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« Reply #135 on: May 27, 2008, 02:42:15 PM »

That's true, except a trip from New York to California commonly occurs for around $400 or less. Does the EP hop on a plane for $400 or less?

The EP can fly freely on chartered flights sponsored by US entities or US diplomatic entities.

If I recall correctly, the EP has only visited the US twice in the existence of the church in America.

2 EP's have visited America: 1990 by Patr. Dimitrios, numerous visits by Patr. Bartholomew.

Further, an American Patriarch would eliminate the fact that:

1) The EP is under "house arrest" in a primarily non-christian country
2) Is not permitted to travel in public wearing any clerical identification
3) Is required to be a Turkish citizen (eliminating a large number of possible candidates)
4) Would be able to minister to more than the 2000 people he currently has in Turkey.

1) The EP is not under "house arrest" like the leader of Burma.
2) Same applies to Muslim imams.
3) Thank the concessions made by the Treaty of Lausanne to appease Turkish fears of ethnic unrest.
4) I've read that those numbers are now in the hundreds.

EDIT - Changed how many times Patr. Bartholomew visited USA from 2 to numerous.
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« Reply #136 on: May 27, 2008, 02:44:30 PM »

Greece for one.
Albania, OCA, Cyprus - autocephalous churches with Archbishops (OCA has Metropolitan)
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« Reply #137 on: May 27, 2008, 02:44:48 PM »

Greece for one.

Okay, he's an archbishop...... The idea I was trying to get across was that it needs to have a singular leader in the US, not necessarily a patriarch but some one of Metropolitan/Archbishop status that would not be required to report to a higher authority (e.g. the EP).

-Nick
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« Reply #138 on: May 27, 2008, 02:47:28 PM »

Cleveland,

Is there an example of a current autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction without a Patriarch? 

Poland, Czech/Slovak, Cyprus, Greece, & Albania
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« Reply #139 on: May 27, 2008, 02:48:43 PM »

^Thanks for adding the Autocephalous Slavic Churches.   Wink
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« Reply #140 on: May 27, 2008, 02:50:21 PM »

Cleveland,

Is there an example of a current autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction without a Patriarch? 

Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, Czech Lands and Slovakia.  Moscow, Romania, and Serbia were at one time Autocephalous without a bishop titled "Patriarch."
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« Reply #141 on: May 27, 2008, 02:50:49 PM »

The EP can fly freely on chartered flights sponsored by US entities or US diplomatic entities.

Only if the Turk says "Suleyman says."

Quote
2 EP's have visited America for a total of 3 times (1990 by Patr. Dimitrios, 1997 & 2004 by Patr. Bartholomew).

Two of the primates of the Greeks here became EP: Meletios (with whom the present mess got started), and Athenagoros.

Quote
1) The EP is not under "house arrest" like the leader of Burma.
Close enough.
Quote
2) Same applies to Muslim imams.
But the state takes Islam as a given.
Quote
3) Thank the concessions made by the Treaty of Lausanne to appease Turkish fears of ethnic unrest.
And the EU keeps it up.
Quote
4) I've read that those numbers are now in the hundreds.
Read the obituaries.
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« Reply #142 on: May 27, 2008, 02:55:41 PM »

Okay, he's an archbishop...... The idea I was trying to get across was that it needs to have a singular leader in the US, not necessarily a patriarch but some one of Metropolitan/Archbishop status that would not be required to report to a higher authority (e.g. the EP).

-Nick

I can't see how we would be ready for that in the next 100 to 150 years, unless we had a collection of monasteries to churn out pious and educated candidates.  Given the recent tension between the monateries of Fr Ephraim and the hierarchy (both sides contributing to the problem IMO) it seems necessary to have oversight from those more mature in the faith.  The OCA Metropolitan does not report to anyone else and it does not seem to me that things are going so well.

How soon would you feel we would be ready for a united Orthodox Church with autocephaly?
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« Reply #143 on: May 27, 2008, 02:57:34 PM »


4) Separate the Church/Theological/Liturgical functions from the business functions. In other words, run the liturgical portion of the church like a church with the priest/bishop/patriarch in charge and run the business portion of the church like maintenance, finance, membership administration, etc like a business with the Parish Council acting as the board of directors and the clergy only having a vote on matters, not oversight. Don't let priests make the budget, sign checks, have access to accounting records with the ability to change data, etc.

