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Author Topic: Metropolitan Jonah issues statement on recent sermon  (Read 15585 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: April 25, 2009, 04:12:41 AM »

I would argue this: why does ethnicity matter? That's what I was trying to get across with the "Greek/Russian Roman Catholic" comment. To me, ethnicity shouldn't matter. We say that Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy, no matter where in the world you are. But to outsiders, it doesn't look that way. I loathe the question "Are you Greek or Russian Orthodox?" I'm not either. At the least, I'm American Orthodox. At best, I'm Orthodox. Just Orthodox. My heritage shouldn't matter.
In short, to me, ethnicity is transparent, especially when questioned as you describe. If my questioner asks, "Serbian?" , my answer is "Yes", if "Russian?", same answer, "Greek?", same again.
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« Reply #91 on: April 25, 2009, 07:55:13 AM »

I'm obviously not for papal authority, but at least they don't have this problem. I've never heard anybody say "I'm Greek Roman Catholic" or "Russian Roman Catholic" or whatever.

Actually, I hear it all the time: Italian Catholic, Polish Catholic, etc...  That's the ideal I would to see with the ethnicities in Orthodoxy: you can go into Polish or Italian Church in Chicago, and even if the mass is in English, you know the parish is Polish or Italian.

As for the Greek Roman Catholic, Russian Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Roman Catholic, etc., no I've never heard that.  I have heard Greek Catholic, Russian Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, etc.: some of those in the East who have submitted to the Vatican are adamant that they are NOT Roman.  I remember going through the literature on a random Sunday in the narthax of a "Ukrainian Catholic Church," and it was repleat with the claim "we are Ukrainian Catholic, not Roman Catholic!"

Quote
At least they're unified in their schism...

Not so much since Vatican II.  And then there's the question about Latinization of the Easterners and how much of the Vatican's theology they have to accept.
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« Reply #92 on: April 25, 2009, 08:50:14 AM »

Quote
I'll just reiterate, for now, that the PoM, ROCOR and OCA are fine for now.  Unlike a certain patriarchate with delusions of grandeur, who refuses to recognize the OCA.  A much bigger problem.

Actually you have this wrong. ROCOR agrees with the EP on the OCA.  ROCOR does not recognize OCA autocephaly, nor was she required to upon uniting with the MP.   This point has been well advertized by the ROCOR negotiators as it was a major point of concern within ROCOR.  I understand that this is because there was a time when ROCOR and OCA were united.  Then ROCOR officially broke communion with OCA and believes OCA went into schism from ROCOR.   

From the OCA perspective, their reason for the split was:

"Subordinating ourselves to this Synod, our Church (the Metropolia) in substance subordinates itself to a group of bishops who really have no jurisdiction themselves. Because of this, some people are inclined to speak only of our cooperation with the Synod. This term "cooperation," however is not correct because the acts of 1936-1937 definitely subjected our Church under the Synod Abroad (quoted in FitzGerald, p. 67). "

http://orthodoxwiki.org/ROCOR_and_OCA

So, there are still issues left unresolved between OCA and ROCOR but we can see they are making steps towards working them out as is evidenced by Met. Jonah's visit with Met. Hilarion to discuss the status of priests who left OCA to join ROCOR.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 08:50:48 AM by ROCORthodox » Logged
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« Reply #93 on: April 25, 2009, 11:04:36 AM »

Quote
I'll just reiterate, for now, that the PoM, ROCOR and OCA are fine for now.  Unlike a certain patriarchate with delusions of grandeur, who refuses to recognize the OCA.  A much bigger problem.

Actually you have this wrong. ROCOR agrees with the EP on the OCA.

And Mount Athos agrees with ROCOR on the New Calendar. But that doesn't change the official stance of the primate of the local Church they belong to, namely the EP.  Similarly with ROCOR: their Primate is the Patriarch of Moscow, and he is bound by the statute of the Russian Orthodox Church to uphold the OCA's autocephaly.

This is precisely why I've avoided this issue, because it is quite murky it seems what exactly ROCOR's status is.

Perhaps I should speak plainly, if I haven't already.  I do admire the commitment of ROCOR to traditional Orthodoxy, but it is not pure.  Besides the Old Calendar issue, I've seen ROCOR advocate a nostalgia of the Church under the Czars.  Now, I wouldn't mind, being a monarchist, a restoration of the monarchy, and I do believe the late Imperial Family were Passion Bearers, but Russian Orthodoxy does not hinge on the Romanoffs.  The not so Holy Governing Synod was a serious aberration of Orthodox ecclesiology, and it was only with the removal of the Czars that its overthrowal and the restoration of the proper Patriarchate was possible.  As far as I am concerning, the Patriachate of Moscow went threw a centuries long Locum Tenens.

On the sillier side, I've know ROCOR people who would rather wretch their right arm out of its socket than write a word without a "hard sign" at the end (when the Communists reformed the orthography, it is said that "War and Peace" was shortened by hundreds of pages).

Case in point:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/roca_history.aspx
Quote
Without having visible contacts with her Church in the Homeland, the Russian Church Outside of Russia is in spiritual communion with all there who suffer and are persecuted, who languish in confinement and banishment.
And how is this different from Protestant "spiritual communion" with the early Church, because they can't show a visible link?  I've seen it argued, that ROCOR states it is conected with the "Historical Russian Orthodox Church."  What is that?  How does it differ from Old Believers?  He is the God of the Living, not the Dead.  One has to have a living, not historical, primate.  And ROCOR's primate (unless one goes with any one of the fourt "the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile") is Patriarch Kyrill I of Moscow.

Quote
The cessation of the separate existence of the Church Outside of Russia is needful and would be profitable only to the Soviet regime [and its successors in "free" Russia — ed.]. Through the clergy the latter desires to have control over the emigration and influence on it.

ROCOR lost this defense and its raison d'etre when it started opening parishes in the Motherland, "Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia inside Russia."  If the Church was so persecuted, how could they open parishes in the belly of the beast? Now there are those in the ROCiE who are still apoplectic over KGB, criticism that grates on my nerves like the Cuban exiles, mostly Batistas who sucked the country dry and made Castro possible.  Off in the safety of the US, they have been waiting for 50 years for Castro to fall "any day now," so they can go back and take the helm of the country. Excuse me?  You didn't suffer under Castro: what makes you think those who did want you back?  So to the aristocratic edge of much of ROCOR: if their class hadn't been so desolute and chasing the likes of Madame Blavatsky and eating cake while the lower, Christian (Christian and peasant were synomous in Russia) classes scrounged around for bread, perhaps the Revolution wouldn't have take the nasty edge it did.  To those who criticized Pat. Pimen, I would say, yes, I wouldn't do a lot of compromises that he was doing, but then again, neither did I have the weight of the responsibility of a hundred million souls on my conscience.  And neither did, nor do, his ROCOR critics.

ROCOR long used St. Tikhon's famous ukaze as its founding document.  Its final clause
Quote
10) All measures taken in places in accordances with the present instruction, afterwards, in the event of the restoration of the central ecclesiastical authority, must be subject to the confirmation of the latter.
http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enuk_ukaz362.html

had been activated.  Central ecclesiastical authority has been restored, and said central ecclesiastical authority is bound by its own decions and Tomoi of the its own Holy Synod NOT to confirm ROCOR's measures as regards the OCA.

As for Ecumenism, I understand that ROCOR canonized two of the Imperial servants who were not Orthodox.  The Russian Church did not.

