Author Topic: Spiritual Father Question  (Read 1152 times)

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Offline emmanuelmelo

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Spiritual Father Question
« on: June 07, 2005, 02:11:50 AM »
Hi All !

I am an Orthodox Christian College student.  (Talk about the spiritual front lines!)   I have a question about spiritual fathers.  I come from a moderately religious (Greek) Orthodox family.  I am looking for a spiritual father who will guide me through this very difficult part of my life.  Unfortunately many Greek Orthodox priests do not like to hear confessions.  I need Confession- it seems to keep me on the straight and narrow.  Where I live there is a Greek and a Russian Parish.  I usually go to the Greek Parish- as I occassionally serve Divine Liturgy there.  The Russian Orthodox priest seems very in tune with college students, however, and I saw him for confession Last.

So now I have 3 spiritual fathers- one at home, and two here at college.  WHAT am i to do?  I don't want to switch spiritual fathers on a whim- and stop attending the Greek Orthodox Church- as I think this is wrong.  What am I to tell the Priest- "Sorry.  I like the Other guy's advice better?"

I never have had a "Real" Spiritual father, although I really would like to have one.  A monastery would be ideal, however I don't live close enough to one to get there on a regular basis.

One Other Question-  Can I go to confession to any priest or must it be my spiritual father?

Please share your Thoughts-

Emmanuel
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Offline aurelia

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2005, 08:47:40 AM »
Hi All !

 Unfortunately many Greek Orthodox priests do not like to hear confessions.

that seems rather sad!  I don't have any advice though, being new to this myself. 

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2005, 09:16:49 AM »
that seems rather sad!

Perhaps in one way it is sad, but in another it means that Father Confessors in the Greek tradition are selected according to their proven ability, experience and charism to guide souls.
My two cents: One's Spiritual Father ideally should also be your Confessor, and we should not change Confessors easily- too many cooks spoil the broth. The term "Spritual Father" does not necessarily apply to your Parish Priest. I suggest you ask your priest to suggest a a few Confessors for you and make an appointment to meet each one.
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2005, 12:09:48 PM »


Perhaps in one way it is sad, but in another it means that Father Confessors in the Greek tradition are selected according to their proven ability, experience and charism to guide souls.
My two cents: One's Spiritual Father ideally should also be your Confessor, and we should not change Confessors easily- too many cooks spoil the broth. The term "Spritual Father" does not necessarily apply to your Parish Priest. I suggest you ask your priest to suggest a a few Confessors for you and make an appointment to meet each one.

More to what ozgeorge says, you could go to the "Russian" (do you mean OCA? Or is it ROCOR, Carpatho-Russian Archdiocese or even Moscow Patriarchate?) priest for confession but attend the Greek church as your regular parish. 

If it is an OCA parish, it is rather inaccurate (and many would term degrading as well) to refer to an OCA parish as "Russian" since the OCA does not identify themselves as Russian, they are American self-heading, are viewed as an American Orthodox Church and many of their parishes may only have a few Russians.  As to the Antiochian Archdiocese, I don't call them "the Arabs" even though they are tied to Antioch since they have such a large population of American converts and other non-Arabs.  As to other local Churches, although I do frequently refer to them as "the Greeks", "the Serbs", etc., I realize that I should probably stop, even though they seem to want to hang on to their ethnicity more.  Maybe I should've started another thread on this.

Offline Ebor

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2005, 02:29:42 PM »
A person I know, whose ancestors (2 generations back or so) were from the Ukraine, goes mostly to an OCA church.  Occasionally he goes to a Ukrainian Orthodox parish. He was asked by a person at the latter "Why are you going to that Russian Church?!?" 

Sigh.

Ebor 
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Offline emmanuelmelo

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2005, 04:19:19 PM »
It is a Russian Parish of the Moscow Patriarchate
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2005, 04:30:09 PM »
If it is an OCA parish, it is rather inaccurate (and many would term degrading as well) to refer to an OCA parish as "Russian" since the OCA does not identify themselves as Russian

My OCA parish is often referred to as "the Russian Church" by the non-OCA Orthodox in our area. It doesn't offend me in the slightest, nor do I view it as degrading. To be fair, other OCA people do NOT refer to us as a "Russian" parish. And in a sense we aren't. All our services are in English, not Slavonic. Both our priests are non-Russian (non-Slavic) converts. Yet in many ways, this is a nuanced argument. We certainly LOOK and SOUND like a Russian Church, as do many OCA parishes. We have no pews. We have no organ. We use the Bakhmetev 8 tones. Nearly ALL of the choir's music was written by Russian composers. We follow Russian liturgical usage. We call the priest's wife "Matushka". We kiss each other three times (Slavic style). So, if an outsider calls us a "Russian" parish, I can understand where he is coming from.

Offline Elisha

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Re: Spiritual Father Question
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2005, 05:05:19 PM »
If it is an OCA parish, it is rather inaccurate (and many would term degrading as well) to refer to an OCA parish as "Russian" since the OCA does not identify themselves as Russian

My OCA parish is often referred to as "the Russian Church" by the non-OCA Orthodox in our area. It doesn't offend me in the slightest, nor do I view it as degrading.  To be fair, other OCA people do NOT refer to us as a "Russian" parish. And in a sense we aren't. All our services are in English, not Slavonic.  Both our priests are non-Russian (non-Slavic) converts.  Yet in many ways, this is a nuanced argument. We certainly LOOK and SOUND like a Russian Church, as do many OCA parishes. We have no pews. We have no organ. We use the Bakhmetev 8 tones. Nearly ALL of the choir's music was written by Russian composers. We follow Russian liturgical usage. We call the priest's wife "Matushka".  We kiss each other three times (Slavic style).  So, if an outsider calls us a "Russian" parish, I can understand where he is coming from.

Tikhon,
Yes, but I grew up in a former EOC Antiochian parish.  They are 90%+ converts.  My own dad, in front of my face, was telling my step brother that we're "the Russians".  I tell him, no, we are not, but we came from them.  Call ROCOR "the Russians" if you want though - it would be more accurate.  He repeats it, really not getting it (basically ignoring me).  So I tell him, Fine, I'll call you guys (referring to the parish I grew up in) "the Arabs".  It finally started to sink in.