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Author Topic: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery  (Read 21174 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marc1152
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« Reply #270 on: August 22, 2012, 02:06:44 PM »

Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   angel

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's seems too many people forget that the only purpose for Christ establishing His Church, was so we could be   facilitated towards the attainment of Theosis.  Uniting with the Divine, can only be attained by us  by perfecting our  hearts.  It certainly cannot be acquired by looking at others and 'pharasaically' nit picking.     

Abess Amiliani noted after her confusion with the accident and her miraculous recovery,  that all the science and medicine in the world wasn't able to do a thing for those that died, and yet the prayers of a pure hearted elder thousands of miles away,  saved her and helped her recover.  Very profound, very enlightened, and very Christian.  angel

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..
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Marc1152
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« Reply #271 on: August 22, 2012, 02:09:09 PM »

Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   angel

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.
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« Reply #272 on: August 22, 2012, 02:17:41 PM »

Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   angel

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #273 on: August 22, 2012, 02:36:34 PM »

Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   angel

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

I have no idea what they do when they are alone..

They happily take communion at a Rocor Parish with all that entails.
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« Reply #274 on: August 22, 2012, 02:44:22 PM »


It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?

Lot's of paranoia there, but then again, isn't fear the cause of malevolence?   Sad

As you have multiple times now suggested that there is a malevolent person who seems to be threatening everyone from nuns to heirarchs, I'm not sure you have much room to accuse someone of paranoia.
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« Reply #275 on: August 22, 2012, 02:51:12 PM »

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

But do they eat potatoes and wheat?
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« Reply #276 on: August 22, 2012, 03:03:31 PM »

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

It's common for Greek monasteries to commemorate the Bishop and then the *ruling Abbot* of the monastery. Most Churches, e.g. the ancient patriarchates, etc., have "diataxeis" that regulate this. I'm not sure about the Russian tradition. But, at least historically, Russian abbots had even more authority than Greek abbots. As in, they could own their own serfs and had many other privileges.

The complicating question is: How does this tradition work in convents? At any rate, the commemorating a "spiritual father" (as opposed to the Abbot or perhaps Abbess) makes no ecclesiastical sense, and networks of monasteries commemorating one "spiritual father" even less so. In fact, that is a canonical impossibility. Hence, no doubt, why ROCOR balked when they looked closely at the convent's proposed structure. It appears to me that they did things with quick oral agreements, not looking at the details. Once the details became known, that's when the problem arose.
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« Reply #277 on: August 22, 2012, 03:04:47 PM »

It's seems too many people forget that the only purpose for Christ establishing His Church, was so we could be   facilitated towards the attainment of Theosis.  Uniting with the Divine, can only be attained by us  by perfecting our  hearts.  It certainly cannot be acquired by looking at others and 'pharasaically' nit picking.

Maintaining canonical order equals "pharasaical" nit picking?     

Abess Amiliani noted after her confusion with the accident and her miraculous recovery,  that all the science and medicine in the world wasn't able to do a thing for those that died, and yet the prayers of a pure hearted elder thousands of miles away,  saved her and helped her recover.  Very profound, very enlightened, and very Christian.  angel

Disobedience does not bring one closer to Theosis.
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« Reply #278 on: August 22, 2012, 03:05:20 PM »

My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

But do they eat potatoes and wheat?

They have not yet stayed to eat lunch with us.
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« Reply #279 on: August 22, 2012, 04:22:25 PM »


My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.
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« Reply #280 on: August 22, 2012, 05:01:55 PM »


My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.

it would actually be Libel.. Slander is spoken. Libel is written
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« Reply #281 on: August 22, 2012, 05:04:10 PM »


My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.

it would actually be Libel.. Slander is spoken. Libel is written

A distinction that is blurring, at least from the linguist's perspective, as what would otherwise be considered spoken English is used in places like FB, Twitter and OC.net. 
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Marc1152
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« Reply #282 on: August 22, 2012, 05:21:27 PM »


My impression, based only on gut instinct from being around them, is that these are Holy Women.. I would advise caution and patience in any public criticism of them no matter the apparent evidence at hand..

Caution is certainly advised for everyone here for fear of a "slander" lawsuit.  Not kidding.

it would actually be Libel.. Slander is spoken. Libel is written

A distinction that is blurring, at least from the linguist's perspective, as what would otherwise be considered spoken English is used in places like FB, Twitter and OC.net. 