Having gone this far, I guess I might as well go on.
http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_akt.html
Quote
Act of Canonical Communion
We, the humble Alexy II, by God's mercy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, jointly with the Eminent Members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, having gathered at a meeting of the Holy Synod (date) in the God-preserved city of Moscow; and the humble Laurus, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, jointly with the Eminent Bishops, members of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, having gathered (time, place);

Being guided by the effort towards reestablishing blessed peace, Divinely-decreed love, and brotherly unity in the common work in the harvest-fields of God within the Fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church and her faithful in the Fatherland and abroad, taking into consideration the ecclesiastical life of the Russian diaspora outside the canonical borders of the Moscow Patriarchate, as dictated by history;


This is a problem, as it plainly states that ROCOR is outside Moscow and Russia's jurisdiction.  In other words, the Act you should have been signing should have been with the EP, according to your agreement with his interpretation of things.

Quote
Taking into account that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia performs its service on the territories of many nations;

By this Act declare:

1. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, conducting its salvific service in the dioceses, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, and other ecclesiastical bodies that were formed through history, remains an indissoluble, self-governing part of the Local Russian Orthodox Church.

Of course, a problem is that ROCOR did dissolve a bit with the signing of the Act: Bishop Agafangel left and joined up with the Greek "Holy Synod in Resistence."  Fortuantely, the Bishop Varnava faction returned to union, leaving four ROCORettes.


Quote
2. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is independent in pastoral, educational, administrative, management, property, and civil matters, existing at the same time in canonical unity with the Fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church.


It is my understanding that the ROC has taken over ALL the properties formerly held by ROCOR in the Holy Land.

Note: ROCOR is NOT independent in eccelsiastical matters, under which fall the question of the OCA's autocephaly.

Quote
3. The supreme ecclesiastical, legislative, administrative, judicial and controlling authority in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is her Council of Bishops, convened by her Primate (First Hierarch), in accordance with the Regulations [ Polozheniye ] of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.


Of course, this is the wiggle room clause, under which you are denying OCA autocephaly.  The problem is that the Regulations (including the first) repeatedly refer to Ukaze 362, which, as quoted above, pulls the rug out from under ROCOR's refusal to acknowledge the OCA's autocephaly.

Quote
4. The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is elected by her Council of Bishops. This election is confirmed, in accordance with the norms of Canon Law, by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.


This would be that "restoration of the central ecclesiastical authority" in the basis for clause 3, "subject[ing it] to the confirmation of the latter."  And as argued above, confirmation of OCA's autocephaly is something the statute of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church requires.

Quote
5. The name of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and the name of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are commemorated during divine services in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia before the name of the ruling bishop in the prescribed order.

As not being autocephalous, the presence or absence of Met. Jonah in ROCOR's diptych's doesnt' come up much.  But in the prescribed order of the Russian Orthodox Church, Met. Jonah is in the diptychs.

Quote
6. Decisions on the establishment or liquidation of dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are made by her Council of Bishops in agreement with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

When the resolution of the OCA/ROCOR (and /Patriarchal Parishes?) comes, it will be under this clause.

Quote
7. The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are elected by her Council of Bishops or, in cases foreseen by the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, by the Synod of Bishops. Such elections are confirmed in accordance with canonical norms by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

8. The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are members of the Local Council [ Pomestny Sobor ] and Council of Bishops [ Arkhiereiskij Sobor ] of the Russian Orthodox Church and also participate in the meetings of the Holy Synod in the prescribed order. Representatives of the clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia participate in the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in the established manner.


As such, the bishops of ROCOR are bound by the statute of the Russian Orthodox Church, which makes them bound by the Tomos of Autocephaly.

Quote
9. The supreme instances of ecclesiastical authority for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are the Local Council and the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In other words, not being autocephalous, ROCOR isn't competant to make it own decisions on autocephaly.  The Russian Orthodox Church has already, in issuing the Tomos.

Quote
10. Decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church extend to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with consideration of the particularities described by the present Act, by the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and by the legislation of the nations in which she performs her ministry.


In other words, the Regulations of the ROCOR are not controlling. Including its decisions on the OCA.

Quote
11. Appeals on decisions of the supreme ecclesiastical court of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are directed to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.


...who is bound by the Tomos of Autocephaly of the OCA.

Quote
12. Amendments to the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia by her supreme legislative authority are subject to the confirmation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in such case as these changes bear a canonical character.


In other words, you are bound by the canonical Tomos issued by the PoM to the OCA.

Quote
13. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia receives her holy myrrh from the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.


And you are thereby bound to recognize that Met. Jonah blesses his own.

Quote
By this Act, canonical communion within the Local Russian Orthodox Church is hereby restored.

Acts issued previously which preclude the fullness of canonical communion are hereby deemed invalid or obsolete.


That would include ROCOR objections to the OCA.

Quote
The reestablishment of canonical communion will serve, God willing, towards the strengthening of the unity of the Church of Christ, of her witness in the contemporary world, promoting the fulfillment of the will of the Lord to “gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (John 11:52).


Which, as I said, the issues shouldn't be pushed right now, and it seems that Met. Jonah and the OCA (witnessed by the rash of concelebration after the signing) agree with that.

Quote
Let us bring thanks to All-Merciful God, Who through His omnipotent hand directed us to the path of healing the wounds of division and led us to the desired unity of the Russian Church in the homeland and abroad, to the glory of His Holy Name and to the good of His Holy Church and Her faithful flock. Through the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, may the Lord grant His blessing to the One Russian Church and Her flock both in the fatherland and in the diaspora.

Amen!

Quote
  ROCOR does not recognize OCA autocephaly,

Not being autocephalous, ROCOR has no say in the matter.

Quote
nor was she required to upon uniting with the MP. 

In for a penny, in for a pound.  You can be "a little pregnant" just so long.

Quote
This point has been well advertized by the ROCOR negotiators as it was a major point of concern within ROCOR.  I understand that this is because there was a time when ROCOR and OCA were united.  Then ROCOR officially broke communion with OCA and believes OCA went into schism from ROCOR.   

From the OCA perspective, their reason for the split was:

"Subordinating ourselves to this Synod, our Church (the Metropolia) in substance subordinates itself to a group of bishops who really have no jurisdiction themselves. Because of this, some people are inclined to speak only of our cooperation with the Synod. This term "cooperation," however is not correct because the acts of 1936-1937 definitely subjected our Church under the Synod Abroad (quoted in FitzGerald, p. 67). "
http://orthodoxwiki.org/ROCOR_and_OCA

Actually your source refers to the 7th All American Sobor, which tried to implement the final clause of St. Tikhon's ukaze 362
http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/All-American_Sobor#Seventh_All-American_Sobor

Quote
So, there are still issues left unresolved between OCA and ROCOR but we can see they are making steps towards working them out as is evidenced by Met. Jonah's visit with Met. Hilarion to discuss the status of priests who left OCA to join ROCOR.

And there is no need, at least at present, to deal with ROCOR as with the EP and his Chief Secretary.
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« Reply #94 on: April 25, 2009, 11:09:46 AM »

And to many Orthodox Churches, there isn't one in N. America, either.

Whether we're recognized or not, I'm still an Orthodox Christian. If the EP wants to pretend we're not here, go ahead. I guess I can pretend he doesn't exist either. How's that feel?

Strawman alert!  He doesn't pretend you're not here; no one does.  He just doesn't think that you're Autocephalous; and there are others like him.  To them, you're still a part of the MP, albeit one that the MP allows to govern itself.
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« Reply #95 on: April 25, 2009, 11:56:03 AM »

Quote
I'll just reiterate, for now, that the PoM, ROCOR and OCA are fine for now.  Unlike a certain patriarchate with delusions of grandeur, who refuses to recognize the OCA.  A much bigger problem.

Actually you have this wrong. ROCOR agrees with the EP on the OCA.


The Act of Canonical Communion, 17th May 2007 reads:

    "Acts issued previously which preclude
    the fullness of canonical communion are
    hereby deemed invalid or obsolete."

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_akt.html

This annulled all previous anti-OCA statements by the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad, as it also annulled ROCA's previous statements on the illegitimacy of the election of Patriarch Alexey II and the claim that he was a pseudo Patriarch.

