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Dart
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« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2010, 05:41:59 AM »

Who steps in for the Monastery to help accomplish God's will?  Dart's argument is that the Monastery ought to oversee Bishops and have a role in assigning Priests to Parishes.  The only wrinkle in Dart's argument is to ask who oversaw the Apostles when they went forth on their Great Commission before the presence of Monasteries?
Is that really what Dart is saying, or is that merely how you read Dart?

My argument is that we are all part of the Church and should work together. Bishops cry Protestant revolution against the laity and the laity call out against the rising of an Orthodox Pope. I just found it interesting that Orthodox monastacism may have played an important role in keeping the true faith. I don't think monks oversee Bishops as you suggest. Rather they serve as an example.
     "Spiritual work on ourselves is actually a silent work on our fellow human beings; it is work that instructs by example and causes others to imitate the good behavior they see in us and correct their faults."

I have heard it said before that "the road of hell is paved with the skulls of priests and bishops are the lamposts." This is a sad image to me. I would rather see our Bishops glorified has Saints. If you share this goal with me, then can you suggest how we can help them when human weakness his prevailing.

Brother I love you but you are wrong... doesn't seem to be working as well as when Paul spoke to Peter. (2 Galations 11)
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« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2010, 05:45:53 AM »

In case you don't recall, Paul was not one of the 12 called apostles. He was laity. Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2010, 06:04:01 AM »

In case you don't recall, Paul was not one of the 12 called apostles. He was laity. Smiley

Paul wasn't an Apostle?
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« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2010, 07:02:15 AM »

My argument is that we are all part of the Church and should work together. Bishops cry Protestant revolution against the laity and the laity call out against the rising of an Orthodox Pope.

Has confidence been lost in the Church's "self-correcting" mechanism through the actions of the Holy Spirit?

I just found it interesting that Orthodox monastacism may have played an important role in keeping the true faith. I don't think monks oversee Bishops as you suggest.

There was never any suggestion that a monk oversee a Bishop.  What I question is your assertion that the monastery should have a role in the assignment of Priests because the laity complains about Priests when visiting the monastery.  If a monastic community yields to Hierarchical oversight and then openly questions the decisions that a Hierarch makes, that is like my child first rebuking me and then openly defying me.  How can I be a father if my child has decided that my authority means nothing?  I still love my child even though I'm saddened that my parental authority is no longer respected except that I wouldn't engage in public dispute against my own child....

Rather they serve as an example.
     "Spiritual work on ourselves is actually a silent work on our fellow human beings; it is work that instructs by example and causes others to imitate the good behavior they see in us and correct their faults."

I have heard it said before that "the road of hell is paved with the skulls of priests and bishops are the lamposts." This is a sad image to me. I would rather see our Bishops glorified has Saints. If you share this goal with me, then can you suggest how we can help them when human weakness his prevailing.

Show love.  The Lord instructed us to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us.  Paul also said to obey civil law unless civil law greatly opposes God's authority.

Brother I love you but you are wrong... doesn't seem to be working as well as when Paul spoke to Peter. (2 Galations 11)

Thank you for respectfully disagreeing with the views others have made and clarifying your own views for meaningful discussion.   Smiley
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2010, 09:16:16 AM »

I think the issue at hand for this topic is a lack of communication. Bishops not consulting with parishes in assigning priests.

Naturally, I can't speak for all, or even a majority of priests or bishops, but I have personal knowledge that is not true. Bishops consult priests about assignments and priests decline or accept.
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« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2010, 11:09:20 AM »

I think the issue at hand for this topic is a lack of communication. Bishops not consulting with parishes in assigning priests.

Naturally, I can't speak for all, or even a majority of priests or bishops, but I have personal knowledge that is not true. Bishops consult priests about assignments and priests decline or accept.

Katherine, you are making a god point as usual. The problem, however, is not how individual bishops act but what is the governance structure in which they operate. It is perfectly possible (and this happens often) for a bishop not to exercise the powers available to him. Right now, our governance is so tilted toward monarchical episcopacy that you can have a bishop take full advantage of his powers and make life miserable for his people--clergy and laity alike. I'll just give you two examples and I'll restrict them to the OCA: Metropolitan Herman and Bishop Nikolai.
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« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2010, 11:33:28 AM »

I think the issue at hand for this topic is a lack of communication. Bishops not consulting with parishes in assigning priests.

I've been privy to the assignment process in about fifteen cases in the GOA -- mostly in one Metropolis, but still including two examples each in three other Metropolises -- and I can't think of a single one where a priest was assigned without the parish being consulted.

Consultation ranged from cases where the bishop sent three different priests to the parish over a six-month-long period (and the parish worshiped with each at least once, sometimes three times, and the parish council met each priest and his family, and then made a request) to a phone call, in which the bishop shared the news that he had finally found a celibate priest who would accept the low salary the parish was able to supply. No "screening" process necessary (or possible) in that case for obvious reasons.

I imagine some bishops are better at facilitating this process than others. However, in all cases, it's never as simple as "consulting" an individual parish and finding the best match for that parish alone. That's critical to understand. The bishop must also consider what is best for (a) the priest, (b) the priest's family, and (c) the diocese as whole. The needs of the parish are on equal footing with all three of those other factors.

In many cases, the members of the parish are ignorant of these other realities. They may want a certain young priest to be the new assistant since he's great with youth, but what they don't know is that their current senior priest is having marital problems and therefore not in a position right now to be a good mentor. The bishop, however, recognizes this and needs to make an assignment that will benefit the formation of the young clergyman, as well as the youth ministry at the parish.

