Author Topic: Monastery vs. church??  (Read 25053 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2006, 12:55:18 AM »
You definitely hit a big one on the head: we tried to do a single celebration for Orthodoxy Sunday a number of years back in Cleveland; theoretically, we should have had over a thousand people, but we didn't even get the normal combined number for the churches of the area, let alone an especially big crowd (which is what I was hoping for).  The people on the ground need to be used to doing things together; once upon a time there was more sense of this (joint processions for Holy Friday, rotating weekday liturgies, etc.).
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2006, 01:16:35 AM »
Cleveland and Timos,
Thank you for so well-prepared messages. I consider that just a little bit more time needed for people to get more used to concelebration. It becomes less and less unusual.
Cleveland, this is great how you described everything step by step. It should be the only way to go.
In terms of autocephaly, I guess, it would not mean breaking ties with the old world. However, this actions should be done as carefully as possible. If it will mean more time in order to achieve - let it be. In any case, in just cannot be done without the blessing of the EP and other old world Local Churches. This is the most important criterion.

Offline Elisha

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,908
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2006, 02:48:36 AM »
Unlikely, it would kill the Church in this country; and potentially even allow the radical americans converts sects to gain a foothold. We must maintain our ties to the old world at all costs.

Spoken truly like someone with blinders on. :( ::)

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2006, 04:05:29 AM »
I am a "cradle" Orthodox Christian from Greece. However, I think that some Greek Americans should be more polite towards our brothers who discover Orthodoxy and try to live a life in Christ in the Orthodox Church. The "cradle" Orthodox and the converts really need each other. Personally, I have been deeply touched by the personality of the blessed Fr Seraphim Rose or by the work that is done, with the Grace of God, by Fr Stephen Powley (GOA) in a high security prison in Colorado or by the missionary efforts of many other priests who are converts. The parish churches must not be ethnic clubs, even if they have a certain national character reflected in the main language used during worship.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2006, 04:53:24 AM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #49 on: February 15, 2006, 07:15:55 AM »
An indirect reply to all the rumors spread by some anti-monastic "Orthodox" circles:
how Elder Ephraim decided to go to America. An interview given to the Cyprus TV by Fr Ephraim the younger, Abbot of St Andrew Skete, Mt Athos.
(unfortunately only in Greek, but if someone Greek-speaking is interested in, he can translate the text)

http://clubs.pathfinder.gr/Sei_Rai/361362

Απόσπασμα από την συνέντευξη του Γέροντος Εφραίμ του Δικαίου της Σκήτης Αγίου Ανδρέου, που έδωσε στην εκπομπή:<<Ορθοδοξία και Ορθοπραξία>> της Κυπριακής Τηλεόρασης, όταν ήταν ακόμα Ηγούμενος της Ιεράς Μονής Φιλοθέου Αγίου Όρους.

Νίκος Νικολα'ί'δης:Ως φοιτητής Γέροντα είχα την ευλογία να γνωρίσω τον γέροντα σας το πατέρα Εφραίμ. Αν μπορούσατε λίγα λόγια να μας λέγατε για τον γέροντα Εφραίμ.................του οποίου είστε και διάδοχος...

Γ.Εφραίμ:Ανάξιος!!!!Ανάξιος διάδοχος,μόνο κατ'όνομα μιμητής του. Ο πνευματικός μου πατέρας και γέροντας μου,Φnbsp;ατήρ Εφραίμ ο πρώτος,ο οποίος έκανε το μοναστήρι(του Φιλοθέου)σε κοινόβιο στις 1 Οκτωβρίου συγκεκριμένα του 1973 και ενθρονίστηκε πρώτος ηγούμενος της μονής ταύτης,μετά από πολλούς αιώνες ιδιορρύθμου βίου,έχει ένα ιδιαίτερο χάρισμα από το Άγιο ÃŽ ÃƒÆ’ŽÂ½ÃŽÂµÃÂÃŽÂ¼ÃŽÂ±....να προσελκύει ψυχές,ο θεός οδηγεί τις ψυχές στον Γέροντα,οι οποίες ψυχές επιθυμούν να ζήσουν μονότοπα,δηλαδή μοναχικά......... και αγόρια και κορίτσια,και μικρής ηλικίας και μεγάλης ηλικίας ,να τα διδάξει το Χριστό, να οργώσει στις ψυχές, να τις αναγεννήσει τις ψυχές και αν είναι θέλημα Θεού με κοινή συνεργασία, να οδηγηθούν, να ζήσουν και να βιώσουν τον μοναχισμό. Αλλά και να γίνουν μοναστήρια. Αυτό το ιδιαίτερο χάρισμα είναι ένα από τα σπάνια ,στην εποχή μας, του Αγίου ÃŽ ÃƒÆ’ŽÂ½ÃŽÂµÃÂÃŽÂ¼ÃŽÂ±Ãâ€žÃŽÂ¿Ãâ€š, το οποίο αν ο θεός το ευδοκήσει και τελεσφορήσει μέχρι το τέλος, ανήκει στην κατηγορία των ισαποστόλων. Είναι υψηλός ο λόγος και τολμηρός, αλλά αυτή είναι η αλήθεια.

Νίκος Νικολα'ί'δης:Από ότι λέγαμε προηγουμένως γέροντα τώρα είναι στην Αμερική και έχει ιδρύσει εκεί 10 μοναστήρια.

Γ.Εφραίμ:10 κοινόβια,7 γυναικεία και 3 ανδρικά...

Νίκος Νικολα'ί'δης:Και αποτελούνται γέροντα από μοναχούς...κατ'εξοχήν Έλληνες

Γ.Εφραίμ:Βεβαίως....είναι Έλληνες μοναχοί και μοναχές, αλλά υπάρχουν και ψυχές που γεννήθηκαν εκεί πέρα, πρώτης γενεάς δευτέρας τρίτης γενεάς και παιδιά τα οποία ήταν ετερόδοξα, βαπτίστηκαν στην συνέχεια και μετά εντάχθηκαν στον μοναχισμό.

Νίκος Νικολα'ί'δης:Τώρα η ÃŽÅ“Ã
« Last Edit: February 15, 2006, 07:21:41 AM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Timos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 856
  • Faith: O.C.
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2006, 12:04:37 PM »
i am not trying to gossip, I just wanna know the truth: I was told that the reason Elder Ephraim does not visit the monasteries under his care in Canada (PatroKosma in Ontario, and another one in Quebec) was because the Archbishop ordered him never to return to Canada. He was up here a few years back and had a male monastery here. Then, for some reason, he took the monastery down to Michigan where it now is (Αγιος Τριαδος-Holy Trinity). Is any of this true?

