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Author Topic: Autocephaly  (Read 2635 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2014, 12:13:16 PM »

Yeah, after all this, my question still is left unanswered:

If the mother church declares her daughter church to be autocephaleous, then why is that not enough to make her autocephaleous?

If this question is too hard to answer:
If a parent says that a child is independent, why question the child's independence?

Can a sister introduce another sister into a family without the consent of the family?

There is a substantive canonical argument in favor of the Church of Russia's authority over America due to its unchallenged presence on the American territory prior to the proliferation of multiple eparchies of Orthodox jurisdictions of the Holy Orthodox Churches.  However, 50 some years later, it was a fact that there were canonical Orthodox dioceses functioning on this territory. The answer to this canonically anomalous organization of the church was not for one of those jurisdictions to be unilaterally declared "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America." A pan-Orthodox problem necessitates a pan-Orthodox conciliar solution.

When the "autocephaly" of the OCA's predecessor, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia was being negotiated in secret between the Metropolia and the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Metropolia was under "anathema" of the later. Officially, these parties had no relationship; the Metropolia having been in a state of excommunication. At this time, and during the previous 46 years of the "excommunication" of the Metropolia by the Church of Russia, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's eparchy in the Western Hemisphere, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, graciously and lovingly maintained Communion with the Metropolia, the largest of 3 Russian jurisdictions in North America, considering the Russian Church's "anathema" an unfounded act attributable to the Communist Party's control of the Russian Church. In fact, it was imposed because the Metropolia rightly refused to sign "Loyalty Oaths," which would bar their clergy and lay faithful from criticizing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Other Orthodox jurisdictions likewise maintained communion with the Metropolia during this time, a time when the Russian Church's Archdiocese always objected to the presence of Metropolia clergy at pan-Orthodox gatherings, while, of course, likewise objecting to the presence of clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Further, in the 1960's, the leading clergy of the Metropolia were actively involved in the Study and Planning Commission of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).  Fathers John Meyendorff and Alexander Schememann were close collaborators of the Chancellor of the GOANSA, Fr. George Bacopolous and of the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Iakovos of America, along with Fr. Paul Shernilla (I apologize for spelling his name wrong) of the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. These leaders of SCOBA were actively working toward seeking support from the Pre-Conciliar Commission for the preparation of the Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church, to deem SCOBA a "Provisional Synod" of the Orthodox Churches in the Western Hemisphere, to work on a plan for development of an administratively unified church. In 1968, Frs. Bacopolous and Schernilla spoke to the Pre-Conciliar Commission, but were rebuked, the Commission indicating their agenda was full, but actually, the Church of Russia collaborated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate to preclude the topic, due to its "anathema" on the Metropolia and its known active involvement within SCOBA. Despite the rebuke, it was felt by many that this process would ultimately succeed.

Notice, this was a pan-Orthodox process, working to address a pan-Orthodox problem.

Note too, the Metropolia's close collaborators within SCOBA, were the same clerics who were secretly negotiating with the Church of Russia. In fairness to this issue, nearly 20 years ago, the OCA's former primate, Metropolitan Theodosios, claimed that the Metropolia's clergy were informing Archbishop Iakovos of the progress of their secret negotiations, however, to my knowledge, this allegation remains uncorroborated. Metropolitan Theodosios's information came from his time as a deacon working in the Metropolia's Chancery. I would note too, Metropolitan Theodosios' 27 year primatial tenure was largely discredited by the SIC (Special Investigation Committee) Report of September, 2008.

Finally, in the Fall of 1969, the Chancellor of the Metropolia, Fr. Joseph Pishtey (sp), released a statement that the Metropolia was engaged in discussions with the Patriarchate of Moscow to reconcile the absence of Communion between the two parties, and that the Church of Russia was preparing to grant autocephaly to the Metropolia. The Russian Church's Tomos of Autocephaly was issued the following Spring.

While the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Russia will assert canons and precident in support of their respective positions, it was the failure to observe the traditional practice of a conciliar, pan-Orthodox process, to demonstrate respect and good manners, that is the cause, as much as anything, that resulted in a stagnation of work toward a resolution of the anomalous organization of the church in North America, a stagnation that lasted 20 years, until Metropolitan Theodosios began attending SCOBA meetings.

I won't elaborate about the administrative weakness's of the "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America" at this point, but will bring to mind ROCOR's infamous statement of non-recognition of the OCA's autocephaly, "...the Greek [Orthodox] Archdiocese is larger and better organized."

A decade after its autocephaly, the OCA began a large decline in membership.  The GOAA has progressed and grown numerically and in terms of financial strength.  The GOAA's national mailing list has grown by 40 thousand over the last decade, to 165,000 from 125,000 in 1998, while the OCA's national mailing list continues to decline; it was at 33,000 in 2008.  The GOAA's National Ministries budget exceeds $26 million, while the OCA's national budget is a paltry $2 million.

Would anyone think the GOAA could possibly say, "Hey, let's join in with this group."

This is not to diminish the excellence of the OCA's seminaries, the holiness of its priests and parishes, the devotion of its faithful, the fact that it has given us our Saints of North America.

Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate accepts the OCA as a canonical "self-governed" church, but cannot accept it as a sister among the Holy Orthodox Churches.

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« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2014, 12:15:27 PM »

I've heard a number of stories, so I'm not sure which one to believe.

The underlying problem was that when the Metropolia was under threat from the 'Living Church,' they signed over all the properties to the local communities.  That meant there was no way to force parishes under any system other than pulling the priest.  Due to the tensions with ROCOR at the time, some parishes opted to 'flip-flop' back and forth between the two jurisdictions.  I visited one parish that had made the 'switch' five or six times.

The Tomos' arrangement was meant to preserve stability and keep parishes from going over to ROCOR.  Of course, now that ROCOR is in communion, this arrangement is no longer necessary, but old habits die hard.


Interestingly enough, a large number of them are actually ethnic Bulgarian parishes.


What was their reason for not wanting to enter into the OCA?
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« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2014, 12:19:33 PM »

Interestingly enough, a large number of them are actually ethnic Bulgarian parishes.


What was their reason for not wanting to enter into the OCA?
Prescience?
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« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2014, 12:23:55 PM »

What was their reason for not wanting to enter into the OCA?

Others do not want to join OCA because they fear they will be Russianised... Oh, wait.
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« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2014, 12:34:01 PM »

Also the OCA's autocephaly is not even truly regarded as autocephaly like unto that of other churches by the Moscow Patriarchate because the MP still has parishes in America. Unless it is an autocephaly which does away with canonical territory--something becoming more and more fashionable.
The MP retaining parishes is neither unique nor unprecedented.

Based on what?
For one, the agreement between the Church of Greece and the EP in 1928 on the "New Lands."

The "New Lands" agreement between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece is not analogous to the Russian Orthodox Church's maintenance of their "Patriarchal Representation" in the U.S. and Canada, but nice try.  

The Metropolis's of the "New Lands" are integrated into the administration of the Church of Greece, their Metropolitan-Bishops being members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, while their elections are ratified (approved) by the Ecumenical Patriarchate---though if I'm not mistaken, they commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch liturgically.
IOW you have many dioceses in one Church, sitting in its Holy Synod, approved by the primate of another Church, whom they commemorate. Said dioceses being in one Church on the territory of another Church.

Yeah, real different. Roll Eyes

The Russian Orthodox Church maintains 32 parishes in the U.S. and 25 parishes in Canada, a total of 57 parishes which have no administrative ties whatsoever with the Orthodox Church in America, thereby maintaining essentially parallel dioceses on the territory of "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America." Within the "Patriarchal Representation," the Patriarch of Moscow is commemorated, and it is administered in the U.S. by his auxiliary archbishop from his New York Cathedral, the cathedral the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia lost to the "Living Church" 9 decades ago.
You left out that they commemorate the Metropolitan of the OCA as well.

Technically, the auxiliary archbishop has no New York Cathedral (which is a metochion), which "shall be governed by the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia through a person representing him in the rank of Presbyter."  He must "not hav[e] a title of the local American Church," the present Archbishop's see being a suburb of Moscow IIRC (the sees have changed over time, which underlays the disconnect from the NYC Cathedral).

