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Author Topic: All the fuss over Metropolitan Philip  (Read 9798 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 25, 2009, 06:39:49 AM »

I am thoroughly enjoying this whole fuss over Metropolitan Philip's latest move to, in my opinion, consolidate power under him.  I am enjoying seeing all the converts (and some cradles) squirm and have hissy fits. No doubt some are already seeking out other jurisdictions to worship in or are hatching schemes to have their parish break away and seek shelter in another  jurisdiction. This is so Protestant as I have witnessed that every time a Protestant church experiences flux it splits to form yet a new "non-denominational parish." AAH, but can't do that here my convert friends.

Those of us who grew up under Orthodoxy understand the nature of dictatorial politics. Our forebearers have come from cultures with a long history of pashas, kings, sultans, czars and czarinas and princes who, at times, ruled with the iron fist. At best we had benevolent dictators. The Orthodox church grew up, lived, strived and survived in these cultures for thousands of years. America is what 200 odd years of age. A mere toddler on the world stage in comparison to Russian, Serbian, Greek and middle-eastern cultures.

What we are witnessing here is a clash of cultures. Met. Philip is an old world ruler in the new world. Oh, don't get me wrong, I am not happy with his latest move and pray that he see the folly of it. He has done a lot heretofore to expand not only the Antiochian Arcdiocese, but Orthodoxy in general in America.

So my convert friends, what did you think you were getting into when you came to Orthodoxy? I know this trial is testing your mettle. Are you staying? Some of you no doubt will not, but I pray you stay. We need you. Orthodox polity will change, but it will take time, patience and love.

I hope that I have not offended anyone.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 06:43:07 AM by aserb » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 07:27:20 AM »

I am thoroughly enjoying this whole fuss over Metropolitan Philip's latest move to, in my opinion, consolidate power under him.  I am enjoying seeing all the converts (and some cradles) squirm and have hissy fits. No doubt some are already seeking out other jurisdictions to worship in or are hatching schemes to have their parish break away and seek shelter in another  jurisdiction. This is so Protestant as I have witnessed that every time a Protestant church experiences flux it splits to form yet a new "non-denominational parish." AAH, but can't do that here my convert friends.

Cut the crap:
Quote
Challenges of Orthodoxy in America And the Role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
by Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis
Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod

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.

            According to such ecclesiological principles, in any given region there can be one and only one bishop who shepherds the Orthodox faithful, regardless of any nationalistic distinction. It was, however, the very opposite scenario that took place in America and today one observes the challenging deplorable condition where a number of bishops claim pastoral responsibility for the same geographic region.

The third challenge of Orthodoxy in America concerns the manner of its ecclesiastical organization. The Orthodox faithful organized themselves in communities of lay people, who, in turn, became identified with the ecclesiastical community in the manner of the traditional organization of Christian communities. Thus, the parish (κοινότητα) being now governed by lay elected members, builds its own Church, school and other such institutions, and provides the priest’s salary. Such communal organization improves, as it is right and desirable, the role of laity in Church administration, and increases the sense of responsibility and participation in the life of the Church, offering thus the change to the Church to profit of its talented and able parishioners. On the other hand, however, four very concrete dangers lurk behind such a communal organization of the local Church:

a)   That the priest might become alienated from his administrative duties, and from being the spiritual leader of the parish would become a clerk of the parish council,

b)   That the parishioners would find it difficult to comprehend the rules according to which the Church is governed and instead they would follow their own secular reasoning,

c)   That the structures of the parish would become influenced by the prevalent Protestant models and thus they would replicate and imitate practices that are foreign to the Spirit of Orthodoxy, and

d)   That the parishes would degenerate into nothing more than membership clubs, invested with some ecclesiastical resemblance.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20260.0.html
and on cradle Orthodox congregationalism:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=Orthodoxy+American+congregationalism&source=bl&ots=wamdDVC7Yk&sig=C3hiqG8rsbwY-g7MwKGrdcEm3EQ&hl=en&ei=FVtDSsHHAZWCNOzYrLAC&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

This is not a cradle vs. convert issue.

Quote
Those of us who grew up under Orthodoxy understand the nature of dictatorial politics. Our forebearers have come from cultures with a long history of pashas, kings, sultans, czars and czarinas and princes who, at times, ruled with the iron fist. At best we had benevolent dictators. The Orthodox church grew up, lived, strived and survived in these cultures for thousands of years. America is what 200 odd years of age. A mere toddler on the world stage in comparison to Russian, Serbian, Greek and middle-eastern cultures.

Your point?  That not only should Russians and the millets not leave behind Peter I's Oberprokurator and the Ottoman's tethered millet-pasha and other aberrations of Orthodox ecclesiology, but the converts embrace it as well?

It took the Old World a couple generations after 1776 to solve their dictator problems, but there finally got there (though some might dispute me on Russia).

Quote
What we are witnessing here is a clash of cultures. Met. Philip is an old world ruler in the new world. Oh, don't get me wrong, I am not happy with his latest move and pray that he see the folly of it. He has done a lot heretofore to expand not only the Antiochian Arcdiocese, but Orthodoxy in general in America.

I am praying he moves soon to salvage his legacy.

Quote
So my convert friends, what did you think you were getting into when you came to Orthodoxy? I know this trial is testing your mettle. Are you staying? Some of you no doubt will not, but I pray you stay. We need you. Orthodox polity will change, but it will take time, patience and love.

I hope that I have not offended anyone.


I don't know how the "cradles" who have no stomach of the latest nonsense would react.
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 07:31:05 AM »

You certainly have not offended this cradle.

The bishop is the bishop.
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 07:49:32 AM »

You certainly have not offended this cradle.

The bishop is the bishop.

LOL.  Except when he is an auxialliary and the Holy Synod doesn't all sign the statement that "the Episcopacy is one."
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 07:49:42 AM »

My friend Iam---. Lighten up.

Thank you Asterikos. My point exactly. The Bishop is the Bishop and right or wrong, for my salvation, i submit to his decision.
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 07:55:59 AM »

My friend Iam---. Lighten up.

Thank you Asterikos. My point exactly. The Bishop is the Bishop and right or wrong, for my salvation, i submit to his decision.

When he is disobeying his synod and his patriarch?
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 07:56:53 AM »

Squirm away Iam.
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 08:01:04 AM »

Squirm away Iam.

LOL.  I'm not going anywhere, staying firmly put.  Don't think Met. Philip is going to soon be able to do the same.
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 08:05:29 AM »

There has been an extensive Orthodox presence in America for over 100 years & what oppression (outside of Alaska) has existed? Why are the statistics of congregants so unreliable? Statements like "best kept secret" personally make me shudder. Why criticise those who observe wrongdoing? "The Church will be swamped with simple people. The Church will be overwhelmed by their problems. The Church must descend to their level." (St. Maria Skobtsova, martyred in a Nazi camp).
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 08:33:16 AM »

I am cradle Orthodox and I am extremely embarrassed by Met.Phillip.
A group of people left the local Greek Orthodox parish and wanted to start a new parish. They refused to consider the OCA because of the issues..this was several years ago and started an Antiochian parish.
They are aghast at what is happening with Met.Phillip.He needs to retire and go away.
There is a long history of clergy and laity standing against their Bishops when the Bishops abuse the faith...the iconoclastic movement and the Council of Florence come to mind.Met.Phillip may be a bishop but he made vows to defend the faith not feather his nest.
Why isn't Fr.Peter Gillquist and Fredericka Matthews-Green speaking out about this?
Father John Morris was posting up a storm on the TheAntiochian.Com site but since events of the last day have transpired he has not posted..
Not judging...just observing
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 10:02:15 AM »

I am cradle. I do not believe that a bishop must be obeyed unconditionally. At least to me, this comes very close to idolatry, to cultist thinking, to the possibility that an errant bishop may get one to drink the cool aid of schism, sin, corruption and heresy. I believe that as a lay person I have some responsibility (not as much as the clergy but some) for the welfare of the Body. I forgot who said it but "I did not check out my brain at the door."

Forgive me if I offended.

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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 10:02:56 AM »

IAm.. I am glad your staying, we need people like you to raise the bar and yes I agree Met. Philip days are probably numbered.
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 10:07:01 AM »

Second Changce, I agree. Yet let me make a comparison. I do like everything that President Obama is doing; yet, he is my President right or wrong.Now in the case of the government I know we have a means of redress. I am respecting the office of Bishop, while I may not respect the Bishop, personally. I trust that matters will be resolved. Orthodox Christianity has survived two thousand years of corrupt bishops, idolaters, heretics and outside persecutions of unspeakable proportions. Yet -  She still lives and will continue to live! Bishops come and go (hopefully) but the Church lives on!
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009, 10:25:43 AM »

Second Changce, I agree. Yet let me make a comparison. I do like everything that President Obama is doing; yet, he is my President right or wrong.Now in the case of the government I know we have a means of redress. I am respecting the office of Bishop, while I may not respect the Bishop, personally. I trust that matters will be resolved. Orthodox Christianity has survived two thousand years of corrupt bishops, idolaters, heretics and outside persecutions of unspeakable proportions. Yet -  She still lives and will continue to live! Bishops come and go (hopefully) but the Church lives on!

I think we are of the same mind except for one small thing. When you say "bishops come and go," I think the people may have a role in hastening the "go" part, if it is appropriate. To me that means we should not rush to judgment, be forgiving, and patient...but not forever. There is a tipping point somewhere in that continuum.
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 10:53:06 AM »

Second Chance: I agree
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 11:05:06 AM »

I am thoroughly enjoying this whole fuss over Metropolitan Philip's latest move to, in my opinion, consolidate power under him.

I find it strange you find the Church tearing itself asunder amusing.

I do not even know where to begin. As a "convert", I must say, I find your post a tad offensive. (As for "convert" vs "cradle"...actually I am simply a "non ethnic/cradle" Orthodox. As you are ALSO a convert, you just happened to convert at a very young age and were raised in the Church. No one is born Orthodox, we are ALL converts, and should convert to Christ on a daily basis. This whole "cradle vs convert" crap is rediculous. We're all converts.

Quote
  I am enjoying seeing all the converts (and some cradles) squirm and have hissy fits. No doubt some are already seeking out other jurisdictions to worship in or are hatching schemes to have their parish break away and seek shelter in another  jurisdiction. This is so Protestant as I have witnessed that every time a Protestant church experiences flux it splits to form yet a new "non-denominational parish." AAH, but can't do that here my convert friends.

No, it's not "Protestant" to point out the corruption in the Church. Is this not what St. John Chrysostom did? Is that not what St. Kassiani did in her secular poetry? Is this not what the the Iconodules did? St. John of Damascus? The list of saints who spoke out against either corruption of false theology is extensive. it's not Protestant, and if it is, well, then maybe you should realize that not all things "Protestant" are wrong. They did get some things right, they just took it too far.


Quote
Those of us who grew up under Orthodoxy understand the nature of dictatorial politics. Our forebearers have come from cultures with a long history of pashas, kings, sultans, czars and czarinas and princes who, at times, ruled with the iron fist. At best we had benevolent dictators. The Orthodox church grew up, lived, strived and survived in these cultures for thousands of years. America is what 200 odd years of age. A mere toddler on the world stage in comparison to Russian, Serbian, Greek and middle-eastern cultures.


So, you feel the Old World is superior because it's older? So I suppose with that reasoning, you're willing to give the Alaskan Church a cultural pre-eminence because it's culture dates back the end of the last ice age? Something that not even the Jewish culture can claim, except by a loose cultural decent. What about the Church in China or India? Both those cultures are far older than Greek and middle eastern culture? Should we adopt the Chinese culture instead? There are Orthodox Churches in Africa that have adapted to tribal African culture, which I'm sure predates Greece and the Middle East? Maybe we should all become "African" in culture.

This is EXACTLY the problem we are witnessing. EVERYONE thinks their culture is "the best"!

 The Old World is superior to no one, no culture is superior to any other culture. I'm sorry, this is the same crap certain Americans spew out about how we need to turn the rest of the world into "good Americans" because their cultures aren't as good as ours...our's is "the best"....well maybe it's just the best for us, but not everyone else. When the Church figures out that being Greek, Russian, or whatever is what's best for them but not everyone, then these problems will end. Until then, you're going to have people speaking out about it and against it. We're tired of being told either outright, or by actions, that we're not "quite as Orthodox" as everyone who was born into the Church. I'm tired of being told by my Patriarch that I'm a barbarian, that I'm the reason the Church has so many problems, that I have to learn modern Greek (I'm more than happy to learn Liturgical Greek, chant in it, worship in it, etc, but of course this isn't enough, because I'm only "pretending to be Greek").


Quote
What we are witnessing here is a clash of cultures. Met. Philip is an old world ruler in the new world. Oh, don't get me wrong, I am not happy with his latest move and pray that he see the folly of it. He has done a lot heretofore to expand not only the Antiochian Arcdiocese, but Orthodoxy in general in America.

So my convert friends, what did you think you were getting into when you came to Orthodoxy?

Christ's Holy Church, which is taught to spread the GOSPEL to the ends of the earth, not Hellenism, Russian culture, Arabic, Serbian or any other culture.  The Church that is big enough for all cultures, and ethnic groups, the same Church that told Greeks they could keep their culture, the same Church that chastised certain Jewish Christians for demanding everyone else accept Jewish culture before becoming a Christian. The Church that is alive with the Holy Spirit. That's what I thought. Yes, I knew about the corruption, the brutal theocracies the Church was in bed with for centuries, (which of course very few spoke out against, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have) but just because I knew about it doesn't mean I think we should just take it all as is. The Church that accepts scandal and corruption because "it's always been that way, and it really ain't so bad" is the Church that has lost it's way. It's still the Church, just as the Church was still the Church when it was 90% Arian, but the Church CAN and does lose it's way. If everyone had accepted your position we'd all be Arians, or Iconoclasts, or be under Rome...the Church doesn't just "work everything out in time" like magic, because WE are the Church. And so WE have to do out part.

So yes, many "converts" are angry, but you know what, so are many "cradles", including priests and Bishops. Some who love their culture, language and heritage deeply, and yet, they realize what is happening is not right. And so they speak out against it. The concept that we're "way down here" and the Bishops are "way up there" and they are "in charge" is a fallacy. We are all the Royal priesthood of Christ. We are ONE body, ONE Church, with yes, different roles and functions, and the Bishops are the shepherds, but not our dictators. If you've accepted the Bishop as your dictator, that's you're decision......but I don't think most people are going to accept such an idea any longer. That includes cradle priests I know, who's families have been Orthodox for centuries. So it's not a cradle vs convert issue, it's a right and wrong issue. The Bishops do not have supreme authority on all matters, and can not just willy nilly refuse to accept the decisions of the Church Synods. I'm simply shocked that any Orthodox, whether raised in the Church or not, wouldn't be outraged by the higher ups forging documents, mistranslating texts all for who knows what reason. Has this sort of thing become so common place in the Church that people just expect it to be that way, and to say, "that's how it's always been?". Even if it has always been that way, that doesn't mean it's "correct"...or proper. The Bishops are not there to lord it over us, but to shepherd us in love. The thing is I'm not feeling the love from the majority of the hierarchy within the Church at this present time.

As they saying goes, when they came for the Jews, I didn't speak up, when they came for the Hindus, I didn't speak up, when they came for the gays I didn't speak up, and finally when they came for me, no one was left to speak up. We cannot wait until there is no one left to speak out against this corruption....St. Athanasius didn't wait for someone else to speak up...and who knows, you or your Bishop just might be the next St. Athanasius. But if you don't speak up, I guarantee you, you won't be.









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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 11:39:26 AM »

Northern Pines you are missing the wole point and you are a squirmer! Bottom Line: This "muddle" or "wrongdoing" is nothing new. Those of us with the history know it. We also know and are reassured by the fact that the church will continue. Should we tell the emporer he has no clothes. Well, yes, but find a way to tell him in humility, patience and love. This means finding a culturally appropriate way, he (Met. Philip) comes from a different culture. You can't just put canons in his face and expect change. Should it happen - sure. Is it going to happen - no. Oh and if you think anyone of non-Arab decent is going to head the AOC, that ain't happening either.
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 11:47:02 AM »

P.S. I do not find what is going on in the AOC amusing.

