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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Religious Topics => Topic started by: mike on August 14, 2012, 05:05:17 PM

Title: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: mike on August 14, 2012, 05:05:17 PM
Quote from: http://eadiocese.org/News/2012/aug/7.113.12.en.htm
On Monday, August 13, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, released a statement regarding the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery in Maryland...
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2012, 07:27:34 PM
Huh... well what will happen to them now? Will a Greek/EP group take them in? I don't know much of the background on them...
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 14, 2012, 08:06:32 PM
The sisters have also put out a pdf statement:

http://entranceofthetheotokos.org/2012/08/13/public-announcement/

I must admit that the flowery and overly spiritualized language is hard to get past.   She seems to use a lot of words to not say anything.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 15, 2012, 12:27:47 AM
This must be very hard for Abbess Aemiliani.  I believe she was asked to come back to the U.S. by Metropolitan Jonah, but I'm not sure.  She then united with Rocor, but she did say that it was hard for her to adjust to the Churches in this country.

I know in Greece she had established at least sixteen monasteries, some old ones and some new.  I heard of one monastery with only one monk, and he wondered what would happen to it after he died.  It seems though he had a dream, or something of that sort,   in which he was told that some women will come from the U.S. and re-establish it.   :angel:
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 15, 2012, 07:42:09 AM
My problem with this is, the canonical anomalies on this continent have become the norm,"We don't want you, despite the fact that their former primate wanted you, the OCA wouldn't take you, but go ahead and find yourself another group who will take you in, even though we don't want you because of 'Certain spiritual practices and reference to spiritual authority contained within the charter (a reference which apparently can't be changed) are at variance with the norms and tradition of ROCOR,' there don't seem to be canonical impediments, so shop around, see if you can coax the Church of Greece into this anomalous canonical environment."   Ah, the infamous "D.C. nuns," now we're all coming to appreciate some of the problems they posed to the OCA, the latest non-issue to have to devote our attention to in North America.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on August 15, 2012, 09:56:35 AM

I know in Greece she had established at least sixteen monasteries, some old ones and some new.  I heard of one monastery with only one monk, and he wondered what would happen to it after he died.  It seems though he had a dream, or something of that sort,   in which he was told that some women will come from the U.S. and re-establish it.   :angel:

Is there any documentation for these 16 new monastaries the Abbess established in Greece such as a list or web sites or a press release?  Did you know her in Greece?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 15, 2012, 11:34:22 AM
For my money, I will stick with the nuns I know, the wonderful women of the Monastery of Myrhh-bearing Women of Otego, NY ( under the ompohor of His Grace Bishop Michael of NY/NJ)  and their kindly, pious, warm, humble and wonderful Abbess - Mother Raphaela who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her monastic life and the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the monastery this month.

On Saturday, August 25th at Dormition Orthodox Church (OCA) in Binghamton, NY, His Grace Bishop Michael and five members of the OCA Synod, together with Archbishop Antony and Bishop Daniel of the UOC-USA will celebrate a Liturgy of Thanksgiving at 9:30 a.m. A local pan-Orthodox choir will provide the responses.

Following the liturgy, a Dinner in honor of Mother Raphaela and the Monastery will be held at nearby St. Michael's Center (ACROD).

Never controversial, never demanding, never condescending in their treatment of other Orthodox and always welcoming, our thoughts and prayers are with the good Sisters and the Abbess! Many Years! Axios!

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Monk Vasyl on August 15, 2012, 01:09:11 PM
For my money, I will stick with the nuns I know, the wonderful women of the Monastery of Myrhh-bearing Women of Otego, NY ( under the ompohor of His Grace Bishop Michael of NY/NJ)  and their kindly, pious, warm, humble and wonderful Abbess - Mother Raphaela who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her monastic life and the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the monastery this month.

On Saturday, August 25th at Dormition Orthodox Church (OCA) in Binghamton, NY, His Grace Bishop Michael and five members of the OCA Synod, together with Archbishop Antony and Bishop Daniel of the UOC-USA will celebrate a Liturgy of Thanksgiving at 9:30 a.m. A local pan-Orthodox choir will provide the responses.

Following the liturgy, a Dinner in honor of Mother Raphaela and the Monastery will be held at nearby St. Michael's Center (ACROD).

Never controversial, never demanding, never condescending in their treatment of other Orthodox and always welcoming, our thoughts and prayers are with the good Sisters and the Abbess! Many Years! Axios!



I agree, I've had nothing but praise for this holy monastery.  They were kind to download on floppy disks all their liturgical texts and I also had the pleasure of obtaining wool from their sheep to make prayer ropes.  Glad to see our bishops will be joining in the celebration for Mother Raphaela.



Correction made per poster request.  -PtA
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 15, 2012, 02:43:09 PM

I know in Greece she had established at least sixteen monasteries, some old ones and some new.  I heard of one monastery with only one monk, and he wondered what would happen to it after he died.  It seems though he had a dream, or something of that sort,   in which he was told that some women will come from the U.S. and reestablish it.   :angel:

Is there any documentation for these 16 new monasteries the Abbess established in Greece such as a list or web sites or a press release?  Did you know her in Greece?

I mentioned this to the person who told me nun Aemeliani had established and restored monasteries in Greece, (and who had personally visited three of them), and she said she was not certain if it was sixteen.  It might have been less so I should correct this before some weak individual jumps on it and says that Sister Aemeliani is going around lying.  When I wrote the amount, I might have been thinking of  the amount of monasteries established by the Elder Ephraim in the U.S.  If you want I can get the names of them and the location.

I do know Sister Aemeliani, but our connection is more spiritual than personal.  She did reside at times in the New York City area.   I don't know much about her except from heresay, since humility is a perquisite in monastics.  I believe her testimony is on the internet.  It does state that she was saved by the Elder Aemiliani, (a future saint) when he had bi located, (a spiritual gift), from Greece and that's probably why she had taken his name.   The only thing I heard her say is that she is having difficulty adjusting to the churches in this country. I assumed it  to mean that the Church of Greece has more spiritual depth.    Again though, these are my words and only my interpretation of what the Sister meant... and of course I might be wrong.   :-\
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 15, 2012, 03:14:49 PM
The sisters have also put out a pdf statement:

http://entranceofthetheotokos.org/2012/08/13/public-announcement/

I must admit that the flowery and overly spiritualized language is hard to get past.   She seems to use a lot of words to not say anything.

One has  to understand that she cannot in good conscience mention names, since denigrating anyone is a sin, so Sister Aemeliani has to beat around the bush... which then of course becomes confusing.  From what I gather she is under 'spiritual' attack, something that happens to everyone who dedicates themselves to God. 

One wonders why God allows calumny and slander, but it's to lessen ones pride and perfect ones soul...so it's  good for Christians to have a little discernment and not accept everything they hear so readily.   The best example of this would be what our greatest modern saint, Saint Nektarios of Aegina suffered from calumny and slander...And his suffering was from the Patriarch of Alexandria himself.  Believe it or not, the Patriarchate of Alexandria didn't apologize for what they did to him until about ten years ago. >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: dllwatkins on August 15, 2012, 04:09:25 PM
Number 18 in the Abbess' letter doesn't sit right.  Lodging lawsuits and protecting honor?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 15, 2012, 04:23:51 PM
Neo-Orthodox / faux traditionalism rears its head...lawyers to protect honor and negotiate severance packages.  Maybe this is evil protestant influence, but WWJD? 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 15, 2012, 04:51:00 PM
I really hate it when I see statements written in the form of a list that aren't really lists.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on August 15, 2012, 04:58:27 PM
Quote
Quote from: Zenovia link=topic=46383.msg792096#msg792096
I know in Is there any documentation for these 16 new monasteries the Abbess established in Greece such as a list or web sites or a press release?  Did you know her in Greece?

I mentioned this to the person who told me nun Aemeliani had established and restored monasteries in Greece, (and who had personally visited three of them), and she said she was not certain if it was sixteen.  It might have been less so I should correct this before some weak individual jumps on it and says that Sister Aemeliani is going around lying.  When I wrote the amount, I might have been thinking of  the amount of monasteries established by the Elder Ephraim in the U.S.  If you want I can get the names of them and the location.


Thank you for the correction.  I am not asking about Fr. Ephraim's monasteries.
I went to the web site of the mother monastery in Greece but it has not been updated since 2011: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/index.html

That is very odd indeed. Or perhaps they have a new web site?  Does anyone know of another web site?

 quote tags & link fixed.  -S1389
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 15, 2012, 05:07:13 PM
"6 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." - Paul, 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: IXOYE on August 15, 2012, 05:11:47 PM
Number 18 in the Abbess' letter doesn't sit right.  Lodging lawsuits and protecting honor?

You're right.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 15, 2012, 05:52:15 PM
The sisters have also put out a pdf statement:

http://entranceofthetheotokos.org/2012/08/13/public-announcement/

I must admit that the flowery and overly spiritualized language is hard to get past.   She seems to use a lot of words to not say anything.

One has  to understand that she cannot in good conscience mention names, since denigrating anyone is a sin, so Sister Aemeliani has to beat around the bush... which then of course becomes confusing.  From what I gather she is under 'spiritual' attack, something that happens to everyone who dedicates themselves to God. 

One wonders why God allows calumny and slander, but it's to lessen ones pride and perfect ones soul...so it's  good for Christians to have a little discernment and not accept everything they hear so readily.   The best example of this would be what our greatest modern saint, Saint Nektarios of Aegina suffered from calumny and slander...And his suffering was from the Patriarch of Alexandria himself.  Believe it or not, the Patriarchate of Alexandria didn't apologize for what they did to him until about ten years ago. >:(


May be similar but not the same. I do not want to go into detail, but the published correspondence of this particular Abbess betrays some distinctly unorthodox positions.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 15, 2012, 07:55:02 PM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 16, 2012, 12:59:13 AM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 16, 2012, 01:51:43 AM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 16, 2012, 02:58:21 AM
Here's a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R02jSf4lJI) about the holy sisterhood.  UOC-MP FTW!
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 16, 2012, 07:49:49 AM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

I would like to know as well.  Is there any justification for a cleric or monastic taking someone to civil court?  Kondratick took the OCA to court and won.  Was that justified by tradition?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 16, 2012, 08:50:47 AM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 

Let's not be too hard on the concept of monasticism - again I will reference the good woman of Holy Myrrh-bearers in Otego and also pay homage to the sisters at Ellwood City, PA. Just as certain behavior by some priests and bishops may give fuel to anti-clerically minded folks, the same may be said of the behavior of some monastics. After all we are all human.

I will note that the three page letter here, which is tough to plow through, certainly seems as if it did not originate from someone whose first language is English based upon its flow and style. Perhaps somewhere there is a 'cultural disconnect'.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Paisius on August 16, 2012, 10:57:45 AM
After all we are all human.


Yes, but lets not forget, it is only "I" who am allowed to be human. Everyone else is expected to be paragons of virtue and perfection.  ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 11:37:05 AM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

So then Sister Aemiliani shouldn't serve the Lord, nor should the nuns under her serve the Lord, but instead bow down to the wishes of the evil they're encountering?  Sometimes I wonder which god some people serve?  ???

Anyway, Sister Aemeliani nor the nuns are taking anyone to court.  It's the people in charge of the finances of the monastery that are taking the case to court.  Does that answer your question?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 16, 2012, 11:52:40 AM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

So then Sister Aemiliani shouldn't serve the Lord, nor should the nuns under her serve the Lord, but instead bow down to the wishes of the evil they're encountering?  Sometimes I wonder which god some people serve?  ???

Anyway, Sister Aemeliani nor the nuns are taking anyone to court.  It's the people in charge of the finances of the monastery that are taking the case to court.  Does that answer your question?

What's your source for this?  The document plainly states, "Our Holy Monastery is lodging the relevant lawsuits and charges in the appropriate courts..."

It sounds to me like the nuns are the ones doing the suing.  I'm going to be keeping an eye on this in the future to see whose name is on the complaint(s).
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 16, 2012, 12:11:10 PM

Anyway, Sister Aemeliani nor the nuns are taking anyone to court.  It's the people in charge of the finances of the monastery that are taking the case to court.  Does that answer your question?

I had thought that the Abbess was in charge of a monastery, to include people in charge of the finances. My bad.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 12:24:48 PM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 


et's not be too hard on the concept of monasticism - again I will reference the good woman of Holy Myrrh-bearers in Otego and also pay homage to the sisters at Ellwood City, PA. Just as certain behavior by some priests and bishops may give fuel to anti-clerically minded folks, the same may be said of the behavior of some monastics. After all we are all human.

I will note that the three page letter here, which is tough to plow through, certainly seems as if it did not originate from someone whose first language is English based upon its flow and style. Perhaps somewhere there is a 'cultural disconnect'.

Melanie Hanson is certainly an American, and a highly educated one since she was attending Harvard at the time of her conversion.  Her style of writing has always been difficult though to understand, and now I guess even more so  since as a nun, she has to refrain from anything that might denigrate or slander another person... even though their actions might be criminal.

She can't say anything that would give credence to herself, since that would be prideful, and by the same token, she can't say anything too good about another, because it might give 'pride' to them, and arousing pride would be causing them to sin.  So what she is stuck with,  is simply mentioning the titles and positions of others rather than their names, and that can be  confusing.   

As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.  That Sister Aemiliani is not conforming to  the common cloistered nunneries  of the Orthodox Church, does have a precedence in Saint Elizabeth, Grand Duchess Sergius Alexandrovich.  She was given the right by the Metropolitan of Russia before the revolution because of her position as the Tsars aunt and sister in law. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 12:34:18 PM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

So then Sister Aemiliani shouldn't serve the Lord, nor should the nuns under her serve the Lord, but instead bow down to the wishes of the evil they're encountering?  Sometimes I wonder which god some people serve?  ???

Anyway, Sister Aemeliani nor the nuns are taking anyone to court.  It's the people in charge of the finances of the monastery that are taking the case to court.  Does that answer your question?

What's your source for this?  The document plainly states, "Our Holy Monastery is lodging the relevant lawsuits and charges in the appropriate courts..."

It sounds to me like the nuns are the ones doing the suing.  I'm going to be keeping an eye on this in the future to see whose name is on the complaint(s).

I'm sure the people who are covering the costs of the monastery do not want to see it taken away from the nuns because of malice from some evil individuals, and would want to see them continue serving the Lord.   Wouldn't you? ???

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 16, 2012, 01:31:43 PM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 

Those nuns should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves; and given what they have done, should seriously considering dropping the lawsuit and moving into the church to pray for their souls.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on August 16, 2012, 01:35:06 PM


Why don't they just pack up and go back to their mother monastery in Greece?  That is where they belong since they are not under the jurisdiction of any Orthodox Church over here.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 16, 2012, 02:29:38 PM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

So then Sister Aemiliani shouldn't serve the Lord, nor should the nuns under her serve the Lord, but instead bow down to the wishes of the evil they're encountering?  Sometimes I wonder which god some people serve?  ???

Anyway, Sister Aemeliani nor the nuns are taking anyone to court.  It's the people in charge of the finances of the monastery that are taking the case to court.  Does that answer your question?

What's your source for this?  The document plainly states, "Our Holy Monastery is lodging the relevant lawsuits and charges in the appropriate courts..."

It sounds to me like the nuns are the ones doing the suing.  I'm going to be keeping an eye on this in the future to see whose name is on the complaint(s).

I'm sure the people who are covering the costs of the monastery do not want to see it taken away from the nuns because of malice from some evil individuals, and would want to see them continue serving the Lord.   Wouldn't you? ???



I'm sure there are.  But they're not in charge nor should they be using the phrase, "Our Holy Monastery..."

This letter came from the Abbess, not from the financial backers.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: dllwatkins on August 16, 2012, 02:31:46 PM


Why don't they just pack up and go back to their mother monastery in Greece?  That is where they belong since they are not under the jurisdiction of any Orthodox Church over here.
I thought of that, too.  Or the Greeks here.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 16, 2012, 02:33:41 PM
FYI...

The nuns showed up at our Church last Sunday. Their Priest will be serving with us until further notice.

I assume they will be attending every Sunday until things are cleared up.

It was nice having them.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 16, 2012, 02:46:31 PM
Yes, there is something odd about Greeks who avoid other Greeks.   :laugh:

But, seriously, there is a canonical problem with the whole situation.  A monastery is presided over by the Bishop, not by an 'elder.'  The abbess is supposed to be answerable to her bishop, and no one else.  Let's remember the 'chain of command' in the Church: who supervises Elder Dionysios?  Why his bishop does!  This means that one monastery would have two bishops responsible for its spiritual well-being?

It was strange that ROCOR would have received them to begin with having this rather large caveat in their obedience, where 'loyalty to the death' with Metropolitan Hilarion would not naturally include unreserved obedience.

We live in strange times.




Why don't they just pack up and go back to their mother monastery in Greece?  That is where they belong since they are not under the jurisdiction of any Orthodox Church over here.
I thought of that, too.  Or the Greeks here.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 16, 2012, 02:56:49 PM
There is a big difference between someone like Saint Nektarios, or any bishop in the Orthodox Church, since the honor they would be protecting is only their own.  Sister Aemiliani is responsible for the honor and good name of all the sisters under her, and for the monastery itself.  

When I first read of the attack on her, my mind went to the usual comments said about monasteries in this country, 'they're taking money away from our churches'.  I figured, and I  might be wrong, that her 'problems' started when doners began appearing to cover the cost of the monastery.  What I find amazing, is how those in the Church who bow down to anyone and everyone for their own personal gain, are never attacked, but the minute someone appears with any intrigity, they end up fodder for every 'weak/slanderous'  individual.  

I haven't read the response from Sister Aemiliani so I can't be certain, but I'm guessing the law suit has to do with the property of the monastery.  I'm certain those who donated money towards it, will not want to see it go under anyone other than the nun they respect and admire, or to have it sold, especially if one of them might be her famous nephew, who happens to be the youngest person to ever have his name mentioned in the Music Hall of Fame.  Anyway I'm not certain about these things, I'm just guessing, but I'm usually right.   ;)

P.S. In case anyone's interested, here is an old interview of Sister Aemeliani:

http://silouanthompson.net/2009/04/interview-sister-aemiliane/

And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

So then Sister Aemiliani shouldn't serve the Lord, nor should the nuns under her serve the Lord, but instead bow down to the wishes of the evil they're encountering?  Sometimes I wonder which god some people serve?  ???

Anyway, Sister Aemeliani nor the nuns are taking anyone to court.  It's the people in charge of the finances of the monastery that are taking the case to court.  Does that answer your question?

What makes you think the Abbess of a monastery doesn't have any control over "the people in charge of the finances of the monastery?"  Schultz is probably more informed about this than I am, but I don't think that a finance department of an organization can sue someone, independent of the organization as a whole.

Anyways, thanks for not answering my question.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 16, 2012, 02:56:49 PM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 


et's not be too hard on the concept of monasticism - again I will reference the good woman of Holy Myrrh-bearers in Otego and also pay homage to the sisters at Ellwood City, PA. Just as certain behavior by some priests and bishops may give fuel to anti-clerically minded folks, the same may be said of the behavior of some monastics. After all we are all human.

I will note that the three page letter here, which is tough to plow through, certainly seems as if it did not originate from someone whose first language is English based upon its flow and style. Perhaps somewhere there is a 'cultural disconnect'.

Melanie Hanson is certainly an American, and a highly educated one since she was attending Harvard at the time of her conversion.  Her style of writing has always been difficult though to understand, and now I guess even more so  since as a nun, she has to refrain from anything that might denigrate or slander another person... even though their actions might be criminal.

She can't say anything that would give credence to herself, since that would be prideful, and by the same token, she can't say anything too good about another, because it might give 'pride' to them, and arousing pride would be causing them to sin.  So what she is stuck with,  is simply mentioning the titles and positions of others rather than their names, and that can be  confusing.   

As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.  That Sister Aemiliani is not conforming to  the common cloistered nunneries  of the Orthodox Church, does have a precedence in Saint Elizabeth, Grand Duchess Sergius Alexandrovich.  She was given the right by the Metropolitan of Russia before the revolution because of her position as the Tsars aunt and sister in law. 


So Orthodoxy was Protestant in the first century?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 16, 2012, 03:41:03 PM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 

Let's not be too hard on the concept of monasticism - again I will reference the good woman of Holy Myrrh-bearers in Otego and also pay homage to the sisters at Ellwood City, PA. Just as certain behavior by some priests and bishops may give fuel to anti-clerically minded folks, the same may be said of the behavior of some monastics. After all we are all human.

I will note that the three page letter here, which is tough to plow through, certainly seems as if it did not originate from someone whose first language is English based upon its flow and style. Perhaps somewhere there is a 'cultural disconnect'.

Modern monasticism needs a St. Nil Sorski.  We're at almost the same crossroads as that era.  It looks like we're making the wrong choice yet again.   
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 05:10:04 PM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 


et's not be too hard on the concept of monasticism - again I will reference the good woman of Holy Myrrh-bearers in Otego and also pay homage to the sisters at Ellwood City, PA. Just as certain behavior by some priests and bishops may give fuel to anti-clerically minded folks, the same may be said of the behavior of some monastics. After all we are all human.

I will note that the three page letter here, which is tough to plow through, certainly seems as if it did not originate from someone whose first language is English based upon its flow and style. Perhaps somewhere there is a 'cultural disconnect'.

Melanie Hanson is certainly an American, and a highly educated one since she was attending Harvard at the time of her conversion.  Her style of writing has always been difficult though to understand, and now I guess even more so  since as a nun, she has to refrain from anything that might denigrate or slander another person... even though their actions might be criminal.

She can't say anything that would give credence to herself, since that would be prideful, and by the same token, she can't say anything too good about another, because it might give 'pride' to them, and arousing pride would be causing them to sin.  So what she is stuck with,  is simply mentioning the titles and positions of others rather than their names, and that can be  confusing.   

As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.  That Sister Aemiliani is not conforming to  the common cloistered nunneries  of the Orthodox Church, does have a precedence in Saint Elizabeth, Grand Duchess Sergius Alexandrovich.  She was given the right by the Metropolitan of Russia before the revolution because of her position as the Tsars aunt and sister in law. 


So Orthodoxy was Protestant in the first century?

The culture of Christianity in the  'Hellenized' Middle East, would have no more resemblance to the culture that produced Northern European Protestantism, than Greek would have to German,  so I don't know where people get their 'elitist' ideas about the original Church  resembling Protestant Churches.  Look I'm not denigrating any Christian faith as long as they are true to their Christian foundation and beliefs, and I feel we should be in awe of our all knowing God, and how adaptable our Christian faith is to all cultures.  Let's not mistake though the necessities of one and the depth of one, with the necessities and depth of another...after all East is East and West is West.   
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 05:44:10 PM
Yes, there is something odd about Greeks who avoid other Greeks.   :laugh:

But, seriously, there is a canonical problem with the whole situation.  A monastery is presided over by the Bishop, not by an 'elder.'  The abbess is supposed to be answerable to her bishop, and no one else.  Let's remember the 'chain of command' in the Church: who supervises Elder Dionysios?  Why his bishop does!  This means that one monastery would have two bishops responsible for its spiritual well-being?

It was strange that ROCOR would have received them to begin with having this rather large caveat in their obedience, where 'loyalty to the death' with Metropolitan Hilarion would not naturally include unreserved obedience.

We live in strange times.




Why don't they just pack up and go back to their mother monastery in Greece?  That is where they belong since they are not under the jurisdiction of any Orthodox Church over here.
I thought of that, too.  Or the Greeks here.

Now look at this part of Sister Aemeliani's response:


"...13. The First Hierarch gave us Holy Communion and his blessing to receive Holy Communion in Orthodox churches.
14. Also, the First Hierarch said that Abbess Aemiliane and Archimandrite Serapheim did not violate any laws.
 15. However, at the same time, he said that ROCOR cannot continue to protect our Monastery under his Omophore, because of the aforementioned hieromonk, who was serving the Divine Liturgy at the Monastery under his blessing...."


It seems to me the Metropolitan Hilarion is confused and frightened, because he is contradicting himself.  So Sister Aemiliane is right, there is a climate of fear, and that would be demonic.  Why is she being attacked?  Only saints or those who are doing God's work are attacked...or so I believe?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 16, 2012, 06:30:27 PM
Dear Zenovia,

Now, compair this with the official statement of Metropolitan Hilarion:

Certain spiritual practices and references to spiritual authority contained within the charter of the monastery are at variance with the norms and traditions of ROCOR.

Read it here: http://eadiocese.org/News/2012/aug/08.29.12%20DC%20Convent%20Statement.pdf (http://eadiocese.org/News/2012/aug/08.29.12%20DC%20Convent%20Statement.pdf)

I don't think the nuns are 'under attack,' but rather have practices which are at variance both with the policies of ROCOR and the Holy Canons.  The nuns are not be persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, dispossessed, starved, excommunicated, slandered, oppressed, or even laughed at by ROCOR.  They are being released in the most gentle and reasonable way.


Yes, there is something odd about Greeks who avoid other Greeks.   :laugh:

But, seriously, there is a canonical problem with the whole situation.  A monastery is presided over by the Bishop, not by an 'elder.'  The abbess is supposed to be answerable to her bishop, and no one else.  Let's remember the 'chain of command' in the Church: who supervises Elder Dionysios?  Why his bishop does!  This means that one monastery would have two bishops responsible for its spiritual well-being?

It was strange that ROCOR would have received them to begin with having this rather large caveat in their obedience, where 'loyalty to the death' with Metropolitan Hilarion would not naturally include unreserved obedience.

We live in strange times.




Why don't they just pack up and go back to their mother monastery in Greece?  That is where they belong since they are not under the jurisdiction of any Orthodox Church over here.
I thought of that, too.  Or the Greeks here.

Now look at this part of Sister Aemeliani's response:


"...13. The First Hierarch gave us Holy Communion and his blessing to receive Holy Communion in Orthodox churches.
14. Also, the First Hierarch said that Abbess Aemiliane and Archimandrite Serapheim did not violate any laws.
 15. However, at the same time, he said that ROCOR cannot continue to protect our Monastery under his Omophore, because of the aforementioned hieromonk, who was serving the Divine Liturgy at the Monastery under his blessing...."


It seems to me the Metropolitan Hilarion is confused and frightened, because he is contradicting himself.  So Sister Aemiliane is right, there is a climate of fear, and that would be demonic.  Why is she being attacked?  Only saints or those who are doing God's work are attacked...or so I believe?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 16, 2012, 07:23:20 PM
And how does this square with the passage I quoted from St. Paul?

They're Orthodox monastics, why would they be concerned about scripture or Christian ethics? 

My favorite is the nunnery is the one up the street from me that is engaged in a legal battle against sick children.  May reading this (http://gorod.dp.ua/news/57092?page=1) cleanse your nous. 

Let's not be too hard on the concept of monasticism - again I will reference the good woman of Holy Myrrh-bearers in Otego and also pay homage to the sisters at Ellwood City, PA. Just as certain behavior by some priests and bishops may give fuel to anti-clerically minded folks, the same may be said of the behavior of some monastics. After all we are all human.

I will note that the three page letter here, which is tough to plow through, certainly seems as if it did not originate from someone whose first language is English based upon its flow and style. Perhaps somewhere there is a 'cultural disconnect'.

Modern monasticism needs a St. Nil Sorski.  We're at almost the same crossroads as that era.  It looks like we're making the wrong choice yet again.   

Νεκτάριος  - I went and read an Ortho-wiki article on St. Nilus and perhaps I have the wrong saint, but I failing to connect the dots. 

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Nilus_of_Sora

Quote
Nilus, his followers, and disciples lived a simple, relatively obscure, and peaceful life, far different from the large and wealth monastic institutions that had become a part of the Russian culture. For Nilus, these developments were signs of the Church losing its way, as greed and lust for power and control grew within the church hierarchy. His teachings differed from the norms of church life of the time. He developed mystical and ascetical ideas along the lines of hesychasm that asked believers to concentrate on their inner world and personal experiences of faith as means for achieving unity with God.
 

How has American Monasticism become an institution that has lost its way with greed and lust for power?  In my opinion American Orthodox monasticism is still in its infancy.  Can you help me out here?

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Fr.Aidan on August 16, 2012, 07:30:29 PM
Since the trouble seems to be the hieromonk who was serving at this monastery, one would presume that the Abbess would long since have sent that hieromonk away.

But nothing in the documents indicates that the hieromonk has been sent away.

Isn't that extremely odd?

The Fathers do say of elective lawsuits that the moment a person turns to a law court for help and safety, he instantly forfeits God's help and safety. I say that to inform, not to condemn anyone, since these matters can be complex and we no longer have the same recourse to ecclesiastical courts which existed in the past. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 16, 2012, 08:19:15 PM

As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    


This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 09:50:15 PM

Sister Amiliani has done a great many things in Greece for the glory of God,  and now wants to  serve God in the country of her birth.   God might be allowing this persecution because he wants her to place the monastery under the Church of Greece in this country.  Who knows? ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 16, 2012, 09:56:58 PM
I just can not take the anti-hierarchical attitude expressed by so many and the assumption that any monastic led by a mysterious 'elder' is somehow 'better' than the Church, with the Bishop - for it is Orthodox ecclesiology that where the Bishop is, is the Church.

I've said it before and I will reiterate it: Those of you who simply can not abide hierarchical order and obedience, believing rumor and innuendo that our hierarchy is somehow corrupt and lacking in your version of 'orthodoxy' - there is a place for you - the priestless Old-Believers. Go - join them in schism and heresy and find peace there.

I usually don't refer to OrthodoxInfo as a reference point, but this is an excellent analysis of the role of the Bishop in Orthodoxy and our duty with respect to our Bishops.

To wit: "The Thirty-Sixth Canon of the Holy Apostles prescribes that the clergy of a diocese be punished very severely for one very serious sin, an ecclesiastical transgression.

What is this transgression?

"If the people of a diocese, on account of their own insubordination and malice are not obedient to their Bishop and do not accept him as their Shepherd, then the clergy of this diocese are to be excommunicated, because they have not corrected such an insubordinate people; inasmuch as, according to the interpretation of St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite, they did not instruct such an insubordinate people by their teaching and good example."
  http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/bishop_place.aspx

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 16, 2012, 10:21:02 PM
I just can not take the anti-hierarchical attitude expressed by so many and the assumption that any monastic led by a mysterious 'elder' is somehow 'better' than the Church, with the Bishop - for it is Orthodox ecclesiology that where the Bishop is, is the Church.

I've said it before and I will reiterate it: Those of you who simply can not abide hierarchical order and obedience, believing rumor and innuendo that our hierarchy is somehow corrupt and lacking in your version of 'orthodoxy' - there is a place for you - the priestless Old-Believers. Go - join them in schism and heresy and find peace there.

I usually don't refer to OrthodoxInfo as a reference point, but this is an excellent analysis of the role of the Bishop in Orthodoxy and our duty with respect to our Bishops.

To wit: "The Thirty-Sixth Canon of the Holy Apostles prescribes that the clergy of a diocese be punished very severely for one very serious sin, an ecclesiastical transgression.

What is this transgression?

"If the people of a diocese, on account of their own insubordination and malice are not obedient to their Bishop and do not accept him as their Shepherd, then the clergy of this diocese are to be excommunicated, because they have not corrected such an insubordinate people; inasmuch as, according to the interpretation of St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite, they did not instruct such an insubordinate people by their teaching and good example."
  http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/bishop_place.aspx



No one said a 'mysterious' elder is better than a bishop, after all there have been just as many wayward elders as their have been bishops....Rasputin comes to mind. 

Anyway you're right.  I'm a member of the Greek Archdiocese and detested those who criticized Arch. Iakovos during his tenure, and detested even more the evil individuals who caused so much trouble for a hierarch with the outstanding integrity of Arch. Spyridon.  By the same token, I detest those that caused trouble for Metropolitan Jonah, and definitely have nothing against Metropolitan Hilarion since I have the greatest respect for ROCOR.

There are though evil influences in the Church, and as one Archbishop told me, 'where was satan sitting?  Next to Christ of course.'  In other words, satan is always next to those in positions of power.  I don't doubt that Metropolitan Hilarion was deceived as well as pressured, but God has His purpose.  We'll have to wait and see...maybe forever. ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 16, 2012, 10:58:50 PM
Since the trouble seems to be the hieromonk who was serving at this monastery, one would presume that the Abbess would long since have sent that hieromonk away.

But nothing in the documents indicates that the hieromonk has been sent away.

Isn't that extremely odd?

The Fathers do say of elective lawsuits that the moment a person turns to a law court for help and safety, he instantly forfeits God's help and safety. I say that to inform, not to condemn anyone, since these matters can be complex and we no longer have the same recourse to ecclesiastical courts which existed in the past. 

The current hieromonk attached to the monastery is not the same priest who was accused of rape, if that is what you're talking about.  IIRC the current hieromonk was recently ordained by the ROCOR.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 17, 2012, 01:18:52 AM
Metropolitan Hilarion was not 'deceived' when he pointed out the canonical irregularity of a monastery being directed by a source outside of ROCOR.  If one could make any argument, it would be that he was less than careful in receiving the monastery to begin with.  However, his objection to the arrangement of having Fr. Dionysios directing the monastery from outside ROCOR rather than the Abbess accepting direction from Bishop George is certainly no 'persecution' of the convent.

It is Canon Law 101: the bishop directs all the institutions within his eparchial territory, except those institutions stavropigial to the Metropolitan.  Since the abbess refused to take direction from either the local ROCOR bishop or the Metropolitan, His Eminence had no choice but to jettison them, since he could not assume full responsibility for them.

Again, the nuns have not been sued, persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, dispossessed, starved, excommunicated, slandered, oppressed, or even laughed at by ROCOR.  Yet, the abbess appears to be threatening legal action and made inflammatory insinuations about the OCA.

At this point, the nuns have become a 'toxic asset': no bishop in his right mind is going to get involved with Abbess Aemiliane unless she is able to demonstrate obedience.  So far, this is the hold up.  She wants to retain spiritual obedience to Fr. Dionysios, who is outside all of the local Orthodox jurisdictions in the US (the GOA here is under Constantinople rather than Athens).  It will be interesting to see how the GOA perceives her presence now that she's been released from ROCOR.


,snip> I don't doubt that Metropolitan Hilarion was deceived as well as pressured, but God has His purpose.  We'll have to wait and see...maybe forever. ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 17, 2012, 02:27:48 AM
Metropolitan Hilarion was not 'deceived' when he pointed out the canonical irregularity of a monastery being directed by a source outside of ROCOR.  If one could make any argument, it would be that he was less than careful in receiving the monastery to begin with.  However, his objection to the arrangement of having Fr. Dionysios directing the monastery from outside ROCOR rather than the Abbess accepting direction from Bishop George is certainly no 'persecution' of the convent.

It is Canon Law 101: the bishop directs all the institutions within his eparchial territory, except those institutions stavropigial to the Metropolitan.  Since the abbess refused to take direction from either the local ROCOR bishop or the Metropolitan, His Eminence had no choice but to jettison them, since he could not assume full responsibility for them.

Again, the nuns have not been sued, persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, dispossessed, starved, excommunicated, slandered, oppressed, or even laughed at by ROCOR.  Yet, the abbess appears to be threatening legal action and made inflammatory insinuations about the OCA.

At this point, the nuns have become a 'toxic asset': no bishop in his right mind is going to get involved with Abbess Aemiliane unless she is able to demonstrate obedience.  So far, this is the hold up.  She wants to retain spiritual obedience to Fr. Dionysios, who is outside all of the local Orthodox jurisdictions in the US (the GOA here is under Constantinople rather than Athens).  It will be interesting to see how the GOA perceives her presence now that she's been released from ROCOR.


,snip> I don't doubt that Metropolitan Hilarion was deceived as well as pressured, but God has His purpose.  We'll have to wait and see...maybe forever. ;)

Metropolitan Hilarion did not say that Abbess Aemiliane went against any cannons, only that she went against the 'norms' of Rocor, and the norms can be whatever a Metropolitan wants them to be...or so I believe.   When I said deception,   I meant a spiritual deception.  In other words, a deceptive or harmful thought or decision that enters a person's mind either directly or through the influence of others.  No one is immune, for even saints have been deceived.  As an example, Tsar Nicholas II who was influenced by his wife, and she by Rasputin. 

You are wrong though about the nuns not being slandered.  All one has to read is the comments on this thread to see that they have been definitely slandered, if not calumniated...and it must hurt, for there is nothing as painful as slander and calumny to a person with integrity.   But God does allow it to those He loves so as to lessen their pride.  (Not my words)

 As for the GOA, Abbess Amiliani was a member and quite well known.  She was asked by Metropolitan Jonah to return to the U.S. and start a monastery.  Because of the problems she encountered, she went under Rocor.   I don't know if her monastery can go under the Church of Greece, but if it can, it would be the best all around.  I personally have the highest respect for the Church in Greece.  It's supported by the state and that frees the priests so they can tend solely to the spiritual needs of its members.  Also they've had quite a few saints this past decades.  Seems like they're everywhere in Greece.

Anyway what I said about the monastery going under the Greek Metropolitan is only my opinion, and frankly I don't know much.  :-[

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 17, 2012, 03:21:13 AM
By the same token, I detest those that caused trouble for Metropolitan Jonah,
So, in defending Metropolitan Jonah against calumny, you engage in calumny against other bishops in the OCA, one of whom is my own diocesan bishop. How is that honorable?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 17, 2012, 04:33:23 AM
Having visited 3 Dionysian monasteries in Greece, I can just say that there is quite a personality cult going on around Elder Dionysios, who is controlled by absolutely nobody and who requires from is monks and nuns total allegiance to himself, not the bishop. There was at least one case in Greece where he instructed his nuns to sue the diocesan bishop in secular court.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 17, 2012, 10:16:58 AM

Dear Zenovia,

You post is worth disassembling and addressing point by point, because it has numerous errors:

Metropolitan Hilarion did not say that Abbess Aemiliane went against any cannons, only that she went against the 'norms' of Rocor, and the norms can be whatever a Metropolitan wants them to be...or so I believe.   

The 'norms' of ROCOR have to do with their interpretation and implementation of the Canons of the Church, as decided by their Holy Synod.  Norms are their practices, which they have carried out for decades, rather than the whims of one man.  After all, if you ask the bishops of ROCOR whether their norms violate the canons, they would say 'no.'  The norms, therefore, are their best attempts to live in accordance to the canons.

So, when they are saying that the nuns are demanding special treatment and pardon from the norms of ROCOR, they are asking for something not in accordance with ROCOR's interpretation of the canons, thus a violation of the canons.  Combining this with their demands to be led by a man outside ROCOR and not under any of their bishops, then you have a clear departure from canonical order.

When I said deception,   I meant a spiritual deception.  In other words, a deceptive or harmful thought or decision that enters a person's mind either directly or through the influence of others.  No one is immune, for even saints have been deceived.  As an example, Tsar Nicholas II who was influenced by his wife, and she by Rasputin. 
 
This is a false comparison: Rasputin sought influence over the Royal Family outside of the norms of the Russian Orthodox Church.  You might say that this is avoidance of hierarchical supervision is very close to what the nuns are asking for.

However, you cannot say that Metropolitan Hilarion is spiritually deluded for enforcing policies that have always been part of ROCOR.  To say such a thing would mean that the Abbess herself is deluded for expecting to remain within ROCOR and ever swearing 'allegiance unto death' with His Eminence.  If you are saying that the policies of ROCOR are incorrect, and Metropolitan Hilarion's initial bending of the rules was spiritually motivated, and now he is re-entering delusion, then the nuns should not be part of ROCOR.

You are wrong though about the nuns not being slandered.  All one has to read is the comments on this thread to see that they have been definitely slandered, if not calumniated...and it must hurt, for there is nothing as painful as slander and calumny to a person with integrity.   But God does allow it to those He loves so as to lessen their pride.  (Not my words)

Show me where ROCOR has slandered the nuns?  Reread my previous posts, Zenovia.

As for the GOA, Abbess Amiliani was a member and quite well known.  She was asked by Metropolitan Jonah to return to the U.S. and start a monastery.  Because of the problems she encountered, she went under Rocor.   I don't know if her monastery can go under the Church of Greece, but if it can, it would be the best all around.  I personally have the highest respect for the Church in Greece.  It's supported by the state and that frees the priests so they can tend solely to the spiritual needs of its members.  Also they've had quite a few saints this past decades.  Seems like they're everywhere in Greece.

If she were to be accepted by the Church of Greece, then she would end up triggering a crisis in the Greek community: all Greek parishes in the US are under the Patriarch of Constantinople.  Both Alexandria and Jerusalem, as Greek entities, have been driven off of claims to the US based on this principle.  I don't think the Church of Greece will accept these nuns unless they return to Greece.

At this point, the nuns will either have to demonstrate willingness to obey local authority, or find a bishop here willing to accept their conditional obedience.  Otherwise, they will have to return to Greece or face the prospects of being, well, ignored.


 


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 17, 2012, 10:24:30 AM
Having visited 3 Dionysian monasteries in Greece, I can just say that there is quite a personality cult going on around Elder Dionysios, who is controlled by absolutely nobody and who requires from is monks and nuns total allegiance to himself, not the bishop. There was at least one case in Greece where he instructed his nuns to sue the diocesan bishop in secular court.

I saw a book written by him online. Have you read it? What does he teach?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 17, 2012, 12:44:40 PM
By the same token, I detest those that caused trouble for Metropolitan Jonah,
So, in defending Metropolitan Jonah against calumny, you engage in calumny against other bishops in the OCA, one of whom is my own diocesan bishop. How is that honorable?

So you're telling me that if someone defends another against a perceived injustice, it's slander?  So I was right then, all lawyers are all going to hell.  :laugh:
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Monk Vasyl on August 17, 2012, 01:19:30 PM
By the same token, I detest those that caused trouble for Metropolitan Jonah,
So, in defending Metropolitan Jonah against calumny, you engage in calumny against other bishops in the OCA, one of whom is my own diocesan bishop. How is that honorable?

