Talk:Responses to OCA autocephaly

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Does this mean the OCA is not legitimate in the eyes of the Ecumenical Patriarch?

If I belong to the OCA, and the OCA is not autocephalous, whose jurisdiction would they consider me to be under? Am I "noncanonical" then??? Rakovsky 02:56, August 17, 2006 (CDT)

I don't know for certain, but ISTM that because the OCA and Moscow are in good communion with each other, the Ecumenical Patriarch would, in liturgic settings, consider the OCA to be a metropolis of Moscow. No one in MCB Orthodoxy considers the OCA to be uncanonical - hierarchs and priests of the OCA and of the Ecumenical Patriarch can - and do - concelebrate. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 03:51, August 17, 2006 (CDT)
As a priest of the OCA, that's my understanding too. — FrJohn (talk)
Yep, though it's not just the EP, but any of the churches which don't recognize the OCA's autocephaly. As far as I know (and my knowledge may well be out of date), only Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Georgia, and the Czech/Slovak churches recognize it (essentially the churches in former Soviet republics which are now independent of the MP). The other nine autocephalous churches do not. When there are international "pan-Orthodox" conferences, the order set by the presiding church (the EP) is used. (See: List of autocephalous and autonomous Churches.) Generally speaking, the OCA does not participate in such conferences, anyhow (possibly because the MP does not invite them as part of its delegation, the only way they'd be universally accepted). —Dcn. Andrew talk contribs 14:39, August 17, 2006 (CDT)

Re: "If I belong to the OCA, and the OCA is not autocephalous, whose jurisdiction would they consider me to be under? Am I "noncanonical" then???" Good question. We started out in a mess at St. Mary of Egypt in Kansas City (David Altschull-Father Paisius). We were with one group in California (Russian), then another in New York (Greek) and it seemed that at every turn we were non-canonical. We eventually ended up in the Serbian Church and we established communion with the other jurisdictions. I was re-Chrismated actually. Through it all, our Orthodoxy was intact but our Church was on the fringe. There have been worse messes, Bulgaria and Ukraine and Georgia come to mind. Meantime, the question most important is, are you in communion with the other jurisdictions. Evidently you are. The rest will be worked out in time. Thomas Simmons 01:51 11 March 2007 (EPT)


Title of Article

It seems to me that this article is wrongly titled. Since this is a modern issue, none of the subjects of this article belong in any way to the Byzantine Empire (any more, that is, than the election of Sarkozy is an event belonging to the Roman Empire). On the other hand, the subjects in question identify themselves (and this is surely what is most important for the title of an encyclopedic article) as Greek Orthodox. On this basis, does anyone have any objections to the retitling of the article 'Greek Orthodox responses ...'? Seminarist 15:29, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. --Fr Lev 15:32, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

The problem with Greek Orthodox as a term is that it is too easily identified with Greekness as an ethnicity. It is true that the Orthodox of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem do use the term Greek Orthodox in some contexts (though Rum Orthodox, i.e. "Roman" Orthodox, is the term in Arabic), but their faithful are mostly not ethnic Greeks and Greek Orthodox is not the term used in the English speaking world for many of them.
Byzantine makes the most sense to me since it is what at least liturgically and culturally groups these churches together, i.e., their having been part of the Byzantine commonwealth. They are the churches of the Byzantine world, despite that world no longer having any political existence. Unfortunately, there really is no one term that would seem to define all these groups together adequately. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 19:01, May 16, 2008 (UTC)
The other part is that, in the eyes of many, 'Greek Orthodox' is analogous to 'Roman Catholic' - i.e. that 'Greek Orthodox' means 'all Orthodox Churches', which connotes itself to meaning that Orthodoxy in general is opposed to OCA autocephaly - which is not the case (since 5 of 14 support it). — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 21:28, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

How about "Objections to OCA Autocephaly"? --Fr Lev 21:38, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

That's a bit better in terms of a neutral approach, but it doesn't make it clear that the article is about a historical response rather than simply listing objections. It also doesn't make it clear that there really is something all those objecting had in common, that they are from the generally Byzantine "pole" of Orthodoxy (as it's currently institutionalized) rather than the Muscovite one. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 22:44, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

I must say that I'm very uncomfortable with some of the lines of reasoning above, which seem very far from straightforward neutrality:

Of course the Patriarchate of Antioch uses the term 'Rum' in Arabic. But in English, it calls itself the 'Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch' - just as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem calls itself the 'Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem'. In fact, all of the Churches characterised in this article as 'Byzantine' in fact call themselves 'Greek Orthodox' in English. None of them, however, call themselves 'Byzantine'.

