ENGLEWOOD OFFERS CLARIFICATION ON SELF-RULE
In a letter to OCANews.org today, Fr. George Kevorkian, a spokesman for the Antiochian Archdiocese offered a clarification concerning the status of the Archdicoese's "self-rule" in light of the recent Synodal decision regarding its American Archdiocese. Fr. Kevorkian writes:
"Dear Mr. Stokoe:
Please accept this clarification regarding your posting dated 8-25-2010 entitled “Damascus Decides” relating to the Resolution which was adopted by the Holy Synod of Antioch on August 19th, 2010, and which has been posted on www.antiochian.org
One of the items in your headline reads:
· Synod makes clear "Self-Rule" ends in Damascus
In addition, the text of your posting has the following statement regarding the self-rule status of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.
"In addition the statement calls into question the American Archdiocese's "Self-Rule", re-affirming that the Damascus Synod "... under the chairmanship of the Patriarch, is the final and supreme authority in all matters related to all Archdioceses of the Patriarchate of Antioch."
We wish to make it very clear that this Archdiocese retains the self-rule status that was granted by the Resolution of the Holy Synod of Antioch on October 9, 2003. The first paragraph of that resolution reads:
"1. Self rule and Jurisdiction
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is and shall remain self ruled within its present jurisdiction (The United States of America and Canada) and shall constitute one unified ecclesiastical Antiochian entity."
The recent Resolution of August 19, 2010 does not mention self-rule at all, nor does it revoke or rescind self-rule. At no time did the Holy Synod of Antioch consider or discuss a revocation of our self-rule status.
You state that the self-ruled status of this Archdiocese is called into question because the Resolution affirms that the Holy Synod of Antioch is the final and supreme authority in all matters related to all Archdioceses of the Patriarchate of Antioch. We would point out that even a church which had been granted autonomy by her Mother church would still be subject to the authority of the Holy Synod of the Mother church. The authority of the Mother Church would in no way detract from the ability of the local church to operate in an autonomous fashion. It is the same with the self-rule status of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Being under the authority of the Holy Synod of Antioch in no way detracts from our ability to be self-ruled.
We would greatly appreciate your posting this clarification for your readers.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. George Kevorkian
Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America"