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Author Topic: Yay! Another method of conversion thread!  (Read 2423 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fr. David
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« on: July 23, 2005, 11:57:21 AM »

That may be important.  I guess I was a little concerned about the orthodoxy of the OCA.  I had heared that they were more "lenient" than ROCOR.

CF and Jennifer mentioned the calendar issue (which is becoming less and less of an issue all the time), but the reception of converts is one that irks some more "traditional" Orthodox -- the ROCOR receives almost all converts by baptism, while the OCA is much more likely to receive by chrismation.  Both are "traditional" in the sense that both practices have long histories within the Church, and, properly understood, both accomplish the same thing for the convert, so there's no need to listen to anyone saying the OCA is more "lenient" in this area (most ROCOR priests I've talked to--one being the exception--recognize this fact and refrain from any polemics against the OCA). 

Happy hunting!  Wink

Worth Mapquesting, though.

(The grammarian within me shudders...) What, "Mapquest" is a verb now?  To mapquest?

I mapquest...you mapquest...he/she mapquests... Wink Grin
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2005, 12:22:23 PM »

Simply because something has been done for a long time does not make it traditional.  Looking at the issue of reception of converts solely from an OCA vs. ROCOR perspective is really missing the larger issue of the traditional Greek practice of recieving Catholics and Protestants.  A good look at that perspective is found in Fr. George Metallianos' book I Confess One Baptism. 
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2005, 12:44:30 PM »

Simply because something has been done for a long time does not make it traditional.ÂÂ  Looking at the issue of reception of converts solely from an OCA vs. ROCOR perspective is really missing the larger issue of the traditional Greek practice of recieving Catholics and Protestants.ÂÂ  A good look at that perspective is found in Fr. George Metallianos' book I Confess One Baptism.ÂÂ  

What is the traditional Greek practice of receiving converts?
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2005, 01:12:36 PM »

Silouan,
 I have also read the book "I Confess in One Baptism" and it seems to make very good points.  I am a catachumen and there still seems to be a disagreement between GOA clergy vs. the Greek Monastics on how to receive converts from R. Catholicism.  I wanted  to talk about the above book with my parish priest (GOA) and he then promptly informed me that it is a  controversial book.  Why is it that there is a disagreement between the clergy and the monastics?        Sincerely,  Juliana
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2005, 02:08:53 PM »

The traditional Greek practice is to baptize converts from protestantism and Catholicism.  The reason why some GOA clergy are opposed to baptsim is that baptizing people is bad for the Patriarchate's political ecumenism.  Stick with the GOA monastics, they keep the real Athonite tradition alive. 
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2005, 06:03:06 PM »

The traditional Greek practice is to baptize converts from protestantism and Catholicism.ÂÂ  The reason why some GOA clergy are opposed to baptsim is that baptizing people is bad for the Patriarchate's political ecumenism.ÂÂ  Stick with the GOA monastics, they keep the real Athonite tradition alive.ÂÂ  

I dont know if I should do this (especially since I tend to agree with reception by baptism in theory, at least for protestants), but here it goes:

It is the Patriarchate, not the Athonite Monks, who have the right to decide the proper means to receive converts into the Church. Monasticism has its place in Orthodoxy, but it is Not to determine matters of Church Policy or Inter-Church Relations. The Monastics insisting on a practice inconsonant with the expectations of the Oecumenical Throne is unacceptable and contrary to the obediences and duties of the monastic life.
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2005, 07:52:15 PM »

greekischristian,

I think you forget one very simple fact.  The history of the Holy Orthodox Church calls us to be, not only obedient but RESPONSIBLE.  Surely, as Orthodox Christians, we do not believe that any bishop may speak for the entire Church, we do not believe that any bishop speaks infallibly, and we do not believe that we need to agree with the personal convictions of a bishop that run contradictory to the consciousness of the Church. 

Truly, the monks have their responsibility, to uphold their obedience, and to practice in truth.  Truly, this is nto a monastic responsibility, but the responsiblity of all Orthodox.  The Apostle tells us, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth. 

