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Author Topic: What is the stance of OCA Bishops on Homosexuality?  (Read 1711 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: July 11, 2012, 02:46:21 PM »

What has been the stance of each of the Bishops of the Holy Synod of the OCA on the issue of homosexuality? As we know there have been some cases in the past of actively practicing homosexuals either as laypeople or people in authority, and the Priests who allow it have gone undisciplined.

So for all of the Bishops on the Holy Synod, what are their stances on homosexuality? Have all of them come out in rejection of it or have some remained silent?
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 02:48:17 PM »

Bishop Matthias Moriak:

In an epistle to the Diocese of the Midwest, Bishop Matthias came out in strong opposition towards homosexuality and same-sex marriage
http://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_110802_1.html
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 02:53:52 PM »

Bishop Jonah Paffhausen:

Bishop Jonah is also known to be a prominent opponent of homosexuality & gay marriage.

It received a passing mention at the All-American Council after his election:
http://www.holytrinityoca.org/clients/01HTOC/docs/Orthodox%20Church/Transcription%20of%20Metropolitan%20Jonah.htm

And in his encyclical to military chaplains on "don't ask, don't tell":
http://www.speakupmovement.org/church/content/userfiles/oca_letter.pdf
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 02:59:12 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My two-cents about these issues from a related thread:




(a) I applaud the Episcopalians, the Anglicans, and many other such Protestant groups for their sincere and wonderful efforts towards mutual tolerance, inclusion, and fellowship between diverse communities.  Christ asked us all to love each other, to fellowship with each other, aside from self-righteous distinctions. That means that folks outside Christianity need to be humble enough to explore it, and Christians need to be humble enough to avoid pointing fingers all the time.  

However, that being said

(b) Surely we can develop an attitude of tolerance, mutual respect, and fellowship without inherently changing the Church.  Why do transgender folks needs to be ordained in the first place? Being laity is simply not good enough? Pride and vanity are not good traits for clergy.  The same with Sacramental gay marriage (I support civil/secular gay marriage, just not within the Church), why does homosexual marriage need to be Sacramentally blessed and ordained? If homosexual folks want to go to Church, they have to expect Church to change them, like it does the rest of us, and not to change the Church.  That is precisely the problem with Protestantism, its ontology is quite literally backwards.  WE ARE ALL SINNERS, PERIOD.  There is simply no way around that.  We in the Church simply then have NO RIGHT to cast stones or point fingers at other peoples' sins, be they inside or outside the Church.  We come to Church to be changed, renewed, reconciled by changing ourselves every day for God.  Protestants on the other hand, always seem more content to change their churches then to change themselves.  That is the problem.  So I am not concerned with our Protestant churches change and evolve, as these by their ideology are inherently unstable.  We in the Church need to learn to be more socially inclusive, more tolerant, more respectful, more loving to those outside the Church, especially those who are homosexual or just heterosexually promiscuous (i.e., in relationships but not married) because it is not our business to force their lives to adjust to us.  Only God can do that,  We however as a supportive community could do a lot better to help people grow, mature, and heal through love.  We should be nice and open to each other, embracing and accepting especially of our faults.  Homosexuals are sinners, true, but we can't close the door in their faces for that.  So we need to create an environment that is more inviting.  However, I think those who change their churches in this process are going too fast.  We can change our attitude, our approach, without changing our Church. We can be tolerant and loving and inviting in our interactions with folks, without having to change our own structure.  After all, I rarely here homosexuality or adultery brought up in the Church in the first place, so why do we throw it around in other peoples' faces as if it were a daily issue in our parishes.  The simple truth is its not, and we could afford then to just be a bit nicer, though I would say that folks from the OP churches are being just a bit too nice Smiley



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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88Devin12
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 03:02:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My two-cents about these issues from a related thread:




(a) I applaud the Episcopalians, the Anglicans, and many other such Protestant groups for their sincere and wonderful efforts towards mutual tolerance, inclusion, and fellowship between diverse communities.  Christ asked us all to love each other, to fellowship with each other, aside from self-righteous distinctions. That means that folks outside Christianity need to be humble enough to explore it, and Christians need to be humble enough to avoid pointing fingers all the time.  

