Talk:Orthodox Church of France
Romanian documents about ECOF
Le Patriarcat Roumain Le département des relations ecclésiastiques extérieures Roumanie
A son Excellence l’évêque Germain de St Denis Paris France
Nous portons à votre connaissance que le saint Synode de l’Eglise Roumaine, dans sa session de travail du 23 janvier 1993, a de nouveau examiné la situation de Votre Excellence et de l’Evêché Orthodoxe Catholique de France,
Comme Vous savez, en 1972, ce diocèse Français, à la demande instante de ses représentants, a été reçu par le patriarcat Roumain sous sa juridiction, afin de lui offrir, par économie ecclésiastique, la communion canonique de même que la possibilité de s’intégrer dans l’ensemble de l’Orthodoxie et de progresser spirituellement.
Peu de temps après avoir été reçu sous notre juridiction et après le sacre épiscopal de Votre excellence, au sein du diocèse et dans Votre activité commencèrent à se manifester. diverses erreurs d’ordre dogmatique, liturgique et de discipline canonique, ainsi que des enseignements et des pratiques contraires à l’orthodoxie universelle, qui ne firent que se multiplier avec le temps continuant à présent encore et étant maintes fois portées à notre connaissance.
Au long de toutes ces années, le Saint synode, dans l’Esprit de la charité chrétienne et de la tolérance à l’égard de votre excellence et du clergé et des fidèles de l’Evêché Orthodoxe Catholique de France, a fait de considérables efforts pour vous aider à faire remédier les erreurs et à redresser la vie religieuse de ce diocèse, afin que vous puissiez entrer dans la communion de l’orthodoxie universelle.
Par conséquent vous avez été maintes fois invité par le patriarcat Roumain de participer, accompagné par vos collaborateurs, à des discussions dans le cadre de diverses commissions synodales. Chaque fois ont été dressés des protocoles et vous avez signé des engagements et des déclarations (1974,1976, 1978,1979, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990), stipulant que vous allez vous intégrer dans l’orthodoxie universelle. Vous les avez cependant chaque fois ignorés et transgressés sciemment, faisant preuve de désobéissance et d ‘insoumission.
Etant donné que vous n’avez pas respecté les susdits protocoles, les déclarations et vos propres engagements de vous intégrer effectivement et sincèrement avec le diocèse dans l’orthodoxie universelle ;
Compte tenu de l’attitude permanente de désobéissance et de la transgression délibérée de vos propres engagements quant à l’observation et de la doctrine et de la pratique de la vie religieuse orthodoxe,
Le saint synode de l’Eglise Orthodoxe Roumaine a décidé de retirer définitivement la juridiction canonique de l’Eglise orthodoxe roumaine à Votre excellence et à l’Evêché Orthodoxe catholique de France. Par conséquent, l’exercice de toute fonction épiscopale vous est désormais défendu. Toute correspondance reçue de Votre part à ce sujet ne sera plus prise en considération.
Il a été également décidé que les prêtres ou les communautés du respectif diocèse qui souhaiteraient maintenir les liens canoniques avec L’Orthodoxie universelle puissent s’adresser à cet effet aux juridictions canoniques orthodoxes locales.
Les susdites décisions seront communiquées aussi au conseil diocésain de l’Evêché Orthodoxe Catholique de France, aux prêtres appartenant à ce diocèse, au Comité Inter-épiscopal orthodoxe de Paris et aux Eglises Orthodoxes sœurs. Avec le regret que le patriarcat roumain ait été contraint de prendre de telles mesures disciplinaires, nous prions le Seigneur de vous accorder son aide et sa lumière et de vous protéger dans la grâce miséricordieuse ;
Président du saint Synode + Théoctiste Patriarche de l’Eglise orthodoxe Roumaine
Secrétaire du Saint synode, + Evêque Nifon Ploiesteanul Vicaire patriarcal
PATRIARHIA ROMANA CANCELARIA SFANTULUI SINOD SECTORUL PENTRU RELATII EXTERNE BISERICESTI
AVIS D’EXPERTISE CANONIQUE
No 9 /3 Janvier 2001
Après une suite d’erreurs de l’ex-évêque Germain de Saint Denis, le Saint Synode de l’Eglise orthodoxe Roumaine a été obligé de prendre la. décision disciplinaire de lui interdire l’exercice de toutes fonctions épiscopales. Cette décision no. 423 / 1993, ci-après annexée, a été communiquée aux intéressés par une lettre du 3 mars 1993, ci-incluse.
