Old vs. New Calendar?

LBK

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So the New Calendarists still break the bounds of the Paschalion when they celebrate Pascha later than April 25 on their own Menologion.
Nonsense. Pascha has nothing to do with the Menologion. It is part of the Pentecostarion, as are the movable feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. And the movable observances of Great Lent are in the Triodion.
 

searn77

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LBK said:
While the Old Calendarists are not guilty of schism from World Orthodoxy,
Orwellian-speak at its finest.  ::)
Is this all you have to say? Do you have a response to what I said or anything that can contribute to this thread?
 

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How are the True Orthodox not also patient? After 1924 all they did was continue to observe the traditional calendar, for which the State Church rewarded them with persecution. There wasn't even talk about whether the State Church had lost grace, since that was not the most important issue. The three bishops who later joined the True Orthodox themselves waited to see if the State Church would reverse its decision. Only after it became clear they had no intention of doing so did they abandon the New Calendar Church. Even then at first they did not accuse the State Church of having fallen from Grace (if you read their "Declaration of Faith"). Only when they were defrocked and a fresh persecution began did they realize that the State Church was no longer a part of the True Church, since the True Church does not persecute those who attempt to hold fast to tradition.

I respect PtA's request for some patristic quotes regarding how the Church sanctifies everything She uses. I'm continuing to look around for something that addresses this explicitly, but really I think it's a red herring, because we have e.g. the 1848 Patriarchal encyclical that calls on the faithful to reject all innovations. The encyclical doesn't say "the faithful must reject new dogmas but they may accept new practices regardless of tradition". That alone I submit puts the onus of proof on the innovators to prove that their innovation is consistent with Tradition. And when St Basil talks about the necessity of preserving unwritten customs, he doesn't just say dogmas, but he mentions e.g. the sign of the Cross. That is not a dogma, but we are not permitted to stop using it merely because it has no written authority backing it.
Personally, I both love and respect tradition. But one has to be careful about appleaing to it as a source of capital-T Truth. Some of the things that have been accepted as tradition by the church include: slavery; war; wealthy priests and bishops; the earth as the center of the universe; God as an old man with a very long beard.

It would be simple (if tedious) to make a list dozens of times longer, and some items may be innocent preferences, like imagining what God the Father might look like, while others are pernicious, like the notion that any mass slaughter of living beings can ever be just. In the case of the calendars, the Julian was never used exclusively, either in the territory of the Roman Empire or in the Christian world. I believe that we are confusing the relative with the absolute, trying to make a calendar rise to the same level of truth as, say, the Resurrection. Appealing to tradition is never going to be very reliable in the relative world of physics, where our base of knowledge is always shifting. We might be on more reliable ground in the area of metaphysics...
 

LBK

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searn77 said:
LBK said:
While the Old Calendarists are not guilty of schism from World Orthodoxy,
Orwellian-speak at its finest.  ::)
Is this all you have to say? Do you have a response to what I said or anything that can contribute to this thread?
I have contributed to this long thread at various times. You may wish to go back and read what I have had to say.  ;)
 

LBK

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OK then, searn77, here's more:

My five-decade experience of Orthodoxy includes both Russian and Greek versions, old-calendar and new-calendar jurisdictions, including direct family involvement (and its consequences) in Orthodox parishes of irregular canonical status. My extended family can count Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Anglicans among its ranks, as well as Orthodox.

Being exposed to all these influences has eliminated any chance of insularity. It has forced me to be dispassionate and objective. I have no personal animosity towards those not of the Orthodox faith. I have directly experienced the consequences of even innocent sacramental association with irregular Orthodox groups. I have seen for myself the ugliness and rancor that sectarianism and schism brings, be it from old-calendarist zealots, or the more recent Russian raskolniki, who have gone their own way following the reconciliation of ROCOR and the MP in 2007.

This spirit of schism can, indeed, bring with it the danger of error and, sometimes, heresy, due to the lack of proper episcopal oversight. A single-bishop sect, or one with two or three bishops, and not in communion with anybody else is not only against the apostolic conciliar tradition (surely a cornerstone of Orthodoxy), but is downright dangerous. The image of the “ark of salvation”, which I analyzed in the "here's an icon with something for everyone" thread is a case in point. (Here's the link: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11209.msg297730.html#msg297730).

Another example of this is the promotion of the “New Testament Trinity” image as the proper and correct icon of the Holy Trinity, and the denigration of the icon originally painted by St Andrei Rublyev as uncanonical. Another is the oft-repeated claim that the adoption of the new calendar is heresy. Not so. An anomaly, and irregularity, yes. Heresy, no. If it were heresy, then, as I and others have reiterated many times before, there could be no mutual communion between the canonical Churches of Russia, of Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.
 

Jonathan Gress

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan,  you have stated in the thread that the Churches of the ancient Patriarchies are not the True Church and have no Mysteries.

