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Author Topic: Apostasy of ROCOR  (Read 21163 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthodoxlurker
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« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2009, 06:10:06 AM »

...
I am yet to hear the reasoning of groups that have split from ROCOR for ROCOR's alleged "chage of the position" if they still commune faithful from Jerusalem and Serbia, with whom they were in communion while being ROCOR.


More particularly, since ROCOR was always in communion with Jerusalem and Serbia, not only concellebrations were quite regular (for instance, bishop Mark of ROCOR annually visits Celije Monastery to remember the day of St. Justin's repose, where he regularly concellebrates with present bishops of Serbian Patriarchate), but the faithful of these jurisdictions were able to partake communion in ROCOR.

Jerusalem and Serbia change nothing in their position during reconciliation of MP and ROCOR.

AFAIK, Old Calendarist splinter groups from ROCOR offer no communion to the flock of Jerusalem and Serbia, whom were, BTW, always on Church ("Old") Calendar, although they were allowing it while being ROCOR.

It makes their accusation against ROCOR for "change of position" ridiculous, since they, themselves, did change the position without even noticing it and without providing any reasoning for it.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 06:28:15 AM by orthodoxlurker » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: June 10, 2009, 07:00:06 AM »

...
I am yet to hear the reasoning of groups that have split from ROCOR for ROCOR's alleged "chage of the position" if they still commune faithful from Jerusalem and Serbia, with whom they were in communion while being ROCOR.


More particularly, since ROCOR was always in communion with Jerusalem and Serbia, not only concellebrations were quite regular (for instance, bishop Mark of ROCOR annually visits Celije Monastery to remember the day of St. Justin's repose, where he regularly concellebrates with present bishops of Serbian Patriarchate), but the faithful of these jurisdictions were able to partake communion in ROCOR.

Jerusalem and Serbia change nothing in their position during reconciliation of MP and ROCOR.

AFAIK, Old Calendarist splinter groups from ROCOR offer no communion to the flock of Jerusalem and Serbia, whom were, BTW, always on Church ("Old") Calendar, although they were allowing it while being ROCOR.

It makes their accusation against ROCOR for "change of position" ridiculous, since they, themselves, did change the position without even noticing it and without providing any reasoning for it.

The only time I intercommuned with ROCOR before the reconciliation with Moscow was when I was in Jerusalem.  There was a ROCOR priest present who concelebrated, and if I remember correctly, one of their bishops visiting.  I was OCA, some of the monks were CoG, the nuns were Church of Romania, there were Serbian visitors (their car had just been firebombed), and even a Chinese Orthodox family from Australia (they had been under Moscow before immigrating).  It would seem that wouldn't be possible with the ROCOR splinters now, so it would seem the splinters are the ones changing.
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« Reply #92 on: June 10, 2009, 07:05:15 AM »

I just found your appeal to the majority, a logical tactic you seem to like using quite often, a rather weak approach to proving our shared opinion that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical and the Russian Tsarist Church is not.

In that case your quarrel is with the Fathers, and especially Saint Vincent of Lerins and the "Vincentian Canon" which the holy Fathers were happy to adopt as a rule of thumb ~  "what is believed by all, everywhere and at all times."
Yes, a very common logical fallacy I see many on this forum commit.  Post a controversial interpretation of the Fathers or a fallacious appeal to the majority and then recuse yourself of all responsibility by saying, "Your argument is with the Fathers, not with me."  No, Fr. Ambrose, my argument is with your fallacious logic, not with St. Vincent of Lerins, especially since I don't see your example of the majority fitting the definition of consensus.

I really do not follow your logic which is too tenuous for me.  Are you saying that although all the Orthodox Churches accept the canonicity of the Russian Church that is insufficient to conclude that it is canonical.
No, that's not what I'm saying.  All I've done is question your equation of the majority with consensus.

If you could be specific about what more proof you need beyond this Orthodox consensus of Churches and their Synods I would try to provide it.
Again, majority does not equal consensus.  If you wish to offer evidence for an argument in the future, appeal to majority opinion is a rather unconvincing way to go.  Other than that, you're preaching to the choir if you think you need to convince me that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical.

Since all the autocephalous Churches find the Patriarchate of Moscow canonical, yes this majority is consensus, besides being unanimous.
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« Reply #93 on: June 10, 2009, 07:42:45 AM »

We do not actually know if the Russian Zarist Church possesses bishops.

I do not know that either, but the Web site, from where Pravoslav09 copied the original text in Russian, says that they represent +Bishop Diomid (Diomedes).
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« Reply #94 on: June 10, 2009, 10:02:47 AM »

I'm sorry that I am growing aloof from this discussion, but whereas for some these discussions are academic, for me they are extremely emotionally draining and I can't sustain them for long.  I find the current situation to be gut-wrenching, extremely sad, and difficult to comprehend.  However, I do have hope it can be overcome.

I can vouch that Pravoslav09 has a bishop.  I'm sure that various people here would discount his bishop's canonicity, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether he is in a Church with a bishop to whom he does obedience. And the answer is, he is, and I know which bishop it is. But he has expressed a desire to not share details of his personal life with the internet, and I will respect that.  If his reticence to reveal his bishop makes you think he has less credibility, that's your decision to make; but most likely he does not feel a pressing need to release that information since many of you would then just turn the argument towards why his bishop lacks credibility.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 10:03:46 AM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #95 on: June 10, 2009, 10:37:09 AM »

I'm sorry that I am growing aloof from this discussion, but whereas for some these discussions are academic, for me they are extremely emotionally draining and I can't sustain them for long.  I find the current situation to be gut-wrenching, extremely sad, and difficult to comprehend.  However, I do have hope it can be overcome.

I can vouch that Pravoslav09 has a bishop.  I'm sure that various people here would discount his bishop's canonicity, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether he is in a Church with a bishop to whom he does obedience. And the answer is, he is, and I know which bishop it is. But he has expressed a desire to not share details of his personal life with the internet, and I will respect that.  If his reticence to reveal his bishop makes you think he has less credibility, that's your decision to make; but most likely he does not feel a pressing need to release that information since many of you would then just turn the argument towards why his bishop lacks credibility.
Well, then he shouldn't be throwing around terms like "spawn of Satan," "apostate" and denouncing Pat. Kyrill and Met. Laurus as anathema, now should he.  As we say in Arabic, "there are no fans in hell."
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« Reply #96 on: June 10, 2009, 10:39:45 AM »


Well, then he shouldn't be throwing around terms like "spawn of Satan," "apostate" and denouncing Pat. Kyrill and Met. Laurus as anathema, now should he.  As we say in Arabic, "there are no fans in hell."

I've already addressed my position on throwing around labels. Take it up with him.
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« Reply #97 on: June 10, 2009, 10:51:43 AM »


Well, then he shouldn't be throwing around terms like "spawn of Satan," "apostate" and denouncing Pat. Kyrill and Met. Laurus as anathema, now should he.  As we say in Arabic, "there are no fans in hell."

I've already addressed my position on throwing around labels. Take it up with him.

Actually, my post wasn't directed at you, Father, just your post provided a convenient place to point this out to our OP.  sorry if you got in the crossfire, as you haven't been throwing kerosine on the fire.
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« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2009, 11:07:55 AM »


Well, then he shouldn't be throwing around terms like "spawn of Satan," "apostate" and denouncing Pat. Kyrill and Met. Laurus as anathema, now should he.  As we say in Arabic, "there are no fans in hell."

I've already addressed my position on throwing around labels. Take it up with him.

Actually, my post wasn't directed at you, Father, just your post provided a convenient place to point this out to our OP.  sorry if you got in the crossfire, as you haven't been throwing kerosine on the fire.

No problem; thanks.
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« Reply #99 on: June 10, 2009, 01:51:58 PM »

I just found your appeal to the majority, a logical tactic you seem to like using quite often, a rather weak approach to proving our shared opinion that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical and the Russian Tsarist Church is not.

In that case your quarrel is with the Fathers, and especially Saint Vincent of Lerins and the "Vincentian Canon" which the holy Fathers were happy to adopt as a rule of thumb ~  "what is believed by all, everywhere and at all times."
Yes, a very common logical fallacy I see many on this forum commit.  Post a controversial interpretation of the Fathers or a fallacious appeal to the majority and then recuse yourself of all responsibility by saying, "Your argument is with the Fathers, not with me."  No, Fr. Ambrose, my argument is with your fallacious logic, not with St. Vincent of Lerins, especially since I don't see your example of the majority fitting the definition of consensus.

I really do not follow your logic which is too tenuous for me.  Are you saying that although all the Orthodox Churches accept the canonicity of the Russian Church that is insufficient to conclude that it is canonical.
No, that's not what I'm saying.  All I've done is question your equation of the majority with consensus.

If you could be specific about what more proof you need beyond this Orthodox consensus of Churches and their Synods I would try to provide it.
Again, majority does not equal consensus.  If you wish to offer evidence for an argument in the future, appeal to majority opinion is a rather unconvincing way to go.  Other than that, you're preaching to the choir if you think you need to convince me that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical.

Since all the autocephalous Churches find the Patriarchate of Moscow canonical, yes this majority is consensus, besides being unanimous.
But then you've fallen into the same trap of stacking the deck so that a consensus emerges.

In the original post from Irish Hermit that started his and my debate over appeal to majority, Irish Hermit said the following:
There are 300 million Orthodox Christians who recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as the canonical Church of Russia and only a few thousands who do not.

Since then, his tune has changed to become more and more restrictive of those who don't recognize the MP, apparently in order to stack the deck to produce the consensus he desires to argue, and you've taken to following his trail, and rather late in the game at that.
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« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2009, 02:10:19 PM »

I just found your appeal to the majority, a logical tactic you seem to like using quite often, a rather weak approach to proving our shared opinion that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical and the Russian Tsarist Church is not.

In that case your quarrel is with the Fathers, and especially Saint Vincent of Lerins and the "Vincentian Canon" which the holy Fathers were happy to adopt as a rule of thumb ~  "what is believed by all, everywhere and at all times."
Yes, a very common logical fallacy I see many on this forum commit.  Post a controversial interpretation of the Fathers or a fallacious appeal to the majority and then recuse yourself of all responsibility by saying, "Your argument is with the Fathers, not with me."  No, Fr. Ambrose, my argument is with your fallacious logic, not with St. Vincent of Lerins, especially since I don't see your example of the majority fitting the definition of consensus.

