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Author Topic: Is Something Cultish Going on with ROAC?  (Read 10774 times) Average Rating: 0
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Keble
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« on: November 16, 2003, 07:05:11 PM »

I'm seeing a disturbing pattern here.  I've found yet another young man taking a correspondence course from ROAC. "His" priest is in California; he is in Arizona. Same timespan as Zollars and Reeves; same age too. What's going on here? ? ?
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2003, 08:03:00 PM »

Thank you all for this dose of sanity. What has happened in the last few months? One popular Orthodox forum (which shall remain unnamed) has turned into a breeding grounds for extremism. Such a pity...those totally new to Orthodoxy are being exposed to such fanatic ramblings and half-baked ideas. May God protect them all on their search and may good reason guide them.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2003, 08:03:16 PM »

Since I am new to Orthodoxy..Vicki...please do not make these blanket statements...share with me what exactly is cultish about the ROAC and why they are not Orthodox and why they are "STARK RAVING NUTS".
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2003, 08:05:43 PM »

Please anyone....comment here..I have talked with an ROAC priest and he didn't seem to be an evil un-Orthodox nut ...I just don't understand this hatred of the ROAC...please someone explain! Orthodox faithful here seem to be more tolerant of the heresies of Protestantism than the ROAC..why is that? I just don't understand. I mean I can understand if ya'll don't like the ROAC...but wow there is much more here than that! Why the hate and anger towards the ROAC?
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2003, 08:19:35 PM »

Ben,
I am going to post parts of a private message I sent to you in hopes that it might help others understand ROAC a bit better. It's brief and not very deep, but it provides the basics.


 I just wanted to give you my 1 and half cents on the matter. ROAC is schismatic. Some of the main leaders of ROAC were deposed by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and ended up starting their own "church" . As you are probably well aware, deposed clergymen can't just set up their own "church" and call it legit. The ROAC also claims that all of the world's Orthodox churches are without grace and that only they(and maybe a few other jurisdictions they won't name) are the only ones comprising the Orthodox Church. Imagine that! Just a few thousand true Christians in the world! ...and to find "true" Christianity in the United States you have to attend one of ROAC's 4 or 5 parishes that they have here. The claims of ROAC and other groups like ROAC are TOTALLY overblown. They claim that the rest of the Orthodox Church has fallen from grace simply because some of them have cordial dialogue with other Christian faiths, or because they follow a different calendar! That's ludicrous. I think your best bet is to look at the positions and writings of the Church's most recent saints. For example- St. John Maximovitch of the Russian Church Abroad(old calendar church very opposed to ecumenism...the one I belong to). He set up new calendar parishes in France! He also, out of obedience in the Church, commemorated the Soviet Patriarch on a few occasions. This is not something he did all the time, of course...but it serves as an example that certain issues in the Church are not insurmountable and not much is simply black and white! ...not so cut and dry. Also, read St. Justin Popovich...he remained in the Serbian Church til his repose in the 1980's and is a great example of someone opposed to ecumenism, calendar change, etc. but didn't become a schismatic, setting up his own Church structure based on an ecclesiology that is totally un-Orthodox.  Also, and I can not recommend this enough....read about Father Seraphim Rose of the Russian Church Abroad. There is a new biography on him called "Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works"... it's one of the best books I've ever read and you can see that he spoke about extremists like ROAC throughout his life. The internet is a scary place as far as Orthodoxy is concerned. Don't believe all of the wild stuff you read... most of it is overly hyped up and full of "zeal not according to knowledge" as the Orthodox like to say.
Pray, pray, pray! and I'd recommend visiting your local ROCOR parish(Colorado, right?) and speaking to the priest there about some of the issues you're facing. I believe Fr. Alexey Young, a disciple of Fr. Seraphim Rose and someone really "in the know" (Now Hieromonk Ambrose) used to be the priest there at one time...I think his son is still involved there...
Anyway, hope this doesn't come off as some kind of attack or advice you don't want.

May Christ guide your way!

-Peter


P.S. Seriously though, I'd stay away from ROAC. Maybe you should check out www.orthodoxchristianity.net(looks like that's been done already!)  if you want to get a more balanced perspective on them...or you can join orthodoxjurisdictions ...it's a yahoo group, and ask your questions there. There are plenty of older ROCOR/OCA/GOA priests there who can answer your questions!
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2003, 08:19:42 PM »

I really don't know how to explain it better to you! Have you been reading these posts? We seem to be more tolerant of Protestantism only because it does not hide under the cloak of Orthodoxy. ROAC is Orthodox in name only. There are certain ways you may do things in the Orthodox Church. You need a certain amount of Bishops and permission of the Synod or Patriarch to make a new Bishop. If you don't have that and you  make a "Bishop" he is not really a Bishop. Then if that  false Bishop goes and makes a Bishop of a priest that has been excommunicated you have a real problem.

Orthodoxy may seem very unorganized, and in many ways is, but there are  rules that HAVE to be followed. ROAC has not followed those rules and is therefor not an Orthodox Church. Its just another Protestant Church made to look Orthodox.

Make no mistake there are good and holy people in ROAC. They are being deceived and that's what is truly sad.

Please anyone....comment here..I have talked with an ROAC priest and he didn't seem to be an evil un-Orthodox nut ...I just don't understand this hatred of the ROAC...please someone explain! Orthodox here seem to be more tolerant of the heresies of Protestantism than the ROAC..why is that? I just don't understand. I mean I can understand if ya'll don't like the ROAC...but wow there is much more here than that! Why the hate and anger towards the ROAC?
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2003, 08:23:43 PM »

I have the only book by St. Justin Popovich in english unless others have been translated. If you want it Ben I'll be more than happy to give it to you.
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2003, 08:25:46 PM »

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2003, 08:39:35 PM »

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.

