Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What does SCOBA and the OCA have in Common?

Hieromonk Joshua provided this on a FACEBOOK thread on my homepage. I think it's a homerun.
"The OCA was started in 1970, from what my history books say. It was a completely new entity that gained its standing from a TOTALLY subjugated Russian Orthodox patriarchate that had NO FREEDOM to g...ive "autocephaly" autonomously and free from political constraints of the atheistic communist government. Alaska and the West Coast were Russian parishes (NOT on Russian soil but American soil) and they were passed to, in the confusion and aftermath of the Russian Revolution, to numerous subdivisions of the fractured Russian Church and other churches who came in to protect their own ethnic Orthodox populations. Obviously, ROCOR has been officially recognized as the sole retainer of that Russian ecclesiastical patrimony by the Russian Orthodox Church and NOT the OCA.
By the very fact that Met. Jonah has said that the OCA "can dissolve" indicated from the highest levels of the OCA that it is ONLY a transitional "medium" as I understand the organizational documents, or at least the "oral tradition" seemed to indicate. Now, when one understands that ROCOR is NOW the ONLY approved extension of the Russian Church it makes sense that ROCOR will become the repository for all OCA parishes and institutions in the transition to a united American Orthodoxy. The Universal Orthodox Church DID NOT APPROVE nor SANCTION any autonomy or autocephaly -- therefore it is an extension of charity (mostly economy) by the Mother Churches (with the "First in Honor" being the EP in consultation and synodia with all the Mother Churches) to slowly but consistently work to bring the OCA into actually recognized canonical Churches. It is the Church Universal which grants autonomy or autocephaly and this is what the next Episcopal Conference is about."

8 comments:

Isa Almisry said...

"Hieromonk Joshua provided this on a FACEBOOK thread on my homepage. I think it's a homerun."

LOL. Take about preaching to the choir.

What are you talking about "Obviously, ROCOR has been officially recognized as the sole retainer of that Russian ecclesiastical patrimony by the Russian Orthodox Church and NOT the OCA"? ALL the Cathedrals of that patrimon (save one), ALL the Churches secured by treaty in AK for use of the Orthodox, ALL the relics and shrines of SS. Herman, Tikhon, Raphael, Jacob, Juvenaly, Alexis, John (the neo-proto-martyr), Alexander...all rest with the OCA. The only exception is St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC, where Met. Jonah is commemorated with Patriarch Cyril. In fact, did ROCOR retain a SINGLE parish?

Btw, the Phanar claims to have dissolved the Churches of Serbia and Bulgaria (2x), Russia claimed to dissolve the Church of Georgia, and dissolved the Churches of Poland and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia that the Phanar set up. So even if HB+Jonah meant what your misrpresentation says, the OCA would be no different than at least a third of the other Mother Churches.

The Patriarchate of Moscow has been free for 20+ years. If allegations of lack of freedom were an issue, Moscow could have brought it up. The canon of limitations is 30 years. The clock is ticking.

Father said...

Howdy! Friend!

Let me get to the point: All of us are thankful for the OCA glorifying our North American saints! None of them were members of the OCA, however. All of them were members of the Russian Orthodox Church as is Saint John Maximovich.

Who wouldn't be thankful that some zealous Russians or, should I say, Ukrainians, took the initiative and moved to glorify OUR Orthodox PEOPLE?

Apart from being the truth to glorify the "just before the Lord" they were also used and manipulated so as to establish the myth that the OCA is eternal and "here to stay" and a legitimate "local Church." The idea was: "Local Churches glorify their own, don't they? So, let's do it and establish ourselves in the eyes of many as the ONLY legitimate local Church in North America!"

Friend, it is wrong, very wrong, to use the holy for political ends and political statements.

The OCA was born to be a transitional beauty and a gift and as long as she knows that she is to be a self-less transition and motivator for unity then she will give great glory to God! How many months ago were people saying the OCA was going to be a still birth because of corruption and she was going to be a "no-show" vapor because of internal OCA wickedness? How humility goes out the window when noxious self-possessed triumphalism displaces holiness.

These glorifications of our saints happened with much holy complicity with all other Orthodox in North America. However, the OCA's time has come to morph: "Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies . . ."

You, friend, are wandering off into oblivion with your dissolving "stuff." Are we doing "ecclesiastical chemistry" now? We are talking, are we not, about reality or are you talking about clorox and caustic soda? What are you smok'in? It's not good to smoke while doing chemistry. "As for me and my house . . ." we will breath reality.

