Poll

How do you view those Episcopi Vagante churches which claim to have valid Apostolic succession from an Orthodox - usually Syriac - line?

The Vatican View - At least some such ordinations are "valid" but "unlawful".  Their bishops are bishops, just not in communion with the Universal Church.
The Eastern Orthodox View - Their ordinations are not actual ordinations at all, and thus the persons so ordained are not bishops at all.
It varies based upon the ecclesial body in question and their faith and practice.
They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms.
They are our estranged brothers in the Orthodox faith and dialogue with them is more important than that with the Catholics and Protestants.
I do not recognize their claims to Apostolic succession, but I view them simply as more heterodox Christians akin to the various Protestant sects.
Other: My point of view is not represented here, and I will explain it below.

Author Topic: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?  (Read 2317 times)

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« on: August 26, 2017, 10:42:56 AM »
There has been a lot of discussion about the various and exotic, colorful and sometimes silly Episcopi vagantes churches which claim to have valid Apostolic succession, usually from a Syriac Orthodox source, but I would like to know where individual posters stand on these churches and why.  I am aware, of course, that there are various lines of succession - some Eastern and some Western, and more often than not a convoluted mix of various lines - that these groups lay claim to, but as an Oriental Orthodox Christian, I am particularly interested in your point of view on those vagante churches claiming to derive from an Oriental Orthodox line, such as the Rene Vilatte and Jules Ferrette lines.  If, however, you feel that the lines are now so convoluted as to make any distinction between these lines and Western lines virtually impossible, I am open to that point of view as well.  Please vote and discuss!  :)
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 11:15:41 AM »
As you can see from my account info on the left, I am a Catholic. The first poll answer is essentially what we believe, to which I'll add the fourth. It's usually a whole lot of nothing; people playing priest with few or no congregations. They've long claimed to be Old Catholic (group in Holland who left the church around 1871 over papal infallibility) because the Old Catholics tried to start parishes in America but those priests often broke with them, much like what happened to the Eastern churches including the Orthodox who trusted these men and ordained or received them as clergy. Fun fact: because of all this, the Old Catholics have given up on trying to have parishes in America; their official representative here is now the Episcopal Church. "If you're in America and like us, become an Episcopalian."

Some of them may have valid orders but except in an emergency when a Catholic may ask any priest for the sacraments (since "the church supplies jurisdiction" to any priest in an emergency), the question's moot. Most of the time, there are no such churches and even if there were one in town, I wouldn't go there for Sunday Mass.

Those who have apostolic succession don't feel like they have to prove it by pulling out charts showing their "lines of succession." The Orthodox don't talk like that, being more holistic ("if it's not in the church, we're not interested," which rules us out but also cuts through this nonsense). Good rule of thumb: if the priest you just met starts in on that, run.

It's an unintended effect of Catholic theology about valid orders outside the church, thanks to which we recognize all Eastern bishops as bishops. It's both true and worth the fuss, and anyway, these groups are tiny and don't really bother anyone.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 11:17:37 AM by The young fogey »
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Offline recent convert

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 11:55:22 AM »
I chose the"it varies " position although I think the Eastern Orthodox position is almost always the truth. There are  also circumstances I know I am ignorant of, so I chose "it varies ".
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 11:57:51 AM »
I chose "They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms."
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 12:32:27 PM »
Other: I don't know.

On one hand, there's the Roman Catholic position, which recognizes them as ordained clergy.  On the other hand, there's the Orthodox position, IIUC, which does not, because they are outside the Church.  Methinks that Catholics would describe their ordination as valid, but illicit and, were Orthodox to use the same terms, their ordination are illicit and thus invalid.  Both Churches, with which I'm most familiar with, though not an expert in their canon laws, agree that their ordination is illicit, but they differ in the context where they happened: inside the Church or outside.

In other words, I don't know. 


PS: I know a vagante Orthodox priest who is a friend and whom I respect as a priest, even by kissing his hands.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 12:33:54 PM by Sharbel »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 04:54:00 PM »
It's usually a whole lot of nothing; people playing priest with few or no congregations.

I recently found one of these groups that openly advertised on the front page of their Website that they had 60-plus clergy and six ministries, which came to something like four chapels and two people functioning as institutional chaplains.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 05:05:12 PM »
I chose "They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms."

Have you ever spoken with any, out of curiosity?  I have (on the phone), and my opinion is that while they are usually deluded cranks, some with mental illness, I haven't met any her that do it for that reason.   Actually, I wish AN had provided an "All of the above" option to his poll, because, while I believe some do it for the reason you cite, he ones I've met live that lifestyle for a variety of reasons.

Now, where I found what you describe to be the case in the form of a pair of self-declared Melkite monks who lived not in a monastery but in an apartment they declared their "hermitage," one of whom spammed another Christian forum with pro-gay threads.   I am more concerned about fake monks within canonical churches or who claim to be within canonical churches, than episcopi vagantes, who are usually easily identifiable.

One of the more rational ones I spoke to was a seminary drop-out for instance.  Then, there is a doctor in Hawaii who specializes in treating AIDS patients, who are largely homosexual, and happens to love our liturgy, but felt the need to create his own "Independent Orthodox Church" because we are "homophobic" for refusing to perform gay marriage.   Then, the strangest of all of them is the Bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostica, who is deeply into the occult, and who sincerely believes in Gnosticism, gives lectures on it, and presides over a community of like-minded people on the West Coast; he is also fascinated with Carl Jung, who was himself fascinated by Gnosticism and financed the recovery and initial publication of the Nag Hammadi books.

Then, lastly, we have the Metropolitan of the British Orthodox Church, whose reasons for being a vagante I cannot discuss, but I will say the majority of the people who used to comprise the BOC who remained with the Copts definitely made the right call.  I think he's the nephew of the chap who founded the Ecclesia Gnostica, whose brother spent a great deal or energy attempting to get ordained as a bishop from as many lines of succession as possible.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 05:28:28 PM »
"They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms."

To clarify: such bodies like Macedonian Church, Kiev Patriarchate or some Old Calendarists are definitely not vagante, but "only" schismatics, so I'm not sure about their Sacraments (especially in the case of Macedonia; because I've heard from some priests that some people don't feel any grace in the Kiev Patriarchate, and they go there only for political reasons :( ).

But the question for me is: what's the situation of person in e.g Latin America, that has never met any canonical Orthodox priest, but discovers one of the vagante groups and joins them? I think there is, maybe small, but still, possiblity that the Holy Spirit can work in/for such person... Such person doesn't receive true Sacraments (but... actually, who knows?..) but they're not the only way for God...
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 06:39:39 PM »
But the question for me is: what's the situation of person in e.g Latin America, that has never met any canonical Orthodox priest, but discovers one of the vagante groups and joins them?
The Orthodox parish in Puerto Rico which recently converted to Catholicism certainly has a whiff of this.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 06:40:01 PM by Sharbel »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 07:22:22 PM »
But the question for me is: what's the situation of person in e.g Latin America, that has never met any canonical Orthodox priest, but discovers one of the vagante groups and joins them? I think there is, maybe small, but still, possiblity that the Holy Spirit can work in/for such person... Such person doesn't receive true Sacraments (but... actually, who knows?..) but they're not the only way for God...
Probably the same as everybody in the white counties on this map of America, where Orthodoxy doesn't exist:
http://assemblyofbishops.org/assets/maps/USBishopsAndParishesDecember2016.pdf
I figure something like "even the dogs eat the crumbs from the Master's table" and "the Spirit blows where it wills" probably applies. With nobody Orthodox within hundreds of miles to correct them, they have to do the best they can until we build St. Tikhon's in their town.

As far as the original question, I would just call them heterodox communions..."estranged Orthodox brethren" would apply to the Old Calendarist and splinter groups of the Russian catacomb church, except they don't really want to talk to us unless we anathemize all other Christians and change the calendar back first.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2017, 07:34:40 PM »
I chose "They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms."

Have you ever spoken with any, out of curiosity?

Years ago, I had an email exchange with one I considered closer to legitimate than the others. His main objection was closed versus open communion. That was it. But the whole thing ended when I asked him specifically how within his line of succession he became a bishop. He got very defensive, fast, and I let it die.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2017, 10:28:51 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful responses.  My own view is a combination of option 2 (AKA the EO POV) and option 4 (the silly, self-important people POV).  I will admit, however - in the spirit of option 3 (It varies based upon...) - that I do see a difference between a church like this and what appears to be little more than one man playing out a fantasy like this fellow.  In the case of the former organization, there seems to be something approaching a legitimate line of succession, an adherence to traditional dogma, and perhaps even an actual community to serve.  In the case of the latter gentleman, he has apparently declared himself the Patriarch of a country he doesn't live in and apparently has no followers in.  I'm not sure what his objective is there, but it seems to be about conferring grandiose titles upon himself.  I could not see this fellow being received in his "orders" by any Orthodox Church.  The other group, perhaps there is some room for discussion there, especially considering this.  What do you guys thinj?  Would taking groups like these on a case by case basis be the wrong approach?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2017, 12:00:05 AM »
I chose "They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms."

Have you ever spoken with any, out of curiosity? 

Yes.

Quote
Then, lastly, we have the Metropolitan of the British Orthodox Church, whose reasons for being a vagante I cannot discuss...

I don't know if I would classify him as vagante.  That situation, unless I'm missing something, seems more or less like garden variety schism.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2017, 12:22:04 AM »
Would taking groups like these on a case by case basis be the wrong approach?

Ask ROCOR.

I believe it's better to take in individuals with proper catechesis, but I'm not a bishop.  Or am I?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2017, 08:06:41 AM »
I chose "They are just silly, self-important people who like to play dress up and declare themselves to be Patriarchs from their living rooms."

Have you ever spoken with any, out of curiosity? 

Yes.

Quote
Then, lastly, we have the Metropolitan of the British Orthodox Church, whose reasons for being a vagante I cannot discuss...

I don't know if I would classify him as vagante.  That situation, unless I'm missing something, seems more or less like garden variety schism.

I am not at liberty to discuss what happened, but I would say based on the information I have that he has managed to be the vagante of vagantes, following your own evaluation of them.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2017, 08:22:31 AM »
Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful responses.  My own view is a combination of option 2 (AKA the EO POV) and option 4 (the silly, self-important people POV).  I will admit, however - in the spirit of option 3 (It varies based upon...) - that I do see a difference between a church like this and what appears to be little more than one man playing out a fantasy like this fellow.  In the case of the former organization, there seems to be something approaching a legitimate line of succession, an adherence to traditional dogma, and perhaps even an actual community to serve.  In the case of the latter gentleman, he has apparently declared himself the Patriarch of a country he doesn't live in and apparently has no followers in.  I'm not sure what his objective is there, but it seems to be about conferring grandiose titles upon himself.  I could not see this fellow being received in his "orders" by any Orthodox Church.  The other group, perhaps there is some room for discussion there, especially considering this.  What do you guys thinj?  Would taking groups like these on a case by case basis be the wrong approach?

There are a few vagante churches that do actually have congregations, small ones, but occasionally we read of one that has as many as a hundred people, nominally.  Usually 10-30.  My view is that when we take in groups like this, we should reordain and test their clergy, and offer those who do not pass the minimal requirements for pastoral service a comfortable retirement to a monastery or hermitage in the manner of Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who was himself for a time arguably a vagante, who the OCA managed to rescue together with his followers.

One of the most spectacular rescues of a vagante group was when the Antiochians managed to hoover up most of the Evangelical Orthodox Church, reordaining their self proclaimed "bishops" as deacons, and setting them on a path where several became wonderful priests of the church, for example, the late Fr. John Gilquist, memory eternal.  That was a spectacular, large scale recovery.

Also, the Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate was a breakaway Anglo Catholic movement in the 1940s that, had it not been received canonically, would probably be one of these groups.

At the same time, we have nothing to gain by receiving the Patriarch of Trinidad, because he has no congregation and is basically a poser.   And we would have nothing to gain from receiving the Ecclesia Gnostica, because they exist on the premise that the evil Orthodox suppressed and persecuted the true, virtuous Gnostic faith basically to extinction.  In fact if we were to call up Bishop Hoeller about reunion I expect he would laugh at us.

By the way, I have not indulged in crank calling episcopi vagantes; my conversations with them have been sincere and not a tongue in cheek sort or reenactment of The Dinner Game.  However, that does not mean I take all of them seriously.  One ridiculous fellow for example had a particular obsession with being referred to as "your Grace" to such an extent that conversation with him would have descended to mockery had I persisted.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2017, 08:26:29 AM »
Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful responses.  My own view is a combination of option 2 (AKA the EO POV) and option 4 (the silly, self-important people POV).  I will admit, however - in the spirit of option 3 (It varies based upon...) - that I do see a difference between a church like this and what appears to be little more than one man playing out a fantasy like this fellow.  In the case of the former organization, there seems to be something approaching a legitimate line of succession, an adherence to traditional dogma, and perhaps even an actual community to serve.  In the case of the latter gentleman, he has apparently declared himself the Patriarch of a country he doesn't live in and apparently has no followers in.  I'm not sure what his objective is there, but it seems to be about conferring grandiose titles upon himself.  I could not see this fellow being received in his "orders" by any Orthodox Church.  The other group, perhaps there is some room for discussion there, especially considering this.  What do you guys thinj?  Would taking groups like these on a case by case basis be the wrong approach?

Oh also, Antonious, one option you left out of your list, a variation on no. 2: the Rent-A-Patriarch.   The original Pope of the Palmerian Catholic Church, Gregory XVII, was accused of this, credibly, and there have also been vagante figures who claim to Orthodoxy, some of which we have discussed, who are posing homosexuals, in addition to the fake Melkite monks I mentioned.
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This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2017, 01:23:29 PM »
Ask ROCOR.

Please explain.  I don't know what you're referencing here.  Have they absorbed a vagante group or two?

I believe it's better to take in individuals with proper catechesis, but I'm not a bishop.

On the whole, I agree.

Rent-A-Patriarch.

What does this mean?