So you're telling me that if someone defends another against a perceived injustice, it's slander?  So I was right then, all lawyers are all going to hell.  :laugh:

Reminds me of a joke...one day God was walking through Heaven and noticed the wall that separated Heaven from Hell was falling down.  He summons the devil and reminds him its his responsibility to upkeep the wall.  The devil laughs at Him and says he's not going to repair the wall.  God tells him that He will sue; so the devil laughs harder and says, "Where are You going to find a lawyer?"
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 17, 2012, 01:24:31 PM
Having visited 3 Dionysian monasteries in Greece, I can just say that there is quite a personality cult going on around Elder Dionysios, who is controlled by absolutely nobody and who requires from is monks and nuns total allegiance to himself, not the bishop. There was at least one case in Greece where he instructed his nuns to sue the diocesan bishop in secular court.

I saw a book written by him online. Have you read it? What does he teach?

I don't know the Elder Dionysius even though another family member does, but the only thing I found problematic was his close connection with a certain powerful hiararch whose worldly values fall short of the mark. 

I know he is a spiritual son of one of the greatest future saints in Greece, the Elder Aimilianos, who even the Elder Paisios and Elder Porpherios, (also great future saints), said was  the 'meekest' of them all....which means of course that the Elder Aimilianos is the most Christ like of them all.  These would be the Elder Dionysios' credentials, but since we are to judge others from their works, then the monasteries he had the women restore and help build throughout Greece is the best  testimony to him. 

There are bound to be those that will find something odd about him and the nuns who are his spiritual children, but look, Saint Nektarios had his share of accusations when he established the monastery in Aegina, even to the point of a political dignitary accusing his nuns of throwing their babies down the well.   ::)

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 17, 2012, 01:25:16 PM
By the same token, I detest those that caused trouble for Metropolitan Jonah,
So, in defending Metropolitan Jonah against calumny, you engage in calumny against other bishops in the OCA, one of whom is my own diocesan bishop. How is that honorable?

So you're telling me that if someone defends another against a perceived injustice, it's slander?  So I was right then, all lawyers are all going to hell.  :laugh:

If we are obedient to the laws of our Orthodox Church, we are charged with obedience to our Bishop, or in the case of a Synod of diocesan Bishops, the Primate of our Synod.

UNLESS that hierarch is engaged in heresy or criminal activity which is violative of the laws of God. (In other words, Bishops say in the old USSR might have engaged in criminal activity as defined by the Communist Party which would not be contrary to the laws of God as a simplistic analogy.) Neither of these most serious of grounds apply in the instant matter, or that matter, most of the decisions which whip some of you online into a fervor.

In the normal course of Church life, we, laity and clergy alike, simply do not get to pick and choose which decisions we like and either forget about the rest of them or overtly act in defiance of them. Frankly, if simply making poor personnel management decisions which while unwise were canonically in order were a removable offense against any of our Bishops, there would be few Bishops at all!

As Father G. bluntly puts it, the nuns have no choice - either be obedient to the local Church and her Bishop or choose another path outside of the faith. You can not have it both ways.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 17, 2012, 01:26:29 PM
With some in the Church, it seems that 'elder admiration' can easily become an obsession, cultish and contrary to church law.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 17, 2012, 03:03:33 PM
With some in the Church, it seems that 'elder admiration' can easily become an obsession, cultish and contrary to church law.
Amin.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 17, 2012, 03:06:47 PM
I saw a book written by him online. Have you read it? What does he teach?
I havent read the book, but I would be glad if you could provide a link. I am speaking only from my experiences in Greece.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 17, 2012, 03:21:35 PM
+1 ☝



With some in the Church, it seems that 'elder admiration' can easily become an obsession, cultish and contrary to church law.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 17, 2012, 04:02:23 PM
look, Saint Nektarios had his share of accusations when he established the monastery in Aegina, even to the point of a political dignitary accusing his nuns of throwing their babies down the well.   ::)

But did St. Nektarios fire back with the threat of law suits against those who slandered him? 

I would love to see more monasteries in the US, and I was hopeful regarding the establishment of this particular monastic foundation, though not being very familiar with Elder Dionysios and his reputation aside from the fact that Elder Philotheos (Zervakos) called him from Mt. Athos to hear his last confession and to serve at his funeral decades ago.  That being said, I find very scandalous the documents that Abbess Aemiliane has posted on her website to be seen by the whole world.  These documents include private emails to Elder Dionysios from Fr. Melchisedek (now Bishop Melchisedek of the OCA) and from laypeople who have come forward with accusations against the priestmonk who has been a focus of recent controversy.  There is very personal information in these emails from spiritual children of Elder Dionysios which could be considered "Confessions" and which definitely should not be shared.  Posting all of this online with threats of litigation and such casts the monastery, and Elder Dionysios (who must have provided the emails), in a very unfavorable light. 

St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 17, 2012, 05:21:16 PM
I have no idea what can be done against this out-of-control abbess. Her conduct has been most scandalous and unbecoming of a monastic, let alone an abbess. If this is how Elder Dionysios' disciples behave, he is one elder we should avoid.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 17, 2012, 05:34:34 PM
By the same token, I detest those that caused trouble for Metropolitan Jonah,
So, in defending Metropolitan Jonah against calumny, you engage in calumny against other bishops in the OCA, one of whom is my own diocesan bishop. How is that honorable?

So you're telling me that if someone defends another against a perceived injustice, it's slander?
No, I'm not. When you defend another against perceived injustice by making false accusations against those you deem to be perpetuating the injustice, then you are committing slander. IMO, you are making possibly false accusations against the Holy Synod of the OCA, a synod of bishops of whom my own diocesan bishop is a member. Therefore, you are quite possibly engaging in slander.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 17, 2012, 05:47:20 PM
With some in the Church, it seems that 'elder admiration' can easily become an obsession, cultish and contrary to church law.

When someone wears a frock, it can become a very mesmerizing and dangerous thing.  I haven't seen it with elders, although I'm sure it exists, but I have seen it in full force with a 'sacophantic' priest as well as with a  top bishop.  In both cases their values were not quite in tune with Christian values, but it mattered not to their followers, since they saw their weakness' as a confirmation of their own beliefs and values.   We can say their followers are their fruits. 

 I have not seen the nuns living the high life, to make judgement on the Elder Dionysius.  As far as I can tell, they have been sacrificial in everything, which I'm sure threatens those with lesser virtue.  Anyway I make my own judgement and depend solely on the discernment God gives me, and the experiences I have had in life.  I have the greatest respect for the Metropolitan Hilarion, but I do believe there are other forces at work, otherwise he would not be saying one thing, and then doing something else unless what the abess says is true, there is a culture of fear.   

I experienced these things in another time and  another jurisdiction, so I know well what I'm talking about.    I have seen  so called 'Orthodox Christians' not only go along with every slander and calumny, but even add to it because their suspicions had been aroused against a certain hierarch by weak self serving individuals.   I can understand how the circumstances are forcing the Abess to go to court, not only to clear her name so she can continue her good work, but to clear the name of her nuns and the monastery.

Until I find fault with anything she has done or said, I will place no more judgement on her than I would on any of the great saints in our Church who have undergone similar persecutions.   

   
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 17, 2012, 06:08:45 PM


St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


Saint Nektarios was not loved, he was hated by evil individuals and it was these people that aroused suspicions in the Patriarch of Alexandria and in everyone else as well.  Almost everyone at that time accepted these lies, something that God allows so that he can lessen the pride and perfect the soul of those He loves.  When the time was ripe, the Holy Spirit began to work peoples hearts, and it was then that they realized it was all lies, and that he was a saint.

One must feel sorry for his persecutors and those that went along so readily with what was being said, because if Christ was around, these same people would have been the first ones to cry:  Crucify Him, crucify Him. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 17, 2012, 10:26:14 PM


St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


Saint Nektarios was not loved, he was hated by evil individuals and it was these people that aroused suspicions in the Patriarch of Alexandria and in everyone else as well.  Almost everyone at that time accepted these lies, something that God allows so that he can lessen the pride and perfect the soul of those He loves.  When the time was ripe, the Holy Spirit began to work peoples hearts, and it was then that they realized it was all lies, and that he was a saint.

One must feel sorry for his persecutors and those that went along so readily with what was being said, because if Christ was around, these same people would have been the first ones to cry:  Crucify Him, crucify Him. 

Zenovia - your passions are clouding your judgment in this matter. Comparing these nuns to saints and even Christ is more than a bit over the top -regardless of the circumstances.

The fact remains that canonically no Orthodox Bishop in the US could accept the requirement of these sisters that their ultimate loyalty and spiritual obedience was to an Elder in Greece rather than to the proper local Bishop.

It seems as if some in Orthodoxy want to emulate our Roman friends and establish 'orders' of monastics whose loyalty and obedience is 'extra-diocesan" and to their prefect and/or abbey - not to the local ordinary Bishop. Quite a heterodox concept indeed.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 17, 2012, 10:55:12 PM
look, Saint Nektarios had his share of accusations when he established the monastery in Aegina, even to the point of a political dignitary accusing his nuns of throwing their babies down the well.   ::)

But did St. Nektarios fire back with the threat of law suits against those who slandered him? 

I would love to see more monasteries in the US, and I was hopeful regarding the establishment of this particular monastic foundation, though not being very familiar with Elder Dionysios and his reputation aside from the fact that Elder Philotheos (Zervakos) called him from Mt. Athos to hear his last confession and to serve at his funeral decades ago.  That being said, I find very scandalous the documents that Abbess Aemiliane has posted on her website to be seen by the whole world.  These documents include private emails to Elder Dionysios from Fr. Melchisedek (now Bishop Melchisedek of the OCA) and from laypeople who have come forward with accusations against the priestmonk who has been a focus of recent controversy.  There is very personal information in these emails from spiritual children of Elder Dionysios which could be considered "Confessions" and which definitely should not be shared.  Posting all of this online with threats of litigation and such casts the monastery, and Elder Dionysios (who must have provided the emails), in a very unfavorable light. 

St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


It seems highly suspicious that she is sharing correspondence between other people.  How did she obtain their email and letter correspondences in the first place?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 17, 2012, 11:30:15 PM


St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


Saint Nektarios was not loved, he was hated by evil individuals...

See above.  Yes, St. Nektarios was persecuted and endured great slander, but he did so in accordance with the gospel and in a manner befitting the saints.  That is, he endured slander "with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation" as I stated above, and therefore was greatly glorified after his repose.

Do the saints ever speak of "evil individuals"?  All people are capable of evil, myself first of all, but to speak of "evil individuals" or "evil people" seems to miss the mark. 

The righteous who are wrongly slandered and persecuted do not lash out with anger, threats, self-justification, etc. precisely because the righteous seek approval from God rather than men and are at peace within themselves knowing that their conscience is clean before God despite the false accusations of men.  The righteous know that “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord”, and that if we do not defend ourselves we will have a good defense from the Lord.  Those who seek to defend themselves passionately, who seek revenge, retaliation, etc. are taking matters into their own hands and not trusting in the Lord as they ought.

Now, we all have weaknesses, and all monastics are not expected to be deified saints by virtue of their vows or living arrangements.  So we should not pick on the nuns merely for having faults and passions just as we have.  The problem is when the nuns (or the Abbess) compare themselves to the saints and try to convince others that they are saints as though we should automatically venerate them as such.  This kind of behavior is typical of those who are deluded.  I hope the nuns, the Abbess, and the Elder are not deluded, but their actions surrounding these events have not been very edifying or spiritually encouraging.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 17, 2012, 11:59:22 PM


St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


Saint Nektarios was not loved, he was hated by evil individuals and it was these people that aroused suspicions in the Patriarch of Alexandria and in everyone else as well.  Almost everyone at that time accepted these lies, something that God allows so that he can lessen the pride and perfect the soul of those He loves.  When the time was ripe, the Holy Spirit began to work peoples hearts, and it was then that they realized it was all lies, and that he was a saint.

One must feel sorry for his persecutors and those that went along so readily with what was being said, because if Christ was around, these same people would have been the first ones to cry:  Crucify Him, crucify Him. 

Zenovia - your passions are clouding your judgment in this matter. Comparing these nuns to saints and even Christ is more than a bit over the top -regardless of the circumstances.

The fact remains that canonically no Orthodox Bishop in the US could accept the requirement of these sisters that their ultimate loyalty and spiritual obedience was to an Elder in Greece rather than to the proper local Bishop.

It seems as if some in Orthodoxy want to emulate our Roman friends and establish 'orders' of monastics whose loyalty and obedience is 'extra-diocesan" and to their prefect and/or abbey - not to the local ordinary Bishop. Quite a heterodox concept indeed.

How can anyone not compare to saints those that selflessly dedicate their lives to do God's work, especially when they suffer persecution?   As yet, I have not seen anything that I would consider self serving in Sister Ameliani.  Can you say in all honesty that you have?
 
As for the accusations, I don't understand what you're saying.  I don't see where the sisters loyalty rather than respect was to their elder in Greece, because it's not mentioned in any of the papers.  The spiritual father assigned to them was under Rocor.  Also there is nothing that shows disloyalty or disobedience towards Metropolitan Hilarion, or that she did anything that was not within ecclesiastical law. 

Look, I will never accept that Sister Ameliani or for that matter any monastic or hierarch did anything wrong, unless I see actual facts that will convince me otherwise, because 'malevolent beings' do exist, and they do control weak individuals, and they do have the innate ability of  arousing suspicions of wrong doings in others....and this is all part of Orthodox belief.   ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 18, 2012, 12:46:32 AM


St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


Saint Nektarios was not loved, he was hated by evil individuals...

See above.  Yes, St. Nektarios was persecuted and endured great slander, but he did so in accordance with the gospel and in a manner befitting the saints.  That is, he endured slander "with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation" as I stated above, and therefore was greatly glorified after his repose.

Do the saints ever speak of "evil individuals"?  All people are capable of evil, myself first of all, but to speak of "evil individuals" or "evil people" seems to miss the mark. 

The righteous who are wrongly slandered and persecuted do not lash out with anger, threats, self-justification, etc. precisely because the righteous seek approval from God rather than men and are at peace within themselves knowing that their conscience is clean before God despite the false accusations of men.  The righteous know that “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord”, and that if we do not defend ourselves we will have a good defense from the Lord.  Those who seek to defend themselves passionately, who seek revenge, retaliation, etc. are taking matters into their own hands and not trusting in the Lord as they ought.

Now, we all have weaknesses, and all monastics are not expected to be deified saints by virtue of their vows or living arrangements.  So we should not pick on the nuns merely for having faults and passions just as we have.  The problem is when the nuns (or the Abbess) compare themselves to the saints and try to convince others that they are saints as though we should automatically venerate them as such.  This kind of behavior is typical of those who are deluded.  I hope the nuns, the Abbess, and the Elder are not deluded, but their actions surrounding these events have not been very edifying or spiritually encouraging.


Excuse me, but we Orthodox as well as all Christians do believe in demons, and we Orthodox as well as other Christians do believe in  possession, so why are you denying the existance of people being controlled by evil and malevolent beings?   When you say that Saint Nektarios is loved and respected because of his meekness and character, you are saying it after the fact.  Would you be saying it if you knew him in his early years,  when the same meekness and self sacrifice was considered  a threat by self serving individuals, rather than a virtue and he was sent packing by the Patriarch and his court....pennyless and with a harmed reputation? 

As for Sister Ameliani, have you seen or read anything that would give the impression that she is lashing out with anger and vengeance towards anyone, I haven't?  What I have seen so far,  is someone that wants to continue doing God's work, and will not allow it to be hindered and destroyed by malevolence.  Maybe those that see her personality and actions differently, are projecting what their own motives would be in a similar situation?   

Okay look I think this is enough.  We really should stop this thread.  The Abess has had some horrific experiences in her life, and she was saved by the saintly Elder Amilianos, so God must have a purpose for her life above and beyond that of others.  She has worked hard all these years for the Glory of God, no matter how much pain she was in, so I think a little respect is due.  Instead of becoming a judge and jury,  I think it's best to leave it to the courts...  :)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 18, 2012, 02:12:14 AM
Zenovia,

What's so bad about asking monastics to obey their bishops?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 18, 2012, 03:37:00 AM


St. Nektarios is so loved, and has been so glorified, precisely because he bore injustice with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation. 


Saint Nektarios was not loved, he was hated by evil individuals...

See above.  Yes, St. Nektarios was persecuted and endured great slander, but he did so in accordance with the gospel and in a manner befitting the saints.  That is, he endured slander "with meekness, humility, faith and trust in God; without malice, threats, or retaliation" as I stated above, and therefore was greatly glorified after his repose.

Do the saints ever speak of "evil individuals"?  All people are capable of evil, myself first of all, but to speak of "evil individuals" or "evil people" seems to miss the mark. 

The righteous who are wrongly slandered and persecuted do not lash out with anger, threats, self-justification, etc. precisely because the righteous seek approval from God rather than men and are at peace within themselves knowing that their conscience is clean before God despite the false accusations of men.  The righteous know that “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord”, and that if we do not defend ourselves we will have a good defense from the Lord.  Those who seek to defend themselves passionately, who seek revenge, retaliation, etc. are taking matters into their own hands and not trusting in the Lord as they ought.

Now, we all have weaknesses, and all monastics are not expected to be deified saints by virtue of their vows or living arrangements.  So we should not pick on the nuns merely for having faults and passions just as we have.  The problem is when the nuns (or the Abbess) compare themselves to the saints and try to convince others that they are saints as though we should automatically venerate them as such.  This kind of behavior is typical of those who are deluded.  I hope the nuns, the Abbess, and the Elder are not deluded, but their actions surrounding these events have not been very edifying or spiritually encouraging.


Excuse me, but we Orthodox as well as all Christians do believe in demons, and we Orthodox as well as other Christians do believe in  possession, so why are you denying the existance of people being controlled by evil and malevolent beings?
That's not what jah777 said.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 18, 2012, 06:18:11 AM
Yes, there is something odd about Greeks who avoid other Greeks.   :laugh:

But, seriously, there is a canonical problem with the whole situation.  A monastery is presided over by the Bishop, not by an 'elder.'  The abbess is supposed to be answerable to her bishop, and no one else.  Let's remember the 'chain of command' in the Church: who supervises Elder Dionysios?  Why his bishop does!  This means that one monastery would have two bishops responsible for its spiritual well-being?

It was strange that ROCOR would have received them to begin with having this rather large caveat in their obedience, where 'loyalty to the death' with Metropolitan Hilarion would not naturally include unreserved obedience.

We live in strange times.





Why don't they just pack up and go back to their mother monastery in Greece?  That is where they belong since they are not under the jurisdiction of any Orthodox Church over here.
I thought of that, too.  Or the Greeks here.


If I recall correctly, I read somewhere that "the D.C. nuns" are not Greek ethnically, and are Americans.  The bishop they were under in Greece tends to have non-Greek monastics under him.  Although they were within the Church of Greece when they were in Greece.

Note too, although Metropolitan Hilarion suggested that they affiliate their monastery with their bishop in Greece, there is a long standing understanding between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, that the Church of Greece is not to establish monasteries, even "metochia," in the diaspora--(not intended to provoke those who are offended by this term, but this is the terminology used and understood by these two Holy Orthodox Churches).

I would also suggest that the problems with these nuns are more serious than would be ascertained from Metropolitan Hilarion's letter.  If ROCOR's only problems with them were the "certain spiritual practices and references to spiritual authority within the charter of the monastery are at variance with the norms and traditions of ROCOR" typically, the practices and the language in the charter would be changed in response to the directives of the superior ecclesiastical authority.  But that doesn't seem to have been feasible.  Given their short history, the fact that the OCA would not accept them and their primate's interest in them contributed to damaging his relationship with his Synod and the OCA's Metropolitan Council, then, their short term relationship with ROCOR, I can't imagine another authentic jurisdiction in America would jump to grant them spiritual refuge.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 18, 2012, 06:45:51 AM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 18, 2012, 09:18:13 AM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

I just finished reading many of the attached documents along with the text from Abbess A.  Oh boy!  I'm less scandalized by the fact that they want to sue than by what she's actually written there.  I doubt anyone would want to take them under their jurisdiction after reading that.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 18, 2012, 10:07:39 AM
I went onto their website too.  I have trouble understanding what the Abbess has written, it reads like a "Google translator" to me.

But, does anyone know the history or background of the property the monastery is on?  Wow!  $1 Million; a church; a barn, I wish there were more pictures.  How did they purchase such a large parcel?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 18, 2012, 10:18:58 AM
I went onto their website too.  I have trouble understanding what the Abbess has written, it reads like a "Google translator" to me.

But, does anyone know the history or background of the property the monastery is on?  Wow!  $1 Million; a church; a barn, I wish there were more pictures.  How did they purchase such a large parcel?

It was originally begun by Bishop Phillip Zampino who was part of the Charismatic Episcopal Church.  I have family that attended this church for a very long time and I went a few times for nephews' baptisms.   I don't know all the ins and outs as there were personality issues all along and my SIL and family left before things fell the pieces.  What I do remember is that they did build a church and had other houses on The Farm (as it was called).  They had Episcopal nuns living there as well as a family or two who had committed themselves to the community.  I didn't quite understand it at the time as it seemed a little cultish and weird to me.  But, that is why there are several buildings.  At least one or two were original to the property when it was bought by "the community".  They built the church and probably another building or house...I can't remember.

Bishop Phil eventually either left or was asked to leave the CEC and started his own off shoot group.  The community dwindled to the point that they could not financially hold on to the property.  I don't know if it went into bankruptcy or not.   

When I heard from my SIL that the property was for sale I told several Orthodox people about it.  I knew that Met JONAH wanted to start a monastic community in the DC area.  News eventually got to the nuns and the rest is history. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 18, 2012, 11:08:07 AM
Yes, I think her posted letter and documents only succeed in confirming the reticence of all those who resisted the Abbess' presence in the US, and by extension Fr. Dionysios' influence.  For all the talk about saints and humility, what is obvious here is that their approach is not in keeping with their stated examples.

I would love for someone to show me where St. Nektarios or St. John of Shanghai ever threatened people with lawsuits! 

What I have been thinking about over the last few days is the administrative problems that this situation sheds light on.  Neither the OCA nor the ROCOR have mandatory 'constitutions' it seems.  The Antiochian Archdiocese has a model constitution format, which is required for all entities that wish to form under the Archdiocese.  Basically, you can't even get started without following the Archdiocese's model, and any entity received into the Archdiocese is expected to adopt and follow the model.  The Ben Lomond land fight was won by the Archdiocese ultimately because of this policy.

I think the OCA and the ROCOR would benefit greatly from developing a single model for their monasteries to follow.

In this case, however, it seemed that the departure from good order led to a great deal of the conflict we are now seeing with the DC nun situation.  Metropolitan Jonah receieved the nuns on a 'conditional basis' and never fully integrated them or the attending clergy into the OCA, which led to confusion over who they really were under and what their actual chain of command was.

This was uninetionally aggravated by Metropolitan Hilarion's decision to receive the nuns and attending clergy through ambiguous letters that lacked some of the technical language usually included in transfer letters, yet left the distinct impression that Metropolitan Jonah had recieved them and was then transferring them to Metropolitan Hilarion.  While people can speculate over the language of the lettersand how they are to be understood, it is pretty clear now that the nuns and the bishops had very, very different notions of what was going on.

Some would argue that the bishops changed their minds, but I would say from the paper trail now presented that the both metropolitans in question understood this situation to be far more ambiguous than the nuns did, yet the nuns insistence on remaining attached to Fr. Dionysios is the primary cause for such ambiguity to be necessesary.  The adherence to a single policy is critical to avoid running into another one of these messes.

I think it is also a good 'red flag' warning system when you have monks or nuns who ask for special exemptions from standard order in the Church.  After all, how many of you would be comfortable with you parish priest having a 'special arrangement' with the bishop regarding who he answers to.  Goodness is simple, and it is only evil and brokenness that is complicated.  If the nuns could not do what they needed to do following standard Church order, it would have been better not to receive them at all. 

Eventually, it seems one of three likely outcomes are in order:

1) they become an 'independent' entity like HTM (the GOA will not receive them from what I hear nor will they be allowed to say they are under the COG),

2) they return to Greece, or

3) they are received into another jurisdiction with a pledge to be 100% obedient and swear never to talk about lawyers and lawsuits.




All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

I just finished reading many of the attached documents along with the text from Abbess A.  Oh boy!  I'm less scandalized by the fact that they want to sue than by what she's actually written there.  I doubt anyone would want to take them under their jurisdiction after reading that.


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 18, 2012, 11:12:30 AM
I have heard that the reason the Abbess' letters read as such is because Fr. Dionysios is involved in the writing of them in Greek, and they are then translated and signed by Nun Aemiliane.

I went onto their website too.  I have trouble understanding what the Abbess has written, it reads like a "Google translator" to me.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 18, 2012, 11:17:27 AM
Yes, I think her posted letter and documents only succeed in confirming the reticence of all those who resisted the Abbess' presence in the US, and by extension Fr. Dionysios' influence.  For all the talk about saints and humility, what is obvious here is that their approach is not in keeping with their stated examples.

I would love for someone to show me where St. Nektarios or St. John of Shanghai ever threatened people with lawsuits! 

What I have been thinking about over the last few days is the administrative problems that this situation sheds light on.  Neither the OCA nor the ROCOR have mandatory 'constitutions' it seems.  The Antiochian Archdiocese has a model constitution format, which is required for all entities that wish to form under the Archdiocese.  Basically, you can't even get started without following the Archdiocese's model, and any entity received into the Archdiocese is expected to adopt and follow the model.  The Ben Lomond land fight was won by the Archdiocese ultimately because of this policy.

I think the OCA and the ROCOR would benefit greatly from developing a single model for their monasteries to follow.

In this case, however, it seemed that the departure from good order led to a great deal of the conflict we are now seeing with the DC nun situation.  Metropolitan Jonah receieved the nuns on a 'conditional basis' and never fully integrated them or the attending clergy into the OCA, which led to confusion over who they really were under and what their actual chain of command was.

This was uninetionally aggravated by Metropolitan Hilarion's decision to receive the nuns and attending clergy through ambiguous letters that lacked some of the technical language usually included in transfer letters, yet left the distinct impression that Metropolitan Jonah had recieved them and was then transferring them to Metropolitan Hilarion.  While people can speculate over the language of the lettersand how they are to be understood, it is pretty clear now that the nuns and the bishops had very, very different notions of what was going on.

Some would argue that the bishops changed their minds, but I would say from the paper trail now presented that the both metropolitans in question understood this situation to be far more ambiguous than the nuns did, yet the nuns insistence on remaining attached to Fr. Dionysios is the primary cause for such ambiguity to be necessesary.  The adherence to a single policy is critical to avoid running into another one of these messes.

I think it is also a good 'red flag' warning system when you have monks or nuns who ask for special exemptions from standard order in the Church.  After all, how many of you would be comfortable with you parish priest having a 'special arrangement' with the bishop regarding who he answers to.  Goodness is simple, and it is only evil and brokenness that is complicated.  If the nuns could not do what they needed to do following standard Church order, it would have been better not to receive them at all. 

Eventually, it seems one of three likely outcomes are in order:

1) they become an 'independent' entity like HTM (the GOA will not receive them from what I hear nor will they be allowed to say they are under the COG),

2) they return to Greece, or

3) they are received into another jurisdiction with a pledge to be 100% obedient and swear never to talk about lawyers and lawsuits.




All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

I just finished reading many of the attached documents along with the text from Abbess A.  Oh boy!  I'm less scandalized by the fact that they want to sue than by what she's actually written there.  I doubt anyone would want to take them under their jurisdiction after reading that.




I would just add that attempting to follow canonical order in what is always a 'disorderly' region, i.e. the USA, is one of the reasons why the EA's are studying these issues and trying to establish the very sort of constitution Father is referring to in his post.

I also have to note that calling Bishops 'evil' or 'malevolent' just because you disagree with them is an affront to the Church and canonical order. Good works alone do not justify not 'playing within the rules' - whether it is in sport, personal relationships or the Church.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 18, 2012, 02:58:42 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.   


This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns.

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals.
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 18, 2012, 03:04:46 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 18, 2012, 03:51:55 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.   


This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns.

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals.
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

It is great to know that you agree with Zenovia. If you do not mind, would you point me toward some sources other than you and Zenovia?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 18, 2012, 04:01:27 PM
Indeed, seeming to have an unquestioning admiration for anyone titled 'elder', expressing that 'evil' and malefaction are lurking behind everyone and everything one disagrees with and failing to acknowledge and accept the ecclesiology of the Church beginning with that of St. Ignatius of Antioch is, well - hardly 'liberal.'
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 18, 2012, 04:13:59 PM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

Look I've never part of a 'mob', and I never will be.  I would rather die then scream 'crucify' just to go along with others when I know that none of it is true.   

I have read what was written by Sister Aemiliani, so when you say it lacks  Christian character and ethos, and in contrast I see it as projecting the moral integrity that only a true Christian is capable of, it can only mean that: 

1- You are projecting your own character into what she wrote, or ...

2- You are deliberately spinning in order to persuade others, or...

3- You are blindly following what others are telling you.

Anyway this is how I see it, so take it as you will... ;)



Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 18, 2012, 04:52:12 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.   


This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns.

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals.
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

It is great to know that you agree with Zenovia. If you do not mind, would you point me toward some sources other than you and Zenovia?

This is not something which can be found in a specific source although there are many references to it.  For instance  the monasteries of Mount Athos is considered  the equivalent to the Vatican in preserving the deposit of faith, and the Bulwark of Orthodoxy has always been Saint Gregory Palamas, and he was a strong advocate  of monastacism and the 'Hesycast'  method of praying. 

Anyway, it is traditional Orthodox belief that the world continues to exist only because of  the prayers of the monastics, and the Orthodox Church has always been accused by other Christian faiths as being too other worldly, while the Orthodox Church has always accused them of being too much of this world.   ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 18, 2012, 05:15:31 PM
Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 18, 2012, 06:33:48 PM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

Look I've never part of a 'mob', and I never will be.  I would rather die then scream 'crucify' just to go along with others when I know that none of it is true.    

I have read what was written by Sister Aemiliani, so when you say it lacks  Christian character and ethos, and in contrast I see it as projecting the moral integrity that only a true Christian is capable of, it can only mean that:  

1- You are projecting your own character into what she wrote, or ...

2- You are deliberately spinning in order to persuade others, or...

3- You are blindly following what others are telling you.

Anyway this is how I see it, so take it as you will... ;)





Another alternative is you're wrong. A Christian response is to die to self, be martyred, etc. Not to try to justify yourself or sue people. Quite simple, really.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 18, 2012, 07:14:28 PM
I have personally witnessed in my visit to that monastery at the Divine Liturgy and Office commemorations of only Hilarion of ROCOR, perhaps the Patriarch of Moscow? (fuzzy memory here) and no one else out of the ordinary.

I am surprised by the whole turn of events in the last week.

I have little to say about this matter, except that I think these nuns are genuinely holy people and am sorry that there is some sins and politics embarrassing everyone. I think the size of the facility for the monastery was large and the expense involved in it may have been an added challenge. (Starting with smaller sized monastery /buildings would have been easier ?)

I would also say that there is some truth to the concept of a culture clash occuring. As all (or many of them?) when they were in the Church in Greece with it's accompanying culture of Orthodoxy as the predominant faith made it easier to live out the faith .

In the USA there is without question more challenge to opening a monastery in a traditionally protestant land that has more hostility toward orthodox christianity, not to mention the oddball jurisdictional overlapping, with visitors to monasteries typically coming from many different ones. (Though Maryland was historically the only state of the US founded with roman/latin catholic colonists actually, which was an improvement for sure.)  Some of this has had some influence, but this is perhaps to be expected ?

Even with cultural adjustment in non-orthodox countries, that shouldnt be a barrier at all to their success in the USA.
Living in a historically Orthodox country is a luxury and great joy, but not a right, nor prerequisite to being a holy member of the Church.

Whatever happens, their monastery will always stand in my mind as a very very positive experience in visiting.
The sisters and even volunteer lay faithful touched my heart deeply. All I could see at the time was a model situation where the faith was being lived out in the way that showed to all of the USA people a fine role model and reason to love the Orthodox Church. I pray with all my heart that all conflicts will be resolved and that it may continue to function in good canonical standing.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 18, 2012, 08:57:06 PM
I have personally witnessed in my visit to that monastery at the Divine Liturgy and Office commemorations of only Hilarion of ROCOR, perhaps the Patriarch of Moscow? (fuzzy memory here) and no one else out of the ordinary.

I am surprised by the whole turn of events in the last week.

I have little to say about this matter, except that I think these nuns are genuinely holy people and am sorry that there is some sins and politics embarrassing everyone. I think the size of the facility for the monastery was large and the expense involved in it may have been an added challenge. (Starting with smaller sized monastery /buildings would have been easier ?)

I would also say that there is some truth to the concept of a culture clash occuring. As all (or many of them?) when they were in the Church in Greece with it's accompanying culture of Orthodoxy as the predominant faith made it easier to live out the faith .

In the USA there is without question more challenge to opening a monastery in a traditionally protestant land that has more hostility toward orthodox christianity, not to mention the oddball jurisdictional overlapping, with visitors to monasteries typically coming from many different ones. (Though Maryland was historically the only state of the US founded with roman/latin catholic colonists actually, which was an improvement for sure.)  Some of this has had some influence, but this is perhaps to be expected ?

Even with cultural adjustment in non-orthodox countries, that shouldnt be a barrier at all to their success in the USA.
Living in a historically Orthodox country is a luxury and great joy, but not a right, nor prerequisite to being a holy member of the Church.

Whatever happens, their monastery will always stand in my mind as a very very positive experience in visiting.
The sisters and even volunteer lay faithful touched my heart deeply. All I could see at the time was a model situation where the faith was being lived out in the way that showed to all of the USA people a fine role model and reason to love the Orthodox Church. I pray with all my heart that all conflicts will be resolved and that it may continue to function in good canonical standing.

Your post is quite refreshing in that it perceives everything in a more loving, positive and Christian way, but then again you are 'Rocor'.  Abbess Ameliani was born a Lutheran and came from Oklahoma.  She converted to the Orthodox Church while attending Harvard, and soon afterwards attended a music festival at the Hyatt Hotel in Oklahoma City when the bridge collapsed on top of her and many others as well.   

It was impossible for anyone to pull her out, considering the position she was in, until someone appeared who she assumed was her guardian angel.  He grabbed her arm and miraculously slid her out.  He held her and kept telling her how much he loved her, and then disappeared.  Later on she saw a picture of the Elder Amilianos and realized it was him and that he had bi located.  The Elder Amilianos was the spiritual father of her own spiritual father, the Elder Dionysius.

Her recovery was miraculous and she has been in excessive pain and in and out of hospitals since then.  She has managed even with this pain to help build and restore quite a few monasteries in Greece, and came back with the hope of building one here.  She does know many people, and one of her nephews is the youngest person to become a member of the Musical Hall of Fame, so I'm sure it didn't take too long to get the money to cover the expenses of the monastery. 

The problem here is not the Protestants, since many are converting to the Orthodox faith, but the different jurisdictions within the Orthodox Church.  Many of these people are unfortunately only concerned with the political aspects of the Church rather than the spiritual,  so they are 'deceived' very easily.  From what I read today, Abbess Amiliani is being  attacked because she defended an innocent person who was  being used as a scapegoat.

In Greece the Church is different.  Many Greeks in contrast to the Orthodox here are atheists, but the ones who are in church are truly devout.  There have been at least four great saints in the past thirty years, and many more lesser ones throughout Greece, so that one can almost sense they are standing on holy ground.   

Anyway I'm going on and on, but that's because I enjoyed your post.   ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 18, 2012, 09:30:26 PM
The Abbess' true mission in America is to "unify" the Orthodox Jurisdictions?  How does she propose to do such a thing? By suing the other Orthodox Jurisdictions out of existence?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 18, 2012, 09:58:04 PM
Could you explain what you mean by Met. Jonah being "under Father Dionysios"?

Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 18, 2012, 10:27:34 PM
Could you explain what you mean by Met. Jonah being "under Father Dionysios"?

Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.



I'd like to know this as well.  I thought he was in a monastery in Russia before coming back to America to start the monastery in CA.  I thought his spiritual father was at one time a Russian elder.  Also, I've been to several liturgies where he is celebrating and I've never heard him say anything about Elder Dionysios.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 18, 2012, 10:40:55 PM
Could you explain what you mean by Met. Jonah being "under Father Dionysios"?

Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.



I'd like to know this as well.  I thought he was in a monastery in Russia before coming back to America to start the monastery in CA.  I thought his spiritual father was at one time a Russian elder.  Also, I've been to several liturgies where he is celebrating and I've never heard him say anything about Elder Dionysios.

From the Abbess' website, Metropolitan Jonah sends a letter to Father Dionysios (before Met. Jonah was enthroned) inviting Father Dionysios to his enthronement and requests that Father Dionysios and his monasteries to come under the Orthodox Church in America.  Met. Jonah thanks Fr. Dionysios for his unceasing prayers "from my earliest youth."  Met. Jonah knew of Father Dionysios before 2008 and if one asks for unceasing prayers from "my earliest youth" implies that the two have known each other for many years.

source (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 18, 2012, 10:45:07 PM
Could you explain what you mean by Met. Jonah being "under Father Dionysios"?

Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.



I'd like to know this as well.  I thought he was in a monastery in Russia before coming back to America to start the monastery in CA.  I thought his spiritual father was at one time a Russian elder.  Also, I've been to several liturgies where he is celebrating and I've never heard him say anything about Elder Dionysios.

From the Abbess' website, Metropolitan Jonah sends a letter to Father Dionysios (before Met. Jonah was enthroned) inviting Father Dionysios to his enthronement and requests that Father Dionysios and his monasteries to come under the Orthodox Church in America.  Met. Jonah thanks Fr. Dionysios for his unceasing prayers "from my earliest youth."  Met. Jonah knew of Father Dionysios before 2008 and if one asks for unceasing prayers from "my earliest youth" implies that the two have known each other for many years.

source (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

But you said "under Elder Dionysios". In my mind that is different than "knew" or "being prayer for by..." Elder Dionysios
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 18, 2012, 10:55:44 PM
Could you explain what you mean by Met. Jonah being "under Father Dionysios"?

Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.



I'd like to know this as well.  I thought he was in a monastery in Russia before coming back to America to start the monastery in CA.  I thought his spiritual father was at one time a Russian elder.  Also, I've been to several liturgies where he is celebrating and I've never heard him say anything about Elder Dionysios.

From the Abbess' website, Metropolitan Jonah sends a letter to Father Dionysios (before Met. Jonah was enthroned) inviting Father Dionysios to his enthronement and requests that Father Dionysios and his monasteries to come under the Orthodox Church in America.  Met. Jonah thanks Fr. Dionysios for his unceasing prayers "from my earliest youth."  Met. Jonah knew of Father Dionysios before 2008 and if one asks for unceasing prayers from "my earliest youth" implies that the two have known each other for many years.

source (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

But you said "under Elder Dionysios". In my mind that is different than "knew" or "being prayer for by..." Elder Dionysios

Do we know how Metropolitan Jonah spent his 27 years before becoming OCA Metropolitan?  Met. Jonah was a monastic in CA - where was he before that?

If I'm mistaken in that Met. Jonah was never under Father Dionysios, then I'll admit my mistake; however, I just see something fishy between Father Dionysios and 2 OCA Hierarchs; one of them retired.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 18, 2012, 10:59:53 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 18, 2012, 10:59:53 PM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

Look I've never part of a 'mob', and I never will be.  I would rather die then scream 'crucify' just to go along with others when I know that none of it is true.   

I have read what was written by Sister Aemiliani, so when you say it lacks  Christian character and ethos, and in contrast I see it as projecting the moral integrity that only a true Christian is capable of, it can only mean that: 

1- You are projecting your own character into what she wrote, or ...

2- You are deliberately spinning in order to persuade others, or...

3- You are blindly following what others are telling you.

Anyway this is how I see it, so take it as you will... ;)





It isn't possible that the problem is you, instead of the rest of us?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 18, 2012, 10:59:53 PM
The Abbess' true mission in America is to "unify" the Orthodox Jurisdictions?  How does she propose to do such a thing? By suing the other Orthodox Jurisdictions out of existence?

At this point, it might be the fastest route.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 18, 2012, 11:10:13 PM
Could you explain what you mean by Met. Jonah being "under Father Dionysios"?

Father Dionysios, presumably, commemorates his Bishop in Greece (http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/hierarchy.htm), "Ὁ Θεσσαλιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων Κύριλλος" Of Thessaliotidos and Phanariofarsalon Kirill

The Abbess chooses to commemorate her Priest in Greece rather than any US based Bishop.  Both Met. Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek were under Father Dionysios and one of the Hierarchs is already retired with an uncertain future.  Does the Abbess want to get rid of Bishop Melchizedek by exposing something about him?

Looks to me like:

1.  The OCA attempted to use Greece as a source of Bishops for the OCA.
2.  Someone is trying to get rid of the OCA's Holy Synod one Bishop at a time.  No Bishops, No Holy Synod, No OCA.
3.  ROCOR was an unwilling accomplice not aware of the complexity between the Hierarchs of the OCA and Greece.



I'd like to know this as well.  I thought he was in a monastery in Russia before coming back to America to start the monastery in CA.  I thought his spiritual father was at one time a Russian elder.  Also, I've been to several liturgies where he is celebrating and I've never heard him say anything about Elder Dionysios.

From the Abbess' website, Metropolitan Jonah sends a letter to Father Dionysios (before Met. Jonah was enthroned) inviting Father Dionysios to his enthronement and requests that Father Dionysios and his monasteries to come under the Orthodox Church in America.  Met. Jonah thanks Fr. Dionysios for his unceasing prayers "from my earliest youth."  Met. Jonah knew of Father Dionysios before 2008 and if one asks for unceasing prayers from "my earliest youth" implies that the two have known each other for many years.

source (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

But you said "under Elder Dionysios". In my mind that is different than "knew" or "being prayer for by..." Elder Dionysios

Do we know how Metropolitan Jonah spent his 27 years before becoming OCA Metropolitan?  Met. Jonah was a monastic in CA - where was he before that?

If I'm mistaken in that Met. Jonah was never under Father Dionysios, then I'll admit my mistake; however, I just see something fishy between Father Dionysios and 2 OCA Hierarchs; one of them retired.

