August 22, 2014

Rod Dreher: How to govern a Church: a case study

Rod Dreher

I want to contrast the way the institutional Catholic Church is struggling to deal with its problem bishops, versus the way the Orthodox Church in America (my church) has done it recently. It shouldn’t be necessary to say this, but I probably need to: this is not an argument for why Orthodoxy is more true than Catholicism. It is only a comment about administration. A church is both a human and a divine institution. Because of its human element, there will always be sin among its people, including its leadership. As the famous saying goes, if you find a perfect church, join it, but know that the minute you yourself walk in the door, it will cease to be perfect any longer. It is hopelessly unrealistic to expect that the clergy of any church will always be free from sin. What matters is how those in authority deal with that sin once they become aware of it. The Catholic scandal is not really over priests molesting children, but over bishops who became aware of it refusing to deal … [Read more...]

The times, they are a changin

Mets. Jonah and Hilarion

ROCOR Metropolitan, bishops, and clergy visit St. Tikhon’s Monastery SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA] -- History was made on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, as His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, visited Saint Tikhon's Monastery here. Accompanying Metropolitan Hilarion were His Grace, Bishop Jerome of Manhattan; His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield; and a delegation of over seventy clergy from ROCOR's Eastern American and New York Diocese. Metropolitan Hilarion was welcomed to the monastery by the recently elected Abbot, Igumen Sergius, after which they toured the monastery grounds, church and chapels, icon repository, and museum. … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah to lead Lenten retreat

His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah will be conducting a two day lenten retreat in the Baltimore-Washington area on the topic: Three Foundations of Orthodox Spirituality - Reaction, Resentment, and Inner Stillness The retreat is centrally located in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area at the Orthodox Church of St. Matthew in Columbia, Maryland. The retreat begins Friday evening, March 12th ,with Vespers at 7pm, a lenten dinner, and discussion. Day two begins Saturday morning, March 13th, with Liturgy, a lenten brunch, and discussion. The cost is $30 per person for both days or $20 for one day if registered before March 5th. Prices increase by $5 after March 5th. Call or write Melissa Edens at (443) 919-7091or to reserve a space today. The Orthodox Church of St. Matthew is located at 7271 Eden Brook Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah addresses St. Tikhon’s seminarians

Practical, pragmatic, teaching drawing deep from the Orthodox tradition yet contexutalized to our present circumstances, particularly our interior life. This man fulfills his apostolic calling to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. [vimeo][/vimeo] [vimeo][/vimeo] [vimeo][/vimeo] [vimeo][/vimeo] … [Read more...]

Archbishop of Canterbury receives honorary doctorate at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, January 30, 2010 Contact: Deborah Belonick, Advancement Information Officer St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary 914-961-8313 ext 363 / 914-961-4507 FAX [SVS Communications / Yonkers, NY] -- Dr. Rowan Williams began his New York City tour this past week with duties related to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, but ended it by demonstrating his academic acumen and continued interest in the Orthodox Christian faith. On Saturday, January 30, 2010, the Anglican archbishop delivered the 27th annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture - this year titled "Theology and Contemplative Calling: The Image of Humanity in the Philokalia" - and received an honorary doctoral degree on the campus of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. During his visit, Dr. Williams also attended Divine Liturgy and had a lively and frank discussion with the theological faculty of St. Vladimir's at a … [Read more...]

Sanctity of Life Observations Encouraged by Bishop BASIL

His Grace Bishop BASIL, in his St. Raphael Clergy Brotherhood newsletter on January 8, encouraged the faithful and clergy of his Diocese to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision with prayers, volunteer work with local pro-life ministries, and participation where possible in the Washington D.C. March for Life. His Grace writes: FRIDAY, JANUARY 22nd will mark the 37th anniversary of the infamous decision given by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case known as "Roe v. Wade." Please find below two links about how Orthodox Christians will observe that day: 1. Read the invitation issued to all Orthodox Christians from METROPOLITAN JONAH of the Orthodox Church in America: His Beatitude will head the large crowd of Orthodox Christians who will gather in Washing, DC from throughout our nation to participate in the 2010 National March for Life.. 2. Schedule to serve the "Service of Supplication for the Sanctity of Life" with your … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah offers condolences to Coptic Pope Shenouda after Christmas eve murders

SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- As widely reported in the international media, six Coptic Orthodox Christians and a Muslim security guard died in a drive-by shooting in front of the Church of Saint John in Nag Hamadi, Egypt, after services on January 6, 2010, the eve of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord according to the Julian calendar. The attack, the latest in a series of similar incidents to rock the predominantly Muslim country, was the worst to target Christians in nearly a decade. Copts make up about 10 percent of the nation's population of 80 million. Two days after the incident, three suspects surrendered to police, who continue to face mounting pressure to resolve the escalating number of sectarian disputes. Human rights groups say sectarian violence has been on the rise in Egypt. Amnesty International reports that attacks on the Coptic Christian community left eight people dead in 2008. … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah urges faithful to join DC March for Life

Met. Jonah at the March for Life in 2009

WASHINGTON, DC [OCA] -- Orthodox Christians everywhere -- especially those within driving distance of the US capital -- are being encouraged to bear witness to their faith at the annual March for Life on Friday, January 22, 2010. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah has issued a special invitation encouraging youth and young adults to join him in proclaiming that all life is indeed a gift from God. The faithful are asked to gather by noon under the "Orthodox Christians for Life" banner to the left of the stage at the Ellipse, between the Washington Monument and the national Mall. Metropolitan Jonah will be the first of several speakers to address the public at the pre-March program. At the conclusion of the March, Metropolitan Jonah will offer prayers for the victims of abortion. On Thursday, January 21, the eve of the March, the faithful are encouraged to join Metropolitan Jonah for Vespers at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, 3500 Massachusetts Ave. NW, at 7:00 p.m. A reception will … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah: Why I signed the Manhattan Declaration


Met. Jonah explains why he signed the Manhattan Declaration. H/T Peter and Helen Evans Interviewer: Why did you sign the Manhattan Declaration? Met. Jonah: ...I believe in the same basic principles that are enunciated in the Manhattan Declaration. I believe also that many of them are the basic teachings of the Church regarding human life and how we are supposed to live -- first and foremost the stance on pro-life, the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, and how critically important it is to protect that every step of the way... See the complete interview and more interviews with Orthodox signers (and others) on the Peter and Helen Evans website (website under construction). … [Read more...]

The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience


At noon today a group of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant leaders unveiled a document called "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" that affirms the traditional Christian teaching concerning abortion, homosexual marriage, and religious freedom. The Declaration asserts that these three issues (sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and freedom of worship) are under assault in western Democracies and call Christians into non-violent resistance against the injustices and, if necessary, non-violent non-compliance with the laws that would require a Christian to violate his conscience. (Read full text.) The Declaration opens: We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are (1) the sanctity of human life, (2) the dignity of marriage as the … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Laity – Road to Unity (Audio)


The 2009 Road to Unity conference held at Antiochian Village in October 2009. The format was “conversational” in nature with panels, questions, and interaction between the attendees. Recorded by Ancient Faith Radio. Metropolitan Jonah - Unity in Our Time (38:10) OCA Primate Met Jonah gives the keynote address at the OCL Road to Unity conference. ++++++++++ New Face of American Orthodoxy - Alexei Kindratch (36:04) Alexei Krindatch is a director for research with the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkley, CA. ++++++++++ Panel 1 - Orthodox Unity at Work and in Service (64:56) The moderator for all of the panels is Fr. John Cassar from Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church in Princeton, NJ. This panel focused on responding to real needs including educational and outreach programs that demonstrate the Unity of the Orthodox Christian Church in America. Panelists: Fr. Justin Matthews - Director of Focus North America Sister Sarah … [Read more...]

More reflections on the OCL conference

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble offers more thoughts on the recent OCL conference. Fr. Peter writes: The first point, and I said this in my sermon yesterday, is that I believe the American Orthodox Church is on the cusp of greatness. I think we are standing in the door way of a new something (I can't seem to find the right word) -- generation maybe, era perhaps, explosion...not really sure. I say this because we have some great young leaders emerging in the church. People like Metropolitan Jonah, Fr. Justin Matthews of FOCUS North America and others are injecting new excitement and energy into the American Church. We are at the threshold of becoming a truly American Church and not just a small immigrant community. I am reminded of the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Boston. The signs used to read "Irish Need Not Apply" Then the church came into her own. The Roman Church under the leadership of visionaries like Richard Cushing of Boston. Cardinal Cushing had a vision for … [Read more...]