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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Religious Topics => Topic started by: Paisius on January 22, 2008, 02:28:32 PM

Title: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 22, 2008, 02:28:32 PM
Has anyone here listened to this recent podcast on Ancient Faith Radion entitled Orthodox Administrative Unity - What Is Holding Us Back? (http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart)

I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseam but I'm curious to hear some of your thought on the subject.


Yours in Christ
Paisius
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 03:27:25 PM
I've posted my thoughts quite a few times on this site, but I'll wait to post anything here until I've listened to the linked broadcast.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 03:39:03 PM
As I'm listening to his presentation, (as he's complaining about the multiple departments and spreading of resources too thinly because of the redundancies), I'm thinking that he needs to follow his own advice and suggest that these departments be unified under SCOBA.

Also, the idea that there were no ethnic parishes/divisions at any point in the Church's history ignores Fr. John Behr's research about 2nd century Rome (which has been discussed here ad nauseam).

Finally, his use of "papal-like authority" describing the EP's interpretation of Canon 28 of Chalcedon is needlessly polemical rhetoric.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 22, 2008, 03:42:37 PM
Finally, his use of "papal-like authority" describing the EP's interpretation of Canon 28 of Chalcedon is needlessly polemical rhetoric.
On that point I'd have to agree. I also was taken aback when he said that, I'm not sure that kind of rhetoric does anything to progress the cause of unity.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 03:47:02 PM
As I'm listening to his presentation, (as he's complaining about the multiple departments and spreading of resources too thinly because of the redundancies), I'm thinking that he needs to follow his own advice and suggest that these departments be unified under SCOBA.

Also, the idea that there were no ethnic parishes/divisions at any point in the Church's history ignores Fr. John Behr's research about 2nd century Rome (which has been discussed here ad nauseam).

Finally, his use of "papal-like authority" describing the EP's interpretation of Canon 28 of Chalcedon is needlessly polemical rhetoric.

Cleveland,

I think the Antiochians and OCA tried to get the Greek Archdiocese to join them in forming one Christian education department under SCOBA but the Greeks insisted they needed to have specialized curriculum to meet the needs of their flock. So the Antiochians and OCA both use curriculum from OCEC but the Greek Archdiocese has created its own curriculum.

And I think our chancellor, Charles Ajalat, did heed this advice when he founded the IOCC. He had a vision of having a one charity organization which all Orthodox Christians could give to.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 04:07:24 PM
Cleveland,

I think the Antiochians and OCA tried to get the Greek Archdiocese to join them in forming one Christian education department under SCOBA but the Greeks insisted they needed to have specialized curriculum to meet the needs of their flock. So the Antiochians and OCA both use curriculum from OCEC but the Greek Archdiocese has created its own curriculum.

And I think our chancellor, Charles Ajalat, did heed this advice when he founded the IOCC. He had a vision of having a one charity organization which all Orthodox Christians could give to. 

To an extent, yes, but there is more to be done.  I know religious education professionals who are not entirely impressed with the OCEC, but it's a great idea.  But Religious Ed isn't the only department!  How about Youth/Young Adult Ministries, or Clergy Benefits, Outreach, etc?

I think Mr. Ajalat's wishes are slowly being realized, as more and more things are being centralized under SCOBA.  While we'd like things to happen faster (I certainly do - so we stop having these discussions over and over again), patience will be key to the long-term stability of this project.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: TinaG on January 22, 2008, 04:38:05 PM
Has anyone heard the new Ancient Faith Radio interview with Charles Ajalat (chancellor and board member of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and architect of the Ligonier Meeting of Orthodox bishops in 1994)?  It is an excellent and very open discussion about the process of Orthodox administrative unity and who is holding it up and why.  Mr. Ajalat also suggests things laity can do to speed up the process, namely praying and voicing our opinion to our bishops.  He also suggested a possible internet petition as a means of doing this.  Does anyone know if this has kicked around as a possibility or even seriously pursued before?  On-line petitions are notoriously ineffective, but in this instance does anyone have an opinion about their possible use?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on January 22, 2008, 04:43:07 PM
I attended St Vladimir's Seminary from 2002-2005 and believe me, every bishop knows that the laity wants unity and every bishop I spoke with pretty much wants Orthodox unity. The problem is not usually with bishops in this country.

One practical problem is that the OCA claims it is autocephalous and thus it is assumed that other national Churches will fold in to the OCA over time. That seems like a logical and noble idea, but when one considers that the GOA has 20 times more active parishoners than the OCA, that seems quite unlikely to happen nor would it be fair to expect. So...that is one issue that needs to be overcome.

More realistic might be an alliance between the Antiochians and the OCA, wherein the Antiochians agree to continue funding the patriarchate in Antioch in order to assuage those fears. But it was explained to me--and this could be wrong--that several prominent people in the Antiochian Archdiocese are not very interested in joining with the OCA.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 22, 2008, 04:54:05 PM
IIRC, OCA-GOA unity was not a far-fetched idea back in the promising days of Ligonier. <sigh>

But I should keep my big mouth (cyber-wise) shut...
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: TinaG on January 22, 2008, 05:01:22 PM
I apologize to the mods and promise to read the postings better next time, but I see that Paisius has posted an almost identical post on the Faith board.  Must be a timely topic.  Sorry again.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: TinaG on January 22, 2008, 05:10:40 PM
More realistic might be an alliance between the Antiochians and the OCA, wherein the Antiochians agree to continue funding the patriarchate in Antioch in order to assuage those fears. But it was explained to me--and this could be wrong--that several prominent people in the Antiochian Archdiocese are not very interested in joining with the OCA.

Not to dredge up the OCA financial scandal, but I'm sure anyone would be reluctant to go under the OCA at this time or anytime in the near future until the OCA house is in order.  The Antiochians are thriving and have an excellent vision of evangelism, so maybe they feel they'd be going backwards.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on January 22, 2008, 05:10:53 PM
Quote
I think Mr. Ajalat's wishes are slowly being realized, as more and more things are being centralized under SCOBA.

I actually read this elsewhere by a priest of the ROCOR recently.  He said

Quote
Although SCOBA has named itself the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America (why is its acronym not SCCOBA, I'd like to know?), not all canonical Orthodox jurisdictions are represented on it. Neither the [Moscow]Patriarchcal Churches in the USA nor the Jerusalem Patriarchate are represented on SCOBA. No one disputes that the MP or the JP are canonical, or that they both have many parishes in this country, more than some Jurisdictions represented on SCOBA. The fact that ROCOR is now an automomous part of the Church of Russia, but still completely ignored by SCOBA should be seen in this light.

I was floored when I saw that the official minutes of the Meetings of SCOBA since 17 May 2007 have completely ignored the fact that a great wound to the unity of the Othodox Church was finally healed after eighty years! Individual Hierarchs and their Jurisdictions have expressed the joy publically or privately, but I saw no notice of it whatsoever by SCOBA itself, let alone an invitation to ROCOR to join SCOBA.

The answer, my Dear, is politics. Ecclesistical politics. Sometimes they are just as dirty as the regular variety.

Sad, but not surprising.  I would like to know what the excuse is for excluding those churches.

I also think it's unfortunate that if in the interview in this thread the person was indeed taking indeed making rhetorical arguments at other churches.  How in the world will that foster unity?

Lastly, I think overall things are moving backwards and not forwards.  How can unity move forward with an autocephalous church that is increasingly showing it is in complete disarray (at the highest levels)?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 05:42:31 PM
To an extent, yes, but there is more to be done.  I know religious education professionals who are not entirely impressed with the OCEC, but it's a great idea.  But Religious Ed isn't the only department!  How about Youth/Young Adult Ministries, or Clergy Benefits, Outreach, etc?

I think Mr. Ajalat's wishes are slowly being realized, as more and more things are being centralized under SCOBA.  While we'd like things to happen faster (I certainly do - so we stop having these discussions over and over again), patience will be key to the long-term stability of this project.

Hmmm....so the Antiochians and OCA try to get the Greeks involved with a joint school curriculum and the Greeks decide they don't want to be involved with the development of this ministry and yet complain about the final product from the side lines? Perhaps if the Greeks would have been a part of the curriculum development it might have been impressive. And curriculum was a great non-controversial place to start but even here they encountered foot dragging.
I know that locally in the bay area, our young adults have had joint retreats and other events. But I was told the Greek young adults have their on website and the other Orthodox young adult groups cannot post to it or advertise pan-Orthodox events on it.


And Mr. Ajalat has done more than wish. He actually did create a joint ministry for all. He is a doer and not just a talker.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 05:47:21 PM
I actually read this elsewhere by a priest of the ROCOR recently.  He said

Sad, but not surprising.  I would like to know what the excuse is for excluding those churches.

I also think it's unfortunate that if in the interview in this thread the person was indeed taking indeed making rhetorical arguments at other churches.  How in the world will that foster unity?

Lastly, I think overall things are moving backwards and not forwards.  How can unity move forward with an autocephalous church that is increasingly showing it is in complete disarray (at the highest levels)?

I could be wrong but from what I understand the JP parishes will be absorbed under the EP parish grouping in America.
Also, it was my understanding the ROCOR was invited to join SCOBA a while back (before the unity with Moscow) and they refused to join. Maybe the ROCOR bishops are worried that their flock will become unglued if they move to quickly toward cooperation with SCOBA jurisdictions due to their worries about ecumenism or other concerns.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 06:09:47 PM
Not to dredge up the OCA financial scandal, but I'm sure anyone would be reluctant to go under the OCA at this time or anytime in the near future until the OCA house is in order.  The Antiochians are thriving and have an excellent vision of evangelism, so maybe they feel they'd be going backwards.

Tina,

I hope one day soon the Antiochians would join up with the OCA but frankly, I think the Antiochians are better administrators than the OCA. I think a merger of the two would be the best way to go so that the finest qualities of each jurisdiction could be utilized. The OCA has done a great job of starting monasteries and seminaries (two glaring areas the Antiochians lack) but I think the Antiochian way of running an archdiocese would probably lead to more financial stability.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 22, 2008, 06:12:30 PM
I could be wrong but from what I understand the JP parishes will be absorbed under the EP parish grouping in America.
Also, it was my understanding the ROCOR was invited to join SCOBA a while back (before the unity with Moscow) and they refused to join. Maybe the ROCOR bishops are worried that their flock will become unglued if they move to quickly toward cooperation with SCOBA jurisdictions due to their worries about ecumenism or other concerns.

This from the ROCOR website....

Quote
ROCOR was invited to participate in the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops of America (SCOBA) established in 1960 at the initiative of Archbishop Iakovos (Patriarchate of Constantinople). In his reply, however, Metropolitan Anastasii stated that ROCOR would participate in the conference only if representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate were excluded, which was unacceptable to Archbishop Iakovos.

Here's (http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2006/5endokladpsarev.html) a link to the entire column.

Yours in Christ
Paisius
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 22, 2008, 06:14:12 PM
Shouldn't we move this topic elsewhere? Faith issues?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 06:24:14 PM
Hmmm....so the Antiochians and OCA try to get the Greeks involved with a joint school curriculum and the Greeks decide they don't want to be involved with the development of this ministry and yet complain about the final product from the side lines? Perhaps if the Greeks would have been a part of the curriculum development it might have been impressive. And curriculum was a great non-controversial place to start but even here they encountered foot dragging.

You're so funny when you're defensive.

Who's complaining from the sidelines?  Those who have no say in the unity of the Education departments.  So go ahead, take pot shots and people who are working day-to-day in the parishes.  But don't direct your issues with the Archdiocese at people who have nothing to do with its policies.  I have no vested interest - I am not involved in curriculum for our parish; however, I do have occasion to speak to education directors since I do work for a Church, and not all are impressed with the department.

I know that locally in the bay area, our young adults have had joint retreats and other events. But I was told the Greek young adults have their on website and the other Orthodox young adult groups cannot post to it or advertise pan-Orthodox events on it.

If the GOA Young Adults have their own site in the bay area and don't include the others, it's a shame, but you've got to take it up with them.  Here in Akron, we include everyone, so if anecdotal evidence is what you're going to appeal to, then we're tied.

And Mr. Ajalat has done more than wish. He actually did create a joint ministry for all. He is a doer and not just a talker.

He and others (including Archbishop Iakovos, a GOA hierarch and the most influential Orthodox Clergyman of the last half-century) worked together.  But a big lesson in working for the Church is that one cannot rest on one's laurels; if one wishes to do so, they should retire right after their accomplishment.  Don't mistake my comments for not being grateful - in other threads, I've pointed to IOCC and OCMC as examples of how SCOBA can accomplish the major work of administrative unity.  But as long as he and others work for the Church they must continue to push for more centralization of individual departments under SCOBA.  I am called to do so on the local level, even though we have a good amount of inter-Orthodox activity here in Akron (basketball league, Orthodox Christian Women, joint prayer services, presentations, Sunday of Orthodoxy, Young Adults, etc.).  I can not and will not rest on the laurels of those who came before me, but as long as I work for Christ's Church I must always work for more.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 06:53:00 PM
You're so funny when you're defensive.

Who's complaining from the sidelines?  Those who have no say in the unity of the Education departments.  So go ahead, take pot shots and people who are working day-to-day in the parishes.  But don't direct your issues with the Archdiocese at people who have nothing to do with its policies.  I have no vested interest - I am not involved in curriculum for our parish; however, I do have occasion to speak to education directors since I do work for a Church, and not all are impressed with the department.

I am glad I can entertain you with my defensiveness... ;D
You were the one who made a point out of the lack of joint ministries and I wanted to point out that there has been effort made to work together and create a joint curriculum program but not all wanted to join in to develop the program. Also, I never said the curriculum was perfect...I was being honest when I mentioned that having members from the Greek archdiocese would have most certainly have made it a better program.


Quote
He and others (including Archbishop Iakovos, a GOA hierarch and the most influential Orthodox Clergyman of the last half-century) worked together.  But a big lesson in working for the Church is that one cannot rest on one's laurels; if one wishes to do so, they should retire right after their accomplishment.  Don't mistake my comments for not being grateful - in other threads, I've pointed to IOCC and OCMC as examples of how SCOBA can accomplish the major work of administrative unity.  But as long as he and others work for the Church they must continue to push for more centralization of individual departments under SCOBA.  I am called to do so on the local level, even though we have a good amount of inter-Orthodox activity here in Akron (basketball league, Orthodox Christian Women, joint prayer services, presentations, Sunday of Orthodoxy, Young Adults, etc.).  I can not and will not rest on the laurels of those who came before me, but as long as I work for Christ's Church I must always work for more.
Believe me... all of the Antiochians I know hold Archbishop Iakovos in very high regard. He was a visionary. I honestly believe if he had been younger, we would have had Orthodox unity now. He had the courage and determination to make it happen.
In regard to Charles Ajalat...he has done a great service for the Orthodox Churches of America but I am sure he is hoping to pass the mantle on to the next generation to carry on the work. I remember reading an article he wrote where he mentioned he had a heart attack or a serious heart condition so I think it fair to say that no one will hold it against him if he doesn't found another major ministry for SCOBA.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Veniamin on January 22, 2008, 06:58:50 PM
I am glad I can entertain you with my defensiveness... ;D
You were the one who made a point out of the lack of joint ministries and I wanted to point out that there has been effort made to work together and create a joint curriculum program but not all wanted to join in to develop the program. Also, I never said the curriculum was perfect...I was being honest when I mentioned that having members from the Greek archdiocese would have most certainly have made it a better program.

Tamara, in all fairness, describing parish religious education directors as refusing to participate yet sitting on the sidelines complaining is a complete disservice to all those directors that didn't get a choice at all concerning whether to participate or not.  If it were GOA officials who could have participated making those complaints, your assessment would probably go a lot farther, but to blame people who didn't get a choice at all for complaining is grossly unfair.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 07:07:23 PM
I am glad I can entertain you with my defensiveness... ;D
You were the one who made a point out of the lack of joint ministries and I wanted to point out that there has been effort made to work together and create a joint curriculum program but not all wanted to join in to develop the program. Also, I never said the curriculum was perfect...I was being honest when I mentioned that having members from the Greek archdiocese would have most certainly have made it a better program.

I know what you meant, it's ok.  There has been some great work so far with joint ministries (like Zoe For Life and Project Mexico and whatnot).  And I definitely agree with you that having the folks from our Religious Ed department would have helped the collective.

Believe me... all of the Antiochians I know hold Archbishop Iakovos in very high regard. He was a visionary. I honestly believe if he had been younger, we would have had Orthodox unity now. He had the courage and determination to make it happen.
In regard to Charles Ajalat...he has done a great service for the Orthodox Churches of America but I am sure he is hoping to pass the mantle on to the next generation to carry on the work. I remember reading an article he wrote where he mentioned he had a heart attack or a serious heart condition so I think it fair to say that no one will hold it against him if he doesn't found another major ministry for SCOBA. 

I'm aware of his physical health issues, and I always wish him well.  I'm sure his example has inspired more than a few of the future leaders, who will hopefully pick up where he and others have left off.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 07:11:32 PM
Tamara, in all fairness, describing parish religious education directors as refusing to participate yet sitting on the sidelines complaining is a complete disservice to all those directors that didn't get a choice at all concerning whether to participate or not.  If it were GOA officials who could have participated making those complaints, your assessment would probably go a lot farther, but to blame people who didn't get a choice at all for complaining is grossly unfair.

You are right. If those who have complaints about the curriculum were not given an option to participate then it is not fair to blame them. As I said earlier, I think the curriculum is okay... I have used it to teach Sunday school but it needs improvement. But the real question remaining is why weren't they allowed to participate? If the only way to promote Orthodox unity is to work together on these joint ministries why would cooperation be thwarted?


FYI: When I taught Sunday school, I used the OCEC and the Greek curriculum in tandem so it was quite obvious to me that neither curriculum was perfect but I could see that if folks from each side had been allowed to work together we would have had a more complete, well-rounded Sunday school program. (I have taught classes in all grades including high school).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Elisha on January 22, 2008, 07:20:33 PM
I know that locally in the bay area, our young adults have had joint retreats and other events. But I was told the Greek young adults have their on website and the other Orthodox young adult groups cannot post to it or advertise pan-Orthodox events on it.


Rather heresay, don't you think?  While it may be true, I know at least that Alyson D'Arms (AOA - lenten retreat organizer for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine) and I (OCA) have been invited to the SF Metropolis's young adult ski trip the past couple of years.  I get other invites to events from certain young adults in the GOA as well.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Elisha on January 22, 2008, 07:21:41 PM
I could be wrong but from what I understand the JP parishes will be absorbed under the EP parish grouping in America.


I'll believe it when it happens.  Things are just too up in the air at the moment.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 22, 2008, 07:35:24 PM
This may be better suited for a poll but how many of you believe administrative unity is necessary in North America? Maybe I'm too new to the faith and am being naive, but if everyone believes the situation is un-canonical why isn't there more of a sense of urgency to fix it?


Yours in Christ
Paisius
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Veniamin on January 22, 2008, 07:38:37 PM
This may be better suited for a poll but how many of you believe administrative unity is necessary in North America? Maybe I'm too new to the faith and am being naive, but if everyone believes the situation is un-canonical why isn't there more of a sense of urgency to fix it?


Yours in Christ
Paisius

Because there's a ton of stuff to resolve going into that, as well as the problem of most jurisdictions being part of mother churches elsewhere.  It's kind of like buying a house; there's a lot more to be done than appears at first glance.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 22, 2008, 08:07:06 PM
Rather heresay, don't you think?  While it may be true, I know at least that Alyson D'Arms (AOA - lenten retreat organizer for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine) and I (OCA) have been invited to the SF Metropolis's young adult ski trip the past couple of years.  I get other invites to events from certain young adults in the GOA as well.
Alyson was the one who told me she could not post events on the Greek young adults website. She and I had discussed the possibility of starting a  bay area Orthodox website that would be open to everyone to help bring about Orthodox unity. We have been trying to find someone who has the web skills and time to make it happen. I see she posts bay area events on Orthodox Circle but the audience for the bay area group is still very small. I have posted events on that group site too.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Elisha on January 22, 2008, 08:20:27 PM
Alyson was the one who told me she could not post events on the Greek young adults website. She and I had discussed the possibility of starting a  bay area Orthodox website that would be open to everyone to help bring about Orthodox unity. We have been trying to find someone who has the web skills and time to make it happen. I see she posts bay area events on Orthodox Circle but the audience for the bay area group is still very small. I have posted events on that group site too.

My point is that they're not being completely exclusive - they're inviting non-GOAers to their events too.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 09:18:16 PM
I've split off the rant that was previously the last post in this thread.  If you really want to respond to it, you can find it at:

North Am Unity & End Times Rant
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14420.0.html

-Cleveland, Global Moderator
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 22, 2008, 09:23:25 PM
This may be better suited for a poll but how many of you believe administrative unity is necessary in North America?

I certainly do: it would pool our resources, end "jursidiction hopping," and allow each group to shore up their weaknesses (like the OCA's weak youth ministry and administration; the GOA's domestic evangelization; etc.).

Maybe I'm too new to the faith and am being naive, but if everyone believes the situation is un-canonical why isn't there more of a sense of urgency to fix it? 

Because we know that the current situation was created less out of ego and more out of neccessity: political factors in the early 20th century are largely to blame.  I think (and I've defended this in other threads) that the OCA's pre-emptive move to autocephaly set the movement back.  We've got time, and we are actually moving in the right direction, albeit slowly.  I'd rather be slow and cautious but with more long-term stability, instead of hasty and less cautious.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ozgeorge on January 23, 2008, 08:21:39 AM
I think the Church in the US is divided because the US is politically polarized on every issue under the sun. People don't recognise what unity means.
For example, consider this group:
(http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/7049/avatar2069pn6.png)
What does this mean? I didn't realize that being "For Life" was optional in the Orthodox Church.
Are there "Orthodox Christians Against Life"?
Why the need to form a group of those in the Church who are "For Life"? The reality is, the political sphere in the US has found a way of entering the Church and using it as a microcosm to play itself out in. And just as it has polarized US society, it is polarizing the Church. The Church in the US is simply a reflection of US society in general.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 23, 2008, 09:53:02 AM
I think the Church in the US is divided because the US is politically polarized on every issue under the sun. People don't recognise what unity means.

While I agree that we've done some things to conform to the divisions made within society, the creation of the jurisdictional overlap occurred in the 1920's thanks more to overseas politics than domestic ones, and there are various other internal and external factors that have allowed it to remain in its current condition that are not influenced by the society in which we live.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: TinaG on January 23, 2008, 10:23:50 AM
While I agree that we've done some things to conform to the divisions made within society, the creation of the jurisdictional overlap occurred in the 1920's thanks more to overseas politics than domestic ones, and there are various other internal and external factors that have allowed it to remain in its current condition that are not influenced by the society in which we live.

Cleveland - could you please elaborate on what you think are some of the internal and external factors that have impeded unity? 

It's been 14 years since Ligonier and I confess I don't think we are any closer to unity.  Mr. Ajalat says he thinks it's inevitable, but I just can't feel as optimistic.  I remember feeling so excited about the event, but doesn't anyone recall just how nasty the remarks were from the EP and after that the whole initiative just never regained any momentum.  Our Bishops and the Met. acted more like naughty school kids that got caught and backed down from the school principal.  Since then, apathy and the passage of time have done more to kill the movement, and I think there has just been the sense among the laity that this is something we are waiting on our leaders to accomplish.  Just my not very informed opinion.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on January 23, 2008, 11:23:43 AM
Disunity in North America is probably a side effect of the problems affecting the Orthodox world in general, in particular the issues between the MP and EP.  The biggest crisis right now is really Ukraine, when you consider the dimensions of the division there.  Many of the hieararchs don't trust each other, and nobody is working at the para church level to resolve these issues.  People just let the status quo go along and then only react when there is an actual total catastrophe at hand like occurred at Jerusalem.

In North America there is unfortunately a history of hierarchs stamping out or opposing the customs of certain groups, so these groups went elsewhere for hierarchal oversight.  That has left a legacy of distrust.  Even among the most pro unity groups, there is internally a mixed view of things.  In my experience around the AOA they openly distrusted the OCA and were skeptical of its ability to do anything to move Orthodoxy forward.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 23, 2008, 12:41:53 PM
Disunity in North America is probably a side effect of the problems affecting the Orthodox world in general, in particular the issues between the MP and EP.  The biggest crisis right now is really Ukraine, when you consider the dimensions of the division there.  Many of the hieararchs don't trust each other, and nobody is working at the para church level to resolve these issues.  People just let the status quo go along and then only react when there is an actual total catastrophe at hand like occurred at Jerusalem.

In North America there is unfortunately a history of hierarchs stamping out or opposing the customs of certain groups, so these groups went elsewhere for hierarchal oversight.  That has left a legacy of distrust.  Even among the most pro unity groups, there is internally a mixed view of things.  In my experience around the AOA they openly distrusted the OCA and were skeptical of its ability to do anything to move Orthodoxy forward.

The Russian ethnic component of the OCA in passed years did look at the Arab component of the AOA with a patronizing attitude. But as more Americans have entered both jurisdictions I think these older attitudes are being replaced with a sense of "why aren't we all in the same jurisdiction?" In fact, if Met. Herman does end up resigning this year due to pressure placed on him by his flock, you may see a much warmer relationship develop between the two jurisdictions. Perhaps that is why Charles Ajalat agreed to the interview with AFR. He has been right in the middle of trying to bring about unity. I didn't realize he was one of the planners of Ligonier. Maybe he is sensing something will happen in the next few years.
I know everyone is feeling unity is such a far off dream but you never know how things will work out. As painful as it has been to see happen, perhaps the OCA scandal will somehow bring about unity in a way none of us might have imagined.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on January 23, 2008, 01:31:09 PM
Does anyone know the "status" of the pre-concilliar process leading to the convening of the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church?  Great progress was made in the '80's during Patriarch Dimitrios' (of Thrice Blessed Memory) tenure, with current Patriarch Bartholomew, it seemed, coordinating the process, as the senior metropolitan. Yet, a pre-concilliar commission hasn't convened during Bartholomew's patriarchal rein.  The last news I'd seen was a late 1990's article in the "Orthodox Observer" which showed a smiling Patriarch Alexei sitting next to Bartholomew, reporting that the synod would be convened by 2003. Does anyone know what has happened or is going on?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on January 23, 2008, 01:39:09 PM
But as more Americans have entered both jurisdictions I think these older attitudes are being replaced with a sense of "why aren't we all in the same jurisdiction?"

These were converts I heard this from actually.  One said, and I quote, the motto of the OCA was "think small, live in fear".

Quote
I know everyone is feeling unity is such a far off dream but you never know how things will work out. As painful as it has been to see happen, perhaps the OCA scandal will somehow bring about unity in a way none of us might have imagined.

I'm pessimistic full jurisdictional unity will happen, but I'm optimistic consolidation will.  You have to start somewhere though.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 23, 2008, 01:46:09 PM
These were converts I heard this from actually.  One said, and I quote, the motto of the OCA was "think small, live in fear".



