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Author Topic: All the fuss over Metropolitan Philip  (Read 9694 times) Average Rating: 0
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FatherGiryus
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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.



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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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