And the OCA lost the Cathedral 60 years ago: the New York courts took it from the "Living Church" and turned it over to them. SCOTUS reversed almost 30 years later.

The Patriarch of Moscow has never struck the Metropolitan of the OCA from the diptychs over the Tomos.  The same cannot be said about the EP and the Archbishop of Athens.

Have you seen the Tomos that the Phanar issued to the Church of Greece, finally, in 1850?

Btw, when I was in Crete (many, many moons ago), I was made aware of a minority of CoG parishes there.  I didn't get the whole story.

Btw, this is not unique: there are such situations in the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Serbia and Romania.
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« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2014, 12:35:14 PM »


Can a sister introduce another sister into a family without the consent of the family?...



Thank you for this thoughtful, thorough reply.  It really does explain quite a bit.

I've heard a number of stories, so I'm not sure which one to believe.

The underlying problem was that when the Metropolia was under threat from the 'Living Church,' they signed over all the properties to the local communities.  That meant there was no way to force parishes under any system other than pulling the priest.  Due to the tensions with ROCOR at the time, some parishes opted to 'flip-flop' back and forth between the two jurisdictions.  I visited one parish that had made the 'switch' five or six times.

The Tomos' arrangement was meant to preserve stability and keep parishes from going over to ROCOR.  Of course, now that ROCOR is in communion, this arrangement is no longer necessary, but old habits die hard.



Interesting.  Thanks.

Prescience?

 Cheesy
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« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2014, 01:11:48 PM »

Yeah, after all this, my question still is left unanswered:

If the mother church declares her daughter church to be autocephaleous, then why is that not enough to make her autocephaleous?

If this question is too hard to answer:
If a parent says that a child is independent, why question the child's independence?

Can a sister introduce another sister into a family without the consent of the family?
Mom introduces a daughter into a family no matter what grandma says.
There is a substantive canonical argument in favor of the Church of Russia's authority over America due to its unchallenged presence on the American territory prior to the proliferation of multiple eparchies of Orthodox jurisdictions of the Holy Orthodox Churches.  However, 50 some years later, it was a fact that there were canonical Orthodox dioceses functioning on this territory. The answer to this canonically anomalous organization of the church was not for one of those jurisdictions to be unilaterally declared "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America." A pan-Orthodox problem necessitates a pan-Orthodox conciliar solution.
We have a pan-Orthodox conciliar solution: Canon 8 of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus.  By it, there was only one canonical Orthodox diocese functioning on this territory (no, it wasn't the Metropolia, but Moscow's Exarchate of North and South America was yielded to the OCA. Much like what happened in 1850 between the EP and Greece).

When the "autocephaly" of the OCA's predecessor, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia was being negotiated in secret between the Metropolia and the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Metropolia was under "anathema" of the later. Officially, these parties had no relationship; the Metropolia having been in a state of excommunication. At this time, and during the previous 46 years of the "excommunication" of the Metropolia by the Church of Russia, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's eparchy in the Western Hemisphere, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, graciously and lovingly maintained Communion with the Metropolia, the largest of 3 Russian jurisdictions in North America, considering the Russian Church's "anathema" an unfounded act attributable to the Communist Party's control of the Russian Church. In fact, it was imposed because the Metropolia rightly refused to sign "Loyalty Oaths," which would bar their clergy and lay faithful from criticizing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Other Orthodox jurisdictions likewise maintained communion with the Metropolia during this time, a time when the Russian Church's Archdiocese always objected to the presence of Metropolia clergy at pan-Orthodox gatherings, while, of course, likewise objecting to the presence of clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Greeks in America have recalled being told they were not in communion with the Metropolia, and I seem to remember seeing GOANSA Yearbooks from the early '60s (or was it the '50s?) saying the same.

Again, not very different from the situation between the Church of Greece and the Phanar 1833-1850 (which would have continued, were it not for Russia stepping in).

Further, in the 1960's, the leading clergy of the Metropolia were actively involved in the Study and Planning Commission of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).  Fathers John Meyendorff and Alexander Schememann were close collaborators of the Chancellor of the GOANSA, Fr. George Bacopolous and of the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Iakovos of America, along with Fr. Paul Shernilla (I apologize for spelling his name wrong) of the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese.

Schneirla, IIRC.  He was, btw, the long time Vicar of the WRO.

These leaders of SCOBA were actively working toward seeking support from the Pre-Conciliar Commission for the preparation of the Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church, to deem SCOBA a "Provisional Synod" of the Orthodox Churches in the Western Hemisphere, to work on a plan for development of an administratively unified church. In 1968, Frs. Bacopolous and Schernilla spoke to the Pre-Conciliar Commission, but were rebuked, the Commission indicating their agenda was full, but actually, the Church of Russia collaborated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate to preclude the topic, due to its "anathema" on the Metropolia and its known active involvement within SCOBA. Despite the rebuke, it was felt by many that this process would ultimately succeed.

Notice, this was a pan-Orthodox process, working to address a pan-Orthodox problem.

Note too, the Metropolia's close collaborators within SCOBA, were the same clerics who were secretly negotiating with the Church of Russia. In fairness to this issue, nearly 20 years ago, the OCA's former primate, Metropolitan Theodosios, claimed that the Metropolia's clergy were informing Archbishop Iakovos of the progress of their secret negotiations, however, to my knowledge, this allegation remains uncorroborated. Metropolitan Theodosios's information came from his time as a deacon working in the Metropolia's Chancery. I would note too, Metropolitan Theodosios' 27 year primatial tenure was largely discredited by the SIC (Special Investigation Committee) Report of September, 2008.

Finally, in the Fall of 1969, the Chancellor of the Metropolia, Fr. Joseph Pishtey (sp), released a statement that the Metropolia was engaged in discussions with the Patriarchate of Moscow to reconcile the absence of Communion between the two parties, and that the Church of Russia was preparing to grant autocephaly to the Metropolia. The Russian Church's Tomos of Autocephaly was issued the following Spring.

While the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Russia will assert canons and precident in support of their respective positions, it was the failure to observe the traditional practice of a conciliar, pan-Orthodox process, to demonstrate respect and good manners, that is the cause, as much as anything, that resulted in a stagnation of work toward a resolution of the anomalous organization of the church in North America, a stagnation that lasted 20 years, until Metropolitan Theodosios began attending SCOBA meetings.
Btw, you left out where the Metropolia approached the Phanar somewhat like A.C.R.O.D. had, and was told to approach its Mother Church Russia.

I won't elaborate about the administrative weakness's of the "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America" at this point, but will bring to mind ROCOR's infamous statement of non-recognition of the OCA's autocephaly, "...the Greek [Orthodox] Archdiocese is larger and better organized."
So is the Patriarchate of Moscow compared to the Phanar.

The GOANSA cant' be so well organized, seeing as it has been reorganized a number of times.

A decade after its autocephaly, the OCA began a large decline in membership.  The GOAA has progressed and grown numerically and in terms of financial strength.  The GOAA's national mailing list has grown by 40 thousand over the last decade, to 165,000 from 125,000 in 1998, while the OCA's national mailing list continues to decline; it was at 33,000 in 2008.  The GOAA's National Ministries budget exceeds $26 million, while the OCA's national budget is a paltry $2 million.
"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  A number of the Archons are hell bent on proving that.

I understand that GOAA funding of the ACOBNCA has been declining ever since it didn't rubber stamp the canon 28 myth like it was supposed to (by the Phanar and his "Archons," not Abp. Demetrios (Many Years!)

Would anyone think the GOAA could possibly say, "Hey, let's join in with this group."

"and leave that foreign head with a noose around his neck, with the other end in the hand of the Muslims...and stop letting that well run Greece dictate to us."

This is not to diminish the excellence of the OCA's seminaries, the holiness of its parishes, the fact that it has given us our Saints of North America.

Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate accepts the OCA as a canonical "self-governed" church, but cannot accept it as a sister among the Holy Orthodox Churches.
It is not up to it, in particular as it is questionable how "self-governed" it has been in its history since 381.  It is certainly not self governing now.

