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Various Discussions about The Holy and Great Council of Crete 2016

Should the Holy and Great Council be postponed?


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Aristobolus

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Fr. George said:
Samn! said:
And here's an unofficial translation of Antioch's statement as to why they withdrew from the Synaxis and will not sign its decision until the Jerusalem issue is resolved:   http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/03/antioch-withdraws-from-synaxis-after.html
The issue has been pushed back.  A separate meeting will be convoked solely to deal with the dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem.
That is great news Father!
 

Aristobolus

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podkarpatska said:
The comments on this thread, and the general attitude regarding our hierarchs' decision to proceed with the Great Council call to mind the words of the British song writer and rock and roll hall of famer, Sir Mick Jagger:

"You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need"
 

Gunnarr

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There is a lot more news coming about this but i dont think most of it will ever be translated to english unfortunately

 

Aristocles

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ialmisry said:
Αριστοκλής said:
ICXCNIKA said:
ialmisry said:
88Devin12 said:
Nephi said:
Noddy999 said:
Patriarch Bartholomew described any notion allowing of “the universal dominion of any Local Church or her Primate as alien to Orthodox ecclesiology”. He stressed that “we all are entrusted with responsibility for the unity of our Holy Church”.
Interesting.
It isn't inconsistent with what he's been saying for years. I think a lot of people just assume the EP has a grand scheme to become our Pope. That could have been true for a couple past Patriarchs, but not with +BARTHOLOMEW.
Oh? And why then did HAH not invite the primate of the Czech Lands and Slovakia to this shin dig, and threatened to "revoke" its autocephaly (which it didn't give in the first place)?

EP Demetrios of blessed memory was far, far better on this.
The autocephalous church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia wasn't invited? By whose authority? If they are not present at the council than it is illegitimate from the start.
I don't know if we know that or not.
Those of us who read the official statements on the Czech and Slovak Church websites do.  The Phanar's choice seems quite the sycophant.
Meaning, of course, Isa believes one side automatically if the EP objects to anything. We know your problem, Isa.

Αριστοκλής said:
The EP objected to the Czech bishop on canonical issues of his election process, not that matters to those who prefer to bash first.
Not his place to bash the election of the first primate of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.  It's AUTOCEPHALOUS.
Ahem....you are the every-guick basher, my friend. And you knew my meaning. Cute, no cigar. He is within his RIGHTS not to recognize any bishop, anywhere, just as they are of him.
 

BTRAKAS

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What is the question in connection with the propriety in the primatial election of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia?
 

podkarpatska

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Basil 320 said:
What is the question in connection with the propriety in the primatial election of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia?
One of the Czech-Slovak Synod's bishops protested to the EP, the validity of the meeting and actions of the Synod which removed him as locum tenens, appointed a new lt and called  the general council which was held post Christmas and elected the new Primate, Metropolitan Rastislav. A delegation came to the Phanar on March 1 to try and resolve the dispute, but it was unresolved. The sub-story is that the church, along with the formerly united country, is divided. The protesting faction is Czech, the "winners" were Slovaks. Same old Orthodox story. (FWIT, I stayed away from the combined Vespers this year, the hypocrisy is too much for me. )

This is a good example as to why neither Canada nor Mexico should be in a future American Synod.
 

podkarpatska

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Gunnarr said:
There is a lot more news coming about this but i dont think most of it will ever be translated to english unfortunately
Call me a cynic..but methinks this innocuous secular news story... http://news.yahoo.com/saudis-uae-bahrain-withdraw-envoys-qatar-security-dispute-112020201.html ... may have more to do with the Qatar dispute than meets the eye. Add Putin's support for the Assad regime and Russia's desires to project itself as a world power to be reckoned with and one can argue that the Qatar business, the dispute between Antioch and Jerusalem and the MP' s insistence on conciliar unanimity are not mere coincidences in a larger, secular power gambit by Russia's leaders. 
 

Fr. George

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podkarpatska said:
Basil 320 said:
What is the question in connection with the propriety in the primatial election of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia?
One of the Czech-Slovak Synod's bishops protested to the EP,
I suspected.  Correspondence is the only way that outside matters (i.e. issues not directly involving the Patriarchate or its work) end up on the Patriarch's agenda.
 

Justin Kolodziej

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Basil 320 said:
Justin Kolodziej said:
Why do I have the feeling the word "anathema" will not be found in the Acts of the council once this is all over? Can't have a proper Council without anathemas!  :p
Emm, well, perhaps because the "Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church" will not be dealing with matters of dogma.
Some would disagree about the calendar and participation in ecumenism...perhaps a couple might be needed to settle that once and for all?
 

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ag_vn said:
Iconodule said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
I'll believe it after it happens.

My biggest concern is that they will try to wreck our fasting disciplines, and last time I checked that is on the agenda.
If they really are going to operate by consensus, I seriously doubt such a proposal would pass.
Although I actually like the Syriac Orthodox revision of the fasting discipline for the Nativity, the Dormition and the Apostles fast, I also doubt that any major changes are going to happen.
I wouldn't suspect that they would "wreck" it as much as they will attempt to make it uniform along jurisdictions.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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podkarpatska said:
Basil 320 said:
What is the question in connection with the propriety in the primatial election of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia?
One of the Czech-Slovak Synod's bishops protested to the EP, the validity of the meeting and actions of the Synod which removed him as locum tenens, appointed a new lt and called  the general council which was held post Christmas and elected the new Primate, Metropolitan Rastislav. A delegation came to the Phanar on March 1 to try and resolve the dispute, but it was unresolved. The sub-story is that the church, along with the formerly united country, is divided. The protesting faction is Czech, the "winners" were Slovaks. Same old Orthodox story. (FWIT, I stayed away from the combined Vespers this year, the hypocrisy is too much for me. )
Forgive my naïveté, and the tangent, but if they're two different sovereign nations, and, on top of that, the ethnic groups see themselves as "competing" with one another (i.e. one group feels it "loses" and the other it "wins" when someone from one group or the other becomes patriarch) what is the rationale for keeping them as one administrative unit?  Why isn't there an "Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic" and an "Orthodox Church in Slovakia" if things are so contentious between them?
 