I find peoples' reaction to it amusing
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 11:48:36 AM »

Why isn't Fr.Peter Gillquist and Fredericka Matthews-Green speaking out about this?

Because they know where their bread is buttered.
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 12:02:34 PM »

So if abuse happens within the old world culture it is understood I guess. When our parish was still largely a Syrian immigrant church in the 1940s,  a quarrel over the parish priest (Fr Anthony Sakey) split the congregation. From what I know the father did no wrong but some did not like him. My grandfather was treasurer on the council and my uncle told me that the father came to our family's home upset and bewildered. I was told that my grandfather & supporters of the father consulted Metr. Antony Bashir who (by inaction) allowed the priest to be ousted from the parish (I believe he later did relocate). In 1942 my grandfather was given 2 icons by the father for his service to the church; 2 years later he, the priest, & the congregation were split and many ceased being Orthodox (although thankfully my grandmother returned to the church). This happened among "cradles" and many apparently experienced similar exasperation apparently like some of us "Protestant" converts today.
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« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2009, 12:29:22 PM »

Northern Pines you are missing the wole point and you are a squirmer! Bottom Line: This "muddle" or "wrongdoing" is nothing new. Those of us with the history know it.

Glad to know you're culture freely accepts corruption as if it was just another part of life.

Quote
We also know and are reassured by the fact that the church will continue.

It's a good thing St. Athanasius didn't take that stance, or else the Church would NOT have continued.

Quote
Should we tell the emporer he has no clothes. Well, yes, but find a way to tell him in humility, patience and love. This means finding a culturally appropriate way, he (Met. Philip) comes from a different culture. You can't just put canons in his face and expect change.

But shouldn't the PATRIARCH expect that from him? Apparently not.

Quote
Should it happen - sure. Is it going to happen - no. Oh and if you think anyone of non-Arab decent is going to head the AOC, that ain't happening either.

So in other words, you're taking the very American approach that "you can't fight city hall"......how ironic!
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« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2009, 12:37:08 PM »

So if abuse happens within the old world culture it is understood I guess. When our parish was still largely a Syrian immigrant church in the 1940s,  a quarrel over the parish priest (Fr Anthony Sakey) split the congregation. From what I know the father did no wrong but some did not like him. My grandfather was treasurer on the council and my uncle told me that the father came to our family's home upset and bewildered. I was told that my grandfather & supporters of the father consulted Metr. Antony Bashir who (by inaction) allowed the priest to be ousted from the parish (I believe he later did relocate). In 1942 my grandfather was given 2 icons by the father for his service to the church; 2 years later he, the priest, & the congregation were split and many ceased being Orthodox (although thankfully my grandmother returned to the church). This happened among "cradles" and many apparently experienced similar exasperation apparently like some of us "Protestant" converts today.

This is what confounds me. You mentioned that many ceased being Orthodox altogether...and that is what is going to happen now as well. And it is of no consequence to some within the Church, including the hierarchy. They'll just sum it up to "they had weak faith" or "they converted for the wrong reasons".....never at all does it cross their minds that Jesus said, that " it would be better that a millstone be tied around his neck and cast into the sea, than to cause one of these little ones to stumble"...

Some of us "converts" might be "little ones" or weak in faith, indeed I certainly am, but aren't the strong supposed to bear the burdens of the weak? Instead the "strong in faith" watch people fall upon the wayside and continue on in their "culture" as if nothing happened.

If we were to judge the Church by it's fruits, would we see Christ's Church in Orthodoxy? I really do not know anymore.....




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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2009, 12:53:24 PM »

So if abuse happens within the old world culture it is understood I guess. When our parish was still largely a Syrian immigrant church in the 1940s,  a quarrel over the parish priest (Fr Anthony Sakey) split the congregation. From what I know the father did no wrong but some did not like him. My grandfather was treasurer on the council and my uncle told me that the father came to our family's home upset and bewildered. I was told that my grandfather & supporters of the father consulted Metr. Antony Bashir who (by inaction) allowed the priest to be ousted from the parish (I believe he later did relocate). In 1942 my grandfather was given 2 icons by the father for his service to the church; 2 years later he, the priest, & the congregation were split and many ceased being Orthodox (although thankfully my grandmother returned to the church). This happened among "cradles" and many apparently experienced similar exasperation apparently like some of us "Protestant" converts today.

This is what confounds me. You mentioned that many ceased being Orthodox altogether...and that is what is going to happen now as well. And it is of no consequence to some within the Church, including the hierarchy. They'll just sum it up to "they had weak faith" or "they converted for the wrong reasons".....never at all does it cross their minds that Jesus said, that " it would be better that a millstone be tied around his neck and cast into the sea, than to cause one of these little ones to stumble"...

Some of us "converts" might be "little ones" or weak in faith, indeed I certainly am, but aren't the strong supposed to bear the burdens of the weak? Instead the "strong in faith" watch people fall upon the wayside and continue on in their "culture" as if nothing happened.

If we were to judge the Church by it's fruits, would we see Christ's Church in Orthodoxy? I really do not know anymore.....





Brother, I did not mean to sound defeatist and forgive me if that was my impression. It is being Orthodox that has helped me to escape the overanalytical western mindset that clouds much of its Christianity and helping me to see other Christians in a less divisive & yet more discerning sense & indeed greater understanding in the possibilties of salvation for many & keeping a proper fear of the Lord at the same time (to avoid delusion). Surely, other Christians have this but I could not acquire such understanding without the worship of our Lord in the DL, the Eucharist, & confession etc. God bless and keep you.
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2009, 12:53:49 PM »

NP: SO you thinking of ditching Orthodoxy for what Methodism? I am a realist. Nothing is new under the sun. People have split and fallen away for centuries. Take courage - I'll say it again - The church, orthodox will still stand - ergo, it's difficult, stay on the ship, don't bail, work this through, don't be surprised of what's goning on.

Also, my parent's church also split in the 1950's with the recalcitrants starting their own diocese apart from the SOC. They have since reconciled. The same thing occurred in the AOC.

Also, the Patriarch isn't going to speak against the Metropolitan. Why - the Patriarchy of Antioch will be bankrupt if we in America did not keep it alive. he is not going to bite the hand that feeds him.
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2009, 12:56:45 PM »

Recent Convert gets it! Unforetunatly, the western over analytical mindset has invaded Orthodoxy in America. I to receive tremendous comfort in the DL and the mysteries of the church.
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2009, 01:08:03 PM »

Well, not all natives to the Church are the same.  As a priest with a mixed community, I see the whole gambit.  Their are native-born Orthodox who could care less, and others who are very concerned.

Not all converts are the same, either.  I converted from a 'pagan' household.  I was not raised in any tradition, and had only a cursory experience of Christianity prior to being received into the Church (my parents had me Baptized, I think, mostly to hedge their bets!).  While I am considered a 'convert,' I tend not to have as much in common with other convert clergy raised in other traditions as convert clergy raised in other brands of 'Christianity' tend to have.  To be honest, I often feel more inclined towards the native clergy.  You can't paint all of us with the same brush.

I have not spoken to any clergy who agreed with the decision, though I must admit I have only a small but diverse circle of friends.  One of my friends characterized the divide as between the personal friends of the Metropolitan and everyone else.  To be honest, I see lots of squirming, aserb, on both sides.

The only people who are not squirming are those who are ambivalent about the Church in general.  They come and go as they please, and could care less about the work necessary to keep the parish afloat.  You have these in every religious group, though they are not represented amongst our 'converts' because a convert has to work for the change of conversion, something the ambivalent isn't interested in doing.

So, the bright side of this is the sense of unity that has arisen amongst the clergy without regard to 'cradle' versus 'convert.'  No matter how the situation is resolved, both groups seem to be finding reason to respect one another.

The real test will come with the selection of a new Metropolitan or, perhaps as some are theorizing after the Patriarchate's cryptic statement, the reorganization of the Archdiocese into several new Archdioceses.  The Patriarchate might have found a clever way to help frustrated Antiochians blow off steam prior to the reorganization of the Archdiocese.  Right now they have succeeded in winning a lot of support and loyalty, which they will certainly bank on in the future (no, that's not a money reference).

I have stopped guessing as to what will happen next.  After all, I never could have imagined all of this taking place.
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2009, 01:14:44 PM »

[
Quote
quote][ he (Met. Philip) comes from a different culture. You can't just put canons in his face and expect change. Should it happen - sure. Is it going to happen - no. Oh and if you think anyone of non-Arab decent is going to head the AOC, that ain't happening either.



So why is he the Metropolitan of a Church in a country which is not of his culture? You just made a perfect argument for getting rid of foreign Bishops and for the Church in America to really become a "self ruled" Church
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2009, 01:17:13 PM »

Quote
Why isn't Fr.Peter Gillquist and Fredericka Matthews-Green speaking out about this?

Because they know where their bread is buttered.
Quote

You are absolutely correct. Metropolitan Phillip controls the speaking engagement s for the Archdiocese so if they make him angry he will cut off the pipeline .
The corruption is deeper than I thought!
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2009, 01:28:25 PM »

FR G:  Father Bless. Father thank you for your insightful, courageous and thoughtful reply. I think you are right, it's the Met'n's friends and non-friends. Also, I think that I and all of the posters on this site have one thing in common, we may disagree, but I think we all "care" about our parishes and dioceses (not all posters are AOC.) I care about this outcome for the benefit of the diocese and the witness of Orthodoxy in general in the Americas.

Also, I do think we need an American born patriarch, but I am not hopeful, at minimum he will be Arab-American.
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2009, 01:39:18 PM »

People are making a bigger deal out of this than they should.  Let the bishops and the synod deal with this; that is their job.  It doesn't effect the lay person in the pew other than give people giving themselves angina over something they can't control in the first place.  Go to church, pray, support your parish in a positive manner and don't get into this episcopal gossip mode and create unnecessary strife and confusion for yourselves and those around you.  The church has survived 2000 years so far and it will continue to do so. 
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2009, 01:39:44 PM »

So if abuse happens within the old world culture it is understood I guess. When our parish was still largely a Syrian immigrant church in the 1940s,  a quarrel over the parish priest (Fr Anthony Sakey) split the congregation. From what I know the father did no wrong but some did not like him. My grandfather was treasurer on the council and my uncle told me that the father came to our family's home upset and bewildered. I was told that my grandfather & supporters of the father consulted Metr. Antony Bashir who (by inaction) allowed the priest to be ousted from the parish (I believe he later did relocate). In 1942 my grandfather was given 2 icons by the father for his service to the church; 2 years later he, the priest, & the congregation were split and many ceased being Orthodox (although thankfully my grandmother returned to the church). This happened among "cradles" and many apparently experienced similar exasperation apparently like some of us "Protestant" converts today.

This is what confounds me. You mentioned that many ceased being Orthodox altogether...and that is what is going to happen now as well. And it is of no consequence to some within the Church, including the hierarchy. They'll just sum it up to "they had weak faith" or "they converted for the wrong reasons".....never at all does it cross their minds that Jesus said, that " it would be better that a millstone be tied around his neck and cast into the sea, than to cause one of these little ones to stumble"...

Some of us "converts" might be "little ones" or weak in faith, indeed I certainly am, but aren't the strong supposed to bear the burdens of the weak? Instead the "strong in faith" watch people fall upon the wayside and continue on in their "culture" as if nothing happened.

If we were to judge the Church by it's fruits, would we see Christ's Church in Orthodoxy? I really do not know anymore.....





Brother, I did not mean to sound defeatist and forgive me if that was my impression. It is being Orthodox that has helped me to escape the overanalytical western mindset that clouds much of its Christianity and helping me to see other Christians in a less divisive & yet more discerning sense & indeed greater understanding in the possibilties of salvation for many & keeping a proper fear of the Lord at the same time (to avoid delusion). Surely, other Christians have this but I could not acquire such understanding without the worship of our Lord in the DL, the Eucharist, & confession etc. God bless and keep you.

No, it is I who apologize....most of my post wasn't specifically directed at you or your thoughts, I just kind of blended a response to you, in with all my thoughts about the Church, and "converts" and the rest. I was actually, or I meant to agree with you, but my post sort of went off on a side tangent, which wasn't a response to you, but rather were general thoughts about the situation at large. My words about weak Christians and such were NOT aimed at your words, but just general thoughts. Sorry for not being clearer....

Now for general thoughts, just at the topic at large, i think its become evident that the whole situation is not good because we are all either misunderstanding each other, or pitting ourselves against each other in factions. We are one Church, and One body, and yet we've been made to feel like we aren't. And that is what is most disheartening about the whole state of affairs I think. I hope and pray this is all mended and we can realize we are one not many Churches.

thank you for bearing with a sinful brother...

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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2009, 01:44:22 PM »

This painful time could be the "refiners fire" that American Orthodoxy needs to become a United Church..
The convention in July could be interesting...VERY interesting.
I still think we need a independent open audit of the books. Its the money...follow the money as Deep Throat said.
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2009, 02:33:29 PM »

^ Amen &

It's true
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2009, 11:03:10 PM »

I would personally be amazed if a lot of people left the AOCNA if Metropolitan PHILIP were to remain.  I mean this is the reason Protestants form as many congregations as they do, because they don't like, personally or professionally, the guy in charge.

At the same time, I am grieved that people would leave over this one man.  The faithful did not break away from the Church when Nestorius was Patriarch.  Granted, he was deposed and that helped.  I am grieved even more that people would leave because of one man and not because of other issues that really should be addressed and corrected which can tear at the faith much more than ever one man could.
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« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2009, 12:48:47 AM »

I think what is especially galling to many converts is to see a bishop/metropolitan behave in an autocratic and arbitrary manner much like a TV preacher. Do things one way for a while and then do a complete turn-about and decide to do it another way. The only thing missing is the explanation "the Lord told me to .... (in this case to, ah, let's see, demote all my bishops?). People may legitimately ask themselves, "Whoa! Didn't I just leave this sort of thing? What's going on here?"

If it pushes them back out of Orthodoxy or makes them "protestant" church-hoppers (in this case, jurisdiction-hoppers) shame on those shepherds who rattled and startled the sheep, rather than shelter and comfort them.

And how convenient that we are so accommodatingly protestant in Orthodox North America with different Orthodox denominations -- er, ah, I mean jurisdictions, really I did! The "D" word just slipped out  -- for such hopping.



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« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2009, 12:59:31 AM »

And how convenient that we are so accommodatingly protestant in Orthodox North America with a different Orthodox denomination -- er, ah, I mean jurisdiction, really I did! The "D" word just slipped out  -- for such hopping.

Yeah, it's the ultimate cop-out.  You can find another "denomination" of World Orthodoxy that's doing things just the way you like it, and that's somehow different than the Protestant splinter groups.   Roll Eyes  This country needs a unified Orthodox voice!

Monasteries switch bishops whenever their denomination becomes too "worldly" or whatever.  It's idiotic.
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« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2009, 01:42:01 AM »

Again, not that I know everything, but I really have not heard of any 'exoduses' (is that the plural?).  I think most converts are well-aware that this situation is temporary even under the worst of circumstances.  After all, good or bad, no one lives forever.

Overall, the Archdiocese is in pretty good shape.  Coming into this controversy, there was nothing but hope for the future.  My sense is this is partly a natural conflict in anticipation of the changes that will come with the eventual retirement/repose/removal/relocation/resomething of Metropolitan Philip.  There simply are no more bishops of his generation who are in line for the throne (place your bets on Bps. Joseph, Basil or Alexander), and the obvious candidates will most assuredly make significant changes.  The younger generation of clergy and faithful are far more conservative and traditional than the 'assimilationists' of the previous generation.  Of course, we have to be careful that the Archdiocese does not swing from from the stereotype of 'bingo and haflis' to 'Official Chaplaincy of the SCA.'