I had never heard that one before. But I don't think there are any ethnic pride issues between converts in the two jurisdictions.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: aserb on January 23, 2008, 05:20:15 PM
Disunity in North America is probably a side effect of the problems affecting the Orthodox world in general, in particular the issues between the MP and EP.  The biggest crisis right now is really Ukraine, when you consider the dimensions of the division there.  Many of the hieararchs don't trust each other, and nobody is working at the para church level to resolve these issues.  People just let the status quo go along and then only react when there is an actual total catastrophe at hand like occurred at Jerusalem.

In North America there is unfortunately a history of hierarchs stamping out or opposing the customs of certain groups, so these groups went elsewhere for hierarchal oversight.  That has left a legacy of distrust.  Even among the most pro unity groups, there is internally a mixed view of things.  In my experience around the AOA they openly distrusted the OCA and were skeptical of its ability to do anything to move Orthodoxy forward.


OK somewhere on this blog site I said this so I want credit.  :-\  It comes down to trust and the lack thereof. Progress towards unity will not be made until people begin to trust each other starting with the hierarchs.  The OCA scandal is not helping at all -  we can beat an harangue about this til doomsday but that isn't going to change things.

In a funny way the hierarchs need to start trusting each other. Have a poker night together, play a round of golf, anything. Sounds funny but how do you trust someone until you get to know them. Inter or pan Orthodox events among the rest of us would help too. These events occur in some cities but in others nothing happens.

My 2 cents

Edit - I fixed your quote box. Cleveland, GM
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 23, 2008, 06:21:17 PM
Cleveland - could you please elaborate on what you think are some of the internal and external factors that have impeded unity? 

Personally?  I think the OCA's autocephaly set unity back by decades... There had been a plan in the works, that some of the hierarchs at the highest levels had in mind.  But the premature move by the OCA killed it, since after it happened the more conservative hierarchs were afraid all of America would jump ship and neglect the rest of World Orthodoxy. 

I think that a lack of unified thinking on the local level has also set us back a lot.  As much as we'd like to say that we're working for unity - which many of us are - it doesn't change the fact that when we schedule Sunday of Orthodoxy liturgies together we'll get 25% of the people we should...  It doesn't change the fact that some folks don't think the other priests are "good enough."  It doesn't change the fact that folks will travel 15 extra minutes to Church when there is one 5 minutes away.

Administrative unity is not the end-all or be-all of these problems - I think only a ground-up effort will suffice.  We need to solve these kinds of issues before we seek administrative unity.

Why am I not feeling that we need to hurry?  Because (as I've mentioned elsewhere) the reports coming back from the SCOBA meetings tell me that the process is happening, albeit very slowly.  And I'm ok with that.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 24, 2008, 01:04:05 AM
It doesn't change the fact that folks will travel 15 extra minutes to Church when there is one 5 minutes away.
I drive past three other parishes, two of them five minutes away to get to my parish almost a half and hour away.  :-[

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 24, 2008, 01:26:42 AM
Orthodox unity has nothing to do with what parish you decide to attend. Each parish has its own unique features and that will not change if we have only one synod. People will still choose to go where they want to go even if all the parishes in a given diocese are under the same bishop. I travel 45 minutes to an Antiochian parish even though there is another Antiochian parish that is only 20 minutes away.

What will change is there will only be one bishop for one diocese....not multiple bishops competing with one another in overlapping dioceses with redundant ministry programs. The other thing that will change is there will only be one synod of bishops for North America. By only having one synod, the bishops can come to an agreement on many issues which face the laity related to the sacraments. For example, guidelines could be given for how converts should be brought into the church.

But one of the greatest benefits will be that inquirers will no longer wonder if the various jurisdictions are separate churches which are not in communion with one another. Not long ago, an inquirer on this forum had this to say about Orthodoxy:

"When I was growing up as a Protestant, I didn't reject Orthodoxy; I didn't even consider it in the first place. Orthodoxy appeared to be a collection of different national churches, which I did not realize were in communion with each other. It was something very foreign to me. I knew Orthodoxy was kind of like Catholicism, only they took the ceremonial aspects a step further. As an Evangelical Protestant, Orthodoxy was a different world. It was only after first studying Catholicism a couple years back that I finally starting looking into Orthodoxy."
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on January 24, 2008, 04:43:37 AM
While I am absolutely in favor of the immediate development of a transitional plan for migration to a unified North American  jurisdiction for the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, some type of accommodations are going to have to be established for maintenance of cultural variances and existing practices.  Frankly, Saint Tikon's proposal for "some type of autonomy," which he had proposed to the Russian Holy Synod at the beginning of the 20th Century, should be published in English.  It may very well serve as a basis for a realistic plan for unified administration.

 A single bishop for a regional diocese will tend to impose his own perspective and ecclesiology.  There will be customs and practices which a bishop will not wish to accept, such as the requirements for preparation for the reception of Holy Communion.  There are many more variances that exit, especially in today's America, that should not be unilaterally changed, at once.  The initial American Orthodox jurisdictional unity must be able to accommodate the existing variances.  Parish lenten observance practices, days when the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony can be performed, and for that matter, the Typicon (Jerusalem & Constantinople) itself, will have to accommodate existing variances.  It is a massive project, but rather than simply ignoring the problem,  SCOBA, with the participation of other bishops, priests, deacons and laity, should be working toward preparation of the ultimate plan for a unified jurisdiction for North America, now.  Property ownership and its location, i.e. where offices of the dioceses and camps will be located, are other major aspects of what must be determined prior to the conversion to a unified jurisdiction.

Utilizing respectful, yet firm and sincere diplomacy with the Eastern Patriarchates, perhaps with the strategy Metropolitan Phillip employed with the Patriarchate of Antioch which resulted in autonomy for his archdiocese; such planning could realistically be accomplished, tansitionally, without changes in existing church statutes, constitutions or charters and regulations.


                                             "...raise the Orthodox Christians to Glory..."
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 08:50:18 AM
Btrakas,

I agree to a degree, as long as the following doesn't happen: the OCA's model for maintaining cultural differences within the OCA structure was to create ethnic diocese within the OCA umbrella - and this would be a travesty for the unified Church.  I think the bishops will be perfectly able to allow their parishes to be culturally diverse without having overlapping ethnic diocese within the unified administrative Church.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on January 24, 2008, 10:41:59 AM
There could be a regional structure with vicar bishops for ethnicities that have the rights (given by the Synod) to visit the ethnic parishes and to act as intercessors to the Synod in disputes between a bishop of ethnicity X and a parish of ethnicity Y.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 24, 2008, 11:32:12 AM
Btrakas,

I agree to a degree, as long as the following doesn't happen: the OCA's model for maintaining cultural differences within the OCA structure was to create ethnic diocese within the OCA umbrella - and this would be a travesty for the unified Church.  I think the bishops will be perfectly able to allow their parishes to be culturally diverse without having overlapping ethnic diocese within the unified administrative Church.

It is my understanding that these ethnic OCA dioceses were a temporary accommodation and not meant as a permanent solution.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on January 24, 2008, 11:35:10 AM
This still all boils down to who gets to rule and will the people accept the ruling hierarch.
Chicago is a good example, out of the 7 hierarchs who are here, which one gets to rule the metropolis?

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 12:06:27 PM
There could be a regional structure with vicar bishops for ethnicities that have the rights (given by the Synod) to visit the ethnic parishes and to act as intercessors to the Synod in disputes between a bishop of ethnicity X and a parish of ethnicity Y. 

We just need to be careful - if you have a Metropolitan over say 5 cities, with vicars in the Metropolis, that would make sense - then you have one bishop for the area and 4 assistants who can travel according to the wishes of the Metropolitan; they can each be assigned to certain parishes as need be.  I don't know about having ethnicity-specific vicars, however, because you'd have 1 bishop for 70 Greek Churches but 1 bishop for 5 Romanian and 3 Bulgarian Churches.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 24, 2008, 12:11:34 PM
Interesting discussion turn here. Last year I pondered starting a Game here where WE designed the "American jurisdiction" - for fun and to get an idea of how hard this is to do. As cleveland knows, Pittsburgh and many other larger cities have multiple bishops.
But then I thought: "Have I lost my mind?"  :o
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 24, 2008, 12:47:45 PM
While I am absolutely in favor of the immediate development of a transitional plan for migration to a unified North American  jurisdiction for the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, some type of accommodations are going to have to be established for maintenance of cultural variances and existing practices.  Frankly, Saint Tikon's proposal for "some type of autonomy," which he had proposed to the Russian Holy Synod at the beginning of the 20th Century, should be published in English.  It may very well serve as a basis for a realistic plan for unified administration.
What language was it written in and have you read it?

Quote
A single bishop for a regional diocese will tend to impose his own perspective and ecclesiology.  There will be customs and practices which a bishop will not wish to accept, such as the requirements for preparation for the reception of Holy Communion.  There are many more variances that exit, especially in today's America, that should not be unilaterally changed, at once.  The initial American Orthodox jurisdictional unity must be able to accommodate the existing variances.  Parish lenten observance practices, days when the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony can be performed, and for that matter, the Typicon (Jerusalem & Constantinople) itself, will have to accommodate existing variances.  It is a massive project, but rather than simply ignoring the problem,  SCOBA, with the participation of other bishops, priests, deacons and laity, should be working toward preparation of the ultimate plan for a unified jurisdiction for North America, now.  Property ownership and its location, i.e. where offices of the dioceses and camps will be located, are other major aspects of what must be determined prior to the conversion to a unified jurisdiction.
I agree there should be a master plan but I don't know if all the bishops are ready to get to work on it. But you are right, they should be developing a master plan. Deacon John Zarras of the OCA, wrote a long paper on how the Antiochians and OCA could merge together. The plan was very detailed and covered many of the issues you have mentioned.


Quote
Utilizing respectful, yet firm and sincere diplomacy with the Eastern Patriarchates, perhaps with the strategy Metropolitan Phillip employed with the Patriarchate of Antioch which resulted in autonomy for his archdiocese; such planning could realistically be accomplished, tansitionally, without changes in existing church statutes, constitutions or charters and regulations.
Also, we need to let them know we will still be there for them in times of need. No one wants to abandon their mothers, especially, if they are weak or being threatened by outside sources.


                                             
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 24, 2008, 12:54:10 PM
Interesting discussion turn here. Last year I pondered starting a Game here where WE designed the "American jurisdiction" - for fun and to get an idea of how hard this is to do. As cleveland knows, Pittsburgh and many other larger cities have multiple bishops.
But then I thought: "Have I lost my mind?"  :o

If there are high concentrations of Orthodox Christians in a given area (like the Greater Pittsburgh area), perhaps the dioceses would be much smaller and all of those bishops would be needed. Maybe just changing the name of the city for the bishop would work. I think we will still need all of our bishops it is just the boundaries would need to be re-drawn. We would want to optimize the bishop's ability to visit his parishes regularly. Once a bishop has more than 40 parishes under his omophorion, it gets very difficult for him to stay in touch with his flock.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 12:59:54 PM
Αριστοκλή, since you asked....

From my observations, it would be best to have 5 Metropolises/Archdiocese, each with 5-7 diocese within them.  This would require 1 Archbishop (President of the Synod), 4 metropolitans, and 27 ruling Bishops, with an auxiliary Bishop as the Chancellor of each Metropolis/Archdiocese, and each diocese would have between 42 and 63 parishes (with the majority being in the 50's).  The regular synod would be made up of these 5 metropolitans and 2 bishops from each diocese (on a rotating basis), leaving the number for the Synod at 15 (odd numbers are good) with 8 required for a quorum (higher numbers are good).

Just as a preliminary idea, I had divided the Metropolises thusly:

Archdiocese of New York (President of the Synod) - covering the Northeast
Archbishop of New York, Bishops of Albany, Buffalo, Trenton, Boston, Worcester, and Hartford.

Metropolis of Atlanta - covering the South
Metropolitan of Atlanta, Bishops of Miami, Raleigh, Houston, and Birmingham.

Metropolis of Washington - covering PA-OH-WV-MD-DC-DE
Metropolitan of Washington, Bishops of Scranton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

Metropolis of Chicago - covering the Midwest
Metropolitan of Chicago, Bishops of Springfield, Detroit, Lansing, St. Paul, and Kansas City.

Metropolis of San Francisco - covering the West
Metropolitan of San Francisco, Bishops of Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Ankorage, Juneau, and Denver.


So how did I come up with these divisions?  I first totaled the Orthodox Churches by state.  (FYI: Top 5 - PA: 221, NY: 153, CA: 141, OH: 98, AK: 94).  Then I divided them into geographic regions.  I then tried my best to align the regional divisions to divide the metropolises as evenly as possible, taking into account those regions which cover more space, and thus should have fewer parishes.  When I did this, I came up with the following divisions:

West - 365 parishes, 7 diocese, 13 states, 1,864,361 square miles, 69 million Overall Population.
South - 272 parishes, 5 diocese, 12 states, 810,836 square miles, 97 million Overall Population.
Ohio Valley - 368 parishes, 7 diocese, 6 states, 129,546 square miles, 33 million Overall Population.
Northeast - 372 parishes, 7 diocese, 8 states, 135,194 square miles, 42 million Overall Population.
Midwest - 289 parishes, 6 diocese, 12 states, 846,947 square miles, 58 million Overall Population.

It should be noted that the Ohio Valley and Northeast combined have 25% of the US population, 7% of its land mass, but 44.4% of its Orthodox parishes.

Once I had divided the country regionally, I then proceeded to divide the regions into diocese, attempting to keep around 50-55 parishes in each (in order to sustain the expenses of the Diocese), while also trying to have diocesan borders not cross state lines (in some areas this was quite easy, in others not as much) or to engulf multiple whole states versus 1 and 1/2 or 3 and 1/3.

Certain states with a very large number of parishes in them are large enough to have one or more diocese perfectly maintained within their state boundaries.  These are: PA, NY, CA, OH, AK, IL, FL, NJ, MA, MI, TX, and CT.

After dividing the states into diocese, I then attempted to chose major cities with large Orthodox populations to be the Metropolitan centers, while also trying to keep the Metropolitan centers close to the center of the Metropolis (the exception: Washington, which is on the edge of that metropolis).  And after that, I attempted to chose other smaller cities with significant Orthodox populations that are/were centered on their diocesan area to be diocesan sees.

In addition to the 5 metropolitan/archbishops, 27 ruling bishops, and 5 auxiliary bishop chancellors, I also accounted for 5 other Auxiliary bishops: 1 to oversee Overseas Mission (OCMC/IOCC), 1 to oversee Domestic Missions, 1 to direct Communication, and 2 to be the Presidents of Seminaries - one on the East Coast, and 1 on the West Coast.  Each of these 5 Auxiliaries would have their offices spread throughout the country: the IOCC/OCMC Bishop would be in Baltimore (Ohio Valley Metropolis), Domestic Missions in the South, Publications in the Midwest, and the Seminary Bishops in the Northeast and West.  Thus, with their services also available, each Metropolis would have between 7 and 9 hierarchs in their area to serve between 270 and 370 parishes.

This is of course a preliminary survey, using information from the SCOBA website (directory), as well as US census and geographical information.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 01:07:56 PM
Taking my previous post into account, I'll make some observations on my proposed division:

1. The West and South have the most space, but also the most potential for growth, because they have the largest percentages of the overall US population.  From now on, when we want to grow, those are the kinds of numbers we should be looking for, not Orthodox migration trends, or whatnot.

2. Many resources can probably be centralized around the Ohio Valley Metropolis - it is the only Metropolis with more diocese than states, and is easily the most concentrated area of Orthodox Christians.  This would allow a large degree of Metropolis-wide participation in events and ministries.

3. I kept the Archdiocese center in New York - while it would make lots of historical sense to put it in the Nation's Capital, New York is the location of the UN, and has more nationalities within the 5 Boroughs than any Interantional Organization or other city in the U.S.  And it's a big city - we're one of the few nations were the capital isn't a major cosmopolitan center.

4. The restriction on membership to the regular synod is to allow for business to progress - when ruling bodies get too large, it becomes more difficult to conduct one's affairs in a timely manner.  Any issues that would hold a truly major significance could be handled at a Major Synod (i.e. all the ruling bishops) that would be held infrequently.  Also, this restriction would allow many of the hierarchs to remain in their diocese during Clergy-Laity conferences, when normally all diocesan activity stops (although it shouldn't).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 01:10:45 PM
Of course, it should be noted that my above plan does not necessitate Autocephaly... It can be as easily administered under the EP as it could be independently.  That's one message people need to get - that Autocephaly doesn't mean we'll get to be unified, just as non-Autocephaly isn't necessarily some sort of slavery to an outside influence.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 24, 2008, 01:24:13 PM
Of course, it should be noted that my above plan does not necessitate Autocephaly... It can be as easily administered under the EP as it could be independently.  That's one message people need to get - that Autocephaly doesn't mean we'll get to be unified, just as non-Autocephaly isn't necessarily some sort of slavery to an outside influence.

I think many would be willing to have unity without autocephaly but it may be hard to convince everyone to have unity under one patriarchate. How open would the ROCOR-MP be to this idea?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 24, 2008, 01:34:08 PM
cleveland,
Wow! You have done some work. I must digest this some. Did you explore the existing episcopacies for any easy "fits"?

Tamara,
At this point in our "game' we might set aside those 'what-ifs' for a while.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 01:45:46 PM
I think many would be willing to have unity without autocephaly but it may be hard to convince everyone to have unity under one patriarchate. How open would the ROCOR-MP be to this idea? 

ROCOR-MP isn't in the above equation, because they weren't in SCOBA 6 months ago when I complied this information (heck, they're not in SCOBA now, even).  And quite frankly, if the Big 5 or 6 in this country were to do this, it would be very difficult for the others to stay separate, and even if they did, it wouldn't matter... Remember, there will still be Stavropegial parishes and monasteries of all the Patriarchates here, just as they have a few within each others' jurisdictions.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 01:48:51 PM
cleveland,
Wow! You have done some work. I must digest this some. Did you explore the existing episcopacies for any easy "fits"?

I had indeed explored them, but I chose not to bring that up for various reasons.  If I did, there will be a definite slant towards existing GOA and OCA bishops, since they are all Archbishops or Metropolitans at the moment - of course, if this plan were to go into effect tomorrow, what you would probably see is a few of those Archbishop and Metro types being presidents of Diocese instead of Metropolises, just to make the plan work.  Theoretically it should work in order of Seniority, according to the SCOBA model, at the outset, and then after 1 generation of bishops the election process would fill the rest of the vacancies.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 02:15:05 PM
I'm going to note the few diocese that are jumbo in size (other than Alaska!):

Diocese of Kansas City: KS, MO, NE, IA, OK, ND, SD - total, 62 parishes.
Diocese of Birmingham: KY, TN, Al, AR, MS - total, 40 parishes.
Diocese of Denver: CO, MT, UT, ID, WY - total, 46 parishes.

The number is a bit higher for Kansas City because of the 9 (9!) parishes that the AOA has in Kansas.  The AOA has about 240 parishes, but 22 of them fall in the area encompasses by the Kansas City Diocese I listed above (which is an astronomical percentage considering the low population).



The grand totals that I was working with: 1,666 parishes (540 GOA, 527 OCA, 237 AOA, 134 SOC, 107 UOC, 76 ACROD, 25 Romanian, 18 Bulgarian, 2 Albanian).  Remember, the OCA numbers include the ethnic diocese of the OCA.

Each of the major jurisdictions has at least one state with 10%+ of its parishes (OCA: Alaska - 16.7%, GOA: New York - 11.5%, AOA: California - 11.8%).

The major jurisdictions only have minor holes in their national coverage.  The number of states which each jurisdiction has 0 parishes: AOA - 5, OCA - 6, GOA - 1 (North Dakota).

Each jurisdiction is contributing a number of hierarchs proportionate to its population, except the OCA which seems to have more hierarchs per person than the others by a large degree, and the Antiochians (who are growing quickly).  The number of Ruling Hierarchs: AOA - 7, GOA - 9, OCA - 9, Serbian - 3, Ukranian - 3 (oops, now 2), Romanian - 2, and the others 1 each.  Only the GOA (2) and the OCA (2) have auxiliary bishops.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 24, 2008, 02:54:23 PM
ROCOR-MP isn't in the above equation, because they weren't in SCOBA 6 months ago when I complied this information (heck, they're not in SCOBA now, even).  And quite frankly, if the Big 5 or 6 in this country were to do this, it would be very difficult for the others to stay separate, and even if they did, it wouldn't matter... Remember, there will still be Stavropegial parishes and monasteries of all the Patriarchates here, just as they have a few within each others' jurisdictions.

The ROCOR-MP has over 200 parishes in North America. Out here in California, the Russian immigrant population continues to grow. And the ROCOR has done an excellent job of evangelizing others. I don't think we can afford to ignore them. As long as there is another jurisdiction clergy and laypeople can run to we will continue to have many of the problems we have now. It does make sense to start with the SCOBA member jurisdictions first but there has to be a long-range plan to include everyone if unity is really going to work.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on January 24, 2008, 03:09:54 PM
The ROCOR isn't an American jurisdiction, in purpose or in practicality.  It is the representation of the Russian Church now outside the boundaries of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.  There are and will be ROCOR parishes all over the world, including within the patriarchal boundaries of other churches.  I don't see them ever joining a united North American hierarchy.

The aim should be consolidation.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 03:43:45 PM
The ROCOR-MP has over 200 parishes in North America. Out here in California, the Russian immigrant population continues to grow. And the ROCOR has done an excellent job of evangelizing others. I don't think we can afford to ignore them. As long as there is another jurisdiction clergy and laypeople can run to we will continue to have many of the problems we have now. It does make sense to start with the SCOBA member jurisdictions first but there has to be a long-range plan to include everyone if unity is really going to work. 

I guess my point about "Stavropegial" parishes is reaffirmed when considering AMM's point above - I don't think ROCOR will join because they're not just "North American," nor will they sacrifice their North American parishes, unless the American Church has been well established and whatnot.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 24, 2008, 04:00:48 PM
Deacon John Zarras of the OCA, wrote a long paper on how the Antiochians and OCA could merge together. The plan was very detailed and covered many of the issues you have mentioned.
Is there a link to this paper on the web ?

Thanks.


Yours in Christ
Paisius

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 04:14:06 PM
Is there a link to this paper on the web ?

Thanks.


Yours in Christ
Paisius

http://www.orthodoxdetroit.com/orthodoxunity.htm

At the top of the page.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Paisius on January 24, 2008, 04:31:00 PM
http://www.orthodoxdetroit.com/orthodoxunity.htm

At the top of the page.


Thanks. 


Yours in Christ
Paisius
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 24, 2008, 04:44:47 PM
The ROCOR isn't an American jurisdiction, in purpose or in practicality.  It is the representation of the Russian Church now outside the boundaries of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.  There are and will be ROCOR parishes all over the world, including within the patriarchal boundaries of other churches.  I don't see them ever joining a united North American hierarchy.

The aim should be consolidation.

But if we leave the ROCOR out and do not allow them to join the unity conversation, we will continue to see the problems experienced in Great Britain and Western Europe. North America will just become another place for the two patriarchates to have feuds. The ROCOR will compete with a SCOBA jurisdiction for inquirers through differentiation (ex: traditionalism, anti-ecumenism, etc.). Renegade clergy and laypeople will flee in either direction depending on the situation.
They should be at least invited to the table for the discussion in order to build friendly relations and to hopefully find ways of cooperating to avoid the problems I mentioned above.


Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on January 24, 2008, 05:01:14 PM
Yes, Cleveland and Anastasios, I would hope we could avoid diocesan structures within canonical dioceses.  I would only add, the auxiliary contact bishops seems like a viable transitional method to address issues, but I think there should be some type of an associated committee structure, with an auxiliary bishop, to allow for a more conciliar approach and to preclude, having two bishops in a confrontational mode, as issues arise.  I still think studying what St. Tikon proposed, in detail, would have some benefit to initiate the process discussion.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: TinaG on January 24, 2008, 05:20:29 PM
Αριστοκλή, since you asked....
This is of course a preliminary survey, using information from the SCOBA website (directory), as well as US census and geographical information.

My gosh Cleveland, preliminary or not - if someone would just give you an office, some grant money and a secretary, you could solve the whole problem.  Do you want to be some kind of Chancellor, or just the architect behind the scenes?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Veniamin on January 24, 2008, 05:27:00 PM
My gosh Cleveland, preliminary or not - if someone would just give you an office, some grant money and a secretary, you could solve the whole problem.  Do you want to be some kind of Chancellor, or just the architect behind the scenes?

Or both, like this guy:

(http://weblogs.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/blog/palpatine.jpg)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: buzuxi on January 24, 2008, 05:33:17 PM
A single unified American church isnt going to happen any time soon. Theres almost a naivete in these posts. None of theese jurisdictions want unification, the voices you hear supporting it, are elements which are actually a minorty.
 The OCA should be demanding all parishes to be handed over to them (atleast the convert parishes) since they are autocephalous, and if theres any truth to their autocephaly this is precisely what needs to be done. Antioch speaks alot of unification but i dont see them wishing to be absorbed into the OCA. If Antioch wants unity they should hand over there convert parishes to the OCA and come up with a plan to disband.
The greeks dont want unification, The GOA is the EP's cash cow and no one is going to slaughter it. And the majority of the laity do not want to be unified to begin with. Greeks will not go for anything that has the word "American" in front of the word "Orthodox". For most greeks (immigrants and first generation) both their nationality and their faith are honorable and complement each other. This is the overwhelming silent majority.

ROCOR and the JP want nothing to do with SCOBA let alone a unified american church which will have to fuse with varying degrees of liberalism found in each jurisdiction.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on January 24, 2008, 05:34:03 PM
But if we leave the ROCOR out and do not allow them to join the unity conversation, we will continue to see the problems experienced in Great Britain and Western Europe. North America will just become another place for the two patriarchates to have feuds. The ROCOR will compete with a SCOBA jurisdiction for inquirers through differentiation (ex: traditionalism, anti-ecumenism, etc.). Renegade clergy and laypeople will flee in either direction depending on the situation.
They should be at least invited to the table for the discussion in order to build friendly relations and to hopefully find ways of cooperating to avoid the problems I mentioned above.

It's not a matter of leaving them out, their purpose to exist precludes them from being interested in a united jurisdiction.  The MP outside Russia has been, and the ROCOR now will be, a representation of Russian interests outside the existing Russian Patriarchal territories.  Their purpose is to represent the Russian Church abroad and to serve Russians wherever they are outside their homeland.  It is why for instance they have since the 19th century maintained a presence in Jerusalem, on the territory of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

They aren't a North American church, though they have a presence here.  I agree they should be included in organiziations like SCOBA, but I think it would be unwise to hold out hope that every jurisdiction will join a consolidated church.  What there should be however are agreed upon pastoral standards for the issues you are discussing; i.e. not taking disgruntled people from another church, etc.  That would certainly take cooperation from all churches present in North America.  Hopefully relations will warm between all churches no matter what happens.  The reunion of the MP and the ROCOR recently is at least one hopeful sign.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 06:12:39 PM
A single unified American church isnt going to happen any time soon. Theres almost a naivete in these posts. None of theese jurisdictions want unification, the voices you hear supporting it, are elements which are actually a minorty.
 The OCA should be demanding all parishes to be handed over to them (atleast the convert parishes) since they are autocephalous, and if theres any truth to their autocephaly this is precisely what needs to be done. Antioch speaks alot of unification but i dont see them wishing to be absorbed into the OCA. If Antioch wants unity they should hand over there convert parishes to the OCA and come up with a plan to disband.  The greeks dont want unification, The GOA is the EP's cash cow and no one is going to slaughter it. And the majority of the laity do not want to be unified to begin with. Greeks will not go for anything that has the word "American" in front of the word "Orthodox". For most greeks (immigrants and first generation) both their nationality and their faith are honorable and complement each other. This is the overwhelming silent majority.

