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Author Topic: Metropolitan Jonah: Ecumenical Patriarch back off!  (Read 38914 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: April 07, 2009, 11:02:48 PM »

username!, there are parishes outside of Alaska in the OCA that don't use the Revised Julian, i'm not going to waste my time looking for them.

Just because you say there are doesn't mean there are.  If you knew the history many parishes went through trying to maintain the Julian Calender (one parish's history was linked right here in this thread) you'd understand it isn't as simple as the parish council voting to stay on the Julian Calender in the OCA.  If there are any, and I know only ONE off hand that is OCA that uses the Julian Calender, they are the exception not the rule. 
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« Reply #181 on: April 07, 2009, 11:35:30 PM »

I finished my transposition of the speech onto "paper".  I hope you all find it accurate.  I'm sorry if this is not allowed by the forum.  I'm always a little hazy on attachments and such...

From the transcript (why didn't you post it outright?)

Because it was 4 pages.  I hate reading huge posts like that, so I though "talk the talk, walk the walk"

Quote
Quote
But we also have to appreciate the English and the Spanish and the French just as we have to appreciate the Klingot and the Aleut and the Upik and the Athabasken who are the true indigenous orthodox christians of our land. 

It's not Klingot, it's Tlingit.

sorry!  didn't hear it that well.  thanks for the correction.  I made it on the original.  Do you need to repost it? 

Interesting thing about the Tlingit (or Thlingit in earlier writings): the Russian mission put a lot of effort, including Ss Innocent and Jacob Netsvetov, but had little to show for it.  Only a few dozen Tlingit converted.  The Tlingit converted as a nation a couple decades AFTER the Russian government pulled out and the military dictatorship of the American Presbyterians came in.
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« Reply #182 on: April 07, 2009, 11:37:48 PM »

Just because you say there are doesn't mean there are.  If you knew the history many parishes went through trying to maintain the Julian Calender (one parish's history was linked right here in this thread) you'd understand it isn't as simple as the parish council voting to stay on the Julian Calender in the OCA.  If there are any, and I know only ONE off hand that is OCA that uses the Julian Calender, they are the exception not the rule.

This mission parish does:

http://www.oca.org/DIRlisting.asp?SID=9&KEY=OCA-MW-ASGTUJ
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« Reply #183 on: April 08, 2009, 07:15:51 AM »

I finished my transposition of the speech onto "paper".  I hope you all find it accurate.  I'm sorry if this is not allowed by the forum.  I'm always a little hazy on attachments and such...

From the transcript (why didn't you post it outright?)

Because it was 4 pages.  I hate reading huge posts like that, so I though "talk the talk, walk the walk"

Quote
Quote
But we also have to appreciate the English and the Spanish and the French just as we have to appreciate the Klingot and the Aleut and the Upik and the Athabasken who are the true indigenous orthodox christians of our land. 

It's not Klingot, it's Tlingit.

sorry!  didn't hear it that well.  thanks for the correction.  I made it on the original.  Do you need to repost it? 

Interesting thing about the Tlingit (or Thlingit in earlier writings): the Russian mission put a lot of effort, including Ss Innocent and Jacob Netsvetov, but had little to show for it.  Only a few dozen Tlingit converted.  The Tlingit converted as a nation a couple decades AFTER the Russian government pulled out and the military dictatorship of the American Presbyterians came in.

I've done some pretty heavy research about St. Innocent, and I never came across this.  Happen to remember where you saw that little tid-bit?
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« Reply #184 on: April 08, 2009, 08:17:05 AM »

I finished my transposition of the speech onto "paper".  I hope you all find it accurate.  I'm sorry if this is not allowed by the forum.  I'm always a little hazy on attachments and such...

From the transcript (why didn't you post it outright?)

Because it was 4 pages.  I hate reading huge posts like that, so I though "talk the talk, walk the walk"

Quote
Quote
But we also have to appreciate the English and the Spanish and the French just as we have to appreciate the Klingot and the Aleut and the Upik and the Athabasken who are the true indigenous orthodox christians of our land. 

It's not Klingot, it's Tlingit.

sorry!  didn't hear it that well.  thanks for the correction.  I made it on the original.  Do you need to repost it? 

Interesting thing about the Tlingit (or Thlingit in earlier writings): the Russian mission put a lot of effort, including Ss Innocent and Jacob Netsvetov, but had little to show for it.  Only a few dozen Tlingit converted.  The Tlingit converted as a nation a couple decades AFTER the Russian government pulled out and the military dictatorship of the American Presbyterians came in.

I've done some pretty heavy research about St. Innocent, and I never came across this.  Happen to remember where you saw that little tid-bit?

Couple of places, but here's a good place to start:
http://books.google.com/books?id=E0-Aj0dOSuUC
Quote
In Memory Eternal, Sergei Kan combines anthropology and history, anecdote and theory to portray the encounter between the Tlingit Indians and the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska in the late 1700s and to analyze the indigenous Orthodoxy that developed over the next 200 years. As a native speaker of Russian with 18 years of fieldwork experience among the Tlingit, Kan is uniquely qualified to relate little-known material from the archives of the Russian church in Alaska to Tlingit oral history and his own observations. By weighing the one body of evidence against the other, he has reevaluated this history, arriving at a persuasive new concept of "converged agendas" -- the view that the Tlingit and the Russians tended to act in mutually beneficial ways but for entirely different reasons throughout the period of their contact with one another.
Memory Eternal shows the colonial encounter to be both a power struggle and a dialogue between different systems of meaning. It portrays Native Alaskans notas helpless victims but as historical agents who adjusted to the changing reality of their social world without abandoning fundamental principals of their precolonial sociocultural order or their strong sense of self-respect.



More details
Memory eternal: Tlingit culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through two centuries
By Sergei Kan
Edition: illustrated
Published by University of Washington Press, 1999
ISBN 0295978066, 9780295978062
665 pages

In the interests of full disclosure, Kan is also a product of the U of C.


He mentions that Innocent's work on the Tlingit have barely been scratched, and still is mostly in MSS and in Russian.  His (St. Innocent's) "Observations about the Tlingit and Kodiak (Alutiiq) Languages" is online here:
http://www.asna.ca/alaska/research/zamechaniya.pdf#page=29

My favorite part is that the Tlingit, although not Orthodox at the time of the sale, were literate thanks to the missionaries and hence were promised full U.S. citizenship with the sale (which they didn't get, as most Russians didn't).  When they converted, the leaders identified themselves as the "Orthodox Chiefs of the Tlingit"
Quote
PETITION FROM THE TLINGIT ORTHODOX CHIEFS TO

THE U.S. PRESIDENT, 1897

In part: The reason for this (petition) is following; because here we cannot get any satisfaction to our just and lawful demands. We know that the Russian Government at the time of the transfer of Alaska to the U.S. did not sell us as slaves to America, but left us some rights and privileges which were later made lawful and firm by the U.S. Congress. "The Organic Act, providing a civil Government for Alaska" in section 8 provides that the Indians or other persons in said district shall not be disturbed in the possession of any lands actually in their use or occupation or nor claimed by them...
http://www.alaskool.org/projects/native_gov/recollections/peratrovich/Elizabeth_1.htm
The bishop of the Diocese similarly petitioned to Washington, D.C., and the Tlingit actually approached the Imperial ambassador there for the Czar to send an observer to check the implimentation of the Treaty.  As I posted above, St. Alexander Hotovitsky refered to these matters when St. Tikhon arrived in the U.S. in New York, and St. Tikhon went on to Alaska himself.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 08:19:16 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #185 on: April 08, 2009, 08:30:50 AM »

I finished my transposition of the speech onto "paper".  I hope you all find it accurate.  I'm sorry if this is not allowed by the forum.  I'm always a little hazy on attachments and such...

From the transcript (why didn't you post it outright?)

Because it was 4 pages.  I hate reading huge posts like that, so I though "talk the talk, walk the walk"

Quote
Quote
But we also have to appreciate the English and the Spanish and the French just as we have to appreciate the Klingot and the Aleut and the Upik and the Athabasken who are the true indigenous orthodox christians of our land. 

It's not Klingot, it's Tlingit.

sorry!  didn't hear it that well.  thanks for the correction.  I made it on the original.  Do you need to repost it? 

Interesting thing about the Tlingit (or Thlingit in earlier writings): the Russian mission put a lot of effort, including Ss Innocent and Jacob Netsvetov, but had little to show for it.  Only a few dozen Tlingit converted.  The Tlingit converted as a nation a couple decades AFTER the Russian government pulled out and the military dictatorship of the American Presbyterians came in.

I've done some pretty heavy research about St. Innocent, and I never came across this.  Happen to remember where you saw that little tid-bit?

Couple of places, but here's a good place to start:
http://books.google.com/books?id=E0-Aj0dOSuUC
Quote
In Memory Eternal, Sergei Kan combines anthropology and history, anecdote and theory to portray the encounter between the Tlingit Indians and the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska in the late 1700s and to analyze the indigenous Orthodoxy that developed over the next 200 years. As a native speaker of Russian with 18 years of fieldwork experience among the Tlingit, Kan is uniquely qualified to relate little-known material from the archives of the Russian church in Alaska to Tlingit oral history and his own observations. By weighing the one body of evidence against the other, he has reevaluated this history, arriving at a persuasive new concept of "converged agendas" -- the view that the Tlingit and the Russians tended to act in mutually beneficial ways but for entirely different reasons throughout the period of their contact with one another.
Memory Eternal shows the colonial encounter to be both a power struggle and a dialogue between different systems of meaning. It portrays Native Alaskans notas helpless victims but as historical agents who adjusted to the changing reality of their social world without abandoning fundamental principals of their precolonial sociocultural order or their strong sense of self-respect.



More details
Memory eternal: Tlingit culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through two centuries
By Sergei Kan
Edition: illustrated
Published by University of Washington Press, 1999
ISBN 0295978066, 9780295978062
665 pages

In the interests of full disclosure, Kan is also a product of the U of C.