In Canada, we are "itching" for a Greek male monastery (or even any Orthodox male monastery). I'm sure it would help the guys get more into Orthodoxy and stuff. Plus, its sometimes hard to have a conversation with nuns. I love them but you never know when you can talk to them, if you can talk to them, maybe they don't want you to talk to them...The nearest male monastery is an OCA one about 9 hours away. I'm quite disappointed that this scuffle had to happen, and now we don't this monastery anymore. I believe it used to be called "St. John the Theologian".

Offline jlerms

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 826
  • O sweet Jesus, cleanse my soul.
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2006, 12:12:23 PM »
Brother Yiannis,  
Just a side note here since you mentioned the missionary work of Father Stephen Powley.  We had a spiritual retreat 2 weeks ago in which he came and talked about his life as a chaplain in the biggest maximum security prison in the United States.  He also gave his "life story" and how he found Orthodoxy. I was very impressed with his genuine humility and love for humanity.  Most amazing was the amount of inmates who found Christ and became Orthodox...even 5 men were tonsured as monks in that prison(and one is on his way).  One of the monk inmates through the years has studied iconography and has written several icons which Fr. Powley made availlable at our church. Another of the monks was given a blessing to learn how to make prayer ropes which were given out at the retreat with the request from Monk David to pray for his soul.  He like most of the others spend the rest of their life and die in that prison.  God bless Father Powley for all his ministry in that prison!
Juliana

Offline SrbMama

  • Mrs.
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • OC.net
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2006, 04:28:39 PM »
I first visited Panagia Vlahernon (one of Elder Ephraims' monasteries) outside of Ocala, Florida about 4 years ago. It was a life changing experience, and has put me on "the path" ever since. I was so overcome by the love I felt, it is like actual Christainity, not this watered down Protestantized Church/Politics game.

I asked a question about a particular service, which in our regular Parishes has a set price, for members and non-members. When I asked him how much it costed he turned so red in the face and looked so stunned. He almost seemed to be embarssed! He said something to the effect that a price cannot be placed on the services of the Church. That made an impression on me. I costs a $1,000 to be married in my local parish now! All this garbage is determined by the "Church Board". It reminds me of the money changers.

My advice to all is don't read any of the slanderous lies on the net against "the Monasteries". Go visit one for yourself and thank the Lord that some real beacon of Christianity still exists, and even in our own backyard.

Glory to God for all things.

Господи помилуј.

In Christ,
Tessa AKA SrbMama

...for the Venerable Cross and Golden Freedom...

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2006, 04:41:36 PM »
SrbMama:
1) be careful of the dreaded "double-post" - I deleted the second one, so don't be alarmed.

2) you - and the monk - were right to be scandalized and angered.  It is against the canons of the Church to charge for a sacrament to be performed.  The church boards, to get around this, normally state that they're charging for other things - candles, the cantor, heat, electricity.  But when it boils down to it, if a priest has no canonical objections or pastoral objections to someone having a sacrament performed, then he must do so free of charge.  Without this the Church would indeed be run by the money-changers.

I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline SrbMama

  • Mrs.
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • OC.net
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2006, 04:47:30 PM »
;)Oops, sorry about the double post...I'm new :-[

In Christ,
Tessa
...for the Venerable Cross and Golden Freedom...

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2006, 04:54:12 PM »
;)Oops, sorry about the double post...I'm new :-[

In Christ,
Tessa

No, it's alright - it happens to everyone at one point or another.  I just left the note so you wouldn't be alarmed by the deletion.
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2006, 02:51:31 AM »
Why there is no male monastery in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Canada? If you think a bit, you' ll find the reason. It sticks out a mile! The right answer is a word with 8 letters, the first letter is S. ;D
Why there is no monastery in Boston? The right answer is a word with 9 letters, the first letter is M. ;D
The late Fr John Romanides used to call the secularized non-married priests ("archimandrites") "false monks". Some of them become bishops. Most of them have become archmandrites just because they wanted to become bishops. It's a sad truth. It's evident why they don't like monasticism in general.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2006, 03:23:59 AM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2006, 03:00:52 AM »
Thanks a lot SrbMama Tessa for your witness. I think it's Metropolitan Amfilochii of Montenegro who had said that the blossom of monasticism reflects the health of a local church. The Serbians don't forget that their first archbishop, St Sava, was an athonite monk. Being a prince, St Sava left secretly his home in order to go to Mt Athos. Later his father, the king Stefan Milutin, abdicated from the throne to become also a monk in Mt Athos. He is St Symeon the Myrobletes.
Metropolitan Amfiochii has visited St Anthony's, AZ. It is evident that he doesn't consider Fr Ephraim to be a "cult leader", as does Methodios of Boston. By the way, Metropolitan Amfilochii is a spiritual son of the blessed Elder and Confessor Justin Popovich, who is going to be canonized by the Serbian Orthodox Church. Elder Justin Popovich was a great, deep theologian and a lover of monasticism. I mention this to show that a clergyman or a layman with a true Orthodox mind just cannot be against monasticism (and declare almost directly his opposition to monasticism in the very Sunday of Orthodoxy!!!). In such a case, he places himself above the Orthodox Catholic Church and something is wrong with him, with the faith he professes, not with the Church.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2006, 04:47:13 AM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2006, 05:47:51 AM »
The best one can do at this point is pray that the minds of those set against monasticism in toto are changed in order to allow it to flourish.  As I said, I am fortunate to come from a diocese that has 6 monastic communities, and it is a wonderful benefit to the people to have them.  If the thief on the Cross can change his direction, so can anyone else, bishop or lay, monk or not.
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2006, 04:05:54 PM »
Very well said cleveland. The prayer, the humble prayer, is the greatest power in the world. I'm also glad that many young people in the States support the monasteries, even if they are going to follow a family life, like me.
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2006, 04:04:54 AM »
By the way, once we talk about monasticism and Elders, there is a wise Elder in Pennsylvania, in the Monastery of Elwood, it's Fr Roman Braga from Romania.
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2006, 09:26:11 AM »
By the way, once we talk about monasticism and Elders, there is a wise Elder in Pennsylvania, in the Monastery of Elwood, it's Fr Roman Braga from Romania.   

