1.23.06 Just Released!
A LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP JOB
January 23, 2006
To the venerable and esteemed Clergy of the Diocese of the Midwest:
My Beloved in the Lord,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
In December of last year, following my letter of 28 November 2005, to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, I made a request through my Chancellor and Deans, in accordance with the request to me by His Beatitude, that our clergy refrain from posting their concerns on the internet until the meeting of the Lesser Synod on 20 January 2006.
The statement generated by the Lesser Synod at this meeting leaves much unanswered, but it was the best that I could agree to under the circumstances. My fundamental question posed to the Metropolitan in the aforementioned letter—
“Are any of the allegations true, or are they false?”
I am reminded of two statements made by His Beatitude at the 13th All American Council and the 14th All American Council respectively:
“It is evident that the Church is neither the hierarchy alone, nor the clergy alone, nor the laity alone. Rather, the Church is the Body of Christ, composed of bishops and clergy and laity acting together.”
“Sobornost’ may be understood as the responsible and right-ordered participation of the entire People of God in the Church’s life and work. This shared involvement in the Church’s life—by hierarchs, clergy, and laity alike—means that every Orthodox Christian, having received the Holy Spirit, may properly express concern for the Church, discuss the Church’s challenges and needs, and suggest insights and answers to the challenges found by the Church, as long as this is in keeping with the Church’s Faith and Tradition.”
Please know that I concur wholeheartedly with His Beatitude and commend him for his wisdom. Yet it remains the task of all of us to see that these do not become empty words.
He who has ears to hear, eyes to read, and a heart to understand—that is, he who has thoughts or words to offer in a spirit of Christian love and for the edification of Christ’s Holy Church—let him not feel constrained.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest