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Author Topic: Old Calendarist Churches ,"World Orthodoxy", and Maximos the Confessor  (Read 22966 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pravoslavbob
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« on: July 31, 2009, 12:48:04 AM »

I'm not too sure about these musings, but here goes....

I have been inspired to begin this thread after considering some of the posts in this one:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.0.html


I do think that there are problems in "World" Orthodoxy.  In however a small way, I understand that some clergy are beginning to give communion to non-Orthodox.  Relativism is creeping in in some areas.  On the other hand, I have a real problem with traditionalist old calendar stances on many issues too.  For example, the way in which they tend to see following the new calendar in and of  itself as heretical.  (My only problem with the new calendar is the unChristian way in which it was implemented.)  And lots of other problems besides.  So for now, convinced beyond a doubt (for the moment) that the "World" Orthodox comprise the Church, I remain where I am.  I was just musing about what would happen in the extremely unlikely event if I felt the need to leave World Orthodoxy.  Right now, I think I would just be on my own.  I am sorry if this sounds mellodramatic or sectarian.  I am not meaning it to be either.  It's just that I have problems with both old calendarists and the "world" Churches, though much more with the former at present.
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 04:29:45 AM »

I agree that that the doctrinal implications of the calendar change are subtle. It's not like they just added the Filioque to the creed; that would have been obvious. If you want to know what the GOC thinks about the doctrinal implications, you can consult our original 1935 confession of faith:

http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/e_index.htm (look under "History")

The basic line is that the calendar change is a doctrinal matter in that it violates the teaching we confess in the Creed "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church", since that unity is violated when we do not celebrate the feasts and fasts on the same days.

Whether or not the calendar change was a doctrinal issue in the strictest sense, the Western calendar had been anathematized several times by the Eastern Orthodox Church, not only the Paschalion but also the Menologion. And, as you say, the calendar change was not implemented by an Ecumenical or even Pan-Orthodox Council, which might have had the authority to do so, but by an 'Inter-Orthodox Congress', whose authority was not at first recognized outside Constantinople, Greece and Romania. Fr Basil Sakkas, a Greek Old Calendarist under ROCOR, explained all these issues in his book "The Calendar Question", available here:

http://roacusa.org/Catechism/THE%20CALENDAR%20QUESTION.pdf

This short book has a very significant foreword written by Met Philaret of New York, which is incidentally yet more evidence for the great shift in ROCOR's attitude from pro-Old-Calendarist to pro-New-Calendarist as we find now.

I will quote a short section from the chapter on the doctrinal significance of the new calendar:

Our adversaries pretend that the calendar “is not a dogma,” thus leaving it to
be understood that one can do with it what one pleases. Is the question of the
calendar truly one of dogma? This naturally depends upon the perspective from
which one examines the matter. My beard and my rassa certainly do not constitute
a dogma, for their existence does not increase or decrease the number of the
Persons of the Holy Trinity. However, if I disdain the insignia of my ministry with
which the Church of Jesus Christ has honoured me -- which She regards as more
precious than royal purple -- will I not thus offend the Church Herself? Though my
rassa and my beard do not in themselves constitute a dogma, yet, if I take them off
without any reason, do I not dishonour the Church which has honoured me and
which is the foundation of all the dogmas? How, therefore, is it possible to isolate
the dogmas from the rest of the life and the experience of the Holy, Catholic and
Orthodox Church of Christ?
For this reason, Synesius, the Metropolitan of Cassandria, speaking of the
State (i.e. new calendar) Greek Church, says with justice: “The Greek
Autocephalous Church is independent. For us, the very thought of the abolition of
the celibacy of the higher clergy and the alteration of its clerical dress is very
premature. Today, these two questions have nearly become dogmas and cannot be
removed. Consequently, there can be no place for any official or unofficial
discussion of this matter” (Ecclesiasticos Agon).
Thus, the dogmas are not clearly independent of the details of the daily life
and acts of the Holy Church. It is nearly impossible to make a distinction between
the primary and the secondary in matters of the Faith. All these things bear the
sanctifying seal of the Holy Spirit, to such a degree that we cannot touch the least
matter of the Tradition without directly or indirectly disparaging the Church’s
dogmatic requirements.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2009, 05:23:02 AM »

A couple of points which need to be made:

1. The Paschalion is identical in all Orthodox churches, irrespective of which ecclesiastical calendar is used (with the unfortunate exception of the Church of Finland, an anomaly which hopefully will be resolved one day). The Menaia of the various local churches only vary here and there in terms of the local practice of which saint is venerated for a given day. Example: On July 11, the Greek church would commemorate Great-martyr Euphemia, whereas the Slavs would give preeminence to commemorating St Olga. However, all the other feasts of high enough rank (to use a western term, "universal"), are always observed on the same day according to the church's respective calendar.

2. If the adoption of the new calendar were a matter of heresy, as is claimed by most (all?) of the "true Orthodox" groups, then it would be impossible to justify, or to allow, intercommunion and mutual recognition between the canonical Orthodox churches. A clear distinction needs to be made between "Old Calendar" churches, and "Old Calendarist" groups.
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2009, 05:41:53 AM »

A couple of points which need to be made:

1. The Paschalion is identical in all Orthodox churches, irrespective of which ecclesiastical calendar is used (with the unfortunate exception of the Church of Finland, an anomaly which hopefully will be resolved one day). The Menaia of the various local churches only vary here and there in terms of the local practice of which saint is venerated for a given day. Example: On July 11, the Greek church would commemorate Great-martyr Euphemia, whereas the Slavs would give preeminence to commemorating St Olga. However, all the other feasts of high enough rank (to use a western term, "universal"), are always observed on the same day according to the church's respective calendar.

Even if you only recognize half of the Church's anathema against the new calendar, the part about the Paschalion, how exactly do you justify communion with the Church of Finland? And yes, as you say, the Menaia of the various Local Churches varies for less important feasts, but not for major feasts. Except, of course, the New Calendarists do vary in their observation of even Great Feasts of our Lord and our Lady, and not by one day, but 13 days! Viz. the Nativity of the Theotokos, the Universal Exaltation of the Cross, the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple, the Nativity of our Lord, the Baptism of our Lord, the Meeting of our Lord, the Annunciation of the Theotokos, the Transfiguration of our Lord and the Dormition of the Theotokos. If you wish to call these differences in practice minor and of no significance, go ahead.

For the full text of the Sigillion of 1583, anathematizing both the Paschalion and the Menologion of the Papal Church, see the following:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sigillion_of_1583

Quote
2. If the adoption of the new calendar were a matter of heresy, as is claimed by most (all?) of the "true Orthodox" groups, then it would be impossible to justify, or to allow, intercommunion and mutual recognition between the canonical Orthodox churches. A clear distinction needs to be made between "Old Calendar" churches, and "Old Calendarist" groups.

My point exactly. It is impossible to justify.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2009, 06:23:22 AM »

Here are a couple of posts from the Consensus Patrum, Sources of Faith, etc. thread which may be useful:


As a general rule of thumb people who start off in schism do eventually end up in heresy also.

