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Orthodoc
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« on: April 09, 2005, 10:44:07 AM »

Before reading this one must remember that Archbishop Vsevolod is the same bishop that was responsible for running to the EP before the Ligioner meeting had ended claiming the Orthodox in America were setting up an autocephalous church behind his back.  We all remember the reactions from the EP which set back Orthodox unity here in the U.S. back at least 30 years are more.

This archbishop has been known to teach at the UGC seminary in Ukraine and obviously has no problem dealing with a deposed and self proclaimed Patriarch for the sake of Ukrainian unity while he snubs his nose at Orthodox unity in America.

Other than Ligioner, his only other claim to fame is that he is the only Orthodox bishop that graduated from Yeshiva Academy!

========

 2005.04.06 RUSSIAN CHURCH: Perplexity in Moscow over Constantinople's
Canonical Claims to Ukraine
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
DEPARTMENT FOR EXTERNAL CHURCH RELATIONS
Office of Communication

Press-release, 06.04.2005
<http://www.mospat.ru/text/e_news/id/8954.html>http://www.mospat.ru/text/e_news/id/8954.html
Church news
Perplexity in Moscow over Constantinople's Canonical Claims to Ukraine
During his meeting with Ukrainian President Victor Yuschenko on March 26,
Archbishop Vsevolod (Maidansky) of Skopelos, Cicago-based representative of
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Patriarchate of Constantinople),
declared Constantinople's canonical claims to Ukraine. His statement was
distributed by the Religious Information Service of Ukraine and then
published at the official website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the
USA. This statement has provoked serious perplexity in the Russian Orthodox
Church.
The statement reads, 'The position of the Mother Church, the Patriarchate
of Constantinople, is that her daughter - the Moscow Patriarchate -
consists of that territory which it encompassed to the year 1686. The
subjugation of the Kyivan Metropolia to the Moscow Patriarchate was
concluded by Patriarch Dionysios without the agreement or ratification of
the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Great Church of Christ'.
Commenting the mass media reports, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, the Moscow
Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Secretary for
Inter-Orthodox Relations, noted in his interview to Tserkovny vestnik that
on the face of it the text raised serious doubts if the Ukrainian
journalists conveyed Archbishop Vsevolod's statement correctly.
'Archbishop Vsevolod of Skopelos participated in the negotiations on the
Ukrainian problems on several occasions and never challenged the validity
and canonicity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a self-governed
part of the Moscow Patriarchate', Father Nikolay stressed.
'I also know that during his visit to Ukraine Archbishop Vsevolod
considered it his primary duty to pay a visit to His Beatitude Metropolitan
Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine. However, the fact of the official
publication by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA leaves no room for
doubt. Besides, we have learnt from the press release issued in the USA
that Archbishop Vsevolod had official meetings with the former Metropolitan
Philaret of Kiev, who was excommunicated from the Orthodox Church, and with
a representative of the so-called 'Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox
Church'. Moreover, the Primate of the canonical and universally recognized
Ukrainian Orthodox Church was ranked on a par with a member of an
uncanonical schismatic group and an anathemized person. It appears to mean
that for Archbishop Vsevolod there is no substantial difference between
them. There is an impression that His Eminence is now guided by a new
approach, rather then the conception that was worked out by previous
consultations between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow
concerning a settlement of the Ukrainian church problem. I do not know how
it is possible to combine this new approach with the statement Archbishop
Vsevolod made during his meeting with Metropolitan Vladimir that the
Patriarchate of Constantinople stands invariably for settling the problem
of schism on the basis of church canons'.
Speaking about the published statement by Archbishop Vsevolod, Father
Nikolay pointed out that similar statements were already voiced in the past
and represented nothing new or peculiar. 'Ukrainian schismatics, in their
attempts to sow discord between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and
Moscow, alleged also before that the Orthodox Church of Constantinople
considers Ukraine to be its canonical territory. To put an end to the
misunderstandings the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople
issued on August 8, 2000, an official statement describing these
allegations as 'completely erroneous' and the publications reproducing them
as 'based on incorrect information'. At that time the Patriarchate of
Constantinople expressed regret that the attempts to spread such rumors
'not only cause division but also conflict between Christians and they
misrepresent and distort the virtuous intentions of those who have
sacrificed and labored for the restoration of the unity of Christians''.

