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Author Topic: Will the OCA Gain Official Autocephaly?  (Read 2100 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 11, 2012, 11:49:00 PM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 12:08:18 AM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Lord have mercy.

With Metropolitan Jonah forced to resign, the one sane voice on that Synod is now reduced to silence.
How can anything he says be listened to seriously? Now that they have attempted to destroy his character and his reputation, how can they give him a bishropic anywhere? How would clergy react? A parallel exists with St. Nectarios of Aegina and St. John of San Francisco.

I highly doubt that the MP or the EP will get involved. Most likely, they would want the OCA to be quietly absorbed by the ROCOR and disappear.

Lord have mercy.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:16:48 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 12:23:10 AM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The problem is that this probably will become even more of an obstacle to being recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Also, I don't think the United States will gain a Patriarch for a LONG time. Patriarchs are usually reserved for apostolic sees (like Rome, Alexandria, Antioch & Jerusalem) or churches of great importance (like Constantinople). We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation with about 1,800 parishes (and about 54 bishops).

The only way anything will get done is through the Assembly of Canonical Bishops and by way of the Pan-Orthodox Council. It will be a unification of all the jurisdictions into one. Chances are really good that this won't be an OCA, GOA or Antiochian "church", but will simply be a "new" organization with the institutions & capacities of all the jurisdictions together. Will it be autocephalous? I don't know, I'd doubt it because we are so small & young. We definitely will at least be autonomous.

Lastly, the OCA is already autocephalous, it is just that a few Orthodox Churches don't recognize that the autocephaly was properly granted to us.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:23:20 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 12:38:51 AM »

Autocephaly does not equal Patriarchate - just look at Cyprus and Greece.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 07:10:20 AM »

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ith the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch
The OCA is autocephelous, the whole issue with the EP has nothing to do with the OCA, but Moscow.

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With Metropolitan Jonah forced to resign, the one sane voice on that Synod is now reduced to silence
We dont know that. We also dont know why the Met. was asked to resign. Maybe he was a waffler, who could not make decisions. Maybe he had no ability to handle the massive finances of a national church. Maybe he was too stressed and they asked him to step down for his own well-being.

Hell, maybe he ASKED them to request his resignation. Maybe all he wants to do is live a life away from such prying eyes.


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Also, I don't think the United States will gain a Patriarch for a LONG time
I'll settle for an American Orthodox Church, unified for now.

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 07:19:13 AM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 10:27:45 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 10:48:50 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.

Absolutely true. The efforts now ongoing amount to more than has been accomplished in the thirty years prior to this time.

BUT, all of your OCA fans out there - I still remain steadfast in my belief that the whole issue of whether the EP will 'recognize' the OCA's autocephaly or whether the OCA will be the one administrative body in America are not important or determinative of the outcome of any final settlement of these ongoing issues and talks.  Out of all of the existing structures will arise a new administrative structure with a new set of rules, regulations and costs.

Ethnic parishes will not magically disappear as a result and the same sort of complaints about this parish or that parish not being inclusive or welcoming will persist. 'A rose by any other name'.....  

However, the upside of this will be a renewed and growing sense among us that we are first Orthodox Christians and secondly Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Serbians etc... While for the most part we already have the benefits of a unified Church in which most of the local Orthodox parishes are in communion with each other, a unified structure will cement that reality and foster more cooperation and greater regional planning.

In the end though, it will not be the solve all that some envision it to be. It will be a baby step, but an important one on what will, with God's blessings, be a long journey.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 10:49:47 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 10:55:36 AM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000

That number was including non-Canonical groups (Kiev Pat. And Macedonia) and Oriental Orthodox. When you exclude those two it's only 900,000. (I have the official "Atlas" that was endorsed by the Assembly)

Actually now that I look, we only have 772,851 people.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 11:17:33 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 11:23:45 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.

Absolutely true. The efforts now ongoing amount to more than has been accomplished in the thirty years prior to this time.

BUT, all of your OCA fans out there - I still remain steadfast in my belief that the whole issue of whether the EP will 'recognize' the OCA's autocephaly or whether the OCA will be the one administrative body in America are not important or determinative of the outcome of any final settlement of these ongoing issues and talks.  Out of all of the existing structures will arise a new administrative structure with a new set of rules, regulations and costs. Ethnic parishes will not magically disappear as a result and the same sort of complaints about this parish or that parish not being inclusive or welcoming will persist. 'A rose by any other name'.....  

However, the upside of this will be a renewed and growing sense among us that we are first Orthodox Christians and secondly Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Serbians etc... While for the most part we already have the benefits of a unified Church in which most of the local Orthodox parishes are in communion with each other, a unified structure will cement that reality and foster more cooperation and greater regional planning.

In the end though, it will not be the solve all that some envision it to be. It will be a baby step, but an important one on what will, with God's blessings, be a long journey.



Amen! Well said, sir!
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 11:56:10 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.
Yes, if you listen to Fr Josiah Trenhams AFR podcast "The Arena", he has been tasked by the Assembly to interview all of the Bishops about the Assembly and it's work. Based on those interviews I've stayed pretty optimistic.
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 12:06:34 PM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.

Absolutely true. The efforts now ongoing amount to more than has been accomplished in the thirty years prior to this time.

BUT, all of your OCA fans out there - I still remain steadfast in my belief that the whole issue of whether the EP will 'recognize' the OCA's autocephaly or whether the OCA will be the one administrative body in America are not important or determinative of the outcome of any final settlement of these ongoing issues and talks.  Out of all of the existing structures will arise a new administrative structure with a new set of rules, regulations and costs.

Ethnic parishes will not magically disappear as a result and the same sort of complaints about this parish or that parish not being inclusive or welcoming will persist. 'A rose by any other name'.....  

However, the upside of this will be a renewed and growing sense among us that we are first Orthodox Christians and secondly Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Serbians etc... While for the most part we already have the benefits of a unified Church in which most of the local Orthodox parishes are in communion with each other, a unified structure will cement that reality and foster more cooperation and greater regional planning.

In the end though, it will not be the solve all that some envision it to be. It will be a baby step, but an important one on what will, with God's blessings, be a long journey.



