Friday, June 26. 2009
St. Tikhon's Investigative Committee ( We had a SIC, now we have a STIC.) Bishop Nikolai. Metropolitan Jonah and the ACNA. Your comments are welcome.
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I thought Bishop Nikolai had a giant VISA card strapped on his hip under the Sakkos. Now it seems to be true.
The news that Met. Jonah has begun talking to some more serious Anglicans is the ecumenical news of this century and the last. What will other Orthodox hierarchs do? Let's hope they understand that ecumenical talks with regular Episcopalians are as fruitful as ones with the Mormons. Excellent move by the Metropolitan.
#1 ba'ab on 2009-06-26 13:29
Great news regarding the Episcopalians! Hopefully they too will see what many converts have found in the Orthodox Church and join it. Good news!
#2 Anonymous on 2009-06-26 13:51
I fear that in the midst of the scandal surrounding St. Tikhon monastery that suspicion of financial mismanagement is also being placed on St. Tikhon Seminary. I have not read of any allegations of mismanagement of the seminary's finances here on this site but I fear that by association many are making this assumption. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that an independent auditor has audited St. Tikhon Seminary since 2004. You can read those reports here http://stots.edu/financials.html. Part of the requirements for accreditation by ATS (Association of Theological Schools: http://www.ats.edu/Pages/default.aspx) is an independent audit. St. Tikhon Seminary has been accredited for 5 years and is currently going through the process to renew this accreditation. In the process of accreditation St. Tikhon Seminary will be visited by ATS and all aspects of the Seminary will be reviewed, from curriculum to financials. Two separate organizations are looking at the finances of the seminary for accreditation purposes. To my knowledge the only problem with the finances is the reduction in support to the seminary, not any issue of mismanagement. I assume that this reduction in giving is due to the economic crisis, not an assumption of wrong doing at the seminary. Being a recent graduate of St. Tikhon Seminary I would not want the seminary to suffer because of the alleged actions take in the bookstore and the monastery. The Church as a whole benefits because of the work of St. Tikhon Seminary. The graduates that come out of St. Tikhon Seminary are serving the Church all over this country and the world. The students are from numerous jurisdictions in this country and numerous local Churches around the world. Please do not stop supporting the work of the St. Tikhon Seminary.
Fr. Nikolai Meyers
St. John Orthodox Church
(Editor's note: Well said, Father. )
#3 Fr. Nikolai Meyers on 2009-06-26 14:01
You must remember the old Russian saying, "When a fish begins to stinks, it starts with it's head." Well, same case here. Many good people have come out of STOTS, but the corruption at the top was rampant. Like any cancer, it must be cut out and the patient made well. Most of the cancer is gone, but the patient may die!
#3.1 Anonymous on 2009-06-26 17:08
Fr. Alexander, Academic Dean uses that saying in his classes at STOTS. I am very familiar with it. His Eminence Met. Jonah who is President and His Grace Bp. Tikhon who is rector are very healthy heads. Fr. Michael Dahulich, Dean of St. Tikhon Seminary was the one who pushed for the audit and accreditation. The leadership of the seminary is very healthy. But what corruption are you referring to at the seminary? My point was to show that the seminary is audited and scrutinized by two non-Orthodox organizations. 5 years ago ATS did not find any corruption at the seminary to disqualify them from accreditation. Nor in the last five years has any financial corruption been found at the seminary. Do you question the work of the independent auditor or of ATS which accredits over 250 other graduate schools of theology? The investigation concerns the bookstore and the Monastery. Both of which are under new financial management and in need of our support as well. Light has been cast on the darkness it is time to lend a hand to help our brothers in Christ in there efforts to clean up. If you have allegations state them and support them, but do not incriminate the seminary due to its proximity to other institutions that are under question. The seminary's books are open and have been for 5 years.
Forgive me for my blunt tone
#3.1.1 Fr. Nikolai Meyers on 2009-06-26 19:58
Pleeeese....the mortgage scandals were fictional? The monies used by + Herman were fictional? The covering up of sexual misdeeds were fictional? + Herman's new home and remodeling were fictional? And it goes on and on.
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2009-06-29 05:58
All of your accusations are against Met. Herman and all are connected to the monastery or the bookstore. Again the seminary is not the monastey or the bookstore. They are seperate. The seminary has been audited and accredited for five years. Two independent organizations not connected with the OCA or any Orthodox group has looked at the seminary's books and approved them as being in good order. You are incriminating the seminary in affairs that no one has accused it of being a part of. The seminary is not under investigation.
I can not address the issue of sexual misconduct since I have no knowledge of it, even as gossip, during my recent time at St. Tikhon Seminary (2005-2008). My aim has been to point out the seminary's financial integrity and distinguish it from the current scandal surrounding the monastery and bookstore, both of which are no longer connected to Met. Herman or any other individuals accuses of wrong doing. Again we must help are brothers in Christ at these institutions recover from these scandals and the side effects of these scandals, in the seminary's case, the accusation of guilt by association.
#22.214.171.124.1 Fr. Nikolai Meyers on 2009-06-30 08:31
REMEMBER! THIS WEBSITE IS FOR GOSSIP ONLY! FOR GET ABOUT THE TRUTH! THIS WEBSITE MUST TELL LIES ABOUT GOOD PEOPLE!! BUT SOON! GOOD PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN HURT BY THIS GOSSIP WEBSITE "WILL BE HERD IN A COURT OF LAW" ! YES MORE MONEY WILL BE SPENT ON ATTORNIES! MR AND MRS KONDRATIC WILL WIN IN COURT! I'M GLAD TO SEE SOME MEMBERS OF THE MC MUST APPEAR IN COURT WITH THEIR ATTORNEYS ! IN SAID CASE! I'M SURE DOWN THE ROAD YOU MIGHT HAVE TO APPEAR ALSO MARK. HERE ARE SOME OF THE LIES YOU PUT ON YOUR EVIL WEBSITE TO SCARE YOUR READERS! " ST TIKHONS SEMINARY IS BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PA" LOCAL POLICE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO INVESTIGATE MISSING FUNDS. (HAS ANYONE BEEN ARRESTED YET?) JUST LIKE THE SIC REPORT! MORE GOSSIP! MORE SLANDER AND NO ARREST! WHAT GOOD WAS THE SIC REPORT! IT APPEARS IT HAS NO VALUE IN THE COUT SYSTEM! BS DOESN'T STAND UP IN COURT! IT TAKES FACTS! KEEP SLANDERING GOOD PEOPLE! YOU JUST MIGHT SEE ME BACK INFRONT OF YOU CHURCH WITH MY SIGN " MAKE A CHOICE! LOVE AND FORGIVNESS! OR MARK STOKOES WEBSITE PREACHING HATRED" (i DONT THINK YOUR PARISH WOULD LIKE THAT!)
