Just a brief note (I'm taking my sons to the park, the weather is finally nice).
Good call. Enjoy your family as I have also done today.
I hope it was pleasant. It was the first decent day in Chicago for a while.
The fact that the MP has issued a directive putting off implemeting point #5 indicates that he and the Holy Synod are being VERY indulgent with ROCOR, which, given the situation, is a right and proper exercise of economia. But the day is envisioned, and will come, when those in ROCOR will have to get over whatever problems they have, and have to hear the Patriarch of Moscow commemorated by every ROCOR DL.
Glad you brought this up. Notice how this point is spelled out? It was important enough to include in the Act. A ukaz was then issued within ROCOR which gives a dispensation of five years of noncommemoration. Now notice that not a peep was mentioned about OCA autocephaly. Contrary to mentioning it, the Act infringes upon it.
Actually, no. It doesn't.
7. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America shall have exclusive spiritual and canonical jurisdiction over all bishops, clerics and laymen of the Eastern Orthodox confession in continental North America, excluding Mexico, and including the State of Hawaii who are presently part of the Metropolitanate, or who shall later enter the Metropolitanate; and over all parishes which now belong or later shall be accepted into the Metropolitanate, excepting the entire clergy, possessions and parishes enumerated in Paragraph 3, points a,b,c.
No, not a peep about the OCA. But not silence:
3. In the countries of the diaspora where parallel church structures exist, including the Holy Land, both sides will, with proper pastoral discretion, apply every effort to resolve problems hindering successful cooperation and joint witnesshttp://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_addendum.html
Since you seem to go with the EP's definition of "diaspora," this covers the present modus vivendi between the OCA, PP, and ROCOR here. The MP is bound by its Tomos to the OCA on this.
As ROCOR was not part of the Metropolitanate, not being part of the Russian Church, it is grandfathered in.
The Tomos has another pertinent part that the Act does not:
c. maintain direct relations with all other Churches and confessions, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike;
In other words, ROCOR does not have the authority to deal with other Churches directly, but through the PoM. Who of course, commemorates Met. Jonah.
Of course then, that still doesn't answer the question as to what kind of Church it is, a local Church outside its locality. Temporary, perhaps, but permanently? That doesn't offend me, it offends the canons and any sense of Orthodox ecclesiology. How does a Church function canonically outside its canonical borders?
ROCOR and the PoM are not sister Churches: one is the Mother Church. Mother might be indulgent with you now, and she should be, but that doesn't change that canonical authority flows from her. You do not have an independent source (such as the OCA, and everyother autocephalous Church, does).
This is a false assumption. ROCOR does not view the MP as 'the Mother Church'.
LOL. Then they are in need of a geography lesson. All the saints of that shone in the Russian land, by definition, shone within the canonical boundaries of Russia, not outside with you. That chrism comes from Moscow, the same place where ukaze 362 eminated from.
Officially the position is ROCOR and the MP are considered "two parts of the Russian Church". This was another serious point that clergy and laity needed clairity on. I think a good many of your false assumptions are rooted in this 'mother church' misunderstanding.
Not my misunderstanding. It was clarified for you, see below.
Now I know you assert that Fr. Alexander Lebedeff, even though he was a negotiator of the Act, has no authority. I know that you claim for yourself as much authority to speak on the matter as he does, however, here is an explaination that might help you understand the Official Statement I have been posting from:
"The Church Abroad is not seeking to be granted autonomy by the Moscow
Unlike the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America,
there is no granting of a "Tomos" that is being proposed here and no
recognition of the Moscow Patriarchate as our Mother Church.
The document establishing communion between the Church Abroad and the
Moscow Patriarchate will be a **Joint** document, signed by the First
Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the
Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)--not as subordinate to
superior, but as the heads of two canonical parts of the one
historical Church of Russia, sorrowfully divided by the consequences
of the anti-Russian Revolution.
Yes, the Church Abroad will recognize the Russian Orthodox Church
(Moscow Patriarchate) as being the legitimate canonical authority of
the Church in Russia.
But the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) will recognize
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, with the totality of
its ecclesiastical structures as the legitimate, canonical
self-governing ecclesiastical authority over all of its institutions,
dioceses, parishes, monasteries, theological schools, missions, etc.,
with its authority not limited to a particular region (such as the
case with the OCA or the Church of Japan)--but all over the world,
with the exclusion, of course, of the interior canonical territory of
the Church of Russia.
Is that what this is about?:
2. Acting in the spirit of ecclesiastical oikonomia , the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia envision a five-year transition period for the full regularization of the status of former parishes of the Russian Church Abroad on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate, through their entering into the jurisdiction of the local ruling bishops. Before this period elapses, such parishes which are not on the territory of Self-governing Churches have the opportunity to be under the protection of a Vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who, with the blessing of the Patriarch, may participate in the work of the Council of Bishops and Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia by invitation of her First Hierarch.http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_addendum.html
The OCA, of course, at the very least, even according to the EP, is "Self-governing."
