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WOCC Statement of Union with the Antiochian Orthodox Church

AntoniousNikolas

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Has anyone ever heard of this group?

http://www.wocc-us.org/

They come from the Old Catholic line (Utrecht), but I found this bit on their website interesting:

What is the relationship with the Eastern Orthodox Churches?

We share the Holy Orthodox Faith. Through the efforts of Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew’s and Archbishop Gerassimos Messarra, Orthodox Bishop of Beirut of the Greek Patriarchate of Antioch, this was realized in the Statement of Union signed on August 5, 1911. What occurred in Great Britain at that time was not limited to Great Britain since it was carried to the shores of the United States by Archbishop Rudolph de Landas Berghes of Scotland who first established the Old Roman Catholic Church in this country as "Old Roman Catholic Western Orthodox Church" (“Regionary Bishop of Scotland Sues Chronicler of Nobility.”  New York Tribune (New York). 1915-07-13. p. 4. LCCN sn83030214. Retrieved 2013-12-14).  Internet Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_de_Landas_Berghes.

We share the Holy Orthodox Faith with the Eastern Orthodox Churches but we remain, at this time, an autocephalous (self-governing) Western Orthodox Church. Our Church maintains the best of both the Orthodox Christian East and West.
http://www.wocc-us.org/#!questions-and-answers-about-the-orcc/c1l5z

I'm hoping that some of our EO brothers and sisters (especially anyone from the Antiochian Church) can shed a little light on the Statement of Union this body claims to have concluded with the Antiochians.
 

Opus118

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Has anyone ever heard of this group?

http://www.wocc-us.org/

They come from the Old Catholic line (Utrecht), but I found this bit on their website interesting:

What is the relationship with the Eastern Orthodox Churches?

We share the Holy Orthodox Faith. Through the efforts of Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew’s and Archbishop Gerassimos Messarra, Orthodox Bishop of Beirut of the Greek Patriarchate of Antioch, this was realized in the Statement of Union signed on August 5, 1911. What occurred in Great Britain at that time was not limited to Great Britain since it was carried to the shores of the United States by Archbishop Rudolph de Landas Berghes of Scotland who first established the Old Roman Catholic Church in this country as "Old Roman Catholic Western Orthodox Church" (“Regionary Bishop of Scotland Sues Chronicler of Nobility.”  New York Tribune (New York). 1915-07-13. p. 4. LCCN sn83030214. Retrieved 2013-12-14).  Internet Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_de_Landas_Berghes.

We share the Holy Orthodox Faith with the Eastern Orthodox Churches but we remain, at this time, an autocephalous (self-governing) Western Orthodox Church. Our Church maintains the best of both the Orthodox Christian East and West.
http://www.wocc-us.org/#!questions-and-answers-about-the-orcc/c1l5z

I'm hoping that some of our EO brothers and sisters (especially anyone from the Antiochian Church) can shed a little light on the Statement of Union this body claims to have concluded with the Antiochians.
I am bumping this. I have no idea. Maybe someone at ByzCath knows.


There is this from the WOCC-US site:
In 1911 Archbishop Arnold Harris Matthew and the Metropolitan Archbishop of Beirut (Orthodox Greek Patriarchate of Antioch) signed a joint statement of union regarding the Old Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. A translation of this historic document follows:

Monseigneur,

Colleague and brother in Jesus Christ, with open arms in the love of the Savior, I receive you among us, and I accept your oath of fidelity to His Beatitude the Orthodox Patriarch and his Holy Synod of Antioch, since those who hold our Faith and wish to be united with us have never been prevented from joining us. Praying God to bless you, and not only you but all those who come to us with you, we bless you in the name of His Beatitude the Patriarch and of the Holy Synod of Antioch.

Your Colleague and Brother in Jesus Christ,

GERASSIMOS MESSARRA,
Prince Archbishop and Metropolitan,
Orthodox Church of Beirut
5th Aug. 1911
However, Rudolph de Landas Berghes became an Episcopalian. So I do not see the connection.
 

TheTrisagion

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I've never heard of them. Also, I find this tidbit rather interesting.

Although we are autocephalous and not canonically in juridical communion with the Greek Patriarchate, we maintain what we have received and profess the same.
Despite trying to pretend how close they are to Orthodoxy, they are not actually in communion with the Church.
 

Opus118

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TheTrisagion said:
I've never heard of them. Also, I find this tidbit rather interesting.

Although we are autocephalous and not canonically in juridical communion with the Greek Patriarchate, we maintain what we have received and profess the same.
Despite trying to pretend how close they are to Orthodoxy, they are not actually in communion with the Church.
I think if Arlen Specter was still alive, he would know who these guys are. How can you not know who is living in your backyard?  Talk to your (more sensible) neighbors about these guys and write back.
 

TheTrisagion

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Opus118 said:
TheTrisagion said:
I've never heard of them. Also, I find this tidbit rather interesting.

