• A blessed Nativity / Theophany season to all! For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

British Orthodox Vagante Church

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
I am sad to see that the "British Orthodox Church" has gone into full vagante mode and now has...

1 Patriarch, 2 Bishops, 1 Priest and 1 Deacon.

The bishops assistant, has now been made a third bishop - again without the participation of three bishops - and has the right to succeed as the next Patriarch.

The membership appears to be still about 20 people.

I a very sad that a group so many of us committed so much time and energy and prayer has ended up worse than it started out, and the same as the preceding vagante groups that formed it.
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
The Patriarch's assistant, who has now been made a "bishop", has the title of Maphrian.

Wiki describes this rank in these terms...

The Maphrian Maphryānā or catholicose, also rendered as mafriono, was the prelate in the Syriac Orthodox Church who ranked second in the hierarchy after the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. The Maphrian, originally acted as the head of the church, in a position similar to an exarch, within the Sassanian Empire and lands outside the control of the Roman Empire.

Well I guess helping two other bishops to look after about 18 people - 6 each - is a little less demanding.
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
8
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
This vagante group is simply diabolical.  And their actions on the OO side, combined with nausea in the EO side due to their current schism, will make it twice as hard for reconciliation with other canonically irregular groups which desire regularization.  :(
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
Indeed, I could not easily commend the reception of any small group of independent/vagante background into Orthodoxy as a group. I think they would need to be integrated into a local diocese, and be under the pastoral and catechetical care of an Orthodox bishop.
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
8
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
Father Peter said:
Indeed, I could not easily commend the reception of any small group of independent/vagante background into Orthodoxy as a group. I think they would need to be integrated into a local diocese, and be under the pastoral and catechetical care of an Orthodox bishop.
Where this in turn makes my head ache rather profusely is in the specific awkward case of Thoyizoor.
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
I think that I would accept the difference between a very well established independent group, that would still need careful catechising, and the thousands of groups calling themselves Orthodox and Catholic with less than 100 people and usually multiple bishops, archbishops and patriarchs, and with a real history of less than 100 years, mostly less than 50 years.
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
I have deleted all of irishpilgrims very long post because he...

i. Has no knowledge at all of the situation he is speaking about and so is entirely wrong. He has no idea how wrong he is.

ii. I consider that his posts are essentially polemical and hostile to the OO and so against forum rules.

There is no such thing as an Orthodox Church - not congregation - of less than 20 people, but with a Patriarch, a Maphrian/Catholicos, another Bishop, just one Priest and one Deacon. Anyone who thinks there is does not understand Orthodoxy at all and should not be discoursing on it in a polemical tone.
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
8
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
Father Peter said:
I have deleted all of irishpilgrims very long post because he...

i. Has no knowledge at all of the situation he is speaking about and so is entirely wrong. He has no idea how wrong he is.

ii. I consider that his posts are essentially polemical and hostile to the OO and so against forum rules.

There is no such thing as an Orthodox Church - not congregation - of less than 20 people, but with a Patriarch, a Maphrian/Catholicos, another Bishop, just one Priest and one Deacon. Anyone who thinks there is does not understand Orthodoxy at all and should not be discoursing on it in a polemical tone.
Indeed so.  I mean frankly the use of the title Patriarch is itself very nearly pretentious unless one is sitting in a city of marked antiquity.
 

irishpilgrim

Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Father Peter said:
I have deleted all of irishpilgrims very long post because he...

i. Has no knowledge at all of the situation he is speaking about and so is entirely wrong. He has no idea how wrong he is.

ii. I consider that his posts are essentially polemical and hostile to the OO and so against forum rules.

There is no such thing as an Orthodox Church - not congregation - of less than 20 people, but with a Patriarch, a Maphrian/Catholicos, another Bishop, just one Priest and one Deacon. Anyone who thinks there is does not understand Orthodoxy at all and should not be discoursing on it in a polemical tone.
Fr. Peter: Thank you for deleting the redundant, unintended duplications in my post. I expected that an honest, fair, unselfish, well intended moderator would
clearup this distraction from my sincere, well reasoned recent past and current relevant insights into the new heretical, feminist, freudian, family destroying current Coptic leadership which, Abba Seraphim has fled, for the intended, or unintended, spiritual benefit of his thereby blessed remnant of his seemingly faithful true Orthodox flock.

I'm sorry to see you falling back into your old biased dishonest, slanderous, calumnous practices of your Tasbeha.net moderation, that is blatantly necessary to maintain the appearance and fraud of Coptic office.

