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Author Topic: Old Calendarist Churches ,"World Orthodoxy", and Maximos the Confessor  (Read 23405 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.  
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« Reply #45 on: August 01, 2009, 12:06:37 PM »

I did not intend for this thread to be yet another foray into the calendar issue, though I should have realised that that is the way it would have gone.  I am much more concerned with the big picture differences between "World" Orthodoxy and Old Calendarists, and if there is somewhere where the two may meet.
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« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2009, 12:12:46 PM »

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"?

I don't, not in a direct way.  I'm sorry if you don't understand the reference, I don't know if I can or want to explain it any better.  In no way do I consider myself to be  approaching the sanctity or intelligence or anything of  St. Maximos.
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« Reply #47 on: August 01, 2009, 01:21:00 PM »

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.

First, explain to us the relevance, as the 1583 Council condemns the "Pope's calendar," which the revised Julian is not.

Btw, the Sigillion of 1583 itself admits it innovates:
Quote
But, lest the composition as a whole be weary to the simpler folks, we have decided to embody the matter in common language

No Father ever wrote in Common Greek (dhimotiki)
I contest that this is a case of focusing on a small, inconsequential thing such as the language of the document, and using this to discredit the entire document.  I've seen this defined as a variant of the straw man argument.
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« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2009, 01:21:55 PM »

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.
Nah.  You're not being unfair. Wink  It's Irish Hermit I'm calling out for being unfair.
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« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2009, 01:42:51 PM »

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.

First, explain to us the relevance, as the 1583 Council condemns the "Pope's calendar," which the revised Julian is not.

Btw, the Sigillion of 1583 itself admits it innovates:
Quote
But, lest the composition as a whole be weary to the simpler folks, we have decided to embody the matter in common language

No Father ever wrote in Common Greek (dhimotiki)
I contest that this is a case of focusing on a small, inconsequential thing such as the language of the document, and using this to discredit the entire document.  I've seen this defined as a variant of the straw man argument.

When the Greek Churches lift their ban on Dhimotiki in the Divine Liturgy or the Holy Bible, you can call it a small, inconsequential thing.  In the meantime, there is plenty of precedent in the Greek world up until the modern day (the the state abolishion of Katharevousa at least) of dismissing a document as invalid on the basis of its language.
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« Reply #50 on: August 01, 2009, 05:10:14 PM »

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. ...

Unfortunately, it doesn't:

- So-called "Old Calendarists" (hereinafter ScOC) state that everyone who follows New Calendar is a graceless heretic, therefore it needs re-baptism ( & re-ordination) - except their own bishops, whom all followed New Calendar between 1924 - 1935, when they joined the laity;

- ScOC state that, even if one is following the Church Calendar (namely: Jerusalem, Moscow, Serbia, Georgia, Mount Athos), but is in communion with graceless heretics whom follow New Calendar, is also a graceless heretic except themselves, since they were in communion with ROCOR, whom was in communion with Jerusalem and Serbian, whom were in communion with everyone.

What sense does it make?
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« Reply #51 on: August 01, 2009, 06:39:38 PM »

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.
Nah.  You're not being unfair. Wink  It's Irish Hermit I'm calling out for being unfair.

I would be happy to try and correct any unfair things  if you would give details.  I don't really like unfairness and would like to know where I am seen as such.
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« Reply #52 on: August 01, 2009, 07:16:39 PM »

What good is that list if it automatically excludes those who disagree with you?

The other list of Churches.

Note 1. These Churches would NOT want to be included in the previous list I gave.  (Peter, I hope that answers your question above.)

Note 2.  These Churches are isolated groups and not, generally speaking, in communion with one another.

Note 3.  This probably is not a complete list.  Please add to it and/or correct it.  Thanks.


1. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Florinite)
2. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Lamian Synod)
3. Holy Synod in Resistance (Cyprianites)
4. True Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite)
5. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite)
6. Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania
7. Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria
8. True Orthodox Church of Georgia
9. Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, FROC/ROAC ("Suzdalites")
10. Seraphimo-Gennadite Orthodox Church
11. Russian True-Orthodox Church (Lazarus)
12. Russian True-Orthodox Church (Vyatcheslav)
13. Serbian True Orthodox Church
14. Holy Synod of Milan (Unclear whether "In Resistance" or not)
15. Russian Orthodox Church in Exile (ROCE), also known as ROCOR (V).
....and mutliple other groups using ROCOR as a name (about 12)...too numerous to sort out
16. Holy Orthodox Church in North America (HOCNA)
17. Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America (HOTCA,Astoria)
18. Genuine Orthodox Church of America (Archbishop Gregory of Denver)
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« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2009, 09:30:25 PM »

Jonathan has referenced their 1935 "Confession of Faith" which specifically condemns the Church of Greece as s----- (the now unwelcome s word) and denies that any of its Mysteries have grace.

Citing historical documents or official documents that refer to one or another Church as schismatic is fine. What I was getting at above is that posters should avoid labeling each other as schismatic as if it is a self-evident fact.

OK:
"The Encyclical of 1818 says X, Y, and Z, and therefore the Church of X views the Church of Y as being in schism."

Not OK:
"You members of the Patriarchate of X are heretics so you should not be allowed to post stuff here."

As I stated, circumlocutions are also acceptable:

"The majority of the Patriarchates of Orthodoxy view the Old Calendarists as schismatic." is fine.

"The Old Calendarist Synods usually view World Orthodoxy as heretical" is fine.

The major reasons that we have rules like this are

A) to try to keep tensions down and
B) not make anyone from the three groups previously mentioned--
1) Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) "mainstream", 2) Eastern Orthodox "Old Calendarists" and 3) Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) feel as if they cannot post their positions respectfully.


These have always been the rules, they have not been changed on the fly, and if there is a question or concern, the moderatorial staff can always be consulted for clarification.

Furthermore--and this is not directed at anyone specific to be clear--speaking on a personal note, if anyone thinks that I personally am trying to censure anyone, think that one through.  I have spent thousands of hours in the past 7 years as part of the team to keep this site running.  Even after I converted to the Old Calendar Church, I did not close the site down or make it "Old Calendarist only."  I purposely--and with sometimes opposition from people in my own Church--kept this site going and intend to keep it going.  I log on here more often than not and see things posted against things I believe in. But I so strongly believe in the concept of a "forum" in the truest sense, that I gladly keep it up. I don't believe anyone has anything to fear from free and open discussion.  I also generally care about the people on this forum, pray for as many as I can, and have made several very close friendships from this site. I know others have come to Orthodoxy from this site as well from Protestantism and Catholicism, and that makes me very happy. But I do get sick of the rudeness and name calling, and that's something I am not willing to spend my time supporting. Hence the rules.

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« Reply #54 on: August 01, 2009, 09:37:33 PM »

I believe that Fr Anastasios fully deserves our gratitude for the years of work he has put into the Forum. 
It means a lot to many people.  It has brought many to Orthodoxy and it contains a wealth of information.

Many Years!  dear Father, to you and your staff.
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« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2009, 01:55:58 AM »

I believe that Fr Anastasios fully deserves our gratitude for the years of work he has put into the Forum. 
It means a lot to many people.  It has brought many to Orthodoxy and it contains a wealth of information.

Many Years!  dear Father, to you and your staff.

Many Years!
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« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2009, 05:04:34 AM »


Irrelevant to my point that you're ignoring those who disagree with you.

Is this another Devil's advocate approach?    Wink

Those who disagree with us ignore one another.   

My second lists contains 18 Churches (could well be around 30 if you add in all the separate ROCOR Churches which keep bourgeoning in number.) 

None of these Churches agree with one another.  Their bishops are not in communion and in many cases they have anathematized each other.  They display an ecclesiastical trait more or less unknown in Orthodoxy but common in the world of Protestantism  - an inability to maintain cohesion, leaving one Church and setting up a new Church when there are personality clashes among the bishops.


Pravoslavbob wrote "I am much more concerned with the big picture differences between "World" Orthodoxy and Old Calendarists..."   - this feature of Church life in the world of Old Calendarism plays a significant role in the big picture.
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« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2009, 05:17:41 AM »

The "true" Orthodox, in Greece and in other countries, have set up their own hierarchies of bishops and, in a few cases, patriarchs, who are not in communion with any of the canonical patriarchates or synods. I find it difficult to believe it is sufficient for a church to conduct its rites and services in a manner identical to the church from which it cut its ties. The fact remains that such a church is disobedient to any canonical hierarchy, and, this has enormous practical, doctrinal and sacramental implications, as contributors to this thread, and its recent sister thread, have tried to convey.

A good analogy from the West would be the various Roman Catholic groups which have never accepted the decisions of the Second Vatican Council. These churches have their own bishops and pope, and promote themselves as the "true Catholic church", they have branded all the post-Vatican II popes as antichrists, and the established church of Rome as heretical. Yet, like the "true Orthodox", there is little, if any, mutual recognition among them.
 
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« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2009, 05:35:10 AM »

The other list of Churches.

Note 1. These Churches would NOT want to be included in the previous list I gave.  (Peter, I hope that answers your question above.)

Note 2.  These Churches are isolated groups and not, generally speaking, in communion with one another.

Note 3.  This probably is not a complete list.  Please add to it and/or correct it.  Thanks.


1. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Florinite)
2. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Lamian Synod)
3. Holy Synod in Resistance (Cyprianites)
4. True Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite)
5. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite)
6. Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania
7. Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria
8. True Orthodox Church of Georgia
9. Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, FROC/ROAC ("Suzdalites")
10. Seraphimo-Gennadite Orthodox Church
11. Russian True-Orthodox Church (Lazarus)
12. Russian True-Orthodox Church (Vyatcheslav)
13. Serbian True Orthodox Church
14. Holy Synod of Milan (Unclear whether "In Resistance" or not)
15. Russian Orthodox Church in Exile (ROCE), also known as ROCOR (V).
....and mutliple other groups using ROCOR as a name (about 12)...too numerous to sort out
16. Holy Orthodox Church in North America (HOCNA)
17. Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America (HOTCA,Astoria)
18. Genuine Orthodox Church of America (Archbishop Gregory of Denver)

Aren't the Churches # 3, 6, 7 and 15 (ROCOR-PSCA) in communion with one another? AFAIK, they make up together quite a considerable ammount of people.
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« Reply #59 on: August 02, 2009, 06:08:15 AM »

The other list of Churches.

Note 1. These Churches would NOT want to be included in the previous list I gave.  (Peter, I hope that answers your question above.)

Note 2.  These Churches are isolated groups and not, generally speaking, in communion with one another.

Note 3.  This probably is not a complete list.  Please add to it and/or correct it.  Thanks.


1. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Florinite)
2. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Lamian Synod)
3. Holy Synod in Resistance (Cyprianites)
4. True Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite)
5. Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite)
6. Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania
7. Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria
8. True Orthodox Church of Georgia
9. Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, FROC/ROAC ("Suzdalites")
10. Seraphimo-Gennadite Orthodox Church
11. Russian True-Orthodox Church (Lazarus)
12. Russian True-Orthodox Church (Vyatcheslav)
13. Serbian True Orthodox Church
14. Holy Synod of Milan (Unclear whether "In Resistance" or not)
15. Russian Orthodox Church in Exile (ROCE), also known as ROCOR (V).
....and mutliple other groups using ROCOR as a name (about 12)...too numerous to sort out
16. Holy Orthodox Church in North America (HOCNA)
17. Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America (HOTCA,Astoria)
18. Genuine Orthodox Church of America (Archbishop Gregory of Denver)

Aren't the Churches # 3, 6, 7 and 15 (ROCOR-PSCA) in communion with one another? AFAIK, they make up together quite a considerable ammount of people.

Yes, 3, 6 and 7 are.  The Greek Cyprianites, the Old Calendar Church of Romania and the old Calendar Church of Bulgaria.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was also in communion with these three Churches prior to its union with Moscow.  These Churches are moderate and recognise that the New Calendar Churches are authentic and have grace-filled Mysteries.

Yes, I think that the Agathangelites (ROCOR-PSCA) have now gone into communion with these 3.   That is interesting since, if memory serves,  Archbp Agathangel has declared that he does not recognise grace in the other ROCOR splinter groups.
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« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2009, 09:23:06 AM »

Yes, 3, 6 and 7 are.  The Greek Cyprianites, the Old Calendar Church of Romania and the old Calendar Church of Bulgaria.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was also in communion with these three Churches prior to its union with Moscow.

