Then why the complaint of Patriarch Sergius taking over in 1926? Was the state of the Church so much better in 1924 than 1926? In less than two years the decline from grace-filled to graceless?I am not donatist, I am not Old Calendarist, and I am not ROCOR advocate... Problem is not grace, but lack of respect to legitimate authority in Church. Something OCA was breaching.
LOL. No different than ROCOR then, except that Met. Platon, being a bishop in his diocese, had a canonical basis for his dispute and ROCOR did not.
If it was legitimate authority of the Supreme Church Administration in 1924, it most certainly was legitimate authority of the Supreme Church Administration in 1970. The converse, however is not true.
On 12 May 1922, even before the Patriarch was entirely deprived of freedom, under circumstances which have yet to be fully explained, Patriarch's Tikhon's consent to a temporary transfer of the supreme administration of the Church to another hierarch was wrested from him. On that day, a group of clergymen, consisting of Archpriest Vvedensky, the priests Krasnitsky and Kalinovsky, and the precentor Stadnik, presented themselves to the Patriarch at the Metochion of the Holy Trinity Lavra and had an lengthy discussion with him. The gist of the discussion was a demand that Patriarch Tikhon convoke a Local Council, the purpose of which was supposedly to place the Church in good order, and that Patriarch divorce himself entirely from the administration of the Church until the Council reached a decision. As a moral torture intended to "influence" the decision of the Patriarch, the following device was used by this group of "revolutionary clergy": the Patriarch was shown that after the just concluded trial conducted by the Moscow Provinical Military Tribunal (in a case involving opposition to the confiscation of church valuables), eleven men were sentenced to death.http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/articles/pattikhontrial.html
If the Patriarch agreed to the suggestion that he renounce his authority, these eleven men would not be executed. After this torturous conversation, the following was published in the News of the VTsIK: "The group of clergymen demanded of Patriarch Tikhon that he convoke a Local Council to set the Church in good order, and that he divorce himself completely from the administration of the Church. As a result of this conversation, after some hesitation, the Patriarch signed the abdication, transferring his authority to one of the senior hierarchs until the Local Council could be called."
The eleven men who received the death sentence were not executed. The Patriarch appointed the 70-year old Metropolitan Agafangel as his locum tenens. But the Soviet regime refused to allow Metropolitan Agafangel to leave Yaroslavl', and he was subsequently arrested. Not long before the arrest of Metropolitan Agafangel, a delegation from the "Living Church" went to him, promising their support if he would recognize the "Living Church" and participate in its work. The Metropolitan refused and soon after was arrested.
Not satisfied with all they had succeeded in accomplishing as a result of the imprisonment of the Patriarch, early in May of 1923 the Soviet regime convoked a pseudo-Church Council consisting of representatives of the clergy and laity obedient to it. With the help of devices unsurpassed for their cynicism, all unsatisfactory elements at the "elections" at the "Council" were excluded. One of the "resolutions" of this "Council" was the deposition of the Patriarch, merely to enable the Soviet regime to condemn the Head of the Church as a simple layman. With great sorrow and holy indignation one should note that the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople expressed his solidarity with the Soviet regime regarding the question of the condemnation of Patriarch Tikhon. At the same time, on the part of the Western world, in the person of a whole series of prominent social and political figures in Europe, serious attention was shown the trial and fate of Patriarch Tikhon--attention which did not fail to have an influence on the Soviet regime (see the roster and account of all the Appeals to the Soviet Government lodged by various governments, in The Black Book of A. A. Valentinov [Paris, 1925]).
The proposed trial of the Patriarch, of which all the Soviet newspapers wrote at length, many times, and maliciously, with advance agitation for the death sentence, did not take place. The Soviet regime used the Patriarch's imprisonment to organize a new ecclesiastical authority, the so-called "Living" or "Renovationist" church, which, with the help of propaganda, terror and violence, began to spread throughout the whole country, all the while cruelly and pitilessly persecuting the so-called Tikhonites, i.e. those who remained faithful to His Holiness, Patriarch Tikhon.
Reading the newspapers in prison, His Holiness, Patriarch Tikhon became increasingly horrified with each passing day, seeing how the "Living Churchmen" and "Renovationists" were taking into their own hands control of all the churches and the entire supreme ecclesiastical authority in Russia. With great sorrow one should not that even prominent hierarchs (e.g., Metropolitan Sergy [Stragorodsky] of Nizhegorod, who at one time had embraced Renovationism, but later repented), were tempted and fell during the time of persecutions.
