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Author Topic: Orthodox 'Opus Dei', 'Knights of Columbus'??  (Read 7411 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: August 08, 2007, 12:00:28 AM »

 The Knights of Columbus are celebrating thier 125th (I think) anniversary and it got me wondering if Eastern Orthodoxy has an international or just national organization like them or Opus Dei?
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 12:22:45 AM »

Many of the Orthodox parishes in America started off as benevolence societies. This was the popular thing to do around the turn of the Century when there were not enough priest to go around.

Amongst the the Arabs you would see groups such as the Knights of St. George which eventually was turned into the SOYO movement during the 50's. The Antiochian Archdiocese formed a group called the Order of St. Ignatius which is mainly a philanthropic group that raises money and in reality funds over half of the Archdiocese budget each year. Their website is http://www.antiochian.org/order

The Greek Archdiocese has the Archons which can trace their roots back to the Roman Empire. The modern era of the Archons goes back to the 1960's. It is strictly a lay group and one is chosen by the Patriarch of Constantinople to join. Their website is http://www.archons.org/

The OCA has a number of groups who may fall into the groups you are asking about. The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians (FOCA) may be one of interest to look at since they have been around in one form or another since the 1920's. Their website is http://www.orthodoxfellowship.org/
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 12:25:44 AM »

The Armenians have something called "The Knights of Vartan."  My grandpa was a member.  I think it was created to make up for the fact that a devout Armenian Orthodox is not supposed to belong to the Masons.
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 12:37:47 AM »

Also:
Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, the official philanthropic organization of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, established in November 1931.
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 12:44:38 AM »

What about Order of St. Andrew (GOA), Order of St. Ignatius (AOA) and Order of St. Tikhon (OCA) (if I have all these right)?  (Is there an order of St. Sava for the Serbs?) 
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 01:16:51 AM »

The GO Order of Saint Andrew is the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 01:25:28 AM »

The GO Order of Saint Andrew is the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.



OK.  Thought they might have been the same thing.
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 12:16:59 AM »

I think an organization that's pan-Orthodox could perhaps be an impetus for greater unity. It seems that things get done faster when the laity take the helm.
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 01:57:17 AM »

I think an organization that's pan-Orthodox could perhaps be an impetus for greater unity. It seems that things get done faster when the laity take the helm.

What a great idea! Today I forming the "Order of St. Raphael of Brooklyn." Please send me $1000 to help foster greater unity amongst Orthodox in the Americas. You will get a Blue Ribbon with a medallion and a lapel pin to show that you support unity.
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2007, 02:06:12 PM »

What about Order of St. Andrew (GOA), Order of St. Ignatius (AOA) and Order of St. Tikhon (OCA) (if I have all these right)?  (Is there an order of St. Sava for the Serbs?) 

I know that there is an award of St. Sava...in fact I think the official award is from the Order of St. Sava, or according to the Order of St. Sava...

We just have churches...that's about the same as an order anyway... Wink Grin Tongue 

What about AHEPA...they also are something along the lines of the Knights...

But none of these groups are international, as the orginal question asked.  They are only the US.  Except for the Serbian one...that exists in all Serbian churches throughout the world...
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2007, 02:53:54 PM »

I'm glad these orders and associations are not widespread in Orthodoxy. When I was a Catholic I found them annoying, although I was in the KofC and like their charitable work.
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2007, 03:01:40 PM »

I'd think that something on the level of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul would do quite a bit for helping Orthodoxy be more visible and respected.
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2007, 03:22:41 PM »

The Knights of Columbus are celebrating thier 125th (I think) anniversary and it got me wondering if Eastern Orthodoxy has an international or just national organization like them or Opus Dei?

actually in the process of forming something called the "STOP" Coalition.. meaning Stop Terrorizing Orthodox christian Peoples" , it's based in D.C.
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2007, 04:26:23 PM »

That would be a little more like the KoC than the benevolence societies listed. Back when my grandfather was young, the KoC was active in opposition to the KKK (particularly in North Texas/Southern Oklahoma.) That extended to physical protection of Catholics and Catholic churches. I can't think off hand of anything like that in the diaspora, though some organizations (like that of the Gonfalon bearers in Russia) might be similar. For sure, we have nothing quite like Opus Dei - though the St. Symeon the New Theologian centre near Destin,FL could be seen in a similar relation.
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2007, 04:54:55 PM »

KoC are not a christian organization and is not 'officially' recognised by the RCC.

It may be considered one since its members have some type of connection with the RCC.

KoC has a sad past which I wil not get into here. I will state that the organization in its early days was full of bigot and racists. Not that the 'organization' persay was racist. But any organization is known by its memebers particularly to outsiders.

Bigots and racists and thier sympathizers are not dealing with God. God does not approve of but abhors this sick behavior.

