Saturday, June 21. 2008
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The news of the change in the Romanian Patriarchate is a wonderful and serious call to examine what exactly we call the "Orthodox Church in America." In my own household my family members actually sit around and debate this. My mom is from one jurisdiction and my father is from another.
I confess that I'm too young to know enough of the history of the OCA and I don't fully understand what the term "autocephaly" means. As a person sitting in the stands watching all of this drama play out I have to say that it doesn't seem to mean much of anything at this point. The OCA is just another Orthodox Christian jurisdiction along with all the others.
Perhaps it would make some sense to do something like ROCOR did and have a very serious examination of what the "Orthodox Church in America" really means. When ROCOR took began the examination of reconciliation with the Moscow Patriarchate it was something that took around two years or longer to come to fruition. There were many meetings and many articles written. I remember vividly some of the articles that discussed many of the great misconceptions of how ROCOR was formed and what it ultimately stands for. Still there are many that disagree with the path of ROCOR but it is clear after all was said and done that ROCOR was established as a temporary administration and that time and many historical events moved it into a different direction.
In the case of the OCA it appears that time, historical circumstances, people and current events have all moved it in a sharply different direction from the days of autocephaly. Instead of constantly harping about Metropolitan Herman resigning, a better use of time would be a serious examination of everything that is called the Orthodox Church in America.
Just one person's idea
#1 Anon. on 2008-06-21 11:03
this is a good thing.
#2 no name on 2008-06-21 18:48
It seems to me that if they see this move as an interim step to a united Orthodox Church here in North America, then they should get their Holy Chrism from the OCA and not Romania. That would be the step that would test their true resolve and not a smoke screen of an interim step and still getting their Chrism from a foreign land.
For all his talk about a united OC in NA, Nathaniel, in the end, is just another agent for a foreign OC trying to stay relevant in NA.
Another question, "What if the OCA Holy Synod says, NO?" They still have to approve it. I would say, push the Holy Chrism point and push it hard.
#3 Anonymous on 2008-06-21 20:45
Why would the Roumanians coming from the Roumanian patriarchate want to get Chrism from the OCA when the autocephaly of the OCA is not recognized by most of the Orthodox world? I think it would be best to set up the new metropolitanate free from any controversy or potential controversy. They will be in a much better position to help American Orthodoxy, and even help the OCA, if they are setup as a fully recognized, 100% legitimate metropolitanate.
And for someone to call Archbishop Nathaniel "just another agent for a foreign OC" really just shows they don't know the Archbishop.
#4 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 09:18
So what is "Autonomy" vs "Autocephaly?"
Autonomy means that the Romanians would run their own show here in the US, but all their bishops would have to be OK'd by Romania and consecrated there. Holy Chrism would have to come from Romania. Basically, they would be under the thumb of foreign bishops AGAIN only thinking they are free and independent in the U.S. - WRONG! If the Romanian Patriarch wants to interfere, so be it. Even ROCOR thinks it's free of ROC domination - WRONG!
The Romanians under the OCA currently have the best of all world's. They do as they wish and in reality, answer to no one. The Patriarchal Romanians should join the OCA Romanians. If this entire episode is about getting priests and bishops, then I suggest a better recruitment campaign, not selling out to foreign bishops.
Even the Antiochians who claim "autonomy," are still under the "Sword of Damascus." + Philip has been able to restrict Damascus' influence, but soon, when he's gone, that will change.
Orthodox people are very stupid! There is no freedom under the thumbs of foreign bishops. Autocephaly is the ONLY real possibility in America. This gift was given in 1970 and STILL everyone wants to throw it away - fools. There is no hope in foreign churches or bishops.
The OCA leadership will be changing shortly. Now is NOT the time to leave, but to interact and help grow a truly American Church!
#5 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 09:46
Did I see the phrase "Maximally autonomous" ?? Wow. that must be a whole lot more autonomous than the Antiochians, and just a tick or two lower than minimal autocephaly? Perahps a level reached in a video game.
#6 anon on 2008-06-23 11:38
It is pretty smart of the Romanians, GET OFF A SINKING BOAT.
They don't have to get the OKAY from anyone. Lets not forget this is AMERICA. The OCA did everything according to the book, and it landed in the hands of THEIVES.
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Well, as for the Autochephaly of the OCA, it is recognized by the Romanians, as well as the Bulgarians and the Russians. So that is not an issue as you think it is.
