Friday, December 10. 2010
Your comments on Metropolitan's Hilarion's reported statements are welcome.
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Just more proof of why the OCA must maintain it's autocephaly and not engage in the politics of the ROC. It's quite clear the ROC cannot divorce itself from the Russian government and its vision & goals. All the more reason the Orthodox church in N. America needs to be independent of ALL foreign bishops and patriarchates. We've already seen how Russia had secret mole agents in the U.S. - What about the church? Doesn't the GOA and it's bishops proclaim the politics of Greece and Istanbul? How about Damascus and the Syrian govt? Romania? Etc. Are we Americans with our own church and identity or do we really belong to some other country?
#1 Anonymous on 2010-12-10 15:17
Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Condemns US Economic Blockade of Cuba
by ACN — last modified Dec 01, 2010 07:31 AM
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, met on Tuesday with the president of the Cuban National Assembly (Parliament), Ricardo Alarcon, who is on a five-day official visit to Russia.
During the meeting, Patriarch Kirill strongly rejected the almost 50 year-old economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba and said this unilateral measure should be immediately eliminated as it deliberately brings hunger, diseases and desperation to people.
According to Prensa Latina news agency, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church praised the efforts being made by the government of his country to focus its attention and give top priority to human beings and the family, in particular.
He also expressed interest in the ongoing process to improve the Cuban economic model.
Prior to this meeting, Alarcon gave a press conference in which he noted that Moscow and Havana have the potential to further develop bilateral cooperation in almost every sector.
He said there are good prospects in the field of energy and, particularly, in the search and production of petroleum and in the generation of electricity using this kind of fuel.
Alarcon added that other areas in which cooperation could be mutually beneficial include biotechnology, bio-pharmacy and transportation.
#2 Anonymous on 2010-12-10 15:21
#3 Gail Sheppard on 2010-12-10 16:21
Wow, I never expected to see OCANews and WikiLeaks in the same sentence together, but you know... it really makes sense.
While this doesn't appear to be particularly shocking in substance, it certainly vindicates the suspicions which have been voiced over the questionable motivations of foreign patriarchates in the American Orthodox unification process. The case of the Diocese of Sourozh certainly takes on another layer of complexity in light of this document. To the commenters on this forum whom suggest that foreign patriarchates are our only source for 'true, untainted spiritual authority' - take note.
I'm curious what effect this will have on Met. Hilarion's visit in February for his concert and the SVS Schmemann lecture.
As always, great job Mark. I just hope an extradition to Sweden doesn't suddenly crop up...
#4 Nilus on 2010-12-10 17:43
#5 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-12-10 18:12
I am concerned by the comment of Met Hilarion of the desire of the Russian Orthodox Church to "promote current Government of Russia policies". With two jurisdictions in the U.S. (Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR) under the Russian Orthodox Church omophorion, these American-based jurisdictions also exist, by default, to "promote current Government of Russia policies". This seems to me to lend even more credence to the founding fathers' (of America) insistence of separation between the church and the state and of the need for an autocepahlous American Orthodox Church, free once-and-for-all from all and every interference from political influences outside its borders.
#6 Kevin Allen on 2010-12-10 18:22
Maybe I'm being naive, but I don't see what's particularly wrong with anything Metropolitan Hilarion says here... Unless you're trying to somehow paint the Church of Russia once again with the colors commonly used against it by the American jurisdictions during the Cold War.
Those headings do look nice, though, as fairly juicy quotes picked out of much larger trains of thought that are not nearly as controversial in context.
(Editor's note: It's nothing like the Cold War, friend. In the Cold War, the american jurisdictions ( correctly) chided the Russian Church for being willing tools of the Soviet's foreign policy objectives. This time, we're not the ones saying the ROC-MP is a willing tool for the Russian government's foreign policy - they're saying it themselves. The former instance has been explained as "expediency in the face of terror"; what is their excuse this time, other than Russian patriotism, which is not an evil in itself.... But neither is it a virtue for Americans, let alone American Churches. Caveat Emptor, friend, Caveat Emptor.)
#7 Anonymous on 2010-12-10 21:09
Well they said they were the Third Rome, looks like they meant it.
(Editor's note: And a fourth there shall not be.)