These are legal terms.
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« Reply #283 on: August 22, 2012, 05:52:36 PM »

Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   angel

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

I gather you're with them then? Huh
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« Reply #284 on: August 22, 2012, 05:56:57 PM »



Disobedience does not bring one closer to Theosis.

Neither does looking for a splinter in another's eye, without paying attention to the twig in one's own eye.  

And then again, what constitutes 'disobedience', after all wasn't Jesus disobedient in the eyes of some?  So who is to judge?  Certainly not me, is it you?   Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 06:00:16 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #285 on: August 22, 2012, 06:01:30 PM »

Forgive me for repeating the obvious....   angel

I'm not convinced the nuns were properly canonically released from Greece.  If one looks at the Abbess' documents on her website, they mention that a council of Elderesses issued a release for the 8 nuns and not the Bishop who oversaw the monasteries.  How can monastics release other monastics and can a Spiritual Father just verbally release monastics?

So, there are 8 uncanonically released nuns being received by the OCA who then releases them to ROCOR who then releases them to ... their original jurisdiction in the Church of Greece.  Except that the DC nuns commemorate a Priestmonk who's physically in Greece, not a Hierarch in the Church of Greece.

The Abbess' defensive behavior (after all, she's a US citizen who can't be deported back to Greece) leads me to believe that she believes she's still a canonical Orthodox Christian in the USA where the Church of Greece hasn't had an official presence since 1922.  Whoever is financially supporting the Abbess must not like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The fact the she and the other are canonically Orthodox Christians is not debatable. They have recently attended my Rocor Parish as does their Father Confessor and received communion.

It's a long trip (more than an hour) from Union Bridge to DC.  Do the nuns have a minivan or are there enough "friends" willing to do all this extra driving?

Marc's parish is not in DC but just north of College park.  It's a mission parish, not the Cathedral.  It's probably close to 45 mins away - but there's really not that many choices.

From Union Bridge to Beltsville is 5 miles shorter than Union Bridge to DC.  There are a number of Orthodox churches closer to the nuns.

Their Father Confessor prefers to serve with us.

When the nuns sit as parishioners and their Father Confessor serves with your ROCOR Priest, they have no problem commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion.  When they are by themselves, they commemorate Elder Dionysios.

I gather you're with them then? Huh

No.  I'm paraphrasing the Letter from Metropolitan Hilarion to the Abbess.  The nuns own chaplain, Hieromonk Basil (Land), vigorously defended the continuation of this allegiance (to Elder Dionysios) - a conviction which I (Metropolitan Hilarion) am certain that you share with all of your co-laborers, being of one mind and will.
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« Reply #286 on: August 22, 2012, 06:04:01 PM »


It's malevolence to make sure one has a proper canonical release?  If the Abbess sues, would she be trying to establish the Church of Greece on US soil as, perhaps, she is legally entitled to do?  What Bishop would the Church of Greece send to America to provide Hierarchical oversight to this monastery in Union Bridge, MD?

Lot's of paranoia there, but then again, isn't fear the cause of malevolence?   Sad

As you have multiple times now suggested that there is a malevolent person who seems to be threatening everyone from nuns to heirarchs, I'm not sure you have much room to accuse someone of paranoia.

What I stated is the Abess' response and the reason for her lawsuit.  If you would have paid attention rather than just look for an excuse to attack me because of my more 'Orthodox' viewpoints, you would have known that. Angry
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 06:05:40 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #287 on: August 22, 2012, 06:15:12 PM »

Disobedience does not bring one closer to Theosis.

Neither does looking for a splinter in another's eye, without paying attention to the twig in one's own eye.

That is the excuse for disobedience because all of us have twigs in one's eye?  

And then again, what constitutes 'disobedience', after all wasn't Jesus disobedient in the eyes of some?  So who is to judge?  Certainly not me, is it you?   Roll Eyes

I like to hear your views on the canonicity of disobedience.   Smiley

Clarification: canonicity of disobedience in the Orthodox Church
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 06:18:15 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #288 on: August 22, 2012, 08:37:40 PM »

Prayer of St. Ephraim (prayed by Orthodox Christians to Almighty God with repentence during Lent but also privately throughout the year):

O Lord and Master of my life,
Grant not unto me a spirit of idleness,
of discouragement,
of lust for power,
and of vain speaking.

