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Author Topic: Priest shortage taking it's toll  (Read 11113 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 22, 2003, 02:36:41 PM »

Keeler taps first layperson to lead a parish in diocese
Appointment reflects worsening priest shortage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By John Rivera
Sun Staff
Originally published January 16, 2003



In a sign of the worsening shortage of Catholic priests in the United States, Cardinal William H. Keeler has chosen a former health-care executive as the first layperson to lead a Baltimore-area parish.

The appointment of Anne Buening to lead St. Clement I in Lansdowne marks the first time a married lay woman will lead a parish in the Baltimore Archdiocese.

"I'm humbled by the honor and responsibility to be the servant leader of this community," said Buening, 50, who has worked full time on the ministerial staff of St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville since 1998.

Until now, nuns typically have been tapped to serve as "pastoral life directors" to lead the few parishes that have no full-time priests, overseeing budgets and religious education programs and counseling parishioners.

But with six parishes in the Baltimore Archdiocese now without priests as pastors, a number expected to rise substantially in coming decades, church officials say they will increasingly appoint deacons, nuns and laypeople to administer parishes. Buening is a pioneer in the church's strategy to deal with the priest shortage, which includes efforts to recruit more men to the priesthood. Those efforts were laid out in The Hope That Lies Before Us, a report released last year that was overshadowed by the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The crisis in Baltimore reflects the priest shortage nationally. Between 1965 and 2000, the number of priests in the United States declined 20 percent, even as the number of Catholics rose 27 percent to 62 million, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

In the Baltimore Archdiocese, the number of Catholics has increased 1 percent since 1965 to 486,000 in 2000, while priest ranks have declined by 29 percent to 196. Based on those figures, an archdiocese study projected that by 2005, 24 parishes will be staffed by pastoral life directors. A decade later, nearly a third of all parishes could be led by someone who is not a priest.

Nationally, between 500 and 600 parishes are led by a deacon, nun, brother or layperson, said Monsignor Philip J. Murnion, director of the National Pastoral Life Center.

There has been resistance to having laypeople as parish leaders. Last year, a group of conservative Catholics in Lexington, Ky., filed a complaint with the Vatican after the archdiocese announced plans to shift some responsibilities from priests to laypeople. But Murnion said there can be advantages to having a layperson, particularly a woman, as parish leader. "Our data show they're more likely to do things like home visitations, or to show support for people in difficulties."

Baltimore church officials stressed that parishes with pastoral life directors will not be priestless. Each has a priest assigned to it who will be regularly available to provide the sacraments, including Mass, baptisms and funerals.

"One of the concerns people have is, what happens when someone dies?" said Patrick M. Carrion, director of the Division of Clergy Personnel. "There's a sense that they're not going to see a priest again."

By appointing a priest to consistently provide sacraments for a parish with a pastoral life director, "we create a relationship between the people and the priest so that when they do want to be married or baptized or buried, they don't feel the priest is a stranger," he said.

In this case, parish staffing has been exacerbated by the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Two of the personnel moves announced this week were made to fill vacancies created by priests who were removed from their posts because of accusations of sexual indiscretions. At St. Clement I, where Buening will take over, the pastor was removed in March after allegations surfaced in March that he used crack cocaine and solicited a male prostitute.

Buening, who is married with two children - one of whom will be ordained a priest for Baltimore in May - had been a clinical social worker in a hospice. She then entered the health-care management field and climbed the corporate ladder before having a religious awakening about four years ago.

"What I saw was money had become the most significant thing in health care, more significant than I was comfortable with," she said. "It was one of those conversions."

She began attending classes at the Washington Theological Union and was hired in 1998 by Monsignor Joseph L. Luca to oversee social justice, bereavement and adult education programs at St. Louis parish in Clarksville.

Buening says she knows she faces a challenge in her new assignment, as the parish still grieves over losing its pastor. "It's a challenge of reconciliation and healing and love," she said.

She faces other problems as well. The parish budget is in the red, and the facility is in poor shape. "But leaking roofs and unbalanced budgets are no match for love and goodness," she said.

At Sunday's Mass, she introduced herself for the first time.

"One of the things I said to them upfront is 'I am a lay married woman. I'm not a priest, I'm not a deacon,'" she said. "On Sunday, I think the most important place I can be is in the back of the church, hugging people, loving people, asking 'How is your mother, your father, your son, your daughter?'"

At the end of the Mass, she walked to the back of the church with the priest.

"I was greeted with hugs and tears," she said. "And people said, 'All we wanted was someone to say they loved us.
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jude
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2003, 03:43:02 PM »

The year is 2025 and....


"Today's guest celebrant of Holy Mass is the Reverend Mother Sheila Kelly, recently appointed chancellor of our diocese by the Most Reverend Joan O'Leary, who was recently consecrated Bishop by Her Holiness, Pope Bernice the First....etc., etc.,.."

Jude
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2003, 04:02:25 PM »

Friends,

My sister-in-law's family attended St. Clement's during their formative years and my neice and nephew were both educated at the parish school.  They've really hit hard times there, with the pastor being accused of drug abuse and solicitation of male prostitution, as the article stated.  The people there could really use all of your prayers.

As for the female administrator, it is really for nothing more than the daily running of the parish.  She is not on the altar celebrating Mass, she is not assisting the priest, she is not hearing confessions.  She's merely the administrator of the parish.  Why not a lay "man", you might ask?  Well, at that parish, it seems that the men really don't give a damn, to be a little blunt.  Just like the old adage that the babas are really the torchbearers of Orthodoxy, the women at St. Clement's are trying to keep their parish afloat.  Regardless of doctrinal differences, the people at St. Clement's could use all the prayerful help they can get, and that includes us here.


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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2003, 04:40:11 PM »

So, in effect she will fill in on non-priestly duties for the parish.  I guess this is how some parishes are surviving.   Sad

JoeS

Friends,

My sister-in-law's family attended St. Clement's during their formative years and my neice and nephew were both educated at the parish school.  They've really hit hard times there, with the pastor being accused of drug abuse and solicitation of male prostitution, as the article stated.  The people there could really use all of your prayers.

As for the female administrator, it is really for nothing more than the daily running of the parish.  She is not on the altar celebrating Mass, she is not assisting the priest, she is not hearing confessions.  She's merely the administrator of the parish.  Why not a lay "man", you might ask?  Well, at that parish, it seems that the men really don't give a damn, to be a little blunt.  Just like the old adage that the babas are really the torchbearers of Orthodoxy, the women at St. Clement's are trying to keep their parish afloat.  Regardless of doctrinal differences, the people at St. Clement's could use all the prayerful help they can get, and that includes us here.



