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                                                            #347 JUNE 2014 ORGANIZATION, ONE CHURCH


                                     ORGANIZATION, ONE CHURCH


Our Lord Jesus Christ in instructing the Twelve Apostles to go forth and make disciples of all nations, in fact, established the management organization of the One Church. The Twelve Apostles, with Peter as both a Patriarch and the Rock, were to become the foundation of the organization. Twelve men were authorized, and management empowered, with His instructions to “found” the One Church. What were those instructions? There are specific writings detailing some of the Lord’s instructions; however, we verify the full duties of the Apostles by their apostolic’ acts that were accomplished in accordance with His instructions; therefore, knowing their accomplishments details His management organization instructions. The Sui iuris Apostolic Particular Churches are best situated to manage their individual Apostolic Particular Churches and the Pope, as the leader of the Patriarchs, is appropriately positioned to coordinate the solidarity of the morals and faith of the One Apostolic Church in her entirety. 

Each of the Twelve Apostles made journeys to lands of varying cultures and the language used was the vernacular of those people. Each newly established Apostolic Particular Church was organized with the Apostle to lead them as their patriarch. All apostles were to be equal with Peter, as Patriarchs, and in concert with Peter the head of the Patriarchs as Pope. Therefore, Peter, the Patriarch, was to be “first” amongst “equals” and then the leader. The fact that the Apostles traveled in all directions and communications, in most cases, were laborious proves the wisdom of the Lord’s instructions of patriarchal independence. The Mystical Supper became the primary constant amongst all Twelve Apostles.

The above summary interpretation applies to all Apostles and although all twelve, except for John, were to be martyred, the teachings were continued with a Eucharistic commonality plus the addition of customs and traditions. We are well informed of the Apostles accomplishments, their journeys, and the Particular Churches founded. The Twelve Apostles were all from the East and a common background existed amongst them.       

During the first years, the Apostles properly passed on their duties as Patriarchs to establish the Apostolic Succession that “lives” to this very day.  The Ecumenical Councils of the entire first millennium were held in the East because the multitude of Apostolic Churches was in the East and initially Rome was being oppressed by the Roman Empire leaders.  The first Ecumenical Council, First Council of Nicea, May 20 to July 25, 325, was truly historic because it included the commencement of the finalization of the Holy Bible and the preparation of the Profession of faith, the Nicene Creed. Pope Sylvester I, (314-335) was not in attendance; therefore, the attending Patriarchs were to establish an organized procedure for leadership in the Ecumenical Councils during the Pope’s absence. 

It was in the Second Ecumenical Council, the First Council of Constantinople, May to July 381, in that the Order of Preference was established, granting the Patriarch of Constantinople over all the Patriarchs of the East but after the Patriarch of Rome.  It was in this procedure that the management organization of the One Church and the Ecumenical Councils was determined. Not only was Peter the Patriarch of Rome but also Peter, the Rock, was First in the Order of Preference amongst all the Patriarchs and the Pope of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

It is important to realize that in those days, communications took weeks and in some cases, months, authority and obedience became the hallmark of the management organization of the One Church in the first millennium. It was through the Patriarchs of the East that major decisions were prepared during each of the eight ecumenical councils of the first millennium, all held in the East.

The second half of the first millennium found the Roman Church in relative safety from the Roman Empire and establishing strength in authority and patriarchal organization. There were to become unfortunate confrontations between East and West resulting in the West separating from the East in 1054, the Great Schism. The Patriarch of the West, as the Pope, initiated the second millennium ecumenical councils to be held in the West without the Patriarchs of the East.

The management organization of the Apostolic Particular Roman Church unfortunately acted as the sole management organization of the One Church after the Schism and the One Apostle without the other Apostolic Churches initiated requirements that required obedience to the One Apostolic Particular Roman Church. During the entire second millennium Rome would enforce requirements without counsel from the East and decisions such as the man made mandate of celibacy would be implemented resulting in limiting the source of vocations and eventually resulting in a priest shortage crisis that would hamper evangelization.

The inability of Rome to counter the Reformation from within resulted in the Protestant Reformation and the divisions in Christianity would create obstacles in going forth.

Recently, the Roman patriarchal desire for unopposed authority and obedience over all resulted in dropping the title of Patriarch from the Roman position of the One Church resulting in the improper management of the other Patriarchs in that they would have to be circumstantially obedient to the Patriarchal positions of a singular Patriarch (the Pope) which was not the Patriarchal management established by Our Lord Jesus in His instructions to the Twelve Apostles.

