Comments Posted By Carl Kraeff
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FYI: The Minutes also indicated that +Jonah has been provided with $10,000 for January and February of 2013. This leads me to think that the “offer” is associated with “In dialogue with the above mentioned members of the Russian Orthodox Church, we have come to a final proposal which would offer him an honorable situation and appropriate financial support.”
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On April 4, 2013 @ 9:45 am
This is from the report of the Metropolitan:
“I need to spend some time in this report to address the situation of my predecessor, Metropolitan Jonah, with particular emphasis on developments since the last Metropolitan Council meeting in September of last year. At the Fall Session of the Holy Synod (October 9-11, 2012), the Holy Synod appointed me to enter into a process of negotiation with Metropolitan Jonah. The purpose of this negotiation was to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to his situation following his resignation as Primate of the OCA in July. I was assisted in this process by a member of the Metropolitan Council who is an experienced mediator and both of us were assisted by the valuable and competent advice of our legal team. Beginning on October 19, 2012, we entered into a process of negotiation that would continue until November 12, on the eve of the All American Council in Parma. On that initial date, we met together with Metropolitan Jonah and his legal counsel in a neutral location for a full day of discussion.
The basic presupposition of the negotiation was contained in the phrasing of our opening question to Metropolitan Jonah: “Where would you like to be in five years and how can the Orthodox Church in America and its Holy Synod help you to get there?” This presupposition continues to be the basis for approaching this issue and it is the basis for the final proposal that has been offered to Metropolitan Jonah and which I would like to request formal approval from the Metropolitan Council for the financial component. This will take place later in this meeting.
Many options for Metropolitan Jonah were discussed, including various pastoral options and locations throughout the United States. We were unable to come to a resolution on that initial date or at any time in the following month. After my election, the Holy Synod presented a package to Metropolitan Jonah, where he would have a pastoral assignment in another diocese, complete with financial support and health insurance for a period of two years. This also was rejected by Metropolitan Jonah.
During this time, I was in conversation with members of the Russian Orthodox Church including correspondence with Patriarch Kirill, and personal discussions with Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Archbishop Justinian and Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. I mention this because one of the options under discussion was the possibility of a release of Metropolitan Jonah to another jurisdiction. This was his request at several points of our negotiation, but at this moment there has not been a request for his release from any jurisdiction.
In dialogue with the above mentioned members of the Russian Orthodox Church, we have come to a final proposal which would offer him an honorable situation and appropriate financial support. I believe that our Holy Synod has been very patient and very generous within the limits of what we can do as the Orthodox Church in America. The Holy Synod is asking the Metropolitan Council to give your approval to the specific financial package, which will be provided later.”
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On April 2, 2013 @ 11:01 am
Dear “Huh?”–Sorry but I am not engaging in debates or arguments during the Great Lent. However, thank you for pointing out that I indeed exhibited a “superior attitude.” I was also argumentative, critical and judgmental. I ask for forgiveness. In Christ, Carl
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On April 10, 2013 @ 10:30 am
It was a combo deal: webinar + workshop in person. There is no novelty; just a small counterpoint to the vomit that was spewed on the very idea of continuing education by the regular haters of this site. BTW, does anthing that is good must be dramatic or novelty to qualify as worthy of your attention?
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On April 8, 2013 @ 9:58 am
Glory to God! Good news. In other good news:
“April 5, 2013
The clergy of the Carolinas Deanery met from March 31 to April 2 for continuing education in homiletics. Fr Sergius Halverson of St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary taught the course. Before meeting in person, the group participated in a webinar to go over some basics of homiletics and receive assignments to work on for the meeting. Once gathered together Fr Sergius discussed the nature of liturgical preaching. The clergy delivered their homilies and the other participants shared their thoughts as to the effectiveness of the homilies. This was a valuable and productive experience, which we hope will continue to bear fruit in the Carolinas.”