There is hatred towards ROAC because God hates schism.  The ROAC types take Christ's Church and rip it apart.

anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2003, 08:42:21 PM »

Vicki explained it better than I can. I do not "hate" ROAC. What I find distasteful is the use of the word Orthodox in their name while spitting out non-Orthodox teachings. Nobody is beyond redemption but this is what they are teaching. That upsets me to no end. Saying your Orthodox while teach non-Orthodox beliefs.

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.
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Bogoliubtsy
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2003, 08:42:39 PM »

I might add that you will find "good" people who aren't in the least bit "loony" in virtually any religious group. That does not mean though that their theology and ecclesiology is that of Christ's Church.

Here are some the top 7 reasons you might want to join ROAC.

1.) You've been charged with serious questions of morality perhaps involving certain sexual matters and now want to clear your name by crying HERESY! to your right-believing Orthodox bishops

2.)You have a deep psychological need that can be filled through un-Orthodox exclusivity and cultishness- one most satisfied by being "of the elect" that's seperate from "them"- even if the "them" are your Orthodox brothers. When your group gets too big though, you're most likely to find another smaller and more "correct" group to join.

3.) You are not Orthodox, or have been Orthodox for a short time and have read the writings of St. Mark of Ephesus until your eyes blurred and now you think his remarks apply to today's Orthodox world. With your "vast" new-found knowledge of Orthodoxy, you'll correct things.

4.) You think that only you and your buddies can save the Church through your wise and pious example- not Christ and his councils. (Wait, doesn't this sound like Sergianism?)

5.)You enjoy "proof-texting"(much like the Protestants, I might add) the writings and letters of the ever memorable Met. Philaret of ROCOR to create a picture that fits in with your newly found world view. Most likely, the leaders you'll accept who call Met. Philaret a saint were accusing him of heresy back in the 1970's and early 80's. Funny how things change, huh?

6.) You like the comfort of thinking you're one of a few thousand "true" Christians left in the entire world. You also enjoy playing God by claiming that NO GRACE exists in the mysteries outside of your self-made jurisdiction. At least you'll get visitations from Christ telling you this....or how else would you know conclusively?

7.)You like to think that the situation in Russia is/was a simple one, easily figured out by application of the canons. Ok...plug  the formula into the canons...let the computer calculate....waiting .........waiting......waiting.......Ok, they're graceless!



There are plenty more...but why waste them all now..  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2003, 08:48:30 PM »

I would also like to say I don't personally have any opinions about individuals in ROAC.  I am sure that some of the priests and bishops are holy.  But I love the sinner while hating the sin (schism).

anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2003, 09:09:37 PM »

Hey, Bogoliubtsy!

You left off reason #8:

You have a strange desire to unaccountably stop the bleeding associated with hemophilia and later be poisoned, shot, and dumped into the icy Neva River.

(Excuse the bad joke, folks, but I cannot resist an allusion to Rasputin in this particular instance!)
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2003, 09:20:24 PM »

No. Because the ROCOR "bishops" were not given magical spectacles to read the texts. This is why they have no grace!  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2003, 09:34:09 PM »

I like Joe.

Just my two cents.  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2003, 09:35:13 PM »

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.

There is hatred towards ROAC because God hates schism.  The ROAC types take Christ's Church and rip it apart.

anastasios

Ok anastasios then there MUST hatred to EVERY single Christian denomination and group, not just the ROAC. Yes God hates schism, but he doesn't hate people, and we shouldn't either. I am shocked to see the hatred towards the ROAC here, but I do not know all the facts, so I can't judge. However we must be fair about this and show the same hatred towards Lutheran and Catholic and every other groups's clergy and bishops as we do towards ROAC clergy and bishops.
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2003, 09:43:27 PM »

But...does anyone notice a strong similarity between the desire of the ROAC "bishops" to create a better Orthodox Church and oh, say...Good Ole' Revelation Joe of the Mormon Church?

Now come on! I understand that the ROAC, in your opinion, is schismatic and must be stayed away from...but comparing their bishops to Joseph Smith?! I find this absurd.

Who are you to judge bishops? Of any Orthodox or non Orthodox group?!

And come on..Mormonism is no wear near Christianity! It is laughable that you make such a comparison.
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2003, 09:45:46 PM »

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.

There is hatred towards ROAC because God hates schism.  The ROAC types take Christ's Church and rip it apart.

anastasios

Ok anastasios then there MUST hatred to EVERY single Christian denomination and group, not just the ROAC. Yes God hates schism, but he doesn't hate people, and we shouldn't either. I am shocked to see the hatred towards the ROAC here, but I do not know all the facts, so I can't judge. However we must be fair about this and show the same hatred towards Lutheran and Catholic and every other groups's clergy and bishops as we do towards ROAC clergy and bishops.



Lutherans, and Catholics (with exception of uniates) do not try and pretend they are Orthodox. They also do not twist the words of Orthodox fathers to conform to their beleifs.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2003, 09:48:28 PM »

Please keep in mind I know very little about the history of the ROAC....I am just commenting upon everyones strange hate and anger towards the ROAC.
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2003, 09:51:53 PM »

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.

There is hatred towards ROAC because God hates schism.  The ROAC types take Christ's Church and rip it apart.

anastasios

Ok anastasios then there MUST hatred to EVERY single Christian denomination and group, not just the ROAC. Yes God hates schism, but he doesn't hate people, and we shouldn't either. I am shocked to see the hatred towards the ROAC here, but I do not know all the facts, so I can't judge. However we must be fair about this and show the same hatred towards Lutheran and Catholic and every other groups's clergy and bishops as we do towards ROAC clergy and bishops.



