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Author Topic: Should the HOCNA be avoided?  (Read 4174 times) Average Rating: 0
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PorphyriosK
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« on: November 02, 2012, 06:10:21 PM »

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but the closest parish to me is under the HOCNA.  I've looked them up and found that they are considered to be in schism from mainstream Orthodoxy.  Is this still the case?  Would it be acceptable to go there just to experience the Liturgy and not form any ties, or would it be better to avoid them altogether?  They seem like nice, normal people! 
I hope the question doesn't offend anyone who may be affiliated with them.
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 06:15:28 PM »

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but the closest parish to me is under the HOCNA.  I've looked them up and found that they are considered to be in schism from mainstream Orthodoxy.  Is this still the case?  Would it be acceptable to go there just to experience the Liturgy and not form any ties, or would it be better to avoid them altogether?  They seem like nice, normal people! 
I hope the question doesn't offend anyone who may be affiliated with them.

HOCNA is not a canonical group and are in schism with the rest of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

As list of canonical bishops and "jurisdictions" in North America can be found here: http://assemblyofbishops.org/
They are working on a list of canonical priests and parishes, but that'll probably take a long time.
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 07:17:51 PM »

I would personally suggest finding a canonical Orthodox church located close to you if you're interested in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 07:25:31 PM »

Thanks,
  I knew in my heart it would be wise to stay away, but thought I'd ask anyway in case things were in the process of being worked out.  The easiest route is not always the best, so better to make the drive elsewhere.
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 10:40:29 PM »

Thanks,
  I knew in my heart it would be wise to stay away, but thought I'd ask anyway in case things were in the process of being worked out.  The easiest route is not always the best, so better to make the drive elsewhere.

Do keep in mind though, that there are reasons for these schisms.  The bishops separated from the "world Orthodoxy" churches for a reason.  They still have full succession.

The owner of this forum belongs to a group people could pass off as "in Schism".   It's a group I HEAVILY respect - HOTCA.  (Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church in America) - I respect their usage of the old calendar and anti-ecumenism viewpoints.

It's research you should do.  I am not speaking in favor of HOCNA, but there are reasons for schisms...  If the church is near you, you should look into the reason the bishops found to split.  Look at who they are and why they chose to leave.

Didn't St. Ignatius write "where the bishop is, there is the church"?

Well the bishops of HOCNA & HOTCA both have full succession from the apostles, have been legitimately ordained by two or more bishops,  and adhere to Orthodox traditions.   They do not agree with more "modern" things implemented into the jurisdictions where they were.   They have every right (even by canon) to schism if they feel the other bishops in a group were doing wrong.

It's a mess unfortunately...

Convert Issues Forum Members, Please note that this poster is not a member of the Holy Orthodox Church. He is correct that the owner of this site in in a jursdiction that at this time is not in communion with the Synod of Orthodox Bishops North America that are in communion with the Ecumenical Patrirachate. He has carefully included moderators and senior administrators of this site who are members of "canonical" orthodo jurisdictions.    Thank you, Thomas , Convert Issues Forum moderator.
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 11:05:18 PM »

Thanks,
  I knew in my heart it would be wise to stay away, but thought I'd ask anyway in case things were in the process of being worked out.  The easiest route is not always the best, so better to make the drive elsewhere.

Do keep in mind though, that there are reasons for these schisms.  The bishops separated from the "world Orthodoxy" churches for a reason.  They still have full succession.
Says who? So far as I recall, schism ends succession. We don't have legalistic rules for valid "forms".

Quote
The owner of this forum belongs to a group people could pass off as "in Schism".   It's a group I HEAVILY respect - HOTCA.  (Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church in America) - I respect their usage of the old calendar and anti-ecumenism viewpoints.
With all respect to Fr Anastasios, the old calendar and anti-ecumenism should not be the standard of faith (also, I thought he was HOCNA- but I'm also tired of keeping up with the alphabet soup of who is in communion with who in the schismatic jurisdictions).
Quote
It's research you should do.  I am not speaking in favor of HOCNA, but there are reasons for schisms...  If the church is near you, you should look into the reason the bishops found to split.  Look at who they are and why they chose to leave.
Speaking as someone who spent way too much time in researching all the various different groups claiming the title "Orthodox": The only research you should do is in the Church Fathers. Don't worry about the individual canons of the councils, but look to the definitions of the councils. Look to the example of the fathers who stood firm in the face of heresy yet united with the Church, such as St Maximos the Confessor.

