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Orthodox Reflections Blog: “It’s Time to Go”

Menas17

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“It appears we are reaching a crisis point with the Greek Archdioceses in both Canada and the United States. The article below is by a writer who converted to Orthodoxy as an adult. However, his exasperation with the Greek Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the same as expressed by many of Greek heritage and even Greek nationality. You can see examples of this at George Michalopulos’ blog and Orthodox Reflections here, here and here. It is clear that many are finally reaching a breaking point. May God have mercy on us all.”
 

FULK NERA

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“It appears we are reaching a crisis point with the Greek Archdioceses in both Canada and the United States. The article below is by a writer who converted to Orthodoxy as an adult. However, his exasperation with the Greek Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the same as expressed by many of Greek heritage and even Greek nationality. You can see examples of this at George Michalopulos’ blog and Orthodox Reflections here, here and here. It is clear that many are finally reaching a breaking point. May God have mercy on us all.”
“Patriarch Bartholomew is also a schismatic. He opened Pandora’s box in January of 2019 by illegally granting a tomos of autocephaly to a band of Ukrainian schismatics, and for appointing prelates who are nothing of the sort. He reaped the whirlwind by this act of defiance against Metropolitan Onuphry’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Countless people have suffered the loss of their precious parishes, and some have even suffered physical violence.”

UN CALLS ON UKRAINE TO PROTECT CHURCH FROM SCHISMATIC VIOLENCE

New York, November 12, 2021

The United Nations has again recognized the fact of persecution against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and is again calling on the Ukrainian state to protect the rights of the Church and to prosecute violations.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee published yesterday its conclusions from its most recent session on the fulfillment of international obligations by Ukraine.

Regarding the Orthodox Church, the Council states:

45. The Committee is concerned at reports of violence, intimidation and acts of vandalism of places of worship in connection with the process of transitioning churches and religious communities from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Committee is further concerned at the reported inaction of the police in such incidents and the lack of information on investigations conducted by the State party (art. 18).

According to the Committee, the state should:

(a) Guarantee the effective exercise of freedom of religion and belief, including by ensuring protection of places of worship against violence, intimidation and acts of vandalism; and

(b) Ensure that all cases of violence are thoroughly and promptly investigated and sanctioned.

Representatives of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” repeatedly try to talk about the “voluntary” conversion of parishes from the canonical to the schismatic Church, though it is well known that this is simply a lie. The UN itself has reported on violence against the Church several times.
 

FULK NERA

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I find the article obnoxiously shrill and presumptive. I can see this convert hie himself away from a hierarchy that offends his sensibilities, but the charges of heresy against Abp. Elpidophoros are weak and prejudicial. Of course the Abp. is dead wrong in his overestimation of the EP’s role and his theological simile is pathetic, but it’s not a dogmatic teaching, it’s rhetoric for the purpose of padding his own nest. Though it harms the church all the Phanariots salute it, so it’s a mere matter of opinion. And celebrating liturgy in a borrowed church may offend the author‘s sensibility because the Episcopalians like to trumpet their support of homosexual people, but good luck with asserting that Elpidophoros conducted sacraments with heterodox clergy amd should thus be deposed. Where is the evidence to support this charge?

This blog, Orthodox Reflections is nearly comparable with George Michalopoulos’ hyperpartisan (insurrectionist, covid-denying, illiberal) echo-chamber participated in by some dozen extremists. I would not take either site as indicative of anything other than a narrow slice of curmudgeonly Orthodox. I assume the author of the blog is a layman, so what is the basis of the exquisite discomfort he shares in this piece? A layman is free to disaffiliate and reaffiliate as he sees fit. I understand he’s encouraging others to follow him out of GOARCH parishes, and I do not oppose their exodus in service of their consciences. But his arrogance to demand satisfaction from the hierarch in written apology for celebrating Divine liturgy inside an Episcopalian church is a bit much. I just hope the author doesn’t move to the OCA and excoriate Metr. Tikhon for not breaking communion with Elpidophoros next year. We don’t need such blowhards in our churches.
 
