Author Topic: Monastery vs. church??  (Read 25042 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 #90 on: February 19, 2006, 12:18:52 AM »
Quote
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.

There are parishes that do this, but there has been a significant movement in the past 10 years to change this.  This was all influenced by pseudo-protestant models of how to run a parish that the parishes saw and tried to model 30+ years ago.

Quote
  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.

Most priests trained at Holy Cross think this is a terrible parish model; but they also know from experience that if they try to change it overnight, the parishes will kick them out before they have a chance to do any good.  Trust me, most of the guys who come out of here think that it is best for the children to get exposure to the services from a young age, so they learn 1) how to sit still and pay attention during the service, something that is actually hindered by having them in play rooms and sunday school during church; 2) the hymns of the church, since long-term exposure is the easiest way to do that (I am living proof of this); 3) that the service itself - the gathering of people - is important.

Unfortunately, 1) change can happen slowly in some places, as a change in heart is required first; 2) some of the priests are intimidated by their parishes/parish councils, and thus don't act; 3) some priests could care less; 4) Other.
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 #91 on: February 19, 2006, 05:43:55 AM »
I would like to precise that in the last paragraph of my previous post I was not alluding to our brother Starlight. I think he has rather been misinformed by some circles inside the GOA who deliberately ignore the Orthodox tradition. The strong expression I used on purpose concerned these very circles.
I am glad that the unorthodox practice of having a Sunday school during the Liturgy is being abandoned, little by little. Unfortunately, with practises like this quite a few parishes of the GOA have become notorious for being a kind of "Eastern Rite Protestants". I have been told even about a religious protestant hymn that a Greek American priest - retired now - had introduced in his parish church during the Communion! There was also the sad case of the pseudo-charismatic Greek Orthodox archimandrite Eusebios Stephanou, who attempted to transplant pentecostalism in the Orthodox Church. I wonder why such a "Champion of Orthodoxy", as Starlight called archbishop Iakovos, tolerated all these unorthodox practises and phaenomena, while he could not tolerate an Orthodox monastery... Perhaps because some secularized Orthodox think that "too much Protestant" is much better than "too much Orthodox". :D
Once Nektarios is from Phoenix, AZ, I would like to ask him if he thinks that St Anthony's monastery has indirectly influenced positively (or negatively) the parish life in his town. I would be glad if he wanted to share his opinion with us.
Christ, the true Light!