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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2003, 05:01:27 PM »

Dear jude, the obscure:

Perhaps, the following statistical figures help explain the priest shortage in the U.S. Catholic Church (Latin) today:

                      1965          2001

Catholics      49,000,000      64,000,000
Parishes              17,637             19,143
Priests:
      Diocesan        35,925             30,223
      Religious        22,707             14,968                
Ordinations               994                  509
Seminarians           8,325               3,483

However, I don't think your scenario for 2025 truly reflects the future state of the Catholic Church in the U.S.


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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2003, 07:10:32 PM »

The year is 2025 and....


"Today's guest celebrant of Holy Mass is the Reverend Mother Sheila Kelly, recently appointed chancellor of our diocese by the Most Reverend Joan O'Leary, who was recently consecrated Bishop by Her Holiness, Pope Bernice the First....etc., etc.,.."

Jude

That's low.   Sad

 The woman in the article can work at getting the bills paid and parish members helped and the church kept up as well as a man and that's what she's to do. Nothing sacramental.

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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2003, 10:16:30 PM »

For what it's worth...

I do believe that Latin Church canon law says that only clerics may be parish administrators.

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jude
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2003, 10:47:57 PM »

The year is 2025 and....


"Today's guest celebrant of Holy Mass is the Reverend Mother Sheila Kelly, recently appointed chancellor of our diocese by the Most Reverend Joan O'Leary, who was recently consecrated Bishop by Her Holiness, Pope Bernice the First....etc., etc.,.."

Jude

That's low.   Sad

 The woman in the article can work at getting the bills paid and parish members helped and the church kept up as well as a man and that's what she's to do. Nothing sacramental.



It wasn't meant to be low...or high...or medium.

But it seems more than one or two Roman Catholics--on the liberal side and the conservative side, one side positively and the other side negatively--believe this represents the future of the Catholic Church.

I'm not against women priests, so I would have no negative presuppositions about the parish administrator; she certainly will be a better "pastor" and example of a "priestly" person than her predecessor, whom one poster describes as a fellow seriously morally impaired.

PAX,

Jude
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2003, 11:16:38 PM »

Jude,

Please define "Not against woman priests".

Are you saying you'd believe women would make valid priests??

Bobby
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2003, 11:57:03 PM »

I am happy nothing like this ever will happen in Eastern Orthodoxy. There already are lay-led groups, even small mission churches, and services such as the hours and the Typika/-+-¦-¦-¦-+-+-Ã¥-¦ they can do, without all this secondhand secular feminist business of woman-led ‘priestless parishes’.

NTS, I stand with apostolic, catholic, orthodox, historic Christendom and thus say no to the notion of trying to ordain women to the presbyterate or episcopate. I don’t pretend to understand all the reasons but I trust the historic Church on this one, not the secular world (despite its arguments in the name of charity and justice in this matter) that we all know is so wrong on so many other things. The sexes are equal but complementary.
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2003, 12:30:56 AM »

The sexes are equal but complementary.

What do you mean by this?  I am curious to hear your explanation.

Anyway, I agree with you Serge.
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2003, 02:10:17 PM »

This brings up the question, Why does Cardinal Keeler need a laywoman "Pastor" if he has 449 ACTIVE Priests and only 162 Parishes? It seems to be part of an agenda, not a matter of need.
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2003, 02:48:04 PM »

Nik,

Many of those "active priests" are really, really old (I'm talking in their 70s and 80s) and are definitely not up to the task of adminstrating a parish.

I think everyone is blowing this way, way too out of propotion.  Cardinal Keeler is not a supporter of the "woman priest" movement and has been a staunch defender of orthodox practice of Catholocism for quite some time.  All this woman is doing is handling the day to day activities of keeping the parish up and running: paying bills, contacting maintenance if necessary, making sure there's a priest coming for Sunday masses.

She is decidedly NOT hearing confessions, counselling families, celebrating the sacraments, or teaching AmChurch doctrine.  She is an ADMINISTRATOR, nothing more.  The people of St. Clement's have had the rug pulled out from under their feet after Father Steve was caught with his pants down.  For the time being, I think Cardinal Keeler made a wise decision in putting someone who knows the parish in charge of the day to day runnings until he can find someone up to the task of continuing the healing process at the parish.  I pray it won't be long and I ask you all to join me.
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2003, 07:39:55 PM »

Jude,

Please define "Not against woman priests".

Are you saying you'd believe women would make valid priests??

Bobby

Ordained women are considered to be valid priests within the jurisdictions of the Old Catholic Churches of Holland, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, and Greece, etc.

In that context, I would consider female priests "valid." Outside of that context, I wouldn't under current circumstances.

Jude
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2003, 09:02:43 PM »

Quote
Ordained women are considered to be valid priests within the jurisdictions of the Old Catholic Churches of Holland, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, and Greece, etc.

In that context, I would consider female priests "valid." Outside of that context, I wouldn't under current circumstances.

And Sun Myung Moon is considered to be the Messiah within the jurisdiction of the Unification Church, but that doesn’t make him so.

Are you Eastern Orthodox? EOxy doesn’t call clergy outside itself ‘valid’. If it’s in the Church, it has grace. If not, it’s a big unknown, or, as our friend Fr Serafim has explained on another board, there may be grace from without, as in all creation, but not grace in itself like the mysteries of the Church.

Besides which, the attempted ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate is objectively impossible, according to both the Eastern Orthodox and to Roman Catholics, which is why the latter don’t consider these ladies priests even though their church recognizes ‘validity’ of sacraments outside itself.

Anyway, who cares what this goofy little rump sect in Middle Europe does?
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2003, 09:57:40 PM »

Serge,

I don't see you having to face the possibility of woman being ordained to the Orthodox priesthood during your lifetime.

But there are strong and powerful women within the Church--especially in Greece and America--who gave years of their lives to the service of the church, were raised within a culture of feminism that has its roots in ancient Greece, are well educated and intelligent, and believe women should not be barred from the priesthood.

Eventually they will have their way and there is nothing that can be done about it.

I just accept the inevitable.

Hegel wasn't exactly an orthodox Christian, but he was right about the inevitability of change.

Jude




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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2003, 03:51:08 AM »

I find it disturbing that there are women who gave years of their lives to the service of the church and learned nothing of humility in all that time.

Regardless, I disagree that women priests are inevitable. The first bishop to ordain a woman would find himself excommunicated immediately. If they were to ordain women they would then not be in the church, by their very acts they would remove themselves from the body of Christ.

