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Author Topic: Will the OCA Gain Official Autocephaly?  (Read 2150 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 11, 2012, 11:49:00 PM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 12:08:18 AM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Lord have mercy.

With Metropolitan Jonah forced to resign, the one sane voice on that Synod is now reduced to silence.
How can anything he says be listened to seriously? Now that they have attempted to destroy his character and his reputation, how can they give him a bishropic anywhere? How would clergy react? A parallel exists with St. Nectarios of Aegina and St. John of San Francisco.

I highly doubt that the MP or the EP will get involved. Most likely, they would want the OCA to be quietly absorbed by the ROCOR and disappear.

Lord have mercy.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:16:48 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 12:23:10 AM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The problem is that this probably will become even more of an obstacle to being recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Also, I don't think the United States will gain a Patriarch for a LONG time. Patriarchs are usually reserved for apostolic sees (like Rome, Alexandria, Antioch & Jerusalem) or churches of great importance (like Constantinople). We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation with about 1,800 parishes (and about 54 bishops).

The only way anything will get done is through the Assembly of Canonical Bishops and by way of the Pan-Orthodox Council. It will be a unification of all the jurisdictions into one. Chances are really good that this won't be an OCA, GOA or Antiochian "church", but will simply be a "new" organization with the institutions & capacities of all the jurisdictions together. Will it be autocephalous? I don't know, I'd doubt it because we are so small & young. We definitely will at least be autonomous.

Lastly, the OCA is already autocephalous, it is just that a few Orthodox Churches don't recognize that the autocephaly was properly granted to us.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:23:20 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 12:38:51 AM »

Autocephaly does not equal Patriarchate - just look at Cyprus and Greece.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 07:10:20 AM »

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ith the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch
The OCA is autocephelous, the whole issue with the EP has nothing to do with the OCA, but Moscow.

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With Metropolitan Jonah forced to resign, the one sane voice on that Synod is now reduced to silence
We dont know that. We also dont know why the Met. was asked to resign. Maybe he was a waffler, who could not make decisions. Maybe he had no ability to handle the massive finances of a national church. Maybe he was too stressed and they asked him to step down for his own well-being.

Hell, maybe he ASKED them to request his resignation. Maybe all he wants to do is live a life away from such prying eyes.


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Also, I don't think the United States will gain a Patriarch for a LONG time
I'll settle for an American Orthodox Church, unified for now.

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 07:19:13 AM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 10:27:45 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 10:48:50 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.

Absolutely true. The efforts now ongoing amount to more than has been accomplished in the thirty years prior to this time.

BUT, all of your OCA fans out there - I still remain steadfast in my belief that the whole issue of whether the EP will 'recognize' the OCA's autocephaly or whether the OCA will be the one administrative body in America are not important or determinative of the outcome of any final settlement of these ongoing issues and talks.  Out of all of the existing structures will arise a new administrative structure with a new set of rules, regulations and costs.

Ethnic parishes will not magically disappear as a result and the same sort of complaints about this parish or that parish not being inclusive or welcoming will persist. 'A rose by any other name'.....  

However, the upside of this will be a renewed and growing sense among us that we are first Orthodox Christians and secondly Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Serbians etc... While for the most part we already have the benefits of a unified Church in which most of the local Orthodox parishes are in communion with each other, a unified structure will cement that reality and foster more cooperation and greater regional planning.

In the end though, it will not be the solve all that some envision it to be. It will be a baby step, but an important one on what will, with God's blessings, be a long journey.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 10:49:47 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 10:55:36 AM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000

That number was including non-Canonical groups (Kiev Pat. And Macedonia) and Oriental Orthodox. When you exclude those two it's only 900,000. (I have the official "Atlas" that was endorsed by the Assembly)

Actually now that I look, we only have 772,851 people.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 11:17:33 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 11:23:45 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.

Absolutely true. The efforts now ongoing amount to more than has been accomplished in the thirty years prior to this time.

BUT, all of your OCA fans out there - I still remain steadfast in my belief that the whole issue of whether the EP will 'recognize' the OCA's autocephaly or whether the OCA will be the one administrative body in America are not important or determinative of the outcome of any final settlement of these ongoing issues and talks.  Out of all of the existing structures will arise a new administrative structure with a new set of rules, regulations and costs. Ethnic parishes will not magically disappear as a result and the same sort of complaints about this parish or that parish not being inclusive or welcoming will persist. 'A rose by any other name'.....  

