What authority does the Metropolitan have?
Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:51 PM
However it is highly unusual for a bishop not to recognise the full communion with one of his brother bishops unless there is a clear case of hericy and then it is a synod which makes the disition not an individual bishop. From what you have said I think this is an issue between the bishops involved and needs mediating by the appropriate synod.
Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:13 PM
I've never understood what authority does the Patriarch/Metropolitan have compared to the rest of the bishops.
For example, Met PHILIP Saliba forbade monasticism and concelebration with Jerusalem priests. But what if another bishop disagreed?
From what I remember of ecclesiology the bishop has authority only in his diocese to make disitions, but these are reveiwable by the synod of a province.
The ruling bishop of any diocese "rules" his diocese - that is, the buck stops there. The local bishop is a member of a synod/sobor/council or national Church to which he voluntarily submits himself and his flock. The titles "Archbishop" "Metropolitan" and "Patriarch" are simply indications of either seniority or the fact that they are bishops of large "metropolitan areas" or of the capital city of a nation. Administratively the Patriarch is the "chief hierarch of the council. When there is no Patriarch (such as in the OCA) the chief hierarch is generally chosen by his fellow bishops (this is also the means by which a new patriarch is chosen). In many autocephalous or autonomous Churches there is a provision for some lay involvement in that selection. (for example, in the OCA its the All American Council - in the Moscow Patriarchate, the Metropolitans choose three candidates and then the general assembly consisting of both clergy and laity vote on which of those candidates will become the new patriach).
In the specific case of Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Autonomous Archdiocese, if I recall correctly he himself is the ruling bishop of the whole Archdiocese and therefore all the other bishops are his vicar bishops and they therefore operate as his assistants, not as his equals. (I know that there was some change in the air not long ago, but I never heard that it was implemented).
Fr David Moser
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