Friday, December 3. 2010
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Very encouraging if the plain meaning is the complete meaning.
Can a bishop be on several synods at the same time? Here we see Bishop Nathaniel signing this and then also appearing on the Romanian church web page among those bishops.
#1 Harry Coin on 2010-12-03 10:45
Interesting, but odd. Those who want a single, unified jurisdiction in North America can say goodbye to that concept. The only construction I can place on the announcement is that the OCA wishes for everybody else to join it. Not a good idea, and not going to happen. For every individual who goes under an OCA "umbrella", there will be at least one individual refusing to do so -- with the inevitable result that multiple jurisdictions shall continue.
(Editor's note: Unity is not an "option", it is a command of the Lord, and the Tradition of the Church. One can reasonably point out the obstacles to achieving it, but dismissing it outright ( "not going to happen") is not acceptable. The OCA announcement said nothing about "everybody joining it"; only that we were not about to deny our history by "joining" anybody else. The way forward in unity must be, and can be, positive for everyone - if we can agree on common goals, and give it a chance. "If" is a small word with big connotations, but "never" is just mean-spirited.)
#2 Anonymous on 2010-12-03 13:01
I'm not so sure that being on a synod and meeting with some bishops to discuss ministry experiences are necessarily the same thing.
#3 Anonymous on 2010-12-03 13:33
I agree with you, Mr. Stokoe, that unity is what we are supposed to have. The reality of human behaviour might not be "acceptable" to you, I understand. Nothing that I wrote is "mean-spirited"; don't attempt mind-reading, please. Thank you. I agree that there is not an explicit request that all Orthodox in the U.s. join the OCA. I do sense it behind the lines, however. If the OCA stands by its autocephaly, as it should do, other jurisdictions should do the same. If they currently do not have autocephaly in the same sense as does the OCA, then the options are to acquire it, or to join the OCA. Again, just because someone does not agree with you, it is wrong to assume the worst of that person.
(Editor's note: I don't assume the worst of people who disagree with me. But I still think it mean-spirited to say "never" to unity....)
#4 Anonymous on 2010-12-03 15:05
As a frequent critic of the OCA clerical leadership, I am happy to say that this statement strikes just the right note. North American Orthodox unity is the ultimate goal--unity in essentials with diversity permitted in all else--but not at the cost of independence from foreign control and domination. The OCA can not surrender its autocephaly in advance of some promised unity dictated and defined by any foreign Patriarchate. Nor should it attempt to dictate itself to other North American Orthodox Christians who belong to other jurisdictions.
A fundamental regard for the free will ascent of others should be at the heart of our Faith--not, as has so often happened in the past, some imperial and compulsive directive from on high. And the Faithful themselves must be willing and active champions of unity, as described above, or the whole quest for a unified witness, as our Lord and Holy Tradition command, will come to naught.
#5 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2010-12-03 15:45
From my understanding of Church History of the 20th Century, one of the reason for granting the OCA it's Autocephaly (sp) was the surpress of the ORthodsox Church under the Soviet state,w hich resulted in the in three Jurisdictions from thew 1920 to current ROCOR, PAtriachial Church and the OC. With the fall of communism and and other factor's the ROCOR and the PAtriachial have been untied and are now in communion with each other, those this undermind the OCA and why would not the OCA re-join this church unifying all three Russian churches as one jurisdiction?
(Editor's note: You understand incorrectly. The OCA has not been a "Russian" Church for more than 50 years. The Patriarchal parishes specifically stayed with Moscow, in many cases, because they wanted to be; and ROCOR's whole identity has been "Russian" - hence its name. Ethnicity is rarely a good basis for a Church - and is no basis for "uniting" these three jurisdictions. Sorry to burst your bubble. )
#6 Anonymous on 2010-12-03 16:08
This from the same +Jonah that tells each person he meets whatever he or she wants to hear?
I rather have a guarantee from Chrysler!
I don't buy thing one that comes from his mouth, we are being sold down the river. Mr Trump will you please fire my Metropolitan?
#7 no name on 2010-12-03 17:09
The OCA model
The declaration of the OCA Holy Synod, affirming again and unequivocally its autocephaly, is a historic moment and a salutary moment.
This declaration its crystal clear: the New World has a place in Orthodoxy and a role to fulfill in the two thousand years history of Orthodoxy.