Lutherans, and Catholics (with exception of uniates) do not try and pretend they are Orthodox. They also do not twist the words of Orthodox fathers to conform to their beleifs.

Innocent..Anastasios was talking about the hatred towards schism...and the last time I checked Orthodoxy considered the RCC to be in schism..and wow the Lutherans are a schism of a schims, even worst! And as a Catholic I can tell you that Catholics, faithful and clergy, try to twist the words of the early Church fathers, and even modern Orthodox fathers, to fit their agenda.
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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2003, 09:58:41 PM »

anastasios corrected himself with another post stating:

Quote
I would also like to say I don't personally have any opinions about individuals in ROAC.  I am sure that some of the priests and bishops are holy.  But I love the sinner while hating the sin (schism).

They might twist the fathers of the Church but they do not dress up and claim to be The Orthodox Church. ROAC claims to be the only Orthodox Church!
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« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2003, 10:04:10 PM »

Innocent that is a lie...I tlaked with an ROAC priest last night and mentioned a few other Orthodox churches or jurisdictions...or whatever you call them that have kept the true faith. ROAC does not claim to be the ONLY Orthodox Church, they just claim to profess the true apostolic faith.
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2003, 10:09:06 PM »

Vicki I agree we must show love to our fellow human beings, no mater what religion or race or gender, but when someone is in error we must correct them. That is showing true love! We must NOT condmen them as many here have done, but we must show those who are oblivious where the true Church is. We cannot sit back and let many be decieved thinking "Oh I am in the true Chruch" when they are lets say baptists. We must correct them and show them the truth!
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2003, 10:13:03 PM »

The Churches they are in communion with are schismatic Churches.  Anyway I'm done with this topic. I've said my piece and been called a liar.

Innocent that is a lie...I tlaked with an ROAC priest last night and mentioned a few other Orthodox churches or jurisdictions...or whatever you call them that have kept the true faith. ROAC does not claim to be the ONLY Orthodox Church, they just claim to profess the true apostolic faith.
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2003, 10:18:38 PM »

Innocent that is a lie...I tlaked with an ROAC priest last night and mentioned a few other Orthodox churches or jurisdictions...or whatever you call them that have kept the true faith. ROAC does not claim to be the ONLY Orthodox Church, they just claim to profess the true apostolic faith.

Ben,

Next time you talk to this priest, I suggest that you ask him if ROAC believes that any of the churches you mentioned have Grace? If they believe that their sacraments are valid? And that if, as a member of ROAC, you would be allowed to receive the Eucharist in ANY other mainstream Orthodox church?

The answers to those types of questions will show you the true beliefs of ROAC.

Modified because I inadvertently typed ROCOR instead of ROAC --- Thanks for pointing this out in your post below Innocent  Embarrassed
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2003, 10:21:40 PM »

Now I know I said I was off this topic but I need to make a correction here. ROCOR is NOT the same as ROAC. Its ROAC with the crazy ideas not ROCOR.

The Churches they are in communion with are schismatic Churches.  Anyway I'm done with this topic. I've said my piece and been called a liar.

Innocent that is a lie...I tlaked with an ROAC priest last night and mentioned a few other Orthodox churches or jurisdictions...or whatever you call them that have kept the true faith. ROAC does not claim to be the ONLY Orthodox Church, they just claim to profess the true apostolic faith.

Ben, did you ask the priest if the churches you mentioned had Grace? Did you ask if he believes that their sacraments are valid? Did you ask if as a member of ROCOR you would be allowed to receive the Eucharist in ANY other mainstream Orthodox church?

The answers to those types of questions will show you the true beliefs of ROCOR.

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« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2003, 10:21:57 PM »

I still think Roac is the old raven in The Hobbit: you know, the one who summons Dain of the Iron Hills to help Thorin and the other dwarves in the "Battle of the Five Armies."

He would never cause a schism.  Wink
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« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2003, 11:33:08 PM »

I am not in anyway saying the ROAC is right or anything like that I am just pointing out a few things:

1) There is way too much hate and anger here towards the ROAC.

2) No mater what jurisdiction it is your job to bring others to the Orthodox faith. Never not tell someone the truth in fear of offending them.

3) Research your facts about any jurisdiction before condmening them...and really there is no need to condmen...we need just pray.

In Christ,
       Ben
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« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2003, 12:17:21 AM »

But niether one of you will explain to me why there is so much hate towards the ROAC. As I said I understand that you all may not like or approve of the ROAC....but their seems to be a deep rooted hate towards them amoung many Orthodox faithful, not just here but everwhere, which I do not understand.

Well, I don't know about "hatred". I think it is rather that it epitomizes a lot of problems with various splinter groups.

First, a bit of history. The bolshevik revolution made a lot of problems for the Russian church, provoking a lot of different survival reactions. One of these was to release a bunch of bishops to form a separate body which is variously referred to as ROCOR and ROCA. Much later, the American Russian church was givien autonomy by its parent and became the OCA.

ROAC originated when one bishop(?) Valentine took some other bishops out of ROCOR. He had been disciplined in ROCOR (and supposedly charged with some sexual offenses while he was a member of the Moscow Patriarchate-- I can't pretend to know how justified these were).

If you go to their website you will see a long long rant against virtually every other Orthodox body. You will also find a listed out apostolic succession. This last is a bad sign, because it acknowledges that their legitimacy is in question. It also tends to imply a branch theory of succession which is inimicable to Orthodoxy.

They have exactly one American bishop, this Bishop Gregory. He started out Antiochian (if I have this all straight) and went to ROCOR, and now ROAC. In addition to the skete in Colorado, they list four parishes in the USA, three of which are headed by converts.

