|All the [Orthodox] Churches [in NA] Are in Communion,
OCA’s Metropolitan Jonah [at the NY Bishops Assembly]
from: aoiusa.org/blog and originally from The National Herald:
|BOSTON – There’s no religious or political war or even battling bishops, but an assembly of church leaders in New York for the Autocephalous Church in America (OCA) has highlighted a little-talked about division between those who want a greater role for Pan-Orthodoxy and those who want the church under one umbrella.
OCA head Metropolitan Jonah, said he welcomed his role at the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of the United States, Canada and Central America in New York, noting: “What I want to do is to approach this with all humility.”
As The National Herald has reported, the initial directive of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Demetrios was not to invite Metropolitan Jonah, because the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not recognize the autocephaly of the OCA, which was granted unilaterally in 1970 by the Patriarchate of Moscow, overstepping the historic and ecclesiastical privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to its then-called Russian Metropolia.
Archbishop Demetrios disobeyed Patriarch Bartholomew and invited Metropolitan Jonah, to the disappointment of Bartholomew. Archbishop Demetrios discussed the issue during his last visit to Constantinople at the end of April and a compromise was accepted to allow Metropolitan Jonah to participate, but only as a bishop.
Archbishop Demetrios, as well as other Metropolitans of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, many times disregard Bartholomew’s directives and orders, leading to the dissolution of communities and undercutting the Patriarch’s authority. Metropolitan Jonah, in an interview with The National Herald, emphasized that the autocephaly of the OCA is recognized by all local Orthodox Churches, contrary to the statements of Fr. Mark Arey Director of the Interchurch Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and Metropolitan Philip Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who both said that OCA’S autocephaly is not recognized by anyone other than Moscow.
According to Metropolitan Jonah, the Orthodox Church in America is comprised of 700 parishes in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, nine ruling bishops and archbishops, 1,000 priests, three theological schools and one theological academy in Canada. He had a lot to say in his interview about the church:
TNH: What are your thoughts about the upcoming Assembly of Bishops in New York?
TNH: Is it possible to be more specific as to what are you hoping for?
TNH: I understand that you have been meeting in assemblies with SCOBA. So what is going to be the similarity or the difference between the SCOBA’S Conferences and this Assembly?
TNH: It is not a matter of interpersonal relations here; we are talking here about ecclesial relations. How do you feel about the initial directive of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Demetrios not to invite you?
TNH: Do you have any solution to propose about the OCA autocephaly?
TNH: What, in terms of substance, do you anticipate will come out of this assembly, above and beyond getting together, embracing and kissing each other?
TNH: Are you going to discuss the so-called problem of the Orthodox Diaspora?
TNH: Do you think that you will be laying the foundations at the assembly for the creation of an American Orthodox Autocephalous Church, all jurisdiction united?
TNH: Speaking about the autocephaly of the OCA, how do you feel? Alienated? Cut off from the rest of the Church, because Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese told The National Herald in his interview the that you are not in communion with any other autocephalous church, except for Moscow.
TNH: Can you liturgize with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew?
TNH: What about you?
TNH: Do you see any hypocrisy here? Your bishops can co-celebrate the liturgy with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew but not you, who are their archbishop?
TNH: Can you co-celebrate the liturgy with the Archbishop of Greece or Cyprus?
TNH: What is your relationship with the rest of bishops and metropolitans in the various Orthodox
TNH: What possible solution would you propose for the issue of the Orthodox Diaspora?
TNH: If Ecumenical Patriarch decides to move tomorrow from Constantinople to the U.S., would you submit under him to create a united Orthodox presence here in the United States?
TNH: But would you submit to his ‘omophorion’?
TNH: Do you have any comment on the issue of pederasty in the Church?
TNH: What about the issue of homosexuality? Would you tolerate priests and bishops to be ordained?
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