As the book of Ecclesiastes famously observed: “There is a time for every thing, and an appointed time for every event under the sun.” With this posting OCANews.org reaches its appointed time and suspends publication. (Read more here.)
From the 16th AAC in Seattle
Reduced Assessment Resolution Passes - With Significant Amendment
A resolution attempting the reduction of the current OCA Assessment has been passed in a confusing vote by the 16th All American Council in Seattle this afternoon. The reduction resolution was amended to maintain the current $105 assessment for 2012, and then "reduce the assessment proportionately from that point forward." "Proportionately", however, was not defined in the resolution, so as to allow the Metropolitan Council "flexibility" over the next triennium. The resolution, with amendment, was adopted with 269 votes in favor, and 178 against.
- Mark Stokoe
From the 16th AAC in Seattle
+Jonah To Enter “Evaluation” Program November 14th
Metropolitan Jonah began his Opening Address to the 16th All American Council with an apology and announcement. He stated:
“....These last three years have been the three most difficult years of my life. I have been under a relentless barrage of criticism for most of this time for every forum I am meant to oversee: the chancery officers and staff, the Metropolitan Council and most troubling to me, the Holy Synod of Bishops.
I admit that I have very little experience of administration and it was a risk for the 2008 Council to elect me, the newest and most inexperienced of bishops. I have worked very hard to fulfill your expectations. But this is not an excuse.
These three years have been an administrative disaster. And I need to accept full responsibility for that and for my part in it. I did not understand the depths of the breakdown with the bishops. I thought we had a good working relationship but obviously there is something very broken. I need to regain the confidence of my brother bishops and of many others in leadership positions in our Church..." (Read more here)
Three Dioceses Meet in Seattle Prior to AAC
As previously announced, the Dioceses of the West, Midwest and South are all holding Diocesan Assemblies in Seattle prior to the Opening Session of the 16th All American Council. (Read more here)
by Jennifer Campbell, Kennewick WA
"...However, there seems to be a concerted effort to prevent Orthodox in the US of whatever jurisdiction, especially clergy, from practicing simple freedom of speech and conscience--which I believe is the one great gift we American converts have to offer the Church to which we have wedded ourselves--without fear of reprisals. Obviously, clergy must guard their speech and conduct before their flock, but several clergy "releases," "reassignments," and simple dismissals from positions within the Church recently have amply demonstrated that North American clergy aren't being asked to show restraint. They are living under permanent gag orders upon matters of conscience about which they might disagree with their superiors..."
(Read more here)
New Clergy Social Networking Guidelines Critiqued
On October 6th, during their Fall 2011 Session, the OCA Synod of Bishops adopted and approved “Guidelines for Clergy Use of Online Social Networking.” The Guidelines (read them here) acknowledges both “the popularity of social networking and digital communications” and "their exponential growth". Thus, the Guidelines state “...the Church should not shy away from these new forms of media, but should be actively present in them”. The hierarchs stressed the importance of maintaining “healthy boundaries to digital, online, and social media communications and relationships."
The “Guidelines” have received mostly bemused reviews since their publication. A senior OCA priest, who wishes to remain anonymous, offered this critique to OCANews.org: (Read more here)
From ENS, October 26, 2011
Clergy must navigate traditional boundaries in new social media world: Developing policies is a challenge, observers say
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
(Read this related story here)
Fr. Jillions New OCA Chancellor
On Friday, October 21, 2011 the announced that Fr. John Jillions has accepted the position of Chancellor. Father John was confirmed by the Holy Synod of Bishops upon the recommendation of the Metropolitan Council at their fall sessions.The OCA reports: (Read more here.)
Other News From Around The OCA
• Syosset, NY
The Minutes of the recent Metropolitan Council meeting last month in New York have now been posted. You can read them here.