The thing that set everything off was that, all of a sudden, we had two people posting here who, it seems, are being given correspondence courses in Orthodoxy by various ROAC priests-- or Gregory himself. Neither lives within 300 miles of a ROAC parish. Now I have found a third in the same situation. All of them are young men; all of them have little long-term exposure to Orthodoxy. And all of a sudden they seem to know everything. Indeed, one of them is being allowed to moderate on the e-Cafe, which I personally cannot abide, but it isn't my forum. And I begin to suspect that they have been promised, perhaps only by implication, higher offices if they convert.

No legitimate Orthodoxy body would tolerate such an arrangement. To be Orthodox (at least at this early stage) you much be in a parish.
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« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2003, 12:22:49 AM »

I am not in anyway saying the ROAC is right or anything like that I am just pointing out a few things:

1) There is way too much hate and anger here towards the ROAC.

It is all too easy to condemn as hate a simle recognition and elucidation of the malign state of an organization.

Quote
2) No mater what jurisdiction it is your job to bring others to the Orthodox faith. Never not tell someone the truth in fear of offending them.

And what is this truth? What is your connection to ROAC? Are you also being instructed from afar?

Quote
3) Research your facts about any jurisdiction before condmening them...and really there is no need to condmen...we need just pray.

Most of the facts I know of here are gleaned from ROAC's own websites and from the words of these dubious converts. As everyone else knows, I am not Orthodox. What is being done in ROAC's name, however, is something that no ancient-- or even semi-ancient-- church would approve of.
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« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2003, 12:26:10 AM »

Informative post (#38), Keble.

I recently encountered a 19-year-old college student on another forum who is a self-professed expert in theology. He espouses a kind of half-arsed Calvinism.

Youth is wasted on the extremists!
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« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2003, 12:40:20 AM »

Keble.....

I think there is a strong hateful anti-ROAC current here, and that is very sad. But as I said I do not know all of the facts, and I most certainly wont believe everything you say, so for all I know this anti-ROACism, if you will, may be justified.

I believe the truth is Jesus Christ and his Church: the Orthodox Church. My connection with ROAC is very simple. I live about 90 miles away from Dormition Skete, and have contacted the priest there, Fr. George, once.

There has been a lot of things here said about the ROAC that are false. For example in this thread someone what talking about the Old Calendar, and that the ROAC teaches the New Calendar churches are heretical. This is false. When I talked with the ROAC priest last night, he made clear the new calendar is not itself heretical and just because a church or jurisdiction uses it, doesn't me they are heretical.

Then others claimed that the ROAC teaches the ROAC is the ONLY true Orthodox Church, this is false. The ROAC just claims to hold the true faith. Actually Fr. George mentioned another Orthodox jurisdiction, I think in Greece, that the ROAC believes to hold the true faith.

For more info on the ROAC you might wanna look at the stuff on their sites:

http://www.russianorthodox-roac.com/1.html

http://www.russianorthodoxautonomouschurchinamerica.com/articles.htm

http://www.russianorthodoxautonomouschurchinamerica.com/pictures.htm

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« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2003, 12:43:29 AM »

Timeline History of Orthodoxy in the 20th Century is very interesting from the ROAC point of view:

http://www.russianorthodoxautonomouschurchinamerica.com/articles.htm
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« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2003, 12:49:30 AM »

Even if ROAC started espousing Orthodox beliefs they would still be un-Orthodox due to the fact that its leaders were defrocked. If the Baptists suddenly started performing the Divine Liturgy, came in line with every Orthodox dogma there is and had "Orthodoxy" down to a "T", they still would not be Orthodox. Why? Because the Church of Christ is apostolic and people must be part of the body of Christ before they can be considered Orthodox Christians. Likewise, in defrocked clergymen who may look and act Orthodox(though many of ROAC's opinions are not even outwardly Orthodox), the grace of that apostolic succession does not continue.
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« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2003, 12:57:05 AM »

Which bishop or priest in the ROAC has been defrocked? When? and what were the circumstances? Care to give any sources?
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« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2003, 01:18:24 AM »

The leader of the ROAC, Met. Valentine of Suzdal was lawfully defrocked by ROCOR.

From an interview with Bishop Mark of Berlin(ROCOR), 2002.

Question:: In Russia, besides the Moscow Patriarchate, there is also another "alternative" Church - the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church headed by Metropolitan Valentine (Rusantsev), with its center in Suzdal. What is the attitude of the Russian Church Abroad to this hierarch?


Vladika Mark: The answer to that is quite unambiguous: he was defrocked for serious misdeeds, and therefore cannot be either a bishop, or a priest. For us, he is nothing more than a monk.


So, there you have it...ROCOR defrocked him. As for what "serious misdeeds" means...perhaps the same things the Russian Church(in Russia) accused him of before he left them over their "heresy".(In the early 90's of course, when it was safe to do so).

Full text of the interview:

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/news/invvlmark.html
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« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2003, 01:22:15 AM »

Thank you..I didn't know..thats why I asked you..thanks...I will surely bring this up with the ROAC priest I am in contact with and see what he says...once again thanks.

Please I am just trying to find Orthodoxy...do not misunderstand me...I am not all of a sudden pro-ROAC...I am just searching for truth. Keep me in your prayers!
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« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2003, 01:30:19 AM »

Ben,

I'll have to warn you. ROAC will have an "answer" for this. Something along the lines of "the Soviet Pseudo Moscow Patriarchate brought these moral charges up to discredit our right believing bishop. He is a living martyr, etc." They will, in probability, have almost near "logical arguments" for all of their positions. They are a group based on positions...that's what they do!
Please Ben, there are a handful of other churches in your area...why go to this one? It's hard to convey some of the emotions in the recent posts dealing with this thread. Really though, we all have your best interest in mind when we emphatically say "Flee! Flee!" again and again.

