Message modified by user dcalvert 6/11/2011, 1:06 pm
I was just doing a little more reading, attempting to find you some better sources describing the ancient form of ecclesiastical governance, when I happened to bump into this.
I had certainly never seen it before...perhaps you have:
"Soon however, the Russian Orthodox Church itself almost became a victim of meddling by the Patriarchs of Constantinople in its internal life. At that time, i.e. in the twenties of our century, when the Russian Orthodox Church found itself subject to cruel persecution by atheistic State authorities, Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople, deviating from the majority of the world’s Church leaders, did not support the imprisoned Patriarch Tikhon and expressed support for the bolshevik-inspired Renovationist schism.
His successor Patriarch Gregorios VII, through his Moscow representative Archimandrite Basil (Dimopoulo), expressed his desire that Patriarch Tikhon divest himself of the government of the Church and that the Patriarchate in the Russian Church be abolished.
In his response of 6 June 1924 Patriarch Tikhon wrote to Patriarch Gregorios of Constantinople:
"In no small measure we were shocked and surprised that the Head of the Church of Constantinople, without any prior consultation with us, the legitimate representative and Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, would interfere in the internal life and affairs of the Autocephalous Russian Church. The Holy Councils recognized the primacy of honor alone as the prerogative of the Patriarch of Constantinople and did not, nor do not recognize any primacy of authority."
Kind of gives you the sense of how much of these things have (always) been governed by self interest, rather than principle.
See the rest of the article at click here
I'm sure being a staunch Reagan conservative this will shock you as much as it did me.