Author Topic: When is Schism Justified?  (Read 401 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • Done
  • guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,607
  • Intercede for my wretched soul, Saint Alban.
  • Faith: Outside the Church
  • Jurisdiction: Lost for now.
When is Schism Justified?
« on: April 24, 2018, 07:11:56 PM »
Here's an interesting question - when is it appropriate to break away in schism? When do we know if a church has been corrupted with heresy and even though it is canonically still regular, it is necessary to break away from them?

In the course of history, that's usually a decision that's made by the Patriarch / Bishops of a Church, usually leaving it up to them - however, ROCOR has created a strange phenomenon in it's existence - given its history and it's giving us Saints, people like Saint John Maximovitch and Seraphim Rose, we've had a situation where most who are Orthodox agree that it was morally acceptable for a huge segment of the Russian Orthodox Church to break away from the Patriarch due to heresy - to break away from their Church and continue their Church, but has subsequently become recognized as legitimate.

So, here's a question - let's imagine that I'm living in Greece and the Church of Greece decides to decree that homosexual marriage is naturally ordered, but while most of the Churches break off communion, Constantinople and Antioch remain in communion with the church (although they both still teach homosexuality is morally wrong); what would the moral thing be to do in this situation? Should I join the Old Calendarists, or should I continue to stay a member of the mainstream church, given that Constantinople and Antioch still officially state it is filled with Grace, and they still technically don't proclaim heresy in terms of dogma.

And what if I'm in America, following the Carpatho-Russians, and the Ecumenical Patriarch falls into clear heresy (says that homosexual marriage is not morally wrong)? Would it be okay to join some Old Calendarist group? Would it be okay to join some splinter group (for example, the Genuine Carpatho Russian Orthodox Church) or am I obligated to find another canonical jurisdiction - like ROCOR or the OCA? What is the moral thing to do?
I'm done.

Offline recent convert

  • Orthodox Chrisitan
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,311
  • St.David of Wales pray for us
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch
Re: When is Schism Justified?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 09:05:00 PM »
Well if things get so bad, I guess I would go it alone. It seems nowhere near that at present within America, but anything bad can happen.
Antiochian OC NA

Beware the wrath of the guardians of "love."

Offline Antonis

  • Μέγα το Θαύμα!
  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,995
Re: When is Schism Justified?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 10:46:22 PM »
First-Second Council (861), Canon 15
The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metro­politans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter’s name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a synodal verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgment against him, creates a schism, the holy Synod has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this trans­gression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting those persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church.

But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Synods, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it bareheaded in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any synodal verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christ­ians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.

It is worth reading very carefully a few times.

Edited for readability.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 10:47:53 PM by Antonis »
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4