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Question: Would You Like North America To Have It's Own Orthodox Church???
Yes - 58 (68.2%)
No - 19 (22.4%)
Other - 8 (9.4%)
Total Voters: 85

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Author Topic: Do You Want an American Orthodox Church  (Read 22795 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2007, 02:00:52 PM »

Dear Fr. Chris,

It is good to hear that in your region of the country cooperation between the jurisdictions is at such a high level. We, on the west coast, are just beginning to experience this type of cooperation (at the hierarchial level). I honestly believe unity will be more practically met at the local level and will work its way up until as a church we will realize it is redundant and expensive to maintain 15 separate holy synods and national chanceries. At that point, the bishops will come together in order to facilitate our Christian work. I would compare it to closing a zipper. This could happen more quickly if some of the smaller jurisdictions see their numbers continue to drop dramatically over the next twenty years. Survival may motivate some of the smaller jurisdictions to join up more quickly than we can predict.

One of the things we do on the West Coast is the Washington State Clergy Association (http://www.orthodoxwashington.org/), where all the clergy of Washington, regardless of juridiction, meet monthly to discuss issues that face the Orthodox of our region.

I am unsure what they discuss or what actions they take at these meetings.  But every year we have Lenten WOCA prayers every Sunday night where we do Pan-Orthodox vespers.  And eat! Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2007, 02:02:50 PM »

I would also like to express my opinion that because of how Christianity came to America under the MP, we should be under the MP.
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« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2007, 02:35:04 PM »

I would also like to express my opinion that because of how Christianity came to America under the MP, we should be under the MP.

Sure. Just as long as everyone realizes that such is an argument from history, not the canonical tradition. However, Aristibule said: "Canonically, I don't think an American Orthodox Church would or should have any business with the EP."

On a slightly tangential note (and this is addressed to cyberspace in general): It occurs to me that the EP should follow the example of the various power-brokers of the OCA, who, after having abandoned their original position that unity could only come through the EP, developed a succinct and appealing case for their change of heart -- one that was based on an easy-to-understand and inspiring account of the past. That original marketing campaign continues to hold tremendous sway over most people's perceptions in the U.S. because it works much like Benedict Anderson's imagined community, i.e. it provides a powerful constructed identity supposedly founded in history.

I think the proponents of the EP have typically relied on the correctness of their argument instead of the appeal of their story. And we all know which is more successful.
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« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2007, 03:26:14 PM »

They'd be no home for those of Russian tradition nor Western rite, to begin with.

I'll grant you the WR Rite part, but there are Ukrainians and Rusyns under Constantinople in this country.  There's also the Exarchate in Western Europe which is Great Russian and under Constantinople.

Quote
I don't think an American Orthodox Church would or should have any business with the EP.

The majority of Orthodox Christians in this country do though.  I'm not saying that in and of itself makes that position right or wrong, but it certainly can't be ignored given this majority is under the Omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Also, in regards to the history, I think that argument is rather weak.  The Greek Church in the continental United States actually predates the arrival of the Russian Missionary Bishops.  Alaska at the time was still a colonial possession of the Russian Empire.  That in and of itself however means little, and as pensateomnia pointed out, we should look to the canons instead.

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« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2007, 04:51:16 PM »

I wouldn't overstate it - the EP isn't all that friendly to diversity. They'd be no home for those of Russian tradition nor Western rite, to begin with. Canonically, I don't think an American Orthodox Church would or should have any business with the EP. Rather, the MP is where things must practically begin and end.

Ok, build further on your opinion. 
First off, what is an American Orthodox Church?  Think about it.  The term isn't the best.  If we had one hierarchy-structure in the USA, then it would simply be the Orthodox Church! 

And do you realize that in the ACROD there are parishes that were former Russian parishes (OCA) that switched because of the calender issue years ago?  They still use four-part choirs, etc.. and kept their parish customs.  The Ukrainian liturgies  don't differ much from the Russian usage (antiphons, litanies, curtains..), ok they can I guess.  But in my experience the Ukrainians use the Russian antiphons, keep the same number of litanies etc..
First you have to understand that the ACROD uses a different recension than the Ukrainians and the Greeks.  You have to experience it and know the differences in small traditions and liturgical usages. 

No place for Russians?  Well, one of the largest Russian jurisdictions doesn't even call itself Russian anymore.  There will always be a place for everyone.
This whole notion and fighting doesn't really lead to any results.  I would trust the hierarchies and the Holy Spirit to guide our church.  In the long run we should focus on our theosis, etc... and not politics that really are only going to be solved by the Bishops/Synods.
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« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2007, 04:55:49 PM »

The Greek Church in the continental United States actually predates the arrival of the Russian Missionary Bishops.  Alaska at the time was still a colonial possession of the Russian Empire.  That in and of itself however means little, and as pensateomnia pointed out, we should look to the canons instead.




What are the dates on the arrival of bishops?

With regards to the canons, I think it better to map out dioceses according to the canons, but as far as which patriarchate everything outside of the Old World should be in, I'm for Moscow in the Americas.  The Saints attest to the lasting impression the Russian Church has on this land.

Ok, build further on your opinion. 
First off, what is an American Orthodox Church?  Think about it.  The term isn't the best.  If we had one hierarchy-structure in the USA, then it would simply be the Orthodox Church! 

Well, one of the largest Russian jurisdictions doesn't even call itself Russian anymore.  There will always be a place for everyone.
This whole notion and fighting doesn't really lead to any results.  I would trust the hierarchies and the Holy Spirit to guide our church.  In the long run we should focus on our theosis, etc... and not politics that really are only going to be solved by the Bishops/Synods.