It started its autocephaly by driving a actual saint from its throne, shortly thereafter letting another primate exile another saint from its throne to his death, and then had another primate cause an upheaval by his heresy, which he supported the Emperor in calling an Ecumenical Council to confirm.  And that was just in Constantinople's first 50 years.
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« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2014, 01:15:29 PM »

Yeah, after all this, my question still is left unanswered:

If the mother church declares her daughter church to be autocephaleous, then why is that not enough to make her autocephaleous?

If this question is too hard to answer:
If a parent says that a child is independent, why question the child's independence?

Can a sister introduce another sister into a family without the consent of the family?
.....
Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate accepts the OCA as a canonical "self-governed" church, but cannot accept it as a sister among the Holy Orthodox Churches.

The problem here is the claim that only Constantinople can grant or recognize autocephaly, not only to her daughter churches, but to the daughter churches of any other local church. I can see the duty of coordinating such recognition, but I am at a loss to find any canonical reason for the asserted right to grant autocephaly. Yes, I am acutely aware of the Canon 28 angle in this.
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« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2014, 01:31:59 PM »

I've heard a number of stories, so I'm not sure which one to believe.

The underlying problem was that when the Metropolia was under threat from the 'Living Church,' they signed over all the properties to the local communities.  That meant there was no way to force parishes under any system other than pulling the priest.  Due to the tensions with ROCOR at the time, some parishes opted to 'flip-flop' back and forth between the two jurisdictions.  I visited one parish that had made the 'switch' five or six times.

The Tomos' arrangement was meant to preserve stability and keep parishes from going over to ROCOR.  Of course, now that ROCOR is in communion, this arrangement is no longer necessary, but old habits die hard.


Interestingly enough, a large number of them are actually ethnic Bulgarian parishes.


What was their reason for not wanting to enter into the OCA?
Btw, somewhere here we have a thread over the parishes named in the Tomos, a sort of "where are they now."
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« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2014, 01:43:57 PM »

Wasn't the tomos signed by the patriarch on his death bed?  

He had been ailing for years, I doubt if Patriarch Alexis I actually personally signed the Tomos of Autocephaly.  
The whole tomos was done in.thr wrong circumstances.  Of Pat. ALEXIS didn't sign it, it makes the tomos even more null.
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« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2014, 02:19:49 PM »

Wasn't the tomos signed by the patriarch on his death bed?  

He had been ailing for years, I doubt if Patriarch Alexis I actually personally signed the Tomos of Autocephaly.  
The whole tomos was done in.thr wrong circumstances.  Of Pat. ALEXIS didn't sign it, it makes the tomos even more null.
Sorry to dash your hopes, but HH, HH's successor, and HH's successor's successor with the rest of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate and All Russia signed it:
Quote
Signed in the city of Moscow, April 10, 1970.

ALEXIS, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Members of the Holy Synod:

Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna, PIMEN
Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, NIKODIM
Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia, Exarch of the Ukraine, PHILARET
Metropolitan of Orel and Briansk, PALLADY
Metropolitan of Alma-Ata and Khazakstan, IOSIF
Metropolitan of Yaroslavl and Rostov, IOANN
Archbishop of Irkutsk and Tchita, VENIAMIN
Archbishop of Ufa and Sterlitamak, IOV
Archbishop of New York and the Aleutians, Exarch of North and South America, IONAFAN
Bishop of Kishinev and Moldavia, VARFOLOMEY
Bishop of Tula and Belev, IUVENALY
Bishop of Chernigov and Nezhinsk, VLADIMIR
Bishop of Smolensk and Viazmia, GEDEON
Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Tallin and Estonia, ALEXEI
http://oca.org/history-archives/tomos-of-autocephaly
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« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2014, 03:48:58 PM »

Wasn't the tomos signed by the patriarch on his death bed?  

He had been ailing for years, I doubt if Patriarch Alexis I actually personally signed the Tomos of Autocephaly.  
The whole tomos was done in.thr wrong circumstances.  Of Pat. ALEXIS didn't sign it, it makes the tomos even more null.

I am sorry to have mislead.  I was thinking of the circumstances of Patriarch Pimen's health in his last years. My Reply No. 39 is in error.
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« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2014, 06:18:03 PM »

The problem here is the claim that only Constantinople can grant or recognize autocephaly, not only to her daughter churches, but to the daughter churches of any other local church. I can see the duty of coordinating such recognition, but I am at a loss to find any canonical reason for the asserted right to grant autocephaly. Yes, I am acutely aware of the Canon 28 angle in this.
Emphasis mine.

This right here is my question.
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« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2014, 06:22:53 PM »

Wasn't the tomos signed by the patriarch on his death bed?  

He had been ailing for years, I doubt if Patriarch Alexis I actually personally signed the Tomos of Autocephaly.  
The whole tomos was done in.thr wrong circumstances.  Of Pat. ALEXIS didn't sign it, it makes the tomos even more null.

I am sorry to have mislead.  I was thinking of the circumstances of Patriarch Pimen's health in his last years. My Reply No. 39 is in error.
No, you were close enough.  Pat. Alexis did repose a week after the Tomos was signed, and it was given to the OCA by Pat. Pimen when he was still locum tenens for the vacated throne of Moscow.
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« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2014, 08:35:15 PM »

Yeah, after all this, my question still is left unanswered:

If the mother church declares her daughter church to be autocephaleous, then why is that not enough to make her autocephaleous?

If this question is too hard to answer:
If a parent says that a child is independent, why question the child's independence?

Can a sister introduce another sister into a family without the consent of the family?
Mom introduces a daughter into a family no matter what grandma says.
There is a substantive canonical argument in favor of the Church of Russia's authority over America due to its unchallenged presence on the American territory prior to the proliferation of multiple eparchies of Orthodox jurisdictions of the Holy Orthodox Churches.  However, 50 some years later, it was a fact that there were canonical Orthodox dioceses functioning on this territory. The answer to this canonically anomalous organization of the church was not for one of those jurisdictions to be unilaterally declared "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America." A pan-Orthodox problem necessitates a pan-Orthodox conciliar solution.
We have a pan-Orthodox conciliar solution: Canon 8 of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus.  By it, there was only one canonical Orthodox diocese functioning on this territory (no, it wasn't the Metropolia, but Moscow's Exarchate of North and South America was yielded to the OCA. Much like what happened in 1850 between the EP and Greece).

When the "autocephaly" of the OCA's predecessor, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia was being negotiated in secret between the Metropolia and the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Metropolia was under "anathema" of the later. Officially, these parties had no relationship; the Metropolia having been in a state of excommunication. At this time, and during the previous 46 years of the "excommunication" of the Metropolia by the Church of Russia, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's eparchy in the Western Hemisphere, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, graciously and lovingly maintained Communion with the Metropolia, the largest of 3 Russian jurisdictions in North America, considering the Russian Church's "anathema" an unfounded act attributable to the Communist Party's control of the Russian Church. In fact, it was imposed because the Metropolia rightly refused to sign "Loyalty Oaths," which would bar their clergy and lay faithful from criticizing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Other Orthodox jurisdictions likewise maintained communion with the Metropolia during this time, a time when the Russian Church's Archdiocese always objected to the presence of Metropolia clergy at pan-Orthodox gatherings, while, of course, likewise objecting to the presence of clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Greeks in America have recalled being told they were not in communion with the Metropolia, and I seem to remember seeing GOANSA Yearbooks from the early '60s (or was it the '50s?) saying the same.

Again, not very different from the situation between the Church of Greece and the Phanar 1833-1850 (which would have continued, were it not for Russia stepping in).

Further, in the 1960's, the leading clergy of the Metropolia were actively involved in the Study and Planning Commission of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).  Fathers John Meyendorff and Alexander Schememann were close collaborators of the Chancellor of the GOANSA, Fr. George Bacopolous and of the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Iakovos of America, along with Fr. Paul Shernilla (I apologize for spelling his name wrong) of the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese.

Schneirla, IIRC.  He was, btw, the long time Vicar of the WRO.

These leaders of SCOBA were actively working toward seeking support from the Pre-Conciliar Commission for the preparation of the Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church, to deem SCOBA a "Provisional Synod" of the Orthodox Churches in the Western Hemisphere, to work on a plan for development of an administratively unified church. In 1968, Frs. Bacopolous and Schernilla spoke to the Pre-Conciliar Commission, but were rebuked, the Commission indicating their agenda was full, but actually, the Church of Russia collaborated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate to preclude the topic, due to its "anathema" on the Metropolia and its known active involvement within SCOBA. Despite the rebuke, it was felt by many that this process would ultimately succeed.

Notice, this was a pan-Orthodox process, working to address a pan-Orthodox problem.

Note too, the Metropolia's close collaborators within SCOBA, were the same clerics who were secretly negotiating with the Church of Russia. In fairness to this issue, nearly 20 years ago, the OCA's former primate, Metropolitan Theodosios, claimed that the Metropolia's clergy were informing Archbishop Iakovos of the progress of their secret negotiations, however, to my knowledge, this allegation remains uncorroborated. Metropolitan Theodosios's information came from his time as a deacon working in the Metropolia's Chancery. I would note too, Metropolitan Theodosios' 27 year primatial tenure was largely discredited by the SIC (Special Investigation Committee) Report of September, 2008.

Finally, in the Fall of 1969, the Chancellor of the Metropolia, Fr. Joseph Pishtey (sp), released a statement that the Metropolia was engaged in discussions with the Patriarchate of Moscow to reconcile the absence of Communion between the two parties, and that the Church of Russia was preparing to grant autocephaly to the Metropolia. The Russian Church's Tomos of Autocephaly was issued the following Spring.

While the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Russia will assert canons and precident in support of their respective positions, it was the failure to observe the traditional practice of a conciliar, pan-Orthodox process, to demonstrate respect and good manners, that is the cause, as much as anything, that resulted in a stagnation of work toward a resolution of the anomalous organization of the church in North America, a stagnation that lasted 20 years, until Metropolitan Theodosios began attending SCOBA meetings.
Btw, you left out where the Metropolia approached the Phanar somewhat like A.C.R.O.D. had, and was told to approach its Mother Church Russia.

I won't elaborate about the administrative weakness's of the "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America" at this point, but will bring to mind ROCOR's infamous statement of non-recognition of the OCA's autocephaly, "...the Greek [Orthodox] Archdiocese is larger and better organized."
So is the Patriarchate of Moscow compared to the Phanar.

The GOANSA cant' be so well organized, seeing as it has been reorganized a number of times.

A decade after its autocephaly, the OCA began a large decline in membership.  The GOAA has progressed and grown numerically and in terms of financial strength.  The GOAA's national mailing list has grown by 40 thousand over the last decade, to 165,000 from 125,000 in 1998, while the OCA's national mailing list continues to decline; it was at 33,000 in 2008.  The GOAA's National Ministries budget exceeds $26 million, while the OCA's national budget is a paltry $2 million.
"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  A number of the Archons are hell bent on proving that.

I understand that GOAA funding of the ACOBNCA has been declining ever since it didn't rubber stamp the canon 28 myth like it was supposed to (by the Phanar and his "Archons," not Abp. Demetrios (Many Years!)

Would anyone think the GOAA could possibly say, "Hey, let's join in with this group."

"and leave that foreign head with a noose around his neck, with the other end in the hand of the Muslims...and stop letting that well run Greece dictate to us."

This is not to diminish the excellence of the OCA's seminaries, the holiness of its parishes, the fact that it has given us our Saints of North America.

Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate accepts the OCA as a canonical "self-governed" church, but cannot accept it as a sister among the Holy Orthodox Churches.
It is not up to it, in particular as it is questionable how "self-governed" it has been in its history since 381.  It is certainly not self governing now.

It started its autocephaly by driving a actual saint from its throne, shortly thereafter letting another primate exile another saint from its throne to his death, and then had another primate cause an upheaval by his heresy, which he supported the Emperor in calling an Ecumenical Council to confirm.  And that was just in Constantinople's first 50 years.

Say what you want, the autocephaly of the OCA is not recognized by the communion of the Holy Orthodox Churches. Only the Churches of Georgia, Poland and Czechoslovakia announced recognition of the OCA's "autocephaly" at the time the Patriarchate of Moscow unilaterally issued the Tomos of Autocephaly; the Polish and Czech churches having been Warsaw Pact member states, tightly within the Soviet orbit; Georgia was actually a republic within the U.S.S.R.  The Church of Serbia, which was also under the control of Communists, "fellow travelers" with the Soviets, issued a "wait and see" commentary.

Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly. Most of the OCA leadership and clergy now decline from such debates. "Monomakhos" recently posted an article that the Church of Russia remains publically supportive of the OCA's autocephaly, only to keep a thorn in the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. At the celebration of the 1,025th Anniversary of the Baptism of St. Vladimir this past July, at which the heads or representatives of nearly all the Holy Orthodox Churches were in Moscow at the invitation of the Patriarch of Moscow, during the pan-Orthodox celebration of the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, at which the OCA's  Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington was a concelebrant, his name was not recited in the Diptychs; right within the Patriarchal Cathedral of the very church which authored and issued the notorious Tomos of Autocephaly, the OCA's primate was not mentioned in the Diptychs!

Do any of the newly enthroned Heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches visit Oyster Bay Cove (Syosset) as part of their traditional initial irenic visits to each of the Holy Orthodox Churches?  Not too many, if any, have included the OCA in their traditional irenic visits. Patriarch Kirill didn't even include the OCA in this traditional sign of unity among the Holy Orthodox Churches. And I will bet, if any of the Heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches happen to visit America, they would stop off and pay their respects at 10 East 79th Street, before they get over to Oyster Bay Cove.
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« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2014, 08:39:12 PM »

At the celebration of the 1,025th Anniversary of the Baptism of St. Vladimir this past July, at which the heads or representatives of nearly all the Holy Orthodox Churches were in Moscow at the invitation of the Patriarch of Moscow, during the pan-Orthodox celebration of the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, at which the OCA's  Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington was a concelebrant, his name was not recited in the Diptychs; right within the Patriarchal Cathedral of the very church which authored and issued the notorious Tomos of Autocephaly, the OCA's primate was not mentioned in the Diptychs!

Video proof?

Metr. Tikhon was seated on the main place during the service among other primates.

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« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2014, 08:41:57 PM »

He wasn't commemorated in the Diptychs.
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« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2014, 08:43:21 PM »

He wasn't commemorated in the Diptychs.

Were you there? If not, prove it.
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« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2014, 08:55:03 PM »

At the celebration of the 1,025th Anniversary of the Baptism of St. Vladimir this past July, at which the heads or representatives of nearly all the Holy Orthodox Churches were in Moscow at the invitation of the Patriarch of Moscow, during the pan-Orthodox celebration of the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, at which the OCA's  Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington was a concelebrant, his name was not recited in the Diptychs; right within the Patriarchal Cathedral of the very church which authored and issued the notorious Tomos of Autocephaly, the OCA's primate was not mentioned in the Diptychs!

Video proof?

Metr. Tikhon was seated on the main place during the service among other primates.



Doesn't look to me like this is a picture of the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy.  During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon was behind Metropolitan Emanuel of France (to the East of him), the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch.
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« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2014, 08:57:01 PM »

Doesn't look to me like this is a picture of the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy.  

Wonder if you have seen any hierarchical Liturgy in Russian tradition, then.

Quote
During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon was behind Metropolitan Emanuel of France (to the East of him), the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

This is a picture from Kiev (or Minsk) where EP delegation was not present. In Moscow, Metropolitan Emmanuel was seated alongside primates (what was strange) but Metr. Tikhon was at his place too.

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« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2014, 09:09:33 PM »

He wasn't commemorated in the Diptychs.

Were you there? If not, prove it.
Being the trouble maker I am, when Fr. Arey made the same claim about Met. Jonah during the EP's visit to Moscow, I spoke to someone who served at the altar of the very service.  I'd rather not say who, because later Fr. Arey had to retract the statement.
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« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2014, 09:28:06 PM »

Well, you are right. Actually, the only two primates that were commemorated were Patriarch Theodore II as the main celebrant and Patriarch Cyril as the host. Others, including Metr. Tikhon (but Patriarch Bartholomew and co. as well) were not.

