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Author Topic: Metropolitan METHODIOS (GOA) of Boston Forbids Concelebration with OCA Clergy?  (Read 11964 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 28, 2008, 12:33:15 PM »


Lastly I ran across this
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Which states the GOA bishop of New England is forbidding concelebrations with OCA clergy.  Is that for real?


As far as I can tell, given that His Eminence METHODIOS is not my hierarch and therefore I am not in direct communication with him...yes, it appears to be real.
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 12:43:56 PM »

That is not good.

Apologies about the link, I didn't know about the restriction.
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 01:13:50 PM »


Lastly I ran across this
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Which states the GOA bishop of New England is forbidding concelebrations with OCA clergy.  Is that for real?

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In the letter, Met. Methodios, made the claim that he has been the bishop of Boston since 1984, which he seems to feel gives him priority in the city of Boston. The Metropolia (OCA) had a bishop in that city in the 1950s. Ah well, with Orthodox disunity, these kinds of problems will continue to crop up. Ligonier was an attempt to find ways to avoid these problems but that conference was sabotaged by a few small minds so the problems will continue.
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 04:53:47 PM »

In the letter, Met. Methodios, made the claim that he has been the bishop of Boston since 1984, which he seems to feel gives him priority in the city of Boston. The Metropolia (OCA) had a bishop in that city in the 1950s. Ah well, with Orthodox disunity, these kinds of problems will continue to crop up. Ligonier was an attempt to find ways to avoid these problems but that conference was sabotaged by a few small minds so the problems will continue. 

I think his issue with the OCA is a "put your money where your mouth is" - he felt that the Metropolitan was being not genuine when he says that he's 100% committed to unity and then re-installs a bishop in Boston (when he could have picked another town in New England, etc.).  He is right in thinking that one step for progress is to not install bishops in the same city when re-election time comes.  Metropolitan MAXIMOS made a similar request of Metropolitan PHILIP after the Antiochian Archdiocese had its enlargement, and the Antiochian Archdiocese moved its bishop from Pittsburgh (where they were originally going to put him).  Some are able to see that these steps are necessary in the long-run (i.e. Met PHILIP).

I don't think one should doubt Metropolitan METHODIOS' commitment to the cause of ending the overlap - he was severely chastised for his chastising the only bishop who openly disagreed with Ligionier all those years ago, and was forced to give up one of his responsibilities (he was at the time both President of the Seminary and Bishop of Boston).
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 05:10:29 PM »

I think his issue with the OCA is a "put your money where your mouth is" - he felt that the Metropolitan was being not genuine when he says that he's 100% committed to unity and then re-installs a bishop in Boston (when he could have picked another town in New England, etc.).  He is right in thinking that one step for progress is to not install bishops in the same city when re-election time comes.  Metropolitan MAXIMOS made a similar request of Metropolitan PHILIP after the Antiochian Archdiocese had its enlargement, and the Antiochian Archdiocese moved its bishop from Pittsburgh (where they were originally going to put him).  Some are able to see that these steps are necessary in the long-run (i.e. Met PHILIP).

I don't think one should doubt Metropolitan METHODIOS' commitment to the cause of ending the overlap - he was severely chastised for his chastising the only bishop who openly disagreed with Ligionier all those years ago, and was forced to give up one of his responsibilities (he was at the time both President of the Seminary and Bishop of Boston).

But why do the Greeks have priority in Boston? The Metropolia had a Bishop of Boston since the 1950s. Why is it an issue now? Bishop Benjamin could make the same complaint in San Francisco. The Metropolia was there first.
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 05:18:21 PM »

But why do the Greeks have priority in Boston? The Metropolia had a Bishop of Boston since the 1950s. Why is it an issue now? Bishop Benjamin could make the same complaint in San Francisco. The Metropolia was there first.

Simple.  We're not Greeks, so we don't count.
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 05:28:10 PM »

But why do the Greeks have priority in Boston? The Metropolia had a Bishop of Boston since the 1950s. Why is it an issue now? Bishop Benjamin could make the same complaint in San Francisco. The Metropolia was there first. 

It's not an issue of Greeks / not Greeks.  It's an issue of "you're consecrating a new bishop; why don't you take the opportunity to move the See and end the overlap?"  In this instance, it isn't a complaint of the GOA, or the Synod - this was a complaint of Metropolitan METHODIOS, who saw a situation, addressed it directly with the Big Met, didn't like the response or treatment he got (who knows?), and is responding to it.

Quite frankly I can see and understand both sides of the argument.  On the one hand, if you've got an opportunity to change a situation at hand (and the consecration of a bishop is a very rare and wide-open opportunity), and you've always wanted to change it, then you should do it, not wait around; that is the backbone of successful change.  On the other hand, there is a significant expense involved in moving a diocese - selling/purchasing property, moving equipment and records, relocating staff, changing letterhead/accounts/banks/etc.  So it is unreasonable to request that an Archdiocese (especially one whose cash flow on a National Level is in question) take on the expense of moving.

Again, a similar situation happened in Pittsburgh, and the Antiochian Archdiocese responded well to the situation.  I'm sure if the OCA had responded in kind, then at the next opportunity when the GOA was finding a replacement for a bishop in an "overlap" city, a compromise could be made and further progress realized (at least it was more possible before this recent rebuttal of Met. METHODIOS).  If you want progress, you have to give up certain things - I've been saying this all along.  It may cost the OCA its autocephaly, or the GOA its music and pride - who knows?  But I don't think the Met. or the OCA can climb on the high horse and claim that others are hindering progress (and the GOA does get its fair share of lumps on that subject) when they themselves don't take opportunity when it presents itself.
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 05:29:42 PM »

Simple.  We're not Greeks, so we don't count. 

Right.  That's it - hit it on the head.  I don't even know why we consider you folks human, really.  Should just herd the whole bunch of you together in a corral and ship you off.  Uh-huh.

Comments like yours close doors, my friend.
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 05:40:28 PM »

It's not an issue of Greeks / not Greeks.  It's an issue of "you're consecrating a new bishop; why don't you take the opportunity to move the See and end the overlap?"  In this instance, it isn't a complaint of the GOA, or the Synod - this was a complaint of Metropolitan METHODIOS, who saw a situation, addressed it directly with the Big Met, didn't like the response or treatment he got (who knows?), and is responding to it.

Quite frankly I can see and understand both sides of the argument.  On the one hand, if you've got an opportunity to change a situation at hand (and the consecration of a bishop is a very rare and wide-open opportunity), and you've always wanted to change it, then you should do it, not wait around; that is the backbone of successful change.  On the other hand, there is a significant expense involved in moving a diocese - selling/purchasing property, moving equipment and records, relocating staff, changing letterhead/accounts/banks/etc.  So it is unreasonable to request that an Archdiocese (especially one whose cash flow on a National Level is in question) take on the expense of moving.