There is no way back. The American Orthodoxy is in its own rights, an equal between equals and there is no place for chip talks about "Diaspora", subordination toward foreign entity and such hogwash.
What will be the administrative future of the American Orthodox Church is an open question to be solved by the American Orthodox Hierarchs and American Orthodox faithful. Personally I think it will be a mixture of complete integration and canonical association. And in this regard the case of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and its irreversible agreement of association with the OCA is a very good example to follow.
But one thing, in my opinion, is for sure.
Any debate, any "dialogue" aiming to subordinate part of the American Orthodoxy to foreign canonical bodies, some of them of really dubious repute, will be an exercise in futility and an exclusively political action without any Christian merit.
#8 Alexandru Nemoianu on 2010-12-04 08:16
Good to see some sanity here! If the foreign Patriarches really want unity, let them give autocephaly to all of their churches in the U.S. When this happens and they unite into one autocephalous church, then and ONLY then will the OCA merge with them. Will we see the foreign Patriarches take this action soon or will the Parousia happen first? My bet, the Parousia!
#9 Any Moose on 2010-12-04 15:54
If the grant of autocephaly to the OCA had been forced by the Soviets, then the Moscow Patriarchate would have ceased recognizing it by now. There are Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians flooding the West and I think that if the Russian Orthodox Church had been forced to establish the OCA as its sister Local Orthodox Church, then she would have renounced that action and begun establishing dioceses here in North America instead of encouraging the Synodal dioceses in North America to resolve their pre-reconciliation issues with the OCA.
This was a great, reassuring letter and that's all I can say.
#11 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-12-04 21:45
Rev. John Erickson, who has been an observer of and participant in talks concerning a united, American, autocephalous church for decades, spoke at our recent diocesan assembly in San Diego. His comments clarified for me how the OCA interprets autocephaly.
Your comments refer to two options: 1) everyone acquires autocephaly; or 2) everyone joins the already autocephalous OCA. You state these as though they are mutually exclusive. In reality, the vision encompasses a third option--and this is the one emphasized by Erickson: that churches of various jurisdictions acquire autocephaly from their mother churches AND that these various autocephalous then join together as one.
The OCA, in this scenario. serves as the precedent.
#12 Fr. Isaac Skidmore, Ashland, OR on 2010-12-04 21:53
(Addendum to my previous post)
It is worth noting that, in this eventual merging of churches, the "umbrella" under which they assemble is as much defined by the other autocephalous churches as it is by what we now know as the OCA.
#13 Fr. Isaac Skidmore, Ashland, OR on 2010-12-04 22:15
Now THAT was mean-spirited!
#14 Anonymous on 2010-12-05 20:06
I would rather have a united Orthodox church under bishops who love the Lord and serve Him honestly than bishops who lie, steal and cheat. I do not care where the good bishops lay their heads to sleep and I truly don't care what language they speak. What are we in this for, to worship God or create our own little social club that speaks English?
The OCA has proven over and over that it is not and never was ready to run its' own show. But, pride keeps it going. All I can say is 'Lots of luck'.
(Editor's note: Thanks for the vote of confidence and best wishes. I think you have got it backwards though - the goal of the OCA was not to create a "little social club that speaks English" because what too many of us found was "a little social club that didn't speak English" masquerading as the Orthodox Church. Jesus is for everybody, the Church is for everyone, and in America, that means we should be witnessing in as many languages as necessary; but our main vehicle of communication, as in our society, should be English. Or Spanish in some areas - like that is going to happen!)
#15 Anonymous on 2010-12-06 05:19
The OCA's autocephaly was the normal progression for the Metropolia. Since 1917, the Metropolia operated independent of any instructions from Moscow under Communism. In 1961 when SCOBA was created, it's main directive was to move toward an American autocephalous Orthodox Church to be called, "The Orthodox Church of America." This is in the minutes of SCOBA from it's early meetings of all the American bishops. Fr. Schmemann was instrumental in having Moscow grant autocephaly to the Metropolia in 1970 with the name, "The Orthodox Church in America." Fr. Schmemann, as well as most hierarchs believed this was their opportunity to solve the non-canonical mess of many Orthodox churches in America with many bishops. All bishops would join the OCA with their own flocks, sitting on a Synod of bishops while administering to their own flocks. All would choose their own bishop to serve as Metropolitan to head this Synod. The Greeks and Antiochians reneged on joining the OCA. So, what was designed as the SOLUTION to the American Orthodox dilemma, fell short due to Met. Philip & Archbp Iakovos. The Patriarchal churches under Moscow were allowed to remain in tact like embassies of Moscow. ROCOR remained in it's own little isolated world.
