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Re: [orthodox-rocor] What's the big deal about Mass Ordinations

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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    From: Gabriel Sanchez ... The ordinations performed by Bishop Jerome were, by the lights of the ROCOR Synod and the canon(s) they abide by, illicit. That is,
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 18, 2013
       
       
      From: Gabriel Sanchez
       
                 
      >It is necessary, I think, to draw a distinction between validity and
      licitness.
                  The ordinations performed by Bishop Jerome were, by the lights of the ROCOR
                  Synod and the canon(s) they abide by, illicit. That is, they were an illegal
                  violation of the canons and therefore constituted a sinful act. That does not
                  mean, however, that they were invalid. <<<<
       
      Easterners don't really entertain the notions of validity and liceity.  Catholics, however, make much of them.  If you start an argument with "It is necessary, I think, to draw a distinction between validity and licitness” you have already lost the attention of your Orthodox audience.
       
      Fr Ambrose
       
      -oOo-
    • Gabriel Sanchez
      Fr. Aidan, Fr. John says otherwise. Perhaps he can clarify. Sent from my iPad
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 18, 2013
        Fr. Aidan,

        Fr. John says otherwise. Perhaps he can clarify. 

        Sent from my iPad

        On Jul 18, 2013, at 4:24 PM, "Fr. Aidan" <hieromonachusaidanus@...> wrote:

         

        Gabriel, you keep speaking as if there exists a canon about mass ordinations.
         
        There is no such canon in existence.
         
        Fr. Aidan+
        sinner

        From: Gabriel Sanchez <gabriel.s.sanchez@...>
        Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 3:16 PM
        Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] What's the big deal about Mass Ordinations
         
        > ... Again, you have acknowledged that a hierarch of the Orthodox Church (in this instance Met. Philip) can dispense with the canon on mass ordinations...

      • Gabriel Sanchez
        Fr. Ambrose, The Russian theological tradition would beg to disagree. Like it or not, it adopted Catholic sacramental theology from the time of St. Peter
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 18, 2013
          Fr. Ambrose,

          The Russian theological tradition would beg to disagree. Like it or not, it adopted Catholic sacramental theology from the time of St. Peter Moghila on. Moreover, if the Orthodox want to discard these concepts, then which would you propose they use? 

          Sent from my iPad

          On Jul 18, 2013, at 6:29 PM, <ambrois@...> wrote:

           

           
           
          From: Gabriel Sanchez
           
                      >It is necessary, I think, to draw a distinction between validity and licitness.
                      The ordinations performed by Bishop Jerome were, by the lights of the ROCOR
                      Synod and the canon(s) they abide by, illicit. That is, they were an illegal
                      violation of the canons and therefore constituted a sinful act. That does not
                      mean, however, that they were invalid. <<<<
           
          Easterners don't really entertain the notions of validity and liceity.  Catholics, however, make much of them.  If you start an argument with "It is necessary, I think, to draw a distinction between validity and licitness” you have already lost the attention of your Orthodox audience.
           
          Fr Ambrose
           
          -oOo-

        • Fr. John Whiteford
          Gabriel Sanchez wrote: This is a false dichotomy and a misstatement of what I was arguing. A clergyman has no magical powers, but he has been consecrated a
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 18, 2013
            Gabriel Sanchez wrote:

            "This is a false dichotomy and a misstatement of what I was arguing. A clergyman has no "magical powers," but he has been consecrated a priest; as a consecrated priest he can perform the sacraments of the Church so long as he does not violate the manner in which they were instituted by Christ."

            Me: Since there is no book of "Sacraments instituted by Christ" in the New Testament, the only way we can know how those sacraments instituted by Christ are to be performed is by the Tradition which we have received. And the Tradition which we have received says that we must "perform all liturgical services or prayers according to the rules of the Church” and “promise to be obedient to the ecclesiastical authorities and act according to the Canons of the Holy Apostles, of the Ecumenical and Local Councils and the teachings of the Holy Fathers.” The Holy Fathers, and our long standing Tradition say that the act of ordaining more than one clergyman of the same order in a single service is to act "outside of the Church". Furthermore, as Fr. Aidan correctly pointed out, this is especially true of a vicar bishop who was told not do such a thing by his ruling bishop.

            GS: "Moreover, Bishop Jerome wasn't being "innovative" here, or at least not anywhere close to the degree in which you seem to be claiming."

            Me: It is contrary to the Tradition of the Church to which he belongs, therefore to introduce it without the approval of at least the synod of ROCOR (and more properly the Synod of the Russian Church as a whole) was an innovation.

            GS: "Again, you have acknowledged that a hierarch of the Orthodox Church (in this instance Met. Philip) can dispense with the canon on mass ordinations."