#8 Bob Koch on 2010-12-11 00:06
80% of Russians identify as Orthodox, maybe 5% attend Divine Service, and less than that manage to integrate the teachings of the church into their lives in any meaningful way. So much for the much touted Russian religious revival. Some of the most secular countries in Europe would have more promising statistics than that, Germany and Britian for instance. Who's going to fill those 200+ churches the MP is planning to build in various Moscow parks? Is it a case of the "build it and they will come" evangelism method?
#9 Anthony on 2010-12-11 00:09
I am shocked, SHOCKED, that the ROC has a political agenda !
It is good to read in print the reality of the extent of those who actually attend the ROC and who attempt to live their faith. Holy Russia.....not quite yet, still a work in progress.
#10 Shocked in Albany on 2010-12-11 09:44
WHO CARES! Does it mean in this day and age we can not afford anything to be confidential, what is next a web-cam during confession. Private conversation means it is confiden tial!
It is not the entire world to know everyone's else business that is nothing more than idle talka nd gossip!
(Editor's note: Sorry to have attempted to awaken you from your slumber. Please go back to sleep.)
#11 Anonymous on 2010-12-11 10:29
Mark, a renowned Russian journalist, Yulia Latynina, wrote an interesting piece about the manipulation of WikiLeaks material by their Russian partner, Russian Reporter. In another story that Russian Reporter ran, supposedly using WikiLeaks material (cables re the 8/08 war in Georgia), Ms. Latynina said that the Russian Reporter "created an unpleasant surprise by running a series of articles containing outright lies." Here is a link to her article. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/kremlinleaks/425848.html
I have no way of knowing if there are any "problems" with the article you have run here, but wanted to share her words.
#12 Matushka Jan on 2010-12-11 13:21
"Democracy" now there is a loaded word; would our forefathers ever guess it would be? As exported by the USA it means rabid capitalism wed with technology and the Gates / Buffett corporate model imposed on all of life. Probably the current equivalent in "holy Russia" is the ROC . I always fount the unity in the Russian church established on May 17th some years ago to be necessary but the Putin years to be a curious timing. Remember the image of the official ceremony; P. Alexi and M. Laurus with Putin standing off to the right looking like some grasping clawing satyr; "probably necessary!"
It is time for the faithful to take advantage of others dubious intentions, before they repeat 1917 and what led to the last 90 years...
#13 Anon on 2010-12-11 13:22
Those of us who were in the old Diocese of Sourozh know only too well what "managed democracy" as run by Alfeyev meant.
#14 Moley on 2010-12-11 14:20
It is always historically troubling to see that people desire to look back on the past with more nostalgia than reality, with more wishful-thinking than with any sense of what really happened. That the vast majority of Russians do not attend church or have an active spiritual life should not be surprising. It has always been so. There was a reason why peasants in the 19th century sometimes/often burned their rural churches and abused or even killed their local priests ... the church was part of the oppressing class. Sure there was a an active spiritual existence, in places, but it was the exception, just as it is today. Absolutely there were Godly people, laymen, priests, monks and bishops, but they had less influence on Russia than we too often give them credit for.
Yet, beyond this, we can see that the ROC can exert a level of influence. Oh, that it uses this power to suggest and direct wisely, with Godly wisdom. But please, let's put the notion of an all-pervasive or all-encompassing Holy Mother Russia on the same shelf as other nostalgic and romantic notions of Orthodox history. And, let us personally pray that we are guided by the most holy spiritual examples, while being willing to admit to and see the failures and reality of oppression.
#15 Sean O'Clare on 2010-12-11 17:00
Only the Russians? In all those documents, there is no other material affecting the other Orthodox? I can hardly credit this.
(Editor's note: Sorry, Father. We are marginal at best on the world stage. If it weren't for the funny hats, we wouldn't even make the photos....)
#16 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-12-11 17:45
Doesn't surprise me. I think it could actually be kind of neat in a odd way.
#17 Happy on 2010-12-12 08:24
Fascinating stuff, yet entirely predictable.
Two major areas of his alleged comments need a serious response:
(A) "Managed Democracy", and Authoritarianism = Stability. and
(B) most of our problems of corruption etc stem from the Soviet period (from which we are not fully free of) etc.