Against suggestions to the contrary, within Orthodoxy, the expression 'Greek Orthodox' simply does not denote an ethnicity, but rather an ecclesio-liturgical heritage. The Churches which call themselves 'Greek Orthodox' are all territorial not ethnic Churches, and they have many members which are not ethnically Greek - the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, indeed, are predominately non-Hellenic in ethnicity. As such, there's no sense that 'Greek Orthodox' is in its proper sense an ethnic designation. (Of course, one of the things which sometimes creates the false impression that 'Greek Orthodox' is an ethnic characterisation are Orthodox people who refuse to allow the expression to be used in anything other than an ethnic sense.)

Moreover, there is in reality no such thing as an 'institutionalized' 'Byzantine "pole" of Orthodoxy'. There are different Churches, none of which call themselves 'Byzantine'. Byzantium is a past historical phenomenon, whereas these Churches are living realities in the present, and it does them a great disservice to characterise these Churches primarily as 'Byzantine', as to do so makes them look like relics of a bygone empire. (Indeed, what these Churches have in common is not especially Byzantine - none of their members have been Byzantines since for the last 500 years; many of their saints - e.g. St John of Damascus - were never Byzantines; their liturgical books are in several respects further removed in content from Byzantine liturgy than are, e.g. Slavic liturgical books; and their liturgical music is for the most part to be dated to the Turkokrateia, not to Byzantium.) Accordingly, to call these Churches 'Byzantine' seems rather disingenuous.

So, since all of the Churches which are being grouped in this article are 'Byzantine' in fact call themselves 'Greek Orthodox', and since none of them call themselves 'Byzantine', shall we not call them what they call themselves - 'Greek Orthodox'? Really, there is no good and neutral reason for denying them their own self-chosen name. Seminarist 02:20, May 17, 2008 (UTC)

How about "Greek Objections to OCA Autocephaly"? --Fr Lev 02:33, May 17, 2008 (UTC)