But this is NOT the understanding of your Church. 

Is it not a FACT that, as Timothy Connelly witnesses on another Forum, long term members of your Church (HOTCA) commune in MP churches in New York and known MP people commune in your Church.

Mr Connelly says that it is a fact that your cathedral clergy at St Markella's in NY commune (on & off)  New Calandarists and members of the MP Russian Churches.  He has written "I know this from their own (HOTCA) clergy and have seen it with my own eyes."

Are you perhaps unaware of this?  These occurences of intercommunion place a question mark over what you say.
This is not actually relevant to the discussion we're having at the moment. I'll respond to Timothy tomorrow on the other list, since I have reached my 3 post maximum for today.
 

Jonathan Gress

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PeterTheAleut said:
Jonathan, how did the Julian Calendar become universal for Orthodox Christianity?
That's a very interesting question, and I'm about to read the appendix to Fr Basil's work to refresh my memory on the details of this development.
 

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LBK said:
OK then, searn77, here's more:

My five-decade experience of Orthodoxy includes both Russian and Greek versions, old-calendar and new-calendar jurisdictions, including direct family involvement (and its consequences) in Orthodox parishes of irregular canonical status. My extended family can count Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Anglicans among its ranks, as well as Orthodox.

Being exposed to all these influences has eliminated any chance of insularity. It has forced me to be dispassionate and objective. I have no personal animosity towards those not of the Orthodox faith. I have directly experienced the consequences of even innocent sacramental association with irregular Orthodox groups. I have seen for myself the ugliness and rancor that sectarianism and schism brings, be it from old-calendarist zealots, or the more recent Russian raskolniki, who have gone their own way following the reconciliation of ROCOR and the MP in 2007.

This spirit of schism can, indeed, bring with it the danger of error and, sometimes, heresy, due to the lack of proper episcopal oversight. A single-bishop sect, or one with two or three bishops, and not in communion with anybody else is not only against the apostolic conciliar tradition (surely a cornerstone of Orthodoxy), but is downright dangerous. The image of the “ark of salvation”, which I analyzed in the "here's an icon with something for everyone" thread is a case in point. (Here's the link: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11209.msg297730.html#msg297730).

Another example of this is the promotion of the “New Testament Trinity” image as the proper and correct icon of the Holy Trinity, and the denigration of the icon originally painted by St Andrei Rublyev as uncanonical. Another is the oft-repeated claim that the adoption of the new calendar is heresy. Not so. An anomaly, and irregularity, yes. Heresy, no. If it were heresy, then, as I and others have reiterated many times before, there could be no mutual communion between the canonical Churches of Russia, of Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.
Okay thanks for that, I now see better where you're coming from  :) . I converted from a non-liturgical Protestant denomination to New Calendarist Eastern Orthodoxy a few years ago and then to an Old Calendarist synod about a year ago. Our experiences differ because while you saw the ugliness that Old Calendarists' "sectarianism and schisms" wrought, I saw the ugliness firsthand that the heresy of ecumenism wrought. Luckily I have only seen Old Calendarist extreme zealotry from a couple of individuals in my limited time of being involved with them, much less than I would have expected when I was still a New Calendarist, but I also saw this zealotry when I was a New Calendarist. I'm not saying it doesn't exist among the Old Calendarists as I know it does, I'm just saying that I have yet to see it which means that not every Old Calendarist is a zealot (or just ignorant) which is what I previously thought. Neither extremes of Old Calendarist extreme zealotry or New Calendarist ecumenical zealotry are beneficial and a middle way is indeed the correct way. I just cannot personally be involved in a Church where a heresy, in this case ecumenism, is openly practiced and is not being addressed. To me and to the Old Calendarists that I have met in my limited time of being one, the issue is not so much about the calendar as it is about ecumenism.
 

Irish Hermit

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. Another is the oft-repeated claim that the adoption of the new calendar is heresy. Not so. An anomaly, and irregularity, yes. Heresy, no. .
The correction of a calendar which over the passing of centuries has become inaccurate cannot be either an anomaly or an irregularity.

Saint Paul describes the Church as the "Pillar and Ground of Truth" (1 Tim.)   This is not merely a description but an ontological necessity for the Church.  To exist as the true Church it *must* be the Pillar and Ground of Truth.  It cannot adhere to error.   It would be the adherence to error, such as an errant calendar, which would be an irregularity and an anomaly for the Church.

To be true to her own nature the Church will be obliged at times to revise the calendar in order to remain in truth.   Such necessary adjustments are not creating a new calendar; they are simply correcting the existing calendar.

