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Author Topic: Ny Supreme Court - All Orthodox governed by EP?  (Read 3864 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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« on: August 17, 2004, 05:50:07 PM »

Many people on other Orthodox discussion groups are discussing the following paragraph in the NY Supreme Courts decision regarding the law suit filed against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese regarding the new charter.  [Caps are mine] -

"The Greek Orthodox Church is a hierarchical church in which the
ultimate control and authority for all members within the church lies
with the Holy Apostolic and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
(the Ecumenical Patriarchate). The Church shares a common bond and
theology with other Orthodox churches, each of which is headed by a
Patriarch or the equivalent, but all of which are essentially
governed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate......"

==============

I can honestly this bothers me too.  According to the NY Supreme Court we are all under the domination of the Ecumenical Patriarch!''  The new Pope of the east!

What repricussions would this have in any possible lawsuit regardless of Orthodox jurisdiction?

Comments?

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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2004, 07:16:18 PM »

I would like to read the full decision before making real comment; but this seems pretty whacky to me. I am not sure how to relate 'Ecumenical Patriarchate' with the EP himself nor am I certain this means anything outside of NY (or indeed, inside NY) concerning our other churches.

More details are needed.

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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2004, 07:17:31 PM »

What's it matter? It is clear throughout history that the courts want NOTHING to do with these religious "pissing contests".

Read the GOA history - lawsuits are continously being filed against the Archbishop and the courts just brush them aside.
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2004, 07:22:52 PM »

from the short excerpt above, it seems that the Court doesn't understand the role or nature of the EP, or the "first among equals" concept.  I'm hardly surprised.  We may be in communion with the EP, ie, hold the same faith and beliefs, but in reality a very small percentage of worldwide Orthodox fall under his jurisdiction directly.  I think the G.O. Archdiocese of America is the largest of the EP's eparchies.

I'm in the OCA, and the EP doesn't even enter the OCA's "chain of command."
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2004, 07:23:06 PM »

It is sometimes said the law is an ass! Is this a case which feeds this notion?

I have only become aware of this by reading your post, Orthodoc. So is this the statement of the court or of someone before the court, please?

If the court has been so given to understand this notion of our Church and accepted it as the case, they have been completely mislead. Like you and others, should this be the case, there could be massive implications to this, too awful to think about.

The EP appears on face value to have been elevated by an American civil court to the Orthodox equivalent of a Roman Pope. Whatever this is, it is not Orthodoxy!

My own feelings are who brought a case that lead to this, why and was it worthy?
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2004, 07:40:22 PM »


My own feelings are who brought a case that lead to this, why and was it worthy?

Who: a very small minority of malcontent GOAA laity (egged on by a very few activist priests).
Why: to implement their vision of american-style congregationalism under the guise of laity participation.
Worthy: NO.

By the standards of those who brought the suit, they would have challenged Metropolitan Herman's election had they been in the OCA. Kudos to the OCA for a mature, respectful, and loving display of how the Church should work.

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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2004, 07:50:08 PM »

[T]hose who brought the suit...would have challenged Metropolitan Herman's election had they been in the OCA. Kudos to the OCA for a mature, respectful, and loving display of how the Church should work.

Amen to that...was very grateful to God when that went so smoothly for us.

Tom, I think you're right about the courts not really caring about us Orthodox, which means, really, that we don't have to worry about what they think -- much less what they who have no actual power to affect change think -- concerning the EP's role.

How sad that we've forgotten the scripture which warns against bringing your brother before a secular court...  :-";"xx
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2004, 08:25:26 PM »

The Orthodox Church in general and SCOBA in particular should be a little concerned here from a legalistic point view.  Is SCOBA going to enlighten the NY Supreme Court as to how our Churh operates?  I hope so.  If the NYSC doesnt understand how we work then it will become a rats nest in future litigations.  We dont have a popelike figure which has an all empowering influence over all Orthodox Christians.  I dont think that the NYSC even understands this.  It is our legal office responsibility to inform the NYSC as to how we operate in this western legal society.

