August 30, 2014

When Orthodox Bishops Spoke Boldly: Clear Teaching on Marriage and Family

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Source: The Voice Blog | Chris Banescu The current societal moral collapse and the intensifying attacks on traditional marriage and the family were foreseen by previous generations of bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Approximately 40 years ago, the Holy Synod of the OCA issued an Encyclical Letter on Marriage warning their flocks of the dangers posed by an increasingly secularized world and re-affirming the traditional, biblical, and orthodox teaching on marriage. The clarity of their teaching, boldness of their condemnation, and prophetic dimensions of their preaching are undeniable. These shepherds saw the “signs of the times.” They discerned the growing darkness and corruption all around them and the seriousness of the cultural battles to come. They forewarned the faithful that the “moral foundations of society are collapsing.” They understood the ultimate consequences of a society that abandons its moral principles, abuses its freedoms, embraces the evil of … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah: Encyclical on Marriage and the Moral Limits of Human Sexuality

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July 28, 201 Beloved Fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ, If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10) In our own lifetimes we were blessed by an act of prophetic witness in July 1992, when the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America issued the magnificent “Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life.” Two decades later we Orthodox who live in the diocese that includes our nation’s capital city need to be reminded of some of the … [Read more...]

His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH Addresses the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Washington [VIDEO] [CLOSED]

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Talk given by Met. Jonah at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) on Sunday, February 27, 2011. TRANSCRIPT Dearly Beloved in Christ, I greet you with the feast of the Last Judgment as we prepare ourselves for the Great and Holy Lenten Fast. It is with sadness today that I address you, not because of the content of what I have to say, but because of the manner in which it needs to be said. As many of you know, in line with the longstanding tradition in the church of an intensified prayer life during Lent, I as a diocesan bishop, requested from my brothers on the Holy Synod to set aside a period of time for myself during the Great Fast to spend in personal reflection and renewal. Due to the complexity of my work and travel schedule since my becoming Metropolitan, this will be the first extended period of rest that I have taken in quite some time. I am extremely grateful to my brothers for granting me this request, and for taking on the burden of added responsibility to … [Read more...]

Holy Synod Announces Changes [CLOSED]

Orthodox Church in America

Posted on OCA.org 02/25 SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- From February 22-24, 2011, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America participated in a retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH led the hierarchs in a review of matters affecting the life of the Orthodox Church in America, including the OCA strategic plan, preparations for the upcoming Assembly of Bishops and plans for the 16th All American Council in Seattle. During their retreat, His Beatitude presented a request to the Holy Synod for a time of personal retreat and spiritual renewal. The Holy Synod granted His Beatitude’s request for a period of 60 days and appointed the senior Hierarch, His Eminence, Archbishop NATHANIEL, of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate to assist in the temporary administration of the OCA during His Beatitude’s retreat. As an additional means of assistance to His Beatitude, the Holy Synod relieved him from his responsibilities as Locum Tenens for the dioceses of … [Read more...]

OCANews.org: +Jonah Placed on Leave of Absence by Synod [CLOSED]

Metropolitan Jonah

This report is from OCANews.org and recently posted. Obviously there is a significant degree of tension between Syosset (OCA headquarters) and Met. Jonah. I don't know the ins and outs of the OCA, but it appears that this report, given the extensive detail, was probably prepared for publication before the suspension (the part beginning with "How Did This Happen?" reads as if it was carefully constructed and edited; it would have taken considerably more than a few hours to write). In any case, the story is taking shape. • Fate of Fr. Garklavs, Chancellor, as yet unconfirmed According to a report from Geneva on the Greek website Romofea.org late last evening, citing “exclusive information” from unamed sources, Metropolitan Jonah has been removed as the Primate, and Archbishop Nathaniel has been named Temporary Administrator by the OCA Synod of Bishops. Earlier in the day the retired Bishop of Los Angeles, Tikhon posted a … [Read more...]

