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Author Topic: Should we buy from HOLY TRANSFIGURATION MONASTERY?  (Read 5124 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 29, 2009, 07:17:13 PM »

Okay, I did a brief search on HOCNA and HOLY TRANSFIGURATION MONASTERY before starting this thread, I'm pretty sure this question hasn't been addressed, but if it has forgive me.

In light of the fact that we all know that Holy Transifiguration is not in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy, and in light of the scandel or rumored scandel surrounding them, should we who are in communion with the rest of Worldwide Orthodoxy financially support them?

By "financially support" I mean purchase their incense, books, etc. Also, I know GOA uses their translation for the daily lives of the saints.

Is it that they do not want to have communion with us, or the other way around?

I ask not out of a place of judgment, but rather concern.

I don't want to purchase incense from a Monastery that goes against Orthodox teaching (regardless of how nice it may smell) when there are plenty of other vendors out there.

Your thoughts are appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 07:40:04 PM »

HMoG,

The simple answer, about whther we should not buy from them is no.  They are not heretics, they are (considered) schismatics.  We cannot live our lives in isolation from those who don't belive or practice exactly as we do.  What's next? We stop saying  hello to our neighbor because he recites the creed with the filioque?  Of course not.  Error will not be overcome by overzealous anger towards the one in the wrong.

On another note, the fact is that there are almost no other places that produce what HTM does. HTM produces great material.  Their translations of the Psalter, the Horologion, the Menaia, the Pentecostarion (hopefully a new one is coming soon) and Triodion are really good and I don't think there is anything else out there that comes close to the quality, with regards to the binding and print and the clarity of the English language and how it is metrically figured so that one can sing the hymns according to the appropriate melodies.
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 07:53:37 PM »

HMoG,

The simple answer, about whther we should not buy from them is no.  They are not heretics, they are (considered) schismatics.  We cannot live our lives in isolation from those who don't belive or practice exactly as we do.  What's next? We stop saying  hello to our neighbor because he recites the creed with the filioque?  Of course not.  Error will not be overcome by overzealous anger towards the one in the wrong.

On another note, the fact is that there are almost no other places that produce what HTM does. HTM produces great material.  Their translations of the Psalter, the Horologion, the Menaia, the Pentecostarion (hopefully a new one is coming soon) and Triodion are really good and I don't think there is anything else out there that comes close to the quality, with regards to the binding and print and the clarity of the English language and how it is metrically figured so that one can sing the hymns according to the appropriate melodies.

Scamandrius,

Thank you for your post.

To be clear, I'm not trying to be a zealot and go the extreme that "if you don't believe and practice Orthodoxy exactly as I do, I'm going to take my toys and play in another sandbox."  Wink

As I'm less familiar with all the details as to why HOCNA and Holy Transfiguration are in schism, I wanted to make sure that it IS okay to purchase from them, and that I'm not sending good money after bad.

Thanks again for your post.

In XC,

Maureen
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 08:01:33 PM »

^No, I wasn't trying to accuse you of being overzealous or anything like that.

The reasons HOCNA are (considered) schismatic are many.  They have to do with ecumenism, modernization of praxis, etc, etc.

I work in my church's bookstore and I regularly order things from HTM and I have the blessing of the priest.  He obviously would stop me if he thought otherwise, because for a long time we were banned from buying icons from certain vendors which were definitely anti-Orthodox.
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 09:34:10 PM »

We did deal briefly with whether you should buy from questionable sources on one thread, though HOCNA wasn't specifically mentioned. Personally, I don't have a problem with buying from them. But then, I'm someone that uses--gasp!--a Protestant Bible. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 09:47:01 PM »

We did deal briefly with whether you should buy from questionable sources on one thread, though HOCNA wasn't specifically mentioned. Personally, I don't have a problem with buying from them. But then, I'm someone that uses--gasp!--a Protestant Bible. Wink

Well, then, I guess I'm never buying anything from you! Wink
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 01:52:34 AM »

Can anyone clarify how they came to be in schism from world Orthodoxy?  Also, can someone please explain the scandal surround alleged molestations?  Were the charges ever proven to be true, and what was done about it?  Are they a part of the Greek Old Calendarist Church?
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 06:14:15 AM »

The reasons HOCNA are (considered) schismatic are many.  They have to do with ecumenism, modernization of praxis, etc, etc.

