- Mar 13, 2009
- Reaction score
- South Carolina
Very wise words my friend. Thanks.podkarpatska said:^ Devin's comments are quite insightful. Bishops are not pastors - they do need the ability to see things from a pastoral/micro level, but like any COO (not a CEO) they must manage things from a diocesan/Synodal/macro perspective. This is a very tough thing to do and it has surely humbled more than a few Bishops who don't get the 'macro' view and by more than a few priests who think it is their place to manage more than their charge!
The suicide issue is also a tough one for a Bishop to manage - I don't want to split the thread, but some Bishops will apply a greater dose of 'pastoring' through a generous economia while others appear heartless. Not knowing the specifics of the situation you referenced, I won't posit any opinion about your friend's issues or the circumstances of that decision other than to note that some Bishops, like some men, only view things in absolute terms.This is something the EA and a united Church will have to address. I have first hand knowledge of a tough situation in a non-OCA canonical parish where the diocesan bishop refused a dispensation for a Church divorce and remarriage of a couple previously married in the Church and whose ex-spouses remained in the parish community. The would be married couple moved to another state, joined an OCA parish and were granted a church divorce by that Diocesan OCA bishop. Needless to say, there was a lot of 'splaining to do when they moved home and reentered their original parish. Since they had been married by a canonical priest in a canonical Church with a canonical release they returned. The other families were unhappy and to the present day they can not accept how one Orthodox Bishop could take one point of view and another Orthodox Bishop could take an opposite point of view from the same set of facts. This continues to cause internal parish issues for the pastor. (By the way, the couple are wonderful people, have a great family and are very involved in the Church.)
Hence, I know how much these issues tear at the hearts of not only our laity, but also our pastors. I know how often my father would either agree with or dispute his bishop's determinations - but he would be bound by them either way. To the end of his long life he took to heart the ordination oath he made to the Diocesan bishop who ordained him and to his lawful successors over the decades. But that more of our priests, regardless of jurisdiction , took such things as seriously. Going from one jurisdiction to another, actively seeking releases from one diocese to another for purposes of advancement and so on dilute peoples' respect for the Church and her institutions.