Friday, October 16. 2009
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Tom Rosco, son of JDC member Fr Romey Rosco, continues the line of "this reunification will help bring unity in America." And how exactly does he see that happening? NO ONE in favor of the reunification has EVER answered that question, but continues to use it as a selling point of the grande plan.
I would question how the Episcopate shows some kind of humility by acquiescing to the foreign Patriarchate. If there was any humility here, it would be the Patriarch acknowledging that his parishes here really should come under the Episcopate...unless all the people who have immigrated here are just staying long enough to make some money and go back to Romania, in which case those parishes are more like foreign embassies serving transcient visitors. Otherwise, being in America should meaning being part of the American Church to which the Episcopate belongs.
(editor's note: I think you have hit two nails on the head with this comment. First, no one has explained how haviing 16+ ethnically based jurisdictions, all related to foreign patriarchates, builds unity towards an American Church. And that of course, is where you second insight comes in: this is not about an American Church, but maintaining ecclesiastical identities in America apart from the culture in which they find themselves. Is that a valid goal in the missionary context that is America? Yes, if the goal is never to create a local Church. But if so, then how does it promote unity in America? It would seem, rather, it institutionalizes our seperation and colonial ecclesistical status forever for the convenience of foreign Patriarchates, with all the negatives that implies.
An American Church then becomes a chimera, for there are no Americans, there are only Greeks, Russians, Serbs, Arabs, Romanians, Bulgarians, Albanians, etc. in America - forever. Or at least until 15 foreign Churches decide the time is right to unite them into one, which, as someone said, will be on the 14th of Never. The OCA's dream of an autocephalous local church composed of diverse groups may be dead in the water at the moment, but this path seems like a dead end right from the start. )
#1 Anonymous on 2009-10-16 06:19
The fact remains, "Local churches are under the omophor of local bishops." There are no Orthodox Canons stating that foreign bishops should rule over the churches or territories not under their immediate authority. There is NO DIASPORA; only local, indigenous growing Orthodox Churches with local bishops which RULE THEMSELVES. The Romanians in America under the OCA rule themselves according to Orthodox Canon Law. To go under the omophor of a foreign bishop, the Pat. of Romania, is NOT canonical nor how the Holy Apostles organized the Church. So, which is it, obeying Orthodox Canon Law and RULING YOURSELF or disobeying the canons and subject yourselves to foreign bishops?
#2 Anonymous on 2009-10-16 06:53
The idea that the OCA is an"American" Church is simply laughable. My family has lived in this country for almost three hundred years, but because I refuse to reject the traditions of my ancestors, I cannot belong to the OCA...but only to the Antiochian Archdiocese which has a western rite Vicariate. The OCA is simply the Russian Church utilizing, sometimes, English. That does not make it an "American" Church. The Romanians should return home.
#3 Dale on 2009-10-16 12:29
I don't know how you see the OCA as NOT an American Church. It's composed of all nationalities and 50% converts! Most ALL the OCA parishes use 100% English. You are just looking at the Western Rite? The Western Rite is American? The last I looked, the Western Rite is Roman.
The Romanians under the OCA RULE THEMSELVES. They can use all English, all Romanian or whatever. The key here is that they have full, ecclesiastical authority over their own churches. Even the Antiochians don't have that....
#4 Anonymous on 2009-10-16 15:02
Sorry, Dale, but for LOTS of us who were born in America and aren't Western Rite, the OCA is an American church. As a non-Russian, I have enjoyed being in a number of OCA parishes that included the traditions of various ethnic groups and yet were soundly Orthodox. The Western Rite deserves its own discussion, but don't trash the OCA because they have not gone there yet. Only the Antiochians have gone that route, and it has not been without some serious questions about what and how they are doing a western rite.
#5 Anonymous on 2009-10-16 16:51
While Mr. Rosco sings "how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity" (Psalm 133:1) in support of the OCA's Romanian Episcopate uniting with the Church of Romania overseas, he ignores that such a move would actually create disunity, sundering "the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3) it now shares with Orthodox Christians of Albanian, Bulgarian, Russian and many other roots within the Orthodox Church in America. He also ignores the fact that such a move would mean shaping church life along the lines of the heresy of phyletism (identifying and organizing the Church in ethnocentric terms), rather than by the orthodox principle of territorial unity and integrity in a given geographic area. It's a matter of cultural roots trumping canonical norms one again. Why not have the American diocese of the Romanian Church simply join the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA, which would both unite separated brethren born of the same ethnic roots and advance the canonical territorial unity and integrity of the Church in North America? That solution would accomplish two noble goals and avoid unorthodoxy.
