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Author Topic: ROCOR - MP Meeting regarding Church Unity  (Read 3724 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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« on: November 14, 2002, 12:36:14 PM »

http://www.sedmitza.ru/ The top news item on the above website of the MP's "Orthodox Encyclopedia" reports that a second meeting of MP and ROCOR began November 13th in Moscow's Andreyevsky Monastery.  The meeting was organized by ROCOR's commission on Russian church unity.  The first such meeting took place about a year ago in Hugary with the assistance of the Serbian patriarchate. Hierarchs are not involved in this meetings/working sessions, which thus far involve only mid-level representatives. ROCOR's clerics who arrived in Moscow:  Archpriest Nicholas Artyomov, secretary of the German diocese, and archpriests Peter Perekrestov, Alexander Lebedeff, Victor Potapov.  Among the MP participants: Archpriest Valentin Asmus and Georgy Mitrofanov, archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Priest Georgy Orekhanov (St. Tikhon's Theological Institute), as well as exoerts/historians: Olga Vasilyeva, Mikhail Shkarovsky, Sergey Firsov. The conference will last until Nov. 16.


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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2002, 01:03:20 PM »

Wonderful news - thanks! The story is now linked on my site. Of course I hope these two parts of the Russian Church come together now that the Soviet government is gone.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2002, 02:47:52 PM »

Wonderful news - thanks! The story is now linked on my site. Of course I hope these two parts of the Russian Church come together now that the Soviet government is gone.

I have close spiritual relatives in the ROCOR who pray for the restoration of ecclesial unity between the MP and the ROCOR, Serge.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2002, 08:13:33 PM »

May there efforts be fruitful.

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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2002, 09:59:08 PM »



 Archpriest Alexander (Lebedeff) is a wonderful, erudite priest and this Commission is blessed to have him among them!!!


                                             Brian
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2002, 10:45:32 PM »

What, basically, are the issues that the MP and ROCOR will have to work out in order for there to be unity once again?
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2002, 12:29:55 AM »

[What, basically, are the issues that the MP and ROCOR will have to work out in order for there to be unity once again?]

One would be how the ROCOR churches will be administered to in certain areas outside Russia.

Example is that there is a unverified rumor that the OCA is involved in negiotations regarding the churches here in the U.S.  Since the MP recognizes the OCA  as an autocephalous church with jurisdiction here, the rumor is that the ROCOR parishes would become a separate Russian diocese within the OCA with their own hierachy.  Just like the current Albanian, Bulgarian, and Romanian dioceses within the OCA.   They would have  the responsibility of administering to those parishes who initially want to keep their Russian identity as well as the new immigrants from eastern europe with a Russian identity.  As stated, this is an unsubstantiated rumor.

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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2002, 12:52:44 AM »

[What, basically, are the issues that the MP and ROCOR will have to work out in order for there to be unity once again?]

One would be how the ROCOR churches will be administered to in certain areas outside Russia.

Example is that there is a unverified rumor that the OCA is involved in negiotations regarding the churches here in the U.S.  Since the MP recognizes the OCA  as an autocephalous church with jurisdiction here, the rumor is that the ROCOR parishes would become a separate Russian diocese within the OCA with their own hierachy.  Just like the current Albanian, Bulgarian, and Romanian dioceses within the OCA.   They would have  the responsibility of administering to those parishes who initially want to keep their Russian identity as well as the new immigrants from eastern europe with a Russian identity.  As stated, this is an unsubstantiated rumor.

Orthodoc  

Orthodoc, you're right: this is completely unsubstantiated.  The ROCOR has more than one diocese in the USA at present, plus one in Canada.  I don't think these four or five dioceses are going to be constricted into just one OCA diocese.  This would never be satisfactory to the ROCOR hierarchy, IMHO.  

The differences between the ROCOR and the MP seem more to be focused on the ROCOR's allegations about the MP on 1) so-called "Sergianism", 2) recognition of the New Martyrs of the Soviet Yoke, including the Royal Passion-bearers, and 3) ecumenism.  

