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Author Topic: Returning to Orthodoxy from Eastern Catholicism  (Read 4764 times) Average Rating: 0
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Economan
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« on: November 04, 2002, 01:13:09 AM »

I have a question about Orthodox perspectives regarding the sanctity (or lack thereof) of the seal of the confessional. When I was Orthodox, I assumed (and was taught) that the confidentality of confession was the same as in the Roman Church. In the meantime, looking at some of the posts on the Indiana List, I have noticed that some believe that not to be the case. For example, I remember reading that some professors (who are priests)  at St. Tikhon's Seminary would discuss their students confessions with one another. Obviously Latin seminary professors wouldn't, and that fact got me worried

In fact, some would criticize me for even speaking of a "seal of confession" as a Latinism. Well, I don't think Orthodoxy needs to reinvent the wheel every time when it comes to theological terminology w.r.t the West. Basically, as it stands now, either I don't trust the local Orthodox priests, or their ethnic, which probably means that they don't speak English very well, and I'm monolingual. Perhaps this sounds paranoid, but I have had some bad experience with some local Orthodox churches, and have no wish to repeat the experience.

Personally, I would never, ever go to an Orthodox priest for confession if there wasn't any confidentality.

Michael King
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2002, 01:56:01 AM »

Every Orthodox priest I've spoken to says that there is a totally-binding seal of confession.  On the Orthodox-Forum that was stated even in the face of a civil law requiring it for say child abuse.

in Christ,

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2002, 05:32:04 AM »

I have never heard of an Orthodox priest breaking confidentiality in regard to the Mystery of Repentance; to do so would be a grave sin and a priest doing so would be in deep trouble with his Bishop.  Father Confessors are bound to secrecy when hearing a Confession of a penitent.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2002, 09:16:57 AM »

I have never heard of an Orthodox priest breaking confidentiality in regard to the Mystery of Repentance; to do so would be a grave sin and a priest doing so would be in deep trouble with his Bishop.  Father Confessors are bound to secrecy when hearing a Confession of a penitent.

There may be an exception where the priest hearing a Confession may not "reveal" what he has heard, but where he may "use" it.  That would be when the priest would be signing a paper (to be given to the Holy Synod, I believe) for the one who confessed stating he heard the Confession and that he knew of no reasons why the person who confessed could not be considered for ordination.  I recall reading this on the application for ordination to the diaconate in a "Late Vocations" program which the priest who heard my first private Orthodox Confession gave me, even though I was quite insistent with him that I did not wish to pursue ordination in the Orthodox Church after being received into Orthodoxy from the Unia.

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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2002, 09:19:51 AM »

I agree that Orthodox priests are not allowed to disclose what they hear in Confession.

And welcome back, Michael. If I may suggest this, I think you might be happy in a 'regular' OCA church (I like the OCA) without the narrow and/or overly rigorist attitude some have described in ex-Christ the Saviour Brotherhood places. Perhaps for the average American of good will they're nice places to visit but not to join.
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2002, 09:21:54 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Interesting - never heard of that, but I am sure you are right.

In Christ,


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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2002, 10:28:33 AM »

[For example, I remember reading that some professors (who are priests)  at St. Tikhon's Seminary would discuss their students confessions with one another. Obviously Latin seminary professors wouldn't, and that fact got me worried.]

I would probably label that under another 'St Tikhon's fairy tale'.  Reminds me of a discussion I had once with a Byzantine Catholic who tried to tell me that the Monks at St Tikhons all lived in caves in the mountains!  Nothing I said could convince him otherwise even though he had never been to St Tikhon's and I have for many, many years.  Because that is what someone told him.

However, even if this was true I can't really see the harm in it as long as the persons identity is not revealed.  
What would be wrong with a priest discussing with another priest, or his Bishop for that matter, a particular sin confessed to him and asking for advice on how to counsel the person?  
I can't believe, nor do I agree with your comment that this would not happen amongst Roman Catholic priests.  I'm sure it does.  And, once again see nothing wrong with it, as long as the person is not identified and there are no laypeople in on the conversation.

I am modifying this to include the fact that a priest is also a healer and counsellor.  As such, he should have the right to seek outside support and input  to help him in his ministry regarding a specific situation.  



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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2002, 07:25:04 PM »

Am I reading these posts correctly?  Are you the one who "returned" to Orthodoxy from Byzantine Catholic in Alaska?  Or is it the person who calls himself "AlaskanOrthodox." Huh

One of you went from Orthodox to Byzantine Catholic  and back to Orthdox?  