It is understood that all Apostolic Particular Patriarchal Churches were equal at the Patriarchal level and the Pope was to lead and adjudicate all twelve Patriarchal Churches with special attention to the differences amongst all Apostolic Churches. Unfortunately, Rome without a patriarchal status made the un-collaborated decisions in leading the One Church.  Roman decisions included the denial of papal-approved canons of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches; for example, the canon allowing the ordination of married men outside of Europe.

The lack of the Lord instructed Apostolic Patriarchal management organization of the One Church in the second millennium is evident in the divisions of Christianity, the inadequate education of the world’s population resulting in a lack of “Peace on Earth,” and, most importantly, with a containment of centralized control the near impossible task to address the Lord’s instructions to the Twelve Apostles that would provide an oversupply of quality priests “to go forth and make disciples of all nations.”

The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church has completed the second millennium with a percentage decrease in the Catholic population and the requirement that Our Lord’s solution is “off the table.”  Even though the Apostolic Particular Byzantine Catholic Churches, “choose” the vocations that Our Lord “calls,” Rome insists on her man made mandate of celibacy and their Roman celibate entrenchment will require a miracle to correct. The Roman bishops’ persecution of my American Byzantine Catholic Church commenced when our Slavic Apostles, Saints Cyril and Methodius (863) were jailed by Roman bishops during our founding and today, in America, we are persecuted by the American Roman bishops who have denied us four times recently from ordaining our married “Lord called” vocations.

ABCRC in our #346 MAY 2014 “PRIEST SHORTAGE CRISIS,” article reveals the number of “Catholics Per Priest” status in every continent and the downward spiral of priests, seminarians, and sisters in North America and Europe, the former breadbaskets of the world’s Catholics. The authority and obedience of one Apostolic Particular Church over all the other Apostolic Particular Churches thereby changing the management organization of the Apostolic Church is at the root cause of our crises. The unfortunate dropping of the title Patriarch by the Apostolic Particular Church in Rome was unnecessary because the Pope is in Rome. The Roman Patriarchal attempt for absolute power reveals the need to return to Church Management with the participation of all of the Apostolic Particular Churches (Orthodox and Catholic) and thereby solving the priest shortage from becoming the greatest scandal in the One Church.

In order for the One Church to lead the world’s population toward “Peace on Earth,” we must follow Our lord’s instructions to the Twelve Apostles and “go forth to make disciples of all nations.” Education of every soul is a necessity to achieve fulfillment of Our Lord’s instructions and an oversupply of holy priests is the Lord’s “calling” procedure. The Lord’s instructions to the Twelve Apostles and their Sui iuris status are foremost in Our One Church organizational management.

The fact that today the Apostolic Particular Roman Catholic Church “manages” all other Apostolic Particular Churches, mostly without their consultation, has resulted in a “priest shortage” and an unbelievable “Catholics per Priest” status that results in the loss of souls is to be the greatest scandal ever in the One Church. The entrenched celibate centralized hierarchy will require a miracle to understand that the Lord’s instructions to the Twelve Apostles called for a de-centralized Church Management through the Apostolic Churches and with the Pope as the primary leader of all of the Apostolic Churches, together.

A classic example of Roman Patriarchal management interference exists in the Oriental Congregation in that the number of Roman members is very noticeable when in fact there should be no Roman members. There are many clergy in the Eastern Patriarchates that could advise the Pope in Oriental governance. The two most un-catholic documents ever emanated from the Oriental Congregation, Ea semper (1907) and Cum data fuerit (1929), resulted in the persecution of my Apostolic Particular Eastern Church in the Americas to near extinction. The One Church will be best managed when advice on Eastern matters is not sought from Westerners, who may have theoretical knowledge but lack an Eastern perspective.   

The major separation from the Orthodox Churches indicates the absolute power sought by the Apostolic Roman Church and, today, the Orthodox Churches would welcome Church Unity if and when the Roman Catholic Church decides to place Church Management of the Apostolic Patriarchal Churches at a decentralized Patriarchal level with Peter as the Rock in accordance with the Lord’s instructions to the Twelve Apostles. The solidarity of the One Church in faith and morals will then become the means “to go forth and make disciples of all nations.”

            GOD IS WITH US!        GO WITH GOD

                                                                                 Joseph P. Bonchonsky

P.S. Please read ABCRC article #44, Church Unity (to be updated), in www.abcrc.us with a reply from Patriarch Chrystodoulos+, Patriarch of Athens and All Greece

Joseph Bonchonsky,
Jun 20, 2014, 8:19 AM