Looking at a Church which has been on all our minds the last few days thanks to the Apostasy thread.... If we take the example of the Russian Zarist Church (which may or may not be led by Bishop Diomid) it is a church group which has been in existence for only a few months.  Presumably it has not changed anything of the Orthodox theology or the liiturgical material which the bishop learnt from his theology studies in a Russian Orthodox seminary.  But the name of the Church is troubling and gives cause for concern - the Russian Zarist Church.  There has never been any Orthodox Church named for any Tsar or Emperor.  That name in itself indicates some overemphasis on the monarchy in the life of the Church and that may eventualy lead into some kind of heresy.

Irish Hermit touches on an often overlooked but very important point: A church in schism from canonical Orthodoxy has separated itself from its mother church, and by refusing to submit to the obedience of canonically-consecrated bishops, they are therefore "out of the loop", as it were. Deliberate separation such as this is indeed little different from the myriad protestant sects which base their existence on the notion of  "I don't agree with the decision of my church, so I'll set up one of my own."

An inviolable principle of the Orthodox Church is the responsibility of the episcopate, the shepherds and overseers of the Church, to "rightly divide the word of Your truth". If a priest proclaims heresy, or is disobedient to his bishop, then his bishop is obliged to correct him. If a bishop does the same, his fellow bishops likewise should move to correct him. It is a conciliar approach. If the errant cleric refuses to change his ways, then there may be cause for defrocking or other serious action. Schismatic groups, who are not part of the concilium of the mother Church from which they have broken away run the very real risk of not being able to properly maintaining the checks and balances required for preserving the integrity of the faith.

There are, in fact, examples of schismatic churches which have indeed proclaimed heresies, particularly as it relates to the new calendar. Adopting the new calendar is not an act of heresy. If it were, then no canonical communion between the canonical NC and OC churches would be possible. An irregularity, an anomaly, yes. Heresy, no, despite what they may try to say. Another notable example is that of the Matthewite old calendarist group, which proclaims that the image showing Christ, seated next to God the Father as an old man, with a dove hovering above them, is the proper and canonical icon of the Holy Trinity, and, moreover, proclaims that the icon generally attributed to St Andrei of Radonezh (Andrei Rublyev) is uncanonical. These infractions are but two examples of the result of lack of proper conciliar episcopal oversight which is an unfortunate result of schismatic behavior. A third example is the debasement of iconography to suit a particular ecclesiopolitical stance, such as the "icon" of the "Ark of Salvation" we have seen and discussed on the thread "Here's an Icon with Something for Everyone". As a learned friend once remarked: Such icons are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
[/size]

Here's a link to the rest of that thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21798.0.html
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 06:25:10 AM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2009, 06:53:51 AM »



As a general rule of thumb people who start off in schism do eventually end up in heresy also.

Looking at a Church which has been on all our minds the last few days thanks to the Apostasy thread.... If we take the example of the Russian Zarist Church (which may or may not be led by Bishop Diomid) it is a church group which has been in existence for only a few months.  Presumably it has not changed anything of the Orthodox theology or the liiturgical material which the bishop learnt from his theology studies in a Russian Orthodox seminary.  But the name of the Church is troubling and gives cause for concern - the Russian Zarist Church.  There has never been any Orthodox Church named for any Tsar or Emperor.  That name in itself indicates some overemphasis on the monarchy in the life of the Church and that may eventualy lead into some kind of heresy.

Irish Hermit touches on an often overlooked but very important point: A church in schism from canonical Orthodoxy has separated itself from its mother church, and by refusing to submit to the obedience of canonically-consecrated bishops, they are therefore "out of the loop", as it were. Deliberate separation such as this is indeed little different from the myriad protestant sects which base their existence on the notion of  "I don't agree with the decision of my church, so I'll set up one of my own."

An inviolable principle of the Orthodox Church is the responsibility of the episcopate, the shepherds and overseers of the Church, to "rightly divide the word of Your truth". If a priest proclaims heresy, or is disobedient to his bishop, then his bishop is obliged to correct him. If a bishop does the same, his fellow bishops likewise should move to correct him. It is a conciliar approach. If the errant cleric refuses to change his ways, then there may be cause for defrocking or other serious action. Schismatic groups, who are not part of the concilium of the mother Church from which they have broken away run the very real risk of not being able to properly maintaining the checks and balances required for preserving the integrity of the faith.

There are, in fact, examples of schismatic churches which have indeed proclaimed heresies, particularly as it relates to the new calendar. Adopting the new calendar is not an act of heresy. If it were, then no canonical communion between the canonical NC and OC churches would be possible. An irregularity, an anomaly, yes. Heresy, no, despite what they may try to say. Another notable example is that of the Matthewite old calendarist group, which proclaims that the image showing Christ, seated next to God the Father as an old man, with a dove hovering above them, is the proper and canonical icon of the Holy Trinity, and, moreover, proclaims that the icon generally attributed to St Andrei of Radonezh (Andrei Rublyev) is uncanonical. These infractions are but two examples of the result of lack of proper conciliar episcopal oversight which is an unfortunate result of schismatic behavior. A third example is the debasement of iconography to suit a particular ecclesiopolitical stance, such as the "icon" of the "Ark of Salvation" we have seen and discussed on the thread "Here's an Icon with Something for Everyone". As a learned friend once remarked: Such icons are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
[/size]

It is interesting that you are so strict with the Matthewites' iconography but so lax about your own hierarchs' involvement in ecumenism. How exactly has 'proper concililar episcopal oversight' helped your church to avoid those perils? In any case, only some Matthewites venerate those icons, and what's more the Matthewites are not representative of Old Calendarists as a whole.

Secondly, your schism is our True Church. Our bishops are canonical, not only in our own estimation but in the estimation of the Russian Church Abroad (for which consult the first link provided in my first post). Moreover, we have never separated ourselves from the Church. The New Calendarists did, however, when they changed the calendar and fell under the anathemas against the Western menologion. That is the position we hold, as stated in our confession of faith (see previous link).
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2009, 08:23:24 AM »

The basic line is that the calendar change is a doctrinal matter in that it violates the teaching we confess in the Creed "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church", since that unity is violated when we do not celebrate the feasts and fasts on the same days.

This is not the attitude of some of the great hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad, including its sainted First Hierarch Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky.

Quote
This short book has a very significant foreword written by Met Philaret of New York, which is incidentally yet more evidence for the great shift in ROCOR's attitude from pro-Old-Calendarist to pro-New-Calendarist as we find now.

We find on investigating the history of the Russian Church Abroad that there has been no great shift in ROCA's attitude to the Calendar question.

We continue on the "royal" path of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky and Metropolitan Anastassy of the Russian Church Abroad concerning the New Calendar.  They gave the Russian Church Abroad wise words of moderation and restraint.

