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Talk:Responses to OCA autocephaly

Revision as of 13:12, May 17, 2008 by ASDamick (talk | contribs) (Title of Article)

Does this mean the OCA is not legitimate in the eyes of the Ecumenical Patriarch?

If I belong to the OCA, and the OCA is not autocephalous, whose jurisdiction would they consider me to be under? Am I "noncanonical" then??? Rakovsky 02:56, August 17, 2006 (CDT)

I don't know for certain, but ISTM that because the OCA and Moscow are in good communion with each other, the Ecumenical Patriarch would, in liturgic settings, consider the OCA to be a metropolis of Moscow. No one in MCB Orthodoxy considers the OCA to be uncanonical - hierarchs and priests of the OCA and of the Ecumenical Patriarch can - and do - concelebrate. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 03:51, August 17, 2006 (CDT)
As a priest of the OCA, that's my understanding too. — FrJohn (talk)
Yep, though it's not just the EP, but any of the churches which don't recognize the OCA's autocephaly. As far as I know (and my knowledge may well be out of date), only Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Georgia, and the Czech/Slovak churches recognize it (essentially the churches in former Soviet republics which are now independent of the MP). The other nine autocephalous churches do not. When there are international "pan-Orthodox" conferences, the order set by the presiding church (the EP) is used. (See: List of autocephalous and autonomous Churches.) Generally speaking, the OCA does not participate in such conferences, anyhow (possibly because the MP does not invite them as part of its delegation, the only way they'd be universally accepted). —Dcn. Andrew talk contribs 14:39, August 17, 2006 (CDT)

Re: "If I belong to the OCA, and the OCA is not autocephalous, whose jurisdiction would they consider me to be under? Am I "noncanonical" then???" Good question. We started out in a mess at St. Mary of Egypt in Kansas City (David Altschull-Father Paisius). We were with one group in California (Russian), then another in New York (Greek) and it seemed that at every turn we were non-canonical. We eventually ended up in the Serbian Church and we established communion with the other jurisdictions. I was re-Chrismated actually. Through it all, our Orthodoxy was intact but our Church was on the fringe. There have been worse messes, Bulgaria and Ukraine and Georgia come to mind. Meantime, the question most important is, are you in communion with the other jurisdictions. Evidently you are. The rest will be worked out in time. Thomas Simmons 01:51 11 March 2007 (EPT)

Title of Article

It seems to me that this article is wrongly titled. Since this is a modern issue, none of the subjects of this article belong in any way to the Byzantine Empire (any more, that is, than the election of Sarkozy is an event belonging to the Roman Empire). On the other hand, the subjects in question identify themselves (and this is surely what is most important for the title of an encyclopedic article) as Greek Orthodox. On this basis, does anyone have any objections to the retitling of the article 'Greek Orthodox responses ...'? Seminarist 15:29, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. --Fr Lev 15:32, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

The problem with Greek Orthodox as a term is that it is too easily identified with Greekness as an ethnicity. It is true that the Orthodox of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem do use the term Greek Orthodox in some contexts (though Rum Orthodox, i.e. "Roman" Orthodox, is the term in Arabic), but their faithful are mostly not ethnic Greeks and Greek Orthodox is not the term used in the English speaking world for many of them.
Byzantine makes the most sense to me since it is what at least liturgically and culturally groups these churches together, i.e., their having been part of the Byzantine commonwealth. They are the churches of the Byzantine world, despite that world no longer having any political existence. Unfortunately, there really is no one term that would seem to define all these groups together adequately. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 19:01, May 16, 2008 (UTC)
The other part is that, in the eyes of many, 'Greek Orthodox' is analogous to 'Roman Catholic' - i.e. that 'Greek Orthodox' means 'all Orthodox Churches', which connotes itself to meaning that Orthodoxy in general is opposed to OCA autocephaly - which is not the case (since 5 of 14 support it). — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 21:28, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

How about "Objections to OCA Autocephaly"? --Fr Lev 21:38, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