There needs to be a serious re-commitment to evangelism, and not just to evangelizing wealthy WASPs (no offense to you WASOs).  There are lots of communities outside the white suburbs that need the Gospel.  Once there is a 'changing of the guard,' you will see more open discussion of our goals and methods.  Right now, a lot of careers are winding down at the same time (the AEOM leadership are mostly retiring or are retired), and so I would not expect lots of new ideas until the leadership changes have all been made.  Right now, status quo is the name of the game.  In some respects, that might have been the impetus for all this commotion.
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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2009, 01:56:41 AM »

^Do you really think that once Metropolitan PHILIP retires/reposes/resomethings that we will get a new presiding hierarch that is from this country?  I would imagine that the HOly Synod would still put one of its own from overseas in this position which would really cause the archdiocese here to regress.  However, one of the Metropolitans, the Metropolitan of Tripoli (can't remember his name) is often regarded as a very forward thinking, pragmatic and still traditional bishop that could do a lot of good here.  As much as I would like to see Bishop BASIL as the new Metropolitan, I still think that the AOCNA will still be ruled by hierarchs from overseas.
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2009, 06:42:54 AM »

^ I agree
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2009, 08:03:39 AM »

You certainly have not offended this cradle.

The bishop is the bishop.

LOL.  Except when he is an auxialliary and the Holy Synod doesn't all sign the statement that "the Episcopacy is one."

You miss the point entirely.
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2009, 09:05:18 AM »

However, one of the Metropolitans, the Metropolitan of Tripoli (can't remember his name) is often regarded as a very forward thinking, pragmatic and still traditional bishop that could do a lot of good here.  As much as I would like to see Bishop BASIL as the new Metropolitan, I still think that the AOCNA will still be ruled by hierarchs from overseas.

I'm not sure but I think there is age limit in the Antiochian Patriarchate for the election of metropolitans, Sayidna Elias of Tripoli seems to be over this age... And is it canonical to elect a metropolitan of one archdiocese as metropolitan of another?

AFAIK metropolitans in the Church of Antioch must speak Arabic, so those bishops from the Archdiocese of North America who don't speak it seem to be ineligible.
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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2009, 12:19:32 PM »

^Do you really think that once Metropolitan PHILIP retires/reposes/resomethings that we will get a new presiding hierarch that is from this country?  I would imagine that the HOly Synod would still put one of its own from overseas in this position which would really cause the archdiocese here to regress.  However, one of the Metropolitans, the Metropolitan of Tripoli (can't remember his name) is often regarded as a very forward thinking, pragmatic and still traditional bishop that could do a lot of good here.  As much as I would like to see Bishop BASIL as the new Metropolitan, I still think that the AOCNA will still be ruled by hierarchs from overseas.

I'm not entirely sure that I would want to rest all my hopes in someone from 'this country.'  Do you mean the US or Canada?  After all, we cover both with the 'North American Archdiocese.'  To be honest, I think there are enough cultural differences between the two to merit two distinct Archdioceses.  But, that's just my opinion.

You might also want to define what you mean by 'regress.'  Many Americans are demanding some 'regression' from present Antiochian Archdiocese practices.  They want to end many of the compromises with modern American culture that were made in the last century (i.e. shortened services, clergy apparel, organs, etc.).  A growing number of Americans want a more traditional approach to Archdiocesan administration, which has fed the conflict between the Metropolitan and a large portion of the clergy.  One must also remember that most of those decisions about 'fitting in' with Americans came from overseas-born hierarchs, namely Metropolitans Antony and Philip.  Of the local American-born bishops, any one of them is likely to be 'regressive' in the eyes of Metropolitan Philip, who has made a career of being 'progressive.'

I believe a rather significant number of Antiochians would consider no changes at all to be 'regressive,' since there is an overwhelming demand for change right now.  People are dissatisfied with the system as much as with anything else.  Our present organization has the difficulty of being rather monolithic and inflexible, while at the same time trying to administer over a very diverse flock.  What has happened is that the 'outlying areas' of the Archdiocese were allowed to grow fallow and develop independent practices.  The Diocesan Bishops have been working on fixing that, but it is impossible to entirely integrate them without some compromises while the establishment of a more precise 'canon' of Traditional 'essentials.'  Right now, many are confused as to what accounts for essential versus non-essential.

I also believe that there are enough examples of American-born hierarchs who were totally inept that such a 'job requirement' is no guarantee of success.  I would much prefer a spiritually-attuned bishop from anywhere as opposed to a local who is controlled only by his passions.

As an Antiochian, 'being ruled from overseas' has meant a rather 'hands-off' approach.  Damascus has been very, very lenient with our local practices, good or bad, and been very hesitant about interfering.  Please remember that it was us over here who asked for interference, both in requesting the 'Self-Rule' change and, some would say, in its reversal.  Not that I have evidence of the latter, but it is widely speculated.  My point is that we have done rather well under Antioch, and we could still benefit from a close relationship with the Holy Synod if it chooses to help us through our present and immediate future issues.

Borrowing from pre-marital counseling, I usually don't advise a marriage as being the cure for personal problems, as some have suggested that now is the time for a union between the OCA and the Archdiocese.  I would also not advise a merger with the OCA given that they are only recently emerging from their difficulties and we are still in the midst of ours.  While having an 'American-born' bishop may be a good thing in many respects, what we need most of all is a healer.  Right now, we are acquiring a great number of wounds.  Once the Archdiocesan Throne is vacant, there will be a reckoning for all of those who will find themselves on the losing side of the present power struggle [hint: that's why even 'theantiochian.com' largely anonymous/pseudonymous].

If the present organizational system continues, then we will certainly need a new Metropolitan who is capable of maintaining close relationships with the members of the Holy Synod, and that will require fluency in Arabic.  On the other hand, if there is a reorganization of the Archdiocese continuing along the lines as it has been moving over the past ten years, then more local administration will inevitably lead to a less essential role for the Metropolitan in general, as more of the present responsibilities of the Metropolotian would shift to the Local/Eparchial Synod and the constituting hierarchs.  I think most Antiochians would be happy with having an overseas connection as it has been in the past, but stronger local administration, which accounts for much of the outcry over the attempted-demotion of the Diocesan Hierarchs.

So, Scamandrius, I would say it is far more complicated than, 'get an American bishop in here.'  Not to say that you do not have a noble purpose, but it is no guarantee.

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« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2009, 12:50:13 PM »

^Thanks for your response.  First, let me point out that when I used the word "regress", I was referring specifically to even further barriers coming up towards North American University.  I know Metropolitan PHILIP has worked assiduously for this administrative unity and as long as the hierarchs of the various jurisdictions are appointed by their respective synods overseas and there may be only one American-born hierarch, such a dream is continuously going to be far from realized.

Now, I agree with regression towards the customs and the faith of our Fathers.  I think that if there is any reason to leave the AOCNA, it should not be because of one man, but because of the great number of innovations in tradition and praxis that have come up, which, I am sure have come up  to assimilate with American culture, but has produced water down results. 

You are right that the HOly Synod has governed with a light hand and has left us to do pretty much as we please.  But, I don't foresee an American-born bishop taking the role of Metropolitan after Metropolitan PHILIP has left, especially if it is sooner than later.
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« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2009, 04:57:43 PM »

^Thanks for your response.  First, let me point out that when I used the word "regress", I was referring specifically to even further barriers coming up towards North American University.  I know Metropolitan PHILIP has worked assiduously for this administrative unity and as long as the hierarchs of the various jurisdictions are appointed by their respective synods overseas and there may be only one American-born hierarch, such a dream is continuously going to be far from realized.

Now, I agree with regression towards the customs and the faith of our Fathers.  I think that if there is any reason to leave the AOCNA, it should not be because of one man, but because of the great number of innovations in tradition and praxis that have come up, which, I am sure have come up  to assimilate with American culture, but has produced water down results. 

You are right that the HOly Synod has governed with a light hand and has left us to do pretty much as we please.  But, I don't foresee an American-born bishop taking the role of Metropolitan after Metropolitan PHILIP has left, especially if it is sooner than later.

You are welcome, and I must say it is nice to have civil discourse about such an emotion-charged topic.  My hats off to the Forum membership for keeping it Christian!

However, I am not a big fan of pushing unity, mostly because it is based on what I personally consider to be several false premises, the first of all the term 'North American.'  This really makes me feel ill, since no one from either Canada of the US has any inclination of feeling 'North American.'  It is a foreign concept, perhaps bred by the publication of the modern Rand-McNally globe that labels continents.  It may work for geography, but it is hardly descriptive of the social constructs that reside in the US, Canad and, let's not forget, poor Mexico, which usually gets lumped in with South America even though they are 'up here' with the rest of us.  They should have picked English as their primary language, then perhaps we would pay more attention to them.

Canada is a separate society and ought to have the honor of being something other than an ecclesiastical appendage to an American church.  By the way, I'm not Canadian, but I think it will be easier for a Synod to make decisions when it is, in fact, less diverse.  Rather than squeezing them out, I think they ought to be granted their own Synod.

Second, I think that even an 'American Church' is still far too culturally diverse to handle our present expectations of 'unity' when we have a hard enough time managing our present mini-slices of the Orthodox pie.  I think we can only effectively manage a united church when the immigrant populations are well below the 10% mark, so that there is no significant block of non- or semi-assimilated faithful that would require moderation of policies.  There's also the Cortez Factor.  So long as you have somewhere to run, you'll run.  Just look at the Antiochian Self-Rule situation.

We must remember that cultural accommodation tends to mean which part of the Gospel are too difficult for us to do as a social group.  For example, 'Americans' tend not towards obedience or patient suffering.  Our system will have to take into account some of these peculiarities.

There are a few other factors that I don't want to discuss publicly because they are too divisive and I'm not as certain of them as I ought to be before launching them into Cyberia.

As to your final point, I think the model of Metropolitan Philip will not be repeated by anyone, from either side of the Atlantic.  It is a model for a different time with totally different conditions.  Some would argue that it isn't even working well for him given the present circumstances.  Nonetheless, I think only a fool (regardless of the fool being Arab, Arab-American or American... we all have our share!) would try to repeat it, which is why we need to have a frank discussion about our future.
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« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2009, 05:37:21 PM »

What will happen if an open transparent audit of the books of the Antiochian Archdiocese reveals financial foolishness on the part of Met.Phillip as with Met.Herman and the OCA?
I think that is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
He has had pretty much absolute power and absolute power corrupts.
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« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2009, 07:02:33 PM »

What will happen if an open transparent audit of the books of the Antiochian Archdiocese reveals financial foolishness on the part of Met.Phillip as with Met.Herman and the OCA?
I think that is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
He has had pretty much absolute power and absolute power corrupts.

Dear SDMPNS,

An audit can reveal any number of problems, not all sinister. Carelessness, inability to understand proper accounting practices, irregular emergency measures, ambiguous transactions... just to name a few.

What will be more telling will be the process for requesting an audit and how it will be responded to by Metropolitan Philip and the Board.  After all, that was what ultimately sunk Metropolitan Herman.

I think that the biggest issue that we are now facing is how His Eminence will deal with the increasing level of open hostility, something that I do not think has historical precedent in his tenure.  He has made unpopular decisions in the past, but there is was no internet and 24-hour news cycle like there is now.  Metropolitan Herman severely miscalculated the internet, and so far I am not seeing this angle being effectively worked by His Eminence.  The one site seemingly 'on The Metropolitan's side,' theantiochian.com, has badly mangled the situation by through inaccurate reporting and occasional 'cyjacking' by critics in the comment section (there were several pseudonymous posters with noms du guerre that were rather embarrassing for the Admin.

So, I agree that the-button topic, but I do believe it is no longer unmentionable.  In fact, everyone is talking about it.  We shall see what happens next.  I have no predictions other than more pain for everyone.  Cry
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« Reply #46 on: June 26, 2009, 08:13:24 PM »

I agree about "TheAntiochian". It was almost funny. I especially enjoyed the screen name "Lover of Metropolitan Phillip".
If an audit does reveal administrative problems that is almost as bad as stealing or diverting money..Who is in charge?
I also agree with how Met.Phillip will handle open public criticism.He won't be able to have Fr.Allen and Fr.Gillquist publish a glossy book to cover this up or have a copy of "the Word" with his picture on every page.
Metropolitan Phillip needs to go and go as quickly as possible.
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« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2009, 12:19:40 AM »

FatherGiryus,

Frankly, regardless of whether or not we have a "North American" common culture is irrelevant.  We are living in an uncanonical situation of multiple jurisdictions overlapping.  To say that we need to overcome cultural differences first is to assert that culture is the supreme guiding force in Orthodox unity.  And it isn't and shouldn't be.  Now some in this country may  not be as integrated into American society as others as they are more adept and willing to keep traditions of their home countries intact (which I have no problem with), but Orthodoxy transcends culture.  However, I believe only American-born bishops can really guide the respective churches into the administrative unity that so many of us desire.  The continued appointment of hierarchs from the home countries will only exacerbate the uncanonical situation we already have.
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« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2009, 01:49:38 AM »

I agree about "TheAntiochian". It was almost funny. I especially enjoyed the screen name "Lover of Metropolitan Phillip".
If an audit does reveal administrative problems that is almost as bad as stealing or diverting money..Who is in charge?
I also agree with how Met.Phillip will handle open public criticism.He won't be able to have Fr.Allen and Fr.Gillquist publish a glossy book to cover this up or have a copy of "the Word" with his picture on every page.
Metropolitan Phillip needs to go and go as quickly as possible.

This "Lover of Metropolitan Philip" person seems particularly twisted, in a way that stands out even at "TheAntiochian".  There's a very obsessive, stalkerish quality to what s/he says about Met. PHILIP.  "Saint" Philip is "holier" than the Patriarch.  Hmm.

I really hope the convention has people calling for a vote of no confidence and for his retirement, if he hasn't retired before the convention.
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« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2009, 01:51:20 AM »

I agree with scamandrius. At some point you have to "roll the dice" and give the "new" guys a chance in terms of the home-grown products of Orthodox expansion/evangelism. Isn't that what the Jerusalem Church had to do with the Gentile converts? - ie. roll the dice and accept them. Didn't the Apostles have to roll the dice and appoint bishops in the cities they evangelized (they didn't just bring a converted Jew along with them to appoint or call for one from Jerusalem)?

Didn't the Church in Constantinople have to roll the dice and eventually appoint slavic bishops and then grant autocephaly?

If we keep waiting for the conditions to be right, there will always be one more perfection to fulfill, one more criterion to be met.

That being said, I also see Father's points and with all the turmoil OCA just went thru and the Antiochians are now going through, the current generation may not be the time yet for unity.  And, who knows what problems will emerge in other jurisdictions as their old world hierarchs in place here have to react (proabably poorly) to cultural forces beyond their control?

But, the problem with hierarchs from Mother Churches overseas may not necessarily be their being foreign born. It may have more to do with currently old men from village cultures who came to US and whose instinctive response to modern American culture involved either becoming enamoured with assimilation or becoming reactionary.

In a multi-cultural modern world with integrated economies, commerce, the internet, world travel, etc. a sophisticated and, as Father pointed out, holy, individual from overseas could be a perfect fit over here and a better fit than a native born. Maybe such individuals will make up the next generation of foreign born hierarchs who will prepare the American Church for unity and put themselves out of a job, so to speak.
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« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2009, 11:33:04 PM »

I agree about "TheAntiochian". It was almost funny. I especially enjoyed the screen name "Lover of Metropolitan Phillip".
If an audit does reveal administrative problems that is almost as bad as stealing or diverting money..Who is in charge?
I also agree with how Met.Phillip will handle open public criticism.He won't be able to have Fr.Allen and Fr.Gillquist publish a glossy book to cover this up or have a copy of "the Word" with his picture on every page.
Metropolitan Phillip needs to go and go as quickly as possible.

This "Lover of Metropolitan Philip" person seems particularly twisted, in a way that stands out even at "TheAntiochian".  There's a very obsessive, stalkerish quality to what s/he says about Met. PHILIP.  "Saint" Philip is "holier" than the Patriarch.  Hmm.