Praying for you,

Peter J.
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« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2003, 01:34:10 AM »

I understand...I am just looking into all of my options...I mean in Colorado I can go OCA, GOA, ROCOR, ROAC, Antiochan Archdiocese, and Ukrainian Orthodox...I am exploring them ALL.

In Christ,
         Ben
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« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2003, 02:26:09 AM »

I understand...I am just looking into all of my options...I mean in Colorado I can go OCA, GOA, ROCOR, ROAC, Antiochan Archdiocese, and Ukrainian Orthodox...I am exploring them ALL.

In Christ,
         Ben

Five good options out of six! You're fortunate.

Demetri
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« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2003, 02:27:44 AM »

lol I assume ROAC is the bad one....ehehehe
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« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2003, 02:33:46 AM »

lol I assume ROAC is the bad one....ehehehe
Ben
I've got to amend my post above.
I know of no canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Colorado unless it's newer than their website listing.

http://www.uocofusa.org/

Just concerned; it's easy to get confused. I know that personally.
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« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2003, 08:58:02 AM »

Ben, I've read large chunks of ROAC's site. I've also read some of the material from the parish in Staunton. If I remember correctly, the latter site first came to my attention because they are purveyors of the "Orthodox Saxon England" nonsense. Now, who do you think such documents are directed at? Not to Russians! They are directed at poential Anglican converts who are mad at the sins of their own church. But they are attempting to collect these people through what anyone who knows the least bit about Saxon history knows to be the most blatant falsehood.

ROAC claims to be in commuion with some other groups. All of them are tiny splinters in other places with no real contact with ROAC. It's not clear that they recognize ROAC in return.

This whole thread started because I've noticed a pattern. ROAC clergy (and it seems to center specifically on their bishop Gregory) collect young men who live at fair distance from any parish (you are by far the closest to a ROAC parish) and who have a history of moving between conservative groups. Now, I am simply guessing that you are young, and you didn't say whether you were raised in an SSPX household or joined such a parish later. But you are fitting into the same pattern otherwise. You are being trained to speak a theological language that you really do not understand, and you're worrying about things that converts need to not worry about at first.
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« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2003, 09:18:57 AM »

People,

We are wasting our time here with Ben. Even on the e-Cafe most are telling him to stay away from ROAC and he is also arguing with them.

http://www.euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1336&start=0

He is not searching for the "truth", he has an agenda.

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« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2003, 11:38:41 AM »

Ben, I advise you not to contact that ROAC priest.  It's bishop is a defrocked priest.  That's enough to know.   If a priest is defrocked, it will be for something serious.  Do yourself a favor.  Stay away.
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« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2003, 11:51:55 AM »

Ben,

I think the "hatred" towards ROAC has little to do with any alleged "canonical" abnormalities (which I can assure you are non-existant - the key is whether or not the "churches" people here are members of, are in communion with heresy or not - if they are not, then ROAC has no right to exist...if they are, it cannot but exist).

If I may speculate...

- for many, it has to do with being accused either of heresy, or at least being in communion with heresy.  Generally, people are defensive... it takes a concerted effort not to be, as the "default" for mankind is to be ruled by his passions.  I am no better in this regard than anyone here.  It's a real struggle.  Given this, no one likes to be told they're somehow "in the wrong", let alone in a question like this.

- for others, it is something like this...but their is a more doctrinal stand.  For many laymen involved in groups like the GOA, or the Antiochian Archdiocese, etc., there is a simplicity, and probable uneasiness with ecumenism.  They'd be perfectly happy to see it come to an end, but feel powerless to do anything about it, or at least their place in it all.  However, there are also those (and there are several people like this on this forum) who are die hard ecumenists, and hold to ideas which are, frankly, heretical.  At least so says the ROAC (and imho, any number of Church Fathers, Canons, Ecumenical and Pan-Orthodox Synods, etc.), and those holding similar views (at one time, ROCOR, or GOC of Greece, for example).  Ecumenism, for whatever reason (sometimes it's due to sentiment, the harsh reality of having family and other loved ones wrapped up in false religion, etc.) is near and dear to their heart.  It's the golden calf, and they do not want to part with it.  To have someone come out very forcefully, and call such a thing a blasphemy, strikes right at the heart.

This is also all co-mingeled with a great deal of frustration, because it doesn't take very much investigation to realize that the "fanatics" are in fact correct, and becomingly only more manifestly so as the ecumenistic agenda keeps unfolding with each passing day.  Frustrating, because there is so little that an ecumenist can authoratatively point to, that defends their innovative positions (grace of heretical mysteries being a big one) - they know the best they can do is point to 20th century "scholarship", and some abbherations of a heavily westernized Russian Orthodox Church of the 19th century (which is odd, since their neo-patristic scholars tend to, otherwise, be the biggest critics of this very obvious westernization...obviously it is a selective criticism), which I might add were various, and troubling, beyond what even most ecumensitic types here would condone (strange neo-gnostic cults were popping up in Russia at this time in an Orthodox guise, and in fact much of this spiritism and strangeness left in parts of the diaspora, and centered in what became the "Paris school"...keep in mind, it was the Russia of this period which gave birth to the "Sophian heresy", touted by proto-ecumenists like Soloviev).

OTOH, the Canons of the Holy Apostles, Canons of St.Basil, various Church Fathers (most famously/notoriously St.Cyprian of Carthage, but also many others - when you read the data on this subject, it becomes very clear how bizarre Pope Stephen's position actually was at the time), the teaching of latter great teachers like St.Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, etc., all weigh in against these newer opinions.  Basically, it's a very uneven "polemic" between these two sides, and the ecumenists generally know this....which is why the more professional ones, play the obscurantist game of not finding "more authoratative" sources than these, but simply burying them in various ways, or more typically, becoming extremely dismissive towards them.  