So I ask you, this supposed blind obedience to the "Ecumenical Throne"?  Were those who opposed the heretical Nestorius being disobedient or were they champions of Orthodoxy, defending the Church from a heretical bishop?  When the Church at Constantinople was in the hands of the Iconoclasts, were the monks of Studion being disobedient by rejecting the errors they were instructing the faithful, or were they rather , champions of Orthodoxy.  We are called to be obedient, we are also called to be responsible.  And no, the Church is not one bishop's ownership, where he can do as he pleases.  Our Holy Church has always been one of collegiality.  Indeed, the Ecumenical Patriarch is the first amongst equals, he had no more authority than any other bishop.  He is a bishop just like the bishop of Denver--the difference is the See where he serves.  And it is not a secret that in the signing of definitely UNORTHODOX statements like the Balamand Statement, agreeing that the catholic faith, the Orthodox Church is somehow divided or lessened by those who for whatever reason--pride, heresy, delusion--are outside her COMPROMISE her, is absolutely incredible, and the fact remains that no Orthodox church has formally accepted these teachings period.  Even St. Maximos the Confessor said of the Councils, that "Truth Judges Synods".  It is the consciousness of the universal, whole and complete Church, clergy and laity, that keeps Orthodoxy.  If history has shown us nothing, it has shown us that not even hierarchs are immune from heresy.  For you to say that we must blindly be obedient, even when their statements run contrary to the Ancient Teachings of the Church, it is dangerous.  One would only think of where the East would be if this had happened with Nestorianism and Iconoclasm. 

Forgive if this offends, it certainly is not my intention to do so.  But as brothers in faith, I figure we can still speak openly and honestly without hostility.
In Christ, the least,
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2005, 08:45:08 PM »

Yet again some attempt to defend Defiance and Schism by citing the very few instances in History when certain Occupants of the Oecumenical Throne fell into error. As though the errors of a few undermine the Rights and Authorities granted by the Oecumenical and Provencial Synods as well as Imperial Decrees and other Elements of Sacred Tradition. If you believe one of these most Exceptional and Rare instances in the Long and Glorious History of the Great Church of Christ is now occuring then I submit that My Faith and Your Faith are inconsonant with each other, make your protests an I will receive them in that light, I will receive them in the same manner as I receive the protests of the Calvinists, Lutherans, Anglicans, or Free Churches against the Oecumenical Throne: as private misinterpretations of Orthodox Theology or simply heterodox theology.

If you are not convinced that our Most Holy Patriarch has fallen into apostasy, and if you yet remain within the Orthodox Church in Communion with the Imperial and Oecumenical See, then I submit to you the 13th Canon of the Synod called by the Blessed Balsamon the 'First-Second Synod' Assembled by the Emperor Michael and presided over by the Most Holy Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Photios the Great, Anno Domini 861.

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The All-evil One having planted the seed of heretical tares in the Church of Christ, and seeing these being cut down to the roots with the sword of the Spirit, took a different course of trickery by attempting to divide the body of Christ by means of the madness of the schismatics. But, checking even this plot of his, the holy Council has decreed that henceforth if any Presbyter or Deacon, on the alleged ground that his own bishop has been condemned for certain crimes, before a conciliar or synodal hearing and investigation has been made, should dare to secede from his communion, and fail to mention his name in the sacred prayers of the liturgical services in accordance with the custom handed down in the Church, he shall be subject to prompt deposition from office and shall be stripped of every prelatic honor. For anyone who has been established in the rank of Presbyter and forestalls the Metropolitan’s judgment, and, judging matters before a trial has been held, insofar as lies in his power, condemns his own father and Bishop, he is not even worthy of the honor or name of Presbyter. Those, on the other hand, who go along with him, in case any of them should be among those in holy orders, they too shall forfeit their own rights to honor, or, in case they should be monks or laymen, let them be utterly excommunicated from the Church until such time as they spew upon and openly renounce all connection with the schismatics and decide to return to their own Bishop.

