Author Topic: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church  (Read 6148 times)

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Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2016, 10:52:35 PM »
The Encyclical defines the Church as "the Church of Councils".  Even with the immediate qualifier that "the Church in herself is a Council", it seems to me that the emphasis is on "council" as an institutional organ of the Church, having authority over the Church, and giving identity to the Church, rather than as an expression of Church gathered for a particular purpose.  IMO, this is backwards, but it is the thinking that leads certain officials to proclaim the "binding" nature of the Council's decisions even on Churches that absented themselves or even did not consent to the calling of the Council in the first place. 

Right, I think one could read the statement as saying that the Church is not only conciliar but actually these formal global councils are essential to the Church's being, which would seem to contradict the principle that the local church is complete in itself and holographically reflects (and is reflected in) the rest of the Church, which is often invoked in apologia versus Papal supremacy. But now are we being told that we in fact have and need a Hive-Pope?

The statement is sufficiently vague then other interpretations might be worked into it, but that's part of the problem of a lot of these statements... they don't really say much without equivocation.
hmm...I see your point, though I would think keeping the robber councils in mind would prevent anyone thinking that any "Pan-Orthodox Council" has intrinsic authority over the Church. This very well could lead to some genuine Orthodox anathemas down the road...but I know nothing.

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2016, 11:01:27 PM »
Quote
What is "synodality"?  What is "the church"?  What is "the local church"?

Tradition speaks of the Church of a city or region and also refers to the "Catholic Church(es) throughout the whole world."  This is what I refer to "local Church" and "Church."  I am not advocating for a universalist Catholicity.   I affirm the complete Catholicity of local Churches insofar as they are in communion and "of one mind" with the Church(es) throughout the whole world - i.e. Orthodox Catholic ecumene.  Catholic universality and Catholic concilarity as an expression and incarnation of Love are two different concepts.

Quote
...lots of commentators have invoked canons that talk about local or provincial gatherings of bishops and extrapolated that they also apply to "universal synods".  Where is the evidence for that? 

As I describe below, I do not think that these things need to be "extrapolated" from one level of ecclesiastic life to another...they are rather part and parcel to the life of Love within the Church, as expressed in the whole of Tradition - which the canons simply acknowledge and normalize in consensus.   As I understand it, you are OO - so there is a certain consistency in your position which I can understand based upon the history of Chalcedon and how your Church approached it.  (And I have much respect for the OO.)   But this does not reflect EO ecclesiology, pneumatology and concilarity as I understand it.   Do you need me to provide you a list of Canons or Acta of the the first three Ecumenical Councils that affirm that holy synods called on an Ecumenical level are obligatory and normative?   Would you simply explain these away?  I hope you would consider an alternate view. 

My understanding at this particular moment in time, so far as EO goes is;  having affirmed throughout Sacred Tradition the conciliar nature of ecclesial life on all levels as a reflection and partaking in Trinitarian Love - rendered this truth Ecumenical in the Canons of the Third & Fourth Ecumenical Councils and the reception and promulgation of Canon XI of the Council of Laeodicea and Canon I of Antioch as Ecumenical.  I will certainly provide a list of evidence from the first Three Ecumenical Councils (which you affirm) that I believe support my current view if you so desire.

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No one denies that synodality is part and parcel of Church life and administration at the local level (i.e., dioceses) and regional level (i.e., autocephalous Churches).  But you can't take that and apply it to a "universal level" of Church life and administration that is not envisioned in the canonical tradition.

I "can't?"  Why?  Firstly, I'm not fond of the term "universal" - as it not reflective of my thoughts on the matter.  I don't believe the Holy Fathers had an issue in affirming concilarity as Ecumenical Tradition for reasons I've touched on.  Regardless, it is my position that this is a Holy Tradition of the Church - and is not simply something to be relegated to a second class status as "canonical tradition."    In my view this is no less obligatory a dogma than affirming the Ever Virginity of our Blessed Mother.  It is part and parcel to the very nature of ecclesial life in every Church and among every Church.

