Author Topic: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment  (Read 2075 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« on: July 05, 2018, 07:59:41 PM »
I'm having an issue with my parish priest's personal conduct that is negatively impacting my path in Orthodoxy. My wife and I are very close to him and his family; he has two children who are in our age group and are two of our closest friends. His son also works with my wife, and we have dinner at their place at least once a week. That said, my priest's personal conduct is problematic - I would actually go as far as to say disgracefully inappropriate. He drinks excessively. My wife and their son are in the wine industry so free product finds its way home in copious amounts. It's not unusual for the six of us to consume seven or eight bottles at dinner. I keep my consumption down as I dislike being intoxicated and will also be driving home, and having grown up with an alcoholic father, that sort of thing makes me extremely uncomfortable. In short, I've almost never seen him not drunk and belligerent at home. A few months ago, before I obtained a career-track position and was still working at a winery, he and his wife stopped in for a visit. They purchased some bottles and as I was seeing them out, he took a corkscrew that we were selling off the shelf, put it in his pocket, and smiled as winked at me as he walked out the door. I was speechless. The family also seems to have something negative to say about essentially everyone else in the Church (ROCOR, at least), puts down other jurisdictions (like the time he told me that the OCA is a pastiche of liturgical traditions from other Orthodox groups and is "laughed at by true Orthodox"), and generally has an extremely judgmental approach. After an indiscretion a couple of week ago, he ordered me to go to confession and communion, but I've chosen not to (and he subsequently called me out for not going and "ignoring an obedience" to go). I won't confess to a thief or someone who otherwise behaves as he does. I had to resist the urge to tell him "you first" when he told me to confess. I have no further inclination to attend our parish anymore. This, coupled with the fact that I simply don't feel like I'm growing in the church has put me off. Most of our parishioners are Soviet-era Russian immigrants. With few exceptions they're very friendly and welcoming to Anglo converts like my wife and I. But they treat the church as a social club for Russian immigrants, and there isn't really much of spiritual value for those of us interested in a more Christian-focused experience. Another convert and I suggested starting up some sort of study group for the men in the church, but were told no. We also suggested doing an English-language liturgy one Sunday a month, or on a Saturday morning, and were again told no. At this point I'm only attending Sunday liturgy to avoid a fight with my wife, as she still enjoys the parish. She herself was raised by parents who essentially ditched all religious faith, and I don't want to take action that will derail her from the Christian path, as I know I'm very blessed that circumstances came together to bring her into the Faith with me. However, this situation it just too much and has completely stagnated my journey into Orthodoxy.

Offline IXOYE

  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,337
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2018, 10:07:22 PM »
Lord, have mercy!

Pray for him and his family.  Perhaps look into another parish.  Don't give up because of scandal.

Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,403
  • Faith: without works is dead.
  • Jurisdiction: Foolishness to the Greeks
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2018, 11:08:55 PM »
I know your wife is in the mix here and the priest's family members are your friends so the final answer may be complicated, but is there another Orthodox parish nearby?
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,604
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: In Hell I'll be in good company
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2018, 11:26:38 PM »
Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

It's dependent on the diners, but it really isn't.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,846
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2018, 11:52:48 PM »
There have been worse priests than yours and they were still priests who heard confession, forgave sins and consecrated communion. St. Augustine has a lot to say about that since many people in his region and time were entering into schism due to sinful clergy. Sorry that you have to deal with this stuff, but don't let it get between you and the mysteries.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 11:55:02 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline NJC