I've heard of Fr. Braga, but have not had the chance yet to meet him.  You say he is in Ellwood City?
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Timos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 856
  • Faith: O.C.
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2006, 10:35:39 AM »
Yiannis, I'm reluctant to admit that it is the same person we are taking about "S..." because as much as I like his zeal for the church, too many people I know well, priests, lay people, monastics have said about this person that he is too much of a control-freak and a mini "pope". I definitely agree. Once he tried to force me by any means to come to the seminary for studies. He even announced it in front of the entire parish without my prior knowledge or 'consent'. I doubt that Fr. Ephraim will ever come back here and make us another male monastery like he did before as the metropolitan S. is a lot younger than the Geronta.

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2006, 10:38:59 AM »
Yiannis, I'm reluctant to admit that it is the same person we are taking about "S..." because as much as I like his zeal for the church, too many people I know well, priests, lay people, monastics have said about this person that he is too much of a control-freak and a mini "pope". I definitely agree. Once he tried to force me by any means to come to the seminary for studies. He even announced it in front of the entire parish without my prior knowledge or 'consent'. I doubt that Fr. Ephraim will ever come back here and make us another male monastery like he did before as the metropolitan S. is a lot younger than the Geronta.   

Wow, I can't believe he would do that to you!

It is one of the downsides right now that, because some of the vehement opposition to monasteries are quite young, their opposition will continue strong even after the Fr. Ephraim has passed on from this life....
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #64 on: February 17, 2006, 12:30:36 PM »
Dear Yannis,
I have an honor to know Metropolitan Methodios. His is a great hierarch, an excellent leader, a very nice person and an effective administrator. In fact, all hierarchs of GOA deserved the highest opinion about them. Archbishop Iakovos Koukouzas did not make any harm to Orthodoxy. This is an absurd. He was a real Saint of our days. One day he will be canonized. During his funeral at HCHC, some holy myrrh appeared on the relics of Saints inside the chapel. Yes, Orthodoxy of America saw many Saints and dedicated servants. But with all the admiration of others and their achievements, in my opinion his have done more then others.
In general, focus on monasticism is not the most applicable option for North America. Orthodoxy here developed as more parish-oriented for a couple of centuries now. And developed successfully, let us admit. Why do we need to change? Do you realize how difficult it is to be a real monk? But I would like to emphasize that I know monks and nuns, whom I deeply and sincerely respect. Including, but of course, not limited to hierarchy. Furthermore, I have visited such monasteries as St. Irene Chrysovalantou, St. Tikhon and Holy Trinity. I enjoyed visiting these holy places.
No contradictions could be found in actions of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios in visiting and celebrating at St. Irene Chrysovalantou, because he is opposed to totalitarian interpretation of monasticism.
The truth about “Fr.” Ephraim’s monasteries may be found here:
http://www.concernedpoem.com/
And here:
http://www.pokrov.org/controversial/ephraim.html


Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #65 on: February 17, 2006, 01:25:53 PM »
During his funeral at HCHC, some holy myrrh appeared on the relics of Saints inside the chapel. 

Not exactly true; myhrr was found on the relics (Of Sts. Nicholas, Raphael, and Irene) before the body arrived, while the Church was being cleaned for the internment.  His funeral was in New York City at Holy Trinity Cathedral. But it was amazing that the myhrr appeared while the chapel was being cleaned for his arrival.  It wasn't there the day before.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 01:26:13 PM by cleveland »
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #66 on: February 17, 2006, 01:52:18 PM »
Cleveland, thank you for clarification and details.

Offline spedrson

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #67 on: February 17, 2006, 02:07:24 PM »
In general, focus on monasticism is not the most applicable option for North America. Orthodoxy here developed as more parish-oriented for a couple of centuries now. And developed successfully, let us admit. Why do we need to change? Do you realize how difficult it is to be a real monk?

Maybe I'm missing something, but where are you going to get bishops without monks? And not that you can't have a saint who is neither persecuted nor monastic, but it seems like most of them are at least one or the other. Since there's not much serious persecution in America, where are you going to get saints without monks and nuns? And if America can't produce its own bishops or saints, what chance is there that it will ever become a truly self-sustaining Church?

Trevor
أبوئيّÙâ€

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #68 on: February 17, 2006, 03:25:48 PM »
Quote from: spedrson
Maybe I'm missing something, but where are you going to get bishops without monks? And not that you can't have a saint who is neither persecuted nor monastic, but it seems like most of them are at least one or the other. Since there's not much serious persecution in America, where are you going to get saints without monks and nuns? And if America can't produce its own bishops or saints, what chance is there that it will ever become a truly self-sustaining Church?

Okay, you're hyperbolizing to try and make a point, but try not to stray too far here... 1. You don't have to be either a monk or a martyr to become a saint (lowercase s - citizen of heaven), but many of the Saints (capital S - those who been recognized by the Church) who have been recognized have been.  BUt the Church also points out that we have recognized as Saints only like 1% of those who are in heaven, so don't think that the group of Saints represents 100% of the population of heaven.  2. The Church in America can produce candidates for the episcopacy without monasteries; it is more difficult, and I think more problematic to do so, but if the Church were forced to they would.  But, BTW, it's not like Fr. Ephraim is the only one who can found monasteries; we do have 4 communities in my diocese not founded by him.  His monasteries are great, and the others are also great.
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Fr. David

  • The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,833
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #69 on: February 17, 2006, 04:28:59 PM »
In general, focus on monasticism is not the most applicable option for North America. Orthodoxy here developed as more parish-oriented for a couple of centuries now. And developed successfully, let us admit. Why do we need to change?

Because a body can't live without its heart.  Christ is the head; the monastics are the heart.