No one on this board knows exactly 'how' Metropolitan Jonah spent his years before becoming a Metropolitan, but it is public knowledge that he was received into the Moscow Patriarchate in 1978, while studying at UCSD, and then went to UC - Santa Cruz where he established an OCF.  He graduated in '85 (with an M.Div) and in '88 (with an M.Th.) from St. Vlad's.  Then he began doctoral work before deciding to go to Russia for a year, and joined Valaam as a novice, under the spiritual direction of Archimandrite Pankratiy, who was (and is) the abbot of Valaam.  At some point, the abbot's spiritual father blessed the future Metropolitan to become a hieromonk.  In '94 he was ordained Deacon and then Priest.  The next year, he was tonsured a monk at St. Tikhon's.  Then he served a few missions in California before starting his monastery in '96.  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 19, 2012, 01:28:20 AM
I think His Beatitude's record is abundantly clear: he spent most of his overseas time in Russia.  I think the Dionysian connection came much later than his 'earliest youth.'  This may very well hearken to something along the lines of, let's say, Fr. Dionysios saying that he had been praying for many years for Metropolitan Jonah to come along.  In this case, Metropolitan Jonah is responding to a claim of Fr. Dionysios rather than an actual relationship.  People do that all the time: "I've been praying for 30 years for you to finally arrive!"

You can't take a throwaway line from a letter and build a case from it unless you can connect the dots.

I think that the most obvious explanation is that Metropolitan Jonah has never met Fr. Dionysios directly, but rather that he became acquainted with him through the 'troubled priest' that His Beatitude, according to the November 2010 SIC report (http://pokrov.org/Documents/Articles/1852/Report_on_Fr_SK.pdf (http://pokrov.org/Documents/Articles/1852/Report_on_Fr_SK.pdf)), met in Russia in 2009.  Remember, the nuns were formally requested later (c.f. http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/03-jonah-to-geronta_official_11jun10.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/03-jonah-to-geronta_official_11jun10.pdf)).  Just by timing, we can see how the relationship came through the priest, who connected His Beatitude to the nuns via the relationship with Fr. Dionysios.

This would also explain why the nuns have been so 'protective' of the troubled priest: his approach to Metropolitan Jonah opened the door for them and their spiritual director.

The fact that Bishop Melchizedek ended up at Petras should be no surprise since the Fr. Dionysios is known to attract lots of non-Greeks (so we see this reflected in the DC nuns).  What is important to note is that Bishop Melchizedek broke off the relationship, whereas His Beatitude did not during the duration of his tenure.  We can only speculate as to what the relationship is now.

However, Bishop Melchizedek appears to be doing quite well.  I do not think the 'Greeks' are trying to engineer the collapse of the OCA.  I think the devil has done his best, but I think he will have a much harder time breaking this Synod.

We can count on more attempts, that's for sure.  But, this tells me that the OCA is heading in the right direction: the devil only attacks those who serve God.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 19, 2012, 05:34:19 AM
Thank you, "PrincessMommy" for the information in your Reply No. 78; it is interesting.  It would be such a shame to loose this fine property from its anticipated spiritual service to Orthodox Christianity.  And from what I'm reading, the life of the nuns is a holy one, it's just the serious administrative problems which the Abbess poses.  I wonder if a hierarch can straighten them out.

Also, the GOAA has Uniform Monastery Regulations of  which all monasteries must comply.  They're available at the GOArch website, "Archdiocese of America," "Documents."
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 19, 2012, 07:00:07 AM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orual on August 19, 2012, 08:33:45 AM
Metropolitan Jonah's acceptance address (http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/metropolitan-jonah/acceptance-address (http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/metropolitan-jonah/acceptance-address)) when he was elected to the episcopacy mentions an Elder Dionysios, but from the context I suspect this may be a different individual.  I know the Elders Raphael and Nahum he mentions immediately before are both in Russia.  Metropolitan Jonah never spent nearly as much time in Greece as he did in Russia, of course.

Metropolitan Jonah's spiritual father was, and I believe remains, Bishop Pankratiy of Troitsk, the abbot of Valaam.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 19, 2012, 01:05:37 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 19, 2012, 01:14:15 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 19, 2012, 01:19:11 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 03:08:06 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 03:13:00 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 03:36:04 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.

This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore  can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception.   Since those who think this way believe they know what is best for the Church, and since this assumption comes from a gratification of ones pride/ego,   they would be in my opinion the least capable of making decisions in regard to Our Lord's Church since pride/ego is the antithesis of holiness.   :(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 19, 2012, 03:41:59 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.

This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore  can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception.   Since those who think this way believe they know what is best for the Church, and since this assumption comes from a gratification of ones pride/ego,   they would be in my opinion the least capable of making decisions in regard to Our Lord's Church since pride/ego is the antithesis of holiness.   :(

Threatening lawsuits is a sin, a violation of sacred scripture and canon law. So what does your logic say about the course of action chosen by the convent?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 04:14:36 PM
Metropolitan Jonah's acceptance address (http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/metropolitan-jonah/acceptance-address (http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/metropolitan-jonah/acceptance-address)) when he was elected to the episcopacy mentions an Elder Dionysios, but from the context I suspect this may be a different individual.  I know the Elders Raphael and Nahum he mentions immediately before are both in Russia.  Metropolitan Jonah never spent nearly as much time in Greece as he did in Russia, of course.

Metropolitan Jonah's spiritual father was, and I believe remains, Bishop Pankratiy of Troitsk, the abbot of Valaam.



I heard that Metropolitan Jonah's spiritual father was the Elder Dionysius, although he probably changed fathers when the Elder left for Greece.  I don't believe it's against Orthodox cannons to have a father under a different jurisdition, and I did hear that Putin's spiritual father is the Elder who was jailed in Greece after his return from Russia.  Can't help but feel it has to do with the pressure the EP gets from the Turkish government, but that's only an assumption on my part. :-\

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 04:44:33 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.

This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore  can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception.   Since those who think this way believe they know what is best for the Church, and since this assumption comes from a gratification of ones pride/ego,   they would be in my opinion the least capable of making decisions in regard to Our Lord's Church since pride/ego is the antithesis of holiness.   :(

Threatening lawsuits is a sin, a violation of sacred scripture and canon law. So what does your logic say about the course of action chosen by the convent?

It's a defensive lawsuit to clear their names from the lies of a malevolent individual.  Sister Amiliani has a responsibility not only to clear the name of the monastery and to the nuns under her, but also to our Lord so that they can continue to do His work without hindrance.

Now are you trying to tell me that Saint Paul and all the saints who have been accused unjustly had no right to defend themselves?  Or are you saying it's okay to defend oneself in front of an emporer, but since we don't have one and they have to go in front of a civil court,  then it's not right?   Strange!  :-\
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orual on August 19, 2012, 05:09:29 PM
Metropolitan Jonah's acceptance address (http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/metropolitan-jonah/acceptance-address (http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/metropolitan-jonah/acceptance-address)) when he was elected to the episcopacy mentions an Elder Dionysios, but from the context I suspect this may be a different individual.  I know the Elders Raphael and Nahum he mentions immediately before are both in Russia.  Metropolitan Jonah never spent nearly as much time in Greece as he did in Russia, of course.

Metropolitan Jonah's spiritual father was, and I believe remains, Bishop Pankratiy of Troitsk, the abbot of Valaam.



I heard that Metropolitan Jonah's spiritual father was the Elder Dionysius, although he probably changed fathers when the Elder left for Greece.  I don't believe it's against Orthodox cannons to have a father under a different jurisdition, and I did hear that Putin's spiritual father is the Elder who was jailed in Greece after his return from Russia.  Can't help but feel it has to do with the pressure the EP gets from the Turkish government, but that's only an assumption on my part. :-\



Metropolitan Jonah's spiritual father has been Bishop Pankratiy for about 20 years, even from before Metropolitan Jonah became a novice or stavrophore.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 19, 2012, 05:23:06 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 07:28:50 PM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

Look I've never part of a 'mob', and I never will be.  I would rather die then scream 'crucify' just to go along with others when I know that none of it is true.   

I have read what was written by Sister Aemiliani, so when you say it lacks  Christian character and ethos, and in contrast I see it as projecting the moral integrity that only a true Christian is capable of, it can only mean that: 

1- You are projecting your own character into what she wrote, or ...

2- You are deliberately spinning in order to persuade others, or...

3- You are blindly following what others are telling you.

Anyway this is how I see it, so take it as you will... ;)





It isn't possible that the problem is you, instead of the rest of us?

Oh,  so I should go along with the mob?  :-\ Crucify them, crucify them...
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 07:44:36 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?    As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 19, 2012, 07:52:31 PM
Dear Zenovia,

There is NO persecution of the nuns.  None.  They have been asked to obey only the local bishop, HG George of Mayfield, as any other monastic community would be asked to.  They have refused.

This is not persecution.  Their refusal to follow standard order, a standard found throughout the entire Orthodox Church, is what led to their release from ROCOR.

Now, if you want to get into the allegations of their harboring a rapist or enabling a 'troubled' clergyman, let's remember that the nuns would be defended by either the OCA or later ROCOR had they chosen to be utterly obedient to the local hierarch.  However, because they have chosen to divide their obedience, when their actions are questioned, they are forced to bear the brunt of the inquiry because they have chosen to live without the protection of simple obedience

Instead, they have 'selective obedience,' which is really no obedience at all.  This is what many people are criticizing.  You cannot say, "I will obey you, Your Grace, on these matters... but those matters over there, they are between me and my elder."  That's not how the Church works.

The nuns are receiving criticism because the convent is very clearly a disorderly affair with split allegiances.  Rather than focussing on their own repentance, which is the core of monasticism, they took upon themselves to 'look after' a troubled clergyman who should have been properly received and dealt with through normal procedures. 

Had that happened, the clergyman would have qualified for the treatment he really needs, and he would have been prevented from acting out.  Instead, because His Beatitude chose to not follow OCA procedure and instead let the disorder of the convent comouflage the disorder of the clergyman, the problemed worsened from mere scandalous behavior to accusations of criminal conduct.

This is all a horrible tragedy, which the nuns could have avoided if they had simply submitted to proper authority and minded their own salvation.

There is a point where they must accept responsibility for putting themselves in this situation.  Until they do, I suspect they will be quite unhappy with how the rest of the Church views them.

If Elder Dionyios really loves them, he will tell them to fully and completely submit to a local hierarch and trust that God uses more than one vessel for His grace and mercy.


All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

Look I've never part of a 'mob', and I never will be.  I would rather die then scream 'crucify' just to go along with others when I know that none of it is true.   

I have read what was written by Sister Aemiliani, so when you say it lacks  Christian character and ethos, and in contrast I see it as projecting the moral integrity that only a true Christian is capable of, it can only mean that: 

1- You are projecting your own character into what she wrote, or ...

2- You are deliberately spinning in order to persuade others, or...

3- You are blindly following what others are telling you.

Anyway this is how I see it, so take it as you will... ;)





It isn't possible that the problem is you, instead of the rest of us?

Oh,  so I should go along with the mob?  :-\ Crucify them, crucify them...
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 19, 2012, 07:54:06 PM
Are you saying that secular American courts should judge Orthodox Tradition?!?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?    As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 19, 2012, 07:55:09 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?

Who accused the Abbess of what?   ???

As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

The Abbess' monastery has zero reputation in my opinion.  The OCA has had troublemakers in Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, Robert Kondratick and now Metropolitan Jonah.  The OCA faithful are growing weary of these troublemakers and scandals distracting people from the faith.  The Abbess is just another distraction; she doesn't even disclose the correct address of her monastery and I've driven in the neighborhood where this monastery is allegedly located.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 08:10:02 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

Why are you spreading lies?  What is your source that the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over the nuns?  Are you telling me that the Church of Greece is upset that they dared to restore monasteries that would have ceased to exist, and that they dared to establish new ones?

As for the Church of Greece wanting to hijack the OCA...that is  funny!  So what does the Church of Greece plan to do, have them all learn Greek?   Sounds like a repeat of the paranoias that were making the rounds over ten years ago.  ::)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 19, 2012, 08:14:53 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?

Who accused the Abbess of what?   ???

As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

The Abbess' monastery has zero reputation in my opinion.  The OCA has had troublemakers in Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, Robert Kondratick and now Metropolitan Jonah.  The OCA faithful are growing weary of these troublemakers and scandals distracting people from the faith.  The Abbess is just another distraction; she doesn't even disclose the correct address of her monastery and I've driven in the neighborhood where this monastery is allegedly located.

Those who are distracting people from the faith are those who are spreading rumors and lies.  Best for the whole situation to go to court, so God's work can continue to be done.  :)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: dllwatkins on August 19, 2012, 08:18:40 PM
There is a point where they must accept responsibility for putting themselves in this situation.  Until they do, I suspect they will be quite unhappy with how the rest of the Church views them.

If Elder Dionyios really loves them, he will tell them to fully and completely submit to a local hierarch and trust that God uses more than one vessel for His grace and mercy.

How true!
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 19, 2012, 09:07:50 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.

This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore  can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception.   Since those who think this way believe they know what is best for the Church, and since this assumption comes from a gratification of ones pride/ego,   they would be in my opinion the least capable of making decisions in regard to Our Lord's Church since pride/ego is the antithesis of holiness.   :(

Threatening lawsuits is a sin, a violation of sacred scripture and canon law. So what does your logic say about the course of action chosen by the convent?

It's a defensive lawsuit to clear their names from the lies of a malevolent individual.  Sister Amiliani has a responsibility not only to clear the name of the monastery and to the nuns under her, but also to our Lord so that they can continue to do His work without hindrance.

Now are you trying to tell me that Saint Paul and all the saints who have been accused unjustly had no right to defend themselves?  Or are you saying it's okay to defend oneself in front of an emporer, but since we don't have one and they have to go in front of a civil court,  then it's not right?   Strange!  :-\

St. Paul did defend himself...when he was taken to court.  He did not go out suing people.  And the abbess (is this even an appropriate title for her given that her monastery essentially doesn't exist, having no bishop?) has no responsibility to clear anyone's name; she has a duty to follow the words of Christ: "15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector"  and from later in the chapter, "21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet[d] and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’[e] 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses," and from earlier in the chapter, "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me."

(From Matthew, chapter 18, NKJV)

Tell me, is it the humbled woman who sues to protect honor?  If she is suing for the honor of the other sisters, I would think it better she use this time to teach them humility.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 19, 2012, 09:07:50 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.

This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore  can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception.   Since those who think this way believe they know what is best for the Church, and since this assumption comes from a gratification of ones pride/ego,   they would be in my opinion the least capable of making decisions in regard to Our Lord's Church since pride/ego is the antithesis of holiness.   :(

Threatening lawsuits is a sin, a violation of sacred scripture and canon law. So what does your logic say about the course of action chosen by the convent?

It's a defensive lawsuit to clear their names from the lies of a malevolent individual.  Sister Amiliani has a responsibility not only to clear the name of the monastery and to the nuns under her, but also to our Lord so that they can continue to do His work without hindrance.

Now are you trying to tell me that Saint Paul and all the saints who have been accused unjustly had no right to defend themselves?  Or are you saying it's okay to defend oneself in front of an emporer, but since we don't have one and they have to go in front of a civil court,  then it's not right?   Strange!  :-\

I'd also like to tell you the story of another monastic who was falsely attacked by many, in fact - as I understand - by much of the media of Cyprus.  Metropolitan Athanasisu of Limassol, who was an Athonite monk for several years, and served as Chief Overseer of Mount Athos for a time, in 1992 was asked by Archbishop Chrysostomos I to return to Cypurs - where he was from - and was shortly thereafter elected abbot of  Machaira's Monastery.  Now, as I understand, there were many, many people who accused the, then, Abbot of essentially brainwashing young men who chose to join his monastery.  All manner of evil things were said against him. 

Do you want to know what His Eminence did?  Nothing.  He did not even publicly respond to the accusations against him.  You want to know what happened to him?  A few years later he was elected Metropolitan.  This is the behavior of a saint: to withstand the assaults and attacks of the world, with humility and charity.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 19, 2012, 09:07:50 PM
All one needs to do is read what they've put up on their website. Totally lacking in basic Christian character, wantonly against the canons of the Church, and a flagrant violation of monastic ethos. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up excommunicated within the next two years, unless they repent.

Look I've never part of a 'mob', and I never will be.  I would rather die then scream 'crucify' just to go along with others when I know that none of it is true.   

I have read what was written by Sister Aemiliani, so when you say it lacks  Christian character and ethos, and in contrast I see it as projecting the moral integrity that only a true Christian is capable of, it can only mean that: 

1- You are projecting your own character into what she wrote, or ...

2- You are deliberately spinning in order to persuade others, or...

3- You are blindly following what others are telling you.

Anyway this is how I see it, so take it as you will... ;)





It isn't possible that the problem is you, instead of the rest of us?

Oh,  so I should go along with the mob?  :-\ Crucify them, crucify them...

Please stop comparing the situation with these nuns to the murder of our God.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Opus118 on August 19, 2012, 10:08:57 PM

Okay look I think this is enough.  We really should stop this thread.  The Abess has had some horrific experiences in her life, and she was saved by the saintly Elder Amilianos, so God must have a purpose for her life above and beyond that of others.  She has worked hard all these years for the Glory of God, no matter how much pain she was in, so I think a little respect is due.  Instead of becoming a judge and jury,  I think it's best to leave it to the courts...  :)

Zenovia, I have a certain amount of sympathy with you on this issue and I agree with you on some aspects and I agree that this thread should end since it has served no purpose, with the exception of JamesRottnek three posts (just above me).
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 19, 2012, 10:40:03 PM
Those who are distracting people from the faith are those who are spreading rumors and lies.  Best for the whole situation to go to court, so God's work can continue to be done.  :)

What of God's work would be accomplished by legal action?   ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 19, 2012, 11:06:58 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?

Who accused the Abbess of what?   ???

As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

The Abbess' monastery has zero reputation in my opinion.  The OCA has had troublemakers in Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, Robert Kondratick and now Metropolitan Jonah.  The OCA faithful are growing weary of these troublemakers and scandals distracting people from the faith.  The Abbess is just another distraction; she doesn't even disclose the correct address of her monastery and I've driven in the neighborhood where this monastery is allegedly located.


SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 19, 2012, 11:27:06 PM
St. Nektarios continued to be slandered after establishing and serving the women's monastery in Aegina.  He was in a similar position as the Abbess, yet his response was quite different.

It is interesting also to consider the case of Elder Ephraim in this country.  There are many people who are against his monasteries (and monasticism in general), some of whom have made up the most ridiculous and wild claims against him (for instance the former novice who sadly committed suicide after claiming, without any supportive information or evidence, that the Elder is a satanist, that Athonite monks burry monastics alive, that prayer ropes are pagan, that Elder Joseph the Hesychast was a charlatan, etc.).  Where has Elder Ephraim responded to any of the slander that he has received over the past decades?  Where are the denunciations and the threats of litigation?

 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 19, 2012, 11:29:42 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?

Who accused the Abbess of what?   ???

As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

The Abbess' monastery has zero reputation in my opinion.  The OCA has had troublemakers in Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, Robert Kondratick and now Metropolitan Jonah.  The OCA faithful are growing weary of these troublemakers and scandals distracting people from the faith.  The Abbess is just another distraction; she doesn't even disclose the correct address of her monastery and I've driven in the neighborhood where this monastery is allegedly located.


SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.

I have to say, from the point of view of many of us NOT in the OCA (and as a non-OCA member, I would remind readers here that I have been steadfast in my defense of the hierarchs of the OCA Holy Synod this past month) did not form a favorable view regarding Metropolitan Jonah following what many us regard as his unfortunate, ill tempered and undiplomatic sermon regarding the elusive topic of 'Orthodox unity' in Dallas from April 5, 2009. I would ask that you consider SolEX01's recent comments in the context of the damage and hurt which were caused by those remarks. While that may be unfair in the bigger picture regarding the Metropolitan, it is simply the truth that his remarks made many of us unwilling to take the Metropolitan seriously in his new role. Life isn't always fair.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 20, 2012, 12:04:31 AM
SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.

I was following the trail of logic derived from this current scandal with the monastery.  Out of respect for this forum and the OCA, I apologize for referring to Metropolitan Jonah as a troublemaker and ask forgiveness from those I've offended.  I am concerned about the OCA and where it stands at the moment....
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orual on August 20, 2012, 12:11:20 AM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?

Who accused the Abbess of what?   ???

As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

The Abbess' monastery has zero reputation in my opinion.  The OCA has had troublemakers in Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, Robert Kondratick and now Metropolitan Jonah.  The OCA faithful are growing weary of these troublemakers and scandals distracting people from the faith.  The Abbess is just another distraction; she doesn't even disclose the correct address of her monastery and I've driven in the neighborhood where this monastery is allegedly located.


SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.

I was very hurt by that remark, and agree that an apology and withdrawal are in order.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 20, 2012, 09:21:40 AM
SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.

I was following the trail of logic derived from this current scandal with the monastery.  Out of respect for this forum and the OCA, I apologize for referring to Metropolitan Jonah as a troublemaker and ask forgiveness from those I've offended.  I am concerned about the OCA and where it stands at the moment....

God forgives.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 20, 2012, 10:01:14 AM
SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.

I was following the trail of logic derived from this current scandal with the monastery.  Out of respect for this forum and the OCA, I apologize for referring to Metropolitan Jonah as a troublemaker and ask forgiveness from those I've offended.
Thank you. :) I forgive you.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 10:07:09 AM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

In this timeline of Fr. Dionysios' life, we can see how this relationship with SVOTS got started: he was originally invited by Archbishop Iakovos to visit Holy Cross Seminary in Boston: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html).  The timeline ends in 1999 with a visit to the US and a banquet in his honor.

In short, His Beatitude's relationship with Fr. Dionysios goes back to the days of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, since he graduated with a MDiv in 1985: http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah (http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah).

However, it seems that lately Fr. Dionysios has not been visiting the US.  I have no documents that explain why, only hearsay.

Any further information would be welcome.

All that being said, I don't think that being a 'disciple of ___________' is necessarily indicative of one's holiness.  For example, Fr. Seraphim Rose's disciple, Fr. Herman, had a checkered career: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons (http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons).  This happens all the time, and sometimes in reverse: we have saints who were educated by heretics!

Whatever Fr. Dionysios' connection to Fr. Amelianos is, he must be judged not by who he knows, but what he does.  I am troubled by the fact that a priest would dare to issue a letter of release to a fellow clergyman (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf) and http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf)), even if it mentions being under the blessing of a Metropolitan, since this is strictly the canonical territory of bishops.  Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that Fr. Dionysios would not insist that the nuns submit to the canonical authority of their bishop in all matters.

In any case, I think the truth is just starting to bubble to the surface, and we have a ways to go before all is made clear.  I do hope the GOC gets control of the situation so that we have no more of these irregularities.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 20, 2012, 10:13:55 AM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 10:22:56 AM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 10:28:11 AM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.   


This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns.

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals.
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

It is great to know that you agree with Zenovia. If you do not mind, would you point me toward some sources other than you and Zenovia?

Mr. MacAvoy--I am still waiting for you to shed some light on your puzzling declarations. I am also curious how a catechumen can be so sure of himself, unless of course he already has the gift of discernment. (Please consider that my sarcasm here is to goad you to answer my simple question)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 10:33:09 AM
His Beatitude's letter has more than one 'oddity' aside from the run-on 'hellaphonic' sentence.  First, there's the all-caps of Dionysios, which is generally reserved for hierarchs.  Second, the opening lacks an exclamation point as usually found in such, well, exclamations as 'Christ is in our midst(!)'.  Third, there is no mention of Fr. Dionysios asking or receiving a blessing from his own metropolitan in order to travel.

I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 10:34:01 AM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I have been thinking about that letter. I do not know Greek but I grew up in Turkey, and I can report that Turks tend to write that way. May be our resident Greek scholars inform us; I wonder if this is the way that the Patriarchate used to communicate under the Ottomans and the style just lingered on?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 10:36:22 AM
Yes, but I think the issue being raised is in light of the fact that His Beatitude has spent little time at all in either Greece or Turkey.   ;)

I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I have been thinking about that letter. I do not know Greek but I grew up in Turkey, and I can report that Turks tend to write that way. May be our resident Greek scholars inform us; I wonder if this is the way that the Patriarchate used to communicate under the Ottomans and the style just lingered on?

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 10:41:44 AM
SolEX01, I can tolerate you questioning His Beatitude's readiness to be given the role of Metropolitan, but to see him called a troublemaker on the same level as his immediate predecessors is not something I can stomach. I respectfully ask, then, that you take back your charge that Metropolitan Jonah is a troublemaker and apologize to those whom you have offended with your impudent remark, and that you speak more respectfully of His Beatitude in the future.

I was following the trail of logic derived from this current scandal with the monastery.  Out of respect for this forum and the OCA, I apologize for referring to Metropolitan Jonah as a troublemaker and ask forgiveness from those I've offended.  I am concerned about the OCA and where it stands at the moment....

Thank you for your apology for the OCA is indeed going through troubled times. However, not all OCA members would be offended by your remarks as Metropolitan Jonah by his own admission caused immense problems. So, while "troublemaker" has a connotation of someone who willingly makes trouble, in his case the word would have lacked that connotation.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 10:44:14 AM
Yes, but I think the issue being raised is in light of the fact that His Beatitude has spent little time at all in either Greece or Turkey.   ;)

I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I have been thinking about that letter. I do not know Greek but I grew up in Turkey, and I can report that Turks tend to write that way. May be our resident Greek scholars inform us; I wonder if this is the way that the Patriarchate used to communicate under the Ottomans and the style just lingered on?


Have you ever worked for a boss who asked you to write something for him and he just appropriated it as his own? It could be that this particular letter originated in Greece and was sent to Metropolitan Jonah to just sign.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 10:55:00 AM
That's a possibility, though His Beatitude was known for being eloquent on his own.  I'm not sure if he had the habit of having other people pen his administrative letters, though his self-confessed aversion to administrative tasks may very well have come into play here.

Another explanation is what I call a 'Social Affect Disorder,' which is when you start imitating the affect/accent/volume/gesticulation/pace of the people with whom you are speaking.  There's a priest out here who's famous for it: he has different accents that come out depending on who he is talking to.  So, if you are Greek, he slides into a Greek accent.  If you are an American convert, he usually goes into an odd 'Mid Atlantic' accent with occasional twists that he pulled from his Episcopalian priesthood which works well with those enamored with Metropolitan Kallistos.

His Beatitude may have penned the letter in that manner having been exposed to similar correspondences from Greece, imitating the affect of a Greek hierarch.


Yes, but I think the issue being raised is in light of the fact that His Beatitude has spent little time at all in either Greece or Turkey.   ;)

I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I have been thinking about that letter. I do not know Greek but I grew up in Turkey, and I can report that Turks tend to write that way. May be our resident Greek scholars inform us; I wonder if this is the way that the Patriarchate used to communicate under the Ottomans and the style just lingered on?


Have you ever worked for a boss who asked you to write something for him and he just appropriated it as his own? It could be that this particular letter originated in Greece and was sent to Metropolitan Jonah to just sign.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 20, 2012, 11:10:22 AM
It's a defensive lawsuit to clear their names from the lies of a malevolent individual. 

She is the plaintiff, so, no, it is not a "defensive" lawsuit.

Further, there is no such thing as a "defensive" lawsuit "to clear one's name" for a Christian. Jesus said, "If any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well." This is fundamental to the Gospel: We are to suffer, not to defend ourselves. Period.

St John Chrysostom says: "As Jesus has commanded, we resist [evil] by surrendering ourselves to suffer wrongfully." Nothing about "clearing our name" or "defending ourselves." Again, period.

The martyrs did not try to "clear their name" (the very idea is full of pride!). Rather, when they were summoned by authorities above them, they gave witness to Christ in the venue in which they were summoned--not by initiating a lawsuit or creating a public forum (a la the Internet) in which to "defend themselves." The very idea that one must violate sacred scripture and canon law in order to "clear one's name" and that doing so is somehow required by God is nothing short of prelest.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 20, 2012, 11:15:47 AM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?

Who accused the Abbess of what?   ???

As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

The Abbess' monastery has zero reputation in my opinion.  The OCA has had troublemakers in Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, Robert Kondratick and now Metropolitan Jonah.  The OCA faithful are growing weary of these troublemakers and scandals distracting people from the faith.  The Abbess is just another distraction; she doesn't even disclose the correct address of her monastery and I've driven in the neighborhood where this monastery is allegedly located.

Those who are distracting people from the faith are those who are spreading rumors and lies.  Best for the whole situation to go to court, so God's work can continue to be done.  :)

Excuse me, but is the work of God normally furthered by violations of scriptural ordinances?  We have Christ saying to treat one who refuses to listen to the Church as a heathen and a tax collector (so, it would seem we are commanded to treat these nuns as heathens since they insist on suing the Church of Christ), and we have St. Paul demanding that we not sue one another.  Does God normally desire for his servants to violate Scripture, or is this a special exception?

P.S., I don't know why any of the post in which I quote a substantial portion of Matthew 18 is bolded, so read it as though it weren't.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 11:28:49 AM
It's a defensive lawsuit to clear their names from the lies of a malevolent individual. 

She is the plaintiff, so, no, it is not a "defensive" lawsuit.

Further, there is no such thing as a "defensive" lawsuit "to clear one's name" for a Christian. Jesus said, "If any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well." This is fundamental to the Gospel: We are to suffer, not to defend ourselves. Period.

St John Chrysostom says: "As Jesus has commanded, we resist [evil] by surrendering ourselves to suffer wrongfully." Nothing about "clearing our name" or "defending ourselves." Again, period.

The martyrs did not try to "clear their name" (the very idea is full of pride!). Rather, when they were summoned by authorities above them, they gave witness to Christ in the venue in which they were summoned--not by initiating a lawsuit or creating a public forum (a la the Internet) in which to "defend themselves." The very idea that one must violate sacred scripture and canon law in order to "clear one's name" and that doing so is somehow required by God is nothing short of prelest.

Amen. I am extremely disappointed and sad with this affair, especially with the unbecoming actions by the Nuns and their defenders.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 11:32:43 AM
That's a possibility, though His Beatitude was known for being eloquent on his own.  I'm not sure if he had the habit of having other people pen his administrative letters, though his self-confessed aversion to administrative tasks may very well have come into play here.

Another explanation is what I call a 'Social Affect Disorder,' which is when you start imitating the affect/accent/volume/gesticulation/pace of the people with whom you are speaking.  There's a priest out here who's famous for it: he has different accents that come out depending on who he is talking to.  So, if you are Greek, he slides into a Greek accent.  If you are an American convert, he usually goes into an odd 'Mid Atlantic' accent with occasional twists that he pulled from his Episcopalian priesthood which works well with those enamored with Metropolitan Kallistos.

His Beatitude may have penned the letter in that manner having been exposed to similar correspondences from Greece, imitating the affect of a Greek hierarch.


Yes, but I think the issue being raised is in light of the fact that His Beatitude has spent little time at all in either Greece or Turkey.   ;)

I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I have been thinking about that letter. I do not know Greek but I grew up in Turkey, and I can report that Turks tend to write that way. May be our resident Greek scholars inform us; I wonder if this is the way that the Patriarchate used to communicate under the Ottomans and the style just lingered on?


Have you ever worked for a boss who asked you to write something for him and he just appropriated it as his own? It could be that this particular letter originated in Greece and was sent to Metropolitan Jonah to just sign.

Dear Father, you are much more knowledgeable and perceptive than me. Could I ask if this sort of carelessness could be narcissistic behavior? I am not putting for a clinical theory but the connotation that +Jonah was self-absorbed/self-centered.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 11:33:24 AM
Zenovia, can you show us where in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church such civil lawsuits are deemed appropriate?

The sad thing is that if they are indeed being "persecute for righteousness' sake," will they not receive a reward?  If they win the lawsuit, what will their reward be?  Certainly not from heaven.  They will receive their earthly reward and nothing more.

But, I say again, the nuns would have had recourse to the Church in seeking their name to be cleared if they had submitted to the canonical order of the Church and obeyed Bishop George.  Because they refused simply obedience to local authority, they have been left without such recourse.

I hope the abbess will repent and see the error of her decision.  Otherwise, she will continue to reap bitter fruit.


It's a defensive lawsuit to clear their names from the lies of a malevolent individual. 

She is the plaintiff, so, no, it is not a "defensive" lawsuit.

Further, there is no such thing as a "defensive" lawsuit "to clear one's name" for a Christian. Jesus said, "If any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well." This is fundamental to the Gospel: We are to suffer, not to defend ourselves. Period.

St John Chrysostom says: "As Jesus has commanded, we resist [evil] by surrendering ourselves to suffer wrongfully." Nothing about "clearing our name" or "defending ourselves." Again, period.

The martyrs did not try to "clear their name" (the very idea is full of pride!). Rather, when they were summoned by authorities above them, they gave witness to Christ in the venue in which they were summoned--not by initiating a lawsuit or creating a public forum (a la the Internet) in which to "defend themselves." The very idea that one must violate sacred scripture and canon law in order to "clear one's name" and that doing so is somehow required by God is nothing short of prelest.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 20, 2012, 11:46:31 AM
But, I say again, the nuns would have had recourse to the Church in seeking their name to be cleared if they had submitted to the canonical order of the Church and obeyed Bishop George.  Because they refused simply obedience to local authority, they have been left without such recourse.

Yes, indeed. The proper venue for *some* of the matters raised by the nuns is an ecclesiastical court; never a secular one. Also never the Internet. Now that the nuns have initiated action in these latter two arenas, in clear disobedience to our Lord and the Tradition of the Church, the likelihood of a good outcome is very slim. I have seen it several times with disobedient clergy and monasteries. Almost without exception, it leads to anathematization. This case will be original, though, since the nuns are now entirely without a bishop.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 11:47:36 AM
Suddenly, a project in my garage is calling my name!   :laugh:

Mr. Kraeff, you are really trying to get me in trouble: I am not a psychologist nor a mental health professional.  So, everything I say is just as authoritative as anything you have to say.  And, having read your posts, your own intelligence probably surpasses mine, so you probably have a better shot at the truth on this than I do.

What I will say, first, is that everyone involved in the Church politics should read this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Wizard-Other-Narcissists-Relationship/dp/0972072837/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345477395&sr=8-1&keywords=wizard+of+oz+book+narcissists (http://www.amazon.com/The-Wizard-Other-Narcissists-Relationship/dp/0972072837/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345477395&sr=8-1&keywords=wizard+of+oz+book+narcissists)

There are a lot of narcissists out there.

As for "Social Affect Disorder," I think it has more to do with insecurity in one's self and fear of the impression one leaves with others.  There is a less malevolent form, I believe it is called 'mirroring,' which people naturally do.  If you get into hypnotic behavior, mirroring is a great way to manipulate others.

In the case of this letter, mirroring was not necessary to get Fr. Dionyios to say 'yes,' so it may well be His Beatitude's desire to have the priest's warm regard and approval.  After all, he was also asking for him to part with a number of monastics under his influence.  Perhaps he thought that writing such a letter in this way would further endear the priest to him and make the imposition of his requests seem less burdensome.

However, I cannot say one way or another whether His Beatitude has a personality disorder.  He did undergo some type of testing, and there is a result of the testing in the hands of the Holy Synod.  I really, really hope that does not become public.  Rather, if His Beatitude is found to be in need of treatment, I certainly hope he gets it for his own well-being.


Dear Father, you are much more knowledgeable and perceptive than me. Could I ask if this sort of carelessness could be narcissistic behavior?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 20, 2012, 02:01:23 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

In defense of the Synod of the OCA, it would seem that they, i.e. through them the OCA, were not the ones doing anything of the sort - it was their former Metropolitan who began this entire mess. The record seems to indicate that they refused to ratify his actions from the very beginning of this somewhat ridiculous saga.

It takes one domino to make the rest of the dominoes fall.  When they start falling, nothing can stop them.

This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore  can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception.   Since those who think this way believe they know what is best for the Church, and since this assumption comes from a gratification of ones pride/ego,   they would be in my opinion the least capable of making decisions in regard to Our Lord's Church since pride/ego is the antithesis of holiness.   :(

Threatening lawsuits is a sin, a violation of sacred scripture and canon law. So what does your logic say about the course of action chosen by the convent?

Your logic can only lead you to believe in the righteousness of your own opinion - anyone in opposition must be 'deceived' or 'expedient' or, to use your own words - 'the antithesis of holiness.' That is quite a charge and one you should consider carefully and one which you ought to discuss with your pastor.  You appear to be on a most slippery slope. Do you honestly believe that a ruling Synod of Orthodox Bishops ( in this case - two such Synods - OCA and ROCOR ) does not operate from the guiding principle that the best interests of God's Holy Church MUST be what guides them? I am sorry if I sound harsh, but your words certainly convey a dangerous spiritual tone.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 20, 2012, 02:06:49 PM
There is no way the Church of Greece would use the Dionysians to hijack the OCA. On the contrary, Elder Dionysios and his nuns are well-known troublemakers in the Church of Greece and the bishops have lost control over them. On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

It's not the Church of Greece doing the hijacking; it is the OCA itself in bringing over monastics known not to obey anyone.

How many confused visitors will visit that monastery and think that they are in an Orthodox Christian monastery when in reality, they are at a vagante monastery.

We could also say that about the monastery re-established by Saint Nektarios' on Aegina, after all his position as bishop was never restored and alway in question, and the position of the monastery was  questioned a few times.  The devil never ceases to hinder those that truly do God's work. :-\

There's a Metropolitan assigned to the island of Aegina; St. Nektarios' monastery commemorates the Metropolitan of Aegina (http://www.imhydra.gr/Mitrop_bio.htm) rather than whoever is the Geronta of that Monastery.

St. Nektarios, persecuted as he was, respected Orthodox authority regardless of where his tired feet wound up.  What makes the Abbess any different in her insistence that she obey a Priestmonk in Greece?

Look, this case is being brought up in court.  If she did anything that was against  Church doctrines, then it will prove that those accusing her are right...so what are they afraid of?    As for Saint Nektarios, he was not responsible for the reputation of anyone other than himself, so he was right in what he did.  Abess Amiliani has to protect the reputation of all the innocent that had been accused, as well as the monastery she had worked so hard to establish.  I am sure she and the others are sufficiently within God's Grace to know what they're doing and who and what they're fighting.

In America, the civil courts will most certainly NOT determine whether her actions ran counter to Church doctrines. I am not going to cite a string of legal precedent but the concept of our courts absenting themselves in matters involving decisions made in accord with the precepts of a hierarchical church will not be governed by civil law is well established in legal precedent. Even if the church violates aspects of public policy. (to a degree....)

Orthodoxy is a hierarchical Church. The Synod is the governing body, the Primate is the head of the Synod. Unless you can prove criminality in the actions (like bribery or overt intent to defraud) you will be out of luck and out of court and out of money for having paid the lawyer who convinced you otherwise.

Now issues over property rights may indeed be heard - if the monastery for example was never deeded to the Diocese or set up as some sort of 'in trust' etc.... That is whole 'nother issue and has little to do with dogma or doctrines.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orual on August 20, 2012, 02:59:32 PM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I agree.  Metropolitan Jonah's usual letter writing is full of short, declarative sentences.  I don't think he wrote that letter.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 20, 2012, 03:12:59 PM
Is it ironic that the last entries for Elder Dionysios, dated August 17, 1999, on the Abbess' former monastery's web site in Greece (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html) correspond to Archbishop Demetrios taking over as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?  Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999.

Plus, wasn't Friends of the Holy Cross supporters of Archbishop Spyridon who were basically shut down by Archbishop Demetrios?

In Reference to Reply #156, I used to write run-on sentences when I was excited over certain topics.  When someone reminded me that I wrote a run-on sentence, I went back and added punctuation.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 03:19:01 PM
(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSmulPczxD99N_TcAjZeqmvZqkk9gwT9ELaWuvIR9aMe-9-qYGIBQ)

Is it ironic that the last entries for Elder Dionysios, dated August 17, 1999, on the Abbess' former monastery's web site in Greece (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html) correspond to Archbishop Demetrios taking over as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?  Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999.

Plus, wasn't Friends of the Holy Cross supporters of Archbishop Spyridon who were basically shut down by Archbishop Demetrios?

In Reference to Reply #156, I used to write run-on sentences when I was excited over certain topics.  When someone reminded me that I wrote a run-on sentence, I went back and added punctuation.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 03:37:22 PM
Suddenly, a project in my garage is calling my name!   :laugh:

Mr. Kraeff, you are really trying to get me in trouble: I am not a psychologist nor a mental health professional.  So, everything I say is just as authoritative as anything you have to say.  And, having read your posts, your own intelligence probably surpasses mine, so you probably have a better shot at the truth on this than I do.

What I will say, first, is that everyone involved in the Church politics should read this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Wizard-Other-Narcissists-Relationship/dp/0972072837/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345477395&sr=8-1&keywords=wizard+of+oz+book+narcissists (http://www.amazon.com/The-Wizard-Other-Narcissists-Relationship/dp/0972072837/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345477395&sr=8-1&keywords=wizard+of+oz+book+narcissists)

There are a lot of narcissists out there.

As for "Social Affect Disorder," I think it has more to do with insecurity in one's self and fear of the impression one leaves with others.  There is a less malevolent form, I believe it is called 'mirroring,' which people naturally do.  If you get into hypnotic behavior, mirroring is a great way to manipulate others.

In the case of this letter, mirroring was not necessary to get Fr. Dionyios to say 'yes,' so it may well be His Beatitude's desire to have the priest's warm regard and approval.  After all, he was also asking for him to part with a number of monastics under his influence.  Perhaps he thought that writing such a letter in this way would further endear the priest to him and make the imposition of his requests seem less burdensome.

However, I cannot say one way or another whether His Beatitude has a personality disorder.  He did undergo some type of testing, and there is a result of the testing in the hands of the Holy Synod.  I really, really hope that does not become public.  Rather, if His Beatitude is found to be in need of treatment, I certainly hope he gets it for his own well-being.


Dear Father, you are much more knowledgeable and perceptive than me. Could I ask if this sort of carelessness could be narcissistic behavior?

My "insight," if one can call it that, is that most people have some aspects of neurological issues, personality disorders and neuroses--a bit autistic, a bit narcissistic, a bit depressed, a bit OCD, etc...I certainly did not mean, nor would I ever declare, that +Jonah suffered from any particular diagnosable disorder. I was merely trying to take advantage of your much greater insights for I also am not a mental health professional nor a priest. Please forgive me.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 20, 2012, 03:37:59 PM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

That letter does not read like it was written by someone whose first language is English and certainly not like the prose I'm used to reading from Met. Jonah.  It's one really long run-on sentence.