Does the ROCOR still claim communion with these three Churches while they don't want to maintain it anymore?
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« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2009, 09:33:07 AM »

Yes, 3, 6 and 7 are.  The Greek Cyprianites, the Old Calendar Church of Romania and the old Calendar Church of Bulgaria.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was also in communion with these three Churches prior to its union with Moscow.

Does the ROCOR still claim communion with these three Churches while they don't want to maintain it anymore?

No, communion was broken because of the Russian Church Abroad's union with Moscow.    ROCA sent letters to the three Churches and also delegations, to explain that the Church Abroad had to follow its destiny and unite with the Church of Russia in the homeland.  But the three Churches were unable to accept ROCA's decision. 

Here is a letter from the Russian Church Abroad to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.


http://bulgarian-orthodox-church.org/official/rocorsynod_photii2007-06-29en.htm
ADDRESS
of the Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Moscow Patriarchate) to His Eminence Bishop Photii of Triaditza


----------------------------------------------------

16/29 June 2007
St. Tychon, Bishop of Amathus in Cyprus

To His Eminence
The Most Reverend Bishop Photii of Triaditza

Your Eminence, beloved in Christ Vladyka!

We appeal to Your Grace again with a fraternal epistle on account of the events in the life of our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

As you are informed, on 4/17 May this year, in the day of the Lord's Ascension in the church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow took place the solemn signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. According to this Act, the Russian Church Abroad remains independent “in the pastoral, educational, administrative, economic, property and civil matters”.

We acquainted ourselves with some of your pronouncements regarding the process of restoration of the unity in the Russian Church. We are sincerely regretful of the fact that, under circumstances not cleared up yet, you did not receive from the Chancellery of our Synod of Bishops our last letter, in which we enunciated our high appraisal of our steadfast stand for the preservation of the Orthodox Church Calendar and other primordial traditions, and expressed our intent to preserve with you good fraternal relations.

We asked you to treat the process of reconciliation with the Church in Russia with understanding and the awareness that this is an internal act of the Russian Church. It is our sincere conviction that the revival process of the Church in our much-suffered Motherland after the fall of the atheist authorities is, by God's Grace, so radical and all-encompassing, that we cannot remain aloof and not join it.

We have no intention in whatever way to retreat from our witness of the True Orthodoxy before the entire world, and shall continue to condemn both the pernicious ecumenism and modernism.

We cannot but agree with the following of your words which were published recently:

“Here we ought to admit honestly and frankly that very unfortunately with respect to the Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad did not always hold to a theologically and spiritually consistent position, because all the overly stark criticism and the qualifications of the Moscow Patriarchate such as 'graceless assemblage', 'Soviet' and 'the red church' etc., are journalistically expressed extreme opinions rather than per ipso theological assessment with regard to the extremely heterogeneous and intricate organism which the Moscow Patriarchate is.”

“In this regard we cannot apply, in a way both fanatical and schematic, the maxima: if their ruling Bishops are such then all of them are such and therefore they lack Grace”.

“Too many errors were allowed in relation with the rash establishment of parishes in Russia and especially with the rash and unconsidered consecration of Bishops there. And there errors, regrettably, very quickly and in rather short terms destroyed the high authority of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.” (From the talk of Bishop Photii of Triaditza with the congregations in Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Blagoevgrad, which took places on 16 and 27 November 2006).

Precisely in relation with these pronouncements of yours, we consider it to be the duty of our conscience to forewarn you in a brotherly manner that the leaders of the “opposition” of the reconciliation process are namely those people of fanatical frame of mind, who do not comprehend our balanced and moderate position and deny the presence of Grace in the Moscow Patriarchate.

And the head of this opposition, the suspended Bishop Agathangel is precisely one of the Bishops you condemn who were rashly and inconsiderately consecrated [for Russia].

Another leader of this opposition, the suspended priest Victor Dobrov, is an extremely fanaticised denouncer of the Moscow Patriarchate and our Hierarchical Synod, who indulges in the usage of such expressions in the regard of our Bishops and Priests which none could use and yet consider themselves to be still Orthodox.

The third oppositional leader, Dr. Evgenii Magerovsky, on the whole preaches the necessity that a new form be established of ecclesiastical administration, according to which the clergymen and the laypeople not only would be entitled to participate in the higher governing of the Church but also have the veto to [all] decisions made by the Bishops at the Councils or the Synods.

We earnestly ask you, Vladyka, not to become involved with such “oppositionists”, who only bring discredit to the witness of Orthodoxy and attempt to establish a schismatic structure passing off as “preserving” the genuine Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

We are very much alarmed that some of your Old Calendarist brethren have expressed their readiness even to take part in the consecrations of Bishops for the groups in opposition, which would only bring about the further fragmentation of the flock of Christ.

We trust in God's mercy in this difficult time and ask your holy prayers.

With brotherly love in Christ,

+ Metropolitan Laurus

+ Archbishop Mark

+ Archbishop Kyrill

+ Bishop Michael

+ Bishop Gabriel
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« Reply #62 on: August 02, 2009, 10:22:57 AM »


Irrelevant to my point that you're ignoring those who disagree with you.

Is this another Devil's advocate approach?    Wink

Those who disagree with us ignore one another.   

My second lists contains 18 Churches (could well be around 30 if you add in all the separate ROCOR Churches which keep bourgeoning in number.) 

None of these Churches agree with one another.  Their bishops are not in communion and in many cases they have anathematized each other.  They display an ecclesiastical trait more or less unknown in Orthodoxy but common in the world of Protestantism  - an inability to maintain cohesion, leaving one Church and setting up a new Church when there are personality clashes among the bishops.


Pravoslavbob wrote "I am much more concerned with the big picture differences between "World" Orthodoxy and Old Calendarists..."   - this feature of Church life in the world of Old Calendarism plays a significant role in the big picture.


Are any of the 30+ in communion with anyone on Mt. Athos? (I ask because it would seem this is a common reference point for them).
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« Reply #63 on: August 02, 2009, 12:22:59 PM »

To say there are 30 GOCs and that they are somehow all equal, and that is proof that they are all schismatic wackos, is really quite unfair. Also, some of the Churches in that list are duplicates.

In Greece there is one Synod that comprises 70% or more of the Old Calendarists, and that would be the Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomos II.  The others are almost all groups of one or two bishops that were suspended or defrocked and went to do their own thing. So how fair is it to "recognize" our power to ordain bishops, but not recognize our power to depose? It would be equivalent to us saying that the Moscow Patriarchate had failed because there are 10 or 15 or 30 Churches in Ukraine and Russia now that are independent.

But hey, it's easier just to lump every Tom, Dick, and Haralambos together, say each one is a Synod no matter if they have 200+ parishes with 13 bishops with real dioceses, or if they have 2 chapels with 3 laypeople and 5 bishops, and then say, "ah look at those crazy Old Calendarists! Always dividing!"

Our Synod (Archbishop Chrysostomos II) is in communion with Esphigmenou monastery on Mt Athos.
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« Reply #64 on: August 02, 2009, 01:10:11 PM »

Sorry I was away for a while. I haven't gone through every post since then in detail, so if what I say reduplicates something someone else said, please excuse me.

Irish Hermit, I admit I got upset when you didn't read through our Proclamation because we called the 1583 council Pan-Orthodox. I apologize if I offended in my reply, I see you were concerned about a point of information. I don't actually know what constitutes a 'quorum' for a council to be Pan-Orthodox. If less than half the Local Churches were represented, then I understand why one might dispute. On the other hand, there are two other councils mentioned as Pan-Orthodox. I think it's also legitimate to wonder why no other Local Church challenged the authority of the 1583 Sigillion until 1924, when one had to justify either the calendar change or remaining in communion with a Church that changed the calendar. Clearly we believe that the entire Church up until 1924 respected the anathemas pronounced against the Papal calendar. At the least you have to admit that the status of that council is subject to interpretation, rather than manifestly NOT Pan-orthodox.

In any case, what I should have said is that this small point of information is not really relevant to the question I asked, which is whether you think our spirit is uncharitable based on that Proclamation.
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« Reply #65 on: August 02, 2009, 02:24:39 PM »

I see little point in demonising old calendarists by going on ad nauseum about the calendar and talking about how fragmented they are.   The "calendar issue" has been discussed so much elsewhere. Perhaps I should have focused on a stable old calendarist communion like the GOC in the OP, but I did not want to seem to be pointing the finger at Fr Anastasios or Jonathan.   

I suppose that many people who use the old calendar in mainstream Orthodoxy have much in common with certain old calendarist jurisdiction(s).  Both sides might believe that there is little to the idea of a Western captivity of Orthodoxy since the fall of Constantinople, both might have difficulty with theologians like Schmemann who they would see as modernist, and many more things besides.  For the most part, I find myself in agreement with Schmemann and subscribe to the idea of Western captivity.  These, and other things, are thorny issues for a great many people in the mainstream Church.  And yet, I find myself in communion with them, and they are not in communion with groups like the GOC.  I wonder what the implications might be.

I certainly respect that Fr Anastasios and Jonathan have come to embrace the GOC for reasons that they see as compelling, even though I do not always understand these reasons.
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« Reply #66 on: August 02, 2009, 03:27:29 PM »

Thanks, Pravoslavbob. I'm glad I finally got to hear what you had to say about all this.

You say that 'mainstream' Orthodox who use the old calendar, even if their bishops maintain communion with the new calendarists, often have more in common with old calendarists. I would venture to say even some new calendarists have more in common with old calendarists than their fellow new calendarists, to the extent they try to maintain traditional piety and hold to Orthodox doctrine and avoid ecumenist opinions. Both of these generalizations have a great deal of truth of them. Actually, I myself was surprised how much 'overlap' there was, at least in my jurisdiction, the American Metropolis of the GOC of Greece. My first impressions were of an inseparable divide.

But I'm starting to understand that while we may have a vague 'spiritual' communion with traditionalists in the mainstream churches, we don't have actual, physical communion, manifested in the shared partaking of the Holy Mysteries, and this, from my point of view, is essentially the responsibility of those mainstream churches, who are very severe towards us. They are open to greeting the heterodox in the West and in the non-Chalcedonian churches as fellow Christians, called to a 'common witness' to the world, but they are crystal clear that we are schismatics and outside the Church and utterly devoid of sacramental Grace. We find this schizophrenic attitude extraordinary and un-Orthodox. Perhaps that explains our hardened attitude: it's a reaction to the persecution and ridicule we have endured. I often wonder whether if the State Church of Greece had allowed us to keep the old calendar, the schism might never have lasted so long. But that's my private speculation.
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« Reply #67 on: August 02, 2009, 03:30:58 PM »

...
Are any of the 30+ in communion with anyone on Mt. Athos? (I ask because it would seem this is a common reference point for them).
Officially, not.

Unofficially, it seems Esphigmenou commune at least one group. Officially, Esphigmenou can't declare it.

I think we may be a bit unfair in gathering all these groups together. AFAIK about the theology of Synof in Resistence, there is no much of the complaint I can launch against their stance, except for their attempts to establish their branches elsewhere. The only reason I could understand for such attemps would be to make their problem more visible Orthodoxy-wide, but I'm not sure.
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« Reply #68 on: August 02, 2009, 05:19:17 PM »

To say there are 30 GOCs and that they are somehow all equal, and that is proof that they are all schismatic wackos, is really quite unfair. Also, some of the Churches in that list are duplicates.

In Greece there is one Synod that comprises 70% or more of the Old Calendarists, and that would be the Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomos II.  The others are almost all groups of one or two bishops that were suspended or defrocked and went to do their own thing. So how fair is it to "recognize" our power to ordain bishops, but not recognize our power to depose? It would be equivalent to us saying that the Moscow Patriarchate had failed because there are 10 or 15 or 30 Churches in Ukraine and Russia now that are independent.

But hey, it's easier just to lump every Tom, Dick, and Haralambos together, say each one is a Synod no matter if they have 200+ parishes with 13 bishops with real dioceses, or if they have 2 chapels with 3 laypeople and 5 bishops, and then say, "ah look at those crazy Old Calendarists! Always dividing!"

Our Synod (Archbishop Chrysostomos II) is in communion with Esphigmenou monastery on Mt Athos.

Father, I'm not lumping all the Old Calendarists together, but applying their own criteria to themselves. In particular to the "grace-less" Churches, grace-less in that they claim those who use the New Calendar, and those who think such New Calendar Churches have grace are themselves also grace-less.

