Monday, June 13. 2011
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First, continuing to look for celibates or monastics ONLY to fill episcopal positions is ridiculous. This is NOT the tradition of the Orthodox Church. With more & more bishops needed, it only makes sense to seek out well-educated, married priests who can preside over smaller dioceses. Mitred Archpriests who served as Deans fulfilled this need in the past.
Also, the report on the nuns in DC speaks volumes. + Jonah couldn't get the OCA synod to go along with his plan so ROCOR does? Who does + Jonah represent, the OCA or ROCOR? Let him go to ROCOR!!!
#1 Anonymous on 2011-06-13 07:34
The 6th Ecumenical Council disagrees. They made it pretty clear that married bishops wasn't going to happen anymore (unless the wives were willing to go into convents).
#1.1 Anonymous on 2011-06-13 09:20
Let's clear this up...AGAIN! Married bishops were a problem in the Roman/Byzantine Empire because, according to law, their progeny owned the church & property. Many times after the bishops death, his progeny closed the churches & sold the property for the money. Therefore, canons were written to correct this. Going to monasteries also provided men who were educated (the libraries were there) and the church was second nature to them. In today's world, these laws don't exist. MARRIAGE IS NOT AN IMPEDIMENT TO ORDINATION NOR CONSECRATION. If you believe so, then you are living in heresy and dishonor the institution of marriage. In America, as bishops are needed, we need to consider HEALTHY, educated men for the office, both married & celibate!
#1.1.1 Anonymous on 2011-06-14 07:17
Whatever the initial reason for choosing only monastics and celibates for the episcopacy, the reasons for keeping this rule go back nearly as far. This is a universal practice across cultural, linguistic, political and theological borders. It's a good conciliar bet that a practice agreed upon by Rome, the Orthodox, the Non-Chalcedonians and the Nestorians is apostolic in the way all post-apostolic doctrine and practice is apostolic. Pull on this string, and you may as well join the Protestants in the search for the pure, early Church as if the Body of Christ did not grow in "wisdom and stature" (Luke 2:52).
#188.8.131.52 Ps-Iosifson on 2011-06-15 06:53
WRONG! As I outlined and you can research this yourself, celibate & monastic candidates for the episcopate was a "pragmatic" decision due to the laws of the time - THAT'S ALL!!! It isn't theological; it isn't Orthodox, what it was, was a pragmatic decision due to the civil laws! It really is time to get beyond this and consider monastics, celibates AND MARRIED MEN for the episcopate!
#184.108.40.206.1 Anonymous on 2011-06-15 15:38
Seriously, join the Episcopal Church already!
#220.127.116.11.1.1 Phil on 2011-06-15 21:45
I've said it before and I'll say it again - have you ever asked a matushka how she would feel about her husband being made a bishop?
People keep harping on married episcopacy like it's actually going to happen. It may be a discipline to choose bishops from among the celibate, but this discipline has stood without exception for 1300 years. We would discard that unilaterally at our own peril. If God means for the Church to resume consecrating married men as bishops, it will happen when the whole Church is moved to do so, not just because a few people in the OCA think celibate people are scary.
Also, "the early Church did it" is not a valid rationale for reviving a dormant practice. Or will you start making your confessions in public and receiving communion in your hand?
As for the dearth of celibate episcopal candidates, I thought Metropolitan Jonah was trying to address that issue by starting a men's monastery. How's that working out?
#18.104.22.168.1.2 Cordelia on 2011-06-16 09:59
You missed my point. Whatever the initial reason for limiting the episcopacy to monastic and celibate candidates, the fact that the practice was retained long after the initial, pragmatic reasons had passed into history is not something to be easily ignored. That is, 1500 years of consensus across all of Orthodoxy - as well as all of Rome, the Non-Chalcedonians and the Nestorians - cannot be ignored.
There are all sorts of things the Church did and allowed in the first centuries that have gone by the wayside, according to the good pleasure of the Holy Spirit who has guided the Church as it's grown in wisdom and stature. Just because something was once done, somewhere, by some doesn't mean it can be ripped out of that bygone ecclesial and cultural context and dropped into our ecclesial and cultural context centuries later. Our history is not a smorgasbord to pick and choose from, creating a faith in our own image, according to our own preferences. "Earlier is better" is a Protestant belief for an invisible Church.
#22.214.171.124.1.3 Ps-Iosifson on 2011-06-16 11:01
"have you ever asked a matushka how she would feel about her husband being made a bishop?"
I believe it would be "over my dead body" in my house.
