Saturday, October 26, 2013

Antioch suspends participation in all episcopal assemblies

The actual Statement by the Secretariat of Holy Synod of Antioch in Balamand, October 17, 2013 is quite lengthy (the most readable English version available at the Notes on Arab Orthodoxy blog). If you are a proponent of the Chamb├ęsy process, this is a major impediment to future activities until it gets resolved.


(Antioch Patriarchate) - The Fathers discussed the crisis caused by the election of the Church of Jerusalem an Archbishop on Qatar. They sadly contemplated the persistence of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s violation, in spite of all the initiatives and mediations conducted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Government of the Hellenic Republic in order to resolve this crisis in accordance with the ecclesiastical laws and in a peaceful spirit. The Synod Fathers reiterated their desire to give priority to the peaceful solution over other solutions. However, they stressed the need to find a solution to this crisis in no later than two months from today’s date. They delegated His Beatitude, in the event of lack of response from the Church of Jerusalem to the rightful demand of the Church of Antioch to remove the aforementioned violation on its canonical territory, to take all necessary measures including severing of communion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Synod also decided to suspend the Church of Antioch’s participation in all the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops abroad (in the Diaspora) until the removal of the violation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

11 comments:

  1. Well that's just great. Does this include the work going on in committees or just the annual assemblies themselves?

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    1. Too soon to tell. I know there are some assembly member readers. Maybe they'll chime in.

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  2. Do these guys ever try talking to one another before breaking communion? Seriously?

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    1. Yes. They did. If you want to follow the progress of this fiasco caused by Jerusalem's colonial mentality see:

      http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/03/the-patriarchate-of-antiochs-official.html
      http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/03/antiochian-delegation-meets-with.html
      http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/05/holy-synod-of-antioch-issues-another.html
      http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/06/official-translation-of-patriarch-john.html
      http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2013/06/delegations-from-antioch-jerusalem-meet.html

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  3. The more I see this kind of thing, the more I wonder how an Orthodox person can - with a straight face - still claim that the Orthodox Church is "One" in anything more than a theoretical sense.

    A true believer, or course, looks at this and laments the sin of pride that besets us all. An outsider, perhaps an inquirer, looks at this and sees internecine squabbling. Not really something that draws a person to the Orthodox faith.

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    1. This is how we correct such behavior. No one group can act with impunity. It's one reason why the Roman system is difficult for us to accept. The current pope matters tremendously because what he says goes. We have no equivalent position and I'd rather see the stick used like this than a power from on high "sort things out" for us. Still, very lamentable.

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  4. Is it really true that Jerusalem encroached traditional Antiochian jurisdiction and then refuses to even answer Antioch's protests? Or is this just one side of the story?

    I am Antiochian so I only read the news released by my own archdiocese.

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    1. Here is Jerusalem's only public statement, from back in April: http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2013/04/29/2741

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  5. What the Pope says goes? Why are more than half of roman Catholics in the USA out of synch with the official Roman position on vital issues? Not because whatever Rome says goes. There is no system of church government that humanly speaking is without dissenters and ongoing problems. While we Orthodox clearly have our problems that need fixin, frankly I would rather have ours than what I see happening in the contemporary Roman Church. And we wont even go to the 20,000 + Protestant groups..

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    1. Well, true, Father, that doesn't mean people will actually follow even if they have a leader. Agreed, I'd rather have this pushing and pulling than the apostasy seen elsewhere.

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  6. Point taken. It does seem, however, that at least in the Catholic system there is a way to make a decision, whether or not someone follows it, while in Orthodoxy there is no way to make a binding decision beyond the confines of a national Church.

    I could understand this collegiality as a reasonable form of governance if there was a willingness on the part of the various Orthodox Patriarchates to actually sit down together to resolve problems, but I do not see this desire.

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