Or a fairly large parish isn't thrilled with its current priest any more and has its eye on a 40-year-old priest who is currently serving a smaller parish in a nearby town. "There's a young priest coming out of seminary who can take that small parish, so why not give the 40-year-old priest a promotion and assign him here?" they say. But the bishop isn't sure the young priest is ready to be solo -- he probably needs to spend time as an assistant somewhere -- and where will the bishop re-assign the current priest, whose kid is starting her senior year in high school and whose wife just got a promotion at work? If the bishop is going to uproot this priestly family under such circumstances, it better be (a) for the right pastoral and spiritual reasons and (b) to a parish that will at least offer enough for the family to pay for the daughter's upcoming college bills (with mom now unemployed). Fortunately, there is another large parish whose current priest wants to retire as soon as possible, BUT it just so happens that this parish is also requesting the 40-year-old priest, AND this parish is in the hometown of the 40-year-old priest's presvytera. She's a convert who came to the Church after leaving for college, so this isn't her home parish, but her parents still live in town and that would help a lot with the family's four young kids. Finally, there's a third parish in the midst of a crisis and the priest there needs to be reassigned (or maybe even deposed). So, in this situation, the bishop has to orchestrate multiple assignments at once, balancing the needs and attending to the pastoral issues of several different parishes, several different priests, and several clergy families in unique situations. That's the bigger picture, in which the needs of any given parish are just one part.

And that's to say nothing of the parishes that are full of factions, or think they're the greatest thing since canned beer and therefore deserve to choose their own priest, but who, in reality, eat priests up and spit them out. Or, on the other end of spectrum, a parish that has had the same pastor for thirty years. Experience and research show that it takes a particular sort of pastor to lead a congregation in that situation, and, in the majority of cases, the new pastor will not last long. Parishes in this situation (a) rarely know what skills and background they should look for in a transitional pastor and (b) they're more likely than not to think they're a great place to assign someone for the long term (after all, we just had a 30 year pastorate, so that's the kind of place we are!), but the bishop knows otherwise and has to therefore restrict the field to priests who can accept (and have a chance at thriving in) that sort of ministry.

In short, there's a reason the bishop is the archpastor. Perhaps not every bishop is as good of a pastor as he should be and doesn't always take into account all four of the factors discussed above. But that's his personal failing (or maybe just the reality of the compromise needed in a complex situation), not an indictment of the archpastoral office itself, which, after all, is a charisma from the Lord.
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« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2010, 12:09:38 PM »

I should also add our seminaries to the list. It is almost comical to see the same priest mentioned above come to our parish and make some minor changes to the divine liturgy. When asked as to why the previous way had not been questioned for decades even by visiting Bishops (we get a visit about every 5 years) he stated that Holy Cross seminary was wrong in their teaching and only the Ecumenical Patriarch could be the source for the liturgy. True story in the GOA. 

Well, the Holy Cross Press Divine Liturgy book takes a few liberties in its translations, is missing litanies and prayers, etc.  He's not the only person who would like to see that book changed.
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« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2010, 12:26:46 PM »

I should also add our seminaries to the list. It is almost comical to see the same priest mentioned above come to our parish and make some minor changes to the divine liturgy. When asked as to why the previous way had not been questioned for decades even by visiting Bishops (we get a visit about every 5 years) he stated that Holy Cross seminary was wrong in their teaching and only the Ecumenical Patriarch could be the source for the liturgy. True story in the GOA. 

Well, the Holy Cross Press Divine Liturgy book takes a few liberties in its translations, is missing litanies and prayers, etc.  He's not the only person who would like to see that book changed.

I agree with Fr. George. In reality, such changes may actually better reflect the current teaching/practice of the seminary and the bishops. For many years, the liturgical sources themselves were hard to come by and many GOA priests were more likely to have something printed by Apostoliki Diakonia than by the Patriarchate. Books like the HC Divine Liturgy necessarily entailed editorial decisions. At the time, that was a welcome development, since it was largely correct and very convenient. Nowadays, however, it is very easy to access the Emerologion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate -- or even the Typikon itself. So, that's what many bishops, priests, professors, seminarians, and chanters do. That's a change that has happened more because of technology than anything else.
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« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2010, 01:26:47 PM »


I've been privy to the assignment process in about fifteen cases in the GOA -- mostly in one Metropolis, but still including two examples each in three other Metropolises -- and I can't think of a single one where a priest was assigned without the parish being consulted.

Consultation ranged from cases where the bishop sent three different priests to the parish over a six-month-long period (and the parish worshiped with each at least once, sometimes three times, and the parish council met each priest and his family, and then made a request) to a phone call, in which the bishop shared the news that he had finally found a celibate priest who would accept the low salary the parish was able to supply. No "screening" process necessary (or possible) in that case for obvious reasons.

I imagine some bishops are better at facilitating this process than others. However, in all cases, it's never as simple as "consulting" an individual parish and finding the best match for that parish alone. That's critical to understand. The bishop must also consider what is best for (a) the priest, (b) the priest's family, and (c) the diocese as whole. The needs of the parish are on equal footing with all three of those other factors.

In many cases, the members of the parish are ignorant of these other realities. They may want a certain young priest to be the new assistant since he's great with youth, but what they don't know is that their current senior priest is having marital problems and therefore not in a position right now to be a good mentor. The bishop, however, recognizes this and needs to make an assignment that will benefit the formation of the young clergyman, as well as the youth ministry at the parish.

Or a fairly large parish isn't thrilled with its current priest any more and has its eye on a 40-year-old priest who is currently serving a smaller parish in a nearby town. "There's a young priest coming out of seminary who can take that small parish, so why not give the 40-year-old priest a promotion and assign him here?" they say. But the bishop isn't sure the young priest is ready to be solo -- he probably needs to spend time as an assistant somewhere -- and where will the bishop re-assign the current priest, whose kid is starting her senior year in high school and whose wife just got a promotion at work? If the bishop is going to uproot this priestly family under such circumstances, it better be (a) for the right pastoral and spiritual reasons and (b) to a parish that will at least offer enough for the family to pay for the daughter's upcoming college bills (with mom now unemployed). Fortunately, there is another large parish whose current priest wants to retire as soon as possible, BUT it just so happens that this parish is also requesting the 40-year-old priest, AND this parish is in the hometown of the 40-year-old priest's presvytera. She's a convert who came to the Church after leaving for college, so this isn't her home parish, but her parents still live in town and that would help a lot with the family's four young kids. Finally, there's a third parish in the midst of a crisis and the priest there needs to be reassigned (or maybe even deposed). So, in this situation, the bishop has to orchestrate multiple assignments at once, balancing the needs and attending to the pastoral issues of several different parishes, several different priests, and several clergy families in unique situations. That's the bigger picture, in which the needs of any given parish are just one part.