He mentions that Innocent's work on the Tlingit have barely been scratched, and still is mostly in MSS and in Russian.  His (St. Innocent's) "Observations about the Tlingit and Kodiak (Alutiiq) Languages" is online here:
http://www.asna.ca/alaska/research/zamechaniya.pdf#page=29

My favorite part is that the Tlingit, although not Orthodox at the time of the sale, were literate thanks to the missionaries and hence were promised full U.S. citizenship with the sale (which they didn't get, as most Russians didn't).  When they converted, the leaders identified themselves as the "Orthodox Chiefs of the Tlingit"
Quote
PETITION FROM THE TLINGIT ORTHODOX CHIEFS TO

THE U.S. PRESIDENT, 1897

In part: The reason for this (petition) is following; because here we cannot get any satisfaction to our just and lawful demands. We know that the Russian Government at the time of the transfer of Alaska to the U.S. did not sell us as slaves to America, but left us some rights and privileges which were later made lawful and firm by the U.S. Congress. "The Organic Act, providing a civil Government for Alaska" in section 8 provides that the Indians or other persons in said district shall not be disturbed in the possession of any lands actually in their use or occupation or nor claimed by them...
http://www.alaskool.org/projects/native_gov/recollections/peratrovich/Elizabeth_1.htm
The bishop of the Diocese similarly petitioned to Washington, D.C., and the Tlingit actually approached the Imperial ambassador there for the Czar to send an observer to check the implimentation of the Treaty.  As I posted above, St. Alexander Hotovitsky refered to these matters when St. Tikhon arrived in the U.S. in New York, and St. Tikhon went on to Alaska himself.

Huh.  I never thought of approaching it from a language standpoint.  Very interesting indeed.  Thanks for opening a lot of doors for me! 
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« Reply #186 on: April 08, 2009, 09:04:49 AM »

This was recently published at the Orthodox Christians for Accountability. It may help our understanding of what is meant by conciliarity from an OCA perspective.

This is interesting for a few reasons.  One is that it seems to validate the views of the Parish school on the nature of the church, at least in regards to the vision of the OCA.  Hopefully both the ROCOR and the MP in North America will come around on that front.  It would be good to see some additional details about what this new form of conciliarity would mean in the context of Orthodoxy.  This paper:

http://www.aoiusa.org/main/page.php?page_id=127

Mentions lay nomination and election of bishops, which I think would be unique in Orthodoxy worldwide and would only happen in North America if put in place.  I could be wrong though.

I also gather the OCL are strong backers of Metropolitan Jonah (and of course they have been long standing opponents of the presence of the EP in North America).  It would be good if with the changes coming about in lay representation and conciliarity the following were also put in place

Quote
Women's Roles. From ancient times, the life of the Church has been enriched by the dedication, work, love and courage of the faithful women of the Church. However, women have often faced obstacles to their participation and spiritual growth in the Church. OCL strongly supports the elimination of all such barriers to the full participation of women in the life of the Church.

Accordingly, OCL recommends that:

1. A Commission should be established composed of hierarchs, priests, lay women and men to organize and oversee a long-range plan of investigation and discussion of all aspects of Orthodox women's roles and status in the Church, including the re-establishment of the female diaconate.

2. The Church must show greater sensitivity in the use of language. The use of inclusive rather than exclusive language in traditional liturgical phrases would help reduce the marginalization of Orthodox women while at the same time give due recognition to the historic role of women in the Church.

3. The diaconate of women should be re-instituted in our Church, according to the ancient, New Testament model.

4. Women should be welcomed to participate in the Liturgy as members of the choir, as chanters and readers. Women should be tonsured for these roles in the same manner as are men.

5. Tonsured women should be welcomed to serve in the Sanctuary as are men.

6. Both male and female infants should be Churched in the same way, within the Sanctuary.

7. The Church must make it clear that natural bodily functions should in no way bar anyone from participation in the sacraments.

http://www.ocl.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=AboutUs.OCLRecommendations&CFID=154442116&CFTOKEN=41846760

I would hope the OCA would also act to get the status normalized of other churches such as the Macedonian Orthodox.
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« Reply #187 on: April 08, 2009, 09:25:59 AM »

It looks as if Met. Jonah is going to lead the American Church concerning unity. Met. Phillip has obviously dropped the ball. If anyone had told me this time last year that the OCA would be leading the Church i'd have laughed my head off. God is good !

I think we all know what Constantinople is saying/doing is actually meaningless.  Nobody can actually force anybody to do anything.  The war of words between the OCA and the GOA, the cancellation of joint services in Boston this year for the Orthodoxy of Sunday, etc. is unseemly; but really doesn't amount to much.  Were I Metropolitan Jonah, I would actually just ignore what Constantinople is saying.

The Orthodox trait which most matches the American religious spirit is probably anti-authoritarianism.  That's why we are split and why just about every conceivable Orthodox splinter group sets up shop here.  It's the perfect environment for all of that.  Unity is a pipe dream not because the GOA and OCA don't get along, but because lack of respect for authority is built in to our very consciousness.
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« Reply #188 on: April 08, 2009, 10:02:29 AM »

An interesting summary on the speech here (about half way down):

http://ochlophobist.blogspot.com/2009/04/road-from-damascus-continued.html
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 10:03:03 AM by AMM » Logged
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« Reply #189 on: April 08, 2009, 10:07:55 AM »

As a side note addressing the OCL quote above, most of the items in it I find distrubing that any Orthodox Christian would even entertain,  much less seriously consider them. Most of it is just way too much of a slippery slope, too much a consession to the tender egoism of our age:

Quote
2. The Church must show greater sensitivity in the use of language. The use of inclusive rather than exclusive language in traditional liturgical phrases would help reduce the marginalization of Orthodox women while at the same time give due recognition to the historic role of women in the Church.

Nonsense. I'm not calling God "She" just to massage someone's ego. "Causes" like inclusive language have no place that I can see in the Church. Our traditional liturgical phrases should of course be translated into a high standard of English that is beautiful to hear, in English generic forms of the femenine are included in the masculine, and that has nothing to do with being "insensative". That is simply the language.

Quote
3. The diaconate of women should be re-instituted in our Church, according to the ancient, New Testament model.
I don't know that I would be eager to see this happen willy nilly but if the time is right and there is a need for it to be reinstituted then this is worthy of consideration. If I'm not mistaken St. Nectarios tonsured two women into the women's diaconate.  That said it seems most functions of this tonsure have been subsumed by women monastics...I think.  

Quote
4. Women should be welcomed to participate in the Liturgy as members of the choir, as chanters and readers. Women should be tonsured for these roles in the same manner as are men.
I was not aware tonsure was required of anyone to sing in the choir. To my knowledge anyone can read if asked/blessed by the priest without tonsure if a tonsured reader is not available. Traditionally speaking male choirs might be preferable but not normally possible at the parish level. This is a decision for Bishops and priests. Tonsuring female readers strikes me as very problematic if it lacks any serious traditional precident. The service for tonsure of a reader is that of a taper bearer and would suggest a right/duty to serve in the altar. This is not right. Even an Abbess who has the right to be in the altar and receive communion there cannot do this so far as I know. One thing is for sure, the door should not be open to female altar servers.

Quote
5. Tonsured women should be welcomed to serve in the Sanctuary as are men.
No they shouldn't unless there is ample precident in the Tradition. I do not like this creeping anti-male feminist gender homogenizing.

Quote
6. Both male and female infants should be Churched in the same way, within the Sanctuary.
No they shouldn't. That is not the tradition, and so far as I know never has been.

Quote
7. The Church must make it clear that natural bodily functions should in no way bar anyone from participation in the sacraments.
 This is utter nonsense. Absolutely not. These bars are on everyone not just women. If a man has an open bleeding wound/sore he should not commune any more than a women in her monthly time. Nor should either if they've had relations the night before.  Such an idea is just unthinkable. For goodness sake, this has nothing to do with sexual discrimination even a little. If a Orthodox person communes within 24 hours of their repose, if they are desanguinated, then that blood has to be saved and buried with them. It's about respect for the Holy Mysteries, not egos.

This is for the most part just modernist ego driven crazy talk so far as I can see, a complete disregard for the Tradition when it becomes "insensative" by modern "standards".  

This probably is way off topic in this thread, but I sincerely hope our beloved Metropolitan will steer far clear of such destructive innovations.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 10:22:43 AM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #190 on: April 08, 2009, 10:22:17 AM »

Quote
This probably is way off topic in this thread, but I sincerely hope our beloved Metropolitan will steer far clear of such destructive innovations.

I would actually say it's very much related.  I know people from the OCL have been e-mailing out the speech lauding it.  They certainly support the overall vision of the OCA.  Metropolitan Jonah certainly will at least have to listen to them.

I think the point is really more of what the vision of American Orthodoxy is per Metropolitan Jonah, the OCL and the AOI.  If we're really moving to a model of lay nomination and election of bishops, then the bishops will represent what the will of the people is.  Clearly there are a number of people out there who support the view of the OCL, for instance in regards to the place of women in the church.  In my parish, their suggestions listed above would probably have a lot of acceptance.
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« Reply #191 on: April 08, 2009, 10:33:07 AM »

Well insofar as I know it, I do support Metropolitan Jonah's vision for the OCA and his hopes for Orthodoxy in North America. And I certainly regard the idea of greater lay participation and responsibility very favorably...but not in any way that would congregationalize/protestantize our expression of the faith.

The faithful nominating those from its ranks for ordination has ample precident in both OT and NT. But the final decision among the nominees is up to those hierarchs God has appointed. It is conciliar, not democratic. Similarly no hierarch should be elevated to the episcopacy or receive pastoral authority over a diocese unless he has the "Axios" of the people. If they give it, then they are bound to obey him. If they don't then it is evident that this is either not God's time for this nominee, or not God's choice at all.

That type of laity participation seems in keeping with the Holy Tradition. Laity participation that means putting everything to the vote does not.

And yes, I know there are supporters of such ideas out there. A little extra instruction on the whys of some of our Tradition might be in order.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 10:34:47 AM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #192 on: April 08, 2009, 10:55:47 AM »

Well insofar as I know it, I do support Metropolitan Jonah's vision for the OCA and his hopes for Orthodoxy in North America. And I certainly regard the idea of greater lay participation and responsibility very favorably...but not in any way that would congregationalize/protestantize our expression of the faith.

That's already happened at the parish level though, except for the few jurisdictions who won't allow it such as the ROCOR who maintain the very traditional top down model.  A priest has even written a book about this.

http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/pc-55595-109-ferencz-nicholas-american-orthodoxy-and-parish-congregationalism.aspx

The Catholics of course stamped out trusteeism, but it continues in American Orthodoxy.  In many ways the separation of spiritual and temporal duties that occurs in this model mirrors what Luther viewed as the role of bishops:

http://books.google.com/books?id=8ccAl9sUYycC&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=luther+%2B+bishops&source=bl&ots=4LwA9YmfuY&sig=l5UClrh-g7Z9dfB5TXwCpXlcm5g#PPA180,M1

Quote
The faithful nominating those from its ranks for ordination has ample precident in both OT and NT.

I agree, I don't think it's currently practiced anywhere though.