 

LBK

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To me and to the Old Calendarists that I have met in my limited time of being one, the issue is not so much about the calendar as it is about ecumenism.
I return you to this statement:

This spirit of schism can, indeed, bring with it the danger of error and, sometimes, heresy, due to the lack of proper episcopal oversight. A single-bishop sect, or one with two or three bishops, and not in communion with anybody else is not only against the apostolic conciliar tradition (surely a cornerstone of Orthodoxy), but is downright dangerous. The image of the “ark of salvation”, which I analyzed in the "here's an icon with something for everyone" thread is a case in point. (Here's the link: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11209.msg297730.html#msg297730).

Another example of this is the promotion of the “New Testament Trinity” image as the proper and correct icon of the Holy Trinity, and the denigration of the icon originally painted by St Andrei Rublyev as uncanonical. Another is the oft-repeated claim that the adoption of the new calendar is heresy. Not so. An anomaly, and irregularity, yes. Heresy, no. If it were heresy, then, as I and others have reiterated many times before, there could be no mutual communion between the canonical Churches of Russia, of Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.
 

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LBK said:
To me and to the Old Calendarists that I have met in my limited time of being one, the issue is not so much about the calendar as it is about ecumenism.
I return you to this statement:

This spirit of schism can, indeed, bring with it the danger of error and, sometimes, heresy, due to the lack of proper episcopal oversight. A single-bishop sect, or one with two or three bishops, and not in communion with anybody else is not only against the apostolic conciliar tradition (surely a cornerstone of Orthodoxy), but is downright dangerous. The image of the “ark of salvation”, which I analyzed in the "here's an icon with something for everyone" thread is a case in point. (Here's the link: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11209.msg297730.html#msg297730).

Another example of this is the promotion of the “New Testament Trinity” image as the proper and correct icon of the Holy Trinity, and the denigration of the icon originally painted by St Andrei Rublyev as uncanonical. Another is the oft-repeated claim that the adoption of the new calendar is heresy. Not so. An anomaly, and irregularity, yes. Heresy, no. If it were heresy, then, as I and others have reiterated many times before, there could be no mutual communion between the canonical Churches of Russia, of Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.
Yes, I have read what you wrote. Schism is wrong and is an error in itself as it is apart from God's will so I can agree with that. I don't see how a spirit of schism can lead to heresy though, as I haven't seen heresy taught from among the Old Calendarists. I don't know of any single-bishop sect, although the synod I am a part of only has a few but we are in communion with three other synods who have many bishops. Again, I haven't heard that the adoption of the new calendar is heresy; I have heard that ecumenism is heresy and that the new calendar came about from ecumenism. The ecumenical heresy can involve churches that are on the new or old calendar so the Churches of Russia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc can all be in communion with each other and still be involved with the ecumenical heresy.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
This is not actually relevant to the discussion we're having at the moment.
Dear Jonathan,

I was responding to your statement in message 1674 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2233.msg665574.html#msg665574

It is clear that the clergy of the Church of America (HOTCA) are out of step with your assessment of our Churches.
 

LBK

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I don't see how a spirit of schism can lead to heresy though, as I haven't seen heresy taught from among the Old Calendarists.
You haven't been Orthodox long, and you've been old-calendarist for only a blip.
 

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LBK said:
I don't see how a spirit of schism can lead to heresy though, as I haven't seen heresy taught from among the Old Calendarists.
You haven't been Orthodox long, and you've been old-calendarist for only a blip.
Well than explain it to me, as I have yet to see any Old Calendarist group openly preach heresy. The only accusations of heresy I have heard about have been against the Synod in Resistance for some of their more ecumenical teachings and their teachings about the antichrist, and HOCNA for their "Awake, Sleeper" belief, but I have to claim ignorance on these teachings as I do not know much about them. What heresies do you have in mind?
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
This is not actually relevant to the discussion we're having at the moment.
Dear Jonathan,

I was responding to your statement in message 1674 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2233.msg665574.html#msg665574

It is clear that the clergy of the Church of America (HOTCA) are out of step with your assessment of our Churches.
http://www.hotca.org/documents/152-encyclical-regarding-holy-communion

According to this document, Metropolitan Paul has categorically forbidden his parishioners from communing in New Calendar or Ecumenist churches. New Calendarists apparently need to be received at least by confession:

http://www.ecclesiagoc.gr/en/miscellaneous/43-koinwnia

The main trouble with these accusations of St Markella's communing New Calendarists is that invariably they are not accompanied by details. Any time the True Church gives communion to those outside Her, there is an abuse. But when is such an abuse a sign of a false ecclesiology? The Patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria now allow their flock to commune in non-Chalcedonian churches, and non-Chalcedonians are allowed to commune in Antiochian or Alexandrian churches. Even the Moscow Patriarchate in 1971 officially allowed Roman Catholics to commune in her churches (yes in 1986 they "suspended" this policy, without ever actually retracting it). This is no longer a sporadic abuse; it is an officially supported false ecclesiology.
 

