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Author Topic: Metropolitan Jonah: Ecumenical Patriarch back off!  (Read 39309 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #360 on: April 11, 2009, 04:05:41 PM »

For anyone participating in this debate or interested in these issues, I think it's imperative to listen to Met. Jonah's interview on this subject given this week to Ancient Faith Radio.  I think it gives a slightly broader context to his statements.

http://www.oca.org/news/1815

Too little too late.  He should have given context before he went out and just blurted whatever he felt like.   Undecided
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« Reply #361 on: April 11, 2009, 04:56:27 PM »

For anyone participating in this debate or interested in these issues, I think it's imperative to listen to Met. Jonah's interview on this subject given this week to Ancient Faith Radio.  I think it gives a slightly broader context to his statements.

http://www.oca.org/news/1815

Too little too late.  He should have given context before he went out and just blurted whatever he felt like.   Undecided

That's the American spirit of forgiveness!!!  Roll Eyes

Seriously though, just forgive him (if you feel he has reason to be forgiven)...
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« Reply #362 on: April 11, 2009, 05:41:29 PM »

This was the +JONAH I was hoping to hear.  Well thought out, gracious, graceful, articulate, and loving.

I have a couple concerns with his points, but am thrilled to hear him speak in a more loving and respectful manner.

Firstly, his point that the difficulty of uniting the Church in America (and I'm paraphrasing here) is in doing it in a way that alienates no one.  I think this is a key point.  He is very concerned about the laity, obviously, and thank God.  But I think that this has to be applied not only to the laity of the OCA, but that of ALL the jurisdictions (I'm not saying he meant it for only the OCA, I'm just making a general point here).  I'm willing to forgive and forget the manner and tone of his pan-Orthodox sermon, personally (chalk it up to the purple demons of Lent).  But it is more the general issue that concerns me.  I have no problem with seeing the dance troupes, Greek schools, Greek celebrations, etc. put aside (or at least into proper perspective), but I do NOT want to see a loss of the liturgical traditions, be they Greek (from the Byzantine tradition), Antiochian, or Russian (or any other liturgical traditions).  By traditions I don't mean language, I mean the manner and style of serving by the priests, musical traditions, architectural traditions, etc.

Secondly, he puts forth the OCA not as the ACTUAL Church to be adhered to (in other words, you don't have to join the OCA per se), but rather as the MODEL for unity.  I'm glad that he has made a clear distinction that we don't have to all come under the OCA.  I think that would make many uncomfortable.  However, I would prefer to see SCOBA as the administrative model, personally, whether +DEMETRIOS is at the head or not.  I personally like the way SCOBA functions and, considering all the problems the OCA has had in recent years, I think SCOBA is the more practical model.  That's nothing personal toward the OCA at all (I personally love the OCA, as my former father confessor was from the OCA and I felt loved, accepted, and very at home in his parish).

Thirdly, he offers a rather unOrthodox idea of conciliarity... that being one of the hierarchs AS WELL AS clergy and laity.  This concerns me DEEPLY for two reasons.  One, the Tradition of the Church (until the recent developments in the Russian tradition that he points out) has ALWAYS been one of hierarchical conciliarity.  This is one of those times when I think bucking against the tradition of the church that has prevailed for 2000 years could be dangerous.  Two, frankly, I don't trust the laity (myself included).  I think that has too much potential for mob rule, and not the work of the Holy Spirit.  I would have less of a problem with the hierarchs and clergy (absent of the laity).  But I think there's something EXTREMELY important to be said for not only theological education (which all of our hierarchs and clergy have, but a sad few of the laity have), but the GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH HEALS THAT WHICH IS INFIRM AND FILLS THAT WHICH IS LACKING (to paraphrase the prayer of ordination).  That grace is given ONLY to clergy/hierarchs, not to laity.  And to blur those lines is terribly dangerous. 

Fourthly, along the same lines of conciliarity, he presents, again, this idea of a synod, and throws in the primate as an afterthought.  This concerns me.  I would really like to hear more from him as to what he feels the role of the primate would be.  Would it be ONLY symbolic/liturgical?  Or would it, in fact, also be administrative?  Where is the line drawn?

Fifthly, his general characterization of the EP and the Greek Churches in America (by his implications) still concern me and strike me as fear mongering, to some extent.  This is because, when he was talking about the EP and then moved on to synods, he made it sound as though the EP functions absent of a synod, as though he is a pope.  This is, of course, terribly incorrect and, frankly, misleading.  He said (again paraphrasing-- I took notes, btw), that it is critical for church worldwide to have truly active EP who reflects the true diversity of Orthodoxy worldwide... this can only be done by entire synod...  This is misleading people to think that there is NO Patriarchal synod, or that the Patriarchal synod is not diverse.  On the contrary, there IS a Patriarchal synod, and it is made up of bishops from all over the world, who routinely rotate in and out, so that the diversity is ALWAYS changing (there is always a bishop from the US on the synod, btw). 

I think that's it for now.  I'm going to try to transcribe the entire conversation tonight and post it here, if I have the time following vespers.  I am REALLY eager to hear what everyone else thinks!!!

Though I do wish his last one had been delivered in this manner and not as it was, and though I may disagree with a few of his points, this is one conversation that, for his loving and gentle delivery, I am proud to say AXIOS to His Beatitude +JONAH for!
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« Reply #363 on: April 11, 2009, 06:12:14 PM »

Too little too late.  He should have given context before he went out and just blurted whatever he felt like.   Undecided

I do not believe that a man of his intellectual calibre just "blurted out" his thoughts at a sermon delivered at a pan-Orthodox service where there were dozens of priests in attendance.

Nor do I think that the priests were such kindergarten people that he needed to spend half an hour leading them through the context.

Let's not dumb down either the clergy or the Metropolitan.
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« Reply #364 on: April 11, 2009, 06:27:20 PM »

This was the +JONAH I was hoping to hear.  Well thought out, gracious, graceful, articulate, and loving.

I have a couple concerns with his points, but am thrilled to hear him speak in a more loving and respectful manner.

Firstly, his point that the difficulty of uniting the Church in America (and I'm paraphrasing here) is in doing it in a way that alienates no one.  I think this is a key point.  He is very concerned about the laity, obviously, and thank God.  But I think that this has to be applied not only to the laity of the OCA, but that of ALL the jurisdictions (I'm not saying he meant it for only the OCA, I'm just making a general point here).  I'm willing to forgive and forget the manner and tone of his pan-Orthodox sermon, personally (chalk it up to the purple demons of Lent).  But it is more the general issue that concerns me.  I have no problem with seeing the dance troupes, Greek schools, Greek celebrations, etc. put aside (or at least into proper perspective), but I do NOT want to see a loss of the liturgical traditions, be they Greek (from the Byzantine tradition), Antiochian, or Russian (or any other liturgical traditions).  By traditions I don't mean language, I mean the manner and style of serving by the priests, musical traditions, architectural traditions, etc.

Presvytera--I think His Beatitude would agree with you, based on prior conversations I've had with him.

Quote
Secondly, he puts forth the OCA not as the ACTUAL Church to be adhered to (in other words, you don't have to join the OCA per se), but rather as the MODEL for unity.  I'm glad that he has made a clear distinction that we don't have to all come under the OCA.  I think that would make many uncomfortable.  However, I would prefer to see SCOBA as the administrative model, personally, whether +DEMETRIOS is at the head or not.  I personally like the way SCOBA functions and, considering all the problems the OCA has had in recent years, I think SCOBA is the more practical model.  That's nothing personal toward the OCA at all (I personally love the OCA, as my former father confessor was from the OCA and I felt loved, accepted, and very at home in his parish).

I don't disagree that it could start with SCOBA.  The problem of course is that SCOBA is not a canonical synod--it's a combination task force and discussion group.  SCOBA would have to change fundamentally and significantly to become an actual synod as envisioned in the canons.  If it can do that successfully and effectively, wonderful.