To many American born Africans the KoC is a sort of KKK without the rotten teeth and red neck. This is strictly an opinion (a sense that comes from experience) since the KoC has no record of any consequence that would paint them as a 'racist organization'.

I have had good and bad experiences with people connected to this organization and I have no personal problem with them. I have had these same good and bad experiences with orthodox christians

I generally reject ALL secret organizations and societies such as fraternities, sororities, lodges, and the like. The 4H clud, boyscouts, boys clubs, ymca etc are all very good organization whos ultimate purpose is open and transparent. A friend asked me while I was in college to "pledge" Alpha....I said "tell me what the purpose of the Alphas are and why and I will". I have not pledged yet.

I donot put down other people who find something important about these types of secret groups. To each his own.

But...

I willl say that most of these groups require each member to adhere to some secret oath and or commitment. As Orthodox christians our oath is already finished and it is to beleive that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and such it is not to challenged by any other oath anfd our commitment is to the true faith in God in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 05:42:43 PM »

The Knights of Columbus are certainly officially recognized by the Catholic Church.  Only practicing Catholics may join. The Supreme Chaplain is always a bishop and they have a representative in Rome.  They have received numerous Papal comendations.  I dont think a lay organization gets more officially recognized than the KofC.

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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 07:32:58 PM »

Anastasios

I have to agree with you.  I found these organizations when I was Catholic to be highly annoying as well.  When I first joined the Catholic church, I hung with the Legion of Mary for a few sessions.  The sessions were so "formal", it was so boring.  But...I learned to make rosaries.

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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 08:59:44 PM »

I generally reject ALL secret organizations and societies such as fraternities, sororities, lodges, and the like. The 4H clud, boyscouts, boys clubs, ymca etc are all very good organization whos ultimate purpose is open and transparent. A friend asked me while I was in college to "pledge" Alpha....I said "tell me what the purpose of the Alphas are and why and I will". I have not pledged yet.

I donot put down other people who find something important about these types of secret groups. To each his own.

But...

I willl say that most of these groups require each member to adhere to some secret oath and or commitment. As Orthodox christians our oath is already finished and it is to beleive that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and such it is not to challenged by any other oath anfd our commitment is to the true faith in God in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.
Was not the Church at one time a secret society that worked very hard to keep her sacred rites invisible to the general public?
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 09:38:53 PM »

Was not the Church at one time a secret society that worked very hard to keep her sacred rites invisible to the general public?

It was only secret when it needed to be - i.e. during times of persecution.  When it could be open (before persecution and after) it was - more public.  Meanwhile, some of these societies (which could be open because of our free nation) chose to remain secretive, for reasons that may be historical, or may be sinister, or neither.
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 10:04:29 PM »

I like all the lay orders. I think they have been a treasure for the Church and its mission. True empowerment for the laity to do the Lord's work. I'm in the process of joining the KoC right now (I'm joining the Harvard council; it's full of guys my age). When I was younger, I wanted to join the Hospitallers, but membership is only by invitation.
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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2007, 01:41:46 AM »

What a great idea! Today I forming the "Order of St. Raphael of Brooklyn." Please send me $1000 to help foster greater unity amongst Orthodox in the Americas. You will get a Blue Ribbon with a medallion and a lapel pin to show that you support unity.
Great point. Unfortunately, there will never be unity among Orthodox Christians.

I generally reject ALL secret organizations and societies such as fraternities, sororities, lodges, and the like.
I donot put down other people who find something important about these types of secret groups. To each his own.
Fr. Amde,
 I like the idea of a grass roots organization whose mission is to look out for the poor while simultaneously spreading the Orthodox message and calling for unity among us all. I don't see any particular need for said organization to be 'secret' per se, except when it becomes prudent to be secret (like working in Sa'udi Arabia just as an example). I also feel that said organization can be open to both men and women.
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2007, 06:18:59 AM »

I don't think it's a good idea to form subgroups and societies within the Church. I even have a problem with the existence of the Archons as a subgroup of the Church. The double danger I espy is that the "group" or "society" becomes seen as a "sub-Church" (which is a problem in itself ecclesiastically), and that this "sub-Church" comes to be seen as the embodiment of a particular virtue which the rest of the Church need not aspire to themselves. One of the big problems I have with some Greek Orthodox Parishes here in Australia is that their "Philoptochos" Societies are only open to women, modelled after the US practice. It's as though men are not required to be directly charitable themselves, or provide support to the poor themselves. The only contribution the men seem to make is to turn the souvlaki at the annual Philoptochos fundraiser (because, as we all know, women are incapable of cooking on a BBQ Roll Eyes). Perhaps if the men in the Parish were made to visit the sick or homebound once in a while, or do some repairs a widow's house, or put some care packages together to send to victims of disasters or wars, they might just have the chance to put Orthodoxy into practice.
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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2007, 06:27:40 AM »

I don't think it's a good idea to form subgroups and societies within the Church. I even have a problem with the existence of the Archons as a subgroup of the Church. The double danger I espy is that the "group" or "society" becomes seen as a "sub-Church" (which is a problem in itself ecclesiastically), and that this "sub-Church" comes to be seen as the embodiment of a particular virtue which the rest of the Church need not aspire to themselves.