This is from the speech of Archbishop Anthony of Geneva at the Third All-Diaspora Council of the Church Abroad in 1974.  "Our Church in the Modern World"  It was presented on the fourth day of the Council in Jordanville.

Early in his report, Archbishop Anthony describes the attitude of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) to the new-style Orthodox Churches: "The head of our Church, Met. Anthony… as a true pastor of the Church of Christ, and not like the scribes or Pharisees of our times, showed our Church the middle, royal path, arming himself on this road with the sword of truth and the fire of love and mercy… He does not break prayerful communion with the Churches that adopted the new calendar, he does not anathematize anyone…  He accepts the offer of the Rumanian Church and travels to Rumania after that Church switched to the new style."  Further, the lecturer addresses the First-Hierarchal service of Metropolitan Anastassy: "under Metropolitan Anastassy, we prayed, until very recently, for the holy Orthodox patriarchs, though they were ecumenists and new-calendarists.

Under him, a great and sad event occurred in the Orthodox world: all the Local Churches finally entered the World Council of Churches. Yet Metropolitan Anastassy was unperturbed. Our Church was alone in the free world in rejecting the ecumenical movement. What does this mean? It means that without extraneous verbiage or anathemas, the Free Russian Church condemned ecumenism firmly and decisively as an un-Orthodox movement! She chooses her own path within Orthodoxy… Metropolitan Anastassy does not fear solitude upon this path. Yet the courageous elder does not break prayerful communion with anyone, does not declare anyone a heretic, does not threaten fire and brimstone… For it is not difficult to call one's brother a heretic, but in the eyes of God, he who accuses his neighbour of heresy takes upon his soul the responsibility of being the herald of the judgment of the Church."

Then, Archbishop Anthony talks about the attitude of Metropolitan Anastassy and St John of Shanghai towards the new calendar: "Metropolitan Anastassy at first allowed the new style in our Church for the sake of the newly-converted from other faiths. And the late Archbishop John Maximovitch, revered by many as a righteous man and an ascetic of our times, accepts a group of Orthodox Dutchmen, who, using the new calendar, existed in our Church for 22 years—more than a brief period of time. At the same time, new-style Romanians appeared in our Church…"

The speaker then continued: “Metropolitan Anastassy, rejecting the ecumenical movement, eagerly sends his observers to their conferences to witness the truth. Without a second thought, he sends observers from our Church to the Vatican Council. He participates in a worthy manner in the lives of the Catholics and Protestants, without fear, but also never mixing deceit with the truth, not putting himself on the same plane as the heterodox. He tried to plant a seed of truth into this movement. And though in his time, ecumenism grew widely within the Orthodox world, the Metropolitan took no definite measures against it."

We must omit the subsequent important passages in the lecture of Vladyka Anthony on the frequent concelebrations with the Paris Exarchate, permitted by St John of Shanghai and by Archbishop Anthony himself,  and we move onto the conclusion of the speech:

"For the unity of the Church is her nature and foundation. By the example of our First Hierarchs we must carefully preserve those fine threads which bind us with the Orthodox world. Under no circumstances must we isolate ourselves, seeing around us, often imagined, heretics and schismatics. Through gradual self-isolation we will fall into the extremism which our metropolitans wisely avoided, we will reject that middle, royal path which until now our Church has traveled… By isolating ourselves, we will embark upon the path of sectarianism, fearing everyone and everything, we will become possessed with paranoia… But to take such a course, we will have to reject our Church's past and condemn it."


Report of Archbishop Anthony of Geneva " Nasha Tserkov' v sovremennom mire " ["Our Church in the Modern World'], addendum to the protocols of the Third All-Diaspora Council, Synodal Archives, pp. 5-7.


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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2009, 08:41:08 AM »

Firstly, at least in my view Met Philaret has greater authority than Abp Anthony, who was the only ROCOR bishop not to sign the declaration of communion with Abp Auxentius and the Old Calendarist Synod. Met Philaret was the First Hierarch of ROCOR. In any case, even Abp Anthony had to admit joining the World Council of Churches was a terrible event for the New Calendarists. What would he say now that your part of ROCOR is in the WCC?
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2009, 08:55:07 AM »

A couple of points which need to be made:

1. The Paschalion is identical in all Orthodox churches, irrespective of which ecclesiastical calendar is used (with the unfortunate exception of the Church of Finland, an anomaly which hopefully will be resolved one day). The Menaia of the various local churches only vary here and there in terms of the local practice of which saint is venerated for a given day. Example: On July 11, the Greek church would commemorate Great-martyr Euphemia, whereas the Slavs would give preeminence to commemorating St Olga. However, all the other feasts of high enough rank (to use a western term, "universal"), are always observed on the same day according to the church's respective calendar.

Even if you only recognize half of the Church's anathema against the new calendar, the part about the Paschalion, how exactly do you justify communion with the Church of Finland?

The entire Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor.


Quote
And yes, as you say, the Menaia of the various Local Churches varies for less important feasts, but not for major feasts. Except, of course, the New Calendarists do vary in their observation of even Great Feasts of our Lord and our Lady, and not by one day, but 13 days! Viz. the Nativity of the Theotokos, the Universal Exaltation of the Cross, the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple, the Nativity of our Lord, the Baptism of our Lord, the Meeting of our Lord, the Annunciation of the Theotokos, the Transfiguration of our Lord and the Dormition of the Theotokos. If you wish to call these differences in practice minor and of no significance, go ahead.

For the full text of the Sigillion of 1583, anathematizing both the Paschalion and the Menologion of the Papal Church, see the following:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sigillion_of_1583

Since the New Calendar does not adopt the Vatican's calendar but revises the Julian, your point?

2. If the adoption of the new calendar were a matter of heresy, as is claimed by most (all?) of the "true Orthodox" groups, then it would be impossible to justify, or to allow, intercommunion and mutual recognition between the canonical Orthodox churches. A clear distinction needs to be made between "Old Calendar" churches, and "Old Calendarist" groups.

My point exactly. It is impossible to justify.

Justify what?  Correcting the calendar or communion with those who correct it?
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2009, 09:03:50 AM »

Ialmistry, let LBK answer.
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2009, 09:13:14 AM »



As a general rule of thumb people who start off in schism do eventually end up in heresy also.

Looking at a Church which has been on all our minds the last few days thanks to the Apostasy thread.... If we take the example of the Russian Zarist Church (which may or may not be led by Bishop Diomid) it is a church group which has been in existence for only a few months.  Presumably it has not changed anything of the Orthodox theology or the liiturgical material which the bishop learnt from his theology studies in a Russian Orthodox seminary.  But the name of the Church is troubling and gives cause for concern - the Russian Zarist Church.  There has never been any Orthodox Church named for any Tsar or Emperor.  That name in itself indicates some overemphasis on the monarchy in the life of the Church and that may eventualy lead into some kind of heresy.

Irish Hermit touches on an often overlooked but very important point: A church in schism from canonical Orthodoxy has separated itself from its mother church, and by refusing to submit to the obedience of canonically-consecrated bishops, they are therefore "out of the loop", as it were. Deliberate separation such as this is indeed little different from the myriad protestant sects which base their existence on the notion of  "I don't agree with the decision of my church, so I'll set up one of my own."

