Skip to comments.An Open Letter on the Sins of Simony
Posted on 02/01/2012 1:19:25 PM PST by Bpscholarios
Official Declaration of the COCW Office of Morals, Doctrine and Spirituality
January 30, 2012
The Concerned Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Bishops Coalition
Dear Brothers in Christ:
It is with mixed anguish and heartfelt affection that we, The Concerned Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Bishops Coalition, have convened an ad hoc coalition with the express intention to offer fraternal counsel regarding reported wayward behavior in some of your jurisdictions. It is to such as have committed simony (giving or receiving money for that which is holy and cannot be purchased) that we address this open letter.
It has been bought to our collective attention that certain unsuspecting men seeking to lay claim to the divine office of Bishop are actively despoiling and sullying the most pure garment of the bride of Christ, Holy Mother Church. This has occurred through the explicit knowledge of those who seek to enrich themselves by deliberately attempting to sell the holy office of Bishop for material gain. The Blessed Apostle Paul speaks through the mists of time: Let your conduct be free from avarice; being content with such things as are at hand (Heb. 13:5).
The Holy Apostles also speak clearly through the Holy Canons of the Church when they state:
If any Bishop become the recipient of this office by means of money, or any Presbyter, or any Deacon, let him be deposed as well as the one who ordained him, and let him be cut off entirely even from communion, as was Simon the Sorcerer by me Peter. (Canon 2 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council; Canon 22 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council; Canon 5 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council; Canon 90 of St. Basil the Great; Encyclical Epistle of St. Gennadius; and the Epistle of St. Tarasius of Constantinople). In these canons the message is clear that any bishop or presbyter, or deacon who obtains the office of Holy Orders with money is to be deposed along with those who participated in such ordination and let them be excommunicated just as Simon the Sorcerer by Blessed Peter (Acts 13:6). It is from this scurrilous act of the sinful Simon that we derive the infamous action known as simony.
The seriousness of this odious offense is not only prefaced by the blessed words of St. Gennadius who states that such violators should be subject to the curse of anathema, but also Canon 2 of the 4th, Canon 22 of the 6th and Canon 5 of the 7th, Canon 23 of the 6th and other Ecumenical Councils, that directly call for the excommunication, deposition, anathema and casting out of the Church of those who debase themselves and the Church by such unholy conduct.
Our brothers, let there be no mistake that your actions are in violation of the Holy Canons and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church by virtue of Canon 29 of The 85 Canons of the Holy Apostles, which read: .and sigh, my brother, at the violation of such sacred and such momentous Canons; for today that is the manner in which simony is practiced, as though there is a virtue, and not a heresy detected by God, as most saintly Gennadius calls it. Further, he states unequivocally by stating that any bishop that sells a Holy Office is worthy of rejection and anathema and further indicates that he who obtains an office under such circumstance is of no dignity to that which he has acquired through any financial transactions (Epistle of St. Gennadius) (Canon Law).
Dear brothers, we approach this in the spirit of the Apostle Matthew (Mt 18:15-17) with specific emphasis on verse 17 which states: And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. Accordingly, we have found it necessary to tell it to the church because the conversation between you and your brothers has been ineffective.
Our Lord also speaks of the hardness of heart by which His Holy Ordinances memorialized in the Holy Canons referenced above are defiled and violated through the selling of Holy Orders which are not holy. Additionally, this offense is deepened by the distasteful promotion of prosperity of material gain through the false promise that God will enrich with earthly goods those who seek to mislead His flock. Due to the ineffectiveness of our earlier counsel, we find it necessary to publicly denounce the odious act of simony. Your circle of violators are actively misleading Christs flock with promises of elusive wealth. According to John 10:1-3 you are robbers and thieves: 1 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
The Blessed Apostle Paul also teaches Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Gal 6:1) Therefore, with true affection and heavy hearts, we The Concerned Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Bishops Coalition hereby declare anathema on the sin of Simony, false pretenses, disreputable concern, false claim to the office of Bishop, presbyter and deacon. We further call for you to repent, cease and desist such mournful behavior and be saved.
We stand united in defense of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
Composed and supported under the Omophorion leadership of the cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide
Under the hands of Scholarios-Gennadius III, OSB, Protohierarch-Metropolitan and Metropolitan Gregory Timotheos, Canonist
To this pledge we place our collective names and offices:
The Holy Synod cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Scholarios-Gennadius III, OSB Protohierarch-Metropolitan
Catholicos Scholarios-Gennadius III, PhD, OSB Protohierarch-Metropolitan Archbishop New York & East Coast of America cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Metropolitan-Archbishop The Holy Orthodox Catholic Church
Metropolitan Gregory Timotheos, OSB Protosyncellus and Canonist Archbishop of Canada cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Most Rev. James-Peter Bramhan, OSB, D.D., PhD Archbishop-Primate African Orthodox Church of Africa Clinton, Maryland
The Most Rev. Council Nedd II, TOSF, PhD Presiding Bishop and Bishop of the Chesapeake The Episcopal Missionary Church
The Most Rev. Larry Johnson Presiding Bishop Anglican Church International Communion Anglican Church of Virginia Front Royal, Virginia
Denis Michel Garrison, ThD, OSB Metropolitan Emeritus Benedictine Superior General cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Old Catholic Orthodox Church
The Right Reverend Wilbert Bailey (Cyril-Mark) Assisting Bishop, Chesapeake and Northeast The Episcopal Missionary Church
Archbishop Grant B. Williams Jr., PhD ThD Presiding Bishop The Lords Churches Apostolic Ministries Inc.
Mar Dawad Maryam Elias (Rev. Dr Lowell Greer) Bishop of Toledo, Ohio cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide/ Old Catholic Orthodox Church Vistula Chapel Toledo, OH
Mar Martin Severius, SBL, M.Div., PhD, D.D. (Bishop Craig M. Davis) Bishop of Indiana, "Emeritus" cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Enfield, Victoria, Australia
The Right Reverend Thomas R. Davis Bishop of Southern Nevada (Retired) cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide
Most Rev. Matthew Smith Archbishop of Portland cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Anglican Rite Catholic Church Portland, Oregon
Most Rev. William F. Malloy, Jr., M.Div., D.D. Metropolitan-Archbishop cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide American Independent Old Catholic Orthodox Church Florida
Most Rev. Heyward Ewart, D.D., PhD Metropolitan-Archbishop cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Holy Catholic Church International Lake City, Florida
Archbishop Antonio Mathieu, PsyD Archbishop of Haiti cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide
Most Rev. Fabio Andrade cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide/ Old Catholic Orthodox Church Obispo for the Religious Communities in Colombia
Obispo Antonio Camacho Ramon Diaz, D. D. cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Old Catholic Orthodox Church Mexico
Arzobispo Antonio Clavijo, PhD cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Iglesias Apostolica Universal Old Catholic Orthodox Church, Colombia
Obispo Luis Alberto Pachon Arias cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Our Lady of the Sorrows Church Colombia
Most Rev. Rafael Pardo cumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide Old Catholic Orthodox Church Obispo Bogota, Colombia
excommunication, deposition, anathema and casting out?
in that order?
So, who are the sinners that this is directed at? Why did this issue come up at this time?
The sinners unfortunately legion and this matter has arisen at this time due to the current increase in this practice by unscrupulous practitioners whose communicable illness can infect the greater church leadership and mislead the unsuspecting and the faithful.