Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America

RoeaNews.info


Guardians of the Vatra


Orthodox Brotherhood Documents

ROAA/BOR Documents


Bishops Coming to NY

Author: Fr. Mark Arey
May 21, 2010
icon31
The Bishops are Coming to New York, as Complex Diaspora Question Looms

An exclusive Theodore Kalmoukos interview with Fr. Mark Arey, Director of the Ecumenical Office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,

from: aoiusa.com forum and originally on nationalherald.com/article/45301

ART. 10
BEFORE THE EPISCOPAL ASSEMBLY– UNITY OF ORTHODOX IN NA
26-28 MAY 2010 NEW YORK
INAINTE DE ADUNAREA EPISCOPALA – UNIREA ORTODOCSILOR DIN NA

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 Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations and other sources. The meeting is the result of the decision of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, which met in Chambesy, Switzerland in June of 2009, and it is one of 12 that will be convened around the world in regions where there is no single Orthodox presence.

The Bishops of the Diaspora, living in the Diaspora and possessing parishes in multiple regions, will be members of the Episcopal Assemblies of 12 regions. At the center of the Assembly will be the issue of the Diaspora, meaning the existence of more than one Orthodox Bishop in the same place (city.) Also participating is the former Russian Metropolia, known today as OCA, which was given autocephaly in 1970 by the Patriarchate of Moscow. The National Herald has learned that that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had initially instructed Archbishop Demetrios not to invite the OCA, but Demetrios sent them invitations to attend. The Archbishop discussed the issue during his recent visit to the Phanar three weeks ago.

In an exclusive interview with The National Herald, Rev. Mark Arey Director of the Ecumenical Office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is in charge of the Interfaith and Interorthodox matters, said in response to a question about whether the Orthodox Church in America will also participate in the Assembly, that, “The Bishops who comprise the so-called OCA will participate because they are canonical bishops who live in the region meet the criteria of an invitation.” He explained that, “all Bishops were invited individually, meaning that the invitations did not go out to any jurisdictional head.” He stressed the point that “the Bishops of the OCA will be present and participate as individual Bishops.”

As far as the Metropolitan of OCA Jonas, he said, “He was invited as a bishop and my impression is that he will come and participate as an individual bishop.” But Father Arey said Jonas would not participate as the Metropolitan of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America. “No, obviously not, because the autocephaly of OCA is not recognized by the sum total of Orthodoxy, it is only recognized by a few churches.”

When asked about a Eucharistic Communion with them, he said, “I cannot answer officially, I can only give my opinion, because since 1970 before even I was converted to Orthodoxy decisions were made that the former Russian Metropolia which was not in communion with Moscow, but it was in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate when it was granted so-called autocephaly as a way of bringing them back into communion with Moscow. I think worldwide Orthodoxy at the time did not reject communion with them, a few churches did for a little while, I think the Patriarchate of Jerusalem did not co-celebrated with them.”

He added that, “All of the various Mother Churches which have presences here in the United States have always been in communion with the OCA. Even to this day the OCA faithful commune in our parishes and our parishioners can commune in a OCA parish, we are not out of canonical communion although we do not recognize the legitimacy of the so called autocephaly in any way.”  Is there any hypocrisy? “I see complexity more than hypocrisy to be honest with you,” he said, adding that, “hopefully this Assembly will be one of the vehicle that looks on all of these issues and study solutions.”

ANY DIRECTION?

As for the aim of the meeting, he said, “In the regulations the aim is for the Assembly to try to propose to the Great and Holy Council that will meet eventually in canonical solution to the anomalies of the region and those anomalies are many, but the biggest anomaly is to have more than one bishop in one place.”  Could this be achieved without establishing an American Autocephalous Church? He said, “absolutely yes.” But how? “Well, that actually will be the decision of the Great and Holy Council only a universal Council of all Orthodox can canonize the situation.”  He went on to say, “I think that there are varieties of transitional models, I think there are varieties of autonomy and semi-autonomy which exists in the Orthodox World today. The Church of Crete is a semi-autonomous church.” As for the idea of a semi-autonomous Church, he said, “Some of this has become an issue of semantics.”

