Father Andrew, you removed the Archbishopric of Ohrid from the list of autonomous churches, with a short note that it is "recognized only by Serbia".
Your argument is in contradiction with the definition of autonomy in this page which states that: "is the status of a church within the Orthodox Church whose primatial bishop is confirmed by one of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches."
Assumably, by Serbia you mean the Church of Serbia - which is autocephalous canonical orthodox Church (complies to the requirement "one of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches"). It issued a tomos for autonomy to the Archbishopric of Ohrid and confirmed the primatial bishop to be Archbishop of Ohrid.
If there are some other criteria that has to be met - they should be written on this page too.
It is not understandible why the Church of China, which unfortunately, has no clergy (no bishops, no priests) can be listed, and a canonical church that has (at this moment) four bishops and is in full communion with all canonical orthodox churches, can not be listed on this page?
K.panteleimon 10:05, June 2, 2009 (UTC)
A denial of the statement "recognized only by Serbia", and an explanation how autonomy is percieved in the orthodox world by Metropolitan Kiril of Varna, (canonical) Orthodox Church of Bulgaria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLNsNcGH5nY who, asked about the autonomy of the Archbishopric of Ohrid and how the Church of Bulgaria sees this matter, says that "when one a canonical orthodox Church reaches a decision, we accept that without disputes. For us it is vaild." and later "it is not correct that I comment on the decisions of another Church, it is their internal matter". He gives nice explanations, please take your time to hear his statements. K.panteleimon 18:29, June 2, 2009 (UTC)
- On OrthodoxWiki, we go by what are generally recognized, third-party sources. The Ohrid archdiocese is not listed in these sources as one of the autonomous churches of Orthodoxy. It's not a matter simply of what the Church of Serbia says or one Bulgarian bishop speaking on camera says, but rather what is generally practiced and recognized throughout the Orthodox Church.
- This is, by no means, a comment on the legitimacy of the Ohrid archdiocese or its autonomy. It's simply a matter of what is generally recognized throughout the Orthodox world.
- In any event, if it really is simply an "internal" matter, then that means that the Ohrid archdiocese is still part of the Serbian church and not one of the separate, autonomous churches in the way that Finland (for instance) is.
- It is very much worth noting that autonomy means different things in different cases. Clearly, the tomos given to the Ohbrid archdiocese by the Church of Serbia regards it as "in full liturgical and canonical unity with our Patriarchate of Pec, i.e., with the Serbian Orthodox Church," meaning that it is not autonomous in the same sense as other autonomous churches, which really are fully independent, excepting only the confirmation of their primate. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 01:18, June 3, 2009 (UTC)
- Father Andrew, it is be true that autonomy can mean different things in different cases. But if these differences are crutial, they should be named and explained in the main page too.
- The usage of third-party sources is essential, definitely. It is also essential that all these sources are listed. Why aren't they?
- You quoted just a half of the sentence, missing a very significant part - "and therefore with the fullness of the Most Holy Catholic Orthodox Church". (The full sentence is: "By the grace of our Lord, the autonomous Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric remains in full liturgical and canonical unity with our Patriarchate of Pec, i.e., with the Serbian Orthodox Church, and therefore with the fullness of the Most Holy Catholic Orthodox Church, being canonically expressed with the confirmation of the election of the Prelate thereof by Our humbleness.")
- Also, I see a mention of a term which is really odd in the orthodox ecclesiology: independence. Independence is valuable if we speak of coutries, companies, families, etc., but not if we speak of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Full independence in church terms would be separation from the body of Christ! Christ prayed that "they may be one as we are one" (John 17, 11), not that "they may be fully independent of each other."
- Therefore it seems not adequate to state that any canonical orthodox Church is independent from another (canonical orthodox Church).
- Similarly, in regard to the Church of Finland, this wiki says that "In 1923, the Finnish Church completely separated from the Russian Church". Complete separation from the body of Christ is schism, which is not the case here. Which source does this statement originate from? The history page of the Church of Finland definitely not.