Again, a similar situation happened in Pittsburgh, and the Antiochian Archdiocese responded well to the situation.  I'm sure if the OCA had responded in kind, then at the next opportunity when the GOA was finding a replacement for a bishop in an "overlap" city, a compromise could be made and further progress realized (at least it was more possible before this recent rebuttal of Met. METHODIOS).  If you want progress, you have to give up certain things - I've been saying this all along.  It may cost the OCA its autocephaly, or the GOA its music and pride - who knows?  But I don't think the Met. or the OCA can climb on the high horse and claim that others are hindering progress (and the GOA does get its fair share of lumps on that subject) when they themselves don't take opportunity when it presents itself.

It was easier for the Antiochians to comply because that hadn't set up shop yet in Pittsburgh. The Albanians had a bishop there and were replacing him. The OCA is already having enough financial woes as it is...why add to their problems when the chips are down? This is certainly an inopportune time to be placing extra burdens on the OCA. Sorry I am not buying it.
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 05:50:14 PM »

It's not an issue of Greeks / not Greeks.  It's an issue of "you're consecrating a new bishop; why don't you take the opportunity to move the See and end the overlap?"  In this instance, it isn't a complaint of the GOA, or the Synod - this was a complaint of Metropolitan METHODIOS, who saw a situation, addressed it directly with the Big Met, didn't like the response or treatment he got (who knows?), and is responding to it.

Quite frankly I can see and understand both sides of the argument.  On the one hand, if you've got an opportunity to change a situation at hand (and the consecration of a bishop is a very rare and wide-open opportunity), and you've always wanted to change it, then you should do it, not wait around; that is the backbone of successful change.  On the other hand, there is a significant expense involved in moving a diocese - selling/purchasing property, moving equipment and records, relocating staff, changing letterhead/accounts/banks/etc.  So it is unreasonable to request that an Archdiocese (especially one whose cash flow on a National Level is in question) take on the expense of moving.

Again, a similar situation happened in Pittsburgh, and the Antiochian Archdiocese responded well to the situation.  I'm sure if the OCA had responded in kind, then at the next opportunity when the GOA was finding a replacement for a bishop in an "overlap" city, a compromise could be made and further progress realized (at least it was more possible before this recent rebuttal of Met. METHODIOS).  If you want progress, you have to give up certain things - I've been saying this all along.  It may cost the OCA its autocephaly, or the GOA its music and pride - who knows?  But I don't think the Met. or the OCA can climb on the high horse and claim that others are hindering progress (and the GOA does get its fair share of lumps on that subject) when they themselves don't take opportunity when it presents itself.

But there would still be the exact same overlap.  I doubt anybody is so naive as to think that if we merely redesignate where the diocese is headquartered that it will cease to be an overlap.  There would still be OCA parishes in Boston that would still be overseen by an OCA bishop and thus, there would still be an overlap.  Renaming a diocese and pretending like it ends the overlap is self-deluding.

Right.  That's it - hit it on the head.  I don't even know why we consider you folks human, really.  Should just herd the whole bunch of you together in a corral and ship you off.  Uh-huh.

Comments like yours close doors, my friend.

And the Greek Archdiocese's double standard doesn't?  It was apparently perfectly fine to come into cities where there were already Russian dioceses established and proceed setting up altar against altar, but as soon as we install a successor bishop in one of our dioceses, somehow we're the ones causing an overlap.
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 05:54:51 PM »

Right.  That's it - hit it on the head.  I don't even know why we consider you folks human, really.  Should just herd the whole bunch of you together in a corral and ship you off.  Uh-huh.

Comments like yours close doors, my friend.

[humor]
Its simple Cleveland, you guys need us around because we buy things in your restaurants. We need you around because the world would be much worse off if not for Dolmades, Gyros, pasticcio, souvlaki, etc.  Cool

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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 06:05:46 PM »

[humor]
Its simple Cleveland, you guys need us around because we buy things in your restaurants. We need you around because the world would be much worse off if not for Dolmades, Gyros, pasticcio, souvlaki, etc.  Cool

Its a take, take relationship!
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LOL.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 06:13:16 PM »

But there would still be the exact same overlap.  I doubt anybody is so naive as to think that if we merely redesignate where the diocese is headquartered that it will cease to be an overlap.  There would still be OCA parishes in Boston that would still be overseen by an OCA bishop and thus, there would still be an overlap.  Renaming a diocese and pretending like it ends the overlap is self-deluding.

Self-deluding?  I think not.  It's step #1 - because once one re-divides the nation based on total Orthodox parishes (a crucial step in stabilizing a single administrative system) one discovers that there need to be many, many more diocese, in many many more cities.  Just between Massachussets, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, and R.I. there would need to be 3 such diocese, each one with between 46 and 54 parishes.  So moving the diocese from Boston to, say, Hartford, would actually be very forward-thinking.  With the Antiochian diocese of the area centered in Worcester (I believe), and another bishop in Boston, and another in Hartford, you'd have 3 diocesan centers very well suited to administering 3 New England Diocese.  I've spent many hours on this project, and trust me, these kinds of moves are very necessary.  And if they happen before it's time for administrative unity, then the person who orchestrates such a move should be praised for their foresight.

And the Greek Archdiocese's double standard doesn't?  It was apparently perfectly fine to come into cities where there were already Russian dioceses established and proceed setting up altar against altar, but as soon as we install a successor bishop in one of our dioceses, somehow we're the ones causing an overlap. 

*sigh* You know very well why the GOA diocese were established and the historical circumstances that led also to the AOA, SOC, UOC, and Patriarchal Churches of various other jurisdictions.  That's all 45+ years in the past.  What can be expected in the future is means of reconciling, thinking ahead, and making a few bold steps.  The Antiochians did one such move as I demonstrated above - can others follow suit?

Your rebuttal comment also doesn't address your snide remark that you made earlier - and it is insulting to folks like myself, who gladly attend services in Carpatho-Rusyn parishes, OCA parishes, Antiochain parishes, and more, all at the encouragement of my bishop and priest (who are both GOA, btw).  No one would even begin to state that the OCA doesn't matter; maybe others don't think that you're autocephalous, or that the OCA model of administration is the right one - but that's not the same as curt dismissal or non-acknowledgment.  Again, your comment above (that I responded to earlier) doesn't help.
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2008, 06:25:33 PM »

It was easier for the Antiochians to comply because that hadn't set up shop yet in Pittsburgh. The Albanians had a bishop there and were replacing him. The OCA is already having enough financial woes as it is...why add to their problems when the chips are down? This is certainly an inopportune time to be placing extra burdens on the OCA. Sorry I am not buying it.