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,379
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #92 on: February 19, 2006, 08:36:57 AM »
secularized Orthodox
Would you please define this term?
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #93 on: February 19, 2006, 01:52:24 PM »
I think that in my posts it becomes clear what I mean by the term "secularized Orthodox". In fact, secularism can have many facets. Secularism in Church means a Church compromised more or less with the spirit with this World, a Church which hesitates to tell the truth, not out of discernement but out of fear of this World, out of fear of the opinion of the majority of the people and of the media. A secularized Church confuses deliberately oeconomia and theological liberalism and relativism, she refuses her theurapeutic role and mission and she is content with her action as a mere philanthropic institution. A secularized Church tends to become a humanistic institution instead of being a theanthropocentric organism. Some strong protestant or even R/Catholic influences which are remarked in the life of some local Churches, especially (though not exclusively) in the West, are indeed a form of secularism. Contempt of the living tradition of the Church - included the monasticism and the liturgical tradition - is very common in circles of secularized clergymen and laymen.
Sorry brothers for my mistakes in English, I am not a native speaker. :-[
« Last Edit: February 19, 2006, 07:57:46 PM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,379
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #94 on: February 19, 2006, 04:32:59 PM »
I think that in my posts it becomes clear what I mean by the term "secularized Orthodox". In fact, secularism can have many facets. Secularism in Church means a Church compromised more or less with the spirit with this World, a Church which hesitates to tell the truth, not out of discernement but out of fear of this World, out of fear of the opinion of the majority of the people and of the media. A secularized Church confuses deliberately oeconomia and theological liberalism and relativism, she refuses her theurapeutic role and mission and she is content with her action as a mere philanthropic institution. A secularized Church tends to become a humanistic institution instead of being a theanthropocentric organism. Some strong protestant or even R/Catholic influences which are remarked in the life of some local Churches, especially (though not exclusively) in the West, are indeed a form of secularism. Contempt of the living tradition of the Church - included monasticism and the liturgical tradition - is very common in circles of cecularized clergymen and laymen.
And do you think any local Orthodox Church in the world today fits this criteria? If so, which ones? Because I can't see any.
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church?? - Secularism and hyper-corectness
« Reply #95 on: February 19, 2006, 07:51:54 PM »
In all the local Orthodox Churches you can find clergymen, monastics and laymen who don't accept secularism and at the same time you can find secularized clergymen and laymen. This is also true for all the Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA (I would like to precise that by the term "Orthodox Churches", I mean the Eastern Orthodox Churches, not the anti-Chalcedonians). The Orhtodox Church is holy, because She is the Body of Christ. As Orthodox Christians, we are sinners but we are called to become saints. Such a spiritual struggle is possible in every local Orthodox Church, in every parish, since the Grace of God in its fullness does exist in every local Orthodox Church. It is true, however, that in some parishes, where a secularized spirit prevails, it becomes difficult or even impossible to live the Orthodox liturgical life in its fullness, that's why the monasteries become more and more popular among the non-monastics. However, sanctity can be achieved even in a secularized parish, with the Grace of God. On the other hand, searching for a "pure" Orthodox church leads to deception. Such is the case of a few zealotic Orthodox Christians belonging to some uncanonical groups (I don't mean the ROCOR, which I respect very much, I mean the numerous branches of the Greek Old Calendarists). The search for hyper-corectness is in fact a sign of pride. There is a very good chapter about this in the biography of blessed Fr Seraphim Rose written by Fr Damascene Christensen (St Herman Press).
I am sure that, as I see in Greece, the monasteries are able to influence positively the parish life, not only as far as the liturgical life is concerned (f.ex. there are now quite a few all-night vigils in parish churches in Greece), but also they can lead the laymen to a more intense spiritual life. Now there are many Orthodox Christians in Greece who practise the Jesus Prayer using a prayer rope. This would be incredible a few decades ago; it became possible mainly thanks to the influence of the athonite monasticism. The athonite tradition has also influenced positively, both liturgically and spiritually, almost all the monastic communities of Greece and even many communities outside my country. The very existence of Mt Athos, with its long spiritual tradition, is a silent protest against secularism and liberalism in Church.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2006, 07:54:29 PM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #96 on: February 19, 2006, 11:42:40 PM »
Thank you, all for comments.

Cleveland,
Thank you very much for your help again. Your posts always show what a great person you are.

Greekischristian,
If Archbishop Iakovos were to start a schism, he would have done so, especially after his retirement. Instead, his goal was a canonical autocephaly of the Church in USA. This is totally opposite.

Yiannis,
Thank you for adjusting your tone, showing your respect and calling me a brother. This is really appreciated. Our Christian Orthodox faith, which unites us is much greater then anything which can attempt to divide us. If we are applying different criteria for exploring certain aspects of our faith, it is OK. Saint Paul encourages Christians to have different opinions in his Epistles.
With all the respect, the impression about myself as a general anti-monasticist was just wrong.
Real humanistic attitude does not necessarily against patristic. But when some teachings, whose authors claim them to be “humanistic”, attempt to position people against God, or above God, of course in such cases I agree with you, the contradiction is precisely clear. Well, in actions of those people, I see a parallel how Communists tried to apply physics in 1920’s in order to create impression that God does not exist.
Different examples were used just in order to illustrate that I am not applying different standards to different Orthodox Churches.

Yiannis brought up an aspect regarding Fr. Ivan Krestiankin. Apparently, I am less familiar with him then Yiannis. Nevertheless, I can see his canonization happening as well in the future. Being not an expert on Fr. Archimandrite Ivan, nevertheless I can say that seems as he deserved it. But I consider that until an official canonization we should pray about repose of the soul of this person, even if we have no doubts. That what I had done in cases of St. Xenia, St. Archbishop Luke Voyno-Yasenetsky, St. Metropolitan Petro (Peter) Mohyla and St. Maria Skobtsova. I recall that the service of canonization of St. Archbishop Luke started with the last memorial service for him. In fact, I am praying about several more people, about whom I have such thoughts to different extent.

Regarding nuns. I am sure that Yiannis is aware about Archimandrites and Hieromonks in charge of various offices of the Diocese, etc. Why a nun cannot do so? I don’t see reasons. While hesychastic variant is awesome, the variant of social activism can be applied as well. In fact, they can be applied together. St. Elisabeth Romanov as Yiannis mentioned, as well as St. Maria Skobtsova helped thousands and thousands of people. There is St. Herman of Alaska Monastery (UOC) in Cleveland, which provides an extraordinary help to homeless people.

Regarding the overlapping of a Liturgy and a Sunday school. This problem exists in various jurisdictions. Cleveland is correct. There is some improvement. Another good sign — I heard about cases, when a Sunday school was established or re-established when it did not exist. The reason of the previous situation was primarily (or exclusively) elderly parishioners.

Timos,
Hopefully this tendency of a school time adjustment will come to Canada soon. This is great that you brought it up in your parish. And I am shocked what S. has done to you. I understood who S. is.

Well, sorry for a long post...

Take care, people!

Offline Νεκτάριος

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,437
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #97 on: February 20, 2006, 01:55:17 AM »
Quote
Once Nektarios is from Phoenix, AZ, I would like to ask him if he thinks that St Anthony's monastery has indirectly influenced positively (or negatively) the parish life in his town. I would be glad if he wanted to share his opinion with us.

It is hard to give a fair response since the monastery has always been here since I became Orthodox (3+ years ago now).  But I would say that there has been some definite positive, if sutble, impacts the monastery has had.  There have also been some very negative issues to come from there as well.  I'll just leave it at that... there have been what I think to be positive changes in Phoenix parishes because of the monastery, but a few negative ones as well. 