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church - Australia
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2018, 12:00:44 AM »
I'm having an issue with my parish priest's personal conduct that is negatively impacting my path in Orthodoxy. My wife and I are very close to him and his family; he has two children who are in our age group and are two of our closest friends. His son also works with my wife, and we have dinner at their place at least once a week. That said, my priest's personal conduct is problematic - I would actually go as far as to say disgracefully inappropriate. He drinks excessively. My wife and their son are in the wine industry so free product finds its way home in copious amounts. It's not unusual for the six of us to consume seven or eight bottles at dinner. I keep my consumption down as I dislike being intoxicated and will also be driving home, and having grown up with an alcoholic father, that sort of thing makes me extremely uncomfortable. In short, I've almost never seen him not drunk and belligerent at home. A few months ago, before I obtained a career-track position and was still working at a winery, he and his wife stopped in for a visit. They purchased some bottles and as I was seeing them out, he took a corkscrew that we were selling off the shelf, put it in his pocket, and smiled as winked at me as he walked out the door. I was speechless. The family also seems to have something negative to say about essentially everyone else in the Church (ROCOR, at least), puts down other jurisdictions (like the time he told me that the OCA is a pastiche of liturgical traditions from other Orthodox groups and is "laughed at by true Orthodox"), and generally has an extremely judgmental approach. After an indiscretion a couple of week ago, he ordered me to go to confession and communion, but I've chosen not to (and he subsequently called me out for not going and "ignoring an obedience" to go). I won't confess to a thief or someone who otherwise behaves as he does. I had to resist the urge to tell him "you first" when he told me to confess. I have no further inclination to attend our parish anymore. This, coupled with the fact that I simply don't feel like I'm growing in the church has put me off. Most of our parishioners are Soviet-era Russian immigrants. With few exceptions they're very friendly and welcoming to Anglo converts like my wife and I. But they treat the church as a social club for Russian immigrants, and there isn't really much of spiritual value for those of us interested in a more Christian-focused experience. Another convert and I suggested starting up some sort of study group for the men in the church, but were told no. We also suggested doing an English-language liturgy one Sunday a month, or on a Saturday morning, and were again told no. At this point I'm only attending Sunday liturgy to avoid a fight with my wife, as she still enjoys the parish. She herself was raised by parents who essentially ditched all religious faith, and I don't want to take action that will derail her from the Christian path, as I know I'm very blessed that circumstances came together to bring her into the Faith with me. However, this situation it just too much and has completely stagnated my journey into Orthodoxy.

I had a similar experience. Not with a drunken priest, but with a parish that while it had nice people was overly ethnic and uninterested in using English or any kind of outreach to others. In my case it was a Greek Orthodox church.

I prayed, as i wanted to be a part of a mission and outreach minded parish, and eventually a door was opened to me.

My suggestion is to move parishes. I know the family connection you have there, but it is not conducive to your spiritual life to stay there. Find a convert parish, even if it is OCA, or whatever (i am Australian i don't know the difference).

Myself i found my home in the Coptic Orthodox Church. I suggest you find a parish that has more converts and uses more English (regardless of which jurisdiction it be under). May God be with you!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 12:03:33 AM by NJC »

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 5,691
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: POC, but my heart belongs to Antioch
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2018, 06:55:56 AM »
Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

It's dependent on the diners, but it really isn't.

Yeah, it depends. If there is a feast or an occassion, 1,5 bottle of wine for one person is not so strange. But if it happens on usual Sunday dinner, it's strange for me.



Anyway, I'm very sorry to read this. I suppose quite a lot of priests have some alcoholic problems. E.g at my parish there is one, but it seems some time ago he managed to get out from this (he wasn't allowed to serve services and sacraments during almost the whole Triodion until Palm Sunday); anyway, he has good sermons, he has PHD, he has more knowledge than an average POC priest, he is able tog ood give advices to people, used to lead meetings for Orthodox students etc. so it's quite different situation.

if it's possible - go to another parish and find good priest with whom you could talk about the issue.
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline Vanhyo

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 922
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Layman in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 07:20:01 AM »
The problem is that your very way of thinking is wrong, you should be praying for your priest instead of talking about how much wine he drinks on the internet.

Are you aware for example that God gives priests to people according to their hearts ? And that unless your justice exeeds that of the pharasies, you will not enter the kingdom ?

Offline IreneOlinyk

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 624
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 11:24:30 AM »
The problem is that your very way of thinking is wrong, you should be praying for your priest instead of talking about how much wine he drinks on the internet.

