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When a Jurisdiction goes into heresy and schism

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Moses Medina, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Moses Medina

    Moses Medina Layman

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    Hello all, poking my head around once again. I know I do this every so often. I had a question that I'm curious about. I am currently in the USA, but, hypothetically lets say I was in a country where I was Antiochian, and of course God willing not, but lets say Antioch is completely severed from the rest of Orthodoxy.

    What happens to the people? Would the faithful be expected to start doing typica's on their own and reach out to another Jurisdiction or continue their respective jurisdiction through typica's?

    Realistically I would imagine if a whole jurisdiction were to go down that there would be priests and such that stepped away and continued on perhaps?

    (EDITED DUE TO CORRECTION ON STATUS OF ROCOR DURING PARTIAL SCHISM)
    I ask because a lot of souls can be put in danger and I am curious to the answers.

    Thanks for anyone trying to discern through what I am asking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    well, ROCOR was never a full schism, as they were always in communion with Serbia and Jerusalem.

    but ideally the faithful would not follow the schism.
     
  3. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How do you mean "expected to"? If somehow this happened, I expect that

    • most faithful wouldn't notice or care, or at least not in the way we imagine they would
    • some would be in distress but be obedient to their hierarchs and just pray for the healing of the schism
    • very few would somehow seek to be received by another jurisdiction
     
  4. Moses Medina

    Moses Medina Layman

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    Thank you Fr. I wasn't aware it wasn't a full schism so my apologies for that mistake. So incase of a full schism it would be the faithful to separate themselves from the schismatics and continue Orthodoxy within their own Jurisdiction. I would imagine neighboring Jurisdictions would lend a hand perhaps?
     
  5. nutroll

    nutroll Veteran

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    I don't think it's fair to say that ROCOR was in schism. They were in communion with some of the canonical Churches but not all. I think this would be the deciding factor in your hypothetical. If your jurisdiction wasn't in communion with anyone but themselves, I think you would be best to take a good, hard look at why. Laity can leave a parish and go elsewhere easily (assuming there are other parishes nearby), priests would need to be accepted into another jurisdiction by official channels. Normally this would require a release from your own bishop. A bishop's error would have to be persistent and grievous for another bishop to receive a priest who leaves without proper releases.
     
  6. Moses Medina

    Moses Medina Layman

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    Thank you for your answer, I know such a scenario is as mentioned hypothetical. Such a responsibility by all clergy to stay faithful!
     
  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    no worries.

    and yeah, you'd hope the canonical Church would reach out.
     
  8. Not David

    Not David Der Ewige Katechumene

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    I mean, when Rome got into schism, all of the West went into schism too.
     
  9. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    When he asks what they are expected to do, the OP is asking what Orthodoxy believes that they should do, not what religious analysts would realistically predict that they would do.

    He isn't asking what do the laity do when their church goes into schism, because it's obvious, since the church went into schism, at least some laity did. Plus, in the next paragraph he said what he predicted "realistically" would happen, so that is not his question.

    He means what are they expected to do like, I just had my car and things stolen and my house is 20 miles away and I have no ID or money to get a taxi home, what am I expected to do? What do people expect me to do to get home (not what do my friends imagine that I will do)? He is asking a personal pastoral question in that sense.
     
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  10. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    It seems like one of those English common speech issues where you know the language you can pick up one Expressions that weighs up that but not if you just strictly go by vocabulary and grammar. Also there is a context issue. What are they supposed to do is synonymous with what are they expected to do. It is different than asking what is it expected that they will do.
     
  11. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's not really a personal pastoral question, since that would involve a spiritual advisor and a specific person in a real situation, no?

    But, regardless, I sort of stand by my answer: what I listed are things that one could do: nothing, pray about it, leave for another jurisdiction.

    I don't think anyone would expect the laypeople to just decide their priests and bishops are heretical and in schism but STAY in that jurisdiction. No one thinks "I love being in this heretical and schismatic jurisdiction!" Right?