But bestow upon me, Thy servant,
the spirit of chastity,
of meekness,
of patience,
and of love.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant that I may perceive
my own transgressions,
and judge not my brother,
for blessed art Thou
unto ages of ages.
Amen.


I pray that the holy Priests of this forum will end this spiritually scandalous thread, as judgement of others is spiritually harmful, and is the reason that so many father confessors tell their spiritual children to refrain or limit their time on internet fora..so much good and love and compassion can come out of them, such as when praying for others, but also so much hate, anger, and condemnation can also manifest itself. In such cases, the only victor, is ofcourse, the evil one...

My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  Wink

Whenever we have sought prayers for the inevitable trials which we (as many other Christians) have endured through the storms of life, they have lovingly offered prayers for us... and we have received relief on more than one occasion through the mercy of God and their spiritually charitable intercessory prayers.

How fortunate we Orthodox Christians are to have holy monasteries and monastics to turn to when we need help and prayer on our behalf!

Glory to God for the beautiful gifts our faith offers us!
Glory to God for the icon of Christ which we see in the compassionate and kind souls of others, whether lay people, clerics, or monastics!

I pray, with all my heart and soul, that peace will overcome this thread, and that true Orthodox love will reign in all our hearts, in all our holy jurisdictions, parishes, and other branches of Christ's holy Orthodox Church. How wonderful it is when brethren dwell together in agape (Christian) love!

I will forever love and honour these nuns for the kindnesses and generosity of spirit they have displayed over the past fifteen years I have known them.

With love in Christ to all,
Alice
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« Reply #289 on: August 22, 2012, 09:32:34 PM »

I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.
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« Reply #290 on: August 22, 2012, 11:54:48 PM »

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.
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« Reply #291 on: August 23, 2012, 12:08:36 AM »

My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  Wink

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?

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« Reply #292 on: August 23, 2012, 08:20:47 AM »

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

I agree wholeheartedly with Father. Regardless of anyone's personal or anecdotal knowledge of these nuns, regardless of the type of people they are in their interactions with people and their community  or regardless of how spiritual of a life they lead on a daily basis, the inescapable fact remains - obedience is as essential an element of a Christian's life as any of the other ingredients. Again - absent heresy, we are bound - be we laity, monastics or clergy to be obedient to the Church and to our own Bishop. If one can not be obedient in a Christian manner, one cuts oneself away from the body of the Church and through these actions from Christ Himself.

If you believe that heresy is at play here - lay it on the table - but beware of this as false accusations of heresy are among the heinous offenses before God.

Frankly I am not questioning anyone's impression or experiences with these nuns. I am sure that what has been presented in terms of them as people is likely true (or as true as any impression we may have of another person). That is just not the point here.

Monks, nuns and monasteries have an essential role in the Orthodox Church. However, most of us are NOT called to their profession and life. It is the parish and your parish priest with which most of us interact throughout our lives with the Church, and through her, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is the Bishop who holds together these disparate, but theoretically non-competing elements of his flock.

The idealization of monastics and the monastic life to a level which allows certain of them to work outside of canonical rule and order is dangerous and divisive to the unity of the Faith. This sad situation is a classic example of the same and frankly, any monastics who tolerate such an elevation by the laity seem to me to be playing with a dangerous tendency - hubris.

As Father says, this thread has become ridiculous, but not for the reasons urged by the nuns' supporters.
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« Reply #293 on: August 23, 2012, 10:00:31 AM »

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

I agree wholeheartedly with Father. Regardless of anyone's personal or anecdotal knowledge of these nuns, regardless of the type of people they are in their interactions with people and their community  or regardless of how spiritual of a life they lead on a daily basis, the inescapable fact remains - obedience is as essential an element of a Christian's life as any of the other ingredients. Again - absent heresy, we are bound - be we laity, monastics or clergy to be obedient to the Church and to our own Bishop. If one can not be obedient in a Christian manner, one cuts oneself away from the body of the Church and through these actions from Christ Himself.

If you believe that heresy is at play here - lay it on the table - but beware of this as false accusations of heresy are among the heinous offenses before God.

Frankly I am not questioning anyone's impression or experiences with these nuns. I am sure that what has been presented in terms of them as people is likely true (or as true as any impression we may have of another person). That is just not the point here.

Monks, nuns and monasteries have an essential role in the Orthodox Church. However, most of us are NOT called to their profession and life. It is the parish and your parish priest with which most of us interact throughout our lives with the Church, and through her, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is the Bishop who holds together these disparate, but theoretically non-competing elements of his flock.