I really hope the convention has people calling for a vote of no confidence and for his retirement, if he hasn't retired before the convention.

Personally, I think "Lover of Metropolitan Philip" over on theantiochian.com is nothing of the sort, and is posting over the top 'support' as a parody of +Philip's sycophants.
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« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2009, 11:50:24 PM »

You certainly have not offended this cradle.

The bishop is the bishop.

As all of us know (or should know) there have been times when the usually salutary (indeed usually salvific) obedience summed up in "The bishop is the bishop" harms the Church. 

A few names of bishops spring to mind to illustrate my point:  George of Cappadocia, Nestorius, Honorius, Sergius, John the Grammarian, Isidore of Kiev.  I could go on.

It seems to me that the last time a bishop set about reducing all bishops of lesser sees to be his auxiliaries, there were also highly questionable documents involved--"The Donation of Constantine", for instance.  He, alas, succeeded, and in part because of that, we Orthodox don't take the attitude of obedience to his successors summed up in "The bishop is the bishop."

I'm happy to take that attitude toward my own diocesan bishop, just not toward purported super-bishops who expect other bishops to answer to them, whether in Rome or Englewood.
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« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2009, 02:00:20 AM »

FatherGiryus,

Frankly, regardless of whether or not we have a "North American" common culture is irrelevant.  We are living in an uncanonical situation of multiple jurisdictions overlapping.  To say that we need to overcome cultural differences first is to assert that culture is the supreme guiding force in Orthodox unity.  And it isn't and shouldn't be.  Now some in this country may  not be as integrated into American society as others as they are more adept and willing to keep traditions of their home countries intact (which I have no problem with), but Orthodoxy transcends culture.  However, I believe only American-born bishops can really guide the respective churches into the administrative unity that so many of us desire.  The continued appointment of hierarchs from the home countries will only exacerbate the uncanonical situation we already have.

Dear Scamandrius,

Well, I guess we will have to disagree then.  I do think recognizing the variances within the American cultures is supremely important, especially for a foreign-born hierarchy to understand.  I would also say that a great deal of the recent turmoil has to do precisely with this problem.

Let's take, for a moment, the assertion made by some that the Antiochian diocesan bishops have been taking their dioceses in different 'directions.'  I would argue that, quite the contrary, the bishops are having to make allowances for differences of culture in each diocese.  You see, one is proactive and the other reactive.  They are matters of perception, and perception is key here.  As one who has traveled some and has experienced the Archdiocese on both coasts, I can attest that long before Self-Rule there were profound differences between East Coast and West Coast parishes.  After all, they are different societies.  I think that the present approach to looking at unity essentially follows a foreign syntax, which is why it bears so little fruit in the way of progress.  We keep trying to do the same things over and over again, and they bring us no closer.  Perhaps there is need for a reappraisal?

You can clamor all you want about the canons, but those charged with interpreting the canons (i.e. the bishops here and abroad) have allowed for the situation to arise and have blessed it to prosper.  In many ways, they are doing the exact same thing as I have described above and are dealing with communities that are very different and are not ready for change.  Until a profound majority share a common perception, then there will be no unity.  The bishops cannot force unity, either if they are American born or imported, because they have only limited influence over their flock's perceptions.

One of my favorite books is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  In it, flying is described as 'throwing one's self at the ground... and missing.'  I propose that unity will be realized in much the same way.
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« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2009, 06:50:45 AM »

This could be the "Refiners Fire" that American Orthodoxy has to go through. We should try to become a united Church as quickly as possible.To say we are not ready is not good enough...when will we be ready! I do like Met.Jonah's idea of having a Bishop from the MP sit on the American Synod.That could be a sufficient link to the "Mother" Church.
Metropolitan Phillip needs to go...the day of the dictator Bishop is over.We aren't afraid anymore.Every Bishop should read St.Ignatius before he is ordained.
Fr.Allen and Fr.Gillquist cannot do a glossy book to cover this up..its over...go away. Hie thee to your condo in Florida.Have a nice life. just leave us alone..after the Archdiocesan books have an open and independent audit you may have authorities knocking at your door but Met.Herman and Met.Theodosius are still free so don't fret too much.
I do have a lot more respect for His Beatitude..he appears to have drawn a line in the sand or is this just a case of two old men throwing lilies at each other?
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« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2009, 08:11:43 AM »

You certainly have not offended this cradle.

The bishop is the bishop.

As all of us know (or should know) there have been times when the usually salutary (indeed usually salvific) obedience summed up in "The bishop is the bishop" harms the Church. 

A few names of bishops spring to mind to illustrate my point:  George of Cappadocia, Nestorius, Honorius, Sergius, John the Grammarian, Isidore of Kiev.  I could go on.

It seems to me that the last time a bishop set about reducing all bishops of lesser sees to be his auxiliaries, there were also highly questionable documents involved--"The Donation of Constantine", for instance.  He, alas, succeeded, and in part because of that, we Orthodox don't take the attitude of obedience to his successors summed up in "The bishop is the bishop."

I'm happy to take that attitude toward my own diocesan bishop, just not toward purported super-bishops who expect other bishops to answer to them, whether in Rome or Englewood.

Please exclude me from the "as all of us know" crowd as I disagree. Your examples were handled properly by the Church through the episcopacy - not through some American Congregationalist system or OCL misplaced ideals with its incorrect definitions.
Moreover, I happen to adhere, to the best of my ability, to the directive of St. Paul to heed those put in authority over me, my bishop, and presumably for you, your bishop.  The turmoil over Metropolitan Philip by some here smacks of usurping the proper role of those in authority over him (which does not include you).
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« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2009, 08:39:10 AM »

Quote
The turmoil over Metropolitan Philip by some here smacks of usurping the proper role of those in authority over him (which does not include you).
Quote


I am praying that the Patriarch will handle this..he is "over" Met.Phillip..He should and just might


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« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2009, 09:50:02 AM »

I agree with Asterikos - yet, I am more of a realist in these matters. Follow the money trail. The US Church keeps the old country patriarchates alive and I would say safe, as we have the cash to prop them up and keep them running. They (the patriarchates) are not going to bite the hand that feeds them, unless through some act of moral or saintly courage stand-up to all this mess.

We hear in America need to understand that we are dealing with a different culture, a non-democratic culture. A culture built on patriarchy and clan loyalties that is still in tact and in operation and dates from pre-Roman times. Think of the mafia, yes the mafia. A clan culture that views itself as having its own set of rules and  regulations apart from the rules and regulations of the country that it resides in.  That is how the AOC (and I dare say some other jurisdictions) are run. That's the rationale behind appointing convicted felons to the arcdiocese council. They may have broken American laws, but not any of the "clan's" laws.


Is change needed - YES. But Americans want quick change and straightforward talk - - - ain't happening.
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« Reply #57 on: July 01, 2009, 10:55:59 AM »

Please exclude me from the "as all of us know" crowd as I disagree. Your examples were handled properly by the Church through the episcopacy - not through some American Congregationalist system or OCL misplaced ideals with its incorrect definitions.
Moreover, I happen to adhere, to the best of my ability, to the directive of St. Paul to heed those put in authority over me, my bishop, and presumably for you, your bishop.  The turmoil over Metropolitan Philip by some here smacks of usurping the proper role of those in authority over him (which does not include you).

I don't disagree with your first paragraph, though I don't completely agree with it (laity had a significant part in the removal of both Nestorius and Isidore, for example). But your second paragraph seems to completely miss, or ignore, that the crux of the current issue is that the Antiochian laity posting here are (for the most part) not under Metropolitan Philip. They are under their local bishops (Basil, Antoun, Mark, etc) who, it appears, Metropolitan Philip attempted to uncanonically (and, apparently, in rebellion against his own presiding hierarch and synod) 'demote'. As such, they are acting in obedience to *their* bishop in rejecting the attempted illegitimate power grab by Met. Philip is fully in accord with Church tradition (the parallel to Russian laity support of their local bishops in rejecting the presiding hierarch Isidore's attempt to bring in the Council of Florence's subordinatilon to Rome is actually quite strong)
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« Reply #58 on: July 01, 2009, 12:07:15 PM »

I agree with Asterikos - yet, I am more of a realist in these matters. Follow the money trail. The US Church keeps the old country patriarchates alive and I would say safe, as we have the cash to prop them up and keep them running. They (the patriarchates) are not going to bite the hand that feeds them, unless through some act of moral or saintly courage stand-up to all this mess.

We hear in America need to understand that we are dealing with a different culture, a non-democratic culture. A culture built on patriarchy and clan loyalties that is still in tact and in operation and dates from pre-Roman times. Think of the mafia, yes the mafia. A clan culture that views itself as having its own set of rules and  regulations apart from the rules and regulations of the country that it resides in.  That is how the AOC (and I dare say some other jurisdictions) are run. That's the rationale behind appointing convicted felons to the arcdiocese council. They may have broken American laws, but not any of the "clan's" laws.


Is change needed - YES. But Americans want quick change and straightforward talk - - - ain't happening.

Dear Aserb,

I think you have a good point.  The communities in the 'old country' we deal with are very clan-oriented.  As too are our the communities here who originate from these patriarchal societies.  To be honest, many Americans are becoming more like this in terms of class warfare and our political machines.

It is addressing these mindsets and the perceptions of reality that they create for us that are very important.  For example, Scamandrius sees the world in a certain way which he is entirely certain of, yet others can look at the exact same facts and come to a very different conclusion.  We could force the issue of unity tomorrow, but we would end up with the EXACT same arrangement as we have now because a large portion of the people wants things precisely as they are now.  Until most of the people want unity, the bishops will not rock the boat.  If they are going to take on the Mother Churches, then they want to be 100% certain all the people will follow.  In most cases, Bishops are risk-averse.

However, I would like to emphasize that the AOCANA does not 'feed' the Patriarchate.  The annual budget for operating expenses in a the Patriarchate comes from local sources.  They are, quite literally, self-supporting through their own contributions.  AOCANA contributions tend towards 'special projects' as opposed to operating revenues.  Be they construction projects or charities, AOCANA donations are usually publicized as going to specific programs rather than general budget.  If the AOCANA tomorrow ceased to exist, the Patriarchate would pretty much be unaffected.  Sadly, the support of these charities has become a source of accusation, since it has been interpreted as being intended as a buy-off of the Patriarchate.  Given the level of tension right now between Met. Philip and the Patriarchate, I would say that such an accusation seems rather weak.  That's not to say I have evidence either way, but just a casual observation.

When it comes to change, I revert to the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  The only thing I can be certain of is that I can change myself, with God's divine grace.  I cannot change anyone else.  I cannot make my brethren want or not want unity any more or less than they do now.  What I can do is be a better example.  I need to be more tolerant, more accepting, more appreciative, more respectful.  Unfortunately, there are those who lobby for unity with strident cries and disrespectful words that drive away many people who are 'on the fence.'  There are many who thing that the 'unity people' want to do in their traditions and customs that they are not willing to part with.  We have to be careful.

The unity we seek will not come from human plans, but from God Himself to demonstrate His power and majesty.  In other words, we need a miracle!  Good thing we have God, because that's His specialty.  laugh

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« Reply #59 on: July 01, 2009, 12:16:53 PM »

Has anyone heard anything about the rumor that His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius is traveling to America for the Antiochian Archdiocesan Convention?
Someone posted on TheAntiochian.Com that His Beatitude has applied for a visa.
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« Reply #60 on: July 01, 2009, 01:05:08 PM »

Father G:

Father Bless!

Thank you for your considered response.

I believe that the majority of Orthodox Christians in USA and Canada are not for unity. The unity cries come, in my opinion, mostly converts and convert heavy parishes.

Dan
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« Reply #61 on: July 01, 2009, 01:21:24 PM »

The only thing I can be certain of is that I can change myself, with God's divine grace.  I cannot change anyone else.  I cannot make my brethren want or not want unity any more or less than they do now.  What I can do is be a better example.  I need to be more tolerant, more accepting, more appreciative, more respectful.  Unfortunately, there are those who lobby for unity with strident cries and disrespectful words that drive away many people who are 'on the fence.' 

Good words, Father. Thanks for the reminder to each and every one of us.
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« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2009, 01:21:55 PM »

Cries for unity should come from Orthodox Christians who understand the Canons of the Church and realize how much  a scandal the current situation is.
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« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2009, 02:46:03 PM »

Please exclude me from the "as all of us know" crowd as I disagree. Your examples were handled properly by the Church through the episcopacy - not through some American Congregationalist system or OCL misplaced ideals with its incorrect definitions.
Moreover, I happen to adhere, to the best of my ability, to the directive of St. Paul to heed those put in authority over me, my bishop, and presumably for you, your bishop.  The turmoil over Metropolitan Philip by some here smacks of usurping the proper role of those in authority over him (which does not include you).

I don't disagree with your first paragraph, though I don't completely agree with it (laity had a significant part in the removal of both Nestorius and Isidore, for example). But your second paragraph seems to completely miss, or ignore, that the crux of the current issue is that the Antiochian laity posting here are (for the most part) not under Metropolitan Philip. They are under their local bishops (Basil, Antoun, Mark, etc) who, it appears, Metropolitan Philip attempted to uncanonically (and, apparently, in rebellion against his own presiding hierarch and synod) 'demote'. As such, they are acting in obedience to *their* bishop in rejecting the attempted illegitimate power grab by Met. Philip is fully in accord with Church tradition (the parallel to Russian laity support of their local bishops in rejecting the presiding hierarch Isidore's attempt to bring in the Council of Florence's subordinatilon to Rome is actually quite strong)

Of course, that is my opinion, which is meaningless here as I have no dog, or bishop, in this hunt, as they say. Now, I have not closely followed all the handwringing going on here, but it seems to me that your last argument is amiss as YOU definite what is legitimate rather than the bishops over the metropolitan (his synod) - or at least it appears that way. I do not concur.
I am not in the AOAA, but in the GOA where we had virtually the opposite occur with our new charter and a resulting weakened structure, IMO. I also have not really delved into the AOAA but initially felt there was some measure of over-stepping in its assuming it's so-called new 'self-ruled' status.
You have not swayed me from my original, and actually irrelevant, opinion.
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« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2009, 06:14:56 PM »

Αριστοκλής said "Moreover, I happen to adhere, to the best of my ability, to the directive of St. Paul to heed those put in authority over me, my bishop, and presumably for you, your bishop."

I wonder if Saint Paul also advises folks to check out their brain at the church door.  Grin

In any case, it would help if you provide a citation of Saint Paul's that supports your position. I went to Bible Gateway and looked up passages that contain the word "heed" and none of the cited passages appear to support your assertion. However, when I looked up "obey" I did find the following from Hebrews 13 that comports to your words:

"17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you."

Even if this is the passage that you had in mind, there are others that may be germane here.

The Lord said in Matthew 7:"15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?"

Saint Paul told the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20: "28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[a] which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves."

Saint Peter said in 1 Peter 2: "9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."

It does not seem to be as simple as "obey your bishop. Period." There are some nuances here that makes me think that all of us (clergy and laity) must be on the lookout for wolves in sheep's clothing--that is leaders (deacons, priests and bishops) who at least are to be identified and NOT obeyed.

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« Reply #65 on: July 01, 2009, 06:57:45 PM »

You certainly have not offended this cradle.

The bishop is the bishop.

As all of us know (or should know) there have been times when the usually salutary (indeed usually salvific) obedience summed up in "The bishop is the bishop" harms the Church. 

A few names of bishops spring to mind to illustrate my point:  George of Cappadocia, Nestorius, Honorius, Sergius, John the Grammarian, Isidore of Kiev.  I could go on.

It seems to me that the last time a bishop set about reducing all bishops of lesser sees to be his auxiliaries, there were also highly questionable documents involved--"The Donation of Constantine", for instance.  He, alas, succeeded, and in part because of that, we Orthodox don't take the attitude of obedience to his successors summed up in "The bishop is the bishop."