Would work if it didn't include the Patriarch of Antioch (as Patr. Elias was an Arab) - since 'Greek' can't be interpreted as anything other than ethnicity.
Perhaps 'Inter-Orthodox reactions to OCA autocephaly' would do the trick? Reactions does mean something fairly immediate, after all. Or 'repercussions'. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 02:46, May 17, 2008 (UTC)
It is true that the Church of Antioch is known as "Greek Orthodox" in its official documents, but the vast majority of the English-speaking world refers to it as "Antiochian," which is reflected in the official names of Antioch's dioceses among Anglophones. It's not a question of "denying" official names but of using the term most familiar to English-speaking Orthodox which leads them immediately to understand what's being referred to. I firmly believe that Greek Orthodox response to OCA autocephaly would be interpreted by most English-speaking Orthodox to refer solely to a response from the Church of Greece (many aren't even aware that the Greek Orthodox of the diaspora are under Constantinople!).
How about Ancient patriarchates' response to OCA autocephaly? That doesn't precisely include the Church of Greece, though it might be a good compromise name. My concern with Pistevo's wording is that it would require the article to be expanded considerably to include the "other side" of the question, which isn't adequately covered in the sources (Anyone have some other sources? Was there even a response from all the churches?). —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:12, May 17, 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree with "Ancient patriarchates'", particularly if some of the others were created as redirect pages (for Google's benefit or whatnot). — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 01:20, May 18, 2008 (UTC)
I don't think 'Ancient Patriarchates' will do, since one of the subjects of the article is the Church of Greece, which is neither ancient nor a patriarchate. As such, the title is positively inaccurate and really won't do.
I do understand the comment about 'Antiochian' being a normal adjectival designation of the Church of Antioch in the US. And were the article primarily about the American Antiochian Archdiocese, I would agree that 'Greek Orthodox' would not be the best description. However, the article is not primarily concerned with the American Antiochians, but with the Patriarchate of Antioch in Damascus - which does call itself 'Greek Orthodox' rather than 'Antiochian'.
It's very clear that the subjects of this article all identify themselves as 'Greek Orthodox', and that the meaning of the expression 'Greek Orthodox' within worldwide Orthodoxy is not to denote an ethnic group but to denote the ecclesio-liturgical tradition of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Greece, Cyprus, Sinai. And whilst the expression 'Greek Orthodox' does specifically identify the Churches which are the subject of this article, I can't think of any other suitable expressions which do so - nor do any others seem forthcoming.
As for the issue about people misunderstanding the meaning of 'Greek Orthodox', I simply don't agree that the title 'Greek Orthodox' is misleading. Within worldwide Orthodoxy, there's no difficulty with recognising the unity of the Greek Orthodox Churches as 'Greek Orthodox'. Maybe there are a few people who don't know what the expression means, and maybe there are even a few who would like to suppress the expression 'Greek Orthodox'. But neither consideration justifies not allowing the expression 'Greek Orthodox' to be used in its proper Orthodox sense in an Orthodox wiki (particularly when there are no obvious alternatives).
I think that there is a general principle that when an expression has a proper sense within Orthodoxy, Orthodoxwiki should not avoid using it (particularly where there seem to be no suitable alternatives) 'just in case' someone doesn't understand it.
(In fact, it seems to me that the argument against using the expression 'Greek Orthodox' is this: We suspect that some people will incorrectly understand the expression 'Greek Orthodox' to mean an ethnic group; therefore we should not use the expression 'Greek Orthodox' in its normal ecclesio-liturgical sense [implying that the only sense in which we should allow the expression to be used is in the incorrect ethnic sense]. I really don't find such reasoning convincing.)
So I say again: these Churches all call themselves 'Greek Orthodox'; there are no alternative locutions forthcoming; so let's describe these Churches by the description with which they describe themselves - 'Greek Orthodox'. Seminarist 02:46, May 18, 2008 (UTC)
The standard differentiation that I've seen between the two predominant liturgic traditions in Orthodoxy is 'Byzantine' and 'Slavic'. Clothe it in as much theological callisthenics as you like, the two overwhelmingly predominant usages of the term 'Greek Orthodox' is either for 'belonging to the Churches of either Constantinople or Greece' and/or 'the Eastern Orthodox Church under a different name', and OrthodoxWiki is not the place to initiate a change in meaning for terminology, simply where accepted terminology is used in the way that it is commonly understood.
Even if we accept that, the Churches of Cyprus and Albania (not sure on which side Romania stands) did not respond to the proclamation of autocephaly, so it has equal or lesser justification than 'Ancient Patriarchates'. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 05:52, May 18, 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to be sharp here, but it's simply not true to say that those are the two 'overwhelmingly predominant uses' of the term. The fact is that the Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Greece, etc. all call themselves Greek Orthodox, and everywhere these Churches are to be found you find this use of the term 'Greek Orthodox'. Since this usage not only widespread but also (and more importantly) the chosen self-designation of these Churches, it is not only a common usage, but also a proper and normative usage, and in this sense is far more appropriate than the non-normative and inaccurate description of 'ancient patriarchates'.
I'm sure you'd agree that it should be a principle of an encyclopedic article that it should use terms in their proper senses, and that it should call Churches by the names which they themselves call themselves. I think to refuse to do so is really to impose a personal POV onto the article.
I suspect that if your linguistic observations hold anywhere, they hold within elements the Antiochian Archdiocese in America and within some non-Arab converts who belong to Antiochian Churches in Britain or former British territories. But these are very particular cases motivated by desire to distinguish Antiochian Churches and Antiochian non-ethnic ecclesiality from Constantinoplitan Churches and 'Greek ethnicism'. But such usage is particular and certainly not normal across worldwide Orthodoxy. I think there's a danger here of projecting non-standard anglophone-convert linguistic usages onto Orthodoxy as a whole.
BTW, if in fact the Church of Cyprus did not make a declaration re OCA autocephaly, that does not invalidate entitling this article 'Greek Orthodox responses', since the scope of the article is to cover all Greek Orthodox responses to OCA autocephaly, and the non-response of Cyprus does not mean that the other responses are not collectively 'the Greek Orthodox responses to OCA autocephaly' (i.e. all the Greek Orthodox responses which in fact exist). However, since the Church of Greece did respond and since it is not an 'ancient patriarchate' it is positively wrong to title the article 'responses of Ancient Patriarchates'. Seminarist 16:53, May 18, 2008 (UTC)

