"but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6 NAS
This letter could have been written by my daughter. Thankfully, she hasn't been derailed by the events of these last few months, but the leadership, trustees, clergy and hierarchy of our Church need to stop and consider how each of their actions will affect the least of these little ones.
Young people are far more internet savvy than the older generation, and I know many who are reading what is going on. Met. Philip is ruining his legacy for promoting youth programs when he scandalizes them with egotistical behavior and surrounds himself with thugs. ....And the writer is correct that the youth have little patience for this. They don't understand senility and they don't tolerate abuse of power. You can say that the multiple jurisdictions in America at least give our kids some hope of refuge from madness.
I congratulate on your clear, concise statements. It is no wonder that non-denominational, faith-acting and charity-works churches are growing by the thousands in local communities across the US. They have thrown out doctrine, and anything that is connected to a traditional church. What they do have is a singular church structure that focuses on doing charity and keeping their dollars on a local level (no hierarchy, no priests, no formal historical traditions; yes they have traditions but do not state them that way) and they are picking up the youth across the country (from Roman Catholic backgrounds, etc) like a piped piper. Our Orthodox hierarchy are acting too much like Roman Pontiffs. Where will they bring the church to -- bankruptcy and corruption. Our hierarchs must get out of their enclosed enclaves and live among the people and serve the people. I do not think our hierarchs even know and understand and live in the typical American culture. Our married clergy do. It is time to bring back the married clergy to the tradition of the apostles and have married hierarchs attending to our churches. They have had familes, and taught and lived within the American community. Our hierarchs are celibate (at least they are suppose to be) and monastic. American life is neither. Monasteries have their place and we need good heathly monasteries. Smaller dioceses and less centralized power is essential.
The married episcopacy would only work if the bishop was alllowed to have a regular 9-5 work day with weekends off. As a spiritual shepherd does not have the luxury of dictating when he wants to tend his sheep or not, his is a 24-7 work schedule. PKs, as most of us well know, have the roughest time and there are no lack of examples of dissaffected PKs. What a scandle to have dissaffected BKs (bishop's kids'). What about a bishop who's children are grown but is still married? That might be a possibility, but I will pray that we will be ready if or when the Lord permits it. Until then, we must play the hand we have been dealt and do the best we can.
"PKs, as most of us well know, have the roughest time and there are no lack of examples of dissaffected PKs. What a scandle to have dissaffected BKs (bishop's kids')."
This is baloney! Give me a priest who only works 9-5 and I'll give you a failure. This is a ridiculous excuse not to have married bishops. With your argument, no one who is married with children would run a corporation. Silly argument!
Under the current system? I'm sorry, you are in error. When a bishop is the shepherd of 50 parishes in the western US, how is that workable in many family households? If there were a united Orthodox church, with, perhaps, 20 bishops dividing the country, it might work. Certainly -- in the OCA there is the bishop of Eastern Pennsylvania -- I can see that as a manageable workload but most dioceses are not like that. I don't know the patterns of all of the dioceses, but the bishop comes by our parish (not in the general area -- that's different), once a year. Although I personally feel that is more than enough, it really isn't if he is truly to be a shepherd and know and understand the parishes. From personal observation, disaster occurs when this does not happen.
Yeah, I know some businessmen with children are constantly on the road -- that doesn't make it right.
Some who have discussed this seriously have been pretty united in the idea that this would have to be a man whose is at least 50 years of age, presumably with grown children, and a wife who does not object to having her husabnd gone about every weekend, etc. That might actually work...especially if we had real dioceses in most places that are sanely sized.
(This comment was meant for the college student's letter, but got posted under Mr. Zrake's letter.)
This heartfelt and clearheaded open letter can be summed up in one verse from the Gospel that some bishops and "church establishment" types seem to forget, avoid or ignore these days: "A tree is identified by the kind of fruit it produces" (Matthew 12:33). If we're not behaving in a Christlike manner and running our church life in accord with the ethics of his Gospel -- which include honesty, transparency, lack of criminality and aversion to wrongdoing -- we have no room to wonder why people hold aloof from the Church and prefer atheism to Christianity. The fault is ours.