Of course that is HTM's story.  The reason they left ROCOR was because was because they refused to comply with the Synod's demand for an investigation of the monastery due to charges of sexual abuse/impropriety occuring there.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 10:21:31 AM »

I wouldn't buy from them.  Once I ordered a catalogue from them.  I asked the monk on the phone how much it cost.  He told me it was free.  I thanked him for this and forgot about the matter, thinking that I might send them a donation upon receipt of the catalogue.  A little after the catalogue came, I received a bill for it; it was actually quite expensive.  I paid the bill and never ordered anything else.  The whole thing just seemed to kind of stink.

Another reason why I wouldn't buy from them has already been discussed here: the whole weird history of sexual abuse and jurisdictional hopping.  But who knows.  It has been a while.  Perhaps some of these things have been resolved for the better.  Or not.  (I found out about the strange sexual business after I had ordered the catalogue.)
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 11:02:21 AM »

I wouldn't buy from them.  Once I ordered a catalogue from them.  I asked the monk on the phone how much it cost.  He told me it was free.  I thanked him for this and forgot about the matter, thinking that I might send them a donation upon receipt of the catalogue.  A little after the catalogue came, I received a bill for it; it was actually quite expensive.  I paid the bill and never ordered anything else.  The whole thing just seemed to kind of stink.

There are over 30 monks there; perhaps someone answered the phone to help out and provided the wrong information. You might have done better to bring this up with them, both to resolve your relationship with them and to prevent such mistakes from occurring in the future.

Quote
Another reason why I wouldn't buy from them has already been discussed here: the whole weird history of sexual abuse and jurisdictional hopping.  But who knows.  It has been a while.  Perhaps some of these things have been resolved for the better.  Or not.  (I found out about the strange sexual business after I had ordered the catalogue.)

I was there a few times in 2007 and thought it was a rather normal monastery.  I know nothing of what may or may not have happened 20 years ago but I have not noted any allegations since then.
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 01:43:59 PM »

There are over 30 monks there; perhaps someone answered the phone to help out and provided the wrong information. You might have done better to bring this up with them, both to resolve your relationship with them and to prevent such mistakes from occurring in the future.

Father, I did what I thought was best at the time, after prayer and consideration.  It seemed to me that the monk knew very well what he was talking about. 

Quote
I was there a few times in 2007 and thought it was a rather normal monastery.  I know nothing of what may or may not have happened 20 years ago but I have not noted any allegations since then.

Do you mean by this that you have had no personal contact with anyone about the allegations?  Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought from past posts that you are better informed than most about the alleged incidents. 

I am very glad that it seemed like a normal place to you when you visited. 
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 02:04:13 PM »



Quote
I was there a few times in 2007 and thought it was a rather normal monastery.  I know nothing of what may or may not have happened 20 years ago but I have not noted any allegations since then.

Do you mean by this that you have had no personal contact with anyone about the allegations?  Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought from past posts that you are better informed than most about the alleged incidents. 

I am very glad that it seemed like a normal place to you when you visited. 

No, I did bring the allegations up and received plausible explanations. I am not saying that I agree with or disagree with the explanations, but rather that more important to me is that there has been no new series of allegations (that I know of) since many years ago.

While I don't think that it's a good idea to just ignore the allegations, I think the bigger question is the jurisdictional and canonical situation.  Obviously the two of us coming from different ecclesiastical vantage points will disagree with the remedy to this situation, but I think it is what should be addressed primarily. Some may object that the allegations and the ecclesiological issues are intrinsically linked, but I don't think that can be stated given that the allegations surrounded the monastery, whereas there were I believe 39 parishes that left as well, under no cloud of suspicion. Alleged personal sins of now elderly monks should not be in my opinion the first thing on the table at any discussions, but should be dealt with pastorally at the successful conclusion of said ecclesiological discussion.

In the interest of full disclosure I have corresponding relationships with three clergy of the HOCNA and I am in favor of resolving the schism between HOCNA and my Church, the GOC Synod under Archbishop Chrysostomos II.
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 02:16:14 PM »

Fwiw, I wouldn't buy anything from a place which charges an arm and a leg for their catalog.  I would never have paid the bill and such guilt and obligation are weaknesses any entity tries to discover from the unsuspecting.
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 02:23:23 PM »

To put it simply, I wouldn't say you should deliberately seek to buy their products (as in, "Oh, they're so great, so everyone should buy their products."), but I don't think you should deliberately avoid buying anything from them.  They produce good products that mainstream Orthodox churches buy, so you wouldn't be doing anything outlandish per se.  If it really bothers you then, don't, but if you really like or need some of their products, then go for it.  I have some myself, as well as my parish.
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2009, 02:29:55 PM »

Fwiw, I wouldn't buy anything from a place which charges an arm and a leg for their catalog.  I would never have paid the bill and such guilt and obligation are weaknesses any entity tries to discover from the unsuspecting.