I mean, on Great Entrance. Because it is only shown in the vid.

http://youtu.be/KuSTapKQTFo?t=9m44s

Howeve in Kiev, Metr. Tikhon was definitely commemorated on Trisagion (the video does not show Great Entrance).

http://youtu.be/HGOXF1Q5AyE?t=43m15s
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« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2014, 10:38:52 PM »

Say what you want

the Truth.
the autocephaly of the OCA is not recognized by the communion of the Holy Orthodox Churches.
Neither was Albanias' for 15 years (29 years, if you count its existence in Boston, in the Albanian Archdiocese of the OCA).  The Church of Albania didn't wither.

Neither was Greece's for 17 years-after the Russians stepped in.  The Church of Greece didn't wither in the meantime.

Neither was Poland's for 24 years.  The Church of Poland didn't wither.

Neither was Romania's for 18 years.  The Church of Romania didn't wither.

Neither was Bulgaria's for 73 years.  The Church of Bulgaria didn't wither.

Neither were the remaining parts of Serbia's for about 100 years (it is unclear when the Phanar capitulated).  The Church of Serbia didn't wither.

Neither was Moscow's for 145 years.  The Church of Moscow didn't wither.

Neither was Jerusalem's for 381 years.  The Church of Jerusalem, although decimated, didn't wither and die.

Neither was Cyprus' for 433 years.  The Church of Cyprus didn't wither.

Neither was Constantinople's for 834 years.  The Church of Constantinople didn't wither.

Neither was Georgia's for 1,496 years.  The Church of Georgia didn't wither. Many years Abp. Demetrios!

The Holy Synod of the OCA hasn't managed to destroy it in 43 years, so the Phanar had better reconcile itself to the fact that it is here to say.  And-thanks to the Phanar's insistence on every Church signing the Chambesy Accords-now has de facto and indirect de jure acknowledgement of its autocephaly by the Communion of ALL the Holy Orthodox Churches.

Only the Churches of Georgia, Poland and Czechoslovakia announced recognition of the OCA's "autocephaly" at the time the Patriarchate of Moscow unilaterally issued the Tomos of Autocephaly; the Polish and Czech churches having been Warsaw Pact member states, tightly within the Soviet orbit; Georgia was actually a republic within the U.S.S.R.  The Church of Serbia, which was also under the control of Communists, "fellow travelers" with the Soviets, issued a "wait and see" commentary.
Only the Churches of Constantinople and the Church of Greece denounced recognition of the OCA's "autocephaly" with sustained "argument"; Alexandria and Jerusalem being Churches run by Greeks (and, especially in the later, for Greeks), tightly within the Greek state's payroll; Cyprus was actually a republic which was trying to unit with Greece.

The Alexandria, the CoG and Jerusalem's disagreement was undermined by the fact that they repeatly extended their "jurisdiction" into the "diaspora" in the Americas several times.

Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly.
Given the significantly declining number of Faithful in Istanbul-whether canon 28 fanatics or otherwise-that doesn't help your argument, even if it were true.

Most of the OCA leadership and clergy now decline from such debates. "Monomakhos" recently posted an article that the Church of Russia remains publically supportive of the OCA's autocephaly, only to keep a thorn in the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Antioch got its independence from the Phanar the same way.  It will do.
At the celebration of the 1,025th Anniversary of the Baptism of St. Vladimir this past July, at which the heads or representatives of nearly all the Holy Orthodox Churches were in Moscow at the invitation of the Patriarch of Moscow, during the pan-Orthodox celebration of the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, at which the OCA's  Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington was a concelebrant, his name was not recited in the Diptychs; right within the Patriarchal Cathedral of the very church which authored and issued the notorious Tomos of Autocephaly, the OCA's primate was not mentioned in the Diptychs!
This has already been answered.

Do any of the newly enthroned Heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches visit Oyster Bay Cove (Syosset) as part of their traditional initial irenic visits to each of the Holy Orthodox Churches?
 
Traditional?  It might be my age (it's my birthday), but I can't find hoary anything that has started in my lifetime.
Not too many, if any, have included the OCA in their traditional irenic visits. Patriarch Kirill didn't even include the OCA in this traditional sign of unity among the Holy Orthodox Churches. And I will bet, if any of the Heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches happen to visit America, they would stop off and pay their respects at 10 East 79th Street, before they get over to Oyster Bay Cove.
Weren't you the one who just referenced that Met. Tikhon lives at St. Tikhon's?

I short google shows that many haven't visited the Czech Lands and Slovakia.  They come first.
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« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2014, 10:48:47 PM »

Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly.

I ask a simple question and get called a fanatic. A topic that I am new to and get called a fanatic.
Basil, you have some serious issues to work out.
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« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2014, 11:01:45 PM »

Well, you are right. Actually, the only two primates that were commemorated were Patriarch Theodore II as the main celebrant and Patriarch Cyril as the host. Others, including Metr. Tikhon (but Patriarch Bartholomew and co. as well) were not.

I mean, on Great Entrance. Because it is only shown in the vid.

http://youtu.be/KuSTapKQTFo?t=9m44s

Howeve in Kiev, Metr. Tikhon was definitely commemorated on Trisagion (the video does not show Great Entrance).

http://youtu.be/HGOXF1Q5AyE?t=43m15s

Thank you so much for this link.  How utterly inspiring and impressive!  The beauty of the Liturgy in Church Slavonic and Greek, the gorgeous Tabernacle (Artophorion) in the Moscow Cathedral, those massive chalices and diskos', the baritone voices of the Russian deacons; fantastic!

I would think, however, evidence of the commemorations in the Diptychs would be better examined at the petition, "First of all, remember Lord..." That is where the practice of the Heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches commemorating each other would be evident. It was the Liturgy in Moscow that I cited in my post.
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« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2014, 11:43:19 PM »

Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly.

I ask a simple question and get called a fanatic. A topic that I am new to and get called a fanatic.
Basil, you have some serious issues to work out.

If you walk into the middle of a catfight and get scratched, please don't presume to complain about the cats being neither declawed nor neutered.  Then again,  organization comes as naturally to the Orthodox as herding comes to cats.

Frankly, the argument is primarily academic and not practically relevant to the ultimate solution, if there ever will be one, to the organization of North American Orthodoxy (which I doubt will ever occur the older I get). Most OCA clergy, at least here in the northeast , today rarely espouse the autocephaly hard line which some, even non OCA members, like to proclaim on this forum.
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« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2014, 01:28:18 AM »

I think the 'fun' of autocephaly has worn off for most people, and now the reality is setting in.  There is no 'going home' so to speak.  The OCA has to deal with all of its own problems and make its own solutions.  That's a lot of responsibility, and there are no 'convenient' foreigners with funny accents to blame when everything goes sideways.

I would also say that the truth is that autocephaly does not have to be argued for any longer.  Sure, there are arguments against it, but it is not an improbable proposition.  It makes the most sense, because even the most 'ethnic' of the ethnic communities are far more Americanized than anyone wants to admit.  There is a world of difference between Greek parishes in the GOA and those in Turkey or Greece.  The idea that we are one big happy family is purely theoretical.

That being said, the whole idea of somehow reverting to closer ties to Old Countries makes little sense to all the people in all of the jurisdictions who have absolutely no ties to said Old Countries.  For them, there is no going home because they are already there.  When they try to put on airs of the Old Country, they get put down for being fakers (which they are in a sense).  When they act normally, they get put down for being 'too American.'

The $50,000 Question is why anyone from the Old World would want to yank the autocephaly of the OCA or have more control here when all it means is more responsibility and thus more headaches.  Many people are suspicious.  Even the Assembly of Bishops can't really explain what the long-term plan is.  So, what if tomorrow we all decided to 'go under' the Patriarchate of Constantinople... then what?

