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Re: Apostolic Succession [was: Reflections]

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  • Fr. Stephen Fraser
    ... The definition of Apostolic Succession, recently posted, is not complete. Yes, its true, Apostolic Succession is the external laying-on of hands from one
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 2, 2005
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      gene703 wrote:
      > Dear Fr. John,
      >
      > In light of your very straight forward explanation of apostolic
      > sucession could you please review the canonical legality of some
      > "bishops" in ROCOR spliter groups. There seem to be a "bishop" hiding
      > under every rock these days, all claiming ROCOR lineage. In particular
      >
      > 1. 7 or 8 bishops supposedly created by retired Mp. Vitaly and/or Bsp.
      > Varnava
      > 2. Mp. Valentin of Suzdal and his "bishops"
      > 3. Brothers Alferov and catacomb church
      >
      > many thanks
      > Gene T
      >

      The definition of Apostolic Succession, recently posted, is not
      complete. Yes, its true, Apostolic Succession is the external
      laying-on of hands from one bishop to another starting with
      the Apostles, however, there is a great difference between
      Apostolic Succession as an ~external act~ and Apostolic Succession
      as a mysteriological act which conveys the grace of the holy
      priesthood. Heresy stops all succession of the grace of the
      priesthood and therefore Apostolic Succession - the physical
      laying-on of hands not withstanding.

      If a Church is in heresy, such as the Roman Catholic Church,
      deemed so in one of the other recent posts on this list, then,
      there is no Apostolic Succession in the Roman Catholic Church,
      or in any other heretical Church.

      The Laying-on of hands + the grace of the Holy Spirit (imparted
      through the laying-on of hands) = Apostolic Succession.

      No ~Orthodox~ Church, no Apostolic Succession.


      In Christ,
      Fr. Stephen
    • Fr. John R. Shaw
      ... review the canonical legality of some bishops in ROCOR spliter groups. There seem to be a bishop hiding under every rock these days, all claiming ROCOR
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 2, 2005
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        Gene T wrote:

        > In light of your very straight forward explanation of apostolic sucession could you please
        review the canonical legality of some "bishops" in ROCOR spliter groups. There seem to be a
        "bishop" hiding under every rock these days, all claiming ROCOR lineage. In particular
        >
        > 1. 7 or 8 bishops supposedly created by retired Mp. Vitaly and/or Bsp. Varnava
        > 2. Mp. Valentin of Suzdal and his "bishops"
        > 3. Brothers Alferov and catacomb church

        JRS: Apostolic succession is still not the same thing as Grace.

        As for the first two you mention (ROCiE and ROAC), a good case coould be made for their
        being "graceless", since they were founded by clergy who had been defrocked by ROCOR.

        To be honest, I don't know much about the Alferov brothers, and there are many catacomb
        churches, each of which would have to be studied as a separate case.

        In Christ
        Fr. John R. Shaw
      • michael nikitin
        Holy Metr.Philaret wrote: In precisely the same manner, in receiving the Soviet clergy, we apply the principle of economia. And we receive the clergymen from
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 2, 2005
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          Holy Metr.Philaret wrote:

          In precisely the same manner, in receiving the Soviet clergy, we apply the
          principle of economia. And we receive the clergymen from Moscow not as ones
          possessing grace, but as ones receiving it by the very act of union. But to
          recognize the church of the evil-doers as the bearer and
          repository of grace, that we cannot do, of course. For outside of Orthodoxy
          there is no grace; and the Soviet church has deprived itself of grace.


          We are told the MP, "the church of the evil-doers", we in ROCOR cannot
          recognize as having grace.

          Michael N


          "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
          Gene T wrote:

          > In light of your very straight forward explanation of apostolic sucession could you please
          review the canonical legality of some "bishops" in ROCOR spliter groups. There seem to be a
          "bishop" hiding under every rock these days, all claiming ROCOR lineage. In particular
          >
          > 1. 7 or 8 bishops supposedly created by retired Mp. Vitaly and/or Bsp. Varnava
          > 2. Mp. Valentin of Suzdal and his "bishops"
          > 3. Brothers Alferov and catacomb church

          JRS: Apostolic succession is still not the same thing as Grace.

          As for the first two you mention (ROCiE and ROAC), a good case coould be made for their
          being "graceless", since they were founded by clergy who had been defrocked by ROCOR.

          To be honest, I don't know much about the Alferov brothers, and there are many catacomb
          churches, each of which would have to be studied as a separate case.

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw



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        • vkozyreff
          Dear Father John, bless. You write: ...Vladimir Kozyreff...seems to have a different understanding of the expression Apostolic succession than the rest of
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 3, 2005
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            Dear Father John, bless.

            You write: "...Vladimir Kozyreff...seems to have a different
            understanding of the expression "Apostolic succession" than the rest
            of us do". And you go on, defining apostolic succession as a formal
            and mechanical thing.

            Your understanding of apostolic succession is an oversimplification.
            This oversimplification is needed to those who claim the MP has
            apostolic succession.

            Please see comments below. I suppose you will appreciate their origin.

            In God,

            Vladimir Kozyreff

            The Church understands Apostolic succession not merely as an external
            mechanical transfer of the very act of ordination but also the faith
            connected with this act namely the preservation of the Apostolic
            teaching on the grace of priesthood within a given group.

            This doesn't tie in too well with the view being analyzed. To receive
            an empty form lacking in grace, and at the same time to believe, in
            accordance with the Apostolic teaching, that one is receiving Divine
            grace, and to experience with this the appropriate thoughts and
            feelings, would be a self-delusion or, in theological language, a
            novelty.