At that time, the moral tortures to which the Patriarch was subjected in prison were intensified. Before His Holiness was dangled the possibility of disbanding the entire "Red Church" and the easing of the indescribable sufferings of the true believers, if only he would compromise with the atheist regime. The problem that confronted him was: under what conditions is the legalization of the Orthodox Church under a godless and atheistic government possible?
The Patriarch had to use his own prestige and fame as a martyr to sacrifice, if required, all possibilities for the good of the Church, without doing anything to compromise the prestige of the Orthodox Church itself, Christian morality in general, or the mood of the people and clergy of the Church, and without violating the canons of the Church. To this end, in addition to issuing Epistles and Statements acceptable to the Soviet regime, Patriarch Tikhon duly attempted to mollify it by introducing the New Calendar (after this had been done by the Ecumenical Church of Constantinople), to establish around him a Supreme Ecclesiastical Administration which included an agent (a certain archpriest) of the Bolsheviks, and to propose the commemoration of the authorities during the divine services.
But when the hierarchy, clergy and people loyal to the Patriarch refused to accept these measures on the local level, the Patriarch willingly and gladly canceled his directives. Seeing the iniquitous dominion of the Renovationists, achieved with the help of the Soviet regime; seeing the sea of blood, and hearing from every quarter the groans wrested from the faithful during their unbelievable tortures; seeing how, one by one, even the elect were falling and stumbling (e.g., Metropolitan Sergy of Vladimir, later of Nizhegorod, who addressed an archpastoral appeal for all to unite with those who had unconditionally submitted to the Supreme Ecclesiastical Administration of the "Living" "Renovationist" Church), His Holiness, Patriarch Tikhon decided to consent to that series of concessions and compromises with the Soviet regime which might have cast a shadow over the moral personality of the Patriarch himself, but which not only did not bring spiritual harm to the Church, but even preserved its spiritual freedom.
His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon agreed to sign an Epistle in which he condemned any infringement of the Soviets' authority, and dissociated himself from all counter-Revolution. On 26 June 1923, a terse statement on the release of the Patriarch from prison was published, stunning everyone with its unexpectedness. In the 29 June 1932 issue of the News of the VTsIK, the Epistle of the Patriarch, which he had issued the evening before, was published, under the heading "Among the Churchly": "To the archpastors, pastors and flock of the Orthodox Church." In it, the Patriarch refused to recognize the sentence pronounced on him by the "Living Church Council," and refuted the accusations made against him by the "Council"; he was innocent of political counter-revolution, since, already by 1919, he had given the Church precise orders not to meddle in politics. "Of course," wrote the Patriarch, "I do not present myself as such a partisan of the Soviet authorities as the Renovationists declare themselves to be, nor am I such a counter-revolutionary as the "Council" presents me." Here the Patriarch declares: "I resolutely condemn all infringement against the Soviet authorities, from wherever it might come."...All of this forced the Soviet regime gradually and radically to alter its religious policy and to adopt new methods to demoralize the Church. The atheists began to search for such a "canonically correct" bishop, who might agree, without violating the canons, to serve the satanic regime of Antichrist. All the concessions made by His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon did not satisfy the Soviet government. The Patriarch had not surrendered the spiritual freedom of the Church. In all his "repentances" and so-called "acts," the canonically correct Patriarch had not agreed to "serve" the Soviet regime as it required. And those of the bishops who had agreed to such service had violated the canons.
For this reason, the principal objective of the Soviet regime with regard to the Church was the attempt to form, in a canonically correct way, the "servile" Church it required. Twice attempts were made on the life of the Patriarch. One day, a certain supposedly "insane" man threw himself at a bishop as he was leaving the sanctuary, but seeing that this was not the Patriarch, he did the bishop no harm. On 9 December 1923, at 8:00 P.M., Iakov Pozolov, the Patriarch's attendant, was murdered. According to the testimony of a friend of Patriarch Tikhon, Bishop Maxim (in secular life, Dr. M. A. Zhizhilenko), at the time of the murder of his attendant, the Patriarch was in the same room, sitting in an arm-chair; but the murderer didn't see him.