Quote
  Thirdly, he offers a rather unOrthodox idea of conciliarity... that being one of the hierarchs AS WELL AS clergy and laity.  This concerns me DEEPLY for two reasons.  One, the Tradition of the Church (until the recent developments in the Russian tradition that he points out) has ALWAYS been one of hierarchical conciliarity.  This is one of those times when I think bucking against the tradition of the church that has prevailed for 2000 years could be dangerous.  Two, frankly, I don't trust the laity (myself included).  I think that has too much potential for mob rule, and not the work of the Holy Spirit.  I would have less of a problem with the hierarchs and clergy (absent of the laity).  But I think there's something EXTREMELY important to be said for not only theological education (which all of our hierarchs and clergy have, but a sad few of the laity have), but the GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH HEALS THAT WHICH IS INFIRM AND FILLS THAT WHICH IS LACKING (to paraphrase the prayer of ordination).  That grace is given ONLY to clergy/hierarchs, not to laity.  And to blur those lines is terribly dangerous. 
I think it's a unfair to describe the model he presents as unorthodox.  If by unorthodox you mean that it does not comport with the model the eventually developed under the Byzantine empire and has continued to today in most synods, you are right.  But I don't think that such a model is necessary under the canons, nor is it the way the Church functioned at other, mainly earlier, times.  I think that before throwing out an allegation such as "unOrthodox", a little more study and consideration is necessary.  See immediately below in that regard.

Quote
Fourthly, along the same lines of conciliarity, he presents, again, this idea of a synod, and throws in the primate as an afterthought.  This concerns me.  I would really like to hear more from him as to what he feels the role of the primate would be.  Would it be ONLY symbolic/liturgical?  Or would it, in fact, also be administrative?  Where is the line drawn?

See his paper presented last June, his recent address to the Metropolitan council, and the paper he posted this week on conciliarity.  I think they give a good sense of his opinion on this.

Quote
Fifthly, his general characterization of the EP and the Greek Churches in America (by his implications) still concern me and strike me as fear mongering, to some extent.  This is because, when he was talking about the EP and then moved on to synods, he made it sound as though the EP functions absent of a synod, as though he is a pope.  This is, of course, terribly incorrect and, frankly, misleading.  He said (again paraphrasing-- I took notes, btw), that it is critical for church worldwide to have truly active EP who reflects the true diversity of Orthodoxy worldwide... this can only be done by entire synod...  This is misleading people to think that there is NO Patriarchal synod, or that the Patriarchal synod is not diverse.  On the contrary, there IS a Patriarchal synod, and it is made up of bishops from all over the world, who routinely rotate in and out, so that the diversity is ALWAYS changing (there is always a bishop from the US on the synod, btw). 

By way of a very limited response, am I not correct that the inclusion at all times of one bishop from the GOAA on the Ecumenical Synod is a recent change?  I seem to recall that this is the case.  Although right now there are three American bishops---Mets. Isaiah, Nikitas, and Paisios (only one of which is in the GOAA).  Also, how many of the bishops on the Synod are not Greek by ethnicity, despite having under the Ecumenical Patriarch Ukrainian, Russian, Carpathos Rusyn, Albanian, and, well, Estonian bishops?  I believe, though I could be wrong, that the answer is zero.  The inclusion of such in the synod on an on-going basis would certainly go a long way toward dispelling the impression many, not just Met. Jonah, have that the Holy Patriarchal Synod is not very reflective of the diversity within the patriarchate, much less all of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #365 on: April 11, 2009, 07:02:05 PM »

For anyone participating in this debate or interested in these issues, I think it's imperative to listen to Met. Jonah's interview on this subject given this week to Ancient Faith Radio.  I think it gives a slightly broader context to his statements.

http://www.oca.org/news/1815

Too little too late.  He should have given context before he went out and just blurted whatever he felt like.   Undecided

That's the American spirit of forgiveness!!!  Roll Eyes

Seriously though, just forgive him (if you feel he has reason to be forgiven)...

Nothing to forgive, he didn't do anything to me.  Sorry he didn't do anything to me so...
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« Reply #366 on: April 11, 2009, 07:02:48 PM »

This was the +JONAH I was hoping to hear.  Well thought out, gracious, graceful, articulate, and loving. I have a couple concerns with his points, but am thrilled to hear him speak in a more loving and respectful manner.

Firstly, his point that the difficulty of uniting the Church in America (and I'm paraphrasing here) is in doing it in a way that alienates no one.  I think this is a key point.  He is very concerned about the laity, obviously, and thank God.  But I think that this has to be applied not only to the laity of the OCA, but that of ALL the jurisdictions (I'm not saying he meant it for only the OCA, I'm just making a general point here).  I'm willing to forgive and forget the manner and tone of his pan-Orthodox sermon, personally (chalk it up to the purple demons of Lent).  But it is more the general issue that concerns me.  I have no problem with seeing the dance troupes, Greek schools, Greek celebrations, etc. put aside (or at least into proper perspective), but I do NOT want to see a loss of the liturgical traditions, be they Greek (from the Byzantine tradition), Antiochian, or Russian (or any other liturgical traditions).  By traditions I don't mean language, I mean the manner and style of serving by the priests, musical traditions, architectural traditions, etc.

I think that Metropolitan Jonah would agree with you 100%.

Quote
Secondly, he puts forth the OCA not as the ACTUAL Church to be adhered to (in other words, you don't have to join the OCA per se), but rather as the MODEL for unity.  I'm glad that he has made a clear distinction that we don't have to all come under the OCA.  I think that would make many uncomfortable.  However, I would prefer to see SCOBA as the administrative model, personally, whether +DEMETRIOS is at the head or not.  I personally like the way SCOBA functions and, considering all the problems the OCA has had in recent years, I think SCOBA is the more practical model.  That's nothing personal toward the OCA at all (I personally love the OCA, as my former father confessor was from the OCA and I felt loved, accepted, and very at home in his parish).

The ecclesiastical model that +Jonah is advocating is "diocese heavy/national light." He very much likes the prescription of Saint Ignatius of Antioch; his second paper on conciliarity (at the OCA web site) is a must read to understand his thinking in this regard. In this paper and others he has severely criticized top-down management at the national level, particularly at OCA under the previous two primates. I think that the SCOBA-as-it-was-envisioned model may be close to what he is thinking about for the national level. But the real action would remain at the diocesan level.

Quote
Thirdly, he offers a rather unOrthodox idea of conciliarity... that being one of the hierarchs AS WELL AS clergy and laity.  This concerns me DEEPLY for two reasons.  One, the Tradition of the Church (until the recent developments in the Russian tradition that he points out) has ALWAYS been one of hierarchical conciliarity.  This is one of those times when I think bucking against the tradition of the church that has prevailed for 2000 years could be dangerous.  Two, frankly, I don't trust the laity (myself included).  I think that has too much potential for mob rule, and not the work of the Holy Spirit.  I would have less of a problem with the hierarchs and clergy (absent of the laity).  But I think there's something EXTREMELY important to be said for not only theological education (which all of our hierarchs and clergy have, but a sad few of the laity have), but the GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH HEALS THAT WHICH IS INFIRM AND FILLS THAT WHICH IS LACKING (to paraphrase the prayer of ordination).  That grace is given ONLY to clergy/hierarchs, not to laity.  And to blur those lines is terribly dangerous. 

Here our views must diverge. We do not have an unbroken 2,000 years of monarchical church government, although I would grant you that it has been that way for most of that time. This monarchical regimen was occasioned by the church becoming part of the state infrastructure. The monarchical model actually got worse under the Ottomans when the Patriarch of Constantinople became a vassal of the Sultan and the ethnarch for all Orthodox in the Ottoman Empire (central-western Anatolia and European parts). The best that I can say is that the Holy Spirit stayed with the church in spite of its ecclesiology and leadership.  

