Episcopal Assembly Tackles Pastoral Issues Between Jurisdictions

May 26, 2010

by Stan Shinn

In today’s Episcopal Assembly of all American canonical Orthodox bishops, Archbishop Demetrios challenged the fifty-plus bishops present to resolve several pastoral matters. Aside from making a clear call to move beyond phyletism (which Archbishop Demetrios calls ‘jurisdictionalism’), Archbishop Demetrios calls for a resolution of pastoral matters which include disparity in the ways the jurisdictions handle converts, marriages, funerals as well as the issue of bishops who receive suspended or deposed clergy from other jurisdictions. Here are more specifics on what Archbishop Demetrios calls out :

(1)  Some jurisdictions receive persons from roman Catholic and certain Protestant bodies into Holy Orthodoxy by baptism and chrismation, some by chrismation alone, and some merely by confession of faith.

(2) Some jurisdictions receive Roman Catholic clergy converting to Holy Orthodoxy merely by vesting, while others ordain.

(3) Some jurisdictions recognize all marriages performed outside Holy Orthodoxy as being real marriages (though certainly not sacramental) whether performed for an Orthodox or non-Orthodox, while others recognize no marriages performed outside Holy Orthodoxy whether performed for an Orthodox or a non-Orthodox.

(4) Some Orthodox jurisdictions bury suicides under certain circumstances, while others forbid the burial of suicides under all circumstances.

(5) Some jurisdictions bury a person who was cremated with all funeral rites in the church temple, others permit only Trisagion Prayers of Mercy in the funeral home, and some forbid any prayers anywhere for a person who was cremated.

(6) Some jurisdictions recognize civil divorce as complete and sufficient for ecclesiastical purposes, while others do not recognize civil divorce at all and insist on Ecclesiastical Courts.

(7) Some jurisdictions have in the past accepted clergy suspended or even deposed by other jurisdictions. source

Read more at http://edit.goarch.org/news/addressassembly/view

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