Quote
Didn't St. Ignatius write "where the bishop is, there is the church"?

Well the bishops of HOCNA & HOTCA both have full succession from the apostles, have been legitimately ordained by two or more bishops,  and adhere to Orthodox traditions.   They do not agree with more "modern" things implemented into the jurisdictions where they were.   They have every right (even by canon) to schism if they feel the other bishops in a group were doing wrong.

It's a mess unfortunately...

Yes. The alphabet soup crew is a mess. You can spend time trying to figure out which one of the 20 contenders that has popped up in the 20th century can lay claim to the title "True Orthodox Church", tracing the path of who is in communion with who (have fun)- or you can look to the unity and love that binds together several jurisdictions that have kept the faith for over a thousand years (2000 years for the four Patriarchs left from the Pentarchy).
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 11:26:34 PM »

Thanks,
  I knew in my heart it would be wise to stay away, but thought I'd ask anyway in case things were in the process of being worked out.  The easiest route is not always the best, so better to make the drive elsewhere.

Prophyrios, its a good choice. I know it is probably harder and more expensive, but its better in the long run.

There is a story of St. Basil the Great telling someone he was conversing with by letter how to get to his diocese. He specifically tells the person not to go straight there, but to go a round-about way in order to avoid the territory of bishops who were heretical.
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 11:28:13 PM »

Thanks,
  I knew in my heart it would be wise to stay away, but thought I'd ask anyway in case things were in the process of being worked out.  The easiest route is not always the best, so better to make the drive elsewhere.

Do keep in mind though, that there are reasons for these schisms.  The bishops separated from the "world Orthodoxy" churches for a reason.  They still have full succession.

The owner of this forum belongs to a group people could pass off as "in Schism".   It's a group I HEAVILY respect - HOTCA.  (Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church in America) - I respect their usage of the old calendar and anti-ecumenism viewpoints.

It's research you should do.  I am not speaking in favor of HOCNA, but there are reasons for schisms...  If the church is near you, you should look into the reason the bishops found to split.  Look at who they are and why they chose to leave.

Didn't St. Ignatius write "where the bishop is, there is the church"?

Well the bishops of HOCNA & HOTCA both have full succession from the apostles, have been legitimately ordained by two or more bishops,  and adhere to Orthodox traditions.   They do not agree with more "modern" things implemented into the jurisdictions where they were.   They have every right (even by canon) to schism if they feel the other bishops in a group were doing wrong.

It's a mess unfortunately...


No yeshua, succession ends with the teaching of heresy or schism. Just because someone has received a "laying-on" of hands doesn't mean they still have succession. This is not the Orthodox way. In the Orthodox Church, a Bishop or Priest loses his right to claim apostolic succession and loses his authority once he begins to teach a heresy, and/or once he schisms from the Church.
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 11:29:43 PM »

They still have full succession.
Didn't St. Ignatius write "where the bishop is, there is the church"?

I believe both HOCNA and mainstream Orthodoxy would disagree with this kind of individualist ecclesiology.
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 12:23:29 AM »

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but the closest parish to me is under the HOCNA.  I've looked them up and found that they are considered to be in schism from mainstream Orthodoxy.  Is this still the case?  Would it be acceptable to go there just to experience the Liturgy and not form any ties, or would it be better to avoid them altogether?  They seem like nice, normal people! 
I hope the question doesn't offend anyone who may be affiliated with them.

I learned a lot about Orthodoxy from schismatic groups.  The Church that baptized me was in schism with "world Orthodoxy" until rather recently.  Remember, just because you are in a garage does not make you a car.  And that goes for many of the so called "canonical" Churches.  It really is a mess, but if you put your trust in God, he will guide you through the minefield.  However, the first piece of advice that I would give you is read the Scriptures and the Fathers and pray.  Most of what is on the Internet is bull since most of the real Orthodox that I know have no time for the Internet.  Keep that in mind also when you read this, too.
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2012, 12:39:41 AM »

