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GOARCH elects letter-forging defrocked archimandrite to episcopate

StanislavU

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I won't get to the political side here, but as for churches I mean neutrality in ecclesial politics. The PAOC opposes the OCU for now, championed the idea of a council before the war, and has now condemned the war. This is true neutrality, holding to Orthodoxy at each step.
Well, I find opposition to the OCU to be wrong. So if I believed your holding it up as a standard for "holding to Orthodoxy", that would not be a good testimony for Orthodoxy. Fortunately, I don't believe that it is such a standard. (PAOC itself comes from the same EP Metropolis of Kyiv OCU does, btw. But I digress.)
Also, it's interesting how opposing the war does not lead you to maybe re-evaluate "let's not do anything without MP's approval" stance.

Unfortunately you'll have to deal with the fact that there's only one church, so, even though both sides are mostly friends now, the saints on both sides are very consistent, and their words should be held rather than those of some modern authorities that either have ties stronger than tolerable to a variety of lobbies that openly promote a taste of religious indifferentism wider than you're presumably willing to swallow (like the Society of Jesus, the World Council of Churches, the Temple of Understanding and the Grand Lodge of Greece) or were influenced by those who did. Those are strongly resisted and limited by the conservative factions inside their own respective churches. The RCC has gone further down the road, though, so it has even glorified some of them.
Well, first, the big-O version of Una Sancta would just happen to bolster political claims of the corrupt Byzantine emperors, Ottomans, and phony Russian Empire (or the EP, which you are presumably unwilling to swallow) - so Bayesian priors of this conclusion are not promising. As for the conservative elements inside the respective Churches - terrific, but it would ignore various Trady groups that ride the same arguments right OUT of the respective communions. I feel you agree that the many True Orthodox "walled off" communities are wrong; small-t lite versions of the same are very similar in rhetoric.
You need to recognize that both sides produced volumes of propaganda scholarship making their case, so it's not "learning more" situations. Most people tend to keep consuming things that bolster their preexisting views, affected by only God knows what biases. Both sides also tended to liberally add straight propaganda to their arguments. And now it tends to be more true of the Ortho side (earlier, Catholic anti"Schismatic" polemic was no better). Eg., I really doubt SJ really holds any positions contrary to their Church's Catechism.

[/QUOTE]We're not Calvinists to teach that people who were not born Orthodox were "abandonned by God". Heterodox Christians were never dealt with as if they were Pagans, and some fathers have openly spoken about the possibility that they're saved, but they unfortunately don't extend this understanding to those who leave Orthodoxy after being illuminated.[/QUOTE]
Thanks. Small doubt of equating being in an Ortho (or Catholic, for that matter) jurisdiction with being "illuminated". I've met some Orthodox who are barely Christian. Not just among MP contingent of literal Nazis - just self-satisfied cradles. I hope all of them find salvation.

My advice is: learn further and pick a side based on your conclusions.
OK. On the one hand, this can work. I once attended my friend's Evangelical Baptist church, duly endured love bombing and was handed their promotional book. Studying which was enough to reject that particular form of Christianity.
Taking that further can have mixed results. I've mentioned the publisher of a website which ran the Belya expose quoted above - Basil Lourie, or "Bishop Gregory". So, I really doubt anyone here learned the applicable things deeper than him. He holds PhD and DSc degrees and is an academic authority on Philosophy and Patristics. Which led him to ever-shrinking circles of the True Orthodox right to his present status as, basically, a vagante bishop. I really doubt that my (or, with all due respect, yours) further learning chops are any better than his.
 

Ainnir

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I once attended my friend's Evangelical Baptist church, duly endured love bombing and was handed their promotional book.
🤯 It all makes so much sense now...
 

StanislavU

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🤯 It all makes so much sense now...
I'm glad you foung clarity you were seeking.

Clarification: "attend" here means came once. For a Christmas choir recital (quite nice, tbh). I suspect it helped my friend fulfill his recruiting quota, but I never returned to these fine people again.
 