Number 2 has already been formally taken care of by the MP with the MP's solemn Glorification of the New Martyrs of the Soviet Yoke.  Another matter would be, from the MP's side, the setting up of bishoprics *within Russia* on the MP's canonical territory by the ROCOR, the Russian Orthodox Church *Outside Russia*.  So the ROCOR has put a thorn into the MP's side which must be carefully extricated, and the MP must convince the ROCOR that all traces of "Sergianism" and ecumenism have been expunged from the MP.  His Holiness, Patriarch Alexy II, from what I have read, has already publicly repented of "Sergianism" in the name of the MP.  And the MP is very conservative in its approach to ecumenism in comparison with many of the other autocephalic Orthodox Churches, e.g., the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Antiochian Patriarchate, the Alexandrian Patriarchate, the Romanian Patriarchate and the OCA.

Do I have that right, Nik?

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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2002, 12:53:05 AM »

What, basically, are the issues that the MP and ROCOR will have to work out in order for there to be unity once again?  

I tried to post the document here, but it was far to long and I have no patience to break it up into 5 sections for posting, so here's a link to the official reasons for seperation and what needs to be fixed before the seperations can be healed. God Bless!

TO THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PEOPLE: STATEMENT OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2002, 11:38:52 AM »

Thanks, Nik, for providing the text of that statement.  I have a question, and I think I sorta already know the answer.  

ROCOR protests the activity of the MP (and perhaps all the other Eastern Orthodox Churches) in the World Council of Churches.  Understandable.  

What does ROCOR have to say about the dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox?  Does it reject the Joint Declarations we have already made regarding the "orthodoxy" of each other's Christological formulae?  Does it insist on an all or nothing policy of seven Councils and two natures before communion could be restored?  What does ROCOR say regarding the Oriental Orthodox Churches?
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2002, 12:07:18 PM »

Mor Ephrem,

I'm afraid AFAIK ROCOR's view of Oriental Orthodox is less than rosy. Met. Philaret, when he was first hierarch (1980s?), rebuked the superior at Jordanville for letting Copts have services in the crypt church there. Which, even if Copts are orthodox, makes sense as Copts and Russian Orthodox aren't in communion. Though that may be changing in the MP - locally I've been told Copts may commune at the MP church here.
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2002, 04:09:06 PM »



 Archpriest Alexander (Lebedeff) is a wonderful, erudite priest and this Commission is blessed to have him among them!!!


                                             Brian

I agree with you 100%, Brian, concerning Father Alexander.  Fathers Victor Potapov and Peter Perekrestov, from what I know of them, also are very fair-minded and intelligent.  It appears to me that the ROCOR has designated some of its best and most prestigious priestly minds for this Commission.

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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2002, 05:16:16 PM »

Orthodoc:

I don't think it would be fair if the ROCOR becomes a simple diocese of the OCA? If unity is finally reached, they would sure be a separate Church with its own identity and its autonomy. That idea about the ROCOR becoming part of the OCA looks very much like a "Campos-style" union(quote: the traditional Latin Diocese of Campos which separated from the mainstarm Catholic Church in Brazil and fought against modernism and liberalism recently returned to communion with liberal Rome through an agreement that doesn't look very fair).
In this case there was another proposition, the ROCOR woud stay as a Synod Outside Russia fully recognizing the MP as a true Patriarchate in Russia and their Sacraments but preserving their canonical independence. Obviously, I hope the MP doesn't decide to give them the "autocephaly" because that would cause troubles with the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the only one with the right to provide them this status. Anyway I know the ROCOR doesn't want anything to do with the MP since their Bishops had said that Patriarch Bartolomew was a freemasson.
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2002, 07:12:17 PM »

Why is the EP the only one allowed to grant autocephaly?
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2002, 07:28:42 PM »

Why is the EP the only one allowed to grant autocephaly?  