podkarpatska

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Antonious Nikolas said:
podkarpatska said:
Basil 320 said:
What is the question in connection with the propriety in the primatial election of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia?
One of the Czech-Slovak Synod's bishops protested to the EP, the validity of the meeting and actions of the Synod which removed him as locum tenens, appointed a new lt and called  the general council which was held post Christmas and elected the new Primate, Metropolitan Rastislav. A delegation came to the Phanar on March 1 to try and resolve the dispute, but it was unresolved. The sub-story is that the church, along with the formerly united country, is divided. The protesting faction is Czech, the "winners" were Slovaks. Same old Orthodox story. (FWIT, I stayed away from the combined Vespers this year, the hypocrisy is too much for me. )
Forgive my naïveté, and the tangent, but if they're two different sovereign nations, and, on top of that, the ethnic groups see themselves as "competing" with one another (i.e. one group feels it "loses" and the other it "wins" when someone from one group or the other becomes patriarch) what is the rationale for keeping them as one administrative unit?  Why isn't there an "Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic" and an "Orthodox Church in Slovakia" if things are so contentious between them?
If my memory is correct, there are maybe 14 -16,000 Orthodox in the Czech Republic and 50- 80,000 in Slovakia. Of the Orthodox in the Czech Republic, perhaps half are transplanted Slovaks. Sadly, the friction deals less with ethnicity but more with the allocation of reparations from the State for seizure and destruction of properties by the communist regime.
 

Alpo

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ialmisry said:
Alpo said:
Autonomy is not that bad. We're doing quite fine over here.
We have a different dynamic going on over here.
Not sure whether I understood that. Please elaborate.
 

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orthoreader said:
ag_vn said:
Iconodule said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
I'll believe it after it happens.

My biggest concern is that they will try to wreck our fasting disciplines, and last time I checked that is on the agenda.
If they really are going to operate by consensus, I seriously doubt such a proposal would pass.
Although I actually like the Syriac Orthodox revision of the fasting discipline for the Nativity, the Dormition and the Apostles fast, I also doubt that any major changes are going to happen.
I wouldn't suspect that they would "wreck" it as much as they will attempt to make it uniform along jurisdictions.
But why make fasting disciplines uniform along jurisdictions to begin with? Does it really matter if two jurisdictions fast differently? And if the intention was to unite different practices, will that flow into all other non-theological differences like clothing, architecture, music, etc?
 

Second Chance

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Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
And, the biggest issue remains: What role, if any, will the OCA have in committees and the final deliberations. It seems to me that Chambesy pointed the way to solve the overlapping jurisdictions issue via the regional assemblies, and we know that the North and Central American EA is not even considering autocephaly (per HE Savvas) nor autonomy (the ROC/ROCOR and Bulgarian delegations). The nice thing about the North/Central American EA is that the OCA bishops are participating. The not-nice thing about the Synaxis is that the OCA is not participating. OCA's autocephaly is similar to pregnancy or marriage--unlike the RCs we do not annul marriages nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion. Bottom line: Unless the OCA in a national meeting gives its assent to any provision that affects her autocephaly, this synaxis nor the scheduled Council are valid and binding.
 

Second Chance

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Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
88Devin12 said:
wainscottbl said:
Devin, why do you not want OCA to exist in 2016? Or do I misunderstand. I am not Orthodox (yet anyway) but OCA is what--an American Orthodox church, but not autocephalous, ruled by bodies like ROCOR and the Antiochians?

I am just curious because I am looking into Orthodoxy and wonder if there is, or in your mind, something wrong with OCA?
Because, the Great and Holy Council is supposed to resolve our jurisdiction problems here in America. The OCA isn't universally recognized as autocephalous, and the Council will be uniting all jurisdictions in America. So the OCA will be merged with the Greeks, ROCOR, the Antiochians, the Serbians etc.... It will be a united American Church. We don't know if it will be autonomous, autocephalous or what.

But the OCA shouldn't exist after the council because our churches will all be merged into a single American one.
If the single, united local church is not autocephalous, count me out.
If all the Orthodox Churches decide with consensus and unanimity that there will be a single united local church that is not autocephalous but rather under (pick a place - Constantinople, Moscow, Alexandria...), do you really want to stand outside the consensus of the Church?
If by your statement you include the OCA, I would have to say: no.
 

ialmisry

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Αριστοκλής said:
ialmisry said:
Αριστοκλής said:
ICXCNIKA said:
ialmisry said:
88Devin12 said:
Nephi said:
Noddy999 said:
Patriarch Bartholomew described any notion allowing of “the universal dominion of any Local Church or her Primate as alien to Orthodox ecclesiology”. He stressed that “we all are entrusted with responsibility for the unity of our Holy Church”.
Interesting.
It isn't inconsistent with what he's been saying for years. I think a lot of people just assume the EP has a grand scheme to become our Pope. That could have been true for a couple past Patriarchs, but not with +BARTHOLOMEW.
Oh? And why then did HAH not invite the primate of the Czech Lands and Slovakia to this shin dig, and threatened to "revoke" its autocephaly (which it didn't give in the first place)?

EP Demetrios of blessed memory was far, far better on this.
The autocephalous church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia wasn't invited? By whose authority? If they are not present at the council than it is illegitimate from the start.
I don't know if we know that or not.
Those of us who read the official statements on the Czech and Slovak Church websites do.  The Phanar's choice seems quite the sycophant.
Meaning, of course, Isa believes one side automatically if the EP objects to anything. We know your problem, Isa.
Not my problem that the Phanar shows a consistent propensity to interject itself into the affairs of others.

Both Alexandria and Antioch have long experience with the Phanar's meddling in our affairs, so it is not hard to spot.  In the case of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, it is just blatant-witness the threat to "revoke" their autocephaly if they celebrated the anniversary in 2001 the granting of it by Moscow in 1951.

Αριστοκλής said:
Αριστοκλής said:
The EP objected to the Czech bishop on canonical issues of his election process, not that matters to those who prefer to bash first.
Not his place to bash the election of the first primate of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.  It's AUTOCEPHALOUS.
Ahem....you are the every-guick basher, my friend. And you knew my meaning. Cute, no cigar. He is within his RIGHTS not to recognize any bishop, anywhere, just as they are of him.
Fine.  Just don't claim it's a Pan Orthodox Synaxis then.
 

Aristocles

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ialmisry said:
Αριστοκλής said:
Ahem....you are the every-guick basher, my friend. And you knew my meaning. Cute, no cigar. He is within his RIGHTS not to recognize any bishop, anywhere, just as they are of him.
Fine.  Just don't claim it's a Pan Orthodox Synaxis then.
I did not claim it to be so. This is a planning mechanism. Wring your hands all you want; it's not time for the gnashing of teeth.
 

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I would assume there is most likely zero chance that issues like the Macedonian and Serbian Church 'schism' to be brought up?
 

podkarpatska

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
And, the biggest issue remains: What role, if any, will the OCA have in committees and the final deliberations. It seems to me that Chambesy pointed the way to solve the overlapping jurisdictions issue via the regional assemblies, and we know that the North and Central American EA is not even considering autocephaly (per HE Savvas) nor autonomy (the ROC/ROCOR and Bulgarian delegations). The nice thing about the North/Central American EA is that the OCA bishops are participating. The not-nice thing about the Synaxis is that the OCA is not participating. OCA's autocephaly is similar to pregnancy or marriage--unlike the RCs we do not annul marriages nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion. Bottom line: Unless the OCA in a national meeting gives its assent to any provision that affects her autocephaly, this synaxis nor the scheduled Council are valid and binding.
I doubt very much that the current ruling hierarchs of the OCA would agree as a Synod to take such a hardline if push came to shove.) A few living retired and a number of now deceased ones might have so dreamed, but if Moscow takes that position, schism and centuries of world wide bickering will follow. That result is probably not worth the principle being fought over for the sake of some 140,000 North American faithful of the current OCA (if that - and a far smaller % of those members  who would passionately prefer such schism to a negotiated solution to North America.)

The greatest mistake in 20th century North American Orthodoxy was the miscalculation by certain leading mid century American Orthodox academics that unilaterally granting the not even united for fifty years at the time Russian Metropolia autocephaly at the height of the Cold War would be the "Kumbaya" moment where all of the disparate and disunited ethnic groups would see the light and join hands. Moscow's current calls for the need for unanimity and consensus are laughable against that history.

Sorry, but I believe that what I wrote here, harsh as it is, accurately reflects the opinions of many, if not most, non-OCA North American Orthodox. We mostly want the ideal of unity, but on terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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podkarpatska said:
If my memory is correct, there are maybe 14 -16,000 Orthodox in the Czech Republic and 50- 80,000 in Slovakia. Of the Orthodox in the Czech Republic, perhaps half are transplanted Slovaks. Sadly, the friction deals less with ethnicity but more with the allocation of reparations from the State for seizure and destruction of properties by the communist regime.
Thanks for the explanation.
 

Mor Ephrem

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podkarpatska said:
The greatest mistake in 20th century North American Orthodoxy was the miscalculation by certain leading mid century American Orthodox academics that unilaterally granting the not even united for fifty years at the time Russian Metropolia autocephaly at the height of the Cold War would be the "Kumbaya" moment where all of the disparate and disunited ethnic groups would see the light and join hands. Moscow's current calls for the need for unanimity and consensus are laughable against that history.
What's the statute of limitations on invoking past history to justify current laughter? 
 

DeniseDenise

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Mor Ephrem said:
podkarpatska said:
The greatest mistake in 20th century North American Orthodoxy was the miscalculation by certain leading mid century American Orthodox academics that unilaterally granting the not even united for fifty years at the time Russian Metropolia autocephaly at the height of the Cold War would be the "Kumbaya" moment where all of the disparate and disunited ethnic groups would see the light and join hands. Moscow's current calls for the need for unanimity and consensus are laughable against that history.
What's the statute of limitations on invoking past history to justify current laughter? 

One day shorter than the SOL for 'rampant speculation by laypeople', I think.....
 

podkarpatska

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I am simply saying that of the roughly one million (a generous count for sure) Orthodox in the United States, perhaps about 15% make up the OCA. Many of the same issues exist today regarding unity that existed when FOCA failed in 1944 and the OCA failed to gain acceptance as an independent body from the other 85% of American Orthodox (and the 'mother' churches) by the end of the 1970's.

I realize that the Church is not a democracy, but the idea that the OCA's standing as an autocephalous body must first gain the unanimous approval of the other fourteen or so Orthodox Churches before the rest of us 'come on board', and the Great Council proceeds, is simply wishful thinking.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Some random comments about the official message of the EO primates.