I agree.  Metropolitan Jonah's usual letter writing is full of short, declarative sentences.  I don't think he wrote that letter.

At first, I took it as an obvious imitation of the Dionysian style of letter writing, but, on closer inspection, one does wonder if it is a legitimate document, or if it has been tampered with in some way.

First, it is dated weeks before Met. Jonah was enthroned. Was he, at that time, writing letters on official OCA letterhead, embossed with his name and title? If so, it was quite a fast printing job! Not impossible, but quick for a church bureaucracy and its vendors. Also, a little strange before one's enthronement.

Second, the grammatical errors and significant misspellings that one would not expect of an American clergyman (e.g. "Orthodox Church of [sic] America").

Third, words are capitalized that shouldn't be (e.g. "Theological School"), and other words aren't capitalized that should be (e.g. "fathers [sic] Meyendorff and Schmemann" and "Metropolitan of all [sic] America and Canada").

Fourth, phrases that are typical in Greek but not English: "granted you to us," "we close in Christ," "fruitful ecclesiastical course."
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orual on August 20, 2012, 04:04:58 PM
As for "Social Affect Disorder," I think it has more to do with insecurity in one's self and fear of the impression one leaves with others.  There is a less malevolent form, I believe it is called 'mirroring,' which people naturally do.  If you get into hypnotic behavior, mirroring is a great way to manipulate others.

In the case of this letter, mirroring was not necessary to get Fr. Dionyios to say 'yes,' so it may well be His Beatitude's desire to have the priest's warm regard and approval.  After all, he was also asking for him to part with a number of monastics under his influence.  Perhaps he thought that writing such a letter in this way would further endear the priest to him and make the imposition of his requests seem less burdensome.

However, I cannot say one way or another whether His Beatitude has a personality disorder.  He did undergo some type of testing, and there is a result of the testing in the hands of the Holy Synod.  I really, really hope that does not become public.  Rather, if His Beatitude is found to be in need of treatment, I certainly hope he gets it for his own well-being. [/font][/size]

I would not take this letter as evidence as some kind of "social affect disorder".  Dishing out mental health diagnoses of people you are not qualified to diagnose is very dangerous... not to mention rude. 

Also, I have seen other letters by him to people in this group which conform to his usual writing style.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 04:07:52 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I know very well what I'm writing, and I'm sure I'm understood by those with an equal discernment.     As for the others...well, they can only be judged from the Christian understanding and compassion shown in their posts, (which is their 'works'), as well as the support they've given  towards non 'Orthodox' positions; where they have raised themselves in consequence as being the true arbitrators of the 'Faith', and not the Saints of our Church.  ;) 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 20, 2012, 04:08:41 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 20, 2012, 04:14:50 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

For some people here not agreeing with everything they do is tantamount to persecution.  I think it is a recent cultural thing in the US where everybody is constantly trying to be a victim and to be offended. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 20, 2012, 04:29:26 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

For some people here not agreeing with everything they do is tantamount to persecution.  I think it is a recent cultural thing in the US where everybody is constantly trying to be a victim and to be offended. 


Thank you! I've been wondering about this lately - keep finding myself saying to people, "No, I don't hate you. To be perfectly honest, I don't care at all. I just disagree with you."
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 04:36:23 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

I believe the best question would be, why is anyone fearful of having the matter brought to court, if they really believe the nuns are in the wrong?  I should think the nuns accusers would  be happy to see the decision being reaffirmed by a court.  Wouldn't it settle the problem once and for all for them?

As for me, I find it appalling that so called 'Christians' can be so quick to deny the right to a defense to those that sacrificially, and without any self serving interest have dedicated themselves to God?  Is excessive virtue always  so threatening? ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 20, 2012, 04:43:49 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

I believe the best question would be, why is anyone fearful of having the matter brought to court, if they really believe the nuns are in the wrong?  I should think the nuns accusers would  be happy to see the decision being reaffirmed by a court.  Wouldn't it settle the problem once and for all for them?

As for me, I find it appalling that so called 'Christians' can be so quick to deny the right to a defense to those that sacrificially, and without any self serving interest have dedicated themselves to God?  Is excessive virtue always  so threatening? ???

I am not "afraid" of the nuns going to court. Why would I (or anyone else) be? I am sorry, though, since the nuns will likely be excommunicated or anathametized because of this action, unless they repent. And, if they refuse to repent, they will likely lead a small group into schism, which St Basil says is worse than heresy. That is a sad thing, and a tear in the garment of Christ's Body, for no good reason.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 04:48:07 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

The problem here is that the Hierarch released the monastery not because it did anything contrary to the canons and practices of the Orthodox Church, but because he had to find some cause to release the monastery because of pressure. 

Now let's look at the consequences.  These nuns have selflessly dedicated themselves to God and the Orthodox Church.  Their past works have produced great fruit in Greece, and they want to produce these fruits in the U.S.  If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 20, 2012, 04:51:50 PM
If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(

Seriously? Not one American saint?

And you can say with a straight face that Metropolitan Hilarion is afraid? Who do you think is behind this sinister cabal that could frighten a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church?

No, on second thought, don't bother to answer. I can't waste any more time discussing serious issues with conspiracy theorists.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 20, 2012, 04:54:24 PM
The problem here is that the Hierarch released the monastery not because it did anything contrary to the canons and practices of the Orthodox Church, but because he had to find some cause to release the monastery because of pressure. 

Now let's look at the consequences.  These nuns have selflessly dedicated themselves to God and the Orthodox Church.  Their past works have produced great fruit in Greece, and they want to produce these fruits in the U.S.  If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(

This isn't about the accusations of an individual, malevolent or otherwise. It's about the nuns refusal to obey their bishop, waving "legal" documents at him and his priests, instead of complying to his requests.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 20, 2012, 04:59:05 PM
The problem here is that the Hierarch released the monastery not because it did anything contrary to the canons and practices of the Orthodox Church, but because he had to find some cause to release the monastery because of pressure. 

Now let's look at the consequences.  These nuns have selflessly dedicated themselves to God and the Orthodox Church.  Their past works have produced great fruit in Greece, and they want to produce these fruits in the U.S.  If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(

This isn't about the accusations of an individual, malevolent or otherwise. It's about the nuns refusal to obey their bishop, waving "legal" documents at him and his priests, instead of complying to his requests.

Exactly.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 20, 2012, 05:00:35 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

The problem here is that the Hierarch released the monastery not because it did anything contrary to the canons and practices of the Orthodox Church, but because he had to find some cause to release the monastery because of pressure.

Disobedience is now "pressure?"
 
Now let's look at the consequences.  These nuns have selflessly dedicated themselves to God and the Orthodox Church.  Their past works have produced great fruit in Greece,

Did their fruits in Greece suddenly stop in 1999?

and they want to produce these fruits in the U.S.

I can't just declare myself an Orthodox entity (church, monastery, school) just by incorporating myself in a State.

If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(

There was so much joy in November 2011 when the monastery's website went online.  What happened in the last 9 months?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 20, 2012, 05:04:17 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I know very well what I'm writing, and I'm sure I'm understood by those with an equal discernment.     As for the others...well, they can only be judged from the Christian understanding and compassion shown in their posts, (which is their 'works'), as well as the support they've given  towards non 'Orthodox' positions; where they have raised themselves in consequence as being the true arbitrators of the 'Faith', and not the Saints of our Church.  ;) 

Well, "Saint" Zenovia--I am left speechless and desolate that I do not have your "discernment" and your "Christian understanding and compassion." And, since I can not hope to attain your level of spiritual attainment, I bow out of this conversation with you.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Ebor on August 20, 2012, 06:09:34 PM
If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint...

Are you referring to the GOA not having any saints?  Because, as I recall the OCA declared Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn glorified more than a decade ago.  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Raphael_of_Brooklyn

May I ask, by the way, if you have personally visited this monastery or know any of the nuns?  On experience and knowledge do you base your opinions, please?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 20, 2012, 06:18:04 PM
Is it ironic that the last entries for Elder Dionysios, dated August 17, 1999, on the Abbess' former monastery's web site in Greece (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html) correspond to Archbishop Demetrios taking over as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?  Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999.

Plus, wasn't Friends of the Holy Cross supporters of Archbishop Spyridon who were basically shut down by Archbishop Demetrios?

In Reference to Reply #156, I used to write run-on sentences when I was excited over certain topics.  When someone reminded me that I wrote a run-on sentence, I went back and added punctuation.

Hum, Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthina, a titular see, was elected to the Archepiscopal Throne of America by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on August 19, 1999, but there were rumors of his possible election, though there were rumors about a few others too.  The Church of Greece had acted to release him to the Ecumenical Patriarchate so perhaps Fr. Dionysios became aware of that action, in advance of his election to to the American Throne.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 20, 2012, 06:23:01 PM
If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint...

Are you referring to the GOA not having any saints?  Because, as I recall the OCA declared Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn glorified more than a decade ago.  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Raphael_of_Brooklyn

May I ask, by the way, if you have personally visited this monastery or know any of the nuns?  On experience and knowledge do you base your opinions, please?

Yeah, that's why we celebrate "All Saints of North America" after Pentecost because... ya know...we have no saints.  ::)

http://orthodoxwiki.org/List_of_American_saints
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 06:26:37 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 20, 2012, 06:42:48 PM
Is it ironic that the last entries for Elder Dionysios, dated August 17, 1999, on the Abbess' former monastery's web site in Greece (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html) correspond to Archbishop Demetrios taking over as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?  Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999.

Plus, wasn't Friends of the Holy Cross supporters of Archbishop Spyridon who were basically shut down by Archbishop Demetrios?

In Reference to Reply #156, I used to write run-on sentences when I was excited over certain topics.  When someone reminded me that I wrote a run-on sentence, I went back and added punctuation.

Hum, Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthina, a titular see, was elected to the Archepiscopal Throne of America by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on August 19, 1999, but there were rumors of his possible election, though there were rumors about a few others too.  The Church of Greece had acted to release him to the Ecumenical Patriarchate so perhaps Fr. Dionysios became aware of that action, in advance of his election to to the American Throne.

Are we talking about the Elder Dionysios being a candidate for Archbishop of the GOA in 1999?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 06:47:36 PM
If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint...

Are you referring to the GOA not having any saints?  Because, as I recall the OCA declared Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn glorified more than a decade ago.  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Raphael_of_Brooklyn

May I ask, by the way, if you have personally visited this monastery or know any of the nuns?  On experience and knowledge do you base your opinions, please?

I know Abess Amiliani personally, and members of my family know her quite well and had visited a few of the monasteries she helped establish in Greece.  As I said there is a 'spiritual' kinship because of a undertaking by a family member of mine that had been highly blessed.   

Abess Amiliani lived with some people we knew when she was in the NYC area.  I assume she was undergoing physical tests during those times because of her condition, but I can't be certain because as a nun she cannot speak about herself since it would constitute 'pride'.

As for American saints, I don't believe Saint Raphael was born or raised in the U.S.  If I am wrong, please correct me.  Of course we have the Elder Ephraim in this country, and he certainly is a saint, but again he is not a product of this culture.      :)   
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 20, 2012, 06:53:43 PM
Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

I believe the best question would be, why is anyone fearful of having the matter brought to court, if they really believe the nuns are in the wrong?  I should think the nuns accusers would  be happy to see the decision being reaffirmed by a court.  Wouldn't it settle the problem once and for all for them?

As for me, I find it appalling that so called 'Christians' can be so quick to deny the right to a defense to those that sacrificially, and without any self serving interest have dedicated themselves to God?  Is excessive virtue always  so threatening? ???

I for one am not afraid; I am saddened that a group of nuns would seem to so readily disregard the words of Christ and the Apostle Paul in order to defend their honor.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 20, 2012, 06:53:43 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 07:13:56 PM
If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint...

Are you referring to the GOA not having any saints?  Because, as I recall the OCA declared Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn glorified more than a decade ago.  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Raphael_of_Brooklyn

May I ask, by the way, if you have personally visited this monastery or know any of the nuns?  On experience and knowledge do you base your opinions, please?

I know Abess Amiliani personally, and members of my family know her quite well and had visited a few of the monasteries she helped establish in Greece.  As I said there is a 'spiritual' kinship because of a undertaking by a family member of mine that had been highly blessed.   

Abess Amiliani lived with some people we knew when she was in the NYC area.  I assume she was undergoing physical tests during those times because of her condition, but I can't be certain because as a nun she cannot speak about herself since it would constitute 'pride'.

As for American saints, I don't believe Saint Raphael was born or raised in the U.S.  If I am wrong, please correct me.  Of course we have the Elder Ephraim in this country, and he certainly is a saint, but again he is not a product of this culture.      :)   

I would like to add to this.  I looked up American saints and noticed one Serbian saint that was born in the U.S., but he was raised in Serbia.  I'm sure he was tested in Serbia and past all the criteria required for sanctity.  I noticed that Seraphim Rose's name was on the list, and it's doubtful that he's  a saint  even though he was born in the U.S. ???

 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 07:21:58 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 20, 2012, 07:28:55 PM
And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

I'm glad you don't respond to me because I don't want to know what you're implying with the bolded statement that monasteries fight heresies.  We're not iliterate peasants in the Byzantine Empire or the Ottoman Empire.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 07:42:24 PM
What pressure, Zenovia, was put on Metropolitan Hilarion?  Why are you slandering him?

Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

The problem here is that the Hierarch released the monastery not because it did anything contrary to the canons and practices of the Orthodox Church, but because he had to find some cause to release the monastery because of pressure. 

Now let's look at the consequences.  These nuns have selflessly dedicated themselves to God and the Orthodox Church.  Their past works have produced great fruit in Greece, and they want to produce these fruits in the U.S.  If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 07:45:09 PM
The nuns have violated the canons by refusing obedience to the local bishop.

Why is it persecution for a Hierarch to point out practices that he believes are contrary to the canons and practices of our Orthodox Church? Why is it persecution when a jurisdiction releases a monastery that does these things?

The problem here is that the Hierarch released the monastery not because it did anything contrary to the canons and practices of the Orthodox Church, but because he had to find some cause to release the monastery because of pressure. 

Now let's look at the consequences.  These nuns have selflessly dedicated themselves to God and the Orthodox Church.  Their past works have produced great fruit in Greece, and they want to produce these fruits in the U.S.  If you consider that we haven't had even one American saint, which is an attestment to our spiritual immaturity, then don't you think they should be able to do so, and not have it hindered by a malevolent individual who has managed to destroy their reputation...even to the point where it affected (through fear),  Metropolitan Hilarion.  >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 07:45:33 PM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

In this timeline of Fr. Dionysios' life, we can see how this relationship with SVOTS got started: he was originally invited by Archbishop Iakovos to visit Holy Cross Seminary in Boston: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html).  The timeline ends in 1999 with a visit to the US and a banquet in his honor.

In short, His Beatitude's relationship with Fr. Dionysios goes back to the days of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, since he graduated with a MDiv in 1985: http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah (http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah).

However, it seems that lately Fr. Dionysios has not been visiting the US.  I have no documents that explain why, only hearsay.

Any further information would be welcome.

All that being said, I don't think that being a 'disciple of ___________' is necessarily indicative of one's holiness.  For example, Fr. Seraphim Rose's disciple, Fr. Herman, had a checkered career: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons (http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons).  This happens all the time, and sometimes in reverse: we have saints who were educated by heretics!

Whatever Fr. Dionysios' connection to Fr. Amelianos is, he must be judged not by who he knows, but what he does.  I am troubled by the fact that a priest would dare to issue a letter of release to a fellow clergyman (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf) and http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf)), even if it mentions being under the blessing of a Metropolitan, since this is strictly the canonical territory of bishops.  Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that Fr. Dionysios would not insist that the nuns submit to the canonical authority of their bishop in all matters.

In any case, I think the truth is just starting to bubble to the surface, and we have a ways to go before all is made clear.  I do hope the GOC gets control of the situation so that we have no more of these irregularities.



You shouldn't be using  Father  Seraphim Rose as an example, since he is a saint only in the eyes of certain individuals, not in the eyes of the Church.  Anyway true Saints do have certain charisms, and one that almost all saints have is that of being able to read people's souls.  So for the Elder Amilianos, (who is still alive) to be the spiritual father of the Elder Dionysios is a much better  reference as to his character than any bishop or even archbishop or metropolitan would be.  :)


(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/Pascha2010/images/warnwarn.gif) I have warned you for improperly referring to clergy with their correct titles.  You have been warned for this before.  Please take every effort to always have the correct titles for any clergy, living or dead.
- Serb1389. General Fora Moderator
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 07:50:42 PM
And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

I'm glad you don't respond to me because I don't want to know what you're implying with the bolded statement that monasteries fight heresies.  We're not iliterate peasants in the Byzantine Empire or the Ottoman Empire.

Oh, I wasn't aware that it's the people that fight heresies and not saints?  And by the way, I don't appreciate it when you bold statements that I made and then accuse me of doing it.  Having fun aren't we? ::)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 07:51:38 PM
No, Fr. Seraphim is a perfect example.  This happens all the time.  People go to elders and become disciples because theya re sick, not because they are well.  We all need such healing, but such relationships do not excuse sin when sin is commited.

You know very well that Elder Amilianos is very ill and is hardly seen in public these days.

Prove to us that Elder Amilianos approves of Fr. Dionysios maintaining jurisdiction over the nuns.   You seem to know so much, so show us the evidence.


I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

In this timeline of Fr. Dionysios' life, we can see how this relationship with SVOTS got started: he was originally invited by Archbishop Iakovos to visit Holy Cross Seminary in Boston: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html).  The timeline ends in 1999 with a visit to the US and a banquet in his honor.

In short, His Beatitude's relationship with Fr. Dionysios goes back to the days of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, since he graduated with a MDiv in 1985: http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah (http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah).

However, it seems that lately Fr. Dionysios has not been visiting the US.  I have no documents that explain why, only hearsay.

Any further information would be welcome.

All that being said, I don't think that being a 'disciple of ___________' is necessarily indicative of one's holiness.  For example, Fr. Seraphim Rose's disciple, Fr. Herman, had a checkered career: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons (http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons).  This happens all the time, and sometimes in reverse: we have saints who were educated by heretics!

Whatever Fr. Dionysios' connection to Fr. Amelianos is, he must be judged not by who he knows, but what he does.  I am troubled by the fact that a priest would dare to issue a letter of release to a fellow clergyman (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf) and http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf)), even if it mentions being under the blessing of a Metropolitan, since this is strictly the canonical territory of bishops.  Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that Fr. Dionysios would not insist that the nuns submit to the canonical authority of their bishop in all matters.

In any case, I think the truth is just starting to bubble to the surface, and we have a ways to go before all is made clear.  I do hope the GOC gets control of the situation so that we have no more of these irregularities.



You shouldn't be using Seraphim Rose as an example, since he is a saint only in the eyes of certain individuals, not in the eyes of the Church.  Anyway true Saints do have certain charisms, and one that almost all saints have is that of being able to read people's souls.  So for the Elder Amilianos, (who is still alive) to be the spiritual father of the Elder Dionysios is a much better  reference as to his character than any bishop or even archbishop or metropolitan would be.  :)


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 07:54:47 PM
This is beneath you, Zenovia!

Many of us here make routine pilgrimages to monasteries: my family and I have made three such trips this year already.

Shame on you for saying such things!


Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 20, 2012, 08:06:52 PM
And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

I'm glad you don't respond to me because I don't want to know what you're implying with the bolded statement that monasteries fight heresies.  We're not iliterate peasants in the Byzantine Empire or the Ottoman Empire.

Oh, I wasn't aware that it's the people that fight heresies and not saints?  And by the way, I don't appreciate it when you bold statements that I made and then accuse me of doing it.  Having fun aren't we? ::)

You said that monasteries fought heresies.  You're not happy with how existing Orthodox monasteries deal with heresy?  That's something you need to work on.   :)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 08:34:48 PM
No, Fr. Seraphim is a perfect example.  This happens all the time.  People go to elders and become disciples because theya re sick, not because they are well.  We all need such healing, but such relationships do not excuse sin when sin is commited.

You know very well that Elder Amilianos is very ill and is hardly seen in public these days.

Prove to us that Elder Amilianos approves of Fr. Dionysios maintaining jurisdiction over the nuns.   You seem to know so much, so show us the evidence.



Here are some excerpts from an interview of Abess Amiliani on the accident at the Hyatt in Oklahoma City, and why she became a nun. I think the interview would be self explanatory as to what her relationship is with the Saintly Elder Amilianos.  He definitely chose her for some reason.   

"... I remember that I was crushed – bent over with my face between my knees. I couldn’t move anything except my right handslightly from side to side. There was not enough room even to breathe –there were sixty tons on top of me. My knees broke my ribs. At some point my sister pulled on my right hand but couldn’t move me. Then, at some point I spoke to my guardian angel: “Where are you?” I felt my right hand clasped,without pulling, and then I was out. I was lying on my back, totally free of therubble. Someone I did not recognize was holding me and told me that I would be OK.  No one remembers seeing this person..."

"... Although I didn’t think about it at the time logically, the whole of my life was as broken as my back. The whole of my life was as paralyzed as my body.  114 people were killed, so what matters after that? What could bear that much meaning? What could express or feel that much, as to include a connection forever with all those people, all those souls? Only living for them and for everyone.  At that point, my studies lost whatever meaning they had. I got well. I could do anything – marry, have a career. A year after the accident,if you just saw me, you wouldn’t have been able to tell [that I had been so seriously injured].

 The doctors are still totally mystified about it and they openly admit it. They had told my parents that I might not live, but if I lived, I would never walk. And then I received Holy Communion on the eighth day [after the accident], and I moved my whole left foot. So they said, “We don’t know, maybe she will walk, but it will be a year in the hospital with braces and canes.' I left after three months – with a body brace, but with no braces on my legs, and with two canes. So my doctor in Kansas City said and still says that, 'We never could explain you, we can’t and that is it.'

So, I could do anything, but I didn’t care enough about any career to give myself to it. Nothing in the secular life meant enough to me. In that moment no doctor,no scientist, no social worker, no psychologist, no member of my family, no loved one, no friend – nothing – could help me; all the technology in the world wasn’t enough to have saved me. And the others died..."

"...Nine months later I was still in great need after all that had happened and with everything black in front of me. I came to Holy Cross [Seminary inBrookline , Mass. ] for confession with a Hieromonk from Holy Mountain, Fr.Dionysios (He had been invited to the seminary by Archbishop Iakovos during all of Great Lent to offer guidance to the students and faculty). I am still eating the spiritual bread he gave me at that moment.

Some months later, he sent me a picture of his Elder, Archimandrite Aemilianos, Abbot of Simonos Petras Monastery, Mt. Athos. I was totally shocked. I recognized his likeness as the one who pulled me out from under the tons of debris after the accident. Then I knew. What saved me was the prayer of the Elder Aemilianos – someone who was on the other side of the world in his monastery without ever having set foot in America, in the flesh.

There was no reason why he should or could know me. I had heard of him and his spiritual son, my Elder Dionysios, but had no idea I could ever meet them. After that, I found out that the day of the accident was his namesday – 18 July, the feast day of St.Aemilianos the martyr. So it became clear to me in my very blood and broken bones, without this being at all, ever, an analytical thought, that the prayer of a pure – purified! – heart is the most powerful thing in the cosmos..."


http://www.scribd.com/doc/74475919/Maica-Emiliana
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Ebor on August 20, 2012, 08:39:59 PM
Thank you for the information that you personally know some of the persons involved.

One minor detail: You've twice written that the Hyatt walk-ways collapesed in Oklahoma City.  This is incorrect.  it was the Hyatt Regency Kansas City and happened on July 17, 1981.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse

Are there any accounts from persons who were engaged in digging out survivors as to where the lady was found, out of curiosity?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 08:40:35 PM
This is beneath you, Zenovia!

Many of us here make routine pilgrimages to monasteries: my family and I have made three such trips this year already.

Shame on you for saying such things!


Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Okay I apologize, I didn't mean you specifically.  Look you're speaking from your experiences in life, and I'm speaking from mine, so in a way I guess we can say; 'never the twain shall meet'.  :-\
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 20, 2012, 08:44:53 PM
Thank you for the information that you personally know some of the persons involved.

One minor detail: You've twice written that the Hyatt walk-ways collapesed in Oklahoma City.  This is incorrect.  it was the Hyatt Regency Kansas City and happened on July 17, 1981.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse

Are there any accounts from persons who were engaged in digging out survivors as to where the lady was found, out of curiosity?

Thanks for the correction, I keep thinking of Oklahoma City instead of Kansas City.  I posted above some excerpts from an interview.  I did try to find her original testimony which goes into many more details, but I wasn't able to.  ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 20, 2012, 08:46:29 PM
So, what you are saying is that because the abbess had this vision, she must always be under direction from Fr. Dionysios?

No, Fr. Seraphim is a perfect example.  This happens all the time.  People go to elders and become disciples because theya re sick, not because they are well.  We all need such healing, but such relationships do not excuse sin when sin is commited.

You know very well that Elder Amilianos is very ill and is hardly seen in public these days.

Prove to us that Elder Amilianos approves of Fr. Dionysios maintaining jurisdiction over the nuns.   You seem to know so much, so show us the evidence.



Here are some excerpts from an interview of Abess Amiliani on the accident at the Hyatt in Oklahoma City, and why she became a nun. I think the interview would be self explanatory as to what her relationship is with the Saintly Elder Amilianos.  He definitely chose her for some reason.   

"... I remember that I was crushed – bent over with my face between my knees. I couldn’t move anything except my right handslightly from side to side. There was not enough room even to breathe –there were sixty tons on top of me. My knees broke my ribs. At some point my sister pulled on my right hand but couldn’t move me. Then, at some point I spoke to my guardian angel: “Where are you?” I felt my right hand clasped,without pulling, and then I was out. I was lying on my back, totally free of therubble. Someone I did not recognize was holding me and told me that I would be OK.  No one remembers seeing this person..."

"... Although I didn’t think about it at the time logically, the whole of my life was as broken as my back. The whole of my life was as paralyzed as my body.  114 people were killed, so what matters after that? What could bear that much meaning? What could express or feel that much, as to include a connection forever with all those people, all those souls? Only living for them and for everyone.  At that point, my studies lost whatever meaning they had. I got well. I could do anything – marry, have a career. A year after the accident,if you just saw me, you wouldn’t have been able to tell [that I had been so seriously injured].

 The doctors are still totally mystified about it and they openly admit it. They had told my parents that I might not live, but if I lived, I would never walk. And then I received Holy Communion on the eighth day [after the accident], and I moved my whole left foot. So they said, “We don’t know, maybe she will walk, but it will be a year in the hospital with braces and canes.' I left after three months – with a body brace, but with no braces on my legs, and with two canes. So my doctor in Kansas City said and still says that, 'We never could explain you, we can’t and that is it.'

So, I could do anything, but I didn’t care enough about any career to give myself to it. Nothing in the secular life meant enough to me. In that moment no doctor,no scientist, no social worker, no psychologist, no member of my family, no loved one, no friend – nothing – could help me; all the technology in the world wasn’t enough to have saved me. And the others died..."

"...Nine months later I was still in great need after all that had happened and with everything black in front of me. I came to Holy Cross [Seminary inBrookline , Mass. ] for confession with a Hieromonk from Holy Mountain, Fr.Dionysios (He had been invited to the seminary by Archbishop Iakovos during all of Great Lent to offer guidance to the students and faculty). I am still eating the spiritual bread he gave me at that moment.

Some months later, he sent me a picture of his Elder, Archimandrite Aemilianos, Abbot of Simonos Petras Monastery, Mt. Athos. I was totally shocked. I recognized his likeness as the one who pulled me out from under the tons of debris after the accident. Then I knew. What saved me was the prayer of the Elder Aemilianos – someone who was on the other side of the world in his monastery without ever having set foot in America, in the flesh.

There was no reason why he should or could know me. I had heard of him and his spiritual son, my Elder Dionysios, but had no idea I could ever meet them. After that, I found out that the day of the accident was his namesday – 18 July, the feast day of St.Aemilianos the martyr. So it became clear to me in my very blood and broken bones, without this being at all, ever, an analytical thought, that the prayer of a pure – purified! – heart is the most powerful thing in the cosmos..."


http://www.scribd.com/doc/74475919/Maica-Emiliana
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Opus118 on August 20, 2012, 10:43:31 PM
Thank you for the information that you personally know some of the persons involved.

One minor detail: You've twice written that the Hyatt walk-ways collapesed in Oklahoma City.  This is incorrect.  it was the Hyatt Regency Kansas City and happened on July 17, 1981.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse

Are there any accounts from persons who were engaged in digging out survivors as to where the lady was found, out of curiosity?

Thanks for the correction, I keep thinking of Oklahoma City instead of Kansas City.  I posted above some excerpts from an interview.  I did try to find her original testimony which goes into many more details, but I wasn't able to.  ???

I think this is what you are looking for Zenovia:
http://www.assumption.tx.goarch.org/vsItemDisplay.dsp&objectID=F2C08569-44B9-4BC8-8659570CFA08C7ED&method=display

I reiterate that I sympathize with your feelings about Abbess Aemiliane, but from personal and painful experience, things like head trauma can lead to a loss of discernment years later. This was manifested in trust of people that claimed simple solutions to problems but in reality only led to destruction. I see a parallel here but I do not claim to know with any certainty.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 21, 2012, 01:16:03 AM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

In this timeline of Fr. Dionysios' life, we can see how this relationship with SVOTS got started: he was originally invited by Archbishop Iakovos to visit Holy Cross Seminary in Boston: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html).  The timeline ends in 1999 with a visit to the US and a banquet in his honor.

In short, His Beatitude's relationship with Fr. Dionysios goes back to the days of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, since he graduated with a MDiv in 1985: http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah (http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah).

However, it seems that lately Fr. Dionysios has not been visiting the US.  I have no documents that explain why, only hearsay.

Any further information would be welcome.

All that being said, I don't think that being a 'disciple of ___________' is necessarily indicative of one's holiness.  For example, Fr. Seraphim Rose's disciple, Fr. Herman, had a checkered career: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons (http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons).  This happens all the time, and sometimes in reverse: we have saints who were educated by heretics!

Whatever Fr. Dionysios' connection to Fr. Amelianos is, he must be judged not by who he knows, but what he does.  I am troubled by the fact that a priest would dare to issue a letter of release to a fellow clergyman (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf) and http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf)), even if it mentions being under the blessing of a Metropolitan, since this is strictly the canonical territory of bishops.  Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that Fr. Dionysios would not insist that the nuns submit to the canonical authority of their bishop in all matters.

In any case, I think the truth is just starting to bubble to the surface, and we have a ways to go before all is made clear.  I do hope the GOC gets control of the situation so that we have no more of these irregularities.



You shouldn't be using Seraphim Rose as an example, since he is a saint only in the eyes of certain individuals, not in the eyes of the Church.
That's often how one becomes a Saint in the eyes of the Church, through the grass-roots veneration of the people. The people of the Church and the Church herself are not separate entities.

Anyway true Saints do have certain charisms, and one that almost all saints have is that of being able to read people's souls.  So for the Elder Amilianos, (who is still alive) to be the spiritual father of the Elder Dionysios is a much better  reference as to his character than any bishop or even archbishop or metropolitan would be.  :)
Yes, we know of your unorthodox understanding of what constitutes Saintliness. BTW, Elder Amilianos is a saint only in your own eyes, not in the eyes of the Church, so I guess you should stop using him as an example of saintliness, too.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 21, 2012, 01:18:00 AM
I have come back to respond with quotes to two comments, because I was asked to by Carl Kraeff.

Quote
Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

Quote
I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

These two comments suggest to me that a number of people on this message board are of the liberal persuasion. This is to say that they are overly "humanist", thinking that man control the destiny of man instead of recognizing the limitations and directives God gave us. I know you may say this out of ignorance, not knowing any better. My response to the Carl Kraeff and James Rotneck is only because I love you as my brothers, not because I take delight in being any wiser than you, for we all are sinners seeking God's mercy.

In the spirit of kindness I offer these quotations:

Quote
“It is a great joy for me to see you all, monks, novices and seminarians. What happens inside the walls of this monastery is very important for the Church and for you yourselves: to find salvation through the monastic life and to support each other on this path to salvation.

Monasticism is the foundation of the Church; without monasticism there is no Orthodoxy.

Monasticism is the apostolic way of life, life fully in accord with the Gospel, life in full submission to the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Monasticism is real Christian life. I cannot describe with words how important this ‘life solely for the sake of Christ’ is for the Church, for all believers, and for all those who have yet to come to the Church. You may not know them, these future Christians; but they see your brotherly love, they see that there is the possibility of living not according to earthly laws but according to the Gospel. And when people see that brothers love each other, support each other, bear with each other, then they understand that there exists another completely different world. And that is your most important missionary activity.
- His Beatitude, Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada JONAH visited Moscow’s Sretensky Stavropegial Monastery, 28 April 2009, .

taken from: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/30255.htm (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/30255.htm)

Quote
"There is little doubt among Orthodox Christians and non-Orthodox alike that the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity is the Holy Mountain, Mt. Athos"

"There are those who would argue that for Orthodoxy in America to be thriving and evangelistic, it must do so in spite of monasteries. In other words, monasteries are old world. In the new world, in this individualistic culture we know as the United States, monasticism has not a place. If Orthodoxy is to thrive, whether here or anywhere else, it is because of a good monastic spiritual support, not despite it. Orthodoxy without monasticism is not Orthodoxy; it is a shadow of its true and holy self.

But that doesn't solve the problem. We can't all go to Athos. We can't all take a trip for a week to a monastery which is located 800+ miles away. So, what are the faithful to do who long for spiritual counseling that can only be given in a monastic environment? I wish I had an answer because I am trying to find it for myself.

Don't get me wrong: my father confessor is a wonderful priest and I do receive good counsels from him. But he is also a family man, with a wife and children and, on top of that, has a good deal of many responsibilities to the church which does not allow him the full range of the contemplative life. And that is fine. The Orthodox faith has always had married clergy and celibate clergy. But Orthodoxy is about theosis, growing to become like God, to participate in His energies and, in a mystical, sublime way, partaking of His essence. Ascesis is not just for monks, but for all of us faithful, married and not. But if we have no ascetics among us, how do we learn that? How do we practice? How do we grow?

We need monasteries here in the midwest. We NEED them. Are they for everyone? Of course not, but some of us are starving for more spiritual direction and retreat than what our parish churches and priests can give us! That is a fact. "

from: http://myorthodoxjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/looking-for-monasticism-in-all-right.html (http://myorthodoxjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/looking-for-monasticism-in-all-right.html)

Quote
"It would be hard (but not impossible) to imagine the Orthodox Church without monasticism, so vital is this to her spiritual health and vitality."
- http://www.orthodoxresource.co.uk/orthodoxy/monasticism.htm (http://www.orthodoxresource.co.uk/orthodoxy/monasticism.htm)

Quote
"In the dark centuries which followed the barbarian invasions monasteries played an immensely important part, and it has been truly said that without monasticism Christianity could hardly have survived. The barbarians often respected the monasteries when they destroyed everything else, and many men and women found a refuge in the cloister from the violence which raged without."

"Many monks were missionaries (think St. Boniface evangelist to the saxons and much of northern germany), and we must not forget that Saxon England was converted by monks from Ireland, Scotland and Rome."
- page 87 "The Expansion of the Christian Church"


Quote
"In Augustine we see the monk-bishop met previously in Basil the Great. Both were concerned with internal monasticism into the larger church, they were equally aware of the need to call monastic communities to social responsibility. They were harbingers of the Byzantine and Latin medieval ecclesiastical landscapes in which bishops and monastic communions were sometimes rivals, often freinds, and always interwinded.

In assessing the legacy of early Christian monasticism. it can simply be noted that for the vast majority of Christians during the last 1,500 years a church without monasticism would have been unimaginable."
- page 364, "The Early Christian World" by Columba Stewart


Quote
"The first protest against Constantinianism, however, came not from sectarians but from Catholic monks. The new monastic movement had an almost immediate impact upon the church. Bishops were recruited from among those with some monastic training. For example, Athanasius (d. 373) was a disciple of Antony of Egypt (d. 355), generally regarded as the founder of monasticism. One historian has argued that the strong missionary impetus, the remarkable development of pastoral care, the effort to christianize the Roman state, and above all the theological work of the great councils of the fourth and fifth centuries would have been inconceivable without monasticism. On the other hand, when monks were appointed bishops they tended to bring with them some of their monastic mores, particularly celibacy and a certain reserve toward ordinary human experiences. As a result, there developed a separation between pastoral leaders and the laity, based not only upon the exercise of power and jurisdiction but also upon a diversity in spiritualities.

Imported into the West from the East, monasticism reached its high point in the middle of the sixth century with the founding of Monte Cassino by Benedict of Nursia (d. 547). Monks were directly involved in the missionary expansion of the church in Ireland, Scotland, Gaul, and England between the fifth and the seventh century. This missionary enterprise was so successful that, in the eighth century, English missionaries had a prominent role in evangelizing the more pagan parts of Europe.

In spite of its simple purposes of work and prayer, Western monasticism would serve as the principal carrier of Western civilization during the Middle Ages. No other movement or institution had such social or intellectual influence. With the restoration of some political stability to Europe by the middle of the eleventh century, monks tended to withdraw from temporal and ecclesiastical affairs to return to their monasteries, and a renewal of monasticism followed. "

from http://www.academicroom.com/topics/what-is-roman-catholicism (http://www.academicroom.com/topics/what-is-roman-catholicism)

Yes, monstacism is the essence of the faith, along with of course the most holy Eucharist and other things, but it is definitely integral.





Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 21, 2012, 01:50:24 AM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

Monasteries didn't forge heresies?  Have you heard of the Name-Worshiping Heresy?

And as for what the Church is, it is the Body of Christ - and monks are not the only members.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 21, 2012, 04:42:34 AM
Is it ironic that the last entries for Elder Dionysios, dated August 17, 1999, on the Abbess' former monastery's web site in Greece (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html) correspond to Archbishop Demetrios taking over as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?  Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999.

Plus, wasn't Friends of the Holy Cross supporters of Archbishop Spyridon who were basically shut down by Archbishop Demetrios?

In Reference to Reply #156, I used to write run-on sentences when I was excited over certain topics.  When someone reminded me that I wrote a run-on sentence, I went back and added punctuation.

Hum, Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthina, a titular see, was elected to the Archepiscopal Throne of America by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on August 19, 1999, but there were rumors of his possible election, though there were rumors about a few others too.  The Church of Greece had acted to release him to the Ecumenical Patriarchate so perhaps Fr. Dionysios became aware of that action, in advance of his election to to the American Throne.

Are we talking about the Elder Dionysios being a candidate for Archbishop of the GOA in 1999?


No. 

I just thought that perhaps Fr. Dionysios' letter congratulating Metropolitan Demetrios for his election to the American Throne, which was noted to have been dated prior to the election, was due to Father having heard +Demetrios had been transferred from the Church of Greece to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 21, 2012, 08:07:41 AM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Yesterday, Peter the Aleut asked a poster to apologize and retract an unfortunate word used to describe a Bishop. He graciously did so.

Your words here are far worse and offensive. Who are you to judge your brothers and sisters with such hardness in your heart and such an elevated sense of self?  NO ONE has said that monasticism as no place in the Church - this is a fantasy of your own impassioned anger over how you perceive this issue.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 21, 2012, 08:23:13 AM
I have come back to respond with quotes to two comments, because I was asked to by Carl Kraeff.

Quote
Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

Quote
I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

These two comments suggest to me that a number of people on this message board are of the liberal persuasion. This is to say that they are overly "humanist", thinking that man control the destiny of man instead of recognizing the limitations and directives God gave us. I know you may say this out of ignorance, not knowing any better. My response to the Carl Kraeff and James Rotneck is only because I love you as my brothers, not because I take delight in being any wiser than you, for we all are sinners seeking God's mercy.

In the spirit of kindness I offer these quotations:

Quote
“It is a great joy for me to see you all, monks, novices and seminarians. What happens inside the walls of this monastery is very important for the Church and for you yourselves: to find salvation through the monastic life and to support each other on this path to salvation.

Monasticism is the foundation of the Church; without monasticism there is no Orthodoxy.

Monasticism is the apostolic way of life, life fully in accord with the Gospel, life in full submission to the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Monasticism is real Christian life. I cannot describe with words how important this ‘life solely for the sake of Christ’ is for the Church, for all believers, and for all those who have yet to come to the Church. You may not know them, these future Christians; but they see your brotherly love, they see that there is the possibility of living not according to earthly laws but according to the Gospel. And when people see that brothers love each other, support each other, bear with each other, then they understand that there exists another completely different world. And that is your most important missionary activity.
- His Beatitude, Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada JONAH visited Moscow’s Sretensky Stavropegial Monastery, 28 April 2009, .

taken from: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/30255.htm (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/30255.htm)

Quote
"There is little doubt among Orthodox Christians and non-Orthodox alike that the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity is the Holy Mountain, Mt. Athos"

"There are those who would argue that for Orthodoxy in America to be thriving and evangelistic, it must do so in spite of monasteries. In other words, monasteries are old world. In the new world, in this individualistic culture we know as the United States, monasticism has not a place. If Orthodoxy is to thrive, whether here or anywhere else, it is because of a good monastic spiritual support, not despite it. Orthodoxy without monasticism is not Orthodoxy; it is a shadow of its true and holy self.

But that doesn't solve the problem. We can't all go to Athos. We can't all take a trip for a week to a monastery which is located 800+ miles away. So, what are the faithful to do who long for spiritual counseling that can only be given in a monastic environment? I wish I had an answer because I am trying to find it for myself.

Don't get me wrong: my father confessor is a wonderful priest and I do receive good counsels from him. But he is also a family man, with a wife and children and, on top of that, has a good deal of many responsibilities to the church which does not allow him the full range of the contemplative life. And that is fine. The Orthodox faith has always had married clergy and celibate clergy. But Orthodoxy is about theosis, growing to become like God, to participate in His energies and, in a mystical, sublime way, partaking of His essence. Ascesis is not just for monks, but for all of us faithful, married and not. But if we have no ascetics among us, how do we learn that? How do we practice? How do we grow?