I suppose we could all feel comforted knowing that we would be shown the indulgence granted the other various specialty ethnic jurisdictions of the Patriarchate, which means we would be left alone to do our own thing.  However, that's not what a bishop is there to do, as much as many of us would like to be left alone it would seem.  We need to be challenged, and in some other way than fundraising.  We need a vision, and it must be more than 'Hellenism' or 'Holy Mother Russia' since those things make no sense to those outside the circle in which they are popular.  For most of us, Greek festivals and Russian glendis are fine... once a year. 

What about the rest of the time?  That's what autocephaly is really all about.  It is dealing with conflict, but also about setting a goal.  When the OCA received the Tomos, the idea was that it would be free to really work on building a local church based on the locals.  The OCA's stumbles, which is what it shares with all the rest of the jurisdictions, is that the focus became more about their existing communities rather than actual expansion.  Well, that and the shenanigans of the certain far-famed Protopresbyter who poisoned the well they are still largely drinking from.

Before anyone seriously entertains the idea of rearranging the abysmal system we have now, I would like to see the plan for the future.  I would like to see the new ministries to sick and the poor.  I would like to see how the Great Commandment will be fulfilled with new bishops at the helm.  Because the one thing I believe is that we can always make things worse.


Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly.

I ask a simple question and get called a fanatic. A topic that I am new to and get called a fanatic.
Basil, you have some serious issues to work out.

If you walk into the middle of a catfight and get scratched, please don't presume to complain about the cats being neither declawed nor neutered.  Then again,  organization comes as naturally to the Orthodox as herding comes to cats.

Frankly, the argument is primarily academic and not practically relevant to the ultimate solution, if there ever will be one, to the organization of North American Orthodoxy (which I doubt will ever occur the older I get). Most OCA clergy, at least here in the northeast , today rarely espouse the autocephaly hard line which some, even non OCA members, like to proclaim on this forum.
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« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2014, 01:43:33 AM »

Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly.

I ask a simple question and get called a fanatic. A topic that I am new to and get called a fanatic.
Basil, you have some serious issues to work out.

I was not referring to you.
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« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2014, 02:14:31 AM »

At the end of the day this autochephaly business has no bearing on those in the pew. Orthodoxy is completed at the altar not in church politics.
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« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2014, 02:55:16 AM »

I would think, however, evidence of the commemorations in the Diptychs would be better examined at the petition, "First of all, remember Lord..." That is where the practice of the Heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches commemorating each other would be evident. It was the Liturgy in Moscow that I cited in my post.

You are not getting primatial Liturgy in Russian tradition. Or purposely trolling.
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« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2014, 10:20:21 AM »

That sounds good, but everyone knows that the people who control the politics also control what goes on around the Altar Table... because it is the same people.

Politics always trickles down to the pews, be it assessments or liturgical directives or clergy assignments.  There is no 'asbestos curtain' between the liturgical life and the administrative life of the Church.


At the end of the day this autochephaly business has no bearing on those in the pew. Orthodoxy is completed at the altar not in church politics.
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« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2014, 10:57:09 AM »

I think the 'fun' of autocephaly has worn off for most people, and now the reality is setting in.  There is no 'going home' so to speak.  The OCA has to deal with all of its own problems and make its own solutions.  That's a lot of responsibility, and there are no 'convenient' foreigners with funny accents to blame when everything goes sideways.

I would also say that the truth is that autocephaly does not have to be argued for any longer.  Sure, there are arguments against it, but it is not an improbable proposition.  It makes the most sense, because even the most 'ethnic' of the ethnic communities are far more Americanized than anyone wants to admit.  There is a world of difference between Greek parishes in the GOA and those in Turkey or Greece.  The idea that we are one big happy family is purely theoretical.

That being said, the whole idea of somehow reverting to closer ties to Old Countries makes little sense to all the people in all of the jurisdictions who have absolutely no ties to said Old Countries.  For them, there is no going home because they are already there.  When they try to put on airs of the Old Country, they get put down for being fakers (which they are in a sense).  When they act normally, they get put down for being 'too American.'

The $50,000 Question is why anyone from the Old World would want to yank the autocephaly of the OCA or have more control here when all it means is more responsibility and thus more headaches.  Many people are suspicious.  Even the Assembly of Bishops can't really explain what the long-term plan is.  So, what if tomorrow we all decided to 'go under' the Patriarchate of Constantinople... then what?

I suppose we could all feel comforted knowing that we would be shown the indulgence granted the other various specialty ethnic jurisdictions of the Patriarchate, which means we would be left alone to do our own thing.  However, that's not what a bishop is there to do, as much as many of us would like to be left alone it would seem.  We need to be challenged, and in some other way than fundraising.  We need a vision, and it must be more than 'Hellenism' or 'Holy Mother Russia' since those things make no sense to those outside the circle in which they are popular.  For most of us, Greek festivals and Russian glendis are fine... once a year.  

What about the rest of the time?  That's what autocephaly is really all about.  It is dealing with conflict, but also about setting a goal.  When the OCA received the Tomos, the idea was that it would be free to really work on building a local church based on the locals.  The OCA's stumbles, which is what it shares with all the rest of the jurisdictions, is that the focus became more about their existing communities rather than actual expansion.  Well, that and the shenanigans of the certain far-famed Protopresbyter who poisoned the well they are still largely drinking from.

Before anyone seriously entertains the idea of rearranging the abysmal system we have now, I would like to see the plan for the future.  I would like to see the new ministries to sick and the poor.  I would like to see how the Great Commandment will be fulfilled with new bishops at the helm.  Because the one thing I believe is that we can always make things worse.


Only you and a significantly declining number of OCA autocephalist fanatics continue to argue in support of the OCA's autocephaly.

I ask a simple question and get called a fanatic. A topic that I am new to and get called a fanatic.
Basil, you have some serious issues to work out.

If you walk into the middle of a catfight and get scratched, please don't presume to complain about the cats being neither declawed nor neutered.  Then again,  organization comes as naturally to the Orthodox as herding comes to cats.

Frankly, the argument is primarily academic and not practically relevant to the ultimate solution, if there ever will be one, to the organization of North American Orthodoxy (which I doubt will ever occur the older I get). Most OCA clergy, at least here in the northeast , today rarely espouse the autocephaly hard line which some, even non OCA members, like to proclaim on this forum.

My point was not meant to claim that a self ruling, autocephalous American church is unnecessary. It was directed to the seemingly endless distraction which is the argument about the OCA and its Tomos.

We need an American Orthodox Church and a nationally and internationally recognized Primate. It's just not the current OCA or its current Primate.

I'm not "slamming" them or criticising Met. Tikhon (who by all accounts is a good man and a fine Bishop) .I am trying to make the point that arguing about the efficacy and correctness of an act which occurred more than forty years ago (when I was in high school)and which in reality never gained much traction or acceptance here in America over the past four+ decades impedes our progress and prevents us from a meaningful dialogue which will solve our ultimate goal.

 
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« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2014, 11:05:20 AM »

Yes, I see your point.

I would disagree that we 'need' an internationally recognized Primate in order for all this to work.  That has been the problem: we are getting the cart before the horse.

Real recognition comes when we have a functioning church here.  It may, based on historical examples, take another couple hundred years.  That's OK so long as we are doing what God wills.  The whole idea that you can get Greeks or Russians to agree to anything together is to ignore their cultures and how they function.  They do not have the compulsion for unanimity that Americans do, and so they will naturally balk at just about anything offered them until there is nothing else left to do but quietly go along.  They are much more comfortable with conflict than we are.

So, we cannot project our expectations on them.  We need to allow them to disagree and be upset for a time, but go about doing what makes sense to us here, because that is what spirituality is all about.


My point was not meant to claim that a self ruling, autocephalous American church is unnecessary. It was directed to the seemingly endless distraction which is the argument about the OCA and its Tomos.

We need an American Orthodox Church and a nationally and internationally recognized Primate. It's just not the current OCA or its current Primate.

I'm not "slamming" them or criticising Met. Tikhon (who by all accounts is a good man and a fine Bishop) .I am trying to make the point that arguing about the efficacy and correctness of an act which occurred more than forty years ago (when I was in high school)and which in reality never gained much traction or acceptance here in America over the past four+ decades impedes our progress and prevents us from a meaningful dialogue which will solve our ultimate goal.