Quote
But the final decision among the nominees is up to those hierarchs God has appointed. It is conciliar, not democratic. Similarly no hierarch should be elevated to the episcopacy or receive pastoral authority over a diocese unless he has the "Axios" of the people. If they give it, then they are bound to obey him. If they don't then it is evident that this is either not God's time for this nominee, or not God's choice at all.

That sounds a little like if someone sinks, we know they're a witch.

I think it is a step to real democratization because who is going to get nominated other than who the people desire.  What could very likely happen though is paralysis, like real political democracy because nobody can agree on anything.

Quote
That type of laity participation seems in keeping with the Holy Tradition. Laity participation that means putting everything to the vote does not.

Right or wrong, I think it's safe to say it's a new tradition, and some would argue (like the ROCOR & the MP) that it isn't really traditional at all.
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« Reply #193 on: April 08, 2009, 11:37:07 AM »

Regarding OCA parishes on the "Old Calendar"

St. John of Kronsdadt Orthodox Church in Lincoln, NE. also does:

http://kronstadtchurch.org/

In talking with the priest there, Fr. James, he said that the Americans in the church decided to use this calendar in part out of a feeling of kinship toward the Russians who attend church there (though their liturgy is almost entirely in English). Their bishop, Archbishop JOB of Chicago, agreed and gave them a dispensation (the correct term?) to do so. Thus as I understand, the choice of which calendar a parish chooses to follow lies entirely in the hands of their God-appointed bishop.

Moderator: If folks want to break off into a discussion about OCA churches using the Old Calendar, that might be an appropriate side-topic from this thread.
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« Reply #194 on: April 08, 2009, 11:37:32 AM »

As a side note addressing the OCL quote above, most of the items in it I find distrubing that any Orthodox Christian would even entertain,  much less seriously consider them. Most of it is just way too much of a slippery slope, too much a consession to the tender egoism of our age:

Quote
2. The Church must show greater sensitivity in the use of language. The use of inclusive rather than exclusive language in traditional liturgical phrases would help reduce the marginalization of Orthodox women while at the same time give due recognition to the historic role of women in the Church.

Nonsense. I'm not calling God "She" just to massage someone's ego. "Causes" like inclusive language have no place that I can see in the Church. Our traditional liturgical phrases should of course be translated into a high standard of English that is beautiful to hear, in English generic forms of the femenine are included in the masculine, and that has nothing to do with being "insensative". That is simply the language.

I have to agree with you here: for one thing, ALL the Traditional Liturgical languages (except perhaps Georgian and Albanian, which I don't know, and Finnish) distinguish gender, as do Spanish and French (yes, Americans, there are other languages on the Continent that the Orthodox Church contains).  I can't speak for Amerindian languages.

Quote
3. The diaconate of women should be re-instituted in our Church, according to the ancient, New Testament model.
I don't know that I would be eager to see this happen willy nilly but if the time is right and there is a need for it to be reinstituted then this is worthy of consideration. If I'm not mistaken St. Nectarios tonsured two women into the women's diaconate.  That said it seems most functions of this tonsure have been subsumed by women monastics...I think.

We are agreed here too.  The CoG have restored it.  I thought Romania would have been a better place, but oh well.

Quote
4. Women should be welcomed to participate in the Liturgy as members of the choir, as chanters and readers. Women should be tonsured for these roles in the same manner as are men.
I was not aware tonsure was required of anyone to sing in the choir. To my knowledge anyone can read if asked/blessed by the priest without tonsure if a tonsured reader is not available. Traditionally speaking male choirs might be preferable but not normally possible at the parish level. This is a decision for Bishops and priests. Tonsuring female readers strikes me as very problematic if it lacks any serious traditional precident. The service for tonsure of a reader is that of a taper bearer and would suggest a right/duty to serve in the altar. This is not right. Even an Abbess who has the right to be in the altar and receive communion there cannot do this so far as I know. One thing is for sure, the door should not be open to female altar servers.

Agreed again.

Quote
5. Tonsured women should be welcomed to serve in the Sanctuary as are men.
No they shouldn't unless there is ample precident in the Tradition. I do not like this creeping anti-male feminist gender homogenizing.

Agreed again.  It would be advisable, however, to reiterate that men without a reason to be in the Sanctuary shouldn't be there.

Quote
6. Both male and female infants should be Churched in the same way, within the Sanctuary.
No they shouldn't. That is not the tradition, and so far as I know never has been.

Antioch has directed that either both boys and girls are Churched within the Sanctuary, or neither are.  It would be fair to demand a reason why there should be a difference.

Quote
7. The Church must make it clear that natural bodily functions should in no way bar anyone from participation in the sacraments.
 This is utter nonsense. Absolutely not. These bars are on everyone not just women. If a man has an open bleeding wound/sore he should not commune any more than a women in her monthly time. Nor should either if they've had relations the night before.  Such an idea is just unthinkable. For goodness sake, this has nothing to do with sexual discrimination even a little. If a Orthodox person communes within 24 hours of their repose, if they are desanguinated, then that blood has to be saved and buried with them. It's about respect for the Holy Mysteries, not egos.
What you say is true.  What the point says is that there is a serious lack of teaching on the matter.

Quote
This is for the most part just modernist ego driven crazy talk so far as I can see, a complete disregard for the Tradition when it becomes "insensative" by modern "standards".
 

Yes, but we have to not leave it at that.  There is serious need of education, to make sure conjecture, ever prone to be influenced  by ego, fill in the vacuum.

Quote
This probably is way off topic in this thread, but I sincerely hope our beloved Metropolitan will steer far clear of such destructive innovations.

No, I think it is on point.  Do the hierarchs overseas see these issues and know how to deal with them?
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« Reply #195 on: April 08, 2009, 11:42:16 AM »

Well insofar as I know it, I do support Metropolitan Jonah's vision for the OCA and his hopes for Orthodoxy in North America. And I certainly regard the idea of greater lay participation and responsibility very favorably...but not in any way that would congregationalize/protestantize our expression of the faith.

That's already happened at the parish level though, except for the few jurisdictions who won't allow it such as the ROCOR who maintain the very traditional top down model.  A priest has even written a book about this.

http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/pc-55595-109-ferencz-nicholas-american-orthodoxy-and-parish-congregationalism.aspx

The Catholics of course stamped out trusteeism, but it continues in American Orthodoxy.  In many ways the separation of spiritual and temporal duties that occurs in this model mirrors what Luther viewed as the role of bishops:

http://books.google.com/books?id=8ccAl9sUYycC&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=luther+%2B+bishops&source=bl&ots=4LwA9YmfuY&sig=l5UClrh-g7Z9dfB5TXwCpXlcm5g#PPA180,M1

Quote
The faithful nominating those from its ranks for ordination has ample precident in both OT and NT.

I agree, I don't think it's currently practiced anywhere though.

Quote
But the final decision among the nominees is up to those hierarchs God has appointed. It is conciliar, not democratic. Similarly no hierarch should be elevated to the episcopacy or receive pastoral authority over a diocese unless he has the "Axios" of the people. If they give it, then they are bound to obey him. If they don't then it is evident that this is either not God's time for this nominee, or not God's choice at all.

That sounds a little like if someone sinks, we know they're a witch.

I think it is a step to real democratization because who is going to get nominated other than who the people desire.  What could very likely happen though is paralysis, like real political democracy because nobody can agree on anything.

Quote
That type of laity participation seems in keeping with the Holy Tradition. Laity participation that means putting everything to the vote does not.

Right or wrong, I think it's safe to say it's a new tradition, and some would argue (like the ROCOR & the MP) that it isn't really traditional at all.

Actually, neither ROCOR nor the MP can complain, as Pat. Tikhon tried it in the U.S., as it was being discussed in Russia at the time, and was implemented in the Sobor of 1917-8.
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« Reply #196 on: April 08, 2009, 11:43:06 AM »

Moderators, could we please split off the topic of the OCL's recommendations?  I'd like to respond, but I don't want to derail the thread any further.
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« Reply #197 on: April 08, 2009, 11:45:22 AM »

 Huh
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« Reply #198 on: April 08, 2009, 11:45:49 AM »

I am trying to follow thread as best as possible. Someone said that the OCL are backers of Metropolitan Jonah but does anyone know of any opinions he may have of the OCL?
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« Reply #199 on: April 08, 2009, 11:48:19 AM »

I'm taking my cue from the Book of Acts. When the deaconate was created the people were instructed to pick out a certain number among them who were worthy to serve. The people did, but the consecration and the choice to consecrate remained with the Apostles.

With respect to the Axios, if it is meaninless, if it never had meaning or consequence, what is the point of it existing at all. If I am not mistaken it reflects the conciliar dyanamics of the Jerusalem Council where the decision was published and was received with great joy restoring peace to the Church.  The principle seems that Godly decisions by the Episcopate will be met by the faithful over time with joy and such decisions will bring peace. Deep calls to deep. The Spirit of God guiding the episcopacy and the Spirit of God entempled in the Body speak as one, or should. If there is little or no joy and no peace in some reasonable amount of time, then I think it safe to say, something is seriously amiss and needs to be revisited. Hence the "Axios" or more rarely the "Anaxios" must have once had actual meaning and consequence as an expression of the priesthood of the laity, and not just some vestigial rubber stamp.

And I do think there is a serious role for the laity in keeping our heirarchs honest and accountable, but that cannot ever be so construed as to make our heirarchs beholden.  The Church is not nor should be a democracy. Authority does flow top down starting from God, but it cannot/should not be so construed as to overstep its natural bounds so as to usurp the rights/responsibilities/and powers that are properly alotted invested in other places within the body. At least that is how I've come to understand the matter.
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« Reply #200 on: April 08, 2009, 11:48:50 AM »

Actually, neither ROCOR nor the MP can complain, as Pat. Tikhon tried it in the U.S., as it was being discussed in Russia at the time, and was implemented in the Sobor of 1917-8.

Why in the ROCOR by-laws then do they even forbid lay presidency at the parish level?

Quote
B. THE CHURCH PARISH COUNCIL.

28. The Church Parish Council shall be composed of:
(a) the Pastor of the parish who by virtue of his office shall be the President of the Church Parish Council; (b) the Church Warden; (c) the President or the Sister Superior of the Sisterhood organized in conjunction with the parish and functioning under the supervision of the pastor pursuant to the Statute on Sisterhoods ratified by the diocesan authorities; (d) the Treasurer; (e) the Secretary; (f) Staff members of the clergy; (g) from two to five lay members of the parish.

http://www.synod.com/english/pages/regulations/parishlaws.html
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« Reply #201 on: April 08, 2009, 11:52:12 AM »

Met. Jonah will never go for the innovations that a few (mostly Greek-American academic feminists) want. Those women are very few in number and aging rapidly. They are not active in the OCL anymore. I, for one, would never support what those academic women are wishing for and at this time, the OCL is run mostly by conservative Greek-American men, some of whom support the EP (Peter Petkas, the president of OCL wrote a very supportive letter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and received a reply from the Patriarch.) I just want to emphasize the point, as someone who has organized women's retreats for Orthodox women of various jurisdictions, I have seen absolutely no interest among Orthodox woman (both cradle and convert) in the agenda of a few older, feminist, Orthodox academics. Their day is over.

