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Elder Ephraim monasteries leaving GOARCH?

Menas17

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Has anyone else heard the rumor that the Greek Elder Ephraim monasteries in America are leaving GOARCH. This has come from more than one person "in the know."
 

hecma925

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Besides EP priests going ROCOR because of the "OCU" recognition, I haven't heard that.
 

Ariend

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What's your source(s) for the rumor?
I wouldn't be too surprised if this happened, but it is a huge change.
 

Menas17

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What's your source(s) for the rumor?
I wouldn't be too surprised if this happened, but it is a huge change.
An acquaintance of mine who is involved with the Ephraim Monasteries spoke about it, they in turn heard it from someone who would know (someone at the monastery?), there has also been another individual who has said the same thing but from a completely separate area. I would not be shocked either, however, this would be very spiritually devastating for the GOA
 

Thetruthisgod

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I wouldn't be that surprised based on my interactions with abbots and heiromonks with the Greek monasteries. The approval rate of the patriarch of Constantinople seems very low.

A Russian abbot I know even told me that there is real concern that the patriarch of Constantinople is going to try and make union with the Roman Catholics. He personally knows many Greek priests that would go to ROCOR if this were to happen.
 

Thetruthisgod

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There is other stuff going on that I know about. Like abbots defying orders from their bishops concerning limiting visitors due to COVID.

Personally, I am very against taking safety measures in church for the sake of COVID, including limiting visitors. That said, it is very important to obey the bishop. Considering the emphasis that Saint(I dare say!) Ephraim and Saint Joseph the hesychast placed on obedience, I would think they would agree.

That all said, there is nothing easy about any of this stuff.
 

biro

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I wear a mask and sit six feet away from others in church.

We may have a vaccine soon. One's already been approved in England.

Things might turn around really soon. I keep praying to St. Luke and St. Pantaleimon.
 

hecma925

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You got that right. The worst ecclesiastic gossip I've heard is at coffee hour. At least Covid cured that.
 

Thetruthisgod

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I for one am upset at what these reactions to Covid does to the witness of the church. It makes it harder to show people the church too.

I can't do church over a screen either. Glad that is over.

I actually agree with the position of the abbots who defy their bishops on this issue. However, I disagree with disobeying bishops.

I'll do what my bishop says, but the reaction to Covid certainly has been a stumbling block for me. These things have an effect on people's faith, It isn't harmless!

Never the less, I give glory to God who chastens me with these trials. I only wish it wasn't the case that people who I brought to church before now have been turned off completely due to the perception it gives of Christians fearing death.
 

JTLoganville

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I actually agree with the position of the abbots who defy their bishops on this issue.

I was taught that an abbot or abbess had standing and authority equal to a bishop,

Both abbot/abbess and bishop subject to the Archbishop and all subject to the Holy Synod.
 

Asteriktos

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I actually agree with the position of the abbots who defy their bishops on this issue.

I was taught that an abbot or abbess had standing and authority equal to a bishop,

Both abbot/abbess and bishop subject to the Archbishop and all subject to the Holy Synod.
What's that, the St. Symeon the New Theologian school of thought? (serious question)
 

Thetruthisgod

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Some abbots are not even priests. That means that they can't do priest parts during liturgy.

An archimandrate, which is about as elevated a position as an abbot can have without being a bishop, is not a bishop. An archimandrate is under a bishop.

And really, if you don't obey the bishop, are you even orthodox? Maybe in rare cases when a bishop is betraying his office...

That is the hard part. Some would say wearing masks in church is a sign of apostasy. They really take it that far! But I think it is a real slippery slope. If you judge your bishop based on these things, at one point do you start taking yourself as being more authoritative in matters of the faith than the bishop? Isn't it somewhat arrogant? What is stopping you from defying anything from the bishop that contradicts your own understanding in reason?

It isn't an easy thing. I was told by an abbot that it is our duty to hold bishops accountable. At this point, are we acting as protestants? Who am I to question my bishop? It is easy to misjudge a bishop based on one's own faulty or incomplete understanding of a canon or something like that.

