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Author Topic: ROCOR & MP & OCA  (Read 7158 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #45 on: July 09, 2006, 11:19:06 PM »

The Oecumenical Throne should serve the Church and, alas, this is what the Great Church of Christ is doing. What the Church needs and unity and a strong central authority. Since the Council of Chalcedon this authority and unity has existed in the Orthodox Church it was located at the centre of Imperial Authority, by virtue of the presence of Senate, Emperor, and Patriarch Constantinople was the centre of the Christian world to which all Christians looked. This unity preserved the Church through many hard times; in time of heresy the Church did not splinter but reform itself from within, in time of schism the Church held together and only one patriarchate was lost. This came about by unity, the unity that was offered by the Great Church of Christ and by Imperial Authority. After the fall of the Most Blessed Empire and the decline of Imperial Authority the Great Church of Christ still held Christendom together allowing her to survive in the face of the Turks, who, try as they might, failed to eradicate the faith.

But then in the 19th Century came an enemy to the unity of the Church, and even to the Existance of Christendom, this threat was and is perhaps greater than the threat of the early heretics, latin schismatics, or turkish infidels...it is the threat of nationalist influencing the ecclesiology of the Church. It is this threat that Constantinople can and does combat; the dangers are manifest and numerous, so the Great Church of Christ must act with caution and can not easily destroy the threat of nationalism. Nationalism tore the Church asunder in the 19th Century, starting with Greece and spreading like a plague; Constantinople first struck back against this evil with the Synod of Constantinople in 1872 where the territorial integrity of Episcopal authority was upheld and the opponents anathematized. Slowly throughout the 20th Centuries the Great Church of Christ, mostly with the aid of the other four ancient sees that have remained loyal to the Church, has done what she can to minimize the damage caused by nationalism in her daughter Churches.

Constantinople as a mother to her daughters does serve and help them, as our Lord did to his disciples; but when her daughters error, it is her responsibility to do what she can to both correct and protect them, as our Lord did to his disciples.

You claim that Constantinople does only what she does to protect the perogatives of her imperial authority; but the canons and tradition protect this authority, she does not need to; if all the other Churches abandoned her she alone, in all the world, would still be Orthodox. The Great Church of Christ knows this and as a Lord has no need to prove his authority and birth to his servants so also does Constantinople, the Ancient See of Imperial Authority, have no need to prove her posistion, honour, and authority to her daughter Churches.

Rather than trying to prove her authority to her daughter Churches, Constantinople is using her rightful authority, which she holds with no insecurity, to correct her daughters where in error and preserve the true religion in them. And in doing this Constantinople serves all the Church as our Lord served His disciples...not by sacrificing the authority that was His by nature of who He was; but rather by looking out for the best interests of others, rather than Himself, by using the authority that was His by nature.
So, then, how do you define 'schism'?  Is 'schism' an institutional break from Constantinople, or is it a breaking away from true faith?  Does true faith depend on Constantinople, or does it depend on adherence to Christ?  I'm sorry, but your arguments for the prerogatives of Constantinople's juridical authority sound far too much like the claims Rome has historically made for her supremacy.

The great mystery of the Church must make itself manifest as an institution, but please don't identify the mystery of the Church solely with this institution.  The Church never was and never will be merely a human institution.  Let us never forget that the mystery of Christ's presence among His people is the very foundation of the Church, that without this the institution of the Church has no life.
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« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2006, 01:22:23 AM »

So, then, how do you define 'schism'?ÂÂ  Is 'schism' an institutional break from Constantinople, or is it a breaking away from true faith?ÂÂ  Does true faith depend on Constantinople, or does it depend on adherence to Christ?

To break from the faith is heresy, an 'institutional break' (that is to say breaking communion) with the Great Church of Christ is schism.

Quote
I'm sorry, but your arguments for the prerogatives of Constantinople's juridical authority sound far too much like the claims Rome has historically made for her supremacy.

The great mystery of the Church must make itself manifest as an institution, but please don't identify the mystery of the Church solely with this institution.ÂÂ  The Church never was and never will be merely a human institution.ÂÂ  Let us never forget that the mystery of Christ's presence among His people is the very foundation of the Church, that without this the institution of the Church has no life.