As we see from this sacred Canon, the issue of Authority and Schism is not new to the Orthodox Church, but was most manifest even during the struggles of St. Photios the Great. The Church, in her infinite wisdom, realized the aforementioned historical difficulities and established a standard that Order may be kept in the Church, lest the godless schismatics tear the Body of Christ asunder. The standard that was established is one that is most rational in the Orthodox Church, it is the standard of the Authority of the Synod. The Most Holy Canon establishes that the Clergy and Laity should remain subject to their Bishop until such time as the Bishop is Condemned by a Synod. Every priest, deakon, monk, and layman does not have the right to break communion with or defy the authority of their Bishop everytime they misinterpret the Traditions of the Orthodox Church.

Now, in light of this the argument that defiance or worse against the Oecumenical Throne is justified in regard to the issue of the reception of Converts is nothing short of Absurd. As the First Oecumenical Synod instructs us to receive Arians by nothing more than Confession of the Truth and Renunciation of Errors, without even the use of the Holy Chrism, the concept of accepting Latins by Chrismation is hardly a radical departure from our Tradition. Thus, it seems most manifest that those who fail to Submit to the prerogatives of the Oecumenical Throne in this matter, while yet being subject to her, are the ones who are blind; not for the sake of obedience, however, but rather in defiance. A Bishop does not have to be Infallible to have Authority and to be deserving of all Obedience and Honour, he simply has to have the Support of his Synod, which His All-Holiness has; thus I ask you, what Synod of the Great Church of Christ or Endimousa Synod or Oecumenical Synod has Formally Condemned His All-Holiness Bartholomew the Oecumenical Patriarch, as is required by the 13th Canon of Constantinople 861 to legitimize the accusations you here make against His All-Holiness?
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2005, 09:23:03 PM »

Try to look at the situation obejectively and not let your love of the EP get in the way - which practice is the traditional one and why are those who do not use it not using it?
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2005, 09:28:08 PM »

GreekisChristian,

I would surely appreciate it if you didn't put words in my mouth.  I wasn't inciting defiance to the Patriarchal throne.  I am not any less Orthodox than you are, and I believe in the tenets of the faith.  I believe that we are to honour the bishop and treat him with the respect that we do Christ.  Yes, the See of Constantinople has errred sometimes, and there is no shame in saying that we are fallible, and that the Church in its collegiality is guided by the Holy Spirit.  I certainly did not incite defiance to the Patriarch, anymore than  my saying that my dad is not right all the time mean that I don't listen to my dad.  I would have hoped that you would take my post in the spirit in which i gave it. ÂÂ

As for the reception of heretics, as I recall, I never said anything against reception via chrismation, so please don't misconstrue what I'm saying, or rush to complete the sentence for me and say "oh, so you must be saying this".  I mean what I write, not what you interpret me as saying, and if you don't understand me, you could do me the courtesy of asking for clarification.  I don't think I've ever had an exchange with you before, GreekisChristian, but you open your reply to me by having me "figured out", so to speak.  I never suggested that Patriarchs of the Holy Church do not have authority, that would be absolutely ludicrous.  But in a time of political agendas, they also have a responsibility to uphold Orthodoxy.  And we have a responsibility to be obedient, but also responsible.  I certainly did not mean any disrespect to the Patriarchs (remember, we're Orthodox, our authority doesn't rest in just one of the Patriarchs).  Yes, errors did not occur very often in the Holy Sees, and when they did they were remedied, God be thanked for His mercy.  I think it is, however , dangerous to cast aside the possibility of it happening again, especially if one of the Patriarchs takes it upon himself, unbeknownst to his brothers in the COLLEGIAL CHURCH, to speak for all Orthodox.  It's not a disregard to the Patriarch, and I think a God-fearing Patriarch would not be tardy to admit that perhaps he was wrong in some instances...unless you're putting forth an infallibility clause in the Eastern Sees?  All I'm saying is that, while being obedient, we must be responsible.  I am certainly not inciting rebellion to the bishops, and if that's how it came accross, I sincerely apologize.  The Lord knows that that was not my intention.