Are you aware for example that God gives priests to people according to their hearts ? And that unless your justice exeeds that of the pharasies, you will not enter the kingdom ?

Your "way of thinking is wrong" is ignoring the issue of alcoholic priests in our midst.  Your priest's behaviour is just wrong, wrong, wrong.  You have to find another parish with a priest who puts Christ first in his life and ministry.


Offline Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,418
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2018, 01:25:51 PM »
The problem is that your very way of thinking is wrong, you should be praying for your priest instead of talking about how much wine he drinks on the internet.

Are you aware for example that God gives priests to people according to their hearts ? And that unless your justice exeeds that of the pharasies, you will not enter the kingdom ?

Your "way of thinking is wrong" is ignoring the issue of alcoholic priests in our midst.  Your priest's behaviour is just wrong, wrong, wrong.  You have to find another parish with a priest who puts Christ first in his life and ministry.

Indeed.  This is why I advocated elsewhere for supervision and mandatory rehabiliation of priests who are alcoholic.

Regarding the issue of the theft, you perhaps slightly compounded that by not stopping him from removing the corkscrew or alerting management.  This could have been done non-confrontationally, e.g. you could have said to your boss “a regular customer who just bought a large quantity of wine is wondering if we could throw in a corkscrew.”  In my opinion, your priest is not fully morally culpable for the theft, because his actions suggest he was with a gesture asking you for permission to take the corkscrew as a freebie, which by the way, is the sort of thing good businessmen do throw in for good customers, and your not stopping him or shaking your head, unless you did attempt to signal “no”to him and he walked off (in which case you should have told your boss and perhaps the police should have been called), would make him think he had legitimately acquired the item in question as a freebie.

Given this priest and his family is close to your family, I think you really should try to save the friendship and have a heart to heart with him, explaining your concerns, but regarding the shoplifting element, I don’t see it; it looks to me like he was asking for a “comp” and thought he got it, and it would be good business to provide it.  After all, at tradeshows, corkscrews and bottle openers are given away en masse as one of the most common forms of “schwag,” almost as popular as T shirts and branded mugs.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Bryan Paul

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 281
  • Chrismated: 2015-08-30
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2018, 02:04:33 PM »
Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

It's dependent on the diners, but it really isn't.
An entire bottle of wine (and then some), for each person isn't excessive?
Dads of Orthodoxy:
On MeWeOn Facebook

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,403
  • Faith: without works is dead.
  • Jurisdiction: Foolishness to the Greeks
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2018, 02:13:58 PM »
Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

It's dependent on the diners, but it really isn't.
An entire bottle of wine (and then some), for each person isn't excessive?

Depends on the wine. A lot of blended wines have similar or lower alcohol content to mass market beer.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline augustin717

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,708
  • Faith: Higher Criticism
  • Jurisdiction: Dutch
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 02:44:38 PM »
Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

It's dependent on the diners, but it really isn't.
An entire bottle of wine (and then some), for each person isn't excessive?
Nope. I mean maybe every day, but say once a week that’s normal .
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,367
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2018, 03:55:25 PM »
As someone who also has some issues with his priest, I can sympathize.  However, I have not left my parish despite my many justifications to do so.  Why?  My wife.  She was received into the church there just last year and has been going there since we were dating, married, and had kids.  My sons' godparents and her godmother are all there and they like the community.  I would do well at the Greek parish, but I know that it would be  a struggle for my wife and kids.  So, I'm staying.  I'm sticking it out.  Why?  Because her salvation is worth it.  You can take or leave that as you wish.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2018, 06:19:09 PM »
An entire bottle of wine (and then some), for each person isn't excessive?
It depends on the pace of consumption.  But one to two bottles per person for a few hours over dinner might not even raise more than a buzz.  Keep in mind that whether consuming alcohol is excessive or not depends on the degree of intoxication, not the quantity.
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,353
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2018, 10:37:53 PM »
An entire bottle of wine (and then some), for each person isn't excessive?
It depends on the pace of consumption.  But one to two bottles per person for a few hours over dinner might not even raise more than a buzz.  Keep in mind that whether consuming alcohol is excessive or not depends on the degree of intoxication, not the quantity.
Tolerance might play a role there.  Two bottles of regular wine would have me unconscious at best.   ;D
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 10:38:30 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,212
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2018, 11:59:57 PM »
I'm torn on this one. You could try and find another parish, but depending on what's close and what's comfortable that may be easier said than done. On the other hand, it would be wise to "forgive and forget" the sins of your priest for the time being. It's the only way you're going to be able to move past this. You could also try and visit a monastery and see what one of the fathers their has to say about the situation. Don't do anything rash, and keep praying for your priest and the situation.
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

