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Author Topic: Communing Non-Chalcedonians  (Read 10146 times) Average Rating: 0
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dllwatkins
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« on: August 02, 2004, 07:49:45 PM »

I have always thought the Russian Church does not commune Coptic Orthodox because they are Non-Chalcedonian, or monophysite, and not considered truly Orthodox.

Am I mistaken, or is this really the case?  Has something changed, ecumenically speaking, to allow the communion of Coptic Orthodox?  Is it a case by case basis, according to economia?

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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2004, 08:29:19 PM »

Is there a reason you are asking? I don't think the Church of Russia has much contact with Coptics.
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2004, 08:38:09 PM »

Yes, the reason is this past Sunday the priest at my church ministered confession to a Coptic couple, and was going to commune them; however, they had a small child and left early so as not to disturb the service, and so, did not actually receive communion (their first visit - they didn't realize we have small children wreaking havoc during the services and it's generally okay).

They had previously contacted the church by phone and came to bring something to the priest.  As far as I know they were not being "received."  I wonder now if they had some kind of news about intercommunion, but I don't think so.  They had come early to talk with the priest and told him they were Coptic Orthodox.

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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2004, 08:50:50 PM »

It is straightforward.  Coptic Christians are not Orthodox Christians; hence may not receive mysteries (sacraments) in an Orthodox Church.  

Back when our city had no church to serve Christians from Eritrea, our archbishop allowed Eritrean infants to be baptized as Orthodox Christians, from his pastoral discretion and concern that the babies needed life-bestowing baptism and Holy Communion.  Only these Orthodox babies could receive Holy Communion.  Their parents had to convert to Orthodoxy if they wanted to receive Communion.  Now that our city has an Eritrean church, we have only a few of the families still with us.
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dllwatkins
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2004, 08:57:27 PM »

It is straightforward.  Coptic Christians are not Orthodox Christians; hence may not receive mysteries (sacraments) in an Orthodox Church.
4Truth,
This is what I've always understood.  I was really shocked and disturbed Sunday (this past weekend) when this happened.  Even Confession is a sacrament, and they did in fact receive it.  I attend a Patriarchal (MP) parish in the US, with a priest from an OCA seminary.  After service, during trapeza, someone asked the priest if we could commune Copts, and he said yes.  No one at the table said anything, it was silent, till a comment was made on a different topic.
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2004, 09:04:58 PM »

Whatever transpires, just don't let it become a "scandal" among the parish.  Get to know the people for themselves (if they return); don't think of them as "labels" (i.e. "Copts").  You can voice your concerns privately to the priest and, if your concerns continue, quietly approach your bishop.  If a loving welcome is given to the family, as you all get to know them, you all gently can raise the relevant issues.  Most likely, they are not aware of how matters really stand, from never having been told.
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Ben
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2004, 11:58:46 PM »

I have personally seen large groups of Non-Chalcedonians communed at a GOA Cathedral and an AA parish. It happens.....I don't know if it should, but it does happen.
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2004, 12:04:46 AM »

P.S. An OCA priest once told me that NCs are "recieved" into the Eastern Orthodox Church by confession *only*, and under some extreme circumstances, he could hear their confession, and commune them, even without them being first "recieved" into the Church.
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2004, 03:39:54 AM »

so what is the difference between Copts and Easter Orthodox exactly?
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2004, 12:21:00 PM »

While I don't think things like this should become the norm (on both sides...I don't think we should commune EO regularly either, since we regard ourselves as the Orthodox Church) until various issues are resolved, reality is often less "straightforward" than we'd like to admit.
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2004, 05:27:26 PM »

I don't think we should commune EO regularly either, since we regard ourselves as the Orthodox Church
I was going to ask about this; I assumed this would be the case on "the other side" also.

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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2004, 06:51:19 PM »

Quote
have always thought the Russian Church does not commune Coptic Orthodox because they are Non-Chalcedonian, or monophysite, and not considered truly Orthodox.

Am I mistaken, or is this really the case?  Has something changed, ecumenically speaking, to allow the communion of Coptic Orthodox?  Is it a case by case basis, according to economia?

Russians are probably among the few Orthodox who categorically refuse to commune Copts and other Oriental Orthodox. This is done frequently, however, in violation of the Holy Canons and with the blessing of both the respective Eastern and Oriental Orthodox bishops.

Many Orthodox theologians and hierarchs believe that all theological differences between the Eastern Orthodox and Orientals have been overcome, but this is far from the truth. And even if it was the truth, our two churches remain separated; therefore, until administrative and ecclesial unity is achieved, only Eastern Orthodox should be communed or confessed within Eastern Orthodox Churches.
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2004, 07:24:33 PM »

I had submitted a post in another thread on this topic, more or less;

... specifically, what if an "EO" such as myself wished to be united to, for instance, The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (and its Sister Churches, such as the Coptic, Indian Orthodox, Syrian, Armenian...) -

How would one go about thus "converting" from the Eastern Orthodox to the Oriental Orthodox fold, if this was decided upon as a matter of Faith, conscience, or whatever ...

?
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2004, 07:43:57 PM »

Russians are probably among the few Orthodox who categorically refuse to commune Copts and other Oriental Orthodox. This is done frequently, however, in violation of the Holy Canons and with the blessing of both the respective Eastern and Oriental Orthodox bishops.

Many Orthodox theologians and hierarchs believe that all theological differences between the Eastern Orthodox and Orientals have been overcome, but this is far from the truth. And even if it was the truth, our two churches remain separated; therefore, until administrative and ecclesial unity is achieved, only Eastern Orthodox should be communed or confessed within Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Eactly!  And I think almost everyone here is in agreement.  Too bad Linus and Joe flew off the deep end and left the board.
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2004, 08:58:02 PM »

dllwatkins

Perhaps you should research the issue from both sides of the debate, and then talk to your priest if you are still concerned?
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2004, 09:51:25 PM »

dllwatkins

Perhaps you should research the issue from both sides of the debate, and then talk to your priest if you are still concerned?
Yes, I should talk to the priest.  I wonder if it's something to leave a parish over.  There are four Orthodox churches in town and this one is the most traditional.  I would think if they're doing it, the others probably are, too.  I can think of a parish 2 1/2 hours from here that I'm certain is not doing this.

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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2004, 09:54:59 PM »

If you did, I could sympathise (I left the Antiochians over the issue).
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2004, 11:08:50 AM »

Do most people take Communion in other churches when they are far from home?

Being in another country I attend a church of a different heirarchy. I love the church here and have no problems with it whatsoever, however I do not confess (nor obviously take communion). At this church it is normal to sometimes receive oil on the head- in my particular church we don't receive this on a usual basis, therefore I too abstain from this act. Being the only Orthodox church within the entire province of Madrid, there are many people who follow this manner. Until now I didn't think that it would have bothered people from the Church if I abstained, or if others (e.g from EO churches) DID partake in Holy Communion.

Should people who aren't in Communion stay away and should people who are in Communion accept all the practices of the host Church? I am used to prostrating to the ground after the 'Doistone Est' prayer, and I am usually the only one who does this. Ought I to just cross and bow forward in line with the other parishoners? Or are my particular idiosyncracies (sic) OK?

Am not trying to be devil's advocate here... just would like to know out of pure (innocent and friendly) interest. Cheers all.

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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2004, 11:14:16 AM »

If you're in communion with the church you're attending, why wouldn't you do what they do, and receive the Sacraments there?    Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2004, 11:25:53 AM »

Quote
I am used to prostrating to the ground after the 'Doistone Est' prayer, and I am usually the only one who does this. Ought I to just cross and bow forward in line with the other parishoners? Or are my particular idiosyncracies (sic) OK?

"When in Rome..."

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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2004, 11:43:06 AM »

I agree with Schultz; you should follow the customs of the parish you are attending.

I used to not kneel on Sundays, but at my GOA Church everyone does so (even the Priest) .... so I started to do it so I do not set myself apart from the other parishoners nor appear "overly pious" to them.
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« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2004, 11:50:33 AM »

When in Rome.. true... unless you are literally in ROME. Smiley

I don't know, I just think that if I have always prostrated fully after certain prayers, or for example do not move during the trisagion or Cherubic Prayer, I should (or at least have the right) to maintain that stance in any church I go to. In my church here everyone sits down when the Bishop signals for us to, yet I don't. I cannot bring myself to sit down in a church. When we go to venerate the Gospel, I prostrate twice, make the sign of the cross, kiss it, and prostrate again. Maybe this annoys some people who have to wait behind me (hehehe) but this is my tradition. It's as important to me (and my identity as an Orthodox Christian) as is crossign from right to left. being in Spain there are many converts who still cross left to right. I don't mind, live and let live. No?
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2004, 11:56:20 AM »

.... so I started to do it so I do not set myself apart from the other parishoners nor appear "overly pious" to them.
 

wow.  Shocked we ought to be concerned abotu appearing overly pious? what? seeming too orthodox? i most certainly wouldn't want to change my beliefs out fo fear of seeming too pious nor not pious enough. i do the things i do because it is how i demonstrate my faith. i don't kneel during the amen amen amen, but do prostrate after the presentation of the mysteries to the church 'vsegda inine i prisno, i vo veki vekom' - it's what i know.

unfortunately many of the parishoners have mobile phones on in church - AND ANWSER THEM!!!!  Angry even though the priest and bishop have asked for them to not do so on many occasions. in order to fit in should i switch mine on when i enter church?

