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18137Re: Sobor voting

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    Oct 5, 2006
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      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "interestedplus" <asvetlov@...> wrote:

      > My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that during the battle
      > with previous heresies at Sobors, some bishops did not "recognise"
      > other bishops as parts of the Church. It was then the decision of the
      > true Sobor, which allowed all a voice and then made a concensual
      > decision. The present situation appears similar.

      JRS: There were different parties in the Church, but there were no Sobors involving bishops
      who did not belong to the same Church.

      > The fact that the catacomb Church is not "well
      > organised" in the wordly sense is no excuse to exclude them. The view
      > that you seem to be voicing is straight from the mouths of the MP -
      > "there is no other Church, if it does not accept us". Regarding
      > contacting "them", surely in the age of email, TV etc this could be
      > done if the will was there.

      JRS: There is no one "Catacomb Church", and there never was. There are various "catacomb
      churches", and ROCOR has long ago determined that those who continue to call
      themselves such are without any canonical basis.

      The "Lazarites" are not a catacomb church, at least not anymore: they are a group that was
      part of ROCOR and first joined ROCiE, then broke away and are now on their own.

      > The big hurdle that I do know exists, is that some in the Catacomb
      > surface.

      JRS: You first wrote that they could easily be contacted, and here you say that they "have
      not yet surfaced".

      It can't be both ways: if they can be contacted, that means they have indeed "surfaced",
      and merely call themselves catacomb churches.

      > CANONICALLY is there anything preventing us from having a true Sobor
      > of all Russian Church jurisdictions to decide where to from this
      > point in time???

      JRS: Canonically, a "true Sobor" would not put uncanonical groups on the same level as
      those that have a canonical basis.

      Besides, that, the Old Believers are many times more numerous than the various
      "catacomb churches", and have up to two million members today. Most of them belong to
      the Bielokrinitsa Synod, headed by Metropolitan Cornelius.

      The Old Believers have been separate for over 300 years, but still consider themselves
      "part of the Russian Church" (in the words of their late Metropolitan Andrian who reposed
      last year).

      Metropolitan Andrian also called for "reconciliation in the Russian Church".

      As for the so-called "catacomb churches", most of them are not even interested in

      The reason is often that they are minuscule, and want to remain independant.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
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