Online Tzimis

  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,371
  • If you die before you die, then you will not die
  • Jurisdiction: GOA
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2018, 12:13:00 AM »
Wine isn't that bad. As long as he stays away from the whiskey or vodka.  Sometimes people over due it. If it gets worse and doesn't subside you can mention it to him. Tell him you feel a little uncomfortable because of his drinking habitats and feel like he isn't representing the cloth to your expectations.  Give him a chance to prove he is ok. If he continues or worsens. You could contact your bishop with your concerns.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2018, 01:31:55 AM »
Wine isn't that bad. As long as he stays away from the whiskey or vodka.  Sometimes people over due it. If it gets worse and doesn't subside you can mention it to him. Tell him you feel a little uncomfortable because of his drinking habitats and feel like he isn't representing the cloth to your expectations.  Give him a chance to prove he is ok. If he continues or worsens. You could contact your bishop with your concerns.
Follow the evangelic way to confront someone (Mt 18:16-7): first, in private; second, with a witness; third, to the bishop. Always with love, truly as a friend, especially in the first step.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 01:34:30 AM by Sharbel »
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline FinnJames

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 870
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of Finland
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2018, 08:41:40 AM »
Just a couple thoughts here: If you have your priest's family round for a meal you become the host and can determine how copiously the wine flows. Setting out both a wine and a water glass for each diner might slow alcohol consumption a bit.

Offline IXOYE

  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,337
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2018, 12:53:28 PM »
Just a couple thoughts here: If you have your priest's family round for a meal you become the host and can determine how copiously the wine flows. Setting out both a wine and a water glass for each diner might slow alcohol consumption a bit.

Great idea!

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2018, 06:24:43 PM »
I know your wife is in the mix here and the priest's family members are your friends so the final answer may be complicated, but is there another Orthodox parish nearby?

Plenty - there are Greek, Ukrainian, and Antiochian parishes all within a five minute drive of my home, and easily another dozen within an hour's drive. Unfortunately, my wife's connection to the family means leaving the parish really isn't an option at present.

There have been worse priests than yours and they were still priests who heard confession, forgave sins and consecrated communion. St. Augustine has a lot to say about that since many people in his region and time were entering into schism due to sinful clergy. Sorry that you have to deal with this stuff, but don't let it get between you and the mysteries.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I've thrown up a considerable mental barrier to receiving the Mysteries from a priest who, to put this crudely, is a vulgar, thieving alcoholic.

I had a similar experience. Not with a drunken priest, but with a parish that while it had nice people was overly ethnic and uninterested in using English or any kind of outreach to others. In my case it was a Greek Orthodox church.

I prayed, as i wanted to be a part of a mission and outreach minded parish, and eventually a door was opened to me.

My suggestion is to move parishes. I know the family connection you have there, but it is not conducive to your spiritual life to stay there. Find a convert parish, even if it is OCA, or whatever (i am Australian i don't know the difference).

Myself i found my home in the Coptic Orthodox Church. I suggest you find a parish that has more converts and uses more English (regardless of which jurisdiction it be under). May God be with you!

Unfortunately this seems to be a common experience among converts. To their credit, our parishioners are (for the most part) lovely people who have made my wife and I feel very welcome. The issue here is that there's no real spiritual activity within the parish. We show up for liturgy and vespers, eat, and go home. Ideas that some others and I put forward about Bible study, community activism (ie. taking a group to the March for Life here in Canada, etc.) are invariably shot down. I feel like I'm in a social club for Russians, not an Orthodox Church.

