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Author Topic: What Americans Don’t Understand About Orthodox Primacy  (Read 1823 times) Average Rating: 5
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FatherGiryus
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« on: February 02, 2014, 11:27:14 PM »


Well, most of us in the Ortho-sphere have noticed a lot of arguing about primacy in the Orthodox Church.  I think there is a profound misunderstanding, at least here in the English-speaking hemisphere, about what ‘primacy’ means in an Orthodox context versus what it means in our modern Anglophonic expectation of the concept.

For example, when we hear about ‘primacy,’ we Americans (perhaps others, but I am addressing an American audience) tend to think of ‘leadership’ in the terms of get out in front and direct things.  In the Orthodox world, primacy usually means something more like ‘final say’ or ‘end of the line.’  It is not so much of a trail-blazing position, but more like an anchor.

Here’s an example: numerous writers have discussed how Constantinople is variously involved or tasked with granting autocephaly.  Now, let’s look at the dates of those churches formed after the period of the Ecumenical Councils-

The Church of Russia is declared autocephalous in 1448, recognized by Constantinople in 1589.
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
The Church of Greece is declared autocephalous in 1833, recognized by Constantinople in 1850.
The Church of Romania is declared autocephalous in 1865, recognized by Constantinople in 1885.
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
The Church of Georgia is declared autocephalous (lost in 1811 due to Russian Imperial edict) in 1917, recognized by Constantinople in 1989.
The Church of Albania is declared autocephalous in 1922, recognized by Constantinople in 1937.
The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is declared autocephalous in 1951, recognized by Constantinople in 1998.
The Orthodox Church in America is declared autocephalous in 1971, and is still waiting.

Historically speaking, the OCA is right on schedule.  They probably should be a little concerned in about 100 years, given the wait other churches have had.
Constantinople, in none of these cases, was ‘out in front’ of the autocephaly movement.  We really do not see a pattern of Constantinopolitan bishops sitting down with a group of non-Greek bishops and saying, “Boys, you need to move out of the basement apartment and start living your own lives.”

I suppose we could chalk this up to Eastern culture.  Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.  However, we Americans are far more open to the idea of independence than Easterners are (think about our history and all that it involved).  In fact, they distrust it.

So, it is not a surprise that we see so much ‘clinginess’ among the Eastern churches.  They don’t want to let go even when they really don’t have all that much in common anymore with the communities they are holding onto.  For them, it is unimaginable that anyone would want anything more than a room in one’s own parents’ home.

So, when it comes to Constantinople and the issue of autocephaly, their practical exercise of ‘primacy’ is largely about being the last holdout.  When Constantinople finally caves, everyone will know that there simply is no denying the reality of a local church’s autocephaly.

The same can be said of Constantinople hearing appeals.  They are the ‘last stop’ for those having problems with the Synod of another local church.  Primacy does not mean that Constantinople would, or ever has, ratified what local churches are deciding when there is no larger conflict.  They only hear cases that are brought to them when a local agreement seems impossible.

Even then, Constantinople’s primacy still requires cooperation from the other local churches.  When Constantinople broke communion with the Church of Greece in 2004 over the election of bishops in territories claimed by the former, the incident hardly had any effect on the world-wide Orthodox scene.

That’s because Constantinople can’t afford to alienate the entire community by demanding the world recognize all of its decisions when others simply don’t care.  It has no army or drones or weapons of mass destruction.  If it wants anything to happen, or its decisions to be recognized, it has to build consensus and get voluntary compliance.

However, given the fact that consensus-building and last-stop primacy are at opposite poles of the leadership-behavioral spectrum, we can see that Constantinople can accrue all kinds of wild titles and claims of supremacy without actually doing much of anything or having many responsibilities aside from when they are invited.
Even in territories that the Patriarchate of Constantinople claims direct authority over, we can see a rather lackadaisical attitude towards ‘leadership’ in the sense of the bishops coming out and guiding the people in a new direction.  In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

The GOA and its Patriarchal Mother don’t have a plan for the larger community.  Of course, this can be said of all the jurisdictions in the Americas, which are largely confined to ‘our people’ with the occasional acquisition of an ‘outsider’ to convince the kids that inevitable intermarriage does not meet total exclusion.  “We have converts… even convert bishops!” is hardly a plan.

We are abysmally parochial.  It is just a fact of life: other people are weird.  If we are all about trying to preserve our own weirdness, then other peoples’ weirdnesses will not be tolerated.

So, the local churches presently calling Constantinople the ‘Mother Church’ find that they have a nice, warm cocoon to keep their particular practices without any danger from the outside world and other influences.  That is, unwanted influences.  There are plenty of influences which are un- or sub-conscious.  After all, the average GOA parish is run nothing like its counterpart in the hills of Sparta or the coast of Chios.

That’s not to say that Orthodox laypeople are not doing absolutely wonderful things… they certainly are.  There are a whole host of local and national ministries that are serving not only the American community, but the entire world.  I want to emphasize that these ministries are largely the work of the people, even when they get their token bishop to show up for board meetings and add his name to the effort like a sponsor sticker on the side of a racecar.

With us clergy, no matter the size of the headgear, we usually only make a splash when it comes to self-promotion.  Mea culpa.

So, Constantinopolitan primacy is certainly not, if present patterns hold, about trying to manage local affairs and effecting big changes on the local level, because this type of ‘leadership’ is utterly foreign to Constantinople’s thinking.  They just don’t lead in that way.  They don’t even want to.

Another example of this ‘primacy’ can be seen in the recent start and apparent disintegration of the ‘Chambesy Assemblies’ (which looks much more impressive when you write Chambesy as ‘Chambésy’… and sounds even more inspiring when try say it with a French accent that sounds more like Gérard Depardieu than Inspector Clouseau) that have fallen apart with Antiochian withdrawal over Constantinople’s inability to settle a dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem.  The face-to-face negotiations between the two churches were hosted by… the Greek Foreign Ministry.  This should tell us a lot about how confident Constantinople is in its abilities to either lead or broker deals.

Constantinople called for the assemblies, got everyone into meeting rooms, formed a bunch of committees, and still can’t articulate a clear goal beyond something ‘better’ (insert you choice of wild hand gestures here).  Perhaps that is wise if you want to get everyone together at once, but now the problem is that everyone has brought their own meaning to the purpose.

To Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, the purpose is the creation of an autocephalous American church.  Metropolitan Savvas (Zembillas) then says the exact opposite… autocephaly is off the table.  ROCOR agrees that it has giving nothing up, not to be outdone by the Bulgarians who have said much the same.  Confusion ensues. Ambiguity can sometimes be the best marketing strategy one can have to get a sale, but it stinks when it comes to ‘buyer’s remorse.’
Everyone agrees to be agreeable, while agreeing to nothing else.

So, what does this mean?  It means that whatever claims Constantinople makes, there is not much it can do without the cooperation of all.  It also means that if a local community wants something, then it should not wait around for ‘guiding leadership’ from Constantinople because it does not act in that manner. 

I could summarize the whole methodology in this way: a back-seat driver.  Sometimes it is helpful to get advice from the back seat, but that does not mean the person in the back seat is actually driving.  The person in the front seat is.  We can opt to listen or to ignore, but no matter what, it is the driver that must face the consequences.

In this analogy, the local community is the driver.  We can choose to listen to or ignore advice, but there is no stick to beat us with, nor is there really much of a carrot.  What we should do is watch the other cars on the road, because that is where the accidents happen.  The carrot-and-stick is really overall success or failure rather than primatial proclamation or censure.

We must hold all the other churches in equal esteem, because they are collectively the Church.  The whole enumeration of primacy only makes sense if there are other numbers, which is why there must be a first… and a second… and a third.  But, whatever cries there may be about the Patriarchate of Constantinople emanating honor like radiation from a lump of uranium, that only works if someone cares about whatever it is that is being radiated.

In 2004, the Greeks ignored Constantinople, and somehow didn’t die of radiation poisoning.  They lost none of their ‘honor.’

Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition.  When Greece and Constantinople broke ties, nobody demanded that all the babies be rebaptized from that period.  It is a nice rhetorical flourish, but the reality is all around us right now.

Antioch and Jerusalem right now need, at the very least, a willing and interested mediator.  If we magnify the meaning of primacy to imply that Constantinople has the power and ability to call churches to obedience, or impose a ‘binding arbitration’ scheme, then the withdrawal of Antioch from the Chambesy process cries out for Constantinople to call Antioch to obedience, just as Constantinople could also instruct Jerusalem to remove its bishop from Qatar.  Instead, we see Constantinople doing neither, and so Antioch walks from the meetings, and Constantinople can only seem to wring its hands.  Yet, Constantinople has not relinquished any of its claims to primacy.

Constantinople is not acting either because it does not care about the conflict or really has no power to do anything even with ‘primacy.’  Orthodox primacy does not give Constantinople any type of real leverage in the matter.  An excommunication of either side may very well be ignored, as in 2004.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Jerusalem and complicate matters of pilgrimage and access to holy sites.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Antioch while it struggles against open persecution.

This conflict, I believe, could not have come at a better time to teach us what primacy is in an Orthodox context.  In practical terms, it only works when all the rest of the churches say that it does, and to the extent they will grant it.  This is the ‘conciliar’ nature of Christian leadership.

No one would envy Constantinople’s position if it really tried to arbitrate this conflict.  It has all the makings of a really big conflict between two churches that have not been on the best of terms for a while.  Staying out may be the wisest move even if Constantinople wanted to help the situation.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t.  I am saying that it really does not have the ‘right stuff’ to make it happen, even with primacy.

We have nothing to fear from Constantinople and all the hubbub about ‘primacy.’  I do not believe that we ought to be shouting epithets at one another or plotting a schism, because the problem of primacy is far less important than other, bigger issues: evangelizing new peoples, healing the sick, saving the lost… the things our Lord called us to do.

What we should be concerned about is our own inertia in these matters.  But, that is a topic for another time when I feeling like dealing with more hate mail than what I will get for posting this.
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 11:55:53 PM »

In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

Father, the only thing I have to say is that, according to a somewhat recent special about American Orthodox statistics on AFR, the GOA actually is, IIRC, at the top for most parish-based programs and ministries, and not just their Greek festivals, I believe. However, they are at the same time among the most self-perceived as ethnic with the lowest make-up of converts and evangelism-oriented work, again according to that same special, compared to the OCA/AOCANA.

But I don't mean to distract from the rest of your post, which was interesting.
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 12:10:08 AM »

I probably should have been more clear: I'm talking about service ministries that are not necessarily 'self-service.'  That's why I mentioned 'social ministries,' such as soup kitchens or counseling service.  The point I am tryuing to make is that a parish that is utterly self-serving is utterly self-serving.

When your only 'outreach' to the community is trying to sell them spinach pies or pierogies or maamoul, there's a problem.  That's not sharing the Gospel, that's sharing the bills.


In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

Father, the only thing I have to say is that, according to a somewhat recent special about American Orthodox statistics on AFR, the GOA actually is, IIRC, at the top for most parish-based programs and ministries, and not just their Greek festivals, I believe. However, they are at the same time among the most self-perceived as ethnic with the lowest make-up of converts and evangelism-oriented work, again according to that same special, compared to the OCA/AOCANA.

But I don't mean to distract from the rest of your post, which was interesting.

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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 12:25:29 AM »

Very informative, thank you Father.
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 12:29:35 AM »

Yes, thank you Father.
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 11:18:18 AM »

This is Greece



the blue part belongs to Church of Greece

I live in the purple part

I prefer the blue part but ok... I can live with the purple

 Undecided

The difference between blue part and purple part is that the blue part was under Ottoman Empire almost 90 years less. From the other hand in my purple city we are free 102 years from Ottoman Empire and we are still purple.

(sorry for my bad english)
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 11:28:35 AM »

A lot of meat on that plate Father, thank you.

Just some garnish:

In this video, on the Triumph of Orthoodxy, Catholicos Ilya II of All Georgia relates how Constantinople's recognition was explicitly a recognition of, not a grant of, Georgia's autocephaly given in the fourth century, not its restoration in 1917.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d8CyHw8Fbs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THQYmpWNIwM

Now that a new bishop has been enthroned in Prague, the Phanar's threats of revoking autocephaly (which in the case of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, it has practically been doing since it "granted it," decades after CzS received it from it Moscow its mother/step-mother Church (I don't know what was Serbia, the modern Mother Church, said at the time in 1951) will be shown hollow.  What then?
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 11:32:48 AM »


Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.


Btw, it's the same "in the east", not easy to afford your own apartment in Ukraine, Greece, Egypt...
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 11:34:32 AM »

This is Greece



the blue part belongs to Church of Greece

I live in the purple part

I prefer the blue part but ok... I can live with the purple

 Undecided

The difference between blue part and purple part is that the blue part was under Ottoman Empire almost 90 years less. From the other hand in my purple city we are free 102 years from Ottoman Empire and we are still purple.

(sorry for my bad english)

And Η Κρήτη (which you show as Heraklion) is ....where?
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 11:37:01 AM »


Well, most of us in the Ortho-sphere have noticed a lot of arguing about primacy in the Orthodox Church.  I think there is a profound misunderstanding, at least here in the English-speaking hemisphere, about what ‘primacy’ means in an Orthodox context versus what it means in our modern Anglophonic expectation of the concept.

For example, when we hear about ‘primacy,’ we Americans (perhaps others, but I am addressing an American audience) tend to think of ‘leadership’ in the terms of get out in front and direct things.  In the Orthodox world, primacy usually means something more like ‘final say’ or ‘end of the line.’  It is not so much of a trail-blazing position, but more like an anchor.

Here’s an example: numerous writers have discussed how Constantinople is variously involved or tasked with granting autocephaly.  Now, let’s look at the dates of those churches formed after the period of the Ecumenical Councils-

The Church of Russia is declared autocephalous in 1448, recognized by Constantinople in 1589.
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
The Church of Greece is declared autocephalous in 1833, recognized by Constantinople in 1850.
The Church of Romania is declared autocephalous in 1865, recognized by Constantinople in 1885.
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
The Church of Georgia is declared autocephalous (lost in 1811 due to Russian Imperial edict) in 1917, recognized by Constantinople in 1989.
The Church of Albania is declared autocephalous in 1922, recognized by Constantinople in 1937.
The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is declared autocephalous in 1951, recognized by Constantinople in 1998.
The Orthodox Church in America is declared autocephalous in 1971, and is still waiting.

Historically speaking, the OCA is right on schedule.  They probably should be a little concerned in about 100 years, given the wait other churches have had.
Constantinople, in none of these cases, was ‘out in front’ of the autocephaly movement.  We really do not see a pattern of Constantinopolitan bishops sitting down with a group of non-Greek bishops and saying, “Boys, you need to move out of the basement apartment and start living your own lives.”

I suppose we could chalk this up to Eastern culture.  Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.  However, we Americans are far more open to the idea of independence than Easterners are (think about our history and all that it involved).  In fact, they distrust it.

So, it is not a surprise that we see so much ‘clinginess’ among the Eastern churches.  They don’t want to let go even when they really don’t have all that much in common anymore with the communities they are holding onto.  For them, it is unimaginable that anyone would want anything more than a room in one’s own parents’ home.

So, when it comes to Constantinople and the issue of autocephaly, their practical exercise of ‘primacy’ is largely about being the last holdout.  When Constantinople finally caves, everyone will know that there simply is no denying the reality of a local church’s autocephaly.

The same can be said of Constantinople hearing appeals.  They are the ‘last stop’ for those having problems with the Synod of another local church.  Primacy does not mean that Constantinople would, or ever has, ratified what local churches are deciding when there is no larger conflict.  They only hear cases that are brought to them when a local agreement seems impossible.

Even then, Constantinople’s primacy still requires cooperation from the other local churches.  When Constantinople broke communion with the Church of Greece in 2004 over the election of bishops in territories claimed by the former, the incident hardly had any effect on the world-wide Orthodox scene.

That’s because Constantinople can’t afford to alienate the entire community by demanding the world recognize all of its decisions when others simply don’t care.  It has no army or drones or weapons of mass destruction.  If it wants anything to happen, or its decisions to be recognized, it has to build consensus and get voluntary compliance.

However, given the fact that consensus-building and last-stop primacy are at opposite poles of the leadership-behavioral spectrum, we can see that Constantinople can accrue all kinds of wild titles and claims of supremacy without actually doing much of anything or having many responsibilities aside from when they are invited.
Even in territories that the Patriarchate of Constantinople claims direct authority over, we can see a rather lackadaisical attitude towards ‘leadership’ in the sense of the bishops coming out and guiding the people in a new direction.  In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

The GOA and its Patriarchal Mother don’t have a plan for the larger community.  Of course, this can be said of all the jurisdictions in the Americas, which are largely confined to ‘our people’ with the occasional acquisition of an ‘outsider’ to convince the kids that inevitable intermarriage does not meet total exclusion.  “We have converts… even convert bishops!” is hardly a plan.

We are abysmally parochial.  It is just a fact of life: other people are weird.  If we are all about trying to preserve our own weirdness, then other peoples’ weirdnesses will not be tolerated.

So, the local churches presently calling Constantinople the ‘Mother Church’ find that they have a nice, warm cocoon to keep their particular practices without any danger from the outside world and other influences.  That is, unwanted influences.  There are plenty of influences which are un- or sub-conscious.  After all, the average GOA parish is run nothing like its counterpart in the hills of Sparta or the coast of Chios.

That’s not to say that Orthodox laypeople are not doing absolutely wonderful things… they certainly are.  There are a whole host of local and national ministries that are serving not only the American community, but the entire world.  I want to emphasize that these ministries are largely the work of the people, even when they get their token bishop to show up for board meetings and add his name to the effort like a sponsor sticker on the side of a racecar.

With us clergy, no matter the size of the headgear, we usually only make a splash when it comes to self-promotion.  Mea culpa.

