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Author Topic: The Second meeting of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the West Coast 7/19/07  (Read 5100 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tamara
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« on: July 25, 2007, 02:08:31 AM »

Second Gathering of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the West Coast
July 19, 2007
San Francisco, California


The second meeting of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the West Coast was held on Thursday, July 19, 2007 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco.  In attendance were: Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (Greek), Bishop Joseph of Los Angeles and the West (Antiochian), Bishop Maxim of Western America (Serbian), and Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West (OCA).  “This gathering of the Hierarchs in San Francisco underlines our desire to have a unified voice of Orthodoxy in the western states,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos.
 
In an effort to convey the oneness of the Church, several items of importance were decided at the meeting, including:
   
Beginning in 2008, an annual joint celebration for the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, which will be attended by all four Hierarchs. This service will be held in the Los Angeles area.
   
The development of collaborative continuing education programs for both clergy and laity.
   
To work more closely with Orthodox Campus Fellowship (OCF) ensuring that every university campus within the region of the western states has an Orthodox presence.
   
Participate in a joint special commemoration of the 1,600th anniversary of the repose of St. John Chrysostom the weekend of November 9 – 10 in the Los Angeles area.
 
Also participating in the meeting were: V. Rev. Demetrios Earl Cantos (Chancellor, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco), V. Rev. Nikola Ceko (Dean, St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Cathedral – Los Angeles), V. Rev. Ian MacKinnon (Elevation of the Holy Cross OCA Church – Sacramento), Rev. Nicholas Borzghol (Priest, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church – San Francisco), Rev. Michael G. Pappas (Priest, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church – San Francisco), Subdeacon Michael Habib (Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles and the West).


http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/pastevents/2007/canon_bish_gather2.htm





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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 02:13:06 AM »

Second Meeting of the Orthodox Canonical Bishops on the Western Coast
San Francisco, July 19, 2007


"Behod how good and pleasant it is, when brothers dwell in unity!" (Psalm 113:1)

At the invitation of His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos, the Canonical Orthodox Bishops on the West Coast held their second meeting at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco, California on Thursday, July 19, 2007. The hierarchs met to build upon the work which they began at their first meeting held in Los Angeles and hosted by His Grace, Bishop Joseph and the Antiochian Diocese. Meeting with their Cathedral Deans, the hierarchs discussed a variety of matters, including the need to visit one another more frequently in various parishes throughout their dioceses, and to develop common educational and other Pan-Orthodox gatherings. They expressed their joyful greetings to one another and their wholehearted enthusiasm about the importance of expressing the riches of our Holy Orthodox Faith with one voice. The next meeting will take place in the Autumn, hosted by His Grace, Bishop Maxim and the Serbian Orthodox Western American Diocese, in conjunction with the Pan-Orthodox Commemoration of the 1,600th Anniversary of the repose of Saint John Chrysostom. The meeting concluded with the signing of this joint statement (see Communique in PDF) of their intentions and purpose:
[same one as listed in first post of this thread]

From the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of the west website:   http://www.westsrbdio.org/latest_news/Visits_summer2007/Bishop_Meeting_SF.html



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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 03:03:40 AM »

Just thought I would share the thoughts of a former Bishop of the Western United States.
Quote
Sender:       Orthodox Christianity <orthodox@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU>
Poster:       Bishop Tikhon <vladyka@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject:      Re: Second Meeting of the Orthodox Canonical Bishops on the
             Western Coast
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is this reinventing a broken wheel, or what?

"THE' Orthodox Canonical Bishops on the 'WESTERN' Coast"? Or maybe
there are: a West Coast, a Western Coast, a Westerly Coast (as well
as an East Coast, an Eastern Coast, and an Easterly Coast)?
Does this make us all "Poly-Coastal"?

I think using "Western" Coast instead of West Coast is not so much
original as it is self-vaunting.
As for "THE (sic)(rather than "Some") Orthodox Canonical Bishops on
the Western Coast", does that mean that Archbishop Kyril (Dmitriev)
is the only (active) Orthodox Canonical Bishop on the WEST Coast? Too
bad he wasn't there to lend a note of canonicity to the theological
odor!  (I'm joking, theology is above some groups' pay grade!)

