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Basil Osborne

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He was forcibly retired from his position as administrator of the Sourozh diocese after requesting release from Moscow and incardination into the Ecumenical Patriarchate, along with those of his flock who wished to follow him.<ref name="Innokenty1">[ Letter "To all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Sourozh"] - Abp. Innokenty of Korsun, July 23, 2006</ref> The announcement of his retirement came upon his refusal to withdraw his letter to Constantinople (sent after his request for release from Moscow) which requested incardination and noted his request for release from Moscow.<ref>[ Letter to Patriarch Bartholomew I] - Bp. Basil (Osborne), May 2, 2006</ref> After his forced retirement was announced in the Sourozh cathedral in London, Basil immediately appealed the decision to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the basis of Canons 9 and 17 of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council]] and also Canon 28 of the same Council, such canons, it is argued, endow the Constantinopolitan Patriarch with the privilege of the "ekkliton" (read hearing appeal) and granting it jurisdiction over regions not already subject to the other four senior patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. It should be noted, however, that this interpretation of these canons is not undisputed, and runs contrary to the classical interpretations of the canons found in the canonical commentaries of the Church. For example, regarding Canon 9 of Chalcedon, St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain comments:
:"So it is evident that the Canon means that if any bishop or clergyman has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of an exarchy, let him apply to the Exarch of the diocese; which is the same thing as saying that clergymen and metropolitans subject to the throne of Constantinople must have their case tried either before the Exarch of the diocese in which they are situated, or before the Bishop of Constantinople, as before a Patriarch of their own. It did not say that if any clergyman has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of any diocese or parish whatever, they must be tried before the Bishop of Constantinople…. That is why Zonaras too says that the Bishop of Constantinople is not necessarily entitled to sit as judge over all Metropolitans, but (only) over those who are judicially subject to him (interpretation of c. XVII of the present 4th C.). And in his interpretation of c. V of Sardica the same authority says: "The Bishop of Constantinople must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Constantinople, precisely as the Bishop of Rome must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Rome." <ref>D. Cummings, trans., ''The Rudder of the Orthodox Catholic Church: The Compilation of the Holy Canons Saints Nicodemus and Agapius'' (West Brookfield, MA: The Orthodox Christian Educational Society, 1983), p. 255. One might also point out the absurdity of ''not'' reading the canon as St. Nichodemos suggests. You would have to conclude that Constantinople could even overrule Rome... something that even the pre-schism Roman Church would never have accepted, nor would is it likely that any other Patriarchate of that timewould have either.</ref>
The Ecumenical Patriarchate subsequently accepted Bishop Basil into its jurisdiction on the basis of his appeal which followed, although Moscow had not issued a canonical release and had instructed him not to be received into another patriarchate until matters could be looked into by an appropriate commission. At the time, the Moscow Patriarchate does not regard his incardination into the Ecumenical Patriarchate as valid, nor did it recognize the title ''Bishop of Amphipolis'' given to him by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on [[June 8]], 2006.<ref>[ Press Release for the Election of Bishop Basil of Amphipolis] - Ecumenical Patriarchate, June 8, 2006</ref> Considering him still a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, but in retirement, it referred to him in official correspondence without titular connection, as 'The Right Reverend Bishop Basil (Osborne)'.<ref name="MP1">[ Decision of the Holy Synod concerning Bishop Basil (Osborne)] - Moscow Patriarchate, July 19, 2006</ref>

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