Whether or not you and I are buying it, the underlying principle remains the same: we've either got to back up rhetoric with action, or we have to tone down our language until we're prepared to act.  Besides, I think people would support a move such as this one (both with approval and financially) which would have been done for the sake of furthering unity; it would be seen as a tremendous positive step for a group (the OCA) which can't seem to get good press to save its life.  Heck, I think you'd have people from the GOA and AOA financially support such a move, and maybe even an organization or two (OCL comes to mind, but that doesn't make the cause seem too reputable in the eyes of many).
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 06:44:03 PM »

Self-deluding?  I think not.  It's step #1 - because once one re-divides the nation based on total Orthodox parishes (a crucial step in stabilizing a single administrative system) one discovers that there need to be many, many more diocese, in many many more cities.  Just between Massachussets, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, and R.I. there would need to be 3 such diocese, each one with between 46 and 54 parishes.  So moving the diocese from Boston to, say, Hartford, would actually be very forward-thinking.  With the Antiochian diocese of the area centered in Worcester (I believe), and another bishop in Boston, and another in Hartford, you'd have 3 diocesan centers very well suited to administering 3 New England Diocese.  I've spent many hours on this project, and trust me, these kinds of moves are very necessary.  And if they happen before it's time for administrative unity, then the person who orchestrates such a move should be praised for their foresight.

I get what you're saying about dispersed diocesan centers being necessary in the future, but what I'm saying is that any such move now would be in name only.  Do you really think that the OCA would sell off all its facilities in Boston and relocate them elsewhere?  I don't; we'd see a renamed diocese with the bishop supposedly being the bishop of some other city...in the same diocesean facilities as before.  Besides, we're not talking about where to place the seat of a new diocese, but a demand to move an already existing one (and one that existed prior to the one making the demand at that).  How would you feel if the OCA were to establish a diocese in Denver, wait for Metropolitan Isaiah to repose, then demand that the Greek Archdiocese move their diocesan seat since our bishop was there before the replacement?

Quote
*sigh* You know very well why the GOA diocese were established and the historical circumstances that led also to the AOA, SOC, UOC, and Patriarchal Churches of various other jurisdictions.  That's all 45+ years in the past.  What can be expected in the future is means of reconciling, thinking ahead, and making a few bold steps.  The Antiochians did one such move as I demonstrated above - can others follow suit?

If we need a means of reconciling, how about this rule of thumb:  the oldest established diocesan seat stays, the others move?

Quote
Your rebuttal comment also doesn't address your snide remark that you made earlier - and it is insulting to folks like myself, who gladly attend services in Carpatho-Rusyn parishes, OCA parishes, Antiochain parishes, and more, all at the encouragement of my bishop and priest (who are both GOA, btw).  No one would even begin to state that the OCA doesn't matter; maybe others don't think that you're autocephalous, or that the OCA model of administration is the right one - but that's not the same as curt dismissal or non-acknowledgment.  Again, your comment above (that I responded to earlier) doesn't help.

So the fact that you like to go to other parishes on occasion is supposed to make up for one of your bishops treating us like we're schismatics?  Your archdiocese is now treating us like ROCOR before it reunified with the MP and we're supposed to not take that as an overt insult?  I'll stop assuming that the Greeks hold us in contempt once they stop acting like they do.
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2008, 06:59:33 PM »

I get what you're saying about dispersed diocesan centers being necessary in the future, but what I'm saying is that any such move now would be in name only.  Do you really think that the OCA would sell off all its facilities in Boston and relocate them elsewhere?  I don't; we'd see a renamed diocese with the bishop supposedly being the bishop of some other city...in the same diocesean facilities as before.  Besides, we're not talking about where to place the seat of a new diocese, but a demand to move an already existing one (and one that existed prior to the one making the demand at that). 

The same parishes would remain in the same diocese until unification; and, you know, he could actually move to Hartford, or Providence, etc. instead of fooling himself and others by remaining.

How would you feel if the OCA were to establish a diocese in Denver, wait for Metropolitan Isaiah to repose, then demand that the Greek Archdiocese move their diocesan seat since our bishop was there before the replacement?

I'd feel the same way my bishop did when the Antiochians tried installing a new bishop in Pittsburgh, and how you all would feel if we put a bishop in a town where we don't already have one but you do.

If we need a means of reconciling, how about this rule of thumb:  the oldest established diocesan seat stays, the others move?

You shouldn't like that one; consensus is the means of reconciling - and that rule of thumb wouldn't work because of the issues the other Autocephalous Churches do have and have had with the OCA.

So the fact that you like to go to other parishes on occasion is supposed to make up for one of your bishops treating us like we're schismatics?  Your archdiocese is now treating us like ROCOR before it reunified with the MP and we're supposed to not take that as an overt insult?  I'll stop assuming that the Greeks hold us in contempt once they stop acting like they do. 

My Archdiocese?  Hardly.  One bishop, one diocese.  You have a grievance?  Take it up with the Synod, who can override the bishop.  Your generalizations don't work here, bud.
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2008, 06:59:47 PM »

Whether or not you and I are buying it, the underlying principle remains the same: we've either got to back up rhetoric with action, or we have to tone down our language until we're prepared to act.  Besides, I think people would support a move such as this one (both with approval and financially) which would have been done for the sake of furthering unity; it would be seen as a tremendous positive step for a group (the OCA) which can't seem to get good press to save its life.  Heck, I think you'd have people from the GOA and AOA financially support such a move, and maybe even an organization or two (OCL comes to mind, but that doesn't make the cause seem too reputable in the eyes of many).
Well then, when Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco passed away a few years ago the Greek Archdiocese could have used his deathbed letter in which he wrote that he wished he had done more for Orthodox unity while he was alive as the reason for  moving the Metropolis of San Francisco to another city in the bay area in honor of his memory. What an example that would have set for the whole country. Another missed opportunity.

There was no reason to pick a small diocese of the OCA and make it an example for everyone. If Met. Methodios felt so strongly about it then he should have led the funding effort to help them move the diocese and then made a point of planning to move his own Metropolis when he either dies or retires. But instead, he just abruptly tells his own priests they can no longer celebrate with the OCA clergy. How does that help? It doesn't. It only causes hard feelings to develop and leads to more division.

One other fact about the Albanians in Boston is that most of them attend one main cathedral. My childhood Albanian-American friend served in that parish for several years. Many Albanian Muslim immigrants landed in Boston over the last twenty years and ended up at this parish. My priest friend catechized many of them into Orthodoxy while he was there....at one point he had so many Muslims attending his catechism classes that he jokingly asked my Greek-American brother-in-law if he would mind coming out and helping him teach the class.
I would guess this is one of the reasons why Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana deemed this parish worthy of a very recent visit.



