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Author Topic: Phyletism  (Read 593 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: December 01, 2010, 03:28:05 PM »

Not to further unravel another thread:


I joined the OCA or the Antiochians, I forgot now, one of the non phyletistic jurisdictions, you know.

People have told me that the OCA provides multiple bishops for the same territories on the basis of race - Romanian, Albanian, Bulgarian... etc.  Is this an example of the phyletism (Greeks and Bulgars) forbidden by the Church?
No.
Quote
The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America
Article XII - National Groups

When the good of the Church requires that particular national groups receive an assurance of identity, the Holy Synod may establish dioceses and/or deaneries and set standards for their participation in the life of the Orthodox Church in America by mutual agreement with the group and until such time as the diocesan structure of the Church can be organized on an exclusively territorial basis. If a given group is organized as a diocese, the bishop of this diocese is a member of the Holy Synod and receives an episcopal title defined territorially. The Statute shall constitute the fundamental law for the existence of all such groups within the Orthodox Church in America
http://www.oca.org/DOCstatute.asp?SID=12&ID=12

Phyletism, albeit seemingly transitory in intention, officially sanctioned in the legislation of the Orthodox Church in America.

Thank you, Isa, for drawing this to our attention.

Not exactly, Father. In my own personal stack of stuff I have the decrees of the Phyletist councils (Constantinople issued a couple during the course of the controversy). In the meantime, this section is handy:
Quote
Decree of the Holy and Grand Council, assembled at Constantinople in the month of December, in tho year of grace 1872. The Apostle Paul has commanded us to take heed to ourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made us overseers, to govern the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood; and has at the some time predicted that grievous wolves shall enter among us, not sparing the flock, and that of our own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them; and he has warned us to beware of such. We have learned with astonishment and pain that such men have lately appeared among the Bulgarian people within the jurisdiction of the Holy Ecumenical Throne. They have dared to introduce into the Church the idea of phyletism, or the National Church; which is of the temporal life, and have established, in contempt of the sacred canon, an unauthorized and unprecedented Church Assembly, based upon the principle of the difference of races. Being inspired in accordance with our duty, by zeal for God and the wish to protect the pious Bulgarian people against the spread of the evils we have met in the name of our Saviour Jesuit Christ. Having first besought from the depths of our hearts the grace of the Father of light, and consulted the Gospel of Christ, in which all treasures of wisdom are hidden, and having examined the principles of phyletism with reference to the precepts of the Gospel and the temporal constitution of the Church of God, we have found it not only foreign, but in enmity to them, and have perceived that the unlawful acts committed by the aforesaid phyletismal assembly, as they were severally recited to us, are one and all condemned.