Please note that the Reader Constantine-David Wright, in his
idiosyncratic translation of the words of Saint Athanasius (way down
at the bottom), draws attention to himself as translator, rather than
to the Holy words of the Saint, this way: "God became Human so that
human beings could become gods." No doubt he wants to preach on the
original text, rather than translate it as learned Christian
translators have done down the ages. Reader! "Thou shalt have no
other ************god*********before (in front of) Me!"  It was
surely not the intention of the Incarnation (according to our
Tradition) to increase the quantity of entities qualified and
eligible for worship, adoration, prayer and sacrifice, not to mention
wielding salvation and damnation!
How much more felicitous the customary translation, 'God became man
so that man might become God!"

It's nice when the brethren dwell together in unity, even "good and
pleasant". But that is as far as it goes. Is this bunch with the new
grandiose title going to DO anything BESIDES show themselves standing in unity?
What Gospel imperative related to caring for human beings motivates
their gathering? Are they founding a children's hospital? Opening a
soup kitchen? Surely someone wanting to generate some kind of  "joint
Orthodox" behavior could come up with something more helpful than
another grandiose commemoration of the past to which the present has
less and less spiritual resemblance?  ANOTHER Sunday of Orthodoxy
"Pan" Orthodox Liturgy?  American Orthodox Hierarchs have been
putting on that sort of show since Saint Tikhon's time. That sort of
show, the way I understand it, was meant to be originally the start
of something real, not an end in itself!  What atrocities, I wonder,
will der Herr Papst and o Kyrios Ecumenical Patriarch foist upon the
world in THEIR commemoration of the 1400th anniversary of the passing
of one of the few  Hierarchs to be an incumbent of the
Constantinopolitan Throne who was also Orthodox?

Sometimes the days are just too short!

But I see that Archbishop Stylianos is still on the ball, thank
God!  I wonder if any of "The" Orthodox Canonical Bishops on the
Western Coast" even KNOW that they (and their beloved Flocks) have
been characterized by der Herr Papst as "wounded" Church?
Oh well, when you've got the opportunity to participate in sham
prosecutions in "spiritual" courts, why should American higher clergy
bother with all the other stuff?
Commending all to Christ's love,
+Tikhon, The Retired Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the
West; The Orthodox Church in America
"I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I
girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from
the rising of the sun, and from the west, that  there is none else. I
FORM THE LIGHT AND CREATE DARKNESS: I MAKE PEACE, AND CREATE EVIL: I
THE LORD DO ALL THESE THINGS." (Isaiah XLV, 5-7
- Show quoted text -

You will notice his email address is included for you to send your hate mail to. It would be nice for these retired Bishop to just die like they are suppose to do.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 03:05:49 AM by arimethea » Logged

Joseph
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 07:11:35 AM »

Consistent at least.
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 10:39:54 AM »

Bishop Tikhon had his chance but he wasn't interested in Orthodox unity. From what I understand he lived in a delusional world of 19th century Russia while he was in charge. My bishop tried to meet with him when he first was assigned to the diocese of the west. Bishop Tikhon wanted nothing to do with him. There are rumors Bishop Tikhon has a mental disorder (a bipolar problem or depression). I would guess he has the former from his prolific writings on the internet and intelligence factor. No one should take what he says seriously. The man needs professional help. The former Greek bishop also was not interested in meeting with Bishop Joseph. But times and bishops have changed. All the new bishops seem to be aligned in purpose and they actually seem to enjoy one another's company!  Wink
They seem to stress their goal of speaking with one voice for Orthodoxy at each meeting so I am encouraged with what may eventually come of their desire to bring us together.
Orthodox laity across the United States are very heartened by what they see these bishops doing. What they are doing could be repeated across North America if there are bishops in place who see eye to eye.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 12:08:40 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 03:53:02 PM »

Thanks, Tamara, for posting this good news.  I wish this model would be followed in other parts of the country like here in the midwest.  I don't know if anyone over here has even considered having a similar meeting between Bishop +BASIL (Antiochian), Metropolitan +ISAIAH (Greek) and Archbishop +JOB (OCA).  If I left out anyone else for this area, please forgive me.  Who is the Serbian auxiliary bishop for this area?   

Anyways, SCOBA can't do all the work and more work needs to be done at regional levels so we can only pray that the work being done on the west(ern) coast bears fruit in other regions of the states!
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 05:32:22 PM »

Middle America has a disadvantage that the west coast doesn't. All the Bishop in the west are concentrated in either LA or San Fran and cover roughly the same area.
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 06:11:39 PM »

We've got 5 in Pittsburgh and environs.
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 07:30:43 PM »

OK.  Time for someone to play a little Devil's advocate (well, not really - I'm going to be way too balanced).

