Daily Archives: November 30, 2020

How the Orthodox Church Was Restructured

From the Introduction to the Online Encyclopedia of the Orthodox Church, 1 December 2045

Introduction: From Moscow to Jakarta

The potential beginning of the solution to the century-old canonical problem of the Orthodox Diaspora first glimmered in the Year 2000. After the repentance for its politically-enforced paralysis expressed at its Jubilee Council in Moscow in August 2000, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was reconciled to the Synod of ROCOR (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) in 2007. Both sides had dropped nonsensical Cold War political claims and lost the often naïve extremists who had actually believed in those claims. Following their liberation from politics, new horizons for the unity of the whole Church were gradually opening up.

Thus, the first little-noticed step towards structural canonical unity at last came twelve years later. Then, in November 2019 the ROCOR Synod gave up its parishes in Eurasian Indonesia to the new South-East Asian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, as the ROCOR Synod was no longer able to care for them. However, the very next month phyletist Constantinople and Alexandria fell into schism and in 2020 other Greek nationalist organisations in Greece and Cyprus fell in the same way. This happened during the chastisement of all the Local Churches by the Covid pandemic. All had now become possible. In just one generation, between 2020 and 2045, long anachronistic Church structures were to be wiped away, like a house of cards collapsing.

Africa and the AOC: 2025

After the phyletist Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria had fallen into schism in 2019 under pressure from the US-manipulated Greek Foreign Ministry, pleas from the African faithful eventually forced the pastoral conscience of the ROC to set up an African Exarchate. This was done in 2022. At last freed of Greek nationalist control from Alexandria, a Patriarchate which a century before, already absurdly enough, had claimed the territory of Egypt, let alone all Africa, at last African Orthodox set out on their path of destiny to their own Continental Church. For the ROC at once set about consecrating twenty African bishops for the Exarchate.

Finally, in 2025 the autocephalous African Orthodox Church (AOC) was at last born. Only the historic title ‘of Alexandria’ was retained by the new black Metropolitan Nectarios in Nairobi. He was enthroned 105 years after the repose of the great and much slandered frustrated Alexandrian missionary St Nectarios of Pentapolis. The old schismatic and now bankrupt Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria finally died out altogether in 2029, ten years after its fall into schism. At last the black African people and clergy now had their own black African Metropolitan and Synod of bishops of All Africa. Since then promising talks have been taking place between it and the Miaphysite Coptic, Ethiopian and Eritrean National Churches.

Western Europe and the EOC: 2028

In 2025 ROCOR parishes in Western Europe, at the other end of Eurasia from Indonesia (see above), became part of the by then decentralised and internationalised Western European Exarchate, originally set up by the ROC in 2018. They were soon after joined by hundreds of parishes from other Local Churches. Together they formed a large and multinational Exarchate and in 2028, exactly ten years after the Exarchate had been born, the new European Orthodox Church (EOC) was born, its first Metropolitan, John of Paris and Western Europe.

Oceania and the OOC: 2031

In 2028 the ROC set up an Exarchate for Oceania. Three years later, in 2031, ROCOR and other parishes in Australia and New Zealand, as well as those on Pacific islands, formed the Oceanic Orthodox Church (OOC). Its first Metropolitan was Thomas of Sydney and All Oceania.

Latin America and the LAOC: 2034

In 2031 the ROC set up an Exarchate for Latin America. At last, in 2034, much neglected Latin America also came to have its own Latin American Orthodox Church (called IOAL in both Spanish and Portuguese). Centred in Rio de Janeiro, its first Metropolitan was called James.

North America and the NAOC: 2037

In 2034 ROCOR and ‘OCA’ parishes in North America joined to form a new autonomous North American Orthodox Exarchate under the ROC. ROCOR had made up with the OCA, both Cold War structures, but only once the OCA had rid itself of its Schmemannite Protestant modernists. (They had left for the then still existing, but ultra-modernist and much diminished schismatic Greek-Protestant Archdiocese – much to everyone’s relief). Only with such mutual maturity, at last freed of Cold War politics, was this unity possible.

This unity was sealed by hundreds of parishes of other Local Churches which joined the united Exarchate. They had also abandoned both the backwards-looking petty nationalism of the immigrant ghetto, so much exploited by impoverished Mother-Churches, and the new calendar inferiority complex imitation by Orthodox immigrants of American Protestantism. In 2037 all the Orthodox-believing elements in North America in this Exarchate became part of the new North American Orthodox Church (NAOC). Centred in Washington, its first Metropolitan was called George.

Conclusion: The Ten Local Churches

Thus, in a matter of only twelve years, both the tens of millions of Orthodox of Africa and the tens of millions of Orthodox of the New World Diasporas found themselves belonging to five new Local Churches. It was not long before the twelve other Local Churches in Eurasia, chastised by Covid, regrouped themselves canonically into five Patriarchates. Thus, the old anachronisms and nationalisms disappeared before the worldwide mission God had called on the Church to undertake.

In 2037 in the Balkans a new multinational Church was formed. Calling itself the Patriarchate of Constantinople (the Greek nationalist version of which had died out in Istanbul in 2034), it was centred in Bucharest. It included six former Local Churches, those of Romania, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Albania and their canonical territories. In 2039 the Patriarchate of Antioch helped organise large-scale missions to Turkey and the Arab World, its headquarters at last moving back to Antakya in Turkey, the real Antioch. In 2041 the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, at last freed from Greek colonial status and with a new multinational episcopate became the international centre for Orthodox pilgrims to the Holy Land.

In 2043 the now decentralised Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus (formerly ‘of Moscow’) was joined by the former Churches of Poland and Czechoslovakia, which became Exarchates, like that in Belarus. At the same time the Patriarchate also granted autonomy to its missions in South-East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, making altogether four Autonomous Churches in its jurisdiction (Japan, China, South-East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent). As for the once small Patriarchate of Georgia, in 2045 it took responsibility for the great mission to Iran. The Orthodox Church had remoulded itself as a family and confederation of Ten Local Churches, five Patriarchates and five Metropolias, covering the whole world, and looking forward to the birth of four more Autocephalous Metropolitan Churches from the Autonomous Churches in due course.

1 December 2045