He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

American Autocephaly?

Only if Constantinople says so.

I paid another visit to Orrologion's excellent blog, which posted the Greek view of the Diaspora.


orrologion said...

Actually, I can envision a scenario where there is de facto autocephaly for a 'super Synod' a la Met. Jonah's suggestion in Dallas or an expanded OCA built around support from Moscow. The Greeks will likely demur. Other jurisdictions may either join the one or the other, or stand aloof maintaining (or not) communion with one or both sides. Then, the game will be which side can actually incarnate a unified Orthodoxy that others want to join with. The EP's obedience model of 'separate but equal' eparchies is one choice, the other is a more conciliar approach that respects those jurisdictional divides and the connections to Mother Countries while laying the groundwork for a ruling Synod that can readjust that if and when ethnic identity of these immigrant groups wanes. If all the other jurisdictions gravitate toward Moscow's vision in action and if the more and more assimilated Greeks begin to chafe under the EP's death grasp (or, if any number of other things happen in Istanbul over the next 2-3 Patriarchs' tenures) one could see them deigning to join these other group - with face saving measures put in place, to be sure.

Visibilium said...

I like your idealism, but I don't see any incentive for the EP to deal with anyone except GOA in this issue. GOA has no incentive to deal with the Metropolia or anyone else, other than the EP.

How does the OCA make unification worthwhile to the prosperous and populous Greeks? For that matter, how does the OCA make unification worthwhile to the less prosperous and populous ACROD?

A necessary, but insufficient, condition for the OCA's attracting the EP's jurisdictions would be getting Moscow completely out of the US.

orrologion said...

I think there is perhaps more concern over the overlapping of jurisdictions than we might think. I think IF a solution can be arrived at that allows a great deal of unity in diversity and connections with the Old World, then I think there would be support for a different model of unification. Depending on how the EP acts in the lead up to and in the Great Council, you may also see a number of the NA jurisdictions wishing to counter those actions - of course, the same goes for Moscow should it be seen as pulling the strings too much in NA with the OCA, MP-USA and ROCOR parishes to its own end rather than Orthodoxy's.

The primary motivator for the GOA will be demographic. Most of the 2nd and 3rd generation Greeks are no longer Orthodox. They are essentially where the OCA was 20-40 years ago and they seems to be taking about the same track (thought they don't have to worry about the Calendar change). The demographics in Istanbul are the current impetus for a resolution of the 'diaspora' (of which neither I nor any converts are a part). If the EP in NA becomes more and more simply a moribund relic of a past cultural wave, there may be a desire to unify with a more vigorous organization.

My thoughts depend heavily on whether the OCA and Moscow and any other jurisdictions wishing to unify more closely can actualize a compelling vision for a unified Orthodox Church in North America - the OCA itself has not been able to do this, to date. This is merely another possible 'way' things could work out, it is not necessarily the most likely.