So, Constantinopolitan primacy is certainly not, if present patterns hold, about trying to manage local affairs and effecting big changes on the local level, because this type of ‘leadership’ is utterly foreign to Constantinople’s thinking.  They just don’t lead in that way.  They don’t even want to.

Another example of this ‘primacy’ can be seen in the recent start and apparent disintegration of the ‘Chambesy Assemblies’ (which looks much more impressive when you write Chambesy as ‘Chambésy’… and sounds even more inspiring when try say it with a French accent that sounds more like Gérard Depardieu than Inspector Clouseau) that have fallen apart with Antiochian withdrawal over Constantinople’s inability to settle a dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem.  The face-to-face negotiations between the two churches were hosted by… the Greek Foreign Ministry.  This should tell us a lot about how confident Constantinople is in its abilities to either lead or broker deals.

Constantinople called for the assemblies, got everyone into meeting rooms, formed a bunch of committees, and still can’t articulate a clear goal beyond something ‘better’ (insert you choice of wild hand gestures here).  Perhaps that is wise if you want to get everyone together at once, but now the problem is that everyone has brought their own meaning to the purpose.

To Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, the purpose is the creation of an autocephalous American church.  Metropolitan Savvas (Zembillas) then says the exact opposite… autocephaly is off the table.  ROCOR agrees that it has giving nothing up, not to be outdone by the Bulgarians who have said much the same.  Confusion ensues. Ambiguity can sometimes be the best marketing strategy one can have to get a sale, but it stinks when it comes to ‘buyer’s remorse.’
Everyone agrees to be agreeable, while agreeing to nothing else.

So, what does this mean?  It means that whatever claims Constantinople makes, there is not much it can do without the cooperation of all.  It also means that if a local community wants something, then it should not wait around for ‘guiding leadership’ from Constantinople because it does not act in that manner.  

I could summarize the whole methodology in this way: a back-seat driver.  Sometimes it is helpful to get advice from the back seat, but that does not mean the person in the back seat is actually driving.  The person in the front seat is.  We can opt to listen or to ignore, but no matter what, it is the driver that must face the consequences.

In this analogy, the local community is the driver.  We can choose to listen to or ignore advice, but there is no stick to beat us with, nor is there really much of a carrot.  What we should do is watch the other cars on the road, because that is where the accidents happen.  The carrot-and-stick is really overall success or failure rather than primatial proclamation or censure.

We must hold all the other churches in equal esteem, because they are collectively the Church.  The whole enumeration of primacy only makes sense if there are other numbers, which is why there must be a first… and a second… and a third.  But, whatever cries there may be about the Patriarchate of Constantinople emanating honor like radiation from a lump of uranium, that only works if someone cares about whatever it is that is being radiated.

In 2004, the Greeks ignored Constantinople, and somehow didn’t die of radiation poisoning.  They lost none of their ‘honor.’

Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition.  When Greece and Constantinople broke ties, nobody demanded that all the babies be rebaptized from that period.  It is a nice rhetorical flourish, but the reality is all around us right now.

Antioch and Jerusalem right now need, at the very least, a willing and interested mediator.  If we magnify the meaning of primacy to imply that Constantinople has the power and ability to call churches to obedience, or impose a ‘binding arbitration’ scheme, then the withdrawal of Antioch from the Chambesy process cries out for Constantinople to call Antioch to obedience, just as Constantinople could also instruct Jerusalem to remove its bishop from Qatar.  Instead, we see Constantinople doing neither, and so Antioch walks from the meetings, and Constantinople can only seem to wring its hands.  Yet, Constantinople has not relinquished any of its claims to primacy.

Constantinople is not acting either because it does not care about the conflict or really has no power to do anything even with ‘primacy.’  Orthodox primacy does not give Constantinople any type of real leverage in the matter.  An excommunication of either side may very well be ignored, as in 2004.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Jerusalem and complicate matters of pilgrimage and access to holy sites.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Antioch while it struggles against open persecution.

This conflict, I believe, could not have come at a better time to teach us what primacy is in an Orthodox context.  In practical terms, it only works when all the rest of the churches say that it does, and to the extent they will grant it.  This is the ‘conciliar’ nature of Christian leadership.

No one would envy Constantinople’s position if it really tried to arbitrate this conflict.  It has all the makings of a really big conflict between two churches that have not been on the best of terms for a while.  Staying out may be the wisest move even if Constantinople wanted to help the situation.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t.  I am saying that it really does not have the ‘right stuff’ to make it happen, even with primacy.

We have nothing to fear from Constantinople and all the hubbub about ‘primacy.’  I do not believe that we ought to be shouting epithets at one another or plotting a schism, because the problem of primacy is far less important than other, bigger issues: evangelizing new peoples, healing the sick, saving the lost… the things our Lord called us to do.

What we should be concerned about is our own inertia in these matters.  But, that is a topic for another time when I feeling like dealing with more hate mail than what I will get for posting this.


Wow. Would you post the same without the benefit of anonymity?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning, I am more and more convinced that he is correct:

" Dumping all my Orthodox discussion groups on Facebook. This is really not the place to hold these discussions as informed opinions hold the same weight as those of the uninformed. Sometimes truth equals what the person likes or what they think they heard someone say once or a vague feeling that the issue doesn't really matter at all. It's simply too depressing. "

I would expect generalizations and stereotypes from a layman. To see them in print by a member of the clergy is really depressing.

I could post my recollections of interactions with Antiochian congregations which were ethnically insular, wrapped up in the 'old world' , full of whatever (including really wonderful people and priests) - but to what end? Why would I do that?

THERE IS NOT A SCINTILLA OF HOPE FOR ANY REAL UNITY IN ORTHODOXY IN NORTH AMERICA OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD FOR THAT MATTER.

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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 11:42:22 AM »


Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition. 

I don't agree. The mysteries during that time were recognised by ikonomia, not by akrivia. As for the OCA, it's a special case: its autocephaly is controversial, but it is in full communion with the canonical jurisdictions. A more classical example for unilateral autocephaly in our time would be (The Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia. Doesn't the canonical Church re-chrismate them?

PS: As for the OCA being on the right track, I have my doubts. Places like Bulgaria had the overwhelming majority of believers with them. The OCA has quite a minority of the Orthodox in the US, and even its "mother church" has two parallel jurisdictions in the same place, the patriarchal parishes and ROCOR. Not to mention their internal problems. All of their former primates are still alive!
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 11:43:19 AM »

Moscow portrays its local Primate in such a grand and glorious setting all of the time, the only man on earth with a similar operation is the Pope of Rome, making the visual content of Moscow's postings at odds with her written word.
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2014, 11:57:23 AM »


Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition. 

I don't agree. The mysteries during that time were recognised by ikonomia, not by akrivia. As for the OCA, it's a special case: its autocephaly is controversial, but it is in full communion with the canonical jurisdictions. A more classical example for unilateral autocephaly in our time would be (The Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia. Doesn't the canonical Church re-chrismate them?

PS: As for the OCA being on the right track, I have my doubts. Places like Bulgaria had the overwhelming majority of believers with them. The OCA has quite a minority of the Orthodox in the US, and even its "mother church" has two parallel jurisdictions in the same place, the patriarchal parishes and ROCOR. Not to mention their internal problems. All of their former primates are still alive!
As I pointed out on that last point before, such was a common occurrence at the Phanar until recently.

The majority of those reconcilling themselves to the fact that they are North Americans, living in North America, are in the OCA.  Greece is too busy murdering its children to supply immigrants to keep the "diaspora" here going.

And the other Mother Churches are no strangers to "internal problems."
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2014, 12:00:02 PM »

I would expect generalizations and stereotypes from a layman. To see them in print by a member of the clergy is really depressing.

I could post my recollections of interactions with Antiochian congregations which were ethnically insular, wrapped up in the 'old world' , full of whatever (including really wonderful people and priests) - but to what end? Why would I do that?

Quote
The fourth question was qualitative question: Do you believe in the statement: “Do you believe our parish has a strong ethnic identity we are trying to preserve?” A five-point scale, from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

[...]

The lowest proportion is among Antiochian Archdiocese. Only 17% consider themselves as being still ethnic. Orthodox Church in America, 25[%]. Carpatho-Russian Archdiocese, 31%, so you see Carpatho-Russians are on the top in terms of English-language use in the church. They’re still fairly at the top of being non-ethnic, but not as high as Antiochian [and] Orthodox Church in America. GOA, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 62% of parishes still consider themselves being ethnically based, despite the fact that most of them indeed use mostly English language.
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2014, 12:01:18 PM »

This is Greece



the blue part belongs to Church of Greece

I live in the purple part

I prefer the blue part but ok... I can live with the purple

 Undecided

The difference between blue part and purple part is that the blue part was under Ottoman Empire almost 90 years less. From the other hand in my purple city we are free 102 years from Ottoman Empire and we are still purple.

(sorry for my bad english)

And Η Κρήτη (which you show as Heraklion) is ....where?
Where it is: Crete is an autonomous Church, under Constantinople.

Is GOA techically autonomous?
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2014, 12:03:15 PM »


Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.


Btw, it's the same "in the east", not easy to afford your own apartment in Ukraine, Greece, Egypt...
Yeah, but it's not the cultural shift there that it is becoming here.
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2014, 12:04:11 PM »

Nothing anonymous here.  Everyone knows who I am with a little effort.

I am not excusing Antiochian parishes from this insular problem.  Please reread what I wrote... this is a problem in all of our parishes.

Generalizations and stereotypes... come on!  I'm pointing out what I think is the obvious conditions all around us.  Just tell me: where do you think I am wrong?  Let's talk!

Again, I am not advocating Orthodox unity, because I don't think enough people are interested in giving up what they have right now.  I don't know where you got that idea from what I wrote.

People on the Non-Constantinopolitan side are really worried that Patriarch Bartholomew is scheming to take over every American parish and make them all Greek.  What I am telling them is he could hardly care less.  You know that as a fact in your own parishes in the Johnstown Diocese, right?


Wow. Would you post the same without the benefit of anonymity?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning, I am more and more convinced that he is correct:

" Dumping all my Orthodox discussion groups on Facebook. This is really not the place to hold these discussions as informed opinions hold the same weight as those of the uninformed. Sometimes truth equals what the person likes or what they think they heard someone say once or a vague feeling that the issue doesn't really matter at all. It's simply too depressing. "

I would expect generalizations and stereotypes from a layman. To see them in print by a member of the clergy is really depressing.

I could post my recollections of interactions with Antiochian congregations which were ethnically insular, wrapped up in the 'old world' , full of whatever (including really wonderful people and priests) - but to what end? Why would I do that?

THERE IS NOT A SCINTILLA OF HOPE FOR ANY REAL UNITY IN ORTHODOXY IN NORTH AMERICA OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD FOR THAT MATTER.


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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2014, 12:09:01 PM »

Can you show me where this was declared by the Patriarchate of Constantinople?  I don't recall seeing that interpretation in anything I read, and I would be very interested in learning more about this.  Thank you!

The mysteries during that time were recognised by ikonomia, not by akrivia.
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2014, 12:12:58 PM »

Can you show me where this was declared by the Patriarchate of Constantinople?  I don't recall seeing that interpretation in anything I read, and I would be very interested in learning more about this.  Thank you!

The mysteries during that time were recognised by ikonomia, not by akrivia.
For one thing, the Bulgarians had valid chrism, as Russia supplied it all during the time of Bulgaria sojourn in the canonical wilderness.  Russian clergy would also on occasion concelebrate, something the Phanar looked the other way on for the most part.
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2014, 12:16:39 PM »

As someone pointed out: ekonomia and akrivia all lead to the same place.

Can you show me where this was declared by the Patriarchate of Constantinople?  I don't recall seeing that interpretation in anything I read, and I would be very interested in learning more about this.  Thank you!

The mysteries during that time were recognised by ikonomia, not by akrivia.
For one thing, the Bulgarians had valid chrism, as Russia supplied it all during the time of Bulgaria sojourn in the canonical wilderness.  Russian clergy would also on occasion concelebrate, something the Phanar looked the other way on for the most part.
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2014, 12:26:22 PM »

Apologies to Fr. G. for being a bit hasty and selective in my reading. I guess I come from ACROD/OCA(former Metropolia OCA, that is)  land where the founders of each came from Austria-Hungary for the most part and had no clear national identity at the time of immigration - hence three generations in, we are seemingly less attached to our (t)raditions from a sense of 'national identity' than are some in other jurisdictions.

But, I agree, we are not nearly ready for any unity. When it leaked that our eighty parishes would be split among three different Bishops - there was a collective - no, that is not gonna happen anytime soon. I suspect that reaction was the same across the continent and across ethnic lines.

Maybe, taking the Russian chauvinism out of their logic, the ROCOR Synod was not really off the mark at all?
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2014, 12:57:20 PM »

It is OK, my friend.  I knew that this post was likely to hit people at agut level, though I am certainly not trying to denigrate anyone in particular.  We all share the same problems, and no one gets a pass.  At the same time, there are obvious nuances that an article of this nature can't pick up on.

The Identity Without Nationalism of the Carpatho-Russians is not all that dissimilar to the sense of demi-nationalism among the Arab Christians: they like their country, but can't utterly confuse the identity with it because they are minorities.

As for chauvinism, we are all guilty to some extent.  My point here is that there really is no 'dark plot' to subsume all Orthodoxy to Constantinople.  It just can't happen, nor do I see any interest.  I think all of us have an interest in collecting more shiny things and fancy titles, because that is just who we are as human beings.  When you further complicate that with a very different understanding of 'independence' and 'autocephaly' and 'primacy,' we attach very different emotions to these words.  It isn't the theology that is complicating the process, but rather the emotions connected to the words.

If we want to stop bludgeoning each other, we have to get the emotions out of the way.  That's what I hope we can do.  Then we can have a reasonable discussion of history, canons, ecclesiology, etc.


Apologies to Fr. G. for being a bit hasty and selective in my reading. I guess I come from ACROD/OCA(former Metropolia OCA, that is)  land where the founders of each came from Austria-Hungary for the most part and had no clear national identity at the time of immigration - hence three generations in, we are seemingly less attached to our (t)raditions from a sense of 'national identity' than are some in other jurisdictions.

But, I agree, we are not nearly ready for any unity. When it leaked that our eighty parishes would be split among three different Bishops - there was a collective - no, that is not gonna happen anytime soon. I suspect that reaction was the same across the continent and across ethnic lines.

Maybe, taking the Russian chauvinism out of their logic, the ROCOR Synod was not really off the mark at all?

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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2014, 01:07:46 PM »

It is OK, my friend.  I knew that this post was likely to hit people at agut level, though I am certainly not trying to denigrate anyone in particular.  We all share the same problems, and no one gets a pass.  At the same time, there are obvious nuances that an article of this nature can't pick up on.

The Identity Without Nationalism of the Carpatho-Russians is not all that dissimilar to the sense of demi-nationalism among the Arab Christians: they like their country, but can't utterly confuse the identity with it because they are minorities.

As for chauvinism, we are all guilty to some extent.  My point here is that there really is no 'dark plot' to subsume all Orthodoxy to Constantinople.  It just can't happen, nor do I see any interest.  I think all of us have an interest in collecting more shiny things and fancy titles, because that is just who we are as human beings.  When you further complicate that with a very different understanding of 'independence' and 'autocephaly' and 'primacy,' we attach very different emotions to these words.  It isn't the theology that is complicating the process, but rather the emotions connected to the words.

If we want to stop bludgeoning each other, we have to get the emotions out of the way.  That's what I hope we can do.  Then we can have a reasonable discussion of history, canons, ecclesiology, etc.


Apologies to Fr. G. for being a bit hasty and selective in my reading. I guess I come from ACROD/OCA(former Metropolia OCA, that is)  land where the founders of each came from Austria-Hungary for the most part and had no clear national identity at the time of immigration - hence three generations in, we are seemingly less attached to our (t)raditions from a sense of 'national identity' than are some in other jurisdictions.

But, I agree, we are not nearly ready for any unity. When it leaked that our eighty parishes would be split among three different Bishops - there was a collective - no, that is not gonna happen anytime soon. I suspect that reaction was the same across the continent and across ethnic lines.

Maybe, taking the Russian chauvinism out of their logic, the ROCOR Synod was not really off the mark at all?


And I might add that the percentage of Liturgical attendance among the OCA and ACROD being higher statistically from others is probably a residual hold over from generations being taught by the Basilian and Jesuit fathers that missing mass was a mortal sin.  Wink My dad used to laugh and say one of the 'benefits' of the unia may have been better behavior in church as people came on time and stayed put for the liturgy.  Cheesy He would laugh as to not take that too seriously, but it points out the dangers of stereotyping and having opinions based on opinion, rather than observation and history.
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2014, 01:10:59 PM »

For one thing, the Bulgarians had valid chrism, as Russia supplied it all during the time of Bulgaria sojourn in the canonical wilderness. 
I have not heard that before. Do you have a source?


Russian clergy would also on occasion concelebrate, something the Phanar looked the other way on for the most part.
I am not sure about that. So why did the Russians build their own church in Sofia back then? From what I heard in Bulgaria, that was, because they were not in communion with the Bulgarian Church.
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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2014, 04:25:47 PM »

This is Greece



the blue part belongs to Church of Greece

I live in the purple part

I prefer the blue part but ok... I can live with the purple

 Undecided

The difference between blue part and purple part is that the blue part was under Ottoman Empire almost 90 years less. From the other hand in my purple city we are free 102 years from Ottoman Empire and we are still purple.

(sorry for my bad english)

And Η Κρήτη (which you show as Heraklion) is ....where?
Where it is: Crete is an autonomous Church, under Constantinople.

Is GOA techically autonomous?

Your first reply MAY have answered my question. The second irrelevant except for EP bashers ( and cheap shooters at that).
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 05:14:09 PM »

A lot of meat on that plate Father, thank you.