The idealization of monastics and the monastic life to a level which allows certain of them to work outside of canonical rule and order is dangerous and divisive to the unity of the Faith. This sad situation is a classic example of the same and frankly, any monastics who tolerate such an elevation by the laity seem to me to be playing with a dangerous tendency - hubris.

As Father says, this thread has become ridiculous, but not for the reasons urged by the nuns' supporters.

What they said. This is the nub of the matter - not whether the Abbess and the nuns are good people, or whether Elder Dionysios is a wonderful man and spiritual elder. Or whether the Abbess' story of her accident is true or not.

Those things, while they may be interesting, are not truly relevant.

What is relevant and significant, IMHO, is that people vigorously defend the Abbess and the nums from what they consider to be attacks and slander, while doing the same thing to a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church. I'm pretty sure that, while Metropolitan Hilarion may be many things, and as imperfect as anyone, he is not afraid enough of some shadowy conspiracy or sinister cabal to violate his consecration oath and responsibility as Bishop.

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« Reply #294 on: August 23, 2012, 10:23:58 AM »

Having this thread go on ad absurdum has been helpful in that it has allowed the full argument to be made on both sides and people can judge for themselves.

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

I agree wholeheartedly with Father. Regardless of anyone's personal or anecdotal knowledge of these nuns, regardless of the type of people they are in their interactions with people and their community  or regardless of how spiritual of a life they lead on a daily basis, the inescapable fact remains - obedience is as essential an element of a Christian's life as any of the other ingredients. Again - absent heresy, we are bound - be we laity, monastics or clergy to be obedient to the Church and to our own Bishop. If one can not be obedient in a Christian manner, one cuts oneself away from the body of the Church and through these actions from Christ Himself.

If you believe that heresy is at play here - lay it on the table - but beware of this as false accusations of heresy are among the heinous offenses before God.

Frankly I am not questioning anyone's impression or experiences with these nuns. I am sure that what has been presented in terms of them as people is likely true (or as true as any impression we may have of another person). That is just not the point here.

Monks, nuns and monasteries have an essential role in the Orthodox Church. However, most of us are NOT called to their profession and life. It is the parish and your parish priest with which most of us interact throughout our lives with the Church, and through her, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is the Bishop who holds together these disparate, but theoretically non-competing elements of his flock.

The idealization of monastics and the monastic life to a level which allows certain of them to work outside of canonical rule and order is dangerous and divisive to the unity of the Faith. This sad situation is a classic example of the same and frankly, any monastics who tolerate such an elevation by the laity seem to me to be playing with a dangerous tendency - hubris.

As Father says, this thread has become ridiculous, but not for the reasons urged by the nuns' supporters.

What they said. This is the nub of the matter - not whether the Abbess and the nuns are good people, or whether Elder Dionysios is a wonderful man and spiritual elder. Or whether the Abbess' story of her accident is true or not.

Those things, while they may be interesting, are not truly relevant.

What is relevant and significant, IMHO, is that people vigorously defend the Abbess and the nums from what they consider to be attacks and slander, while doing the same thing to a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church. I'm pretty sure that, while Metropolitan Hilarion may be many things, and as imperfect as anyone, he is not afraid enough of some shadowy conspiracy or sinister cabal to violate his consecration oath and responsibility as Bishop.


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« Reply #295 on: August 23, 2012, 10:46:41 AM »

What is relevant and significant, IMHO, is that people vigorously defend the Abbess and the nums from what they consider to be attacks and slander, while doing the same thing to a Hierarch of the Orthodox Church. I'm pretty sure that, while Metropolitan Hilarion may be many things, and as imperfect as anyone, he is not afraid enough of some shadowy conspiracy or sinister cabal to violate his consecration oath and responsibility as Bishop.

Yes, there is that. There is also an important lesson to be learned about the arbitration of disputes that involve the Church, according to Holy Tradition. The Fathers of the Councils of Antioch, Carthage, and the Fourth Ecumenical Council make it clear that secular courts can never be an appropriate venue. As Patriarch Balsamon, the great Byzantine canonist, says: according to the divine and sacred canons, any cleric or monastic who initiates a civil claim in a secular court (instead of an ecclesiastical court), even if he wins the case and is proven right, he shall lose his ecclesiastical position and be deposed (cf. Rhalles and Potles, vol. 3, 330-41).

