I dont know if it's good etiquette to butt in when people are talking about me, but here it goes anyway
I suspect that greekischristian is being deliberately provocative
Somewhat, I generally believe what I post, but I may push the issue farther than I normally would for the sake of argument.
and that some time in Thessaloniki will do him a lot of good but I can't help but be offended by at least half of what he writes.
Please, dont be, it's just an internet Message board, nothing is intended to be personal.
1)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Ethnocentricism (a better term would be that phrase that starts with a "p" that I can't remember how to spell)Phyletism
, but as I explained over in the thread on whether or not the forum is biased, I still dont fully understand the nature of that accusation.
The Greeks came up in a conversation with some other Orthodox Christians and I told them about how GisC had written that it was blasphemy to serve the liturgy in any language other than Greek.
Wait a second there, I dont remember saying that; I've given several reasons why Greek is the most appropriate language (for the GOA at least) but never even suggested that one is guilty of blasphemy for celibrating in another language.
One of our priests asked "Such a person exists?"ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Every non-Greek Orthodox seems to have a story about the "chauvinism" of the Greeks.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I personally feel that I would not be welcome in a Greek parish.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
Fairly typical anti-greek bashing, if it's good natured joking, that's one thing, but I'm guessing these stories were not.
2)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Papism - I must confess that I was shocked to read about submission to the the "Oecumenical Throne."ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I've never heard an Orthodox Christian use that kind of terminology.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I have a hard time believing that this is representative of real Greek Orthodoxy.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
My statements simply reflect the reality of the Oecumenical Throne's posistion through the Empire, the Turkokratia, and into this present era. I have not suggested that the Oecumenical Patriarch is either infallible or vicarus christi
. And in reference to those under the Omophorion of the Oecumenical Throne (including Mt. Athos), yes, I do expect submission, which is a perfectly canonical expectation. Just as I would expect submission of Serbian Faithful and Serbian Bishops to the Patriarch of Serbia (including the so-called 'Macedonians').
3)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Disdain For Tradition - Despite GisC's claims to be traditional in his personal practices, many of us here sense a kind of underlying disdain for traditional Orthodox Christians in GisC's posts.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š When cornered, GisC tries to explain but it seems to me that only someone who doesn't like traditional Orthodox would write that those who think women should cover their heads in church would be happier in Islam.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Now he tells us that those of us who cover our heads would be talked about behind our backs if we attended a Greek parish.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š His recent posts about pietistic cultism go too far IMHO.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
My objection is to Tradition, but so-called 'Traditionalism.' Those who take it upon themselves to elevate accidents of tradition to the level of Dogma, without the approval of, or even against the will of, an authoritive synod. As I've said before, I will say again, there is nothing wrong with the personal practice of these traditions, the problem is with those who try to dogmatize them. Furthermore, my statement about 'turning heads' when one wears a headscarf is not a posistion statement, it is an observation about some Orthodox Churches i've been to (and in which I have witnessed similar behaviour). Mind you, I've also witnessed parishoners publically scolding people for not Kneeling at the Consecration on Sundays, the fact that I have observed this does not mean I support it.
4)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Disdain for Monasticism - His posts about bishops being better than monastics seem consistent with his other posts.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š His posts make me wonder about the hysteria over Elder Ephraim's monasteries.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Now I'm beginning to wonder if those in the GOA who warned that they were cults simply didn't understand or respect monasticism.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
There is a degree of Anti-Monasticism in the GOA, which has been brought on by the Schism of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline (the source of Archbishop Iakovos' rather severe anti-monasticism) as well as the rebellious and dissident nature of many of the Ephraimite Monasteries, which have been known to mock, rather than obey, their rightful Bishops and Metropolitans; often being a thorn in the side of the Metropolises rather than the aid and resource they should be (For those of you who support English in the Liturgy, I know of one situation where Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco of Blessed Memory wanted to celebrate a Liturgy in English for a Children's Retreat, and was not allowed to Celebrate in the Chapel of an Ephraimite Monastery (which, being withinin his Metropolis, was technically HIS Chapel) because he was not going to use Greek, he ended up having to celebrate the Liturgy in a Barn).
With that said, I have nothing against Monasticism and believe it has an important place in the Church, if properly conducted. Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh has some Monasteries in Ohio, of which he is the Abbot. These monasteries are a great resource for and benifit to his Metropolis; I am personally a friend of one of the Hieromonks from one of these Monasteries, and I have no objection to either him or his Monastery, and only pray for its increase. Monasticism can be a great Benifit to the Church, but only if it's a healthy Monasticism, where the Monks are Subject to their Bishops, and Respect their Bishops as Spiritual Fathers and Authorities.
While I have not been everywhere in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, I believe I can safely say that I counted amongst the Conservatives at Holy Cross. I have drifted towards the Centre during my stay there, but have not Crossed over. I still do not advocate the Marriage of Priests, a Married Episcopacy, Inter-Religious Marriages, unrestricted Inter-Christian Marraiges, Marriages Beyond the Third, a complete overhaul of the Liturgy, Reception of Protestants by Chrismation, the eradication of the Kalimafi, the elimination of monasticism (only dissident monastic communities), requiring kneeling on Sundays, the establishment of Choirs and Organs in the Churches, et cetera...all said and done, I'm still pretty far towards the Conservative end of the Spectrum. With that said, I do believe that all these issues can be covered by Economy and, hence, am more than willing to submit to the decisions of my Bishop and of the Patriarchal Throne of Consantinople.
Now, the average GOA Parishioner is not nearly as avid an advocate of the Oecumenical Throne as I am, but that is generally influenced by their American, democratic mindset; these people generally wish to view the Clergy-Laity Congress as the ultimate Church authority, even above the Eparchial Synod and Patriarchal Synod. My views on this matter are not far from most those who genuinely believe in the Right of the Episcopacy to rule the Church.