Just some garnish:

In this video, on the Triumph of Orthoodxy, Catholicos Ilya II of All Georgia relates how Constantinople's recognition was explicitly a recognition of, not a grant of, Georgia's autocephaly given in the fourth century, not its restoration in 1917.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d8CyHw8Fbs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THQYmpWNIwM

Now that a new bishop has been enthroned in Prague, the Phanar's threats of revoking autocephaly (which in the case of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, it has practically been doing since it "granted it," decades after CzS received it from it Moscow its mother/step-mother Church (I don't know what was Serbia, the modern Mother Church, said at the time in 1951) will be shown hollow.  What then?

Isn't it odd that Constantinople has a tendency to recognize Autocephalous Churches that are directly connected to Russia in some fashion? At least, that's what I get at first glance via my own ignorance.
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« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2014, 05:18:02 PM »

This is Greece



the blue part belongs to Church of Greece

I live in the purple part

I prefer the blue part but ok... I can live with the purple

 Undecided

The difference between blue part and purple part is that the blue part was under Ottoman Empire almost 90 years less. From the other hand in my purple city we are free 102 years from Ottoman Empire and we are still purple.

(sorry for my bad english)

And Η Κρήτη (which you show as Heraklion) is ....where?

Crete?
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2014, 05:37:03 PM »

Church of Crete is semi-autonomous under  the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Patriarchate nominates the island's presiding bishop from a list of three Cretan bishops prepared by the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, but the Church's affairs, including the nomnation of the other bishops, are otherwise handled by the "Holy Provincial Synod of Crete". (wikipedia)


the "Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs" is the funny part  Grin
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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2014, 06:33:39 PM »


Well, most of us in the Ortho-sphere have noticed a lot of arguing about primacy in the Orthodox Church.  I think there is a profound misunderstanding, at least here in the English-speaking hemisphere, about what ‘primacy’ means in an Orthodox context versus what it means in our modern Anglophonic expectation of the concept.

For example, when we hear about ‘primacy,’ we Americans (perhaps others, but I am addressing an American audience) tend to think of ‘leadership’ in the terms of get out in front and direct things.  In the Orthodox world, primacy usually means something more like ‘final say’ or ‘end of the line.’  It is not so much of a trail-blazing position, but more like an anchor.

Here’s an example: numerous writers have discussed how Constantinople is variously involved or tasked with granting autocephaly.  Now, let’s look at the dates of those churches formed after the period of the Ecumenical Councils-

The Church of Russia is declared autocephalous in 1448, recognized by Constantinople in 1589.
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
The Church of Greece is declared autocephalous in 1833, recognized by Constantinople in 1850.
The Church of Romania is declared autocephalous in 1865, recognized by Constantinople in 1885.
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
The Church of Georgia is declared autocephalous (lost in 1811 due to Russian Imperial edict) in 1917, recognized by Constantinople in 1989.
The Church of Albania is declared autocephalous in 1922, recognized by Constantinople in 1937.
The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is declared autocephalous in 1951, recognized by Constantinople in 1998.
The Orthodox Church in America is declared autocephalous in 1971, and is still waiting.

Historically speaking, the OCA is right on schedule.  They probably should be a little concerned in about 100 years, given the wait other churches have had.
Constantinople, in none of these cases, was ‘out in front’ of the autocephaly movement.  We really do not see a pattern of Constantinopolitan bishops sitting down with a group of non-Greek bishops and saying, “Boys, you need to move out of the basement apartment and start living your own lives.”

I suppose we could chalk this up to Eastern culture.  Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.  However, we Americans are far more open to the idea of independence than Easterners are (think about our history and all that it involved).  In fact, they distrust it.

So, it is not a surprise that we see so much ‘clinginess’ among the Eastern churches.  They don’t want to let go even when they really don’t have all that much in common anymore with the communities they are holding onto.  For them, it is unimaginable that anyone would want anything more than a room in one’s own parents’ home.

So, when it comes to Constantinople and the issue of autocephaly, their practical exercise of ‘primacy’ is largely about being the last holdout.  When Constantinople finally caves, everyone will know that there simply is no denying the reality of a local church’s autocephaly.

The same can be said of Constantinople hearing appeals.  They are the ‘last stop’ for those having problems with the Synod of another local church.  Primacy does not mean that Constantinople would, or ever has, ratified what local churches are deciding when there is no larger conflict.  They only hear cases that are brought to them when a local agreement seems impossible.

Even then, Constantinople’s primacy still requires cooperation from the other local churches.  When Constantinople broke communion with the Church of Greece in 2004 over the election of bishops in territories claimed by the former, the incident hardly had any effect on the world-wide Orthodox scene.

That’s because Constantinople can’t afford to alienate the entire community by demanding the world recognize all of its decisions when others simply don’t care.  It has no army or drones or weapons of mass destruction.  If it wants anything to happen, or its decisions to be recognized, it has to build consensus and get voluntary compliance.

However, given the fact that consensus-building and last-stop primacy are at opposite poles of the leadership-behavioral spectrum, we can see that Constantinople can accrue all kinds of wild titles and claims of supremacy without actually doing much of anything or having many responsibilities aside from when they are invited.
Even in territories that the Patriarchate of Constantinople claims direct authority over, we can see a rather lackadaisical attitude towards ‘leadership’ in the sense of the bishops coming out and guiding the people in a new direction.  In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

The GOA and its Patriarchal Mother don’t have a plan for the larger community.  Of course, this can be said of all the jurisdictions in the Americas, which are largely confined to ‘our people’ with the occasional acquisition of an ‘outsider’ to convince the kids that inevitable intermarriage does not meet total exclusion.  “We have converts… even convert bishops!” is hardly a plan.

We are abysmally parochial.  It is just a fact of life: other people are weird.  If we are all about trying to preserve our own weirdness, then other peoples’ weirdnesses will not be tolerated.

So, the local churches presently calling Constantinople the ‘Mother Church’ find that they have a nice, warm cocoon to keep their particular practices without any danger from the outside world and other influences.  That is, unwanted influences.  There are plenty of influences which are un- or sub-conscious.  After all, the average GOA parish is run nothing like its counterpart in the hills of Sparta or the coast of Chios.

That’s not to say that Orthodox laypeople are not doing absolutely wonderful things… they certainly are.  There are a whole host of local and national ministries that are serving not only the American community, but the entire world.  I want to emphasize that these ministries are largely the work of the people, even when they get their token bishop to show up for board meetings and add his name to the effort like a sponsor sticker on the side of a racecar.

With us clergy, no matter the size of the headgear, we usually only make a splash when it comes to self-promotion.  Mea culpa.

So, Constantinopolitan primacy is certainly not, if present patterns hold, about trying to manage local affairs and effecting big changes on the local level, because this type of ‘leadership’ is utterly foreign to Constantinople’s thinking.  They just don’t lead in that way.  They don’t even want to.

Another example of this ‘primacy’ can be seen in the recent start and apparent disintegration of the ‘Chambesy Assemblies’ (which looks much more impressive when you write Chambesy as ‘Chambésy’… and sounds even more inspiring when try say it with a French accent that sounds more like Gérard Depardieu than Inspector Clouseau) that have fallen apart with Antiochian withdrawal over Constantinople’s inability to settle a dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem.  The face-to-face negotiations between the two churches were hosted by… the Greek Foreign Ministry.  This should tell us a lot about how confident Constantinople is in its abilities to either lead or broker deals.

Constantinople called for the assemblies, got everyone into meeting rooms, formed a bunch of committees, and still can’t articulate a clear goal beyond something ‘better’ (insert you choice of wild hand gestures here).  Perhaps that is wise if you want to get everyone together at once, but now the problem is that everyone has brought their own meaning to the purpose.

To Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, the purpose is the creation of an autocephalous American church.  Metropolitan Savvas (Zembillas) then says the exact opposite… autocephaly is off the table.  ROCOR agrees that it has giving nothing up, not to be outdone by the Bulgarians who have said much the same.  Confusion ensues. Ambiguity can sometimes be the best marketing strategy one can have to get a sale, but it stinks when it comes to ‘buyer’s remorse.’
Everyone agrees to be agreeable, while agreeing to nothing else.

So, what does this mean?  It means that whatever claims Constantinople makes, there is not much it can do without the cooperation of all.  It also means that if a local community wants something, then it should not wait around for ‘guiding leadership’ from Constantinople because it does not act in that manner. 

I could summarize the whole methodology in this way: a back-seat driver.  Sometimes it is helpful to get advice from the back seat, but that does not mean the person in the back seat is actually driving.  The person in the front seat is.  We can opt to listen or to ignore, but no matter what, it is the driver that must face the consequences.

In this analogy, the local community is the driver.  We can choose to listen to or ignore advice, but there is no stick to beat us with, nor is there really much of a carrot.  What we should do is watch the other cars on the road, because that is where the accidents happen.  The carrot-and-stick is really overall success or failure rather than primatial proclamation or censure.

We must hold all the other churches in equal esteem, because they are collectively the Church.  The whole enumeration of primacy only makes sense if there are other numbers, which is why there must be a first… and a second… and a third.  But, whatever cries there may be about the Patriarchate of Constantinople emanating honor like radiation from a lump of uranium, that only works if someone cares about whatever it is that is being radiated.

In 2004, the Greeks ignored Constantinople, and somehow didn’t die of radiation poisoning.  They lost none of their ‘honor.’

Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition.  When Greece and Constantinople broke ties, nobody demanded that all the babies be rebaptized from that period.  It is a nice rhetorical flourish, but the reality is all around us right now.

Antioch and Jerusalem right now need, at the very least, a willing and interested mediator.  If we magnify the meaning of primacy to imply that Constantinople has the power and ability to call churches to obedience, or impose a ‘binding arbitration’ scheme, then the withdrawal of Antioch from the Chambesy process cries out for Constantinople to call Antioch to obedience, just as Constantinople could also instruct Jerusalem to remove its bishop from Qatar.  Instead, we see Constantinople doing neither, and so Antioch walks from the meetings, and Constantinople can only seem to wring its hands.  Yet, Constantinople has not relinquished any of its claims to primacy.

Constantinople is not acting either because it does not care about the conflict or really has no power to do anything even with ‘primacy.’  Orthodox primacy does not give Constantinople any type of real leverage in the matter.  An excommunication of either side may very well be ignored, as in 2004.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Jerusalem and complicate matters of pilgrimage and access to holy sites.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Antioch while it struggles against open persecution.

This conflict, I believe, could not have come at a better time to teach us what primacy is in an Orthodox context.  In practical terms, it only works when all the rest of the churches say that it does, and to the extent they will grant it.  This is the ‘conciliar’ nature of Christian leadership.

No one would envy Constantinople’s position if it really tried to arbitrate this conflict.  It has all the makings of a really big conflict between two churches that have not been on the best of terms for a while.  Staying out may be the wisest move even if Constantinople wanted to help the situation.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t.  I am saying that it really does not have the ‘right stuff’ to make it happen, even with primacy.

We have nothing to fear from Constantinople and all the hubbub about ‘primacy.’  I do not believe that we ought to be shouting epithets at one another or plotting a schism, because the problem of primacy is far less important than other, bigger issues: evangelizing new peoples, healing the sick, saving the lost… the things our Lord called us to do.

What we should be concerned about is our own inertia in these matters.  But, that is a topic for another time when I feeling like dealing with more hate mail than what I will get for posting this.



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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2014, 06:45:00 PM »

One thing that struck me about what you said about easterners living at home longer, It came to me that this is similar to where you will be in Heaven, in your Fathers house.

So the American view(I am from the US too) is maybe less about God than about getting more of the worldly things.

Just a thought.
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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2014, 07:46:01 PM »

This is Greece



the blue part belongs to Church of Greece

I live in the purple part

I prefer the blue part but ok... I can live with the purple

 Undecided

The difference between blue part and purple part is that the blue part was under Ottoman Empire almost 90 years less. From the other hand in my purple city we are free 102 years from Ottoman Empire and we are still purple.

(sorry for my bad english)

And Η Κρήτη (which you show as Heraklion) is ....where?
Where it is: Crete is an autonomous Church, under Constantinople.

Is GOA techically autonomous?

Your first reply MAY have answered my question. The second irrelevant except for EP bashers ( and cheap shooters at that).
why is it irrelevant?
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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2014, 07:47:30 PM »

Church of Crete is semi-autonomous under  the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Patriarchate nominates the island's presiding bishop from a list of three Cretan bishops prepared by the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, but the Church's affairs, including the nomnation of the other bishops, are otherwise handled by the "Holy Provincial Synod of Crete". (wikipedia)


the "Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs" is the funny part  Grin
Part of that is that priests etc. are paid on the same scale as teachers, etc.
And the school system has religious ed., which of course teaches Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2014, 07:48:16 PM »

One thing that struck me about what you said about easterners living at home longer, It came to me that this is similar to where you will be in Heaven, in your Fathers house.

So the American view(I am from the US too) is maybe less about God than about getting more of the worldly things.

Just a thought.
Genesis says "a man leaves his mother and father...."
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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2014, 08:21:08 PM »

What a challenging conversation. I do not know if ethnicity is more of a strength or obstable to unity in the Orthodox Churches in the "disaspora".
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2014, 09:05:11 PM »

One thing that struck me about what you said about easterners living at home longer, It came to me that this is similar to where you will be in Heaven, in your Fathers house.

So the American view(I am from the US too) is maybe less about God than about getting more of the worldly things.

Just a thought.
Genesis says "a man leaves his mother and father...."
24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

When he gets married, yes.
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« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2014, 09:42:26 PM »

For one thing, the Bulgarians had valid chrism, as Russia supplied it all during the time of Bulgaria sojourn in the canonical wilderness. 
I have not heard that before. Do you have a source?
Plenty, for instance, Fortescue:
Quote
The most absurd part of the situation is that the great Russian Church, which from the beginning has been the warm friend and protector of the Exarchists,[i.e. the Patriarchate of Bulgaria] is in communion with both sides. The Phanar dares not excommunicate all Russia, of course, but in the long list of its grievances against that country, one of the chief is the Russian patronage of the Bulgarian schism. It is true that the Synod of 1872 declared schismatic and excommunicated every one who should aid, abet, or acknowledge the Exarchate, but, except a few very ardent Greeks, no one has dared apply that law to the obvious case of Russia. Meanwhile, the Exarchists get their Holy Chrism from Petersburg, and the Russians hold open communion with the excommunicate. Occasionally a very public case raises a storm of angry protest from the Greek papers, but no one takes any notice of it. (For instance, the Ελληνισμος (an Athenian paper) of November 15, 1902, published a furious protest against an atrocity that had lately been perpetrated at Sipka, in Eastern Roumelia. The atrocity was that three Russians—Alexander Zelobovski, the head chaplain of the Russian forces, John Philosophov, and Alexis Mestcherski, both Protopopes at Petersburg—had publicly concelebrated with Methodius, the Exarchist Metropolitan of Stara-Zagora, in open defiance of Photios, Patriarchist Metropolitan of Philippopolis, in whose diocese Sipka lies. The Russian Holy Synod had sent them officially to do so.).
http://books.google.com/books?id=UPr1ZCxPW6QC&pg=PA322&dq=%22Holy+Chrism+from+Petersburg%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3EHwUt6zN-mkyQGB5IDoBw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Holy%20Chrism%20from%20Petersburg%22&f=false
Russian clergy would also on occasion concelebrate, something the Phanar looked the other way on for the most part.
I am not sure about that. So why did the Russians build their own church in Sofia back then? From what I heard in Bulgaria, that was, because they were not in communion with the Bulgarian Church.
If they were not in communion with the Bulgarian Church, what difference would it make?  Sofia in that case would be in the Patriarchate of New Rome, not Third Rome.
Building a metochian would confirm that they were in communion with and recognized the Bulgarian Church.  But what Church in particular are you speaking of?
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« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2014, 10:49:26 PM »


Well, most of us in the Ortho-sphere have noticed a lot of arguing about primacy in the Orthodox Church.  I think there is a profound misunderstanding, at least here in the English-speaking hemisphere, about what ‘primacy’ means in an Orthodox context versus what it means in our modern Anglophonic expectation of the concept.

For example, when we hear about ‘primacy,’ we Americans (perhaps others, but I am addressing an American audience) tend to think of ‘leadership’ in the terms of get out in front and direct things.  In the Orthodox world, primacy usually means something more like ‘final say’ or ‘end of the line.’  It is not so much of a trail-blazing position, but more like an anchor.

Here’s an example: numerous writers have discussed how Constantinople is variously involved or tasked with granting autocephaly.  Now, let’s look at the dates of those churches formed after the period of the Ecumenical Councils-

The Church of Russia is declared autocephalous in 1448, recognized by Constantinople in 1589.
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
The Church of Greece is declared autocephalous in 1833, recognized by Constantinople in 1850.
The Church of Romania is declared autocephalous in 1865, recognized by Constantinople in 1885.
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
The Church of Georgia is declared autocephalous (lost in 1811 due to Russian Imperial edict) in 1917, recognized by Constantinople in 1989.
The Church of Albania is declared autocephalous in 1922, recognized by Constantinople in 1937.
The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is declared autocephalous in 1951, recognized by Constantinople in 1998.
The Orthodox Church in America is declared autocephalous in 1971, and is still waiting.

Historically speaking, the OCA is right on schedule.  They probably should be a little concerned in about 100 years, given the wait other churches have had.
Constantinople, in none of these cases, was ‘out in front’ of the autocephaly movement.  We really do not see a pattern of Constantinopolitan bishops sitting down with a group of non-Greek bishops and saying, “Boys, you need to move out of the basement apartment and start living your own lives.”

I suppose we could chalk this up to Eastern culture.  Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.  However, we Americans are far more open to the idea of independence than Easterners are (think about our history and all that it involved).  In fact, they distrust it.

So, it is not a surprise that we see so much ‘clinginess’ among the Eastern churches.  They don’t want to let go even when they really don’t have all that much in common anymore with the communities they are holding onto.  For them, it is unimaginable that anyone would want anything more than a room in one’s own parents’ home.