(A) the poor Russian people have never had a democratic tradition as part of the Curse of Byzantium they inherited when Vladimir made that fateful decision in 987 - ratified by his baptism in 988.
The Byzantine Autokrator was a law unto himself and God only, those below him were deliberately and explicitly forbidden to exercise a "check-and-balance" role over him. Utterly unlike the Celtic tradition where the whole people could elect their Kings.
The Top-Down Autokrator Byzantine civil governance tradition also severely infected the Church - with the senior clergy being the ecclesia docens and the lower clergy and the laity being the ecclesia audiens. With no capacity for the lower clergy and laity being structurally capable of being a "check-and-balance" on the higher clergy.
Had Vladimir chosen either the Messianic Jewish "God-Fearer" tradition in Odessa (dating back to the Jerusalem Church of the first century), or the Celtic-Evangelised Novgorod(evangelised from Lindisfarne), and had ruthlessly rejected Byzantium in exactly the same manner as he had rejected both Rome and Islam (according to the Russian Primary Chronicle), then the Slavs would have had a Democratic Tradition - now for over 1000 years. And the nightmare Autokrator tradition of Ivan III and the Romanovs would never have happened!
As for the Soviet era itself, Stalin merely extended the Byzantine rule of the Romanovs, and merely replaced Christianity with the religion of dialectical materialism.
If Hilarion wants to achieve democracy along the lines of the Anglosphere - as I suspect that he wants, then he must lead the abandonment of the entire Byzantine administrative tradition - in both Church and State to achieve this worthwhile goal.
(B) Corruption etc - stemming from the Soviet period.
Has Hilarion never heard of the steady litany of corruption etc. during the Romanov Synod Period - climaxing during the time of Konstantin Pobedonetsov?!
Every corrupt trick of the trade (so rightly condemned by Hilarion) used by the Soviets was learned from both the Okhrana and the Black Hundreds - both Romanov creations.
The "Holy" Synod under Nicholas II under the guidance of that Pobedonetsov had achieved the rare distinction of outdoing the corruption of the Papacies of the Borgias and the de Medicis on the Tiber some centuries earlier....
If Hilarion is serious in rooting out corruption - as I suspect that he is - he must remove the limitation of the Soviet era and reach deep into the Romanov era to achieve success in his most worthwhile venture.
#18 John Battye on 2010-12-13 05:15
As a former parishioner of the London Russian Orthodox Cathedral of The Dormition & All Souls I witnessed the power of the MP during the recent schism. It was somewhat frightening to watch, leaving me with a feeling of what it might be to live in the former Soviet Union. Hilarion played a prominent role in this.
A tragedy for me was to see much of 30 years of the work of Metropoliton Anthony vanish.
At the time of the split I remember the Russian tea ladies in the Cathedral kitchen chanting "We won, We won". A win perhaps for the MP, but definitely not for the Orthodox Church, with much anger and many broken hearts.
#19 John Bennett on 2010-12-13 07:55
De-romanticizing our view of the Orthodox past! Why that's liable to give a clearer vision of the present and future!! Or even to a de-romanticizing of our views of Democracy!!! Or the internet!!!! Where will it stop?
(Editor's note: With a clearer vision of who and what we really are; not what we pretend, or think ourselves to be? With transparency, perhaps, which is what the Fathers implore us to see ourselves with; and accountability,perhaps, which is how we are expected to live our lives? You' know, all those bad things...)
#20 Fr. George Washburn on 2010-12-13 08:30
"Had Vladimir chosen either the Messianic Jewish 'God-Fearer' tradition in Odessa (dating back to the Jerusalem Church of the first century), or the Celtic-Evangelised Novgorod(evangelised from Lindisfarne), and had ruthlessly rejected Byzantium in exactly the same manner as he had rejected both Rome and Islam (according to the Russian Primary Chronicle), then the Slavs would have had a Democratic Tradition - now for over 1000 years."
Sorry, dude, "Messianic Jewish" tradition was a rare thing even in Justin Martyr's day, and assimiliated and gone by the first Ecumenical Council. It certainly wasn't around in Odessa in the 10th century. I don't know about Celts in Novgorod, but I know that the Celtic tradition backed absolute monarchy limited only by Christian theocracy, as Christianity always had, before Roman hetrodoxy developed.
