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Author Topic: Is Something Cultish Going on with ROAC?  (Read 10509 times) Average Rating: 0
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Seraphim Reeves
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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.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2003, 01:06:51 PM by Bogoliubtsy » Logged

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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
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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.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2003, 01:19:44 PM by Serge » Logged

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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!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2003, 08:23:26 AM by Keble » Logged
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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
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