Skip to comments.Primate of the OCA joins with the MP in assessment of Bishop Basil
Posted on 12/28/2006 10:08:25 AM PST by kawaii
28 December 2006, 11:25
Primate of the Orthodox Church in America joins with the Moscow Patriarchate in assessment of Bishop Basil (Osborne)
Moscow, December 28, Interfax - Metropolitan Herman of All America and Canada expressed his solidarity with the Russian Orthodox Church in the assessment of actions of the former administrator of the Diocese of Sourozh Bishop Basil (Osborne) whom the Patriarchate of Constantinople received in its jurisdiction.
One of the important safeguards of church order has been the general observance (in the countries beyond the traditionally Orthodox lands - IF) of canonical norms with regard to transfers of clergy from one canonical jurisdiction to another, Metropolitan Herman writes in his letter to Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia commenting on the situation in Great Britain.
Earlier Patriarch Alexy sent a letter to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and the statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church dated 19 July 2006 on the situation in the Diocese of Sourozh, official site of the Moscow Patriarchate wrote Wednesday.
Metropolitan Herman remarked: Canonical peace and order have been maintained, even within the contradictions of territorially overlapping jurisdictions, when clergy and parishes have transferred from one Church to another only with the proper canonical releases.
Thus, we have seen every violation of these norms as significantly undermining Orthodox collaboration and coordination, indeed as a contradiction of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, the letter reads.
interesting to see the OCA weigh in (even if some of world orthodoxy doesn't consider the oca canonical...)
Metropolitan Herman!!!!!!! Boy, if I were Alexei I'd stay far far away from that fellow.He's the last guy I'd want in my corner. If this is the best Moscow can do it hasn't anywhere near the influence (or common sense) I thought it did.
Does this seem to you more like the MP asking for his support or like Met Herman trying to appear relevant?
(Noting that press releases for the last 3 days have centered on a concelebrated MP-ROCOR liturgy to be held in Moscow TWICE)
"Does this seem to you more like the MP asking for his support or like Met Herman trying to appear relevant?"
Mostly it looks like +Herman is trying to find a comfortable monastery far, far away from the US!
I must say, it does seem highly unlikely that the MP sought out this "vote of confidence".
It does. And it seems to me that with +Alexy II getting along so well with First Heirarch Metropolitan Laurus (Not to mention +Alexy II seemingly weighing in that the Russian churches outside Russia should promote Russian culture; something counter to the OCA mission statement) that +Herman may be grasping after relevance and favor.
I can probably find the article but I know the MP has said a few things on how they are trying to keep Russian culture alive for Russian's who've left Russia. This could make +Herman a bit nervous given the OCA's push for New Calendar English Liturgy parishes (many with pews).
17 April 2006, 14:58
Division in Russian Orthodox Church senseless - patriarch
Moscow, April 17, Interfax - Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II said on Monday that he prays for the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church inside and outside Russia in every service he ministers.
"Today there are no reasons for schism between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian people who found themselves abroad during the Revolution. It is our duty to resolve problems that remain in our relations," he said.
Many Russian emigrants have died and the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia "is losing its Russian nature," he said.
He called on members of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia who still accuse the Moscow Patriarchate of cooperation with the Bolsheviks to review their opinion.
The accusations are mostly based on the appeal by Metropolitan Sergius (Stargorodsky), who asked the Soviet authorities not to regard the Church as a counter-revolutionary organization in 1927. Some Russian emigrants viewed the appeal as a form of cooperation with the atheistic regime.
Metropolitan Sergius was trying to rescue the Church and put an end to the executions of clerics on counter-revolutionary charges, Alexy II said. The metropolitan showed that the Church rejoices at the Fatherland's joys and grieves at its sorrows, he said.
On a different note. What do you feel the signifigance is of leaving the Royal Doors open even though it isn't Bright Week?
28 December 2006, 12:12
First common divine service of Patriarch Alexy and Metropolitan Laurus to be celebrated untraditionally
Moscow, December 28, Interfax - The first common divine service of the Primates of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad will be celebrated untraditionally: the Royal Gates in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour will be open throughout the service, that being done only during the Bright Week, the first week after Easter.
The service was announced in the joint release of the secretaries of the commissions of the two Churches, archpriests Nikolay Balashov and Alexander Lebedev.
