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Re: On correcting potential heresy/error in the OC

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  • Dave W.
    If I may rephrase part of my original question, as to the more localized hypthetical need of a parish with an errant priest. I don t wish to impugn the honor
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 3, 2009
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      If I may rephrase part of my original question, as to the more
      localized hypthetical need of a parish with an errant priest. I don't
      wish to impugn the honor of any priest and have not seen such error
      in person, so I am speaking hypothetically. I'm more interested in
      the OC's process of correction. For options would the parish take the
      initiative to speak to the priest directly, or would they go over his
      head to the bishop, or would they find another parish? Or, would they
      accept whatever the priest says unquestioningly?

      Dave


      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Orr
      <xcjorr@...> wrote:
      >
      > The survival of the Orthodox Church herself is testament to the
      mechanism of
      > how the Church deals with sin, errant clergy, etc. The mechanism
      is Christ
      > Himself. The entire Body of Christ is responsible for the
      preservation of
      > Orthodoxy - the Church is not confused with the clergy, hierarchy
      or a
      > single bishop (as with Rome). The Church in toto is 'infallible',
      not any
      > particular part. If Constantinople says something wrong, the rest
      of the
      > Church stands in opposition to that and does not accept it. St.
      Mark of
      > Ephesus stood against the entire Roman Church and the hierarchy of
      his own
      > and his own government when he refused to accept the Council of
      Florence -
      > he was supported by the faithful and clergy back home that did not
      accept
      > the Union. Similar things have happened through the course of
      Orthodox
      > history from the Old Believers (most of whom are still in schism,
      > unfortunately), the Kollyvades, the Old Calendarists (again, still
      schism;
      > distinct from those that simply follow the Old Calendar) and those
      that
      > stand against ecumenism. In the Russian Church there was
      controversy over
      > relations with the Soviet government, appeasement, how to view
      those that
      > appeased the government, etc. There was also a controversy over
      sophiology
      > that was popular for awhile, but was then opposed and not accepted.
      >
      > Fr. Stephen Freeman has a great little piece on the ecclesiology of
      > Orthodoxy:
      >
      > http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/the-ecclesiology-of-
      the-cross/
      >
      > Forms of ecclesiology alone are no cure for sin and our tendency to
      place
      > ourselves in the role of God. Episcopal, presbyterial or
      congregational
      > structures will not preserve us from sin. Only God working in and
      through
      > His Body the Church. His Body is not immaterial.
      >
      > Christopher
      >
      >
      > On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 10:33 AM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> wrote:
      >
      > > As Lutherans, we are taught clearly about some of the causes of
      the
      > > Reformation of the Roman Church, due to heresy and abuse of
      scriptural
      > > truths, as practiced by some in the Roman Catholic hierarchy of
      that
      > > time. If the difficulty the reformers faced was correcting what
      had
      > > become as much an autocratic monolith in the Roman Catholic
      church, as
      > > it was also a Church in theological crisis, how does the Orthodox
      > > Church deal with such heresies or abuses today? We saw how this
      was
      > > done in the Ecumenical Councils, but how does an OC parish today
      deal
      > > with an errant priest or bishop? This question could equally
      apply to
      > > the RC church, but this is a question specifically about the OC.
      The
      > > reformed churches seem to have sought to get around this via a
      > > congregationalist approach to the clergy, but as we see in many
      > > protestant churches today, it becomes a church of like-minded
      > > believers, which can be tossed to and fro - an opposite and
      equally
      > > dangerous effect (at least in Luther's day) to RC autocracy.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Christopher Orr
      If it s just the local priest than it depends on the issue. Obviously, rank heresy is one thing, bad management or an offensive manner is another. Generally,
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 3, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        If it's just the local priest than it depends on the issue. Obviously, rank
        heresy is one thing, bad management or an offensive manner is another.

        Generally, as in all things, speak to the priest first. Maybe speak to a
        deacon or a member of the parish council. Beyond that, contacting the
        office of the bishop or the chancellor of the diocese (e.g., Metropolitan
        Maximos or Archdeacon Ryan (Raphael) Gzikowski for the GOA metropolis of
        Pittsburgh). Beyond that, contact the ruling Synod or its Chancellor (e.g.,
        Metropolitan Jonah or Fr. Alexander Garklavs for the OCA).