However, the upside of this will be a renewed and growing sense among us that we are first Orthodox Christians and secondly Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Serbians etc... While for the most part we already have the benefits of a unified Church in which most of the local Orthodox parishes are in communion with each other, a unified structure will cement that reality and foster more cooperation and greater regional planning.

In the end though, it will not be the solve all that some envision it to be. It will be a baby step, but an important one on what will, with God's blessings, be a long journey.



Amen! Well said, sir!
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 11:56:10 AM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.
Yes, if you listen to Fr Josiah Trenhams AFR podcast "The Arena", he has been tasked by the Assembly to interview all of the Bishops about the Assembly and it's work. Based on those interviews I've stayed pretty optimistic.
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 12:06:34 PM »

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I actually have some hopes for the Assembly of Bishops. A couple of Bishops I know really take it seriously and are hoping, praying and working for some sort of unity, whatever it may look like. There is a lot of working together going on with the youth, also.

Absolutely true. The efforts now ongoing amount to more than has been accomplished in the thirty years prior to this time.

BUT, all of your OCA fans out there - I still remain steadfast in my belief that the whole issue of whether the EP will 'recognize' the OCA's autocephaly or whether the OCA will be the one administrative body in America are not important or determinative of the outcome of any final settlement of these ongoing issues and talks.  Out of all of the existing structures will arise a new administrative structure with a new set of rules, regulations and costs.

Ethnic parishes will not magically disappear as a result and the same sort of complaints about this parish or that parish not being inclusive or welcoming will persist. 'A rose by any other name'.....  

However, the upside of this will be a renewed and growing sense among us that we are first Orthodox Christians and secondly Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Serbians etc... While for the most part we already have the benefits of a unified Church in which most of the local Orthodox parishes are in communion with each other, a unified structure will cement that reality and foster more cooperation and greater regional planning.

In the end though, it will not be the solve all that some envision it to be. It will be a baby step, but an important one on what will, with God's blessings, be a long journey.



The one thing that concerns me is the governance of the church, particularly the role of the laity. We have had a long period of time where the state-church relationship, as well as the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, have colored and obscured the duties, responsibilities and roles of the laity in general. However, in the West, particularly in laic states like the United States, we desperately need to come up with a conciliar approach that recognizes and uses the duties and responsibilities of the laity. "Pray, pay and obey" simply will not work and simply is aberration. As our Church is hierarchical, there have been some adjustments made to traditional governance, all with mixed results: the GOA and the AOCA allow for some lay input, while the OCA actually expands governance beyond the Holy Synod. As we all know, none of these approaches have been without problems, but I would submit that the existence of problems should not make us go back into our traditionalist shells like a turtle.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:07:53 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 12:51:43 PM »

Autocephaly does not equal Patriarchate - just look at Cyprus and Greece.

Which leads me to question: What would constitute the need for Patriarch?  Populations, land mass, etc.?
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 02:12:18 PM »


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The OCA is autocephelous,

I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.  
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:12:56 PM by Kerdy » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 02:42:58 PM »

Autocephaly does not equal Patriarchate - just look at Cyprus and Greece.

Which leads me to question: What would constitute the need for Patriarch?  Populations, land mass, etc.?

I would say apostolicity and/or importance.

Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Georgia are examples of apostolic patriarchates, patriarchates where the apostles had been and "founded".

Constantinople and Moscow are examples of important patriarchates, or rather patriarchates which received a patriarch based on their importance. (and no, I don't think the legend about St. Andrew visiting Byzantium is probably not true, but rather a fictional, pious legend)

The United States as a nation is only 236 years old. We've only been a major world power for only about 70 years. We only have about 770,000 faithful (only 205,000 which attend church regularly). We also have only 1,800 parishes and only 75 monasteries. Orthodoxy in our nation is very young and I would still consider us a missionary nation even though there are a large number of cradles.

Look at South & Central America (who form their own Assembly):
OCA Diocese of Mexico: 15,000
Ecumenical Patriarchate in Guatemala: 527,000
Ecumenical Patriarchate in Brazil: 30,000

That is just what we know, which amounts to about 572,000 people, already 75% of what we have in the United States. So if getting a Patriarchate were based on size, South & Central America would get a patriarchate before we would.

