Bishop Photios of Marathon Issues Response Concerning SiR Union

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Bishop Photios of Marathon Issues Response Concerning SiR Union

N.B. While we often aggregate news from other sources, with the following article, we owe Jean-Serge Katembue of http://orthodoxie-libre.over-blog.com/ our sincerest apologies. A copy-paste of their article which had spread twice over last week left the impression that this was recently stated and had parochial sanction, when it was in fact over a month and a half old. We had no intention of causing anyone any offense, and it appears the Church site article where it was gleaned from has disappeared. Since we usually only place part of the information from a news site to encourage visits to the author’s site, we are doing that now, as well as redating it to the proper date.

Answers to our questions regarding the Genuine Orthodox Church and the Synod in Resistance (Original in Greek)

In our open letter published of April 11th, 2014, we raised 8 questions regarding the union between the Genuine Orthodox Church under Kallinikos of Athens and the Synod in Resistance. Bishop Photios of Marathon has just replied these questions in Greek. He authorized us to make them public. Here are the answers.

Does the document allow true orthodox people to believe there is mysteriological grace within World orthodoxy?

RESPONSE 1: No. It is simply a gentle way of saying that there is no Grace of the Mysteries within World Orthodoxy, which takes into consideration pastoral considerations. See hereunder the relative comment by the Matthewite brother Vassilios at the end of the responses..

If so, then it opens the Pandora box with a series of terrible contradictions.

The full article may be read here: Answers to our questions regarding the Genuine Orthodox Church and the Synod in Resistance (Original in Greek)

  • GOI

    Now it all makes sense???
    The GOC-K never believed that the Cyprianites were heretics (ie M Cyprian was never anathemitized, but only deposed for seperating and ordaining his own bishops) as a result they never needed to give up what they believe in order to joine the GOC-K.
    Many of our Priests and Bishops (GOC) for years talked about Cyprianism being a Heresy. Is this all being ignored? if so this is really dangerous.
    Everytime the GOC-K tries to explain the situation it gets more foggy, which would suggest they are not very comfortable/sure with what they have done.

  • Symeon Reiziger

    The ROAC has OFFICIALLY anathematized the heresy of Kyprianism (the ecclesiological teaching of the reposed Kyprian of Fili). How can anyone rationally or reasonably claim, expecially the learned Bp Photios, “Ah yes, well the ROAC might have anathematized Metr, Cyprian’s ecclesiology, but it still did not anathematise HIM!” Give me a break! Or should we understand that Bp Photios is either completely ignorant of this anathema by ROAC several years ago while Cyprian was still alive, or should we understand that the Synodal judgements of the ROAC have no bearing or weight of authority for the Churches of Christ whatever — which would only be the case if they were not actually a real Church of Christ, nor their bishops real bishops.

  • Jean-Serge Katembue

    But it is a copy and paste from by blog…

    • Dcn Joseph Suaiden

      I have updated this, and re-dated it with an explanatory note– you have my sincerest apologies.

  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden

    I put that up, and I take responsibility for it. It apparently came from a site that has since taken it down. I had not seen it until then, as I had seen it for the first time on a competing news blog, and then went to what I thought was an original translation of the document from the French site. Since I hadn’t seen it the first time, I thought it was newsworthy, and copied it. You’ll notice the date stamp on the bottom link is 7/24. I thought it was less than a week old.

    It seems to have been taken off the site for whatever reason.

    I will update this, and again, I sincerely apologize.

  • Fr. Savvas Anastasiou

    A revised translation (which can also be found at http://orthodoxie-libre.over-blog.com/ except the first question is as follows:

    In our open letter published on April 11th,
    2014, we raised eight questions regarding the union between the Genuine
    Orthodox Church under Kallinikos of Athens and the Synod in Resistance. Bishop
    Photios of Marathon has replied to these questions in Greek. He has authorized
    us to make them public. Here are his answers.

    QUESTION 1: Does the Ecclesiological Document (http://ecclesiagoc.gr/images/stories/ArticlesPDF/Common%20Ecclesiology-Apodosis%20FinalEN.pdf)
    allow True Orthodox Christians to believe there is Sacramental Grace within “World
    Orthodoxy?”

    RESPONSE 1: No. It is simply a gentle way of
    saying that there is no Sacramental Grace within World Orthodoxy which takes pastoral
    concerns into consideration. See hereunder, at the end of the responses, a
    relative comment by a Matthewite gentleman named Basil.

    QUESTION 2: If so, then it opens Pandora’s Box
    with a series of terrible contradictions. It contradicts the Church’s
    Confession of Faith which does not acknowledge that Sacramental Grace exists among
    heretics, and it contradicts the Church’s practice of imposing canonical
    penalties upon those having erroneous opinions on this subject. What will
    happen if someone now states that he believes that Sacramental Grace is present
    in World Orthodoxy, basing himself on this Ecclesiological Document and the
    aforementioned ambiguous statement? Will it be possible to depose him if he is a
    Bishop or, if he is a layman, to excommunicate him based on Canon 46 of the
    Holy Apostles?