However, that being said

(b) Surely we can develop an attitude of tolerance, mutual respect, and fellowship without inherently changing the Church.  Why do transgender folks needs to be ordained in the first place? Being laity is simply not good enough? Pride and vanity are not good traits for clergy.  The same with Sacramental gay marriage (I support civil/secular gay marriage, just not within the Church), why does homosexual marriage need to be Sacramentally blessed and ordained? If homosexual folks want to go to Church, they have to expect Church to change them, like it does the rest of us, and not to change the Church.  That is precisely the problem with Protestantism, its ontology is quite literally backwards.  WE ARE ALL SINNERS, PERIOD.  There is simply no way around that.  We in the Church simply then have NO RIGHT to cast stones or point fingers at other peoples' sins, be they inside or outside the Church.  We come to Church to be changed, renewed, reconciled by changing ourselves every day for God.  Protestants on the other hand, always seem more content to change their churches then to change themselves.  That is the problem.  So I am not concerned with our Protestant churches change and evolve, as these by their ideology are inherently unstable.  We in the Church need to learn to be more socially inclusive, more tolerant, more respectful, more loving to those outside the Church, especially those who are homosexual or just heterosexually promiscuous (i.e., in relationships but not married) because it is not our business to force their lives to adjust to us.  Only God can do that,  We however as a supportive community could do a lot better to help people grow, mature, and heal through love.  We should be nice and open to each other, embracing and accepting especially of our faults.  Homosexuals are sinners, true, but we can't close the door in their faces for that.  So we need to create an environment that is more inviting.  However, I think those who change their churches in this process are going too fast.  We can change our attitude, our approach, without changing our Church. We can be tolerant and loving and inviting in our interactions with folks, without having to change our own structure.  After all, I rarely here homosexuality or adultery brought up in the Church in the first place, so why do we throw it around in other peoples' faces as if it were a daily issue in our parishes.  The simple truth is its not, and we could afford then to just be a bit nicer, though I would say that folks from the OP churches are being just a bit too nice Smiley



stay blessed,
habte selassie

This isn't an issue about pointing fingers at homosexuals. This is simply about which of our Bishops actively oppose homosexuality and who would take appropriate action if they find out a Priest has been permitting homosexual couples to live active sexual lives (of course the same would apply to heterosexuals) or if they find out someone in an authority position is an actively-practicing homosexual, or if a Priest has been preaching in favor of homosexuality or gay marriage.
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 03:07:39 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This isn't an issue about pointing fingers at homosexuals. This is simply about which of our Bishops actively oppose homosexuality and who would take appropriate action if they find out a Priest has been permitting homosexual couples to live active sexual lives (of course the same would apply to heterosexuals) or if they find out someone in an authority position is an actively-practicing homosexual, or if a Priest has been preaching in favor of homosexuality or gay marriage.

What else do words like "actively oppose" or "take appropriate action" imply but pointing of fingers? If you noticed from my response, I agree with you about homosexuality being incompatible with Orthodox, however you missed my point.  Homosexuality is sin.  So is a lot of other things baptised believers commit, that is what Confession is for.  However, generally in the Church, we don't make it so much of a line in the sand kind of point. Homosexuals will never convert and change their lives by Grace if they never feel invited into the Church in the first place.  No we don' have to change the Church, but perhaps we do need to change our attitudes and our approach.  If homosexuals are unrepentant sinners that gives us two options either to (1) pray for them as sinner and try our bests to improve their lives day by day and (2) cast stones of condemnation at them.  Only one of these option is Scriptural Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 03:13:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This isn't an issue about pointing fingers at homosexuals. This is simply about which of our Bishops actively oppose homosexuality and who would take appropriate action if they find out a Priest has been permitting homosexual couples to live active sexual lives (of course the same would apply to heterosexuals) or if they find out someone in an authority position is an actively-practicing homosexual, or if a Priest has been preaching in favor of homosexuality or gay marriage.

What else do words like "actively oppose" or "take appropriate action" imply but pointing of fingers? If you noticed from my response, I agree with you about homosexuality being incompatible with Orthodox, however you missed my point.  Homosexuality is sin.  So is a lot of other things baptised believers commit, that is what Confession is for.  However, generally in the Church, we don't make it so much of a line in the sand kind of point. Homosexuals will never convert and change their lives by Grace if they never feel invited into the Church in the first place.  No we don' have to change the Church, but perhaps we do need to change our attitudes and our approach.  If homosexuals are unrepentant sinners that gives us two options either to (1) pray for them as sinner and try our bests to improve their lives day by day and (2) cast stones of condemnation at them.  Only one of these option is Scriptural Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

They don't get an exception to practice openly and actively, just those of us who are heterosexuals don't get an exception to freely sleep around with others.

Also, once that person is accepted into a position of authority, whether is being a Parish President or Chanter, or all the way up to Priest or Bishop, they are held into a much higher expectation of self-control and so if they fall into sexual immorality, the punish should be the same whether they are homosexual or heterosexual.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 03:35:40 PM »

I believe that the official stance is on the OCA website under documents. It is from all the way back in 1992 well before Metropolitan Jonah was in the picture. This is the official document of the OCA and speaks for the Synod of Bishops. Why you feel you have the authority to challenge the Holy Synod I have no idea. But your harsh and unwarranted words should be amended or you should be held accountable. It is spiritually damaging to make idols out of Met. Jonah or the culture wars. Everyone, including homsexuals, know what the Church's teachings are. Do you fall to the same sins over and over? Probably if you are like most of the laity or clergy. Under your own standard you would be unfit to hold any office in the Church. Unless you think your sins are better than someone elses.

