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Author Topic: Are Orthodox Seminaries in the Orthodox Tradition?  (Read 3819 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 31, 2007, 12:50:58 PM »

One of my friends, a Traditional Orthodox, has told me that seminaries have their roots in the Western, Latin tradition and do not as such belong to Eastern Orthodoxy as the means of training Orthodox clergy.  He further commented that, in true Orthodoxy, a man is selected by the bishop who sees a special character in the man for priesthood.  According to my friend, traditional training of men for the priesthood in Orthodoxy is done at monasteries by monks and not at a separate seminary. 

However, recently I have read two great works, the two books on Father Arseny.  In many of the stories found in these two books, individuals are described as going to seminary and as themselves and/or their spiritual fathers as the human initiators that begin the path to the priesthood.  The bishop still accepts or denies, but it seems to me that in these true life stories the individuals discern their path with their spiritual father, secure his blessing, and only then approach the bishop on the matter.  Admittedly, in many of these stories, the seminarians also attend monasteries as part of their formation, so it's not a one-sided seminaries versus monasteries.   

I'm just curious about the apparent difference between the two models.  Which one is more true to Orthodoxy, or are both equally true and only depending on the circumstances?  Are seminaries contrary to Orthodox tradition?  Thanks!

   
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 02:35:34 PM »

One of my friends, a Traditional Orthodox, has told me that seminaries have their roots in the Western, Latin tradition and do not as such belong to Eastern Orthodoxy as the means of training Orthodox clergy.  He further commented that, in true Orthodoxy, a man is selected by the bishop who sees a special character in the man for priesthood.  According to my friend, traditional training of men for the priesthood in Orthodoxy is done at monasteries by monks and not at a separate seminary. 

This first tradition seems to assume that the bishop actually knows the person involved.  Most of the time, you're doing good if the bishop can even remember your name.
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 02:43:22 PM »

Are seminaries contrary to Orthodox tradition?  Thanks!

Seminaries are definitely recent additions and I think they do serve a purpose since, in the ancient Church, men, both in the East and West, were ordained to the priesthood without significant theological training.  Most of their training was on-the-job so to speak.  A friend of mine was telling me of when his father was a boy (which was about 55+ years ago), priests, regularly, from the old world would be sent to minister to the flocks here, because there were no theological schools.  These priests had barely an eighth grade education and learned while doing, but they were given explicit permission from the bishop or even Patriarch of Antioch.   ANd since we have so few monasteries here in the states to provide any training, I think the seminaries serve a vital purpose. 

However, the seminaries are very much "systematizing" the Orthodox Faith, which, to my mind, cannot be done!
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 03:26:12 PM »

At least two of the seminaries in the Us are affiliated with Monasteries even now:
-St Tikhon's (OCA)
- Holy Trinity Monastery (ROCOR)

Priest's I have met from these facilities  are very well versed in all the services of the Church, even those of the hours as they are served daily in monastic churches.

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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2007, 05:37:39 PM »

How traditional is traditional?  In the ancient Church, men were chosen from amongst the people for their knowledge of scripture and purity of life; by the 4th and 5th century, most of these men also had classical education - in the philosophers and mathematics and sciences.  Well, its these parts that a Seminary is supposed to work on: knowledge of the scripture and fathers through class, knowledge of the services and worship cycle through church, and character evaluation through the staff on hand.  Each school does one or more elements better than the others, and do other elements worse.  But this is the mission; and while it may seem to "over-systematize" Orthodoxy, don't be fooled: each students walks away from the classes having learned what they interpret to be important from the class.  If there were 30 students in a Liturgics class, you'll get 30 unique synopses of the material (okay, maybe 25 - we do have lazy bums and cheaters in Theology school, too!).
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 06:55:50 PM »

How traditional is traditional?  In the ancient Church, men were chosen from amongst the people for their knowledge of scripture and purity of life; by the 4th and 5th century, most of these men also had classical education - in the philosophers and mathematics and sciences.  Well, its these parts that a Seminary is supposed to work on: knowledge of the scripture and fathers through class, knowledge of the services and worship cycle through church, and character evaluation through the staff on hand.  Each school does one or more elements better than the others, and do other elements worse.  But this is the mission; and while it may seem to "over-systematize" Orthodoxy, don't be fooled: each students walks away from the classes having learned what they interpret to be important from the class.  If there were 30 students in a Liturgics class, you'll get 30 unique synopses of the material (okay, maybe 25 - we do have lazy bums and cheaters in Theology school, too!).

