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Date, Time/Result, Opponent, Location, Details. 1/11/, St. Thomas Opener 5//, Meet of the UnSaintly, Klas Field, Details. 5//, MIAC. I first met him in , but I could not understand a certain hostility to the As a result, some simply lived in the past, in a cultural nostalgia. Meet us there – we'll be at the bar. 24 Hour Fitness Center 24 Hour Concierge 24 Hour Emergency Service Restaurant on site Tailor The sausage truck is a result of my fixation and addiction to making sausages. .. Sunday psalm nor Biblical passage but a quote from the very un-saintly Ben Franklin.
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Sadly, for the moment, all we have seen is bureaucratic men proposing. You have reported elsewhere the opening of the Russian Cathedral in Paris in the autumn. What are your hopes?
Our hopes are that the statement of Patriarch Alexei II thirteen years ago will at last be realized. In other words, we hope that this will be the foundation stone of a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe and that that will be the foundation of a future Local Church.
Before answering, I should perhaps say that what I want is not really relevant, what is important is what God wants. I will answer only because you have asked. Not at all, we do not want another OCA. The OCA was a failure firstly because its foundation was politicized, being founded during the Cold War, secondly because it was granted autocephaly unilaterally without consultation with the other far more numerous dioceses of other Local Churches on the same territory, and thirdly because it was founded on compromises of ascetic, liturgical and canonical culture, caused by its protestantization, putting American culture above the Church.
This meant that a great many English-speaking Orthodox in the USA, the ones whom it was allegedly designed for, simply ignored it.
That is no judgement on the many sincere and pious people who do belong to it or the good work that parts of it do, this is merely a personal statement.
So what do you want to see in Western Europe? What we want to see is what we want to see everywhere, including in North America. That is, quite simply, a Local Church that is fully Orthodox, spiritually pure, politically independent and faithful to the Tradition, but which freely celebrates, whenever pastorally necessary, in the local language and venerates the local saints. What could be simpler? And yet human beings with their compromising political cults or narcissistic personality cults make it all so complicated.
There are modernist, political dissidents in the OCA who want to become a sub-department of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in some special American Metropolia, just like the Rue Daru group of ex-Russians in Paris, the ex-Sourozhian schismatics in England, or some schismatic Diaspora Ukrainians. It seems to me that a battle is going on between the two factions there, the modernists who want to leave for Constantinople and those with at least some sense of the Tradition who want to stay as a group under the protection of the Russian Church.
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That would be logical and at last clear up the canonical anomaly once and for all. The OCA was founded nearly two generations ago. Why has it taken so much longer to begin even thinking about a Local Church in Western Europe?
We have been thinking about it for thirty years and more! On the other hand, you do not do things prematurely. In my view, the OCA was premature — it should have remained a Metropolia, English-speaking but faithful to Russian Orthodox Tradition, waiting for freedom in Russia, which came 20 years after its independence.
The main problem in Western Europe has been the delay caused by the Paris schism over eighty years ago. For instance, although or because the Constantinople Parisians are bankrupt, they are still occupying the smallish 19th-century Russian Cathedral in Paris, and therefore a new Cathedral and seminary have had to built and equipped at vast expense and with great political complications.
Everything is still possible. There are parishes in Western Europe dependent on the Church inside Russia and parishes dependent on the Church Outside Russia that are identical in ethos.
Some, sadly, are definitely not identical in ethos because of the hangover from the Soviet past despite transfers of controversial clergy out of Europe by Moscow in the last few years.
Once it has died out altogether, convergence will come. What I do know is that the most active and most missionary, the most spiritually alive, will dominate. Those who are spiritually asleep will be absorbed. If you do not have younger bishops, resident bishops, active bishops, missionary bishops, bishops who are interested in their flocks and local saints, you will die in your self-made ghetto. This is of course true for all Local Churches and their dioceses in the Diaspora. If you do not live, you will die.
Surely, that is not too complicated to understand? For example, today, just in the eastern third of England, we need twelve priests who can speak at least some Russian and some English — if they are bilingual, that would be perfect. I could name the places where they are needed. But where are we going to find them?
We have to encourage men to think about this. That requires leadership, time, effort and energy. Wherever within the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia there is veneration for the New Martyrs and Confessors and it is very extensivewherever there is resistance to the ideas that the Church must swim with the secular tide of the State and resistance to ecumenist compromises also extensivethere is joy in ROCOR.
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However, the fact is that some of the foreign parishes in the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia, suffered in the past from modernism, ecumenism and liberalism, unlike parishes inside Russia. When the ethos becomes identical, then there will be a complete merger, though, as I say, it is not clear which part of the Church will dominate it.
That will depend on the leadership of bishops. You mentioned local saints in Western Europe. Who at present venerates those local saints? It mostly seems to be immigrants from Eastern Europe, who have the sense of saints and relics. Sadly, despite all our decades of efforts, there are few native Western European Orthodox. I thought there were many converts? That is a myth. At most about 2, in the heyday and many of those soon lapsed because they were received into the Church for the wrong reasons or for ideological reasons, with certain clergy trying to build up artificial empires, which of course soon collapsed.
Most of their children also lapsed. I doubt if there were ever more than 1, serious converts. However, in the last ten years, I have witnessed a change. Converts started coming in numbers in the s after the collapse of Anglicanism. In other words, most converts were from an Anglican background, often of a public school or wealthy background and most were at that time 30 or 40 years old.
Some are still alive, but are in their late sixties or older. The vast majority of these are either in the Antiochian jurisdiction which at last has a new, young, local bishop, or else under the Constantinople Vicariate, which is dependent on an elderly French bishop in France, whom I knew when he was a young priest.
Together, about in all, they together form a sort of Anglican Orthodoxy. For example, as far as I know, the Antiochian clergy are ex-Anglican vicars who have not received training in Orthodoxy and do not know how to do all the services; then the people do not know how to sing; the Vicariate situation is similar. I know one such Antiochian community, where the priest has banned any language other than English! This is racism, though I suspect partly it is because the priest does not understand any language other than English, let alone the Orthodox ethos.
So converts are dying out? Not exactly, rather their nature is changing. Although there are few of these new converts, at least they are converting properly and not creating a semi-Orthodoxy, an Anglican-Orthodox club.
So what does that mean for these convert communities? It means that many Vicariate communities number fewer than ten, usually quite elderly people, and form a kind of ex-Anglican clique, centred on the dead Metr Antony Bloom. Where they are more numerous, most of the people are Eastern Europeans.