Noddy999 said:
Synaxis of the Primates
of the Orthodox Churches
(Phanar, March 6-9, 2014)
Message



Our sympathy extends to all victims of the tragedy in Syria. We condemn every form of terrorism and defamation of religion. The kidnapping of Metropolitans Paul and Youhanna, other clergymen as well as the nuns of St. Thecla Convent in Maaloula remains an open wound, and we demand their immediate liberation.
:)

3. We fervently pray for peaceful negotiation and prayerful reconciliation in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We denounce the threats of violent occupation of sacred monasteries and churches, and pray for the return of our brothers presently outside of ecclesiastical communion into the Holy Church.
"Our brothers presently outside of ecclesiastical communion".

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs.
That's a very interesting qualification to make two years in advance of something everyone supposedly wants. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Some random comments about the official message of the EO primates.

Noddy999 said:
The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs.
That's a very interesting qualification to make two years in advance of something everyone supposedly wants. 
Oh I don't know....WWIII?  Turkish Govt prevents it from happening?  Maybe if HAH +BART dies?  The possibilities are endless....  If he said "God willing" instead would it not be so "interesting"?  Just asking.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Some random comments about the official message of the EO primates.

Noddy999 said:
Synaxis of the Primates
of the Orthodox Churches
(Phanar, March 6-9, 2014)
Message



Our sympathy extends to all victims of the tragedy in Syria. We condemn every form of terrorism and defamation of religion. The kidnapping of Metropolitans Paul and Youhanna, other clergymen as well as the nuns of St. Thecla Convent in Maaloula remains an open wound, and we demand their immediate liberation.
:)

3. We fervently pray for peaceful negotiation and prayerful reconciliation in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We denounce the threats of violent occupation of sacred monasteries and churches, and pray for the return of our brothers presently outside of ecclesiastical communion into the Holy Church.
"Our brothers presently outside of ecclesiastical communion".

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs.
That's a very interesting qualification to make two years in advance of something everyone supposedly wants. 
maybe that clarification is simple in case of things like an unexpected death or something that can delay things, or consensus takes a very long time to occur in the preparatory stages since it seems by the time the great synod occurs everything must already be agreed on, with the synod just proclaiming everything that was agreed on! no debate at the synod

i do not see what is interesting about them saying "our brothers" i think it is common now for even Anglicans to be called "brothers" for whatever reason, of course I think they are talking about the Ukrainian church at that sentence saying they should return from their schism
 

Maria

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Noddy999 said:
Synaxis of the Primates
of the Orthodox Churches
(Phanar, March 6-9, 2014)
Message



In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Through the grace of God, the Primates of the Most Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, to the Orthodox faithful throughout the world, all of our Christian brothers and sisters as well as every person of goodwill: we extend God¢s blessing and our greeting of love and peace.

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 1.2-3)

1. Having convened by the grace of our compassionate God, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, at the Phanar, from March 6-9, 2014; having deliberated in fraternal love on matters concerning our Holy Church today; and concelebrating in the Patriarchal Church of St. George on the glorious occasion of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we address you with these words of love, peace and consolation.

Inasmuch as our One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Orthodox Church dwells in the world, it also experiences the challenges of every age. Faithful to Holy Tradition, the Church of Christ is in constant dialogue with every period of time, suffering with human beings and sharing their anguish. For “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and to the ages” (Heb. 13.8).

The trials and challenges of history are especially acute in our days, and Orthodox Christians cannot remain uninvolved or indifferent to them. This is why we have assembled “together in one place” (Acts 2.1) in order to reflect on the problems and temptations facing humanity today. “There is fighting without and fear within.” (2 Cor. 7.5) These Apostolic words are also valid for the Church today.

2. In reflecting upon people¢s suffering throughout the world, we express our support for the martyrdom and our admiration for the witness of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world. We call to mind their dual martyrdom: for their faith as well as for the safeguarding of their historical relationship with people of other religious conviction. We denounce the lack of peace and stability, which is prompting Christians to abandon the land where our Lord Jesus Christ was born and whence the Good News spread to the entire world.

Our sympathy extends to all victims of the tragedy in Syria. We condemn every form of terrorism and defamation of religion. The kidnapping of Metropolitans Paul and Youhanna, other clergymen as well as the nuns of St. Thecla Convent in Maaloula remains an open wound, and we demand their immediate liberation.

We appeal to all involved for the immediate cessation of military action, liberation of captives, and establishment of peace in the region through dialogue. Christians in the Middle East are a leaven of peace. Peace for all people also means peace for Christians. We support the Patriarchate of Antioch in its spiritual and humanitarian ministry, as well as its efforts for reconstruction and the resettlement of all refugees.

3. We fervently pray for peaceful negotiation and prayerful reconciliation in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We denounce the threats of violent occupation of sacred monasteries and churches, and pray for the return of our brothers presently outside of ecclesiastical communion into the Holy Church.

4. A fundamental threat to justice and peace – both locally and globally – is the global economic crisis. The ramifications of this are evident on all layers in society, where such values as personal integrity, fraternal solidarity and justice are often wanting. The origins of this crisis are not merely financial. They are moral and spiritual in character. Instead of conforming to the worldly idols of power, greed and hedonism, we emphasize our vocation to transform the world by embracing the principles of justice, peace, and love.

As a result of self-centeredness and abuse of power, many people undermine the sacredness of the human person, neglecting to see the face of God in the least of our brothers and sisters (cf. Matt. 25.40,45). Many remain indifferent to the poverty, suffering and violence that plague humanity.
5. The Church is called to articulate its prophetic word. We express our genuine concern about local and global trends that undermine and erode the principles of faith, the dignity of the human person, the institution of marriage, and the gift of creation.

We stress the undisputed sanctity of human life from inception until natural death. We recognize marriage as the union of man and woman that reflects the union between Christ and His Church. Our vocation is to preserve the natural environment as stewards and not proprietors of creation. In this period of Great Lent, we exhort our clergy and laity to observe a spirit of repentance, to experience purity of heart, humility and forgiveness, bearing witness to the timeless teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ in society.

