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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Praying with heretics – so what?

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can not understand. The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**. This means that the lower clergy
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
      This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can not
      understand.

      The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**.

      This means that the lower clergy are under obedience and subject to the
      discipline of their hierarchical superiors.

      If your superiors summon you to a meeting, be it in another city or no--you go.

      Period.

      If I were working as a manager at IBM in Los Angeles, and received a
      directive from the Chairman of IBM to appear at a meeting in Seattle in two
      days--I would have to be there.

      If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the
      Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff to appear the next day in Washington
      for a meeting--I have no option to decline.

      As a priest of the Russian Church Abroad, if I receive a directive from my
      Ruling Bishop, or from the Synod of Bishops, to appear in such and such a
      place at such and such a time--I would be there,come what may.

      Again, this is so simple, it hardly needs to be explained.

      In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is one of the
      most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially for junior
      officers, since they are required to set a good example for their troops.

      Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military organization, since
      it goes against the entire concept of a hierarchical structure--the chain
      of command, which requires obedience to orders and strict discipline.

      The Church is no different.

      Priests are like officers in a military organization. Although our battle
      is not against flesh and blood, but against the demonic powers, we are
      still all "warriors" in the army of God, as are the heavenly powers, who
      have a very clear hierarchical structure, with Archangel Michael--the
      Archistratig--Archstrategos--Taxiarch--Commander in Chief of the Heavenly
      Hosts.

      So, the willful disobedience of the European clergy to respond to a summons
      of the Holy Synod of the Church Abroad, to which they had given an oath of
      obedience and loyalty, is a gross violation of ecclesiastical discipline
      for which they must suffer the consequences.

      Next point.

      Serge calls the suspensions a "sentence," and complains about the injustice
      of these clergy being sentenced in absentia, without being heard or
      canonically tried.

      This is absolutely incorrect.

      A bishop, upon hearing of misbehavior by a clergyman, has the authority,
      and, in fact, the responsibility to suspend that clergyman--without a
      hearing or ecclesiastical trial.

      This is normal in most other fields.

      A policeman suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended by
      his superiors--prior to a hearing.

      A teacher suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended by his
      superiors--prior to a hearing.

      In the Church--it is the same.

      The clergyman (like the policeman or the teacher) has the right to demand a
      formal hearing on the matter, or one can be scheduled by his superiors.

      However, during the time of the suspension, prior to a hearing (or a
      trial)--the person in question is **suspended**--and forbidden to perform
      his normal duties. A policeman under suspension must turn in his badge and
      gun, for example, and is forbidden to perform police work.

      A clergyman under suspension must hang up his epitrachelion and may not
      perform any services as a clergyman--not even give a blessing.

      Those are the rules.

      And the rules also state that if a clergyman while under suspension dares
      to perform any services as a clergyman--then he is subject to immediate
      deposition from clerical orders--without any hearing or trial.

      All he has to do is perform a service or simply give a blessing--even
      once--and he is out.

      Period.

      So, the question is--did the European clergy who were disobedient to their
      hierarchical authorities and spurned a summons to a meeting with the Deputy
      First Hierarch and Secretary of the Synod, ignore the suspension placed on
      them, not just by their Ruling Bishop--who has the authority on his own to
      suspend any priest in his diocese--but by the entire Hierarchical Synod,
      and did they continue to serve?

      If the answer is yes, then they were rightfully and canonically deposed,
      even without a hearing or ecclesiastical trial.

      With love in Christ,
      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
    • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
      This is an addendum to my previous message. I just thought of another analogy. The Department of Motor Vehicles issues drivers licenses. It can suspend your
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
        This is an addendum to my previous message.

        I just thought of another analogy.

        The Department of Motor Vehicles issues drivers' licenses.

        It can suspend your driving privilege--even without a hearing.

        A friend of mine recently got a notice from the DMV that his license would
        be suspended in thirty days because he had failed to pay a fine.

        And the notice warned him that if he drove with a suspended license, he
        would immediately have his license totally revoked and would be subject to
        a large fine and jail time.

        A clergyman who would ignore his suspension and serve while suspended would
        lose his priesthood as a consequence.

        No?

        With love in Christ,

        Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
      • Reader John
        Fr. Alexander s military analogy does not hold up. He wrote: If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
          Fr. Alexander's military analogy does not hold up. He wrote:

          "If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from
          the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff (sic) to appear the next
          day in Washington for a meeting--I have no option to decline."

          The reality is that if the Chairman of the JCS ordered an officer to
          report to him in Washington the next day, transportation would be
          expeditiously provided to the aforementioned officer.