I don't think you give the Holy Spirit enough credit Wink

John.
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2003, 10:08:03 AM »

What with the new edict from Rome which insists on a more severe investigation of novitiates at seminaries, coupled with an ever dwindling enrollment, it will be extremely difficult for the RCC to get back to the numbers of clerics it so desperately needs to serve the ever increasing parishes.  This is truly a crisis unknown in the modern RCC. Sad

What made the priesthood attractive many years ago and not now? Huh

Yes, the enrollments in the Orthodox seminaries has risen over the last few years but for how long?  We may be faced with similar problems. :-

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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2003, 10:33:53 AM »

What made the priesthood attractive many years ago and not now?


I think alot of it has to do with social pressure.  There are many young men who hear the call inside them, but there's so much static out there that it's becoming incresingly difficult to discern the call.  For some reason, I don't know what, people actively discourage friends and relatives from entering seminary.  When so many people are on your back, it takes a tremendous amount of faith to shake off that which is keeping you in the world and answer God's call.  Some may say, "Good riddance, we don't need lukewarm priests", but it's not that cut and dry.  We live in a society that, even though it denies it, does not cater to free choice in vocation.  Individuals get lost in the world and as a result, miss their calling or refuse to hear it.  

I'm currently discerning if I have a vocation or not.  Most of my friends and family keep trying to talk me out of it, mostly because I just broke up with my girlfriend of 3 years who I was ready to marry.  And I do see their point; I'm not going to make any decision right now when the wounds are so deep and I can't think straight.  But I know that I've always had a pull towards religious life.  Indeed, one of the reasons we broke up was because she always felt guilty about "keeping me away from God".  She supports my discernment (we are still teriffic friends, although it will be hard for a while).  It's very hard to think straight when you're constantly being assailed by naysayers and "well meaning" people who don't want you to "throw your life away".  The static can be unbearable at times, and in this age where so few have a deep Christian formation, the call can easily be ignored.
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2003, 11:25:58 AM »

I find it disturbing that there are women who gave years of their lives to the service of the church and learned nothing of humility in all that time.

Regardless, I disagree that women priests are inevitable. The first bishop to ordain a woman would find himself excommunicated immediately. If they were to ordain women they would then not be in the church, by their very acts they would remove themselves from the body of Christ.

I don't think you give the Holy Spirit enough credit Wink

John.

But there are Greek women--both Catholic and Orthodox--studying at the Old Catholic Faculty in
Berne, who would remind us that some of the
Syriac Fathers referred to the Holy Spirit as the feminine principle of the Godhead.

Taking that into consideration, are we really willing to trust in the Spirit?  Smiley

And what of epektasis (reaching forward)?

Looking forward,

Jude

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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2003, 11:37:31 AM »

Serge,

I don't see you having to face the possibility of woman being ordained to the Orthodox priesthood during your lifetime.

But there are strong and powerful women within the Church--especially in Greece and America--who gave years of their lives to the service of the church, were raised within a culture of feminism that has its roots in ancient Greece, are well educated and intelligent, and believe women should not be barred from the priesthood.

Eventually they will have their way and there is nothing that can be done about it.

I just accept the inevitable.

Hegel wasn't exactly an orthodox Christian, but he was right about the inevitability of change.

Jude


You are forgetting are the women matyrs and female saints who have existed.   The Orthodox church has given many examples of them.  Clearly, women are not disqualified from doing holy and pious things.  These women saints have done things that the average priest can only dream of doing.  What about the Theotokos?  These people also forget about how revered she is in Orthodoxy.  I think what it comes down to is pride and the era that we live in where gender is considered a choice.  

As for the Holy Spirit being feminine, isn't that a new age heresy?  I would like to see what the Holy Fathers have to say about that.
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2003, 12:38:28 PM »

Aphrahat, a Syriac Father, speaks of "God his Father and the Holy Spirit his Mother."

From the Western tradition, Lady Julian of Norwich, a medieval saint, speaks of God rejoicing that he is our 'Father' and God rejoicing that he is our "Mother.'  These saints were not devotees of new age theology, but orthodox Christians.

Every Catholic Greek or Orthodox Greek woman I know--who believes in the ordination of women--adheres to  traditional Marian theology. In no way do they hold her in low esteem, but glorify her and embrace her as Theotokos, and with the highest admiration and devotion.

And none of these women are concerned with "choosing their gender." They are perfectly satisfied to be what God intended them to be: superior to men. Smiley
 
Jude
 

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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2003, 01:06:47 PM »

jude,

You sound more like a dissenting liberal member of the Catholic Church or a mainstream Anglican than a member in good faith of an Eastern Christian church.

Quote
From the Western tradition, Lady Julian of Norwich, a medieval saint, speaks of God rejoicing that he is our 'Father' and God rejoicing that he is our "Mother.'  These saints were not devotees of new age theology, but orthodox Christians.

See my quotation on ‘Inclusive Language’ on the Faith page of my site, from the orthodox gentleman and retired Anglican bishop Edwin Barnes, with whom I once had the honor of being acquainted.

IIRC Barnes said that in a way God includes both sexes and transcends sex, but in scripture, in salvation history, He consistently revealed Himself as male, especially in the Incarnation, the hypostatic union or God-Man, Jesus, who is the Christ.

Sex (meaning maleness and femaleness) is part of our essence as human beings, not an accident or a construct as the ‘gender’ politicians would have one believe. (Which is one reason to restore the right use of the word ‘sex’ and not say ‘gender’ to mean maleness or femaleness.)

Quote
But there are Greek women--both Catholic and Orthodox--studying at the Old Catholic Faculty in
Berne, who would remind us that some of the Syriac Fathers referred to the Holy Spirit as the feminine principle of the Godhead.

All that proves is that orthodoxy isn’t genetic! It and ethnicity are separate things. And again, who on this board cares what that little sect — basically Dutch and German Anglicans at this point — does?

IIRC the Fathers individually were fallible. They could and sometimes did make honest mistakes, holding views later rejected by the Church as a whole. Like the Bible, they can only be read profitably in the context of the teaching Church.
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2003, 02:29:01 PM »

Aphrahat, a Syriac Father, speaks of "God his Father and the Holy Spirit his Mother."

From the Western tradition, Lady Julian of Norwich, a medieval saint, speaks of God rejoicing that he is our 'Father' and God rejoicing that he is our "Mother.'  These saints were not devotees of new age theology, but orthodox Christians.

Every Catholic Greek or Orthodox Greek woman I know--who believes in the ordination of women--adheres to  traditional Marian theology. In no way do they hold her in low esteem, but glorify her and embrace her as Theotokos, and with the highest admiration and devotion.