A months ago OCA Archbishop Herman acknowledged that Eastern Catholics are Orthodox under papal jurisdiction.  

Were you a member of the one Byzantine Catholic in Anchorage?  I think it's Ruthenian.  If you don't mind  my asking, why?   Theological?  Historical?  Was there a 'political situation.?'  Does anyone know or care that you left?  

I hope you do respond, but if you choose not to, I will not hold it against.     I do believe that Jesus Christ loves all of us!
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2002, 07:35:46 PM »

There is more than one person from Alaska that posts on these Forums.  Sorry.  I am Orthodox, but I am looking more closely at ROCOR at this time.  I am learning more about it.  I am OCA.

May the Mother of God bless us all!
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2002, 07:40:07 PM »

Oh, and just an aside...I doubt if our newly elected Metropolitan would say that, " that Eastern Catholics are Orthodox under papal jurisdiction. "   Roll Eyes
Please provide documentation...if you have it I will just flip, because I know that statement would create to much of a scandal with most Orthodox.

Lord, Bless!
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2002, 08:03:23 PM »

To AlaskanOrthdox--
You are very wise to ask my documentation, and I was very dumb to omit it.   You're going to laugh, but it was a statement I jotted down from another forum and I did  not even write down who said it there.  I just liked it and I wanted to remember it.  I apologize for any confusion.  I will try to be WISER in the future.  (But I still like the statement.)
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2002, 09:45:43 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

Yes, please try to dig that documentation up for me Wink It is wise to provide documentation on such a matter since he is the leader of my Church, the OCA.  Again I would bet you a million dollars His Beatittude would NEVER say that, now he could believe that in his own mind, but it is not politically intellegent to say such things or good for relations with other Orthodox Jurisdictions.  It seems to me that it is a another Greek Catholic fantasy  Roll Eyes which is ok Kiss you guys have always desired validation from us Orthodox for uniting with Rome; that we will grant you your Orthodoxy and concelebrate with you, but it will never happen in the way you want it.  When you come home to Orthodoxy, then we will be happy; but when your leaders insist that we are not the fulness of the Catholic Church because we are not in Communion with Rome, as per the letter from Rome "The Lord Jesus", and other Vatican statements; which according to your Law you must accept, under penalties up to an including excommunication.  To deny even a tenant of the Catholic Faith, that you are bound to subscribe to, makes you a heretic and outside the their Church informally.  Sophistry aside you Eastern Catholics are bound to accept the Faith of Rome - even interpreted through Eastern lenses - you must accept the doctrinal development of Rome for you are the same Church, but placed as seperate legal entities, but yet under the full immmediate Jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.  You high minded Byzantines critize the Latins for being cafeteria Catholics, but show me an Eastern Catholic who isn't one; you have to do a selective reading or you will find out your union with Rome has no doctrinal soundness or even practical soundness except maybe you get money from the Latins to build Churches and seminaries or have an influx of Latins, who are dissatisfied with their Church sui juris, to keep your Churches from dying out i.e. the Russian Catholics et al.  Born Uniates are not at fault for their condition, but those who discover Orthodoxy and choose the Byzantine Catholic Church are in deep you know what Shocked

To have the fullness of Orthodoxy, which your Church had when it was Orthodox in the Old Country, and become a member of a Church that had been anathematized by the Holy Orthodox Church for heresy, to choose to be in communion with formal heretics instead of having the pleroma of the Orthodox Catholic religion is beyond my understanding.  You cannot tell me that those who united with Rome, who united during the Counter-Reformation or thereafter, did not have or desire to accept the Roman Catholic Faith over and against the Holy Orthodox Catholic Faith? Huh?  When they were received by Profession of Faith...they were required to renounce their Orthodox Faith and accept the Faith of the Latins and since they had no Church created for them by the Pope which was seperate canonically, at the time of the unions, they upon their Profession of Faith became Latins who were allowed to keep their Rite, but mind you ALLOWED because the Pope was favorable to the Byzantine Rite.  They renounced Orthodoxy and became Roman Catholics who later were made into canonically separate Churches who were called by their various Eastern Catholic ethnic titles..Ukrainian,Ruthenian, Melkite Catholic et al.  I let you have it because when you come on here telling Orthodox people that Metropolitan Herman believes that Greek Catholics are Orthodox just under the Pope; then I have a problem with that because he would NEVER say that!

