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Author Topic: Metropolitan METHODIOS (GOA) of Boston Forbids Concelebration with OCA Clergy?  (Read 11869 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]
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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.).

Quote
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.

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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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« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2008, 08:11:47 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?

I was present at that service. The featured speaker was not from OCA. That was Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald from Albanian Diocese of America - EP. Fr. Thomas did not make any anti-jurisdictional statements or implications.
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« Reply #46 on: March 29, 2008, 08:50:42 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.

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:

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!:

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.

So because I have serious issues with the Church being used to promote specific ethnic cultures, and believe that is a sufficient problem to keep the GOA from pursuing unity with the other American jurisdictions, I somehow hate Greeks?  Please.  I'm really not sure if I'm just not making my position clear, or if you just want to think that I hate Greeks rather than raising a legitimate point.  Apparently, it helps one's argument if you start it off by talking about how you personally like to attend other parishes' services, etc.?  Or by talking about how the issue in question personally benefitted you?  Should I start with those instead?  Those don't do anything to touch the merits of whether cultural education is proper in the Church and whether said cultural education is a major obstacle to unity (and to reiterate, I believe the answers are "no" and "yes," respectively).  However, if it would help you to actually consider my argument on its merits rather than dismissing it as Greek-hatred, I'll be perfectly happy to do so.
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« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2008, 09:31:44 PM »

So because I have serious issues with the Church being used to promote specific ethnic cultures, and believe that is a sufficient problem to keep the GOA from pursuing unity with the other American jurisdictions, I somehow hate Greeks?  Please.  I'm really not sure if I'm just not making my position clear, or if you just want to think that I hate Greeks rather than raising a legitimate point.  Apparently, it helps ones argument if you start it off by talking about how you personally like to attend other parishes' services, etc.?  Or by talking about how the issue in question personally benefitted you?  Should I start with those instead?  Those don't do anything to touch the merits of whether cultural education is proper in the Church and whether said cultural education is a major obstacle to unity (and to reiterate, I believe the answers are "no" and "yes," respectively).  However, if it would help you to actually consider my argument on its merits rather than dismissing it as Greek-hatred, I'll be perfectly happy to do so.

I didn't say you hated Greeks.  I just said it sounded like you had a bad experience and had some bitterness, that's all.  Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.  And further, my apology was sincere.  I'm sorry that you took it that way.

As far as your argument, I would agree that it was merited if the culture programs overtook the preaching of the Gospel.  But I don't feel that they do.  Thus I disagree with you.  Which is fine, we're allowed to have different opinions. Smiley

And I do agree with Cleveland that we would be better served to have those programs run by AHEPA.  My point was that in our community, there was no AHEPA to do anything, much less foster Greek programs.  The only access we had to education about our culture and in our language was through our parish, where all the Greeks gathered.  There were no Greek language programs in the public (or private) schools, and nowhere else to go.  That was it.  As well, these programs promote fellowship based in the church between the children.  Those ties are very important, I feel.

If you think removing Cleveland's or my personal positions (and the fact that we like to attend other jurisdictions' parishes) changes the facts, then by all means, feel free to say so.  But we present these facts as examples that the sweeping generalizations you are making just DON'T work.  If you think anecdotal evidence is not important when discussing such subjective issues, then I would have to disagree.

To be honest, my real objection to your previous post was the crack about parents not taking responsibility in teaching their children their language and culture.  I dislike those kinds of comments because my Dad was rarely able to be there for things like that (and concerts, plays, etc.).  But it certainly wasn't for lack of caring, wanting to be there, or desperately trying to be there.  What it comes down to is that for many families, it's just not that easy.  As well, I had many friends whose parents were immigrants who weren't educated beyond third or fourth grade.  They sent their kids to Greek school to get a proper education, beyond what they had.  I certainly can't fault them for that.

Other than that, I just disagree with you.  Like I said, it's not a big deal.  I just don't think it merits such obviously stinging words and comments that border on ad hominem.  I presumed from your tone and comments that you had some bad experience that was causing you to feel so strongly against the GOA.  Apologies if I was wrong.  It wasn't meant as an insult or whatnot.

By the way, just out of curiosity, if you feel so strongly about the Greek parochial schools, how do you feel about Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, etc. ones?

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« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2008, 09:58:58 PM »

I didn't say you hated Greeks.  I just said it sounded like you had a bad experience and had some bitterness, that's all.

What you did was decide that because I must have had a bad experience with Greeks somewhere (an accusation nowhere substantiated), my argument had no merit.  That's a logical fallacy; even if I did have some sort of bitterness towards Greeks, that would neither detract from nor support my argument.  My argument stands on its merits, regardless of biases one way or the other.

Quote
If you think removing Cleveland's or my personal positions (and the fact that we like to attend other jurisdictions' parishes) changes the facts, then by all means, feel free to say so.  But we present these facts as examples that the sweeping generalizations you are making just DON'T work.  If you think anecdotal evidence is not important when discussing such subjective issues, then I would have to disagree.

Well, since you apparently think that those positions are relevant, please explain how your personal experiences regarding cultural education respond to my argument that the role of the Church does not include cultural education, and, assuming it does, that such education is not a major obstacle to unification of the various American jurisdictions.

Quote
By the way, just out of curiosity, if you feel so strongly about the Greek parochial schools, how do you feel about Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, etc. ones?

I have yet to encounter an RC school teaching its students Irish, Italian, or Mexican culture, a Lutheran one teaching German culture, or a Protestant one teaching culture period (since rednecks don't have culture Tongue).  Show me a Greek parochial school teaching its students mathematics, science, and literature, and I'll approve; show me a Lutheran school teaching cultural customs, and I'll disapprove.
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« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2008, 10:22:23 PM »

I've been thinking quite a bit about this matter.  I think it's the most serious problem to develop in American Orthodox jurisdictional relations since Patriarch Bartholomew vetoed the Logonier statements of 1994.  

I'm wondering if Metropolitan Methodios, as a diocesan bishop, has the authority to break communion with another Church (jurisdiction).  I do not think he does. Aren't synods responsible for "matters of common concern?" Communion/relations with another Orthodox Church are matters of common concern. They are not isolated to a particular diocese.  I certainly hope that the Holy Eparchial Synod takes up this matter, though, especially since the new Charter has been in place, they will be reluctant to question the actions of one of their own.  It should also be noted that the Constitutional Charter of the Holy Archdiocese of America, at Article 2c, states,
"...As to intra-Orthodox...activities, the Archdiocese follows the positions and guidelines established by the Ecumenical Patriarchate."  Again, I don't think a diocesan bishop has the authority to sever communion with another Church.