And that's to say nothing of the parishes that are full of factions, or think they're the greatest thing since canned beer and therefore deserve to choose their own priest, but who, in reality, eat priests up and spit them out. Or, on the other end of spectrum, a parish that has had the same pastor for thirty years. Experience and research show that it takes a particular sort of pastor to lead a congregation in that situation, and, in the majority of cases, the new pastor will not last long. Parishes in this situation (a) rarely know what skills and background they should look for in a transitional pastor and (b) they're more likely than not to think they're a great place to assign someone for the long term (after all, we just had a 30 year pastorate, so that's the kind of place we are!), but the bishop knows otherwise and has to therefore restrict the field to priests who can accept (and have a chance at thriving in) that sort of ministry.

In short, there's a reason the bishop is the archpastor. Perhaps not every bishop is as good of a pastor as he should be and doesn't always take into account all four of the factors discussed above. But that's his personal failing (or maybe just the reality of the compromise needed in a complex situation), not an indictment of the archpastoral office itself, which, after all, is a charisma from the Lord.

Excellent. Well said, sir!
The bishop has information or knowledge to assist him in his decision-making which is not appropriate for him to share or discuss with parish members or anyone else. Not necessarily discreditable information - just simply confidential or private information which is none of anyone else's business.
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« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2010, 02:31:53 PM »


The bishop has information or knowledge to assist him in his decision-making which is not appropriate for him to share or discuss with parish members or anyone else. Not necessarily discreditable information - just simply confidential or private information which is none of anyone else's business.

This is when a trusted individual, Archon, parish president, pillar of the community, retired clergy, etc, is taken aside and told, "This is a sensitive matter. Everything possible has been done. Please reassure your community." And then this trusted individual speaks to the community and says, "We have been consulted and the situation is being dealt with appropriately." Everyone is happy.

I believe the reason the survey showed 47% of the parish and 18% of the clergy desiring a different system is that this is not always the course of action of the bishop.

Yes, the situation could be complex. All the more reason to get help from experts within the laity. We deal with much more complex issues involving many more people, resources, time pressures, and classified information. The fact that you claim complexity for a reoccuring management decision is evidence that bishops do not have the managerial training and experience to handle these secular decisions without input from the laity. Bishops routinely call in lawyers to review contracts. Why not call in experts from the laity to design best practices in other areas also. Does the Bishop program the web page too?

I am also sure you know of situations when the bishop beats his chest and says I'll show that parish who the BOSS is and does not make the best decision for the spiritual welfare of his people.

Show love.  The Lord instructed us to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us.  Paul also said to obey civil law unless civil law greatly opposes God's authority.


This seems to be the present situation. Anecdotal and survey information is available describing how parishes are NOT being consulted like they were in the past. The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence. Get off the throne and "come and see" what is happening in your Church. Don't simply rely on a semi-annual report from your clergy.

Edited for tags - mike.
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« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2010, 02:43:33 PM »

I should also add our seminaries to the list. It is almost comical to see the same priest mentioned above come to our parish and make some minor changes to the divine liturgy. When asked as to why the previous way had not been questioned for decades even by visiting Bishops (we get a visit about every 5 years) he stated that Holy Cross seminary was wrong in their teaching and only the Ecumenical Patriarch could be the source for the liturgy. True story in the GOA. 

Well, the Holy Cross Press Divine Liturgy book takes a few liberties in its translations, is missing litanies and prayers, etc.  He's not the only person who would like to see that book changed.

There is more to this story. Maybe the conversation on the Divine Liturgy, local customs, and authority for changing it can be moved to another thread.
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« Reply #57 on: August 18, 2010, 03:14:57 PM »

This is when a trusted individual, Archon, parish president, pillar of the community, retired clergy, etc, is taken aside and told, "This is a sensitive matter. Everything possible has been done. Please reassure your community." And then this trusted individual speaks to the community and says, "We have been consulted and the situation is being dealt with appropriately." Everyone is happy.
I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud when I read this. I have actually seen this happen on more than one occasion. But the result was not universal happiness on the part of the parish community. As a matter of fact, it cut no ice with them at all!

Quote
Yes, the situation could be complex. All the more reason to get help from experts within the laity. We deal with much more complex issues involving many more people, resources, time pressures, and classified information. The fact that you claim complexity for a reoccuring management decision is evidence that bishops do not have the managerial training and experience to handle these secular decisions without input from the laity. Bishops routinely call in lawyers to review contracts. Why not call in experts from the laity to design best practices in other areas also. Does the Bishop program the web page too?
Except this is not a secular decision.


Quote
The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence.
Sorry, I'm laughing again. The laity are in fact doing at least two of the three above, and are not at all suffering in relative silence but are very vocal in their complaints.

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« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2010, 03:15:29 PM »

in reference to SolEX01,

Yes there is always that awkward moment when the child has surpassed the father and come into their own manhood. With regard to monastics and Heiarchs, the "child" monks have done this many times. Maybe the most obvious occurs every Sunday in church when the Typikon developed by monastics is used. Let's not discuss how important the Bishops authority is anymore but rather appreciate the contributions of the whole Church including monastics and laity.
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« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2010, 03:17:03 PM »

This is when a trusted individual, Archon, parish president, pillar of the community, retired clergy, etc, is taken aside and told, "This is a sensitive matter. Everything possible has been done. Please reassure your community." And then this trusted individual speaks to the community and says, "We have been consulted and the situation is being dealt with appropriately." Everyone is happy.
I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud when I read this. I have actually seen this happen on more than one occasion. But the result was not universal happiness on the part of the parish community. As a matter of fact, it cut no ice with them at all!