(Editor's note: Alas, Fr. Schemann, Met. Iakovos, and all those people are gone. What's our excuse for continuing their failure to achieve what everyone agrees is the goal? Ah, it could be that the goal is not agreed on anymore. Even back in the '50's it used to be a united, autocephalous Church in America. Everyone nowwants united. Anybody but the OCA use the term autocephalous? Not that I have heard....
Let's get on the same page first before we start picking out drapes together....)
#16 Anonymous on 2010-12-06 06:49
I don't see a fully united Orthodox Church here in America during my life-time. It just isn't going to happen. When I became Orthodox decades ago, it was a vision that was shared by many through clergy councils, common retreats, choir festivals and Orthodox Christian Fellowships. Today, I feel that we are farther apart than we were decades ago.
In many areas, I think separate jurisdictions have few if any real repercussions, especially in large cities. Every ethnic and cultural group has their own little space and we all know that in our hearts and minds we are united. However, I've seen in area after area that small towns have too many competing churches and some medium sized cities have no Orthodox Churches at all. A good comparison would be: San Francisco with a population of 815,000 people has about 16 Orthodox Churches while San Jose with a population of 1.1 million has 2-3! Santa Barbara with 93,000 people has 4-5 Orthodox Chruches while the Palmdale/Lancaster area with 350,000 people has 2 Orthodox Churches!
The real sin of lack of unity is that it forces an insular view of the Orthodox Church. Rather than reaching out, we are too busy holding on. Rather seeing the nation we live in as an opportunity, we really see it as a cultural enemy. Rather than opening up and welcoming we are too busy driving off and judging others in our Pharisee-isms. This is why Christ demanded that we be one. We have lost the vision of Christ, and this is a critical loss indeed.
#17 Sean O'Clare on 2010-12-06 10:58
Bless, Father! What you write is, actually what I intended to state as a possible outcome. I just did not write as clearly as did you. I should have written akin to "other autocephalus jurisdictions join WITH the OCA."
Thank you for noting this.
#18 Anonymous on 2010-12-06 12:33
. . . going on record that the "Anonymous" who wrote post #5 is NOT the same "Anonymous" who wrote post #2.
#19 Anonymous on 2010-12-06 12:37
I am glad to have the autocephaly reaffirmed. As far as other Orthodox jurisdictions in the US are concerned, they have to be granted (or take) their autocephaly. We can see from the Antiochian Archdiocese that in essence they have lost their "automony", and the laity of the Greek Archdiocese several years ago at their convention didn't get enough votes for their autocephaly. The Romanians are reuniting under Romanian Patriarch, and the others are remaining where they are. The EP wants control of all of us.
So where does that leave administrative unity--since we have unity in theology, doctrine, and at the eucharistic table.
There are a number of issues that the bishops (whether they are self-ruling, independent of mother churches or not) can do. They can come together and speak with one voice in the press on issues that affect the Orthodox people. They can work together on charitable works. They can come together and decide how to handle divorce, baptism, reception of converts, stem cell research. They can work on English translations for services, an American Typicon that combines the best of all jurisdictions. Joint Pension plans and health insurance (or self-insurance) for church workers (Clergy, Monks, Nuns, Secretaries etc). We can start acting like a unified church. And you know, the US citizens might just start seeing an Orthodox Christian Church, and not the Greek, Serbian, Russian, Albanian, Coptic kind of ethnic christian or "ethnic festivals that so many parishes are famous for". They will see the Orthodox Christian Faith at work in America changing society. Lets stop fighting and start working together.
(Editor's note: Not to be rude, for I admire your dream and zeal for it. However, if you think the Orthodox Church in the country are going to create a common American typikon "from the best of all jurisidictions", when even the OCA can't create on from the "best of its own dioceses", hah! As for a joint pension plan, well, the one major jurisdiction who does have one Typikon,, won't let a clergy pension fund be fully established as we have learned on this site. We are all guilty - and we are all happy and contented to live with our guilt. That is what has to change, and no amount of tweaking or working together will change that, I fear....)
#20 anonymous on 2010-12-06 12:45
Wishing Everyone Here a blessed feastday of St. Nicholas!