• Scranton, PA
The Scranton Times Leader reports today that engineering firm owner Michael Pasonick has agreed to plead guilty to bribing a school board member who helped Pasonick's firm obtain a contract. (Read more here)
What I wish every bishop would get
by Rod Dreher
Posted October 17th, 2011 on his blog at www.theamericanconservative.com ( Read it here.)
AN APPEAL FOR THE ALL – AMERICAN COUNCIL
by David Barrett ( Read it here.)
An Open Letter to the OCA
by Matushka Julianna Schmemann
"Open letter to His Beatitude Jonah
The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops
Fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Church in America;
As we assemble with hope and anticipation to share our care and our love for our Church in America, we are painfully aware that the past few years our beloved church has been torn asunder by an overwhelming amount of trouble, both personal and corporate. We went through anger, mistrust, suspensions, reinstatements, accusations, hope and discouragement: all of this endangering the very existence of our OCA.
And yet, in spite of this, the bells of our churches continue to ring, gathering the faithful to celebrate and to give thanks to God. The people come, the Eucharist is celebrated, the church lives. (Read more here.)
News From Around the Orthodox World
• Boston, MA
Bishop Nikon has had successful surgery for his stomach aneursym but will not be attending this weekend's Diocese of New England diocesan assembly. According to sources he does, however, plan to attend the All American Council at the end of the month in Seattle. (Read more here.)
Name of Chancellor Recommendation Leaks
Several websites have posted the name of the Metropolitan Council's recomendation to be the next Chancellor of the OCA. Archpriest John Jillions was first named on the Orthodox Forum. OCANews.org had been withholding his name at the request of the Lesser Synod.
Fr. Jillions is a 1977 graduate of McGill University and has a M.Div (1979) and D.Min (2005) from St. Vladimir's Seminary. A dual Canadian and American citizen, Fr. Jillions has served in OCA mission parishes in New Jersey, in Brisbane Australia (for the OCA), and more recently at the OCA's Canadian National Cathedral in Ottawa. (Read more here.)
- From the Catholic News Agency
We're internally divided on question of 'primacy'
By Benjamin Mann
(Castel Gandolfo, Italy, September 30, 2011 - CNA).- A leading Russian Orthodox official says the Eastern Orthodox churches have yet to resolve the question of authority among themselves, a condition for future progress on the issue of the papacy.
“I would say that there are certain divergences, and there are different positions, of the Orthodox churches on the question of the primacy,” said Metropolitan Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, in a Vatican Radio interview following his Sept. 29 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo. (Read more here.)
The Metropolitan Council has concluded its two day meetings in Syosset. You can read the OCA’s summary here.
While fully accurate, the OCA’s version omitted the substance of the meeting. The majority of time was spent in what was described to OCANews.org as a “brutal”, “ugly” and “frustrating” recounting of the Metropolitan’s purposeful actions over the past six months that have undermined all the OCA has been attempting to accomplish. As in Syosset a year ago, and in Chicago last May, the business of the Council was dominated by report after report of how the Metropolitan, in word and deed, has been working against his Synod, staff and council. As in earlier meetings the hope was that the Metropolitan would change his destructive behaviors and duplicitious actions when confronted with them. Alas, this “intervention” as unsuccessful as all previous attempts. (Read more here.)
Lawyer, Archbishop Offer Conflicting Testimony Regarding +Seraphim's Parish Visits
In response to SNAP's recent criticism that +Seraphim (Storheim), the suspended and charged Archbishop of Ottawa , appeared to be intending to visit an OCA parish in British Columbia in potential violation of his bail conditions (read that story here), Storheim's lawyer Jeff Grindin stated to a Winnipeg newspaper: "Not likely.... He's got certain bail conditions, and as far as I know, he's abiding by every one of them." Writing to OCANews.org today however, retired Canadian Archbishop Lazor (Puhalo) affirmed that "Vladika Seraphim has visited a number of the parishes in Canada -- and at the invitation of the parishes."
(Read more here.)