I don't doubt your bishops ability to depose (or ordain for that matter for a lot of them).  However, I've yet to see a consistent standard to depose and suspend or defrock bishops for going to do their own thing that cannot be applied by the bishops on our diptychs to bishops in the TOM.  Further I see it a major problem that other than ROCA, the TOM doesn't seem to have achieved any lasting Catholicity.  Such was not the case in the days of Athanasius, St. Maximos and St. Mark of Ephesus.
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« Reply #69 on: August 02, 2009, 05:36:35 PM »

To say there are 30 GOCs and that they are somehow all equal, and that is proof that they are all schismatic wackos, is really quite unfair.

Dear Father,

Let me affirm that it is not I who has said that the number of Old Calendarist Churches is proof that they are "schismatic wackos."   What I have said is that it is reminiscent of the spirit of Protestantism and its tendency to divide.  Remember that as a member of the Russian Church Abroad I stand in amazement at the proliferation of Russian Churches Abroad since May 2007.


Quote
Also, some of the Churches in that list are duplicates.

Happy to remove such Churches if you will indicate which ones.  Also happy to include any ones I have over looked.  IPC, I apologise for overlooking the Russian Zarist Church.  It ought to have been there.  My apologies.

Quote
Our Synod (Archbishop Chrysostomos II) is in communion with Esphigmenou monastery on Mt Athos.

Father, what does that mean?    I myself am in communion with the monastery of Panteleimon and the Great Lavra, Vatopedi and Hilandar, etc.  How do we differ here?
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« Reply #70 on: August 02, 2009, 05:47:00 PM »

I see little point in demonising old calendarists by going on ad nauseum ..... and talking about how fragmented they are.   

Dear Pravoslavbob,

I introduced the matter of the spirit of divisiveness because you asked us to concentrate on the big picture and, in my opinion, this tendency towards division is a major feature of the OC movement.  One that should be taken into account in the overall picture.  I mentioned this a little in message 100.    It is certainly one factor in Old Calendarism which is prominent enough to warrant some investigation as to its causes and its influence on the movement.
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« Reply #71 on: August 02, 2009, 05:57:02 PM »

An Orthodowiki site which makes an attempt to catalogue the Old Calendarist Churches

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Old_Calendarists
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« Reply #72 on: August 02, 2009, 06:07:49 PM »


....the responsibility of those mainstream churches, who are very severe towards us.

Jonathan,

I would say that the Orthodoxwiki article is more on the button. The Churches have various approaches to the Old Calendar movement.

" The mainstream churches have varying positions on different Old Calendarist churches, ranging from an active desire to restore unity to a denial of the Old Calendarists' Orthodoxy.

Please also see what I wrote earlier

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

The historic Churches are, mostly, inclined to be lenient towards the Greek Old Calendarist Churches and accept their Sacraments, at least as a temporary charitable measure while the mess sorts itself out.  In doing this they are simply exercising the power of the keys to bind and loose and in this instance they are overriding quite a few of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils.  But, as was said, this is being done out of charity and a hope for their return to the communion of the Church.

On the other hand, the Greek Old Calendarist Churches usually deny our Sacraments and many even say we are already damned.  Remember IPC who is a member of one of the Old Calendarist type Churches - that is the position of his Church.
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« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2009, 06:10:27 PM »

To say there are 30 GOCs and that they are somehow all equal, and that is proof that they are all schismatic wackos, is really quite unfair.

Dear Father,

Let me affirm that it is not I who has said that the number of Old Calendarist Churches is proof that they are "schismatic wackos."   What I have said is that it is reminiscent of the spirit of Protestantism and its tendency to divide.  Remember that as a member of the Russian Church Abroad I stand in amazement at the proliferation of Russian Churches Abroad since May 2007.

Dear Father,  I know you did not say schismatic wackos. Although others do use the "long list" to "prove" schismatic "nature" and I am not sure that comparing us to Protestants is really nice, but you have a right to your opinion.  I think that your posting style and mine are different.  You tend to reply to people directly, while my thoughts may arise from one post but I tend to immediately go off to generalities.  So don't think I was accusing you of something; your post simply reminded me of a common criticism.  I'll try to not do that at least in regards to you if it causes you consternation.

Most of the Russian splits though happened before 2007.

Quote
Happy to remove such Churches if you will indicate which ones.  Also happy to include any ones I have over looked.  IPC, I apologise for overlooking the Russian Zarist Church.  It ought to have been there.  My apologies.

It's not my job to go through the list though. Just like when I made the claim about the ROCOR website and LBK called me to task, I had to spend almost 2 hours to research it and then corrected my error. You've found the wiki article on the history of the Old Calendarists (I don't think it's the best, but I don't have time to add any edits) so perhaps you might want to spend some time reading up and seeing where the duplicates are.  But I am not saying you "have" to.  In different circumstances, I might be more amenable to taking more time to explain some of the history, but this thread is too controversial and it would probably fall on deaf ears for most people.

Quote
Quote
Our Synod (Archbishop Chrysostomos II) is in communion with Esphigmenou monastery on Mt Athos.

Father, what does that mean?    I myself am in communion with the monastery of Panteleimon and the Great Lavra, Vatopedi and Hilandar, etc.  How do we differ here?
[/quote]

Someone asked if we were in communion with anyone on Mt Athos so I was pointing out that we are, in fact, "in communion with" one of the monasteries.

in Christ,

Fr Anastasios
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« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2009, 06:39:42 PM »

Thanks, Pravoslavbob. I'm glad I finally got to hear what you had to say about all this.

You say that 'mainstream' Orthodox who use the old calendar, even if their bishops maintain communion with the new calendarists, often have more in common with old calendarists. I would venture to say even some new calendarists have more in common with old calendarists than their fellow new calendarists, to the extent they try to maintain traditional piety and hold to Orthodox doctrine and avoid ecumenist opinions. Both of these generalizations have a great deal of truth of them. Actually, I myself was surprised how much 'overlap' there was, at least in my jurisdiction, the American Metropolis of the GOC of Greece. My first impressions were of an inseparable divide.

But I'm starting to understand that while we may have a vague 'spiritual' communion with traditionalists in the mainstream churches, we don't have actual, physical communion, manifested in the shared partaking of the Holy Mysteries, and this, from my point of view, is essentially the responsibility of those mainstream churches, who are very severe towards us. They are open to greeting the heterodox in the West and in the non-Chalcedonian churches as fellow Christians, called to a 'common witness' to the world, but they are crystal clear that we are schismatics and outside the Church and utterly devoid of sacramental Grace. We find this schizophrenic attitude extraordinary and un-Orthodox. Perhaps that explains our hardened attitude: it's a reaction to the persecution and ridicule we have endured. I often wonder whether if the State Church of Greece had allowed us to keep the old calendar, the schism might never have lasted so long. But that's my private speculation.

I know, the whole situation is annoying and wrong. It annoys me when mainstream bishops approach Catholics and Protestants in the spirit of Christian love as they call it but they won't even dare think about even looking at the Old Calendarists. You say that attitude is un-Orthodox but in reality, it is simply un-Christian. It is understandable that the Old Calendarists have a hardened attitude toward the Church of Greece and I cannot simply see why they didn't just give churches a choice to stay on the Church calendar and you are probably right that if they had, the schism wouldn't have lasted as long but the fact that was forced on the Church made that difficult. I have to agree that the mainstream Church is to blame for the whole mess because the calendar innovation was forced and it brought no good at all. I pray that God will enlighten the Church of Greece to lift the anathemas placed on the Old Calendarists which in my view are silly. They want unity with groups that do hold heretical doctrines (Catholic and Protestant) but they don't seem to care about Orthodox unity. I have the view that the calendar isn't a matter of doctrine but the reason why the change was wrong was because it caused disunity in the Church which is the real travesty of it all and the change wasn't needed.


I've been following the thread closely so I hope nobody minds me chiming in every once in a while.
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« Reply #75 on: August 02, 2009, 06:55:35 PM »

..

Dear Andrew,

Why did no Old Calendar groups develop in the Church of Antioch when it changed calendars?   I have never heard of any Antiochian Old Calendar Church.   What is so different about the Antiochians that they were able to avoid any divisions and preserve their church unity?



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« Reply #76 on: August 02, 2009, 07:31:45 PM »

Thanks, Pravoslavbob. I'm glad I finally got to hear what you had to say about all this.

Did you see my earlier post, Jonathan?

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. 
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« Reply #77 on: August 02, 2009, 07:44:50 PM »

Our Synod (Archbishop Chrysostomos II) is in communion with Esphigmenou monastery on Mt Athos.

Quote
Someone asked if we were in communion with anyone on Mt Athos so I was pointing out that we are, in fact, "in communion with" one of the monasteries.

It should be pointed out that Esphigmenou has long been disobedient to even the monastic government of Mt Athos itself.
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« Reply #78 on: August 02, 2009, 08:26:40 PM »

I'm not aware that we've really discussed the witness of St. Maximos the Confessor and what this means to relations between the Old Calendarists and World Orthodoxy.  Until such time that one side or the other in this debate receives vindication from a yet-to-be-convened "ecumenical council", are the Old Calendarists right to cite the witness of St. Maximos, who, in defiance of imperial pressure, refused to return to communion with the established patriarchates until they repented of what he deemed the heresy of monotheletism?  We can ultimately say he was right to do so, now that his legacy stands vindicated by the Sixth Ecumenical Council.  But prior to that council, much of the "World Orthodox" of his day, to include Constantinople, certainly must have thought St. Maximos an intractable schismatic, much as the World Orthodox of today consider the Old Calendarists.

So how does this apply to today's situation?
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« Reply #79 on: August 02, 2009, 09:00:11 PM »

I'm not aware that we've really discussed the witness of St. Maximos the Confessor and what this means to relations between the Old Calendarists and World Orthodoxy.  Until such time that one side or the other in this debate receives vindication from a yet-to-be-convened "ecumenical council", are the Old Calendarists right to cite the witness of St. Maximos, who, in defiance of imperial pressure, refused to return to communion with the established patriarchates until they repented of what he deemed the heresy of monotheletism?  We can ultimately say he was right to do so, now that his legacy stands vindicated by the Sixth Ecumenical Council.  But prior to that council, much of the "World Orthodox" of his day, to include Constantinople, certainly must have thought St. Maximos an intractable schismatic, much as the World Orthodox of today consider the Old Calendarists.

So how does this apply to today's situation?

First thoughts..... it doesn't.

Do we postulate an equivalence between the heresy of monothelitism and the Revised Julian Calendar?

Saint Maximos is a fine example of those who do not choose the path of schism and separation from the Church but of a principled inner resistance.  He endured dreadful persecution, having his tongue torn out and his hand cut off.  Despite this he remained within the Church.

As I say, these are just first thoughts.  I am keen to hear what others think.
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« Reply #80 on: August 02, 2009, 09:05:23 PM »

..

Dear Andrew,

Why did no Old Calendar groups develop in the Church of Antioch when it changed calendars?   I have never heard of any Antiochian Old Calendar Church.   What is so different about the Antiochians that they were able to avoid any divisions and preserve their church unity?

Hmm, good point. I'm not saying that the Old Calendarists are right in their points either but I'm not convinced that they are entirely wrong looking at some of the acts of the Greek Church when it changed calendars. There was all out hostility to those who were against the Old Calendarists in Greece by condemning them as heretics. My biggest problem with the situation is that there is no effort going on to heal the wounds caused by the calendar change by the Church but instead they go to the Catholics and pray with them. There are plenty of problems that I have with Old Calendarist groups as well, the strongest fact is their question of grace and then the fact that they would re-baptize me if I were to join them. I believe that there should be only one calendar in the Church for the sake of unity and it was a mistake that it was changed but I will not go into schism over it. Heck I don't care if I'm on the Old, New, or Coptic calendar because it really doesn't matter in my view since it is not an issue of doctrine, just of time and it didn't compromise the Orthodox Faith.

I'm sure pride has a lot to do with the schism between the Old and New Calendarists, the Old Calendarists chose to be disobedient and broke communion with the rest of the Church on an issue where it wasn't a issue of doctrine and even when it comes to ecumenism which the Old Calendarists probably have the biggest issue with nowadays and probably say was one of the fruits of the new calendar is still not an issue to cause schism over. The whole ecumenical movement is wrong but it is also pointless and I believe it won't end up in any kind of unity whether pseudo or true so I don't see the need to break away for the Church. Which is clear in the example of someone like St. Mark of Ephesus who lived during a time when the Orthodox East was looking to unify with Rome and accept the heresies it taught, but in the face of this ecumenism of the time, did St. Mark break communion? No, he stayed in the Church and helped resolve the issue without breaking communion which is another issue of inner resistance. The breaking away from the Church does nothing to solve the issue.

