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Author Topic: OCA--What do They Think About...  (Read 5423 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: January 27, 2005, 11:09:49 PM »

What do the priests and hierarchs in the OCA think about the talks between ROCOR and the MP? What would the OCA response be when the MP agrees that ROCOR has always been a legitimate and canonical body? Do they see this as a step forward towards unity in America? Or they at least happy since it might make legal disputes less likely? If ROCOR concelebrates with the MP and establishes communion, will the OCA also be open to similar communion/concelebration between themselves and ROCOR?
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2005, 11:16:30 PM »

What do the priests and hierarchs in the OCA think about the talks between ROCOR and the MP? What would the OCA response be when the MP agrees that ROCOR has always been a legitimate and canonical body? Do they see this as a step forward towards unity in America? Or they at least happy since it might make legal disputes less likely? If ROCOR concelebrates with the MP and establishes communion, will the OCA also be open to similar communion/concelebration between themselves and ROCOR?

I can't speak for our Heirarchs.  But as a somewhat educated layman I can say that I am looking forward to ROCOR being in communion with the MP (And I guess that would mean with us as well).  I have great respect for the ROCOR.  I hope that the OCA and ROCOR will work together in this country.  so that all 3 parts of the Russain Church will be united again (Which may mean a patriarchate in the US finally).  But, I may still be optimistic.  I realize the hurdles that are still in the way.  Ecumenism at the forefront.   
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2005, 11:38:20 PM »

What do the priests and hierarchs in the OCA think about the talks between ROCOR and the MP? What would the OCA response be when the MP agrees that ROCOR has always been a legitimate and canonical body?

Given that the MP recognizes the EP and other jurisdictions on US soil as legitimate, canonical bodies, it doesn't mean much regarding the OCA's autocephaly status and the MP's recognition of such status. My ears pick up from inside sources that the OCA sees the ongoing dialogue as an internal matter within the Moscow Church and doesn't worry about it. Whatever Moscow does, it's not going to recognize ROCOR as the American Church. Hints of such are wishful thinking. Re-establishment of communion between ROCOR and "World" Orthodoxy is by far a bigger problem for ROCOR than the OCA.
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2005, 11:42:58 PM »

In speaking with some OCA bishops, priests, and professors, I have noticed that some in the OCA is worried that the MP is going to use its reunion with ROCOR as a way to undermine the OCA's autocephaly, which apparently some in the MP are wont to do for various reasons.

Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2005, 11:51:17 PM »

That's not what I've heard from folks in the administration. Moscow is not going to recognize ROCOR as any kind of autocephalous body. That would be ridiculous, not to mention contradict their own past decisions.
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2005, 12:03:19 AM »

There won't be communion unless the MP recognizes ROCOR as canonical, having Orthodox priests, etc. I don't think they'd even be talking if the MP wasn't at least willing to consider it. And what Anastasios speaks of is nothing new, I knew about that  a couple years ago. In fact, I mentioned it in a thread at the ECafe at the time, and when Ananstasios challenged me on it I copped out and said maybe after Lent, and then I never went back to the subject. Grin Anyway, the point is I had heard rumors even then about some in the MP trying to figure out ways to undermine the OCA.

I do hope things go smoothly, though. The Met. of the OCA reportedly called us schismatics recently, that didn't help. Though it could just have been an error or something that wasn't actually said or taken out of context. I talked to Fr. John Matusiak about that, and he said that it might have just been someone messin with/changing the words, which is certainly very possible, especially if something had to be translated.

In any event, I hope the good will that I feel at the grass roots level will prevail.
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2005, 12:14:12 AM »

That's not what I've heard from folks in the administration.  Moscow is not going to recognize ROCOR as any kind of autocephalous body.  That would be ridiculous, not to mention contradict their own past decisions.

Which is not what I said--I said the fear is that Moscow will undermine the OCA's autocephaly (by joining with ROCOR), not that it would then make ROCOR autocephalous.  The thing is that if the MP joins with ROCOR it could then direct all of its emmigrants to join the ROCOR parishes instead of the OCA parishes in America, and that would cause considerable loss to the OCA.

As for contradiciting their past decisions, a few of the priests I spoke with said that some in Moscow regret having given the OCA autocephaly and that's why it is rethinking its course.

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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2005, 12:48:41 AM »

As for contradiciting their past decisions, a few of the priests I spoke with said that some in Moscow regret having given the OCA autocephaly and that's why it is rethinking its course.

Ok, Dustin. Let's make a deal... I'm going to risk everything. I bet you ONE DOLLAR, right here and now, in front of these good men and women, that it never happens. If it ever happens, I'll mail you a crisp onespot, even if I'm in my walker and can barely change my own Pampers.
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2005, 01:35:44 AM »

As for contradiciting their past decisions, a few of the priests I spoke with said that some in Moscow regret having given the OCA autocephaly and that's why it is rethinking its course.

Ok, Dustin.  Let's make a deal...  I'm going to risk everything.  I bet you ONE DOLLAR, right here and now, in front of these good men and women, that it never happens.  If it ever happens, I'll mail you a crisp onespot, even if I'm in my walker and can barely change my own Pampers.