Is Assembly heading toward the creation of an American Autocephalous Orthodox Church? “I do not know, that is my honest answer,” he said, adding: “In generations from now it could be a possibility but sometimes people speak of these things. I have heard people saying it from other jurisdictions that America should be a Patriarchate. I think and I say it with respect to others but there is a certain level of immaturity. Sometimes we speak too quickly, I am a convert myself and my family came to this country three hundred years ago, America is not that old and I love this country.” Where does Archbishop Demetrios stand on this issue of autocephaly? What would happen if some Bishops, including those of the OCA get up and proclaim autocephaly?  Father Arey said, “The Archbishop is ex-officio the chairman of the Assembly. It is interesting to know that there two vice-chairmen as well the Antiochian and from the Russian Patriarchate.

The Assembly has competencies and these competencies do not relate to declarations and proclamations and all these types of things that people might imagine. The Assembly has serious constructive foundational work to perform in terms of taking over the ministries of SCOBA and all the work that SCOBA has done for 50 years and at the same time creating a process by which canonical solutions come as proposals. The Assembly is transitional and temporary and that is the great difference with SCOBA which you know was standing (permanent.)”  He also said that, “The Assembly’s job is to witness to Orthodox Unity chiefly which we already have through the Eucharist and then to work on solving canonical issues and then make proposals to the Great and Holy Council, and not to declare anything.”

He said, “We are making it easy for everybody to come and this is one of the reasons why they are coming, but I want to point one think which I think is very important that there has not been a meeting like this before. You cannot compare Ligonier in 1994, Chicago in 2006 which were Assemblies that the SCOBA sponsored.” He said he didn’t know the cost, but said, “The other side of the coin is that is very significant that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese remains by far the largest and in some people’s estimations over twice as large as every other Orthodox presence in the United States combined.” Without the presence of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese would there be no SCOBA or Assemblies? “It would be very, very difficult for any Pan-orthodox movement in any form to exist without the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.”

THE LIGONIER EFFECT

He said he didn’t see any danger of breakdown in the meeting. “I did not speak of the Bishops obviously, I spoke in the blocks sphere; if you see the Internet, sometimes there are people who speak without responsibility and without a deep sense of historical Orthodoxy; I do not think there any dangers. I think one of the brilliant aspects is the Chambesy documents both the decision and the regulations are comprehensive but they are limited in terms of process. The Assembly has specific competencies; outside of those competencies it has no role. It is not that someone can stand up and say I proclaim that we are this or that.” But how different or how similar is this Assembly from Ligonier in 1994? “I think the way Ligonier was spawned after the fact created all different impression of what Ligonier actually did or did not do. Ligonier was an Assembly that was called by SCOBA which was never authorized as a Pan-Orthodox process, it was something local,” he said. As to the pronouncements of the Ligonier, plus the revelations certain hierarchs made to The National Herald at that time and whether there was some type of an ecclesiastical coup toward the creation of an autocephalous Church, he said, “I think it might have been the intention of some people.”

But he said the Ecumenical Patriarchate didn’t err in revoking Ligonier. “No, I am no saying that, I do not think the Patriarchate of Serbia made a mistake either because they recalled their Bishop. There were some serious reactions, but I think the difference is the Ligonier was not part of something greater but the Assembly of Bishops is in fact completely part of a process that has been authorized and basically pre-approved by all the Mother Churches and we are working with specific guidelines to do constructive work.”

The regions will be broken down this way:

North America and Central America
South America
Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
Great Britain and Ireland
France
Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg
Austria
Italy and Malta
Switzerland and Lichtenstein
Germany
Scandinavian countries (except Finland)
Spain and Portugal

29 Comments to “Bishops Coming to NY”


  1. Administrator Says:

    Fr. Arey is AB Demetrios secretary and he tries to present the Ecumenical Patriarch stance which wants to control the so-called Diaspora. Their problem is that the OCA exists in North America (the second largest Orthodox Church here after the Greeks) and that Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochians here presides over an autonomous Metropolitanate that has more in common with the OCA than with the Patriarchate of Antioch. It will certainly be an interesting Episcopal Assembly in New York.


  2. Administrator Says:

    Pr. Arey este secretarul IPS Demetrios si incearca sa prezinte argumentul Patriarhiei Ecumenice care vrea sa controleze asa zisa Diaspora. Problema lor este ca OCA exista in America de Nord (a doua cea mai importanta Biserica aici dupa cea Greceasca) si ca Mitropolitul Philip de la Antiohieni de aici conduce o Mitropolie autonoma care are mai multe in comun cu OCA, decat cu Patriarhia din Antiohia. Va fi o Adunare Episcopala interesanta la New York.