I didn't mean to offend GiC, and I hope I haven't. ÂÂ
In Christ,
Theodore (Ted) ÂÂ
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2005, 09:34:09 PM »

Just noticed, GiC, that you were thinking that I said that errors and misinterpretations by the All-Holy Patriarch was worthy of breaking communion with him!  And I ask, Where in my post, GiC, did you hear me say anything about breaking communion?  Surely you realize that you are jumping to conclusions now.  Even with the Easter conflict of Ancient times, where east and west were celebrating Pascha at different times, there was no schism, but temperance and love.  I never said anything of the sort, so please don't raise the red flags, and try to say something that I'm not:(.  Please.

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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2005, 10:02:34 PM »

I both agree and disagree with GIC here. First, regarding the manner in which converts are received, I think GIC is correct:

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It is the Patriarchate, not the Athonite Monks, who have the right to decide the proper means to receive converts into the Church. Monasticism has its place in Orthodoxy, but it is Not to determine matters of Church Policy or Inter-Church Relations. The Monastics insisting on a practice inconsonant with the expectations of the Oecumenical Throne is unacceptable and contrary to the obediences and duties of the monastic life.

I agree with this, so long as we are talking about within a single Local Church. By what right does a monk go against his bishop's wishes and receive someone in a different manner? Whether the bishop is correct or not is irrelevant. So long as the bishop has not strayed into heresy, obedience is owed to him concerning the matter; that is the only things relevant. Of course, where I disagree with (you) GIC is in going past this. I have been batting around the idea of posting again on neo-papal-patriarchalism for a couple weeks now. Since I have the next two days off work, I think I'd better do it now (while I have lots of free time ahead of me).

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Yet again some attempt to defend Defiance and Schism by citing the very few instances in History when certain Occupants of the Oecumenical Throne fell into error.

I'd call that the understatement of the year! Just how exactly does one define "very few instances," anyway? Smiley  Let's take a look at the history of the Patriarchate, from it's founding in the middle of the 4th century till about the middle of the 7th century. In that 300 year span, how many Patriarchs that held to heresy can we find?

4th Century - Eusebius, Macedonius, Eudoxius
5th century - Nestorius, Acacius, Phravitas, Euphemius
6th Century - Timothy I, Anthimus
7th Century - Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter

I know this isn't all of them, as I'm not sure of some of the names of the Patriarchs (for instance--and not the only instance!) during the Arian heresy, when Constantinople was in the clutches of heretics for decades, until St. Gregory the Theologian won the people's souls and St. Emperor Theodosius made sure that Orthodoxy prevailed. The point is that Constantinople was constantly falling into error. In fact, after it's creation, it fell into just about every major heresy there was: monothelitism, monophysitism, nestorianism, arianism, etc.; and many times it was the originator of the heresy. Consider the 6th Ecumenical Council, where one Roman bishop and one Alexandrian bishop are condemned for monothelitism, and four (!) Patriarchs of Constantinople are condemned (Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter) in the Sentence Against the Monothelites (Session 13). This Sentence condemns four bishops from Constantinople, and three bishops from the rest of the world combined.

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As though the errors of a few undermine the Rights and Authorities granted by the Oecumenical and Provencial Synods as well as Imperial Decrees and other Elements of Sacred Tradition.

It is of course true that, so long as she is Orthodox, Constantinople is the first among equals, and has certain rights and authority. That authority does not include many of the things that you seem to think that it includes, however. For example, I would disagree with Constantionple's interpretation of the 28th Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council, and while I think Archbp. Peter L'Huillier of the OCA perhaps goes too far in trying to explain away the canon, this interpreation given of the canon seems to be the best fit: "Not only are the Metropolitans of the said dioceses to be ordained by him [Pat. of Constantinople], but indeed also the bishops located in barbarian regions that border on the said dioceses". The key word being "border". It wasn't talking about every "barbarian region" that would ever be discovered. And everyone were quite fine under the Russian hierarchy in our own (American) "barbarian land" (until the rise of the Soviet state screwed everything up).