Quote
Yes, the situation could be complex. All the more reason to get help from experts within the laity. We deal with much more complex issues involving many more people, resources, time pressures, and classified information. The fact that you claim complexity for a reoccuring management decision is evidence that bishops do not have the managerial training and experience to handle these secular decisions without input from the laity. Bishops routinely call in lawyers to review contracts. Why not call in experts from the laity to design best practices in other areas also. Does the Bishop program the web page too?
Except this is not a secular decision.


Quote
The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence.
Sorry, I'm laughing again. The laity are in fact doing at least two of the three above, and are not at all suffering in relative silence but are very vocal in their complaints.



Are you speaking in generalities again. Or do you have any specific examples to offer.
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« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2010, 03:26:18 PM »

What role should the laity play in selecting a priest for their parish?

 In the Orthodox model, the congregation does not own or run the individual parish or church. The property is the property of the bishop. The clergy are the extension of the bishop. The bishop alone decides who he will ordain and where he will serve.


Actually I don't know that I agree about this being the case in practice. The church property actually does belong to the people. The land and the building belong to the people, the liturgical items do not (e.g. gospel book, chalice, atimens, etc) but the vast majority of the rest belongs to the people. The parish council in the vast majority of cases do indeed run the every day affairs of the parish as they apply to the secular running of a business. As such I believe the better way to handle a parish is to leave the liturgical parts to the clergy (and by extension bishop) and leave the secular parts to the Parish Council (e.g paying the heating bill and negotiating salary contracts with church employees).

My question is, what do you do if a bishop assigns a priest to a parish and the parish refuses to pay the priest?

-Nick
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« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2010, 03:29:16 PM »

Quote
Quote
The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence.
Sorry, I'm laughing again. The laity are in fact doing at least two of the three above, and are not at all suffering in relative silence but are very vocal in their complaints.



Are you speaking in generalities again. Or do you have any specific examples to offer.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21467.0.html
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 03:30:15 PM by mike » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2010, 03:47:12 PM »

Quote
Quote
The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence.
Sorry, I'm laughing again. The laity are in fact doing at least two of the three above, and are not at all suffering in relative silence but are very vocal in their complaints.



Are you speaking in generalities again. Or do you have any specific examples to offer.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21467.0.html


 Shocked WOW  Shocked situation has degraded to a crisis in some of the other jurisdictions. I am thankful we still try to work out our differences amicably in the GOA. Maybe this has something to do with the GOA's general reluctance to merge with the other jurisdictions.
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« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2010, 03:49:13 PM »

It is not an isolate accident. Such things happen everywhere. I suppose, in GOA too.
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« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2010, 03:59:09 PM »

Quote
Quote
The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence.
Sorry, I'm laughing again. The laity are in fact doing at least two of the three above, and are not at all suffering in relative silence but are very vocal in their complaints.



Are you speaking in generalities again. Or do you have any specific examples to offer.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21467.0.html


I am thankful we still try to work out our differences amicably in the GOA. Maybe this has something to do with the GOA's general reluctance to merge with the other jurisdictions.
I was actually referring to GOA.
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« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2010, 04:14:00 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.
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« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2010, 04:30:29 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?
Don't assume the worst in any given situation - give people the benefit of the doubt. Don't act like jerks.
Try, as much as humanly possible, to eschew personal agendas (or at least be aware of them!), and make it a priority to try to work with each other towards a common goal.
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« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2010, 06:39:16 PM »

Unfortunately it's not as neatly explainable as you have made it be.  I agree with you in principle that administrative things should be separated from spiritual shepherding, but how this happens is critical because bishops are shepherding and coordinating up to 70 parishes at one time! 

Anyway, my real problem with what you said was that you somehow think that what bishops do happens in a vacuum. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that is not the case.  If a bishop makes a move or does something, we still live in an age of instant communication and YouTube.  There is also the Synod within the US as well as the patriarchal synod (in the goa at least) which keeps all these things in check. 

Also, your analogy has many other flaws including the fact that a commander of a battalion can send people to their death.  A bishop doesn't really have that kind of power. 

Everyone agrees that one Metropolitan used that power in 1821 by raising the "Liberty or Death" flag.

The same power, "Orthodoxy or Death", is exercised by monasteries as they struggle against the "evils" of the "fallen world."

I'm sorry, i'm just not understanding the point of what you are driving at.  Are you saying that these are examples of how we DO clamor for death?  Or that there is a spiritual element involved in revolution?  I'm sorry...you lost me. 
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« Reply #68 on: August 18, 2010, 06:47:15 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?
Don't assume the worst in any given situation - give people the benefit of the doubt. Don't act like jerks.
Try, as much as humanly possible, to eschew personal agendas (or at least be aware of them!), and make it a priority to try to work with each other towards a common goal.

Katherine--I have been accused of being a "glass is half full" type of person all of my life. I go out of my way to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, when the OCA problems hit the fan, I actually read the OCA statutes and many Canons to figure out if the problem was personal or structural. It turns out that the problems occurred because some bad actors were promoted to positions of authority, well within the bounds of church governance as expressed in the canons and the OCA Statutes. These bad actors may have been in the minority (I actually believe it to be so) but our governance structure seems to have prevented many of the hierarchs from doing something about the irregularities, while the same structure allowed the bad guys to get away with things. Improving the structure has nothing to do with punishing the clergy, elevating the laity or denigrating the goodness of our bishops. Such an structural improvement will simply reestablish some checks on the hierarchy if they go bad. If they remain true to the charisma given to them at their ordination, there would be no problem, no? Some folks may think that such a step would be an insult on our bishops. Well if you read the canons you will find many instances of "if a bishop, priest, deacon or lay person does this, then the consequence will be x, y or z." I do agree with Pensateomnia and your enthusiastic endorsement of his description of what a good bishop does regarding clergy assignments. I am not talking about this sort of situation; I am talking about revising the governance rules (statutes or canons) so that they truly serve our Church in this country in this year of 2010, as the OCA statutes are an insult on one's intelligence, a fraud perpetrated under the pretense of sobornost.
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« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2010, 06:49:24 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?
Don't assume the worst in any given situation - give people the benefit of the doubt. Don't act like jerks.
Try, as much as humanly possible, to eschew personal agendas (or at least be aware of them!), and make it a priority to try to work with each other towards a common goal.