  3. Isa Almisry Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    I am not sure if answers so mired in denial are “honest” answers. The OCA’s autocephaly is recognized by the plurality of the Churches, and the vast majority of the Orthodox. Only the Greek Church tries to veto it. “At the center of the Assembly will be the issue of the Diaspora, meaning the existence of more than one Orthodox Bishop in the same place (city.)” Yeah, I’m sure the Phanar wants to see it that way, and implement the “solution”-the Final Solution-of their metropolitan of Boston (…brush up on your Greek…). The issue of multiple bishops might be the problem in other EAs (though it doesn’t seem that is the case) but the elephant in the room here is the existence of the local, canonical Autocephalous Church. And it’s “OCA” The Orthodox Church in America, not SCOCA — “the so-called….”.

    As such the OCA has competencies on its jurisdiction that are not limited by protocols it did not participate in nor sign. That includes acting as a body rather that individually. If, for instance, Met. Jonah is not given his seat on the executive committee, the Holy Synod as a body should walk out. Met. Jonah, as an autocephalous head, can and should stand up and say “I proclaim that we are an autocephaluus Church.” Greece has collapsed. It is not in the position it once was to kill Ligonier. BTW, anyone else notice that Asia is missing from the list of EA’s? The problem can and should be resolved by recognizing North America’s autocephaly.


  4. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Isa, the arrogance on display here is breathtaking. Breathtakingly stupid. Arey foolishly gave all of the non-GOA hierarchs a trememdous wild card. Think about it, it’s so glaringly obvious that the GOA/EP wants all jurisdictions subjugated under it. But what’s in it for the others? That’s up to them to figure out individually but it’s far easier to get concessions out of a desperate man than out of a confident one. Now they can all hold out for more goodies from the GOA fat-cats. Word on the street is that the OCA was the wild card simply because it already possesses autocephaly, but now +Jonah’s position is arguably stronger. But he’s not the only one: +Philip retains enormous clout because if things don’t go his way then he can threaten merger of the OCA and AOCNA.

    Arey and others will interject that this would go against the protocols established at Chambesy but given what happened in South America, it’s very possible that the entire process will collapse based on the bad faith displayed yet again by Istanbul. Now this is where it gets interesting: if the Chambesy process fails, the villain will be the Phanar. The winner? Who do you all think?


  5. Fr. Peter Dubinin Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    “The other side of the coin is that is very significant that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese remains by far the largest and in some people’s estimations over twice as large as every other Orthodox presence in the United States combined.” Without the presence of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese would there be no SCOBA or Assemblies? “It would be very, very difficult for any Pan-orthodox movement in any form to exist without the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.”
    Wow! Open mouth ‘A’ insert foot ‘B.’ Such condescending arrogance.


  6. Isa Almisry Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Yeah. In fact, it is difficult to have any Pan-Orthodox movement with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, as NO ONE (yes, Fr. Arey, that is “unanimous,” “the sum total of Orthodoxy” and any other overstatement you consistently apply to the minority opinion of the Greek Church on the OCA’s autocephaly) accepts the Phanar’s “so-called” interpretation of canon 28.
    Met. Jonah has placed his faith in Abp. Demetrios. So far, given the tiff with the EP, not misplaced. I pray it so remains.


  7. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Isa, Fr Peter, the stunning arrogance on display here confirms my long-held belief of the amateurishness of the Phanar and its minions. Arey essentially tipped the hand of his overlord with these brazen words. We’ve long suspected that the GOA (minus +Demetrios) was not acting in good faith, now it’s a proven fact.

    Implications? Unfortunately, this will knock +Demetrios back on his heels. Also, the GOA bishops will be falling all over themselves trying to apologize (well, the sane ones anyway). I can especially envision Arey being forced to eat some humble pie. Nobody likes triumphalism. Just like what happenen in Sao Paolo, the EP is going to have to apologize behind the scenes to +Kirill for his minions’ high-handedness.

    Prediction? The non-GOA bishops will show up, smile nice for the cameras and then go back home and start seriously consider merging their jurisdictions.


  8. Fr. Gregory Jensen Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    No, Fr Mark is simply wrong. It is not SCOBA that needs the GOA. It is the GOA that needs SCOBA, the OCA and the large numbers of converts and non-Greek spouses who by their prayers, their presence, and yes, their money, support the GOA.

