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Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: OCA?

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  • emrys@globe.net.nz
    Dear Father Joasaph, Christ is Risen! Thank you for your detailed message but I am still going to hold to a Doubting Thomas position on this - unless I see a
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 30, 2009
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      Dear Father Joasaph,

      Christ is Risen!

      Thank you for your detailed message but I am still going to hold to a
      Doubting Thomas position on this - unless I see a statement from
      Metropolitan Hilarion I will not believe that he denies the autocephaly of
      the Orthodox Church in America.

      You see, it is not up to me to prove that a Metropolitan under obedience to
      the Russian Patriarch and Russian Synod denies the legitimacy of a canonical
      act of the Patriarchate. If a backroom deal has been worked out in the
      pre-union negotiations then we need either to see the documents or to have a
      statement from the Metropolitan so that we have some assurance of the
      integrity of the negotiating process and the claimed exemption. Everything
      should be done, in the words of Saint Paul, "decently and in order" and not
      left to "he said" and "he said."

      There is no disputing that the diaspora (the rasseyanie) is a canonical
      mess but it is one with which we are accustomed to live; nobody wishes to
      ask ROCA to commence commemorating Metropolitan Jonah. This seems to be the
      fear of some but I believe it is unrealistic and such a demand will not be
      made.

      Hieromonk Ambrose
      --------------------




      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "mclellanjos" <mclellanjos@...>
      To: <orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 3:52 AM
      Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: OCA?