Sinful means can never produce a righteous end, as Zenovia so rightly said. And, as St John Climacus teaches us, even the monk on the very highest step of the Ladder of Divine Ascent can fall. A lifetime of righteousness, miracles in abundance, even the evident fruits of theosis itself experienced here on earth, do not stop human beings, weak as we are, from making mistakes, even very serious, sinful mistakes, in clear violation of the Holy Tradition of the Church.
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« Reply #296 on: August 23, 2012, 11:00:34 AM »

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.
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« Reply #297 on: August 23, 2012, 11:21:27 AM »

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Not that I know of. Only this threat: "We have committed to legal advisors of our Sacred Monastery – with Divine judgment impending – the scrutiny of the accusations against us and of our accusers, with the aim of prosecution against every natural and moral perpetrator of slanderous defamation and for the overstepping of their authority, as well as the corresponding lawsuits for indemnification, against those who assault our name, honor, and reputation, our monastic entity, and in general our religious rights in the country of our descent."

Let's hope none actually gets filed.
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« Reply #298 on: August 23, 2012, 11:56:56 AM »

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Not that I know of. Only this threat: "We have committed to legal advisors of our Sacred Monastery – with Divine judgment impending – the scrutiny of the accusations against us and of our accusers, with the aim of prosecution against every natural and moral perpetrator of slanderous defamation and for the overstepping of their authority, as well as the corresponding lawsuits for indemnification, against those who assault our name, honor, and reputation, our monastic entity, and in general our religious rights in the country of our descent."

Let's hope none actually gets filed.

When I reread that, the English is something - there really is no need to speak in stilted 'imperial court-speak' in the 21st Century. The gospels were written in plain language by the Holy Evangelists and our Lord's parables were intended to convey their meaning by means of easily understood stories and analogies. Whenever I read stuff written like that my inner radar says - 'poseur.' Now, mind you, in my life most of the stuff like that I have read was written by fellow attorneys who confused style with substance.  Oh well, more of a pet peeve of mine I suppose rather than a real critique, but....
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« Reply #299 on: August 23, 2012, 12:11:13 PM »

I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

It seems to me that one side is withdrawing from the field of battle, not wishing to incur even more losses. May I remind the supporters of the nuns in their uncanonical battle against proper authority that it is their rather rigorous argumentation that has kept this battle going? (Note: I am using the words "field of battle" and "battle" figuratively).
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« Reply #300 on: August 23, 2012, 12:39:51 PM »

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.
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« Reply #301 on: August 23, 2012, 12:46:20 PM »

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.

Hopefully its all talk and no action on the part of the nuns.
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« Reply #302 on: August 23, 2012, 12:50:15 PM »

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.

Hopefully its all talk and no action on the part of the nuns.

Amen.  I have to think any attorney worth his JD would take one look at this case and advise against it, as filing a suit will harm the reputation of the monastery and its adherents far more than any alleged slander/libel that has taken place.
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« Reply #303 on: August 23, 2012, 01:11:14 PM »

Not to forget that courts hate these kinds of squabbles and will go to great lengths to avoid them.

Question: We keep talking about a civil lawsuit. Has a civil suit actually been filed in a Court of record -either Maryland State Courts or U.S. District Court? If so, does anyone have index numbers which would lead one to any such actual court documents - which would be available online by means of an index search - at least as to any federal action. I don't know if Maryland has such a system.

Maryland does have a Judiciary Case Search site for state court cases.  I have yet to see anything filed in USDC-MD via PACER.

I'm using the Abbess' name as my search string, but also checking for the words Monastery and Theotokos, all of which are coming up null.

Hopefully its all talk and no action on the part of the nuns.

Amen.  I have to think any attorney worth his JD would take one look at this case and advise against it, as filing a suit will harm the reputation of the monastery and its adherents far more than any alleged slander/libel that has taken place.
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« Reply #304 on: August 23, 2012, 01:14:39 PM »

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

You stated this:  "Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath," and that is an outright lie which constitutes slander.  I never accused the Metropolitan of being a weakling, nor did I ever assume he was a weakling because in my mind weaklings are only those who resort to underhanded acts such as slander.