#21 Yeah Right on 2010-12-13 08:53
Let the Buyer, (or in this case the news reader) beware.
What most Americans don't understand about the operation of the Russian Secular and Religious bureaucracies prior to 1917 is the Byzantine concept of "Symphonia". . . the idea that the Church and the State 'should" always operate in tandem to strengthen the nation.
Yes, I said "Should", for as we know, it was The Czar who abolished the Moscow Patriarchate, because it threatened his position as the Autocrat of All Russia.
However, historians have recognized that the Church gained many things during the Synodal Period, including a tremendous growth in its Monastic Life.
As far as Autocephaly is concerned, you're correct. The ONLY Way for Orthodoxy to take root in The United States, Canada, and other parts of the world, is for all of the Patriarchs, (including H.H. Patriarch Kyrill) to release their church protectorates in other countries to create new local autocephalous churches.
To us, the Byzantine Empire, (to say nothing of the Authority and Prestige of the Ecumenical and other patriarchates) are a thing of the past.
Whereas to the Churches of the Old World, the Byzantine Period still exists, at least administratively.
Our Division of Church and State is as alien to the Churches of the old World, as Symphonia is to American Christianity.
Remember, all of the non Roman Catholic Americans, (myself included), complain that the members of the National Council of Roman Catholic Bishops dirties their fingers collective fingers by speaking out on issues that appear to be clearly "political."
Of course, Vatican City could be considered the "Constantinople of the West." Only "Could be."
In this sense, both H.H. +Kyrill or His Eminence Metropolitan Hillarion are are totally correct in their views. . . even though they're alien to our ideals.
At least today, the Church is "Freely" supporting the state.
Maybe the U.S. blockade of Cuba is a remnant of the Cold War that should end. "but only "Maybe".
I'm neither a Political or an Economic strategist, and "IF" I were, then even more who read this post would likely disagree with me.
One final note, Have either H.H Kyrill or H.E. Hillarion considered the possibility that the Liturgical services should be translated into Modern Russian, so the faithful of all generations could actually understand the services, and begin learning the faith through worshiping God?
Oops! I've just brought up the need for Evangelism. And that's another complex subject.
So what do you, the readers think of my answers?
I look forward to your reactions.
(Editor's note: If you read the Ambassador's comments again, you will find the Metropolitan spoke to the idea you suggested. Its a no-go.)
#22 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-13 09:00
Hurray Mark for funny hats! hahahahha
#23 hat-trick on 2010-12-13 09:05
Sad to see the consolidations of power in the Church, both here and abroad, in persons and principles other than Christ. Apparently the lessons of history have gone unnoticed.
#24 Macarius on 2010-12-13 09:14
"With a Hocus Pocus, You're in Focus, it's your lucky day day. Smile. . . You're on Candid Camera."
Mark, great title for this story. I'm 47, and I still remember, (if vaguely), Candid Camera.
I wonder how the interested hierarchs would have responded if they had been cornered like Alan Funt's cameras caught people unexpectedly in the t.v. show of yesteryear.
#25 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-13 09:22
I enjoy your comments and your podcasts as well, and I agree 100% with your statement that "This seems to me to lend even more credence to the founding fathers' (of America) insistence of separation between the church and the state and of the need for an autocepahlous American Orthodox Church, free once-and-for-all from all and every interference from political influences outside its borders."
But doesn't that autocephalous American Orthodox Church already exist? I don't understand it -- people (not only you) comment on how much there is a need for an autocephalous church here in America, on how we need to be free from foreign patriarchates, all the while not acknowledging the existence of the OCA.
I don't understand -- why is this? Do they not believe the OCA's autocephaly? It's all make-believe?
Is it an ethnic pride thing? Is the autocephaly of the OCA illegitimate because it was borne out of a Russian mission to America and not from Greek or Antiochian (or whatever) roots?
It boggles my mind, and many times is like talking to a wall. Why ignore reality?
The fact of the matter is that an autocephalous Orthodox church here in America already exists. If one chooses to not worship at an OCA parish because of attachment to one of the other jurisdictions or to their home parish which happens to be in another jurisdiction, then fine, but more often than not, that is one's choice.
I am baffled as to the continued complaints about the need for an autocephalous Orthodox church here in America when one has existed here for 40 years.