The one thing that concerns me is the governance of the church, particularly the role of the laity. We have had a long period of time where the state-church relationship, as well as the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, have colored and obscured the duties, responsibilities and roles of the laity in general. However, in the West, particularly in laic states like the United States, we desperately need to come up with a conciliar approach that recognizes and uses the duties and responsibilities of the laity. "Pray, pay and obey" simply will not work and simply is aberration. As our Church is hierarchical, there have been some adjustments made to traditional governance, all with mixed results: the GOA and the AOCA allow for some lay input, while the OCA actually expands governance beyond the Holy Synod. As we all know, none of these approaches have been without problems, but I would submit that the existence of problems should not make us go back into our traditionalist shells like a turtle.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:07:53 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 12:51:43 PM »

Autocephaly does not equal Patriarchate - just look at Cyprus and Greece.

Which leads me to question: What would constitute the need for Patriarch?  Populations, land mass, etc.?
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 02:12:18 PM »


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The OCA is autocephelous,

I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.  
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:12:56 PM by Kerdy » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 02:42:58 PM »

Autocephaly does not equal Patriarchate - just look at Cyprus and Greece.

Which leads me to question: What would constitute the need for Patriarch?  Populations, land mass, etc.?

I would say apostolicity and/or importance.

Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Georgia are examples of apostolic patriarchates, patriarchates where the apostles had been and "founded".

Constantinople and Moscow are examples of important patriarchates, or rather patriarchates which received a patriarch based on their importance. (and no, I don't think the legend about St. Andrew visiting Byzantium is probably not true, but rather a fictional, pious legend)

The United States as a nation is only 236 years old. We've only been a major world power for only about 70 years. We only have about 770,000 faithful (only 205,000 which attend church regularly). We also have only 1,800 parishes and only 75 monasteries. Orthodoxy in our nation is very young and I would still consider us a missionary nation even though there are a large number of cradles.

Look at South & Central America (who form their own Assembly):
OCA Diocese of Mexico: 15,000
Ecumenical Patriarchate in Guatemala: 527,000
Ecumenical Patriarchate in Brazil: 30,000

That is just what we know, which amounts to about 572,000 people, already 75% of what we have in the United States. So if getting a Patriarchate were based on size, South & Central America would get a patriarchate before we would.

It isn't about size, but whether or not an Apostle founded your church, or how important your church/city has been in the Church.
(like Constantinople being the second Rome and Orthodox Capital of the Empire, or Moscow being the Third Rome and Orthodox Capital of the Russian Empire)

-Georgia didn't get an Archbishop until about 480 (about 400 years after St. Andrew visited Georgia) and wasn't raised to a Patriarchate until 1010, 530 years after it first got its Archbishop.
-Bulgaria didn't get an Archbishop and autocephaly until 870, about 800 years after Ss. Paul & Andrew had visited the region. They weren't raised to a Patriarchate until 919, 50 years after being given an Archbishop.
-Serbia didn't get an Archbishop (and autocephaly) until 1219, about 600 years after they were first missionized, and it wasn't made a Patriarchate until 1346, 127 years after it got its Archbishop.
-Moscow didn't get an Archbishop/Metropolitan until 1448 and wasn't given autocephaly and raised to a Patriarchate until 1589, 600 years after St. Prince Vladimir converted.
-Romania wasn't raised to a Metropolis until 1885, and wasn't raised to a Patriarchate until 1925. This is the youngest Patriarchate and is from a nation that has had Orthodoxy since the beginning.

The United States won't receive a Patriarch for a LONG time, until we somehow manage to convert the whole nation, or do something absolutely pivotal for world-wide Orthodoxy.
The next church that probably would be raised to a Patriarchate would probably be Cyprus, not the United States. One of the only reasons the OCA received autocephaly was because of the unfortunate situation Russia was in until 1991.

So going by first missionary work and the amount of time that traditionally has passed to being raised to a Patriarchate, we won't be a Patriarchate till about the year 2376, lol. However, if we consider the time from the first "Archbishop" (which could be a title or a status of a Church) then we would be a patriarchate in 2018, lol...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:49:09 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 02:59:46 PM »

Quote
I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 03:06:24 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 03:09:56 PM »

Quote
I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?
I think that the OCA is fine the way it is, but just needs a leader who is willing to lead his flock. Im not bashing Met. Jonah, but he said on multiple instances, he didnt want the job. I really dont think that anything systemic is wrong with the OCA (which all American MIGHT be in one day). They just need to get their stuff straight. Im not really concerned for them. I dont think God would let them go to crap.


PP
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 03:11:07 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?
I think that the OCA is fine the way it is, but just needs a leader who is willing to lead his flock. Im not bashing Met. Jonah, but he said on multiple instances, he didnt want the job. I really dont think that anything systemic is wrong with the OCA (which all American MIGHT be in one day). They just need to get their stuff straight. Im not really concerned for them. I dont think God would let them go to crap.


PP

Well I was talking about the inevitable church/jurisdiction that will eventually come out of the Assembly & the Pan-Orthodox Council, not the OCA (though that is the topic I guess).
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 03:13:29 PM »

Quote
Well I was talking about the inevitable church/jurisdiction that will eventually come out of the Assembly & the Pan-Orthodox Council, not the OCA (though that is the topic I guess).
Oh, sry.

Personally, thats a fight between the MP and the EP. Maybe they'll come to an understanding. Like give the EP from Kansas City and all points east, and the MP Kansas City and all points west.

Wait...did I just solve this dilemma by using a mafia agreement?

PP
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2012, 03:45:17 PM »

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Well I was talking about the inevitable church/jurisdiction that will eventually come out of the Assembly & the Pan-Orthodox Council, not the OCA (though that is the topic I guess).
Oh, sry.

Personally, thats a fight between the MP and the EP. Maybe they'll come to an understanding. Like give the EP from Kansas City and all points east, and the MP Kansas City and all points west.

Wait...did I just solve this dilemma by using a mafia agreement?

PP

lol, I was so bored yesterday I was using the Atlas to come up with a quick "solution" with diocese and boundaries... I split Missouri in half since the Kansas City area is divided between Missouri & Kansas, and St. Louis has some parishes on the Illinois side. So you could give St. Louis and East to one and Kansas City and west to another.