As you and Pravoslavbob say, this would be a good reason - they are making a stupid business decision.

Two monks from a HOCNA monastery are frescoing my church.  This monastery left the OCA about 10 years ago, citing ecumenism.  The monks used to be from my parish and the older of the two has known my priest and his wife for 30 years and is also Godfather to their kids.  Individual situations vary.
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2009, 03:28:04 PM »

No, I did bring the allegations up and received plausible explanations. I am not saying that I agree with or disagree with the explanations, but rather that more important to me is that there has been no new series of allegations (that I know of) since many years ago.

While I don't think that it's a good idea to just ignore the allegations, I think the bigger question is the jurisdictional and canonical situation.  Obviously the two of us coming from different ecclesiastical vantage points will disagree with the remedy to this situation, but I think it is what should be addressed primarily. Some may object that the allegations and the ecclesiological issues are intrinsically linked, but I don't think that can be stated given that the allegations surrounded the monastery, whereas there were I believe 39 parishes that left as well, under no cloud of suspicion. Alleged personal sins of now elderly monks should not be in my opinion the first thing on the table at any discussions, but should be dealt with pastorally at the successful conclusion of said ecclesiological discussion.

In the interest of full disclosure I have corresponding relationships with three clergy of the HOCNA and I am in favor of resolving the schism between HOCNA and my Church, the GOC Synod under Archbishop Chrysostomos II.

Makes sense to me, Father.  From what little I know of the situation of HOCNA and GOC, it seems to me that a union between GOC and HOCNA would be a very good thing for HOCNA.  I leave it to you and your's to decide whether or not it would be a good thing for GOC. 
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2009, 03:33:33 PM »

Fwiw, I wouldn't buy anything from a place which charges an arm and a leg for their catalog.  I would never have paid the bill and such guilt and obligation are weaknesses any entity tries to discover from the unsuspecting.

As you and Pravoslavbob say, this would be a good reason - they are making a stupid business decision.

Well, as Fr. Anastasios has pointed out, I could have been wrong in my assessment of the situation.  Who knows.  They seemed to me at the time I bought the catalogue to be very intent on not just surviving as a monastery, but on making lots of money too.  But this is just a personal impression and I could be mistaken.

Quote
Two monks from a HOCNA monastery are frescoing my church.  This monastery left the OCA about 10 years ago, citing ecumenism.  The monks used to be from my parish and the older of the two has known my priest and his wife for 30 years and is also Godfather to their kids.  Individual situations vary.

Yes, they certainly do. 
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2009, 06:15:05 PM »

Fwiw, I wouldn't buy anything from a place which charges an arm and a leg for their catalog.  I would never have paid the bill and such guilt and obligation are weaknesses any entity tries to discover from the unsuspecting.

As you and Pravoslavbob say, this would be a good reason - they are making a stupid business decision.

Two monks from a HOCNA monastery are frescoing my church.  This monastery left the OCA about 10 years ago, citing ecumenism.  The monks used to be from my parish and the older of the two has known my priest and his wife for 30 years and is also Godfather to their kids.  Individual situations vary.

Would this be the Monastery of St. Gregory of Sinai, in California?  His Grace Bishop Sergios, was my spiritual father when he was in the OCA and served at Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Boston.  Also the main icon painter was also from Boston, old age is showing as I can't remember his name, at the moment.  Still, 2 of the most wonderful people I ever knew. 
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2009, 06:36:25 PM »

Fwiw, I wouldn't buy anything from a place which charges an arm and a leg for their catalog.  I would never have paid the bill and such guilt and obligation are weaknesses any entity tries to discover from the unsuspecting.

As you and Pravoslavbob say, this would be a good reason - they are making a stupid business decision.

Two monks from a HOCNA monastery are frescoing my church.  This monastery left the OCA about 10 years ago, citing ecumenism.  The monks used to be from my parish and the older of the two has known my priest and his wife for 30 years and is also Godfather to their kids.  Individual situations vary.

Would this be the Monastery of St. Gregory of Sinai, in California?  His Grace Bishop Sergios, was my spiritual father when he was in the OCA and served at Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Boston.  Also the main icon painter was also from Boston, old age is showing as I can't remember his name, at the moment.  Still, 2 of the most wonderful people I ever knew. 

Correct.  The iconographers are Frs. Patrick and Moses.  Fr. Patrick and our Mat. Anne studied under Leonid Ouspensky in Paris before he died.
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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2009, 08:23:29 PM »

Fr. Patrick is the godfather of my oldest son and Bishop Sergios was our spiritual father when they were in the OCA.  What wonderful people. Seeing this thread and being reminded of when they entered HOCNA brings much sadness.