At the same time, we have nothing to gain by receiving the Patriarch of Trinidad, because he has no congregation and is basically a poser.

:laugh: Sometimes, you really have a way with words, Alpha60!  So, what do you think of the WOCC?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2017, 02:56:01 PM »
Ask ROCOR.

Please explain.  I don't know what you're referencing here.  Have they absorbed a vagante group or two?

I believe it's better to take in individuals with proper catechesis, but I'm not a bishop.

On the whole, I agree.

Rent-A-Patriarch.

What does this mean?


Pope Gregory XVII of the Palmerian Catholic Church was accused among other things of prostitution, not because he needed the money, but for recreational purposes.  Now I don't know if its true or not; I will say the Palmerians are not your typical Vagante jurisdiction, but an extremely dangerous cult which financially exploits its members (mostly traditionalist Catholics) and was the subject of a chilling documentary by the Irish national television channel.

However, in the case of several of these chaps, there is a whiff of homosexuality, and some might engage in prostitution, whereas others might simply engage in perverse acts because that is their lifestyle.

Now, the fake Melkite monks that I encountered, I don't know or want to know what goes on in their hermitage, but it is a fact that one of them trolls another Internet forum with pro-homosexuality threads, on several occasions we have had to lock these threads as they violate our rules, which like those of OCNet prohibit actively promoting homosexuality (and prohibit even discussing it in some forums where we have had problems with it).

He also likes to smear Elder Ephrem of St. Anthonys with a story I have been unable to substantiate, that being that the regional Melkite bishop made an unannounced visit and was turned away "at the gate."  Something about the story doesn't smell right; particularly since the Copts from St. Anthonys one visited their Greek counterparts and, while I get the impression that they were not received with extreme warmth, they were not ejected, either.

Quote

At the same time, we have nothing to gain by receiving the Patriarch of Trinidad, because he has no congregation and is basically a poser.

:laugh: Sometimes, you really have a way with words, Alpha60!  So, what do you think of the WOCC?

They appear to have some congregations and some legitimacy, but I would need to talk to them.  I have never spoken with them.  Often, there is some doctrinal excuse that will come up as to why a group like the WOCC isn't seeking reception into, say, the Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate, which it looks to me like it would be a good home for them.  Some of the vagante groups woth congregations like being independent for various reasons, but I will look into the WOCC and perhaps call them at a convenient time.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2017, 03:00:23 PM »
Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2017, 03:10:08 PM »
As you can see from my account info on the left, I am a Catholic. The first poll answer is essentially what we believe, to which I'll add the fourth. It's usually a whole lot of nothing; people playing priest with few or no congregations. They've long claimed to be Old Catholic (group in Holland who left the church around 1871 over papal infallibility) because the Old Catholics tried to start parishes in America but those priests often broke with them, much like what happened to the Eastern churches including the Orthodox who trusted these men and ordained or received them as clergy. Fun fact: because of all this, the Old Catholics have given up on trying to have parishes in America; their official representative here is now the Episcopal Church. "If you're in America and like us, become an Episcopalian."

This has only been the case since around 2003, when the Polish National Catholic Church was expelled from the Union of Utrecht for refusing to ordain homosexuals or women or perform gay marriages.   One PNCC parish in Toronto briefly broke away and reconnected with the Union of Uttecht, before the conservatives took over again and sent the rainbow flag set packing.

The PNCC has around 50,000 members; one bishop broke away feom them, or a priest really, with one main congregation and a few chapels; it was his group that it was announced it was joining ROCOR, until ROCOR discovered they basically didn't have anything and ended talks.

The PNCC together with the Norwegian Catholic Church form the Union of Scranton, which is conservative, traditional and in opposition to the Union of Utrecht.

Groups like these are in the grey area between the tiny "vagante" churches that do have congregations, and the mainstream, in that these groups will have usually 500 or more members, sometimes tens or thousands.  Thoyizoor, the Independent Malankara Syrian Church, comes to mind.  They have only one bishop, and rely on the Anglicanized, Protestantized Mar Thoma Syrian Church to ordain their bishop, but they themselves observe, as far as I am aware, the full West Syriac liturgical rite.

These churches are legitimate, because they have congregations, and I think ROCOR thought it was taking over such a church with the PNCC breakaway group, whereas it wound up with a tiny congregation.

The BOC was in this category before the incidents that lead to Metropolitan Seraphim leaving Holy Orthodoxy.  Now, while the BOC owns one or two buildings, I doubt they have more than two dozen or so parishioners; most of the people left for St. George's Mission under Fr. Peter and a few other ex BOC clergy.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2017, 03:22:31 PM »
Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.

I partially agree.  I would say that non-canonical EO should be defined as Old Calendarists, Russian Old Believers (priested), and schismatic national churches like the UOC-KP and the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Thoyizoor, the independent Syrian church, poses a quandary because in their worship and liturgy, everything is correct, but bishops from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, which is not Orthodox, but was set up by the British East India Company embezzling gold deposited with it by the Syriac Orthodox (who seem to get ripped off a lot), participate in their ordination.   So we have a group with correct worship and doctrine, but the participation of heterodox bishops in its episcopal ordinations.   Frustrating.   Their continued independence I have heard is driven in part by a desire to stay out of the bitter feud between the IOC and the Jacobites, although I dont know if that is the case.

I am on the fence as to whether or not there is legitimacy in the Assyrian Church and the Roman Catholic Church.  Those two churches, if any church without the word Orthodox in its name is legitimate, are likely to be legitimate.   There were times when relations between the Assyrian and Syriac Orthodox church were very good, for example, during the reign of the beloved Maphrian Mar Gregorios Bar Hebraeus.

There are also some small Anglo Catholic groups like the Anglican Province of Christ the King, which enumerate seven sacraments and a theology largely based on that of the non-juring Scottish Episcopalians, which themselves wanted to become a part of the Orthodox Church and inserted our epiclesis into their liturgy (which is why today you find a watered down epiclesis in the Episcopalian BCP; they ordained Bishop Seabury, from whom the ECUSA received "apostolic succession" under the condition that the American church use their communion service, which it did, with modifications).
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2017, 03:37:37 PM »
You're right, Alpha60; until 2003 the PNCC was the only real Old Catholic church in America; the rest were fakes and/or in the lineage of former Old Catholic clergy.

Strictly speaking in Orthodoxy, anything outside however you define the church can't be "valid" in itself (which is why the Orthodox can and sometimes do receive converts by baptism) but understandably many Orthodox see the groups broken away but historically obviously part of the family, such as Greek Old Calendarists, Russian Old Believers, the Kyiv Patriarchate, and the Macedonian Orthodox Church, as somehow still Orthodox, even though they're out of communion with all the Orthodox churches, their clergy if any being real clergy, not like the Western vagante fakers. They'd be received back economically, their orders recognized. (ROCOR's status before reconciling with Moscow was similar.)

I think the allusion earlier to ROCOR is because ROCOR has been burned many times by flaky vagante clergy it trustingly took in and legitimized as Orthodox priests, not the only Eastern church jurisdiction to be hurt that way. Originally the Eastern churches were very trusting that way, hoping these men would start a mission for them in the West. Instead they often took Eastern orders to be a license to go freelance, which is neither Catholic nor Orthodox.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2017, 03:48:09 PM »
... Instead they often took Eastern orders to be a license to go freelance, which is neither Catholic nor Orthodox.
Why would any one do this is beyond me, abstracting that the enemy might be behind it.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2017, 04:09:44 PM »
... Instead they often took Eastern orders to be a license to go freelance, which is neither Catholic nor Orthodox.
Why would any one do this is beyond me, abstracting that the enemy might be behind it.

Because they were vain, wanting to be ministers for the wrong reasons (attention and authority/respect)? False religion is always about self. These characters used people including the nice Eastern bishops who ordained or received them.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2017, 05:05:40 PM »
They appear to have some congregations and some legitimacy, but I would need to talk to them.  I have never spoken with them.  Often, there is some doctrinal excuse that will come up as to why a group like the WOCC isn't seeking reception into, say, the Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate, which it looks to me like it would be a good home for them.  Some of the vagante groups woth congregations like being independent for various reasons, but I will look into the WOCC and perhaps call them at a convenient time.

Awesome!  Please let me know what you find out!  :)

Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.

Not even "Old Catholics"?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2017, 05:14:33 PM »
They appear to have some congregations and some legitimacy, but I would need to talk to them.  I have never spoken with them.  Often, there is some doctrinal excuse that will come up as to why a group like the WOCC isn't seeking reception into, say, the Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate, which it looks to me like it would be a good home for them.  Some of the vagante groups woth congregations like being independent for various reasons, but I will look into the WOCC and perhaps call them at a convenient time.

Awesome!  Please let me know what you find out!  :)

Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.

Not even "Old Catholics"?

Real Old Catholics under Utrecht or fake ones? Makes no difference strictly speaking in Orthodoxy; if it's outside the church it has no grace in itself; the same thing they think of Catholics and Protestants (though less strict Orthodox opinion mirrors Catholic recognition of orders).
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 05:15:28 PM by The young fogey »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2017, 05:31:01 PM »
They appear to have some congregations and some legitimacy, but I would need to talk to them.  I have never spoken with them.  Often, there is some doctrinal excuse that will come up as to why a group like the WOCC isn't seeking reception into, say, the Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate, which it looks to me like it would be a good home for them.  Some of the vagante groups woth congregations like being independent for various reasons, but I will look into the WOCC and perhaps call them at a convenient time.

Awesome!  Please let me know what you find out!  :)

Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.

Not even "Old Catholics"?

Real Old Catholics under Utrecht or fake ones? Makes no difference strictly speaking in Orthodoxy; if it's outside the church it has no grace in itself; the same thing they think of Catholics and Protestants (though less strict Orthodox opinion mirrors Catholic recognition of orders).

In Poland the Orthodox Church has very good relations with the Polish National Catholic Church; at least in one place in which an Orthodox church used to exist, but was destroyed, that's the Polish National Catholic Church that gives the temple for the Orthodox parish, if I'm not mistaken, it was case also for one parish in Warsaw, but now this parish has its own, quite big chapel. I know also that in one town there is no Orthodox church and there is 1 Orthodox faitful, so she attends the Polish National Catholic parish - priest from this parish has even portraits of metropolita Sava and abp George next to the cross in his office.

I know, that all this stuff is more an administration, but both Churches claim that in fact there are no theological differences between them; I've heard the problem that the PNCC can't join the Polish Orthodox Church is beacause that its hierarchy and most clergy have in fact escaped from Roman Catholic Church to get married, and they're still RCs in heart, despite officcialy accepting the theologi of PNCC, so, in fact, the Orthodox one. There was one trial to unify the Churches, before the second world war - the parishes that embraced Orthodoxy, maintaned the Latin rite, but were under omophorion of the Polish Orthodox Church. But now it's difficult to find any detailed date about it :(
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2017, 05:35:47 PM »
Some PNCC priests in America are ex-Catholic priests from Poland who married. They also have generations-long priestly families like the Orthodox.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2017, 05:38:20 PM »
Real Old Catholics under Utrecht or fake ones?

Explain the difference, please Fogey.  And which category would you place the WOCC in?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2017, 05:59:20 PM »
Real Old Catholics are under the Archbishop of Utrecht, which used to be a Catholic archbishopric but left centuries ago, allegedly (according to some Catholics) siding with the ultra-strict Jansenist movement. This hooked up with German liberal Catholics who left in the 1870s because they didn't believe in papal infallibility. The fake ones are nothing to do with this church now; their clergy founders may have been Old Catholics at some point. The WOCC are fake ones.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2017, 06:22:35 PM »
Real Old Catholics are under the Archbishop of Utrecht, which used to be a Catholic archbishopric but left centuries ago, allegedly (according to some Catholics) siding with the ultra-strict Jansenist movement. This hooked up with German liberal Catholics who left in the 1870s because they didn't believe in papal infallibility. The fake ones are nothing to do with this church now; their clergy founders may have been Old Catholics at some point. The WOCC are fake ones.

Where dis the fake ones originate?  And how can we know that the WOCC are descended from them?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2017, 06:28:22 PM »
The fake ones originated with men the Old Catholics ordained priests or consecrated bishops but left them. The WOCC traces its lineage to exactly that, a bishop who left the Old Catholics.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2017, 06:36:39 PM »
The fake ones originated with men the Old Catholics ordained priests or consecrated bishops but left them. The WOCC traces its lineage to exactly that, a bishop who left the Old Catholics.

What caused these dissidents to leave the Old Catholics?  And what makes them illegitimate compared to the people they left?  Do they differ in practice or belief, or is it simply a matter of schism begetting schism?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2017, 06:48:08 PM »
They often wanted to be in charge, running their own churches. No big differences in belief or practice at first. In the beginning they were all just Catholics without the Pope, even not recognizing Anglican orders. Now the real Old Catholics are just continental European Episcopalians (except for the relatively conservative Eastern European priests who just switched to get married) while the fakes are all over the map theologically and often are just people playing priest with no real ministry. Some offer their services for hire to Catholics who can't get married in the Catholic Church (divorced but no annulment).
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2017, 06:56:18 PM »
They often wanted to be in charge, running their own churches. No big differences in belief or practice at first. In the beginning they were all just Catholics without the Pope, even not recognizing Anglican orders. Now the real Old Catholics are just continental European Episcopalians (except for the relatively conservative Eastern European priests who just switched to get married) while the fakes are all over the map theologically and often are just people playing priest with no real ministry. Some offer their services for hire to Catholics who can't get married in the Catholic Church (divorced but no annulment).