#21 Anonymous on 2010-12-06 16:10
Happy St. Nicholas Day!
#22 VSO on 2010-12-06 20:01
Bp. Basil (Essey) did use the word autocephalous as the goal of the EA process, in a talk that is on AFR.
I rather suspect that is a minority view for those deep in the EA process.
Fr Yousuf Rassam
(Editor's note: Although he is the secretary of the newly-named Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America ( Bye, Bye SCOBA, welcome ACOBA), His Grace is not a ruling bishop, and therefore, does not speak for any of the jurisdictions involved. Alas.)
#23 Anonymous on 2010-12-06 23:51
I'm #11 -- In response to Mark, I said the bishops have the opportunity and means to do this. I didn't say that they are. Sean is right. The Orthodox laity are concerned with their own individual parish and insular selves. The bishops -- well I don't know what is keeping them back from working together. I as a layperson am not at diocesan council meetings, nor metropolitan council meetings and therefore have no voice except those who represent us. Quite frankly neither clergy, bishop, nor lay council members ever ask their parishioners their input. What I propose is not a dream. It can be reality. But quite frankly the bishops are happy with their lot or they would do things quite differently. Sean is right--the vision is not there. And working together would mean giving up their power. Metropolitan Philip and other bishops aren't giving up their perks. Tiny mission stations, mission parishes, and tiny parishes in areas of depressed employment and population are merely trying to hang on -- paying bills, clergy salaries, clergy housing expenses, and medical insurance and bills. That takes alot of money each month for a small community to pay. There is a lot of money at the top being wasted and not much money at the bottom. The bishops need to be pastors again and be in the thick of it at the bottom. If the bishops only talk to a select few people, their administrative staff, and a few select clergy, they aren't seeing real life.
(Editor's note: I cannot speak for others, but as one MC Rep, I ask people all the time what they think - and I edit a website that gives the opportunity to speak. A great number of Bishops read it as well - and if it is true, as you say, they are seeing real life, it is because they choose not to.)
#24 anonymous on 2010-12-07 08:23
With All Respect
The Autochephaly of the OCA is not conical and is not recognized by the any of the five ancient Patriarch;s.
The Arrogarence of member of the OCA that implieswe should all joint he OCA to for an Autochephaly jurisdiction is mis-guided. The OCA is disunited between diocese and lack administrative qualities.
I am skeptical of the EA but having us joint he OCA which is not recognized and in fact the EA did nto give the OCA seating in the Exec. Committee
IF this is not proof the OCA have no creditability, the only solution is the Russian PAtriachate to denounce the Autochephaly and have the OCA join the Russian PAtriarchal Church in NA.
#25 Anonymous on 2010-12-07 08:42
Fr. Isaac: Congratulations! You got it! Each church, (in time) grant's its North American Diocese, Archdiocese, or Metropolitan District Autocephaly.
Then, the S.C.O.B.A., EA, or what ever other council of bishops that represents all of the autocephalous churches in North America convenes an extraordinary All American Council, all jurisdictions merge, and then they elect our first Patriarch.
And, I suspect that the first jurisdictions to recieve its autocephaly, will be R.O.C.O.R. North America, from, the R.O.C.
Yes, this theory creates the problem of the O.C.A., and R.O.C.O.R. existing side by side, after having received their autocephaly from the same Mother Church.
Otherwise, a canonical release of the R.O.C.O.R. parishes, (then including the Patriarchal Parishes of North America) to the O.C.A. would most likely occur.
Next, the Serbians, and then, the (as yet un formed) Romanian Orthodox Episcopate (Metropolitan District) of North America.
The Carpatho Russians and Ukrainians would probably each become autonomous, and then be released by a future Ecumenical Patriarch. (Yes, no, maybe. . . )???
The Greek Archdiocese will most likely be the last to join a united American Church.
And, the Bulgarians will probably be released to the O.C.A. . . . in time.
Likewise, the Antiochians, once +Philip has been succeeded by another Metropolitan.
I'd like to believe Bishop Basil, and truly expect unity to transpire "sooner than we expect", but although I believe unity "is" coming, I'll truly believe in the desired result when it finally occurs.
And I truly believe it will happen. When in the fullness of God's time all conditions for its realization exist.