I really do not follow your logic which is too tenuous for me.  Are you saying that although all the Orthodox Churches accept the canonicity of the Russian Church that is insufficient to conclude that it is canonical.
No, that's not what I'm saying.  All I've done is question your equation of the majority with consensus.

If you could be specific about what more proof you need beyond this Orthodox consensus of Churches and their Synods I would try to provide it.
Again, majority does not equal consensus.  If you wish to offer evidence for an argument in the future, appeal to majority opinion is a rather unconvincing way to go.  Other than that, you're preaching to the choir if you think you need to convince me that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical.

Since all the autocephalous Churches find the Patriarchate of Moscow canonical, yes this majority is consensus, besides being unanimous.
But then you've fallen into the same trap of stacking the deck so that a consensus emerges.

In the original post from Irish Hermit that started his and my debate over appeal to majority, Irish Hermit said the following:
There are 300 million Orthodox Christians who recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as the canonical Church of Russia and only a few thousands who do not.

Since then, his tune has changed to become more and more restrictive of those who don't recognize the MP, apparently in order to stack the deck to produce the consensus he desires to argue, and you've taken to following his trail, and rather late in the game at that.

The institutional Church is nearly two thousand years old, and the Autocephalous Church of Russia well over half a millenium, so yes, I'm rather late in the game. I do, however, predate the ROCORette Churches.

In all that history, NEVER have all of the autocephalous sees of the Church fallen to heresy at one time.  Always a Faithful remnant was left, and, as a matter of historical conincidence but also fact, the Church of Moscow has never fallen to heresy: indeed that is how she became autocephalous, by standing tall while while Constantinople fell.

Since All the autocephalous Churches recognize Moscow, then it would stand to reason that either the Church is right, or it has completely fallen to heresy.  I know that is the contention of those who left ROCOR, but since they were communing with Jerusalem and Serbs amongst others, I don't see who they can't condemn themselves.
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #101 on: June 10, 2009, 02:28:12 PM »

I just found your appeal to the majority, a logical tactic you seem to like using quite often, a rather weak approach to proving our shared opinion that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical and the Russian Tsarist Church is not.

In that case your quarrel is with the Fathers, and especially Saint Vincent of Lerins and the "Vincentian Canon" which the holy Fathers were happy to adopt as a rule of thumb ~  "what is believed by all, everywhere and at all times."
Yes, a very common logical fallacy I see many on this forum commit.  Post a controversial interpretation of the Fathers or a fallacious appeal to the majority and then recuse yourself of all responsibility by saying, "Your argument is with the Fathers, not with me."  No, Fr. Ambrose, my argument is with your fallacious logic, not with St. Vincent of Lerins, especially since I don't see your example of the majority fitting the definition of consensus.

I really do not follow your logic which is too tenuous for me.  Are you saying that although all the Orthodox Churches accept the canonicity of the Russian Church that is insufficient to conclude that it is canonical.
No, that's not what I'm saying.  All I've done is question your equation of the majority with consensus.

If you could be specific about what more proof you need beyond this Orthodox consensus of Churches and their Synods I would try to provide it.
Again, majority does not equal consensus.  If you wish to offer evidence for an argument in the future, appeal to majority opinion is a rather unconvincing way to go.  Other than that, you're preaching to the choir if you think you need to convince me that the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical.

Since all the autocephalous Churches find the Patriarchate of Moscow canonical, yes this majority is consensus, besides being unanimous.
But then you've fallen into the same trap of stacking the deck so that a consensus emerges.

In the original post from Irish Hermit that started his and my debate over appeal to majority, Irish Hermit said the following:
There are 300 million Orthodox Christians who recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as the canonical Church of Russia and only a few thousands who do not.

Since then, his tune has changed to become more and more restrictive of those who don't recognize the MP, apparently in order to stack the deck to produce the consensus he desires to argue, and you've taken to following his trail, and rather late in the game at that.

The institutional Church is nearly two thousand years old, and the Autocephalous Church of Russia well over half a millenium, so yes, I'm rather late in the game. I do, however, predate the ROCORette Churches.
Rather late in the "game" of my debate with Irish Hermit, that is. Wink

In all that history, NEVER have all of the autocephalous sees of the Church fallen to heresy at one time.  Always a Faithful remnant was left, and, as a matter of historical conincidence but also fact, the Church of Moscow has never fallen to heresy: indeed that is how she became autocephalous, by standing tall while while Constantinople fell.

Since All the autocephalous Churches recognize Moscow, then it would stand to reason that either the Church is right, or it has completely fallen to heresy.  I know that is the contention of those who left ROCOR, but since they were communing with Jerusalem and Serbs amongst others, I don't see who they can't condemn themselves.
If you take the Church to be all the autocephalous regional churches speaking with one voice, then this makes for a much stronger definition of consensus than Irish Hermit's 300 million to few thousand majority. Wink
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« Reply #102 on: June 10, 2009, 07:30:55 PM »

"High Treason: The Luring of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate" By Professor Olga A. Dolskaya, plublished in the newspaper FIDELITY № 54 - June 2006.


INTRODUCTION:

In recent years, and especially since the onset of perestroika, changes have begun to take place in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA or ROCOR). At first, they were perceptible only to those who followed events closely, but then with the appearance of the October 2000 Epistle of the Council of Bishops, it became evident to anyone willing to read, that a new direction has been designed to create a path for communication and dialogue with the official Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) otherwise known as the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). The Epistle, although heavily cloaked in admonishing its flock to remain busy with their own salvation and personal piety rather than meddle in church affairs, also recognized the Moscow Patriarchate as a legitimate church and canceled the infamous Declaration of 1927 by Metropolitan Sergii (Stragorodsky), later to become known as the first “patriarch” of the official Soviet Orthodox Church (ROC) - a church that worked hand-in-hand with the communist regime in the destruction of thousands of churches and monasteries as well as the brutal torture and murder of millions of faithful, in other words - the annihilation of Orthodoxy. It is only natural that the October 2000 Epistle was followed by a multitude of protests, only for them to be silenced and the clergy forbidden to serve- simply because they came to the defense of the Church Abroad and gave very plausible reasons why a rapprochement with the MP was not possible. Such treatment of dedicated clergy is an ugly and unprecedented event in the history of ROCOR and it resembles the tactics and behavior of the KGB-controlled MP, rather than ROCOR.  The MP, which calls itself the Mother Church, despite the fact that it was established by Stalin and is younger than the pre-revolutionary Church Abroad - the MP is not a church but an organization that has been used as a tool to combat religion by the atheist communist regime.

*In the USSR, and in Russia today, the ROC has always been a tool of the State. Though technically, there was a separation between Church and State after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Church as a potential enemy with its own philosophy, was alien to the Soviet State and for that reason, in the initial stage of the Bolshevik Revolution, all the church people who honestly believed that they had their own Supreme Being to serve, not the State, were mostly exterminated.

Therefore, to suddenly speak of the MP as a legitimate church, as was done by the hierarchs in the October Epistle, created dissension and profound consternation, which was voiced by people, from around the world including Russia, through letters, protests and Orthodox Lists on the Internet. Finally, in July of 2001, the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Church Abroad, his Eminence Metropolitan Vitaly, was forcibly and illegally removed in what can be considered one of the most odious Coup d’Etats in history. Those unfamiliar with the Coup might want to acquaint themselves with at least the most recent events, for instance, the fact that Metropolitan Vitalii’s June 22 Epistle, which he ordered to be read from the amvon in all churches, was forbidden from being read- more specifically, suppressed on the orders of Bishop Gabriel. With unprecedented insolence on the part of a young bishop towards his First-Hierarch, Bishop Gabriel discredited Metropolitan Vitalii’s Epistle, with the help of Archbishop Mark, as not having been written by the Metropolitan. This accusation later was proved to be wrong and the document authentic. One should also become acquainted with the accounts of the infamous July 10th-13th  events, when the First-Hierarch was yelled at (literally) and lied to by the bishops under him. On July 10th, the Metropolitan walked out of the meeting in which he was rudely mistreated, thus canceling it and making all subsequent meetings of the new Synod illegal. Much has been written about the events that week, but suffice it to say, people who voiced their concern, and spoke in defense of the Metropolitan and the Church Abroad, as well as against union with the MP, were invariably silenced, labeled as mentally imbalanced or otherwise incompetent, and considered as schismatics who “refuse to obey their bishops.” Words such as sectarians, fanatics, extremists have been applied to them, words that stem directly from the KGB-controlled Moscow Patriarchate, and one must add, have always been used by the KGB to degrade, weaken and discredit.

It is with great sorrow and shame that one reads the reactions to the Coup in the Russian Press:  «Переворот в РПЦЗ: Митрополита Виталия, оказывается, отстранили от управления Церковью» (Coup d'Etat in ROCOR: Apparently Metropolitan Vitaly Has Been Expelled from Ruling the Church):

«Фактическое отстранение митрополита Виталия от должности первоиерарха РПЦЗ и его изгнание из Синода (архиепископ Лавр и епископ Михаил буквально потребовали, чтобы митрополит «освободил» свою комнату в здании Синода), совпали с «празднованием» 50-летия его архиерейского служения... Члены Зарубежного Синода не только не откликнулись на многочисленные предложения наградить его правом ношения второй панагии и титулом «Блаженнейший» но и подвергли обструкции. Отказ членов Зарубежного Синода от элементарных приличий и уважения к своему старцу-первоиерарху даже в день празднования его «золотого» юбилея является важным индикатором духовной адмосферы, царящей в нынешнем пропатриархийном руководстве РПЦЗ» (The virtual release of Metropolitan Vitaly from his duties as the First-Hierarch of ROCOR and his expulsion from the Synod (archbishop Lavr and bishop Michael literally demanded that he vacate his room in the Synod building), coincided with the 50th celebration of his services as a hierarch… The members of the Synod abroad not only did not respond to many offers to reward him with the right to wear a second panagia together with the title of the “Most Holy” but subjected him to obstruction. The refusal of the Synod Abroad members to use most elementary rules of respect for their elderly First Hierarch even on the day of celebration of his 50th “golden” anniversary, stands as an important indicator of the spiritual atmosphere which reigns in today’s pro-Moscow Patriarchate leadership of the Church Abroad.)