Amen.
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« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2007, 06:11:27 PM »

The answer is to relocate the EP from Constantinople to New York to become the preeminent orthodox patriarchate.  End the schisms between all the historical apostolic churches that still confess the original Nicene Creed, overturn the warmongering US government and install an emperor from the Ethiopian Solomonic royal line.  Hold an ecumenical council.  Appoint a new patriarch of Rome, but take away their autocephaly until the entire Roman Catholic church assimilates back to Orthodoxy.  Cease all diplomatic and trade relations with any nation that does not allow for real freedom of religion and speech.
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« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2007, 06:30:18 PM »

Been reading a lot of Juvenal lately?
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« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2007, 08:06:40 PM »

What are the dates on the arrival of bishops?

How long had Greek bishops been in the U.K. before the establishment of the Russian diocese of Sourozh?  I think it was a few centuries.  I don't think in either case it matters, as we're not talking about some race to plant a flag as the method of sorting out the structure of the church.

Quote
With regards to the canons, I think it better to map out dioceses according to the canons, but as far as which patriarchate everything outside of the Old World should be in, I'm for Moscow in the Americas.

That's fine, but I think most people would look at the overt Russian character of the MP abroad and the autocratic nature of the MP itself and not find that an attractive model.  That is what recently came to the fore in Great Britain.

Quote
The Saints attest to the lasting impression the Russian Church has on this land.

Again, the fact that some of the saints who come from North America were part of the Russian missionary church doesn't mean anything in the bigger picture.  Some weren't, and some who were part of the Russian missionary church, weren't themselves Russian; as was the case with St. Herman of Alaska.
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« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2007, 08:54:47 PM »

Again, the fact that some of the saints who come from North America were part of the Russian missionary church doesn't mean anything in the bigger picture.  Some weren't, and some who were part of the Russian missionary church, weren't themselves Russian; as was the case with St. Herman of Alaska.

What are you talking about?  St. Herman was originally from the Moscow area.
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« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2007, 09:28:52 PM »

What are you talking about?  St. Herman was originally from the Moscow area.

His family origins I believe are unknown, but he spelled his own name Ukrainian style (i.e. with a letter not found in the Russian alphabet).  That is probably an indication of his origins, and people did move around a great deal in the Russian Empire or where moved around within it.  Your namesake was born in Ukraine, though Russian.

A number of the missionary saints were in fact Ukrainian, though at the time Ukraine of course was part of the Russian Empire.  The Ukrainian language was of course suppressed, something that has left a bad taste in the mouth of many Ukrainians and would likely make them unwilling to accept a church headed by the MP.  Witness the situation in today's Ukraine.
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« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2007, 11:29:29 PM »

I would also like to express my opinion that because of how Christianity came to America under the MP, we should be under the MP.

Sure. Just as long as everyone realizes that such is an argument from history, not the canonical tradition. However, Aristibule said: "Canonically, I don't think an American Orthodox Church would or should have any business with the EP."

On a slightly tangential note (and this is addressed to cyberspace in general): It occurs to me that the EP should follow the example of the various power-brokers of the OCA, who, after having abandoned their original position that unity could only come through the EP, developed a succinct and appealing case for their change of heart -- one that was based on an easy-to-understand and inspiring account of the past. That original marketing campaign continues to hold tremendous sway over most people's perceptions in the U.S. because it works much like Benedict Anderson's imagined community, i.e. it provides a powerful constructed identity supposedly founded in history.

I think the proponents of the EP have typically relied on the correctness of their argument instead of the appeal of their story. And we all know which is more successful.
As I understand the history of Orthodoxy in America, Moscow had sole jurisdiction here even up to the 1920's before we started to see mass immigrations from Greece and the other Old-World Orthodox countries.  I believe even the Antiochians (e.g., Bishop St. Raphael of Brooklyn) recognized Moscow's jurisdiction here.  In light of this, one could accuse the EP of having violated those canons forbidding a bishop's interference in the internal affairs of another bishop's jurisdiction and those canons forbidding a bishop to establish his authority in another bishop's provincial territory.  Of course, I am also familiar with Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon that gives the EP jurisdiction over the "barbarian" lands and how the EP has recently interpreted this canon to be the foundation for her claims to jurisdictional authority in North America--I do not see this claim having no merit.

If one wants to argue the correctness of one's argument, I think Moscow has just as strong a canonical foundation in this debate as does Constantinople.  I think each side's points are legitimate and should not be ignored.  Ultimately, I think the only real solution is for the MP and the EP to discuss this in a conciliar manner and work out some kind of win-win cooperation, which brings us back to another obstacle... [sigh]
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« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2007, 11:41:44 PM »

pensateomnia wrote:
Quote
Sure. Just as long as everyone realizes that such is an argument from history, not the canonical tradition.

Actually, the argument for the EP is not canonical tradition either - we aren't barbarians, and we aren't in Thrace, Pontus or Asia.

welkodox:
Quote
I'll grant you the WR Rite part, but there are Ukrainians and Rusyns under Constantinople in this country.  There's also the Exarchate in Western Europe which is Great Russian and under Constantinople.

However, the Exarchate in Europe has a policy of Hellenizing/de-Russification. It has caused great controversy. Also, the ACROD and Ukrainians are not the same as the Russian tradition. In fact, I commune with the Ukrainians here sometimes - their liturgy is *not* Russian, but very different in many ways. The Greeks did that Hellenizing in Indonesia, Korea, the Phillipines - hence those local churches now being under the Russian Church, their laity and clergy being pushed out.

I don't necessarily agree with the bloated statistics either for jurisdictions in America - I do not believe there is any solid evidence for jurisdictions under the EP to have the majority in America.