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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2004, 08:51:42 PM »



[I have only become aware of this by reading your post, Orthodoc. So is this the statement of the court or of someone before the court, please?]

It's the statement of the court.  The paragraph I quoted is contained the very first sentence of the third
paragraph on p. 1, which continues on p. 2  of the NY Supreme Courts decision.

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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2004, 10:35:36 PM »

Certainly Neo-Papal Patriarchalism is very easy for those outside the Church to fall into, whenever they speak of we Orthodox. After all, doesn't just about every newspaper report you've ever read on Orthodoxy call the Ecumenical Patriarchate the "spiritual father of 300 million Orthodox" or "the spiritual leader of the Orthodox World" or something like that? With all the bad reporting, it's probably hard for those outside of the Orthodox Church to keep things straight. My only fear is that people inside the Church believe the same thing. Sad

I might add, though, that were Constantinople Orthodox I would certainly look to Constantinople for guidance (though I would look to my own bishop first and foremost, of course). In fact, a canon of an ecumenical council (the 4th I think) made Constantinople the Church in which Eastern Local Churches went to when they had disputes, and obviously traditionally Constantinople was the 'first among equals' after the fall of the Roman Church. I would have no problem considering Constantinople the "leader" of Orthodoxy in that sense... were it to be a healthy Orthodox body again. Again, in discussions like these, I would go to St. Justin Popovich:

Quote
I bow in reverence before the age-old achievements of the Great Church of Constantinople, and before her present cross which is neither small nor easy, which, according to the nature of things, is the cross of the entire Church - for, as the Apostle says, "When one member suffers, the whole body suffers." Moreover, I acknowledge the canonical rank and first place in honour of Constantinople among the local Orthodox Churches, which are equal in honour and rights.

What is amazing is, Saint Justin said this in 1977, after the lifting of the anathemas and a bunch of other such actions and words. However, he goes on:

Quote
But it would not be in keeping with the Gospel if Constantinople, on account of the difficulties in which she now finds herself, were allowed to bring the whole of Orthodoxy to the brink of the abyss, as once occurred at the pseudo-council of Florence, or to canonize and dogmatize particular historical forms which, at a given moment, might transform themselves from wings into heavy chains, binding the Church and her transfiguring presence in the world. Let us be frank: the conduct of the representatives of Constantinople in the last decades has been characterized by the same unhealthy restlessness, by the same spiritually ill condition as that which brought the Church to the betrayal and disgrace of Florence in the 15th Century. (Nor was the conduct of the same Church under the Turkish yoke an example of all times. Both the Florentine and the Turkish yokes were dangerous for Orthodoxy.)

With the difference that today the situation is even more ominous: formerly Constantinople was a living organism with millions of faithful - she was able to overcome without delay the crisis brought about by external courses as well as the temptation to sacrifice the faith and the Kingdom of God for the goods of this world. Today, however, she has only metropolitans without faithful, bishops who have no one to lead (i.e. without dioceses), who nonetheless wish to control the destinies of the entire Church. Today there must not, there cannot be a new Florence! Nor can the present situation be compared with the difficulties of the Turkish yoke. The same reasoning applies to the Moscow Patriarchate. Are its difficulties or the difficulties of other local Churches under godless communism to be allowed to determine the future of Orthodoxy? - St. Justin Popovich, On a Summoning of the Great Council of the Orthodox Church

(As an aside, fwiw, any time ecclesiology comes up and I have to suggest reading material, the above-referenced document is one of the two which I suggest [the other being The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism by St. Justin, which is the most thorough overview of Orthodox ecclesiology I've read yet--much better than even Khomiakov's well-written essay The Church is One ]).
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2004, 12:56:25 AM »

OK guys, now that you've all done your hand-wringing over this, let me drop you back into legal reality.

First: this decision only applies in New York state.

Second: legal precedent isn't like infalibility. A case concerning (say) the OCA would still go to court, even in NY, and more likely than not it would end up back at the NY state supreme court. And that court is not bound to leave itself "uncorrected".

