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Author Topic: Is the GOAA autonomous?  (Read 1312 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 16, 2010, 04:47:35 PM »

Is the GOAA an autonomous Church here in North America?  How much control does the eP really wield over her on a day to day basis?

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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 05:46:55 PM »

Is the GOAA an autonomous Church here in North America?  How much control does the eP really wield over her on a day to day basis?
The answer to the first question is "no". The GOAA is not autonomous. There are only three autonomous Churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: the Church of Sinai, the Church of Finland and the Church of Estonia. The GOAA is an archdiocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The answer to the second question depends on what you mean by "control". In the Greek Orthodox Church, what is important is Communion and Spiritual relationship, not the power to tell others what to do day to day. Its about mutual respect, proper Christian order and Orthodoxy. The Archbishop of the GOAA is an Archbishop, not simply a titular head (as is our Archbishop here in Australia). It is the Archbishop who is commemorated in the Liturgies in an Archdiocese (except of course by the Archbishop himself). So in terms of the day to day running of an Archdiocese, the Archbishop is the head. But part of that day to day running is being in Communion with the Mother Church.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 05:51:55 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 06:06:37 PM »

The answer to the first question is "no". The GOAA is not autonomous. There are only three autonomous Churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: the Church of Sinai, the Church of Finland and the Church of Estonia.

Church of Sinai is Jerusalem's
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 06:10:19 PM »

Sorry mike, I wasn't clear. What I meant is that the Oecumenical Patriarchate only recognizes three Churches as being autonomous.
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 06:30:34 PM »

No, far from it. Our Synod of Bishops had submitted a proposed charter revision in 2000 or so, which was characterized as "semi-autonomos," but the Ecumenical Patriarchate rejected it.  There was a battle among the laity, (and priests, too),  over this matter, but the latest charter ("granted" in 2003) maintains tight control by the Patriarchate of the Holy Archdiocese of America, though progressively, it did recognize our bishops, who were elevated to metropolitans, as a provincial or Eparchial Synod, as the "instrument of governance." Despite some compromise language in the charter about advice from the American Holy Synod, the right to elect the Archbishop of America is the "exclusive" prerogative of the Patriarchate. Two years ago, the Synod submitted a proposed list to the Patriarchate of future candidates for the Archepiscopal Throne, which was rejected. Another example, all resolutions of the Bi-Annual Clergy-Laity Congress, the supreme "legislative" instrument, must be approved by the Patriarchate, prior to implementation.  

In practicality, historically, the Patriarchate has allowed independent governance of its Eparchy in the Western Hemisphere, except for a few notable exceptions; our beloved Patriarch Athenagoras, of Blessed Memory, had essentially vetoed the 1970 resolutions, for a new charter requesting some level of autonomy, and for the use of the English language, as needed, in the Divine Services, although, in practice, the Archdiocese did move toward the practice of "flexible bilingualism," anyway. Patriarch Bartholomew has been a comparatively aggressive administrator of the Archdiocese of America, especially during the last two years of Archbishop Iakovos' archepiscopal tenure; he is believed to have forced +Iakovos' retirement.  The Patriarch also  exercised quite amount of influence during Archbishop Spyridon's tumultuous 3 year tenure, '96-'99.  Both the Synod of Bishops and the Executive officers of the Archdiocesan Council were called to the Phanar for conferences more than a few times.  In the late Summer of 1998, the Patriarch halted a planned meeting of the newly appointed Archdiocesan Council, because "the friends of the Patriarchate," were not included in the appointments, according to the authorized memoir of Archbishop Spyridon.  Except for the charter debate earlier in this decade, the Patriarchate has not involved itself in the internal affairs of the Archdiocese, but controversial issues have not been debated of late, either.  

Note also, the Archdiocese of America covers the United States (and the Bahamas) only since the day of Archbishop Iakovos' retirement on his 85 birthday, July 30, 1996.  There were initiated on that day distinct metropolis' for Canada, Central America, and South America.