When it comes to liturgical usages, I've always heard "Byzantine" and "Greek" used interchangably, and the same with "Slavic" and "Russian", so I don't think an appeal to liturgical usages should be dispositive. In which tradition does the Church of Georgia stand? It began under the influence of the Byzantine Empire and was then under the jurisdiction of the Church of Antioch, although it was politically a part of the Soviet Union. I think "Byzantine" is at least as misleading as "Greek." The least misleading solution would be to call the article "Responses to ..." without any qualifier for "responses." The article should then also feature the Churches that have recognized the OCA's autocephaly. There should also be a change to the folowing sentence in the article: "The Muscovite-Metropolia arguments (made on canonical, historical and practical grounds) being refuted by the Byzantine Orthodox world may essentially be summarized ...." The primary meaning of "refute" is "to prove wrong", and I assume that this isn't NPOV. --Fr Lev 11:42, May 18, 2008 (UTC)

I certainly agree that 'Byzantine' is at least as misleading as 'Greek'. But I would like to push it a little further. Talking about 'Byzantine' liturgy, etc. etc. is a distinctively modern usage, belonging to a movement in Greece which is centred in Thessaloniki, and which dates from the end of the first half of the twentieth century, and which sought to go 'back to Byzantium'. It is a contentious matter within the Greek world. To give one example, in Cyprus there is a hostility towards the elimination of local Cypriot traditions (e.g. in liturgy or in the style of Church architecture) by people (often priests trained in Thessaloniki) who import this non-Cypriot 'Byzantine' style into Cyprus. And, it is a fact that in many respects the contemporary Greek liturgy (the liturgy which gets called 'Byzantine') contains developments which are considerably less than 500 years old, and which are not contained in the Slavic liturgies (which are translations of older, and genuinely Byzantine, forms of Greek liturgy), so that in these respects, the Slavic liturgies are more 'Byzantine' than the ones which are called 'Byzantine'.
I agree with your point re the Church of Georgia. I think a similar point can be made with the Romanian Church. In such cases you have Churches which historically have been Byzantine, but which have subsequently undergone a degree of separate liturgical sufficient to make it problematic to speak of them as 'Greek Orthodox' Churches. I certainly would not want to call either 'Greek Orthodox', but think that they are rather distinctive traditions, which combine Greek, Russian and indigenous elements.
I also agree with your observations on the POV sentence. Seminarist 16:53, May 18, 2008 (UTC)

In hopes that this may provide a bit of focus in this discussion:

  • Remember that article titles are not to make some sort of statement or represent anyone's official position.
  • Article titles should use the most common term in English-speaking Orthodoxy (with some allowance made for extremely common usages outside Orthodoxy in certain cases).
  • The point in titling articles is to help the reader find what he's looking for. An article with an obscure but "technically correct" title is less likely even to be read.

All that being said, I honestly don't think there's a single term which groups the churches in question in this article (EP, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem & Greece) all together in a way which is technically correct and yet also meaningful in terms of what they have in common (something which Fr. John Romanides terms Romanity, which is a lovely term but meaningless to most readers). Byzantine is the best I can come up with, but I acknowledge that it's not accurate in all possible ways. Just how does one describe with a single term those multi-ethnic, multi-national churches which share a heritage arising from a shared history in the Eastern Roman Empire and the strong liturgical influence of the typikon of the Great Church? "Mediterranean Orthodox" might work, but it's altogether a bit too fanciful and not remotely clear in what it refers to.

What does seem to be clear is that there was a united front which opposed the OCA's autocephaly when it was declared and that that front has a great deal in common. How one describes what it is they have in common in a single term which is recognizable to the non-specialist (i.e., 99% of encyclopedia readers) is the question for the titling of this article.

Please, folks, make sure you read the Style Manual, because it addresses most (though not all) of the arguments put forward here thus far, and it does represent official OrthodoxWiki policy. Policy is of course always negotiable, but you'll have a lot of convincing to do of the entire administration.

Anyway, I'd be willing to settle for Response to OCA autocephaly with redirects from Byzantine response to... and Greek Orthodox response to... I don't think it's the best option—since it leaves out entirely the very something ("Romanity?") which these churches share, and it also then necessitates a major reworking of the article to include the positive responses, as well—but if it's the consensus favorite, I'd be willing to run with it.

