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Meletian or Antiochian schism


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#1 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 11:40 AM

hello all,

forgive me if this sounds rude at all, as i do not mean to offend anyone whatsoever, but would those who are Chalcedonian Orthodox please answer this for me. again if i offended anyone, please forgive me.

since i an a member of The Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, under His Grace, Metropolitan Phillip, this question is kind of important to me.

i was curious about the Antiochian or Meletian schism that happened near the time of the 2nd ecumenical council.

apparently there were a couple of Patriarchs claiming the rite to the throne of Antioch, and i was curious on the Orthodox way to view this. i want to know how Apostolic succession worked into all of this, how did it still continue?

can you please clear this up for me? who was the rightful heir to Antioch?

also who are the jacobite or melkite churches?

Thanks anthony

#2 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 05:02 PM

For the Meletian schism you can read here: http://en.wikipedia....tius_of_Antioch

For Jacobites and Melkites, a Google search also could be of basic help.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#3 Kosta

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:41 AM

The east recognized Meletius as the canonical bishop of Antioch. Meletius presided over the 2nd ecumenical counci,l but died a few days into its deliberations. The saints present at the council gave a funeral oration to St Meletius. Paulinus was supported by bishop of Rome, in time both the east and west accepted Meletius as a saint, while Paulinus was not.

Jacobites are the non-chalcedon and melkites are the uniates of Syria. Melkite was originally a derogatory term used by the non-chalcedonians to refer to us Orthodox byzantine, we on the otherhand called them monophysites. Melkites meant 'emperors men' because the emperor accepted chalcedon. After the formation of a uniate faction in 1724 in Syria the uniate catholics adopted the term for themselves.

#4 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 11:37 AM

so St. Meletius was the true successor then. and that would mean that the Antiochian Patriarchate is the True successor of The Apostles.

am i right?

anthony

#5 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 01:27 AM

you know what, i actually figured out whats so confusing to me on this topic. i read that Flavian was the Successor to St. Meletius, and St. John Chrysostom and emperor Theodosios had declared Flavian to be the legitimate Bishop of Antioch.

yet, on the Antiochian.org website, they have a list of the Patriarchs of Antioch, and there are a few in between St. Meletius and Flavian:

33 354 The Episcopacy of Meletius in Antioch.

34 354 The Episcopacy of Eudoxius in Antioch.

35 357 The Episcopacy of Annias (a.k.a. Ammianus) in Antioch.

36 360 The Episcopacy of Eudozius in Antioch.

37 370 The Episcopacy of Dorotheus in Antioch.

38 371 The Episcopacy of Paulinus in Antioch.

39 376 The Episcopacy of Vitalius in Antioch.

40 384 The Episcopacy of Flavian in Antioch.

so can someone please help me to understand this? how was The Apostolic Succession still carried on? i'm just a little confused.

thank you!

#6 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 01:53 AM

forgive me please, as i do not mean to be annoying,

but i was wondering if anyone had a chance to look into my last post? i'm really wondering about this issue.

thank you!

#7 Ryan

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 01:56 AM

As I understand it, the Apostolic succession is maintained as long as there are orthodox bishops. It's not like one patriarch elevates the next one, and we have a chain of patriarchs that way. It is possible for a Patriarchal See to be occupied by a heretic or schismatic (and therefore actually vacant) and then be filled again later when orthodox bishops raise a new patriarch. At least that's my poor understanding.

#8 Kosta

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 02:24 PM

I need to ask what your understanding of apostolic succession is, and whether your trying to make sense of the canonical irregularities of that era. That list of Antiochan patriarchs above is quite muddled. Its made more confusing by not giving explanations as to whom was exiled in what years or which bishops were recognized by which faction as their own. Surprised Antiochan.org would have such a confusing list up, even wikipedia does a better job with explanations on the canonical list of patriarchs in the late 4th century.

If you search, 'The Life of Our Holy Father Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch' on the orthodoxinfo.com website it gives a good accounting on what was happening during those years.

Edited by Kosta, 09 November 2010 - 02:56 PM.


#9 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 05:12 PM

well, my understanding of Apostolic Succession is that from The Apostles were appointed Bishops, who later appointed other Bishops (through laying on of hands/ordination) and so on, thus the unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession. maybe my understanding is wrong.

since all of the above mentioned happened in the Meletian Schism, does that mean the chain of Apostolic Succession was broken? i don't believe it could have been if The Antiochian Patriarchate is The True Church with all of the other Patriarchates.

i just need some helping understanding this. my main question being: St. Meletius being the rightful, Legitimate Bishop of Antioch, Flavian succeding Him (and being the legitimate Bishop as well according to St. John Chrysostom from what i've read) what are all the other names in between?

confused!

thank you all for your help.

