Friday, April 24, 2009

Does Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Have Authority Over the Whole of Orthodoxy?

"In true Orthodoxy, canonicity is not determined by individuals and church politics, but by the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils. There is no canon promulgated by any of the Seven Ecumenical Councils which even remotely suggests that every single Orthodox Jurisdiction must be in full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. It would be churlish to suggest that given his greatly diminished territorial stature (the Turkish government recently reminded him of the tiny Christian population of his see) he should be stripped of his title of First among Equals. He should rightly remain as the first spokesman of the Church (although the current Patriarch’s dalliance with ecumenism is causing questions to be raised amongst some Churches in this regard). But at no time should he be regarded as exercising any form of temporal or ecclesial jurisdiction. He is simply the 270th successor of the Apostle Andrew in the See of Constantinople; and that is the greatest of his honours." (See the Full Article HERE from The Hermitage Journal) [UPDATE: 3/9/11-The link provided here has joined a series of links making itself available to members only and is password protected. Prompting the question, why? Seems there are more "orthodox" sites becoming unavailable to the public since the coup of the MP. Also watch for revisionist history, particularly in new additions of books and other Orthodox materials.]

So stop throwing around the phrase "You must be "canonical" as if every Orthodox Bishop must be in communion or under the reign of the Ecumenical Patriarch. That concept is Papism and Papism is certainly not canonical. A Bishopric/Church/Diocese is canonical if it has authentic succession, follows the canons of the Church as presented by the historic Ecumenical Councils, and teaches what has been believed by the Church at all times in all places. This is what Antiochian Metropolitan Philip has refused to accept as he has recently demanded the written acquiescence of his fellow Bishops to the Antiochian Patriarch's decision to demote them without cause.

Here are some of the more relevant questions about canonicity:

1. Is Pseudo-Patriarch Bartholomew canonical when he teaches that there are paths to God other than through Jesus Christ? Do the churches who remain in communion with the heretical Patriarch retain their canonicity?

2. Are Bishops canonical when they issue an edict forbidding all Orthodox to evangelize people of other "christian faiths" in order to preserve "unity"?

3. Is a Bishop or church canonical when it follows a New Calender innovation introduced by a single heretical Masonic Bishop removing that which was practiced by the whole Church and since the First Ecumenical Council?

4. Is any jurisdiction canonical when it considers the Roman Catholic Church to be a sister church sharing the same Eucharistic sacrament?

The Ecumenical Patriarch has been uncanonical in all of these matters. One cannot with integrity broach the issue of canonicity without dealing first with these and other similar questions.

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