13720RE: [orthodox-synod] Re: Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?
- Mar 1 1:46 PMFather Alexis,
Well (& correctly) said.
protodeacon Basil from Canberra
Duncan" To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
et> Subject: RE: [orthodox-synod] Re: Documents Concerning the HOCNA
A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at
other times is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our
Church Abroad and her faithful children. It is odd because
if we believe our bishops in congregation are led by the
Holy Spirit, then the anathema must necessarily speak for
the Church as a whole.
Now certain jurisdictions not in agreement might not
recognize the anathema. That is true. However, whether they
recognize it or not, if, as I say, we believe the Holy
Spirit directs the synod of bishops, then it is a little
like the fellow who doesn't recognize that planets invisible
to the naked eye exist. Even if the synod of bishops were
not directed by the Holy Spirit, the anathema still remains
an historic pronouncement and it is either true or not.
Would any Orthodox Christian dare say it is false?
Now we have a thorny question. Can the synod of bishops be
incorrect? Does the Holy Spirit direct them at one time and
not at others? That opens a whole can of worms does it not?
I have an understanding that a local synod of bishops
possesses the grace of the Holy Spirit, yet might make
mistakes. In other words, the Holy Spirit does not force a
bishop to be correct. Such, I feel, was the anathematization
of the Old Believers. It was a mistake, in my opinion.
So, we still have the anathema of 1983 in force. We can
discuss whether it was contrived or expected or secretly
written or slipped in or any other number of charges
stemming from our own personal suspicions or prejudices
(even though that seems terribly wasteful of intellectual
energies). But the bishops did accept it and none of them
were dupes were they? So, it seems to me that until they
rescind it, we confess it to be true.
Fr. Alexis Duncan
Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
JRS: No anathema has the power to "act of itself" or to
place anyone outside the Church;
anathemas can be read or studied for their doctinal content,
rather like a catechism, and they
can be applied as Church law by a Synod over matters within
its own jurisdiction.
JRS: The anathema was nothing that was planned or even
expected by the ROCOR hierarchs,
including Metropolitan Philaret, who had gathered for the
Sobor of 1983.
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