But, on a lighter note I am sure your intentions were not bad; I hope it was all in good humor Wink In order for you to be Orthodox you would have to come back home to your Mother the Orthodox Church.  Rome has chucked the theological model of the middle ages as per Pope John Paul II of trying to convert the Orthodox; basically the whole reason your Church exists, i.e. to convert the Orthodox "dissidents", no longer exists.  And in the ecumenical world you are an embarrasement; for the most part you are the red-headed step-children of the Catholic Church.  A relic of an old model of proselytizism that does'n't fit into the "new evangelization" of your Pope.  I mean the ramifications of communion are great.  When the unias occured there had to be a theological foundation for them, right?  And if that theological foundation was not the superiority of the Roman Church and her teachings over Orthodoxy and Her Faith then what was it?  What it a mere practical one or a mere survival oriented one as some say and not necessarily doctrinal? Huh? For these Orthodox slavs to go into the Papal Church there must have been a knowledge of the Roman Faith and a clear acceptance of their whole Magisterium not just a selective one.  The Papacy at that time was ultra-ultra Montane so there would be no comprimise with their Profession of Faith in the "Most Holy Roman Church."  So under all the theological canonical jargon of "sui juris ritual Churches" et al...you are Roman Catholics.  Do you honestly think the Orthodox do not view you as Roman Catholics?  We have viewed you are such since the Unias and that is how we will receive you back and discourse with you as Roman Catholics who have stolen our rites and spirituality to create a counter-Church - one that can easily deceive the Orthodox, but yet have them break communion with their bretheren in Orthodoxy, while thinking they are still Orthodox.  

We cannot justify hate and war based on religion, but we still must address the issue that the Unia was a crime against the Orthodox Church and was based upon DECEPTION, "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" rhetoric notwithstanding.  These Orthodox would of not been able to keep their Rite unless Rome saw it was advantageous to bring in the "eastern dissidents" as we were called, under subjection to the Roman Pontiff.  The creation of the Greek Catholic Churches was essentially based upon politics and convienence and not on any solid Orthodox theological principles.  What a shame that for hundreds of years the Holy Orthodox Faith was taken from the simple people.  To get the picture of how we feel visit these sites to get an idea of what the Greek Catholic picture is all about.  See the same tactics used by the Lutherans to win the Ukrainians over was used by the Catholic Church just a few hundred years earlier:

Saint Sophia Ukrainian Lutheran Seminary

http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/saintsophiaseminary/

Ukranian Lutheran Church

http://www.ukrlc.org/eng.htm

After you view all that then see what you think about Uniatism.  I mean I could not help but get sick after I visited those sites, but it shows you that you can use the Byzantine Rite, but have a totally different Faith aka Uniatism.

In Christ,


Alexis
« Last Edit: November 06, 2002, 09:54:10 PM by AlaskanOrthodox » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2002, 10:37:42 PM »

I have a question about Orthodox perspectives regarding the sanctity (or lack thereof) of the seal of the confessional. When I was Orthodox, I assumed (and was taught) that the confidentality of confession was the same as in the Roman Church.

(Snip)

Michael King

Michael,

 Huh Forgive my frustration, but why this question comes up from so much on the Internet is beyond me.  And why use the Indiana list as the measure of Orthodoxy?  Or any internet list for that matter?  Why not ask your priest or bishop?

As a priest in the OCA, the rule is clear and unambiguous.  Here is the quote from our clergy guidelines.  (They are available on the internet at http://aggreen.net/guidelines/guide01.html).

"The secrecy of the Mystery of Penance is considered an unquestionable rule in the entire Orthodox Church. Theologically, the need to maintain the secrecy of confession comes from the fact that the priest is only a witness before God. One could not expect a sincere and complete confession if the penitent has doubts regarding the practice of confidentiality. Betrayal of the secrecy of confession will lead to canonical punishment of the priest.

St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite exhorts the Spiritual Father to keep confessions confidential, even under strong constraining influence. The author of the Pedalion (the Rudder), states that a priest who betrays the secrecy of confession is to be deposed. The Metropolitan of Kos, Emanuel, mentions in his handbook (Exomologeteke) for confessors that the secrecy of confession is a principle without exception. "

As you can see, there are no exceptions to the rule of the secrecy of sacramental confession.  Now, there are some laity that wish to extend this "seal" to all dialogue with the priest.  It's simply not the case.   Admittedly, there may be some grey areas such as "counseling" which may be privleged communication if the priest is a professional, licensed counselor, but it certainly does not fall under the seal of confession which is a very specific act.  