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searn77 said:
Well than explain it to me, as I have yet to see any Old Calendarist group openly preach heresy.
Old Calendarism is drenched in the heresy of ecumenism.  This heresy is so prevalent among them that they seem unable to even examine the question.

Please refer to message 52
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30779.msg487183.html#msg487183
 

LBK

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The fundamental responsibility of any bishop is to "rightly divide the word of Truth", and maintain consistency and agreement with established teaching. The checks and balances to this are the conciliar nature of the episcopacy. A single bishop, or a small number of bishops, who have withdrawn their communion with the canonical Church, are, effectively a law unto themselves. This is contrary to Apostolic practice. Moreover, time and again, schismatic sects, of whatever provenance or era, inevitably degenerate into further fragmentation, much like the latter-day protestants. In more than a few cases, the bishops heading these groups have not been consecrated in the proper established manner

As for heresies: For starters, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard old-calendarists refer to the new calendar, and to the new-calendar churches as heretical. There are also the iconographic heresies promoted by such groups, such as the denigration of the Holy Trinity icon based on the Hospitality of Abraham; the painting and promotion of the so-called "ark of salvation" image, and any number of "icons" showing righteous hierarchs trampling on the "enemies of True Orthodoxy".

The latter two categories of imagery are nothing less than virulent ecclesiopolitical propaganda, a shameful debasement of the holy and priceless treasure that is iconography. Such "icons" are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
searn77 said:
Well than explain it to me, as I have yet to see any Old Calendarist group openly preach heresy.
Old Calendarism is drenched in the heresy of ecumenism.  This heresy is so prevalent among them that they seem unable to even examine the question.

Please refer to message 52
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30779.msg487183.html#msg487183
The branch theory teaches that those of different denominations, for example Anglicans, Orthodox, and Catholics are altogether invisibly one Church. This doesn't apply to Old Calendarists who indeed are of the same faith/denomination/Church, but who are not in communion with each other for reasons which include persecutions, misunderstandings, and historical circumstances. As I have shown in this thread, there has been times in Orthodox past where different Orthodox churches were not all in communion with each other but today we recognize that all of these groups were indeed Orthodox. Today there are divisions among the Old Calendarists, but that doesn't mean that one group is Orthodox and the rest are not. Hopefully as in times past these divisions will all get worked out. So I would have to disagree, the Old Calendarists are most certainly not drenched in the heresy of ecumenism.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
The main trouble with these accusations of St Markella's communing New Calendarists is that invariably they are not accompanied by details.
There is a new and firsthand report on the Indiana list from a Protopriest who was a priest at Saint Markella's.  He reports that New Calandarists were always communed when he was a priest there, and so were Copts.

This seems to indicate that the ecclesiology of the clergy of HOTCA is not in line with yours.
 

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LBK said:
The fundamental responsibility of any bishop is to "rightly divide the word of Truth", and maintain consistency and agreement with established teaching. The checks and balances to this are the conciliar nature of the episcopacy. A single bishop, or a small number of bishops, who have withdrawn their communion with the canonical Church, are, effectively a law unto themselves. This is contrary to Apostolic practice. Moreover, time and again, schismatic sects, of whatever provenance or era, inevitably degenerate into further fragmentation, much like the latter-day protestants. In more than a few cases, the bishops heading these groups have not been consecrated in the proper established manner

As for heresies: For starters, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard old-calendarists refer to the new calendar, and to the new-calendar churches as heretical. There are also the iconographic heresies promoted by such groups, such as the denigration of the Holy Trinity icon based on the Hospitality of Abraham; the painting and promotion of the so-called "ark of salvation" image, and any number of "icons" showing righteous hierarchs trampling on the "enemies of True Orthodoxy".

The latter two categories of imagery are nothing less than virulent ecclesiopolitical propaganda, a shameful debasement of the holy and priceless treasure that is iconography. Such "icons" are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
Again, what synod are you referring to when you mention the "single" bishop that has withdrawn from "canonical" Orthodoxy? I know of no such Old Calendarist synod. And can you give me an example of a synod with few bishops acting as a law unto themselves? My synod has few bishops but were still able to unite with other Old Calendarist synods who have more bishops because of our common Orthodoxy. Sure, I see your point where this could happen, but I have yet to see it happen. But as is the case with the New Calendarist churches, they have many bishops but heresy was still able to creep into their Church. So the number of bishops one has is not a sure-proof way to protect oneself against heresies.

And yes, I have heard Old Calendarists speak of the New Calendarist churches as heretical. As for the disagreements about icons, while the denigration of certain icons may be wrong, I don't see how these disagreements are heresies. So while you can accuse us of schisms and Old Calendarist zealotry, I don't see how you can try to accuse us of heresy unless there's some different examples of heresies that you know of.
 