Because it thinks it can?    When the former Russian-American Metropolia went to the EP to make its case for autocephaly many years ago, the EP washed its hands of the request and said go to your Mother Church for autocephaly.  Well, that's exactly what the Metropolia did years later in 1970, when it was granted a Tomos of Autocephaly by its Mother Church, the Moscow Patriarchate.  Then the EP refused to recognize the autocephaly that the MP granted to its daughter Church, now known as the "Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church in America," i.e., the OCA, but it has never failed to recognize the OCA's canonicity.  Nonetheless, in addition to the Moscow Patriarchate and the Patriarchate-Catholicosate of Georgia, the OCA's autocephaly is, of course, recognized by itself, as well as by the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches of Poland and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2002, 07:41:17 PM »

[I don't think it would be fair if the ROCOR becomes a simple diocese of the OCA?]

Why not?  I am not  referring to ROCOR as a complete entity.  ROCOR has churches throughout the world.  I am just referring to the ROCOR parishes here in the US.

 According to the Tomos of autocephally, the MP cannot create new churches within the jurisdiction of the autocephalous church they themselves have created here in the US (the OCA).  They also cannot increase the amount of churches they currently have within the US by accepting parishes from other jurisdictions.  The agreement was that they would administer those churches that, because of past issues, did not want to become part of the OCA at the time of the signed  agreement.  If, and when, the individual parishes wanted to become part of the OCA they would be released to the OCA without a problem

I am only saying that I heard an unsubstantiated rumor that those ROCOR parishes WITHIN THE US  would become an ethnic diocese within the OCA with their own bishops and, as such,  have certain automony within the ALREADY created autocephalous  church within the US.  They would act as an adminstratively  separate entity while being part of the OCA.  And as such, their bishop or bishops would have voting privileges within the OCA Synod of Bishops on anything that involves the entire autocephalous OCA.

[If unity is finally reached, they would sure be a separate Church with its own identity and its autonomy.]

They already see themselves as such now. And administer to their parishes as such. So what would be the advantage or purpose of reuniting?  You are looking at it thru western Roman Catholic administrative standards. Doesn't work.  

[In this case there was another proposition, the ROCOR woud stay as a Synod Outside Russia fully recognizing the MP as a true Patriarchate in Russia and their Sacraments but preserving their canonical independence. Obviously, I hope the MP doesn't decide to give them the "autocephaly" because that would cause troubles with the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the only one with the right to provide them this status.]

Once again, I was only referring to those ROCOR churches within the United States.  The MP has already created an autocephalous church within the United States.  Why would it want to create another?  Besides, the canons forbid it.  You cannot create TWO autocephalous churches within the same territory.  And, how would this help to solve the problem of multiple jurisdictions within the same territoy which the canons forbid?
They would have the same canonical independence as a separate diocese within the OCA as they would a a separate diocese within the MP.  You are confused with the terms automony and autocephally.  An automonous church is administratively independent from the mother church to a certain degree.  It can govern itself independently without the interference of the mother church.  However, though it can elect its own bishops,  they have to be approved by the mother church before they can be enthroned.  And they have to  go to the mother church for the Holy Chrism.  That's how the Carpatho Russian and Ukranian dioceses work within the EP now.

The situation involving the churches within the US create a different circumstance because of the autocephalous church here that  is not only recognized by the MP, but created by it.  And, before someone comes in and with the rumor that shows up every so often, the MP has no plans or desire to rescind the autocephally of the OCA.  That's just wishful thinking for some.  Relationships between the MP and the OCA have come a long way in the last 30+ years.

Hopefully, if the now ROCOR  parishes (which would be known as the Russian Orthodox diocese within the OCA)  here in the US are administered by their own bishops time will eventually heal all wounds as it is doing between the MP and OCA.  Time heals all wounds as the say.

I hope I haven't confused you.  If you have questions ask .

 And, let it be known that I pray for unity.  I have not now, or have I ever had any hostility towards ROCOR.  I consider them canonical and have no problem attending or receiving the sacraments in any of their parishes provided I am properly prepared and it is offered.

