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Author Topic: The Passing of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas  (Read 1412 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 28, 2011, 09:21:11 AM »


http://oca.org/news/headline-news/the-repose-of-his-eminence-archbishop-dmitri

Quote
His Eminence, the Most Reverend Dmitri, 87, retired Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South, fell asleep in the Lord at his home here at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, August 28, 2011.

This thread is for news related to the Archbishop's passing. Memory Eternals and prayers should be limited to the following thread http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39227.0.html
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 03:49:05 AM »

http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2011/08/31/death_of_the_richest_man_in_dallas.html

Death of the Richest Man in Dallas

28 August 2011

By Rod Dreher


We stood at the parsonage door in the rain, worrying that we were at the wrong place -- could this ramshackle house in Oak Lawn really be where the archbishop lives? -- and that we were underdressed for the dinner to which we had been invited.

We had seen Archbishop Dmitri in his church, St. Seraphim's Orthodox Cathedral, on the Sunday we visited, and found the very sight of him -- tall, gaunt, his long white beard resting against his black cassock -- thoroughly impressive, but thoroughly intimidating.
 
The man looked like an Old Testament prophet. Julie and I didn't dare turn his invitation down.

We knocked. Someone opened the door. The house was jammed with people, food, and conversation. Everyone was there to celebrate the Orthodox Feast of the Dormition, which Julie and I as Catholics knew as the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Seated there in the middle of the scrum was the austere archbishop, laughing and chattering, the happy genius of his household.

We didn't know it then, but Dmitri's party would change our lives. The old man died last weekend in that same house, surrounded by many of the Orthodox Christians we first met on that rainy August evening.

<snip>

For example, that house. It was a dump. The kitchen roof was leaking. This is how an archbishop lives? Well, yes, it's how this archbishop lived. He cared nothing for comfort. He never forgot that he was a monk first. Vladyka gave his money to his cathedral, to evangelism, to the missions, to the poor.

<snip>

The day of Vladyka's passing, the Orthodox blogger and Dmitri friend George Michalopoulus wrote that a Greek archbishop once told him after Vladyka's retirement service that the holiness of +Dmitri, and the rarity of such a bishop in the Church, makes the sad divisions among the American Orthodox seem like nothing.

"He was right," Michalopoulus wrote. "In the grand scheme of things, we either know saints, or we don't. Tears were running down both our faces."

I think we knew a saint.

Robert Dmitri Royster left this life in the upper room of a dilapidated cottage, one so frail the faithful worried that the ceiling would collapse from the weight of those praying at his bedside. His razor-sharp mind had been scattered by old age. His once-strong body had been stripped by mortality of all dignity. The elder had barely a penny to his name, having given it all to the service of the Lord and His people. But I believe he died the richest man in Dallas. Blessed are his spiritual children in their inheritance.


« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 03:53:19 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 05:05:09 AM »

What a story! Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 12:19:27 PM »

Memory eternal!

I've always had a special fondness for Archbishop Dmitri, even though I missed the only chance I would have gotten to meet him. It's too bad Dreher couldn't keep his penchant for engaging in episcopal politics out of the obituary.
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 09:12:05 AM »

Everlasting be his memory!

I was able to attend the funeral service yesterday.  The cathedral was literally overflowing from the number of people.  I estimated around 40-50 priests, 5 bishops, other various clergy, perhaps 200 people or more.  One bishop, Nikon I think, nearly passed out after about an hour into the service.  I suspect he was overheated from his vestments, but he made it through ok.  I had to leave after about 2 hours unfortunately...did anyone else attend?  How long was the full service?
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 01:15:19 PM »

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/religion-faith083111/religion-faith083111/

From Texas Baptist to Orthodox saint?

By TERRY MATTINGLY - Scripps Howard News Service
First Posted: August 31, 2011

<snip>

"A pivotal moment in his career came just before the creation of the
Diocese of the South. In 1970, then-Bishop Dmitri was elected -- in a
landslide -- as the OCA metropolitan, to lead the national hierarchy in
Syosset, N.Y. But the ethnic Slavic core in the synod of bishops ignored
the clergy vote and appointed one of its own.

"Decades later, the Orthodox theologian Father Thomas Hopko described the
impact of that election this way: "One could have gone to Syosset and
become a metropolitan, or go to Dallas and become a saint."

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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 02:28:22 PM »

Did he really was elected for the first OCA's Metropolitan?
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 02:58:54 PM »

Did he really was elected for the first OCA's Metropolitan?

The All American Council nominated him overwhelmingly. The Holy Synod, however, elected an ethnic bishop instead. Here is the official account;

"In the first vote, Bishop DMITRI (Royster) of New England received 278 votes, a mere 30 votes shy of two-thirds. Other hierarchs lagged very far behind. As this first vote did not produce a two-thirds majority for any hierarch that would designate a sole candidate for confirmation by the Holy Synod of Bishops, a second round of voting immediately took place. In the second vote, each delegate was required to designate two names on his ballot. Following the announcement of the results of the second vote, the Holy Synod retired to the sanctuary to select the Primate from the top two choices of the delegates. In the second round of voting, Bishop DMITRI received 348 votes and Bishop THEODOSIUS (Lazor) of Pittsburgh had 179. The hierarchs deliberated briefly then elected Bishop THEODOSIUS to be the new Metropolitan of All America and Canada."

http://oca.org/history-archives/aacs/the-5th-all-american-council
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 12:13:05 AM »

Everlasting be his memory!