Although we are autocephalous and not canonically in juridical communion with the Greek Patriarchate, we maintain what we have received and profess the same.
Despite trying to pretend how close they are to Orthodoxy, they are not actually in communion with the Church.
I think if Arlen Specter was still alive, he would know who these guys are. How can you not know who is living in your backyard?  Talk to your (more sensible) neighbors about these guys and write back.
I don't know who they are because they are some little two-bit schismatic group from Roman Catholicism who bought an old abandoned church and play dress up on Sundays. We have 13 million people in this state and hundreds of weird little sects like this. Just because some guy goes and buys some vestments and throws up a website doesn't mean he is in any way connected with Orthodoxy.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Thanks for the input, guys.  Does anyone have any sense of the significance of the document they're touting which they proclaim to be an "Act of Union" with the Antiochian Orthodox Church?  Is it fraudulent, or does it not represent what they claim it represents?  Does anyone know anything about the history of the dialogue that culminated in 1911 with the signing of this document?  Generally, I'd be inclined to agree with Tris, but not every vagante group claims to have an official "Act of Union" with a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction.
 

Iconodule

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Assuming the act of union was genuine, it seems to me that it cannot be held to be of effect today, since the WOCC has not maintained this communion Antioch or vice versa. If the WOCC were serious about it, they have every opportunity now to contact Antioch and reestablish communion.
 

TheTrisagion

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I found this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rite_Orthodoxy

While Overbeck did not live to see his dream successful, the idea of a Western Orthodox church did not disappear. The early part of the twentieth century was characterized by a series of false starts. In 1911, Arnold Harris Matthew (a former Roman Catholic priest, later consecrated an Old Catholic bishop), entered into union with the Oriental Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch under Metropolitan Gerasimos (Messarah) of Beirut and, in 1912, with the Eastern Orthodox Pope Photios of Alexandria.[disputed (for: conflicts with multiple reliable sources)  – discuss] Bishop Mathew's 1909 Old Catholic Missal And Ritual may have been approved as a Western Rite liturgy by Pope Photios of Alexandria,[speculation?] who wrote: "...We have thanked God...that you omit the Filioque clause, and that you do not accept money for celebrating Masses. We agree with you as to the observance of your autonomy, and of the Latin Rite in actual use, so long and so far as they agree with the Holy Dogmas and with the canonical ordinances of the Seven Oecumenical Synods, which form the basis of the Orthodox Faith."[self-published source][7] Both unions were contracted in quick succession and only lasted for an effective period of a few months. Though the union was protested by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Photios and the Patriarch of Antioch, Matthew's group claimed that communion was never formally broken off.[8]
It appears that the Metropolitan Gerasimos was an OO bishop and the EO Pope approved the liturgy for use. The unions only lasted a few months.
 

Opus118

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TheTrisagion said:
I found this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rite_Orthodoxy

While Overbeck did not live to see his dream successful, the idea of a Western Orthodox church did not disappear. The early part of the twentieth century was characterized by a series of false starts. In 1911, Arnold Harris Matthew (a former Roman Catholic priest, later consecrated an Old Catholic bishop), entered into union with the Oriental Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch under Metropolitan Gerasimos (Messarah) of Beirut and, in 1912, with the Eastern Orthodox Pope Photios of Alexandria.[disputed (for: conflicts with multiple reliable sources)  – discuss] Bishop Mathew's 1909 Old Catholic Missal And Ritual may have been approved as a Western Rite liturgy by Pope Photios of Alexandria,[speculation?] who wrote: "...We have thanked God...that you omit the Filioque clause, and that you do not accept money for celebrating Masses. We agree with you as to the observance of your autonomy, and of the Latin Rite in actual use, so long and so far as they agree with the Holy Dogmas and with the canonical ordinances of the Seven Oecumenical Synods, which form the basis of the Orthodox Faith."[self-published source][7] Both unions were contracted in quick succession and only lasted for an effective period of a few months. Though the union was protested by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Photios and the Patriarch of Antioch, Matthew's group claimed that communion was never formally broken off.[8]
It appears that the Metropolitan Gerasimos was an OO bishop and the EO Pope approved the liturgy for use. The unions only lasted a few months.
Good Catch!
 

TheTrisagion

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Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
It appears that the Metropolitan Gerasimos was an OO bishop...
I highly doubt it.
I'm just going off what the wiki said. I've never heard of this Metropolitan before, I suppose it's possible the wiki inaccurately recognizes him as OO.

EDIT: In searching further, it looks like he was indeed EO. It appears the confusion is that he was called Syrian Orthodox because back in 1911, I don't believe they had begun using "Antiochian" as a term. The wiki author likely understood this as a reference to "Syriac Orthodox" which would be OO.
 

Agabus

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I don't know why everyone is rushing to join these guys right now, I mean, it says right on the front page, "Jesus Christ is our Patriarch and His Church is our Patriarchate." If that's not a selling point, I don't know what is.
 
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