            Me: No, I did not. I said that there is a better argument to be made in the case of Metropolitan Philip. The Jerusalem Patriarchate refused to recognize those ordinations. At best, I think he unnecessarily put those clergy in a bad position... because they have no doubt frequently had to confront the questions about the validity of their ordination. Was it worth saving the time? But he at least was a ruling bishop, and he at least did have a real pressing pastoral problem to deal with. And what may be acceptable in very extreme circumstances would still be unacceptable under normal circumstances. I remember reading about one of the new martyrs who, I believe was in the Solovki prison, and celebrated the Liturgy on his own chest, because he did not have an antimens. In Solovki, this was not an abuse. If you had a contemporary bishop living in peace who did this, it would be completely unacceptable.

            GS: "The practice has occurred throughout the history of the Orthodox Church (a point that will be discussed by Adam DeVille in an article in the forthcoming Oxford University Press Handbook of Sacramental Theology), and so it is a hard sell indeed to argue that this canon is so integral to the Sacrament of Ordination that it cannot be dispensed with and any violation of it invalidates the sacrament."

            Me: Any canon that has ever been written that banned a practice was written because that practice had been done at least once. The fact that something has been done before does not make it acceptable.

            GS: "If I have any criticism -- and it's not really a criticism so much as perplexity -- it's that you, and perhaps the ROCOR Synod (I am not sure; no final word has been issued, I think), are making a canon which can be dispensed with and has been dispensed with in the past integral to the Sacrament of ordination in the way water is integral to Baptism or Bread and Wine are integral to the Eucharist or a man is integral to priestly ordination. If that is true, then where does the sacramental authority come from? God or the attitudes of the local ruling bishops? Appealing to the canons alone doesn't get anybody very far when the canons of the Orthodox Church float in and out of use with the centuries. Moreover, if one hierarch can dispense with one canon while another upholds it, then it's clearly not integral in the way, say, a Trinitarian Baptism is."

            Me: The authority comes from the Church's power to bind and to loose. The 7th Ecumenical Council anathematized anyone who disregarded any Tradition, whether written or unwritten. Obviously, a practice that every Orthodox bishop is fully aware of, and has been universally observed with only a few controversial exceptions would clearly fall into that category of Tradition. And though one may argue that it was not always universal, it certain became the universal practice -- and you could say the same thing about how we celebrate Pascha... it was not always universally observed on Sunday, but it would be an innovation to celebrate it on the Jewish Passover on a weekday at this point in Church history.

            GS: "I see your point, but one might argue that it is a hard sell to claim that mass ordinations, while innovative in the East (but not unheard of, cf. Antiochian Archdiocese; emerging historical research), are a "serious innovation." It would be something else altogether if Bishop Jerome had, say, composed a new rite of ordination and decided to use it. At the very least there you would have serious doubts about the validity of the ordination. (And I am using "valid" here to mean a "true" or "real" ordination.)"

            Me: I am not sure what order of service Bishop Jerome used, but I know he defended the practice of ordaining clergy outside of a liturgy, and I know that one of the clergy who was among those ordained en masse said he was ordained on June 28th n.s., which happened to be Bishop Jerome's names day, which he celebrated with a liturgy earlier that same day at Synod. So if he celebrated a second liturgy, that would be an innovation. If he ordained clergy outside of a liturgy, that would also be an innovation. And that he ordained 15 clergy in one service was clearly an innovation as far as the Russian Orthodox Church is concerned.

            GS: "And wouldn't that have meant, perhaps, that ROCOR had invalid sacraments when they were condemned by other local Orthodox churches? (By the way, I am not arguing that ROCOR's condemnation was ever right or just, but I think you can see where I am going.) This would create a great deal of confusion over who does or does not have valid sacraments given the sticky canonical issues at play here."

            Me: I am not aware of any local Church condemning ROCOR. I remember the occasional clergyman or bishop making disparaging comments, but not a local Church.

            GS: "Fr. John says otherwise [i.e. contrary to "There is no such canon in existence"]. Perhaps he can clarify."

            Me: I never said that there was a canon. I quoted from commentary on a canon that addressed this issue. However, if we did not have a canon already in place that said that you had to use pure flour and pure wine for the Eucharist, that would not mean that if someone used kool aid and Betty Crocker's Marble Fudge mix to back a loaf, that this would be a valid Eucharist until a canon was formally pronounced. To take that kind of view is what is truly legalistic.

            The bottom line here is that our Bishops have the power to bind and to loose, and they have said that they do not recognize these ordinations, and that those candidates will be thoroughly examined, and may or may not at some point be properly ordained. That's how things work in the Orthodox Church.
             
            Presbyter 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/
            Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/frjohnwhiteford

            "This is the cause of all evils: the ignorance of the Scriptures. We go into battle without arms, and how ought we to come off safe?" -St. John Chrysostom, Homily IX on Colossians.