What if people start nominating and electing bishops who do support such views?

It's odd that if those people are not active in the OCL, their views are still posted there.

Everyone's experience is different.  I can say in my experience among the rank and file (i.e. the non online Orthodox), you would find a lot of acceptance the views of women's roles posted on the OCL site.
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« Reply #202 on: April 08, 2009, 12:07:15 PM »

Quote
What if people start nominating and electing bishops who do support such views?

That would be unfortunate. But nominated is not the same thing as tonsured and ordained. In this case fellow bishops in the synod would have the responsibility to say no...pick somebody else, this one is not a proper choice at this time.

Quote
Antioch has directed that either both boys and girls are Churched within the Sanctuary, or neither are.  It would be fair to demand a reason why there should be a difference.

As I was taught, the reason is fairly simple. A male child is a potentially priest  and this is his first introduction to that possible responsibility. Priesthood of this sort is not possible to women, hence they are churched differently. It has nothing to do with privilege or mean spirited discrimination. There is a difference between men and women and there are responsibilities that men can be called to that are exclusive to them. In some ways I think it has parallels to the woman's role as mother. Bringing forth life into the world is something given by God exclusively to women. Without a woman no man can exist...except perhaps the very first one. Not even God Himself entered this world except by a woman. But the direction of spiritual life within the parish and the initiation into the spiritual life and mysteries of the Church God has given to men. Without men there is no sacramental life. Churching male infants differently than female points to this division of graces as it were.

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« Reply #203 on: April 08, 2009, 12:10:25 PM »

Met. Jonah will never go for the innovations that a few (mostly Greek-American academic feminists) want. Those women are very few in number and aging rapidly. They are not active in the OCL anymore. I, for one, would never support what those academic women are wishing for and at this time, the OCL is run mostly by conservative Greek-American men, some of whom support the EP (Peter Petkas, the president of OCL wrote a very supportive letter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and received a reply from the Patriarch.) I just want to emphasize the point, as someone who has organized women's retreats for Orthodox women of various jurisdictions, I have seen absolutely no interest among Orthodox woman (both cradle and convert) in the agenda of a few older, feminist, Orthodox academics. Their day is over.

What if people start nominating and electing bishops who do support such views?

It's odd that if those people are not active in the OCL, their views are still posted there.

Everyone's experience is different.  I can say in my experience among the rank and file (i.e. the non online Orthodox), you would find a lot of acceptance the views of women's roles posted on the OCL site.

I've found just the opposite.

Actually, neither ROCOR nor the MP can complain, as Pat. Tikhon tried it in the U.S., as it was being discussed in Russia at the time, and was implemented in the Sobor of 1917-8.

Why in the ROCOR by-laws then do they even forbid lay presidency at the parish level?

Quote
B. THE CHURCH PARISH COUNCIL.

28. The Church Parish Council shall be composed of:
(a) the Pastor of the parish who by virtue of his office shall be the President of the Church Parish Council; (b) the Church Warden; (c) the President or the Sister Superior of the Sisterhood organized in conjunction with the parish and functioning under the supervision of the pastor pursuant to the Statute on Sisterhoods ratified by the diocesan authorities; (d) the Treasurer; (e) the Secretary; (f) Staff members of the clergy; (g) from two to five lay members of the parish.

http://www.synod.com/english/pages/regulations/parishlaws.html

You'd have to ask someone for ROCOR, but otherwise, I was more pointing to the Faithful participation in Sobors and the election of bishops.  No, the point you touch on is a difference between us and Congregationalists.

And as to bishops elected to pander to the special interest groups, the Synod should refuse to ordain them, and the Faithful faithful to the Church should give a loud "anaxios!"
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« Reply #204 on: April 08, 2009, 12:10:29 PM »

That would be unfortunate. But nominated is not the same thing as tonsured and ordained. In this case fellow bishops in the synod would have the responsibility to say no...pick somebody else, this one is not a proper choice at this time.

Then why couldn't the laity seek the removal of the other bishops (who would have actually have to have been nominated and elected at some point themselves) if they were defying the will of the people?

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I've found just the opposite.

Everyone's experience, as noted, will vary.
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« Reply #205 on: April 08, 2009, 12:15:55 PM »

.

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And we aren't suggesting that GOA hasn't had financial issues, are we? Roll Eyes

No, I said nothing of the sort.  I said we haven't had the troubles that we would have if we were in the OCA.  That is a simple statement of fact.  The OCA has had financial issues and it isn't under Constantinople, maybe the GOA has and they are.  The common denominator there isn't Constantinople.

People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And I say that as someone who is in love with the Greek Liturgical tradition and wouldn't choose to be anywhere else.....however......well I'll just say again, those of us living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Back to my typical lurker status......




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« Reply #206 on: April 08, 2009, 12:23:20 PM »

Quote
What if people start nominating and electing bishops who do support such views?

That would be unfortunate. But nominated is not the same thing as tonsured and ordained. In this case fellow bishops in the synod would have the responsibility to say no...pick somebody else, this one is not a proper choice at this time.

Quote
Antioch has directed that either both boys and girls are Churched within the Sanctuary, or neither are.  It would be fair to demand a reason why there should be a difference.

As I was taught, the reason is fairly simple. A male child is a potentially priest  and this is his first introduction to that possible responsibility. Priesthood of this sort is not possible to women, hence they are churched differently. It has nothing to do with privilege or mean spirited discrimination.

Not so simple, as the fact the vast majority of those males brought into the sanctuary will NOT be ordained.  That simple fact proves inconvenient, as the distinction in churching gives rise to an idea that possession of a y chromosome is somehow a partial ordination.  Particularly inconvenient if Abesses and deaconesses commune in the sanctuary.

The maleness of the priesthood might be included into the distinction at churching, but there is going to have to be a lot more of context for it.

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« Reply #207 on: April 08, 2009, 12:24:08 PM »

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Then why couldn't the laity seek the removal of the other bishops (who would have actually have to have been nominated and elected at some point themselves) if they were defying the will of the people?

Technically I suppose they could seek such a thing. The laity has driven away bad bishops before...not sure what the formal canonical process for riding out of town on a rail might be though.  That said, if the bishop is not preaching heresy, and if he is still supported by his fellow bishops, then the crowd might want to reconsider. Once he is their bishop they can't just 'get tired' of him for supercilious reasons.

It is possible the mob could turn on a good bishop...and I think that possibly has happened too on occasion. And that would also be unfortunate.

In general though, unless there is some extraordinary good reason, the people are bound to obey their bishops like him or not at a personal level. Heretics they can ignore and kick out.  Those living losely or robbing the Church, other synodal bishops should deal with. Those losing their faculites due to age or illness other synodal bishops should deal with. If people think their bishops are abusing them or neglecting their duties then the matter sould be brought before the Metropolitan/Patriarch and his synod.

Again, at least that is how I see it...but I'm not expert or authority on these things.

Quote
Not so simple, as the fact the vast majority of those males brought into the sanctuary will NOT be ordained.  That simple fact proves inconvenient, as the distinction in churching gives rise to an idea that possession of a y chromosome is somehow a partial ordination.

Ah well, I was taught what I was taught...what I said is the gist of what the priest who baptized me told me. At any rate, I said male children were potential priests, not that many or most would be so ordained.  The "y" chromosome is not an ordination partial or otherwise...but without it entry into priestly ordination is not allowed.

And all that said, this really beginning to diverge from the central thesis of this tread and either needs to be woven back in or redirected elsewhere.
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« Reply #208 on: April 08, 2009, 12:36:09 PM »

Ah well, I was taught what I was taught...what I said is the gist of what the priest who baptized me told me. At any rate, I said male children were potential priests, not that many or most would be so ordained.  The "y" chromosome is not an ordination partial or otherwise...but without it entry into priestly ordination is not allowed.

And all that said, this really beginning to diverge from the central thesis of this tread and either needs to be woven back in or redirected elsewhere.

Don't continue the tangent here... Here is a thread that discusses Churching of children, and at the bottom there is a tag that links to even more such threads.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13029.html

(I do make my position clear in one of those posts, however: )
Of course, I also don't believe that the infants of either gender should be taken into the Altar.
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« Reply #209 on: April 08, 2009, 12:57:59 PM »

It's interesting to note how many people are all reading this thread at the same time.  It's obviously an important topic about which we all care a great deal.  I, too, have been reading, and reading, and reading it over the past couple days, but, as I was reading it on my phone and not the computer, I was unable to read/watch His Beatitude +JONAH's speech.  I was expecting to be inspired and uplifted by wise words that would call all to unity under a compromise that would allow us all to continue to worship in the ways we are comfortable, while uniting our voice.  I was sorely disappointed...

I'll start by saying that, while I agreed with the Chief Secretary's speech at HCHC for the most part, I was also sorely disappointed with his delivery.  I felt there was a loving way to handle the situation and he did not choose it.

I feel the same way about His Beatitude's speech.  In fact, to be honest, the phrase that came to mind was "fear mongering."  And it made me angry.

BTW, I'm going to use the GOA as an example a lot, because it is the EP's jurisdiction in the US, and the most obvious example of how the EP does and would administrate a church in the US.

There were, indeed, exaggerations and falsehoods that were utilized to make his point.  The most blatant and obvious (not to mention UTTERLY ABSURD), as AMM pointed out earlier, being (from Serb1389's transcription):

Quote
but you have to give us the freedom to take care of our own church and our own country and our own culture, and not to be controlled by people who have never heard a word of English, much less would allow a word of English to be spoken in the Liturgy

Since His Beatitude has only been Metropolitan of the OCA for like five minutes, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying maybe he has never been to services in the GOA.  Otherwise, he would know that of course we do English in the services.  At HCHC (and many on this forum have either attended the school or at least been to services there) alone, which one would hope to be an example, since it is the archdiocesan seminary, the services are done AT LEAST 50/50 Greek-English.  Many, many parishes in the GOA have all but eliminated the Greek entirely.  So... either he's utilizing a falsehood to incite fear and anger, or he's ignorant of GOA practices.  I'm going to go with the latter, since I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, as I too have been inspired by his election and hopeful, and don't want to think badly of him.

