As a good Canadian, I will apologize in advance if this is not the proper section or if this issue has been banned.
As a Canadian, I'm pretty new to this whole issue of "unity" among the Orthodox churches. It's not really that big of an issue up here as we have very few 3rd/4rth generation "ethnic" Orthodox who don't feel "ethnic" (um... you guys know what I mean right), and we have very few converts. From afar, those two issues seems to be the main drivers behind this issue in the US.
I really don't understand why some believe there must
be one Orthodox church administration. How does it really help in anything? In real terms, how does it help? Frankly, I see more negatives.
It seems like the anti-GOA crowd doesn't understand that for a lot of Greeks who support the GOA, the Greek aspect is just as important, if not more important. If they stopped supporting the GOA, many (most?) GOA churches and programs would disappear. While I'm sure some would be happy, how would that really help Orthodoxy in the US? It's the same in the other "ethnic" churches. (I guess this goes to a much bigger issue beyond Orthodoxy that too many people fail to see that religion and culture go hand-in-hand and are not two completely separate things).
It seems like one of the main complaints with GOA churches is the Greek fests, Greek language classes, Greek dancing groups, etc. Yet I found it amusing somebody had posted somewhere (sorry I can't find it now), that his OCA (yes OCA) church's main income came from their annual Greek fest. I realize one example is meaningless, but I found it amusing.
It seems people blame the "ethnic" stuff for dwindling church attendance. So let me see if I understand properly. People are not going to church on a Sunday morning in January because that church has a 2 day "Greek" fest in July? Or because 10 people go to Greek dancing class on a Tuesday night? Or is it something else? Having never been to a US church, do they hand out gyros or something during Sunday service? (That might increase attendance.
I also find it amusing as a Canadian, that people whine about being "subject" to a foreign ruler in Istanbul or elsewhere, yet expect us Canadians to be subject to a foreign ruler in Washington, or wherever the American Orthodox church leader is supposed to be based. Not just Canada, but all the Americas are supposed to be ruled by this new American pope? lol
Frankly, the real reason in this whole issue seems to be stereotypical American anti-foreign sentiments. The Greeks/GOA get the worse of it simply because they are the biggest/richest Orthodox group/church.
I know I'm jumping all over the place, but like I said, this is a new issue to me. Unfortunately, whatever happens in the US affects us in Canada. I hope Orthodoxy grows and thrives everywhere, but I think not only is this supposed "unity" issue a complete waste of time and effort, it potentially will cause a lot more problems than good.
Again, like a good Canadian, I will apologize if this is opening a can of worms that should not be open. But it is something that I am very interested in. Also, if there are other forums where this is more appropriate, please PM me their address.