          I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just read
          the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
          (though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
          thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither is
          Fr. Alexander). In fact, I live in Georgia, which according to Fr.
          Alexander's bizarre post (31183) on Paradosis qualifies me as

          "A … tatooed (sic) rock-music-loving red-neck cracker
          neo-Pharisees
          from Georgia…" This must be because I disagree with him.

          I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
          correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered to
          the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why does
          Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?

          Fr. Alexander:

          "In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is
          one of the most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially
          for junior officers, since they are required to set a good example
          for their troops."

          You are mistaken in writing this statement Father. I wonder have you
          ever served in the military? Judging by your age, you would have
          been subject to the draft during the Vietnam War.

          The most serious offenses in the military are murder, rape and
          robbery. Anyone who commits these offenses will certainly be tried
          by a general court martial (the highest level court to try
          offenses). On the other hand, the punishment for disobeying a
          superior officer can range from verbal reprimand, to non-judicial
          punishment (Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), to a
          lesser court martial.

          Fr. Alexander:

          "Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military
          organization, since it goes against the entire concept of a
          hierarchical structure--the chain of command, which requires
          obedience to orders and strict discipline."

          Fr. Alexander implies that the French clergy are mutinous. Does he
          really think that their offense is so great that they should be
          executed? After all, a capital offense is one in which the death
          penalty may be imposed. Please explain your thoughts here Father.
          Or is this just another case of you overstating your position?

          In Christ,
          Rdr John

          --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
          wrote:
          > This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can
          not
          > understand.
          >
          > The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**.
          >
          > This means that the lower clergy are under obedience and subject to
          the
          > discipline of their hierarchical superiors.
          >
          > If your superiors summon you to a meeting, be it in another city or
          no--you go.
          >
          > Period.
          >
          > If I were working as a manager at IBM in Los Angeles, and received
          a
          > directive from the Chairman of IBM to appear at a meeting in
          Seattle in two
          > days--I would have to be there.
          >
          > If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the
          > Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff to appear the next day in
          Washington
          > for a meeting--I have no option to decline.
          >
          > As a priest of the Russian Church Abroad, if I receive a directive
          from my
          > Ruling Bishop, or from the Synod of Bishops, to appear in such and
          such a
          > place at such and such a time--I would be there,come what may.
          >
          > Again, this is so simple, it hardly needs to be explained.
          >
          > In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is one
          of the
          > most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially for junior
          > officers, since they are required to set a good example for their
          troops.
          >
          > Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military
          organization, since
          > it goes against the entire concept of a hierarchical structure--the
          chain
          > of command, which requires obedience to orders and strict
          discipline.
          >
          > The Church is no different.
          >
          > Priests are like officers in a military organization. Although our
          battle
          > is not against flesh and blood, but against the demonic powers, we
          are
          > still all "warriors" in the army of God, as are the heavenly
          powers, who
          > have a very clear hierarchical structure, with Archangel Michael--
          the
          > Archistratig--Archstrategos--Taxiarch--Commander in Chief of the
          Heavenly
          > Hosts.
          >
          > So, the willful disobedience of the European clergy to respond to a
          summons
          > of the Holy Synod of the Church Abroad, to which they had given an
          oath of
          > obedience and loyalty, is a gross violation of ecclesiastical
          discipline
          > for which they must suffer the consequences.
          >
          > Next point.
          >
          > Serge calls the suspensions a "sentence," and complains about the
          injustice
          > of these clergy being sentenced in absentia, without being heard or
          > canonically tried.
          >
          > This is absolutely incorrect.
          >
          > A bishop, upon hearing of misbehavior by a clergyman, has the
          authority,
          > and, in fact, the responsibility to suspend that clergyman--without
          a
          > hearing or ecclesiastical trial.
          >
          > This is normal in most other fields.
          >
          > A policeman suspected of acting improperly can and would be
          suspended by
          > his superiors--prior to a hearing.
          >
          > A teacher suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended
          by his
          > superiors--prior to a hearing.
          >
          > In the Church--it is the same.
          >
          > The clergyman (like the policeman or the teacher) has the right to
          demand a
          > formal hearing on the matter, or one can be scheduled by his
          superiors.
          >
          > However, during the time of the suspension, prior to a hearing (or
          a
          > trial)--the person in question is **suspended**--and forbidden to
          perform
          > his normal duties. A policeman under suspension must turn in his
          badge and
          > gun, for example, and is forbidden to perform police work.
          >
          > A clergyman under suspension must hang up his epitrachelion and may
          not
          > perform any services as a clergyman--not even give a blessing.
          >
          > Those are the rules.
          >
          > And the rules also state that if a clergyman while under suspension
          dares
          > to perform any services as a clergyman--then he is subject to
          immediate
          > deposition from clerical orders--without any hearing or trial.
          >
          > All he has to do is perform a service or simply give a blessing--
          even
          > once--and he is out.
          >
          > Period.
          >
          > So, the question is--did the European clergy who were disobedient
          to their
          > hierarchical authorities and spurned a summons to a meeting with
          the Deputy
          > First Hierarch and Secretary of the Synod, ignore the suspension
          placed on
          > them, not just by their Ruling Bishop--who has the authority on his
          own to
          > suspend any priest in his diocese--but by the entire Hierarchical
          Synod,
          > and did they continue to serve?
          >
          > If the answer is yes, then they were rightfully and canonically
          deposed,
          > even without a hearing or ecclesiastical trial.
          >
          > With love in Christ,
          > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
        • boulia_1
          Dear John, To respond to only one point you made, since I am a amember of a ... read ... to ... does ... If you did live in Europe, you should realize it s not
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 5, 2002
            Dear John,