#126.96.36.199.1.3.1 Fr. Simeon on 2011-06-23 23:48
It is my understanding that among 'practical' motives for a celebate episcopate was a concern that dynasties could otherwise develop. Certainly traditional Christian societies are pretty family oriented, so this seems to be a not-unreasonable fear. I am TOLD (but cannot cite a reference) that at one point the Nestorians DID move to a married episcopate and almost immediately DID develop dynasties, which became so entrenched that when they returned to a celebate episcopate, the dynasties continued for a long time on an uncle-to-nephew basis. For all our current difficulties, a dynastic episcopate would surely be worse.
#188.8.131.52.2 Steve in NYC on 2011-06-17 09:43
This isn't a reply to any specific item in the discussion on married vs non-married candidates for the episcopate. But my limited observation is that the very first characteristic of a candidate for the episcopacy is his marital status. Not his character. Not the depth of his faith and knowledge and the ability to articulate them. Not his ability to be the overseer of his presbyters and their parishes. Not his having the characteristics described in such places as 1 Timothy 3. The first question is "who is unmarried or widowed?" I can't say whether we should revert to the ancient tradition of married bishops. But I do think that we should ask the "who would make a good bishop?" question first and the "what is his marital status?" question later.
#184.108.40.206.3 Scott on 2011-06-19 20:46
...except that the latter is so much more immediately apparent!
#220.127.116.11.3.1 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2011-06-23 15:18
Let's take the DOS as an example. The diocese has 70+ parishes and monasteries. Do you honestly think that a married bishop would be able to handle this large of a flock AND a family? One will have to suffer. Which should it be? The family or the flock? Or, at best, he'll give them both only half his attention. Balancing a parish and a family is difficult enough. I'll venture a guess and say that as the Church grew, the Fathers saw what was happening. They saw this as the best chance. No one is saying that marriage is bad. I never said that. I never said it should be an impediment to anything. And, truthfully, it's not. The Council made a provision that if the wife were willing to go into a monastery, then all was fine.
Are you saying you know better then the Holy Fathers of the Council?
I, for one, would not want a married bishop. Because, as stated above, either his family, or we, his children, will suffer. There's no middle ground. It's not possible. Perhaps if we went to smaller dioceses, one bishop per city, it may be doable. But, as it stands right now, it's not. Even in predominantly Orthodox countries, dioceses are still large.
Also, there are plenty of candidates available. Would we need to consider looking outside the OCA? Perhaps. But, it's not like that would be unheard of in the Church to look at other Churches to find bishops.
And, just to clear this up: This is not because I don't think marriage is bad. I think this for the reasons stated above. Marriage is a sacrament, a holy union. But, I'm also a realist. Having to deal with 70+ parishes & monasteries and juggling a family would be near impossible.
And, by the way, it is the tradition of the Church. Not all Church tradition started on Pentecost. Having said that, if the Churches, together, decided to reduce diocese sized dramatically (and I'm talking of going back to each city...maybe two or three for less populated areas...having one bishop) and restore a married episcopate, that would be one thing. But for OCA, by herself, to go down that road, would be foolish and have severe consequences from the rest of the Church.
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2011-06-16 08:19
You must be referring to the Council in Trullo, where one canon (12 I believe) decreed that currently married men would no longer cohabit or have marital relations with their wives. Another one (48?) decreed that future bishops, if married, must no longer cohabit with their wives or have marital relations with them. It is critical to remember that these two canons are the last ecumenical ones on the subject. It is also critical to remember that all these newly celibate bishops remained to be married, thus the Lord's commandment for no man to put asunder what God hath joined was partially honored.
Regarding the practice since Trullo, I do think that the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, decided that it would be cruel and contrary to the Lord's commandment (as well as Apostolic Canons) to continue the practice of separating a an from his wife simply because he is consecrated as bishop. Although contrary to the Holy Scriptures (1 Timothy and Titus), the new practice was much more humane. Now, we have married priests, whose wives have passed on, being consecrated as bishops. Remember that they cannot remarry for they are already married (status does not end at physical demise) and must remain celibate. Nonetheless, such bishops are married at least in the eyes of God.
#1.1.2 Carl Kraeff on 2011-06-23 13:34
I agree that we have a practical barrier to finding enough celibate candidates to fill all the episcopal positions we need (more than what are currently assigned). A married bishop could easily administrate a diocese the size of a New England state with comparable travel requirements of a low-level corporate executive. And the church could support such sized diocese if we didn't try to house every bishop in such large diocesan centers. As long as (almost) each diocese is kept as large as all Western Europe, the apparent practical concerns for a married bishop to administrate such diocese while raising a family will remain substantial. In other words, keeping the diocese so impractically large (sometimes even for a celibate bishop) only reinforces the need to prohibit married men from filling the role.
