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Author Topic: Chosing a proper Jurisdiction  (Read 16021 times) Average Rating: 0
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Truth_or_Bust
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« on: December 09, 2005, 06:49:54 PM »

Greetings,
I am curious to know the opinions of some established Orthodox here concerning
acceptable Jurisdictions.  From my studies in the last five months I have come to understand
that there is a measure of politics as to what is considered acceptable.   My concern is
being received into Orthodoxy in a canonically proper method.  Also, I travel quite a bit
and there is a good chance I will need to attend Parishes in various jurisdictions.  I want
to make sure my conversion into Orthodoxy is correct.

Having said that I wanted to get some feedback on the general perspective concerning the status
of ROCOR.  I have been attending a ROCOR Church and am about to become a Cathecuman with plans
on being Baptised the Saturday before Pascha '06 (!!!).  This has been a long study for me so far but now
I am learning of the politics.   This is a very important step for me and I wanted to hear some comments
on my situation of very possibly having to attend various Parishes when traveling.  It is obviously important
that my conversion be canonical in every way.

Thanks for any comments on this issue,
Truth or Bust
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2005, 07:13:35 PM »

I don't want to dishearten you but if you join ROCOR you will not be accepted by the main Orthodox Jurisdictions, although in some parishes the priest doesn't always object. Why ROCOR? Is that you intro to Orthodoxy?  When ROCOR joins MP, you won't have this problem.
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2005, 07:31:00 PM »

I don't want to dishearten you but if you join ROCOR you will not be accepted by the main Orthodox Jurisdictions, although in some parishes the priest doesn't always object. Why ROCOR? Is that you intro to Orthodoxy?ÂÂ  When ROCOR joins MP, you won't have this problem.

If ROCOR feeds you with the spiritual nourishment you need then by all means join.  It is only a matter of time that ROCOR & MP will achieve reunion.  Don't be bothered by political circumstances that affected the church in the past.

 If the jurisdiction is within SCOBA it is a canonical jurisidiction plus the MP.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2005, 08:19:48 PM »

I agree with Orthodoc.  In case you're wondering which are the SCOBA jurisdictions, here's a link:  http://www.scoba.us/jurisdictions/

May God's blessings be upon you during your catechumenate!

BJohnD
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2005, 09:29:33 PM »

Having said that I wanted to get some feedback on the general perspective concerning the status
of ROCOR.  I have been attending a ROCOR Church and am about to become a Cathecuman with plans
on being Baptised the Saturday before Pascha '06 (!!!).

Strange, most churches I've heard of think that 2 or 3 years is an ideal term in the catechumenate before being baptised or charismated. Your priest must think you're making great spiritual progress, in which case glory to God.
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2005, 09:47:31 PM »

It was my impression that a two to three year catechumenate these days is a bit lengthy.

As for ROCOR. It's my understanding that you would be able to receive in most non-ROCOR parishes without it being an issue. I've only heard of ROCOR members being turned away by the Greek Archdiocese, and have never heard of any of the various Slavic jurisdictions turning away ROCOR members. I've attended both OCA and ROCOR parishes regularly, being able, without any problem, to receive in both.
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2005, 11:11:55 AM »

I don't want to dishearten you but if you join ROCOR you will not be accepted by the main Orthodox Jurisdictions, although in some parishes the priest doesn't always object. Why ROCOR? Is that you intro to Orthodoxy?ÂÂ  When ROCOR joins MP, you won't have this problem.

Thank you for your strait forward comments.  I have heard similar remarks so I understand your position. 

Why ROCOR?  I live quite far from any Parishes and, through my travels and studies, have found this Parish and Priest to "feel like home".  I have developed a comfortable level of communication with this Priest as well.  ROCOR was not my introduction into Orthodoxy, just the Parish that I made a connection with from my other visits to various Parishes.   I did visit one ROC Parish and did not get a very good impression from that particular Church in comparision to the UOC, JER, ROCOR, GOA and OCA's I visited..

My main question to you in light of this perspective is this:  Are you suggesting that Baptism and Chrismation from a ROCOR Priest will not bestow upon me the Holy Spirit due to their seperation form MP?  I understand the importance of Apostolic procession so I am wanting to make sure they have it.  Also, the Priest was very strait forward about the situation with MP.