Priest Thomas Soroka
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2002, 12:02:59 AM »

[To AlaskanOrthdox--
You are very wise to ask my documentation, and I was very dumb to omit it.  You're going to laugh, but it was a statement I jotted down from another forum and I did  not even write down who said it there. ]

I've heard this one before too.  It is supposed to be a quote from one of the Scranton newspapers.  But  when cornered no one seems to know what paper, what issue, what date, or what article.

If it appeared at all, it most probably was a misquote if anything.  Vladyka may have said something like "Byzantine Catholics  were  Orthodox who went under the Pope".  
Which certainly does'nt  mean they are  still Orthodox but under the Pope.

Anyone who takes a personal quote from a newspaper as the Gospel truth  can buy the Brooklyn Bridge which I  have up for sell!

Orthodoc
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2002, 06:51:04 AM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

Yes, there are many stories promoted by Greek Catholics like that which oftentimes are outright lies or half-truths.   It is not good to lie about such matters.  At any rate.  Whatever floats their boat Tongue

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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2002, 07:12:34 AM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

And as an aside I want all the Byzantine Catholics on this board know that I love them and their sincerity, many of whom like I was were hardline Greek Catholics, but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and tell the truth.  But we are all on a journey and are on different levels.  It took me years to become Orthodox and I expect it may take some of them time as well to understand the errors of Uniatism whether using the past or present Vatican ecclesiology regarding the matter.  Some may not.  Greek Catholic people I love, because I was one - it is the Unias I disagree with because they are a way Rome has found to subjegate our Eastern Christian people to the Vatican when we should be totally autocephalous!  I mean you have to beg Rome to let married men become priests in your Ruthenian Church.  Rome has to give the approbation!  It is almost 2003 and you are still seeking to have a married priesthood restored when you had it already 400+ earlier.  I mean what you need is for Metropolitan Basil to tell Rome you are going to go ahead with it regardless Grin  Give Rome the middle finger.
I mean you are not asking for a revolution like the Latins got after Vatican II with all their innovations; you are asking for Tradition; well revolt for Tradition!  I mean what is Rome going to do excommunicate you for being you for trying to go back to your Orthodox roots?  I highly doubt it!

Rome is in its own bubble, I mean what did the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Church say? He called the beurocrats in Rome on the carpet! I mean come on!  Your highest hierarchs are even still puppets of the Vatican; isn't it time for a change?  

Anyway I love ya, your Mother the Orthodox Church still is calling for her lost children; come home Cry

In Christ,

Alexis
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2002, 04:56:02 PM »

To AlaskanOrthodox--

Whew!  I'm exhausted reading your posts! I'm assuming if you were talking to me in person across the table with a cup of coffee you would speak in a very kind tone of voice and as the Virginian said, "Smile when you call me that." or rather "Smile when you talk to me like that."

Whew!  But I have heard it all.  So if Orthodox if right/true, why are there so many, many Orthodox branches/jurisdictions.  Sometimes it seems as if the Orthdox have a hard time getting along with each other.

I have been to 3 Orthdox churches -- 3 different jurisdictions, and I was always received warmly and kindly, and yes, it was explained that I could not receive Communion there, but I already knew that.

Is there a way I can become fulling Orthdox by going in a side door?  No fuss.  No ceremony.  No one making me say I reject the "heresy" I come from?  Since the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Roman Catholic Church will simply accept Orthdox without a big fuss, why doesn't it work the other way, too?

Maybe I shouldn't even say anything.  You'll probably exhaust me with more l-o-n-g-g-g posts.  (In all kindness, you need an editor!)

May I count  you as a friend in Alaska?
 Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2002, 05:07:07 PM »

To AlaskanOrthodox--

Whew!  I'm exhausted reading your posts! I'm assuming if you were talking to me in person across the table with a cup of coffee you would speak in a very kind tone of voice and as the Virginian said, "Smile when you call me that." or rather "Smile when you talk to me like that."

Whew!  But I have heard it all.  So if Orthodox if right/true, why are there so many, many Orthodox branches/jurisdictions.  Sometimes it seems as if the Orthdox have a hard time getting along with each other.

I have been to 3 Orthdox churches -- 3 different jurisdictions, and I was always received warmly and kindly, and yes, it was explained that I could not receive Communion there, but I already knew that.

Is there a way I can become fulling Orthdox by going in a side door?  No fuss.  No ceremony.  No one making me say I reject the "heresy" I come from?  Since the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Roman Catholic Church will simply accept Orthdox without a big fuss, why doesn't it work the other way, too?