And none of these women are concerned with "choosing their gender." They are perfectly satisfied to be what God intended them to be: superior to men. Smiley
 
Jude



I don't know about women being superior to men.  I mean there are a lot of evil women out there to.  I am so sick and tired of people not believing that women are capable of doing the same evil that men can do.  Look at St. Mary of Egypt, before she repented, she lived a totally wicked life.
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2003, 02:37:10 PM »

On the notion that women are better than men, for more on the feminization of domestic life and of American religion, check out John Weldon Hardenbrook’s Missing From Action. Probably beneath a self-conscious ‘progressive’ like jude but a fun, easy read with lots of common-sense wisdom and historical knowledge for the rest of us.
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2003, 02:39:48 PM »

Of course, there is no sexuality within the Godhead. Masculine or feminine references to God are not to be taken literally; they are purely symbolic. However, it can't be denied that in both Scripture and Tradition, God reveals Himself to us in symbolism that is almost universally masculine.

However, there exists--in the real Orthodox world, as opposed to the internet world--a small and vocal minority of Orthodox Christians, both clergy and lay, even Bishops such as Kallistos Ware and the martyred priest of blessed memory, Alexander Men,  who believe the issue of the ordination of women should be studied and debated in depth, since Orthodoxy is a protean belief system and the consensus of faith is organic. Certainly, these devout Orthodox Christians are anything but liberal Catholics, Old Catholics, or Anglicans. And we shouldn't forget that a late Patriarch of Alexandria was in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood.

This issue has been an object of ongoing debate within the world of devout Greek Orthodox Christians for many years; longer than the vast majority of the members of this community have been Orthodox.  It will continue to be so for generations to come.

Jude

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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2003, 02:48:47 PM »

Aphrahat, a Syriac Father, speaks of "God his Father and the Holy Spirit his Mother."

From the Western tradition, Lady Julian of Norwich, a medieval saint, speaks of God rejoicing that he is our 'Father' and God rejoicing that he is our "Mother.'  These saints were not devotees of new age theology, but orthodox Christians.

Every Catholic Greek or Orthodox Greek woman I know--who believes in the ordination of women--adheres to  traditional Marian theology. In no way do they hold her in low esteem, but glorify her and embrace her as Theotokos, and with the highest admiration and devotion.

And none of these women are concerned with "choosing their gender." They are perfectly satisfied to be what God intended them to be: superior to men. Smiley
 
Jude



I don't know about women being superior to men.  I mean there are a lot of evil women out there to.  I am so sick and tired of people not believing that women are capable of doing the same evil that men can do.  Look at St. Mary of Egypt, before she repented, she lived a totally wicked life.

You missed my Smiley, as in self-deprecating humor, guy.

Jude
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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2003, 02:51:43 PM »

Quote
Of course, there is no sexuality within the Godhead. Masculine or feminine references to God are not to be taken literally; they are purely symbolic.

If that’s so, it’s still not true of Jesus, who is a man.

Quote
However, it can't be denied that in both Scripture and Tradition, God reveals Himself to us in symbolism that is almost universally masculine.

Right. One point, as this is an Eastern Orthodox-oriented forum: in EOxy, one doesn’t speak of two sources of revelation, scripture AND tradition, but one, holy tradition, of which scripture is just a part. The two-sources thing IIRC is peculiar to Western Christianity, either in this thing’s positive (Catholic) or negative (Protestant) form.

Quote
However, there exists--in the real Orthodox world, as opposed to the internet world--a small and vocal minority of Orthodox Christians, both clergy and lay, even Bishops such as Kallistos Ware and the martyred priest of blessed memory, Alexander Men,  who believe the issue of the ordination of women should be studied and debated in depth, since Orthodoxy is a protean belief system and the consensus of faith is organic.

That’s what university-level theology is about: debating every point in the catechism, as a Roman Catholic priest friend once put it. But such study and debate isn’t an endorsement of attempted ordination of women. The goal is to defend the faith, not change it.

Quote
Certainly, these devout Orthodox Christians are anything but liberal Catholics, Old Catholics, or Anglicans.

I hope not.

Quote
And we shouldn't forget that a late Patriarch of Alexandria was in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood.

If that’s true, and yes, I read that in Kallistos too, no, let’s forget. The Church is bigger than any one person, even if that person was a bishop and even a patriarch.

Quote
This issue has been an object of ongoing debate within the world of devout Greek Orthodox Christians for many years; longer than the vast majority of the members of this community have been Orthodox.  It will continue to be so for generations to come.

If the Greek Church does cave on this, which I don’t see happening BTW, so what? All it would mean is it left the Orthodox communion. Orthodoxy as such would be the same.

Are you claiming to be Greek Orthodox? I detect a whiff of cradle/ethno-snobbery from you: ‘I’m a born Orthodox and you’re all not so you have to listen to me’.
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« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2003, 02:59:22 PM »

Jude,

Please define "Not against woman priests".

Are you saying you'd believe women would make valid priests??

Bobby

Ordained women are considered to be valid priests within the jurisdictions of the Old Catholic Churches of Holland, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, and Greece, etc.

In that context, I would consider female priests "valid." Outside of that context, I wouldn't under current circumstances.

Jude

I don't think the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht admits to women priests.  That's why they went into imperfect communion with the Anglican Church when she ordained women priests.

in Christ,

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« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2003, 03:02:54 PM »

anastasios,

The Old Catholic Church is in the same situation (breaking up) as the Anglicans: its tiny churches in Germany and Austria ‘ordain’ women as priests (since 1989). Most of its churches are in full communion with the Anglicans except, interestingly, its lone representative in America, the Polish National Catholic Church, who used to be in full communion with the Episcopalians (starting in 1946) but ended that in 1977 when the latter approved women’s ordination.
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« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2003, 05:39:30 PM »

I am afraid that I may sound like a traditionalist but people like Ware and the Patriarch of Alexandria are modernists.   Ware seems to be watering down on everything(just look at his recent edition of the Orthodox church) There was a female deaconate in the early church, however no women priests.  Why must women be priests?  There are many women who are saints, and served as vessels of God's glory...just because they are not priests does not mean that they cannot contribute to the church.  We are so obsessed with equality, equal this or equal that.  Equality has become the god they serve. The sexes, as Serge says, are complimentary to each other, however that is not how it is viewed today.  

Here is another thing.  Orthodoxy is gaining a large amount of  converts from Christian sects that have allowed the ordination of women.  People seem to realize that this is not right at all.  I don't want Orthodoxy to become like the Episcopalians or the Anglicans...that would be a terrible tragedy.
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« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2003, 06:22:01 PM »

Jude,

Please define "Not against woman priests".

Are you saying you'd believe women would make valid priests??

Bobby

Ordained women are considered to be valid priests within the jurisdictions of the Old Catholic Churches of Holland, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, and Greece, etc.

In that context, I would consider female priests "valid." Outside of that context, I wouldn't under current circumstances.