Thanks to all for your comments and I look forward to seeing the responses to my situation.

God Bless,
T

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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2005, 11:15:13 AM »

I agree with Orthodoc.ÂÂ  In case you're wondering which are the SCOBA jurisdictions, here's a link:ÂÂ  http://www.scoba.us/jurisdictions/

May God's blessings be upon you during your catechumenate!

BJohnD

Greetings!  I have presented my situation to SCOBA and they told me that the JER and ROCOR jurisdictions might present a problem if I were to attempt to receive at SCOBA member Churches.   This is why I am mulling all of this over with great consideration.

Thanks for your encouragement!
T
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2005, 11:16:56 AM »

It was my impression that a two to three year catechumenate these days is a bit lengthy.

As for ROCOR. It's my understanding that you would be able to receive in most non-ROCOR parishes without it being an issue. I've only heard of ROCOR members being turned away by the Greek Archdiocese, and have never heard of any of the various Slavic jurisdictions turning away ROCOR members. I've attended both OCA and ROCOR parishes regularly, being able, without any problem, to receive in both.

Thanks for your comments.  This is what the ROCOR Priest said as well when I asked him about my travel situation.  He said it presented a problem more for Priests trying to receive than for lay people.

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2005, 01:43:01 PM »

I don't want to dishearten you but if you join ROCOR you will not be accepted by the main Orthodox Jurisdictions, although in some parishes the priest doesn't always object. Why ROCOR? Is that you intro to Orthodoxy?ÂÂ  When ROCOR joins MP, you won't have this problem.

I don't feel this is entirely accurate. Certainly the OCA would accept him--even officially. At seminary I never saw ROCOR members turned away from confession and communion.ÂÂ  As for the GOA and Antiochians, that might be a different story.

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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2005, 02:59:45 PM »

<Are you suggesting that Baptism and Chrismation from a ROCOR Priest will not bestow upon me the Holy Spirit due to their seperation form MP?>

NO! It is very confusing at first.  For example Jerusalem P. is not a member of SCOBA and she is the Mother Church where St James served etc.  Again on occasions EP has not recognized OCA etc..  This is a blind spot - the very term jurisdiction is a Vatican term picked up by the Orthodox.  There is no such thing as 'official' - you are either in the Church or not.  At any momemt your 'jurisdiction' could be at odds with some other.  There are some fringe elements in Orthodoxy whose pedigree is suspect, but in the main most Orthodox Churches in the US are ORTHODOX, whichever jurisdiction, ethnic, SCOBA group they belong to. 
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2005, 03:08:29 PM »

Thanks everybody for the thoughtful responses. 

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2005, 05:25:48 PM »

Well, for what it's worth, today I was talking to my priest(OCA) about where I should go to church if I move to "the city"(our church is in a suburb of Seattle, and for college I would move to the city itself, and since I have no car...I couldn't exactly get to our suburban parish).  One church that he very much recommended was a ROCOR church.  He also has in the past said that ROCOR members can commune in our OCA church, even though we aren't officially in communion with them, and that I could have communion in that particular ROCOR parish( though of course he means AFTER I am baptized/chrismated- I'm still a catechumen). 
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2005, 12:03:51 AM »

I have never seen any problems with ROCOR parishioners mixing with non ROCOR churches and Vice Versa. The ROCOR Church under Archbishop ALIPY is considered part of the OCCA in Chicago. They are also extremely supportive of the Pan-Orthodox services held for Thanksgiving and Sunday of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2005, 01:04:47 AM »

For what its worth, I think there's a lot of very complex things to look at.  Its nice to say that everyone loves everyone but at some point you have to take a deeper look at WHY everyone is not in communion with each other.  How is someone going to take communion at a church that is not in communion with another church?  Its a contradiction of terms at the most basic level.  Why is there a contradiction there?  If the TERMS are contradicted can you imaging what the theology is saying?  However, to put things more in perspective a lot of this "not in communion" terminology does revolve around politics.  However where the bishop is, there is the church, in a lot of ways. And the bishops are making these decisions, which is their right.  So these things definately need to be explored more.  At what point do we become good stewards of Christ, His church and His gifts?  Just some things to consider.  Sorry if I cause you further troubles. 
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2005, 01:36:35 PM »