I am not talking about what may or may not happen. I am talking about the impressions that a bishop, a few priests, and a professor have given both publicly and privately as to what they are afraid the MP is trying to do.  The people you may have spoken with might have different impressions.

Anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2005, 01:47:35 AM »

His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN was on Come Receive the Light (a weekly Orthodox Christian radio program) talking about his participation in the annual March for Life, but the priest conducting the interview asked His Beatitude about the impact on OCA's mission of reunion between the MP and ROCOR. His Beatitude replied thus:

"I would hope, and pray that it [the impact] would only be positive and not negative. I don't think we're at a position now to really understand what is going to take place because what we have to bear in mind is that, naturally, the Church Outside Russia needs to be reunited with her mother church. And that is exactly what's taking place at the present time. I've had conversations with His Holiness, Patriarch ALEXY as well as with Metropolitan Laurus, from the Church Abroad, and their intentions are good and I believe every Orthodox Christian wants to see this unity come about. As to how soon its going to take place, we in the Orthodox Church in America aren't directly involved as yet, other than that we're kept informed of everything that's taking place. Its only once they return to their mother church and have unity themselves, then we'll be in a position to further discuss anything that needs to be done."

I certainly don't get the feeling that His Beatitude regards ROCOR as schismatics. If anything, I hope His Beatitude (and the entire OCA) would be open to Russian Orthodox unity and the strength and witness that unity would provide.
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2005, 02:36:55 AM »

His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN was on Come Receive the Light (a weekly Orthodox Christian radio program) talking about his participation in the annual March for Life, but the priest conducting the interview asked His Beatitude about the impact on OCA's mission of reunion between the MP and ROCOR.

Do you have a link to the source of this interview by any chance? I'd like to read/listen to it. Thanks!

Marjorie
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2005, 02:47:56 AM »



Do you have a link to the source of this interview by any chance? I'd like to read/listen to it. Thanks!

Marjorie

try this: http://receive.org/index.php?menu=3&submenu=23&id=300
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2005, 03:29:37 AM »

As for contradiciting their past decisions, a few of the priests I spoke with said that some in Moscow regret having given the OCA autocephaly and that's why it is rethinking its course.

Ok, Dustin.  Let's make a deal...  I'm going to risk everything.  I bet you ONE DOLLAR, right here and now, in front of these good men and women, that it never happens.  If it ever happens, I'll mail you a crisp onespot, even if I'm in my walker and can barely change my own Pampers.

Gee, A WHOLE DOLLAR!  You can't be serious!

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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2005, 10:34:41 AM »

Fwiw... Interviews. I can't verify these interviews, nor can I verify that they were accurately transmitted. I'm providing the link merely so that you can look at the situation from all sides if you are interested (e.g., you can ask members close to Met. Herman whether or not the interviews took place, whether he said what he is reported as having said, etc.) 
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2005, 10:56:06 AM »

There are several different variations of unity between MP & ROCOR being talked about at the moment, none of which, from what I've seen/ heard/ read are autocephalous. 
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2005, 11:56:19 AM »

I'd like to hear what some are meaning by using the word "undermine" in regards to the OCA's autocephaly status. Being autocephalous, the OCA is an independent jurisdiction with its own administration. Saying another party wants to undermine it really makes no sense. It's like saying the British Queen wants to undermine the independence of the US government. The Queen can say tomorrow she's retaking control, but it would hold as much water as a fisherman's net. If/when ROCOR rejoins the MP, that's exactly what they'll become - the MP. They will not be an autocephalous American Church. You don't become independent by uniting with the old country administration. Furthermore, given that ROCOR has just a few thousand members at most, they are not going to overrun any jurisdiction in the US, especially when an emergent American Church will of necessity be English-speaking, ethnically neutral, and independent from old country authorities.
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2005, 12:03:22 PM »

From the interview Justin linked :
Quote
All these years --
about 80 years -- the Church Abroad was actually in schism with the
Church in the Fatherland, and still has no canonical relations with
any Orthodox Church in the world.

If this is indeed an accurate statement it is blatently false. The ROCOR was in communion with the EP up until the late 60s.
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2005, 02:22:40 PM »



Which is not what I said--I said the fear is that Moscow will undermine the OCA's autocephaly (by joining with ROCOR), not that it would then make ROCOR autocephalous. The thing is that if the MP joins with ROCOR it could then direct all of its emmigrants to join the ROCOR parishes instead of the OCA parishes in America, and that would cause considerable loss to the OCA.

As for contradiciting their past decisions, a few of the priests I spoke with said that some in Moscow regret having given the OCA autocephaly and that's why it is rethinking its course.

Anastasios

I do not have a problem with new immigrants joining the MP here.  Im sure that not all would agree with me but the Russians that come to our church hardly ever come back because it is all in English.  If and when they do come back it is only to light candles and leave.  So, maybe the ROCOR portion of the MP is available to these new immigrants I dont see the harm done. 

The question of OCA being worried about the MP.  This dosnt make sense since it was the MP that bestowed autocephaly on the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic church in 1970. Why would she want to take it back?

JoeS 


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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2005, 02:31:23 PM »

ROCOR can't replace OCA in America for 1 simple reason...  It's a multinational organization. 
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2005, 03:04:40 PM »

If/when ROCOR rejoins the MP, that's exactly what they'll become - the MP. 

I thought, under the terms of the granting of autocephaly to the Russian Metropolia (now OCA), the MP promised not to expand anymore in America.  If this is true, and correct me if it is not, it seems like independent of discussions with ROCOR, the MP has expanded, and if a reunion takes place, and ROCOR "becomes" the MP, then the latter will have expanded even further.  Is this part of the "undermining" being discussed? 
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2005, 05:44:42 PM »

I thought, under the terms of the granting of autocephaly to the Russian Metropolia (now OCA), the MP promised not to expand anymore in America.

This is true, and if ROCOR finally decided to rejoin the fold of the MP, there would have to be a discussion with the OCA about this issue. But from what I've heard, OCA wouldn't object to the union and could easily waive the clause. Again, given that the ROCOR presence isn't comparable (especially after the internal schism that results when the reunion with the MP is formally announced), and there's no long-term future for a jurisdiction to become the American Church whose identity is tied to an ethnicity, it's not going to be a big deal. Now, if the MP started calling itself the True American Church, became hostile to the other jurisdictions on US soil, then there'd be a major problem. This isn't going to happen.
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2005, 05:49:36 PM »



I thought, under the terms of the granting of autocephaly to the Russian Metropolia (now OCA), the MP promised not to expand anymore in America. If this is true, and correct me if it is not, it seems like independent of discussions with ROCOR, the MP has expanded, and if a reunion takes place, and ROCOR "becomes" the MP, then the latter will have expanded even further. Is this part of the "undermining" being discussed?

Technically speaking ROCOR is the MP church in Dispora isnt it? And the inclusion of ROCOR would not technically add numbers to the MP here in America.

Some thoughts on this idea?

JoeS
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2005, 05:52:10 PM »

But Stelets, what if the MP starts doing what it is doing to the Russian Exarchate of the EP in Western Europe, namely openly inviting parishes to leave that jurisdiction and join with it? There are some serious problems in France right now with parishes going over to the MP. I personally would not be surprised if perceived fears of such action becoming possible is why Metropolitan Herman is making so many trips to Russia and other local Orthodox Churches.

Now I will be clear I don't personally think that the MP will try to take over the OCA or that it even could. But I think that if relations sour it could become a headache to say the least for the OCA, and I think the OCA administration is wise to be trying to forestall such action (at least that is the impression I got from speaking to the OCA bishop and one of the OCA priests (again, I will reiterate that I am speaking of their perception of the issue which could be entirely wrong).

As far as numbers are concerned, given that there are only really about 20,000 actual communicants in the OCA as opposed to the one milliion member mark that is thrown around quite often, if what people around the seminary say is true (everyone fudges numbers; upon inquring to the Antiochian chancery I was told that they only have 48,000 communicants as opposed to their claim of 500,000 members), I would not say that the ROCOR's position vis a vis the OCA is of David vs. Goliath. I have not really seen ROCOR ever publish statistics of its membership anyway, has anyone else?

I find these interchurch relations to be fascinating myself. I hope that the ROCOR and MP can work out their differences in a way that will also be acceptable to the OCA and there can be work towards one Orthodox jurisdiction in America.

Anastasios
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2005, 05:58:31 PM »

But Stelets, what if the MP starts doing what it is doing to the Russian Exarchate of the EP in Western Europe, namely openly inviting parishes to leave that jurisdiction and join with it?

That's a good point, and I haven't followed the Euro situation and don't know the specifics. It seems to me, given that no one has been recognized in Western Europe as an autocephalous body, perhaps the MP sees it as open country. Perhaps those whom it is trying to pick off from the EP were folks once a part of the MP. I just don't know.

Quote
I have not really seen ROCOR ever publish statistics of its membership anyway, has anyone else?

My understanding is that they don't provide them. But I did see a number about two years ago indicating their membership was around three or four thousand in North America. This could be wrong and I don't have the source.
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2005, 07:01:12 PM »

Anastasios,
That's because usually only "tithing" members per parish are counted - usually only 2/3 of your faithful at best.  Probably more like 1/4 or maybe lower.
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2005, 04:51:23 PM »

I think that is a wonderful thing that ROCOR is establishing communion with the Mother Church and then I'm sure with other Orthodox churches.  I'm anxious to see what the administrative
proposal is.....since ROCOR is an international organization.  I remember back in the 70's hearing someone say that the then bishop Laurus had said that the Church Abroad should be part of the OCA......Will be interesting , now that he is head of the Synod , how this might play out.
If you notice....on websites............ROCOR bishops are attending gatherings of other Orthodox Churches.......so I believe the reproachment is a done deal......except for administrative details.
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