This time the prize goes to a person who, despite a grammatical error in his nick, happens to be one of my favourite posters here - podkarpatska
Titles - schmitles ---- the measure of a man is how he acts, not what he is called or addressed by.
His Grace, Gregory was installed as ruling Bishop of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese. Having been a part of this little, but successful Diocese of hard scrapple descendents of miners,mill workers, teamsters and shoemakers, for all of my life I can honestly state that none of our Bishops have ever acted as anything less than a ruling Bishop of a properly formulated diocese. This goes to their relationships with the exarchs of the EP over the decades. We fully expect that to be case with our new hierarch. Our Ukrainian brothers, although not under the omophor of the EP for as long as the Carpatho-Russians, would likely tell the same story. The whole 'titular' issue is something of a red herring - to the Greeks I suppose it is an intellectual method to justify installing a Bishop in a non-geographical unit. Install him as a Bishop of a now non-existent see and 'assign' him to rule a distant group almost in a diplomatic-like status and - voila - you 'get around' the niceties of canon law. To some within the OCA and elsewhere, I suppose it is viewed as an intrusion on 'their' prerogatives. I suspect that in the eyes of our Lord, such matters are of little consequence in the 'big picture' of things.
Upon the presentation of the Pastoral Staff the Archbishop offered this prayer: ' Receive this Staff to shepherd the flock of Christ entrusted to you. To the obedient let it be a help and a support. With it, lead the disobedient and the wayward to admonishment and instruction.' Upon the setting of the Mitre on his head, this prayer: 'The Lord has set upon your head a crown of precious stones. You ask like of Him and He gave you length of days, always, now ane ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.' Bishop Gregory is vested with all of the power and responsibility of a diocesan Bishop with respect to the Carpatho-Russians.
I don't really 'know' Bishop Gregory having only met him briefly on two occasions. However, I have trust in the judgment of the men who having at length met him, discussed the challenges he faced, considered the strengths he offered us before submitted us him name and I trust in God's providence. Having heard him preach several times, having heard him speak about being a priest and what it means to him and seeing him interact with hundreds of strangers to him on a most remarkable and extremely long day, I am confident he is the right man in the right time.
If an American man, educated in the secular higher education system and the religious one, who is a monk, a pastor, an accomplished preacher and youth leader can not succeed due to his 'ethnicity' than we are doomed - not just my little diocese, but our Holy Orthodox Church on this continent. I have no doubt have measured him up based on my experiences with him and the words of others - including Fr. George of this forum - that he is up to the job and he will make his mark not just on the Carpatho-Russians, but on all of the Orthodox.
Axios! Many years, Vladyka!
(A bit of historical accuracy is needed, on another website, much was made about the symbolism of the choice of Nyssa as the titular see of the new bishop. For the record, Bishop Gregory is the second ACROD hierarch assigned the honor of this most ancient of sees. His Grace, Bishop John of thrice blessed memory was the first to hold this see from 1966 though his passing in 1984. The priest's wife interviewed by channel 6 is most certainly a Carpatho-Russian, being a native of Johnstown and the Cathedral. This is how misinformation is spread - publish it and it gains a life of its own. As to the OCA not being invited - well , in a perfect world I would agree that all local bishops - including the ROCOR and Antiochian - should have been present, but we are where we are in this life. Perhaps in my lifetime such will be the norm. Anyway, the relationship between the Metropolia/OCA and ACROD has always been historically awkward - not so much on the parish to parish level but on the 'higher ups.' After all, the founders of ACROD refused to go under the omophor of the Russian influenced groups back in 1937 and a fair amount of parish swapping used to be the norm. As to the presence of non-Orthodox guests - all were personal friends of the late Metropolitan and the Carpatho-Russians and the Byzantine Catholic hierarchs have been attending their respective ceremonial events for about the past ten years in an effort to bury the enmity of the past. They played no role in the ceremony or the banquet but they were present as a sign of mutual respect. I suspect that upon the enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon similar invitations to non-Orthodox have been extended. Finally as to the Archons, it is NOT a requirement that money be presented to the EP in exchange for the honor - at least among the Carpatho-Russian and Ukrainian Archons - very few of them are 'deep pocket' men but all from ACROD have been generous with their time, energy and money to the ACROD and her parishes - not the Archdiocese. I know five of them from my parish and the neighboring parish, and the idea that they could have given generously in cash to Constantinople is laughable - for one thing their wives would have chased them with a broom if they tried such a thing!)