Please immediately restore the text of my referenced and original posted reply in this discussion, which challenge your self serving slanders of your "former" jurisdiction, Abba Saraphim, and other faithful and clerics.
 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Why are you such a remarkable tool? Do you have a medical condition? Please let me know so that I can feel bad for you.
 

Arachne

Matriarch
Staff member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
12,271
Reaction score
161
Points
63
Age
48
Location
Camulodunum
Reminder that public arguing with moderation is against forum rules and can incur disciplinary measures. Any disagreements, take them to PM.
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
The fact that you imagine the so-called British Orthodox Church defends traditional Orthodox and Christian social principles shows just how ignorant of the real situation you are. Entirely ignorant. Entirely incorrect.
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
8
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
Father Peter said:
The fact that you imagine the so-called British Orthodox Church defends traditional Orthodox and Christian social principles shows just how ignorant of the real situation you are. Entirely ignorant. Entirely incorrect.
+1

The BOC is in my view at this point on a worse moral footing than the Church of Scotland, and every bit as heretical (and correct me if I am wrong, Father, but there are still some parish “Kirks” in Scotland that operate within the same moral threshold as some of the traditionalist, conservative High Church and Evangelical CoE parishes, vs. the ultra liberal Broad Church variety, and the Church of Scotland engages in various humanitarian activities and provides to some extent a level of charity that is at the very least on a par with that of other state churches in Europe).  In the US, this could definitely be said about the PCUSA.

I am of course picking on mainline Presbyterians because in my view they are both morally bankrupt and are also at the opposite end of a theological spectrum from Orthodoxy, both in terms of polity and in terms of sacramental theology, iconoclasm, Nestorianism and so on, only the Baptists being worse (except for the superficial similiarity of Baptist baptism to our baptism of adults, which of course belies an heretical comprehension of the sacrament).  Although I believe the Orthodox and traditional Baptist churches can work together for the public interest based on issues of common moral concern, and also collaborate on charitable works.  In the US the SBC is probably the largest block of Christians adhering to traditional moral values, and in England we have Rev. David Young, one of the nicer chaps on the forum, who organized some substantial and commendable project to benefit the Albanian Orthodox Church.
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
I don't know why that website continues to promote the "British Orthodox Church" since it stands against everything that Orthodox represents. It is not news that should be reported and it prevents me commending that website to anyone seriously interested in Orthodoxy because they will come across articles promoting the "British Orthodox Church".

A Patriarch, a Catholicos/Maphrian, a Bishop, a Priest and a Deacon with less than 15 people is not a national Church in any understanding of Orthodoxy.
 

Eamonomae

Julian the Apostate
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
6
Points
38
While I don’t know what happened with the British Orthodox Church (and I don’t think I want to know if talking to someone who was a part of it used the phrase “some things can’t be unseen”), and given the propensity of Vagante Bishops to often exhibit cult-like behavior and insanity, I can go off the probability that the group is in the moral wrong...
A part of me wishes I had some idea of what happened, because I don’t like using probabilities and like to be objective in situations like this.

I mean, while the Old Believers can possibly be considered a “vagante” group, I tend to think that the Russian Orthodox Church was in the clear moral wrong - and I have some reserved sympathy for the “Orthodox Church of France”, which schismed from the Russian Orthodox Church as their unique Liturgy which was approved by one of the Saints of the Russian Orthodox Church, was continuously being threatened and overwritten by the Russian Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.

So there are a few cases where there’s a level of sympathy and understanding for vagante groups, so...
 

Eamonomae

Julian the Apostate
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
6
Points
38
But whatever happened,
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
8
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
Eamonomae said:
But whatever happened,
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
No one in the Coptic Church has taken any kind of wrathful vengeance on the British heterodox church.  They would have been justified in deposing the Metropolitan and all the clergy who sided with him while retaining the real estate, but instead, they allowed the BOC to leave, to retain its now empty church buildings, and did not expose the extreme misconduct on the part of the “Patriarch.”

And I should also note by the way, the transgressions of the BOC did not involve paedophilia, in which case the Coptic Orthodox Church would of course have disclosed it, and indeed would have had a duty to so disclose.

