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Author Topic: OCA's Bulgarian Diocese?  (Read 494 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nephi
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« on: August 28, 2013, 11:32:10 PM »

I've recently met a priest that's part of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, and looking them up I realized they seem to overlap with other OCA diocese jurisdictions. How exactly did they come to be and why do they seem to overlap?
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 01:57:19 AM »

They overlap, not "seem to".
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 01:57:36 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 06:05:02 AM »

Go to the website of the Orthodox Church in America "oca.org".  You'll see the OCA has 3 ethnic (for lack of a better word) dioceses; the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate (now Archdiocese); the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese; and the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese.  Each of these dioceses have territorial rights throughout the OCA's territory of North America. The Romanian Episcopate was integrated into the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia (the OCA's predecessor) in the early '60's as I recall, regularizing the consecration of Bishop Valarian (D. Trifa) a decade earlier, who was the choice for election to the episcopal seat of the Romanian Episcopate of America, but had been consecrated without the permission of the Church of Romania by bishops of a Ukrainian Orthodox church in the U.S. that was generally not in Communion with the Holy Orthodox Churches at the time.  Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit succeeded Bishop Valarian and continues to lead the episcopate.  As the hierarch of highest seniority in the OCA Holy Synod, he has served on several occasions as the Locum Tenens of the OCA's primatial see during the several vacancies since 2008.  

The Albanian Archdiocese had been without attachment to the Church of Albania, probably due to the Communist authorities in Albania, but I'm not sure why they were without attachment to a Holy Orthodox Church.  Their Archbishop Stephen Lasko was accepted into the OCA in the mid-1970's. His Eminence reposed not long thereafter and the primate of the OCA served as their "Locum Tenens" until Archbishop Nikon of Boston was consecrated as few years ago.

Later, (I think) the Bulgarian Diocese was formed by breaking away from the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese that was attached to the Church of Bulgaria, again, due to Communism in Bulgaria and its hold on the administration of the church---I'm not familiar with the details of how the break away occurred.  That diocese was first affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia before withdrawing and submitting to the OCA.  Archbishop Kirill of Pittsburgh who reposed a few years ago was their diocesan hierarch throughout their history.  Their diocesan offices are in Toledo, Ohio.

While a claim of canonical irregularity of ethnic dioceses overlapping throughout the OCA can be asserted (though the entire organization of Orthodox Churches in North America is canonically anomalous in any event), this structure was the plan (1905?) envisioned by St. Tikhon while he was the ruling bishop of North America, when he proposed to the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia for "some type of autonomy," in order to embrace all the Eastern Orthodox Christians who were emigrating to North America, establishing communities, but were not substantially affiliating with the Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Aleutians and North America, the name of the "Metropolia" at that time.

These ethnic diocese do not participate in the formula employed by the OCA that enables its financial support.  Although their hierarchs are fully members of the Holy Synod of the OCA, their dioceses operate essentially distinctly from the OCA.
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 07:46:09 AM »

These ethnic diocese do not participate in the formula employed by the OCA that enables its financial support.  Although their hierarchs are fully members of the Holy Synod of the OCA, their dioceses operate essentially distinctly from the OCA.

I didn't know that.
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 08:03:52 AM »

; the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate (now Archdiocese)

The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate and the Archdiocese are separate entities, the latter being under the Romanian Patriarchate. There was some controversy when the archdiocese was founded a few years ago.
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Basil 320
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 08:55:22 AM »

Yes, I stand corrected.  I knew the Archdiocese was under the Church of Romania, but I thought, erroneously it seems, that the Episcopate had changed the terminology of its name.
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 08:59:00 AM »

These ethnic diocese do not participate in the formula employed by the OCA that enables its financial support.  Although their hierarchs are fully members of the Holy Synod of the OCA, their dioceses operate essentially distinctly from the OCA.

I didn't know that.

That is a good thing.  This ensures that the rights of the original founders of the parishes are respected.
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 09:00:21 AM »

I've recently met a priest that's part of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, and looking them up I realized they seem to overlap with other OCA diocese jurisdictions. How exactly did they come to be and why do they seem to overlap?
Was the priest Macedonian by ethnicity?  The founders of the church were Macedonians frpom an area that at the time was part of Bulgaria.
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 09:13:50 AM »

These ethnic diocese do not participate in the formula employed by the OCA that enables its financial support.  Although their hierarchs are fully members of the Holy Synod of the OCA, their dioceses operate essentially distinctly from the OCA.

I didn't know that.

That is a good thing.  This ensures that the rights of the original founders of the parishes are respected.