I'm happy to take that attitude toward my own diocesan bishop, just not toward purported super-bishops who expect other bishops to answer to them, whether in Rome or Englewood.

Please exclude me from the "as all of us know" crowd as I disagree. Your examples were handled properly by the Church through the episcopacy - not through some American Congregationalist system or OCL misplaced ideals with its incorrect definitions.
Moreover, I happen to adhere, to the best of my ability, to the directive of St. Paul to heed those put in authority over me, my bishop, and presumably for you, your bishop.  The turmoil over Metropolitan Philip by some here smacks of usurping the proper role of those in authority over him (which does not include you).

Well, the Arian heretic George of Cappadocia got run off by a mob, and before the hierarchs dealt with some of the others, there were many saints revealed as confessors or martyrs by their resistance.  By your wisdom there would have been an unknown monk Maximus who stuck to his rule of prayer and ignored the monothelitism ravaging the Church instead of St. Maximus the Confessor,  an obscure monk Theodore of the Studium, who bowed to 'those in authority over him'--the iconoclast Emperor and Patriarch--instead of St. Theodore the Studite.

Obedience to one's bishop presumes obedience of the bishop to Holy Tradition.  There is certainly a default assumption that bishops know that tradition better than do priests, deacons, those in less orders or laymen, and there is certainly a deference to the charism and attendant authority of a bishop.  However, there have been, and arguably are, circumstances in which obedience to the Gospel and to Holy Tradition (which is nothing other than how the Gospel has been lived in the Church) demand disobedience to, indeed defiance of, certain bishops who have betrayed their office.

A bishop who purports to depose bishops from their sees in violation of the canons, defies his Holy Synod, has repeatedly trampled the canons, and send money-launderers and embezzlers as part of their delegation to important ecclesiastical meetings has betrayed his office.

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« Reply #66 on: July 01, 2009, 11:28:24 PM »

Sigh...carry on. No doubt you guys will anyway.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2009, 06:02:07 AM »

Yes we will....we need to
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« Reply #68 on: July 02, 2009, 08:49:13 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.

Also, on another note, I would venture to say that the average Orthodox Christian doesn't know what the canons are let alone know the meaning of the word. They are too busy working, raising a family. giving to the church in time and at liturgy and praying at minimum with their children before bed having entrusted their souls to God.
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« Reply #69 on: July 02, 2009, 10:52:38 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.

Also, on another note, I would venture to say that the average Orthodox Christian doesn't know what the canons are let alone know the meaning of the word. They are too busy working, raising a family. giving to the church in time and at liturgy and praying at minimum with their children before bed having entrusted their souls to God.

And some of us have read them all...several times and always mindful they are for the bishops, not for us laity. But....nevermind...
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« Reply #70 on: July 02, 2009, 10:56:29 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.


Why must everyone be categorized in little boxes? ex-Episcopalians, ex. Lutheran, ex Catholics, ex, baptists....why not just accept people who are willing to stand up to the corruption as being  "Orthodox", just as Orthodox as anyone else? I'm sure it's just as easy to pick out a "cradle" who is a twice a year Christian, and fit them into the stereotypical box, and even they know right from wrong. It feels like some of our Bishops have lost sight of right and wrong.

Quote
Also, on another note, I would venture to say that the average Orthodox Christian doesn't know what the canons are let alone know the meaning of the word. They are too busy working, raising a family. giving to the church in time and at liturgy and praying at minimum with their children before bed having entrusted their souls to God.

One doesn't have to know the canons or be a canon lawyer, or heck, even be a Christian to know corruption when you see it. No one has to be a canon expert to know priests abusing children in the Altar is "wrong" and such corruption must be stood up to. No one has to be an expert to know that convicted felons running the Churhc, hand picked by a Met. is "wrong".....If people need to read the canons to know that, then they're either total morons, or spiritually blinded by fear; fear that if you stand up to a a corrupt Bishop or priest, or politician, that "they'll come and get me"...whether that means excommunication, or something else. And it is this fear that keeps people from speaking up. It is fear of being cut off, anathamatized, kicked out of "the group" (ie: in this case the Church) that keeps people in power. It's the same thing that always keep corrupt regimes in power, fear.

What is going on the Church at large is beyond the canons and the rules and man made regulations, it comes down to right and wrong and whether we can overcome our fear. Nothing more. We can debate jurisdictions, ancient canons, but when all this is pushed aside for money and power, power to control "the barbarian lands", power to control other bishops, power to control "converts", power to control whatever it may be, the issue of canons ends as far as I'm concerned.

And I certainly don't have any friends that would tell me they're "too busy" to stand up for what is right because they're saying their prayers, or working a job, and if I did, those are people I sure wouldn't want to continue to hang around with. Too busy to stand up for Christ? For our brethren? For the Church? What sort of Christian would think such things?

Obedience is one thing, but blind submission is something else. I understand there is much fear in the Church, but we should fear God, not man. And in the end, the Bishops, while called to a higher calling than most, must also be fit for that higher calling. And in they end, they are also just men....not God.





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« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2009, 11:12:21 AM »

I agree with Asterikos - yet, I am more of a realist in these matters. Follow the money trail. The US Church keeps the old country patriarchates alive and I would say safe, as we have the cash to prop them up and keep them running. They (the patriarchates) are not going to bite the hand that feeds them, unless through some act of moral or saintly courage stand-up to all this mess.

We hear in America need to understand that we are dealing with a different culture, a non-democratic culture. A culture built on patriarchy and clan loyalties that is still in tact and in operation and dates from pre-Roman times. Think of the mafia, yes the mafia. A clan culture that views itself as having its own set of rules and  regulations apart from the rules and regulations of the country that it resides in.  That is how the AOC (and I dare say some other jurisdictions) are run. That's the rationale behind appointing convicted felons to the arcdiocese council. They may have broken American laws, but not any of the "clan's" laws.


Is change needed - YES. But Americans want quick change and straightforward talk - - - ain't happening.

Dear Aserb,

I think you have a good point.  The communities in the 'old country' we deal with are very clan-oriented.  As too are our the communities here who originate from these patriarchal societies.  To be honest, many Americans are becoming more like this in terms of class warfare and our political machines.

It is addressing these mindsets and the perceptions of reality that they create for us that are very important.  For example, Scamandrius sees the world in a certain way which he is entirely certain of, yet others can look at the exact same facts and come to a very different conclusion.  We could force the issue of unity tomorrow, but we would end up with the EXACT same arrangement as we have now because a large portion of the people wants things precisely as they are now.  Until most of the people want unity, the bishops will not rock the boat.  If they are going to take on the Mother Churches, then they want to be 100% certain all the people will follow.  In most cases, Bishops are risk-averse.

However, I would like to emphasize that the AOCANA does not 'feed' the Patriarchate.  The annual budget for operating expenses in a the Patriarchate comes from local sources.  They are, quite literally, self-supporting through their own contributions.  AOCANA contributions tend towards 'special projects' as opposed to operating revenues.  Be they construction projects or charities, AOCANA donations are usually publicized as going to specific programs rather than general budget.  If the AOCANA tomorrow ceased to exist, the Patriarchate would pretty much be unaffected.  Sadly, the support of these charities has become a source of accusation, since it has been interpreted as being intended as a buy-off of the Patriarchate.  Given the level of tension right now between Met. Philip and the Patriarchate, I would say that such an accusation seems rather weak.  That's not to say I have evidence either way, but just a casual observation.

When it comes to change, I revert to the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  The only thing I can be certain of is that I can change myself, with God's divine grace.  I cannot change anyone else.  I cannot make my brethren want or not want unity any more or less than they do now.  What I can do is be a better example.  I need to be more tolerant, more accepting, more appreciative, more respectful.  Unfortunately, there are those who lobby for unity with strident cries and disrespectful words that drive away many people who are 'on the fence.'  There are many who thing that the 'unity people' want to do in their traditions and customs that they are not willing to part with.  We have to be careful.

The unity we seek will not come from human plans, but from God Himself to demonstrate His power and majesty.  In other words, we need a miracle!  Good thing we have God, because that's His specialty.  laugh


Father, I couldn’t agree with you more. Having come to know these individuals over the years all of them believe the “ends justify the means.” Years ago, I was in the company of Metropolitan Philip as he laughingly talked about his pastorate in Cleveland. When the church had an important need for added money he would go to a particular man in the community who was notorious for being part of the Cleveland “mob.” Fr. Philip would tell him the need and the man, probably thinking it would pay for his sins, would give the money the priest was requesting. The metropolitan’s take was that he was taking tainted money and using it for good.
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« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2009, 11:35:01 AM »

NP You just don't get it. You are justice with her shining sword seeking the ideal world. I live in the real world. I am not worried anout unity or change, these things will come in time. Holy Orthodoxy survived communism. Met. Philip is a walk in the park compared to communism.

Rabbi: I have heard that the saintly Mother Theresa of Calcutta often was criticised for taking "tainted" money. She was on a mission. Saintly as she was she also had her feet on the ground. And I am sure she put that money to good use.
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« Reply #73 on: July 02, 2009, 11:50:29 AM »

NP You just don't get it. You are justice with her shining sword seeking the ideal world. I live in the real world. I am not worried anout unity or change, these things will come in time. Holy Orthodoxy survived communism. Met. Philip is a walk in the park compared to communism.

Rabbi: I have heard that the saintly Mother Theresa of Calcutta often was criticised for taking "tainted" money. She was on a mission. Saintly as she was she also had her feet on the ground. And I am sure she put that money to good use.
With what I’m aware of, I doubt that the Metropolitan’s propensity for taking “tainted” money has  been like that of Mother Teresa. If I am wrong then why the aversion to an independent audit? There is good reason to suspect that we are subject to a “white washed tomb’ full of stench and decay on the inside.
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« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2009, 11:53:49 AM »

NP You just don't get it. You are justice with her shining sword seeking the ideal world.

You are right, I am a (hopeless) idealist. I say hopeless because I realize the ideal is nothing but a "fool's hope"; but as Tolkien, I believe in the "worth of defeated valor". So indeed, I'm an idealist, but don't misunderstand I too live in the real world, which is why I take the views that I do....I simply could not hold the opinion you do, as my faith would be turned to shadows and dust. i guess we're opposites who hope for the same outcome. Smiley

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« Reply #75 on: July 02, 2009, 02:24:35 PM »

Don't stop being an idealist! Otherwise all us that don;t have your gift will be drowning in our beer Cheesy

Seriously, I want all of this mess for lack of a better word to be worked out as well. I sometimes feel better if I understand that party(ies) motivations, background, culture etc. That doesn't make their actions right. I don;t think that Met Philip will be dissuaded or persuaded to change by using the straightforward approach. THis is so Godfatherish, I can't fully explain. There has to be some back room deal. He keeps the condo and there is there will be no charges made. Also Khalife and Al-Koory need to be removed. I knew from the beginning that there would eventually be "strife" of some kind between (forgive me) the converts, who are mostly American in worldview and the old guard who still hearken to the old world customs and ways. To some extent this is an ethnic fight.

Oh and thanks for the compliment but I am weak in faith many times. My daughter's faith is better than mine, but at her age (6) it is purer.
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« Reply #76 on: July 03, 2009, 07:00:00 AM »



I believe that the majority of Orthodox Christians in USA and Canada are not for unity. The unity cries come, in my opinion, mostly converts and convert heavy parishes.

Dan

Aserb, please consider that converts (I am one) left denominations to become part of what they were taught (propagandized?) to believe is the one true Church and we get into it and see more denominations (I am very sorry that the d-word offends; I use it "in-house" to tweak some noses - if it looks like *^%#, smells like *^%#, and feels like *^%#, it probably is *^%#, - as the saying goes; to many of us, quote/un-quote "jurisdictions" look and feel like, ahem, denominations) 

(now, to outsiders, I NEVER use the d-word; I tow the party line and tell them all about the one true Church and the wonderful, unique situation we have in America with its rich history of immigration and how our churches were havens for those people as they adapted to American culture and it is a rich part of being an American to enjoy and preserve all of these traditions through the various jurisdictions of Orthodoxy).

And, you know what? I ACTUALLY BELIEVE BOTH dichotomies! I honestly think Orthodox jurisdictionalism looks, smells and feels like *^%# and at the same time, it is a wonderful exression of the American experience (the Church has held it together for not only Orthodox immigrants, but also for African Americans, Scottish Presbyterians, Irish and Italian Catholics, German Lutherans, etc. etc. etc. - and you know, I will give those groups their props for the moment and without any ultimate theological connotations or valuations, for the purposes of this discussion, give them the capital C on Church - they may not be the fullness of the Church, but many of them will be in Christ's Kingdom ahead of us).

Anyway, what Father has said above in this thread, the unity may be quite different from what we want or expect and maybe new approaches will need to be invented by the Holy Spirit for the New World because the cannons came out of the Old World before any of this was known or imagined.

Except, I think the Jewish early Church's experience with converts has a lot to say here as well or there would be no Greek Christians (therefore, no Serbs, Slavs or Russian Christians; Arabs would be treated like Samaritans) -- if the majority of Jewish lay people had their way back then. Dear Father, thank God (literally) that those early bishops - the blessed aposltes, were not risk-averse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (as you indicate modern bishops to be- maybe becuase our bishops serve under hierarchs who have unwittingly adopted the RC model without realizing it, becoming imperial and papal in their practice/demeanor, while giving the ruse of being Orthodox).  Anyway, if they had been risk-averse, Christianity would have been just a Jewish sect, like Kaballah, or something. Thank God for the ENTIRELY NON-RISK AVERSE, ST. PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At the present, functional unity in publishing, missions, Christian education (OOPS, my protestant background showeth itself - I meant to say, catechesis). evanangelism (well, at least for those of us who think that something more than "come and see" -- which usually translated, means "sit on your hands and do nothing," is meant by the Great Commission -- but this may also be a distinctly protestant mentality, needing to be overcome until we will be truly converted and not think of anything so foolish, except through marriage), eliminating certain redundancies in operational budgets (such as buying in bulk, common accounting methods, common computer networks and software, etc.) and financial transparency, would go a long way toward what every layman should want (or do we like to have our parish donations wasted on these redundancies and competitive publications and ministries?).

If I get to see this much in my life time, I would forever shut up (please hold the applause) about organic unity.

Anyway, I mean no offense to you personally, aserb, but the experience for converts is a mixed bag and if the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 (oops, I did it again - sorry instinct - is it too protestant to refer to scripture?) means anything as the ORIGINAL cannon on how to receive outsiders, we converts have been chrismated and received and have a place at the table (talk about obedience to your bishops, THEY, through their parish priests, received us into full communion, not "stay in your place" communion, so I will take my "shot" at cradles now and tell you, "we're here, deal with it").

This also to you, Aristoklais, we may look like a bunch of church-hopping, congregationalist, western-hymn-singing wannabes, but we actually studied this stuff and believed it to be true (our cursed, Western analytical minds) and gave up a lot (you wouldn' even know) to convert to it. Yes, we struggle with our insticts (to jump ship) when there is a disconnect between what we affirm and what we see on the ground. We ARE hard-wired to jump ship to find a more perfect image that corresponds to the ideal (but, philosophically, aren't we being a bit Greek there? hey, help me out, I am looking for some props for converts -- geez! tough crowd; anyway). Anyway, although to cradles some converts may come off as disrespectful and insensitive, and no doubt there are real examples of converts causing more harm than good, but please don't ask us to be complacent while y'all solve everything in your good old time (which to us sounds a lot like pleasently accepting the status quo).

Somehow, this wonderful, tension-filled, f-d  up, God-blessed  situation will yield a beautiful fruit here in North America. Remember, that is exactly the situation of the first 3 centuries of the Church in the Roman Empire. It isn't an accident that we sit in here the midst of the current Imperial culture of the entire modern world that can extend its influence militarily, politically and economically! But, sometimes I fear we are too much like that conservative Jerusalem Church and we don't have any apostles to guide us, push us beyond our comfort level (as Father has pointed out, our bishops and hierarchs are too risk-averse to do much that is creative or surprising) to do anything to make use of this situation.
 
