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Author Topic: Purges in the Antiochian Archdiocese  (Read 17480 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fr. George
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« Reply #90 on: February 23, 2007, 09:07:00 AM »

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


Um, different (unless the writers at Word are feeling confused). 

Deposed = you lost your parish, but you're still a priest.  With the permission of the Bishop you can still perform all the functions of the priesthood, including all the sacraments.

Laicized (I hate this word) = Defrocked (the usual term) = Returned to being a layman = "No longer a priest."  Really, you're still a priest because the Spirit was called to rest upon you and complete what was lacking, etc.  However, it is the Church's decision, through the actions of its unifying agents (the Bishops), that you should no longer be permitted to function as a priest.

*N.B. Only one of these measures can be applied at any one time - the Church uses the same principle that our law does, where a person can only be punished once for a crime.  Of course, the point is a bit moot, since the latter punishment above carries inherently the former.

Also, while I think of it - each of the above "punishments" is as much self-preservation and protection of the body as it is "punishment."  I, and others nowadays, have a terrible habit of focusing on the personal when speaking of the priesthood, and in the meantime we forget about the communal which is actually MORE important.  Punishments like excommunication, defrocking, and deposing all affect the person - hoping to act as catalysts to drive them towards salvation and away from the wayward path the person is currently on - but they also are tools used to protect the community from people who are leading it astray.
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« Reply #91 on: February 23, 2007, 12:52:09 PM »

Cleveland,

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.
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« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2007, 12:16:19 AM »

Tamara,

Check your "Word" issues recently closely. You'll see several priests "suspended." It means they cannot perform sacraments, such as serve the Liturgy or marry a couple.

A priest is a priest as long as the Church allows it. A priest is not a priest forever, unless one is a Catholic.

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.


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« Reply #93 on: March 18, 2007, 12:14:05 AM »

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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.

I agree with you. We should unite as Orthodox. The stupid quibbling that goes on is just petty. I have heard many people who converted to Rome over Orthodoxy say that it was the disunity in Orthodoxy that was the determining factor in their decision. They have a valid point. If we would kill our egos and love one another, the world would see the light of Christ in us.
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O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!
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« Reply #94 on: March 18, 2007, 02:00:49 AM »

I agree with you. We should unite as Orthodox. The stupid quibbling that goes on is just petty. I have heard many people who converted to Rome over Orthodoxy say that it was the disunity in Orthodoxy that was the determining factor in their decision. They have a valid point. If we would kill our egos and love one another, the world would see the light of Christ in us.

Amen! Maybe soon the OCA and Antiochians will be one! In some ways we are already united. I am planning a retreat in the fall for our diocese. Fr. Hopko is the speaker with our Antiochian bishop presiding. St. John's Monastery (OCA) will bring their bookstore for the weekend. About 1/3 of the women who are attending are from the OCA. A few are in the GOA and the rest are Antiochian. But we will also have a handful of non-Orthodox attendees! How's that for a step toward organic unity?  Wink

The Anglican Orthodox Colliquium held in Detroit was hosted by St. Andrew's House of Christian Studies (OCA).
Archbishop NATHANIEL (OCA) was the host but he invited Bishop MARK (Antiochian) to be one of the speakers. The rest of the speakers were former Anglicans who were Orthodox priests in the OCA and Antiochian archdioceses. They then asked Ancient Faith Radio (Antiochian) to record the event. For the Anglican attendees the event was seamless in regard to jurisdictions because the OCA and Antiochians worked together to present a united Orthodoxy without the confusion of jurisdictions.

So I believe we are on our way toward unity. There is no reason we can't start working together now. We don't have to wait for all of the bishops to put aside their petty differences. The more we work together the harder it will be for the evil forces to separate us.
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« Reply #95 on: March 18, 2007, 04:43:40 AM »

The WCC will have events presided over by non-Orthodox, at which an Orthodox Christian speaks, all the time. And I'm sure they'd allow us to sell literature if we so desired. You'll also have people representing various denominations...so by you're logic, we're practically united with the Presbyterians.
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« Reply #96 on: March 18, 2007, 01:02:37 PM »

The WCC will have events presided over by non-Orthodox, at which an Orthodox Christian speaks, all the time. And I'm sure they'd allow us to sell literature if we so desired. You'll also have people representing various denominations...so by you're logic, we're practically united with the Presbyterians.

