13735RE: [orthodox-synod] Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?
- Mar 2, 2005Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:
> You completely miss the point Dimitra. Certainly the Church Abroad has only the power toact within Her boundaries. However, if what She has to say is an immutable truth, then is
most surely applicable to the entire Church. For example, when the Church of Greece
glorified St. Nectarios, they were acting only on behalf of the local church. However, it is
apparent to all that St. Nectarios is a saint glorified in heaven. Therefore, the entire chorus of
the Orthodox Church sings his praises. If some local Orthodox Church chooses not to glorify
him as a saint, they have that right I suppose. But they would be wrong, would they not?
JRS: All Saints were first glorified (or even accepted without any formal glorification) by the
local Churches in which they lived.
Many such Saints were not in the calendars of the other Churches, at least not till recently:
thus for example till a few years ago, "Edward" was thought not to be an Orthodox name.
But local anathemas are not cast by the universal Church, and even if what they say is in
accordance with the teaching of the Church, they do not automatically place anyone outside
If an anathema is accepted by an Ecumenical Council, this means that it expresses what the
Church has always taught.
It does not mean, even in that case, that the anathema takes on a life of its own, and that
unsuspecting victims who think they are still Church members, or clergy who are still
outwardly "in good standing", cease to be such without any action by the hierarchy.
If that were the case, nobody could be sure they really belonged to the Church at all.
Fr. John R. Shaw
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