What do I know? I am supposed to obey my bishop. It is good for me to do so, and it is a weapon against pride. In the end, if my bishop leads me astray, I will not be judged for acting in obedience.

Would there ever be a case where I would defy my bishop? It would really have to be something obvious!

The way I see it, a bishop has the power to bind and loose within their domain. Whatever they say goes. Is that naive? Maybe. Would I ever disobey my bishop? I couldn't accept a false union with Rome. I very strongly am against papal supremacy, considering such a dogma to be a forerunner of anti-Christ. I am also in truth very iffy about the title "ecumenical patriarch" for the title of the patriarch of Constantinople.

But you know what? If I were to meet the patriarch of Constantinople, I would kiss his hand and ask for his blessing, because to me he is still a bishop. My church is in communion with him. We are also in communion with the patriarch of Moscow. I respect them both as bishops.
 

Saxon

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I haven't heard anything to this effect and am certainly not in the loop on Elder Ephraim's monasteries, but I live within driving distance of one (St. Kosmas Aitolos Monastery here in Canada), have visited, and noticed what I would put politely as a very different ethos to the average local Greek Orthodox church. Simply put, I wouldn't be surprised, and I certainly wouldn't question them.

Also, aren't these monasteries the only GOARCH assets that are actually financially solvent? That's going to be a big blow to them and the EP.
 
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Thetruthisgod

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I haven't heard anything to this effect and am certainly not in the loop on Elder Ephraim's monasteries, but I live within driving distance of one (St. Kosmas Aitolos Monastery here in Canada), have visited, and noticed what I would put politely as a very different ethos to the average local Greek Orthodox church. Simply put, I wouldn't be surprised, and I certainly wouldn't question them.

Also, aren't these monasteries the only GOARCH assets that are actually financially solvent? That's going to be a big blow to them and the EP.
If the Patriarch of Constantinople makes false union with Rome, Mt Athos itself will defy him. That would be a greater blow.
 

Menas17

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If the Patriarch of Constantinople makes false union with Rome, Mt Athos itself will defy him. That would be a greater blow.
Like I said in a previous post concerning Patriarch Bartholomew's inevitable (IMHO) union with Rome:

"I have a hard time believing that any Orthodox (laity/hierarch) outside of the small sphere of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will go into union with Rome, he seems to be the only one interested. Even within Turkey the majority of Orthodox are under the Patriarchate of Antioch in Hatay. If the Romans want Patriarch Bartholomew and his Ukrainians, let them have them. I have my doubts that even a majority of the Greek Archdiocese of America would join, especially not the monasteries"
 

hecma925

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Some monasteries on Athos were fine with concelebrating with OCU delegations, so just because it's Athos it doesn't mean anything.
 

Saxon

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Some monasteries on Athos were fine with concelebrating with OCU delegations, so just because it's Athos it doesn't mean anything.
It depends on their level of obeisance to the EP. That said, as those monasteries are under the EP, what recourse do the monks have to defy the Patriarch?
 

hecma925

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It depends on their level of obeisance to the EP. That said, as those monasteries are under the EP, what recourse do the monks have to defy the Patriarch?
Exhibit A: Esphigmenou
 

biro

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It’s always fun to watch these anti-EP outbreaks. And I keep going to church whenever I’m well enough.
 

PorphyriosK

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It’s always fun to watch these anti-EP outbreaks. And I keep going to church whenever I’m well enough.
So sister, will you follow the EP into union with Rome and become a Greek Catholic? I am asking sincerely.
 

Ariend

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And really, if you don't obey the bishop, are you even orthodox? Maybe in rare cases when a bishop is betraying his office...

That is the hard part. Some would say wearing masks in church is a sign of apostasy. They really take it that far! But I think it is a real slippery slope. If you judge your bishop based on these things, at one point do you start taking yourself as being more authoritative in matters of the faith than the bishop? Isn't it somewhat arrogant? What is stopping you from defying anything from the bishop that contradicts your own understanding in reason?