Regarding the laity, you make a claim that I had not heard before save when Martin Luther objected to the Roman See's division of the laos into two species: the clergy and the laity. On my part, I have read too many verses that talks about the grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit that is given to everybody to be able to agree with you. Now, it is undeniably true that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are different for different people and functions. It is also true that the clergy receive particular charisma that enables them to fulfill their functions, and that only priests and bishops get special charisma and gifts at their ordination. This distinction does not make the laity into a different and inferior species of believers or untermensch. BTW, it was "mob rule" that saved Orthodoxy in at least two occasions in the distant pass, and most recently in the catacomb church in the Soviet Union.

Quote
Fourthly, along the same lines of conciliarity, he presents, again, this idea of a synod, and throws in the primate as an afterthought.  This concerns me.  I would really like to hear more from him as to what he feels the role of the primate would be.  Would it be ONLY symbolic/liturgical?  Or would it, in fact, also be administrative?  Where is the line drawn?

As I said above, +Jonah means to minimize the role of the primate. If you look at this pragmatically, you could see that unity, not in uniformity but in complementary variety, would be accomplished much easier and better without a strong primacy.

Quote
Fifthly, his general characterization of the EP and the Greek Churches in America (by his implications) still concern me and strike me as fear mongering, to some extent.  This is because, when he was talking about the EP and then moved on to synods, he made it sound as though the EP functions absent of a synod, as though he is a pope.  This is, of course, terribly incorrect and, frankly, misleading.  He said (again paraphrasing-- I took notes, btw), that it is critical for church worldwide to have truly active EP who reflects the true diversity of Orthodoxy worldwide... this can only be done by entire synod...  This is misleading people to think that there is NO Patriarchal synod, or that the Patriarchal synod is not diverse.  On the contrary, there IS a Patriarchal synod, and it is made up of bishops from all over the world, who routinely rotate in and out, so that the diversity is ALWAYS changing (there is always a bishop from the US on the synod, btw).

I think his understanding of the future North American synod he has in mind is different than the Patriarchate of Constantinople, First of all, he does not think much of bishops without flocks. Secondly, his point of reference is the diocese, not the Patriarchate. Thirdly, he envisions a much more diverse synod. On the last point, contrast a possible North American synod that is composed of American, Canadian, Arab, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbia, Russian and Ukrainian diocesan bishops to the Holy Synod in Constantinople where most of the members are much more homogeneous.

On a personal note, I really admire your resiliency and Christian charity, and wish you a blessed Holy Week and Pascha. And, in case we do not communicate in the interim, Christ is risen!
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« Reply #367 on: April 11, 2009, 09:03:28 PM »

For anyone participating in this debate or interested in these issues, I think it's imperative to listen to Met. Jonah's interview on this subject given this week to Ancient Faith Radio.  I think it gives a slightly broader context to his statements.

http://www.oca.org/news/1815

Too little too late.  He should have given context before he went out and just blurted whatever he felt like.   Undecided

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« Reply #368 on: April 11, 2009, 10:17:29 PM »

Quote from: serb1389 link=topic=20605.msg309364#msg309364 date=1239373498

You might want to be a little more careful here.  What he said was:
[/quote

Here is what he said, and my comments red[/red] of his beliefs that I reject blue:

Quote
Let me add that the refusal to recognize primacy within the Orthodox Church, a primacy that necessarily cannot but be embodied by a primus (that is by a bishop who has the prerogative of being the first among his fellow bishops) constitutes nothing less than heresy. It cannot be accepted, as often it is said, that the unity among the Orthodox Churches is safeguarded by either a common norm of faith and worship or by the Ecumenical Council as an institution.That's exactly what I believe Both of these factors are impersonal while in our Orthodox theology the principle of unity is always a person.(I'd like to see the sources for this claim, a bit more authoritative than The Very Revered Secretary of His All Divine Most Holiness.) Indeed, in the level of the Holy Trinity the principle of unity is not the divine essence but the Person of the Father (“Monarchy” of the Father),(Since the Holy Trinity is incomprehensible, while the Church is a union of all faithful of all times with Christ as her head, with Christ as Beginning and End, I particularly reject his analogy with the Holy Trinity) at the ecclesiological level of the local Church the principle of unity is not the presbyterium or the common worship of the Christians but the person of the Bishop(Yet another false analogy that I reject - bishop is indeed the point of gathering of the faithful of one place in one time - but we are union of all times) so to in the Pan-Orthodox level the principle of unity cannot be an idea nor an institution but it needs to be, if we are to be consistent with our theology, a person.Here comes to mind a very accurate comment of the Greek Archbishop of Austrialia upon the explanation of one of his colleagues of the same Synod "Does he think we are stupid?"

Definitely, Very Revered Secretary of His Most Divine Holliens and myself do not hold the same Faith.
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« Reply #369 on: April 11, 2009, 11:09:54 PM »

This was the +JONAH I was hoping to hear.  Well thought out, gracious, graceful, articulate, and loving.

I have a couple concerns with his points, but am thrilled to hear him speak in a more loving and respectful manner.

Firstly, his point that the difficulty of uniting the Church in America (and I'm paraphrasing here) is in doing it in a way that alienates no one.  I think this is a key point.  He is very concerned about the laity, obviously, and thank God.  But I think that this has to be applied not only to the laity of the OCA, but that of ALL the jurisdictions (I'm not saying he meant it for only the OCA, I'm just making a general point here).  I'm willing to forgive and forget the manner and tone of his pan-Orthodox sermon, personally (chalk it up to the purple demons of Lent).  But it is more the general issue that concerns me.  I have no problem with seeing the dance troupes, Greek schools, Greek celebrations, etc. put aside (or at least into proper perspective), but I do NOT want to see a loss of the liturgical traditions, be they Greek (from the Byzantine tradition), Antiochian, or Russian (or any other liturgical traditions).  By traditions I don't mean language, I mean the manner and style of serving by the priests, musical traditions, architectural traditions, etc.

You made a point earlier which I hadn't respond to:

And another (one of my favorites):
Quote
Not to some kind of alien ideology, not to some nationalist or imperialist ideology from some forgotten empire.  Not the imposition of foreign customs, and the submission to foreign despots – but to a united church in this country.  
Really?  You must be kidding.  He's talking about foreign customs wearing a RUSSIAN style of vestments!  Did I miss something or didn't the OCA come from the Russian tradition?  Certainly looks like it, from the tradition of music, liturgics, and vestments (among other things).  Why does he fault the Greek Orthodox for following the Byzantine tradition of music, liturgics, and vestments?  Isn't that a little backward?  If he is not speaking of liturgical tradition, then what is he speaking of?  Is he implying that the EP is going to force everyone to learn modern Greek, Greek dances, Greek cooking, celebrate Greek holidays, etc?  Surely not.  I think we can all see how absurd that would be.  Unfortunately, yes, many of the GOA churches have Greek school and dance troupes.  And I think most of us (including the clergy and hierarchs) will tell you it is unfortunate, not the place of the church, and that we are trying to weed that stuff out.  To take that further and say that not only would the EP NOT weed those things out, but would force them on other churches, that is just baseless and, I'm sorry, but falsehood.

and a related question:
s
I've often found that clergy of such and such ethnicity are often the ones most insistent on obliterating it.
I'm not sure where you're going with this... would you mind elaborating please?

I think your point on the "Russianness" of the OCA (or the "Nashness," from the large core of Carpatho-Russians who came in) is valid.  I myself spent a decade in a OCA parish, and then 5 years in the OCA Cathedral of Chicago, Holy Trinity ( blessed in that it was consecrated by St. Tikhon himself, and another saint, St. John Kuchurov the Protomartyr of the Bolsheviks, was the founding priest).  Yes, there are some who think because its in English, its not ethnic, but I have to say, for the vast majority of those I knew/know in the OCA, they are aware of ethnic differences.  I remember one person at the cathedral commenting on some hymn/tone and saying it was "hill billy Russian" (Carpato-Russian/Rusyn) and compared it to another hymn:both were in English (btw, the person also seemed to be unaware that his grace Job was CR).  There were other things we sang in "Greek tone," in English, (but also in Greek too).

