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How Does Decisionmaking at GOARCH Assemblies Work?

rakovsky

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My guess is that the main cause for the decline [include] declining religiosity in general.
I mean that the US has declining religiosity - less observance. Increasing numbers of people identify as having "spirituality" instead of any religion, but spiritual observances are decreasing.
 

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Which doesn’t translate into approbation of Phanar overlordship over the whole Orthodox commonwealth. It’s clear though that being Rûm milet başı for all those centuries and then losing it with the Ottoman collapse really hobbles the Phanar.
Say what you will, but millions look to him as there spiritual leader and its going to take a lot more than internet rhetoric too unseat him.
 

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Say what you will, but millions look to him as there spiritual leader and its going to take a lot more than internet rhetoric too unseat him.
Most Orthodox reject him as their spiritual leader over them, but unfortunately it looks like it's going to take more than theologically correct critiques for the P. of Constantinople to return to its Orthodox former doctrine that it is not the "First Without Equals" vertically supreme leader over all Orthodox.
 

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Most Orthodox reject him as their spiritual leader over them, but unfortunately it looks like it's going to take more than theologically correct critiques for the P. of Constantinople to return to its Orthodox former doctrine that it is not the "First Without Equals" vertically supreme leader over all Orthodox.
And in the mean time we pray...Thy will be done Lord. After all, it's His Church. His Bride. We pray and guard our hearts and remain watchful as the 5 wise virgins with plenty of oil. Keep the oil. Keep praying. Keep forgiving and loving, showing mercy. Lord, have mercy.
 

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Last time I checked OCA was the 2nd largest jurisdiction, after GOARCH. ROCOR is way down the list and is only big in San Francisco. A small fraction of the size of the OCA.
According to statistics from the website of the Assembly of Bishops, the OCA has more parishes than the GOARCH, but the GOARCH has more adherents than the OCA. In terms of number of monasteries, they are the same. ROCOR has 32% of the number of adherents that the OCA has, and 5% of the number of adherents that GOARCH has; however, they have almost as many monasteries as GOARCH or OCA.
Source: Fast Questions and Fast Answers abou the Geography of Orthodoxy in America
 

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Most Orthodox reject him as their spiritual leader over them, but unfortunately it looks like it's going to take more than theologically correct critiques for the P. of Constantinople to return to its Orthodox former doctrine that it is not the "First Without Equals" vertically supreme leader over all Orthodox.
Your back to this again. You need the EP more so then Moscow. You know it in the depths of you heart. Yet , you choose to attack him. Lord, have mercy on this man.
 

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According to statistics from the website of the Assembly of Bishops, the OCA has more parishes than the GOARCH, but the GOARCH has more adherents than the OCA. In terms of number of monasteries, they are the same. ROCOR has 32% of the number of adherents that the OCA has, and 5% of the number of adherents that GOARCH has; however, they have almost as many monasteries as GOARCH or OCA.
Source: Fast Questions and Fast Answers abou the Geography of Orthodoxy in America
OK, you gave good information. It sounds strange to hear that ROCOR's membership is 32 percent of the OCA's. Maybe these numbers are not being counted the same way, because based on my experience, the OCA has a much higher membership number. To give a simple example, the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area has about 8 OCA parishes and only 1 ROCOR parish, and the ROCOR parish was about as well attended as one of the larger regional OCA parishes there. I can give examples of this from other regions of the US and Canada. Conceivably, ROCOR GLOBALLY has 32 percent of the OCA's membership GLOBALLY, since ROCOR has parishes around the world, including in Europe, whereas the OCA has deliberately limited its parishes to the Americas, although the OCA has at least a few representative parishes abroad.

As for GOARCH's membership, consider this excerpt from George Michalopulos' response to Abp. Elpidophoros' 2009 Holy Cross speech:
For example, the numbers [of GOARCH members] frequently bandied about –1. 5 million adherents—are fantastic. If true, then every one of the 549 GOA parishes in the United States would have close to 3,000 parishioners. As the GOA does not have an open bookkeeping system, it is difficult to tell the true financial health of the GOA. Certainly recent scandals involving pederasts in the priesthood and the resulting multimillion payouts have led many to speculate that the archdiocese is operating with significant deficits. Not to press the point, the Antiochian jurisdiction for example –though undergoing turmoil at present—has experienced the most explosive growth in American Orthodoxy, rising from 65 parishes in 1970 to over 240 today. Likewise the priesthood and the laity of the OCA has been able to right their ship after years of tumult by evicting the previous metropolitan’s administration on their own volition without having to ask permission from foreign overlords.
SOURCE: https://www.aoiusa.org/ocl-responds-to-the-ep-about-holy-cross-talk/
 