Therefore, in view of the sacred canons, whoee rulings ore hereby confirmed in their whole compass; in view of the teachings of the apostles, through whom the Holy Ghost has spoken ; in view of the decrees of the seven Ecumenical Councils, and of all the local councils : in view of the definitions of the Fathers of the Church, we ordain as follows: Article I. We censure, condemn, and declare contrary to tho teachings of the Gospel and the sacred canons of the holy Fathers, the doctrine of phyletism, or of the difference of races and national diversity in the bosom of the Church of Christ. Art. II. We declare tho adherents of phyletism, who have had the boldness to set up an unlawful, unprecedented Church assembly upon such a principle, to be foreign and absolutely schismatic, to the only holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. There are, and remain, therefore, schismatic and foreign to the orthodox Church, the following lawless men who have, of their own free-will, separated themselves from it, namely: Hilorion, ex-Bisuop of Makariopolis: Panaretesj ex-Metropolitan of Philippopolis; Hilnricn, ex-Bishop of Sosha; Anthimos, ex-Metropolitan of Widdin; Dorotlicos, ex-Metropolitnn of Sophia; Partheonios, ex-Metropolitan of Nvssava; Gennadios, ex-Metropolitan of Melissa, before deposed and excommunicated; together with all who have been ordained by them to be archbishops, priests, and deacons; all persons, spiritual and worldly, who are in communion with them; all who act in cooperation with them ; and all who accept as lawful and canonical their unholy blessings nnd ceremonies of worship. While we pronounce this synodal decision, we prav to the God of mercy, our Lord Jesus Christ, the nead and founder of our Faith, that He will preserve His holy Church from all dangerous new declines, and that He will keep it pure, spotless, and fast on the foundations of the apostles and the prophets. We pray Him to grant the grace of repentance to those who have separated themselves from her, and have founded their unauthorized Church assembly upon the principles of phyletism, Be that they may some day nullify their acts, and return to the only holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in order, with all the orthodox, to praise God, who came upon the earth to bring peace and good-will to all men. He it is whom we shall honor and worship. with the Father aud the Holy Ghost, to the end ot time. Amen.
http://books.google.com/books?id=VNwSAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA271&dq=Anthimos++Bulgaria+Muscovite&hl=en&ei=sZr2TNjmIY2inwe-9rSjCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Of course, the Bulgarians did not introduce phyletism. The Phanariots, with their hellenization program, did that. The decree wasn't unanimous:
Quote
All the bishops signed the decree except the Patriarch of Jernsalem, who left the Synod before its close, and was, therefore, insulted by the Greek population of Smyrna, in Asia Minor, who, received him witli shouts of "Traitor! " "Muscovite! "
The Russia Orthodox Church remained unofficially but openly in communion with the Bulgarians, to whom St. Petersburg provided chrism.

But back to the present day: the "Ethnic Dioceses" do not practice the phyletism falsely condemned here. For one thing, being in the OCA Holy Synod per Apostolic Canon XXXIV
Quote
It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognise him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own eparchy and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
they deny the very principle of Phyletism.  There is nothing "phyletismal" to have an ethnicity, nothing phyletistic in have the Gospel in proclaimed in your language. Nothing phyletistic in "assurance of identity."

Of course the clearest proof of that is the Albanian Diocese of the OCA, the Mother Church of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania.

Nor do I think that ROCOR is necessarily is committing phyletism:
Quote
REGULATIONS of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
I. GENERAL.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is an indissoluble part of the Russian Orthodox Church, and for the time until the extermination in Russia of the atheist government, is self-governing on conciliar principles in accordance with the resolution of the Patriarch, the Most Holy Synod, and the Highest Church Council [Sobor] of the Russian Church dated 7/20 November, 1920, No. 362.

2. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is composed of those who are outside the borders of Russia and are guided by the lawful hierarchy of a diocese with their parishes, church communities, spiritual missions and monasteries.

3. The basic task of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is the preservation abroad of complete independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from atheistic and anti?Christian forces and the overall spiritual nourishment of the Orthodox Russian flock in the diaspora, independent of nationality; and in particular, the preservation and strengthening in the souls of the faithful flock the purity and wholeness of the holy Orthodox faith; and the encouragement of devotion in the flock, dispersed throughout the world, to the suffering Mother Church.

4. In her internal life and administration, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is guided by Holy Scripture and Tradition, by the Holy Canons and Church laws, the regulations and pious customs of the Church of Russia and, in particular, by the resolution of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Most Holy Synod, and the Highest Church Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church dated 7/20 November, 1920, No. 362, by the resolutions of sobors and declarations of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, including the present statutes.
http://www.synod.com/synod/engdocuments/enov_polozhenierocor.html
Quote
THE TEMPORARY (PROVISIONAL) STATUTES
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA

(Confirmed by the General Council of Bishops--9/22 & 11/24, September 1936.)

I. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which consists of the dioceses, ecclesiastical missions and churches which are located outside the boundaries of Russia , is an indissoluble part of the Russian Orthodox Church, temporarily existing on autonomous principles.

The name of Metropolitan Peter, the locum tenens of the throne of the Patriarch of All Russia, shall always be commemorated at the divine services in all churches outside of Russia .
http://www.synod.com/synod/engdocuments/enov_polozhenie1936.html
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 03:33:47 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 03:35:30 PM »

Not to further unravel another thread:


I joined the OCA or the Antiochians, I forgot now, one of the non phyletistic jurisdictions, you know.