#1.2 John Potemkin on 2011-06-13 10:12
I thought that when ROCOR came into communion with Moscow that this sort of reverse 'poaching' would come to an end, such as their establishing new congregations to take in dissidents or accepting whole parishes whose antimensia were withdrawn by their diocesan hierarch for disobedience. Plus ca change, indeed. Interesting.
#1.3 Bez mena on 2011-06-13 12:31
Please clarify, Widow Clergy can be Bishops not Married Clergy si this correct?
#1.4 Anonymous on 2011-06-16 13:24
This is correct. In the OCA, Bishops Nikon, Michael, and Matthias were all widowed priests before their election to the episcopacy. Indeed, Saint Innocent was married, and only was elected bishop after the death of his wife Catherine.
#1.4.1 John Congdon on 2011-06-17 06:36
Can we all go to ROCOR? Please? Parishes, people, property? It would but the OCA out of its misery.
(Editor's note: Thanks, but no thanks. Why go from the frying pan into the fire? There is no "safe haven" from the exigencies of the times, neither in ROCOR nor Antioch nor Istanbul. We have been given this time, and this place, and these circumstances in which to express our faith. Let us make the most of it, rather than seeing it only as a burden to be off-loaded.)
#2 Anonymous on 2011-06-13 11:01
ROCOR? The jurisdiction that is expanding its presence herein America by establishing their own Western Rite parishes - and ordaining men to the priesthood, especially if they are denied ordination in another jurisdiction? The same people who, just a few years ago, would not even allow clergy of another jurisdiction cross their threshold, much less commune with them? Really? That's what you want?
#2.1 Really? on 2011-06-13 17:03
Well, Really, the ROCOR you talk about is quite a superficial description. ROCOR is filled with faithful clergy and laity who in some ways reflect an outreach to Americans much better than the so-called OCA, which (outside of the South) continues to grow smaller and smaller. Yes, ROCOR has a Western-Rite. Is that so bad? Seems rather progressive. What, ROCOR progressive? Suffice it to say, ROCOR has a much clearer understanding of their role and vision for Orthodoxy in this land then does the OCA who can't get out of its own way, even when it tries to come up with one strategic plan after another. As for your comment about ordinations, at least ROCOR deals with clergy who are morally compromised and gets rid of them, unlike the OCA which does not.
ROCOR is growing. The OCA is not. So, yes, I prefer ROCOR and so are more and more people who wish to get away from the distraction that is the OCA today.
(Editor's note: I am sorry you find us distracting. Perhaps it would solve your problem if you spent less time on the internet reading OCA sites? As for growing, let us hope we are all growing. Time will tell.)
#2.1.1 Anonymous on 2011-06-14 03:50
"IF" ROCOR is growing, it's only because more Russians are coming to the U.S. and want Slavonic. They don't have an American vision, but a vision of Orthodoxy locked up in 18th century Russia. Much of their theology is questionable;.... and if you like going back to the way the OCA was in 1930, ROCOR is for YOU!
#22.214.171.124 Anonymous on 2011-06-14 13:11
There are ROCOR parishes that worship in the vernacular, and do much to evangelize their communities.
I'm not saying there aren't ROCOR parishes with some people issues: I once visited a ROCOR parish that was as prickly as a porcupine in a haystack. However, it's not nice to paint a whole jurisdiction with the same brush.
#126.96.36.199.1 Cordelia on 2011-06-15 17:15
that was rude
#188.8.131.52.2 sasha on 2011-06-17 22:13
Western Rite as progressive? Should we join our Western brethren (Catholics and Anglicans) in their "modernization" of rites. After all, they are the authors of "process" theology and have embraced it fully.
I think not. How can we be the one holy, Catholic and apostolic church if we are doing whatever liturgy the local priest feels is ok? It's a slippery slope, my friend. Be careful what you wish for, lest you end up like our Western brethren who are searching for their REAL identity - and finding a poor substitute for the fullness of the Orthodox Church in the Western Rite.
(Editor's note: The fullness of the ORthodox Faith is not in a rite - any rite. It is the Faith itself, which can be fully expressed in various rites, eastern and western. There are lots of Indian Orthodox who think a 2 hour Liturgy of St. John is a "poor substitute" for their 4 hour liturgies of St. James. So let's be careful what we wish for - and what we disparage along the way. )
#184.108.40.206 Really? on 2011-06-14 13:51
Let's make a deal. You pull down your site and that will be one less distraction for all of us!