6. This Synaxis of Primates is a blessed occasion for us to reinforce our unity through communion and cooperation. We affirm our commitment to the paramount importance of synodality for the unity of the Church. We affirm the words of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, that “the name of the Church signifies unity and concord, not division.” Our heart is set on the long-awaited Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church in order to witness to its unity as well as to its responsibility and care for the contemporary world.

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs. The Synod will be presided by the Ecumenical Patriarch. His brother Primates of the other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will be seated at his right and at his left.

7. Inseparably interconnected with unity is mission. The Church does not live for itself but is obliged to witness to and share God¢s gifts with those near and afar. Participating in the Divine Eucharist and praying for the oikoumene, we are called to continue this liturgy after the liturgy, sharing the gifts of truth and love with all humankind, in accordance with the Lord¢s last commandment and assurance: “Go ye, and make disciples of all nations . . . And lo, I shall be with you until the end of the ages” (Matt. 28.19-20).

8. We live in a world where multiculturalism and pluralism are inevitable realities, which are constantly changing. We are conscious of the fact that no issue in our time can be considered or resolved without reference to the global, that any polarization between the local and the ecumenical only leads to distortion of the Orthodox way of thinking.

Therefore, even in the face of voices of dissension, segregation, and division, we are determined to proclaim the message of Orthodoxy. We acknowledge that dialogue is always better than conflict. Withdrawal and isolationism are never options. We reaffirm our obligation at all times to be open in our contact with “the other”: with other people and other cultures, as well as with other Christians and people of other faiths.

9. Above and beyond all challenges, we proclaim the good news of a God, who “so loved the world” that He “dwelt among us.” Thus, we Orthodox remain full of hope. Despite all tensions, we nevertheless dare to hope in the “almighty God, who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1.8) For we remember that the last word – the word of joy, love, and life – belongs to Him, to whom is due all glory, honor and worship to the ages of ages. Amen.

At the Phanar, the 9th of March, 2014

+ Bartholomew of Constantinople

+ Theodoros of Alexandria
+ Theophilos of Jerusalem
+ Kirill of Moscow
+ Irinej of Serbia
+ Daniel of Romania
+ Neophyte of Bulgaria
+ Ilia of Georgia
+ Chrysostomos of Cyprus
+ Ieronymos of Athens
+ Sawa of Warsaw
+ Anastasios of Tirana
Is there an official translation into English?

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015.
Did the EP use the term "Easter" instead of "Pascha" or is that a translation error?
 

Gunnarr

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Maria said:
Noddy999 said:
Synaxis of the Primates
of the Orthodox Churches
(Phanar, March 6-9, 2014)
Message



In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Through the grace of God, the Primates of the Most Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, to the Orthodox faithful throughout the world, all of our Christian brothers and sisters as well as every person of goodwill: we extend God¢s blessing and our greeting of love and peace.

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 1.2-3)

1. Having convened by the grace of our compassionate God, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, at the Phanar, from March 6-9, 2014; having deliberated in fraternal love on matters concerning our Holy Church today; and concelebrating in the Patriarchal Church of St. George on the glorious occasion of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we address you with these words of love, peace and consolation.

Inasmuch as our One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Orthodox Church dwells in the world, it also experiences the challenges of every age. Faithful to Holy Tradition, the Church of Christ is in constant dialogue with every period of time, suffering with human beings and sharing their anguish. For “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and to the ages” (Heb. 13.8).

The trials and challenges of history are especially acute in our days, and Orthodox Christians cannot remain uninvolved or indifferent to them. This is why we have assembled “together in one place” (Acts 2.1) in order to reflect on the problems and temptations facing humanity today. “There is fighting without and fear within.” (2 Cor. 7.5) These Apostolic words are also valid for the Church today.

2. In reflecting upon people¢s suffering throughout the world, we express our support for the martyrdom and our admiration for the witness of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world. We call to mind their dual martyrdom: for their faith as well as for the safeguarding of their historical relationship with people of other religious conviction. We denounce the lack of peace and stability, which is prompting Christians to abandon the land where our Lord Jesus Christ was born and whence the Good News spread to the entire world.

Our sympathy extends to all victims of the tragedy in Syria. We condemn every form of terrorism and defamation of religion. The kidnapping of Metropolitans Paul and Youhanna, other clergymen as well as the nuns of St. Thecla Convent in Maaloula remains an open wound, and we demand their immediate liberation.

We appeal to all involved for the immediate cessation of military action, liberation of captives, and establishment of peace in the region through dialogue. Christians in the Middle East are a leaven of peace. Peace for all people also means peace for Christians. We support the Patriarchate of Antioch in its spiritual and humanitarian ministry, as well as its efforts for reconstruction and the resettlement of all refugees.

3. We fervently pray for peaceful negotiation and prayerful reconciliation in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We denounce the threats of violent occupation of sacred monasteries and churches, and pray for the return of our brothers presently outside of ecclesiastical communion into the Holy Church.

4. A fundamental threat to justice and peace – both locally and globally – is the global economic crisis. The ramifications of this are evident on all layers in society, where such values as personal integrity, fraternal solidarity and justice are often wanting. The origins of this crisis are not merely financial. They are moral and spiritual in character. Instead of conforming to the worldly idols of power, greed and hedonism, we emphasize our vocation to transform the world by embracing the principles of justice, peace, and love.

As a result of self-centeredness and abuse of power, many people undermine the sacredness of the human person, neglecting to see the face of God in the least of our brothers and sisters (cf. Matt. 25.40,45). Many remain indifferent to the poverty, suffering and violence that plague humanity.
5. The Church is called to articulate its prophetic word. We express our genuine concern about local and global trends that undermine and erode the principles of faith, the dignity of the human person, the institution of marriage, and the gift of creation.