And, by the way, refute can mean "to prove wrong by argument or evidence," but it also can mean "to deny the truth or accuracy of." Just because one offers a refutation does not necessarily mean one is correct. Rebut may well be better, though. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 01:26, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

Really ... proving one has the biggest dictionary ... boys will be boys ... Seminarist 06:21, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

Church Formal Position

No matter how much you all discuss these matters, you MUST follow the churches formal terminologies otherwise (a) You DO NOT represent the Chalcedonean Church (as your core objectives state) and (b) you are in breach of the formal approach of the church - and who are all of you to change what the church has as official? Be carefull that you all do not end up creating your OWN religion without the approvals of the church ... Vasiliki 05:00, May 19, 2008 (UTC)

With all respect, Vasiliki, what are you talking about? Do you really believe that trying to come up with useful titles for encyclopedia articles which may happen to differ from official nomenclature is a betrayal of Orthodoxy? A different religion? (Not to mention that the official names of various churches have changed over the centuries!)
In any event, I cannot see how it would be even remotely useful to have an article entitled Response of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, New Rome; the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa; the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East; the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine; and the Orthodox Church of Greece to the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America (sic). Heck, why stop there? Shouldn't we be giving those titles in Katherevousa and Arabic, if we want to be really accurate? Forgive my somewhat exaggerated and incredulous language here, but it seems to be the only appropriate way to answer a near-accusation of heresy being tossed out for the heinous sin of titling articles!
All that aside, it is explicitly against OrthodoxWiki policy for editorial control of the wiki to be placed in the hands of ecclesiastical authorities, mainly because they sometimes differ from one another or even from the truth itself! Please, Vasiliki, let us use common sense. Full ecclesiastical titles are too unwieldy to use as article titles in many cases, and this is one of them. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 01:08, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

Dont jump down my throat and assume that I am asking for you to use the term Greek Orthodox or to use LONG extensive titles but cant you all keep it simple and perhaps rephrase the entire sentence to keep the conflict out of the article and the endless pages of discussions which end up being confusing in themselves? Byzantine is not a correct term to use (full stop) and the OCA is now within the church so why you guys have endless pages of discussion is beyond my understanding ... perpaps give it a date? Something like "Response to the OCA 1200-1500" (I dont know what the period of time that you guys are referring to ... and I am more than happy for you to call me an idiot one more time! Foolishness is a great quality! Vasiliki 01:37, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

You are also wrong in assuming that I have asked you to give control to an Ecclesiastical body. However, since this site is representing the church I am suggesting that we should still observe the formalities of the church. Vasiliki

I also want to point out that I am not a political person who has certain 'bias' towards any particular church and even though I am Greek please do not go assuming everytime I post an opinion that I am a pro-Nationalist Greek and respond in a manner that clearly shows that that is what you think I am thinking. I dont have agendas I am not smart enough for that ... I just am interested in reminding people of humility and humility includes not going overboard on certain topics that are not within our right to 'define'. Vasiliki 02:03, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

And here, I thought it was my own throat which had your boot-tread firmly planted within it, what with that near-accusation of heresy!  :)
Anyway, I don't make any of those assumptions. I assume that you are editing in good faith and trying to do what you believe is best for the wiki. Me, too! I try my best not to let my own ecclesiastical loyalties dominate my editing. I do have a fierce loyalty to the English language, though, which I think is probably a useful thing in writing an encyclopedia in English. In the case of an encyclopedia in English about Orthodoxy, one of English's most useful traits (IMO) is its longstanding tradition of assimilating terms from multiple languages. This makes finding the best terminology a somewhat more complicated task, though, especially since Orthodoxy hasn't been in English (in the modern era) for very long.
Anyway, please try not to be disturbed by the lengthy wrangling over terminology. Writing an encyclopedia is much like writing a dictionary—figuring out the best terminology is going to be one of its main occupations. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:49, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

Hi Father, I do not accuse you of heresy ... no way, it is common in christian history for good christian's to have different points of view without either party actually being heretical ... I dont feel you are heretical and I know I am not heretical ... My point was not against you personally, all I did was post a long article to remind everyone in this forum that though it is a good thing to be creating an Encyclopedia ... we should be careful when adopting or changing terminology that is not approved by the formal church. The internet has the power to over-ride reality and each Wiki Editor must take care to remind themselves that once something is documented it becomes a pseudo-reality to the people who read the information ... we therefore must be loyal to what our paternal fathers have passed down in tradition. I therefore agree with Seminarist in the sence that the orthodox church has been referred to for centuries as Greek Orthodox but that not as a reference to the Nation of Greece (although, what is wrong with Greek people? I am one of them and I am a lovely and warm person!). LOL.

However, though I say that, I do not agree that this article should portray either the name Byzantine nor should it have Greek Orthodox because basically (as editors) we should be smarter than that and adapt a more neutral choice (see my vote below). Vasiliki 23:00, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

Common Sense, or Anti-Greek Madness??