Quote
As we see from this sacred Canon, the issue of Authority and Schism is not new to the Orthodox Church, but was most manifest even during the struggles of St. Photios the Great. The Church, in her infinite wisdom, realized the aforementioned historical difficulities and established a standard that Order may be kept in the Church, lest the godless schismatics tear the Body of Christ asunder.

This is very true. We do not have the right to sever relations with our Patriarch willy-nilly. And so long as we recognize that our Bishop is orthodox, we have no right to be disobedient to him. However, the 1st-2nd Council has another canon, which you did not quote:

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The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metropolitans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter’s name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgment against him, creates a schism, the holy Council has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting those persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Councils, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it barehead in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodal verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions. (Canon 15)


So how can you say what you have said in other threads about people breaking communion with Constantinople, when this canon clearly allows for a break if a bishop is preaching heresy bareheadedly? Was not St. Maximos the Confessor acting properly when he broke communion with his Patriarch, even though he was but one simple monk? Do we not celebrate his orthodoxy (his confession), rather than chastising him for presumption and disobedience? Obedience is required--I agree, and say again, REQUIRED--if a bishop is orthodox. However, if he is not, then obedience is not required one jot. Now, I am not saying here that the current Pat. of Constantinople is in heresy. As I said above (regarding reception of converts), I think he is orthodox and should be obeyed by his flock, even if people disagree with him. Speaking of potential situations, however, there is certainly theological, canonical, and historical precedent for breaking with one's bishop (even if he is the First-among-equals).
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2005, 10:14:33 PM »

Rob,

Greetings. Smiley Go where you can best work out your salvation. In Protestantism, church shopping can be a bad thing because you might just be trying to find the group that agrees with you and will reinforce your own beliefs. However, in Orthodoxy, we all agree on the major tenets of the faith (disregard above bickering  Grin ). Sure we argue--like any group of brothers and sisters would! In Orthodoxy, it's ok to go wherever you feel "at home" because it's only the peripheral stuff that is going to change. You can know with assurance that whether you go to a GOA, Antiochian, OCA, ROCOR, ACROD, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, or whatever other type of parish, you will be in a Church that holds to Orthodox Christianity. It is stuff like language, culture, social tendencies and idioms, length of services, etc that differ between groups, not the faith once delivered to the saints. So, go to where you can best integrate, and work out your salvation!
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2005, 10:25:29 PM »

Rob,  I am sorry that your thread was hijacked.

GiC,  I wanted to say that I do not want to be defiant to His All Holiness.  I am just perplexed as to How and Why there is non alignment on the issue of reception of converts.  If indeed, the church tradition used to be (via Holy Baptism) why did they change their minds?  Was there some kind of meeting with all the Patriarchs on this issue?  And if a decree was made...why doesn't all Orthodox clergy adhere to this proclamation?
If you have any  factual information regarding this, I would be very grateful.  Sincerely,   Juliana  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2005, 12:28:10 AM »

I both agree and disagree with GIC here. First, regarding the manner in which converts are received, I think GIC is correct:

I agree with this, so long as we are talking about within a single Local Church. By what right does a monk go against his bishop's wishes and receive someone in a different manner? Whether the bishop is correct or not is irrelevant. So long as the bishop has not strayed into heresy, obedience is owed to him concerning the matter; that is the only things relevant. Of course, where I disagree with (you) GIC is in going past this. I have been batting around the idea of posting again on neo-papal-patriarchalism for a couple weeks now. Since I have the next two days off work, I think I'd better do it now (while I have lots of free time ahead of me).

Though I know we disagree on the Rights of the Imperial See over the Barbarian Lands, my previous post was simply refering to those Directly under the Patriarchal Synod of Constantinople.

Quote
I'd call that the understatement of the year! Just how exactly does one define "very few instances," anyway? Smiley  Let's take a look at the history of the Patriarchate, from it's founding in the middle of the 4th century till about the middle of the 7th century. In that 300 year span, how many Patriarchs that held to heresy can we find?

4th Century - Eusebius, Macedonius, Eudoxius
5th century - Nestorius, Acacius, Phravitas, Euphemius
6th Century - Timothy I, Anthimus
7th Century - Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter

You've listed 13 of 272 Bishops to hold that See. That would still qualify as very rare. But, as I've said before it is still an irrelevant fact, as the Rights of Constantinople were upheld and maintained even in the midst of these heresies, and it Should also be noted that it was Constantinople who Presided over the majority of the Synods that Condemned these Heresies. By the time of Chalcedon Constantinople had become the Greatest of the Theological Schools, surpassing Antioch and Alexandria, so it is only Natural that it would be the Source of Both Orthodoxy and Heresy, just as we saw in Antioch and Alexandria in Earlier Centuries.

Quote
It is of course true that, so long as she is Orthodox, Constantinople is the first among equals, and has certain rights and authority. That authority does not include many of the things that you seem to think that it includes, however. For example, I would disagree with Constantionple's interpretation of the 28th Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council, and while I think Archbp. Peter L'Huillier of the OCA perhaps goes too far in trying to explain away the canon, this interpreation given of the canon seems to be the best fit: "Not only are the Metropolitans of the said dioceses to be ordained by him [Pat. of Constantinople], but indeed also the bishops located in barbarian regions that border on the said dioceses". The key word being "border". It wasn't talking about every "barbarian region" that would ever be discovered. And everyone were quite fine under the Russian hierarchy in our own (American) "barbarian land" (until the rise of the Soviet state screwed everything up).

There we disagree, though I do believe the fact that the Russians themselves initially Accepted the Authority of Constantinople over their Lands does strengthen my posistion.

Quote
So how can you say what you have said in other threads about people breaking communion with Constantinople, when this canon clearly allows for a break if a bishop is preaching heresy bareheadedly? Was not St. Maximos the Confessor acting properly when he broke communion with his Patriarch, even though he was but one simple monk? Do we not celebrate his orthodoxy (his confession), rather than chastising him for presumption and disobedience? Obedience is required--I agree, and say again, REQUIRED--if a bishop is orthodox. However, if he is not, then obedience is not required one jot. Now, I am not saying here that the current Pat. of Constantinople is in heresy. As I said above (regarding reception of converts), I think he is orthodox and should be obeyed by his flock, even if people disagree with him. Speaking of potential situations, however, there is certainly theological, canonical, and historical precedent for breaking with one's bishop (even if he is the First-among-equals).

No I did not quote it, had I been writing an Essay I would have quoted and dealt with it, but I thought that I'd wait for someone to bring it up in this particular context. However, though I did not quote Canon 15 of the Said Synod, I did address it in my post, for that canon was precisely the reason I began my argument saying:

If you believe one of these most Exceptional and Rare instances in the Long and Glorious History of the Great Church of Christ is now occuring then I submit that My Faith and Your Faith are inconsonant with each other, make your protests an I will receive them in that light, I will receive them in the same manner as I receive the protests of the Calvinists, Lutherans, Anglicans, or Free Churches against the Oecumenical Throne: as private misinterpretations of Orthodox Theology or simply heterodox theology.

So if one is trying to accuse the Oecumenical Throne of Heresy, I have no need to try and determine whether or not they are in Schism or whether or not such a schism is justified in certain circumstances, I can simply call those people what they are, Heretics. Now the Church may not always declare these people to be that for pastoral reasons, nor should we always condemn them as such, even if it would be just; however, if they are accusing our Orthodox Bishops of Heresy then it is self evident that they do not hold to the Christian faith.
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2005, 12:35:24 AM »

Try to look at the situation obejectively and not let your love of the EP get in the way - which practice is the traditional one and why are those who do not use it not using it?