You do bring an interesting point that Antioch has no Old Calendarist groups and to my knowledge neither does Alexandria or Jerusalem. God bless them for that. The whole issue is still an issue I don't fully understand I'm sure since I'm young both in age and in faith and still have much to figure out since I'm still confused about it.
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« Reply #81 on: August 02, 2009, 09:07:32 PM »

Saint Maximos is a fine example of those who do not choose the path of schism and separation from the Church but of a principled inner resistance.  He endured dreadful persecution, having his tongue torn out and his hand cut off.  Despite this he remained within the Church.
But then, doesn't this assessment require a definition of the Church in hindsight and a retroactive application of this definition to St. Maximos's situation?  At the time, many of those who thought of themselves as in the Church deemed St. Maximos a schismatic.
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« Reply #82 on: August 02, 2009, 09:12:56 PM »

Saint Maximos is a fine example of those who do not choose the path of schism and separation from the Church but of a principled inner resistance.  He endured dreadful persecution, having his tongue torn out and his hand cut off.  Despite this he remained within the Church.
But then, doesn't this assessment require a definition of the Church in hindsight and a retroactive application of this definition to St. Maximos's situation?  At the time, many of those who thought of themselves as in the Church deemed St. Maximos a schismatic.
So in your eyes you would see him as a schismatic?

I would view him more as the "loyal opposition."
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« Reply #83 on: August 02, 2009, 10:35:43 PM »

Saint Maximos is a fine example of those who do not choose the path of schism and separation from the Church but of a principled inner resistance.  He endured dreadful persecution, having his tongue torn out and his hand cut off.  Despite this he remained within the Church.
But then, doesn't this assessment require a definition of the Church in hindsight and a retroactive application of this definition to St. Maximos's situation?  At the time, many of those who thought of themselves as in the Church deemed St. Maximos a schismatic.
So in your eyes you would see him as a schismatic?

I would view him more as the "loyal opposition."
IF this was the 7th Century, when St. Maximos was alive, and I thus didn't have the benefit of hindsight that we have now in the 21st Century, and IF I was a member of a church in communion with Constantinople as I am now, who knows what I may have thought about St. Maximos.  I just might have thought him schismatic.
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« Reply #84 on: August 02, 2009, 10:53:54 PM »

Saint Maximos is a fine example of those who do not choose the path of schism and separation from the Church but of a principled inner resistance.  He endured dreadful persecution, having his tongue torn out and his hand cut off.  Despite this he remained within the Church.
But then, doesn't this assessment require a definition of the Church in hindsight and a retroactive application of this definition to St. Maximos's situation?  At the time, many of those who thought of themselves as in the Church deemed St. Maximos a schismatic.
So in your eyes you would see him as a schismatic?

I would view him more as the "loyal opposition."

To answer the question, "I'm not aware that we've really discussed the witness of St. Maximos the Confessor and what this means to relations between the Old Calendarists and World Orthodoxy."  Well, the OP brought him in.

The distinction I see between him and the TOM is that yes, overwhelming the Church had sided with the emperor, but St. Maximus was not alone.  Rome came back to its senses after Pope Honorius, and Pope Martin (former legate to Constantinople) convened the Lateran Council which condemned and anathematized Monotheletism. For publishing its decrees he was arrested. A string of successors in Rome, however, refused to promote Monotheletism.  Jerusalem under St. Sophronius had remained Orthodox.  It is clear that Monotheletism reached only as far as the emperor's reach.

In the case of the TOM, yes the actions of the Greek and Romanian kingdoms were disgraceful (I don't know about Bulgaria, btw what is now the Bulgarian archdiocese, being on the new calendar but under ROCA when they were in communion with TOM Churches is a problem for the latter).  Alexandria we know what happened: Met./Arb./EP/Pope Meletius showed up.  But Antioch?  What about the Churches in the New World?  If the calendar was such an ecumenist plot, and the Bolsheviks in such control over the Church in Russia, why didn't they force it on the PoM?  In the alternative, why didn't they have the PoM break communion with "World Orthodoxy" which was on the New Calendar?
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« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2009, 10:57:01 PM »

Bishop Kyrill of the Bulgarians took his Church to the NC without blessings from the ROCOR Synod, and they instructed him to return to the OC.  When he refused, he was removed from ROCOR and joined the Metropolia. That is my recollection from the time I read the sources in the ROCOR Archives.
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« Reply #86 on: August 03, 2009, 12:20:20 AM »

Something of interest from Joseph Suaiden who has written the history of the Synod of Milan.

Here is his overview of the history of the Greek Old Calendarist and other traditional groups.

One passage in particular stands out.    The Greek Old Calendarists received their episcopate from the ROCOR Archbishop Leonty of Chile (the bishop shown in Fr Anastasios' avatar) AND the NEW Calendar bishop Theophil Ionescu who was himself a member of ROCOR.   So the Greek Old Calendarist apostolic succession voluntarily involves a New Calendar bishop.

http://www.geocities.com/joesuaiden/trueorthodox/trueorthodoxchurch.html

"After the death of Metropolitan Chrysostom, the Florinites had no Bishops, and it is said that Metropolitan Chrysostom advised his flock to go under the protection of the Matthewite Bishops. Fearing the repercussions, however, the Florinites opted to seek a new hierarchy and appealed to Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR,  see "Outside Russia" below) to help them. In 1960, Archimandrite Akakios Pappas was made a Bishop for these communities without the official blessing of the ROCOR by Archbishop Leonty of Chile and Bp Theophilos Ionescu, a Romanian New Calendar Bishop under the ROCOR.  Later Bp Akakios and Bp Theophilos made 5 more Bishops, and they proceeded to elect Auxentios of Patras to be their new leader as Archbishop of Athens
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« Reply #87 on: August 03, 2009, 12:26:56 AM »

Bishop Kyrill of the Bulgarians took his Church to the NC without blessings from the ROCOR Synod, and they instructed him to return to the OC.  When he refused, he was removed from ROCOR and joined the Metropolia. That is my recollection from the time I read the sources in the ROCOR Archives.

That is interesting.  I was reading last week a message from Fr Lebedeff where he speaks of the Romanian Orthodox cathedral in Canada which was under the Russian Church Abroad and it was permitted to use the New Calendar untroubled during its time under ROCA - about 40 years.  It was only in recent years that it departed from ROCA's jurisdiction.

Do you have any memory of this?  I'll see if I can locate Fr Lebedeff's message but the Yahoo groups are having trouble doing searches for more recent messages.
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« Reply #88 on: August 03, 2009, 05:44:21 AM »

Metropolitan Anastassy had maintained communion and frequented concelebrations with the new-calendarist Greek Archdiocese of America. This was not simply a matter of practice, but was the official position of the ROCOR Synod. For, in an address to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Archdiocese of America, on 14/27 September 1961, the ROCOR Synod declared: “Our Church keeps the Old Calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar a great mistake. Nevertheless, her policy was always to keep spiritual communion with the Orthodox Churches who accepted the new calendar as long as they celebrated Pascha according to the decision of the First Ecumenical Council. Our Church has never declared the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America to be schismatic and did not break spiritual communion with them.”  In another address, to the new-calendarist Church of Greece, on 3 October 1961, the ROCOR Synod repeated this  position yet again, stating: “Our Church keeps the Old Calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar to be a mistake. Nevertheless... we never broke spiritual communion with the canonical Churches in which the new calendar had been introduced.”
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« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2009, 06:02:47 AM »

Metropolitan Anastassy had maintained communion and frequented concelebrations with the new-calendarist Greek Archdiocese of America. This was not simply a matter of practice, but was the official position of the ROCOR Synod. For, in an address to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Archdiocese of America, on 14/27 September 1961, the ROCOR Synod declared: “Our Church keeps the Old Calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar a great mistake. Nevertheless, her policy was always to keep spiritual communion with the Orthodox Churches who accepted the new calendar as long as they celebrated Pascha according to the decision of the First Ecumenical Council. Our Church has never declared the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America to be schismatic and did not break spiritual communion with them.”  In another address, to the new-calendarist Church of Greece, on 3 October 1961, the ROCOR Synod repeated this  position yet again, stating: “Our Church keeps the Old Calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar to be a mistake. Nevertheless... we never broke spiritual communion with the canonical Churches in which the new calendar had been introduced.”

Truly excellent well-balanced words.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22540.msg343061.html#msg343061
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« Reply #90 on: August 03, 2009, 09:25:03 AM »

An interesting article on the website of the Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America (HOTCA) to which Fr Anastasios and Jonathan belong.  It is of interest because the priest-author completely substantiates what Jonathan has been saying and referencing in this thread, namely that all the New Calendar Churches are heretical and are outside the "assembly of the Orthodox." 

See:  "The Problem of Conservative New Calendarism"
by Fr  Fr. Maximus (Marretta) 
Friday, 08 June 2007

http://www.thegreekorthodoxchurch.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=107

Peter may challenge this position by pointing out that it is simply by their own fiat that they have excluded all Churches which dissent from them. 

And Pravoslavbob would notice another significant factor in the Old Calendarist world - the proclamation that "World Orthodoxy" is heretical.

The position of the HOTCA excludes from the Church the following Churches:

Patriarchate of Constantinople
Patriarchate of Alexandria
Patriarchate of Antioch
Patriarchate of Romania
Patriarchate of Bulgaria
Church of Cyprus
Church of Greece
Church of Poland
Church of Albania
Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
Orthodox Church in America

There remain four Churches of "World Orthodoxy" on the Old Calendar but one suspects that the HOTCA may also exclude these from the Church by reason of their communion with the New Calendar Churches.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Patriarchate of Moscow
Patriarchate of Serbia
Patriarchate of Georgia
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« Reply #91 on: August 03, 2009, 09:53:34 AM »

An interesting article on the website of the Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America (HOTCA) to which Fr Anastasios and Jonathan belong.  It is of interest because the priest-author completely substantiates what Jonathan has been saying and referencing in this thread, namely that all the New Calendar Churches are heretical and are outside the "assembly of the Orthodox." 

See:  "The Problem of Conservative New Calendarism"
by Fr  Fr. Maximus (Marretta) 
Friday, 08 June 2007

http://www.thegreekorthodoxchurch.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=107

Peter may challenge this position by pointing out that it is simply by their own fiat that they have excluded all Churches which dissent from them. 

And Pravoslavbob would notice another significant factor in the Old Calendarist world - the proclamation that "World Orthodoxy" is heretical.

The position of the HOTCA excludes from the Church the following Churches:

Patriarchate of Constantinople
Patriarchate of Alexandria
Patriarchate of Antioch
Patriarchate of Romania
Patriarchate of Bulgaria
Church of Cyprus
Church of Greece
Church of Poland
Church of Albania
Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
Orthodox Church in America

There remain four Churches of "World Orthodoxy" on the Old Calendar but one suspects that the HOTCA may also exclude these from the Church by reason of their communion with the New Calendar Churches.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Patriarchate of Moscow
Patriarchate of Serbia
Patriarchate of Georgia

Quote
The primary purpose of the fellowship of churches in the World Council of Churches is to call one another to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship. In seeking koinonia in faith and life, witness and service, the churches through the council will:

Promote the prayerful search for forgiveness and reconciliation in a spirit of mutual accountability, the development of deeper relationships through theological dialogue, and the sharing of human, spiritual, and material resources with one another;
Facilitate common witness in each place and in all places, and support each other in their work for mission and evangelism;
Nurture the growth of an ecumenical consciousness through processes of education and a vision of life in community rooted in each particular cultural context;
Assist one another in their relationships to and with people of other faith communities;
Foster renewal and growth in unity, worship, mission and service.
In order to foster the one ecumenical movement, the Council will:

Nurture relations with and among churches, especially within, but also beyond its membership;
Establish and maintain relations with national councils, regional conferences of churches, organizations of Christian World Communions, and other ecumenical bodies;
Support ecumenical initiatives at regional, national, and local levels;
Facilitate the creation of networks among ecumenical organizations;
Work towards maintaining the coherence of the one ecumenical movement in its diverse manifestations.
These principles are totally unacceptable for a person with an Orthodox understanding of the Church.
Since we understand that Orthodoxy is the only way these objectives may be fulfilled, as repeatedly stated by the Orthodox members of the WCC, no, they are not totally unacceptable.  The statement:
Quote
They illustrate that the heresy the Orthodox are confronting is not simply union with this or that heretical church (which has not yet happened except in the case of the Monophysites). Rather, the heresy is the idea that heretical groups outside the Church are indeed somehow part of the Church, and that the Orthodox Church is part of a larger whole comprised of both the Orthodox and the heterodox. Now, any statement which gives any ecclesial standing whatsoever to a body outside the Church is a heretical statement, because the Orthodox Church is the entirety of the Church. The other so-called churches are not churches at all, but false assemblies set up in opposition to the one, true Church. They are anti-churches. The charter and mission—even the very name—of the World Council of Churches cuts at the root of Orthodox doctrine by placing all "churches" on the same ontological level. Moreover, the World Council of Churches expressly recognizes only one ecumenical movement; that is, its own. It does not leave any room for a valid "Orthodox Ecumenism" which would seek to convert the heterodox. No one can claim that the purpose of Orthodox involvement in Ecumenism is to witness to Orthodoxy, since the only side of "Orthodoxy" being presented is precisely whatever can be brought into seeming conformity with the principles set out in the World Council of Churches' charter, a document which, as we have seen, denies the Orthodox teaching on the Church. Ecumenism is the exact opposite of evangelization.
can easily be refuted by looking at the Orthodox documents on the WCC's own website, some of which I've posted already on this thread.