Archpriest Nikolay Balashov reminded the readers that Patriarch
Bartholomaios of Constantinople, during his visit to the Russian Orthodox
Church in 1993, stated officially that 'the Ecumenical Patriarchate
recognizes only one canonical Metropolitan of Kiev - His Eminence Vladimir,
Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine'. 'That is why', emphasized Father
Nikolay, 'it is so difficult for us to believe that the statement
Archbishop Vsevolod made in Kiev really reflects the official position of
the Patriarchate of Constantinople', adding that an appropriate inquiry has
already been sent to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
'From the historical point of view', said the DECR Secretary, 'the
published statement causes no less amazement. The Decree of His Holiness
Patriarch Dionysios of Constantinople was signed by all the Holy Synod
members including the Metropolitans of Chalcedon, Nikodemia, Lycia,
Thessaloniki and others - altogether 20 hierarchs. Besides, this decision
was approved by His Holiness Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem, who also
issued a confirming decree. Moreover, in his special official letter to the
bishops and all the Orthodox living in Poland, Patriarch Dositheos told
them to obey the Moscow-appointed Metropolitan Gedeon of Kiev, 'who is
accepted and recognized by all the patriarchs as a true and authentic
metropolitan'.
The documents confirming this are kept with care at the Russian State
Archives of Ancient Acts and well known to the scholarly community from
studies by famous Russian historian N. F. Kapterev published in the late
19th - early 20th century. These facts have never been challenged by other
researchers, even those with no special liking for Moscow. For instance,
Prof. I. I. Ogiyenko, a well-known Ukrainian historian (later the head of
the unrecognized 'Autocephalous Ukrainian Church in Canada'), in his study
'Ukrainska Tserkva: Narisi z istorii Ukrainskoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi',
confirms that the envoys from Moscow and Kiev came back home with 'all the
necessary acts signed by the whole council'.
Archpriest Nikolay Balashov said on conclusion, 'It is not clear what
purpose is pursued by this attempt to rewrite the historical documents
which have not been challenged by anybody for three centuries and which are
recognized by all the Local Orthodox Churches. Is it to cast a shadow on
the previous Primates of the Churches of Constantinople and Jerusalem and
their sacred thrones so that the traditional respect that the Slavic
faithful have for them may be belittled?'
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
DEPARTMENT FOR EXTERNAL CHURCH RELATIONS
Office of Communication
Address: 22, Danilovsky val, St.Danilov monastery, DECR,
113191 Moscow,
Russia

=======

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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2005, 11:23:15 AM »

Bob:

After all these many years, it should not come as any suprise that the religion of the extreme nationalistic fringe in Ukraine is Ukrayinstvo and not Khristianstvo.

Anything associated with Russia is bad and everything else is good, ie Constantinople, Filaret, etc..

Archbishop Vsevelod obviously can't see the short leash the Oecumenical Throne has him on. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2005, 12:57:01 PM »

The canonical argument of Archbishop Vsevolod was valid and accurately laid out the Rights of the Oecumenical Throne on the matter. However, of course, the enacting or exercising of these rights is at the prerogative and discretion of the Oecumenical Throne herself. Moreover, I am confident that whatever decision His All-Holiness and the Patriarchal Synod, by canonical right, reaches on the issue, the decision will be one with the best interests of Orthodoxy in mind and the one that will be in the best interests of the Church as a whole.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 02:46:09 PM »

The canonical argument of Archbishop Vsevolod was valid and accurately laid out the Rights of the Oecumenical Throne on the matter. However, of course, the enacting or exercising of these rights is at the prerogative and discretion of the Oecumenical Throne herself. Moreover, I am confident that whatever decision His All-Holiness and the Patriarchal Synod, by canonical right, reaches on the issue, the decision will be one with the best interests of Orthodoxy in mind and the one that will be in the best interests of the Church as a whole.

GiC,
You seem to be spiritually drunk and deluded in your fantasy of "canonical rights".  I fail to see how you've been any better than the Johnnie Cochran of canon law.
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2005, 02:58:52 PM »

GiC,
You seem to be spiritually drunk and deluded in your fantasy of "canonical rights". I fail to see how you've been any better than the Johnnie Cochran of canon law.

If you find a deficiency or inaccuracy in my arguments and posistions in relation to the Canons and Administration of the Orthodox Church, I would prefer you present your own arguments from our Canonical Tradition, rather than restoring to ad hominem attacks. The simple fact that you, or the MP for that matter, does not like the implications of our Canonical Tradition does not in any way diminish their spiritually binding oecumenical authority.
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2005, 03:04:12 PM »



If you find a deficiency or inaccuracy in my arguments and posistions in relation to the Canons and Administration of the Orthodox Church, I would prefer you present your own arguments from our Canonical Tradition, rather than restoring to ad hominem attacks. The simple fact that you, or the MP for that matter, does not like the implications of our Canonical Tradition does not in any way diminish their spiritually binding oecumenical authority.

No, it's YOUR one-sided, uncharitable, unpastoral, (the list goes on) INTERPRETATION of the Canons that is deficient.
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2005, 03:32:08 PM »

No, it's YOUR one-sided, uncharitable, unpastoral, (the list goes on) INTERPRETATION of the Canons that is deficient. 