I was able to attend the funeral service yesterday.  The cathedral was literally overflowing from the number of people.  I estimated around 40-50 priests, 5 bishops, other various clergy, perhaps 200 people or more.  One bishop, Nikon I think, nearly passed out after about an hour into the service.  I suspect he was overheated from his vestments, but he made it through ok.  I had to leave after about 2 hours unfortunately...did anyone else attend?  How long was the full service?

If you left after about 2 hours then your were there for almost the entire service, because I did stay through to the end and I thought when I looked afterwards it had been almost exactly 2 hours.

Also I was directly behind Bishop Nikon (separated by the row of deacons and servers who were behind the bishops). A doctor who was in attendance checked him out (though His Grace wouldn't let them take him out of the building) and they made him drink a lot of water, but he was able to rejoin the other bishops in standing for the final prayers, the veneration of the body, etc. And he was in attendance for this morning's liturgy and the internment and seemed to be fine -- other than his voice? Maybe its just naturally that way as I've never heard him speak before but in the couple of times he did a speaking part of the liturgy his voice was extraordinarily hoarse.
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 03:15:41 AM »

Lord Have Mercy!

"From Texas Baptist to Orthodox saint?" (on Archbishop Dmitri)

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/religion-faith083111
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 12:13:20 PM »

Everlasting be his memory!

I was able to attend the funeral service yesterday.  The cathedral was literally overflowing from the number of people.  I estimated around 40-50 priests, 5 bishops, other various clergy, perhaps 200 people or more.  One bishop, Nikon I think, nearly passed out after about an hour into the service.  I suspect he was overheated from his vestments, but he made it through ok.  I had to leave after about 2 hours unfortunately...did anyone else attend?  How long was the full service?

If you left after about 2 hours then your were there for almost the entire service, because I did stay through to the end and I thought when I looked afterwards it had been almost exactly 2 hours.

Also I was directly behind Bishop Nikon (separated by the row of deacons and servers who were behind the bishops). A doctor who was in attendance checked him out (though His Grace wouldn't let them take him out of the building) and they made him drink a lot of water, but he was able to rejoin the other bishops in standing for the final prayers, the veneration of the body, etc. And he was in attendance for this morning's liturgy and the internment and seemed to be fine -- other than his voice? Maybe its just naturally that way as I've never heard him speak before but in the couple of times he did a speaking part of the liturgy his voice was extraordinarily hoarse.

I must have been standing right next to you then because I was in the same general area you describe.   Grin
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2011, 03:18:44 PM »

Did he really was elected for the first OCA's Metropolitan?
Mr. Mattingly got the date wrong.  The All American Council in question was in 1977, which was electing the second Metropolitan of the OCA to replace the retiring Met. Ireney.
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 04:32:11 PM »

Did he really was elected for the first OCA's Metropolitan?
Mr. Mattingly got the date wrong.  The All American Council in question was in 1977, which was electing the second Metropolitan of the OCA to replace the retiring Met. Ireney.

This is where it gets confusing. The first OCA Metropolitan to have been elected as such was Metropolitan Theodosius in 1977. The first Metropolitan of the newly autocephalous OCA was indeed Metropolitan Ireney who in 1965 was elected as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America, or the Metropolia.

The background is also fascinating: Having broken off ties with the Church in Russia after the Communist Revolution, the Metropolia entered into dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate in the early 1960s. In 1970, the Metropolia once again entered into communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, which promptly granted it autocephaly on April 10, 1970. In June, the Synod bestowed upon Metropolitan Ireney the title of "His Beatitude," and at the 14th All American Sobor/1st All American Council, the assembly formally approved the reception of autocephaly.
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2011, 04:41:36 PM »

Did he really was elected for the first OCA's Metropolitan?
Mr. Mattingly got the date wrong.  The All American Council in question was in 1977, which was electing the second Metropolitan of the OCA to replace the retiring Met. Ireney.

This is where it gets confusing. The first OCA Metropolitan to have been elected as such was Metropolitan Theodosius in 1977. The first Metropolitan of the newly autocephalous OCA was indeed Metropolitan Ireney who in 1965 was elected as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America, or the Metropolia.
Not really.  Metropolitan Ireney was the first Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America.  Metropolitan Theodosius was the second.  As would have been Bishop Dmitri if he had been elected by the Holy Synod instead.

Quote
The background is also fascinating: Having broken off ties with the Church in Russia after the Communist Revolution, the Metropolia entered into dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate in the early 1960s. In 1970, the Metropolia once again entered into communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, which promptly granted it autocephaly on April 10, 1970. In June, the Synod bestowed upon Metropolitan Ireney the title of "His Beatitude," and at the 14th All American Sobor/1st All American Council, the assembly formally approved the reception of autocephaly.
That's the barebones summation.  As with most things, there's far more to it than that, but that's basically correct.
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 09:42:16 AM »

The tenure of Archbishop Dmitri of the OCA Diocese of the South was filled with achievements. After the Archbishop's recent passing, his fellow prelates took time to remember his unique career.

From the article:
Quote
"There are a number of saints within Orthodox history who are given the title 'Equal to the Apostles,'" noted Father J. Stephen Freeman of Oak Ridge. "I cannot rush beyond the church and declare a saint where the church has not done so, but I can think of no better description of the life and ministry of Vladika Dmitri here in the South than 'Equal to the Apostles.'"

(Also: Wikipedia entry)
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