    But, personally, I would say: if you have a really serious problem with your priest, talk to the bishop. If with the bishop, I guess the synod or metropolitan (preaching heresy or something? Denying Christ?). If the whole jurisdiction "goes down" (the primate and all the bishops and clergy declare that Christ was a creature or something), then I guess, yeah, that's not the Orthodox faith, so move to another jurisdiction.
     
  12. ShiFuBill

    ShiFuBill Regular Member

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    I move around a lot and I hear stories so I'll tell you my experience. I've been in countries with a very small Orthodox expat community, usually under EP or MP, and sometimes there are residents from Macedonia or Ukraine (never asked which jurisdictions). I've never probed, but the practice seems to be that if the person intends to join that community, they are permitted to take communion provided they are otherwise in good standing. I haven't met any new Ukrainians, Greeks, or Alexandrians at a Russian church since 2019 so I can't say what would happen in that situation, but the general attitude seems to be that since people find themselves in schism but not in heresy, they can willingly join a canonical church.
    On the other hand, I was once at Mt. Athos and went to meet the monk overseeing the monastery while the abbot was ill. A young man was emotionally asking to be able to receive communion and to be permitted to get the blessing of priests at the monastery. The young man argued that, though he was Macedonian, he was a student at Oxford and had taken communion from Met. Kallistos and should be allowed to take communion. The monk was quietly denying him. I don't know what happened earlier and if there was another reason for denying him communion other than him being Macedonian.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  13. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    If a church falls away due to heresy, then it no longer is a member of the Body of Christ. This is a long process and doesn't just happen over night usually various efforts of christological reconciliation occur before and after the official split.
    Schism is different. In hindsight a schism can simply have been a temporary suspension of communion. Schism becomes permanent if after a long separation the two sides begin drifting apart and no longer recognize anything in each other.
     
  14. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be that it is because the only canonical Church in Macedonia (the country now known as North Macedonia) is a diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church and is mostly made up of Serbs who live in North Macedonia. There is a schismatic so-called "Macedonian Orthodox Church" that has been in schism since its inception back in the 1960s; though I think they're supposed to be working with the Bulgarians and Serbs on how to come back into the Church. Anywho, the so-called "Macedonian Orthodox Church" is in schism and chances are that the Macedonian you mentioned was part of the Church not realizing he was part of a schismatic organization.
     
  15. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    Athos also has a history (being Mt Athos) of schismatics and Byzantine Catholics trying to sneak into the communion lines, so they are very watchful of who is approaching.
     
  16. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    What the young man didn't understand was that he was asking the monk to put him in harms way. They aren't protecting Christ's body and blood from being defiled in some way, as if that were in any way possible, they are protecting an unready person from receiving fire which could seriously harm them.
     
  17. Moses Medina

    Moses Medina Layman

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    I appreciate the replies of everyone. I will say again that this whole thing was hypothetical. My parish is an amazing parish and very faithful. But asking these kind of things and seeing replies really helps me learn or maintain knowledge so again thank you!
     
  18. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I didn't probe a lot of the details, but when people in good standing from our canonical parish (and before the present kerfluffle) have travelled to Mt. Athos, they have usually not been allowed to receive Communion there at all.

    Iirc the reason given was that they expected a more rigorous preparation and so denied everyone.

    Of course it could have just been specific communities there. I know nothing really. But it surprised me at the time to learn that.

    Ironic that the women who went to other locations on the pilgrimage were allowed to receive communion, while the men who were able to go to Mt. Athos were not.
     
  19. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yeah, it does depend on which monastery you go to. some are uber strict.
     
  20. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    When staying at Vatopedi, my son and I went to confession there and received Holy Communion two days later. We were involved in a lot of the activities at the monastery, such as cleaning and food preparation, so I guess we were a bit more of a 'known quantity' than other visitors.
    We actually got to stay an extra day because of our receiving Communion, as there was no Divine Liturgy the day after confession. I can't exactly remember why but I think the day before was a major feast day or vigil.

    Now that I think about it more, I think our reason for receiving Holy Communion might have had a lot to do with our Spiritual Father being highly respected at the monastery. Several of the monks there had also been under his care before becoming monks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
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