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Responses to OCA autocephaly

795 bytes added, 18:46, June 23, 2005
Arguments against OCA autocephaly
===Canonical arguments===
*Decisions regarding autocephaly belong to "a Synod representing more generally the entirety of the local Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, and especially to an Ecumenical Synod" (p. 38).
**This is especially so because a new autocephaly changes the canonical order of the whole Church.
*"Specific canons exactly characterizing autocephaly are not to be found in ecclesiastical legislation" (p. 36).
*Establishing missions in what was then part of the Russian Empire (Alaska), a few churches in major industrial centers, and then wooing numerous ex-[[Uniate]]s to its fold did not canonically give the Church of Russia sole ecclesiastical jurisdiction over an entire continent.
*The Moscow Patriarchate kept dozens of parishes on North American soil even after the proclamation, thus not truly recognizing the OCA's territorial claim.
*Autocephaly normally proceeds along secular boundaries only because Orthodoxy has been the established Church in those nations.
*Autocephaly has been proclaimed multiple times, but always failed without the assent of the whole Church.
*The period of Russian Orthodox expansion out of Alaska is also the same period during which other Orthodox jurisdictions were established on American soil.
*The various Orthodox communities in North America did not always recognize Russian jurisdiction; they were often quite isolated and had no real contact with the Russian hierarchy. Thus, they saw themselves as beholden to their mother churches, not to Moscow.
===Practical arguments===
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