Pour expliciter cette décision du Saint Synode nous précisons que “retirer définitivement la juridiction canonique” et ‘l’exercice de route fonction épiscopale vous est désormais défendu” signifient du point de vue canonique que l’ex-évêque Germain est exclu de l’épiscopat (c’est à dire la déposition), et est réduit â l’état laïc et ainsi n’a plus le droit de célébrer la Sainte Liturgie, ni aucun office religieux, ni de effectuer des ordinations et dispenser les Saints Sacrements, ni de conduire une communauté cultuelle orthodoxe. Par suite il n’est reçu par aucune autre juridiction Orthodoxe.
Contrairement à la décision du Saint Synode de l’Eglise orthodoxe Roumaine, l’ex-évêque Germain, aggrave sa situation ecclésiale en poursuivant l’exercice des fonctions épiscopales, et ainsi tombe sous l’incidence des canons l’excluant de l’Eglise. Tout acte de culte et d’autorité excercé par un évêque après sa déposition sont nuls de fait et de droit (28eme règle apostolique et no. 4 du concile d’Antioche 74ème règle apostolique 9 et 17 du IV concile oecuménique et no. 15 du concile d’ Antioche). Les ordinations pourront être soumises par économie à l’examen de l’autorité canonique.
En continuant ses errements et passant au delà de toutes règles canoniques l’ex-évêque Germain, M. Gilles BERTRAND-HARDY, en se mariant est tombé définitivement de son état épiscopal et conformément aux Saints Canons la sanction appliquée par le Saint Synode pourrait être l’anathème, (no. 6 du VI concile oecuménique, no. I Néocésarée et no 12 et 48 du VI concile oecuménique).
En conclusion, par application des Saints Canons cités qui sont valabLes dans toutes les Eglises orthodoxes, l’ex-évêque Germain, M. Gilles BERTRAND-HARDY non seulement aperdu sa qualité d'évêque mais de plus encourt l’exclusion de l’Eglise orthodoxe,
Le secrétariat du Saint Synode de l’Eglise orthodoxe Roumaine
Evêque Ambrosie Sinaitul Vicaire administratif P. Constantin Parvu Vicaire Patriarcal
I hope you wont,like fr Lev, considers Romanian Orthodox Church like a liar, dictatorial church having made no canonical trial to B Germain before deposing him. And all canonical dioceses in France: liar too ???
The 1993 letter does not depose Bishop Germain, and indeed addresses him as a bishop. It simply forbids all episcopal functions, and it ends the Romanian relationship with the Church of France. The 2001 letter says that they are deposing him, but that is eight years AFTER they kicked him and the Church of France out. It is a blatantly uncanonical act for a Church to depose someone no longer in its jurisdiction. --Fr Lev 09:55, June 1, 2007 (PDT)
that is your interpretation, your point of view. That's not the one of the canonical Orthodoxy in most countries. I accept and respect your opinion, but find better and honnest to write 1/the facts, 2/the opinions, and not as you've done "Germain was not deposed" or things like that.
I have learned today that the priest I know of that was ordained after the break with Romania was indeed re-ordained, although he tells me that the ordaining archbishop did so with great discretion and respect for Mgr Germain. Romania and other Churches are free to disregard the ordinations of Bishop Germain after the break. Any Church is also free to accept them. If the day comes when another patriarchate receives the Church of France under its protection, then they will be free to accept those ordinations. One similar case in recent memory here in the USA is that of the South Bound Brook Ukrainians. They were isolated and their orders not recognized by most other Orthodox Churches. But when they were received into the Patriarchate of Constantinople, they became "canonical" and "recognized" without the benefit of new ordinations. --Fr Lev 12:47, June 1, 2007 (PDT)
Of course, each orthodox hierarch is discret and respectful of Germain, and pray for him. No priest or deacon ordained after 1993 has never been accepted without re-ordination, that's a fact. Those ordained before 1993 have been accepted without re-ordination but sometime with a time of penitence.