Also, six people drinking eight bottles of wine at dinner seems pretty excessive.

It's dependent on the diners, but it really isn't.

Yeah, it depends. If there is a feast or an occassion, 1,5 bottle of wine for one person is not so strange. But if it happens on usual Sunday dinner, it's strange for me.



Anyway, I'm very sorry to read this. I suppose quite a lot of priests have some alcoholic problems. E.g at my parish there is one, but it seems some time ago he managed to get out from this (he wasn't allowed to serve services and sacraments during almost the whole Triodion until Palm Sunday); anyway, he has good sermons, he has PHD, he has more knowledge than an average POC priest, he is able tog ood give advices to people, used to lead meetings for Orthodox students etc. so it's quite different situation.

if it's possible - go to another parish and find good priest with whom you could talk about the issue.

That's an option I'm considering. However, one thing I've noticed is that the ROCOR community here in Ontario, Canada, is very well networked and everyone knows everyone. If I say anything, it'll come out in the open and proverbial hell will break loose.

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,403
  • Faith: without works is dead.
  • Jurisdiction: Foolishness to the Greeks
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2018, 09:27:58 AM »
That's an option I'm considering. However, one thing I've noticed is that the ROCOR community here in Ontario, Canada, is very well networked and everyone knows everyone. If I say anything, it'll come out in the open and proverbial hell will break loose.
That's ROCOR, period, and TBH, it's really a lot of the Orthodox community in North America. We're a small pond.

Of course you need to be open with your wife, but you don't have to tell the priest or home parish if you want to walk down the street to the Antiochian, Greek or Ukranian churches for some pastoral counseling.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2018, 10:15:52 AM »
I wouldn't be as concerned about the bad example by the priest, since it seems to happens mostly in more private settings, but by his teaching and preaching, informed by such careless concern about radically living out the Gospel proper to his state of life.
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,546
  • Pavel Florensky and Sergei Bulgakov
  • Faith: Neo-Patristic Synthesis
  • Jurisdiction: The thrilling romance of Holy Orthodoxy
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2018, 10:31:30 AM »
I feel like I'm in a social club for Russians, not an Orthodox Church.
You aren't alone in feeling this way, unfortunately.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,392
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2018, 10:33:41 AM »
Wow, this is very sad to hear. Perhaps God desires to use you to be a positive influence on your priest. Go to Confession, and confess your very feelings about this situation. Do it sincerely and with no ulterior motive. Who knows? Maybe God will use your own confession to lead your priest to examine his own life and make some necessary changes.

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Bryan Paul

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 281
  • Chrismated: 2015-08-30
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2018, 10:36:47 AM »
I appreciate the sentiment, but I've thrown up a considerable mental barrier to receiving the Mysteries from a priest who, to put this crudely, is a vulgar, thieving alcoholic.

With all due respect, this is your problem, not his. (That's not to say he doesn't have his own problems, but you don't have to make them yours.)
Dads of Orthodoxy:
On MeWeOn Facebook

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,846
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2018, 11:19:30 AM »
I appreciate the sentiment, but I've thrown up a considerable mental barrier to receiving the Mysteries from a priest who, to put this crudely, is a vulgar, thieving alcoholic.
With all due respect, this is your problem, not his. (That's not to say he doesn't have his own problems, but you don't have to make them yours.)
I'm sure our brother here is well aware he is barring himself from the mysteries.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,604
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: In Hell I'll be in good company
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2018, 11:42:08 AM »
I feel like I'm in a social club for Russians, not an Orthodox Church.
You aren't alone in feeling this way, unfortunately.

Why do people think this happens only to "ethnics"?  I'm in an American social club right now.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,712
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2018, 12:54:14 PM »
and the social club aspect of this....isnt really the issue here.....-that's- not what is keeping him from the cup.....


so  my thoughts on this.....


You have already let it fester enough that you are posting about it here..... go talk to the man.....for your soul, if not for also his.