Before you think that I am attacking you I would like you to truly contemplate what you have written about the Holy Synod and if need be speak with your priest for direction about what you have written.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 03:50:01 PM »

I believe that the official stance is on the OCA website under documents. It is from all the way back in 1992 well before Metropolitan Jonah was in the picture. This is the official document of the OCA and speaks for the Synod of Bishops. Why you feel you have the authority to challenge the Holy Synod I have no idea. But your harsh and unwarranted words should be amended or you should be held accountable. It is spiritually damaging to make idols out of Met. Jonah or the culture wars. Everyone, including homsexuals, know what the Church's teachings are. Do you fall to the same sins over and over? Probably if you are like most of the laity or clergy. Under your own standard you would be unfit to hold any office in the Church. Unless you think your sins are better than someone elses.

Before you think that I am attacking you I would like you to truly contemplate what you have written about the Holy Synod and if need be speak with your priest for direction about what you have written.

I suppose you have no clue about what has happened to those who opposed the status quo and the amount of abuse they suffered, including our holy Archbishop Job of blessed memory.
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 03:50:14 PM »

I can forecast where this thread is going.  
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 04:01:59 PM »

Before you think that I am attacking you I would like you to truly contemplate what you have written about the Holy Synod and if need be speak with your priest for direction about what you have written.

I suppose you have no clue about what has happened to those who opposed the status quo and the amount of abuse they suffered, including our holy Archbishop Job of blessed memory.
Why do you think that I wouldn't have a clue? Are you the only informed member of the OCA?
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 04:06:07 PM »

Before you think that I am attacking you I would like you to truly contemplate what you have written about the Holy Synod and if need be speak with your priest for direction about what you have written.

I suppose you have no clue about what has happened to those who opposed the status quo and the amount of abuse they suffered, including our holy Archbishop Job of blessed memory.
Why do you think that I wouldn't have a clue? Are you the only informed member of the OCA?


I just don't see how anyone (who is properly informed) can side with anyone but Metropolitan Jonah on this. Also, we have had multiple instances, even over the past year, of either homosexual clergy popping up, or laypeople in prominent positions who were openly practicing homosexuals. Thankfully in one case it was properly dealt with, but with some others, it was swept under the rug.

We need to be sure that every single one of our Bishops on the synod are vehemently opposed to homosexuality and same-sex unions.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 04:08:34 PM »

And what about those who look at pornography on the internet?  What is being done about this issue?  What of those who work at banks that charge interest on loans? 
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 04:09:07 PM »

As for our Bishop's stances on it, I'm especially interested to see/hear what Bishop Benjamin has had to say about homosexuality, especially since his see is in one of the most pro-homosexuality cities in our nation (and his diocese includes many majority pro-homosexual cities like in Washington, Oregon and California).

As beautiful as San Francisco and Portland are, and as nice as their built environment is, it is just too bad that they stand up for such disgusting immoral behavior, and in fact promote it in their parades.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 04:11:41 PM »

And what about those who look at pornography on the internet?  What is being done about this issue?  What of those who work at banks that charge interest on loans? 
If a Priest, Bishop, Deacon, Secretary or any other position in authority is caught with pornography (God forbid even child pornography), they should be properly removed and disciplined. As for clergy, I don't think they should be permitted to work at banks and charge loans, their contact with finances should actually be very restricted.
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 04:21:33 PM »

Before you think that I am attacking you I would like you to truly contemplate what you have written about the Holy Synod and if need be speak with your priest for direction about what you have written.

I suppose you have no clue about what has happened to those who opposed the status quo and the amount of abuse they suffered, including our holy Archbishop Job of blessed memory.
Why do you think that I wouldn't have a clue? Are you the only informed member of the OCA?


Not just those in the OCA are informed either.

I suggest you read Bishop Michael's letter as well: http://www.nynjoca.org/files/2011/Release-2011.27.1.pdf.  I am proud to say that he has been my friend for over fifty years and I too am well aware of the history and struggles which have gone on in your jurisdiction. If the Holy Spirit wills that he be your next Metropolitan, you will be blessed with a man who has lived through and endured many of life's real struggles - including the tragic death of a spouse and the suffering of serious physical injuries in the accident which claimed her life. He has been a teacher, a dean, a Bishop and most important of all a good pastor for nearly forty years. He will also be a man tested in the ways of the world, with a sense of humor, an incredible intellect, a will of steel and a notion of how and when to be diplomatic and tactful.

It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan. 

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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 04:28:23 PM »

Well you are free to your own opinion. I think you conveniently overlook the fact Archbishop Job placed Mark on the Metropolitan Council and that Mark just as much if not more than Arch. Job is responsible for getting the OCA back on the right track. I think that it is also interesting that Metropolitan Jonah did nothing as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South to stop a defrocked priest that was accused of stealing millions from the Church from working for one its parishes and wearing a cassock to boot. I think that it is also interesting that Met. Jonah surrounded himself with Bob's and Met. Herman's inner circle ( Frs. Fester and Brum). I also find it very intersting that the Holy Synod passes a Synodical Decree that the headquarters and staff of the OCA will not be moved, period. And even though the Metropolitan assented he went on Ancient Faith Radio less than a month after stating that he was going to move the Staff and headquarters by next year. Met. Jonah may be a good man but he was erratic and could not keep his word or obligations to the Holy Synod or the officers and the Metropolitan Council. That kind of leadership is destructive. He should have resigned a very long time ago.
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 04:28:51 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan. 



