July 24, 2014

Patriarch Kirill’s birthday greetings to Metropolitan Jonah

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulates the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on his 50th birthday. Source: Moscow Patriarchate. Your Beatitude, Beloved Brother and Concelebrant in the Lord: I wholeheartedly greet and congratulate you on the your 50th birthday. On this day, I lift up an ardent prayer to God for you and remember with warmth the moments of our fraternal fellowship during your official visit to the Russian Orthodox Church, which enabled us to experience once again the spiritual and historical kindred of our two Churches. Your jubilee is a feast not only for the Orthodox Church in America but also for the Moscow Patriarchate tied with the life of the American Orthodox by historical bonds. May the Lord Who has place on you the heavy burden of primatial service of the Orthodox Church in America bless your primatial efforts and multiply and strengthen your God-loving flock. I prayerfully wish you good health and inexhaustible … [Read more...]

Report: Anglicans and OCA to work for unity

Update: (10/11) Ancient Faith Radio has the audio from, “In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton - Anglican and Orthodox Identity, Ministry and Mission in the 21th Century,” the Anglican-Orthodox Conference featuring discussions and addresses by representatives of St. Vladimir's Seminary and Nashotah House. Listen here. The History of Anglican/Orthodox Relations Fr. Stephen Platt moderated and the speakers were Fr. Chad Hatfield and Fr. Arnold Klukas. Anglican/Orthodox Enculturation Mrs. Glynn Mackoul moderated and the speakers were Fr. William Olnhausen and Fr. Jack Gabig. Bishops and Mission Fr. Chad Hatfield moderated and the speakers were Bishop Melchizedek and Bishop Frank Lyons. Anglican/Orthodox Theological Training Fr. Arnold Klukas moderated and the speakers were Fr. Chad Hatfield and Dean Munday The Future of Anglican and Orthodox Relations Both Deans moderated and the speakers were Archbishop William Duncan and Metropolitan … [Read more...]

OCA: First, proclaim the Gospel

Orthodox Church in America

From OCA News on Tuesday's start of the fall sessions of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America and the OCA's Metropolitan Council: In addressing the strategic plan, Metropolitan Council members entered into a long and passionate discussion about the mission and vision of the OCA. It was observed that in recent times the mission of the Church has become identified almost exclusively with the idea of a unified Church in North America. Members of the Council stated that, while Church unity is desirable and must be a goal in the life of the OCA, Church structures are far less important than the proclamation of the Gospel. Evangelization must be the Church's first priority, and this is work that is not dependent on, or has to wait for, a unfied Orthodox body in North America. It was also stressed that Evangelization must focus on the culture, or more accurately the cultures, within North America, in particular on those segments of society which are yet … [Read more...]

‘Brotherly, prayerful relations’ for ROCOR & OCA

An interview with Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, was published on the ROCOR Web site. The metropolitan was interviewed by Alexander Bondarev, editor of the magazine Tribuna russkoj mysli [Tribune of Russian Thought], and by Anataly Stepanov, editor of the information agency Russkaja linija [Russian Line]. (HT: Byzantine, Texas). Metropolitan Hilarion discusses relations with the OCA and preparations for an "8th ecumenical council." Full text available here. Editors: Vladyka, we know that there are conversations with the Orthodox Church in America now. What is the direction they will be taking? What decisions might we expect with regard to the relationship between ROCOR and the OCA? Metropolitan Hilarion: Upon reconciliation between the Russian Church Abroad and the Russian Orthodox Church in the Fatherland, the question arose about our relationship with the Orthodox Church in … [Read more...]

The One Thing Needful

Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah at the Beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year. September 1, 2009 To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America The Lord said: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Luke 4:18f. Dearly Beloved in Christ: The Blessing of the Lord be upon you! As we celebrate the Church's New Year, we meditate on the Gospel for this day, where the Lord went to Nazareth and was handed the Scriptures, and read the above. He then said, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." The question we have to ask ourselves is, How is this fulfilled in my life? How have I entered into the Lord's ministry, … [Read more...]

Church Landscape Begins to Change in North America

Ed. We tend to avoid speculation at AOI blog but this tidbit caught our eye. HT: Orthodox England. As a result of a teleconference on 1 July, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America has divided its Washington and New York Diocese into two. This means that it has changed the title of its head, Metropolitan Jonah. He is now to be known as ‘Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of all America and Canada’. This change means that there is now no overlap between Metropolitan Jonah’s title and that of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America. This appears to be the beginning of further profound transformations in the Orthodox Church landscape of North America and indeed worldwide. We remind readers that the former head of the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in North America, Archbishop Mercurius, was earlier this year removed to Moscow and has not been replaced. … [Read more...]