 
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« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2014, 12:12:55 PM »

Yes, I see your point.

I would disagree that we 'need' an internationally recognized Primate in order for all this to work.  That has been the problem: we are getting the cart before the horse.

Real recognition comes when we have a functioning church here.  It may, based on historical examples, take another couple hundred years.  That's OK so long as we are doing what God wills.  The whole idea that you can get Greeks or Russians to agree to anything together is to ignore their cultures and how they function.  They do not have the compulsion for unanimity that Americans do, and so they will naturally balk at just about anything offered them until there is nothing else left to do but quietly go along.  They are much more comfortable with conflict than we are.

So, we cannot project our expectations on them.  We need to allow them to disagree and be upset for a time, but go about doing what makes sense to us here, because that is what spirituality is all about.


My point was not meant to claim that a self ruling, autocephalous American church is unnecessary. It was directed to the seemingly endless distraction which is the argument about the OCA and its Tomos.

We need an American Orthodox Church and a nationally and internationally recognized Primate. It's just not the current OCA or its current Primate.

I'm not "slamming" them or criticising Met. Tikhon (who by all accounts is a good man and a fine Bishop) .I am trying to make the point that arguing about the efficacy and correctness of an act which occurred more than forty years ago (when I was in high school)and which in reality never gained much traction or acceptance here in America over the past four+ decades impedes our progress and prevents us from a meaningful dialogue which will solve our ultimate goal.

 

You are correct about the cart before the horse - we Americans are an impatient lot. When we project our individual hopes and values on individual leaders - like our Presidents - we are always disappointed - regardless of our politics or whether or not we voted for the person. The Church would be no different. The corrosive impact of our personality projections and disappointments regarding the Presidency these past fifty years has taken its toll on the nation, the same would hold true for the Church if we are not careful. Well taken point. Thanks!
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« Reply #79 on: January 09, 2014, 12:23:50 PM »

Yes, I see your point.

I would disagree that we 'need' an internationally recognized Primate in order for all this to work.  That has been the problem: we are getting the cart before the horse.

Real recognition comes when we have a functioning church here.  It may, based on historical examples, take another couple hundred years.  That's OK so long as we are doing what God wills.  The whole idea that you can get Greeks or Russians to agree to anything together is to ignore their cultures and how they function.  They do not have the compulsion for unanimity that Americans do, and so they will naturally balk at just about anything offered them until there is nothing else left to do but quietly go along.  They are much more comfortable with conflict than we are.

So, we cannot project our expectations on them.  We need to allow them to disagree and be upset for a time, but go about doing what makes sense to us here, because that is what spirituality is all about.


My point was not meant to claim that a self ruling, autocephalous American church is unnecessary. It was directed to the seemingly endless distraction which is the argument about the OCA and its Tomos.

We need an American Orthodox Church and a nationally and internationally recognized Primate. It's just not the current OCA or its current Primate.

I'm not "slamming" them or criticising Met. Tikhon (who by all accounts is a good man and a fine Bishop) .I am trying to make the point that arguing about the efficacy and correctness of an act which occurred more than forty years ago (when I was in high school)and which in reality never gained much traction or acceptance here in America over the past four+ decades impedes our progress and prevents us from a meaningful dialogue which will solve our ultimate goal.

 

Despite our never enduing debates over the nearly 44 year old Tomos of Autocephaly, the leadership of the churches in America have moved on; the OCA is an actively, positively engaged participant in the Assembly of Bishops and its committee work, along side the GOAA, the AOCANA, and others.

ACOB should be promoting unified work among the churches, pan-Orthodox Services, joint conferences for all the work of the various ministries of the churches, youth commissions, religious educators, outreach, stewardship, etc.  Unified administration will naturally come about from unified work.
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« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2014, 12:47:16 PM »

I agree that we have moved on by largely ignoring one another.  Kind of like how it all started in the first place.

I absolutely agree that unified ministry and service to the American community in the name of God will lead to administrative unity.  However, I take Metropolitan Savvas at his word (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjLQMSgVTM0#t=103) that unity means an end to autocephaly as far as the Assembly of Bishops is concerned as conceived by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

So, we are back to square one.

My belief is that local ministries will ultimately be the undoing of overseas administration, because just as problems in Greece and Russia are a mystery to us, so are our social problems in America a mystery to foreign bishops.  The 'xenos' cannot effectively manage such things as counseling programs... otherwise they would be doing them in Turkey.  The Russians have a bit more experience, but most of it is still under development.

I think the Patriarchate of Constantinople is at a distinct instinctual disadvantage coming from Turkey, where the fight is to preserve a dying minority community.  It holds itself as separate from the larger Turkish population and does not identify with them.  When that thinking comes here, it is dysfunctional because American society naturally melts these distinctions.  So, if you are all about holding yourself as a separate community from the larger society, then you really can't do outreach and ministry.

When Constantinople embraces the Turkish people and overcomes its centuries of isolation, I think you will see amazing things.  Turks need the faith as much as Greeks, and there must be more than lip-service to Turkish national identity.  The Patriarchate is the the perfect place to start demonstrating on its home turf what it wants to do in America.

Because, honestly, I don't want to end up like them.  You can only lead by what you know, and what you know is what you do.


Despite our never enduing debates over the nearly 44 year old Tomos of Autocephaly, the leadership of the churches in America have moved on; the OCA is an actively, positively engaged participant in the Assembly of Bishops and its committee work, along side the GOAA, the AOCANA, and others.

ACOB should be promoting unified work among the churches, pan-Orthodox Services, joint conferences for all the work of the various ministries of the churches, youth commissions, religious educators, outreach, stewardship, etc.  Unified administration will naturally come about from unified work.
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« Reply #81 on: January 09, 2014, 02:19:30 PM »

Until there is one administrative Orthodox Church in the US, not subservient to the Old World, all this talk is really a moot point. Orthodoxy will continue to be looked at as "that Greek" or "that Russian" thing. This isn't a new frontier anymore.

It wont work if there is a Greek, or a Russian, or an Antiochian label on it. Sadly, the circus that is the OCA is obviously not working. Until every jurisdiction here in the US is willing to give up their own little slice of the pie for the sake of the Gospel, we'll keep wallowing in this nonsense. Jurisdictions need to stop looking at everyone else for humility and start doing it themselves.....mine included. Unified administration will never happen if everyone wants to keep their fingers in the pie to one degree or another.

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« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2014, 08:07:51 PM »

In Re. Reply No. 80, FrGiryus,

Turkish law prohibits proselytizing by Orthodox Christians among their Moslems.

The Greek Hospital of Balouki (probably misspelled), which overwhelmingly served Turkish citizens, has historically been among the finest health care facilities in Turkey; it has an Eastern Orthodox Chapel. It's the hospital where Patriarch Athenagoras spent his final hours in this life, July, 1972. In recent years, unfortunately, it may be have become an elderly care facility, due to some Turkish harassment with their taxation policies; I'm not sure what has changed but do recall reading something about the Turks harassing this most reputable institution.
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« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2014, 08:51:20 PM »

And, so why isn't the Patriarchate making a big stink about that rather than Halki?

In Re. Reply No. 80, FrGiryus,

Turkish law prohibits proselytizing by Orthodox Christians among their Moslems.

The Greek Hospital of Balouki (probably misspelled), which overwhelmingly served Turkish citizens, has historically been among the finest health care facilities in Turkey; it has an Eastern Orthodox Chapel. It's the hospital where Patriarch Athenagoras spent his final hours in this life, July, 1972. In recent years, unfortunately, it may be have become an elderly care facility, due to some Turkish harassment with their taxation policies; I'm not sure what has changed but do recall reading something about the Turks harassing this most reputable institution.
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« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2014, 10:58:10 PM »

I think I read about the "Balouki" problems in the context of their complaints about tax laws that were enabling confiscation of properties of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and parish churches.  I think Erdogan intervened and gave them a break, to salvage some of the properties.  But "Balouki" may be the subject of a complaint before the European Court of Justice.  You know, the Patriarchate won one of those suites regarding an orphanage that Turkey had to return to the church.