(Editor's note: Or better yet: I give you permission not to read anymore. You'll be free, then to focus on that which is much more important. Of course, the distraction is not because there is a site, it is because of the problems the site reveals. Why not just address the problem, instead of blaming the messenger?)
#220.127.116.11 Anonymous on 2011-06-14 13:54
Because the messenger is part of the problem.
#18.104.22.168.1 Anonymous on 2011-06-14 16:16
In theory, I very much agree with you Anon, but alas, we are stuck with what is, not what could be or should be. Because of it, we will get stuck with candidates who are ill-suited for the task of an administrator, as well as a spiritual shepherd. I, for one, know one of the candidates slightly, from a past bad experiece and I found him to be quite a mysognist (he had serious problems with women being anything but bare-foot, pregnant, and working in the kitchen wearing a babushka). Oh that we could up-hold Orthodoxy in the 21st century by returning to some of the right practices of the first five, six or seven centuries.
#3 Sean O'Clare on 2011-06-13 12:17
It is just such argumentation that creates so many obstacles to reasoned, prayerful discussion and debate. Looking for celibates and monastics may be limiting -- and that unnecessarily -- but it is not ridiculous. The Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" is ridiculous, i.e. worthy of ridicule. Also, the Church in East and West has looked to celibates for episcopal office for longer than it hasn't. Just as the Trisagion has become an absolutely Traditional element of our liturgical prayer when before it wasn't, monastic discipline in the episcopacy has become a Traditional discipline when before it wasn't. It is part of the Tradition. It is also universal. To continue to tout that because it was not done in the first 500 years or so of the Church's existence it is therefore not Tradition -- THAT is ridiculous because very little of what we say and believe is couched in the terms and prayers of the earliest days, let alone our liturgical practices. Perhaps this element of Tradition can be changed, since it obviously was before. Just today, in the Gospel, the Lord gives the Church authority to "bind and loose" and to "to ask for any thing in my name." We aren't stuck. But please -- this discipline is not ridiculous. I'd go so far as to say that that attitude and its expression is close to sacrilege, given the holiness of the topic.
#4 Rdr. John on 2011-06-13 12:31
If I may offer a constructive correction to your post: Our current situation calls for us to look for episcopal candidates from men who are celibate/single, not necessarily monastic. Many bishops (including our current one in New England) became bishops after they became widowers. Until the sad passing of their wives, these men were not monastic. Being newly-single and -celibate, however, made them "eligible" as candidates from that perspective or category.
#4.1 David Barrett on 2011-06-13 17:14
As a member of the metropolitan council, can you explain why it has taken so long to do what appears to be nothing regarding Archbishop Seraphim? I understand that the wheels of justice turn slowly but my simple mind can't grasp why the OCA can't move forward just in terms of a church investigation. I know Archbishop Seraphim and find it hard to believe that he wouldn't just step aside if there had been something inappropriate. Is it safe to say that the OCA isn't doing anything until the civil authorities act first?
Also, is there any update regarding the cathedral in Washington? Is Metropolitan Jonah the new dean?
(Editor's note: I have no knowledge as to why the OCA's internal investigation seems to be going nowhere quickly. The lessons to be learned are not dependent on the decisions of the court; that is, whether the Archbishop is found guilty or not guilty of that which he is charged with is not really the question for the church investigation, which seeks to determine how the Church may better respond to such problems in the future. As for his stepping aside, the Archbishop has entered a plea of not guilty; it is the court, however, that will determine whether that response is true or false - not the Archbishop. As for the cathedral in Washington, the Metropolitan has not appointed himself as Dean to my knowledge. The situation there remains "fluid".
#5 Anonymous on 2011-06-13 16:15
Thanks for the update. May God grant you many more years to continue this work. It's quite unfortunate that the church needs a watchdog.
On a different note, as the Antiochian Archdiocese convention is approaching, is there anything new with regards to an audit of the Antiochian Archdiocese and is it just me or is the process for picking auxilliary bishops a bit ridiculous? What I mean is that the elected membership of the archdiocese is supposed to select two candidates based upon just a few paragraphs of information. There is no opportunity to actually meet and interview the candidates, there is no indication as to what "diocese" they will serve, and the membership will be forced to pick two candidates. I unfortunately know one of the candidates (who was paraded around at the last election in Pittsburgh). He was a bit of a disaster as a priest and now he is being considered for the episcopacy. How about a vote of no confidence in the process, starting over and follow what the OCA did in Chicago? So far it seems to have worked out much better than the "diocesan/auxilliary bishop plan of +Phillips.