As for Nathaniel, he is shortly going to be a non-player in this Romanian move because he is only a transitional figure(head). He is the odd man out because the Romanians love Bishop Irineu and Archbishop Nicolae, while they simply tolerate Nathaniel.
#8 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 13:49
Yes, Orthodox people can be stupid. Especially those who comment on a paper without reading it first. If you had read it, you would see that the election of bishops would be completely done here by the metropolitanate itself. This is even more than ROCOR has. You can have an opinion, but please do not mis-represent the facts.
As for finding clergy, it is my understanding that the ROEA has no problem when it comes to finding clergy. Many are coming from Roumania. Many are educated. Many already know the English language.
#9 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 14:47
[in response to the Berezansky letter]
Yes ... well ... er ... um ...
THAT was something different!
One can quibble with the tone of this letter, but I have to admit that, in fact, the tone sounds very familiar since it's pretty much the style of what goes through my head when I get most discouraged and before I go through the sometimes torturous exercise of trying to make it palatable for the outside world. Perhaps the effort of translating this frustrated-to-the-point-of-mockery-and-contempt voice into polite and measured words is really wasted at this point. Perhaps gentle and constructive speech has become the ally of obfuscation and delay -- there certainly does seem to rather a lot of obfuscation and delay around, doesn't there?
In the Harry Potter books there's a creature called a Bogart that can only be destroyed through ridicule. Maybe that's what the entrenched interests are and it is time for public mockery?
Or maybe not. If there is going to be an OCA on the back end of this mess, which I firmly hope and believe there will be, maybe a more measured discourse still has a role.
One specific thing that seems quite unnecessary and counter-productive in this letter is the contrast between the emigre intelligentsia and the Carpatho-Russian strands of the OCA's DNA -- yes, the leaders referenced in this letter came from the latter, but so did many fine priests and many fine parishes. This divide is destructive and distracting.
#10 Rebecca Matovic on 2008-06-23 15:56
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.
#11 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 16:11
I find it very interesting that so many people have made comments about this but refuse to identify themselves. If you don't want to say who you are, why not just mind your own business.
If you don't know Archbishop Nathaniel, don't make assume what you don't know.
#12 Constantin Ardeleanu on 2008-06-23 16:57
To know Nathaniel is to not sign your name. He is the all-time leader in deposing priests...
#13 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 18:05
As a member of an English speaking ROEA parish, and a delegate to our Congress, I wholeheartedly support this proposal.
This is more autonomy than both the Church of Finland and the Church of Japan have now. The only thing we get from the Romanian Patriarchate is Holy Chrism.
The unified Church would be totally self contained and self governing. Section 13 says in part "...The decisions of the Metropolitan Congress are not subject to approval or ratification by the Romanian Orthodox Church or the government of Romania."
This is a win-win for both Romanian eparchies and will advance administrative unity in North America, not retard it.
Section 4 says "IV. The Metropolitanate shall use every appropriate means to work in cooperation with other jurisdictions toward the realization of a unified Orthodox jurisdiction in North America, understanding the union of the Romanian Orthodox faithful in America to be a necessary, interim step toward the ultimate administrative unity of Orthodoxy in North America, in particular. As the sole canonical Romanian Orthodox jurisdiction in the Americas, the Metropolitanate shall participate as it elects in Orthodox commissions, bodies, councils and institutions."
Please pray for us as we deliberate these weighty matters, that our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ would lead us on the path we should go.
Subdeacon Robert Aaron Mitchell
St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Church
Chairman, Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black - Detroit Metro Chapter
#14 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2008-06-23 18:46
The autocephaly of the OCA is not recognized by the Roumanian patriarchate. They have said that they accept the OCA as canonical, but they view them (and those associated with them) as being tied to the Church of Russia. Let's not confuse the two. I am no theologian, but even I know that recognizing as "canonical" and as "autocephalous" are two very different issues.
Yes- Russia, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Georgia and Finland claim to recognize the autocephaly of the OCA. (I don't know for sure about Bulgaria, but from what I have read I tend to think not. If they do, then why have a diocese here?) But are there any Churches with non-Slavic roots who recognize it? Isn't that a problem?