Fr Andrew, I can't accept this POV hostility towards Greek Orthodoxy.

Let's look at the issue: these Churches are all Greek Orthodox Churches - they all call themselves "Greek Orthodox". Even the Patriarchate of Antioch is the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. This is really simple - I can't believe that that you're wriggling to avoid this with bogus objections.

Let's be clear on the facts:

  1. It is not 'obscure' to call a Church by its own name.
  2. The title 'Greek Orthodox' is not a 'specialist' title - it is the title these Churches put on press-releases, and it is the title they are routinely accorded in the media.

Look at the rationality of the position you're maintaining: you are saying that these Churches should not be called 'Greek Orthodox Churches' - even though (a) they call themselves 'Greek Orthodox'; and even though (b) the media calls them 'Greek Orthodox'. You're saying that, whilst the title 'Greek Orthodox' is good enough for the Churches themselves, and whilst it's good enough for the media, it's not good enough for Orthodoxwiki!

Tell me you've not got a POV agenda!

I don't agree with changing the scope of the article. The article just needs to be given a proper name, not rewritten. It's obvious that the article is about Greek Orthodox responses to OCA autocephaly; it's obvious that there is no more suitable collective title for these Churches than 'Greek Orthodox'; and therefore it's obvious that the title should be 'Greek Orthodox responses to OCA autocephaly'... Surely we can finally agree on that?? Seminarist 06:21, May 20, 2008 (UTC)