I would be surprised if any of the bishops of the Church Abroad have participated in the Synod of Bishops in Moscow and announced to the Church of Russia that they refuse to accept the decision of the Patriarch and the Holy Synod to grant autocephaly.  Explain to me how bishops may disobey both their Patriarch and their Synod?  That path would lead them into the sad position of Bishop Diomid.  Have you seen, since we united with Moscow in May 2007, one statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad denying the autocephaly? 

The Russian Church Abroad has no choice, unless the bishops wish to publicly challenge their Patriarch, than to accept into communion whomsoever he is in communion with and to accept the status which he and the Synod of Bishops in Moscow has accorded them.  Anthing less reduces the Church of Russia to canonical chaos and brings in questions of disobedience to our Patriarch whom we commemorate as "our Great Lord and Master" at every service.

Bishop Jerome (as Fr John Shaw) was quite adamant on the Internet until recently that he did not recognise the autocephaly.  However he was present and he concelebrated at the recent installation of Metropolitan Jonah as the Metropolitan of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.   One can only assume that once he assumed the position of bishop he became aware of factors which caused him to change his mind and to accept the autocephaly.


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« Reply #96 on: April 25, 2009, 12:09:45 PM »

And to many Orthodox Churches, there isn't one in N. America, either.

Whether we're recognized or not, I'm still an Orthodox Christian. If the EP wants to pretend we're not here, go ahead. I guess I can pretend he doesn't exist either. How's that feel?

Strawman alert!  He doesn't pretend you're not here; no one does.

Given the flagrant disregard of Canon 8 of Ephesus, he might as well.  His blocking of the OCA's voice at the June meeting, where the EP intends to storm ahead with deciding the OCA's fate, burns up the strawman defense canard.

The not so veiled threat of his Chief Secretary:
Quote
Instead of acknowledging the mercifulness of the other Patriarchates which, in spite the uncanonical status of the so-called OCA, accept it in communion, its representatives choose to subject them to such an unfair treatment that contributes nothing to the common cause of Orthodox unity.

Met. Jonah was merely calling them obedience to canon 8 of the Third Ecumenical Council, which canon explicitely says it touches the unity of all, because it speaks of the fair treatment of local Churches.  

And it is the EP's read that is uncanonical, not the OCA's Tomos of Autocephaly.

Btw, in answer to his question:
Quote
I would be interested to hear an explanation from His Eminence in response to the question “How will the so-called OCA contribute to our common Orthodox witness in diaspora by electing bishops holding titles which already exist for the same city”.

I would point out that in each and every case, the OCA bishop is the first holding titles in said cities.  Part of that is because of the EP's insistence that the fullness of time came in 450, and so all his bishops here until the recent reorganization held titles to cities that no longer exist, as Christian sees at least.  Met. Jonah, thankfully, needs neither the Phanar's berat nor its irade for any of these elections to their sees.


Quote
 He just doesn't think that you're Autocephalous; and there are others like him.

And there are others who think the EP is a neo-Ultramontanist, either with himself at the helm, or the Vatican, like Mount Athos.  I'm not quite clear what is the monks' offiical position on the EP.

Quote
 To them, you're still a part of the MP, albeit one that the MP allows to govern itself.

Hence why they should accept the MP's Tomos of Autocephaly to the OCA.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 12:30:43 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #97 on: April 25, 2009, 02:06:06 PM »

I am following up the remark by ialmisry regarding Canon 8 of Ephesus (posted April 25, 2009 at  12:09:45 PM). I found this canon and am posting it below in case what ialmisry reference is not clear for some folks. Also, I highlighted those sections that I think are germane.

"Our brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved of God bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have reported to us an innovation which has been introduced contrary to the ecclesiastical constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and which touches the liberties of all.  Wherefore, since injuries affecting all require the more attention, as they cause the greater damage, and particularly when they are transgressions of an ancient custom; and since those excellent men, who have petitioned the Synod, have told us in writing and by word of mouth 235that the Bishop of Antioch has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the Rulers of the holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury, according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the right of performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent Bishops.  The same rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and provinces everywhere, so that none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors. But if any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.

Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjured:  every Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts.  And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is here determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect."

Granted that there has been less than crystal clear understanding regarding the provenance of this canon, a shown in the following note "This canon Photius does not recognize, for in the Preface to his Nomocanon he distinctly writes that there were but seven canons adopted by the Ephesine Synod, and in the first chapter of the first title he cites the preceding canon as the seventh, that is the last.  John of Antioch likewise says that there are but seven canons of Ephesus, but reckons this present canon as the seventh, from which Beveridge concludes that he rejects the Canon concerning Charisius (vii)." at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.xii.html (Christian Classics Ethereal Library).

In any case, I think that this canon is in agreement with the teachings of our Lord, His Holy Apostles and their true disciples, particularly when the basic principle behind this canon is spelled out: "lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood."

Canon 8 is apparently primarily intended for the powerful Church leaders and local churches. I do hope that the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Moscow take this canon to heart and go in the direction of liberty and eschew the vanities of worldly honor. Finally, to firmly tie it to this thread, I would appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople to take this canon to heart: let go of its novel interpretation of canon 28 and let North American Orthodox jurisdictions work out their unity on their own.
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« Reply #98 on: April 25, 2009, 05:23:36 PM »

I didn't mean to imply we're not viewed as Orthodox, it was more to question how one could ignore the administration of an autocephalous church. My error in not making that clear.

I already corrected my argument, just to be clear. I don't think the EP doesn't believe I exist, or that the OCA isn't Orthodox, I'm saying he's ignoring the existence of an autocephalous church. It would be like me saying "I don't acknowledge there is an autocephalous Orthodox church in Greece, just because I don't want to." It's just ignorance to me.
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« Reply #99 on: April 26, 2009, 06:34:13 PM »

I've moved this thread to Free For All to allow 'discussion' to continue.
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« Reply #100 on: April 26, 2009, 06:35:27 PM »

I didn't mean to imply we're not viewed as Orthodox, it was more to question how one could ignore the administration of an autocephalous church. My error in not making that clear.

I already corrected my argument, just to be clear. I don't think the EP doesn't believe I exist, or that the OCA isn't Orthodox, I'm saying he's ignoring the existence of an autocephalous church. It would be like me saying "I don't acknowledge there is an autocephalous Orthodox church in Greece, just because I don't want to." It's just ignorance to me.

Do you recognise the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church? Why not? Are you ignorant?
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« Reply #101 on: April 26, 2009, 08:59:59 PM »

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I'll just reiterate, for now, that the PoM, ROCOR and OCA are fine for now.  Unlike a certain patriarchate with delusions of grandeur, who refuses to recognize the OCA.  A much bigger problem.

Actually you have this wrong. ROCOR agrees with the EP on the OCA.


The Act of Canonical Communion, 17th May 2007 reads:

    "Acts issued previously which preclude
    the fullness of canonical communion are
    hereby deemed invalid or obsolete."

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_akt.html

This annulled all previous anti-OCA statements by the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad, as it also annulled ROCA's previous statements on the illegitimacy of the election of Patriarch Alexey II and the claim that he was a pseudo Patriarch.

I would be surprised if any of the bishops of the Church Abroad have participated in the Synod of Bishops in Moscow and announced to the Church of Russia that they refuse to accept the decision of the Patriarch and the Holy Synod to grant autocephaly.  Explain to me how bishops may disobey both their Patriarch and their Synod?  That path would lead them into the sad position of Bishop Diomid.  Have you seen, since we united with Moscow in May 2007, one statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad denying the autocephaly? 

The Russian Church Abroad has no choice, unless the bishops wish to publicly challenge their Patriarch, than to accept into communion whomsoever he is in communion with and to accept the status which he and the Synod of Bishops in Moscow has accorded them.  Anthing less reduces the Church of Russia to canonical chaos and brings in questions of disobedience to our Patriarch whom we commemorate as "our Great Lord and Master" at every service.

