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Question 10.

Greetings from Thessaloniki and may the Lord be merciful on us all. We maintain a list of Greek Orthodox namedays in Greek and English. The extensive list of saints is the result of hours of work on official Greek synaxariums. This project is a private one and the web pages are maintained as a hobby of ours. We have visited your site and noted that you mention the following : "With the directory of the Western Saints there arises the question of when a Saint was officially recognised among the ranks of Saints and by whom. Was he/she recognized before the Great Schism? If so, then he/she is truly Orthodox regardless of the fact that he/she was officially recognized by Rome, but unknown to Constantinople.  If it was after, then the Orthodox Church needs to examine these Saints more closely and then decide if they should be accepted among the ranks of the Orthodox Saints. For now I have included them in this directory and if there are any 'questionable' Saints among them, that is a task for Holy Synods to examine and exclude." We feel that your views are heretic since the proper way is for a synod to first decide and then for us to follow the decision. If a saint is not canonized in the Orthodox religion despite the fact that he/she might have died for Christ before the schism  then his/her name cannot be included in the synaxarium. You have included names that are not canonised by the Orthodox hierarchy and thus your list is invalid. Some of the names that you include have troubled us since they are not included in the Orthodox synaxarium but they are included in yours. A basic example is for Lauto (Laudo, Laudus, Lo), Bishop of Coutances in France with a nameday on 22nd September. Some, based on your listing,  have made the name Loizos to be derived from Lauto and thus to be celebrated  on the 22nd September. Please note that we could not find a reference of Lauto's nameday on the site

http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/  Could you please enlighten us.
 

 

Answer to Question 10.

Dear Christos,

Greetings in Christ.
You say that “We feel that your views are heretic since the proper way is for a synod to first decide and then for us to follow the decision.”
I think that maybe you did not understand what I had written so let me explain.
"With the directory of the Western Saints there arises the question of when a Saint was officially recognised among the ranks of Saints and by whom. Was he/she recognized before the Great Schism? If so, then he/she is truly Orthodox regardless of the fact that he/she was officially recognized by Rome, but unknown to Constantinople. If it was after, then the Orthodox Church needs to examine these Saints more closely and then decide if they should be accepted among the ranks of the Orthodox Saints. For now I have included them in this directory and if there are any 'questionable' Saints among them, that is a task for Holy Synods to examine and exclude."
Every Autocephalous/Autonomous Orthodox Church has the right to canonize people from her jurisdiction to the ranks of the Saints. A great many of these saints remain unknown to other Orthodox Churches and are usually celebrated as local saints. This does not mean that they are not universally accepted by Orthodoxy. For example: Cyprus has many local saints who are completely unknown even to Greece and therefore unknown to any official Greek synaxarium. St. Bechianus [11th December], St. Soter or Soteras Bishop of Theodocian, St. Nilus founder of Machera 13 Dec, St. Barnabas, ascetic of Basa 11 June, and a great many more are only known by the Cypriot Church, but if they were to become known to other Orthodox Churches, then they would automatically be venerated as Saints of their Church.
When I say "With the directory of the Western Saints there arises the question of when a Saint was officially recognised among the ranks of Saints and by whom” I am saying that Rome [before the Schism] canonized thousands of saints unknown to the Greek East because they were local saints. That does not mean that these saints do not belong to Orthodoxy. I mentioned that I used the directory of saints published by the Felixstowe Church http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/. As I have no means to check every saint in the directory, I have to trust that they have done their homework properly and that the directory has been approved by their synod. As to which jurisdiction they belong I haven’t been able to understand. Are they part of the Russian Church under Metropolitan Sourozh or are they part of the Russian Church in exile? Recently I believe they solved their differences and are in communion with each other, so whichever church they belong to doesn’t matter.
When I say that: “Was he/she recognized before the Great Schism? If so, then he/she is truly Orthodox regardless of the fact that he/she was officially recognized by Rome, but unknown to Constantinople.” I am referring to Orthodox Rome before the Great Schism and not after.
When I say “If it was after, then the Orthodox Church needs to examine these Saints more closely and then decide if they should be accepted among the ranks of the Orthodox Saints.” I am being a little cautious because I found 2-3 names with the dates of their repose after the Great Schism, which I omitted from my directory. I say cautious because although the official date of the Schism is 1054, it doesn’t mean that everything in the west automatically stopped being Orthodox from that moment. Many places even though they were under the jurisdiction of Rome, remained loyal to Orthodoxy for many more years and did not accept Rome until 200-300 years after.

I fail to see where my views are heretic. Saying that someones views are heretic is another way of saying that he is a heretic.
You have included names that are not canonised by the Orthodox hierarchy and thus your list is invalid.
Please tell me which and I will delete them instantly.
Some of the names that you include have troubled us since they are not included in the Orthodox synaxarium.
Which Orthodox Synaxaria are you referring to. If you mean the Greek Synaxaria then I have already explained that they do not contain all the names of the Cypriot Saints so why should you expect them to have the names of saints from the west.
A basic example is for Lauto (Laudo, Laudus, Lo), Bishop of Coutances in France with a nameday on 22nd September. Some, based on your listing, have made the name Loizos to be derived from Lauto and thus to be celebrated on the 22nd September. Please note that we could not find a reference of Lauto's nameday on the site http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/
You say that based on my listing some have made the name Loizos from Lauto.
I can assure you that Loizos was celebrated on 22nd September long before I developed my web site.
Now if someone wants to change Lauto into Loizos I cannot be held responsible.
The veneration of Loizos was brought to Cyprus by a priest from Morphou. He claims to have a life story of him and is responsible for his Icon popping up everywhere. The Synod of Cyprus has never accepted him as a saint yet he is celebrated in places. On our Bishop's request, I tried to find information on him but came up empty.
As to the name Lauto, please check again because he is definitely listed on the site http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/

You say:

that the proper way is for a synod to first decide and then for us to follow the decision

In fact with Orthodoxy it is the other way around. The people are the first to recognize someone as a saint and the Church Synod, after examining the life and miracles surrounding the person, comes along later and officially recognises the saint. e.g. A great many people regard the late blessed Paisius of Mount Athos as a modern day saint. I have seen Icons of him and services have been written for him. In places his services are sung in Church and he is venerated as a saint but no synod has as yet officially recognized him. I have not added him to my directory but have added someone else who many thousands regard as a modern day saint. Who? Well I’ll leave that for you to search out and await for you to call me a heretic again.