(Western MO & Kansas should be grouped with the see in Kansas City; Eastern MO & East St. Louis should be grouped with the see in St. Louis)
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2012, 04:20:26 PM »

Quote
lol, I was so bored yesterday I was using the Atlas to come up with a quick "solution" with diocese and boundaries... I split Missouri in half since the Kansas City area is divided between Missouri & Kansas, and St. Louis has some parishes on the Illinois side. So you could give St. Louis and East to one and Kansas City and west to another
So Columbia and Springfield, MO are a demilitarized zone where no church will exist.....cities of the damned Smiley

PP
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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2012, 04:44:05 PM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000

That's includes the OO; just the EO (who are the only ones who would be in a unified jurisdiction, at least for the time being) were closer to 800,000, IIRC.
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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2012, 04:45:06 PM »

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lol, I was so bored yesterday I was using the Atlas to come up with a quick "solution" with diocese and boundaries... I split Missouri in half since the Kansas City area is divided between Missouri & Kansas, and St. Louis has some parishes on the Illinois side. So you could give St. Louis and East to one and Kansas City and west to another
So Columbia and Springfield, MO are a demilitarized zone where no church will exist.....cities of the damned Smiley

PP

Nah, Springfield goes to KC and Columbia goes to St. Louis... (which makes the most sense because the Springfield/Joplin parishes are OCA and their deanery is already in KC and they are more closely connected to KC)
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« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2012, 05:44:52 PM »

America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.

I highly disagree. The Orthodox Church is universal and is not just reserved for the easterners. Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances. Likewise, what would be the point of having a Patriarch or 'someone to answer to' that is not influenced by Americanism? If anything, it would mean that he does not understand the problems and mindset of the American Orthodox population that he needs to govern.
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« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2012, 06:08:31 PM »

Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years

The Church started when Jesus was a kid? Woh!  Grin
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« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2012, 06:22:25 PM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Lord have mercy.

With Metropolitan Jonah forced to resign, the one sane voice on that Synod is now reduced to silence.
How can anything he says be listened to seriously? Now that they have attempted to destroy his character and his reputation, how can they give him a bishropic anywhere? How would clergy react? A parallel exists with St. Nectarios of Aegina and St. John of San Francisco.

I highly doubt that the MP or the EP will get involved. Most likely, they would want the OCA to be quietly absorbed by the ROCOR and disappear.

Lord have mercy.

Or the OCA could just join in under HOTCA.  Smiley
Ok, I'll keep dreaming.
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« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2012, 08:00:17 PM »

America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.

I highly disagree. The Orthodox Church is universal and is not just reserved for the easterners. Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances. Likewise, what would be the point of having a Patriarch or 'someone to answer to' that is not influenced by Americanism? If anything, it would mean that he does not understand the problems and mindset of the American Orthodox population that he needs to govern.

I do hope that an American Church will not have a monarchical form of governance, where the Primate "rules."
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2012, 08:02:16 PM »

Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances.

But America was not Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2012, 08:18:13 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

I certainly don't claim to know all the ins and outs of the Church or feel I am in any position to dictate how things should or should not be.  There are much more educated and spiritually mature people to do these things.  Perhaps my opinions are still skewed from being a Protestant for so long and being such a new Orthodox Christian, but I think America has a long, long way to go. 
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« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2012, 12:39:11 AM »

America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.

I highly disagree. The Orthodox Church is universal and is not just reserved for the easterners. Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances. Likewise, what would be the point of having a Patriarch or 'someone to answer to' that is not influenced by Americanism? If anything, it would mean that he does not understand the problems and mindset of the American Orthodox population that he needs to govern.

I do hope that an American Church will not have a monarchical form of governance, where the Primate "rules."

I think JamesR might have been slightly confused.  I think he may have misunderstood the comment as suggesting that all the American Orthodox should be directly under a bishop from the Old World, which of course is not a particularly brilliant idea. 

If, however, he understood the suggestion as I did - that the Orthodox in America would all be under one bishop or another of a synod which is answerable to an Old World Church - then he is evidently confused as to the proper role of a primate.
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« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2012, 03:41:47 AM »

-Romania wasn't raised to a Metropolis until 1885

In saying this you are confusing the Church on the territory of what is now Romania with the formation of the Romanian state and Constantinople's recognition of autocephaly. Romania declared autocephaly after unification, though this wasn't immediately accepted by Constantinople, but prior to unification the individual states, Moldova and Tara Romaneasca had both been metropolia since about the 14th century. They had been autonomous long before the unification of Romania. What happened in 1885 was that a pre-existing and autonomous Metropolitan was recognised as head of an autocephalous Romanian church.

James

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« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2012, 03:49:43 AM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000

The 900,000 figure is more accurate for the population of participating, to some extent, Eastern Orthodox Christians in the United States; the over 1 million figure includes the Oriental Orthodox.

The 5 or 6 million figure thrown around by many is an utter phony number.  It is based on the 2 million figure that Patriarch Meletios IV asserted at his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch in 1921, an unfounded exaggeration at the time, plus the addition of all immigrants to America from lands where Orthodox Christians were a majority since that time; and somehow, a factor for Orthodox Christians who emigrated from Asia Minor are also included.  The 900,000 figure was computed for a respected study conducted Alexie Kindrich (sp) for the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, which is affiliated with the University of California at Berkley.  The results of this study are consistent with a less sophisticated study published by Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) over a decade ago.
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« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2012, 11:40:37 AM »

-Romania wasn't raised to a Metropolis until 1885

In saying this you are confusing the Church on the territory of what is now Romania with the formation of the Romanian state and Constantinople's recognition of autocephaly. Romania declared autocephaly after unification, though this wasn't immediately accepted by Constantinople, but prior to unification the individual states, Moldova and Tara Romaneasca had both been metropolia since about the 14th century. They had been autonomous long before the unification of Romania. What happened in 1885 was that a pre-existing and autonomous Metropolitan was recognised as head of an autocephalous Romanian church.

James



With the other groups I was also talking about autocephaly and then being raised to Patriarchate.
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« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2012, 06:36:38 AM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The existing entity of the "Orthodox Church in America," will not be recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the autocephalos Eastern Orthodox Church of North America as the EP is not going to sacrifice its eparchies in the U.S. and Canada, in favor of the OCA, primarily due to the manner in which it was granted its Tomos of Autocephaly by the Church of Russia, which was controlled at the time by the Communist Soviet government, a government which soon after the issuance of the Tomos, entered into negotiations with the American government to initiate "detente."  This was the same Soviet government which 46 years earlier had prohibited the Holy Orthodox Churches from maintaining communion with the OCA's predecessor, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia, by issuing an "anathema," excommunicating all those associated with the Metropolia, one primary reason for the anathema was the Metropolia's refusal to sign a loyalty oath to the Soviet Union, though the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and several other jurisdictions in America, ignored the anathema as having been issued under the influence of a Communist government of which the church was subject.  Finally, the negotiations between the Metropolia and the Church of Russia, were held in secret and did not include any of the churches who maintained jurisdictions in America, some for over 50 years at that time, in a church which employs a conciliar form of decision making.