2. stop having so much alcohol available at dinners if you are in control of them....unless you have been drinking water this whole time....

3. actually...stop socializing with them in general if the alcohol bothers you.

4.  Pray for them

5. Pray for them

6. Pray for them...and I don't mean 'Dear God, let him see his error, that I so clearly see'

7. talk to him before you go to confession...so that the air is clear before....

8.  Confess judging and being held back from participation in the church because of judgementalism.

9. deal with a possible parish change when you are back in communion and can rationally discuss things with your family


All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Online Sethrak

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,004
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Etchmiadzin, Armenia
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2018, 09:10:56 PM »
Is the service serious worship ~ are the parishioners humble receiving communion ```

Our confession is group ~ the confession not said out loud ```


Anyway you don't like this man ~ this priest ~ can he not see that, can no one see that ```

You see him as a vulgar, drunken, thief ~ those are your words ~ I think ```
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 09:16:09 PM by Sethrak »

Offline Deacon Lance

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,881
  • Faith: Byzantine Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2018, 12:09:08 AM »
Get out of that parish.  The priest is toxic and is taking you down with him.  Pray for him but don’t put up with him, for your own sanity.
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,418
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2018, 02:27:26 AM »
and the social club aspect of this....isnt really the issue here.....-that's- not what is keeping him from the cup.....


so  my thoughts on this.....


You have already let it fester enough that you are posting about it here..... go talk to the man.....for your soul, if not for also his.


2. stop having so much alcohol available at dinners if you are in control of them....unless you have been drinking water this whole time....

3. actually...stop socializing with them in general if the alcohol bothers you.

4.  Pray for them

5. Pray for them

6. Pray for them...and I don't mean 'Dear God, let him see his error, that I so clearly see'

7. talk to him before you go to confession...so that the air is clear before....

8.  Confess judging and being held back from participation in the church because of judgementalism.

9. deal with a possible parish change when you are back in communion and can rationally discuss things with your family

+1
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline ProdigalSon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 29
  • OC.net
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2018, 07:56:25 PM »
You might consider going to a different priest for confession.   My parish priest is not my confessor. 

I realize this is certainly not the norm, but in my case I had an established relationship with a priest from one parish, but decided to join another one that made more sense for my family given the type of parish and the fact that it was more convert friendly and my wife is not Orthodox, we have a infant daughter and this other church is younger with lots of kids, etc.

At any rate, I asked my parish priest if he minded if I took confession elsewhere and he had no problem with it and ever since I confess at one parish with that priest, but attend liturgy and take communion at another.

Again, I realize this is not the norm but I see no reason why it can't be a potential solution provided your parish priest is consulted in advance and approves.  Who knows, he might even be relieved if he knows there is an issue between you. 

This may not solve all your problems, but it might get you back to regular confession and communion.

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2018, 02:02:41 PM »
Here's an update that has solidified my resolve on this matter.

My wife and I went to their house last night to drop something off. They invited us to stay for some cabbage rolls they had just made.  My "priest" was already clearly intoxicated and gave us glasses of wine. As we were talking, my wife jokingly pointed out that I had some hair out of place on the back of my head from a haircut the previous day (there's a running joke among us that I'm particular about my hair). Out of nowhere, my "priest" slapped me with an open hand across the back of my head with such force that I nearly lost consciousness. My eyes and forehead felt pressure, like my brain was just slammed forward. I was shocked. He told me he did that because "a person's first thought after being slapped reveals their true nature" and told us about some priest from his time at Jordanville who did that to seminarians. I said nothing as I didn't want to escalate the situation with someone who was clearly out of control.