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You need the EP more so then Moscow. You know it in the depths of you heart.
Abp. Elpidophoros announced that the OCA is not a "canonical" Church in his 2009 speech, which was approved by the Constantinople Patriarch (CP) Bartholomew. Based on his speech, one should join the CP's parishes instead of the OCA's, Antioch's, ROCOR"s, the Serb's, etc. But most Orthodox in the US, including myself, are not joining parishes under the CP. So apparently we don't "need" the CP, just as we don't "need" the Pope. No one Patriarchate is the "sine qua non" of Orthodoxy.
 

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Your back to this again. You need the EP more so then Moscow. You know it in the depths of you heart. Yet , you choose to attack him. Lord, have mercy on this man.
I see you are a reader of hearts. How marvelous. The Phanar has no function other than what it can arrogate to itself with tendentious self serving misquotes of ancient canons. Since it’s Ottoman overlords collapsed, its fortunes are tied to the British Crown amd now the US State Dept. and its function is a a foil to the MP, for geopolitical goals. Whatever purpose it has ecclesiologically it bungles on purpose, not solving problems only creating more of them.
 

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I see you are a reader of hearts. How marvelous. The Phanar has no function other than what it can arrogate to itself with tendentious self serving misquotes of ancient canons. Since it’s Ottoman overlords collapsed, its fortunes are tied to the British Crown amd now the US State Dept. and its function is a a foil to the MP, for geopolitical goals. Whatever purpose it has ecclesiologically it bungles on purpose, not solving problems only creating more of them.
Wow! Im swimming in a pool of conspiracy theorists.
Next you're going to state how the EP released covid on the world.
 

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Abp. Elpidophoros announced that the OCA is not a "canonical" Church in his 2009 speech, which was approved by the Constantinople Patriarch (CP) Bartholomew. Based on his speech, one should join the CP's parishes instead of the OCA's, Antioch's, ROCOR"s, the Serb's, etc. But most Orthodox in the US, including myself, are not joining parishes under the CP. So apparently we don't "need" the CP, just as we don't "need" the Pope. No one Patriarchate is the "sine qua non" of Orthodoxy.
Why do you have such reliance to the MP than?
Is it because, without your link your dead?
You're in a lose lose situation.
 
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rakovsky

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Why do you have such reliance to the MP than?
Is it because, without your link your dead?
You're in a lose lose situation.
Without the link through the MP, the OCA would be dead/out of communion in the eyes of Pat. Bartholomew.
Supporting P. Bartholomew's uncanonical actions in Ukraine would be a "losing", self-defeating act.
Supporting the canonical rule and tradition that P. Bartholomew is not the vertical ruler of all Orthodox everywhere is "win-win-'no lose'." It wins with Orthodox traditions and canons, wins with the MP, and doesn't hurt anything from P. Bartholomew, and nor would following P. Bartholomew on Ukraine gain the OCA anything except for relations with the more-than doubtful OCU.
 

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Wow! Im swimming in a pool of conspiracy theorists.
Next you're going to state how the EP released covid on the world.
Whether or not P. Bartholomew and Abp. Elpidophoros are running their new "First Without Equals" line for geopolitical reasons, it violates Orthodox Tradition and actually hurts everyone in the Church just like Rome announcing it was the vertical supreme head of everyone hurt Christendom.
 

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Whether or not P. Bartholomew and Abp. Elpidophoros are running their new "First Without Equals" line for geopolitical reasons, it violates Orthodox Tradition and actually hurts everyone in the Church just like Rome announcing it was the vertical supreme head of everyone hurt Christendom.
This is where you're mistaken. Belief in Christ is a monarchy system. Your perverting it by instituting a liberal mindset. Next youre going to claim equality with god himself.
If you as me, the OCA is just another protestant sect posing as a continue line of succession trying to hang in the balance. Its a shame because you had some great saints in the past like st Herman.
 