I only realized today that somehow had gone into this article and replaced correct information with misinformation. The Church of Romania did not depose Bishop Germain. I saw the paperwork from Romania. It simply withdrew it's blessing from the French Church. There was no trial and no deposition. --Fr Lev 12:18, February 20, 2006 (CST)
I'd like to see some documentation regarding the exact disposition. It was widely reported in the Orthodox world that it was a deposition, related not only to Germain contracting a marriage after being consecrated a bishop, but also the the involvement of some in L'ECOF with Freemasonry. We do know his marriage had something to do with the issues of canonicity and relationship with the Church, as well did the freemasonry. If this article is NPOV, it at least needs to recognize those facts and/or criticisms for those staying with Germain, as well as that UACORO comprises those remaining faithful to Orthodoxy (including no married bishop, no freemasonry, etc.), the remnant under Romania being Byzantine rite now, as well as those who have gone to the Russian Exarchate under Paris (I believe Fr. Francis DeMarais now being at "Daru"?) An update should also be included - as the talks of UACORO with Serbia are finished as well. As it stands, the article is rather POV towards those who remained with Germain. Ari 23:45, March 26, 2006 (CST)
Once again, Ari, you are posting things about which you are misinformed. (1) I saw the letter from Romania. It withdrew its blessing from the French Church, which also means it would have no further authority over the French Church. This happened in March, 1993. There was no question of a marriage at the time, and therefore had nothing to do with any questions at the time or in the several years following Romanis's break with ECOF. (2) It is absurd to say that it is POV to simply talk about ECOF in an article about ECOF without going into detail about those who have left. I wouldn't expect an article on the Patriarchate of Moscow to go into ROCOR, the Suzadal church, etc., nor an article on the Church of Greece to cover all of the Old Calendarist groups. (3) ECOF clergy are forbidden to be Freemasons. But if having clergy or laity who are Freemasons makes a Church un-Orthodox, then you will have unchurched the Patriarchate of Constantinople and a few other national Churches. (4) It isn't the purpose of this website to air gossip, true or otherwise, about the Churches or their hierarchs. What is good for ROCOR is good for ECOF. (5) Those who remained with Romania were given permission to continue to celebrate the Gallican on several feast days during the year (I believe the number is six). (6) I don't think a page on ECOF is a page for UACORO; I suggest you or someone who is interested start a page for UACORO. I am certainly hoping that their talks with Serbia prove fruitful. (7) I don't know anything about the status of Fr Francis, but he isn't mentioned on this page. (8) The article isn't POV about those who remained with Bishop Germain; it simply describes information on the Orthodox Church of France. That would be like saying an artcile on the Church of Russia was POV if it din't give equal coverage to all those who have left it over the years. It is difficult for me to not suspect that your post springs from some kind of personal animus. You have made it a pooint to follow-up postings I have made with responses that have been inaccurate and personal. That isn't appropriate for OrthodoxWiki. --Fr Lev 20:43, April 1, 2006 (CST)
No, 'Fr.Lev' - it isn't an issue of personal animus, but of seeing constant misinformed or malicious attacks on Western Rite Orthodoxy (Antioch and ROCOR), while presenting a rather sanitized and politicized view of L'ECOF. The reason I've had to make follow up postings is because of constant attempts on your part to remove factual non-pov statements with rather inaccurate and misleading statements that can *only* be meant as harmful towards AWRV and the ROCOR WRITE. The letter withdrawing the blessing from the French Church is *not* the same as the deposition, as I have been given by my informants. The issue of UACORO *is* pertinent to L'ECOF, in that they are as much 'heirs' of the original as those following the married bishop (and yes, the issue of the marriage is germane, as is the issue of freemasonry). I'd like to see documentation as to L'ECOF forbidding freemasonry to its members, as one of its clergy at present is publicly promoting freemasonry on the internet. I would say the ROCOR issue, of course, *is* pertinent to an article of the Russian Orthodox Church (noting, ROCOR never 'left' as the Old Calendarists did, they simply followed the directives of St. Tikhon, as they are doing now, God willing.) ROCOR doesn't have the issue with its rapprochement with Moscow that L'ECOF has with the whole Church; the married episcopate, for example. - Ari 18:19, April 10, 2006 (CDT)
