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Author Topic: Fractured OCA???  (Read 677 times) Average Rating: 0
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Desiring_unity
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« on: August 19, 2012, 06:27:08 PM »

I'm a catechumen attending an OCA parish.  I keep hearing little things, especially since Met. Jonah's resignation, that the OCA is having problems, or like today, I read, "....that's what happens with a fractured OCA," referring to certain practices by a priest here and there being different from another priest.  Can someone help fill in the gaps w/o getting harsh about it? 
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From: http://www.antiochian.org/node/18911
FatherGiryus
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 08:24:50 PM »

Well, here's the deal: most Orthodox parishes in the US, because we are spread out and often out of regular contact with one another, fight the temptation to 'devolve' liturgically and even spiritually into their 'own things' in each parish.  When your bishop only visits once a year or so, it is hard for him to gauge what's happening in his parishes.

So, it is not only in the OCA, but just about everywhere that you will find this. 

Now, in the OCA, there has been an enormous turn-over in the hierarchy: there is only one bishop on their Holy Synod who predates 2001.  Thus, you have had a majority of the parishes undergo a change in hierarchy, and with such changes come observations and questions.  The new bishop comes and sees that all of his parishes are doing things slightly different, and he will obvious want to know why.  And, if the why is not sufficient, he will ask for change.

As we all know, some folks get rather annoyed when they are asked why they are doing something.  It is even more annoying when someone can't answer why at all because they have forgotten.  Most of the time, we end up departing from the norm because we have forgotten to do something or are coping with a local problem.  Of course, we all know that being annoyed leads to conflict.  So, in several dioceses of the OCA, there are low-grade conflicts.  Don't worry, they all still believe in God.  And, yes, eventually things will settle down.

A few years ago, I made a few liturgical changes in my parish to keep us in line with standard Archdiocesan practice, and the phone started ringing off the hook at the Chancery.  The Archbishop called me.

"They are complaining about the changes.  Good.  That means you are obeying."

Sometimes complaints are a good sign.

In our case, we are growing.  I believe God rewards obedience.


I'm a catechumen attending an OCA parish.  I keep hearing little things, especially since Met. Jonah's resignation, that the OCA is having problems, or like today, I read, "....that's what happens with a fractured OCA," referring to certain practices by a priest here and there being different from another priest.  Can someone help fill in the gaps w/o getting harsh about it? 
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Desiring_unity
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 09:28:08 PM »

Thank you for your kind reply.  This makes a lot of sense.
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From: http://www.antiochian.org/node/18911
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 03:54:47 PM »

Quote
Now, in the OCA, there has been an enormous turn-over in the hierarchy:

I knew Met. Jonah resigned and that the Southern Diocese Bishop resigned as well but also as a catechumen I didn't know there was high turnover.  I hope they get their differences worked out.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 05:11:50 PM »

Quote
Now, in the OCA, there has been an enormous turn-over in the hierarchy:

I knew Met. Jonah resigned and that the Southern Diocese Bishop resigned as well but also as a catechumen I didn't know there was high turnover.  I hope they get their differences worked out.

There has not been a reigning bishop for the Diocese of the South since Archbishop Dmitri retired. Since he was the first and only diocesan bishop for the South, it would not be factual to state that "the Southern Diocese Bishop resigned as well." As for you last sentence, thank God that the bishops on the Holy Synod are working very well together. In the Diocese of the South itself, practices are more or less uniform across parishes--one if the legacies of Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 05:45:27 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) » Logged

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FatherGiryus
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 05:33:21 PM »

Please keep in mind that the new bishops all replaced hierarchs that were well over retirement age or died from natural causes.  The OCA hierarchy has been rather stable over the years, but in the last ten years all the previous generation of bishops, in one way or another, retired or reposed.  It's not instability, but nature.

Quote
Now, in the OCA, there has been an enormous turn-over in the hierarchy:

I knew Met. Jonah resigned and that the Southern Diocese Bishop resigned as well but also as a catechumen I didn't know there was high turnover.  I hope they get their differences worked out.
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Father H
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 05:39:58 PM »

Well, here's the deal: most Orthodox parishes in the US, because we are spread out and often out of regular contact with one another, fight the temptation to 'devolve' liturgically and even spiritually into their 'own things' in each parish.  When your bishop only visits once a year or so, it is hard for him to gauge what's happening in his parishes.