Post of the Year 2012 Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 04:58:24 PM »

I know for an ABSOLUTE fact in the late 80's in the OCA a man was excommunicated for practicing homosexuality (physically).   He turned to the priest for help (outside of confession) and said that he would NOT change his ways.   Many months past and he was confronted by his priest and still would not change.  He was eventually excommunicated.
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 05:04:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan. 



Post of the Year 2012 Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

The Church is indeed a hospital, but it is not a hospice. Sin cannot be treated by being excused. The treatment is continual repentance and the grace of God. We live in a society where, more and more, sin is public and accepted. Sin is not completely personal. My sin, my acquiescence to evil, affects you, as yours affects me. This is fundamental, and one of the reasons we ask forgiveness of each other, even of strangers, on Forgiveness Sunday.

If I know someone is sinning, I cover his sin, not by excusing it as not a sin or saying "so what?" but by not revealing it. Also, I do not condemn him, for I am guilty of worse. But if I tell him, "Good for you!" about his sin, then I am not showing Christian love, but rather worldly love, which is no love at all. As Christians, we know that sin is not some ephemeral thing, but a major problem and struggle we face both in our personal lives and in the world. I cover my brother's sin with love when I recognize the trial he is in and when I pray for him. And if he asks me, "What do you think? Is this a sin?" I tell him the truth--the whole truth--not just that yes, it is a sin, but our Savior is Jesus Christ who came to save those who repent. We should not be agnostic about sin or afraid to speak about it. It has nothing to do with the so-called modern culture wars. Look back a couple thousand years, Christians were doing the same thing then.
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2012, 05:10:01 PM »

Well you are free to your own opinion. I think you conveniently overlook the fact Archbishop Job placed Mark on the Metropolitan Council and that Mark just as much if not more than Arch. Job is responsible for getting the OCA back on the right track. I think that it is also interesting that Metropolitan Jonah did nothing as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South to stop a defrocked priest that was accused of stealing millions from the Church from working for one its parishes and wearing a cassock to boot. I think that it is also interesting that Met. Jonah surrounded himself with Bob's and Met. Herman's inner circle ( Frs. Fester and Brum). I also find it very intersting that the Holy Synod passes a Synodical Decree that the headquarters and staff of the OCA will not be moved, period. And even though the Metropolitan assented he went on Ancient Faith Radio less than a month after stating that he was going to move the Staff and headquarters by next year. Met. Jonah may be a good man but he was erratic and could not keep his word or obligations to the Holy Synod or the officers and the Metropolitan Council. That kind of leadership is destructive. He should have resigned a very long time ago.

Metropolitan Jonah was right, it should have been moved from Syosset to Washington D.C. The Holy Synod was wrong in trying to keep the HQ in New York. The Church of Greece doesn't have their Archbishop in Athens with the HQ in Thessaloniki. Both the Archbishop and the HQ are in Athens. Or how about the Church of Russia? The Patriarch isn't in Moscow with the official headquarters in St. Petersburg.

Also, Bishop Jonah was right in his statement that he would step down in favor of jurisdictional unity in the United States. That should be the stance of all our Bishops, especially Metropolitan Philip and Archbishop Demetrios. Bishops should be willing to give up their parishes and diocese in favor of jurisdictional unity and be willing to be assigned to other, newly created diocese. Jonah's statement about being willing to give up his seat (and possibly even our autocephaly) was a God-send, and shows how he really should be kept in that position.

His strong stance against homosexuality and abortion is also a God-send and we need more Bishops with the balls to go out in public and fight the cultural waves we are facing. Just look at Archbishop Iakovos, who wasn't afraid to march side-by-side with Martin Luther King Jr.

His meetings and discussions with the conservative Anglicans is also a God-send because we need to be looking to bring them to the Orthodox Church and draw more of them towards orthodoxy period. We need to restore the legacy of St. Tikhon and others who sought to bring Anglicans to Orthodoxy. While we should keep discussions with liberal Anglicans suspended, we ought to seek out the conservative, traditional Anglicans.

So I would say that Bishop Jonah, as well as some of our other Bishops have been doing things the right way, despite what others may think.

______________________________

I think we ought to examine all of our Bishops in order to see which ones stand up for Orthodoxy the strongest. We may need a leader with more consistency and leadership capacity than Bishop Jonah, but we also need a Metropolitan who is willing to be our public "face" and continue the work of Metropolitan Jonah in seeking jurisdictional unity, fighting abortion & homosexuality, seeking better relations with conservative Anglicans and centralizing our Metropolis on our nation's capital.