If you are already a member of the canonical Orthodox Church, then to visit and pray with HOCNA would to join them in their stance– cut off from the entirety of the Church, claiming that the canonical churches are schismatics, uncanonical, heretical. The HOCNA claim we are all personally reprobate, embroiled in something they call 'ecumenism'.
I have a personal experience with HOCNA. A very talented priest who used to be the rector of a mission and then abbot of a small monastery, became convicted of the problem of 'ecumenism' through the urging of a young and earnest layman. Ecumenism obsessed the mind of this brilliant priest and he soon convinced himself that his own local church and all the others in communion with it, stood in violation of the canons of the church regarding relations with schismatics, heretics and illegal assemblies. In short order he has obsessed himself and his monastic brotherhood out of communion with the Church and into HOCNA. I once had a close confessional relationship with this priest, as did many of my friends, and I soon learned that I was accounted personally culpable by him as a heretic ecumenist. This hurt a bit, as did knowing that our friendship was over because of his neurotic obsession.
There are few things as sad as good people being deluded by ideology so that they throw their friends under the bus, as it were.
Avoid HOCNA like the plague of pestilential delusion that they are.
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 08:22:52 AM »

Quote
Do keep in mind though, that there are reasons for these schisms.  The bishops separated from the "world Orthodoxy" churches for a reason
There is never a good reason to be a schismatic.

Quote
They still have full succession
No they dont. When a bishop leaves the Church, he also leaves his succession.

Quote
The owner of this forum belongs to a group people could pass off as "in Schism".   It's a group I HEAVILY respect - HOTCA.  (Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church in America) - I respect their usage of the old calendar and anti-ecumenism viewpoints
I like him very much, but a spade is a spade.

Quote
Didn't St. Ignatius write "where the bishop is, there is the church"?
Yes, but in the eyes of the Church, their group has no bishop. He left his succession at the door.


PP
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2012, 09:20:27 AM »

We do have two posters on this forum from HOCNA, don't we?
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2012, 10:02:44 AM »

Its a complicated situation.

Since youre not Orthodox, I advise you to avoid it because it will confuse you and you may accidentally join their church.

If you were Orthodox, I dont think it would be such a big problem as long as you wouldnt receive communion at their church and maintained registration at a canonical Orthodox church.

I am against the modernism, ecumenism, and new calendar in the church but I dont think that is a reason to jump ship and create schism. It is written n the holy scriptures that "the gates of hell shall not prevail over the church" we should not forget these words. There are several churches that still use the Julian calendar (Churches of Jerusalem [Palestine&Jordan], Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, and Macedonia). Father Anastasios, the top moderator of this forum, is a Greek Old Calendarist.
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 10:04:18 AM »

Father Anastasios, the top moderator of this forum, is a Greek Old Calendarist.

Yes, but not in a SCOBA parish. I think he's in HOTCA, not HOCNA, though. (Why do these acronyms have to be so similiar? Confusing!)
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2012, 10:44:15 AM »

Well the bishops of HOCNA & HOTCA both have full succession from the apostles, have been legitimately ordained by two or more bishops,  and adhere to Orthodox traditions.   They do not agree with more "modern" things implemented into the jurisdictions where they were.   They have every right (even by canon) to schism if they feel the other bishops in a group were doing wrong.

Do Anabaptists (or whatever Protestant sect you belong to ) have bishops?
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 04:34:24 PM »

Quote
Do keep in mind though, that there are reasons for these schisms.  The bishops separated from the "world Orthodoxy" churches for a reason
There is never a good reason to be a schismatic.

Quote
They still have full succession
No they dont. When a bishop leaves the Church, he also leaves his succession.

Quote
The owner of this forum belongs to a group people could pass off as "in Schism".   It's a group I HEAVILY respect - HOTCA.  (Holy Metropolis of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church in America) - I respect their usage of the old calendar and anti-ecumenism viewpoints
I like him very much, but a spade is a spade.

Quote
Didn't St. Ignatius write "where the bishop is, there is the church"?
Yes, but in the eyes of the Church, their group has no bishop. He left his succession at the door.


PP

You are actually wrong in quite a few places.

First, leaving the Orthodox Church does not stop apostolic succession, at least according to the current Patriarchate of Constantinople. For instance, the Anglican Church is considered to have apostolic succession by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, despite them not being a part of the Church. Same goes for the Roman Catholic Church. Even some protestent sects are considered to have apostolic succession by the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Russia. So to claim that the traditionalists no longer have apostolic succession is against the teaching of the current Patriarchate of Constantinople (and probably of Antioch and Russia).