An inviolable principle of the Orthodox Church is the responsibility of the episcopate, the shepherds and overseers of the Church, to "rightly divide the word of Your truth". If a priest proclaims heresy, or is disobedient to his bishop, then his bishop is obliged to correct him. If a bishop does the same, his fellow bishops likewise should move to correct him. It is a conciliar approach. If the errant cleric refuses to change his ways, then there may be cause for defrocking or other serious action. Schismatic groups, who are not part of the concilium of the mother Church from which they have broken away run the very real risk of not being able to properly maintaining the checks and balances required for preserving the integrity of the faith.

There are, in fact, examples of schismatic churches which have indeed proclaimed heresies, particularly as it relates to the new calendar. Adopting the new calendar is not an act of heresy. If it were, then no canonical communion between the canonical NC and OC churches would be possible. An irregularity, an anomaly, yes. Heresy, no, despite what they may try to say. Another notable example is that of the Matthewite old calendarist group, which proclaims that the image showing Christ, seated next to God the Father as an old man, with a dove hovering above them, is the proper and canonical icon of the Holy Trinity, and, moreover, proclaims that the icon generally attributed to St Andrei of Radonezh (Andrei Rublyev) is uncanonical. These infractions are but two examples of the result of lack of proper conciliar episcopal oversight which is an unfortunate result of schismatic behavior. A third example is the debasement of iconography to suit a particular ecclesiopolitical stance, such as the "icon" of the "Ark of Salvation" we have seen and discussed on the thread "Here's an Icon with Something for Everyone". As a learned friend once remarked: Such icons are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
[/size]

It is interesting that you are so strict with the Matthewites' iconography but so lax about your own hierarchs' involvement in ecumenism.

Their involvement, or your allegations thereof?

Quote
How exactly has 'proper concililar episcopal oversight' helped your church to avoid those perils?

Easy. They haven't betrayed or compromised Orthodoxy.

Quote
In any case, only some Matthewites venerate those icons, and what's more the Matthewites are not representative of Old Calendarists as a whole.

That is just the problem: when it comes to the Old Calendarists, there is no "as a whole."

Quote
Secondly, your schism is our True Church. Our bishops are canonical, not only in our own estimation but in the estimation of the Russian Church Abroad (for which consult the first link provided in my first post). Moreover, we have never separated ourselves from the Church. The New Calendarists did, however, when they changed the calendar and fell under the anathemas against the Western menologion.

you mean this?
Quote
7) That whoever does not follow the customs of the Church as the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils decreed, and Holy Pascha, and the Menologion with which they did well in making it a law that we should follow it, and wishes to follow the newly-invented Paschalion and the New Menologion of the atheist astronomers of the Pope, and opposes all those things and wishes to overthrow and destroy the dogmas and customs of the Church which have been handed down by our fathers, let him suffer anathema and be put out of the Church of Christ and out of the Congregation of the Faithful.

I've never understood, I admit, how the pagan astronomers of Julius Caesar, predecessor of the Pope as Pontifex Maximus (the office by which they were in charge of the calendar) were superior to the "atheist astronomers of the Pope."  Again, since the Vatican's calendar wasn't adopted, your point is moot.

And the problem is since all the "True" Churchettes are mutually exclusive, only one of you can be the True True (no, not a pleonasm) Orthodox Church.


Quote
That is the position we hold, as stated in our confession of faith (see previous link).

I agree with the assessment that the imposition of the calendar was high handed, but so were many of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils (Chalcedon comes to mind).

As LBK and Irish Hermit have pointed out, taking yourself out of the Orthodox conciliar process, you have left the Church, with all the dangers that involves.
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2009, 09:18:04 AM »

Ialmistry, stop embarrassing yourself and let LBK answer for her own points.
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2009, 09:32:11 AM »

Ialmistry, stop embarrassing yourself and let LBK answer for her own points.

I was, but since you bring up embarrassing yourself:
Firstly, at least in my view Met Philaret has greater authority than Abp Anthony, who was the only ROCOR bishop not to sign the declaration of communion with Abp Auxentius and the Old Calendarist Synod. Met Philaret was the First Hierarch of ROCOR. In any case, even Abp Anthony had to admit joining the World Council of Churches was a terrible event for the New Calendarists. What would he say now that your part of ROCOR is in the WCC?
Care to explain?
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2009, 09:33:50 AM »

Quote
My point exactly. It is impossible to justify.

Jonathan, you belong to a schismatic group which does not recognise canonical Orthodoxy, nor the decisions of its bishops. The adoption of the new calendar is an anomaly, not a heresy, and, as we have seen on another thread, there is not a shred of evidence to show that any "doctrinal compromise" by any of the canonical Orthodox churches which have been associated with the WCC.

To this day, canonical old-calendar and canonical new-calendar jurisdictions continue to recognise each others' sacraments, including, most importantly, the Eucharist; the names of the hierarchy commemorated on their diptychs are not limited by which calendar these bishops use in their churches; clergy and laity can transfer from one jurisdiction to another without the need to be "reordained" or "rebaptised". And so it goes.

By contrast, what do we see within the "true Orthodox" world? Disobedience, leading to schism, and yet more fragmentation, and an almost complete lack of intercommunion between even these groups. Is this truly in the spirit of the unity of the faith prayed for at every Divine Liturgy?

Some food for thought from St Hilary of Arles, from his commentary on 1 Peter:

If we have a form of religion on the outside, but inside we are opposed to the rulers of the Church  as well as to kings and princes, we are using our faith as a pretext for evil.

And from Blessed Augustine:

How is it proved that we love the fellowship? Because we do not split unity, but we maintain love.


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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2009, 09:35:17 AM »

   
As LBK and Irish Hermit have pointed out, taking yourself out of the Orthodox conciliar process, you have left the Church, with all the dangers that involves.

This is of course true.  It is pointed out succinctly and without any frills by the senior ROCA priest in our diocese Archpriest Michael Protopopov in his 2007 essay on the "Russian True Orthodox Church" and the RTOC Bishop Tikhon Pasechenik.

"If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is
outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is no shopping list of churches.
There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
 
 http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/RTOC.htm
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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2009, 09:46:11 AM »

I'm not interested in getting in to another one of these never-ending debates, especially since I have to go serve at another (my third) mission tomorrow, but I do want to ask LBK one question so that I can better understand LBK's position:

If we Old Calendarists are schismatic, at what point did we become schismatic?
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2009, 09:51:07 AM »

Blessed St. Maria (Skobtsova) (martyred by the Nazis in 1945) wrote a strong opinion re the calendar issue in an essay "Types of Religious Lives" see the last 2 paragraphs in the chapter on "Ritualism" http://incommunion.org/?p=26
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« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2009, 10:02:44 AM »

To be honest, I want to hear pravoslavbob's opinions on what I said. If you're reading this, tell me what you think!
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2009, 10:45:33 AM »

The compassionate words of the Blessed Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, full of pity for those who have gone into schism from the Church because of the Calendar.  But he speaks candidly of the inevitable fragmentation amd the anathemas which the Old Calendarist bishops throw at one another.  This is a fine example of "speaking the truth in love."

Note that this God-enlightened Elder is quite specific on one point - he does not see the Calendar as a dogmatic issue.

"We too on the Holy Mountain follow the old calendar. But that is an entirely different thing;
because we continue to be united with the Church, with all the Patriarchates, both those
who follow the new calendar, as well as those who follow the old calendar.  We acknowledge
their sacraments and they acknowledge ours.  Their priests co-officiate with our priests. 
Whereas these poor souls have cut themselves off.  Most of them are pious, and they possess
punctuality and perseverance and a zeal for God. The only problem is that this zeal lacks discretion;
it is not a “conscientious” zeal.  Some people got carried away, out of their simple-mindedness,
and others out of egotism.  They regarded the 13-day difference a dogmatic issue and all of us as heretics,
and so they walked away from the Church.  They have no communion whatsoever with the
Patriarchates and the Churches that follow the new calendar, nor with the Patriarchates and
the Churches that follow the old calendar, because these have supposedly become polluted
through their contact with the new-calendarists.  And not only that.  Those few who are left,
have split into goodness knows how many pieces. And they continue to split up amongst themselves,
and they sling anathemas at one another, and they excommunicate one another, and they defrock
one another. You have no idea how much this has pained me, and how much I have prayed for this matter. 
We need to love them and to feel sorry for them and not judge them, but most of all we must pray for them,
so that God might enlighten them. And should any of them happen to ask us for help with a positive
disposition, we must say a few words to them."

http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/paisios1.htm
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2009, 10:56:26 AM »

All right, irish hermit. Two can play the 'Elder' game. Here is something from Athonite Elder Sabbas, no less regarded for his piety than Paisios:

<<
You bring forward the words of Saint John Chrysostom, "Not even the blood of martyrdom blots out schism," and of Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, "Let nothing be enacted without the bishop." You conclude that when we separate ourselves from our bishop, we are outside the Church.

The Saints made these true pronouncements, however, in a time of Orthodoxy and Church serenity. Today, when the hurricane of the Ecumenist pan-heresy sweeps away even the elect, the words of the same Saints have force. "If your bishop be heretical, flee, flee, flee as from fire and a serpent" (Saint John Chrysostom). "If thy bishop should teach any thing outside of the appointed order, even if he lives in chastity, or if he work signs, or if he prophecy, let him be unto thee as a wolf in sheep's clothing, for he works the destruction of souls" (Saint Ignatius). If Demetrios rightly divided the word of truth, you would have been justified in your use of those quotations you took from the two Saints; but now you edit the Fathers' writings to your taste, in order to justify your guilt for being a fellow-traveler of Demetrios, Parthenios of Alexandria, Iakovos of America, Stylianos Harkianakis of Australia. Are all the many quotations from the holy Councils and Saints not enough for you? Or do you fear, perhaps, being cast out of the synagogue of the heretics? The fact that the other patriarchates hold communion with the Phanar is not really important. What is important is, who follows in the footsteps of the Saints and is with the Truth? Parthenios, Patriarch of Alexandria, said that he recognizes Mohammed as an Apostle who worked for the Kingdom of God, and other such blasphemies which you know. There is no need for us to write again the heresies of Iakovos Koukonzis of America, and Stylianos Harkianakis of Australia. You are in communion with these men as though they supposedly rightly divided the word of truth! Who is going to condemn Iakovos Koukouzis? Parthenios? or the committee of Phanariotes under Bartholomew which has been "investigating" for two years now whether Harkianakis is a heretic? [2] Do you not understand that they do not want to pronounce a verdict?
>>

Read the rest of his letter here:

www.esphigmenou.com

search for Fr Sabbas' letter under "What the dispute is about and why the monks are right"

just so you know, i'm not answering any more of your points until pravoslavbob gets back to me
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« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2009, 11:09:49 AM »

just so you know, i'm not answering any more of your points until pravoslavbob gets back to me

That's OK. I have the sense form Pravoslavbob's OP that he wants to hear both sides of the question so we can continue the thread without your active participation while you await his reply to you.
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« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2009, 11:11:49 AM »

just so you know, i'm not answering any more of your points until pravoslavbob gets back to me

That's OK. I have the sense form Pravoslavbob's OP that he wants to hear both sides of the question so we can continue the thread without your active participation while you await his reply to you.

have fun
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« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2009, 01:44:42 PM »

Irish Hermit, LBK, and ialmisry,

I'm very concerned that you three are applying the term "schism" to Jonathan's church far too frequently.  Regardless of what you think about the TOC of Greece in relation to what you call canonical Orthodoxy, your frequent statements that Jonathan's church is in schism and that, by extension, he is a schismatic are poisonous to this discussion and distressing to Jonathan.  I fear it may even be a violation of forum policy.  I ask you, therefore, to stop calling Jonathan's church schismatic.
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« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2009, 01:51:17 PM »

This site indeed exists as a forum for all who call themselves Orthodox Christians to come together and discuss things openly. That has included and continues to include Eastern Orthodox (both "mainstream" and "Old Calendarists") and Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonians).

We have traditionally kept posters from continuing to label members of the other groups schismatic, heretical, poisonous, evil, etc., while never requiring our members to acknowledge the other groups as Orthodox if their conscience/affiliation does not allow it.  There is a private forum for vigorous Eastern/Oriental debates, but no such private forum exists for Old/New Calendar disputes, nor do we plan on making one, because the balance is titled something like 99% to 1% so it would not really be productive.

When absolutely necessary, one might also use circumlocutions such as "considered by the state Church to be schismatic" or "considered by Old Calendarists to be schismatic on account of the Sigillion of 1583" to convey the same point as well without diverging in to name-calling.

Let's keep that in mind as we continue to debate these issues vigorously.

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« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2009, 02:00:06 PM »

Irish Hermit, LBK, and ialmisry,

I'm very concerned that you three are applying the term "schism" to Jonathan's church far too frequently.  Regardless of what you think about the TOC of Greece in relation to what you call canonical Orthodoxy, your frequent statements that Jonathan's church is in schism and that, by extension, he is a schismatic are poisonous to this discussion and distressing to Jonathan.  I fear it may even be a violation of forum policy.  I ask you, therefore, to stop calling Jonathan's church schismatic.


Thank you, PtA.

I understand that the position of the State Church of Greece towards us is that we are schismatics, and insofar as other Local Churches are in communion with the New Calendarist Church they also treat us as schismatics. It is distressing, especially coming from conservative New Calendarists, since we are only trying to uphold the beliefs they themselves profess. It is certainly hard for all of us to maintain an irenical tone when we are trying to defend our positions. On the hand, I cannot deny that the position of my own Church is that the new calendarists are in schism. However, I acknowledge that it is also more constructive to focus more on the shared Orthodox beliefs of our 'Christian brethren' in the official Church (see our Proclamation on Ecclesiology). For my part, I will try from now on also to avoid unnecessarily polemical terms like 'schismatic' or 'heretic' when trying to present our position with regard to other Churches.
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2009, 12:28:27 AM »

I'm not too sure about these musings, but here goes....

