Understanding Our Autocephaly
On September 19 / October 2, 2016, the Holy Synod of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America issued its historic Synodal Affirmation of Autocephaly. This document was the fruit of years of reflection about the nature, mission, and mandate of our Church. Anyone wishing to understand the reasoning that went into the affirmation of our autocephaly, and to study the canonical, historical, and ecclesiological principles that provided the basis for this affirmation, should read two talks given by Hierodeacon Samuel of Holy Transfiguration Monastery. The first, “The Catholicity of the Local Church,” was delivered at the 2015 Clergy Synaxis. The second, “Why Autocephaly?” was given at the 2016 Synaxis. The two talks are related, as the ecclesiological principles put forward in the first develop naturally into those expressed in the second.