    Forgive me for speaking so directly, but after 10 years as a priest in the GOA, I must wonder, would there even be a GOA without the OCA or converts? Many small GOA parishes are served not by Greek priests but by priests from the OCA or by converts who were ordained in the GOA but not wanted in larger Greek parishes.

    As for the laity, many (most?) marriages in the GOA are between a Greek and a non-Greek. Many of those outside the Greek community who marry a Greek either belong to another Orthodox jurisdiction or are Roman Catholic.

    Finally, I’m not sure why it matters that his family has been in America for 300 years but since the subject has been raised my wife’s family came over on the Mayflower–some 100 years BEFORE Fr Mark’s. My family has been here since 1520–a good 200 years by for Fr Mark’s.


  9. Isa Almisry Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    With a name like Jensen? Who let you on board, Father? Btw, the first Orthodox, Phillip Ludwell III, buried his parents in the churchyard of Jamestown, and his house still stands in Williamsburg, a member of the Russian Orthodox Church.


  10. Fr. Gregory Jensen Says:

    Isa, Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh let me on board. I am grateful to His Eminence for ordaining me to the priesthood and I have man good friends–clergy and laity–in the GOA. But there came a point where I realized that serving as a priest in the GOA meant serving the spiritual and cultural needs of Greek community. There’s nothiong wrong with this–in fact it can be a good thing as long as culture doesn’t come to dominate the Gospel–but it isn’t my thing.
    Re-reading my first response to Fr Mark’s comments I think I got a head of myself. What I should have said is that it isn’t a question of whether or not SOCBA needs the GOA. Rather the question is this: Do we realize that we need each other? I don’t think we realize that, to borrow from Ben Franklin, if we don’t hand together we will most assuredly hang separately. Like in a parish, as members of different jurisdictions we need not merely to tolerate each other but love each other. And love means making room for each other and working to support and sustain each other. This can’t happen if we continue to see each other as somehow alien to each other or in a zero sum competition.

    For all of this jurisdictional wrangling makes clear is how little of my life I have given over to Christ and the Gospel. Orthodoxy? Oh, yes, I’m in favor of that! Let me tell you why we’re the TRUE CHURCH! The autocephaly of OCA?? I’m a supporter! But Jesus and the Gospel? Not so much. No the problem to be address in NYC is not jurisdictional boundaries, but whether or not we really and truly believe that we are members of Christ’s Body and so of each other.


  11. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Fr. Bless. If I may, your comments about OCA priests being the backbone of much of the GOA struck a chord. But it seems to make sense. Over a year ago I got into a tussle with GOA triumphalists about numbers in the priesthood as well as parishes, population, etc. I must confess that I wss at a loss, however, I wondered aloud, if the GOA is bigger than the OCA, how come the OCA had three seminaries but the GOA only one? Also, the OCA is in the process of forming a seminary in Dallas (albeit on hiatus since the retirement of +Dmitri last year), so in five or so years the OCA would have four seminaries. Anyway, the facts on the ground got me to thinking along these lines. If I may ask, just how many priest-graduates does the GOA and the OCA put out each year? At any rate, your observation makes much sense to me.


  12. Fr. Johannes Jacobse Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    From the article referring to the OCA:
    When asked about a Eucharistic Communion with them, he said, “I cannot answer officially, I can only give my opinion, because since 1970 before even I was converted to Orthodoxy decisions were made that the former Russian Metropolia which was not in communion with Moscow, but it was in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate when it was granted so-called autocephaly as a way of bringing them back into communion with Moscow. I think worldwide Orthodoxy at the time did not reject communion with them, a few churches did for a little while, I think the Patriarchate of Jerusalem did not co-celebrated with them.”

    To call this a stretch is putting it charitably. It is audacious nonsense and I’m surprised that anyone would even say it. Let’s make sure we actually understand what was said: The Russian Metropolia was not in communion with Moscow, only Constantinople. In order to bring it back into communion with Moscow, Moscow decided to grant the Metropolia autocephaly. Does that cover it? Did I misread it? Maybe Fr. Arey was misquoted. It’s hard to believe he actually believes this.
    On the other hand, if it’s not a misquote then the trajectory of the revisionism is clear: the autocephaly of the OCA is illegitimate. Why? Because in actual fact, the autocephaly was not Moscow’s to give. (Moscow, are you listening?)
    Leave aside for the moment the question of how a Patriarch not in communion with a church can grant that church autocephaly. Leave aside too the history that the OCA is the outgrowth of Russian mission work. Finally, leave aside Moscow’s stand that the OCA is an autocephalous Church.