ROCOR and the JP want nothing to do with SCOBA let alone a unified american church which will have to fuse with varying degrees of liberalism found in each jurisdiction. 

You obviously don't know who you're talking to.  Your naivete comment seems a bit out of place - nothing in here is a "we can do this right now," but more like a "if we could do this, this is how we would."  The GOA isn't the EP's cash cow, the Greek Government is, so get your facts straight.  And the AOA is serious about unity - but no one is going to fold into the Administratively problematic OCA.  As for the silent majority, wake up - outside of Boston, New York, and Chicago, the "silent majority" wants unity - I know, I've traveled enough and know enough people to make that assessment.

The appeal to the autocephaly of the OCA also shows how unfamiliar you are with the history of the contentions about that autocephaly, and the pitfalls of joining with the OCA at this moment, how their administration is stretched too thin (too many seminaries and parishes and not enough people to fill them all, especially in the traditionally-Orthodox lands of the midwest).

As to your comment about "varying degrees of liberalism," one Administrative structure will allow the "varying degrees of conservatism" to better counterbalance the "varying degrees of liberalism" more effectively - right now each one is unbalanced because their conservative elements are conservative about the subjects for which their jurisdiction aren't liberal about (IMO).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 24, 2008, 06:13:50 PM
Yes, Cleveland and Anastasios, I would hope we could avoid diocesan structures within canonical dioceses.  I would only add, the auxiliary contact bishops seems like a viable transitional method to address issues, but I think there should be some type of an associated committee structure, with an auxiliary bishop, to allow for a more conciliar approach and to preclude, having two bishops in a confrontational mode, as issues arise.  I still think studying what St. Tikon proposed, in detail, would have some benefit to initiate the process discussion. 

You're right - it would be a good transition.  Give some time for people to get used to Greek and Romanian and Serbian and Antiochian parishes being in the same diocese.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: buzuxi on January 24, 2008, 11:16:39 PM
You obviously don't know who you're talking to.  Your naivete comment seems a bit out of place - nothing in here is a "we can do this right now," but more like a "if we could do this, this is how we would."  The GOA isn't the EP's cash cow, the Greek Government is, so get your facts straight.  And the AOA is serious about unity - but no one is going to fold into the Administratively problematic OCA.  As for the silent majority, wake up - outside of Boston, New York, and Chicago, the "silent majority" wants unity - I know, I've traveled enough and know enough people to make that assessment.

The appeal to the autocephaly of the OCA also shows how unfamiliar you are with the history of the contentions about that autocephaly, and the pitfalls of joining with the OCA at this moment, how their administration is stretched too thin (too many seminaries and parishes and not enough people to fill them all, especially in the traditionally-Orthodox lands of the midwest).

As to your comment about "varying degrees of liberalism," one Administrative structure will allow the "varying degrees of con
servatism" to better counterbalance the "varying degrees of liberalism" more effectively - right now each one is unbalanced because their conservative elements are conservative about the subjects for which their jurisdiction aren't liberal about (IMO).

Boston, NY and Chicago are the majority including other clusters of greek communities thru-out America. The GOA is the EP's most prestigious asset, he wont let it go. Secondly your not familiar with the inner working of politics. It is a fact that the OCA considers itself the canonical jurisdiction of America but isnt vocal about it, because of there small numbers. I stand by what i wrote. 
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on January 25, 2008, 12:13:57 AM
Cleveland, what an amazing research! Excellent.

Let me just suggest a couple of more points:

1. It would make sense to keep sees / offices of the auxiliary hierarchs, and perhaps even ruling hierarchs in some cases, in the locations, where some ruling or auxiliary sees / offices were placed, or in the places, which have some historic Orthodox significance. For example - Ligonier, Astoria, Englewood, South Bound Brook, Syosset, Jordanville.

2. In case if a President / Lead Dean of the seminary happens to be a monk or a widower, it would be reasonable to ordain him to episcopacy.

3. To certain extent distribution of territories already happened in South. GOA located the center of the diocese in Atlanta, OCA did so in Dallas and AOA in Miami.


Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: serb1389 on January 25, 2008, 12:16:35 AM
Can you make a map?  I know I would find that helpful. 

Also, what about Canada?  Mexico?  In which case, your areas will change as well as your bishops...

just some thoughts. 

Tamara,

I just PM'd you about SF Youth and Young Adult ministries web-site.  let me know what you think. 
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on January 25, 2008, 12:24:12 AM
Another thought. What if it would be (1) ruling hierarch per state as minimum as a base scenario. I realize that some new dioceses would have 7 - 10 parishes in the beginning. More mission work would be needed. Sorry, if it sounds overly optimistic. In some states, it would be still premature to establish a diocese. Some other states with traditional substantial Orthodox presence, NY, CA, NJ, IL to name a few, may have more then (1) diocese.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on January 25, 2008, 12:33:47 AM

Tamara,

I just PM'd you about SF Youth and Young Adult ministries web-site.  let me know what you think. 

pm'd you back...you are a sweety! Thanks, Tamara
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Pravoslavbob on January 25, 2008, 09:20:29 AM
Also, what about Canada? 


Oh yeah, that place.   ;)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 25, 2008, 09:42:20 AM
Boston, NY and Chicago are the majority including other clusters of greek communities thru-out America. The GOA is the EP's most prestigious asset, he wont let it go. Secondly your not familiar with the inner working of politics. It is a fact that the OCA considers itself the canonical jurisdiction of America but isnt vocal about it, because of there small numbers. I stand by what i wrote. 

Perhaps you might review the autocephalcy as granted by Moscow to the OCA. IIRC, it specifically noted that that the OCA was not the only canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in NA.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: aserb on January 28, 2008, 12:16:59 PM
Just checkin' in to see where you jamokes are takin' this rant.  :laugh:
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 28, 2008, 02:32:29 PM
Boston, NY and Chicago are the majority including other clusters of greek communities thru-out America.

Nope.  Of the 540 GOA parishes, more than 350 are not located in Boston, NY, or Chicago.

State   Tot Parish   GOA
California   141   44
Alaska   94   1
Washington   23   7
Colorado   23   9
Arizona   22   7
Oregon   17   4
Nevada   14   4
Montana   7   2
Utah   6   4
New Mexico   5   2
Idaho   5   2
Wyoming   5   4
Hawaii   3   2
Florida   78   33
Texas   55   17
Virginia   27   12
Georgia   25   10
North Carolina   23   12
South Carolina   16   7
Tennessee   12   6
Alabama   9   5
Louisiana   8   4
Arkansas   7   2
Kentucky   6   2
Mississippi   6   2
Pennsylvania   221   37
Ohio   98   23
Maryland   23   8
West Virginia   14   6
DC   7   2
Delaware   5   1
New York   153   62
New Jersey   72   25
Massachusetts   68   38
Connecticut   47   17
New Hampshire   15   12
Rhode Island   7   3
Maine   6   4
Vermont   4   2
Illinois   84   36
Michigan   61   22
Indiana   40   7
Wisconsin   21   7
Minnesota   21   4
Kansas   15   2
Missouri   12   4
Nebraska   11   5
Iowa   10   6
Oklahoma   9   2
North Dakota   3   0
South Dakota   2   1

Heck, I counted 320 parishes excluding California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jesrsey, and Illinois in their entireties, which doesn't even provide for the fact that many parishes in those states are not in the metropolitan areas of the largest cities (i.e. upstate NY, southern IL, central/southern NJ, western MA).

Why don't you actually study the subject you're making claims about before going out on a limb and making foolish assertions?

The GOA is the EP's most prestigious asset, he wont let it go.

Actually, Mount Athos is the most prestigious non-Turkish area within the EP, and the New Lands (i.e. Northern Greece and the Islands) are certainly more "prestigious" than America.  Nice try, though.

Btw: the EP and it's activities are not a "he," and it's not about whether "he" would let go or not.  The EP is the synod more than the man in cases like this: the Patriarch himself has no say as to whether America is within the EP's spiritual fold.  You should get a refresher course on Church ecclesiology before making such ridiculous assertions.

Secondly your not familiar with the inner working of politics. It is a fact that the OCA considers itself the canonical jurisdiction of America but isnt vocal about it, because of there small numbers. I stand by what i wrote. 

Lol.  I believe that any of the OC.net users who personally know me would laugh at your assertion that I don't know "the inner workings of politics."  It is precisely because I know the inner workings of politics that I do not pay any credence to the OCA's opinion of herself - to many Orthodox churches worldwide she is not autocephalous, and to the rest she is not intended to be the only Orthodox jurisdiction in the US.  She can have whatever opinion of herself that she pleases, it doesn't change the fact that unity under the OCA is problematic for many reasons and isn't being sought after, not even by the aggressive AOA movement for "one jurisdiction right now."  (Yes, it's a caricature, but not too far from the truth.)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on January 29, 2008, 01:47:37 AM
Reply to Tamara's first question in Reply #49:

Saint Tikhon was Bishop of the Aleutians and North America, reporting to the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia, his superior ecclesiastical authority, when he wrote his request that I referred to.
So, I assume he would have been writing in Russian (or Church Slavonic---just kidding). 

I have not seen it.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on January 30, 2008, 10:56:09 PM
Cleveland, I really admire of your research. You will definitely orchestrate the unity, Fr. Chancellor!
Lol.  I believe that any of the OC.net users who personally know me would laugh at your assertion that I don't know "the inner workings of politics."  It is precisely because I know the inner workings of politics that I do not pay any credence to the OCA's opinion of herself - to many Orthodox churches worldwide she is not autocephalous, and to the rest she is not intended to be the only Orthodox jurisdiction in the US.  She can have whatever opinion of herself that she pleases, it doesn't change the fact that unity under the OCA is problematic for many reasons and isn't being sought after, not even by the aggressive AOA movement for "one jurisdiction right now."  (Yes, it's a caricature, but not too far from the truth.)

I agree with your conclusions and, yes, I am joining the lough. You have a lot of knowledge of the subject, Cleveland.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on January 31, 2008, 12:49:03 AM
Also, what about Canada? 

I'm starting the report as we speak, my friend.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Entscheidungsproblem on January 31, 2008, 01:09:35 AM
I'm starting the report as we speak, my friend.

Should be interesting.  Seems things are quite different up here compared to in the US.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on January 31, 2008, 01:14:11 AM
Should be interesting.  Seems things are quite different up here compared to in the US.

Tell me about it. I'm half an hour in, wondering why I'm attempting this.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 31, 2008, 01:32:28 AM
I had considered compiling the information for Canada as well, but I decided to stop with familiar territory.  I knew that once someone saw this kind of work, they'd want to pick it up for the Canucks too.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 31, 2008, 01:33:39 AM
Tell me about it. I'm half an hour in, wondering why I'm attempting this.

I had originally attempted undertaking the task by checking in with each individual jurisdiction, but in the end I determined that the most efficient way of completing the task was to use the SCOBA directory (www.scoba.us) instead.  This will work for all jurisdictions except the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (I think), but I'm sure they have a list on their website.

I had noticed a lot of gaps in the coverage, BTW.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on January 31, 2008, 01:40:10 AM
I kinda used both methods, as I found the SCOBA directory lacked the churches for my jurisdiction, and I figured the jurisdictional websites would be most accurate.

I'm currently sorting church lists by provinces, then I will begin calculating. I think the main issue is that the parish for the three prairie provinces will be inflated relative to the rest of the country....country parishes that were thriving back in 50s and earlier are now mostly inactive.....I'm not certain how to identify these parishes that are inactive....it's mainly an issue with the OCA and the Ukrainians only. Like your proposal, I'm not factoring in the ROCOR-MP.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on January 31, 2008, 01:55:36 AM
One method you may want to check into is this: if you see that 1 priest is serving a large number of parishes (there's an instance of this that comes to mind in Alberta, where 1 priest is listed for 5 or more), you should probably reduce that number to 1 (as if all those parishes were combined into one).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on January 31, 2008, 02:01:53 AM
That's what I was thinking. That's how the Ukrainians organize it, assign a priest to a parish district rather than just one church, and he cycles through.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on January 31, 2008, 02:04:08 AM
By the way, did you factor in monastic communities into your proposal??
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on January 31, 2008, 09:13:16 PM
Ukiemeister, thank you very much for undertaking this great project! It will be very interesting! Thanks!
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Veniamin on March 31, 2008, 01:40:59 PM
In light of the ongoing thread concerning Metropolitan Methodios and jurisdictional overlap, I thought I'd revive this thread, as it had Cleveland's excellent discussion of what would go into adminstratively working out the problems with overlap (and probably being the sole thread on this forum about unity that didn't manage to turn into a discussion about culture).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on March 31, 2008, 03:10:59 PM
At the local level I've never heard it discussed.  I'm sure that's one obstacle.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Psalti Boy on April 01, 2008, 12:25:42 AM
I drive past three other parishes, two of them five minutes away to get to my parish almost a half and hour away.  :-[



I drive 112 miles round trip when I can.

PB
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on May 20, 2008, 12:14:59 PM
I actually think the most likely reason there won't be North American Unity is the lack of an agreed upon ecclesiological model for North American Orthodox Churches.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on May 23, 2008, 02:22:36 AM
Taking a look at Canada, I reached the following totals:

By Jurisdiction
Antiochians: 1 Cathedral, 15 Parishes, 1 Mission
Greeks: 1 Cathedral, 2 Monastic Communities, 52 Parishes, 15 Missions
Serbians: 1 Cathedral, 1 Monastic Community, 21 Parishes, 4 Missions
Romanians: 2 Cathedrals, 1 Monastic Community, 15 Parishes, 2 Missions
ACROD: 2 Parishes, 2 Missions
Bulgarians: 1 Cathedral, 2 Parishes
OCA: 2 Cathedrals, 8 Monastic Communities, 31 Parishes, 25 Missions
Ukrainians: 6 Cathedrals, 64 Parishes, 6 Missions
Total Numbers: 14 Cathedrals, 12 Monastic Communities, 197 Parishes, 55 Missions

By Region
British Columbia Totals: 1 Cathedral, 17 Parishes, 20 Missions, 1 Monastery, 1 Hermitage
Alberta Totals: 1 Cathedral, 27 Parishes, 7 Missions, 1 Hermitage
Saskatchewan Totals: 2 Cathedrals, 22 Parishes, 1 Mission
Manitoba Totals: 1 Cathedral, 16 Parishes, 1 Mission, 1 Seminary
Ontario Totals: 6 Cathedrals, 93 Parishes, 20 Missions, 4 Monastic Communities
Quebec Totals: 3 Cathedrals, 23 Parishes, 4 Monastic Communities, 10 Missions
The Maritimes and Newfoundland Totals: 4 Parishes, 4 Missions, 1 Monastic Communities

From the beginning I should note that this proposal would be possible either by being autocephalous, autonomous from Constantinople, or autonomous from New York. Also, I used the Slavic usage of styling hierarchs, (i.e. Metropolitan, Archbishop, Bishop, Vicar Bishop) not the Greek. In many cases, I borrowed from my own jurisdiction, as it is of those in Canada, the only jurisdiction self-contained in Canada answering direct to Constantinople.

Canadian demographics do not allow for an even distribution of parishes among the dioceses. Each diocese corresponds easily into geographical boundaries except in Ontario, with the Diocese of York and the Diocese of Ontario. The Diocese of York, being the Greater Toronto area has 2 Cathedrals, 37 Parishes, 8 Missions and 2 Monastic Communities. As a result, the Diocese is the largest in the country with 4 Cathedrals, 56 Parishes, 12 Missions, and 2 Monastic Communities.

Metropolitan of Canada, Archbishop of Winnipeg and the Central Diocese
Archbishop of Edmonton and the Diocese of Alberta
Archbishop of Vancouver and the Diocese of British Columbia and the North
Archbishop of Ottawa and the Diocese of Ontario
Archbishop of Montreal and the Diocese of the East
Archbishop of Toronto and the Diocese of York
Bishop of Saskatoon, Vicar Bishop of the Central Diocese
Bishop of Calgary (Future), Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Alberta
Bishop of Kamloops (Future), Vicar Bishop of British Columbia and the North
Bishop of Hamilton, Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario
Bishop of Mississauga (Future), Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of York
Bishop of Halifax (Future), Vicar Bishop of the East
Bishop of Windsor, Publications and Communications
Bishop of Toronto, President of Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy
Bishop of Regina, Domestic and Overseas Missions

So the Synod would at some point, have 15 hierarchs. Those marked “Future,” are locations which do not currently have a Cathedral. I realize the number is high, but I wanted to give all Cathedrals a Bishop, and really if all the jurisdictions work together, it would be justified. Additionally, Canada is more spread out and this allows for the workload to distributed more evenly.

In terms of monastic communities, although every diocese has at least one, the Diocese of the Midwest and the Diocese of Alberta both do not have a full monastery but rather hermitages, sketes or the like. Give that the desire is to have hierarchs come from the diocese itself, this needs to change.

In terms of the Prairie provinces, the Church should also begin a large sacel permanent deacon program, in order to rejuvenate the tiny country churches. This program would be the keystone of the Church’s mission work in Canada.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on May 26, 2008, 09:36:16 PM
Ukiemeister, this is a terrific study! Thank you very much!
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on May 26, 2008, 10:23:22 PM
From the other thread:

why would the GOA model DEFINITELY not work? I have always thought it is the most realistic. Perhaps we differ on the use of the term "model."
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on May 26, 2008, 10:26:58 PM
I have always thought it is the most realistic.

I agree with considering the GOA model being the most realistic.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 26, 2008, 11:29:30 PM
I think that while the GOA model might have had the possibility of working (Ligonier), it is clear the EP will not allow it.
It may take all of the bishops who met at the Antiochian HQ a few weeks ago to find another way.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 26, 2008, 11:41:03 PM
As long as GOA dominates with numbers and $$$$$, expect the EP to accept the jurisdictional status quo as He convinces other jurisdictions to go under His omophorion.  Notice the GOA Billionaire who gave $5 Million to HCHC - can any of the other jurisdictions publicly match that kind of financial clout?

Gift to HCHC by GOA Billionaire (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16099.0.html)

If OCA and other jurisdictions gain numerical and $$$$$ advantage, then unity could become more practical since the numbers will even each other out.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 26, 2008, 11:52:05 PM
As long as GOA dominates with numbers and $$$$$, expect the EP to accept the jurisdictional status quo as He convinces other jurisdictions to go under His omophorion.  Notice the GOA Billionaire who gave $5 Million to HCHC - can any of the other jurisdictions publicly match that kind of financial clout?

Gift to HCHC by GOA Billionaire (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16099.0.html)

If OCA and other jurisdictions gain numerical and $$$$$ advantage, then unity could become more practical since the numbers will even each other out.


It is possible that other jurisdictions will gain the numbers...and possibly have an evangelical fervor that the GOA is still not up to speed with yet. I have been in the Antiochian Archdiocese my whole life and I can honestly say that I can feel the acceleration of faith and mission picking up speed with each passing year. Also, if the idea of tithing becomes a central part of funding in a growing archdiocese you can bet more things will happen like Ancient Faith Radio. We won't have to rely on just a few wealthy Arab families to set up funding foundations when we will have whole parishes tithing and doing mission work.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 26, 2008, 11:59:40 PM
I think that while the GOA model might have had the possibility of working (Ligonier), it is clear the EP will not allow it.
It may take all of the bishops who met at the Antiochian HQ a few weeks ago to find another way.

I don't think "won't allow it" is accurate... maybe "won't allow it on the terms we dictate" is a better one.

As long as GOA dominates with numbers and $$$$$, expect the EP to accept the jurisdictional status quo as He convinces other jurisdictions to go under His omophorion.  Notice the GOA Billionaire who gave $5 Million to HCHC - can any of the other jurisdictions publicly match that kind of financial clout?

Gift to HCHC by GOA Billionaire (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16099.0.html)

If OCA and other jurisdictions gain numerical and $$$$$ advantage, then unity could become more practical since the numbers will even each other out. 

Huh?  What does this have to do with the price of tea in china?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on May 27, 2008, 12:00:16 AM
How many members does the GOA by marriage each year as opposed to the Antiochians and OCA through converts? I wonder.

Even if the GOA is getting no new members, they are somewhat more accurate in their reporting.  The OCA claims a million but has 20,000 members that commune regularly (1/50 what they claim in other words).  The Antiochians claim 500,000 but had 48,000 the last time I asked someone from the chancery (one tenth).  The GOA on the other hand claims 2 million but has about 400,000 actual members (1/5).

The idea that the OCA and Antiochians even united could push the GOA in any direction is a bit naive in my opinion.

I think the Orthodox in America will be ready for unity and autocephaly sometime around 2100 to 2150.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on May 27, 2008, 12:01:44 AM
Another cleveland vs Tamara rivalry! The gloves are OFF people! ;) And to think, tickets are free!
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 12:08:01 AM
Huh?  What does this have to do with the price of tea in china?

I believe I addressed the topic based on my understanding of unity.  There are more GOA parishioners than the other jurisdictions combined.  The GOA is also wealthier than the other jurisdictions; I dare not say combined because there are wealthy US Orthodox in other jurisdictions as well.  While the EP has the Archons and the Antiochians have the Order of St. Ignatius, I'm not sure what the other jurisdictions have if anything.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on May 27, 2008, 12:37:16 AM
What do we mean by "model"? Why are we limited only to GOA vs. OCA vs. AOAA? Why are we deciding the most suitable model based on numbers of parishioners/wealth rather than other criteria??
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: arimethea on May 27, 2008, 01:22:54 AM
There are more GOA parishioners than the other jurisdictions combined.  The GOA is also wealthier than the other jurisdictions;
You might want to check your facts. While there are 542 parishes listed in the GOA database I wouldn't call all of them parishes. The OCA has well over that number in just their diocese parishes (close to 575) and then there are 135 parishes in the ethnic vicariates that exist in the OCA system. If you add the 266 that the Antiochian Archdioceses has you come up with a number that is nearly double the size of the GOA and that is just 2 of the dozen or so jurisdiction that exist outside the GOA.

As for wealth, I would not be holding up the GOA who is still struggling with the effects of being millions of dollars in debt after Archbishop Spyridon's reign as Archbishop. A bigger budget doesn't always equate to larger wealth. 
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 27, 2008, 01:30:06 AM
Another cleveland vs Tamara rivalry! The gloves are OFF people! ;) And to think, tickets are free!

I hate to disappoint you Deacon Anastasios but  don't think we are too far apart on what we believe with Orthodox unity. I agree with much that Cleveland has written on Orthodox unity. But I just don't see the EP showing any interest in forming one Orthodox Church in America, whether that would be the best model or not. I think the jurisdictions who are independent of the EP will be the ones to lead. I think they may come up with a model which will work. SCOBA isn't becoming a North American synod and the OCA is in turmoil. Another way has to be found. I believe it will be multi-jurisdictional plan that will provide a new way. Let the Holy Spirit show us the way is what I say.. :)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 07:41:45 AM
You might want to check your facts. While there are 542 parishes listed in the GOA database I wouldn't call all of them parishes. The OCA has well over that number in just their diocese parishes (close to 575) and then there are 135 parishes in the ethnic vicariates that exist in the OCA system. If you add the 266 that the Antiochian Archdioceses has you come up with a number that is nearly double the size of the GOA and that is just 2 of the dozen or so jurisdiction that exist outside the GOA.

Well, if you're going to disqualify a number of GOA parishes because you don't think they're really parishes, we could get started on the nearly-dead OCA mining- and steel-town parishes, and the plethora of 25-50 family parishes.  The numbers I provided a page ago in my breakdown not only come from the SCOBA directory system, but the OCA number includes the ethnic vicarates (Romanian, Albanian, etc.).

The grand totals that I was working with: 1,666 parishes (540 GOA, 527 OCA, 237 AOA, 134 SOC, 107 UOC, 76 ACROD, 25 Romanian, 18 Bulgarian, 2 Albanian).  Remember, the OCA numbers include the ethnic diocese of the OCA.

Each of the major jurisdictions has at least one state with 10%+ of its parishes (OCA: Alaska - 16.7%, GOA: New York - 11.5%, AOA: California - 11.8%).

The major jurisdictions only have minor holes in their national coverage.  The number of states which each jurisdiction has 0 parishes: AOA - 5, OCA - 6, GOA - 1 (North Dakota).

Each jurisdiction is contributing a number of hierarchs proportionate to its population, except the OCA which seems to have more hierarchs per person than the others by a large degree, and the Antiochians (who are growing quickly).  The number of Ruling Hierarchs: AOA - 7, GOA - 9, OCA - 9, Serbian - 3, Ukranian - 3 (oops, now 2), Romanian - 2, and the others 1 each.  Only the GOA (2) and the OCA (2) have auxiliary bishops. 

As for wealth, I would not be holding up the GOA who is still struggling with the effects of being millions of dollars in debt after Archbishop Spyridon's reign as Archbishop. A bigger budget doesn't always equate to larger wealth. 

Eh, the debt is manageable.  I still don't think it's a pertinent part of this discussion, but oh well.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 27, 2008, 10:46:52 AM
Unfortunately, what is not manageable are all the lawsuits hitting the GOA and OCA due to clergy sex abuse cases (ex:Katinas, Blummentritt, etc many others). The GOA may have alot of wealthy patrons but the cases that provoke these lawsuits will eat away at the church. There have to be a better ways of dealing with these problems.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 10:54:16 AM
As for wealth, I would not be holding up the GOA who is still struggling with the effects of being millions of dollars in debt after Archbishop Spyridon's reign as Archbishop. A bigger budget doesn't always equate to larger wealth. 

GOA will claim at upcoming Clergy-Laity Conference that their net worth is now $15-$25 Million thanks to donations made by Archons and Leadership 100 to pay off the debt.

There's a 10 page list of Archons published in the 2008 GOA Yearbook.  Many of those names are millionaires.  A few are even billionaires.  EP/GOA has plenty of wealth available at their disposal; I will not speculate on how such donations are made.   ;)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 10:55:28 AM
Unfortunately, what is not manageable are all the lawsuits hitting the GOA and OCA due to clergy sex abuse cases (ex:Katinas, Blummentritt, etc many others). The GOA may have alot of wealthy patrons but the cases that provoke these lawsuits will eat away at the church. There have to be a better ways of dealing with these problems.

At one point earlier this decade, 2 sex abuse suits would have been enough to bankrupt the GOA.  Note how many RC dioceses have gone into bankruptcy due to the sex abuse settlements.   :(
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 10:59:31 AM
Unfortunately, what is not manageable are all the lawsuits hitting the GOA and OCA due to clergy sex abuse cases (ex:Katinas, Blummentritt, etc many others). The GOA may have alot of wealthy patrons but the cases that provoke these lawsuits will eat away at the church. There have to be a better ways of dealing with these problems. 