And as for Archbishop Nathaniel, I don't believe that almost 30 years in office can be merely considered "transitional". Let's give him more credit and respect than that. He is directly involved in the dialogue and has given it his blessing. I think he, like any bishop should be, is being a leader for what he sees as best for the Church.
#15 Anonymous on 2008-06-23 20:16
First, the OCA is in communion with all the canonical Orthodox Churches around the world - de facto, completely recognized. The Bishop of Istanbul has not "formally" recognized the OCA's autocephaly because canonically, all the Greeks in North America would have to be placed under the OCA's omophor. Remember, when the ROC declared it's own autocephaly after the Council of Florence, Constantinople WOULD NOT recognize it's autocephally for over 200 years and only after much cash was exchanged. It's a game. The OCA was granted autocephaly by it's mother church the ROC in 1970 - DONE, FINITO. And Canon 28 of Chalcedon is a joke regarding this matter.
Regarding the Romanians; going back to the Pat. of Romania is a HUGE mistake. It will not further any kind of Orthodox unity in North America. Yes, all the Romanian parishes will come together under the Romanian patriarch, but the Romanian parishes could have come together for the last 30+ years under the FREE OCA Romanians. Why didn't they? Because the foreign bishops wouldn't relinquish control - money and power.
Autonomy means NOTHING - just another way of being put on a longer leash from those wishing to control you. "Sure, we'll leave you alone." And the Pope is Orthodox.
I'm sure the founding fathers of America surely saw AUTONOMY from Britain as the better way rather than INDEPENDENCE or AUTOCEPHALY!
#16 Anonymous on 2008-06-24 08:08
>This is more autonomy than both the Church of Finland and the >Church of Japan have now. The only thing we get from the >Romanian Patriarchate is Holy Chrism.
Well. Yes, compare to the Church of Japan, the proposal grant more autonomy.
However, I still cannot understand the purpose that ROEA's discussion about leaving OCA. Simply what does ROEA gain?
What does Orthodox Christians in North America gain?
At least one clear answer;
a reverse movement toward Orthodox Unity in North America!
Some may say, after the union His Eminence Nathaniel will act more powerful to toward the unity of Orthodox Christians in North America than now; however, I have a doubt about this.
No matter what His Eminence Nathaniel or people of ROEA have a idea about the Orthodox Christian Unity, the Romanian Patriarchate may have a different idea.
I will tell you the story what was happened on Thomas Sunday at the Holy Resurrection Cathedral of Tokyo which is commonly known as St. Nicholas Cathedral:
On the Thomas Sunday, a Romanian priest appeared in the Cathedral of Tokyo suddenly. At first, I did not know that he was a priest because he was standing behind me with normal clothes.
Later one of my Romanian friend introduced him to me.
The priest said that He was a "patriarchal counselor" came to Japan to research the possibility to establish Romanian parish under the Romanian Patriarchate.
I was shocked.
Then I started to talk him. Our short conversation was so uncomfortable - at least to me. I was so disturbed;
The priest did not think ethnocentrism or phyletims was wrong. His logic was simply 'you Japanese go to Japanese Church, we Romanian go to Romanian Church.'
For example, he said there will be no problem if I establish a parish of the Church of Japan in Romania under the Church of Japan...
Also he said, *until next Ecumenical Council will be held, they can do whatever they want in Japan because the Church of Japan is Autonomos Church, not an Autocephalous Church*.
Of course, the priest did not think the existence of multiple jurisdictions in North America was a problem. [ Actually in that conversation, I have learned what is happening in ROEA. The priest said "all Romanian s are under Patriarchate of Romania" So I asked "how about ROEA?" He replied that "Oh, they decided to join us last month" ]
Then, he started to explain how our styles of services were different*. Besides our language barrier - his English was worse than I-, as a graduate of the seminary, I could not stand listening such a nonsense.
Finally I said "Are you a servant of Christ or a servant of Romanian culture? " He replied "You are not a Romanian, so, you do not understand Romanians."*
This is the idea which I hate the most.
Anyway, I heard this priest went to see His Eminence Daniel of Japan in following week with *Romanian Ambassador to Japan*. I don't know the detail of the meeting. Also he and Romanian Ambassador traveled Japan to meet some people to ask their support.
Although I admit we did not take care growing numbers of Romanians in the Church of Japan as much as we should, but we always respect Romanians and Romanian Orthodox Church. Actually, some of us are discussing a possibility to invite a Romanian priest to Japan to taking care of growing numbers of Romanian parishioners in Japan.
I do not know if Romanian Patriarchate will really establish a diocese in Japan; however, we feel we are severely betrayed.
On behalf of weeping Japanese Orthodox Christians,
Your brother in Christ,
Masatoshi John Shoji
A present parishioner of the Protection of the Theotokos
Orthodox Church in Yokohama, Japan
Also a former parishioner of OCA Archdiocese of Canada,
and a graduate from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological
#17 Masatoshi John Shoji on 2008-06-24 08:43
To say that because "the OCA is in communion with all the canonical Orthodox Churches around the world" they (and inferring also their autocephaly) are "completly recognized" is not an accurate statement. From what I have read, most Orthodox Churches take a stand that could best be described as "tolerating" the OCA as a Church still being tied to Moscow. We can certainly debate whether this attitude is legitimate or flawed, but it is the way things are and we cannot deny that. To try to assume complex scenarios as to why some do and some don't is only speculative and has no weight in fact. The fact is that some Orthodox jurisdictions officially recognize the autocephaly of the OCA and most do not, "FINITO".
As for going "under" Roumania, where in that proposal does it say anything about being "under" Roumania? At most, in my reading of it, there are a couple mere spiritual ties. It even seems to go out of its way to distance itself from the Roumanian Patriarchate and even the Roumanian government. What in the document should lead us to think the metropolitanate would be "under" Roumania? And as for "money and power", I don't think Roumania gets anything from its archdiocese here. In fact, it was the ROEA who has sent millions of dollars of aid to Roumania since the revolution.
When I go to church on Sunday, I listen to the priest, the choir and pray. Somehow, images of the American Revolution never enter my mind as something having anything to do with the church. I think we insult the Orthodox Church when we make such comparisons. Jesus never called for a revolution. Let's remember that.
(editor's note: On the contrary, Jesus initiated the greatest revolution in history; for he "overturned" the rule of the Prince of this World. Let us not forget that either.)
#18 Anonymous on 2008-06-24 10:04
I am afraid we are in for even greater jurisdictional disunity unless the Ecumenical Patriarch acts boldly in the following ways:
1. Take up the title of Patriarch of the West recently discarded by the papacy, because it reflects the truth of where most of the flock of the Ecumenical Patriarchate resides. Then move the primary functions of the Apostolic See of Constantinople to a suitable location in North America while retaining a much reduced presence in Istanbul. This action will reflect the reality that Orthodox Christianity is not just Eastern, but is truly the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
2. Invite brother bishops in the West to become members of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate. This could help to resolve the continuing scandalous jurisdictionalism in the West, while helping the Patriarchate to become truly Ecumenical. The Archbishop of Constantinople, Patriarch of the West, and Ecumenical Patriarch carrying out his duties free from the interference of Turkish authorities would be a much more effective witness for the Faith.
3. A truly Ecumenical Patriarchate will be far more likely to succeed in convening a Great Council of the Church to resolve the divisive issues of our Church calendar and our relationships with heterodox Christians that have plagued us since 1923. This could greatly strengthen our Christian witness, and our missionary outreach to this fallen and suffering world.
#19 Marc Trolinger on 2008-06-24 11:20
"To say that because "the OCA is in communion with all the canonical Orthodox Churches around the world" they (and inferring also their autocephaly) are "completly recognized" is not an accurate statement. From what I have read, most Orthodox Churches take a stand that could best be described as "tolerating" the OCA as a Church still being tied to Moscow."
It's pretty clear you have no understanding of Orthodox ecclesiology and therefore, post without knowledge - FINITO!
#20 Anonymous on 2008-06-24 18:56
"To say that because "the OCA is in communion with all the canonical Orthodox Churches around the world" they (and inferring also their autocephaly) are "completly recognized" is not an accurate statement."
This is a COMPLETELY accurate statement. All the Orthodox Churches (canonical) are unified at the table of Christ. They are one. If the Bishop of Istanbul has an issue with the autocephaly of church which was canonically granted, that is the Bishop of Istanbul's problem. Again, for over 200 years Constantinople did not recognize the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church - purely political. Only after much money was given to them, then the recognition was granted. The OCA has no intention in buying recognition from a crumbling, archaic, has-been. Moscow is the third Rome!