#10 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 05:14 PM

oh, and also,

since others claimed other Bishops as legitimate how do we know who was the true legitimate one?

i'm not trying to doubt at all the teaching of The Church, i just would really like to understand this.

#11 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:33 PM

We are not breeding dogs here, we are maintaining the Apostolic Witness. It takes at least three bishops to ordain another bishop, and it is the bishop who defines the Church ("where the bishop is, there is the Church" St. Ignatius), regardless of the status of this or that patriarch. It is consensus that establishes legitimacy, not "pedigree" so much. Patriarchs do not generally establish their own successors and there may well be periods when there was NO Patriarch for a particular region, that does not mean there were no right-believing bishops!

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.

Herman the pedigree'd Pooh

#12 Kosta

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:41 PM

Theres two lines of succession. One is through the laying on of hands of two or more bishops. All the bishops mentioned in the 4th century would have been elevated to the episcopacy in that fashion.
Then theres the succession of the apostolic church in that city based upon which apostle laid its foundation. Thus a bishop of Antioch or Rome is the successor of Peter. Even a heretic can be the canonical bishop of the city if 'canonically elected', while a rival Orthodox bishop can be uncanonical if he is claiming the same throne for himself, even with the support from other bishops. Sounds strange indeed. A condemned heretic can be dropped from the dyptich but not from the list. Nestorius Is still listed as one time the legitimate archbishop of Constantinople etc.
What your refering to are the canonical irregularities, when two or more legitimate bishops claim the same throne. Unless the canonical violations are clear, theres no way to tell at the time who is the canonical first heirarch and who is not. A bishop could be sent into exile by the emperor then recalled. A part of the flock can be divided supporting a new bishop while thhe other half remain loyal to the bishop in exile.

Over time this situation fixes itself, either when a faction seperates and becomes a sect, then the list for the schismatic sect goes into a tangent. The uncanonical situation can come to an end when a rival bishop's support erodes and disappears, thus healing the schism. This happened with Paulinus, when Rome (and i believe alexandria) supported a lineage of bishops for the paulinist faction, but then withdrew their support when the heresy subsided decades later, and no one was willing to consecrate more bishops for them. The schism was healed and normalization took place, eventually all the factions assimilated and became one flock under one shepherd again. It is either councils or later historians and canonists along with the conscience of the church that sorts out which bishop was canonical or not.

Edited by Kosta, 09 November 2010 - 09:59 PM.


#13 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:45 PM

I think it is important to realize that apostolic succession has two distinct elements. One is the "physical" element in which the newly ordained bishop receives the grace of episcopacy at the hands of one who already has it - because you can't give what you do not yourself have. Second there is the element of apostolic teaching. A bishop must not only receive the grace of episcopacy but he must also receive the apostolic teaching from his predecessors. It does not matter if a bishop is ordained by one, two, three, ten or thousands of bishops, if he is to exercise and maintain the grace he has been given, he must also teach and uphold the apostolic witness and teaching which he received. If he is not the conduit of apostolic teaching, then he does not have apostolic succession.

And just to cut short the speculation about which bishop does and does not have apostolic succession, let me remind you that such determination is not in the hands of those of us who do not have it, but it is in the hands of the bishops - first in the hands of the bishops of the Church administration to which the bishop belongs and ultimately in the hands of the bishops of the Orthodox Church gathered in council under the chairmanship of the Ecumenical Patriarch. If "we the people" have concerns, then it is our duty to express those concerns to first our own bishop and secondly to the other bishops which are part of the same administration (synod) but then it is their duty to examine the situation and address whatever might need to be addressed.

Fr David Moser

#14 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:56 AM

thank you all for the replies. i just want to be absolutely certain that The Antiochian Patriarchate is indeed the True Apostolic Church. then again it must be, if the other Orthodox Patriarchates recognize it as such. am i correct in my thinking here?

#15 Paul Cowan

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:43 PM

I hope so otherwise almost half of this forum will have to recategorized as schismatics. And I, once again, will have to go looking for "the True Church". I hate that.

#16 Anthony G. Peggs

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 03:18 AM

i think i'm starting to understand. thank you all for your replies. i'm just going to say that The Antiochian Patriarchate is indeed The True Church, and that, as some of you noted, the schism was healed and the flock under one shepard again. so of course, the apostolic succession was carried on. and i totally like what you said Father David, about the necessity of a Bishop preaching and living in accordance with the Apostolic Faith.




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