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On April 7, 2013 @ 6:49 pm
Tim–Join one where folks are praying and otherwise participating in the services; one where the Lord is the only focus; where the congregants are trying hard to be His disciples; and where the priest is a servant-leader who is uncompromising in his Orthodox beliefs and praxis. We have such parishes in every jurisdiction; I pray and hope that one is near you.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 27, 2013 @ 11:32 am
Agreed. This filibuster would not have happened if folks on both sides of the aisle were not worried about the dictatorial tendencies of this administration.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 11:22 am
Imagine the reaction of their flock and fellow priests is their true identity were known!
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 11, 2013 @ 8:55 am
I agree with both Disgusted and Helga. Indeed, I have been thinking along these lines for a long time, at least since the “maximal autonomy” idea was floated. I really do not think that this evolving understanding of the Tomos has anything to do with OCA per se, certainly not with any personalities. What I am seeing is elephants contending in two spheres:
1. In the ecclesiastic sphere, we are a pawn (as are other small churches) in the battle for supremacy between Moscow and Constantinople. We are not going to get any overt support because the other churches are either dependencies of the two major players or are afraid of crossing one of them. I see a sliver of hope in only one area; SVOTS has succeeded in building bridges to, at the very least, the Serbian, Romanian and Antiochian churches.
2. In the geopolitical sphere, the attractiveness of the OCA to the ROC lasted no longer than the attractiveness of the United States. Or, after the world started to lose its healthy fear of the USA as the lone superpower. Since the ROC has decided to be the de facto state church ofn Russia, the ROC has no need of the OCA and indeed must strengthen her own presence everywhere, just as the Romanians, Serbians, Bulgarians, and even Georgians are doing.
My conclusion is that geopolitical and self-interests will dominate world Orthodoxy for decades to come and that concepts like autocephaly, evangelism and other forms of inter-Orthodox cooperation will be used only tactically. I think that in this setting, other concepts like schisms will also be used as tools. What depressing thoughts!
That said, my head tells me that I need to separate myself from this mess as much as I can. Using the upcoming Great Fast as an excuse, I will “schism” from this forum. Forgive me, as sinner. And, as God forgives, I forgive.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 4:05 pm
I have a question: Since the Tomos precludes (a) any transfer out of the OCA into the ROC and (b) any new ROC churches that are in addition to those listed in Paragraph 3, are the letter, spirit or both of the Tomos violated when a new ROC or ROCOR church gets started?
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 10:32 am
Regarding the Tomos of Autocephaly, here is the actual language that is relevant to your point:
“3. The following are excluded from autocephaly on the territory of North America:
a. St. Nicholas Cathedral and its possessions, located at 15 East 97th Street in New York City and the accompanying residence; and also the immovable possessions in Pine Bush, New York, together with buildings and edifices which might be constructed in the future on this land;
b. Parishes and clergy in the U.S.A. which at present are in the Patriarchal Exarchate and which desire to remain in the canonical and jurisdictional care of the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia – these parishes, desiring to remain in the canonical jurisdiction of the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and excluded from the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America are the following: (a list of 43 specific churches follows)
c. All parishes and clergy in Canada, which presently constitute the Edmonton, Canada Diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate (they all desired to remain in the jurisdiction of the Most Holy Patriarch).
7. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America shall have exclusive spiritual and canonical jurisdiction over all bishops, clerics and laymen of the Eastern Orthodox confession in continental North America, excluding Mexico, and including the State of Hawaii who are presently part of the Metropolitanate, or who shall later enter the Metropolitanate; and over all parishes which now belong or later shall be accepted into the Metropolitanate, excepting the entire clergy, possessions and parishes enumerated in Paragraph 3, points a,b,c.
8. The Moscow Patriarchate shall not lay claim to either spiritual or canonical jurisdiction over bishops, clergy and laymen of the Eastern Orthodox confession, or over parishes mentioned in Division 1, Paragraph 7, and by the present yields to the Metropolitanate, all jurisdiction to which she has laid claim on the above mentioned territory (Paragraph 7); excepting the entire clergy, possessions and parishes enumerated in Paragraph 3, points a,b,c.
9. The changing of jurisdictions by parishes which are in the canonical care of the Moscow Patriarchate after the proclamation of the Metropolitanate’s autocephaly shall occur on the initiative of the parishes themselves and after bilateral agreements in each concrete case between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Autocephalous Church in America.