Not quite GIC. At the WCC event there is no Eucharistic communion between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. On Saturday night of the retreat we have Vespers followed by Holy Confession. All the women (except for the inquirers) are able to participate in that mystery regardless of the false divisions of jurisdictionalism. Then Sunday morning, our Antiochian hierarch service the Divine Liturgy with all present. All of the Orthodox women are again able to partake of Holy Communion. The only divisions are administrative. These divisions are easily overcome when we put our egos aside and work together. Unity will come through our love for each other as we are propelled by the Holy Spirit to witness to America.
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« Reply #97 on: March 18, 2007, 01:06:46 PM »

Cleveland,

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.
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« Reply #98 on: March 18, 2007, 01:18:53 PM »

Not quite GIC. At the WCC event there is no Eucharistic communion between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. On Saturday night of the retreat we have Vespers followed by Holy Confession. All the women (except for the inquirers) are able to participate in that mystery regardless of the false divisions of jurisdictionalism. Then Sunday morning, our Antiochian hierarch service the Divine Liturgy with all present. All of the Orthodox women are again able to partake of Holy Communion.

Ummm...this has always been the case between the various Orthodox Churches in America, but that doesn't mean we're any closer to any unity than we were 50 years ago.

Quote
The only divisions are administrative. These divisions are easily overcome when we put our egos aside and work together. Unity will come through our love for each other as we are propelled by the Holy Spirit to witness to America.

The divisions have always been primarily administrative, but that hardly means they are easily overcome. In fact history shows that Theological divisions are MUCH easier to overcome than administrative ones...schisms last far longer than heresies and heresies can only survive if they actually make an administrative division.
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« Reply #99 on: March 18, 2007, 01:39:31 PM »

Quote
I have heard many people who converted to Rome over Orthodoxy say that it was the disunity in Orthodoxy that was the determining factor in their decision. They have a valid point.

I think they're more or less ignorant of how things work over there then.  All of the Eastern Catholic Churches in this country remain divided along lines of national origin.  The Ruthenians and Ukrainians actually used to be one church here, but are now two.  There are cities with multiple Catholic bishops present.  Within Roman Catholicism there are profound divides over theology, sexual ethics, etc.

That's not an excuse for our divisions or problems, but that is used as an excuse to convert from Orthodoxy, it's nothing more than a rationalization.
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« Reply #100 on: March 18, 2007, 01:53:25 PM »

Cleveland,

Thank you for the reply on definitions.

You are right the evil one does keep us divided. But he can't do it without our help. He works through us so what I was trying to express was we shouldn't allow those who want us to keep us divided from working together. It has been easy for me to integrate the OCA into our diocesan retreat because my bishop supports me 100%! He knows that having events together is one way to strengthen our bonds. In time, having retreats and conferences together will be the beginning of eliminating the false divisions of jurisdictions. Fr. Thomas Hopko suggested the Antiochians and OCA start having joint conferences together in one of his articles. We already share many things in common. We could start planning our yearly events together not only to save money but as way to fill in the gaps where the other jurisdiction is weak. The example I gave of the Anglican/Orthodox Conference illustrates this point. The OCA had the retreat facility and the Antiochians had the recording ability. The OCA invited speakers from both jurisdictions to have a full range of Orthodox voices.
When I first began coordinating the diocesan retreat, a fellow Antiochian gentleman from southern California gave me a call and asked me to invite St. John's OCA monastery to our retreat so they could bring their bookstore. In that way, we Antiochians could help support the OCA monastery. The Antiochians have a hole (no monasteries) and the OCA monastery has need (financial support). The hand fits into the glove. Then the Antiochian retreat attendees start to develop a relationship with the OCA monastery through having contact with the monk who comes each year to run the bookstore. In time, St. John's monastery will have a full range of sponsors and visitors because of the initial contact.
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