Comments Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris
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Actually, the constitution does exempt religious institutions from taxation. In the case of McCullock v. Maryland in 1819 Chief Justice John Marhsall ruled that “the power to tax is the power to destroy..” The first amendment guarantees the “free exercise” of religion. If the government takes upon itself the power to destroy religious institutions, that is a violation of this principle of the constitution.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On May 20, 2013 @ 5:41 pm
All I meant by my comment was that you cannot apply 1st Timothy 3:2 to the modern episcopate. I realize that there were married Bishops for centuries. Sts. Gregory of Nyssa and his brother Basil the great were sons of a Bishop. St. Gregory of Nyssa was married himself. I believe that the Council in Trullo made celibacy an official requirement for Bishops.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 20, 2013 @ 11:57 pm
Most scholars argue that during the lives of the Apostles, the words we translated bishop and elder or presbyter were used interchangeably when the New Testament was written. The modern office of bishop developed out of the Apostolic office when the Apostles appointed successors after St. Paul write his 1st Epistle to Timothy. Therefore I Timothy 3:2 really cannot be applied to the modern office of Bishop.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 19, 2013 @ 8:32 pm
The OCA should look to its own celibate clergy for its Bishops, because to be effective a new OCA Bishop must know the liturgical practices and way things are done in the OCA. You cannot take a Bishop from, say the Antiochian Archdiocese, and expect him to learn OCA liturgical practices over night. That is why one of the requirement for consideration for election to the episcopate in the Antiochian Archdiocese is that the candidate have been a Priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese for at least 5 years.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 16, 2013 @ 12:05 pm
I remember reading an article in the St. Vladimir’s Quarterly a long time ago, which reported that many Russian Orthodox leaders, including St. John of Kronstadt condemned the pogroms.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 29, 2013 @ 11:15 pm
I received the following e mail today. Please sign the petition.
Dear to Christ,
Last Saturday I emailed you a petition to sign in regards to the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, after reading the petition, which was started by our sister Christian Archdiocese, he has revised the wording and emailed it to all the clergy of the Archdiocese last Saturday night. He would like for us to direct all our efforts to sign it, in hope of reaching 100,000 signatures in order for it to be brought before the Congress.
Please click on the following link to see the petition, create an account, and sign it. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appeal-president-obama-and-his-government-release-two-abducted-orthodox-christian-archbishops-syria/xNskxL1q
Also, please forward this petition to everyone on your email lists and post the link to Facebook and any other social media in order that we reach the needed 100,000 signatures as soon as possible. Every minute counts!
Sorry for any inconvenience; if you have already signed the first petition, please sign this one as well.
Yours In Christ,
Fr. Kamal Al-Rahil
V. Rev. Fr. Kamal Al-Rahil, Pastor
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 29, 2013 @ 9:26 pm
There is a big difference between the kidnapping of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and the situation in the OCA. The kidnapping of the Metropolitan of Aleppo is a clear and easily understood matter. The situation in the OCA is not. as clear and easily understood matter. In the case of Metropolitan Paul it is clear who is the villain. However, the OCA problems are completely confusing to someone outside of the OCA and I suspect many within the OCA. You want me to become involved in a situation that I find completely baffling. I am not going to commit the same offense that some people in the OCA commit, because they have no trouble avoiding, commenting on the internal affairs of another Orthodox jurisdiction. Frankly, I have read too many statements by OCA people about our Antiochian Archdiocese and our Metropolitan that are offensive and none of their business, especially Mark Stokoe, a man who for some reason that I do not understand seem to have an inordinate amount of power within the OCA.. But others who do not like Stokoe are guilty of the same offense, attacking the Antiochian Archdiocese, its Metropolitan and its liturgical practices. As I wrote before. If you have problems, clean up them among yourselves and in private, not in a way that makes the rest of American Orthodoxy look bad in public.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 29, 2013 @ 2:18 pm
I guess that we will just have to trust in God to take care of his Church. In the meantime, the public fighting of the OCA is not good for the image of Orthodoxy in this country.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 28, 2013 @ 2:53 pm
Although I applaud Metropolitan Philip’s courage in bringing in the Evangelical Orthodox, the Antiochian Archdiocese was already full of vitality already. The Evangelicals were not the first converts in the Antiochian Archdiocese. We were the most welcoming of all Orthodox for converts long before the Evangelicals came into our Archdiocese. We already had an active missions program before they joined us. It the Antiochian Archdiocese were not already filled with vitality and blessed with excellent leadership, the Evangelicals would have never found a home under Antioch.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 28, 2013 @ 2:49 pm
That is nonsense. I serve as a consultant to two committees of the Bishop’ s Assembly. These are most certainly not dominated by the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Instead a real effort is being made to build consensus among the various Orthodox jurisdictions in this country to develop common practices on various issues as a stage on the road to unification.
You need to read some history of the development of American Orthodoxy. The Russians gave up their claims to jurisdiction over non-Russian Orthodox in America in the 1920s by encouraging the formation of the various jurisdictions independent of the Russians so that the pro-Communist Living Church representing Moscow could not win court cases giving them control over American Orthodoxy. The decision of Antioch to establish jurisdiction here was officially blessed by Moscow, the Karolvic Synod that that became ROROR, and the Metropolia which became the OCA. Thus all segments of Russian Orthodoxy approved the formation of a jurisdiction under the Patriarchate of Antioch. For that reason, the claim that our presence here in America is uncanonical is completely false.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 26, 2013 @ 10:10 pm
Canon 20 of the First Ecumenical Council, Nicea I in 325 forbids kneeling on Sunday
Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord’s Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere (in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.
Some people make a prostration or kneel during the Epiklesis, however. I did not say anything to the people about it, but I noticed that during the Procession with the Holy Cross last week, the people did kneel. Of course we kneed during the kneeling prayers of Pentecost. Naturaly people do prostrations as they say the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian and kneel during the Great Entrance of the Presanctified Divine Liturgy.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 14, 2013 @ 9:27 pm
Pews are common and are even found in Balamand Monastery and the Churches in Syria, including the Patriarchial Cathedral, but I personally feel that a sloped nave is wrong, because nothing should be above the altar, not even the back of the nave. The temple is not a theater.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 13, 2013 @ 4:30 pm
At the risk of reaching into the can of worms that you have opened, do not be so judgmental of other Orthodox and their customs. Orthodox do not kneel on Sunday anyway. That is what is so offensive to me about some Orthodox, they judge other Orthodox if they do not follow exactly the same customs as they do. Throughout the centuries different expressions of the same truth have evolved in different societies.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On April 13, 2013 @ 4:26 pm
A few months ago the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North America reissued the old SCOBA letter condemning so called same-sex marriages. It was on the web site of the Antiochian and Greek Archdioceses.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 13, 2013 @ 3:48 pm
Apparently, it is not the usual practice for a deacon to give Communion in the Russian tradition. However, it is quite common in the Antiochian tradition. When my knee was really bothering me, I asked a deacon from a nearby Antiochian parish to assist with the Divine Liturgy and asked him to administer Communion because I was in a lot of pain. Any person administering Communion must protect the Sacrament from being given to non-Orthodox and people openly living in serious sin. If a person comes to Communion and crosses themselves Roman Catholic style would you expect a deacon to give that person the Eucharist? Anyone administering the Eucharist must act as a guardian of the Chalice. It does not have to be written in canon law. It is a matter of common sense.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 13, 2013 @ 3:42 pm
To Joseph A above
Both. Abouna means father and is the way a priest is addressed in Arabic. However, Amharic is a semtec language. Therefore they are related. The head of the Ethiopian Church is called the Abouna, from Father, just as the title Patriarch comes from the Greek for Father and Pope from the Latin for Father.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 1, 2013 @ 9:34 am
The enthronement of His Beatitude took place at Holy Cross Church in Damascus not in Beirut.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 23, 2013 @ 11:20 pm
This discussion reminds me of something that those reading this blog might find interesting. Every week, the Antiochian Archdiocese published the complete text of Vespers and Matins so that it can be printed out and used without having to use all the books necessary to find the proper sticheria, etc. Originally, it was published in simple Word format. However, someone was hacking our Archdiocesan site and rewriting anything that a Jew might
consider offensive. As a result the Archdiocese changed to using a pdf format that could not be changed.
Read Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer. It shows how violently anti-Christian ancient Jewish writings were. The Talmud brags about the role played by Jews in having Christ crucified. When reading ancient Christian statements against the Jews it is important to remember the context. The Jews were violently anti-Christian and provoked the sort of response found in some of the writings of St. John Chrysostom. Never forget Hitler killed a lot more Orthodox Christians than he did Jews.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 18, 2013 @ 10:29 pm
My comparison between Antiochian and OCA practices was a question and was not meant to be a criticism of the OCA practice as some people seem to have taken it.
My understanding is that in the OCA if a person gets a divorce the Bishop only gets involved if the person wants to remarry. Is that the case? I am just curious.
If a young person marries a person who mentally and physically abuses them, commits adultery and then files for divorce, I do not believe that the innocent party should be forced to live the rest of their life paying for their mistake, but as an act of mercy should be allowed to remarry with the blessing of the Church.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 4, 2013 @ 11:23 pm
If a person makes a mistake and marries someone when they are young who abuses them mentally and physically, commits adultery and then sues for divorce, the innocent party should not be forced to pay for their mistake the rest of their life. When we are forgiven, God’s forgiveness is complete and he gives us another chance.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 4, 2013 @ 11:06 pm
If a person makes a mistake and marries the wrong person, they should not have to pay for it by remaining single the rest of their life. There is always forgiveness, even for sins that lead to the failure of a marriage.
I may be wrong, but I believe that the Antiochian Archdiocese is actually stricter than the OCA. Whenever a person is divorced, he or she is automatically placed under penance and cannot receive Holy Communion until their case is reviewed by the Metropolitan who decides whether or not further penance is necessary or if the person should be restored to the Sacramental Life of the Church including permission to marry. As I understand it, in the OCA the only time that a Bishop is involved in a divorce is if the person wants to remarry.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 4, 2013 @ 12:14 pm
The Filioque was only one cause of the Roman Schism. Cardinal Humbert who was the one who went to Constantinople and began the schism also condemned the East for allowing married clergy. In fact, the first time that the East officially criticized the West was a canon at the Council in Trullo that condemned the Roman requirement that married priests refrain from sexual relations with their wives. Cardinal Humbert called the wives of married priests prostitutes and their children illegitimate during a debate at the palace. That alienated the clergy and people of the imperial capital Cardinal Humbert was also rude to Patriarch Michael. Actually, the Patriarch was correct to ignore Humbert because the authority of a papal legate ceases when the pope dies and pope Leo IX had died before Humbert reached Constantinople. Despite the fact that he had no canonical authority to do, the arrogant cardinal placed the bull of excommunication on the Holy Table of Agia Sophia. Therefore, technically it was invalid. However, it began process of schism which became a reality when the Crusaders took Antioch in 1098 and removed the Orthodox Patriarch replacing him with a Latin Patriarch.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On March 4, 2013 @ 12:11 pm
How do you know that Noah lived in the Lake Chad area? I have read of recent discoveries that something like the Great Flood did take place in the Black Sea area.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 19, 2013 @ 9:56 pm
It all depends on what you mean by myth. The first chapter of Genesis tells us that God created the world, but was never meant to be a scientific account of how He created it. The doctrine of the Orthodox Church is that God created the Heaven and Earth from nothing, not that He created the earth in 7 24 hour days a few thousand years ago Seraphim Rose may have been a holy man but was not educated in Orthodox theology. He wrote some things that are of value, but is highly overrated as an Orthodox theologian. One would do better to study the writings of recognized Orthodox theologians than those of a self-taught writer who may have developed a cult like following, but really lacked the background and education to act as an authority of the teachings of the Orthodox Church.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 16, 2013 @ 8:09 pm
You forgot one very important point. in your list of problems with the African Community. That point is that through the government, we owe them welfare and other benefits not as an help in hard times, but as a way of life from one generation to another. It is the welfare state that has created a illegitimacy rate of over 70 % in the black community and teen age girls who get pregnant so that they can go on welfare.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 16, 2013 @ 7:57 pm
We are fortunate in this regard because we have had good leadership provided by Metropolitan Philip. The people who hate him or criticize him in other jurisdictions are only showing their jealousy that we do not have the problems of other jurisdictions. Every time that I look at this web site, I thank God that the only Orthodox Church in Austin at the time that I converted was Antiochian. Had it been a parish that worshiped in a foreign language, I would have thought that is nice, but not for me. Had it been OCA I would have been trapped in the mess that is consuming the OCA. At this point, it is not important who is right, because it is obvious to anyone with a mind that there are serious problems in the OCA. I would not want to serve under a Bishop who allows an openly homosexual deacon to serve for just one example. Nor would I want to serve under a Metropolitan who was a practicing homosexual for years and no one did anything about it.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 15, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
Unfortunately some Orthodox Bishops are more concerned with maintaining the ethnicism of their jurisdiction instead of fulling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations. The Church must serve the the legitimate needs of recent immigrants. However the Church must also serve the needs of their children and grand children, not to mention converts by worshiping in a language that they can understand. It is the heresy of philitism to turn Orthodoxy into an effort to try to artificially preserve a foreign ethnic culture generations after the original immigrants arrived in America.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 23, 2013 @ 11:03 pm
In the United States, the Episcopalians which is the American branch of the Anglican Communion have become downright hostile in several places because so many Episcopalians have converted to Orthodoxy. In the 1920s they had an official committee called the Committee for the Americanization of the Foreign Born which existed to convince Orthodox to join the local Episcopal Church instead of founding an Orthodox mission. They spread the misconception that Orthodoxy recognized Anglican orders and sacraments. and that a person could be both Orthodox and Episcopalian. All over the U.S. there are places where we should have Orthodox Churches, but do not because the local Orthodox were persuaded to join the Episcopal Church. Read St. Raphael’s letter http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/straphaelcanonized/lives/Anglican.html
American Anglicans have tried very hard to perpetuate the image that Orthodoxy is too foreign and ethnic for real Americans.
I have heard from good authority that the Church of England pressured the Orthodox authorities in England not to receive groups of Anglicans who want to convert to Orthodoxy. Since the Orthodox in England would not receive groups of Anglicans into Orthodoxy, individuals yes, but not whole groups as the Patriarchate of Antioch has. The Anglicans in England who wanted to covert to Orthodoxy contacted the American Antiochian Archdiocese, which sent a team over to help them, and then helped them contact our Antiochian Patriarchate which refused to yield to pressure from the Church of England and agreed to receive them and placed them under the Antiochian Bishop in Paris. As a result there are now about 18 Antiochian Orthodox missions and parishes in Great Britain.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 23, 2013 @ 7:11 pm
When several Priests serve with a Bishop, it is common to use several chalices to give Communion.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 21, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
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I found out who K.K. Kyrillos is. He claims to have been a Greek Old Calendarist Bishop who has joined the Episcopal Church and is a monk at a monastery under the Episcopal Bishop of Quincy. Some Episcopalians love Orthodox paraphernalia so that they can look Orthodox as long as they do not have to submit to an Orthodox Bishop so that they can do their own thing and believe whatever they want. I remember in London going into an Anglican Church and seeing on the side a full Orthodox iconostasis.
» Posted By Archpriest John W. Morris On February 21, 2013 @ 8:32 pm