Obviously we can exclude Bishop Jonah from being a candidate for his own replacement (though he should be given the Diocese of the South), but we need to already examine those current Bishops who have better leadership capacities, while also being willing to continue other aspects of his work.

I'm not calling for a witch hunt to burn "heretics". I'm just calling for a closer examination of our Bishops so that we can be more properly informed so we can help choose a fitting replacement, someone who is both a good leader and has the chutzpah to continue the public work and changes Jonah was seeking.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 05:16:33 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2012, 05:12:45 PM »

Say my neighbor in Christ is having an affair, cheating on his wife. And I know this. And, furthermore, he acts as if it's okay. Maybe his wife is fine with it, too. And they want me to share their profound joy. What do I do? Do I say, "Oh, that's wonderful!" How can I do that? I need my neighbor, not for a static relationship, but a dynamic one. We're supposed to go to Christ together. But how can he go to Christ like that, not interested in repentance or in Christ. So, I tell him, "Brother, look at what you're doing to yourself, to your marriage, to the good thing that God began in you." I could tell him nothing, but I care about him; we have a relationship. Maybe after that, that ceases. But I had tried to encourage him back to the right way. What I said did not condemn or demean him, rather it just offended his pride. But what is his pride, inflated by love of sin, compared to the necessity of going to Christ? And how am I to make it to Christ without my brother, who was stronger than I? I need him, and that is why I confront him.
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2012, 05:20:22 PM »

Frankly what I would LOVE to see, is an AFR or OCN program like what Fr. Josiah Trenham has been doing for AFR. Fr. Josiah's work is to interview all of the Bishops in the Assembly of Canonical Bishops on the work of the Assembly. I would like to see a separate program, about 30-45 minutes in length that interviews each of the Bishops and asks them to address various contemporary issues. (obviously with the knowledge that pastoral issues cannot be answered in little soundbytes)
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2012, 05:37:18 PM »

Well you are free to your own opinion. I think you conveniently overlook the fact Archbishop Job placed Mark on the Metropolitan Council and that Mark just as much if not more than Arch. Job is responsible for getting the OCA back on the right track. I think that it is also interesting that Metropolitan Jonah did nothing as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South to stop a defrocked priest that was accused of stealing millions from the Church from working for one its parishes and wearing a cassock to boot. I think that it is also interesting that Met. Jonah surrounded himself with Bob's and Met. Herman's inner circle ( Frs. Fester and Brum). I also find it very intersting that the Holy Synod passes a Synodical Decree that the headquarters and staff of the OCA will not be moved, period. And even though the Metropolitan assented he went on Ancient Faith Radio less than a month after stating that he was going to move the Staff and headquarters by next year. Met. Jonah may be a good man but he was erratic and could not keep his word or obligations to the Holy Synod or the officers and the Metropolitan Council. That kind of leadership is destructive. He should have resigned a very long time ago.

Metropolitan Jonah was right, it should have been moved from Syosset to Washington D.C. The Holy Synod was wrong in trying to keep the HQ in New York. The Church of Greece doesn't have their Archbishop in Athens with the HQ in Thessaloniki. Both the Archbishop and the HQ are in Athens. Or how about the Church of Russia? The Patriarch isn't in Moscow with the official headquarters in St. Petersburg.

Also, Bishop Jonah was right in his statement that he would step down in favor of jurisdictional unity in the United States. That should be the stance of all our Bishops, especially Metropolitan Philip and Archbishop Demetrios. Bishops should be willing to give up their parishes and diocese in favor of jurisdictional unity and be willing to be assigned to other, newly created diocese. Jonah's statement about being willing to give up his seat (and possibly even our autocephaly) was a God-send, and shows how he really should be kept in that position.

His strong stance against homosexuality and abortion is also a God-send and we need more Bishops with the balls to go out in public and fight the cultural waves we are facing. Just look at Archbishop Iakovos, who wasn't afraid to march side-by-side with Martin Luther King Jr.

His meetings and discussions with the conservative Anglicans is also a God-send because we need to be looking to bring them to the Orthodox Church and draw more of them towards orthodoxy period. We need to restore the legacy of St. Tikhon and others who sought to bring Anglicans to Orthodoxy. While we should keep discussions with liberal Anglicans suspended, we ought to seek out the conservative, traditional Anglicans.

So I would say that Bishop Jonah, as well as some of our other Bishops have been doing things the right way, despite what others may think.

______________________________

I think we ought to examine all of our Bishops in order to see which ones stand up for Orthodoxy the strongest. We may need a leader with more consistency and leadership capacity than Bishop Jonah, but we also need a Metropolitan who is willing to be our public "face" and continue the work of Metropolitan Jonah in seeking jurisdictional unity, fighting abortion & homosexuality, seeking better relations with conservative Anglicans and centralizing our Metropolis on our nation's capital.