This discussion reminds me of what the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) stated in its challenge to the Tomos of Autocephaly when it was issued," The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese [of America] is larger and better organized."  It should be noted that ROCOR was not in communion with the GOAA at the time.  Even though the multiple church jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere were canonically organized anomalously, yet they were canonical churches, one church could not impose an autocephalos church upon a territory which includes numerous canonical jurisdictions upon it.  An example of how superfluous the Tomos was, the Church of Russia could not even facilitate or force its own parishes which were under its direct jurisdiction to join the OCA, a situation which exists today, 42 years later.  In fact, although the Patriarchate of Moscow technically dissolved its eparchy in America, it maintains jurisdiction over these parishes with an axillary bishop to the Patriarch, in New York.  The number of parishes under the Russian Patriarch's authority in America has increased, slightly, since issuance of the Tomos.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate maintains communion with the OCA and recognizes its self-governance, but it does not recognize it as a sister church, along side the Holy Orthodox Churches.  The commentary in this post is not intended to condemn the OCA by any means, a church which has a most venerable history tracing back to the Russian Church's mission to Alaska, while it was a territory of the Russian Empire.  The OCA's priests, monastics, and faithful comprise communities of spirituality throughout North America.  The OCA seminaries of St. Vladimir and St. Tikhon are bastions of exemplary Orthodox schools of theology.  And the OCA has produced nearly all of our venerable saints of North America.  But the entity of the national church has been in decline for the past 30 years or so, a matter that cannot be ignored in the context of the inquiry of the original post.

Per its own Special Investigation Committee (SIC) Report, the OCA was subject to financial malfeasance for a recent 19 year period, facilitated by its chancellor, who was thankfully unfrocked for his misdeeds.  Yes, Orthodox Churches have unfortunately been subject to such abuse, but never-the-less, that abuse has damaged the institution of the OCA.  And frankly, were it not for an independent news source sponsored by Orthodox Christians for Accountability, "OCANews.org", the abuse could be continuing today.  It has also experienced problems beyond those that other churches experience with regard to ethical and behavioral deviations among it hierarchy, including two of its former primates.

Over the past more than 35 years, I have been involved in various multi-parish, pan-Orthodox activities and have found that the institution of the OCA is not esteemed, even by priests and laity in the OCA.  Often, mention of the OCA will bring smiles upon the faces of clergy of other jurisdictions.  One nationally known OCA priest, when I met him---didn't even know him previously, when I asked him, "You're in the OCA?" he responded, rolling his eyes, "If I weren't in it [the OCA] for so long, I would transfer out."  A senior GOAA priest said to me, just a few years ago, "Who would have imagined the OCA would have deteriorated the extent to which it has."  And two years ago, an OCA deacon substituting in my GOAA parish, when I introduced myself to him and mentioned that I was familiar with his neighboring parish, replied, "They call us the American Church, but were really Russians."  I responded, "Well, you're really Carpatho-Russians, primarily," but that's a discussion for another time.

Never-the-less, the clergy are respected in the pan-Orthodox community, with many exemplary priests serving in the OCA.  But, when a unified administrative structure is eventually established, it will be planned by leadership of the GOAA, the OCA, and the AOCANA, together, along with the fine membership of all the jurisdictions.  An entity such as the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North America is currently poised to execute the challenge presented to it by the 4th Chambessay Pre-Conciliar Commission, of planning for such a church.  May God inspire all our Holy Hierarchs to meet this challenge.

The GOAA's national mailing list is 165,000, while the OCA's is 33,000.  Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million. Recall back to ROCOR's comments in 1970, "The [GOAA] is larger and better organized."
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 07:07:35 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2012, 10:27:31 AM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.

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« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2012, 12:34:27 PM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA didn't declare itself autocephalous. It was granted autocephaly by it's "mother church", the Russian Patriarchate. What is contested is the fact that the Russian Church was under influence by the Soviets at the time.

Also the EP contests that "only it" has the right to grant autocephaly, and/or that only it has the rights to "barbarian lands". Those two latter points are stupid and void. However the first point is very valid.

As a member of the OCA, I've come to accept that we need to humble ourselves and accept that the future of Orthodoxy in America doesn't include the OCA keeping its autocephaly. Bishop Jonah recognized this...
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« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2012, 12:41:18 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP



Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?

I think the next step is unity among the  Russian Tradition Jurisdictions, OCA, Rocor and MP. I bet Moscow is not happy to have seen Met. Jonah forced to resign. Toxicology report to follow.
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« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2012, 02:33:28 PM »

As a member of the OCA, my only real concern, is if the Greeks & the EP (if we all end up under him) will support the construction & maintenance of smaller parishes in addition to the big parishes.

With the Assembly, we will need a hierarchy & organization that supports both the existence (and construction) of big parishes with multiple Priests and 150-5,000 members, as well as the small parishes that may only have 1 Priest & 40-150 members.

I also hope that they will be willing to promote a lot more missionary work, evangelizing and constructing mission churches in cities where Orthodoxy hasn't been previously.
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« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2012, 04:03:07 PM »

(The OCA didn't declare itself autocephalous. It was granted autocephaly by it's "mother church", the Russian Patriarchate. What is contested is the fact that the Russian Church was under influence by the Soviets at the time.

Also the EP contests that "only it" has the right to grant autocephaly, and/or that only it has the rights to "barbarian lands". Those two latter points are stupid and void. However the first point is very valid.

As a member of the OCA, I've come to accept that we need to humble ourselves and accept that the future of Orthodoxy in America doesn't include the OCA keeping its autocephaly. Bishop Jonah recognized this...)

A little voice inside my head tells me that whether there was Soviet influence or not, the plain truth is that the EP didnt have his hand in this decision and thats is the thorn in his side. 
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« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2012, 05:35:16 PM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA is already autocephalous. That is not at issue here. The issue is when and under what conditions, OCA's autocephaly may be sacrificed for administrative unity on this continent. All jurisdictions at the present are in communion with each other; let's pray that this continues. However, we are on the way to the establishment of an administratively united church under the guidance of the Assembly of Bishops. I hope and pray that the OCA will not sacrifice her autocephaly to any other local church than an administratively united AND autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
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« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2012, 08:14:26 PM »

We dont know that. We also dont know why the Met. was asked to resign. Maybe he was a waffler, who could not make decisions. Maybe he had no ability to handle the massive finances of a national church. Maybe he was too stressed and they asked him to step down for his own well-being.

Hell, maybe he ASKED them to request his resignation. Maybe all he wants to do is live a life away from such prying eyes.