Whether or not you are correct in your assesment of greekischristian, you really need to show him why you think so - otherwise it will just continue in a perpetual cycle.  If you're right, show him why you're right.  And if you're wrong, then you will at least show him your perspective and maybe he'll clarify his position.

It's the same thing he was asking for - if you don't like his position (which you obviously don't), then present your own position (and, he asks, with support from the canonical tradition) so that you can dialogue about it - show the interpretations and canons that support your point; quote Fathers, Mothers, and canonical scholars.  If you're right, then saying he's the Johnnie Cochran of canon lawyers isn't going to help; (and, btw: I think we should leave Johnnie's memory to rest a bit considering his recent death).

It seems as if your post exhibits some, um, accumulated frustration with the position he takes regarding interpretation of the canons.  It helps neither one of you to allow it to remain at the current level.  Bring up your arguments, and then the two of you can begin to re-clarify each other's arguments until an agreement, or a mutual understanding, can be reached.

And the reason why I haven't addressed this formally to greekischristian in addition to you is that I know he is going to read this (probably in a few hours) and will understand that I am talking to him as well.

Thanks for putting up with another of my rants.
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2005, 04:11:23 PM »



Whether or not you are correct in your assesment of greekischristian, you really need to show him why you think so - otherwise it will just continue in a perpetual cycle. If you're right, show him why you're right. And if you're wrong, then you will at least show him your perspective and maybe he'll clarify his position.

It's the same thing he was asking for - if you don't like his position (which you obviously don't), then present your own position (and, he asks, with support from the canonical tradition) so that you can dialogue about it - show the interpretations and canons that support your point; quote Fathers, Mothers, and canonical scholars. If you're right, then saying he's the Johnnie Cochran of canon lawyers isn't going to help; (and, btw: I think we should leave Johnnie's memory to rest a bit considering his recent death).

It seems as if your post exhibits some, um, accumulated frustration with the position he takes regarding interpretation of the canons. It helps neither one of you to allow it to remain at the current level. Bring up your arguments, and then the two of you can begin to re-clarify each other's arguments until an agreement, or a mutual understanding, can be reached.

And the reason why I haven't addressed this formally to greekischristian in addition to you is that I know he is going to read this (probably in a few hours) and will understand that I am talking to him as well.

Thanks for putting up with another of my rants.

Your rants are much easier to put up with, as you seem to have a heart.

I think the arguments have been rightfully stated nearing ad infinitum.  This (final) paragraph from the above sums it up best:
Archpriest Nikolay Balashov said on conclusion, 'It is not clear what
purpose is pursued by this attempt to rewrite the historical documents
which have not been challenged by anybody for three centuries and which are
recognized by all the Local Orthodox Churches. Is it to cast a shadow on
the previous Primates of the Churches of Constantinople and Jerusalem and
their sacred thrones so that the traditional respect that the Slavic
faithful have for them may be belittled?'


Again, in GiC's zealousness for 'Canon Law/Order/Right', he seems blinded by some strange loyalty to a Patriarch halfway across the world, that is somewhat of a political prisoner in his own country and pators an ever dwindling flock.  The naivete that it is inconceivable for the EP to NOT be taking many of his positions for political, economical or other selfish reasons is beyond belief.
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2005, 04:51:49 PM »

http://saveouruoc.com/didyouknow.html


DID YOU KNOW? GǪGǪGǪ..Points to Ponder




Did you know that the Moscow Patriarchate is the largest Orthodox Patriarchate in the world?

Did you know that if Ukraine revived its Patriarchate, it would be the largest Orthodox Patriarchate in the world?

Did you know ALL OTHER ethnic orthodox churches found in the "diaspora" are jurisdictionally part of the Mother Church in their respective native countries?

Did you know that the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece is not under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

Did you know that by Turkish law (a Muslim-ruled country), the Patriarch of Constantinople MUST be a Turkish citizen?

Did you know that the Turkish government must approve the selection of the Patriarch of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople?

Did you know that unlike the Catholic Church, with a strong centralized administration, the Orthodox Church is actually a "loose federation of self-governing independent churches?

Did you know that most countries have independent, self-governing Orthodox Autocephalous churches and are experiencing more growth than the ancient Patriarchates? These include Serbia, Romania, Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Estonia, Albania, Cyprus, Poland, Czech Republic & Slovania, Finland, Greece, Egypt. All are independent self-governing churches.

Did you know that Patriarch Bartholomew is a native Turk who served in the Turkish army?

Did you know that the Church of Constantinople (Ecumenical Patriarch) carries no authority over the other Patriarchates or over the other self-governing Churches? It does, however, hold a place of honor, and for this reason its patriarch is called "the first among equals" (we emphasize the word equals). For political reasons, specifically the importance of Constantinople, it was granted the privilege formally bestowing "recognition" on behalf of the other Orthodox Churches. The original five Patriarchates are Antioch, (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq,), Alexandria (all of Africa), Jerusalem (Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Arabia & Mt. Sinai), Constantinople and Rome.
Did you know Patriarchates were originally created to honor the cities where the Church was established by one of the original apostles?