Bishop Jerome (as Fr John Shaw) was quite adamant on the Internet until recently that he did not recognise the autocephaly.  However he was present and he concelebrated at the recent installation of Metropolitan Jonah as the Metropolitan of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.   One can only assume that once he assumed the position of bishop he became aware of factors which caused him to change his mind and to accept the autocephaly.




Fr. John Shaw was appointed to head a council to study OCA history as it pertains to ROCOR.  He reminded those debating of this fact last year.  His ordination to Bishop was in that same year.   Just because he attended the OCA enthronment does not mean he has changed his position on OCA autocephaly.  Seeing as he was appointed to head the council to study OCA history as it pertains to ROCOR, it would make sense that Fr. John Shaw provided information to the Synod of Bishops to support the position that he put forward (which I am told is the majority opinion in ROCOR).  Also, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff clearly explained that the OCA autocephaly issue was a point of discussion during the MP negotiations.   He explained that the MP does NOT require ROCOR to recognize OCA autocephaly.   In fact, last year Fr. John Shaw also pointed out that "Many in the Patriarchate would, in fact, like to revoke the 1970 Tomos: but if they did that, the current troubles of the OCA would then become an issue for the Patriarchate. What it all amounts to is that the OCA remains in much the same position as before the 1970 Tomos, but with a claim to autocephaly that is not generally recognized."

You can read the rest of the statement here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/116605

Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos.  Less mess to take on.  There are many statements that Fr. John Shaw and Fr. Alexander Lebedeff have made last year which explain exactly what ROCOR's position is towards the OCA.   Judging from these statements the MP knows exactly where ROCOR stands.  Clearly ROCOR has the MP's blessing on the matter.

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« Reply #102 on: April 26, 2009, 09:37:45 PM »

 Judging from these statements the MP knows exactly where ROCOR stands.  Clearly ROCOR has the MP's blessing on the matter.



That is pure conjecture.  Nothing clear about it at all.  What would be clear is if the Church of Russia issued a statement proclaiming that Metropolitan Hilarion and the other bishops on the Russian Synod deny the autocephaly of the OCA granted in 1970 and the Patriarch and the Church of Russia have no opposition to its bishops denying the autocephaly and denying Moscow's authority to grant it.   

Btw, the ROCA Commission on the OCA is now defunct.  If I recall correctly, it never met even once.
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« Reply #103 on: April 26, 2009, 10:22:33 PM »

I didn't mean to imply we're not viewed as Orthodox, it was more to question how one could ignore the administration of an autocephalous church. My error in not making that clear.

I already corrected my argument, just to be clear. I don't think the EP doesn't believe I exist, or that the OCA isn't Orthodox, I'm saying he's ignoring the existence of an autocephalous church. It would be like me saying "I don't acknowledge there is an autocephalous Orthodox church in Greece, just because I don't want to." It's just ignorance to me.

Do you recognise the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church?

No.

Quote
Why not?

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.

The autonomous Archbishop of Ohrid is the canonical primate of Macedonia.


Quote
Are you ignorant?

Maybe, but not here.
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« Reply #104 on: April 26, 2009, 10:23:26 PM »

Dear Friends:

Christ Is Risen !   Truly, He is Risen !

I will not pretend to have the knowledge to participate in the various arguments over who is right, and who is wrong here; but I would like to try to explore why this is such an emotionally fraught discussion.

We are all heirs to a difficult, and often tragic, history that conditions our perceptions and views of the church. It seems to me that the statements made by Metropolitan Jonah, Archimandrite Elpiphodoros and Metropolitan Gerasimos come not from arrogance and bellicosity, as much as from frustration and fear.

It may be useful to rehearse some history. The Russian American Metropolia (the precursor the the OCA) did not seek autocephaly on a whim. It did so because it had no other choice at the time. In 1924 the Russian Patriarch, St Tikhon had died, and the four locum tenens he named were imprisoned by the Bolsheviks.  Metropolitan Sergei, the locum tenens of the locum tenens, issued a demand that all clergy under his authority, both in and outside of Russia, sign an oath of loyalty to the new Soviet regime. The clergy in America could not comply with this demand. It was the height of the "Red Scare" when Russian immigrants thought to be communist sympathisers were deported in droves. Had the clergy of the Russian American Metropolia signd this oath, the church would have been destroyed. Therefore, they chose to declare the Metropolia "temporarily autocephalous" until such time as the situation could be normalized. At that time, they could not know that the Bolshevik regime would last for so many decades!

After the trials of the Great Depression and WWII, the leaders of the Metropolia sought to normalized their status. In doing so, they did not disregard or defy the Ecumenical Patriarch. On the contrary, Metropolitans Leonty and Iriney appealed first to Patriarch Athenagoras, of blessed memory. They requested that the Metropolia be accepted under the Omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch, as had the Russian Exarchate of Western Europe. Sadly, His All Holiness refused this request and advised them to negotiate their status with the Patriarch of Moscow.

In obedience to His All Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras, they began to do so, despite the extreme complexity and difficulty. Remember, this was during the height of the Cold War! I was told by one clergyman, who witnessed that period, that many of the real negotiations took place in hotel elevators - the one place that the Moscow clergy could evade their KGB minders !  When these negotiations resulted in the OCA's autocephaly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate refused to accept it; but never offered an alternative to it !  Thus the OCA has lingered in canonical limbo for decades. What is more, it appears that the fate of the OCA is to be decided at the upcoming Synod of Primates; and the OCA will not even be called to speak on its own behalf.

Father Elpiphodoros speaks of the "mercifulness" of the churches that allow the OCA into communion, despite its uncanonical status. This is a little like a Father telling his children they can stay in the house despite being illegitimate. He complains that the OCA has abused the kindness of the Ancient Patriarchates. The fact is that the founders of the OCA always showed the utmost deference to the Ancient Sees, and especially to the Ecumenical Throne. At no time in the past, did a leader of the OCA declare that the OCA was the sole legitimate church in America. The OCA's publications from the 1970's repeatedly stated that the OCA's autocephaly was not an end in itself; but merely a stepping stone to the the real goal, a unified Orthodox Church in America. What is more, they repeatedly asserted that the vehicle to achieve that goal, was SCOBA, which they agreed was to always be chaired by the Primate of the Greek Archdiocese, as representative of he Ecumenical Patriarch.  In short, the early leaders of the OCA, always believed that a unified Orthodox Church in America should, and would, come about with the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Sadly, after all these decades that has not happened. The OCA has lived its life for decades, in an ecclesiastical limbo, which has had very real effects on its life. For example, the Monastery of the Ascension, was founded by converts from the Episcopal church. After many years in the OCA, they developed doubts about their own legitimacy, and went on a pilgrimage to Mt Athos, where these hieromonks were re-baptized. Having renounced their chrismation into the OCA and their ordinations by the OCA, they were deposed by Archbishop Dmitri - and are now part of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. In many ways, the recent scandals in the OCA are all tied to a desperate need to find legitimacy by winning friends and influencing others - a plan which obviously did not work.

The point is, that the leaders of the OCA have lived for decades in limbo, damned it they do, and damned if they don't; and I suspect that it is this frustration, and the fear of what might happen at the upcoming Synod that prompted Metropolitan Jonah's audacious, and admittedly uncharitable remarks- remarks for which he has publicly apologized.

On the side of the representatives of the Holy Ecumenical see, there is not need to detail the heroic and tragic struggle for the survival of the Beacon of Orthodoxy. In many ways, it is only the honor paid to the Holy Throne, that has prevented its destruction by the Turks. Thus, any suggestion of a diminution of that honor and standing, may be perceived as an existential threat, even if such a statement was never meant to be so.

Let us pray that all the parties involved can step back from the rhetorical barricades and "forgive all by the Resurrection" !