Thanks for the information!  :)
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2017, 07:32:27 PM »
You're welcome. By the way, I slightly know an independent bishop, from a Southern evangelical background and who has passed through the Episcopal and Catholic churches as a layman (he tried a Catholic religious order). He's the presiding bishop of a small gay denomination, in charge of a scattering of small parishes in the United States. His master's degree in theology is from an Ivy League school. He knows Hebrew. He's not pretentious or delusional; he says he's not trying to compete with the big churches but runs a niche ministry for Christians the other churches don't serve for some reason. In practice locally this is some gay ex-Catholics. It's an interesting mix not unheard of among this kind of church: credally orthodox and liturgically diverse, embracing old-fashioned high liturgics like mine, like the Episcopalians often do and which Catholic liberals hate. But they have same-sex weddings.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2017, 07:51:40 PM »
Why does gay stuff keep coming up in this thread?  Is that a big thing in the vagante movement now?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2017, 08:02:33 PM »
Why does gay stuff keep coming up in this thread?  Is that a big thing in the vagante movement now?

Yes.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2017, 08:53:23 PM »
I voted for #3 because I do not have the time to deal with the requirements for #7.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2017, 10:07:58 PM »
Why does gay stuff keep coming up in this thread?  Is that a big thing in the vagante movement now?

Yes.

This is news to me.  Are most modern vagante churches motivated by issues pertaining to gay "marriage", etc.?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2017, 10:12:56 PM »
Yes but some think they're endangered as the Episcopal Church now does same-sex weddings so there's no demand for gay high churches anymore, except you still have people who want to be clergy but whom the big churches turned down, and people who want to be their own patriarchs.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2017, 10:34:15 PM »
you still have people who want to be clergy but whom the big churches turned down, and people who want to be their own patriarchs.

I thought these guys made up the majority of the vagante movement and the gay "marriage" guys were just a fringe of a fringe.  Do you have anything to support this contention?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2017, 10:37:55 PM »
Interesting thread, I have only distaste about them for all their roleplay and spreading like fire through Brazilian territory (where does all that money come from?!). God can know for sure whether they have grace or not, but I feel it's nothing more than LARPing. The most successful here and one of the cleanest, the Slavic Belarusian Orthodox Church, had a parish near my old home. They'd ordain basically anyone, and their faux-patriarch's biography numbers a huge number of apostolic succession lines (canonical OO, schismatic EO, vagante and schlock) and describes his mother as the "Mother Queen of Drangiana and Princess of Bavian".

I think dialogue might be productive, though. We'd only know if we tried.

Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.
Exactly my opinion, but just my opinion.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2017, 10:40:45 PM »
you still have people who want to be clergy but whom the big churches turned down, and people who want to be their own patriarchs.

I thought these guys made up the majority of the vagante movement and the gay "marriage" guys were just a fringe of a fringe.  Do you have anything to support this contention?

No support (yet?). You may be right. The independent church that I know locally happens to be gay.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2017, 11:04:40 PM »
the "Mother Queen of Drangiana and Princess of Bavian"

Coincidentally, I'm rooting for her to take the Iron Throne.  Shame the Night King killed one of her dragons.

No support (yet?). You may be right. The independent church that I know locally happens to be gay.

So it's just an impression you have based on one vagante church that happens to be near you?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2017, 11:14:30 PM »
the "Mother Queen of Drangiana and Princess of Bavian"

Coincidentally, I'm rooting for her to take the Iron Throne.  Shame the Night King killed one of her dragons.
lol! Drangiana and Bavian are actual places in Iran, which I'm not sure whether makes the whole thing less bad or worse.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2017, 11:15:36 PM »
Real Old Catholics are under the Archbishop of Utrecht, which used to be a Catholic archbishopric but left centuries ago, allegedly (according to some Catholics) siding with the ultra-strict Jansenist movement. This hooked up with German liberal Catholics who left in the 1870s because they didn't believe in papal infallibility. The fake ones are nothing to do with this church now; their clergy founders may have been Old Catholics at some point. The WOCC are fake ones.

I find your implication that the PNCC are "fake old Catholics" because the Union of Utrecht expelled them for refusing to assent to the Union's ultra liberal views on gay marriage and the ordination of women deeply offensive.  Assuming that is your intended implication. 

I consider the Union of Utrecht fake Old Catholics because of their embrace of these heresies.  The Union of Scranton (PNCC and the Old Catholic Church of Norway), although small, because it has not embraced these heresies, and was ejected for it (something that hasnt happened to any other conservative church, as far as I am aware) are the real ones, in that their religion is closer to the Catholic faith of the Holy Orthodox church.

The PNCC probably could be a part of the Orthodox church; I suspect one factor hindering this might be resentment of Russians for reasons relating to the oppression of Poland by the Czars and the Soviets, but there is an autocephalous Polish Orthodox Church, of which our own Dominika is a member; they have no parishes in the US, where the PNCC is primarily located, but I remain hopeful that at some point we can incorporate the PNCC.

I think thats what ROCOR thought they were getting, when they were deceived by a vagante archbishop who had split from the PNCC with basically one parish, ordained a large number of priests wih no congregations, and then claimed to have 75 parishes.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2017, 11:20:09 PM »
I wouldn't call the PNCC fake Old Catholics. They're not claiming to be Old Catholic. They're their own thing.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2017, 11:23:15 PM »
the "Mother Queen of Drangiana and Princess of Bavian"

Coincidentally, I'm rooting for her to take the Iron Throne.  Shame the Night King killed one of her dragons.

No support (yet?). You may be right. The independent church that I know locally happens to be gay.

So it's just an impression you have based on one vagante church that happens to be near you?

I am rooting for someone in Westeros to develop automatic rifles and turn the conflict into a proper mechanized war in the manner of WWI.  Who needs dragons when you have a tank corps and a mobile infantry division with anti-aircraft guns?  I would like to see the Iron Throne dumped into the sea and a brutal fascist military dictatorship established, primarily because I am annoyed at the incredibly slow pace of the series and find the Westerosi culture, its religions and its anachronistic technology incredibly annoying.  The one bright spot of the series was Queen Cersei blowing up the Sept with the green liquid, which amounts to a proper weapon, and which procured the swift demise of a large number of annoying characters.  :P
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2017, 11:24:09 PM »
I wouldn't call the PNCC fake Old Catholics. They're not claiming to be Old Catholic. They're their own thing.

Aren't they?  They were a part of the Union of Utrecht until it forced them out.  They were founded on Old Catholic theological principles.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2017, 11:27:35 PM »
Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.

Not even "Old Catholics"?

Not in my opinion. The Church is not a set of doctrines or magical rituals. Also, Old Catholics schismed over papal infallability which is good in itself but they were put up with universal jurisdiction et al for centuries.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2017, 08:17:18 AM »
the "Mother Queen of Drangiana and Princess of Bavian"

Coincidentally, I'm rooting for her to take the Iron Throne.  Shame the Night King killed one of her dragons.
lol! Drangiana and Bavian are actual places in Iran, which I'm not sure whether makes the whole thing less bad or worse.

I've never heard of Bavian, but I thought Drangiana was an Achaemenid province in what is now Afghanistan.  You know, from Herodotus?  Is there still a place with that name in the modern world?  In any case, the joke was just too good to pass up!  :laugh:

the "Mother Queen of Drangiana and Princess of Bavian"

Coincidentally, I'm rooting for her to take the Iron Throne.  Shame the Night King killed one of her dragons.

No support (yet?). You may be right. The independent church that I know locally happens to be gay.

So it's just an impression you have based on one vagante church that happens to be near you?

I am rooting for someone in Westeros to develop automatic rifles and turn the conflict into a proper mechanized war in the manner of WWI.  Who needs dragons when you have a tank corps and a mobile infantry division with anti-aircraft guns?  I would like to see the Iron Throne dumped into the sea and a brutal fascist military dictatorship established, primarily because I am annoyed at the incredibly slow pace of the series and find the Westerosi culture, its religions and its anachronistic technology incredibly annoying.  The one bright spot of the series was Queen Cersei blowing up the Sept with the green liquid, which amounts to a proper weapon, and which procured the swift demise of a large number of annoying characters.  :P

Are you going to show up at George R.R. Martin's next book signing and punch him in the stomach?

Mainstream EOs, OOs and EO schismatics (Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians etc. not the silly Western people) are IMO the only who might have any serious claim on validity.

Not even "Old Catholics"?

Not in my opinion. The Church is not a set of doctrines or magical rituals. Also, Old Catholics schismed over papal infallability which is good in itself but they were put up with universal jurisdiction et al for centuries.

My apologies, Alpo.  In my haste yesterday, I misread what you wrote.  I thought you were saying that the vagante lines deriving from EO and OO sources had some validity, but not those deriving from Western lines.  I now see what you mean - that only the actual EO and OO Churches are legitimate - and I heartily agree.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 08:18:18 AM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2017, 09:34:58 AM »

The PNCC probably could be a part of the Orthodox church; I suspect one factor hindering this might be resentment of Russians for reasons relating to the oppression of Poland by the Czars and the Soviets, but there is an autocephalous Polish Orthodox Church, of which our own Dominika is a member; they have no parishes in the US, where the PNCC is primarily located, but I remain hopeful that at some point we can incorporate the PNCC.

Well, there is a branch functioning in Poland with 80 parishes with more or less 21 000 believers; despite belonging to Utrecht, I would say it's Old Catholic - I don't see it accept any heresies and as theologians from the Polish Orthodox Church say, there are no theological differences (mayby only the married bishops...), but... yeah, always there is a "but", I wrote about it in an earlier post.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2017, 11:05:05 AM »
I wouldnt want to punch George RR Martin for two reasons: the sluggish pacing is not his fault as much as HBO, and the overall success of his work creates a climate where my own work (which is SF, not fantasy, but is driven by political conflicts) has a better shot of being accepted, if I ever finish it. 

That people have enjoyed his work despite the slow pacing means people should enjoy similiar work but work that is less agonizingly slow (I think part of the reason for the slow pacing early on was a desire to get a sufficient budget to do the special effects for the dragons adequetely).  Also in a few cases the slow pacing did allow us to visit some fascinating places, like Qarth and Bravos.

Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2017, 02:36:32 PM »
I wouldnt want to punch George RR Martin for two reasons: the sluggish pacing is not his fault as much as HBO, and the overall success of his work creates a climate where my own work (which is SF, not fantasy, but is driven by political conflicts) has a better shot of being accepted, if I ever finish it. 

I'm speechless.  How far along are you?

Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #56 on: August 28, 2017, 05:30:12 PM »
Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

Sure, I do, too, but why don't you OO folks give our EO hierarchs a ring when you figure out a way to keep your vagantes part of the church once they've been there more than a minute.

I would love to be wrong, but I believe the EOC model was a one-time success, at least in the U.S.

To go back to the OP: I think of the well-intentioned ones as Protestants with Orthodox-adjacent theology. The bishop I mentioned earlier, whose big hangup was open versus closed communion, requires his seminarians (they have to have actual ministries) to read a whole lot of Orthodox theology.

And Serge is right about vagante jurisdictions often being a haven for gay wanna-be clergy. I've mentioned elsewhere that I've spent a lot of time reading about these folks, and it's a recurrent theme.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2017, 06:21:00 PM »
Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

Sure, I do, too, but why don't you OO folks give our EO hierarchs a ring when you figure out a way to keep your vagantes part of the church once they've been there more than a minute.

I would love to be wrong, but I believe the EOC model was a one-time success, at least in the U.S.

So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #58 on: August 28, 2017, 06:33:00 PM »
I wouldnt want to punch George RR Martin for two reasons: the sluggish pacing is not his fault as much as HBO, and the overall success of his work creates a climate where my own work (which is SF, not fantasy, but is driven by political conflicts) has a better shot of being accepted, if I ever finish it. 

I'm speechless.  How far along are you?

Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

45%, most of which can be read as a stand alone story in its present condition.  I would say 50%, excepf I decided some material requires a rewrite.  There are three volumes, and volume 1 is complefe, although I may pad it out a bit, as it is only 79,000 words, and I think a word count of 90,000 for the first two volumes would be optimal, 120,000 for the third.  Dune, by Frank Herbert, is something like 350,000 words, for purposes of comparison.

David Lean is my favorite director, and one thing he liked to do with his films is cut, almost unexpectedly, across material that one might expect to be subjected to, but which would in fact be extraneous.  This is particularly evident in Lawrence of Arabia and A Passage to India, but Dr. Zhivago featues similiar dramatic cuts back in time, as well as forwards.

 I like the idea of using these in the context of a novel, as opposed to subjecting the reader to a continuous, unending narrative.  I don't need to know when my characters use the loo (although a lavatory sequence is a good way to stress the humanity of a hero according to DH Lawrence; that said I can think of only four that are of interest, only two of which are in the context of science fiction, that being Dr. Heywood Floyd readimg the instructions on the Zero-G Toilet, and the other being a rather gross scene adding to the brutal oppression of Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty Four, so I don't think we will be taking any trips into the lavatories of my science fiction setting). 

When writing fiction, I try to use an economy of prose, facilitated through an exact and demanding vocabulary, which aims for impressionism; if I can express something in four words uncommonly spoken vs. eight vernacular words, I will go for the first option.   The exception, of course, is my characters; I don't want them to sound like me, except of course for the ones that express some aspect of myself, and that is a constant struggle, to remove my verbal idiosyncracies from characters who should lack it.

I also have completed two short stories as well which are in the SF mold, and which may be of interest.  I am very much tempted to self publish the entire work in its written form free of charge on a blog, in the hopes of acquiring a readership that might enjoy the work in other media.  My dream would be to have it filmed in a manner that would blend elements of contemporary story-arc driven series on Netflix, Hulu, etc, with the style of 1960s epic filmmakimg associated with David Lean, Stanley Kubrick, and other directors, the kind of films that had a full theatrical overture and an en'tracte.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2017, 06:39:31 PM »
Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

Sure, I do, too, but why don't you OO folks give our EO hierarchs a ring when you figure out a way to keep your vagantes part of the church once they've been there more than a minute.

I would love to be wrong, but I believe the EOC model was a one-time success, at least in the U.S.

So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

If he is, he is inaccurate; the EOs successfully absorbed a nasty cult known as the Holy Order Of MANS which reformed into a psuedo Orthodox "Christ the Savior Brotherhood".