#6 Gregory on 2009-10-16 19:34
"Do not be afraid, but believe." Believe what? Have faith in whom? Most of us trust God, and believe in Him. Unfortunately, we do NOT believe that this Reunification idea is connected to what is good for us or the Church in this country. While we may be past the terrible days of Communism, it is naive to think that things are just fine now. Those who were shaped under its influence, including those in the Church, did not suddenly become some other persons the day after Ceausescu died. That is also reflected in a different mindset of people who live on the other side of the ocean. A prime example is the heavy-handedness we have seen on the part of the Patriarch already, announcing the "reunification" over a year ago as a done deal, and threatening his archbishop here to get it done, or he would, etc. To turn the Episcopate back over to the Patriarchate, for whatever brotherly love it supposedly would show (and why is that necessary in order for some new harmony to exist?), would show us to be poor stewards of the Church on this continent.
Believing in Christ, I am not afraid of the real Good News. But that still does not make reunification a good idea.
#7 Another anon on 2009-10-16 21:07
Dale, you are grossly mistaken. The OCA may be incorrect in not accepting the Western Rite (and that's debatable), but that doesn't make it "unAmerican." It is American incorporated, American led, its liturgigies are in English (with few exceptions), it has an indigenous presence in Mexico and has inaugurated a French-indigenous mission in Quebec. It's hierarchy is American and answerable to no overseas presence.
It is also a Christian Church, one that belongs to a body of Christendom that has existed for 2000 years. It has never asked you or anyone to "give up" your customs, but it has the obligation to not be conformed to the world.
Just a thought experiment here: it's obvious you love the Western Rite (as do I). However, how would you feel if a Baptist, Methodist, or other low-church convert asked, or demanded, that the OCA conform its liturgy to his life experiences, since after all, the low-church liturgy is "part of his tradition"? Just curious.
#8 George Michalopulos on 2009-10-16 22:14
All: the idea of the Romanian jurisdictions coming together in a "maximally autonomous metropolitinate" is sublimely ridiculous. Yes, I know, the churches' rift should be healed, but guess what? there's an American Orthodox Church. You're living here in America. Get over it.
#9 George Michalopulos on 2009-10-16 22:17
Reply to Dale: Yes the OCA is an Orthodox Church in the US which is completely without a foreign Patr. It is true, its roots and traditions are Russian. Russian typicon, music set to English. However, lots has happen in the 30 years of autocephaly. Majority of our bishops are truly diocesan bishops and American born and many converts. Many of our clergy our converts. The Carpatho-Russian people from Austro-Hungary (1880's to 1914) came to America to be Americans.They reared their children in American schools. My parents (and their siblings, if alive would be in their 90's) are deceseaed. Their children the majority married other Americans and their families do not consider themselves Austrians, Czechs, Poles, Russians but Americans. Their roots were Orthodox Church from 866 -- 100 years before St. Vladimir baptized his people in Russia --and their ancestors were forced to be uniates. When they came to America they founded the majority of the Russian Orthodox parishes in the US. Because of communism the bishops here in America were left on their own to minister to the people, ordain clergy, educated clergy (two seminaries existed plus St. Tikhon's Monastery and Orphanage). They never went back home. They came to America for a better life and to have the freedom to be Orthodox, to own property and be citizens where they would be treated as equals. In Austria they were second class citizens (over 500,000 people came during these years). Many of the offspring of these immigrants have been absorbed into American culture and other western religious denominations. When I was a child in the 60's services were in Church Slavonic and I followed along with an English/Church Slavonic Divine Liturgy book (1963) and I still have it. Most of my siblings have left the Orthodox Church. Either they don't go to church or they go to a non-Orthodox Church. I attended Russian language school during the week and Russian folk dance classes, etc. The Russian bishops tried to russified the people. The OCA parishes are mixed with converts over the past 30 years and their children are craddle Orthodox. They have the faith in books (which did not exist in the 60's) to teach themselves the faith and their children. SVS Press did a lot of work translating religious books into English. Our Orthodox churches are not to be centers of preserving ethnic cultures, but places of worship of God in correct worship. There is not an American Typicon, perhaps someday there will be the blending of the best of the Greek Typicon and the Russian Typicon. Our music in our churches could be a blend of the best of all our traditions of the Orthodox world. It is time the bishops and Patr. got on board and did what is right for the Orthodox faithful in this country. OCA parishes today do not have Russian language schools and folk dance classes as the norm. There is nothing wrong with having Greek language classes, Romanian language classes, Russian language classes and folk dancing Irish folk dancing, etc. But each parish based upon its makeup can have a parish that is first christian with christian outreach and still celebrate its ancestral roots whether it is Scottish, Irish, Russian, Austrian, Czech, Serbian, Macedonian, or European (as my children state their ethnic heritage, eastern european and western european). If we are preserving Orthodoxy as a basis of our ethnic culture only and seen by other Americans as Greek Orthodox or Romanian Orthodon; then we aren't doing the Lord's work and being a shining light of Christ that others may want to become Orthodox. Its time to get priorities straight. Lets be honest the foreign patri. see American dollars helping their churches overseas. We can do charitable outreach to our fellow Orthodox overseas and honor those people and saints who gave much with their blood. Let's have a healthy united Orthodox church in the US/Canada, etc.