On happier; but related note, I'd like to pass on to you a story shared by one of our parishioners this Pascha. Their grandson participated in the OCF pilgrimage to the Phanar. In addition to their prayers and visits to the Holy Places, these young Orthodox Americans performed service by cleaning and restoring an Orthodox cemetery in Constantinople which had been vandalized and neglected. This young man's parents, with great pride, showed us the picture of their son: a rake in one hand, reaching out to receive a blessing and kiss the Patriarch's hand. This young man's parents related to us that His All-Holiness was overcome, with tears in his eyes, to see the love of these young Orthodox Americans for this sacred place. Let's hope all our leaders can take a cue from these young people !  

God's Blessings to All

Christ Is Risen
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« Reply #105 on: April 26, 2009, 10:25:36 PM »

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.
I wasn't actually asking you, but anyway, what makes you say that the Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is not an Orthodox Synod? What are your criteria for an autocephalous Orthodox Synod?
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« Reply #106 on: April 26, 2009, 10:33:10 PM »

Fr. John Shaw was appointed to head a council to study OCA history as it pertains to ROCOR.  He reminded those debating of this fact last year.  His ordination to Bishop was in that same year.   Just because he attended the OCA enthronment does not mean he has changed his position on OCA autocephaly. 

Sooo, he was attending an uncanonical act?

Quote
Seeing as he was appointed to head the council to study OCA history as it pertains to ROCOR, it would make sense that Fr. John Shaw provided information to the Synod of Bishops to support the position that he put forward (which I am told is the majority opinion in ROCOR).  Also, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff clearly explained that the OCA autocephaly issue was a point of discussion during the MP negotiations.   He explained that the MP does NOT require ROCOR to recognize OCA autocephaly.   In fact, last year Fr. John Shaw also pointed out that "Many in the Patriarchate would, in fact, like to revoke the 1970 Tomos:

There are many in Russia who want Alaska back too.

Quote
but if they did that, the current troubles of the OCA would then become an issue for the Patriarchate. What it all amounts to is that the OCA remains in much the same position as before the 1970 Tomos, but with a claim to autocephaly that is not generally recognized." [/i]

Just by a plurality of Orthodoxy.  What is the change in the position of ROCOR since the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion?

Quote
You can read the rest of the statement here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/116605

Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos. 

The loss of face that would bring on the Patriarch going into the Council of Cyprus this June very definitely a greater incentive for the MP to live up to the word of his Holy Synod.


Quote
Less mess to take on. 

Ask Metropolitan Phillip on that one.

Quote
There are many statements that Fr. John Shaw and Fr. Alexander Lebedeff have made last year which explain exactly what ROCOR's position is towards the OCA. 

Illinois can have any foreign policy it wants, but its the one in Washington that counts.

Quote
 Judging from these statements the MP knows exactly where ROCOR stands.  Clearly ROCOR has the MP's blessing on the matter.

No, rather his economia.
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« Reply #107 on: April 26, 2009, 10:46:46 PM »

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.
I wasn't actually asking you, but anyway, what makes you say that the Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is not an Orthodox Synod?

Didn't say it wasn't.  Just that it is a schismatic one.

Quote
What are your criteria for an autocephalous Orthodox Synod?

Independence, not being part of a divide and conquer policy, is one.  Macedonia was in every way under the central control of Tito's Belgrade.  There was no reason for her not to be under the Patriarch of Belgrad as well.

Now, is a different time.  Macendonia (not Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) is independent.  As I understand it, the canonical implications is that the Macedonian hierarchy is not recognized as such, but the Faithful are often admitted to communion and the priests to concelebration.  Myself, I am for an autocephalous Church, but one that has made peace with the Mother Church of Serbia.
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« Reply #108 on: April 26, 2009, 10:48:07 PM »

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.
Oh, I see.
Therefore, by this criterion, you do not recognise the Patriarchate of Moscow either, since the Patriarchate was re-instituted by an an Act of Stalin in 1943 who recognised the Temporary Patriarchal Council established by Patriarch Sergius I (before he was elected as Patriarch). Stalin also  permitted elections to take place which established Patriarch Sergius as Patriarch in return for the loyalty and assistance of the Church to the Soviet State.
Have a read of the history, it's fascinating:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Sergius_I
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« Reply #109 on: April 26, 2009, 11:04:56 PM »

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.
Oh, I see.
Therefore, by this criterion, you do not recognise the Patriarchate of Moscow either, since the Patriarchate was re-instituted by an an Act of Stalin in 1943

The Russian Church had been Autocephalous half a millenium earlier, and a Patriarchate almost as long.  The long locum tenens of the Holy Governing Synod and the shorter hiatus after the Patriarchate had been restored under St. Tikhon didn't change that, any more than the revolving door of Patriarchs in Constantinople under the Turks (EP Cyril Lukaris, for instance, was enthroned six times:1612, 1620–1623, 1623–1633, 1633–1634, 1634–1635, 1637–1638, managing to squeeze in a stint as Pope of Alexandria 1601–1620) had any effect on the Autocephaly of Constantinople.

Quote
who recognised the Temporary Patriarchal Council established by Patriarch Sergius I (before he was elected as Patriarch). Stalin also  permitted elections to take place which established Patriarch Sergius as Patriarch in return for the loyalty and assistance of the Church to the Soviet State.

And this differs from the Czar allowing things?  Or the Sultan giving the EP his berat and irade?  Did the succession of deposition and elevations of EP at the whims of the emperors (e.g. SS Patriarchs Ignatius and Photios) effect the See of New Rome, as Old Rome claims?

Quote
Have a read of the history, it's fascinating:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Sergius_I

No, not terribly interesting.  If I want Byzantine politics, I'll look to Constantinople.
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« Reply #110 on: April 26, 2009, 11:08:01 PM »

And this differs from the Czar allowing things? 
In absolutely no way whatsoever. So I don't understand why you have a problem when Tito does it.....
Just trying to follow your "logic" Smiley
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« Reply #111 on: April 26, 2009, 11:23:24 PM »

And this differs from the Czar allowing things? 
In absolutely no way whatsoever. So I don't understand why you have a problem when Tito does it.....
Just trying to follow your "logic" Smiley

The Czar centralized things in the capital.
Stalin centralized things in the capital.
The Emperor centralized things in the capital.
The Sultan centralized things in the capital.
Tito centralized things in the capital.
Except the Church administration, that he wanted to divide up.
Since all decisions were being made in Belgrad, there was no need of even a pretense of any independence in Ohrid, as there was none in Skopje.
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« Reply #112 on: April 27, 2009, 03:25:48 AM »

Do you recognise the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church? Why not? Are you ignorant?

Well to be honest, I actually don't know what the situation is that you're referring to. I can't engage in academic debate on a topic about which I know nothing. Perhaps I should find out!  Smiley
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« Reply #113 on: April 27, 2009, 03:45:22 AM »

Perhaps I should find out!

Thats a good idea. Do a little research and you will find that no Orthodox Church recognises their autocephaly- including yours. Do you think this is simply "ignorance", or might there be something else? Don't assume that because some Churches do not recognise the autocephaly of the OCA that this is due to "ignorance".
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« Reply #114 on: April 27, 2009, 04:03:00 AM »

Perhaps I should find out!

Thats a good idea. Do a little research and you will find that no Orthodox Church recognises their autocephaly- including yours. Do you think this is simply "ignorance", or might there be something else? Don't assume that because some Churches do not recognise the autocephaly of the OCA that this is due to "ignorance".

yes, in the case of Constantinople and the CoG, it's feined ignorance and willful disobedience to the canons, as shown by the speech of Bp/Abp/EP/Pope Meletios to the CoG, and innovation in canons.
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« Reply #115 on: April 27, 2009, 05:46:32 AM »

The Russian clergy of these monasteries serve the Liturgy on antimensia signed and supplied by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and he is commemorated at every church service as the ruling hierarch.   The Russian Church Abroad maintains no bishop on the territory of the Church of Jerusalem but the monasteries are overseen by an Archimandrite.  At this time it is Fr Joasaph (McLellan) who until recently was a Professor at Princeton.

