July 28, 2014

Our Best Chance Yet: A historical reflection on administrative unity

HT: Orthodox News By Matthew Namee We’ve tried this before. Over the past century or so, there have been no fewer than five attempts to bring the various ethnic Orthodox jurisdictions in America into some measure of administrative unity. Next week, from May 26-28, we embark upon a sixth effort — an effort which, compared to its predecessors, seems remarkably promising. First, of course, there were the Russians. In the early 20th century, the Russian Archdiocese envisioned itself as the platform for Orthodox unity in America. Its sainted archbishop, Tikhon Bellavin, articulated an innovative vision to deal with the unprecedented diversity of ethnic Orthodox Christians in the New World. He proposed that the Russian Archdiocese be organized, not along territorial lines, but according to ethnicity — a bishop for the Russians, another for the Syrians, another for the Serbs, still another for the Greeks. St. Tikhon realized that the different ethnic groups … [Read more...]

“Don’t Call Us…We’ll Call You” – The Pentecost Experience of Evangelical Orthodox Christians at the Phanar

Source: Orthodox News By: George Matsoukas June 11, 2006 As we celebrate Pentecost 2006, it is useful to remember Pentecost Sunday, June 2, 1985.  That is the date and feast day that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its Holy and Sacred Synod of Bishops chose to refuse an audience with the party of 18 Evangelical Orthodox Christians whose 12 year journey to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church led them to the Church of St. George at the Phanar, Istanbul, Turkey.  Some of the details of this journey have been chronicled by Father Peter Gillquist in his book “Becoming Orthodox.” The 18 Evangelical Orthodox Christians at the Pentecost services, the first kneeling service they witnessed, included their top leadership: Father Peter Gillquist the presiding leader, Father Gordon Walker, leader of the members of the movement from the East and Father Richard Ballew, the leader of the members from the western part of the USA.  Representing the Greek … [Read more...]

What’s Fate of Orthodox Unity and Diaspora?

From: Orthodox Christian Laity By Peter Marudas Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell together in unity?  Psalm 132 In late May, a meeting of potentially enormous significance for the Orthodox Church in America will occur in New York City when all Orthodox Bishops in good standing in North and Central America convene for a first-ever Episcopal Assembly. This unprecedented gathering has received little attention in most Orthodox circles and virtually none in the wider religious and secular media. Nevertheless, its implications for the future of Orthodox Christianity in the Americas are both hopeful and controversial. The historic Episcopal Assembly will take place shortly after the Great Feast of Pentecost – the Kairos - when the Holy Spirit inspired the disciples to establish the Church. Until 18 months ago, the mere contemplation of such a meeting would have been considered unthinkable in view of long-standing and entrenched official … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios on the Way Out?

HT: St. Andrew House Orthodox Discussion Forum Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON- At 83 years old and beleaguered by a raft of questions about his ability to keep leading, Archbishop Demetrios may leave his position at the Archbishopric Throne of America, it emerged after intense discussions at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, where he traveled unannounced, as well as among prominent Greek-American leaders who want him retained. The National Herald was unable to reach him at press time. Those familiar with the issue attribute the possible development to his age the constant accumulation of various unresolved problems under his tenure recently. Sources said it was believed at the Patriarchate that these questions have stagnated the ecclesial life of the Archdiocese of America. TNH also has learned that a group of prominent Greek Americans do not agree with the possibility of Archbishop Demetrios leaving his post and threatened to stop all financial and other … [Read more...]

Appeal from the Patriarch of Romania and a response

Seal of he Patriarchate of Romania

The Romanian Patriarch issued an appeal on February 11, 2010 "...to all Romanian Orthodox clerics and faithful abroad, who are, without blessing, in other sister Orthodox Churches or in non-canonical church structures, to restore their direct communion with their Mother Church, under the canonical jurisdiction of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church." Taking what appears to be a page from the Ecumenical Patriarchate's book, the Romanian Patriarchate asserts the universality of the Church (the "Catholic -- or katholikos in the Nicene Creed's "...only Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church) is derived not from the trans-cultural, trans-tribal, and trans-national character of the Gospel, but from ethnic identity and affiliation albeit without the accouterments such as the universality of Hellenism to buttress the argument. Not everyone agrees. I've posted the response to the appeal first, and the original appeal second. Postings on this page are truncated (signers names … [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...]