It isn't about size, but whether or not an Apostle founded your church, or how important your church/city has been in the Church.
(like Constantinople being the second Rome and Orthodox Capital of the Empire, or Moscow being the Third Rome and Orthodox Capital of the Russian Empire)

-Georgia didn't get an Archbishop until about 480 (about 400 years after St. Andrew visited Georgia) and wasn't raised to a Patriarchate until 1010, 530 years after it first got its Archbishop.
-Bulgaria didn't get an Archbishop and autocephaly until 870, about 800 years after Ss. Paul & Andrew had visited the region. They weren't raised to a Patriarchate until 919, 50 years after being given an Archbishop.
-Serbia didn't get an Archbishop (and autocephaly) until 1219, about 600 years after they were first missionized, and it wasn't made a Patriarchate until 1346, 127 years after it got its Archbishop.
-Moscow didn't get an Archbishop/Metropolitan until 1448 and wasn't given autocephaly and raised to a Patriarchate until 1589, 600 years after St. Prince Vladimir converted.
-Romania wasn't raised to a Metropolis until 1885, and wasn't raised to a Patriarchate until 1925. This is the youngest Patriarchate and is from a nation that has had Orthodoxy since the beginning.

The United States won't receive a Patriarch for a LONG time, until we somehow manage to convert the whole nation, or do something absolutely pivotal for world-wide Orthodoxy.
The next church that probably would be raised to a Patriarchate would probably be Cyprus, not the United States. One of the only reasons the OCA received autocephaly was because of the unfortunate situation Russia was in until 1991.

So going by first missionary work and the amount of time that traditionally has passed to being raised to a Patriarchate, we won't be a Patriarchate till about the year 2376, lol. However, if we consider the time from the first "Archbishop" (which could be a title or a status of a Church) then we would be a patriarchate in 2018, lol...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:49:09 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 02:59:46 PM »

Quote
I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 03:06:24 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 03:09:56 PM »

Quote
I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?
I think that the OCA is fine the way it is, but just needs a leader who is willing to lead his flock. Im not bashing Met. Jonah, but he said on multiple instances, he didnt want the job. I really dont think that anything systemic is wrong with the OCA (which all American MIGHT be in one day). They just need to get their stuff straight. Im not really concerned for them. I dont think God would let them go to crap.


PP
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 03:11:07 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?
I think that the OCA is fine the way it is, but just needs a leader who is willing to lead his flock. Im not bashing Met. Jonah, but he said on multiple instances, he didnt want the job. I really dont think that anything systemic is wrong with the OCA (which all American MIGHT be in one day). They just need to get their stuff straight. Im not really concerned for them. I dont think God would let them go to crap.


PP

Well I was talking about the inevitable church/jurisdiction that will eventually come out of the Assembly & the Pan-Orthodox Council, not the OCA (though that is the topic I guess).
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 03:13:29 PM »

Quote
Well I was talking about the inevitable church/jurisdiction that will eventually come out of the Assembly & the Pan-Orthodox Council, not the OCA (though that is the topic I guess).
Oh, sry.

Personally, thats a fight between the MP and the EP. Maybe they'll come to an understanding. Like give the EP from Kansas City and all points east, and the MP Kansas City and all points west.

Wait...did I just solve this dilemma by using a mafia agreement?

PP
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2012, 03:45:17 PM »

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Well I was talking about the inevitable church/jurisdiction that will eventually come out of the Assembly & the Pan-Orthodox Council, not the OCA (though that is the topic I guess).
Oh, sry.

Personally, thats a fight between the MP and the EP. Maybe they'll come to an understanding. Like give the EP from Kansas City and all points east, and the MP Kansas City and all points west.

Wait...did I just solve this dilemma by using a mafia agreement?

PP

lol, I was so bored yesterday I was using the Atlas to come up with a quick "solution" with diocese and boundaries... I split Missouri in half since the Kansas City area is divided between Missouri & Kansas, and St. Louis has some parishes on the Illinois side. So you could give St. Louis and East to one and Kansas City and west to another.