So it's not an overlapping jurisdiction - if they answer to the JP, and commemorate him, and have no bishop other than the JP over them, then they're clergy of the JP who happen to speak Russian (and then they're  not "ROCOR clergy" who happen to be in Israel/Palestine).

I am not sure if the logic holds up.   Our priests and monks and nuns in the Holy Land continue to be members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.   Their assignments are decided by the Russian Church Abroad, and when the Russian bishops wish to re-assign them back to Australia or America, no consent is required from the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Nor is any consent required from the JP for the ordination of one of our monks nor the installation of an abbess.  I think that this shows they are not clergy of the JP but clergy and monastics present in the Holy Land by his grace and goodwill.
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« Reply #116 on: April 27, 2009, 05:46:32 AM »

P.S., I am aware that other parts of the "Diaspora" are up on the agenda, but we know where the crux of the matter is.

Uh-huh.  The model for the process here will be used to figure out similar issues in areas like W. Europe, E. Asia, and Australia / NZ (or, "North and South George Islands" Wink Cheesy ).

Cleveland,

We have a master plan already in place:

R.O.M.E............ Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Europe
.
R.O.M.A............ Russian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas

R.O.M.A.N.Z.....  Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Australia and New Zealand

I think I posted this brilliant strategy once before but the Search Engine cannot find it since it won't work with something like R.O.M.A.N.Z.  It insists that it wants a whole word of at least four letters.
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« Reply #117 on: April 27, 2009, 06:40:57 AM »

yes, in the case of Constantinople and the CoG, it's feined ignorance and willful disobedience to the canons, as shown by the speech of Bp/Abp/EP/Pope Meletios to the CoG, and innovation in canons.
Is it? How nice.
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« Reply #118 on: April 27, 2009, 07:09:03 AM »

The Russian clergy of these monasteries serve the Liturgy on antimensia signed and supplied by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and he is commemorated at every church service as the ruling hierarch.   The Russian Church Abroad maintains no bishop on the territory of the Church of Jerusalem but the monasteries are overseen by an Archimandrite.  At this time it is Fr Joasaph (McLellan) who until recently was a Professor at Princeton.

So it's not an overlapping jurisdiction - if they answer to the JP, and commemorate him, and have no bishop other than the JP over them, then they're clergy of the JP who happen to speak Russian (and then they're  not "ROCOR clergy" who happen to be in Israel/Palestine).

I am not sure if the logic holds up.   Our priests and monks and nuns in the Holy Land continue to be members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.   Their assignments are decided by the Russian Church Abroad, and when the Russian bishops wish to re-assign them back to Australia or America, no consent is required from the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Nor is any consent required from the JP for the ordination of one of our monks nor the installation of an abbess.  I think that this shows they are not clergy of the JP but clergy and monastics present in the Holy Land by his grace and goodwill.

Yes, I think the canons don't require a canonical transfer to be in a diocese, just that the credentials are presented to the bishop and he accepts them.
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« Reply #119 on: April 27, 2009, 07:10:40 AM »

yes, in the case of Constantinople and the CoG, it's feined ignorance and willful disobedience to the canons, as shown by the speech of Bp/Abp/EP/Pope Meletios to the CoG, and innovation in canons.
Is it? How nice.
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« Reply #120 on: April 27, 2009, 07:13:49 AM »

And may your hopes be fulfilled completely.  Smiley
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« Reply #121 on: April 27, 2009, 08:52:38 AM »

 Judging from these statements the MP knows exactly where ROCOR stands.  Clearly ROCOR has the MP's blessing on the matter.



That is pure conjecture.  Nothing clear about it at all.  What would be clear is if the Church of Russia issued a statement proclaiming that Metropolitan Hilarion and the other bishops on the Russian Synod deny the autocephaly of the OCA granted in 1970 and the Patriarch and the Church of Russia have no opposition to its bishops denying the autocephaly and denying Moscow's authority to grant it.   

Btw, the ROCA Commission on the OCA is now defunct.  If I recall correctly, it never met even once.

You have the secretary who was in on the negotiations telling us this.  You have Fr. John Shaw who became Bishop Jeromoe telling us this.   If the ROCOR commission is now defunct, then its mission was achieved.  I don't even see why there would have to be any meetings on this issue anyway.  All of the history has been recorded and Fr. John Shaw had been making the same statements as late as Nov. 08.

As to the teeth of the OCA autocephaly, it is hard to see any when even Met. Jonah does not expect other jurisdictions to recognize it.   In fact, he is willing to see a NEW organization formed as a solution to unity in America.   

He said, "It is imperative for us to come together. Not for all the other churches, the Antiochians and the Serbians and the Bulgarians and the Romanians and everyone, to join the OCA, but to come together in a new organization of Orthodoxy in North American that brings us all together as one Church, even just pulling together all our existing organizations so that all the bishops sit on one Synod, so that all the Metropolitans get together on a special Synod or something like that."

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:Gc6xcnh8JdUJ:www.dosoca.org/files/Pan-orthodox-talk-4_7_09.pdf+Metropolitan+jonah+dallas+transcript+%22Leave+it+alone%22&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Why isn't Met. Jonah simply demaning everyone else to recognize OCA autocephaly and come under her omopor as the rightful American Church, if that is what they are?

Given the above statement by Met. Jonah and the statements made by high ranking ROCOR clergy and administrators I don't see where ROCOR will be expected to submit to OCA autocephaly if OCA herself does not demand it be recognized.



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« Reply #122 on: April 27, 2009, 12:14:20 PM »

There are some trends in this thread (and others) that bother me.

- Regarding the back and forth on ROCOR v. OCA, Canon 28 v. Canon 8, prerogatives of the Moscow Patriarchate v. Constantinople Patriarchate, etc., the discussion has been entirely too focused on canons, as if they are laws. As has been pointed out before, canons are simply rules that are tailored to specific historic circumstances. As such, what is more important: the spirit or the letter of a canon?

- Furthermore, many arguments are based exclusively on the canons with nary a mention of the Holy Scriptures.

- I see another phenomenon, that of the dueling Saints. One says I back up my argument by Saint X plus this and that theologian, and the other says Saint Y plus that and this theologian.

- Some folks seem to make a fetish of the evolving mind of the Church as if the Holy Trinity, as manifested in the Holy Scriptures, is of lesser importance or less germane.

There has to be an order of authority to the sources that we cite. Otherwise, we will be forever talking to ourselves. Akin to the body of laws that any civilization has, our highest authority (or fundamental law) has got to be the Holy Scriptures. Next in line ought to be the doctrinal findings of the ecumenical councils (or Supreme Court decisions). Next would be the non-doctrinal canons (statutes), followed by actual practice of the Church that is not addressed in the previous tiers. We really should defer to this hierarchy of authorities whenever there is a conflict or disagreement.

After setting up the basis of my argument, I would say that the situation in North America should be looked in the following manner:

At the lowest authority level or actual practice: There are many jurisdictions or exarchates in North America, most of which are in communion with each other even though many do not accept the autocephaly of the only indigenous church--the Orthodox Church in America--primarily because of the position of their mother Church.

At the next level or canons: There are conflicting interpretations of the canons, all very old and all set up in entirely different circumstances. We all have read (countless times) about canon 28 and Canon 8, among others.

At the next level or doctrine: There does not seem to be any problems (as proven by the majority of the jurisdictions being in communion of each other).

Finally, at the highest level or the Holy Scriptures: The question is whether any of the teachings of our savior or of His Holy Apostles are definitive regarding the situation in North America. I have some ideas but, absent some basic agreement to the order of authority I laid out, it would be quite futile.
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« Reply #123 on: April 27, 2009, 12:29:51 PM »

 Judging from these statements the MP knows exactly where ROCOR stands.  Clearly ROCOR has the MP's blessing on the matter.



