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:
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.