    Fr. Arey’s historical revisionism is even more implausible than the Canon 28 revisionism which was thankfully repudiated at Chambesy. I’m surprised to see it. He knows better. Revisionism always has a core. Fr. Arey’s overreaching reveals that at the core lies the fear that the independence expressed at Ligonier will reassert itself and coalesce under the autocephaly of the OCA. That too is why Ligonier is reduced to a subcommittee of SCOBA in his revisionist narrative elsewhere in the article. What, then, is the game plan?

    Watch for Met. Jonah to come under increasing pressure (which will become relentless at times) to give up the autocephaly of the OCA. But, again, if the article misquoted Fr. Arey he should clarify the record ASAP.


  13. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Regrettfully Fr, I don’t believe Arey was misquoted. In the interests of being fair, I am presently writing an assessment of the recent OCL meeting that I attended in February in which we had the good fortune to meet and listen to Fr Mark. He’s a brilliant man. That being said, he’s in an untenable position, as a functionary of the GOA and as general secretary of SCOBA he serves two masters and it forces him to say illogical and inconsistent things. At least up to now. With the incipient extinction of SCOBA (I know, I know, spare me the details), the mask of kumbaya “let’s all get along” pan-Orthodoxy can be stripped off once and for all. Though this interview was full of logical lacunae, historical absurdities and theologically debatable assertions, he can now at least present a more forthright face to the world.


  14. Andrew Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    I sense alot of Panic here. The grand ship of the GOA is taking of water and Fr. Arey is suggesting that we drill holes in the floor to let the water out.
    Fr. Arey wants to be at the center of attention here. I wonder, I just wonder if the assembly fails or generates a result not amenable to Phanar -will Fr. Arey be the fall guy?


  15. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Probably. After all, for all his brilliance (and he speaks way better Greek than me), he’s not a Greek. Therefore in the grand scheme of things, expendable. Pity, I like the guy.


  16. Fr. Johannes Jacobse Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Andrew, it is not that Fr. Arey wants to be at the center of attention, it is that he is speaking in ways only appropriate for the Archbishop to speak. This indicates there may be internal division in the GOA about how to proceed. Fr. Arey is speaking not for the GOA, or at least not for the faction represented by Abp. Demetrios. He is speaking for the Phanar.

    The overreaching is evident, but who is he reaching towards? Only one answer makes the point of the piece comprehensible: detractors on the inside who have misgivings about the heavy-handedness toward the OCA. At the end of the reach however is not an open palm, but a pointing finger. And yes, if the goals are not met he will probably be thrown under the bus. That die has been cast.


  17. Isa Almisry Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    The Canon 28 revisionism was thankfully repudiated at Chambesy. I’m afraid that is not what is going on in the Phanar. Just trying to thicken up the smoke screen. I’d like to quote them themselves, but as they do not put a premium on conciseness, I will quote Fr. John Erickson (who seems to be a favorite of both sides):
    …To put matters in simplest terms, according to the Russian Church, any autocephalous Church has the right to grant canonical independence to one of its parts. According to Constantinople, on the other hand, only an ecumenical council can definitely establish an autocephalous Church, and any interim arrangements depend upon approbation of Constantinople, acting in its capacity as the ‘mother church” and “first among equals” (The challenge of our past: studies in Orthodox Canon law and Church history).

    Notice how the partisans of Chambesy (and the Phanar) point out that the chairmanship of the EA goes down the diptychs: is there any EA where the EP doesn’t have a bishop? This repeats the statement of the Phanar’s mouthpiece…
    The submission of the diaspora to the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not mean either Hellenization or violation of the canonical order, because it is only in this way that both the letter and the spirit of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils is respected. The Mother Church knows, however, that such a submission is difficult to be accomplished under the present historical conditions. For this reason, and by employing the principle of economy, it was suggested and it has now become accepted in Pan-Orthodox level, that there will be local Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies in the diaspora (like SCOBA in the US). The principle of presidency is followed, namely the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presides over these Episcopal Assemblies in order to preserve the necessary element of canonicity. …but without the frankness, clarity and tact of the Chief Secretary (it would seem Fr. Arey’s mentor). Since it has been pointed out that SCOBA’s constitution calls for the chairmanship to rotate (something Met. Jonah has been making soundings about) but the other jurisdictions have acquiesced in letting the Phanar exarch have it, it would seem that the CS’s words more accurately records what the Phanar thinks of the matter. The so-called Canon 28 myth is alive and well.

