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Antiochians are at it again.

mike

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https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.382563738514012.1073742151.292018570901863&type=1 said:
The Synod also decided to suspend the Church of Antioch’s participation in all the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops abroad (in the Diaspora) until the removal of the violation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
They also divided their European diocese into 3 and a half and decided about some other stuff. But this is ridiculous.

Due to the insensitive title chosen for this post by Michal Kalina, which may be construed to reflect negatively on all Antiochians, I have taken it upon myself to change said title to something a bit less inflammatory.  If anyone has issue, please let me know.  Thanks. LizaSymonenko, Global Moderator.
 

primuspilus

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The Synod also decided to suspend the Church of Antioch’s participation in all the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops abroad (in the Diaspora) until the removal of the violation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
I personally find this ridiculous. Why suspend  participation in something that has nothing to do with the issue they're facing?

PP
 

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They did not participate in the last 2 assemblies of South America due to a conflict with the EP over some parish in Panama or Peru or wherever.
 

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I was going to say what an overreaction, but yeah, they've done it before.
 

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*sulks*

I think it is time to add -anti antiochians into your sig line.  Geez, that is a lot of anti
 

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TheTrisagion said:
*sulks*

I think it is time to add -anti antiochians into your sig line.  Geez, that is a lot of anti
Lol, it's very Christian.
 

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Let's speak plainly: I do not have any 'insider' information, but I do have some experience with the topic.

I think that this is less about Jerusalem and more about the Assemblies themselves.  The elections of new bishops and redrawing of boundaries should communicate very clearly to everyone that Antioch has no intention of releasing any of its diasporal communities to any new autonomous jurisdictions, or to the ministry of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Rather, Antioch is really drawing its lines more deeply.

While is has been variously claimed that the Assemblies may or may not lead to 'local unity' in terms of indigenous geographical Synods, the fact remains that most of the historical churches with large diaspora communities are showing little interest in lengthening leashes or cutting umbilical chords.  We here in the US have seen in recent days the formation of yet another jurisdiction, the Georgians, which is fine by me since they will help us in the US to discover that there is more to polyphonic music than Neo-Obikhod and Tchaikovsky chorales.  Just don't challenge them to any drinking contests.  They will win.

Antioch knows that Constantinople holds the leash on Alexandria and Jerusalem: both have been sent packing by Pat. Bartholomew when they tried setting up shop here in the US.  So, when they don't move, the assumption is that Constantinople is either unwilling to exert some influence for an old friend, or that they plain like the idea.  The most plausible theory I've heard is that Jerusalem's move is largely about the bigger problem in the Middle East between Shia and Sunni: Antioch looks like an ally of Assad and the Alawite/Shia coalition, and the Gulf States are beholden to Saudis and their Wahabist Sunni predilections.

In the long run, Antioch gets no benefit from ceding territory to new arrangements when so many Arab Orthodox are fleeing the Middle East.  And, while Antioch is not the biggest player in the English-speaking world, the withdrawal from the Latin American assemblies means that the biggest Orthodox community down there is out of the game.  While the 'North American' Assembly might limp along without Metropolitan Philip and the auxiliaries, Antioch's disengagement is a major problem.  But, then again, Antioch does not have any incentive to let go.  There are no big rebellions or raucous discontent down there the way there is up here.  Why let go of peaceful, prosperous diaspora communities for the sake of these Assemblies?

Frankly, I have found the 'mission statement' of the North American Assembly rather disappointing.  To Antioch, I can imagine that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Patriarch Ignatius and Patriarch Bartholomew were friends, and I think that greased the wheels for Antiochian participation in the Assemblies.  I'm just not sure that without this dimension that Antioch will want to play along with the ecclesiastical 'Kabuki theater' of these gatherings.  The cost-benefit tables might need to be tweaked.