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he OCA is just another protestant sect posing as a continue line of succession trying to hang in the balance.
Historically, there is more of an argument that the Const. P. had a closer connection at one point to Protestantism than the OCA ever had. It's kind of a curious historical mystery whether Patriarch Cyril Lucaris of Constantinople was a Protestant. The official position of the Greek Orthodox Church is that he was not, and he was canonized as a saint-martyr. (https://orthodoxwiki.org/Cyril_Lucaris)

OrthoWiki says,
For his later education he traveled through Europe, studied at Venice, Padua, and Geneva. In Geneva, he came under the influence of the reformed faith as represented by John Calvin. ... It is alleged that the great aim of his life was to reform the Church on Calvinistic lines, and to this end he sent many young Greek theologians to the universities of Switzerland, the northern Netherlands and England. ... Through his contacts with the Church of England, he also set up a program of sending young Greeks to England to study. Among these students was the youth from Macedonia, Metrophanes Kritopoulos who later would become Patriarch of Alexandria.

Here is an article arguing that Pat. Lucaris was not Protestant:
 

Tzimis

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More rumor than anything. Tell us the truth though, does the OCA funnel money up to the MP?
 

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Wow! Im swimming in a pool of conspiracy theorists.
Next you're going to state how the EP released covid on the world.
No, you won’t hear that from me. As to the Phanar carrying water for the State Dept., it’s common knowledge. See Matthew Namee’s Orthodox History website for a corroborating documents.
 

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Not that I am aware, but I vaguely recall hearing some rumor/allegation of this.
More rumor than anything. Tell us the truth though, does the OCA funnel money up to the MP?
What makes you think such an absurdity, that the worlds largest and richest Orthodox Church should require funds from an autocephalous archdiocese whose entire budget is less than a single large Russian Cathedral’s? Just because you heard an evil and invidious rumor doesn’t make it close to true. The same slander was leveled by hateful deniers of the 1970 Tomos, that it was ‘purchased’ -by a cash-strapped Metropolia to a Patriarchate that couldn’t spend its own funds locally because the USSR forbade it. To substantiate a claim, you have to prove probable cause, motive and means. None of these are present in this vile accusation.
 

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This is where you're mistaken. Belief in Christ is a monarchy system. Your perverting it by instituting a liberal mindset. Next youre going to claim equality with god himself.
If you as me, the OCA is just another protestant sect posing as a continue line of succession trying to hang in the balance. Its a shame because you had some great saints in the past like st Herman.
By what dint do you make this claim, which denies apostolicity that is universally recognized? Are you an Old Calendarist? They claim we‘re all schismatics, especially the Phanar.
 

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"Your perverting it by instituting a liberal mindset. Next youre going to claim equality with god himself.
If you as me, the OCA is just another protestant sect posing as a continue line of succession trying to hang in the balance."

By what dint do you make this claim, which denies apostolicity that is universally recognized? Are you an Old Calendarist? They claim we‘re all schismatics, especially the Phanar.
I think that he is just throwing something out in the spirit of superficial polemics.

My sense is that he is imping that the OCA having parish ownership of church property and not being in subordinate fealty to the Primus Sine Paribus Uber Alles Constantinople Patriarch means that the OCA is "liberal" and "Protestant." But earlier in this thread, Tzimis was declaring that "the EP needs too just say enough with infringing on liberty." So I think that he is not bantying these polemical terms around out of some specific known Traditional Orthodox Doctrines saying that "The Patriarch must directly own all Church Property."
 

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By what dint do you make this claim, which denies apostolicity that is universally recognized? Are you an Old Calendarist? They claim we‘re all schismatics, especially the Phanar.
No, no old calandarists. I do not recognize the oca's autocephaly at this point but, I do believe they are canonical. I think Its going to take a couple more generations before there is a good shot at some sort of unification. Europeans aren't coming to the usa in large numbers any longer and language won't be a dividing issue. I just don't think its time yet.
 

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I think Its going to take a couple more generations before there is a good shot at some sort of unification. Europeans aren't coming to the usa in large numbers any longer and language won't be a dividing issue. I just don't think its time yet.
What you said makes sense. But on a side note, do you know that what you are saying goes against the thrust of Abp. Elpidophoros' 2009 Hellenic College speech? His idea was that Greek Americans need to keep Greek language and culture going strong for GOARCH to do well.

One of the potentially overlooked likely mistakes in his speech was his implied complaint about "overzealous" converts unfamiliar with Greek culture and language becoming clergy. The thrust of this complaint is very mistaken because if Orthodoxy wants to even tread water in the US, it does need enthusiastic evangelizing energetic active convert clergy.
 