One of the problems that have enabled this strong administrative posture by the Patriarchate, is not completely attributable to the Patriarchate.  There is an influential priest, a friend of the Patriarch's, referred to by Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), as the "Patriarchal Nuncio," who leaks regularly, also according to Archbishop Spyridon's memoir; and commonly believed by most observers.  Some of the metropolitans, too, maintain relationships with the Patriarchate, and communicate their concerns; however this practice was more prevalent in the last decade than it is currently.
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 07:30:03 PM »

Sorry mike, I wasn't clear. What I meant is that the Oecumenical Patriarchate only recognizes three Churches as being autonomous.

Can you tell us what business the EP has in recognizing Churches in other Patriarchates as being autonomous or not?  One EP (Sophronios III) lost his throne over such things.
http://books.google.ro/books?id=UPr1ZCxPW6QC&pg=PA310&dq=fortescue+sinai+Jerusalem&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 08:13:21 PM »

Okay, not trying to start a flame war over the issue of who has jurisdiction over what here. 

In the dispute between the EP and some "anti -Patriarchal" factions of the GOAA, what are the essential issues which cause such controversy?

Is the EP seen as some type of conservative voice in the GOC against proposed Church reforms (Such as the rocky relationship the RC Pope has with some of his bishops).  Or is it just a "turf war" for more local (and financial, I assume) control of American Church life?

Just curious.
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 10:08:42 PM »

It's power and control, finances, and influence.  Having a tightly controlled eparchy in the U.S. is very helpful to the Patriarchate in regard to its dwindling populous in Istanbul, and it helps in their on going disputes with the Turkish government. The American government is supportive of the Patriarchate's claims, but tempers its requests of the Turkish government due to America's need to maintain Turkey as an ally, such as they are.  The Order of St Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is quite active in its advocacy for the human rights of the Patriarchate.   The Archdiocese of America had been contributing $500,000.00 out of its annual budget as its "loggia" to the Patriarchate.  Patriarch Bartholomew referred to this amount of money almost as if it were a stipend.  The EP aggressively pumped it up to $750,000.00 in the last several years; it may even be higher now.  Archdiocesan institutions, such as the Ladies Philoptohos Society, contribute additional amounts, as do individual wealthy faithful and parishes.
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 12:43:19 AM »

Can you tell us what business the EP has in recognizing Churches in other Patriarchates as being autonomous or not?  
The Patriarchate of Moscow doesn't recognise the autonomy of the Church of Estonia. What business does it have not to do so? Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 01:45:47 AM »

Can you tell us what business the EP has in recognizing Churches in other Patriarchates as being autonomous or not?  
The Patriarchate of Moscow doesn't recognise the autonomy of the Church of Estonia. What business does it have not to do so? Smiley
The late Patriarch of Moscow, the Estonian bred, born, baptized, ordained and consecrated Alexei of blessed memory was well within his rights to stand with his suffragan, the Estonian bred, born, baptized, ordained and consecrated and confessing(he served time under the Soviet for evangelizing) Kornelius to resist uncanonical interference from Constantinople in trying to impose a non-Estonian speaking Cypriot from the Congo on a metropolitinate belonging to the Holy Synod of Moscow. Smiley  In fact, per the canons of Ephesus, he would have been quite within his rights to call a synod and depose the EP.  It's happened before, as I posted above.

Speaking of uncanonical interference from the Phanar, I just came across the so called Tomos of 1908 in which the EP claimed to give America to the Church of Greece (although the EP had no bishop who ever set foot in the New World, where the Russians already had a functioning hiearchy), in Alexandria's Ekklēsiastikos Pharos, Volume 1 The Alexandria (Orthodox Patriarchate).
http://books.google.ro/books?id=8ZQQAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA4-PA103&lpg=RA4-PA103&dq=%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%81%CF%81%CE%AE%CE%BC%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%B5%CF%82&source=bl&ots=kY1aK-znRX&sig=HWUKYZF9XId_fCOIgzw0vBSTnHk&hl=ro&ei=ssx8S6nuOo3WNoHkgN4K&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 01:50:02 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 02:18:00 AM »

Oh I see. Its about race again. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2010, 02:37:51 AM »

Oh I see. Its about race again. Smiley

Franco Orthodox 4-eva.
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2010, 08:44:59 AM »

Oh I see. Its about race again. Smiley

Since the Tomos talks about "Orthodox Greek/Hellenic [notice the order] Churches in the Diaspora, both in Europe and America and the remaining lands," I guess so. I thought you guys had a synod against that type of thing: I think you called the Bulgarians phyletists.