Obviously we can exclude Bishop Jonah from being a candidate for his own replacement (though he should be given the Diocese of the South), but we need to already examine those current Bishops who have better leadership capacities, while also being willing to continue other aspects of his work.

I'm not calling for a witch hunt to burn "heretics". I'm just calling for a closer examination of our Bishops so that we can be more properly informed so we can help choose a fitting replacement, someone who is both a good leader and has the chutzpah to continue the public work and changes Jonah was seeking.
While I agree with much you have to say I would point out that Washinton DC is not significantly cheaper than Syosset. If it should be moved anywhere it should be to St Tikhon's. Also, I am pretty sure that Thessaloniki is not a part of the Church of Greece but is rather a part of the EP. And yes I do tthink the EP could benefit from operationg from another location.
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2012, 07:23:13 PM »

Frankly what I would LOVE to see, is an AFR or OCN program like what Fr. Josiah Trenham has been doing for AFR. Fr. Josiah's work is to interview all of the Bishops in the Assembly of Canonical Bishops on the work of the Assembly. I would like to see a separate program, about 30-45 minutes in length that interviews each of the Bishops and asks them to address various contemporary issues. (obviously with the knowledge that pastoral issues cannot be answered in little soundbytes)

Seconded. I would listen to such a program regularly. 
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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2012, 07:24:28 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan. 



Post of the Year 2012 Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

+1
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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 07:58:16 PM »

(1) pray for them as sinner and try our bests to improve their lives day by day and (2) cast stones of condemnation at them.  Only one of these option is Scriptural Wink

So where do the Councils fit into your dichotomy? An awful lot of condemnatory stone-casting there...  Tongue
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 08:10:21 PM »

Well you are free to your own opinion. I think you conveniently overlook the fact Archbishop Job placed Mark on the Metropolitan Council and that Mark just as much if not more than Arch. Job is responsible for getting the OCA back on the right track. I think that it is also interesting that Metropolitan Jonah did nothing as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South to stop a defrocked priest that was accused of stealing millions from the Church from working for one its parishes and wearing a cassock to boot. I think that it is also interesting that Met. Jonah surrounded himself with Bob's and Met. Herman's inner circle ( Frs. Fester and Brum). I also find it very intersting that the Holy Synod passes a Synodical Decree that the headquarters and staff of the OCA will not be moved, period. And even though the Metropolitan assented he went on Ancient Faith Radio less than a month after stating that he was going to move the Staff and headquarters by next year. Met. Jonah may be a good man but he was erratic and could not keep his word or obligations to the Holy Synod or the officers and the Metropolitan Council. That kind of leadership is destructive. He should have resigned a very long time ago.

Metropolitan Jonah was right, it should have been moved from Syosset to Washington D.C. The Holy Synod was wrong in trying to keep the HQ in New York. The Church of Greece doesn't have their Archbishop in Athens with the HQ in Thessaloniki. Both the Archbishop and the HQ are in Athens. Or how about the Church of Russia? The Patriarch isn't in Moscow with the official headquarters in St. Petersburg.

Also, Bishop Jonah was right in his statement that he would step down in favor of jurisdictional unity in the United States. That should be the stance of all our Bishops, especially Metropolitan Philip and Archbishop Demetrios. Bishops should be willing to give up their parishes and diocese in favor of jurisdictional unity and be willing to be assigned to other, newly created diocese. Jonah's statement about being willing to give up his seat (and possibly even our autocephaly) was a God-send, and shows how he really should be kept in that position.

His strong stance against homosexuality and abortion is also a God-send and we need more Bishops with the balls to go out in public and fight the cultural waves we are facing. Just look at Archbishop Iakovos, who wasn't afraid to march side-by-side with Martin Luther King Jr.

His meetings and discussions with the conservative Anglicans is also a God-send because we need to be looking to bring them to the Orthodox Church and draw more of them towards orthodoxy period. We need to restore the legacy of St. Tikhon and others who sought to bring Anglicans to Orthodoxy. While we should keep discussions with liberal Anglicans suspended, we ought to seek out the conservative, traditional Anglicans.

So I would say that Bishop Jonah, as well as some of our other Bishops have been doing things the right way, despite what others may think.

______________________________

I think we ought to examine all of our Bishops in order to see which ones stand up for Orthodoxy the strongest. We may need a leader with more consistency and leadership capacity than Bishop Jonah, but we also need a Metropolitan who is willing to be our public "face" and continue the work of Metropolitan Jonah in seeking jurisdictional unity, fighting abortion & homosexuality, seeking better relations with conservative Anglicans and centralizing our Metropolis on our nation's capital.

Obviously we can exclude Bishop Jonah from being a candidate for his own replacement (though he should be given the Diocese of the South), but we need to already examine those current Bishops who have better leadership capacities, while also being willing to continue other aspects of his work.