Perceiving the canons as simply legal codifications by either of us, I think would be a dangerous notion.  The "canonical Tradition" is every part a complete whole with the rest of Tradition and reflects common practice throughout the time and space, apart from oikonomia.   The canons express succinctly Holy Tradition as it pertains to the living Christian life in the local Church and among the "Church throughout the whole world."   Canons are thus an expression of Christ-like behavior and co-suffering Love that is considered normative for all levels of Church life and praxis.  They are not limited to external structures and administrative needs alone, but to the attitude of Love to be shown by all to all in their relations, even and especially amongst and between Bishops, who lead their flocks by example.  They have a pedagogical purpose of Christian praxis fostering Christian Love and unity in "all things" and don't simply apply to various levels of diococene structure.   I believe that concilarity / synodality are reflective of, point to and incarnate the Chrisitan principles of Phileo and Agape. The canons set forth for the holding of synods and the obligation of Bishops to attend synods to which they are called/invited reflects an Ecumenical Tradition of the Church reflecting an obligation of Love which is not limited by historical and political circumstances or simply an expression of an external order which is solely pragmatic.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 11:29:21 PM by Onesimus »

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2016, 11:04:10 PM »
it is the same thing to a certain extent.   Just as it is the same thing if we stopped assembling for the Eucharist as a local church.   the theology, the canons, and the history of the church all reflect this.   Regular meeting of synods of bishops is simply a greater celebration of the Eucharist and a unity in praxis and doctrine.   It is the norm canonically even before the 4th century to have councils every year if possible.

A statement about the creation which also applies to the Church:

There is but one world and it is not divided into parts. On the contrary, it encloses the differences of the parts arising from their natural properties by their relation to what is one and indivisible in itself. Moreover, it shows that both are the same thing with it and alternately with each other in an unconfused way and that the whole of one enters into the whole of the other, and both fill the same whole as parts fill a unit, and in this way the parts and uniformly and entirely filled as a whole. For the whole spiritual world seems mystically imprinted on the whole sensible world in symbolic forms, for those who are capable of seeing this, and conversely the whole sensible world is spiritually explained in the mind in the principles which it contains. In the spiritual world it is in principles; in the sensible world it is in figures. - St. Maximus the Confessor, On the Church's Mystagogy

Indeed.   The quote you pulled has a context.   It also has presuppositions which are not being addressed here.

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #48 on: June 30, 2016, 12:19:02 AM »
"Canon XI of the Council of Laeodicea and Canon I of Antioch as Ecumenical..."

I should have added that these were affirmed as Ecumenical in the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #49 on: June 30, 2016, 12:39:53 AM »
The Photian and Palamite synods, councils of Jassy, Jerusalem, etc are not called ecumenical councils as some said, but they are referred to as "councils of universal authority."

What's the difference? Isn't the point of ecumenical council to be exactly the council of universal authority?
Pan-Orthodox is not infallible, so it does not stand as the standard, but rather held as in conformity with the standard. A slight difference, but it does come up.

If a council is both pan-Orthodox and of universal authority I fail to see how it's not Infallible. If it looks like a duck, flies etc. like a duck, it is most certainly a duck.
Except when it is a swan.

The Synod of Jerusalem, for instance, deals with a number of beliefs external to Orthodoxy but to which the Orthodox were being exposed (e.g. Calvinism). Not the same as the Ecumenical Council proclaiming the Orthodox Faith, rather than addressing errors of heretics already outside the Church.

Sounds not too different from Nicea I addressing Arianism, Constantinople I addressing Pneumatonachis etc.
I just need to find out how to say it in Slavonic!

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2016, 01:06:31 AM »
Quote
...lots of commentators have invoked canons that talk about local or provincial gatherings of bishops and extrapolated that they also apply to "universal synods".  Where is the evidence for that? 

As I describe below, I do not think that these things need to be "extrapolated" from one level of ecclesiastic life to another...they are rather part and parcel to the life of Love within the Church, as expressed in the whole of Tradition - which the canons simply acknowledge and normalize in consensus.   As I understand it, you are OO - so there is a certain consistency in your position which I can understand based upon the history of Chalcedon and how your Church approached it.  (And I have much respect for the OO.)   But this does not reflect EO ecclesiology, pneumatology and concilarity as I understand it.   

My position is based on what I learned and was taught during my studies at SVS, which included canon law.  It is true that I understand that ecclesiological teaching to be consonant with OO teaching and practice, but I don't believe myself to be approaching this from an OO perspective.

Quote
Do you need me to provide you a list of Canons or Acta of the the first three Ecumenical Councils that affirm that holy synods called on an Ecumenical level are obligatory and normative? 