Even though I agree that the dear retired Bishop acts like an old fuddy-duddy, he has some great points.

Quote from: Bishop Tikhon
It's nice when the brethren dwell together in unity, even "good and
pleasant". But that is as far as it goes. Is this bunch with the new
grandiose title going to DO anything BESIDES show themselves standing in unity?
What Gospel imperative related to caring for human beings motivates
their gathering? Are they founding a children's hospital? Opening a
soup kitchen? Surely someone wanting to generate some kind of  "joint
Orthodox" behavior could come up with something more helpful than
another grandiose commemoration of the past to which the present has
less and less spiritual resemblance?  ANOTHER Sunday of Orthodoxy
"Pan" Orthodox Liturgy?  American Orthodox Hierarchs have been
putting on that sort of show since Saint Tikhon's time. That sort of
show, the way I understand it, was meant to be originally the start
of something real, not an end in itself!

How is the above incorrect?  Seriously - think about it.  While I agree that this doesn't mean "do nothing", he has a great point.  Unless something really DOES come from it, it is really just a bunch of warm fuzzies. 

Bishop Tikhon had his chance but he wasn't interested in Orthodox unity. From what I understand he lived in a delusional world of 19th century Russia while he was in charge. My bishop tried to meet with him when he first was assigned to the diocese of the west. Bishop Tikhon wanted nothing to do with him. There are rumors Bishop Tikhon has a mental disorder (a bipolar problem or depression). I would guess he has the former from his prolific writings on the internet and intelligence factor. No one should take what he says seriously. The man needs professional help. The former Greek bishop also was not interested in meeting with Bishop Joseph.

Don't you think you're being just a bit mean toward the dear retired Bishop?  Yes, he has problems of depression, is on medication and has admitted this in public.  Per the above, maybe he had serious legitimate disagreements with Bishop Joseph.  Maybe he didn't like his modus operandi?  I have to say, that I've heard several things that I've not agreed with about decisions Bp. Joseph has made.  Of course, I disagree with many things Bp. Tikhon did or his methods as well.  About the only (SCOBA) bishops that I've never heard a bad word about are Bps. Basil Essey and Seraphim of Ottawa.  But, they're all human and sinners like the rest of us.  I would say that I definitely don't think Bp. Joseph is a BAD bishop per se.

But times and bishops have changed. All the new bishops seem to be aligned in purpose and they actually seem to enjoy one another's company!  Wink
They seem to stress their goal of speaking with one voice for Orthodoxy at each meeting so I am encouraged with what may eventually come of their desire to bring us together.
Orthodox laity across the United States are very heartened by what they see these bishops doing. What they are doing could be repeated across North America if there are bishops in place who see eye to eye.

You know, I like these get togethers - I really do.  It is very encouraging to the faithful (especially us younger folk), stimulates optimism for unity, etc.  It makes us think that something towards unity actually COULD happen soon.  BUT, it is all just for show unless something does indeed happen.
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 09:00:35 PM »

Hi Elisha,

You know +BT's words might actually have merit if:

A] He himself had made some sort of effort toward Orthodoxy unity while he was in charge.
But since he refused to even meet with the other bishops his words come off like sour grapes
as most of his messages usually do.

B] The bishops had been meeting for years and nothing had come of it but photo ops and platitudes.
However, this was only the second meeting they have had this year. I don't know about what others may do but whenever I went on a second date with a nice guy, I didn't start making plans to buy a home with him and raise children.

I would say the bishops are still in the process of getting to know one another and since there is no blueprint for how things should happen they are kind of striking out into new territory here. In a sense they are pioneers. What other group of diocesan canonical bishops in North America have gotten this far along in any type of cooperation? In both meetings they have included the deans of their cathedrals in the planning process. I think the idea they have put forth to have joint continuing educational seminars for clergy and laity is a good place to start. It will also give the clergy and laity a chance to plan educational events together. But I think that even the very fact that they serve Divine Liturgy together on more than one occasion in less than six months is a very good way to cement their unity. The Holy Spirit can work through their prayers. By praying together they are setting an example for their flock to emulate.

As for my being mean to the retired bishop, I was actually trying to spare him any hate mail by mentioning his condition. Any words that I may have written above are nothing in comparison to the words I have seen him use to slice people to death on the Indiana List. He even slandered his own auxiliary. I was shocked. But a mental condition should allow us all to feel pity for him instead of contempt. He needs help and he is obviously not getting it.
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 09:48:43 PM »

Hi Elisha,

You know +BT's words might actually have merit if:

A] He himself had made some sort of effort toward Orthodoxy unity while he was in charge.
But since he refused to even meet with the other bishops his words come off like sour grapes
as most of his messages usually do.