The document received by Interfax explained that the Royal Gates (to the sanctuary - IF) would be opened on the day when the Act on Canonical Communion is signed for the people of God to fully share the joy of the first common communion of bishops and clergy of the One Russian Church.
The document would be signed after a short prayer service in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour before the Divine Liturgy.
Two days later, on May 19, the commemoration day of St Job the Much-Suffered, St. Job of Pochaev and the birthday of the holy passion-bearer Emperor Nicholas II, Patriarch Alexy, Metropolitan Laurus, bishops and clergymen of the Russian Church Abroad would celebrate Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Moscow Kremlin.
On 20 May 2007, the seventh Sunday after Easter, Patriarch Alexy, Metropolitan Laurus, bishops and clergymen from Russia and abroad would consecrate the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Butovo and celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated church which foundation was laid when Metropolitan Laurus was paying his first official visit to Russia in 2004.
By the prayers of the holy new martyrs and confessors of Russia the Lord has blessed the sacred cause of restoring the unity of the Russian Church that had suffered great pain in the twentieth century. We believe that through their heavenly intercession we would complete this cause to the glory of God and the joy of church people, the document reads.
ping to post 8...
The OCA likely doesn't have much of a future. The circumstances of its creation in the first place aside, it simply never fulfilled its purposes for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which have been the predominance of the GOA and the strength of ROCOR. With the impending reunion of ROCOR with its Mother Church, the Americanization of the AOA and its converts, the GOA with its growing use of English and influx of converts and finally the fact that the Russian Church is no longer the church which created the OCA for its own purposes, one wonders what the point of the OCA as a "jurisdiction" is. In any event, the whole idea of an autocephallous American Orthodox Church is a terrible one.
My bet is that +Herman is looking for a personal escape hatch. And Moscow needs him like a whole in the head!
I must say this idea that the Church should foster ethnicity is pernicious to me. And heaven knows the GOA does it in spades. To my way of thinking, the inculcation of Greekness or Russianness or whateverness, in a place like America, is the business of parents, not the Church. Obviously the Churches will carry on our respective ethnic ethoses to some extent and that's important if only so the converts can develop an Orthodox phronema and everyone can remember the people who brought The Faith to America and struggled to build our Church in a hostile culture, but beyond that, NO!
Counting my boys, 5 generations of my maternal family have lived in America...and my boys both speak and understand Greek and are quite at home in our village. In many ways they are far more "Greek" than some of the GOA Greek chauvinists who continually spout off about Greece but have never been there and don't even know the name of the village their parents were from! But when it comes to spending money for "Greek Letters" or Greek TV in America, they are the first ones to say the Archdiocese should pay for this stuff. Its just awful! I am sorry to see +Alexei pushing this, but I suppose I am jo more surprised to see it from him than I am from my own hierarchs.
Where does that leave the folks in the OCA?
(Who BTW I've had tell me off for suggesting there was every under any circumstance a valid reason to have a Slavonic liturgy, and that my wife should assimilate or leave the country)
I don't get the impression many in the OCA are real happy with their leadership either but a lot of them seem dedicated to the same goal some in the Antiochian church and some in the Greek church are of some sort of psuedo-Latinized English language all American church where immigrants are chased out lest they create 'ethnic barriers'.
"I don't get the impression many in the OCA are real happy with their leadership either but a lot of them seem dedicated to the same goal some in the Antiochian church and some in the Greek church are of some sort of psuedo-Latinized English language all American church where immigrants are chased out lest they create 'ethnic barriers'."
There are a whole bunch of issues here which most Orthodox parishes have to confront eventually. There is often an element, made up of ethnic cradles and converts, which becomes very, very anti whatever the traditional ethnicity of the parish happens to be. They fulminate that we are Americans, Americans don't celebrate (insert national holiday), Americans speak English, Americans eat hog dogs, Americans live with their girlfriends, how dare you refuse me communion etc etc. Another group are just ethnic Greek, Russian, Arab, Serb chauvinists and want to maintain their own little piece of the old country to the exclusion of the "foreigners" (Americans. We all have to deal with this because we don't yet have many non ethnic Americans who are Orthodox from birth. That's going to take a generation or more from now.
