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Author Topic: Purges in the Antiochian Archdiocese  (Read 17433 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2007, 01:27:12 AM »

Thoughts

Reminds me of shakedown Sunday.
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« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2007, 01:28:01 AM »

BroAidan

But while we're on the topic of the church acting like the mafia.Think a minute. The mafia originated in a Mediterranean culture. Sicily. Sicily was influenced heavily by other Mediterranean cultures (i.e Greece, Arab culture, etc.)  In the mob you have a Godfather who rules at will. So to some extent is a Patriarch any different.  When I was young the priest in the SOC parishes that I attended caome from the former Yugoslavia. The boon of contention that they often encountered was that they were use to being the absolute ruler back in the old country. In America, most American born Serbs had become accustomed to democracy and autocratic rulers were not what they bargained for. (I can go on about how you cannot impose democracy in cultures that have a history of autocrates but this would fall into politics.)

Thoughts

Dan,

I think you and I probably understand the mentality. I wouldn't describe our old world bishops as mafiosos but they can be autocratic. Here is a quote from my favorite Italian-American Antiochian priest who understands the dilemma we have here in the U.S.

Now that the Orthodox Church is here, things that have been accepted for hundreds of years are being questioned. That's just what we Yankees do. However, we ought to remember that the world doesn't work that way, and our fellow believers are always going to have a hard time with us. We Americans ought to reign in our need to fix everything right now and have a little bit of compassion for those 'less efficient.'

What I find hilarious (yes, I admit a have a strange sense of humor) is how Orthodoxy, which teaches free will, has thrived in societies where free will is almost completely absent on a cultural level. This means that the Orthodox talk a lot about free will but, on a practical level, don't practice it. Now, they come to America, where free will is king, and suddenly there is a major paradigm shift. Whereas Orthodoxy has been successful at giving people with no freedom a sense of freedom, now it must help Americans ground their freedom in reality, something the Orthodox have no experience in. At the same time, there is a temptation amongst leaders to fall back on their cultural norms and preach freedom while practicing 'oppression.' They interpret our natural tendency to question as rebellion.
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« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2007, 01:32:02 AM »

good insights in that post Tamara
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« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2007, 01:32:22 AM »

Dan,

I think you and I probably understand the mentality. I wouldn't describe our old world bishops as mafiosos but they can be autocratic. Here is a quote from my favorite Italian-American Antiochian priest who understands the dilemma we have here in the U.S.

Now that the Orthodox Church is here, things that have been accepted for hundreds of years are being questioned. That's just what we Yankees do. However, we ought to remember that the world doesn't work that way, and our fellow believers are always going to have a hard time with us. We Americans ought to reign in our need to fix everything right now and have a little bit of compassion for those 'less efficient.'

What I find hilarious (yes, I admit a have a strange sense of humor) is how Orthodoxy, which teaches free will, has thrived in societies where free will is almost completely absent on a cultural level. This means that the Orthodox talk a lot about free will but, on a practical level, don't practice it. Now, they come to America, where free will is king, and suddenly there is a major paradigm shift. Whereas Orthodoxy has been successful at giving people with no freedom a sense of freedom, now it must help Americans ground their freedom in reality, something the Orthodox have no experience in. At the same time, there is a temptation amongst leaders to fall back on their cultural norms and preach freedom while practicing 'oppression.' They interpret our natural tendency to question as rebellion.


Wat I think this priest fails to understand is that our natural tendency is not merely to question but to rebel...keep in mind that the Scots-Irish are the heart and soul of America.
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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2007, 09:33:16 AM »

BroAidan

From the high liturgy of SOC to Charismania. Well my parents were Chreasters (Pxmas & Easter & Slava) Orthodox and had abandoned many of the Serbian traditions in their quest to be "American." I did the usual teen rebellion right into the arms of the evangelicals. (they love teen rebels)  BUt as a I grew older and wiser  Grin, I began to see through the hollow teachings of evangelical Christianity. Fast forward, 2000 and I am through with evangelicalism and I came home. Also, I lived in Pittsburgh frmo 1980 - 1985. I have since lived in suburban Philadelphia.

