A GROUP THAT IS TRULY ORTHODOX
DOES NOT HAVE TITLES HIGHER THAN BISHOP
I have been asked why there is no such thing as an Archbishop, Patriarch, Metropolitan, Exarch or similar high-fluting titles in the Celtic Orthodox Church.
Firstly, the Celtic Orthodox Church never had such titles because it was inconsistent with our understanding of the role of Bishop. We see the role of the Bishop as a spiritual Father, primary teacher and the primary minister of the Sacred Mysteries
(Sacraments). We see the Bishop as the servant to the servants of God. Bishops are not quasi-divine, perfect members of an Imperial Court. There is nothing in Scripture that would justify a Bishop claiming an office higher than Bishop. Christ established the office of Bishop, but everything above that is a title given by men in the political framework of the man made church. Our view was the view of the early church. The Rudder is a book of laws used by the Eastern Orthodox. The Rudder condemns the practice of all these fancy titles of Patriarch, Archbishop etc. The Rudder when it was written in the early church was the law for both the East and the West. In the 4th Century, they decided together (East and West) to disregard this law and move on. St. Peter at Antioch and St. James at Jerusalem are said to be the author of this Canon.
THE RUDDER / THE PEDALION
PAGE 632 and or 633
It is decreed that the Bishop of the chief see shall not be called the Exarch of the Priests, or the High Priest, or anything else of the kind, but only Bishop of the chief see.
(Ap. c. XXXIV.)
As a rebuke to the arrogance and self-conceitedness
of some ecclesiastics, the present Canon decrees that the Bishop of the chief
see is not to be called the
Exarch of Priests, Patriarch or the High Priest, or
any other high sounding and proud name. For this is alien to and
unbecoming to Bishops, the imitators of Jesus the humble-hearted. Instead, they
are only to be called the Bishop of the chief see.
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