(ok that's a bit over the top, i just don't necessarily think that total conformity is necessary).
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2004, 05:41:04 PM »

Linus left the board?? really? when and did he ever leave a post as good-bye?
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2004, 07:13:56 PM »

I'm a 'hardliner' and only prostrate at weekday Divine Liturgies, even at my home GOA parish, and "never on Sunday". My fellow parishoners at my wife's ACROD parish noted this also about me and questioned the priest at their last 'Adult Education Class'; he replied that ole' Demetri was being proper - to their great surprise.
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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2004, 08:39:43 PM »

Demetri,

it's the exact same rule in the Coptic Church, but it's normal practice here, can you explain the reason behind that tradition in the Greek Church?

yours,
mourad
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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2004, 11:40:20 PM »

Michael,

I do not agree with what Tom is saying in this particular thread, but I do agree with the jist of what he said. Being humble means doing that which will draw the least attention to yourself... and standing (or even sitting) even as everyone else is kneeling is not exactly a way to remain "below the radar".
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« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2004, 12:44:58 AM »

I think that it is cool to partake of the sacraments in any of the Eastern Orthodox churches, as long as the churches are real Orthodox churches in communion with each other. It doesn't matter if it is greek, russian, antiochian, ect.....  If the sacraments are there, then I'm there; for there is only one Church.

We are not in communion with only one jurisdiction, but with Christ and His holy Church. We need to be on guard not to be  "religious".

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« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2004, 05:09:31 AM »

Demetri,

it's the exact same rule in the Coptic Church, but it's normal practice here, can you explain the reason behind that tradition in the Greek Church?

yours,
mourad

I know we're letting this topic wander a bit but, mourad, I'm not sure here. The best I can come up with is that we really were one church at one time - not two churches which broke communion- and must have common shared traditions.

To explore our meandering topic a little further, I do understand how, and maybe why, the Greek parishes here began to kneel or prostrate on Sundays as explained to me. Historically Divine Liturgy was celebrated daily and many faithful attended, prostrating appropriately. When in the US the Greek parishes were limited for many reasons to only Sunday Divine Liturgy, it was seen as acceptable to prostrate on Sunday because the faithful were denied this devotion during the week. A rather weak argument to me.

Demetri
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« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2004, 04:32:24 PM »

I wonder now if they had some kind of news about intercommunion, but I don't think so.  I could hear parts of the conversation as I attended to the lamps before the Hours.  They had come early to talk with the priest.



SHAME ON YOU!!! Shocked

A family comes to your temple and has confession-like conversations with your priest and you eavesdrop?! I strongly suggest the next time you "overhear" private conversations with a priest, that you begin praying loud enough so your ears are not tempted to sin again.

How your priest ministers to this family is between the family, your priest, the bishop and God. Your only job is to love and accept them as Christ commanded.

Not only do you eavesdrop, but then you have the aduacity to gossip about it on the internet! And shame on the rest who responded without also recognizing this sinful behavior yourselves! Shocked

Rather than gossip further here....you need to confess to your priest that you are a nosy, eavesdropping, busy body who gossips on the internet about what you hear during others' confessions. Perhaps if your priest is aware of your weakness he will insure you are no longer tempted.

You do not know this family. You do not know their situation (despite what you think). Shame on you for passing judgement!

I pray your eavesdropping has not driven them away.

I pray in the future you will mind well to not put yourself in situations where you "overhear" private conversations with a priest again....try praying when these opportunities to sin are presented....it works!
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« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2004, 04:54:04 PM »

My apologies...but I was angered but what I saw posted here. I stand by my preceding post but wanted to end on a more positive note.

I am truly blessed to be a member of a parish that welcomes all to Christ's love as expressed by the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church -- the true faith.

We have Ethiopians, Eritreans, Greeks, Albanian, Romanians, Ukranians, Pols, Russians, Slavs, Irish, ENglish, Mexicans, AMericans, Cambodians...you name it we have them all. We exclaim "Indeed He is Risen!" in more than 12 languages. We have the wealthy, the poor, the educated, the homeless, the celibates and the whores....all are welcome.

Rather than pickk nits about who is more Orthodox than whom, in general we try to express our love for each other as God intended and Christ taught us. We have a fun parish. I have never heard gossip there. Everyone comes together. There is no concern among the laity about who is entitled to receive confession and Holy Communion...that is for the indivuals, the priests, the archbishop and God.

I pray one day you can all be as blessed as I am to be a part of a community of faith that is like mine.

Christ wants us all in one Church...and yet here and elsewhere we all too often see people who keep cutting up his body in little bits while passing judgement on others.

May Jesus Christ, Son of God, forgive us all and have mercy on us sinners.
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« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2004, 05:12:25 PM »

Quote
Christ wants us all in one Church...and yet here and elsewhere we all too often see people who keep cutting up his body in little bits while passing judgement on others.

Yeah, like those Church Fathers guys. What audacity! Like when most of the world was semi-Arian, why couldn't they just go along with the program? Oh, that unloving and sectarian Athanasius!
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« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2004, 05:14:58 PM »

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Christ wants us all in one Church...and yet here and elsewhere we all too often see people who keep cutting up his body in little bits while passing judgement on others.

Yeah, like those Church Fathers guys. What audacity! Like when most of the world was semi-Arian, why couldn't they just go along with the program? Oh, that unloving and sectarian Athanasius!

I feel sorry for you....

Your post strikes me as being written by one who will never see the horizon ahead because you are too busy concerning yourself with where you have been.
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« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2004, 07:16:40 PM »

Indeed, even add to your daily prayers "O Lord make me like the wonderful spartacus"
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« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2004, 07:57:57 PM »

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A family comes to your temple and has confession-like conversations with your priest and you eavesdrop?! I strongly suggest the next time you "overhear" private conversations with a priest
Hello Spartacus,

It was not a "confession-like" conversation at all.  They were talking openly in the nave.  If there is someone in confession and I am the only one there I say the Jesus prayer to myself while I am trimming lamps or doing other duties.  Otherwise I read the pre-communion prayers.  The couple did go to Confession, but that I did not hear.

Quote
You do not know this family. You do not know their situation (despite what you think). Shame on you for passing judgement!
I am unaware of how I passed judgment or in what way I think I know their "situation."

Quote
I pray in the future you will mind well to not put yourself in situations where you "overhear" private conversations with a priest again
I did not put myself in any situation.  We have a small church and a priest that talks with people openly in the nave unless it is private.  Anyone reverencing icons, lighting candles, filling out names with prosphora, trimming wicks, preparing service materials, etc, is going to hear these conversations.
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« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2004, 08:09:45 PM »

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We have a fun parish.
Yes, this is more important than councils and dogmas.

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I have never heard gossip there.
If you have never heard it then it must not exist.

Quote
There is no concern among the laity about who is entitled to receive confession and Holy Communion
We are never "entitled" to receive the grace of God.  What are you talking about here?

Quote
I pray one day you can all be as blessed as I am to be a part of a community of faith that is like mine.
Are you quoting the Bible where it says "Thank you, Lord, that I am not like this man."
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« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2004, 10:58:20 AM »

Well again, forgive me if I came about harshly but Gossip is one of my pet peeves. No good ever comes of it.

Given the nature of our temples we often overhear conversations between parishioners and priests. I think it is absolutely critical that what is said between parishioners and priests remains strictly confidential between them even if it is not in the context of a formal confession.

If your priest decides to hear a confession or give Holy Communion to someone you do not know, that is between the person, your priest, the Bishop and God. Should you become unsettled by what you see your priest doing, you should address those matters with your priest...not on the internet or among other parishioners. I suspect you will often find your priest has valid reasons for doing what he does.

When you discern, make your discernments based only on facts...not on parts of overheard conversations, heresay (gossip) or mere impressions. If you have concerns or questions about what your priest is doing. Give him the respect you yourself would want, and ask your questions directly of him.

For many years I would spread and share in gossip (I was in the newspaper business and it is part of the craft). My wife still does unfortunately. But then I started thinking before opening my mouth...asking myself "What good will come about by my mentioning this?"

Please allow me to share a universal defense to use when one hears gossip and is aksed to participate. My pat response is always "I will not argue with you." Say this enough times to even the densest of peole and they get the message -- you are unwilling to participate in gossip even when asked. You are neither agreeing or disagreeing with what they say, you are merely abstaining.

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« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2004, 11:03:35 AM »

Yes, this is more important than councils and dogmas.