#5.1 Anon. on 2011-06-14 09:55
The strategy that you suggest would almost certainly be ruled out of order and might even raise the odds of a bad outcome. One of the new bishops obviously will go to Toledo. If we want the acrimony in the Diocese of Toledo to end, the next bishop of that city must be of Arabic descent. Judging by his editorials in the Word Magazine, Fr. John Abdalah has been positioning himself as the "malice toward none, charity toward all" candidate for months now. His expertise in counseling and his stability as dean of the Pittsburgh cathedral suggest that he is well-suited to the task, and +PHILIP's elevation of Fr. John to the rank of Archimandrite so soon after Kh. Joanne's repose suggests that His Eminence is open to a conciliatory approach. Let's not provoke him into settling scores when we have a chance to heal wounds.
#5.1.1 Formerly Diogenes on 2011-06-15 12:02
The choices are FIXED! Read the bio's. Any American candidate is down-played while the Arab candidates are exalted. It's FIXED! The Antiochian Archdiocese is as American and Independent as Eddie Batisie. Com'on, it's a joke! + Philip closely controls all and Arabs rule. Nice American church!
#5.1.2 Anonymous on 2011-06-15 19:16
I really don't agree with either of you. The OCA doesn't have the resources to investigate in the same fashion as civil authorities. Would the witnesses come for'd just to get him fired? Is a policy right that would fire someone for the accusation alone?
From my perspective, and with my limited knowledge, the OCA only ought to ask for a resignation at this point.
Just my opinion.
(Editor's note: No Dan, you misunderstand. The purpose of the committee is not to determine guilty or innocence; but to examine what we did, or did not do, in a timely or untimely fashion, in all aspects - legal, pastoral, etc., so as to do better the next time. One prays there will never be a next time, but if there is, we can and must do better. As for resignation, that is the the Archbishop's decision. If he chooses not to, that is his choice and we should all respect it, even if some disagree with it.)
#5.2 Daniel Fall on 2011-06-14 19:49
Well, so much for trying to make excuses for the Metropolitan on my part.
So, why not just get it done, face the music, and move on as church?
All of this shucking and jiving by our leader for what end?
I don't get it.
I make mistakes in my own actions and nonactions on a daily basis.
Where are Cordelia and Fr. Washburn when I really need them?
#5.2.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2011-06-19 20:40
My humble but resolute opinions:
The DOS Episcopal search is laced with overkill. This sounds like a super “dog & pony” show reminiscent of the old days when vacant parishes would host priests to serve a liturgy so they could critique the priest’s voice, oratorical skills, appearance and personality. Upon completion a popular vote was taken to hire the new parish priest.
I’m all for involvement of laity and priests in the process. But the DOS is taking this to the ridiculous. The most practical and effective method is to talk to present/former parishioners and to area priests where the candidate has previously served. There is never a lack of feedback from such inquiries.
Why didn’t the AAC have an advance list of willing candidates to choose a metropolitan?
Talk about not doing your homework!
Any notion there is going to be a return to married hierarchs is pure folly. To change the disciplinary canons will require the incumbent world-wide Orthodox hierarchs to initiate and execute such. Pigs will fly before unmarried bishops open their exclusive fraternity to married men.
PS. Do you think these bachelors want any wives influencing life in the frat house?
#6 Retired priest on 2011-06-14 09:04
#6.1 sasha on 2011-06-14 13:07
"Any notion there is going to be a return to married hierarchs is pure folly. To change the disciplinary canons will require the incumbent world-wide Orthodox hierarchs to initiate and execute such."
No it doesn't! Married bishops are part of the tradition of Orthodox Christianity. All it takes is a group of bishops TO DO IT! Nothing canonically wrong with it, yet, some will make a big stink not knowing their own Apostolic tradition. Apparently, the synod of the OCA doesn't have any cahones and certainly not + Jonah!
#6.2 Anonymous on 2011-06-14 13:19
I fear that Retired priest is correct. My brothers and sisters in the OCA are not alone in this dilemma as my Diocese, ACROD, has no clear successor to Metropolitan Nicholas, either from the ranks of the monastics or the widowed. I should note that the entirety of the Orthodox Church on this continent is blessed that the OCA has the benefit of two of the finest priests to come out of ACROD, being Bishops Michael and Matthias. Let us join in hoping that the 'dog and pony' show mentality does not find its way back to the parish level in the appointment of pastors. That process was demeaning to the candidates and divisive at the parish level. The same probably holds true on the diocesan level with respect to the selection of Bishops.