Recent Interviews Reveal Continuing Tensions Between Russian, Greek Churches Regarding Any Council
Two interviews, given within days of each other earlier this month, with the Archbishop of Cyprus and the#2 in the Russian Church, highlight significant problems betweeen the Russian and Greek Churches over the composition and voting at any future Pan-Orthodox Council. The Russians want proportional delegations of bishops based on the size of Churches; the Greeks want equal representation. The Greeks now favor majority rule; while the Russians insist on consensus to resolve problems.
A new mechanism for resolving pan-Ortodox problems as reported by +Chrysostom, Archbishop of Cyprus (Read it here.)
There are no grounds to expect the Pan-Orthodox Council to run into surprises (Read it here.)
Christians Fleeing Egypt, NGO Reports
An Egyptian NGO reports mass Christian flight following Mubarak’s downfall. Up to 250,000 could leave this year. (Read the article here.)
Metropolitan Council Meeting Begins with Resignation, Reports
The Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America, together with members of the Lesser Synod, meets today, Wednesday, September 28th through Friday, September 30th at the Chancery in Syosset. The meeting was preceded by meetings of individual Metropolitan Council committees on Tuesday, September 27th.
The Council will be quite different from meetings in the past six years as three of its more vocal members will not be present. Mark Stokoe, editor of OCANews.org was dismissed from the Council as lay representative from the Diocese of the Midwest last month by Bishop Matthias
(read that story here), while Dr. Faith Skordinski, delegate at large, suddenly announced her resignation from the Council yesterday in a letter to members. Dr. Skordinski wrote: (Read more here.)
Suspended Archbishop Visiting Parish Complains SNAP
In a September 23rd article published on both the Pokrov and SNAP websites, Pokrov co-founder Cappy Larson of the Orthodox wing of Suvivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) complained that "suspended Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, a credibly accused child molester, is visiting a Canadian church this weekend." (Read more here.)
WIKILEAKS Reveals Ambassador's Confidential State Department Memo On Role of Russian Church
The following was published by Wikileaks on September 2, 2011:
"1. (C) Summary: In a January 28 conversation with the Ambassador, Archbishop Hilarion freely admitted that the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has been extending its reach further into all areas of society. The Church has recently adopted a more confrontational tone regarding the State Department's International Religious Freedom Report (IRF), and Hilarion defended the ROC's stance against some non-traditional religions. Hilarion also explained the ROC's desire to promote current GOR policies, including "managed democracy." Despite the ROC's increased assertiveness, Hilarion acknowledged a gap between the Church's teachings and the daily lives of most Russians, especially youth, and wondered aloud how the ROC might address this problem. Despite this gap, Hilarion concluded, many Russians hunger for spiritual guidance, and the ROC intends to fill that gap. End Summary." (Read more here.)
Fearing Change, Many Christians in Syria Back Assad
By THE NEW YORK TIMES (September27, 2011)
"Syria’s Christian minority is sizable, about 10 percent of the population, though some here say the share is actually lower these days. Though their sentiments are by no means monolithic — Christians are represented in the opposition, and loyalty to the government is often driven more by fear than fervor — the group’s fear helps explain how President Bashar al-Assad has held onto segments of his constituency, in spite of a brutal crackdown aimed at crushing a popular uprising. For many Syrian Christians, Mr. Assad remains predictable in a region where unpredictability has driven their brethren from war-wrecked places like Iraq and Lebanon, and where others have felt threatened in post-revolutionary Egypt.
(Read more here or here.)
Is This What the American Bishops Want?
By A.P. Cromidas
"....Among their concerns, many laudable, the bishops pointed out that June was “internet safety month” and urged “priests and parishioners to raise awareness and secure appropriate protection for our children and communities from the many and diverse prevalent dangers, including pornography, cyberbullying, perils by predators, risks of geotagging, and in particular dissension in the Church.” (Emphasis added.)