Having a fun parish more important than councils or dogmas? -- no...but having  a fun, friendly parish where all are welcome is a sign that people "get it". It is a sign that the parishioners understand the spirit behind all the Councils and Dogmas...and Christ's greatest commandment to love each other. It is not hard to have a fun parish when everybody loves and respects each other and starngers are welcomed as family. In fact it is impossible not to have a fun parish when everybody "gets it".

I ask everyone here....are we more concerned with being "Orthodox" or "Orthodox Christians"?
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« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2004, 11:09:19 AM »


I ask everyone here....are we more concerned with being "Orthodox" or "Orthodox Christians"?

Those terms mean the same thing, spartacus- Christian.
Hence, we don't judge others (or are not supposed to).

Demetri
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« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2004, 11:11:10 AM »

FWIW, the Antiochians regularly communicate Syrian Orthodox in the Middle East, this is widely known and noone is breaking communion over it (well, at least noone who is in communion with Constantinople Smiley).  I have also seen Ethiopian Orthodox receive the Eucharist in SCOBA parishes in the USA.  As far as I'm concerned, it's not my issue, it's the Bishop's issue, and if it's okay with him then it's okay with me on issues like this one.
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« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2004, 11:31:25 AM »

FWIW, the Antiochians regularly communicate Syrian Orthodox in the Middle East, this is widely known and noone is breaking communion over it (well, at least noone who is in communion with Constantinople Smiley).  I have also seen Ethiopian Orthodox receive the Eucharist in SCOBA parishes in the USA.  As far as I'm concerned, it's not my issue, it's the Bishop's issue, and if it's okay with him then it's okay with me on issues like this one.

Yes, and several others have said stuff like this before.  I don't doubt it is happening, but be careful what you say.  There are parishes like mine (and I guess spartacus's) where the Ethiopian/Eritereans ARE Orthodox Christians.  You don't want to scandalize, but especially something that is not scandalous to begin with.

spartacus,
I realize you love your parish and I'm sure it's a great one, but I'm not surprised at the response(s) you got as you came as pharasaical whether you intended to or not.  Have a nice weekend.
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« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2004, 11:44:25 AM »

spartacus,
I realize you love your parish and I'm sure it's a great one, but I'm not surprised at the response(s) you got as you came as pharasaical whether you intended to or not.  Have a nice weekend.

I am greatly saddened when I see and hear laity who seem more concerned with matters best discussed among priests and Bishops than they are about living their own lives as Christ told us.

"pharasaical"? From my perspective people who bicker and debate about just who is in communion with whom and who can receive which sacrements based on private conversations overheard in the temple....without even first discussing the matter with their priest....are the ones who are "pharasaical".

And no I was not surprised by the reponses I saw either....saddened but not surprised. Orthodox Christianity is not a set of rules on a checklist -- that is Roman Catholicism. The Holy SPirit moves within our Church and we all need to be more willing to accept that many times the Holy Spirit does not manifest in ways we expect.
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« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2004, 02:30:48 PM »

I pray one day you can all be as blessed as I am to be a part of a community of faith that is like mine.

spartacus,
Again, this was the phrase that I'm talking about - one of the two points people are jumping on you for.  You may be meaning this in all humility, but it certainly didn't come across that way to several of the posters here.  As I've advised others in the past (and have been jumped on myself when I made quick retorts), think and read over what you type before you click on submit.  TGIF.
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« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2004, 02:33:01 PM »

I stand by my statement....
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« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2004, 04:54:17 PM »

I think it should go without saying that those who are not members of the local Church, or members of other local Churches in communion with them (if they are travelers) should not be communed.  This is a principle that has theological/ecclessiological underpinnings, and it is abundantly reflected in the canonical tradition of the Church.

Saying this, there is a danger in letting every perceived misdeed of a Priest be grounds for scandal.  While it is eminantly up to the Priest himself to avoid causing scandal, if he fails in this, we should try to rise above it and not pour oil on the flames.  Spartacus has a point, in so far as there could be things about the situation brought up at the begining of this post which are not apparent, and butting one's nose into it without invitation is not called for.  There is going to be much, both good and bad, which was not apparent to us in this life.

At the same time, the phenomenon of communing non-Chalcedonians has become something of a pandemic in some parts of the Orthodox world.  I wouldn't say this is due (mostly) to an overtly syncretistic ideology on the part of those Priests doing this (or the Bishops who let it happen), but due to profound misunderstanding on the part of those allowing this.  There are some Orthodox academics and Bishops (and unfortunately clergy in the parishes influenced by the banter eminating from these) who really believe that the "non-Chalcedonian" situation has been setteled, and that all that is left are formalities still being sorted out.  In other words, the Priests who allow this (typically OCA and Antiochians, but this is not at all unknown in the GOA as well), often genuinely believe that the non-Chalcedonians are "Orthodox Christians" without any qualification.  This is carelessness on their part, and they are playing with fire - they are certainly violating the rules of the Church in proceeding in this way.

Unfortunately the problem is being irritated on a much larger scale by the activities of the Patriarch of Antioch himself.  The various agreements signed between his representatives and the non-Chalcedonians basically amount to saying formally what the errant Priests who commune non-Chalcedonians tacitly believe - that this is all an issue of semantics (and more to the point, always has been which I think is the truly false conclusion), and as such "we" (in this case the Patriarchate of Antioch) can proceed as it see's fit.

I can sympathize to some extent with this thinking, since in terms of praxis the non-Chalcedonians are not a problem (as far as I'm aware).  Also, my experience is that the non-Chalcedonians I have spoken to, in many words materially do believe in the faith of Chalcedon.  What I think is manifestly not true, is that this always has been and universally was the case even going back to the events which caused the non-Chalcedonians to be seperated from the Orthodox Church, and that it is not necessary for these "materially" Orthodox believing modern non-Chalcedonians to be in unity with the Church while remaining precisely this - non-Chalcedonians!  The Holy and Ecumenical Councils rightly divide the faith - thus, even granting to our modern non-Chalcednian friends that they materially (even if talking in circles and using different terminology) agree with the Church, there can be no visible formal unity with them, if they do not visibly, formally profess the same faith.  Even the most liberal, "economia" receptions of seperated communities into the Church (such as is evidenced in long standing Russian practice) involve at least one thing - repudiation of falsehood and a clear, unambiguous confession of the Orthodox faith, whole and entire, including an affirmation of the Ecumenical Councils and the traditions of the Church.

To simply say that such an affirmation in so many words is not necessary, is to put to a lie the idea that any real "visible unity" exists!  What "unity"?!  Such a union is bogus - what you have maybe is "agreement" (even in large part), but not the visible, canonical unity of the Church which is what any unia should be working to effect.

Orthodoxy is not Papism - She does not appeal to "communion with this or that Patriarchate(s)" as the litmus test of authenticity.  Fundamentally it is a fidelity to truth, and the confession of it, which effects and manifests this unity.  Thus, from an Orthodox p.o.v. simply "concelebrating" and effecting an administrative unity is meaningless.  Not only does this not effect unity, but it actually drags those Orthodox who involve themselves in it out of the Church, by creating schism.  And I fear this is precisely what is going to happen if the Antiochians do not put a stop to this and reconsider - the Patriarch of Jerusalem has already written strongly worded letters to the Patriarch of Antioch, adominishing him to stop this.  We need this kind of mischief (that the Antiochians are up to) like we need a hole in the head.  Such ill advised pandering to heterodoxy has already caused divisions in the Church, and very painful enduring ones at that.

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« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2004, 09:01:46 PM »

Spartacus, just forget it.  You don't have any idea what's going on but you have chosen to act as spiritual father and judge.  No thanks.  You can take your shame back on yourself for making up what you think happened and trying to publicly execute me for it on this thread.  God help you.
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« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2004, 02:01:09 AM »

Just a slight addendum and anecdote.

Many of these offering of Holy Communion arguements w/ both RCCs and Non-Chalcedonians on a "pastoral basis" is rather interesting.  To me, it sounds rather oblivious to modern means of travel and communication and the praxis of individuals.  You look at historical praxis, where certain Orthodox people's as a practice would only receive Communion few times a year or less.  But that was usually due to their own practice and discipline and we know the Fathers advocate more frequent Communion (AND CONFESSION).

Where I went to college in northern california, we had an occasional attendee at our newly formed OCA mission, a Russian lady from China who live out in the hills and was an Old Believer.  Around a year ago, I called up the priest there to see how things were doing and one thing I heard was the he confessed her and gave her Communion for the FIRST TIME IN FIFTY YEARS!  I had no idea and thought that was amazing.  This lady though was at least in her late 70s maybe  80s and not in great health and so obviously didn't have the means to travel often.