For those who do not have access to the Internet and are patiently “obeying their bishops,” it is crucial, for the sake of ROCOR’s existence, to become acquainted with that which has been withheld from them. After the Coup d’Etat,  an Epistle was issued by the Bishops stating that they “cannot fail to note how, through the wide dissemination of all manner of distortions and false interpretations- especially on websites formed for this purpose on the Internet… full of slander against the hierarchy.” The Epistle admonishes: “Pay no attention to the various Open Letters, Statements… [by that they mean the protests to the October 2000 Epistle voiced by those concerned]… which are being disseminated on the Internet and by electronic mail by various provocateurs.” What these bishops fail to mention is that for many years now, a very vocal, persistent and highly determined and organized group of real provocateurs have been unrelentingly brainwashing the flock on the Internet promoting what they thought would be a smooth rapprochement and convergence with the MP, cheering each other as they went along. These have become so obvious to the readers’ dismay, that they have been labeled as the “pro-MP” faction,  gradually leading the Church Abroad into union with the MP and ecumenical World Orthodoxy. As stated in their Epistle, “not one of the hierarchs is striving for a speedy unification with the MP-” maybe not speedy but a definite gradual, highly calculated, behind the scenes process has been under way for years. Behind the names of those who have become obvious advocates of the Union, stand others, who are steering the entire process. Their names will become known later, as more is unveiled- but for now it is important to make that unveiling process available to the public rather than being fearful of repercussions and personal attacks. It is to those who intend on working in whatever capacity God has endowed them with, to help the Church Abroad continue its existence, to those who will not be afraid of spreading the truth - and to disseminate literature banned by the official so-called pro-MP faction - and to those who do not have access to the Internet (apparently a large number of parishioners who have remained in the dark during the entire process), that this work is humbly dedicated.




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THIS USER USED THE SCREEN NAME PRAVOSLAV09 BEFORE.
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« Reply #103 on: June 10, 2009, 08:55:04 PM »

In the original post from Irish Hermit that started his and my debate over appeal to majority, Irish Hermit said the following:
There are 300 million Orthodox Christians who recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as the canonical Church of Russia and only a few thousands who do not.

Since then, his tune has changed to become more and more restrictive of those who don't recognize the MP, apparently in order to stack the deck to produce the consensus he desires to argue, and you've taken to following his trail, and rather late in the game at that.

It's quite incorrect to say that I have "changed my tune."  I haven't.  I have pointed out, once, twice, three times, that the pleroma of Orthodoxy (which comprises 300 million Orthodox Christians and every single Orthodox Church and bishop) recognises the canonicity of the Russian Church.   

If Pravoslav09 wishes to say that he (presumbably in obedience to Bp Diomid?) does not recognise it, then that is his personal right.   Pravoslav09 has exercised his personal right to deny the validity of the 290+ bishops in my Church.  Bp Diomid has done the same. Likewise, it is also MY right, both as an individual such as he is and and as a cleric under obedience to the hierarchy of my Church and its canonical decisions, to say that I do not recognise Bishop Diomid.   To recogise the legitimacy of a bishop whom my Church has recently defrocked would be a gross act of defiance on my part which could be actionable by my bishop if he chooses.

This thread has given Pravoslav09 the right to deny the validity of the Russian Church and the Russian Church Abroad as if it were a fact.  Its subject is a statement "Apostasy of ROCOR."   It does not even finish with a question mark which would at least turn it into a question.

In conclusion ~ neither the Russian Church nor the Russian Church Abroad has apostasized.  Neither Church has abandoned Christ and Christianity.  As a Russian Orthodox priest and monk I find the assertion abominable.  No doubt Pravoslav09 will continue to send screeds of material to prove the opposite.  I pray God that he stop.
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« Reply #104 on: June 10, 2009, 09:03:21 PM »

If you take the Church to be all the autocephalous regional churches speaking with one voice, then this makes for a much stronger definition of consensus than Irish Hermit's 300 million to few thousand majority. Wink

That tends toward a Roman Catholic argument.  They always like to remove the faithful from their decisions and make them only in the name of the top echelon, the magisterium. 

Now, if you run back over my posts, you will see that I have preferred to speak of the balance which exists within Orthodoxy -faithful AND hierarchy in unison.  That is why I referred to the pleroma of the Church (300 million Christians) AND all the autocephalous Churches and their bishops.
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« Reply #105 on: June 10, 2009, 09:07:46 PM »

Since all the autocephalous Churches find the Patriarchate of Moscow canonical, yes this majority is consensus, besides being unanimous.
But then you've fallen into the same trap of stacking the deck so that a consensus emerges.


You speak as if the emergence of a consensus were somehow a bad thing?
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« Reply #106 on: June 10, 2009, 09:32:04 PM »

"High Treason: The Luring of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate" By Professor Olga A. Dolskaya, plublished in the newspaper FIDELITY № 54 - June 2006.


INTRODUCTION:

In recent years, and especially since the onset of perestroika, changes have begun to take place in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA or ROCOR). At first, they were perceptible only to those who followed events closely, but then with the appearance of the October 2000 Epistle of the Council of Bishops, it became evident to anyone willing to read, that a new direction has been designed to create a path for communication and dialogue with the official Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) otherwise known as the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). The Epistle, although heavily cloaked in admonishing its flock to remain busy with their own salvation and personal piety rather than meddle in church affairs, also recognized the Moscow Patriarchate as a legitimate church and canceled the infamous Declaration of 1927 by Metropolitan Sergii (Stragorodsky), later to become known as the first “patriarch” of the official Soviet Orthodox Church (ROC) - a church that worked hand-in-hand with the communist regime in the destruction of thousands of churches and monasteries as well as the brutal torture and murder of millions of faithful, in other words - the annihilation of Orthodoxy. It is only natural that the October 2000 Epistle was followed by a multitude of protests, only for them to be silenced and the clergy forbidden to serve- simply because they came to the defense of the Church Abroad and gave very plausible reasons why a rapprochement with the MP was not possible. Such treatment of dedicated clergy is an ugly and unprecedented event in the history of ROCOR and it resembles the tactics and behavior of the KGB-controlled MP, rather than ROCOR.  The MP, which calls itself the Mother Church, despite the fact that it was established by Stalin and is younger than the pre-revolutionary Church Abroad - the MP is not a church but an organization that has been used as a tool to combat religion by the atheist communist regime.

*In the USSR, and in Russia today, the ROC has always been a tool of the State. Though technically, there was a separation between Church and State after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Church as a potential enemy with its own philosophy, was alien to the Soviet State and for that reason, in the initial stage of the Bolshevik Revolution, all the church people who honestly believed that they had their own Supreme Being to serve, not the State, were mostly exterminated.

Therefore, to suddenly speak of the MP as a legitimate church, as was done by the hierarchs in the October Epistle, created dissension and profound consternation, which was voiced by people, from around the world including Russia, through letters, protests and Orthodox Lists on the Internet. Finally, in July of 2001, the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Church Abroad, his Eminence Metropolitan Vitaly, was forcibly and illegally removed in what can be considered one of the most odious Coup d’Etats in history. Those unfamiliar with the Coup might want to acquaint themselves with at least the most recent events, for instance, the fact that Metropolitan Vitalii’s June 22 Epistle, which he ordered to be read from the amvon in all churches, was forbidden from being read- more specifically, suppressed on the orders of Bishop Gabriel. With unprecedented insolence on the part of a young bishop towards his First-Hierarch, Bishop Gabriel discredited Metropolitan Vitalii’s Epistle, with the help of Archbishop Mark, as not having been written by the Metropolitan. This accusation later was proved to be wrong and the document authentic. One should also become acquainted with the accounts of the infamous July 10th-13th  events, when the First-Hierarch was yelled at (literally) and lied to by the bishops under him. On July 10th, the Metropolitan walked out of the meeting in which he was rudely mistreated, thus canceling it and making all subsequent meetings of the new Synod illegal. Much has been written about the events that week, but suffice it to say, people who voiced their concern, and spoke in defense of the Metropolitan and the Church Abroad, as well as against union with the MP, were invariably silenced, labeled as mentally imbalanced or otherwise incompetent, and considered as schismatics who “refuse to obey their bishops.” Words such as sectarians, fanatics, extremists have been applied to them, words that stem directly from the KGB-controlled Moscow Patriarchate, and one must add, have always been used by the KGB to degrade, weaken and discredit.

It is with great sorrow and shame that one reads the reactions to the Coup in the Russian Press:  «Переворот в РПЦЗ: Митрополита Виталия, оказывается, отстранили от управления Церковью» (Coup d'Etat in ROCOR: Apparently Metropolitan Vitaly Has Been Expelled from Ruling the Church):

«Фактическое отстранение митрополита Виталия от должности первоиерарха РПЦЗ и его изгнание из Синода (архиепископ Лавр и епископ Михаил буквально потребовали, чтобы митрополит «освободил» свою комнату в здании Синода), совпали с «празднованием» 50-летия его архиерейского служения... Члены Зарубежного Синода не только не откликнулись на многочисленные предложения наградить его правом ношения второй панагии и титулом «Блаженнейший» но и подвергли обструкции. Отказ членов Зарубежного Синода от элементарных приличий и уважения к своему старцу-первоиерарху даже в день празднования его «золотого» юбилея является важным индикатором духовной адмосферы, царящей в нынешнем пропатриархийном руководстве РПЦЗ» (The virtual release of Metropolitan Vitaly from his duties as the First-Hierarch of ROCOR and his expulsion from the Synod (archbishop Lavr and bishop Michael literally demanded that he vacate his room in the Synod building), coincided with the 50th celebration of his services as a hierarch… The members of the Synod abroad not only did not respond to many offers to reward him with the right to wear a second panagia together with the title of the “Most Holy” but subjected him to obstruction. The refusal of the Synod Abroad members to use most elementary rules of respect for their elderly First Hierarch even on the day of celebration of his 50th “golden” anniversary, stands as an important indicator of the spiritual atmosphere which reigns in today’s pro-Moscow Patriarchate leadership of the Church Abroad.)

For those who do not have access to the Internet and are patiently “obeying their bishops,” it is crucial, for the sake of ROCOR’s existence, to become acquainted with that which has been withheld from them. After the Coup d’Etat,  an Epistle was issued by the Bishops stating that they “cannot fail to note how, through the wide dissemination of all manner of distortions and false interpretations- especially on websites formed for this purpose on the Internet… full of slander against the hierarchy.” The Epistle admonishes: “Pay no attention to the various Open Letters, Statements… [by that they mean the protests to the October 2000 Epistle voiced by those concerned]… which are being disseminated on the Internet and by electronic mail by various provocateurs.” What these bishops fail to mention is that for many years now, a very vocal, persistent and highly determined and organized group of real provocateurs have been unrelentingly brainwashing the flock on the Internet promoting what they thought would be a smooth rapprochement and convergence with the MP, cheering each other as they went along. These have become so obvious to the readers’ dismay, that they have been labeled as the “pro-MP” faction,  gradually leading the Church Abroad into union with the MP and ecumenical World Orthodoxy. As stated in their Epistle, “not one of the hierarchs is striving for a speedy unification with the MP-” maybe not speedy but a definite gradual, highly calculated, behind the scenes process has been under way for years. Behind the names of those who have become obvious advocates of the Union, stand others, who are steering the entire process. Their names will become known later, as more is unveiled- but for now it is important to make that unveiling process available to the public rather than being fearful of repercussions and personal attacks. It is to those who intend on working in whatever capacity God has endowed them with, to help the Church Abroad continue its existence, to those who will not be afraid of spreading the truth - and to disseminate literature banned by the official so-called pro-MP faction - and to those who do not have access to the Internet (apparently a large number of parishioners who have remained in the dark during the entire process), that this work is humbly dedicated.






http://www.bostonrusschurch.org/roca_way_en.html

THE PATH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD

Observations and Thoughts of an Old Priest.

(Translated and revised by the Author)

            In connection with the recent turmoil within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, I think it would be beneficial to share certain observations and reflections. Recently there has been much talk about the path followed by the ROCA.  Now it has become obvious that the «straight» path which some people refer to, has led in the end to a schism within the ROCA.  This schism has been ripening over many years.  In order to understand what is going on, one should look first of all at the Guideposts that actually have determined the course of the ROCA throughout its history.

The First Guidepost was Ukaz (Decree) No. 362 of Patriarch Tikhon, dated Nov. 20, 1920, paragraph 2:  «In the event that a diocese, as a result of movement of the front lines, or changes of state borders, finds itself out of communication with the highest church authority, or that the highest church authority itself, headed by the Holy Patriarch, for some reason terminates its activity, the diocesan bishop should immediately contact the bishops of the adjacent dioceses in order to organize a higher level of church administration for several dioceses which find themselves in similar circumstances (in the form of a temporary church government or a metropolitan district, or in some other way)».

            This Ukaz was formulated at the time of the Civil War in Russia, whose consequence was the departure abroad of a sizeable lay flock (estimated at over a million), and of a substantial number of clergy and bishops.

The Second Guidepost on the path of the ROCA were the early Sobors (Councils) of Bishops Abroad, presided over by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky): the First Sobor in Constantinople in 1920, in which 34 bishops participated in person or in writing; the First Sobor of representatives of the entire ROCA, held in the town of Sremskii Karlovtsi in Serbia in 1921; and the Sobor of Bishops Abroad on September 13, 1922, which estabilished a Temporary Synod of Bishops, based on the above-quoted Ukaz No. 362 of Patriarch Tikhon.  At those Sobors, which led to the formal establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, were represented parishes in Europe, the Balkans, the Near and Far East, North and South America, including the soon-to-be-separated Metropolitan Districts: one known as  the Paris Metropolia, presently under the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the other known today as the Orthodox Church in America in the USA.

The Third Guidepost was the Resolution of the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCA, in September of 1927, which rejected the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and defined the following rule:  «The part of the All-Russian Church located abroad must cease all administrative relations with the church administra-tion in Moscow…until restoration of normal relations with Russia and until the liberation of our Church from persecutions by the godless Soviet authorities…The part of the Russian Church that finds itself abroad considers itself an inseparable, spiritually united branch of the Great Russian Church. It does not separate itself from its Mother Church and does not consider itself autocephalous.»  This Resolution makes it clear that the emigre Hierarchs, while rejecting what later became known as «Sergianism», did not separate the part of the church that was abroad from that in the homeland, thus showing compassion to those who did not withstand the terror.  At about that time evolved the concept of the three parts of the Russian Church:  the «Church enslaved», that is, the Moscow Patriarchate; the «Catacomb Church», i.e, the secret, persecuted, underground Church of confessors within the borders of the Soviet Union; and the «Russian Orthodox Church Abroad», which was the free voice of the whole Russian Church.

The Fourth Guidepost was the adoption of the Temporary Polozheniye (Fundamental Law) of the ROCA by the General Sobor of Bishops on September 22-24, 1936.  Its first paragraph states:  «The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which consists of dioceses, spiritual missions, and parishes outside Russia, is an inseparable part of the Russian Orthodox  Church, which exists temporarily under autonomous administration».  This Sobor, in effect, established an orderly administrative leadership of the ROCA for the entire period of its independent existence.

The Fifth Guidepost is defined by the Reply of the Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy in 1945, and of the Bishops' Sobor in Munich in 1946, in response to the address of the Patriarch of Moscow Aleksey I, who called for reunification after the Second World War.  During this terrible period of manhunts by Soviet agents for displaced persons and non-returnees all across Western Europe, Metropolitan Anastassy, reasserting the necessity for the continued existence of independent ROCA, writes:  «The bishops, the clergy and the laymen, subordinate to the jurisdiction of the Synod of Bishops Abroad, never broke canonical, prayer, or spiritual unity with their Mother Church.»  The Sobor of Bishops in its message, writes to the Patriarch of Moscow:  «We trust that…on the bones of martyrs a new free Russia will arise, strong in Orthodox truth and brotherly love…then all of her scattered sons, without any pressure or force, but freely and joyfully, will strive to return from all over into her maternal embrace.  Recognizing our unbroken spiritual bonds with our homeland, we sincerely pray to the Lord that he may speedily heal the wounds inflicted upon our homeland by this heavy, although victorious, war, and bless it with peace and well-being.»  This message was signed by Metropolitan Anastassy, three archbishops, and ten bishops.

The Sixth Guidepost, and probably the most important one in our days, is the Corporate Charter in the USA of our Church Abroad, which was signed by its most prominent Hierarchs, Metropolitan Anastassy, Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archbishop Tikhon, Archbishop Hieronim, Bishop Seraphim, and Bishop Nikon, and registered in the State of New York on April 30th, 1952.  It states:

            «II. The principal aim and purpose of the corporation shall be to provide for the administration of dioceses, missions, monasteries, churches and parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church, which are located in the United States of America, the Dominion of Canada and other countries which are outside of the Soviet Union and the satellites of the Soviet Union, but including dioceses, missions, monasteries and churches which recognise the corporation as the supreme ecclesiastical authority over them.

            «III. The corporation in its corporate functions and operation, and all of its trustees and officers, shall maintain no relations whatever with the Russian ecclesiastical authorities and organizations within the boundaries of the Soviet Union and the satellites of the Soviet Union, so long as the said countries, or any of them, shall be subject to Communist rule.»

            Further on, the next paragraph of the Charter refers to Ukaz #362 of Patriarch Tikhon of November 20, 1920, and its acceptance by the Sobor of Bishops on November 24, 1936. This

demonstrates that Metropolitan Anastassy and all Bishops, signatories of the Charter, just as, in their time, Metropolitan Anthony and the founding Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, accepted the fact that the validity of the Ukaz of Patriarch Tikhon, which, in effect, is his Patriarchal Blessing, is limited in time.  In turn, they also Blessed the time-limited independent existence of the Russian Church Abroad until the fall of the Communist regime.

            The Seventh Guidepost is again the Polozheniye (Fundamental Law) of the Russian Church Abroad, revised and approved by the Sobor of Bishops, presided over by Metropolitan Anastassy, in 1956.  Its paragraph #1 states: «The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is an inseparable part of the Local (Pomestnoy) Orthodox Church, temporarily self-governing until the fall in Russia of the godless authorities, in compliance with the Decision of Holy Patriarch Tikhon and the Highest Church Council of the Church in Russia of 7 /20 November 1920, #362.»  The same Paragraph is repeated word for word in the Polozheniye, reviewed and re-approved in 1964.

In 1956 the Reply of Metropolitan Anastassy was reprinted by Holy Trinity Monastery.  The same themes were voiced by Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) of blessed memory, in his work «Motifs of My Life». Archbishop Andrew (Fr.Adrian) used to refer to the Church Abroad as a temporarily self-governing Diocese of the Russian Church.  Holy Archbishop John of Shanghai and San Francisco wrote: «The Russian Church Abroad does not separate itself spiritually from the suffering Mother Church. She offers up prayers for her, preserves her spiritual and material wealth, and in due time will reunite with her, when the reasons which have caused the separation will have vanished.»   Similar statements were made by many other archpastors, priests and writers in the church press.  It is from them that our generation, which came into the Church after the end of the Second World War in 1945, has acquired the understanding of the temporary existence of the independent Russian Church Abroad until the liberation of Russia from the Communist yoke.  The calls of Metropolitans Anastassy and Philaret of blessed memory to abstain even from conventional contacts with the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate had to do with the period of the 1960s and 1970s, when the Soviet government began to use the Church for its own ends througout the Western world.  And Metropolitan Vitaly was completely correct when he said that we cannot declare that the Church in Russia is without Grace, but certain specific deeds of its clergy, performed on orders of the godless authorities in order to harm the Church, are, of course, graceless.

            In 1991 the Communist regime fell and the totalitarian Soviet state ceased to exist.  The leftovers of the Soviet mentality and even of the State government still remain, but the country and the Church consider themselves free and feel free, and there is no more party ideology to interfere with Church communications.  Therefore, with the fall of the Soviet government and cessation of terror in 1991, there also ended the time span, blessed by Holy Patriarch Tikhon and the founding Archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for the existence of ROCA as a separate entity.

            The Path marked by the abovementioned Guideposts began to be subtly changed with the secret (and canonically questionable) consecration of Bishop Varnava (Barnabas) in about 1984.  A new ideology began to be evident, subtly but deeply russophobic.  Under the guise of restoring the archpastorship of the Catacomb Church, new church bodies began to be created within Russia, subordinate to the Church Abroad.  The old Catacomb Church, which was highly respected as the Church of true confessors, was soon forgotten.  The new ideology promoted the idea that the Russian Church Abroad is the only true Church, and the bearer of the restoration of the Church in Russia.  This led to estrangement and unnecessary confrontations between the Russian Church Abroad and the Mother Church, and then to a strange set of attitudes and actions on the part of some ROCA bishops, first in Russia, and more recently abroad.  Now that these bishops and their followers have expelled themselves from the Church Abroad and created their own church organizations, the Church Abroad has regained freedom of opinion and an opportunity to return to the path blessed by Holy Patriarch Tikhon and the Founding First Hierarchs and Archpastors of blessed memory.

