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Author Topic: Can one be a "former" monk? Split from Blanco news piece.  (Read 1690 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« on: October 24, 2007, 04:14:08 PM »

The original thread, dealing with the news piece about the conviction of the Blanco monk, can be found here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13178.0.html

- Cleveland, GM



JOHNSON CITY -- A jury here found former monk William Hughes guilty on all four counts of sexual assault of a child after 75 minutes of deliberation today.

Well, one can't ever stop being a monk, although he can be stripped of his rasso and have his face shaved as punishment.

I inserted the phrase you were responding to, in order to provide context for this discussion.  Cleveland
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 05:14:06 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 04:15:40 PM »

I suppose you can be a former monk if the Church expels you.
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 04:21:34 PM »

Well, one can't ever stop being a monk, although he can be stripped of his rasso and have his face shaved as punishment.

That presupposes he was ever a monk in the first place.  Putting on a rasso and building a monastery as a front to con people out of money, do drugs, and rape kids isn't exactly the same as actually being a monk.
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 04:31:58 PM »

That presupposes he was ever a monk in the first place.  Putting on a rasso and building a monastery as a front to con people out of money, do drugs, and rape kids isn't exactly the same as actually being a monk. 

True.

Now that I think of it, we probably shouldn't debate this here.  Thank you for the News piece.

Blanco monastery guest guilty of child molestation
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6561.0.html

Blanco founder commits suicide
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12822.0.html

Monks' Deception: Drugs and Sex at Texas monastery
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11419.0.html

Handling Pedaphiles in the Church
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11435.0.html

Christ of the Hills Monastery
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6294.0.html

Police raid monastery, accuse 5 monks of sexual assault
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9601.0.html

Suspect Found Among Monks
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4582.0.html
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 04:32:28 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2007, 04:54:26 PM »

That presupposes he was ever a monk in the first place.  Putting on a rasso and building a monastery as a front to con people out of money, do drugs, and rape kids isn't exactly the same as actually being a monk.

Yes, but he still was in a real Church (ROCOR) and accepted tonsure. That can't be undone. And in fact, that will make his punishment in the eyes of God even worse.
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 04:54:52 PM »

True.

Now that I think of it, we probably shouldn't debate this here.  Thank you for the News piece.

This is a different topic though: can a monk be untonsured. Split the topic if you wish.
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 04:56:38 PM »

I suppose you can be a former monk if the Church expels you.

Given that the Church does not make one a monk in the same way it makes one a priest, but rather recognizes someone's personal commitment to God, I would maintain that the Church has no authority to unmake someone a monk anymoreso than it can unbaptize someone. Of course they can excommunicate the person.
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 05:21:14 PM »

This is a different topic though: can a monk be untonsured. Split the topic if you wish.

Done and done.  I think this is a good topic that stands on its own.


Given that the Church does not make one a monk in the same way it makes one a priest, but rather recognizes someone's personal commitment to God, I would maintain that the Church has no authority to unmake someone a monk anymoreso than it can unbaptize someone. Of course they can excommunicate the person. 

Hmmm.  But that commitment only exists in the context of the Church: the obedience is tangible, to a particular person assigned to a particular place; the relationship is sealed in a very "sacramental" way - in fact, many would consider the monastic tonsure a sacrament of the Church.  So to say that the Church doesn't have the ability to "un-monk" someone seems a bit individualistic to me.

Now, the Church can't stop someone from being a celibate in pursuit of constant union with God.  That would make sense, and it is the backbone of the monastic life; if one ceases to be a monk in the proper sense (due to excommunication, for example), it doesn't mean that they necessarily lose this part of their character or commitment to God.
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 08:36:43 AM »

In this particular case Father Vasili (William Hughes) was not only a rassaphore Monk but also a Hieromonk, ordained by ROCOR and to the best of my memory was  deposed when the monastery leadership , which he as the abbott was one, was disciplined by ROCOR for failure to be obedient to the Synod's investigation. Around that same time the monastery became a "free agent" due to the fact they existed prior to ROCOR affiliation as a non-profit corporation (Ecumenical Monks, Inc). The corporation owned the monastery and could not be dissolved by ROCOR, a really strange agreement, and thus they continued to operate after the disestablishment. It should be noted however that the  events he was prosecuted under at least began during the ROCOR period as seen by civil settlements and timelines.

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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 02:47:15 PM »

In this particular case Father Vasili (William Hughes) was not only a rassaphore Monk but also a Hieromonk, ordained by ROCOR and to the best of my memory was  deposed when the monastery leadership , which he as the abbott was one, was disciplined by ROCOR for failure to be obedient to the Synod's investigation. Around that same time the monastery became a "free agent" due to the fact they existed prior to ROCOR affiliation as a non-profit corporation "Ecumenical Monks, Inc). The corporation owned the monastery and could not be dissolved by ROCOR, a really starnge agreement, and thus they continued to operate after the disestablishment. It should be noted however that the  events he was prosecuted under at least began during the ROCOR period as seen by civil settlements and timelines.

Thomas

Unbelieveable!!!

Corporate monks???

Lord have mercy.

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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 03:09:40 PM »

Unbelieveable!!!

Corporate monks???

Lord have mercy. 

Lots of monasteries in the US are "incorporated," in order to not be taxed by the government, to allow people to make their donations tax-deductible, etc.
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 03:19:01 PM »

Actually I believe "Ecumenical Monks, Inc" was how they initially came into existence as a not-for-profit entity  prior to ever affiliating with ROCOR---they used it to buy their property and also later used it to seperate ROCOR Church funds from Corporate funds. This  item enabled them to continue after the disestablishment by ROCOR in 1999 as they owned their own property, not ROCOR.  They continued to file their income Tax as a not-for-profit entity  "Ecumenical Monks Inc" following disestablishment allowing them under Texas and Federal Law to continue as a Not-for-profit institution.  The Civil lawsuit has successfully placed a lien on all of their property up to a value of 1 million dollars as a result actually closing the monastery for even the  last monk there who is now transferring to a canonical jursidiction monastery. That monk is reported to not be in the inner circle, just a faithful monk who was affected by this problem.

It is interesting that the corporation was not seen as an issue as the monastery was owner and not the individual monk of the property. The Civil Law suit understood that and went after the holding company in order to close the monastery.  Most individual suits except for Greene and Williams were dropped. ROCOR  settled rather than face further lawsuits.

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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 03:31:13 PM »

Lots of monasteries in the US are "incorporated," in order to not be taxed by the government, to allow people to make their donations tax-deductible, etc.

Ok

But how do we justify monastaries using that status to have an 'independence' outisde the church hierachy?

You can't.

The law is for a reason. To extend the influence of the law to support independence is awful.
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 05:10:11 PM »

Ok

But how do we justify monastaries using that status to have an 'independence' outisde the church hierachy?

You can't.

The law is for a reason. To extend the influence of the law to support independence is awful.

Look, the monasteries who use "incorporation" as an excuse to be separate from their Church hierarchy were going to split from it anyway - only the disobedient look for excuses to justify their disobedience.  The monasteries that are obedient are incorporated legally, but still follow the letter and spirit of the directions from their bishops.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 05:11:00 PM by cleveland » Logged

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