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #98 on: February 20, 2006, 05:43:08 AM »
[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=7363.msg108168#msg108168 date=1140414917]
It is hard to give a fair response since the monastery has always been here since I became Orthodox (3+ years ago now).¦nbsp; But I would say that there has been some definite positive, if sutble, impacts the monastery has had.¦nbsp; There have also been some very negative issues to come from there as well.¦nbsp; I'll just leave it at that... there have been what I think to be positive changes in Phoenix parishes because of the monastery, but a few negative ones as well.¦nbsp;
[/quote]
You know, Nektarios, as I wrote in a previous post, the monasteries, thanks God, are open to all kind of peoples and offer hospitality to everyone. This is a basic rule of the Orthodox monasticism. Among them there may be also some people without discernement, even wanting to appear hyper-correct (a sign of pride), although this is not the spirit of the Fathers of St Anthony's. I have been told by very serious people that when Fr Eprhaim was receiving confessions in N America and some people were starting to accuse the bishop during confession, he used to interrupt them quite abruptly, alhtough he is very even-tempered and patient. Fr Ephraim above all teaches humility, I have read several texts of him, I have heard few homilies, I have known serious people who have confessed to him or have talked with him (including my wife). He is a humble man of God who prays constantly and fervently for all people and encourages the others to do so. Of course, we shouldn't expect from him to be able to control some overzealous simple-minded women or men who have the wrong impression that they are his mouthpieces or even God's mouthpieces (the same thing happens with renowned Elders in Greece too). These people harm the monasteries and the monastics by their lack of discernement. There is probably also a particular mentality in the Greek American community and this may play a certain role. Anyway, I suppose it's these persons and not St Anthony's monastery itself that may create some problems to the parish. I suppose however the spiritual benefit for the parish on behalf of the monastery is by far greater than the problems caused by some indiscrete laymen.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2006, 10:25:21 AM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #99 on: February 20, 2006, 06:37:55 AM »
Regarding nuns. I am sure that Yiannis is aware about Archimandrites and Hieromonks in charge of various offices of the Diocese, etc. Why a nun cannot do so? I don’t see reasons. While hesychastic variant is awesome, the variant of social activism can be applied as well. In fact, they can be applied together. St. Elisabeth Romanov as Yiannis mentioned, as well as St. Maria Skobtsova helped thousands and thousands of people. There is St. Herman of Alaska Monastery (UOC) in Cleveland, which provides an extraordinary help to homeless people.
Starlight, I assure you that I address you as towards a brother in Christ, you can be sure about this. Nevertheless, permit me to express some remarks or objections concerning your previous post. Well, most of the archimandrites and hieromonks serving in charge of various offices of the Dioceses, either in America or in Greece, have never lived in any monastery under obedience. They were tonsured monks in a parish church (if they were ever tonsured) and next day they were ordained deacons. Sometimes they were even too immature to opt for celibacy, as I explained in a previous post, and this is extremely bad for themselves and for the Church.
The problem is not a monastery which is in charge of an old-people's house or an orphanage or even helps homeless or drug-addicted people; this is very good if it is combined with the hesycastic spiritual life, so that there is a clear difference from the R/Catholic style social activism. There are quite a few monasteries in Greece and in Russia which combine hesychasm and that kind of social work and they are awesome. The problem is when an Orthodox person thinks that all the monasteries should be like that and without such a "social work", the monastery is not really "useful" to the society. Then, we depart from the spirit of the Fathers: St Basil the Great, who was at the same time a hesychast, an excellent theologian and a man of social action (of course, in the name of Christ, not as a humanist), he promoted hesychastic monasticism, focused on prayer. If you want to take an idea, you can read the life of St Macrina, who was his elder sister. The life was written by their younger brother, St Gregory of Nyssa. It is an excellent text: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/macrina.html
However, even a contemplative/hesychastic monastery helps the poor and the distressed people, not only spiritually but also materially. I do know that the monks of St Anthony's, AZ (yes, that stronghold of "totalitarian monasticism" :D) help discretely several people in the region, I mean people who don't have any relation with Orthodoxy.
However, if a bishop wants to oblige nuns or monks from a monastery to serve in various sectors of the diocese, although they haven't chosen such a life, then there is a problem. Unfortunately, there are a few bishops (who are monks only in name) who think like this. Such an attitude shows a contempt for the Orhodox tradition, it is evident.
I would like also to remind that St Maria Skobtsova was canonized for her death as a martyr, nor for her views concerning monasticism, which are quite controversial (but we have to take into account the time she lived, her background and the particular circumstances). The theological system of her spiritual father, Fr Sergej Bulgakov, has been repeatedly condemned by the Moscow Patriarchate and by prominent theologians such as Fr George Florovsky, or holy men, such as St John Maximovich. The case of St Elisabeth, whom I greatly venerate, is completely different: she didn't express herself against the hesychastic tradition, on the contrary, she was even related with great Russian Elders (Starets). St Elisabeth just wanted to combine the cenobitic hesychastic tradition with the social work, and she arrived to do it. It was her vocation, she was really gifted by God. She never told however that her monastery - which has been recently revived, thanks God! - consituted the rule of the Orthodox monasticism or that it intended to replace an "obsolete" model of monasticism.
Dear Starlight, if you want really to see what the spirit of the Orthodox monasticism is, I would propose you again to read "St Silouan" by Elder Sophrony or the Sayings of the Desert Fathers or the Life of St Anthony, written by St Athanasius the Great. All of them are available in online bookstores, even in amazon.com. Without tracing back to the sources, we will never acquire an Orthodox mind.
May the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of us.
Christ, the true Light!

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,379
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #100 on: February 20, 2006, 08:09:58 AM »
I've been following this discussion with great interest. Just one point I'd like to raise:

Yiannis, I agree with much of what you say, however, I have to wonder whether the Church in the Western Diaspora is ready for the current Athonite model of monasticism. And let's not forget, that this current Athonite model is quite recent, and a result of the times. All the monasteries of Athos have been idiorythmic at some stage due to different times. During the war of independence, women (yes, women!) and children were given refuge in monasteries of the the Holy Mountain.
I think it is a great mistake to pit monasteries vs. church. Monasteries are not "an alternative" to the Church. Nor are monasteries "refuges" from a  "secularized Church" or from a Church which is "falling away from Tradition". My own experiences of hegumens, Elders and monks in monasteries on the Holy Mountain, Meteora, throughout Greece, and here in Australia has always been that the Monasteries exist because of the Church, not despite the Church. When a monastery starts thinking that it is a bastion against the "corruption" in the Church, we end up with an Esphigmenou- a ridiculous situation which is "monastery vs, Church" in extremis.
A monastery exists because of the Church, a monastery makes no sense without the local Church. No Church, no monastery. A monastery evolves from within the local Church. It is not planted in a particular vinyard from the outside.
I think it's different in the local Church here in Australia. Before we had any monasteries of our own, I believe we have had much more exposure to the Holy Mountain. We had no Spiritual Fathers to hear confession in Australia for over a century, so every year, a group of different Athonite Fathers would come to hear our confessions during Lent. With more exposure to Athonite monasttics over time, the laity of the Church realised that a monastery was needed here in Australia. The laity donated the land and raised the funds to build the first monastery here in Australia- and they actually started building it before there were even any monastics! And now monasteries have sprung up in similar ways throughout the country. But this, I think, is as it should be- the monastery coming from within the local Church. No matter how excellent a monastery is, if the local Church views it as having been brought in from outside itself, it will always be viewed as something "other" than Church, which it is not (or at least shouldn't be).
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Νεκτάριος

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,437
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #101 on: February 20, 2006, 10:01:34 AM »
Actually Yiannis, you assumed a little too much.  Most of the real whacky people never attend a parish, so their impact is minimal.  More along the lines of what George said - my biggest complaint is that there tends to be a sort of "us vs. them" mentality among philomonastic lay people and other laypeople. 

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church?? NO: MONASTERY AND CHURCH
« Reply #102 on: February 20, 2006, 10:15:13 AM »
Dear ozgeorge,
I agree completely with your post. The monasteries were established by Fr Ephraim in America not by his own will, in an arbirtrary manner, but after many and constant demands of Orthodox laymen from the USA and Canada. Fr Ephraim was being asked since the late '70's to go to America for confessions but he was waiting because he wasn't sure if it would be according to God's will. He started to visit Canada and the States about 10 years later and even then he went only for confessions. At the same time a growing number of laymen was asking him to establish a monastery. The buildings of the monasteries were financed by people there, members of the GOA (that's why some clergymen of the GOA weren't at all happy). Almost all the monks and the nuns are born in America and they were previously members mainly of Greek Orthodox parishes, but quite a few are converts. The abbots of St Anthony's and of Holy Trinity, IL, are Greek Canadians. The abbots or abbesses of the next generation will be for sure American or Canadian-born. The monks and nuns who are born in Greece are very few in comparison with the total number of monks and nuns: f.ex. in St John the Baptist, Washington, where there are about 16 nuns, there are 2 nuns from Greece and the rest of the members community are born in the States. I am sure that services in English will be introduced sooner or later, it's a necessity. Anyway, it would have been impossible for Fr Ephraim to establish so many monasteries, with growing monastic communities, without the support of the local people. I have followed the story quite well because my wife is Greek Canadian.
The fact that the monasteries of Fr Ephraim follow the athonite typicon in services, cell prayer and common life, is not bad, I think just the contrary. They cultivate especially the Jesus prayer, which is wonderful and absolutely according to the Orthodox christocentric tradition. St John Maximovich' monastery in California (OCA), a very good monastery too, follows more or less the typicon of Valaam monastery, since its abbot has lived there for a few years. In fact, Valaam monastery has been one of the monasteries following the hesychastic tradition, influenced, like Optina, by Mt Athos through the disciples of St Paissius Velitskofsky. So, the typicon of Valaam has many similarities with that of Mt Athos as far as the monastic life is concerned.
It is not true that all athonite monasteries were idiorrythmitic. In fact, Dionysiou, Hagiou Pavlou and Esphigmenou, f.ex., had never been idiorrythmitic. The athonite cenobitic tradition had been also preserved in monasteries in Greece established during the 18th c. by the Fathers "Kollyvades" of Mt Athos, like Nephon, Hierotheos, etc. (Longovarda in Paros, Evangelistria in Skiathos, the monasteries of Hydra, etc.). Several women's monasteries in Greece have been influenced by the athonite tradition.
I do know that there are now some monasteries in Australia (I have close relatives in Sydney and I have visited once your beautiful country, although I haven't gone to any monastery). It is marvellous that a pious Greek hieromonk, Fr Stephanos, greatly respected by the Greek Australians, established 2 monasteries there. Unfortunately, there was no such a case in the GOA, apart from the small monastic community of St Gregory Palamas, PA. I strongly believe that archbishop Stylianos is not at all anti-monastic, while the same cannot be said about the late archbishop Iakovos.
I didn't at all intend to say that a monastery must be a bastion of traditionalism or that that the monastery is above the local church, not at all. No true abbot or monk with discernement is supposed to think in such a way about his monastery: the monastery is a place of repentance (metanoia) and ascetic struggle, not a place from where the monks will be present themselves as the champions of Orthodoxy (the sad case of Esphigmenou you mention is just such a case, a case of spiritual deception in the search for hyper-correctness). It happens however that the monastic services, partially because of the setting and partially because of the fact that they are held in a more traditional way than in most parishes, attract quite a few people. It happens in Greece too, but nobody is being bothered. It is considered to be evident and normal. In such a way, the monastic spirit can influence positively the liturgical and spiritual life in a parish.
It happens also that many people who are not very satisfied with the priest of their parish confess to a monastic priest. Personally, my spiritual father is a married priest, whose spiritual father is a monastic priest. I have also confessed once to a monastic priest, in Mt Athos. It's a matter of free choice. The important for a spiritual father is the discernement.
The title of the topic "Monastery vs Parish" wasn't chosen by me and I disagree completely with such a juxtaposition. As I told in previous posts, it's a false dilemma. Everyone has his own role in Church life but at the same time there are not water-tight compartments.
I am interested in learning more about the monasteries in Australia. In fact, the blessed Fr Paissios of Mt Athos had predicted that there would be monasteries in Australia too. When he visited Australia he told that the people were pious, of good will, but there was something missing, a monastery.
I must have been boring with my long posts. Well, I don't think I have something more to say, I think even that I have talked too much. :-[
In Christ,
Yiannis
« Last Edit: February 20, 2006, 10:16:30 AM by Yiannis »
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Yiannis