#21 Anonymous on 2008-06-25 06:51
I'm getting to like the FINITO...it has a musical ring to it. It's getting to be a trademark, kinda like Mr. ALL CAPS guy.
Please explain why you insist that all of Orthodoxy accepts the autocephaly of the OCA. I am interested in why you take that position, because I have seen where hierarchs of other jurisdictions have said point blank, "we do not recognize the autocephaly of the OCA". Has that changed recently? This is even a subject that the OCA Holy Synod seems to be concerned about because over the years we have read reports here and there about their efforts to affirm recognition of the autocephaly from different world Orthodox jurisdictions. I would think that if it isn't a problem then they wouldn't worry about it.
Anyone can just tell someone else that they don't know anything, but please explain your position and tell us what it is you think other people aren't seeing. We are lucky enough to have this forum for constructive discussion, not just "I don't like what you say, so you don't know anything and I'm done talking to you". I look forward to your explanations. The more that people exchange on here, the more we can all better understand the situation, and the better off our Church is in the long run.
#22 Anonymous on 2008-06-25 08:14
I agree with you 100% that we are all unified at the table of Christ. I don't think any logical, rational person would say that the OCA is un-canonical. But the tradition of conciliarity in the Church is something that cannot be ingnored and must, in the very least, be considered when it comes to recognition of Churches and other major issues of Orthodoxy. We must respect one another and cannot reduce ourselves to name-calling and throwing stones at one another.
When Bishop Kallistos Ware was here in the USA this past winter, he told a gathering to respect one another and to stop blaming eachother. He pointed out how he is saddened when he comes here and hears talk about the Greeks blaming the OCA, and the OCA blaming the Greeks. He said we must first focus on being good Orthodox Christians and the rest will follow. (A link to the recording of the talk is on www.orthodoxdetroit.com)
#23 Anonymous on 2008-06-25 08:30
Mark, you're right, I should have clarified better. I meant that Jesus rejected a political revolution in this world, putting the emphasis on the Kingdom. This is where I think we need to be careful.
While I agree we must do everything we can to hold our leaders to a reasonable standard, sometimes we can get so caught-up in the "church politics" that we are left vulnerable to ignoring the church's mission and people. While some people are well-prepared to deal with these challenges, others can get so consumed by a "cause" that they run the risk of becoming blind to everything and everyone else. They feel that they must "win".
This is why a website like this beneficial because it provides a forum for balance and discussion. Just a thought. Thanks!
(Editor's note: thank you!)
#24 Anonymous on 2008-06-25 08:54
in the church,there truly are NO BORDERS, all orthododox christians are brothers in CHRIST,no matter where they are,there are no foreign bishops,only orthodox bishops.there is only ONE ORTHODOX CHURCH,ONE BODY OF CHRIST!!!!
#25 Anonymous on 2008-06-25 14:45
My dear brother,
I do feel sad upon hearing what happened there recently, but ours is a different situation.
You say ours is "a reverse movement toward Orthodox Unity in North America!" I totally disagree. From within the OCA our hierarch does not have the standing to effect or move toward Orthodox unity in North America.
You asked "Simply what does ROEA gain?" It gains unity among the Romanian faithful of the 2 eparchies after many decades apart and it gains the status of a Metropolitanate with a Metropolitan at its head. That bishop would then be on an equal footing with other members of SCOBA and indeed would be invited to join that body!
You also asked "What does Orthodox Christians in North America gain?" They gain a full partner in the prayer, quest and movement toward administrative unity in North America.
Continue to pray for us as I will pray for you and the situation there in Japan.
#26 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2008-06-26 14:57
Dear Mr. Trolinger,
I know that the Orthodox world has been politely not contesting the Patriarch of Constantinople's claim to be the Ecumenical Patriarch as a bit of harmless fiction that we could tolerate. For me this is an outstanding display of Christian charity and Orthodox solidarity. After all, the Fener had not produced a leader of ecumenical moral leadership since 1453, with the possible exception of Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory.
It is entirely another matter, however, when there is a formal proposal to establish a real ecumenical patriarchate. I simply do not think that such as proposal is supported by our Holy Tradition.
#27 Carl on 2008-06-26 17:31
Thank you for your thoughts on this idea. It is true that there has not been a truly Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople since the number of faithful outside the Roman Empire began to exceed the number within it. It was not Holy Apostolic Tradition, but rather the power of the Roman state that was behind the concept of an Ecumenical Patriarch. However, the history and tradition of the Church is very much tied to the Apostolic See of Constantinople.
