October 20, 2014

Krindatch: 2010 Orthodox Census “Orthodox Reality in America”

Download Orthodox Reality in America (2010 8 mb. PPT)

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    George Michalopulos says:

    Thanks for the powerpoint. Notice that I estimated the actual number of GOA adherents as 105K but the power-point puts it at 125K. I’d gladly concede that point to Krindatch.

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    Chris says:

    For the life of me, I will never understand the support of abortion in the Orthodox Church.

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      Eliot Ryan says:

      Chris:
      The Orthodox Church does not support abortion. Perhaps you are talking about politicians who call themselves Orthodox Christians and at the same time are pro-abortion. They are doing a two-fold evil: scandalizing those who know what being a Christian entails and confusing those who do not. The Catholic Church, likewise, does not support abortion.
      MY JUDGMENT BEFORE GOD (Dr. Gloria Polo’s testimony)

      Abortion Is the Gravest Sin; It Is the Most Terrible of All
      Every time that the blood of a baby is scattered, it is a holocaust to Satan, who acquires in this way still more power. And this soul cries out. I repeat, we are dealing with a mature adult soul, even though it does not yet have eyes, nor flesh, nor a formed body… It is already completely adult. And this his cry so great, while they kill him, devastates all of Heaven. On the contrary, it is a cry of jubilation and of triumph in hell. The only comparison that comes to my mind is the finals of a world soccer championship: imagine all that euphoria, but in an enormous stadium, so immense so as to loose sight of the boundaries, full of devils who cry out like crazy beings their triumph.

      They, the devils, threw on me the blood of those babies that I aborted or that I contributed in killing, and my soul became black, completely black.

      After the abortions, I thought by now that I no longer had sins… The saddest thing was, instead, to see that Jesus showed me how, also in my family planning, I was killing… Do you know why? I was using the IUD (intrauterine device) as a contraceptive. From 16 years old, up to the day that the lightning bolt struck me! I took it out only when I wanted to get pregnant, (once married), to then put it immediately back afterwards.

      I want to say to all the women who use these intrauterine devices: yes, they provoke abortions! I know that it happens to many women, – because it happened also to me – , to see often clots of blood rather large during the menstrual period, and to feel pain much stronger than normal. We go to the doctor, who does not give much importance to the fact: he prescribes a painkiller, an injection if the pains are too strong, telling us to not worry, that it is normal, because we are dealing with a foreign body, but there is no problem. Do you know what it is, instead? It is a micro abortion!!! Yes! Micro-abortion! The intrauterine devices provoke micro-abortions, because as soon as the ovum and the sperm unite, as I already told you, right from that moment is formed a soul, that does not need to grow, being already adult: these devices do not let the fertilized ovum to implant itself into the uterus, which thus dies. That soul is expulsed! For this we are dealing with a micro-abortion. A micro-abortion is an adult soul, completely formed, which was not permitted to live. It was very painful to see how many babies were fertilized, but then expulsed. These little suns, originating from the Sun of God the Father, these divine sparks, could not grab on to the uterus due to the IUD. How they cried out, while they were torn out from the hands of God the Father because they could not implant themselves!!! It was a dreadful scene…! And the worst is that I could not say that I did not know!

      When I would go to Mass, I would not pay attention to what the priest said. I did not even listen, and if they might had asked me which verses of the Gospel had been read, I would not have known what to respond. You must know in fact that the devils are present even at the Mass, in order to distract us, to make us fall asleep, to impede us to listen. Well, in one of these Masses during which I was totally distracted, my Guardian Angel gave me a jolt and she uncorked my ears, so that I might listen to what the priest was saying in that moment: I heard him precisely speaking about intrauterine devices! He said that they provoked abortion, and that all the women who used them to control the births, actually were aborting; that the Church defends life, and that anyone who does not defend life cannot receive Communion! Hence, all the women who are using this method, cannot take Communion!

      How I heard those words, I became infuriated with the priest! But what kind of things do these priests have in their heads? With what right?! For this the Church does not go forward! It is for this and for that, that the churches are empty! Of course, because it is not with science! But who do they think they are, these priests? Do they think that they will give food to eat to all of these children that we might have?… I left the church infuriated!