So, when it comes to Constantinople and the issue of autocephaly, their practical exercise of ‘primacy’ is largely about being the last holdout.  When Constantinople finally caves, everyone will know that there simply is no denying the reality of a local church’s autocephaly.

The same can be said of Constantinople hearing appeals.  They are the ‘last stop’ for those having problems with the Synod of another local church.  Primacy does not mean that Constantinople would, or ever has, ratified what local churches are deciding when there is no larger conflict.  They only hear cases that are brought to them when a local agreement seems impossible.

Even then, Constantinople’s primacy still requires cooperation from the other local churches.  When Constantinople broke communion with the Church of Greece in 2004 over the election of bishops in territories claimed by the former, the incident hardly had any effect on the world-wide Orthodox scene.

That’s because Constantinople can’t afford to alienate the entire community by demanding the world recognize all of its decisions when others simply don’t care.  It has no army or drones or weapons of mass destruction.  If it wants anything to happen, or its decisions to be recognized, it has to build consensus and get voluntary compliance.

However, given the fact that consensus-building and last-stop primacy are at opposite poles of the leadership-behavioral spectrum, we can see that Constantinople can accrue all kinds of wild titles and claims of supremacy without actually doing much of anything or having many responsibilities aside from when they are invited.
Even in territories that the Patriarchate of Constantinople claims direct authority over, we can see a rather lackadaisical attitude towards ‘leadership’ in the sense of the bishops coming out and guiding the people in a new direction.  In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

The GOA and its Patriarchal Mother don’t have a plan for the larger community.  Of course, this can be said of all the jurisdictions in the Americas, which are largely confined to ‘our people’ with the occasional acquisition of an ‘outsider’ to convince the kids that inevitable intermarriage does not meet total exclusion.  “We have converts… even convert bishops!” is hardly a plan.

We are abysmally parochial.  It is just a fact of life: other people are weird.  If we are all about trying to preserve our own weirdness, then other peoples’ weirdnesses will not be tolerated.

So, the local churches presently calling Constantinople the ‘Mother Church’ find that they have a nice, warm cocoon to keep their particular practices without any danger from the outside world and other influences.  That is, unwanted influences.  There are plenty of influences which are un- or sub-conscious.  After all, the average GOA parish is run nothing like its counterpart in the hills of Sparta or the coast of Chios.

That’s not to say that Orthodox laypeople are not doing absolutely wonderful things… they certainly are.  There are a whole host of local and national ministries that are serving not only the American community, but the entire world.  I want to emphasize that these ministries are largely the work of the people, even when they get their token bishop to show up for board meetings and add his name to the effort like a sponsor sticker on the side of a racecar.

With us clergy, no matter the size of the headgear, we usually only make a splash when it comes to self-promotion.  Mea culpa.

So, Constantinopolitan primacy is certainly not, if present patterns hold, about trying to manage local affairs and effecting big changes on the local level, because this type of ‘leadership’ is utterly foreign to Constantinople’s thinking.  They just don’t lead in that way.  They don’t even want to.

Another example of this ‘primacy’ can be seen in the recent start and apparent disintegration of the ‘Chambesy Assemblies’ (which looks much more impressive when you write Chambesy as ‘Chambésy’… and sounds even more inspiring when try say it with a French accent that sounds more like Gérard Depardieu than Inspector Clouseau) that have fallen apart with Antiochian withdrawal over Constantinople’s inability to settle a dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem.  The face-to-face negotiations between the two churches were hosted by… the Greek Foreign Ministry.  This should tell us a lot about how confident Constantinople is in its abilities to either lead or broker deals.

Constantinople called for the assemblies, got everyone into meeting rooms, formed a bunch of committees, and still can’t articulate a clear goal beyond something ‘better’ (insert you choice of wild hand gestures here).  Perhaps that is wise if you want to get everyone together at once, but now the problem is that everyone has brought their own meaning to the purpose.

To Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, the purpose is the creation of an autocephalous American church.  Metropolitan Savvas (Zembillas) then says the exact opposite… autocephaly is off the table.  ROCOR agrees that it has giving nothing up, not to be outdone by the Bulgarians who have said much the same.  Confusion ensues. Ambiguity can sometimes be the best marketing strategy one can have to get a sale, but it stinks when it comes to ‘buyer’s remorse.’
Everyone agrees to be agreeable, while agreeing to nothing else.

So, what does this mean?  It means that whatever claims Constantinople makes, there is not much it can do without the cooperation of all.  It also means that if a local community wants something, then it should not wait around for ‘guiding leadership’ from Constantinople because it does not act in that manner. 

I could summarize the whole methodology in this way: a back-seat driver.  Sometimes it is helpful to get advice from the back seat, but that does not mean the person in the back seat is actually driving.  The person in the front seat is.  We can opt to listen or to ignore, but no matter what, it is the driver that must face the consequences.

In this analogy, the local community is the driver.  We can choose to listen to or ignore advice, but there is no stick to beat us with, nor is there really much of a carrot.  What we should do is watch the other cars on the road, because that is where the accidents happen.  The carrot-and-stick is really overall success or failure rather than primatial proclamation or censure.

We must hold all the other churches in equal esteem, because they are collectively the Church.  The whole enumeration of primacy only makes sense if there are other numbers, which is why there must be a first… and a second… and a third.  But, whatever cries there may be about the Patriarchate of Constantinople emanating honor like radiation from a lump of uranium, that only works if someone cares about whatever it is that is being radiated.

In 2004, the Greeks ignored Constantinople, and somehow didn’t die of radiation poisoning.  They lost none of their ‘honor.’

Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition.  When Greece and Constantinople broke ties, nobody demanded that all the babies be rebaptized from that period.  It is a nice rhetorical flourish, but the reality is all around us right now.

Antioch and Jerusalem right now need, at the very least, a willing and interested mediator.  If we magnify the meaning of primacy to imply that Constantinople has the power and ability to call churches to obedience, or impose a ‘binding arbitration’ scheme, then the withdrawal of Antioch from the Chambesy process cries out for Constantinople to call Antioch to obedience, just as Constantinople could also instruct Jerusalem to remove its bishop from Qatar.  Instead, we see Constantinople doing neither, and so Antioch walks from the meetings, and Constantinople can only seem to wring its hands.  Yet, Constantinople has not relinquished any of its claims to primacy.

Constantinople is not acting either because it does not care about the conflict or really has no power to do anything even with ‘primacy.’  Orthodox primacy does not give Constantinople any type of real leverage in the matter.  An excommunication of either side may very well be ignored, as in 2004.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Jerusalem and complicate matters of pilgrimage and access to holy sites.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Antioch while it struggles against open persecution.

This conflict, I believe, could not have come at a better time to teach us what primacy is in an Orthodox context.  In practical terms, it only works when all the rest of the churches say that it does, and to the extent they will grant it.  This is the ‘conciliar’ nature of Christian leadership.

No one would envy Constantinople’s position if it really tried to arbitrate this conflict.  It has all the makings of a really big conflict between two churches that have not been on the best of terms for a while.  Staying out may be the wisest move even if Constantinople wanted to help the situation.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t.  I am saying that it really does not have the ‘right stuff’ to make it happen, even with primacy.

We have nothing to fear from Constantinople and all the hubbub about ‘primacy.’  I do not believe that we ought to be shouting epithets at one another or plotting a schism, because the problem of primacy is far less important than other, bigger issues: evangelizing new peoples, healing the sick, saving the lost… the things our Lord called us to do.

What we should be concerned about is our own inertia in these matters.  But, that is a topic for another time when I feeling like dealing with more hate mail than what I will get for posting this.





"Methinks you think your special just by virtue of being a priest. "

thats what i got from reading this out of the blue post also.

and another dig on the Greek race, once again on this great ocnet site Roll Eyes

im reffering to this nice choice of wording:

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

according to you, not only are greeks introverted and keep to themselves but we evidently only think about selling you our gyros to make money. the food festival couldent be for the filoptohos, or the soup kitchen we support....you realy said we dont have missionary work?  Social programs? outreach programs. what planet are yo living on?Huh
 
father you are so off on this its not even funny.

how dare you singal out an entire race and generalise their caracter and motivations, and trivialise what they do for the comunity.

you should be ashamed of yourself. YOUr a priest?!?!?

I better stop.
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« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2014, 11:03:20 PM »

"Methinks you think your special just by virtue of being a priest. "

thats what i got from reading this out of the blue post also.

and another dig on the Greek race, once again on this great ocnet site Roll Eyes

im reffering to this nice choice of wording:

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

according to you, not only are greeks introverted and keep to themselves but we evidently only think about selling you our gyros to make money. the food festival couldent be for the filoptohos, or the soup kitchen we support....you realy said we dont have missionary work?  Social programs? outreach programs. what planet are yo living on?Huh
 
father you are so off on this its not even funny.

how dare you singal out an entire race and generalise their caracter and motivations, and trivialise what they do for the comunity.

you should be ashamed of yourself. YOUr a priest?!?!?

I better stop.

Every time Greeks are brought up you immediately start throwing around accusations of racism etc.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 11:04:08 PM by Nephi » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2014, 11:05:22 PM »

"Methinks you think your special just by virtue of being a priest. "

thats what i got from reading this out of the blue post also.

and another dig on the Greek race, once again on this great ocnet site Roll Eyes

im reffering to this nice choice of wording:

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

according to you, not only are greeks introverted and keep to themselves but we evidently only think about selling you our gyros to make money. the food festival couldent be for the filoptohos, or the soup kitchen we support....you realy said we dont have missionary work?  Social programs? outreach programs. what planet are yo living on?Huh
 
father you are so off on this its not even funny.

how dare you singal out an entire race and generalise their caracter and motivations, and trivialise what they do for the comunity.

you should be ashamed of yourself. YOUr a priest?!?!?

I better stop.

Every time Greeks are brought up you immediately start throwing around accusations of racism etc.

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 11:06:45 PM by Nikolaostheservant » Logged
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« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2014, 11:09:31 PM »

"Methinks you think your special just by virtue of being a priest. "

thats what i got from reading this out of the blue post also.

and another dig on the Greek race, once again on this great ocnet site Roll Eyes

im reffering to this nice choice of wording:

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

according to you, not only are greeks introverted and keep to themselves but we evidently only think about selling you our gyros to make money. the food festival couldent be for the filoptohos, or the soup kitchen we support....you realy said we dont have missionary work?  Social programs? outreach programs. what planet are yo living on?Huh
 
father you are so off on this its not even funny.

how dare you singal out an entire race and generalise their caracter and motivations, and trivialise what they do for the comunity.

you should be ashamed of yourself. YOUr a priest?!?!?

I better stop.

Every time Greeks are brought up you immediately start throwing around accusations of racism etc.

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

FatherGiryus didn't say that.
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« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2014, 11:10:45 PM »


The Church of Russia is declared autocephalous in 1448, recognized by Constantinople in 1589.
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
The Church of Greece is declared autocephalous in 1833, recognized by Constantinople in 1850.
The Church of Romania is declared autocephalous in 1865, recognized by Constantinople in 1885.
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
The Church of Georgia is declared autocephalous (lost in 1811 due to Russian Imperial edict) in 1917, recognized by Constantinople in 1989.
The Church of Albania is declared autocephalous in 1922, recognized by Constantinople in 1937.
The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is declared autocephalous in 1951, recognized by Constantinople in 1998.
The Orthodox Church in America is declared autocephalous in 1971, and is still waiting.


Hello Father Giryus,
Can we write a letter to the EP Barthomelew asking for recognition as the Orthodox Church America? Much obliged, Thanks.
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« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2014, 11:12:45 PM »


Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition. 

I don't agree. The mysteries during that time were recognised by ikonomia, not by akrivia. As for the OCA, it's a special case: its autocephaly is controversial, but it is in full communion with the canonical jurisdictions. A more classical example for unilateral autocephaly in our time would be (The Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia. Doesn't the canonical Church re-chrismate them?

PS: As for the OCA being on the right track, I have my doubts. Places like Bulgaria had the overwhelming majority of believers with them. The OCA has quite a minority of the Orthodox in the US, and even its "mother church" has two parallel jurisdictions in the same place, the patriarchal parishes and ROCOR. Not to mention their internal problems. All of their former primates are still alive!

Was there ever a point in history where the EP was happy about churches declaring Autocephaly?
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« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2014, 11:14:43 PM »

"Methinks you think your special just by virtue of being a priest. "

thats what i got from reading this out of the blue post also.

and another dig on the Greek race, once again on this great ocnet site Roll Eyes

im reffering to this nice choice of wording:

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

according to you, not only are greeks introverted and keep to themselves but we evidently only think about selling you our gyros to make money. the food festival couldent be for the filoptohos, or the soup kitchen we support....you realy said we dont have missionary work?  Social programs? outreach programs. what planet are yo living on?Huh
 
father you are so off on this its not even funny.

how dare you singal out an entire race and generalise their caracter and motivations, and trivialise what they do for the comunity.

you should be ashamed of yourself. YOUr a priest?!?!?

I better stop.

Every time Greeks are brought up you immediately start throwing around accusations of racism etc.

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

FatherGiryus didn't say that.

yes he did. do you know what the word "implied? means?
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« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2014, 11:17:53 PM »

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

He didn't say anything of the sort.
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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2014, 11:24:15 PM »

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

He didn't say anything of the sort.

im still waiting for you to defend what yo are saying?

below is exactly what he said, what do you make of this?

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."
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« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2014, 11:30:30 PM »

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

He didn't say anything of the sort.

im still waiting for you to defend what yo are saying?

below is exactly what he said, what do you make of this?

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

For starters, "Greek Orthodox Archdiocese" does not mean "all Greeks."
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« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2014, 11:30:55 PM »

"Methinks you think your special just by virtue of being a priest. "

thats what i got from reading this out of the blue post also.

and another dig on the Greek race, once again on this great ocnet site Roll Eyes

im reffering to this nice choice of wording:

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

according to you, not only are greeks introverted and keep to themselves but we evidently only think about selling you our gyros to make money. the food festival couldent be for the filoptohos, or the soup kitchen we support....you realy said we dont have missionary work?  Social programs? outreach programs. what planet are yo living on?Huh
 
father you are so off on this its not even funny.

how dare you singal out an entire race and generalise their caracter and motivations, and trivialise what they do for the comunity.

you should be ashamed of yourself. YOUr a priest?!?!?

I better stop.

Every time Greeks are brought up you immediately start throwing around accusations of racism etc.

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

FatherGiryus didn't say that.

yes he did. do you know what the word "implied? means?

FatherGiryus didn't label all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about anyone else.  Also realize that ACROD and the UOC-USA are under the Ecumenical Patriarch - FatherGiryus included them in with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America since all 3 jurisdictions are "long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions" under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2014, 11:34:30 PM »


Well, most of us in the Ortho-sphere have noticed a lot of arguing about primacy in the Orthodox Church.  I think there is a profound misunderstanding, at least here in the English-speaking hemisphere, about what ‘primacy’ means in an Orthodox context versus what it means in our modern Anglophonic expectation of the concept.

For example, when we hear about ‘primacy,’ we Americans (perhaps others, but I am addressing an American audience) tend to think of ‘leadership’ in the terms of get out in front and direct things.  In the Orthodox world, primacy usually means something more like ‘final say’ or ‘end of the line.’  It is not so much of a trail-blazing position, but more like an anchor.

Here’s an example: numerous writers have discussed how Constantinople is variously involved or tasked with granting autocephaly.  Now, let’s look at the dates of those churches formed after the period of the Ecumenical Councils-

The Church of Russia is declared autocephalous in 1448, recognized by Constantinople in 1589.
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
The Church of Greece is declared autocephalous in 1833, recognized by Constantinople in 1850.
The Church of Romania is declared autocephalous in 1865, recognized by Constantinople in 1885.
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
The Church of Georgia is declared autocephalous (lost in 1811 due to Russian Imperial edict) in 1917, recognized by Constantinople in 1989.
The Church of Albania is declared autocephalous in 1922, recognized by Constantinople in 1937.
The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is declared autocephalous in 1951, recognized by Constantinople in 1998.
The Orthodox Church in America is declared autocephalous in 1971, and is still waiting.

Historically speaking, the OCA is right on schedule.  They probably should be a little concerned in about 100 years, given the wait other churches have had.
Constantinople, in none of these cases, was ‘out in front’ of the autocephaly movement.  We really do not see a pattern of Constantinopolitan bishops sitting down with a group of non-Greek bishops and saying, “Boys, you need to move out of the basement apartment and start living your own lives.”

I suppose we could chalk this up to Eastern culture.  Most Easterners require their children to live at home well into adulthood.  These days, more and more Americans are doing this, but not willingly… independence is expensive.  However, we Americans are far more open to the idea of independence than Easterners are (think about our history and all that it involved).  In fact, they distrust it.

So, it is not a surprise that we see so much ‘clinginess’ among the Eastern churches.  They don’t want to let go even when they really don’t have all that much in common anymore with the communities they are holding onto.  For them, it is unimaginable that anyone would want anything more than a room in one’s own parents’ home.

So, when it comes to Constantinople and the issue of autocephaly, their practical exercise of ‘primacy’ is largely about being the last holdout.  When Constantinople finally caves, everyone will know that there simply is no denying the reality of a local church’s autocephaly.

The same can be said of Constantinople hearing appeals.  They are the ‘last stop’ for those having problems with the Synod of another local church.  Primacy does not mean that Constantinople would, or ever has, ratified what local churches are deciding when there is no larger conflict.  They only hear cases that are brought to them when a local agreement seems impossible.

Even then, Constantinople’s primacy still requires cooperation from the other local churches.  When Constantinople broke communion with the Church of Greece in 2004 over the election of bishops in territories claimed by the former, the incident hardly had any effect on the world-wide Orthodox scene.