They've been working on it.  One of the good things that came out of our trip to the Archdiocese as seniors was insight into the process they're using to investigate all allegations of misconduct.  The two hurdles they still have to overcome that will be tough in the upcoming years are the cases that came up during the period when they weren't sensitized to the problem, and the cases where our hierarchs want to be merciful on the offenders.  The latter issue came up already with Katinas' case.  Fortunately there are a good number of people who see the (relatively new) process and support it, and have supported the Archdiocese financially to offset debts incurred in the litigation.

I still don't see wealth of parishioners as being a discussion germane to the subject of North American Unity.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 11:09:46 AM
I'm going to start off by repeating myself:

I still don't see wealth of parishioners as being a discussion germane to the subject of North American Unity.

Eh, the debt is manageable.  I still don't think it's a pertinent part of this discussion, but oh well. 

Huh?  What does this have to do with the price of tea in china? 

GOA will claim at upcoming Clergy-Laity Conference that their net worth is now $15-$25 Million thanks to donations made by Archons and Leadership 100 to pay off the debt. 

The debts have not been totally paid off, but they are running pretty low compared to where they were.

There's a 10 page list of Archons published in the 2008 GOA Yearbook.  Many of those names are millionaires.  A few are even billionaires.  EP/GOA has plenty of wealth available at their disposal; I will not speculate on how such donations are made.   ;)   

The most wealthy donor to the EP is the Government of Greece - trust me, the Archons have nothing on them.  As for the GOA - we do have kind-hearted folks who donate, some from their plenty, some from their little.

But this has nothing to do with North American Unity.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 11:13:06 AM
I still don't see wealth of parishioners as being a discussion germane to the subject of North American Unity.

Who funded and started independence drives in Greece and Romania?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 11:18:42 AM
Who funded and started independence drives in Greece and Romania? 

Political Independence that was not tied to administrative unity within the country?  I still don't see the relevance.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 11:27:45 AM
Political Independence that was not tied to administrative unity within the country?  I still don't see the relevance.

The explanation for lack of US Orthodox Unity lies in the history of how modern Greece freed herself from Ottoman rule only to find herself ruled by German Kings who didn't care one iota about the Orthodox faith.  In 1922, Greece tried to take over Asia Minor with disasterous results in the next to last attempt to resurrect the Byzantine Empire under German Kings.  The final attempt was Cyprus in 1974.

I'm taking a geopolitical approach to the unity problem because the Orthodox do not have a secular instution in the Vatican.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 11:47:44 AM
I'm taking a geopolitical approach to the unity problem because the Orthodox do not have a secular instution in the Vatican.

So you're saying that money (GOA money) has to fund jurisdictional administrative unity in the U.S.  Am I getting that right?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 12:55:54 PM
So you're saying that money (GOA money) has to fund jurisdictional administrative unity in the U.S.  Am I getting that right?

No, Administrative Jurisdictional Unity can probably happen without GOA money.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 27, 2008, 12:57:17 PM
The explanation for lack of US Orthodox Unity lies in the history of how modern Greece freed herself from Ottoman rule only to find herself ruled by German Kings who didn't care one iota about the Orthodox faith.  In 1922, Greece tried to take over Asia Minor with disasterous results in the next to last attempt to resurrect the Byzantine Empire under German Kings.  The final attempt was Cyprus in 1974.

I'm taking a geopolitical approach to the unity problem because the Orthodox do not have a secular instution in the Vatican.

Worse, we have a captive patriarch.  Much of his antics of late mirror those of the pope of Rome during similar (though less dire) circumstances during the Dark Ages, during which what we find so objectionable about the Vatican developed.

The GOA model hasn't even worked in Greece, let alone elsewhere.

No, Administrative Jurisdictional Unity can probably happen without GOA money.

Actually more likely to happen without GOA money.  The recent article on the donation to the seminary noted that it was because of the promotion of Orthodoxy AND Hellenism (not even Greek culture).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 01:06:14 PM
The OCA model is not really the best model for unity. We could say the primate rule with Synodal approval is a good model, but the OCA still has far too much papal resemblance in it's administrators to seriously be considered an American model.

What we need for an American Orthodox Model is:

1) An American Patriarch (sorry the EP 1000 some miles away doesn't fit this bill)

2) a Synod made up of the heads of the OCA, GOA, AOAA, etc. under the Patriarch. (essentially make the different jurisdictions into "diocese")

3) The elimination of ethnic nationalism (e.g. I don't want to be ruled by a greek bishop or I don't like the serbian bishop, I want a russian bishop)

4) Separate the Church/Theological/Liturgical functions from the business functions. In other words, run the liturgical portion of the church like a church with the priest/bishop/patriarch in charge and run the business portion of the church like maintenance, finance, membership administration, etc like a business with the Parish Council acting as the board of directors and the clergy only having a vote on matters, not oversight. Don't let priests make the budget, sign checks, have access to accounting records with the ability to change data, etc.

Those are what I think are necessary to make the idea of an American Orthodox Church even remotely plausible.

-Nick

Edited to ensure Cleveland doesn't bring his moderated wrath upon me.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 01:11:15 PM
Worse, we have a captive patriarch.

His predecessors were captives (and ethnarchs) under the Ottomans.  There's a Mosaic of Sultan Mehmet bestowing the title of ethnarch to the first Patriarch elected after the fall of Constantinople.  There was no Enlightenment in 1456.  Many of the Patriarchs remained faithful to the ministry of Christ - up until the influence of the Enlightened Pharnariotes.

Much of his antics of late mirror those of the pope of Rome during similar (though less dire) circumstances during the Dark Ages, during which what we find so objectionable about the Vatican developed.

I'm not aware of any anti-Patriarchs who would oppose Patr. Bartholomew.  Patr. Alexei is definitely not an anti-Patriarch.

The GOA model hasn't even worked in Greece, let alone elsewhere.

Modern Greece is still split between Church of Greece and EP because Church of Greece received autocephaly when more than half the country remained under Ottoman Rule; hence, EP jurisdiction.  Church of Greece and EP now have concurrent jurisdiction over the rest of modern Greece.

Actually more likely to happen without GOA money.  The recent article on the donation to the seminary noted that it was because of the promotion of Orthodoxy AND Hellenism (not even Greek culture).

Hellenism is ancient Greece as romanticized by Enlightenment thinkers.  The ancestors of the Ottomans were somewhere in China during the Age of Pericles.  Wow, now I know why the EP and MP are fighting over China because the same problems impacting US Orthodox Unity will affect Orthodoxy in Asia.   ???
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on May 27, 2008, 01:54:17 PM
First, it's my understanding that the structure of the OCA, to its credit. was never intended as a final "model", but only as a temporary operating mechanism until these issues are resolved inter-church.
Second, I need a better definition of the current "model" for both the OCA and GOA as used here to make any sense of this thread.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 27, 2008, 02:00:24 PM
First, it's my understanding that the structure of the OCA, to its credit. was never intended as a final "model", but only as a temporary operating mechanism until these issues are resolved inter-church.
Second, I need a better definition of the current "model" for both the OCA and GOA as used here to make any sense of this thread.

Yes.  Maybe we should say the model of the Metropolia, not the OCA.  The Metropolia operated as a diocese of the Russian Church, but the idea was that it would one day become independent.  It also had auxiliary bishops (not sure if that was their technical title, St. Rafail was the one for the Arabs, and the first Orthodox bishop ordained in the New World) to handle the recent immigrants (somewhat what the Albanians, Bulgarians, and Romanians have now.  During the Cold War it outlived its use, as the immigrants dried up.  That's changed now), the idea was that a native synod would arise from that.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 02:21:15 PM
Worse, we have a captive patriarch.  Much of his antics of late mirror those of the pope of Rome during similar (though less dire) circumstances during the Dark Ages, during which what we find so objectionable about the Vatican developed.

Really, you think so?  Start a thread on this, and let's see you develop your line of thinking on this.

The GOA model hasn't even worked in Greece, let alone elsewhere.

You have yet to answer Dn. Anastasios' questions regarding your statements like this.

1) An American Patriarch (sorry the EP 1000 some miles away doesn't fit this bill) 

I still think this is unnecessary to American Jurisdictional Unity.  You can have an autocephalous church without a Patriarch.  You can have an Autonomous Church that is truly administratively united.  And God help us if proximity is a disqualifier, since the people in NY have no clue about what life is like in California - I've seen and heard it firsthand.

Hellenism is ancient Greece as romanticized by Enlightenment thinkers.

No, real Hellenism is 1700 years of Christian Hellenic Culture that flourished.  Christianity's sanctifying effect is to perfect what existed before and make it truly whole (Holy Water, blessing of the loaves, blessing of food at Pascha).  True Hellenism is Christian Hellenism.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 02:22:21 PM
Please, people - don't talk about money in this thread - bring it up in a new thread, or in an existing thread that discusses Church finances.  Otherwise I'm splitting them off.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 02:34:06 PM
No, real Hellenism is 1700 years of Christian Hellenic Culture that flourished.  Christianity's sanctifying effect is to perfect what existed before and make it truly whole (Holy Water, blessing of the loaves, blessing of food at Pascha).  True Hellenism is Christian Hellenism.

So, Hellenism came into its own after St. Constantine made Orthodox Christianity the official religion of a now defunct Empire which has not existed for almost 6 Centuries?  By his conversion, St. Constantine succeeded, where Alexander the Great had failed 6 centuries earlier, in spreading Hellenic culture throughout the world, including the heterogeneous USA?

No wonder there will never be North American Orthodox Christian Unity.   :o

Definition of Hellenism (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellenism):
a body of humanistic and classical ideals associated with ancient Greece and including reason, the pursuit of knowledge and the arts, moderation, civic responsibility, and bodily development

Based on the above definition, that would describe AHEPA rather than Holy Water, blessing of loaves and blessing of food at Pascha.



Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: scamandrius on May 27, 2008, 02:35:38 PM

I still think this is unnecessary to American Jurisdictional Unity.  You can have an autocephalous church without a Patriarch.  You can have an Autonomous Church that is truly administratively united. 

Cleveland,

Is there an example of a current autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction without a Patriarch? 
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 02:36:31 PM

I still think this is unnecessary to American Jurisdictional Unity.  You can have an autocephalous church without a Patriarch.  You can have an Autonomous Church that is truly administratively united.  And God help us if proximity is a disqualifier, since the people in NY have no clue about what life is like in California - I've seen and heard it firsthand.


That's true, except a trip from New York to California commonly occurs for around $400 or less. Does the EP hop on a plane for $400 or less? If I recall correctly, the EP has only visited the US twice in the existence of the church in America. Further, an American Patriarch would eliminate the fact that:

1) The EP is under "house arrest" in a primarily non-christian country
2) Is not permitted to travel in public wearing any clerical identification
3) Is required to be a Turkish citizen (eliminating a large number of possible candidates)
4) Would be able to minister to more than the 2000 people he currently has in Turkey.

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 27, 2008, 02:36:50 PM
Worse, we have a captive patriarch.  Much of his antics of late mirror those of the pope of Rome during similar (though less dire) circumstances during the Dark Ages, during which what we find so objectionable about the Vatican developed

Really, you think so?  Start a thread on this, and let's see you develop your line of thinking on this.

Done.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16142.0.html

Quote
You have yet to answer Dn. Anastasios' questions regarding your statements like this.

I was waiting for him to flesh out the question of "model."  I'll take a stab at it:

From the other thread:

why would the GOA model DEFINITELY not work? I have always thought it is the most realistic. Perhaps we differ on the use of the term "model."

Let's use the extreme example in Sweden, so to make it clear:

In Sweden the various ethnic groups got together and set up a national Orthodox organization, and placed it in the hands of the EP.  What did he do?  Make it into the Hellenic (not Greek) Orthodox exarchate, and tell the other, disenfranchised groups to set up their own national ghettos.

Quote
I still think this is unnecessary to American Jurisdictional Unity.  You can have an autocephalous church without a Patriarch.  You can have an Autonomous Church that is truly administratively united.  And God help us if proximity is a disqualifier, since the people in NY have no clue about what life is like in California - I've seen and heard it firsthand.

At least they recognize it.  Unlike the idea that any Greek (oops, sorry, Hellene) any where can be exchanged anywhere.

Quote
No, real Hellenism is 1700 years of Christian Hellenic Culture that flourished.  Christianity's sanctifying effect is to perfect what existed before and make it truly whole (Holy Water, blessing of the loaves, blessing of food at Pascha).  True Hellenism is Christian Hellenism.

Actually, no.  It was Romaic, not Hellenic (which meant "pagan")
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 27, 2008, 02:39:10 PM
Cleveland,

Is there an example of a current autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction without a Patriarch? 

Greece for one.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 02:42:15 PM
That's true, except a trip from New York to California commonly occurs for around $400 or less. Does the EP hop on a plane for $400 or less?

The EP can fly freely on chartered flights sponsored by US entities or US diplomatic entities.

If I recall correctly, the EP has only visited the US twice in the existence of the church in America.

2 EP's have visited America: 1990 by Patr. Dimitrios, numerous visits by Patr. Bartholomew.

Further, an American Patriarch would eliminate the fact that:

1) The EP is under "house arrest" in a primarily non-christian country
2) Is not permitted to travel in public wearing any clerical identification
3) Is required to be a Turkish citizen (eliminating a large number of possible candidates)
4) Would be able to minister to more than the 2000 people he currently has in Turkey.

1) The EP is not under "house arrest" like the leader of Burma.
2) Same applies to Muslim imams.
3) Thank the concessions made by the Treaty of Lausanne to appease Turkish fears of ethnic unrest.
4) I've read that those numbers are now in the hundreds.

EDIT - Changed how many times Patr. Bartholomew visited USA from 2 to numerous.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 02:44:30 PM
Greece for one.
Albania, OCA, Cyprus - autocephalous churches with Archbishops (OCA has Metropolitan)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 02:44:48 PM
Greece for one.

Okay, he's an archbishop...... The idea I was trying to get across was that it needs to have a singular leader in the US, not necessarily a patriarch but some one of Metropolitan/Archbishop status that would not be required to report to a higher authority (e.g. the EP).

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Entscheidungsproblem on May 27, 2008, 02:47:28 PM
Cleveland,

Is there an example of a current autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction without a Patriarch? 

Poland, Czech/Slovak, Cyprus, Greece, & Albania
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 02:48:43 PM
^Thanks for adding the Autocephalous Slavic Churches.   ;)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 02:50:21 PM
Cleveland,

Is there an example of a current autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction without a Patriarch? 

Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, Czech Lands and Slovakia.  Moscow, Romania, and Serbia were at one time Autocephalous without a bishop titled "Patriarch."
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 27, 2008, 02:50:49 PM
The EP can fly freely on chartered flights sponsored by US entities or US diplomatic entities.

Only if the Turk says "Suleyman says."

Quote
2 EP's have visited America for a total of 3 times (1990 by Patr. Dimitrios, 1997 & 2004 by Patr. Bartholomew).

Two of the primates of the Greeks here became EP: Meletios (with whom the present mess got started), and Athenagoros.

Quote
1) The EP is not under "house arrest" like the leader of Burma.
Close enough.
Quote
2) Same applies to Muslim imams.
But the state takes Islam as a given.
Quote
3) Thank the concessions made by the Treaty of Lausanne to appease Turkish fears of ethnic unrest.
And the EU keeps it up.
Quote
4) I've read that those numbers are now in the hundreds.
Read the obituaries.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on May 27, 2008, 02:55:41 PM
Okay, he's an archbishop...... The idea I was trying to get across was that it needs to have a singular leader in the US, not necessarily a patriarch but some one of Metropolitan/Archbishop status that would not be required to report to a higher authority (e.g. the EP).

-Nick

I can't see how we would be ready for that in the next 100 to 150 years, unless we had a collection of monasteries to churn out pious and educated candidates.  Given the recent tension between the monateries of Fr Ephraim and the hierarchy (both sides contributing to the problem IMO) it seems necessary to have oversight from those more mature in the faith.  The OCA Metropolitan does not report to anyone else and it does not seem to me that things are going so well.

How soon would you feel we would be ready for a united Orthodox Church with autocephaly?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on May 27, 2008, 02:57:34 PM

4) Separate the Church/Theological/Liturgical functions from the business functions. In other words, run the liturgical portion of the church like a church with the priest/bishop/patriarch in charge and run the business portion of the church like maintenance, finance, membership administration, etc like a business with the Parish Council acting as the board of directors and the clergy only having a vote on matters, not oversight. Don't let priests make the budget, sign checks, have access to accounting records with the ability to change data, etc.

I would be afraid in that situation. What would stop the parish council from doing a "gov't shutdown" like the Republicans did in 1995?

I think transparency is good but the priest is the head of the parish--it is not a democracy.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 02:58:20 PM
Only if the Turk says "Suleyman says."

That was a good one and quite Funny.   ;D

Two of the primates of the Greeks here became EP: Meletios (with whom the present mess got started), and Athenagoros.

Patr. Athenagoras was also GOA Archbishop for 17 years.

Close enough.But the state takes Islam as a given.And the EU keeps it up.Read the obituaries.

Turkey wants in the EU which would place it on equal footing with Greece and probably negate the Treaty of Lausanne and anything else relating to Greco-Turkish relations.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 02:59:36 PM
That's true, except a trip from New York to California commonly occurs for around $400 or less. Does the EP hop on a plane for $400 or less?

Yeah, and at times like these I've found tickets to Athens cheaper than the NY-LA flights.

If I recall correctly, the EP has only visited the US twice in the existence of the church in America. Further, an American Patriarch would eliminate the fact that:

Well, you don't recall correctly.  I've been present for at least two visits, and there have been others in addition.  The current EP has, I believe, visited America at least 4 times.

1) The EP is under "house arrest" in a primarily non-christian country

Not true, but I know what you're getting at: the records, icons, relics, books, and other "things" of the Patriarchate are unable to be taken out of Turkey because they are considered cultural heritage items.  Otherwise, he's free to move about as he wishes, although security does indeed follow him - but we are talking about Istambul, where there is an enormously high crime rate: yes, he gets targeted for hate crimes, but even if he wasn't there are many people who are not safe in that city.

2) Is not permitted to travel in public wearing any clerical identification

The Ecumenical Patriarch is one of 3 or 4 resident clerics in the nation of Turkey who is indeed permitted to wear his clerical  garb in public.  Visiting clerics theoretically can wear their own garb as they wish (I've seen an Athonite monk wear his full garb around the city), but usually visiting clergy of the EP do not.

3) Is required to be a Turkish citizen (eliminating a large number of possible candidates)

This wasn't much of an issue until the 1950's cleansing of the Christian population from Istambul and the subsequent shutting down of Halki Theological School.  Before then there was a large Christian population in Istambul.

4) Would be able to minister to more than the 2000 people he currently has in Turkey. 

He does minister to more than the 2000 people.

Why does this all matter very little?  Because a bishop is to be concerned with his diocese.  The only person who should be ministering to the flock in Pittsburgh is the Bishop of Pittsburgh; the president of the Synod that Pittsburgh sits on has very little to do with the decisions affecting the people of that diocese.  Situations where a Synodal president exerts a wide influence over other diocese (such as 20th century examples in the U.S.) are exceptions to the rule.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 03:03:24 PM
I would be afraid in that situation. What would stop the parish council from doing a "gov't shutdown" like the Republicans did in 1995?

I think transparency is good but the priest is the head of the parish--it is not a democracy.

But should the priest really be writing checks and looking over the accounting and financial matters of the church? Are priests taught in seminary how to manage parish finances and the finer points of business management?

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 03:06:20 PM
Why does this all matter very little?  Because a bishop is to be concerned with his diocese.  The only person who should be ministering to the flock in Pittsburgh is the Bishop of Pittsburgh; the president of the Synod that Pittsburgh sits on has very little to do with the decisions affecting the people of that diocese.  Situations where a Synodal president exerts a wide influence over other diocese (such as 20th century examples in the U.S.) are exceptions to the rule.

Assuming that I were a GOA parishionier in need of an ecclesiastical divorce, I thought ecclesiastical divorces were decided by Eparchial Synods in NYC (for GOA) rather than the local Metropolis Synod in Pittsburgh (assuming that such an entity even exists).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:06:35 PM
But the state takes Islam as a given.

Um, no - it doesn't.  The military and the secularist ruling factions of the government are guarded and trying their hardest to keep Islam at bay.  If they had their say, they'd give a lot of those mosques the chop - but they know they'd have a revolution if they did.

Read the obituaries. 

That's really productive, maybe even mature.  Why don't you practice mature dialogue instead?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:08:10 PM
Assuming that I were a GOA parishionier in need of an ecclesiastical divorce, I thought ecclesiastical divorces were decided by Eparchial Synods in NYC (for GOA) rather than the local Metropolis Synod in Pittsburgh (assuming that such an entity even exists). 

Your ecclesiastical divorce is handled by a local Spiritual Court of first instance (we have 3 or 4 in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, divided regionally).  The decision of the Spiritual court is then forwarded to the local bishop for ratification.  NY has nothing to do with it, unless you decide to appeal the decision of the local Spiritual Court/Hierarch, in which case your appeal would indeed go to the Eparchial Synod which meets in NY.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 03:09:00 PM
I can't see how we would be ready for that in the next 100 to 150 years, unless we had a collection of monasteries to churn out pious and educated candidates.  Given the recent tension between the monateries of Fr Ephraim and the hierarchy (both sides contributing to the problem IMO) it seems necessary to have oversight from those more mature in the faith.  The OCA Metropolitan does not report to anyone else and it does not seem to me that things are going so well.

How soon would you feel we would be ready for a united Orthodox Church with autocephaly?

I would think maybe 50 years. I guess it depends on how educated you need to be to meet the requirement. Is it a given fact that the EP is the most learned person in the world in relation to Orthodoxy?

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:10:35 PM
But should the priest really be writing checks and looking over the accounting and financial matters of the church? Are priests taught in seminary how to manage parish finances and the finer points of business management? 

The priest is the head of the parish in the place of the bishop.  So the answer to the first question is yes and no (I don't know about being a check signatory).  Second question: they're not taught enough, but that's slowly changing.  Plus, you have a large number of ordainees who worked in business or finance for a number of years before entering the Seminary.  The "business part" and "Church part" dichotomy in parish life is not healthy, and certainly not traditional.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:13:00 PM
I would think maybe 50 years. I guess it depends on how educated you need to be to meet the requirement. Is it a given fact that the EP is the most learned person in the world in relation to Orthodoxy? 

He probably isn't (too many variables involved).  But the expectation of most of the other Autocephalous churches is that the head of the Church must be a well-educated man, well-traveled, with experience dealing with the other Autocephalous Churches.  That's why you have very multi-lingual Patriarchs with multiple advanced degrees and much travel.  This is especially true of the Churches in the Roman/Hellenic/Greek/Whatever sphere of influence (EP, Greece, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 03:15:44 PM
Your ecclesiastical divorce is handled by a local Spiritual Court of first instance (we have 3 or 4 in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, divided regionally).  The decision of the Spiritual court is then forwarded to the local bishop for ratification.  NY has nothing to do with it, unless you decide to appeal the decision of the local Spiritual Court/Hierarch, in which case your appeal would indeed go to the Eparchial Synod which meets in NY.

OK, Spiritual court consists of priests whose decision is then ratified by the Metropolitan/Bishop.  Technically, I could appeal an Eparchial Synod decision to the Holy Synod in Istanbul if my understanding is correct?  Thank you for the clarification.   :)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:19:22 PM
Let's use the extreme example in Sweden, so to make it clear:

In Sweden the various ethnic groups got together and set up a national Orthodox organization, and placed it in the hands of the EP.  What did he do?  Make it into the Hellenic (not Greek) Orthodox exarchate, and tell the other, disenfranchised groups to set up their own national ghettos. 

I'd love to see some documentation about this.  I have (unfortunately) not kept abreast of what had happened in Sweeden.

At least they recognize it.  Unlike the idea that any Greek (oops, sorry, Hellene) any where can be exchanged anywhere.

Who recognizes it?  The New Yorkers think (a) they're the center of the universe, (b) things should be done their way, and (c) everyone else (i.e. non New Yorkers) are hicks.

Actually, no.  It was Romaic, not Hellenic (which meant "pagan")

Thanks.  I'm a big fan of Fr. John Romanides.  But Romaic sounds pathetic, and people keep insisting on using Greek/Hellenic - so it's time to show them that true Hellenism is Christian (i.e. Romanism).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:20:18 PM
OK, Spiritual court consists of priests whose decision is then ratified by the Metropolitan/Bishop.  Technically, I could appeal an Eparchial Synod decision to the Holy Synod in Istanbul if my understanding is correct?  Thank you for the clarification.   :)

Technically you can appeal the decision of any Synod anywhere (except an Ecumenical Synod) to Constantinople if you wish.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on May 27, 2008, 03:22:51 PM
Only bishops, under certain specific circumstance, may make any appeals.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 03:30:37 PM
I'd love to see some documentation about this.  I have (unfortunately) not kept abreast of what had happened in Sweeden.

That Exarchate still exists:

http://exarchat.eu/ (http://exarchat.eu/)

The Swedish Orthodox Church exists:

http://www.sirillus.se/kristi_forklarings_kyrka/index.htm (http://www.sirillus.se/kristi_forklarings_kyrka/index.htm)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 03:31:37 PM
The priest is the head of the parish in the place of the bishop.  So the answer to the first question is yes and no (I don't know about being a check signatory).  Second question: they're not taught enough, but that's slowly changing.  Plus, you have a large number of ordainees who worked in business or finance for a number of years before entering the Seminary.  The "business part" and "Church part" dichotomy in parish life is not healthy, and certainly not traditional.

But if the priest is in charge of everything and the final authority (acting as the rep of the bishop), then:

A) Why do we need a parish council?

B) Why does the congregation have an annual meeting?

C) What do you do when a priest takes over and runs things incorrectly (like payroll or financial statements or membership)? (look at the National Church of the OCA)

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 03:32:01 PM
Only bishops, under certain specific circumstance, may make any appeals.

I thought that lay people can already appeal Synodial decisions that affect them, like ecclesiastical divorce, excommunication, et al.  That was the discussion Cleveland & I were having.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:36:42 PM
That Exarchate still exists:

http://exarchat.eu/ (http://exarchat.eu/)

The Swedish Orthodox Church exists:

http://www.sirillus.se/kristi_forklarings_kyrka/index.htm (http://www.sirillus.se/kristi_forklarings_kyrka/index.htm)

What I'm looking for is documentation of what ialmisry is talking about (i.e. the intrigue around the formation of the Church of Sweeden).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 03:40:16 PM
But if the priest is in charge of everything and the final authority (acting as the rep of the bishop), then:

Who said he's "in charge of everything?"  The Final Authority is Christ through the Bishop (and even that can be appealed).

A) Why do we need a parish council?

the Body and its parts.

B) Why does the congregation have an annual meeting?

Responsible administration of the Church.

C) What do you do when a priest takes over and runs things incorrectly (like payroll or financial statements or membership)? (look at the National Church of the OCA) 

The people work with the Bishop to correct him.  There is always someone to appeal to for help: heck, you can even appeal an Ecumenical Council to a subsequent council (although that won't do you much good).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on May 27, 2008, 04:13:59 PM
I thought that lay people can already appeal Synodial decisions that affect them, like ecclesiastical divorce, excommunication, et al.  That was the discussion Cleveland & I were having.