I am privy to what happened, although I was never a member of the BOC, but I promised not to disclose it, and I will abide by that promise.  But suffice it to say, the Coptic church was extremely magnanimous.
 

irishpilgrim

Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
Points
16
irishpilgrim said:
Father Peter said:
I have deleted all of irishpilgrims very long post because he...

i. Has no knowledge at all of the situation he is speaking about and so is entirely wrong. He has no idea how wrong he is.

ii. I consider that his posts are essentially polemical and hostile to the OO and so against forum rules.

There is no such thing as an Orthodox Church - not congregation - of less than 20 people, but with a Patriarch, a Maphrian/Catholicos, another Bishop, just one Priest and one Deacon. Anyone who thinks there is does not understand Orthodoxy at all and should not be discoursing on it in a polemical tone.
Fr. Peter: Thank you for deleting the redundant, unintended duplications in my post. I expected that an honest, fair, unselfish, well intended moderator would
clearup this distraction from my sincere, well reasoned recent past and current relevant insights into the new heretical, feminist, freudian, family destroying current Coptic leadership which, Abba Seraphim has fled, for the intended, or unintended, spiritual benefit of his thereby blessed remnant of his seemingly faithful true Orthodox flock.

I'm sorry to see you falling back into your old biased dishonest, slanderous, calumnous practices of your Tasbeha.net moderation, that is blatantly necessary to maintain the appearance and fraud of Coptic office.

Please immediately restore the text of my referenced and original posted reply in this discussion, which challenge your self serving slanders of your "former" jurisdiction, Abba Saraphim, and other faithful and clerics.
I have removed the offensive content in this post. No one is permitted to speak of canonical hierarchs in such a way
 

irishpilgrim

Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Eamonomae said:
But whatever happened,
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
irishpilgrim said:
irishpilgrim said:
Father Peter said:
I have deleted all of irishpilgrims very long post because he...

i. Has no knowledge at all of the situation he is speaking about and so is entirely wrong. He has no idea how wrong he is.

ii. I consider that his posts are essentially polemical and hostile to the OO and so against forum rules.

There is no such thing as an Orthodox Church - not congregation - of less than 20 people, but with a Patriarch, a Maphrian/Catholicos, another Bishop, just one Priest and one Deacon. Anyone who thinks there is does not understand Orthodoxy at all and should not be discoursing on it in a polemical tone.
Fr. Peter: Thank you for deleting the redundant, unintended duplications in my post. I expected that an honest, fair, unselfish, well intended moderator would
clearup this distraction from my sincere, well reasoned recent past and current relevant insights into the new heretical, feminist, freudian, family destroying current Coptic leadership which, Abba Seraphim has fled, for the intended, or unintended, spiritual benefit of his thereby blessed remnant of his seemingly faithful true Orthodox flock.

I'm sorry to see you falling back into your old biased dishonest, slanderous, calumnous practices of your Tasbeha.net moderation, that is blatantly necessary to maintain the appearance and fraud of Coptic office.

Please immediately restore the text of my referenced and original posted reply in this discussion, which challenge your self serving slanders of your "former" jurisdiction, Abba Saraphim, and other faithful and clerics.
I have removed the offensive content in this post. No one is permitted to speak of canonical hierarchs in such a way
No one (hypocritically posing in drag while self-serving as a confessed traitor to his formerly deeply held beliefs and allegiances) should be permitted to arbitrarily and capriciously change or delete, without clear notice to the author, and all interested others, and fair opportunity to support, or amend statements and beliefs concerning worldly popular, counter-scriptural, heresies of rebellious (divorce and abortion promoting) feminism and atheistic freudian mercenary psychological gender and family practices in lieu of the ages long-held, Holy Scripture based, traditional Apostolic Orthodox gender and family rules that were explained to Christianity by the entirety of the authors of the Old Testament and by the Holy Epistles of Holy SS Peter and Paul and by all of the relavent Holy Fathers of the Holy Orthodox Churches of all ages. What are the reasonable and fair appeal procedures to enable me to continue to attempt to preserve and promote true Christian Orthodox gender and family beliefs and practices from currently overpowering demonic feminism and freudian spiritual deception? From my first contacts with OC.net, I understood that my opposition to feminism, freudianism and divorce family destruction would be acceptable. None of my adversaries cite relevant Scripture or Orthodox teaching and tradition to oppose my repeated statements of these beliefs. While millions of Orthodox children are deprived of their fathers by divorce, and billions of children receive heinous, unappealable death by the feminist abortion choice of their "mother."
 

Eamonomae

Julian the Apostate
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
6
Points
38
What kind of teacher or prophet does not listen?