Language is a different issue. In my parish we have Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Roumanians, Bulgarians, Albanians, Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians and all manner of Americans. Personally, I'd prefer the entire Divine Liturgy to be in Greek, like it was when I was growing up, but the fact of the matter is that the common language in our parish is English, not Greek. There are no other Orthodox Churches within a reasonable driving time of our parish so everyone comes to ours. What are we to do? Tell the non-Greeks they ahve to become Greeks to be part of the parish? I'll tell you a little story. A few years back I was involved in some probate litigation over the estate of a very old Syrian lady who had been a member of our parish for about 70 years. One of the beneficiaries of the will was a 90+ year old Syrian lady who likewise had been a member for 70+ years. While we were preparing her for the trial she got talking with an Antiochian priest monk who was on loan to our parish. She told how when she came to our town as a young woman, "We didn't have one of our churches so went went to the Greeks' church". Several days later I was with one of our young Lebanese couples at a party for his parents who were visiting from Lebanon. His Dad told me how happy they were that their son and his wife had such a wonderful parish to belong to. The son commented about "How wonderful OUR parish is"! I've heard the same and similar things from all the other groups too. The only complaints seem to come from some of those Greek chauvnists I mentioned before and some inquirers who find that our 40-50% Greek is too foreign for them.
In the end, every parish has to find its own place when it comes to the language of the liturgy. It all depends on who is in the pews.
"Personally I think there's demand for both all slavonic churches, half and half churches, and all english churches, and that need should be met rather than creating barriers to folks."
Creating barriers in a Russian parish to full participation in the life of the parish to Russian immigrants is monsterous as it would be if we were to do the same to Greek immigrants. The parish ALWAYS has to be home for immigrants from the old country, no matter how American or "pan Orthodox" it has become.
I suppose the situation is unique where I live, there's 13 Orthodox parishes within an hour of eachother. At least 4 are all english, 1 mixes slavonic into the music sometimes, one (where I attend) is mostly slavonic with dual gospel readings and prayers in english and some other parts and some music in english, i suspect the others are mostly ethnic (Ukrainian, Armenian, etc), though i haven't been to them.
When you've got 3 'Russian' parishes within 15 minutes of eachother (not to mention a Ukrainian Orthodox and a Ukrainian Catholic) I think rather than telling immigrants to get lost, the parishes should work together to serve the needs of the flock. If all pulled the same English only immigrants can assimilate or go home routine that one of the OCA parishes has then frankly there'd be barely enough folks to fill one parish.
Though, it seems to me that the 'Americianized' parishes are hurting more for members... which is odd considering most of their die hard members all remember when it was all slavonic when they were kids.
Creating barriers to English speakers is as bad though. I think you're right that there's parishes that get 'captured' by either (immigrants or converts) and start getting exclusionary.
I don't want to see ROCOR being coming an immigrant only club, but I don't think First Heirarch Metropolitan Laurus is leading us in that direction even if that's the way they MP would prefer it.
"If all pulled the same English only immigrants can assimilate or go home routine that one of the OCA parishes has then frankly there'd be barely enough folks to fill one parish."
You know, that's just awful. We have a Greek immigrant family where only the young daughter speaks English. While our Divine Liturgy stays about 40-50% Greek, those of us who speak Greek make it a point to speak Greek with them, talk about the old country and generally try to make it as easy as possible for them to feel part of everything and I think we are succeeding. Our in Ethiopian families, the kids all speak perfect Englsih, but the parents have a very hard time. One of our old Greek ladies grew up in Ethiopia (her father was a Greek doctor there) and she speaks Amharic so she talks with the parents and makes them feel welcome. This year they participated in our festival with some great Ethiopian food and were very proud to have helped the parish. Anyway, it seems to me that's the way to handle things with immigrants in the absence of a completely or nearly completely ethnic parish.
Tell you wife please that I am very sorry to hear of her experience. It is a disgrace.
The irony is that the person who said this with regards to immigrants is 3rd generation Russian.
It'd be great if someday it's commonplace to have enough Orthodox to fill 10 English parishes and a bunch of ethnic ones to boot (though still hardly an excuse for being exclusionary in either circumstance).
We're really happy with the parish we go to now. (And as much as I drown on about Slavonic hearing the Gosepl readings and Sermon in English is especially helpful)
World orthodoxy may not universally recognize the OCA's Autocephaly, but stating that it is not canonical would mean they are out of communion with the OCA, would it not?
