Christ is Risen!But what about the article's thesis that the way you're arguing your point is excessively simplistic and divisive? How about addressing that rather than getting hung up on the article's apparent lack of proper citations (which you may, in fact, be advancing as an ad hominem argument to distract us from looking at the real problem)?
A very interesting read.Interesting indeed. Of course, it piling statement after statement without citation or substantiation, and with little argumentation to connect it is a wee problem.
Already got enough rods in the fire on this topic, but just to show the point:
There was a Greek Orthodox parish in New Orleans from the 1860s and in the early 1890s, before the Russian Mission returned to New York, Greek parishes were established in New York. For this reason, we need to be very careful with both the “who was in America first” argument and the argument that might claim “there was a diocese on the continent dedicated to evangelizing the whole continent and, therefore, all Orthodox anywhere on the continent were to be subject to that diocese.”
New Orleans wasn't technically in the US at the time. Said parish's first priest is of rather colored career. Said parish also received, and still has, the Gospel that Czar sent along with vestments. Said parish was also preceded by a parish in Galveston, which still exists (Serbian Orthodox), and which did send after its founding for a priest from the Bishop of Alaska.
The Russian bishops were the ONLY bishops on the continent until the Revolution.
Christ is Risen!
I find it a rather intriguing thesis that pointing out that someone has failed to argue, let alone substantiate, his thesis constitutes an ad hominem attack. I rather dislike having to make someone arguement for them just to refute it with coherence.
Let's put the "excessively simplistic and divisive" litmus test to the portion I quoted:
There was a Greek Orthodox parish in New Orleans from the 1860s
Excessively simplistic:the parish's own web site itselfhttp://www.holytrinitycathedral.org/history.html
makes reference to the Russians, Serbians and Arabs that made up the original population along with the Greeks, and to the Ukrainian priest Agapij Honcharenko was served as the first priest. "Greeks in America," Thomas Burgess, an early source (1913, i.e. before the founding of the GOARCH) showshttp://www.holytrinitycathedral.org/history.html
the Czar of Russia gave that parish its vestments and sacred vessels (they still display the Gospel Book), and that the Church's records were in English (as many didn't know Greek, not being Greek). As this would be through the local Russian bishop, it is rather hard to argue that the Greeks were unaware of the bishop. http://books.google.com/books?id=0rOzGa-KjygC&pg=PA24&dq=New+York+Russian+consulate+Orthodox
Burgess also notes "in all these places [he lists a number of Pan-Orthodox founding parishes, under the Russian bishops], as soon as the Greeks became numerous enough, they established their own purely Greek church communities under the jurisdiction of Constantinople or Athens."
Divisive: so there was a Greek parish? What of it? This invalidates the episcopacy of the Russian Diocese? The "hieromonk" Agapij Honcharenko evidently didn't think so: he left the parish to go off to San Francisco in 1867 to become a thorn in the side of the Russian bishop (Agapij, ne Andrii, was a Ukrainian nationalist, and is buried on his farm, "Ukraina" next to his wife (!))http://books.google.com/books?id=Rmc7wgQ5hW0C&pg=PA677&lpg=PA677&dq=Alaska+Herald+1868&source=bl&ots=V-7wMF4FFP&sig=8_4C6oBq-VtErWBMLoL2fNN8veY&hl=en&ei=ZJbuSY7DHIrmlQf54tks&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3
Fr. Agapij came to the New Orleans congregation through personal channels, i.e. not by ANY bishop, courtesy, it seems of the United Bible Society and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S. His newspaper, the Alaskan Herald (published in San Francisco) is a good source for the growth of the SF Diocese before the transfer of the See there.http://books.google.com/books?id=Qbcd8P0ZOcEC&pg=PA76&lpg=PA76&dq=Alaska+Herald+1868&source=bl&ots=cPpjd69z9w&sig=8GF-czILiVhuGBvi66YZ0BObJaU&hl=en&ei=ZJbuSY7DHIrmlQf54tks&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#PPA77,M1http://www.holy-trinity.org/history/1865/1865.03.03%20NYT-Honcharenko.pdf
And what again of the Galveston Church, founded before New Orleans? Just because it ended up in the Serbian Church doesn't make it disappear, especially as it did recognize the Russian bishop in Alaska, and received a priest from him.
and in the early 1890s, before the Russian Mission returned to New York, Greek parishes were established in New York.
LOL. Yes, parishes
. Excessively simplistic: The original organization, the Society of Athena (founded with the help IIRC of a Greek Prince who passed through New York on an American Tour) received a priest, Fr. Ferentinos from the CoG. The Board of Trustees didn't along with the Society, however, so they seperated the parish administration from the Society. The Society then founded another parish and got a priest from the EP, who was unaware of the goings on in NY. Fr. Ferentinos ended up in New Orleans. http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&pg=PA131&dq=Galveston+Orthodox&lr=#PPA130,M1
Divisive: before the Russian Mission returned
to New York. That would mean it was there first. (btw, the article's characterization of Fr. Bjerring's mission conflicts with other, DOCUMENTED, sources I've read. Hence I would like to know what Fr. Herbel is getting his information). It is fair to assume that the Imperial Russian Consulate also saw to religious services, as it did in SF and other places until a permanent parish was set up, in the interum. Not terribly important, as a couple years after the founding of the Society of Athena, we find this from the hagiography of St. Raphael Hawaweeny:
Archimandrite Raphael arrived in New York on November 2, 1895, and was welcomed by a delegation of Arab Christians who were awaiting their leader from Russia. On November 5, his first Sunday in America, he assisted Bishop NICHOLAS in serving the Divine Liturgy at the Russian church in New York city. Less than two weeks after his arrival, Archimandrite Raphael found a suitable place in lower Manhattan to set up a chapel, and furnished it with ecclesiastical items that he had brought with him from Russia. Bishop NICHOLAS blessed the new chapel, which was dedicated to St Nicholas of Myra.http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/liturgical/patron/straphael.html
So nearly the same time as "Greek parishes were established in New York," we have a Russian Bishop in New York, celebrating DL at the (re)constituted Russian Church in NY for the arrival of the future Arab bishop (and saint), the first ordained in the New World, who founded a second parish in NYC, not in the divisive spirit that spawned the Greek parishes, but in the unity of the Arabs within the Russian diocese of America.