Slightly off-topic, but I was very heartened to hear our parish priest say at our annual meeting that the thawing of relations between the MP and ROCOR has led to a similar warming between our OCA parish and the local ROCOR one (small example:  the ROCOR parish's priest attended our festival last September).  This is a good thing.
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2005, 03:02:58 PM »

I have also been hearing the same thing.  I am very comfortable with my ROCOR Parish and Priest and the positive comments on this thread have added to this comfort.   However, I think the point that Serb1389 brings up is valid and from my understanding of the current situation between MP and ROCOR is simply that Russia was under communism and the Church was being compromised by the oppressor for many years (even though ROCOR recognized that there were some good Priests that were worth supporting).   Now that Communism has been defeated it seems there are steps being made toward unity.  I am no expert on the situation so please correct me if I am wrong.  Of course I am only hearing one side of the story as well.  My only concern is that my reception into Orthodoxy be vaild through ROCOR and that my Baptism, Chrismation and partaking of the Mysteries will be Real.

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2005, 04:59:52 PM »

In my non-scholarly, convert, OCA-parish-attending opinion:  You betcha. 
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2005, 12:53:23 AM »

In a scholarly, traditional orthodox, SOC-parish attending opinion, you'd better not go to Vegas.  haha.  Seriously, there are a plethera of questions just based on the statement you had before.  You said that you wanted your "reception into Orthodoxy" to be valid.  What do you mean by orthodoxy?  CANNONICAL orthodoxy?  Orthodoxy that is officially accepted and considered part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church?  If you ARE talking about that church, then ROCOR is outside of those lines.  Yes they are making great strides to be reconsiled with the MP, but ultimately they are NOT united.  The cannonical fog you have encountered should make you wonder about the details.  Why exactly IS ROCOR outside of communion?  Where did that division happen and at what points.  Do we just have differences in authority?  Or is it something deeper and theological.  Do they not recognize some aspects of Orthodox theology (Eastern/Byzantine Orthodox)?  Do the Orthodox churches ACCEPT the Baptism, Chrismation and Mysteries of ROCOR?  And if they do NOT, why, and under what circumstances.  Sacraments of the church are not just feeling right, or good about yourself.  We are called to approach the Communion chalice with Faith, Love and the FEAR OF GOD.  I think i've said enough.  Sorry about the capitilization, I wanted to stress some things.   
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2005, 01:46:03 AM »

Serb1389, I'd like to remind you that your Patriarch concelebrates with the ROCOR and the close relationship between Archbishop Mark of the ROCOR and the Serbian Church.  If ROCOR is Orthodox to such people as Patriarch Pavle, St. Justin Popović, St. Nikolaj Velimirović et al. I'd personally be slow to condemn them...
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2005, 02:00:14 PM »

In a scholarly, traditional orthodox, SOC-parish attending opinion, you'd better not go to Vegas.ÂÂ  haha.ÂÂ  Seriously, there are a plethera of questions just based on the statement you had before.ÂÂ  You said that you wanted your "reception into Orthodoxy" to be valid.ÂÂ  What do you mean by orthodoxy?ÂÂ  CANNONICAL orthodoxy?ÂÂ  Orthodoxy that is officially accepted and considered part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church?ÂÂ  If you ARE talking about that church, then ROCOR is outside of those lines.


Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Cannonical Orthodoxy as in "the real Church".ÂÂ  Can you give me any specifics as to why, from your point of view, that ROCOR is not accepted?ÂÂ  SCOBA has told me that ROCOR used to be a SCOBA member but is no longer because they are considered "cultish".ÂÂ  That does not bother me so much so long as the Mysteries are truly "transmitted".ÂÂ  From my perspective (which is not much), if the Mysteries are truly being transmitted then it would seen that the Cannonical element should be there and all else is politics.ÂÂ  Again, though, I have not  even had Baptism yet so my outlook is weak at best, I admit this.