As for Greeks in America - New Smyrna was not Orthodox, but Greek Catholic Uniate. The first Greek church was actually in the Confederate States of America in the 1860s - that doesn't make a canonical tradition. There were already Russian Orthodox bishops over US territory at the time.  And, the truth remains - America is the pre-Schism canonical territory of the Western Patriarchate of Rome, and since that see remains vacant for the Orthodox... the Americas are territory to be restored, not cannibalized.

username! wrote:
Quote
Ok, build further on your opinion.  
First off, what is an American Orthodox Church?

To begin with - it would have to be American, and not in the 'ideological political' sense of those who try to reduce America to 'a nation of immigrants' (which is hogwash, the immigrants came to a country already established by the pioneers, founders, settlers.) To put it simply, until you have an Anglo church, you won't have an American church (Anglo in America means all English speaking people of American culture - whether they are British, German, Irish, French, Italian, Polish, Czech, Scandinavian, Portuguese, Spanish, Native American or African, etc.) Rather, what we have is a Greek Church in America, Russian Church in America, Ukrainian Church in America, Arab Church in America - for the most part all very much outside of the culture, though their members may have citizenship, all very much minorities, all very much lacking in influence. There won't be an American Orthodox Church until Orthodox truly love America, and Americans (yes, Anglos) enough that Americans may readily become Orthodox. That means loving our children, loving our heritage, our culture, our history - and coming out of denial about the significance of the same. We Americans *are* of Western Orthodox Catholic origin, on a canonical territory of our own Patriarchate which sadly is separated from the Church by schism, heresy, and else. And the sad fact is - only the Russian and Antiochian churches have done anything to show they can treat American/Western society with respect. The EP, sadly, has yet to offer anything but hostility, rejection, and glorification of Hellenism - and that isn't pastoral.

So, that's why in my opinion - it ain't going to happen, and we aren't interested in making the EP the next infallible Pope; we already tried that a millenium ago, and see where it got us? It won't happen as a small hodge-podge of Eastern ethnic diocese, nor as a deracinated mission based on an ideological/political revisionist definition of 'American' (ie, the OCA way.) Bottom line - us Americans won't buy it, and no Americans, no American Church.
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« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2007, 12:11:44 AM »

We Americans *are* of Western Orthodox Catholic origin, on a canonical territory of our own Patriarchate which sadly is separated from the Church by schism, heresy, and else.

America wasn't even discovered at the time of the finalization of the boundaries of the Patriarchal Sees...the Synod of Chalcedon, thus Old Rome has no claim to the Americas; it is the Jurisdiction of New Rome which has Rights to all territory not given to other Patriarchates by said Synod. And regardless of where our ancestors are from, Ecclesiastical Authority is based on geography, not culture or society.

Quote
So, that's why in my opinion - it ain't going to happen, and we aren't interested in making the EP the next infallible Pope; we already tried that a millenium ago, and see where it got us? It won't happen as a small hodge-podge of Eastern ethnic diocese, nor as a deracinated mission based on an ideological/political revisionist definition of 'American' (ie, the OCA way.) Bottom line - us Americans won't buy it, and no Americans, no American Church.

Better there be no American Church than we be humiliated by being forced under American Bishops and an American Synod...I'd sooner leave the Church. If I wanted to be part of an 'American Church' I'd join the Episcopalians. So let us remain separate and divided, it's better than the alternative you present.
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« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2007, 12:28:17 AM »

Actually, the argument for the EP is not canonical tradition either...

As your very statement reveals, the argument for the EP is undoubtedly from the canonical tradition. It just so happens that you believe that it is not a correct interpretation of the relevant canons.

Speaking of said tradition: How can one believe that it is more canonically correct to re-establish the jurisdictional authority of the MP, an entity that has ceded its jurisdiction to another Synod by means of a canonical act?
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« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2007, 12:40:27 AM »

... thus Old Rome has no claim to the Americas; it is the Jurisdiction of New Rome which has Rights to all territory not given to other Patriarchates by said Synod.

Yes, as I said - it is geography. America is part of the Isles of the Sea in the West, and was first evangelized two generations before the Schism by clergy from the Patriarchate of the West. The territory was under the Latin Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen and the Norwegian King, until the first American bishopric was created some three generations before Alexandria excommunicated Rome. So - Old Rome has every claim to the Americas - it is a Western territory. Also, Second Rome does not have claim to 'all territory not given to other Patriarchates'. Supporters of a Papal EP may argue so, but it just isn't so.

Quote
Better there be no American Church than we be humiliated by being forced under American Bishops and an American Synod...I'd sooner leave the Church. If I wanted to be part of an 'American Church' I'd join the Episcopalians. So let us remain separate and divided, it's better than the alternative you present.

It wouldn't be humiliation - it would be charity. What's so humiliating about not ruling over everyone else?  As for the Episcopalians - I'd never join them myself, and they aren't Orthodoxy - American or otherwise (notice, TEC - not 'American Episcopal').

Pensateomnia wrote:
Quote
As your very statement reveals, the argument for the EP is undoubtedly from the canonical tradition. It just so happens that you believe that it is not a correct interpretation of the relevant canons.

No, it doesn't reveal it being from the canonical tradition. It reveals an unrelated canon being used in an uncanonical way to steal from other Patriarchates, and subject others to hostile and uncharitable 'rule'.

Quote
How can one believe that it is more canonically correct to re-establish the jurisdictional authority of the MP, an entity that has ceded its jurisdiction to another Synod by means of a canonical act?