(btw, in the interests of full disclosure, although it is not a secret, I am fully in support of the actions which the document denounces with regard to the Miaphysites (called Monophysites in it).

The thoughts that
Quote
The heresy of Ecumenism has infected not one of the local Orthodox Churches, but all of them. Each of the Patriarchates has contributed in its own way to perverting the Orthodox faith: Constantinople by lifting the anthemas which the holy Fathers laid on the Roman Catholic Church, Alexandria by accepting the Monophysites as Orthodox, Antioch by partaking of the same chalice as the Monophysites, and all the ecumenist Churches collectively by participating in the World Council of Churches and abolishing the Patristic understanding of the Church. All of the ecumenist Churches are in full communion with one another and share the same ecumenist faith: the beliefs of one are the beliefs of all, and each of the Patriarchates supports and encourages the ecumenical gestures of the others.

Our primary question at this point ought to be, what are the faithful to do when their bishops are in heresy? The patristic answer is clear: break communion immediately, because those bishops no longer represent the Church, but a foreign body. It is impossible for Orthodox Christians to hold communion with heretical bishops, inasmuch as a common Eucharistic cup denotes a common faith. St. Cyril of Alexandria states that "the Body of Christ binds us into unity" and "there is no division of belief among the faithful." And the Apostle Paul asks, "What communion hath light with darkness? Or what concord hath Christ with Belial?"
[herein follows the account of St. Maximus of the OP]
The sound application of these principles to the present-day situation should be obvious. Anyone who considers himself to be an Orthodox Christian should sever communion with any bishop who preaches, participates in, or furthers Ecumenism directly or indirectly; and he should join himself to those Orthodox Christians who already have ceased ecclesiastical contact with such bishops. Those Christians are precisely the Old Calendarists, or True Orthodox Christians, who rejected the heresy of Ecumenism the moment it appeared, and in no way allowed themselves to be defiled by communion with bishops who alter the faith of the Apostles. When the conservative New Calendarists take this same step, they will be following the path of the Holy Fathers; they will have separated themselves from the heretics, and joined themselves to the assembly of the Orthodox.

I would like to speak to you today about the problem of conservative New Calendarism. By conservative New Calendarists I mean those who consider the institution of the Gregorian calendar and involvement in the ecumenical movement to be misguided, unfortunate, or even to some degree heretical, but nevertheless remain in churches which follow the New Calendar and foster Ecumenism. While conservative New Calendarists rightly consider Orthodoxy to be the one and only true Church of Christ and adhere to Orthodox doctrines and practices with admirable zeal, they find themselves under bishops who deny those doctrines and shun traditional piety. Although this situation is certainly uncomfortable for them, they are obligated to justify it, and to this end employ the following argument: the participation of our bishops in the ecumenical movement is wrong, but it is only an abuse, not a heresy; and if it even descends to the level of heresy, it occurs only on a personal, not an official, level. Thus the church as a whole is not implicated in the heresy, and one may in good conscience continue in communion with the bishops in question. This line of reasoning underlies virtually all serious attempts to justify remaining in the New Calendarist, or Ecumenist church, and not returning [emphasis added] to the Old Calendarist, or traditional Orthodox Church.

seem to have the official support and sanction of this TOM Church:
Quote
Encyclical Regarding Holy Communion

December 5/18, 2002

E N C Y C L I C A L

To the Holy Clergy and Pious People
Of the Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Greek Orthodox
Old Calendar Church of America

4.This Truth, that we belong to the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,” has a special meaning for us, for this Church is the Ark of our salvation, which is the very reason that we exist.

Nothing other than the Orthodox Church else is able to save man. She is the Gate to Paradise.

The Holy Fathers teach us that only the Holy Mysteries which are celebrated in the bosom of the Orthodox Church have Grace and save all those who are Orthodox.

In other words, for anyone to receive the Grace of salvation, two things are required:

First, the Orthodox Christians must seek this Grace, which exists only in the Holy Mysteries, and especially the Divine Eucharist, which exist only in the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”, which is the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians, and

Second, he who wishes to receive the Grace of salvation must be a genuine member of the Orthodox Church. He must not be a heretic or a schismatic.

For this reason, the genuine Orthodox Christians are not permitted to enter the churches of heretics or schismatics to receive communion, for such is a very serious sin. The person, who does so, cuts himself off from the Orthodox Church. For this same reason, the Fathers of the Church forbid to heretics or schismatics communion of the blameless Mysteries in our Churches, since by so doing, instead of salvation, they receive “a consuming fire,” (Hebrews 12:29) that is, a fire, which burns up all those who dare to partake of it.

Ecumenism, which today has captivated many people, is the result of all this. It is the work of the antichrist and of his followers. This Ecumenism would swallow up the very last lambs of Christ, that is us, the genuine Orthodox Christians, if it could. This is why Ecumenism is a pan-heresy.

In the face of this great danger, as your Bishop and Shepherd of the Orthodox Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America, who am charged by God to protect His flock from the heretics and schismatics who have placed themselves outside the Church, I call upon the faithful children of our Church not to enter the churches of schismatics and heretics to take communion. You should communicate only in temples that belong to our Church, which here in America are only the Sacred Temples of the Holy Metropolis (GOC) of America. You should have the permission of your spiritual father, who himself should be a clergyman of our Holy Metropolis, and should have confessed and fasted correctly prior to Communion. Those who do not have an Orthodox faith and confession, that is heretics, ecumenists, false old calendarists, etc., will not be permitted to be imparted the Holy Mysteries in our Holy Temples, even as the Holy Synod of our Church has directed.

6.Neither the Holy Synod of our Church, nor I as your bishop, are chasing from our Church anyone who is seeking his salvation. However, this salvation must be achieved as Christ wills, not as just anyone wills. For this reason, all who wish to receive Communion in our Churches must formerly enter into the bosom of the Orthodox Church as genuine Christians. With the permission of their confessor, and along with appropriate preparation, they will always be welcomed to receive the Mystery of Mysteries which is Holy Communion.

7.The Clergy of the Sacred Metropolis of America are sternly commanded to apply the provisions of this Encyclical with all strictness.

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God the Father, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

PAVLOS
Metropolitan of North and South America
http://www.hotca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=152:encyclical-regarding-holy-communion&catid=19:encyclicals&Itemid=67
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« Reply #92 on: August 03, 2009, 03:01:43 PM »

An interesting article on the website of the Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America (HOTCA) to which Fr Anastasios and Jonathan belong.  It is of interest because the priest-author completely substantiates what Jonathan has been saying and referencing in this thread, namely that all the New Calendar Churches are heretical and are outside the "assembly of the Orthodox." 

See:  "The Problem of Conservative New Calendarism"
by Fr  Fr. Maximus (Marretta) 
Friday, 08 June 2007

http://www.thegreekorthodoxchurch.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=107

Peter may challenge this position by pointing out that it is simply by their own fiat that they have excluded all Churches which dissent from them.
Actually, I never said anything about any jurisdiction's exclusion of dissenting churches per se.  My objection has always been to your use of such an exclusion to manufacture your bogus claim that no Orthodox bishop ever condemned the New Calendar.
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« Reply #93 on: August 03, 2009, 05:14:40 PM »

Jonathan said: "Of course!  All those who don't believe the New Calendar to be an error don't believe the New Calendar to be an error.  You've conveniently excluded all those Orthodox who DO believe the New Calendar to be an error.  What does that prove?"
Actually, it was I who said that.  I don't want Jonathan to get blamed for something he didn't say. Wink

- I am interjecting here having read the entire thread up to this point and not knowing what was posted after (now actually earlier as this post appears).

There is a third, very important option that Jonathan does not list. ROCOR Metropolitan Anastassy stated that ROCOR did see the New Calendar as a problem but clearly stated that ROCOR does not break communion with those who follow it.
Actually, what I said was intended to address a fallacy in reasoning, so I read your response as unrelated to the context of my quote.  Very good insight nonetheless, and certainly worth reading within the larger context of this thread, but it doesn't follow logically from what you quoted of my words. Wink

My apologies to all wronged parties! 
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« Reply #94 on: August 03, 2009, 08:03:36 PM »

The Anathemas


1.  We are been given evidence that the Greek Old Calendarists

i)  declared the Church of Greece to be schismatic
         1935 GOC confession of faith:
         http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/e_index.htm (look under "History")



ii)  anathematized New Calendarists
         the 1974 Declaration cited by Jonathan

2.  We have not seen evidence that the Church of Greece anathematized the Greek Old Calendarists.  The claim is that they issued their anathemas prior to those issued against them by the GOC.

Is there a chance of referral to documents or websites?
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« Reply #95 on: August 03, 2009, 10:06:09 PM »

What is the meaning of "Tradition"?
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« Reply #96 on: August 03, 2009, 10:28:23 PM »

What is the meaning of "Tradition"?

"Orthodox are always talking about Tradition. What do they mean by the word? A tradition,
says the Oxford Dictionary, is an opinion, belief, or custom handed down from ancestors to posterity.
Christian Tradition, in that case, is the faith which Jesus Christ imparted to the Apostles,
and which since the Apostles’ time has been handed down from generation to generation in the
Church (Compare Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3). But to an Orthodox Christian, Tradition means something
more concrete and specific than this. It means the books of the Bible; it means the Creed; it
means the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils and the writings of the Fathers; it means the Canons,
the Service Books, the Holy Icons — in fact, the whole system of doctrine, Church government,
worship, and art which Orthodoxy has articulated over the ages. "

This is from Bp Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Church"
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0804/_INDEX.HTM

Use the Alphabetical Search link at the top of the page to do a search with the word tradition.
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« Reply #97 on: August 03, 2009, 11:22:16 PM »

^ My question was designed to provoke discussion.  I know what I think Tradition is.  Metropolitan Kallistos' definition is fine as a place to begin.
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« Reply #98 on: August 03, 2009, 11:32:55 PM »

^ My question was designed to provoke discussion.  I know what I think Tradition is.  Metropolitan Kallistos' definition is fine as a place to begin.

OK. That's great.  But how are we doing so far in bringing into focus the big picture between the Old Calendarist Churches and "World Orthodoxy"?

I have made mention of two points which seem significant.

1.  The tendency of Old Calendarist groups to divide

2.  The declaration by (most) Old Calendarist groups that New Calendarists lack grace and have no Mysteries.
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« Reply #99 on: August 04, 2009, 09:17:07 PM »

^  Frankly, I think you are missing the point.  I wanted to look at differences and similarities in how the faith is approached by old calendarists and world Orthodox.  It is fine if polemics come into play in some ways, but up until now it seems to me that polemics are being employed for their own sake.  I don't necessarily deny completely the validity of the points that you have made, but I fail to see how they relate to what similarities and differences are in terms of how the different communions approach the faith. 
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« Reply #100 on: August 04, 2009, 11:00:50 PM »

What is the meaning of "Tradition"?