Back to my main point...in the United States here, with so many different Orthodox Churches (using the term VERY loosely in this since), there isn't much excuse unless you are infirm to really need a priest from a different faith to commune you except for dire circumstances.  I highly doubt these circumstances really occur that often.  If you are non-Chalcedonian, for example, there is no need really to be communed at the moment when you can just travel to a non-Chalcedonian Church probably a few hundred miles away at the farthest some short time later.  Waiting another week or even a month or so until your next oppotunity is not a big deal compared to those who don't commune that often even in their own parish!

Well, I've wasted enough bandwidth for the day.  Good night y'all.
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« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2004, 07:12:45 AM »

Let me just say a few things about how "intercommunion" is viewed and practiced in my parish.

I am a Russian Orthodox Christian, under the Patriarchate of Moscow. Our Parish has two priests and a small monastery. My country is not a traditionally Orthodox country but of a western type. In this country we have a few thousand Copts and Syrians, and not a few of them attend AND commune in our parish. In this we are following the instructions of our Bishop Vladyko Simon of Brussels. The instructions boil down to this, since non-Chalcedonians ARE Orthodox, they are allowed to receive the Holy Mysteries in a Russian Orthodox Church when they cannot attend a parish of their own jurisdiction. No conversion, or ' reception'  is necessary. And when non-Chalcedonians CAN attend their onw jurisdiction but prefer our parish all that is asked of them is that they be true to this parish and do not parish-hop around.

This goes so far that a while ago Vladyko Siomn allowed an Eritrean priest to perfrom a Divine Liturgy in our parish to serve his people with only ONE limitation. There should be a little extra table in the Altar over which this priest had to lean to perfom the Divine Liturgy. The table should serve to remind us of the our common Orthodoxy that is as yet not fully healed from the schism concerning Chalcedon. Sadly the priest took offense and refused the offer.

I have also took Hegoumen Onufry for a visit (at his request) to a monastery of the Syriac Orthodox Church in our country (I was the driver) where their Archbishop resides. It was a very blessed day, and we were well-received and were invited to join evening prayers with them (which we did). We also visited the grave of a relative of one of our Syriac parishioners to pray. The vision of our parish priests and that of our God-enlightened Bishop Vladyko Simon are of a truly pan-Orthodox (not ecumenical per se) depth, and I am surprised and amazed,.. no,.. shocked by some statements made about the non-Chalcedonians here by Chalcedonians.

May God forgive us, thru the prayers of St. Mary Theotokos and St. John the Forerunner.

IC XC

Grigorii
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« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2004, 10:53:03 AM »

While I don't think things like this should become the norm (on both sides...I don't think we should commune EO regularly either, since we regard ourselves as the Orthodox Church) until various issues are resolved, reality is often less "straightforward" than we'd like to admit.    
I'd like to hear more about this from the Non-Chalcedonian perspective.  I imagined this would be the case.  If I were Coptic, Eritrean, Syriac how would I view the Chalcedonian Churches and their receivng sacraments at my Church?
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« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2004, 02:28:17 PM »

Let may just say something, and i know i'm gonna sound way out of wack here...

If you went absolutely to the letter about everything that happened between us(Alexandria, i'm a Copt) and how and why Chalcedon was rejected by Alexandria, you will see that CANONICALLY, what we have is not schism; we just don't have FULL communion, in no way was ANY non-chalcedonian bishop or priest treated the same way as were the arians or macedonians, and this is where Augustine and i heavily disagree, there is no 'modern' NC or back in the day NC, we need to go back to Cyril, i would like to ask here at this point.. who here has really studied what we 'modern' NC's say according to Ss. Dioscorus and Severus that does not in any full way comply with our common father among the saints?

Can anyone here quote anything un-Orthodox that our NC fathers Dioscorus and Severus wrote as heresey?

This is not a challenge, this is for my honest furthering in The Truth, so please reply as you would to a loving brother.

Yours in Him,
mourad
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« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2004, 05:51:06 PM »

Dearest to Christ Mourad,

Quote
Can anyone here quote anything un-Orthodox that our NC fathers Dioscorus and Severus wrote as heresey?

I don't think so,.. I would go even further,.. The christology of St. Severus of Antioch has certain virtues that appear to be lacking in St. John of Damascus. Tho  imo there are certain things lacking in St. Severus too,.. I would say both are right at the core of their christology but wrong in their onesidedness.

IC XC

Grigorii
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« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2004, 07:54:30 PM »

I'd like to hear more about this from the Non-Chalcedonian perspective.  I imagined this would be the case.  If I were Coptic, Eritrean, Syriac how would I view the Chalcedonian Churches and their receivng sacraments at my Church?


Honestly, I think OO's mind communing EO's less than EO's mind communing OO's.  My preference is that these things be kept to a minimum because we are not currently in full communion and so any such instance must be for a good reason and clearly the exception, and because it's just less messy that way.  But if you asked me if it was something I inherently disagreed with, or if it was something I'd leave my parish over, I'd say definitely not.
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« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2004, 10:41:35 PM »

Honestly, I think OO's mind communing EO's less than EO's mind communing OO's.  My preference is that these things be kept to a minimum because we are not currently in full communion and so any such instance must be for a good reason and clearly the exception, and because it's just less messy that way.  But if you asked me if it was something I inherently disagreed with, or if it was something I'd leave my parish over, I'd say definitely not.  
Thanks.  That seems a fair answer.
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« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2004, 09:09:57 AM »

Can anyone here quote anything un-Orthodox that our NC fathers Dioscorus and Severus wrote as heresey?

Hoo, boy...and here we have the reason for the recent renaming of the "Oriental Orthodox" subforum...if you want, you can go look through the many (often heated) conversations had by Peterfarrington (NChal) and Linus7 (Chal).  They went around this tree over and over and over....

That having been said, I personally don't think there's a problem with the Christology as much as there is with the hagiography -- each side has highly revered saints that the other has unquestionably condemned as heretics.  I don't know of any EO who would agree to full communion with a group that called St. Leo of Rome a heretic (I certaintly couldn't do so), and I know the reverse is true as well.
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« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2004, 05:15:51 AM »

Dearest Pedro,

you see, that's just the problem though, we have some problems with Pope Leo's Tome, and i can talk to you theologically on why we do not see the tome as fully in agreement with Pope Cyril.

Linus always argued about our acceptance of Chalcedon without giving me THEOLOGICAL basis for doing so; that without Chalcedon, i could not maintain a fully Orthodox faith.

Accepting Chalcedon would take me just about less than a second if Theological arguments were brought out and argued out fully. I do not say this without the fullest good and honest intention.
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« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2004, 06:42:11 AM »

Dearest to Christ Pedro,

I agree that the biggest problem does not concern christology but hagiography,.. Tho I would have no objection to "official" rejection of certain aspects of St. Leo's theology, I (as an EO!) am extemely unhappy with his Tome and would NEVER use it as a source of dogmatic theology; I am equally unhappy with his ecclesiology where he assumes and seeks to enforce "universal jurisdiction" for the See of St. Peter. I am much more comfortable with the christological teaching of such masters as St. John of Damascus and St. Severus of Antioch, and indeed precisely these two!

So,.. I am unwilling to call St. Leo a heretic, but I am also unable to say he is a source of Orthodox dogmatic theology, due to un-Orthodox tendencies in his theology. I would argue the same for the "enemy" St. Leo thought necessary to fight the aged shepherd of souls the Archimandrite Eutyches. His theological statements are capable of an Orthodox interpretation as much as are St. Leo's. Tho none of them are a relaible source of Orthodox dogmatic theology, quite the contrary! Tho this is strictly MY[/b] opinion and impression of the matter.

Perhaps a de-polemicized hagiography can help re-establish intercommunion in the One Orthodox Church?

IC XC

Grigorii
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« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2004, 08:04:27 AM »

<lays down all his cards>

Gonna be honest.  When I converted to Orthodoxy, Chalcedon was one subject I just glossed over.  Didn't know a thing about it except that EO's accepted it and that there were Non-Chalcedonians who didn't, and that, since it was an Ecumenical Council, we were right for accepting it.  How's that for simplistic?  :-

Still don't know much about how Chalcedon affects St. Leo -- the only reason I know about St. Cyril's theology is through Peterfarrington and other NCs on this board -- and I know many of his quotes have been used to defend the Papacy...yet there is a lot of good in his writings which I HAVE read; he is SAINT Leo, after all (at least to the EO).

Yes, if indeed the christologies of the saints can all legitimately be seen in a truly Orthodox light, we not only need to discuss Christological terms, but also how all can be seen in this light and also lift anathemas...without somehow contradicting the Council we believe to be God-breathed...hoo boy...it's just past seven and I've already got a headache!
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« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2004, 10:43:17 AM »

Dearest to Christ Pedro,

There is no argument about him being SAINT Leo,.. But despite his sainthood, I still believe he is simply wrong in some matters; like the tendency to separate the "actions" in Christ and his "universal jurisdiction" theory.