No one does - no one is 're-establishing' any such thing. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is still the canonical part of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, which Met. Platon uncanonically broke away from.
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« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2007, 12:44:56 AM »

Speaking of said tradition: How can one believe that it is more canonically correct to re-establish the jurisdictional authority of the MP, an entity that has ceded its jurisdiction to another Synod by means of a canonical act?
Something tells me that the "other Synod" of which you speak (the Russian Metropolia/OCA) will NOT submit once again to the MP.  I hope to not get egged by my fellow OCA posters for saying this, but then I've said this before: I have no qualms with the OCA using its independence from Moscow to seek to place itself under the jurisdiction of the EP, as long as the EP shows respect for our Russian and American heritage.  From what I've read on this thread, though, I don't trust that this is actually the EP's desire.  If the EP wants to insist on Hellenizing the OCA, then the OCA should maintain its functional, if not yet canonically recognized, independence.
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« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2007, 01:06:20 AM »

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is still the canonical part of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, which Met. Platon uncanonically broke away from.
Please be careful here.  One could make a successful argument from the canons that the ROCOR's assertion of its authority as the "canonical part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia" is itself a misinterpretation of our Church's canonical tradition (not to mention a possible abuse of Patriarchal Ukase No. 362).

However, I want to encourage what I see as the continuing growth of warm relations between the ROCOR and the OCA.  We've fought enough through the last century, and I just don't want to continue the fighting now.  Patriarch St. Tikhon was just as much the Archbishop of America as he was the Patriarch of Moscow, so I'm certain he still had a great vision for his American flock even after his transfer to Moscow.  He was probably saddened very deeply, if that's even possible in heaven, to see the vicious quarreling that took place "in his name" between the two factions of his Russian Orthodox Church in North America.  What can we do now to reconcile our differences and seek the unity that our beloved Patriarch so desired?
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« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2007, 01:26:14 AM »

pensateomnia wrote:
Actually, the argument for the EP is not canonical tradition either - we aren't barbarians, and we aren't in Thrace, Pontus or Asia.

welkodox:
However, the Exarchate in Europe has a policy of Hellenizing/de-Russification. It has caused great controversy. Also, the ACROD and Ukrainians are not the same as the Russian tradition. In fact, I commune with the Ukrainians here sometimes - their liturgy is *not* Russian, but very different in many ways. The Greeks did that Hellenizing in Indonesia, Korea, the Phillipines - hence those local churches now being under the Russian Church, their laity and clergy being pushed out.

I don't necessarily agree with the bloated statistics either for jurisdictions in America - I do not believe there is any solid evidence for jurisdictions under the EP to have the majority in America.

As for Greeks in America - New Smyrna was not Orthodox, but Greek Catholic Uniate. The first Greek church was actually in the Confederate States of America in the 1860s - that doesn't make a canonical tradition. There were already Russian Orthodox bishops over US territory at the time.  And, the truth remains - America is the pre-Schism canonical territory of the Western Patriarchate of Rome, and since that see remains vacant for the Orthodox... the Americas are territory to be restored, not cannibalized.

username! wrote:
To begin with - it would have to be American, and not in the 'ideological political' sense of those who try to reduce America to 'a nation of immigrants' (which is hogwash, the immigrants came to a country already established by the pioneers, founders, settlers.) To put it simply, until you have an Anglo church, you won't have an American church (Anglo in America means all English speaking people of American culture - whether they are British, German, Irish, French, Italian, Polish, Czech, Scandinavian, Portuguese, Spanish, Native American or African, etc.) Rather, what we have is a Greek Church in America, Russian Church in America, Ukrainian Church in America, Arab Church in America - for the most part all very much outside of the culture, though their members may have citizenship, all very much minorities, all very much lacking in influence. There won't be an American Orthodox Church until Orthodox truly love America, and Americans (yes, Anglos) enough that Americans may readily become Orthodox. That means loving our children, loving our heritage, our culture, our history - and coming out of denial about the significance of the same. We Americans *are* of Western Orthodox Catholic origin, on a canonical territory of our own Patriarchate which sadly is separated from the Church by schism, heresy, and else. And the sad fact is - only the Russian and Antiochian churches have done anything to show they can treat American/Western society with respect. The EP, sadly, has yet to offer anything but hostility, rejection, and glorification of Hellenism - and that isn't pastoral.

So, that's why in my opinion - it ain't going to happen, and we aren't interested in making the EP the next infallible Pope; we already tried that a millenium ago, and see where it got us? It won't happen as a small hodge-podge of Eastern ethnic diocese, nor as a deracinated mission based on an ideological/political revisionist definition of 'American' (ie, the OCA way.) Bottom line - us Americans won't buy it, and no Americans, no American Church.





Trust me, some that know me know that I am very very very very very very very very familiar with the ACROD traditons.

Want to talk about bloated statistics, the OCA is 35,000 strong, a far cry from earlier statistics that said one million strong.  I will come out and say the ACROd's last census put us right around the 9900 faithful mark.

American culture is based on the individual, far removed from the Eastern Christian.  more later.   But, the MP has not business in running the Orthodox Church in America, nor does the Russian Metropolia/OCA.
Like I said in previous posts, this whole notion of one hierarchy is to be left to our bisops and not us laity.
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« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2007, 02:30:28 AM »

Trust me, some that know me know that I am very very very very very very very very familiar with the ACROD traditons.

Aye, and I don't - I can just tell they aren't the same. Of course, the issue of numbers is another thread - but its one we've got to 'face the music' on.

also, you write:
Quote
American culture is based on the individual, far removed from the Eastern Christian.  more later. 