Did you know that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople jurisdiction is limited only to Turkey, the Greek +¬migr+¬ diaspora in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia? Under his direct authority fall only a few ethnic churches: the Albanian Dioces in US, Carpato-Russian Church in the US, a small faction of the Belarussian Church in the US, and now the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.

Did you know that a Greek citizen is forbidden to become the Prime hierarch of the Ecumenical throne?

Did you know that the Holy Synod of Bishops of Constantinople had selected another candidate for Patriarch and the Turkish government disapproved of the selection, "recommending" the now Patriarch Bartholomew for the post.

Did you know that the military-controlled Muslim government has exerted much pressure over the ecumenical Patriarchate, forcibly closing monasteries and even threatened to move the Patriarchates' headquarters from Istanbul?

Did you know that the “Diaspora” was developed in an attempt to shore up the dwindling status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate? In the EP’s own words: “the broader jurisdiction of Constantinople began to gradually diminish when autocephalous status was granted to the local churches”GǪ”To counter balance this great loss, the people who had emigrated to America, Europe and Australia were organized”.

Did you know that the Ecumenical Patriarchate took over jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church in the US only in 1921?

Did you know that the Ecumenical Patriarchate based on the 28th Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451)  extended the EP’s authority to  the “BARBARIAN LANDS” of “the dioceses of Asia, Pontus and Thrace.”

Did you know that SCOBA (Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops) was established in 1960 primarily because of pressure from the rank and file of the Orthodox Church in America to promote the establishment of one unified American Orthodox Church, according to the Orthodox Christian Laity. The plan to consolidate all ethnic churches into one-generic pan-orthodox Church was led by CEOYLA. The UOL and the officers of the UOL have been active members of CEOYLA. The UOC-USA bishops are members of SCOBA.

Did you know that the SCOBA bishops, meeting in Ligonier PA, announced their intent to unite all orthodox churches in America into one non-ethnic pan-orthodox Church in November 1994?

Did you know why Patriarch Bartholomew wanted the UOC-USA under his authority? The Greek press reportedGǪ”Circles in Fanar, the seat of the Patriarch, said the move was a step toward the settlement of the issue of the Diaspora and reinforced the universality of the Patriarchate in Constantinople. The Holy Synod in Fanar assembled yesterday to elect the Ukrainian bishops”.

Did you know that the Ecumenical Patriarchate states clearly that the elections of UOC-USA hierarchs is within the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople? “This spiritual jurisdiction of the Mother Church among Ukrainian and Carpathorussian Orthodox finds expression mainly in the election of hierarchsGǪ(source: Ecumenical Patriarchate) .

Did you know that Bound Brook has admitted that, yes, Patriarch Bartholomew MUST write in the name of the elected hierarch in the diptych or the election is not approved or recognized? 24. 

 Did you know that Patriarch Bartholomew in 1999 found no “suitable” native Estonians as candidates for Metropolitan of the Estonian    Orthodox Church and as such “designated” a non-Estonian candidate to be the new Metropolitan? (Metropolitan Stephanos was born in the Belgian Congo of Cypriot parents).

Did you know that Patriarch Bartholomew in 1996 found no “suitable” native Albanians as candidates for prime hierarchs of the Albanian Autocephalous Church and “designated” Greeks to the post? However, the Albanians proved to be an obstinate bunch and officially rejected the Istanbul Patriarchate’s request to appoint a Greek as head of the Church. The Albanian authorities also supported the Church’s position and did not grant entry visas to the three appointed Greek bishops, stating “that it is the duty of the Albanian government to defend the interests of the Albanian State and the status of the Albanian people and the Albanian Orthodox Autocephalous Church.”

Did you know that the Patriarch of Antioch has expressed the view that Patriarch Bartholomew is trying to consolidate his supreme authority and be the “Pope of the East”?

Did you know that the UOC-USA bishops, as bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate carry the official titles of underwater cities: Antony of Ierapolis, Constantine of Eayaleous and Vsevolod of Scopelos?[/b.

Did you know that the orthodox definition of a titular bishop is: An auxiliary bishop without his own territorial or residential diocese, who is usually assisting a senior bishop with a large jurisdiction (Archbishop or Patriarch). The Episcopal title of a titular bishop is taken from an ancient diocese which once flourished but now exists only in name, and, therefore, a titular bishop does not have his own jurisdiction?