Also, I would find little trouble in intercommuning with the Oriental Orthodox without them accepting Chalcedon. Its not the Council that is so important for intercommuion, but it is the faith[/b] the Councils express,..There is only one Orthodox Creed which binds us all together and it was established in two Councils and is considered authoritative (and Chalcedon does not seek to replace it but merely to interpret and explain it). I would say that the Chalcedonian and the non-Chalcedonian Traditions are both God-breathed tho not necessarily infallible (I hesitate to apply Protestant word-to-word literalism to the Councils as much as I do to Scripture) in their content. Now the task I see ahead of us not so much pushing the one expression upon the other, or replacing one with the other, but the task would be more along the lines of finding an expression that is the dialectical result of both. Cos to me Holy Tradition is not mere loyalty to the past, but the living Presence of the Holy Spirit that is upwardly open.  Kinda,..

But its warm,.. I've been sitting in the sun for a loooong time,.. and might suffer from overheating,..

IC XC

Grigorii
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« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2004, 03:38:19 PM »

Spartacus, just forget it.  You don't have any idea what's going on ...  God help you.


I thank you for your prayer for God's Help. Perhaps though you yourself can help this miserbale sinner?

Please explain to me how it is right, charitable or Orthodox to over hear parts of a private conversation in your temple, and then make that a topic for discussion on the internet without first talking to your priest?

Please explain this to my simple brain. I have always thought that if I had a question about something in my parish, I should first talk to my priest.

Have I been wrong lo' these many years?

Your explanation will be greatly appreciated for as you said....I do not know what is going on...I have no idea. Please share your knowledge and wisdom on this matter with this lowly sinner.
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« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2004, 05:10:10 PM »

I thank you for your prayer for God's Help. Perhaps though you yourself can help this miserbale sinner?
I can't help you, especially if you are going to mock me.

Quote
Please explain to me how it is right, charitable or Orthodox to over hear parts of a private conversation in your temple, and then make that a topic for discussion on the internet without first talking to your priest?
It was out in the open, no low talking, in a 30'x30' nave.  The priest holds private conversations in his office or downstairs.

Others had talked to the visitors and knew they were Coptic.  Others had seen them at Confession.  Someone else asked the priest at trapeza if we commune Coptic Orthodox, and he said yes.

I kept my post anonymous.  I have not said what parish I attend, who the priest is, or who the visitors were.  If you know, and you think I'm gossiping, you should have emailed me privately.

Quote
Please explain this to my simple brain. I have always thought that if I had a question about something in my parish, I should first talk to my priest.
Is there a rule about first talking to the priest about anything you have a question about?  Is it wrong to ask questions on the Internet of fellow Orthodox before talking to the priest?

Quote
Have I been wrong lo' these many years?
Yeah, I'm sensing the love in this statement.  Tell me again why your parish is so great?  Because they put up with you?


Quote
Your explanation will be greatly appreciated for as you said....I do not know what is going on...I have no idea. Please share your knowledge and wisdom on this matter with this lowly sinner.
"The mocker seeks wisdom and does not find it"
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« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2004, 11:35:50 PM »

dlwatkins....
Please consider how much differently one might perceive your opening post, if it stated:

"A family of Coptic Christians is joining our parish. Our priest has heard their confessions and told me that the Russian Orthodox Church communes Coptics. Can anyone explain this to me further?"

Many times it is not what we say or write but how we write it. Please consider this as you review your opening post...reading your opening post from the perspective of all the reader knows is what you state.

When I first joined this board I was assailed by so much jurisdictional garbage I thanked God I found this board only after I converted. Please forgive me if I am sensitive to some people here being pharasiical in their posts and proclamations. Many here focus on the trees rather than the forest.

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« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2004, 11:58:00 PM »

What does focusing on the trees rather than the forest mean?

Years ago I focused on the forest and became Antiochian. I put off examining individual trees until later. It's now later, and now I am about to enter my 3rd jurisdiction in 3 years. What spiritual harm to my soul could have been avoided had I just examined the trees more closely to begin with, I wonder?

If you "focus on the trees rather than the forest" sooner you get told that you don't understand Orthodoxy, that you are a silly convert who doesn't focus on the right things, that you are going down the wrong path, etc. On the other hand, if you focuse on the forest first, and then after viewing the trees later decide to make a chance, you get called a jurisdiction hopper and do great harm to your soul and mind.
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« Reply #62 on: August 11, 2004, 11:05:13 AM »

Excellent points, Paradosis.

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« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2004, 12:34:51 PM »

There is no argument about him being SAINT Leo...

...among EO, right.  But the Non-Chalcedonians do NOT see him as a saint.  Quite the opposite, I think....
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« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2004, 12:45:56 PM »

If you "focus on the trees rather than the forest" sooner you get told that you don't understand Orthodoxy, that you are a silly convert who doesn't focus on the right things, that you are going down the wrong path, etc. On the other hand, if you focuse on the forest first, and then after viewing the trees later decide to make a chance, you get called a jurisdiction hopper and do great harm to your soul and mind.

These are good points, Paradosis.

However...it seems to me to be a very (and I hate to say it this way, as the word is used as a sort of catch-all for all bad things within Orthodoxy) Protestant idea to simply pack up and leave based on one's own, individual interpretation of the canons.  I emphasize not the "individual interpretation," as this is a part of any convert's experience; we all chose to become Orthodox.  Rather, it is the idea that one must immediately flee and form a new jurisdiction, walling ourselves off because "those people" have gone off the deep end, when such a thing:

1) might not be so obviously necessary as it immediately seems, and
2) might have been avoided had we heeded the advice of those whose day-in, day-out calling it is to know and direct these matters.
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« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2004, 04:24:06 PM »

Dearest to Christ Pedro,

Quote
...among EO, right.  But the Non-Chalcedonians do NOT see him as a saint.  Quite the opposite, I think....

Actually,.. a long time friend of mine,.. a Greek Orthodox of many years, has always stated that he cannot recognize the Jesus Christ he knows in Divine Liturgy and in prayer in Leo's Tome (and I would agree to a large extent). BUT as far as I am concerned, Leo (for some reason) has been canonized as a saint and I personally have no argument with it. I know many if not most Oriental Orthodox  do have serious trouble in recognizing Leo's sainthood.

Tho Leo will never be part of my Icon-corner in my private devotions, I accept the judgment of the EO Church in this. However, I can imagine that after my visit to Egypt, my Icon-corner will be enriched by an Icon of St. Severus of Antioch.

IC XC

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« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2004, 12:05:13 PM »

Dearest Pedro,

Quote
However...it seems to me to be a very (and I hate to say it this way, as the word is used as a sort of catch-all for all bad things within Orthodoxy) Protestant idea to simply pack up and leave based on one's own, individual interpretation of the canons.  I emphasize not the "individual interpretation," as this is a part of any convert's experience; we all chose to become Orthodox.  Rather, it is the idea that one must immediately flee and form a new jurisdiction, walling ourselves off because "those people" have gone off the deep end, when such a thing:

As someone who belongs to a Church which is "walled off" from the better part of the various local Churches (ROCOR), I've often heard this criticism - that there is a Protestant like "personal interpretation" involved here, particularly in knowingly choosing to align one's self with a group with no official relationship with the likes of the EP, or the ancient Patriarchal seats (save tenously with Jerusalem.)

The problem with this view, however, is with the conclusion that such is a private matter in any sense.  The last time I checked, there are Bishops involved on both sides of these issues - Bishops who object to ecumenism, the calendar innovation (which thankfully only a relative few in the Orthodox world actually observe), etc.  As you indicate, any decision to subscribe to a p.o.v. is very individual, and that is unavoidable (just as you say, the decision to become Orthodox is like this to begin with.)  But to equate this with a Protestant-style, "Bible and me" level of self exaltation is just inaccurate.

There is nothing "new" in the preaching of the Old Calendar heirarchs, nor any attempt to "re-invent the wheel" ala Martin Luther or the other "great" reformers of the Reformation.  If anything, it is a dogged refusal to adopt certain changes in doctrine and praxis which characterizes the "Old Calendarists" (or "traditionalist" bodies like ROCOR), and just the opposite which characterizes the innovations (in both thought and deed) of their opponents/detractors.

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« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2004, 12:48:16 AM »

There is nothing "new" in the preaching of the Old Calendar heirarchs, nor any attempt to "re-invent the wheel" ala Martin Luther or the other "great" reformers of the Reformation.  If anything, it is a dogged refusal to adopt certain changes in doctrine and praxis which characterizes the "Old Calendarists" (or "traditionalist" bodies like ROCOR), and just the opposite which characterizes the innovations (in both thought and deed) of their opponents/detractors.



When does a refusal to change become a refusal to accept reality?

At what point do we become like the Pharasies in adhernece to ancient traditions?

If one lives in North America....why would one want to be part of the "Russian Church in exile" that has a presence in many other countries -- particularly if one is not a Russian refugee from the Communist revolution?
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« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2004, 10:23:03 AM »

Spartacus,

Quote
When does a refusal to change become a refusal to accept reality?