But only one of those lazy bums had the balls to turn in a paper with the thesis 'Eucharist Good' which was written while drunk off his ass and whose only goal was to use the most outlandish (though correct) grammar and syntax constructions. Of course this fine piece of BS was rewarded with the grade it deserved, one of the few A's for the assignment Wink
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2007, 07:21:11 PM »

...which was written while drunk off his ass...

You owned a donkey in seminary?  Where did you keep it? Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007, 07:28:25 PM »

You owned a donkey in seminary?  Where did you keep it? Cheesy

I was just borrowing a friend's who kept it...I should really stop there, I'm just digging that hole deeper and deeper Grin
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2007, 11:15:03 AM »

One of my friends, a Traditional Orthodox, has told me that seminaries have their roots in the Western, Latin tradition and do not as such belong to Eastern Orthodoxy as the means of training Orthodox clergy.  He further commented that, in true Orthodoxy, a man is selected by the bishop who sees a special character in the man for priesthood.  According to my friend, traditional training of men for the priesthood in Orthodoxy is done at monasteries by monks and not at a separate seminary. 

However, recently I have read two great works, the two books on Father Arseny.  In many of the stories found in these two books, individuals are described as going to seminary and as themselves and/or their spiritual fathers as the human initiators that begin the path to the priesthood.  The bishop still accepts or denies, but it seems to me that in these true life stories the individuals discern their path with their spiritual father, secure his blessing, and only then approach the bishop on the matter.  Admittedly, in many of these stories, the seminarians also attend monasteries as part of their formation, so it's not a one-sided seminaries versus monasteries.   

I'm just curious about the apparent difference between the two models.  Which one is more true to Orthodoxy, or are both equally true and only depending on the circumstances?  Are seminaries contrary to Orthodox tradition?  Thanks!

I like what everyone else has said. 

I would only add that some seminaries have different aspects to it.  These aspects may be considered Western and etc.  But ultimately at each seminary there is an Orthodox ethos. 

We all focus on Christ living, dying and resurrecting.  If that isn't Traditional...well...

The means by which we come to this focus is different at each school. 

I have been a part of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement for 5 years now and this is one thing that we all have in common.  Some of us are more knowledgeable than others in certain things.  But in the end we are all going for the same thing.  To bring people to Christ. 

If you want a more Traditional goal...well...then Christ gets left on the wayside, which just aint Christian.   Wink Grin
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2007, 12:52:23 AM »

Well, what about the ancient Alexandrian school?

According to a Coptic scholar and priest, this school was really a school in its own right, a true seminar.  Its students, male and female, would first learn the sciences, maths, histories, philosophies, and then jump right into theology.  During their learning, they practiced ascetic values and strong service in communities, while excelling in top-of-the-line theological learning that produced some of the greatest Church fathers in ancient history, both in Egypt and outside Egypt.

So, I guess you can say it was both a seminar and a "monastery" in its practices.  I've seen seminars like St. Vlad's who seem to try to do the same, getting the students involved not only in studies but also in service and ascetic practices.

God bless.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2008, 01:16:12 AM »

My understanding is that a priest in the GOA makes over $100K a year or more depending on where he lives or how large is his family.  I don't know how the OCA or the Antiochians reimburse their priests, if such renumeration exists (e.g. most priests have lay vocations).

In the GOA, a lot of middle-aged men are striving to become priests - one doesn't worry about layoffs, losing health benefits or discrimination as long as one behaves and obeys the Hierarch.

The opposite to the past has occurred where priests are more educated in a lot of things except the faith.  As the original poster stated, other denominations have their own seminaries and Bible Schools while the Orthodox are recent newcomers.  In the GOA, Elder Ephraim and his followers established 17 monasteries in the USA and I don't believe that an ordained priest has come from any such monastery.
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2008, 03:37:57 AM »