I have been inspired to begin this thread after considering some of the posts in this one:

I have been musing on the different spirit which breathes in the messages of the Holy Elder Fr Paisios of the Holy Mountain and that of Fr Sabbas of the Holy Mountain.  Messages 21 and 22.   Compare the heartfelt missive full of love and tears of Elder Paisios, with the rancorous, inflammatory tone of Elder Sabbas, who, though he be an Athonite elder, repeats the error of the calendar, and the hierarchs who use it, as being heretical.

This difference of spirit between these two men, one representing normative traditional Orthodoxy and the other representing the spirit of the Old Calendarist movement, is relevant to some points Pravoslavbob makes in his opening message.
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2009, 12:51:09 AM »

Dear Pravoslavbob,

The difference of approach between Old Calendarist Churches and "World Orthodoxy " is also touched on, but from another angle, in Message 287

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg343006.html#msg343006

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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2009, 01:13:31 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

I see that the thread's title also includes Saint Maximos.  In what way do you see him as tied into the matter of the Old Calendarist Churches and "World Orthodoxy"?
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2009, 01:17:55 AM »

I'm not too sure about these musings, but here goes....

I have been inspired to begin this thread after considering some of the posts in this one:

I have been musing on the different spirit which breathes in the messages of the Holy Elder Fr Paisios of the Holy Mountain and that of Fr Sabbas of the Holy Mountain.  Messages 21 and 22.   Compare the heartfelt missive full of love and tears of Elder Paisios, with the rancorous, inflammatory tone of Elder Sabbas,
Not a very good argument when you consider the many spirit-filled Fathers who used equally acerbic language to condemn the great heresies of the past.  For some reason, the donnybrook between St. Nicholas and Arius the heresiarch comes to mind.

who, though he be an Athonite elder, repeats the error of the calendar, and the hierarchs who use it, as being heretical.
Error or merely a different interpretation of the canons, particularly the Sigillion of 1583?  If belief in the heretical nature of the New Calendar is an error, against what authority is it errant?

This difference of spirit between these two men, one representing normative traditional Orthodoxy and the other representing the spirit of the Old Calendarist movement, is relevant to some points Pravoslavbob makes in his opening message.
If we didn't have you here telling us what the spirit of the Old Calendarist movement is, would we have any reason to believe that this spirit is as you describe it?  Honestly, your reasoning strikes me as little more than an appeal to emotion to try to discredit the Old Calendarists, along with an attempt to give an authoritative interpretation of this vague, subjective thing you call "spirit".
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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2009, 01:32:06 AM »

Quote
I have been musing on the different spirit which breathes in the messages of the Holy Elder Fr Paisios of the Holy Mountain and that of Fr Sabbas of the Holy Mountain.  Messages 21 and 22.   Compare the heartfelt missive full of love and tears of Elder Paisios, with the rancorous, inflammatory tone of Elder Sabbas,
Not a very good argument when you consider the many spirit-filled Fathers who used equally acerbic language to condemn the great heresies of the past.  For some reason, the donnybrook between St. Nicholas and Arius the heresiarch comes to mind.


I cannot imagine which of our hierarchs we should cast in the modern roles of Saint Nicholas and Arius the heresiarch in this contemporary Calendar question.  I don't find the analogy very helpful.
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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2009, 01:50:54 AM »

[This difference of spirit between these two men, one representing normative traditional Orthodoxy and the other representing the spirit of the Old Calendarist movement, is relevant to some points Pravoslavbob makes in his opening message.
If we didn't have you here telling us what the spirit of the Old Calendarist movement is, would we have any reason to believe that this spirit is as you describe it?  Honestly, your reasoning strikes me as little more than an appeal to emotion to try to discredit the Old Calendarists, along with an attempt to give an authoritative interpretation of this vague, subjective thing you call "spirit".

I suppose the extent of your agreement with my assessment depends on how much exposure you have had to members of the Old Calendar movement and to their beliefs.  Do you remember IPC and his sentence of eternal damnation on all the Orthodox and indeed on all the human race, the only  exception being members of the Russian Zarist Church and any Churches of which it may approve.   Now you may reply that this is  an *extreme* position  and I would agree with you completely but it is a not untypical position in the Old Calendar movement.   What you see as my "appeal to emotion" is backed up by acquaintance with the beliefs of the Old Calendarist Churches.    These beliefs had a forerunner in the Old Believer movement in Russia which also held such extreme views.  This spirit of damnation -you must go to hell because you have no valid baptism and/or you are in heresy because of your calendar - is very distressing.

If I am wrong about this I invite correction from the members of the Old Calendarist Churches.
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2009, 08:49:32 AM »

Since Pravoslavbob has still not replied, I am going to violate my own promise and reply to the point about the 'spirit' of the Old Calendar Church of Greece. All you have to do is read our Proclamation on Ecclesiology to understand our spirit:

http://hotca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29:a-proclamation-on-ecclesiology&catid=52:orthodoxy&Itemid=65

If you feel we are lacking in charity based on this Proclamation, I think you should explain how.

I feel Peter the Aleut has already shown up Irish Hermit's twisted reasoning and I feel no need to add to what he has said.
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« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2009, 09:15:48 AM »


http://roacusa.org/Catechism/THE%20CALENDAR%20QUESTION.pdf

This short book has a very significant foreword written by Met Philaret of New York, which is incidentally yet more evidence for the great shift in ROCOR's attitude from pro-Old-Calendarist to pro-New-Calendarist as we find now.

I will quote a short section from the chapter on the doctrinal significance of the new calendar:

Our adversaries pretend that the calendar “is not a dogma,” thus leaving it to
be understood that one can do with it what one pleases. Is the question of the
calendar truly one of dogma? This naturally depends upon the perspective from
which one examines the matter. My beard and my rassa certainly do not constitute
a dogma, for their existence does not increase or decrease the number of the
Persons of the Holy Trinity. However, if I disdain the insignia of my ministry
with
which the Church of Jesus Christ has honoured me -- which She regards as more
precious than royal purple -- will I not thus offend the Church Herself? Though my
rassa and my beard do not in themselves constitute a dogma, yet, if I take them off
without any reason, do I not dishonour the Church which has honoured me and
which is the foundation of all the dogmas? How, therefore, is it possible to isolate
the dogmas from the rest of the life and the experience of the Holy, Catholic and
Orthodox Church of Christ?
For this reason, Synesius, the Metropolitan of Cassandria, speaking of the
State (i.e. new calendar) Greek Church, says with justice: “The Greek
Autocephalous Church is independent. For us, the very thought of the abolition of
the celibacy of the higher clergy and the alteration of its clerical dress is very
premature. Today, these two questions have nearly become dogmas and cannot be
removed.
Consequently, there can be no place for any official or unofficial
discussion of this matter” (Ecclesiasticos Agon).
Thus, the dogmas are not clearly independent of the details of the daily life
and acts of the Holy Church. It is nearly impossible to make a distinction between
the primary and the secondary in matters of the Faith. All these things bear the
sanctifying seal of the Holy Spirit, to such a degree that we cannot touch the least
matter of the Tradition without directly or indirectly disparaging the Church’s
dogmatic requirements.