It's interesting too, to note, Methodios' mentor, Archbishop Iakovos, of Thrice Blessed Memory, instructed his Auxiliary Bishops, in 1971, "to avoid...communion...with the bishops of the Metropolia."  This break in relations lasted -5- months, or so.  The OCA's response, at that time, was that Patriarch Athenagoras referred to Metropolitan Ireney as "brother and co-celebrant" in correspondence and that the Archbishop of America did not have the authority to sever communion with the OCA.

Finally, in response to Reply #45, I did not indicate, nor do I know, at which Sunday of Orthodoxy celebration the incident occurred.
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« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2008, 10:45:06 PM »


Finally, in response to Reply #45 above, I do not know at which particular Orthodoxy Sunday celebration this incident had occurred.



Sorry, I had to put it more clear. I was referring to the latest concelebration on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 16, 2008. The service transpired at Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA.

The last year service, where I was also present, took place at Saint Athanasius the Great Greek Orthodox Church in Arlington, MA. The main speaker was Fr. John Bacon from Nativity of Virgin Mary Orthodox Church (OCA) in Chelsea, MA. He delivered an excellent cermon and so did Fr. Tom this year. Fr. John's topic focused on family values. As far as I remember, I don't recall him talking about jurisdictions, etc.

For a couple of years, prior to that, I have been living in other areas. Also, the action would appear sooner, if the issue emerged earlier.


 
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« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2008, 10:57:41 PM »

I've been thinking quite a bit about this matter.  I think it's the most serious problem to develop in American Orthodox jurisdictional relations since Patriarch Bartholomew vetoed the Logonier statements of 1994. 

I'm wondering if Metropolitan Methodios, as a diocesan bishop, has the authority to break communion with another Church (jurisdiction).  I do not think he does. Aren't synods responsible for "matters of common concern?" Communion/relations with another Orthodox Church are matters of common concern. They are not isolated to a particular diocese.  I certainly hope that the Holy Eparchial Synod takes up this matter, though, especially since the new Charter has been in place, they will be reluctant to question the actions of one of their own.  It should also be noted that the Constitutional Charter of the Holy Archdiocese of America, at Article 2c, states,
"...As to intra-Orthodox...activities, the Archdiocese follows the positions and guidelines established by the Ecumenical Patriarchate."  Again, I don't think a diocesan bishop has the authority to sever communion with another Church.

It's interesting too, to note, Methodios' mentor, Archbishop Iakovos, of Thrice Blessed Memory, instructed his Auxiliary Bishops, in 1971, "to avoid...communion...with the bishops of the Metropolia."  This break in relations lasted -5- months, or so.  The OCA's response, at that time, was that Patriarch Athenagoras referred to Metropolitan Ireney as "brother and co-celebrant" in correspondence and that the Archbishop of America did not have the authority to sever communion with the OCA.

Well - Metropolitan METHODIOS (according to the letter) did not break communion - he instructed non-concelebration.  If he had, then it would be taken up by the Synod of Constantinople.

As to the matter of concelebration, he can indeed instruct his priests to not concelebrate.  If someone takes issue with this, then they can appeal it to the synod who can override him.
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« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2008, 11:03:30 PM »

Once again, Cleveland, your clarification makes sense.  Still, not a good situation.
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« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2008, 11:12:53 PM »

Still, not a good situation. 

No, you're absolutely right.  I personally have to wonder what has built up in this situation to lead a hierarch to make such a decision - it's not very common for such a thing to take place, so there must have been not only a serious catalyst, but also a serious build-up.
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« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2008, 11:19:14 PM »

What you did was decide that because I must have had a bad experience with Greeks somewhere (an accusation nowhere substantiated), my argument had no merit.  That's a logical fallacy; even if I did have some sort of bitterness towards Greeks, that would neither detract from nor support my argument.  My argument stands on its merits, regardless of biases one way or the other.
This is not true.  What I said was that your harsh tone and sweeping generalizations and borderline ad hominems spoke to bitterness.  It had and has nothing to do with your argument.  Again, it was not an insult.  And again, I'm sorry you took it that way.

Well, since you apparently think that those positions are relevant, please explain how your personal experiences regarding cultural education respond to my argument that the role of the Church does not include cultural education, and, assuming it does, that such education is not a major obstacle to unification of the various American jurisdictions.
As I have said before, the GOA is still made up largely of immigrants, for whom the Church is the center of life, the center of community, the center of fellowship, the center of everything.  This is why you often have large groups of Greeks living around the Church.  The Church was where they went as soon as they got off the boat (so to speak) to find community, jobs, life.  As such, especially in absence of another organization willing and able to function in an educational way, it was, historically, the logical place to go for such education, as it was the place to find a community of Greeks.  Now those programs have been centralized and organized THROUGH the church (if you'll note, the directors of the Greek Education department, as specified by the GOA website, are NOT priests), in order that all of those communities (who so desire-- none are forced to participate) may have access to educational materials.  The GOA does nothing more than facilitate those education programs.  They do not force them.  If they did, then I would CERTAINLY have a problem with that.  Even at HCHC, the GOA's school, learning Greek (both modern and liturgical) is OPTIONAL for anyone not seeking a Master's of Divinity or Bachelor's of Religios Studies(and the only reason modern Greek is required for those programs, as I understand, is because of those large immigrant populations that still have a large group of non-English speakers).  Thus, by the GOA, these programs are treated as extra curricular, so to speak.  I also stated that I agree with Cleveland, in that it would be better for AHEPA, or some similar organization, to take over that role.  My particular anecdote was simply an example to show that that is not always possible.

As to it being an obstacle of unity, as I also said before (and so did Cleveland), no parish is forced to participate.  No child is forced to participate.  And I see no problem whatsoever with a department that would teach any and all cultures desired by the members of the churches.  If unity were to be realized, there could be programs for Russian language and culture to be taught in the churches of ROCOR and OCA tradition (if they chose to participate in such programs), Albanian language and culture in Albanian churches, Bulgarian, Serbian, Romanian, etc.  And if a Greek parish chose to bring in a Russian program, all the better!  I'd love to see a department that fosters education of all these traditions in any parish that wishes to participate, be they Russian, Greek, Spanish, Chinese (as we now have churches in these traditions as well), whatever a parish desires!  Further, there is a Spanish speaking GOA parish in Florida (where +ALEXIOS fully encourages the usage of Spanish and the maintenance of Latino cultures), there are Archdioceses in South America, Asia, etc. all under the Patriarchate.  They are from the "Greek" tradition (and here I mean Byzantine, and in a liturgical way, not as in ethnic modern Greece), but retain their own cultures and languages.  Why can this not happen in the US?  I also like to think of the example of the Agapi vespers on Pascha.  My home parish of 35 families routinely has upwards of 12 languages for the Gospel.  At the seminary last year (HCHC) there were 23 languages (not including English and Greek).  These are examples of the GOA stepping out, in my opinion.  I have never heard a peep of a complaint in either place about the useage of other languages.