What is more, we would still have the BOC as part of the OO church were it not for exceptionally egregious conduct on the part of Metropolitan Seraphim.  I am not at liberty to say what happened, but I can say the "schism" was not really a schism so much as a way of sparing the Coptic church from an extreme embarassment.   As it happens, we still have most of the BOC's parishioners (a few went to Antioch), while His Eminence has a number of tiny, useless and empty chapels, amd a brand name.  So really, when it comes down to it, we still have the business; the BOC's separation from the Coptic church was close to being nominal.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2017, 06:56:29 PM »
Quote
So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

That's my impression. The Eastern churches were victims; they were very trusting and were used horribly by these men, often clergy wannabes for the wrong reason.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2017, 07:15:56 PM »
Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

Sure, I do, too, but why don't you OO folks give our EO hierarchs a ring when you figure out a way to keep your vagantes part of the church once they've been there more than a minute.

I would love to be wrong, but I believe the EOC model was a one-time success, at least in the U.S.

So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

If he is, he is inaccurate; the EOs successfully absorbed a nasty cult known as the Holy Order Of MANS which reformed into a psuedo Orthodox "Christ the Savior Brotherhood".

...Which still retains some kookiness.

So it's a two-off, and they were 25-30 years ago.

I honestly don't know about the success of the mass EO receptions overseas because other than the mention that they're pending and that the numbers seem very, ahem, inflated, there's not a lot of followup coverage.

And I don't think we really have to explore what's happened with the WRO group receptions.

All of that said, I'd love the be wrong.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 07:16:44 PM by Agabus »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #62 on: August 28, 2017, 09:19:37 PM »
Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

Sure, I do, too, but why don't you OO folks give our EO hierarchs a ring when you figure out a way to keep your vagantes part of the church once they've been there more than a minute.

I would love to be wrong, but I believe the EOC model was a one-time success, at least in the U.S.

So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

If he is, he is inaccurate; the EOs successfully absorbed a nasty cult known as the Holy Order Of MANS which reformed into a psuedo Orthodox "Christ the Savior Brotherhood".

What is more, we would still have the BOC as part of the OO church were it not for exceptionally egregious conduct on the part of Metropolitan Seraphim.  I am not at liberty to say what happened, but I can say the "schism" was not really a schism so much as a way of sparing the Coptic church from an extreme embarassment.   As it happens, we still have most of the BOC's parishioners (a few went to Antioch), while His Eminence has a number of tiny, useless and empty chapels, amd a brand name.  So really, when it comes down to it, we still have the business; the BOC's separation from the Coptic church was close to being nominal.

Thank you, Alpha.  I agree.  And I think we still have the bulk of the actual personnel of the BOC within the Coptic Patriarchate.  They just aren't called by that name anymore.

Now regarding the main subject of this thread, it seems we are approaching a consensus that while the vagante churches are invalid in terms of apostolic succession, to the extent their faith aligns with ours, if they have actual congregations and do not merely consist of someone prancing about in assorted vestments, it can be worth it to integrate them if they desire this integration and if their clergy have sufficient humility to be reordained as deacons, retrained and then installed as priests of their flock, basically following the model of the Evangelical Orthodox Church integration into Antioch.

I can agree with that.

Sure, I do, too, but why don't you OO folks give our EO hierarchs a ring when you figure out a way to keep your vagantes part of the church once they've been there more than a minute.

I would love to be wrong, but I believe the EOC model was a one-time success, at least in the U.S.

So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

If he is, he is inaccurate; the EOs successfully absorbed a nasty cult known as the Holy Order Of MANS which reformed into a psuedo Orthodox "Christ the Savior Brotherhood".

...Which still retains some kookiness.

So it's a two-off, and they were 25-30 years ago.

I honestly don't know about the success of the mass EO receptions overseas because other than the mention that they're pending and that the numbers seem very, ahem, inflated, there's not a lot of followup coverage.

And I don't think we really have to explore what's happened with the WRO group receptions.

All of that said, I'd love the be wrong.

I was about to bring that up.  So, you're not too trusting as it concerns either the EO or OO missions in Latin America, huh?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2017, 09:20:09 PM »
Quote
So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

That's my impression. The Eastern churches were victims; they were very trusting and were used horribly by these men, often clergy wannabes for the wrong reason.

In some instances, I believe you're right.  I do think there have been some notable successes though.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2017, 10:53:51 PM »
If he is, he is inaccurate; the EOs successfully absorbed a nasty cult known as the Holy Order Of MANS which reformed into a psuedo Orthodox "Christ the Savior Brotherhood".
The Archeparchy of Brazil (PAOC), of which I'm part, has roughly similar origins (esoteric group, then non-canonical Orthodox), but its path toward and after the Orthodox Church was much cleaner and more successful. The group grew exponentially after becoming Orthodox, and finally became canonical, while MANS seems to have done the opposite (lost members and just one part and another of them became canonical Orthodox).
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 10:58:05 PM by RaphaCam »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2017, 01:38:34 AM »
Quote
So you're saying that on the whole - with the exception of the EOC episode - the EO and OO are unsuccessful at retaining vagante groups they've absorbed?

That's my impression. The Eastern churches were victims; they were very trusting and were used horribly by these men, often clergy wannabes for the wrong reason.

In some instances, I believe you're right.  I do think there have been some notable successes though.

Indeed, we can count at least five: the Anglo Catholic groups that formed the nucleus of the ROCOR and Antiochian WRV, the Evangelical Orthodox Church, Christ the Savior Brotherhood, and the British Orthodox Church.

And these have been big wins; they have taken the Church much deeper into new demographics, bringing many Western Christians into Holy Orthodoxy.   So I see no reason not to try to continue to pick up strays as we move towards salvation; like stray cats, some will hiss at us and not let us take them, but others, a minority, perhaps, but those previously domesticated by Orthodox-leaning theology, will embrace us enthusiastically.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #66 on: August 29, 2017, 09:42:25 AM »
Indeed, we can count at least five: the Anglo Catholic groups that formed the nucleus of the ROCOR and Antiochian WRV, the Evangelical Orthodox Church, Christ the Savior Brotherhood, and the British Orthodox Church.

And these have been big wins; they have taken the Church much deeper into new demographics, bringing many Western Christians into Holy Orthodoxy.   

I think that's an exceedingly rosy view of the success for the WRV.

And, for that matter, the BOC.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #67 on: August 29, 2017, 09:47:17 AM »
Unless something dramatically changes in the attitudes of clergy and hierarchs toward WR, I don't see it expanding far beyond the little niche it currently inhabits.

I also wonder if absorbing Christ the Savior Brotherhood can necessarily be counted a win.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 09:51:21 AM by Iconodule »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #68 on: August 29, 2017, 12:07:38 PM »
Unless something dramatically changes in the attitudes of clergy and hierarchs toward WR, I don't see it expanding far beyond the little niche it currently inhabits.

I also wonder if absorbing Christ the Savior Brotherhood can necessarily be counted a win.

It was a poisonous venus fly trap luring people away from tne Church, and it is now effectively defunct.  The only problem that we have had with them since the takeover,, although I concede it was a very bad one, was the abusive conditions at the retreat for troubled youth run by the Italian ex-HOOM priest, which stopped short of paedophilia, thankfully, and as soon as they were made aware of it, the Bulgarian bishops in the US investigated and wound up shutting the facility down and deposing the abusive priest in question.

However, had CSB remained independent, there would have been no one in a position to reign in those excesses, which I think pale in comparison with those of Elder Pamteleimon when he was the abbot and archbishop in charge of Holy Transfiguration Monastery and HOCNA.   HOCNA was a schismatic group originally created by him so he could evade ROCOR's investigation into the allegations he was abusing novice monks, which in the grand scheme of things, by the way, comes across as vagante-ish, although to their credit, they did catch him and force him to retire eventually,

Its very important that we get the deeds on the real estate when we annex a vagante group, to keep them from having undesirable  "second thoughts" and to ensure if we have another issue such as that at the youth retreat in Alaska, we can shut it down, and not have it slip away like Elder Panteleimon into a new non-canonical jurisdiction.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2017, 05:46:15 PM »
Well, there is a branch functioning in Poland with 80 parishes with more or less 21 000 believers; despite belonging to Utrecht, I would say it's Old Catholic - I don't see it accept any heresies and as theologians from the Polish Orthodox Church say, there are no theological differences (mayby only the married bishops...), but... yeah, always there is a "but", I wrote about it in an earlier post.

Well what is their ecclesiology? Is it not some kind of branch theory?

And if they are still members of Utrecht, that basically means that while they wouldn't hole opinions of other Utrecht Union members themselves (for example concerning homosexuality), they basically believe that one can be fully part of the Church while holding such opinions. And since the Union of Utrecht is in full communion with the Anglicans, that means doctrinal pluralism to the point of accepting Calvinism and such things, and one is still considered fully part of the Church... this is what some Orthodox bishops and monks have included in definitions of "ecumenism". Even the moderate definitions.

And indeed, Old Catholics, both the liberal and the conservative kinds, seem to be a lot into ecumenism.


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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2017, 06:24:07 PM »
Well, there is a branch functioning in Poland with 80 parishes with more or less 21 000 believers; despite belonging to Utrecht, I would say it's Old Catholic - I don't see it accept any heresies and as theologians from the Polish Orthodox Church say, there are no theological differences (mayby only the married bishops...), but... yeah, always there is a "but", I wrote about it in an earlier post.

Well what is their ecclesiology? Is it not some kind of branch theory?

And if they are still members of Utrecht, that basically means that while they wouldn't hole opinions of other Utrecht Union members themselves (for example concerning homosexuality), they basically believe that one can be fully part of the Church while holding such opinions. And since the Union of Utrecht is in full communion with the Anglicans, that means doctrinal pluralism to the point of accepting Calvinism and such things, and one is still considered fully part of the Church... this is what some Orthodox bishops and monks have included in definitions of "ecumenism". Even the moderate definitions.

And indeed, Old Catholics, both the liberal and the conservative kinds, seem to be a lot into ecumenism.

Well, it seems that Polish Old Catholics (at least the Polish Catholic Church and Old Catholic Mariavite Church) have maintanined an autonomy in their theology and the practices despite belonging to the Utrecht; at least that's what I was, more or less, said by the students of the Old Catholic section at the Christian Theological Academy (our Orthodox section have some subjects with them together).
So, the ecclosiology is something based on the episcopacy and conciliarity coming from the first millenium of the Christianity. The dogmat may be only this thing, that has been believe always and commonly; so, they accept as the ecumenical only the 7 councils. The sources of the faith and dogmas are the Holy Scriptures and unbroke, uninterrupted Holy Tradition. They don't regognise papal infability (and the universal authority of the pope over the Church), immaculate conception, Filioque...
They don't accept homosexualism.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2017, 07:15:10 PM »
PNCC founding Prime Bishop Franciszek Hodur wrote a book, Apocalypse of the Twentieth Century; I've read it. It's not the pious things you'd expect from a Catholic bishop from Poland, even one who had broken with Rome. It's not Orthodox. It's not even Protestant. It's more like the Unitarians and the Masons (many PNCC clergy are Masons), with America and the Poles being special in God's plan. He even mentions women priests.

The parishes remained very Catholic, even traditional, Poles being conservative, but my point is it's ironic that a church founded and led by crypto-radicals ended up relatively conservative (liturgically not anymore; they've copied the Novus Ordo), the Union of Scranton in a position to replace Utrecht for more conservative Old Catholics, such as the Eastern European ones who are often Catholic priests who switched to marry.

(The Catholic Church recognizes their bishops and Mass.)

I don't think the PNCC were ever vagantes; they were and are real congregations, now of generational members. (They have a parish here in Philadelphia, St. Valentine's.)

Interestingly they've picked up a few ex-Catholics in America in the wake of Catholic parish closings in our old Northeastern industrial base.

There are two factions, a relatively conservative one that wants a reconciliation with honor with Catholicism where they can keep their distinctive practices (I say if it's not doctrine, go for it) and a liberal one that wants to be like the Episcopalians (under Hodur they went into communion with the Episcopalians, in 1946; the PNCC ended that in 1977 over women's ordination).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 07:16:47 PM by The young fogey »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #72 on: August 30, 2017, 09:26:08 AM »
Well, it seems that Polish Old Catholics (at least the Polish Catholic Church and Old Catholic Mariavite Church) have maintanined an autonomy in their theology and the practices despite belonging to the Utrecht; at least that's what I was, more or less, said by the students of the Old Catholic section at the Christian Theological Academy (our Orthodox section have some subjects with them together).
So, the ecclosiology is something based on the episcopacy and conciliarity coming from the first millenium of the Christianity. The dogmat may be only this thing, that has been believe always and commonly; so, they accept as the ecumenical only the 7 councils. The sources of the faith and dogmas are the Holy Scriptures and unbroke, uninterrupted Holy Tradition. They don't regognise papal infability (and the universal authority of the pope over the Church), immaculate conception, Filioque...
They don't accept homosexualism.

Maybe my wording was unclear. Do they not believe that one can be a valid part of the church and at the same time hold heresies? For example, they themselves don't marry gays, but they are in full communion with the Old Catholics of Utrecht/Holland, who do. Or they don't believe in filioque, but they are in full communion withthe Church of England, who does...

I believe this is not acceptable from an Orthodox point of view. If an Orthodox diocese were to teach the filioque and to include it in its creed, of course we would break communion with them. And I see a problem in the ecclesiology of those who don't see the necessity of breaking communion. Unity of the Church means unity in faith.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2017, 09:33:48 AM »
the Union of Scranton in a position to replace Utrecht for more conservative Old Catholics,

The Union of Scranton rejects women's ordination and homosexuality. But otherwise, it's the same as the Union of Utrecht. Or let's say, it is exactly the Union of Utrecht before some of them introduced the two points mentioned before.

So the Union of Scranton means being in communion with filioquists, Calvinists, deniers of the real presence in the Eucharist etc. Surely Orthodoxy does not mean to be in communion with heretics.

And whereras I am quite in favour of dialogue with non-Orthodox Christians, we cannot share the Eucharist if we don't even believe in the same Holy Spirit to come down on the gifts, let alone if we cannot even agree whether the gifts are truly transformed ...