So do you now agree that the Bishop should work together with the parish in assigning priests or are you still of the mindset that the laity should be excluded?
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« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2010, 06:51:41 PM »


The bishop has information or knowledge to assist him in his decision-making which is not appropriate for him to share or discuss with parish members or anyone else. Not necessarily discreditable information - just simply confidential or private information which is none of anyone else's business.

This is when a trusted individual, Archon, parish president, pillar of the community, retired clergy, etc, is taken aside and told, "This is a sensitive matter. Everything possible has been done. Please reassure your community." And then this trusted individual speaks to the community and says, "We have been consulted and the situation is being dealt with appropriately." Everyone is happy.

I believe the reason the survey showed 47% of the parish and 18% of the clergy desiring a different system is that this is not always the course of action of the bishop.

Yes, the situation could be complex. All the more reason to get help from experts within the laity. We deal with much more complex issues involving many more people, resources, time pressures, and classified information. The fact that you claim complexity for a reoccuring management decision is evidence that bishops do not have the managerial training and experience to handle these secular decisions without input from the laity. Bishops routinely call in lawyers to review contracts. Why not call in experts from the laity to design best practices in other areas also. Does the Bishop program the web page too?

I am also sure you know of situations when the bishop beats his chest and says I'll show that parish who the BOSS is and does not make the best decision for the spiritual welfare of his people.

Show love.  The Lord instructed us to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us.  Paul also said to obey civil law unless civil law greatly opposes God's authority.


This seems to be the present situation. Anecdotal and survey information is available describing how parishes are NOT being consulted like they were in the past. The laity are not cutting off funds, locking up churches, or planning schism but rather suffering in relative silence. Get off the throne and "come and see" what is happening in your Church. Don't simply rely on a semi-annual report from your clergy.

Edited for tags - mike.

The only response I have to all of this is that I think it is a big problem having non-ordained people deal with such complicated issues.  No person who has never been a priest can ever really understand what it means to have someone's soul in the palm of your hand.  (I got that expression from another priest...just so y'all don't think that one's mine..lol). 

Honestly, i've seen it first hand when lay people try to dip their hand into "pastoral care" and there's always something missing.  In my mind, there's no two ways about it. 
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« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2010, 06:52:13 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.

I'm in the #1 camp. 
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« Reply #72 on: August 18, 2010, 08:19:42 PM »

Mathew 23
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« Reply #73 on: August 18, 2010, 10:47:33 PM »

Unfortunately it's not as neatly explainable as you have made it be.  I agree with you in principle that administrative things should be separated from spiritual shepherding, but how this happens is critical because bishops are shepherding and coordinating up to 70 parishes at one time!  

Anyway, my real problem with what you said was that you somehow think that what bishops do happens in a vacuum. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that is not the case.  If a bishop makes a move or does something, we still live in an age of instant communication and YouTube.  There is also the Synod within the US as well as the patriarchal synod (in the goa at least) which keeps all these things in check.  

Also, your analogy has many other flaws including the fact that a commander of a battalion can send people to their death.  A bishop doesn't really have that kind of power.  

Everyone agrees that one Metropolitan used that power in 1821 by raising the "Liberty or Death" flag.

The same power, "Orthodoxy or Death", is exercised by monasteries as they struggle against the "evils" of the "fallen world."

I'm sorry, i'm just not understanding the point of what you are driving at.  Are you saying that these are examples of how we DO clamor for death?  Or that there is a spiritual element involved in revolution?  I'm sorry...you lost me.  

I'm sorry that you don't understand.  Let me clarify.   Smiley

You said that a Bishop doesn't have the same power as a military commander to send people to their death.

When Bishop Germanos raised the "Liberty or Death" flag on March 25, 1821, He implicitly sent people to their death via War for Greek Independence.

So, when monasteries raise the "Orthodoxy or Death" flag, they forcibly declare their beliefs as Bishop Germanos did, without bloodshed or declarations of physical war; However, the monasteries have declared an ideological war and I'm not sure if ascetics are allowed to declare war on entities that have no bearing on their ascetic practices.  Isn't asceticism a war against one's own passions in the first place?  Is it proper for monastics to publicly interfere in areas that run counter to ascetic practices?

Make sense?   Huh

Edited for clarity and content.
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« Reply #74 on: August 19, 2010, 09:58:11 AM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?
Don't assume the worst in any given situation - give people the benefit of the doubt. Don't act like jerks.
Try, as much as humanly possible, to eschew personal agendas (or at least be aware of them!), and make it a priority to try to work with each other towards a common goal.

So do you now agree that the Bishop should work together with the parish in assigning priests or are you still of the mindset that the laity should be excluded?

As I've said before, I don't know if this is true for all bishops, but I do have personal knowledge of bishops consulting with parishes and listening to them before assigning a priest. Perhaps the bishop did not ask them, "On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate Fr. X?" or "Do you like Fr. Y better?" but the parish's needs and complaints were certainly part of the process.
I also have personal knowledge of parishes vilifying bishops, both publically and privately, and imputing all sorts of base motives in the assignment of priests.
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« Reply #75 on: August 19, 2010, 10:38:19 AM »

Mathew 23

John 17
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« Reply #76 on: August 19, 2010, 10:44:01 AM »

Mathew 23

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give you the authority over all the power of the enemy.
John  17:22  I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are. I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one.
2 Corinthians  1:22 He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Dear Father Deacon--Did you really mean to include Luke 10:19 in the context for the authority of a bishop vis-a-vis his people?  Wink
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« Reply #77 on: August 19, 2010, 10:48:48 AM »

Unfortunately it's not as neatly explainable as you have made it be.  I agree with you in principle that administrative things should be separated from spiritual shepherding, but how this happens is critical because bishops are shepherding and coordinating up to 70 parishes at one time!  