Get a life, and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
 

Mor Ephrem

Hypatos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
36,281
Reaction score
163
Points
63
Age
39
Location
New York!
Website
www.orthodoxchristianity.net
irishpilgrim said:
Eamonomae said:
But whatever happened,
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
irishpilgrim said:
irishpilgrim said:
Father Peter said:
I have deleted all of irishpilgrims very long post because he...

i. Has no knowledge at all of the situation he is speaking about and so is entirely wrong. He has no idea how wrong he is.

ii. I consider that his posts are essentially polemical and hostile to the OO and so against forum rules.

There is no such thing as an Orthodox Church - not congregation - of less than 20 people, but with a Patriarch, a Maphrian/Catholicos, another Bishop, just one Priest and one Deacon. Anyone who thinks there is does not understand Orthodoxy at all and should not be discoursing on it in a polemical tone.
Fr. Peter: Thank you for deleting the redundant, unintended duplications in my post. I expected that an honest, fair, unselfish, well intended moderator would
clearup this distraction from my sincere, well reasoned recent past and current relevant insights into the new heretical, feminist, freudian, family destroying current Coptic leadership which, Abba Seraphim has fled, for the intended, or unintended, spiritual benefit of his thereby blessed remnant of his seemingly faithful true Orthodox flock.

I'm sorry to see you falling back into your old biased dishonest, slanderous, calumnous practices of your Tasbeha.net moderation, that is blatantly necessary to maintain the appearance and fraud of Coptic office.

Please immediately restore the text of my referenced and original posted reply in this discussion, which challenge your self serving slanders of your "former" jurisdiction, Abba Saraphim, and other faithful and clerics.
I have removed the offensive content in this post. No one is permitted to speak of canonical hierarchs in such a way
No one (hypocritically posing in drag while self-serving as a confessed traitor to his formerly deeply held beliefs and allegiances) should be permitted to arbitrarily and capriciously change or delete, without clear notice to the author, and all interested others, and fair opportunity to support, or amend statements and beliefs concerning worldly popular, counter-scriptural, heresies of rebellious (divorce and abortion promoting) feminism and atheistic freudian mercenary psychological gender and family practices in lieu of the ages long-held, Holy Scripture based, traditional Apostolic Orthodox gender and family rules that were explained to Christianity by the entirety of the authors of the Old Testament and by the Holy Epistles of Holy SS Peter and Paul and by all of the relavent Holy Fathers of the Holy Orthodox Churches of all ages. What are the reasonable and fair appeal procedures to enable me to continue to attempt to preserve and promote true Christian Orthodox gender and family beliefs and practices from currently overpowering demonic feminism and freudian spiritual deception? From my first contacts with OC.net, I understood that my opposition to feminism, freudianism and divorce family destruction would be acceptable. None of my adversaries cite relevant Scripture or Orthodox teaching and tradition to oppose my repeated statements of these beliefs. While millions of Orthodox children are deprived of their fathers by divorce, and billions of children receive heinous, unappealable death by the feminist abortion choice of their "mother."
irishpilgrim,

The forum rules describe the proper procedure for appealing official moderatorial decisions.  ^This is not one of those proper procedures.  Perhaps you need to spend your Lent doing something other than maligning Orthodox clerics. 

See you after Pascha.  Sixty (60) points.  If you would like to appeal this warning, you may do so by PMing Dominika, the global moderator overseeing this section.

Mor Ephrem, section moderator.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
23,388
Reaction score
114
Points
63
Age
47
Website
archiveofourown.org
I am not aware that the Coptic Orthodox Church is at all pro-divorce or pro-abortion.

I wonder what happened to irishpilgrim's ex-wife.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Apologies if this is inflammatory, but the reception of this group into the Coptic Orthodox Church made us the laughing stock of Eastern Christianity. A simple enquiry with our sister Churches, both OO and EO could have saved us a considerable headache.

A simple google search of many of the names involved will reveal much,... the majority of which is not very edifying.