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I never had a quota as Protestant. I wonder how common that is. I've heard of that with JWs and Mormons.
 

RaphaCam

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PAOC itself comes from the same EP Metropolis of Kyiv OCU does, btw.
The PAOC shouldn't have been created the way it was, but eventually it was all sorted out. The same can happen to the OCU eventually. Individual actions are contextual.

Also, it's interesting how opposing the war does not lead you to maybe re-evaluate "let's not do anything without MP's approval" stance.
Rules are made precisely for when things go wrong. This kind of "re-evaluation" your talking about is behind a lot of schisms.


Well, first, the big-O version of Una Sancta would just happen to bolster political claims of the corrupt Byzantine emperors, Ottomans, and phony Russian Empire (or the EP, which you are presumably unwilling to swallow) - so Bayesian priors of this conclusion are not promising.
Wow, you can literally say this about anything...

Almost every single gepolitical event in the West from Attila the Hun to the French Revolution had a huge participation of the Pope, who still ruled as the absolute monarch of Central Italy until the 19th century. Anglicanism, Lutheranism and Presbyterianism were very convenient reaction by Central European princes against that pattern, and further Protestant sects are well explained by Marxists as arising from class struggle. Oriental Orthodoxy and Nestorianism were championed by local elites wary of Byzantine centralism and Sasanids afraid of ideological influence. Islam was the justifying ideology of Arab imperialism, while Judaism unified the tribes against common enemies around Jerusalem. South Asian priestly clans developped all those Hindu sects to keep themselves in power, while warrior clans spread Buddhism and Jainism. Deism was developped as a cosmopolitan ideology that could unite the heterogeneous Early Modern elites around common economical and political interests, while Agnosticism and Atheism were a byproduct promoted by technocrats and communists.

Honestly, I don't mean to be prejudiced, since it's just a statement of cultural perspective from someone whose sister had some cultural shock living there, but, while you mentioned that some of your positions are related to you being a Ukrainian, you have much more of a Canadian mind. God doesn't submit to our petty Ockhamism. Divine Providence is not always as amazing as we think it is. Remember God himself called Nebuchadnezzar "my servant".

As for the conservative elements inside the respective Churches - terrific, but it would ignore various Trady groups that ride the same arguments right OUT of the respective communions. I feel you agree that the many True Orthodox "walled off" communities are wrong; small-t lite versions of the same are very similar in rhetoric.
Well, "True Orthodoxy" is a history of distancing from a movement initially within the Church and the Church herself, and it's very grey for the most part, but they would just either normalise themselves (the last of which was ROCOR in 2007) or go into full-blown schism (the last of which was the HSiR in 2014). It's really hard to judge them, just like I don't judge your average priest who switched from the UOC to the OCU after all was said and done.

Traditionalists who cut themselves off for excessive zeal for orthodoxy are in some aspects very similar to modernists anxious to join everything regardless of orthodoxy. Both think they have to save the Orthodox Church, because they don't think it's led by the Holy Spirit.

You need to recognize that both sides produced volumes of propaganda scholarship making their case, so it's not "learning more" situations. Most people tend to keep consuming things that bolster their preexisting views, affected by only God knows what biases. Both sides also tended to liberally add straight propaganda to their arguments. And now it tends to be more true of the Ortho side (earlier, Catholic anti"Schismatic" polemic was no better).
It's actually pretty straightforward. Catholics think there's a proper papal theology that could never be properly observed for material reasons, but the centralisation of the Church around the Papacy allowed the Pope to actually assert it, and then develop it further. The Orthodox just think he accumulated political power, and then asserted divine right. Both can quote old sources to make a point, but I personally give more weight to both the vast silence in times in which this was not an issue and the fact these debates only came up as a side argument.