Third: We've had a lot of these sorts of cases in the Episcopal Church over the last decade or so, and the dioceses have won in every single case. They always win because the courts invariably put the authority of interpreting the canons back in the hands of the church.

But behind all of this is another principle: dissent isn't free. Paradosis, what you are arguing for is extremely problematic. The corrollary of these decisions is that if you/your parish decide to buck the diocese/the jurisdiction, one of the consequences is going to be the loss of parish property, etc. The courts are not going to hand you a "get out of heresy free" card.

Now what the courts would do with a genuine schism is anyone's guess; at that point polity is breaking down. The point is: it doesn't matter. It's just something you have to live with.
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2004, 11:37:46 AM »

Keble,
I don't think any of us are really panicking over this - just trying to head off any potential slippery slopes.  I think we all realize this is a local, NY thing.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2004, 04:47:24 PM »

Thank you to various posters for the clarifications and qualifications.

Now my I test your knowledge and patience a little further. It has been suggested that this is a local legal jurisdiction item, it is unlikely to have little 'practical' effect beyond the case it relates to...............

First, does this ruling create a precedent?

Second, in jurisdictions world-wide that derive from the English legal system cases from other jurisdictions are often referred to in arguments between counsel, e.g. a legal case here in England and Wales (but not Scotland) may refer to a case ruling overseas........ Might this ruling have a possible ripple effect?

Third, some may rightly enjoin others not to 'panick' - their word not mine - but given the proclivity of the EP to behave as a neo-Papal entity, may there not be a temptation on the part of the Phanar to try and milk and legitimise future actions?

Fourth, here in the European Union there are moves afoot which seem to indicate regulation and interference at every level is becoming the perogative of local and national government, plus the European Commission. It is against a backdrop of increasing interference in family life, use of language, so-called human rights legislation, trade, etc., etc., I ask.

(An example, a child under 16 here needing a medical procedure needs parental consent. However such a child may seek and be given advice on sex, contraception, abortion and actually undergo an abortion without the knowledge of her parent(s); both according to law and medical ethics).
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2004, 12:44:20 AM »

What repricussions would this have in any possible lawsuit regardless of Orthodox jurisdiction?

Comments?

Orthodoc


The First Ammendment offers blanket protection....this might only come up in property issues if one parish wanted to split, etc......
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 08:35:16 AM »


My own feelings are who brought a case that lead to this, why and was it worthy?

Who: a very small minority of malcontent GOAA laity (egged on by a very few activist priests).
Why: to implement their vision of american-style congregationalism under the guise of laity participation.
Worthy: NO.

By the standards of those who brought the suit, they would have challenged Metropolitan Herman's election had they been in the OCA. Kudos to the OCA for a mature, respectful, and loving display of how the Church should work.

Demetri


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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2009, 09:02:49 AM »


My own feelings are who brought a case that lead to this, why and was it worthy?

Who: a very small minority of malcontent GOAA laity (egged on by a very few activist priests).
Why: to implement their vision of american-style congregationalism under the guise of laity participation.
Worthy: NO.

By the standards of those who brought the suit, they would have challenged Metropolitan Herman's election had they been in the OCA. Kudos to the OCA for a mature, respectful, and loving display of how the Church should work.

Demetri


LOL.  Hindsight.

But not for any reason by which the OCL types would have been motivated.
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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2009, 09:08:34 AM »

Many people on other Orthodox discussion groups are discussing the following paragraph in the NY Supreme Courts decision regarding the law suit filed against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese regarding the new charter.  [Caps are mine] -

"The Greek Orthodox Church is a hierarchical church in which the
ultimate control and authority for all members within the church lies
with the Holy Apostolic and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
(the Ecumenical Patriarchate). The Church shares a common bond and
theology with other Orthodox churches, each of which is headed by a
Patriarch or the equivalent, but all of which are essentially
governed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate......"


Can a decision of a NY Court take precedence over the legal determination of the Turkish Government that the Church of Constantinople is only a local Turkish organisation?  To what extent would a US Court take cognisance of the legal status of the Church in its country of residence if the Church's legal status were brought to its attention?

