TOC-R and TOC-PC formally Recognize Italian Metropolia as Sister Church

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September 5, 2012
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September 6, 2012

TOC-R and TOC-PC formally Recognize Italian Metropolia as Sister Church

American Confirmation to Be Forthcoming

(NFTU) The True Orthodox Russian Church under Metropolitan Rafael of Moscow and the True Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar under Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos have issued a Tomos for each Synod dated August 30 and September 2 (New Style) recognizing the Old Calendar Metropolia of Italy under Metropolitan Onufrius of Bergamo  and independently entering it into full communion.
Metropolitan Onufrius of Bergamo, earlier this year, had contacted the American Metropolia and requested its protection as it restructured the parishes and areas in Italy formerly under the Milan Synod, which collapsed after Metropolitan Evloghios and Bp Abundius of the Milan Synod abandoned their respective episcopal rank to join the Moscow Patriarchate. Metropolitan John of New York immediately issued a tomos recognizing the Italian Metropolia, for the moment, as an independent Metropolia under its protection. Today’s news indicates that the Sister Churches of the American Synod have finally chosen to recognize the Italian Metropolia independently– a step which Metropolitan John of New York indicates is a last step before recognition of the Italian Metropolia as a successor to the Milan Synod and equal to the American Synod, while recognizing the primacy of the more ancient see.

Metropolitan John has indicated he will be sending a Tomos to Metropolitan Onufrius this week. It is expected that the Tomos will confirm the Synod of Metropolitan Onufrius of Bergamo as the canonical successor to the Metropolia of Milan. His response to the news was one of great joy, seeing that all the Synods in the united True Orthodox Communion are of one mind and one heart concerning the restoration of the Church in Western Europe and that the trials that surrounded what was once the Milan Synod have finally ended.

Below are the confirmatory documents.

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  • I am going to assume that, as I have never heard of these jurisdictions, they must be among those that consider me and my own bumbling and sinful New Calendar jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) to not be Orthodox. Oh, well, but having examined the history of Orthodoxy, I cannot help but conclude that if we are to use the standards of such groups, then these groups are themselves not Orthodox, because they descend from dioceses and patriarchates, all of which at some time in the past 1700 years have passed through sinful bishops, uncanonical deeds, or questionable and illegitimate elections and ordinations. Read the history of the East Roman Empire for countless examples.

    • NFTU

      Dear Andrew,

      I am always a little dumbfounded when I read a letter such as yours. It invariably has as its focal point some mystifying statement like “Oh, well, but having examined the history of Orthodoxy, I cannot help but conclude” in it, as though you reading your SVS history book from your couch makes you in some way smarter than some of True Orthodoxy’s greatest luminaries.
      Metropolitan Germanos of Demetrias was one of the highest ranking members of the Church of Greece before he retired. St Joseph of Petrograd was a Bishop and educated spiritual writer. I could list, in long fashion, the educational and Synodal credentials of all these people you dismiss as– relative to yourself– ignorant, before they separated from the state churches. I can deal with you calling say, *me*, ignorant. But to imply that you are more intelligent than people who, 100 years ago, would have written (and in some cases did write) the books teaching you how to receive from a chalice is very revealing.

      But of course you know better because you’ve read the “history of the East Roman Empire” (as if there was only one history written!!!)

      Consider this: the New Martyr Ilarion (Troitsky) wrote the following at the opening of his work “Christianity or the Church?”– *”Usually, people prefer to remain silent concerning a matter which they know nothing about and do not understand. This, of course, is completely sensible. Let us imagine, for example, a person who knows nothing about chemistry but who, nevertheless, constantly insists upon interfering in the affairs of chemists. He corrects their scientific formulae which have been obtained with great difficulty, changing their order or replacing one with another. We would agree that such a person is acting with the highest degree of imprudence and that we can only have pity for him.*
      *
      *
      *There is one field, however, in which too many people consider themselves to be complete masters, in fact, almost legislators; that is the area concerning the Christian faith and the Church. In this field also, clear and definite formulae have been established with a great effort of theological thought, spiritual guidance, faith, and piety. These formulae are established and must be accepted on faith. Regardless of this fact, a great many people enter into the questions of faith and the Church solely as bold and decisive reformers who want to remake everything according to their own personal desires. In cases where such people have insufficient knowledge or understanding, they are especially averse to remaining silent. To the contrary they begin not only to speak, but to shout. Such shouting on the questions of faith and the Church usually finds the columns of newspapers and the ordinary conversations of people who, in general, very seldom think of faith and the Church at all. If they do think of such things, they prefer to voice themselves exclusively in an authoritative and accusatory tone.”*

      I’d wager that most moderately-read True Orthodox in the English speaking world have perused that little tome, and I would invite you to reflect on how you may well sound, in your above comment, to us.

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