistles, in September of last year to His Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, and in the preceding year to the members of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Church Outside Russia. We consider that the time has now come for us to address this epistle directly to our compatriots in the countries of Western Europe and to their spiritual pastors. Why is it that now, when the years of sore trials have passed, when the Mother Church can freely fulfil its calling and Russia aspires to restore continuity with its historical past, Church divisions still continue, though the reasons for them have long disappeared? Why do we not fulfil the hopes of our predecessors and spiritual fathers?

<snip>

In addition to this, parishes founded by Russians and following Russian traditions have over the years acquired a multinational character and in liturgical practice make widespread use of local languages, which since the time of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Equal to the Apostles, has invariably been a characteristic of Orthodox pastoral and missionary work.

Therefore, so as to have a certain guarantee in the preservation of an established, familiar order, some of our compatriots living in Western countries - and some of the local Orthodox who form part of communities living according to the Russian Tradition - wish to structure their Church life according to their own Statutes, which guarantee internal self-government and the election of their own ruling bishop, on condition that the bishop so elected is then confirmed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

<snip>

Taking into consideration the combined weight of these wishes, I consider that they could be realised through the creation in Western Europe of a single Metropolia, consisting of several dioceses and embracing all the Orthodox parishes, monasteries and communities of Russian origin and Russian spiritual tradition who would wish to be a part of such a Metropolia. In addition to this it is envisaged that such a Metropolia would be granted the right of self-government, including the election of its ruling bishop by a Council of the Metropolia consisting of bishops, presbyters and laity on the basis of Statutes to be worked out with the participation of all groups in the Orthodox Russian diaspora in the countries of Western Europe.


<snip>

We hope that an autonomous Metropolia, uniting all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox tradition in the countries of Western Europe, will serve, at a time pleasing to God, as the foundation for the future canonical establishment of a multinational Local Orthodox Church of Western Europe, to be built in a spirit of conciliarity by all the Orthodox faithful living in those countries.

+ALEXIS
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA

source :: www.exarchate-uk.org/Archive/Patriarch_metropolia.html



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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2009, 08:18:04 AM »

From the article:
Quote
Bishop Basil decided that the situation was untenable and applied to have his diocese transferred from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople – who is the leader of all the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian.

This is what people think of us. They think jurisdiction is about ethnicity, and we can thank the "diasporas" for that. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not the "Leader of the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian".

We really need to find a solution to this problem, as the Primates of the Orthodox Churches all agreed and declared in October 2008:
"As Primates and the Representatives of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches, fully aware of the gravity of the aforementioned problems, and laboring to confront them directly as “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1), we proclaim from this See of the First-throne among the Churches and we re-affirm:
....our desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology. In this respect we welcome the proposal by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convene Panorthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council. In accordance with the standing order and practice of the Panorthodox Consultations in Rhodes, it will invite all Autocephalous Churches.
Source


I think we went over this somewhere: ALL Autocephalous Churches?  Including the OCA?

We can thank EP Meletios for creating the "Diaspora" in the Americas, yet another divisive legacy of his checkered career (the Calendar issue being another).
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 08:19:05 AM »

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat.

Hardly.  The specific instances when the Church's property reverts to the Archdiocese (not the EP) are:
1. If there is a schism within the Church, then those who remain in communion with the Archdiocese retain legal right to use the property.
2. If the Church disbands, then the proceeds of the property are to go to the respective local Metropolis.

These things are clearly spelled out in the pertinent documents from the Archdiocese - there's no excuse to spread misinformation about it.

Parishioners in other Churches have been found guilty of violating restraining orders after being banned from Church by Priests for asking too many questions and refusing to accept audits. 

Did you read the article?  The Chancellor of Chicago says that the guy who was expelled from the parish ignored the IRS' determination that there was nothing irregular, and after the audits by the parish's and the Metropolis' committees he continued to press on, disrupting Church.  What would you do, if you tell someone once, twice, three times that they need to calm down?