You know, we wouldn't have this problem to the extent we do if the issue of jurisdictional unity were ever to be solved. Oh well, I think that the likelihood of that happening any time soon is just below the 'pigs flying' event.
(Editor's note: You call it a "dog and pony" show: I call it introducing the marriage partners to each other before the ceremony. If love is not important, but only obedience, the old ways have worked well enough: how's that obedience thing working out for you lately though? It would seem rather, that obedience goes a lot farther when couples, parishes, dioceses, etc, base that obedience on love, rather than just authority. At least, that is what God seems to suggest and practice himself. He showed us His love, and so we follow. I mean, if obedience is all that matters, why not just be Jew, and save all this bother?)
#6.3 Bez mena on 2011-06-14 14:25
You are correct of course in that blind obedience and/or tyrannical abuse of authority within the church has led to disaster. The very existence of both the OCA and ACROD, as well as their respective histories, are tied to the refusal of courageous men and women to suffer the tyranny of unloving authority with blind obedience. Despite that history, from time to time, the lessons that both our hierarchs and our laity should have learned from their experiences as well as those of their parents and grandparents.have been forgotten. As to the method of a parish selecting a priest, I speak from the heart with many old memories of the priestly 'try out' system and how unloving and uncharitable many of our old time 'starostas' and 'babas' could be regarding the candidates and their families.
(Editor's note: Agreed. However, the solution to lack of love and lack of charity is not to eliminate the possibility of it being shown; otherwise the Grand Inquisitor would have a point. Rather, let us work towards a conciliar system that recognizes and values each others unique contribution to the process so that the best possible, and sustainable matches, are made. )
#6.3.1 Bez mena on 2011-06-14 17:43
Good morning friends:
I feel like my head is spinning, so please pardon me if I don't express myself as cogently as I usually aim for. It appears from my seat here in the left field stands that a hacker must have seized control of the editorial offices of ocanews and started using Mark's computer to advocate, at least just this once, for a system in which conciliarity, love and charity be employed in valuing each person's uniqueness in making church leadership decisions.
Can anybody explain this? What has happened to the real Mark?
I suppose that he could have changed his mind, or have concluded that kind of stuff is OK at lower levels of decision making, but if so don't we deserve to be let down a little more gently? There are some people out here with weak hearts and capillaries!
I am going to log off now and check BBC News to see if they have started holding Quaker meetings in Mogadishu.
(Editor's note: C'mon Fr. George - try it, charity, that is. You might like it!)
#22.214.171.124 Fr. George Washburn on 2011-06-15 07:13
Agreed again, we have all seen too many 'matches' that were imposed on parishes and clergy by higher-ups which ended in disaster for all. It is our duty work together to find a better way!
#126.96.36.199 Anonymous on 2011-06-15 12:58
I am quite sure many would gladly give + Michael back to the Carpatho-Russians as their Met. This is the answer to your dilemma!
(Editor's note: I am going to interpret that as a beautiful moment of self-sacrifice. The alternative reading is rather petty. Work with me on that. )
#6.3.2 Any Mouse on 2011-06-14 17:49
+ Michael came from the Carpatho-Russians and it is only logical that he now return to lead them. It's not unusual for bishops to move among diff. dioceses and Johnstown might as well be considered a large, independent diocese of the OCA. It certainly is more this than a diocese of the Greeks. The NY/NJ diocese of the OCA can go back to having a senior archpriest lead them. Gee, maybe Fr. Nehrebecki would consider!
#188.8.131.52 Any Mouse on 2011-06-15 05:37
The CRs "might as well be considered a large independent diocese of the OCA"? have you asked any of THEM about that? You might be surprised at the answer you get (but I suggest ducking when you do so!).
#184.108.40.206.1 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2011-06-16 08:07
A lasting marriage is seldom foreseeable on the first date. Harkening back to my youth I remember many a supposed first date Cinderella turning into Girlzilla after a while as well as this self-perceived Prince Charming turning into Shrek. An older priest told me when I was starting out, “Beware of those whom you first meet, who greet you with open arms.” Over the years, I made many such mistakes, trusting those who first appeared to be so trustworthy but turned out to be anything but. First impressions are usually anything but a dependable indicator. My blessed mother used to repeat an old proverb to keep me grounded whenever I would show signs of being full of myself in response to accolades: “Don’t praise me until you live with me.” It is easy to get erroneous impressions from initial and limited contact with people. It takes time to know someone.