I agree. There's still a lot of unknowns and conspiracy theories.  sometimes I feel like I'm in soviet Russia.
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« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2012, 11:39:12 PM »

We dont know that. We also dont know why the Met. was asked to resign. Maybe he was a waffler, who could not make decisions. Maybe he had no ability to handle the massive finances of a national church. Maybe he was too stressed and they asked him to step down for his own well-being.

Hell, maybe he ASKED them to request his resignation. Maybe all he wants to do is live a life away from such prying eyes.

I agree. There's still a lot of unknowns and conspiracy theories.  sometimes I feel like I'm in soviet Russia.


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« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2012, 11:58:27 PM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA is already autocephalous. That is not at issue here. The issue is when and under what conditions, OCA's autocephaly may be sacrificed for administrative unity on this continent. All jurisdictions at the present are in communion with each other; let's pray that this continues. However, we are on the way to the establishment of an administratively united church under the guidance of the Assembly of Bishops. I hope and pray that the OCA will not sacrifice her autocephaly to any other local church than an administratively united AND autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States of America.

What about the church in Mexico and Canada which are also under the OCA?
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« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2012, 12:44:51 AM »

I would like to see Canada as part of the U.S.A. unified Orthodox Church, but Mexico, is linguistically and culturally associated with Central and South America.  Canadians on this forum in the past have said they want their church to be independent of America.  Perhaps autonomy for Canada, though part of the North American Synod, could work.  A North American church will be a stronger and cohesive church, than just a church of the United States, or a church of Canada.  The ancient Orthodox Church was composed of regional churches, Alexandria, Antioch--they were provincial capitals of the Roman Empire.  The national churches concept seems to have its basis in the independence movements of the 19th century, independence from the Ottomans to secure both civil and religious independence. 
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« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2012, 08:55:48 AM »

What would happen if the Tomos was recalled for the OCA? With ROCOR coming under the MP a few years ago and then if the OCA came back under its wings, it seems like it puts the other Jurisdictions on the spot with coming back under MP or uniting somehow. They really wouldn't have a good reason to not defer back to the MP? Hence, we would have a North American church.
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« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2012, 09:38:09 AM »

Quote
What would happen if the Tomos was recalled for the OCA?
Can that happen? Seems kind of counter intuitive to have autocepaly like that.
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« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2012, 09:53:07 AM »

What would happen if the Tomos was recalled for the OCA? With ROCOR coming under the MP a few years ago and then if the OCA came back under its wings, it seems like it puts the other Jurisdictions on the spot with coming back under MP or uniting somehow. They really wouldn't have a good reason to not defer back to the MP? Hence, we would have a North American church.

Yeah, not sure autocephaly can be rescinded. And even if if were, it wouldn't solve the problem.
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« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2012, 09:57:48 AM »

The EP has never accepted the autocephaly, so technically it could be rescinded. Coming under the MP wouldn't directly solve the problem, yes, but having everyone back under the MP and then working from there on a united church makes working together a little more easier.
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« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2012, 10:52:20 AM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA is already autocephalous. That is not at issue here. The issue is when and under what conditions, OCA's autocephaly may be sacrificed for administrative unity on this continent. All jurisdictions at the present are in communion with each other; let's pray that this continues. However, we are on the way to the establishment of an administratively united church under the guidance of the Assembly of Bishops. I hope and pray that the OCA will not sacrifice her autocephaly to any other local church than an administratively united AND autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States of America.

Here is a hypothetical situation to think through. What if the OCA, MP and Rocor combined? That is the most likely of all scenarios for the time being. Now if that really did happen, who would step aside and who would be in charge?  Who would then split?

Met Jonah was actually a unifying force. He grew up under the MP, and was a Church Calendar guy. But without him will the modernist movements inside the OCA gain ground and if they do, that would end any hope of Russian Tradition unity in the USA..

That is the real issue. What Rocor people see as creeping modernism vs. what some OCA people see as old world baggage. One side or the other would leave depending on how the Hierarchical deck was shuffled. Jonah had a shot at bridging this gap. Now lets see how Moscow reacts to his lose. Stay tuned.
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« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2012, 11:47:50 AM »

As someone who recently joined an OCA church, this is all a little concerning to me.  People in the OCA are still actually Orthodox, right?

My understanding that our autocephaly was debatable.  Some people believed we were, while some people said we werent.  At the end of the day, we were still 100% in communion with the rest of the ORthodox Church.  Arent we technically Russian anyway?

Why does this all have to be so confusing?  Ha!
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« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2012, 11:53:45 AM »

As someone who recently joined an OCA church, this is all a little concerning to me.  People in the OCA are still actually Orthodox, right?

My understanding that our autocephaly was debatable.  Some people believed we were, while some people said we werent.  At the end of the day, we were still 100% in communion with the rest of the ORthodox Church.  Arent we technically Russian anyway?

Why does this all have to be so confusing?  Ha!

We are fully canonical and are in communion with every other Orthodox Church.
We were granted autocephaly (the right to complete self-governance) in 1970 by the Russian Church.

This granting of autocephaly is disputed by the Ecumenical Patriarch and several other Orthodox Churches. There are three main reasons it is disputed. The first reason is that there were other Orthodox Churches (archdiocese) in America at the time Russia granted autocephaly. Second is that the Russian Church was heavily influenced by the Soviet Authorities at the time. Third is the Ecumenical Patriarch believes it is only he that has the right to grant autocephaly.

It has nothing to do with us being non-canonical vs. canonical. It is a political debate amongst the other churches.
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« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2012, 12:27:54 PM »

Here is who granted autocephaly to which churches and when (by diptych rank):

1. Ecumenical Patriarch, 330 AD by Metropolis of Heraclea. Made Patriarchate in 381 by Ecumenical Council and the Patriarch was initially appointed by the Patriarch of Antioch.
2. Patriarch of Alexandria, apostolic...
3. Patriarchate of Antioch, apostolic...
4. Patriarchate of Jerusalem, appointed by Metropolitan of Caesarea, raised to patriarchate & autocephaly in 451 by Ecumenical Council.
5. Patriarch of Russia, 1448 AD became independent of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 1589 AD raised to Patriarchate by Ecumenical Patriarch.
6. Patriarch of Serbia, 1219 AD granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 1346 AD, raised to Patriarchate by an assembly with itself, the Archbishop of Ohrid, the Patriarch of Bulgaria & various leaders from Mt. Athos.
7. Patriarch of Romania, 1872 AD, declared itself to be autocephalous. Not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch until 1885. Raised to Patriarchate in 1925.
8. Patriarch of Bulgaria, declared autocephalous in 919 AD by a national council. 927 AD recognized as autocephalous by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
9. Patriarch of Georgia, granted partial autocephaly by Antioch around 486 AD. Gained full autocephaly in 1917 by Russia.