The falsehoods/exaggerations are also made by implication.  In other words, he implies things that are false or exaggerated.  Here's an example:
Quote
A church that is dedicated to the conciliar process which does not ignore the voice of the laity, which does not ignore the voice of the priests.
The implication here is that the Phanar and His All Holiness ignore the voices of the laity and priests.  If this is the case, then things would be far different in the GOA.  There would be no English, but the people request English, so there is English.  There would be no Thanksgiving Turkey (and His Beatitude thinks that the EP doesn't understand America?  Do the OCA recognize Thanksgiving? I actually am asking, not being sarcastic, cause I don't know the answer), but the request of the people was heard, and, out of love, the EP made a concession so that we might RECOGNIZE OUR HERITAGE AS AMERICANS AND CELEBRATE IT WITH THANKSGIVING TO GOD.  Hmmmm.... I could write a list of such things that the EP has heard and allowed, but I think my point is made.

And another:
Quote
Because, we are orthodox not simply by birth, we are orthodox not simply by our ethnic heritage, we are orthodox because we have chosen to be orthodox.  We are orthodox because we have committed our entire life to Jesus Christ and the Gospel.  And that it’s that commitment to Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and our commitment to bring our brothers and sisters in our land to that same commitment to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. 
The implication here is that we Greek Orthodox (notice I say we Greek ORTHODOX, not we Greeks) are only Orthodox because of our birth or ethnic heritage.  Tell that to my Chinese brother-in-law and all the other converts we have in the GREEK ORTHODOX church (in other words, the GOA is NOT made up of just Greeks, but converts as well, in case His Beatitude has not visited a GOA church yet).  Furthermore, I AM of Greek heritage, but I am CERTAINLY not Orthodox just because my father is.  For one thing, my mother was Catholic (oh, yeah, she's a convert too).  [ light-hearted but to the point sarcasm] I'm so glad His Beatitude knows the souls of all the Greek Orthodox in America to be able to imply that we are all Orthodox just because our parents were. [/light-hearted but to the point sarcasm]

And another (one of my favorites):
Quote
Not to some kind of alien ideology, not to some nationalist or imperialist ideology from some forgotten empire.  Not the imposition of foreign customs, and the submission to foreign despots – but to a united church in this country. 
Really?  You must be kidding.  He's talking about foreign customs wearing a RUSSIAN style of vestments!  Did I miss something or didn't the OCA come from the Russian tradition?  Certainly looks like it, from the tradition of music, liturgics, and vestments (among other things).  Why does he fault the Greek Orthodox for following the Byzantine tradition of music, liturgics, and vestments?  Isn't that a little backward?  If he is not speaking of liturgical tradition, then what is he speaking of?  Is he implying that the EP is going to force everyone to learn modern Greek, Greek dances, Greek cooking, celebrate Greek holidays, etc?  Surely not.  I think we can all see how absurd that would be.  Unfortunately, yes, many of the GOA churches have Greek school and dance troupes.  And I think most of us (including the clergy and hierarchs) will tell you it is unfortunate, not the place of the church, and that we are trying to weed that stuff out.  To take that further and say that not only would the EP NOT weed those things out, but would force them on other churches, that is just baseless and, I'm sorry, but falsehood.

Further, I too find it insulting to refer to him as a foreign despot.

And another:
Quote
I don’t think they understand, that our church here has this rich diversity, but that we all share a common identity. 
Really?  Nevermind that the GOA hierarchs rotate through the Patriarchal synod.  Nevermind that many of those AT the Phanar are in one way or another connected to the United States (either themselves being from here, schooled here, having family here, having visited or lived here...).  They just don't understand.  Right.

And another:
Quote
.  We all submit, to a foreign patriarchate,  where all decisions will be made there, where we will have no say in the decisions that will be made, we will have no decisions in our own destiny, and we surrender the freedom that we have embraces as American Orthodox Christians, to a Patriarchate still under Islamic domination. 
This one, I think, is the one that gets me the most upset, the one that is the MOST fear mongering.  It is, in my opinion, the most irresponsible thing he said, as I feel sure he knows that it is not true (anyone who knows anything of the workings of the GOA knows it's not true, so surely he must).  But, maybe I should again give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he has never been to a GOA church, knows no GOA hierarchs, knows nothing of how the GOA operates.  Hard to believe, but I'm happy to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It is wrong to imply that the churches in the US, should they come under the omophorion of the EP, would be completely controlled in the way he says... that we would have no decisions, surrender our freedom, etc.  That is just blatant falsehood.  His All Holiness DOES NOT interfere in the workings of the GOA.  He leaves them to the respective bishops.  Why, then, would he turn around and do that to a united church in the US?  It doesn't make any sense.  It is baseless and false. 


Further, I have a question to ask... this conciliar church he is proposing... where all the bishops sit on a synod "or something like that..."  Who sits at the head?  Yes, we are a conciliar church, but we are a HIERARCHAL Church, meaning, there is a hierarchy, with A hierarch at the head.  No, I'm not proposing a pope.  But every Church, every autocephalous church, even, has a synod WITH A HIERARCH (usually known as a Patriarch, Metropolitan, or Archbishop... anyone recognize those terms?  Anyone?) sitting at the head!  He talks about this synod (as though it's a novel idea... anyone remember SCOBA?), but offers no solution as to who sits at the head.  Isn't that really the crux of the problem?  I don't think the EP has a problem with a synod, otherwise SCOBA wouldn't exist (or the GOA wouldn't participate, at least).  The question is who sits at the head, where does that person come from, who do they answer to (if anyone).  It was mentioned earlier in this thread (or in the Challenges of Orthodoxy thread, I can't remember which), that the model has been to grant autocephaly to the church, and this is the most likely thing that would happen, should the American church come under the EP.  Everyone seems to love to ignore that.

By the way, the crack about the pope right at the beginning was just nasty and uncalled for.  I was truly, sincerely, disappointed in that.  It is Lent, after all.  Is that really what we should be doing?  Slandering and name-calling fellow Orthodox brethren (never mind that the one he is going after is a fellow hierarch, one who outranks him, no less)... nice.

Really, I rejoiced along with everyone else when His Beatitude was elected.  I still do.  I think it's great, no, imperative, for the OCA to have a strong leader with a clear vision who can wade through the muck and bring the OCA back from the terrible things that have plagued it for so long.  But I can love him and disagree with him, and I can love him and be disappointed by his words and certain aspects of his leadership.  He is human.  I love and respect him.  I'm disappointed because I love and respect him and had hoped for something healing and loving, not petty and full of fear and falsehoods.  I do say all these things with respect.  If my tone appears disrespectful, I assure you it is NOT because that is how I intended it.  I attempted for the opposite, and if I have offended, then at this most important time of Lent I do ask for your forgiveness.

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« Reply #210 on: April 08, 2009, 12:59:15 PM »

As it has been already pointed out, all this attack happened as a sermon. Very sad!

It is also very sad and unfortunate that during the recent election, eloquence of Metropolitan Jonah dominated over many years of dedicated service, proven missionary outreach and excellent administrative experience of His Eminence Archbishop Job (Osacky) or, actually any other Hierarch of OCA.

If Archbishop Job were the Metropolitan of OCA now, the process of Orthodox unity in USA would speed up without any controversial issues on its way.

Don't be so sure about that. Archbishop Job is not the great champion of Orthodoxy as Ocanews.org and others in the OCA would like you to believe. Besides, he's retiring in 2 years.

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« Reply #211 on: April 08, 2009, 01:12:55 PM »

Quote
That said, if the bishop is not preaching heresy, and if he is still supported by his fellow bishops, then the crowd might want to reconsider.

In this instance I see a bishop speaking falsehoods and slander from the pulpit, and the crowd is cheering.

Yippeeeee!
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« Reply #212 on: April 08, 2009, 01:17:40 PM »

I'm taking my cue from the Book of Acts. When the deaconate was created the people were instructed to pick out a certain number among them who were worthy to serve. The people did, but the consecration and the choice to consecrate remained with the Apostles.

The decision of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) is in the name of the "Apostles, Elders and Brethren."  i.e. Bishops, priests, Faithful/laity.

Quote
With respect to the Axios, if it is meaninless, if it never had meaning or consequence, what is the point of it existing at all. If I am not mistaken it reflects the conciliar dyanamics of the Jerusalem Council where the decision was published and was received with great joy restoring peace to the Church.  The principle seems that Godly decisions by the Episcopate will be met by the faithful over time with joy and such decisions will bring peace. Deep calls to deep. The Spirit of God guiding the episcopacy and the Spirit of God entempled in the Body speak as one, or should. If there is little or no joy and no peace in some reasonable amount of time, then I think it safe to say, something is seriously amiss and needs to be revisited. Hence the "Axios" or more rarely the "Anaxios" must have once had actual meaning and consequence as an expression of the priesthood of the laity, and not just some vestigial rubber stamp.

There are numberous examples of "anaxios" stopping an ordination in its tracks all through history, including to the present day.

Quote
And I do think there is a serious role for the laity in keeping our heirarchs honest and accountable, but that cannot ever be so construed as to make our heirarchs beholden.  The Church is not nor should be a democracy. Authority does flow top down starting from God, but it cannot/should not be so construed as to overstep its natural bounds so as to usurp the rights/responsibilities/and powers that are properly alotted invested in other places within the body. At least that is how I've come to understand the matter.
Look how well it worked with nipping Florence in the bud.
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« Reply #213 on: April 08, 2009, 01:26:42 PM »

Look how well it worked with nipping Florence in the bud.

So it is a democracy after all.....
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« Reply #214 on: April 08, 2009, 01:36:23 PM »



Quote
With respect to the Axios, if it is meaninless, if it never had meaning or consequence, what is the point of it existing at all. If I am not mistaken it reflects the conciliar dyanamics of the Jerusalem Council where the decision was published and was received with great joy restoring peace to the Church.  The principle seems that Godly decisions by the Episcopate will be met by the faithful over time with joy and such decisions will bring peace. Deep calls to deep. The Spirit of God guiding the episcopacy and the Spirit of God entempled in the Body speak as one, or should. If there is little or no joy and no peace in some reasonable amount of time, then I think it safe to say, something is seriously amiss and needs to be revisited. Hence the "Axios" or more rarely the "Anaxios" must have once had actual meaning and consequence as an expression of the priesthood of the laity, and not just some vestigial rubber stamp.

There are numberous examples of "anaxios" stopping an ordination in its tracks all through history, including to the present day.

Really?  I've never heard of an example.  In fact our Teleturgics/Liturgics professor made a joke in this regard saying "what...do you think people can just say Anaxios and the HS won't come down?"  It was an interesting point.  I'd be interested in knowing which jurisdiction this happened in.  You don't have to name names (although it would be interesting to know).  But if you can at least tell me what jurisdiction...i'd be curious. 
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« Reply #215 on: April 08, 2009, 01:41:25 PM »

Mod's feel free to move this post, if the OCL recommendations are going to be moved as well.  I just didn't know where to respond, but really wanted to.

As a side note addressing the OCL quote above, most of the items in it I find distrubing that any Orthodox Christian would even entertain,  much less seriously consider them. Most of it is just way too much of a slippery slope, too much a consession to the tender egoism of our age:

Quote
2. The Church must show greater sensitivity in the use of language. The use of inclusive rather than exclusive language in traditional liturgical phrases would help reduce the marginalization of Orthodox women while at the same time give due recognition to the historic role of women in the Church.

Nonsense. I'm not calling God "She" just to massage someone's ego. "Causes" like inclusive language have no place that I can see in the Church. Our traditional liturgical phrases should of course be translated into a high standard of English that is beautiful to hear, in English generic forms of the femenine are included in the masculine, and that has nothing to do with being "insensative". That is simply the language.
I don't think they're referring to calling God "she."  I, too, would be horrified by this!  I think they are referring to saying "people" instead of "men," and stuff like that.  Personally, I don't put much stock in that.  I don't think it's that big a deal.  I don't really care one way or another whether we say "people" or "men."  I'm educated enough to know that "men" is inclusive of women.

Quote
Quote
3. The diaconate of women should be re-instituted in our Church, according to the ancient, New Testament model.
I don't know that I would be eager to see this happen willy nilly but if the time is right and there is a need for it to be reinstituted then this is worthy of consideration. If I'm not mistaken St. Nectarios tonsured two women into the women's diaconate.  That said it seems most functions of this tonsure have been subsumed by women monastics...I think.  
I would not be eager to see it willy nilly either, but as we have many, many women converting (and we do indeed), then I think there is a need.  I had a priest tell me just the other day that he thinks it's totally inappropriate for a priest to be handling an adult woman at a baptism.  I agree with him.  With the climate of the times being what it is, especially (not that our church practices are determined by the climate of the time, but we do need to take extra care sometimes), we need to be especially careful about our priests handling women.  I say this as one who does NOT want to see her husband accused of something because he baptized an adult woman.  That is just one example of the need.  There are others, but I think even the existence of one (very crucial) need like this is enough.

Quote
Quote
4. Women should be welcomed to participate in the Liturgy as members of the choir, as chanters and readers. Women should be tonsured for these roles in the same manner as are men.
I was not aware tonsure was required of anyone to sing in the choir. To my knowledge anyone can read if asked/blessed by the priest without tonsure if a tonsured reader is not available. Traditionally speaking male choirs might be preferable but not normally possible at the parish level. This is a decision for Bishops and priests. Tonsuring female readers strikes me as very problematic if it lacks any serious traditional precident. The service for tonsure of a reader is that of a taper bearer and would suggest a right/duty to serve in the altar. This is not right. Even an Abbess who has the right to be in the altar and receive communion there cannot do this so far as I know. One thing is for sure, the door should not be open to female altar servers.
Choirs, in the way we have them here in the US, are a Western innovation, and are foreign to the Church.  Why are male choirs preferable?  Are not women included in the commands we see in the Bible to raise our voices to the Lord?  Why should women be excluded from this?
Why not women altar servers?  Just curious what your thinking is here.  In monasteries the women always serve in the altar.  There WAS a female diaconate, where she was ordained in the altar, received communion in the altar as clergy, and served in the altar.  The precedent is there for allowing women to serve in the altar and there is no theological reason she CAN'T, so I'm curious as to what your thinking is.

Quote
Quote
5. Tonsured women should be welcomed to serve in the Sanctuary as are men.
No they shouldn't unless there is ample precident in the Tradition. I do not like this creeping anti-male feminist gender homogenizing.
See above.  In addition, though, just because a woman has a desire to serve does NOT make her anti-male or a feminist, or gender homogenizing.  Did it ever occur to you that it has nothing to do with you?  Or with men?  At all?  But rather a woman's genuine desire to serve?

Quote
Quote
6. Both male and female infants should be Churched in the same way, within the Sanctuary.
No they shouldn't. That is not the tradition, and so far as I know never has been.
I don't personally care whether they're both in the Sanctuary or not.  I don't really even care that they're churched differently.  But I do care that the reason for it does not hold water theologically.

Quote
Quote
7. The Church must make it clear that natural bodily functions should in no way bar anyone from participation in the sacraments.
 This is utter nonsense. Absolutely not. These bars are on everyone not just women. If a man has an open bleeding wound/sore he should not commune any more than a women in her monthly time. Nor should either if they've had relations the night before.  Such an idea is just unthinkable. For goodness sake, this has nothing to do with sexual discrimination even a little. If a Orthodox person communes within 24 hours of their repose, if they are desanguinated, then that blood has to be saved and buried with them. It's about respect for the Holy Mysteries, not egos.
This is ridiculous.  A woman's menstrual blood does not circulate the way the rest of the blood in the body does, otherwise she would die from blood loss on day one of her period.  But they didn't know that when the canon was written.  Either way, this is a stupid argument that has been hashed and rehashed a million times on the forum.  Suffice it to say:  1.  We should NEVER be teaching our children that something their body does is wrong or bad, that God's creation is not good, or is a mistake.  This is the concern with this issue.  2. It's best to leave it up to one's spiritual father, so there's no point in arguing here.

Quote
This is for the most part just modernist ego driven crazy talk so far as I can see, a complete disregard for the Tradition when it becomes "insensative" by modern "standards".  
Look, I'm not in favor of ordaining women to the priesthood, so let's get that out there before going any further.  Because, inevitably, any woman who wants to serve in the church is labeled a "feminist," "anti-male," "modern," etc.  That's a load, and we all know it.  I AM in favor of a female diaconate, should the CHURCH (not you or me) decide that there is a need.  I AM in favor of women being allowed to serve in the altar (as many already do, and with their bishop's blessings) because there is no reason to BAR women from heeding THEIR calling to serve.  At the least, the distinction needs to be made that NO ONE, MALE OR FEMALE, should be in the altar without the priest's/bishop's blessing.  This distinction is always lost. 

It is wrong to say that women are feminists and anti-male for desiring to serve the Lord.  It is unfair.  There are a few women out there, yes, who are a very vocal minority, who have ruined it for the rest of us.  But to ignore these issues and brush them off as "feminist talk" is to ignore and brush off an entire HALF of humanity (whom God ALSO created in His image and likeness), not minister to them, and to set precedents that, no matter the fact that there is NO theological basis for it, women are just lesser than men.  You may say that's stupid, or feminist, or modern or whatever.  I say, I'm tired of hearing men like you brush me off.  I say, it's time to EDUCATE the people and end the mythology.  No, women should not be priests, but let's be clear about the reasons.  I had a Sunday Schooler (a 16 year old) tell me she thinks women shouldn't be priests because Eve ate the apple and women are worse and lesser than men.  This was three weeks ago.  Is this what we should be teaching our children?  No.  We SHOULD be teaching them that the priesthood is not for women.  But we should be teaching them the proper reasons why, and we should be drawing VERY clear lines about what is and isn't proper for women, BASED ON THEOLOGY, NOT ANTIQUATED MISOGYNISTIC MYTHOLOGY.

Now, let the firing squad begin.  I'm sure I'll be crucified for this, so to speak.

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« Reply #216 on: April 08, 2009, 01:47:06 PM »

Now, let the firing squad begin.  I'm sure I'll be crucified for this, so to speak.

BANG!  LOL.  Just kidding.  You know I love you Wink Grin

I'm gona repost what you wrote on the OTHER thread b/c I think that's more "thread honest"....see you there! 
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« Reply #217 on: April 08, 2009, 01:50:58 PM »


Quote
With respect to the Axios, if it is meaninless, if it never had meaning or consequence, what is the point of it existing at all. If I am not mistaken it reflects the conciliar dyanamics of the Jerusalem Council where the decision was published and was received with great joy restoring peace to the Church.  The principle seems that Godly decisions by the Episcopate will be met by the faithful over time with joy and such decisions will bring peace. Deep calls to deep. The Spirit of God guiding the episcopacy and the Spirit of God entempled in the Body speak as one, or should. If there is little or no joy and no peace in some reasonable amount of time, then I think it safe to say, something is seriously amiss and needs to be revisited. Hence the "Axios" or more rarely the "Anaxios" must have once had actual meaning and consequence as an expression of the priesthood of the laity, and not just some vestigial rubber stamp.

There are numberous examples of "anaxios" stopping an ordination in its tracks all through history, including to the present day.

Really?  I've never heard of an example.  In fact our Teleturgics/Liturgics professor made a joke in this regard saying "what...do you think people can just say Anaxios and the HS won't come down?"  It was an interesting point.  I'd be interested in knowing which jurisdiction this happened in.  You don't have to name names (although it would be interesting to know).  But if you can at least tell me what jurisdiction...i'd be curious.   

I don't remember which one of the current Liturgics Professor's predecessors said it (I had 4 different teachers for the various Liturgics & Teleturgics classes) but apparently there was an example from Greece within the last 50 years of an Anaxios being said that stopped the ordination, and the person did not become a bishop (he was already a priest).  After his death it was revealed that the allegation was false.
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« Reply #218 on: April 08, 2009, 01:58:41 PM »

Quote
Now, let the firing squad begin.  I'm sure I'll be crucified for this, so to speak.

Presvytera, I agree with basically all you wrote and I'm glad you also chimed in on what I perceived as the falsehoods in the Metropolitans speech.  You are a balanced voice which I hope people listen to, whereas I tend to be an annoying jerk, so I don't think people take me too seriously.

In that vein, I have found among the rank and file laity in conversations, that they question some of the practices we have in regards to women.  I think there are a bunch of reactionary Protestant converts who have come in to the church with their own baggage who get really upset when they find the topics they had wished to escape or leave behind are very much present among us.
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« Reply #219 on: April 08, 2009, 02:18:38 PM »

I've skimmed through most of this thread and see where both sides are coming from.  I'd like to offer a third option from my own personal perspective (as I'm not EO).  I don't think in the areas of diaspora that it is wise to ask for bishops to make a decision on canonical borders and jurisdictions.  In my opinion, I think we should just be patient and let the jurisdictions evolve on their own.  It is from ground up where changes will occur, not from the top down, imho.  Debates on who will take over and what jurisdiction should be under what is superfluous compared to the faith and spirituality of the flock at hand.  It's better that many bishops work together for this than fight over who takes over what jurisdiction.  I certainly believe that the source of this evolving quality from the ground up would be inter-jurisdictional marriages that would force bishops cooperation and future mixing of jurisdictions.