You also say "There is never a good reason to be a schismatic" which is also wrong.

Here:

First-Second Council

"The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metropolitans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter’s name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgment against him, creates a schism, the holy Council has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting those persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Councils, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it barehead in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodal verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions."

And of course, if one followed your claim that it is never good to be a schismatic, Saint Maximos the Confessor was wrong to not be in communion or commemorate the heretical Patriarch of Constantinople in his time.

Please provide the citation of source for all quotations above please. This is the first request, failure to respond in 48 hours may result in posting penalties.  Thomas , Convert Issues Forum moderator  11/08/2012  2255pm CST[

Thank you for providing this information in Reply 22 below. Thomas Convert Issues Forum Moderator 11/11/12 /color]



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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 04:37:00 PM »



And of course, if one followed your claim that it is never good to be a schismatic, Saint Maximos the Confessor was wrong to not be in communion or commemorate the heretical Patriarch of Constantinople in his time.


But he communed with orthodox Rome and Carthage.
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2012, 04:49:37 PM »

HOCNA is in an upheaval right now...here's some info:  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Holy_Orthodox_Church_in_North_America

The significant info is:  "In 2011, after several years of controversy over the autonomous canonical status of HOCNA and the relatively recent controversy regarding the posthumous salvation of non-Orthodox taught by Metropolitan Ephraim and Archimandrite Panteleimon, the entire Metropolis of Portland (along with its bishops, Metropolitan Moses and his suffragan Bishop Sergius) and all the parishes of the Metropolis of Toronto were received by the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of America. Other clergy, including the dean of clergy of the Metropolis of Boston and rector of Holy Nativity Convent, also joined the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of America along with the above clergy and bishops.
 
In 2012, after continuing disputes involving accusations of heresy against Metropolitan Ephraim and Archimandrite Panteleimon, and further revelations regarding the sexual abuse allegations against Archimandrite Panteleimon, several parishes of HOCNA, Bishop Demetrios of Carlisle, and 17 monks of Holy Transfiguration Monastery leave HOCNA for the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of America under Metropolitan Pavlos."

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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2012, 05:14:31 PM »

HOCNA is involved with the name worshipping heresy, right?
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 05:20:05 PM »

HOCNA is involved with the name worshipping heresy, right?

Yes, they are:  http://nftu.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Chronology-Of-Name-worshipping-In-HOCNA.pdf
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2012, 05:53:26 PM »



And of course, if one followed your claim that it is never good to be a schismatic, Saint Maximos the Confessor was wrong to not be in communion or commemorate the heretical Patriarch of Constantinople in his time.


But he communed with orthodox Rome and Carthage.

Yes, but how is that relevant? He was still, at least in a secular point of view, being schismatic
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2012, 12:54:46 AM »

i cant find the edit button for my post but here are sources for the quotation of the "First-Second" council of Constantinople...

(under first-second council)

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/councils_local_rudder.htm

and another

(under Canon XV of the 1st & 2nd)

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ecum_canons.aspx

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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2012, 01:25:25 AM »

To the OP:

What is now called HOCNA, i.e. bishops and priests in communion with Met Ephraim of Boston, has officially adopted the name-worshiping heresy and should be avoided. Many clergy and parishes formerly in HOCNA have left HOCNA over this and are now with HOTCA under Metropolitan Pavlos of Astoria, but it's possible that your sources have not been updated in the past few months and still consider the parish to be part of HOCNA. It would be best to investigate to find out whether or not the parish is in fact still with HOCNA.

Some here are counseling you to avoid HOCNA for other reasons, however, namely their rejection of ecumenism and refusal to participate in communion with ecumenists. They typically give you all sorts of scary stories about the crazy people there. All I can say is that personal experience usually paints a different picture (you yourself admitted that the parishioners seemed nice enough). It's really very simple: do you agree with the World Council of Churches? If so, join a church that is a member of the WCC. If not, do the honest thing and join a church that is not a member.

As for the claim that we don't have apostolic succession, I agree that the pedigree of HOCNA is dubious, since they trace their ordinations to a bishop that was himself deposed by the Synod of the Greek GOC. HOTCA, at least, has succession from the Russian Church Abroad, and we have never gone into schism from anyone, but have kept the position we have always had.
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