His grace instituted a number of practices that were refered to as "Greek": some were brought by Greeks in the parish.  Everyone thought of them as "Greek," although the parish did them year after year.  Btw, the "Greek" was just for identification purposes: I never heard anyone complain of them, and many were enthusiastic about them.

One thing should be remembered: although his beatitude converted, he was received at a Patriarchal Parish, Our Lady of Kazan, number 6 on the Tomos list:
Finally, in addition to the Michigan parishes listed above, all the following still are active Patriarchal parishes:
Quote
6. Our Lady of Kazan Church, San Diego, State of California
He subsequently spent a year in Russia working for the Moscow Patriarchate, entered Valaam Monastery (near Finland, where the original missionaries to America came) and was evidently ordained priest there.  So although a convert born in the USA and ordained a bishop by the OCA, his roots are deeply Russian. So I don't think he has an animus about ethnic culture, far from.  I think he only has a problem when it becomes isolating.  He serves Russian style, because in some ways, he is Russian.  But I don't think he has (and I see no evidence of it: if you have, please quote) anything about "Byzantine" (I prefer "Constantinoplean" or "Greek") style or any other style of liturgics.  I don't think he has a problem with language (again, if I am wrong, please indicate), nor dance troups etc. (as long as in proper place).  I don't think he sees unity in terms of homogenization or "Americanization" in the sense of obliterating ethnicity.  He is just opposed to divisions based on it, or ecclesiology based on it.

As to my comment about the clergy and ethnicity, let me give an example: at the parish I was at, the new priest, who was CR like the parish, once was telling me with glee how he was putting the stake throught the heart of the Slavonic.  He was somewhat stunned when I asked why.  I pointed out that I didn't have a drop of CR, or Slavic for that matter, blood and I didn't mind the Slavonic: they alternated so something in Slavonic this week was English the next. People tried to be able to say "Christ is risen!" to me in Arabic. This was their heretage, they founded this Church (from the Vatican, btw) so it was here for me when I needed it.  My singing in Slavonic was a way of thanks, and no one looked down on me or required the Slavonic of me. "Why can't you leave it alone?" was my concluding remark. Said priest, btw, ended up defrocked when he abandoned his wife and sons and ran off with another priest's wife.

Most convert clergy (which is over half in the OCA and among the Antichians) are quite fine with tolerating the language and culture at least.  The only ones who I've heard talk about killing it have all been those who are of it.

Quote
Secondly, he puts forth the OCA not as the ACTUAL Church to be adhered to (in other words, you don't have to join the OCA per se), but rather as the MODEL for unity.  I'm glad that he has made a clear distinction that we don't have to all come under the OCA.  I think that would make many uncomfortable.  However, I would prefer to see SCOBA as the administrative model, personally, whether +DEMETRIOS is at the head or not.  I personally like the way SCOBA functions and, considering all the problems the OCA has had in recent years, I think SCOBA is the more practical model.  That's nothing personal toward the OCA at all (I personally love the OCA, as my former father confessor was from the OCA and I felt loved, accepted, and very at home in his parish).

When SCOBA is discussed as a eccleasiastical model, I have to confess, I don't know what it means, as it is not an ecclesiastical structure: it is an ad hoc committee.  When it tried to transform itself into a canonical structure at Ligonier, well, the rest is history.  I have no problem, in priniciple, of SCOBA being an "Episcopal Assembly" on its way to becoming a Synod, but 1) the Chief Secretary's comments makes me distrust such a scheme, as his comment:
Quote
The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity.
is contradicted by SCOBA's constitution

Quote
II. AUTHORITY AND STRUCTURE
(a) Authority.
All authority in the Conference resides in the member hierarchs and is derived from them. All decisions of the Conference shall require two-thirds approval of the member hierarchs present at a regular or special meeting to become binding on the Conference.
No decision of the Conference shall interfere with the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any of the Canonical Orthodox Churches, or any of the member Hierarchs.
Autocephalous Churches, represented in the Standing Conference, are recognizing each other as equal sister Orthodox Churches with equal canonical rights.
(b) Structure.
Presiding Hierarch. The Office of Presiding Hierarch shall pass in turn annually to the presiding hierarchs of the member jurisdictions in order of their precedence in the Church.

 and 2) there is the problem that it would include an autocephalous Church with representatives of other autocephalous Churches.  The Resident Synod often in Constantinople might be a model, but I would think that would require Met. Jonah, as primate of the Residence, to head it, not to run afoul of Apostolic canon 34 and c. 8 of Ephesus.


Quote
Thirdly, he offers a rather unOrthodox idea of conciliarity... that being one of the hierarchs AS WELL AS clergy and laity.  This concerns me DEEPLY for two reasons.  One, the Tradition of the Church (until the recent developments in the Russian tradition that he points out) has ALWAYS been one of hierarchical conciliarity.  This is one of those times when I think bucking against the tradition of the church that has prevailed for 2000 years could be dangerous.  Two, frankly, I don't trust the laity (myself included).  I think that has too much potential for mob rule, and not the work of the Holy Spirit.  I would have less of a problem with the hierarchs and clergy (absent of the laity).  But I think there's something EXTREMELY important to be said for not only theological education (which all of our hierarchs and clergy have, but a sad few of the laity have), but the GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH HEALS THAT WHICH IS INFIRM AND FILLS THAT WHICH IS LACKING (to paraphrase the prayer of ordination).  That grace is given ONLY to clergy/hierarchs, not to laity.  And to blur those lines is terribly dangerous.


Not so dangerous as the opposite: just look at Mardukm's posts, and more at CAF, on the reaction of the Faithful to the council of Florence.  The examples could be multiplied: the Faithful's reaction to the deposition of St. John Chrysostom, the Faithful in Alexandria's reactions to the exiles of St. Athanasius, the abolition of the Henotikon, etc.  The laity are not totally devoid of that grace: we receive a portion in chrismation.  And there have been numberous times in the Churches history when we had to use it.

And watch out for education: when I went to a Unitarian "church" once, they made the point that the average seminarian today has more theological training and knowledge than the bishops at the First Ecumenical Council.  "Yes," I said, "that's how they got it right."

Quote
Fourthly, along the same lines of conciliarity, he presents, again, this idea of a synod, and throws in the primate as an afterthought.  This concerns me.  I would really like to hear more from him as to what he feels the role of the primate would be.  Would it be ONLY symbolic/liturgical?  Or would it, in fact, also be administrative?  Where is the line drawn?

As he is dismantling the centralization of the OCA, it would seem to be the former.  But I don't think it's either/or.  Just "what is primary?"

Quote
Fifthly, his general characterization of the EP and the Greek Churches in America (by his implications) still concern me and strike me as fear mongering, to some extent.  This is because, when he was talking about the EP and then moved on to synods, he made it sound as though the EP functions absent of a synod, as though he is a pope.  This is, of course, terribly incorrect and, frankly, misleading.  He said (again paraphrasing-- I took notes, btw), that it is critical for church worldwide to have truly active EP who reflects the true diversity of Orthodoxy worldwide... this can only be done by entire synod...  This is misleading people to think that there is NO Patriarchal synod, or that the Patriarchal synod is not diverse.  On the contrary, there IS a Patriarchal synod, and it is made up of bishops from all over the world, who routinely rotate in and out, so that the diversity is ALWAYS changing (there is always a bishop from the US on the synod, btw).
 

I'll have to rehear it before commenting.

Quote
I think that's it for now.  I'm going to try to transcribe the entire conversation tonight and post it here, if I have the time following vespers.  I am REALLY eager to hear what everyone else thinks!!!

LOL.  Be careful what you ask for.... Shocked

Quote
Though I do wish his last one had been delivered in this manner and not as it was, and though I may disagree with a few of his points, this is one conversation that, for his loving and gentle delivery, I am proud to say AXIOS to His Beatitude +JONAH for!