I have yet to encounter an RC school teaching its students Irish, Italian, or Mexican culture, a Lutheran one teaching German culture, or a Protestant one teaching culture period (since rednecks don't have culture Tongue). 

I have seen RC schools that teach culture, and they certainly do teach the languages.  My mother attended Catholic school in a highly Italian neighborhood, and her school taugh both Italian language and culture.  It was only natural considering the make-up of both the school and neighborhood.  Heck, don't public schools teach these things?  Of course!  I remember plenty of long units on English culture, Asian cultures, Indian culture, and even Byzantium (a rather long and, frankly, abrasive unit in 9th grade).  And of course they teach the languages.  My high school (in Georgia-- talk about rednecks Smiley ) taught Latin, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and French.  And, believe it or not, as the school was in the middle of the projects, they had an ESL class for kids who had terrible grammer (who basically spoke ebonics).

Show me a Greek parochial school teaching its students mathematics, science, and literature, and I'll approve; show me a Lutheran school teaching cultural customs, and I'll disapprove.
Koraes School, SS. Constantine and Helen, Palos Hills, IL.-- among others.  As I said before, a fabulous school.  I have a niece and nephew attending there.

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« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2008, 11:21:11 PM »

Still, not a good situation.

I totally agree.  I pray that it is resolved quickly, with love and humility from both sides.
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« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2008, 12:03:52 AM »

GreekChef, I'm done.  You still won't answer the question about whether cultural education is a proper part of the Church's mission and why, instead insisting on skipping to the particulars of how you want to see it done (and it should be noted here that a recitation of why the Church is the organization best suited to do so is not an explanation of whether that is a proper part of its mission; it may be the best suited to do something that is not a proper task for it to engage in).  I don't see any point in asking yet again whether that is part of what we are to be about only to get an answer that doesn't respond to the question.
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« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2008, 12:09:48 AM »

did not break communion - he instructed non-concelebration. 

Cleveland is right in that this is not a break in communion nor does it prevent celebrating with all the clergy but rather just the priest.  To be fair the exact instruction is "to refrain from co-celebrating with any priests" which is very different from forbidding. There are many other words he could have used instead of refrain but he did use refrain and that shows hope of reconciliation.
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« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2008, 12:36:33 AM »

You still won't answer the question about whether cultural education is a proper part of the Church's mission and why, instead insisting on skipping to the particulars of how you want to see it done (and it should be noted here that a recitation of why the Church is the organization best suited to do so is not an explanation of whether that is a proper part of its mission; it may be the best suited to do something that is not a proper task for it to engage in).  I don't see any point in asking yet again whether that is part of what we are to be about only to get an answer that doesn't respond to the question. 

I know this is addressed to someone else, but I'll take a stab at it:

I don't believe cultural education, nay, any education beyond the religious kind to be part of the Church's mission per se.  However, the Church's mission is the salvation of its members and their welfare, which has manifest itself in different ways at different times.  The Church was never intended to be the provider of all education, and yet we have parochial schools; the Church was not intended to be the legal registrar of Weddings, and yet it became such; the Church didn't originally need to expel itself from the world - it was originally expelled by the world itself, and yet it nurtured monasticism when the world and the Faith needed it to.  There are plenty of cases where something that isn't directly stated in the Church's mission became a part of the Church's function in order to take care of its people.  Without the Church's active role in Education, the faith and various cultures of the Balkans would have been lost; without the Church's acceptance of the administrative roles that were forced upon her, the people that depended on her would have suffered; without the Church's response to the changing conditions of the world around her, asceticism would have never flourished.

So is cultural education in the Church's mission?  Not directly, no.  But if the members of the Church feel that it is an area where the Church must play an active role, then I think the community must be respected.  They cannot and should not force their views on others, but at the same time their judgment as to their own pastoral needs should be respected.  We must remember throughout this talk of administrative unity and top-down merging that the individual parishes still represent in and of themselves the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and each Church must be able (within reason) to operate as it needs to.

Does my answer seem to address your question?
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« Reply #59 on: March 30, 2008, 12:42:34 AM »

For those reading this discussion who would also like to see another thread with discussion on North American Unity:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.0.html
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« Reply #60 on: March 30, 2008, 01:35:18 AM »

I have read the letter.  

Many things that have been said already explain the situation.  One of the key aspects of this is that Metropolitan Herman had announced that they would be installing a bishop in the Boston area, in 2005.  Since then Met. METHODIOS has been appealing to Met. Herman and the Archbishop, as well as to Constantinople, to not do this, for various reasons, etc.  So this dialogue has been in the works for a while.  

Beyond that, the last SCOBA meeting, Met. Methodios approached Met. Herman again, after Herman had emphatically made an appeal for administrative unity.  

So his point, one of them, in the letter, is practice what you preach.  He said that this act was a disgrace to himself, to the GOA and to the Patriarchate of Const.  

Also, he did NOT bread communion, but rather, as Cleveland stated, he requested that his priests stop serving with OCA priests, per the break in administrative unity = break in liturgical unity.  

[modified for typo]
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« Reply #61 on: March 30, 2008, 03:16:47 AM »

"Like the sand in an hourglass, so are . . . "

Ahh, one big happy family.  Soap opera family.

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« Reply #62 on: March 30, 2008, 05:09:08 PM »

Thank you SERB1389, (Reply #60), for this insight.  It certainly puts a rational perspective on the situation, which frankly, I had not perceived.  While I remain opposed to what amounts to a break in Communion, that isn't technically so, at least His Eminence attempted, over a period of time, to address the matter through appropriate channels.  Unfortunately, attempting to work rationally with Metropolitan Herman was probably a waste of time, in light of his demonstrated gross administrative deficiencies.  Although, perhaps bringing the issue up to the level it's now at, may prompt a wider discussion of the overall problem of the lack of administrative unity in America and the diaspora in general.

Is there an internet posting of Metropolitan Methodios' letter you could refer me to?  As noted above, it's not on the GOAA or Metropolis of Boston website.
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« Reply #63 on: March 30, 2008, 07:10:08 PM »

GreekChef, I'm done.  You still won't answer the question about whether cultural education is a proper part of the Church's mission and why, instead insisting on skipping to the particulars of how you want to see it done (and it should be noted here that a recitation of why the Church is the organization best suited to do so is not an explanation of whether that is a proper part of its mission; it may be the best suited to do something that is not a proper task for it to engage in).  I don't see any point in asking yet again whether that is part of what we are to be about only to get an answer that doesn't respond to the question.