Jaroslav Pelikan said it best.  His 1984 book The Vindication of Tradition gave rise to one of his most memorable and most often quoted one-liners. In an interview in U.S. News & World Report (July 26, 1989), he said:

Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. Tradition lives in conversation with the past, while remembering where we are and when we are and that it is we who have to decide. Traditionalism supposes that nothing should ever be done for the first time, so all that is needed to solve any problem is to arrive at the supposedly unanimous testimony of this homogenized tradition.
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« Reply #101 on: August 04, 2009, 11:05:53 PM »

^ Yes, I think that Pelikan quote is really excellent.
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« Reply #102 on: August 04, 2009, 11:38:49 PM »

What is the meaning of "Tradition"?

Jaroslav Pelikan said it best.  His 1984 book The Vindication of Tradition gave rise to one of his most memorable and most often quoted one-liners. In an interview in U.S. News & World Report (July 26, 1989), he said:

Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. Tradition lives in conversation with the past, while remembering where we are and when we are and that it is we who have to decide. Traditionalism supposes that nothing should ever be done for the first time, so all that is needed to solve any problem is to arrive at the supposedly unanimous testimony of this homogenized tradition.

Yes, an excellent observation.

Just so everyone knows, Pelikan was a renowed Lutheran scholar (he was involved in the English translation of the Book of Concord, the Lutherans' Symblic Book) who embraced Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #103 on: August 05, 2009, 12:36:14 AM »

^  Frankly, I think you are missing the point. 

Well, you asked for the "big picture" and I have been trying to make suggestions.

Has anything offered so far by anybody addressed what you are seeking? 
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« Reply #104 on: August 05, 2009, 06:21:30 PM »

The Anathemas


1.  We are been given evidence that the Greek Old Calendarists

i)  declared the Church of Greece to be schismatic
         1935 GOC confession of faith:
         http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/e_index.htm (look under "History")



ii)  anathematized New Calendarists
         the 1974 Declaration cited by Jonathan

2.  We have not seen evidence that the Church of Greece anathematized the Greek Old Calendarists.  The claim is that they issued their anathemas prior to those issued against them by the GOC.

Is there a chance of referral to documents or websites?

the soundest reference I know is the book "the struggle against ecumenism" by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. They say the state church formally anathematized those who celebrated on the old calendar in 1927. This was several years before we had bishops and could adopt an official position on the matter.
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« Reply #105 on: August 05, 2009, 06:39:10 PM »

One more thing. I see a lot of the ROCOR pro-new-calendarist people citing Met Anthony and Anastassy for their position. The trouble is Met Philaret and Met Vitaly had a different position, and they clearly opted for the old calendarists, and also Met Laurus up until the last couple years of his tenure (Fr Anastasios has given much information on the personal closeness between Laurus and our Met Pavlos in other threads). I'm not sure why the former two should have greater authority than the latter. Especially since, from what I can gather, the former were adopting a wait and see attitude, rather like our first three bishops, who waited 12 years before renouncing the state church, in the hope it would change its course and return to the traditional calendar. So Met Philaret realized, as Abp Leonty had earlier, that the official church was not going to change its course, that it was getting deeper and deeper into ecumenism and that it was time to break with world orthodoxy and declare for the old calendarist church.
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« Reply #106 on: August 05, 2009, 09:44:50 PM »

Has anything offered so far by anybody addressed what you are seeking? 

Some people have chimed in with some great comments on the nature of Tradition, but others seem to be not considering this side of the discussion at all, which is very interesting.
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« Reply #107 on: August 06, 2009, 12:29:03 AM »

The Anathemas


1.  We are been given evidence that the Greek Old Calendarists

i)  declared the Church of Greece to be schismatic
         1935 GOC confession of faith:
         http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/e_index.htm (look under "History")



ii)  anathematized New Calendarists
         the 1974 Declaration cited by Jonathan

2.  We have not seen evidence that the Church of Greece anathematized the Greek Old Calendarists.  The claim is that they issued their anathemas prior to those issued against them by the GOC.

Is there a chance of referral to documents or websites?

the soundest reference I know is the book "the struggle against ecumenism" by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. They say the state church formally anathematized those who celebrated on the old calendar in 1927. This was several years before we had bishops and could adopt an official position on the matter.

Dear Jonathan,

Second-hand quotes from the other side don't really count for anything.  Too much opportunity for misrepresentation.  I think we need to see the actual statement from the Church of Greece.
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« Reply #108 on: August 06, 2009, 06:37:29 AM »

Anyway, the way the state church persecuted us, notoriously going so far as to trample upon the Holy Mysteries, shows that they did not recognize us as Orthodox and our Mysteries as valid.

Seems to be a bit of a local failing.  The Greeks of Constantinople did the same to the Holy Mysteries of the Latin Orthodox churches in Constantinople - at a time when they were both in full communion !!!!!
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« Reply #109 on: August 08, 2009, 06:46:44 PM »

Tangents split off and moved:

Regarding specifically the merits of either side of the Old vs. New Calendar Debate - merged into this sticky:  Old vs. New Calendar?

Regarding the history of how ROCOR has related to both World Orthodoxy and the GOC - made the subject of its own thread:  Relations between ROCOR, World Orthodoxy, and the GOC
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« Reply #110 on: August 09, 2009, 05:27:24 AM »

 Huh   The term "World Orthodoxy" was invented by Old Calendarist people as a denigratory term for the canonical Orthodox, i.e., the ancient Patriarchates (e.g. Constantinople) and the autocephalies (such as the OCA and Greece) and autonomies (such as the Ukrainian Church.)   Do we feel that this is an appropriate term or do we feel uncomfortable that this term intended to insult people is used on the Forum? 
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« Reply #111 on: August 09, 2009, 11:02:22 AM »

Huh   The term "World Orthodoxy" was invented by Old Calendarist people as a denigratory term for the canonical Orthodox, i.e., the ancient Patriarchates (e.g. Constantinople) and the autocephalies (such as the OCA and Greece) and autonomies (such as the Ukrainian Church.)   Do we feel that this is an appropriate term or do we feel uncomfortable that this term intended to insult people is used on the Forum? 
Honestly, I really don't care about the origins of the phrase "World Orthodoxy".  I'm not the least bit insulted, and I actually use the term myself to refer to my church when talking to Old Calendarists.  I also know that we World Orthodox make up the greatest majority of the Orthodox on this forum, which makes me think that someone else would have cried foul a long time ago if they really felt insulted by the term.
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« Reply #112 on: August 09, 2009, 11:44:33 AM »

Huh   The term "World Orthodoxy" was invented by Old Calendarist people as a denigratory term for the canonical Orthodox, i.e., the ancient Patriarchates (e.g. Constantinople) and the autocephalies (such as the OCA and Greece) and autonomies (such as the Ukrainian Church.)   Do we feel that this is an appropriate term or do we feel uncomfortable that this term intended to insult people is used on the Forum? 

I don't like the term World Orthodoxy but feel like sometimes it is necessary to use it to differentiate.  When I use it I don't intend it to be offensive.  I sometimes will use the term "mainstream" Orthodoxy but that term actually is self-defeating for me and not really tenable since I obviously believe my Church to be Orthodox and not in any way "unusual."

We should also note that the term Old Calendarist was originally a perjorative term invented by NC people to insult us. But we have taken it in stride and now often use it to describe ourselves.
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« Reply #113 on: August 09, 2009, 01:43:32 PM »

Forgive me for buttin' in, especially since I am such a novice as to this Old/New calendarist issue...  BUT- I recently had my first visit to a monastary, Greek Orthodox Holy Transfiguration in Boston Mass.  The Father Boniface gave me a book about Papa Nicholas Plannas, who lived until 1932, an Old- calendarist priest in Greece. 
   He celebrated the Old calendar Holy days and Festivals of the Saints, and they appeared to him, encouraging him to celebrate against the threat of persecution.  A simple man, he loved the Liturgical life, and began at 3am everday, ending at 3pm or later.  In his love for service and honoring of the Saints, he did not wish to advert from the practice he was used to, and kept it in secret at great risk.
  When he was summoned before the Archmandrite and questioned as to whether he was keeping the Old calendar- he replied- "Oh, oh, only at night!"
   This was to show that he was not seeking to cause a problem, but he did as his heart compelled him, out of his love for the "old way".

   MY thoughts on this, in light of Papa Nicholas, and those who keep the 'Old calendar'...  If it was good enough for the Church to keep it for so long, and for the Saints, Angels and Our Lord and God, to have their memorials celebrated, thier festivals kept and holy feats commemorated on certain days, at certain times, should they not have gotten used to it?
   For example...  Saint Michael the Archangel keeps his feast day in the heavens, and so it was bound on earth as well as in heaven.  Should we then re'schedule it ?  and for what reason?  Is it for Saint Michael's benefit?  Did we have the wrong day before?
  Is it now a correction? Or is the heavenly host celebrating as they have done previously?

I would like to have the mental capacity to overstand this matter more fully, but I keep getting lost in the posts, and further away from the heart of the matter.  Obviously there is a lot I don't know, mainly what I DO need to know, and what I DONT need to know, in order to see what problems exist and why.

As far as anathemas-  if the Church teaches me to keep Sunday as a Holy day- the Chief of Holy Days- and I do so...  then they switch it to monday....  and I keep worshiping on Sunday, becasue I became rooted in the Tradition, THEN they Anathematize me becasue I refuse to change the custom which I was previously taught, then this I would say is UNFAIR. 

Is there an explaination of WHY the calendar was changed?

Please be patient with me in response, or just ignore me if you like.  Thanks.  AMDE
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« Reply #114 on: August 09, 2009, 02:10:21 PM »

AFter just investigating a little further, and reading thru the 1935 Confession of Faith, http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/e_index.htm ...I found the reasonings of the Old calendarists, represented by the 3 fathers who signed it,  to be quite valid.  I know how I would feel if ones were to try to change the Ethiopian calendar. 
   QUESTION- Did they have to rewrite the Syanxis?  Or did they just 'correct' the dates?

By the way, two verses from the Holy Scriptures come into mind-  Not to change the boundaries set by our fathers, and that it is not permissible to celebrate a holy day early or late, but only at the proper time.  I believe both came thru Moses. 
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« Reply #115 on: August 09, 2009, 02:31:25 PM »

Has anything offered so far by anybody addressed what you are seeking? 

Some people have chimed in with some great comments on the nature of Tradition, but others seem to be not considering this side of the discussion at all, which is very interesting.

I think it is because this subject is the root of our core weakness: the majority of Orthodox are traditionalists as described by Pelikan. As a result, they tend to reject anything that does not jibe with their understanding of tradition, even if it is contradicted by the Holy Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition. Traditionalists seem paralyzed by the fear that any deviation, in any matter, may somehow be against the Mind of The Church. So much for the primacy of the Holy Scriptures and a Living Faith! I am all for a conservative approach to change. I fail to understand reflexive, almost blind, rejection of change.
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« Reply #116 on: August 10, 2009, 06:03:10 AM »

Huh   The term "World Orthodoxy" was invented by Old Calendarist people as a denigratory term for the canonical Orthodox, i.e., the ancient Patriarchates (e.g. Constantinople) and the autocephalies (such as the OCA and Greece) and autonomies (such as the Ukrainian Church.)   Do we feel that this is an appropriate term or do we feel uncomfortable that this term intended to insult people is used on the Forum? 
Honestly, I really don't care about the origins of the phrase "World Orthodoxy".  I'm not the least bit insulted, and I actually use the term myself to refer to my church when talking to Old Calendarists.  I also know that we World Orthodox make up the greatest majority of the Orthodox on this forum, which makes me think that someone else would have cried foul a long time ago if they really felt insulted by the term.

Well I am crying foul.   FOUL!  There are Old Calendarists who use "World Orthodoxy" as synonymous with "Pseudo-Orthodoxy" - a vile term to apply to the Church of Christ.

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_world_orthodoxy_milan_synod.shtml
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« Reply #117 on: August 10, 2009, 10:19:18 AM »

Huh   The term "World Orthodoxy" was invented by Old Calendarist people as a denigratory term for the canonical Orthodox, i.e., the ancient Patriarchates (e.g. Constantinople) and the autocephalies (such as the OCA and Greece) and autonomies (such as the Ukrainian Church.)   Do we feel that this is an appropriate term or do we feel uncomfortable that this term intended to insult people is used on the Forum? 
Honestly, I really don't care about the origins of the phrase "World Orthodoxy".  I'm not the least bit insulted, and I actually use the term myself to refer to my church when talking to Old Calendarists.  I also know that we World Orthodox make up the greatest majority of the Orthodox on this forum, which makes me think that someone else would have cried foul a long time ago if they really felt insulted by the term.