The canons of the ecumenical councils received as such by the Church are obligatory and normative for the Church. 

What I dispute is that there is an "ecumenical level" of the Church that is akin to the "local" and "regional" levels.  A diocese has a primate with real jurisdictional authority in relation to the clergy and laity in that diocese.  A regional Church has a primate with real jurisdictional authority in relation to the other dioceses in that region.  We refer to the communion of all these Churches as the "universal" or "world-wide" or "global" Church, but that's more of an informal way of speaking about a communion in order to underscore its "unity". 

If there is an "ecumenical level" of the Church, who is its primate?  What is the basis of his primacy?  Who are the bishops (and clergy/laity?) in relation to whom he is primate?  What is his jurisdictional authority with regard to them?  What are the canonical sources for all this? 

ISTM that there is a movement within some sectors of your Church to presume "the ecumenical level" as a given, answering these questions on the one hand by rigidly maintaining some prerogatives (e.g., the primacy of Constantinople, considered independent of the canonical grounds for that primacy) while, on the other hand, creating novel theologies to explain them (e.g., "First Without Equals").  I question the presupposition.

While OO history and practice do not form the basis of my questioning, I do think it has at least two contributions.  The first is the witness of our own organisation on "the ecumenical level".  Both Rome and Constantinople were lost to our communion after the council of Chalcedon.  "Primacy" in a "universal" Church should've naturally been assumed by Alexandria if such a concept of ecclesiastical organisation existed before the schism.  But Alexandria, to my knowledge, has never asserted such authority, nor have the other Churches looked to Alexandria for its exercise.  We respect the canonical "order" (i.e., Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, etc.), but it is not an order involving authority. 

The second contribution is the historical memory of Chalcedon, which, so it seems to many of us and also to the Roman Catholics, was the first major attempt of a Roman Pope to exercise a universal jurisdiction over all the Churches.  If this was just an OO point of view, one might be justified in dismissing it as a crackpot theory or so many sour grapes, but the Romans themselves understand it in this way.  It's not uncommon for some EO to gloss over that aspect of Chalcedon in order to defend the legitimacy of the council to us and to affirm conciliarity to the RCs, but it needs to be considered more seriously for what we can learn about "primatial authority" on "the ecumenical level".  The seeds of the schism of Rome and the EO predate 1054 by more centuries than some are comfortable admitting.  Is history repeating itself?  It's a question worth asking.           

Quote
My understanding at this particular moment in time, so far as EO goes is;  having affirmed throughout Sacred Tradition the conciliar nature of ecclesial life on all levels as a reflection and partaking in Trinitarian Love - rendered this truth Ecumenical in the Canons of the Third & Fourth Ecumenical Councils and the reception and promulgation of Canon XI of the Council of Laeodicea and Canon I of Antioch as Ecumenical.  I will certainly provide a list of evidence from the first Three Ecumenical Councils (which you affirm) that I believe support my current view if you so desire.

Please do.  Also, which canons of Laodicea and Antioch were you talking about?  Based on what I'm looking at, I'm not sure how they support your argument. 

Quote
Quote
No one denies that synodality is part and parcel of Church life and administration at the local level (i.e., dioceses) and regional level (i.e., autocephalous Churches).  But you can't take that and apply it to a "universal level" of Church life and administration that is not envisioned in the canonical tradition.

I "can't?"  Why? 

I thought "not envisioned in the canonical tradition" answered that.   

Quote
Firstly, I'm not fond of the term "universal" - as it not reflective of my thoughts on the matter.  I don't believe the Holy Fathers had an issue in affirming concilarity as Ecumenical Tradition for reasons I've touched on. 

What do you mean by "Ecumenical Tradition"?

Quote
Regardless, it is my position that this is a Holy Tradition of the Church - and is not simply something to be relegated to a second class status as "canonical tradition."    In my view this is no less obligatory a dogma than affirming the Ever Virginity of our Blessed Mother.  It is part and parcel to the very nature of ecclesial life in every Church and among every Church.

I don't regard "canonical tradition" as something apart from and less than "Holy Tradition". 