Eg., I really doubt SJ really holds any positions contrary to their Church's Catechism.
I'm not sure if the Roman Catechism, unlike the Superior General of the SJ, asserts that Satan literally exists, but it's one of these things that don't really have to be written. The fact that Pope Francis himself originally became a bishop because he was persecuted by the SJ for being too conservative is also auspicious. Or that they openly persecute the Opus Dei despite it being 100% aligned with Pope Francis.

Small doubt of equating being in an Ortho (or Catholic, for that matter) jurisdiction with being "illuminated".
It's the lingo for being sacramentally received into the Orthodox Church. It doesn't mean necessarily becoming a better, more clear-minded, person. It's a mystical illumination that may not bear fruits.

Taking that further can have mixed results. I've mentioned the publisher of a website which ran the Belya expose quoted above - Basil Lourie, or "Bishop Gregory". So, I really doubt anyone here learned the applicable things deeper than him. He holds PhD and DSc degrees and is an academic authority on Philosophy and Patristics. Which led him to ever-shrinking circles of the True Orthodox right to his present status as, basically, a vagante bishop. I really doubt that my (or, with all due respect, yours) further learning chops are any better than his.
That resonates a lot with what I said. It speaks volumes that most modernists and extremists are people who learned more about Orthodoxy than their own spiritual maturity could handle. This is why, personally, I stay away from both theology (in a stricter sense) and apologetics for non-dogmatic issues.
 

StanislavU

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I never had a quota as Protestant. I wonder how common that is. I've heard of that with JWs and Mormons.
JWs do have that. In the case of this "missionary" church, I suspect it was more of a pastor putting pressure on members to bring new people. As well as to keep kids isolated in their own private school and a weird little Bible college.
 

Ainnir

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I never had a quota as Protestant. I wonder how common that is. I've heard of that with JWs and Mormons.
You clearly weren't an Evangelical...

I'm glad you foung clarity you were seeking.

Clarification: "attend" here means came once. For a Christmas choir recital (quite nice, tbh). I suspect it helped my friend fulfill his recruiting quota, but I never returned to these fine people again.
Oh that wasn't directed at you; I used to be Baptist.
 

StanislavU

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The PAOC shouldn't have been created the way it was, but eventually it was all sorted out. The same can happen to the OCU eventually. Individual actions are contextual.

Rules are made precisely for when things go wrong. This kind of "re-evaluation" your talking about is behind a lot of schisms.
Listen, a lot of this rule-bound talk tends to boil down to "can't do anything without MP's permission". I do not buy it.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with OCU. Besides some pastoral issues, no more serious than in just about any other particular Church. Unlike the current state of the MP.


Wow, you can literally say this about anything...
Not going into petty details (as I said, statement "all X are the same" is false in any useful model of reality; or putting in your terms, "individual actions are contextual") - all this would mean that all these other things make for an unlikely candidate for the one true church. Okay then; I wasn't advocating for "one true church of Atheism"

Honestly, I don't mean to be prejudiced, since it's just a statement of cultural perspective from someone whose sister had some cultural shock living there, but, while you mentioned that some of your positions are related to you being a Ukrainian, you have much more of a Canadian mind. God doesn't submit to our petty Ockhamism. Divine Providence is not always as amazing as we think it is. Remember God himself called Nebuchadnezzar "my servant".
Truism, used to justify some pretty rotten stuff by many different people/sects/religions.

Well, "True Orthodoxy" is a history of distancing from a movement initially within the Church and the Church herself, and it's very grey for the most part, but they would just either normalise themselves (the last of which was ROCOR in 2007) or go into full-blown schism (the last of which was the HSiR in 2014). It's really hard to judge them, just like I don't judge your average priest who switched from the UOC to the OCU after all was said and done.
Oh gee mister, thank you so much! 🤪
Interesting which Heterodox movements get a free pass around these parts. For the record, I have no clue what "the HSiR in 2014" refers to.

It's actually pretty straightforward. Catholics think there's a proper papal theology that could never be properly observed for material reasons, but the centralisation of the Church around the Papacy allowed the Pope to actually assert it, and then develop it further. The Orthodox just think he accumulated political power, and then asserted divine right. Both can quote old sources to make a point, but I personally give more weight to both the vast silence in times in which this was not an issue and the fact these debates only came up as a side argument.
Funny how people can summarize centuries of debate under "it's actually pretty straightforward". Brings to mind how every complex problem has a solution that is "simple, logical, and wrong".
I'll just observe how remarkably little real binding doctrine came from the much-maligned RC "doctrine development" in a MILLENIUM, and file this debate under "above my pay grade".

I'm not sure if the Roman Catechism, unlike the Superior General of the SJ, asserts that Satan literally exists, but it's one of these things that don't really have to be written. The fact that Pope Francis himself originally became a bishop because he was persecuted by the SJ for being too conservative is also auspicious. Or that they openly persecute the Opus Dei despite it being 100% aligned with Pope Francis.
Let me file this under "rumors and innuendo" for now.

That resonates a lot with what I said. It speaks volumes that most modernists and extremists are people who learned more about Orthodoxy than their own spiritual maturity could handle. This is why, personally, I stay away from both theology (in a stricter sense) and apologetics for non-dogmatic issues.
...and here goes the "learn more and see for yourself" course of action.
 

Ainnir

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Do Pentecostals or Baptists not count as evangelicals?
I never got the Evangelical vibe from the Pentecostals I've met. Most were black, though, so idk if that makes a difference. It depends on the type of Baptist.

There's definitely a "race to win souls" Evangelical ethos, at least in my experience. Asking everyone in the world if they have a church, passing out business cards for your own church if they don't, asking people where they'd go if they died tonight, pressure to "get saved," lots of emotions, etc. and to get people generally oriented toward Christ? Ok. I couldn't have gone 0 to Orthodox in 5 seconds and probably needed that stepping stone. Beyond that... eh.
 

RaphaCam

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Truism, used to justify some pretty rotten stuff by many different people/sects/religions.
Yeah, I'd rather stay with "Christ used the Sultan" than with "Christ's incompetent", though.

Oh gee mister, thank you so much! 🤪
Interesting which Heterodox movements get a free pass around these parts. For the record, I have no clue what "the HSiR in 2014" refers to.
How did you manage to read "one is just like the other, so I don't judge either" as "one is more passable than the other"? How am I the ESL speaker of this conversation? Anyway, my archdiocese was founded by a formerly ROCOR Old Calendarist hierarch who became an autonomous primate under the PAOC, which in turn came from more or less what the EP is doing in Ukraine. I'm not doing anyone any favour, I'm being real.

The Holy Synod in Resistance was a jurisdiction that broke communion with ROCOR over their reunion with the MP, then years later declared "World Orthodoxy" to be graceless and merged into a larger jurisdiction that had gone that far before.

Funny how people can summarize centuries of debate under "it's actually pretty straightforward". Brings to mind how every complex problem has a solution that is "simple, logical, and wrong".
Catholics will absolutely agree with my characterisation of their position.

I'll just observe how remarkably little real binding doctrine came from the much-maligned RC "doctrine development" in a MILLENIUM, and file this debate under "above my pay grade".
Yeah, gladly the "little Christs on Earth" have changed their minds on Americanism and doctrine development being binding, so you'll just have to accept everything else. They still hold to the visible church and the Extra Ecclesiam, though, so, if you wish to switch from Laodicean Orthodoxy to Laodicean Catholicism, there's that.

Let me file this under "rumors and innuendo" for now.
Oh, believe me, I would have much saucier things to say if I were allowing myself to go into "rumors and innuendo" about that Catholic-ish prototype of the CIA/KGB. On what I did say, though:
I don't have one single source on the Opus Dei, but you can just look it up yourself, I won't waste time on such a digression.
 

rakovsky

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Hiding the Orthodox Rule Book through Sleight of Hand Doesn’t Change the Rules about Orthodox Sacraments!!