We can't force bishops to be humble enough to submit to one another unfortunately, whether it be because the congregations themselves will react strongly to such behavior or the bishops themselves.

Forgive me if I seemed intrusive on this particular subject as an OO.  As an OO, for the most part, we don't seem to have this problem ourselves in the US, except in particular cases where the problem doesn't stem from the diaspora, but from the mother country itself (like India).
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« Reply #220 on: April 08, 2009, 02:21:40 PM »

I would actually say it's very much related.  I know people from the OCL have been e-mailing out the speech lauding it.  They certainly support the overall vision of the OCA.  Metropolitan Jonah certainly will at least have to listen to them.

To paraphrase recent history, the fact that they support Metropolitan Jonah does not mean the Metropolitan supports them.

I don't know the Metropolitan's view on many of these things. I do know the views of Archbishop Dmitri, who originally chose Metropolitan Jonah to be his auxiliary, and whom the Metropolitan has multiple times in my hearing praised as his episcopal exemplar, both in his person and in his leadership of the Archdiocese for the last 40 years. And I can tell you that the posted innovations wouldn't even be given the time of day in the Diocese of the South.
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« Reply #221 on: April 08, 2009, 02:25:30 PM »

That's a shame, because many of them are quite reasonable.  But maybe the DoS has a large portion of reactionary Protestant converts who envisioned the Orthodox Church as some sort of escape from the modern world and modern issues or something.
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« Reply #222 on: April 08, 2009, 02:53:03 PM »

Quote
That said, if the bishop is not preaching heresy, and if he is still supported by his fellow bishops, then the crowd might want to reconsider.

In this instance I see a bishop speaking falsehoods and slander from the pulpit, and the crowd is cheering.

Yippeeeee!

No,

AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!

It's interesting to note how many people are all reading this thread at the same time.  It's obviously an important topic about which we all care a great deal.  I, too, have been reading, and reading, and reading it over the past couple days, but, as I was reading it on my phone and not the computer, I was unable to read/watch His Beatitude +JONAH's speech.  I was expecting to be inspired and uplifted by wise words that would call all to unity under a compromise that would allow us all to continue to worship in the ways we are comfortable, while uniting our voice.  I was sorely disappointed...

I'll start by saying that, while I agreed with the Chief Secretary's speech at HCHC for the most part, I was also sorely disappointed with his delivery.  I felt there was a loving way to handle the situation and he did not choose it.

I feel the same way about His Beatitude's speech.  In fact, to be honest, the phrase that came to mind was "fear mongering."  And it made me angry.

BTW, I'm going to use the GOA as an example a lot, because it is the EP's jurisdiction in the US, and the most obvious example of how the EP does and would administrate a church in the US.

That is what the Metropolitan is looking at.

Quote
There were, indeed, exaggerations and falsehoods that were utilized to make his point.  The most blatant and obvious (not to mention UTTERLY ABSURD), as AMM pointed out earlier, being (from Serb1389's transcription):

but you have to give us the freedom to take care of our own church and our own country and our own culture, and not to be controlled by people who have never heard a word of English, much less would allow a word of English to be spoken in the Liturgy

Since His Beatitude has only been Metropolitan of the OCA for like five minutes, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying maybe he has never been to services in the GOA.  Otherwise, he would know that of course we do English in the services.  At HCHC (and many on this forum have either attended the school or at least been to services there) alone, which one would hope to be an example, since it is the archdiocesan seminary, the services are done AT LEAST 50/50 Greek-English.  Many, many parishes in the GOA have all but eliminated the Greek entirely.  So... either he's utilizing a falsehood to incite fear and anger, or he's ignorant of GOA practices.  I'm going to go with the latter, since I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, as I too have been inspired by his election and hopeful, and don't want to think badly of him.

Speaking of the Chief Secretary:

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I do not support the opinion that we can today oblige everyone to speak Greek, but I think that we have to offer that possibility to those who so desire, to learn Greek in well organized schools, by talented teachers. I think that we owe our children the possibility of choice. We owe to our culture the obliteration of contempt for a language that expressed the Gospel and became the vehicle for the most subtle meanings in the articulation of the dogma by the founders of our faith and Fathers of Christianity.

            I do not support the opinion that the services here in America should be done exclusively in Greek. Simply I do not understand how it is possible that any priest of the Archdiocese might not be able to serve in both languages. It is not understandable how an institution of higher education cannot manage to teach its students a language, even in the time span of four years!

            My brothers and sisters, I am not one of them who believe that there is a sacred language (lingua sacra) for the Church. I just wonder why in every Theological School in the world the students are expected to learn the Biblical languages, and it is only in our School of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America that such a requirement seems anachronistic, nationalistic or conservative.

            Speaking now of your Theological School, do you think that the Church’s expectation that the graduates of this School know theology, canon law, Byzantine music, be able to celebrate the service of matins, vespers and the sacraments, be able to preach the Word of God and instruct our youth in the catechism is unreasonable or excessive?

I don't know what the last paragraph is supposed to have to do with the preceeding ones.

Evidently, the Chief Secretary is addressing something.  I don't believe he is making up straw men who believe everyone Orthodox (at least!) should speak Greek, that as the lingua sacra services should be done only in it.  I've met such people in the GOA.  I've also met people like yourself in the GOA. The question is, who has the upper hand?

Beyond the U.S., I understand that Canada's GOA is more an embodiment of what you say are "fears."  Can anyone in Canada comment?

The falsehoods/exaggerations are also made by implication.  In other words, he implies things that are false or exaggerated.  Here's an example:
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A church that is dedicated to the conciliar process which does not ignore the voice of the laity, which does not ignore the voice of the priests.
The implication here is that the Phanar and His All Holiness ignore the voices of the laity and priests.  If this is the case, then things would be far different in the GOA.  There would be no English, but the people request English, so there is English.  There would be no Thanksgiving Turkey (and His Beatitude thinks that the EP doesn't understand America?  Do the OCA recognize Thanksgiving? I actually am asking, not being sarcastic, cause I don't know the answer), but the request of the people was heard, and, out of love, the EP made a concession so that we might RECOGNIZE OUR HERITAGE AS AMERICANS AND CELEBRATE IT WITH THANKSGIVING TO GOD.  Hmmmm.... I could write a list of such things that the EP has heard and allowed, but I think my point is made.

My experience with Thanksgiving is that the "dispensation" came about because of the Pan-Orthodox Thanksgiving services that was started in Arb. Iakovos' time.  Speaking of whom, what was done to him by the EP gives many non-Greek pause to even consider the EP running things here.

Btw, this wasn't an issue in the OCA until the 80's, and for many still isn't: they were/are on the Old Calendar.

And another:
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Because, we are orthodox not simply by birth, we are orthodox not simply by our ethnic heritage, we are orthodox because we have chosen to be orthodox.  We are orthodox because we have committed our entire life to Jesus Christ and the Gospel.  And that it’s that commitment to Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and our commitment to bring our brothers and sisters in our land to that same commitment to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. 
The implication here is that we Greek Orthodox (notice I say we Greek ORTHODOX, not we Greeks) are only Orthodox because of our birth or ethnic heritage.  Tell that to my Chinese brother-in-law and all the other converts we have in the GREEK ORTHODOX church (in other words, the GOA is NOT made up of just Greeks, but converts as well, in case His Beatitude has not visited a GOA church yet).  Furthermore, I AM of Greek heritage, but I am CERTAINLY not Orthodox just because my father is.  For one thing, my mother was Catholic (oh, yeah, she's a convert too).  [ light-hearted but to the point sarcasm] I'm so glad His Beatitude knows the souls of all the Greek Orthodox in America to be able to imply that we are all Orthodox just because our parents were. [/light-hearted but to the point sarcasm]

I am sure that his beatitude is well aware of converts in the GOA: Frankie Schaffer I am sure has made sure of that.

I think the Metropolitan was addressing these claims, an indirect attack on his person, perhaps, in addition to the direct one, by the Chief Secretary:
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As you all know, one of the secrets for the success of the American miracle in its financial, political and technological aspects was precisely its desire to detach itself from the traditional models of the old world, its ability to break free from the established norms, its willingness to question whatever was considered as given or beyond any criticism. As it might have been expected, these tendencies soon found an expression within the life of the Church, sometimes in more extreme ways, other times in more temperate ways. Thus, soon Orthodox clergymen became indistinguishable from the clergy of other denominations, choirs in the western style were adopted, the liturgical tradition became more and more impoverished by being limited only to the bare essentials, etc.

            Against that gradual secularization of Orthodoxy in America, a reaction soon made its appearance in the form of a number of rapidly spreading monasteries of an Athonite influence, characterized by ultraconservative tendencies, attached to the letter of the law, and reacting to any form of relationship with other Christian denominations. All of this is nothing but the manifestation of the intense thirst for a lost spirituality and a liturgical richness of which the Orthodox people of America have been for very long now deprived, forced, as they were, to embrace the Church only in the form of a sterile social activism.

Another great number of candidates to the priesthood come from converts, who possess little, if any, familiarity with the Orthodox experience and they are usually characterized by their overzealous behavior and mentality. It is of interest that the converts who become ordained into priesthood represent a disproportionally greater percentage than the converts among the faithful. The result of this disanalogous representation is that, more often than not, convert priest shepherd flocks who are bearers of some cultural tradition, but because their pastors either lack the necessary familiarity with that tradition or even consciously oppose it, they succeed in devaluing and gradually eradicating those cultural elements that have been the expression of the parishes that they serve.

            It is particularly saddening that the crisis in priestly vocation has decreased dramatically the number but also the quality of celibate priests, who one day will be assigned with the responsibility of governing this Church. Lack of spirituality makes the monastic ideal incomprehensible and unattractive especially among the youth (with the exception, of course, of the aforementioned monastic communities with their own peculiarities).

            Having attempted this general evaluation of the American Orthodoxy, allow me to consider briefly the Holy Archdiocese of America, this most important eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne.

I've often found that clergy of such and such ethnicity are often the ones most insistent on obliterating it.

And another (one of my favorites):
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Not to some kind of alien ideology, not to some nationalist or imperialist ideology from some forgotten empire.  Not the imposition of foreign customs, and the submission to foreign despots – but to a united church in this country. 
Really?  You must be kidding.  He's talking about foreign customs wearing a RUSSIAN style of vestments!  Did I miss something or didn't the OCA come from the Russian tradition?  Certainly looks like it, from the tradition of music, liturgics, and vestments (among other things).  Why does he fault the Greek Orthodox for following the Byzantine tradition of music, liturgics, and vestments?  Isn't that a little backward?  If he is not speaking of liturgical tradition, then what is he speaking of?  Is he implying that the EP is going to force everyone to learn modern Greek, Greek dances, Greek cooking, celebrate Greek holidays, etc?  Surely not.  I think we can all see how absurd that would be.  Unfortunately, yes, many of the GOA churches have Greek school and dance troupes.  And I think most of us (including the clergy and hierarchs) will tell you it is unfortunate, not the place of the church, and that we are trying to weed that stuff out.  To take that further and say that not only would the EP NOT weed those things out, but would force them on other churches, that is just baseless and, I'm sorry, but falsehood.

I don't think that Greek dance troups and schools are weeds.  I would venture his beatitude doesn't either, but I can't speak for him.

I think he is speaking of this foreign ideology, expoused by the Chief Secretary:
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The first and main challenge that American Orthodoxy faces is that it has been developed in a region which, from an administrative and technical point, is that of diaspora. By the term “diaspora” we indicate that region  whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction is been unfortunately claimed by a variety of “Mother” Churches, which wish to maintain their pastoral care over their respective flocks, comprised by the people who, over the years, immigrated to the superpower called USA.

            In this way, the Orthodox faithful in America became organized according to their national origin and not according to the canon law of the Orthodox Church—that is, they organized themselves not in accordance with the principles of Orthodox ecclesiology which dictates that neither national origin, nor the history of a group’s appearance in a particular region but rather the canonical taxis and the perennial praxis of the Church, as codified by the Ecumenical Councils, has the ultimate authority

In other words, the foreign ideology that this is, or has been, terra incognita and "diaspora."

Note, that the Chief Secretary names no positive development in Orthodoxy in America, none that he does not damn with faint praise.

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Further, I too find it insulting to refer to him as a foreign despot.

That is a common view as to what the EP did to Arb. Iakovos after Ligonier, the "troika" (not my term) he sent, the dismemberment of the GOANSA, and the sending of Met. Spyridon.  The OCA remembers that the EP ordered that communion be broken in 1970: only Arb. Iakovos stopped it.

And another:
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I don’t think they understand, that our church here has this rich diversity, but that we all share a common identity. 
Really?  Nevermind that the GOA hierarchs rotate through the Patriarchal synod.  Nevermind that many of those AT the Phanar are in one way or another connected to the United States (either themselves being from here, schooled here, having family here, having visited or lived here...).  They just don't understand.  Right.

The EP would have to demonstrate that Met. Spyridon's tenure here was the exception (after "he was born in America...") and not the rule of what the EP has in store.  A rather hard sell, I dare say, made harder now by the Chief Secretary's sales pitch.

And another:
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.  We all submit, to a foreign patriarchate,  where all decisions will be made there, where we will have no say in the decisions that will be made, we will have no decisions in our own destiny, and we surrender the freedom that we have embraces as American Orthodox Christians, to a Patriarchate still under Islamic domination. 
This one, I think, is the one that gets me the most upset, the one that is the MOST fear mongering.  It is, in my opinion, the most irresponsible thing he said, as I feel sure he knows that it is not true (anyone who knows anything of the workings of the GOA knows it's not true, so surely he must).  But, maybe I should again give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he has never been to a GOA church, knows no GOA hierarchs, knows nothing of how the GOA operates.  Hard to believe, but I'm happy to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It is wrong to imply that the churches in the US, should they come under the omophorion of the EP, would be completely controlled in the way he says... that we would have no decisions, surrender our freedom, etc.  That is just blatant falsehood.  His All Holiness DOES NOT interfere in the workings of the GOA.  He leaves them to the respective bishops.  Why, then, would he turn around and do that to a united church in the US?  It doesn't make any sense.  It is baseless and false. 

Given that the EP can, and did, revise the archdiocese by fiat (the law suits prove that), and that the Turk controls the process of election of the EP, it is not that far fetched.


Further, I have a question to ask... this conciliar church he is proposing... where all the bishops sit on a synod "or something like that..."  Who sits at the head?  Yes, we are a conciliar church, but we are a HIERARCHAL Church, meaning, there is a hierarchy, with A hierarch at the head.  No, I'm not proposing a pope.  But every Church, every autocephalous church, even, has a synod WITH A HIERARCH (usually known as a Patriarch, Metropolitan, or Archbishop... anyone recognize those terms?  Anyone?) sitting at the head!  He talks about this synod (as though it's a novel idea... anyone remember SCOBA?),

SCOBA, despite what the Chief Secretary says, has no canonical authority, as its constitution makes clear. SCOBA just spoke of the beginnnings of a Holy Synod of America (which would have canonical authority) at Ligonier, and what happened....?

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but offers no solution as to who sits at the head.  Isn't that really the crux of the problem?  I don't think the EP has a problem with a synod, otherwise SCOBA wouldn't exist (or the GOA wouldn't participate, at least).  The question is who sits at the head, where does that person come from, who do they answer to (if anyone).  It was mentioned earlier in this thread (or in the Challenges of Orthodoxy thread, I can't remember which), that the model has been to grant autocephaly to the church, and this is the most likely thing that would happen, should the American church come under the EP.  Everyone seems to love to ignore that.

There is no indication that autocephaly would come.  In fact, the Chief Secretary's words and others would indicate otherwise.

Unlike the EP, the Metropolitan was not saying: it's my jurisdiction or the highway. I do believe, if SCOBA was converted into a REAL Holy Synod, Met. Jonah would have no problem yielding to another to be the primate of it, IF it were autocephalous.  Btw, the Chief Secretary's words:
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The Mother Church [which for the CS means ONLY Constantinople] knows, however, that such a submission is difficult to be accomplished under the present historical conditions. For this reason, and by employing the principle of economy, it was suggested and it has now become accepted in Pan-Orthodox level, that there will be local Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies in the diaspora (like SCOBA in the US). The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity.
is nonsense, as SCOBA's constitution shows.


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By the way, the crack about the pope right at the beginning was just nasty and uncalled for.  I was truly, sincerely, disappointed in that.  It is Lent, after all.  Is that really what we should be doing?  Slandering and name-calling fellow Orthodox brethren (never mind that the one he is going after is a fellow hierarch, one who outranks him, no less)... nice.

I'm sorry, but given Ravenna, and this nonsense:
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First of all, allow me to remind you that the term “diaspora” is a technical term denoting those regions that lie beyond the borders of the local autocephalous Churches. It does not mean that the Orthodox people who dwell in these regions live there temporally, as misleadingly it was argued by His Eminence Phillip in a recent article (“The Word”). According to the 28th Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council one of the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch is precisely His jurisdiction exactly over these regions, which lie beyond the predescribed borders of the local Churches. The canon in question uses the technical term “barbaric” in order to denote these lands, since it was precisely referring to the unknown lands beyond the orbit of the Roman Empire.
Metropolitan Jonas, while he was still an abbot, in one of his speeches presented what he called “a monastic perspective” on the subject “Episcopacy, Primacy and the Mother Churches”. In the chapter on autocephaly and primacy he claims that “there is no effective overarching primacy in the Orthodox Church.” He seems to be in opposition to the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, because he considers that such an institution “is based on primacy over an empire-wide synod” and that this “has long become unrealistic.” What surprised me the most in this “monastic perspective” of His Eminence Jonas was the claim that allegedly “now only the Greek ethnic Churches and few others recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be what it claims to be.” It is indeed saddening the ignorance of this Hierarch not only on account of History and canonical order but even on account of the current state of affairs. How is it possible that he ignores that there is no Church that does not recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate? Perhaps he is carried away by the fact that the ecclesial schema over which he presides and which has been claimed as “autocephalous” in rampant violation of every sense of canonicity, is not recognized but by few Churches and it is not included in the diptychs of the Church.
Let me add that the refusal to recognize primacy within the Orthodox Church, a primacy that necessarily cannot but be embodied by a primus (that is by a bishop who has the prerogative of being the first among his fellow bishops) constitutes nothing less than heresy. It cannot be accepted, as often it is said, that the unity among the Orthodox Churches is safeguarded by either a common norm of faith and worship or by the Ecumenical Council as an institution. Both of these factors are impersonal while in our Orthodox theology the principle of unity is always a person. Indeed, in the level of the Holy Trinity the principle of unity is not the divine essence but the Person of the Father (“Monarchy” of the Father), at the ecclesiological level of the local Church the principle of unity is not the presbyterium or the common worship of the Christians but the person of the Bishop, so to in the Pan-Orthodox level the principle of unity cannot be an idea nor an institution but it needs to be, if we are to be consistent with our theology, a person.

made it necessary.  New Rome seems hell bent on repeating Old Rome's mistakes.

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Really, I rejoiced along with everyone else when His Beatitude was elected.  I still do.  I think it's great, no, imperative, for the OCA to have a strong leader with a clear vision who can wade through the muck and bring the OCA back from the terrible things that have plagued it for so long.  But I can love him and disagree with him, and I can love him and be disappointed by his words and certain aspects of his leadership.  He is human.  I love and respect him.  I'm disappointed because I love and respect him and had hoped for something healing and loving, not petty and full of fear and falsehoods.  I do say all these things with respect.  If my tone appears disrespectful, I assure you it is NOT because that is how I intended it.  I attempted for the opposite, and if I have offended, then at this most important time of Lent I do ask for your forgiveness.

Forgive me a sinner.


I really would have preferred to have been responding someone else.  I hope I stayed somewhat in bounds.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
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                           and both come out of your mouth
si2008
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« Reply #223 on: April 08, 2009, 03:12:44 PM »

I don't understand whether people are objecting to His Beatitude's tone or content.  And to the people who feel that either the OCA is uncanonical or that it should be under the EP, why?  Why can't there be a Church in America, united under leadership that's actually IN America?  To the EP we give a primacy of honor, of course, in spiritual matters. 

The EP turned away a bunch of those evangelical converts, too, right?  So why is it now so concerned with maintaining power over a church that is gaining many converts?

I am very saddened by all of this and pray that God will unite His Church in America, and end jurisdictionalism.  As a convert, I feel unwanted by ethnic Orthodox, especially Greeks sometimes.  I can't imagine that Paul's missions would have gotten very far if this spirit prevailed back in the first century.

 Sad
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« Reply #224 on: April 08, 2009, 03:30:45 PM »

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Why can't there be a Church in America, united under leadership that's actually IN America?

There is, and you are in it, assuming you're in the OCA.  You also have SCOBA.
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