I always found it completely odd that Lutherans are now taking communion, in which they see a real presence, together with Reformed Protestants, who consider the same gifts to be mere bread and wine. If let's say the PNCC and the Anglican Church of Uganda take communion together, it seems to be about the same.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2017, 11:00:21 AM »
Its very important that we get the deeds on the real estate when we annex a vagante group, to keep them from having undesirable  "second thoughts" ...

A positive rephrasing would be, "as a demonstration of their good faith."

I'm not much for keeping someone around who wants to leave. Or for retributive reassignment of property, vis-a-vis the Episcopalians.

Probably just an old congregational hangup on my part.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2017, 02:29:24 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2017, 02:40:25 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

They advertise having a cathedral in an area I go several times a year, but I've never seen it despite walking the street where it is supposedly located, even as recently as two weeks ago. I'm guessing based on the district that it's a storefront.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2017, 02:47:27 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

The AOC in particular is not recognized as legitimate by us, which I think is good; we are in communion with the original "African-Initiated Church" as the WCC calls them, in the form of the Ethiopians, and we don't need to be in communion with people who dedicate one of their largest parishes to "St. John Coltrane" (and who also backup the choir at St. Gregory of Nyassa Episcopal Church across the bay (a parish so heretical even by ECUSA standards; their iconography depicts a dancing Kangxi Emperor among other dancing saints, and they have an anaphora dedicated to Cain, the proto-murderer).
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2017, 03:41:17 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

He was deposed for simony?  LOL, as if he was unique in that, if true at all.  Simony in one form or another is still with us. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #79 on: August 30, 2017, 03:48:29 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here...

They are not legitimate.  Any "relationship" with the "Syriac Patriarch" is a technicality so extreme it's worthless. 
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #80 on: August 30, 2017, 04:04:34 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

He was deposed for simony?  LOL, as if he was unique in that, if true at all.  Simony in one form or another is still with us.

Actually, I made an error.  He was deposed for ordaining a schismatic PNCC priest as bishop without permission of Ignatius IV.

On September 9, 1898, Vilatte was excommunicated by Ignatius Peter IV for consecrating Kaminski in a way contrary to the canon law of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.[4](p67) Anson wrote that in his agreement with Alvares, Vilatte acknowledged that if he "deviated from their Canons and Rules, he would be subject to dismissal from the dignity of Metropolitan."[1](p108) Bishops were consecrated by Vilatte "without authority" from the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, who "therefore does not recognize such consecrations or their derivative consecrations and ordinations."[62](p1070)[76](pp39–40)

----

However, Kamimski did pay him.  The reason Vilatte waited so long to ordain him is initially he demanded a large fee which Kamimski lacked.  Almost all of his subsequent ordinations involved simony.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #81 on: August 30, 2017, 04:15:55 PM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

They advertise having a cathedral in an area I go several times a year, but I've never seen it despite walking the street where it is supposedly located, even as recently as two weeks ago. I'm guessing based on the district that it's a storefront.

If you ever decide to dig a little deeper and maybe visit them, please share the results!

I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

The AOC in particular is not recognized as legitimate by us, which I think is good; we are in communion with the original "African-Initiated Church" as the WCC calls them, in the form of the Ethiopians, and we don't need to be in communion with people who dedicate one of their largest parishes to "St. John Coltrane" (and who also backup the choir at St. Gregory of Nyassa Episcopal Church across the bay (a parish so heretical even by ECUSA standards; their iconography depicts a dancing Kangxi Emperor among other dancing saints, and they have an anaphora dedicated to Cain, the proto-murderer).

Good info.  Thanks, Alpha.

I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here...

They are not legitimate.  Any "relationship" with the "Syriac Patriarch" is a technicality so extreme it's worthless.

Thank you.

I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

He was deposed for simony?  LOL, as if he was unique in that, if true at all.  Simony in one form or another is still with us.

Actually, I made an error.  He was deposed for ordaining a schismatic PNCC priest as bishop without permission of Ignatius IV.

On September 9, 1898, Vilatte was excommunicated by Ignatius Peter IV for consecrating Kaminski in a way contrary to the canon law of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.[4](p67) Anson wrote that in his agreement with Alvares, Vilatte acknowledged that if he "deviated from their Canons and Rules, he would be subject to dismissal from the dignity of Metropolitan."[1](p108) Bishops were consecrated by Vilatte "without authority" from the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, who "therefore does not recognize such consecrations or their derivative consecrations and ordinations."[62](p1070)[76](pp39–40)

----

However, Kamimski did pay him.  The reason Vilatte waited so long to ordain him is initially he demanded a large fee which Kamimski lacked.  Almost all of his subsequent ordinations involved simony.

So if I understand you guys (Mor and Alpha) correctly, Vilatte was canonically ordained by the Syriac Church (or independent Malankara Church?  I'm not clear on the timeline or whether the MOSC was part of the SOC at this point), but later fell out of favor because of his sketchy activities (including rampant simony) and all of the ordinations he conducted were declared null and void?  Even those before his deposition and excommunication?  Is that right?  Can either of you please tell me about the circumstances surrounding his reception into the Oriental Orthodox Communion?  Thanks in advance.
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #82 on: August 30, 2017, 05:21:56 PM »
I don't remember reading that Vilatte practiced simony but it wouldn't have been out of character. At least one of his parishes in Wisconsin is still around, long Episcopal.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #83 on: August 30, 2017, 05:30:49 PM »
Well, it seems that Polish Old Catholics (at least the Polish Catholic Church and Old Catholic Mariavite Church) have maintanined an autonomy in their theology and the practices despite belonging to the Utrecht; at least that's what I was, more or less, said by the students of the Old Catholic section at the Christian Theological Academy (our Orthodox section have some subjects with them together).
So, the ecclosiology is something based on the episcopacy and conciliarity coming from the first millenium of the Christianity. The dogmat may be only this thing, that has been believe always and commonly; so, they accept as the ecumenical only the 7 councils. The sources of the faith and dogmas are the Holy Scriptures and unbroke, uninterrupted Holy Tradition. They don't regognise papal infability (and the universal authority of the pope over the Church), immaculate conception, Filioque...
They don't accept homosexualism.

Maybe my wording was unclear. Do they not believe that one can be a valid part of the church and at the same time hold heresies? For example, they themselves don't marry gays, but they are in full communion with the Old Catholics of Utrecht/Holland, who do. Or they don't believe in filioque, but they are in full communion withthe Church of England, who does...

I believe this is not acceptable from an Orthodox point of view. If an Orthodox diocese were to teach the filioque and to include it in its creed, of course we would break communion with them. And I see a problem in the ecclesiology of those who don't see the necessity of breaking communion. Unity of the Church means unity in faith.

I agree that "Unity of the Church means unity in faith" but... I guess, just guess, that they don't have any choice. I mean, they're not ready to join Orthodoxy, they don't agree with Catholicism and with Protestantism, but can't leave the Utrecht to... Not become vagante ;)
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #84 on: August 30, 2017, 05:59:12 PM »
I agree that "Unity of the Church means unity in faith" but... I guess, just guess, that they don't have any choice.

Well, they should ask themselves if they are willing to be in communion with heterodox structures. And honestly, the historical answer of Old Catholics is "No problem". And this has been the case since the 1920s when the Bonn Agreement with the Anglicans was signed.

So I am convinced that one of the main reasons they haven't become Orthodox is their ecclesiology.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #85 on: August 30, 2017, 06:05:01 PM »
So if I understand you guys (Mor and Alpha) correctly, Vilatte was canonically ordained by the Syriac Church (or independent Malankara Church?  I'm not clear on the timeline or whether the MOSC was part of the SOC at this point)...

IIRC, Rene Vilatte was consecrated "Mor Timotheos" by SS Gregorios of Parumala, Julius Alvarez of Goa, and another (non-canonised) bishop whose name escapes me right now.  This means it was before the internal schism from which we get "MOSC" and "MSOC". 

Quote
...but later fell out of favor because of his sketchy activities (including rampant simony) and all of the ordinations he conducted were declared null and void?  Even those before his deposition and excommunication?  Is that right?  Can either of you please tell me about the circumstances surrounding his reception into the Oriental Orthodox Communion?  Thanks in advance.

Alpha60 may have access to better information, I don't know.  I thought a cursory review of the wikipedia article would demonstrate that it was reasonably accurate, but I don't know enough to say...either it's written from a particular slant or the situation really was that screwy, maybe a bit of both.  There are resources in Malayalam, but even if I have them (I'm not sure), it would take me a while to get through. 

Technically, if someone is being deposed for X, it only affects subsequent attempted ministrations, not those performed within the bosom of the Church.  But while it could be the case that someone could be deposed for X and some/all prior ministrations could be declared null for cause, it would also not surprise me if it were done without cause (i.e., as a form of retribution), even if that's not exactly correct.  And in any case, I'm not sure why deposing a bishop for simony would only apply to "foreign" bishops.  It's shameful to say, but simony is something that is not limited to a random 19th century French convert. 
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #86 on: August 30, 2017, 07:01:44 PM »
So if I understand you guys (Mor and Alpha) correctly, Vilatte was canonically ordained by the Syriac Church (or independent Malankara Church?  I'm not clear on the timeline or whether the MOSC was part of the SOC at this point)...

IIRC, Rene Vilatte was consecrated "Mor Timotheos" by SS Gregorios of Parumala, Julius Alvarez of Goa, and another (non-canonised) bishop whose name escapes me right now.  This means it was before the internal schism from which we get "MOSC" and "MSOC". 

Quote
...but later fell out of favor because of his sketchy activities (including rampant simony) and all of the ordinations he conducted were declared null and void?  Even those before his deposition and excommunication?  Is that right?  Can either of you please tell me about the circumstances surrounding his reception into the Oriental Orthodox Communion?  Thanks in advance.

Alpha60 may have access to better information, I don't know.  I thought a cursory review of the wikipedia article would demonstrate that it was reasonably accurate, but I don't know enough to say...either it's written from a particular slant or the situation really was that screwy, maybe a bit of both.  There are resources in Malayalam, but even if I have them (I'm not sure), it would take me a while to get through. 

Technically, if someone is being deposed for X, it only affects subsequent attempted ministrations, not those performed within the bosom of the Church.  But while it could be the case that someone could be deposed for X and some/all prior ministrations could be declared null for cause, it would also not surprise me if it were done without cause (i.e., as a form of retribution), even if that's not exactly correct.  And in any case, I'm not sure why deposing a bishop for simony would only apply to "foreign" bishops.  It's shameful to say, but simony is something that is not limited to a random 19th century French convert.

Thanks for the information.  So I guess the issue then is determining which ordinations were conducted before and which were conducted after his canonical deposition.

In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #87 on: August 30, 2017, 08:10:30 PM »
In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?

The Church would recognise them if they maintained their communion with the Church.  But I am unaware of any that did so or even tried and failed for whatever reason.  How, then, could we vouch for them? 
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #88 on: August 30, 2017, 08:16:11 PM »
Recognizing lines outside the church isn't Orthodox. Simony or not, Vilatte was an adventurer, a minister for fun and profit, who abused at least one Eastern church among others.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 08:16:39 PM by The young fogey »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #89 on: August 30, 2017, 10:23:43 PM »
In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?

The Church would recognise them if they maintained their communion with the Church.  But I am unaware of any that did so or even tried and failed for whatever reason.  How, then, could we vouch for them?

So from their inception, each vagante church established by Vilatte or traceable to a Vilatte line made no pretensions of being in communion with the (Syriac) Church from which they claimed to derive legitimacy?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #90 on: August 31, 2017, 01:16:42 AM »
I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

They advertise having a cathedral in an area I go several times a year, but I've never seen it despite walking the street where it is supposedly located, even as recently as two weeks ago. I'm guessing based on the district that it's a storefront.

If you ever decide to dig a little deeper and maybe visit them, please share the results!

I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

The AOC in particular is not recognized as legitimate by us, which I think is good; we are in communion with the original "African-Initiated Church" as the WCC calls them, in the form of the Ethiopians, and we don't need to be in communion with people who dedicate one of their largest parishes to "St. John Coltrane" (and who also backup the choir at St. Gregory of Nyassa Episcopal Church across the bay (a parish so heretical even by ECUSA standards; their iconography depicts a dancing Kangxi Emperor among other dancing saints, and they have an anaphora dedicated to Cain, the proto-murderer).

Good info.  Thanks, Alpha.

I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here...

They are not legitimate.  Any "relationship" with the "Syriac Patriarch" is a technicality so extreme it's worthless.

Thank you.

I wonder if Mor or any of our posters of the Syriac tradition would be so kind as to comment on how we (Oriental Orthodox) should view those specific vagante churches claiming descent from Syriac lines - such as the African Orthodox Church - as here:

Quote
Relationship to Syriac Patriarch[edit]
A notice from the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East concerning schismatic bodies and episcopi vagantes, dated December 10, 1938, states that "after direct expulsion from official Christian communities" some schismatic bodies exist, including "all the sects claiming succession through Vilatte," that claim "without truth to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Apostolic Church of the East" and
[...] some of these schismatic bodies have with effrontery published statements which are untrue as to an alleged relation "in succession and ordination" to our Holy Apostolic Church and her forefathers, We find it necessary to announce to all whom it may concern that we deny any and every relation whatsoever with these schismatic bodies and repudiate them and their claims absolutely. Furthermore, our Church forbids any and every relationship, and above all, intercommunion with all and any of these schismatic sects and warns the public that their statements and pretensions [...] are altogether without truth.[3](p70)
The notice named the AOC specifically as an example of such schismatic bodies.[3](p70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Orthodox_Church#Relationship_to_Syriac_Patriarch

What I can specifically tell you about that is that when word of Rene Villatte's ordinations, particularly of the African Orthodox Church, which allegedly involved simony, reached the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Indian Catholicos, letters were sent declaring him deposed, and declaring all of his ordinations invalid (either from that point, or entirely; I think the latter).  The African Orthodox Church ordination was the specific episode that led to some fury and initiated his formal removal from the Syriac church; I believe this was due to him being paid a fee or charging a fee for the ordination, but I think this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back, and that he was heading for excommunication before the AOC incident.

He was deposed for simony?  LOL, as if he was unique in that, if true at all.  Simony in one form or another is still with us.

Actually, I made an error.  He was deposed for ordaining a schismatic PNCC priest as bishop without permission of Ignatius IV.

On September 9, 1898, Vilatte was excommunicated by Ignatius Peter IV for consecrating Kaminski in a way contrary to the canon law of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.[4](p67) Anson wrote that in his agreement with Alvares, Vilatte acknowledged that if he "deviated from their Canons and Rules, he would be subject to dismissal from the dignity of Metropolitan."[1](p108) Bishops were consecrated by Vilatte "without authority" from the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, who "therefore does not recognize such consecrations or their derivative consecrations and ordinations."[62](p1070)[76](pp39–40)

----

However, Kamimski did pay him.  The reason Vilatte waited so long to ordain him is initially he demanded a large fee which Kamimski lacked.  Almost all of his subsequent ordinations involved simony.

So if I understand you guys (Mor and Alpha) correctly, Vilatte was canonically ordained by the Syriac Church (or independent Malankara Church?  I'm not clear on the timeline or whether the MOSC was part of the SOC at this point), but later fell out of favor because of his sketchy activities (including rampant simony) and all of the ordinations he conducted were declared null and void?  Even those before his deposition and excommunication?  Is that right?  Can either of you please tell me about the circumstances surrounding his reception into the Oriental Orthodox Communion?  Thanks in advance.

Villatte, upon being deposed by the Episcopal church and refused reception into the RCC, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Dutch Old Catholic church, still wanted to be a bishop to lead the small Old Catholic community he had organized as part of the Episcopal church among the Belgian emigres of the diocese of Fond du Lac.

Now, at this time (1894), the schism within the Syriac Orthodox Church in India did not exist, except for the schism with the Anglicanised Mar Thoma Syrian Church, which was established by the British East India Company and a corrupt, schismatic bishop; the Church had deposited its reserves of gold with the British East India Company, which then refused to release them to anyone except the Protestant-leaning bishop; this happened in the period 1800-1820.  Thoyizoor might also have existed; I can't recall the reason why they came into being; they worship in the Orthodox manner and I consider them Orthodox, but their bishops are ordained in part by Mar Thoma bishops amd vice versa.

Now, where it gets interesting is that the undivided Syriac Orthodox Church in India, the Orthodox Church of the East, of Malankara, posessed a Western Rite.  This was formed by angry Latin Rite Catholics from the Portuguese speaking colony of Goa, who had settled in Sri Lanka; the Roman Catholics would not ordain any Goan Indian or indo-Portuguese (Luso-Indian, to be more precise) clergy for the parishes in Sri Lanka.  Thus, the Goans were received into the Syriac Orthodox Church, retaining their Western Rite, including vestments, the basic Mass, liturgical Latin, and so on, but embracing the Miaphysite Christology of our communion.

Villatte corresponded with a Metran (Metropolitan) Alvarez of the Western Rite Metropolis in Ceylon, and the latter offered to come to Fond du Lac, but Villatte instead travelled to Sri Lanka.

The conditions of his ordination as Mar Timotheos were that he not ordain any bishops without permission of the Patriarch and in accord with the Syriac tradition, which requires three bishops to ordain, and that he adhere to the Syriac Orthodox faith.

Initially, Vilatte held to these conditions, but his congregations rejected his attempt to blend Oriental Orthodoxy into their Catholicism (they had initially joined his mission only due to the lack of an Orthodox presence in the area).  Vilatte became involved with a schismatic branch of the Portuguese National Catholic Church, the priest of which, Kaminsky, if I recall correctly, had pestered Villatte for years to be ordained, but Vilatte refused on the grounds that he needed three bishops and approval of the Patriarch.   It is alleged he also demanded a large fee, simony; it is known he engaged in simony in 1920 with his final ordination, of the bishops of the African Orthodox Church, which by the way tried and failed to be received as a canonical Eastern Orthodox Church for black people (the founders were black nationalist Episcopalians who decided they should leave the Episcopal church for a "black Catholic church" as it were), but Vilatte was also throughout his career the subject of what appears to be continual harassment and persecution by the Episcopalian bishop who deposed him (who took posession of the diocese of Fond du Lac after the bishop who ordained Vilatte and supported his attempt to set up an Old Catholic Rite in the Episcopal Church, reposed).  So I myself am not convinced that Vilatte's initial refusal to ordain as a bishop this Polish chap had anything to do with simony, but was rather genuine obedience to the Syriac Orthodox Church.

At some point however, Vilatte decided he wished to be Old Catholic and not Syriac Orthodox, as his attempts to incorporate our theology into his church community alienated most of his congregation, who were basically there due to a lack of Roman Catholic parishes, and after Propaganda established missions, the remainder were Old Catholics and Polish Nationalists, who did not want to reject Chalcedon.  So ar that point, Vilatte ordained Kaminsky, and then in the following years travelled to Europe and went on something of an ordination spree, ordaining a great many would be Old Catholic bishops who allegedly were connected to Vilatte through Freemasonry, who were driven by anti-Papal sentiment.

The only really enduring churches he ordained bishops for were the American Catholic Church, which he also initially ran, which represented the fulfillment of his desire for an American Old Catholic Church, and the African Orthodox Church, which still has some parishes, although it used to be much larger.

Naturally when the Patriarch of Antioch found out that Vilatte had performed an unsanctioned ordination of a bishop, he deposed and excommunicated him.

After ordaining the bishops of the African Orthodox Church, Vilatte reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church and was allowed to live on the grounds of a monastery in his native France, where the monks referred to him as monsignor out of respect, despite him having renounced the episcopal state.  He was taken care of by a young American man, who took his posessions when Vilatte finally reposed in 1928.

Now, the American Catholic Church was somewhat successful under his successor, and grew to have a few thousand members.  In the 1970s, it became involved in the occult.  In the 1990s, a member of it, who had become a bishop, Mar Michael, realized the extremely heretical nature of it and broke away with his parishes in Tennessee, rejecting the Gnosticism and occult Catholic practices which continue to dominate the former ACC and its offshoots, like the "Eucharistic Catholic Church."

The parishes under Mar Michael became the Antiochian Catholic Church in America, and adopted a liturgy derived from the West Syriac Rite, but with Byzantine Rite influences, particularly where they lacked access to the Syriac Orthodox seasonal propers.  Later, they obtained copies of these via the Internet and Syriacised some of their services, although the man basically running the church at present loves the Byzantine rite and desires to retain aspects of it.  This man, Mar Andreas Cassian, is an auxilliary bishop; they also have two priests.  They briefly had a female priest, and their old website stated they supported the ordination of women, but this proved to be a mistake amd is no longer the case.  They are also opposed to the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood, or men with homosexual inclinations, except in cases where it is clear this passion has been conquered and there will be no contact between the priest and young boys, for example, Fr. Seraphim Rose is someone they like.  One of their two male priests, who used to run their website and had a parish, but has health problems and is now semi-retired, was I believe a member of this website.

They used to own a building in downtown Knoxville, St. Demetrios Church, and this operated a soup kitchen which operated on a very large scale and was funded in part by the local Greek Orthodox community, who contributed to it both financially and with donations of food, as part of their charitable operations.  Unfortunately, this building was reposessed in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008; I believe Mar Michael had mortgaged it or refinanced it with a subprime loan in order to pay the operating costs of the soup kitchen.  The closure of the soup kitchen did have an adverse effect on the homeless community.  I know of a similiar independent Baptist church in Skid Row in Los Angeles which has managed to fare somewhat better by making use of an old restaurant, which features an organ, although that church is in danger because of the poor health of their ageing, diabetic pastor.

Since that time, Mar Andreas Cassian has been assisting Mar Michael; he does not by the way normally style himself as a bishop.  He and Mar Michael were both ordained by other bishops askde from the ACC and have lines of succcession from persons other than Villatte.

I have spoken with Fr Andreas and like him.  I have verified that the ACCA's remaining parishes do have several families as members; at the St. Demetrios church they had fairly high attendance due to the soup kitchen, but in their St. Elias parish attendance is well over a dozen people on a typical Sunday, which for a vagante church is not bad.  The ACCA would like to be reconciled to the Syriac Orthodox, particularly the Indian church; Fr Andreas and Mar Michael both have living wives, but Fr Andreas has indicated to me that they would willingly give up any aspect of their clerical rank in order to accomodate a reconciliation, but he does not believe it likely that such a reconciliation could be arranged, because of not unfounded concerns about the heretical origins of the ACCA, which they are very candid about.  They adhere to the Oriental Orthodox doctrine, the writings of Sts. Cyril and Severus and our other theologians, rejecting Chalcedon and what followed.  They have a catechtical booklet which contains, if I remember correctly, the Didache, the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, De Incarnatione by St. Athanasius, and the canons and decisions of the first three ecumenical councils.

Fr. Andreas attended the GoArch seminary in the late 70s I believe, but left when someone told him that the Greeks would not likely ordain a non-Greek in GoArch; this was I think a big mistake on his part as he would have made a superb priest.  He instead became a novice at Christminster, but found that after having grown used to the Byzantine Rite, he was not happy in a Western Rite monastery.  I believe he spent some time as a novice in another Orthodox monastery before deciding he lacked that vocation; thus he married, and met Mar Michael by accident, where he has happily worked since.

Of all of the vagante jurisdictions, the ACCA is the only one I have encountered that I really like, primarily because of their historic achievements in feeding the homeless in Knoxville, and because of the way in which their leader Mar Michael realized the ACA, founded by Vilatte, had become mired in the worst forms of Gnostic heresies and resolved to rid it of those, and the denomination continued to correct itself, for example, on the issue of the ordination of women. Fr. Andreas also recently started a new mission catering to two families in an area in the mountains near Knoxville which is extremely popular with Pagans and occultists, like Wicca practitioners, who believe the mountain in question, which I think is in the Appalachians, is magical.   The two families Fr. Andreas is serving in addition to his main parish are literally across the street from a Wiccan stone circle, an occult bookstore, and a Neo Pagan temple.  So I admire him for charging in there, and hope that is a success.

So, that is the history of Mar Vilatte's ordination, and also the only silver lining which that cloud produced, in my opinion (the ACCA, which is the only Vagante jurisdiction I have personally corresponded with that I think has really done meaningful work).  I have talked to several other vagantes, and as I mentioned before, most are cranks, some are committed heretics, and a few are theologically correct and have small congregations, that would be worth "scooping up" if we could convince their leaders to retire to monasteries and sign over the property.  I intend to reach out to that interesting-looking WOCC group to determine if they actually have congregations, or merely some priests and a chaplain without people to minister to.

The independent church I wish the Orthodox could scoop up the most is that Baptist mission on Skid Row that I memtioned, assuming their pastor could be talked into handing it over to a church with radically different theology.   Speaking of which, the Syriac Orthodox sort of have a semi Western Rite once more; in 2013 we received 900,000 former Catholics in Guatemala, and they are transitioning to use the West Syriac rite; I am not sure where they are in that process.  Alas, our Western Rite Metropolis in Sri Lanka died off completely; I dont think either of the two Syriac Orthodox jurisdictions even has a parish there using our normal liturgy.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #91 on: August 31, 2017, 01:22:14 AM »
I would note by the way the ACCA kept our Eucharistic liturgy basically unchanged; they merely added a Byzantine style litany at the start in place of the complex Husoyo, which at the time they did not understand how they worked.  They use several of our anaphoras; Fr. Andreas is particularly fond of the Anaphorae of St. Jacob of Sarugh and St. Severus, due to the strong Christological statements they contain.  I do like them and pray that their current missions will be a success, and that one day they might join the Syriac Orthodox Church.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #92 on: August 31, 2017, 11:09:23 AM »
Thank you for the comprehensive synopsis, Alpha!  Very much appreciated.  :)
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #93 on: August 31, 2017, 02:58:56 PM »
Thank you for the comprehensive synopsis, Alpha!  Very much appreciated.  :)

You're most welcome.

Today I found a website of a vagante bishop who uses the name of the American Orthodox Catholic Church set up by the Metropolia around 1920 or so, which folded in the 1930s amidst tensions between it, the Metropolia, the Rennovationists, who were trying to set up parishes in the US, and the Moscow Patriachate under HH Sergius.

This vagante claims to be the only valid Orthodox church for American converts, in America, and he claims to have won trademark infringement damages against another Vagante church, but it is clear that he has no parishes or subordinate clergy; I would not be suprised if he actually had no parishioners.

The arrogance of some of these people is staggering.   They are truly the self-important posing LARPers you outlined as one of your options.

I guess the main reason I like the ACCA is humility; they are honest about their small size, the limited scope of their mission, and their emergence from a heretical sect.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #94 on: August 31, 2017, 03:23:16 PM »
I guess the main reason I like the ACCA is humility; they are honest about their small size, the limited scope of their mission, and their emergence from a heretical sect.

I generally agree with your assessment of the ACCA.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #95 on: August 31, 2017, 03:55:15 PM »
In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?

The Church would recognise them if they maintained their communion with the Church.  But I am unaware of any that did so or even tried and failed for whatever reason.  How, then, could we vouch for them?

So from their inception, each vagante church established by Vilatte or traceable to a Vilatte line made no pretensions of being in communion with the (Syriac) Church from which they claimed to derive legitimacy?