This brings us back to the “dog & pony” show screening process for priests and now diocesan bishops. Interviews are standard when an employer wants to hire someone knowing that if it doesn’t work out the employee can be dismissed. The same cannot be said about bishops and should not be the case with priests. The necessary matching of priest to parish is supposed to be done by a bishop who knows his priests and his parish. Sadly bishops often fail in this fundamental and most important responsibility. Likewise the synod of bishops should know what priests are most capable of being effective bishops. These are their canonical responsibilities. Extensive fact finding and employing input and feedback from parish laity for priests, and diocesan laity and clergy for bishops makes sense and is the tradition of the early church. But it is a delicate balance to not go too strongly in the direction a populist vote or authoritarian rule.
For the Church to fulfill her divine charge believers must unite in purpose and love. To accomplish this we must know one another. Only then will it be possible to develop common ground and trust to accomplish the sacred task of salvation.
#220.127.116.11 Retired priest on 2011-06-15 07:25
There is an old saying that goes something like when a door closes behind you, the Lord will open another for you. I don't think that there is anything about reopening the one that closed behind you.
#18.104.22.168 Bez mena on 2011-06-15 12:56
Lets ask ourselves a very serious questions, In 2011 America who are the better examples of Orthodox Christian Asceticism? Married Clergy with Families or "celibate" bishops?
Married Clergy live far more ascetic lives than today's bishops plain and simple.
#7 Andrew on 2011-06-16 14:31
Andrew: "Asceticism" has NOTHING to do with it! Bishops aren't reflections of ascetics. In fact, most real ascetics would run & hide from the episcopal office. You don't understand the diff. between an ascetic, a bishop, a monastic & a celibate. Not all bishops were ever meant to be or represent ascetics. The bishop is a man, married or celibate, who is of good reputation, elected by the people and consecrated to lead a local diocese. The bishop most always came from the same diocese he was elected to lead. The idea of choosing celibates from wherever and tonsuring them and putting them in some foreign diocese was unheard of. This is an aberration! Bishops were not required to be monastics and quite frankly, today, this is a joke! It really is time to return to the REAL vision of what a bishop is, not this phoney-baloney aberration American Orthodox have created!
#7.1 Anonymous on 2011-06-17 05:33
Speaking as a married priest with a family: Way too broad a brush here!
#7.2 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2011-06-17 08:16
In what world are you referring to? I know of few of us in our modern world outside of eremitic monks who lead true lives of asceticism. Coming from a family of hard working, good and humble priests, I have to say this is a most idealized and nonsensical statement.
#7.3 Bez mena on 2011-06-18 11:30
Response to #7. You are absolutely correct. I would like to see any of our bishops live as modestly and without complaint (and serving their parishioners) as our married priests with their families and responsibilities.
#8 anonymous on 2011-06-17 08:51
"No matter what cradle orthodox say about the converts, the converts have a much deeper understanding for and love of orthodoxy than the cradles ever will have." This is an insult that is most un-Christian. The sort of triumphalism, boasting about how Orthodox you,as a convert are, tells me that you were not well taught by your spiritual father, or else your ears were closed as you smelled the incense. Sorry, but when some converts 'wonder' why they are seemingly 'unwelcome' in 'cradle' (I HATE that word) parishes, it is attitudes and comments like the one you made that create that atmosphere. Look in the mirror, my friend.
#8.1 Bez mena on 2011-06-22 12:49
How do you know I am a convert? For all you know, or don't know, I might be a cradle, a convert, a catechumen or Jewish. I might not even be Orthodox, but the whole world reads the internet, and they see what is happening. I won't reveal what I am, but I have some very good and close friends who are converts, and they truly do understand and embrace the faith. They look at everything and see the reality. This isn't something I made up. Have some dialogue with converts near you, if you so wish, and then have that same dialogue with cradle orthodox. You will see the difference. You will see how simply and completely they love the faith they have chosen, and they don't look for ways to destroy it. Then embrace both of them and accept their differences and their similarities. That is the true spirit of Orthodoxy, and it's a very simple concept to understand.
I am not disparaging the faith of any convert or the zeal and knowledge and positive energy that their joining a faith community can bring. What I am concerned about is the rather cavalier and insensitive manner in which you deride, and I chose that strong word with full knowledge of its meaning in the context of our exchange, the faith and the role of those of us who are Orthodox by birth and through the faith of our parents and those before them. To make a blanket statement like you did when you stated, 'they (converts) don't look for ways to destroy it' is simply a gross exaggeration and a group libel and deserves a retraction.