My understanding is that a priest in the GOA makes over $100K a year or more depending on where he lives or how large is his family.  I don't know how the OCA or the Antiochians reimburse their priests, if such renumeration exists (e.g. most priests have lay vocations).
And what does this have to do with this old topic?
Now you'll have a bunch of people here actually thinking that all GOA priests get $2000/week paychecks - it ain't so by a long shot. (Mine - about 33% to 40% of that). Usually the $100K figure in, as you suggest, larger parishes  includes all benefits. Other jurisdictions, such as my wife's ACROD usually show salary only w/o benefits. "Guidelines" are consistent between those two churches.
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In the GOA, a lot of middle-aged men are striving to become priests - one doesn't worry about layoffs, losing health benefits or discrimination as long as one behaves and obeys the Hierarch.
Made a study of this, have you? Are are you among those 'striving'?
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The opposite to the past has occurred where priests are more educated in a lot of things except the faith.  As the original poster stated, other denominations have their own seminaries and Bible Schools while the Orthodox are recent newcomers.  In the GOA, Elder Ephraim and his followers established 17 monasteries in the USA and I don't believe that an ordained priest has come from any such monastery.
So what?
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2008, 01:35:32 PM »

...
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2008, 01:39:06 PM »

When did the custom of having seminaries begin? Obviously there were no seminaries in the very beginning...

Read my post above about the Alexandrian school.
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2008, 01:40:05 PM »

 Embarrassed sorry! I tried to delete my post, but you managed to post before I did so...
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2008, 01:41:03 PM »

Embarrassed sorry! I tried to delete my post, but you managed to post before I did so...

lol...sorry about that
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2008, 06:09:48 PM »

And what does this have to do with this old topic?

Salary and benefits of priests are on point because the "modern" seminaries are preparing priests for a well-paying, exciting and challenging vocation.  From what I understand about Catholicism, I'm surprised to hear that Byzantine Rite priests actually receive a salary in addition to free room & board, etc.

Now you'll have a bunch of people here actually thinking that all GOA priests get $2000/week paychecks - it ain't so by a long shot. (Mine - about 33% to 40% of that). Usually the $100K figure in, as you suggest, larger parishes  includes all benefits.

I'm under the impression that every priest in the GOA makes no less than $100K from Alaska to the Bahamas (where the GOA covers).  GOA churches have to pay premiums for the benefits provided by the Archdiocese - there are line items on parish budgets listing each benefit.  Plus, some churches lease a car for the priest and his family and some include that as a line item benefit or roll it into the Benefits line item.  As mentioned in the previous quote, I'm surprised to hear that Byzantine Rite clergy receive a salary and other benefits.

Made a study of this, have you? Are are you among those 'striving'?So what?

I'm not among those "striving" for the priesthood and what I cited is based on discussions I've had with people who went to Holy Cross Seminary.  I would agree in that Orthodox Seminaries are not in the Orthodox Tradition because the purpose of a modern priest is not necessarily to evangelize.  If not for the requirement that everyone in GOA's seminary had to learn Greek (which I know already), I may have pursued further studies at the Seminary.
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2008, 07:00:06 PM »

I'm under the impression that every priest in the GOA makes no less than $100K from Alaska to the Bahamas (where the GOA covers).  GOA churches have to pay premiums for the benefits provided by the Archdiocese - there are line items on parish budgets listing each benefit.  Plus, some churches lease a car for the priest and his family and some include that as a line item benefit or roll it into the Benefits line item.  As mentioned in the previous quote, I'm surprised to hear that Byzantine Rite clergy receive a salary and other benefits. 

Wrong.  The average GOA priest does not make $100k, even when health insurance is included and housing/car allowances.   The parishes, while technically required to have their clergy on the Archdiocese benefits package (pension, health insurance, life insurance), often times don't - and that makes a vicious cycle (the parishes with younger priests often pick their own insurance to save money, leaving the older and less healthy priests on the plan, boosting the costs).  You should really update your info and have it come from a reputable source - I'm an employee of a parish, son of a priest, graduate of the school, besides the conversations I have with members of the Archdiocese Benefits Committee.

Also: when a parish provides a car, it is a work car, not a personal one, and the trips must be for work only (one must be able to prove this to the IRS if asked).  Even if they don't provide a car, but only a car allowance, one must be able to document the work usage of the car and one can only make enough money to cover the percentage of the expenses that mirrors the percentage of use associated with work.  It's a nice benefit, but priests often put 30,000+ miles on their cars (between house blessings, hospital visits, Metropolis events, etc.), so it is understandable.  Plus, one must remember that priests are technically Self-employed, and as such pay double the FICA taxes that everyone else does.

Salary and benefits of priests are on point because the "modern" seminaries are preparing priests for a well-paying, exciting and challenging vocation.  From what I understand about Catholicism, I'm surprised to hear that Byzantine Rite priests actually receive a salary in addition to free room & board, etc.