Which, as an American - I can say that is a gross oversimplification. It might be removed from the Eastern Christian, but not from the Orthodox Christian - particularly as the basis of our culture is not the individual at all, though consideration is given to the individual - but not at the expense of the family (the real basis of American culture) or the community. To begin with, there is not a singular American culture, but many (four main cultures, and many subcultures.) Each are based on very different ideas, though all come from British culture (different parts of Britain.) Each American culture uses pretty much the same language, but means different things by them. There was an old thread where I meant to discuss just this - as I get tired of the constant parodies and mockeries of 'American culture' that foreigners, immigrants, or ethnic minorities bandy about which merely serve to show their ignorance of American culture (which explains their needless hostility.)

The truth is, when most Orthodox complain about 'American culture', they are actually complaining about an anti-culture that has been at odds with American culture for quite a long time. If one wants to discuss the American culture, heritage, tradition - I'm more than willing as I know it from two sides: the bearer of four centuries of life as Americans, and an educated awareness of who, what, and where we are. I can suggest both ways to experience real American culture, as well as ways to study it.

Peter:
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Please be careful here.
 

I am aware of the difficulty of the situation, but it is also hard not to step on toes (and, I've noticed most participants here don't care if they do either - so, I figure, dance or get stepped on). The bishops will do their jobs in the meantime. As to lay relations between the two bodies - I don't think that is a matter for public forums in every respect, though some issues may be discussed.

I'm not sure whether to consider the OCA as part of the Russian church - most OCA folk I know refuse the term 'Russian' when outsiders describe them as such (though, call them something else and they say they are Russian! So, it seems difficult to pin down). Some seem to rather want to be 'American' (as username! means 'American'), or something else entirely. Those who want to be Russian, are still a different 'Russian' than ROCOR (that is, rejecting centuries of the Russian Orthodox experience as an invalid 'Western captivity', rejecting the Western rite part of the Russian tradition, relying heavily or soley on the Parisian school, etc.) So, you'll have to forgive us if we find the OCA a bit amorphous, strange, and difficult to approach - what the OCA is, seems to really depend on who is describing it. The only thing I think held in common is that OCA members are wildly enthusiastic for their jurisdiction (ie 'OCA all the way!')  But, from my little corner - how to reconcile? That might be better as a private discussion between OCA, MP and ROCOR members.
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« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2007, 10:58:59 AM »

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However, the Exarchate in Europe has a policy of Hellenizing/de-Russification. It has caused great controversy.

I hadn't heard that, but I will take your word for it.  I believe the split in Sourozh was at least in large part over the issue of Russification however, so that would appear to go both ways.  The MP has a history of Russianizing, so I guess it's an issue for all sides in some respects.

Quote
Also, the ACROD and Ukrainians are not the same as the Russian tradition. In fact, I commune with the Ukrainians here sometimes - their liturgy is *not* Russian, but very different in many ways.

Here I can say the tradations maintained in the ACROD and the UOCUSA are not products of Hellenization, they are the legitimate traditions of those churches.  They have not been under pressure to Hellenize, and in fact these groups would have been pressured to Russianize if they had joined the Metropolia, which is in large part why they did not.  The Carpatho-Rusyns who joined the Metropolia did Russianize.

So there's nothing telling me that inherintly there's no reason why someone from the Great Russian tradition couldn't be under the Omophorion of the Ecumical Patriarch, any more than someone in the WR would have a problem being under a Russian bishop.

I also still disagree with the arguments that the "Russians were here first" as a way to sort this all out.  First, because the history is not so clear, but more importantly its because it makes our ecclesiology look like it's run like the opening of Oklahoma to white settlement.

Overall, I'm in favor of a North American Orthodox church, given that I'm not Slavic, Greek, etc.  I don't see any conflict with such a church being under the Ecumenical Patriarch though.  The Russians will never agree to it though, but by the same token they've never pulled out of North America which they told the OCA they would do.
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« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2007, 11:13:36 AM »

Supporters of a Papal EP may argue so, but it just isn't so.

Tired rhetoric.
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« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2007, 11:58:27 AM »

Tired rhetoric.

I'd hardly call it tired!! I had thought this thread reached its apex (and end) when one poster called for the overthrow of the American government and the establishment of an Ethiopian-Solomonic Emperor as the means of solving the (American) Church's problems! At that point, I thought Juvenal would be proud, but, given the importance of Anglo and Anglo-American culture, perhaps we should appeal to Alexander Pope and/or Mark Twain. Do such gentlemen qualify as legitimate representatives of an approved sub-set of American heritage? One must keep these things straight.

In all seriousness: The true means to unity comes from the progress made on the local level (cf. the initiatives and leadership exercised by Fr. Chris' parish) and the leadership of our hierarchs. Let's pray for and support both.
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« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2007, 12:38:51 PM »

  In all seriousness: The true means to unity comes from the progress made on the local level (cf. the initiatives and leadership exercised by Fr. Chris' parish) and the leadership of our hierarchs. Let's pray for and support both. 

Amen.
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« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2007, 10:44:07 PM »

Been reading a lot of Juvenal lately?

Well I have to ask, now that you've mentioned him twice, who is Juvenal? 

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« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2007, 11:34:59 PM »

I am not interested in being Russian or Greek. I am interested in being an Orthodox Christian. My parish is OCA and we consider ourselves American. That is why we are accessable to the American Community here in the midwest. I am glad we don't put a cultural hurdle in the way of all the local hillbillies coming to the Holy Orthodox Faith.
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« Reply #71 on: May 09, 2007, 03:03:46 AM »

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That is why we are accessable to the American Community here in the midwest. I am glad we don't put a cultural hurdle in the way of all the local hillbillies coming to the Holy Orthodox Faith.