We stress the undisputed sanctity of human life from inception until natural death. We recognize marriage as the union of man and woman that reflects the union between Christ and His Church. Our vocation is to preserve the natural environment as stewards and not proprietors of creation. In this period of Great Lent, we exhort our clergy and laity to observe a spirit of repentance, to experience purity of heart, humility and forgiveness, bearing witness to the timeless teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ in society.

6. This Synaxis of Primates is a blessed occasion for us to reinforce our unity through communion and cooperation. We affirm our commitment to the paramount importance of synodality for the unity of the Church. We affirm the words of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, that “the name of the Church signifies unity and concord, not division.” Our heart is set on the long-awaited Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church in order to witness to its unity as well as to its responsibility and care for the contemporary world.

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs. The Synod will be presided by the Ecumenical Patriarch. His brother Primates of the other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will be seated at his right and at his left.

7. Inseparably interconnected with unity is mission. The Church does not live for itself but is obliged to witness to and share God¢s gifts with those near and afar. Participating in the Divine Eucharist and praying for the oikoumene, we are called to continue this liturgy after the liturgy, sharing the gifts of truth and love with all humankind, in accordance with the Lord¢s last commandment and assurance: “Go ye, and make disciples of all nations . . . And lo, I shall be with you until the end of the ages” (Matt. 28.19-20).

8. We live in a world where multiculturalism and pluralism are inevitable realities, which are constantly changing. We are conscious of the fact that no issue in our time can be considered or resolved without reference to the global, that any polarization between the local and the ecumenical only leads to distortion of the Orthodox way of thinking.

Therefore, even in the face of voices of dissension, segregation, and division, we are determined to proclaim the message of Orthodoxy. We acknowledge that dialogue is always better than conflict. Withdrawal and isolationism are never options. We reaffirm our obligation at all times to be open in our contact with “the other”: with other people and other cultures, as well as with other Christians and people of other faiths.

9. Above and beyond all challenges, we proclaim the good news of a God, who “so loved the world” that He “dwelt among us.” Thus, we Orthodox remain full of hope. Despite all tensions, we nevertheless dare to hope in the “almighty God, who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1.8) For we remember that the last word – the word of joy, love, and life – belongs to Him, to whom is due all glory, honor and worship to the ages of ages. Amen.

At the Phanar, the 9th of March, 2014

+ Bartholomew of Constantinople

+ Theodoros of Alexandria
+ Theophilos of Jerusalem
+ Kirill of Moscow
+ Irinej of Serbia
+ Daniel of Romania
+ Neophyte of Bulgaria
+ Ilia of Georgia
+ Chrysostomos of Cyprus
+ Ieronymos of Athens
+ Sawa of Warsaw
+ Anastasios of Tirana
Is there an official translation into English?

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015.
Did the EP use the term "Easter" instead of "Pascha" or is that a translation error?
i think translation error
 

jwinch2

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion.
What are you talking about? 
 

Mor Ephrem

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Elisha said:
Mor Ephrem said:
That's a very interesting qualification to make two years in advance of something everyone supposedly wants. 
Oh I don't know....WWIII?  Turkish Govt prevents it from happening?  Maybe if HAH +BART dies?  The possibilities are endless....  If he said "God willing" instead would it not be so "interesting"?  Just asking.
Yes, if Their Holinesses said "God willing", it wouldn't have seemed so strange to me.  "Unless something unexpected occurs" is a bit different, IMO.     
 

Second Chance

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podkarpatska said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
And, the biggest issue remains: What role, if any, will the OCA have in committees and the final deliberations. It seems to me that Chambesy pointed the way to solve the overlapping jurisdictions issue via the regional assemblies, and we know that the North and Central American EA is not even considering autocephaly (per HE Savvas) nor autonomy (the ROC/ROCOR and Bulgarian delegations). The nice thing about the North/Central American EA is that the OCA bishops are participating. The not-nice thing about the Synaxis is that the OCA is not participating. OCA's autocephaly is similar to pregnancy or marriage--unlike the RCs we do not annul marriages nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion. Bottom line: Unless the OCA in a national meeting gives its assent to any provision that affects her autocephaly, this synaxis nor the scheduled Council are valid and binding.
I doubt very much that the current ruling hierarchs of the OCA would agree as a Synod to take such a hardline if push came to shove.) A few living retired and a number of now deceased ones might have so dreamed, but if Moscow takes that position, schism and centuries of world wide bickering will follow. That result is probably not worth the principle being fought over for the sake of some 140,000 North American faithful of the current OCA (if that - and a far smaller % of those members  who would passionately prefer such schism to a negotiated solution to North America.)

The greatest mistake in 20th century North American Orthodoxy was the miscalculation by certain leading mid century American Orthodox academics that unilaterally granting the not even united for fifty years at the time Russian Metropolia autocephaly at the height of the Cold War would be the "Kumbaya" moment where all of the disparate and disunited ethnic groups would see the light and join hands. Moscow's current calls for the need for unanimity and consensus are laughable against that history.

Sorry, but I believe that what I wrote here, harsh as it is, accurately reflects the opinions of many, if not most, non-OCA North American Orthodox. We mostly want the ideal of unity, but on terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions.
I do appreciate your honesty. Do you think that OCA's mother church will revoke the Tomos, while at the same time opposing Constantinople's Canon 28 argument for universal jurisdiction (except the existing local churches of course)?

I must hasten to add that the OCA has always been willing to relinquish her autocephaly in favor of an administratively united AND autocephalous church (which more than likely will be led by a hierarch from the current GOA).