Mr. Kalmoukos has done this before; he speaks to "the side that was wronged" without taking into account that they may actually be in the wrong.  He is a "yellow journalist" - someone seeking scandal to sell papers, and who is fully willing to rake the muck to do it.

Heck, my first post here on OC.net dealt with a similar story:

Lets introduce some background information into this discussion to provide some perspective on the initial issues (the dissmissal of a priest who "doesnt speak english" and subsequent fight with the bishop).

(And for the record, I live close to Marlboro and know a few of the characters involved in the story)

First, this parish has had a "full-time priest" before.  In fact, to my knowledge, they've had many.  But each time they are assigned a priest, they seem to find some fault in him and reject him.  The Metropolitan has sent "greek-speakers" and "english speakers" alike, but none seem to fit the extra-ordinarily high standards that this parish has set.  In fact, they got this "greek-speaker" (who does speak some english, but not a lot... he is trying to get better at it) because their last priest spoke more english and used little greek in the liturgy - and they rejected him.

That being said, the major problem that I've seen at this parish is the "president of the fired parish council" Mr Kritikos.  While he seems to be a faithful man, and is the parish's cantor, he is also a nutcase and a loose cannon.  These actions are just more notches in a long line of fighting between him and the Metropolitan and his fellow parishoners.  He has single-handedly had a hand in getting every priest that has been assigned to that parish replaced.  He is the one who changed the locks, not the full council.  He actually resigned his presidency almost two weeks before this incident, but seems to be the "president" still.  

So there are some particulars, and i'll probably provide more when I have time (I have to run).

On a personal note, I've met Mr. Kritikos before and he is not a kind person.  His whole disposition is wrong for someone who should be serving the parish.

The thing that aggrivates me here is that he displays an attitude held by many greeks in this country that they "own" their churches... The moment you give money to build a church, the money and the church are no longer yours!!! They are a gift to God.  parishes all over this country take an attitude of being "the boss" and use it to bully their priests (while in some cases, even worse so, the roles are reversed and you have despotic priests or bishops).

In this case, and in 99.9% of the cases like this where the parish decides to "fire" their priest, the parish is wrong because they're too self-centered.

Take everything from Mr. Kalmoukos with a grain of salt; I'm not saying to not read what he writes, just hoping that you'll look at it with a critical eye.

Thanks for the history.  I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous

It's not.  Only the Exarchate of the parishes of the Russian tradition is autonomous.

although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink

Nope.  The Americans are "subject" to their own bishops first and foremost, and to the Synod of Constantinople, made up of Turkish residents, one of our own bishops, and hierarchs from all over the world.
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2009, 08:49:56 AM »

The Church of Russia is working towards the creation of a Metropolia for Western Europe which it hopes will eventually flourish into an autocephalous Church for Western Europe.

There is already an autonomous Exarchate for the Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition which sees itself as the rightful heir to the ‘Provisional administration of the Russian parishes in Western Europe’ founded by Patriarch Tikhon. Isn't Moscow coming into the fray simply more jurisdictionalism?
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2009, 09:28:39 AM »

The Church of Russia is working towards the creation of a Metropolia for Western Europe which it hopes will eventually flourish into an autocephalous Church for Western Europe.

There is already an autonomous Exarchate for the Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition which sees itself as the rightful heir to the ‘Provisional administration of the Russian parishes in Western Europe’ founded by Patriarch Tikhon. Isn't Moscow coming into the fray simply more jurisdictionalism?

No.  The Russian parishes under Constantinople are few in number, and if memory serves, only in France. Their membership is also declining.   Several of them have now elected to return to their Mother Church, the Church of Russia.

There is little point in being Russian parishes and not belonging to the Church of Russia.  With the demise of Communism the 1920 Ukase (#362) issued by the Patriarch and the Synod of Bishops which authorises the creation of "independent temporary higher Church administrations", as the Ukase phrases it  (and which applied also to the Russian Church Abroad) is no longer operative.   It states clearly that these independent Church structures may maintain independence only for as long as communication with Moscow was impractical (because of the Communist regime.) 

This is a very important point in today's situation - the Ukase permits the temporary existence of independent Russian Church groups for only as long as it was impossible to communicate with Moscow.