Well I am crying foul.   FOUL!  There are Old Calendarists who use "World Orthodoxy" as synonymous with "Pseudo-Orthodoxy" - a vile term to apply to the Church of Christ.

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_world_orthodoxy_milan_synod.shtml

If it's that important to you, then, please bring this concern up to one of the admins in private via pm.  Otherwise, I don't want you derailing this thread with your personal agenda, no matter how honorable your agenda really may be.
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« Reply #118 on: April 06, 2011, 03:46:38 PM »

Dear Irish Hermit and LBK:

If your one-sided over-emphasis on canonical authority is taken to the extreme; then, the Sanhedrin would have been justified in condemning Christ as a blasphemer, and handing Him over to the Romans. After all, they were the canonical authorities of the Jews at the time.

Thank God most Orthodox don't think in this shallow way. Obviously, there's more to Orthodoxy than only canonicity.
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« Reply #119 on: April 06, 2011, 03:52:25 PM »

Obviously, there's more to Orthodoxy than only canonicity.

Funny hats.
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« Reply #120 on: April 06, 2011, 04:05:55 PM »

Do you enjoy picking scabs off of old wounds?  The thread you are replying to is only 1.5 years old.

Dear Irish Hermit and LBK:

If your one-sided over-emphasis on canonical authority is taken to the extreme; then, the Sanhedrin would have been justified in condemning Christ as a blasphemer, and handing Him over to the Romans. After all, they were the canonical authorities of the Jews at the time.

Thank God most Orthodox don't think in this shallow way. Obviously, there's more to Orthodoxy than only canonicity.
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« Reply #121 on: April 06, 2011, 07:04:01 PM »

Michael:

Well, that too.

Punch:

Heck, yeah!
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« Reply #122 on: April 07, 2011, 12:27:20 AM »

Michael:

Well, that too.

Punch:

Heck, yeah!

Well, I have to admit that I also somewhat enjoy that perverse pleasure.
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« Reply #123 on: April 07, 2011, 01:48:13 AM »

Dear Irish Hermit and LBK:

If your one-sided over-emphasis on canonical authority is taken to the extreme; then, the Sanhedrin would have been justified in condemning Christ as a blasphemer, and handing Him over to the Romans. After all, they were the canonical authorities of the Jews at the time.

Thank God most Orthodox don't think in this shallow way. Obviously, there's more to Orthodoxy than only canonicity.

The Sanhedrin acted correctly in light of the law given to Israel by God through Moses.    This requires the death sentence for false prophets and blasphemy.  For example, Deuteronomy 18:20.

Our Saviour was, in the eyes of the High Priest and Sanhedrin, merely one of not a few false prophets who were common in Israel at that period.   They were regularly put to death even as the Lord was, after a trial before the Sanhedrin and then a Roman execution.  It is true that the charges of blasphemy brought against the Lord and which ensured His death were false, but the Sanhedrin was obliged (by God, through the divine revelation of Scripture) to apply the death penalty for blasphemy.
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« Reply #124 on: April 27, 2011, 01:03:17 PM »


Irish Hermit, I admit I got upset when you didn't read through our Proclamation because we called the 1583 council Pan-Orthodox. I apologize if I offended in my reply, I see you were concerned about a point of information. I don't actually know what constitutes a 'quorum' for a council to be Pan-Orthodox. If less than half the Local Churches were represented, then I understand why one might dispute. On the other hand, there are two other councils mentioned as Pan-Orthodox. I think it's also legitimate to wonder why no other Local Church challenged the authority of the 1583 Sigillion .

Something interesting.... 

The Old Calendarist Lie of Codex 772
by Elder Theoklitos Dionysiatis

One lie constituted the generative origins of the Old Calendarists which, to this day, weakens the mission of Orthodoxy with the influence of these schismatics towards simple Christians.

And which lie is this?  That during 1583 and 1593, two Local Synods under Patriarch Jeremiah II - which convened in order to condemn the all-daring overthrow of the First Ecumenical Synod’s ruling concerning the Feast of Holy Pascha under Papism - also condemned the calendar change.

And how was this lie created?  From a forgery which a premature zealot, Iakovos of New Skete, made in the handwritten codex of St. Panteleimon's Monastery (Mt. Athos), contained in number 772!

Extract from

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/02/old-calendarist-lie-of-codex-772.html
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« Reply #125 on: April 27, 2011, 08:32:08 PM »

I don't suppose there's any scholarly reference for this forgery claim.
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« Reply #126 on: April 27, 2011, 08:40:07 PM »

I don't suppose there's any scholarly reference for this forgery claim.

Heck, the article itself was not even that well written.  Nom nom nom schismatics nom nom going to hell nom nom nom Greece is the center of the universe, so we won't discuss the 75% of Orthodox who didn't adopt the new calendar nom nom nom . . .
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« Reply #127 on: April 27, 2011, 08:57:07 PM »

I don't suppose there's any scholarly reference for this forgery claim.

Heck, the article itself was not even that well written.  Nom nom nom schismatics nom nom going to hell nom nom nom Greece is the center of the universe, so we won't discuss the 75% of Orthodox who didn't adopt the new calendar nom nom nom . . .

Apparently this Elder was once a Zealot, but he was scandalized by some dispute among a group of other Zealots, and somehow concluded from this that they were all wrong and the commemorators were right.

If every Orthodox Christian left the Church because some other members behaved scandalously on occasion, there would be no Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #128 on: April 27, 2011, 09:05:08 PM »

Apparently this Elder was once a Zealot, but he was scandalized by some dispute among a group of other Zealots, and somehow concluded from this that they were all wrong and the commemorators were right.

If every Orthodox Christian left the Church because some other members behaved scandalously on occasion, there would be no Orthodox Christians.

But Jonathan, what about the forgery claim?  I have asked many Old Calendarists about this and nobody seems to know anything about this claim.
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« Reply #129 on: April 27, 2011, 09:35:39 PM »

Apparently this Elder was once a Zealot, but he was scandalized by some dispute among a group of other Zealots, and somehow concluded from this that they were all wrong and the commemorators were right.

If every Orthodox Christian left the Church because some other members behaved scandalously on occasion, there would be no Orthodox Christians.

But Jonathan, what about the forgery claim?  I have asked many Old Calendarists about this and nobody seems to know anything about this claim.

Is it so surprising? A google search only turns up this claim by Elder Theoclitos as quoted by Mr Sanidopoulos, which as far as anyone can tell he made up out of thin air. If you could provide some scholarly study, something with credible authority, proving or at least making a reasonable case for forgery, then perhaps we would be prepared to take it seriously, and compose a proper rebuttal, or perhaps a concession. Until then, don't expect us to refute it before it has even been proven.
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« Reply #130 on: April 27, 2011, 09:55:35 PM »

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?

In 1974 Met. Philaret, along with the ROCOR Synod - OFFICIALLY stated that the issue concerning the NC could only be decided by a pan-Orthodox council.  Consider this fact in light of the other previous synods which allegedly anathematized the NC.  Apparently Met. Philaret did not go along with these previous anathemas.  He himself had NC parishes in ROCOR under his authority.   
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« Reply #131 on: April 27, 2011, 09:58:58 PM »

Is it so surprising? A google search only turns up this claim by Elder Theoclitos as quoted by Mr Sanidopoulos, which as far as anyone can tell he made up out of thin air. If you could provide some scholarly study, something with credible authority, proving or at least making a reasonable case for forgery, then perhaps we would be prepared to take it seriously, and compose a proper rebuttal, or perhaps a concession. Until then, don't expect us to refute it before it has even been proven.

Did you Google english sites only?  Elder Theoclitos' claim has been around for a while now and was known in Greece long before the claim was translated in English.  Don't you know Greek?  If not, surely you know other members of your Greek Old Calendarist Synod who should be able to respond to this.  If these claims have been around for a while in Greek, surely a response in Greek can be found somewhere.  
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« Reply #132 on: April 27, 2011, 10:16:46 PM »

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?

In 1974 Met. Philaret, along with the ROCOR Synod - OFFICIALLY stated that the issue concerning the NC could only be decided by a pan-Orthodox council.  Consider this fact in light of the other previous synods which allegedly anathematized the NC.  Apparently Met. Philaret did not go along with these previous anathemas.  He himself had NC parishes in ROCOR under his authority.   

With regard to the NC parishes, the whole point is that they were under his authority, i.e. their celebration on the NC was allowed by pastoral condescension. It did not in any way express the position of the Synod, which was firmly traditionalist. If you are trying to use this fact to argue that Met Philaret was pro-NC, how do you account for the fact that he refused to concelebrate with priests or bishops from the NC churches, or to allow anyone under his authority to do so? You might conclude that Met Philaret was of a split mind about it, which no more helps your case than mine. Alternatively, you can differentiate between pastoral condescension and dogmatic strictness.

I also recall reading that these NCists under ROCOR were eventually expelled when they refused to adjust to the traditional calendar.

It is true that the 1974 Sobor left the decision about the status of the NCists and ecumenists to a pan-Orthodox council. It's worth remembering, though, that the 1974 Sobor made no declaration concerning whether or not the ecumenists and NCists were still in the Church. That appears to have been left to the individual conscience, and in any case there was also the policy of not concelebrating with new calendarists and ecumenists that you have to take into account. Furthermore, it seems the ROCOR reversed its stand when it anathematized ecumenism in 1983. Notwithstanding Met Vitaly's later interpretation of the anathema as binding on ROCOR only (the first time an anathema of a heresy was only locally applicable!), there is nothing in the original text of the anathema that suggests it had anything other than universal application. Finally, the fact that ROCOR believed this particular instance could only be resolved by a Pan-Orthodox council does not change the fact that Local Councils have historically had the authority to anathematize heresies, prior to or even without a subsequent ecumenical decision. In other words, the ROCOR decision of 1974 does not per se take away the authority of the GOC of Greece to anathematize the new calendar (assuming this is what you were referring to by "previous councils"). In fact, if we adopt Met Vitaly's reasoning, we could still argue the GOC had competent authority to anathematize the new calendar, given that this was, at least originally, only a local affair. You might want to recall that just before the 1974 Sobor, the ROCOR had officially entered into communion with the GOC, thus implicitly recognizing the GOC's claim against the NC State Church.
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« Reply #133 on: April 27, 2011, 10:19:42 PM »

Is it so surprising? A google search only turns up this claim by Elder Theoclitos as quoted by Mr Sanidopoulos, which as far as anyone can tell he made up out of thin air. If you could provide some scholarly study, something with credible authority, proving or at least making a reasonable case for forgery, then perhaps we would be prepared to take it seriously, and compose a proper rebuttal, or perhaps a concession. Until then, don't expect us to refute it before it has even been proven.

Did you Google english sites only?  Elder Theoclitos' claim has been around for a while now and was known in Greece long before the claim was translated in English.  Don't you know Greek?  If not, surely you know other members of your Greek Old Calendarist Synod who should be able to respond to this.  If these claims have been around for a while in Greek, surely a response in Greek can be found somewhere.  

Why don't you first provide me with proof, rather than unsubstantiated assertions, that the Sigillion was forged or tampered with? It is simply illogical to demand to see the case for the defense when the prosecution has not even assembled its own case based on prima facie evidence.
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« Reply #134 on: April 28, 2011, 12:00:33 AM »

Why don't you first provide me with proof, rather than unsubstantiated assertions, that the Sigillion was forged or tampered with? It is simply illogical to demand to see the case for the defense when the prosecution has not even assembled its own case based on prima facie evidence.

I did not make the claim regarding the Old Calendarist forgery of codex 772, Elder Theoklitos of Mt. Athos did.  I simply asked if you knew anything which would contradict this claim.  I am led to believe that the late Abp Chrysostomos of Athens goes into more detail on this subject in the doctoral thesis which he wrote on the subject of the Old Calendarist schism, but without knowing Greek myself, and without an English translation of the dissertation, I cannot either confirm or deny the claim regarding the forgery.  I assumed that you know Greek and could consequently find a refutation in Greek quite easily, if such a refutation existed.  Knowledge of Greek would obviously better enable someone to confirm or deny the forgery claim.  If you do know Greek but simply don't want to look into this claim, then nobody can force you, only you will be leaving the claim of Elder Theoklitos unchallenged.  For an Athonite monk to claim that a documen on Mt. Athos contains a forgery would be quite an easy claim for his fellow monks to verify.  At this point, I have no reason to think he would make it up. 
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« Reply #135 on: April 28, 2011, 11:38:31 AM »

Why don't you first provide me with proof, rather than unsubstantiated assertions, that the Sigillion was forged or tampered with? It is simply illogical to demand to see the case for the defense when the prosecution has not even assembled its own case based on prima facie evidence.