That being said, I've often struggled with HTM materials myself although I use their Psalter daily. I don't think anything else compares to their translations (from a layman's point of view) and the quality of the books is worth the price you pay.
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2009, 08:52:53 PM »

Btw, Frs. Patrick and Moses are at my church for the next few weeks painting a Nativity fresco.   Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2009, 08:54:44 PM »

I run my church's bookstore and we get a few items from them.  They have a nice icon of St. Gregory the Illuminator, with both English and Armenian inscriptions.

http://www.thehtm.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=27_50_83&products_id=255&osCsid=566f43d803f5dabc87a9b2dd5cc1ab2e



They also have a nice incense holder with a wooden handle.

http://www.thehtm.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=38_41&products_id=69&osCsid=566f43d803f5dabc87a9b2dd5cc1ab2e



I got their catalogue a long time ago, and I think it cost eight dollars.  It didn't bother me, as they told me ahead of time that it would cost that much, and I think the money was to cover the cost of mailing and the catalogue itself.  It's in a binder and has color pictures.


I think other Orthodox stores carry their icons and other things, so avoiding their products is probably not all that easy.  For example, I think Light and Life has their incense holder:

http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=BRAS150

It's cheaper to just buy it from the monastery.


I heard about the allegations, but as Fr. Anastasios said, it seems it was a long time ago and there haven't been any recent allegations.  I am assuming they have a different abbot now, but I could be wrong.
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2013, 11:50:06 AM »

I read somewhere that what makes icons effective is the Holy Spirit working through them.

The Holy Spirit dwells among the church.

Since these monks aren't officially in communion with the mainstream Orthodox Churches, does this mean that their icons would be innefective?  Does the True Orthodox Church of Greece have grace?

I was thinking about buying a matching set of Christ the Lightgiver and Theotokos Quick to Hear and I like the ones sold by these monks better than any others I've found.

After what reading I've done, I personally feel that their icons (and any other products) are perfectly fine.  The reason I am asking here is to see how others feel.

You see, I'm currently preparing a letter of introduction to a nearby priest, to ask about becoming Orthdox, and I'm wondering if owning icons from this monastery will immediately put me at odds with some of the "mainstream" Orthodox I will soon be meeting.  If they find out I'm praying with icons from this monastery, are they going to secretly judge me or perhaps even advise me to get rid of them?

Do the various jurisdictions who aren't in communion with one another view the others as not having grace?

I read about a place called "Monastery Icons" whose products arent even from an Orthodox Church but some quasi Christian Hindu cult.  But the Holy Transfiguration Monarstery is Orthodox and the people there are truly Christians- surely their icons are good, right? 

They're certainly beautiful.

-C
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2013, 01:31:07 PM »

The Greek Archdiocese purchases icons from Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline.  One sees them for sale at festivals at GOA churches.

Some of HTM's icons are by the famous Greek Iconographer Photios Kontoglou.  Then, some other icons for sale are copies of ancient icons.

The icon you use presently as your avataar may be the work of Photios Kontoglou.
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2013, 01:32:17 PM »

Are the ones who paint the icons still there? Not that it matters if they have product I guess. But there was a major division in the HOCNA and a large group of monks left HTM and went to the GOC.
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2013, 01:43:07 PM »

Are the ones who paint the icons still there? Not that it matters if they have product I guess. But there was a major division in the HOCNA and a large group of monks left HTM and went to the GOC.

I believe he is still there.  They have had several iconographers over the years there.  As a matter of fact, one current priest of ROCOR painted some of their icons years ago.
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2013, 05:02:29 PM »

You see, I'm currently preparing a letter of introduction to a nearby priest, to ask about becoming Orthdox, and I'm wondering if owning icons from this monastery will immediately put me at odds with some of the "mainstream" Orthodox I will soon be meeting.  If they find out I'm praying with icons from this monastery, are they going to secretly judge me or perhaps even advise me to get rid of them?
In short: no and no.
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2013, 05:14:20 PM »

They have a nice selection of icons and pretty prompt delivery

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« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2013, 04:05:19 PM »

I'm sorry but I'm still getting these things clear:

Is GOA = GOC = GOARCH Huh

-C
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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2013, 04:11:16 PM »

I'm sorry but I'm still getting these things clear:

Is GOA = GOC = GOARCH Huh

-C

GOA = Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate

GOARCH = Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate

GOC = Sometimes the same as the GOA/GOARCH above, but often used instead to speak of an old calendarist Greek Orthodox group, such as these guys (the link goes to the group I was speaking of when I used GOC in the earlier post)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 04:11:54 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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