14 July 2012

As Requested: Canons about the Metropolitan Jonah Situation

Recently some people have asked me to post the canons that would deal with the forced resignation of Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA at the hands of its Lesser Synod shortly after that synod's Archishop Nikon prevented the OCA's Diocese of the South from electing Igumen Gerasim (Eliel) of Platina from being their new bishop.

I am posting the canons without comment to let people read them and make their own decisions. If anyone is wanting to see why this deed was done, the best information is found in the comments at Monomakhos, where many OCA clergy had revealed pieces of this tragic event and the events that led up to it. May God have mercy on all of those involved in this travesty.
Apostolic Canon XXXIV
The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit. 
Local Council of Antioch's Canon IX
It behooves the bishops in every province to acknowledge the bishop who presides in the metropolis, and who has to take thought for the whole province; because all men of business come together from every quarter to the metropolis. Wherefore it is decreed that he have precedence in rank, and that the other bishops do nothing extraordinary without him, (according to the ancient canon which prevailed from [the times of] our Fathers) or such things only as pertain to their own particular parishes and the districts subject to them. For each bishop has authority over his own parish, both to manage it with the piety which is incumbent on every one, and to make provision for the whole district which is dependent on his city; to ordain presbyters and deacons; and to settle everything with judgment. But let him undertake nothing further without the bishop of the metropolis; neither the latter without the consent of the others.
4th Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon's Canon XVIII
The crime of conspiracy or banding together is utterly prohibited even by the secular law, and much more ought it to be forbidden in the Church of God. Therefore, if any, whether clergymen or monks, should be detected conspiring or banding together, or hatching plots against their bishops or fellow-clergy, they shall by all means be deposed from their own rank.

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