(Western MO & Kansas should be grouped with the see in Kansas City; Eastern MO & East St. Louis should be grouped with the see in St. Louis)
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2012, 04:20:26 PM »

Quote
lol, I was so bored yesterday I was using the Atlas to come up with a quick "solution" with diocese and boundaries... I split Missouri in half since the Kansas City area is divided between Missouri & Kansas, and St. Louis has some parishes on the Illinois side. So you could give St. Louis and East to one and Kansas City and west to another
So Columbia and Springfield, MO are a demilitarized zone where no church will exist.....cities of the damned Smiley

PP
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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2012, 04:44:05 PM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000

That's includes the OO; just the EO (who are the only ones who would be in a unified jurisdiction, at least for the time being) were closer to 800,000, IIRC.
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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2012, 04:45:06 PM »

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lol, I was so bored yesterday I was using the Atlas to come up with a quick "solution" with diocese and boundaries... I split Missouri in half since the Kansas City area is divided between Missouri & Kansas, and St. Louis has some parishes on the Illinois side. So you could give St. Louis and East to one and Kansas City and west to another
So Columbia and Springfield, MO are a demilitarized zone where no church will exist.....cities of the damned Smiley

PP

Nah, Springfield goes to KC and Columbia goes to St. Louis... (which makes the most sense because the Springfield/Joplin parishes are OCA and their deanery is already in KC and they are more closely connected to KC)
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« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2012, 05:44:52 PM »

America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.

I highly disagree. The Orthodox Church is universal and is not just reserved for the easterners. Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances. Likewise, what would be the point of having a Patriarch or 'someone to answer to' that is not influenced by Americanism? If anything, it would mean that he does not understand the problems and mindset of the American Orthodox population that he needs to govern.
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« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2012, 06:08:31 PM »

Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years

The Church started when Jesus was a kid? Woh!  Grin
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« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2012, 06:22:25 PM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Lord have mercy.

With Metropolitan Jonah forced to resign, the one sane voice on that Synod is now reduced to silence.
How can anything he says be listened to seriously? Now that they have attempted to destroy his character and his reputation, how can they give him a bishropic anywhere? How would clergy react? A parallel exists with St. Nectarios of Aegina and St. John of San Francisco.

I highly doubt that the MP or the EP will get involved. Most likely, they would want the OCA to be quietly absorbed by the ROCOR and disappear.

Lord have mercy.

Or the OCA could just join in under HOTCA.  Smiley
Ok, I'll keep dreaming.
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« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2012, 08:00:17 PM »

America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.

I highly disagree. The Orthodox Church is universal and is not just reserved for the easterners. Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances. Likewise, what would be the point of having a Patriarch or 'someone to answer to' that is not influenced by Americanism? If anything, it would mean that he does not understand the problems and mindset of the American Orthodox population that he needs to govern.

I do hope that an American Church will not have a monarchical form of governance, where the Primate "rules."
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2012, 08:02:16 PM »

Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances.

But America was not Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2012, 08:18:13 PM »

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I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP

I certainly don't claim to know all the ins and outs of the Church or feel I am in any position to dictate how things should or should not be.  There are much more educated and spiritually mature people to do these things.  Perhaps my opinions are still skewed from being a Protestant for so long and being such a new Orthodox Christian, but I think America has a long, long way to go. 
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« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2012, 12:39:11 AM »

America thinks like the west, not the east.  Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism.

I highly disagree. The Orthodox Church is universal and is not just reserved for the easterners. Keep in mind that the west was a part of the Church for 1054 years and actually corrected the east from heresy in many instances. Likewise, what would be the point of having a Patriarch or 'someone to answer to' that is not influenced by Americanism? If anything, it would mean that he does not understand the problems and mindset of the American Orthodox population that he needs to govern.

I do hope that an American Church will not have a monarchical form of governance, where the Primate "rules."

I think JamesR might have been slightly confused.  I think he may have misunderstood the comment as suggesting that all the American Orthodox should be directly under a bishop from the Old World, which of course is not a particularly brilliant idea. 

If, however, he understood the suggestion as I did - that the Orthodox in America would all be under one bishop or another of a synod which is answerable to an Old World Church - then he is evidently confused as to the proper role of a primate.
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« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2012, 03:41:47 AM »

-Romania wasn't raised to a Metropolis until 1885

In saying this you are confusing the Church on the territory of what is now Romania with the formation of the Romanian state and Constantinople's recognition of autocephaly. Romania declared autocephaly after unification, though this wasn't immediately accepted by Constantinople, but prior to unification the individual states, Moldova and Tara Romaneasca had both been metropolia since about the 14th century. They had been autonomous long before the unification of Romania. What happened in 1885 was that a pre-existing and autonomous Metropolitan was recognised as head of an autocephalous Romanian church.