That’s because Constantinople can’t afford to alienate the entire community by demanding the world recognize all of its decisions when others simply don’t care.  It has no army or drones or weapons of mass destruction.  If it wants anything to happen, or its decisions to be recognized, it has to build consensus and get voluntary compliance.

However, given the fact that consensus-building and last-stop primacy are at opposite poles of the leadership-behavioral spectrum, we can see that Constantinople can accrue all kinds of wild titles and claims of supremacy without actually doing much of anything or having many responsibilities aside from when they are invited.
Even in territories that the Patriarchate of Constantinople claims direct authority over, we can see a rather lackadaisical attitude towards ‘leadership’ in the sense of the bishops coming out and guiding the people in a new direction.  In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules.

The GOA and its Patriarchal Mother don’t have a plan for the larger community.  Of course, this can be said of all the jurisdictions in the Americas, which are largely confined to ‘our people’ with the occasional acquisition of an ‘outsider’ to convince the kids that inevitable intermarriage does not meet total exclusion.  “We have converts… even convert bishops!” is hardly a plan.

We are abysmally parochial.  It is just a fact of life: other people are weird.  If we are all about trying to preserve our own weirdness, then other peoples’ weirdnesses will not be tolerated.

So, the local churches presently calling Constantinople the ‘Mother Church’ find that they have a nice, warm cocoon to keep their particular practices without any danger from the outside world and other influences.  That is, unwanted influences.  There are plenty of influences which are un- or sub-conscious.  After all, the average GOA parish is run nothing like its counterpart in the hills of Sparta or the coast of Chios.

That’s not to say that Orthodox laypeople are not doing absolutely wonderful things… they certainly are.  There are a whole host of local and national ministries that are serving not only the American community, but the entire world.  I want to emphasize that these ministries are largely the work of the people, even when they get their token bishop to show up for board meetings and add his name to the effort like a sponsor sticker on the side of a racecar.

With us clergy, no matter the size of the headgear, we usually only make a splash when it comes to self-promotion.  Mea culpa.

So, Constantinopolitan primacy is certainly not, if present patterns hold, about trying to manage local affairs and effecting big changes on the local level, because this type of ‘leadership’ is utterly foreign to Constantinople’s thinking.  They just don’t lead in that way.  They don’t even want to.

Another example of this ‘primacy’ can be seen in the recent start and apparent disintegration of the ‘Chambesy Assemblies’ (which looks much more impressive when you write Chambesy as ‘Chambésy’… and sounds even more inspiring when try say it with a French accent that sounds more like Gérard Depardieu than Inspector Clouseau) that have fallen apart with Antiochian withdrawal over Constantinople’s inability to settle a dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem.  The face-to-face negotiations between the two churches were hosted by… the Greek Foreign Ministry.  This should tell us a lot about how confident Constantinople is in its abilities to either lead or broker deals.

Constantinople called for the assemblies, got everyone into meeting rooms, formed a bunch of committees, and still can’t articulate a clear goal beyond something ‘better’ (insert you choice of wild hand gestures here).  Perhaps that is wise if you want to get everyone together at once, but now the problem is that everyone has brought their own meaning to the purpose.

To Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, the purpose is the creation of an autocephalous American church.  Metropolitan Savvas (Zembillas) then says the exact opposite… autocephaly is off the table.  ROCOR agrees that it has giving nothing up, not to be outdone by the Bulgarians who have said much the same.  Confusion ensues. Ambiguity can sometimes be the best marketing strategy one can have to get a sale, but it stinks when it comes to ‘buyer’s remorse.’
Everyone agrees to be agreeable, while agreeing to nothing else.

So, what does this mean?  It means that whatever claims Constantinople makes, there is not much it can do without the cooperation of all.  It also means that if a local community wants something, then it should not wait around for ‘guiding leadership’ from Constantinople because it does not act in that manner.  

I could summarize the whole methodology in this way: a back-seat driver.  Sometimes it is helpful to get advice from the back seat, but that does not mean the person in the back seat is actually driving.  The person in the front seat is.  We can opt to listen or to ignore, but no matter what, it is the driver that must face the consequences.

In this analogy, the local community is the driver.  We can choose to listen to or ignore advice, but there is no stick to beat us with, nor is there really much of a carrot.  What we should do is watch the other cars on the road, because that is where the accidents happen.  The carrot-and-stick is really overall success or failure rather than primatial proclamation or censure.

We must hold all the other churches in equal esteem, because they are collectively the Church.  The whole enumeration of primacy only makes sense if there are other numbers, which is why there must be a first… and a second… and a third.  But, whatever cries there may be about the Patriarchate of Constantinople emanating honor like radiation from a lump of uranium, that only works if someone cares about whatever it is that is being radiated.

In 2004, the Greeks ignored Constantinople, and somehow didn’t die of radiation poisoning.  They lost none of their ‘honor.’

Primacy has no ontological reality, because local churches have existed without recognition for years and years, yet no one would question the validity of the Sacraments performed during those times without recognition.  When Greece and Constantinople broke ties, nobody demanded that all the babies be rebaptized from that period.  It is a nice rhetorical flourish, but the reality is all around us right now.

Antioch and Jerusalem right now need, at the very least, a willing and interested mediator.  If we magnify the meaning of primacy to imply that Constantinople has the power and ability to call churches to obedience, or impose a ‘binding arbitration’ scheme, then the withdrawal of Antioch from the Chambesy process cries out for Constantinople to call Antioch to obedience, just as Constantinople could also instruct Jerusalem to remove its bishop from Qatar.  Instead, we see Constantinople doing neither, and so Antioch walks from the meetings, and Constantinople can only seem to wring its hands.  Yet, Constantinople has not relinquished any of its claims to primacy.

Constantinople is not acting either because it does not care about the conflict or really has no power to do anything even with ‘primacy.’  Orthodox primacy does not give Constantinople any type of real leverage in the matter.  An excommunication of either side may very well be ignored, as in 2004.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Jerusalem and complicate matters of pilgrimage and access to holy sites.  Nobody wants to excommunicate Antioch while it struggles against open persecution.

This conflict, I believe, could not have come at a better time to teach us what primacy is in an Orthodox context.  In practical terms, it only works when all the rest of the churches say that it does, and to the extent they will grant it.  This is the ‘conciliar’ nature of Christian leadership.

No one would envy Constantinople’s position if it really tried to arbitrate this conflict.  It has all the makings of a really big conflict between two churches that have not been on the best of terms for a while.  Staying out may be the wisest move even if Constantinople wanted to help the situation.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t.  I am saying that it really does not have the ‘right stuff’ to make it happen, even with primacy.

We have nothing to fear from Constantinople and all the hubbub about ‘primacy.’  I do not believe that we ought to be shouting epithets at one another or plotting a schism, because the problem of primacy is far less important than other, bigger issues: evangelizing new peoples, healing the sick, saving the lost… the things our Lord called us to do.

What we should be concerned about is our own inertia in these matters.  But, that is a topic for another time when I feeling like dealing with more hate mail than what I will get for posting this.


Wow. Would you post the same without the benefit of anonymity?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning, I am more and more convinced that he is correct:

" Dumping all my Orthodox discussion groups on Facebook. This is really not the place to hold these discussions as informed opinions hold the same weight as those of the uninformed. Sometimes truth equals what the person likes or what they think they heard someone say once or a vague feeling that the issue doesn't really matter at all. It's simply too depressing. "

I would expect generalizations and stereotypes from a layman. To see them in print by a member of the clergy is really depressing.

I could post my recollections of interactions with Antiochian congregations which were ethnically insular, wrapped up in the 'old world' , full of whatever (including really wonderful people and priests) - but to what end? Why would I do that?

THERE IS NOT A SCINTILLA OF HOPE FOR ANY REAL UNITY IN ORTHODOXY IN NORTH AMERICA OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD FOR THAT MATTER.



I wish I could argue with you on any point, but I cannot.  The last sentence just lacks one thing--two other dots, for an ellipsis.  Lord, have mercy and finish the sentence with something positive, for we cannot see it today.  
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« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2014, 11:37:12 PM »

Here is what FatherGiryus understands about Orthodox Primacy, and I list them in order:

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« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2014, 11:37:23 PM »

then justify you accusation~

i will mine. he labled all greeks as just looking out for themselves and not caring about nyone else

He didn't say anything of the sort.

im still waiting for you to defend what yo are saying?

below is exactly what he said, what do you make of this?

 "In America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is largely broken down into a number of long-extant, self-defining ethnic jurisdictions with only minimal interest in the outside world.  Missionary work?  Social programs?  Well, if you are talking about food festivals, the GOA indeed rules."

For starters, "Greek Orthodox Archdiocese" does not mean "all Greeks."

hey, Nephi, you just posted some doragatory comments about Greeks on another thred. would you be able to prove what you are saying, or are you just making things up against greeks because yo angry you cant justify what you said before. below is what im reffering to.

"A couple facts about this community that I've recently learned.

1) There was a Ukranian Orthodox man that had been attending the church for 42 years before he died, but the parish refused to permit him a funeral because he wasn't Greek. His family had to contact churches ~30+ miles away for a funeral.

2) There was a Romanian Orthodox woman that had attended the church for about 50 years and was still denied membership due to not being Greek. She finally changed parishes.

Apparently even the neighboring Greek parishes shake their heads over this stuff."

your personal greek bashing thread is:

First Experience at a Greek Church http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,55845.0.html
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« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2014, 12:22:33 AM »

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« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2014, 01:37:20 AM »


"A couple facts about this community that I've recently learned.

1) There was a Ukranian Orthodox man that had been attending the church for 42 years before he died, but the parish refused to permit him a funeral because he wasn't Greek. His family had to contact churches ~30+ miles away for a funeral.

2) There was a Romanian Orthodox woman that had attended the church for about 50 years and was still denied membership due to not being Greek. She finally changed parishes.



why?
I don't understand it
In Greece we have such problems in cemetery only for Jehovah's Witnesses when the cemetery is greek-orthodox property
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« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2014, 02:40:39 AM »


...
The Church of Russia ...
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
...
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
...


Father,

With all due respect, you presented wrong facts.

First of all, there is neither "Church of Serbia" nor "Church of Russia" nor, I believe,"Church of Bulgaria".

There is Serbian Patriarchate (with the territory far exceeding present-day Serbia) and Patriarchate of Moscow and all Rys (sp?). I do not have the title of Bulgarians handy. There is a great difference between the proper name and the name you usually employ in English.

Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.

Third, the autocephaly of Serbian Archbishopry (of Zica) was granted at the begining of 13th century, after 1204 (the year should ring the bell), I believe in 1235, as the result of negotiating skills of St. Sava, while he was also the mediator for the autocephaly of Bulgarians, recognized (I believe) in 1239.

Raising the Archbishop of Zica to Patriarch of Pec at the beginng of 14th century (I think 1325), and adjoining the territories of present-day FYROM, Albania and northern Greece to him (under the reign of Car Dusan) was the reason for a short-living anathema of Serbs by Ecumenical Patriarchate. The title of Patriarchate was simply not resumed after the fall of Smederevo (1454) by first elected primate, while parts of the Serbian church (and Bulgarian church) were adjoined to Ecumenical Patriarchate by the end of 15th century. However, the title of Srbian Patriarchate (and pertaining autocephaly) was restored again at the end of 16th century and revoked again at the end of 17th century following the order of Ottoman Sultan both for restoration and termination. Meanwhile, autocephaly of Serbian church never ceased in the parts not having been conquered by Ottoman Empire (Montenegro, then Austria, now: Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine). Austrian (Roman) Emperor Leopold signed the concordate at the end of 17th century, granting freedom of operation to Serbian Church in the entire empire. Present-day dispute between Serbian Church and Romanians about allegedly overlapping territories traces its roots to the status granted to Serbian Church by Emperor Leopold.

The title of Serbian Patriarchate was restored again in 1922 (or was it 1924?) by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, embracing all the parts of the Serbian Church again - those that were part of Ecumenical Patriarchate between middle 15th century to 20th century, along with those that were never part of Ecumenical Patriarchate after the begining of 13th century.

My sources are numerous, but suffice to refer to an arch-enemy Fortesque, having already been mentioned above by Isa Almisry. Before you ask for more sources, I must ask you for yours.
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« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2014, 02:44:47 AM »

deleted, faulty edit
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« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2014, 03:32:34 AM »


...

The same can be said of Constantinople hearing appeals.  They are the ‘last stop’ for those having problems with the Synod of another local church.  Primacy does not mean that Constantinople would, or ever has, ratified what local churches are deciding when there is no larger conflict.  They only hear cases that are brought to them when a local agreement seems impossible.

...

I would just slightly disagree with you here.

Ecumenical Patriarch does have the jurisdiction to hear the appeals of a bishop of another autocephalous church against the decisioin of a synod/council of that church and does have the power to annul the appeled decision and order re-trial. It is based on interpretation of some canon (Sardica?) granting that right to the Roman Pope (after his fall into herecy).

The jurisdicion of the Synod/Council of the Ecumanical Patriarchate is not based on canons, but on practice during the Ottoman Empire and etnarch status. It is essentialy non-canonical and non-existant.
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« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2014, 03:50:26 AM »


"A couple facts about this community that I've recently learned.

1) There was a Ukranian Orthodox man that had been attending the church for 42 years before he died, but the parish refused to permit him a funeral because he wasn't Greek. His family had to contact churches ~30+ miles away for a funeral.

2) There was a Romanian Orthodox woman that had attended the church for about 50 years and was still denied membership due to not being Greek. She finally changed parishes.



why?
I don't understand it
In Greece we have such problems in cemetery only for Jehovah's Witnesses when the cemetery is greek-orthodox property

IMHO, it's just a made up non-argument. No particulars are given, it's just: "there was" and "somewhere, someone". It just lacks "they have lived hapily everafter".

If the cemetary is private property, it's up to the owners to decide who will be berried there and under what circumstances. It's up to the legislation of USofA, not about the church, but is used for Greek-bashing and hollow argument about non-canonical overlaping jurisdictions in America.

I can't imagine a non-hospitable Orthodox Greek. To me, it's science-fiction.
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« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2014, 06:08:33 AM »


"A couple facts about this community that I've recently learned.

1) There was a Ukranian Orthodox man that had been attending the church for 42 years before he died, but the parish refused to permit him a funeral because he wasn't Greek. His family had to contact churches ~30+ miles away for a funeral.

2) There was a Romanian Orthodox woman that had attended the church for about 50 years and was still denied membership due to not being Greek. She finally changed parishes.



why?
I don't understand it
In Greece we have such problems in cemetery only for Jehovah's Witnesses when the cemetery is greek-orthodox property

IMHO, it's just a made up non-argument. No particulars are given, it's just: "there was" and "somewhere, someone". It just lacks "they have lived hapily everafter".

If the cemetary is private property, it's up to the owners to decide who will be berried there and under what circumstances. It's up to the legislation of USofA, not about the church, but is used for Greek-bashing and hollow argument about non-canonical overlaping jurisdictions in America.

I can't imagine a non-hospitable Orthodox Greek. To me, it's science-fiction.
No, it's history: Abp. Fan Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church when the Greek Church refused to bury Albanian Orthodox who spoke Albanian.

Then there is this amusing tale:

But speaking of the Romanians, I was going to post next on their cousins, the Aromanians or as you problably call them "Vlachs."  I'll start at a funeral:
Quote
Here is one exmaple for many: "In 1904 a Vlach died in Monastir [Republic of Macedonia: then too it didn't have a majority Greek population] His relations wanted to bury him in Roumanian, the Greeks insisted in Greek.  The Bishop (a Greek) forbade a Roumanian funeral, the relations would not have a Greek one.  As usual both sides appealed to the judgee of ecclesiastical affaires, the Turkish Kaimakan.  The Kaimakan, as usual, could do nothing without instructions from Constantinople, and the Porte, as usual, could not make up its mind.  So there came a preliminary order to put off the funeral till the Governement had considered the caee.  Meanwhile, as it was becoming quite time to do something, the wretched man was embalmed.  Time passed and nothing was settled.  Then both sides began fighting over the body, the market-place was shut up, and two charges of cavalry could not disperse the mob.  The Wali, desperate and helpless, as last telegraphed direct to the Sultan imploring him to let the man be buried somehow before the mob had pulled the town down.  At last the decision came.  The Government could not afford to gratify either side, so the man was to be just put in the ground without any burial at all.  See the newspaper report in Bradford: Macedonia, pp. 189-190.  "Nothing," adds Mr. Bralisford, "could be more Turkish, and nothing could be more Greek."

Fortescue adds when "Greeks publish statistics of Macedonia, nearly all the people they brazenly write as "Hellenes" are really these half-Hellenized Vlachs"
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« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2014, 06:11:06 AM »

Here is what FatherGiryus understands about Orthodox Primacy, and I list them in order:
You are confusing Father for the Metropolitan of Bursa.
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« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2014, 06:16:46 AM »


...
The Church of Russia ...
The Church of Serbia is declared autocephalous in 1832, recognized by Constantinople in 1879.
...
The Church of Bulgaria is declared autocephalous in 1872, recognized by Constantinople in 1945.
...


Father,

With all due respect, you presented wrong facts.

First of all, there is neither "Church of Serbia" nor "Church of Russia" nor, I believe,"Church of Bulgaria".

There is Serbian Patriarchate (with the territory far exceeding present-day Serbia) and Patriarchate of Moscow and all Rys (sp?). I do not have the title of Bulgarians handy. There is a great difference between the proper name and the name you usually employ in English.
When Father is talking about, in the Churches he is talking about, they were not named Patriarchs until later after the period under discussion.
Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.
Yes, it was recognized: it served as the cradle of Slavic Orthodoxy.  After 1014, it survived as the autonomous Archdiocese of Ohrid.

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« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2014, 07:27:31 AM »

...To me, it's science-fiction.
No, it's history: Abp. Fan Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church when the Greek Church refused to bury Albanian Orthodox who spoke Albanian.
...