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Again, what synod are you referring to when you mention the "single" bishop that has withdrawn from "canonical" Orthodoxy? I know of no such Old Calendarist synod.
One which immediately comes to mind is Apb Gregory of Colorado.

As for the disagreements about icons, while the denigration of certain icons may be wrong, I don't see how these disagreements are heresies.
Icons are the pictorial, visual equivalent of Orthodox hymnography. Just as the prayers and hymns and services of the Church must accurately proclaim and express the truths of the Faith, iconography must conform to the right expression of truth just as rigorously. Would you stand for distortions in what is read, chanted and sung in church? Of course you wouldn't. Yet, in the painting and promoting of uncanonical images, these people are doing exactly that - using icons as a vehicle to express their errors and further their own agendas.

How can the denigration of the proper Holy Trinity icon be anything other than Christological heresy? As for the other images I referred to, go back and read the post I earlier linked to in the "Something for everyone" thread.
 

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LBK said:
Again, what synod are you referring to when you mention the "single" bishop that has withdrawn from "canonical" Orthodoxy? I know of no such Old Calendarist synod.
One which immediately comes to mind is Apb Gregory of Colorado.

As for the disagreements about icons, while the denigration of certain icons may be wrong, I don't see how these disagreements are heresies.
Icons are the pictorial, visual equivalent of Orthodox hymnography. Just as the prayers and hymns and services of the Church must accurately proclaim and express the truths of the Faith, iconography must conform to the right expression of truth just as rigorously. Would you stand for distortions in what is read, chanted and sung in church? Of course you wouldn't. Yet, in the painting and promoting of uncanonical images, these people are doing exactly that - using icons as a vehicle to express their errors and further their own agendas.

How can the denigration of the proper Holy Trinity icon be anything other than Christological heresy? As for the other images I referred to, go back and read the post I earlier linked to in the "Something for everyone" thread.
Abp Gregory of Colorado is not considered an Old Calendarist as he has been deposed from multiple synods.

I'll have to get back to you later about your claims of iconographical heresy as I'm busy at the moment.
 

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LBK said:
The fundamental responsibility of any bishop is to "rightly divide the word of Truth", and maintain consistency and agreement with established teaching. The checks and balances to this are the conciliar nature of the episcopacy. A single bishop, or a small number of bishops, who have withdrawn their communion with the canonical Church, are, effectively a law unto themselves. This is contrary to Apostolic practice. Moreover, time and again, schismatic sects, of whatever provenance or era, inevitably degenerate into further fragmentation, much like the latter-day protestants. In more than a few cases, the bishops heading these groups have not been consecrated in the proper established manner

As for heresies: For starters, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard old-calendarists refer to the new calendar, and to the new-calendar churches as heretical. There are also the iconographic heresies promoted by such groups, such as the denigration of the Holy Trinity icon based on the Hospitality of Abraham; the painting and promotion of the so-called "ark of salvation" image, and any number of "icons" showing righteous hierarchs trampling on the "enemies of True Orthodoxy".

The latter two categories of imagery are nothing less than virulent ecclesiopolitical propaganda, a shameful debasement of the holy and priceless treasure that is iconography. Such "icons" are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
Just want you to know that you expressed my own feelings, but so much better than I ever could.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
The main trouble with these accusations of St Markella's communing New Calendarists is that invariably they are not accompanied by details.
There is a new and firsthand report on the Indiana list from a Protopriest who was a priest at Saint Markella's.  He reports that New Calandarists were always communed when he was a priest there, and so were Copts.

This seems to indicate that the ecclesiology of the clergy of HOTCA is not in line with yours.
When was he a priest there? I know that they used to be more lax about it before, but they became stricter to conform to the standards of our church in Greece.
 

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And I think the Copt he mentions married a woman from our church. There was some controversy about how he was received, but I'm not certain about the details. But I'm pretty sure he did not continue to receive communion in Coptic churches after that date.
 

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But as is the case with the New Calendarist churches, they have many bishops but heresy was still able to creep into their Church. So the number of bishops one has is not a sure-proof way to protect oneself against heresies.
But in the case of the canonical churches, there are established mechanisms for proclaimed heresy to be dealt with. In cases of heresy being a grave danger to the Church, ecumenical or local councils have been convened, and the matter dealt with. Every bishop, even to the rank of patriarch, is answerable to his fellow bishops. But this is not possible with schismatic bishops, as they are only answerable to themselves, having left the canonical fold.
 