      The bad thing was that, while I was being judged before God, I could not say that I did not know! In fact, notwithstanding the words of the priest, I did not give heed, and I continued to use the IUD!

      How many babies I had killed? … Here is the motive for which I was living so depressed! Because my womb, instead of being a font of life, it was transformed into a cemetery, in a “slaughterhouse” of babies! Think about it: a mother, who God conceded the immense gift of giving life, to take care of her own baby, to protect it from everything and everyone, precisely that mother, with all these gifts, kills her little child…!

      The devil, with his malefic strategy, has brought humanity to the point of killing their own children. Now I understand the reason why I lived in continual bitterness, depression, always ill tempered, ill-mannered, with ugly ways of doing things, with a bad face, frustrated with everything and with everyone. Of course! I had transformed myself, without knowing it, into a machine to kill babies, and for this reason I was sinking ever more into the abyss. Abortion is the worst of all the sins (those provoked, not when it is spontaneous), because to kill the children still in the womb of the mother, to kill a little innocent and defenseless creature, is to give power to Satan. The devil commands from the depths of the abyss, because we are scattering innocent blood! A baby is like an innocent lamb and without stain… And Who is the Lamb without stain? It is Jesus! In that moment, the baby is the image and likeness of Jesus! The fact that it might be the mother herself to kill her own child, determines a profound bond with the darkness, permitting that more devils from hell might come out to destroy and strangle humanity. It is as if one might open the seals… Seals that God has put to impede evil to come out, but that, for every abortion, it opens… And so horrible larvae come out, so that there are more and more devils… They come out to chase and persecute humanity, and then make us slaves of the flesh, of sin, of all the bad things that we see, and we will see always more. It is as if we might give the key of hell to the devils, to let them escape. And so escape more devils, of prostitution, of sexual aberrations, of Satanism, of atheism, of suicide, of indifference… Of all the evils that we see around us. And the world is getting worse every day… Think how many babies are killed every day: it is all a triumph of the evil one! That you might know that for the price of this innocent blood, the number of devils outside of hell grows; they circulate freely in our midst! Let us take shelter! … We sin without even realizing it! And our life transforms itself into an inferno, with problems of every type, with sicknesses, with so many evils that afflict us; all of this is the pure and simple action of the devil in our life. But it is we, we alone, that open the gates of evil, with our sin, and we permit him to freely circulate in our life. It is not only with abortion that we sin! … But it is among the worst sins. And then we have the nerve to blame God for so much misery, so much disgrace, so much sicknesses and so much suffering!

      … But God, in His infinite Goodness, still gives us the sacrament of Reconciliation, and we have the opportunity to repent and to wash our sin in confession, breaking in this way the strings that tie us to Satan, and his influence in our life. In this way we can wash our soul. … But in my case, I did not do it!

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        George Michalopulos says:

        Eliot, this is a profound testimony. There is much wisdom there. I’ve long since eschewed using the term “pro-choice” for this very reason. These people are mosly “pro-abortion.” They want women to have abortions. Why? Perhaps because this is how Satan increases his power over the world.

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          Eliot Ryan says:

          George:
          I truly believe that God is VERY powerful. There is only one thing that He cannot do: He cannot save us against our own will. His patient towards us is so astounding … He has to deal with the worst kind of deafness and blindness, that of a man who refuses to hear and to see.

          Saint Peter of Damascus

          And, so there we have it: the crux of man’s raison d’être, his reason for being, his reason for having been created by God. Man possesses the gift of free will and therefore he may choose to plunge into the ephemeral pleasures and glories of this world, or he may direct himself, by self discipline, towards the eternal rewards of the world to come. May all of us choose wisely! May all of us reject the wiles of this world and choose instead that which is everlasting!

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    Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

    Chris, the reason is this: Almost an entire generation of adults in the GOA have not been catechized. I’m speaking here of adults well into their sixties and younger. Part of the reason is historical. Before the cultural split between Church and society, a lot of instruction happened almost inadvertently. Many children learned from their grandparents, for example. Yia-yia and papou did the work of the priest.