Editor's note: Since All Cap Guy has returned and "outed" himself as the protester in front of my parish, (yes, he really was there with a sign one Sunday), one can only point out, Billy, that your hero, Met. Herman appointed the SIC, and the Synod of the OCA accepted its report. It was never intended as a document for court, but as the fruits of a church investigation into itself. I am sorry the conclusions have disturbed you, but I am not the cause or the problem, nor did I write the SIC report from whence your distraught came. And, although I cannot speak for the many parishoners who attempted to speak with you, and invite you in for worship and coffee with us, I can say for myself the doors to St. Paul's are always open. If you think this a good use of time, when you could be in Divine Liturgy during that 90 minutes, well, the choice is yours.)
#3.2 Anonymous on 2009-06-30 12:33
The return of All Caps Guy. You actually exist (as Billy)!
I would like to meet you sometime.
You confirm for me that our problems in the OCA were and are real because your extreme resistance to wanting to see the truth and problems the OCA has been going through is typical of someone in denial.
Denial is a common defense mechanism and not surprising at all to witness in difficult situations. But I was pleased that denial can also be corrected. It was so refreshing to hear the recent Bernie Madoff apologize to his victims and still get 150 years.
That type of sentence will never happen for those guilty of absconding with money in the OCA.
But his apology was refreshing and more than what those in the OCA who have abused money seem willing to do.
#3.2.1 Patty Schellbach on 2009-07-01 07:28
Credit where credit is due. It took guts to stand outside a church with a protest sign. It always takes guts to make a public stand, and kudos to you, All Caps Anonymous Guy. I honor courage wherever it appears.
You are, however, still clinging to your sad delusions. Let them go.
#3.2.2 Scott Walker on 2009-07-01 08:26
MR STOKOE! LET ME POINT OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME! YOU SPREAD "HATRED" WITH YOUR WEBSITE! I ON THE OTHER HAND WOULD RATHER FORGIVE AND SHOW MERCY AND LOVE TOWARDS MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS! WHY WOULD I GO INTO YOUR CHURCH THAT APPEARS TO ENDORSE YOUR WEBSITE? HAS YOUR PRIEST TALKED WITH YOU ABOUT THIS? MAYBE HE DOESN'T CARE? MAYBE jOB DOESN'T CARE EITHER! SO THAT TELLS ME, ALOT ABOUT YOUR CHURCH AND WHAT you stand for! why would I GO INTO A CHURCH THAT I FEEL DOESN'T SUPPORT CHRISTIAN VALUES? UNTIL I SEE A CHANGS DONT EXPECT ME TO COME INTO YOUR CHURCH. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO YOUR PRIEST!
#3.2.3 Anonymous on 2009-07-02 08:14
I was very pleased to see His Beatitude's remarks to the Anglican Church in North America. Several of their large parishes are close to mine and we have a fruitful dialogue locally. I hope the Metropolitan's efforts bear fruit a hundredfold! Many Years, O master!
#4 Fr. David Subu on 2009-06-26 14:02
D'accord! Well done, +JONAH. God keep you in all holiness.
#4.1 Cathryn Tatusko on 2009-06-26 17:52
Once again, I have reason to applaud Metropolitan Jonah, for breaking off ecumenical relations with the apostate (to Christianity) Episcopal Church in the USA, or what remains of it, and establishing a working relationship with its orthodox (to Christianity) remnants. As a former Anglican, I can sympathize with the pain and suffering of the members of this remnant, as its institutional structure has adopted a radical secular agenda on issue after issue.
Orthodoxy would be in a much better position to embrace, and ultimately absorb, the many orthodox Christians who are estranged from their respective jurisdictions if only we could get our own houses in order. But at least Metropolitan Jonah, a former Anglican himself, has made the right gesture and clearly established where our priorities should be, when and if, we can faithfully witness to the Lord with a vibrant and healthy Church.
#5 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2009-06-26 14:03
Hold on. Let's not misuse the word "orthodox." Spelt with a big "O" or a little "o," it means "right-believing," and there's no difference between the two: it simply describes the belief and teaching of the Church. Anything outside of that can't be called orthodox, for it is not fully so, however close or not it may get. There may be more classical or traditionalist forms of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, and less classical or traditionalist forms of them, but being a more classical or traditionalist form of heresy does not make it orthodox. Read up on this new "Anglican Church in North America," and you'll find it's no more orthodox or less heterogeneous in theology, liturgy and discipline than the Episcopal Church from which it broke, and it's got some questionable political and financial baggage to boot. So while Metropolitan Jonah's "keeping the door open" is all good and well, caution and patience, rather than euphoria, are advisable. Keep in mind that the Baptist Rick Warren was received just as enthusiastically as the Orthodox Metropolitan Jonah at this ACNA gathering.
#5.1 Gregory on 2009-06-27 09:19
SVOTS hosted the last Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius Conference in June 2008. This ecumenical Anglican-Orthodox body was founded in 1928.
Folks that's an 80-year record of talks with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Take a look at the Church of England and the other members of this ecumenical fellowship and you'll find the same heretical heterodoxy as you'll find in the American Episcopal Church.
Has Metropolitan Jonah also renounced the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius? If not, why not?
We read the current press releases and all of sudden Metropolitan Jonah is waiting with holy "arms open wide" to intercommunion with the ACNA provided that members of the ACNA become Orthodox Christians.
Does Metropolitan Jonah also promise intercommunion to Episcopalians who become Orthodox Christians? Anglicans of the Church of Canada who become Orthodox Christians? For that matter, ANYONE who becomes an Orthodox Christian?
I'm sure that it is safe to say that Metropolitan Jonah will give communion to anyone no matter what their background provided they convert to Orthodoxy. That's what makes Metropolitan Jonah's speech so fatuous, because in essence he is not interested in any kind of real dialogue with the ACNA, he wants to monologue the tautology: "Intercommunion is possible between Orthodox Christians, therefore it is possible for Orthodox Christians to have intercommunion."
This Metropolitan wants to interfere with the internal politics of a heterodox American church body, the Episcopal Church, by playing favorites with the schismatic ACNA while maintaining business as usual with the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius. This move stinks of hypocrisy.