Did you know that according to the Greek-American press, Patriarch Bartholomew’s “coffers were empty” and the ecumenical Patriarchate was cash poor until he made his recent visit to the US (including Bound Brook) but he collected $2.0 million on that trip?

 Did you know that at a meeting of the St. Andrews “hromada” in Bound Brook, NJ, Archbishop Antony stated that UOC-USA “pays nothing” to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople?

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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2005, 05:22:00 PM »

Dear Orthodoc,
I am glad you got all that off of your chest. I, too, am uneasy about the EP's exercising rights to mediate this dispute, especially as I feel he over-stepped badly in Estonia.
But the article you posted, with your initial comments ( and saiient ones at that), shows the the MP is confused at the comments made and that they are counter to what he has been led to believe the EP's postion in the Ukraine to be. You are correct in that the UOC-USA does appear to be anti-MP and I suspect the current issue or tempest is fomented by Archbihops Vsevolod and meant to confuse.

 {From the UOC-USA website}

Editor’s Note: In mid-July 2001 a meeting was held in Zurich, Switzerland concerning the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Delegations from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP), the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine(ROCU) or the “so-called UOC-MP”) and the Moscow Patriarchate participated in what have since been described as fruitful, serious and open discussions. The next meeting of these delegations has been scheduled for 23 October 2001 to give the representatives ample opportunity to meet with their various jurisdictional administrations and prepare for further progress toward church unity in Ukraine and eventually a fully-independent and recognized Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarchate. Following the meeting in Zurich, a Metropolitan Agafangel of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, complained publicly that the Ecumenical Patriarchate treated the representatives of the UAOC and the UOC-KP as equals to the ROCU, rather than as schismatics as the Russian Church treats them. Following is the official response of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Metropolitan Agafangel.

It should be noted by our readership that by directive of the President of the Consistory, this website will no longer refer to any such entity as “The Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate”, since it is a deceiving title. We will simply state the truth and refer to the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”.

 

ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Following the statement of His Eminence Metropolitan Agathangelos of Odessa and Ishmael, which stated that he observed in Zurich “a strictly canonical stance in his communication with the schismatics”, in contrast to the stance of the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which he criticized, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is obliged to make the following clarifications:
 

1. The sacred canons, on the basis of which the Orthodox Church specifies the attitude of her believers towards the schismatics, the heretics, and generally all those fellow-human beings found outside the Church, and especially Hierarchs, are the entirety of the commandments contained in the Holy Scriptures and the sacred ecumenical and local Synods as these have been appropriated in the lives of the Saints and understood by them.
 

2. Hence, it is not right to either to be attached to the letter, which kills (II Cor. 3:6), or to judge on the basis of partial evidence, but to search for the spirit, as this is derived from the entirety of the commandments of God, and be conformed to it.
 

3. The sacred canons should not be taken as legal stipulations, nor should they be understood and interpreted as human laws. Their purpose is the salvation and not the punishment of human beings. The Lord said that he did not come to judge but to save the world (John 12:47). He repeatedly condemned the juridical and legalistic mind-set of the Jews of his time, who misinterpreted the commandment concerning the Sabbath as well as the other commandments. St. Paul the Apostle emphatically charges the Galatians to abstain from the legalistic spirit, writing to them: “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the Law; you have fallen away from grace’ (Gal. 5:4).
 

4. The basic sacred canon that we ought to observe is the imitation of Christ. Our Lord himself said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). The way Christ dealt with and deals with us human beings, follows as much from his earthly life as from whatever he himself revealed to all, or only to his Disciples, or to his Saints, who transmitted these to us.

 

5. If we wish to set out all the relevant commandment of Christ and all his acts that ought to be imitated, we would have to write entire volumes (cf. John 21:25). Nevertheless, we need briefly to point o ut that the spirit of Christ is not similar to the spirit of the world, but is anti-legalistic and completely opposite to it.

      The Disciples of Christ, having, before Pentecost, the spirit of the world, determined that they had to ask for fire to come down from heaven to burn those who did not receive Him. The Lord, however, told them, that they did not know which spirit they ought to bear, because he did not want to lose but to save the souls of human beings (Luke 9:45-50).

      The Lord, passing through Jericho, said to the chief tax collector, certainly burdened with a multitude of injustices, that he must be hosted in his house (Luke 19:6), thus provoking the moaning of the lawful citizens.

      The master of the vineyard, as a type of Christ, paid a full wage to the laborer who worked for only one hour, provoking the moaning of the laborers who worked all day long and received the equal amount (Matth. 20:11).

      Christ, the Good Shepherd, left the ninety-nine sheep that surely remained in the flock and searched for the one that was lost (Matth. 18:12).

      The same Christ also came to us “while we were yet sinners” and “died for us” (Rom. 5:Cool. He did not first wait for our repentance. All the Holy Apostles and Missionaries throughout the centuries turn to unbelievers and sinners and teach them without waiting for them first to come to the Church.