That is pure conjecture.  Nothing clear about it at all.  What would be clear is if the Church of Russia issued a statement proclaiming that Metropolitan Hilarion and the other bishops on the Russian Synod deny the autocephaly of the OCA granted in 1970 and the Patriarch and the Church of Russia have no opposition to its bishops denying the autocephaly and denying Moscow's authority to grant it.   

Btw, the ROCA Commission on the OCA is now defunct.  If I recall correctly, it never met even once.

You have the secretary who was in on the negotiations telling us this.  You have Fr. John Shaw who became Bishop Jeromoe telling us this.   If the ROCOR commission is now defunct, then its mission was achieved.  I don't even see why there would have to be any meetings on this issue anyway.  All of the history has been recorded and Fr. John Shaw had been making the same statements as late as Nov. 08.

And ROCOR's primate, Patriarch Kyrill, is hosting Primate Metropolitan Jonah in the patriarchate as we write.

Quote
As to the teeth of the OCA autocephaly, it is hard to see any when even Met. Jonah does not expect other jurisdictions to recognize it.   In fact, he is willing to see a NEW organization formed as a solution to unity in America.   

He said, "It is imperative for us to come together. Not for all the other churches, the Antiochians and the Serbians and the Bulgarians and the Romanians and everyone, to join the OCA, but to come together in a new organization of Orthodoxy in North American that brings us all together as one Church, even just pulling together all our existing organizations so that all the bishops sit on one Synod, so that all the Metropolitans get together on a special Synod or something like that."

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:Gc6xcnh8JdUJ:www.dosoca.org/files/Pan-orthodox-talk-4_7_09.pdf+Metropolitan+jonah+dallas+transcript+%22Leave+it+alone%22&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Why isn't Met. Jonah simply demaning everyone else to recognize OCA autocephaly and come under her omopor as the rightful American Church, if that is what they are?

Economia.

Quote
Given the above statement by Met. Jonah and the statements made by high ranking ROCOR clergy and administrators I don't see where ROCOR will be expected to submit to OCA autocephaly if OCA herself does not demand it be recognized.

At present, I see not reason for push come to shove.
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« Reply #124 on: April 27, 2009, 03:41:03 PM »


Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos.  Less mess to take on. 

It does not seem likely that the Church of Russia has any intention to revoke the Tomos.  In fact it is only a month ago that the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the US were ordered to commeprate Metropolitan Jonah liturgically at the Great Entrance after Patriarch Kirill.  This has never happened before and is an indication that the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Moscow are sending the message that they are standing firmly behind Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA.

"31.03.2009

"Regarding the Elevation of the Name of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes During the Divine Services

 
"It should be brought to the attention of the clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes as to the form of the prayer for the remembrance of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Divine Services: During the Litany: “For our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and for our Lord His Grace Bishop Job,” and throughout the text. During the Great Entrance: “Our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All American and Canada, and our Lord His Grace Job, Bishop of Kashir, may the Lord God remember them in His Kingdom, always, now, and forever, and unto the ages of ages.” "

http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=984&id=9002&ln=en

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« Reply #125 on: April 27, 2009, 08:29:40 PM »


Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos.  Less mess to take on. 

It does not seem likely that the Church of Russia has any intention to revoke the Tomos.  In fact it is only a month ago that the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the US were ordered to commeprate Metropolitan Jonah liturgically at the Great Entrance after Patriarch Kirill.  This has never happened before and is an indication that the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Moscow are sending the message that they are standing firmly behind Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA.

"31.03.2009

"Regarding the Elevation of the Name of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes During the Divine Services

 
"It should be brought to the attention of the clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes as to the form of the prayer for the remembrance of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Divine Services: During the Litany: “For our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and for our Lord His Grace Bishop Job,” and throughout the text. During the Great Entrance: “Our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All American and Canada, and our Lord His Grace Job, Bishop of Kashir, may the Lord God remember them in His Kingdom, always, now, and forever, and unto the ages of ages.” "

http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=984&id=9002&ln=en



And no such directive has come to ROCOR.   Don't you think there is something odd about that seeing as we have Met. Hilarion of Eastern America and NY.   Looks like we have an overlap of territory yet the MP recognizes to Metropolitans of the same territory. 

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« Reply #126 on: April 27, 2009, 09:48:34 PM »


Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos.  Less mess to take on. 

It does not seem likely that the Church of Russia has any intention to revoke the Tomos.  In fact it is only a month ago that the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the US were ordered to commeprate Metropolitan Jonah liturgically at the Great Entrance after Patriarch Kirill.  This has never happened before and is an indication that the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Moscow are sending the message that they are standing firmly behind Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA.

"31.03.2009

"Regarding the Elevation of the Name of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes During the Divine Services

 
"It should be brought to the attention of the clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes as to the form of the prayer for the remembrance of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Divine Services: During the Litany: “For our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and for our Lord His Grace Bishop Job,” and throughout the text. During the Great Entrance: “Our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All American and Canada, and our Lord His Grace Job, Bishop of Kashir, may the Lord God remember them in His Kingdom, always, now, and forever, and unto the ages of ages.” "

http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=984&id=9002&ln=en



And no such directive has come to ROCOR. 

Given the pastoral concerns of those like yourself, I don't think it should.  Economia.

Quote
 Don't you think there is something odd about that seeing as we have Met. Hilarion of Eastern America and NY. 

No, given the circumstances, not particularly.

Quote
 Looks like we have an overlap of territory yet the MP recognizes to Metropolitans of the same territory. 

No, just one.  Met. Jonah.
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« Reply #127 on: April 28, 2009, 01:47:13 AM »


Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos.  Less mess to take on. 

It does not seem likely that the Church of Russia has any intention to revoke the Tomos.  In fact it is only a month ago that the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the US were ordered to commeprate Metropolitan Jonah liturgically at the Great Entrance after Patriarch Kirill.  This has never happened before and is an indication that the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Moscow are sending the message that they are standing firmly behind Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA.
 
"31.03.2009
 
"Regarding the Elevation of the Name of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes During the Divine Services
 
 
"It should be brought to the attention of the clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes as to the form of the prayer for the remembrance of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Divine Services: During the Litany: “For our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and for our Lord His Grace Bishop Job,” and throughout the text. During the Great Entrance: “Our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All American and Canada, and our Lord His Grace Job, Bishop of Kashir, may the Lord God remember them in His Kingdom, always, now, and forever, and unto the ages of ages.” "
 
http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=984&id=9002&ln=en
 


And no such directive has come to ROCOR.

There is a difference between the Patriarchal parishes in the US which form a vicariate supervised by a Vicar Bishop who belongs to the Diocese of Moscow and the Russian Church Abroad which is a Self-Governing Church (as is Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and the Ukraine.)
 

Quote
Don't you think there is something odd about that seeing as we have Met. Hilarion of Eastern America and NY.   Looks like we have an overlap of territory yet the MP recognizes to Metropolitans of the same territory. 

There is much that is odd about the multi-jurisdictional chaos which prevails throughout the Diaspora.
 
But one thing you can be certain of is that neither Metropolitan Laurus nor Metropolitan Hilarion told Patriarch Alexey that Moscow was guilty of an uncanonical Act when it gave autonomy to the Orthodox Church in America and that the Russian Church Abroad refuses to accept the Act of Autonomy.
 
Have you asked your bishop if he has been to Moscow, participated in the Russian Synod and said this to the Patriarch and the Holy Synod?   Have ANY ROCA bishops said this to Moscow?

Does your parish priest not commemorate the Patriarch as the supreme authority of the Russian Church Abroad?   He commemorates him as  "our Great Lord and Father" five times in the course of the Liturgy?   