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What you said makes sense. But on a side note, do you know that what you are saying goes against the thrust of Abp. Elpidophoros' 2009 Hellenic College speech? His idea was that Greek Americans need to keep Greek language and culture going strong for GOARCH to do well.

One of the potentially overlooked likely mistakes in his speech was his implied complaint about "overzealous" converts unfamiliar with Greek culture and language becoming clergy. The thrust of this complaint is very mistaken because if Orthodoxy wants to even tread water in the US, it does need enthusiastic evangelizing energetic active convert clergy.
Abp. Elpidophoros was gate-keeping, and apple-polishing for the Archons who keep GOARCH and the Phanar in funds. Without the support of these blueblood Hellenists we wouldn’t even be having this dialogue. So far they’ve lost at least 85% of descendants of Greek emigres, I’d say give it a couple more generations and the only Greeks left will be the hierarchs. Whatever they are selling isn’t appealing to actual people of Greek ancestry. But you know the saying about the two kinds of people. So they should be able to make Greeks of some of us βάρβαροι.
 

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Its always easier to have someone else do the work.
 

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Abp. Elpidophoros was gate-keeping, and apple-polishing for the Archons who keep GOARCH and the Phanar in funds. Without the support of these blueblood Hellenists we wouldn’t even be having this dialogue. So far they’ve lost at least 85% of descendants of Greek emigres, I’d say give it a couple more generations and the only Greeks left will be the hierarchs. Whatever they are selling isn’t appealing to actual people of Greek ancestry. But you know the saying about the two kinds of people. So they should be able to make Greeks of some of us βάρβαροι.
I’d say this is a solid observation

I’ll add one caveat though, I think if GOARCH last a “couple more generations” it would be a miracle, with the loss of 85% + of ethnic Greeks, and with the recent study showing the Archdiocese lost ~106,000 members between 2010-2020 it will be a miracle if they survive another 10-15 years. Yet rather than trying to turn the tide and appeal to Americans, they have doubled-down on being Greek (see their new Greek language program that just received a ton of money).
 

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I’d say this is a solid observation

I’ll add one caveat though, I think if GOARCH last a “couple more generations” it would be a miracle, with the loss of 85% + of ethnic Greeks, and with the recent study showing the Archdiocese lost ~106,000 members between 2010-2020 it will be a miracle if they survive another 10-15 years. Yet rather than trying to turn the tide and appeal to Americans, they have doubled-down on being Greek (see their new Greek language program that just received a ton of money).
What language is the Antioch liturgy in?
 

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I’d say this is a solid observation

I’ll add one caveat though, I think if GOARCH last a “couple more generations” it would be a miracle, with the loss of 85% + of ethnic Greeks, and with the recent study showing the Archdiocese lost ~106,000 members between 2010-2020 it will be a miracle if they survive another 10-15 years. Yet rather than trying to turn the tide and appeal to Americans, they have doubled-down on being Greek (see their new Greek language program that just received a ton of money).
Yes, it’s pathetic. Even though Abp. Elpidophoros is no dummy and openly calls recently for more non-Greek involvement, they will have Greek leaders kneeling on the neck of the archdiocese until it is dead. That’s just how ‘baked-in’ the Hellenism is. Because the Leadership 100 insists.
 

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What language is the Antioch liturgy in?
They do WAY MORE in English and have been at the forefront of adopting English liturgy for more than a century. The Copts have no love for Arabic language either, ams their churches are burgeoning here.
 

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see their new Greek language program that just received a ton of money.
Where can I read more about this?
I guess if Churches are going to use a lot of Greek, Slavonic, or Arabic in the liturgy and want parishioners to be more than 1st-2nd generation immigrants, they should offer Greek, Slavonic, or Arabic.

Highschools probably offered Latin more 70 years ago, so there wasn't as much a need for Catholic Churches to teach Latin.

IMO, it's nice to have a foreign language in part of the liturgy and to offer a class on it. The OCA it seems used to do more of that decades ago, like around the 1950's or earlier.
 

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What language is the Antioch liturgy in?
I visited 4 Antiochian churches where I recall the language being in English and being made mainly of native English-speakers, and know of 2 others where it was in a mix of English and Arabic and that's 1 just in Arabic.

The Greek culture vs. American culture debate for churches is a little off topic, but I can see arguments on both sides. Your goal should be to (A) preserve your membership but also to (B) grow and expand to non-Greeks. In my opinion, it's most effective then to have parishes that use (A) a foreign language and (B) parishes that don't, because different kinds of people will be attracted to one category or the other.
 