            The new obstacles to normal relations that have been brought forward within our Church Abroad, such as the absence of repentance, failure to glorify the Royal New Martyrs, Sergianism, and participation in the ecumenical movement, have today ceased to be insurmountable.  Back in 1993 His Holiness, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexey II and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed, before God and the Russian people, repentance for the sin of regicide.  Their Epistle on the 75th anniversary of the murder of Emperor Nicholas II and his family states:  «With augmented prayer and great pain in our hearts we commemorate this sad Anniversary… The sin of regicide, which took place amid the indifference of the citizens of Russia, has not been repented of by our people. Being a transgression of both the law of God and civil law, this sin weighs extremely heavily upon the souls of our people, upon its moral conscience.  And today, on behalf of the whole Church, on behalf of her children, both reposed and living, we proclaim repentance before God and the people for this sin. Forgive us, O Lord!  We call to repentance all of our people, all of our children, regardless of their political views and opinions about history, regardless of their attitude toward the idea of Monarchy and the personality of the last Russian Tsar.  Repentance of the sin committed by our forefathers should become for us a banner of unity.  May today’s sad date unite us in prayer with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, with whom we so sincerely desire restoration of spiritual unity in faithfulness to the Spirit of Christ... .»   The call was, unfortunately, ignored.

            The Royal New Martyrs were glorified, and Sergianism and ecumenism rejected, by the Jubilee Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in the year 2000.  Sergianism, being in fact not a doctrine but a mode of behavior, was rejected in the chapter «Fundamental Conceptions of Society» in the published Acts of the Sobor, and ecumenism in the chapter «Fundamental Principles of Relations of the Orthodox Church to the Heterodox.»  In October of 2001, in his «Brotherly Epistle to the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad,» His Holiness, Patriarch Alexey II again called for mutual forgiveness and restoration of liturgical communion.  The answer of the ROCA Sobor of Bishops was only mildly encouraging.

            Just as in the Church in Russia the veneration of the Royal New Martyrs was widely practiced by believers long before their official glorification, so it is that parishioners of the Church Abroad, when they visit Russia, pray, confess, and partake of Holy Communion in their beloved churches and monasteries of the Moscow Patriarchate, and have humbly done so for many years, without making an issue of it. And after visiting Russia, many of our clergy, including American converts to Orthodoxy, state in private conversations that those who say there is no Grace in the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate do not know what they are talking about.  As no one has wanted to provoke the ill winds of dissension within our ranks, it has been customary not to make such observations publicly.  However, now that the bearers of ill winds have expelled themselves from the Church, showing no respect for anyone including the Sobor of Bishops, the possibility has arisen again, and perhaps for the last time, of restoring God-pleasing spiritual unity and normal relations with the whole Mother Church.

            Sinful individuals and bad deeds have always existed, exist now, and will continue to exist both there, in Russia, and here in our midst. But a division which was lawful, must  not be allowed to evolve into sectarian schism, a phenomenon much discussed and feared by many of our priests and parishioners, both, Russians and Americans. If the Russian Church Abroad is allowed to become «a broken-off vine», it will be doomed to a slow but inevitable drying out, an atrophy from which no collection of selected quotations from the Canons will save us. On the other hand, the restoration of Eucharistic and Canonical unity with the Mother Church, with an autonomous administration of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, appears to be the natural next Guidepost in the current History of the Church of the Great Russian Exodus into Diaspora.

                                                                                    Archpriest Roman Lukianov

December 11, 2001                                                     Boston
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« Reply #107 on: June 10, 2009, 10:40:11 PM »

"High Treason: The Luring of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate" By Professor Olga A. Dolskaya, plublished in the newspaper FIDELITY № 54 - June 2006.


INTRODUCTION:

In recent years, and especially since the onset of perestroika, changes have begun to take place in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA or ROCOR). At first, they were perceptible only to those who followed events closely, but then with the appearance of the October 2000 Epistle of the Council of Bishops, it became evident to anyone willing to read, that a new direction has been designed to create a path for communication and dialogue with the official Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) otherwise known as the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). The Epistle, although heavily cloaked in admonishing its flock to remain busy with their own salvation and personal piety rather than meddle in church affairs, also recognized the Moscow Patriarchate as a legitimate church and canceled the infamous Declaration of 1927 by Metropolitan Sergii (Stragorodsky), later to become known as the first “patriarch” of the official Soviet Orthodox Church (ROC)

Soviet Orthodox Church would be SOC.  No such Church existed.

The first patriarch of ROC was St. Job.  Her first patriarch after the restoration was St. Tikhon.


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- a church that worked hand-in-hand with the communist regime in the destruction of thousands of churches and monasteries as well as the brutal torture and murder of millions of faithful, in other words - the annihilation of Orthodoxy.

St. Tikhon tried to work with the Soviets as far as possible. It is a situation that we under the Muslim rulers are familiar with. Some in ROCOR, running off to safety, were not.  Perhaps if, after the communists took over Yugoslavia, these followers of the Karlovsky synod had stayed instead of running off so they continue to criticize those in the Church who stayed and bore the brunt of Soviet oppression, they would have learned.  Instead some continue to live in a Potemkin utopia where the czar rules and the serfs obey and no oppression comes to the Church. The Orthodox Church, however is one of martyrs, and the ROC produced plenty.

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It is only natural that the October 2000 Epistle was followed by a multitude of protests, only for them to be silenced and the clergy forbidden to serve- simply because they came to the defense of the Church Abroad and gave very plausible reasons why a rapprochement with the MP was not possible. Such treatment of dedicated clergy is an ugly and unprecedented event in the history of ROCOR and it resembles the tactics and behavior of the KGB-controlled MP, rather than ROCOR.  The MP, which calls itself the Mother Church, despite the fact that it was established by Stalin and is younger than the pre-revolutionary Church Abroad

Dream on.  Moscow is the Mother Church: St. Jonas elected by an autocephalous synod there, and St. Job was elevated by the patriarchs in synod there.  There St. Tikhon led to the restoration of the patriarchate and stayed, like the Passion bearing Imperial Family, unlike those who fled  to safety after the Whites.  You don't disdain acknowledging Czar Peter's Oberprokurator, what is your excuse to withhold recognition from the patriarchate that Stalin recognized, the one established by St. Tikhon.


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- the MP is not a church but an organization that has been used as a tool to combat religion by the atheist communist regime.

Neo-Donatism.  Pure, simple and ugly.

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*In the USSR, and in Russia today, the ROC has always been a tool of the State.


You left out the Russian Empire.


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Though technically, there was a separation between Church and State after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Church as a potential enemy with its own philosophy, was alien to the Soviet State and for that reason, in the initial stage of the Bolshevik Revolution, all the church people who honestly believed that they had their own Supreme Being to serve, not the State, were mostly exterminated.

Now you've hit a nerve, Ms. Dolskaya, near my bile duct. HOW DARE you spit on the myriads of martyrs for Orthodoxy who lived under Stalin while you lived in safety and comfort in the West.  HOW DARE you judge those who lived under the shadow of the Troyka of commissars.  HOW DARE you compare your Orthodoxy to theirs?

DON'T HAVE A MARTYR CONTEST WITH THE ROC, because you will LOSE.

The Greek Old Calendarists and the Romanian Old Calendarists have suffered for their beliefs. In fact THAT is the chief problem with the New Calendar (in my opinion, the only problem): the high handed manner in which it was enforced. What maryrdom have you experienced off in the West, where no one cares what you do?

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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.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was one of those martyrs you deny: he was vomited from the belly of the beast of the Soviet Union into the safety of the West, and yes, did gravitate to ROCOR.  But when his citizenship was restored, back to Mother Russia he returned (something I note most of the PoM's detractors do not do.  They prefer the comforts of the West and stealing sheep to rule in Russia, from abroad, like a dissoltute absentee boyar landlord and his serfs).  He didn't mince words under the Soviets and not under the new regime, and he did have good things to say about Putin. And he fell asleep in the bosom of ROC, buried in her Donskoy Monastery.

Yelping Donatist dogs.  Make me want to puke.

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Therefore, to suddenly speak of the MP as a legitimate church, as was done by the hierarchs in the October Epistle, created dissension and profound consternation, which was voiced by people, from around the world including Russia, through letters, protests and Orthodox Lists on the Internet. Finally, in July of 2001, the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Church Abroad, his Eminence Metropolitan Vitaly, was forcibly and illegally removed in what can be considered one of the most odious Coup d’Etats in history.

How about Peter Alexeyevich's takeover of the Church?

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Those unfamiliar with the Coup might want to acquaint themselves with at least the most recent events, for instance, the fact that Metropolitan Vitalii’s June 22 Epistle, which he ordered to be read from the amvon in all churches, was forbidden from being read- more specifically, suppressed on the orders of Bishop Gabriel. With unprecedented insolence on the part of a young bishop towards his First-Hierarch, Bishop Gabriel discredited Metropolitan Vitalii’s Epistle, with the help of Archbishop Mark, as not having been written by the Metropolitan. This accusation later was proved to be wrong and the document authentic. One should also become acquainted with the accounts of the infamous July 10th-13th  events, when the First-Hierarch was yelled at (literally) and lied to by the bishops under him. On July 10th, the Metropolitan walked out of the meeting in which he was rudely mistreated, thus canceling it and making all subsequent meetings of the new Synod illegal. Much has been written about the events that week, but suffice it to say, people who voiced their concern, and spoke in defense of the Metropolitan and the Church Abroad, as well as against union with the MP, were invariably silenced, labeled as mentally imbalanced or otherwise incompetent, and considered as schismatics who “refuse to obey their bishops.” Words such as sectarians, fanatics, extremists have been applied to them, words that stem directly from the KGB-controlled Moscow Patriarchate, and one must add, have always been used by the KGB to degrade, weaken and discredit.

You whine about this, and pour your scorn on hierarchs whose life, and the lives of their flock, were in peril in the Soviet Union. That sound is me retching.