By Anonymous Member of the Archdiocesan Council

For those who have been watching the latest Elpidophoros debacle regarding the baptism of a gay couple’s children (https://www.helleniscope.com/2022/07/21/the-end-of-elpi/), it is interesting to see how the Archbishop of America has also been hiding, changing, and manipulating the rules and practices of the Orthodox Church.
...
1) Upon his arrival, he spread the word in the Archdiocesan District that he was “okay” with the non-orthodox spouses of Orthodox Christians partaking in the sacrament of Holy Communion. ...
3) Then, he decided to lie to both the Patriarch and the Holy Synod in Constantinople (https://www.thenationalherald.com/i...ophoros-and-hierarchs-of-the-eparchial-synod/) by telling them that the Eparchial Synod of America voted to request of the Patriarch that the Charter be “suspended and put in abeyance” when in fact no such vote ever took place. So, of course, the Patriarch took the word of his favored hierarch and suspended the Charter, the governing document of the Archdiocese that was granted to the church in America by the Patriarch himself. ...he was finally confronted with it by both the Eparchial Synod and the Patriarch—one bishop even taking his case to the press. ... Now, magically, the Charter has been restored.
It strikes me that it was from a member of the Archdiocesan Council. The members list can be found here:
 

StanislavU

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Yeah, I'd rather stay with "Christ used the Sultan" than with "Christ's incompetent", though.
I don't really follow this, so won't respond.

How did you manage to read "one is just like the other, so I don't judge either" as "one is more passable than the other"? How am I the ESL speaker of this conversation? Anyway, my archdiocese was founded by a formerly ROCOR Old Calendarist hierarch who became an autonomous primate under the PAOC, which in turn came from more or less what the EP is doing in Ukraine. I'm not doing anyone any favour, I'm being real.

The Holy Synod in Resistance was a jurisdiction that broke communion with ROCOR over their reunion with the MP, then years later declared "World Orthodoxy" to be graceless and merged into a larger jurisdiction that had gone that far before.
OCU is not "just like" an Old Calendarist sect. For one, She does not regard you and your Church as new-calendarist heretics devoid of all grace. Also, from what I see, in fact these sects get much more of a pass here than OCU does. Russophiles do not lose their instincts even when they have enough of a moral compass to condemn the war.

Yeah, gladly the "little Christs on Earth" have changed their minds on Americanism and doctrine development being binding, so you'll just have to accept everything else. They still hold to the visible church and the Extra Ecclesiam, though, so, if you wish to switch from Laodicean Orthodoxy to Laodicean Catholicism, there's that.
Current CCC does not teach the Extra Ecclesiam in quite the same way. In fact, it's much more likely to get that on the Orthodox side, sometimes in a grotesque forms. ROC will recognize Catholic, or Coptic, or Protestant Baptism - but not one performed in OCU.

Oh, believe me, I would have much saucier things to say if I were allowing myself to go into "rumors and innuendo" about that Catholic-ish prototype of the CIA/KGB. On what I did say, though:
"Hierarchs say the darnedest things, Rome Edition". The jump from this to what you said is quite big. Many Russian Bishops keep using a common local superstition that "churches and icons accumulate "energy" of prayer and use it for healing and miracles" - and I don't use their individual ignorance as evidence ROC or Orthodoxy went New Age. I avoid that jurisdiction for other reasons.

I don't have one single source on the Opus Dei, but you can just look it up yourself, I won't waste time on such a digression.
So, this amounts to Pope Francis, THE most successful modern Jesuit, being "persecuted" by the SJ. Maybe you should turn to Maj. Arch. Yosyp Cardinal Slipyj of the UGCC so he can explain to you the meaning of the word "persecution".
 