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Behold the Lamb of God
Re: Monastery vs. church?? NO: MONASTERY AND CHURCH
« Reply #103 on: February 20, 2006, 10:23:48 AM »
Nektarios, I agree with you. Thinking that "we" are better and more pious than "them", is a sin. But this attitude must be proper to a Greek American parish, probably because monasticism is still something new there. Such an attitude is rare in Greece, if it ever exists.
I didn't referred only to wacky people, I referred to some simple-minded women you can find in every parish.
The pride is a very treacherous temptation...
Christ, the true Light!

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,515
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #104 on: February 20, 2006, 03:32:08 PM »
Quote
Permit me to say, it's just ridiculous that Metropilitan Methodios, who is making very anti-monastic statements, officiated last year in St Irene Chrysovalantou church in Astoria, during its feasday: St Irene was an abbess in a monastery in Constantinople and, as it is said in her Live, numerous people used to visit her for spiritual counsel!

Of course, that place is a monastery in name only, which may have been the appeal of the Metropolitan going there.  Each year, Metropolitan Paisios (or from the GOC perspective, ex-Metropolitan Pasios, having been deposed by the GOC Synod in 1995 for misconduct and then being "reordained" by the EP in 1998) invites various GOA hierarchs to serve his monastery's feast day. Then follow the absurd speeches (see their periodical The Voice of Orthodoxy which is full of sycophantic and sugar-coated niceities) and ostentatious displays.  But there are two nuns there and two monks, the monks being the two bishops! That is the extent of their enterprise, which seems to me to be more of a corporation than a Church.  I wonder if he doesn't just pay the various Metropolitans to come to his Church for these celebrations.

I will admit that when I first visited there I was impressed at the feast day celebrations, but further retrospection has changed my view considerably.

Anastasios
« Last Edit: February 20, 2006, 03:32:53 PM by Anastasios »
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2006, 03:36:17 PM »
I understand that His Excellency Metropolitan Paisios currently is quite close with His All-Holiness, perhaps visiting the monastery is simply something that it is prudent for ambitious hierarchs.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,515
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #106 on: February 20, 2006, 03:44:11 PM »
I understand that His Excellency Metropolitan Paisios currently is quite close with His All-Holiness, perhaps visiting the monastery is simply something that it is prudent for ambitious hierarchs.