What's the point? The ACNA didn't break with the Episcopal Church in order to become Orthodox. They want recognition from Pastor Rick Warren, the Lutheran Missouri-Synod, the Roman Catholic Church and the OCA in order to look like major "players" in the Anglican scheme of things.
What does Metropolitan Jonah get out of this move? He thinks he becomes a player, a kingmaker in the American church scene and gets to enjoy his own press releases proclaiming himself as the Second Coming of St. Tikhon.
#5.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-06-28 19:22
I don't believe the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius is an official ecumenical organ. It's a fellowship of individual Christians who sponsor interactive events and papers and such to help increase understanding and clarification.
I think that this constant retreat to the category "heterodox" is a smokescreen to sidestep the hard work of interpersonal relationships and confronting with honesty the Faith that is often truly shared between Christians.
#126.96.36.199 Rdr. John on 2009-06-29 18:25
Reader John wrote:
"I don't believe the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius is an official ecumenical organ. It's a fellowship of individual Christians who sponsor interactive events and papers and such to help increase understanding and clarification."
I can confirm this understanding of the nature and work of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius. It is, and always has been, an unofficial private society devoted to promoting contacts and exchange of information between Christians of different traditions. While its origins were in conferences of Anglican and Russian Orthodox theological students, membership is not confined to Anglicans and Orthodox, but includes members from a wide variety of Christian traditions.
The influence of the Fellowship can, perhaps, be seen from the fact that its Council currently includes the present Orthodox Co-Chairman and the former Anglican Theological Secretary of the official Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue.
Archimandrite Kyril Jenner
Chairman of the Council, Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius.
#188.8.131.52.1 Archimandrite Kyril Jenner on 2009-06-30 08:39
Okay, it's Monday and maybe I'm slow today, but kindly explain why there should not be intercommunion among anybody who becomes Orthodox with any other Orthodox Christian. Surely baptism, Chrismation and Communion are sufficient to overcome the hideous heterodoxy of a convert's background, no matter what it is. It sounds as if you simply wanted to launch a rant about Met. Jonah. Charity or facts need not intrude, right?
I get so very tired of the anonymous internet tough guy defenders of Orthodoxy. It is a sad and pitiful world you inhabit, anonymous braveheart.
#184.108.40.206 Scott Walker on 2009-06-29 19:15
I agree, you might be a bit slow...
Here's what I've been trying to say in a nutshell:
The ACNA was formed to remain in the Anglican "mainstream" (defined as beliefs that they have held in common "for decades) and NOT formed to be some sort of amorphous pre-Orthodox Church body.
ACNA luminaries have stated and are stating over and over that they exist in order to uphold the Great Tradition which includes the "heresy" (Met. Jonah's word) of the Reformers like Calvin.
While the ACNA no doubt enjoys the PR effect of Metropolitan Jonah's endorsement, not one hierarch or priest of the ACNA has responded with anything approaching, "We're about to cross the Bosphorous."
If anything, the ACNA is expecting through "dialogue" for the OCA to come to the "middle" and become less Orthodox and more Anglican-Protestant in order for intercommunion to happen.
Metropolitan Jonah did not become Orthodox by becoming more Anglican or believing that the Anglican-Episcopal communion has more in common with the Orthodox Church than differences. No, he left the A-E communion behind and became Orthodox through the ministrations of the Valaam (Russian Orthodox Church). Someone should remind him that it is true that "you can never can go home again."
#220.127.116.11.1 Anonymous on 2009-06-30 07:29
It hasn't been my impression that +MJ is in the process of doing any such thing. I think he is openng a door for those who recognize where the true faith may be. He seems to have been quite frank about what former Anglicans have to do to enter (you yourself point out that he calls Calvinism "heresy") Doing a rather bold bit of witnessing, it seems to me.
#18.104.22.168.1.1 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2009-07-01 08:26
Thanks for the insult, but you did not answer the question.
#22.214.171.124.1.2 Scott Walker on 2009-07-01 08:32
I would venture to say that there won't be any baptism for the Episcopals, they will simply be chrismated and bought in simply by renouncing their errors. Baptismal regeneration will not take place and they will bring their demons with them.
(editor's note: There is only one baptism in the name of the Trinity, and if done by a baptized Christian, it is valid and fully effective. That is the Orthodox teaching and tradition for 2,000 years. To assert otherwise, that baptism is somehow dependent on the one doing the baptizing, is well, Donatist, in the least. Our concern for keeping the tradition should not result in overthrowing that very tradition in misguided zealotry. )
#126.96.36.199.2 yanni on 2009-07-01 19:44
"In 1755, Patriarch Cyril V of Constantinople issued a controversial Definition of the Holy Church of Christ Defending the Holy Baptism Given from God, and Spitting upon the Baptisms of the Heretics Which Are Otherwise Administered, which was signed also by the patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem. From that time onward, the Greek Church in principle required (re)baptism of all Latin converts (and for that matter of Uniate and non-Chalcedonian converts as well). Writers favoring the new practice (e.g., St. Nikodemos the Haghiorite in his commentaries on the Pedalion), faced with the problem of explaining the earlier (and the continuing Russian) practice of non-rebaptism, did so in terms of oikonomia. From the mid-19th century in the Church of Constantinople, and from the early 20th century in the Church of Greece, reception by anointing with chrism again begins to be permitted, at first only very grudgingly, this being explained simply as a matter of oikonomia. *Inasmuch as the 1755 Definition on heretic baptism has never been rescinded, recourse to akribeia (i.e., rebaptism) remains a possibility in the Greek Orthodox world and is often advocated especially in circles influenced by the example of Mount Athos.*"
- Fr. John Erickson, OCA
An FYI to those who hold to the Editor’s thinking:
Mount Athos has been the spiritual heart of the Orthodox Church for over 1000 years.
Any OCA member who was received by chrismation only who is considering a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain should be prepared to be informed by the Fathers that he was not baptized. It should go without saying that this status impedes the partaking of the Holy Mysteries in the Garden of Panagia.
Mount Athos holds to this: “If heretics are allowed to baptize and to give remission of sins, wherefore do we brand them with infamy and call them heretics?" (Victoricus of Thabraca, "The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," (200-258 AD), Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5, pg. 568))
BTW, if you weren’t married/ had your marriage mysteriologically “crowned” in the Orthodox Church after your reception, then you are not considered married on Mount Athos or the Greek Orthodox Church for that matter.
I’m speaking from personal experience.