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RaphaCam

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I don't really follow this, so won't respond.
Christ made some promises to the Church that aren't consistent with some late doctrines that lack the support of saints and contradict formalised dogmas consensually supported by the Church Fathers.

OCU is not "just like" an Old Calendarist sect. For one, She does not regard you and your Church as new-calendarist heretics devoid of all grace.
Restating what I said, there were always factions of Old Calendarists that didn't do so, but they either rejoined (like ROCOR) or started calling us heretics (like HSiR)... Why such a hurry to misrepresent?

Current CCC does not teach the Extra Ecclesiam in quite the same way. In fact, it's much more likely to get that on the Orthodox side, sometimes in a grotesque forms.
No amount of appeasingly ambiguous language changes the fact that "one true church" is still the doctrine they teach. It's absolutely Extra Ecclesiam, and it's consistent with the sayings of, for example. St. Ignatius of the Caucasus.

ROC will recognize Catholic, or Coptic, or Protestant Baptism - but not one performed in OCU.
Yeah, this shouldn't be happening and I even criticised it in another discussion you were involved in.

"Hierarchs say the darnedest things, Rome Edition".
Just ask conservative Catholics what they think of the Jesuits, it's that simple.

Many Russian Bishops keep using a common local superstition that "churches and icons accumulate "energy" of prayer and use it for healing and miracles" - and I don't use their individual ignorance as evidence ROC or Orthodoxy went New Age. I avoid that jurisdiction for other reasons.
I don't think this is ignorant at all, but you're a Canadian guy who speaks in terms of statistical inference to talk about faith, so no argument to be had here.

So, this amounts to Pope Francis, THE most successful modern Jesuit, being "persecuted" by the SJ. Maybe you should turn to Maj. Arch. Yosyp Cardinal Slipyj of the UGCC so he can explain to you the meaning of the word "persecution".
I can't argue with you here, but it would be a perfectly proper use of perseguir in Portuguese, and I have a feeling it wasn't a bad word choice. But sure, argue lexical nuance with ESL speakers. :rolleyes:
 

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I don't think this is ignorant at all, but you're a Canadian guy who speaks in terms of statistical inference to talk about faith, so no argument to be had here.

I can't argue with you here, but it would be a perfectly proper use of perseguir in Portuguese, and I have a feeling it wasn't a bad word choice. But sure, argue lexical nuance with ESL speakers. :rolleyes:
I can speak in different terms. For example, I'm familiar with concept of "argumentum ad hominem".
 

RaphaCam

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I can speak in different terms. For example, I'm familiar with concept of "argumentum ad hominem".
Well, here's a half-argument: dogma comes first, but I always take experience over speculation. The story I just told here, or even the experience of St. Mary of Egypt, are much more reliable to me than any deductions from blanket skepticism.
 

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Well, here's a half-argument: dogma comes first, but I always take experience over speculation. The story I just told here, or even the experience of St. Mary of Egypt, are much more reliable to me than any deductions from blanket skepticism.
Let me demonstrate what ad hominem looks like:

Never leave the Orthodox Church. You seem to make the most of the feeling of smug superiority derived from being a member of global communion that is a tiny minority where you live. Sure man, you are just like St. Mary of Egypt. Only cults specifically preying on person's vanity can give you a bigger high - but you seem to be too smart to fall for these.
 

RaphaCam

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Never leave the Orthodox Church. You seem to make the most of the feeling of smug superiority derived from being a member of global communion that is a tiny minority where you live.
Maybe I'm arrogant, but I'm not the one pretending to be too smart to trust the truthfulness of any existing church. As I pointed out, I have much more in common with real Roman Catholics who believe my adherence to Orthodoxy is a terrible idea than with your proud Laodicean rubbish. I don't care if it hurts your feelings that some Latin American kid isn't letting your public disdain for the religion of your ancestors go unanswered, it's not about being better than anyone else.