James

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« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2012, 03:49:43 AM »

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We only have 900,000 Orthodox Christians in our nation
Its a bit more than that I think.

I believe the number from the 2010 census thing was 1,070,000

The 900,000 figure is more accurate for the population of participating, to some extent, Eastern Orthodox Christians in the United States; the over 1 million figure includes the Oriental Orthodox.

The 5 or 6 million figure thrown around by many is an utter phony number.  It is based on the 2 million figure that Patriarch Meletios IV asserted at his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch in 1921, an unfounded exaggeration at the time, plus the addition of all immigrants to America from lands where Orthodox Christians were a majority since that time; and somehow, a factor for Orthodox Christians who emigrated from Asia Minor are also included.  The 900,000 figure was computed for a respected study conducted Alexie Kindrich (sp) for the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, which is affiliated with the University of California at Berkley.  The results of this study are consistent with a less sophisticated study published by Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) over a decade ago.
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« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2012, 11:40:37 AM »

-Romania wasn't raised to a Metropolis until 1885

In saying this you are confusing the Church on the territory of what is now Romania with the formation of the Romanian state and Constantinople's recognition of autocephaly. Romania declared autocephaly after unification, though this wasn't immediately accepted by Constantinople, but prior to unification the individual states, Moldova and Tara Romaneasca had both been metropolia since about the 14th century. They had been autonomous long before the unification of Romania. What happened in 1885 was that a pre-existing and autonomous Metropolitan was recognised as head of an autocephalous Romanian church.

James



With the other groups I was also talking about autocephaly and then being raised to Patriarchate.
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« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2012, 06:36:38 AM »

With the whole buzz about His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah resigning, I was wondering if you folks think that there is a chance that maybe the Ecumenical Patriarch will finally recognize us as autocephelous and then maybe we can focus on establishing an OCA Patriarch. Far fetched? Maybe. But the OCA has been a rollercoaster and you do not know what could happen. Deep down I kind of have that hope that maybe we will finally be recognized as autocephelous by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The existing entity of the "Orthodox Church in America," will not be recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the autocephalos Eastern Orthodox Church of North America as the EP is not going to sacrifice its eparchies in the U.S. and Canada, in favor of the OCA, primarily due to the manner in which it was granted its Tomos of Autocephaly by the Church of Russia, which was controlled at the time by the Communist Soviet government, a government which soon after the issuance of the Tomos, entered into negotiations with the American government to initiate "detente."  This was the same Soviet government which 46 years earlier had prohibited the Holy Orthodox Churches from maintaining communion with the OCA's predecessor, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia, by issuing an "anathema," excommunicating all those associated with the Metropolia, one primary reason for the anathema was the Metropolia's refusal to sign a loyalty oath to the Soviet Union, though the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and several other jurisdictions in America, ignored the anathema as having been issued under the influence of a Communist government of which the church was subject.  Finally, the negotiations between the Metropolia and the Church of Russia, were held in secret and did not include any of the churches who maintained jurisdictions in America, some for over 50 years at that time, in a church which employs a conciliar form of decision making.

This discussion reminds me of what the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) stated in its challenge to the Tomos of Autocephaly when it was issued," The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese [of America] is larger and better organized."  It should be noted that ROCOR was not in communion with the GOAA at the time.  Even though the multiple church jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere were canonically organized anomalously, yet they were canonical churches, one church could not impose an autocephalos church upon a territory which includes numerous canonical jurisdictions upon it.  An example of how superfluous the Tomos was, the Church of Russia could not even facilitate or force its own parishes which were under its direct jurisdiction to join the OCA, a situation which exists today, 42 years later.  In fact, although the Patriarchate of Moscow technically dissolved its eparchy in America, it maintains jurisdiction over these parishes with an axillary bishop to the Patriarch, in New York.  The number of parishes under the Russian Patriarch's authority in America has increased, slightly, since issuance of the Tomos.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate maintains communion with the OCA and recognizes its self-governance, but it does not recognize it as a sister church, along side the Holy Orthodox Churches.  The commentary in this post is not intended to condemn the OCA by any means, a church which has a most venerable history tracing back to the Russian Church's mission to Alaska, while it was a territory of the Russian Empire.  The OCA's priests, monastics, and faithful comprise communities of spirituality throughout North America.  The OCA seminaries of St. Vladimir and St. Tikhon are bastions of exemplary Orthodox schools of theology.  And the OCA has produced nearly all of our venerable saints of North America.  But the entity of the national church has been in decline for the past 30 years or so, a matter that cannot be ignored in the context of the inquiry of the original post.