Irenic as ever. Smiley
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« Reply #370 on: April 12, 2009, 09:17:27 AM »

I am sure that most of us, and especially the North Americans, are taking these matters to God in prayer.  There seem to be tectonic forces at work, pushing and shifting in the dark to remake the face of Orthodoxy in America.

It may in the long run have a positive outcome but it would certainly not be a waste of time and it would be a great blessing to spend time in prayer each day to the Saints of North America.  The work which they began as missionaries and which must still be close to their hearts cries out now for their involvement from heaven in the current decision-making.

I don't know if you are familiar, Father, with Hapgood: it is the standard (just by usage) of All the Orthodox in America (I've yet to see a parish without a copy).  St. Tikhon supported the first edition while in America, and when she revised it for a second edition, under the supervision of St. Alexander Horovitsky, St. Tikhon sent his approval of it in a ukase of Nov. 3, 1921 (i.e. within a year of the ukase No. 362 of 1920, which foresight guided both the OCA and ROCOR, and within months of his arrest and imprisonment and being "deposed").  It's ending may be the last words in this world (I'm sure he says more in the next) of the Englightener of North America to the Orthodox Church in America:

Quote
Our Patriarchal Blessing be upon Our American flock, always so near to Our heart; and upon Our never-to-be-forgotten American friends, and unto you all. Our Patriarchal Blessing and prayerful greeting.
http://www.roca.org/OA/157/157f.htm
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« Reply #371 on: April 12, 2009, 09:38:46 AM »

I don't know if you are familiar, Father, with Hapgood

The Blessed Isabel is all I have used for all my English life since the 1960s.  Indeed very little else was available at that time apart from Nassar but I always thought the Nassar English was atrocious.  Hapgood introduced me to the Miles Coverdale Psalms (until then I had known only the Douai ones.)    Two decades of using Hapgood for our daily English Vespers, Matins and Hours meant that it is Coverdale's Psalms which are fixed in my memory.  Some of the most beautiful English on earth and well adapted for intoning.


This lecture below is a fine tribute to her.

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/pc/women/hapgood/ledkovsky.pdf


----------------
A Linguistic Bridge to Orthodoxy
In Memoriam : Isabel Florence Hapgood

By Marina Ledkovsky
Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Barnard College, Columbia University

A lecture delivered at the Twelfth Annual Russian Orthodox Musicians Conference, 7-11 October 1998, Washington, D.C.

"...EASTERN ORTHODOX Christians in America know Isabel Hapgood by name, but possibly not much about her life and activities. And yet, she merits to be remembered with respect and gratitude, as she was a champion in the awesome task of translating Orthodox liturgical texts from Church Slavonic into English.

"This year is the 70th anniversary of Isabel Hapgood's death and almost the 150th of her birth. Therefore, it is indeed fitting to at least inform ourselves about her personality and her contribution to the Englishspeaking Orthodox communities in the United States......"
 
---
 
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« Reply #372 on: April 12, 2009, 05:52:33 PM »

Quote
I think your point on the "Russianness" of the OCA (or the "Nashness," from the large core of Carpatho-Russians who came in) is valid.  I myself spent a decade in a OCA parish, and then 5 years in the OCA Cathedral of Chicago, Holy Trinity ( blessed in that it was consecrated by St. Tikhon himself, and another saint, St. John Kuchurov the Protomartyr of the Bolsheviks, was the founding priest).  Yes, there are some who think because its in English, its not ethnic, but I have to say, for the vast majority of those I knew/know in the OCA, they are aware of ethnic differences.  I remember one person at the cathedral commenting on some hymn/tone and saying it was "hill billy Russian" (Carpato-Russian/Rusyn) and compared it to another hymn:both were in English (btw, the person also seemed to be unaware that his grace Job was CR).  There were other things we sang in "Greek tone," in English, (but also in Greek too).

This is a side note, but do you know where there's a parish history of the cathedral?  I attended the Paschal liturgy there in 1991, and assumed it was Great Russian (it was the second Orthodox church I had visited).  I read something recently that said the people who founded it were Rusyn; i.e. the ones who contracted Sullivan to design the building.

The one thing that really stood out to me was one of the Deacon's was African-American.
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« Reply #373 on: April 12, 2009, 06:13:42 PM »

Quote
I think your point on the "Russianness" of the OCA (or the "Nashness," from the large core of Carpatho-Russians who came in) is valid.  I myself spent a decade in a OCA parish, and then 5 years in the OCA Cathedral of Chicago, Holy Trinity ( blessed in that it was consecrated by St. Tikhon himself, and another saint, St. John Kuchurov the Protomartyr of the Bolsheviks, was the founding priest).  Yes, there are some who think because its in English, its not ethnic, but I have to say, for the vast majority of those I knew/know in the OCA, they are aware of ethnic differences.  I remember one person at the cathedral commenting on some hymn/tone and saying it was "hill billy Russian" (Carpato-Russian/Rusyn) and compared it to another hymn:both were in English (btw, the person also seemed to be unaware that his grace Job was CR).  There were other things we sang in "Greek tone," in English, (but also in Greek too).

This is a side note, but do you know where there's a parish history of the cathedral?  I attended the Paschal liturgy there in 1991, and assumed it was Great Russian (it was the second Orthodox church I had visited).  I read something recently that said the people who founded it were Rusyn; i.e. the ones who contracted Sullivan to design the building.

The one thing that really stood out to me was one of the Deacon's was African-American.

Yes, Carl.

Quote
“Go therefore, and make disciples” Matthew, 28-19

In 1895, Fr. John Kochurov, a young and energetic priest from St. Petersburg, Russia, arrived to care for the Chicago parish and began to make plans for a new church and rectory. Funds were granted from Russia’s Holy Synod and Tsar Nicholas gave a personal gift of $4,000 to the building fund. Attracted by a model Orthodox chapel exhibited at the Columbian Exposition in 1893, many wealthy Chicagoans gave additional gifts, and the search for an architect began.


A Chicago Landmark is Born

By the time Louis Henry Sullivan was asked to design the cathedral and parish structures, he had earned a reputation for being one of America’s most renowned architects. In designing this church, Sullivan undoubtedly studied the designs of numerous contemporary Russian churches, however, archival references show that a small wooden church in the village of Tatarskaya in Siberia served as inspiration for his final design.

The cornerstone for the new church was laid on March 31, 1902, and the new structure was consecrated by Bishop Tikhon of the North American mission of the Russian Orthodox Church on March 25, 1903. (Bishop Tikhon upon his return to Russia was elected as patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Russia and later died as a confessor to Christ.) Holy Trinity was designated a cathedral in 1923.
http://holytrinitycathedral.net/history.html
Their may have been Rusyns among them, but the families whose ancestors founded the parish still there were Great Russian. St. Alexis Toth, who was Rusyn and in MN came down to serve when the parish was getting organized in 1892. One of the bishops Arb. John of blessed memory, was the Archb. of Riga and All Latvia: he came to America with the WWII GI's.

There is an anniversary book that gives all its history for a century, but I can't recall the exact title.

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« Reply #374 on: April 12, 2009, 06:21:05 PM »

This news item from the Church of Russia has a bearing on this conversation...