Seminaries, modern or otherwise, prepare people to serve the Church.  There is nothing in the classes that suggests that the work is "well-paying" (which in many cases IT IS NOT), or even that it is exciting.  Challenging, yes.  Oh, btw: from my experience with Catholicism, most clergy receive something resembling a salary (even if it's not called such) - i.e. money above what is needed to pay expenses, money to spend on things one wants.

I'm not among those "striving" for the priesthood and what I cited is based on discussions I've had with people who went to Holy Cross Seminary.  I would agree in that Orthodox Seminaries are not in the Orthodox Tradition because the purpose of a modern priest is not necessarily to evangelize.  If not for the requirement that everyone in GOA's seminary had to learn Greek (which I know already), I may have pursued further studies at the Seminary.

The purpose of a modern priest is the same as one of an ancient priest - shepherd the flock, preach the gospel, etc.  The GOA seminary doesn't require that everyone learn Greek (only the people from the GOA, and that requirement has been bent or abolished for some people by their Hierarchs) - hence why they have Romanians, Serbians, Antiochians, and Bulgarians who are not required to take Greek.

My understanding is that a priest in the GOA makes over $100K a year or more depending on where he lives or how large is his family.  I don't know how the OCA or the Antiochians reimburse their priests, if such renumeration exists (e.g. most priests have lay vocations). 

The Antiochians and OCA do indeed pay their priests, as much as the parish is able - same as the GOA.  Granted, average Salary and Benefits are better in the GOA.  But that's beside the point - regardless of jurisdiction, bigger and richer (i.e. white-collar) parishes generally pay better, smaller and poorer (i.e. blue-collar) parishes pay worse.  If we were going into it for the money, we'd be (a) in the wrong profession, and (b) in it for the wrong reasons.  Thanks be to God that the vast majority are not in it for the money.

In the GOA, a lot of middle-aged men are striving to become priests - one doesn't worry about layoffs, losing health benefits or discrimination as long as one behaves and obeys the Hierarch. 

They're striving to become priests because they've been putting off the calling for so long, not because they're looking for a golden retirement package.  Get real.  I'm totally put off by your half-(*grrrr*) assertions, and quite frankly think that you need to back out of the argument until you get a clue or get enlightened on the subject.

The opposite to the past has occurred where priests are more educated in a lot of things except the faith.  As the original poster stated, other denominations have their own seminaries and Bible Schools while the Orthodox are recent newcomers.  In the GOA, Elder Ephraim and his followers established 17 monasteries in the USA and I don't believe that an ordained priest has come from any such monastery. 

One of my friends, a Traditional Orthodox, has told me that seminaries have their roots in the Western, Latin tradition and do not as such belong to Eastern Orthodoxy as the means of training Orthodox clergy.  He further commented that, in true Orthodoxy, a man is selected by the bishop who sees a special character in the man for priesthood.  According to my friend, traditional training of men for the priesthood in Orthodoxy is done at monasteries by monks and not at a separate seminary.   

Yikes - the assertion that traditionally priests are (a) selected by the bishop, and (b) trained at a monastery are not only wrong, but they're more "western" and "latin" than Seminaries!  "Traditionally" priests are selected by God and acknowledged by the local communities, not the Bishop.  "Traditionally" priests were trained by teachers - priests, bishops, and laymen - in the cities, not in the monasteries.  The reason why we didn't have seminaries is because "universities" (collections of professors in one place teaching a stable group of students over the course of a number of years, in order to confer a degree) didn't exist!  Once we started with universities, we started with Theological training and seminaries.
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2008, 07:36:28 PM »

Let me preface by saying that what I wrote was based on my discussions with others who told me that there was a GOA salary listing for all Metropolises such that a priest ministering a 20 family church was on the same financial footing as a priest ministering a 2,000 family church.  Such a unified salary scale would prevent priests from staying away from small churches , etc.  I realize that I needed to preface those comments except that I've accepted these ideas unchallenged for decades.  If someone was ordained a priest in 1960 vs. 2008, the salary range would have been different and adjusted accordingly per cost of living adjustments or anything else.

Wrong.  The average GOA priest does not make $100k, even when health insurance is included and housing/car allowances.   The parishes, while technically required to have their clergy on the Archdiocese benefits package (pension, health insurance, life insurance), often times don't - and that makes a vicious cycle (the parishes with younger priests often pick their own insurance to save money, leaving the older and less healthy priests on the plan, boosting the costs).  You should really update your info and have it come from a reputable source - I'm an employee of a parish, son of a priest, graduate of the school, besides the conversations I have with members of the Archdiocese Benefits Committee.