I would be afraid in that situation. What would stop the parish council from doing a "gov't shutdown" like the Republicans did in 1995?

I think transparency is good but the priest is the head of the parish--it is not a democracy.
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« Reply #144 on: May 27, 2008, 02:58:20 PM »

Only if the Turk says "Suleyman says."

That was a good one and quite Funny.   Grin

Two of the primates of the Greeks here became EP: Meletios (with whom the present mess got started), and Athenagoros.

Patr. Athenagoras was also GOA Archbishop for 17 years.

Close enough.But the state takes Islam as a given.And the EU keeps it up.Read the obituaries.

Turkey wants in the EU which would place it on equal footing with Greece and probably negate the Treaty of Lausanne and anything else relating to Greco-Turkish relations.
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« Reply #145 on: May 27, 2008, 02:59:36 PM »

That's true, except a trip from New York to California commonly occurs for around $400 or less. Does the EP hop on a plane for $400 or less?

Yeah, and at times like these I've found tickets to Athens cheaper than the NY-LA flights.

If I recall correctly, the EP has only visited the US twice in the existence of the church in America. Further, an American Patriarch would eliminate the fact that:

Well, you don't recall correctly.  I've been present for at least two visits, and there have been others in addition.  The current EP has, I believe, visited America at least 4 times.

1) The EP is under "house arrest" in a primarily non-christian country

Not true, but I know what you're getting at: the records, icons, relics, books, and other "things" of the Patriarchate are unable to be taken out of Turkey because they are considered cultural heritage items.  Otherwise, he's free to move about as he wishes, although security does indeed follow him - but we are talking about Istambul, where there is an enormously high crime rate: yes, he gets targeted for hate crimes, but even if he wasn't there are many people who are not safe in that city.

2) Is not permitted to travel in public wearing any clerical identification

The Ecumenical Patriarch is one of 3 or 4 resident clerics in the nation of Turkey who is indeed permitted to wear his clerical  garb in public.  Visiting clerics theoretically can wear their own garb as they wish (I've seen an Athonite monk wear his full garb around the city), but usually visiting clergy of the EP do not.

3) Is required to be a Turkish citizen (eliminating a large number of possible candidates)

This wasn't much of an issue until the 1950's cleansing of the Christian population from Istambul and the subsequent shutting down of Halki Theological School.  Before then there was a large Christian population in Istambul.

4) Would be able to minister to more than the 2000 people he currently has in Turkey. 

He does minister to more than the 2000 people.

Why does this all matter very little?  Because a bishop is to be concerned with his diocese.  The only person who should be ministering to the flock in Pittsburgh is the Bishop of Pittsburgh; the president of the Synod that Pittsburgh sits on has very little to do with the decisions affecting the people of that diocese.  Situations where a Synodal president exerts a wide influence over other diocese (such as 20th century examples in the U.S.) are exceptions to the rule.
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« Reply #146 on: May 27, 2008, 03:03:24 PM »

I would be afraid in that situation. What would stop the parish council from doing a "gov't shutdown" like the Republicans did in 1995?

I think transparency is good but the priest is the head of the parish--it is not a democracy.

But should the priest really be writing checks and looking over the accounting and financial matters of the church? Are priests taught in seminary how to manage parish finances and the finer points of business management?

-Nick
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« Reply #147 on: May 27, 2008, 03:06:20 PM »

Why does this all matter very little?  Because a bishop is to be concerned with his diocese.  The only person who should be ministering to the flock in Pittsburgh is the Bishop of Pittsburgh; the president of the Synod that Pittsburgh sits on has very little to do with the decisions affecting the people of that diocese.  Situations where a Synodal president exerts a wide influence over other diocese (such as 20th century examples in the U.S.) are exceptions to the rule.

Assuming that I were a GOA parishionier in need of an ecclesiastical divorce, I thought ecclesiastical divorces were decided by Eparchial Synods in NYC (for GOA) rather than the local Metropolis Synod in Pittsburgh (assuming that such an entity even exists).
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« Reply #148 on: May 27, 2008, 03:06:35 PM »

But the state takes Islam as a given.

Um, no - it doesn't.  The military and the secularist ruling factions of the government are guarded and trying their hardest to keep Islam at bay.  If they had their say, they'd give a lot of those mosques the chop - but they know they'd have a revolution if they did.