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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2008, 07:09:30 PM »

The same parishes would remain in the same diocese until unification; and, you know, he could actually move to Hartford, or Providence, etc. instead of fooling himself and others by remaining.

We both know that wouldn't happen.

Quote
You shouldn't like that one; consensus is the means of reconciling - and that rule of thumb wouldn't work because of the issues the other Autocephalous Churches do have and have had with the OCA.

I sincerely doubt there's ever going to be a consensus that doesn't involve everyone being absorbed into the Greek Archdiocese, because I sincerely doubt the Greek Archdiocese will agree to anything else. 
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2008, 08:29:30 PM »

We both know that wouldn't happen. 

But it could - it only won't if higher-ups are unwilling to make it happen.  People have to be willing to make the leap - and as I postulated above, if any diocese in this country were to say that they wanted to physically move for the sake of Orthodox unity, I think people from the other jurisdictions would support it vocally and financially.

Btw: How on Earth did a bunch of out-of-work fishermen and tradesmen build a Church?  Did they say "we don't have the resources?"

I sincerely doubt there's ever going to be a consensus that doesn't involve everyone being absorbed into the Greek Archdiocese, because I sincerely doubt the Greek Archdiocese will agree to anything else. 

You never know... But your implication is that you all will be "Greek-ified" in the process; that will not be the case.  If any plan for "absorption into the Greek Archdiocese" is proposed, it will be for very practical reasons, such as (a) we already administer the largest number of parishes, (b) we already administer the largest membership, or (c) our national-diocesan connections are very strong (i.e. there is easy flow of information between individual diocese and the Archdiocese).  It will probably not include any provisions mandating use of Greek language or customs - heck, GOA parishes aren't even mandated to use Greek anymore.  I think you probably need to ease up on the conspiracy theories or whatnot - if we ever get to the point of unifying/combining/absorbing/etc, these things will have been ironed out.

Remember, Archbishop IAKOVOS was the major driving force behind heightened activity in SCOBA, the Ligionier Conference, OCMC becoming a SCOBA group; and he was a big influence for IOCC and other ministries of SCOBA.  We can have good ideas in the GOA - and they don't even involve "Greek-ifying" people!
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2008, 10:32:03 PM »

Well then, when Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco passed away a few years ago the Greek Archdiocese could have used his deathbed letter in which he wrote that he wished he had done more for Orthodox unity while he was alive as the reason for  moving the Metropolis of San Francisco to another city in the bay area in honor of his memory. What an example that would have set for the whole country. Another missed opportunity.

There was no reason to pick a small diocese of the OCA and make it an example for everyone. If Met. Methodios felt so strongly about it then he should have led the funding effort to help them move the diocese and then made a point of planning to move his own Metropolis when he either dies or retires. But instead, he just abruptly tells his own priests they can no longer celebrate with the OCA clergy. How does that help? It doesn't. It only causes hard feelings to develop and leads to more division.

One other fact about the Albanians in Boston is that most of them attend one main cathedral. My childhood Albanian-American friend served in that parish for several years. Many Albanian Muslim immigrants landed in Boston over the last twenty years and ended up at this parish. My priest friend catechized many of them into Orthodoxy while he was there....at one point he had so many Muslims attending his catechism classes that he jokingly asked my Greek-American brother-in-law if he would mind coming out and helping him teach the class.
I would guess this is one of the reasons why Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana deemed this parish worthy of a very recent visit.

Nobody's hands are totally clean in this whole overlapping jurisdiction mess here in America. The above post hits on some key things that I wish to point out.

1) San Francisco - let us not forget that as the Antiochians were getting ready to enthrone a Bishop in Los Angeles, the former OCA Bishop of San Francisco decided to add Los Angeles to his title. If we really want to go by when a diocese was founded then the title of San Francisco should belong to the ROCOR Bishop there since they hold the Russian lineage to See. San Francisco, New York and Chicago are the biggest messes when it comes to number of Bishops and will take lots of prayer a humility to fix.

2) Why pick on such a small diocese? See point 3.

3) The Albanian celebration did not include or see it fit to invite Metropolitan Methodios to any part of their celebration even when it included two visiting Bishops, one of whom is a very prominent Bishop. It is because of the timing that this recommendation from the Bishop seems petty.
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2008, 12:10:25 AM »

Well then, when Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco passed away a few years ago the Greek Archdiocese could have used his deathbed letter in which he wrote that he wished he had done more for Orthodox unity while he was alive as the reason for  moving the Metropolis of San Francisco to another city in the bay area in honor of his memory. What an example that would have set for the whole country. Another missed opportunity.

Of course it was.  Did anyone request it?  If they had and it was ignored, then that's a real shame (and I'd treat it in the same manner as I'm treating this one).

There was no reason to pick a small diocese of the OCA and make it an example for everyone. If Met. Methodios felt so strongly about it then he should have led the funding effort to help them move the diocese and then made a point of planning to move his own Metropolis when he either dies or retires. But instead, he just abruptly tells his own priests they can no longer celebrate with the OCA clergy. How does that help? It doesn't. It only causes hard feelings to develop and leads to more division.

I don't know how "abrupt" it was on the grand scale - the negotiation with the OCA may have been going on for months.  I'm not really going to defend Metropolitan METHODIOS - it's not my place to judge either.  While I wouldn't have done the same thing in the same place, I don't know what went on behind the scenes - and hey, neither do you.  Maybe he made an effort, and it was rebutted.  Maybe they rejected his proposal without asking for help in implementing it.  Maybe he offered funding and it was refused; maybe he would have offered funding and they never asked.

One other fact about the Albanians in Boston is that most of them attend one main cathedral. My childhood Albanian-American friend served in that parish for several years. Many Albanian Muslim immigrants landed in Boston over the last twenty years and ended up at this parish. My priest friend catechized many of them into Orthodoxy while he was there....at one point he had so many Muslims attending his catechism classes that he jokingly asked my Greek-American brother-in-law if he would mind coming out and helping him teach the class.
I would guess this is one of the reasons why Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana deemed this parish worthy of a very recent visit. 

I know about the Albanian parish in Boston - I lived there for 4 years and had a classmate who attended the parish.  It's a great parish.  So?
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« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2008, 12:46:59 AM »

Nobody's hands are totally clean in this whole overlapping jurisdiction mess here in America. The above post hits on some key things that I wish to point out.

1) San Francisco - let us not forget that as the Antiochians were getting ready to enthrone a Bishop in Los Angeles, the former OCA Bishop of San Francisco decided to add Los Angeles to his title. If we really want to go by when a diocese was founded then the title of San Francisco should belong to the ROCOR Bishop there since they hold the Russian lineage to See. San Francisco, New York and Chicago are the biggest messes when it comes to number of Bishops and will take lots of prayer a humility to fix.

2) Why pick on such a small diocese? See point 3.