        Of course, here in the US the answer is often to simply go to another church
        in another jurisdiction. In my PA town, I started at the OCA parish, but
        then went to the GOA parish where I have remained.

        Theoretically, it is possible to appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople
        when the synod of a local church has done something 'wrong', but this is
        rarely done, if ever, in modern times. The one exception was the
        controversy over the Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Constantinople hosted
        hierarchs from various local churches to adjudicate the situation which
        resulted in the deposition of the former Patriarch.

        Christopher



        On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> wrote:

        > If I may rephrase part of my original question, as to the more
        > localized hypthetical need of a parish with an errant priest. I don't
        > wish to impugn the honor of any priest and have not seen such error
        > in person, so I am speaking hypothetically. I'm more interested in
        > the OC's process of correction. For options would the parish take the
        > initiative to speak to the priest directly, or would they go over his
        > head to the bishop, or would they find another parish? Or, would they
        > accept whatever the priest says unquestioningly?
        >
        > Dave
        >
        > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > Christopher Orr
        > <xcjorr@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > The survival of the Orthodox Church herself is testament to the
        > mechanism of
        > > how the Church deals with sin, errant clergy, etc. The mechanism
        > is Christ
        > > Himself. The entire Body of Christ is responsible for the
        > preservation of
        > > Orthodoxy - the Church is not confused with the clergy, hierarchy
        > or a
        > > single bishop (as with Rome). The Church in toto is 'infallible',
        > not any
        > > particular part. If Constantinople says something wrong, the rest
        > of the
        > > Church stands in opposition to that and does not accept it. St.
        > Mark of
        > > Ephesus stood against the entire Roman Church and the hierarchy of
        > his own
        > > and his own government when he refused to accept the Council of
        > Florence -
        > > he was supported by the faithful and clergy back home that did not
        > accept
        > > the Union. Similar things have happened through the course of
        > Orthodox
        > > history from the Old Believers (most of whom are still in schism,
        > > unfortunately), the Kollyvades, the Old Calendarists (again, still
        > schism;
        > > distinct from those that simply follow the Old Calendar) and those
        > that
        > > stand against ecumenism. In the Russian Church there was
        > controversy over
        > > relations with the Soviet government, appeasement, how to view
        > those that
        > > appeased the government, etc. There was also a controversy over
        > sophiology
        > > that was popular for awhile, but was then opposed and not accepted.
        > >
        > > Fr. Stephen Freeman has a great little piece on the ecclesiology of
        > > Orthodoxy:
        > >
        > > http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/the-ecclesiology-of-
        > the-cross/
        > >
        > > Forms of ecclesiology alone are no cure for sin and our tendency to
        > place
        > > ourselves in the role of God. Episcopal, presbyterial or
        > congregational
        > > structures will not preserve us from sin. Only God working in and
        > through
        > > His Body the Church. His Body is not immaterial.
        > >
        > > Christopher
        > >
        > >
        > > On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 10:33 AM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > > As Lutherans, we are taught clearly about some of the causes of
        > the
        > > > Reformation of the Roman Church, due to heresy and abuse of
        > scriptural
        > > > truths, as practiced by some in the Roman Catholic hierarchy of
        > that
        > > > time. If the difficulty the reformers faced was correcting what
        > had
        > > > become as much an autocratic monolith in the Roman Catholic
        > church, as
        > > > it was also a Church in theological crisis, how does the Orthodox
        > > > Church deal with such heresies or abuses today? We saw how this
        > was
        > > > done in the Ecumenical Councils, but how does an OC parish today
        > deal
        > > > with an errant priest or bishop? This question could equally
        > apply to
        > > > the RC church, but this is a question specifically about the OC.
        > The
        > > > reformed churches seem to have sought to get around this via a
        > > > congregationalist approach to the clergy, but as we see in many
        > > > protestant churches today, it becomes a church of like-minded
        > > > believers, which can be tossed to and fro - an opposite and
        > equally
        > > > dangerous effect (at least in Luther's day) to RC autocracy.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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