            To respond to only one point you made, since I am a amember of a
            European ROCOR diocese (in good standing) and do live in Europe... :

            --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Reader John" <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:

            >
            > I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just
            read
            > the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
            > (though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
            > thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither is
            > Fr. Alexander).



            > I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
            > correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered
            to
            > the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why
            does
            > Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?

            If you did live in Europe, you should realize it's not so important
            a detail. To get from Paris to Munich is like getting from Boston to
            NY, only easier, because Europe is WAY ahead of the U.S.
            (particularly, I'll submit, the southern U.S.) when it comes to
            transportation. You can fly round trip between to the two cities for
            under $100. Or take a train if you prefer to stay on the ground.
            Transportation is really not an issue Europe, so trying to make it
            one seems to be, with all due respect, really grasping at straws.

            In Christ's love,
            Elizabeth
            >
          • goossir
            Dear Elizabeth, Please let me correct you. I also live in Europe, Brussels and am very astonished about the information you give on travelling in Europe. How
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 7, 2002
              Dear Elizabeth,

              Please let me correct you.
              I also live in Europe, Brussels and am very astonished about the
              information you give on travelling in Europe.
              How is it possible that you do not know that flight fares between
              European big cities are very expensive. It is cheaper sometimes to
              go to New York by plane than to go to Vienna, Stockholm, etc. You
              certainly do not find return tickets between Paris and Munich at
              USD100, even with promotion prices. They cost at least 5 times more.
              Train travel between Paris and Munich is also expensive and very
              long. You have to change at least twice. I know this perfectly
              well, as I had to organise, last year, my daughter's travel from
              France to Munich by train. The one way ticket cost approximately USD
              200.
              I am sorry for the list that we must go into travelling details in
              Europe, but it is important to show that effectively, as John
              mentioned, not only the French Clergy's summoning to Paris was at
              very short notice but also quite costly.

              With sisterly love
              Irina Pahlen

              --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "boulia_1" <eledkovsky@h...> wrote:
              > Dear John,
              >
              > To respond to only one point you made, since I am a amember of a
              > European ROCOR diocese (in good standing) and do live in Europe... :
              >
              > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Reader John" <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just
              > read
              > > the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
              > > (though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
              > > thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither
              is
              > > Fr. Alexander).
              >
              >
              >
              > > I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
              > > correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered
              > to
              > > the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why
              > does
              > > Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?
              >
              > If you did live in Europe, you should realize it's not so important
              > a detail. To get from Paris to Munich is like getting from Boston
              to
              > NY, only easier, because Europe is WAY ahead of the U.S.
              > (particularly, I'll submit, the southern U.S.) when it comes to
              > transportation. You can fly round trip between to the two cities
              for
              > under $100. Or take a train if you prefer to stay on the ground.
              > Transportation is really not an issue Europe, so trying to make it
              > one seems to be, with all due respect, really grasping at straws.
              >
              > In Christ's love,
              > Elizabeth
              > >
            • hoodpeters
              ... Did they need champagne and caviar in order to go to Munich? http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/euraide/t0261par.htm Besides, if your Bishops tell
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 7, 2002
                --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "goossir" <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                > I am sorry for the list that we must go into travelling details in
                > Europe, but it is important to show that effectively, as John
                > mentioned, not only the French Clergy's summoning to Paris was at
                > very short notice but also quite costly.


                Did they need champagne and caviar in order to go to Munich?
                http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/euraide/t0261par.htm
                Besides, if your Bishops tell you to go 500 miles for a meeting or be
                defrocked, you go. Your line of reasoning to justify Varnavism "by
                any means necessary" is ridiculous.
                In Christ,
                Dcn. John
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