And your arguments sound far too much like the claims Luther and the Protestants have historically made for their total disregard for Christian ecclesiology. The fact of the matter is that the visible, institutional element of the Church is just as important as the invisible, eschatological element; just as the humanity of Christ is as essential as his divinity to who He is. To reject the humanity or divinity of Christ is to reject Christ as a whole, likewise to reject the institutional or metaphysical element of the Church is to reject the Church as a whole. Just as without 'the mystery of Christ's presence among his people' there is no institution of the Church, without the institution of the Church there is no 'mystery of Christ's presence among His people.'
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« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2006, 08:51:39 AM »

ROCOR produced Saint John of Shanghai, it's founder included one lauded by Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia as a luminary of Orthodoxy and it has been courted by leading elements within the MP for decades. But, of course, for some it can simply and conveniently be dismissed. No doubt because either it represents something untidy - just as the 'schism' for a time between Bulgaria and Constantinope was untidy, or because ROCOR has at times represented a challenge to latinophile and ecumenical tendencies within the Orthodox family which appear to be at variance with that that has been believed always and everywhere within Orthodoxy. All three have had elements within them that appear, to me at least, unhealthy (the Church always having tares growing among the wheat). Among these appear to be those who separated off to become HOCNA, and perhaps were never really part of ROCOR but who for a time recked havoc.

ROCOR has been in communion with both the Serbs and Jerusalem for as long as I can remember.

As for a free and democratic Russia, really? What has changed? A sham democracy, a cowed media and an over powerful FSB replacing the previous Cheka/NKVD/KGB. And throughout the sixties and seventies and beyond the MP, at the behest of the party, acting as a stooge in various 'Peace' forums, along with other apologists for a regime and ideology hostile to belief and religion, save were it might serve propaganda purposes.
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« Reply #48 on: July 11, 2006, 09:36:37 PM »

ROCOR produced Saint John of Shanghai, it's founder included one lauded by Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia as a luminary of Orthodoxy and it has been courted by leading elements within the MP for decades.

But now that there's no USSR and the Russian Church didn't in fact die out as was even likely 80 years ago, those overtures can be trusted.

Quote
... because ROCOR has at times represented a challenge to latinophile and ecumenical tendencies within the Orthodox family which appear to be at variance with that that has been believed always and everywhere within Orthodoxy.

I dunno. To a Westerner looking in, the 19th-century Russian Orthodoxy lovingly preserved by ROCOR seems to have incorporated a lot of good Western Catholic stuff from art and music to scholastic method, all of which is dissed by hip Orthodox today as 'not Orthodox enough' or 'see how cool and un-Roman we are'. Take that tack too far and you get something that sounds Pelagian about original sin (all that stuff goes over my head) and Lutheran about the Eucharist ('it's both really bread and wine and Christ' ... erm, no). The 'liberal' Parisian school of Russian Orthodoxy continued by St Vladimir's Seminary is rather different but has its good points too... but I can imagine it going off the rails that way. (BTW, and graduate anastasios can confirm this, relations between ROCOR's theological college at Jordanville and St Vlad's are actually cordial; imagine that from Christians - I think they even exchange lectures.)

As for the militant anti-ecumenism, it wasn't intrinsic to ROCOR. Their second leader, Metropolitan Anastassy, preached in St Paul's Cathedral in London, continuing the tradition of the sainted Patriarch Tikhon who was very friendly indeed with the Episcopalians during his time in America, happily visiting a cathedral and sitting in its choir in his mantia (of course not doing anything liturgical/sacramental). 19th-century Russians could be like that: not particularly nasty to other Christians but proud of who they were, and they had lots to be proud of. ROCOR sent observers to Vatican II, believe it or not. (My theory is they looked up to the late Pope Pius XII as an anti-Communist leader - and Christian - and were hoping the Vatican would continue on that course and help overthrow that régime.)

I don't think that got going in ROCOR until 1) mainline Protestants and their World Council of Churches got all liberal and weird and didn't sound Christian theologically anymore and 2) they took in fanatical groups like what became HOCNA that ended up just passing through and leaving but left their influence in parts of their host church.

I've been told by somebody who follows these doings that there are essentially two traditions co-existing in ROCOR, the nice 1800s-style Russians and the extremists, and sometimes one side doesn't know what the other is doing.

As for a free and democratic Russia, really? What has changed? A sham democracy, a cowed media and an over powerful FSB replacing the previous Cheka/NKVD/KGB. And throughout the sixties and seventies and beyond the MP, at the behest of the party, acting as a stooge in various 'Peace' forums, along with other apologists for a regime and ideology hostile to belief and religion, save were it might serve propaganda purposes.