Met. Jonah is trying, but don't worry, in a few years he will be defeated (emotionally) or beaten into submission, ecclesiastcally). Ayway,we better get it together before the Chinese surpass us and we fade into historical irrelevance, or this will be a collossal opportunity lost - how about the NEXT imperial culture being atheistic/communist, or taoist, or budhist?Huh?? And DON"T any poster dare go getting all Calvinistic on me and posting replies that if it doesn't happen, it wasn't God's will, because He wants to work through the asians (or whoever), if that is indeed what happens. HE wants to work through US! Or we wouldn't be in this dramatic, opportunity-filled situation. Or do you really believe we are just so wonderful that HE wanted s to assimilate and bask in the prosperity of North America as a reward for all the suffering of our ancestors (and yes, I say our, because, just as cradle ancestors suffered in the Old World, so did the ancestors of us converts - they too suffered religiously and economically and politically, just like cradle ancestors)

NO!!  WE bear SOME responibility in this situation; I rejected THAT Calvinistic heresy when I converted). Some synergy, effort, cooperation is involved, not just in an individual's salvation but in the Church's salvation!


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« Reply #77 on: July 03, 2009, 07:41:42 AM »

BrotherAidan....that is a wonderful statement and should be pondered by every Orthodox Christian..I have said before that this time could be the refiners fire that Orthodoxy in America has to pass through in order to become a united Church.I am starting to think that there is a deep unconscious or preconscious {forgive me I am a psychologist} for the "status quo" amongst many Orthodox Christians.Change is scary.We may complain about "foreign Bishops" and there is usually good enough reason to do so. Just look at Metropolitan Alexios.
Maybe these crisis in the world is the push we need. I have often wondered and am now really thinking about it... what would Christianity look like had that famine not happened in the early years of the Church which caused the apostles to take a very good look at what and who is or who can become a Christian.
Lets grab this moment and help to build a united Church for our children and grandchildren.
Metropolitan Phillip needs to retire. He has ,from what I can see, surrounded himself with some pretty scary men.There also needs to be an independent audit of the books.
I am also enclined to believe that the Antiochian Archdiocese should fold into the OCA.
BrotherAidan...lets lose the convert/cradle talk..you are my Brother in Christ and both of us need to work for the future of Christ's Holy Church.
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« Reply #78 on: July 03, 2009, 07:44:44 AM »

Αριστοκλής said "Moreover, I happen to adhere, to the best of my ability, to the directive of St. Paul to heed those put in authority over me, my bishop, and presumably for you, your bishop."

I wonder if Saint Paul also advises folks to check out their brain at the church door.  Grin

In any case, it would help if you provide a citation of Saint Paul's that supports your position. I went to Bible Gateway and looked up passages that contain the word "heed" and none of the cited passages appear to support your assertion. However, when I looked up "obey" I did find the following from Hebrews 13 that comports to your words:

"17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you."

Even if this is the passage that you had in mind, there are others that may be germane here.

The Lord said in Matthew 7:"15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?"

Saint Paul told the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20: "28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[a] which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves."

Saint Peter said in 1 Peter 2: "9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."

It does not seem to be as simple as "obey your bishop. Period." There are some nuances here that makes me think that all of us (clergy and laity) must be on the lookout for wolves in sheep's clothing--that is leaders (deacons, priests and bishops) who at least are to be identified and NOT obeyed.



Dude!
Are you asking to be accused of being too protestant?
Don't quote this much scripture in one thread!
If you are going to quote scripture, for heavens sake, slip in a quote of a Church Father, and better yet, a cannon, to "cover" yourself.

Orthodox just DO NOT quote the Bible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #79 on: July 03, 2009, 07:53:10 AM »

BrotherAidan....that is a wonderful statement and should be pondered by every Orthodox Christian..I have said before that this time could be the refiners fire that Orthodoxy in America has to pass through in order to become a united Church.I am starting to think that there is a deep unconscious or preconscious {forgive me I am a psychologist} for the "status quo" amongst many Orthodox Christians.Change is scary.We may complain about "foreign Bishops" and there is usually good enough reason to do so. Just look at Metropolitan Alexios.
Maybe these crisis in the world is the push we need. I have often wondered and am now really thinking about it... what would Christianity look like had that famine not happened in the early years of the Church which caused the apostles to take a very good look at what and who is or who can become a Christian.
Lets grab this moment and help to build a united Church for our children and grandchildren.
Metropolitan Phillip needs to retire. He has ,from what I can see, surrounded himself with some pretty scary men.There also needs to be an independent audit of the books.
I am also enclined to believe that the Antiochian Archdiocese should fold into the OCA.
BrotherAidan...lets lose the convert/cradle talk..you are my Brother in Christ and both of us need to work for the future of Christ's Holy Church.

Dear friend,

I do not usually engage in cradle/convert polemics (except when I see aggregious streotypes regarding protestants/evangelicals posted here that I feel literally compelled to correct/challenge - many, if not most Orthodox, are post-reformation-history challenged). Something about this thread, however,  has made it appear that ONLY converts are concerned about the current situation among the Antiochians and I do not think that is accurate. The AOC is a too-easy target because of the acceptance of the Gilchrist group. I have been a staunch chalenger of anti-Antiochian posts on this board (although I am OCA which, in itself is a big give-away to a certain constituent). Anyway, aside from minor peccadillos - which probably stem from my personality, we are pretty much in agreement
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« Reply #80 on: July 03, 2009, 08:02:25 AM »

Sigh...carry on. No doubt you guys will anyway.   Roll Eyes
\

Do not be so smug, Many of these people are deeply hurt.

Is it un-canonoical or un-human or un-Christian that they love their bishop, who they have seen and touched and kissed his hand and then seen to be demoted (and not commenorated) , as opposed to their papal hierarch?

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« Reply #81 on: July 03, 2009, 08:03:33 AM »

I completely understand..I am a bit surprised at how quiet Father Gillquist and others who came into Orthodoxy with him have been during this turbulent time. I wonder why? Is it not safe? Too worried about the gravy train derailing? I have been told by various Antiochian clergy that it is simply not safe to cross Metropolitan Phillip...isn't that a comment on a Bishop?
On a more humorous note; is it a somewhat prescient Freudian slip to mix the word "cannon" with "canon"?
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« Reply #82 on: July 03, 2009, 08:06:49 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.

Also, on another note, I would venture to say that the average Orthodox Christian doesn't know what the canons are let alone know the meaning of the word. They are too busy working, raising a family. giving to the church in time and at liturgy and praying at minimum with their children before bed having entrusted their souls to God.
Again, Friend (and we have some religious experiences in common and some completely different) we are not talking about those who do not post here, but rather are interacting with those who do, so your argument is valid, but not for OC.net, where these issues live and are taken seriously.
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« Reply #83 on: July 03, 2009, 08:08:23 AM »


On a more humorous note; is it a somewhat prescient Freudian slip to mix the word "cannon" with "canon"?

Indeed! LOL!
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« Reply #84 on: July 03, 2009, 08:10:46 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.

Also, on another note, I would venture to say that the average Orthodox Christian doesn't know what the canons are let alone know the meaning of the word. They are too busy working, raising a family. giving to the church in time and at liturgy and praying at minimum with their children before bed having entrusted their souls to God.

And some of us have read them all...several times and always mindful they are for the bishops, not for us laity. But....nevermind...

NO! THAT smacks of the RCC, not Orthodoxy. Contrary to what you post, we ALL have a horse in this race and some skin in the game!
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« Reply #85 on: July 03, 2009, 08:24:06 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.




One doesn't have to know the canons or be a canon lawyer, or heck, even be a Christian to know corruption when you see it. No one has to be a canon expert to know priests abusing children in the Altar is "wrong" and such corruption must be stood up to. No one has to be an expert to know that convicted felons running the Churhc, hand picked by a Met. is "wrong".....If people need to read the canons to know that, then they're either total morons, or spiritually blinded by fear; fear that if you stand up to a a corrupt Bishop or priest, or politician, that "they'll come and get me"...whether that means excommunication, or something else. And it is this fear that keeps people from speaking up. It is fear of being cut off, anathamatized, kicked out of "the group" (ie: in this case the Church) that keeps people in power. It's the same thing that always keep corrupt regimes in power, fear.

This is why the Presbyterian Church became the Prestyterian Church - it elected to be led by the rule of law rather than by the rule of men (interpreting for themselves, quote-unquote, the divine law). The sad fact is that, without the Reformation and Presbyterian Church government, we wouldn't be having this discussion because USA representative governance looks suspiciously like Prestbyterian synodal/presbytery governance and few from the old world in Orthodox countries would have emigrated here if it was just merry old England in the New World (sorry -- have to strut my Scottish roots and tout that the good old US is an awesome place thanks to English jurisprudence and Scottish political (based on religious) theory. Cradle ancestors would have never immigrated here in such numbers without THAT foundation).

Come on Cradles - give some props to the Presbyterians!! You can do it!




Fixed quote tags, nothing more...  -PtA
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« Reply #86 on: July 03, 2009, 08:43:21 AM »

I think that there are a lot of ex Episcopalians on this site. My Episcopalian friends seem to always be at odds with their bishop.

One doesn't have to know the canons or be a canon lawyer, or heck, even be a Christian to know corruption when you see it. No one has to be a canon expert to know priests abusing children in the Altar is "wrong" and such corruption must be stood up to. No one has to be an expert to know that convicted felons running the Churhc, hand picked by a Met. is "wrong".....If people need to read the canons to know that, then they're either total morons, or spiritually blinded by fear; fear that if you stand up to a a corrupt Bishop or priest, or politician, that "they'll come and get me"...whether that means excommunication, or something else. And it is this fear that keeps people from speaking up. It is fear of being cut off, anathamatized, kicked out of "the group" (ie: in this case the Church) that keeps people in power. It's the same thing that always keep corrupt regimes in power, fear.

This is why the Presbyterian Church became the Prestyterian Church - it elected to be led by the rule of law rather than by the rule of men (interpreting for themselves, quote-unquote, the divine law). The sad fact is that, without the Reformation and Presbyterian Church government, we wouldn't be having this discussion because USA representative governance looks suspiciously like Prestbyterian synodal/presbytery governance and few from the old world in Orthodox countries would have emigrated here if it was just merry old England in the New World (sorry -- have to strut my Scottish roots and tout that the good old US is an awesome place thanks to English jurisprudence and Scottish political (based on religious) theory. Cradle ancestors would have never immigrated here in such numbers without THAT foundation).

Come on Cradles - give some props to the Presbyterians!! You can do it!

I nominate Brother Aidan's series of posts this morning for POM. They are wonderful, insightful, and inspirational--clarion calls to BE true Orthodox Christians.



Fixed quote tags, nothing more...  -PtA
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« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2009, 08:56:31 AM »


This also to you, Aristoklais, we may look like a bunch of church-hopping, congregationalist, western-hymn-singing wannabes, but we actually studied this stuff and believed it to be true (our cursed, Western analytical minds) and gave up a lot (you wouldn' even know) to convert to it. Yes, we struggle with our insticts (to jump ship) when there is a disconnect between what we affirm and what we see on the ground. We ARE hard-wired to jump ship to find a more perfect image that corresponds to the ideal (but, philosophically, aren't we being a bit Greek there? hey, help me out, I am looking for some props for converts -- geez! tough crowd; anyway). Anyway, although to cradles some converts may come off as disrespectful and insensitive, and no doubt there are real examples of converts causing more harm than good, but please don't ask us to be omplacent while y'all solve everything in your good old time (which to us sounds a lot like pleasently accepting the status quo).

Noting, and ignoring your ethnic, slight I must reiterate that I have no dog in this fight as far as I can tell. You are correct, however, as to some of us cradles some converts do seem to be exactly as you describe. It's a fact. When I think back to the embarrassment I felt reading of the cold shoulder the Evangelical Orthodox received from Patriarch Dimitrios in Constantinople I now wonder if the patriarch was not being quite prescient in anticipating, and avoiding, situations such as these and attitudes such as shown here. Metropolitan Philip was then lauded for his embrace of these converts further enhancing the status of the AOAA as the leader in American evangelization. He was a hero, not turned into a villain with what amounts to here as outright libel. Libel posted by folks who feel compelled to opine behind screen names for the most part.
As far as status quo goes, you may be right. In my simple world I am just thankful  to find Orthodoxy complete in my local (ACROD, btw) parish.
Quote
Somehow, this wonderful, tension-filled, f-d  up, God-blessed  situation will yield a beautiful fruit here in North America. Remember, that is exactly the situation of the first 3 centuries of the Church in the Roman Empire. It isn't an accident that we sit in here the midst of the current Imperial culture of the entire modern world that can extend its influence militarily, politically and economically! But, sometimes I fear we are too much like that conservative Jerusalem Church and we don't have any apostles to guide us, push us beyond our comfort level (as Father has pointed out, our bishops and hierarchs are too risk-averse to do much that is creative or surprising) to do anything to make use of this situation.

No comment.
Quote
Met. Jonah is trying, but don't worry, in a few years he will be defeated (emotionally) or beaten into submission, ecclesiastcally). Ayway,we better get it together before the Chinese surpass us and we fade into historical irrelevance, or this will be a collossal opportunity lost - how about the NEXT imperial culture being atheistic/communist, or taoist, or budhist?Huh?? And DON"T any poster dare go getting all Calvinistic on me and posting replies that if it doesn't happen, it wasn't God's will, because He wants to work through the asians (or whoever), if that is indeed what happens. HE wants to work through US! Or we wouldn't be in this dramatic, opportunity-filled situation. Or do you really believe we are just so wonderful that HE wanted s to assimilate and bask in the prosperity of North America as a reward for all the suffering of our ancestors (and yes, I say our, because, just as cradle ancestors suffered in the Old World, so did the ancestors of us converts - they too suffered religiously and economically and politically, just like cradle ancestors)

Even though this thread is about bashing Met. Philip, I think you sell Met. Jonah a bit short. Despite all the talk here about his controversial statements and equally incendiary rebuttals, I can't but help thinking all his time spend recently with Archbishop Demetrios is having anything but good effect. But then, I'm an odd fellow - an optimistic realist.
Quote
NO!!  WE bear SOME responibility in this situation; I rejected THAT Calvinistic heresy when I converted). Some synergy, effort, cooperation is involved, not just in an individual's salvation but in the Church's salvation!
And so endth the homily, as old Αριστοκλής , nudged awake by his convert wife, tripped up the aisle to kiss the Cross, then head down for some coffee...
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« Reply #88 on: July 03, 2009, 09:43:06 AM »

BRoAidan: I finally got around to reading your long winded reply and no offense was taken, I actually found myself chuckling. As another poster on this site said you are my brother in Christ and you are. You can choose your friends but not your family  Grin

Quote scriptuer all you want
Fuss over Met Philip

But please don't jump ship.

Like Asterikos I am a realistic optimist if there is such a thing.

P.S. as far as denominations,  I mean jurisdictions go, I am a Serb in an Arab parish - go figure!
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« Reply #89 on: July 03, 2009, 11:19:03 AM »

I wasn't going to post in this thread anymore, but I think brother Aidan brought up a good point, there is a lot of convert/cradle stereotyping going on in several jurisdictions at the present time, and some of that has come across in this thread, particularly aimed at "converts"...(Or should I say people who became Orthodox as adults not as infants)

It is true, to a degree that these stereotypes exist because they are true on some level, but I think 'converts' are getting a raw deal these past few months. I agree with aserb, this is indeed a "cradle vs convert" issue, but I'm not sure it's as black and white as some other people make it out to be. There is a feeling among 'cradles' that all us evil converts want to destroy Greek/Russian/Arab etc culture, take away their language, force them to use organs, pews, western music, (oh wait, that was the cradles who introduced those things, oops..lol!) etc....

Some in the Greek/Arab communities think we want to force them to switch to the OCA styled Liturgies and worship, and while this is true among a very select few number of converts, it certainly isn't true of even most converts.

