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4795Re: Sv: [orthodox-synod] Fr. Stephan Krasovitsky's "Open Letter..."

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  • V. J. Boitchenko
    May 31, 2001

      The Ecumenical Patriarch gave the assembly of russian bishops authority to create parishes and take care of the russian diaspora in 1920, but the Patriarch also made it clear that this assembly was under the authority if the Ecumenical Patriarch, who had the supreme responsibility for the control of the russian parishes created in the disapora. This was totally ignored by the synod, who even left without asking a release from the Ecumenical Patriarch. This assembly of bishops was created on foreign soil.
      And since it is forbidden for a bishop to leave his diocese the question whether such a "synod" is canonical is a good question indeed.

      I am not exactly sure what you mean. Whic particular bishop left a diocese? When the Russian people were in territory of the Church of Constantinople, the Patriarch gave them hospitality and was very supportive to their needs. Same was true in Serbia and Bulgaria. I do not know if the Ecumenical Patriarch ever exercised jurisdiction over any of the bishops (save the Evlogians), neither he appointed any of them to any particular diocese in any country. Or am I wrong? The Church Abroad is by definition "in exile" and not a Church or a Diocese of the particular country where it happens to be. You also seem to be granting the EP some papal authority.

      Stating that the Karlovci synod was not the same as ROCOR was exactly the method that ROCA "escaped" from the fact that they disobeyed the Patriarch. In his testament, Patriarch Tikhon repeats his condemnation of the later self-created ROCA.

      There is a difference in the organization of the VCU, Sobor, and later the Synod. Synod as an assembly of Bishops is to make decisions regarding the current state of affairs and the spiritual needs of their people. VCU was an organization composed of bishops, clergy and lay people, who in fact had made very strong political statements. Whether the Patriarchal Ukaz was genuine or not, VCU as an organization had been dissolved. The bishops, clergy and the Orthodox people did not disappear because of that. Therefore the Church Abroad did not disappear and the bishops continued to discuss their needs as a Synod and at any time could call for a Sobor. Such is the essence of the church life in Orthodoxy. And they had the blessing of the Patriarch Tikhon.

      But when one studies both sides, the picture of ROCAs "canonical and juristictional purity" is not so clear as certain people would want me to believe.

      The ROCOR sources does not admit one single canonical mistake, even though it is quite easy to find some. Your own "bias" seems to go in the opposite direction.

      The question of canonicity of the Church Abroad is raised quite frequently especially here in US. For most part it has to do with the current state things, since the Church Abroad is not in communion with many other Orthodox jurisdictions. It is very rarely that the issues from the history of Church Abroad are raised. I do not think that anyone would question integrity or canonicity of Vl. Antoniy or St. John (Maximovitch).

      In XC,


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