It may not be utopia - far from it - or a place Americans or Britons necessarily would like to live (I can't say; I've never been) but the point is the government there isn't hostile at all to the church anymore, and hasn't been for some time, so the reason for the split - always practical, never theological - no longer exists. ROCOR doesn't need to go back into Russia and start dioceses and churches - there's already a church there that didn't die off. And so they've stopped doing that.
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« Reply #49 on: July 11, 2006, 11:47:31 PM »

And your arguments sound far too much like the claims Luther and the Protestants have historically made for their total disregard for Christian ecclesiology. The fact of the matter is that the visible, institutional element of the Church is just as important as the invisible, eschatological element; just as the humanity of Christ is as essential as his divinity to who He is. To reject the humanity or divinity of Christ is to reject Christ as a whole, likewise to reject the institutional or metaphysical element of the Church is to reject the Church as a whole. Just as without 'the mystery of Christ's presence among his people' there is no institution of the Church, without the institution of the Church there is no 'mystery of Christ's presence among His people.'
You misinterpret my quote.  I stated very clearly that I do NOT deny the necessity of the institutional element of the Church as equal to the mystical element.  Please read my quote again, this time without projecting your own notions into it.
The great mystery of the Church must make itself manifest as an institution, but please don't identify the mystery of the Church solely with this institution.
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« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2006, 06:05:19 AM »

Saint John of Shanghai was very strict in terms of fasting and church services, but not a museum curator rather a missionary. Others within ROCOR have also fostered that. As to the relations with other Christian denominations, I saw much natural courtesy given by otherwise very strict bishops and priests. Some like the late Bishop Raphael started off very warm toward Anglicanism but later realised the very real 'chasm' between Orthodoxy and 'comprehensiveness' - not that this was or is unique to ROCOR. (I remember attending a Walsingham Anglican event with a senior EP priest - shortly afterwards becoming a bishop - who watched the high church Anglicans at their rites who at the end turned to me and quietly said, "Theatre, pure theatre").

From the early days of ROCOR western denominations have moved ever further from sharing common understandings and beliefs. I could not see Metropolitan Anastassy attending a ECUSA cathedral today, were he alive. Agreed the differences between the OCA, other jurisdictions and ROCOR are often overplayed. I can remember attending a strict ROCOR convent when the then Father Kallistos (Ware) and a Serbian priest were regular visiting chaplains.

As for extremists, I know some really troubled Bishop Nikodem of Richmond and Metropolitan Philaret. Such are not unique to ROCOR either. Metropolitan Lauras and others have warned of extremists on both the 'left' and the 'right'. In the case of the 'left' some would seem to want to airbrush out S. Maximos the Confessor and other confessors against the Latins, while on the 'right' some want to pretend ROCOR was some kind of sole faithfull remnant since its inception, and that being wantonly rude to non-Orthodox was somehow a virtue in its' own right.

But revisionist histories are not the perogative of the 'right' or latter day 'Donatists' but of others within jurisdictions which they triumphantly denote as 'canonical'. The canons not being guides for yourself but rather cudgels to bash any who challenge a seeming turning away from Orthodoxy.

I agree both the folk tale type museum tendency and the modernistic schools have their dangers.

(I remember a story of Bishop Nikodem when very old. Some mischevious younger men deliberately pointed out a young woman in the then novel 'mini' skirt and waited for comment. He simply said, "It is too short'". So another day they pointed out the maxi skirt worn by an earnest convert laywoman, thinking he would approve. His response was to shake his head and say, "Too extreme").
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« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2006, 09:00:57 AM »

St Maximus a 'confessor against the Latins'?! IIRC he agreed with the Pope at the time and stood against the then-Byzantine emperor who'd fallen into heresy (Monothelitism or one-will-ism, a try at reconciling orthodoxy and Monophysitism) and got his tongue literally cut off for his trouble. 

I don't know if you came up with or picked up the descriptions 'museum curator' and 'folk tale type museum tendency' - they echo the critics of Percy Dearmer's revived mediæval English ritual who called it 'British Museum religion'; you seem to have come from Anglicanism - but I wasn't trying to put down that still living tradition in what I take it is your church. The same kind of living tradition you saw and praise in Bishop Nikodim.
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« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2006, 11:39:13 AM »

No, I have no Anglican background. Indeed friends tell me I shall never understand Anglicanism. (And they are right, I have tried but failed). The descriptive terms simply came into my mind when thinking about what some appear to be describing. Certainly the late Father Nicanor (Troitsky) would be surprised to learn the youngster he baptised and later married was a former Anglican......... Like Father Christopher, to whom I alluded to in my previous post, it all seems very strange. But, yes, I loved Vladika Nikodem. And he was both very kind and patient with me, mercifully.