I should add that I do agree with you that we would want "terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions." Since I have not heard anyone say that the OCA is not canonical, why isn't the OCA in the Synaxis, as she is in the AOB? Indeed, I really believe that all autonomous churches should also participate in the Synaxis and the Great Council.
 

Maria

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Noddy999 said:
Thanks.

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs. The Synod will be presided by the Ecumenical Patriarch. His brother Primates of the other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will be seated at his right and at his left.
Why are they using "Easter"? Whatever happened to "the Holy Pascha of the Lord"?

What is the Greek passage here?
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Maria said:
Noddy999 said:
Thanks.

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs. The Synod will be presided by the Ecumenical Patriarch. His brother Primates of the other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will be seated at his right and at his left.
Why are they using "Easter"? Whatever happened to "the Holy Pascha of the Lord"?

What is the Greek passage here?
Easter is the English equivalent. 'Pascua' might be a Spanish translation, but 'Easter' is the Anglo word for it.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Maria said:
Noddy999 said:
Thanks.

The Synaxis agreed that the preparatory work to the Synod should be intensified. A special Inter-Orthodox Committee will work from September 2014 until Holy Easter of 2015, followed by a Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conference to be convened in the first half of 2015. All decisions at the Synod and in the preparatory stages are made by consensus. The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016, unless something unexpected occurs. The Synod will be presided by the Ecumenical Patriarch. His brother Primates of the other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will be seated at his right and at his left.
Why are they using "Easter"? Whatever happened to "the Holy Pascha of the Lord"?

What is the Greek passage here?
Easter is the English equivalent. 'Pascua' might be a Spanish translation, but 'Easter' is the Anglo word for it.
At Pan-Orthodox Retreats with Antiochians, Greeks,  OCAers, and Serbians, the priests were unanimous in begging us not to use EASTER when referring to the PASCHA of the Lord.
 

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Carl's questions are reasonable and deserve a response, rather than an opinion.

I do want to clarify my earlier comments. I believe that the basis of the objections to the Tomos from those of us of an age (I was in college, contemplating the "family business" at the time) to remember those early post Tomos years, was the unilateral, non-conciliar manner in which it occurred. (Yes, I've heard how Fr. Schmemann was supposed told by the EP to seek out the MP, but what was actually meant is lost to time.)  Rather than an American driven consensus, which might have evolved organically over the last half century, it was presented as a "fait accompli" and in the publications of the day, some of the more enthusiastic advocates of the Tomos were, to be kind, less than charitable in how it was presented to the rest of us. For the most part those days are behind us, yet beneath the surface, many of those old resentments linger, especially among the older clergy and hierarchs. Sorry for my earlier tone, it was uncharacteristic and not representative of my appreciation of the many accomplishments and achievements of the OCA, its members and clergy.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
And, the biggest issue remains: What role, if any, will the OCA have in committees and the final deliberations. It seems to me that Chambesy pointed the way to solve the overlapping jurisdictions issue via the regional assemblies, and we know that the North and Central American EA is not even considering autocephaly (per HE Savvas) nor autonomy (the ROC/ROCOR and Bulgarian delegations). The nice thing about the North/Central American EA is that the OCA bishops are participating. The not-nice thing about the Synaxis is that the OCA is not participating. OCA's autocephaly is similar to pregnancy or marriage--unlike the RCs we do not annul marriages nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion. Bottom line: Unless the OCA in a national meeting gives its assent to any provision that affects her autocephaly, this synaxis nor the scheduled Council are valid and binding.
I doubt very much that the current ruling hierarchs of the OCA would agree as a Synod to take such a hardline if push came to shove.) A few living retired and a number of now deceased ones might have so dreamed, but if Moscow takes that position, schism and centuries of world wide bickering will follow. That result is probably not worth the principle being fought over for the sake of some 140,000 North American faithful of the current OCA (if that - and a far smaller % of those members  who would passionately prefer such schism to a negotiated solution to North America.)

The greatest mistake in 20th century North American Orthodoxy was the miscalculation by certain leading mid century American Orthodox academics that unilaterally granting the not even united for fifty years at the time Russian Metropolia autocephaly at the height of the Cold War would be the "Kumbaya" moment where all of the disparate and disunited ethnic groups would see the light and join hands. Moscow's current calls for the need for unanimity and consensus are laughable against that history.

Sorry, but I believe that what I wrote here, harsh as it is, accurately reflects the opinions of many, if not most, non-OCA North American Orthodox. We mostly want the ideal of unity, but on terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions.
I do appreciate your honesty. Do you think that OCA's mother church will revoke the Tomos, while at the same time opposing Constantinople's Canon 28 argument for universal jurisdiction (except the existing local churches of course)?

I must hasten to add that the OCA has always been willing to relinquish her autocephaly in favor of an administratively united AND autocephalous church (which more than likely will be led by a hierarch from the current GOA).

I should add that I do agree with you that we would want "terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions." Since I have not heard anyone say that the OCA is not canonical, why isn't the OCA in the Synaxis, as she is in the AOB? Indeed, I really believe that all autonomous churches should also participate in the Synaxis and the Great Council.
Carl, thank you for your posts. I just wanted to add 2 points. The first is I do not believe that a tomos can be revoked...it can only be surrendered in my opinion. The other point is more of a question. Wouldn't any merger on the part of the OCA have to be approved by an All American Council?
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
And, the biggest issue remains: What role, if any, will the OCA have in committees and the final deliberations. It seems to me that Chambesy pointed the way to solve the overlapping jurisdictions issue via the regional assemblies, and we know that the North and Central American EA is not even considering autocephaly (per HE Savvas) nor autonomy (the ROC/ROCOR and Bulgarian delegations). The nice thing about the North/Central American EA is that the OCA bishops are participating. The not-nice thing about the Synaxis is that the OCA is not participating. OCA's autocephaly is similar to pregnancy or marriage--unlike the RCs we do not annul marriages nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion. Bottom line: Unless the OCA in a national meeting gives its assent to any provision that affects her autocephaly, this synaxis nor the scheduled Council are valid and binding.
The OCA's autocephaly, in the end, doesn't matter. The Assembly of Bishops is going to present a plan to the Great & Holy Council, and that plan will or won't be approved by the bishops at the council. Which it probably will be approved.

It is absolutely ridiculous for people to assume that all churches in North America should be absorbed into the OCA. The solution at this point, is to dissolve every single archdiocese and church in North America, and form a brand new, united church. That is what is probably going to be happening anyway.

When it comes down to it, the OCA doesn't need to participate in the Great & Holy Council, because it probably won't even exist a year after the council is finished. Its autocephaly isn't universally recognized, and that being set aside, it's going to be merged with the other North American churches as it is.

The Assembly of Bishops will be coming up with the plan, and the OCA are participating members of the Assembly, and their voice can be and is heard there. The Assembly will be discussing autocephaly vs. autonomy and probably voting on it. That will also probably be a part of the proposal sent to the Great & Holy Council. If they approve it and our Assembly asks for autocephaly, then I'm willing to bet that whatever solution the Council decides for granting of autocephaly will happen.

Best case would be if we ask for autocephaly and they approve our proposal, that the council just simply agree unianimously on the autocephaly, and the council could grant the autocephaly (since all churches are there represented).

This council will probably cause some to schism, including in North America. But that is just the loss for the people who schism, because they will no longer be in communion with the Orthodox Church.

ICXCNIKA said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fr. George said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
podkarpatska said:
Gotta break my silence.

Isa: Get over it, the Council is going to happen whether you like it or not.

What, if anything, it accomplishes remains to be seen.

Peace, out.
Since they have apparently agreed to the principle of unanimity, I would be surprised if they solve the problem of the OCA.
I won't be so surprised.  They will work on the issue until something mutually agreeable has been reached (whatever that is).  Remember, we're not the only place with overlapping jurisdictions.  Remember, too, that various committees (with representation from the Churches) have been and will continue to work on the issues before the Council is formally convened.
And, the biggest issue remains: What role, if any, will the OCA have in committees and the final deliberations. It seems to me that Chambesy pointed the way to solve the overlapping jurisdictions issue via the regional assemblies, and we know that the North and Central American EA is not even considering autocephaly (per HE Savvas) nor autonomy (the ROC/ROCOR and Bulgarian delegations). The nice thing about the North/Central American EA is that the OCA bishops are participating. The not-nice thing about the Synaxis is that the OCA is not participating. OCA's autocephaly is similar to pregnancy or marriage--unlike the RCs we do not annul marriages nor, like the RCs, are we in favor of abortion. Bottom line: Unless the OCA in a national meeting gives its assent to any provision that affects her autocephaly, this synaxis nor the scheduled Council are valid and binding.
I doubt very much that the current ruling hierarchs of the OCA would agree as a Synod to take such a hardline if push came to shove.) A few living retired and a number of now deceased ones might have so dreamed, but if Moscow takes that position, schism and centuries of world wide bickering will follow. That result is probably not worth the principle being fought over for the sake of some 140,000 North American faithful of the current OCA (if that - and a far smaller % of those members  who would passionately prefer such schism to a negotiated solution to North America.)

The greatest mistake in 20th century North American Orthodoxy was the miscalculation by certain leading mid century American Orthodox academics that unilaterally granting the not even united for fifty years at the time Russian Metropolia autocephaly at the height of the Cold War would be the "Kumbaya" moment where all of the disparate and disunited ethnic groups would see the light and join hands. Moscow's current calls for the need for unanimity and consensus are laughable against that history.

Sorry, but I believe that what I wrote here, harsh as it is, accurately reflects the opinions of many, if not most, non-OCA North American Orthodox. We mostly want the ideal of unity, but on terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions.
I do appreciate your honesty. Do you think that OCA's mother church will revoke the Tomos, while at the same time opposing Constantinople's Canon 28 argument for universal jurisdiction (except the existing local churches of course)?

I must hasten to add that the OCA has always been willing to relinquish her autocephaly in favor of an administratively united AND autocephalous church (which more than likely will be led by a hierarch from the current GOA).

I should add that I do agree with you that we would want "terms acceptable to all, not just one,of our canonical jurisdictions." Since I have not heard anyone say that the OCA is not canonical, why isn't the OCA in the Synaxis, as she is in the AOB? Indeed, I really believe that all autonomous churches should also participate in the Synaxis and the Great Council.
Carl, thank you for your posts. I just wanted to add 2 points. The first is I do not believe that a tomos can be revoked...it can only be surrendered in my opinion. The other point is more of a question. Wouldn't any merger on the part of the OCA have to be approved by an All American Council?
I don't think it would have to be approved by the AAC. All of our bishops are members of the Assembly of Bishops. It's irrelevant on if a tomos can be revoked, it will simply be "surrendered" voluntarily when we merge with all other churches. That future church will then be given autonomy or autocephaly based on the Assembly's proposal to the Great & Holy Council and pending the decisions in that council about autonomy & autocephaly.

Any church that chooses to reject and rebel against the decisions of the Assembly & the Great and Holy Council, and chooses to not be a part of the future church will probably be subject to excommunication. At that point, it's irrelevant for us who chooses to split. If they don't want to be a part of the Holy Orthodox Church, that's their choice. If they hold their autonomy/autocephaly or ethnicity higher than unity with Orthodox and canonical status, then they aren't Orthodox after all.
 
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