One can find various articles on this matter on the Internet.   Here is one...


http://www.mfa.gr/www.mfa.gr/en-US/Policy/Geographic+Regions/South-Eastern+Europe/Turkey/International+Obligations+for+Turkey/Ecumenical+Patriarchate/


"Turkey does not recognise the ecumenical nature of the Patriarchate. It regards it as an institution whose leader is seen only as the spiritual leader of Orthodox believers in Turkey. In addition, the Turkish authorities do not allow the use of the term Ecumenical for any religious activity whatsoever.  It should be noted that the term Ecumenical has an exclusively religious and spiritual meaning, used since the sixth century AD, and is recognised around the world."
 
"Turkey does not recognise that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has a legal personality. This situation results, inter alia, in the non-recognition of its ownership rights."


 
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2009, 10:36:31 AM »

Many people on other Orthodox discussion groups are discussing the following paragraph in the NY Supreme Courts decision regarding the law suit filed against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese regarding the new charter.  [Caps are mine] -

"The Greek Orthodox Church is a hierarchical church in which the
ultimate control and authority for all members within the church lies
with the Holy Apostolic and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
(the Ecumenical Patriarchate). The Church shares a common bond and
theology with other Orthodox churches, each of which is headed by a
Patriarch or the equivalent, but all of which are essentially
governed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate......"


Can a decision of a NY Court take precedence over the legal determination of the Turkish Government that the Church of Constantinople is only a local Turkish organisation?  To what extent would a US Court take cognisance of the legal status of the Church in its country of residence if the Church's legal status were brought to its attention?

Since the Church has a presence in NY, NY would claim jurisdiction.  Your question would come into play only if the plaintiffs (I doubt the defendants would) bring it up.  The NY court is not bound by it.

It is a problem, in that it now sets a precedent of an "Orthodox Pope."  The case law is that the government defers to the hierarchy in hiearchical Churches.

Quote
One can find various articles on this matter on the Internet.   Here is one...


http://www.mfa.gr/www.mfa.gr/en-US/Policy/Geographic+Regions/South-Eastern+Europe/Turkey/International+Obligations+for+Turkey/Ecumenical+Patriarchate/


"Turkey does not recognise the ecumenical nature of the Patriarchate. It regards it as an institution whose leader is seen only as the spiritual leader of Orthodox believers in Turkey. In addition, the Turkish authorities do not allow the use of the term Ecumenical for any religious activity whatsoever.  It should be noted that the term Ecumenical has an exclusively religious and spiritual meaning, used since the sixth century AD, and is recognised around the world."
 
"Turkey does not recognise that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has a legal personality. This situation results, inter alia, in the non-recognition of its ownership rights."


 
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2009, 06:23:36 PM »

Can a decision of a NY Court take precedence over the legal determination of the Turkish Government that the Church of Constantinople is only a local Turkish organisation? 

In the US? Yes.  Our courts do not consider themselves bound by the laws of other countries when considering matters of its own citizens in its own territory.

To what extent would a US Court take cognisance of the legal status of the Church in its country of residence if the Church's legal status were brought to its attention?

As much as it would want to.  The US courts have been free in the past to use foreign court cases to set precedent, but these instances completely rely on the willingness of the court.  However, as in most cases involving the Church, it wouldn't matter what another country says about the Church, but what the Church says about itself.

It is a problem, in that it now sets a precedent of an "Orthodox Pope."  The case law is that the government defers to the hierarchy in hiearchical Churches.

Not really - it would only set up the precedent of an "Orthodox Pope" if the relevant procedures were called in to make it so: to wit, if the Antiochian Archdiocese had a dispute with the OCA, and they appealed it to the EP, then the EP's decision would be binding over the "losing" side by precedent in this decision.  However, if the EP just stepped in and claimed the OCA without canonical reason (i.e. no one made an appeal to Constantinople), then they probably would not support the EP's position.
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2009, 07:04:37 PM »

  However, as in most cases involving the Church, it wouldn't matter what another country says about the Church, but what the Church says about itself.