 I have  the highest respect for Metropolitan Hilarion as I have for the Metropolitan Jonah, and I have always shown it in my writings because I know they have the integrity to never resort to those underhanded tactics.    Slander by the way is libel.  Are you really a priest?  I can only wonder.
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« Reply #305 on: August 23, 2012, 01:36:05 PM »

Yes, it has become ridiculous, but only because those who have decided to defend the uncanonical actions of the nuns continue to put forth arguments are inflammatory.

Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath.

So long as she continues to insult a hierarch of the Church, I will defend his honor and integrity.  I am convinced he is a good and spiritual man, led by God just as much as anyone may believe Abbess Aemeliani is.

I am scandalized that anyone would argue that civil lawsuits are part of the tradition of our Church or an appropriate venue for nuns to air their grievances.  If they have a problem, they need to work through their bishop.  Right now, this appears to be Metropolitan Cyril of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala.


I remember Alice from the byzantine forum, she's been around forever, now thats someone I trust.
Alice and Arimethea are speaking wise reasonable words

Yes, I agree with her. Please end this thread it has become ridiculous.

To see people questioning peoples allegiances and such suspicion...all I can do is laugh and not take it seriously.
Spend time praying for each other and the sisters, not speculating/gossipping in circles.
Too many of the comments here are based on misunderstandings.

You stated this:  "Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath," and that is an outright lie which constitutes slander.  I never accused the Metropolitan of being a weakling, nor did I ever assume he was a weakling because in my mind weaklings are only those who resort to underhanded acts such as slander.

 I have  the highest respect for Metropolitan Hilarion as I have for the Metropolitan Jonah, and I have always shown it in my writings because I know they have the integrity to never resort to those underhanded tactics.    Slander by the way is libel.  Are you really a priest?  I can only wonder.

I have to defend Father here and clarify the argument.

Zenovia (along with several other posters) has consistently made her arguments in defense of the position of the nuns based upon anecdotal evidence, followed by appeals to emotion arising from her own personal feelings about the nuns. When confronted with an apparent conflict between Orthodox canonical law governing monastics and monasteries (as expressed by the official statement posted by ROCOR) and the contrary position articulated online by the nuns,  she has consistently failed to  address either the issue of canonical propriety or the factual questions posed, returning over and over again to appeals to emotion.

Now, she has stooped to yet another argumentative fallacy - the argument 'ad hominen.' Assume that her insinuation that Father Giryus were not a priest would be proven to be true. (It isn't.) That fact by itself would have nothing to do with the status of the nuns or the questions posed by Father, myself and others. It would neither rebut nor answer the questions raised regarding canonical order and obedience.

It is interesting that she and others are quick to draw their own negative inferences from the postings of others, but when negative (and quite logical inferences) are made by those of an opposing point of view the old chestnut of an 'ad hominem' argument surfaces.



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« Reply #306 on: August 23, 2012, 01:43:30 PM »

You stated this:  "Zenovia continues to falsely accuse Metropolitan Hilarion of being a weakling and violating his consecration oath," and that is an outright lie which constitutes slander.  I never accused the Metropolitan of being a weakling, nor did I ever assume he was a weakling because in my mind weaklings are only those who resort to underhanded acts such as slander.

 I have  the highest respect for Metropolitan Hilarion as I have for the Metropolitan Jonah, and I have always shown it in my writings because I know they have the integrity to never resort to those underhanded tactics.    Slander by the way is libel.  Are you really a priest?  I can only wonder.

Of course you have accused Metropolitan Hilarion of treating the nuns in an unfair and slanderous way, by bowing to pressure from or being afraid of an unnamed and unidentified malevolent individual or group.
You have done this several times - do I really have to go back and quote your own posts?

Such an accusation is, as Fr. Giryus has pointed out, tantamount to accusing Metropolitan Hilarion of violating his consecration oath. And his responsibilities as Bishop. And yet you say you have respect for him? A strange way to show respect, don't you think?
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« Reply #307 on: August 23, 2012, 03:51:41 PM »

My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  Wink

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 04:04:52 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #308 on: August 23, 2012, 04:34:43 PM »

My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  Wink

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  

Most monastics have proven to be people of God (implicitly suggesting most non-monastics have not)?  If that's the case, why did Elder Porphyrios' elders warn him not to even speak to any monk on Mt. Athos (of all places) when he must go from one part of the mountain to another?  Why did they warn him that many monks have ill intentions?

I'd also, again, remind you that a great, great many (probably most) heresies were crafted by monks.
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« Reply #309 on: August 23, 2012, 05:42:08 PM »


Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  of the nuns and monks in Greece.  