Perhaps the title Ecumenical Patriarch should be dropped altogether and replaced by that of Patriarch of the West for the reasons noted before. This could still enhance Orthodox Christian unity in the West, and provide visibility to those seeking the fullness of our ancient Faith.
#28 Marc Trolinger on 2008-06-27 11:59
One closing thought about the Orthodox Christian ethnic diocese returning to their ethnic origins. For those that consider themselves Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Carpatho-Russian, Albanian, Greek etc. first rather than Americans or Canadians, let them return to their ethnic enclaves and associations.
For Orthodox Christians who consider themselves Americans and Canadians first, let us develop the visions of Sts. Tikhon and Raphael by striving to build a truly indigenous Orthodox Christian Church in North America. An OCA free of corruption and the scourge of phyletism could be a stronger foundation to a truly indigenous Church.
If the faithful of the OCA and the Antiochian Archdiocese decided to bring this vision forward through a union that was blessed by the Patriarch of Antioch by giving full autonomy now and autocephaly withing a few years, the Church in North America and those seeking the fullness of Christianity in there own language and culture would be greatly blessed.
#29 Marc Trolinger on 2008-06-29 15:55
Being respectful is all well and good, but we are dealing with the "arrogance" factor. The Greeks believe all of Orthodoxy in America must be under their terms. The Patriarchal churches under the MP and ROCOR are trying to claim all slavs in America under themselves. And the OCA is trying to emerge as it canonically is; the only autocephalous, indigenous Orthodox Church in North America. SCOBA is the only clearing house and there is no talk of "UNITY" at SCOBA meetings anymore. The original charter of SCOBA called for a unified Orthodox Church in North America and even created the name, "Orthodox Church in America." So, where is the unity? + Bartholomew emasculated the GOA in 1994 after Ligonier. Moscow wants to rule all the slavs. The Romanians want to set their church back 100 years going back to the Pat. of Romania.
RESPECT you say! How about foreign bishops continuing to meddle, take money and separate the Orthodox in America. And the fools in America are too stupid to see this.
#30 Anonymous on 2008-06-30 12:58
In this instance, we do have a huge obstacle to overcome: the 28 Canon of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (AD451). Even though the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow are engaged in a significant struggle over this canon, the plain meaning of its words are instructive. The canon says:
""Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges (isa presbeia) to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her; so that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him."
The Church did not know of any land that had not been conquered by the Roman Empire and thus limited jurisdictions to that known world. It is clear from the above and geography that the only see that the canons accepted for the West was/is that of Rome. Thus, the eastern boundary of Rome is the western boundary of Constantinople. The Americas, almost all of Asia, most of Africa, all of Australia/New Zealand/Micronesia were not covered by any canon that I know of, although there is lots of verbiage by the local churches about "logical extensions" from the canons. Thus, you cannot have an Orthodox Patriarch of the West, unless you decide to replace the Roman Pope with an Orthodox Patriarch, whose territory does not exceed what was the territory in 451 AD.
Another consideration is the nature of the Church: monarchical or conciliar. Just because the Church has been mostly monarchical does not make it right. It is clear from the Holy Scriptures and the canons of the Holy Apostles that what we need to do is to shed the monarchical form, which is not needed in the world today. The Russian Church Council just concluded alludes to the distortions caused by the Roman, Byzantine and Russian Imperial church models. To have a Patriarch of the West would be wrong, not only because of non-conformance to the Holy Canons, but also because it would perpetuate an outdated and disfunctional model that survives only because of inertia and the innate conservatism of the Orthodox Church.
#31 Carl on 2008-06-30 14:34
I completely agree with you. Posting your opinion is one thing, but miscontruing the facts is just plain wrong. It would appear that you have a hidden agenda. People need to read the facts for themselves, the new Romanian Metropolitanate of North America will not be under Romania. That is made quite clear.
I would also point out that this proposal is now on the ROEA site as well.
#32 Steve Grabowski on 2008-06-30 14:38
The Romanians are not going back to the Patriarch of Romania. Please get your facts straight, and stop interpreting them to suit your own beliefs and arguments.
#33 Steve Grabowski on 2008-07-01 08:04
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