What I find significant about this extract is that its fears have not been realised.  This text was written in 1972.  It is 37 years later and the angst which seems to agitate the author was unnecessary.

I have placed these anxieties in red:

1.  The matter of the removal of the beard and rassa....

In Greece the majority of clergy, priests and monks sport beards and pony tails as well, done up into a bun and pushed under their kamilavka.

Likewise  priests and monks and nuns have not abandoned the rassa but will usually be seen out on the streets wearing them.  In Russia it is true that some priests will wear civilian clothes when going shopping with their families but is this any worse than the old Greek custom of a Greek priest wearing regular work clothing when he is out working his smallholding, his garden or his vineyard?

2.  The celibacy of the higher clergy.

"Higher clergy" here means bishops.  This anxiety also has not been realised.   The bishops are not married and there is no intention of even considering such a change.  Saying that this "has nearly become dogma and cannot be removed" is just wild exaggeration.

3.  The alteration of clerical dress for the higher clergy.

I am not quite sure what this means?  Liturgical vestments?  Have bishops changed their vestments?
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« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2009, 09:22:20 AM »


I feel Peter the Aleut has already shown up Irish Hermit's twisted reasoning and I feel no need to add to what he has said.

Would you feel able to make a response to what I have written as the latter part of message 46?  It is after all based simply on information provided by you.  But it is possible that the 1935 denial of the validity of the Mysteries of the Greek church and the 1974 anathematization of New Calendarists has been revoked.  It would be wonderful to know that.
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« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2009, 09:29:15 AM »


I feel Peter the Aleut has already shown up Irish Hermit's twisted reasoning and I feel no need to add to what he has said.

Would you feel able to make a response to what I have written as the latter part of message 46?  It is after all based simply on information provided by you.  But it is possible that the 1935 denial of the validity of the Mysteries of the Greek church and the 1974 anathematization of New Calendarists has been revoked.  It would be wonderful to know that.

Let the New Calendarist State Church lift its anathemas against us first, as they were the first to impose them, and then we'll talk about it.
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« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2009, 09:38:57 AM »

...the 'spirit' of the Old Calendar Church of Greece. All you have to do is read our Proclamation on Ecclesiology to understand our spirit:

http://hotca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29:a-proclamation-on-ecclesiology&catid=52:orthodoxy&Itemid=65

If you feel we are lacking in charity based on this Proclamation, I think you should explain how.

I began to read this, Jonathan, but broke of reading half way through the second paragraph when questions about the scholarship and knowledge of the author came to my mind.

He writes "We also love and obey the decisions of the Holy Pan-Orthodox Councils of 1583, 1587, and 1593..."

This is just historically inaccurate.   The synod of 1583 was certainly not Pan-Orthodox.  It was simply a Greek synod with the Patriarch of Constantinople and the two suffragan Greek Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem.  Other Orthodox Churches were not in attendance at the synod.  Such an error (whether intentional or not in order to promote paleocalendarism) made me question the value of reading the statement.
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« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2009, 09:45:55 AM »


I feel Peter the Aleut has already shown up Irish Hermit's twisted reasoning and I feel no need to add to what he has said.

Would you feel able to make a response to what I have written as the latter part of message 46?  It is after all based simply on information provided by you.  But it is possible that the 1935 denial of the validity of the Mysteries of the Greek church and the 1974 anathematization of New Calendarists has been revoked.  It would be wonderful to know that.

Let the New Calendarist State Church lift its anathemas against us first, as they were the first to impose them, and then we'll talk about it.

The Church of Greece is the Church of Christ is this area of the world and its bishops have the authority of the keys, the power of binding and loosing.  If they chose to impose an anathema on those who left their episcopal oversight and set up competing eparchies on their territory they are fully within their canonical prerogatives.  I mean, this is simply the way the Church works and always has worked.   You may argue that their response to the divison and the new competing dioceses and episcopates was harsh but we cannot question their authority to act.
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« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2009, 09:55:16 AM »

Irish Hermit, your sense of humor takes some getting used to, but I'm happy to say I'm finally starting to appreciate it. It's really quite entertaining the way you combine the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and jury all into one. It's like a Monty Python sketch or something.

But you know what, I'm not sure everyone else finds you that funny. Maybe then you should just stick to presenting the evidence for your case, and let someone else, like the moderator, judge the admissibility or inadmissibility of the evidence.
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« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2009, 10:05:26 AM »

But you know what, I'm not sure everyone else finds you that funny. Maybe then you should just stick to presenting the evidence for your case, and let someone else, like the moderator, judge the admissibility or inadmissibility of the evidence.

If you could be more specific about what you find questionable I would try to substantiate it further.

If your concerns centre on the latter part of message 46 I would be delighted to have your corrections.
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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2009, 10:13:06 AM »

Irish Hermit, your sense of humor takes some getting used to, but I'm happy to say I'm finally starting to appreciate it. It's really quite entertaining the way you combine the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and jury all into one. It's like a Monty Python sketch or something.

The grasshopper bows before the master.  Smiley  I had a hard time keeping up with you on the Russian Church and Ecumenism thread where your roles of prosecutor, judge and jury were nicely intermeshed. 
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« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2009, 10:20:15 AM »

What I find questionable is that you expect us to retract our anathemas but not the New Calendarists to retract theirs. If they don't recognize us, why should we recognize them?

And do us the courtesy of reading our Proclamation and answering my question about what's wrong with our 'spirit'. Your point about how to call the Council of 1583 is irrelevant; whether or not all the Local Churches were represented, they all assented to its outcome.

Moderator, if I'm being at all unfair, please let us know.
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« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2009, 10:30:40 AM »

What I find questionable is that you expect us to retract our anathemas but not the New Calendarists to retract theirs. If they don't recognize us, why should we recognize them?

Is there somewhere we can read the anathemas issued by the Church of Greece?

Quote
And do us the courtesy of reading our Proclamation and answering my question about what's wrong with our 'spirit'. Your point about how to call the Council of 1583 is irrelevant; whether or not all the Local Churches were represented, they all assented to its outcome.