 
Quote
Yes they are making great strides to be reconsiled with the MP, but ultimately they are NOT united.ÂÂ  The cannonical fog you have encountered should make you wonder about the details.ÂÂ  Why exactly IS ROCOR outside of communion?ÂÂ  Where did that division happen and at what points.ÂÂ  Do we just have differences in authority?ÂÂ  Or is it something deeper and theological.ÂÂ  Do they not recognize some aspects of Orthodox theology (Eastern/Byzantine Orthodox)?ÂÂ  Do the Orthodox churches ACCEPT the Baptism, Chrismation and Mysteries of ROCOR?ÂÂ  And if they do NOT, why, and under what circumstances.ÂÂ  Sacraments of the church are not just feeling right, or good about yourself.ÂÂ  We are called to approach the Communion chalice with Faith, Love and the FEAR OF GOD.ÂÂ  I think i've said enough.ÂÂ  Sorry about the capitilization, I wanted to stress some things.
  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

Well if you would not mind going into some of the details of the above, from your perspective, I would greatly appreciate it as I am sure other readers following this thread would as well.ÂÂ  You bring up many important points that I might not get addressed from ROCOR perspective.

God Bless and thank you for your comments,
T
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2005, 02:10:58 PM »

My experience has basically been that for the most part, ROCOR members are welcome into other Orthodox jurisdictions to commune.  It is currently only the clergy who are not to commune or serve together.  Some ROCOR Priests/dioceses, but not all, will advise their members to only commune in ROCOR, Serbian, and Jerusalem Patriarchate parishes. For the most part there are good feelings and actual admiration by many of the SCOBA parsishes and Bishops for the devotion shown by ROCOR Clergy and people.

My the Lord help you on your path to Orthodoxy.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2005, 04:18:37 PM »


Wonder what this will mean for the ROCOR churches in the US?  Sounds like the ROCOR people want a sort of automony or autocephally?  Neither of which they can be in the US.  Outside the US maybe, but not within the US.


http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=634720

Orthodoc

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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2005, 04:45:58 PM »

Wonder what this will mean for the ROCOR churches in the US?ÂÂ  Sounds like the ROCOR people want a sort of automony or autocephally?ÂÂ  Neither of which they can be in the US.ÂÂ  Outside the US maybe, but not within the US.


http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=634720

Orthodoc



They will enter into communion with the MP and that is all. Nothing will change on a local level, according to the recent epistle of Met Laurus.  Some like to say this will interfere with the OCA's autocephaly but really, no one envisioned this happening like this so the OCA is going to have to give a little room so that ROCOR can come back into communion with the MP, if that indeed is what the OCA wants.

Anastasios
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2005, 05:18:25 PM »

How can ROCOR only be in communion with MP (in the future) and not be part of the Russian Church?  The OCA is different, not all are Russians and most of the clergy don't speak Russian.  Yes we will be in communion but keep your hands off our hegemony and property.  It could happen but doesn't make sense to me!
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2005, 05:34:08 PM »

Ok let me take some of these questions.  I'll try to address everything. If I fail let me know. ÂÂ
Siloan, i'm sorry if you thought that I was condemning anyone.  I'm really not.  I'm just saying what I have learned.  If i'm wrong i'd be MORE than happy to change my opinion.  In fact, in many ways I hope i'm wrong, because that will mean that "truth or bust" will be able to continue on his path!  When you said that our patriarch (Serbian-Pavle) conselebrates with ROCOR bishops, etc.  does he VEST, and actually serve in the capacity as a hierarch, or does he just wear his mantija (cassok)?  There is a very big distinctions..i'd just like to know what you were refering to.  As for Fr. Justin Popovic, Bishop Nikolai and Bishop John, they were part of ROCOR when it had first left Russia.  That meant that the cannonical divide had not been solidified and they were operating in an offical church capacity, outside of Russia.  So basically, they were the OCA of the world, disinfranchized from the MP, and yet still under their auspices.  That relationship has changed GREATLY, and the break has been much more solid than what it was in the 40's.  This is what knowledge I have about it.  Like I said, I could be wrong.  As for questions on the specifics, i'm truly sorry to admit that I really don't know.  I can find out though, which I will try to do as soon as I can, but these things usually take a while cuz you have to dig out documents.  I know that a lot of churches are very integrally involved with ROCOR, but ultimately until the MP accepts them back, or the Ecumenical Patriarchate, OFFICIALLY, they're not in communion.  This is my understanding. ÂÂ