I won't speak for any other converts here or anywhere, but for myself now.

I'm a Greek-O-Phile, I like Greek culture, learned to read Greek, chant in Greek, like Greek dancing, Greek desserts, I've even eaten Greek food (even though I made myself sick doing it once or twice) because I didn't want to offend people...after all, my parish is a Greek parish, and the Greeks are the ones who brought the Church to my area. I respected all things Greek, and grew to love the Greek rite, and in fact, much prefer the Greek Byzantine flavor of worship to any of the others. I like Greek dancing, go to the Greek festival, learned a few phrases in modern Greek, and in fact personally prefer (and can chant) most of the Liturgy in Greek, (even though I think it should be mostly in English)....but in the end, I've been told in no uncertain terms, that all of this is simply "not enough"....I'm still not "Greek enough", and I never will be. And this frankly hurts because I genuinely like Greek culture.

I've done everything I've been asked to do as part of the Greek Church, and yet it was and is not enough. Short of abandoning my identity, cultural, ethnic, and otherwise, there is nothing I can do to be "more Greek"....and you know what, there are a LOT of converts who are beginning to feel the same way. I for one NEVER, EVER asked anyone to give up this or that part of their culture or identity....but instead of being met half way, the bar was raised and I was asked to jump even higher. This has been my experience, and I know that it is not unique. There are plenty of us 'converts' who still do not want to force people to give up their identity and culture, and traditions.....but in return we want to be treated with the same respect. I don't see many ethnic Churches having 'fried chicken dinners' or 'irish festivals' on St. Patrick's day...yet Greek Independence day or the Greek festival rolls around, guess what, the converts willingly come to those and work those events.

I know people who've been Orthodox for 15 years, and finally after the recent months "news" and scandals, they've just given up and are ready to join the OCA because "at least you can be an American"....and they were hardly what you'd call the 'anti-ethnic' converts that some people are making 'converts' out to be.

what is frustrating to converts at this point is not that we want to "Americanize" everything, but that we want to be accepted as "Americans"....just as we accept Arabs or Greeks as Arabs and Greeks, or Russians as Russians.

It is true that some converts simply want things "their way" and wish everything was "Americanized" singing Amazing Grace and all, but again, ironically the one parish that I heard that DID sing Amazing Grace during the Liturgy was a very ethnic parish, so go figure?!

People like myself in fact have tried to understand other cultures, and I think I have a fairly good grasp of the basics of at least Greek culture, but no, I'm not a Greek, and never will be. And people in the Antiochian Church who are Americans, will never be Lebanese or Arab, or Syrian or whatever else. And they shouldn't have to be. Nor should they be asked to become part of that culture. Just like us converts shouldn't try and force our American ways upon them.

I will be the first at my parish, even today, to stand up and defend the Greek Liturgical tradition (and in fact have done so and paid for it), I'll be the first to defend using at least "some" Greek in the Liturgy, and I'll be the first to defend other customs and traditions....and yet, I still think we need to be united, and in the end, what is most important is Christ, not any culture, style of food or music, which is why I WOULD join the OCA if push came to shove at some point in the future and it was for the betterment of my relationship with Christ. Even though, the OCA/Russian style really is my least favorite style of Liturgical celebration....

I have no plans on leaving my jurisdiction, and all this is a tad off topic, but I think TPTB in the Antiochian Church have forgotten that many, many converts have bent over backwards to assimilate into the existing culture, and yet I think they are beginning to feel like even with their effort, they feel like "second class" Orthodox. And no one, cradle or convert should ever be made to feel that way. We are one Church, one body . . . there are no "converts" or "cradles" but we are all Orthodox.

Yup, my idealism I suppose is coming through, yet without that idealism, I couldn't go on.

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« Reply #90 on: July 03, 2009, 11:36:54 AM »

NP:  I am sorry to hear of your experience and anger. It is true, some cradle heavy parishes are infused with their own culture to the level of not only not recognizing converts but Orthodox cradles of different ethnic groups!  On the flip side a very good friend of mine converted in the GOC; but as a spouse of a cradel wife and he loves it, yet, has no Greek blood. (What he loves most is the familial aspect of it as he came from a rather small white-bread family.) If I could help you understand many Orthodox came from generations of overlords and invading cultures and isms that sought to eradicate them and their culture. (The Ottoman Turks, Communism, Nazism, Latinization, etc.) In America they were finally free to express their faith and culture to no end and like a starving man who was offered a banquet dove in with gusto.

Anyway, To draw this back to the original the AOC fight is being drawn along ethnic lines. I'm glad you became Orthodox. My saying is this. If every Serb, Arab, Greek, etc. became apostate tomorrow I would still be Orthodox. My faith trumps my ethnicity.

Stay strong!
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« Reply #91 on: July 03, 2009, 11:38:36 AM »

I wasn't going to post in this thread anymore, but I think brother Aidan brought up a good point, there is a lot of convert/cradle stereotyping going on in several jurisdictions at the present time, and some of that has come across in this thread, particularly aimed at "converts"...(Or should I say people who became Orthodox as adults not as infants)

It is true, to a degree that these stereotypes exist because they are true on some level, but I think 'converts' are getting a raw deal these past few months. I agree with aserb, this is indeed a "cradle vs convert" issue, but I'm not sure it's as black and white as some other people make it out to be. There is a feeling among 'cradles' that all us evil converts want to destroy Greek/Russian/Arab etc culture, take away their language, force them to use organs, pews, western music, (oh wait, that was the cradles who introduced those things, oops..lol!) etc....

Some in the Greek/Arab communities think we want to force them to switch to the OCA styled Liturgies and worship, and while this is true among a very select few number of converts, it certainly isn't true of even most converts.

I won't speak for any other converts here or anywhere, but for myself now.

I'm a Greek-O-Phile, I like Greek culture, learned to read Greek, chant in Greek, like Greek dancing, Greek desserts, I've even eaten Greek food (even though I made myself sick doing it once or twice) because I didn't want to offend people...after all, my parish is a Greek parish, and the Greeks are the ones who brought the Church to my area. I respected all things Greek, and grew to love the Greek rite, and in fact, much prefer the Greek Byzantine flavor of worship to any of the others. I like Greek dancing, go to the Greek festival, learned a few phrases in modern Greek, and in fact personally prefer (and can chant) most of the Liturgy in Greek, (even though I think it should be mostly in English)....but in the end, I've been told in no uncertain terms, that all of this is simply "not enough"....I'm still not "Greek enough", and I never will be. And this frankly hurts because I genuinely like Greek culture.

I've done everything I've been asked to do as part of the Greek Church, and yet it was and is not enough. Short of abandoning my identity, cultural, ethnic, and otherwise, there is nothing I can do to be "more Greek"....and you know what, there are a LOT of converts who are beginning to feel the same way. I for one NEVER, EVER asked anyone to give up this or that part of their culture or identity....but instead of being met half way, the bar was raised and I was asked to jump even higher. This has been my experience, and I know that it is not unique. There are plenty of us 'converts' who still do not want to force people to give up their identity and culture, and traditions.....but in return we want to be treated with the same respect. I don't see many ethnic Churches having 'fried chicken dinners' or 'irish festivals' on St. Patrick's day...yet Greek Independence day or the Greek festival rolls around, guess what, the converts willingly come to those and work those events.

I know people who've been Orthodox for 15 years, and finally after the recent months "news" and scandals, they've just given up and are ready to join the OCA because "at least you can be an American"....and they were hardly what you'd call the 'anti-ethnic' converts that some people are making 'converts' out to be.

what is frustrating to converts at this point is not that we want to "Americanize" everything, but that we want to be accepted as "Americans"....just as we accept Arabs or Greeks as Arabs and Greeks, or Russians as Russians.

It is true that some converts simply want things "their way" and wish everything was "Americanized" singing Amazing Grace and all, but again, ironically the one parish that I heard that DID sing Amazing Grace during the Liturgy was a very ethnic parish, so go figure?!

People like myself in fact have tried to understand other cultures, and I think I have a fairly good grasp of the basics of at least Greek culture, but no, I'm not a Greek, and never will be. And people in the Antiochian Church who are Americans, will never be Lebanese or Arab, or Syrian or whatever else. And they shouldn't have to be. Nor should they be asked to become part of that culture. Just like us converts shouldn't try and force our American ways upon them.

I will be the first at my parish, even today, to stand up and defend the Greek Liturgical tradition (and in fact have done so and paid for it), I'll be the first to defend using at least "some" Greek in the Liturgy, and I'll be the first to defend other customs and traditions....and yet, I still think we need to be united, and in the end, what is most important is Christ, not any culture, style of food or music, which is why I WOULD join the OCA if push came to shove at some point in the future and it was for the betterment of my relationship with Christ. Even though, the OCA/Russian style really is my least favorite style of Liturgical celebration....

I have no plans on leaving my jurisdiction, and all this is a tad off topic, but I think TPTB in the Antiochian Church have forgotten that many, many converts have bent over backwards to assimilate into the existing culture, and yet I think they are beginning to feel like even with their effort, they feel like "second class" Orthodox. And no one, cradle or convert should ever be made to feel that way. We are one Church, one body . . . there are no "converts" or "cradles" but we are all Orthodox.

Yup, my idealism I suppose is coming through, yet without that idealism, I couldn't go on.



Bravo! This is another POM.
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« Reply #92 on: July 03, 2009, 11:52:57 AM »

Dear Northern Pines and other folks who became Orthodox as adults  Smiley

First of all, please realize, there are many other folks like myself, who view your entering the church as a long awaited blessing and frankly, an unbelievable miracle. We don't want you to become pseudo Greeks, Arabs, Russians or whatever. We want you to keep your own identity, bring your enthusiasm and fresh ideas with you into the church. As far as we are concerned, there is room at the table for everyone and we look forward to seeing how you will incorporate Orthodoxy into the culture.  Ancient Faith Radio, with it many podcasts, is an example of what those new to church bring to all of us. In my own parish, we have a program started by someone new to Orthodoxy in which we support three homeless people. A few of these homeless people have become regular attendees of the DL.

And as this Antiochian scandal has revealed, many of the wolves in our church are cradle Orthodox Arab mafiosos, pretending to be honorary trustees. I have a message for them: we don't need the likes of you destroying our church. You aren't in the middle east anymore where there is no rule of law. Take your clannish, thuggish, and overbearing middle-eastern ways and get the h-e-double-tooth picks out of the church!  Angry

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« Reply #93 on: July 03, 2009, 11:57:43 AM »

Well, NP, I surely respect your tenacity

As an Antiochian Orthodox Christian who converted, I have never felt totally alienated by the Arab community as a whole.  I generally feel alienated by both cradles and converts who are unspiritual.  For example, the pious Arab families are very glad that Americans love their Church, and they get very, very excited when Americans embrace their culture.  You have not lived until you have seen the expression on the face of an Arab woman who has just been told of her cooking, 'I've never had Arabic food before... and it's great!'  At that point, you are a 'cousin.'

I have experienced converts who are just as arrogantly ethno-centric as the worst of any Arabs or Greeks.  I've been looked down upon because I was 'too integrated.'

From what I have observed thus far, the unspiritual, whatever-ethnocentric communities in the Antiochian Archdiocese are a shrinking portion of the community, mostly because they tend not to attract converts beyond the 'founders' and their kids drop the community (if not their Faith) after achieving adulthood.  Therefore, as one who tends to see things on the very-long-range, I think that those ethno-centrics will be wiped clean off the ecclesiastical map in a generation.  We have seen it happen before.

For me, the turning point in relations with heavily ethnic communities comes with participation in their rituals.  For example, attending wakes, and offering congratulations and gifts for family events.  For example, a very ethnic American community will quickly embrace the Arab family that comes to the 4th of July picnic and stays for the fireworks after eating the burgers and hotdogs.  Again, I have seen it happen.  By the end of the evening, they are no longer 'strangers.'

However, the success of this hinges on the character of the receiving group.  If they are unspiritual and selfish, they will eventually find reason to discriminate later.  If they are spiritual, they will be extremely grateful for their new friends who validate their worth by showing interest in their Church and their culture.

When I am discriminated against, I am glad because it saves me having to hang out with bad people who will eventually defraud or abuse me.  Why get emotionally-invested in people like that?

In summary, I think that our 'liturgical flavors' ought to be based on what works in a particular situation.  One of the great fears behind the lack of unity is the fear of change, some of it good, but some of it bad.  Right now, the Antiochian Archdiocese is in a real battle over control precisely because of how change effects the local level.
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« Reply #94 on: July 03, 2009, 12:58:25 PM »

I wasn't going to post in this thread anymore, but I think brother Aidan brought up a good point, there is a lot of convert/cradle stereotyping going on in several jurisdictions at the present time, and some of that has come across in this thread, particularly aimed at "converts"...(Or should I say people who became Orthodox as adults not as infants)

It is true, to a degree that these stereotypes exist because they are true on some level, but I think 'converts' are getting a raw deal these past few months. I agree with aserb, this is indeed a "cradle vs convert" issue, but I'm not sure it's as black and white as some other people make it out to be. There is a feeling among 'cradles' that all us evil converts want to destroy Greek/Russian/Arab etc culture, take away their language, force them to use organs, pews, western music, (oh wait, that was the cradles who introduced those things, oops..lol!) etc....

Some in the Greek/Arab communities think we want to force them to switch to the OCA styled Liturgies and worship, and while this is true among a very select few number of converts, it certainly isn't true of even most converts.

I won't speak for any other converts here or anywhere, but for myself now.

I'm a Greek-O-Phile, I like Greek culture, learned to read Greek, chant in Greek, like Greek dancing, Greek desserts, I've even eaten Greek food (even though I made myself sick doing it once or twice) because I didn't want to offend people...after all, my parish is a Greek parish, and the Greeks are the ones who brought the Church to my area. I respected all things Greek, and grew to love the Greek rite, and in fact, much prefer the Greek Byzantine flavor of worship to any of the others. I like Greek dancing, go to the Greek festival, learned a few phrases in modern Greek, and in fact personally prefer (and can chant) most of the Liturgy in Greek, (even though I think it should be mostly in English)....but in the end, I've been told in no uncertain terms, that all of this is simply "not enough"....I'm still not "Greek enough", and I never will be. And this frankly hurts because I genuinely like Greek culture.

I've done everything I've been asked to do as part of the Greek Church, and yet it was and is not enough. Short of abandoning my identity, cultural, ethnic, and otherwise, there is nothing I can do to be "more Greek"....and you know what, there are a LOT of converts who are beginning to feel the same way. I for one NEVER, EVER asked anyone to give up this or that part of their culture or identity....but instead of being met half way, the bar was raised and I was asked to jump even higher. This has been my experience, and I know that it is not unique. There are plenty of us 'converts' who still do not want to force people to give up their identity and culture, and traditions.....but in return we want to be treated with the same respect. I don't see many ethnic Churches having 'fried chicken dinners' or 'irish festivals' on St. Patrick's day...yet Greek Independence day or the Greek festival rolls around, guess what, the converts willingly come to those and work those events.

I know people who've been Orthodox for 15 years, and finally after the recent months "news" and scandals, they've just given up and are ready to join the OCA because "at least you can be an American"....and they were hardly what you'd call the 'anti-ethnic' converts that some people are making 'converts' out to be.

what is frustrating to converts at this point is not that we want to "Americanize" everything, but that we want to be accepted as "Americans"....just as we accept Arabs or Greeks as Arabs and Greeks, or Russians as Russians.

It is true that some converts simply want things "their way" and wish everything was "Americanized" singing Amazing Grace and all, but again, ironically the one parish that I heard that DID sing Amazing Grace during the Liturgy was a very ethnic parish, so go figure?!

People like myself in fact have tried to understand other cultures, and I think I have a fairly good grasp of the basics of at least Greek culture, but no, I'm not a Greek, and never will be. And people in the Antiochian Church who are Americans, will never be Lebanese or Arab, or Syrian or whatever else. And they shouldn't have to be. Nor should they be asked to become part of that culture. Just like us converts shouldn't try and force our American ways upon them.