I know that the line item for salaries is $300K at one GOA church with 2 priests.  One priest makes at least $100K and the other is close.  Per the opening paragraph, I've heard that a salary scale exists for all the Metropolises and the Archdiocesan District and that the starting salary is quite high, if not six figures.

Also: when a parish provides a car, it is a work car, not a personal one, and the trips must be for work only (one must be able to prove this to the IRS if asked).  Even if they don't provide a car, but only a car allowance, one must be able to document the work usage of the car and one can only make enough money to cover the percentage of the expenses that mirrors the percentage of use associated with work.  It's a nice benefit, but priests often put 30,000+ miles on their cars (between house blessings, hospital visits, Metropolis events, etc.), so it is understandable.  Plus, one must remember that priests are technically Self-employed, and as such pay double the FICA taxes that everyone else does.

AFAIK, the IRS has not audited the finances of any GOA church.  The work car is essentially a personal car because the priest could say that he's "evangelizing" by traveling to the Wal-Mart.  Plus, I've seen some priests drive high end luxury cars anywhere they go.   Smiley

Seminaries, modern or otherwise, prepare people to serve the Church.  There is nothing in the classes that suggests that the work is "well-paying" (which in many cases IT IS NOT), or even that it is exciting.  Challenging, yes.  Oh, btw: from my experience with Catholicism, most clergy receive something resembling a salary (even if it's not called such) - i.e. money above what is needed to pay expenses, money to spend on things one wants.

Spending money is a new concept for Catholic priests who've always lived with free room and board.

The purpose of a modern priest is the same as one of an ancient priest - shepherd the flock, preach the gospel, etc.  The GOA seminary doesn't require that everyone learn Greek (only the people from the GOA, and that requirement has been bent or abolished for some people by their Hierarchs) - hence why they have Romanians, Serbians, Antiochians, and Bulgarians who are not required to take Greek.

I'm from the GOA and I can't exempt myself from Greek?  Thank you for clarifying that Greek isn't a requirement.   Smiley

The Antiochians and OCA do indeed pay their priests, as much as the parish is able - same as the GOA.  Granted, average Salary and Benefits are better in the GOA.  But that's beside the point - regardless of jurisdiction, bigger and richer (i.e. white-collar) parishes generally pay better, smaller and poorer (i.e. blue-collar) parishes pay worse.  If we were going into it for the money, we'd be (a) in the wrong profession, and (b) in it for the wrong reasons.  Thanks be to God that the vast majority are not in it for the money.

Some priests have financially enriched themselves from serving as priests - would that be an agreeable statement?  See opening paragraph, I was told that a salary scale was in place to prevent priests from not serving small parishes due to the perceived pay difference.  I'm not clear if the other jurisdictions use their own scale or some derivative of the GOA scale.

They're striving to become priests because they've been putting off the calling for so long, not because they're looking for a golden retirement package.  Get real.  I'm totally put off by your half-(*grrrr*) assertions, and quite frankly think that you need to back out of the argument until you get a clue or get enlightened on the subject.

I have an open mind and the *grrrr* represents cynicism and I appreciate the patience and discussion.  I've heard a lot of things from a lot of people and I like to challenge these things for validity's sake.
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2008, 08:12:17 PM »

I was recently shocked at how very low the pay for our priest is. They had a meeting on church finances and detailed where and how much we spend on EVERYTHING.

The lead "preaching pastor" of our last church made as much per MONTH as my current parish spends per YEAR on everything.
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2008, 10:32:21 PM »

Let me preface by saying that what I wrote was based on my discussions with others who told me that there was a GOA salary listing for all Metropolises such that a priest ministering a 20 family church was on the same financial footing as a priest ministering a 2,000 family church.  Such a unified salary scale would prevent priests from staying away from small churches , etc.  I realize that I needed to preface those comments except that I've accepted these ideas unchallenged for decades.  If someone was ordained a priest in 1960 vs. 2008, the salary range would have been different and adjusted accordingly per cost of living adjustments or anything else.

Let me preface MY comments by saying that this is obvisously a dialogue between you and Cleveland.  I fully expect him to add to my comments... Wink

With that being said...