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For all you uninitiated "Shakedown Sunday" that welkodox referred to is when the Bishop arrives at your parish and the topic of his homily is Giving - Cash that is! Using whatever method works, shame, guilt but never a positive message or reason to give.

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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2007, 12:07:40 PM »


For all you uninitiated "Shakedown Sunday" that welkodox referred to is when the Bishop arrives at your parish and the topic of his homily is Giving - Cash that is! Using whatever method works, shame, guilt but never a positive message or reason to give.



I have never experienced a 'shakedown Sunday' with my bishop and I have heard him speak at various churches, retreats, and conferences. The only shaking down he gives is he exhorts us to take our salvation seriously by fasting, praying and attending the services.
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« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2007, 12:23:44 PM »

Tamara

Oh that more Bishops would be like yours  Embarrassed
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« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2007, 12:45:10 PM »

Wat I think this priest fails to understand is that our natural tendency is not merely to question but to rebel...keep in mind that the Scots-Irish are the heart and soul of America.

I'm not quite sure about that.  Demographics have changed.  Unless you mean maybe that it is ingrained in us from the media, which happens to be disproportionately Scots-Irish (just saying, don't actually know).
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« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2007, 10:54:51 PM »

Aserb
although I could never hang with the charasmaniacs (I was more into the doctrine-heavy, Calvinists) by about the same time as you I had reached total fatigue with evangelicalism. By 2001 I was playing guitar in a contemporary worship band only because the band was good and my sister attended that church. I was almost completely detached otherwise, almost begging  the heavens for some faith. This continued through the end of 2002, when I literally stumbled upon Orthodoxy. (I guess the "heavens" and the God who inhabits it, heard my prayer!)

P.S.
I once was such a severe Calvinist that I could have been labled "totally Reformed," so I think I have been wary of becoming 'Hyperdox" as a convert, as some have described overly scrupulous converts who are more Orthodox than the cradle Orthodox. I personally, however, don't have alot of experience with other converts. There aren't many at my parish (other than spouses, most of whom were Roman Catholics and have no commonality with my protestant experience)
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« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2007, 12:26:37 AM »

Tamara

Oh that more Bishops would be like yours  Embarrassed

Once when he was giving a sermon at the more ethnic Arab church he described the Divine Liturgy as a heavenly feast. He was trying to encourage the immigrant middle-easterners to attend Vespers and Orthros. He went on to explain to them that Vespers and Orthros were the appetizers of the feast. And if one was invited to someone's home for dinner one would never think to show up when the host was serving the main course. I was giggling inside with his analogy because he knows his audience well  Cheesy.

If you go to this link you will see a picture of him concelebrating with the Serbian Orthodox Bishop Maxim in Los Angeles. http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/news/2007/bish_maxim.htm
Once the OCA enthrones a new Bishop of the west, Met. GERASIMOS, Bishop JOSEPH, Bishop MAXIM and the new OCA bishop are going to plan on meeting regularly. This cooperation has never occurred before on the west coast so it is very exciting.

The hierarchs with Vladimir Radmanovic of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bishop J. is on the left and Bishop Maxim is on the right.
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« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2007, 11:40:23 PM »

Awesome photo, Tamara!

Actually, speculating sometime later in the summer after the "official" enthronement, my priest was thinking my parish could host the Diocesan assembly ushering the new Bishop of the West...and get Abp. Kirill (ROCOR) to come too.  Wink  One can dream....
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« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2007, 03:21:05 AM »

What I think is great about that photo is Bishop Joseph is the tallest of the Antiochian Bishops and in the picture he looks small.
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« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2007, 03:31:37 AM »

Elisha,

I sincerely hope your parish is able to plan such an event. I think those of us on the west coast having been sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the right line up of bishops to come together. We may finally have it...thank God!

Arimethea,

I thought this photo was so cute. Vladimir looks like a really sweet guy. 
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« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2007, 01:08:24 AM »

Elisha,

I sincerely hope your parish is able to plan such an event. I think those of us on the west coast having been sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the right line up of bishops to come together. We may finally have it...thank God!

Arimethea,

I thought this photo was so cute. Vladimir looks like a really sweet guy. 