We need monasteries here in the midwest. We NEED them. Are they for everyone? Of course not, but some of us are starving for more spiritual direction and retreat than what our parish churches and priests can give us! That is a fact. "

from: http://myorthodoxjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/looking-for-monasticism-in-all-right.html (http://myorthodoxjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/looking-for-monasticism-in-all-right.html)

Quote
"It would be hard (but not impossible) to imagine the Orthodox Church without monasticism, so vital is this to her spiritual health and vitality."
- http://www.orthodoxresource.co.uk/orthodoxy/monasticism.htm (http://www.orthodoxresource.co.uk/orthodoxy/monasticism.htm)

Quote
"In the dark centuries which followed the barbarian invasions monasteries played an immensely important part, and it has been truly said that without monasticism Christianity could hardly have survived. The barbarians often respected the monasteries when they destroyed everything else, and many men and women found a refuge in the cloister from the violence which raged without."

"Many monks were missionaries (think St. Boniface evangelist to the saxons and much of northern germany), and we must not forget that Saxon England was converted by monks from Ireland, Scotland and Rome."
- page 87 "The Expansion of the Christian Church"


Quote
"In Augustine we see the monk-bishop met previously in Basil the Great. Both were concerned with internal monasticism into the larger church, they were equally aware of the need to call monastic communities to social responsibility. They were harbingers of the Byzantine and Latin medieval ecclesiastical landscapes in which bishops and monastic communions were sometimes rivals, often freinds, and always interwinded.

In assessing the legacy of early Christian monasticism. it can simply be noted that for the vast majority of Christians during the last 1,500 years a church without monasticism would have been unimaginable."
- page 364, "The Early Christian World" by Columba Stewart


Quote
"The first protest against Constantinianism, however, came not from sectarians but from Catholic monks. The new monastic movement had an almost immediate impact upon the church. Bishops were recruited from among those with some monastic training. For example, Athanasius (d. 373) was a disciple of Antony of Egypt (d. 355), generally regarded as the founder of monasticism. One historian has argued that the strong missionary impetus, the remarkable development of pastoral care, the effort to christianize the Roman state, and above all the theological work of the great councils of the fourth and fifth centuries would have been inconceivable without monasticism. On the other hand, when monks were appointed bishops they tended to bring with them some of their monastic mores, particularly celibacy and a certain reserve toward ordinary human experiences. As a result, there developed a separation between pastoral leaders and the laity, based not only upon the exercise of power and jurisdiction but also upon a diversity in spiritualities.

Imported into the West from the East, monasticism reached its high point in the middle of the sixth century with the founding of Monte Cassino by Benedict of Nursia (d. 547). Monks were directly involved in the missionary expansion of the church in Ireland, Scotland, Gaul, and England between the fifth and the seventh century. This missionary enterprise was so successful that, in the eighth century, English missionaries had a prominent role in evangelizing the more pagan parts of Europe.

In spite of its simple purposes of work and prayer, Western monasticism would serve as the principal carrier of Western civilization during the Middle Ages. No other movement or institution had such social or intellectual influence. With the restoration of some political stability to Europe by the middle of the eleventh century, monks tended to withdraw from temporal and ecclesiastical affairs to return to their monasteries, and a renewal of monasticism followed. "

from http://www.academicroom.com/topics/what-is-roman-catholicism (http://www.academicroom.com/topics/what-is-roman-catholicism)

Yes, monstacism is the essence of the faith, along with of course the most holy Eucharist and other things, but it is definitely integral.







If I were your priest, I would say you have a way to go before Chrismation.

Reread the posts you are objecting to. None of us are arguing against monasticism. What we are confused and concerned about is the inability of some who profess to be within a monastic community to accept and adhere to the laws of the Church and to respect their spiritual leaders - i.e. their rightful Bishop.

You claim ROCOR as your jurisdiction. I respectfully suggest that you meet asap with your ROCOR priest to discuss your objections to the decisions of your Primate and whether, in light of your strong personal beliefs, you are, in fact, within the proper place for your own spiritual journey.

It is bad enough in the world of modern politics that we have become a nation where we blindly assume that those who disagree with us are not just wrong but somehow 'evil' and that we hurl words of description devoid of their meaning. I tire of this in Church matters even more. It seems that when someone disagrees over something, that many are quick to hurl modern versions of 'anathemas' like 'liberal', 'modernist' and the worst of all - 'innovationist.'
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 21, 2012, 09:11:24 AM
Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

This comment wasn't directed at me, but I am included in the "others on the forum" category.  It is probably true that some on this forum do not care about monasticism, prayer, fasting, the salvation of the soul, etc., and fit your description quite well.  However, others of us care very much about monasticism, have monastic spiritual fathers, and visit monasteries regularly.  To some of us, the situation with this particular monastery is raising major red flags precisely because we have become familiar with traditional and authentic Orthodox monasticism and with the lives of the saints, and the way this monastery is conducting itself in the present circumstances seems in significant contrast to what we find in the lives of the saints and in the example of good and traditional monasteries. 

From what I understand, Bishop George of ROCOR was given oversight over the monastery.  To suggest that Bp. George, a long-time monastic who resides at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, is somehow not supportive of traditional monasticism would be the height of foolishness.  Interestingly, exactly one month before Abbess Aemiliane (then a laywoman in the world) was trapped under the collapsed walkway at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Bishop George (then Fr. Mitrophan) in June of 1981 was tonsured to the Great Schema on Mt. Athos. 

I would love for everything to work out for these nuns and for their monastery to thrive, but I think they have dug themselves into a very deep hole (or the abbess has done the digging for them), and I don’t see how they can possibly get out of it. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 21, 2012, 09:22:18 AM
Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

This comment wasn't directed at me, but I am included in the "others on the forum" category.  It is probably true that some on this forum do not care about monasticism, prayer, fasting, the salvation of the soul, etc., and fit your description quite well.  However, others of us care very much about monasticism, have monastic spiritual fathers, and visit monasteries regularly.  To some of us, the situation with this particular monastery is raising major red flags precisely because we have become familiar with traditional and authentic Orthodox monasticism and with the lives of the saints, and the way this monastery is conducting itself in the present circumstances seems in significant contrast to what we find in the lives of the saints and in the example of good and traditional monasteries. 

From what I understand, Bishop George of ROCOR was given oversight over the monastery.  To suggest that Bp. George, a long-time monastic who resides at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, is somehow not supportive of traditional monasticism would be the height of foolishness.  Interestingly, exactly one month before Abbess Aemiliane (then a laywoman in the world) was trapped under the collapsed walkway at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Bishop George (then Fr. Mitrophan) in June of 1981 was tonsured to the Great Schema on Mt. Athos. 

I would love for everything to work out for these nuns and for their monastery to thrive, but I think they have dug themselves into a very deep hole (or the abbess has done the digging for them), and I don’t see how they can possibly get out of it. 


Quite right, jah777. I lived in a monastery for a year and have been a regular pilgrim at monasteries throughout North America, Greece, Romania, Ukraine, and Turkey. The actions the monastery in question have taken do not comport with Orthodox monasticism and put the nuns in danger of excommunication or anathematization. That's an unfortunate fact, but a fact nonetheless. Let's hope the nuns repent of these actions. Everyone can make mistakes. All one needs to do is recognize one's errors and change course. ROCOR has tried to let the nuns off easy--Met Hilarion is not given to conflict--but instead of accepting the offer of a gracious exit, the nuns are biting the hand that blessed them.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 10:28:54 AM
So, what you are saying is that because the abbess had this vision, she must always be under direction from Fr. Dionysios?

No, Fr. Seraphim is a perfect example.  This happens all the time.  People go to elders and become disciples because theya re sick, not because they are well.  We all need such healing, but such relationships do not excuse sin when sin is commited.

You know very well that Elder Amilianos is very ill and is hardly seen in public these days.

Prove to us that Elder Amilianos approves of Fr. Dionysios maintaining jurisdiction over the nuns.   You seem to know so much, so show us the evidence.



Here are some excerpts from an interview of Abess Amiliani on the accident at the Hyatt in Oklahoma City, and why she became a nun. I think the interview would be self explanatory as to what her relationship is with the Saintly Elder Amilianos.  He definitely chose her for some reason.   

"... I remember that I was crushed – bent over with my face between my knees. I couldn’t move anything except my right handslightly from side to side. There was not enough room even to breathe –there were sixty tons on top of me. My knees broke my ribs. At some point my sister pulled on my right hand but couldn’t move me. Then, at some point I spoke to my guardian angel: “Where are you?” I felt my right hand clasped,without pulling, and then I was out. I was lying on my back, totally free of therubble. Someone I did not recognize was holding me and told me that I would be OK.  No one remembers seeing this person..."

"... Although I didn’t think about it at the time logically, the whole of my life was as broken as my back. The whole of my life was as paralyzed as my body.  114 people were killed, so what matters after that? What could bear that much meaning? What could express or feel that much, as to include a connection forever with all those people, all those souls? Only living for them and for everyone.  At that point, my studies lost whatever meaning they had. I got well. I could do anything – marry, have a career. A year after the accident,if you just saw me, you wouldn’t have been able to tell [that I had been so seriously injured].

 The doctors are still totally mystified about it and they openly admit it. They had told my parents that I might not live, but if I lived, I would never walk. And then I received Holy Communion on the eighth day [after the accident], and I moved my whole left foot. So they said, “We don’t know, maybe she will walk, but it will be a year in the hospital with braces and canes.' I left after three months – with a body brace, but with no braces on my legs, and with two canes. So my doctor in Kansas City said and still says that, 'We never could explain you, we can’t and that is it.'

So, I could do anything, but I didn’t care enough about any career to give myself to it. Nothing in the secular life meant enough to me. In that moment no doctor,no scientist, no social worker, no psychologist, no member of my family, no loved one, no friend – nothing – could help me; all the technology in the world wasn’t enough to have saved me. And the others died..."

"...Nine months later I was still in great need after all that had happened and with everything black in front of me. I came to Holy Cross [Seminary inBrookline , Mass. ] for confession with a Hieromonk from Holy Mountain, Fr.Dionysios (He had been invited to the seminary by Archbishop Iakovos during all of Great Lent to offer guidance to the students and faculty). I am still eating the spiritual bread he gave me at that moment.

Some months later, he sent me a picture of his Elder, Archimandrite Aemilianos, Abbot of Simonos Petras Monastery, Mt. Athos. I was totally shocked. I recognized his likeness as the one who pulled me out from under the tons of debris after the accident. Then I knew. What saved me was the prayer of the Elder Aemilianos – someone who was on the other side of the world in his monastery without ever having set foot in America, in the flesh.

There was no reason why he should or could know me. I had heard of him and his spiritual son, my Elder Dionysios, but had no idea I could ever meet them. After that, I found out that the day of the accident was his namesday – 18 July, the feast day of St.Aemilianos the martyr. So it became clear to me in my very blood and broken bones, without this being at all, ever, an analytical thought, that the prayer of a pure – purified! – heart is the most powerful thing in the cosmos..."


http://www.scribd.com/doc/74475919/Maica-Emiliana

A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped.  Others who were in better positions had died, because they could not be saved in time. A man who she assumed at the time was her guardian angel, but who she later found out was the Elder Amilianos, gently grasped her hand as she lay crumbled up under all the tons of steel and concrete, and without exerting any pressure slid her out. 

This is a little more than a vision, since the Elder was in Greece and had bi located himself in order to help her.  It is a full blown miracle, that shows in some respect that God had a purpose for the Abess Ameliani's life, and the purpose could only come about throught the saintly Elder Amilianos' spiritual son; the Elder Dionysius.  According to the interview I posted, she hadn't known the Elder Dionysius, although she had heard about him.  It appears she met him nine months after the accident when she was still confused as to the purpose of her life.

We are to judge others according to their works.  Well the good works of the Elder and the Abess have been proven in Greece, where monasteries that were obsolete, are  thriving once again.  :angel: 

 

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 21, 2012, 10:34:47 AM
Just to note that people can be spiritual and recipients of miracles and all the rest, and still make mistakes.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 10:41:34 AM
Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

This comment wasn't directed at me, but I am included in the "others on the forum" category.  It is probably true that some on this forum do not care about monasticism, prayer, fasting, the salvation of the soul, etc., and fit your description quite well.  However, others of us care very much about monasticism, have monastic spiritual fathers, and visit monasteries regularly.  To some of us, the situation with this particular monastery is raising major red flags precisely because we have become familiar with traditional and authentic Orthodox monasticism and with the lives of the saints, and the way this monastery is conducting itself in the present circumstances seems in significant contrast to what we find in the lives of the saints and in the example of good and traditional monasteries. 

From what I understand, Bishop George of ROCOR was given oversight over the monastery.  To suggest that Bp. George, a long-time monastic who resides at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, is somehow not supportive of traditional monasticism would be the height of foolishness.  Interestingly, exactly one month before Abbess Aemiliane (then a laywoman in the world) was trapped under the collapsed walkway at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Bishop George (then Fr. Mitrophan) in June of 1981 was tonsured to the Great Schema on Mt. Athos. 

I would love for everything to work out for these nuns and for their monastery to thrive, but I think they have dug themselves into a very deep hole (or the abbess has done the digging for them), and I don’t see how they can possibly get out of it. 


Quite right, jah777. I lived in a monastery for a year and have been a regular pilgrim at monasteries throughout North America, Greece, Romania, Ukraine, and Turkey. The actions the monastery in question have taken do not comport with Orthodox monasticism and put the nuns in danger of excommunication or anathematization. That's an unfortunate fact, but a fact nonetheless. Let's hope the nuns repent of these actions. Everyone can make mistakes. All one needs to do is recognize one's errors and change course. ROCOR has tried to let the nuns off easy--Met Hilarion is not given to conflict--but instead of accepting the offer of a gracious exit, the nuns are biting the hand that blessed them.

From what I have read, this has nothing to do with Metropolitan Hilarion, but rather it has to do with the person that threatened the Metropolitan, so that he had no alternative but to do what he did or he would suffer the same fate as Metropolitan Jordan.  Who in the 'd***' world has the right to threaten a Metropolitan of a Church, and bravo that the Abess is willing to fight for the honor of those virtuous and self sacrificing people she knows that work for our Lord's Church, rather than bowing down to malevolence of some individual or individuals that shouldn't be in the Church in the first place.   Courage is the sign of a saint.   :angel:
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 10:42:52 AM
Zenovia, don't dodge the question: are you saying that for this reason alone the abbess must always be under direction from Fr. Dionysios and not completely obedient to a local bishop?

So, what you are saying is that because the abbess had this vision, she must always be under direction from Fr. Dionysios?

No, Fr. Seraphim is a perfect example.  This happens all the time.  People go to elders and become disciples because theya re sick, not because they are well.  We all need such healing, but such relationships do not excuse sin when sin is commited.

You know very well that Elder Amilianos is very ill and is hardly seen in public these days.

Prove to us that Elder Amilianos approves of Fr. Dionysios maintaining jurisdiction over the nuns.   You seem to know so much, so show us the evidence.



Here are some excerpts from an interview of Abess Amiliani on the accident at the Hyatt in Oklahoma City, and why she became a nun. I think the interview would be self explanatory as to what her relationship is with the Saintly Elder Amilianos.  He definitely chose her for some reason.   

"... I remember that I was crushed – bent over with my face between my knees. I couldn’t move anything except my right handslightly from side to side. There was not enough room even to breathe –there were sixty tons on top of me. My knees broke my ribs. At some point my sister pulled on my right hand but couldn’t move me. Then, at some point I spoke to my guardian angel: “Where are you?” I felt my right hand clasped,without pulling, and then I was out. I was lying on my back, totally free of therubble. Someone I did not recognize was holding me and told me that I would be OK.  No one remembers seeing this person..."

"... Although I didn’t think about it at the time logically, the whole of my life was as broken as my back. The whole of my life was as paralyzed as my body.  114 people were killed, so what matters after that? What could bear that much meaning? What could express or feel that much, as to include a connection forever with all those people, all those souls? Only living for them and for everyone.  At that point, my studies lost whatever meaning they had. I got well. I could do anything – marry, have a career. A year after the accident,if you just saw me, you wouldn’t have been able to tell [that I had been so seriously injured].

 The doctors are still totally mystified about it and they openly admit it. They had told my parents that I might not live, but if I lived, I would never walk. And then I received Holy Communion on the eighth day [after the accident], and I moved my whole left foot. So they said, “We don’t know, maybe she will walk, but it will be a year in the hospital with braces and canes.' I left after three months – with a body brace, but with no braces on my legs, and with two canes. So my doctor in Kansas City said and still says that, 'We never could explain you, we can’t and that is it.'

So, I could do anything, but I didn’t care enough about any career to give myself to it. Nothing in the secular life meant enough to me. In that moment no doctor,no scientist, no social worker, no psychologist, no member of my family, no loved one, no friend – nothing – could help me; all the technology in the world wasn’t enough to have saved me. And the others died..."

"...Nine months later I was still in great need after all that had happened and with everything black in front of me. I came to Holy Cross [Seminary inBrookline , Mass. ] for confession with a Hieromonk from Holy Mountain, Fr.Dionysios (He had been invited to the seminary by Archbishop Iakovos during all of Great Lent to offer guidance to the students and faculty). I am still eating the spiritual bread he gave me at that moment.

Some months later, he sent me a picture of his Elder, Archimandrite Aemilianos, Abbot of Simonos Petras Monastery, Mt. Athos. I was totally shocked. I recognized his likeness as the one who pulled me out from under the tons of debris after the accident. Then I knew. What saved me was the prayer of the Elder Aemilianos – someone who was on the other side of the world in his monastery without ever having set foot in America, in the flesh.

There was no reason why he should or could know me. I had heard of him and his spiritual son, my Elder Dionysios, but had no idea I could ever meet them. After that, I found out that the day of the accident was his namesday – 18 July, the feast day of St.Aemilianos the martyr. So it became clear to me in my very blood and broken bones, without this being at all, ever, an analytical thought, that the prayer of a pure – purified! – heart is the most powerful thing in the cosmos..."


http://www.scribd.com/doc/74475919/Maica-Emiliana

A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped.  Others who were in better positions had died, because they could not be saved in time. A man who she assumed at the time was her guardian angel, but who she later found out was the Elder Amilianos, gently grasped her hand as she lay crumbled up under all the tons of steel and concrete, and without exerting any pressure slid her out. 

This is a little more than a vision, since the Elder was in Greece and had bi located himself in order to help her.  It is a full blown miracle, that shows in some respect that God had a purpose for the Abess Ameliani's life, and the purpose could only come about throught the saintly Elder Amilianos' spiritual son; the Elder Dionysius.  According to the interview I posted, she hadn't known the Elder Dionysius, although she had heard about him.  It appears she met him nine months after the accident when she was still confused as to the purpose of her life.

We are to judge others according to their works.  Well the good works of the Elder and the Abess have been proven in Greece, where monasteries that were obsolete, are  thriving once again.  :angel: 

 


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 21, 2012, 10:45:11 AM
It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 21, 2012, 10:48:50 AM
From what I have read, this has nothing to do with Metropolitan Hilarion, but rather it has to do with the person that threatened the Metropolitan, so that he had no alternative but to do what he did or he would suffer the same fate as Metropolitan Jordan.

Gossip. Another sin.

bravo that the Abess is willing to fight for the honor of those virtuous and self sacrificing people she knows that work for our Lord's Church, rather than bowing down to malevolence of some individual or individuals that shouldn't be in the Church in the first place.   Courage is the sign of a saint.   :angel:

As you yourself so rightly said: "This is an excuse used by those who believe the end justifies the means, even though the means they use is sinful, and therefore can never be of the Holy Spirit.  Sinful means can only come through a spirit of deception."

Sinful means, such as suing a Christian in a secular court, expressly forbidden by Holy Scripture, can only come through a spirit of deception. Amen.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 10:49:07 AM
Just to note that people can be spiritual and recipients of miracles and all the rest, and still make mistakes.

The only way we can distinguish a person's character and if they are  right and wrong is  by their works.   I think it best to look at the works of Abess Amiliani and compare it to the works of her accusers.    :)  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 10:52:38 AM
Who is this person that threatened Metropolitan Hilarion?

Zenovia, do you realize that by saying this, you are advocating that Metropolitan Hilarion be deposed from the episcopate?
Let me quote for you the Third Oath of the Bishop at his consecration:

And herewith I promise also to do nothing through constraint, whether coerced by powerful persons, or by a multitude of the people, even though they should command me, under pain of death, to do something contrary to divine and holy laws:

When you say that Metropolitan Hilarion was forced to make a decision against what is good and true, then you are saying he must be deposed.  You are also saying that he has violated the essence of his own monasticism, as our hierarchs are selected from amongst the monastics so that they have no means by which we married folk can be threatened: family, property, personal appearance, concern for power, etc.

A monastic even forsakes his own flesh and blood, renouncing his family name (that's why it goes in parenthesis).

By saying that Metropolitan Hilarion caved to illicit pressure, you are lodging an accusation for which he must be deposed.

Is this what you are demanding?

Or, are you once again saying something that you must now retract?


From what I have read, this has nothing to do with Metropolitan Hilarion, but rather it has to do with the person that threatened the Metropolitan, so that he had no alternative but to do what he did or he would suffer the same fate as Metropolitan Jordan.   Who in the 'd***' world has the right to threaten a Metropolitan of a Church, and bravo that the Abess is willing to fight for the honor of those virtuous and self sacrificing people she knows that work for our Lord's Church, rather than bowing down to malevolence of some individual or individuals that shouldn't be in the Church in the first place.   Courage is the sign of a saint.   :angel:
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 21, 2012, 10:54:04 AM
It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?

Mainly because OC.net is the only venue online (that I know of) where such things are being discussed honestly. In other words, I do it for those who are searching online for some answers, not Zenovia, whose ability to discern the sinfulness of these particular actions of the nuns has obviously been clouded by her personal acquaintance with them.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 21, 2012, 10:59:25 AM
It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?

Mainly because OC.net is the only venue online (that I know of) where such things are being discussed honestly. In other words, I do it for those who are searching online for some answers, not Zenovia, whose ability to discern the sinfulness of these particular actions of the nuns has obviously been clouded by her personal acquaintance with them.

My point is that you've put forth the case already.  Now you're just arguing in circles, saying the same thing.  Do what you want, but this has gone beyond simply discussing or even refutation and has delved into the realms of:

(http://endofthenet.org/wp-content/uploads/wrongonnetcartoon.bmp)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 11:01:13 AM
I think it is helpful because there are some folks out there who do not yet know the truth about the DC nuns.  You'd be surprised how many people have missed some of the most critical problems with the arguments the nuns have made.  So, the more she argues, the more opportunities we have to get the truth out for the lurkers who are reading.

It also helps explain why the OCA Holy Synod opposed the reception of the nuns to begin with, because there was knowledge within the HS about potential problems judging from the irregular manner of their establishment.  Furthermore, it also sheds light on some of the decisions of His Beatitude that led to his resignation.

By proving who the nuns and their supporters really are, we can see better how His Beatitude was used by others not for the good of the Church, but their own agendas.

More will be revealed...


It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 21, 2012, 11:01:34 AM
I have come back to respond with quotes to two comments, because I was asked to by Carl Kraeff.

Quote
Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

Quote
I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

These two comments suggest to me that a number of people on this message board are of the liberal persuasion. This is to say that they are overly "humanist", thinking that man control the destiny of man instead of recognizing the limitations and directives God gave us. I know you may say this out of ignorance, not knowing any better. My response to the Carl Kraeff and James Rotneck is only because I love you as my brothers, not because I take delight in being any wiser than you, for we all are sinners seeking God's mercy.

In the spirit of kindness I offer these quotations:

<A good number of quotations>

Yes, monstacism is the essence of the faith, along with of course the most holy Eucharist and other things, but it is definitely integral.


I thank you for your kindness and your homework. Now that you have had a chance to cool down, I see that you have started to expound a more Orthodox position ("Yes, monstacism is the essence of the faith, along with of course the most holy Eucharist and other things, but it is definitely integral."). However, you have a long way to go before you are entitled to declare that this and that person are talking "out of ignorance."

Let me first talk about proper use of language in argumentation. I hope that you will understand the following distinctions:

False: "Monasticism is the essence of the Orthodox Church."

True: "Monasticism is essential to the Orthodox Church" or "Monasticism is an essential part of the Orthodox Church."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
False: "Monasticism has been an essential part of the Orthodox Church from the very beginning."

True: ""Monasticism has been an essential part of the Orthodox Church since the Fourth Century."
---------------------------------------------------------------------
False: "Monasteries are the depository of the faith."

True: "Monasteries are not the depository of the faith; the Church is the depository of faith."
OR
True: "At various periods, monasteries were the depository of the faith, helping various local churches to remain orthodox."

Now, let us turn to your presumptions about JamesRottnek or me. You declare "These two comments suggest to me that a number of people on this message board are of the liberal persuasion. This is to say that they are overly "humanist", thinking that man control the destiny of man instead of recognizing the limitations and directives God gave us. I know you may say this out of ignorance, not knowing any better." You add "My response to the Carl Kraeff and James Rotneck is only because I love you as my brothers, not because I take delight in being any wiser than you, for we all are sinners seeking God's mercy." Regardless of your protestations, BTW, I think that you take delight in thinking that you are wiser. Indeed, the only true statement above is that we are all sinners. As for your use of "liberal persuasion" and "humanist thinking," I suggest that you use them to damn opposing view points, almost as cuss words.

Let me give you a bit of advice here to complement the excellent post by Podkarpatska: Be aware that one of the greatest sins that may afflict you is prelest. To avoid that particular sin, it would help if you simply quit being so condescending and condemnatory of those who hold opposing views. In addition, I recommend that you pay attention to context; time and place are not restricted to now and a particular church. Broaden your horizons, learn a little humility and you will be a much more effective contributor to discussions. This incidentally is the advice I have to give myself often for I am cursed with a too quick a mind and pride.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 11:04:03 AM
And, here you are, arguing with us, Sergeant Schultz!  ;)


(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR9SEh1HUArOid4l9t0QQAPNp4r78GQYN_k-kLGL5rxum4LG64kOw)


It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?

Mainly because OC.net is the only venue online (that I know of) where such things are being discussed honestly. In other words, I do it for those who are searching online for some answers, not Zenovia, whose ability to discern the sinfulness of these particular actions of the nuns has obviously been clouded by her personal acquaintance with them.

My point is that you've put forth the case already.  Now you're just arguing in circles, saying the same thing.  Do what you want, but this has gone beyond simply discussing or even refutation and has delved into the realms of:

(http://endofthenet.org/wp-content/uploads/wrongonnetcartoon.bmp)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 21, 2012, 11:08:02 AM
And, here you are, arguing with us, Sergeant Schultz!  ;)


(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR9SEh1HUArOid4l9t0QQAPNp4r78GQYN_k-kLGL5rxum4LG64kOw)


It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?

Mainly because OC.net is the only venue online (that I know of) where such things are being discussed honestly. In other words, I do it for those who are searching online for some answers, not Zenovia, whose ability to discern the sinfulness of these particular actions of the nuns has obviously been clouded by her personal acquaintance with them.

My point is that you've put forth the case already.  Now you're just arguing in circles, saying the same thing.  Do what you want, but this has gone beyond simply discussing or even refutation and has delved into the realms of:

(http://endofthenet.org/wp-content/uploads/wrongonnetcartoon.bmp)

Not really.  Including this post, i've posted all of three times in this thread.  Once, to question the veracity and authenticity of the letter attributed to Met. Jonah.  The one where I've said, "This thread is madness."  And this one.

I'm not arguing, merely pointing out that this thread has become a merry-go-round, of sorts, and has become counter-productive.

I'll leave you all to your ride.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 11:13:09 AM
If I may add to what Carl has already eloquently stated, if you do indeed end up received into the Orthodox Church, then these people whom you have cast aspersions will be your brethren.  Those "humanists" and "liberals" will be part of the same Body of Christ as you are (at this stage, not yet).  You will receive the same Eucharist and be utterly united with them in a way that you cannot deny.  After all, it is not up to you to judge who is or is not part of the Body.

You also cannot speak of who properly bears the Faith, when you yourself are still learning.

I used to judge older priests when I was a seminarian.  I saw how they fell short in this way or that.  Now that I have suffered these years on their path, I regret my arrogance and haughtiness.  Many of the people you deal with here have the scars to show that they have been faithful to Christ through hardships that you or I would crumple under.  And, you dare to judge them?


I have come back to respond with quotes to two comments, because I was asked to by Carl Kraeff.

Quote
Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

Quote
I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

These two comments suggest to me that a number of people on this message board are of the liberal persuasion. This is to say that they are overly "humanist", thinking that man control the destiny of man instead of recognizing the limitations and directives God gave us. I know you may say this out of ignorance, not knowing any better. My response to the Carl Kraeff and James Rotneck is only because I love you as my brothers, not because I take delight in being any wiser than you, for we all are sinners seeking God's mercy.

In the spirit of kindness I offer these quotations:

<A good number of quotations>

Yes, monstacism is the essence of the faith, along with of course the most holy Eucharist and other things, but it is definitely integral.


I thank you for your kindness and your homework. Now that you have had a chance to cool down, I see that you have started to expound a more Orthodox position ("Yes, monstacism is the essence of the faith, along with of course the most holy Eucharist and other things, but it is definitely integral."). However, you have a long way to go before you are entitled to declare that this and that person are talking "out of ignorance."

Let me first talk about proper use of language in argumentation. I hope that you will understand the following distinctions:

False: "Monasticism is the essence of the Orthodox Church."

True: "Monasticism is essential to the Orthodox Church" or "Monasticism is an essential part of the Orthodox Church."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
False: "Monasticism has been an essential part of the Orthodox Church from the very beginning."

True: ""Monasticism has been an essential part of the Orthodox Church since the Fourth Century."
---------------------------------------------------------------------
False: "Monasteries are the depository of the faith."

True: "Monasteries are not the depository of the faith; the Church is the depository of faith."
OR
True: "At various periods, monasteries were the depository of the faith, helping various local churches to remain orthodox."

Now, let us turn to your presumptions about JamesRottnek or me. You declare "These two comments suggest to me that a number of people on this message board are of the liberal persuasion. This is to say that they are overly "humanist", thinking that man control the destiny of man instead of recognizing the limitations and directives God gave us. I know you may say this out of ignorance, not knowing any better." You add "My response to the Carl Kraeff and James Rotneck is only because I love you as my brothers, not because I take delight in being any wiser than you, for we all are sinners seeking God's mercy." Regardless of your protestations, BTW, I think that you take delight in thinking that you are wiser. Indeed, the only true statement above is that we are all sinners. As for your use of "liberal persuasion" and "humanist thinking," I suggest that you use them to damn opposing view points, almost as cuss words. Let me give you a bit of advice here to complement the excellent post by Podkarpatska: Be aware that one of the greatest sins that afflict you is prelest. To avoid that particular sin, it would help if you simply quit being so condescending and condemnatory of those who hold opposing views. In addition, I recommend that you pay attention to context; time and place are not restricted to now and a particular church. Broaden your horizons, learn a little humility and you will be a much more effective contributor to discussions. This incidentally is the advice I have to give myself often for I am cursed with a too quick a mind and pride.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 21, 2012, 11:24:02 AM
It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?

Mainly because OC.net is the only venue online (that I know of) where such things are being discussed honestly. In other words, I do it for those who are searching online for some answers, not Zenovia, whose ability to discern the sinfulness of these particular actions of the nuns has obviously been clouded by her personal acquaintance with them.

My point is that you've put forth the case already.  Now you're just arguing in circles, saying the same thing.  Do what you want, but this has gone beyond simply discussing or even refutation and has delved into the realms of:

(http://endofthenet.org/wp-content/uploads/wrongonnetcartoon.bmp)

Don't show my wife that!! ;-)

Yes, there is some of that, but I have learned (or re-learned) something very important from this exchange with Zenovia. As I mentioned above, St Basil says that schism is worse than heresy. The Byzantine monastic Typika say that one who foments dissension and schism should be cut off like a diseased limb. A harsh teaching, but this case demonstrates why it is true. Schism is much more deceptive than heresy, and it tears apart more easily the Body of Christ. More often than not in Church history, the motivations for schism are actually because of zeal for purity: Novatianists, Donatists, even those in the Tetragamy Schism, were all standing up for morality and a strict orthodox faith. Because of this, it is easier for the sheep to be fooled; to think that what appears to be the "more monastic," stricter line is the right one. When, in fact, it is a deception and, in the cases of those who lead such factions, anathema.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 11:34:35 AM
Amen!

It is patently obvious that Zenovia will not be swayed by any argument.  S/He is convinced that the Abbess can do no wrong.  Period.

What's the point of continuing to argue the same points over and over?

Mainly because OC.net is the only venue online (that I know of) where such things are being discussed honestly. In other words, I do it for those who are searching online for some answers, not Zenovia, whose ability to discern the sinfulness of these particular actions of the nuns has obviously been clouded by her personal acquaintance with them.

My point is that you've put forth the case already.  Now you're just arguing in circles, saying the same thing.  Do what you want, but this has gone beyond simply discussing or even refutation and has delved into the realms of:

(http://endofthenet.org/wp-content/uploads/wrongonnetcartoon.bmp)

Don't show my wife that!! ;-)

Yes, there is some of that, but I have learned (or re-learned) something very important from this exchange with Zenovia. As I mentioned above, St Basil says that schism is worse than heresy. The Byzantine monastic Typika say that one who foments dissension and schism should be cut off like a diseased limb. A harsh teaching, but this case demonstrates why it is true. Schism is much more deceptive than heresy, and it tears apart more easily the Body of Christ. More often than not in Church history, the motivations for schism are actually because of zeal for purity: Novatianists, Donatists, even those in the Tetragamy Schism, were all standing up for morality and a strict orthodox faith. Because of this, it is easier for the sheep to be fooled; to think that what appears to be the "more monastic," stricter line is the right one. When, in fact, it is a deception and, in the cases of those who lead such factions, anathema.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Opus118 on August 21, 2012, 12:03:01 PM
A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped.  Others who were in better positions had died, because they could not be saved in time. A man who she assumed at the time was her guardian angel, but who she later found out was the Elder Amilianos, gently grasped her hand as she lay crumbled up under all the tons of steel and concrete, and without exerting any pressure slid her out. 

This is a little more than a vision, since the Elder was in Greece and had bi located himself in order to help her.  It is a full blown miracle, that shows in some respect that God had a purpose for the Abess Ameliani's life, and the purpose could only come about throught the saintly Elder Amilianos' spiritual son; the Elder Dionysius.  According to the interview I posted, she hadn't known the Elder Dionysius, although she had heard about him.  It appears she met him nine months after the accident when she was still confused as to the purpose of her life.

The one thing that bothers me about the above is that the witnesses to this miracle, Rachael Hanson and especially her husband Dennis McFall, have said/written nothing about this from what I can see. Rachael is a Lutheran minister in Minnesota.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 12:44:46 PM
I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

In this timeline of Fr. Dionysios' life, we can see how this relationship with SVOTS got started: he was originally invited by Archbishop Iakovos to visit Holy Cross Seminary in Boston: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html).  The timeline ends in 1999 with a visit to the US and a banquet in his honor.

In short, His Beatitude's relationship with Fr. Dionysios goes back to the days of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, since he graduated with a MDiv in 1985: http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah (http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah).

However, it seems that lately Fr. Dionysios has not been visiting the US.  I have no documents that explain why, only hearsay.

Any further information would be welcome.

All that being said, I don't think that being a 'disciple of ___________' is necessarily indicative of one's holiness.  For example, Fr. Seraphim Rose's disciple, Fr. Herman, had a checkered career: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons (http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons).  This happens all the time, and sometimes in reverse: we have saints who were educated by heretics!

Whatever Fr. Dionysios' connection to Fr. Amelianos is, he must be judged not by who he knows, but what he does.  I am troubled by the fact that a priest would dare to issue a letter of release to a fellow clergyman (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf) and http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf)), even if it mentions being under the blessing of a Metropolitan, since this is strictly the canonical territory of bishops.  Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that Fr. Dionysios would not insist that the nuns submit to the canonical authority of their bishop in all matters.

In any case, I think the truth is just starting to bubble to the surface, and we have a ways to go before all is made clear.  I do hope the GOC gets control of the situation so that we have no more of these irregularities.



You shouldn't be using Seraphim Rose as an example, since he is a saint only in the eyes of certain individuals, not in the eyes of the Church.
That's often how one becomes a Saint in the eyes of the Church, through the grass-roots veneration of the people. The people of the Church and the Church herself are not separate entities.

Anyway true Saints do have certain charisms, and one that almost all saints have is that of being able to read people's souls.  So for the Elder Amilianos, (who is still alive) to be the spiritual father of the Elder Dionysios is a much better  reference as to his character than any bishop or even archbishop or metropolitan would be.  :)
Yes, we know of your unorthodox understanding of what constitutes Saintliness. BTW, Elder Amilianos is a saint only in your own eyes, not in the eyes of the Church, so I guess you should stop using him as an example of saintliness, too.

The Elder Amilianos is considered a saint in Greece by almost everyone, and especially by all the other known future saints such as the Elder Porphyrios, and the Elder Paisius.  Sanctity requires not only a sacrificially virtuous life and an excessive love for mankind, but also proof from God since people can be easily deceived.  Saint Nektarios was not the only saint that was calumniated and slandered, almost all the saints were so that proof from God is  needed to separate 'as they say' the wheat from the chaff. 

 All of these Elders have been given special charisms by God above and beyond the miraculous cures given to those that have asked for their prayers...such as the charism of bi location of the Elder Amilianos when he saved the Abess Amiliani.   Anyway the reason I cannot see Seraphim Rose as a saint, nor for that matter the Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, is because in both cases they said things that would have encouraged  passions towards certain people, when a saint's only concern should be for the betterment of people's souls.  This doesn't mean that I agree with the ideals of the group of people they condemned, but we should never be encouraged to despise people, only the ideas they espouse.  :)
 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 12:54:31 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

Monasteries didn't forge heresies?  Have you heard of the Name-Worshiping Heresy?

And as for what the Church is, it is the Body of Christ - and monks are not the only members.

Very Protestant isn't that?  Not that I'm condemning it, but what in your mind constitutes the Church since there are so many branches and so many different interpretations of doctrines, etc.? ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 12:59:58 PM
Zenovia, again I ask: is this, in your opinion, sufficient reason for Abbess Aemeliani to be exempt from regular Church order and not be completely obedient to the local bishop?

I want to take a moment to correct a theory I put forward earlier in this thread concerning Fr. Dionyios' connection with Metropolitan Jonah.  I postulated that the 'troubled priest' was the source of the connection between His Beatitude and Fr. Dionyios, but it seems this is not the case.

Here is a letter (I believe it is authentic since it is unlikely that the nuns would be adept at forging documents, at least one would hope!) from Metropolitan Jonah to Fr. Dionysios describing how they met at St. Vladmimir's Seminary: http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/31-jonahwashingtonnewyork_08dec20081.pdf)

In this timeline of Fr. Dionysios' life, we can see how this relationship with SVOTS got started: he was originally invited by Archbishop Iakovos to visit Holy Cross Seminary in Boston: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html (http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder.html).  The timeline ends in 1999 with a visit to the US and a banquet in his honor.

In short, His Beatitude's relationship with Fr. Dionysios goes back to the days of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, since he graduated with a MDiv in 1985: http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah (http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah).

However, it seems that lately Fr. Dionysios has not been visiting the US.  I have no documents that explain why, only hearsay.

Any further information would be welcome.

All that being said, I don't think that being a 'disciple of ___________' is necessarily indicative of one's holiness.  For example, Fr. Seraphim Rose's disciple, Fr. Herman, had a checkered career: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons (http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Sanctioned&id=89&sType=Persons).  This happens all the time, and sometimes in reverse: we have saints who were educated by heretics!

Whatever Fr. Dionysios' connection to Fr. Amelianos is, he must be judged not by who he knows, but what he does.  I am troubled by the fact that a priest would dare to issue a letter of release to a fellow clergyman (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/29-68-release-paper-frmelchisedek13dec2008en1.pdf) and http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/18-18-releasefrserapheimsymeon_11apr09-en.pdf)), even if it mentions being under the blessing of a Metropolitan, since this is strictly the canonical territory of bishops.  Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that Fr. Dionysios would not insist that the nuns submit to the canonical authority of their bishop in all matters.

In any case, I think the truth is just starting to bubble to the surface, and we have a ways to go before all is made clear.  I do hope the GOC gets control of the situation so that we have no more of these irregularities.



You shouldn't be using Seraphim Rose as an example, since he is a saint only in the eyes of certain individuals, not in the eyes of the Church.
That's often how one becomes a Saint in the eyes of the Church, through the grass-roots veneration of the people. The people of the Church and the Church herself are not separate entities.

Anyway true Saints do have certain charisms, and one that almost all saints have is that of being able to read people's souls.  So for the Elder Amilianos, (who is still alive) to be the spiritual father of the Elder Dionysios is a much better  reference as to his character than any bishop or even archbishop or metropolitan would be.  :)
Yes, we know of your unorthodox understanding of what constitutes Saintliness. BTW, Elder Amilianos is a saint only in your own eyes, not in the eyes of the Church, so I guess you should stop using him as an example of saintliness, too.

The Elder Amilianos is considered a saint in Greece by almost everyone, and especially by all the other known future saints such as the Elder Porphyrios, and the Elder Paisius.  Sanctity requires not only a sacrificially virtuous life and an excessive love for mankind, but also proof from God since people can be easily deceived.  Saint Nektarios was not the only saint that was calumniated and slandered, almost all the saints were so that proof from God is  needed to separate 'as they say' the wheat from the chaff. 

 All of these Elders have been given special charisms by God above and beyond the miraculous cures given to those that have asked for their prayers...such as the charism of bi location of the Elder Amilianos when he saved the Abess Amiliani.   Anyway the reason I cannot see Seraphim Rose as a saint, nor for that matter the Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, is because in both cases they said things that would have encouraged  passions towards certain people, when a saint's only concern should be for the betterment of people's souls.  This doesn't mean that I agree with the ideals of the group of people they condemned, but we should never be encouraged to despise people, only the ideas they espouse.  :)
 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 21, 2012, 01:04:06 PM
The Elder Amilianos is considered a saint in Greece by almost everyone, and especially by all the other known future saints such as the Elder Porphyrios, and the Elder Paisius.  Sanctity requires not only a sacrificially virtuous life and an excessive love for mankind, but also proof from God since people can be easily deceived.  Saint Nektarios was not the only saint that was calumniated and slandered, almost all the saints were so that proof from God is  needed to separate 'as they say' the wheat from the chaff. 