The Mormon Church is, like the EP, an hierarchical Church spread throughout the world but I doubt if that would hold any sway in the New Zealand courts if some sort of reference was made to the President-Prophet in Utah.
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 10:21:49 AM »

  However, as in most cases involving the Church, it wouldn't matter what another country says about the Church, but what the Church says about itself.

The Mormon Church is, like the EP, an hierarchical Church spread throughout the world but I doubt if that would hold any sway in the New Zealand courts if some sort of reference was made to the President-Prophet in Utah.
There's a simple answer to this: New Zealand courts consider different criteria when making their judgments than U.S. courts do. This is well within their rights as a nation.
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 03:30:31 PM »

I still do not understand how Orthodoc has stretched a lawsuit and subsequent court ruling concerning the GOAA to apply to the entire Church in America.
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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2009, 06:16:56 PM »

  However, as in most cases involving the Church, it wouldn't matter what another country says about the Church, but what the Church says about itself.

The Mormon Church is, like the EP, an hierarchical Church spread throughout the world but I doubt if that would hold any sway in the New Zealand courts if some sort of reference was made to the President-Prophet in Utah.

It would depend on how the CJCLDS existed as a legal entity in NZ. A big factor in the ECUSA property values is that each level of the hierarchy (parish, diocese, and national church) is a legal corporation; the Dennis canon, which insists that each corporation holds property etc. in trust to the next level up and thence to the national church, was enacted ex post facto, and in Virginia at least it is being held that a Civil War era law overrules this. I suspect there's some legal reason why the LDS church in NZ exists as a separate corporation, and possibly other reasons why the stakes exist as individual corporations too; but if the canons and constitutions of these are clear, the law is generally going to say, "you do what your rules say," assuming we aren't talking about a dispute between those rules and the laws of the nation.

I don't think the precedent here, BTW, is as strong as people are saying. Certainly I would expect state courts outside of NY to reconsider the point.
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2009, 06:19:02 PM »

I am not sure how to relate 'Ecumenical Patriarchate' with the EP himself nor am I certain this means anything outside of NY (or indeed, inside NY) concerning our other churches.

I have read that the title of "Ecumenical" is a personal title of the Patriarch but it does not apply to his Synod or to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Can anybody help out with references about this.
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2009, 06:23:38 PM »

I am not sure how to relate 'Ecumenical Patriarchate' with the EP himself nor am I certain this means anything outside of NY (or indeed, inside NY) concerning our other churches.

I have read that the title of "Ecumenical" is a personal title of the Patriarch but it does not apply to his Synod or to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Can anybody help out with references about this.

Ecumenical was a title related to the Empire - the Emperor was "Emperor of the Ecumene," hence why (I've heard a historian say) that he was commemorated in many Churches even outside the empire.  So the "Ecumenical" title is essentially a claim of primus inter pares.  It is used for both Patriarch and Patriarchate in modern days.  It is not related to the Synod, however, (which is the Synod of Constantinople - sometimes called the "Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate" - just as there is the Synod of Antioch and the Synod of Alexandria).
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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2009, 06:26:28 PM »

[It would depend on how the CJCLDS existed as a legal entity in NZ. A big factor in the ECUSA property values is that each level of the hierarchy (parish, diocese, and national church) is a legal corporation; the Dennis canon, which insists that each corporation holds property etc. in trust to the next level up and thence to the national church, was enacted ex post facto, and in Virginia at least it is being held that a Civil War era law overrules this. I suspect there's some legal reason why the LDS church in NZ exists as a separate corporation, and possibly other reasons why the stakes exist as individual corporations too; but if the canons and constitutions of these are clear, the law is generally going to say, "you do what your rules say," assuming we aren't talking about a dispute between those rules and the laws of the nation.



I understand that the Patriarchate in Constantinople is denied any legal identity by the Turkish Governent.   It has no corporate legal registration.  It cannot own property.

So to what exactly is the NY Court referring with "all of which are essentially governed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate......"   Legally there is no such entity as the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  Or has the Ecumenical Patriarchate registed itself as a legal entity in New York?
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2009, 06:27:56 PM »

Ecumenical was a title related to the Empire - the Emperor was "Emperor of the Ecumene," hence why (I've heard a historian say) that he was commemorated in many Churches even outside the empire.  So the "Ecumenical" title is essentially a claim of primus inter pares.  It is used for both Patriarch and Patriarchate in modern days. 