          • Mark Karahalis
            what God gives is not magic, it is the Holy Spirit. ( in this case) Mark
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 18, 2013

              what God gives is not magic, it is the Holy Spirit. ( in this case)

              Mark

            • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
              From: Fr. John Whiteford ... this is especially true of a vicar bishop who was told not do such a thing by his ruling bishop.
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 18, 2013
                 
                 
                       
                > Furthermore, as Fr. Aidan correctly pointed out,
                        this is especially true of a vicar bishop who was
                        told not do such a thing by his ruling bishop.<<<<<
                 
                On what information does Fr Aldan make this claim?  From the Metropolitan?  From Bishop Jerome?  I have not seen it before.  It is a significant new factor you have introduced.
                 
                Fr Ambrose
                 
                 
              • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                I ask again, in order to protect a good man’s reputation from slander. On what basis does Father Aidan accuse the Bishop of disobeying an instruction from
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 19, 2013
                  I ask again, in order to protect a good man’s reputation from slander.  On what basis does Father Aidan accuse the Bishop of disobeying an instruction from the Metropolitan?  With all the sorrows resting on Bishop Jerome’s shoulders why should he be slandered as well?
                  Fr Ambrose
                   
                   
                   
                         
                  > Furthermore, as Fr. Aidan correctly pointed out,
                          this is especially true of a vicar bishop who was
                          told not do such a thing by his ruling bishop.<<<<<
                   
                  On what information does Fr Aldan make this claim?  From the Metropolitan?  From Bishop Jerome?  I have not seen it before.  It is a significant new factor you have introduced.
                   
                  Fr Ambrose
                   
                   
                • frjohnwhiteford
                  For one, your bishop says this is what happened. And then there is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, which says in part: 2) To censure Bishop Jerome for his
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 19, 2013
                    For one, your bishop says this is what happened.

                    And then there is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, which says in part:

                    "2) To censure Bishop Jerome for his willfulness in administering the parishes adhering to the Western Rite, and in performing various ecclesial services not approved by the Synod of Bishops, and for criticizing his brethren in letters to clergy and laity.

                    3) To deny recognition of the ordination of a group of individuals by Bishop Jerome during a single divine service, and to regularize them following a thorough examination of the candidates.

                    4) To release Bishop Jerome from all duties, including those of Vicar of the President in administering Western Rite parishes, designating him as retired without the right to serve in the Synodal Cathedral "of the Sign" in New York, or to perform ordinations or award clergymen, and designating his place of residence at St Vladimir Memorial Church of the 1000th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia in Jackson, NJ."

                    http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2013/20130712_ensynodmeeting.html

                    -Fr. John Whiteford



                    --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, <ambrois@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I ask again, in order to protect a good man’s reputation from slander. On what basis does Father Aidan accuse the Bishop of disobeying an instruction from the Metropolitan? With all the sorrows resting on Bishop Jerome’s shoulders why should he be slandered as well?
                    > Fr Ambrose
                    >
                    > From: Fr. John Whiteford
                    >
                    >
                    > > Furthermore, as Fr. Aidan correctly pointed out,
                    > this is especially true of a vicar bishop who was
                    > told not do such a thing by his ruling bishop.<<<<<
                    >
                    > On what information does Fr Aldan make this claim? From the Metropolitan? From Bishop Jerome? I have not seen it before. It is a significant new factor you have introduced.
                    >
                    > Fr Ambrose
                    >
                  • Fr. Anthony Nelson
                    It would be good if Fr. Abrose would stop what appears to be simply fomenting discord and argumentation. Vladyka Metropolitan stated clearly that no mass
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 19, 2013
                      It would be good if Fr. Abrose would stop what appears to be simply fomenting discord and argumentation. Vladyka Metropolitan stated clearly that no mass ordination could occur. Bishop Jerome disobeyed that direct instruction. He also fell into other abuses of canonical order. The Ukaze did make those things public, and no matter how many times Fr. Ambrose asks the same questions in any form, that will not be changed. The Synod has dealt with it and it is *done*. The *deliberations* of the Synod are *not* published. That's the way it is.

                      Bishop Jerome has not been slandered by anyone here, certainly not Fr. John. Accusing a Priest of slander is not acceptable on this list - note the Group Description here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-rocor/

                      At 02:03 AM 7/19/2013, Fr. Ambrose wrote:

                      I ask again, in order to protect a good man's reputation from slander.  On what basis does Father Aidan accuse the Bishop of disobeying an instruction from the Metropolitan?  With all the sorrows resting on Bishop Jerome's shoulders why should he be slandered as well?
                      Fr Ambrose

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                      V. Rev. Protopriest Anthony Nelson                     
                      St. Benedict Russian Orthodox Church    
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                      http://stbenedict.orthodox.org

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