Who cares about it?
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Nephi
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 09:57:10 AM »

I've recently met a priest that's part of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, and looking them up I realized they seem to overlap with other OCA diocese jurisdictions. How exactly did they come to be and why do they seem to overlap?
Was the priest Macedonian by ethnicity?  The founders of the church were Macedonians frpom an area that at the time was part of Bulgaria.


He's actually Romanian.
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 10:34:21 AM »

I've recently met a priest that's part of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, and looking them up I realized they seem to overlap with other OCA diocese jurisdictions. How exactly did they come to be and why do they seem to overlap?
Was the priest Macedonian by ethnicity?  The founders of the church were Macedonians frpom an area that at the time was part of Bulgaria.


You bring up an interesting point. When the Bulgarians split into those under Sofia and those under ROCOR, almost all of the latter were "Macedono-Bulgarian" churches. While it is true that they were from areas that were once part of Bulgaria (think Second Bulgarian Empire, 1185–1396 AD), the correlation to modern Europe would mean that they were from that the geographical area called Macedonia that was under the Ottoman rule and then under Serbia (modern Republic of Macedonia), Greece (roughly the current province of Macedonia) and Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia) since early 20th Century. Almost all of the Macedono-Bulgarian Churches thus were Bulgarians from the partitioned Macedonia. many spoke the Macedono-Bulgarian dialect but their literary language was Bulgarian and their church since a late 19th Century plebiscite was the Patriarchate of sofia. Indeed, most folks in the Bulgarian Exarchate community in Istanbul were Macedono-Bulgarian as well.
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 12:30:29 PM »

I've recently met a priest that's part of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, and looking them up I realized they seem to overlap with other OCA diocese jurisdictions. How exactly did they come to be and why do they seem to overlap?
Was the priest Macedonian by ethnicity?  The founders of the church were Macedonians frpom an area that at the time was part of Bulgaria.


You bring up an interesting point. When the Bulgarians split into those under Sofia and those under ROCOR, almost all of the latter were "Macedono-Bulgarian" churches. While it is true that they were from areas that were once part of Bulgaria (think Second Bulgarian Empire, 1185–1396 AD), the correlation to modern Europe would mean that they were from that the geographical area called Macedonia that was under the Ottoman rule and then under Serbia (modern Republic of Macedonia), Greece (roughly the current province of Macedonia) and Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia) since early 20th Century. Almost all of the Macedono-Bulgarian Churches thus were Bulgarians from the partitioned Macedonia. many spoke the Macedono-Bulgarian dialect but their literary language was Bulgarian and their church since a late 19th Century plebiscite was the Patriarchate of sofia. Indeed, most folks in the Bulgarian Exarchate community in Istanbul were Macedono-Bulgarian as well.

When I lived in Toronto, there was a "Bulgarian" OCA Church formed around 1900 and the original founders were Macedonians.  But then all the other Macedonians in Toronto whose families came after WW2 belong to Macedonian Orthodox Churches.
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 12:55:40 PM »

I've recently met a priest that's part of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, and looking them up I realized they seem to overlap with other OCA diocese jurisdictions. How exactly did they come to be and why do they seem to overlap?
Was the priest Macedonian by ethnicity?  The founders of the church were Macedonians frpom an area that at the time was part of Bulgaria.


You bring up an interesting point. When the Bulgarians split into those under Sofia and those under ROCOR, almost all of the latter were "Macedono-Bulgarian" churches. While it is true that they were from areas that were once part of Bulgaria (think Second Bulgarian Empire, 1185–1396 AD), the correlation to modern Europe would mean that they were from that the geographical area called Macedonia that was under the Ottoman rule and then under Serbia (modern Republic of Macedonia), Greece (roughly the current province of Macedonia) and Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia) since early 20th Century. Almost all of the Macedono-Bulgarian Churches thus were Bulgarians from the partitioned Macedonia. many spoke the Macedono-Bulgarian dialect but their literary language was Bulgarian and their church since a late 19th Century plebiscite was the Patriarchate of sofia. Indeed, most folks in the Bulgarian Exarchate community in Istanbul were Macedono-Bulgarian as well.

When I lived in Toronto, there was a "Bulgarian" OCA Church formed around 1900 and the original founders were Macedonians.  But then all the other Macedonians in Toronto whose families came after WW2 belong to Macedonian Orthodox Churches.

I have to disagree with you somewhat. It is true that there were and are "Macedonian" churches in the West that belonged neither to the Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA nor to the Sofia Patriarchate. Very few of the new-fangled "Macedonians belonged to either of the two Bulgarian jurisdictions. The founders of any Bulgarian church before WWII never considered themselves Macedonian, as that term did not exist at that time. Indeed, there was no Macedonian Orthodox Church until 1967. However, many of the immigrants were Bulgarians from the geographical entity of Macedonia and they either joined Bulgarian or Macedono-Bulgarian churches.
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