Anyway, my real problem with what you said was that you somehow think that what bishops do happens in a vacuum. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that is not the case.  If a bishop makes a move or does something, we still live in an age of instant communication and YouTube.  There is also the Synod within the US as well as the patriarchal synod (in the goa at least) which keeps all these things in check.  

Also, your analogy has many other flaws including the fact that a commander of a battalion can send people to their death.  A bishop doesn't really have that kind of power.  

Everyone agrees that one Metropolitan used that power in 1821 by raising the "Liberty or Death" flag.

The same power, "Orthodoxy or Death", is exercised by monasteries as they struggle against the "evils" of the "fallen world."

I'm sorry, i'm just not understanding the point of what you are driving at.  Are you saying that these are examples of how we DO clamor for death?  Or that there is a spiritual element involved in revolution?  I'm sorry...you lost me.  

I'm sorry that you don't understand.  Let me clarify.   Smiley

You said that a Bishop doesn't have the same power as a military commander to send people to their death.

When Bishop Germanos raised the "Liberty or Death" flag on March 25, 1821, He implicitly sent people to their death via War for Greek Independence.

So, when monasteries raise the "Orthodoxy or Death" flag, they forcibly declare their beliefs as Bishop Germanos did, without bloodshed or declarations of physical war; However, the monasteries have declared an ideological war and I'm not sure if ascetics are allowed to declare war on entities that have no bearing on their ascetic practices.  Isn't asceticism a war against one's own passions in the first place?  Is it proper for monastics to publicly interfere in areas that run counter to ascetic practices?

Make sense?   Huh

Edited for clarity and content.

That definitely makes MORE sense, but I still think you're comparing apples to oranges.  

What you said above I would compare to making the argument that the generals in the Pentegon talk about the order, but they are not the ones who directly send the men into battle (like their immediate commanders do).  However, you still run into the same problem = they order their men to death. they are directly responsible for putting them into that danger.  

This is completely different than fighting for the liberty of your country and especially in the case of Germanos, your church/your God.

Anyway, I feel like i'm not really making my point, so maybe i'll take it a different avenue.  

When a priest is reprimanded for something he has the option of appealing to the local metropolis' spiritual court, which is comprised of several people (usually all priests).  Then, if the sentence laid out by the bishop is deemed satisfactory by the local spiritual court, you can appeal to the archdiocese spiritual court which is comprised of members of the local Synod.  Then if that decision is once again upheld you can appeal AGAIN all the way to the Patriarchal Synod's spiritual court.  That's a LOT of checks and balances my friend, for ONE simple decision about one priest.  

If that's not a good enough and conciliar enough system to keep these things in check...well then I challenge you to come up with a better one, that fits into our ecclesiology.  
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« Reply #78 on: August 19, 2010, 10:50:02 AM »

Mathew 23

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give you the authority over all the power of the enemy.
John  17:22  I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are. I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one.
2 Corinthians  1:22 He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Dear Father Deacon--Did you really mean to include Luke 10:19 in the context for the authority of a bishop vis-a-vis his people?  Wink

Oh man!  I actually deleted that post!!  Sorry!  I was writing some things down and realized they didn't prove my point.  I thought I hadn't of posted that!  

p.s.  I got ordained as a priest in May...just letting you know for the sake of clarity.   Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: August 19, 2010, 10:57:17 AM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.

I'm in the #1 camp.  

Naturally! You are an honorable person who takes his oaths seriously. In case you wondered, I am in the #3 camp partly to give more responsibility and commensurate authority to the lower clergy, such as priests and deacons. BTW, according to canon 34, no one bishop is all powerfull. And, even though they are the most powerful of the laos because the their special charisma, they should keep in mind the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 23 among others) as well as the astute observation by St John Chrysostom that the road to hell are paved by the skulls of priests and illumined by lamp posts made of the skulls of bishops.

PS: This is the final sentence I had written before I saw your admission that you were promoted: "As an aside, you seem to be safe for now, as I cannot find any similar warnings about deacons--lucky you! Cheesy." In any case, permit me a belated Axios! Which parish are you assigned to? I do not travel much but who knows, I may have the opportunity to visit and finally talk with you face to face and get your blessing.
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« Reply #80 on: August 19, 2010, 11:21:52 AM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.

I'm in the #1 camp.  

Naturally! You are an honorable person who takes his oaths seriously. In case you wondered, I am in the #3 camp partly to give more responsibility and commensurate authority to the lower clergy, such as priests and deacons. BTW, according to canon 34, no one bishop is all powerfull. And, even though they are the most powerful of the laos because the their special charisma, they should keep in mind the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 23 among others) as well as the astute observation by St John Chrysostom that the road to hell are paved by the skulls of priests and illumined by lamp posts made of the skulls of bishops.

PS: This is the final sentence I had written before I saw your admission that you were promoted: "As an aside, you seem to be safe for now, as I cannot find any similar warnings about deacons--lucky you! Cheesy." In any case, permit me a belated Axios! Which parish are you assigned to? I do not travel much but who knows, I may have the opportunity to visit and finally talk with you face to face and get your blessing.

Canon 34 of what?

I am the assistant priest at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland CA!  Come and take a vacation! 

www.groca.org

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« Reply #81 on: August 19, 2010, 11:28:47 AM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.

I'm in the #1 camp.  

Naturally! You are an honorable person who takes his oaths seriously. In case you wondered, I am in the #3 camp partly to give more responsibility and commensurate authority to the lower clergy, such as priests and deacons. BTW, according to canon 34, no one bishop is all powerfull. And, even though they are the most powerful of the laos because the their special charisma, they should keep in mind the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 23 among others) as well as the astute observation by St John Chrysostom that the road to hell are paved by the skulls of priests and illumined by lamp posts made of the skulls of bishops.