Perhaps the best way to put it for someone coming from your background, is that they act like the "Novus Ordo" folks do - they have a cafeteria approach to the Fathers, and to Christian antiquity in general... hence on one hand, they justify all sorts of liturgical experimentation (talking about the "Orthodox ecumenists" now) on one hand, on the other, they'll basically ignore anything the Fathers say which is not to their liking, or somehow try to undermine it with their allegedly "superior" insights.  To give you a good example of what I mean in an area other than ecclessiology (in this case, liturgics), many of the modernistic scholars will encourage the virtual demolition (in some cases, even outright removal) of the iconostasis as it's come down in Orthodox practice, often citing ancient examples when the iconostasis was much simpler, or in some areas, non-existant.  Of course, such "liturgists" are extremely selective, since you don't find them suggestion catechumens be removed from the Church before the Holy Oblation, or the complete barring of non-Orthodox from Divine Services...

A similar game is played by these folks with theological matters, though it is generally even more shameless and selective.

One other thing I'd like you to notice Ben, is the difference in the "polemic" of the two sides in this issue.  Generally, you'll notice that the "fanatics" (in this case, ROAC, though you'll see the same thing with the Greek Old Calendarists) will deal with personalities (denouncing certain key figures, like Metropolitan Sergius, or one time Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras), but there is almost always a doctrinal angle to these denuncations - IOW, the attacks, even involving persons, are rarely limited to their alleged personal failings.  Also, you'll notice at the forefront of their argumentation, even before such persons are mentioned, is the doctrinal positions, and their contraries.  Their stand is primarily a doctrinal one.

But just look at this thread alone, Ben, let alone others like it on this forum, or on other forums/lists/publications, when it comes to the quality of the argument ecumenists (or their co-religionists who tolerate their activities and teachings) indulge in.  How many doctrinal treatments have you seen here, or elsewhere, by these people as to why the doctrine of the ROAC, GOC, etc., are incorrect?  The answer is quite obvious, and I would also say, very telling.

Instead, what you will see, are incredible generalizations about people associated with the ROAC ("they're pharisees", "they lack love", etc., etc.), and at best, a lot of hearsay and outright fabrication/distortion regarding the backgrounds of ROAC heirarchs and clergy (and a lot of convienient confusing of facts, for example regarding the person of Metropolitan Valentin of Suzdal, and perhaps the even more disliked Bishop Gregory in the United States.)   And, God forbid there actually be (gasp) sinners in the ROAC, or anyone who has ever been guilty of a personal failing at any time - the ad hominem value of things like this is endless (which is odd, since it's supposed to be the ROAC that is loaded with "unforgiving pharisees" and utopian perfectionists...I would figure based on the boasts of ROAC's enemies, they would be of a higher moral and spiritual quality than this, to think a sinner "undoes" an entire Church...which makes me wonder who the real "Donatists" in fact are; a "Donatism of convienience" perhaps?)

As an aside/additional observation... note something very interesting (and it's true, oddly enough, of liberals/people who act in an unprincipeled way, in general).... how you can teach any amount of manifest heresy, be a member of some of the most absurd schisms... yet so long as you are against "intolerance" (translation: a consistant, earnest stance for something as truth, to the exclusion of it's contraries), you are "ok".  This is why on this forum, you'll see a cyber-orgy of disparant religious views, and church-affiliations, all patting each other on the back, in their attempt to disparage the ROAC, and the supposed "fanaticism" it represents.  Curious, and again, very telling.

Seraphim
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« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2003, 12:08:34 PM »

Seraphim,

Have you converted to Orthodoxy yet?
If not, quit the armchair quarterbacking, huh?
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« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2003, 12:16:21 PM »

Ben,

Quote
Have you converted to Orthodoxy yet?
If not, quit the armchair quarterbacking, huh?

See what I mean?

Seraphim
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« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2003, 12:18:19 PM »

Ironically, all three "spokesmen" for this ROAC splinter group have yet to join the church.  This includes Seraphim, JoeZollars, and some other guy whose name escapes me.

I think we have reached new depths of absurdity fellahs.

bobby
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« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2003, 12:19:08 PM »

Answer the question, Seraphim.

Are you or are you not received into ROAC?
Nothing to hide, we don't bite, we just want to see if you practice what you are preaching.

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« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2003, 12:30:26 PM »

Ben,

Quote
Ironically, all three "spokesmen" for this ROAC splinter group have yet to join the church.  This includes Seraphim, JoeZollars, and some other guy whose name escapes me.

I think we have reached new depths of absurdity fellahs.

More of the same.   See what I mean?

Seraphim
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« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2003, 12:42:21 PM »

Bobby,

Quote
Answer the question, Seraphim.

Are you ordering me, dear sir? Smiley

Quote
Are you or are you not received into ROAC?

I'm a catechuman for now, and probably will remain such (unless Vladyka announces something to the contrary in the near future) for the next little while.  I'm very fortunate.

Quote
Nothing to hide, we don't bite, we just want to see if you practice what you are preaching.

While I find the tone of gentility in the above sentence to be incredible, I will tell you right now, that I do not practice "what I preach" (though I'm not sure I've done much in the way of preaching) - I am a passionate sinner, whose three steps forward, at best, are followed by two steps back.  At times, I can hardly imagine how someone could be as fortunate as I have been (in all areas of my life), yet so incredibly vile in his secret thoughts and doings.

However, I do observe the fasts, and try to observe as best as I can the ins and outs of an Orthodox life, as much as circumstance and my personal failings will allow.

Btw., I find this line of questioning coming from you very odd.  Last I heard, you were an OCA catechuman, and the other two forum mods are a Monophysite and a student at St.Vladimir's seminary who last I heard has not been received into the OCA.... yet you're all in charge of a site which calls itself "Orthodox Christianity.net".   Ironic, huh?