(Editor's note: It will not happen the way you envision however. The MP could not create a second autocephalous church (ROCOR) on the territory of another (The OCA). To do so would open pandora's box: could they create an autocephalous Church in Turkey, where the Russians ( 20,000) outnumber the Greeks (2,000)? Could the EP create an autocephalous Church in the Ukraine, the territory of the MP? So, try again, friend....)
#26 Anonymous on 2010-12-07 11:42
Well, you're WRONG! First, there are NO canons that state who can or cannot grant autocephaly. When churches were organized in a "territory," as they grew with their own bishops & priests, they announced that they were an autocephalous church. As long as they were practicing the Orthodox faith, they were recognized via inter-communion and concelebration. The OCA was granted it's autocephaly by it's mother church, the ROC. AND, the OCA concelebrates and is in Holy Communion with ALL canonical Orthodox Churches around the world. De facto, the OCA is fully recognized! So why does the Pat. of Istanbul and his Greek crony bishops refuse to "FORMALLY" recognize the OCA's autocephaly? Because according to Orthodox Canon Law, ALL the Orthodox in the "territory" of the United States would have to come under the OCA's umbrella. The Pat. of Istanbul wants to maintain control over it's Greek contingent in the USA. It's political. In reality, it is ONLY the OCA that is following Orthodox Canon Law according to ecclesiastical organization!
#27 Any Moose on 2010-12-07 15:07
Please post what your smoking, I want to buy some right away!
#28 bad trip on 2010-12-07 18:57
Harry: You raise a valid point. I'm not aware of any canons that allow a bishop to hold membership in two Different Holy Synods, concurrently. Then again, I'm not a Canon Lawyer either.
I would say that provided the meeting which His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel and His Grace Bishop Irinieu attended was a general meeting regarding pastoral issues, (and appearently it was), then there isn't a problem with his attending such a meeting.
Remember, that twice in the history of the Metropolia, its Metropolitans were the Primate of the American Church, and also members of the R.O.C.O.R. Administration.
That's right! Metropolitan Platon was a member of both synods between 1922 and 1926, and then Metropolitan Theophilus was the Metropolitan Of All America and Canada between 1936 and 1946, and also a member of the two Synods during that time.
I won't try to explain the intricacies of the Joint Administration, Its approval as a "Temporary Administration" by St. Tikhon of Moscow, or whether or not its existence was truly canonical or not.
The fact is that it existed, it served a purpose at the time, and when the Metropolia couldn't be part of it any more, H.E. Metropolitan Theophilus ended the union.
Or rather the R.O.C.O.R. bishops of the day walked out of the 1946 Sobor, because they couldn't accept the fact that the Metropolia's bishops wanted to reconcile with the R.O.C. while the church was being controlled by the Communists.
Besides, +Nathaniel may become the first Metropolitan of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate North America, (or what ever the newly united jurisdiction is called), when the merger finally occurs.
Until then, I see no problem with the O.C.A.'s Romanian Archbishop and his Auxiliary Bishop attending such conferences.
The EA is about all Orthodox Bishops in America convening in a single synod to iron out the pastoral and other problems that keep us divided into multiple Churches within the Church in North America.
(Editor's note: Bishops have served on two Synods simultaneously; Constantinopolitan bishops have often served on the Synod of Cyprus when that Church needed "extra" bishops; and St. Rafael served on both the Russian and Antiochian synods, if memory serves. However, that is not the issue here.
Secondly, Mr. Sudia would do well to check his historical facts, or at least provide both sides regarding controversial points of church order in the 20th century. I would suggest Bogolepov's Towards an American Church for an alternative reading of the ROCOR- Metropolia relationship, and alternative view of who did what why and when. Good reading!)
#29 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-07 19:19
A Pandora's Box, eh??? And kind of "box" exists in America today, with so many overlapping jurisdictions?
Although I'm not certain, I think that there were two different Autocephalous Churches in both Serbia and Bulgaria, before their first Patriarchs were elected.
Now, that "Could" mean that two different churches existed int he same country, but their diocese didn't overlap.
What would have been interesting, was if His Holiness Alexei II had revoked the Autocephaly of 1970, thus placing the O.C.A. back under Moscow.
Interesting in two ways. (1) that would have meant that both R.O.C.P.R. and the O.C.A. would have existed side by side as possible autonomous churches, until a new autocephaly was granted to encompass the O.C.A., R.O.C.O.R., and the Patriarchal Parishes.
