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Responses to OCA autocephaly

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The primary documents detailing these churches' response were published initially in the ''Orthodox Observer'', the official publication of the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]], and published in 1972 in book form as ''Russian Autocephaly and Orthodoxy in America: An Appraisal with Decisions and Formal Opinions''. The book also includes an introductory essay by Archbishop [[Iakovos (Coucouzis) of America]], a ''Prolegomena'' Fr. Nicon D. Patrinacos, and an appendix by Metropolitan Emilianos, permanent representative of the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate]] at the World Council of Churches. The authors of the responses of the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Greece are Pope Nikolaos, Patr. Elias IV, Patr. Benedictos and Abp. Ieronymos, respectively, the [[primate]]s of their respective churches.
Most of the arguments detailed below are shared in the responses of all the churches and of the other essays included in the volume, but the Churches of Constantinople and Greece give the most detailed comments(pp. 30-44 and 53-67, respectively).
==Arguments in favor of OCA autocephaly==
*Greeks were the first to establish a presence on American soil in New Smyrna, Florida, in 1767, 26 years before St. Herman arrived in Alaska in 1794, which was not American at the time (being part of the Russian Empire).
*The first Orthodox parish established on American soil was by Greeks in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1864, three years before Alaska became American and four years before the first Russian parish was established in American territory (in San Francisco).
*The claim that each autocephalous church may grant autocephaly to its daughter churches contradicts Russian history, in which Russia claimed independence for itself nearly more than 150 years before Constantinople and the rest of the Church recognized it: "If the autocephalous status derives from Christ, why was the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America anathematized by you instead of being approved and praised for severing itself from its Patriarchate and its mother Church—as some other Churches did too—by right of its own will and against the Canons?" (p. 61).
*"The title, mother-Church, as the inspired 150 Fathers implicitly signified, is only a sign of honor, of no rights whatsoever. The Church in Jerusalem never exercised any authority on the rest of the Churches... even though it was from there that all of the Godly Apostles who attracted and tutored us to the state of obedience of Christ set off" (p. 62).
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