IIRC, the canons don't mention laymen at all, but deny appeal from priests to Rome (now EP) reserving that for bishops alone.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 27, 2008, 04:16:00 PM
I'd love to see some documentation about this.  I have (unfortunately) not kept abreast of what had happened in Sweeden.
I found this from a stack of old newspapers (church bulletins, actually).

Quote
Who recognizes it?  The New Yorkers think (a) they're the center of the universe, (b) things should be done their way, and (c) everyone else (i.e. non New Yorkers) are hicks.

I'm going to forebare on comments on NY.  At least for now.

Quote
Thanks.  I'm a big fan of Fr. John Romanides.  But Romaic sounds pathetic, and people keep insisting on using Greek/Hellenic - so it's time to show them that true Hellenism is Christian (i.e. Romanism).
Only problem is that it was a distinction the Rhoumaioi were adamant about.  Hellenism is Christian inasmuch as any true nationalism should be.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 04:17:03 PM
Who said he's "in charge of everything?"  The Final Authority is Christ through the Bishop (and even that can be appealed).

the Body and its parts.

Responsible administration of the Church.

The people work with the Bishop to correct him.  There is always someone to appeal to for help: heck, you can even appeal an Ecumenical Council to a subsequent council (although that won't do you much good).

By in charge of everything, I should've stipulated that I meant in charge of all of the administrative matters of the church.

-nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 04:33:45 PM
Only problem is that it was a distinction the Rhoumaioi were adamant about.  Hellenism is Christian inasmuch as any true nationalism should be.   

I know very well how they felt about it.  I suppose we're not in essence too far apart on this issue, as I reject any Nationalistic interpretations of Hellenism (which is why, in those cases, I use "Greek"), and instead see Hellenism as a cross-cultural thing (i.e. Romanism).  The only principle that keeps me using the term Hellenism and not exclusively Romanism is that Romanism was less Hellenic to start (and became more influenced later) and is at the end (i.e. now) not associated with what it once was.  Old Romanism and Hellenism combined to make Christian Romanism, which survived as long as the Empire did and more; however, while it was able to keep its character in the occupied lands, outside "Romanism" and anything associated with "Rome" was dissociated from New Rome and re-associated with Old Rome and what it had become.

I still think we should refer to the EP as the Patriarch of the Romans/Rum, just as I see the "Byzantine" Empire as the Roman Empire.  But we don't, so it's a moot point.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 04:35:43 PM
By in charge of everything, I should've stipulated that I meant in charge of all of the administrative matters of the church.

-nick 

I know what you meant - I shouldn't have played semantic games with you.  Indeed, though, the Priest as the head of the Church and representative of the Bishop (who stands in the place and type of Christ) is accountable for everything that goes on in and around the Church, so he should definitely be educated in management and finance (in order that he understand what is going on and can contribute to the process) and should definitely not be excluded from the decision making process.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 04:48:25 PM
Hellenism is Christian inasmuch as any true nationalism should be.

I respectfully disagree.  True Hellenism existed before Christ and ended when St. Constantine stopped persecuting Christians.  The only legacy of Hellenism is the Greek Language and nothing else.  What Alexander the Great started in 332 BC, St. Constantine completed.

The Old Testament did prophesy the beginning and end of Alexander the Great's Empire.   :)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Anastasios on May 27, 2008, 04:51:28 PM
I respectfully disagree.  True Hellenism existed before Christ and ended when St. Constantine stopped persecuting Christians.  The only legacy of Hellenism is the Greek Language and nothing else.  What Alexander the Great started in 332 BC, St. Constantine completed.

The Old Testament did prophesy the beginning and end of Alexander the Great's Empire.   :)

Romiosini is Christian Hellenism, the culture that survived until 1453 in the open, continued uninterrupted until 1922 in persecution, and whose echoes still are heard today amongst Orthodox Christians, who live it as best as can be in the modern world.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 04:51:40 PM
I know what you meant - I shouldn't have played semantic games with you.  Indeed, though, the Priest as the head of the Church and representative of the Bishop (who stands in the place and type of Christ) is accountable for everything that goes on in and around the Church, so he should definitely be educated in management and finance (in order that he understand what is going on and can contribute to the process) and should definitely not be excluded from the decision making process.

I can agree with that, being involved in the decision process is definitely important. What I have a problem with is the priest saying, "This is what we're going to do" on the business end of the church even if it contradicts the decision of parish council. I think that the priest should be allowed to offer an opinion and have a voice, but to act as the end all decision maker defeats the purpose of parish council and in my opinion insults the rest of us who have training in such aspects of the parish. I do also, however think its a situation unique to the US. Its probably not something that would be encountered elsewhere in the world.

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 04:57:42 PM
Romiosini is Christian Hellenism, the culture that survived until 1453 in the open, continued uninterrupted until 1922 in persecution, and whose echoes still are heard today amongst Orthodox Christians.

Romiosini is the respect that a new Empire (Ottoman) bestowed on those of the former Empire (Roman) whose ascendency lasted almost 15 Centuries.  The term, Roumeliotes, is a remnant of the term, Romiosini, in referring to people of Rome.

^^I was going to add in my prior post that Democracy was another legacy of Hellenism except that Alexander didn't operate under ancient Hellenic Democracy.  When the Enlightened poets like Byron, et al. resurrected ancient Hellenism - that was what is trying to creep into the Church.  Parish Councils operate as a democracy - who wouldn't vote to fix a leaking roof.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 05:03:44 PM
I can agree with that, being involved in the decision process is definitely important. What I have a problem with is the priest saying, "This is what we're going to do" on the business end of the church even if it contradicts the decision of parish council. I think that the priest should be allowed to offer an opinion and have a voice, but to act as the end all decision maker defeats the purpose of parish council and in my opinion insults the rest of us who have training in such aspects of the parish. I do also, however think its a situation unique to the US. Its probably not something that would be encountered elsewhere in the world. 

I think he should have the ability to counteract certain types of decisions that would be spiritually damaging or otherwise inappropriate for the Church (i.e. veto gambling/raffles/etc.); but otherwise, if he's not letting the council do what they're elected to do, he's diminishing the primary principle of the operation of the body - that each part needs to perform its unique function to the best of its abilities in order for the body to survive and thrive.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on May 27, 2008, 05:06:18 PM
Romiosini is the respect that a new Empire (Ottoman) bestowed on those of the former Empire (Roman) whose ascendency lasted almost 15 Centuries.  The term, Roumeliotes, is a remnant of the term, Romiosini, in referring to people of Rome.

And the original legal name of Constantinople was... New Rome!  They self-identified as Romans from the beginning until the  revolutions, and the people in Constantinople still self-identify as Romans (when I spoke to them, at least).

^^I was going to add in my prior post that Democracy was another legacy of Hellenism except that Alexander didn't operate under ancient Hellenic Democracy.  When the Enlightened poets like Byron, et al. resurrected ancient Hellenism - that was what is trying to creep into the Church.  Parish Councils operate as a democracy - who wouldn't vote to fix a leaking roof. 

Parish Councils operate as a Representative Government, not a Democracy.  Parish Assemblies operate as Democracies.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 05:15:11 PM
And the original legal name of Constantinople was... New Rome!  They self-identified as Romans from the beginning until the  revolutions, and the people in Constantinople still self-identify as Romans (when I spoke to them, at least).

The Byzantine Empire, as a continuation of the Roman Empire, consisted of citizens who spoke Greek and Latin; The Latin faded away over time and completely after the Great Schism.  I think the Turkish word, Rum, is another word for Roman.  The Ottomans realized who they conquered and what they had accomplished in supplanting one civilization with their own.  Meanwhile, Orthodoxy continued unimpeded as civilizations changed overnight.

Parish Councils operate as a Representative Government, not a Democracy.  Parish Assemblies operate as Democracies.

Other than the Priest being ex-officio member of the Parish Council, I was under the impression that they voted as a democracy even though the parishioners elect the Council.  At my church, using 30-60 parishioners appear for the Semi-Annual Parish Assembly out of 1,000 families.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on May 27, 2008, 05:18:07 PM
That's actually a good question. What form of government do you use for an American Orthodox Church?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 27, 2008, 05:19:25 PM
I think he should have the ability to counteract certain types of decisions that would be spiritually damaging or otherwise inappropriate for the Church (i.e. veto gambling/raffles/etc.); but otherwise, if he's not letting the council do what they're elected to do, he's diminishing the primary principle of the operation of the body - that each part needs to perform its unique function to the best of its abilities in order for the body to survive and thrive.

Going on a brief tangent - My church has tried to introduce an affinity credit card since 2002.  I spoke out against it at a 2006 Parish Assembly using my own failed experience with credit cards to bolster the argument that the Church is not in the business of collecting 4% of Gasoline sales (or whatever else credit cards are used for).  The discussion was tabled and has been tabled for 2 years hopefully to never see the light of day.  The Priest supported implementing credit cards.   >:(
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: serb1389 on May 30, 2008, 12:43:39 PM
Going on a brief tangent - My church has tried to introduce an affinity credit card since 2002.  I spoke out against it at a 2006 Parish Assembly using my own failed experience with credit cards to bolster the argument that the Church is not in the business of collecting 4% of Gasoline sales (or whatever else credit cards are used for).  The discussion was tabled and has been tabled for 2 years hopefully to never see the light of day.  The Priest supported implementing credit cards.   >:(

Maybe he knows something you don't.  I know one priest who was a CEO and venture capitalist for most of his life.  I would trust his opinion over almost anyone else's...perhaps there is something you are missing here. 

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on May 30, 2008, 02:18:25 PM
4) Separate the Church/Theological/Liturgical functions from the business functions. In other words, run the liturgical portion of the church like a church with the priest/bishop/patriarch in charge and run the business portion of the church like maintenance, finance, membership administration, etc like a business with the Parish Council acting as the board of directors and the clergy only having a vote on matters, not oversight. Don't let priests make the budget, sign checks, have access to accounting records with the ability to change data, etc.

It is interesting that you find the modified congregational model that is so prevalent in American Orthodoxy due to trusteeism to be the way to move forward in the future.  I think many people sort of unknowingly accept this model because it exists in so many places, or it fits in with the way we view things in general as people raised in the West.  The problem with the model of course is that it is completely counter to the traditions of the Orthodox Church and is not shared by some portions of the Orthodox Church in the diaspora, including North America.  If you want to see how much power the priest wields in the traditional model, I would suggest a quick read of the standard parish by-laws of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/regulations/parishlaws.html

I think this tends to be something of a hidden issue, but in reality I think probably presents the most serious obstacle to unity in this country.  The reason is people tend to usually care about overall unity, ethnicity, etc. in "abstract" ways; that is if they think about them at all.  People do care about who controls what, who has what power, how money is disbursed, etc. in very real in concrete ways; even when or often when they have no conception of the other issues at stake.  In short I know few people at the parish level who honestly could really tell you anything about the historic issues with Orthodox Patriarchates, "Hellenism", what's going on in the OCA or other jurisdictions, problems in the diaspora or anybody in truth who even ever mentions the need for unity as an issue.  I know very few people who don't care about and aren't very aware of who controls property, the checkbook and how things are run.  To agree on one model, which would be necessary for North American unity, is going to be painful and wrenching.  It is likely substantial numbers of people won't buy in to one model or the other, whether it's the traditional model of power resting nearly completely in control of the clergy or the North American modified congregational model of lay control, parish council presidents, etc.

You may find this book interesting, portions of which are online.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&printsec=titlepage&dq=trusteeism+%2B+orthodox&source=gbs_toc_s&cad=1

BTW Deacon Anastasios, your comments about numbers, growth and so on vis-a-vis the GOA vs. the OCA/AOA were well said.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on May 30, 2008, 03:15:11 PM
Maybe he knows something you don't.  I know one priest who was a CEO and venture capitalist for most of his life.  I would trust his opinion over almost anyone else's...perhaps there is something you are missing here. 

There's another priest on the East Coast who was the chief fundraiser for GOA's Leadership 100.  If wealthy people wish to upload pictures of their church to Capital One and have their church on a credit card, I could care less.  If a church wants an affinity card merely to collect tiny revenues from credit card companies like colleges and sports teams, I draw the line.  Have we forgotten that our Church is not a den for theives to be marketed as such?   :'(
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on May 30, 2008, 04:12:07 PM
Um, no - it doesn't.  The military and the secularist ruling factions of the government are guarded and trying their hardest to keep Islam at bay.  If they had their say, they'd give a lot of those mosques the chop - but they know they'd have a revolution if they did.

Mr. Turkish Secularism himself, Ataturk, expelled Turkish speaking Orthodox, but kept Greek speaking Muslims.

I don't care if they would like to tear down mosques to prove their secularism.  I'm not for proving anything by a negative, and as you point out, they wouldn't dare.  Sort of like La Peine supporters who won't go to church, but hate muslims.

I'm more worried about the fact that they (the goverment) doesn't allow new churches or repair of old ones (direct from shariah, btw).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 30, 2008, 04:19:04 PM
It is interesting that you find the modified congregational model that is so prevalent in American Orthodoxy due to trusteeism to be the way to move forward in the future.  I think many people sort of unknowingly accept this model because it exists in so many places, or it fits in with the way we view things in general as people raised in the West.  The problem with the model of course is that it is completely counter to the traditions of the Orthodox Church and is not shared by some portions of the Orthodox Church in the diaspora, including North America.  If you want to see how much power the priest wields in the traditional model, I would suggest a quick read of the standard parish by-laws of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

The so-called "traditional" model was only traditional in Russia. Part of the problems seen in the OCA were because they were still operating under this model. The Greek and Antiochian model will probably be the way of the future in North America but will need some tweaking so that the decision making remains in balance.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on May 30, 2008, 04:54:10 PM
The so-called "traditional" model was only traditional in Russia. Part of the problems seen in the OCA were because they were still operating under this model. The Greek and Antiochian model will probably be the way of the future in North America but will need some tweaking so that the decision making remains in balance.

The traditional model is the traditional model, and that is the running of dioceses and parishes are in the hands of the bishops and their representatives at the local level, i.e. priests.  This is not a particularly Russian model.  I would say it's actually the Byzantine model.

The circumstances in North America led to trusteeism and lay control, this is completely foreign to the hierarchal model of both Catholicism and Orthodoxy.  The Catholic bishops recognized this and aggressively stamped out trusteeism at the end of the 19th century.  Trusteeism however became ingrained in North American Orthodoxy and is why the vast majority of North American Orthodox churches at the parish level operate in a semi-congregational framework.  The OCA in fact did not follow the traditional model of hierarchal control, but was formed with a large base of trustee parishes.  Read the statute of the OCA which is published online and you can see for parish governance they basically defer to local bylaws in order to lay out how things are run.  This is in opposition for instance to what the ROCOR lays out for their model of church governance.  In other words the problems of the OCA, which are probably manifold in their origins, have nothing to do with the traditional model of hierarchal church governance.  It is actually possible that the lack of this traditional model may be a major source of their issues, and that should be something to think about for people who think lay control, or the Greek model (because the GOA bylaws are in many ways given to the same semi congregational issues) is the way of the future.  You will certainly for instance never convince the bishops of the ROCOR to release any of their parishes in to a structure that operates this way, nor could you convince them to take in parishes without first having those parishes adopt bylaws that adhere to the traditional model.  That in a nutshell is what I think the unity issue is.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 30, 2008, 07:09:26 PM
The traditional model is the traditional model, and that is the running of dioceses and parishes are in the hands of the bishops and their representatives at the local level, i.e. priests.  This is not a particularly Russian model.  I would say it's actually the Byzantine model.

The circumstances in North America led to trusteeism and lay control, this is completely foreign to the hierarchal model of both Catholicism and Orthodoxy.  The Catholic bishops recognized this and aggressively stamped out trusteeism at the end of the 19th century.  Trusteeism however became ingrained in North American Orthodoxy and is why the vast majority of North American Orthodox churches at the parish level operate in a semi-congregational framework.  The OCA in fact did not follow the traditional model of hierarchal control, but was formed with a large base of trustee parishes.  Read the statute of the OCA which is published online and you can see for parish governance they basically defer to local bylaws in order to lay out how things are run.  This is in opposition for instance to what the ROCOR lays out for their model of church governance.  In other words the problems of the OCA, which are probably manifold in their origins, have nothing to do with the traditional model of hierarchal church governance.  It is actually possible that the lack of this traditional model may be a major source of their issues, and that should be something to think about for people who think lay control, or the Greek model (because the GOA bylaws are in many ways given to the same semi congregational issues) is the way of the future.  You will certainly for instance never convince the bishops of the ROCOR to release any of their parishes in to a structure that operates this way, nor could you convince them to take in parishes without first having those parishes adopt bylaws that adhere to the traditional model.  That in a nutshell is what I think the unity issue is.

I disagree. The Russian model was influenced by the tight control welded by the Tsar over the church. The problems of the OCA stemmed from the Metropolitan making all the decisions. The Metropolitan council had no power or influence on the Holy Synod.
The Greek and Antiochian model seem to be the most successful in this country.

What worked in one era may not in another. In times passed, the laity were all illiterate, ignorant peasants. During the Byzantine Empire the lower clergy and laity were educated and involved with the governance of the church. As my OCL friend shared with me, "Many bishops were sent up the Bosphorus if they were found lacking."

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on May 31, 2008, 11:47:29 AM
From Orthodoxinfo site:   http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/history5.aspx

"The Muscovite Empire, however, was quite different from Byzantium both in its political system and in its cultural self-understanding. The Byzantine "symphony" (harmonious relationship) between the emperor and the patriarch was never really applied in Russia. The secular goals of the Muscovite state and the will of the monarch always superseded canonical or religious considerations, which were still binding on the medieval emperors of Byzantium. Muscovite political ideology was always influenced more by the beginnings of western European secularism and by Asiatic despotism than by Roman or Byzantine law. Though strong patriarchs of Constantinople were generally able to oppose open violations of dogma and canon law by the emperors, their Russian successors were quite powerless; a single metropolitan of Moscow, St. Philip (metropolitan 1566-68), who dared to condemn the excesses of Ivan IV, was deposed and murdered."

 
from my OCL friend on the Byzantine Empire (a post from a few years ago):

Dear xxxx,

With all due respect, I think you are a victim of Western historians' view of the East.

Most people tend to forget that it was only the West that suffered the Dark Ages, not the East. When Rome fell, learning and literacy declined in the West, and remained at pitiful levels for 600-700 years. The result of this is the commonly held, and not altogether incorrect image of the monks or priest being the only one in an entire village who could read. This dramatic decline in literacy helped to accelerate the concentration of power of the Roman popes.

In the East, however, the barbarians did not win. The walls of Constantinople held back the barbarians, who essentially skipped off (to the West), leaving things more or less unchanged. The Eastern Empire continued on for another 1000 years. Most people do not realize that the EAst had always been the economic colossus in the Empire, even during the height of Rome. Alexandria was always a bigger city than Rome, even in Rome's heyday.

Most people also tend to forget that literacy was no particular achievement in the East, and that the common curriculum included Homer, the classics of ancient Greece, the Old and New Testament. The key, though, was that literacy levels did not fall as they did in the West. In the cities in particular, literacy was pretty commonplace...people could read and write. They even used surnames from very very early on. I have even read orders which had been issued in the Byzantine army to lower level officers. You don't issue written orders if the people can't read.

What was the result of this? In the East, from the very beginning, there was an engaged, involved laity which took an active role in the church. Consider what the stories of the controversies surrounding the various heresies actually represent. Clergy and laity throughout the empire understood and argued the various issues surrounding these. Is this the mark of an uninformed, unengaged populace?**

There are Byzantine stories of bishops being sent BACK to the capital, having been considered ANAXIOS. Laity were certainly at least present at most of the ecumenical councils, and there are even debates over their ability to vote at them. They were almost always chaired by lay representatives of the emperors. There are also very clear quotes from later emperors, I remember one from John Paleologos at the Council of Florence, in which the emperor complained to the patriarch something to the effect of, "Why are all my best theologians my LAY theologians."

My point is this - those who would support an active, engaged laity - one which is also actively involved in the governance of the church, are not introducing anything new into the system. They are merely returning to a time honored tradition of the church of the first 15 centuries.

It was only after the fall of the Eastern Empire when many of the "traditions" which we are so familiar with today arose. For example, it was only after the Fall that the bishops were brought out in front of the iconostasis, and seated in what had been traditionally the imperial throne (at the front on the right). They also took on the other elements of the imperial regalia at the same time. Take a look in your own church at the icons of the great hierarchs of the church (St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Photios, St. Athanasios, etc). Do your icons show any of them vested in crowns and jewels as we see today? Or do they show them dressed in simple clerical garments?

Similarly, it was only after the Fall that the behavior that some might call 'despotic' began. The office of ecumenical patriarch was essentially "auctioned off" by the sultans for 400 years (it was very clearly purchased), and the bishops became provincial representatives of what was a temporal power (the patriarch) residing in C'nople.

Finally, it was also during this period that the East suffered its own Dark Age, with literacy levels dropping to the same pathetic levels which had been experienced in the West 900 years earlier. The priests in the villages became as illiterate as the peasants, and the relative gap between the people and the hierarchs grew. There are Western reports from visitors to the East during the 16th and 17th centuries which decry the level of illiteracy and general educational ignorance of the Eastern clergy living in the Ottoman Empire at that time.

This was the backdrop for the growth of despotic power, and the decline of lay involvement, which I have characterized as one of the worst remnants of the Turkish occupation. I would suggest that a patriarch even attempting such similar power grabbing "shenanigans" 1500 years ago would have quickly found himself on a boat ride up the Bosporus. Look at what happened to St. John Chrysostom and St. Photios.

We find ourselves today in a country which replicates the Eastern Empire in many many ways. Literacy is widespread. Commerce and the economy are flourishing. Diversity of culture is celebrated. Citizenship in a nation supercedes ethnic and tribal ties. The national currency of our country is used worldwide as a medium of exchange. The US is the only superpower in the world. All of these items are almost exactly analogous to the situation in Byzantium during much of its history, particularly prior to the year 1000.

Why is it so unbelieveable to think that as part of our spiritual advancement, we are actually redressing and reinstituting a lay/clergy balance which was traditionally a hallmark of the Eastern Church? A move back toward working together in harmony, working for the betterment of the Church, and for the advancement of the faith.

I continue to view this not as Old World or New World, but as reclaiming and reestablishing many of the fundamentals of the Church of the first 15 centuries.

Those Church Fathers were truly amazing, brilliant, and ingenious people. I don't think we've taken enough time to truly understand what they built..and why. I think if more people look, they will find an incredibly solid, sophisticated and workable structure...on which very little improvement is really necessary.

Just my humble opinion...sorry to go on.

Best Regards,
Dean Calvert


**St. Gregory of Nyssa describes the unending theological arguments in Constantinople at the time of the second general council:

The whole city is full of it, the squares, the market places, the cross-roads, the alleyways; old-clothes men, money changers, food sellers: they are all busy arguing. If you ask someone to give you change, he philosophizes about the Begotten and the Unbegotten; if you inquire about the price of a loaf, you are told by way of reply that the Father is greater and the Son inferior; if you ask 'Is my bath ready?' the attendant answers that the Son was made out of nothing.'
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 01, 2008, 03:14:32 PM
What I'm looking for is documentation of what ialmisry is talking about (i.e. the intrigue around the formation of the Church of Sweeden).

Nothing about documentation, but our priest just returned from Sweden and Norway, telling it was "business as usual" there.

There is a group in Norway, which was years ago all members of the State church of Norway but is now ecumenical because some have left.  Some went to Rome.  A large group tried to go Orthodox, but the Greek primate of Sweden was against the idea of Orthodoxy being for Scandinavians, so they ended up forming the "Nordic Catholic Church" and joined the Polish National Church.  This Nordic church already have their own bishop.  Another lost opportunity for Orthodoxy.

There was a recent plan to form a convent in Norway near Aeslund (a Greek family of 30+ years there told this story).  Up to a hundred nuns, and 15 priests from Athos to minister to them and the surrounding country.  Again, the Greek primate KOd the idea, as it smacked of the idea that "Orthodoxy is for Scandinavians."

The remnants of the non-Greeks there, basically the Slavs, have moved in that they have services in Norwegian, etc.  Evidenty, since all non-Greeks are the same, the primate isn't watching too closely what the exarchate is doing.

Btw, word was that the Greek primate ended up in Scandinavia because he was run out of Greece.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: username! on June 01, 2008, 07:22:23 PM
As my OCL friend shared with me, "Many bishops were sent up the Bosphorus if they were found lacking."

OCL?  Is that Orthodox Christian Laity group, the one anyone whether a Orthodox or not can belong to?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on June 01, 2008, 10:43:43 PM
OCL?  Is that Orthodox Christian Laity group, the one anyone whether a Orthodox or not can belong to?

Most of the members are in the Greek Archdiocese but there are members from other jurisdictions.
I doubt anyone who isn't Orthodox would be interested in joining.

My friend, who wrote the letter above, is a Greek-American (spent most of his life in the Greek Archdiocese) but is now a member of the OCA. He was active in the OCL a while ago but now focuses his attention on evangelizing through St. Andrew's
House of Orthodox Study under Archbishop Nathaniel.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on June 02, 2008, 11:29:57 AM
I think talking about OCL is a topic for the private forums personally  :police:


In regards to models of church government, I still go back to the simple question. Are priests educated and learned enough to make business decisions that are in the best interest of the church? The idea of congregationalism falls back on the fundamental accounting philosophy of Separation of Duties. If one person has control over all of the money or administration or fixed assets, etc. risk for fraud goes up tremendously. Basically by instituting congregationalism, not only do you get people who have degrees and knowledge in accounting, finance, management, marketing, etc. but you also separate the vital church functions among more people which can prevent Fr ___________ (fill in the blank) from taking his 2 month cruise in the carribean courtesy of the church.

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on June 02, 2008, 11:39:32 AM
In regards to models of church government, I still go back to the simple question. Are priests educated and learned enough to make business decisions that are in the best interest of the church? The idea of congregationalism falls back on the fundamental accounting philosophy of Separation of Duties. If one person has control over all of the money or administration or fixed assets, etc. risk for fraud goes up tremendously. Basically by instituting congregationalism, not only do you get people who have degrees and knowledge in accounting, finance, management, marketing, etc. but you also separate the vital church functions among more people which can prevent Fr ___________ (fill in the blank) from taking his 2 month cruise in the carribean courtesy of the church. 

I don't think they need to be "making the decisions" - but they have to know what's going on, understand fully what the Church and it's board are deciding, and be able to voice his opinion; and, if need be, to voice a veto if the Church makes a damaging decision.  I'm all for the separation of duties, and having people who have skills in the field using their talents for the good of the community - but the Priest, I feel, has no choice but to educate himself in finances and governance, so he can be an active and contributing member of the parish.  I've seen parishes hide their money, do raffles and the like against the will of their bishop, and budget some strange things - and often the priests don't know what's really going on!  The problem with the situation is that while said priest may not be legally culpable for what's going on, he is spiritually.  The shepherd must be aware of what's going on, and has no excuse before the master of "ignorance" if anything befalls the sheep or the field.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on June 02, 2008, 12:02:30 PM
It would seem then, that the need here is to make an additional requirement of all seminarians who do not have previous accounting and management experience or course work to fulfill the requirements of at least a minor in management and accounting. If it doesn't start at the seminary, where would it begin? Further, finance and management isn't for everyone. Our priest has said on a number of occasions that finances and accounting are a mystery to him as he doesn't even do his own finances, his Matushka does. How do you (not you personally, you infinitively) explain difficult management and financial concepts to a person who is not gifted in some way, shape, or form in those fields?