So, it is not only in the OCA, but just about everywhere that you will find this. 

Now, in the OCA, there has been an enormous turn-over in the hierarchy: there is only one bishop on their Holy Synod who predates 2001.  Thus, you have had a majority of the parishes undergo a change in hierarchy, and with such changes come observations and questions.  The new bishop comes and sees that all of his parishes are doing things slightly different, and he will obvious want to know why.  And, if the why is not sufficient, he will ask for change.

As we all know, some folks get rather annoyed when they are asked why they are doing something.  It is even more annoying when someone can't answer why at all because they have forgotten.  Most of the time, we end up departing from the norm because we have forgotten to do something or are coping with a local problem.  Of course, we all know that being annoyed leads to conflict.  So, in several dioceses of the OCA, there are low-grade conflicts.  Don't worry, they all still believe in God.  And, yes, eventually things will settle down.

A few years ago, I made a few liturgical changes in my parish to keep us in line with standard Archdiocesan practice, and the phone started ringing off the hook at the Chancery.  The Archbishop called me.

"They are complaining about the changes.  Good.  That means you are obeying."

Sometimes complaints are a good sign.

In our case, we are growing.  I believe God rewards obedience.


I'm a catechumen attending an OCA parish.  I keep hearing little things, especially since Met. Jonah's resignation, that the OCA is having problems, or like today, I read, "....that's what happens with a fractured OCA," referring to certain practices by a priest here and there being different from another priest.  Can someone help fill in the gaps w/o getting harsh about it? 

Liturgical divergence with a single set of boundaries within which we wander is normal.  St. Hippolytus shows this is the case in the late 2nd and early 3rd century.   We see this even in "our own time."  Bulghakov and Nikolsky are basically seen as a subsitute for the Typikon in northern Slavic practice.  Yet we read them, and basically they just report on the practices of certain cathedrals or deaneries.  We are following the ordinances of deans (not even bishops) and their variences as if it is "ordo/diataxis/typikon/ustav."  Provided it is within the bounds set by the Fathers, and not in disaccord with the diocesan Bishop's ordinances, then the differences are legitimate.  In essentials unity, in divergences, within the bounds of unity.  
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jerry
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 05:47:23 PM »

Quote
There has not been a reigning bishop for the Diocese of the South since Archbishop Dmitri retired. Since he was the first and only diocesan bishop for the South, it would be factual to state that "the Southern Diocese Bishop resigned as well." As for you last sentence, thank God that the bishops on the Holy Synod are working very well together. In the Diocese of the South itself, practices are more or less uniform across parishes--one if the legacies of Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory.

I was merely pointing out that they happened at the same time relating to the original post about the OCA being fractured.  If the Bishops of the Holy Synod are working so well together then why has there been a high turnover as pointed out by another post or was that statement false?
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Father H
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 09:01:38 PM »

Quote
There has not been a reigning bishop for the Diocese of the South since Archbishop Dmitri retired. Since he was the first and only diocesan bishop for the South, it would be factual to state that "the Southern Diocese Bishop resigned as well." As for you last sentence, thank God that the bishops on the Holy Synod are working very well together. In the Diocese of the South itself, practices are more or less uniform across parishes--one if the legacies of Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory.

I was merely pointing out that they happened at the same time relating to the original post about the OCA being fractured.  If the Bishops of the Holy Synod are working so well together then why has there been a high turnover as pointed out by another post or was that statement false?

By the same token, "high turnover" in the world could mean a year.  I this case, it has been within the past decade.  By comparison to other Orthodox Synods that makes a "young Synod," but "high turnover" may be a stretch.  Of course, there are a few on that Synod who many would argue should have been Bishops long before they were made Bishops.  But each in God's time.  I am still not sure that "high turnover" is as accurate as "relatively high turnover" within ecclesiastical Orthodoxy.   
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