That could certainly be true.  I probably should have toned down what I wrote above, but I feel that that institution brings down the character of Orthodoxy by virtue of some of the things I wrote about and more, and I actually feel bad that your church ended up with him.  When he was with us, he had limited impact. Now that he's "official", he has a much wider audience.  Of course, you might think that what he does is good and that since he's friends with the EP he's as good as gold ;)  But the vagaries transpiring at that place just make me so sad (and I am referring solely to those incidents which are fully documented and public knowledge).

A.
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #107 on: February 20, 2006, 04:32:12 PM »
Now that he's "official", he has a much wider audience.  Of course, you might think that what he does is good

Well, the fact that I support the posistions he takes on Hellenism, the Greek Language, and in response to the old-calendarist movement shouldn't come as too big of a surprise to you...I do believe we might have had one or two small disagreements in the past on these subjects ;)

Quote
and that since he's friends with the EP he's as good as gold ;)

That's all I need to know to be certain he's a good man  ;D

Quote
But the vagaries transpiring at that place just make me so sad (and I am referring solely to those incidents which are fully documented and public knowledge).

I fear I am not fully aware of all the controversy and scandals surrounding him...I believe there was a financial scandal I heard about in a parish in Chicago that was attached to his monastery, and have heard a few other rumors, but nothing too bad.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,515
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #108 on: February 20, 2006, 05:09:16 PM »
GisC,

I don't want to be guilty of scandal mongering, so I will leave it at that.  I certainly think the financial scandal was indeed bad, but if you don't think it's not "too bad" I can't say much more :)  Suffice it to say, there are other things but I probably have already said too much about scandals.

As far as his theology, ecclesiology, and opinions on us, I think they are quite funny actually for the following reason: he talks about how the Old Calendarists have pious origins but are mired in division and contentiousness.  Well, excuse me, but he was quite possibly the #1 reason we had scandal and contention from 1979-1995, and after he left us, we entered an unprecedented era of peace! So I take his comments with a grain of salt ;)

He may be content to say now that he was a rassophoremenos laikos, but apparently he was quite shocked the night before his reception when he was informed he would be chrismated and reordained. I find it amazing that up until the weekend before he was chrismated and reordained, he was serving at St Irene's as a bishop.  They were accepted in Nov 1997 and received in May 1998. So for several months, a "rassaphoremenos laikos" was serving hierarchicals...very strange indeed; unless, of course, he was told by the Patriarch that he was accepted in his orders and then later, after it was too late to go back, told he was going to be reordained.

Anastasios
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #109 on: February 20, 2006, 05:12:20 PM »
He may be content to say now that he was a rassophoremenos laikos, but apparently he was quite shocked the night before his reception when he was informed he would be chrismated and reordained. I find it amazing that up until the weekend before he was chrismated and reordained, he was serving at St Irene's as a bishop.  They were accepted in Nov 1997 and received in May 1998. So for several months, a "rassaphoremenos laikos" was serving hierarchicals...very strange indeed; unless, of course, he was told by the Patriarch that he was accepted in his orders and then later, after it was too late to go back, told he was going to be reordained.

Hmmm, possibly...that would be a move so steeped in Byzantine intrigue and politics as to be truly worthy of the Patriarch of the City of Constantinople. ;)

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #110 on: February 20, 2006, 05:16:35 PM »
I don't want to be guilty of scandal mongering, so I will leave it at that.  I certainly think the financial scandal was indeed bad, but if you don't think it's not "too bad" I can't say much more :)  Suffice it to say, there are other things but I probably have already said too much about scandals.

I'm not saying that the financial scandal was not bad, from what I understand it was quite difficult on the parish, rather that, from what I heard and understood, that the Metropolitan's involvement in it wasn't that bad.

Offline Timos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 856
  • Faith: O.C.
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #111 on: February 20, 2006, 09:54:48 PM »
I don't understand something. Why do GOA parishes during the liturgy pray for "archbishop Maximos" or whatever other archbishop. Why don't they all pray for Archbishop Dimitrios?? I thought he was the archbishop unless there are more than one archbishop...