I never said that the OCA was innocent of all wrong-doing. I just don't agree it helps to stop concelebrating with another jurisdiction. It only creates more division...not less. And if a bishop is going to make a big deal over overlapping diocesan cities he better be ready to help figure out a constructive way to change it (ie: funding to help another jurisdiction make the move, offering to move his own diocese if he wasn't the first one in that city, etc.).

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3) The Albanian celebration did not include or see it fit to invite Metropolitan Methodios to any part of their celebration even when it included two visiting Bishops, one of whom is a very prominent Bishop. It is because of the timing that this recommendation from the Bishop seems petty.

The Greek Orthodox bishop of Detroit (Bishop Nicholas) held a special event only for the Greek Orthodox diocese of Detroit when Met. Kallistos was visiting. He didn't invite Met. Nathaniel (OCA) or the clergy and laity of the other jurisdictions. So your point is???
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« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2008, 12:58:21 AM »

Of course it was.  Did anyone request it?  If they had and it was ignored, then that's a real shame (and I'd treat it in the same manner as I'm treating this one).
My point was, if the Greek Archdiocese is now asking other jurisdictions to put bishops in other cities, why should anyone have to request it of them when the opportunity presents itself? The GOA seems to be pursuing this new policy so then they should just act without any request. Especially, if the GOA plans on leading the rest of us to unity (your points about being the largest jurisdiction with the most members and the best national system in place, SCOBA programs etc. etc)...In other words, they need to be the leaders and act if they want others to follow suit.


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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2008, 02:58:57 AM »

If the OCA truly believes that they are the autocephalous church of North America, then they are doing precisely what they have to. Regardless of financial scandal , if they are autocephalous then they should assert themselves.
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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2008, 12:17:21 PM »

You never know... But your implication is that you all will be "Greek-ified" in the process; that will not be the case.  If any plan for "absorption into the Greek Archdiocese" is proposed, it will be for very practical reasons, such as (a) we already administer the largest number of parishes, (b) we already administer the largest membership, or (c) our national-diocesan connections are very strong (i.e. there is easy flow of information between individual diocese and the Archdiocese).  It will probably not include any provisions mandating use of Greek language or customs - heck, GOA parishes aren't even mandated to use Greek anymore.  I think you probably need to ease up on the conspiracy theories or whatnot - if we ever get to the point of unifying/combining/absorbing/etc, these things will have been ironed out.

Remember, Archbishop IAKOVOS was the major driving force behind heightened activity in SCOBA, the Ligionier Conference, OCMC becoming a SCOBA group; and he was a big influence for IOCC and other ministries of SCOBA.  We can have good ideas in the GOA - and they don't even involve "Greek-ifying" people!

Granted, the GOA has the most well-developed infrastructure and administration, but of the big three, it's also the only one with departments of the central administration dedicated to preserving its mother culture.  If perserving a specific national culture is important enough to the GOA to make it a national ministry of the Archdiocese, it's because the GOA considers it so important it needs to be part of the Archdiocese's mission.  Simply merging into a to-be-created amalgamated American jurisdiction won't allow a department specifically dedicated to preserving Greek culture (unless of course, we either form a new department for each specific national culture to be promoted or create one aimed at promoting all of the constituent cultures).  The only way that mission gets carried out is if the GOA does not take part in any merger, which leaves us in a situation different from the present one only in degree rather than kind, or absorbs the other jurisdictions into itself, whereupon their contributions to the central administration then support that department.  This is a fundamentally different problem than one of merging and consolidating departments that exist in all jurisdictions, such as youth ministries or stewardship. In those cases, the question is "how do we organize and carry out something we were all doing before," as opposed to "What do we do with something that some of us did not deem important to carry out and some of us thought was critical?"  That's a question not of the particulars of administration, but of what we are supposed to be doing.  It's not an issue of a Greek conspiracy to subjugate the other jurisdictions like some sort of Gestapo in cassocks, but an issue of parochialism.
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« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2008, 12:49:04 PM »

If the Metropolia has a problem with Methodios breaking off concelebration over their violation of his territory, why not follow proper canonical protocol and appeal his decision to Constantinople in accordance with the 9th Canon of the Fourth Oecumenical Synod?
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« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2008, 12:53:17 PM »

My point was, if the Greek Archdiocese is now asking other jurisdictions to put bishops in other cities, why should anyone have to request it of them when the opportunity presents itself? The GOA seems to be pursuing this new policy so then they should just act without any request. Especially, if the GOA plans on leading the rest of us to unity (your points about being the largest jurisdiction with the most members and the best national system in place, SCOBA programs etc. etc)...In other words, they need to be the leaders and act if they want others to follow suit.

The Bishops in America don't have any say about what cities will contain episcopal thrones and the relative honour of those thrones. Those decisions are made in Constantinople...as all decisions about jurisdiction should.
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« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2008, 01:02:32 PM »

Granted, the GOA has the most well-developed infrastructure and administration, but of the big three, it's also the only one with departments of the central administration dedicated to preserving its mother culture.  If perserving a specific national culture is important enough to the GOA to make it a national ministry of the Archdiocese, it's because the GOA considers it so important it needs to be part of the Archdiocese's mission.  Simply merging into a to-be-created amalgamated American jurisdiction won't allow a department specifically dedicated to preserving Greek culture (unless of course, we either form a new department for each specific national culture to be promoted or create one aimed at promoting all of the constituent cultures).  The only way that mission gets carried out is if the GOA does not take part in any merger, which leaves us in a situation different from the present one only in degree rather than kind, or absorbs the other jurisdictions into itself, whereupon their contributions to the central administration then support that department.  This is a fundamentally different problem than one of merging and consolidating departments that exist in all jurisdictions, such as youth ministries or stewardship. In those cases, the question is "how do we organize and carry out something we were all doing before," as opposed to "What do we do with something that some of us did not deem important to carry out and some of us thought was critical?"  That's a question not of the particulars of administration, but of what we are supposed to be doing.  It's not an issue of a Greek conspiracy to subjugate the other jurisdictions like some sort of Gestapo in cassocks, but an issue of parochialism. 

Well, to the best of my knowledge (since I've actually toured and met the heads of all the Archdiocesan departments) there is one department (Greek Education), not departments.

Now that I'm done picking apart semantics, let's get to the core of your issue.  Yes, the department of Greek Education wouldn't be in the best interests of the Antiochian or Russian or Serbian groups.  But it would be possible to have any parishes that wish to support said department support it, and those who don't wish to won't.  And any parishes that wish to support a Serbian education department could, and those who don't wish to, won't.  This would force the departments to work within their means and minister to those who actually want to be ministered to.  There is a very practical way to handle the situation, one that doesn't compromise individual parishes' freedom to or not to support language/ethnic education.