 All of these Elders have been given special charisms by God above and beyond the miraculous cures given to those that have asked for their prayers...such as the charism of bi location of the Elder Amilianos when he saved the Abess Amiliani.   Anyway the reason I cannot see Seraphim Rose as a saint, nor for that matter the Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, is because in both cases they said things that would have encouraged  passions towards certain people, when a saint's only concern should be for the betterment of people's souls.  This doesn't mean that I agree with the ideals of the group of people they condemned, but we should never be encouraged to despise people, only the ideas they espouse.  :)

The fact is, outside of America Fr. Seraphim is widely venerated as a saint and is referred to simply as “St. Seraphim”.  You can find such veneration for him in Greece, Russia, Serbia, Romania, etc., whether you agree with this veneration or not. 

Regarding Elder Aimilianos, I have no difficulty believing in his sanctity, but I honestly do not know much about him and I did not realize that he was still living.  In general, it is not proper to refer to those who are living as being “saints”. 

But, it is not Elder Aimilianos that is the focus of concern in this thread.  It is rather Abbess Aemiliane and Elder Dionysios.  I do not know much about either, honestly, aside from what is presented on the fhc.org website, the website for her monastery in Maryland, and the interview with her where she discusses the tragedy in 1981 and her life since then.  From the little that I have seen, I have been very concerned, but I am open to having my concerns alleviated if Abbess Aemiliane is able to correct the course of her monastery and if I receive more complete testimony regarding Elder Dionysios which would challenge my current impressions.   
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 01:05:32 PM
Zenovia, don't dodge the question: are you saying that for this reason alone the abbess must always be under direction from Fr. Dionysios and not completely obedient to a local bishop?

So, what you are saying is that because the abbess had this vision, she must always be under direction from Fr. Dionysios?

No, Fr. Seraphim is a perfect example.  This happens all the time.  People go to elders and become disciples because theya re sick, not because they are well.  We all need such healing, but such relationships do not excuse sin when sin is commited.

You know very well that Elder Amilianos is very ill and is hardly seen in public these days.

Prove to us that Elder Amilianos approves of Fr. Dionysios maintaining jurisdiction over the nuns.   You seem to know so much, so show us the evidence.



Here are some excerpts from an interview of Abess Amiliani on the accident at the Hyatt in Oklahoma City, and why she became a nun. I think the interview would be self explanatory as to what her relationship is with the Saintly Elder Amilianos.  He definitely chose her for some reason.   

"... I remember that I was crushed – bent over with my face between my knees. I couldn’t move anything except my right handslightly from side to side. There was not enough room even to breathe –there were sixty tons on top of me. My knees broke my ribs. At some point my sister pulled on my right hand but couldn’t move me. Then, at some point I spoke to my guardian angel: “Where are you?” I felt my right hand clasped,without pulling, and then I was out. I was lying on my back, totally free of therubble. Someone I did not recognize was holding me and told me that I would be OK.  No one remembers seeing this person..."

"... Although I didn’t think about it at the time logically, the whole of my life was as broken as my back. The whole of my life was as paralyzed as my body.  114 people were killed, so what matters after that? What could bear that much meaning? What could express or feel that much, as to include a connection forever with all those people, all those souls? Only living for them and for everyone.  At that point, my studies lost whatever meaning they had. I got well. I could do anything – marry, have a career. A year after the accident,if you just saw me, you wouldn’t have been able to tell [that I had been so seriously injured].

 The doctors are still totally mystified about it and they openly admit it. They had told my parents that I might not live, but if I lived, I would never walk. And then I received Holy Communion on the eighth day [after the accident], and I moved my whole left foot. So they said, “We don’t know, maybe she will walk, but it will be a year in the hospital with braces and canes.' I left after three months – with a body brace, but with no braces on my legs, and with two canes. So my doctor in Kansas City said and still says that, 'We never could explain you, we can’t and that is it.'

So, I could do anything, but I didn’t care enough about any career to give myself to it. Nothing in the secular life meant enough to me. In that moment no doctor,no scientist, no social worker, no psychologist, no member of my family, no loved one, no friend – nothing – could help me; all the technology in the world wasn’t enough to have saved me. And the others died..."

"...Nine months later I was still in great need after all that had happened and with everything black in front of me. I came to Holy Cross [Seminary inBrookline , Mass. ] for confession with a Hieromonk from Holy Mountain, Fr.Dionysios (He had been invited to the seminary by Archbishop Iakovos during all of Great Lent to offer guidance to the students and faculty). I am still eating the spiritual bread he gave me at that moment.

Some months later, he sent me a picture of his Elder, Archimandrite Aemilianos, Abbot of Simonos Petras Monastery, Mt. Athos. I was totally shocked. I recognized his likeness as the one who pulled me out from under the tons of debris after the accident. Then I knew. What saved me was the prayer of the Elder Aemilianos – someone who was on the other side of the world in his monastery without ever having set foot in America, in the flesh.

There was no reason why he should or could know me. I had heard of him and his spiritual son, my Elder Dionysios, but had no idea I could ever meet them. After that, I found out that the day of the accident was his namesday – 18 July, the feast day of St.Aemilianos the martyr. So it became clear to me in my very blood and broken bones, without this being at all, ever, an analytical thought, that the prayer of a pure – purified! – heart is the most powerful thing in the cosmos..."


http://www.scribd.com/doc/74475919/Maica-Emiliana

A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped.  Others who were in better positions had died, because they could not be saved in time. A man who she assumed at the time was her guardian angel, but who she later found out was the Elder Amilianos, gently grasped her hand as she lay crumbled up under all the tons of steel and concrete, and without exerting any pressure slid her out. 

This is a little more than a vision, since the Elder was in Greece and had bi located himself in order to help her.  It is a full blown miracle, that shows in some respect that God had a purpose for the Abess Ameliani's life, and the purpose could only come about throught the saintly Elder Amilianos' spiritual son; the Elder Dionysius.  According to the interview I posted, she hadn't known the Elder Dionysius, although she had heard about him.  It appears she met him nine months after the accident when she was still confused as to the purpose of her life.

We are to judge others according to their works.  Well the good works of the Elder and the Abess have been proven in Greece, where monasteries that were obsolete, are  thriving once again.  :angel: 



From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable.  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 01:24:38 PM

Monasteries didn't forge heresies?  Have you heard of the Name-Worshiping Heresy?

And as for what the Church is, it is the Body of Christ - and monks are not the only members.

What makes you so certain that the name of Jesus Christ when it's not used in a blasphemous way, is not Jesus Christ Himself?  I don't know how a name which is representative of someone, can be seperate from the person it represents?  Wouldn't your name be an image of you since it stands for you and everything you yourself represent?  By the same token when we mention Jesus Christ, then wouldn't it be representative of Jesus Christ, and wouldn't anything representative of God also be among us?   

You know you're treading into some very deep theological concepts here, so  tell me now, who declared it a heresy?   ???

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 21, 2012, 01:34:36 PM
so  tell me now, who declared it a heresy?   ???

St Patriarch Tikhon and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as other Patriarchal Synods. You're right, though, that Fr Bulgakov defended it at the Moscow Council, as did other well known theologians enamored of German Idealism.

Far better examples abound from throughout Church history, including Severus of Antioch, a monk known for his asceticism and for working miracles, who led thousands of monks in opposition to Chalcedon for decades before they and he were finally excommunicated.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 21, 2012, 01:36:13 PM
From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable. 

From the directive of Met Hilarion to Abbess Aemiliane, Met Hilarion acknowledges that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was known from the beginning and was initially accepted.  He says, though, that ROCOR can “no longer accept” a monastic foundation that is dependent on “a spiritual father living in Greece and answering to an entirely different Local Church.”  Why the change of mind?  Most likely it had to do with a certain controversy surrounding a priestmonk affiliated with the monastery and ROCOR’s attempt to investigate the matter.  It seems that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was accepted by ROCOR until that allegiance prevented the bishops from performing their episcopal responsibilities with regard to the monastery.  In other words, this allegiance was not a problem until it became a problem. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 01:41:22 PM
Just to note that people can be spiritual and recipients of miracles and all the rest, and still make mistakes.

Of course, but I should think only a saintly person would determine that.  I know the great future saint the 'Elder Paisios', had a habit of revealing certain prophecies which had been revealed to him by God.  His spiritual father the great future saint, the Elder Porphyrios repremanded him for it, and he was right in doing so.  It turned out that many of the prophecies were being misinterpret and words were even put into Elder Paisios' mouth.

Even though the people are now clamoring for him to be declared a saint because of the many miraculous cures  attributed to him in Greece and elsewhere, the Turkish government has forbidden the Patriarch to sanctify him.  The Elder Paisios had made many prophecies concerning Constantinople and the future of Turkey...which by the way are now coming to fruition what with the Kurds and the claims they're making on different parts  of Turkey.   :o
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 01:48:57 PM
I apologize for not using the title of Father in front of Father Seraphim Rose.  I have seen his name so often and without a title, that it was an instinctive reaction on my part.  It certainly was not intentional.   :-[
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 02:26:37 PM
From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable. 

From the directive of Met Hilarion to Abbess Aemiliane, Met Hilarion acknowledges that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was known from the beginning and was initially accepted.  He says, though, that ROCOR can “no longer accept” a monastic foundation that is dependent on “a spiritual father living in Greece and answering to an entirely different Local Church.”  Why the change of mind?  Most likely it had to do with a certain controversy surrounding a priestmonk affiliated with the monastery and ROCOR’s attempt to investigate the matter.  It seems that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was accepted by ROCOR until that allegiance prevented the bishops from performing their episcopal responsibilities with regard to the monastery.  In other words, this allegiance was not a problem until it became a problem. 


Thank you!
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 21, 2012, 02:46:35 PM
Just to note that people can be spiritual and recipients of miracles and all the rest, and still make mistakes.

Of course, but I should think only a saintly person would determine that.  I know the great future saint the 'Elder Paisios', had a habit of revealing certain prophecies which had been revealed to him by God.  His spiritual father the great future saint, the Elder Porphyrios repremanded him for it, and he was right in doing so.  It turned out that many of the prophecies were being misinterpret and words were even put into Elder Paisios' mouth.

Even though the people are now clamoring for him to be declared a saint because of the many miraculous cures  attributed to him in Greece and elsewhere, the Turkish government has forbidden the Patriarch to sanctify him.  The Elder Paisios had made many prophecies concerning Constantinople and the future of Turkey...which by the way are now coming to fruition what with the Kurds and the claims they're making on different parts  of Turkey.   :o


Source for this please, other than Greek folk gossip.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Ebor on August 21, 2012, 03:18:01 PM
A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped. 

Are there accounts from these persons that can be read and that have their names please?  Are there any accounts from first-responders/rescue squad personnel/etc that can verify that the lady was under the rubble and then found outside? Why would people who knew her be allowed into a building with structural damage rather than letting those who are trained in emergency work and rescue do it?  A person who has been in an accident can sometimes not be conscious or the mind may not be clear, meaning no disrespect. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 21, 2012, 03:58:09 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

Monasteries didn't forge heresies?  Have you heard of the Name-Worshiping Heresy?

And as for what the Church is, it is the Body of Christ - and monks are not the only members.

Very Protestant isn't that?  Not that I'm condemning it, but what in your mind constitutes the Church since there are so many branches and so many different interpretations of doctrines, etc.? ???

How very Protestant.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 04:19:22 PM
A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped. 

Are there accounts from these persons that can be read and that have their names please?  Are there any accounts from first-responders/rescue squad personnel/etc that can verify that the lady was under the rubble and then found outside? Why would people who knew her be allowed into a building with structural damage rather than letting those who are trained in emergency work and rescue do it?  A person who has been in an accident can sometimes not be conscious or the mind may not be clear, meaning no disrespect. 

Her sister was underneath the bridge next to her, but there wasn't as much debris on her.  Her sister's boyfriend managed to rescue her, and they tried to pull Abess Amiliani out, but it was impossible.  She explains her physical position in the interview.  When there are over a hundred people screaming and caught under something as massive as the concrete and steel bridge was,  every person that was not crushed tried to help.  Most of the people died, because they couldn't be saved in time.  She mentions in the interview how she felt afterwards, knowing she was saved and recovered in the hospital through the miracle of a very pure person, while all the doctors, medical care and no how couldn't help the others.  Her brother by the way is a doctor.

Look, if you can't believe the testamony of a person who has been around for a very long time, and is very well known in the Archdiocese of the GOA, and who has been in and out of hospitals because of the accident, then ask her family.  I believe her famous musically talented nephews are now members of the OCA.  Their last name is Hansen.  If on the other hand you don't believe in the charism of bi location, then check into that too.  I know it was quite common for the RCC Saint Padre Pio to bi locate himself.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 04:48:36 PM
Just to note that people can be spiritual and recipients of miracles and all the rest, and still make mistakes.

Of course, but I should think only a saintly person would determine that.  I know the great future saint the 'Elder Paisios', had a habit of revealing certain prophecies which had been revealed to him by God.  His spiritual father the great future saint, the Elder Porphyrios repremanded him for it, and he was right in doing so.  It turned out that many of the prophecies were being misinterpret and words were even put into Elder Paisios' mouth.

Even though the people are now clamoring for him to be declared a saint because of the many miraculous cures  attributed to him in Greece and elsewhere, the Turkish government has forbidden the Patriarch to sanctify him.  The Elder Paisios had made many prophecies concerning Constantinople and the future of Turkey...which by the way are now coming to fruition what with the Kurds and the claims they're making on different parts  of Turkey.   :o


Source for this please, other than Greek folk gossip.

Everything I wrote is well known, except maybe the part of not being declared a saint because of Turkey. I misquoted 'demanding', when it is the Patriarch's choice not to make him one  because of what the Elder Paisios said about Turkey... which frankly in my mind would be the same thing as the Turkish government demanding.  I read their newspapers and frankly I cannot distinguish the one from the other.  Their Prime Minister loves to bully everyone.

The real and fake prophecies of Elder Paisios concerning Constantinople are all over  Youtube, which is kind of like throwing it in their face, so our Patriarch must tread carefully.  I have no doubt that the jailing by the Greek government of the Elder Ephraim after returning from visiting Russia, had something also to do towards pacifying Turkey's fears of any alliance between the Patriarchate and Russia.   This is only my opinion...but as I said I read the Turkish newspapers, and even have my favorite columnists so my opinion is an educated one.  ;)  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 21, 2012, 05:02:37 PM
Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.  Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church, and without it, would become nothing more that a Protestant faith with a little 'Byzantine' window dressing.    

Quote
This is the first time that I have heard of this. I guess all of the laos in my little corner of the world, my parish, is full of non-essential people, except of course for our three nuns. - Carl

This is because Carl is or has been influenced/taught by liberals. (in my opinion.)
Zenovia was taught the genuine tradition of the Church.

Quote
As for monasteries, the Orthodox Church in constrast to the RCC is and has always been a monastic faith.

Although I would on the other hand partly but not entirely agree with this statement, because I feel that the RCC also had monasticism as the essence to it as well in the past. I think that part of the reasons for the RCC falling away from orthodoxy has been because monasticism has been weakened in it, especially since the 13th century when other religious order forms, such as mendicants began to compete with monasticism. Though I think monasticism within it was still reasonably well off until before the french revolution period, 1780's, and before the 1940's.

The essence of the Church is Eucharist, not monasticism.

Okay, okay, so I used the wrong word.  Boy you are a stickler.  ::)

I am still waiting for Mr. MacAvoy to enlighten me. BTW, when one declares "Monastacism is the essence of the Orthodox Church..." one cannot be too careful. Which brings to the fore the following question: Dear Zenovia--Are we to read everything you write with a grain of salt; that is, are we to disregard the plain meaning of your words because you have no idea what you are writing?

I guess I shouldn't have used the word essence, when 'ethos' would have been much more accurate,  although there is a similarity between essence and ethos. We could use the definition the RCC uses in reference to the  Vatican and say the monasteries are the depository of the Orthodox Faith, but I prefer Greek definitions better.

Of course all this means nothing to you, or to others on the forum, since Orthodoxy is to be whatever you people want it to be, and monastacism has no place in this new relative and innovative 'Church'.  :D

Monasteries are not the depository of the faith, as evidenced by any number of monks who have forged heresies; the Church is the depository of faith.

And what is the Church, and what constitutes the 'authority' of the Church, since we have had so many patriarchs that have been faulty...for example, Patriarch Sophronios that destroyed the reputation of the greatest Saint/Theologian of the Orthodox Church in the last century?

Throughout Eastern Orthodox history, it was always the monasteries that fought heresies, and not the other way around.   :)

Monasteries didn't forge heresies?  Have you heard of the Name-Worshiping Heresy?

And as for what the Church is, it is the Body of Christ - and monks are not the only members.

Very Protestant isn't that?  Not that I'm condemning it, but what in your mind constitutes the Church since there are so many branches and so many different interpretations of doctrines, etc.? ???

How very Protestant.

How very much on target.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 21, 2012, 05:03:44 PM
Today on the New Calendar is commemorated St. Abraham of Smolensk. In the Prologue, St. Nikolai of Zica offers the following reflection concerning slander that I found applicable to this thread:

" Magnanimous forgiveness of slanderers and prayer for them is a characteristic of Christian saints who do not ascribe all the slanders against themselves to men but rather to demons,the main instigators of every slander as well as every sin in general. St. Abraham of Smolensk was slandered by envious priests to the prince and the bishop as a deceiver,magician and hypocrite. The slanders sought nothing less than to have him burned. The prince and the bishop believed the slanderers and Abraham was banished from Smolensk and was forbidden to exercise his priestly functions. During the entire time of his investigation and trial,Abraham repeated the prayer of St. Stephen,the first martyr: "Lord,lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts of the Apostles 7:60). Later it was established that all of the accusers against Abraham lied and slandered. The infuriated prince wanted to severely punish the slanderers and the bishop wanted to excommunicate them from the Church but the holy Abraham fell on his knees before the bishop and,with tears,begged him to forgive them. Abraham did not want to return to his monastery nor to begin again to exercise his priestly functions until his slanderers were shown mercy and released."

 http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.cgi
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 05:06:58 PM
From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable. 

From the directive of Met Hilarion to Abbess Aemiliane, Met Hilarion acknowledges that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was known from the beginning and was initially accepted.  He says, though, that ROCOR can “no longer accept” a monastic foundation that is dependent on “a spiritual father living in Greece and answering to an entirely different Local Church.”  Why the change of mind?  Most likely it had to do with a certain controversy surrounding a priestmonk affiliated with the monastery and ROCOR’s attempt to investigate the matter.  It seems that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was accepted by ROCOR until that allegiance prevented the bishops from performing their episcopal responsibilities with regard to the monastery.  In other words, this allegiance was not a problem until it became a problem. 


It is the person that turned it into a problem which concern's the Abess'.  She was threatened by a malevolent person who said they will not only destroy the priest monk but her and the monastery as well.  Abess Amiliani has maintained her integrity and will not allow that person's malevolence to destroy anyone, and for that I say Bravo!  If only others had as much courage, what a different world this would be.  :)

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 21, 2012, 05:27:12 PM
Today on the New Calendar is commemorated St. Abraham of Smolensk. In the Prologue, St. Nikolai of Zica offers the following reflection concerning slander that I found applicable to this thread:

" Magnanimous forgiveness of slanderers and prayer for them is a characteristic of Christian saints who do not ascribe all the slanders against themselves to men but rather to demons,the main instigators of every slander as well as every sin in general. St. Abraham of Smolensk was slandered by envious priests to the prince and the bishop as a deceiver,magician and hypocrite. The slanders sought nothing less than to have him burned. The prince and the bishop believed the slanderers and Abraham was banished from Smolensk and was forbidden to exercise his priestly functions. During the entire time of his investigation and trial,Abraham repeated the prayer of St. Stephen,the first martyr: "Lord,lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts of the Apostles 7:60). Later it was established that all of the accusers against Abraham lied and slandered. The infuriated prince wanted to severely punish the slanderers and the bishop wanted to excommunicate them from the Church but the holy Abraham fell on his knees before the bishop and,with tears,begged him to forgive them. Abraham did not want to return to his monastery nor to begin again to exercise his priestly functions until his slanderers were shown mercy and released."

 http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.cgi


We should always forgive, since the malevolence is not coming from people but from demons, but we should always do our best not to give satan the opportunity to destroy others.  God works in mysterious ways, and one of them would be the strength he gives to some to do what is right towards another human being...no matter how much they might suffer themselves because of it.   

 From what I gathered, the Abess put herself on the line in order to protect a person who was being unjustly calumniated by someone she knew was a malevolent individual.  In response to her courage, these  malevolent people are now  calumniating her for daring to protect an innocent person, and also extending it to the Elder dionysios for daring to have the courage to protect them and not bow down to their malevolance. 

She's doing the right thing, because this malevolent person or people should be stopped one way or the other.  I mean look at how many lies and insinuations are going around because of them.  >:(

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 21, 2012, 05:29:59 PM
Who is this person?  This sounds a bit like a cover story.

From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable. 

From the directive of Met Hilarion to Abbess Aemiliane, Met Hilarion acknowledges that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was known from the beginning and was initially accepted.  He says, though, that ROCOR can “no longer accept” a monastic foundation that is dependent on “a spiritual father living in Greece and answering to an entirely different Local Church.”  Why the change of mind?  Most likely it had to do with a certain controversy surrounding a priestmonk affiliated with the monastery and ROCOR’s attempt to investigate the matter.  It seems that the monastery’s allegiance to Elder Dionysios was accepted by ROCOR until that allegiance prevented the bishops from performing their episcopal responsibilities with regard to the monastery.  In other words, this allegiance was not a problem until it became a problem. 


It is the person that turned it into a problem which concern's the Abess'.  She was threatened by a malevolent person who said they will not only destroy the priest monk but her and the monastery as well.  Abess Amiliani has maintained her integrity and will not allow that person's malevolence to destroy anyone, and for that I say Bravo!  If only others had as much courage, what a different world this would be.  :)


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 21, 2012, 10:47:04 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 21, 2012, 10:54:31 PM
It is the person that turned it into a problem which concern's the Abess'.  She was threatened by a malevolent person who said they will not only destroy the priest monk but her and the monastery as well.

Someone from the GOA was asking Bishop George (ROCOR) if the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/01-fromgeorgemayfield_30may12.pdf).  The Abbess responded by saying nothing (http://entranceofthetheotokos.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/02-georgemayfield_07jun121.pdf).

Abess Amiliani has maintained her integrity and will not allow that person's malevolence to destroy anyone, and for that I say Bravo!  If only others had as much courage, what a different world this would be.  :)

It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Ebor on August 22, 2012, 12:02:54 AM
A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped. 

Are there accounts from these persons that can be read and that have their names please?  Are there any accounts from first-responders/rescue squad personnel/etc that can verify that the lady was under the rubble and then found outside? Why would people who knew her be allowed into a building with structural damage rather than letting those who are trained in emergency work and rescue do it?  A person who has been in an accident can sometimes not be conscious or the mind may not be clear, meaning no disrespect. 

Her sister was underneath the bridge next to her, but there wasn't as much debris on her.  Her sister's boyfriend managed to rescue her, and they tried to pull Abess Amiliani out, but it was impossible. 

Are there documented interviews with the lady's sister or her boyfriend that can be read?  Are there accounts from the medics or rescue team or any other persons who were there?  I read her account.  What other supporting evidence of her suddenly being out from under the wreckage is there, do you know?

Quote
while all the doctors, medical care and no how couldn't help the others.  Her brother by the way is a doctor.

OK. Was her brother involved in her care?  There are many cases where one person improves where others do not, where doctors predict that a person won't walk again or some other activity and they do.  Medicine and healing are not precise in that way.  C.S. Lewis' wife was anointed by an Anglican priest when it was believed she was dying of bone cancer.  She recovered and was able to walk again for about three years before it returned.  http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/node/31

Quote

Look, if you can't believe the testamony of a person who has been around for a very long time, and is very well known in the Archdiocese of the GOA, and who has been in and out of hospitals because of the accident, then ask her family. 

Were they present at the tragedy besides her sister?  Were her nephews present and how old were they in 1981?  Eyewitness accounts are different and supporting evidence as opposed to after-the-fact or statements about healing that don't apply to the cause of injury and subsequent rescue. 

Quote
If on the other hand you don't believe in the charism of bi location, then check into that too.  I know it was quite common for the RCC Saint Padre Pio to bi locate himself.

I have read that such was *reported* as happening with Padre Pio. I do not know whether he did so in reality.  Just because something is reported does not always mean that it happened and there are other possiblities such as imagination, a dream that the other person is present, seeing someone that resembles another person.  Extraordinary claims require at least ordinary standards of proof.

I apologize if I seem to be difficult. But it appears that because the lady believes that the elder in Greece suddenly appeared in Kansas City in July 1981 it means that she does not have to follow what persons who are EO and at least one priest say are the normal, proper, canonical rules for monastics resident in a diocese/particular Jurisdiction.  I may, of course, not fully understand everything.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 22, 2012, 01:15:32 AM
A correction here,  Abess Amiliani didn't see a vision. Abess Amiliani was found free of the rubble by those that knew her.  She had escaped from a situation in which it was impossible for her to have escaped. 

Are there accounts from these persons that can be read and that have their names please?  Are there any accounts from first-responders/rescue squad personnel/etc that can verify that the lady was under the rubble and then found outside? Why would people who knew her be allowed into a building with structural damage rather than letting those who are trained in emergency work and rescue do it?  A person who has been in an accident can sometimes not be conscious or the mind may not be clear, meaning no disrespect. 

Her sister was underneath the bridge next to her, but there wasn't as much debris on her.  Her sister's boyfriend managed to rescue her, and they tried to pull Abess Amiliani out, but it was impossible. 

Are there documented interviews with the lady's sister or her boyfriend that can be read?  Are there accounts from the medics or rescue team or any other persons who were there?  I read her account.  What other supporting evidence of her suddenly being out from under the wreckage is there, do you know?

Quote
while all the doctors, medical care and no how couldn't help the others.  Her brother by the way is a doctor.

OK. Was her brother involved in her care?  There are many cases where one person improves where others do not, where doctors predict that a person won't walk again or some other activity and they do.  Medicine and healing are not precise in that way.  C.S. Lewis' wife was anointed by an Anglican priest when it was believed she was dying of bone cancer.  She recovered and was able to walk again for about three years before it returned.  http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/node/31

Quote

Look, if you can't believe the testamony of a person who has been around for a very long time, and is very well known in the Archdiocese of the GOA, and who has been in and out of hospitals because of the accident, then ask her family. 

Were they present at the tragedy besides her sister?  Were her nephews present and how old were they in 1981?  Eyewitness accounts are different and supporting evidence as opposed to after-the-fact or statements about healing that don't apply to the cause of injury and subsequent rescue. 

Quote
If on the other hand you don't believe in the charism of bi location, then check into that too.  I know it was quite common for the RCC Saint Padre Pio to bi locate himself.

I have read that such was *reported* as happening with Padre Pio. I do not know whether he did so in reality.  Just because something is reported does not always mean that it happened and there are other possiblities such as imagination, a dream that the other person is present, seeing someone that resembles another person.  Extraordinary claims require at least ordinary standards of proof.

I apologize if I seem to be difficult. But it appears that because the lady believes that the elder in Greece suddenly appeared in Kansas City in July 1981 it means that she does not have to follow what persons who are EO and at least one priest say are the normal, proper, canonical rules for monastics resident in a diocese/particular Jurisdiction.  I may, of course, not fully understand everything.



If here nephews really are the Hanson brothers, then the only one that was even born by 1981 was the oldest, who wasn't even a year old at the time of the accident.  I really don't know why Zenovia keeps referencing them (and I have never seen any evidence that any of them are Orthodox, and I somewhat doubt that they are, though might be wrong); just because you have famous relatives (or even are famous) doesn't mean anything about the veracity of a claim you've made nor about your holiness.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Cymbyz on August 22, 2012, 02:24:28 AM
Here is Sr. Aimiliani's account of her ordeal and the miracle connected with it:  http://www.assumption.tx.goarch.org/vsItemDisplay.dsp&objectID=F2C08569-44B9-4BC8-8659570CFA08C7ED&method=display
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 22, 2012, 03:16:29 AM
Here's another possible scenario for resolution, probably temporary, of the canonical problems with this convent.  There is such an arrangement as a "Metochion," essentially a satellite (I can't think of the ecclesial term in English), wherein, the monastery could remain under the bishop in Greece.  The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has been opposed to such an arrangement in the past; it took probably more that a decade to rein in Fr. Ephraim's monasteries, but several years ago, all of them accepted the GOAA's Uniform Monastery Regulations. 

Here's another wild option.  The GOAA or the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America take them in and force compliance with their respective uniform regulations; probably the abbess wouldn't accept them, though, because the Archdiocese would have authority over the property, the nuns, and the election of the abbess. But if the abbess refuses to comply with provisions of the uniform regulations, the abbess could be dismissed and then the monastery could be operated canonically.  This probably isn't realistic because the abbess wouldn't accept the terms of the archdiocesan regulations to begin with.  But if their current spiritual father in Greece could talk the abbess into accepting hierarchical authority from ecclesial authorities in their nation of residence, the U.S., the monastery could be saved for canonical Orthodoxy.  Who knows, ROCOR may have already tried this approach.

From what I'm reading, except for the episcopal oversight issue, a major issue no doubt, there is a good deal of holiness in this monastic community and the church should be able to creatively negotiate a canonical arrangement with these nuns; perhaps there is a rational cleric in Greece who could convince the abbess of the absolute need to accept canonical oversight.  Perhaps OCA Bishop Melchizedek of Pittsburgh could advise the GOAA or the AOCANA of some sources in Greece who could be accessed for this purpose.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: arimethea on August 22, 2012, 07:25:04 AM
If here nephews really are the Hanson brothers, then the only one that was even born by 1981 was the oldest, who wasn't even a year old at the time of the accident.  I really don't know why Zenovia keeps referencing them (and I have never seen any evidence that any of them are Orthodox, and I somewhat doubt that they are, though might be wrong); just because you have famous relatives (or even are famous) doesn't mean anything about the veracity of a claim you've made nor about your holiness.

Having met them, at an Orthodox church no less, I can verify that yes, at least two of the Hanson brothers, are Orthodox. As I am straight man I could not tell you which ones, nor did I even realize who I was meeting until some teenage girls told me later.

Also, having met the nun Aimiliani on several occasions I found her to be a sincere monastic. There is a cultural difference between the monastics from the Russian background and the Greek background, but I do not think that is at play here. There is more to this story, and what most of you are posting is pure speculation. There will be an eventual resolution to this situation. What is being discussed here will have absolutely no bearing on the eventual outcome.

I think these nuns would tell you that your efforts are better spent on praying for them.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: ROCORthodox on August 22, 2012, 09:40:57 AM
On the other hand, Elder Dionysios seems to have (at least last year that was the case) excellent relations with MP and ROCOR.

No
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 22, 2012, 09:50:46 AM
In searching for more information about the underlying claims regarding monasticism and its role in the church, I came across an interesting blog on the subject. One of the blogger's essays was in response to a man seeking a change in lifestyle for a variety of reasons who was contemplating monasticism. Here is part of the blogger's answer:

".... From the Orthodox point of view, monasticism is both a calling from God to a member of the Orthodox Church and a personal election to adopt permanently a way of life (celibacy) by a member of the Orthodox Church. Hence, from the Orthodox point of view it is a basic error to consider that monasticism is an alternative to entering an Orthodox parish. Monasticism is an election by a member of the Orthodox parish to a life consecrated to God: the vows are given to God in a service in the Orthodox Church (again, a social act), normally in a monastery. As the service of tonsure makes clear, the monastic, whether male or female, is entering into a special category of members of the Orthodox Church, the ‘choir of those who live alone’. Because of these facts, monasticism is regulated by the canons of the Church. Moreover, from the Orthodox point of view the monk must be properly inserted somewhere in the Orthodox Church: he must be written into a recognized monastery somewhere in the Orthodox Church and that monastery must be under the immediate jurisdiction of some Orthodox Bishop."  http://orthodoxmonk.blogspot.com/search/label/Elders

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 10:44:24 AM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 22, 2012, 10:53:37 AM
The more I find out about Abbess Aemeliani, the less convinced I am of her sincerity despite appearances.  We can all look good in church, but our real selves come out when we are 'pushed.'

She gets pushed, and she talks about lawsuits.

Whatever Zenovia has to say about the devil being behind the 'malevolence,' the abbess is not threatening to sue the devil.  She's threatening to sue people.

Her lack of obedience to local authority means that she cannot abide here in a true canonical state.  The Church of Greece is likely not going to do so much, given that it has tolerated Metropolitian Kirollos' turning over of authority to Fr. Dionysios.  If they are not going to deal with the problem close to them, then they will not deal with the problems far from them.  More than likely, they will let the nuns sit in limbo until the money runs out.  No doubt there will be a few supporters who will support the monastery, but eventually they will end up either going back to Greece, submitting to the Church here, or possibly becoming an 'independent' affair out of communion with everyone.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on August 22, 2012, 11:15:29 AM
Quote
From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable. 
Surely, only Metropolitan Hilarion as the primate of the ROCOR would be commemorated in the Great Entrance and not a  monk such as the Elder Dionysius.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 11:55:14 AM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 12:13:15 PM
From what I'm reading, except for the episcopal oversight issue, a major issue no doubt, there is a good deal of holiness in this monastic community and the church should be able to creatively negotiate a canonical arrangement with these nuns; perhaps there is a rational cleric in Greece who could convince the abbess of the absolute need to accept canonical oversight.  Perhaps OCA Bishop Melchizedek of Pittsburgh could advise the GOAA or the AOCANA of some sources in Greece who could be accessed for this purpose.

The Elder Ephraim, plus any monastics that came to America with him, didn't require a canonical release from Mt. Athos because their bishop was the Ecumenical Patriarch and the USA is under the Ecumenical Patriarch.

I don't know how much holiness exists in a monastic entity where nuns canonically release other nuns and try to deceive OCA and ROCOR whether by language/cultural differences.  If these nuns don't respect Bishop Melchizedek, their former colleague in monasticism, they won't respect any Hierarch whether in Greece, the USA, anywhere.  I do not respect their monastery because they have failed to respect Orthodox authorities in the USA.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 22, 2012, 12:36:57 PM
No doubt, although Fr. Ephraim also established convents here in the U.S., but I only mentioned Fr. Ephraim's monasteries because when he initiated establishment of monasteries in America, he intended to have them as "Metrochia" of his monastery on Mt. Athos--the abbots were commemorating Fr. Ephraim, but the GOAA would not agree to that arrangement and eventually succeeded in negotiating his monastery's acceptance of the Archdiocesan Uniform Monastery Regulations.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 12:49:16 PM
No doubt, although Fr. Ephraim also established convents here in the U.S., but I only mentioned Fr. Ephraim's monasteries because when he initiated establishment of monasteries in America, he intended to have them as "Metrochia" of his monastery on Mt. Athos--the abbots were commemorating Fr. Ephraim, but the GOAA would not agree to that arrangement and eventually succeeded in negotiating his monastery's acceptance of the Archdiocesan Uniform Monastery Regulations.

I just don't see how is it appropriate for a monastic community to commemorate the Elder rather than the Bishop.  How can one Priest commemorate another Priest?  If I go to monasteries in Greece, do I need to bring my checklist of Metropolitans in the Church of Greece to see if the monastery is commemorating the correct Bishop?  What if the Elder has the same name as the Bishop?  Let's say I became a monastic and took the name Evangelos and became a leader of a monastery in Metropolitan Evangelos' jurisdiction.  Does my monastery commemorate me or the presiding Bishop of the same name or is it just coincidence?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 12:57:06 PM

It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?

Lot's of paranoia there, but then again, isn't fear the cause of malevolence?   :(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 01:07:31 PM
From what I'm reading, except for the episcopal oversight issue, a major issue no doubt, there is a good deal of holiness in this monastic community and the church should be able to creatively negotiate a canonical arrangement with these nuns; perhaps there is a rational cleric in Greece who could convince the abbess of the absolute need to accept canonical oversight.  Perhaps OCA Bishop Melchizedek of Pittsburgh could advise the GOAA or the AOCANA of some sources in Greece who could be accessed for this purpose.

The Elder Ephraim, plus any monastics that came to America with him, didn't require a canonical release from Mt. Athos because their bishop was the Ecumenical Patriarch and the USA is under the Ecumenical Patriarch.

I don't know how much holiness exists in a monastic entity where nuns canonically release other nuns and try to deceive OCA and ROCOR whether by language/cultural differences.  If these nuns don't respect Bishop Melchizedek, their former colleague in monasticism, they won't respect any Hierarch whether in Greece, the USA, anywhere.  I do not respect their monastery because they have failed to respect Orthodox authorities in the USA.

From what Abess Amiliani has written, it's obvious she always had and continues to have a high respect for her former Metropolitan Jonah, and for her more current Metropolitan Hilarion.  Can we say the others in those jurisdictions had an equal respect towards them? I think not!  So who are they to judge, unless of course they're projecting their own lack of respect towards higher Church authority into the Abess Amiliani.   :)

  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 01:13:05 PM
Quote
From the information I was given, there was an agreement between the Abess and the Metropolitan that the Elder Dionysius would be commemorated together with Metropolitan Hilarion.  If they had this agreement between them, then what's the problem...unless of course the Metropolitan changed his mind because of certain pressure being exerted on him.  I believe the reason for the law suit is so those that exert pressure on a Metropolitan should be held accountable. 
Surely, only Metropolitan Hilarion as the primate of the ROCOR would be commemorated in the Great Entrance and not a  monk such as the Elder Dionysius.

Oh, well then you should have been there when the agreement was made between them.  It's a pity they didn't ask you.   ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 01:16:42 PM
From what I'm reading, except for the episcopal oversight issue, a major issue no doubt, there is a good deal of holiness in this monastic community and the church should be able to creatively negotiate a canonical arrangement with these nuns; perhaps there is a rational cleric in Greece who could convince the abbess of the absolute need to accept canonical oversight.  Perhaps OCA Bishop Melchizedek of Pittsburgh could advise the GOAA or the AOCANA of some sources in Greece who could be accessed for this purpose.

The Elder Ephraim, plus any monastics that came to America with him, didn't require a canonical release from Mt. Athos because their bishop was the Ecumenical Patriarch and the USA is under the Ecumenical Patriarch.

I don't know how much holiness exists in a monastic entity where nuns canonically release other nuns and try to deceive OCA and ROCOR whether by language/cultural differences.  If these nuns don't respect Bishop Melchizedek, their former colleague in monasticism, they won't respect any Hierarch whether in Greece, the USA, anywhere.  I do not respect their monastery because they have failed to respect Orthodox authorities in the USA.

From what Abess Amiliani has written, it's obvious she always had and continues to have a high respect for her former Metropolitan Jonah, and for her more current Metropolitan Hilarion.

But she respects the Elder Dionysios far more than Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Hilarion and the Elder Dionysios isn't a Bishop.

Can we say the others in those jurisdictions had an equal respect towards them? I think not!  So who are they to judge, unless of course they're projecting their own lack of respect towards higher Church authority into the Abess Amiliani.   :)

What does the bolded text supposed to mean?  The only higher authority than Metropolitan Hilarion would be the Patriarch of Moscow.  In reality, the only higher authority than the Metropolitan of the OCA is ... himself.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 01:21:51 PM

It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?

Lot's of paranoia there, but then again, isn't fear the cause of malevolence?   :(

In your worldly experience, fear causes malevolence.  In reality, no.

malevolent (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malevolent) - having, showing, or arising from intense often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred

Rephrasing, It's arising from intense often vicious ill will, spite or hatred to make sure one has a proper canonical release?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on August 22, 2012, 01:40:39 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 01:44:29 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's seems too many people forget that the only purpose for Christ establishing His Church, was so we could be   facilitated towards the attainment of Theosis.  Uniting with the Divine, can only be attained by us  by perfecting our  hearts.  It certainly cannot be acquired by looking at others and 'pharasaically' nit picking.     

Abess Amiliani noted after her confusion with the accident and her miraculous recovery,  that all the science and medicine in the world wasn't able to do a thing for those that died, and yet the prayers of a pure hearted elder thousands of miles away,  saved her and helped her recover.  Very profound, very enlightened, and very Christian.  :angel:
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 02:02:49 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

We are a small Mission in Maryland outside of DC, next to the University of Maryland. It's not a hard ride on a Sunday without traffic. We have people who actually come from further away ( over the Bridge on the Eastern Shore). I assume monastics can handle getting up early and driving an hour in an air conditioned car or van  :)

I have not looked at how they arrive. I am pretty sure from their past visits that they have their own wheels.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 02:05:37 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 02:06:44 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's seems too many people forget that the only purpose for Christ establishing His Church, was so we could be   facilitated towards the attainment of Theosis.  Uniting with the Divine, can only be attained by us  by perfecting our  hearts.  It certainly cannot be acquired by looking at others and 'pharasaically' nit picking.     

Abess Amiliani noted after her confusion with the accident and her miraculous recovery,  that all the science and medicine in the world wasn't able to do a thing for those that died, and yet the prayers of a pure hearted elder thousands of miles away,  saved her and helped her recover.  Very profound, very enlightened, and very Christian.  :angel:

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 02:09:09 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 02:17:41 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 02:36:34 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

I have no idea what they do when they are alone..

They happily take communion at a Rocor Parish with all that entails.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 22, 2012, 02:44:22 PM

It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?

Lot's of paranoia there, but then again, isn't fear the cause of malevolence?   :(

As you have multiple times now suggested that there is a malevolent person who seems to be threatening everyone from nuns to heirarchs, I'm not sure you have much room to accuse someone of paranoia.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 22, 2012, 02:51:12 PM
My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

But do they eat potatoes and wheat?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 22, 2012, 03:03:31 PM
When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

It's common for Greek monasteries to commemorate the Bishop and then the *ruling Abbot* of the monastery. Most Churches, e.g. the ancient patriarchates, etc., have "diataxeis" that regulate this. I'm not sure about the Russian tradition. But, at least historically, Russian abbots had even more authority than Greek abbots. As in, they could own their own serfs and had many other privileges.