- The Church of Finland's history page says that the Ecumenical Patriarchate granted its autonomy by issuing a Tomos. It does not mention any other criteria, or additional recognition by the other orthodox Churches - because that is an internal matter, in this case of the Ecumenical patriarchate.
- So, what difference do you find between the autonomies of the Church of Finland and the Archbishopric of Ohrid?
- K.panteleimon 12:07, June 3, 2009 (UTC)
- To Whom It May Concern,
- I believe that K.panteleimon is correct.
- Father Andrew said, "Clearly, the tomos given to the Ohbrid archdiocese by the Church of Serbia regards it as "in full liturgical and canonical unity with our Patriarchate of Pec, i.e., with the Serbian Orthodox Church," meaning that it is not autonomous in the same sense as other autonomous churches, which really are fully independent, excepting only the confirmation of their primate."
- The reasoning behind his claim is erroneous. The Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), the one whose primate is Metropolitan Onufryi, is also an "integral" part of the Russsian Orthodox Church. Refer to the Statutes of the Russian Orthodox Church: https://mospat.ru/en/documents/ustav/. Particularly article X which deals with the Ukrainian Church. Quote: "The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is self-governing with rights of broad autonomy. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church shall enjoy independence and self-determination in its governance..." "The Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church shall be elected by the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and blessed by His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia." Likewise article XI deals with the Chinese and Japanese Churches. How do we know this? Because the Ukrainian Church is composed of multiple diocese organized into a Metropolitan Province (or Metropolia) and the aforementioned Statutes also have an article covering the supra-diocesan structures equivalent to a Metropolitan Province but not Autonomous. So the Statutes clearly distinguish between "Metropolia" that are autonomous and Metropolia that are dependent.
- I believe this confusion arises from a misunderstanding of what Autonomy really is. If, as Father Andrew claims, the Orthodox Church of Ohrid is not Autonomous because it is still *part* of the Orthodox Church of Serbia, and therefore no different from from any other ordinary dependent Metropolia, then that means that Autonomy is being defined as Autocephely, making no real difference between Autonomy and Autocephely. But there is a difference. The terminology and translation is a bit muddled, but Autocephely is something like "Full Autonomy" while Autonomy is something like "Semi-Autonomy." The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Chinese Orthodox Church, the Japanese Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church of Ohrid are all Autonomous Churches, distinguishable from other ordinary Metropolia that are not Autonomous. It doesn't mean they are "fully independent" as this would mean Autocephely. It means they are mostly independent or largely self-governed, under the ultimate oversight of their mother churches.
- Furthermore, this indicates that there are three distinct kinds of Metropolitan Provinces or Metropolia. 1. dependent metropolia, 2. autonomous metropolia (ex. Ukrainian Orthodox Church), and 3 autocephalous metropolia (ex. OCA).
- If this is correct then the Church of Finland and the Church of Estonia are autonomous under the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the same way that the Ukrainian, Chinese, and Japanese Churches are autonomous under the Russian Orthodox Church. Furthermore, the "Self-governing Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America" is autonomous under the Antiochian Patriarchate" and the "Self-governing Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)" is autonomous under the Moscow Patriarchate.
- I believe that this is a fuller, if not complete, list of all the canonical Orthodox Churches that are Autonomous:
- Orthodox Church of Mount Sinai – Jerusalem Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Finland / The Autonomous Church of Finland / Finnish Orthodox Church – Ecumenical Patriarchate
- Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church – Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- Self-governing Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America – Antiochian Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Japan – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of China / Chinese Orthodox Autonomous Church – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Ukraine / Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Estonia – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Latvia – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Chisinau and all Moldova – Moscow Patriarchate
- Self-governing Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Belarus / Belarusian Exarchate – Moscow Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Ohrid / Autonomous Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric – Serbian Patriarchate
- Orthodox Church of Bessarabia / Metropolis of Bessarabia – Romanian Patriarchate. (Autonomy is objected by the Russian Orthodox Church.)