In the final analysis, I think His Grace Bishop Kondratic has ingloriously exposed the transient nature of all jurisdictions -- "You cannot love both God and money."

As Saint Paul says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." This does NOT make the OCA the sole harbinger of toxic finances or a lacking of integrity in high clerical circles. It all just means that others had and have better "checks and balences" on their sin.

We Americans have at last been noticed by the Mother Churches (Thank the Lord!) and will now get all the attention we need to become full participants in world-wide Holy Orthodoxy. We are ALL on this Blessed Pilgrimage to Orthodox unity by the power of the Holy Spirit! Remember: "Father, I pray that they be one as We are One."

I love the OCA! Sho'nuff! We all owe her much! I love the liturgical texts, the beautiful music, the learching and fits toward an authentic Orthodox evangelization in North America, etc. I hope you are alive and conscious enough to realize that the false OCA American ethnic triumphalism is a killer of brotherly love and Orthodox unity. Give me Greek or Russian or Ukrainian or Bulgarian Orthodoxy any day! It will have infinitesimally small amounts of charitable annoyance compared to triumphalistic American pragmatic ethno-orthodoxy!

So, make a decision for love and decisively turn your back on triumphalism. Yes? I would rather smell an incense offering than what you are smok'in any day!

The Orthodox Church said...

Father, I am inspired by your bold statements of truth. The simplicity of your complex thoughts is profound and the insight of historical accuracy and theological fortitude is a watershed for those less eloquent with words.
As true a thing I witnessed in your words today will test the trials of time
And Father the time is now
Do not be silent, for your discernment is required in this far reaching disputation.
You are in my prayers
As is His All Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch

Angela Damianakis m.s.w said...

Thank God for those greater than I standing up.

Isa Almisry said...

"Let's get to the point"

Yes, Father, let's.

"All of us are thankful for the OCA glorifying our North American saints! None of them were members of the OCA, however. All of them were members of the Russian Orthodox Church as is Saint John Maximovich"

St. John fell asleep outside of visible communion with the Russian Orthodox Church. The Act of Canonical Communion wasn't signed until decades later.

SS Herman,Jacaob,Juvenaly and Alexis are as much members of the OCA as St.Vladimir/Volodymyr is of the Russian and (soon hopefully to be) Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

SS. Tikhon, John, Alexander and I should have added Innocent, were glorfied by Moscow. They all did, after all, return to Russia and fall asleep, bear confession and martyred there. Moscow did consult the OCA, however: I remember when the Russians came for the glorification of St. John. My son was baptized in his Cathedral. St. Raphael could, it may be argued, have been glorified by Antioch or Moscow, but both defered to the OCA. ROCOR (the original point of your post) was nowhere involved.

"Who wouldn't be thankful that some zealous Russians or, should I say, Ukrainians, took the initiative and moved to glorify OUR Orthodox PEOPLE?"

Are you refering to Shelikhov? Otherwise St. Alexander is the only one who might qualify as Ukrainian (who, I take it, is what you mean by "OUR." St. Raphael, btw, was one of OURS).

"Apart from being the truth to glorify the "just before the Lord" they were also used and manipulated so as to establish the myth that the OCA is eternal and "here to stay" and a legitimate "local Church." The idea was: "Local Churches glorify their own, don't they? So, let's do it and establish ourselves in the eyes of many as the ONLY legitimate local Church in North America!""

As I stated above, half the saints I mentioned were glorified by Moscow. The first by the OCA, St. Herman: the cause of his canonization was started in the days of St. Innocent, and had nothing to do with the OCA's Tomos of Autcephaly a century later. Except being the result of their prayers.

"Friend, it is wrong, very wrong, to use the holy for political ends and political statements."

Since you vest legitimacy in ROCOR, this is an odd statement for you to make, Father.

"The OCA was born to be a transitional beauty and a gift and as long as she knows that she is to be a self-less transition and motivator for unity then she will give great glory to God! How many months ago were people saying the OCA was going to be a still birth because of corruption and she was going to be a "no-show" vapor because of internal OCA wickedness? How humility goes out the window when noxious self-possessed triumphalism displaces holiness."

No argument there.

Isa Almisry said...

"You, friend, are wandering off into oblivion with your dissolving "stuff." Are we doing "ecclesiastical chemistry" now? We are talking, are we not, about reality or are you talking about clorox and caustic soda? What are you smok'in? It's not good to smoke while doing chemistry. "As for me and my house . . ." we will breath reality."

I just repeated the word you latched on, Father, from HB+Jonah's speech, and the official claims of Moscow and Constantinople as to what they did to other Churches. I in no way accept such disgraceful actions as the suppression of the Georgian, Bulgarian and Serbian Churches, nor the intrusion into another Church in Poland and (then) Czechoslovakia. I in no sense look upon such acts as canonical.

"As Saint Paul says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." This does NOT make the OCA the sole harbinger of toxic finances or a lacking of integrity in high clerical circles. It all just means that others had and have better "checks and balences" on their sin."

Oh? The OCA's is the only books that have been opened, so the jury is stil out on "better checks and balances." We'll see when the (not so hidden) becomes manifest.
"Bishop Kondratic." Bishop who?

"We Americans have at last been noticed by the Mother Churches"

The Mother Church noticed America over a century ago, when Russia set up the Church and moved it towards its future autocephaly. I have a lovely article from back home in Alexandria (1907) quoting the Greek Press complaining about the OCA ("the Russian bishop in Alaska") founding the Church of Albania in Boston, which it took as a slight against Constantinople's claims on America.

"I hope you are alive and conscious enough to realize that the false OCA American ethnic triumphalism is a killer of brotherly love and Orthodox unity. Give me Greek or Russian or Ukrainian or Bulgarian Orthodoxy any day!"
You can have it any day, in Greece, or Russia or Ukraine or Bulgaria. You will have to be more specific, Father, on what you mean by "false OCA American ethnic triumphalism" and " pragmatic ethno-orthodoxy" for me to respond to that part.As for "So, make a decision for love and decisively turn your back on triumphalism. Yes? I would rather smell an incense offering than what you are smok'in any day!" I only want the same incense of canonical order we have in Africa for the Americans. That's the only thing in my censer.

And I don't smoke, despite how adicted Egypt is to the stuff.

Isa Almisry said...

"You, friend, are wandering off into oblivion with your dissolving "stuff." Are we doing "ecclesiastical chemistry" now? We are talking, are we not, about reality or are you talking about clorox and caustic soda? What are you smok'in? It's not good to smoke while doing chemistry. "As for me and my house . . ." we will breath reality."

I just repeated the word you latched on, Father, from HB+Jonah's speech, and the official claims of Moscow and Constantinople as to what they did to other Churches. I in no way accept such disgraceful actions as the suppression of the Georgian, Bulgarian and Serbian Churches, nor the intrusion into another Church in Poland and (then) Czechoslovakia. I in no sense look upon such acts as canonical.

"As Saint Paul says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." This does NOT make the OCA the sole harbinger of toxic finances or a lacking of integrity in high clerical circles. It all just means that others had and have better "checks and balences" on their sin."

Oh? The OCA's is the only books that have been opened, so the jury is stil out on "better checks and balances." We'll see when the (not so hidden) becomes manifest.
"Bishop Kondratic." Bishop who?

"We Americans have at last been noticed by the Mother Churches"

The Mother Church noticed America over a century ago, when Russia set up the Church and moved it towards its future autocephaly. I have a lovely article from back home in Alexandria (1907) quoting the Greek Press complaining about the OCA ("the Russian bishop in Alaska") founding the Church of Albania in Boston, which it took as a slight against Constantinople's claims on America.

"I hope you are alive and conscious enough to realize that the false OCA American ethnic triumphalism is a killer of brotherly love and Orthodox unity. Give me Greek or Russian or Ukrainian or Bulgarian Orthodoxy any day!"
You can have it any day, in Greece, or Russia or Ukraine or Bulgaria. You will have to be more specific, Father, on what you mean by "false OCA American ethnic triumphalism" and " pragmatic ethno-orthodoxy" for me to respond to that part.As for "So, make a decision for love and decisively turn your back on triumphalism. Yes? I would rather smell an incense offering than what you are smok'in any day!" I only want the same incense of canonical order we have in Africa for the Americans. That's the only thing in my censer.

And I don't smoke, despite how adicted Egypt is to the stuff.

Father said...

Isa,

What can I say? I believe in freedom of speech so speak away!

Um, on second thought, I have this gift of freedom of speech also! I would suggest shifting from attack mode and putting it into creative and charitable mode! I hit and miss the creative mode (I pray I get better at the charitable mode) every so often so I am not perfect.

I am sorry I was not absolutely clear in the most minuscule of OCA and Moscow Patriarch facts! I didn't know I had to. After all I am not an encyclopedia but a human being with just so much gray matter. Forgive me! My reasoning still stands, however.

It is impossible to intimidate me. I have nothing to loose -- I am a Hieromonk.