Read the obituaries. 

That's really productive, maybe even mature.  Why don't you practice mature dialogue instead?
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« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2008, 03:08:10 PM »

Assuming that I were a GOA parishionier in need of an ecclesiastical divorce, I thought ecclesiastical divorces were decided by Eparchial Synods in NYC (for GOA) rather than the local Metropolis Synod in Pittsburgh (assuming that such an entity even exists). 

Your ecclesiastical divorce is handled by a local Spiritual Court of first instance (we have 3 or 4 in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, divided regionally).  The decision of the Spiritual court is then forwarded to the local bishop for ratification.  NY has nothing to do with it, unless you decide to appeal the decision of the local Spiritual Court/Hierarch, in which case your appeal would indeed go to the Eparchial Synod which meets in NY.
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« Reply #150 on: May 27, 2008, 03:09:00 PM »

I can't see how we would be ready for that in the next 100 to 150 years, unless we had a collection of monasteries to churn out pious and educated candidates.  Given the recent tension between the monateries of Fr Ephraim and the hierarchy (both sides contributing to the problem IMO) it seems necessary to have oversight from those more mature in the faith.  The OCA Metropolitan does not report to anyone else and it does not seem to me that things are going so well.

How soon would you feel we would be ready for a united Orthodox Church with autocephaly?

I would think maybe 50 years. I guess it depends on how educated you need to be to meet the requirement. Is it a given fact that the EP is the most learned person in the world in relation to Orthodoxy?

-Nick
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« Reply #151 on: May 27, 2008, 03:10:35 PM »

But should the priest really be writing checks and looking over the accounting and financial matters of the church? Are priests taught in seminary how to manage parish finances and the finer points of business management? 

The priest is the head of the parish in the place of the bishop.  So the answer to the first question is yes and no (I don't know about being a check signatory).  Second question: they're not taught enough, but that's slowly changing.  Plus, you have a large number of ordainees who worked in business or finance for a number of years before entering the Seminary.  The "business part" and "Church part" dichotomy in parish life is not healthy, and certainly not traditional.
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« Reply #152 on: May 27, 2008, 03:13:00 PM »

I would think maybe 50 years. I guess it depends on how educated you need to be to meet the requirement. Is it a given fact that the EP is the most learned person in the world in relation to Orthodoxy? 

He probably isn't (too many variables involved).  But the expectation of most of the other Autocephalous churches is that the head of the Church must be a well-educated man, well-traveled, with experience dealing with the other Autocephalous Churches.  That's why you have very multi-lingual Patriarchs with multiple advanced degrees and much travel.  This is especially true of the Churches in the Roman/Hellenic/Greek/Whatever sphere of influence (EP, Greece, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria).
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« Reply #153 on: May 27, 2008, 03:15:44 PM »

Your ecclesiastical divorce is handled by a local Spiritual Court of first instance (we have 3 or 4 in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, divided regionally).  The decision of the Spiritual court is then forwarded to the local bishop for ratification.  NY has nothing to do with it, unless you decide to appeal the decision of the local Spiritual Court/Hierarch, in which case your appeal would indeed go to the Eparchial Synod which meets in NY.

OK, Spiritual court consists of priests whose decision is then ratified by the Metropolitan/Bishop.  Technically, I could appeal an Eparchial Synod decision to the Holy Synod in Istanbul if my understanding is correct?  Thank you for the clarification.   Smiley
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« Reply #154 on: May 27, 2008, 03:19:22 PM »

Let's use the extreme example in Sweden, so to make it clear:

In Sweden the various ethnic groups got together and set up a national Orthodox organization, and placed it in the hands of the EP.  What did he do?  Make it into the Hellenic (not Greek) Orthodox exarchate, and tell the other, disenfranchised groups to set up their own national ghettos. 

I'd love to see some documentation about this.  I have (unfortunately) not kept abreast of what had happened in Sweeden.

At least they recognize it.  Unlike the idea that any Greek (oops, sorry, Hellene) any where can be exchanged anywhere.

Who recognizes it?  The New Yorkers think (a) they're the center of the universe, (b) things should be done their way, and (c) everyone else (i.e. non New Yorkers) are hicks.