I think the education of priests is Greece since WW2 at least if not before is not the way you have pictured it above. 
Secondly can you please post a web link to the mother monastery in Greece?  The only link I could find has not been updated in years.  What is the current state of that monastery.
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« Reply #310 on: August 23, 2012, 06:53:14 PM »

As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.
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« Reply #311 on: August 23, 2012, 07:24:25 PM »

My family and I have been blessed to know Gerontissa Aemeliani and the other nuns for about fifteen years now...I have also been spiritually blessed to have met Geronta Dionysios.  I know the nuns from the U.S. and also from Greece. They are selfless servants and friends to so many who know them. During my years spent in Greece, they were highly regarded by the expat community of Americans who visited them (many were not even Orthodox, and many who were, were not even particularly observant or religious) and of the local inhabitants who resided near their monasteries and fondly called them the 'foreign nuns'!  Wink

Why would these expat Greeks hold a monastery in a higher regard than a village church, a village Priest?



Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  In contrast, many priests in the Orthodox Church have entered the priesthood merely as an occupation and not because they had a calling from God.  This does not mean that many of them are not holy, and there have been priests that did become saints, but it is a much more rare phenomenom.  

Anyway just so I won't be slandered by those on this forum who have a propensity to do things of that sort, what I stated is what I heard from Greek priests themselves.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  It was never part of the Orthodox Church to educate priests the way the RCC did, but rather to choose some child in the village, probably one with an exceptional voice, and train them for the priesthood in order to serve the community.

Because many of these priests considered it merely an occupation, they never acquired the respect from the people that existed in the 'Western' churches.  In consequence during the communist upheavals in the beginning of the last century, there was such a disrespect from the 'intelligencia', that there was fear  the Church of Greece would suffer the same fate as the Church in Russia.  It was during this time that God gave Greece Saint Nektarios.  

As the story goes, the people of Alexandria clamored for Saint Nektarios to become the next Patriarch not once but twice, but the bishops and clergy were so adamantly against it because his virtue and integrity was threatening to them.  As is usually the case, the rational on their part was  that his more conservative and less liberal views would be detrimental to the Church so they began to calumniate him to the Patriarch, and Saint Nektarios ended up pennyless and with a ruined reputation and forced to look for work under another jurisdiction.  

He underwent great persecution because of the calumny, but in time the truth began to emerge, and the clamor of the people forced the Church of Greece  to give him a position.  He was thereby placed as the head of the Rizarios School which was also a seminary.  His status though was never fully restored and so in a way he had to fight others in almost everything he did, especially in regard to how he taught his students and the establishment of a monastery.     God though works in mysterious ways, and so the humiliations and slander against the greatest saint and theologian of our modern era, forced him  not only to establish the greatest monastery in Greece today, but more important to help develop true priests and bishops, and thereby save the Church of Greece.

As for monasticism, to understand it's full impact on the Orthodox Church, one has only to watch the 'shorts' on TV inbetween the Greek shows where they show two archeological sites that are in abundance:  One is the  castles, since Greece has more castles than any place in the world, and the other are the monasteries, which fortunately have continued to exist and were not destroyed by the  Ottomans.  

Many were run down and empty these past hundred years,  but there has been a revival in monasticism so they are being restored and are thriving once more. ..thanks to people like the Elder Dionysius and Abess Amiliani and the rest of the nuns and monks in Greece.  

Most monastics have proven to be people of God (implicitly suggesting most non-monastics have not)?  If that's the case, why did Elder Porphyrios' elders warn him not to even speak to any monk on Mt. Athos (of all places) when he must go from one part of the mountain to another?  Why did they warn him that many monks have ill intentions?

I'd also, again, remind you that a great, great many (probably most) heresies were crafted by monks.

Elder Porphyrios was very young, and there was bound to be pedophiles on Mount Athos...especially among the ascetics who are not members of a community and at a time in the Church when the monasteries were in a decline.  As for heresies, you're probably right since many would have been started by monks.  What other people would have concerned themselves with theological matters...at least in the Orthodox Church?   The narrow mindedness and fundamentalism sometimes is unbelievable, as an example, look at the monks at the Esphigmenou monastery in Mount Athos and the trouble they have been causing the Patriarch of Constantinople...Not to mention all the others who refer to the Pope as the Beast in Revalation.