The parishes of the Russian Church Abroad and of Moscow in W.Europe have always outnumbered these parishes.   And now with the influx of Russians after Perestroika in 1991, the number of Russian parishes in Western Europe has soared.  The Russian bishops say that in Germany they could now open a parish in every major German town if they had the resources.

The Church of Russia and the Russian Church Abroad are already, since our unification in May 2007, actively dialoguing as to how to best rationalise the Russian Church situation in Western Europe.  There is no need for us to continue our separate existences. 

I believe that in time the small number of Russian parishes which are under Constantinople will feel the natural gravitational pull towards their Mother Church and they will follow the example of those who have already returned to Russia.

We see this already in the British parishes under Bishop Basil Osborne.   They are willing to return to their Russian obedience provided that the new Statutes for the proposed Russian Western European Metropolia make provision for the continuance of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's unique heritage in ecclesiastical structures.
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2009, 10:55:18 AM »

http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg-us.aspx?eccpageID=43&IndexView=alpha

The above link is to the CNEWA's webpage on the Constantinopolitan Russian Exarchate in Western Europe.

It gives interesting statistics - 100 worshipping communities and 100,000 faithful.

In general one can place some faith in this particular Catholic site and its statistics and in this instance they may also be accurate. 

However, the Exarchate's own website says that there are 60 parishes (40 of them in France.)
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2009, 01:24:59 PM »

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat.

Hardly.  The specific instances when the Church's property reverts to the Archdiocese (not the EP) are:
1. If there is a schism within the Church, then those who remain in communion with the Archdiocese retain legal right to use the property.
2. If the Church disbands, then the proceeds of the property are to go to the respective local Metropolis.

These things are clearly spelled out in the pertinent documents from the Archdiocese - there's no excuse to spread misinformation about it.

The perils of writing messages at 3 AM.   Shocked
A Metropolitan, can take over a Church based on the conditions you cited above.  The secular Courts cannot hear cases involving land issues between Church and Hierarch and defer to the Charter.

Parishioners in other Churches have been found guilty of violating restraining orders after being banned from Church by Priests for asking too many questions and refusing to accept audits. 

Did you read the article?  The Chancellor of Chicago says that the guy who was expelled from the parish ignored the IRS' determination that there was nothing irregular, and after the audits by the parish's and the Metropolis' committees he continued to press on, disrupting Church.  What would you do, if you tell someone once, twice, three times that they need to calm down?

Something else besides taking a restraining order out on a Parishioner and arresting him for violating the restraining order.  I think that was a little too "over the top."

Mr. Kalmoukos has done this before; he speaks to "the side that was wronged" without taking into account that they may actually be in the wrong.  He is a "yellow journalist" - someone seeking scandal to sell papers, and who is fully willing to rake the muck to do it.

...

Take everything from Mr. Kalmoukos with a grain of salt; I'm not saying to not read what he writes, just hoping that you'll look at it with a critical eye.

I think I give Mr. Kalmoukos the benefit of the doubt that I give any other reporter out there.  Also, now that ethnic Orthodox immigrants are dying off by the tens and hundreds every day, the Old Country mentality of the Church belonging to one person is dying (but not the idea of all Churches belonging to one Hierarch).  Of course, I realize that I probably sidetracked the topic  Sad ; However, Hierarchs and their Synods, whether autonomous or not do not have absolute rule.

Thanks for the history.  I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous

It's not.  Only the Exarchate of the parishes of the Russian tradition is autonomous.

There are 2 parallel Jurisdictions in Britain under the EP; One is autonomous; One is a Diocese?

although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink

Nope.  The Americans are "subject" to their own bishops first and foremost, and to the Synod of Constantinople, made up of Turkish residents, one of our own bishops, and hierarchs from all over the world.

In New Jersey, I'm subject under 1 Hierarch, who's subject to the EP, and sits on the same Synod as the Exarch.  Some days, I wish there was a Bishop of Maryland.   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2009, 01:42:49 PM »

The perils of writing messages at 3 AM.   Shocked
A Metropolitan, can take over a Church based on the conditions you cited above.  The secular Courts cannot hear cases involving land issues between Church and Hierarch and defer to the Charter.