What is listed in the UPR (uniform parish regulations) is NOT what happens in real life.  YES in the UPR there is a "scale" by which priest are to be paid.  NOOOOO this is not the reality.  Some priests are payed on scale, many are not.  This is not to say that they are poor, but it is a reality (in many cases).  I do not have nearly as much experience in this as Cleveland does, so I will allow him to make further comments...

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I know that the line item for salaries is $300K at one GOA church with 2 priests.  One priest makes at least $100K and the other is close.  Per the opening paragraph, I've heard that a salary scale exists for all the Metropolises and the Archdiocesan District and that the starting salary is quite high, if not six figures.

My first question would be:  Where are these priests?  In a major metropolitan area?  How high is the cost of living?  I know several priests who are in the NY area who make at least 6 figures...ALL OF WHICH goes to living costs.  Their actual salaries would total to around 30 k a year...give or take. 

Also, I could list a slew of priests who have been priests for more than 10 years and their salaries should be "on scale" around 50 k a year, but they are not even close to that.  How does that fit into your hypothesis....?  To me there seems to be a conflict....

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AFAIK, the IRS has not audited the finances of any GOA church.  The work car is essentially a personal car because the priest could say that he's "evangelizing" by traveling to the Wal-Mart.  Plus, I've seen some priests drive high end luxury cars anywhere they go.   

If that priest needs it, and if it really is to evangelize...who are we to judge.  If there is an abuse, then someone else will handle it = either the bishop or the parish council.  As for luxury cars...I would consider that a SEPARATE topic, which can even be its own thread if you wanted it to be. 

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Some priests have financially enriched themselves from serving as priests - would that be an agreeable statement?  See opening paragraph, I was told that a salary scale was in place to prevent priests from not serving small parishes due to the perceived pay difference.  I'm not clear if the other jurisdictions use their own scale or some derivative of the GOA scale.

Sure..some people who serve the church (such as myself) came from NOTHING.  It's fairly easy to go up from 0.  I am of course being polemical.  Yes, there are some priests who HAVE financially enriched themselves, however, what does that have to do with our conversation? 

The salary scale is in place and it does work for the reason you described.  I know a priest who is serving a 150 member parish, which is basically dying out, who has several masters degrees, working on a PHD and etc.  He is being paid WAY below the scale, because the parish doesn't have the means to pay him according to scale.  This is a reality. 



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I have an open mind and the *grrrr* represents cynicism and I appreciate the patience and discussion.  I've heard a lot of things from a lot of people and I like to challenge these things for validity's sake.

Validity can be a tricky thing.  I think that there are a fair number of people on this forum who have seen a lot of different scenarios in terms of "how things work" and etc.  Some stories are good, others are bad.  The interesting thing for me is that there is always a balance that happens.  Our treasure is in heaven, even if someone ELSE is bypassing the system....it doesn't matter.  We need to be focused on our own participation in the kingdom to come. 

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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2008, 10:44:24 PM »

I figured that the Metropolis pooled all contributions received from the churches and made up differences with the parishes such that priests were adequately compensated.  If the UPR is not absolute, I'm OK with it.

I appreciate Cleveland for enlightening me and correcting me along the way because I've had these ideas for a while with no tactful way of challenging them.   Smiley

In the example I cited, these priests are in a large Cathedral in a large metro area.  Going back to the $50K a year scenario, I suspected that the Metropolis made up the difference with revenues from other churches in the "fair share" program.

The Hierarch shows up in a Cadillac luxury car - what's good for His Emimence....  Possible new thread.

Finally, the treasure in heaven is the most important and the moldy UPR ought to be the less of our concerns.  I initiated this discussion in response to Orthodox Seminaries vs. Orthodox Tradition and basically equating today's Seminary to a college life - I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and I do not practice my vocation.  Same thing with the priesthood except that one hears the call from God to minister the Gospel; otherwise, I could go to my local college, obtain permission and preach the Gospel a few hours a day except that I couldn't perform sacraments and the like.
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2008, 11:00:18 PM »

I figured that the Metropolis pooled all contributions received from the churches and made up differences with the parishes such that priests were adequately compensated.  If the UPR is not absolute, I'm OK with it.

I had the same assumption when I started going into the GOA.  This is not the case (as far as I can discern), but for a lot more complicated reasons than one could imagine.  I would highly recommend that you look up the UPR.  You can find it on www.goarch.org 

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In the example I cited, these priests are in a large Cathedral in a large metro area.  Going back to the $50K a year scenario, I suspected that the Metropolis made up the difference with revenues from other churches in the "fair share" program.