Jude

I don't think the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht admits to women priests.  That's why they went into imperfect communion with the Anglican Church when she ordained women priests.

in Christ,

anastasios

Old Catholics - New Doctrines

The Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Utrecht says that the selection of an ex-Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Joris Vercammen, to lead the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht adds an "extra problem" to relations between the two churches, but that the larger difficulty is women's ordination in some Old Catholic bodies. Fr. Vercammen was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church in 1979 and became Old Catholic in 1988.
Old Catholics reject papal infallibility and certain other positions upheld by Rome, though Old Catholic Orders have been (until recently) recognised by Rome.

The 400,000 member Union of Utrecht is officially in communion with the Canterbury led Anglican Communion, with the exception of the Union's largest body, the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) in North America.

The PNCC broke communion with the Anglican churches of Canada and America, as well as the Church of England in 1992, over women's ordination, and now is estranged from several European Old Catholic bodies which have moved to ordain women. The PNCC has broken communion with Old Catholic churches in Germany, Austria, Holland and Switzerland over the innovation.

The significant percentage of ex-Roman Catholics in leadership of European Old Catholic churches seem, in fact, to have catalysed the movement of these bodies to accept female ordination.

Cardinal Simonis is reported to have said that the opening of the priesthood for women in Old Catholic churches is an "insuperable problem" in the search for church unity. He was quoted as saying that the Old Catholic Church had become a protestant body and "that is very tragic".
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Personally, I have found the European Old Catholics to be very devout and pastorally committed.

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« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2003, 07:56:46 PM »

Of course, there is no sexuality within the Godhead. Masculine or feminine references to God are not to be taken literally; they are purely symbolic. However, it can't be denied that in both Scripture and Tradition, God reveals Himself to us in symbolism that is almost universally masculine.

However, there exists--in the real Orthodox world, as opposed to the internet world--a small and vocal minority of Orthodox Christians, both clergy and lay, even Bishops such as Kallistos Ware and the martyred priest of blessed memory, Alexander Men,  who believe the issue of the ordination of women should be studied and debated in depth, since Orthodoxy is a protean belief system and the consensus of faith is organic. Certainly, these devout Orthodox Christians are anything but liberal Catholics, Old Catholics, or Anglicans. And we shouldn't forget that a late Patriarch of Alexandria was in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood.

This issue has been an object of ongoing debate within the world of devout Greek Orthodox Christians for many years; longer than the vast majority of the members of this community have been Orthodox.  It will continue to be so for generations to come.

Jude



Jude,

Prior to the mid-20th century, when was the ordination of women a burning issue in either Eastern Christendom or the Catholic Church? IOW, where was this issue for the previous 1950 years or so?

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« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2003, 08:24:22 PM »

well, there are many bishops of the Roman Church, specially in Holand who unblattantly supports the ordaination of women in the future.

About the PNCC, they are quite broad in many aspects, I listened to a record of a PNCC Mass and the service was in modern English, accopnaied by piano, and guitars. In fact it's very similar to a modern Catholic Mass or a modern Episcopal service. Though they're not as scandalous in their liberalisms as the Anglicans, they're quite like a modern RC, it's probable that communion will be established with the RC soon (several parishes have been received recently).

Is it true that they wanted to be Orthodox when the PNCC schism appeared?
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« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2003, 10:13:11 PM »

Of course, there is no sexuality within the Godhead. Masculine or feminine references to God are not to be taken literally; they are purely symbolic. However, it can't be denied that in both Scripture and Tradition, God reveals Himself to us in symbolism that is almost universally masculine.

However, there exists--in the real Orthodox world, as opposed to the internet world--a small and vocal minority of Orthodox Christians, both clergy and lay, even Bishops such as Kallistos Ware and the martyred priest of blessed memory, Alexander Men,  who believe the issue of the ordination of women should be studied and debated in depth, since Orthodoxy is a protean belief system and the consensus of faith is organic. Certainly, these devout Orthodox Christians are anything but liberal Catholics, Old Catholics, or Anglicans. And we shouldn't forget that a late Patriarch of Alexandria was in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood.

This issue has been an object of ongoing debate within the world of devout Greek Orthodox Christians for many years; longer than the vast majority of the members of this community have been Orthodox.  It will continue to be so for generations to come.

Jude



Jude,

Prior to the mid-20th century, when was the ordination of women a burning issue in either Eastern Christendom or the Catholic Church? IOW, where was this issue for the previous 1950 years or so?

Economan


Many years--for me--would be from about the mid-1950's, when I would have been about seven and it was the hot topic of debate at home and among the female members of our large extended family of proto-feminists of the Greek persuasion. But the issue is older than that, dating to the 1920's, maybe even previous to that.

I can't speak to the issue of the ordination of women within the Roman church.

For some, it is an issue whose time has come. That is the salient point.
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« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2003, 10:37:48 PM »

Jude,

1. The Church is not a democracy
2. Therefore it is irrelevant what the laity want in this regard. "Proto-feminists" don't make polity and doctrine.
3. Orthodox believe their Church is different than the Catholicism or Protestantism. Our Church is indeed the True Faith and will not falter i.e. ordaining women. Even if 99% of Orthodox bishops agreed to do so, they would be the ones cutting themselves off from the Church.

Economan
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« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2003, 10:39:34 PM »

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Is it true that they wanted to be Orthodox when the PNCC schism appeared?

Given the historic Polish antipathy to the Russians and their rite, probably not.
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« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2003, 11:33:16 PM »

Jude,

1. The Church is not a democracy
2. Therefore it is irrelevant what the laity want in this regard. "Proto-feminists" don't make polity and doctrine.


Economan

Woman might not make polity, but they sure do influence  how it is admininstered--at least at the parish level-- and they will have a much greater say about polity in the future.

Greek women are no longer Ottoman beasts- of- burden and the Bishops of the various Greek jurisdictions are certainly aware of that.

If the Bishops of the Ecumenical Church meet in Council and decree that, indeed, women shall be admitted to Holy Orders, then those who dissent shall be in schism from the True Faith.

Never say never.

Jude
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2003, 01:02:19 AM »

Jude the obscure<<Greek women are no longer Ottoman beasts- of- burden and the Bishops of the various Greek jurisdictions are certainly aware of that.

If the Bishops of the Ecumenical Church meet in Council and decree that, indeed, women shall be admitted to Holy Orders, then those who dissent shall be in schism from the True Faith.>>

Jude, Greeks make up only one local Church.  If they decided to ordain women without the concurrence of the other Orthodox Churches, it is they who would be in schism.  Frankly, I cannot see Serbians, Russians, etc., even coming close to the position you seem to infer is espoused by the Greeks on the subject of the ordination of women.  And I haven't met the type of Greek women among the Orthodox in America that seek ordination to the presbyterate eitheir.  One or two radicals does not represent an entire group.