#10 anonymous on 2009-10-16 22:47
With all due respect, Dale, if I didn't reject the traditions of my ancestors, I couldn't be in the OCA either. Those sacrifices to Odin make a mess, and it just takes over the conversation at coffee hour.
As for whether the OCA is an American Church, get back to me when the Antiochians celebrate the Liturgy in Tlingit.
#11 Christopher on 2009-10-17 04:32
The autocephelous OCA combined with the AOCA would make a more "American" Church than the OCA alone. This Church in combination with most of the Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Carpatho-Russian, Greek, and Russian Orthodox parishes in North America would make a much more effective Orthodox Christian witness. This Church would also be far more likely to attract those of us who have been here so long we have no national identity other than being Canadian, American, or Mexican.
A greater autocephelaous North American Orthodox Church would also benefit Orthodox Christians worldwide by manifesting far more effective cooperative efforts to help our brothers and sisters around the world, and to attract other Christian to the ancient Faith.
#12 Marc Trolinger on 2009-10-17 06:21
The Byzantine rite is not "Russian." The Western rite is not "American." This is typical "Western rite" ethnocentrism shining through here. Imagine if Russians started complaining about using a Byzantine rite instead of a "Russian" one... that's the level of absurdity we have reached. Does every ethnic or national group need to have its own rite? The OCA is an American church because it is composed predominantly Americans, including many who are not of Russian or Slavic background.
#13 Ryan on 2009-10-17 06:24
I don't know about calling the OCA the "Russian Church" just because you have an aversion to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
The OCA's mission is to create an indigenous Orthodox Church - the vision of theologians like Fr. Schmemann. One would be hard-pressed to say the same of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
#14 Rdr. Nilus on 2009-10-17 07:01
You raise an interesting and very important question: what constitutes "American Orthodoxy", i.e., Orthodoxy in North America? Is it which rite is used in worship: the Eastern Rites of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, and St. Gregory Diologos, or the "Western Rite"? (Can any reader point me to a complete, widely recognized Orthodox Western Rite that predates the establishment of the Church of England?)
In 1985 the parish in Southern California to which I belonged at the time was received into Orthodoxy at the hand of His Grace Clement, then Bishop of Serpukhov, of the Moscow Patriarchate as Western Rite Orthodox. We were Anglo-Catholics looking for a more stable home and chose Orthodoxy; we petitioned Moscow to receive us for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that the OCA had no interest in providing for "Western Rite Orthodox". In 1989 I transferred to a nearby OCA parish because, although I was raised a Traditional Episcopalian, I had come to find the services of the Eastern Rite more spiritually nourishing. I chose the OCA parish rather than the nearer Serbian Orthodox parish because I understand neither Old Church Slavonic nor modern Serbian. Not once in my move from the Western Rite to the Eastern Rite did I think I was changing from an American into a Russian.
What of my ancestral home? My father's side of the family (Scots and Irish) has lived in the territory of what is now the U.S.A. since the second ship landed in the Plymouth Colony, almost 400 years. My mother's side of the family (Scots and German) has been in the U.S.A. for at least 90 years, but probably no more than 150 years. At a minimum, I am third generation Scots/Irish/German-American, but most importantly I am Orthodox. My Orthodox roots are in the North American Orthodoxy founded by the Saints of North America, both known and unknown.