      These few examples amply indicate that the spirit of Christ is a spirit of love, grace, painstaking searching (to the point of crucifixion) and restoration of deceived man, and not a spirit of punishment and rejection of the sinner, who fell into the hands of spiritual robbers and lost everything good that was in him. Correspondingly, God’s justice, molded by love, consists not in recompense of legal retribution or punishment for the transgressors of his Law, but in their restoration to the just condition that existed before their transgression without paying back any debts, because Christ, the lover of mankind, assumed and abolished them (cf. Col. 2:14.

6. It was with this non-transactional and non-legalistic spirit of Christ that the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church lived and understood the sacred canons.

Thus, the abbot Isaac the Syrian says, “do not call God just, because his justice is not known by your deeds GǪ his Son revealed to us that, ‘He is good and kind’ (cf Luke 6:35), GǪ and instead of just recompense, he repays them with the resurrection” (Oration VII).

      St. John of Sinai says in his Ladder: “ On the one hand, the weak should not eat with heretics, as it has been noted in the canons; but on the other hand, the strong in the Lord, if they are faithfully prompted by unbelievers and wish to proceed, let them proceed for the glory of the Lord” (Oration to the Shepherds, par. 65) Therefore, the sacred canon, which stipulates that Christians should avoid contacts and meals with heretics, does not refer to those strong in faith that are not at risk by such encounters.

      In addition, the same John, interpreting the apostolic commandment which stipulates that we should abandon the unconvinced heretics after a second attempt (Titus 3:10), makes the distinction between those who fight against us with evil intent an devil convictions, to whom he applies this apostolic commandment, and hose who “wish to learn the truth”. Towards the latter, he says, we should never be discouraged in doing good nor abandon such attempts (Oration 26, 2, 11). But, even towards the unrepentant heretics, the Holy Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Synod, who condemned Nestorius, taught us to show a very compassionate and noble attitude, rather than a harsh one, and they even certified that they proceeded to the sad decision against him (Nestorius), having shed many tears” (Proceedings, Vol. 1, Venice 1761).

Indeed, both, St. Gregory the Theologian, through his saying, “let us be defeated so that we may win” (Eirenikos, 2, 16), and St. Nicholas Cabasilas, through his saying, “not thinking only of himself and of what pertains to him GǪ but wishing that the others too may be crowned in victory “ (On the life of Christ, PG 150: 704BC), offer us the superior dimension of spiritual victory. This dimension consists in yielding to our partner in dialogue the sense of victory, so that his case too may fulfill the Lord’s commandment to his Apostles and their successors, that they be last in all things and servants of all and thereby become first in Christ, although they may appear to those who judge by appearances that they are last and defeated.

      As regards one’s manner of expression, St. John Chrysostom writes characteristically: “indeed, it is no small wonder, that one should not wish to place another under someone else’s assault” (PG 48:667). In other words, lest on account of excessive zeal against a heretic or schismatic, one is conquered by the evil spirit that causes disputes and fanaticism (I Cor. 3:3 and Gal. 5: 19-20).

      Similarly, Anastasios of Antioch, writing to the heretic Nestorius and advising him to repent and this avoid condemnation, first uses an extremely noble manner of address: “To my Master, Most beloved of God and Most Holy Bishop Nestorius”. Then secondly, he also uses an equally noble, meek and irenic manner of expression, as opposed to a harsh one, in writing: “As for me, I urge your piety not towards a slandered transposition of words nor towards an immature opposition”. In other words, I do not advise you with an impermissible retreat, or with a youngster’s combativeness’ (Proceedings of the Ecumenical synods, Venice 1761, repr. Thessalonike, 1981, cis. 454b, 549d).

7. Given all the above, the “harsh” stance vis-+á-vis those who are in schism with the canonical Church, but who seek restoration of communion with Her, which His Eminence, Metropolitan Agathangelos of Odessa regards as warranted and stipulated by the sacred canons, is anti-evangelical and anti-canonical, since it opposes the weightier matters of the law, namely, sound judgment (discernment) and mercy, love and the stance of welcoming the one who returns with love and good disposition, which alone offer the hope of success in our good purpose.

      It should be noted, that no liturgical con-celebration took place, since ecclesiastical communion is not yet restored.

      It should also be noted that the basic request of those in schism is based upon the declaration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as Autocephalous, namely in the application of the solution that has been accepted in relation to all the rest of the Autocephalous Churches (of Russia, Georgia, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Albania, Czechoslovakia, etc.), and as such it cannot be initially regarded as anti-canonical

      Given these data, the noble stance observed in Zurich by the Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate towards all the participants in the discussions was not in the least anti-canonical.