Offline Thomas

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,993
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #112 on: February 20, 2006, 11:17:43 PM »
IN prayers,the parish prays for their archbishop  or bishop not the president of the synod---the president of the synod is prayed for by the bishops of the synod and the president of the synod and bishops pray for the patriarch.

Thomas
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 04:01:05 PM by Thomas »
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

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 #113 on: February 20, 2006, 11:32:24 PM »
I don't understand something. Why do GOA parishes during the liturgy pray for "archbishop Maximos" or whatever other archbishop. Why don't they all pray for Archbishop Dimitrios?? I thought he was the archbishop unless there are more than one archbishop...

Archbishop Demetrios' diocese is New York, so properly speaking he is the Archbishop of New York.  Metropolitan Maximos is the bishop of the Pittsburgh Metropolis, and since a Metropolitan is an arch-Bishop, he is commemorated as such within his diocese.  The rest of my answer is a big ditto to what Thomas wrote in the last post...
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 #114 on: February 20, 2006, 11:45:09 PM »
O ok thnx because once I heard Fr. Chris Metropoulos (awesome priest) praying for a different bishop than A. Dimitrios and last time I checked, Fr. Chris was canonical GOA priest lol but now I get it.

Offline GiC

  • Site Supporter
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,487
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #115 on: February 20, 2006, 11:46:58 PM »
IN prayers,the parish prays for their archbishop  or bishop not the president of the synod---the president of the synod is prayed for by the bishops of the synod and the president of the sysnod and bishops pray for the patriarch.

Which is why the Metropolitans commemorate the Oecumenical Patriarch, because the Synod of Constantinople is their actual synod, not the one that is in America.

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 #116 on: February 20, 2006, 11:47:47 PM »
Don't worry about it... the strange titles and the way that the reorganization of the GOA happened has confused many, so it seems like a strange situation to observers.
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 antiderivative

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 349
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2008, 01:32:27 AM »
Fr. Ephraim has been accused of being a cult leader mainly because of some monk's angry parents, and much of the story was invented by the monk's parents. Here's an interview with the actual monk:
http://www.athosinamerica.org/
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 11:18:21 AM by antiderivative »
signature

Offline GabrieltheCelt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,219
  • Son of a Preacher Man
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox OCA
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #118 on: June 10, 2008, 01:49:35 AM »
^^In addition, Kyriacos Markides' latest book, Gifts of the Desert, talks extensively about Fr. Ephraim and St. Anthony's monastery.  Interestingly enough, Dr. Markides previous book, Mountain of Silence has a chapter that has a dialogue with an Athonite monk and a father of friend who's daughter decides to join a monastery.  It's quite enlightening on several levels.  First, it deals with monastism in general then goes on to explain what it is and isn't.  Really interesting is the the conversation that takes place between the monk (Fr. Maximos) and the family friend (Thomas) about the importance of monastism.  Thomas is, at first, very much against monastism.  But with gentle explanations from Fr. Maximos (a friend of St. Anthony's Fr. Ephraim), Thomas begins to see that guru-ism has nothing to do with real monastism. 
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

Offline SolEX01

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,524
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of New Jersey
Re: Monastery vs. church??
« Reply #119 on: June 10, 2008, 03:21:04 PM »
Thomas is, at first, very much against monastism.  But with gentle explanations from Fr. Maximos (a friend of St. Anthony's Fr. Ephraim), Thomas begins to see that guru-ism has nothing to do with real monastism. 

Definition of guru as one who dispels darkness.  Wikipedia Source


The syllable gu means shadows
The syllable ru, he who disperses them,
Because of the power to disperse darkness
the guru is thus named.

– Advayataraka Upanishad 14—18, verse 5


Based on the above definition, Christ would be considered a guru and all of Christian mankind has been duped into being Hindu for all these years; Hence, there's no such thing as any Orthodox Church (or Catholicism, Protestantism, etc.) because we are all Hindus underneath the appearance of Orthodox Christianity.   :D  Lisa Simpson would be so proud of us.   ;)