Quote
The truth about “Fr.” Ephraim’s monasteries may be found here:
http://www.concernedpoem.com/
And here:
http://www.pokrov.org/controversial/ephraim.html

ISTM that the cheif recipient of pokrov's wrath is St. Anthony's in AZ.  I've been to Holy Archangels' in Kendalia TX a couple of times and I have loved it and thank God for it.
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #70 on: February 17, 2006, 04:34:55 PM »
Trevor is absolutely right. I really don't see where there is the problem if, apart from the parishes, exist also a few monasteries, like in Greece, in Romania, in Russia, even in France (yes, there are several Orthodox monasteries in France!). I am really astonished that a person belonging to the Orthodox Church, like Starlight, thinks that monasticism is maybe good for a country but not for another country. Does this un-orthodox attitude represent the American Orthodoxy? Of course not. For exemple, it happens that bishops Tychon of San Francisco and Basil of Wichita hold just the opposite view (not to talk about numerous pro-monastic priests and laymen). What's the problem with the athonite tradition represented by the monasteries of Fr Eprhaim? Is the athonite tradition totalitarian? May I suppose that Metropolitan Methodios knows the monastic life from his own experience, even better than the disciples of athonite Elders, and so he can judge which tradition is "totalitarian" and which is not?
Although the athonite monasticism is something new in the USA, it has already been starting to take roots there (see for exemple the Byzantine music project with English texts, in http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/). I have talked with many laymen, even converts, who have visited St Anthony's or other monasteries and have loved them. I have visited the two women's monasteries in Canada and I saw two very nice, kind, absolutely normal monastic communities. There are quite a few converts among the monks and the nuns. There are many serious accounts of miracles happened in the monasteries of America, just like in Mt Athos. Many American converts visit Orthodox monasteries, either in America or in Mt Athos, or even in Romania and Russia and they are spiritually nourished.
If someone like Starlight doesn't like the monasteries of Fr Ephraim or any other monastery, he is not obliged to visit them. Anyway, it is evident that the argument "yes, we want a monastery, but not a monastery like those of Fr Ephraim" is just a pretext for an anti-monastic attitude. In his sermon, Metropolitan Methodios speaks indirectly against monasticism in general, it's clear (judge by yourselves: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles2/MethodiosOrthodoxy.shtml). It just happens that before the arrival of Fr Ephraim there was almost no monastery in the GOA (apart from the small fraternity of St Gregory Palamas, PA). In fact, the attitude of some people is: "I don't like monasteries, so I would like that the foundation of monasteries in my diocese is forbiden". No free choice, isn't it? I am not a prophet, but I foresee that after a few years or decades, there will be an Orthodox monastery even in Boston.
I'll speak directly: when I saw that Starlight urges us to find out the truth about Fr Ephraim in sites like Pokrov and the "concernedpoem"¦nbsp; :D(which is of a very law level, with a lot of garbage), I understood very well his spirit. Apparently Starlight is for a nominal, secularized "Orthodoxy" or for an Eastern-rite Protestantism. Sorry Starlight, but I would like to propose to you to read carefully St Silouan the Athonite, an excellent book written by the blessed Elder Sophrony.
Just a few words about the person of Fr Ephraim: he doesn't need any support, so even my postings here may be superfluous. Fr Ephraim is being slandered because of righteous's sake, so he doesn't need my human support. All this garbage and all these lies against him, these are his cross and his crown. He is a very humble man, he prays constantly, he celebrates the liturgy every day, he prays even for people who slander him. He represents the fine athonite monastic tradition, the heritage of the great Elder Joseph the Hesychast. The preface of his book "Counsels from Mt Athos" has been written by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Naupaktos, a renowned theologian, who speaks very fervently about the Elder; this shows that the teaching of Fr Ephraim is not something besides or above the teaching of the Church, but it is absolutely in the Orthodox spirit. I don't think that bishops who boast in the web about their good deeds or fill the websites of their dioceses with slideshows with their own pretentious photos (guess which GO diocese, anyway not that of Boston!) may help spiritually the thirsty people of God. I am absolutely convinced that much of the reaction against Fr Ephraim is the result of envy on behalf of a few secularized clergymen (there are many exemples in Church history). May God help them change their mind.
Please, find below a letter written by parents of monastics who are happy with what their children are, just to demonstraste that the parents of the site "concernedpoem" (nice name ::)) don't represent the ensemble(see my next posting).
Two words about the late archbishop Iakovos and my previous criticism. If archbishop Iakovos has been granted repentance and a Christian death is one thing (each of us, first me, is being called by God to repent), his attitude towards Orthodoxy, more humanistic than really patristic, is another thing. I don't have anything personal against him, God forbid! May God repose his soul. He judges, not me. I will be judged for my own sins, not for the sins of this or that bishop. However, permit me to say that I don't think the late archbishop could be considered to be a saint, unless God show some signs, like in the cases of St Nektarios or St John Maximovich. A man whose soul has been saved is not necessarily a saint. The fact that Starlight speaks even about canonization indicates that some Orthodox people have a very secularized idea about what sanctity means. It reminds me of the Roman Catholics who have alredy asked for a canonization of John Paul II, under the influence of the media.
A last word for Starlight: Yes, Orthodoxy exists in America for 2 centuries, true, Who were the first missionaries? Monks from Valaam monastery, in Russia, like St Herman of Alaska.
Pedro, I don't think that Pokrov is specifically against St Anthony's, it's against all the monasteries of Fr Ephraim in general. These people who run the site I think they are too much proud of themselves...
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 05:51:08 PM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2006, 04:38:11 PM »
Copied from the forum:
http://www.orthodoxforum.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=220

Madame:

My wife and I can not recall if you are one of the persons we met during our
short visit to your TV station, before the "Monastery Mystery" report aired.
I believe that we had a short meeting with you and Mr. Brad Stone. We
introduced ourselves as the happy parents of a very happy monastic. We
explained to you that we live in Arizona and we were shocked that a story
about or from monastic parents would be aired. Knowing some info about the
interviewees, we volunteered to be interviewed as well. We also informed
you that your story represents only the negative side which also happens to
be the absolute MINORITY! We also informed you that there are many other
parents, just like us, that can be here in a moment's notice, and would
gladly provide you with all kinds of un-prepared, un-practiced feedback.
You, of course, refused our offer and instead urged us to view your
so-called fair and unbiased report.

We did view it, but fair and unbiased it was not. We can emphatically and
categorically state that the story was greatly biased and extremely unfair.
First and foremost, the simple response which you received BEFORE it aired
should have caused you to raise your antennas. You did not stop to think
and then repeated your error on two different nights. I am certain that the
overwhelming response in support of the monasteries must have certainly
caused you some concern; if it did not, then I kindly suggest that you are
foregoing your fiduciary responsibility as journalists and reporters.

We, the happy parents of Greek Orthodox monastics, do not have a coalition
group, yet. However we are parents and we are human, just like you; thus,
when somebody attacks the very institution that our child is part of and
presents misinformation and slander of the type that you anxiously accepted
as de facto from David Smith, it causes great concern to say the least. It
is for this reason that we are writing to you to inform you of your report's
deleterious impact upon us, our children, and our fellow Orthodox
Christians. After all, when you attacked monasticism, you also attacked our
2000-year old religion in a manner that is unacceptable, prejudicial and
highly unethical.