B] The bishops had been meeting for years and nothing had come of it but photo ops and platitudes.
However, this was only the second meeting they have had this year. I don't know about what others may do but whenever I went on a second date with a nice guy, I didn't start making plans to buy a home with him and raise children.

I would say the bishops are still in the process of getting to know one another and since there is no blueprint for how things should happen they are kind of striking out into new territory here. In a sense they are pioneers. What other group of diocesan canonical bishops in North America have gotten this far along in any type of cooperation? In both meetings they have included the deans of their cathedrals in the planning process. I think the idea they have put forth to have joint continuing educational seminars for clergy and laity is a good place to start. It will also give the clergy and laity a chance to plan educational events together. But I think that even the very fact that they serve Divine Liturgy together on more than one occasion in less than six months is a very good way to cement their unity. The Holy Spirit can work through their prayers. By praying together they are setting an example for their flock to emulate.
+BT's words may indeed have merit...if nothing really comes.  According to +BT's post above and your own  point b), nothing has...yet.  I don't think we can say anything more than "wait and see", pray and be optimistic about the situation.

As for my being mean to the retired bishop, I was actually trying to spare him any hate mail by mentioning his condition. Any words that I may have written above are nothing in comparison to the words I have seen him use to slice people to death on the Indiana List. He even slandered his own auxiliary. I was shocked. But a mental condition should allow us all to feel pity for him instead of contempt. He needs help and he is obviously not getting it.
What he needs to do first is get away from the keyboard....obviously his worst vice.  How do you know he isn't getting help and just needs to get away from message boards?

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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 11:34:52 PM »

I don't think anyone has crossed a line yet (I may be wrong), but let us tread lightly when speaking about individuals on this forum, especially current and retired bishops.  Thank you for your consideration!
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 12:02:02 AM »

+BT's words may indeed have merit...if nothing really comes.  According to +BT's post above and your own  point b), nothing has...yet.  I don't think we can say anything more than "wait and see", pray and be optimistic about the situation.
What he needs to do first is get away from the keyboard....obviously his worst vice.  How do you know he isn't getting help and just needs to get away from message boards?

Sorry, I don't really listen to people who are not willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. He never made an effort on the unity front so he should keep his opinions to himself. Nothing has happened yet because they have only just begun.

Elisha, his writings on the Indiana List are enough to give anyone pause to the state of his mental health. He slandered Bishop Benjamin for no reason on that List. If he were in his right mind why would he do that?
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 05:40:59 AM »

Quote
Elisha, his writings on the Indiana List are enough to give anyone pause to the state of his mental health. He slandered Bishop Benjamin for no reason on that List. If he were in his right mind why would he do that?

This is one of the reasons I find Christian history (and any history, really) so interesting! Not everyone is worthy of being glorified in rosy language in hagiographical literature. Heck, even most that are considered worthy did some silly or crazy things. To you, maybe he's an embarrassment, disappointment, someone who needs help (I have bipolar as well... is why I'm so crazy  Tongue), or something like that. To me, he makes things real. Bp. Tikhon might be a bit of a scandal, but then most interesting bishops were. Someone like St. Nektarios of Aegina was the exception, not the rule (and even he did controversial things). John Chrysostom, Maximos the Confessor, Athanasius... I'd say that most famous saints that you could name either did something to buck the system, stood against many in the Church of their time, alienated people, or did some pretty crazy things.
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 08:46:34 AM »

If one were to include all the Bishops,for Mid-America, we would have to include His Grace, The Most Reverend Dmitri Archbishop of Dallas and the South Exarch of Mexico and His Grace Metropolitan Christopher (Kovacevich) [SOC],  as their Dioceses also coexists other SCOBA Bishops with Their Graces Metropoiltan Isiah [GOA], Metropolitan Christopher (Kovacevich) [SOC],  and Bishop BASIL (Essey) [AOC]in Texas.

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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2007, 09:45:54 AM »

It would be nice for these retired Bishop to just die like they are suppose to do.

Arimethea:  I hope you don't mean this literally!  Poor Bishop Tikhon may have slipped a cog but he or rather his position still should respected.  It's no use hashing over what he should have done or didn't do, but at least we can pray for his healing and mental peace.
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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2007, 10:48:43 AM »

Arimethea:  I hope you don't mean this literally!  Poor Bishop Tikhon may have slipped a cog but he or rather his position still should respected.  It's no use hashing over what he should have done or didn't do, but at least we can pray for his healing and mental peace.
There are two ways a Bishop retires in the Orthodox Church, He passes away or he goes to a monastery and takes the Great Schema and therefore is dead unto the world. Either way he goes away and we don't hear from them again.
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« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2007, 11:04:03 AM »

If one were to include all the Bishops,for Mid-America, we would have to include His Grace, The Most Reverend Dmitri Archbishop of Dallas and the South Exarch of Mexico and His Grace Metropolitan Christopher (Kovacevich) [SOC],  as their Dioceses also coexists other SCOBA Bishops with Their Graces Metropoiltan Isiah [GOA], Metropolitan Christopher (Kovacevich) [SOC],  and Bishop BASIL (Essey) [AOC]in Texas.

Thomas
Don't forget Bishop Job who overlaps both Bishop Basil's and and Metropolitan Christopher's. The same can be said for Metropolitan Iakovous. Archbishop Dmitri's area cover such a huge area that he would overlap with not only Bishops Basil, Christopher and Iakovous but also Mark and Antoun of the Antiochians and Alexis and Nicholas of the Greeks.

There is cooperation on some of these levels that are not seen by the average person but nothing like that is happening on the west coast. What you have that is different is that Bishop Joseph is the senior hierarch in the area and was very welcoming to all three of the new Bishops when they came into the area. I also think a lot of credit has to be given to Metropolitan Gerasimos since he is part of a minority in the Greek Archdiocese hierarchy that has a greater vision for what America can be.
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2007, 11:05:04 AM »

This is one of the reasons I find Christian history (and any history, really) so interesting! Not everyone is worthy of being glorified in rosy language in hagiographical literature. Heck, even most that are considered worthy did some silly or crazy things. To you, maybe he's an embarrassment, disappointment, someone who needs help (I have bipolar as well... is why I'm so crazy  Tongue), or something like that. To me, he makes things real. Bp. Tikhon might be a bit of a scandal, but then most interesting bishops were. Someone like St. Nektarios of Aegina was the exception, not the rule (and even he did controversial things). John Chrysostom, Maximos the Confessor, Athanasius... I'd say that most famous saints that you could name either did something to buck the system, stood against many in the Church of their time, alienated people, or did some pretty crazy things.

Asteriktos,

You may be bipolar (my brother-in-law is also bipolar) but from the posts I have read you do not seem to be mean-spirited.  The biography I read about St. Nektarios indicated he was never mean, nor did he slander others. In fact he was the one slandered. One can buck the system or exhort without slandering everyone around you. I just wish someone would take care of Bp. Tikhon. If he is bipolar meds are not enough. My brother-in-law did not make any real progress until he was put into group therapy and met with his own therapist regularly. Even so, he still has his periods of depression. Being bipolar is quite a cross to bear.
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2007, 11:17:03 AM »

(Exposing my nerdiness here) One of the guys I played AD&D with in high school was bipolar--boy was that fun. Good guy, but it was hard to trust him. The mood swings he'd have--some days he'd invite us over for a campaign, and as soon as we got there he'd tell us to get the f*** out of his house. Then when we got home he'd have left a message on our machine apologizing. He went through several medications before his doctors found one that worked most of the time. Haven't seen him since high school, but I hope he turned out all right. Must be a rough life.
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« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2007, 11:38:36 AM »

(Exposing my nerdiness here) One of the guys I played AD&D with in high school was bipolar--boy was that fun. Good guy, but it was hard to trust him. The mood swings he'd have--some days he'd invite us over for a campaign, and as soon as we got there he'd tell us to get the f*** out of his house. Then when we got home he'd have left a message on our machine apologizing. He went through several medications before his doctors found one that worked most of the time. Haven't seen him since high school, but I hope he turned out all right. Must be a rough life.

Many bipolar folks test at the genius level too. My brother-in-law would skip classes and still get A's on his tests while in high school. He could be found in the school library devouring as many books as he could get his hands on. When he is up is very charismatic and persuasive. He has endless energy like a superman. But when he is down it is horrible. My husband had to dispose of a gun he had purchased during one of his down periods. Maybe someday there will be better options than the horrible meds we have now so those with bipolar can live a life without so many ups and downs.
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2007, 11:41:02 AM »

I'd be wonderful. It was hard enough having a friend with the illness; it would be worse living with him. But to be married to a bipolar person--wow.