I haven't seen a reference to that in the original post. Let Albanian Orthodox Church (more appropriate to add "of USofA" to her name) be aside for the moment, since I cannot see her relevance for the subject at the moment.


...


There is a great difference between the proper name and the name you usually employ in English.

When Father is talking about, in the Churches he is talking about, they were not named Patriarchs until later after the period under discussion.

You both missed my point (as an example of the topic title? Smiley ) and your point is wrong. First, In the cases of Bulgarians and Serbs, they were Patriarchates long before the time of referred period of 19th century. Second, naming these present day Patriarchates in English after the countries of their seats reduces their canonical territories (specifically significant in the case of Serbian Church and not the Church of Serbia). As a consequence, it misleadS English-speaking Orthodox and should imply "Ecumenicity" of EP and her entitlement to take over some day the canonical territories of these churches outside of the state boundaries (Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Metohija, FYROM).

Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.
Yes, it was recognized: it served as the cradle of Slavic Orthodoxy.  After 1014, it survived as the autonomous Archdiocese of Ohrid.

The fact is disputed very much, and Bulgarians can't present a proof about the recognition, but that is not what's been debated here. You are mixing apples and oranges - autonomy is quite different from autocephaly, so the autonomy of Ohrid after 1014 does neither equate autokephalia of Bulgarian Patriarchate before that year, nor imply the prior recognition of it.
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« Reply #60 on: February 04, 2014, 10:28:51 AM »

Church of Crete is semi-autonomous under  the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Patriarchate nominates the island's presiding bishop from a list of three Cretan bishops prepared by the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, but the Church's affairs, including the nomnation of the other bishops, are otherwise handled by the "Holy Provincial Synod of Crete". (wikipedia)


the "Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs" is the funny part  Grin

Thanks.
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« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2014, 10:34:42 AM »

...To me, it's science-fiction.
No, it's history: Abp. Fan Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church when the Greek Church refused to bury Albanian Orthodox who spoke Albanian.
...

I haven't seen a reference to that in the original post. Let Albanian Orthodox Church (more appropriate to add "of USofA" to her name) be aside for the moment, since I cannot see her relevance for the subject at the moment.


...


There is a great difference between the proper name and the name you usually employ in English.

When Father is talking about, in the Churches he is talking about, they were not named Patriarchs until later after the period under discussion.

You both missed my point (as an example of the topic title? Smiley ) and your point is wrong. First, In the cases of Bulgarians and Serbs, they were Patriarchates long before the time of referred period of 19th century. Second, naming these present day Patriarchates in English after the countries of their seats reduces their canonical territories (specifically significant in the case of Serbian Church and not the Church of Serbia). As a consequence, it misleadS English-speaking Orthodox and should imply "Ecumenicity" of EP and her entitlement to take over some day the canonical territories of these churches outside of the state boundaries (Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Metohija, FYROM).

Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.
Yes, it was recognized: it served as the cradle of Slavic Orthodoxy.  After 1014, it survived as the autonomous Archdiocese of Ohrid.

The fact is disputed very much, and Bulgarians can't present a proof about the recognition, but that is not what's been debated here. You are mixing apples and oranges - autonomy is quite different from autocephaly, so the autonomy of Ohrid after 1014 does neither equate autokephalia of Bulgarian Patriarchate before that year, nor imply the prior recognition of it.

FYROM? What is FYROM?

While we're on unproven canonical status, can we speak to the notion that the Pec Patriarchates' Autocephaly was purchased?
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« Reply #62 on: February 04, 2014, 10:55:29 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.
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« Reply #63 on: February 04, 2014, 10:58:00 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
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« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2014, 11:21:59 AM »

Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.

I hope you do not reject this source out of hand:

"Following Bulgaria's two decisive victories over the Byzantines at Acheloos (near the present-day city of Pomorie) and Katasyrtai (near Constantinople), the government declared the autonomous Bulgarian Archbishopric as autocephalous and elevated it to the rank of Patriarchate at an ecclesiastical and national council held in 919. After Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire signed a peace treaty in 927 that concluded the 20-year-long war between them, the Patriarchate of Constantinople recognised the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and acknowledged its patriarchal dignity.[1][2] The Bulgarian Patriarchate was the first autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church, preceding the autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church (1219) by 300 years and of the Russian Orthodox Church (1596) by some 600 years. It was the sixth Patriarchate after Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch. The seat of the Patriarchate was the new Bulgarian capital of Preslav. The Patriarch was likely to have resided in the town of Drastar (Silistra), an old Christian centre famous for its martyrs and Christian traditions." (my emphasis)

Notes:
[1] Kiminas, D. (2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. p. 15

[2] GENOV, R., & KALKANDJIEVA, D. (2007). Religion and Irreligion in Bulgaria: How Religious Are the Bulgarians? Religion and power in Europe: conflict and convergence, 257."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_Orthodox_Church#Establishment

What I did not include above is the immediately prior situation, roughly the following (from the same source above):

"(870) the Fourth Council of Constantinople granted the Bulgarians an autonomous Bulgarian archbishopric. The archbishopric had its seat in the Bulgarian capital of Pliska and its diocese covered the whole territory of the Bulgarian state. The tug-of-war between Rome and Constantinople was resolved by putting the Bulgarian archbishopric under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, from whom it obtained its first primate, its clergy and theological books...In 893, Boris I expelled the Greek clergy from the country and ordered the replacing of the Greek language with the Slav-Bulgarian vernacular."
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« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2014, 11:29:09 AM »

...To me, it's science-fiction.
No, it's history: Abp. Fan Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church when the Greek Church refused to bury Albanian Orthodox who spoke Albanian.
...
I haven't seen a reference to that in the original post.

Of course not, because the Greeks in it are history, not science fiction.
Let Albanian Orthodox Church (more appropriate to add "of USofA" to her name)
At the time her name was the "independent Orthodox Albanian Church in the United States and Canada"-from the official organ of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, quoting the Greek (as in Greece) press on the jurisdiction in America (where the Russia bishop of the Aleutians and North America had been a century, and no bishop of the Phanar had yet set foot):
Quote
The “Pan-Hellenic Power/State” nonetheless [the quotation comes after the discussion by the professor of International Law at the National University of Greece on the then recent 1908 Tomos] taking as a starting point from the retention of the Russian bishop in Alaska, expresses the opinion “that Ecumenical Patriarchate did wrong, both to the canons of the Church and according to [the fact] that it had no right to transfer to the Church of Greece the privilege furnished it by the Ecumenical Councils.” But it asks “for what justification does the Russian Church retain its jurisdiction over the Church of Alaska and after the Cession of it to the United States, if the Tomos of the Great Church requires among the Greek Churches in the diaspora, in order that the jurisdiction of the Sacred Synod of Greece be extended over them? And this certainly—adding further—if uncanonical, would be the lesser evil. Scandalousness yet results from the establishment of this Russia bishop of Alaska in the United States and the extension of his spiritual authority automatically and besides the justification of no one over the whole of America. And most rightly whenever the bishop thus shall make an ordination of priests and ‘ founding churches independently as it committed some time before through the ordination of the Albanian Noli a priest of the “independent Orthodox Albanian Church in the United States and Canada” creating the employment of the Albanian language in its rites and this be regarded scandal amid other Orthodox Churches of the New World, which according as Greeks, and further by the new Tomos were already brought under under the spiritual rule of the Church of Greece, required to commemorate the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch; to receive from him the holy chrism, to receive his blessings and to offer some quantiy for the fund of the Patriarchate. We believe that “this issue will be regarded the earnest position of the discussion in the Sacred Synod of the Great Church, and so quite rightly so, as much as besides the Russian bishop of Alaska having ordained Mr. Noli entitled as priest of the Orthodox Albanian episcopacy of the United States and Canada and in the choice, this wrought in Boston in Albanian, dealing irreverently towards the Patriarch and promised that independent Albanian and Orthodox Church will be founded everywhere gearing up to ordain a bishop also.
(pardon the translation, I'm on my first cup of coffee).
http://books.google.gr/books?id=8ZQQAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA5-PA79&dq=%CE%91%CE%BB%CE%AC%CF%83%CE%BA%CE%B1&cd=4#v=onepage&q=%CE%91%CE%BB%CE%AC%CF%83%CE%BA%CE%B1&f=false
Bp. Fan Noli went on to serve as Prime Minister of Albania and organize the Church there (and here in North America).
be aside for the moment, since I cannot see her relevance for the subject at the moment.
Of course not, the facts of the matter upset your narrative.

...


There is a great difference between the proper name and the name you usually employ in English.

When Father is talking about, in the Churches he is talking about, they were not named Patriarchs until later after the period under discussion.

You both missed my point (as an example of the topic title? Smiley ) and your point is wrong. First, In the cases of Bulgarians and Serbs, they were Patriarchates long before the time of referred period of 19th century.
They are not the ones we are speaking of: the Patriarchate of Pec, for instance, lived on in Montenegro and Karlowitz, but the Church Father spoke of was the one in Belgrade, which went on to become the present Patriarchate of Serbia.  The Bulgarian exarchate was based in Constantinople, where no Bulgarian patriarchate had ever had jurisdiction.  The previous Patriarchates Bulgaria has to share with Serbia/Macedonia and Romania.
Second, naming these present day Patriarchates in English after the countries of their seats reduces their canonical territories (specifically significant in the case of Serbian Church and not the Church of Serbia). As a consequence, it misleadS English-speaking Orthodox and should imply "Ecumenicity" of EP and her entitlement to take over some day the canonical territories of these churches outside of the state boundaries (Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Metohija, FYROM).
You mean Macedonia: yes, the Phanar claims that, as the right to abolish the Patriarchate in Belgrade as well.  Has nothing to do with how it is worded in English.
Btw Metohija is in Serbia.
Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.
Yes, it was recognized: it served as the cradle of Slavic Orthodoxy.  After 1014, it survived as the autonomous Archdiocese of Ohrid.
The fact is disputed very much

Disputed facts remain facts.
and Bulgarians can't present a proof about the recognition,

Sure can: Ohrid remained the Church of Bulgaria, now a theme in the Empire of the Romans

rather than being incorporated into the Church of Constantinople.  Even the Greeks the Emperor approved as Archbishops tenaciously held to the independence of Ohrid.

but that is not what's been debated here. You are mixing apples and oranges - autonomy is quite different from autocephaly, so the autonomy of Ohrid after 1014 does neither equate autokephalia of Bulgarian Patriarchate before that year, nor imply the prior recognition of it.
Not that different, as history shows and the episcopate knows: hence why Patriarch Ignatius and the Holy Synod of Antioch did not want to give the name "autonomous" to the Archdiocese here in North America.

When the Patriarchate of Serbia bought out from Constantinople the Macedonian and southern lands of what was becoming Yugoslavia, no recognition was given to the existence of the Bulgarian Exarchate there.  There's your apple.
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« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2014, 11:31:56 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
The immigrants had become a trickle in the 30's (besides the Depression, there was the post WWI restrictions on immigration), and not many wanted to be associated with the Soviet state in any way.
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« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2014, 11:35:59 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
The immigrants had become a trickle in the 30's (besides the Depression, there was the post WWI restrictions on immigration), and not many wanted to be associated with the Soviet state in any way.

Some of the highest defections from the GC happened then. 

And there were still many Russophiles among the Ruthenians.

Look at the composition of these parishes.  Bet they are all East Slavs or at least ethnic Orthodox.  You won't find many Scots Irish types there I'm sure, if you get my drift.
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« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2014, 11:41:18 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
The immigrants had become a trickle in the 30's (besides the Depression, there was the post WWI restrictions on immigration), and not many wanted to be associated with the Soviet state in any way.

Some of the highest defections from the GC happened then. 

And there were still many Russophiles among the Ruthenians.

Look at the composition of these parishes.  Bet they are all East Slavs or at least ethnic Orthodox.  You won't find many Scots Irish types there I'm sure, if you get my drift.

Your highest praise should go to your own jurisdiction which received thousands of Evangelical converts in 1987.  This type of effort is more instructive in our own times, I think. 

Saint Innocent of Alaska's efforts are similarly instructive. 
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« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2014, 11:46:13 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
The immigrants had become a trickle in the 30's (besides the Depression, there was the post WWI restrictions on immigration), and not many wanted to be associated with the Soviet state in any way.

Some of the highest defections from the GC happened then. 

And there were still many Russophiles among the Ruthenians.

Look at the composition of these parishes.  Bet they are all East Slavs or at least ethnic Orthodox.  You won't find many Scots Irish types there I'm sure, if you get my drift.

Your highest praise should go to your own jurisdiction which received thousands of Evangelical converts in 1987.  This type of effort is more instructive in our own times, I think. 

Saint Innocent of Alaska's efforts are similarly instructive. 

I'm of the view that we need our own version of Bishop Fulton Sheen and EWTN.  Something faithful and not flashy for people to stumble across.  If AFR was able to get some radio stations that could work too. 
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« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2014, 11:50:59 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
The immigrants had become a trickle in the 30's (besides the Depression, there was the post WWI restrictions on immigration), and not many wanted to be associated with the Soviet state in any way.

Some of the highest defections from the GC happened then. 

And there were still many Russophiles among the Ruthenians.

Look at the composition of these parishes.  Bet they are all East Slavs or at least ethnic Orthodox.  You won't find many Scots Irish types there I'm sure, if you get my drift.

Your highest praise should go to your own jurisdiction which received thousands of Evangelical converts in 1987.  This type of effort is more instructive in our own times, I think. 

Saint Innocent of Alaska's efforts are similarly instructive. 
St. Innocent remains the gold standard, as a missionary, as a bishop and as a primate.  And as a married priest, for those who question the dedication of married clergy to the Church.
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2014, 11:53:51 AM »

Btw, I would just like to point this out to each and every bishop to say "See! This is how it is done!"
Quote
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to archbishop by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate on November 22, 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On July 14, 1938 he was designated Metropolitan of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Benjamin_(Fedchenkov)_of_the_Aleutians

I wonder about the relationship of these 50 and the patriarchal parishes.

In the 30s this was easy because you had lots of immigrants who were already Eastern Christians of some sort with big families and disaffected Greek Catholics ready to jump ship.  So creating parishes was more of a build it and they will come phenomenon. 
The immigrants had become a trickle in the 30's (besides the Depression, there was the post WWI restrictions on immigration), and not many wanted to be associated with the Soviet state in any way.

Some of the highest defections from the GC happened then. 

And there were still many Russophiles among the Ruthenians.

Look at the composition of these parishes.  Bet they are all East Slavs or at least ethnic Orthodox.  You won't find many Scots Irish types there I'm sure, if you get my drift.

Your highest praise should go to your own jurisdiction which received thousands of Evangelical converts in 1987.  This type of effort is more instructive in our own times, I think. 

Saint Innocent of Alaska's efforts are similarly instructive. 
St. Innocent remains the gold standard, as a missionary, as a bishop and as a primate.  And as a married priest, for those who question the dedication of married clergy to the Church.
I glorify God for his faith and life.  He is simply amazing.  I am in awe of his long trips around the barren north in a kayak to visit and evangelize.  He baptized Aleutians culture, which is the biggest lesson of all.  He follows in the likes of St. Paul and SS Cyril and Methodius in that way I think. 
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« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2014, 03:49:58 PM »

St. Innocent remains the gold standard, as a missionary, as a bishop and as a primate.  And as a married priest, for those who question the dedication of married clergy to the Church.
I glorify God for his faith and life.  He is simply amazing.  I am in awe of his long trips around the barren north in a kayak to visit and evangelize.  He baptized Aleutians culture, which is the biggest lesson of all.  He follows in the likes of St. Paul and SS Cyril and Methodius in that way I think. 
You're right, which is why the Church recognizes him as Equal-to-the-Apostles.  Very fitting.
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« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2014, 02:53:22 AM »

FYROM? What is FYROM?
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FYROM

While we're on unproven canonical status, can we speak to the notion that the Pec Patriarchates' Autocephaly was purchased?

Be my guest, provided you troll-off and start a separate thread about it.
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« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2014, 02:55:52 AM »

Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.

I hope you do not reject this source out of hand:
...

If the sources you provided had stated anything contrary to what I had presented, I would have to question the accuracy of wikipedia as a signle source. Since they didn't I am at a loss about what you actually tried to point.
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« Reply #75 on: February 05, 2014, 03:36:24 AM »

...To me, it's science-fiction.
No, it's history: Abp. Fan Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church when the Greek Church refused to bury Albanian Orthodox who spoke Albanian.
...
I haven't seen a reference to that in the original post.

Of course not, because the Greeks in it are history, not science fiction.
...
Of course not, the facts of the matter upset your narrative.

It's easy to me to remain Greekophile - they were Americans, not Greeks, and American Phanariotes on top of that. In my  universe, that is exactly the opposite from Greeks. It's not the issue of facts, but of personal preference and is non-issue to the topic at hand.

Just to remind you, the debate here is not my personal perception of Greeks, but the fact that Father presented a conclusion about misconception among Americans about primacy (which I find truthfull and accurate), but based on some wrong facts. In the terms of Aristotelian Logic, his conclusion is truthfull, but not valid.


They are not the ones we are speaking of: the Patriarchate of Pec, for instance, lived on in Montenegro and Karlowitz, but the Church Father spoke of was the one in Belgrade, which went on to become the present Patriarchate of Serbia.  The Bulgarian exarchate was based in Constantinople, where no Bulgarian patriarchate had ever had jurisdiction.  The previous Patriarchates Bulgaria has to share with Serbia/Macedonia and Romania.

Again, what does it have with the topic at hand?

BTW, you ignored what I pointed. It wasnt the local church in Belgrade that "went on to become present Patriarchate of Serbia", there were both Pec and Karlovac and Belgrade that went on to become present Serbian Patriarchate, but you are free to repeat your distorted interpretation of a bunch of historical facts as long as you wish, to the detriment of the topic at hand.