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on June 02, 2008, 12:17:23 PM
It would seem then, that the need here is to make an additional requirement of all seminarians who do not have previous accounting and management experience or course work to fulfill the requirements of at least a minor in management and accounting. If it doesn't start at the seminary, where would it begin? Further, finance and management isn't for everyone. Our priest has said on a number of occasions that finances and accounting are a mystery to him as he doesn't even do his own finances, his Matushka does. How do you (not you personally, you infinitively) explain difficult management and financial concepts to a person who is not gifted in some way, shape, or form in those fields?

-Nick 

As I stated previously, some of the seminaries are moving in the direction of requiring instruction in management or finance as part of the curriculum.  Our president at Holy Cross definitely considers it a high priority - sometimes one is a great pastor, but they unfortunately get moved because they are terrible administrators.  In a big parish, one must know what's going on because there is so much going on.  In a small parish, one must know what's going on because so much work must be done in order to sustain the parish, and usually there are fewer laborers to help.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on June 02, 2008, 12:23:29 PM
As I stated previously, some of the seminaries are moving in the direction of requiring instruction in management or finance as part of the curriculum.  Our president at Holy Cross definitely considers it a high priority - sometimes one is a great pastor, but they unfortunately get moved because they are terrible administrators.  In a big parish, one must know what's going on because there is so much going on.  In a small parish, one must know what's going on because so much work must be done in order to sustain the parish, and usually there are fewer laborers to help.

I guess I can't shake the rust off on this one..... Did you notice how quiet it gets when we debate?

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on June 02, 2008, 01:45:07 PM
I guess I can't shake the rust off on this one..... Did you notice how quiet it gets when we debate?

-Nick

Oh yeah.  I think everyone else goes into another room and plays twister while we go at it.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on June 02, 2008, 02:16:49 PM
I'm still waiting for someone to clarify what they mean by "models", what models are on the table as possibilities, and how we decide?? :P
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 02, 2008, 02:33:06 PM
I'm still waiting for someone to clarify what they mean by "models", what models are on the table as possibilities, and how we decide?? :P

Me, too. Seems I asked this ages ago.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 02, 2008, 05:23:50 PM
Models: Russian/OCA: seems that the aim from the start was to develop an autonomous, local, missionary Church.  Sort of what happened between the US and Britain on the secular plane.

Constantinople: seems that the aim from the start was to minister to immigrant communities, the Church remaining a diaspora branch under the perpetual care, and control, of the EP.  Sort of what Britain did in Canada, especially before the Canada Constitution Act, 1982 (passed not in Ottawa but London).

The rest of the jurisdictions seem to line up (or split up) on these two models.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 03, 2008, 08:53:05 AM
Models: Russian/OCA: seems that the aim from the start was to develop an autonomous, local, missionary Church.  Sort of what happened between the US and Britain on the secular plane.

Constantinople: seems that the aim from the start was to minister to immigrant communities, the Church remaining a diaspora branch under the perpetual care, and control, of the EP.  Sort of what Britain did in Canada, especially before the Canada Constitution Act, 1982 (passed not in Ottawa but London).

The rest of the jurisdictions seem to line up (or split up) on these two models.


Actually, Isa, I assumed we were discussing the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and OCA "models".

While I don't disagree with your opinion of the EP, I do take some issue with your "Russian" model. It seems pretty obvious that the Metropolia was not made autonomous (unless you have some evidence of this intent) but was in fact orphaned by its mother church for decades until 1970- cut loose in isolation and in communion with...whom?
Do you have any other examples of this 'model' as you say the Russians exercised? Maybe China? I don't know.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on June 03, 2008, 09:04:41 AM
=It seems pretty obvious that the Metropolia was not made autonomous (unless you have some evidence of this intent) but was in fact orphaned by its mother church for decades until 1970- cut loose in isolation and in communion with...whom?
From my own experience, Antioch. Maybe others, too. There aren't very many churches in my area.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Robert W on June 03, 2008, 09:46:15 AM
Nothing about documentation, but our priest just returned from Sweden and Norway, telling it was "business as usual" there.

There is a group in Norway, which was years ago all members of the State church of Norway but is now ecumenical because some have left.  Some went to Rome.  A large group tried to go Orthodox, but the Greek primate of Sweden was against the idea of Orthodoxy being for Scandinavians, so they ended up forming the "Nordic Catholic Church" and joined the Polish National Church.  This Nordic church already have their own bishop.  Another lost opportunity for Orthodoxy.

There was a recent plan to form a convent in Norway near Aeslund (a Greek family of 30+ years there told this story).  Up to a hundred nuns, and 15 priests from Athos to minister to them and the surrounding country.  Again, the Greek primate KOd the idea, as it smacked of the idea that "Orthodoxy is for Scandinavians."

The remnants of the non-Greeks there, basically the Slavs, have moved in that they have services in Norwegian, etc.  Evidenty, since all non-Greeks are the same, the primate isn't watching too closely what the exarchate is doing.

Btw, word was that the Greek primate ended up in Scandinavia because he was run out of Greece.

AAARGH!


I was going to post a long monologue but... I don't know what to say.  :-[ Hearing things like this hurt me, almost physically.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Thomas on June 03, 2008, 09:47:08 AM
I know many people on this forum tend to dismiss the Antiochian model preferring to look at the GOA and OCA models, yet I believe it does have a unique gradual approach that could be well accepted here in the US.

After the turmoil of the Bolshevik revolution and its splintering impact on the Orthodox Church in the US, the Mother Churches, at the request of their orphaned children began to send priests and then bishops to serve their immigrant children in the US. The Antiochian Church had split into two separate movements/dioceses or Archdioceses both under the Antiochian Patriarchate but not in real communication between the two until In 1975, Metropolitan Philip led the healing of the division between the two Antiochian archdioceses in America. With Metropolitan Michael (Shaheen) of Toledo, he combined the Archdioceses of New York and Toledo into a single archdiocese, placing unity over self aggrandizing he offered to become the assistant to Metropolitan Michael. Metropolitan Michael (of blessed memory) saw that the unification of the Orthodox Church would need a younger man who could develop it over a longer period of time.  He told Metropolitan Phillip that he should be the primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese and that he, Metropolitan Michael would be the auxiliary archbishop. This unity was ratified by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate on August 19, 1975.

Once resolving the issue of disunity among themselves, the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese began to focus on unity of the American Orthodox jurisdictions.From November 30 to December 2, 1994, at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania a meeting of twenty-eight or twenty-nine Orthodox Christian hierarchs in North America, specifically those affiliated with SCOBA,  held multiple sessions and presentations, and issued two statements, specifically on evangelism and on the notion of American Orthodox Christians being a "diaspora." Metroploitan Phillip, with the permission of Archbishop Iokovos, gave the opening address to the gathered bishops, and Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas gave the official response. "By all accounts, unity and amity of purpose abounded. The assembled bishops came to an agreement and issued a statement declaring their intention of forming a united American Orthodox Church".  This meeting rejected by the Patriarch of Constantinople formed the basis for possible unification of the Orthodoxy in America.

Realizing that only through self-rule would a local jurisdiction be able to work as an equal among other jurisdictions, In 2003, a truly historic event occurred under the leadership of Metropolitan PHILIP. The Archdiocese of North America requested, and was granted by the Holy Synod of Antioch the status of a self-ruling archdiocese. In conjunction with this event, the archdiocese established a diocesan structure, and elected three new Diocesan Bishops who were consecrated by His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, Syria. This has,  by 2008, increased to 9 dioceses.

The Antiochian model notes that one must do as Metropolitan Michael and Metropolitan Phillip did to unify the Antiochian Archdiocese, that is give up power and self aggrandizing of ones own bishopric for the good of the unity of the Orthodox Church in the Americas. In 1984 Metropolitan Phillip noted that "There is no doubt that we need a catalyst to lead us from the wilderness of division to the promised land of unity and fulfillment. I do not know of a better catalyst than the Ecumenical Patriarch, himself, who continues to live like a prisoner in Istanbul. Let us prevail on him to leave Turkey, come to America and unite our various jurisdictions under his wings. The Greek remnant in Istanbul can be shepherded by an exarch who would represent the ecumenical throne. The Ecumenical Patriarch will preserve his traditional role in the world regardless of where he resides. We have unlimited opportunities in this free land, but if we do not move forward with faith and courage, our Church on this continent will remain an insignificant dot on the margin of history."[Word Magazine April 1984]

The Antiochian model is that bishops release their own agendas and work on a single agenda that of the unity of the Church as a single Orthodox Church in the Americas so  that Church can become the powerful witness of Orthodoxy Christianity to the Americas.

Thomas

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on June 03, 2008, 10:04:21 AM
Thomas, what is the Antiochian approach to governance at the parish level?  The Ferencz book says the Archdiocese put out a model constitution for parishes in the 70's and also published in the priest's guide a list of the duties and responsibilities of priests.  I can't find either online.  At the time of the writing of the book it said a new "clergy/laity reference manual" was due to be published.  Has that come out?

Quote
I know many people on this forum tend to dismiss the Antiochian model preferring to look at the GOA and OCA models, yet I believe it does have a unique  gradual approach that could be well accepted here in the US.

It seems the Romanians may be going this route.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: arimethea on June 03, 2008, 10:50:35 AM
The Ferencz book says the Archdiocese put out a model constitution for parishes in the 70's and also published in the priest's guide a list of the duties and responsibilities of priests.  I can't find either online. 

You will not find either online since they are internal documents. The model constitution was rewritten a few years ago to reflect the new self-rule of the Archdiocese. The priest's guide is in committee now so if anyone ever sees it a miracle will have occurred.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 03, 2008, 11:09:49 AM
Actually, Isa, I assumed we were discussing the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and OCA "models".

A la EP Meltios, the GOA and Constantinople models are the same.

Quote
While I don't disagree with your opinion of the EP, I do take some issue with your "Russian" model. It seems pretty obvious that the Metropolia was not made autonomous (unless you have some evidence of this intent) but was in fact orphaned by its mother church for decades until 1970- cut loose in isolation and in communion with...whom?
Do you have any other examples of this 'model' as you say the Russians exercised? Maybe China? I don't know.

No, the Metropolia was not made autonomous, it wasn't ready when the Bolshevik revolution came about.  But some signs it was moving in that direction.

1. It always cultivated a native clergy.  That includes having the first Orthodox bishop ordained in this country.
2. It translated the DL into the vernaculars.
3. It moved its headquarters from Alaska to San Francisco to New York/Washington, i.e. away from links to the Mother Church and closer to the center of the nation in which the Metropolia found herself.
4. With the questioning of the suitability of Anglican rites for a WRO, it acknowledged its place among a non-Orthodox culture, and how to bring it to Orthodox.
5. It cultivated a pan-Orthodox world view in the New World.

Just to give a little of the contrast to the GOA.
1. the GOA traces itself, in official publications, to the Greeks in Florida.  There is no evidence if they had a priest or even if a service was ever conducted.  And if it was, it wouldn't be Orthodox: the immigrants were from an area that had submitted to Rome.
2. The first community it speaks of is the one in New Orleans.  St. Herman's mission had born fruit nearly a century earlier.
3. The first parish it recognizes is New York.  Alaska had her bishop about a century earlier, and her parish in New York a generation earlier.
4. It says Constantinople got jurisdiction in 1908.  North America was already a seperate archdiocese of the Russian Church by then.
5. Does the GOA cultivate native clergy now?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 03, 2008, 03:32:20 PM
A la EP Meltios, the GOA and Constantinople models are the same.
Using the M-word does not a argument make.
You are merely labeling here, not defining. It's a simple question...unless this is another bash-the-Greeks thread in which case you need to add some Romanians, Antioch, Greece (not the EP at the time, most parishes were under Greece at first, not Constantinople), Ukranians, Serbs, etal.

Quote
Just to give a little of the contrast to the GOA.
1. the GOA traces itself, in official publications, to the Greeks in Florida.  There is no evidence if they had a priest or even if a service was ever conducted.  And if it was, it wouldn't be Orthodox: the immigrants were from an area that had submitted to Rome.
No one asserted that they had an Orthodox priest at New Smyrna. They were promised one by the colony's organizer and were held in virtual slavery far beyond their contracted period of indenture. They worshiped as RC - the only clergy provided- excepting one family who refused.
Quote
2. The first community it speaks of is the one in New Orleans.  St. Herman's mission had born fruit nearly a century earlier.
We've done this before here - that was part of Russia at the time. So what? This does not obviate the fact that from the 1920s to 1970 arriving Orthodox had no church to find here (we can argue the OCA canonical status at the time if you like. The issue has always been avoided here, even by me, as no one wants to bash the OCA as they seem to wish on the Greeks.
Quote
3. The first parish it recognizes is New York.  Alaska had her bishop about a century earlier, and her parish in New York a generation earlier.
Given the above, your point?
Quote
4. It says Constantinople got jurisdiction in 1908.  North America was already a seperate archdiocese of the Russian Church by then.
See comments above
Quote
5. Does the GOA cultivate native clergy now?
Duh...I'll ask Fr Chris  :D
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 03, 2008, 05:00:03 PM
Using the M-word does not a argument make.

Didn't say it did.  But the fact remains, the present set up, as far as the Greek contribution, is his doing.

Quote
You are merely labeling here, not defining. It's a simple question...unless this is another bash-the-Greeks thread in which case you need to add some Romanians, Antioch, Greece (not the EP at the time, most parishes were under Greece at first, not Constantinople), Ukranians, Serbs, etal.
As for defining: the Greek model (CoG or Constantinople, I don't see a difference here) is that the New World is diaspora, and any Church organization here is to be based on Orthodox ethnic indenty, and under foreign control in perpetuity.

Quote
No one asserted that they had an Orthodox priest at New Smyrna. They were promised one by the colony's organizer and were held in virtual slavery far beyond their contracted period of indenture. They worshiped as RC - the only clergy provided- excepting one family who refused.

I mention the priest to point out the need to provide some relevance as to the beginnings of Orthodoxy in this country, on this continent.  Long before St. Herman's mission, lay Russian traders brought Orthodoxy with them.  But with St. Herman's mission, the organization of normal Church like began in this country.  The New Smyrna colony was not set up to lead to anything Orthodox, and it didn't.

Quote
We've done this before here - that was part of Russia at the time.

And Florida was under Spain.  When the bishop moved his cathedral to California in 1872, i.e. a few years after the New Orleans Church, both she and Alaska were parts of the US.

Quote
So what? This does not obviate the fact that from the 1920s to 1970 arriving Orthodox had no church to find here (we can argue the OCA canonical status at the time if you like. The issue has always been avoided here, even by me, as no one wants to bash the OCA as they seem to wish on the Greeks.Given the above, your point?

Funny, many of those immigrants found that non-existence Church in from the 1920s to 1970.

Quote
Duh...I'll ask Fr Chris  :D
I've been told by a GOA, that the archdiocese requires a year in Greece.  So they could learn the language, it seems.
Most clergy in the GOA I've met are from Greece, and all at least of Greek extraction.  All the other jurisdications I've encountered (i.e. most) have clergy not of the ethnic group, and a few converts.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PeterTheAleut on June 03, 2008, 05:26:59 PM
Most clergy in the GOA I've met are from Greece, and all at least of Greek extraction.  All the other jurisdications I've encountered (i.e. most) have clergy not of the ethnic group, and a few converts.
Funny.  Both GOA priests in my city are converts and as ethnically non-Greek as they can be.  I think the closest either of them is to being Greek is that one of them married a Greek woman.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on June 03, 2008, 08:58:59 PM
I've been told by a GOA, that the archdiocese requires a year in Greece. 

Wrong.  The Seminary "requires" a 6-to-7-week Summer course the summer before senior year: 3 weeks in Thessaloniki studying Greek, and 1 week in Constantinople, almost a week at Mt. Athos, and just over a week traveling Greece (Rizarios School where St. Nektarios taught, Patmos where St. John the Evangelist was, Athens where St. Paul preached, etc.).  However, those who are not able to come for various reasons (family, work, etc.) are exempted.

So they could learn the language, it seems.

Eh, kind of.  It is more for the experience of traveling through historic Orthodox lands (more time is spent on travel than on instruction).

Most clergy in the GOA I've met are from Greece, and all at least of Greek extraction. 

Eh, that may have been the case, but as you'll see below...

All the other jurisdications I've encountered (i.e. most) have clergy not of the ethnic group, and a few converts.

The majority of students at the Seminary in the last 5 years have been those who came into Orthodoxy as adults, and certainly the vast majority of them are not ethnically Greek.  That's the trend, my friend.

By the way, just because priests are or are not ethnically Greek doesn't mean they will or won't push the ethnic agenda: I've met a few non-Greek who do push it, and many more Greeks who don't.  Don't let the ethnicity of the priest dissuade you - by and large they have their priorities in the right place.

Now that you're done with your sweeping over-generalizations...
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 03, 2008, 10:10:11 PM
Wrong.  The Seminary "requires" a 6-to-7-week Summer course the summer before senior year: 3 weeks in Thessaloniki studying Greek, and 1 week in Constantinople, almost a week at Mt. Athos, and just over a week traveling Greece (Rizarios School where St. Nektarios taught, Patmos where St. John the Evangelist was, Athens where St. Paul preached, etc.).  However, those who are not able to come for various reasons (family, work, etc.) are exempted.

Eh, kind of.  It is more for the experience of traveling through historic Orthodox lands (more time is spent on travel than on instruction).

Thank God they spend their time in Thessaloniki then.  It's been some time since I've been there, but I'm told it is still the place to get an idea of what Greece was like before she tried to catch up to the EU in godlessness.  Much of Athens seems to show St. Paul has as much success now as he had in his own day.

Quote
Eh, that may have been the case, but as you'll see below...

The majority of students at the Seminary in the last 5 years have been those who came into Orthodoxy as adults, and certainly the vast majority of them are not ethnically Greek.  That's the trend, my friend.
Are they GOA?  I know some who went, but were Antiochean, coming since the fall out with the OCA over a subject I don't want to keep off on a tangeant on.

Quote
By the way, just because priests are or are not ethnically Greek doesn't mean they will or won't push the ethnic agenda: I've met a few non-Greek who do push it, and many more Greeks who don't.  Don't let the ethnicity of the priest dissuade you - by and large they have their priorities in the right place.

True, many converts want to be more Greek than Homer, more Russian than Vladimir, etc. 

By and large I don't know about, but I've known quite a few.  One, I remember, I met because my friend wanted to marry a Greek girl, but her parents were saying they couldn't because he wasn't Orthodox (he was considering converting, he belonged to Rome).  I talked to the priest, who insisted that the marriage could take place, and took out the register and matter of factly stated that the majority of the couples were mixed marriages (he was all for conversion, but stated that a Catholic baptism would suffice).  He did volunteer that at the time he was telling someone that he had to choose between "his heritage" and his fiancee, who was Jewish.  Btw, this priest was from Greece.

Quote
Now that you're done with your sweeping over-generalizations...
Actually my comments were in the main looking at things from the viewpoint of the hierarchs.  I know plenty of diplomats serving as priests in the GOA.  And there are other bishops, such as Isaish of Denver about whom I have never heard a cross word from any jurisdiction.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: AMM on June 04, 2008, 07:52:05 AM
It's pretty easy to see why unity doesn't exist.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 04, 2008, 08:13:00 AM
No kidding...
This thread makes me more entrenched in the E_Patriarchate.

Isa STILL has no given definitions, only editorials.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on June 04, 2008, 09:57:01 AM
Thank God they spend their time in Thessaloniki then.  It's been some time since I've been there, but I'm told it is still the place to get an idea of what Greece was like before she tried to catch up to the EU in godlessness.  Much of Athens seems to show St. Paul has as much success now as he had in his own day.

Agreed.

Are they GOA?  I know some who went, but were Antiochean, coming since the fall out with the OCA over a subject I don't want to keep off on a tangeant on.

Yes, they are GOA.  I'm telling you - as a former employee of the school, as a former student body president, and one who kept his "ear to the ground" a lot while at seminary, the trend is non-Greek priests in the GOA.  The majority of the GOA graduating classes are non-Greek now, and the trend will continue.

True, many converts want to be more Greek than Homer, more Russian than Vladimir, etc.


"Zeal for your house consumes me."

By and large I don't know about, but I've known quite a few.  One, I remember, I met because my friend wanted to marry a Greek girl, but her parents were saying they couldn't because he wasn't Orthodox (he was considering converting, he belonged to Rome).  I talked to the priest, who insisted that the marriage could take place, and took out the register and matter of factly stated that the majority of the couples were mixed marriages (he was all for conversion, but stated that a Catholic baptism would suffice).  He did volunteer that at the time he was telling someone that he had to choose between "his heritage" and his fiancee, who was Jewish.  Btw, this priest was from Greece.

I can understand the priest saying that about an Orthodox-Jewish wedding, which is a canonical no-no.

Actually my comments were in the main looking at things from the viewpoint of the hierarchs.  I know plenty of diplomats serving as priests in the GOA.  And there are other bishops, such as Isaish of Denver about whom I have never heard a cross word from any jurisdiction.

Oh.  Makes more sense now.  Thanks for the context.  By the way, Metropolitan Isaiah is pretty unusual: ex-Marine, used to ride a motorcycle.  Great guy.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on June 05, 2008, 06:37:02 PM
I was thinking about this the other day, and I came to the conclusion so far all proposals on the table have essentially been some version of the top-down consolidation model.

Not being well versed in church politics, I want to throw an idea out there that I think I personally would prefer, and would be more successful.

I would like to highlight two Canadian examples. First, Lethbridge, Alberta; and second Kamloops, British Columbia.

They are relative comparable in size (Kamloops has approx. 91000 ppl, Lethbridge has approx 82000) and are a few hours away from a major city.

In terms of Orthodox presence, Kamloops has one Ukrainian parish (which serves a mission parish up north) as well as two mission communities; one OCA and one Greek.

Lethbridge, has two missions, one Ukrainian (with their own building) and one Serbian. Both are served only once a week.

So my question is, is there a canonical reason for these communities can NOT consolidate, in terms of going from one Liturgy a week to actually every week?? Especially for Lethbridge.... In the initial stages, they would still pay parish dues to their respective diocesan authorities, yet at the same time have a Liturgy every week, with the intent to be one Orthodox community?? How would that work with the commemoration of bishops?? I assume only one bishop may be commemorated....
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on June 05, 2008, 11:15:08 PM
I was thinking about this the other day, and I came to the conclusion so far all proposals on the table have essentially been some version of the top-down consolidation model.

Not being well versed in church politics, I want to throw an idea out there that I think I personally would prefer, and would be more successful.

I would like to highlight two Canadian examples. First, Lethbridge, Alberta; and second Kamloops, British Columbia.

They are relative comparable in size (Kamloops has approx. 91000 ppl, Lethbridge has approx 82000) and are a few hours away from a major city.

In terms of Orthodox presence, Kamloops has one Ukrainian parish (which serves a mission parish up north) as well as two mission communities; one OCA and one Greek.

Lethbridge, has two missions, one Ukrainian (with their own building) and one Serbian. Both are served only once a week.

So my question is, is there a canonical reason for these communities can NOT consolidate, in terms of going from one Liturgy a week to actually every week?? Especially for Lethbridge.... In the initial stages, they would still pay parish dues to their respective diocesan authorities, yet at the same time have a Liturgy every week, with the intent to be one Orthodox community?? How would that work with the commemoration of bishops?? I assume only one bishop may be commemorated.... 

I suppose that would work in an area with a number of smaller parishes.  You are correct: only one bishop is to be commemorated in Liturgy (and anything else is an anomaly, save the heads of the Autocephalous churches, who commemorate the diptychs).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: A Sombra on June 06, 2008, 08:07:27 AM
   I feel that "North American Unity" is largely a pipedream and do not think I will see it in my lifetime. I doubt that my children will see it in their lifetime. (I am 57, my oldest is 27, youngest 20) Also, as I have been a member of ROCOR for 20+years, "North American Unity" is not something I feel is very important. First, I feel the concerns of smaller Churches will be overlooked by the larger Churches. And, for one, I would NOT be interested in the least in administrative unity with Churches whose hierarchies are investing a lot of time and money in never ending and fruitless "dialogue" in the ecumenical movement.
   Also, due to the hard times that the Patriarchates of Antioch and Constantinople are getting in the "Old Country," I do not believe that either of these Patriarchates will ever fully "give up" their cash cow American Dioceses. Also, things have definitely not progressed so far that the "ethnic church" is dead. MANY Orthodox people WANT Bishops who speak their languages, and are from their homelands. Of course, to many partisans of this evasive Unity, they have no right to feel that way; only "Americans", of course, should have Bishops from their "homeland" who speak their language!
   I was reading the other day some posts on another forum, and a priest told some person that he should only be concerned with things that were essential to his salvation. Apparently, "North American Unity" is not something that is essential to the salvation of anyone, and is merely the preference of SOME of the Orthodox in North America. I myself do not know that these partisans of Unity are even a majority. I really do not even know anyone personally who feels this matter is of any great importance.

   A historical note-I believe that the Moscow Patriarchate left SCOBA after the Tomos of Autocephaly was granted to the OCA. At that time, and until this day, Moscow claims it has no dioceses in North America, no Diocesan Bishops in North America, so it could not be part of an organization of North American Bishops. Also, I would find it hard to believe that any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in North America that is represented in SCOBA has fewer parishes than the Moscow Patriarchate in North America (not counting ROCOR parishes).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on June 06, 2008, 12:01:50 PM
If the MP says that, its incorrect. I have received the Eucharist in an MP Cathedral, at the hand of an MP hierarch, with an MP priest hearing my confession. All on Canadian soil.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: A Sombra on June 07, 2008, 01:03:29 AM
Quote: "If the MP says that, its incorrect. I have received the Eucharist in an MP Cathedral, at the hand of an MP hierarch, with an MP priest hearing my confession. All on Canadian soil."


Technically, they are not incorrect. This is indeed what they claim, however... the MP Bishop in Canada is Bishop Iov of Kashira; the MP Bishop in the U.S. is Bishop Merkury of Zaraisk. As you may note, "Kashira" is not in Canada, and "Zaraisk" is not in the U.S.-hence, accorsing to the MP, these are not Diocesan Bishops, but "representation" Bishops.The MP Parishes in Canada are not in an MP Diocese-they are "the Patriarchal Parishes in Canada," those in the U.S. are not part of an MP Diocese, but are "the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA."

Since the MP granted the Tomos of Autocephaly to the OCA, they claim that they havce given up all their Dioceses in North America-only parishes of the original North American Metropolia who wanted no part of the Autocephaly, or parishes in the U.S. that were in the MP's North American Dioceses at the time of the Autocephaly was granted, and wished to remain under the MP are (supposedly) part of the Patriarchal Parishes in USA and Canada. The MP also stated that they would not accept any new parishes in North America after the Autocephaly was granted. They have not stood by that statement, however.

The OCA also agrees with this view of the situation.