Well, I guess I thought I answered your question (silly me), by way of pointing out that there was (and is) obviously a need for education in the communities of the Church.  While no, education of this kind is not a specific need of the Church (and it should be pointed out here that neither are basketball, dances, or any other manner of activities that the Church promotes to meet the needs of the people and bring them together in Christ), the Church has always done whatever She could to meet the needs of the people to the best of Her ability.  So do I think it is a specified mission of the Church?  No.  BUT, I do believe that the mission of the Church is, as Cleveland said a few posts ago, "the salvation and welfare" of the people.  Does this type of education further the people toward salvation?  As I posted before, the GOA website says clearly that the purpose of the education is:

Quote
so that they may be exemplary American citizens and faithful members of our Holy Orthodox Church.

If this education helps the people be more faithful members of the Church, then yes, I think it does help fulfill the mission of the Church.  Of course it cannot help us toward salvation the way the Eucharist and the other sacraments, etc. do.  But if it helps to bring the people to Church, to greet one another in love, to come together in Christ, to be more faithful members of the Church, then I have no problem with it.

If that does not answer the question to your satisfaction, then I am sorry.  But I would like to address something else that you have repeatedly ignored in my posts.  I have, in every post, been more than polite, and attempted to engage in loving, fruitful Christian dialogue.  What I have received from you has not been in like manner.  I am sorry if what I have said has offended you.  As I have clearly stated, it was not intended that way.  But especially during Lent, when we are supposed to be more mindful of our words and more careful in our relationships and interactions, I am not going to continue to open myself up to discussions filled with obvious harsh words, harsh tones, bitterness, and rudeness.  I doubt you will continue this conversation, as made it quite clear that my opinions carry absolutely no validity with you, and, as you said so curtly, you are "done."  But should you decide to continue the discussion (as I think it is an important one), I will simply ask that you change your tone.  I do not want to be in a situation which causes me to be hurt by your angry words, nor do I want to cause you to speak them, as this is a penitential time when we should be mindful of such things.  If we don't continue this discussion (or any other, as my forum time is limited these days, what with Lenten services and other commitments), I pray you have a good Lent (what's left of it), and a wonderful Pascha.

With love in Christ,

Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #64 on: March 30, 2008, 08:08:45 PM »

Thank you SERB1389, (Reply #60), for this insight.  It certainly puts a rational perspective on the situation, which frankly, I had not perceived.  While I remain opposed to what amounts to a break in Communion, that isn't technically so, at least His Eminence attempted, over a period of time, to address the matter through appropriate channels.  Unfortunately, attempting to work rationally with Metropolitan Herman was probably a waste of time, in light of his demonstrated gross administrative deficiencies.  Although, perhaps bringing the issue up to the level it's now at, may prompt a wider discussion of the overall problem of the lack of administrative unity in America and the diaspora in general.

Is there an internet posting of Metropolitan Methodios' letter you could refer me to?  As noted above, it's not on the GOAA or Metropolis of Boston website.

I am not sure if there is any kind of public access to it, like online.  I was going to scan it into my computer and post it, but I wasn't sure about the copyright issues, as well as trying to be respectful of Met. Methodios' decisions regarding this.  There was a reason why he sent this letter to his priests, and not to the entire metropolis.  Not knowing that reason, I think it would be hubris for me to assume that I can do whatever I want with what is obviously a specific response to a specific issue, in regards to specific people in the church (priests). 


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« Reply #65 on: March 30, 2008, 08:26:23 PM »

I'll post it below. It may not be my place to do as I please with the Bishop's letter, but I feel it is certainly necessary in this topic:


Unauthorized citation of hierarchical letter to subordinate clergy removed.  -PeterTheAleut


Frankly, I am disgusted with Metr. Methodios (though certainly not the first time I've had those feelings, especially after I met him in person at our parish). Frankly, this shows how petty and foolish some ultra-ethnic Orthodox can be. In my opinion, they need to keep their inflammatory remarks to themselves, and if they don't like cultural intermingling here, they can go back to their homeland.

Oh, I'm sorry Metropolitan, but I didn't realize that Orthodoxy had become based solely upon ethnic membership and regional power. I always thought that, you know, we were supposed to be bringing as many people to Christ as possible.

To top it off, he does not say "refrain" by itself, but "direct all clergy...to refrain." Sounds a lot like a break to me.

My .02.
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« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2008, 08:36:22 PM »

Frankly, I am disgusted with Metr. Methodios (though certainly not the first time I've had those feelings, especially after I met him in person at our parish).

Eh, his personality sometimes leaves something to be desired (so does mine!), from what I've observed in seeing classmates ordained and generally being around him a few times per year; but I haven't had a bad experience with him personally - he's been nothing but kind to me.

Frankly, this shows how petty and foolish some ultra-ethnic Orthodox can be. In my opinion, they need to keep their inflammatory remarks to themselves, and if they don't like cultural intermingling here, they can go back to their homeland.

Oh, I'm sorry Metropolitan, but I didn't realize that Orthodoxy had become based solely upon ethnic membership and regional power. I always thought that, you know, we were supposed to be bringing as many people to Christ as possible.

To top it off, he does not say "refrain" by itself, but "direct all clergy...to refrain." Sounds a lot like a break to me.

Ethnic membership and regional power, the Metropolitan as "ultra-ethnic?"  I'm sorry - my 20/20 vision didn't catch that in the letter, so obviously you must have some sort of super-ability to see words that aren't there.  I don't like the prospect of having a diocese not concelebrating with the OCA, but he's obviously tried to clear his conscience multiple times with Metropolitan HERMAN, and has not gotten a positive response (from his perspective). He's given no ethnic propaganda, no "regional power" clause - heck, he probably wrote the letter in English, something that no "ultra-ethnic" bishop would ever do.

By the way, his "homeland" that he "can go back to" is the U.S. - you know, where he is already. LOL. 

My .02. 

Not worth the paper it's printed on.

=====================================================

Might I caution myself and others here to refrain from judging the bishops involved in this mess?  The last thing we need to do is call judgment upon ourselves for our judgment of others, and certainly we might all be tempted to pass judgment in the course of this thread, not only on them, but on each other.  The last commemoration before Great Lent wasn't Judgment Sunday, it was Forgiveness Sunday, and Forgiveness of others is as important as being forgiven, as the Lord's Prayer reminds us each time we recite it.
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« Reply #67 on: March 30, 2008, 08:57:34 PM »

Eh, his personality sometimes leaves something to be desired, from what I've observed in seeing classmates ordained and generally being around him a few times per year; but I haven't had a bad experience with him personally - he's been nothing but kind to me.