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2003, 01:26:42 AM »

In my earlier posts,I admitted that only a minority of Orthodox would--at this time--be in favor of admitting women to Holy Orders. But we live in an epoch of unprecedented change.

Like I wrote before, it would take the Bishops of the Ecumenical Church, meeting in Council, to modify those canons that qualify who is eligible or not eligible for Holy Orders within the Universal Church.

God is more patient than we are.

Jude
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« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2003, 06:24:49 AM »

Jude, I've never come across this minority after 10 years of living in Greece though there are a number of Protestant sects where such a minority might find a home, never in the Orthodox church though (at least not in the ones I go to) ((Ha! I said "never"))

If it did ever come to an ecumenical council, it would merely be to defend orthodoxy against such a practise as Serge noted earlier. That's why they were convened after all, not to make changes, but to defend that which had been passed down in the church against error. It would not even matter if they were a majority, after all, Arianism was in the majority for a while, at least in the East, but that didn't make it orthodox did it? Perhaps you would have accepted Arianism as being inevitable, had you lived a few centuries ago?

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« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2003, 08:03:40 AM »

You probably are right--never just might mean never.Smiley

Besides, there are alternatives available for Greeks who are no longer comfortable within the Orthodox fold, and it is probably best for them (and the Orthodox and Catholic Greeks) to leave and find a spiritual home elsewhere.

Like you mention, there are more and more Greeks who self-identify as Protestants, former Greek RC's who self-identify as Old Catholics, even former Orthodox who have "returned" to the 'folk and gods' sects of ancient Hallas, and even some young Greeks who have become--inexplicably--Sufis!

We do seem to be living in an epoch of unprecedented change.

Jude
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« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2003, 09:17:55 AM »

Quote
... even former Orthodox who have "returned" to the 'folk and gods' sects of ancient Hellas
Were they ever Orthodox to begin with? I can't remember their website address but I do recall that they were loudly and offensively anti-christian.

John.
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« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2003, 10:48:29 AM »

To all:

Did the article in the first post deal with the issue of priest shortages or the ordination of women to the presbyterate?  I'm somewhat confused with what I read in the article and what I read in the responses to that article.  Please clarify.  Thank you.

Joe T


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« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2003, 11:21:14 AM »

That's funny...I thought this thread was about monks being rebaptized on Mt. Athos?
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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2003, 11:25:08 AM »

Quote
... even former Orthodox who have "returned" to the 'folk and gods' sects of ancient Hellas
Were they ever Orthodox to begin with? I can't remember their website address but I do recall that they were loudly and offensively anti-christian.

John.

To say they are anti-christian is an understatement. But I don't believe they are anymore anti-christian than other neo-pagan cults in Europe, of which there seem to be many.

Sincere people can lose their faith. At least that has been my experience.

Jude
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« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2008, 03:12:42 AM »

In bringing back this thread after nearly 6 years, the Priest shortage in the GOA is so desperate that a Priest, formerly suspended for sexual misconduct, has been reinstated and assigned to a small Church in VA.  Article from Pokrov.

According to the National Herald, <Name redacted> was suspended for sexual misconduct. In 2008, he was assigned to the Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in the Metropolis of New Jersey. Earlier in the year he served as a substitute priest at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Weston, Massachusetts, in the Metropolis of Boston.


A few weeks ago, I visited this Community for a social function and my blood turned cold when I saw this Priest.
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« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2008, 08:23:29 AM »

I don't know if the "shortage" is indeed that desperate.  I think this was an exercise in poor judgment and not an act of desperation or necessity.  Of course, the Metropolis of New Jersey may indeed be having a shortage problem, as they don't have many of their young men attending the seminary, which is a problem.  (How is it that the lowly metropolises of Denver, Detroit, and Pittsburgh - the smallest and poorest of the Metropolises of the GOA - each send more seminarians than the Metropolis of New Jersey which encompasses some major population areas?)
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« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2008, 11:19:53 AM »

Well, this thread was orginally about a shortage in the RC but reading the last post got me wondering.  If there isn't a shortage of priests in various EO jurisdictions, why are, for example, most of the EO parishes in Montana without one?  The Greek Orthodox parish in Great Falls has to import a priest a few times a year and hasn't had its own clergy in a good number of years. I mean nothing disrespectful with this question. I am wondering as to the "why" of the situation.

Ebor
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« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2008, 11:36:35 AM »

Every once in a while I hear that there are shortages, though I don't know if that's really the case, or if some parishes are just too small to support a priest.
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« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2008, 11:27:57 AM »

Or do priests not want to go to unfamiliar, out of the way areas or places that aren't like what they're used to? Or is it not permitted for a priest to have a 'day job' in some other area so that he and any family can live and still hold a post in a parish?

The Great Falls parish was once large enough to build the church and last for decades.  Now it's, I'm told, about 8 families; there was a baptism in August when the imported priest was there so there's some younger people, I'd guess.  Also, there have been a number of people in Montana come to this forum and write of the lack of EO clergy/parishes/support so there is some interest.  But that isn't been addressed/tended to... I'm trying to find the right words.. sorry.

 
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« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2008, 12:25:03 PM »

Ebor,

If a church only has eight families in attendance then obviously there aren't enough people in the parish to support a full time priest. And most Orthodox parishes were never wealthy enough to develop legacy funding, which is the mode of operation which keeps dying Episcopal churches in the black and with an assigned priest. (An ex-Episcopal friend share that information with me several years ago.)

There may be some priests who are willing to go to these dying parishes and work a second job, but I don't think you will find priests in the Greek Archdiocese who are willing to do this when there are so many other parishes within the GOA, that are thriving and in need of at least one priest. Some GOA parishes have two in order to take care of all of the families.

I haven't heard there is a shortage of priests in the Antiochian Archdiocese. In fact, Metropolitan Philip finally tightened up the requirements on when a man can go to seminary to study for the priesthood because there were so  many requesting to go. The new requirement states a man must be an Orthodox Christian for at least five years and an active member of an Orthodox parish community during that time. 

At our last retreat, I spoke to one of our priests, who is from Washington State, about this subject. He was explaining to me how he and his brother clergymen were planting missions in rural areas in that state. The missions do not have priests yet but are served by priests who have established parishes not too far away. Eventually, once the missions are large enough, a priest will either be assigned to the parish but sometimes a member from within the new mission will eventually become the priest for that parish.

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« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2008, 12:02:38 PM »

Ebor,

If a church only has eight families in attendance then obviously there aren't enough people in the parish to support a full time priest.

But once it was a lot bigger I would guess since they were able to build a church and all.  So one question is "Why did the last priest leave?"  Was it because there wasn't enough to sustain a full time priest?  Or is the lack of a priest a contributing factor in the parish shrinking?  I don't know.  But these seem to me to be pertinent questions.