    It remains my hope that Moscow and the rest of the non-Greek Churches signed on Chambesy to give the Phanar enough rope to hang itself. Fears are expressed about the Bartholomew visiting Kyrill in Moscow at the time of the EA here, that the fix is in. I hope that the visit was the EP’s idea, and the hope is to try to stem Moscow’s support for Washington.


  18. Fr. Johannes Jacobse Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    The so-called canon 28 myth is alive and well. Yes, I see it that way too. Chambesy repudiated the Canon 28 revisionism (Chambesy did not deem the arguments legitimate) but this has not led to any reforms in the Phanar. The Phanar just switched from canonical revisionism to historical revisionism. Same game plan, different tactics.


  19. Dean Calvert Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    You know…they keep mentioning this GREAT COUNCIL, and I think that plays in here as well. The fear might be on the OCA side that if they don’t “play nice,” they will not be represented at this Council, and that another autocephalous church (non OCA) might be proclaimed in America by the Great Council. Let’s examine the rationality of this fear for a moment, because my immediate reaction is “So what?”

    Let’s see, the patriarchal jurisdictions in this country are all imploding, including the vaunted GOA. So big deal, their 1st and 2nd generations made money, which is now being left to Leadership 100….so what? Is that going to put bodies in the pews 10 years from now? I doubt it. The data shows the membership of the GOA was down over 25% from the mid 70’s to the late 1990’s…when they stopped reporting comparable data. The other patriarchal churches are doing possibly worse.
    The only jurisdiction making progress, that is tied to the Old World is the AOCA, and they’ve already made noise about self governance…half of them would probably join the OCA, rather than be part of a Greek dominated American Church…the cultural antagonism between an ethnic enclave and an evagelistically oriented organization would be too great…they could not survive side-by-side. So, if I were Met. Jonah, I’m wondering, why not take the attitude of “Who cares… so don’t recognize us…we’re here…and we’re not going away…” Oh, and by the way…5 years from now…I will be stronger, and you will be weaker…so good luck with those non-recognition plans… By the way… I keep publishing this letter, sent to the Byzantines by Russia after the Council of Florence in the hopes we would re-issue it…and we wouldn’t even have to change the name!!!

    “We beseech your Sacred Majesty not to think that what we have done we did out of arrogance, nor to blame us for not writing to our Sovereignty beforehand; we did this from dire necessity, not from pride or arrogance. In all things we hold to the ancient Orthodox faith transmitted to us, and so we shall continue to do until the end of time. And our Russian Church, the holy metropolitanate of Russia, requests and seeks the blessing of the holy, oecumenical, catholic, and apostolic church of St. Sophia, the Wisdom of God, and is obedient to her in all things according to the ancient faith; and our father, the Lord Jonah, metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia, likewise requests from her all manner of blessing and union, except for the present recently appeared disagreements.”.
    Bottom line: If we want to BE the American Church, I think it’s time to start ACTING like the American Church.

    Memo to Met. Jonah – Remember St. Mark of Ephesus…and act accordingly.
    May God bless our metropolitan – he is really swimming with sharks…the true extent of the hypocrisy of the EP has just been made public, for everyone to see… As for these characters…ANAXIOS! If this were the Byzantine times…we, the laity, would be packing guys like Fr. Mark Arey on a donkey, and sending him back to C’nople with a note attached to his forehead saying “Return to Sender”.

    PS Fr. Hans..you are ABSOLUTELY correct…their two biggest fears: OCA autocephaly and LIGONIER!


