Talk:Basil Osborne

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Succession box

Regarding the ordering of the succession box, I had always assumed that it went from earliest resposibility to latest (see Abp Stylianos succession box). Have I been doing things wrongly and against OW protocol and procedure? — edited by sτévο at 04:23, June 9, 2006 (CDT)

I think maybe you're right. Of course, the fact that I'm not 100% certain means I probably have been inconsistent. Still, a quick glance at a couple big names shows what you describe as the norm. Fixed! —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 06:33, June 9, 2006 (CDT)

Various recent edits

I think that there's a factual problem with the timeline regarding the forced retirement. Bp. Basil was retired not because he tried to be received by the EP without a canonical release; indeed, he asked for that release[1] before he sent his letter to the EP. The reception without release occurred subsequent to the retirement and on the basis of the appeal that Basil made after his retirement was announced.

The announcement of the retirement happened after Basil would not withdraw his letter to the EP, the text of which is explicit that Basil is requesting a canonical release from the MP (read the letter here). When Basil refused to withdraw this letter, he was retired. The question of reception without canonical release only came subsequently, after Basil appealed the decision by the MP to the EP.

The actual order of events is why I edited the article the way I did. Based on the documents in question, it's incorrect to state that Bp. Basil was retired for seeking reception into the EP without a release. Rather, he was retired because he would not withdraw his letter to the EP which included explicit mention of his seeking a release. In essence, the MP did not want Basil even to be speaking with Constantinople about the question, but Basil said that it seemed foolish to request release to go to the EP without also asking the EP about it.

Regarding the succession box, we don't put detailed information in them that's covered in the articles. This is related to the question of titles in general. OrthodoxWiki policy is generally to use the title for a person that he's using for himself (unless that title isn't remotely recognized by any Orthodox authority anywhere). A related example is Mstyslav (Skrypnyk) of Kiev, whose position as patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or even as a bishop of Kiev is completely unrecognized by anyone outside the UAOC. Yet we list this title not because OrthodoxWiki is recognizing it, but because it's the easiest referent for finding the entry.

It's really not practicable for OrthodoxWiki to have to take into account every disputed title in terms of either naming articles or the shorthand that succession boxes are meant to be. Doing so would mean, for instance, a rather awkward revision for every article on a bishop who claims a title to a see in the USA.

It is enough to note the dispute in the article text if it's notable. In this case, the dispute is notable, though the only church which currently disputes it is the MP. There hasn't yet been any break in communion with Basil from the other Orthodox churches.

I'm going to edit the article to reflect these items. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 16:06, August 6, 2006 (CDT)

Lengthy canonical notes

See my recent comments on Talk:Church of Constantinople. This stuff belongs over at the Prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate article. Its inclusion to this extent here is something of an imbalance and can be limited to just a summary sentence with a reference to the fuller article on the subject. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 06:21, March 30, 2007 (PDT)

Corrections to details on history between 2006-2007

I've made quite a few corrections and emendations to the sections of this article dealing with Bishop Basil's move from the MP to the EP. Much of the previous data was either inaccurate or outdated, so I've updated it with more accurate info and several new footnotes to cite the materials that are presented. —Antonios Aigyptostalk 13:45, May 14, 2007 (PDT)

The tilt of this article has again shifted.  :/ For instance, the claim is now made that +Basil sought to enter the EP without a release from Moscow, but it is generally known that the whole series of events came about precisely because of a request for a release from Moscow. I am not an expert on this subject, but from what I have read, it's my impression that a number of inaccuracies have now made their way into the article with the latest edits. (See the discussion above.) —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 17:31, May 14, 2007 (PDT)

Actually, Fr Andrew, this is a misconception that is promulgated in some circles. But the suspension of the bishop came not from his request for release, but from his requesting reception into a different patriarchate before release had been granted, and during a period when he was specifically instructed not to approach another patriarchate. This is witnessed by the correspondence, cited in the article. I'm not sure how this qualifies as either a "tilt" or an "inaccuracy"? —Antonios Aigyptostalk 00:49, May 15, 2007 (PDT)

Explanation of the timeline

Because some people are under false impressions about the timeline of events, it seems like a good idea to elaborate on them here in the Talk page, so people can determine what is "bias" or "tilt," and what is accurate telling of facts. Here is the timeline of the early months of the schism, with each element documented by letters, notices, ukazi, and so on:

  • 10 April 2006 - Bishop Basil writes to Patriarch Alexii regarding the cathedral, expressing his "deepest loyalty".[2]
  • 24 April 2006 - Bishop Basil writes to Patriarch Alexii, asking to be released and for the whole of the Diocese of Sourozh to follow him into a new diocese under the EP. [3]
  • 2 May 2006 - Bishop Basil writes to the EP, asking to be received into a new diocese.[4]
  • 5 May 2006 - Patriarch Alexii writes back to Bishop Basil in response to his letter from the 24th, commenting on the disparity between the Bishop Basil's confessions of loyalty in his letter of 10 April, and his desire to leave the Russian Orthodox Church in the letter of the 24th. In this letter he recommends meeting together with Bishop Basil face-to-face to discuss his concerns.[5]
  • 9 May 2006 - Subsequent to sending his letter of 5 May, Patriarch Alexii learns of Bishop Basil's letter to the EP, sent on the 2nd, in which Bishop Basil had formally and officially requested incardination into the EP without having obtained release from his own Patriarchate. In response, Patriarch Alexii withdraws the offer of a personal meeting and establishes a committee to look into the situation further; and the MP's Synod retires Bishop Basil pending this committee's investigation. This is laid out in Ukaz 3303 of 9 May, and is later re-affirmed and explained in Minute 31 of the Synod's meeting on 7 June 2006.
  • 14 May 2006 - The decision of the MP Synod to remove Bishop Basil as administrator of Sourozh and retire him, and to appoint Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun as new temporary administrator of the diocese, is read aloud in the Diocece's Cathedral in London. Bishop Basil responds immediately, stating that he will appeal the MP's decision to the EP.[6]
  • 22 May 2006 - On learning that Bishop Basil, anticipating being retired or suspended by the MP for his actions, had either written in advance or backdated general 'letters of release' to all the clergy of the Diocese of Sourozh, which were not actually distributed until after his suspension but which carry dates marked before it, the newly-appointed temporary administrator of Sourozh, Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun, issues a letter outlining their invalidity.[7]
  • 8 June 2006 - The Holy Synod of the EP votes to receive Bishop Basil based on his appeal, and names him Bishop of Amphipolis.
  • 12 June 2006 - The Synod of the MP refuses to accept Bishop Basil's reception into the EP, on grounds that the EP's interpretations of the canons used in Bishop Basil's appeal were interpreted inappropriately. It summons him to appear at the MP Holy Synod's next meeting on 17 June.[8] This meeting he does not attend.
  • 19 July 2006 - The MP Synod meets and expresses its regret that Bishop Basil will not meet to discuss the situation. It once again summons him to a meeting. At this meeting the Synod hears the report of the commission established to investigate the situation.[9]

It should be clear from this, and from reading the letters / documents cited for each item, that claims that "the whole series of events came about precisely because of a request for a release from Moscow" just aren't correct. —Antonios Aigyptostalk 11:13, May 15, 2007 (PDT)

The way the article is worded now makes it appear that +Basil approached the EP without talking to Moscow, who then suspended him. But the May 2 letter from +Basil to the EP explicitly mentions requesting a release.[10] It's not a formal request to be received without a release. (It would have been worded rather differently if it were such a thing.)
It only makes sense that +Basil would ask the "target" of the release about the possibility of being received while also asking the "releaser." (As any cleric can tell you, getting a release without any agreement on the other end could leave one in perpetual limbo.) It's when +Basil refused to withdraw the letter approaching the EP that Moscow suspended him, as your timeline shows.
I think it's a serious mischaracterization of the letter from +Basil to the EP to describe it as a request for "incardination into the EP without having obtained release." A simple reading of the plain language of the whole letter shows this. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 15:04, May 16, 2007 (PDT)

The proper order for a cleric to who wishes to move from one diocese to another is for the cleric to ask the bishop of diocese to which he wishes to move, to write to the bishop in which he currently resides, requesting that the cleric be released into his care and jurisdiction. There is not as clear an order for bishops wishing to move between patriarchates, as this is not a usual practice. But Bishop Basil in any case went first to his patriarch, asking for release, and independently to the Ecumenical Patriarch without waiting for release to be given from his patriarch. This is clearly what the MP found improper (and has as recently as last month characterized as "illegal"): that the Bishop wrote asking for a blessing to leave, and then made the formal request to be received elsewhere without waiting for the blessing he'd requested. If he'd wanted to do things properly, he would have spoken to the EP, and asked the EP to write to the MP requesting his release and move to its jurisdiction. But he didn't do this. Instead, he went about moving in a way that the MP found uncanonical, and on grounds that he would not revoke his letter to the EP, suspended him from his duties.

I don't see how this isn't the clear testimony of the documentary evidence of the whole affair. The point of a good article on this subject must be to relate the materials as they actually happened. Referring to the normal way canonical transfers happen doesn't really apply in this case, since that's not the way they were carried out. —Antonios Aigyptostalk 09:45, May 18, 2007 (PDT)

What seems clear from +Basil's letter to the EP was that he was trying to get a release. Whether this was proper protocol or not, he wasn't asking to be received without a release. He explicitly asked to be received while in the same letter mentioning that he was trying to get a release. The way the article is worded now (He was forcibly retired from his position as administrator of the Sourozh diocese after seeking incardination into the Ecumenical Patriarchate without receiving release from Moscow.) states that he tried to be received into the EP without getting a release, which, while literally true (i.e., he hadn't yet gotten a release when he requested the EP to be received), is misleading in that it thus gives the impression that +Basil didn't care about getting a release and asked to be received without mentioning a release.
It seems pretty clear from +Basil's letter that he did not (at least before the later appeal) have the intention to move to the EP without a release. (If that were his intention, why bother asking the MP for a release and then why mention that request to the EP?)
If the article is to represent the evidence as it actually stands, it should simply describe the contents of +Basil's letter to the EP without the (at least) misleading summary. That the MP found it improper and didn't want +Basil even talking to the EP without its permission is of course also relevant and should be mentioned.
Here is a replacement text as I would suggest it: He formally requested a release from Moscow to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and then shortly thereafter sent a letter to the latter requesting incardination, mentioning his request for release from Moscow. Moscow insisted that he withdraw the letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch and forbade him to communicate with any other patriarchate until such time as Moscow determined whether to give him a release. Upon Basil's refusal to withdraw the letter, citing that it only made sense that he would contact the potential destination for his release, he was forcibly retired from his position as administrator of the Sourozh diocese.Fr. Andrew talk contribs 13:44, May 21, 2007 (PDT)