Stay tuned...by the end of the year we should be releasing >1 more choir albums (you can buy our first, "Attend O Heaven" - Lent through Pascha, through Conciliar Press among other places).
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« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2007, 09:54:25 AM »

Has there been a final word on Fr. Basil Hartung? Does anyone know where he has gone to?

Basil
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« Reply #60 on: February 20, 2007, 11:06:54 AM »

Dear Basil,

It is official. Basil Hartung is no longer a priest. This message appeared in the February issue of the WORD magazine. He was deposed as of December 15, 2006. If you read the speech Sayidna gave at the recent diocesan clergy symposium, he briefly touches on the subject of losing priests. It may give you a clue as to why the former Fr. Basil was deposed. Just as an FYI: the priest who has taken Basil Hartung's place has been at this parish for years as the junior priest. He was elevated to archpriest and is now the assigned pastor.

Diocese of Los Angeles Clergy Seminar
His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH’s
Opening Remarks
San Fernando, CA
February 5-9, 2007
 
My beloved in the Lord, Jesus Christ,
 
I welcome all of you to our ninth annual seminar and retreat, which we look forward to each year.  Many of you have told me how important this gathering is to you, and I must tell that I, too, see this as one of the high-points of the year.  It is a time when we strengthen our bonds of brotherly love and encourage one another in the difficult road of ministry.
 
We are greatly blessed with the presence of the Very Reverend Father Michael Dahulich, Ph.D., the Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. Father Michael is an accomplished priest and educator, but more importantly, he is a man of deep faith and sincerity. He is a scholar and a distinguished lecturer. Although he does not have a Church, he does have parishioners. Those parishioners are the students and their families at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, who embrace him as their Spiritual Father. I ask you to listen to his presentations in this seminar not only in terms of facts, but also to the spirit in which he speaks. Yesterday, Father Michael celebrated the 34th Anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
 
Because it is this spirit, the spirit of love and humility, that is the true dignity and holiness of the Holy Priesthood.  As priests, we are not keepers of the Law as Pharisees, nor will our ministry found necessarily in what we do.  Rather, the truth of the Holy Priesthood is found in who we are as men, reflecting the image and likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is found in our being, which then bears fruit in good works.
 
A man may do good works, but we must remember our Lord’s admonishment in the Gospel of Matthew:
“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Thy Name, and cast out demons in Thy Name, and do many mighty works in Thy Name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.’” (Mt 7:22-23)
 
Do you work great deeds in your parish?  Do you keep the fasts in all their fullness?  Do you conduct technically-perfect services?  All of these things are commendable, and yet they are not enough in themselves.
 
Rather than focusing on good works in and of themselves, we must see that true good works are those works that God carried out through us.  A priest is a man yielded to the infinite grace, compassion and power of God.  He ministers not out of self-will, but out of selfless devotion to the All-Merciful Savior.  A priest does not do the things he wants to do, but he instead does those things God guides him to do out of obedience.
 
To accept the Holy Priesthood is to renounce the selfish aspect of the self and its vainglorious desires, ambitions and goals.  Thus, the priest becomes ‘poor in spirit,’ humbling himself before God as one without such things.  A self-confident priest is a dead priest, one convinced of his own opinions and correctness, who cannot receive life-saving correction and guidance.  The priest who is confident in himself is self oriented, and will eventually fall.
 
We have seen just this year, throughout the Archdiocese, brother clergy who have fallen into the trap of self-deception and self-indulgence.  Their broken minds have led to broken ministries.  Each of us must realize that we are not pure enough to rely on our own consciences to guide us, nor can we even rely on ourselves to pick a good father confessor and to be honest enough with him to receive any help.
 
If I sound harsh, it is because I do not wish to lose any more of my priests to the spiritual delusion that has infected so many.  Those men we have lost knew all of the teachings of the Church and the admonishments of the Holy Fathers, and yet all these gifts did them no good.  They used their intellectual knowledge to shield their consciences from the truth of their hearts, and thus their hearts led them astray while their minds convinced them of their righteousness.
 
You would prefer a quote from a Holy Father at this moment, but I will not give you one.  I will only give you my quote, and it is that I love you and desire all of us to be together in the Heavenly Kingdom.