Sorry if it sounded like I came down hard on you; not my intention.

Something else besides taking a restraining order out on a Parishioner and arresting him for violating the restraining order.  I think that was a little too "over the top."

Probably was; but, if true, the things that the Chancellor of Chicago has said were done by those expelled are truly troubling.

I think I give Mr. Kalmoukos the benefit of the doubt that I give any other reporter out there.  Also, now that ethnic Orthodox immigrants are dying off by the tens and hundreds every day, the Old Country mentality of the Church belonging to one person is dying (but not the idea of all Churches belonging to one Hierarch).  Of course, I realize that I probably sidetracked the topic  Sad ; However, Hierarchs and their Synods, whether autonomous or not do not have absolute rule.

There still is an idea that the Church belongs to one person: Christ our God.  While we, in our American sensibility, don't like the idea, obedience to the hierarch in all cases except if he slips into heresy is a part of Church life; he does it not for personal gain (if he did, then he would be liable to the Synod on which he sits), but for God's Glory and the spread of the Church.

There are 2 parallel Jurisdictions in Britain under the EP; One is autonomous; One is a Diocese?

Yes - one is a grouping of former Russian parishes that has recently joined the EP; the other is the Archdiocese which operates in Great Britain.

In New Jersey, I'm subject under 1 Hierarch, who's subject to the EP, and sits on the same Synod as the Exarch.  Some days, I wish there was a Bishop of Maryland.   Smiley

Eh, not really: In New Jersey, who have 1 Hierarch, who is subject to the Synod on which he sits (in this case, the Patriarchal Synod), and by delegation of certain responsibilities by the Patriarchal Synod, the Eparchial Synod.  He, as a diocesan bishop, is "subject" to no other bishop except Christ.
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2009, 02:32:47 PM »

Several of them have now elected to return to their Mother Church, the Church of Russia.

"Elected" to return? Interesting euphemism for this sort of behaviour:

Quote
In February 2006, a bailiff (huissier) of the Nice court, accompanied by representatives of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Nice, came to the cathedral to implement the local Court’s ruling that an inventory of the contents and property of the Cathedral be made on behalf of the Russian Federation. Permission to enter the Cathedral, property of the local parish and registered as such under French law, was refused and in April the higher court denied the right of the Russian Federation to make this inventory. In fact, the French Ministry of Culture had just previously completed a very full inventory of the icons, wall paintings and other items in the building as part of the registration of the Cathedral as a historical monument.

The Russian Federation, through an indirect approach by their Ambassador in Paris, then began a lawsuit in the High Court in Nice in an attempt to claim the title of the land on which the Cathedral of St Nicholas is built. The case is thus now in the hands of the French legal system. The Cathedral community continued to insist on its rights, and to try to continue liturgical celebrations in a calm manner.

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Exarchate/Declaration_NiceJune08.html
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2009, 03:15:50 PM »

Sorry if it sounded like I came down hard on you; not my intention.

I felt you were appropriately correcting me and not coming down on me.   Smiley

Something else besides taking a restraining order out on a Parishioner and arresting him for violating the restraining order.  I think that was a little too "over the top."

Probably was; but, if true, the things that the Chancellor of Chicago has said were done by those expelled are truly troubling.

If these parishioners felt that no one was listening to them, where else could they turn to?  If I were in their shoes, I would go to another Church and not raise a ruckus.  The idea of a Priest opening secret bank accounts is troubling enough and the rationale for said Priest opening these secret accounts in GOYA's name was not good enough for these Parishioners....

There still is an idea that the Church belongs to one person: Christ our God.  While we, in our American sensibility, don't like the idea, obedience to the hierarch in all cases except if he slips into heresy is a part of Church life; he does it not for personal gain (if he did, then he would be liable to the Synod on which he sits), but for God's Glory and the spread of the Church.

If one's Synod is like the Mayor in Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, then what does one do?  These Synods are still accountable to Christ and no one else.