#15 Mark C. Phinney on 2009-10-17 08:50
I was happy to see here a thoughtful article arguing a point which I know is not in line with the overall thrust of this website, namely, a fully unified American Orthodox Church. This shows that the site does further open discussion within our Orthodox family.
I have stated in earlier posts that I don't see the consolidation of the Romanians into an autonomous jurisdiction as a tragic step backward.
I was chrismated in an OCA parish and am now a member of a MP parish, but I'm American as you can get (Norwegian-Lutheran raised and a Cheesehead).
The Romanians within the OCA are already a non-geographical diocese. Let's be honest and admit that this is a concession to them on the basis of their considerable size. And because of that size, I believe that their unified voice will, in good time, further the cause of unity here in North America.
Or maybe we should just admit that the cause of unity in North America is currently so completely befuddled that it's hard to point at anything as necessarily being a detriment anymore. In God's good time, we will look retrospectively at a winding path toward our North American Orthodox Church. And it will be full of unanticipated graces.
"This reunification will help bring unity in America."
I cannot believe some people believe this idea.
I think even if people of ROEA reunite Romanian Patriarchate with this idea, Romanian Patriarchate may have different one.
So, how those two groups fill the gap?
If the Romanian Patriarchate are promoting 'unity' in North America, they must do same in other places in the world.
However, they have established parishes in Japan without having any consent from the Orthodox Church of Japan.
Why they create ecclesiastical disunity in Japan?
I think Romanian Patriarchate in present just promote the idea "Romānia Mare."
#17 John M. Shoji, an Orthodox Christian in Japan on 2009-10-17 17:02
It is certainly good that brothers should dwell together in unity. And certainly good that old world wounds caused by communism be healed. But returning 1/2 of the Orthodox Church here in America with Romanian roots to the authority of European bishops makes NO SENSE. Traditions are lovely. The diversity that one sees here in America when it comes to singing and praying the liturgy and in the iconography and church architecture is wonderful. I love it as a matter of fact. But the fact remains that the majority of the people that belong, or more importantly, WILL BELONG to the church here in the future have never been to Romania. And will probably never go there. If the Orthodox in this country don't stop using the Church as a means to live in some small way the life of their grandparents, then these beautiful buildings will someday stand empty, locked up and will only be a beautiful testimony to a bygone era.
In making America Orthodox, we must bring a little of Romania here, Russia here, Greece here, Serbia here, Bulgaria here, Ukraine here, even Africa and, anyplace else Orthodox Christianity is found. But we cannot retreat into ethnic encalves here and expect that Americans are gonna get it.
I recently had a revealing interaction with a Romanian woman who I was hoping to have an interaction with about the Church. Her being cradle Orthodox FROM Romania and me being an American convert. It didn't go so well. When I was hoping to learn something special from someone who came here from the Old World, and despite her being baptized there in the Faith, she went into a relentless tirade about the Church and its long services, strict rules, unintelligable services, hypocritical clergy and yada yada yada. She could not understand for the life of her why we (me and my convert wife) would want to be Orthodox. During the conversation she also showed a complete lack of understanding of the basic tennants of the Faith, which with my rudimentary understanding was able to blatantly call her out on. Nonetheless, my point is that this kind of thinking in Europe, as I understand it, is not all that uncommon. Why anyone would want to subjugate ourselves to Churches overseas that have enough work to do in their OWN COUNTRIES is beyond my comprehension. We can learn from them and borrow from their traditions and cultures BUT WE MUST BECOME A CHURCH HERE IN AMERICA.
I belong to the OCA. Sure it isn't the answer. The OCA must be a piece of a bigger puzzle that is put together in the end. And I have a feeling that most people in the OCA would be willing to give up the OCA as we know it, if it were to result in Americans actually having A unified Church here. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
Anyway... everyone can just keep fighting over Old world, New world, Old calendar, New Calendar, Greek language, or English language, Byzantine chant or polyphony, slavonic in the servies, Romanian traditions or whatever.... so one can feel as though they are actually in the Old country during church. That way the Evangelicals can welcome your kids into their church and heretical teachings or the Roman catholics can get your grandkids to a mixed marriage. While converts study for months or years to find and come to this church. All the while painfully disrobing themselves of all the prejudice that comes with being protestant and against anything "catholic". Only to find Orthodox people here trying their darndest to be ANYTHING BUT Catholic in the true sense of the word.