            Novelties are not to be indulged in but should be fought with all
            available means. It would appear that in this case the Church somehow
            is attempting to keep the person undisturbed in his novelty, as if it
            is afraid to disturb the person's false convictions that he received
            effective grace in his heterodox ordination. Leaving aside the need
            for an Orthodox ordination the Church invents a special order for
            reception, that through the Mystery of repentance to convey
            implicite, and imperceptibly to the recipient, the grace of
            priesthood.

            Thus it would be closer to the truth and to the teaching of the
            Church to assume that where, outside the Church, the Apostolic
            succession, i.e. the Apostolic form of ordination and the Apostolic
            teaching about the grace of the priesthood has been preserved, there
            in the mind of the Church, ordination is not simply a form without
            grace and thus is not repeated in receiving such clerics into the
            Orthodox priesthood.

            http://www.holy-trinity.org/ecclesiology/succession-1.html


            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
            <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
            >
            > > >Who would believe that the day before democracy "arrived" in
            Russia,
            > > >the MP was not the Church, and we did not have to unite with it,
            and
            > > >since "democracy arrived", the MP all of a sudden got an
            apostolic
            > > >sucession which did not exist before?
            >
            > Fr. Alexander Lebedeff replied:
            >
            > > When exactly do you feel did the MP lose apostolic succession?
            >
            > > Every bishop of the MP has apostolic succession from Patriarch
            > > Sergius (Stragorodsky) or Patriarch Alexei I (Simanskiy) --both
            > > consecrated to the episcopate before the Russian Revolution (the
            > > first in 1901, and the latter in 1913).
            >
            > JRS: The difficulty here in debating with Vladimir Kozyreff is that
            he seems to have a different
            > understanding of the expression "Apostolic succession" than the
            rest of us do.
            >
            > As taught universally by the Church, "Apostolic succession" means
            that a given bishop was
            > consecrated (ordained) by other bishops, who in turn had been
            consecrated by bishops
            > before them, ultimately going back to the Apostles.
            >
            > The Apostles consecrated their successors, by the laying on of
            hands.
            >
            > Each new bishop since that time has received the laying on of hands
            that goes back, in
            > unbroken succession, to the Apostles.
            >
            > That is why at least two bishops are supposed to consecrate any
            given candidate: to make
            > doubly certain that the succession of laying on of hands was
            maintained.
            >
            > But Vladimir Kozyreff, at least in earlier debates with me, has
            indicated that to him,
            > "Apostolic succession" means something entirely different.
            >
            > Mr Kozyreff appears to view "Apostolic succession" as meaning
            someone is a worthy (i.e.
            > approved) spiritual heir of the Apostles, not that he has an
            unbroken sequence of ordination
            > from the Apostles.
            >
            > But the Church does not view hierarchs in such terms at all. Who is
            to judge what is in
            > another's heart?
            >
            > Not liking someone (perhaps without really knowing anything about
            them) cannot deprive
            > them of Apostolic succession.
            >
            > In Christ
            > Fr. John R. Shaw
            >
          • orthodoxchurch_sg
            ... anything, unless it s corrected. ... it the other way around? ... Patriarch s uncanonical, without force, etc...or did they not sign it? Evlogeite! The
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 6, 2005
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              --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, michael nikitin
              <nikitinmike@y...> wrote:
              >
              > This Apostolic succession is just a formality. Doesn't mean
              anything, unless it's corrected.
              >
              > When are we going to correct all the ordinations of the MP? Or is
              it the other way around?
              >
              > Don't forget our Synod's 1971 resolution finding the MP's
              Patriarch's uncanonical, without force, etc...or did they not sign
              it?

              Evlogeite!
              The ROCOR Synod said that the Election was uncanonical. All
              jurisdictions - as far as I am aware - have done things which are
              uncanonical, but this doesnt deprive them of Grace automatically.
              There are canonical ages for ordination to priesthood and episcopacy,
              for example. The Greek Old Calendar jurisdictions have in most cases
              ordained men below this canonical age. When I was a member of ROCOR
              in the 1980s one of the clergy used to arrive in church in blazer and
              boater and change for the services; the services were truncated
              horribly; the services were in a language hardly anybody understood;
              people paid for Confession. All of these things are uncanonical, are
              they not?
              Canonically we are forbidden to marry our godparents yet I know of at
              least one Traditional Orthodox who has done this. Canonically we are
              excommunicated if we do not attend Church for three weeks. When was
              the last time this actually occured? Retired Bishops are not allowed
              to have jurisdiction, yet ROCiE's Ruling Hierarch is retired.
              Yes, the election of the Patriarch in 1971 was uncanonical - there
              was secular interference, as there was with the election of every
              Metropolitan between the reigns of Peter the Great and S. Nicolas II.
              Was the taking of S. John of Shanghai to court canonical?
              Even in Texas they dont give the death penalty for every crime.
              God bless / Fr Daniel
            • michael nikitin
              orthodoxchurch_sg wrote: Even in Texas they dont give the death penalty for every crime. God bless / Fr Daniel Exactly
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 7, 2005
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                orthodoxchurch_sg <orthodoxchurch_sg@...> wrote:
                "Even in Texas they dont give the death penalty for every crime."
                God bless / Fr Daniel

                Exactly Fr.Daniel. There are different canons. Some are more strictly followed
                than others. You're trying to justify something you are not familiar with. Whoever told you that doesn't understand the canons well either.

                The Synod proclaimed the Resolution of 1971. Fr. John claims one has to be taken
                to court and judged...well, the MP were and were found guilty. The sentence was that the hierarch's are uncanonical and have no force. If they have no force, they
                cannot bestow grace upon anything they do. They are nothing but laypeople posing as hierarch's. The Church cannot have any dialogue with this kind.

                Michael N




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