While the Ecumenical Patriarch has had a significant hand in four of of the nine autocephalous churches, three out of those four declared their own independence/autocephaly and were later recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Those four were, in fact, under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Georgia was under the jurisdiction of Antioch and granted partial autocephaly by it until it gained full autocephaly from Russia in 1917. One of those (the EP himself) gained autocephaly through an Ecumenical Council.

The debate here is whether or not Russia had jurisdiction over the Americas. Russia claims it did due to its missionary work in Alaska and appointing the first Bishop in America. However, the Ecumenical Patriarch also claims jurisdiction because the first Orthodox presence in America was by Greeks in Florida.

Clearly, the Russian Church should have respected the other church's presence in America. It is also quite debatable whether or not it had the right to grant autocephaly.

The Ecumenical Patriarch's argument using Canon 28 of Chalcedon to argue it has jurisdiction over all "barbarian lands" frankly just falls flat on its face and cannot be considered a valid argument. There are other good reasons against the granting of autocephaly but this certainly isn't one of them.
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« Reply #53 on: July 16, 2012, 12:38:43 PM »

You forgot the remaining 6 ^
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« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2012, 12:44:04 PM »

You forgot the remaining 6 ^

sigh, I hadn't noticed that...
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« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2012, 03:27:30 PM »

What would happen if the Tomos was recalled for the OCA? With ROCOR coming under the MP a few years ago and then if the OCA came back under its wings, it seems like it puts the other Jurisdictions on the spot with coming back under MP or uniting somehow. They really wouldn't have a good reason to not defer back to the MP? Hence, we would have a North American church.

I don't know if this could really really help. If anything, it might just cause more issues with the heirarchy. What about the jurisdictions that were never associated with the MP? I'm pretty sure that they cannot just decide to come under his wings when they are already associated with a different Patriarch. And if they somehow did, then it would probably cause problems between other Patriarchs thinking that the MP is 'stealing their flock' or something.

However, on a more positive note, if the OCA and any remaining autocephelous Russian Churches in America that I am not aware of all went back under the MP, it could possibly pressure the EP and other Patriarchates to try and unify their American jurisdictions with us somehow.
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« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2012, 04:25:25 PM »

What would happen if the Tomos was recalled for the OCA? With ROCOR coming under the MP a few years ago and then if the OCA came back under its wings, it seems like it puts the other Jurisdictions on the spot with coming back under MP or uniting somehow. They really wouldn't have a good reason to not defer back to the MP? Hence, we would have a North American church.

I don't know if this could really really help. If anything, it might just cause more issues with the heirarchy. What about the jurisdictions that were never associated with the MP? I'm pretty sure that they cannot just decide to come under his wings when they are already associated with a different Patriarch. And if they somehow did, then it would probably cause problems between other Patriarchs thinking that the MP is 'stealing their flock' or something.

However, on a more positive note, if the OCA and any remaining autocephelous Russian Churches in America that I am not aware of all went back under the MP, it could possibly pressure the EP and other Patriarchates to try and unify their American jurisdictions with us somehow.

They weren't always associated with a different Jurisdiction. The Antiochians were under the MP in the time of St. Raphael of Brooklyn's bishopric. If everyone who was under the MP went back under the MP, it would make it difficult for the remaining jurisdictions to remain out of unity.

Right now, you have everyone under a different old world Primate. Simplify that down to one Primate and unifiying everyone becomes easier and would eventually lead to a independent new world church.
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« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2012, 04:36:17 PM »

As someone who recently joined an OCA church, this is all a little concerning to me.  People in the OCA are still actually Orthodox, right?

My understanding that our autocephaly was debatable.  Some people believed we were, while some people said we werent.  At the end of the day, we were still 100% in communion with the rest of the ORthodox Church.  Arent we technically Russian anyway?

Why does this all have to be so confusing?  Ha!

Yes. Yes. Yes and no: we are technically American, we descended from Moscow, and Moscow descended from Constantinople--that is, we are all Byzantine rite Orthodox..
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« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2012, 05:16:10 PM »

The EP has never accepted the autocephaly, so technically it could be rescinded.

That assumes that EP's acceptance is critical. However, that point is a bone of contention between the EP and MP. It is in fact on the agenda for the next world-wide Council.
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« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2012, 05:33:51 PM »

The EP has never accepted the autocephaly, so technically it could be rescinded.

That assumes that EP's acceptance is critical. However, that point is a bone of contention between the EP and MP. It is in fact on the agenda for the next world-wide Council.

Plus, it would seem to me that for the Patriarchate of Moscow to rescind the tomos, they would have to yield to the claim of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that only it can grant autocephaly. 
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« Reply #60 on: July 16, 2012, 05:43:07 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Two things too:

(A) When in the history of the Church, has it NOT been a rollercoaster? In all honesty then, while autocephaly surely has its needs and merits, it is not panacia that will cure all the ailments of the OCA

(B) The Ethiopian Church experience with autocephalyy has been equally wrought with scandal, controversy, and division (Lord have His mercy just since the 1970s we've had one Patriarch martyred (rest his soul!!) and another forced into exile,  (that is 2 out of 5).  In other words, it didn't necessarily solve any of our problems and in truth, it created several new ones.  One of the distinct and inadvertent advantages of having foreign Metropolitans and Patriarchs is they serve a kind of neutral arbitrator in disputes.  The history of the Ethiopian Church is filled with internal rivalries and political strife between various factions of clergies, and it is not different today in the modern era, though autocephaly has taken away the semi-neutral arbitration of the Alexandrian clergies, who had a few less dogs in the fight so to speak.  Autocephaly has its blessings, and it has its responsibilities, we need to let this be a matter of God that we consider in prayer very patiently and carefully.

I support autocephaly, both in my own Ethiopian Church, and also any other jurisdictions seeking such, but we must always remember, that clergy is a vocation called by God, not our own human decisions and wants.  God has to agree in synergy with our decisions, otherwise we need to learn to adjust to God's decisions when He doesn't.