The complicating question is: How does this tradition work in convents? At any rate, the commemorating a "spiritual father" (as opposed to the Abbot or perhaps Abbess) makes no ecclesiastical sense, and networks of monasteries commemorating one "spiritual father" even less so. In fact, that is a canonical impossibility. Hence, no doubt, why ROCOR balked when they looked closely at the convent's proposed structure. It appears to me that they did things with quick oral agreements, not looking at the details. Once the details became known, that's when the problem arose.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 03:04:47 PM
It's seems too many people forget that the only purpose for Christ establishing His Church, was so we could be   facilitated towards the attainment of Theosis.  Uniting with the Divine, can only be attained by us  by perfecting our  hearts.  It certainly cannot be acquired by looking at others and 'pharasaically' nit picking.

Maintaining canonical order equals "pharasaical" nit picking?     

Abess Amiliani noted after her confusion with the accident and her miraculous recovery,  that all the science and medicine in the world wasn't able to do a thing for those that died, and yet the prayers of a pure hearted elder thousands of miles away,  saved her and helped her recover.  Very profound, very enlightened, and very Christian.  :angel:

Disobedience does not bring one closer to Theosis.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 03:05:20 PM
My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

But do they eat potatoes and wheat?

They have not yet stayed to eat lunch with us.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: ROCORthodox on August 22, 2012, 04:22:25 PM

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 05:01:55 PM

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.

it would actually be Libel.. Slander is spoken. Libel is written
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 22, 2012, 05:04:10 PM

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.

it would actually be Libel.. Slander is spoken. Libel is written

A distinction that is blurring, at least from the linguist's perspective, as what would otherwise be considered spoken English is used in places like FB, Twitter and OC.net. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Marc1152 on August 22, 2012, 05:21:27 PM

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.

it would actually be Libel.. Slander is spoken. Libel is written

A distinction that is blurring, at least from the linguist's perspective, as what would otherwise be considered spoken English is used in places like FB, Twitter and OC.net. 

These are legal terms.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 05:52:36 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

I gather you're with them then? ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 05:56:57 PM


Disobedience does not bring one closer to Theosis.

Neither does looking for a splinter in another's eye, without paying attention to the twig in one's own eye.  

And then again, what constitutes 'disobedience', after all wasn't Jesus disobedient in the eyes of some?  So who is to judge?  Certainly not me, is it you?   ::)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 06:01:30 PM
Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   :angel:

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

I gather you're with them then? ???

No.  I'm paraphrasing the Letter from Metropolitan Hilarion to the Abbess.  The nuns own chaplain, Hieromonk Basil (Land), vigorously defended the continuation of this allegiance (to Elder Dionysios) - a conviction which I (Metropolitan Hilarion) am certain that you share with all of your co-laborers, being of one mind and will.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 22, 2012, 06:04:01 PM

It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?

Lot's of paranoia there, but then again, isn't fear the cause of malevolence?   :(

As you have multiple times now suggested that there is a malevolent person who seems to be threatening everyone from nuns to heirarchs, I'm not sure you have much room to accuse someone of paranoia.

What I stated is the Abess' response and the reason for her lawsuit.  If you would have paid attention rather than just look for an excuse to attack me because of my more 'Orthodox' viewpoints, you would have known that. >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 22, 2012, 06:15:12 PM
Disobedience does not bring one closer to Theosis.

Neither does looking for a splinter in another's eye, without paying attention to the twig in one's own eye.

That is the excuse for disobedience because all of us have twigs in one's eye?  

And then again, what constitutes 'disobedience', after all wasn't Jesus disobedient in the eyes of some?  So who is to judge?  Certainly not me, is it you?   ::)

I like to hear your views on the canonicity of disobedience.   :)

Clarification: canonicity of disobedience in the Orthodox Church
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: alice on August 22, 2012, 08:37:40 PM
Prayer of St. Ephraim (prayed by Orthodox Christians to Almighty God with repentence during Lent but also privately throughout the year):

O Lord and Master of my life,
Grant not unto me a spirit of idleness,
of discouragement,
of lust for power,
and of vain speaking.

But bestow upon me, Thy servant,
the spirit of chastity,
of meekness,
of patience,
and of love.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant that I may perceive
my own transgressions,
and judge not my brother,
for blessed art Thou
unto ages of ages.
Amen.


I pray that the holy Priests of this forum will end this spiritually scandalous thread, as judgement of others is spiritually harmful, and is the reason that so many father confessors tell their spiritual children to refrain or limit their time on internet fora..so much good and love and compassion can come out of them, such as when praying for others, but also so much hate, anger, and condemnation can also manifest itself. In such cases, the only victor, is ofcourse, the evil one...

My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  ;)

Whenever we have sought prayers for the inevitable trials which we (as many other Christians) have endured through the storms of life, they have lovingly offered prayers for us... and we have received relief on more than one occasion through the mercy of God and their spiritually charitable intercessory prayers.

How fortunate we Orthodox Christians are to have holy monasteries and monastics to turn to when we need help and prayer on our behalf!

Glory to God for the beautiful gifts our faith offers us!
Glory to God for the icon of Christ which we see in the compassionate and kind souls of others, whether lay people, clerics, or monastics!

I pray, with all my heart and soul, that peace will overcome this thread, and that true Orthodox love will reign in all our hearts, in all our holy jurisdictions, parishes, and other branches of Christ's holy Orthodox Church. How wonderful it is when brethren dwell together in agape (Christian) love!

I will forever love and honour these nuns for the kindnesses and generosity of spirit they have displayed over the past fifteen years I have known them.

With love in Christ to all,
Alice
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 22, 2012, 09:32:34 PM
I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 22, 2012, 11:54:48 PM
Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 23, 2012, 12:08:36 AM
My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  ;)

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 23, 2012, 08:20:47 AM
Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

I agree wholeheartedly with Father. Regardless of anyone's personal or anecdotal knowledge of these nuns, regardless of the type of people they are in their interactions with people and their community  or regardless of how spiritual of a life they lead on a daily basis, the inescapable fact remains - obedience is as essential an element of a Christian's life as any of the other ingredients. Again - absent heresy, we are bound - be we laity, monastics or clergy to be obedient to the Church and to our own Bishop. If one can not be obedient in a Christian manner, one cuts oneself away from the body of the Church and through these actions from Christ Himself.

If you believe that heresy is at play here - lay it on the table - but beware of this as false accusations of heresy are among the heinous offenses before God.

Frankly I am not questioning anyone's impression or experiences with these nuns. I am sure that what has been presented in terms of them as people is likely true (or as true as any impression we may have of another person). That is just not the point here.

Monks, nuns and monasteries have an essential role in the Orthodox Church. However, most of us are NOT called to their profession and life. It is the parish and your parish priest with which most of us interact throughout our lives with the Church, and through her, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is the Bishop who holds together these disparate, but theoretically non-competing elements of his flock.

The idealization of monastics and the monastic life to a level which allows certain of them to work outside of canonical rule and order is dangerous and divisive to the unity of the Faith. This sad situation is a classic example of the same and frankly, any monastics who tolerate such an elevation by the laity seem to me to be playing with a dangerous tendency - hubris.

As Father says, this thread has become ridiculous, but not for the reasons urged by the nuns' supporters.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 23, 2012, 10:00:31 AM
Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

I agree wholeheartedly with Father. Regardless of anyone's personal or anecdotal knowledge of these nuns, regardless of the type of people they are in their interactions with people and their community  or regardless of how spiritual of a life they lead on a daily basis, the inescapable fact remains - obedience is as essential an element of a Christian's life as any of the other ingredients. Again - absent heresy, we are bound - be we laity, monastics or clergy to be obedient to the Church and to our own Bishop. If one can not be obedient in a Christian manner, one cuts oneself away from the body of the Church and through these actions from Christ Himself.

If you believe that heresy is at play here - lay it on the table - but beware of this as false accusations of heresy are among the heinous offenses before God.

Frankly I am not questioning anyone's impression or experiences with these nuns. I am sure that what has been presented in terms of them as people is likely true (or as true as any impression we may have of another person). That is just not the point here.

Monks, nuns and monasteries have an essential role in the Orthodox Church. However, most of us are NOT called to their profession and life. It is the parish and your parish priest with which most of us interact throughout our lives with the Church, and through her, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is the Bishop who holds together these disparate, but theoretically non-competing elements of his flock.

The idealization of monastics and the monastic life to a level which allows certain of them to work outside of canonical rule and order is dangerous and divisive to the unity of the Faith. This sad situation is a classic example of the same and frankly, any monastics who tolerate such an elevation by the laity seem to me to be playing with a dangerous tendency - hubris.

As Father says, this thread has become ridiculous, but not for the reasons urged by the nuns' supporters.

What they said. This is the nub of the matter - not whether the Abbess and the nuns are good people, or whether Elder Dionysios is a wonderful man and spiritual elder. Or whether the Abbess' story of her accident is true or not.

Those things, while they may be interesting, are not truly relevant.

What is relevant and significant, IMHO, is that people vigorously defend the Abbess and the nums from what they consider to be attacks and slander, while doing the same thing to a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church. I'm pretty sure that, while Metropolitan Hilarion may be many things, and as imperfect as anyone, he is not afraid enough of some shadowy conspiracy or sinister cabal to violate his consecration oath and responsibility as Bishop.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 23, 2012, 10:23:58 AM
Having this thread go on ad absurdum has been helpful in that it has allowed the full argument to be made on both sides and people can judge for themselves.

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

I agree wholeheartedly with Father. Regardless of anyone's personal or anecdotal knowledge of these nuns, regardless of the type of people they are in their interactions with people and their community  or regardless of how spiritual of a life they lead on a daily basis, the inescapable fact remains - obedience is as essential an element of a Christian's life as any of the other ingredients. Again - absent heresy, we are bound - be we laity, monastics or clergy to be obedient to the Church and to our own Bishop. If one can not be obedient in a Christian manner, one cuts oneself away from the body of the Church and through these actions from Christ Himself.

If you believe that heresy is at play here - lay it on the table - but beware of this as false accusations of heresy are among the heinous offenses before God.

Frankly I am not questioning anyone's impression or experiences with these nuns. I am sure that what has been presented in terms of them as people is likely true (or as true as any impression we may have of another person). That is just not the point here.

Monks, nuns and monasteries have an essential role in the Orthodox Church. However, most of us are NOT called to their profession and life. It is the parish and your parish priest with which most of us interact throughout our lives with the Church, and through her, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is the Bishop who holds together these disparate, but theoretically non-competing elements of his flock.

The idealization of monastics and the monastic life to a level which allows certain of them to work outside of canonical rule and order is dangerous and divisive to the unity of the Faith. This sad situation is a classic example of the same and frankly, any monastics who tolerate such an elevation by the laity seem to me to be playing with a dangerous tendency - hubris.

As Father says, this thread has become ridiculous, but not for the reasons urged by the nuns' supporters.

What they said. This is the nub of the matter - not whether the Abbess and the nuns are good people, or whether Elder Dionysios is a wonderful man and spiritual elder. Or whether the Abbess' story of her accident is true or not.

Those things, while they may be interesting, are not truly relevant.

What is relevant and significant, IMHO, is that people vigorously defend the Abbess and the nums from what they consider to be attacks and slander, while doing the same thing to a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church. I'm pretty sure that, while Metropolitan Hilarion may be many things, and as imperfect as anyone, he is not afraid enough of some shadowy conspiracy or sinister cabal to violate his consecration oath and responsibility as Bishop.


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 23, 2012, 10:46:41 AM
What is relevant and significant, IMHO, is that people vigorously defend the Abbess and the nums from what they consider to be attacks and slander, while doing the same thing to a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church. I'm pretty sure that, while Metropolitan Hilarion may be many things, and as imperfect as anyone, he is not afraid enough of some shadowy conspiracy or sinister cabal to violate his consecration oath and responsibility as Bishop.

Yes, there is that. There is also an important lesson to be learned about the arbitration of disputes that involve the Church, according to Holy Tradition. The Fathers of the Councils of Antioch, Carthage, and the Fourth Ecumenical Council make it clear that secular courts can never be an appropriate venue. As Patriarch Balsamon, the great Byzantine canonist, says: according to the divine and sacred canons, any cleric or monastic who initiates a civil claim in a secular court (instead of an ecclesiastical court), even if he wins the case and is proven right, he shall lose his ecclesiastical position and be deposed (cf. Rhalles and Potles, vol. 3, 330-41).

Sinful means can never produce a righteous end, as Zenovia so rightly said. And, as St John Climacus teaches us, even the monk on the very highest step of the Ladder of Divine Ascent can fall. A lifetime of righteousness, miracles in abundance, even the evident fruits of theosis itself experienced here on earth, do not stop human beings, weak as we are, from making mistakes, even very serious, sinful mistakes, in clear violation of the Holy Tradition of the Church.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 23, 2012, 11:00:34 AM
Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 23, 2012, 11:21:27 AM
Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Not that I know of. Only this threat: "We have committed to legal advisors of our Sacred Monastery – with Divine judgment impending – the scrutiny of the accusations against us and of our accusers, with the aim of prosecution against every natural and moral perpetrator of slanderous defamation and for the overstepping of their authority, as well as the corresponding lawsuits for indemnification, against those who assault our name, honor, and reputation, our monastic entity, and in general our religious rights in the country of our descent."

Let's hope none actually gets filed.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 23, 2012, 11:56:56 AM
Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Not that I know of. Only this threat: "We have committed to legal advisors of our Sacred Monastery – with Divine judgment impending – the scrutiny of the accusations against us and of our accusers, with the aim of prosecution against every natural and moral perpetrator of slanderous defamation and for the overstepping of their authority, as well as the corresponding lawsuits for indemnification, against those who assault our name, honor, and reputation, our monastic entity, and in general our religious rights in the country of our descent."

Let's hope none actually gets filed.

When I reread that, the English is something - there really is no need to speak in stilted 'imperial court-speak' in the 21st Century. The gospels were written in plain language by the Holy Evangelists and our Lord's parables were intended to convey their meaning by means of easily understood stories and analogies. Whenever I read stuff written like that my inner radar says - 'poseur.' Now, mind you, in my life most of the stuff like that I have read was written by fellow attorneys who confused style with substance.  Oh well, more of a pet peeve of mine I suppose rather than a real critique, but....
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on August 23, 2012, 12:11:13 PM
I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

It seems to me that one side is withdrawing from the field of battle, not wishing to incur even more losses. May I remind the supporters of the nuns in their uncanonical battle against proper authority that it is their rather rigorous argumentation that has kept this battle going? (Note: I am using the words "field of battle" and "battle" figuratively).
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 23, 2012, 12:39:51 PM
Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site (http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us) for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Monk Vasyl on August 23, 2012, 12:46:20 PM
Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site (http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us) for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.

Hopefully its all talk and no action on the part of the nuns.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Schultz on August 23, 2012, 12:50:15 PM
Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site (http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us) for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.

Hopefully its all talk and no action on the part of the nuns.

Amen.  I have to think any attorney worth his JD would take one look at this case and advise against it, as filing a suit will harm the reputation of the monastery and its adherents far more than any alleged slander/libel that has taken place.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 23, 2012, 01:11:14 PM
Not to forget that courts hate these kinds of squabbles and will go to great lengths to avoid them.

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site (http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us) for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.

Hopefully its all talk and no action on the part of the nuns.

Amen.  I have to think any attorney worth his JD would take one look at this case and advise against it, as filing a suit will harm the reputation of the monastery and its adherents far more than any alleged slander/libel that has taken place.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 01:14:39 PM
Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

You stated this:  "Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath," and that is an outright lie which constitutes slander.  I never accused the Metropolitan of being a weakling, nor did I ever assume he was a weakling because in my mind weaklings are only those who resort to underhanded acts such as slander.

 I have  the highest respect for Metropolitan Hilarion as I have for the Metropolitan Jonah, and I have always shown it in my writings because I know they have the integrity to never resort to those underhanded tactics.    Slander by the way is libel.  Are you really a priest?  I can only wonder.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 23, 2012, 01:36:05 PM
Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

You stated this:  "Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath," and that is an outright lie which constitutes slander.  I never accused the Metropolitan of being a weakling, nor did I ever assume he was a weakling because in my mind weaklings are only those who resort to underhanded acts such as slander.

 I have  the highest respect for Metropolitan Hilarion as I have for the Metropolitan Jonah, and I have always shown it in my writings because I know they have the integrity to never resort to those underhanded tactics.    Slander by the way is libel.  Are you really a priest?  I can only wonder.

I have to defend Father here and clarify the argument.

Zenovia (along with several other posters) has consistently made her arguments in defense of the position of the nuns based upon anecdotal evidence, followed by appeals to emotion arising from her own personal feelings about the nuns. When confronted with an apparent conflict between Orthodox canonical law governing monastics and monasteries (as expressed by the official statement posted by ROCOR) and the contrary position articulated online by the nuns,  she has consistently failed to  address either the issue of canonical propriety or the factual questions posed, returning over and over again to appeals to emotion.

Now, she has stooped to yet another argumentative fallacy - the argument 'ad hominen.' Assume that her insinuation that Father Giryus were not a priest would be proven to be true. (It isn't.) That fact by itself would have nothing to do with the status of the nuns or the questions posed by Father, myself and others. It would neither rebut nor answer the questions raised regarding canonical order and obedience.

It is interesting that she and others are quick to draw their own negative inferences from the postings of others, but when negative (and quite logical inferences) are made by those of an opposing point of view the old chestnut of an 'ad hominem' argument surfaces.



Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: katherineofdixie on August 23, 2012, 01:43:30 PM
You stated this:  "Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath," and that is an outright lie which constitutes slander.  I never accused the Metropolitan of being a weakling, nor did I ever assume he was a weakling because in my mind weaklings are only those who resort to underhanded acts such as slander.

 I have  the highest respect for Metropolitan Hilarion as I have for the Metropolitan Jonah, and I have always shown it in my writings because I know they have the integrity to never resort to those underhanded tactics.    Slander by the way is libel.  Are you really a priest?  I can only wonder.

Of course you have accused Metropolitan Hilarion of treating the nuns in an unfair and slanderous way, by bowing to pressure from or being afraid of an unnamed and unidentified malevolent individual or group.
You have done this several times - do I really have to go back and quote your own posts?

Such an accusation is, as Fr. Giryus has pointed out, tantamount to accusing Metropolitan Hilarion of violating his consecration oath. And his responsibilities as Bishop. And yet you say you have respect for him? A strange way to show respect, don't you think?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 03:51:41 PM
My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  ;)

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 23, 2012, 04:34:43 PM
My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  ;)

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  

Most monastics have proven to be people of God (implicitly suggesting most non-monastics have not)?  If that's the case, why did Elder Porphyrios' elders warn him not to even speak to any monk on Mt. Athos (of all places) when he must go from one part of the mountain to another?  Why did they warn him that many monks have ill intentions?

I'd also, again, remind you that a great, great many (probably most) heresies were crafted by monks.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on August 23, 2012, 05:42:08 PM

Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  of the nuns and monks in Greece.  


I think the education of priests is Greece since WW2 at least if not before is not the way you have pictured it above. 
Secondly can you please post a web link to the mother monastery in Greece?  The only link I could find has not been updated in years.  What is the current state of that monastery.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 23, 2012, 06:53:14 PM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 07:24:25 PM
My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  ;)

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  

Most monastics have proven to be people of God (implicitly suggesting most non-monastics have not)?  If that's the case, why did Elder Porphyrios' elders warn him not to even speak to any monk on Mt. Athos (of all places) when he must go from one part of the mountain to another?  Why did they warn him that many monks have ill intentions?

I'd also, again, remind you that a great, great many (probably most) heresies were crafted by monks.

Elder Porphyrios was very young, and there was bound to be pedophiles on Mount Athos...especially among the ascetics who are not members of a community and at a time in the Church when the monasteries were in a decline.  As for heresies, you're probably right since many would have been started by monks.  What other people would have concerned themselves with theological matters...at least in the Orthodox Church?   The narrow mindedness and fundamentalism sometimes is unbelievable, as an example, look at the monks at the Esphigmenou monastery in Mount Athos and the trouble they have been causing the Patriarch of Constantinople...Not to mention all the others who refer to the Pope as the Beast in Revalation.

But look fundamentalism exists everywhere and it is spiritual immaturity.  I personally have a hard time with them.  As a matter of fact, I find athiests much more reasonable when it comes to discussions, but we can't condemn the many righteous and self sacrificing monastics because of a small percentage?

From what I gathered, it seems the Abess Amiliani was trying to rectify this narrow minded fundamentalist problem and have a monastic community where Orthodox of all jurisdiction would feel free, as well as people who are not Orthodox...but it seems to be one of the things that has offended others,  otherwise why would so many continue to persecute her?  ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 07:44:44 PM

Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  of the nuns and monks in Greece.  


I think the education of priests is Greece since WW2 at least if not before is not the way you have pictured it above. 
Secondly can you please post a web link to the mother monastery in Greece?  The only link I could find has not been updated in years.  What is the current state of that monastery.

You might be right about the education of priests since WWII, or rather should we say since the tenure of Arch. Christodoulos.  The priest I met and went to confession to was absolutely lovely and a lot more understanding towards the young people I know than many of the strict monastics here who follow the cannons severly.  But he was in a wealthier parish, so I don't really know about the others.

One thing that I found admirable was that they didn't have to kowtow to certain wealthy patrons  in order to cover the finances of the church since they are under the State... although  many in Greece are complaining about that.  Yet in this time of crises when so many people are hurting, the only people that can be trusted to give one's money to are the clerics.  Certainly not the government.

As for a mother monastery, I don't know if there is one but why don't you contact them directly.  She does have a web site.  Otherwise you can contact the Church of Greece.  They also have a web site.   :)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 07:55:59 PM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   ::)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 23, 2012, 07:56:42 PM
Zenovia, Thank you for answering the question.

But look fundamentalism exists everywhere and it is spiritual immaturity.  I personally have a hard time with them.

Like most non-royalist people in Greece between 1920 and 1967?  The iliterate village priest served as the informant to the police looking for anyone to oppress, especially Communists and non-Orthodox Christians?

As a matter of fact, I find atheists much more reasonable when it comes to discussions,

Our resident atheist is inactive although he likely wouldn't waste his time with this thread.

but we can't condemn the many righteous and self sacrificing monastics because of a small percentage?

No, but a couple of bad apples affects the reputation of the others.

From what I gathered, it seems the Abess Amiliani was trying to rectify this narrow minded fundamentalist problem and have a monastic community where Orthodox of all jurisdiction would feel free, as well as people who are not Orthodox...

I don't feel welcome at her monastery due to its being in canonical disorder.

but it seems to be one of the things that has offended others,  otherwise why would so many continue to persecute her?  ???

Come on, is anyone really persecuting the Abbess?   ???  The Abbess isn't in Greece where Hierarchs turn a blind eye to what is going on.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 23, 2012, 08:08:24 PM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   ::)

He never mentioned the word denigrate.  You're missing podkarpatska's point in that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests.  There is no need to resort to worshiping monastic priests by commemorating them during services.  Why would one priest commemorate another priest; why wouldn't a priest commemorate himself while performing any divine service?  Even the iliterate village priest in Greece knew who his Bishop was, unless he ignorantly commemorated himself or the president of the village or the King of Greece, etc.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 08:18:36 PM


Come on, is anyone really persecuting the Abbess?   ???  The Abbess isn't in Greece where Hierarchs turn a blind eye to what is going on.



Of course the Abess is being persecuted, just look at the posts on this thread.  Anyone who goes to her defense is immediately jumped on.  As for canonical disorder, well unless I'm mistaken, Saint Nektarios' canonical disorder was never corrected.  I believe the Patriarch of Alexandria  apologized fifteen years ago for what Patriarch Sophronios did.  Saint Nektarios' persecution was so consistant,  that there were even times the monastery was threatened for not being canonically in order. ..no doubt a result of the slander against him.   ::)

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 23, 2012, 08:21:18 PM
As for a mother monastery, I don't know if there is one but why don't you contact them directly.  She does have a web site.  Otherwise you can contact the Church of Greece.  They also have a web site.   :)

There is a new Metropolitan of Thebes (as the Abbess' former website falls further out of date).  The website of the Metropolitan of Thebes (http://www.imtl.gr) (in Greek only) lists a phone number for the Holy Cross Convent; however, Holy Cross is not listed under women's convents.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 23, 2012, 08:27:57 PM
Come on, is anyone really persecuting the Abbess?   ???  The Abbess isn't in Greece where Hierarchs turn a blind eye to what is going on.

Of course the Abess is being persecuted, just look at the posts on this thread.

If anyone was being persecuted, this thread would have been locked a long time ago.  Apparently, no one, besides the Abbess' supporters on this thread, agrees with you that the Abbess is being persecuted.

Anyone who goes to her defense is immediately jumped on.

Again, if the Abbess was being persecuted, this thread would have been locked.  So far, we continue to post here.

As for canonical disorder,

Without mentioning St. Nektarios, provide another example of canonical disorder or explain why is canonical disorder acceptable in some cases?   ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 23, 2012, 08:32:33 PM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   ::)

He never mentioned the word denigrate.  You're missing podkarpatska's point in that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests.  There is no need to resort to worshiping monastic priests by commemorating them during services.  Why would one priest commemorate another priest; why wouldn't a priest commemorate himself while performing any divine service?  Even the iliterate village priest in Greece knew who his Bishop was, unless he ignorantly commemorated himself or the president of the village or the King of Greece, etc.

I'm sorry but podkarpatska has a real chip on her shoulder otherwise she wouldn't  have accused me of having a ' cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' as being absurd, insulting and ignorant,'  since it is a known fact that has been mentioned by Greeks and Greek priests themselves.  I'm not pulling it out of thin air you know?

Also you also stated that; that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests, which really would be a oxymoron.  You stated yourself that one has given up everything for God and the other hasn't and that automatically means that one would be more deserved of respect.

As for commemorating the Elder as well as the Metropolitan, this was an agreement that was made when she went under the Metropolitan, so I think it should no one else business.  Who has a right to go against what the Metropolitan himself agreed to.  Shouldn't these people have a little more respect towards the Metropolitan Hilarion?  >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 23, 2012, 08:42:58 PM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   ::)

He never mentioned the word denigrate.  You're missing podkarpatska's point in that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests.  There is no need to resort to worshiping monastic priests by commemorating them during services.  Why would one priest commemorate another priest; why wouldn't a priest commemorate himself while performing any divine service?  Even the iliterate village priest in Greece knew who his Bishop was, unless he ignorantly commemorated himself or the president of the village or the King of Greece, etc.

I'm sorry but podkarpatska has a real chip on her his shoulder otherwise she he wouldn't  have accused me of having a ' cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' as being absurd, insulting and ignorant,'  since it is a known fact that has been mentioned by Greeks and Greek priests themselves.  I'm not pulling it out of thin air you know?

Remember that I'm not in Greece and the experience of Orthodoxy in the USA is much different than Greece.

Also you also stated that; that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests, which really would be a oxymoron.  You stated yourself that one has given up everything for God and the other hasn't and that automatically means that one would be more deserved of respect.

I don't think a priestmonk deserves any more respect than a priest.  Look at the priestmonk for the nuns; the priestmonk celebrates with the ROCOR priest.  Is the priestmonk greater than the ROCOR priest?  No.

As for commemorating the Elder as well as the Metropolitan, this was an agreement that was made when she went under the Metropolitan, so I think it should no one else business.  Who has a right to go against what the Metropolitan himself agreed to.  Shouldn't these people have a little more respect towards the Metropolitan Hilarion?  >:(

We have made decisions with incomplete information or someone has told us the "check is in the mail."  When the check never shows up, what do we do?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 23, 2012, 09:02:26 PM
That takes a lot of cheek, Zenovia!

Metropolitan Hilarion did indeed receive the monastery, and he had the right to release it as well.  You have questioned that decision by stating he was pressured and essentially blackmailed into doing it.

You are the one who who has disrespected him!

No one here has questioned his decision to receive the monastery.  No one here questions the value of healthy monasticism. 

What I question is how Abbess Aemeliani can justify the uncanonical act of threatening a civil lawsuit.

How can she justify refusing to obey the local bishop?  Sure, you can point to that she was received this way, but the question remains why she would decide not to change that at a later point.

Why must Fr. Dionysios continue to direct the affairs of the convent from half a world away?

It is strange, it is odd, and it is ultimately the conclusion that Metropolitan Hilarion came to and acted upon.  No strange cabal with shadowy characters that you don't have any evidence to show us even exist.  Just lots of indignation about 'slander' and 'libel' as you insult all those who might disagree.

You won't answer my questions because you are afraid to tell the truth: you have misrepresented the situation and have no evidence to back your wild accusations.

May God have mercy on you!


As for commemorating the Elder as well as the Metropolitan, this was an agreement that was made when she went under the Metropolitan, so I think it should no one else business.  Who has a right to go against what the Metropolitan himself agreed to.  Shouldn't these people have a little more respect towards the Metropolitan Hilarion?  >:(
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 24, 2012, 01:49:09 AM
As for a mother monastery, I don't know if there is one but why don't you contact them directly.  She does have a web site.  Otherwise you can contact the Church of Greece.  They also have a web site.   :)

There is a new Metropolitan of Thebes (as the Abbess' former website falls further out of date).  The website of the Metropolitan of Thebes (http://www.imtl.gr) (in Greek only) lists a phone number for the Holy Cross Convent; however, Holy Cross is not listed under women's convents.

The Metropolitan of Thebes has a Google Map (http://www.imtl.gr/?page_id=4055) (all in Greek) of all their monastic locations.  A few have their own websites.  Holy Cross convent, while listed, does not have their own website.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 24, 2012, 03:37:36 AM
The Dionysians have won at least one civil lawsuit in Greece against a bishop before. I guess that's why they threaten to do it again, simply because it worked before.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 24, 2012, 03:39:07 AM
I'm sorry but podkarpatska has a real chip on her shoulder
He will if you keep on calling him her. ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on August 24, 2012, 07:10:01 AM
Zenovia, for all of your defense of the nuns, you don't seem to know much about their history or that of Fr. Dionysios. Perhaps you can enlighten us more about these nuns and the reputation of their monasteries and of their spiritual father. What do you know about Fr. Dionysios' more recent history over the past 10 yrs, his reputation on Mt. Athos, in the reputable monasteries of the Holy Land, in Greece, etc.? What can you tell us about the lawsuits involving this group or the moral accusations that have been made regarding Fr. Dionysios? What can you say regarding his current relationship with Simonopetra Monastery where he is from and where Elder Aimilianos is still so greatly revered?  What can you tell is regarding Bp. Melchisedek, what he learned about Fr. Dionysios that greatly troubled him and led him to distance himself from that association and oppose the establishment of a monastery in the U.S. that would be affiliated with Fr. Dionysios? What can you tell us about Fr. Dionysios' history with the GOA, and why he was asked over a decade ago to establish monasteries in the GOA, and why the GOA stopped pursuing this course?

There is still a great deal that has not come to light about this group, and which your defenses have so far not addressed. Perhaos you can shed more light on the questions above so that those who have been concerned about the behavior of these nuns and their spiritual heritage may have a more complete understanding of them and a more solid basis for their views concerning them.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: pensateomnia on August 24, 2012, 07:49:11 AM
I must come to Zenovia's defense. We shouldn't be so hard on her. My impression from her posts, now that I've read many, is that she is very well intentioned but simply wrong or ignorant about many things. The "sources" she tends to reference are what people have told her (and what she's seen on Greek TV). That's OK. Most Orthodox throughout history were not versed in the Scripture, the canons, and the Fathers. As the Seventh Ecumenical Council said, that's why *Bishops* must study these things thoroughly. Let's just hope that everyone follows the guidance of their bishop, instead of suing him or his flock.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on August 24, 2012, 08:57:04 AM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   ::)

He never mentioned the word denigrate.  You're missing podkarpatska's point in that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests.  There is no need to resort to worshiping monastic priests by commemorating them during services.  Why would one priest commemorate another priest; why wouldn't a priest commemorate himself while performing any divine service?  Even the iliterate village priest in Greece knew who his Bishop was, unless he ignorantly commemorated himself or the president of the village or the King of Greece, etc.

Thank you - that is precisely my point.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on August 24, 2012, 10:22:44 AM
While I agree with you that Zenovia does not have a formation in canon law, the problem here is one of basic morality: Zenovia does what she denounces in others.  It's not rocket science to say, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Education can sometimes make morality more difficult.  We can examine permutations and possibilities, forgetting what is needful.

In this case, Zenovia is simply repeating, over and over again, the same little bits she always has and refuses to interact with the questions posed to her.  This is not because she is uneducated, but because she either refuses to reflect on herself or has reflected and decided that she simply won't back down.  I don't know which of the two it is.

She has been asked a number of questions which she does not respond to, even with a simple "I don't know."  Had she responded in such a manner, one could chalk this up to a matter of bad information.  But, there are some people who will not seek after information because they don't want to give up their ideas.

I know plenty of people as you describe, with little formation, yet they can pick up on problems quicker than most.  They are keenly aware of when things get weird and, though they might not understand all the minute details, they pick up the problems.

Zenovia isn't picking up on the problems because it goes against her narrative: the nuns are perfect because they are holy, and those who question that are evil.  This is not the byproduct of a lack of formation, but the intentional abandonment of common sense.  Most yahyahs get this.  In fact, Orthodox laity of the uneducated variety can be acutely aware of the reality that holy people are not perfect.

As you pointed out, I do hope the lawsuits do not come to bear and the threat of such are merely moral lapses that the Abbess will someday repent of.


I must come to Zenovia's defense. We shouldn't be so hard on her. My impression from her posts, now that I've read many, is that she is very well intentioned but simply wrong or ignorant about many things. The "sources" she tends to reference are what people have told her (and what she's seen on Greek TV). That's OK. Most Orthodox throughout history were not versed in the Scripture, the canons, and the Fathers. As the Seventh Ecumenical Council said, that's why *Bishops* must study these things thoroughly. Let's just hope that everyone follows the guidance of their bishop, instead of suing him or his flock.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: alice on August 24, 2012, 11:37:29 AM
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!

I beg you, for the love of our God and his teachings, for the sake of our immortal souls and the quelching of our passions to gossip, bicker, and idly talk, *please stop*!

There is absolutely nothing spiritually edifying coming out of this thread. If we take controversy and judge and gossip about it, we are no better than those secular persons who take controversies over rock stars and actors and judge and gossip about it. I humbly suggest to ALL here to think of how being anonymous on a computer makes us sin, and not feel like we are sinning...so much of what we say on forums to each other and about others are that which we would not say in person to someone.

I am so saddened, as an Orthodox Christian when I hear of scandal in our precious, holy Church--our hospital of souls! If I were to judge my church from what I see here, I would feel in despair and feel that there is no place for solace from our world of tears and pain!

Whether a scandal involves 'sexual indescretions' of a priest, the 'financial scandal' of a monastery, or 'canonical disobedience' of a monk or nun, it is a sorrowful thing --because it shows how easily we all fall into sin, it shows how easily we can become the object of disdain, it shows how easily we can fall from 'favor', it shows how easily we can be judged and or slandered.

Just as the wise person says when he/she hears of the divorce of dear friends or relatives, that one cannot judge, because one is not living with them daily and does not know the intricacies of their relationship,  and that it takes 'two to tango', we should be even wiser when it comes to something which can scandalize our faithful..and that doesn't only mean the topic at hand, but also the lack of compassion and PRAYER which we show to those who are in the scandal and to EACH other.

As a cradle Orthodox Christian, I have heard enough scandal (whether true or not true) in every jurisdiction, in every country, in every church, in many priests, in many bishops, etc... to have driven me away from not only the Church, but from even believing in God! So when I hear internet 'whisperings' about a Patriarch with an expensive watch, or a Bishop who drives a Mercedes, etc., or about the good life a certain priest lives, etc., I simply tune out the inevitable sinful 'logismoi' which I am trying so hard with confessions to lessen, the 'logismoi' (thoughts) of judging and entertaining the scandal, and I remind myself that there is no one standard for all, and that gifts are one's perogative to accept, money is one's perogative to spend how he or she likes, etc., etc., etc., (these are only two recent examples of gossip I have come across), and that I would not like to be 'whispered' about on every little thing I do, I wear, I like, I spend, etc...in other words, our Lord gave us the perfect statement to deal with all our judgementalisms: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

 WOW!! Nothing could be wiser or more perfect, and we often forget this most blessed of all teachings and justify forgetting it by egotistical self righteousness. It is the GOLDEN RULE--truly and totally!

Personally, I have seen this thread do nothing but state over and over and over, ad nauseum, the same differing and opposing opinions...and when that got tired, people start attacking, misreading, misjudging, getting defensive, getting offensive, and talking past each other.

I am so saddened--how would someone seeking the peace and love of the true Church and Hospital of our Lord feel if he or she read this thread? I doubt very much that they would think we were it!! I doubt they would feel consolation and peace, and spiritual edification. We are all the icons of Christ, whether we can see each other or not; it is how we TREAT each other (and our priests-- married or not married-- our monks and nuns, our bishops, our fellow parishioners) that will reflect the Christ in us! I have seen too many priests suffer because of judgemental parishioners, and when they suffer, their families and spouses also suffer. No one knows WHO in the Church will be the next one that the evil one turns his ugly claws (through our sinful hearts and souls) into to destroy. It could be Priest X (happy today) or Monk Y (prayerfully following his monastic rule)--Let us pray for each other, because no one knows who will be next, and no one knows who will have to answer to God for having been a tool of the evil one in destroying another individual. Kyrie Eleison!

May God bless us all with His peace.

I humbly ask the forgiveness of all here if I have offended anyone, because it is not my intention at all, and I am a great sinner and unworthy before you...these were just some thoughts I had.

I bow to the holy image of Christ in each and every one of you...and bid you adieu my beloved fellow Orthodox Christians.

With love in our Lord,
Alice

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 24, 2012, 02:14:30 PM
There is absolutely nothing spiritually edifying coming out of this thread.

You're just one opinion.  As long as forum rules aren't being violated, we can talk about practically anything.  If you don't like it, don't read or post here.

If we take controversy and judge and gossip about it, we are no better than those secular persons who take controversies over rock stars and actors and judge and gossip about it.

We shouldn't talk about what Pussy Riot did in Russia?

I humbly suggest to ALL here to think of how being anonymous on a computer makes us sin, and not feel like we are sinning...so much of what we say on forums to each other and about others are that which we would not say in person to someone.

I see this forum as a place to learn.  I didn't know where the Abbess' monastery was located until a few days ago and I recall the many times I've driven on the main road near the monastery.

I am so saddened, as an Orthodox Christian when I hear of scandal in our precious, holy Church--our hospital of souls! If I were to judge my church from what I see here, I would feel in despair and feel that there is no place for solace from our world of tears and pain!

Solace has to come from within and not from external sources.  A baby learns to soothe itself.  An adult has forgotten how to soothe him/herself

Whether a scandal involves 'sexual indescretions' of a priest, the 'financial scandal' of a monastery, or 'canonical disobedience' of a monk or nun, it is a sorrowful thing --because it shows how easily we all fall into sin, it shows how easily we can become the object of disdain, it shows how easily we can fall from 'favor', it shows how easily we can be judged and or slandered.

Sin has consequences.  Are you suggesting that those who sin, especially if they are priests or monastics, suffer no consequences?
 
Just as the wise person says when he/she hears of the divorce of dear friends or relatives, that one cannot judge, because one is not living with them daily and does not know the intricacies of their relationship,  and that it takes 'two to tango', we should be even wiser when it comes to something which can scandalize our faithful..and that doesn't only mean the topic at hand, but also the lack of compassion and PRAYER which we show to those who are in the scandal and to EACH other.

There's Orthodox Prison Ministries.  I don't see monastics hop in a van and travel to the nearest prison although I realize that due to strict security, it is difficult for people to enter a prison to perform prison ministry.
 
As a cradle Orthodox Christian, I have heard enough scandal (whether true or not true) in every jurisdiction, in every country, in every church, in many priests, in many bishops, etc... to have driven me away from not only the Church, but from even believing in God! So when I hear internet 'whisperings' about a Patriarch with an expensive watch, or a Bishop who drives a Mercedes, etc., or about the good life a certain priest lives, etc., I simply tune out the inevitable sinful 'logismoi' which I am trying so hard with confessions to lessen, the 'logismoi' (thoughts) of judging and entertaining the scandal, and I remind myself that there is no one standard for all, and that gifts are one's perogative to accept, money is one's perogative to spend how he or she likes, etc., etc., etc., (these are only two recent examples of gossip I have come across), and that I would not like to be 'whispered' about on every little thing I do, I wear, I like, I spend, etc...in other words, our Lord gave us the perfect statement to deal with all our judgementalisms: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

 WOW!! Nothing could be wiser or more perfect, and we often forget this most blessed of all teachings and justify forgetting it by egotistical self righteousness. It is the GOLDEN RULE--truly and totally!

I try to live that way.  It's not easy; but not even the Golden Rule is an excuse for canonical disorder.

Personally, I have seen this thread do nothing but state over and over and over, ad nauseum, the same differing and opposing opinions...and when that got tired, people start attacking, misreading, misjudging, getting defensive, getting offensive, and talking past each other.

That's life when one is engaged in a debate.
 
I am so saddened--how would someone seeking the peace and love of the true Church and Hospital of our Lord feel if he or she read this thread?

They can see both sides of the issue and decide for themselves based on application of their own logismoi.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 24, 2012, 02:58:19 PM

Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  of the nuns and monks in Greece.  


I think the education of priests is Greece since WW2 at least if not before is not the way you have pictured it above. 
Secondly can you please post a web link to the mother monastery in Greece?  The only link I could find has not been updated in years.  What is the current state of that monastery.

I'd also note that some of the greatest (monastic and other, I am sure) saints of the Church were "not even educated."
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 24, 2012, 02:58:19 PM
My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  ;)

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  

Most monastics have proven to be people of God (implicitly suggesting most non-monastics have not)?  If that's the case, why did Elder Porphyrios' elders warn him not to even speak to any monk on Mt. Athos (of all places) when he must go from one part of the mountain to another?  Why did they warn him that many monks have ill intentions?

I'd also, again, remind you that a great, great many (probably most) heresies were crafted by monks.

Elder Porphyrios was very young, and there was bound to be pedophiles on Mount Athos...especially among the ascetics who are not members of a community and at a time in the Church when the monasteries were in a decline.  As for heresies, you're probably right since many would have been started by monks.  What other people would have concerned themselves with theological matters...at least in the Orthodox Church?   The narrow mindedness and fundamentalism sometimes is unbelievable, as an example, look at the monks at the Esphigmenou monastery in Mount Athos and the trouble they have been causing the Patriarch of Constantinople...Not to mention all the others who refer to the Pope as the Beast in Revalation.