(editor's note: Having taken Fr. Erickson's class, your selective citation fails to mention his point regarding this history. The Greek Church did such because at that time Latins were trying to destroy the Church - in other places, in other times practices were different. In short, whether or not the baptism of those outside the canonical bounds of the Church was accepted or not had more to do with how the Church in that location felt those outside it were actively seeking to destroy it or not. If so, they generally refused to accept their sacraments as vaild; if not, they did. If have no quarrel with the monks of Mt. Athos; but simply put, their standards are not ours. We have to have female animals - they don't - because we do. If they insist on rebaptism, remarriage, whatever, that is between them and their canonical hierarch - which in this case is the EP, which in this case does not require re-baptism outside the precincts of the Holy Mountain. Nor does the OCA, or AOCA, etc., etc., etc. I am sorry you feel that many of us are deficiently Orthodox. I am content to let God sort it out.)
#188.8.131.52.2.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-02 13:00
About sacramental/mysteriological marriage within the Church. It's not a Mount Athos thing, it's an Orthodox Church thing. Married converts who have not been married in the Orthodox Church are not Orthodox in good standing in the eyes of the Greek Orthodox Church (including the in America) and the Russian Orthodox Church. It is puzzling to those outside of the OCA as to why many married converts in the OCA find it onerous to have the Church's blessing on this most primary of relationships or why so many OCA priests tell their married converts that this Mystery in "not necessary."
It's true that the OCA has its standards that are different from Orthodox Christians outside of the OCA (e.g. Mount Athos) but if an OCA believer ever wants to step outside of the OCA jurisdiction, then he/she better look at what the rest of the Church does differently than the OCA. But I guess said OCA believer would be fine if he/she never stepped out of the small provincial circle of the OCA and was none the wiser.
In the case of Mount Athos's standards versus the OCA's standards, one must ask: Who is the standard bearer of the Orthodox Church? Is Mount Athos or the OCA the "spiritual heart" of the Orthodox Church?
If the OCA marks the beginning and end of your life in the Church then, the answer is obvious. If one wants more than what the OCA offers, then one should learn how to get what one wants outside of the OCA.
#184.108.40.206.2.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-02 19:18
Re: " I am sorry you feel that many of us are deficiently Orthodox."
It's not a matter of what I feel, it does matter what the wider Orthodox world feels.
For all of the talk of unity on this blog, this lack of concern for unity in the Mysteries of the Church is very disturbing. Does the editor speak for the majority of the OCA?
Using just the one example, Orthodox Christian Marriage:
A unified Orthodox Church in North America will necessarily involve unity with the largest Orthodox body in America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. In this largest body (not exactly renowned as a bastion of Orthodox traditionalism), all of their married converts must be married in the Church in order to be Orthodox Christians in good standing.
In other words, an OCA married-in-the-world couple who were never married in the church/marriage crowned coming to this parish would be considered "not in good standing" and therefore they would be unable to partake of Holy Communion. A Greek Orthodox puts it very directly to those who refuse this sacrament: "Why would you want to hold yourself away from the Church's blessing on your marriage?" Why indeed?
I know of many OCA members who would dispute this by saying, "We've always received the Holy Mysteries whenever we've visited a Greek church with no problems." The reasons for this are simple. Most Greek Orthodox priests assume that the sacraments are administered in the same manner in other jurisdictions as their own.
As talks of unity in this country progress, the problem of the disunity of the sacraments will arrive front and center.
Blithe dismissals like "their standards are just different from our standards" are not going to build unity but only underscore the reasons why the Orthodox jurisdictions should remain separate in order to avoid the trap of minimalism and homogenization that will rob Orthodox in America of the riches of their faith.
If the autocephalous OCA is to become the rallying point for all other jurisdictions as an expression of primacy, does that mean that all the other jurisdictions (e.g. Greek, MP, ROCOR, etc.) must conform to its standards or will the OCA trade up to adopt the more rigorous standards of the the other jurisdictions?
#220.127.116.11.2.1.2 Anonymous on 2009-07-03 05:00
You know what, anonymous? Our priest baptized my wife and me, chrismated us and communed us without one word about being married in the Church. Five years later, he's still hearing our confessions and still communing us. I'll take his opinion over yours, thanks.
Any thoughts about the Julian calendar, while you're at it?
#18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Scott Walker on 2009-07-06 16:58
Scott; just for my own information; are you in an OCA or Greek Archdiocese parish?
#126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Curious Anon on 2009-07-19 17:20
As I understand it, ACNA broke with the Episcopal Church USA over one single issue: the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. What they are seeking is to be recognized by the worldwide Anglican Communion as a new province within the Communion, with all the rights of any other province. In the meantime, they are being governed as part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. They are not trying to become a new church. They have not renounced any of the 39 Articles. Women deacons and presbyters (and bishops, if I deciphered the photos correctly) participated in the installation of Archbishop Duncan. The church remains in the main true to its Calvinist origins.
Metropolitan Jonah didn't sugar-coat his remarks. Calvinism remains condemned heresy. Many issues remain to be discussed. He simply indicated (as I understood his remarks) that where the door to dialogue with the Episcopal Church is now closed, dialogue with ACNA is ongoing. As long as ACNA remain committed to the 39 articles, it is not only unlikely they will become Orthodox (or orthodox), it is impossible. You can read them at http://www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/acis/docs/thirty_nine_articles.cfm
Imagine how far away we are from unity with the Roman Catholics; then add predestination, original sin, the sacraments, church councils, iconoclasm, the veneration of saints, transubstantiation, etc., etc.--the gulf between ACNA and Orthodoxy is very, very wide.
#184.108.40.206 Morton on 2009-06-30 10:31
You are quite simply wrong. "Orthodox" and "orthodox" are not one and the same thing. My use of the word "orthodox," as an adjective, not as a noun, was deliberately done to describe those Christians (who btw we recognize as such through baptism) who are close to us, but not in communion with us, for a whole host of reasons.
Of course, they are not "Orthodox," or maybe even sometimes from our perspective even "orthodox," but it serves no purpose, save inordinate pride, to denigrate them and castigate them, especially when we are trying to embrace and recruit them to our cause. Whatever differences we may have pale by comparison with what we have in common, so on that basis alone we should move forward in seeking unity, with appropriate diversity, and abandon the outdated, and frankly offensive, triumphalist rhetoric.
#5.1.2 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2009-06-29 05:56
Reports coming in now on the effect of Metropolitan Jonah's speech to the ACNA:
- The new ACNA Archbishop Duncan called on his flock to “plant a thousand new churches in five years.”