But look fundamentalism exists everywhere and it is spiritual immaturity.  I personally have a hard time with them.  As a matter of fact, I find athiests much more reasonable when it comes to discussions, but we can't condemn the many righteous and self sacrificing monastics because of a small percentage?

From what I gathered, it seems the Abess Amiliani was trying to rectify this narrow minded fundamentalist problem and have a monastic community where Orthodox of all jurisdiction would feel free, as well as people who are not Orthodox...but it seems to be one of the things that has offended others,  otherwise why would so many continue to persecute her?  Huh
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« Reply #312 on: August 23, 2012, 07:44:44 PM »


Monasticism has always been the bulwark of the Orthodox faith. The monasteries have produced almost all the saints and theologians in the Church, and with some exceptions, most of the monastics have proven themselves by their works and sacrifices that they are true people of God.  Also you have to realize that Abess Amiliani and the foreign  nuns, (some are German as well as Americans),  helped to restore some Greek monasteries and also helped to establish a few new ones, while in contrast most Greek priests are not even educated.  of the nuns and monks in Greece.  


I think the education of priests is Greece since WW2 at least if not before is not the way you have pictured it above. 
Secondly can you please post a web link to the mother monastery in Greece?  The only link I could find has not been updated in years.  What is the current state of that monastery.

You might be right about the education of priests since WWII, or rather should we say since the tenure of Arch. Christodoulos.  The priest I met and went to confession to was absolutely lovely and a lot more understanding towards the young people I know than many of the strict monastics here who follow the cannons severly.  But he was in a wealthier parish, so I don't really know about the others.

One thing that I found admirable was that they didn't have to kowtow to certain wealthy patrons  in order to cover the finances of the church since they are under the State... although  many in Greece are complaining about that.  Yet in this time of crises when so many people are hurting, the only people that can be trusted to give one's money to are the clerics.  Certainly not the government.

As for a mother monastery, I don't know if there is one but why don't you contact them directly.  She does have a web site.  Otherwise you can contact the Church of Greece.  They also have a web site.   Smiley
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« Reply #313 on: August 23, 2012, 07:55:59 PM »

As the son of a priest who labored in the vineyard of Christ for nearly sixty-six years, the brother of a priest who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of ordination, as the Godchild of the first priest ordained by the late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) of thrice blessed memory and the father of a young man entering his second year of seminary training to follow these God-fearing and hard-working parish priests in the Lord's Vineyard, I can not help but say how hurtful, cruel and foolish the words of Zenovia are regarding her elevation and apparent worship of monastic priests and monks over the vocations of those men who labor tirelessly in the world to keep, propagate and grow our Faith. Shame of you. You owe all non-monastic priests an apology. Your cavalier comment about men entering the priesthood as an 'occupation' is absurd, insulting and ignorant.

Yes there are 'bad' priests in the Church sad to say, but there are 'bad' monks as well and I need to step back and calm myself lest I say anything unfortunate which I might regret. I would ask others of you to join with me and speak to the truth here as many 'outsiders' read this board and I can not allow them to leave here with such an impression of our beloved, God-fearing clergy.

Why do you feel that if someone elevates those that have sacrificed everything for God,  it's  a denigration of  priests?  Strange!   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #314 on: August 23, 2012, 07:56:42 PM »

Zenovia, Thank you for answering the question.

But look fundamentalism exists everywhere and it is spiritual immaturity.  I personally have a hard time with them.

Like most non-royalist people in Greece between 1920 and 1967?  The iliterate village priest served as the informant to the police looking for anyone to oppress, especially Communists and non-Orthodox Christians?

As a matter of fact, I find atheists much more reasonable when it comes to discussions,

Our resident atheist is inactive although he likely wouldn't waste his time with this thread.

but we can't condemn the many righteous and self sacrificing monastics because of a small percentage?

No, but a couple of bad apples affects the reputation of the others.

From what I gathered, it seems the Abess Amiliani was trying to rectify this narrow minded fundamentalist problem and have a monastic community where Orthodox of all jurisdiction would feel free, as well as people who are not Orthodox...

I don't feel welcome at her monastery due to its being in canonical disorder.

but it seems to be one of the things that has offended others,  otherwise why would so many continue to persecute her?  Huh

Come on, is anyone really persecuting the Abbess?   Huh  The Abbess isn't in Greece where Hierarchs turn a blind eye to what is going on.

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