Dissension in the Church is apparently more important than pornography for the bishops when it comes to the Internet. It is interesting that they coupled dissension with the Internet. Did they have Mr. Stokoe’s web-site in mind? A few years ago, in the Greek archdiocese, then-Archbishop Spyridon would have liked to have the web-site “Voithia” (“Help”) taken down, but Voithia was “speaking truth to power”, and it was the Archbishop who was removed by Patriarch Bartholomew, after the ground-swell from the faithful..."
(Read more here.)
Obscure Chronology Reveals Details
of +Jonah’s Actions in Moscow Affair
Tucked away in the comments section of a recent article on the Russian language website Credo.ru is a chronology of events that purports to cite official letters and private e-mails from, among others, both Metropolitan Jonah and Fr. Zacchaeus’ lawyer Vladimir Berezansky Esq. concerning the placing of Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood) on a “Leave of Absence” from his position as the OCA representative to the Russian Orthodox Church. The chronology, allegedly posted by a Bishop Daniel (Moguntov), a little-known, recently-consecrated hierarch of the non-canonical “True Orthodox Church”, appears at first glance to be a defense of Fr. Zacchaeus by its suggestions of untoward actions by Bishop Melchisedek, the OCA’s interim chancellor, and by Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, the OCA’s chair of the Department of External Relations. More importantly Moguntov’s chronology, if true, provides details of the actions of Metropolitan Jonah and offers a revealing glimpse into the problems Metropolitan Jonah occasions for the Synod (and the other governing bodies of the OCA, as well). (Read more here.)
Mischief in Moscow, Aporia in Syosset
Various Russian websites are reporting that Archimandrite Zaccheaus (Wood), the former OCA representative to the Moscow Patriarchate who had been officially placed on Leave of Absence and recalled to the United States in the wake of allegations of misconduct late last month, served the Divine Liturgy at his former parish at St. Catherine’s in the Fields last Sunday (August 21). According to these websites Fr. Zacchaeus “...reported in his sermon after the Liturgy, (that) he celebrated the Liturgy with the blessing of the Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Jonah.”
The unexpected development in Moscow, and the reasons given, prompted some overseas Orthodox bloggers to suggest intrigues, from the promotion of the “Russian World” to yet another chapter in a “power struggle” within the OCA.
The sad reality is much less conspiratorial.
If the Archimandrite’s claims prove to be true (and there is no reason to doubt his veracity on something that can be so easily ascertained) his actions represent no conspiracies, foreign or domestic, but only the latest situation in which Metropolitan Jonah has once again acted unilaterally and secretly, against the decisions of his Synod, the counsel of the OCA’s professional and legal advisors, ignored the concerns of alleged victims and overturned the established policies and procedures of the OCA. In so doing, he has once again put the OCA at potential legal risk. (Read more here.)
Greek Bishops Debate Retirement Age
The unusual voluntary retirement of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Zakynthos has raised the question in the Greek Orthodox Church of the need for lifelong service by metropolitans, reports the “Romfea” website.
The retirement of Metropolitan Chrysostomos has inspired several other Greek metropolitans to declare that they too will voluntarily leave their Sees when they reach 72 years of age. (Read more here.)
8.19.11 From the Russian Internet
A SECOND ATTEMPT TO SCARE THE HEDGEHOG
Independent American Orthodox journalist Mark Stokoe humbly accepted his dismissal,
but did not shut-down his website popular with all the Orthodox
by Svetlana Vais
"The news that Bishop Matthias of Chicago (Orthodox Church in America - OCA), excercising his power, dismissed Mark Stokoe from the Metropolitan and Diocesan Councils seemed to spread across Orthodox America faster than the Internet would allow. For, in recent times, every concerned Orthodox citizen, not only one who resides in America but even one who understands English, reads the online website OCANews.org at least once a week; the acronym stands for “Orthodox Christians for Accountability”. This informational resource reported every turn in the “case of Metropolitan Jonah”, as well as other problems in the OCA frankly and promptly." (Read more here.)