    RESPONSE 2: It has already been said, the answer
    to the first question is NO. Now then, if some Clergyman states publicly that
    he believes in the existence of Sacramental Grace in so-called Official
    Orthodoxy he would be called to defend his views in the presence of the
    relative Ecclesiastical Court.

    QUESTION 3: The Ecclesiological Document
    contradicts ROCOR’s anathema against Ecumenism which expels from the Church
    those who believe that there are active Mysteries outside the Church. Will faithful
    who believe that Sacramental Grace is present in “World Orthodoxy” be tolerated
    in the True Orthodox Church? Are they tolerated already?

    RESPONSE 3: The Ecclesiological Document states
    explicitly in § VI 3 that “[the] application of œconomy in the reception of
    heretics and schismatics into communion with the Church in no way betokens that
    the Church acknowledges the validity and the reality of their mysteries, which
    are celebrated outside Her canonical and charismatic boundaries.” Also,
    in footnote 35 it states: “The charismatic and canonical boundaries of the
    Church”: the “canonical boundaries” are defined by the Dogmas and the Sacred
    Canons of the Orthodox Church (see note 18, “Canonical”), while the
    “charismatic boundaries” are defined chiefly by the Sacred Mysteries, through
    which the Grace of God acts upon the faithful. In the Orthodox Church, these
    two boundaries are not separated but deemed equivalent. These terms are
    mentioned here precisely in order to emphasize their equivalence, since the
    ecumenists consider the charismatic boundaries of the Church to be broader than
    Her canonical boundaries; that is, they recognize Sacramental Grace also in
    various heretical communities (see §§II.2 and II.11 earlier on in this
    document).”

    QUESTION 4: The Ecclesiological Document
    contradicts the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece’s
    confessional encyclicals of 1935, 1950 and 1974 which assert the lack of Sacramental
    Grace in the State Church of Greece. Indeed, the Ecclesiological Document makes
    no clear statement about gracelessness in “World Orthodoxy” opening the
    possibility (so it seems) of believing that Sacramental Grace is present in
    “World Orthodoxy.” Since the State Church of Greece is a part of “World
    Orthodoxy” does the Ecclesiological Document now lead us to believe that the
    State Church of Greece has some Sacramental Grace? This would utterly
    contradict the confessional encyclicals of 1935, 1950 and 1974.

    RESPONSE 4: The Encyclicals you mention are certainly
    still in force. In fact, during the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy in
    April 2014 “[it] was confirmed that the dedication of the 2015 pocket calendar
    remains as it was decided during the Synod of the Hierarchy’s meeting last
    September, that is, it is dedicated to the three hierarchs’ 1935 Confession of
    Faith and the formation of the Holy Synod of the True Orthodox Christians of
    Greece and various details of its publication were adjusted.”

    QUESTION 5: If the 1935, 1950 and 1975 Encyclicals
    still stand, the Sacramental gracelessness of the State Church of Greece is
    then confirmed. But outside the specific case of the State Church of Greece
    would it still be possible to think that Sacramental Grace is present elsewhere
    in “World Orthodoxy?”

    RESPONSE 5: I repeat: The Encyclicals of 1935,
    1950 and 1974, as well as the Encyclical of 2002 are in force. The fact that
    they refer only to the State Church of Greece (because this is the problem the
    True Orthodox Christians were facing here within the Greek territory) is an
    omission that we are now called to address with new decisions that will not be
    formulated within the narrow Greek framework. Therefore, the answer to the Question
    5 is NO.

    QUESTION 6: If so, is New Calendarism in Greece so
    different from New Calendarism in Constantinople, Romania, Antioch, Alexandria,
    Finland and Czech Republic so that these particular ”World Orthodox” Churches
    might have Sacramental Grace?

    RESPONSE 6: Since the answer to Question 5 is
    “no,” answering Question 6 is pointless.

    QUESTION 7: The Ecclesiological Document
    contradicts the 1987 anathema against the late Cyprian of Phyle due to the fact
    he acknowledged the presence of Sacramental Grace within the State Church of
    Greece. Please correct us if we are mistaken about the anathema, the complete
    text is only available in Greek. Is there a contradiction between the document and
    this anathema?