People have told me that the OCA provides multiple bishops for the same territories on the basis of race - Romanian, Albanian, Bulgarian... etc.  Is this an example of the phyletism (Greeks and Bulgars) forbidden by the Church?
No.
Quote
The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America
Article XII - National Groups

When the good of the Church requires that particular national groups receive an assurance of identity, the Holy Synod may establish dioceses and/or deaneries and set standards for their participation in the life of the Orthodox Church in America by mutual agreement with the group and until such time as the diocesan structure of the Church can be organized on an exclusively territorial basis. If a given group is organized as a diocese, the bishop of this diocese is a member of the Holy Synod and receives an episcopal title defined territorially. The Statute shall constitute the fundamental law for the existence of all such groups within the Orthodox Church in America
http://www.oca.org/DOCstatute.asp?SID=12&ID=12

Phyletism, albeit seemingly transitory in intention, officially sanctioned in the legislation of the Orthodox Church in America.

Thank you, Isa, for drawing this to our attention.

Not exactly, Father. In my own personal stack of stuff I have the decrees of the Phyletist councils (Constantinople issued a couple during the course of the controversy). In the meantime, this section is handy:
Quote
Decree of the Holy and Grand Council, assembled at Constantinople in the month of December, in tho year of grace 1872. The Apostle Paul has commanded us to take heed to ourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made us overseers, to govern the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood; and has at the some time predicted that grievous wolves shall enter among us, not sparing the flock, and that of our own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them; and he has warned us to beware of such. We have learned with astonishment and pain that such men have lately appeared among the Bulgarian people within the jurisdiction of the Holy Ecumenical Throne. They have dared to introduce into the Church the idea of phyletism, or the National Church; which is of the temporal life, and have established, in contempt of the sacred canon, an unauthorized and unprecedented Church Assembly, based upon the principle of the difference of races. Being inspired in accordance with our duty, by zeal for God and the wish to protect the pious Bulgarian people against the spread of the evils we have met in the name of our Saviour Jesuit Christ. Having first besought from the depths of our hearts the grace of the Father of light, and consulted the Gospel of Christ, in which all treasures of wisdom are hidden, and having examined the principles of phyletism with reference to the precepts of the Gospel and the temporal constitution of the Church of God, we have found it not only foreign, but in enmity to them, and have perceived that the unlawful acts committed by the aforesaid phyletismal assembly, as they were severally recited to us, are one and all condemned.

Therefore, in view of the sacred canons, whoee rulings ore hereby confirmed in their whole compass; in view of the teachings of the apostles, through whom the Holy Ghost has spoken ; in view of the decrees of the seven Ecumenical Councils, and of all the local councils : in view of the definitions of the Fathers of the Church, we ordain as follows: Article I. We censure, condemn, and declare contrary to tho teachings of the Gospel and the sacred canons of the holy Fathers, the doctrine of phyletism, or of the difference of races and national diversity in the bosom of the Church of Christ. Art. II. We declare tho adherents of phyletism, who have had the boldness to set up an unlawful, unprecedented Church assembly upon such a principle, to be foreign and absolutely schismatic, to the only holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. There are, and remain, therefore, schismatic and foreign to the orthodox Church, the following lawless men who have, of their own free-will, separated themselves from it, namely: Hilorion, ex-Bisuop of Makariopolis: Panaretesj ex-Metropolitan of Philippopolis; Hilnricn, ex-Bishop of Sosha; Anthimos, ex-Metropolitan of Widdin; Dorotlicos, ex-Metropolitnn of Sophia; Partheonios, ex-Metropolitan of Nvssava; Gennadios, ex-Metropolitan of Melissa, before deposed and excommunicated; together with all who have been ordained by them to be archbishops, priests, and deacons; all persons, spiritual and worldly, who are in communion with them; all who act in cooperation with them ; and all who accept as lawful and canonical their unholy blessings nnd ceremonies of worship. While we pronounce this synodal decision, we prav to the God of mercy, our Lord Jesus Christ, the nead and founder of our Faith, that He will preserve His holy Church from all dangerous new declines, and that He will keep it pure, spotless, and fast on the foundations of the apostles and the prophets. We pray Him to grant the grace of repentance to those who have separated themselves from her, and have founded their unauthorized Church assembly upon the principles of phyletism, Be that they may some day nullify their acts, and return to the only holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in order, with all the orthodox, to praise God, who came upon the earth to bring peace and good-will to all men. He it is whom we shall honor and worship. with the Father aud the Holy Ghost, to the end ot time. Amen.
http://books.google.com/books?id=VNwSAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA271&dq=Anthimos++Bulgaria+Muscovite&hl=en&ei=sZr2TNjmIY2inwe-9rSjCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Of course, the Bulgarians did not introduce phyletism. The Phanariots, with their hellenization program, did that. The decree wasn't unanimous:
Quote
All the bishops signed the decree except the Patriarch of Jernsalem, who left the Synod before its close, and was, therefore, insulted by the Greek population of Smyrna, in Asia Minor, who, received him witli shouts of "Traitor! " "Muscovite! "
The Russia Orthodox Church remained unofficially but openly in communion with the Bulgarians, to whom St. Petersburg provided chrism.