Not ironically, today is feast day of St Herman of Alaska, the patron saint of our church in America. Saint Herman, pray for us and for the growth of the church here in America.
#26 Gregg Gerasimon on 2010-12-13 10:14
When the people, clergy and bishops get tired enough of the foreign bishops control of their parishes in the US (and not the ethnic-identifying image of a pseudo-culture, which never existed in the old country) then the Orthodox parishes will be united within one administrative church. In the meantime, the OCA should just continue being itself and working toward a conciliar church body welcoming all who wish to worship in an Orthodox manner. Greece less than 10 percent of the Orthodox go to church, so why are we surprised to see the same in Russia. Well, what about the Orthodox who are baptized in North America--what is the percentage that worship on a weekly basis? In our area, there are Orthodox christians who do not come (they are recent immigrants--last ten years; and they don't come. If they do go to church, they prefer to travel over 100 miles one way to their ethnic church). However, I am sure (based upon my own siblings) they don't go to church as adults--they haven't joined another church; but if asked they still identify themselves as Orthodox Christians. My conclusion is that here in the US Orthodox parishes probably have 10 percent of the Orthodox population attending church on a regular basis.
#27 anonymous on 2010-12-13 10:42
The musings of +Hilarion certainly call into question, for me at least, Metropolitan Jonah's mantra of "maximum autonomy" as the way to redefine autocephaly. For the OCA in relationship to the Russian Church maximal autonomy is a non sequitur.
It won't be maximal in any sense of the word and it won't be autonomous either. Hopefully he will come to his senses and abandon such ill conceived ideas.
Orthodoxy in America is not going to be benefitted by trying to shape itself in the image of the Russian Church or of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Nor are we going to be helped in our mission by asking surrendering our apostolic commission and leadership to their control. The symphony between church and state does not exist in America and cannot as envisioned by the Founding Fathers and established in the Constitution.
Symphony is no longer possible for Constantinople. Ever changing historical realities reveal exactly how symphony hurts the mission of the Church by entangling it in the intrigues of the kingdoms of this world.
Jesus did refuse the temptation of making all the worldly kingdoms His. We can never seem to resist that temptation as we want both worldliness and worldly kingdoms to be ours.
It is much harder to embrace the values and reality of a kingdom not of this world. Autocephaly gives American Orthodoxy a chance to work on this as does the American prohibition against the state establishing religion.
#28 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2010-12-13 11:29
Relax. ROCOR is too busy trying to calm down the South American Diocese and keep its doors open to promote the interests of the Putin Administration.
I know a few of the ROCOR heirarchs, and I can assure you that subtle political messaging is not their strong suit.
#29 Cabbbage on 2010-12-13 13:13
Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.
- George Jean Nathan
Do we follow Christ or do we follow this empire or that country? What values and policies? Do bishops of the Orthodox Churches in N. America go around the world professing democracy and policies of the U.S. govt?
#30 Anonymous on 2010-12-13 13:54
"Have either H.H Kyrill or H.E. Hillarion considered the possibility that the Liturgical services should be translated into Modern Russian, so the faithful of all generations could actually understand the services, and begin learning the faith through worshiping God? "
The Moscow Patriarchate is publishing a series of bi-lingual (Slavonic/Russian) liturgical texts. The first few volumes were published two or three years ago. These seem to be intended to allow people to follow the services in Slavonic rather than to facilitate services in Russian.
#31 Archimandrite Kyril Jenner on 2010-12-13 14:50
Of course these are generalizations, but there is more than a little truth to them, I believe. The American psyche is bent toward pluralism. The Russian psyche is bent toward monarchy for more than a millenia, the Soviet-era notwithstanding. Monarchy is still in their souls. Americans who pine for some romantic notion of old world Orthodoxy are pining for a form of medievalism. Importing the culture of the old world into the United States makes no sense. A monk from Greece may be exotic (and he may be a good man; hopefully he is), but put him out on the streets and ask him to relate to the average American. He cannot, understandably. What happens all to often is that an anti-American cultural cynicism creeps in and the person loses all commitment to an incarnation of the American culture. Incarnation to that person becomes "Do it like me." Importing the medieval mentality only delays our mission in America, it does not aid it. The world was given a gift of the Spirit in pluralism. Let's learn the length, breadth and depth of that gift and stop viewing it as some evil other.