Well, I don't know how much of a "church" subgroup they are: all the titles are Roman political ones, and the men hold no ecclesiastical office.  But you're right - sometimes they are seen (by themselves or others) as being more or less in the Church than the rest of us.

One of the big problems I have with some Greek Orthodox Parishes here in Australia is that their "Philoptochos" Societies are only open to women, modelled after the US practice. It's as though men are not required to be directly charitable themselves, or provide support to the poor themselves. The only contribution the men seem to make is to turn the souvlaki at the annual Philoptochos fundraiser (because, as we all know, women are incapable of cooking on a BBQ Roll Eyes). Perhaps if the men in the Parish were made to visit the sick or homebound once in a while, or do some repairs a widow's house, or put some care packages together to send to victims of disasters or wars, they might just have the chance to put Orthodoxy into practice. 

I also hate this practice.  Of course, in the parish that I grew up going to, the men were allowed to be donors and could attend the meetings, they just couldn't vote.  (All the husbands were/are members.)
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2007, 08:41:01 AM »

I don't think it's a good idea to form subgroups and societies within the Church. I even have a problem with the existence of the Archons as a subgroup of the Church. The double danger I espy is that the "group" or "society" becomes seen as a "sub-Church" (which is a problem in itself ecclesiastically), and that this "sub-Church" comes to be seen as the embodiment of a particular virtue which the rest of the Church need not aspire to themselves. One of the big problems I have with some Greek Orthodox Parishes here in Australia is that their "Philoptochos" Societies are only open to women, modelled after the US practice. It's as though men are not required to be directly charitable themselves, or provide support to the poor themselves. The only contribution the men seem to make is to turn the souvlaki at the annual Philoptochos fundraiser (because, as we all know, women are incapable of cooking on a BBQ Roll Eyes). Perhaps if the men in the Parish were made to visit the sick or homebound once in a while, or do some repairs a widow's house, or put some care packages together to send to victims of disasters or wars, they might just have the chance to put Orthodoxy into practice.

George,

I am in total agreement.  My parish, which I love and think is great as far as the actual commitment to worship and services, is woefully lame when it comes to charitable and external acts of mercy.  It has a minimally functioning womens group with very little leadership  because most of the women in the parish are employed full time and do not have the time to do the things that  the "Philoptochos", AOWONA, and other sisterhood perform in many parishes. When another male social worker and myself offered to father to organize the parish to work to develop effectively the various acts of mercy ministries possible he sent us to the parish council who declined our offer noting that this was a minstry that the women of the church would eventually do.  That was 6 years ago and other than a regular food bank program adn the Archdiocese mandated Food for Hungry People Lenten drive we do not have a real act of mercy ministry occurring.  We are a young parish and as a result of having my own mother of blessed memory repose I started several years ago on my own the act of mercy  to assure that memorials with Kolliva is available for initial and following requiems and memorial services for anyone in the parish that wishes them.  Currently assure that Kolliva is available when needed about 7-8 a year; I also teach a class to new members about the importance of the acts of mercy, the making of Kolliva, and its spiritual purpose.  Yes I do agree George, they need to take the charitable acts  out of special groups and open them to the entire church male and female, we are denying great blessings to  half of the church membership.

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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2007, 11:50:03 AM »

What I'd like to see is a study that looks at the charitable giving of parishes with societies/groups in place, and compares that with the charitable donations of parishes which do have societies/groups in place. I think it'd also be important to keep track of the amount of publicity, for lack of a better term, that charitable giving gets in the parish.  I'd guess that a parish with no societies/groups would give less, or at most the same level, of charity, as a parish with well organized and run societies/groups. Though it seems that George and others would disagree.
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2007, 01:17:27 PM »

Was not the Church at one time a secret society that worked very hard to keep her sacred rites invisible to the general public?

If you do not mine me trying to answer a question with a question...

Was not the church at one time only among the jews which had a long struggle within its ranks trying to figure our how to the gentiles would fit in?
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2007, 01:27:06 PM »

The Knights of Columbus are certainly officially recognized by the Catholic Church.  Only practicing Catholics may join. The Supreme Chaplain is always a bishop and they have a representative in Rome.  They have received numerous Papal comendations.  I dont think a lay organization gets more officially recognized than the KofC.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Thanks for the correction Fr. Deacon.