 At the Patriarchate, on July 28th, 2001

From the Chief-Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod

« Last Edit: April 10, 2005, 06:40:42 AM by +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2005, 05:36:01 PM »

The canonical argument of Archbishop Vsevolod was valid and accurately laid out the Rights of the Oecumenical Throne on the matter.

Huh!   His Eminences's argument was a tissue of falsehoods.  Quite shameful really.

In addtion to the information which Othodoc has posted of the Moscow response...

"....From 988 to 1686 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was under the canonical
jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.  The Constantinople
Patriarchate in 1686 renounced its right to the Ukrainian Church. The
Ukrainian Church throughout its ancient life (988-1686) was a canonical
(canon 28, Fifth Ecumenical Council) jurisdiction of the Constantinople
Patriarchate, but the latter officially renounced it in May of 1686 and gave
all authority to the Patriarch of Moscow. Although this transference took
place by outright simony and government coercion, from 1686 to 1924 the
Constantinople Patriarchs, unfortunately, never officially voiced their
protest against the unlawful seizure of the Ukrainian Church by Moscow; they
always continued their good, sisterly relations with the Moscow Church, and
for this reason they lost their canonical right to the Ukrainian Church by
Moscow, for the thirty-year term of ecclesiastical prescription previously
established by the Canons for the purpose of protest (Canon 17 of the Fourth
and the Canon 25 of the sixth Ecumenical Council) had long passed.  (It is
true that in 1687 the Constantinople Patriarchate cancelled the decree of
1686 but did not make the appropriate official protest to Moscow).

"Further, on September 23 1723, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Jeremias,
together with the Patriarch of Antioch by their official Tomas
(proclamation), confirmed the so-called synodal system of the Russian
Church, of which the Ukrainian Church was a part, as they well knew. By this
act, Constantinople openly renounced its rights to the Ukrainian Church for
the second time.  After all, Canon 28 itself, of the Fourth Ecumenical
Council, upon which the subordination of the Ukrainian Church to the
Patriarchate of Constantinople was based, is doubtful and unclear, and was
not a universal rule, not being generally accepted by all the Churches of
the time. For this very reason the Church of Moscow in 1589 separated from
the Church of Constantinople and became autocephalous, electing its own
Patriarch."








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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2005, 05:41:55 PM »

Irish Hermit scores for the Russkies!
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2005, 06:57:36 PM »

This thread is getting interesting....I think I'll kick back with some popcorn and watch this one play out  Grin
Also, aren't we just as bad as the protestants when we can't even agree who has authority in the Church? When will the Orthodox church work out it's problems when it comes to various Patriarch's squabling over these matters. I sometimes wish we could have a little more centralization as the Roman Catholics do because down the road we could see some possible schisms if we don't get this figured out. 
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2005, 01:09:58 AM »

Irish Hermit scores for the Russkies!

...and you score one for unity for your ealier post!  It's nice to see that the EP has done something right at least.
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2005, 03:27:42 PM »

"....From 988 to 1686 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was under the canonical
jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Constantinople
Patriarchate in 1686 renounced its right to the Ukrainian Church. The
Ukrainian Church throughout its ancient life (988-1686) was a canonical
(canon 28, Fifth Ecumenical Council) jurisdiction of the Constantinople
Patriarchate, but the latter officially renounced it in May of 1686 and gave
all authority to the Patriarch of Moscow. Although this transference took
place by outright simony and government coercion, from 1686 to 1924 the
Constantinople Patriarchs, unfortunately, never officially voiced their
protest against the unlawful seizure of the Ukrainian Church by Moscow; they
always continued their good, sisterly relations with the Moscow Church, and
for this reason they lost their canonical right to the Ukrainian Church by
Moscow, for the thirty-year term of ecclesiastical prescription previously
established by the Canons for the purpose of protest (Canon 17 of the Fourth
and the Canon 25 of the sixth Ecumenical Council) had long passed. (It is
true that in 1687 the Constantinople Patriarchate cancelled the decree of
1686 but did not make the appropriate official protest to Moscow).

"Further, on September 23 1723, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Jeremias,
together with the Patriarch of Antioch by their official Tomas
(proclamation), confirmed the so-called synodal system of the Russian
Church, of which the Ukrainian Church was a part, as they well knew. By this
act, Constantinople openly renounced its rights to the Ukrainian Church for
the second time. After all, Canon 28 itself, of the Fourth Ecumenical
Council, upon which the subordination of the Ukrainian Church to the
Patriarchate of Constantinople was based, is doubtful and unclear, and was
not a universal rule, not being generally accepted by all the Churches of
the time. For this very reason the Church of Moscow in 1589 separated from
the Church of Constantinople and became autocephalous, electing its own
Patriarch."

