Questions and Answers about the Autocephaly of The Orthodox Church in America

The answers in this section on autocephaly were provided by a seminary faculty member in a 1970 OCA publication.

Autocephalous / Autonomous

What is the difference between an “autocephalous” and an “autonomous” church if both types are truly independent?

Autocephaly (6 of 20)

Is not the title of patriarch always the title for the chief bishop of an autocephalous church, and does not each Orthodox diocese have to be “under” a patriarch?

Autocephaly (9 of 20)

On what basis did the Church of Russia offer its recognition to the Metropolia and proclaim it officially as the Orthodox Church in America?

Autocephaly (10 of 20)

Why does the Patriarchate of Constantinople refuse to honor the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America?

Autocephaly (11 of 20)

Can there be an autocephalous Orthodox Church in America which does not encompass all Orthodox Christians living in this territory? What about the continued existence of the Orthodox…

Autocephaly (12 of 20)

Should not the Metropolia have waited for the other jurisdictions so that the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America could consist of all Orthodox in the country right from the very beginning?

Autocephaly (13 of 20)

Is it not a fact that the autocephaly of the Metropolia as the Orthodox Church in America has caused greater divisions rather than greater union among the Orthodox people?

Autocephaly (14 of 20)

Why did the Church of Russia change its policy toward the Metropolia in 1970? Could it not be for some unworthy or self-serving purpose?

Autocephaly (15 of 20)

Was not the acceptance of autocephaly from the Moscow Patriarchate a play into Russian hands? Was it not an act of cooperation with communists?

Autocephaly (16 of 20)

Was it necessary for the Metropolia to enter into communion with the Russian Church because of autocephaly? Do we now have to pray together with citizens of the USSR?

Autocephaly (17 of 20)

Is it not really the case that the Metropolia has always been a national jurisdiction like all of the others, and that even today, no matter what it calls itself, it is still a Russian Church with…

Autocephaly (18 of 20)

Does the decree on autocephaly really uphold all of the principles and demands of the American Church?

Autocephaly (19 of 20)

If autocephaly was really so important to the Metropolia, why did the bishops negotiate secretly and make the decision by themselves without discussion with the church or the convocation of an…