On the upshot, many wonderful people have now joined Orthodoxy as a result. For this I am grateful.
Another upshot is that there's an awesome PhD just waiting to be done on the so-called 'BOC' and the entertaining cast of characters involved, if anyone is interested!
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
At the time there was no internet and no available histories. But due diligence should have been done and was not. But thank God for all the good that came out of it. And even in 1994 there was no reason it could not have worked out as those of us who joined to become Orthodox hoped. It could have been a very successful missionary diocese. But problems at the heart of it, which were not known or dealt with, prevented that.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Father Peter said:
At the time there was no internet and no available histories. But due diligence should have been done and was not. But thank God for all the good that came out of it. And even in 1994 there was no reason it could not have worked out as those of us who joined to become Orthodox hoped. It could have been a very successful missionary diocese. But problems at the heart of it, which were not known or dealt with, prevented that.
Agreed on all counts. As someone from the Coptic church, I am cognizant of a very curious paradox with converts. This is not a hard and fast rule, but one which I have observed many times, namely the very low bar set for entry into the Church (with a very haphazard and often rushed catechumenate), followed by a 'second-class' status which is hard to shake.

In the case of Bill's reception, it is mind-boggling that our Patriarch would rush to a decision after a few days' worth of conversation. In my mind, I think it's also a generational thing. Our late Patriarch, of blessed memory, was born in 1923, in an Egypt under British rule, which continued during his formative years as an adolescent and young man. There is no doubt that the world in those days was socially 'stratified', with the British at the top. So for a well-spoken, British 'Metropolitan' to submit to the Egyptian Church,... I am sure that the 'old-world' symbolism would have been a powerful factor. Sadly, I doubt that if a delegation of Nigerian Bishops had also made the trek to Deir Anba Bishoy at the same time with an equally fanciful and wild story, that they would have had such an uncritical reception.
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
I think that we also have to bear in mind that his holiness had already received some independent clergy from France into the Catholic Church and it also seems that he had a vague idea there might be 5000 British Orthodox people waiting to join the Coptic church when in fact there was certainly no more than about 50
 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
From our perspective as those who just wanted to become Orthodox it was entirely possible that what we joined could now have 50 priests and as many congregations and really have perhaps 5000 members that was certainly what we hoped at the very beginning when there was 16 or 17 priests already and most of them had converted to orthodoxy recently with the desire and intention to be entirely Orthodox
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I spent a few days with Met. Marcos and Bishop Athanasius in Toulon in the mid 90s. I may be mistaken, but I was under the impression that they were ordained as laymen, having spent some time in St Bishoy's monastery, not received as already ordained clergy.

I did leave with a slightly uneasy feeling about their mission. Also seemed to be devoid of a congregation, and their animated defense of some unconventional moral positions did leave me thinking a more rigorous pastoral oversight from Egypt was necessary.

 

peterfarrington

Protokentarchos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
3,524
Reaction score
47
Points
48
Age
57
Location
Maidstone, Kent, England
Website
www.stgeorgeministry.com
Yes I think that was all true. It did not seem prudent to consecrate people with no congregation or oversight.

I guess issues were that 25 years ago information was not available about antecedents. There was also a rather arbitrary exercise of authority centrally in the church. Once decisions had been made it was impossible for various reasons for them to be unmade.

30 years ago, when I first came into contact with the group I was pleased to meet a few people who seemed serious about an Orthodoxy in the English language, and who had some eccentric people among them. There was a history presented of a small Orthodox community trying to preserve itself from the mid 19th century. It was an engaging story, especially for someone like me from an Evangelical background where Apostolic succession etc was not an established factor. There was not much I knew about the beginnings, and only what I was told. I could not join because I wanted to be part of wider Orthodoxy, but I learned a lot and was truly grateful. I don't need to revise my feelings at all. Lots of very positive times.

After the union with the Coptic Orthodox Church I was received into the church. The Orthodox Church which this was now a diocese of. But many of us had the vision of missionary Orthodoxy in the English language and that we would become a well established local Orthodox church. For years it was not clear to me how few we were. I did meet 15 or 16 priests at the beginning, that seemed like it could represent 1000+ people.

Some of us became Orthodox after the union because the story of the group seemed convincing and we knew nothing else, and we liked the ethos and it was now part of the Orthodox communion, which is what mattered most to us. I had no sympathy for those who left to join or remain in "independence" so that they could do their own thing. But others were not intrigued by the story but by the fact that this was a group which was truly part of the wider Orthodox Church, and they became Orthodox in this way, among a few other options at the time.

I could not have become Coptic Orthodox at the time apart from this group. It was sent by God. I didn't want to become an Arabic speaker to become Orthodox and there was only one Coptic Orthodox church at the time in the UK, or certainly anywhere near me. It was entirely Arabic speaking. I think we all, survivors, believe it was a divine opportunity and that many good things happened among us all, Orthodox things, because that is what we were. But there was a problem at the heart of it all, and slowly people left.

Those of us who remained, the most loyal to our vision of an Orthodox missionary church, did not see the reality until the end. We would not believe the reality until the end. But it seemed everyone else in the world knew, and had known for a long time, and that also seemed like a betrayal in some sense.

I was asked many years ago, to give advice about a vagante group in the US who wanted to join the Coptic Orthodox. I counselled great caution and investigation and that groups should be received as congregations under local Coptic Orthodox bishops rather than as a trans-diocesan group. In fact the Primate of this particular group was arrested soon afterwards and sent to prison. This would have been very difficult for the Church if his group had been received precipitously by decree.

That is still my view. I think that from experience and knowledge I would treat most "independent" groups in this way. Very cautiously, with a lot of catechism and probation of clergy who should be re-ordained, and as congregations, or more usually mission groups, that should be integrated into the local diocesan structure. The increasing use of English makes this more feasible in any case and as we start to see congregations made up of 50% local people there would not be any need to "unite" with independent groups.
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
8
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
Father Peter said:
Yes I think that was all true. It did not seem prudent to consecrate people with no congregation or oversight.

I guess issues were that 25 years ago information was not available about antecedents. There was also a rather arbitrary exercise of authority centrally in the church. Once decisions had been made it was impossible for various reasons for them to be unmade.

30 years ago, when I first came into contact with the group I was pleased to meet a few people who seemed serious about an Orthodoxy in the English language, and who had some eccentric people among them. There was a history presented of a small Orthodox community trying to preserve itself from the mid 19th century. It was an engaging story, especially for someone like me from an Evangelical background where Apostolic succession etc was not an established factor. There was not much I knew about the beginnings, and only what I was told. I could not join because I wanted to be part of wider Orthodoxy, but I learned a lot and was truly grateful. I don't need to revise my feelings at all. Lots of very positive times.

After the union with the Coptic Orthodox Church I was received into the church. The Orthodox Church which this was now a diocese of. But many of us had the vision of missionary Orthodoxy in the English language and that we would become a well established local Orthodox church. For years it was not clear to me how few we were. I did meet 15 or 16 priests at the beginning, that seemed like it could represent 1000+ people.

Some of us became Orthodox after the union because the story of the group seemed convincing and we knew nothing else, and we liked the ethos and it was now part of the Orthodox communion, which is what mattered most to us. I had no sympathy for those who left to join or remain in "independence" so that they could do their own thing. But others were not intrigued by the story but by the fact that this was a group which was truly part of the wider Orthodox Church, and they became Orthodox in this way, among a few other options at the time.

I could not have become Coptic Orthodox at the time apart from this group. It was sent by God. I didn't want to become an Arabic speaker to become Orthodox and there was only one Coptic Orthodox church at the time in the UK, or certainly anywhere near me. It was entirely Arabic speaking. I think we all, survivors, believe it was a divine opportunity and that many good things happened among us all, Orthodox things, because that is what we were. But there was a problem at the heart of it all, and slowly people left.

Those of us who remained, the most loyal to our vision of an Orthodox missionary church, did not see the reality until the end. We would not believe the reality until the end. But it seemed everyone else in the world knew, and had known for a long time, and that also seemed like a betrayal in some sense.

I was asked many years ago, to give advice about a vagante group in the US who wanted to join the Coptic Orthodox. I counselled great caution and investigation and that groups should be received as congregations under local Coptic Orthodox bishops rather than as a trans-diocesan group. In fact the Primate of this particular group was arrested soon afterwards and sent to prison. This would have been very difficult for the Church if his group had been received precipitously by decree.

That is still my view. I think that from experience and knowledge I would treat most "independent" groups in this way. Very cautiously, with a lot of catechism and probation of clergy who should be re-ordained, and as congregations, or more usually mission groups, that should be integrated into the local diocesan structure. The increasing use of English makes this more feasible in any case and as we start to see congregations made up of 50% local people there would not be any need to "unite" with independent groups.
I would also propose requiring the leaders of such groups to submit to detailed background investigations and monitoring by detectives to make sure they are not criminals, or sexual deviants, or what have you would be extremely useful in separating the wheat from the chaff.  Because those who refused such an investigation would self-disqualify. And still others could be determined inelligble due to obvious sexual perversion, drug use or other factors.

There is one other test which I think is useful, and that would be asking the leaders of the group if they would be prepared to step down to facilitate union, or subject themselves to laiciziation, training and reordination.  Even if you had no intention of doing that, their willingness to step aside is indicative of their sincerity I think.
 
Top