Fortunately, brain researchers are giving more and more attention to the connexions between chemical balance and emotions. That's very good reason to have hope.
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2007, 11:57:47 AM »

There is cooperation on some of these levels that are not seen by the average person but nothing like that is happening on the west coast. What you have that is different is that Bishop Joseph is the senior hierarch in the area and was very welcoming to all three of the new Bishops when they came into the area. I also think a lot of credit has to be given to Metropolitan Gerasimos since he is part of a minority in the Greek Archdiocese hierarchy that has a greater vision for what America can be.

I don't know if he's a minority per se, but I know he hasn't been put off by his Christian brethren.  I know for one that Metropolitan +MAXIMOS liked interacting with his fellow hierarchs (and is particularly close to +NICHOLAS of the Carpatho-Rus), but he was furious when Metro +PHILIP wanted to put yet another bishop in Pittsburgh (it was largely due to his protest that the Antiochian see was officially put in Oakland, then in WV).  From his perspective (which I heard firsthand), it was hypocritical of +PHILIP (who talks about unity nonstop, and has a tendency of being accusatory towards his brethren) to speak of a need for greater unity while trying to exacerbate the problem of overlapping diocese.

When some of the other bishops do things like this, it definitely sends the signal to bishops like mine that they're double-speaking (or power hungry).
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2007, 12:05:12 PM »


There is cooperation on some of these levels that are not seen by the average person but nothing like that is happening on the west coast. What you have that is different is that Bishop Joseph is the senior hierarch in the area and was very welcoming to all three of the new Bishops when they came into the area. I also think a lot of credit has to be given to Metropolitan Gerasimos since he is part of a minority in the Greek Archdiocese hierarchy that has a greater vision for what America can be.

It will be interesting to see how they will encourage their clergy and laity to begin to cooperate with one another. Having combined services is a place to start but I think the combined educational seminars is a great idea. I hope it comes to pass.
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2007, 12:42:50 PM »

I don't know if he's a minority per se, but I know he hasn't been put off by his Christian brethren.  I know for one that Metropolitan +MAXIMOS liked interacting with his fellow hierarchs (and is particularly close to +NICHOLAS of the Carpatho-Rus), but he was furious when Metro +PHILIP wanted to put yet another bishop in Pittsburgh (it was largely due to his protest that the Antiochian see was officially put in Oakland, then in WV).  From his perspective (which I heard firsthand), it was hypocritical of +PHILIP (who talks about unity nonstop, and has a tendency of being accusatory towards his brethren) to speak of a need for greater unity while trying to exacerbate the problem of overlapping diocese.

When some of the other bishops do things like this, it definitely sends the signal to bishops like mine that they're double-speaking (or power hungry).

Thanks for putting it succinctly, cleveland.  Maybe +BT felt the same way - hence his animosity.  I can only speculate.  I do know that Bp. Joseph has done a few things in the past that resemble the above, but probably not close to the degree that +PHILLIP has.

I had not heard what cleveland had (but I'm not out east), but I'm not surprised.  The more I hear of things like this though, the more I'm convinced of the statement +JOSEPH of the Bulgarian (not OCA) Diocese said regarding unity.  He said that all of the hierarchs of his generation need to pass on before we make significant progress towards unity.
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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2007, 01:01:44 PM »

I don't know if he's a minority per se, but I know he hasn't been put off by his Christian brethren.  I know for one that Metropolitan +MAXIMOS liked interacting with his fellow hierarchs (and is particularly close to +NICHOLAS of the Carpatho-Rus), but he was furious when Metro +PHILIP wanted to put yet another bishop in Pittsburgh (it was largely due to his protest that the Antiochian see was officially put in Oakland, then in WV).  From his perspective (which I heard firsthand), it was hypocritical of +PHILIP (who talks about unity nonstop, and has a tendency of being accusatory towards his brethren) to speak of a need for greater unity while trying to exacerbate the problem of overlapping diocese.

When some of the other bishops do things like this, it definitely sends the signal to bishops like mine that they're double-speaking (or power hungry).

