I'm going to break this down, so as to be able to make manageable posts while giving the answer (i.e. full) that your post desearves. I'm not going in the order of your OP, but in the order of importance/my time to answer:
And another (one of my favorites):
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:
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.
Anyway, I don't really think that's what His Beatitude was addressing. The Chief Secretary's quote doesn't fall under the "foreign customs" that His Beatitude spoke of, or "nationalist and imperialist ideology." I think it's nice of you to try and protect His Beatitude by asserting that the Chief Secretary's quote was what he was addressing, but I don't think it's correct. Even if it was, the words "submission to a foreign despot" are still nothing more than slander, fear mongering, and insulting.
I couldn't go into detail, as the computer I was at couldn't read the transcripts. Here is the paragraph from which the line we are speaking on is found:
I don’t think the Holy Fathers in the Phanar understand that we are a church, albeit, with separate administrations, but that has a common value of determining our own destiny. 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. A church which is united in its common commitment. 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. 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. A church in which we value the diversity – and we value the unity equally. A church in which we appreciate one another, and listen to the voice of one another, so that no person is devalued. So that the traditions that our fathers in the faith have brought to this country are valued. So that the efforts and the labor and the sweat and the blood and the tears of all those who have gone before us to establish the orthodox faith in America for over 200 years now, 215 years to be precise. To acknowledge their sacrifice, and that it is upon their sacrifice, upon their martyrdoms, upon their sanctity that our church here was built.
To give it the context, which I believe explains what foreign ideology, etc. he was speaking of, I quote the sentence before and the sentence(s) after the above paragraph:
But we also have to appreciate the English and the Spanish and the French just as we have to appreciate the Tlingit and the Aleut and the Yupik and the Athabasken who are the true indigenous orthodox christians of our land....
.....There are those that would, there are those there that would say that there was no canonical orthodox church in America until 1924 with the establishment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Greek Archdiocese. Excuse me. The Russian Orthodox Church established their missionary work here in 1794.
I believe the crux of the whole speech and the whole problem is that the EP cannot, it seem, recognize that that the Church in America has NEVER been a Church in "diaspora." It was not conceived as one in "diaspora," it did not "develop" in diaspora, it was not groomed for autocephaly in "diaspora." And this all transpired before the EP set foot on this continent.
The reference in the paragraph to the Phanar I do not believe, and it would seem, is not accidental. Constantinople is the See, not Istanbul, her See is in Hagia Sophia, not St. George's. The Phanar symbolizes all the aberration that the Orthodox Church suffered during the Turcocratia, aberrations which the EP seems not to want to let go. The Phanar is the district that capitulated to the Ottoman in exchange for safety. It existed as the arm of the Ottoman state to control the Orthodox subjects. It is the only other arm of the Ottoman state that still exists (the Patriarchate of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher is another, and another problem). The Turk cared only that the Orthodox knew their place (i.e. the bottom, or maybe above Jews) and paid their taxes, including in children (baptismal rolls were used). The EP tried to act as the heir of the Roman Emperor, but in reality he was just an administrator, the ethnarch of the Orthodox Millet, the leash that the Sultan kept on his Orthodox subjects, as EP St. Gregory V found out when the Sultan used his slack on that leash to hang him at the beginning of the Greek War of Independence. To make that administration more centralized as the Sultan liked it, the Caliph abolished all the patriarchates he could get his hand on and ordained his court chaplain the head of all Orthodoxy.
And so Bulgaria and Serbia lost their Churches in the Ottoman Empire, and Romania was prevented from developing hers. The other members of the Pentarchy seemed harder to abolish, but here was little need, since they had no tax population to speak off, and they were useful: Jerusalem could more effectively milk the pilgrim milch cow, Antioch was full of Arabs who kept an eye on the Maronites, allies of the Crusaders. Alexandria kept another eye on the province of Egypt, ever capable of rebellion, and countered the Coptic population there. When the Arabs decided to be rid of both the near by Sultan and EP for the benefits of links to the powerful, and distant, pope of Rome, the EP and the Sultan retaliated by installing Greeks, until the Russians helped stop that at the turn of the last century, in the twilight of that forgotten empire on the Bosphoros.
So the EP got control of all the Orthodox for his master. The Phanar might be a ghetto in the capital, but it was the metropolis of the Orthodox. So the grandees there tried to keep up with the nobles of Istanbul, and Orthodoxy became a flock to be sheered for the Sultan, the Phanariots taking their share. A Church of Phanariots, by Phanariots, for Phanariots. All power and administration in their hands. The propogandists of dhimmitude, an alien ideology, used to enslave nations to plough under the Turkish yoke to serve the imperial ambitions of the House of Osman. Not so benevolent despots whose position depended on enforcing subservience to their masters, squashing seperate identity of the Orthodox into a Hellenic monolith to serve as a Christian alter (or sub) ego to the Turkish Muslim body politic.
The Chief Secretary seems to be ignorant, or ignoring this history. But Arabs, Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians and Albanians know it. Bearing grudges? No. Just my experience has been that when someone says "I never did that," what it means is "if given the opportunity, I will do it again."
