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Author Topic: Orthodoxy in America  (Read 2412 times) Average Rating: 0
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wayfarer
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« on: April 04, 2006, 09:22:56 PM »

First, please forgive me for what is likely a shortcoming in my understanding of Orthodoxy. I am, at this point on the outside looking in.

I understand how there came to be various overlapping jurisdictions in the US but I was wondering if there has ever been consideration given to selecting an "ecumenical patriarch" for the US that the various jurisdictions could rally around.? This might be a first step to establish not  Greek, Russian, Ukrainian jurisdictions but an American jurisdiction (and I guess similar could be done in Canada and South America). I understand that Orthodoxy is orthodoxy but to the protestant mind, the various jurisdictions look like separate denominations.

I am sure matters a likely more complicated than this but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 09:27:57 PM »

We already have an Oecumenical Patriarch, in Constantinople; the disunity here in America simply arises from a lack of obedience to His All-Holiness.
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 09:45:43 PM »

We already have an Oecumenical Patriarch, in Constantinople; the disunity here in America simply arises from a lack of obedience to His All-Holiness.

 Roll Eyes  Can't you even make a slight effort to be objective an explain things better?  Yes, if everyone were so "obedient" in your eyes then over half the Orthodox faithful here would have never been evangelized.  Are you willing to have that on your conscience?
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 10:32:12 PM »

We already have an Oecumenical Patriarch, in Constantinople; the disunity here in America simply arises from a lack of obedience to His All-Holiness.

Thank you for your response. I am aware that there is an Oecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople. I was thinking of one who would be more a first among equals in the USA a kind of presiding Bishop of SCOBA.

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 11:04:57 PM »

SCOBA is sort of a men's club. And, all the legit Orthodox groups aren't in it; ROCOR for example was offered membership but turned it down (because a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate--which was at the time under the Soviet government--was there). There has been a slow push towards unifying for decades, but the problem is that one group has distanced itself from others and is only now beginning to have closer relations, while two or three other groups have strong ties to the old country that will not be easily or painlessly broken. If you haven't read over it yet, this article by Fr. Alexander Schmemann might be interesting reading.
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2006, 12:33:12 AM »

Can't you even make a slight effort to be objective an explain things better?

This has been debated and discussed ad nauseum, but from my point of view that is what it comes down to, disobedience to the Oecumenical Throne.

Quote
Yes, if everyone were so "obedient" in your eyes then over half the Orthodox faithful here would have never been evangelized.  Are you willing to have that on your conscience?

While I disagree with your assessment, obedience to the Oecumenical Throne is more important than evangelization...and yes, I am more than willing to have this on what little conscience I have.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2006, 01:06:05 AM »

While I disagree with your assessment, obedience to the Oecumenical Throne is more important than evangelization...and yes, I am more than willing to have this on what little conscience I have.

Yes, and obviously you don't really have one.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2006, 02:50:56 AM »

While I disagree with your assessment, obedience to the Oecumenical Throne is more important than evangelization...and yes, I am more than willing to have this on what little conscience I have.


Well, I think maybe even the Ecumenical Patriarch would probably borrow this line from the movie Braveheart.  "I'm not the Pope."  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 01:52:33 PM »

Yes, and obviously you don't really have one.

I'll take that as a compliment. Grin
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2006, 03:21:58 PM »

This discussion reaffirms my personal belief that I will never see even a beginning of the uniting of the Orthodox Churches in America in my life time.  It is truly sad.

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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2006, 03:39:42 PM »

I think it's a great injustice to suggest that the various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America exist out of disobedience to the Ecumenical Patriarch.  How about seeing these as roots of immigrants (who make up both the US, and Canada--unless of course you're a First Nations Native), who came with the hope of making a better life, and brought their faith with them to this new land, and performed a miracle in bringing Orthodox Truth to the lands of Evangelical Relativism and Denominationalism.  It's so easy to just group this as "disobedience", but a great innaccuracy.  To be sure, it is not the Greek jurisdiction that leads the way in bringing that faith "once delivered to the saints" to the masses (although, granted, there are some who do it).  Rather, it is more Russian and Antiochian Orthodox who provide the greater "thrust" (for lack of a better word, of Orthodox Evangeliing, missions,etc.  

Perhaps it would be in better taste to not throw out general statements, that lack a more rounded, compassionate view, and just manage to "ruffle the feathers" and leave a bad taste on the palette.

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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2006, 03:46:16 PM »

I think it's a great injustice to suggest that the various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America exist out of disobedience to the Ecumenical Patriarch.  How about seeing these as roots of immigrants (who make up both the US, and Canada--unless of course you're a First Nations Native), who came with the hope of making a better life, and brought their faith with them to this new land, and performed a miracle in bringing Orthodox Truth to the lands of Evangelical Relativism and Denominationalism.  It's so easy to just group this as "disobedience", but a great innaccuracy.  To be sure, it is not the Greek jurisdiction that leads the way in bringing that faith "once delivered to the saints" to the masses (although, granted, there are some who do it).  Rather, it is more Russian and Antiochian Orthodox who provide the greater "thrust" (for lack of a better word, of Orthodox Evangeliing, missions,etc.  

Perhaps it would be in better taste to not throw out general statements, that lack a more rounded, compassionate view, and just manage to "ruffle the feathers" and leave a bad taste on the palette.

I am done. Forgive.

In Christ ,the least,
Theodore

Take GiC with a big helping of salt.  In GiC's own words:
As with most things I say, it is said half in jest and half not.
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2006, 02:20:58 PM »

Take GiC with a big helping of salt.  In GiC's own words:

Good advice, but to be more precise, it is not the disobedience of the faithful, but rather the disobedience of Bishops that is the source of the problem.
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2006, 04:12:56 PM »

Good advice, but to be more precise, it is not the disobedience of the faithful, but rather the disobedience of Bishops that is the source of the problem.

AMEN!!
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2006, 04:32:15 PM »

I desire communion and fellowship will all canonical Orthodox Christians in North America, and elsewhere.

I do not want the Greek Orthodox in America to be ruled over by the OCA, or anyone else. Neither do I want our Greek Bishops ruling over any other Orthodox here without their consent.

SCOBA, and joint efforts at education, works of charity, and evangelism are far more important than endless squabling over jurisdictions.

Unity in the Chalice of the Body and Blood of Christ is the only thing that really matters.
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2006, 04:33:01 PM »

Perhaps it would be in better taste to not throw out general statements, that lack a more rounded, compassionate view, and just manage to "ruffle the feathers" and leave a bad taste on the palette.

Thank you.  Unfortunately GiC is incapable or unwilling to not do this.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2006, 08:58:15 PM »

Quote
SCOBA, and joint efforts at education, works of charity, and evangelism are far more important than endless squabling over jurisdictions.

This is true as far as it goes, but unfortunately there have been times when SCOBA meetings were called off because of squabbling (actually this happened a few years ago), times when jurisdictions obstinately said that "the liturgy is enough education," circumstances in which some groups decided that consolidating was more important than evangelizing, and times when money meant as charity for those suffering was diverted for less charitable things. I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade... I just think that as good as the Orthodox leaders are (and certainly some of them are very good), the Church as a whole is still lagging in a lot of areas, and online apologetics alone just can't keep pace with the creation of "Bible Believing" churches, who are generally excellect at educating their people, charity, and evangelism, whatever theological shortcomings the Orthodox might attribute to them.
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2006, 08:47:52 AM »

Asteriktos,  you make some excellent points in your last post.

I will add that, no matter how much we'd like to pretend there are "ovelapping jurisdictions,"
in everyone else's sight - other Christians, secular society, our next door neighbor - we have various Orthodox denominations, Greek, Russian, Syrian, Serbian etc.
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2006, 05:44:30 PM »

I desire communion and fellowship will all canonical Orthodox Christians in North America, and elsewhere.

I do not want the Greek Orthodox in America to be ruled over by the OCA, or anyone else. Neither do I want our Greek Bishops ruling over any other Orthodox here without their consent.

SCOBA, and joint efforts at education, works of charity, and evangelism are far more important than endless squabling over jurisdictions.

Unity in the Chalice of the Body and Blood of Christ is the only thing that really matters.

Not according to the Gospel of Christ!

I Corinthians 1:10 -

Now I plead with you, brethern, by the name of our Lord jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2006, 10:17:55 AM »

As a convert who is going to be chrismated in about two weeks, here is my 2 c's.

In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew (Okay, so I took that from St. Paul).  Cyril and Methodius became as Slavs to win the Slavs.  Who cares whether we are Greek, Russian, or Antiochian?  We are all one in Christ.

Quote
I do not want the Greek Orthodox in America to be ruled over by the OCA, or anyone else. Neither do I want our Greek Bishops ruling over any other Orthodox here without their consent.

In the gospel reading this last Sunday, The sons of Zebedee were like "yo Jesus, we want to be the head honchos in your kingdom."  Jesus replied that in His kingdom, "the greatest must be servants, and the first must be least."  A bishop is a bishop regardless of the color of his skin or what language he speaks.  There are millions of Americans in the mires of sin and depression, and saving their souls takes precedence to any ecclesiastical power-plays (Which I know nothing about).  But we are in America now, not the old countries.... American bishops need to become American bishops, and they need to work together with the other American bishops.  I know they already do this, but I'm just trying to voice that Greek really isn't Christian, following Christ is Christian, and Orthodoxy isn't some sort of nationalistic group.  It's the servants of God coming together to bring Christ into the world.
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2006, 11:45:16 AM »

...and saving their souls takes precedence to any ecclesiastical power-plays (Which I know nothing about).

Good.  And remain that way...it will be better for your soul in the long run.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2006, 01:37:06 PM »

I'm just trying to voice that Greek really isn't Christian, following Christ is Christian, and Orthodoxy isn't some sort of nationalistic group.  It's the servants of God coming together to bring Christ into the world.

Amen.
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2006, 11:25:43 PM »

You all know that back in 1927, the Russian Metropolia in America. had set up a Autonomous American Orthodox Church, to be come the first and only American Orthodox Church in America. They had elected one Aftimios Ofiesh to be it's first Metropolitan. If the Russian Metropolia in America had kept backing the American Church, and if there was uity in Orthodox America. Then there could have been one church with it's own Patriarch. But the Russiam Metropolia had it's own problem. One group Called ROCOR and the orther group under Met Planton, were fighting ammon them selfs. So since there was no support for them.they could not support Aftimios Ofiesh as well. So 30 years later The MP gave another Group called Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church aka (OAC)ÂÂ  to be American Orthodox Church in America. But as we look there still is no unity in Orthodox America, very one wants to be their own Church and Jurisdiction.
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2006, 05:34:23 AM »

As a convert who is going to be chrismated in about two weeks, here is my 2 c's.

In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew (Okay, so I took that from St. Paul).  Cyril and Methodius became as Slavs to win the Slavs.  Who cares whether we are Greek, Russian, or Antiochian?  We are all one in Christ.

In the gospel reading this last Sunday, The sons of Zebedee were like "yo Jesus, we want to be the head honchos in your kingdom."  Jesus replied that in His kingdom, "the greatest must be servants, and the first must be least."  A bishop is a bishop regardless of the color of his skin or what language he speaks.  There are millions of Americans in the mires of sin and depression, and saving their souls takes precedence to any ecclesiastical power-plays (Which I know nothing about).  But we are in America now, not the old countries.... American bishops need to become American bishops, and they need to work together with the other American bishops.  I know they already do this, but I'm just trying to voice that Greek really isn't Christian, following Christ is Christian, and Orthodoxy isn't some sort of nationalistic group.  It's the servants of God coming together to bring Christ into the world.

There are millions of Americans in the mires of sin and depression, and saving their souls takes precedence

AMEN!  AMEN!   AMEN!
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2006, 01:04:40 PM »

You all know that back in 1927, the Russian Metropolia in America. had set up a Autonomous American Orthodox Church, to be come the first and only American Orthodox Church in America. They had elected one Aftimios Ofiesh to be it's first Metropolitan.

That's rather amazing (i.e. impossible), considering the fact that even the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has had an official charter since 1918 and an official EP-sponsored Archbishop since 1922.

You may want to consider reading an actual peer-reviewed scholarly history of the Orthodox Church in America, such as Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald's The Orthodox Church: Student Edition, which was published in an independent series called "Denominations in America."

Or an equally well-researched and reviewed book like Fr. John Erickson' Orthodox Christians in America, which was published by Oxford University Press in a similar series.
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