I can find extended periods of time when Chrismation was used and extended periods of time when Baptism were used, both in Greek and Slavic Churches (though not necessarily using the same method in both Slavic and Greek Churches at any given time). What was the standard used to determine what method should be used? Looking at history the standard was how good of Relations a Given Church had with the West at any Given time. So using the traditional standards the Greek Church should use Chrismation, because our relations with the Latins are pretty Good...though the Russians who are having more problems with them may have a better argument for Baptism. Wink

There's my objective look at the situation and the fact is that the governing variable was, and is, politics.
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2005, 12:43:18 AM »

ortho_christian2000,

I was dealing with both Schismatics and those acting in defiance to their Bishops while maintaining communion, the two situations are varying degrees of a similar problem. Much of what I said was targeted at the Athonite monks, and not even those impious enough to Break Communion with the Oecumenical Throne. Constantinople tolerates their actions out of Economia, but their insisting on Using Baptism, especially for Latins, when Constantinople insists on Chrismation is simply inappropriate.

Furthermore, much of what I said was also said in the Context of the Conversation about Baptism vs. Chrismation and your rant about the Balamand Statement; you seemed to be saying that defiance was acceptable on account of certain political maneuvers of various Patriarchs.
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2005, 12:51:00 AM »

I dont know if I should do this (especially since I tend to agree with reception by baptism in theory, at least for protestants), but here it goes:

It is the Patriarchate, not the Athonite Monks, who have the right to decide the proper means to receive converts into the Church. Monasticism has its place in Orthodoxy, but it is Not to determine matters of Church Policy or Inter-Church Relations. The Monastics insisting on a practice inconsonant with the expectations of the Oecumenical Throne is unacceptable and contrary to the obediences and duties of the monastic life.

No, you shouldn't have.  You are belaboring banal, academic and canon law issues that have nothing to do with proper Orthodox Praxis which only serve to confuse and probably disuade a potential convert to the Orthodox faith.

Quote from: greekischristian
You've listed 13 of 272 Bishops to hold that See. That would still qualify as very rare.

13/272 ~ 5%, which is 1/20.  That is NOT rare.  1/100 would be rare.  The whole point is that it is not that unlikely for the EP to actually be mistaken in certain matters of praxis, given historical circumstances.  Obedience is one thing.  Blind obedience w/o discernment is cause for being led astray.

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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2005, 01:00:13 AM »

No, you shouldn't have.ÂÂ  You are belaboring banal, academic and canon law issues that have nothing to do with proper Orthodox Praxis which only serve to confuse and probably disuade a potential convert to the Orthodox faith.

I fear that's my expertise, though I would strongly disagree with your statement that it has nothing to do with proper Orthodox Praxis, Episcopal Authority and issues of Schism are quite significant in Orthodox Praxis, especially today with so many Schismatic organizations springing up and claiming to be Orthodox. Furthermore, when someone's Monastic Spiritual Father says one thing and their Bishop says something else, they should know who to obey.
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2005, 01:06:47 AM »

Quote
You've listed 13 of 272 Bishops

Well first, I listed bishops only from 300 years of it's 1,700 year (or so) history. I was only giving names for a period that is roughly 18% of it's total history. So the numbers would be more like 13 out of 50. In other words, we're talking about a full quarter or more of the bishops. What's more, as I said, I didn't list all of the bishops that fell into heresy, just the ones that I happened to know the names of.  And as Elisha pointed out, you seem to be missing the point (as do Catholics when they build up the papacy in the way that they do). The point is, "What if?"  What if Pat. X falls into heresy Y tomorrow? History shows that it's a pretty common occurence that an important Bishop claiming to be "Orthodox" will be heretical. I doubt we've ever had a generation pass without some bishop, somewhere, falling into heresy. "For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Cor. 11:19)  Those who are approved are those who are faithful to God and His revelation, not those who have "Patriarch of [Insert City]" in front of their name.