"In 1970, normal ecclesiastical and canonical relations were established with the American Metropolia of the Russian Orthodox Church with the granting of Autocephaly­ by the Mother Church to the American Metropolia. The achievement of this unity of Orthodox people was long and difficult.In accordance with TOMOS, the former American Metropolia was officially named as the "Orthodox Church of America" (OCA). The parishes of the Edmonton Canadian Diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate became officially the Patriarchal Parishes in Canada, which are administered by vicar bishops appointed by His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church."
Bishop Mark of Kashira, Address by: His Grace MARK
Bishop of Kashira, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in Canada
at the Centenary Celebrations 
July 27, 1997 Wostok, Alberta
http://www.orthodoxcanada.net/eng/content/view/19/38/

Mark of Kashira is a former Bishop of the Patriarchal Parishes of Canada-the title "of Kashira" is used by all the Bishops who head the patriarchal Parishes of Canada, and "of Zaraisk" by all Bishops who head the Patriarchal Parishes of the USA.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on June 07, 2008, 03:23:48 AM
Just a quick reply to A Sombra, Reply #213, the Patriarchate of Moscow, was never associated w/SCOBA.  Their diocesan unit, in 1961, when it was founded, did not join, probably due to the disputes w/the Metropolia at the time.  I have a recollection, perhaps in error, that they were invited to join.

While not taking the time to elaborate at this time, I believe "North American Unity" will, only God knows when, be achieved through SCOBA.  Through 1968, Archbishop Iakovos, of Thrice Blessed Memory, does not get the credit for the aggressive and practical efforts he made in this regard.  Constantinople collaborated w/Moscow to keep SCOBA's "pro-synod" proposal, off the 1967 pre-conciliar commission meeting in Geneva.  Interesting, in '67 (+/-)Moscow helps scuttle a unity proposal for the Americas, while they were engaged in private dialogue w/the Metropolia; two years before they unilaterally declared the Metropolia "autocephalos."  olc.org has a recently posted essay, written by their president, which I consider a beginning to this process, though I think they're ignoring the fact that he Greek Orthodox Archdiocese hierarchy are precluded by Patriarch Bartholomew from engaging in meaningfull dialogue regarding this topic.

What ever happened to the "pre-conciliar" process for the convening of the Great and Holy (Council)/Synod?  I have only seen two pre-conciliar meetings reported since Patriarch Bartholomew's tenure, while Patriarch Dimitrios'  (of Thrice Blessed Memory),tenure was marked by substantial progress, in the '80's, led by the former Metropolitan of Philadelphia and, later, Chalcedon, Bartholomew.

While the post is correct in noting this topic is not essential to salvation, it is essential to the progress of Orthodoxy in North America and its unified voice on this continent.  Such a unified jurisdiction, does not mean the current parish structures need to be necessarily altered.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 07, 2008, 04:46:39 AM
While not taking the time to elaborate at this time, I believe "North American Unity" will, only God knows when, be achieved through SCOBA.  Through 1968, Archbishop Iakovos, of Thrice Blessed Memory, does not get the credit for the aggressive and practical efforts he made in this regard.  Constantinople collaborated w/Moscow to keep SCOBA's "pro-synod" proposal, off the 1967 pre-conciliar commission meeting in Geneva.  Interesting, in '67 (+/-)Moscow helps scuttle a unity proposal for the Americas, while they were engaged in private dialogue w/the Metropolia; two years before they unilaterally declared the Metropolia "autocephalos."  olc.org has a recently posted essay, written by their president, which I consider a beginning to this process, though I think they're ignoring the fact that he Greek Orthodox Archdiocese hierarchy are precluded by Patriarch Bartholomew from engaging in meaningfull dialogue regarding this topic.
Indeed they are precluded from any meaningful dialogue on this topic.
However, I see the whole issue of NA unity to be a side-show/pawn in the greater game being played out between Moscow and Constantinople - transpiring now in western Europe, the former Soviet republics, Australia, and now China as well along with NA. This game has been ongoing for centuries, ever since the Patriarch of Constantinople crowned a Russian Tsar proclaiming Moscovy to be the 'Third Rome' (it did happen) and allowing the Double-Eagle standard to be used by the Princes of Moscovy (and by marriage the Austrian-Hungarians- an interesting but irrelevant oddity). At that time the Metropolitan of Moscow was under Constantinople and EP's intent was not to cede his Ecumenical status within the Church, but to declare the Russian Imperial house as the successors to the then extinct New Roman imperial house. Several hundred years later the Russians take their autocephalcy and assume that ecumenical status SHOULD derive from that earlier 'Third Rome' declaration.
Today we are witnessing that interplay continue.
Quote
What ever happened to the "pre-conciliar" process for the convening of the Great and Holy (Council)/Synod?  I have only seen two pre-conciliar meetings reported since Patriarch Bartholomew's tenure, while Patriarch Dimitrios'  (of Thrice Blessed Memory),tenure was marked by substantial progress, in the '80's, led by the former Metropolitan of Philadelphia and, later, Chalcedon, Bartholomew.
You must know more than I as the last I saw of an agenda from from the early 1980s. These General Synods are tightly controlled as to issues to be addressed. I'm sure the scenario I describe above affects this agenda process.

Despite Isa and I showing some disagreement here, among my 5700 posts somewhere is my own support for the OCA to be primacy in NA. I still stand by that.
However, the Russians must get their house in order. The tome which created the Orthodox Church in America quite directly noted the the OCA was not the only jurisdiction in America and, more importantly to me, the MP still has 54 parishes directly under itself (not including ROCOR). Some kind of autocephalcy? This is a model?
My Greek Orthodox archimandrite priest served 30 years with the OCA and stated to me, "The Russians are free now, they must learn how to act now" (this commenting on Estonia). In other words, he who would lead must learn to serve.
Moscow now threatens schism over the EP in Ukraine. Isa maintains the American Metropolia was created on an eventual 'autonomous model'. But if I'm not mistaken the UOC-MP was only made autonomous in reaction to the schisms there and not as a planned model.
Even if the EP doesn't like SCOBA, it's the best we have now.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 07, 2008, 08:29:03 AM
Indeed they are precluded from any meaningful dialogue on this topic.
However, I see the whole issue of NA unity to be a side-show/pawn in the greater game being played out between Moscow and Constantinople - transpiring now in western Europe, the former Soviet republics, Australia, and now China as well along with NA. This game has been ongoing for centuries, ever since the Patriarch of Constantinople crowned a Russian Tsar proclaiming Moscovy to be the 'Third Rome' (it did happen) and allowing the Double-Eagle standard to be used by the Princes of Moscovy (and by marriage the Austrian-Hungarians- an interesting but irrelevant oddity). At that time the Metropolitan of Moscow was under Constantinople and EP's intent was not to cede his Ecumenical status within the Church, but to declare the Russian Imperial house as the successors to the then extinct New Roman imperial house. Several hundred years later the Russians take their autocephalcy and assume that ecumenical status SHOULD derive from that earlier 'Third Rome' declaration.

Now New Rome knows how Old Rome felt.  After all, Constantinople got her position from the move of the capital, and the Fathers in Ecumenical Council were quite explicit about that.

The Austrians aren't irrelevant, in the sense that they claimed to be the Roman emperors up until the 19th century.  It is this that has labeled the empire centered in Constantinople "Byzantine," with all the delegitimizing that goes with that term.

That aside, I would be against changing the primacy from Constantinonple to Moscow.  Many saints may have served as EP only because the capital was there, but that doesn't change the fact that they sat on that throne.


Today we are witnessing that interplay continue.You must know more than I as the last I saw of an agenda from from the early 1980s. These General Synods are tightly controlled as to issues to be addressed. I'm sure the scenario I describe above affects this agenda process.

Quote
Despite Isa and I showing some disagreement here, among my 5700 posts somewhere is my own support for the OCA to be primacy in NA. I still stand by that.
However, the Russians must get their house in order. The tome which created the Orthodox Church in America quite directly noted the the OCA was not the only jurisdiction in America and, more importantly to me, the MP still has 54 parishes directly under itself (not including ROCOR). Some kind of autocephalcy? This is a model?
My Greek Orthodox archimandrite priest served 30 years with the OCA and stated to me, "The Russians are free now, they must learn how to act now" (this commenting on Estonia). In other words, he who would lead must learn to serve.
Moscow now threatens schism over the EP in Ukraine. Isa maintains the American Metropolia was created on an eventual 'autonomous model'. But if I'm not mistaken the UOC-MP was only made autonomous in reaction to the schisms there and not as a planned model.
Even if the EP doesn't like SCOBA, it's the best we have now.

Yes, the UOC-MP was set up in the face of changing events (for once the Orthodox moved rapidly, and not at a snail's pace). It remains to be seen, however, where all the dust is going to settle, in the Church and in the State.

Unlike the Metropolia, which the Russians saw was going to be in a new situation, not linked to Russia, Ukraine is a different story.  Estonia is different still. To use an English speaker's analogy, with Russia as England, Ukraine as Scotland, Northern Ireland as Estonia, and Canada the GOA model and Cyprus the OCA model (I chose Cyprus because, like an independent NA Orthodox would still be in communion, it's still an Commonwealth Country, but does not owe its exitence to Britain, as the NA Orthodox would be/is in a society that the Orthodox did not start): the idea that the NA Church would remain forever under a foreign patriarch, as I have seen floated in the GOA, is untenable.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: A Sombra on June 07, 2008, 09:49:44 AM
QUOTE: "ROCOR was invited to participate in the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops of America (SCOBA) established in 1960 at the initiative of Archbishop Iakovos (Patriarchate of Constantinople). In his reply, however, Metropolitan Anastasii stated that ROCOR would participate in the conference only if representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate were excluded, which was unacceptable to Archbishop Iakovos."
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1837344/posts

I found this but I have a book at home that may have some more info...
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on June 07, 2008, 05:59:22 PM
There is another post on another topic on this site that indicates that at the Holy Synod meeting of May 30th of the AOCANA, the topic of "new initiatives for Orthodox Unity" was on the agenda.  It may refer to that luncheon (or some meal) meeting Metropolitan Phillip convened at his Archdiocese among non-Ecumenical Patriarchate affiliated SCOBA members.  Does anyone know anything about this "initiative" or what was decided/discussed by the Synod about this agenda item?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on June 07, 2008, 06:13:52 PM
There is another post on another topic on this site that indicates that at the Holy Synod meeting of May 30th of the AOCANA, the topic of "new initiatives for Orthodox Unity" was on the agenda.  It may refer to that luncheon (or some meal) meeting Metropolitan Phillip convened at his Archdiocese among non-Ecumenical Patriarchate affiliated SCOBA members.  Does anyone know anything about this "initiative" or what was decided/discussed by the Synod about this agenda item?

I haven't heard any rumors but I wonder if these non-EP SCOBA members will start meeting regularly? No one is tying their hands behind their backs to slow unity down...perhaps they could provide the leadership needed to move it forward. I guess time will tell. If they start meeting regularly then we will have a hint at what the "new initiatives for Orthodox Unity" might be.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on June 07, 2008, 11:07:25 PM
    Also, I would find it hard to believe that any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in North America that is represented in SCOBA has fewer parishes than the Moscow Patriarchate in North America (not counting ROCOR parishes).

Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America - EP (2) parishes. I enjoyed visiting one of them several times. Another one, in Chicago, possesses a myrrh-streaming icon.

Belarusian Council of Orthodox Churches of North America - EP. Technically, not a member of SCOBA, but nevertheless a completely Canonical Jurisdiction - (4) parishes in USA, (1) in Canada.

Sacred Patriarchial and Stavropegial Monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou and Dependencies - EP. Represented by GOA in SCOBA. (3) monasteries, (9) parishes and (1) mission in USA, (1) mission in Belize. I visited the main monastery and it was one of the best visits to a church ever!

Edited for spelling.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 07, 2008, 11:13:42 PM

Belarusian Council of Orthodox Churches of North America - EP. Technically, not a member of SCOBA, but nevertheless a completely Canonical Jurisdiction - (4) parishes in USA, (1) in Canada.


The parishes of the Byelorussian Council are now in ACROD and hence, in SCOBA.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on June 07, 2008, 11:24:07 PM
The parishes of the Byelorussian Council are now in ACROD and hence, in SCOBA.


Thank you very much for information. Metropolitan Nicholas is a great leader, so it is a win-win situation.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: admiralnick on June 09, 2008, 10:31:28 AM
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America - EP (2) parishes. I enjoyed visiting one of them several times. Another one, in Chicago, possesses a myrrh-streaming icon.

St. Nicholas Albanian Church. It's across from a shopping mall about 10 minutes from my house. John Belushi (SNL, Blues Brothers, etc.) was married in that church. My brother actually sang for his wedding. It's a nice place to visit. The priest there is Fr. Phillip Koufos who is a noted iconographer.

Here's the web site for more information: http://stnicholasalbanianchicago.org/

-Nick
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on June 09, 2008, 11:09:30 AM
St. Nicholas Albanian Church. It's across from a shopping mall about 10 minutes from my house. John Belushi (SNL, Blues Brothers, etc.) was married in that church. My brother actually sang for his wedding. It's a nice place to visit. The priest there is Fr. Phillip Koufos who is a noted iconographer.

Here's the web site for more information: http://stnicholasalbanianchicago.org/

-Nick

I remember when the icon began to weep, on St. Nicholas day.  There were crowds of people during X-mas (or as Il like to say, greed fest, as opposed to Christmas) who filled up the parking lot in the shopping mall, and went across to stand in the blocks long line to see the icon.  I think the Church opened a soup kitchen with the money they collected.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: stashko on June 09, 2008, 09:26:32 PM
St. Nicholas Albanian Church. It's across from a shopping mall about 10 minutes from my house. John Belushi (SNL, Blues Brothers, etc.) was married in that church. My brother actually sang for his wedding. It's a nice place to visit. The priest there is Fr. Phillip Koufos who is a noted iconographer.

Here's the web site for more information: http://stnicholasalbanianchicago.org/

-Nick


Iv Been to that Church to see the weeping  Icon Of The Holy Virgin On the Ikonastasis[ icon screen ]......Beautiful Church...i heard they  Have Have a organ now drats.....(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_3_15.gif)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: A Sombra on June 10, 2008, 09:31:09 AM
QUOTE:
"Just a quick reply to A Sombra, Reply #213, the Patriarchate of Moscow, was never associated w/SCOBA.  Their diocesan unit, in 1961, when it was founded, did not join, probably due to the disputes w/the Metropolia at the time.  I have a recollection, perhaps in error, that they were invited to join."

The North American Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate was one of the original members of SCOBA. The Exarchate, represented by Bishop Dositheus (Ivanchenko) was present at the first meeting; the next five in which the Constitution was discussed, debated, and adopted, and Bishop Dositheus signed the Constitution as the Exarchate's representative.

Bishop Dositheus, Metropolitan John (Wendland), and Archbishop Jonathan (Kopolovich) represented the Exarchate during the next nine years. The membership in SCOBA was terminated when the North American Exarchate of the Moscow Patirarchate was "liquidated" [thats what it said in the book-ironic language for the MP!] as a result of the granting of Autocephaly by the Moscow Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church in America.

Information from: "The Quest for Orthodox Church Unity in America" by Archimandrite Serafim (Surrency) Saints Boris and Gleb Press, New York, 1973
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Thomas on July 08, 2008, 09:11:43 AM
Well, if you're going to disqualify a number of GOA parishes because you don't think they're really parishes, we could get started on the nearly-dead OCA mining- and steel-town parishes, and the plethora of 25-50 family parishes.  The numbers I provided a page ago in my breakdown not only come from the SCOBA directory system, but the OCA number includes the ethnic vicarates (Romanian, Albanian, etc.).

Eh, the debt is manageable.  I still don't think it's a pertinent part of this discussion, but oh well.


In reference to Cleaveland's comment about the 25-50 family parishes in the OCA Rust Belt noted in May comments.

I never have understood the deal about  the 25-50 family parishes issue.  If the Orthodox Church wants to become a real entity in the United States, especially, we have to recognize that many small towns and cities will only get an Orthodox presence in their community by  organizing those 25-50 familes into a parish. I know many protestant and Catholic Churches in the South who function very well as 25-50 family communities.  In the small city I reside in there are about 50 people from 20 families who are Orthodox but they are splintered and travel 50 to 150 miles to occassionally go to various juridictions. None of the jurisdictions has offered a home for them locally and so Orthodoxy in my own city is limited to a few social gatherings and occassional vespers offered at my home.  Until American Orthodoxy recognizes that it is OK to have a 25-50 family  parish we will remain in the old enclaves and remain an ethnic expression of the faith, continue to try to build megachurches that fail to meet the intimacy that many are looking for in  their spiritual life, jhmo.

Thomas
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Starlight on July 19, 2008, 12:42:24 PM
Very nice information about Saint Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church. Thank you for sharing.

Also, regarding Saint Euphrosynia Byelorussian Greek Orthodox Church in Toronto, which formerly belonged to  Byelorussian Council of Orthodox Churches of North America, now became a part of Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Canada. The parish is listed in the directory of this Metropolis:

http://www.gocanada.org/parishdirectory/index.htm
Seems appropriate and beneficial from the standpoint of easier governance. 
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: 88Devin12 on August 05, 2008, 10:49:38 PM
After listening to a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, I began wondering, why aren't more steps being taken into unity of the Orthodox in North America?

I looked over some information, and this is what I came up with...

The Orthodox Church in America: 450,000-1,000,000 members, 623 parishes
Antiochian Archdiocese of North America: 80,000 members, 200 parishes
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America: 1,500,000 members, 540 parishes
Ukrainian: 105 parishes

OCA: Metropolitan Herman (Washington D.C.)
GOofNA: Metropolitan Demetrios (NYC)
Antiochian: Metropolitan Philip (NYC)

Out of just these three jurisdictions, I came up with:

Orthodoxy in America:
2,580,000 members
1,468 parishes
8 seminaries

How can we turn all the different EO jurisdictions in the United States into one jurisdiction? What might it be called? Where would it's Metropolitan be seated? as well as other things you can think of.

This also wouldn't solve all the problems, and it would probably solve some, while creating other problems. However IMO, it would be most beneficial for a united Orthodox Church in America. It would definitely be best for Orthodox Christians, as well as for Orthodoxy in America in general. There are so many other denominations and churches out there, that we are almost parallelling the thousands of Protestant denominations out there with our own division. This also creates a problem when you have many real EO Churches with different names, and you also have non-Eastern Orthodox churches such as Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Orthodox Catholic, and even some smaller churches calling themselves Orthodox though they are in fact not "Orthodox" but might be unity churches w/ their own local bishops.

Wouldn't it also be better financially to have a unified church? Instead of sending money to Constantinople, Antioch and Ukraine to have all Eastern Orthodox Churches in the USA send it to the main center for the church in the USA?

They said that according to the Councils (Or something like that), it is heretical to divide your churches by race and ethnicity. It's definitely ok to have churches with different languages, but it's heretical to divide by race and ethnicity (as we see with division into American, Ukrainian, Greek and Antiochian churches according to them).

The other issue to, is with the lack of funds for American churches, we continue to have to have many churches that aren't able to completely beautify themselves or appear more traditional. Instead they have to cut costs for buildings. I know many Orthodox Churches in the USA today do look more traditional and have many icons and beautiful things in them. However we also have many churches that have to meet in strip malls, or churches built as metal buildings or with materials that aren't very traditional or even aesthetic. I think that is one of the very important things for the Orthodox Church... It has to definitely look different than the Catholic and Protestant Churches.

Also, how can Orthodoxy have a stronger presence in the United States when we are so divided and spread out? There are over 2.5 million Orthodox in the USA today. That means 1% of Christians in the USA are Orthodox. I know it doesn't seem like much, but while it isn't Christian, look at Mormonism, about the same amount of people, many people know about Mormons and their beliefs.

It would be most beneficial for us to unite... What would it take?

Personally, i'd think the Metropolitan of the one N.A. Orthodox Church ought to be in Chicago (for centrality b/t east cost and west coast, and USA/Canada), Washington D.C. or N.Y.C.

What are your thoughts?

Here is the podcast where I heard some of these things:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/podup/illuminedheart/toward_an_american_orthodox_church_encore_presentation

(NOTE: When I use "we" I'm not putting myself in the category of Orthodox, since I've yet to become even Catechumen. I felt it was better to use "we" rather than always use "Orthodox" or "you" so I wouldn't sound accusing or chastising, which is not my intent at all)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Heracleides on August 05, 2008, 10:57:38 PM
From where are you gathering your information?  I find it difficult to believe that there are 17 Orthodox seminaries in America (or even the entire Western Hemisphere for that matter).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: 88Devin12 on August 05, 2008, 10:58:36 PM
Orthodox websites, as well as: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Main_Page and wikipedia.org (though use it less than orthodoxwiki)

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Antiochian_Orthodox_Christian_Archdiocese_of_North_America
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Greek_Orthodox_Archdiocese_of_America
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Orthodox_Church_in_America
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on August 05, 2008, 10:59:12 PM
From where are you gathering your information?  I find it difficult to believe that there are 17 Orthodox seminaries in America (or even the entire Western Hemisphere for that matter).
Yeah, I have never heard of that many seminaries in the U.S., hmmm.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: 88Devin12 on August 05, 2008, 11:01:52 PM
However it may be a typo, can't remember

Yup, was a typo/mistake... actually 8 in North America
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Marc1152 on August 05, 2008, 11:31:21 PM
Well.............Here's the story:

North America was officially under Russian Jurisdiction since they were here first. That was accepted until the Russian Revolution when Moscow lost contact with us.

Eventually the collaborationist Moscow Patriarchy emerged and gave the Metropolia( now the OCA), the Ukrainian/Russian group in the USA "autosephily", complete independence to run their own affairs. This was not universally accepted since it came from the collaborationist faction of Russian Orthodoxy. It was certainly not accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church in exile (Rocor) . Other ethnic Jurisdictions like the Greeks and Arabs filled the void and put down roots. Moscow even set up a few parishes directly under their wing and outside the OCA.

At the end of the day the OCA has the best case for legal jurisdiction. However, their current internal problems keep them from leading. Rocor and Moscow have now reconciled with each other.

The solution may be for Moscow to unite all factions by reasserting their authority, especially since they are now in communion with Rocor and have influence with a rapidly disintegrating OCA....
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: pensateomnia on August 05, 2008, 11:57:02 PM
Eventually the collaborationist Moscow Patriarchy emerged and gave the Metropolia( now the OCA), the Ukrainian/Russian group in the USA "autosephily",

:-) "Autosephily" sounds like a particularly nasty disease.

The Russian tomos of autocephaly is one of the strangest ecclesiastical documents I've ever read. Just go to the OCA site and read the actual document. Never ceases to amaze.

Also, one should at least be aware of this (contra the story you reported):

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Byzantine_response_to_OCA_autocephaly
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on August 10, 2008, 08:10:02 PM
After listening to a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, I began wondering, why aren't more steps being taken into unity of the Orthodox in North America?

I looked over some information, and this is what I came up with...

The Orthodox Church in America: 450,000-1,000,000 members, 623 parishes
Antiochian Archdiocese of North America: 80,000 members, 200 parishes
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America: 1,500,000 members, 540 parishes
Ukrainian: 105 parishes

OCA: Metropolitan Herman (Washington D.C.)
GOofNA: Metropolitan Demetrios (NYC)
Antiochian: Metropolitan Philip (NYC)

Out of just these three jurisdictions, I came up with:

Orthodoxy in America:
2,580,000 members
1,468 parishes
8 seminaries

How can we turn all the different EO jurisdictions in the United States into one jurisdiction? What might it be called? Where would it's Metropolitan be seated? as well as other things you can think of.

This also wouldn't solve all the problems, and it would probably solve some, while creating other problems. However IMO, it would be most beneficial for a united Orthodox Church in America. It would definitely be best for Orthodox Christians, as well as for Orthodoxy in America in general. There are so many other denominations and churches out there, that we are almost parallelling the thousands of Protestant denominations out there with our own division. This also creates a problem when you have many real EO Churches with different names, and you also have non-Eastern Orthodox churches such as Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Orthodox Catholic, and even some smaller churches calling themselves Orthodox though they are in fact not "Orthodox" but might be unity churches w/ their own local bishops.

Wouldn't it also be better financially to have a unified church? Instead of sending money to Constantinople, Antioch and Ukraine to have all Eastern Orthodox Churches in the USA send it to the main center for the church in the USA?

They said that according to the Councils (Or something like that), it is heretical to divide your churches by race and ethnicity. It's definitely ok to have churches with different languages, but it's heretical to divide by race and ethnicity (as we see with division into American, Ukrainian, Greek and Antiochian churches according to them).

The other issue to, is with the lack of funds for American churches, we continue to have to have many churches that aren't able to completely beautify themselves or appear more traditional. Instead they have to cut costs for buildings. I know many Orthodox Churches in the USA today do look more traditional and have many icons and beautiful things in them. However we also have many churches that have to meet in strip malls, or churches built as metal buildings or with materials that aren't very traditional or even aesthetic. I think that is one of the very important things for the Orthodox Church... It has to definitely look different than the Catholic and Protestant Churches.

Also, how can Orthodoxy have a stronger presence in the United States when we are so divided and spread out? There are over 2.5 million Orthodox in the USA today. That means 1% of Christians in the USA are Orthodox. I know it doesn't seem like much, but while it isn't Christian, look at Mormonism, about the same amount of people, many people know about Mormons and their beliefs.

It would be most beneficial for us to unite... What would it take?

Personally, i'd think the Metropolitan of the one N.A. Orthodox Church ought to be in Chicago (for centrality b/t east cost and west coast, and USA/Canada), Washington D.C. or N.Y.C.

What are your thoughts?

Here is the podcast where I heard some of these things:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/podup/illuminedheart/toward_an_american_orthodox_church_encore_presentation

(NOTE: When I use "we" I'm not putting myself in the category of Orthodox, since I've yet to become even Catechumen. I felt it was better to use "we" rather than always use "Orthodox" or "you" so I wouldn't sound accusing or chastising, which is not my intent at all)


2.5 million is rather optimistic.....

Plus, a North American Metropolitan need not neccessarily be in the States.

And we are unified. I attend a Ukrainian parish, today i was at Antioch, next week maybe the Greeks or Russians....
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on August 10, 2008, 10:06:32 PM
Can you make a map?  I know I would find that helpful. 

Your wish is my command, good sir.

