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.
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.
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").
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.