July 28, 2014

Archons: Concerning the Ranks of Churches

archon

Who's on first? The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle has posted an article harshly critical of what it describes as the Moscow Patriarchate's uncanonical move to assert its status as one of "the five most significant Churches" or the Pentarchy of the ancient patriarchates. The writer of the article, Fr. Makarios Griniezakis, a professor of theology and ethics at the Theological Academy of Heraklion in Crete, maintains that the "28th Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council grants only to the Church of Constantinople the jurisdictional oversight of the 'barbaric lands.'" This position, he said, is also supported by Church history. The extension of the Patriarch of Russia's jurisdiction across lands outside its ecclesiastical borders is uncanonical and a violation of Church order. This is the case when other Primates act similarly. Local Churches would have been able to extend into lands beyond their established ecclesiastical border if the canon referred to ethnicities ("barbarians") … [Read more...]

Holy Cross Faculty Weighs in on ‘Distinctive Prerogatives’ of Ecumenical Patriarch

The Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., released a "Faculty Statement on the Ecumenical Patriarchate" on April 30 and posted it on the school's Web site on May 8. HT: Andrew. Text follows: The Leadership of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Significance of Canon 28 of Chalcedon The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the preeminent Church in the communion of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Reflecting the witness of St. Andrew, the First Called Apostle, the enduring mission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is to proclaim the salutary Gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Apostolic and Orthodox Faith. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has a particular responsibility to strengthen the unity of the Orthodox Churches and to coordinate their common witness. At the same time, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has a specific responsibility to care for the faithful in lands beyond the borders of the other Autocephalous … [Read more...]

Canon 28 and Constantinople’s Jurisdictional Claims

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Essays on Canon 28

Met. Philip's recently posted essay on Constantinople's misuse of Canon 28 got me hunting for more analysis. I've posted what I found (including one by St. John Maximovitch written in 1938) on the main site. … [Read more...]

Met. Philip on Canon 28 and Orthodoxy Unity

Posted on the main page is direction to an address delivered by Met. Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese dealing with Constantinople's interpretation of Canon 28. From the introduction: "Of all the canons dealing with Church authority and jurisdiction, there is probably none more controversial and debated in inter-Orthodox circles today than Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council," writes Metropolitan Phillip Saliba, leader of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese and long-time champion of Orthodoxy unity in America. In "Canon 28 of the 4th Ecumenical Council - Relevant Or Irrelevant Today?," Met. Philip argues that Constantinople's interpretation of the canon is historically untenable, interferes with good order, hobbles efforts at jurisdictional unity and, most important, retards Orthodox missionary work in the United States. … [Read more...]