#32 Anon. on 2010-12-13 21:43
Some of their archpriests are a different matter. Although, 'subtle' may be in the eye of the beholder.
#33 Rebecca Matovic on 2010-12-14 08:48
Thank you, Fr. Kyril. I wasn't aware of that. Or maybe I read it back then, and simply forgot, due to the four recent. . . Interesting years the O.C.A. has weathered.
One other question along this line. Is the Russian Orthodox Church also publishing Liturgical Translations for the former non Russian Republics, including Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan?
This would probably be a good idea too.
#34 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-14 09:29
The bishops of the Mocow Patriarchate are not only willing to pursue the political objectives of the Putin regime, they are willing to renounce the Sacred Canons and the Savior's commandments to do it.
For the past 13 years, the MP has established and funded, and con-celebrated with the non-canonical schismatic church in occupied Abkhazia, whose "bishop" is the defrocked Archimandrite Vissarion.
During the 2008 war, The Russian bishops Panteleimon of Karabadino-Adyghe and Theophan of Saratov publicly "blessed" the weapons and troops used to attack innocent civilians and used to destroy the ancient Ghvertaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden both located outside of occupied Samechablo (South Ossetia). Mind you, these infernal "blessings" were televised in both Russia and Georgia!
The leaders of hte MP have forsaken the Orthodox faith, and they have inoked the wrath of Almighty God.
Just last Sunday, there were race riots in Moscow (the story is on the BBC web-site) Russia is headed to a race war, while the MP cheers on the "Russia for Russian" racist nonsense. The Russian Federation includes oer 100 nationalities with 30% of the populaton non-Slavs, mostly Muslims. The non-"Russian" Russians (Rossianiny) will in a few decades outnumber the so-called Orthodox because the so-called Christians still abort more children than they bear. Russia is headed to an apocalyptic tragedy and the MP is complicit in this tragedy.
And now, God help us, this Bishop Hilarion has been installed on the Board of SVS ! It seems clear that Metropolitan Jonah is determined to submit to Moscow, through the back door if necessary.
Lord hae mercy while there is still time !
#35 Francis Frost on 2010-12-14 11:53
I crave your indulgence to correct "Yeah Right" on his egregious historical errors ....
I know that this is a tangent, but "Yeah Right"'s historical ignorance (functionally a diversion) cannot be allowed to diminish the importance of commentary on the WikiLeaks material.
(a) on Messianic Judaism:
Has he never heard of John Chrysostom's 8 Sermons against the Jews?
These were ostensibly directed at non-Messianic Jews, but (pace Rodney Stark) were a thinly-veiled attack on the Eastern Desposnyi (who had by then established themselves in both Lebanon and Odessa), and the Western descendants of Mary Magdalene, Martha and Lazarus in French Provence - both of which refused to do any homage to the Constantinian appointments in both Rome and Constantinople. The Odessa Desposnyi remained more or less intact until early Tsarist Times.
(b) on Celtic "authoritarianism".
(i) has he never heard of the nightmare historians (who have been filled with the primogeniture royal descent principle) have had in trying to assemble anything like a coherent sequence of Irish Kings until the time of Strongbow in the 12th C? This is because they were elected by the masses for life, and were subject to recall if they overstepped their "bounds" - as laid down in Brehon Law.
(ii) has he never heard of the Celtic Brehon Law principle of "fasting" for justice - even against the King? An authoritarian king would simply brush-aside the faster with contempt and get away with it. In Brehon Law, if a "faster" against the King died from their fast, then the King was dethroned - hardly an "authoritatian" environment.
(iii) where is this Brehon Law structure, which militates against Royal authoritarianism, in Byzantine jus Romanus Law?
#36 John Battye on 2010-12-15 05:01
Congratulations! You have finally managed to post a comment of reasonable length. While I find your stridently anti-Russian tone frequently annoying, you do have many trenchant observations that are usually well worth considering, not the least of which is the unholy alliance of Church and State, especially, but not limited to, the Russian Orthodox Church.
This entire thread of comments only underscores the concern many of us share concerning the OCA and its independence from the MP. You rightly point out that Metropolitan Jonah has been less than steadfast in distancing himself from too entanglement with the MP and his silly romanticized vision of Russian monasticism. He really needs to be reigned in by the Synod and the MC before he does irreparable damage to the OCA.