I'm not calling for a witch hunt to burn "heretics". I'm just calling for a closer examination of our Bishops so that we can be more properly informed so we can help choose a fitting replacement, someone who is both a good leader and has the chutzpah to continue the public work and changes Jonah was seeking.
While I agree with much you have to say I would point out that Washinton DC is not significantly cheaper than Syosset. If it should be moved anywhere it should be to St Tikhon's. Also, I am pretty sure that Thessaloniki is not a part of the Church of Greece but is rather a part of the EP. And yes I do tthink the EP could benefit from operationg from another location.

You understand the point I was trying to make though, I do know Thessaloniki is under the EP and not COG. The Archbishop of Athens wouldn't have his seat in Athens with his HQ in, let's say Patras. It just wouldn't make any sense.

As for affordability, I don't think it is a matter of affordability. I personally think that any movement of our Metropolis is of course, temporary until the jurisdictions merge. However I will say that once that jurisdictions unite, our metropolis should be in Washington D.C. There is a lot of precedence for this:
the Pope in Rome (which was at that time the capital of the Empire)
the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople (which became the capital for the empire)
the Pope in Alexandria (which was the capital of the province of Egypt)
the Patriarch in Antioch (which was the capital for the province of Syria)
the Patriarch in Moscow (which was the capital for the Rus' for a long time, and today of course)
the Archbishop of Athens (for the Church of Greece, whose capital is Athens)

Also, with the modern function of embassies, it would also make a lot of sense because it would allow the Metropolitan to keep some relatively quick and easy contact with all of the embassies of Orthodox Christians of varying ethnic identities. If a foreign bishop were to visit, or an orthodox politician, it would also make it easier for them to meet with the Metropolitan. It would also be beneficial to give us a much more public face.
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2012, 08:25:50 PM »

Well you are free to your own opinion. I think you conveniently overlook the fact Archbishop Job placed Mark on the Metropolitan Council and that Mark just as much if not more than Arch. Job is responsible for getting the OCA back on the right track. I think that it is also interesting that Metropolitan Jonah did nothing as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South to stop a defrocked priest that was accused of stealing millions from the Church from working for one its parishes and wearing a cassock to boot. I think that it is also interesting that Met. Jonah surrounded himself with Bob's and Met. Herman's inner circle ( Frs. Fester and Brum). I also find it very intersting that the Holy Synod passes a Synodical Decree that the headquarters and staff of the OCA will not be moved, period. And even though the Metropolitan assented he went on Ancient Faith Radio less than a month after stating that he was going to move the Staff and headquarters by next year. Met. Jonah may be a good man but he was erratic and could not keep his word or obligations to the Holy Synod or the officers and the Metropolitan Council. That kind of leadership is destructive. He should have resigned a very long time ago.

Metropolitan Jonah was right, it should have been moved from Syosset to Washington D.C. The Holy Synod was wrong in trying to keep the HQ in New York. The Church of Greece doesn't have their Archbishop in Athens with the HQ in Thessaloniki. Both the Archbishop and the HQ are in Athens. Or how about the Church of Russia? The Patriarch isn't in Moscow with the official headquarters in St. Petersburg.

Also, Bishop Jonah was right in his statement that he would step down in favor of jurisdictional unity in the United States. That should be the stance of all our Bishops, especially Metropolitan Philip and Archbishop Demetrios. Bishops should be willing to give up their parishes and diocese in favor of jurisdictional unity and be willing to be assigned to other, newly created diocese. Jonah's statement about being willing to give up his seat (and possibly even our autocephaly) was a God-send, and shows how he really should be kept in that position.

His strong stance against homosexuality and abortion is also a God-send and we need more Bishops with the balls to go out in public and fight the cultural waves we are facing. Just look at Archbishop Iakovos, who wasn't afraid to march side-by-side with Martin Luther King Jr.

His meetings and discussions with the conservative Anglicans is also a God-send because we need to be looking to bring them to the Orthodox Church and draw more of them towards orthodoxy period. We need to restore the legacy of St. Tikhon and others who sought to bring Anglicans to Orthodoxy. While we should keep discussions with liberal Anglicans suspended, we ought to seek out the conservative, traditional Anglicans.

So I would say that Bishop Jonah, as well as some of our other Bishops have been doing things the right way, despite what others may think.
Doing the right things and doing things the right way are not the same things.

Devin, how do you read Apostolic Canon 34:  "The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent ... but neither let him (who is head) do anything without the consent of all." It seems that one of the allegations made against the former Metropolitan Jonah is his insistence on doing things that affect the whole OCA without the consent of all the bishops of the OCA. Don't you think this might be a violation of the aforementioned Canon 34?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:28:16 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2012, 06:27:50 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan.  



Post of the Year 2012 Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

+1

If I may comment on this thought...

Of course we all fall short.  Of course we all struggle with our own issues.  Sure the church is full of sinners.

But there is a time and place where a sinner would say "I am not going to change", when I'd agree with priests excommunicating.