Sure man, you are just like St. Mary of Egypt.
I'm growing skeptical of your basic reading skills, since I was clearly referring to the episode in which she couldn't enter a church because the holiness was overwhelming, compared to this episode I told in which being in church was holding back a full manifestation.

Only cults specifically preying on person's vanity can give you a bigger high - but you seem to be too smart to fall for these.
Thank you, Stan.
 

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Maybe I'm arrogant, but I'm not the one pretending to be too smart to trust the truthfulness of any existing church. As I pointed out, I have much more in common with real Roman Catholics who believe my adherence to Orthodoxy is a terrible idea than with your proud Laodicean rubbish. I don't care if it hurts your feelings that some Latin American kid isn't letting your public disdain for the religion of your ancestors go unanswered, it's not about being better than anyone else.
As I said, Orthodoxy clearly works for you - and so did my ad hominem attack. Best ones work off a kernel of truth, and clearly mine landed. Nevertheless, it is, fundamentally, a fallacy. I'm quite content to declare a draw and walk away.
 

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As I said, Orthodoxy clearly works for you - and so did my ad hominem attack. Best ones work off a kernel of truth, and clearly mine landed. Nevertheless, it is, fundamentally, a fallacy. I'm quite content to declare a draw and walk away.
Walk away, write me down, hand it to your handler, come back, log off, log in.

Of course I'm being fallacious, though, it's just about your repetitive posting patterns or something like that.
 

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So it turns out that the group providing legal representation for Belya in his lawsuit against ROCOR is Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which is basically an anti-Christian (and especially anti-Catholic) pressure group. Their explanation of the case makes it clear that they're using it to try to undermine the "ministerial exception", by which in US law the state can't interfere in church decisions about the hiring, firing and promotion of clergy. This in itself-- and the fact that Met Elpidophoros is evidently okay with it, despite its potentially disastrous effect on GOARCH and all other US churches-- is a pretty serious scandal.
 

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So it turns out that the group providing legal representation for Belya in his lawsuit against ROCOR is Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which is basically an anti-Christian (and especially anti-Catholic) pressure group. Their explanation of the case makes it clear that they're using it to try to undermine the "ministerial exception", by which in US law the state can't interfere in church decisions about the hiring, firing and promotion of clergy. This in itself-- and the fact that Met Elpidophoros is evidently okay with it, despite its potentially disastrous effect on GOARCH and all other US churches-- is a pretty serious scandal.
Yes, they're arguing is that the ministerial exception doesn't apply to defamation. The problem is that Fr. Alexander Belya can only prove he's been defamed if the conflicting testimonies of his disciplinary procedure are reevaluated, which in turn is only possible if the churches' disciplinary procedures lose autonomy.

Apparently, damaging the Orthodox Church is not enough if you can damage pretty much any religious institution in the US. Nice job!
 
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So it turns out that the group providing legal representation for Belya in his lawsuit against ROCOR is Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which is basically an anti-Christian (and especially anti-Catholic) pressure group. Their explanation of the case makes it clear that they're using it to try to undermine the "ministerial exception", by which in US law the state can't interfere in church decisions about the hiring, firing and promotion of clergy. This in itself-- and the fact that Met Elpidophoros is evidently okay with it, despite its potentially disastrous effect on GOARCH and all other US churches-- is a pretty serious scandal.
How Soviet.
 

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Yes, they're arguing is that the ministerial exception doesn't apply to defamation. The problem is that Fr. Alexander Belya can only prove he's been defamed if the conflicting testimonies of his disciplinary procedure are reevaluated, which in turn is only possible if the churches' disciplinary procedures lose autonomy.
I read everything readable on that page. I never understood what this situation was about until now. ROCOR is trying to prevent the discovery phase. Fr. Alexander Belya is trying to show that the accusations made against him can be provably shown to be false. (Nothing more from what I can see.)
 