After Liturgy, another speaker and I were presenting our Oratorical Festival speeches. Mine ran contrary to his sermon only 5 minutes prior, after which at the Antidoron he gave me a look that smacked of "I don't like you."  I didn't care much about that, but when he came downstairs to coffee hour afterwards, he isolated himself in the corner, surrounded himself with the priests and deacons, and made no attempt to circulate with the parishioners. When somebody would approach to greet him, he would either ignore them or give a quick blessing and turn back around. Then at the lunch afterwards, he essentially refused to speak with anyone except the priest, despite the 20 other people at the table. Not a very pastoral visit, IMO.

Quote
Ethnic membership and regional power, the Metropolitan as "ultra-ethnic?"  I'm sorry - my 20/20 vision didn't catch that in the letter, so obviously you must have some sort of super-ability to see words that aren't there.  I don't like the prospect of having a diocese not concelebrating with the OCA, but he's obviously tried to clear his conscience multiple times with Metropolitan HERMAN, and has not gotten a positive response (from his perspective). He's given no ethnic propaganda, no "regional power" clause - heck, he probably wrote the letter in English, something that no "ultra-ethnic" bishop would ever do.

He's not angry based on the fact that there should be only one Bishop in a city (as he says in his letter), he's angry that GOA parishes may not have as many people in them. That sounds to me as a fear of losing power, both in membership and monetary ability. He says this decision is based entirely upon those who "trample upon the very basic tenets of Orthodox ecclesiology and Canon Law." Hah! 'Cause I always thought that was love and forgiveness, which doesn't seem to be violated here except by the party I have brought into question.

Quote
By the way, his "homeland" that he "can go back to" is the U.S. - you know, where he is already. LOL.

I am referring to ultra-orthodox in general, not just the Metropolitan. Note the "some."

Quote
Not worth the paper it's printed on.

Back at ya', bub.


For the record, I attend a GOA parish, I sing hymns in Greek once I can memorize how they sound, and I have nothing against Greek culture. What I do have a problem with are people who attempt to shove it down my throat as a necessity of Orthodoxy.

EDIT: Just saw Cleveland's note. Bear in mind that I am not passing judgment on the Bishop himself, only upon his actions that I disagree with.

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« Reply #68 on: March 30, 2008, 08:58:47 PM »

Other good threads for exploring the issue of ethnicity and the Church in North America:

Do You Want an American Orthodox Church

Ethnicity and the Church (Be aware that this thread is locked against any new posts.)
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« Reply #69 on: March 30, 2008, 09:09:11 PM »

After Liturgy, another speaker and I were presenting our Oratorical Festival speeches. Mine ran contrary to his sermon only 5 minutes prior, after which at the Antidoron he gave me a look that smacked of "I don't like you."  I didn't care much about that, but when he came downstairs to coffee hour afterwards, he isolated himself in the corner, surrounded himself with the priests and deacons, and made no attempt to circulate with the parishioners. When somebody would approach to greet him, he would either ignore them or give a quick blessing and turn back around. Then at the lunch afterwards, he essentially refused to speak with anyone except the priest, despite the 20 other people at the table. Not a very pastoral visit, IMO.

It's unfortunate that his visit went like that.  The last time I was at a parish with him he circulated the room, spoke with people, and was pretty approachable.

He's not angry based on the fact that there should be only one Bishop in a city (as he says in his letter), he's angry that GOA parishes may not have as many people in them. That sounds to me as a fear of losing power, both in membership and monetary ability. He says this decision is based entirely upon those who "trample upon the very basic tenets of Orthodox ecclesiology and Canon Law." Hah! 'Cause I always thought that was love and forgiveness, which doesn't seem to be violated here except by the party I have brought into question.

No, I'm pretty sure he's explained why he's angry.  If you want to substantiate your theory, go ahead - but you'll need to substantiate it, otherwise it's needless speculation, and no more.

As to "basic tenets of Orthodox ecclesiology and canon law" - look, Love and Forgiveness are indeed basic Orthodox tenets - but according to his letter, he's exhausted those avenues; and he's speaking specifically of how the Church organizes itself (ahem, "ecclesiology") - and physical organization is not based on Love and Forgiveness, but on the Apostolic model.  The Bible says time and again that if you think your brother has wronged you, tell him, confront him with others, and then shake the dust if he/she refuses to listen.

I'm going to quote my other important point from the post above, because I think you need to read it again:

Might I caution myself and others here to refrain from judging the bishops involved in this mess?  The last thing we need to do is call judgment upon ourselves for our judgment of others, and certainly we might all be tempted to pass judgment in the course of this thread, not only on them, but on each other.  The last commemoration before Great Lent wasn't Judgment Sunday, it was Forgiveness Sunday, and Forgiveness of others is as important as being forgiven, as the Lord's Prayer reminds us each time we recite it. 

I am referring to ultra-orthodox in general, not just the Metropolitan. Note the "some."

Point taken.  I apologize!

Back at ya', bub. 

This reminds me of the scene in Patton where the General is at dinner with the Russian Generals, and they exchange their colorful names for one another in their toast.
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« Reply #70 on: March 30, 2008, 09:13:47 PM »

EDIT: Just saw Cleveland's note. Bear in mind that I am not passing judgment on the Bishop himself, only upon his actions that I disagree with.

But how are such statements as the following not judgments of the person?

Frankly, this shows how petty and foolish some ultra-ethnic Orthodox can be.

The way this reads doesn't sound like disagreement with one's actions.  Rather, you have attached the adjectives "petty" and "foolish" to persons (... some ultra-ethnic Orthodox [persons] can be), which makes this the judgment of persons.
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« Reply #71 on: March 30, 2008, 09:15:12 PM »

Quote
This reminds me of the scene in Patton where the General is at dinner with the Russian Generals, and they exchange their colorful names for one another in their toast.

LOL! "I'll drink to that! One S.O.B. to another!"

Quote
But how are such statements as the following not judgments of the person?

I am not saying that I think the Metropolitan is a bad person, nor am I saying he is any less Christian than anyone else. I simply disagree very strongly with his actions. And, this being a "free-for-all," those opinions are needed.

Quote
The way this reads doesn't sound like disagreement with one's actions.  Rather, you have attached the adjectives "petty" and "foolish" to persons (... some ultra-ethnic Orthodox [persons] can be), which makes this the judgment of persons.

Actually, it should be read as, "[actions of] some ultra-ethnic Orthodox [persons] can be." I never judge the person behind the action, only the action they have made.

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« Reply #72 on: March 30, 2008, 09:22:30 PM »

Actually, it should be read as, "[actions of] some ultra-ethnic Orthodox [persons] can be." I never judge the person behind the action, only the action they have made.
But now you're expecting me to read your mind based on just a few words posted on a thread of an internet forum.  I may be smart, but I'm no psychic. Wink
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« Reply #73 on: March 30, 2008, 09:25:51 PM »

But now you're expecting me to read your mind based on just a few words posted on a thread of an internet forum.  I may be smart, but I'm no psychic. Wink

Hah! Reading between lines is always fun.   Grin

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« Reply #74 on: March 30, 2008, 10:04:40 PM »

Cleveland, Re. Reply #66, you're going to make a fine priest.  I will be repenting for the comments I made about one of the hierarchs involved.  I should have couched the language somewhat.