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rakovsky

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“It appears we are reaching a crisis point with the Greek Archdioceses in both Canada and the United States. The article below is by a writer who converted to Orthodoxy as an adult. However, his exasperation with the Greek Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the same as expressed by many of Greek heritage and even Greek nationality. You can see examples of this at George Michalopulos’ blog and Orthodox Reflections here, here and here. It is clear that many are finally reaching a breaking point. May God have mercy on us all.”
How long has the CP been claiming to be the head over all EOs and claiming the authority to intervene in other Autocephalous churches like he did in Ukraine?
I ask because in this article, Fr. Wheeler objects to Primus Sine Paribus, but he himself converted to Orthodoxy a while ago.

I know that in 1995 P. Bartholomew made an article about the Decentralized structure of Orthodoxy, denying there was a central authority. And in the 19th century, Constantinople had a council or synod that openly rejected the supremacy model for Orthodoxy.

Yet when the CP claimed to give a Tomos to Georgia and other EO Churches in the 20th century, didn't they claim to have this power by virtue of the supposed CP supremacy?
 

Menas17

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I find the article obnoxiously shrill and presumptive. I can see this convert hie himself away from a hierarchy that offends his sensibilities, but the charges of heresy against Abp. Elpidophoros are weak and prejudicial. Of course the Abp. is dead wrong in his overestimation of the EP’s role and his theological simile is pathetic, but it’s not a dogmatic teaching, it’s rhetoric for the purpose of padding his own nest. Though it harms the church all the Phanariots salute it, so it’s a mere matter of opinion. And celebrating liturgy in a borrowed church may offend the author‘s sensibility because the Episcopalians like to trumpet their support of homosexual people, but good luck with asserting that Elpidophoros conducted sacraments with heterodox clergy amd should thus be deposed. Where is the evidence to support this charge?

This blog, Orthodox Reflections is nearly comparable with George Michalopoulos’ hyperpartisan (insurrectionist, covid-denying, illiberal) echo-chamber participated in by some dozen extremists. I would not take either site as indicative of anything other than a narrow slice of curmudgeonly Orthodox. I assume the author of the blog is a layman, so what is the basis of the exquisite discomfort he shares in this piece? A layman is free to disaffiliate and reaffiliate as he sees fit. I understand he’s encouraging others to follow him out of GOARCH parishes, and I do not oppose their exodus in service of their consciences. But his arrogance to demand satisfaction from the hierarch in written apology for celebrating Divine liturgy inside an Episcopalian church is a bit much. I just hope the author doesn’t move to the OCA and excoriate Metr. Tikhon for not breaking communion with Elpidophoros next year. We don’t need such blowhards in our churches.
Sensationalist, yes
Wrong, no

No one can deny the deviation of the EP and it’s jurisdictions over the years with that speeding up, especially the past few years.
 

rakovsky

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I assume the author of the blog is a layman, so what is the basis of the exquisite discomfort he shares in this piece? A layman is free to disaffiliate and reaffiliate as he sees fit.

I understand he’s encouraging others to follow him out of GOARCH parishes, and I do not oppose their exodus in service of their consciences. But his arrogance to demand satisfaction from the hierarch in written apology for celebrating Divine liturgy inside an Episcopalian church is a bit much.
What do you mean by his basis for discomfort?
I recall a RC lay writer being disillusioned with RC claims of papal infallibility and it led to him converting to Orthodoxy. Thus the CP's papal style intervention in Ukraine would be a legitimate reason for someone to leave the CP.

On other matters, I did not find sufficient theological reasons to leave GOARCH.

But I could see an additional practical factor related to church attendance, since I find the COVID hysteria to be drastically overblown. Last summer, ROCOR parishes were commonly open when other EO churches were commonly closed. This would be a stimulus to join open ROCOR parishes. But the COVID closings at least by the OCA were done out of health safety fears, so it was not really heretical.

The CP seems connected to the leading geopolitical scene, and this could carry over into his church closings and invalidation of vaccine exemptions. Other than the health reasons to avoid vaccinations, the occasional usage of aborted fetal tissue seems a valid religious reason for why someone would want to avoid the vaccines.
www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccines_and_Fetal_Cells_031921_720415_7.pdf

So in the COVID hysteria context, I could see someone switching to ROCOR for practical reasons, because they wanted to keep attending services. But it doesn't mean that the CP is heretical per se on that issue.
 
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