Re: Statements on the EP's web site (Was: On the canonical situation
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Aleksandr Andreev <aleksandr.andreev@...>
> The EP claims that it has authority to administer ALL Orthodox parishesJRS: In fact, the EP has not always respected even the Local Churches of Jerusalem,
> outside of the original canonical territory of the 4 (5 minus Rome)
> original Orthodox local churches under the provision of the 28th Canon
> of the 4th Ecumenical Council. Quote (my translation):
Alexandria and Antioch.
Under Turkish rule, they were essentially subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople, as
head of the "Rhoum millet".
Fr. John R. Shaw
- ***Here is how the canon is worded on the CCEL web site:
"Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and
acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One
Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the
imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of
the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree
the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of
Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted
privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city.
And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by
the same consideration, gave equal privileges (isa presbeia) to the
most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is
honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal
privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical
matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her; so
that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the
metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid
as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid
most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every
metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of
his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been
declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the
metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the
archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been
held according to custom and have been reported to him."
--- In email@example.com, Aleksandr Andreev
> The EP claims that it has authority to administer ALL Orthodox
> outside of the original canonical territory of the 4 (5 minusRome)
> original Orthodox local churches under the provision of the 28thCanon
> of the 4th Ecumenical Council. Quote (my translation):in
> "In all things following the decisions of the holy fathers, and
> accepting the rule ... of the 150 God-pleasing bishops, who were
> council in the days of Theodosius of blessed memory, in the royalcity
> of Constantinople, New Rome, we decree likewise, and concludeabout the
> privileges of the most holy church of that same Constantinople,New
> Rome. For the fathers gave to the city of old Rome specialprivileges,
> in as much as it was the royal city. Following the same reasoning,the
> 150 God-pleasing bishops also gave equal privileges to the HolyThrone
> of New Rome, judging correctly, that a city, which has the honourof
> being the city of the King and the Singklit, and having equalprivileges
> with the old royal Rome, should in ecclesiastic affairs also belikewise
> elevated, and be second after it. ***Therefore only, theMetropolitans
> of the regions, of Pontius, of Asia, and of Thrace, and likewisethe
> bishops of Barbarians[,] of [or in] above mentioned lands, areappointed
> by the above-mentioned Holy Throne of the Holy Constantinopolitanthe
> Church:*** each Metropolitan of the above-mentioned regions with
> bishops of the region, shall appoint diocesan bishops as it isappointed
> by the Godly canons. **But the Metropolitans of the above-mentioned
> lands shall be appointed, as has been said, by the Archbishop ofcomma in
> Constantinople** ..."
> (emphasis added)
> The interpretation of this canon depends on the placement of a
> the greek original, as is discussed here:(in
> Russian). According to the interpretation of the EP, this givesthe
> Archbishop of Constantinople the right to appoint **all bishopsoutside
> of the Byzantine Empire** (the bishops of Barbarians).the
> I would comment that, in my reading of the canon, it only allows
> Archbishop of Constantinople to appoint bishops *for* Barbarians*in*
> Pontius, Asia, and Thrace (although that doesn't make a lot ofsense
> either, but at least makes sense grammatically).Constantinople
> I would also argue that the canon does not apply because
> is no longer the city of the King and the Singklit; it is clearlystated
> in the canon that this is the only reason why Constantinople hasspecial
> Aleksandr Andreev
> Duke University
- The CCEL translation does not leave room for ambiguity in the
interpretation: the Constantinopolitan Archbishop has the right to
appoint Metropolitans for Asia, Pontius, and Thrace and bishops for
barbarians of those regions. The Constantinopolitan Archbishop, hence,
**does not** have an ex-officio right to appoint all bishops outside of
the Empire. But then one has to read the original text, and I'm
certainly no expert in Greek.
One also has to consider the fact that at the time the canon was
authored, there were not that many bishops outside of the Empire, and,
historically, bishops outside of the Empire *were* appointed by
Constantinople, at least until the autocephaly of the Russian Church
(though frequently Russian princes appointed Metropolitans themselves
without consulting Constantinople, which led to jurisdictional battles
similar to our day).
I would argue that the reason for this is more historical than
canonical: since Russia received Orthodoxy from Constantinople, then it
also should receive its bishops from Constantinople, until a time when
the Russian Church can administer itself. Likewise, since America
received Orthodoxy from Russia, it should receive its bishops from the
Russian Church until a time when an American Church can administer
itself (which was certainly not the case now, as demonstrated by the
current corruption scandal).
- Father John,
You seem very critical of the EP. Can you explain why?
On Jun 5, 2006, at 10:28 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Message: 5
> Date: Mon Jun 5, 2006 5:23 am (PDT)
> From: "Fr. John R. Shaw" vrevjrs@...
> Subject: Re: Statements on the EP's web site (Was: On the canonical
> --- In email@example.com, "aggreen1" <aggreen1@...> wrote:
>> ***This statement on the web site of the Church of Constantinople,
>> is enlightening:
>> "5. This is something that,
>> according to the canons, applies to all the Churches and to Rome,
> JRS: In other words, the EP speaks as if Rome were still one of the
> Local Orthodox
>> except for the privilege of the jurisdiction outside their
>> boundaries of the Churches of the Diaspora, a privilege that was
>> solely given to Constantinople...
> JRS: But who "gave" that "privilege" to Constantinople?
> There was no diaspora when the last Ecumenical Council met. Western
> Europe and England
> were still part of the Church of Rome.
> And today, Constantinople is no longer the center of any Byzantine
> Empire. The EP is only
> a handful of people (and not the most trustworthy people at that),
> living in Turkish
> In Christ
> Fr. John R. Shaw
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Olympiada <olympiada06@...> wrote:
> Father John,JRS: The current Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomw, has deliberately caused
> You seem very critical of the EP. Can you explain why?
disruption in the life of the Russian Church, ever since he came into power.
Just today, it was announced that he has "accepted" Bishop Basil Osborne.
However, so far as I know, the Moscow Patriarchate had not only not released Bishop Basil,
but had expressly forbidden him to join another jurisdiction, at least for the time being.
Fr. John R. Shaw