Quote
Perceiving the canons as simply legal codifications by either of us, I think would be a dangerous notion.  The "canonical Tradition" is every part a complete whole with the rest of Tradition and reflects common practice throughout the time and space, apart from oikonomia.   The canons express succinctly Holy Tradition as it pertains to the living Christian life in the local Church and among the "Church throughout the whole world."   Canons are thus an expression of Christ-like behavior and co-suffering Love that is considered normative for all levels of Church life and praxis.  They are not limited to external structures and administrative needs alone, but to the attitude of Love to be shown by all to all in their relations, even and especially amongst and between Bishops, who lead their flocks by example.  They have a pedagogical purpose of Christian praxis fostering Christian Love and unity in "all things" and don't simply apply to various levels of diococene structure. 

I agree.

Quote
I believe that concilarity / synodality are reflective of, point to and incarnate the Chrisitan principles of Phileo and Agape. The canons set forth for the holding of synods and the obligation of Bishops to attend synods to which they are called/invited reflects an Ecumenical Tradition of the Church reflecting an obligation of Love which is not limited by historical and political circumstances or simply an expression of an external order which is solely pragmatic.

I won't respond to this before you have a chance to reproduce those canons you have in mind.  I've seen others online invoke certain canons in the lead-up to the Council of Crete in response to the abstaining Churches, but in all cases, they were canons that deal with local or regional synods applied wrongly, IMO, to Crete.  Perhaps you had other canons in mind. 
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2016, 01:43:20 AM »
I would say it's apparent, at least to me, that there is not an "ecumenical level," or cosmic organization, of the Orthodox Church. However, this does not answer the questions ( a ) whether there was and ( b ) whether there should be.

[Edited to add: It is also actually a separate question from what is to be done with the Orthodox "diaspora."]
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 01:45:04 AM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline Seekingtrue

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2016, 04:21:47 AM »
Porter thank you for sharing this quote about this monk/Saint.I tried but words are limited to describe.No doubt he had reached Theosis.Glory be to God!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 04:23:48 AM by Seekingtrue »

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #53 on: July 02, 2016, 08:23:25 PM »
Mor,

I appreciate this dialogue.  I'm especially interested in the OO contribution to it...so thank you.

Forgive me if I cannot reply to this immediately.   I have a different outlook on the subject of ecclesiology and pneumatology than is commonly focused on by most (which of course I believe is reflective of Tradition).   

I value your views on the subject and look forward to further contributions.    Will try to get to this by the close of the weekend.

~O

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2016, 12:42:50 AM »
Mor,

I appreciate this dialogue.  I'm especially interested in the OO contribution to it...so thank you.

Forgive me if I cannot reply to this immediately.   I have a different outlook on the subject of ecclesiology and pneumatology than is commonly focused on by most (which of course I believe is reflective of Tradition).   

I value your views on the subject and look forward to further contributions.    Will try to get to this by the close of the weekend.

~O

No worries, I suspect everyone will be rather busy this weekend.  Take your time.  :)
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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2016, 05:24:21 PM »

Finally, I found the way certain bishops appear to have signed their names to be curious.  It seems that "diaspora" bishops who are not under the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed as "(Name) IN (Place)" rather than "(Name) OF (Place)".  So, for instance, under the Patriarchate Church of Serbia we see the names of "Maksim in Western America" and "Irinej in Australia and New Zealand", and under the Patriarchate Church of Romania "Siluan in Italy" and "Timotei in Spain and Portugal", but under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, "Isaiah of Denver" , "Emmanuel of France", and "Amvrosios of Korea".  Is this really how the diaspora Serbian and Romanian bishops sign their names?  Is it how they are required to sign from now on?  Or did they sign as bishops of their sees and someone later "corrected" it for the official version?     

Wow, I wasn't aware of these "correction". Can't believe this :(, but it's true: https://www.holycouncil.org/-/encyclical-holy-council?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2F And it's even in the Russian version: https://www.holycouncil.org/official-documents/-/asset_publisher/VA0WE2pZ4Y0I/content/encyclical-holy-council?_101_INSTANCE_VA0WE2pZ4Y0I_languageId=ru_RU

Surely, Serbian bishops in English have titles "of" (just see this site serborth.org) and in Serbian it's adjective (e.g Western American), Romanians have e.g Episcop ortodoxe romane a Italiei (that's like English "of").
We all know what the Phanar is trying to pull here.