Actually, no.  It was Romaic, not Hellenic (which meant "pagan")

Thanks.  I'm a big fan of Fr. John Romanides.  But Romaic sounds pathetic, and people keep insisting on using Greek/Hellenic - so it's time to show them that true Hellenism is Christian (i.e. Romanism).
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« Reply #155 on: May 27, 2008, 03:20:18 PM »

OK, Spiritual court consists of priests whose decision is then ratified by the Metropolitan/Bishop.  Technically, I could appeal an Eparchial Synod decision to the Holy Synod in Istanbul if my understanding is correct?  Thank you for the clarification.   Smiley

Technically you can appeal the decision of any Synod anywhere (except an Ecumenical Synod) to Constantinople if you wish.
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« Reply #156 on: May 27, 2008, 03:22:51 PM »

Only bishops, under certain specific circumstance, may make any appeals.
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« Reply #157 on: May 27, 2008, 03:30:37 PM »

I'd love to see some documentation about this.  I have (unfortunately) not kept abreast of what had happened in Sweeden.

That Exarchate still exists:

http://exarchat.eu/

The Swedish Orthodox Church exists:

http://www.sirillus.se/kristi_forklarings_kyrka/index.htm
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« Reply #158 on: May 27, 2008, 03:31:37 PM »

The priest is the head of the parish in the place of the bishop.  So the answer to the first question is yes and no (I don't know about being a check signatory).  Second question: they're not taught enough, but that's slowly changing.  Plus, you have a large number of ordainees who worked in business or finance for a number of years before entering the Seminary.  The "business part" and "Church part" dichotomy in parish life is not healthy, and certainly not traditional.

But if the priest is in charge of everything and the final authority (acting as the rep of the bishop), then:

A) Why do we need a parish council?

B) Why does the congregation have an annual meeting?

C) What do you do when a priest takes over and runs things incorrectly (like payroll or financial statements or membership)? (look at the National Church of the OCA)

-Nick
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« Reply #159 on: May 27, 2008, 03:32:01 PM »

Only bishops, under certain specific circumstance, may make any appeals.

I thought that lay people can already appeal Synodial decisions that affect them, like ecclesiastical divorce, excommunication, et al.  That was the discussion Cleveland & I were having.
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« Reply #160 on: May 27, 2008, 03:36:42 PM »

That Exarchate still exists:

http://exarchat.eu/

The Swedish Orthodox Church exists:

http://www.sirillus.se/kristi_forklarings_kyrka/index.htm

What I'm looking for is documentation of what ialmisry is talking about (i.e. the intrigue around the formation of the Church of Sweeden).
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« Reply #161 on: May 27, 2008, 03:40:16 PM »

But if the priest is in charge of everything and the final authority (acting as the rep of the bishop), then:

Who said he's "in charge of everything?"  The Final Authority is Christ through the Bishop (and even that can be appealed).

A) Why do we need a parish council?

the Body and its parts.

B) Why does the congregation have an annual meeting?

Responsible administration of the Church.

C) What do you do when a priest takes over and runs things incorrectly (like payroll or financial statements or membership)? (look at the National Church of the OCA) 

The people work with the Bishop to correct him.  There is always someone to appeal to for help: heck, you can even appeal an Ecumenical Council to a subsequent council (although that won't do you much good).
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« Reply #162 on: May 27, 2008, 04:13:59 PM »

I thought that lay people can already appeal Synodial decisions that affect them, like ecclesiastical divorce, excommunication, et al.  That was the discussion Cleveland & I were having.

IIRC, the canons don't mention laymen at all, but deny appeal from priests to Rome (now EP) reserving that for bishops alone.
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« Reply #163 on: May 27, 2008, 04:16:00 PM »

I'd love to see some documentation about this.  I have (unfortunately) not kept abreast of what had happened in Sweeden.
I found this from a stack of old newspapers (church bulletins, actually).

Quote
Who recognizes it?  The New Yorkers think (a) they're the center of the universe, (b) things should be done their way, and (c) everyone else (i.e. non New Yorkers) are hicks.

I'm going to forebare on comments on NY.  At least for now.

Quote
Thanks.  I'm a big fan of Fr. John Romanides.  But Romaic sounds pathetic, and people keep insisting on using Greek/Hellenic - so it's time to show them that true Hellenism is Christian (i.e. Romanism).
Only problem is that it was a distinction the Rhoumaioi were adamant about.  Hellenism is Christian inasmuch as any true nationalism should be.
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« Reply #164 on: May 27, 2008, 04:17:03 PM »

Who said he's "in charge of everything?"  The Final Authority is Christ through the Bishop (and even that can be appealed).

the Body and its parts.