I was given my info from a "non-practicing Catholic".

Every RC I have met has stated to me that they are a "non-practicing Catholic" with the exception of my tailor who is in my view very devoted to his faith in Christ. When he discovered that I was Orthodox particularly Ethiopian Orthodox he was very excited. He said " the Orthodox have the true worship of Christ".

Thanks again

Fr Deacon Amde Tsion
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2007, 01:30:53 PM »

If you do not mine me trying to answer a question with a question...

Was not the church at one time only among the jews which had a long struggle within its ranks trying to figure our how to the gentiles would fit in?
My original question to you was merely a rhetorical question to challenge your view of secret societies.  Otherwise, I have no opinion of secret societies to express.
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« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2007, 04:28:14 PM »

I don't think it's a good idea to form subgroups and societies within the Church. I even have a problem with the existence of the Archons as a subgroup of the Church. The double danger I espy is that the "group" or "society" becomes seen as a "sub-Church" (which is a problem in itself ecclesiastically), and that this "sub-Church" comes to be seen as the embodiment of a particular virtue which the rest of the Church need not aspire to themselves. One of the big problems I have with some Greek Orthodox Parishes here in Australia is that their "Philoptochos" Societies are only open to women, modelled after the US practice. It's as though men are not required to be directly charitable themselves, or provide support to the poor themselves. The only contribution the men seem to make is to turn the souvlaki at the annual Philoptochos fundraiser (because, as we all know, women are incapable of cooking on a BBQ Roll Eyes). Perhaps if the men in the Parish were made to visit the sick or homebound once in a while, or do some repairs a widow's house, or put some care packages together to send to victims of disasters or wars, they might just have the chance to put Orthodoxy into practice.
Ideally, all Christians are commanded to feed the poor, visit widows and the sick, etc... Some parishes are better able to handle this (esp the larger one's with more tithing), while others are not. Like Thomas mentioned with his parish, my own parish does very little of this type of work (there are no social programs whatsoever to my knowledge). And, again, for the sake of clarity, I don't think it's a good idea for any religious organization to be 'secret' unless member's safety becomes an issue. And as far as the organization becoming a sub-church, I agree that this presents a problem. Yet this can be addressed by submitting to one's priest and bishop. If they were to say 'disband the group', it should be disbanded.
 In defence of this type of group, organization, or society, I see that it has the potential to stir up complacency and give a sense of pride when it attains it's goals. They also have the ability to reach beyond it's home parish and help bring about a little more unity (such as when members of separate jurisdictions  join).
 I could be wrong here, and there is certainly a degree of concern when forming an organization, but if the priest and bishop give the blessing then why not?
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« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2007, 11:08:53 PM »

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (Ecumenical Patriarchate) also has an Order of St. Andrew for men.  It supports the theological college and also at a parish level supports Christian Education organizing lectures etc for the laity.
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2007, 11:09:07 PM »

Well, I'm now a Knight, as of today. I received my KoC pin and rosary. I'm very excited about serving.
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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2007, 11:14:10 PM »

Congratulations!  My grandpa was a Knight of Vartan, the Armenian version of that.  He really enjoyed it.
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2007, 11:22:27 PM »

Hello,

Well, I'm now a Knight, as of today. I received my KoC pin and rosary. I'm very excited about serving.

Congratulations Brother Knight! I am a second degree member (October 2006). Did you receive your first and second degrees or just your first?
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2007, 11:28:04 PM »

Thanks, both of you! I am a humble First Degree.

I'm the Harvard chapter, Cambridge, Mass. You?
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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2007, 11:31:22 PM »

Hello,

Thanks, both of you! I am a humble First Degree.

I'm the Harvard chapter, Cambridge, Mass. You?
I'm a second degree member of the Bishop Fenwick Council #13586 - in Youngstown, OH.
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2007, 11:39:34 PM »

I'm Forming a group called the Mexican Orthodox Chicano Outreach Society.  But I dont like the anagram.
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2007, 11:55:14 PM »

Yeah, you wouldn't want to be confused with the Nixmeca Rodothox Onchaic Archeout Icostey.

Sorry,  police Grammar Police.police
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2007, 11:59:06 PM »

Sorry.  Acronym.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 12:01:26 AM by Ian Lazarus » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2007, 12:13:33 AM »

What a great idea! Today I forming the "Order of St. Raphael of Brooklyn." Please send me $1000 to help foster greater unity amongst Orthodox in the Americas. You will get a Blue Ribbon with a medallion and a lapel pin to show that you support unity.

Still waiting on the first member to join. Anyone who joins before the end of the year will get a membership upgrade to Great Archon Duke.
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« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2007, 12:21:35 AM »

Sorry.  Acronym.
Nothing to apologize for. I got to speak in anagrams! Wink
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"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
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