essence of being canonical constitutes following the teachings of Jesus
the dogmatic proclamations of the Seven Oecumenical
(b) in a
diocese or church body being in communion (whether formally or not) with all
jurisdictions or branches which have remained faithful to the Orthodox Christian
way of life in both teaching and practice;
the bishops having a legitimate Orthodox Apostolic Succession and Tradition.
This means that Apostolic succession is always rooted in Apostolic tradition,
not a mere independent laying on of hands.
due respect, being part of a particular branch or Synod obviously does not make
one canonical. This is especially crucial, as certain parts of Orthodoxy in
modern times seem to have changed the Orthodox understanding of ‘canonical’ into
a new version of papacy. Their definition of ‘canonical’ is focused on being
recognized, for instance, by the Patriarch of Constantinople (as if he were some sort of Eastern pope),
whereas there is no such rule in the entire Canon Law (PEDALION ["Rudder"]).
They appear to have adopted the corrupted Ecclesiology of Roman Catholicism by
making legitimacy or canonicity dependant upon recognition by a particular
Patriarch or Pope. This "neo-papal" concept has no historical precedent in Holy
Orthodoxy and contradicts centuries of Orthodox tradition back to the times of
the Holy Apostles. It is as if by being in communion with a particular segment
of Orthodoxy, whether Patriarchal or not, somehow would make one Orthodox.
worldly recognition in the eyes of men and a corrupted society by merely
understanding the administrative, legal unity of the church instead of the true
unity, which only can exist in the authentic Orthodox way of life, is
spiritually detrimental, utterly false and not at all Orthodox. The forming of
self-styled organizations in mutual recognition with the purpose of denouncing
others as being not canonical or in proclaiming themselves as the only
legitimate ones, constitutes the grave sin of "condemning one’s brother and
sister" (St. Ephraim).
our call in this situation? - In order to remain canonical, we cannot join in
such unholy endeavors. Living the Orthodox way of life must be most important to
us. Engaging in assaults on others is contrary to the holy faith and most
sinful. Let us continue to live as true Orthodox Christians who obey the Gospel
commands as we invite those "of good will" (Luke 2:14) to join us. Once the
worldly-minded through the grace of God will understand what ‘being canonical’
really means - then the truth shall be revealed: Where faith, doctrine and
practice prevail, there is Orthodoxy. Where faith, doctrine and practice are
compromised, canonicity, catholicity and Orthodoxy are absent despite any claims
of communion or sort of recognition that may exist through artificial