Quote
There may be some priests who are willing to go to these dying parishes and work a second job, but I don't think you will find priests in the Greek Archdiocese who are willing to do this when there are so many other parishes within the GOA, that are thriving and in need of at least one priest. Some GOA parishes have two in order to take care of all of the families.

I don't know the numbers for how many GOA parishs and how many priests they have. I'd have to do some research. But how will a parish thrive if there is no priest one wonders?

Quote
I haven't heard there is a shortage of priests in the Antiochian Archdiocese. In fact, Metropolitan Philip finally tightened up the requirements on when a man can go to seminary to study for the priesthood because there were so  many requesting to go. The new requirement states a man must be an Orthodox Christian for at least five years and an active member of an Orthodox parish community during that time. 

Sounds like a wise thing.

Quote
At our last retreat, I spoke to one of our priests, who is from Washington State, about this subject. He was explaining to me how he and his brother clergymen were planting missions in rural areas in that state. The missions do not have priests yet but are served by priests who have established parishes not too far away. Eventually, once the missions are large enough, a priest will either be assigned to the parish but sometimes a member from within the new mission will eventually become the priest for that parish.

Circuit riding pastors are an old tradition out west.  There are Episcopal priests in Montana, Wyoming and other areas who have the cure of two or more parishes and do the same thing.  Sometimes it's because a parish is too small to support clergy on its own, but other times it's been the case that new priests want to stay in the more populous areas and not go out to the hinterlands as it were.  And then how are people to be reached?  Undecided

Ebor
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« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2008, 01:46:34 PM »

Ebor,

If a church only has eight families in attendance then obviously there aren't enough people in the parish to support a full time priest.

But once it was a lot bigger I would guess since they were able to build a church and all.  So one question is "Why did the last priest leave?"  Was it because there wasn't enough to sustain a full time priest?  Or is the lack of a priest a contributing factor in the parish shrinking?  I don't know.  But these seem to me to be pertinent questions.
Maybe it was large at one time due to jobs. But over time, those jobs disappeared so the families either moved away or they left Orthodoxy due to intermarriage with other Christians. In American Orthodoxy, once you no longer have enough funds to maintain a priest then the parish will lose its priest. And if certain jurisdictions are experiencing a priest shortage, then those dying parishes would be the last place any priest would want to go. Ten minutes away from my home is a large, thriving Greek Orthodox parish. They probably have 800 families on their list. For a while the elderly priest had a young priest to assist him. But a mere two years later the young priest was sent to a booming area outside of Sacramento that had 300 hundred young Greek Orthodox families waiting for a priest. If I remember correctly, they had built a large Byzantine Church within a few years after the young priest arrived. If you were that young priest, why would you ever choose to go to a small rural and perhaps depressed area when there are places with large Greek Orthodox populations waiting to be served?

I think it becomes very clear why dying parishes are ignored. We may see this begin to happen in the Rust Belt. Many of the parishes in that region are losing membership rapidly due to loss of jobs, intermarriage out of the faith and lack of welcoming in those who are not Orthodox.

Quote
There may be some priests who are willing to go to these dying parishes and work a second job, but I don't think you will find priests in the Greek Archdiocese who are willing to do this when there are so many other parishes within the GOA, that are thriving and in need of at least one priest. Some GOA parishes have two in order to take care of all of the families.

Quote
I don't know the numbers for how many GOA parishs and how many priests they have. I'd have to do some research. But how will a parish thrive if there is no priest one wonders?
It won't thrive without a priest.

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At our last retreat, I spoke to one of our priests, who is from Washington State, about this subject. He was explaining to me how he and his brother clergymen were planting missions in rural areas in that state. The missions do not have priests yet but are served by priests who have established parishes not too far away. Eventually, once the missions are large enough, a priest will either be assigned to the parish but sometimes a member from within the new mission will eventually become the priest for that parish.

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Circuit riding pastors are an old tradition out west.  There are Episcopal priests in Montana, Wyoming and other areas who have the cure of two or more parishes and do the same thing.  Sometimes it's because a parish is too small to support clergy on its own, but other times it's been the case that new priests want to stay in the more populous areas and not go out to the hinterlands as it were.  And then how are people to be reached?  Undecided

Ebor

The priests in our Archdiocese aren't exactly circuit riding but by splitting their time with their established parish and a mission within driving distance, they are able to meet this need and bring more into the faith. However, these men came from evangelical backgrounds so they are used to spreading the word, regardless of parishioners' ethnicity. Most ethnic priests in all the jurisdictions have the mentality of only serving a specific ethnic group. Once that group moves or stops attending, the parish usually folds no matter where it is located.
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« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2008, 02:04:44 PM »

Maybe it was large at one time due to jobs. But over time, those jobs disappeared so the families either moved away or they left Orthodoxy due to intermarriage with other Christians. In American Orthodoxy, once you no longer have enough funds to maintain a priest then the parish will lose its priest. And if certain jurisdictions are experiencing a priest shortage, then those dying parishes would be the last place any priest would want to go. Ten minutes away from my home is a large, thriving Greek Orthodox parish. They probably have 800 families on their list. For a while the elderly priest had a young priest to assist him. But a mere two years later the young priest was sent to a booming area outside of Sacramento that had 300 hundred young Greek Orthodox families waiting for a priest.

Tamara, What do you mean by "young?"  Could "young" be defined by how many Folk Dance Federation teams exist within that one community?  Why not say "300 Greek Orthodox families?"
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2008, 04:28:02 PM »

Maybe it was large at one time due to jobs. But over time, those jobs disappeared so the families either moved away or they left Orthodoxy due to intermarriage with other Christians. In American Orthodoxy, once you no longer have enough funds to maintain a priest then the parish will lose its priest. And if certain jurisdictions are experiencing a priest shortage, then those dying parishes would be the last place any priest would want to go. Ten minutes away from my home is a large, thriving Greek Orthodox parish. They probably have 800 families on their list. For a while the elderly priest had a young priest to assist him. But a mere two years later the young priest was sent to a booming area outside of Sacramento that had 300 hundred young Greek Orthodox families waiting for a priest.

Tamara, What do you mean by "young?"  Could "young" be defined by how many Folk Dance Federation teams exist within that one community?  Why not say "300 Greek Orthodox families?"

The priest who serves that church described it as young. He came to a Bible study at the Greek Orthodox Church near my home, after a visit to the new parish.  He shared with us that many of the young Orthodox folks, who grew up in the bay area, had moved to the Roseville area due to good job prospects and cheaper home prices. It is a vibrant new parish and not only because they have dance groups. This particular priest is very devout and his leadership is taking the young parish in the right direction.
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« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2008, 06:18:07 PM »

OK, I am familiar with the Church and the Priest in Roseville, CA for said Priest has come East on numerous occasions.   Smiley

Still, I'm troubled by the Priest referring to his flock as "young" especially in an era where a good number of "said flock" made their money in the Internet Economy and are faced by economic downturn.