I will be the first at my parish, even today, to stand up and defend the Greek Liturgical tradition (and in fact have done so and paid for it), I'll be the first to defend using at least "some" Greek in the Liturgy, and I'll be the first to defend other customs and traditions....and yet, I still think we need to be united, and in the end, what is most important is Christ, not any culture, style of food or music, which is why I WOULD join the OCA if push came to shove at some point in the future and it was for the betterment of my relationship with Christ. Even though, the OCA/Russian style really is my least favorite style of Liturgical celebration....

I have no plans on leaving my jurisdiction, and all this is a tad off topic, but I think TPTB in the Antiochian Church have forgotten that many, many converts have bent over backwards to assimilate into the existing culture, and yet I think they are beginning to feel like even with their effort, they feel like "second class" Orthodox. And no one, cradle or convert should ever be made to feel that way. We are one Church, one body . . . there are no "converts" or "cradles" but we are all Orthodox.

Yup, my idealism I suppose is coming through, yet without that idealism, I couldn't go on.


Your point is well made. One of Bishop Mark’s Midwest parish choir’s want to continue using Arabic even though less than 10% can understand what they are singing. Furthermore they would stop singing if they had to give up their organ and after Liturgy they prefer singing “Onward Christian Soldiers,”  “Ode to Joy,” “God bless America” and other protestant/patriotic hymns instead of “Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos.”                                         Kibbee on Friday – no problem, but Saturday evening Vespers and weekday festal liturgies – big problem.
That Bishop Mark he’s such a fundamentalist! He believes English needs to be the prominent language in America, while never prohibiting the use of Arabic in parishes with a significant population who understand Arabic.  He wants choirs to sing Orthodox hymns in church, he wants parishes to refrain from serving meat on fast days, he expects his priests to serve Saturday evening Vespers, full Sunday morning Orthros and festal liturgies. What was Metropolitan Philip thinking when he “made” +Mark a bishop?
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« Reply #95 on: July 03, 2009, 02:21:28 PM »


This also to you, Aristoklais, we may look like a bunch of church-hopping, congregationalist, western-hymn-singing wannabes, but we actually studied this stuff and believed it to be true (our cursed, Western analytical minds) and gave up a lot (you wouldn' even know) to convert to it. Yes, we struggle with our insticts (to jump ship) when there is a disconnect between what we affirm and what we see on the ground. We ARE hard-wired to jump ship to find a more perfect image that corresponds to the ideal (but, philosophically, aren't we being a bit Greek there? hey, help me out, I am looking for some props for converts -- geez! tough crowd; anyway). Anyway, although to cradles some converts may come off as disrespectful and insensitive, and no doubt there are real examples of converts causing more harm than good, but please don't ask us to be omplacent while y'all solve everything in your good old time (which to us sounds a lot like pleasently accepting the status quo).

Noting, and ignoring your ethnic, slight I must reiterate that I have no dog in this fight as far as I can tell. You are correct, however, as to some of us cradles some converts do seem to be exactly as you describe.

If you took the reference to image/ideal as being points for being Greek as a slight, it was meant as a joke - partly on cradles AND partly on converts.

Get it? Ha ha, in our hard-wired instincts we converts are actually appealing to a Platonic concept - ironically funny, don't you think? And ha ha - you cradles, we are doing something by instinct that relates to the historic culture of the Orthodox Church, which after the Jewish founders, was centered in Asia Minor and Greece in the Roman Empire in New Testament times.

Maybe it wasn't funny, but it wasn't a slight.
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« Reply #96 on: July 03, 2009, 02:23:33 PM »

BRoAidan: I finally got around to reading your long winded reply and no offense was taken, I actually found myself chuckling. As another poster on this site said you are my brother in Christ and you are. You can choose your friends but not your family  Grin


it WAS long-winded!   Smiley
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« Reply #97 on: July 03, 2009, 02:49:13 PM »

I wasn't going to post in this thread anymore, but I think brother Aidan brought up a good point, there is a lot of convert/cradle stereotyping going on in several jurisdictions at the present time, and some of that has come across in this thread, particularly aimed at "converts"...(Or should I say people who became Orthodox as adults not as infants)

It is true, to a degree that these stereotypes exist because they are true on some level, but I think 'converts' are getting a raw deal these past few months. I agree with aserb, this is indeed a "cradle vs convert" issue, but I'm not sure it's as black and white as some other people make it out to be. There is a feeling among 'cradles' that all us evil converts want to destroy Greek/Russian/Arab etc culture, take away their language, force them to use organs, pews, western music, (oh wait, that was the cradles who introduced those things, oops..lol!) etc....

Some in the Greek/Arab communities think we want to force them to switch to the OCA styled Liturgies and worship, and while this is true among a very select few number of converts, it certainly isn't true of even most converts.

I won't speak for any other converts here or anywhere, but for myself now.

I'm a Greek-O-Phile, I like Greek culture, learned to read Greek, chant in Greek, like Greek dancing, Greek desserts, I've even eaten Greek food (even though I made myself sick doing it once or twice) because I didn't want to offend people...after all, my parish is a Greek parish, and the Greeks are the ones who brought the Church to my area. I respected all things Greek, and grew to love the Greek rite, and in fact, much prefer the Greek Byzantine flavor of worship to any of the others. I like Greek dancing, go to the Greek festival, learned a few phrases in modern Greek, and in fact personally prefer (and can chant) most of the Liturgy in Greek, (even though I think it should be mostly in English)....but in the end, I've been told in no uncertain terms, that all of this is simply "not enough"....I'm still not "Greek enough", and I never will be. And this frankly hurts because I genuinely like Greek culture.

I've done everything I've been asked to do as part of the Greek Church, and yet it was and is not enough. Short of abandoning my identity, cultural, ethnic, and otherwise, there is nothing I can do to be "more Greek"....and you know what, there are a LOT of converts who are beginning to feel the same way. I for one NEVER, EVER asked anyone to give up this or that part of their culture or identity....but instead of being met half way, the bar was raised and I was asked to jump even higher.




I have in recent years begun cautioning protestants to not be in a rush to convert. You have to leave alot behind even if ethnic stuff doesn't enter much into your experience and it is not easy to do. I would have remained like the Greek God-fearers in the New Testament who loved the Jewish faith but didn't want to fully convert. I would have attended vespers and loved the DL from a distance and embraced crossing myself and written prayers and candles and incense into my personal and private spiritual life and continued in my emergent-church parish if I had known what converting really involved.

In some ways I regret that that is NOT the path I chose. But I am too far in to leave now so Orthodoxy is stuck with me.

I actually do not have any ethnic horror stories from my parish-life experience. There was a brief period of passive-aggressive silliness from some folks in the choir, mainly because I am close to our priest and some of them have issues with him. One of them asked me, about 2 years in, how I was doing in our parish and I told her that I was tired of kissing Russian #^% and after that everyone backed off and I have't had a problem.

When I joined our parish there was some excitement because at 49 years old, it seemed as if they had just gotten a new member for the youth group!

Sadly, there are only a few families behind me in age (most everyone else is same age or older) and most of their kids don't hang around after they go to college.

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« Reply #98 on: July 03, 2009, 03:50:32 PM »

And as this Antiochian scandal has revealed, many of the wolves in our church are cradle Orthodox Arab mafiosos, pretending to be honorary trustees. I have a message for them: we don't need the likes of you destroying our church. You aren't in the middle east anymore where there is no rule of law. Take your clannish, thuggish, and overbearing middle-eastern ways and get the h-e-double-tooth picks out of the church!  Angry


What?  No call to repent?  Just a hard, judgmental command to "GET OUT!"?
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« Reply #99 on: July 03, 2009, 04:33:42 PM »

And as this Antiochian scandal has revealed, many of the wolves in our church are cradle Orthodox Arab mafiosos, pretending to be honorary trustees. I have a message for them: we don't need the likes of you destroying our church. You aren't in the middle east anymore where there is no rule of law. Take your clannish, thuggish, and overbearing middle-eastern ways and get the h-e-double-tooth picks out of the church!  Angry


What?  No call to repent?  Just a hard, judgmental command to "GET OUT!"?

Would that the Arab mafiosos were only pretending to be honorary trustees!  No, the only Arabic speaking laymen whom Metropolitan Philip sent as part of his delegation to the Holy Synod of Antioch were an actual honorary trustee with Federal felony convictions for money-laundering and weapons charges ($12 million in cash moved in 'structured' deposits in one day!  evidently connected to some Detroit drug gang) and an actual active trustee with a conviction in Connecticut for embezzling money from a charity, the primary actual purpose of which seems to have been as a vehicle for embezzlement (and which blasphemed the name of the Holy Trinity using it as a front for theft).

The Honorary Trustee Walid Khalife, has since been sending menacing e-mails to Bishop Mark, Fr. Patrick Reardon, other priests and laymen throughout the Diocese of Toledo.  Is it just me, or does "One day you are going to see the devil and regret what you have been doing. And you dont know what is devil, i will assure you and make sure you will meet him one day," sound like a veiled death threat to any of you as well?  (That's from an e-mail from Khalife to a prominent Chicago layman.)

You can read a carefully documented account of their background at www.antiochianinfo.org.

I really hope that Khalife's vehemence is merely born out of Arab clannishness and an over-developed sense of personal loyalty to Met. Philip.  If not, it suggests that something very worldly and a bit sinister could be the common undergirding for +Philip's refusal to even discuss outside audits and his sudden attack on traditional Orthodox ecclesiology.
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« Reply #100 on: July 03, 2009, 06:59:11 PM »

And as this Antiochian scandal has revealed, many of the wolves in our church are cradle Orthodox Arab mafiosos, pretending to be honorary trustees. I have a message for them: we don't need the likes of you destroying our church. You aren't in the middle east anymore where there is no rule of law. Take your clannish, thuggish, and overbearing middle-eastern ways and get the h-e-double-tooth picks out of the church!  Angry


What?  No call to repent?  Just a hard, judgmental command to "GET OUT!"?

Would that the Arab mafiosos were only pretending to be honorary trustees!  No, the only Arabic speaking laymen whom Metropolitan Philip sent as part of his delegation to the Holy Synod of Antioch were an actual honorary trustee with Federal felony convictions for money-laundering and weapons charges ($12 million in cash moved in 'structured' deposits in one day!  evidently connected to some Detroit drug gang) and an actual active trustee with a conviction in Connecticut for embezzling money from a charity, the primary actual purpose of which seems to have been as a vehicle for embezzlement (and which blasphemed the name of the Holy Trinity using it as a front for theft).

The Honorary Trustee Walid Khalife, has since been sending menacing e-mails to Bishop Mark, Fr. Patrick Reardon, other priests and laymen throughout the Diocese of Toledo.  Is it just me, or does "One day you are going to see the devil and regret what you have been doing. And you dont know what is devil, i will assure you and make sure you will meet him one day," sound like a veiled death threat to any of you as well?  (That's from an e-mail from Khalife to a prominent Chicago layman.)

You can read a carefully documented account of their background at www.antiochianinfo.org.

I really hope that Khalife's vehemence is merely born out of Arab clannishness and an over-developed sense of personal loyalty to Met. Philip.  If not, it suggests that something very worldly and a bit sinister could be the common undergirding for +Philip's refusal to even discuss outside audits and his sudden attack on traditional Orthodox ecclesiology.

Those death threat emails are against the law.  They should be reported to the police!
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« Reply #101 on: July 03, 2009, 09:04:24 PM »

. . . Is it just me, or does "One day you are going to see the devil and regret what you have been doing. And you dont know what is devil, i will assure you and make sure you will meet him one day," sound like a veiled death threat to any of you as well?  (That's from an e-mail from Khalife to a prominent Chicago layman.)


Those death threat emails are against the law.  They should be reported to the police!

So it's not just me.  The problem is that before a statement constitutes a threat in the legal sense, it must be understood as threatening harm by a reasonable hearer to whom it is addressed, a reasonable third party hearing the communication, or a reasonable speaker making the statement (depending on which Appeals Court circuit one is in, though the 'reasonable hearer to whom it is addressed is the most common standard).

I take it, Orual, that you are a reasonable person, so that makes two of us who think that sounds like a death threat.  I agree.  Various folks posting on ocanews.org have advocated taking the matter to the police, and I have privately advocated doing so to a party to whom Mr. Khalife in a stroke of bad judgment had sent copies.
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« Reply #102 on: July 03, 2009, 09:45:43 PM »

Subdeacon David,

I have also encouraged a party who was threatened by this thug to report the threat to law enforcement. With his criminal background it wouldn't be hard to imagine the law coming down hard on this criminal. These guys need to know they are no longer in the lawless middle east and their despicable behavior will not be tolerated by any of us!

sincerely, Tamara

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« Reply #103 on: July 03, 2009, 09:49:32 PM »

. . . Is it just me, or does "One day you are going to see the devil and regret what you have been doing. And you dont know what is devil, i will assure you and make sure you will meet him one day," sound like a veiled death threat to any of you as well?  (That's from an e-mail from Khalife to a prominent Chicago layman.)


Those death threat emails are against the law.  They should be reported to the police!

So it's not just me.  The problem is that before a statement constitutes a threat in the legal sense, it must be understood as threatening harm by a reasonable hearer to whom it is addressed, a reasonable third party hearing the communication, or a reasonable speaker making the statement (depending on which Appeals Court circuit one is in, though the 'reasonable hearer to whom it is addressed is the most common standard).

I take it, Orual, that you are a reasonable person, so that makes two of us who think that sounds like a death threat.  I agree.  Various folks posting on ocanews.org have advocated taking the matter to the police, and I have privately advocated doing so to a party to whom Mr. Khalife in a stroke of bad judgment had sent copies.

This Walid Khalife guy has a screw loose.  Bishop Mark and Fr Patrick may be in serious danger, and they need to be protected.
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« Reply #104 on: July 04, 2009, 06:17:48 AM »

I have heard from a friend who is going to the convention that there is a movement afoot to halt all business until this foolishness is dealt with..There are still rumors going around that the Patriarch of Antioch will be there.
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« Reply #105 on: July 04, 2009, 08:22:42 AM »

. . . Is it just me, or does "One day you are going to see the devil and regret what you have been doing. And you dont know what is devil, i will assure you and make sure you will meet him one day," sound like a veiled death threat to any of you as well?  (That's from an e-mail from Khalife to a prominent Chicago layman.)


Those death threat emails are against the law.  They should be reported to the police!

So it's not just me.  The problem is that before a statement constitutes a threat in the legal sense, it must be understood as threatening harm by a reasonable hearer to whom it is addressed, a reasonable third party hearing the communication, or a reasonable speaker making the statement (depending on which Appeals Court circuit one is in, though the 'reasonable hearer to whom it is addressed is the most common standard).

I take it, Orual, that you are a reasonable person, so that makes two of us who think that sounds like a death threat.  I agree.  Various folks posting on ocanews.org have advocated taking the matter to the police, and I have privately advocated doing so to a party to whom Mr. Khalife in a stroke of bad judgment had sent copies.

This Walid Khalife guy has a screw loose.  Bishop Mark and Fr Patrick may be in serious danger, and they need to be protected.
It has been reported that at the Midwest Parish Life Conference the FBI has agents shadowing Bishop Mark.
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« Reply #106 on: July 04, 2009, 09:57:29 AM »

Thank God...isn't this sad? FBI agents shadowing a Bishop because of cronies of Met.Phillip.
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« Reply #107 on: July 04, 2009, 12:32:16 PM »

Just wanted to give a "thanks" to all the encouraging words. And I certainly don't want to be too hard on my parish, as it has really become "less" ethnic in it's outlook over the years, and really is pretty "American".... for the most part people are ok with it. But there are a few hold outs who attempt to tighten their grip more and more, and these are the ones with the "power" in the community.

Most aren't like that, but it only takes a few, and when those few control most everything, well.......as is the case with the Antiochians I suppose to, just a few at the top, but when they're at the top it makes it hard for everyone, both cradle and converts.



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