Orthodoc

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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2002, 07:59:29 PM »

[Why is the EP the only one allowed to grant autocephaly? ]

Its not.  The EP loves to quote a canon which states it has jurisdiction over three provinces outside of Greece AND ALL THE BARBARIAN LANDS.  

The EP still sees the identification of a BARBARIAN as anyone who can't speak Greek!  So, since the United  States is not officially a Greek speaking nation it is barbarian in the EP's eyes.

There is another canon (the one used by the MP) which states that the church which is first to establish a presence in a new area has jusrisdiction over that area.  And, as such can grant autocephally to the children it administered to.

The Bulgarian Church also recognizes the autocephally of the OCA.  In fact, my Bulgarian friend told me he read on the Bulgarian website that the small Bulgarian diocese currently under the BP is going to be united with the Bulgarian diocese within the OCA and, therefore,  become part of the OCA.  One less jurisdiction here in the US.

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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2002, 08:30:08 PM »

[I don't think it would be fair if the ROCOR becomes a simple diocese of the OCA?]

Why not?  I am not  referring to ROCOR as a complete entity.  ROCOR has churches throughout the world.  I am just referring to the ROCOR parishes here in the US.

 According to the Tomos of autocephally, the MP cannot create new churches within the jurisdiction of the autocephalous church they themselves have created here in the US (the OCA).  They also cannot increase the amount of churches they currently have within the US by accepting parishes from other jurisdictions.  The agreement was that they would administer those churches that, because of past issues, did not want to become part of the OCA at the time of the signed  agreement.  If, and when, the individual parishes wanted to become part of the OCA they would be released to the OCA without a problem

I am only saying that I heard an unsubstantiated rumor that those ROCOR parishes WITHIN THE US  would become an ethnic diocese within the OCA with their own bishops and, as such,  have certain automony within the ALREADY created autocephalous  church within the US.  They would act as an adminstratively  separate entity while being part of the OCA.  And as such, their bishop or bishops would have voting privileges within the OCA Synod of Bishops.

[If unity is finally reached, they would sure be a separate Church with its own identity and its autonomy.]

They already see themselves as such now. And administer to their parishes as such. So what would be the advantage or purpose of reuniting?  You are looking at it thru western Roman Catholic administrative standards. Doesn't work.  

[In this case there was another proposition, the ROCOR woud stay as a Synod Outside Russia fully recognizing the MP as a true Patriarchate in Russia and their Sacraments but preserving their canonical independence. Obviously, I hope the MP doesn't decide to give them the "autocephaly" because that would cause troubles with the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the only one with the right to provide them this status.]

Once again, I was only referring to those ROCOR churches within the United States.  The MP has already created an autocephalous church within the United States.  Why would it want to create another?  Besides, the canons forbid it.  You cannot create TWO autocephalous churches within the same territory.  And, how would this help to solve the problem of multiple jurisdictions within the same territoy which the canons forbid?
They would have the same canonical independence as a separate diocese within the OCA as they would within the MP.  You are confused with the terms automony and autocephally.  An automonous church is administratively independent from the mother church to a certain degree.  It can govern itself independently without the interference of the mother church.  However, though it can elect its own bishops,  they have to be approved by the mother church before they can be enthroned.  And they have to  go to the mother church for the Holy Chrism.

The situation involving the churches within the US create a different circumstance because of the autocephalous church here that  is not only recognizedby the MP by created by it.  And, before someone comes in and with the rumor that shows up every so often, the MP has no plans or desire to rescind the autocephally of the OCA.  That's just wishful thinking for some.  Relationships between the MP and the OCA have come a long way in the last 30+ years.

Hopefully, if the now ROCOR  parishes (which would be known as the Russian Orthodox diocese within the OCA)  here in the US are administered by their own bishops time will eventually heal all wounds as it is doing between the MP and OCA.  Time heals all wounds as the say.

I hope I haven't confused you.  If you have questions ask .

 And, let it be known that I pray for unity.  I have not now, or have I ever had any hostility towards ROCOR.  I consider them canonical and have no problem atteding or receiving the sacraments in any of their parishes provided I am properly prepared and it is offered.