Me and my friends are waiting to see how the Antiochian hierarchs and clergy that have really gone in for the Assemblies will take this decision by the Holy Synod.  Some of us are expecting some very weird 'interpretations' of the Synod's decision which will somehow permit their continued activities even though the Holy Synod has removed its blessing.  We've all seen passive-aggressive moves in Church politics, and I'm sure there are a few fellows out there leafing through their dog-eared editions of the Byzantine Talmud looking for some 'canonical exemption.'

My advice: buy popcorn.

 

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To paraphrase the mid 20th century American humorist, Will Rogers, " We don't belong to any organized religion, we're Orthodox."

Jurisdictional unity in America is as elusive a goal as ever and the powers that be keep moving back the goalposts.

I suspect that had Moscow not have had other issues on its plate forty years ago and had they anticipated the influx of Russians and other former Soviet citizens and their talent and lucre to the west , the much discussed Tomos of the OCA may never have been issued.

"Secure the perimeter and set up the circular firing squad."

 

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I've been following Fr. Josiah Trenham on AFR/website for a year now . . . he was rather involved with the Assembly of Canonical Bishops.  I wonder how he'll react.
 

ialmisry

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FatherGiryus said:
Antioch knows that Constantinople holds the leash on Alexandria and Jerusalem: both have been sent packing by Pat. Bartholomew when they tried setting up shop here in the US.  So, when they don't move, the assumption is that Constantinople is either unwilling to exert some influence for an old friend, or that they plain like the idea.
The Phanar continuing to try to pass off its canon 28 mythology as Orthodoxy, of course, just confirms those suspicions, Father.
After all, if the Phanar is all that it claims, then it owns the Gulf: why is it letting Jerusalem hone in onto its turg?
FatherGiryus said:
In the long run, Antioch gets no benefit from ceding territory to new arrangements when so many Arab Orthodox are fleeing the Middle East.  And, while Antioch is not the biggest player in the English-speaking world, the withdrawal from the Latin American assemblies means that the biggest Orthodox community down there is out of the game.  While the 'North American' Assembly might limp along without Metropolitan Philip and the auxiliaries, Antioch's disengagement is a major problem.  But, then again, Antioch does not have any incentive to let go.  There are no big rebellions or raucous discontent down there the way there is up here.  Why let go of peaceful, prosperous diaspora communities for the sake of these Assemblies?
Ooops!  It seems that the EP is going to have to lead by example.
 

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Ok, so someone explain this to me in layman's terms.  From what I understand, Jerusalem established a bishop in Antiochian territory and now Antioch is ticked off and so they pulled out of the Assemblies of Bishops and are threatening to not be in communion with Jerusalem?

A.) why did Jerusalem do that?
B.) why such an extreme reaction from Antioch?

???
 

Second Chance

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I think it may help to look at this from a larger perspective. Father Giryus and Podkarpatska touched on it but let me also say that these things have a long gestation period and by the time the Regional Assemblies started, the underlying dynamics had changed. For the major players in North America, here is my list.

1. Constantinople: Greece becoming a failed state.
2. For Antioch: The Arab Spring threatening the very existence of the Church.
3. For all: The unexpectedly large emigration of her members from most of the established Churches in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
I think it may help to look at this from a larger perspective. Father Giryus and Podkarpatska touched on it but let me also say that these things have a long gestation period and by the time the Regional Assemblies started, the underlying dynamics had changed. For the major players in North America, here is my list.

1. Constantinople: Greece becoming a failed state.
2. For Antioch: The Arab Spring threatening the very existence of the Church.
3. For all: The unexpectedly large emigration of her members from most of the established Churches in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
I just want to be clear that my observation regarding Moscow was not intended to characterize the position of the OCA, one way or the other, but merely to state the obvious. Since the days of Tsar Peter the Great,  Russia has always see herself as a "player" in terms of geopolitics and it is not unreasonable to postulate that a Russian church united with the modern Russian state as is the case today might have a different view regarding the "diaspora" than was the case in the mid 1970's. That being said, the opportunity for mischief to raise its head for broader, historical purposes can not be discounted as we American Orthodox are  relatively few in number, but potentially significant from a broader geopolitical power point of view.

Interesting challenges surely lie ahead.
 

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I really hate saying that money plays such a big role in this.  Canonicity goes out the window when the "diaspora" is making lots of money in the New World.
 

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It isn't just money, it's part of a brotherly turf battle that has been ongoing between Moscow and Constantinople since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.  Every century or so, Rome sticks its neck in to see if she can gain any advantage and so it goes.

Just go to church, support your parish, raise your families with love for the Lord and His Church and don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing. It's what they do from time to time.
 

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podkarpatska said:
I suspect that had Moscow not have had other issues on its plate forty years ago and had they anticipated the influx of Russians and other former Soviet citizens and their talent and lucre to the west , the much discussed Tomos of the OCA may never have been issued.
Actually I tend to disagree. The OCA wanted Autocephaly very much and Moscow granted it at least in large part for that reason. From Moscow's viewpoint it is much better to (1) be close friends and give autocephaly than (2) demand obedience but instead get the OCA announcing its own autocephaly anyway like it had in practical terms under the Metropolia. Autocephaly was better for both sides therefore in several ways.

Ultimately it is not a bad option from an American Orthodox point of view either because it paves the way for others like the GOA and AOCA to join the OCA as part of an independent Orthodox Church. And should that occur, we could maintain grateful and historical ties for their granting it.

Peace.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
Ok, so someone explain this to me in layman's terms.  From what I understand, Jerusalem established a bishop in Antiochian territory and now Antioch is ticked off and so they pulled out of the Assemblies of Bishops and are threatening to not be in communion with Jerusalem?

A.) why did Jerusalem do that?
B.) why such an extreme reaction from Antioch?

???
I don't know the answer as to why Jerusalem established a diocese of territory of the Patriarchate of Antioch.  I hope someone on the forum does know and would reply.

From what I've read there may only be one church, at the present time, involved in this mess.  I suspect the parish is composed of faithful who had been from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, though I'm not sure if they were Greeks or Arabs, or if they're Greeks from elsewhere. I suspect there could be wealthy laity within the parish who wield clout in the Jerusalem Patriarchate. The parish was served by a Vicar (I'm assuming of Jerusalem), an Archimandrite, Father Makarios.  He may have been serving the parish with the permission of the Antiochian Archbishop for Qatar. It was Fr. Makarios who was elected the new archbishop, so perhaps he's planning to establish more parishes, or sought elevation to the episcopacy.

I don't blame the Holy Synod of Antioch for being so disturbed with this matter.  They mentioned that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the government of Greece attempted intervention, to no avail apparently. The government of Greece holds the purse strings to Jerusalem. The Ecumenical Patriarchate does have the wherewithal to correct this problem, and the Antiochian Patriarchate understands the importance Patriarch Bartholomew affixes to the Regional Episcopal Assemblies process, and thus, is attempting to leverage their vital participation in that process; perhaps this action of their Synod will rightly incite some corrective or compromise action.  A possible compromise would be for Archbishop Makarios to be considered a "Choroepiscops," a "Bishop of the Community," serving the community as he did while he was an Archimandrite Vicar, as opposed to a ruling bishop of a diocese.

The AOCANA's Bishop Basil of Wichita is the respected Secretary of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North & Central America, a very well thought of hierarch, whose execution of his responsibilities to the Assembly are vital.  Perhaps pressure can be brought upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate from the GOAA to intervene and resolve this mess.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
Ok, so someone explain this to me in layman's terms.  From what I understand, Jerusalem established a bishop in Antiochian territory and now Antioch is ticked off and so they pulled out of the Assemblies of Bishops and are threatening to not be in communion with Jerusalem?

A.) why did Jerusalem do that?
B.) why such an extreme reaction from Antioch?

???
Is it more extreme than when, back in 2011, Jerusalem excommunicated the Romanian Church for establishing a church in Jerusalem's territory? And Jerusalem would ever do something like that to any of its Sister Churches. Oh, wait...

;)
 

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I read a little more an internet searches.  It was in 2004 that the American Ambassador to Qatar, Patrick Theros (a Greek-American) "invited" the Church of Jerusalem to send a priest to serve the spiritual needs of the community.  The priest who made periodic visits? It's the current Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III.  Later, Fr. Makarios was sent to serve full time.  St. Isaac and St. George Church claims to be serving Orthodox Christians of various backgrounds. There was an inquiry asking Fr. Makarios to serve in Slavonic, too. I saw a picture of the interior of the church. it looked very new, and incomplete.
 

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podkarpatska said:
It isn't just money, it's part of a brotherly turf battle that has been ongoing between Moscow and Constantinople since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.  Every century or so, Rome sticks its neck in to see if she can gain any advantage and so it goes.

Just go to church, support your parish, raise your families with love for the Lord and His Church and don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing. It's what they do from time to time.
Well put and I agree. 
 

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Patrick N. Theros is a contributing columnist to "The National Herald," weekend English language edition.  His summary bio. therein indicates he was the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar from 1995-'98, when he retired from the Foreign Service.  So, he was the President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council during his 2004 involvement with the establishment with this Qatar parish.
 
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All of this familial infighting and drama, what a load of rubbish and the who the heck needs it?  I am about done with all of it, I have more of a religious experience walking my three dogs in the park.

Viking 
 

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converted viking said:
All of this familial infighting and drama, what a load of rubbish and the who the heck needs it?  I am about done with all of it, I have more of a religious experience walking my three dogs in the park.
Other than your local parish's liturgical and community life, what else do you need?  I'm not kidding.  :)
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
converted viking said:
All of this familial infighting and drama, what a load of rubbish and the who the heck needs it?  I am about done with all of it, I have more of a religious experience walking my three dogs in the park.
Other than your local parish's liturgical and community life, what else do you need?  I'm not kidding.  :)
That's the approach that every good parish priest I've known over years has followed. It certainly kept my father functioning through much intrigue and nasty silly business going on above his pay grade during his sixty five year priesthood.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
Ok, so someone explain this to me in layman's terms.  From what I understand, Jerusalem established a bishop in Antiochian territory and now Antioch is ticked off and so they pulled out of the Assemblies of Bishops and are threatening to not be in communion with Jerusalem?

A.) why did Jerusalem do that?
B.) why such an extreme reaction from Antioch?

???
It is no more extreme that what Jerusalem did to Romania, over the same issue.
 

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ialmisry said:
TheTrisagion said:
Ok, so someone explain this to me in layman's terms.  From what I understand, Jerusalem established a bishop in Antiochian territory and now Antioch is ticked off and so they pulled out of the Assemblies of Bishops and are threatening to not be in communion with Jerusalem?

A.) why did Jerusalem do that?
B.) why such an extreme reaction from Antioch?

???
It is no more extreme that what Jerusalem did to Romania, over the same issue.
I guess they forgot that "do unto others" bit.
 

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ialmisry said:
TheTrisagion said:
Ok, so someone explain this to me in layman's terms.  From what I understand, Jerusalem established a bishop in Antiochian territory and now Antioch is ticked off and so they pulled out of the Assemblies of Bishops and are threatening to not be in communion with Jerusalem?

A.) why did Jerusalem do that?
B.) why such an extreme reaction from Antioch?

???
It is no more extreme that what Jerusalem did to Romania, over the same issue.
How did that end up resolving?  I don't typically pay much attention to church politics, but this has me kinda interested.
 

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podkarpatska said:
It isn't just money, it's part of a brotherly turf battle that has been ongoing between Moscow and Constantinople since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.  Every century or so, Rome sticks its neck in to see if she can gain any advantage and so it goes.

Just go to church, support your parish, raise your families with love for the Lord and His Church and don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing. It's what they do from time to time.
I am really interested in hearing you expound on "don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing"?  I don't want to try to read the wrong thing into this comment.  What exactly are you implying?

As a Protestant, I really wonder what a mature Orthodox view of these matters would be.
 

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Hinterlander said:
podkarpatska said:
It isn't just money, it's part of a brotherly turf battle that has been ongoing between Moscow and Constantinople since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.  Every century or so, Rome sticks its neck in to see if she can gain any advantage and so it goes.

Just go to church, support your parish, raise your families with love for the Lord and His Church and don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing. It's what they do from time to time.
I am really interested in hearing you expound on "don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing"?  I don't want to try to read the wrong thing into this comment.  What exactly are you implying?

As a Protestant, I really wonder what a mature Orthodox view of these matters would be.
He is saying that church politics have been around since the beginning.  While they make for good gossip, it doesn't have anything to do with our salvation and becoming obsessed with it can become unhealthy and distracting.
 

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Hinterlander said:
podkarpatska said:
It isn't just money, it's part of a brotherly turf battle that has been ongoing between Moscow and Constantinople since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.  Every century or so, Rome sticks its neck in to see if she can gain any advantage and so it goes.

Just go to church, support your parish, raise your families with love for the Lord and His Church and don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing. It's what they do from time to time.
I am really interested in hearing you expound on "don't sweat the stuff the 'men in black' are doing"?  I don't want to try to read the wrong thing into this comment.  What exactly are you implying?

As a Protestant, I really wonder what a mature Orthodox view of these matters would be.
It means that the machinations of church leaders are often insignificant when understood in the context of church and political history. It means that for the average, pious hard working believer that salvation and spiritual fruit is best found within the local community of believers. That is not to say that Patriarchs, Synods and the like are extraneous, we trust that they diligently administer the Church and protect her Orthodoxy, but that where the local bishop is, one shall find the Church, not necessarily within any particular regional or global entity (not exactly a new thought). On the internet, we tend to read our own biases into the tea leaves as we try to interpret the decisions of Synods and the like and exaggerate their long term impact.

Orthodox ecclesiology is far more complex than my simple explanation would imply, but my main point should have been that the types of issues among the national churches of Orthodoxy like the Qatar complaint, don't go to doctrine or Faith, they usually sort out over time and they shouldn't distract the life of the average parish or parishioner.

I hope that cleared my comment up for you. I shouldn't have been flippant in the first instance.
 

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I think he is saying what a former parish priest of mine used to say when I would speak with him about administrative disputes in the parish; "Ask yourself if resolution of this matter is necessary to your salvation?"  Or, other times he'd say "If you were as concerned about your own salvation, as you are about "X," you won't have a problem."

Essentially, "podkarpatska" is saying, stay focused on you own spirituality, your life within the "Body of Christ," worshiping the Divine Services of the Church, in your parish.  Let the hierarchs from abroad (the "Men in Black"--they wear black robes) engage in their "Byzantine Intrigues;" you'll never figure them out.


P.S. I wrote my reply before I saw his Reply No. 30, not intending to speak for him.
 

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I used to be of the school that says, "Ah, there's nothing we can do about it, so why pay attention?"  The problem is that the Assembly of Bishops (formerly the 'Episcopal Assembly,' changed for reasons that are too complex and too embarrassing to talk about) is discussing lots and lots of things that will effect parishes in an undeniable way.  In fact, rather than focusing in on their own real issues, the bishops are turning their attention to things like liturgics and pastoral matters.

I say this as a 'member' of a subcommittee of a committee of the Assembly.  The fellow I've reported to is a wonderful fellow.  My concern is when the process turns a horse into a camel.... when everyone is asking for a race car.

They are not talking about administrative unity as much as conformity of practice.  That's explosive stuff.  Most American Orthodox will accept administrative unity over changing local peculiarities.

Those are hard to ignore with Zen-like indifference.  I've had people walk out of church because of one phrase.  Really.  Those old-timers in the OCA remember the calendar change.  The bishops decided that.

The Assembly process is going about this entirely the wrong way: people in the parishes (very, very few have diocesan/eparchial loyalties, and when they do they are usually dysfunctional) will accept any bishop who does not ruffle their feathers.  The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the OCA have both proved this with their ethnic dioceses.  But, if they have the same bishop, and he is telling them to change stuff, he will wish he'd never been consecrated if he tries to actually make changes the Assembly may propose to implement.

I'm actually willing to go another generation without this kind of nonsense.  I would much rather see the ethnic differences here in the US evaporate with the natural course of time rather than making any forced changes that will result in schisms and defections and general stupidity.  Unless Albania invades Greece or Kazakhstan invades Russia, we are not looking at a big wave of immigrants to replenish many of the larger ethnic enclaves.  There will be nothing other than the continued pattern of assimilation.
 

podkarpatska

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FatherGiryus said:
I used to be of the school that says, "Ah, there's nothing we can do about it, so why pay attention?"  The problem is that the Assembly of Bishops (formerly the 'Episcopal Assembly,' changed for reasons that are too complex and too embarrassing to talk about) is discussing lots and lots of things that will effect parishes in an undeniable way.  In fact, rather than focusing in on their own real issues, the bishops are turning their attention to things like liturgics and pastoral matters.

I say this as a 'member' of a subcommittee of a committee of the Assembly.  The fellow I've reported to is a wonderful fellow.  My concern is when the process turns a horse into a camel.... when everyone is asking for a race car.

They are not talking about administrative unity as much as conformity of practice.  That's explosive stuff.  Most American Orthodox will accept administrative unity over changing local peculiarities.

Those are hard to ignore with Zen-like indifference.  I've had people walk out of church because of one phrase.  Really.  Those old-timers in the OCA remember the calendar change.  The bishops decided that.

The Assembly process is going about this entirely the wrong way: people in the parishes (very, very few have diocesan/eparchial loyalties, and when they do they are usually dysfunctional) will accept any bishop who does not ruffle their feathers.  The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the OCA have both proved this with their ethnic dioceses.  But, if they have the same bishop, and he is telling them to change stuff, he will wish he'd never been consecrated if he tries to actually make changes the Assembly may propose to implement.

I'm actually willing to go another generation without this kind of nonsense.  I would much rather see the ethnic differences here in the US evaporate with the natural course of time rather than making any forced changes that will result in schisms and defections and general stupidity.  Unless Albania invades Greece or Kazakhstan invades Russia, we are not looking at a big wave of immigrants to replenish many of the larger ethnic enclaves.  There will be nothing other than the continued pattern of assimilation.
Father, you and I are singing from the same score.

My dad loved the characters of Tevye and company from Fiddler on the Roof. Peasants were peasants back in the day. He was a loyal priest to his church, regardless of who the bishop was and he would use the Rabbi' s blessing  for the Tsar to make a point. Most folks, he said, loved to sing "Eis polla eti Despota" at the top of their lungs while mouthing, "May God bless and keep our Bishop - as far away as possible."

What you report will not fly, but rather it will transport us back in time many decades. We can not survive with more pointless schisms and property litigation. God protect us from ourselves.
 

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FatherGiryus said:
I used to be of the school that says, "Ah, there's nothing we can do about it, so why pay attention?"  The problem is that the Assembly of Bishops (formerly the 'Episcopal Assembly,' changed for reasons that are too complex and too embarrassing to talk about) is discussing lots and lots of things that will effect parishes in an undeniable way.  In fact, rather than focusing in on their own real issues, the bishops are turning their attention to things like liturgics and pastoral matters.

I say this as a 'member' of a subcommittee of a committee of the Assembly.  The fellow I've reported to is a wonderful fellow.  My concern is when the process turns a horse into a camel.... when everyone is asking for a race car.

They are not talking about administrative unity as much as conformity of practice.  That's explosive stuff.  Most American Orthodox will accept administrative unity over changing local peculiarities.

Those are hard to ignore with Zen-like indifference.  I've had people walk out of church because of one phrase.  Really.  Those old-timers in the OCA remember the calendar change.  The bishops decided that.

The Assembly process is going about this entirely the wrong way: people in the parishes (very, very few have diocesan/eparchial loyalties, and when they do they are usually dysfunctional) will accept any bishop who does not ruffle their feathers.  The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the OCA have both proved this with their ethnic dioceses.  But, if they have the same bishop, and he is telling them to change stuff, he will wish he'd never been consecrated if he tries to actually make changes the Assembly may propose to implement.

I'm actually willing to go another generation without this kind of nonsense.  I would much rather see the ethnic differences here in the US evaporate with the natural course of time rather than making any forced changes that will result in schisms and defections and general stupidity.  Unless Albania invades Greece or Kazakhstan invades Russia, we are not looking at a big wave of immigrants to replenish many of the larger ethnic enclaves.  There will be nothing other than the continued pattern of assimilation.
lol, are you sure you are not my priest? We discussed this in catechumen class yesterday.  People wanted to know why the bishops don't just get together and force everyone to just be an American Orthodox Church and ditch their ethnic tendencies.  Our parish is very convert, so not many people understand the importance that those who are ethnic place on that aspect of the church.  Our priest wisely counseled that with such things, it is better for them to organically work themselves out through time rather than forcing opposites together and causing strife.
 

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Well, you have the advantage of being a part of recent history.  I'm just a student of it.   ;)

I recall a priest once admonishing his bishop, "You act like a bishop at all the wrong times."

Yes, there's a lot of 'appeasement' in the attitudes priests have of their bishops.  I know a lot of priests who resent 'interference' from the bishop, when, in fact, it is really the bishop's parish to begin with and we are hired hands.  However, after 20 years, a priest may forget that and start to have a sense of possession.  Since all of my assignments have been to places where the bishop was already heavily involved, I'm used to a higher level of interaction.  

That's why I know about how poorly people deal with change, because, in every case, I've been sent in with a set of marching orders that the bishop (and, frankly, common sense) demanded.  I'm usually the one blamed for the changes, and so the complaints are usually about me.  The trick is to let people complain all they want about your obedience.  Bishops love those kinds of complaints.

However, I have witnessed cases where bishops forgot that they told their priests to do something, or the priests were sent to seminaries that taught priests to do things differently from the bishop's practices, then the priest wonders why he is in trouble.  Again, we have to be cautious when exerting change.  My sense is that young priests fresh out of seminary need to have a sit-down with the eparchial hierarch and to take copious notes as to what is expected of him.  I've seen more than one case where the bishop and the priest have very different expectations, but nobody is communicating.

For any Assembly plan to work, it would first have to be implemented in the seminaries, which means the faculty would probably have to go back to school a little bit themselves and perhaps a few reassignments.  Seminarians will pick up on cynicism, and institutional cynicism is positively destructive.


podkarpatska said:
Father, you and I are singing from the same score.

My dad loved the characters of Tevye and company from Fiddler on the Roof. Peasants were peasants back in the day. He was a loyal priest to his church, regardless of who the bishop was and he would use the Rabbi' s blessing  for the Tsar to make a point. Most folks, he said, loved to sing "Eis polla eti Despota" at the top of their lungs while mouthing, "May God bless and keep our Bishop - as far away as possible."

What you report will not fly, but rather it will transport us back in time many decades. We can not survive with more pointless schisms and property litigation. God protect us from ourselves.
quoting tags editted - MK
 

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Just so you know, converts bring their own ethnic hang-ups as well.  Try getting a Roman Catholic convert and Evangelical Calvinist convert in the same parish and watch the ethnic sparks fly!

One of the major problems we have here in the US is not acknowledging that there are just as big of cultural jumps between a Louisianan and a New Yorker as there are between an 'American' and a Greek.  Yet, we repeatedly see attempts to create 'meta-dioceses' encompassing incompatible American groups.

Out here on the 'Left Coast,' the phrase 'East Coast Orthodoxy' is a pejorative.  It is worse than the g-word and the n-word put together!


TheTrisagion said:
lol, are you sure you are not my priest? We discussed this in catechumen class yesterday.  People wanted to know why the bishops don't just get together and force everyone to just be an American Orthodox Church and ditch their ethnic tendencies.  Our parish is very convert, so not many people understand the importance that those who are ethnic place on that aspect of the church.  Our priest wisely counseled that with such things, it is better for them to organically work themselves out through time rather than forcing opposites together and causing strife.
 

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FatherGiryus said:
Just so you know, converts bring their own ethnic hang-ups as well.  Try getting a Roman Catholic convert and Evangelical Calvinist convert in the same parish and watch the ethnic sparks fly!

One of the major problems we have here in the US is not acknowledging that there are just as big of cultural jumps between a Louisianan and a New Yorker as there are between an 'American' and a Greek.  Yet, we repeatedly see attempts to create 'meta-dioceses' encompassing incompatible American groups.

Out here on the 'Left Coast,' the phrase 'East Coast Orthodoxy' is a pejorative.  It is worse than the g-word and the n-word put together!


TheTrisagion said:
lol, are you sure you are not my priest? We discussed this in catechumen class yesterday.  People wanted to know why the bishops don't just get together and force everyone to just be an American Orthodox Church and ditch their ethnic tendencies.  Our parish is very convert, so not many people understand the importance that those who are ethnic place on that aspect of the church.  Our priest wisely counseled that with such things, it is better for them to organically work themselves out through time rather than forcing opposites together and causing strife.
Out of sheer ignorance, what is the difference between east coast and west coast Orthodoxy Churches?  I've never heard anyone here make any reference at all to west coast churches.

Now I feel like we are talking about rappers or something.  :laugh:
 

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FatherGiryus said:
  It is worse than the g-word and the n-word put together!
As an adopted Southerner, by the grace of God, my, that is bad!
 

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Unless Albania invades Greece or Kazakhstan invades Russia, we are not looking at a big wave of immigrants to replenish many of the larger ethnic enclaves.  There will be nothing other than the continued pattern of assimilation.

Fr Jiryus,

While I agree with most of your reasoning, and I wholeheartedly agree about the wisdom of taking things slow, I think this particular statement is far from Antioch's thinking. Europe, South America, and North America should all be preparing for a significant Syrian influx. If this does not happen, praise God, but we can't base our planning on the expectation of miracles. Part of the larger reasoning behind a lot of the statements of the Patriarch and the Synod is that Antioch, as much as this is due to lamentable causes, is a very international church. On paper, there are probably as many Antiochian faithful in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil as in Lebanon (the total number of Christians of Greater Syrian decent in South America would equal at least half of the modern population of Greater Syria). It's notable that one of the first things that changed when the John X became patriarch was to start issuing all synodal decisions in English, Spanish, German, and French (and often Russian, Romanian, and Portuguese).

So, one of the ways to read the decision regarding Europe is that Britain (which is almost entirely convert outside London), France (which is largely well-off and Lebanese), and Germany (where the largest parishes are made up of people from Hatay) have different pastoral needs, necessitating different metropolitans rather than different bishops within a single archdiocese, in preparation for expected rapid growth.

In any case, the struggle to liberate the Patriarchate of Jerusalem from the Greeks is part of Antioch's historical mission-- and, if we think of St Raphael's efforts in this regard, part of the historical mission of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, and something far more important than the limited value of the Assembly of Bishops.
 
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