OrthodoxWiki usage of "Church"
The 1974 Protocol sought to undue the clear terms under which the Church of France was accepted by Romania in the Statute given to the Church of France at Bucharest and signed on 28 April 1972, which declares that the Church of France to an "Eglise autonome" -- an autonomous Church. It is an autonomous church composed of a single diocese with a single bishop, and has been since it was recognized as such during its relationship with ROCOR. It is not the only autonomous Church with a single hierarch -- there is also the Church of Sinai. Since Romania withdrew its blessing of the Church of France, I can't see how it has any say in the matter of how the Church is named, nor can I see why a Romanian should invest so much energy casting uncharitable assertions across the Atlantic. It has been 14 years since Romania broke its relationship with the Church of France; it's time to let go. In any event, the use of the name "Orthodox Church of France" predates the relationship with Romania. The Church of Russia originally gave it the name of "The Western Orthodox Church." It began using "Orthodox Church of France around 1946. As I mentioned, St John wished them to add the adjective "Catholic" in the late 1950's. The Statute given in 1972 retained the name "The Orthodox Catholic Church of France." In each case it was called a "Church" by its superior canonical authority. The real problem has been two-fold. First, the uncanonical situation in France. Only the Orthodox Church of France is a Church ''of'' France -- the others are Churches ''in'' France. Second, and here it more clearly mirrors the situation in America, there is the claim of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to have authority over France (and America). Just as Constantinople forced its bishops in America to withdraw their names from the Ligonier agreement, Patriach Demetrios in 1975 directed that the Church of France -- even when it was under the jurisdiction of Romania -- to be excluded from the inter-episcopal committee, referring to Romania's act of receiving the French Church as an "illegal intervention" in the "jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch." Back to the main point -- history shows there is nothing "abusive" about the use of the term "The Orthodox Church of France." --[[User:Fr Lev|Fr Lev]] 11:35, June 9, 2007 (PDT)