I don't know the individual histories of groups originating with Vilatte.  But I have never once heard of or come across references to any of these groups trying to maintain a connection with the Syriac Church, whether in the Middle East or India, or really any other legitimate Orthodox or Chalcedonian Orthodox jurisdiction.  Creating the appearance of legitimacy through a demonstrable lineage of "hands-to-head" apostolic succession seems to have been the main concern, which makes sense from one perspective, but that's not an Orthodox interpretation of apostolic succession. 
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #96 on: August 31, 2017, 04:55:59 PM »
Quote
I don't know the individual histories of groups originating with Vilatte.  But I have never once heard of or come across references to any of these groups trying to maintain a connection with the Syriac Church, whether in the Middle East or India, or really any other legitimate Orthodox or Chalcedonian Orthodox jurisdiction.  Creating the appearance of legitimacy through a demonstrable lineage of "hands-to-head" apostolic succession seems to have been the main concern, which makes sense from one perspective, but that's not an Orthodox interpretation of apostolic succession. 

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #97 on: August 31, 2017, 04:58:18 PM »
In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?

The Church would recognise them if they maintained their communion with the Church.  But I am unaware of any that did so or even tried and failed for whatever reason.  How, then, could we vouch for them?

So from their inception, each vagante church established by Vilatte or traceable to a Vilatte line made no pretensions of being in communion with the (Syriac) Church from which they claimed to derive legitimacy?

I don't know the individual histories of groups originating with Vilatte.  But I have never once heard of or come across references to any of these groups trying to maintain a connection with the Syriac Church, whether in the Middle East or India, or really any other legitimate Orthodox or Chalcedonian Orthodox jurisdiction.  Creating the appearance of legitimacy through a demonstrable lineage of "hands-to-head" apostolic succession seems to have been the main concern, which makes sense from one perspective, but that's not an Orthodox interpretation of apostolic succession.

I agree entirely, with one exception:

Fr. Andreas told me that they hope that someday they can be received into the Syriac church, but right now with probably 30 or somparisihioners max, it would not be likely the Syriac hierarchy would have the time to talk to them.  But if it led to a situation where their current people would be taken care of pastorally, they would retire from their ecclesiastical offices; they are not attached to the episcopate.

This to me makes the ACCA a bit unique among vagante groups in that usually episcopi vagante want to be bishops more than anything else, whereas the ACCA carries on out of a sense of moral obligation, and also does not help encourage vaganteism by ordaining random bishops.  I believe that since they left the crumbling Gnostic-Spiritualist remnants of the ACC, which still exist on the West Coast (one of their bishops, a Mar Narsai, was a young man with full Pulickal brothers regalia; in the one photo of him I have seen he wore a blue phelonion with red trim that matched the one owned by Fr. Shara at St. Ephrems, had a drinking problem and killed himself, and they have been a bit less active since, I believe, but there are still a number of these fake Syriac bishops out here); the only bishop they ordained in partnership with a likeminded church which I think no longer exists or else has gone further down the vagante path, was Fr. Andreas, only to act as a backup in case Mar Michael was incapacitated, to ensure a continuity of pastoral care.

Almost every other vagante group I have encountered craves the episcopate; when I put the question to them "would you consider joining a canonical church if it meant resigning the episcopate permanently, and serving as a priest or in some other capacity, the answer has been an unequivocal "NO!"  Their fake episcopate and the lines of succession behind it are rheir most valuable possessions.

Now if push came to shove, I dont knowmif ACCA would do it or not, but they say they would.  There are no canonical Syriac parishes in their area, however, and given the priest shortage, the question of whether the Syriac Orthodox would send someone to replace them for the pastoral care of fewer than 30 Americans, seems doubtful.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 05:01:12 PM by Alpha60 »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #98 on: September 04, 2017, 03:22:37 PM »
In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?

The Church would recognise them if they maintained their communion with the Church.  But I am unaware of any that did so or even tried and failed for whatever reason.  How, then, could we vouch for them?

So from their inception, each vagante church established by Vilatte or traceable to a Vilatte line made no pretensions of being in communion with the (Syriac) Church from which they claimed to derive legitimacy?

I don't know the individual histories of groups originating with Vilatte.  But I have never once heard of or come across references to any of these groups trying to maintain a connection with the Syriac Church, whether in the Middle East or India, or really any other legitimate Orthodox or Chalcedonian Orthodox jurisdiction.  Creating the appearance of legitimacy through a demonstrable lineage of "hands-to-head" apostolic succession seems to have been the main concern, which makes sense from one perspective, but that's not an Orthodox interpretation of apostolic succession.

I agree entirely, with one exception:

Fr. Andreas told me that they hope that someday they can be received into the Syriac church, but right now with probably 30 or somparisihioners max, it would not be likely the Syriac hierarchy would have the time to talk to them.  But if it led to a situation where their current people would be taken care of pastorally, they would retire from their ecclesiastical offices; they are not attached to the episcopate.

This to me makes the ACCA a bit unique among vagante groups in that usually episcopi vagante want to be bishops more than anything else, whereas the ACCA carries on out of a sense of moral obligation, and also does not help encourage vaganteism by ordaining random bishops.  I believe that since they left the crumbling Gnostic-Spiritualist remnants of the ACC, which still exist on the West Coast (one of their bishops, a Mar Narsai, was a young man with full Pulickal brothers regalia; in the one photo of him I have seen he wore a blue phelonion with red trim that matched the one owned by Fr. Shara at St. Ephrems, had a drinking problem and killed himself, and they have been a bit less active since, I believe, but there are still a number of these fake Syriac bishops out here); the only bishop they ordained in partnership with a likeminded church which I think no longer exists or else has gone further down the vagante path, was Fr. Andreas, only to act as a backup in case Mar Michael was incapacitated, to ensure a continuity of pastoral care.

Almost every other vagante group I have encountered craves the episcopate; when I put the question to them "would you consider joining a canonical church if it meant resigning the episcopate permanently, and serving as a priest or in some other capacity, the answer has been an unequivocal "NO!"  Their fake episcopate and the lines of succession behind it are rheir most valuable possessions.

Now if push came to shove, I dont knowmif ACCA would do it or not, but they say they would.  There are no canonical Syriac parishes in their area, however, and given the priest shortage, the question of whether the Syriac Orthodox would send someone to replace them for the pastoral care of fewer than 30 Americans, seems doubtful.

Thank you both!

Alpha, could you please link to a website or something where I could read more about the ACCA?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #99 on: September 04, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
In the case of any that were conducted before, how then does the Church not recognize these vagante lines as legit?

The Church would recognise them if they maintained their communion with the Church.  But I am unaware of any that did so or even tried and failed for whatever reason.  How, then, could we vouch for them?

So from their inception, each vagante church established by Vilatte or traceable to a Vilatte line made no pretensions of being in communion with the (Syriac) Church from which they claimed to derive legitimacy?

I don't know the individual histories of groups originating with Vilatte.  But I have never once heard of or come across references to any of these groups trying to maintain a connection with the Syriac Church, whether in the Middle East or India, or really any other legitimate Orthodox or Chalcedonian Orthodox jurisdiction.  Creating the appearance of legitimacy through a demonstrable lineage of "hands-to-head" apostolic succession seems to have been the main concern, which makes sense from one perspective, but that's not an Orthodox interpretation of apostolic succession.

I agree entirely, with one exception:

Fr. Andreas told me that they hope that someday they can be received into the Syriac church, but right now with probably 30 or somparisihioners max, it would not be likely the Syriac hierarchy would have the time to talk to them.  But if it led to a situation where their current people would be taken care of pastorally, they would retire from their ecclesiastical offices; they are not attached to the episcopate.

This to me makes the ACCA a bit unique among vagante groups in that usually episcopi vagante want to be bishops more than anything else, whereas the ACCA carries on out of a sense of moral obligation, and also does not help encourage vaganteism by ordaining random bishops.  I believe that since they left the crumbling Gnostic-Spiritualist remnants of the ACC, which still exist on the West Coast (one of their bishops, a Mar Narsai, was a young man with full Pulickal brothers regalia; in the one photo of him I have seen he wore a blue phelonion with red trim that matched the one owned by Fr. Shara at St. Ephrems, had a drinking problem and killed himself, and they have been a bit less active since, I believe, but there are still a number of these fake Syriac bishops out here); the only bishop they ordained in partnership with a likeminded church which I think no longer exists or else has gone further down the vagante path, was Fr. Andreas, only to act as a backup in case Mar Michael was incapacitated, to ensure a continuity of pastoral care.

Almost every other vagante group I have encountered craves the episcopate; when I put the question to them "would you consider joining a canonical church if it meant resigning the episcopate permanently, and serving as a priest or in some other capacity, the answer has been an unequivocal "NO!"  Their fake episcopate and the lines of succession behind it are rheir most valuable possessions.

Now if push came to shove, I dont knowmif ACCA would do it or not, but they say they would.  There are no canonical Syriac parishes in their area, however, and given the priest shortage, the question of whether the Syriac Orthodox would send someone to replace them for the pastoral care of fewer than 30 Americans, seems doubtful.

Thank you both!

Alpha, could you please link to a website or something where I could read more about the ACCA?

I could if one existed.  Fr. Gregory, who was a member here, was the maintainer of their website, and since his health problems, it has gone offline.   However, according to Fr. Andreas, the website no lomger reflected their current views, for example, regarding the ordination of women to the priesthood.  They supported it at the time the website was put up, having ordained one as a priest(ess), before realizing it was an error, and that the highest role a woman could serve in is deaconness.   I would bring it up on the Wayback Machine except I forgot the URL.

I haven't fully completed my investigation of the ACCA, and I am not suggesting people regard it as Orthodox, by the way.  I think at best it might be like Thoyizoor in miniature: a West Syriac jurisdiction lacking proper apostolic succession according to the model of St. Cyprian of Carthage.  They also use the reconstructed presanctified liturgy of St. Severus, the Signing of the Chalice, which Thoyizoor published.

I think a priority for a reunified Syriac Orthodox Church in India would be to absorb Thoyizoor, which would be nothing more than a stumbling block for Indian Christians under such a scenario.   As it stands, I am not sure whether or not they (the Malankara Independent Syrian Church) meet the OCNet definition of being Orthodox, or if they are equivalent to how we view the PNCC or the Assyrians.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #100 on: September 04, 2017, 04:08:43 PM »
By the way AN, the most sad Vagante church I have encountered is this one:

http://www.celticorthodoxchurch.com

I've spoken with their "bishop" a few times (who as far as I can tell was never ordained as a bishop but as a priest, in another jurisdiction; his diagram showing his apostolic succession does not make it clear how he obtained the episcopal dignity), and all I can say is that we should pray for his illumination.

His website reflects the confused hodgepodge of theological ideas he holds.

He insists when he was growing up, he attended a Celtic Orthodox Church in Detroit with 30-40 members.  This sounds unlikely but is possible, that he is a second generation vagante; the church in question could have been one of the small breakaway Anglo Catholic sects like the OSSB, which was received into Holy Orthodoxy as the Antiochian WRV in 1958.

He insists however this church was ancient, predating the arrival of Roman Catholicism into Ireland, and even now the Vatican, especially the Dominicans, were trying to wipe out all traces of its existence.

Also, I resent his statement about how his church is part of Johannine Christianity.  I hate it when people, comtrary to the clear instruction of St. Paul, identify with "Johannine" or "Pauline" or "Petrine" or "Lukan" Christianity or Spirituality.  For example, there is a quasi-monastic order officially recognized in the United Methodist Church called The Order of St. Luke, which sees as its missiom the promotion of "Lukan spirituality."  What does that even mean?  And how possibly are they going to do that in a denomination in which growing up, I did not once hear a sermon venerating St. Mary, or hear a minister refer to her as Theotokos or as the Mother of God?   Or hear the Magnificat, for that matter.

You would expect to encounter the evangelical canticles in a denomination forked from Anglicanism, but, nope.  In fact many Methodists I think would be confused by Luke chapter 1.

My guess is that in the context of the UMC, Lukan spirituality probably means something blasphemous, like adding fish to the Eucharist.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #101 on: September 04, 2017, 05:14:52 PM »
All interesting stuff, Alpha.  The most sad vagante church I have encountered - other than the so-called "Church of Trinidad" (which seems to be more accurately described as the church of one gentleman in New York and a handful of American followers acquired via Facebook) is the "International Communion of Orthodox Churches" - or another variant on this name, depending on what day of the week it is - otherwise known as the Timothy Paul Baymon group.

This poster features the presence of canonical EO priest Fr. Moses Berry:



The group is led by this guy, and seems to represent a hodgepodge of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Charismatic, and other belief systems, and their clergy - including married men - are often vested as Syriac bishops, complete with a monastic eskimo.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 05:15:05 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #102 on: September 04, 2017, 06:13:53 PM »
Was Fr Moses really there, and did he know what he was getting into?
Quote
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #103 on: September 04, 2017, 07:02:57 PM »
All interesting stuff, Alpha.  The most sad vagante church I have encountered - other than the so-called "Church of Trinidad" (which seems to be more accurately described as the church of one gentleman in New York and a handful of American followers acquired via Facebook) is the "International Communion of Orthodox Churches" - or another variant on this name, depending on what day of the week it is - otherwise known as the Timothy Paul Baymon group.

This poster features the presence of canonical EO priest Fr. Moses Berry:

[img]https://static.wixstatic.com/media/93b919_b4565b2e11974f00bf821fb2f361
The group is led by this guy, and seems to represent a hodgepodge of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Charismatic, and other belief systems, and their clergy - including married men - are often vested as Syriac bishops, complete with a monastic eskimo.

That Mar Narsai chap who killed himself, who had a drinking problem, was affiliated with that group I believe as well as one of the descendants of the ACA which the ACCA separated from in the late 1980s.

In my opinion, the Syriac Orthodox Church does have the most beautiful vestments, with the other Orthodox and traditional Roman, Ambrosian, Maronite vestmenfs fied for second, the traditional low church Anglicans and certain traditional Protestants, along with "Gothic-style" vestments in third, and the bland, banal vestments that are de rigeur in the Novus Ordo mass and your typical Episcopalian parish, fourth, and the vile vestments of the sort that the Bad Vestments blog features not earning a placement).  Thus, I understand why it is the preferred choice of vagantes.  They are also cheap, compared to Byzantine vestments.