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« Reply #61 on: July 16, 2012, 06:57:55 PM »

Here is who granted autocephaly to which churches and when (by diptych rank):

1. Ecumenical Patriarch, 330 AD by Metropolis of Heraclea. Made Patriarchate in 381 by Ecumenical Council and the Patriarch was initially appointed by the Patriarch of Antioch.
2. Patriarch of Alexandria, apostolic...
3. Patriarchate of Antioch, apostolic...
4. Patriarchate of Jerusalem, appointed by Metropolitan of Caesarea, raised to patriarchate & autocephaly in 451 by Ecumenical Council.
5. Patriarch of Russia, 1448 AD became independent of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 1589 AD raised to Patriarchate by Ecumenical Patriarch.
6. Patriarch of Serbia, 1219 AD granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 1346 AD, raised to Patriarchate by an assembly with itself, the Archbishop of Ohrid, the Patriarch of Bulgaria & various leaders from Mt. Athos.
7. Patriarch of Romania, 1872 AD, declared itself to be autocephalous. Not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch until 1885. Raised to Patriarchate in 1925.
8. Patriarch of Bulgaria, declared autocephalous in 919 AD by a national council. 927 AD recognized as autocephalous by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
9. Patriarch of Georgia, granted partial autocephaly by Antioch around 486 AD. Gained full autocephaly in 1917 by Russia.

While the Ecumenical Patriarch has had a significant hand in four of of the nine autocephalous churches, three out of those four declared their own independence/autocephaly and were later recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Those four were, in fact, under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Georgia was under the jurisdiction of Antioch and granted partial autocephaly by it until it gained full autocephaly from Russia in 1917. One of those (the EP himself) gained autocephaly through an Ecumenical Council.

The debate here is whether or not Russia had jurisdiction over the Americas. Russia claims it did due to its missionary work in Alaska and appointing the first Bishop in America. However, the Ecumenical Patriarch also claims jurisdiction because the first Orthodox presence in America was by Greeks in Florida.

Clearly, the Russian Church should have respected the other church's presence in America. It is also quite debatable whether or not it had the right to grant autocephaly.

The Ecumenical Patriarch's argument using Canon 28 of Chalcedon to argue it has jurisdiction over all "barbarian lands" frankly just falls flat on its face and cannot be considered a valid argument. There are other good reasons against the granting of autocephaly but this certainly isn't one of them.

Also, the Church of Cyprus was granted autocephaly by the 4th Ecumenical Synod (if I'm not mistaken), in 451.  Note too, in the 1970 correspondence between Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Patriarch Alexei I and later the Church of Russia's Locum Tenens Metropolitan Pimen, wherein both made their respective arguments for how autocephaly should be proclaimed, because of the Church of Russia's disputed impending Tomos of Autocephaly to the Russian Metropolia/OCA, both churches agreed it would be most desirable for an Ecumenical Synod to establish autocephalos churches and the Church of Russia committed to abide by the decision of the planned Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church.

The Church of Greece was granted autocephaly in 1850 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, of which it was a part, 17 years after the Church had made a self-proclamation of autocephaly.
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« Reply #62 on: July 16, 2012, 11:55:55 PM »

As someone who recently joined an OCA church, this is all a little concerning to me.  People in the OCA are still actually Orthodox, right?

My understanding that our autocephaly was debatable.  Some people believed we were, while some people said we werent.  At the end of the day, we were still 100% in communion with the rest of the ORthodox Church.  Arent we technically Russian anyway?

Why does this all have to be so confusing?  Ha!


Well there's a difference between de facto and de jure. We are most certainly de facto autocephalous as we are completely self governing. I don't think anyone really argues that. What is in question is de jure autocephaly with all of its canonical implications. Even Moscow doesn't seem to fully accept that as it still has bishops and parishes here in the States.
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« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2012, 11:10:37 AM »

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« Reply #64 on: July 17, 2012, 11:45:12 AM »

Here is who granted autocephaly to which churches and when (by diptych rank):

8. Patriarch of Bulgaria, declared autocephalous in 919 AD by a national council. 927 AD recognized as autocephalous by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
.

May I make a tiny correction to the Bulgarian situation? The Bulgarian Church has had autocephaly granted to her three times by Constantinople. From the outset, I think we need to acknowledge that she was a daughter church of Constantinople. However, her mother church has not always treated her with, shall we say, due consideration. In any case, here is the history (from Wikipedia but I think this account is reliable):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_Orthodox_Church

Autocephaly No. 1 (927): Preslav Patriarchate and Ochrid Archbishopric. the Bulgarian Tsar and Saint Boris I believed that cultural advancement and the sovereignty and prestige of a Christian Bulgaria could be achieved through an enlightened clergy governed by an autocephalous church. To this end, he manoeuvred between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Roman Pope for a period of five years until in 870 AD, the Fourth Council of Constantinople granted the Bulgarians an autonomous Bulgarian archbishopric. The archbishopric had its seat in the Bulgarian capital of Pliska and its diocese covered the whole territory of the Bulgarian state. The tug-of-war between Rome and Constantinople was resolved by putting the Bulgarian archbishopric under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, from whom it obtained its first primate, its clergy and theological books.

Although the archbishopric enjoyed full internal autonomy, the goals of Boris I were scarcely fulfilled. A Greek liturgy offered by a Byzantine clergy furthered neither the cultural development of the Bulgarians, nor the consolidation of the Bulgarian state; it would have eventually resulted in the loss of both the identity of the people and the statehood of Bulgaria. Thus, Boris I greeted the arrival of the disciples of the Saints Cyril and Methodius in 886 as an opportunity. Boris I gave them the task to instruct the future Bulgarian clergy in the Glagolitic alphabet and the Slavonic liturgy prepared by Cyril. The liturgy was based on the vernacular of the Macedonian Slavs from the region of Thessaloniki. In 893, Boris I expelled the Greek clergy from the country and ordered the replacing of the Greek language with the Slav-Bulgarian vernacular.

Following Bulgaria's two decisive victories over the Byzantines at Acheloos (near the present-day city of Pomorie) and Katasyrtai (near Constantinople), the government declared the autonomous Bulgarian Archbishopric as autocephalous and elevated it to the rank of Patriarchate at an ecclesiastical and national council held in 919. After Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire signed a peace treaty in 927 that concluded the 20-year-long war between them, the Patriarchate of Constantinople recognised the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and acknowledged its patriarchal dignity. The Bulgarian Patriarchate was the first autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church, preceding the autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church (1219) by 300 years and of the Russian Orthodox Church (1596) by some 600 years. It was the sixth Patriarchate after Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch. The seat of the Patriarchate was the new Bulgarian capital of Preslav.

