Thank you for the definitions. What does it mean when they say a priest is suspended? I have never seen the Antiochians use the word, 'defrocked,' in publications but I have heard people use it when discussing the issue.
Suspension is when the person remains a priest but is prohibited from performing priestly functions, such as serving divine liturgy, performing baptisms, and the like. He is still "Father," and in time may be returned to an active state.
I was told recently that one is "laicized" if a priest voluntarily asks to become a layman. One is "deposed" or "defrocked" is he has been laicized as a punishment.
Um, let me get into why I don't like the term "Laicized." First, it's TERRIBLE english. Second, it crudly suggests that being a "layman" is "lower" than being a clergy; I dislike the term in this way just as much as I dislike the phrase "in layman's terms."
If one asks to be returned to the status of a layman, then he's still "defrocked." And, at least with the jurisdictions under the EP, voluntary or canonical/punitive defrocking can only be done by a synod, not by the Bishop. In the case of the GOA, it can only be done by the Patriarchal Synod, following the recommendation of the Eparchial Synod. A Priest cannot chose to return to the status of a layman on his own and let it be done; by being ordained in the first place he's submitted his will to the will of the Church, acting through the agent of the Synod of Bishops, which is a visible sign of the unity of the Church.
We don't have to wait for all of the bishops to put aside their petty differences.
Um, yeah - some bishops have petty differences. Some laymen have petty differences. There are enough "petty" differences in our outlook, our direction for Orthodoxy in this country, our management styles, and the like that it seems to me we have a lot of our own "petty" differences to make up before we can reasonably expect anyone else (be they bishop, presbyter, deacon, catecumen, illuminatos, or non-Orthodox) to work on their "petty" differences.
My only pet peeve with your comment above is that it seems like everybody who thinks they want to work towards administrative unity always feels the need to insert their editorial comments which are neither germane nor helpful. Your comment would have been better if it was left like this (bolded comment my addition):
So I believe we are on our way toward unity. There is no reason we can't start working together now. (sic) The more we work together the harder it will be for the EVIL ONE to separate us.
Since the Evil one is always trying to divide us - whether we're talking about administration, inner-parish workings, family reunions, OCF prayer services, etc - it would be better to focus our attention on the source of strife and seek to thward his efforts through prayer, fasting, and cooperation, rather than focus our attention on our fellow human beings who may have their own hangups, but we've got our own eye-logs too.