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Author Topic: Holy Synod of Antioch approves Constitution  (Read 1986 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 22, 2004, 03:30:11 PM »

From http://www.antiochian.org

HOLY SYNOD OF ANTIOCH APPROVES THE CONSTITUTION OF THE SELF-RULED ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA

On Thursday, October 14th, 2004, the Holy Synod of Antioch voted to approve the Constitution of the self-ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. By this action, the final step has been taken and this Archdiocese can now function as a self-ruling Archdiocese.

In approving the Constitution, several important changes were made to the version that had been approved by the General Assembly of the Special Convention in Pittsburgh on July 16th, 2004. The following are the significant changes that were made:

1. The election of Diocesan bishops will be conducted by the Local Synod (Archdiocesan Synod), with the participation of only the Metropolitan, and the Diocesan Bishops who are members of the Local Synod (Archdiocesan Synod).

2. The consecration of Diocesan Bishops will be held at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, Syria.

3. Clergy from this Archdiocese who are eligible for election will be added to the master list of candidates held in the Patriarchate, and the General Assembly of this Archdiocese will nominate candidates from this master list.

4. Other minor changes that will be communicated in the near future

The final ratification of this amended Constitution by the General Assembly of this Archdiocese will be accomplished at the upcoming 47th Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America which is scheduled to be held from July 24th through 31st, 2005, and hosted by St. George Church of Troy, Michigan.

In accordance with this decision, the Local Synod will elect three new Diocesan Bishops at its upcoming Fall meeting which will be held on Friday October 29th, 2004, in Naples Florida. The consecration of these new Diocesan Bishops will take place in Damascus at some time following the election. Some time after the consecration, they will be enthroned in the Cathedral of their diocese.

His Eminence was accompanied to the Middle East by the following members of our Archdiocese (listed in alphabetical order):

Dr. George Farha, Vice Chairman of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

Very Rev. Joseph Antypas, Pastor of St. George Church of Troy, Michigan

Mr. Nicola Antakli, Member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

Mr. Fawaz El Khoury, Member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

Mr. Walid Khalife, Honorary Member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

Mr. Anton Khoury, Member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

We are thankful to these men for the outstanding support that they gave to His Eminence throughout this arduous journey.

We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Our Father in Christ, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV, and the members of the Holy Synod of Antioch for this vote of confidence in the North American Archdiocese. In addition, we thank our Metropolitan PHILIP for his vision and untiring leadership, without which, this historic event could not have occurred. We pray that God will grant them all Many Years!

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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2004, 04:27:33 PM »

1. The election of Diocesan bishops will be conducted by the Local Synod (Archdiocesan Synod), with the participation of only the Metropolitan, and the Diocesan Bishops who are members of the Local Synod (Archdiocesan Synod).

Wonderful!

A question, though...a little while back here on the forum there was some question as to exactly how autonomous the AOAA would be here in America.  What role, if any, does the Patriarch of Antioch still play in which bishops will govern the Archdiocese?
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2004, 06:46:59 PM »

I suppose if he doesn't like the candidate, he can simply refuse to ordain him, since ordinations will take place in Syria.  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2004, 06:57:33 PM »

I suppose if he doesn't like the candidate, he can simply refuse to ordain him, since ordinations will take place in Syria.  Wink

Right, which makes me wonder...just how "autonomous" is this, really?  My impression of what autonomy meant (from my time spent in an AOAA parish) was that the Archdiocese itself would elect bishops, with the Patr. of Antioch only electing the Metr., when such would be needed.  

I guess since the actual election process takes place in the US and only the possibility of negation by Patr. is an issue, something has been done...it just doesn't seem like all that much to be excited about.  Ah well; baby steps, I guess.
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2004, 07:35:26 PM »

I noted that in the press release, it is not referred to as "autonomous" but as "self ruled".  The terms mean the same thing, but I wonder if the Antiochians are using the terms to mean slightly different things?
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2004, 08:13:27 PM »

Whatever...now if the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch could kindly council the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, I would appreciate it.

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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2004, 02:09:03 AM »

I noted that in the press release, it is not referred to as "autonomous" but as "self ruled".  The terms mean the same thing, but I wonder if the Antiochians are using the terms to mean slightly different things?  

This is the result as some kind of huge, seemingly pointless, and I have the impression primarily behind the scenes feud of some sort between His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP and another member of the Holy Synod of Antioch over the correct English translation of the initial decree of Autonomy/Self-Rule.  There were letters back and forth.

The main effect of the new Constitution is that instead of the North American Archdiocese being presided over directly by the Metropolitan with the aid of 3 or 4 Auxiliary Bishops who are also titular heads of Diocese in Syria/Lebanon, the Archdiocese has been divided into 9 Diocese, each of which will have its own Bishop, who will make up a Local Synod with the Metropolitan at its head.  Currently we have four Bishops (including the Metropolitan) and we have given input on three more Bishops to be elected officially soon, after which they will apparently be consecrated in Damascus and then enthroned in their Diocese here.

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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2004, 11:10:54 AM »

And this promotes Orthodox unity here in the US and Canada as well as foster better relations with the OCA, how?  By creating EVEN MORE bishops?  When you look at the Jurisdictions and add up the number of Bishops, it AMAZING how incredibly top-heavy we are when looked at as a whole.  Never mind the WASTE of resources (read - MONEY).

Sorry, but this is the same old paradigm.  There is no strategic thinking/working outside the box going on here.  


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« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 11:11:40 AM by Stephen Barrow » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2004, 11:43:10 AM »

Well, we do have to all be self-running before we can all streamline the number of bishops and the dioceses like we should.

So it gets messier before it gets cleaner.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2004, 03:35:34 PM »

And this promotes Orthodox unity here in the US and Canada as well as foster better relations with the OCA, how?  By creating EVEN MORE bishops?  When you look at the Jurisdictions and add up the number of Bishops, it AMAZING how incredibly top-heavy we are when looked at as a whole.  Never mind the WASTE of resources (read - MONEY).

This promotes Orthodox Unity in the following way:

For Orthodox unity to happen in the U.S., ultimately, the Antiochian Archdiocese will have to become an Archdiocese within the OCA.  In order for that to happen, it needs to have its own functioning Local Synod capable of operating independently of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Put another way, now that we have this new structure, all that would have to happen for the AOCA to unify with the OCA would be for the Metropolitan to leave the Holy Synod of Antioch and join the Holy Synod of the OCA, thereby making our Archdiocese an Archdiocese of the OCA, rather than of the Antiochian Patriarchate.

So its definitely a necessary step to make unity possible, though hopefully everyone will be circumspect in making such a move.  I think there's a lot that needs to be done before that could finally happen.  As Rome demonstrates, administrative unity is not a panacea.

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