As I understand it, the reality is that the non-Chalcedonians do not accept the Ecumenical Councils of the Orthodox Church, and that their separation from the Orthodox Church hinges on the rejection of one Council in particular.

Quote
At what point do we become like the Pharasies in adhernece to ancient traditions?

If I remember the Gospels correctly, it was the exaltation of the traditions of men, to the nullification of the law of God, for which the Pharisees were condemned.

As far as the Orthodox Church is concerned, the Council of Chalcedon was a grace from God, on the same level as the other Ecumenical Councils.  While one can profess to be a Christian and disagree with this (just as there have been, and still are some "Christians" who reject the Symbol of Nicea), they are not Orthodox Christians if they persist in doing such.

There is nothing "pharisaical" about standing up for the dicates of the Holy Spirit.  The same Lord Who condemned the hypocracy and innovation of the Pharisees, had great zeal for that which was true and sacred; His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me." (St.John 2:17)

Quote
If one lives in North America....why would one want to be part of the "Russian Church in exile" that has a presence in many other countries -- particularly if one is not a Russian refugee from the Communist revolution?

If one lives in North America, why would one want to be a part of the Antiochian, Greek, Romanian, Serbia etc. Archidocese', whose only purpose for existing as administratively separate entities is to preserve ethnic identies, and less savory, act as impliments of power playing at the hands of foreign heirarchies that simply had no business being here to begin with?  Lest we forget, the following...

- The Americas were once universally understood to be the mission territory of the Russian Orthodox Church; it was only after the upheavals in Russia and the inability of the Moscow Patriarchate to properly oversee it's foreign missions, that everyone in the old world "took advantage" of the situation and flooded North America with their own set of heirarchs, creating the completly anti-canonical situation of overlapping "juristictions" and flocks divided along purely ethnic lines - almost forgetting that phyletism is in fact a heresy according to Orthodox dogmatics.

- The Metropolia (what is now known as the OCA) of it's own accord was part of the temporary foreign administration commonly known as ROCOR (or ROCA), which was created on the basis of Patriarch St.Tikhon's Ukaze #362, to administer the "Russian Orthodox Church Abroad"; and it was by their own accord that they twice went into schism from the ROCOR (once being reconciled, the second time creating a schism which sadly has persisted to the present day).  That said, it is at least highly debatable whether the OCA can be smugly insisted upon as legitimatly representing the continuation of the Russian Church's pre-revolutionary mission in the Americas, to the exclusion of the ROCOR at least equally (if not more so) representing the continuation of that mission.

Of course, further grounds for one "wanting" to be a part of the ROCOR, would be the simple reason that they (as Bp.Kallistos Ware readily admits in his wel known The Orthodox Church) embody the fullness of Orthodox piety and tradition (as manifested by what one hears and see's when you go to a typical ROCOR parish, or as manifested by a monastic presence which far outstrips their numbers as compared to other juristictions in the west), which sadly many other juristictions in the west have diminished one way or another.  ROCOR doesn't envision itself as a part of the "church which is becoming", or entertain never ending revision of just what Orthodox Christianity is in some vain desire to accomodate heterodoxy (as if there were a "back door" by which it could somehow be invited into the Temple of God); but simply as an Orthodox Church, continuing in the faith and traditions of the Church.

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« Reply #69 on: August 15, 2004, 07:53:05 AM »

Pedro,

Regarding our own personal decisions, I agree. When we make a choice that effects us and those around us, we have to beware that we are not simply following our own (wrong) inclinations. I wonder if my own words will condemn me? I hope not! Smiley Words to live by:

Quote
"For hoary hairs combined with prudence are better than inexperienced youth, well-reasoned hesitation than inconsiderate haste..." - St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 2

I would also second what Augustine said, though. That there are pious priests and bishops who have already walked certain roads is helpful and good, if we also are thinking about walking on those roads.
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« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2009, 09:37:44 PM »

Hello brothers and sisters, I haven't been on this board in a long time, but recently have been browsing.  I had forgotten about this thread and found it again through my profile.

I want to apologize for starting this thread and the things I said in it.  I was terribly wrong and full of judgment and pride.  Please forgive me and say a prayer for me please, a sinner.

I was away from the Church for a while, by my own sins, and have been back by the grace of God since this past Lent.  I have a good church, a good priest, and am trying to work out my salvation with fear and trembling.  And yes, I am at the same church. Smiley

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« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2009, 09:47:08 PM »

Welcome back.   Smiley
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« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2009, 09:58:34 PM »

Hello brothers and sisters, I haven't been on this board in a long time, but recently have been browsing.  I had forgotten about this thread and found it again through my profile.

I want to apologize for starting this thread and the things I said in it.  I was terribly wrong and full of judgment and pride.  Please forgive me and say a prayer for me please, a sinner.

I was away from the Church for a while, by my own sins, and have been back by the grace of God since this past Lent.  I have a good church, a good priest, and am trying to work out my salvation with fear and trembling.  And yes, I am at the same church. Smiley

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« Reply #73 on: October 28, 2009, 09:26:53 AM »

The Americas were once universally understood to be the mission territory of the Russian Orthodox Church

I know it's OT for this thread, but this statement is just flat-out false.  There were many Orthodox churches in North America that were not part of the missionary diocese prior to the revolution.
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« Reply #74 on: October 28, 2009, 10:56:51 AM »

The Americas were once universally understood to be the mission territory of the Russian Orthodox Church

I know it's OT for this thread, but this statement is just flat-out false.  There were many Orthodox churches in North America that were not part of the missionary diocese prior to the revolution.

Schimatics, the defrocked and the uncanonical do not count.

In 1888, the Orthodox in Chicago, in the heart of America, organized and petition the Russian Church, and the Russian Bishop in the New World came.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/?tag=1888

The "Greek" parish in New Orleans was Pan-Orthodox (its records not being in Greek for half a century), the Russians being involved its founding and the arrival of its first "priest," the Galveston parish was served, at their request, a Greek under the Russian bishop; the parishes of San Francisco and Seattle (and then Chicago) broke off (with the Russian bishops blessing) from the Russian parishes there.  The first non-Russian jurisdiction to organize (there was an attempt by the Serbs, with the Russians' blessings, that was abortive) was what when on MUCH later to be GOARCH, but that wasn't until 1922, at the earliest 1918.

Btw, to the OP: welcome back.
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« Reply #75 on: October 28, 2009, 12:23:04 PM »

Schimatics, the defrocked and the uncanonical do not count.

Curious that the Russian ambassador didn't use your classifications, when he attended the EP-blessed Greek church in NY in the early 1890s because the Russian consular chapel had been shuddered.

Also curious that neither did St. Tikhon. Obviously he made a mistake by never claiming jurisdiction over the scores of Greek parishes and priests that he he encountered once he came to the East coast.
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« Reply #76 on: October 28, 2009, 01:24:23 PM »

Schimatics, the defrocked and the uncanonical do not count.

Curious that the Russian ambassador didn't use your classifications, when he attended the EP-blessed Greek church in NY in the early 1890s because the Russian consular chapel had been shuddered.
A shame the Greeks didn't feel the same way:
Quote
By the end of 1893, though, many of the Holy Trinity parishioners wanted to start a second church. The reasons are not entirely clear. The New York Times (January 8, 1894) reported at the time that Holy Trinity was “attended chiefly by the up-town colony of Greeks, and did not fully meet the wants of those who live at the lower end of the city.” The president of the Society of Athena, Solon Vlasto, made direct contact with the Ecumenical Patriarch. In response, the Patriarch sent Archimandrite Kallinikos Delveis to New York, authorizing him to found Annunciation, the city’s second Greek Orthodox church.

Now, it’s not entirely clear why exactly the Society of Athena made this request. There were, by most accounts, something like a thousand Greeks in New York City at the time, and the newly-formed Annunciation parish claimed 300 or 400 members. In his book Orthodox Christians in America, Fr. John Erickson writes that a “dissatisfied group wrote to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, rather than to the Holy Synod of Greece, asking for ‘an educated priest.’” But, as I’ve noted in an earlier post, the priest of Holy Trinity, Fr. Paisios Ferentinos, was in fact quite well-educated. There must have been some sort of dispute, but at the moment, I don’t know the details.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/?tag=paisios-ferentinos

Fr. Ferentinos was sent by the CoG, not the EP, ended up in New Orleans.  We've discussed this before:
The Greek colony in San Francisco and their consul (according to a NY Times account in 1873, the "best organized Greek" community in America)  founded the OCA Cathedral parish shortly before the New Orleans Parish.  The first priest of the New Orleans parish ended up in San Francisco, demanding an antimens and vestments from the Russian priest there:
Quote
...About the presbyter Agapius Honcharenko. When I arrived to S.-Francisco, Mister Consul warned me to not allow myself to receive him and not to talk to him. In the evening, ... a man of small stature with a black beard came to my apartment and ordered me to give him vestments and the antimension, and [to cease?] a campaign to establish a newspaper. As I was already warned, I told him that I could not have anything to do with him and asked him to leave me alone. He left my apartment very angrily, and then began to curse all around the city. He is a former monk and married to an Italian woman. The Slavs cannot stand him.
http://www.holy-trinity.org/

Until 1904 the records at the New Orleans (now) Cathedral (a lovely parish btw, full of Southern Hospitality. The new temple is gorgeous, and incorporates elements from the original, something I always like, homage to roots) were in English, and many (i.e. the Arabs and Slavs) of the parish council knew no Greek.  It became part of the GOA in 1921.
http://books.google.com/books?id=0rOzGa-KjygC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Orthodox+New+Orleans+records+in+English&source=bl&ots=2HeNiqNIDz&sig=h5jUZuF4KCxpsl49t_hehQwrOzo&hl=en&ei=ds-SStfNN96Ptgf-oKDPBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false

The Greek community was established in 1892? Let's see the Greek "Mother Church of America" says:
Quote
The origin of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas is to be found in the believing souls of the Greek Orthodox immigrants. Religion and faith are forces that shape what is called the character of man. We may be justly proud of our history in this Nation and of our ongoing contribution to its religious ethos.