And, I found the letter.  Metropolitan Methodios seems to be taking the OCA episcopal appointment somewhat too personally.  I had not ever thought about the "same city" issue until now, due to my immunity to the issue, having grown up in the US, given, New York; Chicago; Pittsburgh; San Francisco, and who knows where else.  Yet, again I say it, because he essentially says it in his letter, maybe his action will result in something positive. All the hierarchs need to be made aware of "cleveland's" demographics analysis of episcopal seats in America.  Metropolitan Methodios tried to handle this matter in a non-public manner.  The response appears to be too typical.  Do nothing.  So, by taking the action he has taken, maybe someone will wake up and start working to resolve this problem.

May I identify where I found the letter?  It does clarify some of the perspective issues questioned above.  It's a public site, too.
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« Reply #75 on: March 30, 2008, 10:17:56 PM »

My feeling is: if a bishop feels so strongly about one city per bishop then he should, in humility, move his diocese to a different city. Humility and love are the ultimate example to move us in the direction of real unity. Trying to place pressure through requests on another jurisdiction  to move its diocese to another city is obviously not the way to do it. All that has been accomplished is more division and enmity...not less.

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« Reply #76 on: March 30, 2008, 10:26:37 PM »

My feeling is: if a bishop feels so strongly about one city per bishop then he should, in humility, move his diocese to a different city. Humility and love are the ultimate example to move us in the direction of real unity. Trying to place pressure through requests on another jurisdiction  to move its diocese to another city is obviously not the way to do it. All that has been accomplished is more division and enmity...not less.

Unfortunately, that decision is out of Metropolitan METHODIOS' hands; indeed, none of the GOA bishops has the authority to move their see.  I'll refer you to an earlier post that also brings this point up:

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. 

The Synod of the Patriarchate makes all the decisions regarding placement of Diocesan Sees.  If he'd like to move his see, he'd have to bring it to the synod; but considering that over 60% of his parishes are within 1 hour of Boston, I don't think they'd be too keen about moving the Metropolis center.
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« Reply #77 on: March 30, 2008, 10:34:17 PM »

May I identify where I found the letter?  It does clarify some of the perspective issues questioned above.  It's a public site, too.
Sure.  If this letter can be found on a public site as you claim, then, depending on the nature of the site, I (or one of my fellow moderators) may go ahead and reauthorize posting of the letter on this thread.
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« Reply #78 on: March 30, 2008, 10:40:05 PM »

It's in the Orthodox Christian Laity's (OCL) site, www.ocl.org.  When I found it, I thought, why didn't I check this earlier; it fits their agenda perfectly, in more ways than one.
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« Reply #79 on: March 30, 2008, 10:51:28 PM »

It's in the Orthodox Christian Laity's (OCL) site, www.ocl.org.  When I found it, I thought, why didn't I check this earlier; it fits their agenda perfectly, in more ways than one.
The only problem is that the OCL web site won't allow me to read any articles unless I have a login account and password, so I can't verify that the letter is published there as you say.  (It's not your fault.)
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« Reply #80 on: March 30, 2008, 11:00:56 PM »

It's in the Orthodox Christian Laity's (OCL) site, www.ocl.org.  When I found it, I thought, why didn't I check this earlier; it fits their agenda perfectly, in more ways than one. 

The accompanying letter from an anonymous priest is not helpful, speculating as to why he thought the Metropolitan felt he needed to do this (attributing it to ego for being excluded from other events).  I wish people would stop speculating about things and passing it off as fact or plausible fact - they should just state "I'm taking a big guess here, but..."
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« Reply #81 on: March 30, 2008, 11:02:20 PM »

The only problem is that the OCL web site won't allow me to read any articles unless I have a login account and password, so I can't verify that the letter is published there as you say.  (It's not your fault.) 

I can vouch: it's there.
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« Reply #82 on: March 30, 2008, 11:05:01 PM »

Unfortunately, that decision is out of Metropolitan METHODIOS' hands; indeed, none of the GOA bishops has the authority to move their see.  I'll refer you to an earlier post that also brings this point up:

The Synod of the Patriarchate makes all the decisions regarding placement of Diocesan Sees.  If he'd like to move his see, he'd have to bring it to the synod; but considering that over 60% of his parishes are within 1 hour of Boston, I don't think they'd be too keen about moving the Metropolis center.

So in other words, the Antiochians, Serbians, and OCA would all have to move their sees because the Patriarchate wouldn't allow the GOA to move any of their sees. Okay....things are becoming much more clear to me now. Compromising for unity is going to be on everyone else's shoulders with the patriarchate most likely leaving the GOA sees in place. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
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« Reply #83 on: March 30, 2008, 11:17:42 PM »

So in other words, the Antiochians, Serbians, and OCA would all have to move their sees because the Patriarchate wouldn't allow the GOA to move any of their sees. Okay....things are becoming much more clear to me now. Compromising for unity is going to be on everyone else's shoulders with the patriarchate most likely leaving the GOA sees in place. Thanks for clarifying that for me. 

LOL.  You are still touchy and emotional about this stuff, huh?  You know that isn't what I said.  I said that our Metropolitans do not have the ability to move their sees.  That doesn't mean everyone else has to - but if they can, they should try.  Just as the other sees may not be as able to manage, say, unified Clergy benefits, or centralized administration as the GOA could; you wouldn't hear me say "Okay... things are becoming much more clear to me now.  Consolidating for unity to going to be on the GOA's shoulders with the other sees not able to support such a move.  Thanks for clarifying that for me."  Why wouldn't I say it?  Because I know that for these changes to take place, each one will have to make sacrifices where they are able to.  It wouldn't make sense for the Metropolitan of Boston to be deposed and replaced this early in the process for attempting to move his see without backing.  Just as it wouldn't make sense for the OCA to attempt to fuse its administration with the Antiochians this early in the process.  Just as it wouldn't make sense for the Serbs to elect a Romanian bishop this early in the process.  Each one should do what is within their abilities, and work within their restrictions for the time being.  The time for jumping beyond our restrictions will come after we've done all the legwork and foundation-laying that still must be done.

Each Archdiocese seems to be contributing much to the effort already, I don't think we should be too hard on any of them without being hard on all.  The Antiochian Archdiocese has provided many fruitful workers for the vineyard; the OCA has provided many theologians and a goal; the GOA has tirelessly supported SCOBA (even if the Patriarchate didn't agree with SCOBA's decisions).

=====================================================================================

I think anyone who is getting into this discussion and feels their blood pressure go up even a point, or begins to get upset even a small amount, should step back and re-consider whether these feelings are appropriate for Lent, and whether they are distracting us from our spiritual journey.  It isn't worth it to lose prayer or focus because of the forum and what's being said.

I pray for the peace that passes understanding, enlightenment, and Love from our Lord, first for me, the worst of sinners, and for everyone here.  May we all have a blessed and edifying Lent!
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« Reply #84 on: March 30, 2008, 11:51:30 PM »

Cleveland,

I think it is too early in the process to expect anyone to move ESTABLISHED sees, especially in a jurisdiction that is in severe financial distress regardless if it was "an affront not only to my person, but to the Archdiocese and by extension the Ecumenical Patriarchate." 

Wow! I can hardly believe he wrote those words...

I wonder how St. Nektarios of Aegina would have dealt with this situation?


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« Reply #85 on: March 31, 2008, 07:13:37 AM »

Why can't you believe he wrote those words?  They seem fairly clear and pretty well founded to me.  He is just saying it like it is.  Did you mean that you disagree with him?? 

You know that he has been serving on the Synod in Const. for the last 5 years right?  So if anyone knows how the patriarchate feels...it's him. 

Again, not really sure what you meant by that...
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« Reply #86 on: March 31, 2008, 07:42:11 AM »

You know that he has been serving on the Synod in Const. for the last 5 years right?  So if anyone knows how the patriarchate feels...it's him. 

Actually, he only served in Constantinople for 1 year; the bishops have been rotating.  From Last March 1 until this past Feb 29 it was Metropolitan MAXIMOS who was serving in Constantinople.  Metropolitan METHODIOS served a few years ago (2+) for a one-year term.
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« Reply #87 on: March 31, 2008, 11:32:56 AM »

Why can't you believe he wrote those words?  They seem fairly clear and pretty well founded to me.  He is just saying it like it is.  Did you mean that you disagree with him?? 

You know that he has been serving on the Synod in Const. for the last 5 years right?  So if anyone knows how the patriarchate feels...it's him. 

Again, not really sure what you meant by that...

I didn't say his words weren't clear. His words are quite clear. Perhaps the OCA bishop who watched Met. Methodios being installed as Metropolitan of Boston in 1984 wasn't too excited about it either.
Why should Met. Methodios feel more affronted than any other bishop in any other jurisdiction to the point he must have his priests refrain from serving with the OCA priests?  Does invoking the name of the Greek Archdiocese and EP mean all others must submit if one is "affronted?"

Has anyone wondered how the Albanians in Boston would fair if their bishop had to move farther away? They have had a bishop in their cathedral since the 1950s. Is Met. Methodios willing to take care of them? See, it just doesn't make sense to move an established see without some overall strategy.

Met. Methodios mentions in the letter that he brought the subject up at the bishop's meeting in Chicago but if I remember correctly the subject of unity and making plans for it wasn't on the agenda. So he probably had to discuss the situation outside of the official meetings. Why can't these types of issues be officially discussed among all the brother bishops? Perhaps if they were discussed among the whole group, solutions could be found that would be agreeable to all.

This jurisdictional mess didn't happen overnight and no jurisdiction is innocent. No one has the right to feel more affronted than anyone else including those bishops who belong to the EP. We are all in this together and we need to all work together in HUMILITY to solve the problem.

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« Reply #88 on: March 31, 2008, 10:58:08 PM »

I didn't say his words weren't clear. His words are quite clear. Perhaps the OCA bishop who watched Met. Methodios being installed as Metropolitan of Boston in 1984 wasn't too excited about it either.
Why should Met. Methodios feel more affronted than any other bishop in any other jurisdiction to the point he must have his priests refrain from serving with the OCA priests?  Does invoking the name of the Greek Archdiocese and EP mean all others must submit if one is "affronted?"

Has anyone wondered how the Albanians in Boston would fair if their bishop had to move farther away? They have had a bishop in their cathedral since the 1950s. Is Met. Methodios willing to take care of them? See, it just doesn't make sense to move an established see without some overall strategy.

Met. Methodios mentions in the letter that he brought the subject up at the bishop's meeting in Chicago but if I remember correctly the subject of unity and making plans for it wasn't on the agenda. So he probably had to discuss the situation outside of the official meetings. Why can't these types of issues be officially discussed among all the brother bishops? Perhaps if they were discussed among the whole group, solutions could be found that would be agreeable to all.

This jurisdictional mess didn't happen overnight and no jurisdiction is innocent. No one has the right to feel more affronted than anyone else including those bishops who belong to the EP. We are all in this together and we need to all work together in HUMILITY to solve the problem.



I will start by saying that there are various complications with your reasoning.  Firstly, the OCA has as of today, right now, not been accepted by all the orthodox churches as autocephalous and been given the right to be the one church in america.  SO, that being said, they do not have the monopoly on placing bishops.  Being that the OCA bishop who WAS installed in the NE (new england) area is specifically ALbanian and in charge of that sub-group within the OCA, how is that person expected to understand the GOA parishes who are in that area?  So who is really being ethnically "charged" (sorry couldn't find a better word). 

I didn't say his words weren't clear. His words are quite clear. Perhaps the OCA bishop who watched Met. Methodios being installed as Metropolitan of Boston in 1984 wasn't too excited about it either.


Not to be fecicious but I doubt that he was there.  IN fact, I doubt that "he" existed.  I'm pretty sure there was no bishop in NE at that time.  So...


Why should Met. Methodios feel more affronted than any other bishop in any other jurisdiction to the point he must have his priests refrain from serving with the OCA priests?  Does invoking the name of the Greek Archdiocese and EP mean all others must submit if one is "affronted?"

Does he feel more affronted? Or is he the only one who is willing to say it?  Invoking and submitting are definitely two different topics that can be much debated. IN general he invoked the greek archdiocese and the EP to indicate that this problem had world-wide consequences, and that we all needed to be aware of that.  It is not just a petty problem, as some might be want to say. 

Quote
Has anyone wondered how the Albanians in Boston would fair if their bishop had to move farther away? They have had a bishop in their cathedral since the 1950s. Is Met. Methodios willing to take care of them? See, it just doesn't make sense to move an established see without some overall strategy.

Just a piece of information. There are actually 2 bishops (now) for the ALbanians in Boston.  ONe is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the other is the newly installed OCA bishop, in the current conversation.  SO, which bishop are you talking about?  And also, the bishop that is under the EP and in charge of some Albanian parishes in the Boston area, has an EXCELLENT relationship with Met. Methodios, in fact I believe they went to school at Holy Cross together.  SO, I would draw the assumption that he has a fairly good idea of how to take care of them, having worked intensively with a bishop who IS taking care of ALbanians in Boston. 