- "Bishop Martyn Minns of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, one of the breakaway groups that make up the ACNA, said that by forming the new province, they are establishing that they want to stay within the Christian mainstream. 'The teachings we hold to are the teachings that have governed the Anglican branch of Christianity for decades,' Minns said."
In short, the ACNA holds to the teachings that have governed the Anglican Church "for decades" and they are going to plant a thousand churches in 5 years that uphold these ancient teachings.
Good work, Met. Jonah!
#220.127.116.11 Anonymous on 2009-06-29 19:35
And yet another anonymous warrior for True Orthodoxy checks in. You have every right to criticize Met. Jonah. You would gain some credibility if you mustered up the courage to attach your name to your criticism. That aside, please explain how Met. Jonah is somehow responsible for Anglican Christians building churches. A fair minded observer might expect that if the number of Anglican communicants grows, more churches would be built, whatever the Metropolitan says or doesn't say. But then, you anonymous heroes aren't really about fair-mindedness, are you?
#18.104.22.168.1 Scott Walker on 2009-06-30 10:08
I'm a bit confused by your comment. The most natural interpretation of your words would be that if it weren't for Metropolitan Jonah's speech the ACNA would not be setting ambitious goals for expansion, and would not be committing itself to the theological system to which it has hitherto been committed. I find that assertion rather improbable.
Perhaps what you meant to imply was that the speech had no impact, and therefore, presumably, should not have been made. That too is incorrect in my opinion. His Beatitude quite simply spoke the truth, both about the things these Anglicans and Orthodox have in common, and those things which divide them. Speaking the truth is never a vain exercise. It may bear dramatic fruit (although I honestly doubt that in this case) or it may not. I think it is much too early to say which in this case.
#22.214.171.124.2 Mark AC on 2009-06-30 15:39
"No impact" is spot on.
ACNA used Metropolitan Jonah in order to boost its own standing. Metropolitan Jonah used the ACNA in order to boost his own standing.
It was a mutual PR effort.
Look for the "dialogue" to go nowhere. ACNA will not renounce its heresies. Pray that the OCA does not renounce its Orthodoxy.
#126.96.36.199.2.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-01 06:26
So, Met. Jonah used this meeting to advance his own standing. Did His Beatitude tell you this himself, or did Severus Snape teach you legilimancy? Or maybe you're just naturally psychic? Or could it possibly be that you have no idea, and are anonymously slandering a good Christian man for the hell of it? That's what it looks like from here, braveheart.
No courage, no character.
Post your name and prove me wrong.
#188.8.131.52.2.1.1 Scott Walker on 2009-07-01 13:44
Actually Metropolitan Jonah told all of us himself when he used the ACNA conference to humbly suggest that, "I occupy the throne St. Tikhon held as the leader of the Orthodox Church in America."
I wasn't aware that St. Tikhon of Moscow (glorified in 1981, NOT by the OCA, but by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and then glorified by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1989) was a bishop in the former Metropolia. He was a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church while administering the Diocese of the Aleutians and North America.
Of course all of this will be sorted out soon as even the OCA is delving into the history behind its mythology. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is working on its response to the exclusive claims of the OCA to the mantle of the Russian Orthodox Church in America. How shall the twain be met? We're living in exciting times folks!
In the meantime, Metropolitan Jonah has to go on his PR offensive to try convince as many people as possible (including protestants) that the OCA is the only legitimate heir to the Russian Orthodox Church on North American soil. It's his right and it's the job that for which he was picked.
"Let us praise Tikhon, the Patriarch of all Russia, And Enlightener of North America!"
#184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Anonymous on 2009-07-01 17:09
If Metropolitan Jonah is truly on St. Tikhon's throne, then why aren't the Russian Orthodox parishes in America (Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) under his omophorion as they were under St. Tikhon?
ROCA glorified St. Tikhhon in 1981 so they obviously consider him one of their own. Can it be argued that Metropolitan Hilairion (ROCA) sits (also?) on the present-day throne of St. Tikhon?
(Editor's note: There are lots of OCA parishes who identify themselves as Russian Orthodox - many with histories over 100 years old. So your first point is not valid. As for your second, of course Metropolitan Hilarion sits on the throne of St. Tikhon, if by that you mean he is a bishop in America. He is not the head of the successor jurisdiction that was led by St. Tikhon though. That would be the OCA, not ROCOR, who has never seen itself as a successor jurisdiction, but as the last remanent (until recently) of the Russian Church itself. If by throne of St. Tikhon you mean Patriarchal throne in Moscow, well, Patriarch Kyrill might dispute his claim.)
#18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-03 07:54
Re: " If by throne of St. Tikhon you mean Patriarchal throne in Moscow, well, Patriarch Kyrill might dispute his claim."
I meant the throne of St. Tikhon when he was the bishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska and North America.
Your pardon please for the historical blurring.
Does anyone know when the representatives of the ROCOR and the OCA are going to meet to make their cases to each other?
(editor's note: I was not aware there were cases to make. ROCOR is part of the Russian Orthodox Church sojourning in America. It is part of the Russian diaspora. The OCA is the local Orthodox Church in America, also sojourning in America, but in diaspora from nowhere but its heavenly home. And as far as I know, ROCOR has never claimed the "throne of St. Tikhon" whatever that is, as it has never claimed to be part of the "Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska and North America", nor its successor entity, the OCA.)
#126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-06 19:08
Please note the language from the news release following the regular session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia that was held on May 5-7, 2009:
"It was also decided to form a commission to study the relationship with the Orthodox Church in America and to hold joint meetings to discuss the sources of the division between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the*American Metropoliate.* Included in this commission are Bishop George, President; Archimandrite Luke (Murianka); Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Secretary; Protopriest David Moser and Priest Peter Jackson. The commission is to study and present findings on the reasons for the division and to evaluate the mutual accusations, and propose methods of healing the separation."
ROCOR refers to the OCA as the "American Metropoliate."
A commission was supposed to have been formed earlier to address the ROCOR's position on the Metropoliate (in schism from the ROCOR since 1946). ROCOR officially rejected the OCA's autocephaly in 1971 and has not rescinded this rejection.
ROCOR can make the claim that they are indeed American spiritual offspring and therefore heirs (true heirs?) of of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Tikhon whom the ROCORcanonized/glorified in 1981.
Lots of work to be done on the OCA-ROCOR front. The talks will be interesting to put it mildly.
(Editor's note: Then let us hope the talks are successful, and the healing can take place.)