Responsible administration of the Church.

The people work with the Bishop to correct him.  There is always someone to appeal to for help: heck, you can even appeal an Ecumenical Council to a subsequent council (although that won't do you much good).

By in charge of everything, I should've stipulated that I meant in charge of all of the administrative matters of the church.

-nick
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« Reply #165 on: May 27, 2008, 04:33:45 PM »

Only problem is that it was a distinction the Rhoumaioi were adamant about.  Hellenism is Christian inasmuch as any true nationalism should be.   

I know very well how they felt about it.  I suppose we're not in essence too far apart on this issue, as I reject any Nationalistic interpretations of Hellenism (which is why, in those cases, I use "Greek"), and instead see Hellenism as a cross-cultural thing (i.e. Romanism).  The only principle that keeps me using the term Hellenism and not exclusively Romanism is that Romanism was less Hellenic to start (and became more influenced later) and is at the end (i.e. now) not associated with what it once was.  Old Romanism and Hellenism combined to make Christian Romanism, which survived as long as the Empire did and more; however, while it was able to keep its character in the occupied lands, outside "Romanism" and anything associated with "Rome" was dissociated from New Rome and re-associated with Old Rome and what it had become.

I still think we should refer to the EP as the Patriarch of the Romans/Rum, just as I see the "Byzantine" Empire as the Roman Empire.  But we don't, so it's a moot point.
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« Reply #166 on: May 27, 2008, 04:35:43 PM »

By in charge of everything, I should've stipulated that I meant in charge of all of the administrative matters of the church.

-nick 

I know what you meant - I shouldn't have played semantic games with you.  Indeed, though, the Priest as the head of the Church and representative of the Bishop (who stands in the place and type of Christ) is accountable for everything that goes on in and around the Church, so he should definitely be educated in management and finance (in order that he understand what is going on and can contribute to the process) and should definitely not be excluded from the decision making process.
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« Reply #167 on: May 27, 2008, 04:48:25 PM »

Hellenism is Christian inasmuch as any true nationalism should be.

I respectfully disagree.  True Hellenism existed before Christ and ended when St. Constantine stopped persecuting Christians.  The only legacy of Hellenism is the Greek Language and nothing else.  What Alexander the Great started in 332 BC, St. Constantine completed.

The Old Testament did prophesy the beginning and end of Alexander the Great's Empire.   Smiley
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« Reply #168 on: May 27, 2008, 04:51:28 PM »

I respectfully disagree.  True Hellenism existed before Christ and ended when St. Constantine stopped persecuting Christians.  The only legacy of Hellenism is the Greek Language and nothing else.  What Alexander the Great started in 332 BC, St. Constantine completed.

The Old Testament did prophesy the beginning and end of Alexander the Great's Empire.   Smiley

Romiosini is Christian Hellenism, the culture that survived until 1453 in the open, continued uninterrupted until 1922 in persecution, and whose echoes still are heard today amongst Orthodox Christians, who live it as best as can be in the modern world.
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« Reply #169 on: May 27, 2008, 04:51:40 PM »

I know what you meant - I shouldn't have played semantic games with you.  Indeed, though, the Priest as the head of the Church and representative of the Bishop (who stands in the place and type of Christ) is accountable for everything that goes on in and around the Church, so he should definitely be educated in management and finance (in order that he understand what is going on and can contribute to the process) and should definitely not be excluded from the decision making process.

I can agree with that, being involved in the decision process is definitely important. What I have a problem with is the priest saying, "This is what we're going to do" on the business end of the church even if it contradicts the decision of parish council. I think that the priest should be allowed to offer an opinion and have a voice, but to act as the end all decision maker defeats the purpose of parish council and in my opinion insults the rest of us who have training in such aspects of the parish. I do also, however think its a situation unique to the US. Its probably not something that would be encountered elsewhere in the world.

-Nick
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« Reply #170 on: May 27, 2008, 04:57:42 PM »

Romiosini is Christian Hellenism, the culture that survived until 1453 in the open, continued uninterrupted until 1922 in persecution, and whose echoes still are heard today amongst Orthodox Christians.