Or perhaps you were refering Patriarch Alexei of blessed memory? Since his family streatched back centuries in Estonia, and since the Orthodox of Estonia had been evangelized by the Russian Orthodox for centuries, and had been shepherded by the Moscow Patriarchate for those centuries, including the entire time of Moscow's autocephaly (gained when Constantinople fell into heresy), which organized the hierarchy for Estonia.  Constantinople had no involvement in this: her involvement came during Met/Arcb/EP/Pope Meletius the many titled during his brief, uncanonical, tenure at Constantinople took the opportunity to take advantage of the Bolsheviks holding Patriarch St. Tikhon down.  Under the canons and canonical practice of the Church throughout history, Estonia within the jurisdiction of Moscow.  Were the Tomos of 1908 canonical, I don't think it would apply, as there was no "Orthodox Greek" in Estonia before the EP took one from the Congo and put him in Estonia.
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2010, 10:54:24 PM »

Ialmisry,
According to the website of your Patriarchate (Antioch), you belong to a "Greek" church: http://www.antiochpat.org/english/sitefiles/
Does that mean you can make a mean souvlaki?
 Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2010, 11:09:02 PM »

What about us Slavs who originated in Austria-Hungary and Poland who were Greek Catholic before we became Orthodox even though we never had souvlaki or red eggs?
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 07:28:55 PM »

Ialmisry,
According to the website of your Patriarchate (Antioch), you belong to a "Greek" church: http://www.antiochpat.org/english/sitefiles/
Does that mean you can make a mean souvlaki?
 Smiley
No, but we make a b****in' shuwarmah.

Btw, I remember talking about the JW ideas about the Crucifixiion

http://www.watchtowerinformationservice.org/icon3.jpg
and he said "Oh, you mean like a soulaki?"
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2010, 02:11:07 AM »

Where on Earth did the JW's get the idea that Jesus was crucified on a torture stake? 
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2010, 02:30:24 AM »

Where on Earth did the JW's get the idea that Jesus was crucified on a torture stake? 

Quote
Cross / stake
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society used the Cross and Crown symbol on tombstones, and on its publications until 1931. Since 1936, Jehovah’s Witnesses have rejected the idea that Jesus died on a cross, and instead teach that he died on a single wooden stake, asserting that the Koiné Greek word σταυρος stauros refers to a single upright post. They view the cross to be of pagan origins and an object of idol worship.

source
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2010, 02:56:25 AM »

Even the movie Spartacus showed slaves crucified on crosses, not torture stakes.

I guess the modern Greek word, σταυροδρόμιο (crossroads, intersection), would be another way to rebuff the JWs who show up from time to time.   Wink
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2010, 03:40:41 AM »

I knew a JW who told me they believed Jesus was crucified on an "X" style cross, such as St. Andrew the First Called Apostle was crucified upon.  I thought that was an example of being too brilliant.  These fools reject what tradition tell us, but read of "X" styled crosses in that day, and say, "that must be how He, or would would they write 'he,' was crucified;" anything but what Christian tradition teaches.
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2010, 04:01:05 AM »

I had no idea the JWs had an issue with the Cross. This has been most enlightening. I found this on the Watchtower Official Website:
"As recorded at Acts 5:30, the apostle Peter used the word xy′lon, meaning “tree,” as a synonym for stau·ros′, denoting, not a two-beamed cross, but an ordinary piece of upright timber or tree."
As far as I know, trees have branches and aren't just an upright pole.
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