(2) Also interesting, because H.H Alexei II was one of the Metropolitans who signed the Tomos in 1970.
Would the "Pandora's Box" that would exist if , Antioch, Belgrade, Bucharest, Constantinople and Moscow all granted autocephaly to their respective North American Jurisdictions be any worse than the Arch Episcopal Mishmash that exists today?
I say Absolutely NO!!! In fact, it would simplify the situation immensely, because then the Primates of the multiple Autocephalous American Churches could convene an extraordinary All American Council, (Clergy laity Conference, Etc), and unite without worrying about whether or not their former "Mother Churches" agreed or not.
But then again, that's only my opinion. And unlike +Philip, I don't expect any or all of the Orthodox Bishops, Clergy, or Faithful to roll over and instantly agree with me. And that includes you.
What I propose is but one of several possible solutions. Let's wait and see what "final" or "proposed" solutions are revealed when the findings of the committees that the EA has yet to formally create are officially discussed.
In the end, Only God knows what will happen, and I suspect that His Wisdom will transform Ours into foolishness if we aren't careful.
(Editor's note: THe Pandora's box was not about the OCA; it was about everybody else. Once you start revoking autocephalies, whose to say who can't and for what reason? One could see all sorts of non-functioning churches falling. I mean, there are less than 2,000 Greeks in Turkey. Should it be an autocephalous church anymore? SHould Crete be autonomous under the EP, and not part of the Greek Church,although it is part of the Greek state since 1912? Or the New Territories? Or Jerusalem, or even the Greek Patriarchate of ALexandria, where there are even fewer Greeks left in Egypt? I am not advocating any of this, only pointing out that once you open a line of action, unintended consequences can follow....)
#30 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-07 19:55
You are right, it isn't conical! I know one thing about the canons, they aren't conical!
The church is not only bishops and clerics friend, but it is people, and the people have no reason to return to a Russian Patriarch. The church would collapse as should the churches here that are under a foriegn patriarch.
What is the value of the Synod of Antioch to America? Is it only a tool used by the Metropolitan for whimsy? Do they interact with the people? Do they speak the language? Will they require Latin (get it?)? The sooner people recognize the foreign patriarchs do not give us anything, the better off everyone will be..
The Russian Patriarch realized over 40 years ago they weren't helping the church in America. They don't want us back.
We don't want everyone else either, in case you have an underlying fear about OCA tyrannical rule.
#31 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-12-08 07:32
The five ancient churches, the "pentarchy", was an idea in the early Christian history. The idea was to have the five major Episcopal sees rule over the Christians. The five sees were: Rome,Constantinople,Alexandria,Anioch and Jerusalem. In fact the rivalry between the sees and as result of the Muslim conquest,the idea of the 'pentarchy" never became a reality. Any how to talk about the "pentarchy in AD 2010 is, in my opinion, proof of gross historical and theological illiteracy.(According to this brave anonymous the OCA' autocephaly should wait for recognition from...Rome.)
I know who this brave anonymous is, it is hard to miss his style. Consequently I will dare one question: what is the color of the Sun in your world?
#32 alexandru nemoianu on 2010-12-08 10:17
A fuller knowledge of history seems needed here. I remember clearly when my OCA priest went to Mt. Athos, and was not allowed to concelebrate specifically because of the OCA's status -- which let us call "irregular".
Knowing that "wiki" websites are not generally "scholarly" enough to arrant their citation in a formal paper, nonetheless, I'll suggest the link below. Note there that the concept of autocephaly is not confused with canonicity.
Hope this article will be helpful.
#33 Antonia on 2010-12-08 11:52
You must understand that worldwide, the OCA sits with, concelebrates with and is in full communion with ALL the Orthodox in ALL countries. You mention Mt. Athos; Orthodox who have visited certain monasteries there weren't allowed to receive the Eucharist without being re-baptized. Certain monasteries there follow some very un-Orthodox practices. Regarding autocephaly; the Kiev/Russ declared their own autocephaly after the Council of Florence where Constantinople and other ancient Patriarchates fell into heresy by uniting with Rome. IT TOOK CONSTANTINOPLE 125 YEARS TO FORMALLY RECOGNIZE THEIR AUTOCEPHALY. So you see, Constantinople fell into heresy yet, it refused to recognize the Church of Kievan/Russ as independent - go figure. Getting back to Orthodox Canon Law, foreign bishops have no authority outside their immediate territory. Local bishops rule over local churches. ALL the ancient patriarchates have no canonical authority in North America.