Romiosini is the respect that a new Empire (Ottoman) bestowed on those of the former Empire (Roman) whose ascendency lasted almost 15 Centuries.  The term, Roumeliotes, is a remnant of the term, Romiosini, in referring to people of Rome.

^^I was going to add in my prior post that Democracy was another legacy of Hellenism except that Alexander didn't operate under ancient Hellenic Democracy.  When the Enlightened poets like Byron, et al. resurrected ancient Hellenism - that was what is trying to creep into the Church.  Parish Councils operate as a democracy - who wouldn't vote to fix a leaking roof.
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« Reply #171 on: May 27, 2008, 05:03:44 PM »

I can agree with that, being involved in the decision process is definitely important. What I have a problem with is the priest saying, "This is what we're going to do" on the business end of the church even if it contradicts the decision of parish council. I think that the priest should be allowed to offer an opinion and have a voice, but to act as the end all decision maker defeats the purpose of parish council and in my opinion insults the rest of us who have training in such aspects of the parish. I do also, however think its a situation unique to the US. Its probably not something that would be encountered elsewhere in the world. 

I think he should have the ability to counteract certain types of decisions that would be spiritually damaging or otherwise inappropriate for the Church (i.e. veto gambling/raffles/etc.); but otherwise, if he's not letting the council do what they're elected to do, he's diminishing the primary principle of the operation of the body - that each part needs to perform its unique function to the best of its abilities in order for the body to survive and thrive.
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« Reply #172 on: May 27, 2008, 05:06:18 PM »

Romiosini is the respect that a new Empire (Ottoman) bestowed on those of the former Empire (Roman) whose ascendency lasted almost 15 Centuries.  The term, Roumeliotes, is a remnant of the term, Romiosini, in referring to people of Rome.

And the original legal name of Constantinople was... New Rome!  They self-identified as Romans from the beginning until the  revolutions, and the people in Constantinople still self-identify as Romans (when I spoke to them, at least).

^^I was going to add in my prior post that Democracy was another legacy of Hellenism except that Alexander didn't operate under ancient Hellenic Democracy.  When the Enlightened poets like Byron, et al. resurrected ancient Hellenism - that was what is trying to creep into the Church.  Parish Councils operate as a democracy - who wouldn't vote to fix a leaking roof. 

Parish Councils operate as a Representative Government, not a Democracy.  Parish Assemblies operate as Democracies.
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« Reply #173 on: May 27, 2008, 05:15:11 PM »

And the original legal name of Constantinople was... New Rome!  They self-identified as Romans from the beginning until the  revolutions, and the people in Constantinople still self-identify as Romans (when I spoke to them, at least).

The Byzantine Empire, as a continuation of the Roman Empire, consisted of citizens who spoke Greek and Latin; The Latin faded away over time and completely after the Great Schism.  I think the Turkish word, Rum, is another word for Roman.  The Ottomans realized who they conquered and what they had accomplished in supplanting one civilization with their own.  Meanwhile, Orthodoxy continued unimpeded as civilizations changed overnight.

Parish Councils operate as a Representative Government, not a Democracy.  Parish Assemblies operate as Democracies.

Other than the Priest being ex-officio member of the Parish Council, I was under the impression that they voted as a democracy even though the parishioners elect the Council.  At my church, using 30-60 parishioners appear for the Semi-Annual Parish Assembly out of 1,000 families.
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« Reply #174 on: May 27, 2008, 05:18:07 PM »

That's actually a good question. What form of government do you use for an American Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #175 on: May 27, 2008, 05:19:25 PM »

I think he should have the ability to counteract certain types of decisions that would be spiritually damaging or otherwise inappropriate for the Church (i.e. veto gambling/raffles/etc.); but otherwise, if he's not letting the council do what they're elected to do, he's diminishing the primary principle of the operation of the body - that each part needs to perform its unique function to the best of its abilities in order for the body to survive and thrive.