10. The Moscow Patriarchate shall not receive into its care in North America any clerics without written release or any parishes except parishes from uncanonical ecclesiastical organizations in Canada; and shall not canonically permit clergy and parishes remaining in its care to enter any of the Orthodox jurisdictions but the jurisdiction of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.”
So, the short answer to you is that the Tomos did not even envision OCA parishes going to the ROC. Indeed, the only possibility of jurisdiction change was ROC to OCA (See paragraph 9 above).
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 10:28 am
Dear Professor: I agree with you with one small caveat. Granted that we should concentrate primarily on ourselves, isn’t it possible to apply it to ourselves as well as to others?
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 10:15 am
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 10:11 am
If you do not mind, I would like to introduce the historical account as Father Andrei responds.
“Established in 1963 the diocese was originally under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). It had its origins in the decision of Metropolitan Andrei (Petkov), then head of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia (named at that time the Bulgarian Diocese of North and South America and Australia), to regularize his relations with his mother church, with whom he had broken after World War II and subsequently was elected to the rank of metropolitan.
In the late 1950s, Andrei petitioned to be accepted into the Russian Metropolia but had been rebuffed by them for unclear reasons, so in 1963 he petitioned and was approved by the Holy Synod of the Church of Bulgaria to be readmitted to the Bulgarian episcopacy and continued to lead Bulgarian Orthodoxy in America. One of his clergy, Archimandrite Kyrill (Yonchev), disagreed with his decision and was consecrated by the bishops of the ROCOR to serve as head of the Bulgarian Diocese. Due partly to Metr. Andrei’s advanced age, Bp. Kyrill persuaded many Bulgarian parishes to accept his authority.
In 1976, Bp. Kyrill and his diocese left ROCOR and joined the Orthodox Church in America, thus creating its Bulgarian Diocese.”
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 14, 2013 @ 8:06 am
Please let us not single out any particular jurisdiction. Don’t you think that every local church has made mistakes along these lines? Lord have mercy.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 9:34 pm
You thought wrong. See my reply to Father Andrei above.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 9:29 pm
Dear Father Andrei–Whatever gave you the idea that I would not recognize that the Macedono-Bulgarian Churches in North America divided, with one faction going with Sofia and the other going with ROCOR. Indeed, I was there at the consecration of the then Archimandrite Kyrill, who was a classmate of my father at the Sofia Seminary. So, yes we did schism.
As for the business of Russians supporting Serbians, do you mean the perfidious attack by Serbian forces against the brand new nation of Bulgaria in 1885? No, I consider the Russians to be Bulgaria’s liberators from the Ottoman yoke, even if we had a rough patch when Tsar Alexander III’s government tried to treat us as a Russian province. And, I also truly appreciate the sentiments expressed in Proshchanie Slavyanki, a clarion call for Russia to come to the aid of the Bulgarian forces during their attack on the Ottoman Empire (First Balkan War). BTW, I highly recommend the way that the Kuban Cossack Choir sings it, with great emphasis on “Stanu vo veru Russkaya zemlya.” I love that.
Father Andrei–I am chagrined that you think I am calling ROCOR to be schismatic. I have talked only of OCA individuals and parishes who have switched to ROCOR. They would be in schism and schismatic no matter which jurisdiction they fled to. Please remember that I also said that I use the words descriptively. I cannot help it if you and others have a thin skin, but I certainly ask for your forgiveness for this misunderstanding.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 9:22 pm
Colette–You and Christine are the only ones from Team Jonah that I take seriously. Therefore, I believe your account of what happened. However, a military man would know the chain of command better. This deacon should have gotten his marching orders directly from +Jonah or a priest, not another deacon.