The rights of the Throne of Constantinople were clearly promulgated by the fourth Oecumenical Synod, the papacy was not given the option of a line-item veto -- the two options they had were to accept the Synod in its entirety or fall under her anathemas; the other Patriarchates accepted the Synod as a whole without reservation, moreover the Rights granted by Chalcedon, and more, have been exercised by the Oecumenical Throne, and have been accepted by the other three Eastern Patriarchates ever since, ever since. Thus the validity of the 28th Canon of Chalcedon is hardly up for dispute; as a denial of the Canon is to be reagarded as a denial of the Authority of the Synod.

Concerning Canon 17 of the Fourth Oecumenical Synod, it specifically refers to the relatively minor issue of which Bishopric administers Rural Parishes, it does not even apply to disputes over Urban Parishes, muchless to the Episcopal Sees themselves. The fact that this canon was never brought up in arguments between Old and New Rome over territorial issues, nor at the Synod in Trullo when discussing Nea Justinopolis, demonstrates that not only was this canon worded to only apply in a limited scope, but that it was never forseen as extending to disputes over Episcopal Sees.

Moreover, the so-called confirmations of the authority of the MP over Ukraine are dubious at best, the initial consent for the MP to manage Ukraine was given under duress, and as you wrote, revoked a year later; whether or not there was an official protest was irrelevant, the Patriarchal synod made their decision and published their decrees. Concerning the confirmation of the Synodal structure of the Church of Russia, Ukraine was not even an issue that was addressed, no statement was made either way, nor was one intended to be made, on the issue; the purpose of the said synod was not to correct or address every problem in the Church of Russia at that time but to address the issue of the Synodal structure.

Finally, even if the Patriarchal Synod did give the MP authority over Ukraine, this authority only exists as long as the Patriarchal Synod does not revoke the past decision. We do not have infallible or unalterable Synods, and any future synod of Equal or Greater Authority has the right to alter or revoke the decisions of past synods. This is why earlier I was speaking of the difficulity of the concept of autocephaly without an Oecumenical Synod. Ultimately, as these lands in question were given to the Patriarchate of Constantinople by an Oecumenical Synod, only an Oecumenical Synod can take it away; Patriarchal Synods may have the authority to establish 'autocephalous' Churches, allowing them to rule themselves, but they are ultimatley 'autocephalous' Churches under Constantinople rather than along side her (as is the case with Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Cyprus, and traditionally Rome); for Constantinople does have the authority to invoke her historical rights to these lands as granted to her by the Fourth Oecumenical Synod if she deems it necessary to do so. However, with that said, Constantinople allows these lands to govern themselves, without exercising her right to interfere, because she views it as consonant with the pastoral needs of the Church in that reigon; despite what many here will claim, the approach that has been taken by Constantinople for the last 500 years demonstrates her Pastoral and Motherly concern for these Churches, for while she is invested with great authority, it is generally only used for the edification of the Church.
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2005, 09:08:51 PM »

Here's a question for you: if (God forbid) the Patriarchate of Constantinople were to cease to exist, what would that do to the canonical structure of the Church? Would the "barbarian lands" revert to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, or would they be cut loose to go their own way?
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2005, 09:52:07 PM »

Here's a question for you: if (God forbid) the Patriarchate of Constantinople were to cease to exist, what would that do to the canonical structure of the Church? Would the "barbarian lands" revert to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, or would they be cut loose to go their own way?

A Patriarchate ceasing to Exist was not forseen in the Oecumenical Synods so not directly dealt with. However, even if the current Patriarchate were to disappear, some other Patriarchate (or Archbishopric) would still need to have territoral Jurisdiction over Constantinople, whoever it was that had territorial Jurisdiction over the City (how this would be determined may cause some problems in the Church, and would probably require an oecumenical synod) would have the Rights of the Oecumenical Throne; they would essentially become the Patriarch of Constantinople. (Just as the Patriarch of Constantinople has traditionally been considered the successor of St. John for the reason that Ephesus is under the Oecumenical Throne.)
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2005, 11:03:10 PM »

What if Constantinople ceased to exist (because of a nuclear war, say)?
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2005, 12:12:11 AM »

There are members of the Patriarchal Synod around the World to choose a new Patriarch. If the entirety of the Patriarchate were destroyed, with no bishops of the Oecumenical Throne remaining in the World, the rights and privileges of Constantinople would fall to whatever Patriarchate gained control over that City (or where the City used to be -- provided there are any bishops left in the world).
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2011, 03:09:57 PM »

There are members of the Patriarchal Synod around the World to choose a new Patriarch. If the entirety of the Patriarchate were destroyed, with no bishops of the Oecumenical Throne remaining in the World, the rights and privileges of Constantinople would fall to whatever Patriarchate gained control over that City (or where the City used to be -- provided there are any bishops left in the world).
LOL. I was just pointing out to an Ultramontanist that there was no such thing as an Andrean primacy.
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