You see, Ms. Choal,, you and your peers have no right to make my wife cry
with lies and innuendos; you have no right to accept the word of a character
like Smith and disregard the truth which the monastics presented to you,
along with Fr. Anthony. You did a masterful job of picking the worst
possible few seconds of Fr. Anthony's 2-1/2 hour interview so that you can
introduce your pre-determined agenda. You thus also condemned a retired
priest who dedicated his entire life to God. But then, you were worried
about ratings. oh those ratings, how quickly they make you all compromise
your integrity!

You also took the word of a troubled woman like Ms. Alec, whose own husband
did not participate in this fiasco report. Additionally, you accepted input
from a peculiar individual like Ashley Nivens who has made himself a prophet
and declares false truths to anybody who will give him a small amount of
time. As far as the Pantanizopoulos family, when you mentioned that their
child was back home, you did it briefly and never questioned how in the
world he "escaped" from this God-awful monastery prison, and why did he
leave with the help of the monastics who supposedly guarded him and
brainwashed for the last 9+ years. You did not even bring up that several
other monks and nuns have left the monasteries upon their expression of such
wish, even though you knew it and you knew it very well.

I can not help but ask: Do you consider yourselves ethical journalists (or
even just journalists) with such type of reports? Do you have any concept
how many parents shed tears because of your story? Do you know how many
Jewish-heritage monks (yes, there are several monastics of Jewish descent)
were not only perplexed but astonished and upset with your anti-Semitism
garbage? Yes, I call it YOUR garbage and not Smith's - anybody spending any
amount of time with him should be able to surmise that this is an extremely
unstable young man - and you knew MUCH more about him, yet you went with
this garbage! Do you also know how many siblings or nephews or other
relatives got confused because the place they go (i.e., St. Anthony's) is
NOT the place you described?

I will try in parent-talk to explain to you a couple of things about this
monastic "call" that you obviously neither understand nor took the time to
understand. I have three sons who, since their early youth, have been going
in and out of this or that monastery, off and on, for several years (and
much longer than Smith). Somehow, though, their brains were not washed away
by the monks and they selected to remain in the world and pursue a family
life. Their sister, on the other hand, who spent much less time than them
talking with or being around the monastics, decided to become a nun. And
even then, she was a novice for over five years! YES! Five years! Think
about that! Why would a brainwashing institution need five years to do
their KVOA-hypothesized brainwashing job? Could it be that KVOA has been
misled by those who are known polemics to the monasteries into a false
story?

You need to think about my words, you need to realize that all these people
that contacted you, they truly love the monastery for what it is, a unique
spiritual oasis that heals the soul and provides comfort and support to all
faithful Orthodox Christians; and I ask that you also take the time to
picture my wife crying, you need to consider that there were many tears shed
by many monastic mothers and many Orthodox faithful over the falsehoods of
your story, and when you get this picture clear in your mind, think for a
second that this could be YOUR mother. or YOUR wife. or YOUR sister.

How does it feel?

GC
Queen Creek, Arizona
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Fr. David

  • The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,833
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2006, 04:47:22 PM »
Nice posts, Yiannis.

Thought I'd mention this...pokrov states as one of its accusations that parents are horrified that "their children--some as young as 18!" (emph. mine) are "seduced" by the monks to get tonsured and do so without the parents' consent.

In the US of A, an 18-year old--not to mention someone older than that--is free to join whatever group he or she darn well pleases, and the wishes of the parents have no bearing (at least legally; there may, of course, be issues within that particular family, but that, I'm guessing, is not the point of the article).

I'd also like to invite all still reading this thread to revisit this post from Silouan/Nektarios, who lives close to and frequently visits St. Anthony's, the monastery specifically in question.  Puts a lot into perspective and, while it doesn't excuse the behavior, shows that it's more the lingering effects of culture rather than deliberate deception...
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2006, 05:19:50 PM »
I am afraid, Silouan is more or less right. Perhaps his criticism against the Greeks is too much strong (f.ex. I am a Greek too, but I don't have the ideas exposed in his posting), but he is not too much wrong. He is also right about some people presenting themselves as "spritual childs" of the Geronta and spreading false "spiritual counsels" (which were never given by him!!!). The same thing used to happen with the blessed Elders Paissios and Porphyrios in Greece, but nobody labeled them as "cult leaders". For everyone who has the slightest idea about Orthodox monasticism, this is a well-known fact. The monasteries, thanks God, are open to all kind of people, they are not clubs or sects. If someone reads a little the ancient and the byzantine ascetic literature, he will understand. It has been always like that.
About the Holy Transfiguration monastery in Elwood city:
http://www.oca.org/DIRlisting.asp?SID=9&KEY=OCA-RO-ELCHXC
If you have an occasion to visit it and meet Fr Roman Braga, do it! He is one of the last contemporary confessors.
Another great confessor of our days, Elder Ioann Krestiankin, of the Pskov monastery, in Russia, passed away some days ago. He was 95. A holy and clairvoyant Elder, Fr Ioann helped innummerable people and received thousands of letters from all over Russia and abroad. May his memory be eternal and may he prays for us!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 06:15:42 PM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Fr. David

  • The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,833
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #74 on: February 17, 2006, 06:15:39 PM »
The accusations brought against Fr. Ephrem--specifically, that he's cult-like, that he seduces youngsters into monasticism against parental wishes, and that he "commands" people to do unstable things (when they really just WANTED to do themselves and took his mere lack of a prohibition as sign of a blessing)--remind me of the ones brought against Fr. Maximos in Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides.
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2006, 06:25:22 PM »
Pedro, as I live in a traditional Orthodox country, I can assure you that most of parents don't like the idea that their sons or daughters become monastics. Some of them react very strongly, it's a common phaenomenon. Greek parents are hyper-protective, sometimes in a stupid manner. I assure you however that most of times, when parents see that their child is happy in the monastery, don't object any more to this idea, they even become good friends with the monastic community (I know several exemples). The parents of Fr Theologos Pantanizopoulos have gone too far, their son must be at least 25 now! I have followed the whole story and their attitude became finally ridiculous. Furthermore, I read in that letter I posted that he is now with his parents (apparently still being a monk). If it is so, why they still keep on slandering the monasteries? Anyway, I wouldn't like at all to have such parents >:( And may God enlighten me not to become such a tyrant for my kids.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 06:26:51 PM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Timos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 856
  • Faith: O.C.
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2006, 01:41:49 AM »
I absolutely love the monasteries. The only thing I'd rather see is for some english being used in the services. Sure, using ancient greek is keeping the tradition, but at the same time, praying some litanies, the gospel, our father would be helpful, especially to the younger generations who are not necessarily as inclined to the church as the older ones are. For example, when we have an english liturgy, my 10 year old sister is more attentive and I believe benefits than when the service is all in greek. Sometimes, she wants to go to the local Catholic or Coptic parish because they have all english liturgies/masses...