I don't think anyone on this board would accuse me of promoting an ethno-centric view of Orthodoxy....but even this raises some problems.  The more "American" parishes tend to be heavy leaning towards former Evangelical type Protestants.  This happens to the point of some parishes/missions feeling like a baptist Church with incense.  This is a VERY hostile environment for many cradles, returning cradles and even converts from backgrounds other than Conservative Protestantism.  I've been to a couple of AOA missions in particular where this was the feeling.

That being said, I think the transition to using English as the primary liturgical language and the removal of nationalism (i.e the political idea that became popular in the 19th century) are imperative if the Orthodox Church wants to have any future with converts AND the children of immigrants.  The caveat though is that not all things ethnic are nationalistic. 

I don't think either OCA or the EP are currently working as models of a future united Church in North America.  The OCA basically has overlapping jurisdictions within itself, and in my experience the ethnic dioceses within the OCA are fairly insular.  If every OCA parish in town were under the same bishop that'd be great.  But as it stands now, their example of Orthodox jurisdictional unity is nothing short of a sham.  The same goes with the EP.  It'd be great if all of the different jurisdictions would be merged into one, yet each parish would still have enough autonomy to decide its language and customs.  If this were to happen it would also be a great way to allay the fears of Hellenization that some hold here about going under the Patriarchate.   My only objection is that the current Patriarch would use such a thing to further justify his ludicrous interpretation of "the barbarous lands" meaning essentially the entire world. 

As has been brought up by others, the OCF - despite its faults - is causing the younger generation of Orthodox to get used to interacting with each other.  Another observation from my own experience (and before people overreact, I'm not stating this is universal): the AOA and OCA priests that are full time priests AND hold secular jobs to support their families seem to be putting all their effort into making OCF work.  Priests of another jurisdiction (who are very well compensated and would never have to think of outside work) never seem to want to bother with OCF around here...

 
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« Reply #72 on: May 09, 2007, 07:40:22 AM »

Quote
As has been brought up by others, the OCF - despite its faults - is causing the younger generation of Orthodox to get used to interacting with each other.  Another observation from my own experience (and before people overreact, I'm not stating this is universal): the AOA and OCA priests that are full time priests AND hold secular jobs to support their families seem to be putting all their effort into making OCF work.  Priests of another jurisdiction (who are very well compensated and would never have to think of outside work) never seem to want to bother with OCF around here...

I think this does bring up a good point and another example how you are going to see it start with the laity.  As someone who has been heavily involved with OCF it has been very fascinating to see so many groups come together and work with each other.  Shoot if we had a Macedonian get along with Greeks and a Serb, then anything's possible in the future!

One disclamer I thought I'd say is that the OCF I'm involved in is supported by the GOA and they actually have been very good, both this priest, others in the jurisdiction, and Bishop Sabbas and Archbp. Demetrios.  Through it, I myself have come to have a lot of respect for the GOA and found that many of the stereotypes of them being the "liberal new-calendar" church are not simply wrong.  Sure there are elements, but shoot the priest who runs it is just as serious and faithful as any other 19th century . . .. er ROCOR priest I know.  So, I did want to come to their defence in that the GOA has also made movements torwards it, with all these men (and women being very well compensated).  So perhaps there is hope to be had.
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« Reply #73 on: May 09, 2007, 01:13:51 PM »

I also still disagree with the arguments that the "Russians were here first" as a way to sort this all out.  First, because the history is not so clear, but more importantly its because it makes our ecclesiology look like it's run like the opening of Oklahoma to white settlement.

We're not doing a land-grab discussion; history is clear: this land was evangelized by the Russian Church.


Quote
Overall, I'm in favor of a North American Orthodox church, given that I'm not Slavic, Greek, etc.  I don't see any conflict with such a church being under the Ecumenical Patriarch though.  The Russians will never agree to it though, but by the same token they've never pulled out of North America which they told the OCA they would do.

So you're a hellenophile and a Russophobe?  Is that what's really going here?  Your argument goes like this: I'm not Greek or Slavic, so the Greek Phanar will do (no reason given), Moscow will not because they're stiffs.  You're neither yet you prefer the Greek?  Why?
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« Reply #74 on: May 09, 2007, 01:46:08 PM »

We're not doing a land-grab discussion; history is clear: this land was evangelized by the Russian Church.

The history is not clear.  There was a Greek parish founded in the United States before any Russian presence in the U.S. (Alaska at the time was part of the Russian Empire).  There were individual Greeks in places going back to the 18th century.  The Greek church was never under the auspices of the Russian missionary bishops.  In other words the Orthodox presence in the United States is not the product of Russian evangelization, and to this day the majority of Orthodox Christians in this country (including Alaska) are in churches of non Russian lineage.

If the deciding factor is to say the Russians were here first (which they weren't anyway), then it is in effect a land grab.

Quote
So you're a hellenophile and a Russophobe?

I'm neither.

Quote
I'm not Greek or Slavic, so the Greek Phanar will do (no reason given), Moscow will not because they're stiffs.  You're neither yet you prefer the Greek?  Why?

I'm not Greek, Slavic, etc. so I have no preference for a bishop based on ethnic origins.  The EP to me provides the best option for unity in this country before achieving full governing status in my opinion, and also likely is the canonical solution.  I think there are numerous issues with the MP, and would not desire to be part of that church, but that's really a side issue.

All of the above is a moot point though.  Nobody will join up with the AOA or OCA, and those two won't join up with each other.  People in the MP won't go under the EP and vice versa.  A lot of people simply aren't interested in unity in any form, at least if it means doing or sacrificing anything.
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« Reply #75 on: May 09, 2007, 08:18:07 PM »

I believe the split in Sourozh was at least in large part over the issue of Russification however...