In the fall of 1891 there were about 500 male Greeks and perhaps 20 Greek women in New York. The establishment of the Athena Brotherhood intertwined Hellenism and Greek Orthodoxy; from these few sprung forth the first Greek association in this hemisphere, and the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox parish. It elected as its president Solon J. Vlastos, who three years later founded the first Greek American daily newspaper, The Atlantis.

In fits and starts the fledgling religious community began to grow. Chartered by a special act of the New York State Legislature in 1896, it occupied several locations in lower Manhattan. In 1904 a permanent church building, an Episcopal church of Gothic architecture at 153 East 72nd Street , was purchased. The first service was held on April 3, 1904. Later the same year, the dynamic Father Methodios Kourkoules assumed the pastorate and remained its benevolent and resolute spiritual leader until 1940...Archbishop Athenagoras, later Ecumenical Patriarch (1947–72) consecrated the Cathedral on October 22, 1933 and characterized it as "The Cathedral of all of Hellenism in America."
http://www.thecathedral.goarch.org/vsItemDisplay.dsp&objectID=E9AED050-369E-48B6-BC125D72FB79A659&method=display

Emphasis added.

We have talked about "The Cathedral of all of Hellenism in America" before:
Quote
and in the early 1890s, before the Russian Mission returned to New York, Greek parishes were established in New York.

LOL.  Yes, parishes.  Excessively simplistic: The original organization, the Society of Athena (founded with the help IIRC of a Greek Prince who passed through New York on an American Tour) received a priest, Fr. Ferentinos from the CoG.  The Board of Trustees didn't along with the Society, however, so they seperated the parish administration from the Society.  The Society then founded another parish and got a priest from the EP, who was unaware of the goings on in NY.  Fr. Ferentinos ended up in New Orleans. 
http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&pg=PA131&dq=Galveston+Orthodox&lr=#PPA130,M1

Divisive: before the Russian Mission returned to New York.  That would mean it was there first. (btw, the article's characterization of Fr. Bjerring's mission conflicts with other, DOCUMENTED, sources I've read.  Hence I would like to know what Fr. Herbel is getting his information).  It is fair to assume that the Imperial Russian Consulate also saw to religious services, as it did in SF and other places until a permanent parish was set up, in the interum.  Not terribly important, as a couple years after the founding of the Society of Athena, we find this from the hagiography of St. Raphael Hawaweeny:
Quote
Archimandrite Raphael arrived in New York on November 2, 1895, and was welcomed by a delegation of Arab Christians who were awaiting their leader from Russia. On November 5, his first Sunday in America, he assisted Bishop NICHOLAS in serving the Divine Liturgy at the Russian church in New York city. Less than two weeks after his arrival, Archimandrite Raphael found a suitable place in lower Manhattan to set up a chapel, and furnished it with ecclesiastical items that he had brought with him from Russia. Bishop NICHOLAS blessed the new chapel, which was dedicated to St Nicholas of Myra.
http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/liturgical/patron/straphael.html
So nearly the same time as "Greek parishes were established in New York," we have a Russian Bishop in New York, celebrating  DL at the (re)constituted Russian Church in NY for the arrival of the future Arab bishop (and saint), the first ordained in the New World, who founded a second parish in NYC, not in the divisive spirit that spawned the Greek parishes, but in the unity of the Arabs within the Russian diocese of America.

I here repeat So are we to place a canonical diocese on a par with the situation described below?  BY NO MEANS!:
Quote
and the argument that might claim “there was a diocese on the continent dedicated to evangelizing the whole continent and, therefore, all Orthodox anywhere on the continent were to be subject to that diocese.”

Excessively simplistic:no one really claims a diocese on the continent until the CoG does so in 1918, and then makes Archb. Meletios of Athens, still resident in Athens (i.e. not in America) bishop of said "diocese."  By then, nearly two decades had passed since the Russian Church had organized its diocese into the Archdiocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America, with vicar bishops for Alaska, for the Arabs, etc. with bishops criss-crossing the continent visiting parishes in all corners of it.

Divisive: whereas the Russian Orthodox Church had organized and built the diocese that spaned the continent and all communities, neither CoG nor Constantinople had ANY direct part in building the Church in America, something the Chief Secretary admits and bemoans.  Case in point: when St. Tikhon went to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in NYC in 1904, he was basically expelled, and the parish incorporated itself to prevent it being taken over by St. Tikhon, the only hiearch of a hiearchal Church, which the Orthodox Church is (the distinction is important for American law).  Anywhere else, this would be called schismatic: why is it acceptable in America?  In contrast, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago (which predated the one in NYC) invited St. Tikhon to come serve in 1901, which he did.

So are we to place a canonical diocese on a par with the situation described below?  BY NO MEANS!

Quote
And now for the position of the priest, the pastor (ephemerios) of the community.  He has no power as far as the written constitution goes.  Thus we find a most anomolous condition in the Greek churches in America.  It works something like the worst side of the vestry system of the Episcopal Church parishes, without the legal rights of the rector, nor the possibility of intervention by the Bishop; or another analogy might apply in some instances,-Congregationalsim run wild in a mission of the Apostolic, Catholic, Eastern Church!  From afar the Metropolitan Archbishop of Athens (note: The Patriarch of Constantinople has ceded to the Holy Synod of Athens the charge of the Greek Orthodox missions in America) rules without the possibility of settling anything, much as the Bishop of London had charge of the Anglican parishes in this country before the Revelotion.  So the Greek priest is hired, and often "fired," by a parish committee composed usually of poorly educated peasants.  And thus come the wranglings and disputes and divisions into two rival church communities of a city; and thus the poor priests, sent out by the Holy Synod in response to the cry for spiritual help, sometimes find themselves as office boys at the mercy of their employers.  Moreoever, there are also some priests who have no right here; these are Macedonians, mostly of little education, who, coming to America, have slipped their bishop's jurisdiction and are ministering without authority wherever they can make the most money, sometimes underbidding and ousting the priests sent by a bishop. Of course, conditions are not everywhere bad in communities, but the system is sadly irresponsible.  The only solution seems to be a resident bishop for America; may his advent be soon!
(the same source has a nice summary (1913) of the Greek Orthodox Churches at that time)
http://books.google.com/books?id=RVV2AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA167&dq=Greeks+in+America+Galveston#PPA55,M1

Alas, that bishop, as far as the Greeks were concerned, was Bshp/Archbshp/EP/Pope Meletios.  I'm a little tired now, so I've have to post his report of his trip to America, where it is clear the GOARCH was founded in willful defiance of the canonical diocese.  For those who can't wait, look here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&pg=PA137&dq=Galveston+Orthodox&lr=#

But back to the origins of the Orthodox (as opposed to Greek Orthodox) community of New York. The first parish was established there in 1870 by the authority of the Russian Holy Synod and the direction of St. Met. Philaret (St. Innocent's mentor), that of Fr. Bjerring (who might have been the first US citizen ordained), mentioned above.  It's congregation consisted of the Russian AND GREEK consulates, and some converts.  On its consecration:
Quote
His Grace the Right Reverend Bishop Paul (Popov) of Novoarkhangelsk led the Novoarkhangelsk (Sitka) vicariate of the Diocese of Kamchatka during the troubled years following the sale of Alaska to the United States, from 1867 to 1870. He was faced with the departure of the Russian administrative organization and arrival of the American Protestants as well as the new governing apparatus...It was also during this period that Bp. Paul initiated a move that heralded the coming transfer of the see to San Francisco. For a period of time Bp. Paul had assigned Priest Nikolai Kovrigin to San Francisco to serve the spiritual needs of the Slavic population in the San Francisco area. Fr. Nikolai arrived in late March of 1868. He served his first Divine Liturgy on Pascha in a residence on Mission Street. Fr. Nikolai also noted in his report to Bp. Paul that the Gospel was read in four languages: Greek, Slavonic, English, and Russian. He also reported that the next day he served the Divine Liturgy in Greek for the Greeks in the city. Fr. Nikolai also advised that he also held services in Sacramento...Bp. Paul was assigned ruling bishop of the Diocese of Yeniseysk and Krasnoyarsk on June 10, 1870. He departed Alaska, traveling across the United States on the way to Russia. As he was leaving Alaska he met his successor, Bishop John (Mitropolsky), who had arrived the day before he left. While he was in New York City he consecrated on November 12, 1870, the first Orthodox church there, Holy Trinity Greco-Russian Church organized by Father Nicholas Bjerring. On March 13, 1873, Bp. Paul was assigned ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands, and Blagoveshchensk. In this position he continued his labors in the missionary field where in addition to his missionary work in Siberia the missionary efforts of St. Nicholas of Japan were under his direction....
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Paul_%28Popov%29_of_Novoarkhangelsk

