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Author Topic: Where have all the bishops gone?  (Read 410 times) Average Rating: 0
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John Ward
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« on: July 07, 2011, 08:33:26 PM »

Recently I was discussing the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch that bishops (as in title, not office) are all auxiliaries to metropolitan and archbishops. As I started looking into it, I realized that the only bishops in the Antiochian See are in America and that all the rest are metropolitans. This led me to recall that the GOA has metropolises and there are no bishops. Then, I looked on the Church of Greece's site and noticed that the only bishops were auxiliaries. So, this has led me to wonder: Where have all the bishops gone? When did having metropolitans or archbishops as the only ruling bishops start happening? The Russians still have ruling bishops. Why have the Churches of Greece, Constantinople, Jerusalem and Antioch gotten rid of them (The Patriarchate of Alexandria has "Provincial Bishops" listed...not sure if that means ruling bishops)?

Also, I am asking that any negative comments on the actions of the Holy Synod of Antioch. I think that's been discussed to death in enough places. I'm seeking historical answers and not wanting to get into a debate in this thread.
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 08:56:38 PM »

es, this has been discussed elsewhere. The answer to your first question is title inflation; just substitute bishop for metropolitan in the churches that you mentioned. The short answer on the recent action of the Synod of Antioch is that the action was wrong.

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 10:24:34 PM »

Is there any movement to push back against the title inflation?  It really defeats the value of the title "Metropolitan" or "Archbishop" when all of the ruling bishops have one of those titles.

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Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 11:48:59 PM »

You're right.  The Greek oriented Orthodox have marginalized "bishops," who are not metropolitans and archbishops.  This practice has been going on since the 1920's.  I recall, during the post 1978 era in the GOAA, when our regional axillary bishops became diocesan bishops of the North & South American dioceses, an old Greek from Greece friend of mine, told me he didn't understand the change, why weren't the American bishops given metropolitan status like the bishops in Greece.  He said kiddingly, "The bishops in Greece are considered 'candle attendants,' (candilanaftis)."

I asked a similar question to yours on this forum a few years back, and no one came up with a specific answer as to why the bishops role became so marginalized in Greek practice, and why in Slavic practice, the change did not occur.  I once read in "Orthodox Tradition," the American Exarchate's publication of the Greek Old Calendar Synod in Resistance, that in exchange for accepting the Revised Julian Calendar, the bishops in Greece were elevated to the dignity of metropolitan.  Comments about that claim on this forum disgreed that the Calendar change had anything to do with this practice.  So, the question remains.


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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 12:20:37 AM »


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