In New Jersey, I'm subject under 1 Hierarch, who's subject to the EP, and sits on the same Synod as the Exarch.  Some days, I wish there was a Bishop of Maryland.   Smiley

Eh, not really: In New Jersey, who have 1 Hierarch, who is subject to the Synod on which he sits (in this case, the Patriarchal Synod), and by delegation of certain responsibilities by the Patriarchal Synod, the Eparchial Synod.  He, as a diocesan bishop, is "subject" to no other bishop except Christ.

How can a Hierarch sit on multiple Synods? 
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2009, 05:16:48 PM »

How can a Hierarch sit on multiple Synods?  

Easy: he doesn't - at least not all the time.  The model is this - regional bishops sit on a regional/eparchial synod.  One member of the regional synod sits on the Patriarchal Synod as a representative of the region.  In the current model, the representative of our eparchial synod to the Patriarchal Synod is a rotating position; every year a new bishop from America takes a turn.
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2009, 05:24:22 PM »

How can a Hierarch sit on multiple Synods?  

Easy: he doesn't - at least not all the time.  The model is this - regional bishops sit on a regional/eparchial synod.  One member of the regional synod sits on the Patriarchal Synod as a representative of the region.  In the current model, the representative of our eparchial synod to the Patriarchal Synod is a rotating position; every year a new bishop from America takes a turn.

I was not aware of the latter although there is always the Exarch, the head of the Eparchial Synod, and one of the 8 Metropolitans sitting on the Patriarchal Synod at any given time. 

Are there 12 members of the Patriarchal Synod?
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2009, 05:59:46 PM »

http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg-us.aspx?eccpageID=43&IndexView=alpha

The above link is to the CNEWA's webpage on the Constantinopolitan Russian Exarchate in Western Europe.

It gives interesting statistics - 100 worshipping communities and 100,000 faithful.

In general one can place some faith in this particular Catholic site and its statistics and in this instance they may also be accurate. 

However, the Exarchate's own website says that there are 60 parishes (40 of them in France.)
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

Perhaps I am missing something but the site claims 93 parishes/communities in France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden:
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?rubrique7
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2009, 06:58:13 PM »

I was not aware of the latter although there is always the Exarch, the head of the Eparchial Synod, and one of the 8 Metropolitans sitting on the Patriarchal Synod at any given time. 

No, the exarch isn't always on the Patriarchal Synod; only one of the GOA ruling bishops (1 Archbishop and 8 Metropolitans) is at any point in time.

Are there 12 members of the Patriarchal Synod?

I think so.
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2009, 08:51:17 PM »

However, the Exarchate's own website says that there are 60 parishes (40 of them in France.)
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

Perhaps I am missing something but the site claims 93 parishes/communities in France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden:
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?rubrique7

It is such not insignificant discrepancies which call the statistics into dispute. 

See here on their web site:

"Архиепископия...  насчитывает свыше 60 приходов и один монастырь"
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

But the Orthodox are generally speaking notorious for muddling up their statistics.
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 08:59:20 PM »

Several of them have now elected to return to their Mother Church, the Church of Russia.

"Elected" to return? Interesting euphemism for this sort of behaviour:


We are aware of such sad incidents.

Some returned to their Mother Church without problems, some parishes were rent by the decision and resorted to the secular courts.  Why would we be surprised by that?  The Orthodox are notorious for such things and for wasting the widow's mite on court cases which cost an arm and a leg.

What would one say of the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK and have court cases underway to claim the Russian properties for their new allegiance?

Quote
In February 2006, a bailiff (huissier) of the Nice court, accompanied by representatives of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Nice, came to the cathedral to implement the local Court’s ruling that an inventory of the contents and property of the Cathedral be made on behalf of the Russian Federation. Permission to enter the Cathedral, property of the local parish and registered as such under French law, was refused and in April the higher court denied the right of the Russian Federation to make this inventory. In fact, the French Ministry of Culture had just previously completed a very full inventory of the icons, wall paintings and other items in the building as part of the registration of the Cathedral as a historical monument.