(http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc343/TorreyGilday/AmericanOrthodoxChurchProposal.jpg)

Orange - South
Purple - West
Red - Midwest
Blue - Ohio Valley
Green - Northeast
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on August 10, 2008, 10:46:19 PM
These membership statistics, I regret to state, are way too optimistic. Look at the mailing lists of the national jurisdictions. The "Orthodox Observer," the newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (USA only), had 125 thousand on its mailing list in 1998, while it claims "1.5 million members." The moral and financial scandal of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) (U.S. & Canada, primarily) revealed "The Orthodox Church" mailing list is down to 25 thousand as of two years ago, though their national financial assessment is based on numerical parish membership and it is thought that parishes may under report. The OCA claims a 400 thousand membership. (It was claiming one million members during Metropolitan Theodosios' tenure.) The American-Carpatho Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese in the USA's mailing list was less than 10,000, 10 years ago, and may be as low as 2-3 thousand, now. Traditionally they would claim 35,000 members.  Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), in a publication in the early '90's, had estimated perhaps a million active Eastern Orthodox Christians in America.  The 5 & 6 million figures come from an overstated populous by the Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios IV, of Thrice Blessed Memory, (he is also the founder of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) when, at his enthronement in 1922, he stated, "I saw the largest and best part of the Orthodox Church in diaspora, and I understood how exalted the name of Orthodoxy could be, especially in the great county of the United States, if the more than two million people there were united under one church organization, an American Orthodox Church."  This figure was far higher than even the immigration figures at the time could support.  The subsequent figures were immigration figure estimates, added on to the two million. Obviously, the fact that the mailing lists do not identify household size, must also be considered.  However, I think, one million active members is high, but lapsed members of the faithful who consider themselves Orthodox should be included.  The tiny covert missions, though a positive sign, do not compensate for the probably 2/3 of members who we lost over the past 90 years.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on August 11, 2008, 11:52:27 AM
^ My family hasn't received the Orthodox Observer in more than a decade.  I read it online anyway.   ;D
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Marc1152 on August 11, 2008, 01:11:56 PM
^ My family hasn't received the Orthodox Observer in more than a decade.  I read it online anyway.   ;D

When I was in the OCA I wasn't on any OCA mailing list or got any publications directly from anyone outside my parish and I dont know anybody who did. This was/is one of the largest OCA parishes in the nation.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Basil 320 on August 11, 2008, 11:23:07 PM
Well Marc1152, your "one of the largest parishes in the nation," didn't report you or any of your friends who don't receive "The Orthodox Church," as members to the central administration.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: livefreeordie on August 11, 2008, 11:59:19 PM
Who knows the truth, but following numbers are from, http://www.hartfordinstitute.org/research/orthodoxsummary.html with more details of the study starting here, http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/orthodoxindex.html.  I would tend to agree with his analysis, but again, who really knows. If someone has posted this before forgive my laziness in not looking to see.

"According to this author’s calculation, the real membership (number of adult adherents and their children) in all Eastern Christian Churches in the USA can be estimated at about 1,200,000 persons.  This figure is considerably less than the commonly accepted estimations of from two million to as high as over four million Orthodox believers living in the USA.

The greatest disproportion between "claimed" and actual memberships were found in the two largest Orthodox jurisdictions:

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (typically claimed 2,000,000* members versus 440,000 actual adherents)

Orthodox Church in America (1,000,000* versus 115,000)"
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Fr. George on August 12, 2008, 12:16:57 AM
So what's the point of the debate on numbers?  IMO it has very little to do with the core of the discussion on North American Unity.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: John of the North on August 12, 2008, 12:39:11 AM
So what's the point of the debate on numbers?  IMO it has very little to do with the core of the discussion on North American Unity.

Agreed.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: livefreeordie on August 12, 2008, 12:46:50 AM
So what's the point of the debate on numbers?  IMO it has very little to do with the core of the discussion on North American Unity.

You got me.  I just had come across this study before and it seemed appropriate to post in light of the discussion on numbers.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on August 12, 2008, 01:36:56 AM
I think discussion about the numbers is pertinent to North American Unity. United we stand....divided we fall....
and that is exactly what the numbers have shown over the last 100 years....the longer we remain separated into ethnic enclaves, the more generations we lose to secular society or to other faiths. Our ethnic divisions haven't done much to convince the non-Orthodox we are the one, true faith....most of them see us as separate denominations.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ozgeorge on August 12, 2008, 03:23:03 AM
I think discussion about the numbers is pertinent to North American Unity. United we stand....divided we fall....
and that is exactly what the numbers have shown over the last 100 years....the longer we remain separated into ethnic enclaves, the more generations we lose to secular society or to other faiths. Our ethnic divisions haven't done much to convince the non-Orthodox we are the one, true faith....most of them see us as separate denominations.

There's nothing like shock value to get a message across. I think that the diversity in the Orthodox Church in the Diaspora is one of it's greatest strengths. Yes, the non-Orthodox see "seperate denominations" with different administrative bodies, but then the shock of realizing that they are One in Faith and One in Christ, and that we actually live this as a reality is one of the most valuable lessons we can give the non-Orthodox.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Marc1152 on August 12, 2008, 10:57:02 AM
Well Marc1152, your "one of the largest parishes in the nation," didn't report you or any of your friends who don't receive "The Orthodox Church," as members to the central administration.

I am just saying that basing membership on the circulation of publications in not accurate. I was a member of one of the largest if not the largest OCA parish in the country and I know of no one who go that publication. I am certain that there are people who did subscribe but your assumption seems to be that all subscribe. That is very far from the way things really are.

I also notice the absence of Rocor and Moscow Patriarchy Church's on the list. If you do add them, the combined "Russian" Orthodox community is certainly larger than the others save perhaps for the Greeks who have no good claim on  jurisdiction in the USA.

I think as soon as the OCA gets itself back on track ( perhpas after their Nov. national meeting) there will be some movement towards the three Russian style communities working out a new arrangement and then other steps will be possible.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Marc1152 on August 12, 2008, 11:00:12 AM
I am just saying that basing membership on the circulation of publications in not accurate. I was a member of one of the largest if not the largest OCA parish in the country and I know of no one who go that publication. I am certain that there are people who did subscribe but your assumption seems to be that all subscribe. That is very far from the way things really are.

I also notice the absence of Rocor and Moscow Patriarchy Church's on the list. If you do add them, the combined "Russian" Orthodox community is certainly larger than the others save perhaps for the Greeks who have no good claim on  jurisdiction in the USA.

I think as soon as the OCA gets itself back on track ( perhpas after their Nov. national meeting) there will be some movement towards the three Russian style communities working out a new arrangement and then other steps will be possible.

Oh.... and membership is reported on the basis of who donates and signs a pledge card. There is also the problem of counting families and not individuals. One family with five members may only give just one pledge of money, so numbers of individual OCA members may actually be under-reported.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on August 12, 2008, 12:07:37 PM
There's nothing like shock value to get a message across. I think that the diversity in the Orthodox Church in the Diaspora is one of it's greatest strengths. Yes, the non-Orthodox see "seperate denominations" with different administrative bodies, but then the shock of realizing that they are One in Faith and One in Christ, and that we actually live this as a reality is one of the most valuable lessons we can give the non-Orthodox.

George,

I don't disagree that the tapestry of our origins will be something that is attractive to many who are tired of the blandness found in various denominations but we can maintain our diversity within one administrative synod who will be acting in symphony versus the chaos we now live with which becomes all too clear when there are disagreements between the jurisdictions. I know most of us may be in communion with one another but unfortunately there are enough problems between the jurisdictions (the latest example is the confused and muddled transfer of the JP parishes to the GOA which has angered the Antiochians) to show we really don't work as one united body.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ozgeorge on August 12, 2008, 12:16:28 PM
we really don't work as one united body.
But that's exactly what I think is our witness- the fact that we are not monolithic, yet united in what we should be united in, (and what the Gospel says we should be united in- "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism") rather than in superficial things.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on August 12, 2008, 12:43:23 PM
But that's exactly what I think is our witness- the fact that we are not monolithic, yet united in what we should be united in, (and what the Gospel says we should be united in- "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism") rather than in superficial things.

Having one synod in a given territory does not make us monolithic. Serbia, Greece, the middle eastern countries, and Russia are living with one synod per area and they do not have these kinds of disputes. It is our tradition to work together within one synod. Then, not only will we be one faith but also one in accord. And by the way, these disputes do break our unity. The Antiochian clergy are not allowed to concelebrate with the JP clergy. It appears this break will continue because we didn't have one synod to deal with it in the beginning.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on August 12, 2008, 01:00:45 PM
JP was never a SCOBA member.

Now with this future GOA Vicarate a member of SCOBA, any "differences" will be ironed out between Met. Philip and Archbishop Demetrios in a collegial manner - ending any threat of inter-SCOBA schism.   :)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Tamara on August 12, 2008, 02:27:16 PM
JP was never a SCOBA member.

Now with this future GOA Vicarate a member of SCOBA, any "differences" will be ironed out between Met. Philip and Archbishop Demetrios in a collegial manner - ending any threat of inter-SCOBA schism.   :)

I hope so. But I have to admit, I feel sorry for Archbishop Demetrios because he has now been handed a problem he didn't ask for...I predict the JP parishes will be difficult for him to administer. I know Met. PHIL is angry about this situation but these folks were very difficult to deal with when they belonged to the Antiochian Archdiocese. Many of them have deep scars stemming from being thrown out of their country. Their land, homes and livelihoods were taken from them abruptly by the Israelis. And because of that, many of them are politically active in pursuing their dream for a free Palestine.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: SolEX01 on August 12, 2008, 02:38:00 PM
I hope so. But I have to admit, I feel sorry for Archbishop Demetrios because he is now been handed a problem he didn't ask for...I predict the JP parishes will be difficult for him to administer. I know Met. PHIL is angry about this situation but these folks were very difficult to deal with when they belonged to the Antiochian Archdiocese. Many of them have deep scars stemming from being thrown out of their country. Their land, homes and livelihoods were taken from them abruptly by the Israelis. And because of that, many of them are politically active in pursuing their dream for a free Palestine.

Once the JP Churches receive a copy of the GOA Charter with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, they better shape up since the Priests and Parish Councils can be deposed by GOA Hierarchy - usually an auxiliary Bishop or even Archbishop Demetrios Himself.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 02:39:16 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: stashko on September 08, 2008, 03:49:42 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.



All orthodox are united in faith as it is what are you talking about above... ???
NOOOOOOOOOOO im against being under the newcalender Greek Church , i like it the way it is.....everybody under there own patriarch or metropolitan.....united in faith but seperate....thats the way i like it ah hu ah hu....(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/17/17_1_29.gif)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 03:52:15 PM
Legally, we are not united. According to the tax man, we are separate entities. This separation does cause harm between us. How often is a church of one jurisdiction willing to help the needs of another? Not often enough, I suppose.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on September 08, 2008, 04:00:44 PM
Legally, we are not united. According to the tax man, we are separate entities.
I don't believe Alexander Hamilton is one of our saints.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: stashko on September 08, 2008, 04:01:33 PM
Legally, we are not united. According to the tax man, we are separate entities. This separation does cause harm between us. How often is a church of one jurisdiction willing to help the needs of another? Not often enough, I suppose.


No were not seperate were united in faith ,and we don't wan't a vatican type orthodox pope....orthodoxy helps each other the Greek Church  set up the orthodox charity all orthodox churches donate to ,,i as a individual allso have donated to it...
when the call is given all orthodox come forward and help each other....(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/17/17_1_29.gif)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on September 08, 2008, 04:01:55 PM
Legally, we are not united. According to the tax man, we are separate entities. This separation does cause harm between us. How often is a church of one jurisdiction willing to help the needs of another? Not often enough, I suppose.

Irrelevant secular tax status.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on September 08, 2008, 04:03:58 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOO im against being under the newcalender Greek Church , i like it the way it is.....everybody under there own patriarch or metropolitan.....united in faith but seperate....thats the way i like it ha hu ha hu....
Not that it matters, but the EP does have at least three Julian Calendar dioceses in North America (including Canada) - two UOCs and ACROD.

Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 04:05:31 PM
Legally, we are not united. According to the tax man, we are separate entities. This separation does cause harm between us. How often is a church of one jurisdiction willing to help the needs of another? Not often enough, I suppose.

Irrelevant secular tax status.

It would be irrelevant if it wasn't a stumbling block for cooperation between jurisdictions. I'm talking about what happens in real life, not what we'd like to exist. We might give to some SCOBA organization far away. How often do we help the other churches in our own states, towns, and communities?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on September 08, 2008, 04:08:35 PM
It would be irrelevant if it wasn't a stumbling block for cooperation between jurisdictions. I'm talking about what happens in real life, not what we'd like to exist. We might give to some SCOBA organization far away. How often do we help the other churches in our own states, towns, and communities?
I don't hear anyone saying, "I'd love to get together with the Greeks and Antiochians, if only the IRS would let us."
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Αριστοκλής on September 08, 2008, 04:10:12 PM
Legally, we are not united. According to the tax man, we are separate entities. This separation does cause harm between us. How often is a church of one jurisdiction willing to help the needs of another? Not often enough, I suppose.

Irrelevant secular tax status.

It would be irrelevant if it wasn't a stumbling block for cooperation between jurisdictions. I'm talking about what happens in real life, not what we'd like to exist. We might give to some SCOBA organization far away. How often do we help the other churches in our own states, towns, and communities?

Their respective tax-exempt status is a "stumbling block"?
To your closing question: quite often in Pittsburgh.

(Carry on, this tangent is a waste of time).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 04:34:08 PM
It would be irrelevant if it wasn't a stumbling block for cooperation between jurisdictions. I'm talking about what happens in real life, not what we'd like to exist. We might give to some SCOBA organization far away. How often do we help the other churches in our own states, towns, and communities?
I don't hear anyone saying, "I'd love to get together with the Greeks and Antiochians, if only the IRS would let us."

We do have people think, "They're not our ethnicity" or "They don't give to our tithe, why should I help?" Jurisdictionalism is a real problem in this country. It's the cause of almost all our other problems.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:05:05 PM
...
We do have people think, "They're not our ethnicity" or "They don't give to our tithe, why should I help?"
...

Which is that mysterious (non)jurisdiction in Orthodox Church with such believers?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 05:13:34 PM
...
We do have people think, "They're not our ethnicity" or "They don't give to our tithe, why should I help?"
...

Which is that mysterious (non)jurisdiction in Orthodox Church with such believers?

Please don't assume it doesn't exist merely because you haven't seen it. That would be illogical.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:15:51 PM
...
We do have people think, "They're not our ethnicity" or "They don't give to our tithe, why should I help?"
...

Which is that mysterious (non)jurisdiction in Orthodox Church with such believers?

Please don't assume it doesn't exist merely because you haven't seen it. That would be illogical.

I don't assume it. I'm asking you. I'm challenging you to reveal that "ethnic group".

Because, you know, we know each other for 'bout 11 centuries (when we newcomers came), I know there is no such ethnicity among us.

So, reveal your secret nonjurisdictional ethnic jurisdiction.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 05:21:09 PM
For example, it's a known fact that certain parishes in this country deny priests merely for not being their ethnicity. You should know about these things. Jurisdictionalism is sin.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ozgeorge on September 08, 2008, 05:30:10 PM
Jurisdictionalism is sin.

Um.... OK....
So now we have an anonymous Pope online who thinks he can tell us what is and isn't a sin. Gee, that's much better than "Juristictionalism". :D
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:32:48 PM
For example, it's a known fact that certain parishes in this country deny priests merely for not being their ethnicity. You should know about these things. Jurisdictionalism is sin.

Don't switch the subject. You claimed:

...
We do have people think, "They're not our ethnicity" or "They don't give to our tithe, why should I help?"
...

I claim there is no such an ethnicity among us and I'm challenging you to reveal which one is it.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PeterTheAleut on September 08, 2008, 05:33:27 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOO im against being under the newcalender Greek Church , i like it the way it is.....everybody under there own patriarch or metropolitan.....united in faith but seperate....thats the way i like it ah hu ah hu....
In the end, though, it doesn't matter one iota what you or anyone here wants personally.  The status quo of several Orthodox bishops in one city is NOT the norm specified in the canons, which makes our current situation a canonical crime indeed.  This must be remedied!

However, the required process of administrative unification will take a long time to complete, since there are so many complicated issues that must be discussed by the hierarchs of our various jurisdictions.  We may not see the final result in our lifetimes, so patience and perseverance in the face of seeming lack of progress and frequent setbacks is absolutely necessary.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: stashko on September 08, 2008, 05:36:57 PM
For example, it's a known fact that certain parishes in this country deny priests merely for not being their ethnicity. You should know about these things. Jurisdictionalism is sin.


I suspect you may be  a latin  troll ,,you don't know what your talking about ...all orthodox are united in faith...i never run across a orthodox priest being denied because of his ethicinty anywhere...(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/17/17_1_29.gif)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 05:38:02 PM
I'm not telling you anything that you won't find out from being Orthodox long enough. I've been Orthodox longer than most who try to tell me what Orthodoxy is.

If you'd like to learn of some solutions to jurisdictionalism, I recommend this article:
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/TrenhamUnity.php
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:40:01 PM
...  The status quo of several Orthodox bishops in one city is NOT the norm specified in the canons, which makes our current situation a canonical crime indeed.  This must be remedied!

AFAIK, I've heard the consent was already reached in SCOBA to cease appointing the successors of reposed bishops with the city in the same town where another bishop does have the seat.

Gentlemen agreement was violated by EP (I can't remember the city).
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:42:11 PM
I'm not telling you anything that you won't find out from being Orthodox long enough. I've been Orthodox longer than most who try to tell me what Orthodoxy is.

...


I'm not teaching you. I'm just asking. I'm challenging you. Reveal us the ethnicity.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:43:17 PM
For example, it's a known fact that certain parishes in this country deny priests merely for not being their ethnicity. You should know about these things. Jurisdictionalism is sin.


I suspect you may be  a latin  troll ,,you don't know what your talking about ...all orthodox are united in faith...i never run across a orthodox priest being denied because of his ethicinty anywhere...(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/17/17_1_29.gif)

Me 2.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 05:47:23 PM
I'm not telling you anything that you won't find out from being Orthodox long enough. I've been Orthodox longer than most who try to tell me what Orthodoxy is.

...


I'm not teaching you. I'm just asking. I'm challenging you. Reveal us the ethnicity.

Because this relates to my own family, I don't really want to talk about specifics. You will find out soon enough. Just remember that Christ is God, regardless of the sins of His followers.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: stashko on September 08, 2008, 05:49:15 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOO im against being under the newcalender Greek Church , i like it the way it is.....everybody under there own patriarch or metropolitan.....united in faith but seperate....thats the way i like it ah hu ah hu....
In the end, though, it doesn't matter one iota what you or anyone here wants personally.  The status quo of several Orthodox bishops in one city is NOT the norm specified in the canons, which makes our current situation a canonical crime indeed.  This must be remedied!

However, the required process of administrative unification will take a long time to complete, since there are so many complicated issues that must be discussed by the hierarchs of our various jurisdictions.  We may not see the final result in our lifetimes, so patience and perseverance in the face of seeming lack of progress and frequent setbacks is absolutely necessary.




Brother many faithful orthodox don't worry about this above,,their to busy working out there salvation ..i didn't gave it much thought ,until i started reading about it here...
i attended many orthodox churches be it Greek russian ,ukrainian ,bulgarian,romainian,i lked all the differences culture ,food music i never looked at them a seperated brothers ,,but united in one faith holy orthodoxy...(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/17/17_1_29.gif)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 05:52:19 PM
I'm not telling you anything that you won't find out from being Orthodox long enough. I've been Orthodox longer than most who try to tell me what Orthodoxy is.

...


I'm not teaching you. I'm just asking. I'm challenging you. Reveal us the ethnicity.

Because this relates to my own family, I don't really want to talk about specifics. You will find out soon enough. Just remember that Christ is God, regardless of the sins of His followers.

What you said is a lie.

There is no such ethnicity among Orthodox who'd say "I won't help them while they are in trouble because they aren't of mine ethnicity".

There is no such one among us.

Americans are not ethnicity, except the native ones, so what you say is simply impossible.

You are troll.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 05:55:59 PM
I'm not telling you anything that you won't find out from being Orthodox long enough. I've been Orthodox longer than most who try to tell me what Orthodoxy is.

...


I'm not teaching you. I'm just asking. I'm challenging you. Reveal us the ethnicity.

Because this relates to my own family, I don't really want to talk about specifics. You will find out soon enough. Just remember that Christ is God, regardless of the sins of His followers.

What you said is a lie.

There is no such ethnicity among Orthodox who'd say "I won't help them while they are in trouble because they aren't of mine ethnicity".

There is no such one among us.

Americans are not ethnicity, except the native ones, so what you say is simply impossible.

You are troll.

Please stop making false statements. You obviously don't know what you are talking about. From the beginning of Orthodoxy in this country, to the present, sins have been committed between Orthodox Christians merely for belonging to different ethnicities. Your ignorance is not my problem.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: FrChris on September 08, 2008, 06:01:32 PM
where's that popcorn emoticon when I need it?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 06:02:36 PM
I hope this is a forum capable of rational conversation. Otherwise, it's a waste of my time.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: FrChris on September 08, 2008, 06:09:02 PM
No one here is making you post!
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 06:10:29 PM
No one here needs to be irrational.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PeterTheAleut on September 08, 2008, 06:13:31 PM
No one here needs to be irrational.
Least of all, you. ;)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 06:15:43 PM
No one here needs to be irrational.
Least of all, you. ;)

Yes, exactly. That is why I've rationally defended every point I've made so far on this forum, other than that which should already be obvious to those who've been Orthodox long enough. Again, an irrational forum is unworthy of my time. I might have to leave in the near future.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: FrChris on September 08, 2008, 06:19:59 PM
I might have to leave in the near future.

Then that is your choice. Again, since no one is making you post here, your statements of this forum potentially being irrational yet combined with your continued posting here, points to a deeper personal problem of yours than any possible deficiencies of this forum.

You are free to leave at any time.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 06:22:26 PM
And all the members of this forum who display irrationality are welcome to end it at any time. I recommend studying the rules of logic.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PeterTheAleut on September 08, 2008, 06:23:38 PM
No one here needs to be irrational.
Least of all, you. ;)

Yes, exactly. That is why I've rationally defended every point I've made so far on this forum, other than that which should already be obvious to those who've been Orthodox long enough. Again, an irrational forum is unworthy of my time. I might have to leave in the near future.
You do realize, though, that it doesn't matter how thoroughly and logically you defend your points?  If you do so in a constantly emotional (e.g., angry, defensive, or panicked) tone, no amount of logic will overcome the perception that you're being irrational.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 06:23:48 PM
...

Please stop making false statements. ...
Your ignorance is not my problem.

Listen, lady.

I'm not making false statements. I'm just challenging you to point to the ethnicity of Orthodox Christians not wanting to help someone for just not being of their own ethnicity.

I say there are no such ones among us.

And we know each other for about 12 centuries, when we newcommers came. Well, that's not quite accurate, I disregarded Aleuts, Tlingit and other American natives, they came after us. But I bet they are the same.

So, speak up, reveal which ethnicity rejected to help some among the brethren for they were of different ethnicity.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: stashko on September 08, 2008, 06:24:16 PM
where's that popcorn emoticon when I need it?

 Father....bless.....all i could find is this ear of corn....(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/12/12_4_55.gif)(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/17/17_1_29.gif)
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: FrChris on September 08, 2008, 06:27:40 PM
Thank you, Stashko!  :D
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 06:30:17 PM
I'm sorry to have caused hurt or offense. Sadly, there are certain things you are going to learn the hard way. Just remember that Christ is God, regardless of the sins of His followers.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: orthodoxlurker on September 08, 2008, 06:31:52 PM
... From the beginning of Orthodoxy in this country, to the present, sins have been committed between Orthodox Christians merely for belonging to different ethnicities.

From the beggining of Christianty sins have been committed for various reasons. And there are no other ones but sinners among us Orthodox.

But reveal us where, an entire ethnic parish, or an entire diocese, not to mention an autocephalia, refused to help someone for not being of their own ethnicity.

Do tell us, before you stop wasting your time here.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 06:35:41 PM
These problems that I allude to will hopefully be resolved in the future. Until then, please read this article:
Orthodox Reunion: Overcoming the Curse of Jurisdictionalism in America

link removed since it had been provided earlier in this thread.

+Fr Chris
Admin

Acolyte---

Do you have any additional information to support your contention, instead of just (one could say irrationally...  ;) ) referring to the same source?


As Gandhi states, be the change you want in the world.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Marc1152 on September 08, 2008, 09:20:27 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.

Sorry, Russian Jurisdiction is well established at this point.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: Acolyte on September 08, 2008, 10:20:12 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.

Sorry, Russian Jurisdiction is well established at this point.

The Russians in the United States can maintain their traditions while being under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Otherwise, the Greeks can be under the Russian Patriarch. I don't really care. We just need to end this division among jurisdictional lines. We also need to end this OCA autocephaly nonsense.
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on March 30, 2009, 12:51:52 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.

Sorry, Russian Jurisdiction is well established at this point.

The Russians in the United States can maintain their traditions while being under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Otherwise, the Greeks can be under the Russian Patriarch. I don't really care. We just need to end this division among jurisdictional lines. We also need to end this OCA autocephaly nonsense.
What nonsense?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 30, 2009, 12:57:52 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.

Sorry, Russian Jurisdiction is well established at this point.

The Russians in the United States can maintain their traditions while being under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Otherwise, the Greeks can be under the Russian Patriarch. I don't really care. We just need to end this division among jurisdictional lines. We also need to end this OCA autocephaly nonsense.
What nonsense?
Trying to prove a point again?  By quoting a reply posted several months ago from a poster who is now banned?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: ialmisry on March 30, 2009, 01:05:31 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.

Sorry, Russian Jurisdiction is well established at this point.

The Russians in the United States can maintain their traditions while being under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Otherwise, the Greeks can be under the Russian Patriarch. I don't really care. We just need to end this division among jurisdictional lines. We also need to end this OCA autocephaly nonsense.
What nonsense?
Trying to prove a point again?  By quoting a reply posted several months ago from a poster who is now banned?
That's not what the profile says.

I came across this in response to this thread (where I commented on this post, as the Chief Secretary displays the same "thought")
A poster after the Chief Secretary's own heart.  What "autocephaly" nonsense is unspecified, just derived.  The same making diaspora of the natives ("AK not a state": neither was FL or LA).  The reason why we need to bring history in, to clue people in.
trying to find out about what was posted about the Romanians, which was referred to in that thread.

Has something changed in the last several months?  How about last month, since the Chief Secretary expounded these "thoughts" to a captive (?) audience at Holy Cross seminary?  The official line?
Title: Re: North American Unity
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 30, 2009, 01:13:37 PM
Since the Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest within the continental United States (Alaska was not a state), and since it is the largest jurisdiction, and since it is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and since nations do not traditionally have their own national jurisdictions unless their people are Orthodox, the best solution for unity would be if all jurisdictions were to unite under the Greek Orthodox Church.

Sorry, Russian Jurisdiction is well established at this point.

The Russians in the United States can maintain their traditions while being under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Otherwise, the Greeks can be under the Russian Patriarch. I don't really care. We just need to end this division among jurisdictional lines. We also need to end this OCA autocephaly nonsense.
What nonsense?
Trying to prove a point again?  By quoting a reply posted several months ago from a poster who is now banned?
That's not what the profile says.
Yeah, I just noticed that. ;)

I came across this in response to this thread (where I commented on this post, as the Chief Secretary displays the same "thought")
A poster after the Chief Secretary's own heart.  What "autocephaly" nonsense is unspecified, just derived.  The same making diaspora of the natives ("AK not a state": neither was FL or LA).  The reason why we need to bring history in, to clue people in.
trying to find out about what was posted about the Romanians, which was referred to in that thread.
You do notice that the post you quoted says nothing about Romania?

Has something changed in the last several months?  How about last month, since the Chief Secretary expounded these "thoughts" to a captive (?) audience at Holy Cross seminary?  The official line?
I think you need to go back to the "Challenges of Orthodoxy" thread to find that out. ;)