Quote
Ironically, all three "spokesmen" for this ROAC splinter group have yet to join the church.  This includes Seraphim, JoeZollars, and some other guy whose name escapes me.

I think we have reached new depths of absurdity fellahs.

St.Matthew 7:3-5

Seraphim
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« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2003, 12:46:56 PM »

Mr. Reeves wrote:
I think the "hatred" towards ROAC has little to do with any alleged "canonical" abnormalities

Me: It has almost everything to do with canonical abnormalities. The Metropolitan of ROAC was defrocked by the two jurisdictions he belonged to for serious moral charges The Russian Church and the Russian Church Abroad. This, coupled with the other canonical abnormality that they are basically a church unto themselves.

Mr. Reeves: OTOH, the Canons of the Holy Apostles, Canons of St.Basil, various Church Fathers (most famously/notoriously St.Cyprian of Carthage, but also many others - when you read the data on this subject, it becomes very clear how bizarre Pope Stephen's position actually was at the time), the teaching of latter great teachers like St.Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, etc., all weigh in against these newer opinions.  


Me: Why not address first, or as well, the question of canonicity in ROAC. Can their leaving after being defrocked be considered "fleeing heresy"? It seems they're fleeing some "heresy" every other week. If Arianism didn't cause schism after schism after schism, then why should the issues facing Orthodoxy today?

Mr. Reeves: A similar game is played by these folks with theological matters, though it is generally even more shameless and selective.

Me: I happen to be in agreement with you here. Though I believe you should provide examples. Specific authors, etc. A question though...as one outside of the Church, who has not been received into, and grafted onto the body of Christ(by your own definition, since I believe you're still Roman Catholic and therefore a graceless heretic), are you qualified to speak on such matters of the faith and judge Orthodox theologians? Would you, Seraphim, heed the advice of a Roman Catholic on theological matters? Probably not, so why should we?

Mr. Reeves: But just look at this thread alone, Ben, let alone others like it on this forum, or on other forums/lists/publications, when it comes to the quality of the argument ecumenists (or their co-religionists who tolerate their activities and teachings) indulge in.  How many doctrinal treatments have you seen here, or elsewhere, by these people as to why the doctrine of the ROAC, GOC, etc., are incorrect?  The answer is quite obvious, and I would also say, very telling.

Me: It's really quite simple. The character of Met. Valentine is bound to our rejection of him and his group. He is a defrocked clergyman plain and simple. It's precisely his character that we're calling into question. Of course, there are the other issues that can be dealt with after the initial cry of "FLEE!" to anyone approaching ROAC. Questions of "Grace" Ecclesiology, resistance, historical precedent, etc. All of these can come after moral character. If you were adopting a child, but were a known child abuser would the adoption agency ask you what kind of theories and methods of child-rearing you have? NO. They would say you are unfit to raise and guide someone, your character is too questionable. The investigation would stop there. The other stuff is peripheral.


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« Reply #53 on: November 17, 2003, 12:49:16 PM »

ROAC, E-cafe and Seraphim Reeves' postings make me sick.
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« Reply #54 on: November 17, 2003, 12:50:22 PM »

Ben,
      If you'll go back to one of the earliest post I sent to you, yu will understand what I was trying to say.  Your preisr shoul be your source for understanding.  there are many ideas and attitudes that one can find on the internet.  these controversies can confuse  It is not that I am assuming that you haven't the ability to understand but I know from my own experience that too much too quick can be detrimental  Please understand this, I an purposfully not giving my opinon because what I am saying is to refer to your priest.  I remember what you said of the distance between you two.  It would be better to e-mail him back and forth.

with love
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« Reply #55 on: November 17, 2003, 12:54:23 PM »

Quote
Btw., I find this line of questioning coming from you very odd.  Last I heard, you were an OCA catechuman, and the other two forum mods are a Monophysite and a student at St.Vladimir's seminary who last I heard has not been received into the OCA.... yet you're all in charge of a site which calls itself "Orthodox Christianity.net".   Ironic, huh?

:kma:
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« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2003, 12:58:45 PM »

Guys,

I know as an RC I have no business posting on this particular topic.

However I have to say I think it's time that it was locked [ or better still deleted in it's entirety ].

It has degenerated badly and now we are at the stage of petty squabbling like badly brought up kiddies.

I know it's officially an unmoderated Forum - but come on - enough is enough.
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« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2003, 01:01:06 PM »

redoc retsam: quite. As they say in Gaelic (right, the slave and Brigid, wherever you are?), pogue na mahone.

The short answer to the subject heading is 'yes'.

This little church seems to be trolling the Internet looking for marks much like p+ªdophiles do.

My say
« Last Edit: November 17, 2003, 01:03:29 PM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2003, 01:08:43 PM »

Guys,

I know as an RC I have no business posting on this particular topic.

However I have to say I think it's time that it was locked [ or better still deleted in it's entirety ].

It has degenerated badly and now we are at the stage of petty squabbling like badly brought up kiddies.

I know it's officially an unmoderated Forum - but come on - enough is enough.

I agree. It's ugly.

And the whole ROAC thing makes me feel icky (pardon that word; it justs seems right somehow).

Note: I meant I agree with your opinion, slave, not that as an RC you have no business posting here, etc. Of course you have the right, especially when you agree with me!  Grin

« Last Edit: November 17, 2003, 01:24:26 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2003, 01:15:57 PM »

You know, Mr. Reeves, I've been called a heretic on-line since you were a small child. So it doesn't faze me anymore-- not that it ever really did.