I've read in a Serbian forum that this issue may be a consquence and realisation of the 7th point of the document "The Orthodox Diaspora"
Quote
7.The Orthodox Churches are bound to avoid actions that could hinder the above process for a canonical resolution of the issue of the Diaspora, such as the conferment of hierarchal titles that already exist, and to do their utmost to facilitate the work of the Episcopal Assemblies and the restoration of normal canonical order in the Diaspora.
Source

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2016, 06:15:33 PM »
The Photian and Palamite synods, councils of Jassy, Jerusalem, etc are not called ecumenical councils as some said, but they are referred to as "councils of universal authority."

What's the difference? Isn't the point of ecumenical council to be exactly the council of universal authority?
Pan-Orthodox is not infallible, so it does not stand as the standard, but rather held as in conformity with the standard. A slight difference, but it does come up.

If a council is both pan-Orthodox and of universal authority I fail to see how it's not Infallible. If it looks like a duck, flies etc. like a duck, it is most certainly a duck.
Except when it is a swan.

The Synod of Jerusalem, for instance, deals with a number of beliefs external to Orthodoxy but to which the Orthodox were being exposed (e.g. Calvinism). Not the same as the Ecumenical Council proclaiming the Orthodox Faith, rather than addressing errors of heretics already outside the Church.

Sounds not too different from Nicea I addressing Arianism, Constantinople I addressing Pneumatonachis etc.
No, because Arius was a priest of the Church, Macedonius an Archbishop of the Church, etc.
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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2016, 07:15:23 PM »
The Photian and Palamite synods, councils of Jassy, Jerusalem, etc are not called ecumenical councils as some said, but they are referred to as "councils of universal authority."

What's the difference? Isn't the point of ecumenical council to be exactly the council of universal authority?
Pan-Orthodox is not infallible, so it does not stand as the standard, but rather held as in conformity with the standard. A slight difference, but it does come up.

If a council is both pan-Orthodox and of universal authority I fail to see how it's not Infallible. If it looks like a duck, flies etc. like a duck, it is most certainly a duck.
Except when it is a swan.

The Synod of Jerusalem, for instance, deals with a number of beliefs external to Orthodoxy but to which the Orthodox were being exposed (e.g. Calvinism). Not the same as the Ecumenical Council proclaiming the Orthodox Faith, rather than addressing errors of heretics already outside the Church.

Sounds not too different from Nicea I addressing Arianism, Constantinople I addressing Pneumatonachis etc.
No, because Arius was a priest of the Church, Macedonius an Archbishop of the Church, etc.

This sounds like a very good point. Polemics were written against Neo-Platonists: Councils were not held over them. Yet on the other hand, unless I'm mistaken, we have conciliar anathemas against folks who considered themselves a separate "denomination," like the Montanists, or even a whole other religion, like the Manicheans.
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2016, 07:41:58 PM »
The Photian and Palamite synods, councils of Jassy, Jerusalem, etc are not called ecumenical councils as some said, but they are referred to as "councils of universal authority."

What's the difference? Isn't the point of ecumenical council to be exactly the council of universal authority?
Pan-Orthodox is not infallible, so it does not stand as the standard, but rather held as in conformity with the standard. A slight difference, but it does come up.

If a council is both pan-Orthodox and of universal authority I fail to see how it's not Infallible. If it looks like a duck, flies etc. like a duck, it is most certainly a duck.
Except when it is a swan.

The Synod of Jerusalem, for instance, deals with a number of beliefs external to Orthodoxy but to which the Orthodox were being exposed (e.g. Calvinism). Not the same as the Ecumenical Council proclaiming the Orthodox Faith, rather than addressing errors of heretics already outside the Church.

Sounds not too different from Nicea I addressing Arianism, Constantinople I addressing Pneumatonachis etc.
No, because Arius was a priest of the Church, Macedonius an Archbishop of the Church, etc.

Arius had been deposed by several synods and was not a valid priest.  In fact, his deposition over his teachings was the second time he had been deposed by Alexandria.    His absconding to another region to maintain support from someone sympathetic to him was part of the disorder being addressed by Nicea.   The issues of the council had every bit as much to do with administrative and jurisdictional order /disorder as false teachings.  The canons of Nicea are directed in large part to these disturbances.



« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 07:43:25 PM by Onesimus »

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2016, 03:11:15 PM »
Mor,

I appreciate this dialogue.  I'm especially interested in the OO contribution to it...so thank you.

Forgive me if I cannot reply to this immediately.   I have a different outlook on the subject of ecclesiology and pneumatology than is commonly focused on by most (which of course I believe is reflective of Tradition).   