The Episcopal Assembly, the OCA, and the future Orthodox Church of the USA

By Fr. Thomas Hopko It’s not clear what is now happening for the establishment of an autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States made up of the member churches of the former SCOBA. These are my questions: What concrete steps are now being taken to establish an autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States that would be recognized as a “sister church” by all the autocephalous Orthodox churches in the world? What can Orthodox Christians in North America and around the world expect the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria to do with their North American “jurisdictions” to establish this self-governing Orthodox Church of the USA? How will the future Orthodox Church of the USA relate to the dioceses and parishes in Canada and south of the US border that are now in North American “jurisdictions”? And why should there be any problems regarding the OCA and its place in the US Episcopal Assembly and in the future Orthodox … [Read more...]

OCA releases strategic plan for public comment

Source: OCA Website SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- The "Working Draft of a Strategic Plan for the Orthodox Church in America," prepared by the Strategic Planning Committee of the OCA's Metropolitan Council, is now available on-line in PDF format on the OCA web site at www.oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2010/2010-0624-strategicplan-v4.6.pdf. The committee, which includes clergy and lay members representing a broad geographic spectrum, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Council and the Holy Synod of Bishops to develop a draft Strategic Plan for the OCA. According to the introduction to the Working Draft, "the goal is to provide an initial version of the plan in time for discussion and perhaps adoption at the 16th All-American Council in the fall of 2011." As such, the draft is designed to elicit feedback from all segments of the Church. Based on the feedback received, the plan will be revised. "This Strategic Plan is meant to be roadmap for us, as the Church, as we continue to witness to God's … [Read more...]

The Bishops Are Coming To New York, As Complex Diaspora Question Looms

Fr. Mark Arey

Read closely. What are the greatest fears? The autocephaly of the OCA (wild card) and the Ligonier Council (precedent). The times are changing folks. The lumbering bureaucratic structures that have sublimated the nascent creativity and energy of American Orthodoxy under the weight Old World self-interest might be loosing their grip. There is more anxiety here than is being revealed. +++++++++++++++++++++ The National Herald, Friday, May 21, 2010 By Theodore Kalmoukos Nearly 60 hierarchs will descend on New York from May 26-28 for the first Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops from the United States, Canada and Central America, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Demetrios of America, and the stage has been set for some clashes about the direction the church should take, and the role of self-rule of some. The Assembly will convene at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, and its expense will be assumed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, through the Leadership 100 grant to the … [Read more...]

Abp. Nathaniel of Detroit: Orthodoxy in North America

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Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America “The demands upon our Church’s life by an un-believing society do not allow for any further delay in this process.” Ligonier: Statement on the Church in North America, 1994 I. Three Autocephalous North American Churches. The Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Commission determined that the Church on the North American Continent region would cover three sovereign nations: Canada, The Republic of Mexico and The United States. Although it seems that we are to accept this as a given, hierarchs, clergy and faithful of Canada, Mexico and The United States must reject this arbitrary determination. First, if church administration is based on region, then each of these nations must be respected as a sovereign nation. Regionally speaking, two of them are each larger than all of Europe, let alone of “orthodox” nations, and Mexico is larger than many of the nations individually given as a region. Second, each nation already … [Read more...]

Looks like Met. Jonah is serious about correcting past errors

I don't know the details of the conflict mentioned in the release below and don't need to know. What is notable is the apology of a chief hierarch of the Church. Please, don't post the details of the conflict. They will be deleted. Instead, be encouraged by Metropolitan Jonah's frank apology. This is good leadership. ++++++++++++++++++++ SYOSSET, NY [OCA] – After discussions that took place at the joint session of the Lesser Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America at the Chancery here during the first week of March 2010, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah issued the following statement. … [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...]

Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky: Archbishop Job and the Struggle for Light

Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky

More accolades about the courage of Abp. Job facing up to corruption in the Church. As an outsider looking in, it was clear that Abp. Job's increasingly clear voice that the corruption in the OCA needed the disinfectant that only the light of transparency would allow started to break through when he mustered the courage to speak out. I could see it was not easy on the man. Perhaps it contributed to his early death. I could see too it was a role he did not choose for himself but circumstances cast it upon him, and he did not disown the commission. He took it on reluctantly with some missteps along the way but for this he can be forgiven. Lesser men shrink under the challenge but Abp. Job found his voice. His courage clearly fostered the courage of others and opened the door for a renewal in a Church beleaguered by such grave malfeasance that its future was in doubt. Now is a new day. May his memory be eternal. ++++++++++++++++++++++ H/T: ocanews.org “The light shines in … [Read more...]