Moral tortures, in the form of endless, clandestine, private "conversations" between the secret police and the Patriarch, continued. It is difficult to imagine how the Patriarch suffered. They brought him to the point where, though by nature he was a very calm man, he trembled in agitation and annoyance when informed of the arrival of a secret police agent. In the spring of 1924, Patriarch Gregory of Constantinople tried to meddle in the affairs of the Church of Russia with the aim of "reconciling" the "Tikhonites" and the "Living Churchmen."
The appointment of Met. Platon predates these events. His "dismissal" (but not the order to ROCOR to disband) came in their wake.
And what did Czar Peter's Spiritual Regulations do for two centuries to the Church?Strawman. I did not claim Emperor Peter's Regulament to be ideal, nor good, nor I was defending them in any way, nor I mentioned it, for that mater, nor it is relevant here.
If you hold the Church of 1970 to the Donatist standard, you have to hold the Church of 1924 to it as well, as well as the Church headed by Czar Peter's monstrosity.
When and where, pray tell, besides the OCA, has the Church enjoyed complete internal and external freedom?Problem is, in 1924, Patriarch Tihon went out of jail, declared all actions of restorationist Higher Ecclesiastical Council to be null and void, and himself appointed Synod... and this Synod... despite being persecuted by Soviets, quite openly, did have courage to contradict them. And that Synod dismissed Platon... Claiming that in 1970, Russian Church was free, or somehow more free than in 20's of last Century, is simply not true.
Oh? And Patriarch Alexei had someone burst in his residence and the would be assassin kill his personal assistant before his eyes in February 1970? Did he extract a pledge of loyalty to the Soviets from the OCA? Did the Soviets threaten to kill a dozen persons if Pat. Alexei did not sign the Tomos? Was Patriarch Alexei II, who signed the Tomos and upheld it until his last breath, not the valid possessor of the Supreme Church Administration of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
At 1924 did the Holy Synod even have the 12 bishops the canons require to depose a bishop from his see?
Is total annihilation vs. subjugation as a goal too subtle a difference?
A wide chasm separates autocephaly coming with the consent of the Soviets and autocephaly coming because of the Soviets.They were opportunists in Politics...
The Greeks (and the Vatican) say the same about the Russian Church of 1458. How is your assertion different?
What, pray tell, was the great gain to Soviet plans by granting autocephaly to the OCA? It had spent decades, as ROCOR had, to trying to take it over.
Patriarch Atenagoras was not willing to follow Soviet lead like his immediate predcessors. Besides, Metropolitan Nikodim had personal race with His All Holiness, who will do more to get Union with RCC...
You mean this EP Athenagoras?
Given that a HUGE component of the OCA constitution comes from returning to Orthodoxy and renouncing allegiance to the Vatican, I don't know why you brought up EP Athenagoras or Met. Nikodim. If they were going to serve the Church up to the Vatican, the Tomos of Autocephaly to a Church arising in large part from repudiation of the Vatican would put a wrench in those works.
What did the Church lose and the Soviets gain by the grant of autocephaly?What Orthodox Church gained on OCA's insistence not to accept authority of Moscow, of ROCOR, of anyone? And demanding of Autocephaly just on virtue they tough they are entitled on it? I really ask what?
For one, a bulwark against the heretical construction of "Diaspora." The Mandate and Great Commission to "Make disciples of all nations" means just that. Not plant colonies and live in ghettos.
The Phanar sees the danger in the Tomos-it effectively repudiates its canon 28 myth. And because of that, Moscow isn't going to repudiate its Tomos.
As for "just [by] virtue [that] they t[h]ough[t] they [were] entitle [to] it," that's not what the Patriarchate of Moscow said:
For a number of years, the Russian Orthodox Church has observed with maternal love and concern the development of the Orthodox Church which she planted on the American continent. In the last few decades she has sorrowfully witnessed the unfortunate appearance there of a pluralism of ecclesiastical jurisdictions, a temporary phenomenon, and by no means a permanent norm of the canonical organization of the Orthodox Church in America, since it is contrary to the nature of Orthodox canonical ecclesiastical unity.http://oca.org/history-archives/autocephaly-agreementhttp://oca.org/history-archives/tomos-of-autocephaly
The Holy Russian Orthodox Church, striving for the good of the Church, has directed her efforts toward the normalization of relations among the various ecclesiastical jurisdictions in America, particularly by negotiating with the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America, concerning the possibility of granting autocephaly to this Church in the hope that this might serve the good of the Orthodox Church in America and the glory of God. In her striving for the peace of Christ, which has universal significance for the life of man; desiring to build a peaceful and creative church life, and to suppress scandalous ecclesiastical divisions; hoping that this act would be beneficial to the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ and would make possible the development among the local parts of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of such relations which would be founded on the firm ties of the one Orthodox Faith and the love that the Lord Jesus Christ willed; keeping in mind that this act would serve the welfare of universal, mutual cooperation; taking into consideration the petition of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolitanate of North America, which expressed the opinion and desire of all her faithful children; acknowledging as good for Orthodoxy in America the independent and self-sustaining existence of said Metropolitanate, which now represents a mature ecclesiastical organism possessing all that is necessary for successful further growth...