The Russian Federation, through an indirect approach by their Ambassador in Paris, then began a lawsuit in the High Court in Nice in an attempt to claim the title of the land on which the Cathedral of St Nicholas is built. The case is thus now in the hands of the French legal system. The Cathedral community continued to insist on its rights, and to try to continue liturgical celebrations in a calm manner.

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Exarchate/Declaration_NiceJune08.html
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2009, 09:09:49 PM »

What would one say of the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK and have court cases underway to claim the Russian properties for their new allegiance?
"Departed to the Greeks"? You mean the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe? You mean those "Greeks" of Russian Tradition? Cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2009, 09:34:00 PM »

What would one say of the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK and have court cases underway to claim the Russian properties for their new allegiance?
"Departed to the Greeks"? You mean the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe? You mean those "Greeks" of Russian Tradition? Cheesy

Please read what I wrote attentively.

I did not call them "Greeks."  I wrote (see above) "the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK"

Why should they now be battling the Russian Church in the British courts to take the church properties to Constantinople?    Would you know if the Ecumenical Patriarchate has given its blessing to these actions in the courts?
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2009, 09:41:16 PM »

I did not call them "Greeks."  I wrote (see above) "the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK"

I know that's what you said, and again I ask what sort of "Greeks in the UK"? Answer: "the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe". Apparently, these "Greeks in the UK" as you call them are Russians. And their Exarchate traces it's origins to Patriarch Tikhon. Doesn't sound very "Greek" to me. But anyway......

Why should they now be battling the Russian Church in the British courts to take the church properties to Constantinople? 
Whose battling to take property for Constantinople? The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is autonomous. 

Would you know if the Ecumenical Patriarchate has given its blessing to these actions in the courts?
Why would she have to when The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is autonomous?
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2009, 09:53:37 PM »

I did not call them "Greeks."  I wrote (see above) "the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK"

I know that's what you said, and again I ask what sort of "Greeks in the UK"? Answer: "the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe". Apparently, these "Greeks in the UK" as you call them are Russians. And their Exarchate traces it's origins to Patriarch Tikhon. Doesn't sound very "Greek" to me. But anyway......

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2009, 09:56:34 PM »

[
Would you know if the Ecumenical Patriarchate has given its blessing to these actions in the courts?
Why would she have to when The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is autonomous?

The question turns, and I am sure that you must know this, on the extent of autonomy which was given to the Russian Archdiocese/Exarchate.
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2009, 10:11:28 PM »

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?

No. Bishop Basil appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. As a result, he was directed to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
He did not "join the Greeks", he appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (who, by the way, is a Turkish national) who then made a judgement and directed him to the autonomous Exarchate of Churches of Russian Tradition.
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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2009, 10:25:03 PM »

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?

No. Bishop Basil appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. As a result, he was directed to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
He did not "join the Greeks", he appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (who, by the way, is a Turkish national) who then made a judgement and directed him to the autonomous Exarchate of Churches of Russian Tradition.

What is the name of the Patriarch commemorated by Bishop Basil?
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2009, 10:33:42 PM »

What is the name of the Patriarch commemorated by Bishop Basil?
He commemorates the Primate of his Exarchate, Archbishop Gabriel of Comane.
 
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2009, 10:43:31 PM »

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?

No. Bishop Basil appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. As a result, he was directed to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
He did not "join the Greeks", he appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (who, by the way, is a Turkish national) who then made a judgement and directed him to the autonomous Exarchate of Churches of Russian Tradition.

OzGeorge:

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2009, 10:55:36 PM »

under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

Interesting.  Do you have examples of bishops appealing to Constantinople against decisions of the Pope of Rome? 

Rome would have been subordinated to Constantinople's right of eccliton for 600 years, from Chalcedon in 451 AD to the schism in 1054.

It seems very odd that Constantinople would have been the Court of Appeal against the Church of Rome which, after all, held first place in the diptychs ahead of Constantinople.
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2009, 11:00:26 PM »

What is the name of the Patriarch commemorated by Bishop Basil?
He commemorates the Primate of his Exarchate, Archbishop Gabriel of Comane.
 