..
Sure can: Ohrid remained the Church of Bulgaria, now a theme in the Empire of the Romans rather than being incorporated into the Church of Constantinople.  Even the Greeks the Emperor approved as Archbishops tenaciously held to the independence of Ohrid.
...
Not that different, as history shows and the episcopate knows: hence why Patriarch Ignatius and the Holy Synod of Antioch did not want to give the name "autonomous" to the Archdiocese here in North America.
...
When the Patriarchate of Serbia bought out from Constantinople the Macedonian and southern lands of what was becoming Yugoslavia, no recognition was given to the existence of the Bulgarian Exarchate there.  There's your apple.

Yet again, a bunch of interpretation of history, with the aim to equate autokephalia with autonomia (with exarchate as spice). Since they are "not so different" you claim they are the same. Do you expect me to waste my time in debating such a nonsense? What recognition does pertain to an exarchate? Do you know what is exarchate? From what you presented, I doubt it very much.

Pitty Americans presented at this thread misunderstanding about more than Father pointed in the OP.
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« Reply #76 on: February 05, 2014, 04:58:47 AM »

You're the one who dismissed facts as fiction.
...To me, it's science-fiction.
...To me, it's science-fiction.
No, it's history: Abp. Fan Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church when the Greek Church refused to bury Albanian Orthodox who spoke Albanian.
...
I haven't seen a reference to that in the original post.

Of course not, because the Greeks in it are history, not science fiction.
...
Of course not, the facts of the matter upset your narrative.

It's easy to me to remain Greekophile - they were Americans, not Greeks, and American Phanariotes on top of that. In my  universe, that is exactly the opposite from Greeks. It's not the issue of facts, but of personal preference and is non-issue to the topic at hand.

Just to remind you, the debate here is not my personal perception of Greeks, but the fact that Father presented a conclusion about misconception among Americans about primacy (which I find truthfull and accurate), but based on some wrong facts. In the terms of Aristotelian Logic, his conclusion is truthfull, but not valid.


They are not the ones we are speaking of: the Patriarchate of Pec, for instance, lived on in Montenegro and Karlowitz, but the Church Father spoke of was the one in Belgrade, which went on to become the present Patriarchate of Serbia.  The Bulgarian exarchate was based in Constantinople, where no Bulgarian patriarchate had ever had jurisdiction.  The previous Patriarchates Bulgaria has to share with Serbia/Macedonia and Romania.

Again, what does it have with the topic at hand?

BTW, you ignored what I pointed. It wasnt the local church in Belgrade that "went on to become present Patriarchate of Serbia", there were both Pec and Karlovac and Belgrade that went on to become present Serbian Patriarchate, but you are free to repeat your distorted interpretation of a bunch of historical facts as long as you wish, to the detriment of the topic at hand.

..
Sure can: Ohrid remained the Church of Bulgaria, now a theme in the Empire of the Romans rather than being incorporated into the Church of Constantinople.  Even the Greeks the Emperor approved as Archbishops tenaciously held to the independence of Ohrid.
...
Not that different, as history shows and the episcopate knows: hence why Patriarch Ignatius and the Holy Synod of Antioch did not want to give the name "autonomous" to the Archdiocese here in North America.
...
When the Patriarchate of Serbia bought out from Constantinople the Macedonian and southern lands of what was becoming Yugoslavia, no recognition was given to the existence of the Bulgarian Exarchate there.  There's your apple.

Yet again, a bunch of interpretation of history, with the aim to equate autokephalia with autonomia (with exarchate as spice). Since they are "not so different" you claim they are the same. Do you expect me to waste my time in debating such a nonsense? What recognition does pertain to an exarchate? Do you know what is exarchate? From what you presented, I doubt it very much.

Pitty Americans presented at this thread misunderstanding about more than Father pointed in the OP.
Now we understand your fondness for fiction.

I'm about to go to bed.  Lord willing, I might straighten your posted mess out later.

In the meantime, you might want to educate yourself. You can start with something simple:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_exarchate
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« Reply #77 on: February 05, 2014, 05:07:35 AM »

...

Why don't you start a separate thread where you will be proving (along with Carl and Orthosomething) that FYROM is sumultaneously purchased by Serbian Patriarchate and granted to Bulgarian Exarchate? I'm eager to see the elaboration of it.
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« Reply #78 on: February 05, 2014, 05:19:49 AM »

...

Why don't you start a separate thread where you will be proving (along with Carl and Orthosomething) that FYROM is sumultaneously purchased by Serbian Patriarchate and granted to Bulgarian Exarchate? I'm eager to see the elaboration of it.
for one:Catholic world, Volume 114 By Paulist Fathers (1922)
Quote
Before the War, the Orthodox population of the Serbian Kingdom amounted to 2,880,000. With her new territorial conquests, the Serbian Church embraces at the present time about six millions of Orthodox within the limits of Jugo-Slavia. Therefore, the first task of the Serbian Church is the religious unification of all Serbians. This problem was discussed in the meeting of all the Serbian bishops, held at Belgrade, May 26, 1919. A decision could not be taken without a preliminary understanding with the Greek Patriarch [i.e. the EP]. At the end of the same year, the Patriarch consented to renounce his jurisdiction over ten Metropolitan Sees of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Old Serbia and Macedonia upon the payment of an indemnity equivalent to $300,000. At the same time, the Serbian Government negotiated the exemption of the Metropolitan Sees of Zara and Cattaro from the jurisdiction of the Patriarch [sic, he was/is a Metropolitan] of Cernowitz.
http://books.google.com/books?id=OH0QAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA811&lpg=PA811&dq=%22Srptka+Crkva,+1920,+n.+5,+pp.+193,+194&source=bl&ots=20ImJ0d1Be&sig=imG38XHP8Im5GiATy06vd5OUs8w&hl=en#v=onepage&q=%22Srptka%20Crkva%2C%201920%2C%20n.%205%2C%20pp.%20193%2C%20194&f=false
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« Reply #79 on: February 05, 2014, 05:32:02 AM »


It is only left to prove now how it simultaneously granted to Bulgarian Exarchate, as well as to prove that Chernowitz was not an offshot of the very same Serbian Patriarchate. (Hint: Fortesque) I'll refrain for the moment from questioning the accuracy of the source which was "credible" enought to attribute to Chernowitz the status of a patriarchate.

Edit: In anticipation of relating the purchase of territories to the notion of simonia, I will ask to quote tha canons defining simonia, once such a laughable interpretation arises here.
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« Reply #80 on: February 05, 2014, 06:50:25 AM »

It's not so simple to analyze the Bulgarian Exarchate in the area of Greek Macedonia. The 2/3 majority rule to have episcopacy and the 1/3 rule to have church created very bad situations in the area between people and the memories of violence are still here.

Americans can't understand this part of history. I remember in another topic last year when I said that Greek Orthodox in North Greece had more problems with Bulgarians than Ottomans and you could not understand how orthodox destroy orthodox churches and kill priests.

My English are not so good to have this conversation and I really don''t want to have so hot conversations with other orthodox here, but the memories are still here and the Bulgarians have try to make my Greek grandmother Bulgarian and my father's sisters went to bulgarian school involuntarily.  My father's family was Greek Macedonian from Drama and the oldest member in the area I can find as search is one Greek orthodox priest on 1680 - 1750 arhives from one monastery.

In this Greek area they were under the violence of Bulgarians
-1912-1913 1st Balcan War
-1916-1918 2nd Balcan War
-1941-1944  WW2

To be honest many people from North Greece don't hate Ottoman Turks, don't hate German Nazi but they really hate Orthodox Bulgarians because they have the worst memories of violence


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« Reply #81 on: February 05, 2014, 09:23:05 AM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.

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« Reply #82 on: February 05, 2014, 10:49:23 AM »

And then you have that pesky problem that Macedonians actually consider themselves something other than Greek, Bulgarian, and Serbian.

But hey, we all know that Tito was great at the Vulcan mind-melt so it was his propaganda that did this ....  Cheesy

Perhaps it's fruitless to put THIS much stock in history. It's good to learn it to understand the narratives of those in power, as well as to be prepared for the future, but perhaps we need to understand what is reality in the present as well? Just a thought ....
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« Reply #83 on: February 05, 2014, 11:21:13 AM »

Second, Bulgars self-proclaimed autocephaly in 9th or 10th century, never recognized and terminated by Basil Bulgaroktonos in 1014.

I hope you do not reject this source out of hand:
...

If the sources you provided had stated anything contrary to what I had presented, I would have to question the accuracy of wikipedia as a signle source. Since they didn't I am at a loss about what you actually tried to point.

I'm tempted to retry but I am convinced that it would be a vain attempt. You and I are finished talking. Wishing you a spiritually profitable Lenten Season.
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« Reply #84 on: February 05, 2014, 11:55:16 AM »

It's not so simple to analyze the Bulgarian Exarchate in the area of Greek Macedonia. The 2/3 majority rule to have episcopacy and the 1/3 rule to have church created very bad situations in the area between people and the memories of violence are still here.

Americans can't understand this part of history. I remember in another topic last year when I said that Greek Orthodox in North Greece had more problems with Bulgarians than Ottomans and you could not understand how orthodox destroy orthodox churches and kill priests.

My English are not so good to have this conversation and I really don''t want to have so hot conversations with other orthodox here, but the memories are still here and the Bulgarians have try to make my Greek grandmother Bulgarian and my father's sisters went to bulgarian school involuntarily.  My father's family was Greek Macedonian from Drama and the oldest member in the area I can find as search is one Greek orthodox priest on 1680 - 1750 arhives from one monastery.

In this Greek area they were under the violence of Bulgarians
-1912-1913 1st Balcan War
-1916-1918 2nd Balcan War
-1941-1944  WW2

To be honest many people from North Greece don't hate Ottoman Turks, don't hate German Nazi but they really hate Orthodox Bulgarians because they have the worst memories of violence




This is so interesting; Macedono-Bulgarians have the diametrically opposite history. Is it possible that both could be right? Pursuing that point, what you are saying may well be true for most Greeks who were resettled in Macedonia in the 1920s. For a third-party look at the Balkan Wars see Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan War. https://archive.org/details/reportofinternat00inteuoft

In my case, my grandfather and grandmother escaped the advancing Greek armies in 1918 and eventually resettled in Istanbul. The reason? Ethnic cleansing by the usual methods (rape, torture, murder) by the Greeks.
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« Reply #85 on: February 05, 2014, 12:00:54 PM »


It is only left to prove now how it simultaneously granted to Bulgarian Exarchate, as well as to prove that Chernowitz was not an offshot of the very same Serbian Patriarchate. (Hint: Fortesque) I'll refrain for the moment from questioning the accuracy of the source which was "credible" enought to attribute to Chernowitz the status of a patriarchate.

Edit: In anticipation of relating the purchase of territories to the notion of simonia, I will ask to quote tha canons defining simonia, once such a laughable interpretation arises here.
I didn't say a thing about simony, so someone else will have to play with you on that one.

As for the Bulgarian Exarchate:
This is what Chief Secretary, following his "tradition", found so objectionable, the Firman of March 11, 1870 :
Quote
"All loyal subjects and inhabitants of my Empire enjoy, in respect to religion and the practice of their faith, as in all other respects, complete and permanent security, and they should be animated with feelings of good mutual understanding and friendship, as beseems fellow-countrymen and civilised peoples. It is my inmost wish that they should continue to support, to the utmost extent of their power, the efforts which I arn constantly making for ensuring the welfare of the country and the progress of civilisation.

«• It is therefore with regret that I have observed the misunderstandings and dissensions which, contrary to this agreeable expectation, have for some time past existed between the Bulgarians of the Orthodox Church and the Greek patriarch, as regards the spiritual bonds which unite the Patriarchate and the Metropolitans, Bishops and priests of the Bulgarian Church.

«In order to bring about a favourable solution of the difflculty, the following decisions have been arrived at as the result of negotiation and deliberations:

1. A special spiritual denomination is formed under the name of the Bulgarian Exarchate, which comprises all the Dioceses, Bishoprics and other places hereinafter set out. It will be invested with authority in all ecclesiastical matters appertaining to the Bulgarian confession.

2. The highest in rank among the Metropolitans of this denomination will be given the title of Exarch; he will be invested with the Presidency of the Bulgarian Synod which will be attached permanently to his person....

9. In the same way as the Jerusalem Monastery in the Phanar is dependent on the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and is subject to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, so also the Bulgarian Monastery at the Phanar and the adjoining Bulgarian Church will be dependent on the Bulgarian Exarchate. The Exarch is authorised to reside in this monastery whenever his duties call him to Constantinople. In all that concerns his arrival at the capital and the exercise of his ecclesiastical office during his stay there he must conform to the ecclesiastical rules followed in similar cases by the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch.

10. The spiritual jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate extends over the Metropolitan Dioceses of Roustchouk, Silislria, Shoumla, Tirnovo, Sofia, Vratza, Loftcha, Widdin, Nish, Pirot, Kustendil, Samakov, Velika, Varna (excluding the town of Varna and about twenty villages on the coast of the Black Sea as far as Kustendje, the inhabitants of which are not Bulgarians), the Sandjak of Slimia without the towns of Ahirdji (Anchialos) and Messimbria;the Kaza of Sozopolis excluding the villages on the coast; Philippopolis, excluding the town and the district of Stanimak, the villages of Kokbounar. Vodina, Arnaoutkeui, Panaya, Novoseli, Laskovo, Arkhlani, Batchkovo, Velastitza, and the monasteries of Batchkovo, Ayos Anargiri. Aya Paraskevi and Ayos Georghi. The Panaya quarter in the city of Philippopolis will belong to the Bulgarian Exarchate ; those of its inhabitants who do not wish to be subject to the Bulgarian Church and Exarchate will be quite free in this respect. The details of this arrangement are to be settled between the Patriarch and the Exarchate in accordance with ecclesiastical custom, principles and regulations. If all, or not less than two-thirds, of the inhabitants of orthodox faith in places other than those aborementioned wish to be subject to the Exarchate in their spiritual affairs, and if this fact is clearly established, they shall be permitted to do as they wish ; but such permission is to be granted only on the demand, or with the assent, of the entire population or of at least of two-thirds of the same. All persons who may seek on this pretext to bring about dissensions and disturbances among the population will be prosecuted and punished according to law...

« As the foregoing provisions appear to meet the legitimate demands of the parties and to be calculated to put an end to the regrettable dissensions which have taken place, they have been agreed to by the Government. They will in future have the force of law, and the present Firman has been promulgated to give proof of Our formal desire that all persons shall refrain from acting contrary to this law or from departing from its provisions. »
The Bulgarian Exarchate: its history and the extext of its authority in Turkey By Richard von Mach
http://books.google.com/books?id=MEwpAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=firman+Bulgarian+exarchate&source=bl&ots=mgd5gdrp30&sig=JrazeAkZDdKJRQ3zyRqrerWS5k0&hl=en&ei=CVMYTJDEOpDOM7eV3d8E&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=firman%20Bulgarian%20exarchate&f=false

The distribution of Bulgarians at the time:

The territories in question are listed under the Exarchate here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=MEwpAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA3&dq=%22Dioceses+in+which+the+Exarchate+posses+Bishoprics%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YmDyUoGeMZDiyAH4j4GQDg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Dioceses%20in%20which%20the%20Exarchate%20posses%20Bishoprics%22&f=false
Rather than getting the required two-thirds, over 90% of the Orthodox in these territories demanded to be included in the Exarchate.

The Metropolitinate of Czernowitz had nothing to do with the territories in question-they not having any connection to Constantinople except in Faith for nearly a century and a half by then.  But anyway, an offshoot of the Church of Moldavia (actually its cradle, and into which it was reintegrated after WWI), the Habsburgs placed it, like all their Orthodox, under their Serbian Metropolitan at Karlowitz.  When the Church of Transylvania was able to reassert itself, Czernowitz was kept apart.  When the Ausgleich demanded a separate Church from the Serbian Patriarch and Romanian Metropolitans under Hungarian control, Czernowitz received jurisdiction over all the Imperial Lands of Austria.

As for its title, Metropolitan or Patriarch, the only difference would be the name.
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« Reply #86 on: February 05, 2014, 12:14:07 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  
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« Reply #87 on: February 05, 2014, 12:25:15 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.
Actually, when one takes the standard of "reality on the ground," rather than the anchor of historic right, that encourages the parties to change the reality on the ground-by all means possible.  Sat' al-Husri, the Ottoman school official in the region under discussion, took to heart the example of the Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians and Macedonians in pursuing that.

Hence the canon that if one seizes a diocese, he must be forced to give it up.

Another example of this spawned the parent of this thread: Jerusalem now claims all of the Arabia peninsula (and Lord knows what else) on the basis of the sees that seized from Antioch and attached to their Latin patriarchate.  When you do not uproot weeds by the root, they grow all over.

The same Sacred canons, however, do not let one sit on his laches.  If no objection is brought over 30 years, than the claim expires.  Antioch-at least the Latin patriarch of it, "Antioch's Patriarch" Theodore Balsamon was too concerned over Constantinople to care-did complain at the time over Arabia, but circumstances have developed over the centuries where it would serve little purpose to split Jordan from Palestine.  That is, if the Palestinians were running Jerusalem.
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« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2014, 12:26:20 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  
They are not incompatible.  Some just don't want to see it that way.
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« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2014, 12:29:02 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  
They are not incompatible.  Some just don't want to see it that way.

One can have the Orthodox faith as transmitted according to Russian, Greek, Arab, Ukrainian, etc. rubrics and customs and still be American.  The two aren't incompatible. 
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« Reply #90 on: February 05, 2014, 12:33:39 PM »


I'm of the view that we need our own version of Bishop Fulton Sheen and EWTN.  Something faithful and not flashy for people to stumble across.  If AFR was able to get some radio stations that could work too. 

Other than the OP, this is one of the most significant posts in this thread.