Moving on to my actual personal view: Greek education in our churches should be handled by AHEPA, not the Church.  They'd do a better job.  They'd get better materials and more help.  Better situation for all.
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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2008, 01:03:05 PM »

This is terribly sad.  First of all, it's terribly sad that Metropolitan METHODIOS felt he needed to tell his clergy not to celebrate with OCA clergy.  But secondly, and even more sad, look at what it's doing to the laity-as evidenced by this site.  I'm reading posts that smack of "OCA versus GOA."  And frankly, it disgusts me.  Knowing Cleveland personally, I can gladly vouch for the fact that he truly desires an EQUAL unity among jurisdictions, with the appropriate offices and responsibilities given to the appropriate people.  

I agree that the OCA should have taken the opportunity to do something to promote unity in the church.  I agree that +METHODIOS reacted harshly.  I agree that the GOA should have taken the same opportunity when +ANTHONY passed away.  I DO NOT agree with the assertions of GOA power conspiracies, and the assertion that the pride or ethnicity of the Greeks would stand in the way of unity.  

So what if the GOA has a department devoted to the education of young Greek Americans in their culture?  My question is, why don't the other jurisdictions?  Personally, I believe all the "mother" cultures should be taught to the children!  They taught tons of cultures in elementary, middle, and high school... why shouldn't the church make an effort to teach the children?  The GOA churches still have huge numbers of immigrants, so it doesn't surprise me that those immigrants want their children to learn their culture.  Wouldn't you want your children to have knowledge of where they came from, and an understanding of their parents' past?  Especially for those like myself, whose families have never been able to afford to go to Greece and even meet our families, much less learn about our past!  Furthermore, why couldn't a unified church have departments devoted to teaching the cultures of its members?  Nobody said that there couldn't be departments devoted to the teaching of Russian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Romanian, etc. cultures.  I would imagine (of course I don't know what happens internally) that the reason the other jurisdictions don't have that is because they are majority converts who are uninterested in ethnic ties.  As far as the OCA is concerned, it is the church "in America," so it's obvious to me that they would not have a department that promotes education of one specific ethnicity (since they are striving to shed the ethnicities altogether).  But that doesn't mean that everyone else has to feel the same way.

As for the "Greek-ifying" aspect, I think that is, frankly, ridiculous.  The majority of GOA parishes now serve liturgy in either all English, or both Greek and English.  I've been to some of the most "ethnic Greek" parishes in Chicago (which is known for being heavily Greek), and not only were services in majority English (and with a hierarch serving!), but +IAKOVOS gave his homily IN ENGLISH!  I have met most of the GOA hierarchs personally, and my husband has personal relationships with almost all of them (as I'm sure Cleveland does too).  And we've all heard them speak loudly and clearly in favor of unity, and encouraging that services and homilies be in English as well as Greek, because we are in America, and we now have a large convert population and second-third generation Greeks who don't speak Greek.  I've heard +IAKOVOS of Chicago specifically say that, as we are in America and are ministering to the population of THIS country, we should make the effort to minister to EVERYONE by using both Greek and English (thereby accommodating both non-Greek speakers, and non-English speakers-of which there are still a surprising number).

I'm sorry if you guys have had a bad experience in a GOA church.  I know it happens, and it is sad.  For Greeks, the church is the center of the community, and as such is HUGELY important.  They don't want to lose their connection with home.  And they are very protective of that connection and that community.  Unfortunately, some take that to the extreme, forgetting that there is no nationality in Christ's Holy Church.  But I do NOT think it is fair to throw such accusations and assertions around without knowing what happens on the inside.  We only see the end results of what are usually long processes of private talks and decision making that happen over months, even years (as Cleveland said).  None of us can assume that we know what is best because we perceive one Hierarch or another (or one jurisdiction or another) as being a certain way without inside knowledge of what is really happening.  

And, as Cleveland said, the generalizations certainly don't help the situation.  There are MANY of us GOA people who love to go to churches in other jurisdictions, and who are committed to unity.  

And, yes, it is unfortunate that this opportunity for a step toward reunification happened during a difficult time in the OCA church.  But nobody ever said it was supposed to be easy.  Not knowing what happened on the inside, I'm sure that +METHODIOS saw the opportunity and felt that (as it is SUCH a RARE opportunity) it is FAR more important than some financial woes.  Since when does the Church of Christ subjugate itself to financial problems?

And as far as the autocephalous OCA church "asserting itself," give me a break.  She could better have asserted Herself by LEADING instead of DIVIDING.  The Antiochians did just that when they compromised with +MAXIMOS' request.  There should be no question of "firsties" as far as where a diocesan See is located.  Each jurisdiction should step up to suggest change, to lead change, and to offer to compromise for the sake of unity.  "Firsties" doesn't belong in Christ's Church!
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« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2008, 02:00:42 PM »

So what if the GOA has a department devoted to the education of young Greek Americans in their culture?  My question is, why don't the other jurisdictions?  Personally, I believe all the "mother" cultures should be taught to the children!  They taught tons of cultures in elementary, middle, and high school... why shouldn't the church make an effort to teach the children?  The GOA churches still have huge numbers of immigrants, so it doesn't surprise me that those immigrants want their children to learn their culture.  Wouldn't you want your children to have knowledge of where they came from, and an understanding of their parents' past?  Especially for those like myself, whose families have never been able to afford to go to Greece and even meet our families, much less learn about our past!  Furthermore, why couldn't a unified church have departments devoted to teaching the cultures of its members?  Nobody said that there couldn't be departments devoted to the teaching of Russian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Romanian, etc. cultures.  I would imagine (of course I don't know what happens internally) that the reason the other jurisdictions don't have that is because they are majority converts who are uninterested in ethnic ties.  As far as the OCA is concerned, it is the church "in America," so it's obvious to me that they would not have a department that promotes education of one specific ethnicity (since they are striving to shed the ethnicities altogether).  But that doesn't mean that everyone else has to feel the same way.

