Re: Clergy were suspended
- Let's answer fr Alexander's posts one by one.
Let's start with his post 8487 (May 28, 2003).
AL writes: «the way in which Holy Canons are interpreted and
applied is within the realm of the authority of the particular
Council of Bishops of the particular Orthodox Church in question».
SR: Such view is unacceptable since it implies that the local
councils have precedence over Ecumenical Councils.
In reality, Canon 15 of the 1st Ecumenical confirms exactly the
«... it is decreed that the custom prevailing in certain places
contrary to the Canon, must be done away».
On this subject, Mr Moss brought further interesting evidence (Jan
We can conclude that, to the extend to which the «Statutes of the
Spiritual Consistory» are contrary to the Holy Canons and at
times they are not only do they yield to the Holy Canons,
but they are anathema.
NOTE : in much the same manner, some parts of the Apostolic
Constitutions are reputed to contain certain heretical positions.
These positions, where applicable, naturally yield to the orthodox
teaching. You cannot boldly say "You may not like it, but if you are
in the ROC you have no choice but to accept [them]".
AL writes: «in the ROC, it is the **law** that a bishop, like any
other ecclesiastic, is to be suspended **prior** to trial»
SR: Then, why don't you suggest to apply this «law» to
Indeed, if we follow your reasoning, vl. Ambrose gave oath at his
ordination to petrovian Statute 159 ("an ecclesiastic under
investigation is henceforth prohibited from serving until such a time
as he is completely exonerated"); therefore vl. Ambrose should have
been suspended even before he was appointed to the Western European
And this, would not have been a punishment but «a protective
measure to guard the flock from further detrimental action by a
The dogmatic implications of such judicial distortion would be
enormous. A minority could never be right against a majority.
A «democratic» majority rule would be the measure of the truth.
St Marc of Ephesus or St Maximus the Confessor - «and don't
bother me with St Joseph de Petrograd» - would have been long ago
buried by the bulldozer of subjugation. The Old Calendarists would
have been justly deposed. The Esphigmenou brotherhood would be justly
AL writes : «The solemn oath given at their consecration include
the words: If I trespass anything from what I have promised...
then let me **immediately** be deprived of my rank and power etc»
SR: At no place within his oath does the clergy accept to be
suspended without hearing.
This would be an oath of «subjugation», which is alien to
freedom and conscious.
This would be only in line with the present pressure, inside the MP,
to canonize Ivan the Terrible, whose political rehabilitation was
already performed by Stalin.
«Pastors are not simply called upon to implement of the orders
of the higher Church authorities without personal responsibility,
but they are in the first ranks of the servants of Christ and His
children. They are not bureaucrats who can be directed only by
orders and who can be held in submission with threats. They are
servants of our Lord, as we all are. They are our life-force and
we must protect them as the apple of our eye and never let them
fall into despair and depart into schisms, lest we share with
them the terrible responsibility for such a thing»
(Metropolitan Vitaly, June 22, 2001).
AL writes: «The Canons must be referred to in order to understand
fundamental canonical principles that underlay the actual Canons
SR: Absolutely. For instance, Canon 39 of Carthagina:
«a bishop should not be called
the chief of the priests».
makes us understand - as a fundamental canonical principle that
«the orthodox church's structure is one of subjugation, at each
level, to higher ecclesiastical authority»
is not orthodox.
We know that you believe that, in the army, if your superior
tells you that 2+2=5, you have to answer «Yes, Sir». (Not all
the military share your opinion). But you cannot conclude that,
if a bishop (or Council) says that 2+2=5, this is automatically
true because the statement comes from a bishop (or from a Council).
However, this is what you do. Some bishops said: "Bishop Barnaba is
to be convicted according to canon 8 of St Basil", which applies to
involuntary murder (see post 7351, dated Jan 8, 2003).
And your answer is: "Yes Sir".
And if anybody, knowing the kindness of vl Varnava who would not kill
a fly, dare to express some disbelief, then you boldly tax him
of "abysmal lack of knowledge about Canon Law"!
AL gives the example of «a teacher whom there is reason to believe
that he committed sexual molestation».
Your example is tendentious because it applies to a penal case.
It would apply to vl Varnava if «there was good reason to
that he indeed committed murder, or married a deaconess, or visited
widows (his well known faults).
For your example to be fair, it should refer to a teacher accused to
change the teaching principles of his school, with respect to the
traditional stand of its founders. Certainly such teacher should be
sanctioned, but not «suspended without hearing».
I must say, in all respect, that I believe fr Alexander is such a