Offline SrbMama

  • Mrs.
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • OC.net
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2006, 08:59:12 AM »
Thank you, Yiannis, for your thoughtful reply. Sometimes I get frustrated because Greeks down in here in Florida sometimes don't know anything about Serbians and our close ties with you Greeks. I was in the Church Bookstore in Tarpon Springs, ("Epiphany City") and talking to my kids in Serbian. The old Yia-yia working said, "oh what language is that?" I said, "we're Serbian, yes we're Orthodox too, just our Christmas is in January". And she looked all puzzled and goes,"hmmm I wonder if it's the same thing".  I justed crossed myself and hope she got the point. It makes me sad that we were Baptized by the Greek Holy Brothers, SS. Cyril and Methodious, and so many Greeks don't even realize we exsit. From Greek-born Greeks though I never have much of a problem.

Anyway. Your post about Sts. Sava and Simeon was edifying. I viewed the photos from Vladika Amfilohije's trip to St. Anthony's on www.orthodoxinfo.com, under the webmaster's photos from his pilgrimage there. He (Vladika) is truly a great Christian and spiritual son of St. Justin Popovic (a monastic), who was in turn a spiritual son of St. Nikolaj Velimirovic (a monastic), who used to stay at my Granfather's (who was a married priest) house. They were close friends-I feel so blessed.

When Vladika Amfilohije was here last March for the Consecration of a Serbian Church, I was fortunate enough to attend. My kids were there, and my then two and a half year old son asked me, "mama, who is that Saint with the long beard?" I pointed to every icon and he finally pointed to Vladika Amfilohije and said, "no that one." His face truly seemed to be radiant in real life, and I feel blessed we were able to be in his presence.

Just thought I would share my appreciation for your thoughtful post and add these few anecdotes about the people you've mentioned-one of whom is a supporter of Athonite Monastacism in America.

Glory be to god for all things!

In Christ,
Tessa
...for the Venerable Cross and Golden Freedom...

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2006, 12:01:18 PM »
Trevor and Pedro,
I believe that our disagreement caused primarily by misunderstanding. First and foremost, I would like to emphasize as strong as I only can that I am totally opposite of being any kind of a hater of monks. For instance, some of my favorite Saints are monks. As I mentioned in my previous post, I enjoyed visiting a number of monasteries, etc. I am not proposing to close all monasteries, to discriminate monks and nuns, etc. In fact, the idea of my posting was against extreme on both sides. If it was not clear enough from my part, and therefore caused a wrong impression, I sincerely apologize. I strongly believe that a strong Orthodox family as “a small church’ and a strong spiritual parish also should be important goals of Orthodox life.
Cleveland expressed pretty much my position on the issue regarding Trevor’s question. I appreciate this. I just would like to add that that if a bishop comes from a monastery, it would be better to identify suitable candidates already inside a monastery and to provide some sort of training.
My major concerns are:
1.   Decision about monastic tonsuring of those people, who did not realize the complexity of such a decision.
2.   Sufferings of the family, where someone make a decision, described in #1. I have witnessed something. God forbid!
Regarding to this I should say that in Ukraine and especially in Russia there were some cases of tonsuring of teenagers or forced tonsuring. In Romania there were at least a couple of pre-mature decisions. I am against brain-washing of any kind. Jesus gave us a free will. When He was in this world, he was convincing people, not brain-washing.
Let me just illustrate this with a couple of examples. Late Bishop Mitrophan Znosko of blessed memory, who was a widowed priest himself, but a long-time expert on monasticism always was asking the candidate for monasticism about her or his age. He aspired to avoid any pre-mature decisions.

Bishop Job Smakouz, current administrator of MP parishes in Canada. Before he had served as a ruling hierarch of various dioceses in Ukraine. A couple of my friends serve as priests in his former diocese. Formally not being a monk prior to his ordination, he resided in one of the leading monasteries in Kiev (Kiev-Pecherska Lavra) and taught at the seminary. He persuaded several seminarians to become married priests instead of monks after explaining all blessings of the family life.
One more point. The potential of nuns is not fully realized in Orthodox Church. More of them can be promoted to run Archdiocese / Diocese offices, teach at seminaries, etc. This area needs development.
Last, but not least. I hope that I could clarify some points, and therefore, our positions became closer. Very best wishes.


Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #79 on: February 18, 2006, 12:03:10 PM »
Yiannis,
I read your postings. Everyone can have different opinion, but we have to respect each other. You cannot put labels as “nominal Orthodoxy”, etc. Why instead of discussing ideas, you are attacking personalities? I am willing to continue a discussion only in a Christian and professional manner.
Some clarification has been provided (I hope) in my reply to (2) gentlemen, who also commented in the thread. Those concerns apply worldwide, not limiting to USA.
I respect Bishop Tikhon and Bishop Basil. There are both great Hierarchs. But Metropolitan Methodios, as a monk has more own experience then you and I together. Regarding pre-text of general anti-monasticism in my postings, it is absent. You are addressing a wrong guy.
There is nothing wrong in slideshows on the web sites of Dioceses.
Regarding His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos. Normally, prior to canonization of any Saint in the Orthodox Church there were some people, who spoke in favor of such a canonization. One of my favorite Saints, Saint Job of Pochaiv (another variant of spelling — Pochaev), yes, a monk, has been canonized (7) years after his death. In terms of the speed of flow of information then in XVI century and now in XXI century, that period of time would be equal to 1-2 years now. You are referring to Fr. Ivan Krestiankin with “may he pray for us”. You contradict yourself, Yiannis. I am not even praying to Archbishop Iakovos Koukouzis. Instead, I am praying for the repose of soul of this Champion of Orthodoxy.
You are not using the terms humanistic correctly. There is no contradictory between patristic and humanistic. Jesus Christ gave His life for us, humans. Many Church writers of the past, obviously including monks, addressed contemporary issues. As Saint Paul said, different people have different talents.
Regarding your last word to me. By now it is obvious that you completely misunderstood me on that particular aspect. As a matter of fact, St. Herman of Alaska is another of my most favorite Saints.