OCA Holy Synod reestablishes Diocese of Washington and Diocese of New York-New Jersey – Orthodox Church in America

July 2, 2009 SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On July 1, 2009, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America met via teleconference, during which they reestablished, as separate dioceses, the Diocese of Washington and the Diocese of New York-New Jersey. Declaring the Diocese of New York-New Jersey vacant, the hierarchs appointed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, to serve as Locum Tenens. The Holy Synod of Bishops also decided that His Beatitude's title, effective immediately, is "Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada." An official notification of these changes will be issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops shortly. … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah addresses the future of Orthodoxy in America

Address given at the SVS conference on Orthodoxy unity in America, June 20, 2009. Highlight: Met. Jonah introduces into official discourse the need to de-imperialize Orthodox ecclesiology. 1917 Council and Tomos: St Tikhon’s Vision Then and Now The Great Council of 1917, and the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church that it began, are aspects of the de-imperialization of the Orthodox Church and its canonical structures. This began a process of the transcendence of the imperial domination of Orthodox ecclesiology, which reigned from Constantine and Theodosius to Nicholas II, and the beginning of the adaptation to a new era in which the Church is independent of the state. This was the beginning of a new conciliar vision, which has developed significantly over the past century. What it did is to set up a new set of structural and canonical interpretations, demanding a worldwide rethinking of Orthodox ecclesiology. The fruit of this vision, partially, is the … [Read more...]

The Perplexing Problem of Obtaining an Accurate Census of Orthodox Faithful Living in America

Hartford Institute for Religion Research HT: Orthodox Christian Laity A Quick Question How many Eastern Orthodox are there in the USA? The quick answer: Far less than usually reported. The longer answer: According to a recent study of Orthodoxy in the United States, the real membership (number of adult adherents and their children) in all Eastern Christian Churches in the USA can be estimated at about 1,200,000 persons. This figure is considerably less than the commonly accepted estimations, which range as high as over four million. The greatest disproportions between "claimed" and actual memberships were found in the two largest Orthodox jurisdictions: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (typically claimed 1,954,500* members versus 440,000 actual adherents) Orthodox Church in America (1,000,000* versus 115,000 actual adherents)* membership figures are from the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, National Council of Churches, 2000. The most likely reason for … [Read more...]

Servants of Each Other

orrologion says it's time to open the windows of our Orthodox house and let in some fresh air: I for one am glad that these sorts of conversations are being had. They reveal us. Our creation myths can be challenged. Our skewed views of ourselves can be corrected. Greeks can hear how they are perceived; Russians and Americans and Arabs likewise. We're all used to the smell of our own stink; we forgive our own pet sins, but not others'. We can see how our actions (and lack of actions) hurt others, and we can change (hopefully). We can compare and contrast our strengths and weaknesses, our love, our piety, our good works, patience, kindness. We can learn from each other and grow. We can live rather than simply preserve and grasp. We can see how Orthodoxy is not only what I grew up with, what 'my' spiritual father told, what Prof./Fr../Geronda/Vladyka said it was - we can see Orthodoxy is bigger than my family, my clan, my tribe, my culture, my opinions, my theological clique. Our … [Read more...]

Fr. Jensen: Where is the leadership?

On his blog Koinonia, Fr. Gregory Jensen responds to the Holy Cross faculty letter which, he says, "reflects no serious criticism of the failures of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to provide effective leadership either in the United States much less world wide." Excerpt: In my view, I think that the leadership of the Ecumenical Throne and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has been mixed at best. The events leading up to the autocephaly of the OCA are illustrative of this. When the old Metropolia approached the Ecumenical Patriarchate ASKING for assistance in regularizing its relationship with the rest of the Orthodox Church, it was told that it had to address its concerns to the Moscow Patriarchate. It did and the result was the creation in 1970 of the OCA. Far from being a rejection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate the OCA was the fruit of the Ecumenical Throne's unwillingness to involve herself in the life of the Church in America. Another failure to take a leadership … [Read more...]

ROCOR-OCA: Time to heal?

A report from the regular session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, held May 5-7 in New York, discloses a plan to form a joint commission with the Orthodox Church in America to discuss issues that have kept the Churches apart. HT: Joe. The report says: It was also decided to form a commission to study the relationship with the Orthodox Church in America and to hold joint meetings to discuss the sources of the division between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the American Metropoliate. Included in this commission are Bishop George, President; Archimandrite Luke (Murianka); Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Secretary; Protopriest David Moser and Priest Peter Jackson. The commission is to study and present findings on the reasons for the division and to evaluate the mutual accusations, and propose methods of healing the separation. … [Read more...]