And you like to think that mocking the Episcopal Church is going to accomplish something. Well, it hardly serves as a refutation; it's simply a form of self-congratulation. You will not, not even for a moment, stop to consider what is involved in my remaining, for the nonce, and Episcopalian. I can tell you one thing it does mean: that I cannot delude myself that denominational or jurisdictional affiliation is going to save me.

Then there is the issue of you moderating over on the other forum. From my perspective this is completely beyond the pale. In the first place, you aren't Orthodox-- at least you weren't at last check. In the second place, you quite plainly do not have the proper temprament to moderate. I shall be blunt: your manner is self-important, and you try to assume the mantle of a 70 year old patriarch when in fact you are young enough to be my son. I don't know why Nick allows you that power, but I surely would not, because you abuse it.

And as far as "cafeteria" is concerned, you are as guilty as any, and "your" church is guiltier than most. They harp away on one one or two points, totally forgetting about anything important. I cannot think of a single church father or any important spiritual writer of any time or place who would endorse the arrangement you are in. I cannot think of any who would endorse you dressing yourself up in a mantle of authority which you do not rightly possess-- and when you are baptised, you will still not possess. And furthermore, I see a priest in "your" jurisdiction is watching you do this over on the other forum, and isn't doing a thing to stop you or remonstrate with you.
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« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2003, 01:17:35 PM »

the slave,

Quote
I know as an RC I have no business posting on this particular topic.

As an intelligent person with something to say you've got every right.

Keble,

As they say in Italy, a punto. Exactly.
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« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2003, 02:35:39 PM »

A disturbing message has been posted in the e-Cafe, referring back to my original message. I'm at something of a loss because I do not feel that, in good conscience, I can post over there.

I also feel a bit bad about linking directly to his biography page, though in all fairness putting a page on your website is the same as reading it through the world's largest bullhorn. I chose that page because it has the most relevant information to this line of discussion. I do regret making him the means of my latest ROAC concerns.
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« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2003, 03:48:47 PM »

What fun you miss without a computer for the weekend...

Having read this entire thread, I agree with the majority of posters here regarding ROAX, although not on every single thing they say to advance their position (I do think that they don't do the "opposition" justice in certain respects, and that bothers me, even though I'm sure they don't care for my graceless, heretical sense of fairness Tongue ).  If I wanted to, I could join in the discussion and add more fuel to what is already a burning topic, but what's the point?  Besides the fact that I doubt I have anything valuable to contribute to it, this one thread, more than my entire experience online (and it is not as extensive as some here, but it's been a few years), has made me seriously reconsider if the online Orthodox scene is a good place to be.  Certainly, I think there is a lot of good that can be done with the internet.  But in the end, do we do more harm than good with it?  I wonder.  This thread has, for me, encapsulated in a few pages the many problems "online Orthodoxy" faces, and it doesn't look good; perhaps we would be better off doing Orthodoxy the old fashioned way.  Because I believe it is better to fight than to flee, I'm not ready to give up on it yet: just because it's got problems doesn't mean it is incapable of being done right and put to good use.  But it is a struggle, and things like this make me wonder if anything good can come out of it at all.  

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« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2003, 09:00:40 PM »

People,

We are wasting our time here with Ben. Even on the e-Cafe most are telling him to stay away from ROAC and he is also arguing with them.

http://www.euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1336&start=0

He is not searching for the "truth", he has an agenda.



TomS...you judge me and yet do not know me! How Christian of you! I was no arguing with anybody on the cafe! And I most certainly don't have an agenda! How could I? I am completely new to ROAC, and Orthodox for that matter!
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« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2003, 10:33:31 PM »

Ben, we have been through three months of being lectured by catechumens about our various jurisdictions. We're getting a bit touchy.

I see that Mr. Reeves's old choice of icon has caught up with him, and now he's dressed up as the quadri- septi-juridictional bishop.

See this message from the Indiana list-- but don't read the Indiana list!
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« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2003, 10:33:40 PM »

A papist rosary, tonight, for the conversion of the ROAC, and especially Mr. Zollars. (Lest this sound triumphalistic, I urge you to recall what it means to be converted in heart.)

Converte nos!
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« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2003, 12:01:26 AM »

Serge, I totally agree with you about E-Cafe.  I was on there about 3 weeks about 3 months ago and haven't been back.  I don't like what I saw over there.  I have quit a couple of lists and boards in the last few weeks because of what I saw happening.
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« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2003, 12:04:06 AM »

Culture Warrior, you'd better be careful about what you pray for.  The RC has enough problems of its own right now.  I don't think your Pope would appreciate having ROAC added to his problems.  The sex scandals have damaged his health enough, haven't they?
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« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2003, 12:00:12 PM »

I pray for my Church daily, and honestly, I don't see how my praying for the ROAC adds to the Holy Father's troubles. Lest this degenerate into more convert pugnaciousness, let me tell you what I prayed for...

I prayed for their conversion. I also prayed for my conversion. I didn't pray for OUR conversion to any particular denom. I prayed for our conversion to God's will.

Are you telling my this is wrong? Should I stop praying for good things for Christians outside my Church?


Quote
Culture Warrior, you'd better be careful about what you pray for.  The RC has enough problems of its own right now.  I don't think your Pope would appreciate having ROAC added to his problems.  The sex scandals have damaged his health enough, haven't they?
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« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2003, 02:21:54 PM »

Ok everyone has said his piece about ROAC.  I now declare a temporary moratorium on ROAC and ECafe unless something NEW comes up.

As a note, we are considering opening up a new category for specifically traditionalist Orthodox discussion much like Catholic-Orthodox dicussion where bashing by one side of the other is (theoretically) not allowed.  Stay tuned.

anastasios
« Last Edit: November 18, 2003, 02:23:57 PM by anastasios » Logged

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