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #80 on: February 18, 2006, 12:14:28 PM »
Starlight,

Dont hold your breath about Iakovos being canonized. He was essentially removed from his see for conspiring to schism against the Great Church of Christ. By the grace of God this diabolical plan was uncovered before it could be effected. Fortunately, under the Leadership of Archbishop Spyridon a new charter was instituted that has greatly diminished the authority of the Archbishop, essentially restricting his real authority to the Archdiocese of New York, and in doing so protecting us from future personalities that may desire to Schism against the Oecumenical Throne.

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #81 on: February 18, 2006, 05:31:36 PM »
Um, "essentially removed?"  He retired out of obedience to the Patriarchate - a move he did not have to do.  No bishop can be forced to retire, and since formal charges of inciting schism were not coming forth, there was not going to be any deposition, either.  So out of obedience to the Patriarch he retired.
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2006, 06:07:02 PM »
Um, "essentially removed?"¦nbsp; He retired out of obedience to the Patriarchate - a move he did not have to do.¦nbsp; No bishop can be forced to retire,

Right...so both Iakovos and Spyridon wanted to leave their Sees? Heck, the former never even made a formal statement of accepting the transfer, His Eminence was simply moved, against his express wishes...from what I can see the same happened with Iakovos' 'retirement' though he was a bit more cooperative.

Quote
and since formal charges of inciting schism were not coming forth, there was not going to be any deposition, either. So out of obedience to the Patriarch he retired.

And had he refused and continued his previous course of actions, what do you think would have happened? Do you really thing that His All-Holiness would allow him to tear the Church apart? Getting the approval of the patriarchal synod would have been a trivial techniality.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 06:08:36 PM by greekischristian »

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #83 on: February 18, 2006, 06:07:37 PM »
Dont mind this post, it is just a shameless attempt to pad my statistics  ;D  ;D  ;D

Actually it was just a double post that was removed.   :D
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 06:09:46 PM by greekischristian »

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,086
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #84 on: February 18, 2006, 07:12:06 PM »
Good sir, I belive you meant to say "the latter" instead of "the former."

And as for "tearing the CHurch apart" - whether that was going to happen or not, they needed a formal reason to remove him, and there wasn't one - so there would be no canonical grounds for removal.
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.  

How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #85 on: February 18, 2006, 07:21:14 PM »
Good sir, I belive you meant to say "the latter" instead of "the former."

Yes, I did, thank you.

Quote
And as for "tearing the CHurch apart" - whether that was going to happen or not, they needed a formal reason to remove him, and there wasn't one - so there would be no canonical grounds for removal.

A formal reason to remove someone isn't hard to come up with, the former Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem was deposed for 'poor performance,' so that one could be used. Other Ideas are that he was not meeting the pastoral needs of the faithful, or perhaps he was not being obedient to the patriarchal synod, he condoned and engaged in meetings that were deemed subversive by Constantinople, he ordained person X to the priesthood who ended up being a bad priest and hence failed in his episcopal duty. I could come up with a thousand more and I'm sure the patriarchal synod could have come up with 10,000 more if need be, as I said before the support and vote of the synod would have been trivial, something that could be taken care of between lunch and tea.

Also, what was the formal canonical reason for which Archbishop Spyridon was removed? As I said before, there doesn't have to be a real reason, it just has to be in the synod's best interest.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 07:23:44 PM by greekischristian »