It closed in 1883.
http://books.google.com/books?id=0rOzGa-KjygC&pg=PA24&dq=Father+Nicholas+Bjerring+Denmark#v=onepage&q=Father%20Nicholas%20Bjerring%20Denmark&f=false

Btw the same work (cited by Holy Cross in its "[mis]Statement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate" in response to Met. Jonah) mentiones (p. 27) that during the paper jurisdiction of the CoG over the Americas, "Lambros Coromillas, who was the Greek ambassador to the United States,viewing religion as the "medieval hinderance"...wanting the Church to remain headless so that he could become the unquestioned leader of his compatriots in the United States."

In the meantime, the Russians were building an American hierachy, based in New York.  As the Cathedral of All ORTHODOXY in America at the time the temple of Hellenism was being founded says:

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The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas, at 15 East 97th Street, was built in 1902...The Church of St. Nicholas was established in the early 1890's in rented rooms on lower second avenue to serve an increasing number of russian immigrants. By 1899 it had had 300 members, and a movement began to build a new church...in May 1901, when the cornerstone was laid..."long live the Emperor of Russia and the President of the United States," proclaimed the rev. Alexander Hotovitsky, the minister...In 1904, the crowd outside the church was so huge when bishop Tikhon dedicated a new iconostasis, or altar screen, that the police had to hold them back. ...The next year the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church moved from San Francisco to New York, and St. Nicholas became the Cathedral of the American Church.
http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=985&ln=en

So have an Orthodox chapel set up under the direct auspices of the senior hiearch of the Russian Church in New York in 1870, serving the Greek consul and his compatriots, consecrated by a BISHOP.  Around the same time the Greeks were getting together to have their own Church, but before they were chartered, we have Arabs and Russians with a BISHOP celebrating a PONTIFICAL DL in their Church in New York, to celebrate the arrival of a future saint, who, would be the first Orthodox bishop consecrated in the New World, consecrated in the New York Cathedral:
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St Raphael was consecrated Bishop of Brooklyn on March 13, 1904, by St Tikhon and Bishop Innocent of Alaska (not to be confused with the earlier St Innocent)...The first thing to know about Bishop Raphael’s consecration is the crowd – the enormous, crushing crowd. Two thousand people – some worshippers, some sightseers – were crammed like sardines into the cathedral on Brooklyn’s Pacific Street...Adding to the chaos were the newspaper photographers, one of whom chose to take a picture at the moment of consecration... it was quite a ceremony. No less than four canonized saints participated – Raphael, Tikhon [the bishop in New York], Alexis Toth, and Alexander Hotovitzky [rector of the New York Cathedral]...As far as the general public was concerned, the consecration was a decidedly Russian affair. The newspapers referred to it as being at the Tsar’s orders, and at the celebratory dinner, the Tsar was toasted and the Russian national anthem was sung. One of the first public acts of the new Bishop Raphael was to visit the Russian ambassador in Washington.[v]

These facts did not please the local Greeks one bit. They saw it as an act of Russian imperial expansion, and it contributed to the growing Greek fear that Russian Church aimed to spread its influence across Orthodoxy worldwide. The Greek consul in New York chose not to attend the consecration, and his absence itself made headlines.[vi][Cf. “Greeks Angry at the Czar,” New York Sun (March 15, 1904), 12 and “Fear Russian Rule of Church,” New York Tribune (March 15, 1904), 6.] A few weeks later, on Holy Friday, Bishop Tikhon tried to visit Holy Trinity, one of the Greek churches in New York. Fr. John Erickson writes, “He was barred from entering by its angry trustees, who feared a Russian takeover of their parish properties.

not to mention canonical episcopal oversight. Roll Eyes

Quote
Also curious that neither did St. Tikhon. Obviously he made a mistake by never claiming jurisdiction over the scores of Greek parishes and priests that he he encountered once he came to the East coast.
See the bold faced paragraph above.  Btw, according to GOARCH's present line, the Greek Church of the Holy Trinity was uncanonical. No claim of jurisdiction was advanced until 1908.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/?tag=1908

Before that, well, read for yourself:
If Fr. Andreas had successed in obtaining a Greek bishop, I would have thrown rose petals in his holiness' path as he walked off the ship

So, Fr. Michael Andreades left St. Spiridon for St Demetrios and had...no bishop, or are you just obsessed with where his bishop was seated?

Quote
From the Cathedral property manager,
Hegoumen Sebastian
A Most Humble Report
It is my duty to report to your Grace that the Greek Community in San Francisco has begun building a
new church in San Francisco on a plot of land purchased south of Market Street. They ordered a priest
by mail for themselves who arrived and was present today at Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral church (he
was standing in the altar). This priest (married) in the rank of sakellarios, Father Constantine . .
.[Tsapralis, or Chaprales] has his credentials from his Bishop, Ambrose of the Diocese of Salaris
[probably, Fr. Sebastian is mistaken, it could be "Salamis"] (in the Kingdom of Greece), in the
jurisdiction of the Holy Synod in Athens. He has a Holy Antimension that was given to him (he says) to
celebrate Liturgy in the United States of North America. He was here with two Orthodox Greeks
known to me.
The lowest servant of your Grace,
Hegoumen Sebastian
San Francisco, November 16, 1903.


May God grant them all success.
Dec. 12, 1903,
Bp. Tikhon18
http://www.transfigcathedral.org/faith/corner/Dabovich.pdf

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Holy Trinity is the oldest Greek Orthodox church west of Chicago, the oldest church within the San Francisco Metropolis, and the eighth oldest church within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Our history spans over 100 years and is linked to the history of our sister parish Annunciation Cathedral and the history of San Francisco. Divine Liturgy was first celebrated on Christmas Day, 1903. We were chartered in the state of California, March, 1904.
http://holytrinitysf.org/history_intro.html

But of course not the oldest Orthodox Church in San Francisco, although it predates the Greek Cathedral there. That Cathedral's origins are here:

Quote
Let us tell you a little bit about the history of the Annunciation Cathedral community. St. Sophia, precursor to the Annunciation Cathedral, came into being June 1921, when the parishioners of the Holy Trinity Church, sympathetic to Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, established a second Greek Orthodox community in San Francisco. Land was acquired at Hayes and Pierce streets, all of the lots facing Pierce street from Hayes to Fell streets, for the purpose of building a Cathedral and an adjoining school and orphanage. Ground was broken June 1921, with a ceremony where His Eminence Metropolitan Meletios Metaxakis, Archbishop of Athens, laid the cornerstone of the cathedral.
http://www.annunciation.org/history.html

They left out the "deposed" part of Arb. Meletios' title.
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mattymoo
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« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2010, 05:38:07 AM »

I'm a 'hardliner' and only prostrate at weekday Divine Liturgies, even at my home GOA parish, and "never on Sunday". My fellow parishoners at my wife's ACROD parish noted this also about me and questioned the priest at their last 'Adult Education Class'; he replied that ole' Demetri was being proper - to their great surprise.
Matters not...Love the Lord.

Demetri
I've been to a few Greek Liturgies on Sundays in my area and there is a point when all the "kneelers" in the pews come clanking down and everyone kneels. I stand but bend over and place my arms on the back of the pew in front of me and then rest my forehead on my arms and no one ever seems to notice I'm not kneeling.
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« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2010, 05:40:16 AM »

Michael,

I do not agree with what Tom is saying in this particular thread, but I do agree with the jist of what he said. Being humble means doing that which will draw the least attention to yourself... and standing (or even sitting) even as everyone else is kneeling is not exactly a way to remain "below the radar".

A way I have seen some people avoid the kneeling and sitting issues is that they stand along the back wall of the Church.
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Severian
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In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians

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« Reply #79 on: July 29, 2011, 04:04:31 PM »

I am much more comfortable with the christological teaching of such masters as St. John of Damascus and St. Severus of Antioch, and indeed precisely these two!
A Chalcedonian who venerates Saint Severus of Antioch?!! Shocked

Well, cool! Cool
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 04:08:37 PM by Severian » Logged

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