On April 5, 972, Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimisces conquered and burned down Preslav, and captured Bulgarian Tsar Boris II. Patriarch Damyan managed to escape, initially to Sredetz (Sofia) in western Bulgaria. In the coming years, the residence of the Bulgarian patriarchs remained closely connected to the developments in the war between the next Bulgarian monarchist dynasty, the Comitopuli, and the Byzantine Empire. Patriarch German resided consecutively in Moglen, Voden (Edessa) (in present-day north-western Greece), and Prespa (in present-day southern Republic of Macedonia). Around 990, the next patriarch, Philip, moved to Ohrid (in present-day south-western Republic of Macedonia), which became the permanent seat of the Patriarchate.

After the fall of Bulgaria under Byzantium domination in 1018, Emperor Basil II Bulgaroktonus (the “Bulgar-Slayer”) acknowledged the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. By special charters (royal decrees), his government set up its boundaries, dioceses, property and other privileges. The church was deprived of its Patriarchal title and reduced to the rank of an archbishopric. Although the first appointed archbishop (John of Debar) was a Bulgarian, his successors, as well as the whole higher clergy, were invariably Greeks. The monks and the ordinary priests remained, however, predominantly Bulgarian. To a large extent the archbishopric preserved its national character, upheld the Slavonic liturgy and continued its contribution to the development of Bulgarian literature. The autocephaly of the Ohrid Archbishopric remained respected during the periods of Byzantine, Bulgarian, Serbian and Ottoman rule. The church continued to exist until its unlawful abolition in 1767.

Autocephaly Number 2 (1235): The Tirnovo Patriarchate. Bottom line: In 1235 a church council was convened in the town of Lampsakos. Under the presidency of Patriarch Germanus II of Constantinople and with the consent of all Eastern Patriarchs, the council confirmed the Patriarchal dignity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and consecrated the Bulgarian archbishop German as Patriarch. After the fall of Tarnovo under the Ottomans in 1393 and the sending of Patriarch Evtimiy into exile, the autocephalous church organization was destroyed again. The Bulgarian diocese was subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The other Bulgarian religious centre – the Ohrid Archbishopric – managed to survive a few centuries more (until 1767), as a stronghold of faith and piety.

Ottoman Period or between autocephalies. As the Ottomans were Muslim, the period of Ottoman rule was the most difficult in the history of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, to the same extent as it was the hardest in the history of the Bulgarian people. During and immediately after the Ottoman conquest, the vast majority of the Bulgarian churches and monasteries, including the Patriarchal Cathedral church of the Holy Ascension in Tarnovo, were razed to the ground. The few surviving ones were converted into mosques. Most of the clergy were killed.

After many of the leadership of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church were executed, it was fully subordinated to the Patriarch of Constantinople. The millet system in the Ottoman Empire granted a number of important civil and judicial functions to the Patriarch of Constantinople and the diocesan metropolitans. As the higher Bulgarian church clerics were replaced by Greek ones at the beginning of the Ottoman domination, the Bulgarian population was subjected to double oppression – political by the Ottomans and cultural by the Greek clergy. With the rise of Greek nationalism in the second half of the 18th century, the clergy imposed the Greek language and a Greek consciousness on the emerging Bulgarian bourgeoisie. The Patriarchate of Constantinople became its tool to assimilate other peoples. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the clergy opened numerous schools with all-round Greek language curriculum and nearly banned the Bulgarian liturgy. These actions threatened the survival of the Bulgarians as a separate nation and people with its own, distinct national culture.

Discontent with the supremacy of the Greek clergy started to flare up in several Bulgarian dioceses as early as the 1820s. It was not until 1850 that the Bulgarians initiated a purposeful struggle against the Greek clerics in a number of bishoprics, demanding their replacement with Bulgarian ones. By that time, most Bulgarian clergy had realised that further struggle for the rights of the Bulgarians in the Ottoman Empire could not succeed unless they managed to obtain some degree of autonomy from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. As the Ottomans identified nationality with religion, and the Bulgarians were Eastern Orthodox, the Ottomans considered them part of the Roum-Milet, i.e., the Greeks. To gain Bulgarian schools and liturgy, the Bulgarians needed to achieve an independent ecclesiastical organisation.

The struggle between the Bulgarians, led by Neofit Bozveli and Ilarion Makariopolski, and the Greeks intensified throughout the 1860s. By the end of the decade, Bulgarian bishoprics had expelled most of the Greek clerics, thus the whole of northern Bulgaria, as well as the northern parts of Thrace and Macedonia had effectively seceded from the Patriarchate. The Ottoman government restored the Bulgarian Patriarchate under the name of "Bulgarian Exarchate" by a decree (firman) of the Sultan promulgated on February 28, 1870. The original Exarchate extended over present-day northern Bulgaria (Moesia), Thrace without the Vilayet of Adrianople, as well as over north-eastern Macedonia. After the Christian population of the bishoprics of Skopje and Ohrid voted in 1874 overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Exarchate (Skopje by 91%, Ohrid by 97%), the Bulgarian Exarchate became in control of the whole of Vardar and Pirin Macedonia. The Bulgarian Exarchate was partially represented in southern Macedonia and the Vilayet of Adrianople by vicars. Thus, the borders of the Exarchate included all Bulgarian districts in the Ottoman Empire. This was condemned as a heresy (ethnic nationalism) by a council of Greek Patriarchs in 1873.

On the eve of the Balkan Wars, in Macedonia and the Adrianople Vilayet, the Bulgarian Exarchate had seven dioceses with prelates and eight more with acting chairmen in charge and 38 vicariates; 1,218 parishes and 1,212 parish priests; 64 monasteries and 202 chapels; as well as of 1,373 schools with 2,266 teachers and 78,854 pupils.

After World War I, by virtue of the peace treaties, the Bulgarian Exarchate was deprived of its dioceses in Macedonia and Aegean Thrace. Exarch Joseph I transferred his offices from Istanbul to Sofia as early as 1913. After the death of Joseph I in 1915, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was not in a position to elect its regular head for a total of three decades.

Autocephaly Number Three (1945): The Sofia Patriarchate. Conditions for the restoration of the Bulgarian Patriarchate and the election of a head of the Bulgarian Church were created after World War II. In 1945 the schism was lifted and the Patriarch of Constantinople recognised the autocephaly of the Bulgarian Church. In 1950, the Holy Synod adopted a new Statute which paved the way for the restoration of the Patriarchate and in 1953, it elected the Metropolitan of Plovdiv, Cyril, Bulgarian Patriarch.
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