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #86 on: February 18, 2006, 07:22:19 PM »
I thank a lot Tessa for her kind words and her most useful information. Of course, in Greece we do know that the Serbians are Orthodox Christians. I thank also Starlight for his rermarks and I would like to assure him that I respect him. I didn't have the intention to insult anyone and I didn't put labels. I just described what I noticed while I was reading his previous post and his last posts just confirmed my opinion. Consequently, I would like to stress that between me and Starligth there is no problem of misunderstanding: there is just a difference in views. I think we have quite different criteria about what Orthodox Christianity means.
1. Of course there is a clear difference between the humanistic and the patristic attitude towards human person and human life. The great theologian Fr Justin Popovich has developped this difference in an extraordinary way in more than one passage. I think every Orthodox Christian should read his writings about this subject. Just a few poor words on behalf of a non-theologian like me: a humanist is interested in the good of the humanity only in the present life and for the sake of some ideals. He may help the poor and the sick people but not in the name of Christ and not in the perspective of the eternal salvation. That's why he may at the same time feel hatred for another man, without necessarily trying to harm him. The modern European civilization, especially since Renaissance, has been based on humanism. The humanism cannot offer a perspective beyond death. The Orthodox Christian-patristic attitude is completely different: a Christian has to sacrify himself in the name of Christ, he has to sacrify himself for the sake of his brother in the name of Christ, he has to struggle permanently against his passions in the name of Christ, aiming at his similitude with Christ (theosis). Humanism is anthropocentric, the Orthodox patristic theology and the Orthodox life in Christ is theanthropocentric, that means Christocentric. The aim of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit (St Seraphim of Sarov). I wrote in one previous post that during a very long interview of the late archbishop Iakovos few years ago, I remarked that he didn't mention even once the name of Christ. The whole interview was full of "ego" and it finally was published under the title "me, Iakovos". If I am unjust towards the late Archbishop, may God forgive me. I was left with the impression that his thinking was more humanistic than patristic, and I still believe this.
2. As far as canonizations are concerned, when I wrote that we have to wait until God shows some signs, I didn't precise any exact period of time. Many saints were honored just after their death, because there were visible signs of the Grace of God. For exemple, the Life of St Luke of Steirion (7th February) was written just after his death (953): his sister is mentioned in the text as still living. The official canonization, which was established only in the late Byzantine period, normally sanctions the popular veneration of a holy person. St Nektarios and St Savas of Calymnos had been venerated as saints many years before their official canonization. Many Greek holy Elders of the 20th c. like Joseph the Hesychast, Paissios, Porphyrios, Philotheos, Amphilochios, Damaskenos, Timotheos, Eumenios and Iakovos, or holy women like Tarso the fool-in-Christ and Sophia, are being actually venerated in Greece, even in an unofficial manner, because not only they were considered to be holy persons during their earthly life, but also there have been clear manifestations of the Grace of God after their departure. Last year I heard the abbot of the athonite monastery of Vatopedi asserting that Elder Joseph the Hesychast appeared to a protestant worker in the monastery of the Archangels in Kendalia - one of the "totalitarian" monasteries of the "cult leader" Fr Ephraim, according to Starlight - and after this appearence that man became a catechoumen to Orthodoxy. Pedro who lives in Texas could probably verify this. The blessed Elder Ioann Krestiankin was a confessor of the faith, a clairvoyant and wonder-working man. Why shouldn't someone pray to such a holy person, even just a few days after his death? May we compare the case of Fr Ioann Krestiankin or the cases of holy bishops like St Nektarios and St John Maximovich - all of them were being considered to be saints even during their lifetime - with that of the late Archbishop Iakovos? I leave the answer to your discretion.
3. It is evident that Starlight doesn't know the rules of the monasteries of the athonite or of any other tradition. He could at least have read the letter of the parents of a monastic I posted. I will precise however that no monastic in the monasteries of Mt Athos or in those founded by Fr Ephraim is tonsured before at least 3 years after his admission by the monastery as a novice (the parents of that monastic say that she was novice for 5 years). All the persons who enter the monasteries are at least 18 years old. Why shouldn't they have the right to do so? Many parents think about their - adult - kids in a very selfish way. I explained the attitude of a few families in a previous post, I don't want to repeat the same things. It happens to know many cases of people who used to confess to Fr Ephraim or to his spiritual children before their marriage, they got married and contintued to confess to them. Nobody asked them to become monastics. Many married priests confess to monastics (including Fr Ephraim and Fr Paissios of Arizona) and I know cases of women's monasteries having a married priest as a spiritual father. If we don't know the basic rules of the monastic life, why should we insist on diffusing stories about teens becoming monks etc., since it doesn't concern the Orthodox monasticism in America? Are there any such cases in the monasteries of Fr Ephraim? If not, why should Starlight mix up different things and different situations?
4. "Brain-washing" in the monasteries? This is much more difficult for a novice to get brainwashed when he has to struggle every moment with thoughts, passions, temptations, problems with his everyday association with other monastics, than for a young Greek seminarian, who is being persuaded by a bishop or an archimandrite to become an un-married priest in order to become later a bishop! It do happens, we have to be frank. The Greek Orthodox Church is full of archimandrites who were ordained while they were in their early or mid-twenties and they chose the celibacy just because they were lured by the shine of the mitre! Some of them managed to become bishops, many of them discovered that celibacy was too much heavy for them, so they started a double life...
5. Starlight writes that "the potential of nuns is not fully realized in the Orthodox Church". Then he proposes a female monasticism based on the social activism, that means a R/Catholic style monasticism. Will I be wrong if I say that I feel that his creteria are alien to the Orthodox Tradition? Of course, there are some exceptions, like the monastery of Sts Martha and Mary in Moscow founded by St Elisabeth the Great Duchess and Martyr or the monastery of Theometor in Athens which runs a school. Some nuns from Greek monasteries have helped our missionaries in Africa and India. However, these cases are not the rule. The rule is that the Orthodox monasticism is above all hesychastic. The fervent prayer done for the whole world from a suffering heart in a monastic cell doesn't count at all? I would dare to say that the foundation of so many monasteries in America is an act of mission, since so many people have discovered or re-discovered Holy Orthodoxy through them.
6. I really don't know if the term "totalitarian monasticism" belongs to Starlight or to the secularized clergymen that have apparently influenced him. I would be curious to learn what this term exactly means and if Starlight thinks that there is - or there must be - also a "liberal" or "democratic" monasticism, opposed to the "totalitarian" one. I have however to precise that any explanation without reference to the ascetic literature of the early centuries (f.ex. the works of St Dorotheus of Gaza or the ascetic texts of St Basil the Great) or, at least, that of the Byzantine period, cannot be really serious. As far as Metropolitan Methodios is concerned (I promise you not to mention again his name, I don't have anything personal against him), I would like to remark that his above-mentioned sermon (see the link in my previous posting) doesn't indicate that he loves monasticism. Is it my fault if he left me with this impression? The non-married clergymen are not always the best friends of monasticism, it is a well-known fact, at least in the Greek Church. There is nominal Orthodoxy (yes, there is!) and there are also nominal monks...
The secularized clergymen don't like the monasteries, not because they have been founded by Fr Ephraim of by Fr X, they don't like them for what they are: an obstacle to the secularism, even a weak one. For exemple, a few clergymen and laymen in America and Canada think it is normal if Sunday School is being held during the liturgy (so neither the Catechist nor the children can participate to the service, they just go to receive Communion). This bad practice is a rule in quite a few parishes of the GOA, isn'it? (please, correct me if I do a mistake) But it doesn't seem to be much concern about this. On the contrary, there is more much - hypocritical - concern about the "desperate parents" of adult "Ephraim monastics"! Do you truly believe that these anti-monastic people are really so compassionate? I wonder if they are too much selectively "compassionate".
Just a last, bitter remark: I have the impression that some people in the GOA would be extremely happy if they could make the monasteries disappear completely from the face of earth (at least in America). Once they cannot do this, they content themselves with diffusing every kind of garbage against the monastics. The web is a very good mean for such a campaign. Perhaps they feel a false, devilish joy in doing so... I feel sorry about them...
Sorry for my very long post.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 08:08:06 PM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Timos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 856
  • Faith: O.C.
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #87 on: February 18, 2006, 09:28:54 PM »
Yiannis, yes it is true that amt my parish (and many others), the sunday school is held from the time right after the gospel, all the way until communion, so the kids only see the epistle, the gospel being proclaimed, and then come back an hour later for communion time and then go back again to sunday school class. It seems that most priests trained @ Holy Cross (this is just an observance and I mean no disrespect to HC HC) have this as the norm for their parishes. When I asked the priest if we could switch sunday school to right after communion time until the end of liturgy (including the announcements, mnimosino, etc) he looked at me like I was crazy. After all liturgy is only for people 45 and older.

Offline troy

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #88 on: February 18, 2006, 10:34:31 PM »
Our Greek Orthodox parish in NC changed to the latter formula, Sunday school from communion to end of liturgy, this fall.

Offline Νεκτάριος

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,437
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #89 on: February 18, 2006, 11:09:11 PM »
The three GOA parishes that I'm familar with use the formula of the kids leaving after communion.  But I'm in Phoenix - apparently things are a littler different out west.