    RESPONSE 7: Firstly, the late Metropolitan Cyprian
    was NEVER anathematized. The penalty of deposition was imposed on him in 1986
    (and publicized in 1987 in the periodical “The Voice of Orthodoxy”) because, as
    it is written there: “If the deposed Metropolitan Cyprian had only cut himself
    off from the Church and confined himself to his monastery the Holy Synod would
    continue to forbear this, always hoping for his return, as it does for the
    other Bishops …” A little further down it states the reasons for the
    deposition, i.e. that he proceeded: “…to found his own schismatic parishes in
    various areas, to mislead people, and to even ordain a vast number of bishops …”
    (issue number 811, January-February 1987, page 23, column 2) It is clear that
    the penalty of deposition was imposed upon Metropolitan Cyprian because he ordained
    Bishops and created his own Synod.

    QUESTION 8: Would you also please explain to us, in
    theological detail, under what conditions a Memorial Service was served for the
    late Cyprian of Phyle in that he died outside the Church?

    RESPONSE 8: Because Metropolitan Cyprian’s
    successors lifted the 1984 walling-off and abolished their separate Synod (the
    Synod in Resistance) thereby executing the wish of the late Metropolitan
    Cyprian himself, the lifting of the penalties that were imposed by the Synodal
    Court for Hierarchs (decision no. 5/1986) on Nov. 5/18, 1986 was made possible.
    It would be worth it for you to see the relative announcement of the Synod’s
    Decisions:

    http://ecclesiagoc.gr/index.php/anakoinwseis/459-anakoinwsis-apofasvn-i-s-i-2014-3-18

    A similar posthumous lifting of the penalty of deposition
    occurred in the case of the late Archbishop Auxentios. Historically, I can
    mention the example of the anathema of King Stephen Dušan of Serbia, Patriarch
    Joanikije of Serbia – who was uncanonically proclaimed Patriarch – and all those
    who were in communion with them (almost all the Serbians at that time) by the
    Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1353. Twenty years later the
    anathema was lifted and forgiveness prayers were read upon the tombs of Dušan
    and Joanikije:

    https://sites.google.com/site/bishopphotios/home/ekklesiastika-dokimia/hoignesioiorthodoxoichristianoitesserbias/4-ho-anathematismos-epi-stephanou-dousan

    Hereunder is a comment to a blog posting about the
    issue of the New Calendarists’ Mysteries, made by a dear Matthewite brother who
    lives in Cyprus:

    Dear Nicholas,

    When I was younger and I lived abroad, the
    Modernest Ecumenists asked me, in order to trap me: Do we have Mysteries or
    not?

    I answered: Do you know how letters?

    – Yes, we do.

    Do you know the Canons and the Tradition of the
    Church?

    – Yes, we know them!

    Then I have to say to you the following: Though I
    am a sinner, the Grace of God has protected me from being separated from the
    Truth of Christ, from deviating to the right or to the left, I know that I have
    Mysteries. But you who changed paths, since you know letters, read what the
    Canons and the Tradition of the Church say about your situation and draw your
    own conclusions. I know that it is not in anybody’s interest nor is it wise for
    the True Orthodox Christians to disagree among themselves, being concerned with
    whether or not the New Calendarists have Mysteries. St. Paul says “For what
    have I to do to judge them also that are without? But them that are without God
    judgeth.” (1 Cor. 5:12-13) We have delivered them up to the Mercy of God. He
    knows whether He will be longsuffering with them, how He will be longsuffering
    with them, and how long He will be longsuffering with them. We are not administrators
    of the Mercy of God. We have a responsibility, as those who consider all
    modernisms as the dictates of the Devil, not to overlook the “Faith Delivered,”
    not one jot or one tittle. It is most important therefore to continue the good
    principle raised, generally for all the True Orthodox Christians to unite under
    an Orthodox Confession of Faith through which we will be consistent followers
    of a common line, and then we convene a Pan-Orthodox Synod which is the
    official mouth of the Church, and will give official formulations concerning
    those things which deviate and are removed from Patristic piety. Until that
    time however, we are not able have any communion with them in the Mysteries and
    in prayer, for thereby we become “communicants of strange sins.” We
    confess that we reject and we spit on the calendar innovation, Ecumenism, and
    the newly minted baptism, or rather, effusion. From what little I know, I know
    that this is what the Fathers did against the heretics. Immediately and
    straightway they severed communion with the heretics in anticipation of the
    convocation of the competent body, namely, the Ecumenical Synod, not in order
    to learn or decide whether or not the erroneous belief is heresy, but so that
    by the official mouth of the Church all official declarations concerning
    correct doctrine and the official condemnation of heretics may be expressed. It
    is to be noted that only the Orthodox take part in the Synod.

    Forgive me, with the love of Christ, the sinful
    servant of God, Basil.

    http://krufo-sxoleio.blogspot.gr/2014/03/blog-post_24.html#comment-form

    • Jean-Serge Katembue

      Thank you, the revised version was uploaded this morning because I forgot to do it weeks ago. Sorry…