If you are not a convert, then I suggest you look inside your own inner self and ask why you are so angry. If you are not Orthodox, well I am not interested at all in your opinion in this regard.
#22.214.171.124 Bez mena on 2011-06-23 18:42
There will be no retraction. This is a website where we can state our opinions, regardless of who agrees with them or not. I don't agree with everything that is posted, but those people are able to speak their word as I am, and I don't ask for retractions.
You were insensitive when you said if I am not even Orthodox, you don't have any interest in my opinion. Is it only the Orthodox who can get involved in this mess? Why is that? Don't you think other faiths are paying attention and wanting to know how and why there is so much trouble, so they can avoid the same issue in their own faiths? No matter what happens in life, everything is relevant, everything is connected, and everything is related, one to another, by the actions of people, directly involved or not.
The bottom line - the whole world is being exposed to the problems in the Orthodox Church - worldwide - it's there on the internet for everyone to read, and people aren't lying about what's going on. Some may be trying to cover up all the truth, but slowly everything is coming out into the open. So half of your posters could very well be people who are not even connected with Orthodoxy, but who are expressing their concerns and ideas, and they have just as much right to do that as anyone else. And maybe because they are on the outside looking in, they can be more objective about the situation and offer some good advice. Do you still think their opinions don't matter? Think on that one for a bit.
On June 1, it was reported in another article that Bishop MARK has requested leave from his responsibilities of the Diocese of the South and from the parish where he serves so that he can "have time and opportunity to meet with clergy and laity in parishes throughout the Diocese, before a special election is held."
As a point of clarity, I am presuming that he wants to meet the people in that Diocese and spend time with them, with the possibility of him being elected as their Diocesan Bishop in the very near future. I hope this is the case, because I am also hearing rumors that he is being ousted by MJ, as well as Fr. David Moretti, both of whom were badly treated in the Antiochian Archdiocese and ousted, however you wish to word it.
Both of these men are good, well educated and very committed to serving Christ and His Holy Vineyard, no where or no one else. I hope their transfer to the OCA was not met with blocks, as they need to be settled in and working for a jurisdiction that appreciates their past and their future positions. They didn't transfer in order to be once again mistreated by those in higher places.
Can someone please confirm this? No matter what cradle orthodox say about the converts, the converts have a much deeper understanding for and love of orthodoxy than the cradles ever will have. The cradles were born into the faith, and many times, they take it for granted. The converts had to study, struggle and learn about the faith, and it was not chosen for them. They chose, after much intensive struggles, and at the risk of leaving family and loved ones, to embrace the faith. There is a big difference. The loss of the Antiochians with the transfer of these two men is the gain of the OCA, if they will only settle down and support them and others like them who want to serve the real Master in this life. Let us pray this will be the case. God bless both of them.
I perceive your circle of Orthodox exposure is very limited. I am a cradle born Orthodox, and am now a 'convert' Orthodox. I will explain. When I became a 'teen', I was curious. The Baptist church came to town, the Methodist, Catholic,, and as I said, I was curious. With my parents permission, I investigated and studied these faiths. Some parts I liked and agreed with, other parts were not so good. But my mind was open. Then I looked at Orthodoxy, and by this time I was living in California, and had a greater and a more broader field in which to study. I met, talked with, and attended study groups. My realization that I was born into the true and original faith, founded in A.D.33, was the only place to be, and am grateful that I took the initiative to be curious. I am orthodox by choice. Born to it yes, but now by choice. And at 80 years, I am free and 'at home'.
On the contrary, I have seen and heard much, and sad to say, the Orthodox Church in all jurisdictions, is in a downward spiral right now and has been for a while. People have to learn to get along with others and accept each other's opinions, all in the best interests of the church. This should be true in any faith, no matter what. Remember, we are people of many nations living together in this world, and we all grew up in different traditions and different religions. God has taught us to respect and be considerate of everyone around us, not just our own culture, religion, financial status, etc.
Anger is real, and it comes from seeing people who think they know better ruin what was once good. That good can return if certain people are not allowed to run amock all over everyone else. But it means everyone working together to heal what has been wounded, damaged and otherwise cast aside.
I have faith that this will be resolved, but how long will it take? And will this whole world be a better place to live in for the future generations? They need their faith much more than we do, as life gets more difficult and challenging thru the years. What will be left for them to hold onto if their faith is torn apart also, something they had nothing to do with? They will be left with a mess that they didn't start. Is this the right thing, the right way to teach the younger faithful how to live?
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