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I read everything readable on that page. I never understood what this situation was about until now. ROCOR is trying to prevent the discovery phase. Fr. Alexander Belya is trying to show that the accusations made against him can be provably shown to be false. (Nothing more from what I can see.)
I don't know much of US law, but ISTM that, unless Fr. Alexander Belya can prove he had a show trial under ROCOR (which would be extremely difficult), he's ultimately arguing that their internal procedures are incompetent to determine whether he has done a shameful act (which is a legally dangerous step). That being said, a judge might be right in allowing discovery, but fighting it is also the smart thing to do.
 

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I don't know much of US law, but ISTM that, unless Fr. Alexander Belya can prove he had a show trial under ROCOR (which would be extremely difficult), he's ultimately arguing that their internal procedures are incompetent to determine whether he has done a shameful act (which is a legally dangerous step). That being said, a judge might be right in allowing discovery, but fighting it is also the smart thing to do.
Dude, this is not about the election of a works committee.
 
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Spiritual court is not legal court. It only works when there is obedience and humility.
 

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I don't know much of US law, but ISTM that, unless Fr. Alexander Belya can prove he had a show trial under ROCOR (which would be extremely difficult), he's ultimately arguing that their internal procedures are incompetent to determine whether he has done a shameful act (which is a legally dangerous step). That being said, a judge might be right in allowing discovery, but fighting it is also the smart thing to do.
I think it is clear from the District Court denying the order to dismiss why this case is going forward. I also understand why Fr. Alexander Belya's lawyer enlisted the help of Americans United when ROCOR petitioned the 2nd circuit court of appeals which would be beyond his area of expertise (or comfort zone).

I see two possibilities here.

Fr. Alexander Belya is insane and wrongly believes he did not forge the documents in question and at the same time is able to convince lawyers that he didn't. Discovery would not help his case.

ROCOR did what is outlined in Fr. Alexander Belya's complaint. That is, lying and bearing false witness. Discovery would have to show that this is the case. I am assuming that Fr. Alexander Belya is not a rich person. I cannot imagine why a lawyer would take this case unless they believed Discovery would prove that ROCOR purposefully lied.
 

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May the Righteous Judge of all mankind bring out the truth and light in all of this mess! May this happen in his *good time* early for all to repent for there is none righteous, no not one. May none be offended and turn away from Christ. May no hearts stumble in hardness and unbelief or by judging one another. Even in this example here Lord may I learn to be silent before my accusers and not insist on my reputation. Teach us your humility dear Lamb of God. Maranatha!
 

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I am assuming that Fr. Alexander Belya is not a rich person.
His family's finances are somewhat famous, both in NYC and South Florida.

I cannot imagine why a lawyer would take this case unless they believed Discovery would prove that ROCOR purposefully lied.
The organization that is providing his lawyers has deep pockets for things like this. Defamation cases are nearly impossible to prove in any context, but they want to set the precedent for US courts intervening in the internal affairs of religious groups, a goal that can be achieved without actually winning the case.
 

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I think it is clear from the District Court denying the order to dismiss why this case is going forward. I also understand why Fr. Alexander Belya's lawyer enlisted the help of Americans United when ROCOR petitioned the 2nd circuit court of appeals which would be beyond his area of expertise (or comfort zone).

I see two possibilities here.

Fr. Alexander Belya is insane and wrongly believes he did not forge the documents in question and at the same time is able to convince lawyers that he didn't. Discovery would not help his case.

ROCOR did what is outlined in Fr. Alexander Belya's complaint. That is, lying and bearing false witness. Discovery would have to show that this is the case. I am assuming that Fr. Alexander Belya is not a rich person. I cannot imagine why a lawyer would take this case unless they believed Discovery would prove that ROCOR purposefully lied.
I don't see why a judge would dismiss this case, but from the defendant's POV it's still smart to try every possible appeal, even if Fr. Alexander Belya is acting in bad faith. After all, if the defendants are speaking the truth, they're going to court to discuss documents with a forger in a country that uses juries in tort law and gives a lot of weight to party-appointed experts...
 
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