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It is with great sorrow and shame that one reads the reactions to the Coup in the Russian Press:  «Переворот в РПЦЗ: Митрополита Виталия, оказывается, отстранили от управления Церковью» (Coup d'Etat in ROCOR: Apparently Metropolitan Vitaly Has Been Expelled from Ruling the Church):

«Фактическое отстранение митрополита Виталия от должности первоиерарха РПЦЗ и его изгнание из Синода (архиепископ Лавр и епископ Михаил буквально потребовали, чтобы митрополит «освободил» свою комнату в здании Синода), совпали с «празднованием» 50-летия его архиерейского служения... Члены Зарубежного Синода не только не откликнулись на многочисленные предложения наградить его правом ношения второй панагии и титулом «Блаженнейший» но и подвергли обструкции. Отказ членов Зарубежного Синода от элементарных приличий и уважения к своему старцу-первоиерарху даже в день празднования его «золотого» юбилея является важным индикатором духовной адмосферы, царящей в нынешнем пропатриархийном руководстве РПЦЗ» (The virtual release of Metropolitan Vitaly from his duties as the First-Hierarch of ROCOR and his expulsion from the Synod (archbishop Lavr and bishop Michael literally demanded that he vacate his room in the Synod building), coincided with the 50th celebration of his services as a hierarch… The members of the Synod abroad not only did not respond to many offers to reward him with the right to wear a second panagia together with the title of the “Most Holy” but subjected him to obstruction. The refusal of the Synod Abroad members to use most elementary rules of respect for their elderly First Hierarch even on the day of celebration of his 50th “golden” anniversary, stands as an important indicator of the spiritual atmosphere which reigns in today’s pro-Moscow Patriarchate leadership of the Church Abroad.)

For those who do not have access to the Internet and are patiently “obeying their bishops,” it is crucial, for the sake of ROCOR’s existence, to become acquainted with that which has been withheld from them. After the Coup d’Etat,  an Epistle was issued by the Bishops stating that they “cannot fail to note how, through the wide dissemination of all manner of distortions and false interpretations- especially on websites formed for this purpose on the Internet… full of slander against the hierarchy.” The Epistle admonishes: “Pay no attention to the various Open Letters, Statements… [by that they mean the protests to the October 2000 Epistle voiced by those concerned]… which are being disseminated on the Internet and by electronic mail by various provocateurs.” What these bishops fail to mention is that for many years now, a very vocal, persistent and highly determined and organized group of real provocateurs have been unrelentingly brainwashing the flock on the Internet promoting what they thought would be a smooth rapprochement and convergence with the MP, cheering each other as they went along. These have become so obvious to the readers’ dismay, that they have been labeled as the “pro-MP” faction,  gradually leading the Church Abroad into union with the MP and ecumenical World Orthodoxy. As stated in their Epistle, “not one of the hierarchs is striving for a speedy unification with the MP-” maybe not speedy but a definite gradual, highly calculated, behind the scenes process has been under way for years. Behind the names of those who have become obvious advocates of the Union, stand others, who are steering the entire process. Their names will become known later, as more is unveiled- but for now it is important to make that unveiling process available to the public rather than being fearful of repercussions and personal attacks. It is to those who intend on working in whatever capacity God has endowed them with, to help the Church Abroad continue its existence, to those who will not be afraid of spreading the truth - and to disseminate literature banned by the official so-called pro-MP faction - and to those who do not have access to the Internet (apparently a large number of parishioners who have remained in the dark during the entire process), that this work is humbly dedicated.


Since you don't like "World Orthodoxy," why don't you join the Old Believers, Professor?  They have the same "petite eglise" mentality as you.
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« Reply #108 on: June 10, 2009, 10:48:02 PM »

If you take the Church to be all the autocephalous regional churches speaking with one voice, then this makes for a much stronger definition of consensus than Irish Hermit's 300 million to few thousand majority. Wink

That tends toward a Roman Catholic argument.  They always like to remove the faithful from their decisions and make them only in the name of the top echelon, the magisterium. 

Now, if you run back over my posts, you will see that I have preferred to speak of the balance which exists within Orthodoxy -faithful AND hierarchy in unison.  That is why I referred to the pleroma of the Church (300 million Christians) AND all the autocephalous Churches and their bishops.

As is proper, as the Faithful and their hierarchs are one on this issue.  Obedience is easy when the hiearchs know what they are doing. Grin
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« Reply #109 on: June 11, 2009, 04:12:56 AM »

Since all the autocephalous Churches find the Patriarchate of Moscow canonical, yes this majority is consensus, besides being unanimous.
But then you've fallen into the same trap of stacking the deck so that a consensus emerges.


You speak as if the emergence of a consensus were somehow a bad thing?
It is when you reason in such a way as to create a consensus where none exists.  Face it, Irish Hermit, the only thing I've ever questioned in this debate is your faulty logic.  That's all and nothing more.
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« Reply #110 on: June 11, 2009, 04:41:52 AM »

[It is when you reason in such a way as to create a consensus where none exists. 

But that is nonsensical.  How can one say that no consensus exists.  I am not aware of even one Orthodox Church which is not agreed that the Russian Church is canonical.   The consensus is 100%. 

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Face it, Irish Hermit, the only thing I've ever questioned in this debate is your faulty logic.  That's all and nothing more.

I have appealed to the unanimous opinion of every Orthodox Church, the faithful and the hierarchs, to show that the Russian Church is canonical.   

Would you please show me in what way that is faulty logic?  Where else should we go for a final decision on the matter?  Would you please give us the alternative criteria for determining whether or not the Russian Church is canonical? 

And, coming back on topic,  by what criteria are people asserting that the Russian Church Abroad is in apostasy?   Because we are now concelebrating with Moscow?  With Metropolitan Jonah?  With Patriarch Theodoros?  It would be more useful to appeal to the logic of those upholding this view and require them to prove their claims.   So far this thead has failed completely in its purpose.  Nobody has proved that the Russian Church Abroad is apostate.     
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« Reply #111 on: June 11, 2009, 05:38:59 AM »

PtA, methinks you are straining at gnats, but swallowing camels.
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« Reply #112 on: June 11, 2009, 06:10:12 AM »

[It is when you reason in such a way as to create a consensus where none exists. 

But that is nonsensical.  How can one say that no consensus exists.  I am not aware of even one Orthodox Church which is not agreed that the Russian Church is canonical.   The consensus is 100%. 

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Face it, Irish Hermit, the only thing I've ever questioned in this debate is your faulty logic.  That's all and nothing more.

I have appealed to the unanimous opinion of every Orthodox Church, the faithful and the hierarchs, to show that the Russian Church is canonical.   

Would you please show me in what way that is faulty logic?  Where else should we go for a final decision on the matter?  Would you please give us the alternative criteria for determining whether or not the Russian Church is canonical?
Simple.  300 million Orthodox Christians on one side vs. a few thousand Orthodox Christians on the other does not equal a consensus, and you built your hierarchical consensus only out of all those bishops who agree with you, implicitly excluding as outside the pleroma of Orthodoxy those bishops, such as Bishop Diomid (Pravoslav09's ruling bishop?), who don't.  If you want to obey your bishop and not recognize those bishops he doesn't recognize, then that's your prerogative and duty, but you need to remember that I'm not bound to the same obedience to your bishop.  I'm free to disagree with him and with you if I so choose, thus I have the freedom to recognize Bishop Diomid and other such "schismatics" until I am convinced that I shouldn't.  Your arguments from an artificial consensus don't convince me.


And, coming back on topic,  by what criteria are people asserting that the Russian Church Abroad is in apostasy?   Because we are now concelebrating with Moscow?  With Metropolitan Jonah?  With Patriarch Theodoros?
See my Reply #68 above.

It would be more useful to appeal to the logic of those upholding this view and require them to prove their claims.   So far this thead has failed completely in its purpose.  Nobody has proved that the Russian Church Abroad is apostate.
Or should you say that nobody has convinced you that the ROCOR is apostate?  (Nobody has convinced me of this, either, but that's beside the point.)  However, I can't say anymore that Pravoslav09 hasn't at least tried to present a convincing case.  Additionally, I'm not particularly concerned that you wish Pravoslav09 would just shut up and go away; I'm not going to advocate silencing him just because you find his message offensive.
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« Reply #113 on: June 11, 2009, 06:22:07 AM »

Simple.  300 million Orthodox Christians on one side vs. a few thousand Orthodox Christians on the other does not equal a consensus, and you built your hierarchical consensus only out of all those bishops who agree with you, implicitly excluding as outside the pleroma of Orthodoxy those bishops, such as Bishop Diomid (Pravoslav09's ruling bishop?), who don't.  If you want to obey your bishop and not recognize those bishops he doesn't recognize, then that's your prerogative and duty, but you need to remember that I'm not bound to the same obedience to your bishop.  I'm free to disagree with him and with you if I so choose, thus I have the freedom to recognize Bishop Diomid and other such "schismatics" until I am convinced that I shouldn't.  Your arguments from an artificial consensus don't convince me.

Maybe you have more freedom as a layman in the OCA than the faithful in other Churches, but I am unsure if the OCA recognises as canonical the bishops defrocked by its Mother Church.


And, coming back on topic,  by what criteria are people asserting that the Russian Church Abroad is in apostasy?   Because we are now concelebrating with Moscow?  With Metropolitan Jonah?  With Patriarch Theodoros?
See my Reply #68 above.

It would be more useful to appeal to the logic of those upholding this view and require them to prove their claims.   So far this thead has failed completely in its purpose.  Nobody has proved that the Russian Church Abroad is apostate.
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Or should you say that nobody has convinced you that the ROCOR is apostate?  (Nobody has convinced me of this, either, but that's beside the point.)  However, I can't say anymore that Pravoslav09 hasn't at least tried to present a convincing case.  Additionally, I'm not particularly concerned that you wish Pravoslav09 would just shut up and go away; I'm not going to advocate silencing him just because some find his message offensive.

Nor am I advocating silencing him because he is offensive.  Let him call my Church the "spawn of Satan."  It does not harm me but I would have thought it contravenes the Rules of the Forum.  The U-term for some Catholic Churches is not permitted on the Forum but we are at liberty to call Orthodox Churches the "spawn of Satan" on an Orthodox Forum!!   
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« Reply #114 on: June 11, 2009, 06:23:30 AM »

To whom it might not be aware of the facts

Diomid was entrhoned some time back in 1990's, or 2000's, as a bishop of Moscow Patriarchate in Chukotka (and something). He was demoted to a monk by the same Patriarchate back in 2006/2007.