#184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-07 10:22
As an Orthodox Christian living in Australia, I can tell you that there is an aspect of the +Nikolai/Dcn. Panteleimon story that is false. There is no Orthodox monastery called 'St Stephen's' anywhere in Australia, much less in Adelaide.
To the best of my knowledge, they were in St Sava's monastery in Elaine, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria - Dcn Panteleimon is actually listed as a member of the brotherhood (ref: http://soc.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=564&Itemid=47).
(Editor's note: Mea Culpa. I posted an earlier version of the story, rather than the corrected version. I apologize for the error, and thank you for bring the error to my attention. The story, as it should have run originally, has now been published. )
I, too, rejoice at the ecumenical, pastoral, and missionary efforts of His Beatitude, +Metropolitan Jonah! Hopefully, we are on our way to focusing on spreading the Gospel to our brothers and sisters in America who are thirsting for it!
Regarding the Reflection by "An Antiochian Clergyman," I can only say that this seems to be a post from a "hanger-on" of +Philip. This seems especially so after he says, regarding Philip, that "It would therefore be un-Christian and un-canonical to level such accusations against him at this time." He then goes on to call for all-out investigations, depositions, and excommunications of those who might be guilty of forging these faxes. He even says, "In addition, criminal charges should be pursued, if warranted." Of course, he never even suspects that +Philip might be involved at all. My question is: if +Philip is involved, will this "objective" clergyman call for the same standard of investigation and punishment for MP as he does for others he thinks might be involved? It's something worth thinking about!
#7 David Barrett on 2009-06-26 16:05
The view of the Antiochian priest is not only explained by being a "hanger-on". In his situation, he needs to give MP every benefit of the doubt and there is nothing wrong with that, that is the essence of generosity to his superior. The priest has enough troubles balancing his many parish responsibilities and then, now, has to work with the ambiguous situation of his bishop and metropolitan.
No, the priest is being fair and will have another thing to worry about if MP gets in even deeper and it's revealed there is real wrong-doing. Until that time, I'm not sure there's much he can really do about it. I mean, he can read posts here every day and get upset but that's just not going to be helpful.
For all of us, we'll just see how everything shakes out. Panicking and stomping off because of perceived wrong-doing by a metropolitan doesn't solve anything. A year ago, a few people in the OCA who posted here started looking at the Antiochian jurisdiction as greener pastures -- just imagine the quandary of those that actually made that move when "they had had enough." Well, now they careen back into their former parish because they don't like what's happening with the Antiochians. History is replete with clergy who have behaved less than honorably. What else is new? St Athanasius was condemned multiple times by councils of bishops. St Nectarios was persecuted by bishops. If all of this is disturbing for us, we should turn to God in prayer. If writing a letter to the Patriarch or to one of the bishops one prefers gives a person peace of mind, then, by all means, do so. But dwelling only on the negative for the sake of negativity doesn't seem to be productive.
#7.1 R Stevenson on 2009-06-26 22:40
There is NO QUESTION Philip is involved. he always lets others do his dirty work.
He always manages to distance himnself from his own activities.
For years hewould have Bp Antoun be the heavy then chastize him publically on occasion to be the good guy.
Good Cop / Bad Cop routine. The routine is old.
#7.2 betrayed by philip on 2009-06-27 05:00
If MP is so out of touch (clueless) as to be unaware of the circumstances of the falsified faxes and his own very strange response before and after the truth had to be clarified by the Patriarch, this does not explain MP's refusal to be obedient now.
Delay, obfuscate, project and cast blame everywhere else! It's like negotiating with Iran to cease their nuclear weapons project! We've seen clearly enough in what regard the Supreme Leader of Iran holds his people. The further tragedy for us comes in the abundant parallels with MP's recent actions. We ought to love MP but only in the context of loving God and the Church first. We do not say "yes" to Roman presumptions to jurisdictional supremacy though we love the Christians of Rome no less ... no more should we say yes to MP's papal presumptions. That becomes a personality cult all too quickly and we can see the resultant distortions in thinking among those who are struggling so mightily to serve MP's interests in the ongoing crisis in the North American Archdiocese.
The time has come to recognize that even if MP is not the only ochestrator of the mayhem of his actions, he is responsible for his actions and his actions have scandalized the faithful and divided the church. I am not wanting to judge his soul ... his actions speak loudly and clearly all by themselves. Only one unable to rightly divide the word of truth is unable to understand this.
#7.3 Monologistos on 2009-06-27 17:36
Who should I thank regarding the open questions on St. Tikhons.... Faith Skordinski or Mark Stokoe???
(editor's note: Several people contributed to that list of questions. Thanks accepted.)
#8 Anonymous on 2009-06-26 20:29
Regarding the Anglicans, it just breaks my heart to know that many of our own will only focus on their use of bread and bash their liturgy. as all being "unorthodox" or "post-schism" and will not be able to look past it.
#9 Kevin Klein on 2009-06-27 07:37
Once again the OCA makes the problems at St. Tikhon's all about financial mismanagement. I have copies of some of the reports sent to Met. Jonah about the spiritual, psychological and sexual abuses at St. Tikhon's. Seminarians are afraid to speak out because they will never be assigned to a parish, let alone graduate if they speak out. So there is a lot of fear. There has been blatant sexual misconduct from the top down. One abuser has recently been reassigned to a parish after a month’s vacation.
Also still no investigation into the "high ranking cleric” I have posted about now FOUR TIMES. Let alone, I have written two letters to the chancellor copied to the entire SOBs. And he remains in a position of power. Not even one bishop has responded to my concerns.
And while I'm at it, right now there are two misconduct cases (ones that Pokrov happens to know about) in the DOS. It's been hushed up and the abusers relocated and/or protected. Clearly this Metropolitan has more concern for the abusers in the OCA than the people who have been hurt by them.
NOTHING has changed in this regard in the OCA.
You all can keep talking about the Antiochians and the OCA financial mismanagement, but the real problem is deep corruption that quite frankly just continues.
Hopefully some day the victims will find their voices and speak out about this in a way in which it will be impossible for the cover-up to continue.
I have said from the start of this series of scandals that our focus on its financial aspects shows what we really care about. Rumors about various sorts of sordid and abusive behaviors by those in power didn't get a website like OCANews started - that took financial mismanagement (not to take anything away from OCANews).