For this reason, we need to be very careful with both the “who was in America first” argument
I'd agree that we need to be very careful. Too bad the article is not. For instance, the excessivly simplistic
Ft. Ross, which had never been anything more than an outpost chapel, had been abandoned in 1841.
omits that the Russians, Aleuts and Pomo (the local Amerindians in CA) who didn't go to Alaska (and not all did), settled around Sacramento and SF. And the Chaplancy of the Imperial Navy, which provided the needs for the Ft. Ross Chapel, continued to do so in SF, and directly had a role in the founding of Holy Trinity Cathedral in SF. Two of the former governors of the Fort Ross stayed on for the Gold Rush (one patenting a gold wash machine). Holy Trinity was founded with the help of the Honorable George Fisher, a Serb played a role in American history from Mississippi, New Orleans, Texas and then CA, and at the time was the consul for the Greek Kingdom, hence representative of the Holy Synod of the CoG. It also omits the fact that around the time of the founding of the GOARCH, Fr. Ross Chapel had been returned to Orthodox worship, as continues to this day. It is also divisive, as it implies that the foundations by the disobedient, which how even the Chief Secretary characterizes the origins of the Greek parishes, somehow should be put on a par with the canonical episcopate which was established in New York (evidently the only place that counts in the article) before the establishment of episcopal oversight, let alone the presence of a bishop, by any other "jurisdiction."
Of course, the Amerindian Orthodox-Aleut, Tlingit, Kashaya Pomo, etc.-where in America first, and they were, and are, under the Russian/OCA bishops.
and the argument that might claim “there was a diocese on the continent dedicated to evangelizing the whole continent and, therefore, all Orthodox anywhere on the continent were to be subject to that diocese.”
Excessively simplistic:no one really claims a diocese on the continent until the CoG does so in 1918, and then makes Archb. Meletios of Athens, still resident in Athens (i.e. not in America) bishop of said "diocese." By then, nearly two decades had passed since the Russian Church had organized its diocese into the Archdiocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America, with vicar bishops for Alaska, for the Arabs, etc. with bishops criss-crossing the continent visiting parishes in all corners of it.
Divisive: whereas the Russian Orthodox Church had organized and built the diocese that spaned the continent and all communities, neither CoG nor Constantinople had ANY direct part in building the Church in America, something the Chief Secretary admits and bemoans. Case in point: when St. Tikhon went to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in NYC in 1904, he was basically expelled, and the parish incorporated itself to prevent it being taken over by St. Tikhon, the only hiearch of a hiearchal Church, which the Orthodox Church is (the distinction is important for American law). Anywhere else, this would be called schismatic: why is it acceptable in America? In contrast, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago (which predated the one in NYC) invited St. Tikhon to come serve in 1901, which he did.
So are we to place a canonical diocese on a par with the situation described below? BY NO MEANS!
And now for the position of the priest, the pastor (ephemerios) of the community. He has no power as far as the written constitution goes. Thus we find a most anomolous condition in the Greek churches in America. It works something like the worst side of the vestry system of the Episcopal Church parishes, without the legal rights of the rector, nor the possibility of intervention by the Bishop; or another analogy might apply in some instances,-Congregationalsim run wild in a mission of the Apostolic, Catholic, Eastern Church! From afar the Metropolitan Archbishop of Athens (note: The Patriarch of Constantinople has ceded to the Holy Synod of Athens the charge of the Greek Orthodox missions in America) rules without the possibility of settling anything, much as the Bishop of London had charge of the Anglican parishes in this country before the Revelotion. So the Greek priest is hired, and often "fired," by a parish committee composed usually of poorly educated peasants. And thus come the wranglings and disputes and divisions into two rival church communities of a city; and thus the poor priests, sent out by the Holy Synod in response to the cry for spiritual help, sometimes find themselves as office boys at the mercy of their employers. Moreoever, there are also some priests who have no right here; these are Macedonians, mostly of little education, who, coming to America, have slipped their bishop's jurisdiction and are ministering without authority wherever they can make the most money, sometimes underbidding and ousting the priests sent by a bishop. Of course, conditions are not everywhere bad in communities, but the system is sadly irresponsible. The only solution seems to be a resident bishop for America; may his advent be soon!
(the same source has a nice summary (1913) of the Greek Orthodox Churches at that time)http://books.google.com/books?id=RVV2AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA167&dq=Greeks+in+America+Galveston#PPA55,M1
Alas, that bishop, as far as the Greeks were concerned, was Bshp/Archbshp/EP/Pope Meletios. I'm a little tired now, so I've have to post his report of his trip to America, where it is clear the GOARCH was founded in willful defiance of the canonical diocese. For those who can't wait, look here:http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&pg=PA137&dq=Galveston+Orthodox&lr=#