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Rosehip
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HTM
« on: April 20, 2008, 01:46:55 PM »

I've known (vaguely) about some sort of scandal surrounding Holy Transfiguration Monastery, but only recently have I discovered some of the grim details. Such enlightenments cause me great depression and I wonder if I made a mistake in becoming Orthodox. Maybe the Evangelicals are right about their emphasis on regeneration and the "new birth". I can't believe such abuse would take place amongst truly regenerated Christians who are seeking to live according to the gospels, whose lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. I know we are all human and make mistakes, but how could such wide-scale evil take place within a monastery, the very place which is supposed to be full of men and women who have totally dedicated their lives to serving the Lord? I'm so confused. I would find such behaviour horrifying in the world, amongst non-Christians, but in a monastery?? I've visited other monasteries too and very seldom have I sensed true holiness at work. At times I even feel a terrible pall of darkness and evil-only to be relieved when I left it and did something like reading from the Holy Scriptures or praying.

Please do not judge me for my terrible doubts. How is one to understand and cope with such things? How could these things have gotten so far out of hand-the corruption-the abuse of power etc.?
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+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
drewmeister2
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2008, 02:09:12 PM »

How is one to understand and cope with such things?

It is a very sad situation indeed, but you must come to realize (I had to do this too) that the devil attacks everyone (especially monastics) and that sometimes monks (just like everyone else) sadly give in to these temptations.  Don't do what I used to do, which was that I believed that since Orthodoxy is the Truth, there would be no sinners and that everyone would be perfect.  Sadly Orthodoxy has sinners like everywhere else.  Rather than allowing yourself to be scandalized by such actions though, pray for them and realize that you too are a sinner.   

I used to wonder if Orthodoxy was the Truth because I saw all these sinners, but I had to realize that I was a worse sinner than everyone else in Orthodoxy, and only then did the sinful actions of others not bother me or affect my belief in the Truth of Orthodoxy.  Only then did I not want to run from Orthodoxy just because I saw other sinners.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 02:33:11 PM by drewmeister2 » Logged

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ozgeorge
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 02:17:40 PM »

Please do not judge me for my terrible doubts. How is one to understand and cope with such things? How could these things have gotten so far out of hand-the corruption-the abuse of power etc.?
Firstly, rest assured that I don't judge you.
"The Sayings of the Desert Fathers" is a collection of sayings of the monastic Fathers of the 4th century. Read "The Sayings of The Desert Fathers" and you will see where one of the Fathers advises the monks: "Do not admit boys into your company. I know of four Churches in Scetis which have been deserted because of young boys".
We know what this Father is talking about now, don't we?
The trouble with modern Orthodoxy often is that the advice of Scriture is not heeded: "Listen to your father and he will tell you". There are centuries of experience in the Church of dealing with the fallen human condition, and from this the Church has established her customs, traditions, canons etc. For instance, the monasteries of Mount Athos will not allow women to visit the penninsula, and no male without a beard or under the age of 18 can stay overnight. Can you see the wisdom in such rules?
In the Diaspora, Orthodoxy is still relatively new and is finding it's feet. It has the problem of having to accomodate new cultures (and therefore new practices). We must be patient.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 02:18:14 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 02:43:41 PM »

Oh, and one more thing (which is probably of little comfort).
I have been an Orthodox Christian for 41 years and don't personally know a single Orthodox Christian who recognises HOCNA as a Canonical Orthodox Church or is in Communion with it.
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008, 02:55:07 PM »

Not to add to what the others have said, but...the Church is full of sinners, and for that reason we all must pray for each other.

The situation with HTM proves that we all are subject to attacks from the Evil One. With this knowledge, all of us must learn how to discern how not to repeat similar sins in our own lives, and how to help our brothers and sisters---not because they deserve our help, but because they need it.

Therefore, we must pour ourselves out as libations for our fellow persons and for the world, and not be discouraged. As heinous as the events of HTM were, it only shows how all of us must keep carrying our Cross until we draw our last breath.
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2008, 03:23:08 PM »

Besides some of their publication, i dont see anything good about HTM and as a previous poster said, no one recognizes them to be canonical Orthodox. One of the few good monks never involved with the scandal and the favored replacement of the abott of that monastery by ROCOR after their investigation, fled shortly after ROCOR severed ties with them. Fr Justin is now the first american to be a monk at St Katherines in Mt Sinai.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 03:24:17 PM by buzuxi » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 11:51:02 AM »

Thank you so much, dear brethren, for your imput. I'm still struggling with this matter. I very much appreciate all that was said. However, HTM was under ROCOR as far as I know when these scandals were taking place. I did notice that many terrible events took place in the lives of those involved in the scandals, which shows that indeed, we do reap what we sow. I often feel the lack of personal Bible reading and knowledge, as well as deep, well-thought-out biblical sermons, in the Orthodox Church is a very serious concern. Hearing a short sermonette on a saint's life is nice, but to me, it just doesn't replace a serious, in-depth sermon from Scipture.
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+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Tags: Holy Transfiguration Monastery HOCNA Monastery 
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