Of course, accusations are not proof. However, I believe the OCA has extremely clear guidelines about how accusations of sexual misconduct are to be handled. While it may not be possible to prove the veracity of an accusation, it should be relatively easy to prove whether the OCA (as a corporation whose Board and executive leadership have fiduciary as well as canonical responsibilities) has followed these guidelines. Sort of like getting Al Capone on tax evasion charges rather than murder, rum running, etc. - if there is, in fact, truth to the accusations of sexual misconduct and cover-up.
I agree, of course, that moral offenses among the clergy ought to be vigorously investigated; and I am disappointed that this has not been done. How is it that, after everything, only one person was deposed — and by Met. Herman! Why has the Holy Synod not fulfilled its responsibilities here?
However, as to the focus of OCA News and lay protests in general: I think the bottom line is that money matters can be nailed down — numbers add up or they don't. On the other hand, who has had a sexual encounter with whom is exponentially more difficult to demonstrate, unless you happen to own a private detective agency.
I can't believe it says anything flattering as regards our priorities, but I suspect that the reading public would actually have been very happy to have had a website focused on salacious accusation after salacious accusation; and if I recall Mark put a good bit of effort in the beginning into keeping discussion away from that unproductive area.
I say unproductive because, in sexual matters, what more can you have except for salacious rumors, until a victim or other participant in illicit acts comes forward? And then, of course, it is "his word against hers" (or his, as the case may be). Even the government, with resources such as DNA testing, subpoena power, and the threat of incarceration can't always sort these things out — I hardly think Mark was going to be able to.
(And that is certainly what such a focus would have required of him, however he had handled it. Even if the OCA could have been compelled to start investigations, we have seen how easy it is to rig those.)
Of course, if a sex crime had been revealed, the government might have intervened with the aforementioned resources. But in sexual matters, much that is a transgression by the Church's standards is considered perfectly lawful by the world. In financial matters, on the other hand, there is a near-perfect correspondence.
Considering further that, at least in ecclesiastical organizations, sexual immorality and financial shenanigans seem always to go together, I'd say the strategy on the lay side of things was a sound and realistic one.
#10.1.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-07-01 14:21
I know I have asked you who this high ranking cleric is and you told me.
It is all tragic and I don't know why you have not gotten responses from anyone on the Synod.
It does give an impression of "protecting one's own" rather than seeking the truth through formal processes for such issues.
#10.2 Patty Schellbach on 2009-06-29 09:54
Yes, it's disappointing and very depressing.
I assume the case in question is one that was being discussed even at the AAC back in November in quiet whispers. A public statement/action of the cleric in question was widely attributed to this accusation being out there and action on it pending.
A clue to the thinking behind the silence, inaction, cover up and avoidance can perhaps be found in the more detailed reporting on the auditing committee posted today on OCA.org. Met. Jonah exhorts the auditors to be on guard against the spiritual impact of the information to which they may be exposed.
Such concern may translate on a broader level into suppression of information and cover up. The need to protect the 'little ones' from the fallout of scandal prevails.
On one level, we need to acknowledge there is a real concern here. Treating it as nonsense devalues the care and consideration that pastors, and more especially arch-pastors, must exercise vis a vis the spiritual health of their flocks.
But all the various risks must be weighed --
Does silence protect the flock from scandal? Maybe.
Does silence protect the flock from the actions of abusers? No.
Is there a risk that silence and avoidance send a message that abuse will be tolerated or handled so discreetly as to have little impact on the abuser? Probably.
Does silence imply that a culture of intimidation prevails and that disclosure will rebound negatively on the victim? yes.
So, the instinct to silence may be motivated by care for souls. But we must consider the consequences of silence.
If even one person suffers abuse because we handle things 'discreetly', if even one person suffers abuse because our concern to protect the institution of the church from legal consequences outweighs our concern for the welfare of the persons who constitute the body of the church, then the price is too high.
#10.2.1 Rebecca Matovic on 2009-06-29 19:30
A thorough investigation of the Monastery and Bookstore while it was run by MH and AK is indeed of the utmost importantance,and appropriate action taken. Dragging things for years usually results in a "Statute of Limitations" block.And I also for the longest time have questioned Julias house being used by MH and Martin,when it was supposedly to be left to the Monastery.This is what MH would always tell others if they wanted to build anywhere in that vicinity.Many of us,and I mean many,are anxiously awaiting the outcome of all this.And how did AK accumalate so many material assets in such a short time...especially when he came to this country without the proverbial penny???
#11 Anon on 2009-06-27 09:30
Exactly where did you receive this information about Julia and Anna's house? Please send me EXACT information concerning this. When I say EXACT I mean a certified copy of a legal document or letter that has been filed with an official government agency. Please provide me with documentation, not assumptions or heresay. As an educator, I have to provide valid documentation and research based information, before I can legally make statements about or recommendations for a student. In our current society backing up information with facts is becomming the norm for most situations. Please back up your statements with good, solid, documented information so that myself and others can investigate this for ourselves.
#11.1 Veronica Bilas on 2009-06-29 12:12
Until an investigation is conducted, I'd like to stop having my weekly parish pledges applied to the AOANA assessment. I understand that this is now structured as a percentage "tax," calculated after (ironically) a parish opens its books to the Archdiocese. It doesn't seem that state laws about the use of designated gifts would apply to that kind of membership-tax-on-total-contributions situation. Any Antiochian lawyers care to weigh in? Thanks in advance.
#12 Also in Brooklyn on 2009-06-27 10:14
Regarding the reflection by "An Antiochian Clergyman" and David Garret's post, may I post here what I just finished posting at The Antiochian?
I have had a kind of epiphany. As you know, I had been patiently trying to understand this situation and giving people the benefit of the doubt. My epiphany occurred as I was rereading Father Stephen’s post, to wit: “those documents were not doctored. stop spreading false information. those documetns were signed by the patriarch in damsacus in front of several people of the antiochian delegation. they may not have been accepted as the final copies after revision, but do not call them doctored or forged. that is simply untrue. kevin, you better watch yourself and your words. you are treading on thin ice. i will personally call the metropolitan about your accusations and see to it that something is done to control your stupid and unorthodox mouth.”
At first I was going to simply rebut the good father but I kept thinking of the last sentence “i will personally call the metropolitan about your accusations and see to it that something is done to control your stupid and unorthodox mouth.” I was going to object to Father Stephen threatening Kevin Kerwan, but it occurred to me that the important thing here was the presumption that Metropolitan Philip could control Kevin’s mouth. That was my epiphany: that Metropolitan Philip is a despot in the worst sense of the word. I do not respect him any longer. I do not want him as Metropolitan anymore. I suspect him of misdeeds and wrongdoings. I wish that he would be carefully investigated in all areas of his administration. I wish he would go away!