I would start on on SW (broadcasting to Russia/Japan/Korea so that it covers the US from Florida) to get donations rolling in to purchase land based stations or station time. I priced this at about $350,000/yr for a 24/7 station.

Offtopic, Out.
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« Reply #91 on: February 05, 2014, 01:05:34 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  

Carl, I can't speak for the Ukrainians, but, truth be told, the new parishes established through the efforts of the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of thrice blessed memory, are rather indistinguishable from those established by the OCA. A few relocated families from the older parishes, young American born and educated clergy and an outreach to converts. The formula is rather straightforward. It was an easier thing for both the ACROD and the OCA to establish relatively non ethnic parishes for alone among the various North American jurisdictions, they were never bound to ethnic bishops in their homelands as the founders of each were neither ethnic Russians nor ethnic  Greeks in spite of their ties to each.
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« Reply #92 on: February 05, 2014, 01:08:45 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  

Carl, I can't speak for the Ukrainians, but, truth be told, the new parishes established through the efforts of the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of thrice blessed memory, are rather indistinguishable from those established by the OCA. A few relocated families from the older parishes, young American born and educated clergy and an outreach to converts. The formula is rather straightforward. It was an easier thing for both the ACROD and the OCA to establish relatively non ethnic parishes for alone among the various North American jurisdictions, they were never bound to ethnic bishops in their homelands as the founders of each were neither ethnic Russians nor ethnic  Greeks in spite of their ties to each.

We have about half a dozen such parishes in the UOC-USA.  Most don't use the term Ukrainian in the title and have English services.  But I don't think they need to abandon blessing with the chalice or greeting the bishop with bread and salt.  That doesn't contradict being American or having a parish barbecue afterwards.   
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« Reply #93 on: February 05, 2014, 01:16:01 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.
Actually, when one takes the standard of "reality on the ground," rather than the anchor of historic right, that encourages the parties to change the reality on the ground-by all means possible.  Sat' al-Husri, the Ottoman school official in the region under discussion, took to heart the example of the Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians and Macedonians in pursuing that.

Hence the canon that if one seizes a diocese, he must be forced to give it up.

Another example of this spawned the parent of this thread: Jerusalem now claims all of the Arabia peninsula (and Lord knows what else) on the basis of the sees that seized from Antioch and attached to their Latin patriarchate.  When you do not uproot weeds by the root, they grow all over.

The same Sacred canons, however, do not let one sit on his laches.  If no objection is brought over 30 years, than the claim expires.  Antioch-at least the Latin patriarch of it, "Antioch's Patriarch" Theodore Balsamon was too concerned over Constantinople to care-did complain at the time over Arabia, but circumstances have developed over the centuries where it would serve little purpose to split Jordan from Palestine.  That is, if the Palestinians were running Jerusalem.

By reality on the ground, I am speaking to how the community of believers view themselves and their Church, not about the vain glorious pursuits of bishops, Popes, Patriarchs or princes.

How a people believe that history has treated them is as important as how history objectively (as if objective history actually exists!) treated them. To ignore the will of the people is to behave like Rome in the case of Father, now Saint Alexis Toth , and in the decades which followed that propelled people to Orthodoxy NOT initially for reasons of theological purity but rather for safety and refuge and to preserve that which they cherished. The theology came later.
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« Reply #94 on: February 05, 2014, 02:32:01 PM »

I'll refrain for the moment from questioning the accuracy of the source which was "credible" enought to attribute to Chernowitz the status of a patriarchate.
Btw, you can check Srpska Crkva, Sarajevo: 1920, n. 5, pp. 193, 194.
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« Reply #95 on: February 05, 2014, 04:30:58 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  

Carl, I can't speak for the Ukrainians, but, truth be told, the new parishes established through the efforts of the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of thrice blessed memory, are rather indistinguishable from those established by the OCA. A few relocated families from the older parishes, young American born and educated clergy and an outreach to converts. The formula is rather straightforward. It was an easier thing for both the ACROD and the OCA to establish relatively non ethnic parishes for alone among the various North American jurisdictions, they were never bound to ethnic bishops in their homelands as the founders of each were neither ethnic Russians nor ethnic  Greeks in spite of their ties to each.

We have about half a dozen such parishes in the UOC-USA.  Most don't use the term Ukrainian in the title and have English services.  But I don't think they need to abandon blessing with the chalice or greeting the bishop with bread and salt.  That doesn't contradict being American or having a parish barbecue afterwards.   

I agree with you; I think it is very important a mission follows the tradition of their mother church, deanery or diocese (as the case may be). Unless of course the diocesan bishop says otherwise. In such case, since the entire church will be effected, the diocesan must obtain the Holy Synod's permission. The check-and-balance in such cases would be the bishops that look after the ethnic flocks as well as the Holy Synod. I do not think that a one-size fits all approach would work in the USA or Canada. What I see is a very gradual process (at least decades long) where the number of covert parishes will greatly outnumber the ethnic ones. The sort of small "t" traditions that will emerge is anyone's guess. Just in South Carolina, I can envision Lowcountry parishes having shrimp and grits or Beaufort stew for their community outreach events, while other areas of the state would perhaps favor soul food, pork barbecue, and other Carolinian delights. May be the bishop will be greeted with salt and corn bread, no? 
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« Reply #96 on: February 05, 2014, 04:34:59 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  

Carl, I can't speak for the Ukrainians, but, truth be told, the new parishes established through the efforts of the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of thrice blessed memory, are rather indistinguishable from those established by the OCA. A few relocated families from the older parishes, young American born and educated clergy and an outreach to converts. The formula is rather straightforward. It was an easier thing for both the ACROD and the OCA to establish relatively non ethnic parishes for alone among the various North American jurisdictions, they were never bound to ethnic bishops in their homelands as the founders of each were neither ethnic Russians nor ethnic  Greeks in spite of their ties to each.

We have about half a dozen such parishes in the UOC-USA.  Most don't use the term Ukrainian in the title and have English services.  But I don't think they need to abandon blessing with the chalice or greeting the bishop with bread and salt.  That doesn't contradict being American or having a parish barbecue afterwards.   

I agree with you; I think it is very important a mission follows the tradition of their mother church, deanery or diocese (as the case may be). Unless of course the diocesan bishop says otherwise. In such case, since the entire church will be effected, the diocesan must obtain the Holy Synod's permission. The check-and-balance in such cases would be the bishops that look after the ethnic flocks as well as the Holy Synod. I do not think that a one-size fits all approach would work in the USA or Canada. What I see is a very gradual process (at least decades long) where the number of covert parishes will greatly outnumber the ethnic ones. The sort of small "t" traditions that will emerge is anyone's guess. Just in South Carolina, I can envision Lowcountry parishes having shrimp and grits or Beaufort stew for their community outreach events, while other areas of the state would perhaps favor soul food, pork barbecue, and other Carolinian delights. May be the bishop will be greeted with salt and corn bread, no? 

But if he is from say Pittsburgh, and you greeted him with a New York Giants cake here in New York,  it probably wouldn't be such a good idea!  Cheesy Wait! There's an argument for regional bishops the average Joe or Jane can relate to! Wink Wink
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« Reply #97 on: February 05, 2014, 07:28:10 PM »

Do we think God is impressed with all our self importance, or that we need to look to this to find his Kingdom.
Just a thought IMHO.
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« Reply #98 on: February 05, 2014, 07:46:37 PM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  

Carl, I can't speak for the Ukrainians, but, truth be told, the new parishes established through the efforts of the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of thrice blessed memory, are rather indistinguishable from those established by the OCA. A few relocated families from the older parishes, young American born and educated clergy and an outreach to converts. The formula is rather straightforward. It was an easier thing for both the ACROD and the OCA to establish relatively non ethnic parishes for alone among the various North American jurisdictions, they were never bound to ethnic bishops in their homelands as the founders of each were neither ethnic Russians nor ethnic  Greeks in spite of their ties to each.

We have about half a dozen such parishes in the UOC-USA.  Most don't use the term Ukrainian in the title and have English services.  But I don't think they need to abandon blessing with the chalice or greeting the bishop with bread and salt.  That doesn't contradict being American or having a parish barbecue afterwards.   

I agree with you; I think it is very important a mission follows the tradition of their mother church, deanery or diocese (as the case may be). Unless of course the diocesan bishop says otherwise. In such case, since the entire church will be effected, the diocesan must obtain the Holy Synod's permission. The check-and-balance in such cases would be the bishops that look after the ethnic flocks as well as the Holy Synod. I do not think that a one-size fits all approach would work in the USA or Canada. What I see is a very gradual process (at least decades long) where the number of covert parishes will greatly outnumber the ethnic ones. The sort of small "t" traditions that will emerge is anyone's guess. Just in South Carolina, I can envision Lowcountry parishes having shrimp and grits or Beaufort stew for their community outreach events, while other areas of the state would perhaps favor soul food, pork barbecue, and other Carolinian delights. May be the bishop will be greeted with salt and corn bread, no? 

No quarrel here.  But I got a chuckle out of the typo which left the n out of convert parishes!!!!
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« Reply #99 on: February 05, 2014, 08:19:49 PM »

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I'm of the view that we need our own version of Bishop Fulton Sheen and EWTN.  Something faithful and not flashy for people to stumble across.  If AFR was able to get some radio stations that could work too.  


Yes, I think that is a very very very good idea.

Something very strange is that in the most recent edition of the Melkite Greek Catholic Magazine "Sophia" (one of those in communion with Rome, byzantine rite church) one of their deacons, Elias Bailey from Worcester, Massachusett writes an article about how spectacular Ancient Faith Radio is and how all Melkites ought to listen to it, even though it is Orthodox. This is quite a statement, it seems a bit odd on the one hand for the Eastern/Latin Roman Catholics to encourage listening to it. Either they have become very confused from too much modernism/ecumenism or they trust that catholics will listen to it and not leave them. I suspect he likes it a bit more than EWTN as well...

The more people hear ancient faith radio, the more the orthodox church will find herself with people considering converting to her and or realizing she exists at all.
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« Reply #100 on: February 05, 2014, 09:11:14 PM »

Something very strange is that in the most recent edition of the Melkite Greek Catholic Magazine "Sophia" (one of those in communion with Rome, byzantine rite church) one of their deacons, Elias Bailey from Worcester, Massachusett writes an article about how spectacular Ancient Faith Radio is and how all Melkites ought to listen to it, even though it is Orthodox. This is quite a statement, it seems a bit odd on the one hand for the Eastern/Latin Roman Catholics to encourage listening to it. Either they have become very confused from too much modernism/ecumenism or they trust that catholics will listen to it and not leave them. I suspect he likes it a bit more than EWTN as well...

I'm afraid I don't see why this is surprising. EWTN and most other Catholic media are specifically Latin resources. Orthodoxy at least has the same theology/spirituality as Melkites, so it's not uncommon to see Eastern Catholics utilizing most things Orthodox-related. Especially Melkites, who seem to make more of an effort than some to retain their Byzantine identity and resist Latinization (from within and without). A number of Eastern Catholic > Orthodox converts around here have commented on the disparity of truly Eastern Catholic material compared to Latin Catholic.

Apart from how the Pope is viewed, I don't know anything a Melkite could disagree with on AFR without being Latinized. And even with the Papacy, many Melkites seem to take a more Orthodox approach that either wouldn't disagree at all, or wouldn't disagree too much. Remarriage maybe something they'd take issue with, as I understand it the Vatican in the 19th-20th centuries brought Eastern Catholics more into line with Latin views on the subject.

Further, I have no idea how our material could be viewed with suspicion of ecumenism or indifferentism if used - even by a Latin. For one, according to Vatican II, we are true Churches, not mere Ecclesial Communities.
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« Reply #101 on: February 05, 2014, 09:30:41 PM »

Quote
I'm of the view that we need our own version of Bishop Fulton Sheen and EWTN.  Something faithful and not flashy for people to stumble across.  If AFR was able to get some radio stations that could work too.  


Yes, I think that is a very very very good idea.


How would such an effort get started?  Who would do it?  I'd donate something to such an effort.  AFR is fantastic but you have to be looking for it, in a way.  Being on "regular" radio or TV across the country means that people can just "stumble across" the message who might be inclined to pursue Orthodox Christianity (I prefer this term because that's really what it is) but have no way of knowing that beforehand -- people who aren't even "religious types."  I could see it being a mix of talk/discussion programs, teaching programs, praying of the hours or certain prayers at various times, devotional specials related to the lives of saints or feasts, etc.  It would also be really cool to be able to broadcast various patriarchal liturgies and such on important occasions, as well as perhaps a weekly Sunday liturgy for shut-ins -- all of that kind of thing.  It would make Orthodox Christianity more of a presence on the national scene.
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« Reply #102 on: February 06, 2014, 01:54:24 AM »

Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) did not have a Patriarchate, but an autocephalous Church headed by a metropolitan. The canonical territory was the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary.
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« Reply #103 on: February 06, 2014, 09:47:31 AM »

Ersala raises a point, which is that the power of collective community memory is real and has to be taken to heart by those who want theories and even"canons" to neatly resolve any issue. The reality "on the ground" makes such an approach doomed from the inception if any solution to the many nationality issues vexing the Church in her quest for "canonical regularity" here in America.



The power of collective community memory and self-identity are indeed real and must be respected if one is to go forward. That is the reason for the presence of the Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian dioceses in the OCA. This model can be applied successfully in a future autocephalous church. The real problem to unity is a mindset that values ethnic communities' preservation at the expense of pursuing the unchurched and the heterodox. Would it be a problem for the GOA, and the ethnocentric jurisdictions under Constantinople, to tithe to the national church and to start missions locally that are plain vanilla American? Probably. The same goes for ROCOR, Bulgarians under Sofia, Serbians, Romanians under Bucharest, and may be even for the Antiochians (included only because of the developments in the Middle East). I think eventually it boils down to choosing between two seemingly incompatible  goals.  

Carl, I can't speak for the Ukrainians, but, truth be told, the new parishes established through the efforts of the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of thrice blessed memory, are rather indistinguishable from those established by the OCA. A few relocated families from the older parishes, young American born and educated clergy and an outreach to converts. The formula is rather straightforward. It was an easier thing for both the ACROD and the OCA to establish relatively non ethnic parishes for alone among the various North American jurisdictions, they were never bound to ethnic bishops in their homelands as the founders of each were neither ethnic Russians nor ethnic  Greeks in spite of their ties to each.

We have about half a dozen such parishes in the UOC-USA.  Most don't use the term Ukrainian in the title and have English services.  But I don't think they need to abandon blessing with the chalice or greeting the bishop with bread and salt.  That doesn't contradict being American or having a parish barbecue afterwards.   

I agree with you; I think it is very important a mission follows the tradition of their mother church, deanery or diocese (as the case may be). Unless of course the diocesan bishop says otherwise. In such case, since the entire church will be effected, the diocesan must obtain the Holy Synod's permission. The check-and-balance in such cases would be the bishops that look after the ethnic flocks as well as the Holy Synod. I do not think that a one-size fits all approach would work in the USA or Canada. What I see is a very gradual process (at least decades long) where the number of covert parishes will greatly outnumber the ethnic ones. The sort of small "t" traditions that will emerge is anyone's guess. Just in South Carolina, I can envision Lowcountry parishes having shrimp and grits or Beaufort stew for their community outreach events, while other areas of the state would perhaps favor soul food, pork barbecue, and other Carolinian delights. May be the bishop will be greeted with salt and corn bread, no? 
That's why I like the system of ethnic Dioceses that the OCA has, and would prefer it be adopted in a united Church in North America.  I wish that the OCA (back then in the '30's) kept its Carpatho-Russian Mission(>diocese), rather than having CR/"American" being the default outside of the ethnic dioceses.
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« Reply #104 on: February 06, 2014, 09:49:49 AM »

Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) did not have a Patriarchate, but an autocephalous Church headed by a metropolitan. The canonical territory was the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary.
Yes.  Btw, during WWI or thereabouts, it had an overseas mission in the US which lasted in some form until the '70's at least.  Some might still be around, or were absorbed in the Ukrainian jurisdictions (Bukowina was the second Ukrainian Orthodox Church, after Kiev).
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 09:56:58 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #105 on: February 06, 2014, 11:03:53 AM »

Quote
I'm of the view that we need our own version of Bishop Fulton Sheen and EWTN.  Something faithful and not flashy for people to stumble across.  If AFR was able to get some radio stations that could work too.  


Yes, I think that is a very very very good idea.


How would such an effort get started?  Who would do it?  I'd donate something to such an effort.  AFR is fantastic but you have to be looking for it, in a way.  Being on "regular" radio or TV across the country means that people can just "stumble across" the message who might be inclined to pursue Orthodox Christianity (I prefer this term because that's really what it is) but have no way of knowing that beforehand -- people who aren't even "religious types."  I could see it being a mix of talk/discussion programs, teaching programs, praying of the hours or certain prayers at various times, devotional specials related to the lives of saints or feasts, etc.  It would also be really cool to be able to broadcast various patriarchal liturgies and such on important occasions, as well as perhaps a weekly Sunday liturgy for shut-ins -- all of that kind of thing.  It would make Orthodox Christianity more of a presence on the national scene.

We already have "Coffee With Sister Vassa"  Smiley
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« Reply #106 on: February 06, 2014, 01:07:15 PM »

I'll refrain for the moment from questioning the accuracy of the source which was "credible" enought to attribute to Chernowitz the status of a patriarchate.
Btw, you can check Srpska Crkva, Sarajevo: 1920, n. 5, pp. 193, 194.

I think I can guess the answer, but I found this piece of information (Not sure of the validity) "In the autumn of 1966, the Macedonian Orthodox Church formally petitioned the Serbian Patriarchate for autocephalous status. But when it met in May 1967, the Serbian episcopate rejected this request."
http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=52&pagetypeID=9&sitecode=US&pageno=1

Is there Orthodox Church record of this including reasoning? Or does it even matter?
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