I value your views on the subject and look forward to further contributions.    Will try to get to this by the close of the weekend.

~O

No worries, I suspect everyone will be rather busy this weekend.  Take your time.  :)

Mor,

I have been very busy and have been taking my time in responding to this for several reasons (not the least of which is being thorough in my studies of the subject), taking what little time I can to investigate it further.   Obviously, it is a complex subject.

I don't really think presenting all the evidence about the issue will help, because a lot of what I'd present is really interpretive.  I've found good argumentation on both sides of the issue.  I could make a huge list of what I read as supporting my view, but admittedly you could read that list differently.  I even found an interesting quote from a major Church Father (i forget which at the moment) stating that he avoided councils because never saw a council end in anything good - always hurting rather than helping the faith.   That was quite interesting to me. Anyway, it would be spinning my wheels in a sense to reproduce the letter of Constantine to the Ecumene after Nicea and other such information which the history of councils (and robber-councils) afterwards would simply make such clear writings problematic for their inconsistency or inconsistent application.

Where I don't think the issue is as interpretive or supportive of what I understand of your view to be - is in examining how the Ecumenical Councils themselves applied local canons as "Ecumenical" during their own deliberations.   What I would say is that one looks at the canons and looks carefully at the acta of the second and third ecumenical councils (esp. third- which is so important and formative for the OO) - and the fourth following it (which I won't rely on since it's not accepted by you)- one will find that the canons which you say are not relevant to a "Ecumenical level" (whatever that means) and were not "envisioned" to be ascribed to anything other than local councils - falls flat. (in my reading)

 St. Cyril's actions during the 3rd Ecumenical council applies various canons (including the one's you say apply locally only) to the "whole" Church and are being applied at the proceedings of the Council itself and its letters to the Ecumene.  This would seem to me to be a clear refutation of what I see you saying.   Nestorius was condemned under the auspices of the Apostolic canons and Canon Code applied not at a local level, but across the whole Church.  Under your paradigm, I'm not sure how such actions could be seen as legitimate since those canons would ostensibly apply to only local councils, and Nestorius could thumb his nose at the Holy Council with impunity citing the same logic you present.  The application of Canon Canon LXXIV of the Apostolic Canon at both the 3rd and 4th Ecumenical Councils is applied not as a local canon, but as a Ecumenical Canon.  Under what premise?  These are also reflected the 4th and 5th Canons of the Council of Antioch (341) which are after the 4th Ecumenical Council firmly establish in the EO Tradition as Ecumenical (though I think there is good evidence to support the belief that these were established as Ecumenical as early as the third E.C.)  The judgement against Nestorius specifically applies this canon as the reason (among others) why he is to be deposed.  The same applies to Diascorus in the 4th EC.

Likewise, the Antiochian delegation was censured for holding the Holy Council in contempt and establishing an opposing council with its own Bishops.  Cyril specifically refers to the lack of authority for them to either "help or hinder."  What authority would he have in doing so if the canons which "can't be applied to a circumstance the Father's never intended or envisioned" were only locally relevant?  What we see is the opposite, various canons which were initially used locally applied to the whole Church is the same manner they are applied to local Churches.  In the Synodical letter regarding the Antiochian delegation from the Third Ecumenical council we read; "The holy ecumenical synod gathered together in accordance with the pious degree in the metropolis of Ephesus, some separated themselves from us, a little more than thirty in number.   The leader of this apostasy was John, bishop of Antioch, and their names are as follows....These men, despite the fact that they were members of the ecclesiastical community, had no licence to either do harm through their priestly dignity or to do good...By a common decree the sacred synod has expelled them from eccleasitical communion and deprived them of the exercise of their priestly office..."

Finally, in the same letter the Council specifically cites canon 40 of Laodicia  that refers to Bishops required to attend councils unless hindered by health or ecclesiastical duties.  This is further established as Ecumenical in Canon 19 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (which is rejected by the OO).  The reality is that Canon 19 of the Fourth E.C. was accepted in the previous Ecumenical Councils by citation or inference.   It seems to me the Ecumenical Council had no problems applying various local canons to the "Ecumene."  "Since it is necessary that those who were absent from the synod and remained in the country or the city, on account of their own church affairs or because of their health, should not be ignorant of the decisionis formulated concerning these matters, we make it know to your holinesses that if any metropolitan of a province dissents from the holy and ecumenical synod and attaches himself to the assembly of the revolters, or should do so later...such a one is deprived of all power to take steps against the bishops of his province."   By what authority would this be applied under your paradigm?