I also agree with Anastasios, I am pretty sure that the MP will take them back, and then the rest can be worked out.  However until that happens I think its kind of a "catch 22" of sorts. ÂÂ
With what Thomas said, good will and relations have been had with the Roman Catholic church for years.  Can we take communion at their churches?  No, because they are not in communion with us, plus the theological reasons, and the schizm of course, etc. ÂÂ
As I said about the details, I would like to find out some things before I go into some of the questions I mentioned.  As for ROCOR leaving SCOBA, that's not a big deal in terms of cannonical problems.  The fact of the matter is that ROCOR has seperated from MP and their authority rests in their Archbishop, who is not recognized by ANY patriarchate as the official autocephalous (or autonomous) leader of that church, blessed and accepted.  I believe this is the root of the problem.  They seperated themselves.  If they are not recognized, how can they be in communion?  As for the continuity of the Sacraments, if they are not connected to a church with Apostolic succession, then their grace becomes fuzzy and so does the legitimacy of everything else.  I wish I could explain myself better but i'm having a tough time right now expressing myself.  I'll try again later.  Like I said, I could be wrong...haha.   ÃƒÆ’‚Â
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2005, 05:48:24 PM »

Just something I found.  I don't know how helpful it is, but there is a very interesting quote at the end that I thought i'd share:
http://www.orthodoxy.org.au/eng/index.php?p=164   If the link doesn't come out let me know. 
"the restoration of Eucharistic and Canonical unity with the Mother Church, with an autonomous administration of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, appears to be the natural next Guidepost in the current History of the Church of the Great Russian Exodus into Diaspora."

December 11, 2001. Boston

New Martyr Metropolitan Seraphim

(Chichagov) of St. Petersburg.

Why would he say "eucharistic and cannonical unity" needs to be restored?  I don't have the exact answer, but he said it for a reason.  Anyone?
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2005, 05:51:21 PM »

St. Justin accepted ROCOR, as far as I know, until his repose in 1979- well after the ROCOR synod was established outside of Russia.
As for the question of concelebration with Patriarch Pavel, this should help to answer that.
http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/pavelausphoto.html
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2005, 08:22:36 PM »

As for the continuity of the Sacraments, if they are not connected to a church with Apostolic succession, then their grace becomes fuzzy and so does the legitimacy of everything else.   
This is probably one instance when the Roman Catholic Church with her legalistic mindset has one up on us..as they would say... "valid but illicit"
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« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2005, 12:50:43 AM »

Well that picture definately answers my question.  I had always heard from my priest and others in the SOC who said that relations between ROCOR and the SOC were very good.  Also, after looking at the "charter" of ROCOR they are suppost to be a viable member of the MP outside of Russia.  I believe, however, that they have gone astray from that direction and that identity.  What about the statement of Metropolitan Seraphim.  I really think that there are some serious underlying issues here.  I wish I could say more but I think i've already said every aspect I could think of. 
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« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2005, 09:36:38 AM »

Thanks everybody for the comments.  I guess the only way to find out if the Mysteries as dispensed by ROCOR contain Grace is to continue on with my plans.  I might even have another chat with my Priest on this aspect of the topic. 

One more question though:  If and when ROCOR comes back into communion with MP will there need to be a re-baptism or re-chrismation of ROCOR members? 

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2005, 11:37:35 AM »

Thanks everybody for the comments.ÂÂ  I guess the only way to find out if the Mysteries as dispensed by ROCOR contain Grace is to continue on with my plans.ÂÂ  I might even have another chat with my Priest on this aspect of the topic.ÂÂ  

One more question though:ÂÂ  If and when ROCOR comes back into communion with MP will there need to be a re-baptism or re-chrismation of ROCOR members?ÂÂ  

God Bless,
T

No!

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« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2005, 12:12:42 PM »

St. Justin accepted ROCOR, as far as I know, until his repose in 1979- well after the ROCOR synod was established outside of Russia.
As for the question of concelebration with Patriarch Pavel, this should help to answer that.
http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/pavelausphoto.html

Who read the prayers over St Justin when his soul left his body? I believe it was Archbishop Mark of ROCOR.