You can spin this any way you like, ukaze 362 clearly states:
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.
And the Act clearly designates the MP as said "central ecclesiastical authority." Your "part" needs confirmation from his "part." His "part" does not need confirmation from you. And since you are self defined as outside the canonical territory of the PoM (your emphasis "in
Russia"), you are without canonical foundation, if your friend the EP is correct. Unless you can come up with a canon that gives a Church jurisdiction in territory not hers.
The idea that receiving Holy Chrism from the Patriarch indicates
subservience or subjugation is ludicrous. This would mean that during
the decades that the Church Abroad received its Holy Chrism from the
Serbian Patriarch we were subservient and subjugated to them.
Your Patriarch and Ruling Holy Synod disagrees:
d. enjoy all the authority, privileges and rights usually inherent in the term “autocephaly” in the canonical tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including the right of preparing and consecrating Holy Chrism. http://www.oca.org/DOCtomos.asp?SID=12
If Father Ambrose is correct, this seems to have been an issue. And this was "clarified":
Regarding some other provisions in the “Act on Canonical Communion,” which, in the opinion of some, “place one Church above another,” in particular, the commemoration of the Primate of the Local Russian Church, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the receiving of Holy Chrism from him, and other theses: it is important to remember that these points derive directly from canonical requirements reflected in the decisions of the All-Russian Council of 1917-1918. http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2006/9enaktexplanantion.html
In its Decision of December 8, 1917, entitled “On the Rights and Duties of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,” paragraph 2(k) states that the Patriarch “has the care for the timely preparation and consecration of Holy Chrism for the use of the Russian Church.”
In paragraph 3 of the same Decision it states: “The name of the Patriarch is commemorated during Divine Services in all churches of the Church of Russia.”
Therefore, the provisions laid out in the “Act on Canonical Communion” are in full agreement with the decisions of the All-Russian Council and with the canonical norms of church administration.
Notice all those bishops signatures. Note too, not a peep about the OCA.
Btw, this has been an issue ever since 1673 (?), when Russia started consecrating her own chrism: Constantinople had arrogated the right to solely herself. The next to break the monopoly was Romania, and it was denounced by Constantinople. Next came Antioch, then Serbia, then... At least in the Russian Tradition (and ROCOR is part of what "historic" Church), chrism is a sign of submission to a primate.
The simple fact is that only an autocephalous Church has the right to
make its own Chrism--and the Church Abroad has never presumed to
arrogate to itself the status of an autocephalous Church. Being a
part of (although a self-governing part) of the historical
autocephalous local Church of Russia, it is elementary that we would
receive our Holy Chrism from it."[/color]
An elementary fact, eh? "Historical autocephalous local Church of Russia?" What about the present day one? It's not a historical Patriarch (there actually, in the ROCOR view of things it seems, being no such thing, except perhaps Pat. St. Tikhon) who blesses your chrism. It's the present one.
All this talk of "historical" Chruch is all too surreal. Reminds me WAY too much of Old Believers having communion that they claimed was saved from the days "before the Antichrist Nikon."
If you think self rule is "complete independence," look at the "Self ruled Antiochian Archdiocese" and learn. The Constitution of the Patriarchate of Antioch claims jurisdiction over North America: your own Act places you outside of your Church's canonical boundaries.
Given your hard core position in defense of the OCA autocephaly I am curious as to what your personal opinion is as to what constitutes ROCOR's canonical territory?
LOL. Strictly speaking, nowhere.
The first problem is that the Act itself defines you outside of Russia's canonical boundaries. Then there's the problem that Russia has given autocephaly to parts (Poland, Czech and Slovkia, OCA), made others autonomous (Japan) and others self-governing under herself (China, etc.). What is left that Russia has a legitimate canonical claim to give any territory?
In the meantime, what do you envision "complete independence" would look like a century from now?
I don't pretend to have the gift of predicting the future.
Developing into a commonwealth, an Ecclesiastical Australia or Canada is out, as you are defined by the Act as being outside your jurisdiction. Do you expect to be a colony forever?
Again, you are only putting forth your personal opinion as it pertains to our territory. Again, you are in conflict with ROCOR's official position on the matter. Obviously ROCOR does not believe we are outside of our jurisdiction, nor does the MP.
The Act clearly states you are outside the MP's canonical boundaries. If the MP agrees with the EP like you do, that means come June you are on the chopping block. Not outside your jurisdiction? What jurisdiction do you have?
Which makes me think of another question: what is your basis for rejecting the autocephaly of the OCA?