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Author Topic: Are the Heterodox Members of the Church? Are the Heterodox Members of the Churc  (Read 682 times) Average Rating: 0
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JR
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« on: February 26, 2012, 12:00:38 PM »

This is an interesting Letter !

 Dr. Demetrios Tselengidis,
Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki           

Firstly, it is necessary to clarify that as Orthodox Christians we believe, in agreement with the Symbol of Faith (the Creed) of Nicene-Constantinople (381 AD), “in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”. According to the unbroken dogmatic consciousness of the Orthodox Church throughout the ages, i.e., according to her self-consciousness, this One Church is the Orthodox Church.

The confession of the Symbol that the Church is “One” means that this is the basic attribute of her self-identity. In practical terms this means that the Church is not able to be divided – to be split apart – because this is the Mystical Body of Christ. Christ as the Head of the Body of the Church is neither able to have many bodies, nor to possess a divided one. In the Body of Christ even death itself is defeated. As such, whoever is placed within this Body also remains alive in it by the divinely-working mystery: the keeping with love of the commandments. They pass over from biological death to the eternal and everlasting life of the Triadic God. Just as the branches of the vine are not able to live and to bear fruit if they are cut-off from the vine, so also the believer – or even entire communities of believers, regardless of their numbers – who are cut-off from the Church, are not able to exist in Christ, nor to introduce another Church [into existence].

Rest of the letter here:

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/members-church-heterodox.en.aspx
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 01:18:51 PM »

I've read this elsewhere and thought he made a number of interesting points. I'm very curious to know if Dr. Tselengidis has written anything regarding the calendar issue?
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 08:29:30 PM »

I've read this elsewhere and thought he made a number of interesting points. I'm very curious to know if Dr. Tselengidis has written anything regarding the calendar issue?

Judging by that part of the letter which JR posted, I'd wager quite a bit that he says those who join "True" or "Genuine" "Orthodox Church" groups are outside the Body of Christ.
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 06:02:46 AM »

I've read this elsewhere and thought he made a number of interesting points. I'm very curious to know if Dr. Tselengidis has written anything regarding the calendar issue?

Judging by that part of the letter which JR posted, I'd wager quite a bit that he says those who join "True" or "Genuine" "Orthodox Church" groups are outside the Body of Christ.

Why would you think that?
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 07:40:54 AM »

I've read this elsewhere and thought he made a number of interesting points. I'm very curious to know if Dr. Tselengidis has written anything regarding the calendar issue?

Judging by that part of the letter which JR posted, I'd wager quite a bit that he says those who join "True" or "Genuine" "Orthodox Church" groups are outside the Body of Christ.

Why would you think that?

Because of this:

Quote
It is important to understand two major principles which have guided the Church since Pentecost.

The first is the notion of ecclesiastical subordination. The fullness of Divine Grace in the Church reposes in the persons of the bishops, who through the unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession both receive and transmit Divine Grace from one generation of bishops to the next. The nature of the episcopacy is collegial, where each bishop ministers in agreement with his peers and does nothing individually to disrupt the harmony of the Church. In the Russian Church this is referred to as ‘sobornost’. Within this collegial system each bishop has his own duties and responsibilities, but he is also responsible to all the other bishops for his actions so as not to disturb the concord of the Church or cause schism.

Consequently, each bishop administers his diocese within the rules of common practice, but is responsible to his brother bishops who form the ‘synod’ or ‘council’ of the region or jurisdiction to which he belongs. Each bishop swears an oath at his consecration to uphold the unity of the Church and to leave the authority, to which he is bound by his oath of loyalty without a proper document of release, is an act in contravention of the canons (rules) of the Church, i.e. uncanonical. The punishment for such a violation is to be banned from performing any priestly function until the uncanonical act is expunged through repentance. However, if the bishop ignores the ban and continues to function uncanonically then he is subject to being judged by his peers and deposed, i.e. being defrocked. The same may be said of priests and deacons who uncanonically leave the jurisdiction of their bishop to whom they are bound by their priestly oath of allegiance. They too are subject to interdict and, in the case of continued recalcitrance, defrocking. In the matter of subordination to the norms of the Church there is one standard to all three levels of the priesthood. No individual, patriarch, bishop, priest, deacon or lay person is above the unity of the Church.

Secondly, the concept of schism in the Church is contrary to collegial church governance and in the words of the Holy Fathers is seen to be “a rending of the Robe of Our Lord.” St John Chrysostom declares that “the sin of schism cannot be washed away even by the blood of martyrdom.” Hence, any schisms which appear in the Church are always uncanonical; they cannot be justified by personal opinion or self justification.

