Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Orthodox churches find it difficult to overcome differences

Moscow (ENInews). Diptychs, an arcane liturgical term that describes the order in which Orthodox churches commemorate each other at their services, is one of the tangled issues blocking plans for what could be the first great church council in 1,200 years.

Some Orthodox leaders say the churches need to get together to discuss common issues and speak with one voice on such important topics as bioethics, sexuality and the environment, but differences over arcane church issues such as diptychs and autocephaly (the independent status of Orthodox churches) run deep.

There are about 250 million Orthodox Christians in the world, belonging to 14 or 15 independent Orthodox churches, depending on which church is counting. The Patriarchate of Constantinople, for example, does not recognize the autocephaly (independence) granted by Moscow to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in 1970, and does not commemorate the OCA in its diptychs.

Diptychs are not a question of dogma, but they are at the heart of church protocol. A leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church cited its founding in the fifth century in explaining why his church won't back down in its demands for greater recognition.
Read the rest here.

7 comments:

Ingemar said...

In before "You need a Pope" comments.

Heracleides said...

Or perhaps the "We don't need another Great Council" comment. Could be that inflated egos' will accomplish the will of the Holy Spirit afterall... or so one can pray.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

And we need another Great Council because??? Eight of the nine dealt with some heresy threatening the Church. The eighth addressed a major schism and also reaffirmed the Creed as written by the Fathers of the earlier councils. I know of nothing even remotely rising to those levels out there right now.

In ICXC
John

DNY said...

Well, we either need a Great Council, or we need for the bishops in all of the Episcopal Assemblies organized in preparation for it to look at each other across the table at some meeting, realize that the good of the Church demands it, and proclaim themselves to be the Holy Synod of [relevant location here], elect a Patriarch and tell the "mother churches" to accept. Kind of same way Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria (second time out), Romania and Greece become autocephalous churches: establish facts on the ground, let Constantinople catch up.

Want a heresy for the council to address? How about jurisdictionalism as ethnophyletism-lite (kind of like monothelitism was monophysitism-lite)?

Anonymous said...

"... the bishops in all of the Episcopal Assemblies organized in preparation for it to look at each other across the table at some meeting, realize that the good of the Church demands it, and proclaim themselves to be the Holy Synod...."

Works for me!

Would be nice to have some sort of resolution of the calendar scandal, tho.

Bill tGf

Priest David Thatcher said...

There is an important but largely hidden narrative underlying this seemingly trivial matter of the Church of Georgia in the dipychs. The Church of Georgia has been subject to considerable aggression and suppression over the centuries, and unfortunately even in this post-Soviet era, by Russia and the Church of Russia. Perhaps the place name Ossetia sounds familiar? Sad.

The young fogey said...

The Orthodox such as C'ople who don't recognise the OCA's independence are in communion with it and IIRC see it as still the American metropolia of the Russian Church.

A communion of ethnic churches little to do with each other and with no Novus Ordo (with no mechanism to make a communionwide NO even possible) is pretty good.