That's a bit better in terms of a neutral approach, but it doesn't make it clear that the article is about a historical response rather than simply listing objections. It also doesn't make it clear that there really is something all those objecting had in common, that they are from the generally Byzantine "pole" of Orthodoxy (as it's currently institutionalized) rather than the Muscovite one. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 22:44, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

I must say that I'm very uncomfortable with some of the lines of reasoning above, which seem very far from straightforward neutrality:

Of course the Patriarchate of Antioch uses the term 'Rum' in Arabic. But in English, it calls itself the 'Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch' - just as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem calls itself the 'Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem'. In fact, all of the Churches characterised in this article as 'Byzantine' in fact call themselves 'Greek Orthodox' in English. None of them, however, call themselves 'Byzantine'.

Against suggestions to the contrary, within Orthodoxy, the expression 'Greek Orthodox' simply does not denote an ethnicity, but rather an ecclesio-liturgical heritage. The Churches which call themselves 'Greek Orthodox' are all territorial not ethnic Churches, and they have many members which are not ethnically Greek - the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, indeed, are predominately non-Hellenic in ethnicity. As such, there's no sense that 'Greek Orthodox' is in its proper sense an ethnic designation. (Of course, one of the things which sometimes creates the false impression that 'Greek Orthodox' is an ethnic characterisation are Orthodox people who refuse to allow the expression to be used in anything other than an ethnic sense.)

Moreover, there is in reality no such thing as an 'institutionalized' 'Byzantine "pole" of Orthodoxy'. There are different Churches, none of which call themselves 'Byzantine'. Byzantium is a past historical phenomenon, whereas these Churches are living realities in the present, and it does them a great disservice to characterise these Churches primarily as 'Byzantine', as to do so makes them look like relics of a bygone empire. (Indeed, what these Churches have in common is not especially Byzantine - none of their members have been Byzantines since for the last 500 years; many of their saints - e.g. St John of Damascus - were never Byzantines; their liturgical books are in several respects further removed in content from Byzantine liturgy than are, e.g. Slavic liturgical books; and their liturgical music is for the most part to be dated to the Turkokrateia, not to Byzantium.) Accordingly, to call these Churches 'Byzantine' seems rather disingenuous.

So, since all of the Churches which are being grouped in this article are 'Byzantine' in fact call themselves 'Greek Orthodox', and since none of them call themselves 'Byzantine', shall we not call them what they call themselves - 'Greek Orthodox'? Really, there is no good and neutral reason for denying them their own self-chosen name. Seminarist 02:20, May 17, 2008 (UTC)

How about "Greek Objections to OCA Autocephaly"? --Fr Lev 02:33, May 17, 2008 (UTC)

Would work if it didn't include the Patriarch of Antioch (as Patr. Elias was an Arab) - since 'Greek' can't be interpreted as anything other than ethnicity.
Perhaps 'Inter-Orthodox reactions to OCA autocephaly' would do the trick? Reactions does mean something fairly immediate, after all. Or 'repercussions'. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 02:46, May 17, 2008 (UTC)
It is true that the Church of Antioch is known as "Greek Orthodox" in its official documents, but the vast majority of the English-speaking world refers to it as "Antiochian," which is reflected in the official names of Antioch's dioceses among Anglophones. It's not a question of "denying" official names but of using the term most familiar to English-speaking Orthodox which leads them immediately to understand what's being referred to. I firmly believe that Greek Orthodox response to OCA autocephaly would be interpreted by most English-speaking Orthodox to refer solely to a response from the Church of Greece (many aren't even aware that the Greek Orthodox of the diaspora are under Constantinople!).
How about Ancient patriarchates' response to OCA autocephaly? That doesn't precisely include the Church of Greece, though it might be a good compromise name. My concern with Pistevo's wording is that it would require the article to be expanded considerably to include the "other side" of the question, which isn't adequately covered in the sources (Anyone have some other sources? Was there even a response from all the churches?). —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:12, May 17, 2008 (UTC)
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