This process essentially repeats itself at the fourth Ecumenical Council when Diascorus is summoned under the auspices of the Apostolic Canons and refuses to appear.   He is deposed because of this refusal to recognize the canonical authority of the Holy Council, which would seem to me to be null and void (as with the third EC) under your interpretation? 

Now I realize that a proper examination of specifics in this regard is probably necessary; but for lack of time listing all this out is difficult for me at the moment.  (Summer intensives and a 2 year old are killing me)   Perhaps I will write a paper on this sometime.   In any case, my major source for this examination has been Tanner's Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils Vol I, along with some misc. historiography.   

There are other evidences which I think could certainly be used to support your view (esp. early statements by St. Cyprian) but again, these are historically interpretive.

I'm not really sure I understand where you come up with the notion that the canons established by the Church and applied in Ecumenical Councils are only truly relevant to the local Church.  Regardless, it is clear to me given the history of the OO/ EO divide that such canons are viewed quite differently and will be argued back and forth.  But IMO, if one is to be consistent about the "normative and obligatory" nature of the Ecumenical Councils actions, one must take into account how various canons prior to any Ecumenical Councils were applied to the proceedings they themselves took part in.

I won't have time to really engage further, but I'm surely interested in your take.   My position is that issues in Ecumenical Councils are never really primarily dogmatic in nature, but are based on the good order "walking orderly" of the various Bishops in Love.   This Love is reflected in the Canonical structure.   Those who reject this structure reject Love in preference to personal opinion or dogmatic definitions.   I think the particulars of the OO/EO divide reflect this - but are much more nuanced than what I've laid out and deserve much more investigation from both sides.   In this regard, I think many focus on the dogmatic issues and formulation too much, and not the actions of specific individuals in contravention to the canonical norms. (i.e. a repudiation of conciliar Love.)   

Blessings
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 03:28:07 PM by Onesimus »

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2016, 11:26:14 AM »

Finally, I found the way certain bishops appear to have signed their names to be curious.  It seems that "diaspora" bishops who are not under the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed as "(Name) IN (Place)" rather than "(Name) OF (Place)".  So, for instance, under the Patriarchate Church of Serbia we see the names of "Maksim in Western America" and "Irinej in Australia and New Zealand", and under the Patriarchate Church of Romania "Siluan in Italy" and "Timotei in Spain and Portugal", but under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, "Isaiah of Denver" , "Emmanuel of France", and "Amvrosios of Korea".  Is this really how the diaspora Serbian and Romanian bishops sign their names?  Is it how they are required to sign from now on?  Or did they sign as bishops of their sees and someone later "corrected" it for the official version?     

Wow, I wasn't aware of these "correction". Can't believe this :(, but it's true: https://www.holycouncil.org/-/encyclical-holy-council?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2F And it's even in the Russian version: https://www.holycouncil.org/official-documents/-/asset_publisher/VA0WE2pZ4Y0I/content/encyclical-holy-council?_101_INSTANCE_VA0WE2pZ4Y0I_languageId=ru_RU

Surely, Serbian bishops in English have titles "of" (just see this site serborth.org) and in Serbian it's adjective (e.g Western American), Romanians have e.g Episcop ortodoxe romane a Italiei (that's like English "of").
We all know what the Phanar is trying to pull here.

I've read in a Serbian forum that this issue may be a consquence and realisation of the 7th point of the document "The Orthodox Diaspora"
Quote
7.The Orthodox Churches are bound to avoid actions that could hinder the above process for a canonical resolution of the issue of the Diaspora, such as the conferment of hierarchal titles that already exist, and to do their utmost to facilitate the work of the Episcopal Assemblies and the restoration of normal canonical order in the Diaspora.
Source

At first glance, it looks like this rule was broken by the person/s who retained "of" for the bishops of Constantinople in the so-called diaspora but changed it to "in" for the bishops of the other local churches. I would think that the blame lies with Constantinople. I will reiterate something that I have said elsewhere: if Constantinople cannot properly coordinate and honestly report on these pan-Orthodox affairs, may be the job should go to another local church.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 11:28:39 AM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »