Comments Posted By Archpriest John Morris
Displaying 1 To 30 Of 170 Comments
What a hypocrite. His policies are directly responsible for the victory of Islamic Extremism in Egypt and the threat of Islamic domination of Syria.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On May 7, 2013 @ 11:36 pm
Allah is merely the Arabic word for God. Its use is not confined to Muslims but is also used by all Arabic speaking Orthodox Christians when they pray in the Arabic language. Of course the Allah they worship is the Christian Allah who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not the Allah of the Muslims.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On April 13, 2013 @ 10:25 pm
I do not know where to put this, so I am putting this here.
You people need to cease being so provincial. You have not even mentioned the kidnapping by Muslim extremists of the Orthodox Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo and the havoc that American support for the Muslim extremists in Syria is doing to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. I have been waiting to see something on this site about this serious crisis and have seen nothing. This should be of special concern for American Orthodox not only because many of us are Antiochian, but because our misguided government is supporting the people who committed this terrible crime. In case you and your readers are unaware of it, the Muslims have emptied whole villages of Orthodox Christians in Syria.
While I am venting my spleen, I want to get something off of my chest. You need to broaden your horizons. The OCA is not the only Orthodox Church in the United States or the rest of the world. Instead of doing all your in fighting in public and making yourself an embarrassment to all Orthodox, you need to show some concern for other issues than the inability of the OCA to administer itself. Keep your internal conflict private because it makes all of us look bad and show concern for the welfare of the rest of the Orthodox Church instead of this obsessive concern for what seems to me an effort at self-destruction.
I I were considering converting to Orthodoxy, happened on this site and read all the accusations and counter accusations, I would decide that Orthodoxy is so dysfunctional that it is not for me. I do not know who is right and who is wrong, and frankly do not care. The internal affairs of the OCA are none of my business, but when the OCA’s problems become public and make the rest of us look bad, it becomes my business. Both sides need to forget about the past and remember the Doxa for Pascha, “Today is the day of the Resurrection! Let us shine with the Feast! Let us embrace one another. Let us say Brethren! And because of the Resurrection, let us forgive all things to to those who hate, and in this wise exclaim, Christ is risen….”
Achpriest John W. Morris
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On April 27, 2013 @ 5:04 pm
Since the Ancient Patriarchates are the ones directly affected by the rise of Islamic Extremism, it is only logical that they should meet to discuss the direct threat to their existence. As far as any threat of Hellenistic domination of a united American Orthodox Church, I trust in our Antiochian Bishops and our Patriarchate not to sign on to anything that would compromise the interests of their North American flock. Metropolitan Philip has shown time and time again that he is not a weak leader, and will do what he believes is best for his flock.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On April 27, 2013 @ 4:57 pm
The official regulations for the reception of converts in the Antiochian Archdiocese classifies Mormons as non Christians and requires Baptism of a Mormon converting to Orthodoxy. I believe that the other Orthodox jurisdiction in the US have taken the same position.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On April 12, 2013 @ 11:21 pm
First I would advise you not to believe everything you read on the internet. I know the two OCA parishes near my Antiochian parish and their clergy and am convinced that they are excellent communities with dedicated clergy so if the priest and people are dedicated to Christ and his Church, whatever is happening or not happening on the national level in the OCA should have no influence on your choice. There are dedicated clergy and faithful in all Orthodox jurisdictions. None of us are perfect. I naturally suggest that you chose a parish that uses English for obvious reasons, but all Orthodox believe the same thing and there is no important difference between the various liturgical traditions, because we all use the same services. In other words, no matter what jurisdiction you are in, Orthodox is Orthodox.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On March 28, 2013 @ 3:33 pm
His Grace Bishop Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese did attend the enthronement.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 28, 2013 @ 4:46 pm
I do not speak Arabic.Very few Antiochian clergy speak Arabic. I once spoke fluent German, but that was 41 years ago when I was a student at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. My first major on my BA was German Language. I also had a double major in history. I had an area on German literature in my MA and PhD, although my other fields were in history. I still occasionally watch movies in German that I get through Netflix. I studied Russian as an undergrad, but never really became fluent.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 29, 2013 @ 11:51 pm
There is no canonical local Orthodox Church in the U.S. The Russian Bishops gave up their authority in America in the wake of the Russian Revolution. Antioch had the blessing of Moscow, what eventually became ROCOR and the Metropolia before it assumed jurisdiction in the U.S. because the Russian Bishops had enough problems trying to keep the Russian parishes from falling under the control of the representatives of the pro-Soviet Living Church the Bishops of the Metropolia encouraged the non-Russians to form their own jurisdictions under the control of the mother Churches.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 28, 2013 @ 5:07 pm
As usual you are taking my comments out of context. I do not want to get into another spitting match with you, but cannot let your false statement go unchallenged. Why should an Ethnic Arab or any other other Orthodox Christian travel 45 minutes to an hour to another Orthodox parish in another town when they have an Orthodox parish 5 or 10 minutes away in their own town, especially since both parishes worship in English?
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 27, 2013 @ 3:13 pm
SCOBA tried to introduce a common text of the Divine Liturgy almost 30 years ago. I was asked to try it in my parish to see how it was received. The translation was so bad that I could not use it. I hope that they will not try to impose Modern English on us because Modern English lacks the beauty of the more traditional English used in works like the Antiochian Liturgikon, which is, perhaps, the most complete service book available in English. Archbishop Demetri of the OCA Diocese of the South also published a very good service book.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 24, 2013 @ 12:03 am
Slavery in North America evolved out of indentured servitude. Most people who came here during the colonial period worked as indentured servants for several years in return for passage to America, food, clothing and shelter. They could be bought and sold just like slaves. When there term was ended, they were free. However, the Africans remained slaves for life. Native Americans also owned black slaves.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 23, 2013 @ 11:33 pm
To Tumorous Baktos
Your post reeks of Phyletism which is an heresy. Orthodoxy is rooted in a foreign country or at least a non-Anglo Saxon culture because American culture was shaped by Protestantism..Despite its claim of autocehpaly even the OCA is an expression of Russian Orthodoxy, liturgically and musically as well as culturally even if the service is 100% in English. What is important is fidelity to our Orthodox Faith not local self-government.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 23, 2013 @ 1:19 pm
I am certain that the Russian government is really concerned with increasing its opportunities to build up spy networks in rural South Carolina.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 21, 2013 @ 3:37 pm
Where is it written that only sworn monastics can only wear a prayer rope on their wrist? If that is true, why do monasteries make and sell prayer ropes designed to be worn on the wrist?
Patriarch Ignatius IV discouraged women from wearing veils in Church, because in wearing a veil has become a symbol of submission to Islam.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 21, 2013 @ 3:18 pm
Actually slavery existed in every one of the original 13 colonies. There were African Americans who owned slaves. Slavery was an African institution that existed many years before the coming of the Europeans who bought slaves from slave markets that already existed. The movie does not tell about it, but Cinque the hero of Amistad returned to Africa and became a slave trader.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 20, 2013 @ 10:41 pm
You are right Photios does owe the entire south an apology. After having lived in the South for the last 15 years, I realize the arrogance of the North, especially the Northeast towards people from the South. The people in Boston are the most provincial people in the entire United States. They are also so rude that they make New Yorkers seem polite.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 19, 2013 @ 1:51 pm
Unfortunately that has happened in many places. I oppose trying to build up a parish or mission by taking people from another established parish or mission unless the mother parish realizes the meed to establish a mission in another part of town to serve a growing congregation. I also realize that sometimes it is necessary to establish an English speaking parish in a city where the only Orthodox presence is a parish that worships in a foreign language and doe not accept people who do not belong to the dominant ethnic group of the parish. In some places where there are English speaking parishes, it is necessary to establish a foreign language speaking mission to minister to recent immigrants.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 19, 2013 @ 1:45 pm
You do not understand my point. I was not trying to justify the kind of treatment that you and your wife received. I strongly condemn it. I was only trying to point out that this kind of problem is not unique to Orthodoxy. I am pretty sure that I know which parish you left because I had a parish made up of people related to them, and know from painful personal experience how bigoted they can be. The issue is not really ethnicism as such. It is the feeling of certain families that they own the parish.. Non members of the family are welcome as long as they know their place and honor the primacy of the dominant family. At the same time, they view the priest as an hired hand whose chief function is to serve the dominant family and yield to their authority. If he dares to cross them on any issue, he is history and they do not hesitate to take out their animosity towards the priest on his children. A person can attend the Orthodox Church all their life and never really hear the Gospel if they see the Church in terms of preserving ehtnicism and family.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 19, 2013 @ 1:41 pm
I find it very difficult to respond in a civil manner to your offensive post. It is attitudes like yours that is preventing Orthodox unity in America. No Orthodox jurisdiction has a right to claim the South or any other part of the US as its private mission territory. We should be happy that ROCOR has two successful missions in South Carolina. My own Antiochian Archdiocese has also established many missions in the South. All Orthodox should be happy whenever a new Orthodox mission opens in a place where there is no Orthodox Church. As far as competition is concerned. The OCA is in no position to throw stones at any other Orthodox jurisdiction. Some OCA clergy and laity have no hesitation in trying to build up their missions by taking people from the missions and parishes of other canonical Orthodox jurisdictions. No Orthodox Christian should call any Orthodox Bishop a bubblehead. You owe ROCOR an apology for your offensive comments.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 18, 2013 @ 9:40 pm
There are actually very few places where the people need or want an all Arabic Liturgy. Some more ethic parishes want some Arabic, but very few, if any, would want an all Arabic Liturgy. Even people from the Middle East find the formal Arabic used in our liturgical texts hard to understand. At most some people want to hear the most important troparia of each feast chanted in Arabic and a few things during Holy Week.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 18, 2013 @ 7:12 pm
I never wrote that I have not had that sort of bad experience. I have had some very bad experiences in parishes that were more ethnic clubs than Churches. Try being a convert Priest in a parish like that. I have heard more than once, “Father, you do not understand our people.” I just wrote that parishes like there are fewer and fewer parishes like that. I have also wrote that the parish where I now serve is not like that. My point is that this is not an exclusively Orthodox, nor is it an exclusively ethnic problem. I have two cousins who are Methodist ministers who have had the same sort of experiences with one or two families who considered the parish their private club.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 18, 2013 @ 7:07 pm
The problems that you describe in your first parish are not unique to Orthodoxy. There are many Protestant parishes dominated by an old guard who welcome new people as long as they know their place and never challenge the domination of the parish by the old families. However, the minute that the old families feel that their power over the parish is challenged, they react in very un Christian ways. I have also seen all English speaking Orthodox parishes that have the same dynamic. New comers are welcome until they challenge the power of the old families whose ancestors founded the parish. Some parishes are really large extended families.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 18, 2013 @ 10:10 am
That is a rather serious charge that is completely without basis. I know several ROCOR clergy and frankly doubt that they are spies for the Russian government. You owe the ROCOR an apology for your remarks. I thought that the John Birth Society had died out a long time ago. I suppose that you think that I am a spy for the Syrian government because I am Antiochian. . That kind of American chauvinism has no place in Orthodoxy. You should be ashamed of yourself.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 17, 2013 @ 10:31 pm
My parish was founded in 1906 and if it is ethnic, it is Mississippi ethnic. On Sunday, we had a covered dish luncheon. No Arabic food in sight, but they had cheese grits with ham and barbeque. No one speaks Arabic. Although many people had grandparents who were Lebanese, the people are just as American as they can be. In the Diocese of Miami, there are more Arabic ethnic parishes in Florida, but the the northern part of the Diocese is completely American as are the vast majority of clergy. There are only two parishes with Lebanese roots. Mine, which is ethnically Mississippian, and the parish in Atlanta. I do not know what that parish is like, but the rest of the parishes in the northern part of the Diocese are as American as they can be. Every priest in my Deanery is a convert. There is no interest among our Bishops in preserving Arab ethnicism in our parishes. Back when I first became a Priest almost 33 years ago there were a few converts who tried to be more Arabic than the Arabs. Everyone made fun of them including the real Arab Priests and they have not lasted.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 17, 2013 @ 9:01 pm
There was a time when a compromise was tried. Matins was mostly in Arabic and the Liturgy in English in some of our parishes. However, slowly English began to take the place of Arabic even in Matins. The liturgics are the same regardless of what language one uses. I watched a video of one of the Liturgies served as part of the funeral of our late Patriarch and found that there is no difference between what I do and what they are doing in Beirut except for the language. However, even in that Liturgy, an American priest did his parts in English. The Divine Liturgy is the same no matter what language is used. I and any other Orthodox Christian could follow the Divine Liturgy even if it is done in Chinese.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 17, 2013 @ 2:55 pm
I am puzzled. Just what makes a parish feel American? Since most Americans are Protestant or Catholic, any parish that is true to its Orthodoxy will feel foreign to most Americans. By the very nature of Orthodoxy, no matter what language we use in worship, we are counter cultural because we do not buy into the values of contemporary American culture. We still believe in unchanging truth and value doctrine, something that is very unfashionable in modern America. Even most Christian Americans would find a service led by a man wearing brocade vestments, chanting and swinging a censer foreign.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 17, 2013 @ 2:47 pm
There is nothing wrong with ministering to Palestinian and other Arabic speaking immigrants in their own language. What is wrong is when keeping a foreign language is artificial for the sake of using parish as a means to preserve one’s ethnic background. From my experience, Arabic does not last long in most immigrant parishes of the Antiochian Archdiocese because I have yet to know an Arabic family that took the time and effort to teach their children the formal Arabic used in services. It does not take very long for the Arabic to gradually give way to English as the language of the parish. In my parish that was founded in 1906, we have a kind of museum case filled with items from the past. One of them is an Arabic service book. It sat there for many years until a visitor from the Middle East came to our parish. He called me aside and pointed out that the book was upside down. No one in the parish knew enough Arabic to know that they had put the book in the case upside down.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 17, 2013 @ 2:37 pm
Actually ROCOR has done a very good job of reaching out to American converts. ROCOR even has a growing Western Rite, so I do not think that it is fair to characterize ROCOR as trying to preserve 18th century Russia. I have found ROCOR clergy always very friendly and willing to cooperate even with an Antiochian like me. 30 years ago when ROCOR started the mission i Huntington where I was serving. that helped lay the foundation for Holy Cross Hermitage in West Virginia. When they started, the local police sent an officer to my parish to talk to me to find out about what he thought was a pro-Communist group. I straightened him out very quickly. During that time I had a wonderful conversation with a Priest who came in to serve them from Jordanville. He was Fr. Larus, who became Met. Larus. Today, there are outstanding relations between our Antiochian parishes and clergy in West Virginia and Holy Cross. I believe that even Bishop Thomas, whose cathedral is not too far away in Charleston, has served there.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 16, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
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Our Antiochian Bishops would have a very hard time finding a priest who could conduct the Divine Liturgy 100% in Arabic in St. Louis or anywhere else. Very few Antiochian clergy can read or speak Arabic including those of Arabic ancestry, because Arabs do not teach their children Arabic. Even our Patriarchs use English when they come here. Preserving Arabic is not a priority in our Archdiocese. When I was at Holy Cross the administration decided that every student had to learn the liturgical language of his jurisdiction. Thus, they decided that we Antiochians had to learn Arabic. First they brought in an Arabic priest, who eventually went back to Syria. He actually tried to teach us Arabic. He lasted a semester. Eventually, they had to settle for a priest who taught us how to say a few things using Arabic written in the English Alphabet. I was making an A and received a message from Metropolitan Philip insisting that I not spend too much time studying Arabic because it is a difficult language and he wanted me to learn Orthodox theology not Arabic. I have been an Antiochian Orthodox Priest for almost 33 years and have never been to a service conducted 100% in Arabic. The video I saw of the Divine Liturgy for the Patriarch’s funeral even had English in it.
The real difference that is apparent to everyone but a liturgical expert is the music. We can bring each other together by learning each other’s musical traditions. Already, my parish does at least 50% of the Divine Liturgy using Russian music.
» Posted By Archpriest John Morris On January 16, 2013 @ 10:10 pm