Which churches have declared this?
In the early 1960s, the Metropolia (as it was then known) resumed communication with the Patriarch of Moscow, and in 1970 full communion was restored. At that time, the Patriarch of Moscow officially granted the OCA autocephaly, or self-governing administrative status. The OCA's autocephaly is not currently recognized by all autocephalous Orthodox Churches, including the Church of Constantinople. Churches that do recognize its autocephaly are mainly those in former Communist lands (most of which had thus come under the influence of the Church of Russia), including the Church of Russia, the Church of Bulgaria, the Church of Poland, the Church of Georgia, and the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. According to apologists for OCA autocephaly, it is common for recognition of autocephaly to be granted belatedly; however opponents regard the grant as not being within the purview of Moscow's prerogatives (see Byzantine response to OCA autocephaly).
In Libertyville, Ill., with a large Serbian population, the Divine Liturgy is offered in Slavonic and English separately. I have been to churches with mixed-language services and I can tell you that it is not the ideal situation. It is broken and for those who understand both languages it is very repetitive.
I prefer either completely English or Slavonic service because I understand both languages. I enjoy Greek liturgies and can follow them sufficiently by rote and by rudimentary understanding of liturgical Greek buzzwords.
But the fullness of the Divine Liturgy is achieved by participating actively in the entire Divine Liturgy uninterruptedly.
Some parishes try to accommodate heterogenious groups of Orthodox believers and that is charitable and good. But they should encourage these groups to either get one of their priests to visit or to establish their own parish.
A large number of Russians in my former OCA church is planning to do just that. My Serbian parish just got a full-time priest, so that was not an option either.
The weight of tradition is not to be discounted. In Serbia, vernacular is allowed in the service but most people prefer Slavonic with Apostol and Gospel readings and the homily in vernacular.
With Hispanic population increase a mathematical certainty, English may not be the only language of our children's children. So, I owuldn't place my bets on English as something set in stone.
The Jews did not find it hopeless to retain Hebrew as biblical language even though most don't speak it, and Israel re-established Hebrew that has been forgotten for more than 2,000 years, even when Christ walked the earth, and is now a living language once again.
Never forsake your roots to accommodate the world. Rejecting the language of your culture is like disowning your parents and grandparents. It means cutting off your own memory, denying where you came from and ultimately who you are. Some people don't mind losing their identity. Others do. Cultural preservation of a nation is not chauvinism.
Rather, American insistence on relativity and mixing of everything and all is patently counter-cultural, and chauvinistic in its own right. Do not think for a moment that there is no such thing as American culture. You better believe there is one, and it resists any change.
No-brainer. This is a desperate bid for relevance on the OCA's part.
M. Herman is right about this point, but you can be sure that the MP wasn't speed-dialing H for 'Herman, Help!'
The MP could do everyone a favor and pull the OCA's meaningless autocephaly.
Personally, I just want to see a canonical resolution to the situation in America. Whatever is properly agreed upon, I, like all obedient Orthodox, will accept.
An unlikely scenario, but I agree with your sentiments. Regardless, it is the MP's decision to make.
I'm not an expert in such things... how can it be canonical if major Patriarchs don't recognize it's autocephally... if they don't recognize it's autocephally what See to they feel they are a part of?
(Noting that I personally have no probs with the OCA [maybe some with the leadership, and certain immigrants need not stop by parishes but not the OCA as a whole], the parish I was baptised in was an OCA parish, and I sometimes still visit.
And then what, the OCA get's rolled into the MP churches in America? (This would seem to me to clash with most folks in the OCA... the MP seems to want more ethnic parishes, and the OCA seems to what yet-another-were-really-really-Americans-no-seriously parish)
Even if the OCA was absorbed into the MP, there'd still be disagreements as to the canonical situation in America between the EP and MP.
Well, it's like Florida proclaims independence from the US but only Uganda recognizes it. As far as the world is concerned, Florida still belongs to the US.
So does the rest of the world figure them to be ROCOR (whom they could be argued to have split from) or the MP (whom they could be argued to be an extension of)?
I don't know if it os or isn't uncanonical only what official sites I've posted quotes from say. that said the situation in america bizzare. it would seem to me if there is to be a single church in america it should be under the russian church but frankly I'm opposed to there being a single church it would just step on lots of toes and alienate a lot of people.