    Then the split between religion and culture occurred (it is true in Greece too), and the older generation did not pass it on what it learned. The Church took on a secularization by osmosis, building new temples and social halls, etc. and thereby creating an appearance of vibrancy but neglecting the weightier things, a decision the cost of which is only now becoming evident especially in the hemorrhaging of our youth although some have been warning of it for decades.

    The last fifteen years has seen an effort to rebuild the cultural identity. This is destined to fail however because it ignores that the core of the culture they are trying to preserve is the Orthodox faith. Faith informed culture in the old schema, not the other way around. The new approach (culture informing faith) is simply not strong enough to sustain the Church — to build bulwarks against the secular juggernaut and strengthen those that remain — because it ignores the fundamental precept that religion is wellspring of culture.

    Thus, accommodations were made that has led to the present confusion, many of which we have chronicled here: feting of pro-abortion politicians, construing fads as preeminent moral issues such as global warming, presenting Hellenism and Orthodoxy as two separate cultural and historical streams, and so forth.

    So now we have a new generation in deep moral confusion. A friend of mine, a priest in the GOA told me a story a few days ago about a law professor who approached him when he mentioned in a sermon that homosexual behavior was considered sinful in the Orthodox moral tradition. Her response: “Father, aren’t you restricted from talking about politics from the pulpit?” Never mind that the First Amendment didn’t enter the thinking of a law professor. Worry more that she has no idea of what the tradition teaches and then challenges the priest when he teaches it.

    Keep in mind that many priests see this problem and are working hard in spite of the barriers they face. But the problem is actually one of vision and comprehension of the function and purpose of the Church. As long as the bifurcation between Christ and culture exists on the higher levels, the door by which secular ideals have entered remains open, and the moral confusion it creates that informs your complaint will continue.

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      Harry Coin says:

      Fr. Hans: I wonder whether we are seeing above another aspect of ‘central government expansion’ not just into the moral space you mention but into every available space. You demonstrate above an expansion into the moral space, we see an expansion into the commercial and the financial and the medical spaces, for years we have seen an expansion into the educational space. To include this exploitation of the concept ‘rights’ from a description of what life opportunities must not be encroached into, well, it’s a parody but it starts to feel like the next one will be ‘everyone has a right to free beer’. Soon not even the important rights will be distinguished from the ersatz foolery and I fear the loss of many of them. The echo of that in your case was the professor subordinating general free speech to the dynamics of a particular issue.

      The various people active in those spaces have either retreated or been pushed into smaller roles, while this central authority enlarges.

      I wonder whether this is what needs must happen when the middle class shrinks in a democratic context.

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        Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

        As soon as the majority of the middle class switches to an entitlement mentality, the country is doomed. We will end up like France, shutting down the country because a sacrifice is need to maintain solvency (if you call raising the retirement age to 62 a sacrifice) while parts of Paris burn at the hands of Muslim radicals, or like England where some courts now function under Sharia Law.

        Or maybe we will sentence ourselves to sterility, embracing destructive novelties such as homosexual coupling constituting a marriage, our arrogance blinding us to the most elementary wisdom of the ages.

        It starts where you indicated however, a centralizing of assets so that the decisions with the deepest reach into private life can be made by technocrats and others who are convinced they know what is best for you and me, a soft tyranny that ends up in the same place as the brutal regimes that this nation fought against in the last century. Solzhenitsyn warned us in his Harvard Address that the philosophical materialism that ravaged Eastern Europe can also ravage “free” Europe, although the former was imposed by force while the latter is embraced by men without chests seeking their own abolition.

        “But Father, aren’t you restricted from speaking about political issues?” Well, no, not really, as long as I conform myself to the spirit of the age.

        The men who signed the Manhattan Declaration understand the danger.

         

         

         

         

         

         

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    Chris says:

    Great posts!

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    cynthia curran says:

    Well, the problem is convinced people that are not that religous that abortion is wrong philosophy. It was easier in earlier times since it as very dangerous. One reason that the old Justinian Code outlawed it.