      > --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, <emrys@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> > Fr. David correctly answered the question no, we don't recognize the
      >> > OCA as the autocephalous Church of America. I would only add that
      >> > Bishop Jerome not only said as much at the Eastern American Diocesan
      >> > Assembly, but that he said this to Metropolitan Johna himself. But this
      >> > does not exclude the possibility for concelebration as Fr Tryphon
      >> > pointed out. Thus, do we now or can we now serve together with the OCA,
      >> > and whether we recognize the OCA as the autocephalous Church of America
      >> > are two separate questions.
      >> > In Christ,
      >>
      >> > Priest Victor Boldewskul
      >>
      >> -----------------
      >>
      >> Christ is Risen! Xpucmoc Bockpece!
      >>
      >> Dear Father,
      >>
      >> Do we have a statement from Metropolitan Hilarion denying the autocephaly
      >> of the OCA?
      >>
      >> I don't know what negotiated exemption some priests claim was negotiated
      >> for ROCOR before the union, as it's not in the Act of Canonical
      >> Communion. ROCOR is bound by all the Holy Synod's decisions, all of
      >> them. And the onus is on ROCOR concerning the status of the OCA, as the
      >> controlling statutes plainly state that ROCOR needs confirmation from
      >> Moscow for any of its decisions, not that they are valid unless the
      >> Patriarch says otherwise.
      >>
      >> It is not the prerogative of Met. Hilarion nor any ROCOR bishops to
      >> recognize or deny the autocephaly of the OCA, as neither the Metropolitan
      >> nor any of our bishops are autocephalous.
      >>
      >> I realise that this may raise a firestorm, but I believe that is the
      >> canonical position. Forgive me for the sake of the Resurrection.
      >>
      >> Fr Ambrose
      >
      > Dear in Christ Fr Ambrose, and all,
      >
      > Christ is Risen!
      >
      > I have seen this discussion go on for some time, and would like to
      > introduce
      > a new way of looking at it. Fr Ambrose, true to his Serbian formation,
      > sees
      > things much more in terms of black-and-white contrasts than those of us
      > who
      > came of age in the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church. But, if you
      > will, I
      > suggest that the Russian Church Abroad sees the autocephaly (or
      > "autocephaly,"
      > for those who prefer quotation marks) of the OCA very much the way the
      > Russian Orthodox Church in the Homeland sees it.
      >
      > Please look at the "Kalendar' Moskovskoi Patriarkhii" for any recent year.
      > (I saw
      > this in the 2008 calendar, and have not checked the 2009, but believe it
      > will be
      > the same in this respect). Look under the section on the autocephalous
      > Orthodox
      > Churches. Each one has a section with a picture of its First Hierarch, a
      > brief
      > history of the Church in question, and, most importantly for this
      > discussion,
      > a description of the "canonical territory" of each autocephalous Church.
      >
      > Look at the sections on the Churches of Constantinople, Antioch and Serbia
      > (and perhaps Romania and Bulgaria -- I don't remember if they fit this
      > pattern
      > as well). Under each Church, the "old world" territory is described --
      > Turkey and
      > some Greek islands plus Mount Athos; Lebanon and Syria; Serbia and the
      > coun-
      > tries of the former Yugoslavia -- AND under the "canonical territory" of
      > these
      > churches, dioceses in North America are included.
      >
      > The Russian Orthodox Church in the Homeland recognizes dioceses in North
      > America as part of the canonical territory of the autocephalous Churches
      > of
      > Constantinople, Antioch and Serbia (and perhaps Romania and Bulgaria as
      > well; I forget). It does not insist that these dioceses, by virtue of
      > their being
      > on the "canonical territory" of what for the sake of clarity we shall call
      > the OCA
      > must recognize the OCA, or submit to the OCA, or commemorate the First
      > Hierarch of the OCA at the divine services. The OCA has no jurisdiction
      > over
      > these dioceses, and the Russian Orthodox Church in the Homeland, the most
      > important of the several autocephalous Churches that recognize the OCA
      > (while
      > many other important autocephalous Churches do not recognize it),
      > acknowledges
      > the canonicity of this situation (by referring to those dioceses as
      > "canonical
      > territory" of other Churches).
      >
      > What this amounts to is this: everyone, including the Russian Orthodox
      > Church
      > in the Homeland, acknowledges the reality that "autocephaly" in the *full*
      > sense of the word still eludes the OCA. In the narrow sense that the OCA
      > is
      > fully self-governing, everyone, including the Russian Orthodox Church
      > Outside
      > Russia, agrees that it is "autocephalous." No one makes any claim to the
      > right
      > to administer the dioceses and institutions of the OCA; their Holy Synod
      > and
      > diocesean bishops alone have that right. But no one, including His
      > Holiness
      > the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' and His Eminence Metropolitan
      > Hilarion,
      > the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, makes
      > the claim that any Orthodox in the North American dioceses that do not
      > belong to the OCA is obliged to submit administratively to the OCA or to
      > commemorate its First Hierarch at the divine services.
      >
      > This situation, as strange as it may seem to you, Fr Ambrose, is simply an
      > acknowledgment of the reality that the OCA has failed to become what it
      > prematurely and, I would submit, inaccurately, claimed to be back in 1970.
      > And I would suggest that coming to light of the troubles the OCA has had
      > as an institution only confirms what all of us Orthodox in North America
      > who
      > are not subordinate to the OCA previously believed: that the institution
      > of
      > the OCA is not, by itself, prepared to lead Orthodoxy on this continent.
      >
      > During the time leading up to the granting of the Tomos to the North
      > American Metropolia, the leading canonist of that jurisdiction, A.
      > Bogolepov,
      > published a book in which he argued that the path to autocephaly did not
      > lie in receiving all permission first, but in simply *being* the
      > autocephalous
      > Church of a region, and that recognition would follow in time. (I may
      > have
      > stated the position differently from Professor Bogolepov, but I believe
      > the
      > argument is essentially the same; apologies if I am wrong.) Based on some
      > historical precedent, he may have had a point. But I think that today we
      > are
      > witnesses to the proof of the contrapositive of his argument. Fail to
      > *be* the
      > autocephalous Church of an area, and what recognition you may have had
      > will wither.
      >
      > I am grateful to be a native speaker of English, a language blessed with
      > both
      > a definite and an indefinite article. I have long believed that the OCA
      > is not
      > *the* Orthodox Church in America, but *an* Orthodox Church in America.
      > Just as the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdicese, the Greek Orthodox
      > Archdiocese, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and others can
      > be called an Orthodox Church in America. And I was gratified to read
      > that,
      > by inference, the Russian Orthodox Church Inside Russia has essentially
      > the
      > same position. Even if they have not repudiated the decision of the
      > Soviet
      > government which they were obliged to implement granting that Church
      > (now called the OCA) a Tomos in 1970.
      >
      > For what it is worth, a friend of mine who is a priest in a Patriarchal
      > parish in the US told me that he received the Ukaz instructing him
      > to commemorate Metropolitan Jonah by e-mail, and then his dean
      > called him and told him *not* to commemorate Metropolitan Jonah,
      > who will, as before, be commemorated only at the St Nicholas Cathedral
      > in New York.
      >
      > So I would encourage you to be peaceful about the fact that your North
      > American brothers and sisters are not in discord with the Russian Orthodox
      > Church Inside Russia on this question, even if we use different words to
      > express our relationship, and even if our different commitments, made
      > at different times, produce different behavior.
      >
      > in the Risen Christ,
      > Archimandrite Joasaph
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
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      >
      >
      >
    • Aleksandr Andreev
      Archimandrite Joasaph writes: In the narrow sense that the OCA is fully self-governing, everyone, including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, agrees
      Message 2 of 16 , May 1, 2009
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        Archimandrite Joasaph writes:

        "In the narrow sense that the OCA is fully self-governing, everyone, including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, agrees that it is "autocephalous." ... But no one ... makes the claim that any Orthodox in the North American dioceses that do not belong to the OCA is obliged to submit administratively to the OCA or to commemorate its First Hierarch at the divine services."

        I find such an argument coming from Moscow to be a bit odd, not at the least because autocephaly defined as complete self-government without exclusivity over a canonical territory sounds to me like a canonical novelty, if not a canonical oxymoron.

        Imagine, for a second, if Antioch were to grant autocephaly to its archdiocese in North America. Then by this reasoning we could have two autocephalous churches with the same canonical territory.

        Moreover, such an argument could be easily used against the Russian Church by e.g. Constantinople in Estonia or the Romanians in Moldova. After all, as far as the canons go, Estonia could be construed no less a diaspora than North America, given that the canonical boundaries of the Russian Church are not well defined and, historically, have more or less coincided with the political boundaries of the Russian State.

        Aleks
      • Fr. John Whiteford
        But of course the circumstances in which autocephaly was granted to the OCA were unusual too.  Fr. John Whiteford St. Jonah Orthodox Church Parish Home Page:
        Message 3 of 16 , May 1, 2009
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          But of course the circumstances in which autocephaly was granted to the OCA were unusual too. 

          Fr. John Whiteford
          St. Jonah Orthodox Church
          Parish Home Page: http://www.saintjonah.org/
          ROCOR Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-rocor/
          Parish News: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saintjonah/
          Blog: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/

          --- On Fri, 5/1/09, Aleksandr Andreev <aleksandr.andreev@...> wrote:
          From: Aleksandr Andreev <aleksandr.andreev@...>
          Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: OCA?
          To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, May 1, 2009, 2:27 AM

          Archimandrite Joasaph writes: 
          
          "In the narrow sense that the OCA is fully self-governing, everyone,
          including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, agrees that it is
          "autocephalous." ...  But no one ... makes the claim that any Orthodox
          in the North American dioceses that do not belong to the OCA is obliged to
          submit administratively to the OCA or to commemorate its First Hierarch at the
          divine services."
          
          I find such an argument coming from Moscow to be a bit odd, not at the least
          because autocephaly defined as complete self-government without exclusivity over
          a canonical territory sounds to me like a canonical novelty, if not a canonical
          oxymoron.
          
          Imagine, for a second, if Antioch were to grant autocephaly to its archdiocese
          in North America. Then by this reasoning we could have two autocephalous
          churches with the same canonical territory.
          
          Moreover, such an argument could be easily used against the Russian Church by
          e.g. Constantinople in Estonia or the Romanians in Moldova. After all, as far as
          the canons go, Estonia could be construed no less a diaspora than North America,
          given that the canonical boundaries of the Russian Church are not well defined
          and, historically, have more or less coincided with the political boundaries of
          the Russian State.
          
          Aleks
          
          
          
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