Perhaps unity will start on the west coast and move east. All the bishops out here do not seem to have the history that the ones in the east have with one another. These men out here are younger and more open to the possiblities. They are the new generation of our bishops. Anyway, when we finally do unify there will be plenty of work for all of our bishops. In other words, we will need them all and possibly more to pastor the flocks.
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« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2007, 02:26:28 PM »

Perhaps unity will start on the west coast and move east. All the bishops out here do not seem to have the history that the ones in the east have with one another. These men out here are younger and more open to the possiblities. They are the new generation of our bishops. Anyway, when we finally do unify there will be plenty of work for all of our bishops. In other words, we will need them all and possibly more to pastor the flocks.

True...but getting them all to agree to re-gerry...uhh...redrawn dioceses will be the hard part.
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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2007, 12:05:56 PM »

True...but getting them all to agree to re-gerry...uhh...redrawn dioceses will be the hard part.

I have a feeling that redrawing the dioceses will happen near the end of our consolidation. Having joint regional retreats, youth camps, hierarchial services, conferences, seminars, and charity work etc. are a great places to start. Our women's retreat is Antiochian in name only. We welcome all including those who are not Orthodox. The OCA monastery of St. John's brings their bookstore and many of our speakers have been from the OCA. It has been an almost seamless process to work with the OCA monks, clergy and laity. And with Sayidna's encouragement and blessing it has been a joy to plan it. Kind of like a dream come true for me. Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2007, 02:16:47 PM »

I have a feeling that redrawing the dioceses will happen near the end of our consolidation. Having joint regional retreats, youth camps, hierarchial services, conferences, seminars, and charity work etc. are a great places to start. Our women's retreat is Antiochian in name only. We welcome all including those who are not Orthodox. The OCA monastery of St. John's brings their bookstore and many of our speakers have been from the OCA. It has been an almost seamless process to work with the OCA monks, clergy and laity. And with Sayidna's encouragement and blessing it has been a joy to plan it. Kind of like a dream come true for me. Smiley

Definitely, but I'm....reserved about it....It's not going to happen overnight and actual change (redrawing, etc.) will be a hard a difficult step, as so many parishes and their relationships with their hierarch will be affected.
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2007, 11:38:07 AM »

Definitely, but I'm....reserved about it....It's not going to happen overnight and actual change (redrawing, etc.) will be a hard a difficult step, as so many parishes and their relationships with their hierarch will be affected.

I think one of the reasons we do not have Orthodox unity is because many are not willing to make the sacrifice you mentioned. I agree relationships will be affected. If unity were to happen today most likely Met. GERASIMOS would become my bishop and my relationship with Bishop JOSEPH would be severed. Unity will not be painless for any of us.
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« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2007, 12:51:24 PM »

I think one of the reasons we do not have Orthodox unity is because many are not willing to make the sacrifice you mentioned. I agree relationships will be affected. If unity were to happen today most likely Met. GERASIMOS would become my bishop and my relationship with Bishop JOSEPH would be severed. Unity will not be painless for any of us.

Severed?  I would say marginalized would be better.  I doubt His Grace would suddenly not allow you to contact him for anything - just say that +GERASIMOS would be your contact for ecclesiastical matters.

While this probably belongs more in the JP thread, I was talking with Vincent Rossi at a BBQ yesterday evening (btw, Alyson & Linda pooped out on us and didn't stay - the wimps wanted to brave potential traffic driving back down to San Jose) about the JP parishes being released.  He doesn't think the parishes will accept it - they just don't like the AOA or GOA at all and won't accept the decision.  While I hope he's wrong, the faithful can be stubborn if they are uncomfortable.  I pray for a peaceful resolution in this.
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« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2007, 01:43:23 PM »

I think one of the reasons we do not have Orthodox unity is because many are not willing to make the sacrifice you mentioned. I agree relationships will be affected. If unity were to happen today most likely Met. GERASIMOS would become my bishop and my relationship with Bishop JOSEPH would be severed. Unity will not be painless for any of us.

In all likelihood, our dioceses will be smaller with Bishops reassigned throughout the unified jurisdiction. When The Two Syrian Orthodox Churches became one the bishops were given other areas to hold they lost some and gained some parishes they were responsible for. Places like New York City with its plethera of "canonical"/SCOBA Bishops (I think its 6-8) will of course be reassigned to smaller dioceses and perhaps actually be able to do visitations like they are supposed to and get to know their flock better.