But look fundamentalism exists everywhere and it is spiritual immaturity.  I personally have a hard time with them.  As a matter of fact, I find athiests much more reasonable when it comes to discussions, but we can't condemn the many righteous and self sacrificing monastics because of a small percentage?

From what I gathered, it seems the Abess Amiliani was trying to rectify this narrow minded fundamentalist problem and have a monastic community where Orthodox of all jurisdiction would feel free, as well as people who are not Orthodox...but it seems to be one of the things that has offended others,  otherwise why would so many continue to persecute her?  ???

You've either one again retracted an absurd comment, or failed to address mine.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 24, 2012, 04:57:40 PM


As for commemorating the Elder as well as the Metropolitan, this was an agreement that was made when she went under the Metropolitan, so I think it should no one else business.  Who has a right to go against what the Metropolitan himself agreed to.  Shouldn't these people have a little more respect towards the Metropolitan Hilarion?  >:(

We have made decisions with incomplete information or someone has told us the "check is in the mail."  When the check never shows up, what do we do?

The problem here is 'pride'.  I have a rough idea of what the cannons of the Church constitute, and I know I fall far from the mark.  Did any of these bishops question themselves, or did one lean on the other in making their decision?  Is there a 'culture of fear', something I had experienced in another Church and at another time?  One in which a man, who even Bishop Ware said he respected for his intelligence and integrity, was shamefully calumniated, even to the secular press for self serving reasons?

Look I don't want to get into these things, but unless I see something in a person's character, which shows me they lack integrity,  I will defend them as I would have Christ Himself.  And frankly, I think this thread  should end here.   ;)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 24, 2012, 07:23:02 PM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 24, 2012, 07:49:40 PM


As for commemorating the Elder as well as the Metropolitan, this was an agreement that was made when she went under the Metropolitan, so I think it should no one else business.  Who has a right to go against what the Metropolitan himself agreed to.  Shouldn't these people have a little more respect towards the Metropolitan Hilarion?  >:(

We have made decisions with incomplete information or someone has told us the "check is in the mail."  When the check never shows up, what do we do?

The problem here is 'pride'.

Please answer the question stated in the bold text.  How is pride the problem?  I've summarized, in two sentences, the entire situation between the Hierarchs of the OCA, ROCOR & the Abbess.  Did the Hierarchs of OCA and ROCOR act in a prideful manner?  Did the Abbess, or better yet, the Eldress who released her, act in a prideful manner?  Did no one act in a prideful manner?  Where does pride fit in?   ???

I have a rough idea of what the cannons of the Church constitute, and I know I fall far from the mark.  Did any of these bishops question themselves, or did one lean on the other in making their decision?

They made the best decision with incomplete information.

Is there a 'culture of fear', something I had experienced in another Church and at another time?

Why use the word fear?  How about regret?

Look I don't want to get into these things,

what things?

but unless I see something in a person's character, which shows me they lack integrity,

You think I have integrity if I don't send you something that I've promised?

I will defend them as I would have Christ Himself.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

And frankly, I think this thread  should end here.   ;)

Have you seen some of the long threads on this forum?  Random Postings (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7837.0.html) - almost 13,000 posts.  Evolution (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.0.html) - almost 4,300 posts.  Debate with Hinduism (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30785.0.html) - almost 2,000 posts.  There's a lot of life remaining in this thread.   :)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 24, 2012, 07:54:08 PM
As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   ::)

He never mentioned the word denigrate.  You're missing podkarpatska's point in that non-monastic Priests, who haven't given up everything to God, deserve the same respect as monastic priests.  There is no need to resort to worshiping monastic priests by commemorating them during services.  Why would one priest commemorate another priest; why wouldn't a priest commemorate himself while performing any divine service?  Even the iliterate village priest in Greece knew who his Bishop was, unless he ignorantly commemorated himself or the president of the village or the King of Greece, etc.

Thank you - that is precisely my point.

Thank you for defending me earlier in the thread with Met. Jonah.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Zenovia on August 24, 2012, 07:58:54 PM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?

As a monk, he's trying to step out of himself 'fully'.  When and if he does, then he'll achieve sanctity.  At least we can say he's not the one on this forum elevating their pride/ego by placing judgement on others.  

As for your insistence about others following cannon laws, I would have to assume then that  everything you people do is canonically in order...especially the cannon about going to your spiritual father for confession before receiving the Eucharist, and the cannons on the fasts:  No meat, no milk product, no eggs, no fish, no oil for over two hundred days of the year.  Oh yes I forgot, then there's the Orthodox birth control: No sex!   :D

  
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 24, 2012, 08:10:15 PM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?

As a monk, he's trying to step out of himself 'fully'.  When and if he does, then he'll achieve sanctity.

Is that a prideful act?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 25, 2012, 12:47:25 AM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?

As a monk, he's trying to step out of himself 'fully'.  When and if he does, then he'll achieve sanctity.  At least we can say he's not the one on this forum elevating their pride/ego by placing judgement on others.
As you are?

As for your insistence about others following cannon laws, I would have to assume then that  everything you people do is canonically in order...especially the cannon about going to your spiritual father for confession before receiving the Eucharist,
What canon mandates that?

and the cannons on the fasts:  No meat, no milk product, no eggs, no fish, no oil for over two hundred days of the year.  Oh yes I forgot, then there's the Orthodox birth control: No sex!   :D  
Where do you get the idea that the Church mandates celibacy for all? Oh, wait, we hashed that out with you before. No need to argue that canard again. ::)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 25, 2012, 12:49:07 AM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?

As a monk, he's trying to step out of himself 'fully'.  When and if he does, then he'll achieve sanctity.  At least we can say he's not the one on this forum elevating their pride/ego by placing judgement on others.  

As for your insistence about others following cannon laws, I would have to assume then that  everything you people do is canonically in order...especially the cannon about going to your spiritual father for confession before receiving the Eucharist, and the cannons on the fasts:  No meat, no milk product, no eggs, no fish, no oil for over two hundred days of the year.  Oh yes I forgot, then there's the Orthodox birth control: No sex!   :D

  

Umm, sex is actually a perfectly legitimate thing for a married Orthodox Christian.

And, there are many, many Orthodox laypeople who actually do keep to the fasts and who do confess frequently; you shouldn't project your own behaviors on to others.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Νεκτάριος on August 25, 2012, 02:47:18 AM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?

As a monk, he's trying to step out of himself 'fully'.  When and if he does, then he'll achieve sanctity.  At least we can say he's not the one on this forum elevating their pride/ego by placing judgement on others.  

As for your insistence about others following cannon laws, I would have to assume then that  everything you people do is canonically in order...especially the cannon about going to your spiritual father for confession before receiving the Eucharist, and the cannons on the fasts:  No meat, no milk product, no eggs, no fish, no oil for over two hundred days of the year.  Oh yes I forgot, then there's the Orthodox birth control: No sex!   :D

  

Umm, sex is actually a perfectly legitimate thing for a married Orthodox Christian.

And, there are many, many Orthodox laypeople who actually do keep to the fasts and who do confess frequently; you shouldn't project your own behaviors on to others.

In my experience keeping the fasts and all that is usually the biggest source of pride among lay people. 
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on August 25, 2012, 04:18:26 AM
I am the first of the sinners and I am certainly not perfect. But actually, I am trying to follow the canons and live an Orthodox layman's life.

Btw, not all oil is forbidden during fasting, only olive oil. Also, I am not aware that "one confession - one communion" is a canon, though it is a common practice in some local churches. (If it is a canon, please show me). I try to commune and confess regularly though.

Also, the purpose of my posting here is not to judge anyone, but to warn about the spiritual dangers coming from a man who has forbidden his nuns to help disabled children, but who has instructed them to eat meat (clearly inacceptable in Orthodox monasticism) and rebel against their bishops.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on August 25, 2012, 05:38:55 AM
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!

I beg you, for the love of our God and his teachings, for the sake of our immortal souls and the quelching of our passions to gossip, bicker, and idly talk, *please stop*!

There is absolutely nothing spiritually edifying coming out of this thread. If we take controversy and judge and gossip about it, we are no better than those secular persons who take controversies over rock stars and actors and judge and gossip about it. I humbly suggest to ALL here to think of how being anonymous on a computer makes us sin, and not feel like we are sinning...so much of what we say on forums to each other and about others are that which we would not say in person to someone.

I am so saddened, as an Orthodox Christian when I hear of scandal in our precious, holy Church--our hospital of souls! If I were to judge my church from what I see here, I would feel in despair and feel that there is no place for solace from our world of tears and pain!

Whether a scandal involves 'sexual indescretions' of a priest, the 'financial scandal' of a monastery, or 'canonical disobedience' of a monk or nun, it is a sorrowful thing --because it shows how easily we all fall into sin, it shows how easily we can become the object of disdain, it shows how easily we can fall from 'favor', it shows how easily we can be judged and or slandered.

Just as the wise person says when he/she hears of the divorce of dear friends or relatives, that one cannot judge, because one is not living with them daily and does not know the intricacies of their relationship,  and that it takes 'two to tango', we should be even wiser when it comes to something which can scandalize our faithful..and that doesn't only mean the topic at hand, but also the lack of compassion and PRAYER which we show to those who are in the scandal and to EACH other.

As a cradle Orthodox Christian, I have heard enough scandal (whether true or not true) in every jurisdiction, in every country, in every church, in many priests, in many bishops, etc... to have driven me away from not only the Church, but from even believing in God! So when I hear internet 'whisperings' about a Patriarch with an expensive watch, or a Bishop who drives a Mercedes, etc., or about the good life a certain priest lives, etc., I simply tune out the inevitable sinful 'logismoi' which I am trying so hard with confessions to lessen, the 'logismoi' (thoughts) of judging and entertaining the scandal, and I remind myself that there is no one standard for all, and that gifts are one's perogative to accept, money is one's perogative to spend how he or she likes, etc., etc., etc., (these are only two recent examples of gossip I have come across), and that I would not like to be 'whispered' about on every little thing I do, I wear, I like, I spend, etc...in other words, our Lord gave us the perfect statement to deal with all our judgementalisms: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

 WOW!! Nothing could be wiser or more perfect, and we often forget this most blessed of all teachings and justify forgetting it by egotistical self righteousness. It is the GOLDEN RULE--truly and totally!

Personally, I have seen this thread do nothing but state over and over and over, ad nauseum, the same differing and opposing opinions...and when that got tired, people start attacking, misreading, misjudging, getting defensive, getting offensive, and talking past each other.

I am so saddened--how would someone seeking the peace and love of the true Church and Hospital of our Lord feel if he or she read this thread? I doubt very much that they would think we were it!! I doubt they would feel consolation and peace, and spiritual edification. We are all the icons of Christ, whether we can see each other or not; it is how we TREAT each other (and our priests-- married or not married-- our monks and nuns, our bishops, our fellow parishioners) that will reflect the Christ in us! I have seen too many priests suffer because of judgemental parishioners, and when they suffer, their families and spouses also suffer. No one knows WHO in the Church will be the next one that the evil one turns his ugly claws (through our sinful hearts and souls) into to destroy. It could be Priest X (happy today) or Monk Y (prayerfully following his monastic rule)--Let us pray for each other, because no one knows who will be next, and no one knows who will have to answer to God for having been a tool of the evil one in destroying another individual. Kyrie Eleison!

May God bless us all with His peace.

I humbly ask the forgiveness of all here if I have offended anyone, because it is not my intention at all, and I am a great sinner and unworthy before you...these were just some thoughts I had.

I bow to the holy image of Christ in each and every one of you...and bid you adieu my beloved fellow Orthodox Christians.

With love in our Lord,
Alice



I respectfully disagree with your well intended post.  This monastic community has had a significant impact on Orthodoxy in America despite its very short time of existence in this land.  It is a descent size community which has already impacted the spiritual lives of many Orthodox Christians, and the manner in which the Abbess was inspired to join the monastic life is a uniquely inspiring story.  They've also acquired quite a sizable property as their spiritual home.  Yet, due to their short term existence, they're lack the spiritual maturity keeps them from an appreciation of the critical need for compliance with the Church's canonical requirements for church order, bringing controversy to their existence.  They're intentions to enter the Orthodox Church in America, while again, not in accordance with church discipline, is largely responsible for the forced retirement of the Primate of the OCA, who is respected by many.

Their existence in the U.S. and the current lack of association with the authority of a bishop, makes it incumbent upon some of us, to learn all we can about their history and operations, to determine how to resolve their current lack of canonical standing, and to assist in that resolution, if possible.

Essentially, they show much promise for becoming  a monastic institution that could benefit many Orthodox Americans. to just ignore them and write them off to being another canonical anomaly in this land.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 25, 2012, 02:19:04 PM
Quote
Their existence in the U.S. and the current lack of association with the authority of a bishop, makes it incumbent upon some of us, to learn all we can about their history and operations, to determine how to resolve their current lack of canonical standing, and to assist in that resolution, if possible.

If thats not an example of  "not minding ones own business" what is !
Somebody thinks it is their duty to fix the problem that exists there...who asked for their assistance?

If you live near the nuns like I do maybe that is tempting, but still I will mind my own business.

I also do support Met. Hilarion ..whatever is said I accept.
Yet also agreeing with Alice to show a bit of compassion and charity and refrain from discussing what you do not know and idle speculation, that people should stop gossipingalso does not mean I disrespect the authority of any hierarch.


Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 25, 2012, 04:03:59 PM
And Elder Dionysios has no pride?

As a monk, he's trying to step out of himself 'fully'.  When and if he does, then he'll achieve sanctity.  At least we can say he's not the one on this forum elevating their pride/ego by placing judgement on others.  

As for your insistence about others following cannon laws, I would have to assume then that  everything you people do is canonically in order...especially the cannon about going to your spiritual father for confession before receiving the Eucharist, and the cannons on the fasts:  No meat, no milk product, no eggs, no fish, no oil for over two hundred days of the year.  Oh yes I forgot, then there's the Orthodox birth control: No sex!   :D

  

Umm, sex is actually a perfectly legitimate thing for a married Orthodox Christian.

And, there are many, many Orthodox laypeople who actually do keep to the fasts and who do confess frequently; you shouldn't project your own behaviors on to others.

In my experience keeping the fasts and all that is usually the biggest source of pride among lay people. 

That's certainly not untrue.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 25, 2012, 08:25:42 PM
Quote
Their existence in the U.S. and the current lack of association with the authority of a bishop, makes it incumbent upon some of us, to learn all we can about their history and operations, to determine how to resolve their current lack of canonical standing, and to assist in that resolution, if possible.

If thats not an example of  "not minding ones own business" what is !
Somebody thinks it is their duty to fix the problem that exists there...who asked for their assistance?

Did you see my "is the check in the mail" analogy?  If I don't receive the check, what should I do?

If you live near the nuns like I do maybe that is tempting, but still I will mind my own business.

Why do you think it is acceptable for an Orthodox entity to not be subject to Hierarchical oversight?

I also do support Met. Hilarion ..whatever is said I accept.
Yet also agreeing with Alice to show a bit of compassion and charity and refrain from discussing what you do not know and idle speculation, that people should stop gossipingalso does not mean I disrespect the authority of any hierarch.

Galileo heard a lot of what is bolded; yet, he was right.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 26, 2012, 04:34:01 PM
Since I am either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstood I will add to what I said before.

Not only do I support Metropolitan Hilarion. I support that monasteries need to have a bishop over them and antimension next to their altar!

(http://www.guywiththecoat.com/politicalcomics/hateamerica.gif)

I feel like the person who is accused of hating america simply because they made one minor criticism of it.
Some sort of blind simplistic "black and white" patriotism here.
Yes, having being in communion with your bishop is black and white it is necessary, but we DO pray for others to overcome their sins!

I love the Orthodox Church. I love Metr. Hilarion and the Nuns of Entrance and Theotokos, both. I love all people.
I love especially people who keep in proper good standing with the Church.

What sort of simplistic viewpoint is being presented by some of you?

Why must one thing mutually exclude another?




Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 26, 2012, 04:59:19 PM
Since I am either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstood I will add to what I said before.

Not only do I support Metropolitan Hilarion. I support that monasteries need to have a bishop over them and antimension next to their altar!

(http://www.guywiththecoat.com/politicalcomics/hateamerica.gif)

I feel like the person who is accused of hating america simply because they made one minor criticism of it.
Some sort of blind simplistic "black and white" patriotism here.
Yes, having being in communion with your bishop is black and white it is necessary, but we DO pray for others to overcome their sins!

I love the Orthodox Church. I love Metr. Hilarion and the Nuns of Entrance and Theotokos, both. I love all people.
I love especially people who keep in proper good standing with the Church.

What sort of simplistic viewpoint is being presented by some of you?

Why must one thing mutually exclude another?
What in the world are you talking about? ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on August 26, 2012, 05:32:20 PM
Quote
Quote from: Christopher McAvoy on Yesterday at 02:19:04 PM
If you live near the nuns like I do maybe that is tempting, but still I will mind my own business.

Quote
from SolEX01: Why do you think it is acceptable for an Orthodox entity to not be subject to Hierarchical oversight?

I was speaking in reference to that.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on August 27, 2012, 12:40:02 AM
Since I am either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstood I will add to what I said before.

Not only do I support Metropolitan Hilarion. I support that monasteries need to have a bishop over them and antimension next to their altar!

< image deleted >

I feel like the person who is accused of hating america simply because they made one minor criticism of it.

The analogy to hating America is a bit odd and misguided.  When you post about ancient Rites, you're much easier to understand.  When you post about material that is still new to you, you're more difficult to understand. 

Some sort of blind simplistic "black and white" patriotism here.

Please explain what you mean by the above statement.

Yes, having being in communion with your bishop is black and white it is necessary, but we DO pray for others to overcome their sins!

I see no reason to disagree with you.

I love the Orthodox Church. I love Metr. Hilarion and the Nuns of Entrance and Theotokos, both. I love all people.
I love especially people who keep in proper good standing with the Church.

No disagreement here.

What sort of simplistic viewpoint is being presented by some of you?

How familiar are you with Orthodox monasticism?

Why must one thing mutually exclude another?

What "things?"   ???
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on August 28, 2012, 10:57:07 AM
Basil 320 wrote these very wise words:
Quote
Yet, due to their short term existence, they're lack the spiritual maturity keeps them from an appreciation of the critical need for compliance with the Church's canonical requirements for church order, bringing controversy to their existence. 

The "short term" existence words can also be applied to the mother monastery in Greece.  Started by a convert with sisters from various countries who were also converts to Orthodoxy.  Wouldn't it have been a wiser move for all these converts to have been placed in more established traditional women's monasteries in Greece to learn first the "milk" of Orthodoxy? 
Was the elder's sole influence on this new monastery of converts helpful for their growth in Orthodoxy or not?  Finally I have been searching to internet trying to find out what happened to this mother monastery in Greece?  Why has their web page not been updated in a few years?  Was there an unheaval in the monastery?  If so is that the reason for the group of sisters coming to the USA or not?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on September 08, 2012, 10:35:14 PM
FYI, the nuns have decided to password protect their website and an invitation from them is required for access.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on September 09, 2012, 12:26:58 AM
Hum, odd, why would they do that?  Why keep the inquisitive public out?

I've been wondering it they are seeking canonical protection?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on September 09, 2012, 01:32:58 AM
Hum, odd, why would they do that?  Why keep the inquisitive public out?

The nuns publication of documents resulted in more questions about their status; hence, the circling of the wagons.

I've been wondering it they are seeking canonical protection?

Highly unlikely.  In the Met. Jonah resigning thread, Met. Jonah apparently tells parishioners that it doesn't matter whose antimens is at a monastery.

Quote
In a sense, it doesn’t matter whose antimens is on the altar.  What matters is that a monastery is where all Orthodox come together in a united witness…


source (http://stnicholasdc.org/files/Newsletter/july-newsletter-Copy.pdf)
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on September 10, 2012, 09:58:33 AM
Hum, odd, why would they do that?  Why keep the inquisitive public out?

The nuns publication of documents resulted in more questions about their status; hence, the circling of the wagons.

I've been wondering it they are seeking canonical protection?

Highly unlikely.  In the Met. Jonah resigning thread, Met. Jonah apparently tells parishioners that it doesn't matter whose antimens is at a monastery.

Quote
In a sense, it doesn’t matter whose antimens is on the altar.  What matters is that a monastery is where all Orthodox come together in a united witness…


source (http://stnicholasdc.org/files/Newsletter/july-newsletter-Copy.pdf)

Of course it matters.  A monastery cannot exist on its own without answering to a hierarch.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on September 10, 2012, 10:33:30 AM
I've been wondering it they are seeking canonical protection?

Highly unlikely.  In the Met. Jonah resigning thread, Met. Jonah apparently tells parishioners that it doesn't matter whose antimens is at a monastery.
source (http://stnicholasdc.org/files/Newsletter/july-newsletter-Copy.pdf)

That is a really bad misinterpretation of Met Jonah’s words.  ???

In that newsletter, Met Jonah was explaining, in the context of the monastery’s move from the OCA to ROCOR, that it shouldn’t matter whether the Divine Liturgy is served at the monastery on antimens from the OCA or antimens from ROCOR.  Being under nobody, having no antimens, and no Divine Liturgy (as seems to be the case now), is a different matter altogether.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on September 10, 2012, 10:45:45 AM
I've been wondering it they are seeking canonical protection?

Highly unlikely.  In the Met. Jonah resigning thread, Met. Jonah apparently tells parishioners that it doesn't matter whose antimens is at a monastery.
source (http://stnicholasdc.org/files/Newsletter/july-newsletter-Copy.pdf)

That is a really bad misinterpretation of Met Jonah’s words.  ???

In that newsletter, Met Jonah was explaining, in the context of the monastery’s move from the OCA to ROCOR, that it shouldn’t matter whether the Divine Liturgy is served at the monastery on antimens from the OCA or antimens from ROCOR.  Being under nobody, having no antimens, and no Divine Liturgy (as seems to be the case now), is a different matter altogether.


Well stated, antimens by themselves have no 'magical quality' they require the continued blessing of a ruling bishop. If a ruling hierarch removes his blessing from a parish, a priest, a monastery - whatever - it is proper to either return them to the bishop or allow a representative of that hierarch to enter the church and personally remove them.

Sadly, there are many cases over the years where those who are in disobedience to the hierarch allow neither of these options to take place and continue to utilize the antimens. Such use may be the beginning of schism and such use is improper.

Now, if an altar, priest, church, monastery properly passes to the obedience of a different, equally canonical bishop then it makes no difference to the faithful.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on September 10, 2012, 11:18:13 AM
I've been wondering it they are seeking canonical protection?

Highly unlikely.  In the Met. Jonah resigning thread, Met. Jonah apparently tells parishioners that it doesn't matter whose antimens is at a monastery.
source (http://stnicholasdc.org/files/Newsletter/july-newsletter-Copy.pdf)

That is a really bad misinterpretation of Met Jonah’s words.  ???

In that newsletter, Met Jonah was explaining, in the context of the monastery’s move from the OCA to ROCOR, that it shouldn’t matter whether the Divine Liturgy is served at the monastery on antimens from the OCA or antimens from ROCOR.  Being under nobody, having no antimens, and no Divine Liturgy (as seems to be the case now), is a different matter altogether.


Well stated, antimens by themselves have no 'magical quality' they require the continued blessing of a ruling bishop. If a ruling hierarch removes his blessing from a parish, a priest, a monastery - whatever - it is proper to either return them to the bishop or allow a representative of that hierarch to enter the church and personally remove them.

Sadly, there are many cases over the years where those who are in disobedience to the hierarch allow neither of these options to take place and continue to utilize the antimens. Such use may be the beginning of schism and such use is improper.

Now, if an altar, priest, church, monastery properly passes to the obedience of a different, equally canonical bishop then it makes no difference to the faithful.

I forgot to add that after passing the old antimens to the former ruling bishop they receive new ones from their new ruling bishop THEN it makes no difference to the faithful or the clergy.  Sorry!
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Nathanael on September 18, 2012, 07:22:51 AM
I think to understand the behaviour of Abbess Aemiliane and the DC nuns it could be very very important to find out who's their Elder Dionysios. Is he still a faithful and obedient monk to his Elder Aimilianos(who is still very paralysed) or not. I find in a blog a comment, which is a bit shocking:

"The problem is not the nuns themselves, but the “elder” of the nuns – Archimandrite Dionysios – a very charismatic but renegade monk who left his monastery on Mt. Athos without a blessing of his Abbot to start his “own” monasteries. He also got into some trouble awhile back in Jeruslaem and was kicked out of the patriarchate. I don’t know any details other than the monks of Simonopetra told me when I was there to stay away from him. That is enough me. Anyone who wants to know themselves can connect Simonopetra. We need solid and traditional monasticism here in the States, but not from someone with a questionable past."

http://www.monomakhos.com/is-the-tide-turning-for-the-oca/

"I can personally attest from the monks of Simonopetra themselves, including the current Abbot Gerontas Elysaios, that the so called “elder” Dionysios left Simonopetra – his place of repentance – without a blessing, has been traveling the world as a self-claimed “Elder”, was kicked out of the Jerusalem Patriarchate by the late Patriarch Diodoros of Blessed Memory for “improprieties”, and the only people he attracts to his monasteries are Westerners who are easily deceived and can’t distinguish real monasticism from charlatan.
And it’s not just Simonopetra, every monastery I’ve inquired about him after meeting him hear in the States told me to stay far away."

http://www.monomakhos.com/first-rule-of-holes-when-youre-in-one-stop-digging/


I'm not sure if I can trust this comments, because I cannot just accept as factual the second-hand information about Archimandrite Dionysios or his monasteries in Greece. Can somebody or severals persons confirm that, so that it can be more credible? Does somebody have contact with Simonopetra or their monks or with the Monastery Ormylia? I don't slander Archimandrite Dionysios,don't judge him, I had in Greece a personal encounter with him, but I really want to find out the truth so that I can trust him and his monks and nuns, including Abbess Aemiliane. But it's a risk to have confidence or slander him and his monks/nuns without knowing their real identity. So I'm still quite neutral.
My opinion from my encounter with him and his monks/ nuns is:  Either Archimandrite Dionysios is a holy man or a deceiver, soul-catcher.
If nobody knows here who he is and what his relation to Simonopetra,Ormylia and Elder Aimilianos in fact now really is, I'll go anyway to Athos next year to find that out.

If all these slanders aren't true so please forgive me that I mention it.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on September 18, 2012, 08:04:39 PM
I think you have the best solution: go to Mount Athos and speak with the Fathers there directly.  It is best not to trust web-gossip and people you don't know and cannot see.

I think to understand the behaviour of Abbess Aemiliane and the DC nuns it could be very very important to find out who's their Elder Dionysios. Is he still a faithful and obedient monk to his Elder Aimilianos(who is still very paralysed) or not. I find in a blog a comment, which is a bit shocking:

"The problem is not the nuns themselves, but the “elder” of the nuns – Archimandrite Dionysios – a very charismatic but renegade monk who left his monastery on Mt. Athos without a blessing of his Abbot to start his “own” monasteries. He also got into some trouble awhile back in Jeruslaem and was kicked out of the patriarchate. I don’t know any details other than the monks of Simonopetra told me when I was there to stay away from him. That is enough me. Anyone who wants to know themselves can connect Simonopetra. We need solid and traditional monasticism here in the States, but not from someone with a questionable past."

http://www.monomakhos.com/is-the-tide-turning-for-the-oca/

"I can personally attest from the monks of Simonopetra themselves, including the current Abbot Gerontas Elysaios, that the so called “elder” Dionysios left Simonopetra – his place of repentance – without a blessing, has been traveling the world as a self-claimed “Elder”, was kicked out of the Jerusalem Patriarchate by the late Patriarch Diodoros of Blessed Memory for “improprieties”, and the only people he attracts to his monasteries are Westerners who are easily deceived and can’t distinguish real monasticism from charlatan.
And it’s not just Simonopetra, every monastery I’ve inquired about him after meeting him hear in the States told me to stay far away."

http://www.monomakhos.com/first-rule-of-holes-when-youre-in-one-stop-digging/


I'm not sure if I can trust this comments, because I cannot just accept as factual the second-hand information about Archimandrite Dionysios or his monasteries in Greece. Can somebody or severals persons confirm that, so that it can be more credible? Does somebody have contact with Simonopetra or their monks or with the Monastery Ormylia? I don't slander Archimandrite Dionysios,don't judge him, I had in Greece a personal encounter with him, but I really want to find out the truth so that I can trust him and his monks and nuns, including Abbess Aemiliane. But it's a risk to have confidence or slander him and his monks/nuns without knowing their real identity. So I'm still quite neutral.
My opinion from my encounter with him and his monks/ nuns is:  Either Archimandrite Dionysios is a holy man or a deceiver, soul-catcher.
If nobody knows here who he is and what his relation to Simonopetra,Ormylia and Elder Aimilianos in fact now really is, I'll go anyway to Athos next year to find that out.

If all these slanders aren't true so please forgive me that I mention it.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on September 18, 2012, 08:09:54 PM
Having visited 3 of his monasteries in Greece, I remain extremely sceptical about Elder Dionysios and his movement.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Nathanael on September 20, 2012, 07:33:24 PM
A very good friend of mine recently visited Vatopedi on Athos and he asked for me one of the monks there about the monasteries of Archimandrite Dionysios. This monk said something that this monastic community has not really a good reputation and that the woman monasteries are questionable, because the novices there become very fast nuns.

That's not yet a clear statement, there's still no definite evidence, but I'm sure it will come. But I think at the end, you can just say with likelihood who Archimandrite Dionysios really is, not with 100 % doublessness. Just God can judge and know the answer and you can just, if the likelihood is high that this monastic community is not cinfidential, to distance yourself from it to be safe from it if it's dangerous.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on October 06, 2012, 10:47:39 AM
Any developments in regard to the canonical status of the "DC Nuns?"  Does anyone have knowledge of whether they are seeking canonical protection?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: FatherGiryus on October 22, 2012, 10:28:44 AM
The latest scuttle-butt is that they have been received by the Georgians.

Any developments in regard to the canonical status of the "DC Nuns?"  Does anyone have knowledge of whether they are seeking canonical protection?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Christopher McAvoy on October 22, 2012, 07:32:08 PM
They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/ (http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/)

 ;D   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on October 22, 2012, 09:47:02 PM
They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/ (http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/)

 ;D   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.

I don't know exactly how to respond, but those who are new to the church at a minimum ought not to insult the rest of the body of the Church of Christ with statements such as the one highlighted above.

The situation regarding this monastery, these nuns and their unique view of ecclesiology and obedience to hierarchical norms is hardly a beacon of Orthodox clarity, nor is their relationship with the Dionysians of Greece a harbinger of a way in which to support future order within American Orthodoxy. Factor in the political difficulties between the Russian and Georgian Republics in the Caucasus and how that impacts Church unity on a macro-scale..... So, I guess it would be fair to say that I for one don't share your joy.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: alice on October 22, 2012, 10:59:50 PM
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, from the book 'Our Thoughts Determine our Lives'....

'I often find that I want to defend justice, but always seem to end up having injustice done to me...We can defend justice, but will justice be done? The Lord knows why He has permitted injustice to happen. We will not prevent injustice by our words. With words we can only offend someone and make him hurt the person even more. We think we are defending someone, but we are, in fact, only making matters worse.

If a person is in the power of the spirits of evil, such a person breeds evil. Are we going to prevent this with our words? Quite the contrary. Even if we say something while trying to defend someone from injustice, we are not doing that person a favor. The best we can do is turn to the One Who alone gives justice.

Once, at a certain gathering of Christians where there were representatives of many religious groups present, there was a Chinese man participating in one of the meetings. Every representative presented his arguments and beliefs, but the Chinese man just sat there without saying a word. When the meeting was over, they asked him, "Why didn't you give a suggestion or argument  in favor or against some of the other suggestions? Why didn't you at least say something? And he answered: "I was praying to God all the time. I was asking Him to solve the problem Himself in the best possible manner. I was praying to arrive at one decision, a decision that would benefit everyone."

Now this is how one should defend justice. NOT with words--words will only irritate someone and cause him to hurt others even more. We must turn to the Almighty, to Him Who is Master of all minds and hearts, and everything will be well."

May our Lord God have mercy on us all!



Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Basil 320 on October 23, 2012, 01:54:08 AM
Georgian immigrants make a sizable up part of the congregation of the OCA's St. Nicholas Cathedral and War Memorial in D.C.  I wonder of someone there facilitated this union.  I also wonder if the "DC Nuns" will commemorate one of the Georgian bishops.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on October 23, 2012, 02:25:28 PM
Georgian immigrants make a sizable up part of the congregation of the OCA's St. Nicholas Cathedral and War Memorial in D.C.  I wonder of someone there facilitated this union.  I also wonder if the "DC Nuns" will commemorate one of the Georgian bishops.

The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.  According to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops website, the Georgians have a female monastic community in PA (http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/female-monasteries).

Patriarchate of Georgia

St. King David the Builder Monastery
62 Charles St.
Hanover, PA 18706
Patriarchate of Georgia

Somehow, I don't expect the St. Nina Monastic Community to appear on any listing hosted by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on October 23, 2012, 02:32:25 PM
They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/ (http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/)

 ;D   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

What qualifies you to say that the Georgian Church maintains a unrivaled purity of true teaching if you call yourself a cathecumen under Western Rite ROCOR?
 
No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.

What does this have to do with the thread?

I believe you violated the Elder Thaddeus' directives by speaking in this thread.   ;D
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Ebor on October 23, 2012, 03:15:31 PM
Meaning no disrespect, but I disagree with the passage from Elder Thaddeus.  People should not speak out or take action in defense of another person because the one responsible for the ill-treatment, the one is is being unjust will get upset?!  

The Abolitionists should not have spoken out against chattel slavery in England and the Americas?  Others should not have worked to counter bad treatment of the poor or employees in terrible conditions?  We should just pray and leave all to God?

What if the actions of human beings are His ways of bringing about Justice and righting wrongs?  

Action and prayer.

Ebor
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: mike on October 23, 2012, 03:16:49 PM
Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

Do you mean being Miaphysite for 3  hundred years or so?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: PrincessMommy on October 23, 2012, 03:27:00 PM
Meaning no disrespect, but I disagree with the passage from Elder Thaddeus.  People should not speak out or take action in defense of another person because the one resonsible for the ill-treatment will get upset?! 

The Abolitionists should not have spoken out against chattel slavery in England and the Americas?  Others should not have worked to counter bad treatment of the poor or employees in terrible conditions?  We should just pray and leave all to God?

What if the actions of human beings are His ways of bringing about Justice and righting wrongs? 

Action and prayer.

Ebor

I agree.  I've read several of these types of books (including this one quoted) and in each case it seems to me that the elder is giving advice to a specific person for a particular situation.  They should not be taken as advice for all Orthodox Christians everywhere and in every situation.  It would be as if the advice or counsel that my priest gives to me during confession should apply to everyone else too.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Ebor on October 23, 2012, 04:45:49 PM
Thank you for this, PrincessMommy.  I had meant to also ask about just what the context was for the quote and what was the time and place and situation at the time of the writing.  That can make a difference.

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 23, 2012, 04:54:14 PM
Georgian immigrants make a sizable up part of the congregation of the OCA's St. Nicholas Cathedral and War Memorial in D.C.  I wonder of someone there facilitated this union.  I also wonder if the "DC Nuns" will commemorate one of the Georgian bishops.

The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.  According to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops website, the Georgians have a female monastic community in PA (http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/female-monasteries).

Patriarchate of Georgia

St. King David the Builder Monastery
62 Charles St.
Hanover, PA 18706
Patriarchate of Georgia

Somehow, I don't expect the St. Nina Monastic Community to appear on any listing hosted by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.

Thank you for reminding me of the ACOB directories. I checked them for male monasteries and did not find one under the Patriarchate of Georgia. I had expected to find one as the priest assigned to the new Monastery of St Nina is Archimandrite Serapheim, Abbot of the Sacred Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Burnsville, North Carolina. Must be a new one as a Google search did not find this male monastery either.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: podkarpatska on October 23, 2012, 05:00:19 PM
I have believed this for many many years and I will reiterate it - one should not give special credence to anyone just because he is identified as an Elder. Just because an Elder said this or that does not give his words any special credence per se. His words may be wise, they may just as well not be so - particularly if taken out of context.  

As to the nuns, I would remind all here that true monastics are obedient as well for since the times of St. Ignatius and St. Cyprian we believe that "The bishop in each Church presides in place of God. Let no one do any of the things which concern the Church without the bishop… Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Church." Shopping around for Elders of preference and Bishops of one's own choosing is not part of the apostolic, ante-Nicean tradition.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on October 23, 2012, 10:39:37 PM
I have believed this for many many years and I will reiterate it - one should not give special credence to anyone just because he is identified as an Elder. Just because an Elder said this or that does not give his words any special credence per se. His words may be wise, they may just as well not be so - particularly if taken out of context.  

As to the nuns, I would remind all here that true monastics are obedient as well for since the times of St. Ignatius and St. Cyprian we believe that "The bishop in each Church presides in place of God. Let no one do any of the things which concern the Church without the bishop… Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Church." Shopping around for Elders of preference and Bishops of one's own choosing is not part of the apostolic, ante-Nicean tradition.

The Abbess was made an Igumenia by His Holiness Patriarch Ilyas and allowed to wear a cross.  What does it say for a monastic to receive different orders from different Orthodox Jurisdictions?  If I were tonsured a monk in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, ordained a deacon in the OCA, ordained a Priest in the Moscow Patriarchate, consecrated a Bishop in the Church of Poland and became Ecumenical Patriarch, could someone call me an opportunist?
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: jah777 on October 24, 2012, 08:03:29 AM
The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.

So, they went with the jurisdiction with the least possible episcopal oversight in this country and the least possible episcopal accountability?  That sounds like a good match considering the history, but it doesn't inspire much confidence.  Neither does their association with Elder Dionysios.  Hopefully more information will come out regarding the reputation of Elder Dionysios from the Holy Mountain and from other reputable monasteries, as this relationship has the most significant influence on the monastery's character.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: SolEX01 on October 24, 2012, 11:27:12 PM
The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.

So, they went with the jurisdiction with the least possible episcopal oversight in this country and the least possible episcopal accountability?

When receiving this monastic organization, the Church of Georgia can be seen as out of touch with the rest of Orthodox Christianity or the Church of Georgia thinks it practices true Orthodox Christianity.  The Georgians have been affected by more enemies (e.g. Russians, Mongols, Turks, Armenians, et al) than other Orthodox Christian Churches.  If 100 (random number) Georgian-Americans can hijack an Orthodox Church and foment schism (e.g. OCA), that is quite troubling.

That sounds like a good match considering the history, but it doesn't inspire much confidence.  Neither does their association with Elder Dionysios.  Hopefully more information will come out regarding the reputation of Elder Dionysios from the Holy Mountain and from other reputable monasteries, as this relationship has the most significant influence on the monastery's character.

There seems to be a "code of silence" where no one wishes to speak ill of a monastic.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Orest on October 25, 2012, 01:02:23 PM
A very good friend of mine recently visited Vatopedi on Athos and he asked for me one of the monks there about the monasteries of Archimandrite Dionysios. This monk said something that this monastic community has not really a good reputation and that the woman monasteries are questionable, because the novices there become very fast nuns.

That's not yet a clear statement, there's still no definite evidence, but I'm sure it will come. But I think at the end, you can just say with likelihood who Archimandrite Dionysios really is, not with 100 % doublessness. Just God can judge and know the answer and you can just, if the likelihood is high that this monastic community is not cinfidential, to distance yourself from it to be safe from it if it's dangerous.
I am not surprised that you found out that the mother monastery in Greece does not have a good reputation because the women were tonsured nuns too quickly.
Their abbess was a convert and from reading their old website it looks like all or most of the sisters of this monastery were converts too.  That could be a problem for stability:
1. The abbess is a convert who became a leader too quickly.  And I wonder if she spend any time or how much time as a novice in an established venerable women’s monastery in Greece before being assigned as the leader of a new monastery?   Was her spiritual education or spiritual direction formed by only this one person: the elder?
2.  Then a convert (the abbess) without the proper spiritual foundation in put in charge of a whole monastery of recent converts.  Who do these sisters learn from?  Is this a healthy situation for spiritual formation and growth in Orthodoxy?
3.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the present abbess in Greece to have spent years in another well establish monastery before being assigned as a leader of a totally new monastery?  Is she or was she able to assist in the spiritual foundation of other new converts?  Would it not have been better to let all of the individual convert-sisters spend time in different established monasteries in Greece all benefiting from the wisdom of the older sisters and their leaders?  Why is there this desire to isolate a small group of converts from the mainstream of Orthodox monasticism in Greece?  It could be mutually beneficial for the two groups to learn from each other? 

Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Nathanael on October 25, 2012, 04:06:02 PM
Quote
I am not surprised that you found out that the mother monastery in Greece does not have a good reputation because the women were tonsured nuns too quickly.
Their abbess was a convert and from reading their old website it looks like all or most of the sisters of this monastery were converts too.  That could be a problem for stability:
1. The abbess is a convert who became a leader too quickly.  And I wonder if she spend any time or how much time as a novice in an established venerable women’s monastery in Greece before being assigned as the leader of a new monastery?   Was her spiritual education or spiritual direction formed by only this one person: the elder?
2.  Then a convert (the abbess) without the proper spiritual foundation in put in charge of a whole monastery of recent converts.  Who do these sisters learn from?  Is this a healthy situation for spiritual formation and growth in Orthodoxy?
3.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the present abbess in Greece to have spent years in another well establish monastery before being assigned as a leader of a totally new monastery?  Is she or was she able to assist in the spiritual foundation of other new converts?  Would it not have been better to let all of the individual convert-sisters spend time in different established monasteries in Greece all benefiting from the wisdom of the older sisters and their leaders?  Why is there this desire to isolate a small group of converts from the mainstream of Orthodox monasticism in Greece?  It could be mutually beneficial for the two groups to learn from each other? 

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.
Title: Re: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery
Post by: Gorazd on October 25, 2012, 05:08:19 PM
And this abbess is a good abbess.
Opinions on that may differ. One thing is clear though: She is completely subservient to elder Dionysios.