The evil scandals and financial misdeeds that plague(d) the OCA and the Antiochians don't bother me nearly as much as the scandal of keeping the PEARL of GREAT PRICE hidden here while many Americans will never have the chance to know her.
#18 Scott Yonkin on 2009-10-18 11:18
Afetr a long but incoherent introduction TR concluded in a typical circular logic manner that "Vatra Episcopate should be subordinated to the Romanian Patriarchate because it is good"(that is to say we should be subordinated because we should be subordinated).Anyhow.
In what way a subordination to a foreign body(the Romanian Patriarchate) should promote Orthodox unity in North America?
TR should know that sins had to be atoned before being forgiven(the case of the machinations of the Romanian communists and their religious contraption in North America,the so called "missionary" diocese).
Very conveniently ,and literaly pro domo!,TR didn't mentioned that the group of Vatra priests ganged into the Joint Commission of Dialogue(JDC) by swithching alegianes shows not whose friends they are but what sort of friends they are.
In the context it is strange how such a pathetic comment (that is TR's) was printed in a publication of a "Vatra" auxiliaru at a time when is an open attempt to silence any argument that favor the "Vatra"s status quo,that is unity in and with the OCA.
#19 Alexandru Nemoianu on 2009-10-18 13:03
I think the question of whether or not this is a good idea will largely depend on your vision for Orthodoxy in America. Do you see the Church as the Ark of Salvation whose mission is to extend the true faith to this land and its people? If so this is probably not an idea which will appeal to you.
On the other hand if you view the Church primarily as an ethnic social club this makes wonderful sense.
Under the mercy,
I am totally amazed at the OCA Holy Synods seeming complacency in the face of what seems to the ....actions being contemplated by Archbishop Nathaniel.
#21 Matt Karnes on 2009-10-18 19:44
Did anyone look at all the Romanian born clergy that's in the ROEA ? Look it up now on the oca.org web site. I need not say more because your minds our already made up. Who do you thing you're kidding ? You even have a Romanian born Bishop. I thought the OCA got their clergy from the native land, America. Very, very few American born clergy are in the ROEA. Why?
How many of their clergy have "green cards' and Are Under +ABN thumb.-- many came to this country without a release from their Bishops in Romanian and were taken in:however when they want to transfer to another Bishop, no way.It looks like +ABN will be the oldest Bishop in the OCA. but, Don"t Look to him for leadership.
#22 ANONYMOUS on 2009-10-18 20:40
I agree with you that the general failure of the OCA and most other canonical Orthodox jurisdictions to deal seriously and creatively with the Western Rite is a problem. For some people, the Western approach is a more natural idiom for prayer and worship; and historically, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church worshiped in more than the Byzantine manner, even on the Holy Mountain itself, in the Amalfion. In more recent times, specifically in 1870, well before St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Russia's Holy Synod issued a Western Rite Mass (in Latin, yet!) for the hoped-for flood of converts after Vatican I's proclamation of papal infallibility. And we know how vigorously St. John supported the restoration of the Western Rite in Orthodoxy. But to date, only ROCOR and the Antiochians have made any effort to restore a Western use, with varying degrees of success. (IMHO, ROCOR has made a better job of it.)
BUT how do you get from Western Rite to "American Church"? The Western Rite (Roman, Sarum, Ambrosian, Gallican and/or Mozarabic) is no more "American" than the Byzantine Rite is "foreign;" both evolved on a different continent in a different culture. And how does belonging to a jurisdiction whose primate is a citizen of and lives in a foreign land make you more "American" than those whose primate is US born-and-bred? [And that doesn't even begin to address the issue of why Canadians and Mexicans would want to be part of an "American" Church anyway.]
With respect, I must suggest you need to re-think your position.
#23 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2009-10-19 04:02
"E pluribus unum." A major problem for Orthodoxy in
the West is the obsessive desire of each jurisdiction
to establish a single way of doing things. Often this
is for ethnic reasons (and I agree that many supporters
of the Western Rite are also ethnically motivated).