Should We Fear the "Werther Effect?"
by Michael Stankovich, CA
In 1774, Johann von Goethe (a Romanticist contemporary of Wordsworth, Chateaubriand, Hugo, Colridge, Hawthorne, Poe, & Whitman) published a novel that distinguished him as a profound literary voice: The Sorrows of Young Werther. In this novel, Werther was a young artist, tormented by unrequited love, who came to believe that the only resolution to his sorrow was to take his own life, which he did.
Obviously, it was the brillance and passion of Goethe's writing that enamoured him to similar young men, but then an unexpected, alarming phenomenon began occurring: young men began to mimic Werther's "solution" by committing suicide...." (Read more here.)
News From Around Orthodox America
• Bishop Melchisedek Recovering
(Glen Cove, NY) Bishop Melchisedek, the interim Chancellor of the OCA, is recovering from successful surgery on Monday for a hernia that had caused him to be taken to the hospital last week. According to sources close to Syosset, the Bishop will continue to recover in New York until he is able to be driven back to his home near Pittsburgh sometime next week.
• Antiochians to Consecrate New American Bishops "In Syria or Lebanon"
(Engelwood NJ) In an August 8th message to his Archdiocese, Metropolitan Philip announced that the three recently elected Auxiliary Bishops would be consecrated “....at one of the Patriarchal locations in either Lebanon or Syria in December of 2011. The exact date and location will be determined by His Beatitude
(Ignatios VI) and communicated to us.” Unfortunately, just three days earlier (August 5th) the US State Department issued the following updated Travel Warning for Syria: (Read more here.)
Interim Chancellor Taken Ill
In a brief email notice to the Synod and Metropolitan Council early this morning, Fr. Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary revealed that Bishop Melchisedek, the interim Chancellor, has been taken to a Long Island hospital. Fr. Tosi writes: ( Read more here.)
Stokoe Dismissed From Metropolitan Council - Again
Late yesterday afternoon Bishop Matthias of Chicago announced, without warning, in an email to the Metropolitan Council and his own Diocesan Council, that he had withdrawn his blessing and dismissed Mark Stokoe, Editor of OCANews.org, from both bodies. The Bishop’s brief letter reads: (Read more here.)
Given Official Silence, Misinformation and Speculation Abounds
The recall of Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood), the former Representative of the OCA to the Patriarchate of Moscow, without official explanation, and his failure to return to the United States as ordered, has led to widespread speculation, and much misinformation, in both the USA and Russia. (Read more here.)
Abdalah, Michaels and Ozone Elected as Auxiliary Bishops for Antiochian Archdiocese
The Antiochian Archdiocese announced today that its Synod had elected not two, but three archimandrites of the Archdiocese to serve as additional auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese. Archimandrite John Abdalah will serve as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Worcester and New England; Archmandrite Anthony Michaels will serve as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest; andArchmandrite Nicholas Ozone will serve as the auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and assist Metropolitan Philip at the Archdiocesan headquarters in Englewood, NJ. (Read more here.)
Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood) Placed on Leave
In a carefully worded statement from Syosset today it was announced that the highly visible Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood), representative of the Orthodox Church in America in Moscow , had been placed on a leave of absence and recalled to the United States." While avoiding the word "suspension", the statement noted that Fr. Zacchaeus is "prohibited from exercising any liturgical or sacramental ministry". (Read more here.)
Russian Synod Blesses Rite of Prayer For Families Of Suicides
The official website of the Russian Orthodox Church is reporting today that the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, meeting in the Lavra of the Kievan Caves, approved a "rite of prayerful consolation for relatives of those who willfully ended their lives." (Read more here.)
Patriarchs Meet: +Kyrill Reaffirms Georgian Authority over Abkhazia and South Ossetia
- reposted in full from the website Civil.ge
"The two Patriarchs met on July 26 in the Ukrainian capital, where they are participating in the events marking conversion to Christianity of Kievan Rus 1023 years ago. The Russian Patriarch said after the meeting that "problems" had been discussed, including related to church life in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "We have discussed not easy issues in an atmosphere of brotherly love and peace," Patriarch Kirill told journalists.
"It is absolutely obvious, that canonical jurisdiction of the Georgian Patriarchate covers the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he told reporters." (Read more here.)
More News From Around the Orthodox World
• Belgrade, Serbia
A recent article by Anes Alic on a Sarajevo-based website ISAIntel states that during the first week of July “.... the Belgrade Prosecutor’s Office sent a request for the extension of an investigation against the former bishop of Kosovo, Artemije and three other Serbian Orthodox officials for financial embezzlement and misuse of office." (Read more here.)
ORTHODOX PASTORAL RESPONSE IN THE PAST TO SAME-SEX BEHAVIOR
Society is currently coming to terms with those who identify as “homosexual” (i.e. those who are “gay” or “lesbian”), especially in terms of what is called “marriage equality.” Many Orthodox, when confronted by acceptance of gay and lesbian people by the larger society, simply assert, “It is forbidden!” without examining the previous practice of the Church. For many people, the label “holy tradition” simply describes what they have experienced or what has become typical practice in the last fifty years rather than a description of the Church’s life over the millennia of her existence. Many times the Church has clearly proclaimed a standard for behavior or belief but then developed a pastoral response to accommodate changing social realities. (Read more here.)
LABELLING THE DEBATE
by Fr. Lawrence Farley, Canada
All of my generation will remember the lines from A Charlie Brown Christmas when Charlie Brown, depressed over the coming of Christmas, sits down at Lucy’s desk (the sign overhead announcing “The Doctor Is Real In”) and says, “I am in sad shape. I know I should be happy, but I’m not.”
Lucy responds, “The mere fact that you realize you need help indicates that you are not too far gone. If we can find out what you’re afraid of, we can label it.”
Labelling is not always helpful. Sometimes labels are too simplistically applied, and shut down real thought and dialogue. But sometimes labelling is crucial—such as when dealing with a disease. Then it is called “diagnosis”. I submit that our current debates in the Church about sexuality indicate that something is wrong with us, and if we can find out what that is, we can label it. The intensity of debate, conducted as it is between people of equal intelligence and goodwill, about something as basic as human sexuality, and about something which the Scriptures and the Fathers and the traditions of our Church have been clear and uncontroversial for about two millenia, clearly reveal that something is wrong. The debate is not like other debates in the Church in the past. This debate is a symptom. (Read more here.)
A General Thank You
"A general Thank You to all who posted in reply to my recent reflection, both pro and con. I am assuming that the questions posed to me on the public post, were rhetorical questions not requiring an answer. Several opponents inferred a license and a position on my part that is nowhere suggested in my text, but I suppose on some level that can be more gratifying than to simply ask the author. I reiterate one sentence in my essay that seems rather clear:
“Affirming the need for intimacy and human warmth does not defacto translate into an affirmation of gay marriage.”
How then, do my detractors infer that I am promoting same sex unions? I am especially grateful to some individuals, both for and against my statements, who took the time to call or mail me personally. I was edified by those exchanges, and I hope I was able to answer questions directly and adequately. I can only return to the principle plea of my essay, which is a call to restraint and a more careful attentiveness to persons, to real human beings. For my part I promise to try harder on each score.