Suspecting and knowing are two different things. Involvement of the metropolis in the salaries of priests is a much convoluted topic, that is DEFINITELY a different thread.  In general I would say = it's not our business.  If we think that our priest should be paid more then we need to work harder for that to happen.  if we think that we arn't getting the bang for the buck, then we need to handle that in our own church. 

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The Hierarch shows up in a Cadillac luxury car - what's good for His Emimence....  Possible new thread.

Definitely.  And one that has been handled before on this forum...fyi...

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Finally, the treasure in heaven is the most important and the moldy UPR ought to be the less of our concerns.  I initiated this discussion in response to Orthodox Seminaries vs. Orthodox Tradition and basically equating today's Seminary to a college life - I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and I do not practice my vocation.  Same thing with the priesthood except that one hears the call from God to minister the Gospel; otherwise, I could go to my local college, obtain permission and preach the Gospel a few hours a day except that I couldn't perform sacraments and the like.

That 'moldy' UPR was approved as soon as 2007...so not so moldy as one might think. 

Today's seminaries and college life?  Have you ever BEEN to a seminary?  Perhaps you have heard stories from ONE seminary? 

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« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 11:05:37 PM by serb1389 » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2008, 12:10:56 AM »

I don't want to stay too long on the pay subject, so...

1. The suggested scale is not in the UPR - it is published by the archdiocese. 

2. The "scale" isn't a hard scale, but rather a range with quite a bit of variability, to account for (a) the financial condition of the parish, and (b) cost of living in that area.  So a priest with 0 years experience can indeed be paid less in a small parish than in a big parish and still be "on scale."

3.  Parishes that can't afford scale can still get priests for the most part.  Some of the Metropolitans will only allow weekend visits for those parishes, however.  They want their priests to be full-time ministers, and not have to work at another profession (and they have very good reasons for that, reasons we could discuss in another thread).

4. Parishes are free to pay more than scale if they wish, and some parishes in big cities, and some parishes that have fewer priests than they really need (like a parish with 1,000 families and 1 priest), do indeed pay their priests more.  Also, generally, priests make more in the cities with higher cost of living (i.e. New York, Chicago, etc.).  This isn't 100% applicable, but is generally true.

5. Clergy renumeration (pay) is a touchy subject - one of the few that can pit shepherd against sheep.  The scale is in place to help the parishes and priests keep from having this as a major issue.

6. Clergy pay scales are used in "traditional" Orthodox Countries (like Greece), where the scale has multiple levels (depending on education level and time of service).
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2008, 10:27:04 PM »

I synonimate. 
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2008, 12:21:38 AM »

I synonimate. 
Huh  Word too big...  does not compute...
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2008, 06:24:04 AM »

That's what the spell check said too... Grin Wink   Shocked Shocked
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« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2008, 08:07:24 AM »

Quote: "One of my friends, a Traditional Orthodox, has told me that seminaries have their roots in the Western, Latin tradition and do not as such belong to Eastern Orthodoxy as the means of training Orthodox clergy.  He further commented that, in true Orthodoxy, a man is selected by the bishop who sees a special character in the man for priesthood.  According to my friend, traditional training of men for the priesthood in Orthodoxy is done at monasteries by monks and not at a separate seminary."

Tell your friend that there were Bishops in Russia  in the 18th and 19th centuries who were the admnistrators of Seminaries and Theological Academies who were more "Traditional" than he could ever even conceive of being...I am sure this goes for other Orthodox countries too. The "Western and Latin influence" charge is one that has been WAY overdone, and also one that has not been made with much forethought in a lot of circumstances. The Church can take ANY institution, no matter from what "Tradition," and make use of it in an Orthodox way...
Unfortunately many who harp on "Latin influence" do so in the almost heretical way of saying that "this or that Church is no longer Orthodox because of the Latin influence on this or that part of that Church," and, the ONLY way the Church spoken of can become once again "Orthodox," is to "listen to so-and-so Mr Traditionalist..." In other words, the Church of Christ that the gates of hell canont prevail against, WAS prevailed against, and we must sit down and gaze with awe into the eyes of the Traditionalists who claim to know all for the Church to "come back" from being "prevailed against."

On the other hand, possibly it would be better to be like your friend-I wish all I had to worry about was whether or not Seminaries were a Traditional institution or not!
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