As I have mentioned, the historical inaccuracy so early in the Declaration, stating that the synod of 1583 was a Pan-Orthodox Council, is a bit off-putting.  I may make the effort to read through it, but the credibility of the author and the website would increase if you were able to persuade him to correct this historical error.  Do you know if there was any logical reason for this misstatement?
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« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2009, 11:32:41 AM »

It makes sense that Old Calendarists declare the New Calendarists as graceless because I believe the Church of Greece says the same about the Old Calendarists. I agree that both sides have to change their view on one another because when both sides are shouting heretic and schismatic at each other back and forth, it solves nothing and only causes more harm.
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« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2009, 11:43:58 AM »

It makes sense that Old Calendarists declare the New Calendarists as graceless because I believe the Church of Greece says the same about the Old Calendarists. I agree that both sides have to change their view on one another because when both sides are shouting heretic and schismatic at each other back and forth, it solves nothing and only causes more harm.

Here is how some see the crux of the problem.

1.  The Church of Greece sees the Calendar question as a matter of choice* and a permissible change.

2.  The Greek Old Calendarist Churches see the Calendar as a matter of dogma.  Those who have changed are heretics and graceless.

So there can be no compromise for the GOC people.  Obviously they cannot choose heresy.  There seems to be no way, apart from God's help, to reconcile these views. 

If I have misrepresented the view of the Greek Old Calendarist Churches, I invite correction.

It would also be interesting to know how much leeway and adaptability there could be among the GOC bishops.  I believe that one of their Churches and bishops in the States entered into union with the Church of Constantinople and retained its Julian Calendar.


* Better clarify that - not within its own territory of Greece (although that could change?)
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« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2009, 12:03:32 PM »

I agree that that the doctrinal implications of the calendar change are subtle. It's not like they just added the Filioque to the creed; that would have been obvious. If you want to know what the GOC thinks about the doctrinal implications, you can consult our original 1935 confession of faith:

http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/e_index.htm (look under "History")

The basic line is that the calendar change is a doctrinal matter in that it violates the teaching we confess in the Creed "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church", since that unity is violated when we do not celebrate the feasts and fasts on the same days.

Whether or not the calendar change was a doctrinal issue in the strictest sense, the Western calendar had been anathematized several times by the Eastern Orthodox Church, not only the Paschalion but also the Menologion. And, as you say, the calendar change was not implemented by an Ecumenical or even Pan-Orthodox Council, which might have had the authority to do so, but by an 'Inter-Orthodox Congress', whose authority was not at first recognized outside Constantinople, Greece and Romania. Fr Basil Sakkas, a Greek Old Calendarist under ROCOR, explained all these issues in his book "The Calendar Question", available here:

http://roacusa.org/Catechism/THE%20CALENDAR%20QUESTION.pdf

This short book has a very significant foreword written by Met Philaret of New York, which is incidentally yet more evidence for the great shift in ROCOR's attitude from pro-Old-Calendarist to pro-New-Calendarist as we find now.

I will quote a short section from the chapter on the doctrinal significance of the new calendar:

Our adversaries pretend that the calendar “is not a dogma,” thus leaving it to
be understood that one can do with it what one pleases. Is the question of the
calendar truly one of dogma? This naturally depends upon the perspective from
which one examines the matter. My beard and my rassa certainly do not constitute
a dogma, for their existence does not increase or decrease the number of the
Persons of the Holy Trinity. However, if I disdain the insignia of my ministry with
which the Church of Jesus Christ has honoured me -- which She regards as more
precious than royal purple -- will I not thus offend the Church Herself? Though my
rassa and my beard do not in themselves constitute a dogma, yet, if I take them off
without any reason, do I not dishonour the Church which has honoured me and
which is the foundation of all the dogmas? How, therefore, is it possible to isolate
the dogmas from the rest of the life and the experience of the Holy, Catholic and
Orthodox Church of Christ?
For this reason, Synesius, the Metropolitan of Cassandria, speaking of the
State (i.e. new calendar) Greek Church, says with justice: “The Greek
Autocephalous Church is independent. For us, the very thought of the abolition of
the celibacy of the higher clergy and the alteration of its clerical dress is very
premature. Today, these two questions have nearly become dogmas and cannot be
removed. Consequently, there can be no place for any official or unofficial
discussion of this matter” (Ecclesiasticos Agon).
Thus, the dogmas are not clearly independent of the details of the daily life
and acts of the Holy Church. It is nearly impossible to make a distinction between
the primary and the secondary in matters of the Faith. All these things bear the
sanctifying seal of the Holy Spirit, to such a degree that we cannot touch the least
matter of the Tradition without directly or indirectly disparaging the Church’s
dogmatic requirements.

Dear Jonathan,

From research that I have done, I actually believe that the Western calendar is correct.  This was not an easy thing for me to admit to.  I don't want to go into details, this has  been discussed a lot  elsewhere on this board.  (Sorry, I am not trying to be dismissive.)

My intention was not for this to be another thread about the calendar.  My point is that I disagree with a lot of the ways that old calendar communions approach the Orthodox faith.  (Of course, many people in world Orthodoxy take the  same or similar approaches, but I perceive, rightly or wrongly, that people are more free to disagree with them.)  Well, I should perhaps correct myself and say that I disagree with the way that I perceive that they approach the faith.  For example, I don't agree with the tendency that they seem to have to say that there are no such things as "small t" traditions in the Church (traditions of men), but that everything handed down must be seen as "large t" traditions.  (Many traditionalists would say that there is no such thing as a "Western captivity" of Orthodox theology, wheras to me, it is painfully true that such a thing existed and still  exists.)  Don't get me wrong, sometimes a conservative approach to the faith is very necessary, but I do not see the Church as being "conservative" or "liberal".  I see Her as being the Body of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit but also inspired by the "changeless creativity" of the Spirit.  People, on the other hand, make many mistakes.  In her essence, I see the Church as absolutely perfect, but many confusing traditions of men, in my view, are taken to be "Tradition", large t.  

On the other hand, I do see emerging in the mainstream Churches a disturbing tendency towards relativism.  I think this is partly because of how the Church has been battered so strongly over the last few hundred years.  There is so much corruption, because of the way that the Church has had to survive under the Turkocracy and under communism.  The devil is doing his best to destroy the Church, though of course he will not ultimately succeed.  However, there might indeed come another period where most of the Church is not really the Church anymore, for a time.  Why shouldn't this happen?  After all, so many Christians were Arian in the fourth century that it wasn't funny.


I have real sympathy for some points raised by old calendarists, but at the moment, I could not see myself becoming one because:

1) I do not believe that the Spirit has abandoned the mainstream Church, and until I do see that this happens, I must follow my conscience and remain obedient to Her

2)I do not feel comfortable that there is a place for the creative (not innovationist) kind of thought that I like in old calendar Churches.  
I think that while conservative approaches are sometimes best, it is  ironic that, historically, staunchly conservative factions are often the ones that end up in heresy.  Not always, of course.  This leads to point number 3):  

Somewhat ironically, I do not feel that the old calendar Churches understand the faith in a Traditional way.  By my way of thinking, they are too concerned with following the letter of the law, and do not understand that this is not what is meant by being "traditional".

I suppose this is why, in my original musing, I just sort of indicated that I sometimes feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, though still at home enough in "World" Orthodoxy.  
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 01:27:57 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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