July 23, 2014

OCA summarizes Met. Hilarion’s visit

Note (from the release): "Metropolitan Hilarion affirmed the Russian Orthodox Church's commitment to uphold its granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America in 1970," said Father Alexander Garklavs after the meeting. My question: While I welcome the affirmation, does the Church that grants autocephaly actually have the power to rescind it? I wouldn't think so. The granting of autocephaly is not conditional. If it were, autocephaly would be something other than independence. HT: Byzantine TX SYOSSET, NY (OCA) - On Tuesday, August 31, 2010, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, and permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, concluded his three-day working visit to New York at the invitation of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada. A member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY, … [Read more...]

Moscow granted authocephaly to the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, Constantinople later approved

An interesting fact just brought to my attention: Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church was first granted autocephaly by Moscow and only later was the autocephaly accepted by Constantinople. Constantinople's claim that Moscow had no authority to grant autocephaly is inconsistent with its own practice it appears. From the Wikipedia article on the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church: After World War II the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia began its recovery without its beloved bishop. On December 9, 1951, the Patriarch of Moscow granted autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia, though this action was not recognized by Constantinople, which regarded the Czechoslovakian church as being autonomous under its authority. The Patriarch of Constantinople later granted a tomos of autocephaly on August 27, 1998. … [Read more...]

‘We have reached consensus on the autocephaly procedure’

As the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission for the agenda of a Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church continues its work, the issue of granting autocephaly and the diptych order has come up to its attention in the period of 2009-2010. The leader of the Russian Orthodox delegation at the Preparatory Commission meetings, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, expounds the work of the Commission in an interview to the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, S. V. Chapnin. - Your Eminence, the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory commission’s decisions on the procedure of granting autocephaly, adopted in December 2009 in Chambesy, make it possible to speak about a serious step made in the development of inter-Orthodox cooperation. How different were the initial positions of the Churches, and can one say that the search for consensus was difficult? - According to the resolution of … [Read more...]

Editorial: Who will pay the taxes?

From the National Herald: Judging from the massive, angry reaction of our readers so far, it is obvious that we have hit a nerve with our editorial in last week’s edition entitled “Give Us Your Property”, rejecting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s demand for “at least” a building from each one of our nine metropolises, in order, supposedly, to save the Patriarchate from the Turks. A prominent member of the community - who asked us to withhold his name - went so far as to cite this demand as the justification for taking the first steps towards launching an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church in America. While we fully understand his reaction, we do not see this as necessary. As we stated in this space last week: “We wish there was a nicer way to say it, but this demand by Patriarch Bartholomew has crossed the line. It is so unacceptable and offensive, but also so revealing of his designs on our Church and its assets, that it raises many questions about his relationship … [Read more...]

The agenda at Chambesy

12. December 2009 - 9:00 (Source: Serbian Orthodox Church) The Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission, responsible for preparation of agenda of an upcoming Holy and Great Assembly of the Orthodox Church, began working 10th December at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, near Geneve. The Commission will discuss the three topics from pre-prepared catalogue: the question of a way of declaring autonomy and autocephaly, as well as the question of diptych, which is order and rank of the Churches. It is planned that the Commission's work lasts until December 17, and its proposed texts will be submitted for a discussion and an adoption by the next in the row, the Fifth Pan-Orthodox Conference (previously four conferences were held in 1976, 1982, 1986, 2009). The Commission's work is led by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Patriarchate of Constantinople, as a representative of the first Church in order. By the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops, our Church … [Read more...]

Official Statement on the ‘Diaspora’ from the Chambesy Conference

THE FOURTH PRE-CONCILIAR PAN-ORTHODOX CONFERENCE The Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Chambésy, 6-13 June 2009 THE ORTHODOX DIASPORA Decision The Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference was convened by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with the consensus of Their Beatitudes the Primates of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches expressed during their Sacred Synaxis at the Phanar in October 2008. The Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference met at the Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, from 6 to 13 June 2009 under the chairmanship of His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This Conference, to which all of the most holy Orthodox Autocephalous Churches were invited and were represented, studied the issue of the canonical organization of the Orthodox Diaspora. Pursuant to article 16 of the Rules of Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conferences, this Conference discussed the … [Read more...]

The Greek Ecclesiastical Settlement

A really interesting passage from "The legacy of the French Revolution: Orthodoxy and nationalism," an essay by Paschalis Kitromilides, which explains, among other things, the historical process by which the Church of Greece was granted autocephaly. While the Enlightenment confronted the church with a secular universalist ideology, which, questions of doctrine aside, could in some instances complement and even sustain its own ecumenical values, nationalism gave rise to a conflict, where the issues not only were on the level of secular versus transcendental values but also set the ecumenicity of Christian ideals against the parochialism of nationalism. The history of this conflict turned out to be identical with the history of the Orthodox Church in the nineteenth century. Ultimately, writes Kitromilides, "the ecumenical patriarchate, once its own formal requirements were satisfied, supplied the canonical sanction for turning regional churches into instruments of secular … [Read more...]