It's like if somebody went up to a priest and said "I'm an abortion doctor".   Then the priest asks you to stop and you say "no I am not ever going to stop".  The priest says "but you are murdering the creation and persons from God".  Then the doctor says "Well whatever about all that, I am not going to stop my profession period".   I think there is a time and place for excommunication especially when one will NOT repent for sins.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 06:28:24 PM by yeshuaisiam » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2012, 08:06:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan.  



Post of the Year 2012 Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

+1

If I may comment on this thought...

Of course we all fall short.  Of course we all struggle with our own issues.  Sure the church is full of sinners.

But there is a time and place where a sinner would say "I am not going to change", when I'd agree with priests excommunicating.


It's like if somebody went up to a priest and said "I'm an abortion doctor".   Then the priest asks you to stop and you say "no I am not ever going to stop".  The priest says "but you are murdering the creation and persons from God".  Then the doctor says "Well whatever about all that, I am not going to stop my profession period".   I think there is a time and place for excommunication especially when one will NOT repent for sins.

 I agree but that's the reason why we have bishops and priests, who act in accordance with bishop's policy. It seems to me that we are too quick to judge the actions or inactions of those whose job it is to protect the chalice, rightly divide the Word and take disciplinary actions as required.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 08:06:40 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2012, 08:47:51 PM »

Homosexuality is a sin and there should be no weakness or wavering on this stance; however, people who suffer from this particular sin are in need of our support if in fact they understand and agree the act is a sinful act.  Many people struggle greatly with this want nothing more than to be healed from its affliction.  Those who are willing to take this burden and carry it should not be shunned or treated as outcasts.  Those who refuse to fight the good fight and dive headlong into their deviance should be properly corrected within the guidelines of church discipline.  As with homosexuality, each of us has a weakness which Satan and his minions spare no expense at exploiting, so we should not point fingers, but telling the truth to those who are in sin is not pointing fingers or judging them, it is correction which should be conducted in a loving and caring way.  The doors should be open to those seeking help, guidance and forgiveness.
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2012, 09:45:23 PM »

Homosexuality is a sin and there should be no weakness or wavering on this stance; however, people who suffer from this particular sin are in need of our support if in fact they understand and agree the act is a sinful act.  Many people struggle greatly with this want nothing more than to be healed from its affliction.  Those who are willing to take this burden and carry it should not be shunned or treated as outcasts.  Those who refuse to fight the good fight and dive headlong into their deviance should be properly corrected within the guidelines of church discipline.  As with homosexuality, each of us has a weakness which Satan and his minions spare no expense at exploiting, so we should not point fingers, but telling the truth to those who are in sin is not pointing fingers or judging them, it is correction which should be conducted in a loving and caring way.  The doors should be open to those seeking help, guidance and forgiveness.

Absolutely agree.   The door should always be open for forgiveness.  In the case of the homosexual that was excommunicated that I know of, it was because he refused to change, refused to admit that what he was doing was a sin, and continued to do so even after being denied communion several times.    I don't have all the details but I know those things took place because I was an altar boy and witnessed the denial of communion and overheard adults talking about it later on.
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« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2012, 12:39:11 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is shocking to some, but the Church is a hospital for the healing of souls and a place of refuge for sinners. So it should be no surprise that sinners are welcome at Christ's table. On any given Sunday I am sure that in my church people who have addictions, compulsive behaviors, adulterers, child abuse issues, slothful natures, liars, slackers, embezzlers and yes, gays, have communed. How they do so is a matter of confessional discipline between them and their pastor and if they are not truthful with respect to their pastor, it is between them and God.

It is not your place to point fingers or question the spiritual health of your neighbor. We are warned clearly about this by our Lord and Saviour - Matthew 7 (3-5). Again, for the sake of your own peace of mind and your salvation, calm down and pray for the intercession of our beloved Theotokas and the aid of the Holy Spirit in guiding the OCA through these troubled times and for the election of a worthy Metropolitan.  



Post of the Year 2012 Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

+1

If I may comment on this thought...

Of course we all fall short.  Of course we all struggle with our own issues.  Sure the church is full of sinners.

But there is a time and place where a sinner would say "I am not going to change", when I'd agree with priests excommunicating.


It's like if somebody went up to a priest and said "I'm an abortion doctor".   Then the priest asks you to stop and you say "no I am not ever going to stop".  The priest says "but you are murdering the creation and persons from God".  Then the doctor says "Well whatever about all that, I am not going to stop my profession period".   I think there is a time and place for excommunication especially when one will NOT repent for sins.

 I agree but that's the reason why we have bishops and priests, who act in accordance with bishop's policy. It seems to me that we are too quick to judge the actions or inactions of those whose job it is to protect the chalice, rightly divide the Word and take disciplinary actions as required.

I agree.  It seems that certain members of the forum have nothing better to do with their time than judge the priests and bishops of the Orthodox Church, and some members feeling it's a good use of time to sit around insulting the hierarchs of the Church.
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