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    alexis banias says:

    Thank you for the Orthodox Study above as it is quite sad and sobering. I had read an article in the excellent Catholic academic journal, “First Things,” that 6% of voters in the last presidential election had voted on one issue, and that was abortion. I recall in the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 7 – if I am not mistaken – that there are seven things God absolutely detests, and one of them is the shedding of innocent blood. How dare those who are in favor of abortion call themselves “Christians,” let alone “Orthodox Christians!” Are we not to approach the Holy Eucharist believing the Holy Orthodox Church in its entirety?! I guess a majority of the Orthodox have become “Cafeteria Catholics.” And it is incumbent upon the clergy and hierarchy to sternly rebuke as well as constantly hammer from the pulpit the essentials of our faith, if not excommunicate. Otherwise, we are just playing games in the church militant. There is absolutely no reason why each and every Orthodox pulpit prior to the 2008 presidential election was not resounding with the admonishments regarding the right to life, the defense of traditional marriage, and those politicians who support the perversions of such sacred institutions, for “politics is nothing more than private views held in the public domain.” And we wonder why Orthodox Evangelism is struggling in the American Public Square? All other problems aside, the Orthodox Church here is not even united!

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    alexis banias says:

    We will be held accountable on the Last Day of who we had elected to office.

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      George Michalopulos says:

      Alexis, I agree with you. Unfortunately, when have we in the colonial eparchies ever “voted” on those “elected to office” that is say, our bishops, who should have been catechising us lo these many years?

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    alexis banias says:

    George:

    I know I haven’t been too kind to the protestants, but I do believe in the “radical remnant” of Christians who are going to be saved. And they run the gamut of American Denominational Christianity. If I hear something right on theologically or practically, no matter what denomination, I will applaud, which brings me to my next point. Pastor John Hagee from Cornerstone Bible Church did an absolutely powerful 3-part sermon entitled, “Vote the Bible,” two years ago before the presidential election. I would really like to send this 3-part c.d. series to you, if you could provide me with your business address or other. I think you would appreciate it, and maybe we could discuss it.

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    alexis banias says:

    Pastor Hagee’s 3-part sermon on “Vote the Bible” should have been the blueprint for every “Christian” sermon preached behind every pulpit in every church in America prior to Obama’s election. It is absolutely powerful! When I had heard it, I couldn’t understand why Orthodox clergy weren’t preaching the same things during that time.

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    George Michalopulos says:

    Very well said, Alexis. Speaking of Pastor Hagee, I’ve had my problems with much of his eschatology, but I’ve seen him grow, especially in his reconsideration of historical Christianity (he used to be quite the anti-Constininian)>

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    alexis banias says:

    Wow! I hope all posters are listening to the above 1978 Harvard Address by the great Solzhenitsyn, once a captain in the soviet army who publicly criticized Stalin himself during his reign of terror full well knowing the ramifications of such an outburst. I have always held Sir Aleksandr in the highest respect, and I thank Father Jacobse and this website for allowing me to listen to this man’s wisdom, eloquence and astute observations.

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    cynthia curran says:

    Well, I found the Solzhenitsyn speech a bit of prohency. Speaking of Vietnam ,my father was in the Korean war and the Korean war was a draw. Think of what happen to the North today compared to the south. Also, having legal questions about dealing with terroristism is defintely wrong and the lack of a will to fight a war, look at the two current wars, people can question why we are there but there seems to be a lack of will. Also, the recession means that people that have been out of work for a long time expect the government to provide for them since as the speech mention americans are use to that. I believe that those on the right that want Obama to failed are unfortunely find out that almost a 10 percent unemployment rate will make it harder to eliminate the growth of the welfare state and make it hard to succeded against it. Think back to the Great Depression that was the effect of a prolong period of high unemploymnet.

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    cynthia curran says:

    I agree with Solzhenitisyn Europe didn’t need Stalin to help defeated Hitler. In fact, Stalins alliance with Hitler cause his own people to suffer in terms of millions that were killed by nazis or straved by the bombers of the Germans, and the suffering of Poland and other Eastern European nations. He is right about China but I doubt he knew they would as wealthly as they are today even if their people still have a lot less money than westerners.

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  1. [...] October 18, 2010 by Adam In 2010 a brand new, expertly managed census was taken about the Orthodox Churches in the United States. Overall there are now approximately .005% of Americans in Orthodox churches! But there are many other fascinating and surprising stats! Take a look at the power point of this new census here. [...]

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