Thus Romanians in the OCA "have to be" in their own
Romanian diocese, because the main OCA "has to be"
Anglophone East Slavic. This encourages phyletistic
tendencies. (Sometimes, however, the underlying
reason is not nationalism but a bureaucratic mentality
which demands external uniformity as visible proof
Nevertheless: e pluribus unum. One of America's
cardinal values is diversity. If Orthodoxy is to thrive
here, it must abandon the need to make every parish
identical. I can think of no reason why Slavic, Albanian,
Romanian, Greek, Arab, converted-Anglican, converted-Latin,
and hybrid practices should not predominate in different
parishes of a theologically united American church.
Such unity-in-diversity should be possible in theory
within canonical administrative unity, but recent history
suggests that no-one wants it in reality. Until people do, the
uncanonical current situation will continue, because the
alternative is the extinction of someone's heritage.
George Michalopulos asks "Dale": "However, how would you feel if a Baptist, Methodist, or other low-church convert asked, or demanded, that the OCA conform its liturgy to his life experiences?"
I would answer that the operative phrase in this is
"conform its liturgy", which assumes that if there were any
low-church parishes, all parishes would become low church.
Why should that be the case?
Here is a counter-question: Absent low-church "Baptist-style"
parishes, is there even a remote chance that Orthodoxy will
ever catch on with large numbers of people in this country?
Norman Hugh Redington
#24 Norman Hugh Redington on 2009-10-19 08:44
What does 'unity' give us that we don't have today?
The only thing I see as a positive is tolerance. My church already is, so I don't care much about unity.
My church, by the way, is extremely unique. Past pictures show hundreds of ethnic Slavs, and today, there are only a couple left in the church from that bunch (and their children). The church was nearly dead and was brought back to life by a convert priest, and our parish is largely converts. What killed it? Ask me it was staying with the old language into the 90s that did it. I went there to one service and couldn't understand it and it was cold to keep the heat bill low enough for the 5 parishoners to pay for it, so it was about 5 years before I returned.
Once in awhile, we grace some of our foreigners or elderly with something sung or spoken in their native tongue, and that is the extent of it.
I think the truest tradition of Orthodoxy was local rule, and if the Patriarchs of Europe are the rulers of American churches; I'd say expect nothing good to come of it and you can reflect on my case story above.
Perhaps I've identified the greatest benefit to unity, simple local rule, but it isn't something most folks care about. Most folks just don't want things to change drastically in their lives.
I don't believe all Orthodox and other Christian churches in North America need to be unified. I believe Orthodoxy will steadily shrink if English is not embraced in the liturgy here in North America.
And the liturgy could be eastern, western, northern, southern, whatever... and I don't think it'd matter if the language weren't the local language.
..my thoughts as a largely disinterested third..
#25 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-10-19 09:54
Almost as ridiculous as all of the Orthodox jurisdictions in America uniting under the OCA!
#26 Anonymous on 2009-10-19 19:17
Mark, while the part of my post referring to the EOC wasn't crucial to my point, I see no reason why you had to redact it. Editing comments seems to be increasingly at issue, as I've seen a surprising number of people complaining about it lately.
Earlier in the OCA's scandal, many (including myself) advocated closing this "comments" section because it brought discredit on the mission of OCANews as a whole. You resisted, saying it was essential for people to have the freedom to speak their mind. I came to see your point.
But now, you seem to be subverting your own cause, as it seems that commentators have freedom to speak their mind - as long as it jives with your inscrutable rubric of acceptability.
If there are errors of fact, don't redact them; address them in an 'editors note.' I don't comprehend redacting "vitriol" as plenty was posted against Herman and Kondratick, not too long ago. Again, you must make it clearer when you are making a redaction. Substituting "......" isn't clear enough.
You have suggested that people who disagree with your moderation are free to stop visiting OCANews. This is too similar to Herman's "shut up or get out" mantra, and is disappointing coming from you.
In truth, OCANews is not "just another blog" - it is an institution which has taken on a vital role in our Church. If you're going to promote "freedom of speech" then you have to actually go through with it.
Many have offered help running, writing, upgrading and moderating this site, but you haven't accepted. Why not? Why not open OCANews to its own sort of public accountability, by allowing other people to get involved? OCANews is not a private endeavor, it is a public institution, and it deserves to be treated as such.
In the mean time, why not provide clearer explanations of what you are redacting, and why?