Because, of course, the Lord told us that when we taught a child about the Greek culture, we did it unto him and that we were to go forth to all nations, teaching them about Greek culture.  Oh, wait, no, he didn't.  Preserving Greek culture, or any culture for that matter, is not the role of the Church.  In fact, using the Church to preserve specific cultures not only ignores St. Paul's reminder that in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, but goes in the exact opposite direction.  Not only are there both Greeks and Jews in the Church, but apparently it's now the Church's job to make sure the distinction is preserved!  So people want their kids to know about their Greek heritage?  Great!  I understand, since I'll want my children to someday know about their Irish and Russian heritage.  However, the fact that I want my kids to know about their ethnic heritage doesn't suddenly make it the Church's mission to teach them that, even if the Church has been in Russia for a thousand years.  Heaven forbid people actually take some responsibility for passing on their culture themselves instead of passing the buck (while at the same time forcing those who want nothing to do with it to finanically support that cultural education).
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« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2008, 02:22:40 PM »

Because, of course, the Lord told us that when we taught a child about the Greek culture, we did it unto him and that we were to go forth to all nations, teaching them about Greek culture.  Oh, wait, no, he didn't.  Preserving Greek culture, or any culture for that matter, is not the role of the Church.  In fact, using the Church to preserve specific cultures not only ignores St. Paul's reminder that in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, but goes in the exact opposite direction.  Not only are there both Greeks and Jews in the Church, but apparently it's now the Church's job to make sure the distinction is preserved!  So people want their kids to know about their Greek heritage?  Great!  I understand, since I'll want my children to someday know about their Irish and Russian heritage.  However, the fact that I want my kids to know about their ethnic heritage doesn't suddenly make it the Church's mission to teach them that, even if the Church has been in Russia for a thousand years.  Heaven forbid people actually take some responsibility for passing on their culture themselves instead of passing the buck (while at the same time forcing those who want nothing to do with it to finanically support that cultural education). 

Look at and respond to my post above.

"I thank thee, O Lord, that I am not like that Russian, that I go to pan-Orthodox services and visit non-Greek parishes." Roll Eyes 

I'm glad you put a smiley with that one, because otherwise it's not only a low blow, but also bordering an ad hominem. 

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As an aside:

Keeping in mind my comment above, which I will now quote:

Moving on to my actual personal view: Greek education in our churches should be handled by AHEPA, not the Church.  They'd do a better job.  They'd get better materials and more help.  Better situation for all. 

... I think learning Russian, or Greek, or Serbian, etc. is better than homogenizing our culture with Spanish lessons.  Yes, while Spanish is the dominant language of the Western Hemisphere, I think learning these other rich and diverse languages will be very beneficial to the students - learning languages promotes communication, further knowledge of one's own mother tongue, and solidifies the mechanism by which yet more languages can be learned.  Children who are multi-lingual probably do better in school and raise their own intelligence level (I say probably because I'm too lazy to look up the statistics that would support my point); and I personally don't think our schools in this country do an effective job of educating children in these other languages.  If there can be other organizations (like the Greeks have AHEPA) who can do a better job while working closely with the Church (while not necessarily being tied to the Church), I think these organizations should be supported.  Our desire to make it readily apparent that all languages and cultures are accepted within our Churches should not exclude our willingness to work with said organizations to provide a better language base for our children (and adults who wish to learn).
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« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2008, 02:37:24 PM »

Look at and respond to my post above.

Ah, I didn't even catch that you'd slipped a reply in there. Tongue  I said "departments," as I was lumping in the associated institutions which are linked to on the Archdiocesan page.  I suppose "department and ancillary organizations" would have been more accurate, but why waste the time.

Quote
I'm glad you put a smiley with that one, because otherwise it's not only a low blow, but also bordering an ad hominem. 

Was there really any point in quoting something that I thought better of and decided to remove?

Quote
Keeping in mind my comment above, which I will now quote:

... I think learning Russian, or Greek, or Serbian, etc. is better than homogenizing our culture with Spanish lessons.  Yes, while Spanish is the dominant language of the Western Hemisphere, I think learning these other rich and diverse languages will be very beneficial to the students - learning languages promotes communication, further knowledge of one's own mother tongue, and solidifies the mechanism by which yet more languages can be learned.  Children who are multi-lingual probably do better in school and raise their own intelligence level (I say probably because I'm too lazy to look up the statistics that would support my point); and I personally don't think our schools in this country do an effective job of educating children in these other languages.  If there can be other organizations (like the Greeks have AHEPA) who can do a better job while working closely with the Church (while not necessarily being tied to the Church), I think these organizations should be supported.  Our desire to make it readily apparent that all languages and cultures are accepted within our Churches should not exclude our willingness to work with said organizations to provide a better language base for our children (and adults who wish to learn).

I still don't think that addresses (except maybe in passing) my point that so long as that type of cultural education remains a function and mission of the Church, it's an obstacle to any sort of unification.  Even if participation in the relevant cultural department was voluntary, so long as they remain functions of the Church, operating within its structures, there remains the imprimatur that cultural education tailored to specific ethnicities is a proper function of the Church.  If individual parishes find it pastorally beneficial to offer that sort of education and seek an organization to exchange ideas and coordinate efforts, great, but that should stand entirely outside any structures of the Church.  Let it be like AHEPA and not a Church department.
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« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2008, 03:12:24 PM »

And why is reunification more important than preserving ones culture? Traditional greek culture is Orthodox, traditional American culture is not nor ever will. There already is an autocephalous Orthodox church one can belong to, This Canonical  Church of North America is the OCA. So if one doesnt like the immigrant status of a church, by all means, do the canonically correct thing and join the OCA.

On April 6 i will attend the Greek Independance Day Parade down fifth Ave in Manhattan and i'm not going to lose sleep over the fact that many people will be marching under the banner of their Greek Orthodox parish, and many social clubs that have close ties to the Greek Church.
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« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2008, 04:45:30 PM »

I still don't think that addresses (except maybe in passing) my point that so long as that type of cultural education remains a function and mission of the Church, it's an obstacle to any sort of unification.  Even if participation in the relevant cultural department was voluntary, so long as they remain functions of the Church, operating within its structures, there remains the imprimatur that cultural education tailored to specific ethnicities is a proper function of the Church.

<gasp> you might accidently be exposed to an opportunity to learn about a culture different than your own if you go to a Greek Church? You don't say? Wow, I wouldn't go there either...what a frightening prospect.

Seriously, enjoy the food, enjoy the music, and once the Metaxa sets in you won't care one way or the other Wink
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« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2008, 04:50:26 PM »

Ah, I didn't even catch that you'd slipped a reply in there. Tongue  I said "departments," as I was lumping in the associated institutions which are linked to on the Archdiocesan page.  I suppose "department and ancillary organizations" would have been more accurate, but why waste the time. 

Because it's more accurate, I suppose.  While I may personally not support departments, I think ancillary organizations do much more benefit than harm.

Was there really any point in quoting something that I thought better of and decided to remove? 

Because you hadn't removed it and I didn't know you were going to...  Now that you have, I'm grateful.

I still don't think that addresses (except maybe in passing) my point that so long as that type of cultural education remains a function and mission of the Church, it's an obstacle to any sort of unification.  Even if participation in the relevant cultural department was voluntary, so long as they remain functions of the Church, operating within its structures, there remains the imprimatur that cultural education tailored to specific ethnicities is a proper function of the Church.  If individual parishes find it pastorally beneficial to offer that sort of education and seek an organization to exchange ideas and coordinate efforts, great, but that should stand entirely outside any structures of the Church.  Let it be like AHEPA and not a Church department. 