To use a military analogy, he acted as a dumb (brave new) private who went to the sergeant, instead of the officer who could have given him the only guidance. In truth, he is nowhere close to being a dumb private and I believe that in one of his explanations, he said that he could not obtain such guidance from the priests, so he just went on his own. I can understand that a man of his learning and strong convictions would feel frustrated and may be tempted to do what he did. But, I also understand that what he did was a gross usurpation of the authority of priests and bishops.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 4:23 pm
Anonymous–Your attempt at witticism has failed you. The original phrase (I believe by Stalin) was “useful idiots.” Thus, one can say “Carl, you may not be an idiot but you sure are useful” or “Carl, you may be an idiot but you sure are not useful.” Your usage is simply off. Is English your second language or are you a product of the dreadful education system that we have?
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 4:10 pm
FYI–I ran couple of Google queries and came up empty. Would you please give a citation? Thanks in advance.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 4:03 pm
Jesse–I just voted and gave a thumbs down to both your and JamesP’s posts. I voted because I felt challenged by your post; I had initially disregarded Jamesp’s post until you gave it more prominence that it deserves.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 11:42 am
Helga–We have had this discussion before, but a revisit may benefit the casual readers. Caveat: I did once apologize for calling such people schismatics and I am keenly aware that I am not appearing to be constant.
First, the matter of calling people schismatics. I think that there is a slight difference between determining whether an action is schismatic and calling those who commit that action as schismatics. Again, I must apologize as I am aware that I sound like I am splitting hairs. I believe that calling schismatics by that appellation is not slander when that person is in fact a schismatic. I do concede that such labels can be hurtful and thus should be used sparingly, if at all.
Moving on to what constitutes schism, I have in mind the following from Orhodox Wiki:
“The word schism, from the Greek σχίσμα, schisma (from σχιζω, schizo, “to split”), means a division or a split, usually in an organization. A schismatic is a person who creates or incites schism in an organization or who is a member of a splinter group. Schismatic as an adjective means pertaining to a schism or schisms, or to those ideas, policies, etc., that are thought to lead towards or promote schism.
Usage within Christianity
The words schism and schismatic have found perhaps their heaviest usage in the history of Christianity, to denote splits within a church or religious body. In this context, schismatic as a noun denotes a person who creates or incites schism in a church or is a member of a splinter church, and schismatic as an adjective refers to ideas and things that are thought to lead towards or promote schism, often describing a church that has departed from whichever communion the user of the word considers to be the true Christian church.”
In other words, schismatics are not folks who just change parishes for personal reasons (church is closer, choir is better, is not getting along with the Warden, or some other issue, such as the calendar, head coverings, etc..). However, when an entire parish splits or when an individual calls others to join him, they would fit the definition.
I should hasten to point out that not all schisms are bad. In my personal experience, my church–the Bulgarian Exarchate–was considered in schism from Constantinople and heretical to boot on account of ethnic-phyletism. “The Church of Greece was declared autocephalous in 1833 in a political decision of the Bavarian Regents acting for King Otto, who was a minor. It was only recognized as such by the Patriarchate in 1850, under certain conditions with the issue of a special “Tomos” decree which brought it back to a normal status.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Greece#History. Etc…
To sum up: If an OCA parishioner is urging others to join him/her to change jurisdictions, then he is a schismatic. If an OCA parishioner just shifts churches for personal reasons and does not recruit others to follow him, he is not a schismatic. In either case, such schismatic actions may be good or bad. That is my reading of the definitions that I cited and of the historical evidence that I gave.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 11:34 am
I do not know of any canon, statute, policy or practice that allows a mere deacon to determine who cannot receive communion. Therefore, I think you are blowing smoke. But please, prove me wrong.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 11:02 am
I was referring to the fact that he did not back his encyclicals (talk the talk) with specific actions to address the issues at Washington and Miami (walk the walk).
He could have addressed the Washington issues at any time. If he was a good and caring pastor, he could have called in the relevant people and laid down the law. He could have told the unrepentant parishioners why they could no longer approach the Holy Chalice. He could have taken other personnel actions, if warranted. He did neither.
He could have addressed the Miami issues while he was locum tenens of DOS. If he as a good and caring pastor, he could have taken proper personnel actions as warranted. He did not.