Can you supply the canon which assigned the title of "Ecumenical" to the Patriarchate?
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2009, 06:28:46 PM »

[It would depend on how the CJCLDS existed as a legal entity in NZ. A big factor in the ECUSA property values is that each level of the hierarchy (parish, diocese, and national church) is a legal corporation; the Dennis canon, which insists that each corporation holds property etc. in trust to the next level up and thence to the national church, was enacted ex post facto, and in Virginia at least it is being held that a Civil War era law overrules this. I suspect there's some legal reason why the LDS church in NZ exists as a separate corporation, and possibly other reasons why the stakes exist as individual corporations too; but if the canons and constitutions of these are clear, the law is generally going to say, "you do what your rules say," assuming we aren't talking about a dispute between those rules and the laws of the nation.



I understand that the Patriarchate in Constantinople is denied any legal identity by the Turkish Governent.   It has no corporate legal registration.  It cannot own property.

So to what exactly is the NY Court referring with "all of which are essentially governed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate......"   Legally there is no such entity as the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  Or has the Ecumenical Patriarchate registed itself as a legal entity in New York?


I don't know.  Perhaps you could get the court brief somewhere on line and read it, that may clear up any questions that arise from something that hasn't been discussed in almost 4 1/2 years?  It'd be neat to read that brief.
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2009, 06:31:57 PM »


(As an aside, fwiw, any time ecclesiology comes up and I have to suggest reading material, the above-referenced document is one of the two which I suggest [the other being The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism by St. Justin, which is the most thorough overview of Orthodox ecclesiology I've read yet--]).

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« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2009, 06:34:44 PM »

I don't know.  Perhaps you could get the court brief somewhere on line and read it, that may clear up any questions that arise from something that hasn't been discussed in almost 4 1/2 years?  It'd be neat to read that brief.

Just noticed that yesterday somebody resurrected this old thread.  I guess there must be a reason?
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« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2009, 08:54:04 PM »


I don't know.  Perhaps you could get the court brief somewhere on line and read it, that may clear up any questions that arise from something that hasn't been discussed in almost 4 1/2 years?  It'd be neat to read that brief.

Memorandum Decision in Pappas v. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Index # 101678-2004

The EP really isn't mentioned more than in the paragraph Orthodox already posted.  As far as its legal status in the state of NY, I don't think it has one.  At least, I haven't found any such articles of incorporation for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

As far as the precedential value of this case, it really doesn't have much weight in regards to its comments on the EP, IMHO (as a law librarian).  The comment is merely passing and has no real bearing on the substance of the case itself which regards the internal workings of the GOAA.
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« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2009, 09:28:00 PM »

Ecumenical was a title related to the Empire - the Emperor was "Emperor of the Ecumene," hence why (I've heard a historian say) that he was commemorated in many Churches even outside the empire.  So the "Ecumenical" title is essentially a claim of primus inter pares.  It is used for both Patriarch and Patriarchate in modern days. 

Can you supply the canon which assigned the title of "Ecumenical" to the Patriarchate?

I don't recall if there are any, just as there seem to be none which assign the title "Pope" to the Bishop of Rome (which is how he's addressed in most of the documents of the Ecumenical Councils, IIRC).  It was a title assumed by the Patriarchate because of its position and status, and confirmed through the continued usage by the other Patriarchates.
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« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2009, 11:10:05 PM »

I don't know.  Perhaps you could get the court brief somewhere on line and read it, that may clear up any questions that arise from something that hasn't been discussed in almost 4 1/2 years?  It'd be neat to read that brief.

Just noticed that yesterday somebody resurrected this old thread.  I guess there must be a reason?