Those who have joined the “Suzdalites,” the “Lazarites,” the Mansonvillians, and now the “Russian True Orthodox Church” of the “Tikhonites” have all fallen away from the canonical Russian Church. They have done so because they have scorned their oaths of obedience and fidelity given at their consecrations or ordinations and have thus rendered the Robe of Christ. Their sin is all the more great because they have led some of Christ’s flock into schism also. The truly sad thing is that many lay people are innocent souls who have placed their trust in unworthy men and may find themselves outside the salvific Grace of the Holy Church.

The devil sows dissent and controversy in the Church to snare as many souls as possible. In such times clear minds and stout hearts are needed to ensure the unity of the Church. The simple measure of what is right and what is wrong can be found in whether one is drawn into leaving the jurisdiction of the bishop and looking for new, often exotic, spurious alternatives.

If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is not shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The full article:

http://www.saintjonah.org/articles/RTOC.htm

While Fr Michael is referring specifically to schismatic Russian groups, the principles and praxis he is espousing apply equally to all groups who have chosen to leave their mother churches without canonical approval, be they Greek, Bulgarian, or whatever.
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JR
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 08:07:02 AM »

I've read this elsewhere and thought he made a number of interesting points. I'm very curious to know if Dr. Tselengidis has written anything regarding the calendar issue?

Judging by that part of the letter which JR posted, I'd wager quite a bit that he says those who join "True" or "Genuine" "Orthodox Church" groups are outside the Body of Christ.

Why would you think that?

Because of this:

Quote
It is important to understand two major principles which have guided the Church since Pentecost.

The first is the notion of ecclesiastical subordination. The fullness of Divine Grace in the Church reposes in the persons of the bishops, who through the unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession both receive and transmit Divine Grace from one generation of bishops to the next. The nature of the episcopacy is collegial, where each bishop ministers in agreement with his peers and does nothing individually to disrupt the harmony of the Church. In the Russian Church this is referred to as ‘sobornost’. Within this collegial system each bishop has his own duties and responsibilities, but he is also responsible to all the other bishops for his actions so as not to disturb the concord of the Church or cause schism.

Consequently, each bishop administers his diocese within the rules of common practice, but is responsible to his brother bishops who form the ‘synod’ or ‘council’ of the region or jurisdiction to which he belongs. Each bishop swears an oath at his consecration to uphold the unity of the Church and to leave the authority, to which he is bound by his oath of loyalty without a proper document of release, is an act in contravention of the canons (rules) of the Church, i.e. uncanonical. The punishment for such a violation is to be banned from performing any priestly function until the uncanonical act is expunged through repentance. However, if the bishop ignores the ban and continues to function uncanonically then he is subject to being judged by his peers and deposed, i.e. being defrocked. The same may be said of priests and deacons who uncanonically leave the jurisdiction of their bishop to whom they are bound by their priestly oath of allegiance. They too are subject to interdict and, in the case of continued recalcitrance, defrocking. In the matter of subordination to the norms of the Church there is one standard to all three levels of the priesthood. No individual, patriarch, bishop, priest, deacon or lay person is above the unity of the Church.

Secondly, the concept of schism in the Church is contrary to collegial church governance and in the words of the Holy Fathers is seen to be “a rending of the Robe of Our Lord.” St John Chrysostom declares that “the sin of schism cannot be washed away even by the blood of martyrdom.” Hence, any schisms which appear in the Church are always uncanonical; they cannot be justified by personal opinion or self justification.

Those who have joined the “Suzdalites,” the “Lazarites,” the Mansonvillians, and now the “Russian True Orthodox Church” of the “Tikhonites” have all fallen away from the canonical Russian Church. They have done so because they have scorned their oaths of obedience and fidelity given at their consecrations or ordinations and have thus rendered the Robe of Christ. Their sin is all the more great because they have led some of Christ’s flock into schism also. The truly sad thing is that many lay people are innocent souls who have placed their trust in unworthy men and may find themselves outside the salvific Grace of the Holy Church.

The devil sows dissent and controversy in the Church to snare as many souls as possible. In such times clear minds and stout hearts are needed to ensure the unity of the Church. The simple measure of what is right and what is wrong can be found in whether one is drawn into leaving the jurisdiction of the bishop and looking for new, often exotic, spurious alternatives.

If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is not shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The full article:

http://www.saintjonah.org/articles/RTOC.htm

While Fr Michael is referring specifically to schismatic Russian groups, the principles and praxis he is espousing apply equally to all groups who have chosen to leave their mother churches without canonical approval, be they Greek, Bulgarian, or whatever.

I see....

It might surprise you to know that I fully agree with what  Fr Michael said, and I fully agree that any church or group that is not part of the body of Christ is not part of the TRUE CHURCH.

any type of Schism is bad for the body of Christ as a whole, and for it to protect itself from a virus it must close its self off from those trying to do damage with there unorthodox teaching.

I only quoted the first part of the letter as not to go against the copyright rules of this site, as last time I got told of for putting a full quote in.



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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2013, 10:27:15 AM »

This is an interesting Letter !

I'm not so sure that it is...
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