Archdiocese Congress ~ Day 1

Actually this is day 2 yesterday the clergy of the Archdiocese met with the Archbishop. We gather ever 2 years as a diocese, well most of us do anyway, we spend the first day with the Archbishop discussing pastoral issues and trying to resolve some things. These are very sensitive issues so I am not at liberty to discuss them here, but let me just say, no matter what size parish you are in we all seem to have the same issues. We spoke mainly about how to deal with certain moral issues, and I will leave it at that.

Today we began the Congress with the Divine Liturgy. As is the custom, the Bishops and the deans along with the monastics serve this liturgy. This was the first year I served this liturgy with the monastics and our bishops. What a blessed event. I love serving the Liturgy with other clergy and we see the fullness of the church when our bishops are with us as well. I noticed this year much more English was being used not only in the Liturgy but in the Congress itself. The church is maturing here in America.

We are a very diverse Archdiocese with parishes not only in the USA but in Canada and some in Brazil and Argentina. So we have Romanian, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese speaking people very diverse. Mostly the people speak Romanian and there are 5 of us who do not speak Romanian. In the past we have been somewhat left out of things, but this year all of the reports were printed in both Romanian and English. The Romanian parts of the Congress are being translated for us so I feel very much part of things. This is a good thing by the way. We have come a long way.

After lunch, I have often said these gatherings are one long meal separated by meetings, we have a conference on Bio-Ethics. Now I am no bio-ethicist, but this was a pretty weak presentation. It has left the pastoral out of the equation all together. Most moral issues are not cut and dried and need to be handled from an academic as well as a pastoral position. It is not enough to tell someone you can’t do this and you can’t do that. We need to be pastoral in everything that we do. He was very hard line on somethings, and got the ladies quite riled up with some remarks in answer to a question on feminism. One of the things you will learn about Orthodoxy is that we do not really have official positions on many of these issues. Most of the jurisdictions disagree and that is one of the challenges of Orthodox Unity in this country is unity of mind on these issues. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, we do not have a single head that speaks for the Orthodox Church and the Patriarchs speak for their individual church so it is not always the same.

After a break we had some presentations and reports from the various departments in the Archdiocese to include our bishops. These are always interesting days as we discuss things going on in the Archdiocese.

More reports tomorrow and on Sunday the Divine Liturgy and an ordination. More on that tomorrow.

1 Comment

  1. I for one am looking forward to reading about it – this series, so far, has been fascinating to follow.

    Hoping you are well, my friend.

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