Maybe I shouldn't even say anything.  You'll probably exhaust me with more l-o-n-g-g-g posts.  (In all kindness, you need an editor!)

May I count  you as a friend in Alaska?
 Cheesy

If you want to become an Orthodox Catholic, you must believe the same things that we do.  Kissing the ring of a Roman Catholic bishop to be accepted is not such a big deal?  No fuss?  

If you want to become an Orthodox Catholic, aren't you rejecting some of the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church?  If so, why not admit that you do.  It isn't that you hire an airplane and fly a banner around.  

If you are looking for a side door or a back door, then one has to wonder if you really are interested in becoming an Orthodox Catholic.  

Evan
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2002, 05:24:38 PM »

To AlaskanOrthodox--
Is there a way I can become fulling Orthdox by going in a side door?  No fuss.  No ceremony.  No one making me say I reject the "heresy" I come from?  Since the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Roman Catholic Church will simply accept Orthdox without a big fuss, why doesn't it work the other way, too?

If you want to become an Orthodox Catholic, you must believe the same things that we do.  Kissing the ring of a Roman Catholic bishop to be accepted is not such a big deal?  No fuss?  

If you want to become an Orthodox Catholic, aren't you rejecting some of the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church?  If so, why not admit that you do.  It isn't that you hire an airplane and fly a banner around.  

If you are looking for a side door or a back door, then one has to wonder if you really are interested in becoming an Orthodox Catholic.  

Evan

If you're really interested in becoming Orthodox, EasternCatholic, you should want to do it by entering the *MAIN DOOR* in the presence of the congregation, not by any hidden back or side door.

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2002, 06:34:50 PM »

Quote
Is there a way I can become fulling Orthdox by going in a side door?

(John 10:1)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

 Wink
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2002, 09:24:42 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

Thanks for your comments my Eastern Rite Roman Catholic friend.  Yeah an *easy* way you could do it is to go through the www.acrod.org through the Carpatho-Rusyn Diocese which is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  They would just receive you through confession and some even by just profession of faith and registration and your in Grin And maybe if you got St. Nicholas of Myra to come under Metropolitan Nicholas and become Orthodox he would come up there and receive you all through profession of faith and your priest by Vesting in the Altar!  That's the easy way.  The hard way would be ROCOR Wink  It is usually the Jurisdiction that is your parrallel in Orthodoxy that receives people and parishes with the most liberal economy.  Good luck!

In Mary,


Alexis
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2002, 10:16:47 PM »

Thanks for your comments my Eastern Rite Roman Catholic friend.  

Dear Alexis,

As administrator, I should warn you that "Eastern Rite Roman Catholic" is not an appropriate way to refer to Eastern Catholics (those who recognise the authority of the Pope of Rome).  So, please use Eastern Catholic or (insert Church here) Catholic, rather than ERRC.  Thanks!
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2002, 01:51:32 AM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

Dear Admin:

I will certainly use Eastern Catholic in the future, but let me ask you a question is this going to be another forum were even the Orthodox are censored? Since this an Orthodox forum, or is it?  If it is Byzantine Catholic then I suggest that the name be Changed.; that Orthodox that do not toe the PC line have a place to go.  My use of Byzantine Rite Roman Catholic is not ecclesiologically dishonest from a traditional Catholic paradigm,{ especially when a point is being made and not in regular usage all the time, i.e. like I would never go around all time calling Greek Catholics Byzantine Rite Roman Catholics, it would be too long to say in casual conversation;} in fact it is pre-emminently honest.  I think the name 'Orthodox in Communion with Rome' is in fact the thing that should be censored in this forum if you want to play that game.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.  I will not use that term in this Forum again as per your request.  Thank you!

Sincerely in Mary,


Alexis
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2002, 01:58:27 AM »

Dear Alexis,

We don't censor people unless they get personal.

It's just our policy that people should not be referred to in ways that they request not to be referred to.

In Christ,

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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2002, 09:17:09 AM »

Dear Alexis,

Along with what Anastasios said, I would just say that, because of certain problems we've had in the past over names, we thought it good, in spite of our tendency not to censor people, to establish a set of names that would be used by all, in order to avoid future problems.  In case you haven't seen it yet, please read it here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=151;start=15
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2002, 04:16:06 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

Thank you for the head's up.  You have made yourself very clear, God Bless!

In Mary,


Alexis
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