 
I am not self-confident, but I have confidence that God will protect us from our own sins and mistakes if we empty ourselves of pride and self-opinion.  Brothers, let us join together and repent of our sins and the sins of our brothers.  Let us weep and mourn, and through our tears, wash away the stains of our sins which have soiled our ministries.
 
Let us wash our hands of human pride and the turmoil it brings as we say before each Divine Liturgy:
I wash my hands in innocence, and go about Thy altar, O Lord, singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all Thy wondrous deeds.  O Lord, I love the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwells.  Sweep me not away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, men in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.  But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.  My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord. (Ps 25:6-12)
 
The holiness and dignity of the Holy Priesthood is not in the size of our congregations or budgets, not in the beauty of our vestments or temples, not in the correctness of our priestly actions or outward piety, but in the constant remembrance and awareness of God.  Until we live every moment in constant mindfulness of the presence of God, we have nothing.
 
The true priest is the one who abides in constant awareness of God’s love and mercy.  Do not merely quote the Holy Fathers, but imitate them in humility and repentance.  Do not simply read the Holy Scriptures, but strive to live them out in every moment.
 
If your conscience bothers you, beloved brothers, then you are doing well, for the Holy Fathers of the Church went to their eternal reward weeping over their sins.  They did not seek honors and glory, nor did they cling to such things when taken from them.  Do not seek to calm your conscience with excuses and reasons, but rather lose the fear of weeping.  None of us are worthy, so how should we demand justification and forgiveness for our transgressions?
 
In the Philokalia, Sts. Kallistos and Ignatios describe the difference between dogmatic faith and practical faith.  We need both, and cannot rely upon one without the other.
 
In this seminar, Father Michael will show us how to integrate these two modes of Faith into the singleness of our lives, that we might be saved as men and minister as priests.

http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/Chancery/bishop_speeches/2007_seminar.htm
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« Reply #61 on: February 20, 2007, 11:37:50 AM »

Sounds like yet another victim of intellectual convert syndrome (ICS).

Also

Quote
Just as an FYI: the priest who has taken Basil Hartung's place has been at this parish for years as the junior priest. He was elevated to archpriest and is now the assigned pastor.

How long do you need to be a priest in the AOA before you become a protopresbyter?
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« Reply #62 on: February 20, 2007, 11:45:43 AM »

How long do you need to be a priest in the AOA before you become a protopresbyter?

Ten years
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« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2007, 11:52:53 AM »

Is there some other criteria aside from years of service?    It seems like the AOA has a lot of archpriests, though maybe it just seems that way to me.

Also, Fr. Michael, who is mentioned in the letter, was a parish priest and was one of two candidates for the office of Metropolitan in the ACROD after the repose of Bishop John.
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« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2007, 12:08:34 PM »

You bring up a very good point. It is very important for the priest to have time to pastor (catechize catechumens properly, prepare for the services, have time to visit the ill and elderly, etc.). If he is bogged down with budgets and administration duties he will not have time to minister to the people. This is why I have come to realize how important lay leaders are in a parish. And by lay leaders I mean those who are committed to Christ and to serving the church. It also helps if the lay leaders are well versed in Orthodox theology and are practicing the faith.

I agree with this 110%.  For this to work, however, it needs to be made clear where authority lies within the parish (and if applicable, within the diocese) - the Pastor.  Period.  If they have genuine issues with his leadership, they can take it to the Bishop.  If they think he's corrupt, they can plead the case before the Holy Synod, etc.

These essentially delegated roles cannot be confused with ecclessiastical authority.  That's the temptation I've often seen, though it comes in other forms as well (wealthy parishoners whose wallets outstrip their humility, etc.)

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« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2007, 12:21:31 PM »

Wat I think this priest fails to understand is that our natural tendency is not merely to question but to rebel...keep in mind that the Scots-Irish are the heart and soul of America.

Good point.  I'd never thought of it in that light.  My maternal family is Irish to the bone (O'Reilly).  Punchy bunch, they are.

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« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2007, 01:20:12 PM »

I agree with this 110%.  For this to work, however, it needs to be made clear where authority lies within the parish (and if applicable, within the diocese) - the Pastor.  Period.  If they have genuine issues with his leadership, they can take it to the Bishop.  If they think he's corrupt, they can plead the case before the Holy Synod, etc.