I've not got a POV agenda!  :)
The irony of being accused of "Anti-Greek Madness" here is that while at seminary, I was accused of being a Hellenophile! I even recall my strident campaign in favor of Orthros here on OW over Matins (which I lost). I can't seem to win.  :)
All I'm really after is a term which makes the most sense in terms of referential resonance (i.e., what is the first thing a searcher is likely to look up?) and accuracy (i.e., what is the best term to represent what we're talking about?). If the consensus is for Greek Orthodox, then I'm honestly fine with that. As you know, my vote is for Byzantine (I researched, wrote and titled this article originally).
I've repeated this a few times, but I'll at least say that my main objection to the term Greek Orthodox for this article is that at least for a major segment of those being represented (i.e., the Antiochians, represented by their patriarch, but not limited to him), this is not the term that most English speakers would use. My other objection to the use of this term for this article is that in the minds of most English speakers, it is more limited than the scope of the article itself (i.e., it mainly conjures up images of Greece). In both cases, there are major parties to the content of this article which are not, in my opinion, best represented by the term.
BTW, while I will gladly admit to "madness," I would hope that you would refrain from throwing such terms around too freely. The standard on OrthodoxWiki is to assume that all editors are acting in good faith (until they prove otherwise, which they sometimes do), which I protest that I am! I was one of the founding editors of OrthodoxWiki and have been editing on it since December of 2004, beginning and significantly contributing to hundreds of articles. (In fact, about 1/6th of all edits on the wiki have been mine.) I hope that my commitment is clear.
Anyway, I will gladly submit to the will of the consensus if Greek Orthodox is the term preferred by most editors interested in this article. As a sysop, I wouldn't consider it (in this case) a "tyranny of the majority" if the vote went that way. Let's do a straw poll. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:38, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
Well, to take the last point first, I don't for a second think that you are mad! However, I do think it is madness not to recognise that these different Patriarchates are 'Greek Orthodox' patriarchates, for the reasons I have already given. I also think it betrays a POV agenda, which only wants to allow the use of the title 'Greek Orthodox' to describe 'ethnically-Greek Orthodoxy'.
In the minds of most people, all of the Churches which are the subject of this article are "Greek Orthodox". This is because the Churches themselves call themselves "Greek Orthodox", and because the media calls them "Greek Orthodox". So you really cannot assert that 'in the minds of most English speakers' "Greek Orthodox" just means Greece.
I appreciate you coming clean that what you really mean is that you don't want the Patriarch of Antioch to be called 'Greek Orthodox', essentially because the converts in the American Antiochian Archdiocese don't think of themselves or the Patriarch as 'Greek Orthodox'. But really, that is reflective of a deeper internal problem within the Antiochian Archdiocese - how does it maintain the historic identity of the Antiochian Patriarchate (which is Greek Orthodox) when it has such a large number of culturally Protestant converts who, for various reasons, don't want to be thought of as 'Greek Orthodox'?
I don't doubt for a second your commitment to Orthodoxwiki. But you have given me cause to wonder about the nature of that commitment. You do seem to have a blind-spot to the peculiarities of your own Antiochian-convert position, which you rather glibly project onto 'the minds of most English speakers'. In this discussion, you have been promoting the views of one minority group in Orthodoxy as if it were the default-position of speakers of the English language. This has led you to repeatedly avoid using the title by which your own Patriarch calls himself. That should surely alert you to the fact that there is something in your position which is not above board. Seminarist 19:27, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
Alas, this is neither the first or last time in which I have been accused of having a hidden agenda. I must admit to some amusement at surveying such accusations with regard to their own diametric opposition when taken together! I have described myself variously as "Greek Orthodox," "Eastern Orthodox," "Orthodox Christian, "Russian Orthodox," "Antiochian Orthodox," "Orthodox Catholic," "traditional Christian," etc. I raise eyebrows just as much when I chant Eti kai eti as much as I do with AiDan wa aiDan, Paki i paki or Iara si iara (and occasionally even "Again and again"!). I've also been called a lot of things: Hellenophile, Russophile, Hellenophobe, Russophobe, anti-cradle, anti-convert, modernist, traditionalist, fascist, liberal, etc., etc. They're all quite silly. One might also wonder perhaps whether you have the Hellenophilia of the sort which identifies Orthodoxy with Hellenism. In either case, one would be off the mark with regard to OrthodoxWiki. Ad hominem is always pointless here. Let's avoid it altogether, shall we?
Anyway, it's not a question of "converts" in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Greek isn't in the official archdiocesan title, and I think we can safely say that the title wasn't dreamt up by converts! It doesn't matter who came up with it, anyway. (Ad hominem once again!) What matters is what the most common and useful reference term is.
As I said, I'd be willing to accept Greek Orthodox if that's what the consensus is. I'll even fight against my "Anti-Greek Madness" and make the change myself! (And, by the way, you haven't yet put your mark below. Please do so!) —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 21:20, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
A sense of humour!!!
I must admit though that I'm not so sure you should be looking at people's eyebrows when you say eti kai eti...
In any case, you are still dodging the issues...
  • The Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, as well as the Church of Greece, all call themselves 'Greek Orthodox'. The media also routinely calls them 'Greek Orthodox'. This is a normal, neutral, non-misleading usage.
  • Against this, you have not provided any good reasons for your claim that calling these Churches 'Greek Orthodox', the title they call themselves, is 'misleading'.
In fact, it seems you just expect me to take your word for it!
But I'm not going to do that - since that would be ad hominem!! Seminarist 06:30, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
I've given my reasons and the arguments behind them in several different ways above. I understand that you're not convinced by them (i.e., they are not "good reasons"). I don't really have anything further to add. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 12:36, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
Well, actually you've not given any arguments. You made an unsupported assertion that it is misleading to use 'Greek Orthodox' to mean something other than 'ethnically or nationally Greek'. I have explained repeatedly why that cannot be true (namely that it is normal in the media to call certain Churches which are not ethnically or nationally Greek 'Greek Orthodox', and that these Churches call themselves 'Greek Orthodox'). You clearly hold that your unargued opinion and assertion carries more weight than either the authority of these Churches themselves, or established use in the English-language media. That is rather self-inflated. But more importantly, it is a rejection of the λόγος (since it says that you don't need to give reasons for your views, as the fact that you hold them is all that matters). This has always been a fundamental difference between Greek Orthodoxy and Protestantism: Orthodoxy is the religion of the λόγος, whereas Protestantism is the religion of personal conviction. Seminarist 23:10, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
I do not assert and do not believe that "it is misleading to use 'Greek Orthodox' to mean something other than 'ethnically or nationally Greek'." As for the rest, as I said, I'm done. I won't be goaded into a continuing back-and-forth rehashing the same stuff. Let us suffice it to say that I've said my piece and you think it's rubbish. I'm okay with that.
I must say, though, that it is a bit nasty to claim that I'm rejecting Jesus Christ (the Logos) by asserting such a thing (despite the irony that I do not assert it)! It really is inappropriate to claim that those with whom you disagree have some sort of hidden agenda or (worse yet) that they are apostates. I strongly suggest that you cut it out. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 02:19, May 23, 2008 (UTC)

Straw poll on title

The following is a straw poll on the proposed renaming of this article. Since there has been disagreement over it, its results may be analyzed by the administration to determine what the best course of action may be. (It is ONLY considered as a recommendation, not as legislation.) You may place your vote beneath your preferred term. You may wish to note first, second, third, fourth preferences, etc. (Feel free to change your vote if you change your mind or if new choices are presented.)