This morning I woke up with a crushing headache and nausea. I feel like I'm going to vomit and am thinking about going to the hospital.  I'm a fairly though person, but that was a hard blow to the head. I'm certainly done with this individual and this parish. I haven't spoken to my wife about it yet. I strongly suspect she'll tell me that I'm overreacting and to get over it and not threaten our "relationship" with them. I won't be backing down from this one, however, and if my wife doesn't take my side, then that tells me a great deal about her. But to get to the point, I'm seriously considering pressing assault charges right now. This isn't going to continue, with me or anyone.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,604
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: In Hell I'll be in good company
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2018, 02:08:35 PM »
Definitely, see a doctor. No one should be slapping you
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2018, 02:20:36 PM »
I won't be backing down from this one, however, and if my wife doesn't take my side, then that tells me a great deal about her.
All that it'd tell you is that she'd have a longer way to come around, that's all.

But to get to the point, I'm seriously considering pressing assault charges right now. This isn't going to continue, with me or anyone.
I'm not sure about the wisdom of doing so, especially before seeing a doctor.  Regardless, your bishop needs to learn about this.
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,846
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2018, 02:31:35 PM »
Oh man...  :(

But to get to the point, I'm seriously considering pressing assault charges right now. This isn't going to continue, with me or anyone.
I'm not sure about the wisdom of doing so, especially before seeing a doctor.  Regardless, your bishop needs to learn about this.
+1
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2018, 02:38:47 PM »
The ROCOR Archbishop for this area is quite well-acquainted with this priest and I have doubts that any complaint to him will result in anything. Is there someone else who can be contacted to address this matter? There more I think about it the less reason there seems to be not to go to the police.

Offline FinnJames

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 870
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of Finland
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2018, 02:39:47 PM »
I hope you took the advice to see a doctor.

Just my opinion, but I think you owe it to others in your parish to let your bishop know about your priest's drinking problem and his physical abuse. This is the sort of behaviour you would report to their superior for the good of the institution if it came from a work colleague or your child's teacher, so why should you be silent and put up with it from your priest. In the end, this will also benefit your priest and his family.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 02:43:20 PM by FinnJames »

Offline Sharbel

  • Glory to God in all things!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,328
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Metropolis of Denver
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2018, 03:09:11 PM »
The ROCOR Archbishop for this area is quite well-acquainted with this priest and I have doubts that any complaint to him will result in anything. Is there someone else who can be contacted to address this matter? There more I think about it the less reason there seems to be not to go to the police.
I don't know.  By all means, if a doctor says that you got any sort of concussion, your priest assaulted you, willingly, negligently, whatever.  At the end of the day, you know the situation better than anyone in this forum. 

May the Lord guide you in charity and justice.
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline WPM

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,861
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2018, 04:49:52 PM »
I think this is a fake or false representation of Church because people in real life DO NOT deal with those issues
The Sign and Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,353
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2018, 05:38:59 PM »
Lord, have mercy.  Please get checked out; I pray you are fine.  And please do not lose patience with your wife; maybe ask her what she thought about that whole incident as a way to broach the subject.  Then listen, even if you don't agree or think what you're hearing sounds nuts.  I think you can both feel differently and still figure out a compromise.  It may take time.

I would send a formal letter to your bishop, for sure.  I'm honestly not sure what other steps should be taken beyond that, but certainly find out somehow.  And above all, please try not to project this man's actions onto the Church as a whole or onto God.  It is easy to do, but allowing it to carry us away can lead to a lot of unnecessary tumult.

In your first post, you mentioned a Christian-focused experience...what do you mean by that?  You don't necessarily need to answer me, but clarifying that for yourself may be helpful somehow.  Regardless, this would be a difficult situation to deal with, and for you it sounds like there are several layers of difficulty.  I will pray.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2018, 03:02:06 PM »
I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a second grade concussion. I don't know how to proceed at this point.

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • Done
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,607
  • Intercede for my wretched soul, Saint Alban.
  • Faith: Outside the Church
  • Jurisdiction: Lost for now.
Re: Parish Priest Behavior and Church Disenchantment
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2018, 03:05:07 PM »
My priest told me that it's a rule of the Church that if a priest slaps anyone, that's a defrockable offense.

Seriously though, contact the Bishop about this, but being a young individual, I can only say one thing - some people will refuse to change who they are, and it's up to their own decision if they want to escape the hell they are in.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 03:07:30 PM by LivenotoneviL »
I'm done.