PS: This is the final sentence I had written before I saw your admission that you were promoted: "As an aside, you seem to be safe for now, as I cannot find any similar warnings about deacons--lucky you! Cheesy." In any case, permit me a belated Axios! Which parish are you assigned to? I do not travel much but who knows, I may have the opportunity to visit and finally talk with you face to face and get your blessing.

Canon 34 of what?

I am the assistant priest at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland CA!  Come and take a vacation! 

www.groca.org



also you might be better served with:


 "But since the bishop ought to be engaged wholly in the work of taking care of
souls and has no time left to look after such things, he ought, with the consent of
all the priesthood, according to Canon X of Theophilos, appoint a steward from
among his clergy in order to manage such property of the church, including
movables and immovables, in order to prevent them from being scattered and ill
spent, according to Canon XXVI of the 4th Ecumenical Synod." (pg 294 of the electronic version of the Rudder)

" Likewise the patriarch is to have permission to appoint a steward to have
charge of the property of the metropolis, in case the metropolitan is unwilling to
appoint him, according to Canon XI of the 7th Ecumenical Synod."  (Ibid)



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« Reply #82 on: August 19, 2010, 11:54:27 AM »

That definitely makes MORE sense, but I still think you're comparing apples to oranges.

First, forgive me Father for not referring to you by your proper title in this thread <embarrassed smiley>.

What you said above I would compare to making the argument that the generals in the Pentegon talk about the order, but they are not the ones who directly send the men into battle (like their immediate commanders do).  However, you still run into the same problem = they order their men to death. they are directly responsible for putting them into that danger.  

This is completely different than fighting for the liberty of your country and especially in the case of Germanos, your church/your God.

Was Bishop Germanos really fighting for His Church and His God or was He fighting for secular and spiritual Independence.  What is now Greece was under the EP's Jurisdiction in 1821.  Perhaps this tangent has deviated from the main purpose of the thread....
 
Anyway, I feel like i'm not really making my point, so maybe i'll take it a different avenue.  

When a priest is reprimanded for something he has the option of appealing to the local metropolis' spiritual court, which is comprised of several people (usually all priests).  Then, if the sentence laid out by the bishop is deemed satisfactory by the local spiritual court, you can appeal to the archdiocese spiritual court which is comprised of members of the local Synod.  Then if that decision is once again upheld you can appeal AGAIN all the way to the Patriarchal Synod's spiritual court.  That's a LOT of checks and balances my friend, for ONE simple decision about one priest.  

If that's not a good enough and conciliar enough system to keep these things in check...well then I challenge you to come up with a better one, that fits into our ecclesiology.  

Except I wasn't the one making the point about Conciliarity.   Wink
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« Reply #83 on: August 19, 2010, 12:06:02 PM »

That definitely makes MORE sense, but I still think you're comparing apples to oranges.

First, forgive me Father for not referring to you by your proper title in this thread <embarrassed smiley>.

Oh my gosh!  Don't worry about it!  It can be rather confusing, especially b/c I didn't make any kind of too public announcement on the site.  the date kept changing and all that kind of stuff, so I never really put it up.  I just didn't want you to be confused, more than anything else! 

Quote
What you said above I would compare to making the argument that the generals in the Pentegon talk about the order, but they are not the ones who directly send the men into battle (like their immediate commanders do).  However, you still run into the same problem = they order their men to death. they are directly responsible for putting them into that danger.  

This is completely different than fighting for the liberty of your country and especially in the case of Germanos, your church/your God.

Was Bishop Germanos really fighting for His Church and His God or was He fighting for secular and spiritual Independence.  What is now Greece was under the EP's Jurisdiction in 1821.  Perhaps this tangent has deviated from the main purpose of the thread....

Yah we have definitely deviated, that's why I switched it to another topic, more on the line of the OP.  If you want to have the discussion we could always start another thread, but to be honest this isn't something I really have formulated in my mind.  i'm more spit-balling than anything else. 
 
Quote
Anyway, I feel like i'm not really making my point, so maybe i'll take it a different avenue.  

When a priest is reprimanded for something he has the option of appealing to the local metropolis' spiritual court, which is comprised of several people (usually all priests).  Then, if the sentence laid out by the bishop is deemed satisfactory by the local spiritual court, you can appeal to the archdiocese spiritual court which is comprised of members of the local Synod.  Then if that decision is once again upheld you can appeal AGAIN all the way to the Patriarchal Synod's spiritual court.  That's a LOT of checks and balances my friend, for ONE simple decision about one priest.  

If that's not a good enough and conciliar enough system to keep these things in check...well then I challenge you to come up with a better one, that fits into our ecclesiology.  

Except I wasn't the one making the point about Conciliarity.   Wink

LOL!  Well, let me cut to the chase then. 

I PERSONALLY think that the bishop should be in charge, period. 

However, for the people who think that the bishop has too much power, I wanted to assuage their fears and let them know that the bishop is NOT an island. 

So I was going 2 routes. 
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March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
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« Reply #84 on: August 19, 2010, 01:48:23 PM »

Following your logic of complete obedience to the bishop's office, would you have likewised obeyed the Temple leaders or followed Christ??

Today, do you obey the bishop or Christ. Is your father God in heaven or a man here on Earth?

If your bishop was doing something you know to be wrong ie molesting retarded boys, would you still obey him blindly?

It is easy to make everything out to be black and white and to follow the letter of the law unquestioning. But this is not the message of Jesus in the New Testament.

If you loved your Bishop would you not try to help him be a better Christian? Where is your voice, your tharos, your spirit to speak the truth! It is so easy to be everyones friend and to be obedient to your bishop. But what service do you do them if they lose their souls. 

In math to prove something is true you must prove that it can't be false. Try to take the opposite view point and find a circumstance were it would be true. If there would ever be a circumstance in which you would not obey your bishop then it is not true that you should always obey your bishop. I'm sure you feel this in your heart also.

There comes a time when the temple should be cleaned out. You have an excellent Bishop serving in San Fransisco (who I have had the pleasure of meeting) and thus can't imagine a need to improve. Other regions are not so lucky.