Per its own Special Investigation Committee (SIC) Report, the OCA was subject to financial malfeasance for a recent 19 year period, facilitated by its chancellor, who was thankfully unfrocked for his misdeeds.  Yes, Orthodox Churches have unfortunately been subject to such abuse, but never-the-less, that abuse has damaged the institution of the OCA.  And frankly, were it not for an independent news source sponsored by Orthodox Christians for Accountability, "OCANews.org", the abuse could be continuing today.  It has also experienced problems beyond those that other churches experience with regard to ethical and behavioral deviations among it hierarchy, including two of its former primates.

Over the past more than 35 years, I have been involved in various multi-parish, pan-Orthodox activities and have found that the institution of the OCA is not esteemed, even by priests and laity in the OCA.  Often, mention of the OCA will bring smiles upon the faces of clergy of other jurisdictions.  One nationally known OCA priest, when I met him---didn't even know him previously, when I asked him, "You're in the OCA?" he responded, rolling his eyes, "If I weren't in it [the OCA] for so long, I would transfer out."  A senior GOAA priest said to me, just a few years ago, "Who would have imagined the OCA would have deteriorated the extent to which it has."  And two years ago, an OCA deacon substituting in my GOAA parish, when I introduced myself to him and mentioned that I was familiar with his neighboring parish, replied, "They call us the American Church, but were really Russians."  I responded, "Well, you're really Carpatho-Russians, primarily," but that's a discussion for another time.

Never-the-less, the clergy are respected in the pan-Orthodox community, with many exemplary priests serving in the OCA.  But, when a unified administrative structure is eventually established, it will be planned by leadership of the GOAA, the OCA, and the AOCANA, together, along with the fine membership of all the jurisdictions.  An entity such as the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North America is currently poised to execute the challenge presented to it by the 4th Chambessay Pre-Conciliar Commission, of planning for such a church.  May God inspire all our Holy Hierarchs to meet this challenge.

The GOAA's national mailing list is 165,000, while the OCA's is 33,000.  Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million. Recall back to ROCOR's comments in 1970, "The [GOAA] is larger and better organized."
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 07:07:35 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2012, 10:27:31 AM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.

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« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2012, 12:34:27 PM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA didn't declare itself autocephalous. It was granted autocephaly by it's "mother church", the Russian Patriarchate. What is contested is the fact that the Russian Church was under influence by the Soviets at the time.

Also the EP contests that "only it" has the right to grant autocephaly, and/or that only it has the rights to "barbarian lands". Those two latter points are stupid and void. However the first point is very valid.

As a member of the OCA, I've come to accept that we need to humble ourselves and accept that the future of Orthodoxy in America doesn't include the OCA keeping its autocephaly. Bishop Jonah recognized this...
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« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2012, 12:41:18 PM »

Quote
I thought so as well.  To be openly honest, I do not think America is prepared or even deserves its own Patriarch.  Look at how we are falling apart.  America thinks like the west, not the east
I think that is with any Church really. If Patriarch Kirill resigned, Im sure he'd have his partisans (which would be few) and people that hated him. Really and truly, on a worldwide scale, the resignation of Met. Jonah is barely a blip on the radar.

Quote
Perhaps it is best to be required to answer to someone who is not influenced by Americanism
Although I dont agree, I can see the merit of you thinking this. Personally, I'd rather have a hierarch that is American, who can address the needs of the faithful in his home, because he understnad (one would hope) their concerns that someone in say, Istanbul could not (no offense GOA'ers).

PP



Maybe Autonomy under MP or EP?

I think the next step is unity among the  Russian Tradition Jurisdictions, OCA, Rocor and MP. I bet Moscow is not happy to have seen Met. Jonah forced to resign. Toxicology report to follow.
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« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2012, 02:33:28 PM »

As a member of the OCA, my only real concern, is if the Greeks & the EP (if we all end up under him) will support the construction & maintenance of smaller parishes in addition to the big parishes.

With the Assembly, we will need a hierarchy & organization that supports both the existence (and construction) of big parishes with multiple Priests and 150-5,000 members, as well as the small parishes that may only have 1 Priest & 40-150 members.