July 17, 2011
(Editor's note: A "Thank you" asking for a "general call to restraint" amid "careful attentiveness to persons, real human beings" is a good place to end this current thread of reflections and discussions, lest we all be caught up in theological dramas that don't exist -- and manufactured crises for purposes other than the pastoral questions raised by recent events. I echo Fr. Vinogradov in thanking all who have written on this topic recognizing that there was no "pro" or "con" here, no "sides", but real concern being expressed by all whatever their perspective.)
by Alexandru Nemoianu. MI
In its March-January 2011 issue, the official publication of the Banat Metropolia,”Altarul Banatului”,published an articol,entitled “In Memoriam” and signed by Fr. Horia Taru. The article was about the late Metropolitan of Cluj, Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania. Fr. Horia Taru can write whatever he wants and can hold whatever opinion he choose. However, he is not entitled to his own facts. On page 10 of the mentioned publication Horia Taru said ” Valerian Trifa had no valid ordination, he had no apostolic succession, he was not in possession of the Godly gift, and consistently he had all qualities except one: he was no bishop”. All those things were made in reference to the year 1965. (Read more here.)
• OCA Launches Redesigned Website
The initial relaunch of the redesigned OCA.org is scheduled for this evening, according to sources in Syosset. This is one phase of many upgrades and and new features that will take place over the next year.
• NY Deanery Adopts Resolution For Next AAC Cutting OCA Assessment
The New York Deanery has offered a resolution to the upcoming NY-NJ Diocesean Assembly (July 19th in Endicott, NY) advocating a 50% cut in the current OCA Assessment. You can read the text of the resolution here.
• Former Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) Reportedly Stronger
In an email to diocesan clergy today, Fr. Marcus Burch, Chancellor of the Diocese of The South wrote: "There have been several reports in the last day or so of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri's, deteriorating health. I have spoken with both Fr John Anderson and Milos Konjevich who are close to the situation in Dallas. Vladyka Dmitri has been seen by a doctor, he is receiving more intensive and attentive in-house care, and he is eating better. While he continues to be weak, he actually seems to be improving. While none of us clearly sees the future, it does seem that these changes in the Archbishop's health are more incremental in nature, and part of the what the Psalmist expresses in Psalm 90.10: 'The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.'.....Please pray for the Archbishop, asking that God will grant him strength and healing."
New beginnings in community
Gender issues and the Church
by Fr. Alexis Vinogradov, Wappingers Falls, NY
(Read it here.)
Fr. Golitzin Nominated as Bishop For OCA Bulgarian Diocese
Fr. Alexander Golitzin was nominated as the candidate for Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese at the diocese’s Fifth Congress-Sobor held Saturday, June 9, 2011 in Fort Wayne Indiana.
A native Californian, Father Alexander Golitzin received a BA in English from UC Berkeley and an M. Div. from Saint Vladimir's Seminary. He spent seven years pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford University in England under His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware]. During this time, he also spent two years in Greece, including one year at Simonos Petras Monastery on Mount Athos.
After receiving his D.Phil. in 1980, Father Alexander returned to the US, where he was ordained to the diaconate in January 1982 and to the priesthood two years later. In 1986, he was tonsured to monastic orders. He served OCA missions in northern California and headed the Diocese of the West's mission committee. In 1989, he took a teaching position at Milwaukee's Marquette University in the Theology Department, a position which he holds today.
Golitzen is the author, editor and translator of several books on ancient Christian mysticism, as well as more contemporary forms including " The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos". Among his academic specialities are notable studies into the Jewish roots of Eastern Christian mysticism.
He is the namesake and nephew of the three-time academy award winning Art Director (died 2005).
(Read more here.)
Draft Resolution of the "Jubilee Council" of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church(MP) Re-Affirms Desire For Autonomy, Not Autocephaly
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) released the following yesterday:
"With the blessing of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and in order to stop the anti-Church information campaign in the media, and to reassure the faithful and to stop speculations about the Jubilee Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that will be held at the Holy Dormition Kyiv Lavra of Caves on July 8, 2011, the Organizing Committee for Preparation of the Council made public the draft resolutions of the Jubilee Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
This document was sent to all delegates of the Jubilee Council of the UOC for making amendments and suggestions. The resolution is the only document to be adopted by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. (Read more here.)