Note btw I only collected vestments to give them away; I never wore them, as I never have owned a zostikon, exorason or an alb, and have no idea how to put them on; I have two Byzantine sets left which I was going to give to St. Anthony's in Florence, but I think I might give them to Vashon Island.  I am switching to collecting and then donating the covers for gospel books, and then hope to manufacure these myself, for mission churches which cannot afford the extremely expensive units made by Hovsepian Church Supply.

  I once made a pectoral cross for an Orthodox priest who is a friend of mine; metalwork is something of a hobby (as is fabrication using automated laithes and 3D printers, although I do not envisage producing any items for consecration using 3D printers yet, as I don't think the quality is good enough at this stage; they tend to emit plastic with rough edges which then have to be smoothed, and they can't work with metal, yet).

I actually got into that line because in network engineering, we frequently benefit from special shelves for our 19 inch racks and cable-management devices, to prevent spaghetti or spider webs, like this nightmare:

http://eecue.com/i/One-Wilshire-Meet-Me-Room-Cable-Monster-eecue_30394_kutr_l.jpg



Scary fact: most Internet traffic in the West Coast passes through that room.  It used to be much worse, too, before they instituted annual mandatory "cable mining" to remove fibre, coax and ethernet cables disconnected on one or both ends.  The harnesses, patch panels and other devices to keep cables in order and prevent the formation of such monstrosities, for example, "racetracks" for fibre optics, are ridiculously overprieced pieces of plastic, so I started making them myself.

But I digress.

~

I suppose I could make a killing using a 3D printer to manufacture kitschy rhinestone-studded mitres  for episcopi vagantes and price them at $99.99.  Something tells me, based on the usual state of their vestments, that they would not notice the difference.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 07:06:30 PM by Alpha60 »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #104 on: September 04, 2017, 07:03:55 PM »
Was Fr Moses really there, and did he know what he was getting into?

Good question.  The poster is vague enough so as to suggest some kind of ecumenical conference type event.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2017, 09:23:58 PM »
Was Fr Moses really there, and did he know what he was getting into?

I can't speak to his motives, of course, and whether he knew what he was getting into, but a friend interested in Orthodox outreach to the African-American community did send me a link to a Facebook post Fr. Moses made featuring him standing next to one of the other fellows on the poster - in full Syriac regalia - in a place that looked like vagante Comic-Con on cosplay night, so yes, I think he did attend.  Based on the post - in which he said something along the lines of the man he was standing with wanting to become a part of the Orthodox Church - I think he went their as a form of missionary outreach.  That's good, but in the process, I think any Orthodox clergyman getting involved would have to be very careful not to let these guys make hay of their attendance and make it out as if the Orthodox Church accepts them.  In my experience, vagantes love to do that.

That Mar Narsai chap who killed himself, who had a drinking problem, was affiliated with that group I believe as well as one of the descendants of the ACA which the ACCA separated from in the late 1980s.

I don't know that story.  What happened there?
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #106 on: September 04, 2017, 10:33:39 PM »
Was Fr Moses really there, and did he know what he was getting into?

I can't speak to his motives, of course, and whether he knew what he was getting into, but a friend interested in Orthodox outreach to the African-American community did send me a link to a Facebook post Fr. Moses made featuring him standing next to one of the other fellows on the poster - in full Syriac regalia - in a place that looked like vagante Comic-Con on cosplay night, so yes, I think he did attend.  Based on the post - in which he said something along the lines of the man he was standing with wanting to become a part of the Orthodox Church - I think he went their as a form of missionary outreach.  That's good, but in the process, I think any Orthodox clergyman getting involved would have to be very careful not to let these guys make hay of their attendance and make it out as if the Orthodox Church accepts them.  In my experience, vagantes love to do that.

That Mar Narsai chap who killed himself, who had a drinking problem, was affiliated with that group I believe as well as one of the descendants of the ACA which the ACCA separated from in the late 1980s.

I don't know that story.  What happened there?

I mentioned it above.  He was a young man in his 30s, he owned beautiful Syriac regalia, and distressingly, in a bid to come across as accessible, in his profile page he said one would as likely find him at a bar as celebrating divine liturgy.  From what I understand, this turned into a drinks problem and he ended his life.  Kyrie eleison.

This is from the liberal group that the ACCA broke away from.

I assume he was unaware of the ancient canons which prohibit clergy from entering into taverns.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #107 on: September 04, 2017, 11:03:02 PM »
All interesting stuff, Alpha.  The most sad vagante church I have encountered - other than the so-called "Church of Trinidad" (which seems to be more accurately described as the church of one gentleman in New York and a handful of American followers acquired via Facebook) is the "International Communion of Orthodox Churches" - or another variant on this name, depending on what day of the week it is - otherwise known as the Timothy Paul Baymon group.

This poster features the presence of canonical EO priest Fr. Moses Berry:



The group is led by this guy, and seems to represent a hodgepodge of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Charismatic, and other belief systems, and their clergy - including married men - are often vested as Syriac bishops, complete with a monastic eskimo.

Are there any video or audio recordings anywhere of this event that Fr. Moses Barry attended, particularly the part where Fr. Moses spoke?
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 11:03:35 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #108 on: September 04, 2017, 11:11:26 PM »
The saddest vagante church for me is the Queluz Patriarchate (Queluz is a 11k-people city 3 hours from Rio), it's led by some guy consecrated by a fake Old Calendarist bishop (from the Holy Traditional Greek Orthodox Church, which is actually just a spin-off of the notorious Brazilian Apostolic Catholic Church) who can't even do the sign of the cross properly. A friend of mine trolled their Patriarch into adding him to a WhatsApp group called "I want to be an Orthodox priest", exposed him and was in turn threatened.

The Patriarch's ordination video is pure cringe. He was at this point ordained as an archbishop, but I guess this wasn't enough for him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PKHMhUsgK0

I can't speak to his motives, of course, and whether he knew what he was getting into, but a friend interested in Orthodox outreach to the African-American community did send me a link to a Facebook post Fr. Moses made featuring him standing next to one of the other fellows on the poster - in full Syriac regalia - in a place that looked like vagante Comic-Con on cosplay night, so yes, I think he did attend.  Based on the post - in which he said something along the lines of the man he was standing with wanting to become a part of the Orthodox Church - I think he went their as a form of missionary outreach.  That's good, but in the process, I think any Orthodox clergyman getting involved would have to be very careful not to let these guys make hay of their attendance and make it out as if the Orthodox Church accepts them.  In my experience, vagantes love to do that.
I saw that one! Posted by some Orthodox from Jamaica IIRC. I was a bit confused. Not sure if I'm less confused right now or more, lol
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 11:11:50 PM by RaphaCam »
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #109 on: September 05, 2017, 12:10:14 AM »
By the way AN, the most sad Vagante church I have encountered is this one:

http://www.celticorthodoxchurch.com
There was a better Celtic one called "Celtic Orthodox Christian Church" with 2 (count 'em, 2!) "bishops", but it seems to be defunct (at least their website). I say "better" because they used a translation of the Stowe Missal, an actual Celtic rite, as the base. Someone preserved their missal at http://www.faithandworship.com/pdf/stowe%20missal.pdf though. If I ever wanted to join a bogus vagante church, that would have been the one  :P
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #110 on: September 05, 2017, 02:44:30 AM »
By the way AN, the most sad Vagante church I have encountered is this one:

http://www.celticorthodoxchurch.com
There was a better Celtic one called "Celtic Orthodox Christian Church" with 2 (count 'em, 2!) "bishops", but it seems to be defunct (at least their website). I say "better" because they used a translation of the Stowe Missal, an actual Celtic rite, as the base. Someone preserved their missal at http://www.faithandworship.com/pdf/stowe%20missal.pdf though. If I ever wanted to join a bogus vagante church, that would have been the one  :P

Hieromonk Fr. Aidan Keller hosted a copy of the Stowe Missal on his website, which I can probably link you to.  But here is the thing: the conspiracy theory types who insist Ireland was Orthodox until brutally converted by the Romans would reject the Stowe Missal, because it is a Missal, a variant on the standard Western liturgical pattern of the Roman Rite.

  Of the Latin speaking rites that have come down to us, only the Mozarabic is radically different from the Roman Rite; the other rites feature a similiar structure, similiar prayers, a similiar Canon (Anaphora) and so on, even the Ambrosian, which differs from the Roman in the liturgical calendar, length of fasts, liturgical colors, lectionary, number of scripture lessons, style of chant, vestment design, et cetera, but has a few parts common to the Roman Rite, most notably, the overall structure of the mass, and the Canon (most of the differences begin after the initial approach to the altar, the asperges and so on, with a litany, three lessons rather than two, a bit like the Novus Ordo, and some very different proper prayers said by the priest or congregation, which vary depending in the season).

Now the chap I linked to epitomizes the Vagante experience for me because he has at best a minimal congregation, lives and works out of a trailer, likes to be called "your grace", and as you can see from that website, holds to a number of peculiar ideas about the Church.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #111 on: September 05, 2017, 02:51:46 AM »
To be clear, I respect episcopi vagantes who have actual ministries, actual congregations, and priests serving under them.  I consider them small independent Old Catholic or schismatic Orthodox jurisdictions.  There are several tiny Continuing Anglican groups that would be called Vagante if it weren't for the Anglican in their name.  One is a traditional low church group near my former residence that uses the 1928 BCP.

The real Episcopi Vagante has no congregation, and simply desires the episcopal dignity, with no idea or desire or ability to take up the burden which properly comes with that office.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #112 on: September 05, 2017, 08:13:56 AM »
Was Fr Moses really there, and did he know what he was getting into?

I can't speak to his motives, of course, and whether he knew what he was getting into, but a friend interested in Orthodox outreach to the African-American community did send me a link to a Facebook post Fr. Moses made featuring him standing next to one of the other fellows on the poster - in full Syriac regalia - in a place that looked like vagante Comic-Con on cosplay night, so yes, I think he did attend.  Based on the post - in which he said something along the lines of the man he was standing with wanting to become a part of the Orthodox Church - I think he went their as a form of missionary outreach.  That's good, but in the process, I think any Orthodox clergyman getting involved would have to be very careful not to let these guys make hay of their attendance and make it out as if the Orthodox Church accepts them.  In my experience, vagantes love to do that.

That Mar Narsai chap who killed himself, who had a drinking problem, was affiliated with that group I believe as well as one of the descendants of the ACA which the ACCA separated from in the late 1980s.

I don't know that story.  What happened there?

I mentioned it above.  He was a young man in his 30s, he owned beautiful Syriac regalia, and distressingly, in a bid to come across as accessible, in his profile page he said one would as likely find him at a bar as celebrating divine liturgy.  From what I understand, this turned into a drinks problem and he ended his life.  Kyrie eleison.

This is from the liberal group that the ACCA broke away from.

I assume he was unaware of the ancient canons which prohibit clergy from entering into taverns.

Thank you.  Lord, have mercy.

All interesting stuff, Alpha.  The most sad vagante church I have encountered - other than the so-called "Church of Trinidad" (which seems to be more accurately described as the church of one gentleman in New York and a handful of American followers acquired via Facebook) is the "International Communion of Orthodox Churches" - or another variant on this name, depending on what day of the week it is - otherwise known as the Timothy Paul Baymon group.

This poster features the presence of canonical EO priest Fr. Moses Berry:



The group is led by this guy, and seems to represent a hodgepodge of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Charismatic, and other belief systems, and their clergy - including married men - are often vested as Syriac bishops, complete with a monastic eskimo.

Are there any video or audio recordings anywhere of this event that Fr. Moses Barry attended, particularly the part where Fr. Moses spoke?

Not that I've seen.  Apparently, just the FB post that Rapha and I both saw.
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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #113 on: September 05, 2017, 06:57:28 PM »
Quote
The real episcopus vagans has no congregation, and simply desires the episcopal dignity, with no idea or desire or ability to take up the burden which properly comes with that office.

I believe something similar about "independent sacramental" churches: they're wrong but if people go to church there on Sunday so it's not just a few people pretending to be priests, they are in a sense real and get my respect.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #114 on: September 05, 2017, 10:15:28 PM »
Quote
The real episcopus vagans has no congregation, and simply desires the episcopal dignity, with no idea or desire or ability to take up the burden which properly comes with that office.

I believe something similar about "independent sacramental" churches: they're wrong but if people go to church there on Sunday so it's not just a few people pretending to be priests, they are in a sense real and get my respect.

I agree to a point - insofar as those ecclesial bodies that actually have a real pastoral dimension involving real souls are worth engaging with and attempting to bring into the Church - but I won't go as far as to say that they are real in any other sense.  For example, I do not believe that God is at all glorified in "Charismatic masses", "puppet masses", "clown masses", or the like - inclusive of any blend of liturgical worship and charismatic theatre - no matter where it's conducted, in a vagante body or in the RCC, and I don't believe that such a ceremony is a real liturgy or that the real presence of God is there in any such alleged sacrament.  I'm sure that advocates of such farces will unjustly cry "Pharisee!" on this point, but I don't take mockery of the Mysteries lightly.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 10:26:11 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: How Do You View the "Orthodox" Episcopi Vagante Churches?
« Reply #115 on: September 05, 2017, 10:29:18 PM »
Quote
The real episcopus vagans has no congregation, and simply desires the episcopal dignity, with no idea or desire or ability to take up the burden which properly comes with that office.

I believe something similar about "independent sacramental" churches: they're wrong but if people go to church there on Sunday so it's not just a few people pretending to be priests, they are in a sense real and get my respect.

I agree to a point - insofar as those ecclesial bodies that actually have a real pastoral dimension involving real souls are worth engaging with and attempting to bring into the Church - but I won't go as far as to say that they are real in any other sense.  For example, I do not believe that God is at all glorified in "Charismatic masses", "puppet masses", "clown masses", or the like - inclusive of any blend of liturgical worship and charismatic theatre - no matter where it's conducted, in a vagante body or in the RCC, and I don't believe that such a ceremony is a real liturgy or that the real presence of God is there in any such alleged sacrament.  I'm sure that advocates of such farces will unjustly cry "Pharisee!" on this point, but I don't take mockery of the Mysteries lightly.

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