I also hope that they will be willing to promote a lot more missionary work, evangelizing and constructing mission churches in cities where Orthodoxy hasn't been previously.
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« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2012, 04:03:07 PM »

(The OCA didn't declare itself autocephalous. It was granted autocephaly by it's "mother church", the Russian Patriarchate. What is contested is the fact that the Russian Church was under influence by the Soviets at the time.

Also the EP contests that "only it" has the right to grant autocephaly, and/or that only it has the rights to "barbarian lands". Those two latter points are stupid and void. However the first point is very valid.

As a member of the OCA, I've come to accept that we need to humble ourselves and accept that the future of Orthodoxy in America doesn't include the OCA keeping its autocephaly. Bishop Jonah recognized this...)

A little voice inside my head tells me that whether there was Soviet influence or not, the plain truth is that the EP didnt have his hand in this decision and thats is the thorn in his side. 
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« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2012, 05:35:16 PM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA is already autocephalous. That is not at issue here. The issue is when and under what conditions, OCA's autocephaly may be sacrificed for administrative unity on this continent. All jurisdictions at the present are in communion with each other; let's pray that this continues. However, we are on the way to the establishment of an administratively united church under the guidance of the Assembly of Bishops. I hope and pray that the OCA will not sacrifice her autocephaly to any other local church than an administratively united AND autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
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« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2012, 08:14:26 PM »

We dont know that. We also dont know why the Met. was asked to resign. Maybe he was a waffler, who could not make decisions. Maybe he had no ability to handle the massive finances of a national church. Maybe he was too stressed and they asked him to step down for his own well-being.

Hell, maybe he ASKED them to request his resignation. Maybe all he wants to do is live a life away from such prying eyes.

I agree. There's still a lot of unknowns and conspiracy theories.  sometimes I feel like I'm in soviet Russia.
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« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2012, 11:39:12 PM »

We dont know that. We also dont know why the Met. was asked to resign. Maybe he was a waffler, who could not make decisions. Maybe he had no ability to handle the massive finances of a national church. Maybe he was too stressed and they asked him to step down for his own well-being.

Hell, maybe he ASKED them to request his resignation. Maybe all he wants to do is live a life away from such prying eyes.

I agree. There's still a lot of unknowns and conspiracy theories.  sometimes I feel like I'm in soviet Russia.


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« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2012, 11:58:27 PM »

Two weeks ago, the GOAA's 41st Clergy-Laity Congress approved a National Ministries budget of more than $25 million; the OCA's annual budget is around $2.5 million."

I was going to post this.  And this is all you needed to post.  All the other stuff in your post is frankly meaningless.  Grin  That is not a shot at you, just pointing out this issue has nothing to do with history or overlapping bishops or churches that are ethnic social clubs or everything else people babble on about when it comes to this issue.

The important people in this debate are not the EP, Met Jonah, clergy, laity, alter boys, etc.  The important people in this debate are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjie Franklin, et al.

It was explained to me recently in an other thread that autocephaly means the OCA rules America and all the other existing churches come under it.

If anybody thinks the GOA is going to just hand over the money, you are completely delusional.  If anybody thinks GOAers are going to sit quietly while the church hands everything over to the OCA, you are beyond delusional.

Comparing the US to other countries is also meaningless because all the other places only had one church.  So if the OCA unilaterally declares it is autocephalous, so what.  Nothing changes.



The OCA is already autocephalous. That is not at issue here. The issue is when and under what conditions, OCA's autocephaly may be sacrificed for administrative unity on this continent. All jurisdictions at the present are in communion with each other; let's pray that this continues. However, we are on the way to the establishment of an administratively united church under the guidance of the Assembly of Bishops. I hope and pray that the OCA will not sacrifice her autocephaly to any other local church than an administratively united AND autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States of America.

What about the church in Mexico and Canada which are also under the OCA?
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« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2012, 12:44:51 AM »

I would like to see Canada as part of the U.S.A. unified Orthodox Church, but Mexico, is linguistically and culturally associated with Central and South America.  Canadians on this forum in the past have said they want their church to be independent of America.  Perhaps autonomy for Canada, though part of the North American Synod, could work.  A North American church will be a stronger and cohesive church, than just a church of the United States, or a church of Canada.  The ancient Orthodox Church was composed of regional churches, Alexandria, Antioch--they were provincial capitals of the Roman Empire.  The national churches concept seems to have its basis in the independence movements of the 19th century, independence from the Ottomans to secure both civil and religious independence. 
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