Thomas
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« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2007, 01:48:59 PM »

In all likelihood, our dioceses will be smaller with Bishops reassigned throughout the unified jurisdiction. When The Two Syrian Orthodox Churches became one the bishops were given other areas to hold they lost some and gained some parishes they were responsible for. Places like New York City with its plethera of "canonical"/SCOBA Bishops (I think its 6-8) will of course be reassigned to smaller dioceses and perhaps actually be able to do visitations like they are supposed to and get to know their flock better.

Thomas

I don't know how many parishes you have per diocese in the OCA, or what the situation is in the AOA or SOC or whatever, but ISTM that the proportions will actually stay about the same (from the GOA perspective), which is 1 bishop for about 50-60 parishes.  The physical area of the diocese will shrink, but the number of parishes per bishop will remain about the same.
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« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2007, 02:20:28 PM »

I don't know how many parishes you have per diocese in the OCA, or what the situation is in the AOA or SOC or whatever, but ISTM that the proportions will actually stay about the same (from the GOA perspective), which is 1 bishop for about 50-60 parishes.  The physical area of the diocese will shrink, but the number of parishes per bishop will remain about the same.

I stand corrected.  By my count, if each of the current ruling and auxiliary bishops were to be assigned a diocese, and the parishes divided evenly, then there would be a 40-1 parish-bishop ratio.  If one leaves the auxiliaries out (because, let's face it, they'll probably be needed for other jobs - secretariat of the synod, head of missions/charity (OCMC and IOCC) and whatnot) then its a 46-1 ratio.
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« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2007, 03:16:53 PM »

Severed?  I would say marginalized would be better.  I doubt His Grace would suddenly not allow you to contact him for anything - just say that +GERASIMOS would be your contact for ecclesiastical matters.

While this probably belongs more in the JP thread, I was talking with Vincent Rossi at a BBQ yesterday evening (btw, Alyson & Linda pooped out on us and didn't stay - the wimps wanted to brave potential traffic driving back down to San Jose) about the JP parishes being released.  He doesn't think the parishes will accept it - they just don't like the AOA or GOA at all and won't accept the decision.  While I hope he's wrong, the faithful can be stubborn if they are uncomfortable.  I pray for a peaceful resolution in this.

Well, what I meant is we would no longer work together and he would no longer be my spiritual father. Met. Gerasimos would take on that role.

The faithful of the JP will need to listen to the authority of the bishops. If the JP bishops tell them there will no longer be a jurisdiction in America they will have to choose one of the 15 varieties we have on this continent. Maybe they could join the ROCOR. In any event, they need to accept the fact we are not Protestants and submit themselves to a bishop's authority.
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« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2007, 03:19:15 PM »

In all likelihood, our dioceses will be smaller with Bishops reassigned throughout the unified jurisdiction. When The Two Syrian Orthodox Churches became one the bishops were given other areas to hold they lost some and gained some parishes they were responsible for. Places like New York City with its plethera of "canonical"/SCOBA Bishops (I think its 6-8) will of course be reassigned to smaller dioceses and perhaps actually be able to do visitations like they are supposed to and get to know their flock better.

Thomas

The dioceses would hopefully be smaller. But it is hard to say how it will happen.
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« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2007, 03:22:10 PM »

I don't know how many parishes you have per diocese in the OCA, or what the situation is in the AOA or SOC or whatever, but ISTM that the proportions will actually stay about the same (from the GOA perspective), which is 1 bishop for about 50-60 parishes.  The physical area of the diocese will shrink, but the number of parishes per bishop will remain about the same.

Cleveland,

You may be right. Hopefully we could reduce the size of the dioceses to no more than 40 parishes so the bishop would actually be able to make yearly pairsh visits and still have time for synodal meetings, conferences etc.
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« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2007, 04:41:06 PM »

Cleveland,

You may be right. Hopefully we could reduce the size of the dioceses to no more than 40 parishes so the bishop would actually be able to make yearly pairsh visits and still have time for synodal meetings, conferences etc.

There would probably be a lot of variance in the diocesan sizes.  Theoretically, we would need to have regional metropolitan synods (there's no sense in having 40 bishops sit on one synod), and then 1-2 bishops plus the Metropolitans would be on the major synod (assuming a Greek-style system where the primate is an Archbishop).  So the diocese (i.e. Bishop) could be a bit smaller (35-45 parishes), and the Metropolises would be larger (55-60, with one Auxiliary helping the Metropolitan).

Thus, having a number of Metropolitan regions (New England + Atlantic (NYC), the South (HOU), PA/OH (PIT/PHI), Midwest (CHI), West + HI and AK (SF)), you would have a synod of about 10-15 bishops.
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