WHEREAS, the Eastern Orthodox faith has existed on the continent of North America for over 175 years and is now the faith of millions of native Americans; and
WHEREAS, that faith has grown from a seed implanted by missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the first Diocese of the faith in America was established by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church; and
WHEREAS, the parties agree that the continued growth and well being of the faith in America will be promoted through the autocephaly of the Metropolia...As the result of the agreement, hereinafter set forth, between the Patriarchate and the Metropolia, the Metropolia, as a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church (in 1793 – Orthodox Mission, in 1858 – Vicariate on the Sitka Island, in 1870 – the Aleutian and American Diocese, in 1900 – the Aleutian and North American Diocese, in 1907 – “Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in North America in the hierarchical jurisdiction of the Russian Church”) shall be declared an Autocephalous Church and shall have as its name “The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.”
Besides, it might be interesting in 1967, two bishops of EP took part in consecration of future Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor)
Evidently the OCA was not out of communion as you previously claimed. Btw, that also goes for earlier, as OCA bishops were invovled in the consecration of Antiochian and Alexandrian bishops as well.
And there was a Synod which deposed the Patriarch, abolished the office, restored the Holy Governing Synod.No. Platon was deposed by Tihon's Synod.
After there was a Synod which deposed the Patriarch, abolished the office, restored the Holy Governing Synod.
On the "functioning of the Supreme Church Authority at the time, the New York Superior Court summed it up nicelyRelevancy of SCOTUS's decisions here is worth of rat's arse. Same like Soviet's do not have right to impose regulation on Church, neither US have.
The court is just going on Church documents and statements by her spokesmen. After the mark that Iconoclast Emperors, Emperors in submission to the Vatican and Muslim Sultans left on the Church, dismissing the views of SCOTUS is not an option on the table. Particularly when it is right by the standards of the Chruch.
You are buying the Phanar's view of things.No. Phanariots represented by professor Fidas, consider that EP has right to grant and suspend autocephaly... I am thinking it is matter of all Churches.
That is the position of the Phanariots, there false syllogism running that since it is a matter for all the Churches, it comes under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Autocephaly, barring extenuating circumstances (e.g. the independence of Greece from the Ottoman Empire, the restoration of the autocephaly of Ohrid, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaris, etc), is a local matter.
and yet that is disputed.
and granting autocephaly are internal matters of a Church.
And what do you do with Orthodox (or schismatic, following your "logic") Kiev/Moscow 1458-1593. That's 145 years. The OCA autocephaly is only 44 years.
Why did Ecumenical Counicls were deciding about Autocephaly ? Why, Patriarchs still send their synodikons to heads of Other Churches?
Other than holding to Orthodoxy, what Moscow and the OCA do is their own business and pertains to themselves, as it is with any of the other 13 Orthodox Churches.
Its just internal affair...
Only the whole Church had the authority to divide a Church (as she did to the Patriarchate of Rome in creating the Patriarchate of Constantinople), intervene between two Churches (as Cyprus versus Antioch). The creation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was brought up in the context of the bishops deposed and the Patriarch divided at Ephesus II. Like the last example, Nicea only recognized what was already in place in Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. Antioch granted autocephaly to Georgia in c. 470, but the Phanar did not recognize it until the 1990's. The Russian Church uncanonically suppressed it, and then Georgia a century later reasserted it. All outside of the Ecumenical Councils.
The letters of enthronement do not ratify the enthronement, they announce it:otherwise a Church would have to wait for ratification from all 14. AFAIK, Met. Tikhon sent his irenikon to the Phanar. If HB was in schism, then the Phanar should have nothing to do with the Churches of Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia either, as they have ratified and commemorate that "schism." qui tacet consentit.