(editor's note: Things are being redacted more often than previously for two simple reasons, of which you correctly identified one: Vitriol. It's getting worse, not better, and some of it is just over the top. Nor is it just personal: organizations and groups come into it all the time as well - like the EOC, the HOOM, Ben Lomand, the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Arabs, Converts, the Catholics, not to mention the OCA, new calendarists, old calendarists, ecumenists, the list is endless. I don't like, and am less and less likely to permit " drive by trashings" of whole groups. If you have a complaint, make it. Evidence it. And be prepared to take your lumps when others contend against you, without name-calling. If you are not willing to do that, don't expect me to sit back and enable consistent and continual bad behaviour. Not you personally, Nilus, but you know to what I am referring....
That being said, it is also the case that people are making more and more allegations, right and left, with no attempt to offer any evidence for them; asserting facts that, to coin a phrase, are not in evidence. If you are going to say " so and so" is a criminal, then cite the criminal action. Just saying so, doesn't make it so.
So Nilus, taking up your analogy, as an institution, think of me as a referee, because I want to see a free exchange of ideas and news - not a slug fest that degenerates into partisan bickering and absurdity ala theantiochian.org. I will not let this site go the way of that one. And if I am a bit heavy handed with the ellipses, I apologize in advance. I am willing to let my record - now that I am an institution - speak for itself. But no one is perfect, least of all me, but I am serious about keeping this site serious.)
#27 Rdr. Nilus on 2009-10-20 09:34
Thank you, Mark, for your comment on this matter. I have read with increasing bewilderment the level of downright rudeness and disrespect to our brothers and sisters in some comments you even let through. And I can only imagine the inappropriateness, sadly, of what you must screen out.
I would even, though I know that many would object, argue that none of us should be able to engage in "anonymous" drive by commenting.
I am a man under authority and I accept it. (Indeed, I freely chose it when i was chrismated an Orthodox.) And if I am afraid to state my opinion, with my name included, because of fear of reprisal, then it means I do not truly stand publicly by my comments.
We are all living in choice, my brothers and sisters. If you do not like your life, change it. But don't think for a second that I care that you claim you are an "Anonymous Priest" of the blah-blah-blah jurisdiction. As if I should pay attention because you claim you are priest? I don't even know you really are a priest, because you haven't included a name.
You say you're afraid to include your name because you don't know what your Bishop will do? Then shut up and accept the life you chose. But if you want me to believe you're a priest, include your full name and where you serve. And if you aren't willing to do that, then drop the "priest" (or reader, etc) part of your claim. Because your anonymous rant is as worthless as the next anonymous rant. Hell, how do we know every idiot who posts here is even Orthodox?
Well, for starters, if we give our full names and where we are under authority, it can at least be fact checked.
Holy Elevation Parish (Moscow Patriarchate)
Hetr. Jonah has said he'd be willing for the OCA to dissapear for the sake of a united autocephaous Church in North America. The idea of uniting "under" the OCA is laughable. The OCA merely provides a framework for union. But all of this will be worked out in the episcopal assembly under the leadership of the GOA archbishop.
(Editor's note: Don't hold your breath, Matt.)
#29 Matt Karnes on 2009-10-21 13:18
Though not currently in serving the ROEA, I am one of only a handful of priests that were born in the US nurtured in and produced from the ROEA. I am disappointed with those who believe and teach that uniting the Episcopate with the BOR is a step forward (un pas inainte). It is, to me, just the opposite. Do not be enthralled by the promises of the BOR for "maximal autonomy," nor the spiritual riches of that nation, to give up on the ideals of the ever-memorable Archbishop Valerian and those pioneers priests and faithful who sacrificed so much to build a free and autonomous Episcopate.
It seems to me that those who advocate such a unity are unwittingly using the Church as a vehicle for political and/or cultural purposes. It would be better, in my opinion, to create a social and philanthropic entity to unite Romanians in the two episcopates in common work, like the now defunct "Union and League of Romanian Societies".
Actions speak louder than words. Any plans that might submit the episcopate and its parish churches in North America to a Synod Abroad would only marginalize it, and remove it from any meaningful dialogue on church unity. If the ROEA jumps the OCA ship, it will cease to be the forward looking ROEA, and will become nothing more than BOR Abroad, an immigrant entity, cut off from its historial roots here, increasingly meaningless to the lives of our faithful, disconnected from the mission of the Church -- a Romanian cultural club. May this never happen!
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