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I ... know of... that's 1 just in Arabic.
I meant "I recall one parish that I visited being just in Arabic."

I don't know what percent of Americans can understand Greek. Some non-EO academics and non-EO seminarians study it like how they study Latin because Greek is a Classical and Bible language. Then there are 1st-3rd generation Greek immigrants. It's a narrow group. As Christians, outreach should be a major part of our work, and in Orthodox Tradition that means serving in the local language (eg. Serbian in Serbia). Probably over 97% of Americans can't read Greek.
 
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I meant "I recall one parish that I visited being just in Arabic."

I don't know what percent of Americans can understand Greek. Some non-EO academics and non-EO seminarians study it like how they study Latin because Greek is a Classical and Bible language. Then there are 1st-3rd generation Greek immigrants. It's a narrow group. As Christians, outreach should be a major part of our work, and in Orthodox Tradition that means serving in the local language (eg. Serbian in Serbia). Probably over 97% of Americans can't read Greek.
1 Corinthians 14:19 KJV
Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
1 Corinthians 14:28
But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
 

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Where can I read more about this?
I guess if Churches are going to use a lot of Greek, Slavonic, or Arabic in the liturgy and want parishioners to be more than 1st-2nd generation immigrants, they should offer Greek, Slavonic, or Arabic.

Highschools probably offered Latin more 70 years ago, so there wasn't as much a need for Catholic Churches to teach Latin.

IMO, it's nice to have a foreign language in part of the liturgy and to offer a class on it. The OCA it seems used to do more of that decades ago, like around the 1950's or earlier.
You might be unaware that the OCA is the Local Church and is primarily oriented towards Americans of no particular origin. At the seminary no prayers in foreign languages are allowed.
Antiochian parishes have had a recent influx of Arabic speakers due to wars the US started in their homelands but they have promoted English for more than a century. I know of no budget among them for Arabic classes.
The use of foreign language in worship is strictly a pastoral consideration. The Greek penchant for promoting it among English speakers is not pastorally motivated but ethnophyletistic. It serves no evangelistic purpose. Perhaps in Massachusetts there are still ethnic emigre parishes where it actually serves a purpose. But the continued privileging of Greek, as at the recent μνημόσυνο I’m front of the uncompleted St. Nicholas Shrine in Manhattan, supposedly for the memory of all 3,000 + victims, and for the nation and world, serves no pastoral purpose. It’s a performance of fealty to Hellenism and testament to the permanent privilege of Hellenes among the nations. Despite knowing better, Abp. Elpidophoros is doubling down on dumb.
 

rakovsky

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Joined
Aug 17, 2006
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Location
USA
Website
rakovskii.livejournal.com
Faith
Christian
Jurisdiction
Orthodox Church in America
You might be unaware that the OCA is the Local Church and is primarily oriented towards Americans of no particular origin. At the seminary no prayers in foreign languages are allowed.
Antiochian parishes have had a recent influx of Arabic speakers due to wars the US started in their homelands but they have promoted English for more than a century. I know of no budget among them for Arabic classes.
The use of foreign language in worship is strictly a pastoral consideration. The Greek penchant for promoting it among English speakers is not pastorally motivated but ethnophyletistic. It serves no evangelistic purpose. Perhaps in Massachusetts there are still ethnic emigre parishes where it actually serves a purpose. But the continued privileging of Greek, as at the recent μνημόσυνο I’m front of the uncompleted St. Nicholas Shrine in Manhattan, supposedly for the memory of all 3,000 + victims, and for the nation and world, serves no pastoral purpose. It’s a performance of fealty to Hellenism and testament to the permanent privilege of Hellenes among the nations. Despite knowing better, Abp. Elpidophoros is doubling down on dumb.
For the sake of argument - even if GOARCH's Hellenism were an ethnophyletist mistake, I think it's not in itself a crucial problem injuring the Orthodox Church. By analogy, If the Armenian Churches wanted to devote a lot of attention on being Armenian, understandably trying to preserve their culture in the wake of the Armenian genocide, it wouldn't hurt the OOs.

Instead, the crucial harmful problem is that P. Bartholomew and Ap. Elpidophoros are claiming that the C.P. is the vertical supreme head of Orthodoxy, and then based on these mistaken assertions they strongly infringe on local autocephalous Churches, wrecking division and damage in Orthodoxy.
 
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