Archive for August, 2008

Many Russian and Georgian Orthodox outside Eurasia seem to be refraining from taking sides in the conflict between their two countries in the Caucasus.  The war currently is highlighted on the homepage of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), including a link to the words of one of their priests calling it “a terrible, fratricidal tragedy provoked by the enemy of our salvation,” ie, the devil.  And the Primate of the historically-Russian, Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Metropolitan HERMAN, wrote in sympathy to both countries’ Patriarchs, and issued a strong statement of concern and prayer regarding the conflict.

While Georgian Orthodox emigres in Western and Central Europe have a diocese of their own, which is part of their homeland’s Patriarchate, Georgians in the U.S. seem to belong to these two Churches’ parishes, and possibly others’.  And as ROCOR pointed out, there are also Ossetian Orthodox in their Church here.

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This news release from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) announces a recent agreement between the Jerusalem and Constantinople Patriarchates ceding the JP’s claims of jurisdiction in the United States to the latter.  Its parishes here will form a vicariate directly under the jurisdiction of the Greek Archbishop of America, seemingly similar in many ways to Constantinople’s other non-Greek groups here, but without the status of a diocese or full “jurisdiction” of its own like them.  As they highlight that this will have the effect of bringing the JP’s Church here under the SCOBA umbrella (but without distinct representation on SCOBA), that will leave only the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) apart from it, among “canonical” Orthodox jurisdictions based here in the States.

Orthodoxwiki discusses the JP here, on this page, and links to a new page of theirs about the new Vicariate.*  A couple years ago I thought I read that, objecting to talk of the GOA absorbing breakaway Antiochian parishes (as discussed on Orthodoxwiki), the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America temporarily put the breaks on SCOBA Primates’ meetings.  But I lack complete information on this point.  SCOBA meetings have resumed since that time.

I have also read that the GOA does include a handful of parishes defined by Orthodox ethnicity other than Greek, including Romanian.  I don’t know the history there either.

(*–The small Belarusan “Council” of parishes that Orthodoxwiki continues to list in the present tense disappeared from GOA/EP information products – website, printed directory – some time in the last couple years.  I don’t know what happened to them, if anything.)

I’m going to see if this blog can be a little more interactive, allowing for reader initiative instead of just mine.  I also discuss how to find other Orthodox people to ask questions of.  Read all about it!