I fail to see any logic in claiming that Moscow Patriarchate is not canonical since it apostated either during Peter the Great, or during bolshevism, and simultaneously claiming to be of the flock of a bishop both enthroned and defrocked by an apostate Church.
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« Reply #115 on: June 11, 2009, 06:25:18 AM »

PtA, methinks you are straining at gnats, but swallowing camels.

You are right.  Let sally forth and kill dragons...
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« Reply #116 on: June 11, 2009, 06:26:15 AM »

Simple.  300 million Orthodox Christians on one side vs. a few thousand Orthodox Christians on the other does not equal a consensus, and you built your hierarchical consensus only out of all those bishops who agree with you, implicitly excluding as outside the pleroma of Orthodoxy those bishops, such as Bishop Diomid (Pravoslav09's ruling bishop?), who don't.  If you want to obey your bishop and not recognize those bishops he doesn't recognize, then that's your prerogative and duty, but you need to remember that I'm not bound to the same obedience to your bishop.  I'm free to disagree with him and with you if I so choose, thus I have the freedom to recognize Bishop Diomid and other such "schismatics" until I am convinced that I shouldn't.  Your arguments from an artificial consensus don't convince me.

Maybe you have more freedom as a layman in the OCA than the faithful in other Churches, but I am unsure if the OCA recognises as canonical the bishops defrocked by its Mother Church.
Of course not, but I'm not going to buy into the faulty logic you seem to have employed here.  "100% of those bishops who agree with me agree with me."  What kind of a consensus is that?
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« Reply #117 on: June 11, 2009, 06:38:35 AM »

Of course not, but I'm not going to buy into the faulty logic you seem to have employed here.  "100% of those bishops who agree with me agree with me."  What kind of a consensus is that?

Much of the logic which prevails in the Church is by necessity circular.  That is just a fact.  The reason is that it stems from an initial act of faith - in other words "I believe that this is the authentic Orthodox Church founded by God Almighty and therefore I believe its bishops are gifted with the charism of discernment of truth."   It's circular.  Much the same as the Catholics who would say, "I believe that the Pope is chosen as the successor of Peter and has the gift of infallibility.  Therefore all that he defines on faith amd morals is true."

In neither case is this "logic" at all convincing to an outsider.  But it is convincing to a believer.
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« Reply #118 on: June 11, 2009, 07:35:32 AM »

To whom it might not be aware of the facts

Diomid was entrhoned some time back in 1990's, or 2000's, as a bishop of Moscow Patriarchate in Chukotka (and something). He was demoted to a monk by the same Patriarchate back in 2006/2007.

I fail to see any logic in claiming that Moscow Patriarchate is not canonical since it apostated either during Peter the Great, or during bolshevism, and simultaneously claiming to be of the flock of a bishop both enthroned and defrocked by an apostate Church.

You have a good point.  And it's a logic with which I think Peter would agree.  If Pravoslav09 is certain that the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate are apostate and graceless, then clearly the "consecration" of any bishop by them is graceless and has no validity.
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« Reply #119 on: June 11, 2009, 08:15:02 AM »

To whom it might not be aware of the facts

Diomid was entrhoned some time back in 1990's, or 2000's, as a bishop of Moscow Patriarchate in Chukotka (and something). He was demoted to a monk by the same Patriarchate back in 2006/2007.

I fail to see any logic in claiming that Moscow Patriarchate is not canonical since it apostated either during Peter the Great, or during bolshevism, and simultaneously claiming to be of the flock of a bishop both enthroned and defrocked by an apostate Church.

You have a good point.  And it's a logic with which I think Peter would agree.  If Pravoslav09 is certain that the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate are apostate and graceless, then clearly the "consecration" of any bishop by them is graceless and has no validity.

Yup. Hoisted on their own petards.
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« Reply #120 on: June 11, 2009, 09:11:35 AM »

...
... 
And it's a logic with which I think Peter would agree. 
...

Father, I believe I understand you, but my hopes are feeble.

Not only the "logic" he usually employs is flawed, but worse, I believe his attitude has already placed 700.000 Serbian Holy Martyrs as his opponents at the Judgment. It is too much for my weakness to hope anything for him.

Yet, my hopes are feeble like myself, and I do hope you know better.
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« Reply #121 on: June 11, 2009, 09:52:29 AM »

"High Treason: The Luring of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate" By Professor Olga A. Dolskaya, plublished in the newspaper FIDELITY № 54 - June 2006.

Reactions from Moscow

Shortly after the forced removal of Metropolitan Vitaly, in July of 2001, the MP began to voice its endorsement:

Мы приветствуем тот факт, что наиболее здоровые силы в лоне Русской Зарубежной Церкви сегодня практически у руководства. (We welcome the fact that the more healthy forces in the Church Abroad have predominated and are now for all practical purposes in charge of it.)

“A Rapprochement with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad?” sneers the Nezavisimaya gazeta on July 20, as it proceeds to state that a “new split within the émigré Russian Orthodox Church Abroad may lead to the reunification of many of that church’s leaders with the Moscow Patriarchate. The recent departure from the émigré church of its leader Metropolitan Vitalii opens the way to such a rapprochement.” And from the official website of Tass, in an article entitled “Metropolitan Vitaly is No Longer the Head of the Church Abroad,” we read:

“Bishop Michael, who was Metropolitan Vitaly’s immediate vicar, supported the suggestion of the other hierarchs to put an end to Metropolitan Vitaly’s powers. Archbishop Lavr (Shkurla) of Syracuse and [Holy] Trinity [Monastery] is the key figure in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, those taking a stand for union with the Russian Church…The attainment of positions of leadership within the Church Abroad by supporters of union with the Mother Church permits us to hope that the surmounting of the [existing] divisions in the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is not too far distant.”

Having realized that their actions were becoming too obvious, and people were beginning to read and pay attention, shortly after the Coup d’Etat, the pro-MP faction of the bishops decided to switch gears and appear as if they were slowing down the process of unification. One guesses that it is only done temporarily, so as to pacify people, let them “fall asleep” and let them think all is well- after all, our bishops said that there is no unification process taking place. We learn that Abbott Ioakim, for instance, who was sent to hold talks with the MP, is excommunicated. The question arises, why hold “talks” and appoint someone who suddenly will not be “allowed” to talk? In “Blow to Possible Reunion in Russian Orthodoxy: The Thorny Path to Moscow,” Dmitry Starostin observes:

The repressed archimandrite declared his own adherence to the MP and was received into its bosom ‘at existing rank.’ The chief significance of Archimandrite Ioakim’s transfer into the jurisdiction of the MP is that now the “Commission of Relations” that he headed has ceased its existence…Even if Archbishop Laurus and his fraction retain control over RPTsZ (Church Abroad) they will not tackle any new contacts with Moscow very soon.”’

Then we learn that Fr. Joachim left the Church Abroad and joined the MP. Sergei Chapnin, in his article “К Чему Смута?” (Why the Discord?) unravels the ploy:

РПЦЗ - одна из порожденных той революцией церковных групп- сегодня тратит все свои силы на борьбу за выживание. С этой точки зрения только один вопрос имеет принципиальное значение: когда и на каких условиях состоится воссоединение РПЦЗ с Московским патриархатом (МП). Если говорить кратко, митрополит Виталий был лидером «сектантского» крыла РПЦЗ  (Тhe Church Abroad - one of those groups born of the revolution- today is wasting all its strength on the struggle for existence. Yet only one question remains meaningful: when and on what terms will the union of the Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate take place? In short, Metropolitan Vitaly was the leader of the “sectarian” wing of the Church Abroad.)

Note that the word sectarian  reappears time and again, belittling the Church Abroad. When did the term sect become so popular that the Church Abroad, the original Russian Orthodox Church, which was forced into exile during the Bolshevik Revolution, is now suddenly labeled a sect? As to the recent statement made by the bishops in their July Epistle, denying the fact that there is a pro-MP faction amongst them, the Russian Press comments:

Это заявление может быть дипломатическим ходом и не соответствовать действительности в полной мере. Верующих необходимо успокоить и сделать это можно только одним единственным способом- подтвертить существующий status quo и заявить об отказе от каких бы то ни было перемен в политике по отношению к МП. Логика сохранения РПЦЗ как единого организма требует тактики умиротворения.  (This could have been a diplomatic step and did not correspond to reality. It is important to pacify the flock in the most efficient way possible, by reaffirming the status quo and deny any political changes with regards to the MP. The logic of preserving the Church Abroad is an organism that requires the tactic of conciliation.)

How were such devious tactics of conciliation acquired by ROCOR hierarchs?

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« Reply #122 on: June 11, 2009, 10:35:58 AM »

Histories of the Churches claiming to be the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad?

I believe that there are now 8 new Churches formed from going into schism from the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad or from a group which has itself gone into schism from ROCOR.

At the rate of present fragmentation that number is expected to double by the end of this year and there could be 16 Churches claiming to be ROCOR by December.

These Churches maintain no intercommunion with one another and some of them are bitter rivals, those such as the ROCOR-PSEA headed by Metropolitan Agathangel of Odessa claiming to be the only true ROCOR.

It is highly unlikely that any of these small groups are in fact the true ROCOR since schism upon schism is not usually an indication of the presence of the Holy Spirit Who is the Spirit of unity.

I would be interested if anyone has histories of each of these autogenic Churches.  Maybe Pravoslav09 knows where we can find brief historical sketches?

Many thanks, Hieromonk Ambrose ~ Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
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« Reply #123 on: June 11, 2009, 11:19:42 AM »

Just as an observer... you make a great deal of sense, Fr Ambrose.  Smiley
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« Reply #124 on: June 11, 2009, 11:28:36 AM »

"High Treason: The Luring of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate" By Professor Olga A. Dolskaya, plublished in the newspaper FIDELITY № 54 - June 2006.

Тhe Church Abroad - one of those groups born of the revolution- today is wasting all its strength on the struggle for existence.

Speaking in my elderly way I would have to say that this alone is enough to show what a lot of ill-informed codswallop Olga Dolskaya's article is. 

Let us look at my diocese -Australia and New Zealand.    By 2006 our three parishes in New Zealand had soared from around 500 individuals maximum to over 7,000.  This was thanks to the immigration of Russians and others from the CIS which commenced in 1993 and continued steadily for the next 10 years.

Likewise in Australia the membership of the parishes of the Russian Church Abroad (which had been quite healthy anyway) soared by tens of 1000s of new immigrants. 