#37 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2010-12-15 06:35
My comment meant no disrespect of the OCA and its - in my opinion - valid autocephaly. But the odds of the other churches in North America joining the OCA under its omophorion seem slim to none (the Antiochians are the most likely candidate but they (we) appear to be keen on remaining independent). So when I wrote of an "American Orthodox Church", I meant one that encompasses all Orthodox in North America as an existential reality, rather than a denial that the OCA IS already an American Orthodox Church.
#38 Kevin Allen on 2010-12-15 08:07
+ Hilarion's presence on the Board of Trustees of SVS had nothing to do with + Jonah. + Hilarion is a real theologion and liturgical music composer. Having him on the Board of SVS was a logical and proper act by the Board. Furthermore, SVS has & has had many different Orthodox bishops on it's Board. SVS is open to students (men & women) who wish to study Orthodox theology from around the world. Russian students are welcome and encouraged to attend!
#39 Anonymous on 2010-12-15 09:38
Well, we certainly got pretty close when Met. Jonah signed the Manhattan Declaration!
#40 Nilus on 2010-12-15 09:56
even not churched russians are able to understand about 70%of the slavonic text, especially the divine liturgy, there are some texts that are difficult to understand, for example the canon of the pentecost service. the difficulty is mostly because of the syntaxis,( most words can be understood) so some texts need to be explained, but to simply introduce modern russian in the services would be bad, as the same church slavonic is also used by our brothers the serbs and bulgarians, although the serbs do use a lot of serbian in the services, basically, that which is recited is in serbian and that which is sung in slavonic, because the chant does not fit the serbian words very well. PATRIARCH PAVLE a true holy father of our days served mostly in serbian, because slavonic is more difficult to understand for serbs then for russians. but none of this is of any interest to most oca poeple. BUT, WE MUST HAVE ONE SINGLE ENGLISH TEXT OF ALL THE SERVICES OF THE CHURCH USED BY ALL ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE OF ALL JURISDICTIONS. all jurisdictions that use english should work together to create one english text. let the episcopal assembly start this effort by delegating linguists to retranslate some texts, correct and update others,and present the church with a complete set of all necessary service books in english that also take into consideration the greek and slavic traditions of celebrating the services. i think that would be an important step towards unity. AND it would be nice to have beautifully printed books on thick and solid paper, instead of folders and loose pages strewn all over the kliros.(the place where the cantors stand) having one english text would also help to better memorize the services.
#41 Anonymous on 2010-12-15 21:39
You tell'em. This is proper and healthy and right, St. V's is an institution of higher education. It must be international as all legitimate colleges are. One of it's goals should be that it's graduates rid the OCA of it's pseudo-ethnic fantacies!
#42 ANON on 2010-12-18 06:41
Then why was Metropolitan Hilarion's candidature for the Primacy of the OCA proposed and promoted by certain leading professors at SVS?
#43 Moley on 2010-12-21 01:02
Nationalism is the ugly underbelly of the national churches. Nothing new or unique in it. Ever since Byzantium, the church and state have sought to be one. Of course it is completely contrary to the notion of a secular, pluralistic democracy, but nobody should be surprised. The same thing is happening in other Orthodox lands. Need one mention Serbia or Romania? Or the influence the church in Greece has always wielded?
#44 Morton on 2010-12-21 12:09
+ Hilarion will never be the head of the OCA - believe me! He's a wonderful fellow and very intelligent, but head of the OCA? NEVER! If the OCA & all the Orthodox in America can't generate their own leaders, what kind of church are we? WE DON'T NEED CELIBATES OR MONKS! The Tradition of the Orthodox Church does NOT enforce that ONLY celibates or ONLY monks can be bishops. It's time to expose this fallacy and go back to the original Traditions of our church. Married men make normal bishops and there is nothing to negate them from the episcopacy!
#45 Anonymous on 2010-12-22 13:53
The Church of Rus' has translations of the service books in Tatar that are used by the Kryashen in Tatarstan, but beyond that I don't think there are service books in Uzbek, Kazakh, et cetera, yet, though the disciples of Fr. Daniel Sysoyev are publishing more and more evangelistic literature in those and other languages.
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