Orthodoc

Orthodoc, where are you getting your information?  Dialogue between the hierarchs of the MP and the ROCOR has not yet even begun.  There is no absolute guarantee that it will.  There is only a joint MP/ROCOR commission charged with the *possibility* of dialogue, and there are no hierarchs on the commission.  Commission members can only report back to their respective hierarchs with their recommendations, which can be accepted, rejected, or modified by the hierarchs of either side.

To say that a separate "Russian Orthodox" ethnic diocese of the OCA will be set up in the USA for the eventually former ROCOR parishes here is jumping the gun and stretching it a bit.  For one thing, the OCA already * has* a "Russian Orthodox" diocese: this is the official name of the OCA's (Old Calendar) Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska, currently headed by His Grace, Bishop NIKOLAI of Sitka, Anchorage and All Alaska.  And we already know about the newly-formed ROCOR parish of St. James the Just in Anchorage from another thread.

All of what may happen should the MP and the ROCOR reunite is pure conjecture at this point and up to whatever the respective parties may agree to in the future.   Rumors may abound, but, except for wishful thinking, they are without any foundation at present.

Hypo-Ortho  


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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2002, 09:44:50 PM »

[Orthodoc, where are you getting your information?  Dialogue between the hierarchs of the MP and the ROCOR has not yet even begun. ]

My last post was in answer to some comments made by Remie.  It was based on a possible solution to honor what is contained in the Tomos of autocephally between the OCA and the MP.   Which already is a fact and has been since 1970.

Nowhere did I claim it was fact but  unsubstantiated rumors.
Though I have heard there are currently other negiotations going on elsewhere regarding specifically the churches here in the US between the MP, ROCOR, and OCA.  Once again, they are only as reliable as anything else that is posted on the internet and originally appeared on the east-orthodox newsgroup.

How else can there be unity between the MP & ROCOR where what is contained in the Tomos will be honored regarding the parishes here in the US?  

Would be interested in seeing other scenarios that would provide unity and honor the Tomos in regards to the ROCOR parishes in the US?

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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2002, 12:01:43 PM »

Mor Ephrem,

Quote
What, basically, are the issues that the MP and ROCOR will have to work out in order for there to be unity once again?

Some are old issues (involving communist infiltration and collussion on the part of many in the MP; also public repudiation of certain acts committed by the MP during the communist period), others however are newer (modernism in particular.)

Quote
What does ROCOR have to say about the dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox?  Does it reject the Joint Declarations we have already made regarding the "orthodoxy" of each other's Christological formulae?  Does it insist on an all or nothing policy of seven Councils and two natures before communion could be restored?  What does ROCOR say regarding the Oriental Orthodox Churches?

To be brief, I'll say only that it does not take the hyper-minimalizing stance of the ecumenistic Orthodox on this matter.  The Seven Oecumenical Councils stand.  Of course, that shouldn't be a surprising answer coming from an Orthodox Christian, but lately it seems to be.

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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2002, 11:48:12 AM »

Suppose the differences between ROCOR and MP should magically vanish, would ROCOR still want to join the MP and OCA?

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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2002, 12:13:58 PM »

Suppose the differences between ROCOR and MP should magically vanish, would ROCOR still want to join the MP and OCA?

JoeS

Joe, the ROCOR might want to reunite with the MP then, but with the OCA, I'm not so sure.  The ROCOR has maintained intact the old Russian piety and liturgical usages, much as has the MP.  The OCA, however, has "streamlined" and adapted to the American situation, for the most part, except possibly in the Diocese of Alaska.  Just go to the same service in a ROCOR or MP church that you're used to in an OCA church: you'll almost assuredly find that the ROCOR and MP service is longer with fewer cuts in Psalmody, Stikhera and Apostikha during Vespers, for example, and, for another example, a fuller version of Matins, repeating the Great Litany as in Vespers at an "All-Night Vigil," which some OCA churches are now omitting rather than repeating, and rendering the Canon of Matins in full.

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