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LBK said:
But as is the case with the New Calendarist churches, they have many bishops but heresy was still able to creep into their Church. So the number of bishops one has is not a sure-proof way to protect oneself against heresies.
But in the case of the canonical churches, there are established mechanisms for proclaimed heresy to be dealt with. In cases of heresy being a grave danger to the Church, ecumenical or local councils have been convened, and the matter dealt with. Every bishop, even to the rank of patriarch, is answerable to his fellow bishops. But this is not possible with schismatic bishops, as they are only answerable to themselves, having left the canonical fold.
Then how is it that the heresy of ecumenism is alive and well in the New Calendarist Church? I can find you many examples of clergy in the New Calendarist Church who act out in this heresy and are never called out for. For instance, clergy participating in ecumenical prayers with non-Orthodox, Patriarchs permitting Oriental Orthodox to receive communion in their churches, etc. The problem is that no one is called out for these heretical ecumenical practices.

And in Orthodoxy the clergy are not only answerable to each other, they are also answerable to the faithful and to the Orthodox faith. As we see in the council of Florence, only one bishop and the Orthodox faithful opposed it and overall it fell through. And with our "schismatic" bishops, they saw the mainline Church falling into heresy and they broke communion with them.
 

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Second Chance said:
LBK said:
The fundamental responsibility of any bishop is to "rightly divide the word of Truth", and maintain consistency and agreement with established teaching. The checks and balances to this are the conciliar nature of the episcopacy. A single bishop, or a small number of bishops, who have withdrawn their communion with the canonical Church, are, effectively a law unto themselves. This is contrary to Apostolic practice. Moreover, time and again, schismatic sects, of whatever provenance or era, inevitably degenerate into further fragmentation, much like the latter-day protestants. In more than a few cases, the bishops heading these groups have not been consecrated in the proper established manner

As for heresies: For starters, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard old-calendarists refer to the new calendar, and to the new-calendar churches as heretical. There are also the iconographic heresies promoted by such groups, such as the denigration of the Holy Trinity icon based on the Hospitality of Abraham; the painting and promotion of the so-called "ark of salvation" image, and any number of "icons" showing righteous hierarchs trampling on the "enemies of True Orthodoxy".

The latter two categories of imagery are nothing less than virulent ecclesiopolitical propaganda, a shameful debasement of the holy and priceless treasure that is iconography. Such "icons" are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
Just want you to know that you expressed my own feelings, but so much better than I ever could.
She rocks.
 

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LBK said:
But as is the case with the New Calendarist churches, they have many bishops but heresy was still able to creep into their Church. So the number of bishops one has is not a sure-proof way to protect oneself against heresies.
But in the case of the canonical churches, there are established mechanisms for proclaimed heresy to be dealt with. In cases of heresy being a grave danger to the Church, ecumenical or local councils have been convened, and the matter dealt with. Every bishop, even to the rank of patriarch, is answerable to his fellow bishops. But this is not possible with schismatic bishops, as they are only answerable to themselves, having left the canonical fold.
And what is your definition of a "canonical" church?
Is it the majority?

Is the majority always right?
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
The main trouble with these accusations of St Markella's communing New Calendarists is that invariably they are not accompanied by details.
There is a new and firsthand report on the Indiana list from a Protopriest who was a priest at Saint Markella's.  He reports that New Calandarists were always communed when he was a priest there, and so were Copts.

This seems to indicate that the ecclesiology of the clergy of HOTCA is not in line with yours.
The hierarchs and clergy of HOTCA (GOC) have changed recently, and they are indeed more consistent and traditional.

Do not forget that a couple of bishops defected from HOTCA to the Greek Archdiocese of America (GOARCH) several years ago.
As I recall from recent unsavory news regarding a nun who left monasticism, there is some question as to these defecting bishops regarding their traditionalism and piety. Could they be the very ones who gave communion to ecumenists?

Have you read any of the sermons of His Eminence Metropolitan Moses on his website? They are awesome.

Here are some links:

http://www.orthodoxmetropolisportland.org/index.html (GOC/HOTCA/Metropolitan Moses)

http://www.hotca.org/ (GOC/HOTCA)
 

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A woman who has been attending St Markella's a long time told me that Met Petros, the former metropolitan, forbade his flock from attending New Calendar churches. But then I've read in different places that Met Petros even gave communion to New Calendarists. I'm not sure what's going on, but possibly what happened is that, for example, Met Petros received New Calendarists by confession only, when many in Greece insisted they be received by chrismation. Overly zealous people might then use this to accuse Met Petros and then Archimandrite Paul of "communing new calendarists". I think that is also what happened with the Copt Fr Athanasios alludes to (he speaks of Copts in the plural, but I personally know of only one case). He was received by confession only (since someone had found some precedent for this), rather than chrismation which is what I think most traditionalist Orthodox would have insisted on.

But basically the evidence is contradictory, so I don't think it's fair to use these murky goings-on to attack our Church. It's better just to rely on public proclamations.
 