The Patriarch believes that the reopening of Halki is vital to the survival of the Patriarchate, not-with-standing the paltry remnant population of Istanbul, as it will produce clerics for them. I'll check the Order of St. Andrew web page on the GOAA website.  I know I read a whole litany of their grievances about property confiscation, a fact sheet that had been sent to all U.S. Congressmen and Senators.
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« Reply #85 on: January 10, 2014, 01:32:44 AM »

This is precisely why it would be wise  for the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate to stand down from any type assertion of world authority and focus instead on its own problem of survival.

If the bishops of the Patriarchate would renounce their Greek ties and vest all their interests in Turkey alone, things would change.  When they stop identifying as Greeks and start identifying themselves as a Turkish Church for Turks, then a great deal of their problems would go away.  So long as they continue to identify themselves as 'xeni' to the Turks, the Turks will continue to fight them.

The strategy of maintaining a foreign identity has failed.  They could keep doing it, and fail more.  Or, they could try something new for the sake of the Gospel, and really trust in God. 

They could demand Turkey lift their restrictions as a truly Turkish Church, and they could even bring this up to the EU and the US rather than going on and on about a school which, even if reopened, would only need to graduate one student a year to cover the pastoral needs of the entire community in Turkey.

They don't need Halki... they need Turkish Orthodox Christians.

If the Orthodox community here wanted to remain isolated from American society, then I would be all for Constantinople's leadership here, because that is their demonstrated mode of existence.  But, that is not what most of us want.  We want converts, and we want to be a truly local church open to all.

If Patriarch Bartholomew wants us to embrace his leadership, he has to show us how he will lead here.  So far, he has led compartmentalized, mono-ethnic isolation.  He's got to show us he has a different game.

Most Americans don't want to be part of a community that is 'pining for the fjords.'  We all know when the parrot is dead.


I think I read about the "Balouki" problems in the context of their complaints about tax laws that were enabling confiscation of properties of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and parish churches.  I think Erdogan intervened and gave them a break, to salvage some of the properties.  But "Balouki" may be the subject of a complaint before the European Court of Justice.  You know, the Patriarchate won one of those suites regarding an orphanage that Turkey had to return to the church.

The Patriarch believes that the reopening of Halki is vital to the survival of the Patriarchate, not-with-standing the paltry remnant population of Istanbul, as it will produce clerics for them. I'll check the Order of St. Andrew web page on the GOAA website.  I know I read a whole litany of their grievances about property confiscation, a fact sheet that had been sent to all U.S. Congressmen and Senators.
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« Reply #86 on: January 10, 2014, 09:47:18 AM »

I absolutely agree that unified ministry and service to the American community in the name of God will lead to administrative unity.  However, I take Metropolitan Savvas at his word (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjLQMSgVTM0#t=103) that unity means an end to autocephaly as far as the Assembly of Bishops is concerned as conceived by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
I've seen this presented as a smoking gun elsewhere, Father, but I don't understand how His Eminence's words are being parsed to see the smoke.  What precisely did H.E. say?
(my thoughts on the Phanar's intentions with the Episcopal Assemblies are well known: the mouthpiece let that slip/pushed the envelope at Holy Cross "The submission of the diaspora to the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not mean either Hellenization or violation of the canonical order, because it is only in this way that both the letter and the spirit of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils is respected. The Mother Church knows, however, that such a submission is difficult to be accomplished under the present historical conditions. For this reason, and by employing the principle of economy, it was suggested and it has now become accepted in Pan-Orthodox level, that there will be local Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies in the diaspora (like SCOBA in the US). The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity.")
http://www.ecclesia.gr/englishnews/default.asp?id=3986#sthash.s5jhkCcD.dpuf
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« Reply #87 on: January 10, 2014, 12:02:28 PM »

On the video, watch 1:24-1:44.

I absolutely agree that unified ministry and service to the American community in the name of God will lead to administrative unity.  However, I take Metropolitan Savvas at his word (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjLQMSgVTM0#t=103) that unity means an end to autocephaly as far as the Assembly of Bishops is concerned as conceived by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
I've seen this presented as a smoking gun elsewhere, Father, but I don't understand how His Eminence's words are being parsed to see the smoke.  What precisely did H.E. say?
(my thoughts on the Phanar's intentions with the Episcopal Assemblies are well known: the mouthpiece let that slip/pushed the envelope at Holy Cross "The submission of the diaspora to the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not mean either Hellenization or violation of the canonical order, because it is only in this way that both the letter and the spirit of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils is respected. The Mother Church knows, however, that such a submission is difficult to be accomplished under the present historical conditions. For this reason, and by employing the principle of economy, it was suggested and it has now become accepted in Pan-Orthodox level, that there will be local Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies in the diaspora (like SCOBA in the US). The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity.")
http://www.ecclesia.gr/englishnews/default.asp?id=3986#sthash.s5jhkCcD.dpuf
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« Reply #88 on: January 10, 2014, 12:11:54 PM »

To my ears, the twenty seconds being focused upon need to be heard in the entirety of the Metropolitan's carefully measured words. If we play "gotcha", as is the norm in modern secular, political America, NOTHING will ever come of a unified entity.

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« Reply #89 on: January 10, 2014, 12:28:54 PM »

On the video, watch 1:24-1:44.

I absolutely agree that unified ministry and service to the American community in the name of God will lead to administrative unity.  However, I take Metropolitan Savvas at his word (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjLQMSgVTM0#t=103) that unity means an end to autocephaly as far as the Assembly of Bishops is concerned as conceived by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
I've seen this presented as a smoking gun elsewhere, Father, but I don't understand how His Eminence's words are being parsed to see the smoke.  What precisely did H.E. say?
(my thoughts on the Phanar's intentions with the Episcopal Assemblies are well known: the mouthpiece let that slip/pushed the envelope at Holy Cross "The submission of the diaspora to the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not mean either Hellenization or violation of the canonical order, because it is only in this way that both the letter and the spirit of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils is respected. The Mother Church knows, however, that such a submission is difficult to be accomplished under the present historical conditions. For this reason, and by employing the principle of economy, it was suggested and it has now become accepted in Pan-Orthodox level, that there will be local Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies in the diaspora (like SCOBA in the US). The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity.")
http://www.ecclesia.gr/englishnews/default.asp?id=3986#sthash.s5jhkCcD.dpuf
Thats clear.  Just it happens that the spot where the video started when it pops up matches what others have offered in evidence, and it made no sense to me.

Of course, there is an issue with the read H.E. put on their charge: autocephaly is a canonical solution.  In fact, in North America, it is the only canonical solution, not only because of the existence of the OCA, but because Moscow is not going to place its patriarchal parishes and ROCOR under Abp. Demetios (Many years!)-let alone giving the Phanar the opportunity for an "I told you so" moment by revoking (uncanonically) the OCA's Tomos autocephaly (and therefore also giving the Phanar a precedent of a Mother Church revoking unilaterally autocephaly-which the latest communique from Bursa, er, Constantinople makes reference to, in claiming it as a power of the Phanar not as a Mother Church but as "the Mother Church" of universal jurisdiction)-nor is the Phanar going to place Abp. Demetrios (Many Years) under Abp. Justinian.  Not going to happen. Whether the OCA arises in that fact as a neutral option, or, as Met. Jonah alluded to, ACOBNCA is reconstituted as a Holy Synod and, with the OCA, becomes a united autocephalous Church in North America-OCNA, is a different matter.

And, of course, I know that the "charge" as the Phanar issued was directly against autocephaly: the Assemblies were supposed to sneak in the back window the same canon 28 mythology refused at the door.

I don't know about outside of North America-again, the circumstances (including, but not limited to, the existence of the OCA) set it apart from the other areas.  The foolishness of the Phanar to resort to the secular courts to enforce its canon 28 mythology in Great Britain and France-and loosing to Moscow, which now has legal authority backing its, Orthodox, interpretation of the matter of jurisdiction, sets those areas apart as well. This, in contrast to the wisdom the EP displayed vis-a-vis the Turkish Republic in court.  It seems the argument that the Phanar worry about it neighborhood more and in aggrandizing itself with overseas possessions less is a good one.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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