Rather, the reference was to the Paris Exarchate, and other areas where the EP has interloped - those who left Sourozh will find out about it in time as well. I'm not so sure about any history of 'Russianizing'. The Russian way has been rather to inculturate rather than 'make the world Russia'. (Noting, those who left Sourozh did so because they had a trajectory that was both unwelcoming to the Russian immigrants, and also un-English though claiming to be English. In time, I believe I'll be proved right in that assessment. Sourozh's tradition was Russian, so complaints of Russification were/are absurd - the real issue was liberalism vs. tradition.)

Quote
... and in fact these groups would have been pressured to Russianize if they had joined the Metropolia, which is in large part why they did not. 

Yes, but that was my point about the OCA/Metropolia - which is not the MP or ROCOR. The 'Russianizing' of the OCA was partly due to the 'Russian Greek Catholics' reacting against their former church culture as Eastern Catholics, it was not imposed from the MP or the Holy Synod. But, that same tendency is what I refer to by those who claim the OCA is 'American' - I'm American, and I don't recognize *anything* American about OCA. Its just a type of Russian (one that rejects part of the Russian tradition as 'Western'.)

Quote
...there's no reason why someone from the Great Russian tradition couldn't be under the Omophorion of the Ecumical Patriarch, any more than someone in the WR would have a problem being under a Russian bishop.

Yet, no one has successfully done it - the EP has Hellenized those 'Great Russians' (Paris), the Indonesians, Koreans, etc. And - again, the EP is not, or is likely to be friendly to us Western Rite Orthodox (they weren't to the French Orthodox.)

Quote
I also still disagree with the arguments that the "Russians were here first" as a way to sort this all out.  First, because the history is not so clear, but more importantly its because it makes our ecclesiology look like it's run like the opening of Oklahoma to white settlement.

Indeed - as the canonical path is to reestablish the Western Church jurisdiction. As I've noted, the 'Land Grab' version of jurisdiction is as absurd as the 'It's All Mine' pov of the modern EP. The Russian path, however, is the most pragmatic - as they've proved to be the most respectful, charitable and pragmatic in their evangelism and reception of us separated Westerners. IOW, they've been better stewards and tended to less of the faults of the Faithful Son in the parable of the Prodigal.

Quote
... but by the same token they've never pulled out of North America which they told the OCA they would do.

Yes, but that was under duress from the KGB, and the agreement also had nothing to do with the Russian Synod outside Russia. So, iffy-iffy - in any case, that agreement has no bearing on the rest of us, as it was only between the ROCUSA and OCA. I suppose, if the EP changed in many respects it *could* find the desired unity - but, I don't expect that to happen.

As for those who charge 'tired rhetoric' - BS. It has nothing to do with rhetoric, but lack of charity by those who simply want to rule over others as masters, and to cuddle up to the rich and powerful while ignoring their brethren in need.
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« Reply #76 on: May 09, 2007, 10:12:25 PM »

Well, just having these different Orthodox overlapping jurisdictions that put their ethnicity first sounds very unOrthodox to me. Orthodoxy has always been about adopting the culture of the country it happens to be in and respecting the customs of the land. Wherever Orthodoxy has gone, its missionaries took great care and time to learn the language and culture first before presenting the gospel message. It's pointless to call a church Serbian or Greek when you are not in Serbia or Greece respectively. This is a BIG turn-off to the majority that would even think about visiting an Orthodox Church here. Until we drop the ethnic names and become more open, ethnic type parishes will continually decline in numbers unfortunately. This just doesn't work for the majority of Americans.   
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« Reply #77 on: May 09, 2007, 10:32:51 PM »

Well, just having these different Orthodox overlapping jurisdictions that put their ethnicity first sounds very unOrthodox to me. Orthodoxy has always been about adopting the culture of the country it happens to be in and respecting the customs of the land. Wherever Orthodoxy has gone, its missionaries took great care and time to learn the language and culture first before presenting the gospel message. It's pointless to call a church Serbian or Greek when you are not in Serbia or Greece respectively. This is a BIG turn-off to the majority that would even think about visiting an Orthodox Church here. Until we drop the ethnic names and become more open, ethnic type parishes will continually decline in numbers unfortunately. This just doesn't work for the majority of Americans.   

"Serbian" and "Greek" are part of American Culture.  Do you think there is a monolithic American culture that excludes Serbian and Greek people?  America doesnt operate strictly by majority.  The concept of a national church doesnt quite fit here the more I think about it. 
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« Reply #78 on: May 09, 2007, 11:03:13 PM »

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"Serbian" and "Greek" are part of American Culture.  Do you think there is a monolithic American culture that excludes Serbian and Greek people?  America doesnt operate strictly by majority.  The concept of a national church doesnt quite fit here the more I think about it.

That's typically nice for first generation immigrants, but the REALITY of the situation when it comes to 2nd generation and so on is quite different. The children of these immigrant groups are mostly Americanized and even some of these people find it absurd that they have to sit through a Greek or Serbian Liturgy. I think it may even cause many to become bored with Orthodoxy since they may not fully understand the language the Liturgy is done in. I have personally seen this in a Greek parish when I dated a Greek Orthodox girl for a few years. Her and her friends seemed bored and not very interested in the GREEK service that was going on.
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« Reply #79 on: May 09, 2007, 11:53:42 PM »

Nacho,

You make a great point. I would point out, however, that America does in fact have it's own distinct and unique culture. Yes there are serbians and greeks who live in America, just like there are americans who live in serbia and greece. This does not negate the fact that America has it's own unique culture. I like how you pointed out "Orthodoxy has always been about adopting the culture of the country it happens to be in and respecting the customs of the land". This is what Orthodoxy needs to continue to do in north america. In Mexico, it needs to adopt to their culture and language, in quebec it needs to adopt their culture and language and in America it needs to adopt our culture and language, just like it does throughout the rest of the world.
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« Reply #80 on: May 10, 2007, 03:26:41 PM »

I really like the idea of a single American Orthodox Church (or maybe "North American" as American smacks of a bit of American phyletism or even ethnocentrism), with a few conditions.