First, let me say that placing my name in title in scare quotes is inappropriate as well as uncharitable. I believe that Fr John our moderator has addressed this kind of behavior before. What attack have I made on “Western Rite Orthodoxy (Antioch and ROCOR)? This is slander. I have made no such attacks, and I have no problem with their use of these liturgies. I have pointed out erroneous claims you have made on matters that are easily confirmed, as I had to do a few minutes ago when you repeated your erroneous claims about the 1552 on another page. I refer to the actual texts, rather than simply asserting (erroneous) claims. I have seen the documents that came from Romania in Rome of 1993, and they did not include a deposition. The issue of UACORO is not any more significant for an article on the Church of France than ROCOR would be for an article on the Church of Moscow. You offer no reason to suppose otherwise. The same applies for the Old Calendarist churches. Bishop Germain is not married. He did contract a marriage sometime after the break with Romania, but it was subsequently legally annulled and he stepped down from this throne for a time of penance, after which he was restored to his throne by the Church. It was a sad misadventure, but it is false to refer to him as a ‘married bishop.’ The statement about Freemasonry is contained in a public document by Bishop Germain some years ago; it was an ‘open letter’ addressed to detractors of the French Church. I don’t have it at hand; it is contained in the history of the French Church written by Maxime Kovalevsky. What priest is promoting it on the Internet. Please give his name and the URL of the website. I will be happy to follow this up. At the same time, I would repeat that if you wish to unchurch ECOF because of a priest advocating or belonging to Freemasonry, you will have to (to be consistent) unchurch Constantinople and a few other Churches. --Fr Lev 21:25, April 10, 2006 (CDT)
ECOF Fr, are you a member of ECOF ? I don't want to polemicate with you. But concerning divorce, Germain never produced the judgement, nor the new civil state of his "ex" wife. It would be prooves,no ? That's not the problem. Germain always refused to go in Bucaresti for the trial. From 1991 to 1993... The only romanian priest I know to have spent a time in France in ECOF, after 1993, had been himself deposed (not for this) and had left ECOF . I don't want to hurt you in your faith or opinions. For you ECOF is canonical, and so on. I just believe, regarding the situation in France,that is clear: every canonical diocese is represented by his Bishop in the AEOF, it is not fair to let people believe ECOF is an orthodox Church, canonical and autonom. It is hiding the truth not to tell that ECOF is outside the Orthodox comunion. Isn't it true ? With which Orthodox Church ECOF is in communion ? Can a church exist with only one bishop, outside all form of synod, and canonical links with the Orthodox Church in all countries ? Orthodox canonical law permits this? Why won't you then stand me to write ECOF is now a diocese of western rite, without links and communion with the Orthodox Church in France ? Is that polemical ?
(sigh) It seems pointless to repeat myself on the areas we have covered already. I was ordained by Bishop Germain (before the break with Romania). As to your claim about whether a Church can exist with only one bishop. The answer is Yes, of course it can. Indeed, a Church can exist for a time without any bishop. A recent example is the Orthodox Church of Japan at the repose of its sole bishop at the time, Metropolitan Theodosius. During his years as a sole bishop, Japan was still an autonomous Church. During the many months there was no bishop (before the Church of Russia consecrated three new bishops, I think), Japan was still an autonomous Church. No one is hiding the status of the Church of France. The article spoke of the break with Romania and stated flatly that the Church of France was now canonically isolated. That is an accurate description. You seem intent on making the description sound much worse -- that is polemical. You should study Orthodox history and theology a bit more, as the way you speak of the canons and recognition is not accurate. Being "canonical" isn't about being "recognized." There have been Orthodox Churches through history that have existed is varying degrees of isolation from the historical autocephalous Churches. The situation if France, as in America, is a dizzying variety of "jurisdictions" -- a situation that is itself wholly "uncanonical." --Fr Lev 17:27, May 31, 2007 (PDT)
Theology and ecclesiology
Considering my theological level, I am diplomed from St Serge (France) and Sibiu (Romania). Perhaps, canon law in these institutes are not the same than in ECOF's or USA ?
Of course no bishop can be canonical without communion with a Holy Synod of Bishops, himself linked by communion with all the other Synods, forming the One, Apostolic and Catholic Church. That's why celebrants does memories during the Liturgy: his own Bishop, and his Bishop commemorates his Archbishop or Patriarche, himself commemoring the other arch hierarchs, there is one Orthodox Church, body of Christ, settled all over the earth. japan church existed without bishop, because in communion with the holy synod of his mother Church (Russia ?): nothing was broken.
Explain to me how even a priest can continue to be canonical after marrying a woman, divorced ! (he himself celebrated the marriage with one of his deacons)...and a monk! Nonsense! Do you seriously believe we must wait for a formal Court decision, with a trial (like in the civil world) and a sanction to see the sin produce its effects ? Wich effect for an ordained and tonsured monk ? The withsdrawal of the Grace of Holy Spirit, placed by the Bishops in ordination. That's why only metanoia, epitimia and confession can restaure purity of the soul and full presence of Grace.