Maybe I've become so jaded that I don't know what a "young" Greek Orthodox family looks like because very few of them go to my Church.   Huh
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« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2008, 08:04:42 PM »

OK, I am familiar with the Church and the Priest in Roseville, CA for said Priest has come East on numerous occasions.   Smiley

Still, I'm troubled by the Priest referring to his flock as "young" especially in an era where a good number of "said flock" made their money in the Internet Economy and are faced by economic downturn.

Maybe I've become so jaded that I don't know what a "young" Greek Orthodox family looks like because very few of them go to my Church.   Huh
Then come out here for a visit and be reassured that there are many!  Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2008, 08:05:31 PM »

OK, I am familiar with the Church and the Priest in Roseville, CA for said Priest has come East on numerous occasions.   Smiley

Still, I'm troubled by the Priest referring to his flock as "young" especially in an era where a good number of "said flock" made their money in the Internet Economy and are faced by economic downturn.

Maybe I've become so jaded that I don't know what a "young" Greek Orthodox family looks like because very few of them go to my Church.   Huh
Then come out here for a visit and be reassured that there are many!  Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2008, 03:51:23 AM »

^ With my luck, all of them will be at a FDF Competition in SF when I come to St. Anna's (which is the only GOA Church named after St. Anna).

BTW, you double-posted.  I don't have that problem; Maybe your browser is doing strange things with cookies?
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« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2008, 02:17:46 PM »

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In American Orthodoxy, once you no longer have enough funds to maintain a priest then the parish will lose its priest. And if certain jurisdictions are experiencing a priest shortage, then those dying parishes would be the last place any priest would want to go.

Well, that would then seem to guarantee that EO would not survive there.  But then how does that go along with the Great Commission and Evangelization, one wonders.

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If you were that young priest, why would you ever choose to go to a small rural and perhaps depressed area when there are places with large Greek Orthodox populations waiting to be served?

Well, there have been clergy who did go out to such places to take the faith to others, to "go into all the world".  Fr. DeSmet, and Bishop Tuttle and Brother Van Orsdel didn't go out to Montana Territory to minister to lots of RC or Episcopalians or Methodists but to take Christianity to the unchurched.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but if there are only 2 priests for 1100 families between the two parishes, that kind of looks like a 'priest shortage' to me.

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I think it becomes very clear why dying parishes are ignored. We may see this begin to happen in the Rust Belt. Many of the parishes in that region are losing membership rapidly due to loss of jobs, intermarriage out of the faith and lack of welcoming in those who are not Orthodox.

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand the last bit.  Do you mean that the EO parishes that are dying are not welcoming to non-EO or that the non-EO local people are not welcoming to EO.  I apologize for being dense.

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I don't know the numbers for how many GOA parishs and how many priests they have. I'd have to do some research. But how will a parish thrive if there is no priest one wonders?
It won't thrive without a priest.

That seems to be clear and it doesn't seem like a good thing.


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The priests in our Archdiocese aren't exactly circuit riding but by splitting their time with their established parish and a mission within driving distance, they are able to meet this need and bring more into the faith.

That's how it works in Montana, actually, from what I've read.

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Most ethnic priests in all the jurisdictions have the mentality of only serving a specific ethnic group. Once that group moves or stops attending, the parish usually folds no matter where it is located.
 

And then other Christian Churches may minister to those people, may be, but not EO...?  Undecided

Ebor
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« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2008, 03:26:27 PM »

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In American Orthodoxy, once you no longer have enough funds to maintain a priest then the parish will lose its priest. And if certain jurisdictions are experiencing a priest shortage, then those dying parishes would be the last place any priest would want to go.

Well, that would then seem to guarantee that EO would not survive there.  But then how does that go along with the Great Commission and Evangelization, one wonders.
Yes, you are correct. For example, the Ukrainian Orthodox church in Canada have lost 90% of their membership in the last forty years due to what I have described earlier. Unfortunately, many ethnic-centered Orthodox Churches have no idea Christ even gave us the mandate to go out and evangelize. Those churches will eventually pass away.

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If you were that young priest, why would you ever choose to go to a small rural and perhaps depressed area when there are places with large Greek Orthodox populations waiting to be served?

Quote
Well, there have been clergy who did go out to such places to take the faith to others, to "go into all the world".  Fr. DeSmet, and Bishop Tuttle and Brother Van Orsdel didn't go out to Montana Territory to minister to lots of RC or Episcopalians or Methodists but to take Christianity to the unchurched.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but if there are only 2 priests for 1100 families between the two parishes, that kind of looks like a 'priest shortage' to me.
I don't have the numbers for the Greek Archdiocese, but from what I have heard through the Orthodox grapevine is, they are in the midst of a priest shortage.

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I think it becomes very clear why dying parishes are ignored. We may see this begin to happen in the Rust Belt. Many of the parishes in that region are losing membership rapidly due to loss of jobs, intermarriage out of the faith and lack of welcoming in those who are not Orthodox.

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I'm sorry, I don't quite understand the last bit.  Do you mean that the EO parishes that are dying are not welcoming to non-EO or that the non-EO local people are not welcoming to EO.  I apologize for being dense.
Yes. There are EO parishes which are dying because they have not welcomed non-EOs and because their own children have left Orthodoxy through intermarriage with non-EO Christians.

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I don't know the numbers for how many GOA parishs and how many priests they have. I'd have to do some research. But how will a parish thrive if there is no priest one wonders?
It won't thrive without a priest.

Quote
That seems to be clear and it doesn't seem like a good thing.
It isn't a good thing but if you have a priest shortage it only makes sense to send the few priests you do have to growing communities that also have growing economies.


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The priests in our Archdiocese aren't exactly circuit riding but by splitting their time with their established parish and a mission within driving distance, they are able to meet this need and bring more into the faith.

Quote
That's how it works in Montana, actually, from what I've read.
Well, as I said before, these priests were former evangelicals so they just seem to know how to establish more missions. Thank God we have them. I just wish we had an official diocese mission fund to help them along. These men are doing this work all on their own. Its really quite amazing for me to see them work.

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Most ethnic priests in all the jurisdictions have the mentality of only serving a specific ethnic group. Once that group moves or stops attending, the parish usually folds no matter where it is located.
 

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And then other Christian Churches may minister to those people, may be, but not EO...?  Undecided

Ebor
Exactly, Ebor...that is what happens quite often.
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