#13 Carl on 2009-06-27 12:14
Many, many wrongdoings through the years! Agreed time to retire. The Convention will do nothing with the big "50th Anniv. Tributes", now being prepared by the blind followers. many of which rewarded for their "faithfuless" thru the years. The Official delegation to Damascus headed by Bp Joseph purely a wealthy admiration society with little depth and all one sided for their "leader". Wake up people! God is Great!
#13.1 Anonymous Priest on 2009-06-28 22:36
Kudos to the OCA for investigating St Tikhons based on believable allegations. Sure wish the AOCANA would have itself investigated on the same grounds by an independent auditor.
Carl- I'd like to paraphrase a very dear friend of mine (hopefully he won't kill me for posting this) in the context of your epiphany: "It is so sad and sick that many bishops and priests prefer to operate on a sadomasochistic basis of dominance and submission, both deriving equal pleasure from the relationship. This is the dynamic that empowers +Philip's supporters and why they are always yapping about their twisted views of 'obedience' to +Philip. They derive a vicarious sense of empowerment by participating in the +Philip cult of personality - even as they debase themselves and eviscerate their own identities and integrity."
Thanks to God we actually do have some really fine bishops in the AOCANA and a Patriarch who so obviously loves the Church. We'll need them as we force the light into Englewood's dark corners.
#13.2 Silouan James on 2009-06-29 10:44
BTW--check out http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=10693 for a good description of what Jonah said, as well as some engaging dialogue below among Anglicans.
#14 Fr. David Subu on 2009-06-28 02:40
I do have to say great questions raised and here's a few others.
Are their specific deadlines being presented for the STIC? How long do we have to wait until we hear results.
Will the results first be presented to the synod or just to st tikhon's board?
The investigation will prove interesting and hopefully the misuse of funds and criminal misdoings will all come to light. People have suffered because of all of this, may those involved be punished for all they have done including those that think they have done nothing wrong
#15 Anonymous in PA on 2009-06-29 10:30
I am surprised not to see a single comment regarding +Nikolai's saga in Australia. Maybe everybody's head is spinning, reading this account. I cannot believe that he and his retinue simply descended upon the community there and immediately gained access to the funds, with carte blanche to spend them for their own purposes, squander them, and leave debts behind. How did they get out of the country, and not end up incarcerated? What jurisdiction would be nutty enough to accept them? Cate
#16 cate on 2009-06-29 13:05
Um, then maybe you don't know +Irenei. That would be the answer to "how."
#16.1 Phileas on 2009-06-29 19:12
The shepherds, the OCA HS, need to protect the flock by publicly acknowledging that +Nikolai is indeed no shepherd, but rather, a wolf.
#16.2 Kathleen Carlsen on 2009-06-30 12:30
St.Tikhon's Monastery cemetery is the resting place of so many Bishops,Priests and lay people who were strong in their belief in God,of their Orthodox Faith,which motivated them to work hard for the Church in America.First the Metropolia and now the OCA.It is mind-boggling today when we read and hear som much of what has happened,and is happening to our Church. I have to agree with so many others that nothing much has changed with the new people. Yes,there have been "some" changes,but not enough. There is still secrecy,dis-honesty,with too many things being hidden under the table. Our Bishops are still running around the country and the world,instead of staying home and cleaning up their own back yards. There is more of an interest in making the Church "American" instead of bringing Americans into Orthodoxy. Until everything,and I mean everything,is placed on the table and dealt with in the proper manner;and our churches have more Liturgies,Akafists and Moliebens thru the week,and cease bing a "Sunday Church" only,then perhaps God will hear our prayers and heal our Church. May it be so!
#17 Anon on 2009-06-30 13:39
Thank you Scott and Reader John! I, too, tire of the narrow, bigoted, and Pharisaical mindset so often expressed on this and other Orthodox websites. I actually had to defend C.S. Lewis from those attacking him for being non-Orthodox and thus suspect! (thankfully on another site.)
When these, usually anonymous, remarks come from those who are seemingly well educated it is doubly distressing, but I suppose not so surprising. I can only imagine our Lord's reaction to some of his supposed followers exhibiting the style and character of his bitterest enemies as described in the Gospels.
Lord have mercy.
#18 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2009-06-30 17:00
"Mount Athos" seems to have become yet another Idol...romanticized to the point of becoming cinematic. That place has as many HUMAN problems as anywhere else...I refuse to measure my Faith on what those "Real Orthodox" on the "Holy Mountain" are doing this week...
#19 Moses on 2009-07-06 16:02
St. Theodore the Studite said, "Monks are the sinews and foundation of the Church."
Is this not so for the OCA?
If it is not, and disdain for Mount Athos is commonplace in this jurisdiction, then the OCA is in trouble:
"A house is not built by beginning at the top and working down. You must begin with the foundations in order to reach the top." - Abba John the Dwarf
Lay the foundation first, OCA!
(Editor's note: I know of no one in the OCA who disdains Mt. Athos. We simply to do not take their specific way of life, given its unique vocation and circumstances, as a template for ours in different circumstances and with a vocation in the world. End of story.)
#19.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-07 13:45
"End of story?" You meant, "End of the OCA story," didn't you?
To the rest of the Orthodox Church, St. John Chrysostom says,
"When Christ orders us to follow the narrow path, he addresses himself to all. The monastics and the lay person must attain the same heights.”
"Those who live in the world, even though married, ought to resemble the monks in everything else. You are entirely mistaken if you think that there are some things required of ordinary people, and others of monks… they will have the same account to render.”
(editor's note: Now you are just being silly. The quotes refer to our common goal, as Christians, to attain theosis through ascesis and prayer. In that sense, the same is required of monks and clergy and laity - indeed of all Christians. But to think a lay person with the vocation of mother- or fatherhood living in the world with the responsibilities of family, work and society can attain the above in the exact same manner as a monk who is freed of all the above, is as absurd as to think a monk could follow their specific vocation while taking care of children, parents, a home, work, their parish and their neighbors - even while fulfilling their obligations to society. To recognize such is not the " end of the OCA" but to recognize reality as it is - and thus the beginning, not the end.)
#19.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-07-07 15:24
Can someone please tell me why a person who was thrown out of the church still has his name listed on the seminary bookstore page for contacts?
I thought Fr Sergius was now manager and in charge of all finances.
(Editor's note: Clearly, the web page needs to be updated.)
#20 pa resident on 2009-07-07 10:19
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