That would be me: I just noticed it at the bottom of the page in a related, recent thread and was just curious.  When I saw the comment on the former primate of the OCA, I remember someone who, when we were reminiscing years ago about the an OCA Council years ago, told me that he was in an elevator once alone with the primate, then just a bishop.  Said someone said "I felt like strangling him then [he was a long time critic of the bishop], if I had only acted on it."  Now of course, we all know.....
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« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2009, 11:12:51 PM »

I don't recall if there are any, just as there seem to be none which assign the title "Pope" to the Bishop of Rome (which is how he's addressed in most of the documents of the Ecumenical Councils, IIRC). 

I think he is usually addressed in the Ec Councils as the "Archbishop of Rome."

Not sure if he also gets "Pope of Rome."  Need to run a check
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« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2009, 11:19:53 PM »

I don't recall if there are any, just as there seem to be none which assign the title "Pope" to the Bishop of Rome (which is how he's addressed in most of the documents of the Ecumenical Councils, IIRC). 

I think he is usually addressed in the Ec Councils as the "Archbishop of Rome."

Not sure if he also gets "Pope of Rome."  Need to run a check

Unfortunately, need to see the originals: I've seen "episcopus" translated "pope" when referring the Archbishop of Rome.
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« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2009, 01:51:36 PM »


I don't know.  Perhaps you could get the court brief somewhere on line and read it, that may clear up any questions that arise from something that hasn't been discussed in almost 4 1/2 years?  It'd be neat to read that brief.

Memorandum Decision in Pappas v. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Index # 101678-2004

The EP really isn't mentioned more than in the paragraph Orthodox already posted.  As far as its legal status in the state of NY, I don't think it has one.  At least, I haven't found any such articles of incorporation for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

As far as the precedential value of this case, it really doesn't have much weight in regards to its comments on the EP, IMHO (as a law librarian).  The comment is merely passing and has no real bearing on the substance of the case itself which regards the internal workings of the GOAA.

2006 NY Slip Op 5092; 30 A.D.3d 286; 817 N.Y.S.2d 270; 2006 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8267

brings up only this

Quote
[**286]  [***270]  Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Ira Gammerman, J.H.O.), entered September 16, 2004, in a declaratory judgment action involving the validity of the 2003 amendments to defendant religious organization's 1977 charter, dismissing the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211 as barred by the US Constitution First Amendment, unanimously affirmed, without costs. Appeals from orders, same court and Judicial Hearing Officer (J.H.O.), entered on or about August 11, 2004 and December 13, 2004, which respectively denied defendant's motion to dismiss and plaintiffs' motion to renew, unanimously dismissed, without costs.

Defendant may be technically correct that its members, for corporate as opposed to religious purposes (see Islamic Ctr. of Harrison Pa. v Islamic Science Found., 216 AD2d 357, 628 NYS2d 179 [1995]), are the members of the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress, which is the successor of the "governing or advisory body" that incorporated it (see Religious Corporations Law § 15 [1]).  [***271] Defendant may also be correct that a plaintiff must be a member of the Congress at the time he or she files suit (see Miller v Miller, 256 App Div 846, 9 NYS2d 448 [1939], affd 280 NY 716, 21 NE2d 212 [1939]). However, if  [**287]  one were to accept these arguments, defendant's members would be able to sue it only during a four-to-eight-day window once every two years; and, therefore, as a practical matter, defendant's actions would be insulated from judicial review. To avoid such a result (see Babigan v Wachtler, 133 Misc 2d 111, 112, 506 NYS2d 506 [1986], affd 126 AD2d 445, 510 NYS2d 473 [1987], affd 69 NY2d 1012, 511 NE2d 49, 517 NYS2d 905 [1987]; Grant v Cuomo, 130 AD2d 154, 159, 518 NYS2d 105 [1987], affd 73 NY2d 820, 534 NE2d 32, 537 NYS2d 115 [1988]), we find that plaintiffs, as members of Greek Orthodox parishes, are also members of defendant (see Dimas v Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Am., NYLJ, June 17, 1999, at 31, col 2). Nor will defendant be heard to argue that plaintiffs lack standing by reason of the 1999 amendment to its certificate of incorporation stating that it has no members, when, thereafter, it argued that it did have members and succeeded in getting a lawsuit dismissed on that basis (see Gale P. Elston, P.C. v Dubois, 18 AD3d 301, 303, 795 NYS2d 33 [2005]). [*2]  Similarly, because plaintiffs instituted this lawsuit in February 2004, defendant cannot argue lack of standing on the basis of its July 2004 regulations stating that it is not a membership organization.