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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2005, 12:13:58 PM »

Thanks everybody for the comments.ÂÂ  I guess the only way to find out if the Mysteries as dispensed by ROCOR contain Grace is to continue on with my plans.ÂÂ  I might even have another chat with my Priest on this aspect of the topic.ÂÂ  

One more question though:ÂÂ  If and when ROCOR comes back into communion with MP will there need to be a re-baptism or re-chrismation of ROCOR members?ÂÂ  

God Bless,
T

You misunderstood. No one here denies that ROCOR mysteries have grace NOW.  ROCOR is an Orthodox Church.  Its question vis-a-vis the MP is what is being resolved but it has been in communion with the Serbs all along and with Jerusalem as well.  ROCOR is not returning from schism but healing an administrative problem.

Anastasios
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« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2005, 02:11:08 PM »

You misunderstood. No one here denies that ROCOR mysteries have grace NOW.ÂÂÂ  ROCOR is an Orthodox Church.ÂÂÂ  Its question vis-a-vis the MP is what is being resolved but it has been in communion with the Serbs all along and with Jerusalem as well.ÂÂÂ  ROCOR is not returning from schism but healing an administrative problem.

Anastasios

Thanks for the clarification.ÂÂ  When I read Serb's comment "As for the continuity of the Sacraments, if they are not connected to a church with Apostolic succession, then their grace becomes fuzzy and so does the legitimacy of everything else."ÂÂ  I took it as meaning that their Sacraments are in question in the eyes of some.

Now, upon researching more, I have found that there is also a nasty split within ROCOR over the very issue of reunification with the MP we are discussing.ÂÂ  HuhÂÂ  I did not realize that Metro Vitaly had come out of retirement to oppose Metro Laurus concerning this unification due to the MP's alleged link to Communism.ÂÂ  Metro Vitaly has formed a splinter group called "Russian Orthodox Church in Exile" in response.ÂÂ  When surfing this topic I found one Russian Nationalist poster on a newsgroup saying, "The problems with Alexei II are: 1. he is a confirmed high-ranking KGB agent and 2. he kowtows to the Jews and Freemasons for worldly gain....When the former leader, Metropolitan Vitaly, learned of the direction of his successor Metropolitan Laurus, he immediately rescinded his retirement and created a continuing synod.... His Synod is 100% loyal to the original Karlovsky group. "ÂÂ  

All of this goes much deeper than I anticipated!ÂÂ  So many factors at play, none of which I would have considered.ÂÂ  
All I really care about is the validity of my Baptism and the grace in the Sacraments so thanks again Anastasios for clearing up my
misunderstanding on that item.ÂÂ  I'll leave the politics to the more established Orthodox to hash out.

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2005, 02:49:16 PM »

Now, upon researching more, I have found that there is also a nasty split within ROCOR over the very issue of reunification with the MP we are discussing.ÂÂ  HuhÂÂ  I did not realize that Metro Vitaly had come out of retirement to oppose Metro Laurus concerning this unification due to the MP's alleged link to Communism.ÂÂ  Metro Vitaly has formed a splinter group called "Russian Orthodox Church in Exile" in response.ÂÂ  When surfing this topic I found one Russian Nationalist poster on a newsgroup saying, "The problems with Alexei II are: 1. he is a confirmed high-ranking KGB agent and 2. he kowtows to the Jews and Freemasons for worldly gain....When the former leader, Metropolitan Vitaly, learned of the direction of his successor Metropolitan Laurus, he immediately rescinded his retirement and created a continuing synod.... His Synod is 100% loyal to the original Karlovsky group. "ÂÂ ÂÂ  

Yes, and further hubub has it that there are men behind the face of the retired and mentally suspect Met. Vitaly propping him up to further there own agenda.  So what if Pat. Alexei II WAS a KGB agent in a previous lifetime.  He isn't now.  The second point is complete speculation/opinion.
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« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2005, 03:09:40 PM »

Yes, and further hubub has it that there are men behind the face of the retired and mentally suspect Met. Vitaly propping him up to further there own agenda.  So what if Pat. Alexei II WAS a KGB agent in a previous lifetime.  He isn't now.  The second point is complete speculation/opinion.