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And regarding those people who object to the Trinity icon (HOCNA and some of the Matthewites), I'm pretty sure they do not object to the icons of the Trinity that represent e.g. the three angels who met Abraham, as depicted by among others Andrei Rublev. Their objection is to icons of the Trinity that represent the Father as an old man: the "Ancient of Days" as seen by Prophet Daniel. I don't know much about this controversy, but I would be inclined to think the opponents of this icon are being overly anti-Latin about it. There seems to be pretty universal veneration of this kind of icon. But really, it's not about objecting to all icons of the Trinity.

I don't understand your objection to icons that depict Orthodoxy trampling on her enemies. Don't we have e.g. icons of St George slaying the dragon? Isn't the dragon a symbol of the enemy of the Faith?

I've heard some speak of the heresy of "new calendarism". I agree this is generally excessive. The New Calendar I believe is a tangible form of the Ecumenist heresy, but the heresy is essentially one of Ecumenism, not of a new calendar. In the same way, the Church in the 16th century anathematized the Papal calendar not just because it was a new calendar, but as a manifestation of Papism.
 

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LBK said:
There are also the iconographic heresies promoted by such groups, such as the denigration of the Holy Trinity icon based on the Hospitality of Abraham; the painting and promotion of the so-called "ark of salvation" image, and any number of "icons" showing righteous hierarchs trampling on the "enemies of True Orthodoxy".

The latter two categories of imagery are nothing less than virulent ecclesiopolitical propaganda, a shameful debasement of the holy and priceless treasure that is iconography. Such "icons" are classic examples of zealous enthusiasm for the sanctity of the Church, and a deep desire to proclaim its unique truth in the face of heresy, nonetheless completely ignoring the canonical traditions they mean to proclaim with such vigor.
Okay, I read your message on the ark of salvation icon. While you may find the icon distasteful, there's nothing heretical about it. I've seen and read about this icon before. If you look at the icon without knowing anything about Orthodoxy then you may feel like it is distasteful and wrong, but a person who has a basic understanding of Orthodoxy who knows that God is love should understand that the icon is showing Christ keeping his Church from heresy. Sometimes when I attend Matins, even when I was in the Antiochian church, I would hear hymns that describe heretics in a rather personal and harsh way, including calling them names like "so-and-so the idiot" or "so-and-so the ugly". I'll try to find some of these online so you can see what I'm talking about. So while one may find the ark of salvation icon distasteful, and one may find some of the hymns we sing distasteful, doesn't mean that it is heretical.

LBK said:
and any number of "icons" showing righteous hierarchs trampling on the "enemies of True Orthodoxy".
Which are?
 

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Were the fathers of Niceea inspired by the Spirit of Truth when they chose as canon law a calendar that is unfit with the natural astrolonomical law?
 

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How to portray "enemies of the church" in icons:



The two figures in the foreground with little black demons on their shoulders are Eutyches and Dioscorus, who were condemned at this council; Eutyches for his heretical stance on the nature(s) of Christ, and Dioscorus for his presiding over the non-canonical second council at Ephesus (which later became known as the "Robber Council"), and other serious infractions.

It is interesting to note that Dioscorus's clothing resembles bishop's vestments (on the death of St Cyril of Alexandria, Dioscorus succeeded him as Patriarch). A closer look shows that his omophorion (the strip of vestment draped over his shoulders and over his left arm) is plain, with no crosses on it, unlike those of the seated hierarchs. Likewise, Dioscorus's blue phelonion and stole (epitracheilion) are also devoid of the usual crosses and other motifs normally on these vestments. Eutyches, a priest and abbot, likewise, wears a plain stole.

This portrayal vividly illustrates the stripping of authority, the repudiation and the excommunication of Dioscorus and Eutyches, therefore, the little black demons could be regarded as an unnecessary embellishment. (But that's me being picky ...) But all is done with dispassion and dignity, as befits a proper icon.

How not to:



The naked man under the saint's feet is labeled "Pope of Rome". He has run a sword through a Gospel book, and is about to be cast into the abyss. Oh dear.



Patriarch Sergius is shown flailing about, his vestments parting to reveal him dressed in a Soviet komissar's uniform. A model of dispassion and restaint? More like a political cartoon, and a bad one at that.

I would hear hymns that describe heretics in a rather personal and harsh way, including calling them names like "so-and-so the idiot" or "so-and-so the ugly".
Care to provide examples of these? Impious, wicked and lawless I have heard in hymnography referring to certain persons, but never idiot or ugly.
 

Maria

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Who are the folks sitting behind the throne (without halos)?

LBK said:
How to portray "enemies of the church" in icons:



The two figures in the foreground with little black demons on their shoulders are Eutyches and Dioscorus, who were condemned at this council; Eutyches for his heretical stance on the nature(s) of Christ, and Dioscorus for his presiding over the non-canonical second council at Ephesus (which later became known as the "Robber Council"), and other serious infractions.