Dolskaya's contention that in 2006 we were wasting our strength on the struggle for existence is completely out of touch with reality.  Our struggle was to deal with our parishes which were bursting at the seams with new members.

I do not know if a similar process was taking place in the United States.  I suspect that it was and especially in the city parishes since new immigrants would have settled in the cities.
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« Reply #125 on: June 11, 2009, 11:34:47 AM »

"High Treason: The Luring of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate" By Professor Olga A. Dolskaya, plublished in the newspaper FIDELITY № 54 - June 2006.

Тhe Church Abroad - one of those groups born of the revolution- today is wasting all its strength on the struggle for existence.

Speaking in my elderly way I would have to say that this alone is enough to show what a lot of ill-informed codswallop Olga Dolskaya's article is. 

Let us look at my diocese -Australia and New Zealand.    By 2006 our three parishes in New Zealand had soared from around 500 individuals maximum to over 7,000.  This was thanks to the immigration of Russians and others from the CIS which commenced in 1993 and continued steadily for the next 10 years.

Likewise in Australia the membership of the parishes of the Russian Church Abroad (which had been quite healthy anyway) soared by tens of 1000s of new immigrants. 

Dolskaya's contention that in 2006 we were wasting our strength on the struggle for existence is completely out of touch with reality.  Our struggle was to deal with our parishes which were bursting at the seams with new members.

I do not know if a similar process was taking place in the United States.  I suspect that it was and especially in the city parishes since new immigrants would have settled in the cities.

My, my.  Seemes the KGB is busy stacking the deck around the world, huh?  As for the US, they are double busy, as those new immigrants are also coming to the OCA parishes. Too bad they don't have enough to stack the deck in all those splinter churches from ROCOR. LOL.

Amazing how the Soviet Union, which hasn't existed for nearly two decades, manages, according to sister Dolskaya, to maintain a world wide grip.  Or was New Zealand under Soviet control too?
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« Reply #126 on: June 11, 2009, 01:52:29 PM »



Amazing how the Soviet Union, which hasn't existed for nearly two decades, manages, according to sister Dolskaya, to maintain a world wide grip.  Or was New Zealand under Soviet control too?

somebody should have let Tito know... Wink Grin Grin
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« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2009, 02:42:30 PM »

Not only the "logic" he usually employs is flawed,
I've already pointed out exactly the flaws I saw in someone else's logic.  Can you point out the specific flaws in mine?

but worse, I believe his attitude has already placed 700.000 Serbian Holy Martyrs as his opponents at the Judgment.
What do 700,000 Serbian Holy Martyrs have to do with this discussion?
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« Reply #128 on: June 11, 2009, 02:44:00 PM »

Gnats and camels, PtA, gnats and camels.
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« Reply #129 on: June 11, 2009, 04:39:19 PM »

I've already pointed out exactly the flaws I saw in someone else's logic.  Can you point out the specific flaws in mine?

PetertheAleut:  "thus I have the freedom to recognize Bishop Diomid and other such "schismatics" until I am convinced that I shouldn't."

No argument with your logic there.  You are free to recognise Bishop Diomid as a bishop if you want.  You are free to buy him a ticket to America, have him celebrate Liturgy in your home, receive communion from him, be married by him.

The flaw in your argument will become obvious when your OCA bishops ask by what authority you have treated  as a bishop a person defrocked by your Mother Church the Church of Russia.   As you pointed out earlier in message #68 by allying yourself with an apostate or a schismatic you have yourself become one.   So no, there is no flaw in your "logic."  You do have the freedom to contravene the authority of the Church and its decision on the ex-bishop Diomid.  But your "logic" could well see your Church membership at risk (God forbid!) and *that* is the flaw in it.
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« Reply #130 on: June 11, 2009, 04:55:46 PM »

I've already pointed out exactly the flaws I saw in someone else's logic.  Can you point out the specific flaws in mine?

PetertheAleut:  "thus I have the freedom to recognize Bishop Diomid and other such "schismatics" until I am convinced that I shouldn't."

No argument with your logic there.  You are free to recognise Bishop Diomid as a bishop if you want.  You are free to buy him a ticket to America, have him celebrate Liturgy in your home, receive communion from him, be married by him.

The flaw in your argument will become obvious when your OCA bishops ask by what authority you have treated  as a bishop a person defrocked by your Mother Church the Church of Russia.   As you pointed out earlier in message #68 by allying yourself with an apostate or a schismatic you have yourself become one.   So no, there is no flaw in your "logic."  You do have the freedom to contravene the authority of the Church and its decision on the ex-bishop Diomid.  But your "logic" could well see your Church membership at risk (God forbid!) and *that* is the flaw in it.

You do recognize that I only asserted my freedom as a way of making the point that I owe no obedience to your bishop, that I am not bound to an obedience that says I must refuse to recognize Bishop Diomid and other "schismatics" merely because your bishop says you must?  The submission and obedience I owe my OCA bishop is not relevant to my point, so no flaw in my logic.  (Personally, I don't recognize Bishop Diomid as a canonical Orthodox bishop, but I do so for my own reasons that I don't feel are relevant to this discussion.  So, in the end, I fail to see what issue you're trying to bring up by citing my bishop's authority.)
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« Reply #131 on: June 11, 2009, 05:11:10 PM »


You do recognize that I only asserted my freedom as a way of making the point that I owe no obedience to your bishop, that I am not bound to an obedience that says I must refuse to recognize Bishop Diomid and other "schismatics" merely because your bishop says you must? 

Btw, do your bishops share your attitude - that they are not obliged to recognise the deposition of bishops by other autocephalous Churches?  I thought there were actually heavy canonical penalties if any bishop allows a suspended or deposed bishop to act as a bishop?  Quite illogical but that's the way of it.
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« Reply #132 on: June 11, 2009, 05:49:28 PM »


You do recognize that I only asserted my freedom as a way of making the point that I owe no obedience to your bishop, that I am not bound to an obedience that says I must refuse to recognize Bishop Diomid and other "schismatics" merely because your bishop says you must? 

Btw, do your bishops share your attitude - that they are not obliged to recognise the deposition of bishops by other autocephalous Churches?  I thought there were actually heavy canonical penalties if any bishop allows a suspended or deposed bishop to act as a bishop?  Quite illogical but that's the way of it.
Whatever relationship my bishop has with your bishop is irrelevant to this debate, since I'm only talking about the relationship I have personally with your bishop.  If my bishop doesn't recognize a bishop deposed by other Orthodox churches, then I either submit to my bishop's decision or join a jurisdiction that does honor the deposed bishop--that's my prerogative.  But I don't personally owe any specific obedience to your bishop, since I'm not in his jurisdiction.  I either submit to my bishop's decision to remain in communion with your bishop or I don't, and that's all you need to know. Wink

As to the topic of this thread, I prefer just for the sake of discussion to assume that Pravoslav09's church IS Orthodox and that his opinion should at least be considered as that of a concerned Orthodox Christian, even if his church is officially in schism from most of the Orthodox world and even if I personally believe his church to be in schism.  I may disagree with everything he has to say, but I want to at least afford him the opportunity to speak his mind and offer up evidence to support his point of view.  If you don't find his evidence convincing, then tell him why you don't find his evidence convincing or refute it.  Likewise, if he or I don't find your evidence convincing, then be prepared to defend your evidence in a good faith effort to convince us.  (The fact that I have often found your arguments unconvincing is not because I disagree with your conclusions, for I actually agree with many of them.  It's just that I have a decent understanding of logic and how to present it in a convincing manner and often think you could present much more cogent arguments for our shared position. Wink)
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« Reply #133 on: June 11, 2009, 06:12:07 PM »

But I don't personally owe any specific obedience to your bishop, since I'm not in his jurisdiction.  I either submit to my bishop's decision to remain in communion with your bishop or I don't, and that's all you need to know. Wink

Do not recall saying you were under obedience to my bishop.  But I find it very unorthodox that a person says he has the freedom not to remain in communion with a bishop with whom his own bishop is in communion.  What canons allow this "freedom"?

Quote
As to the topic of this thread, I prefer just for the sake of discussion to assume that Pravoslav09's church IS Orthodox and that his opinion should at least be considered as that of a concerned Orthodox Christian, even if his church is officially in schism from most of the Orthodox world and even if I personally believe his church to be in schism.  I may disagree with everything he has to say, but I want to at least afford him the opportunity to speak his mind and offer up evidence to support his point of view.  If you don't find his evidence convincing, then tell him why you don't find his evidence convincing or refute it.  Likewise, if he or I don't find your evidence convincing, then be prepared to defend your evidence in a good faith effort to convince us.

I don't have to.  It is the decision of the bishops.  I accept their authority.  Why should I have to personally argue with every single member of the 8 and maybe more groups who have splintered from the Russian Church Abroad.   As regards the ex-bishop Diomid, it is sufficient that the Church has deposed him.  I don't need to conduct my own personal investigation and don't have the resources anyway.

Quote
  (The fact that I have often found your arguments unconvincing is not because I disagree with your conclusions, for I actually agree with many of them.  It's just that I have a decent understanding of logic and how to present it in a convincing manner and often think you could present much more cogent arguments for our shared position. Wink)
Perhaps I am speaking out of a sense of church-consciousness whereas you prefer to speak out of a sense of logic.   There is a lot that is illogical about the Christian faith and the Christian Church because, as I noted earlier, it commences with the statement "I believe...."  If you want a 100% logical Church I don't really know where you should turn.

Have you read Chesterton on logic and the madman?   Years since I read it myself and it always struck me as so true, and it made me laugh.
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« Reply #134 on: June 11, 2009, 07:40:54 PM »

But I don't personally owe any specific obedience to your bishop, since I'm not in his jurisdiction.  I either submit to my bishop's decision to remain in communion with your bishop or I don't, and that's all you need to know. Wink

Do not recall saying you were under obedience to my bishop.  But I find it very unorthodox that a person says he has the freedom not to remain in communion with a bishop with whom his own bishop is in communion.  What canons allow this "freedom"?
Simple, I can just go join another church.  If you don't think that an Orthodox thing to do, that's your prerogative to think that. Wink

Now, Irish Hermit, please stop trying to derail this debate by arguing with what I have repeatedly stated is a peripheral concern.  The only thing you need to know is that I don't owe your bishop any obedience and that I am therefore free to develop my opinions and arguments in ways totally independent of your bishop.  Everything else is tangential.
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