Moscow states Opposition to Concept of a Head Bishop for the Global Church

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« Reply #375 on: April 12, 2009, 09:20:45 PM »

For anyone participating in this debate or interested in these issues, I think it's imperative to listen to Met. Jonah's interview on this subject given this week to Ancient Faith Radio.  I think it gives a slightly broader context to his statements.

http://www.oca.org/news/1815

Too little too late.  He should have given context before he went out and just blurted whatever he felt like.   Undecided

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« Reply #376 on: April 13, 2009, 08:24:55 AM »

This may be germane to our discussion:

"On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople visited Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute where he had once studied and completed his doctorate in Canon Law during the 1960’s. The Dean of the Faculty of Eastern Church Studies, Jesuit Fr Edward Farrugia, in an interview said that the visit was indeed significant… “Well of course we are immensely proud to have had the present Ecumenical Patriarch as a past student and he is certainly one of our most famous, if not our most famous alumnus and I think for us it’s a shot in the arm that such an important figure, who is the first primate of the Orthodox East... He certainly has moral authority as a figure who represents something, who represents a big history, a big church. Then I think that it is also significant because it happens at this time, when dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches who recognise themselves in this Constantinopolitan community is moving ahead, so we think that this is very providential. And I must say how moved he was when I brought him the invitation, and for us it cannot but be a blessing”.
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« Reply #377 on: April 13, 2009, 12:06:53 PM »

Just curious, what is Kallisos Ware's position about American Orthodoxy?  He's frequently spoken in many Orthodox churches here in America, yet is also under the EP.
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« Reply #378 on: April 13, 2009, 12:11:04 PM »

This may be germane to our discussion:

"On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople visited Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute where he had once studied and completed his doctorate in Canon Law during the 1960’s. The Dean of the Faculty of Eastern Church Studies, Jesuit Fr Edward Farrugia, in an interview said that the visit was indeed significant… “Well of course we are immensely proud to have had the present Ecumenical Patriarch as a past student and he is certainly one of our most famous, if not our most famous alumnus and I think for us it’s a shot in the arm that such an important figure, who is the first primate of the Orthodox East... He certainly has moral authority as a figure who represents something, who represents a big history, a big church. Then I think that it is also significant because it happens at this time, when dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches who recognise themselves in this Constantinopolitan community is moving ahead, so we think that this is very providential. And I must say how moved he was when I brought him the invitation, and for us it cannot but be a blessing”.

Where's this from?
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« Reply #379 on: April 13, 2009, 12:22:50 PM »

Just curious, what is Kallisos Ware's position about American Orthodoxy?  He's frequently spoken in many Orthodox churches here in America, yet is also under the EP.

He once was asked about the canonical status of ROCOR (this was before the reunion), and said that it was somewhat a problem of talking about "uncanonical" where there were multiple bishops in one city.  He did relate that he was told when he converted that "of course, you can never be ordained," to which he replied that that didn't matter, he was so glad to be received.  Then when he was ordained, he was told "of course, you can never elevated to a bishop."  He said that the first Orthodox Church he went into was Russian, and he didn't understand a thing of the Slavonic.  He does refer to a monastery in Greece (Patmos?) as  "[his] monastery," so calls some place besides England home.  On the subject of abortion, he discussed the situation in Greece, questioning the propriety of  banning it when there were non-Orthodox in Greece, i.e. didn't discuss the topic from the situation in America (which, however, he may have been far less familiar with). 

On the subject of translation, he was apologetic about his Elizabethan (I) style, saying he would "be that way until the grave," as it was the way he was raised.  But then he went into how that language wasn't understood by immigrants, making an explicit reference to Cypriots.  He didn't speak about those Orthodox raised speaking English.

He also mentioned that when he serves in the U.S., he has to stop him himself from commemorating "Our Sovereing Lady, Queen Elizabeth..."
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« Reply #380 on: April 13, 2009, 12:30:52 PM »

This may be germane to our discussion:

"On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople visited Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute where he had once studied and completed his doctorate in Canon Law during the 1960’s. The Dean of the Faculty of Eastern Church Studies, Jesuit Fr Edward Farrugia, in an interview said that the visit was indeed significant… “Well of course we are immensely proud to have had the present Ecumenical Patriarch as a past student and he is certainly one of our most famous, if not our most famous alumnus and I think for us it’s a shot in the arm that such an important figure, who is the first primate of the Orthodox East... He certainly has moral authority as a figure who represents something, who represents a big history, a big church. Then I think that it is also significant because it happens at this time, when dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches who recognise themselves in this Constantinopolitan community is moving ahead, so we think that this is very providential. And I must say how moved he was when I brought him the invitation, and for us it cannot but be a blessing”.

Where's this from?
Well, it can't be this year's news because March 6th was a Friday this year.
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« Reply #381 on: April 13, 2009, 12:55:25 PM »

This may be germane to our discussion:

"On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople visited Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute where he had once studied and completed his doctorate in Canon Law during the 1960’s. The Dean of the Faculty of Eastern Church Studies, Jesuit Fr Edward Farrugia, in an interview said that the visit was indeed significant… “Well of course we are immensely proud to have had the present Ecumenical Patriarch as a past student and he is certainly one of our most famous, if not our most famous alumnus and I think for us it’s a shot in the arm that such an important figure, who is the first primate of the Orthodox East... He certainly has moral authority as a figure who represents something, who represents a big history, a big church. Then I think that it is also significant because it happens at this time, when dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches who recognise themselves in this Constantinopolitan community is moving ahead, so we think that this is very providential. And I must say how moved he was when I brought him the invitation, and for us it cannot but be a blessing”.

Where's this from?
Well, it can't be this year's news because March 6th was a Friday this year.

Old Calendar?

It can be found here.  I won't comment on the pictures.
http://www.pontificalorientalinstitute.com/gallery-and-multimedia/picture-gallery/bartolomeo-i-ecumenical-patriarch-of-constantinople-some-pics-of-the-event.html
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« Reply #382 on: April 13, 2009, 12:58:36 PM »

This may be germane to our discussion:

"On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople visited Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute where he had once studied and completed his doctorate in Canon Law during the 1960’s. The Dean of the Faculty of Eastern Church Studies, Jesuit Fr Edward Farrugia, in an interview said that the visit was indeed significant… “Well of course we are immensely proud to have had the present Ecumenical Patriarch as a past student and he is certainly one of our most famous, if not our most famous alumnus and I think for us it’s a shot in the arm that such an important figure, who is the first primate of the Orthodox East... He certainly has moral authority as a figure who represents something, who represents a big history, a big church. Then I think that it is also significant because it happens at this time, when dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches who recognise themselves in this Constantinopolitan community is moving ahead, so we think that this is very providential. And I must say how moved he was when I brought him the invitation, and for us it cannot but be a blessing”.

Where's this from?
Well, it can't be this year's news because March 6th was a Friday this year.

Old Calendar?
No. Last years news (check the date).

For heaven's sake! What is there to comment about the pictures?
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« Reply #383 on: April 13, 2009, 07:13:27 PM »


For heaven's sake! What is there to comment about the pictures?

I did not see anything out of the ordinary in the pictures either. It appears that the Pontifical Institute gave the Patriarch appropriate honors by the setting and attendance by numerous dignitaries.

BTW, I had not noticed that it was from 2008; the fact that the Patriarch has a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute was news to me. Furthermore, I have no idea how it is germane but I thought it might be.
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« Reply #384 on: April 13, 2009, 07:37:39 PM »


For heaven's sake! What is there to comment about the pictures?

I did not see anything out of the ordinary in the pictures either. It appears that the Pontifical Institute gave the Patriarch appropriate honors by the setting and attendance by numerous dignitaries.

BTW, I had not noticed that it was from 2008; the fact that the Patriarch has a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute was news to me. Furthermore, I have no idea how it is germane but I thought it might be.

Doctorate in canon law from the Vatican, eh?

It's germane:
Quote
I think we have a better solution.  That we come, and this is something of the utmost importance, and it is something immanent,  it’s not something that we can wait and say “Oh maybe in my grandchildren’s time we’ll have orthodox unity.”  I’m talking about June.  And if you think I’m kidding, there is a conference being convened at the Phanar in June to discuss exactly this – actually it’s in Cyprus.  To subject the diaspora to the single, singular control – the so called diaspora – well, of the patriarchate of Constantinople, and thereby come into unity.  Well, that’s one model for unity.  I would submit that if we wanted a pope we would be under the real one.  And I don’t think any of us want a pope, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
I don’t think the Holy Fathers in the Phanar understand that we are a church, albeit, with separate administrations, but that has a common value of determining our own destiny...
There are those that would, there are those there that would say that there was no canonical orthodox church in America until 1924 with the establishment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Greek Archdiocese.  Excuse me...
There are those, there, in the old world who devalue this, who say that they are the only criterion of orthodoxy.  Who are ignorant of our saints.  Who refuse to recognize the sacrifice of so many of those who have come before us in Christ to establish the gospel here.  I think  we have a different solution....