So only Russia, having broke off the Mongol yoke and pushed back the Latin Crusaders, escaped this, and pursued her own destiny, finally reaching across Siberia and down into Northern California, where no Church had preached the Gospel before. And when the Church came there, it was specifically because monks on the opposite end of that empire were told that there were peoples who had not heard the Gospel. And so the monks went to baptize the natives, give them the alphabet while giving them the scriptures in their languages. Natives were ordained, and a native Peter the Aleut sealed his Orthodoxy with the blood of martyrdom in San Francisco. They were not Amerindian Millets, they were Orthodox Christians, with a native Church in their native tongue in their native land, the Russian government securing guarentees for them as such, both as to their citizenshiop and Church, from the U.S. government as terms of sale. Nations continued to be converted AFTER the Russian government left. When the U.S. government failed to live up to its promises, the self identifed "Tlingit Orthodox Chiefs" could, and did, demand their rights (with the support of their LOCAL Diocesan Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska, then resident in San Francisco) from the U.S. President, petitioning in all truth: "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." Demands like the Protestant missions stop stealing their children (so they could be put in English only Protestant boarding schools), stop stealing their dead (so they could not be given Orthodox rites), stop stealing their icons so they could be piled in the village square and burnt. They were not believers in the ideology of dhimmitude. "With all this we never lost faith in the Government at Washington. This sorrowful reality only made us lose faith in persons sent out here by the government." Aliens in their own homes, the Chief Secretary spat on each and every one of these confessors for the Orthodox Faith when he refused to acknowledge their existence, because it conflicts with his world view of "diaspora."
Russian involvement brought the US into central CA, and hence into the US. John Sutter built the nascent Californian State by buying Fort Ross, and when he started the Gold Rush by building his mill to pay off the price, the last Russian governor was there to patent a gold washing machine. The Russian navy's champlains continued to serve the area. Other governors of Russian America also settled in San Francisco, including the Imperial Russian consul in SF who picked up where the Russian Fort Ross governors left off, and who, as his beatitude also noted in his speech, with the GREEK consul, founded the first permanent Orthodox parish in SF proper, which was prepared to become the See of North America BEFORE Alaska was sold. This Greek consul, George Fisher, born Serb Đorđe Šagić, helped break the Ottoman (and Phanariot) yoke in the first Serb uprising, and fleeing to the US was a major settler in the South, in Texas (where he was on hand for the Texas revolution) and then, through Panama to Califiornia, ended up a Federal Judge that settled the Land claims of CA (including that the stemed from the sale by Russia to John Sutter). The first Greek Orthodox Church was in Galveston in 1862, and it would send for a priest (and get one) from the bishop in SF. George Fishre, and many others, did not come "to the superpower called the United States": they created it. And they bonded to the nation they were creating AND TO THE CANONICAL ORTHODOX CHURCH THERE THAT THEY WERE BUILDING UP. But that doesn't fit into the Millet mentality of the Chief Secretary. In his speech, Orthodox only benefit, not actually build this nation.
A priest, John Veniaminov, served in a kayak from Kamchatka in Siberia all the way down to the Church at Fort Ross, Sonoma CA, before he was recalled to Russia as her head, Met. St. Innocent of Moscow: as such he translated his works FROM the Amerindian languages into Russia, where they went through edition after edition. St. Innocent, at the helm of the Russian Church put missions at the top of the agenda, along with religious education. And the revival and reform of the Russian Church, following in the footsteps of his predecessor and friend of St. Filaret (author of the Large Catechism and first Russian translation of the Holy Bible). Including laity participation and education, and participation in election of bishops with more conciliar governance, you know, like Orthodoxy ecclesiolgoy is supposed to act at least on paper. One of the fruits of St. Innocent's revival, St. Tikhon came to America. Becoming a naturalized citizen, and the Czar and the Holy Synod ordering that the DL commorate the President of the United States, he traveled from New York to SF, to Alaska to the south. He implimented the reforms of the Church in America, convened its first Sobor with the active participation of the clergy and laity, experience he would take back to Russia to the Sobor that elected him to restore the Patriarchate (cut short by the Bolshevik revolution). He had vicar bishops for the Arab ethnicity (St. Raphael being the first), not its Millet, and prepared for ones for the Serbs, Albanians and others. The rites were translated into English, WRO approved, those returning from the Vatican welcomed back, monestaries and seminaries founded. And all this before either the EP or the CoG set an episcopal foot on this continent.
The Chief Secretary prefers to ignore this history and prefers we be ignorant of it. Interferes with the idea of all authority flowing from the ethnarch of the Orthodox Millet.
So while the Phanar was busy making itself into a Greek episcopal cartel, the Russian were establishing a new diocese of North America. While the Greek Phanariots were Hellenizing the Orthodox into subjects of the Sultan, the Russian mission was evangelizing new nations, the monks administrating the oath of allegiance to the Czar to them so as to extend their legal protection, protection that the Czar wrote into treaty obligations on the U.S. While the EP was excommunicating the Orthodox as they threw off the alien ideology of dhimmitude and allegience to the Turkish despot, taking their destiny into their own hands, the Russian Church was placing the destiny of those in the lands of North America into their own hands, the Czar continuing to give gifts of vestments, Gospels and sacred implements even as he ordered his own replacement in the diptychs in favor of the authorities of THIS country. Where unity was not a myth, as Met. Jonah points out, but a reality, until Bp/Arch/EP/Pope Meletius, the last hurrah of the Phanariot cartel came and started the tradition of ignoring that reality, a tradition on which the Chief Secretary stomps on our Fathers of these lands, as Met. Jonah points out.
Do you disagree with how the Chief Secretary describes the development of Orthodoxy in the US?
Is it not true that the Orthodox in America organized themselves according to their national origin and not according to canon law?
No, it is not true: except for the EP's jurisdiction, something the GOA and the Chief Secretary admit.
It may not NOW be a diaspora, but it most certainly WAS when it developed.
Actually, no it wasn't. Ever.
And I don't think the Chief Secretary makes your temporal distinction. His words seem to indicate that he thought he was visiting some Crown Colony.
I don't think the Chief Secretary made that distinction clearly, but I do think that this is what he was trying to say.
I think I know what he wanted to say, as does Met. Jonah, but I don't think it is what you are thinking.