When someone comes to you and says they have a problem with their clergy, bishop, etc. Please listen to them and really ponder their concerns and don't be in such a hurry to find fault with them. That sort of thinking cost the Church dearly in the past and continues to plague the Roman Catholic Church today.
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #85 on: August 19, 2010, 01:55:03 PM »

But is saying that "the bishop should be in charge" the same thing as saying that one should ignore the situation when the bishop is actively doing something immoral or illegal?
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« Reply #86 on: August 19, 2010, 02:07:52 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.

I'm in the #1 camp.  

Naturally! You are an honorable person who takes his oaths seriously. In case you wondered, I am in the #3 camp partly to give more responsibility and commensurate authority to the lower clergy, such as priests and deacons. BTW, according to canon 34, no one bishop is all powerfull. And, even though they are the most powerful of the laos because the their special charisma, they should keep in mind the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 23 among others) as well as the astute observation by St John Chrysostom that the road to hell are paved by the skulls of priests and illumined by lamp posts made of the skulls of bishops.

PS: This is the final sentence I had written before I saw your admission that you were promoted: "As an aside, you seem to be safe for now, as I cannot find any similar warnings about deacons--lucky you! Cheesy." In any case, permit me a belated Axios! Which parish are you assigned to? I do not travel much but who knows, I may have the opportunity to visit and finally talk with you face to face and get your blessing.

Canon 34 of what?

I am the assistant priest at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland CA!  Come and take a vacation! 

www.groca.org



I have always dreamed of visiting San Francisco and environments. If I ever do, I'll swing by to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Oakland.  laugh

BTW,  I was referring to Apostolic Canon 34: "The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent... but neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity." So, each bishop is restrained by this canon (among others of course).
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« Reply #87 on: August 19, 2010, 02:22:22 PM »

For those who are more aware of these crisis situations, what can be done to improve the relationship between the Heirarchs and the laity?

It seems there have been 3 main avenues of thinking in this thread.
1. The Bishop is all powerful and the laity must obey.
2. This is America and the people rule.
3. The Church must work together and include ALL of her members in God's work.

If we are all in agreement on #3 as the preferred method then we can move forward to iron out the details. Unfortunately, we seem to still have people arguing in favor of #1 and #2.

I'm in the #1 camp.  

Naturally! You are an honorable person who takes his oaths seriously. In case you wondered, I am in the #3 camp partly to give more responsibility and commensurate authority to the lower clergy, such as priests and deacons. BTW, according to canon 34, no one bishop is all powerfull. And, even though they are the most powerful of the laos because the their special charisma, they should keep in mind the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 23 among others) as well as the astute observation by St John Chrysostom that the road to hell are paved by the skulls of priests and illumined by lamp posts made of the skulls of bishops.

PS: This is the final sentence I had written before I saw your admission that you were promoted: "As an aside, you seem to be safe for now, as I cannot find any similar warnings about deacons--lucky you! Cheesy." In any case, permit me a belated Axios! Which parish are you assigned to? I do not travel much but who knows, I may have the opportunity to visit and finally talk with you face to face and get your blessing.

Canon 34 of what?

I am the assistant priest at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland CA!  Come and take a vacation! 

www.groca.org



also you might be better served with:


 "But since the bishop ought to be engaged wholly in the work of taking care of
souls and has no time left to look after such things, he ought, with the consent of
all the priesthood, according to Canon X of Theophilos, appoint a steward from
among his clergy in order to manage such property of the church, including
movables and immovables, in order to prevent them from being scattered and ill
spent, according to Canon XXVI of the 4th Ecumenical Synod." (pg 294 of the electronic version of the Rudder)

" Likewise the patriarch is to have permission to appoint a steward to have
charge of the property of the metropolis, in case the metropolitan is unwilling to
appoint him, according to Canon XI of the 7th Ecumenical Synod."  (Ibid)





Actually, this idea of unburdening the hierarchy of worldly concerns started way back in the Book of Acts. You know our faith is not illogical (except when we cling to outdated practices); for example, do you know of any specific requirements related to handling of real estate, finances, investments, nonprofit law, human resources, planning, etc... when one is being trained or considered for the priesthood or the episcopacy? I think the answer would be no, as most people simply do not have the talent, knowledge or experience to be jacks of all trades. When the Church and the State had their VERY close relations, the state functionaries took care of the worldly stuff. Before we became a state religion, it did not really matter as we were expecting not to be around for that long. Anyway, I just visited your website and you live up to your name, which I think may be translated as "fearless." Am I right?
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« Reply #88 on: August 19, 2010, 02:55:42 PM »

But is saying that "the bishop should be in charge" the same thing as saying that one should ignore the situation when the bishop is actively doing something immoral or illegal?

So the question remains, who is the one that ensures the bishop is in compliance. Is another bishop hundreds of miles away with their own parishes to oversee, really going to spend the time to ensure things are being managed properly in another bishop's territory? How would they possibly know?

The laity are the first to witness and have the opportunity to comment on things which can be improved on.
Saying "the bishop should be in charge" is not the same thing as saying the bishop has a right to ignore the laity.
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« Reply #89 on: August 19, 2010, 02:59:27 PM »

But is saying that "the bishop should be in charge" the same thing as saying that one should ignore the situation when the bishop is actively doing something immoral or illegal?

So the question remains, who is the one that ensures the bishop is in compliance. Is another bishop hundreds of miles away with their own parishes to oversee, really going to spend the time to ensure things are being managed properly in another bishop's territory? How would they possibly know?
The laity would tell them, loud and clear, and at length.

Quote
The laity are the first to witness and have the opportunity to comment on things which can be improved on.
And they do, believe me, loud and clear and at length.

Quote
Saying "the bishop should be in charge" is not the same thing as saying the bishop has a right to ignore the laity.
So, just hypothetically, is it your opinion that a bishop should respond personally to every single communication or complaint, including anonymous letters, that comes to him? Or is choosing to not answer some communications, or delegating some matters to others who are his representatives ignoring the laity?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 03:01:35 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
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