And which Patriarch does the Exarch commemorate?

Is not an Exarch, by definition, a deputy of a Patriarch?
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2009, 11:46:12 PM »

OzGeorge and Cleveland,
Being a former short-term resident of UK, I support your statements 100%.

Bishop Basil (Osborne) and his flock did a right canonical thing. Now they do everything in order to strnegthen their parishes. For example, a number of ordinations has been performed.

The web-site of the Vicariate:
http://www.exarchate-uk.org/
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« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2009, 03:07:03 AM »

appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

I would speculate that Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) of Alaska is unaware that he has this right.  He has started the process in the US Courts to sue the Orthodox Church in America for $41 million, charging wrongful dismissal and stress.   

It would be better for Constantinople to exercise its ecclitive powers than have such a spectacle in the civil courts.

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« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2009, 05:07:36 AM »

Further information on the eccliton rights of the Church of Constantinople......


" Basil immediately appealed the decision to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the basis of Canons 9 and 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and also Canon 28 of the same Council. Such canons, some argue, endow the Constantinopolitan Patriarch with the privilege of the "ekkliton" (read, hearing appeal) and granting it jurisdiction over regions not already subject to the other four senior Patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. It should be noted, however, that this interpretation of these canons is not undisputed, and runs contrary to the classical interpretations of the canons found in the canonical commentaries of the Church.[6]"

It does seem that two of the most eminent canonists of the Throne would not agree about the right of eccliton.  Here is Saint Nikodemos and Zonaras:

"6 . As an example of the variances in interpretation, regarding Canon 9 of Chalcedon, St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain comments: "[This canon] did not say that if any clergyman has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of any diocese or parish whatever, they must be tried before the Bishop of Constantinople…."

"Zonaras likewise says that the Bishop of Constantinople is not necessarily entitled to sit as judge over all Metropolitans, but (only) over those who are judicially subject to him, and that "The Bishop of Constantinople must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Constantinople, precisely as the Bishop of Rome must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Rome."

In D. Cummings, trans., The Rudder of the Orthodox Catholic Church: The Compilation of the Holy Canons Saints Nicodemus and Agapius (West Brookfield, MA: The Orthodox Christian Educational Society, 1983), p. 255.

Source  ::  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Osborne
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 05:09:38 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2009, 05:24:31 AM »

I would speculate that Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) of Alaska is unaware that he has this right.  He has started the process in the US Courts to sue the Orthodox Church in America for $41 million, charging wrongful dismissal and stress.   

It would be better for Constantinople to exercise its ecclitive powers than have such a spectacle in the civil courts.
I know almost nothing about this sort of thing, but there must be a better way to resolve these disputes than to resort to the courts.  I seem to remember reading something...

Quote
1 Corinthians 6:1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church![a] 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
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« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2009, 07:20:28 AM »

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?

Under the Canons of the Orthodox Church, appeals can be made to Constantinople from any clergy in any jurisdiction.
Here are the Canons:

Canon IX of Chalcedon:
If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select.  And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties.  And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province.  And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.

Canon XVII of Chalcedon.
Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years.  But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province.  And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid.  And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.

Therefore, what Bishop Basil did was Canonical

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« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2009, 08:13:54 AM »

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?

Under the Canons of the Orthodox Church, appeals can be made to Constantinople from any clergy in any jurisdiction.
Here are the Canons:

Canon IX of Chalcedon:
If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select.  And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties.  And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province.  And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.

Canon XVII of Chalcedon.
Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years.  But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province.  And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid.  And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.

Therefore, what Bishop Basil did was Canonical





It certainly seems correct. If that is what the Canons say, etc. Now, one more question: These canons apply even when there is another Patriarchate over the territory?  The reason I ask, is that it almost seems, well, kind of "Papal" in scope. Almost like his holiness has some kind of "universal" jurisdiction.
I would think his Holiness, the Moscow Patriarch would not appreciate interference in his territory. Especially when there was recently a dispute regarding Estonia.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 08:15:04 AM by Mark of Ephesus » Logged

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