ialmisry, history is something I've always been interested in so I appreciate all the historical stuff you post. However, I don't think I've ever seen you comment on the present or the future, at least not with specifics. And if you have, can you point me to those threads?http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21966.msg334050.html#msg334050http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26209.msg413069/topicseen.html#msg413069
I'm just wondering what you think about the here and now, in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ two thousand and ten. What do you think will happen? For example, fine you're right. The Russians were first so they get the Americas. The OCA is the canonical autocephalous church and everybody else is uncanonical. What is it exactly that you expect to happen? Specifics please. Once again, both at the parish level and nationally.
What I expect now, and not 1917-1970, or 1970-1994 (Ligonier) for instance? Or since the Episcopal Assembly has been convened? And do you mean what I expect would happen, what I want to happen or what I dream would happen? I'll leap frog over the prelinaries, awaiting you to answer those questions, and go to where we should end up. I would prefer an interum arrangment, which Canada, the United States, and Mexico perhaps as one autocephalous Church in North America a la OCA (but renames OCNA Orthodox Church in/of North America), with its primate in New York City (NOT Washington), but with the recent doings in the EA here, that may not happen: Canada will be organized seperately, and Mexico with South America.
Which may merit an excuses of my ideas on Canada and SA, before concentrating on what I would envision for the US (which set up I would see replicated in Canada and SA). The OCA, as the heir to the Russian Missionary/Arch-Diocese is the Mother Church of Canada and SA. As such, a fair question may be raised at to why, if Canada and SA becomes autonomous or exarchates, why shouldn't they be under the OCA rather than say Constantinople. The Canadians and SA may raise legitimate objection that they look at the OCA as foreign as Constantinople (hence why I would locate the primate of the OCNA in NYC, as more neutral than Washington and more historically sound according to the history of Orthodoxy here). So in the interests of brevity until you answer the above questions, I'll skip over this issue.
In the US, I would have an autocephalous primate, with a number of archbishops, under whom would be a number of suffragan bishops. Among the Archbishops would be archbishops who would, besides their geographical title, have the title "Defender of the Greek/Arab/Russian/Ukrainian etc. Usage" based on demongraphics and history, e.g. Boston and New England for the Albanian, Detroit and the Eastern Midwest for the Romanian, New Orleans and the South for Greek, Brooklyn and New York Arab, San Francisco and the West Russian, Sitka and Alaska for Amerindian, Wichita and the Great Plains for the WRO. Said Archbishop would be the point man for that usage, approving liturgical texts for use in that language, speak on issues concerning that tradition on the Holy Synod, etc. They would also serve as source of appeal to the Holy Synod: if, for instance, a Greek parish in Michigan thinks the local bishop is slighting the Greeks' traditions, they can ask the Archbishop of New Orleans to bring it up before the whole Holy Synod. Some Archbishops would have only geographical title.
Within the Archdiocese, if numbers, history etc. warrant it, there will be similar bishops so charged for that Archdiocese, e.g. the bishop of Galveston, suffragan of New Orleans and the South (Defender of the Greek usage) would be the Defender of the Serbian Usage and Tradition in the Archdiocese of the South.
We would, as any autocephlous Church, have a number of metochia, which would further allay any fears of any ethnic group being swallowed up. St. Nicholas already functions as Moscow's metochion, Holy Trinity NYC can be the one for Constantinople, Alexandria might have one in the South (where it can engage in making blacks aware of African Orthodoxy), etc. As a token of respect, this one Holy Synod can take up a collection from ALL parishes on SS Peter and Paul day for Antioch, on St. Andrew's day from ALL parishes for Constantinople, from All parishes on St. Tikhon's day for Russia, from ALL parishes for Alexandria and African missions on St. Mark's day, etc. The return from various Churchs would vary I suspect: i.e. Greek origin parishes may be more generous on St. Andrew's day than SS Peter and Paul, when the Arab parished may pull ahead. But at least everyone would be aware of everyone else being in the same Church.
All the existing hierarchies would be merged into this united Holy Synod of America. On the parish level, I don't envision a lot of change, except the center people send dues etc would be in one place, somewhat like now how most missionary work and support is going to the OCMC no matter what jurisdiction. The geographical bishop would be commemorated, with perhaps the relevant Defender bishop being commemorated "along with the rest of the Holy Synod."
I have been an Orthodox Christian for over Twenty Years and have been watching the disputes between the various Jurisdictions, and have come to the conclusion that there does need to be one Orthodox Patriarchate for the whole of the Orthodox Faithful in the Americas.
This whole issue is new to me so can you expand on why and how you came to this conclusion. What do you think will change? I've asked this question and nobody seems to want to answer. So I'm hoping you will. What do you think will change both at the parish level and on a national level?
Overlapping and duplication of efforts would cease, as would the situation where the Greek parishioners know about what is going on in the Constantinople, but have no clue what is going on in the Serbian parish down the block.
I have to wonder about the Ecumenical Patriarch.
The first of these is whether much of this has some connection to the Ecumenical Patriarch and his financial condition. If the Greek Church in America loses its connection the Ecumenical Patriarch stands to lose a good bit of money.
Why do you care what the EP and the GOA does? I'm serious. I'm not trying to be a jerk. But why do you care? Why not just focus on the OCA and doing the Lord's work?
Because it affect it. For instance, Ligonier was killed largely from rumblings in Greece. And now, with the EP having metropolitans getting Turkish citizenship, there are questions about the role played by GOA in representing Greek (as in Greece) interests now also being influenced by the Turksih government as well.
The simple truth is that the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas does not have a large number of converts as does the Antiochian and the Russian Churches. I am not anti Greek Orthodox, but I would also love to see a single jurisdiction for the Americas.
The simple truth is, so what? Converts don't get to decide what happens.
Oh? They're as Orthodox as any other Orthodox.