#34 Anonymous on 2010-12-08 19:29
Oops, typo! Wiki websites may well be "arrant" -- however what I meant to type was "warrant." Sorry!
#35 Antonia on 2010-12-08 21:03
I entirely agree with you on the canonicity (not conicity...) of the Orthodox Church of America and on the theological meaning of the principle of local self-rule. A Church is rooted in the actual experience of the Kingdom of God and in the life of the Spirit and cannot be ruled from outside by some external authority. This does not mean however that no administrative link should exist at all between a new Church and the older ones. I imagine that a status similar to that of the Church of Finland, which is de facto completely independent, could be a solution for America, acceptable to most of the people.
I also think that American orthodox should not be naive in their assessment of the intentions of the Church of Russia. Back in 1970 the Church of Russia was in a completely different situation. I doubt Russian hierarchs would be just as willful to grant autocephaly now as metropolitan Nikodim was then. I don't think that the Church of Russia wants OCA back, because to rescind autocephaly would be a blow on its credibility, but it certainly has the intention to regain its influence on the American continent and OCA into a satellite. Metropolitan Hilarion's candidacy to the post of Metropolitan of Washington is a clear indication that the Moscow Patriarchate would gladly be "helping" the Orthodox Church of America again.
The "Pentarchy" you mention were never "designed" to control all of Christianity. These cities were the major cities, learning centers and trading areas for the Roman then Byzantine Empire. Rome was the head of the empire until Constantinople took over. Jerusalem was the "Holy City." Alexandria & Antioch were major learning centers. Today, Istanbul has maybe 2,000 Christians and the same with Jerusalem. Antioch is now in Damascus and dwindling. Rome is in heresy & Alexandria is Coptic. Basically, the "Ancient Patriarchates" are NOTHING! They came to prominence as major cities of Christianity and today, they are not! Moscow & Russia have the most Orthodox Christians in the world. North America offers the most hope and growth for Orthodoxy.
#37 Anonymous on 2010-12-09 07:26
That was exactely what I said:that the "pentarchy" was an IDEA and an idea that belong to the early Church.Talking about it or thinking it has any relevance in AD 2010 is(and I quote myself;here,here!)"proof of gross theological and historical illiteracy".
#38 alexandru nemoianu on 2010-12-10 15:52
I think your disagreement is not with me, but with an online encyclopedia, an article from which I linked to supply useful information. Never mind that you went on to discuss extraneous topics of interest to yourself (including some which are your personal opinions). I have not been discussing those.
#39 Antonia on 2010-12-11 06:51
Sacramental unity exists--what ails you all for wanting not unity but a "merger"--of balance sheets really. The average Greek Orthodox Priest's salary today is $80K, the OCA's is probably more in the neighborhood of $20K...the Greek Orthodox Church's assets are likely in the billions with endowments worth over $100M--the OCA has proven an inept administrator and manager--Metropolitan Jonah is all over the place with conflicting views on a range of things let alone his nothing short of criminal treatment of Metropolitan Herman. We have Sacramental unity and that is enough--while the rest of mainstream America is searching for an identity and yearning to claim a heritage and a culture--you want those who have such an identity to become what--the "Chevy, Apple Pie & Disney culture"--to water down our traditions and "paradosis" that dates back to the Old Testament to become what--a society of Orthodox that must be politcally correct and socially accepting of everything? Converts should stop trying to convert others into their own self-definition of what is acceptable. You want to shun ethnic identity and heritage for another identity and heritage that you brand as "American" but cannot define.
Mr. Stokoe, you lack the credentials, training and depth to properly opine on subjects you know little about--sort of like me opining on how to perform a heart transplant from a layman's perspective--the power of being an administrator of a website dedicated to gossip and "yellow" journalism doesn't make you a expert on anything--you are the Orthodox version of Julian Assange with the bravado of Jerry Springer--this website's contribution is of de minimus value and has done a lot more to hurt than to help--congratulations minion of obfuscation.
#40 Orthodox Christian on 2010-12-29 14:20
Umm, I don't think the Metropolia's bishops were organized as a synod. They comprised the "Council of Bishops." The Metropolitan (primate) was the canonical bishop for purposes of priestly assignments, not the regional bishop.
#41 Bruce W. Trakas on 2011-01-16 00:43
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