I agree with you in principle.  I just wanted to point out that it would be possible to maintain said education within those parishes that wanted it without compromising the others.

And be careful when you absolutely decry the Church teaching languages and culture - while I don't think it's necessary in the U.S., I'll never condemn it on an absolute level.  Read The Great Church in Captivity by Runciman to see what I'm talking about - the Church has saved nations and cultures through it's efforts through times of the harshest oppression, slavery, and potential genocide.
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« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2008, 05:05:13 PM »

And be careful when you absolutely decry the Church teaching languages and culture - while I don't think it's necessary in the U.S., I'll never condemn it on an absolute level.  Read The Great Church in Captivity by Runciman to see what I'm talking about - the Church has saved nations and cultures through it's efforts through times of the harshest oppression, slavery, and potential genocide.

However, that's a very different situation in kind that what we're dealing with here.
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« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2008, 05:37:59 PM »

The whole church and the culture attached to it thing seems to be a different issue to me (I've always enjoyed my visits to Greek churches btw).

It probably would have been wise for the OCA not to install a second bishop in Boston, no matter who was there first; following the example of Pittsburgh.  I have a feeling banning concelebration is not going to solve the issue of jurisdictional fragmentation however, and will probably only make things worse.
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« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2008, 05:41:30 PM »

Because, of course, the Lord told us that when we taught a child about the Greek culture, we did it unto him and that we were to go forth to all nations, teaching them about Greek culture.  Oh, wait, no, he didn't. 

This is totally unfair.  Show me one example of a GOA church who has replaced preaching the Gospel with teaching Greek.  That is the kind of ridiculous divisive assertion that I was talking about.

Preserving Greek culture, or any culture for that matter, is not the role of the Church.  In fact, using the Church to preserve specific cultures not only ignores St. Paul's reminder that in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, but goes in the exact opposite direction.  Not only are there both Greeks and Jews in the Church, but apparently it's now the Church's job to make sure the distinction is preserved! 

Again, unfair.  You make it sound as though the entire purpose of the GOA is to brainwash unsuspecting Americans into "Greek-ness!"  The GOA website states:

Quote

The purpose of the Greek Education and Culture program of the Archdiocese is to instill in our youth the spiritual, moral and cultural values of our Greek Orthodox heritage so that they may be exemplary American citizens and faithful members of our Holy Orthodox Church.

The Department of Greek Education is charged with the responsibility of assisting parishes in establishing and sustaining a Greek studies program that comprises the teaching of the Modern Greek language and the Greek history and culture as well as the teaching of the Greek Orthodox faith and worship.  

The Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education serves the District’s parochial day schools and the afternoon Greek language schools by providing professional training for all teachers (Greek and English curricula); appropriate materials for teaching Greek as a second language; and The Comprehensive Examination in Modern Greek for the evaluation of student learning.

What we're talking about here is "Greek school."  That is parochial school (such as that of Koraes at SS. Constantine and Helen Church, Palos Hills-- an EXCELLENT school), and afternoon Greek school where children can go and learn their native language.  I'm sorry if you have a problem with that.  But there are those of us (myself, as one example) who grew up in places where there was no AHEPA, no other organization that could organize a Greek school, and our parents, of which you say the following, were not able to teach us!:

Heaven forbid people actually take some responsibility for passing on their culture themselves instead of passing the buck (while at the same time forcing those who want nothing to do with it to financially support that cultural education).

My father has worked 18 hour days, and 7 day weeks since before I was born, and my mother is American and doesn't speak Greek.  Where was I supposed to go to learn Greek?  My mother did her best to educate us in our culture where my Dad was unable, and God bless her for it!  I ended up going to HCHC to learn Greek (among other reasons), the school of the GOA.  And thank God for that opportunity!  I find the Educational programs a blessing.


My friend, I pray you don't take offense to anything I say... but it really sounds like you have some serious bitterness going against the GOA.  I am truly sorry for whatever happened to make you feel that way.

Pray for me a sinner.
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« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2008, 05:50:41 PM »

(while at the same time forcing those who want nothing to do with it to finanically support that cultural education).

And by the way, no one is forced to support "that cultural education."  I'm not sure what parishes you've been to, but giving is always voluntary.  If you don't want to support those ministries (for which the parishes pass SPECIAL trays, with the understanding that the money goes to the parochial schools, HCHC, etc), then don't give.  Nobody held a gun to your head and said, "empty your wallet into that tray."

In many cases, if the kids are to participate in those programs, their parents have to pay tuition. In many other cases, the materials are donated by a parishioner, and the teachers are volunteers. 

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« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2008, 05:56:31 PM »

This is totally unfair.  Show me one example of a GOA church who has replaced preaching the Gospel with teaching Greek.  That is the kind of ridiculous divisive assertion that I was talking about.

Umm... would the absurd, 20 minute long 'homily' extolling the "Glory of being Greek" at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix four years ago qualify?  The only instance where Christ was mentioned was when the priest opined that Christ "likely would have chosen to be born Greek if given the chance."  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2008, 06:05:08 PM »

However, that's a very different situation in kind that what we're dealing with here.

Which is why I said:

while I don't think it's necessary in the U.S. 

I could blather on about how our culture isn't promoting enough free/critical thinking, real education, etc., which sounds eerily similar to Ottoman Turkey... But I don't think that is relevant to the discussion at hand.
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« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2008, 06:07:13 PM »

Umm... would the absurd, 20 minute long 'homily' extolling the "Glory of being Greek" at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix four years ago qualify? 

Partially, sure.  He didn't actually replace the Gospel with it, but the homily should be about the Gospel.

The only instance where Christ was mentioned was when the priest opined that Christ "likely would have chosen to be born Greek if given the chance."  Roll Eyes 

And what if he would have? Wink jk
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« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2008, 06:13:03 PM »

I have not seen Metropolitan Methodios' letter; however, I've been told that what really set him off against the OCA, was something that happened during a Triumph of Orthodoxy pan-Orthodox service, at which an OCA priest was speaking to the congregation.  This OCA priest blamed the failure of the Church to cure the jurisdictional overlap dilemma on the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the GO Archdiocese of America.  Has anyone heard anything about this?
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« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2008, 06:40:55 PM »

This OCA priest blamed the failure of the Church to cure the jurisdictional overlap dilemma on the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the GO Archdiocese of America.  Has anyone heard anything about this? 

I hope this isn't true... If it were, (a) it would explain things perfectly, and (b) it would be an absolute shame.
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« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2008, 07:00:08 PM »

I hope this isn't true... If it were, (a) it would explain things perfectly, and (b) it would be an absolute shame.

And (c) Oh so true [see: (a) and then (c)]  Wink
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