  • Byzantine response to... (the current name)
  • Response to...
    • Third choice. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:38, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
    • First choice. --Fr Lev 13:56, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
    • First choice. -- Andrew 15:20, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
    • This is now my Second choice. -- Vasiliki 23:04, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
    • First and only choice. -- Peter 23:04, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
    • First choice. (I'd enjoy seeing 'Responses to', but since I'm not willing to put in the time to enormously expand the article, myself...) — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 06:41, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
    • Second Choice. Frjohnwhiteford 12:17, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
  • Non-Slavic Churches' response to...
    • Second choice. -- Andrew 15:20, May 20, 2008 (UTC)
  • Ecumenical Patriarchate's response to...
    • Seems like this would be the more precise title. Frjohnwhiteford 12:17, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
    • If it is only the Ecumenical Patriarch's response(s) that this article is reviewing. Would it be better to use the title Inistea proposed (below) since that would allow the flexibility to take into consideration 'other' responses not limited to the EP alone? Vasiliki 23:01, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
    • If push came to shove, this would be my Third choice - although I get the impression its NOT JUST his response this article infers. Vasiliki 23:01, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
  • The Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America
    • the article is more that one responde or one opinion; so I propose to simply name it The Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America --Inistea 22:01, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
    • This is my First Choice - Vasiliki 23:01, May 22, 2008 (UTC)

Hi all. I do think this is an interesting conversation, and I wonder if some of the differences here result from a different sense about the ways these terms are used in different parts of the world.
I am in substantial agreement with Fr. Andrew's reasoning. I find either "Byzantine..." or "Responses to" acceptable. If the article is titled "Responses...", I think Fr. Andrew's points should be made early on in the article for the sake of clarity. The other options feel wrong to me. It seems "Responses to..." would be the way to go here, although something like "Critiques of...", "Opposition to" or "Arguments against..." would be even better and more precise.
Vasiliki and Seminarist -- please tone down the rhetoric a bit. I don't think it's necessary...
Yours in Christ, — FrJohn (talk) 02:11, May 21, 2008 (UTC) (a priest of the OCA)

If we change this to "Responses to...", I'll be happy to add a small section at the top of the article that simply tells which autocephalous Churches have recognized the autocephaly of the OCA. --Fr Lev 14:11, May 22, 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion: Arguments for and against OCA autocephaly

Since the article includes not only various responses to OCA autocephaly, but also the canonical arguments which underlay the grant of autocephaly in the first place - and since the consensus seems to be grativating towards broadening the explicit scope of the article beyond simply the Greek Orthodox responses to OCA autocephaly - perhaps it would be good to call the article Arguments for and against OCA autocephaly? That would reflect both the contents of the article as it stands, whilst being inclusive enough to cover the broadened scope being suggested. Seminarist 23:13, May 22, 2008 (UTC)

Though I am more inclined to agree with your thinking regarding the various issues surrounding the terminology of "Greek Orthodox" I would not have to agree with you on your choice of name for the article because the word "Argument" in itself is a word that in the psychology of the brain will incite people into an editing war :-) I personally would steer away from using words that are not in their essence "Thetikes" (positive or neutral). Thoughts? - Vasiliki 23:29, May 22, 2008 (UTC)
Well, the bulk of the article seems to consist of arguments people have given for and against OCA autocephaly. To use your metaphor, the whole issue is, as it were, an 'edit war' over the 'editing' of the status of the OCA by the Moscow patriarchate - with some Churches and theologians giving arguments why they think the edit was correct, and others giving the reasons why the edit was wrong. And I don't think that "argument" is primarily a psychological matter; unlike eristic and rhetoric (which are psychological), argument is logical - it's to do with providing (dialectical) reasons for a position. Seminarist 01:02, May 23, 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I too took some offence to the use of the word "rhetoric" although, I dont take offence by the person who used it because he is a very gentle and peaceable peace ... I quite like him from my experience of being on OW but the word "rhetoric" was strong and it felt almost one sided when it is quite easy to "debate" that "rhetorics" exist on both sides ... its just some people conclude there "rhetorics" with a single sentence and others use paragraphs. LOL. Vasiliki 01:16, May 23, 2008 (UTC)
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