Church of France and Freemasonry
The Open Letter was published in June 1979 by S.O.P. The French text of the passage on Freemasonry reads: 'Il existe aussi des mouvements spiritualistes de toutes sortes. C'est le cas, par exemple, de la franc-maçonnerie qui comporte d'ailleurs diverses tendances, généralement déistes et relativistes du point de vue des dogmes. Il est mieux de se considérer exclusivement comme membre de l'Église, ordre divino-humain auquel nous appartenons par le baptême et la foi en Jésus-Christ, Dieu incarné. Les clercs de notre Église sont tenus de s'abstenir d'appartenir à de telles organisations, puisqu'ils sont consacrés au service de l'Église. Des laïcs, cependant, qui viennent de ces milieux, leur appartiennent encore. Certains les quittent en trouvant ou en retrouvant l'Église - c'est le cas du plus grand nombre d'entre eux. Certains y restent. La situation est difficile pour eux. Il leur faut confesser Dieu incarné, Christ ressuscité, la Divine Trinité, en milieu relativiste ! Nous leur faisons confiance, et nous pensons qu'ils font de leur mieux pour témoigner de l'Évangile, de la foi orthodoxe (certains ont été expulsés de ces milieux à cause de la vigueur de leurs convictions chrétiennes...).' The pertinent sentence in English reads: 'The clergy of our Church are to abstain from belonging to such organizations, since they are devoted to the service of the Church.' --Fr Lev 21:43, April 10, 2006 (CDT)
Bishop Germain was never tried by the Church of Romania. The Synod simply sent a letter, of which I received a copy back in 1993. And the marriage was legally annulled because the bishop's monastic vows were taken to be a legal impediment to the marriage.--Fr Lev 07:43, May 31, 2007 (PDT)
Whoever "Gilkerie" is, you seem to have a polemical agenda. You also are getting facts wrong. The reception of the first UACORO clergy occurred on 27 January 2006. --Fr Lev 07:52, May 31, 2007 (PDT)
While mention of the departure of people from the Orthodox Church of France to form UACORO is appropriate, the various links about UACORO do not belong in this article. You could always create a page for UACORO.--Fr Lev 08:55, May 31, 2007 (PDT)
FR LEV I realize you probably are a member of ECOF, conscienciously suppressing all facts that are not a good advertising for this group well known in France. I known what I say, as a member of the Romanian Patriarchate. I stop to try to write something here in the so-called "Orthodox Wiki" and inform the AEOF (Assembly of Canonical Bishops in France) has the Romanian Church of the special "orientation" of this website, not to be recommanded to faithful for his objectif points of view and canonical informations. Bless, G.
OrthodoxWiki is an encyclopedia, and strives for balance. The article on the Church of France attempts to give an encyclopedia-like treatment of its topic. It is not the place for polemics. I understand that the situation in France is complex, but you have been trying to make it a polemical piece to express your personal point of view and what you understand to be the position of your particular jurisdiction. You are also attempting to pass off gossip as objective "information." You allege that Bishop Germain continues to live with the woman with whom he contracted an invalid marriage; that is gossip. You assert that the marriage was never annulled; that is gossip. You have been inaccurate, and resisted correction, even on a simple fact such as the date when Fr Jean-Pierre Pahud and the other priest were received into the Church of Serbia. You are also speaking falsely, when you write that I am trying to suppress unpleasant facts. I am not trying to suppress the invalid marriage; it was a mistake for which Bishop Germain did penance. BTW, "Assemblée des Évêques Orthodoxes de France" does not contain the word "Canonical" which you slipped into your translation of AEOF above. You also ignore the fact that in all the years that the Orthodox Church of France and Bishop Germain were under the Church of Romania, Bishop Germain was not admitted to the predecessor of AEOF, the "Inter-Episcopal Committee." In other words, membership in or recognition by a non-canonical, voluntary association of bishops of various jurisdictions is not an Orthodox criterion of canonical status. --Fr Lev 09:57, May 31, 2007 (PDT)
To prevent an edit-war, this article has been protected from editing by non-admins until such time as an encyclopedic consensus can be reached by the editors involved. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 10:51, May 31, 2007 (PDT)