Sometimes the unkind descriptions of ROCOR remind me simply of counter images within my own experience, for example: Someone banging on about 'Synod' clergy always being concerned about beards and the like, unlike their more 'modern' counterparts in the EP. And I remember a dedication of a new ROCOR church and all the ROCOR clergy, including the bishop, appeared to have trimmed their beards and most their hair drastically, but the EP bishop and clergy all had untrimmed beards and hair. These simplistic images and caricatures don't always match the day-to-day reality.

By the way who and what was Percy Dearmer? Tradition, to be of any worth, must surely be a living entity. I know some have tried to revive old western 'rites' but this might be interesting academically but as a living aid toward salvation?
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« Reply #53 on: July 12, 2006, 11:45:05 AM »

Percy Dearmer was the vicar of St Mary's, Primrose Hill, London in Edwardian times and famous for trying to revive mediæval English-style ceremonial in Anglican churches. His critics, who wanted to copy what Rome was doing at the time instead, called it 'British Museum religion'.
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« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2006, 11:55:26 AM »

Thank you. 'British Museum religion', conjures up quite an image, if not an all together attractive one. Perhaps some today might be trying do within Orthodoxy what some Catholic dissidents have tried to do, and create a sort of eratz version of something that actually never existed. I have in mind the dissident Redemptorists with their monastery in Britain's Shetland Islands. All cassocks and birettas, but never quite real.
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« Reply #55 on: July 15, 2006, 04:54:16 PM »

Here's the correct URL to the history I linked earlier.

Foggey. I'll agree with you in your blogger. but there is one point I wan to say. In your Blogger you show that ROCOR did not come to America until 1949.ÂÂ  Now it was said and I quote from Orthodox Wiki from one Father Serafim that ROCOR said that Met. Planton had no Authority to set up the America Orthodox Catholic Church. Now it shows that ROCORÂÂ  had no business interferring with The Russian Metropolia in the United States since ROCOR was not in America at that time.

here is a QUESTION if Both ROCOR and OCA never left the Russian Orthodox Church..Then OCA is part of the Russian Orthodox Church. So in My oppenion The OCA should use their ororiginalame Russian orthodox Greek Catholic Church .then they should drop the name OCA and go back to using their originalÂÂ  name of Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic church.but drop the greek and Catholic name and su the name of The Russian Orthodox Churc of North America. Now least of all Both OCA and ROCOR should come together as one Orthodox church coming under the Russian Exarch in America
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« Reply #56 on: July 15, 2006, 08:33:32 PM »

here is a QUESTION if Both ROCOR and OCA never left the Russian Orthodox Church..Then OCA is part of the Russian Orthodox Church. So in My oppenion The OCA should use their ororiginalame Russian orthodox Greek Catholic Church .then they should drop the name OCA and go back to using their originalÂÂ  name of Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic church.but drop the greek and Catholic name and su the name of The Russian Orthodox Churc of North America. Now least of all Both OCA and ROCOR should come together as one Orthodox church coming under the Russian Exarch in America

Uh, FPA, the glaring problem with that is the Tomos of Autocephaly that the MP gave the Metropolia.  From the standpoint of the MP, the OCA is jurisdictionally separate entirely, with the MP's official blessing.  Contrast that with the Synod, which IIRC will return to being a part of the MP.  Even if the OCA and ROCOR were to merge, you'd still have to deal with the problem of half of it having already been granted autocephaly while the other half is still jurisdictionally part of the parent of the autocephalous half.  Clear as mud?

And as a side point, naming any Orthodox jurisdiction Greek Catholic is going out of your way to ask for confusion.  As it stands, the few that have heard of us think we're either Jewish or just a different form of Roman Catholic.  Can you imagine the problems that having the name "Catholic" would cause in public perception?
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« Reply #57 on: July 15, 2006, 09:49:42 PM »

Uh, FPA, the glaring problem with that is the Tomos of Autocephaly that the MP gave the Metropolia.  From the standpoint of the MP, the OCA is jurisdictionally separate entirely, with the MP's official blessing.  Contrast that with the Synod, which IIRC will return to being a part of the MP.  Even if the OCA and ROCOR were to merge, you'd still have to deal with the problem of half of it having already been granted autocephaly while the other half is still jurisdictionally part of the parent of the autocephalous half.  Clear as mud?