So from where does anyone in the Russian Church Abroad derive the authority to challenge the authority of Patriarch and the Holy Synod: "The OCA Tomos of Autonomy is uncanonical.  Your Holiness has made a grave mistake.  We agree with the Church of Constantinople that you acted uncanonically and we, like the mouse that roared, do not recognise your authority in this matter."
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« Reply #128 on: April 28, 2009, 01:47:14 AM »

It does not seem likely that the Church of Russia has any intention to revoke the Tomos.  In fact it is only a month ago that the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the US were ordered to commeprate Metropolitan Jonah liturgically at the Great Entrance after Patriarch Kirill.  This has never happened before and is an indication that the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Moscow are sending the message that they are standing firmly behind Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA.

"31.03.2009

"Regarding the Elevation of the Name of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes During the Divine Services

 
"It should be brought to the attention of the clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes as to the form of the prayer for the remembrance of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Divine Services: During the Litany: “For our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and for our Lord His Grace Bishop Job,” and throughout the text. During the Great Entrance: “Our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All American and Canada, and our Lord His Grace Job, Bishop of Kashir, may the Lord God remember them in His Kingdom, always, now, and forever, and unto the ages of ages.” "

http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=984&id=9002&ln=en



And no such directive has come to ROCOR.    Don't you think there is something odd about that seeing as we have Met. Hilarion of Eastern America and NY.  


Well, it has taken 39 years for such a directive to be sent to the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the States!   From 1970 to 2009!    Grin
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« Reply #129 on: April 28, 2009, 01:50:52 AM »


Considering the statement above, any cleaning up of the OCA might very well be a bigger incentive for the MP to revoke the Tomos.  Less mess to take on. 

It does not seem likely that the Church of Russia has any intention to revoke the Tomos.  In fact it is only a month ago that the Russian Patriarchal parishes in the US were ordered to commeprate Metropolitan Jonah liturgically at the Great Entrance after Patriarch Kirill.  This has never happened before and is an indication that the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Moscow are sending the message that they are standing firmly behind Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA.
 
"31.03.2009
 
"Regarding the Elevation of the Name of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes During the Divine Services
 
 
"It should be brought to the attention of the clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes as to the form of the prayer for the remembrance of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Divine Services: During the Litany: “For our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and for our Lord His Grace Bishop Job,” and throughout the text. During the Great Entrance: “Our Great Lord and Father His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All American and Canada, and our Lord His Grace Job, Bishop of Kashir, may the Lord God remember them in His Kingdom, always, now, and forever, and unto the ages of ages.” "
 
http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=984&id=9002&ln=en
 


And no such directive has come to ROCOR.

There is a difference between the Patriarchal parishes in the US which form a vicariate supervised by a Vicar Bishop who belongs to the Diocese of Moscow and the Russian Church Abroad which is a Self-Governing Church (as is Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and the Ukraine.)
 

Quote
Don't you think there is something odd about that seeing as we have Met. Hilarion of Eastern America and NY.   Looks like we have an overlap of territory yet the MP recognizes to Metropolitans of the same territory. 

There is much that is odd about the multi-jurisdictional chaos which prevails throughout the Diaspora.
 
But one thing you can be certain of is that neither Metropolitan Laurus nor Metropolitan Hilarion told Patriarch Alexey that Moscow was guilty of an uncanonical Act when it gave autonomy to the Orthodox Church in America and that the Russian Church Abroad refuses to accept the Act of Autonomy.
 
Have you asked your bishop if he has been to Moscow, participated in the Russian Synod and said this to the Patriarch and the Holy Synod?   Have ANY ROCA bishops said this to Moscow?

Does your parish priest not commemorate the Patriarch as the supreme authority of the Russian Church Abroad?   He commemorates him as  "our Great Lord and Father" five times in the course of the Liturgy?   

So from where does anyone in the Russian Church Abroad derive the authority to challenge the authority of Patriarch and the Holy Synod: "The OCA Tomos of Autonomy is uncanonical.  Your Holiness has made a grave mistake.  We agree with the Church of Constantinople that you acted uncanonically and we, like the mouse that roared, do not recognise your authority in this matter."
Actually, this thing you call the "autonomy" of the OCA is actually "autocephaly".  Not to be a nitpick, but I think accuracy of terms rather important to this discussion. Wink
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« Reply #130 on: April 28, 2009, 06:45:02 AM »

Actually, this thing you call the "autonomy" of the OCA is actually "autocephaly".  Not to be a nitpick, but I think accuracy of terms rather important to this discussion. Wink

Totally in agreement.  It was stupid of me to use the word 'autonomy' when I meant 'autocephaly.'     Embarrassed
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« Reply #131 on: May 01, 2009, 05:33:08 PM »

Thread Split:  Discussions about the OCA and ROCA can now be found here:  What's up with some in ROCOR over the OCA?

Thank you.

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« Reply #132 on: September 14, 2009, 04:17:44 AM »


Do you recognise the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church?

No.

Quote
Why not?

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.

The autonomous Archbishop of Ohrid is the canonical primate of Macedonia.


Quote
Are you ignorant?

Maybe, but not here.

The Macedonian people recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church and, by and large, don't recognize the Greek/Serbian-installed "Archbishop of Ohrid".  Does their opinion not count?  Or have we returned to the era of European monarchies and ttheir coexistence with a national church as a means of keeping the peasantry under control?
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« Reply #133 on: September 14, 2009, 04:34:26 AM »


Do you recognise the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church?

No.

Quote
Why not?

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.

The autonomous Archbishop of Ohrid is the canonical primate of Macedonia.


Quote
Are you ignorant?

Maybe, but not here.

The Macedonian people recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church and, by and large, don't recognize the Greek/Serbian-installed "Archbishop of Ohrid".  Does their opinion not count?  Or have we returned to the era of European monarchies and ttheir coexistence with a national church as a means of keeping the peasantry under control?

Though bishops may be elected, the episcopacy is not.

Sure, their opinion counts. It is just not determinative.

Btw, I'm a monarchist. I worship the King of the Jews, not their president.
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« Reply #134 on: September 14, 2009, 05:16:03 AM »


Do you recognise the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church?

No.

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Why not?

I recognize Tomoi of Autocephaly from Orthodox Synods, not Tito.

The autonomous Archbishop of Ohrid is the canonical primate of Macedonia.


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Are you ignorant?

Maybe, but not here.

The Macedonian people recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church and, by and large, don't recognize the Greek/Serbian-installed "Archbishop of Ohrid".  Does their opinion not count?  Or have we returned to the era of European monarchies and ttheir coexistence with a national church as a means of keeping the peasantry under control?

Though bishops may be elected, the episcopacy is not.

Sure, their opinion counts. It is just not determinative.

Btw, I'm a monarchist. I worship the King of the Jews, not their president.

Are you then saying that the bureaucratic aspect of religion is more important than the spiritual and human dynamic?  Like I said, it is easy to understand why so many blacks in the United States are not comfortable in white parishes or even in a Christian Church.  That is why the Muslim religion works for them.  I think the same can be said with the Macedonian and Ukranian people.  Is not having people they are comfortable with (as opposed to a hierarchy they are suspicious of) ministering to them an important aspect of feeling connected to the church and to God.

And if I am Macedonian and I still remember what the Greeks, Serbs and Bulgarians all did to our people in their quest to take control of our land, would I have much connection to an institution under their administration?  And if I have no connection to such institution, does that not breed cynicism?  And if the cynicism festers long enough is that not destructive to the entire faith and really all of christianity?

My mother came to America as a teenager in the 1950's.  She said that rather than stay within Orthodoxy, most oif her peers of the time became Methodist.  I am guessing a large part of this was that they didn't have their own church intown during that era and they didn't feel particularly connected to the Greek church.

I have no evidence to back this up, just a gut feeling.

You guys are spending too much time on bureaucracy and process and ignoring what the people want. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 05:17:52 AM by dirtyharry667 » Logged

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