As compared to:
Quote
First of all, allow me to remind you that the term “diaspora” is a technical term denoting those regions that lie beyond the borders of the local autocephalous Churches. It does not mean that the Orthodox people who dwell in these regions live there temporally, as misleadingly it was argued by His Eminence Phillip in a recent article (“The Word”). According to the 28th Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council one of the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch is precisely His jurisdiction exactly over these regions, which lie beyond the predescribed borders of the local Churches. The canon in question uses the technical term “barbaric” in order to denote these lands, since it was precisely referring to the unknown lands beyond the orbit of the Roman Empire.
On account of this canon, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has suffered the unfair and unjust criticism of two American Orthodox Hierarchs: Metropolitan Phillip and the newly elected Metropolitan Jonas
The most provocative of his claims is that which asserts that with the formation of the so-called OCA “the presence of any other jurisdiction on American territory becomes uncanonical, and membership in the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America becomes the criterion of canonicity of all bishops in America.” It is perhaps a sign of our times that he who violated the holy canons par excellence, the most uncanonically claimed as allegedly autocephalous, makes now himself the criterion of canonicity and vitiates the canonical hierarchs as uncanonical. O tempora, o mores!
Based on the above distinction, and although he accepts that canon 28 of the 4th Ecumenical Council is not “dead” (since there is so much debate about it), he affirms that indeed it gives certain prerogatives to the Ecumenical Patriarch, on the other hand, however, he claims that this happened for secular and political reasons that have nothing to do with today’s state of affairs. Implicitly and yet all too clearly, Metropolitan Phillip implies that the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch can be doubted. The question then is: does His Eminence know of any Church whose status (Patriarchal or Autocephalous) were not decided according to the historical conditions that they were current at the time? Or, does His Eminence know of any Church that has received its status on the basis of theological reasons exclusively? Every administrative decision of an Ecumenical Council is equally respected to perpetuity together with its dogmatic decisions. Imagine the consequences for the Orthodox Church if we begin to re-evalutate the status of each local Church!
The correct interpretation of canon 28 is considered by His Eminence as “novelty”, by invoking only sources of the 20th century, while it has been scientifically established already by the late Metropolitan of Sardeis Maximos the uninterrupted application of the canon in question during the history of the Church of Constantinople
If Constantinople was not given that prerogative by canon 28, how was she able to grant autocephalies and patriarchal dignities to the Churches of Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Czech Lands and Slovakia, Poland and Albania? Under the provision of which canon did Constantinople give the right of jurisdiction over the remaining of Africa to the Patriarchate of Alexandria in 2002?
The submission of the diaspora to the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not mean either Hellenization or violation of the canonical order, because it is only in this way that both the letter and the spirit of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils is respected. The Mother Church knows, however, that such a submission is difficult to be accomplished under the present historical conditions. For this reason, and by employing the principle of economy, it was suggested and it has now become accepted in Pan-Orthodox level, that there will be local Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies in the diaspora (like SCOBA in the US). The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity.


He seems to have put that canon law degree to good use, because he seems to be flunking ecclesiology and theology.

Quote
Let me add that the refusal to recognize primacy within the Orthodox Church, a primacy that necessarily cannot but be embodied by a primus (that is by a bishop who has the prerogative of being the first among his fellow bishops) constitutes nothing less than heresy. It cannot be accepted, as often it is said, that the unity among the Orthodox Churches is safeguarded by either a common norm of faith and worship or by the Ecumenical Council as an institution. Both of these factors are impersonal while in our Orthodox theology the principle of unity is always a person. Indeed, in the level of the Holy Trinity the principle of unity is not the divine essence but the Person of the Father (“Monarchy” of the Father), at the ecclesiological level of the local Church the principle of unity is not the presbyterium or the common worship of the Christians but the person of the Bishop, so to in the Pan-Orthodox level the principle of unity cannot be an idea nor an institution but it needs to be, if we are to be consistent with our theology, a person.
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« Reply #385 on: April 13, 2009, 08:03:15 PM »

He seems to have put that canon law degree to good use, because he seems to be flunking ecclesiology and theology.
Where did you get your degree in Canon Law?
What Synod exists without a Primate?
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« Reply #386 on: April 13, 2009, 08:12:28 PM »

This may be germane to our discussion:

"On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople visited Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute where he had once studied and completed his doctorate in Canon Law during the 1960’s.

There must be theological faculties of equal stature to Rome's at the universities of Athens and Thessaloniki where our clergy could pursue higher studies?

It was the unfortunate need (because of the Ottoman supremacy) which obliged many of our hierarchs to travel to Western Europe and study at Roman Catholic and Lutheran universities.  This brought about the period of what is termed "the Western Captivity" in Orthodox theology. 

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« Reply #387 on: April 13, 2009, 08:16:20 PM »

He seems to have put that canon law degree to good use, because he seems to be flunking ecclesiology and theology.
Where did you get your degree in Canon Law?
What Synod exists without a Primate?

The holy Church of Russia was governed by a Synod without a Primate for 200 years, from 1700 to 1917.
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« Reply #388 on: April 13, 2009, 10:51:54 PM »

I don't think that we can prove a cause-and-effect type relationship between the doctorate and the claims regarding Canon 28. At best there seems to be a correlation but it is not terribly strong; the Patriarch could have arrived at his views independently of his education at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. About the only way that we can see stronger relationships would be by comparing his dissertation with the current stance or by his admission that he was influenced by RC teachings. Actually, there is one definitive conclusion that we can make: the Patriarch is not dead set against all things Roman Catholic. And, neither am I.
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« Reply #389 on: April 13, 2009, 11:24:48 PM »

He seems to have put that canon law degree to good use, because he seems to be flunking ecclesiology and theology.
Where did you get your degree in Canon Law?

Not from the Vatican.  That I could assure you.

I can also assure you that Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, Patriarch emeritus of Antioch for Syrians, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, a member of the Commission for the Revision of the Eastern Code of Canon Law and chairman of the commission that translated the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches into Arabic, also knows far more than me in Canon Law.  But that cardinal title and biretta tells me he is wrong too, I assure you.

I can also assure that the Vatican's delegation to the council of Ravenna, individually and collectively, know more than me in canon law.  I can assure you that they are also, individually and collectively, wrong too.

Father Ambrose, didn't the Russian canonists formulate their response to the council of Ravenna?  I am sure that they know far more than me in canon law.  And that they are right.

Quote
What Synod exists without a Primate?

According to some, the Church of Greece.

I know of only one Synod that derives its authority from its primate: the College of Cardinals.
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« Reply #390 on: April 14, 2009, 12:36:07 AM »


I can also assure that the Vatican's delegation to the council of Ravenna, individually and collectively, know more than me in canon law.  I can assure you that they are also, individually and collectively, wrong too.

The Vatican agrees with you and has declined to ratify the Ravenna Document, saying that some points of it express an ecclesiology unacceptable to the Catholic Church.

How odd that such a group of learned and scholarly Catholics got it wrong!
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« Reply #391 on: April 14, 2009, 12:42:35 AM »

He seems to have put that canon law degree to good use, because he seems to be flunking ecclesiology and theology.
Where did you get your degree in Canon Law?
What Synod exists without a Primate?

The holy Church of Russia was governed by a Synod without a Primate for 200 years, from 1700 to 1917.
Wrong!  Even then they had a primate.  Maybe he wasn't a patriarch, but he was still the first hierarch of the Russian Church.  For instance, St. Innocent, Enlightener of Alaska, was the Metropolitan of Moscow and primate of the Russian Orthodox Church at the time he reposed.
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« Reply #392 on: April 14, 2009, 03:39:59 AM »

He seems to have put that canon law degree to good use, because he seems to be flunking ecclesiology and theology.
Where did you get your degree in Canon Law?
What Synod exists without a Primate?