And as a side point, naming any Orthodox jurisdiction Greek Catholic is going out of your way to ask for confusion.  As it stands, the few that have heard of us think we're either Jewish or just a different form of Roman Catholic.  Can you imagine the problems that having the name "Catholic" would cause in public perception?

Now this is a straight Ouestion. I know the OCA is incommunion with the Greek Orthodox Churck. I have heard many times that The Patriarch of Constantinople still doen't originize the  Auotcephaous and Autonomous of the OCA or has that has that changed
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« Reply #58 on: July 15, 2006, 10:12:01 PM »

Now this is a straight Ouestion. I know the OCA is incommunion with the Greek Orthodox Churck. I have heard many times that The Patriarch of Constantinople still doen't originize theÂÂ  Auotcephaous and Autonomous of the OCA or has that has that changed

That wasn't a question.  That was three declaratives.
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« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2006, 10:15:41 AM »

That wasn't a question.ÂÂ  That was three declaratives.

why didn't you say you didn't know
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« Reply #60 on: July 16, 2006, 03:48:06 PM »

Quote
Uh, FPA, the glaring problem with that is the Tomos of Autocephaly that the MP gave the Metropolia.  From the standpoint of the MP, the OCA is jurisdictionally separate entirely, with the MP's official blessing.  Contrast that with the Synod, which IIRC will return to being a part of the MP.  Even if the OCA and ROCOR were to merge, you'd still have to deal with the problem of half of it having already been granted autocephaly while the other half is still jurisdictionally part of the parent of the autocephalous half.  Clear as mud?

Quite.

And there's a pastoral issue to do with a real cultural difference: ROCOR is Russian and the OCA American.

Of course such differences are what ethnic parishes are for.

Quote
And as a side point, naming any Orthodox jurisdiction Greek Catholic is going out of your way to ask for confusion.  As it stands, the few that have heard of us think we're either Jewish or just a different form of Roman Catholic.  Can you imagine the problems that having the name "Catholic" would cause in public perception?

The historical reasons why the old Russian metropolia in America and ACROD did this are:

• In theory there's the old claim about being the real Catholic Church and of course the rite is 'Greek' so there you are.
• In practice there could have been some ambivalence about leaving behind the 'Catholic' identity - most of these people had been Byzantine Catholic for 300 years before coming to America. Keeping the old name could have been a marketing strategy to get and keep the Ruthenian parishioners on board.
• And now we get to the practical, real reason they did it: something to do with interpretation of the civil law. Most of these churches were started as Byzantine Catholic and thus had the words 'Greek Catholic' in their charters. (In the old country, Ruthenia, such churches are always called Greek Catholic.) When they left Rome to go under the Orthodox and the Roman or Byzantine Catholic authorities sued, the parish could win its case and keep its church building by keeping in some form its original name, showing the judge that it wasn't a new entity stealing somebody else's building. And so that's why, until it became the OCA in 1970, America's old Russian dioceses had that long official name with the words 'Greek Catholic' in it and ACROD still has them in its official name (though they seem to use them less, probably for exactly the reason Veniamin said).

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, which includes the Greek Archdiocese in America, doesn't recognise the OCA's autocephaly - in fact no church outside ex-Communist countries does - but all continue to recognise the OCA as Orthodox. For example, the Greek archbishop for America and Metropolitan Herman can and AFAIK do concelebrate! To most of the world the OCA is simply the American metropolia of the MP.
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« Reply #61 on: July 16, 2006, 04:10:38 PM »

Your many points above seem correct, y-fogey. I'd like to add that tHe EP does receive Met. Herman as an Orthodox bishop, albeit under the MP from their official view.
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« Reply #62 on: July 16, 2006, 04:36:07 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9320.msg127967#msg127967 date=1153080638]
Your many points above seem correct, y-fogey. I'd like to add that tHe EP does receive Met. Herman as an Orthodox bishop, albeit under the MP from their official view.
[/quote]

Thanks.

That's what I meant by 'all continue to recognise the OCA as Orthodox' and 'For example, the Greek archbishop for America and Metropolitan Herman can and AFAIK do concelebrate! To most of the world the OCA is simply the American metropolia of the MP'.
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« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2006, 12:13:15 AM »

Thank You fogey  You finely gave me a straight Answer which I was looking for.plus it was under standable
to read.
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