  20. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Dean, upon further reflection, I believe that the “Great and Holy Council” is a chimera used to scare recalcitrant children. As to its own competence, there is no guarantee that it will resolve anything even if it does meet. I was told long ago by a wise GOA priest that the last thing the EP wants is a council of this magnitude. Why? I asked. “Because he would rapidly lose control of the agenda” was the reply. Plus, there are logistical problems which won’t play into the Phanar’s favor. Consider: how many Orthodox bishops are there in the world? 600? Ok, now let’s dial it back and look at the EA here in NYC. It’s going to cost minimum of $50,000. That’s just for 60 bishops. (Remember, they’ve got to meet at least once a year.)
    Now let’s look at 600 bishops. That’s ten times the amount. Even if we assume the same cost for travel expenses and accommodations, we’re looking at $500,000. Probably more because the EA is only for 2 nites whereas the Council will last probably several weeks. OK, that brings us to well over a million dollars. Who has that kind of money? More importantly which Orthodox country can accommodate such massive numbers? Istanbul? Greece? Romania? Only one: Russia. Which country could afford to subsidize it? Again, only Russia. In such a scenario who would control the agenda? Certainly not the EP. That’s just one of many reasons I don’t expect to see a great and holy council convene any time soon.


  21. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Dean, spot on, old chap! It’s obvious you’ve been swimming in these same waters for longer than some of us (myself included) so I defer to your judgment of the situation. I’d like to develop your reasoning a little or come to it from a different tack.

    It appears that time is not on the side of the Phanar. As for the GOA, the desperation is palpable. The only reason that they’re going along is because by doing this EA, they are augmenting their falling numbers. To be fair, I believe that +Demetrios is a straight-shooter. He definately learned the lesson of +Iakovos –don’t back down, and get your homies to watch your back. It is possible that he not only learned the lesson of both his predecessors, but he doesn’t want to go down in history as the gravedigger of Orthodoxy in America. Hence his insubordination to the Phanar regarding the OCA.

    Fr, I think you may be on to something. There does seem to be a division in the GOA with the OCA being the causus belli (so to speak). If I had to bet, I’d say that there is a growing confluence of Archons who look wistfully at +Jonah and the OCA and its complete independence from the old world. I’d say that nerves are getting frayed by many of these men who have come to the conclusion that being under the “protection” of Istanbul really means that they’re nothing but ATM machines.

    Anyway, the battle lines are being drawn in all of the EAs I’d have to say: between those bishops, clergy, and people who view themselves as part of the Diaspora (the “D-world”) and those who view themselves as unhyphenated Orthodox (the “Orthodox”). I expect that in the US these divisions will run through all of the jurisdictions (not just the GOA) with the lodestar on one end being the OCA. As for the opposite pole it won’t be unified but a conglomeration of D-worlders of differing ethnic varieties. It should be fun. Game on!


  22. Wesley J. Smith Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    I am struck that the EP didn’t want the OCA bishops invited. Does that indicate a threat, not only to the independence of the OCA, but perhaps, also to canonicity itself. Would the EC, if he could, claim that members of the OCA are no longer in common communion with the rest of Orthodoxy unless it accepts his right to be OCA’s patriarch? I am new to this, but I fear he might as a way of preventing the formation of a truly Orthodox Church of North America (or whatever it might be called). For unity, I think the OCA will eventually have to die. But if that happens, it will be a voluntary merging into something greater, not an execution.


  23. George Michalopulos Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Wesley, this is precisely the MO which +Jonah laid out last year. That the OCA’s mission is to “disappear” into another autocephalous, national Church. Not only is this humility par excellence, but ingenious as well. One could reasonably say that this was the process indicated in the Tomos of autocephaly that was given to OCA upon its inception by Moscow (somewhat of a stretch but certainly very sympathetic to such an occurrence).


  24. Andrew Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    On second thought you know what caught my attention. It was the following quote:
    “It would be very, very difficult for any Pan-orthodox movement in any form to exist without the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.”

    Is Fr. Arey implying all Pan Orthodox movements must run through 79th Street?
    I think the answer might be yes. We saw a shake up with OCF and it looks like 79th is making a play for control of this ministry. And we also know that 79th is not exactly a fan of FOCUS either. 79th street might try to control things by controlling national ministries. And another note, you have to love how Fr. Arey despises the freedom of the internet. I bet he reads this blog.


  25. Scott Pennington Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    A few observations: It seems that Matthew Namee’s article was slightly optimistic about the old world patriarchates leading the way to administrative unity. The picture that Fr. Arey presents is, essentially, another SCOBA plus the promise that this body will not exist indefinitely but only until it can present recommendations to the always-soon-to-be-coming Great and Holy Synod.
    “He went on to say, ‘I think that there are varieties of transitional models, I think there are varieties of autonomy and semi-autonomy which exists in the Orthodox World today. The Church of Crete is a semi-autonomous church.” As for the idea of a semi-autonomous Church, he said, ‘Some of this has become an issue of semantics.’” So the plan is to insist on what Fr. Elpidophoros suggested at Holy Cross. You don’t just start volunteering this kind of commentary unless you have something in mind.