The holy Church of Russia was governed by a Synod without a Primate for 200 years, from 1700 to 1917.
Wrong!  Even then they had a primate.

It seems that I am always wrong on this forum but shall I tell you how the Holy Synod functioned and then you may decide if I am wrong.

Peter the Great created a small group of men which he called the  "Spiritual College" and usually referred to as the "Holy Synod."  This group, under the Emperor's control, ran the Russian Orthodox Church.

There was no primate.

It numbered 12 members:  three bishops, and nine others who were abbots and married priests.

No member exercised primatial authority.  That was exactly what Peter wanted to suppress.   He saw primatial authority as something pernicious because Patriarch Nikon's reforms had split the unity of the country and approximately 1/3 of the Russian population was in schism from the patriarchal Church.

The Emperor chose these men and also dismissed them at will.

The Emperor was the "Supreme Judge of the Holy Synod" and he exercised his authority over it by means of a layman and government official called the "Ober-Prokurator."

It has to be said that this period of life for the Russian Church was not entirely unbeneficial.


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« Reply #393 on: April 14, 2009, 06:57:16 AM »


I can also assure that the Vatican's delegation to the council of Ravenna, individually and collectively, know more than me in canon law.  I can assure you that they are also, individually and collectively, wrong too.

The Vatican agrees with you and has declined to ratify the Ravenna Document, saying that some points of it express an ecclesiology unacceptable to the Catholic Church.

How odd that such a group of learned and scholarly Catholics got it wrong!

Too many degrees in canon law?
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« Reply #394 on: April 14, 2009, 01:34:06 PM »

This is the best summary I've read of the whole mess yet.

http://janotec.typepad.com/terrace/2009/04/scarecrows-on-the-brink-of-holy-week.html
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« Reply #395 on: April 14, 2009, 01:52:06 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 
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« Reply #396 on: April 14, 2009, 02:06:13 PM »

This is the best summary I've read of the whole mess yet.

http://janotec.typepad.com/terrace/2009/04/scarecrows-on-the-brink-of-holy-week.html

Quote
None of this has been done nearly enough. There is neither apatheia nor discernment nearly enough to even suggest autocephaly on one side, or enhancement of Old World rule on the other. I believe that martyrdom and full-fledged monasticism are prerequisite to any metropolis, much less autocephaly. But that's just me. I believe that apostolic theoria is necessary for leadership. But again, I hope -- I really hope -- that that is not just me (this political position is getting as lonely as hell).
Is theoreia an English word?

Since the autocephalous Church has already produced both martyrs and monastics, I am not sure what his point is.

And what exactly is that "apostolic 'theoria'"?

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 

Who said that?  I think only the CoG follows that, due its "special relationship" with the EP.
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« Reply #397 on: April 14, 2009, 03:01:47 PM »

Quote
I am not sure what his point is.

I think he's criticizing both sides with the specific part you've quoted.
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« Reply #398 on: April 14, 2009, 03:12:18 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 

Who said that?  I think only the CoG follows that, due its "special relationship" with the EP.

The Holy Starets Ambrose is using Peter I's Holy Synod creation as a model of a synod without a primate in this thread.  I simply find it odd to be using a clear aberration and instance of massive state meddling in the affairs of the Church as an example of what ought to be considered normative.     
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« Reply #399 on: April 14, 2009, 03:22:43 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 

Who said that?  I think only the CoG follows that, due its "special relationship" with the EP.

The Holy Starets Ambrose is using Peter I's Holy Synod creation as a model of a synod without a primate in this thread. 
Not a model, just an example.
Quote
I simply find it odd to be using a clear aberration and instance of massive state meddling in the affairs of the Church as an example of what ought to be considered normative.     
I don't see where Father called this normative.
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« Reply #400 on: April 14, 2009, 03:43:12 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 

Who said that?  I think only the CoG follows that, due its "special relationship" with the EP.

The Holy Starets Ambrose is using Peter I's Holy Synod creation as a model of a synod without a primate in this thread. 
Not a model, just an example.
Quote
I simply find it odd to be using a clear aberration and instance of massive state meddling in the affairs of the Church as an example of what ought to be considered normative.     
I don't see where Father called this normative.
Ozgeorge asked the question, "What Synod exists without a Primate?" which I took to mean that George thinks primacy intrinsic to our conciliar (synodal) ecclesiology.  A synod cannot exist as a synod without a primate.

Irish Hermit posited the example of the Russian synod of the 18th and 19th centuries as an example of such a primate-less synod to show that such is precedented, though not in such a way that such should become normative.

However, I would argue that this Russian synod was not a canonically valid synod (for the sake of this discussion), since it was not a synod of diocesan bishops; rather, this was a synod established by the Tsar according to his own model to assert his rule over the Russian churches.  Thus, such a synod cannot be used as an historical example of a synod without a primate.
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« Reply #401 on: April 14, 2009, 03:57:17 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 

Who said that?  I think only the CoG follows that, due its "special relationship" with the EP.

The Holy Starets Ambrose is using Peter I's Holy Synod creation as a model of a synod without a primate in this thread. 
Not a model, just an example.
Quote
I simply find it odd to be using a clear aberration and instance of massive state meddling in the affairs of the Church as an example of what ought to be considered normative.     
I don't see where Father called this normative.
Ozgeorge asked the question, "What Synod exists without a Primate?" which I took to mean that George thinks primacy intrinsic to our conciliar (synodal) ecclesiology.  A synod cannot exist as a synod without a primate.

Irish Hermit posited the example of the Russian synod of the 18th and 19th centuries as an example of such a primate-less synod to show that such is precedented, though not in such a way that such should become normative.

However, I would argue that this Russian synod was not a canonically valid synod (for the sake of this discussion), since it was not a synod of diocesan bishops; rather, this was a synod established by the Tsar according to his own model to assert his rule over the Russian churches.  Thus, such a synod cannot be used as an historical example of a synod without a primate.

Then what is Greece doing using it?
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« Reply #402 on: April 14, 2009, 04:00:51 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.  FWIW, Peter the Great drew his ideas from Church - State relations in Western Europe at the time time. 

Who said that?  I think only the CoG follows that, due its "special relationship" with the EP.

The Holy Starets Ambrose is using Peter I's Holy Synod creation as a model of a synod without a primate in this thread. 
Not a model, just an example.
Quote
I simply find it odd to be using a clear aberration and instance of massive state meddling in the affairs of the Church as an example of what ought to be considered normative.     
I don't see where Father called this normative.
Ozgeorge asked the question, "What Synod exists without a Primate?" which I took to mean that George thinks primacy intrinsic to our conciliar (synodal) ecclesiology.  A synod cannot exist as a synod without a primate.

Irish Hermit posited the example of the Russian synod of the 18th and 19th centuries as an example of such a primate-less synod to show that such is precedented, though not in such a way that such should become normative.

However, I would argue that this Russian synod was not a canonically valid synod (for the sake of this discussion), since it was not a synod of diocesan bishops; rather, this was a synod established by the Tsar according to his own model to assert his rule over the Russian churches.  Thus, such a synod cannot be used as an historical example of a synod without a primate.

Then what is Greece doing using it?
How is Greece using it?
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« Reply #403 on: April 14, 2009, 04:11:08 PM »

Then what is Greece doing using it?

How exactly is Greece a Synod without a Primate?
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« Reply #404 on: April 14, 2009, 06:51:02 PM »

Whoa.  The subjugation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Petrine autocracy is now the model of church governance.

How extraordinary! 

I have to admit my complete ignorance of this.  Is there any Church among the Orthodox advocating for that model  - a Committee of a handful of bishops and priests under the control of the State?   Huh

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Tags: EP Bashing 
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