It is interesting to note that Dioscorus's clothing resembles bishop's vestments (on the death of St Cyril of Alexandria, Dioscorus succeeded him as Patriarch). A closer look shows that his omophorion (the strip of vestment draped over his shoulders and over his left arm) is plain, with no crosses on it, unlike those of the seated hierarchs. Likewise, Dioscorus's blue phelonion and stole (epitracheilion) are also devoid of the usual crosses and other motifs normally on these vestments. Eutyches, a priest and abbot, likewise, wears a plain stole.

This portrayal vividly illustrates the stripping of authority, the repudiation and the excommunication of Dioscorus and Eutyches, therefore, the little black demons could be regarded as an unnecessary embellishment. (But that's me being picky ...) But all is done with dispassion and dignity, as befits a proper icon.

How not to:



The naked man under the saint's feet is labeled "Pope of Rome". He has run a sword through a Gospel book, and is about to be cast into the abyss. Oh dear.



Patriarch Sergius is shown flailing about, his vestments parting to reveal him dressed in a Soviet komissar's uniform. A model of dispassion and restaint? More like a political cartoon, and a bad one at that.

I would hear hymns that describe heretics in a rather personal and harsh way, including calling them names like "so-and-so the idiot" or "so-and-so the ugly".
Care to provide examples of these? Impious, wicked and lawless I have heard in hymnography referring to certain persons, but never idiot or ugly.
 

LBK

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Who are the folks sitting behind the throne (without halos)?
They would likely be officials of the imperial court present at the Council. They are gesturing with raised hands in homage to Emperor Marcian.
 

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LBK said:
How to portray "enemies of the church" in icons:



The two figures in the foreground with little black demons on their shoulders are Eutyches and Dioscorus, who were condemned at this council; Eutyches for his heretical stance on the nature(s) of Christ, and Dioscorus for his presiding over the non-canonical second council at Ephesus (which later became known as the "Robber Council"), and other serious infractions.

It is interesting to note that Dioscorus's clothing resembles bishop's vestments (on the death of St Cyril of Alexandria, Dioscorus succeeded him as Patriarch). A closer look shows that his omophorion (the strip of vestment draped over his shoulders and over his left arm) is plain, with no crosses on it, unlike those of the seated hierarchs. Likewise, Dioscorus's blue phelonion and stole (epitracheilion) are also devoid of the usual crosses and other motifs normally on these vestments. Eutyches, a priest and abbot, likewise, wears a plain stole.

This portrayal vividly illustrates the stripping of authority, the repudiation and the excommunication of Dioscorus and Eutyches, therefore, the little black demons could be regarded as an unnecessary embellishment. (But that's me being picky ...) But all is done with dispassion and dignity, as befits a proper icon.

How not to:



The naked man under the saint's feet is labeled "Pope of Rome". He has run a sword through a Gospel book, and is about to be cast into the abyss. Oh dear.



Patriarch Sergius is shown flailing about, his vestments parting to reveal him dressed in a Soviet komissar's uniform. A model of dispassion and restaint? More like a political cartoon, and a bad one at that.

I would hear hymns that describe heretics in a rather personal and harsh way, including calling them names like "so-and-so the idiot" or "so-and-so the ugly".
Care to provide examples of these? Impious, wicked and lawless I have heard in hymnography referring to certain persons, but never idiot or ugly.
Yes, I will look for those examples and post them. I'm not sure about the exact words but it was a little worse than just impious, wicked, or lawless.

And can you post the links of where you found those icons?
 

LBK

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And can you post the links of where you found those icons?
The one of St Joseph of Petrograd is from a thread on this forum; I no longer have the link to the St Mark of Ephesus one, the image is in my (sadly growing) archive of uncanonical and dubious "icons". It probably came from a blog somewhere.
 

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Although I do not know much more about Metropolitan Sergius' primacial ministry other than the generalities that have been commonly published, it should be noted that initially, when he assumed the position of Deputy Locum Tenens of the Church of Russia, he did issue a rational commentary on the state of affairs in the Communist Soviet Union, asserting the church would maintain its spiritual responsibilities to its faithful, criticising the Soviets for their actions against the church, similar to a commentary issued soon after the Bolshevik Revolution by St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America, but asserting that the church would avoid critique of the civil Soviet authorities, essentially.  He was imprisoned for this message; only God and a few Communist security guards know what treatment His Eminence was subjected to while in the custody of the Bolsheviks.  Upon his release, he issued the famous "The joys and sorrows of the state are the joys and sorrows of the church," message; (paraphrased).  My only point is we should not be too prompt to judge the Orthodox clergy of the Stalinist era, not knowing the specific autocracies to which they were subject by the vile, inhuman Communists.  I think it's more likely that his actions on behalf of the church saved at least a facade of a church institution,  rather than taking the position that he was inspired by the Devil as depicted in the painting above; (I purposely didn't refer to it as an "icon").
 
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