    Moreover, . . . “Is Assembly heading toward the creation of an American Autocephalous Orthodox Church? ‘I do not know, that is my honest answer,’ he said, adding: ‘In generations from now it could be a possibility but sometimes people speak of these things. I have heard people saying it from other jurisdictions that America should be a Patriarchate. I think and I say it with respect to others but there is a certain level of immaturity.’” In legalese, this is called setting up a straw man argument. In response to a question about autocephaly, Fr. Arey speaks of the possibility in “generations from now”. He then introduces the straw man of an American Patriarchate to exaggerate the degree of change that is being sought. Thus he can present himself and the Phanar as cooler heads that deserve to prevail.

    Fr. Arey also emphasises what anyone who has bothered to actually read the Chambesy documents already knows: The EA really doesn’t have any more power than SCOBA, or any different purpose, except to make recommendations about how to resolve canonical irregularities. If anyone has any doubt whatsoever that this whole thing was not intended as a step toward autocephaly for America, they really should read and re-read Fr. Arey’s comments. Hopefully it will either die quickly or be hijacked.


  26. Dean Calvert Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    Scott, the arrogance is truly stunning isn’t it? What we are witnessing is nothing less than an attempted Greek coup. Imagine the hubris involved in making the determination that the OCA is not going to be seated as a Church? The second largest jurisdiction in the country…and the only one not beholden to the Old World patriarchates. Additionally, consider that the OCA has been a active member of SCOBA since it’s inception.

    And to “trash” Ligonier the way he attempted to do…what an insult to the memory of Abp Iakovos, Metropolitan Philip, Metropolitan Christopher….and all of those who worked to make that Conference possible. The fear in this article is really palpable…it’s really pathetic. The phrase that keeps coming back to me is, “Leave the Dead to bury their own..” Unfortunately, for those of us who have had experience with the GOA – this is anything but surprising. Disappointing – yes, but not surprising, no.

    To be honest, I thought the Namee piece was delusional…obviously written by someone who has NEVER dealt with E 79th St. Oh well…we all have to learn sometime. Just remember ST. Mark of Ephesus! Or, as I told (a surprised) Metropolitan Herman a few years back…”It’s time to lose the Phanar’s telephone number.”

    PS By the way…is anyone else stunned by the fact that North America is ONE region, while Europe has 9 – including one for Switzerland and Lichtenstein?


  27. Michael Bauman Says:

    as posted on aoiusa.org/blog2010/05 ‘Comments’ regarding “Bishops Coming to NY”

    If the Holy Spirit is informing the movement to greater canonicity and unity, then it will happen. It will happen even, if like local churches in the past who declared authocephaly, we have to be considered ‘in schism’ for a few centuries.
    If it is just a power play and not of God, it will wither. We need answer for ourselves and our house and live as we believe. God will raise up leaders. We just don’t know who they will be yet.


  28. Toma Says:

    1. Do we as laymen, have the right to judge what direction the church should take?

    2. Did the ecumenical councils ask the laymen what they wanted????

    3. [If you do not have a diploma in theology you are not a cleric, and as such you have nothing to comment. Period.] “Daca n-ai diploma in teologie nu esti cleric, atunci nu ai ce comenta. Punct”


  29. Administrator Says:

    Answer 1. YES and the Orthodox responsibility to do so.

    Answer 2. YES and when they did not and they chose directions that did not bring unity in the Church, those decisions were ignored and eventually overturned.

    Answer 3. NO, as part of Christ’s church, the laity has every right and responsibility to partake in these discussions.


Leave a Comment;

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for e-mail notifications.
Not all of your comments are necessarily displayed on this website.
Comments are not necessarily those of RoeaNews.info.



ROEANews.info is the website of "Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America" and is not affiliated with the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) or with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

PRAYER OF ST. EPHREM

O Lord and Master of my life,
leave me not with the spirit of laziness,
of despair, of domination, or idle words.

Rather, give me, your servant, the spirit of integrity,
of humility, of patience, and of love.

Thus, Lord, grant me the wisdom to see my own faults,
and not condemn my brother;

for You are blessed, now and forever. Amen.



OUR FATHER

Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.