As an Orthodox Christian of Serbian ethnicity, I would want to make sure some of our "special" religious practices were kept in place, without change (like Slava).

As for things like autonomy vs. autocephaly... frankly I don't care (provided the Church remains in good Canonical standing).  Whether the Church was under the jurisdiction of the EP or the Russian Patriarch... again, no big difference to me.

As a practical matter, the way I think you could make this work is just to change the name and ADD English Liturgy to ethnic Churches (the Bishop issue is for the clerical hierarchs to worry about, not me).

When I say "add" English, that does not mean subtract (insert ethnic Church name here), but have two, three, four Liturgies on Sunday.  I have a friend who attends an OCA Church in DC.  He says they have three separate Liturgies on Sundays.  English, Greek and Russian.  Fine by me.

My sister's parish (SOC) currently offers English Liturgy on the first of every month, followed by Serbian and Serbian Liturgy at all other times.  Seems to work nicely thus far.
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« Reply #81 on: May 10, 2007, 03:59:33 PM »

That is a good solution SouthSerb99.  Smaller churches can combine resources that way, serve both original communities better and give more charity to other people.
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« Reply #82 on: May 10, 2007, 04:13:40 PM »

Sounds good to me south serb.
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« Reply #83 on: May 10, 2007, 05:53:38 PM »

Nacho,

You make a great point. I would point out, however, that America does in fact have it's own distinct and unique culture.

I think you and Nacho need to get out of the midwest and move back to the west coast.  Completely false.  America is completely different than every other country in that we have such a large, constant flow of immigrants from many different cultures.  I asked it before and will ask it again.  Please define 'American Culture' (at least from your pov).  As a counter example, this other parish in town likes bluegrass (several of their young people play it).  I've heard one of their priests jokingly say, "Bluegrass music IS Orthodox music."  Not to me.  I never grew up with it and don't find a large affinity for it and I've lived my whole life on the California coast.
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« Reply #84 on: May 10, 2007, 06:58:48 PM »

I have a friend who attends an OCA Church in DC.  He says they have three separate Liturgies on Sundays.  English, Greek and Russian.  Fine by me.
I see.
So the solution to this "unity" you guys seek is Eucharistic Apartheid....even in the same parish, on the same Sunday......
The very sign of our unity, the Eucharist, is to be used as a means of dividing a community into seperate enclaves.
It just gets better.... Roll Eyes

Why not have a Russian Liturgy which everyone attends one Sunday, a Greek liturgy which everyone attends the following Sunday, an Arabic Liturgy which everyone attends the following Sunday and an English Liturgy whuich everyone attends the following Sunday?

There is a reason why we can Canonically only celebrate one Liturgy on one Altar per day.

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« Reply #85 on: May 10, 2007, 08:00:07 PM »

I see.
So the solution to this "unity" you guys seek is Eucharistic Apartheid....even in the same parish......
It just gets better.... Roll Eyes

As long as everyone is subject to Constantinople...what does it matter? Wink
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« Reply #86 on: May 10, 2007, 08:07:06 PM »

As long as everyone is subject to Constantinople...what does it matter? Wink
Constantinople has more sense than to take on such a "Church" where even the Sign of Unity is used to divide.
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« Reply #87 on: May 10, 2007, 08:11:39 PM »

Constantinople has more sense than to take on such a "Church" where even the Sign of Unity is used to divide.

Constantinople IS the Sign of Unity, she is all the Unity we have need of.
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« Reply #88 on: May 10, 2007, 08:14:51 PM »

Constantinople IS the Sign of Unity, she is all the Unity we have need of.
I'm afraid not GiC.
In the Church, the only unity is in Christ, her Head, and Constantinople knows this. That's why Constantinople would never accept a local Church which divides itself using the Eucharist (of all things!)
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« Reply #89 on: May 10, 2007, 08:29:13 PM »

Quote
I think you and Nacho need to get out of the midwest and move back to the west coast.  Completely false.  America is completely different than every other country in that we have such a large, constant flow of immigrants from many different cultures.  I asked it before and will ask it again.  Please define 'American Culture' (at least from your pov).  As a counter example, this other parish in town likes bluegrass (several of their young people play it).  I've heard one of their priests jokingly say, "Bluegrass music IS Orthodox music."  Not to me.  I never grew up with it and don't find a large affinity for it and I've lived my whole life on the California coast.

America has it's own unique culture. The west coast (where I was born and raised) is more diverse than "the red states" so to speak. This is true of any place that has a high populus. I have been to Europe and have seen much diversity in the population over there. England for instance has a lot of indians and arabs. This does not mean that England does not have it's own national idenity or culture. Most Americans, as a society, do not define themselves as russian or greek. America is and historically been a western european anglo saxon culture. I have taken psychology classes in college on issues in diverse populations, and this is the fact about american culture. This does not exclude any culture or make our culture better, but our culture is unique. Mexico has it's own culture and Canada has it's own culture that is unique. Mexico is not serbian or greek or russian. There are probably many of those groups there, but the mexican culture is mexican. The liturgy should be in spanish and the church should adopt their culture, not make everyone slavic or greek. There are many different groups in all of these cultures just like there are throughout the world, but these cultures are still unique and intact.  By your reasoning, any country with a diverse population does not have a unique culture. I don't buy into that generalizing.
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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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