I'd agree andI think "was" is the imoprtant word.  St. Paul and St. Mary of Egypt were hardly angels in their past lives, yet the are some of the greatest saints in the Orthodox Church.  We don't judge people by (well actually we shouldn't judge at all, but you know Wink)  their past but by their repentence.  Also, the only time I've seen any hostility with ROCOR and other jurisdictions in RL was with an OCA member, but for the most part I've found "all jurisdictions" (in my admitably short experience) to be supportive of the Church Abroad.
Basically, I think you have the right idea.  Lead the politics to those in charge and worry about living a good Christian life.  There's no doubt that the mysteries are valid.
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« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2005, 03:48:13 PM »

Quote
  So what if Pat. Alexei II WAS a KGB agent in a previous lifetime.  He isn't now.  The second point is complete speculation/opinion.

Some of the "proofs" for the alledged involement of Patr. Alexei with the the KGB are fairly pathetic.  People seem to be very caught up with the fact that he had a codename within the KGB - but if that is evidence of being a soviet agent, that would make President Reagen, Prime Minister Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Lech WaÅ‚Ä™sa all Soviet agents. 

The theory that makes the most sense to me is that many of the current MP people in power were not actual KGB agents,   rather they were the Orthodox Christians within the Church most favored by Soviet authorities (and for reasons such as least likely to connect with the people, least likely to advocate a religious fight against the government).  So while this is hardly the ideal situation of a free Church, it is a far cry from bishops who are actual KGB agents.  And it should be remembered that the communist weren't always very efficient at barring goodmen from the episcopacy (i.e Karol Cardinal  WojtzÅ‚a of Krakow).
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« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2005, 04:38:46 PM »

Once again thanks for the insights.  I am wrong or am I noticing that ROCOR and ROCA are the same organization?  If not what are the
differences and would ROCA's Sacraments be vaild in the context to our discussion?

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2005, 04:46:04 PM »

ROCOR and ROCA are the same thing.
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« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2005, 05:30:22 PM »

To clear something up on my end, plus with what Truth-or-Bust said.  I did say that the sacraments are not valid.  However I also said that I wasn't sure and that I could have been wrong.  This is just what my understanding was until now.  I have to be honest, i've just heard too much polemical talk against ROCOR, and i've been warned by SOC preists and GOA preists not to take communion at their churches.  I'll have to find out the details.  Just wanted to explain myself.  Thanks for all your help on allowing ME to understand the situaton better. 
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« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2005, 01:06:50 AM »

Here are some other things that I found out from reputable sources. The Serbian Patriarchate and Jerusalem Patriarchate conselebrate with ROCOR, and commemorate their metropolitans, archbishops, etc.  Therefore, being in communion.  HOWEVER, every other Patriarchate, INCLUDING Moscow does NOT commemorate their bishops, NOR conselebrate, therefore being not in communion.  Quite the problem, I know that i'm definately confused by it.  I'll keep you posted if I find out how this works more exactly.  I also asked around about ROCOR vs. ROCA, and I was told that ROCOR is in communion, with SOC and Jerusalem but ROCA has disinfranchized from everyone, and is in communion with nobody. 
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« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2005, 01:31:22 AM »

ROCA is ROCOR.  Are you refering to ROAC?
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« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2005, 07:29:37 AM »

ROCA is ROCOR.ÂÂÂ  Are you refering to ROAC?


Thanks once again to everyone for all of the insights.  Just to reconfirm - I meant ROCA - Russian Orthodoxy Church Abroad.  I see that they seem to be interchangeable which ROCOR as Anastasios has confirmed.  I have checked on ROAC and it seems they claim apostolic procession from Metro Vitaly in some way.  It seems that a few jurisdictions have sprung up from Metro Vitaly claiming to be the True Church in response to ROCOR/ROCA's holding talks of unification with the MP (among other items). 

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2005, 11:29:58 AM »

I did mean ROAC, thank you for the clarification.  I always mess up the acronyms. 
Anastasios, you mentioned that Archbishop Mark of ROCOR read the prayers over Fr. Justin.  Does that place him in communion with his patriarchate?  I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that.  I'm not trying to bring back anything, considering I think we've got a pretty good idea of what the issue is (with ROCOR and cannonical problems, etc.) but I just wanted to ask what you meant by that, instead of jumping to conclusions. 
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