I think George is right about you... you just try and stir the pot.  Grin But I have other pots to watch.
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2005, 01:17:20 AM »

Well first, I listed bishops only from 300 years of it's 1,700 year (or so) history. I was only giving names for a period that is roughly 18% of it's total history. So the numbers would be more like 13 out of 50. In other words, we're talking about a full quarter or more of the bishops. What's more, as I said, I didn't list all of the bishops that fell into heresy, just the ones that I happened to know the names of.  And as Elisha pointed out, you seem to be missing the point (as do Catholics when they build up the papacy in the way that they do). The point is, "What if?"  What if Pat. X falls into heresy Y tomorrow? History shows that it's a pretty common occurence that an important Bishop claiming to be "Orthodox" will be heretical. I doubt we've ever had a generation pass without some bishop, somewhere, falling into heresy. "For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Cor. 11:19)  Those who are approved are those who are faithful to God and His revelation, not those who have "Patriarch of [Insert City]" in front of their name.

You also refered to the most turbulent time in the History of the Patriarchate, how many of the 171 Patriarchs of the Second Millenium, a statistic possibly more relevant to our current situation, were formally condemned for Heresy? Isn't it wonderful what you can do with statistics Wink
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2005, 10:20:00 AM »

Split this off from "Which Jurisdiction" so we could talk about it over here.

Simply because something has been done for a long time does not make it traditional.  Looking at the issue of reception of converts solely from an OCA vs. ROCOR perspective is really missing the larger issue of the traditional Greek practice of recieving Catholics and Protestants.  A good look at that perspective is found in Fr. George Metallianos' book I Confess One Baptism. 

Read it.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I appreciate what he's saying--that only in the Orthodox Church are the sacraments properly and formally distributed--but his vision is too narrow; he neglegts the long tradition of chrismation within the Church, which goes back to pre-Nicean times w/Pope St. Stephen.  And yes, I believe that when something is done for a long time that it is, by definition, a tradition.  This conflict has been going on since the third century (at least), with the abovementioned conflict between Ss. Stephen and Cyprian. 

Also, I was looking at the larger, so-called "Greek vs. Russian" conflict; the ROCOR actually changed over to a strict, so-called "Greek" policy in the seventies, whereas before she had been more in sync with the so-called "Russian practice".  As GiC has pointed out, the overall determining factor in this issue has been relations with the heterodox communions, or politics, not a theological dogma.

The traditional Greek practice is to baptize converts from protestantism and Catholicism.  The reason why some GOA clergy are opposed to baptsim is that baptizing people is bad for the Patriarchate's political ecumenism.  Stick with the GOA monastics, they keep the real Athonite tradition alive. 

WRONG.  I agree with GiC and Paradosis; the bishops are the rulers of the Church, ultimately; not the monastics.  Monastics are under the authority of their bishops--so the Athonites are wrong (at least until determined otherwise by their Synod) in this case--so we should stick with the bishops on this, as it is not a matter of "bareheaded heresy."  Which is one thing I think folks who split from the EP and (kinda) those in communion with him forget: we're primarily dealing with 1) the calendar issue, and 2) reception of converts, neither of which, when observed the way the EP, OCA, AOAA etc. do, is anywhere NEAR on par with Nestorianism, Monotheletism (sp?) etc.  These two issues, if they even ARE heresies (which I SERIOUSLY doubt), need to be proved as such by the WHOLE Church, not just a few groups (talk about the pot calling the kettle black; the EP can't be said to be "the voice of the Church, but neither can certain splinter groups who declare something a heresy outside an Ecumencial Synod).

I am just perplexed as to How and Why there is non alignment on the issue of reception of converts. If indeed, the church tradition used to be (via Holy Baptism) why did they change their minds? Was there some kind of meeting with all the Patriarchs on this issue? And if a decree was made...why doesn't all Orthodox clergy adhere to this proclamation?

There's never been an agreement in the Church, full stop, as to how to receive the heterodox Christians.  Some have baptized, some have chrismated, and then at times both have changed their minds and gone the other way for a time. (I sound like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz: "And of course some people do go both ways!"  Tongue)

As GiC said, "the governing variable was, and is, politics."
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