But back to the present day: the "Ethnic Dioceses" do not practice the phyletism falsely condemned here. For one thing, being in the OCA Holy Synod per Apostolic Canon XXXIV
Quote
It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognise him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own eparchy and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
they deny the very principle of Phyletism.  There is nothing "phyletismal" to have an ethnicity, nothing phyletistic in have the Gospel in proclaimed in your language. Nothing phyletistic in "assurance of identity."

Of course the clearest proof of that is the Albanian Diocese of the OCA, the Mother Church of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania.

Nor do I think that ROCOR is necessarily is committing phyletism:
Quote
REGULATIONS of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
I. GENERAL.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is an indissoluble part of the Russian Orthodox Church, and for the time until the extermination in Russia of the atheist government, is self-governing on conciliar principles in accordance with the resolution of the Patriarch, the Most Holy Synod, and the Highest Church Council [Sobor] of the Russian Church dated 7/20 November, 1920, No. 362.

2. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is composed of those who are outside the borders of Russia and are guided by the lawful hierarchy of a diocese with their parishes, church communities, spiritual missions and monasteries.

3. The basic task of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is the preservation abroad of complete independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from atheistic and anti?Christian forces and the overall spiritual nourishment of the Orthodox Russian flock in the diaspora, independent of nationality; and in particular, the preservation and strengthening in the souls of the faithful flock the purity and wholeness of the holy Orthodox faith; and the encouragement of devotion in the flock, dispersed throughout the world, to the suffering Mother Church.

4. In her internal life and administration, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is guided by Holy Scripture and Tradition, by the Holy Canons and Church laws, the regulations and pious customs of the Church of Russia and, in particular, by the resolution of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Most Holy Synod, and the Highest Church Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church dated 7/20 November, 1920, No. 362, by the resolutions of sobors and declarations of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, including the present statutes.
http://www.synod.com/synod/engdocuments/enov_polozhenierocor.html
Quote
THE TEMPORARY (PROVISIONAL) STATUTES
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA

(Confirmed by the General Council of Bishops--9/22 & 11/24, September 1936.)

I. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which consists of the dioceses, ecclesiastical missions and churches which are located outside the boundaries of Russia , is an indissoluble part of the Russian Orthodox Church, temporarily existing on autonomous principles.

The name of Metropolitan Peter, the locum tenens of the throne of the Patriarch of All Russia, shall always be commemorated at the divine services in all churches outside of Russia .
http://www.synod.com/synod/engdocuments/enov_polozhenie1936.html

Well said as the charge is often falsely made by those who are as extreme in their distaste for ethnicity as those who put ethnicity ahead of faith. Fortunately, both extremes are in the minority these days in the states.
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