Definitely a bigger story than one might assume. 

Quote
Met. Methodios mentions in the letter that he brought the subject up at the bishop's meeting in Chicago but if I remember correctly the subject of unity and making plans for it wasn't on the agenda. So he probably had to discuss the situation outside of the official meetings. Why can't these types of issues be officially discussed among all the brother bishops? Perhaps if they were discussed among the whole group, solutions could be found that would be agreeable to all.

Separate issue here.  He dealt with it in a "pastoral" way.  Would you want all your issues made public, and everyone else's for that matter?  Why not.  Arn't we all supposed to be the body of Christ?  Do you see where this is going....?  He took it to all the particular participants in the direct problem. THEY chose to not do anything, or to resolve it.  So...it seems to me like he did the right thing.  HE is going to ask the laity how they feel about an episcopal problem?  How would we have ANY idea.  We can't even understand what the priest is going through, but we are going to deign to offer our advice to the bishops?  Not that we don't have opinions, but we need to be a little more realistic about what we REALLY understand and what we do not.  We have never been bishops, and in your case (at least right now) you will never be a bishop.  SO, how can we POSSIBLY offer anything enlightening to them?  I believe that an honest conversation and dealing with the issue amongst PEERS would be much more fruitful.  Just my opinion though. 

Quote
This jurisdictional mess didn't happen overnight and no jurisdiction is innocent. No one has the right to feel more affronted than anyone else including those bishops who belong to the EP. We are all in this together and we need to all work together in HUMILITY to solve the problem.

Who said anything about having rights to be affronted, or more rights or less rights?  the OCA can come right back and talk about how they are affronted for reason A, B, and C.  However they have not done so yet.  And it is my question:  " I wonder why not "??  And, everyone has  RIGHT to feel affronted if they want to.  they also have the RIGHT to voice that feeling to their brethren, and in this case, co-celibrants.  When that voice is not heard, nor recognized, then that non-recognition is an automatic break in the communion.  WHen you pass your brother on the road, you have already decided your fate.



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« Reply #89 on: March 31, 2008, 11:16:52 PM »

While I don't buy the argument that because Russians were in Alaska that therefore all of the USA is Russian canonical territory, and while I don't think OCA autocephaly was a good idea, and while I think that ultimately the EP and the GOA will determine for the most part the details of a united Orthodox structure in this land eventually due to numbers and prestige, and while if I were a New Calendarist I would join the GOA...that being said...

There is no way I can support what Met Methodius has been doing. I've been reading the defenses of him and it just all comes up short. Basically, everyone has been doing this for the past 80 years with no recourse to anyone else, and all of a sudden, the insignificant and small Albanian diocese of the OCA is being used as an example.

As an aside, if I recall correctly, as soon as the OCA made Bp Nikon a bishop (Bp Nikon is one of the best New Calendar bishops I have ever met), the EP elected Bp Ilia a bishop for the two Albanian parishes that were in existence at that time under the EP instead of the OCA--senseless jurisdictionalism IMO.

The idea that the dinky, small, and poor Albanian OCA diocese should move its HQ from its historical center, where it has existed for a very long time, is silly.  Nor should Met Methodius move his diocese. Just keep the two dioceses, just like there are overlapping dioceses everywhere else.

The fact that this is happening now makes me think someone is trying to test the waters to see how others react.  There is simply no point to make the case that "someone else needs to do something about this jurisdictional mess."  If we have this attitude, the mess will never get cleaned up.  We have to work together, not make unreasonable demands of others.
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« Reply #90 on: April 01, 2008, 12:00:51 AM »

There is no way I can support what Met Methodius has been doing. I've been reading the defenses of him and it just all comes up short. Basically, everyone has been doing this for the past 80 years with no recourse to anyone else, and all of a sudden, the insignificant and small Albanian diocese of the OCA is being used as an example.

As an aside, if I recall correctly, as soon as the OCA made Bp Nikon a bishop (Bp Nikon is one of the best New Calendar bishops I have ever met), the EP elected Bp Ilia a bishop for the two Albanian parishes that were in existence at that time under the EP instead of the OCA--senseless jurisdictionalism IMO.

The idea that the dinky, small, and poor Albanian OCA diocese should move its HQ from its historical center, where it has existed for a very long time, is silly.  Nor should Met Methodius move his diocese. Just keep the two dioceses, just like there are overlapping dioceses everywhere else.

The fact that this is happening now makes me think someone is trying to test the waters to see how others react.  There is simply no point to make the case that "someone else needs to do something about this jurisdictional mess."  If we have this attitude, the mess will never get cleaned up.  We have to work together, not make unreasonable demands of others.

Thank you Anastasios. Very well said. And I agree with your thoughts that someone is testing the waters. But I especially agree with your last line.  Smiley
We do eventually have to find ways to end the overlapping dioceses but they will not end as you said, by making unreasonable demands on others. Making unreasonable demands shows a lack of humility. And it will take much humility, on everyone's part to end our disunity.

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« Reply #91 on: April 01, 2008, 12:37:39 AM »

Another compromise option would be:

1) Bp Nikon takes the title Bishop of South Boston--it's another city technically, where his diocesan office is
2) Met Methodius writes him a check for his trouble

But that is the practical side of me speaking...
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« Reply #92 on: April 01, 2008, 12:43:20 AM »

But that is the practical side of me speaking... 

And it's that side of people's reasoning that needs to speak more often in order to actually get things done!
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« Reply #93 on: April 01, 2008, 04:24:49 PM »

Anastasios,

I agree with you in principle, however certain details of what you laid out rub me the wrong way. 

Met. Methodios, as you sort of indicated, obviously had a reason for doing what he did.  I believe that he has had enough of the OCA preaching about unity and then doing whatever they want, when they have clearly not been recognized by every autocephalous church.  He chose this moment and even to point that out to them. 

Is this not a valid reason for him doing what he did, and why not...?
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« Reply #94 on: April 01, 2008, 05:38:15 PM »

Thank you Anastasios. Very well said. And I agree with your thoughts that someone is testing the waters. But I especially agree with your last line.  Smiley
We do eventually have to find ways to end the overlapping dioceses but they will not end as you said, by making unreasonable demands on others. Making unreasonable demands shows a lack of humility. And it will take much humility, on everyone's part to end our disunity.

Yes, we really need humility and love.  Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #95 on: April 02, 2008, 01:49:11 AM »

Yah we also need critical thinking and communication.  humility and love go so far as turning tables and yelling at people. But maybe that wasn't the kind of humility you all were talking about...perhaps you were speaking to a monastic humility, or an angelic one.  Not really sure what all these terms mean, that we are throwing around. 
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« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2008, 09:52:59 PM »

And it's that side of people's reasoning that needs to speak more often in order to actually get things done!
Precisely!
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