OCL Prayer for Episcopal Assembly

February 26, 2010 To the Servants of God who attend the Orthodox Christian Church in the Americas. Prayer for the Episcopal Assembly At its February meeting, the Board members of Orthodox Christian Laity unanimously concurred that the most effective support Orthodox Christians in North and Central America – Hierarchs, Clergy and Laity, can provide to the more than 60 bishops who shepherd this land mass, as they move forward to develop a plan for manifesting the unity of the Orthodox Christian Church of the Americas, is to fervently pray every day for the successful convening and conclusion of the first Episcopal Assembly. This Assembly will take place in the week following the feast of Pentecost. Therefore, during this period of the Great and Holy Fast and the season of the Resurrection and Pentecost which follows, let us pray: … [Read more...]

Pat. Kirill on Chambesy

Patriarch Kirill: Every manifestation of Orthodox unity is our common glory, common joy, while a want of unity and every tension, every conflict in the global Orthodox family is a common pain and common defeat The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church pointed to the support of fraternal relations within the family of Local Orthodox Churches as one of the most important tasks of his Patriarchal ministry. ‘We should remember: the Holy Orthodox Church is one as the Lord is one. All the Orthodox nations comprise it’, he said in his address to the Bishops’ Conference on 2 February 2010 at the Church of Christ the Saviour, ‘The administrative borders of Local Churches are necessary of course for ensuring a proper canonical order but they cannot divide into parts the one body of the Church of Christ’. … [Read more...]

The agenda at Chambesy

12. December 2009 - 9:00 (Source: Serbian Orthodox Church) The Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission, responsible for preparation of agenda of an upcoming Holy and Great Assembly of the Orthodox Church, began working 10th December at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, near Geneve. The Commission will discuss the three topics from pre-prepared catalogue: the question of a way of declaring autonomy and autocephaly, as well as the question of diptych, which is order and rank of the Churches. It is planned that the Commission's work lasts until December 17, and its proposed texts will be submitted for a discussion and an adoption by the next in the row, the Fifth Pan-Orthodox Conference (previously four conferences were held in 1976, 1982, 1986, 2009). The Commission's work is led by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Patriarchate of Constantinople, as a representative of the first Church in order. By the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops, our Church … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah on Orthodox Christian unity

The Orthodox Church in America's communications department has published a summary of Metropolitan Jonah's remarks at Orthodox Christian Laity's recently concluded Road to Unity conference. Highlights: Central to the fabric of a united Church, Metropolitan Jonah added, is the need to "be missionary in every aspect of its existence, reaching out to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its patristic and Orthodox integrity to the peoples of North America, incarnating the Orthodox Church in North America, and enculturating North Americans into Orthodoxy. "Each [North American] church, jurisdiction, and community has done this to its own degree, individually," Metropolitan Jonah observed. "Now we must put it all together, keeping in mind the essential goal of the sanctification of our people, our communities, our nations. Each community has something of utmost value to offer to the whole. Each community has come into existence in America through tremendous struggle, hardship … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Laity – Road to Unity (Audio)

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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...]

Orthodox Christian Laity Says Patriarch Bartholomew’s Remarks to SCOBA Boost Orthodox Unity Effort in America

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ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN LAITY Press Release November 3, 2009 For more information contact: George Matsoukas 877-585-0245 Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) described Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s remarks to the recently-held SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) meeting held in New York City on October 27, 2009 “as another important step on the road to Orthodox Unity in the United States.” “By reaffirming his support for the unity process which commenced a year ago in Istanbul and subsequently refined this past June in Chambesy, Switzerland, His All Holiness delivered a clear message to America’s Orthodox leadership that he backs the unity effort,” said Bill Souvall, newly-elected President of OCL. Mr. Souvall added that the Patriarch “demonstrated an acute understanding of our situation in the United States,” citing excerpts from his remarks which referred to the evolving status quo of the Church in America. “Patriarch Bartholomew’s … [Read more...]