I did not make the claim regarding the Old Calendarist forgery of codex 772, Elder Theoklitos of Mt. Athos did.  I simply asked if you knew anything which would contradict this claim.  I am led to believe that the late Abp Chrysostomos of Athens goes into more detail on this subject in the doctoral thesis which he wrote on the subject of the Old Calendarist schism, but without knowing Greek myself, and without an English translation of the dissertation, I cannot either confirm or deny the claim regarding the forgery.  I assumed that you know Greek and could consequently find a refutation in Greek quite easily, if such a refutation existed.  Knowledge of Greek would obviously better enable someone to confirm or deny the forgery claim.  If you do know Greek but simply don't want to look into this claim, then nobody can force you, only you will be leaving the claim of Elder Theoklitos unchallenged.  For an Athonite monk to claim that a documen on Mt. Athos contains a forgery would be quite an easy claim for his fellow monks to verify.  At this point, I have no reason to think he would make it up. 

I don't know Greek that well I'm afraid. But I am still baffled by the way you expect us to provide some decisive refutation to every new wild assertion the New Calendarists throw out in order to justify their defiance of the Church's anathema. The burden of proof is on you, not us. Are you not interested yourself in seeing whether Fr Theoklitos' assertion has any evidence to back it up? Or are you simply going to take his word for it? I have every reason to think the New Calendarists and their fellow-travelers on Mt Athos like Fr Theoklitos would make this up, or would at any rate simply repeat the assertion from whatever source without checking up on the facts. To say the anathema against the Menologion never actually existed in the original Sigillion obviously justifies your position and undermines our own. No one on your side has any interest in looking for evidence to support this assertion, unless we point out to you that you are going to have to provide the proof for your own claims before you expect us to refute them. This is why I'm putting the burden of proof on you to provide something more substantial than what some random Elder told you. Once you find it and show it to me, then I'll go looking for the refutation. Until then, why should I waste my time?

Funnily enough, as I showed earlier, there have been claims of forgery before, which never came to anything. To me this just looks like more of the same.
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« Reply #136 on: April 28, 2011, 11:52:37 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
Again, I will recommend anyone to read the last 2 paragraphs & then read the whole chapter on what Mother Maria speaks about the rigid, stagnant, ritualist mentality in her penetrating analysis. (the link is still good).
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« Reply #137 on: April 28, 2011, 12:07:07 PM »

I don't know Greek that well I'm afraid.

Ok, I apolgoize for the mistaken asumption.

But I am still baffled by the way you expect us to provide some decisive refutation to every new wild assertion the New Calendarists throw out in order to justify their defiance of the Church's anathema.

I have no such expectation.  Fr. Theoklitos is well known, is not a “New Calendarist” and as a former Old Calendarist zealot who joined the rest of the Orthodox Church, his claims carry some authority, which the zealot Old Calendarists on Mt. Athos and beyond would likely have rushed to deny if this claim is indeed made up.

To say the anathema against the Menologion never actually existed in the original Sigillion obviously justifies your position and undermines our own. No one on your side has any interest in looking for evidence to support this assertion, unless we point out to you that you are going to have to provide the proof for your own claims before you expect us to refute them. This is why I'm putting the burden of proof on you to provide something more substantial than what some random Elder told you. Once you find it and show it to me, then I'll go looking for the refutation. Until then, why should I waste my time?

Well, if neither you nor I know Greek, than we will not be able to do much to address this subject on our own.  I have asked someone who does know Greek, and who is interested in this question, to try to get some more information, and if he has the time to look into it and helps to clarify the matter, then I will pass the info on.
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« Reply #138 on: April 28, 2011, 12:51:17 PM »

I imagine we don't consider Fr Theoklitos to be a figure of authority in the way you do. Just because he used to be a Zealot doesn't mean we still consider him to have the authority of one. Therefore, we are not going to take his assertions any more seriously than if some random crazy person said it. This probably explains the lack of essays rebutting the claims. If you want to believe whatever your "holy elders" tell you, uncritically, you can do so, but don't expect us to do likewise.

But I'd be interested to hear what you find out, and if there is in fact some substantial evidence lying behind Fr Theoklitos' assertions.
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« Reply #139 on: April 28, 2011, 01:39:27 PM »

Christos anesti!
Why don't you first provide me with proof, rather than unsubstantiated assertions, that the Sigillion was forged or tampered with? It is simply illogical to demand to see the case for the defense when the prosecution has not even assembled its own case based on prima facie evidence.

I did not make the claim regarding the Old Calendarist forgery of codex 772, Elder Theoklitos of Mt. Athos did.  I simply asked if you knew anything which would contradict this claim.  I am led to believe that the late Abp Chrysostomos of Athens goes into more detail on this subject in the doctoral thesis which he wrote on the subject of the Old Calendarist schism, but without knowing Greek myself, and without an English translation of the dissertation, I cannot either confirm or deny the claim regarding the forgery.  I assumed that you know Greek and could consequently find a refutation in Greek quite easily, if such a refutation existed.  Knowledge of Greek would obviously better enable someone to confirm or deny the forgery claim.  If you do know Greek but simply don't want to look into this claim, then nobody can force you, only you will be leaving the claim of Elder Theoklitos unchallenged.  For an Athonite monk to claim that a documen on Mt. Athos contains a forgery would be quite an easy claim for his fellow monks to verify.  At this point, I have no reason to think he would make it up.  
My first question would be why is the sigellion isn't in the archive of the Phanar. Where else, if anywhere else, does it appear?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 01:41:18 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jah777
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« Reply #140 on: April 28, 2011, 02:04:33 PM »

I imagine we don't consider Fr Theoklitos to be a figure of authority in the way you do. Just because he used to be a Zealot doesn't mean we still consider him to have the authority of one. Therefore, we are not going to take his assertions any more seriously than if some random crazy person said it. This probably explains the lack of essays rebutting the claims. If you want to believe whatever your "holy elders" tell you, uncritically, you can do so, but don't expect us to do likewise.
 

I will let you know if I learn anything else about this, but really Jonathan, this getting ridiculous.  "If you want to believe whatever your 'holy elders' tell you..."?  I simply asked if you knew anything about the claim, that's all.  I hardly know anything about Elder Theoklitos and I did not hold up this claim of his as a proven and uncontestable fact from an “infallible holy elder”.  It seems only uncontested in accessible English sources, but as I said, I am interested to know what is available in Greek.  You said you do not know Greek, so we could leave it at that.  If you don’t know Greek, and don’t know what is in Greek on the subject, however, what is with all of the “we” statements as though you represent the Greek Old Calendarists and can explain why there are a “lack of essays rebutting the claims”, or your assertion that Elder Theoklitos’ claims are not considered by Old Calendarists to be any more serious than the words of a “random crazy person”?  Clearly Fr. Maximus (Marretta) in your Synod took the claims of Fr. Basil Gregoriates on Mt. Athos seriously enough to take about two years to formulate a response.  Why would a similar attempt not be made in the case of Elder Theoklitos and his claims?  If you don’t know Greek, and don’t know what has or has not been said by Old Calendarists in Greek on the subject, it would probably be best to stop speaking for the Greek Old Calendarists on this issue and put the subject aside until further information becomes available.  I would certainly be happy to do the same.           
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« Reply #141 on: April 28, 2011, 02:56:09 PM »

I imagine we don't consider Fr Theoklitos to be a figure of authority in the way you do. Just because he used to be a Zealot doesn't mean we still consider him to have the authority of one. Therefore, we are not going to take his assertions any more seriously than if some random crazy person said it. This probably explains the lack of essays rebutting the claims. If you want to believe whatever your "holy elders" tell you, uncritically, you can do so, but don't expect us to do likewise.
 

I will let you know if I learn anything else about this, but really Jonathan, this getting ridiculous.  "If you want to believe whatever your 'holy elders' tell you..."?  I simply asked if you knew anything about the claim, that's all.  I hardly know anything about Elder Theoklitos and I did not hold up this claim of his as a proven and uncontestable fact from an “infallible holy elder”.  It seems only uncontested in accessible English sources, but as I said, I am interested to know what is available in Greek.  You said you do not know Greek, so we could leave it at that.  If you don’t know Greek, and don’t know what is in Greek on the subject, however, what is with all of the “we” statements as though you represent the Greek Old Calendarists and can explain why there are a “lack of essays rebutting the claims”, or your assertion that Elder Theoklitos’ claims are not considered by Old Calendarists to be any more serious than the words of a “random crazy person”?  Clearly Fr. Maximus (Marretta) in your Synod took the claims of Fr. Basil Gregoriates on Mt. Athos seriously enough to take about two years to formulate a response.  Why would a similar attempt not be made in the case of Elder Theoklitos and his claims?  If you don’t know Greek, and don’t know what has or has not been said by Old Calendarists in Greek on the subject, it would probably be best to stop speaking for the Greek Old Calendarists on this issue and put the subject aside until further information becomes available.  I would certainly be happy to do the same.           


I felt you were insinuating something by some of your phrasing, such as "then Elder Theoclitus' claims will remain unchallenged", which to me at any rate carried the clear implicature that the burden of proof was on someone on our side to challenge and refute the claim, as if all you had to do on your side was make a bald accusation and leave it at that. I don't feel you are being entirely honest when you say on the one hand that you aren't necessarily agreeing with Fr Theoclitus, while at the same time you keep bringing his claim up in different conversations, as if this were something that we needed to address promptly in order to justify ourselves. Why do you keep bringing it up if you are not yourself willing to vouch for its validity? You did not begin this by saying "by any chance, do you know of any OCist who addressed this claim?" Rather, you began by saying "why haven't you considered the lack of any challenges to this claim?", as if there needed to be any challenges. I'm saying again that we do not need to address this issue at all unless you can provide some solid evidence supporting Fr Theoclitus' assertions. So, if you don't want to raise hackles, watch your phrasing.

Regarding Fr Basil and Fr Maximus, Fr Basil made assertions about the way the Church has historically treated heresy but he also backed them up with evidence. Fr Maximus for the most part did not deny the validity of the evidence Fr Basil brought to bear, but instead showed how other evidence must also be considered, which taken in its entirety supports the position of the GOC.
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jah777
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« Reply #142 on: April 28, 2011, 03:21:21 PM »

I felt you were insinuating something by some of your phrasing, such as "then Elder Theoclitus' claims will remain unchallenged", which to me at any rate carried the clear implicature that the burden of proof was on someone on our side to challenge and refute the claim, as if all you had to do on your side was make a bald accusation and leave it at that. I don't feel you are being entirely honest when you say on the one hand that you aren't necessarily agreeing with Fr Theoclitus, while at the same time you keep bringing his claim up in different conversations, as if this were something that we needed to address promptly in order to justify ourselves. Why do you keep bringing it up if you are not yourself willing to vouch for its validity? You did not begin this by saying "by any chance, do you know of any OCist who addressed this claim?" Rather, you began by saying "why haven't you considered the lack of any challenges to this claim?", as if there needed to be any challenges. I'm saying again that we do not need to address this issue at all unless you can provide some solid evidence supporting Fr Theoclitus' assertions. So, if you don't want to raise hackles, watch your phrasing.
 

I should have said "then Elder Theoclitus' claims will remain unchallenged in English[/b][/i]".  I keep bringing it up only hoping that someone will have more information.  It would be foolish of me to hold up this claim as solid fact based merely on an assertion without any supportive documentation or explanation.   

Fr Maximus for the most part did not deny the validity of the evidence Fr Basil brought to bear, but instead showed how other evidence must also be considered, which taken in its entirety supports the position of the GOC.

I agree that Fr. Maximus’ conclusions support your position, but I don’t believe his evidence supports his conclusions.  However, I honestly do not have the time to jump in to this one.  It would be impractical to attempt on a discussion board to refute an article that took him 2 yrs to produce.  I’ll leave that job to someone more qualified, to address in a different format and at another time. 
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