Although plaintiffs have standing, and although the action is not moot and does not merely seek an advisory opinion, it must be dismissed because it involves a question of internal governance of a hierarchical church (see Serbian Eeatern Orthodox Diocese for United States and Canada v Milivojevich, 426 US 696, 96 S Ct 2372, 49 L Ed 2d 151 [1976]; and see Maryland and Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v Church of God at Sharpsburg, Inc., 396 US 367, 369, 90 S Ct 499, 24 L Ed 2d 582, n 1 [1970] [Brennan, J., concurring] [categorizing church government as either "hierarchical" or "congregational"]; accord First Presbyt. Church of Schenectady v United Presbyt. Church in U.S. of Am., 62 NY2d 110, 114, 464 NE2d 454, 476 NYS2d 86 [1984], cert denied 469 US 1037, 105 S Ct 514, 83 L Ed 2d 404 [1984]). On the basis of the very charter on which plaintiffs rely, they cannot successfully dispute that the Greek Orthodox Church is hierarchical. And while it may at first appear that neutral principles of law can be applied to decide whether defendant's 1977 charter was properly amended pursuant to article XXIV thereof, if this case were to proceed further, a trial court would ultimately be required to decide whether the Ecumenical Patriarch had authority unilaterally to grant a charter to defendant in 2003--clearly, a religious matter (see First Presbyt. Church, 62 NY2d at 117).

Plaintiffs contend that since the courts would intervene if members of a nonreligious not-for-profit corporation claimed that the corporation's charter had not been properly amended, a decision not to intervene in the instant dispute would improperly discriminate against religion. While plaintiffs may  [**288]  raise this issue of law for the first time on appeal (see Carnegie Hall Corp. v City Univ. of N.Y., 286 AD2d 214, 215, 729 NYS2d 93 [2001]), their argument is unavailing (see Locke v Davey, 540 US 712, 124 S Ct 1307, 158 L Ed 2d 1 [2004]).

Concur--Saxe, J.P., Marlow, Nardelli, Gonzalez and Sweeny, JJ.

Does that mean that the memorandum hasn't entered common law, and as such has no precedential value?

Looking through the case law, it is interesting that it in the main takes the OCA line on the jurisdictional question in the U.S., although sometimes unavailing.  Something that those in the Antiochian Archdiocese should keep in mind, given the talk about Antioch, the EP and the GOA going on in the deaneries now.
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« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2009, 02:50:04 PM »

Third: We've had a lot of these sorts of cases in the Episcopal Church over the last decade or so, and the dioceses have won in every single case.


Unless there was a lost appeal I didn't hear about, the diocese lost in Virginia, about nine months ago.

And before I waved this away, I'd remember the Henry VIII bill Connecticut wanted to pass just recently, until it got leaked to the press. Blatantly unconstitutional, but an obvious attempt to keep the Roman Catholic diocese from closing hospitals, should FOCA pass.


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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2009, 02:56:22 PM »

Quote
Does that mean that the memorandum hasn't entered common law, and as such has no precedential value?

In my opinion, it has little precedential value because the memorandum opinion really doesn't make any new commentary on the dismissal.  It relies on previous precedent to justify its own decision.  While it certainly adds to the case law, this particular opinion breaks no new ground.  As I stated earlier, the opinion makes a passing comment on the nature of jurisdiction of the EP and any good attorney could easily break an argument using this particular decision that the court system of NY recognizes the EPs jurisdictional primacy in the U.S.

Just because a court mentions something, particularly a lower state court, doesn't mean that it's automatically the rule of law and carries much weight.  In doing legal research you often come across cases which outright contradict one another, even so far as to have one judge (on the same level of court) to criticize the decision of his or her peer in another decision.
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