It isn't an easy thing. I was told by an abbot that it is our duty to hold bishops accountable. At this point, are we acting as protestants? Who am I to question my bishop? It is easy to misjudge a bishop based on one's own faulty or incomplete understanding of a canon or something like that.

What do I know? I am supposed to obey my bishop. It is good for me to do so, and it is a weapon against pride. In the end, if my bishop leads me astray, I will not be judged for acting in obedience.

Would there ever be a case where I would defy my bishop? It would really have to be something obvious!

The way I see it, a bishop has the power to bind and loose within their domain. Whatever they say goes. Is that naive? Maybe. Would I ever disobey my bishop? I couldn't accept a false union with Rome. I very strongly am against papal supremacy, considering such a dogma to be a forerunner of anti-Christ. I am also in truth very iffy about the title "ecumenical patriarch" for the title of the patriarch of Constantinople.
I share your sentiment... plus, as American Orthodox laymen, which bishop are we obedient to? If I am baptized and raised in a Russian Orthodox parish, but in my adult life I move and start attending a Greek Orthodox parish, and I get married and have my children baptized there, should I follow Metropolitan Hilarion of the ROCOR or Archbishop Elpidophoros of the GOARCH? What about when their verdicts contradict?
Difficult times.
 

Ainnir

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I share your sentiment... plus, as American Orthodox laymen, which bishop are we obedient to? If I am baptized and raised in a Russian Orthodox parish, but in my adult life I move and start attending a Greek Orthodox parish, and I get married and have my children baptized there, should I follow Metropolitan Hilarion of the ROCOR or Archbishop Elpidophoros of the GOARCH? What about when their verdicts contradict?
Difficult times.
Conscience X present corcumstances seems like a good starting place.
 

Menas17

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No, you’re not.
Biro, I also am sincerely curious if you would follow them into union with Rome, where all signs point to it going. I mostly go to a GOARCH parish and my spiritual father is in GOARCH, I also used to go to the monasteries when I lived closer to one....having said that, when (I think its safe to say when at this point) the Ecumenical Patriarchate/Abp. Elpidophoros decide to go into union with Rome, I will not be going, neither will my spiritual father or his parish, I would imagine dozens of other GOARCH parishes would not go either.

I converted to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism and I do not want to go down that path again.

I don't know PorphyriosK's sincerity, but, I am genuinely curious...would you follow into union with Rome just to obey your bishop, or, stay true to Orthodoxy?
 

biro

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If I had five dollars for every time some jittery fellow on this board claimed "NOW THEY ARE GONNA REUNNNNITE WITH THE ROMAN CATTTTTTHOLICS," I'd buy Bill Gates' house.

As it is, Roman Catholics, such as my parents, CONTINUE to NOT receive Communion in Orthodox churches.

They don't even go to Orthodox churches, with the exception of my dear Mom - once when I was chrismated in 2013, and another time to hear me sing in the choir, which she said was a very happy occasion.

Me, I am on disability, as I am due to be in the hospital to have brain surgery Dec. 16.

I have given serious thought to leaving the church a few times, because people like you cannot stop bugging the daylights out of me.

Let's face it, I control nothing, and the RCC Pope is not going to read this post ever in a zillion years.

Just pray, and leave me alone.
 

Ainnir

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I have that problem, too.
 

Ainnir

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Like this:
"A man can be harmed by another only through the causes of the passions which lie within himself. It is for this reason that God, the creator of all and the doctor of men's souls, who alone has accurate knowledge of the soul's wounds, does not tell us to forsake the company of men; He tells us to root out the causes of evil within us and to recognize that the souls' health is achieved not by a man's separating himself from his fellows, but by his living the ascetic life in the company of holy men. When we abandon our brothers for some apparently good reason, we do not eradicate the motives for dejection but merely exchange them, since the sickness which lies hidden within us will show itself again in other circumstances."
--St. John Cassian
Now I have to watch that movie. Will I regret it?
 
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