Going on a brief tangent - My church has tried to introduce an affinity credit card since 2002.  I spoke out against it at a 2006 Parish Assembly using my own failed experience with credit cards to bolster the argument that the Church is not in the business of collecting 4% of Gasoline sales (or whatever else credit cards are used for).  The discussion was tabled and has been tabled for 2 years hopefully to never see the light of day.  The Priest supported implementing credit cards.   Angry
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« Reply #176 on: May 30, 2008, 12:43:39 PM »

Going on a brief tangent - My church has tried to introduce an affinity credit card since 2002.  I spoke out against it at a 2006 Parish Assembly using my own failed experience with credit cards to bolster the argument that the Church is not in the business of collecting 4% of Gasoline sales (or whatever else credit cards are used for).  The discussion was tabled and has been tabled for 2 years hopefully to never see the light of day.  The Priest supported implementing credit cards.   Angry

Maybe he knows something you don't.  I know one priest who was a CEO and venture capitalist for most of his life.  I would trust his opinion over almost anyone else's...perhaps there is something you are missing here. 

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« Reply #177 on: May 30, 2008, 02:18:25 PM »

4) Separate the Church/Theological/Liturgical functions from the business functions. In other words, run the liturgical portion of the church like a church with the priest/bishop/patriarch in charge and run the business portion of the church like maintenance, finance, membership administration, etc like a business with the Parish Council acting as the board of directors and the clergy only having a vote on matters, not oversight. Don't let priests make the budget, sign checks, have access to accounting records with the ability to change data, etc.

It is interesting that you find the modified congregational model that is so prevalent in American Orthodoxy due to trusteeism to be the way to move forward in the future.  I think many people sort of unknowingly accept this model because it exists in so many places, or it fits in with the way we view things in general as people raised in the West.  The problem with the model of course is that it is completely counter to the traditions of the Orthodox Church and is not shared by some portions of the Orthodox Church in the diaspora, including North America.  If you want to see how much power the priest wields in the traditional model, I would suggest a quick read of the standard parish by-laws of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/regulations/parishlaws.html

I think this tends to be something of a hidden issue, but in reality I think probably presents the most serious obstacle to unity in this country.  The reason is people tend to usually care about overall unity, ethnicity, etc. in "abstract" ways; that is if they think about them at all.  People do care about who controls what, who has what power, how money is disbursed, etc. in very real in concrete ways; even when or often when they have no conception of the other issues at stake.  In short I know few people at the parish level who honestly could really tell you anything about the historic issues with Orthodox Patriarchates, "Hellenism", what's going on in the OCA or other jurisdictions, problems in the diaspora or anybody in truth who even ever mentions the need for unity as an issue.  I know very few people who don't care about and aren't very aware of who controls property, the checkbook and how things are run.  To agree on one model, which would be necessary for North American unity, is going to be painful and wrenching.  It is likely substantial numbers of people won't buy in to one model or the other, whether it's the traditional model of power resting nearly completely in control of the clergy or the North American modified congregational model of lay control, parish council presidents, etc.

You may find this book interesting, portions of which are online.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&printsec=titlepage&dq=trusteeism+%2B+orthodox&source=gbs_toc_s&cad=1

BTW Deacon Anastasios, your comments about numbers, growth and so on vis-a-vis the GOA vs. the OCA/AOA were well said.
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« Reply #178 on: May 30, 2008, 03:15:11 PM »

Maybe he knows something you don't.  I know one priest who was a CEO and venture capitalist for most of his life.  I would trust his opinion over almost anyone else's...perhaps there is something you are missing here. 

There's another priest on the East Coast who was the chief fundraiser for GOA's Leadership 100.  If wealthy people wish to upload pictures of their church to Capital One and have their church on a credit card, I could care less.  If a church wants an affinity card merely to collect tiny revenues from credit card companies like colleges and sports teams, I draw the line.  Have we forgotten that our Church is not a den for theives to be marketed as such?   Cry
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« Reply #179 on: May 30, 2008, 04:12:07 PM »

Um, no - it doesn't.  The military and the secularist ruling factions of the government are guarded and trying their hardest to keep Islam at bay.  If they had their say, they'd give a lot of those mosques the chop - but they know they'd have a revolution if they did.

Mr. Turkish Secularism himself, Ataturk, expelled Turkish speaking Orthodox, but kept Greek speaking Muslims.

I don't care if they would like to tear down mosques to prove their secularism.  I'm not for proving anything by a negative, and as you point out, they wouldn't dare.  Sort of like La Peine supporters who won't go to church, but hate muslims.

I'm more worried about the fact that they (the goverment) doesn't allow new churches or repair of old ones (direct from shariah, btw).
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