Look, I am not the party that is banging the war drums against a homosexual takeover of the Church. You have been throwing out examples of this dire danger, examples that include issues in Washington and Miami. At the same time that you have been pointing at +Jonah as the only one who could prevent the homosexual takeover. I am merely pointing out that +Jonah did nothing to address those two issues, except to make speeches and to write warmed-over encyclicals.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 10:47 am
George–My feelings regarding +Jonah are largely those of disappointment and pity. However, I admit that I have been angered by folks like Photius, Ladder and the funny man, against whom I have expressed what I thought was justified rage. As we go into Great Lent, I will try to do better.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 10:44 am
CQ answered you better than I could. I will only add by asking you if you also see yourself as someone who is upholding the moral tradition of the church. George–I thought you were a conservative and yet you are here spouting idealist and/or post-modern nonsense.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 10:31 am
I have to yank your chain on this one George. When you accuse the OCA church leaders of doing something criminal, you have to substantiate your charges and perhaps report them to the proper authorities. Phrasing it as “criminal nature of the entire enterprise against +Jonah” does not relieve you from the burden of proving your accusation. You know that there are canonical prohibitions of such accusations that you have been making. You also know that the Canons show you the proper way to make those charges (not via your blog!). You have been making extremely serious charges against the OCA Holy Synod and the appointed Church officials for quite some time now. If you are still in communion with the OCA, don’t you think that you should instead take your charges to the proper venues?
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 10:28 am
Colette–SVOTS’s relationship to the OCA is very simple and basic: while SVOTS is an integral part of the Orthodox Church in America, it is also positioned to be the flagship seminary in North America for all Orthodox jurisdictions. Here are the vision and mission statements:
“”VISION: With God’s help and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Seminary aspires to be the premier center of Orthodox Christian scholarship and pastoral education and to operate as an exemplary Orthodox Christian institution.”
“”MISSION: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary serves Christ, his Church, and the world through Orthodox Christian theological education, research, and scholarship, and the promotion of inter-Orthodox cooperation.
“In this way, the Seminary prepares students for ministry as bishops, priests, deacons, lay leaders, and scholars so that they may build up Orthodox communities, foster Church growth through mission and evangelism, teach the Orthodox faith, and care for those in need.”
This is in line with OCA’s understanding of herself as a continuation of the original Russian mission to North America, as well as her realization that her autocephaly is not an end in itself but a tool to achieve administrative (canonical) unity on this continent. Thus, SVOTs, as the only doctoral level Orthodox seminary in the New World, belongs to OCA and to all Orthodox on this Continent. This is reflected in the composition of its Board of Trustees, as well as in its student body.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 10:17 am
James–My point was to provide some context and balance. In other words, my up-beat postings are like antacids that I hope will neutralize the prevalent bile here. Although the visit to SVOTS may not have been “new” news, nonetheless it showed that the business of DOS goes on, that we have good and caring pastors, and that there is a continuous stream of folks who are attending SVOTS and will likely come back to us. Also, I do not know about other folks, but I truly love seeing the seminarians and their families so that I can thank them and pray for them.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 9:58 am
Back To Stats Page
I have been using the tern “Deputy Bishop” for priests for a while now. I borrowed a military and business term that is equally used in law enforcement, where Deputy simply means somebody who is authorized to act in the name of the principal. Looking at it another way, deputies must have a principal who deputizes them, otherwise they would not be deputies but some other thing. So, my usage merely reflects our organIzational principle from almost the beginning.
The reason I have taken to using this is to introduce some context and balance to the discussion. I think you have proved my point in this latest chit-chat. You rued the fact that no bishop served at Father Jacob’s funeral. I countered by pointing out to the many priests who were there, priests who day in and day out function as the bishop’s deputies. You then made fun of me by implying that I was putting a Soviet-style positive spin to what had happened, implying perhaps that the funeral service was somehow deficient because the bishop was not there. Indeed, the phasing of your criticism, “not one bishop took the time to attend” was an unwarranted criticism of our bishops. It was unwarranted primarily because it damned them for indifference and lack of love for Father Jacob, his family, his flock, the Atlanta Deanery and the Diocese of the South.
» Posted By Carl Kraeff On March 13, 2013 @ 8:20 am