These essentially delegated roles cannot be confused with ecclessiastical authority.  That's the temptation I've often seen, though it comes in other forms as well (wealthy parishoners whose wallets outstrip their humility, etc.)



Well, ultimately the authority in all of our parishes resides with the bishop. I think problems arise when the priest will not submit to the authority of his bishop. But I think many do not understand what authority in Orthodoxy means. If we all are submitting ourselves to one another in humility then many of these power struggles will disappear. We do not believe in some medieval version of obedience taught by some. We need to strive for the synergy of the Holy Trinity. We all must be willing to wash the feet of one another.
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« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2007, 01:24:42 PM »

Is there some other criteria aside from years of service?    It seems like the AOA has a lot of archpriests, though maybe it just seems that way to me.



The bishop is the one to decide if a priest deserves to be elevated. I don't know if there is any criteria other than the bishop's discernment for the decision.

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« Reply #68 on: February 20, 2007, 02:33:25 PM »

I have noticed that some priests are elevated and in the comments the Bishop cites some of their excelling in their calling as a priest.  On priest that I knew was elevated was cited as having founded and supported 4 missions in his career. Knowing that priest, I believe he was  elevated in recognition of his missionizing abilities.  He could found missions, inspire the mission to survive, and  would then go to another mission area, leaving the now viable mission with a capable pastor and administrator. Another priest elevated was great at working with kids and was cited for his work with the diocese's childrens camps. Yet another for taking  financially troubled parishes and getting them on sound fiscal grounds, yet another one for taking aging  patrishes and  imbuing it with a mission that brought in many crdale orthodox with the childrne back into activity in the church.  I really think it has to do more to do with their honoring their calling and being recognized for their services to the Church than for a specific time like 10 years.

I think ROCOR and the slavic Churches do the same with the awarding of specific crosses and  scoufias to their priests.

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« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2007, 11:33:33 PM »

At UOC, Fr. Victor Cooley of blessed memory was ordained in the age of late 60's. He was a very dedicated layman before with outstanding record of efforts for the Church. He was elevated to the rank of the Protopriest after 1 year. And by all means he deserved that! Then Fr. Victor perfectly served in a capacity of a priest until he passed away at the age of 80.
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« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2007, 12:17:00 AM »

The rule of thumb with the Antiochians is that you can not be elevated to a Protopresbyter until you have been in the priesthood for 10 years. It is not an automatic thing after 10 years. The terms Archpriest and Protopresbyter are used interchangeably.

There are two points in time when the elevation to Protopresbyter has been used liberally by the Archdioceses. The first being when the Toledo Diocese merged with the New York Diocese. Archbishop Michael elevated all of his priest prior to the merger so that they would not be treated like second class priest when the merger was complete. The second instance occurred when the EOC was brought-in in 1987. Since the EOC had married Bishops and that would not jive with the current practices of Orthodoxy all of the EOC Bishops were made Protopresbyters at their ordinations.
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« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2007, 01:05:53 AM »

I think the Antiochians get bashed a little too often on OC.net
I think for some, they made it a little too easy for the Evangelical Orthodox to join - no circumcision, no period of ritual purification. Oops! That was the ORIGINAL Antiochian Church making it too easy for the Gentiles for those good Jews down in Jerusalem. Sorry, got my converts confused for a moment!
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« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2007, 02:44:45 AM »

The second instance occurred when the EOC was brought-in in 1987. Since the EOC had married Bishops and that would not jive with the current practices of Orthodoxy all of the EOC Bishops were made Protopresbyters at their ordinations.

Yeah....their "married Bishops"...as if that should mean anything more than zilch.  A sad excuse to make instant Archpriests.

If I remember correctly, the new rector of the SLC parish was an original EOC priest...just not one of the former "married Bishops". 
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« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2007, 08:34:44 AM »

Elisha:

Think Politics.

Think Money.
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« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2007, 10:34:18 AM »

Aside from the honorific title, what is the purpose of a "protopresbyter" in the 21st century church?
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« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2007, 11:23:15 AM »

I really am getting tired of those who like to criticize every little thing the Antiochians do. I have been to forums that bash the Greek Archdiocese and other forums that have bashed the OCA. If you have had bad experiences with the Antiochians, I have met just as many others who have had terrible experiences in other archdioceses. There is no such thing as the perfect jurisdiction. They all have their failings but they also all have their strengths. If you are now in a parish that is meeting your needs be thankful and leave your bitterness behind. It is counter-productive to your spiritual life to constantly belittle what happens in other jurisdictions.
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« Reply #76 on: February 21, 2007, 11:29:58 AM »

Tamara.  I knew these comments would get you out of your shell. Look from a business standpoint (and the church is a business to some extent) I admire Metropolitan Philip. He's shrewd and knows when and how to move the church. If he were in private industry he would be a captain of industry.  So to some extent I am OK with the Antiochians expansion - - in the spiritual sense it is evangelistic.  And who am I to talk, I run but a small business and am a poor excuse at times for an Orthodox Christian.
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« Reply #77 on: February 21, 2007, 12:03:39 PM »

I really am getting tired of those who like to criticize every little thing the Antiochians do. I have been to forums that bash the Greek Archdiocese and other forums that have bashed the OCA. If you have had bad experiences with the Antiochians, I have met just as many others who have had terrible experiences in other archdioceses. There is no such thing as the perfect jurisdiction. They all have their failings but they also all have their strengths. If you are now in a parish that is meeting your needs be thankful and leave your bitterness behind. It is counter-productive to your spiritual life to constantly belittle what happens in other jurisdictions.


Amen.

It is good to be honest about our reservations with the way the Church is administered, but bashing or harping is a bit too much.  I, too, have my concerns about each jurisdiction - the only reason why they don't come out here is because only one is the subject of this thread.

Not that there is any good time to go jurisdiction-bashing, but Lent is supposed to be a time of humility and patience - things that I and others lack when having these discussions.

Maybe we should (voluntarily) hold on this conversation until later, no?
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« Reply #78 on: February 21, 2007, 01:14:50 PM »

I really am getting tired of those who like to criticize every little thing the Antiochians do. I have been to forums that bash the Greek Archdiocese and other forums that have bashed the OCA. If you have had bad experiences with the Antiochians, I have met just as many others who have had terrible experiences in other archdioceses. There is no such thing as the perfect jurisdiction. They all have their failings but they also all have their strengths. If you are now in a parish that is meeting your needs be thankful and leave your bitterness behind. It is counter-productive to your spiritual life to constantly belittle what happens in other jurisdictions.


Amen! I have great respect for the Antiochians.
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« Reply #79 on: February 21, 2007, 01:50:04 PM »

My parish priest is one of the EOC "married Bishops."  I cannot say enough wonderful things about him and his family.  He gave up a lot (position, authority, and probably $$) when he converted.  I think people are either forgetting or never knew how much research, prayer, and study the EOCs went through on their journey to Orthodoxy (which took years).  They were and are scholars and God-fearing people.  It's not like they dropped from the sky expecting to rule the roost.  If Met. PHILIP deemed it proper to elevate them when he did and if what he did wasn't heretical/schismatic, then I will not question his motives.
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« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2007, 01:54:04 PM »

The Church is the Icon of the Holy Trinity- the Community par excellence.
If I were the devil, and was seeking to destroy the Church, I think the best way would be to whisper suggestions in the ears of the Faithful that a particular part of the Church was acting out of political or money-grabbing motives. This would have the dual effect of destroying the Love the Faithful should have towards one another in the Church, as well as inflating the pride of those who fall into cynicism...."Well, at least I'm not like that! My motives are pure, and I don't claim to be anything special, so I must be humble as well."
God is Love, and cynicism is the opposite of Love.
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« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2007, 11:08:11 PM »

Just to even things out a bit - the first time I set foot in an Orthodox church was at an Antiochian parish in Montreal.  The beauty of the Liturgy that day was a huge contributing factor in my journey toward conversion.  So for that, I am eternally thankful.
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« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2007, 12:21:50 AM »

Tamara, I may be a little slow here, but I still don't see what Fr. Basil (or the former priest Basil) could have done. Normally, if a priest does something that upsets his Bishop and is disobedient, he is first suspended. If he does not recant, his is laicized. Fr. Basil was never suspended. It was simply stated he was laicized. What the dickens could he have done to be laiczied so quickly? Even during the whole Ben Lomand fiasco, there were discussions, meetings, and then suspensions and ultimately, ex-communication.  Recently, the only other priest that I know of that went straight to laicization was one that was living an immoral lifestyle.

Basil
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« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2007, 03:42:07 AM »

Basil,

I have not heard any details as to the reason he was laicized. The parish community seems to be in agreement with the bishop because I have not heard of a church split over this issue. And the priest who replaced him has been serving with him for many years. I guess at this point there are not any reasons that can be ruled out including the possiblity of an immoral lifestyle.
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« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2007, 11:02:52 PM »

Dear Friends:

When we consider clerical discipline, we should keep a few priciples in mind:

First is that the priesthood is not the personal property of the ordinand. The priesthood is rather, a charismatic gift entrusted to the priest * by the church *. The priest exercises his ministry in, and for the church. He cannot take it with him if he leaves the church.

Secondly, parish priests do not act on their * own * authority; but on behalf of the bishop. Our parish priests are assigned to their parish; just as military officers are  assigned to their post. If a parish priest leaves his parish without the blesssing of his bishop, he ceases to be a priest. The formal act of laicization is just a recognition of that fact.

I really think that the term "traditionalist" is incredibly misleading. Usually, it refers to a priest, or layman, who wants to grow a long beard and pony tail and wear the Rasso all over town. You know there is nothing "traditional" about a man with a pony tail. In fact, the Apostle Paul stated: "Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him...". If you look at the icons of St Nicholas and St John Chrystostom, you don't see long beards. The fact is many traditionalists are  * very * selective about the traditions they want to uphold. We could spend months discussing traditionalist groups that have played havoc with the canons regarding the territorial integrity of dioceses , and priests who have ' jumped ship ' from one jurisdiction to the next. None of this is traditional in the true sense of the word.

I very much doubt that * any * priest has been * purged * from the AOA because he was a truly traditional, observant Orthodox Chrisitian. I grew up in an ethnic parish in the OCA. I was trained as a cantor by traditional monastics. I now sing in a small Antiochian mission in Oklahoma. From my experience, for what it is worth, the Antiochian clergy, and laity, at least in this part of the world, are at least as observant and traditional as any Orthodox in any jurisdiciton; and a lot more so than some others.

In the end, we Orthodox are a tiny minority in this country. We need to be helping and supporting each other; not picking each other's pimples !  Let's all resolve to pray and support each other during this holy season.

Best wishes to all for a blessed Fast and a joyous Holy Pascha

Francis Frost
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« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2007, 12:05:10 AM »

What is the Ben Lomand fiasco?
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« Reply #86 on: February 23, 2007, 01:43:13 AM »

When it comes to priestly suspensions in the Antiochian Archdiocese you may never hear about them. Very rarely are they published until a decision has been made about the case. So a priest may be under suspension while his case is being investigated and it may not be made public in case he is innocent of the charges. Sometimes the actions of the priest warrant only a suspension for a time period and other times they are serious enough for the priest to be laicized. What ends up happening is that only the final action is published and made public.

What has also happened in several cases is that while the priest was under suspension while the charges are being investigated the priest violates his suspension forcing the harsher punishment. When you know the stories many of the cases of priest who have been on suspension for 30 and 40 years and never laicized you realize that you really have to screw up in order to be laicized in the Antiochian Archdiocese.
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« Reply #87 on: February 23, 2007, 02:55:35 AM »

What is the Ben Lomand fiasco?

Ben Lomond is a small town near Santa Cruz, CA.  Don't worry about it.  You'll probably found out eventually anyways.
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« Reply #88 on: February 23, 2007, 02:57:02 AM »

I'm wondering why they always report "laicized" and not "deposed"?
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« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2007, 07:42:12 AM »

As reported in The Word magazine, they are deposed.  Officially, they are deposed; colloquially, they are laicized.  Smiley
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