First off, I fail to see where the canon actually promotes "hatred". There was a long time in history where the Jews actively hated and persecuted the Christians (remember that St. Paul was one of them), and there were the Judaizers who tried to turn Christianity back into Judaism, something that had already been settled by the Apostles themselves. Interestingly this canon is probably very Jewish in its origin, since the Jews themselves had very strict ideas about separateness and uncleanness from interacting with the goyim. So what you are really saying, if you think about it: to elimnate "anti-semitism" by being less Jewish about things.
Sorry, but "anti-semitism" is a very loaded word and I would be very careful about where you point that thing. It is the same thing as loose "canons" careening about the deck without restraint (discretion). The collateral damage can be very serious and innocent bystanders end up getting hurt.
But, just for the sake of a balanced discussion, let's go through your points one-by-one:
We have a canon in our church law that is patently antisemitic (i.e. promotes hatred of Jews).
Sorry, but again, you are going to have to show how the canon "promotes hatred" against Jews simply because it calls for something Jewish law itself enforced. There is nothing here that says Jews must be hated, or harmed, or driven off. You really need to look at the history and the cultural context in which this canon was written before condemning it and the Church for it.
No rational argument can be made that such a canon exists or ought to exist in the church law.
I beg to differ. This is a very easy comment to make, it is much more difficult to justify. Perhaps no rational argument can be made that an intransient mindset can accept, but I think some rather rational ideas have already been set forth.
The canon is not "offensive" in a politically-correct sense. It is offensive because antisemitism is objectively evil and as we've seen from the history of the 20th century, it can lead to greater evil.
Please. First off, we have to define anti-semitism. Some people use it to describe anyone who does not support the secular state of modern Israel and all its actions. Hating anyone should be discouraged, and is, by the Church as a whole. The thing is, this canon is not against the Hebrews as a race, because many of the Christians (as well as Christ Himself and most of the first Christians) were of the Hewbrew race, but no longer of the Jewish faith since they had been cast out of the synagogues.
Now, having said this, my question is, is there any way to declare this canon null and void, short of an ecumenical council?
Now having read this, my question is, why is there any need to declare the canon null and void when all you have to do is simply not enforce it, as can be seen that it is obviously not in wide observance today. It is "null and void" when your bishop, in concert with his synod, decides it is no longer efficacious in its use in the current cultural context and is not enforced. When you start eliminating things, declaring them "null and void", it is sometimes hard to know where to stop, and the next thing you know, you're Episcopalian, redefining yourself each and every time you are challenged. No thank you very much.
If not, can a Bishop simply refuse to enforce it, or is he bound to enforce it?
So, do you know of ANY Orthodox bishop who specifically says this canon must be observed? No? Has your priest, the duly appointed representative of your bishop, told you that you must abide by this canon? Is your question answered yet? Do I really have to spell it out again?
Yes this does say that we must trust our bishops to do "the right thing", that they have a special God-appointed responsibility to use discretion and pastoral care in administering the canons with their flocks. That is why it is not a good idea for laypeople to try and practice canon "law" without a blessing, just like non-medically trained people need to be cautious about practicing medicine without a license. Trying to enforce the canons without discretion leads to schisms and spiritual harm, like thinking watching Grey's Anatomy qualifies you to be a doctor. The bishops have the training and have been specifically picked by their brother bishops to be entrusted with maintaining the good order of the Church, of which the canons are a part, but only a part.
The canons, good or "bad" or whatever, had a cultural/historical context. Some of them are still appropriate, others, not so much perhaps. Simply "getting rid of them" because we don't happen to like them really serves no real purpose, and destroys, if nothing else, the historical record. Canon "law" is NOT the same as judicial law, at least within the Orthodox Church. Please read the earlier threads and gain some background and understanding before trying to "reform" the Church. We are here to let Church reform us, not to reform the Church. When you become a bishop, in synod with your brothers, then you can decide which canons to enforce, which ones to not enforce and which ones (if necessary) to scrap. Otherwise, that is why they get to wear the funny hats.
Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.
Herman the Pooh who likes to wear hats (but not mitres)Sorry if this post exceeds the FDA recommended maximum dose of irony.