Friday, June 18, 2010

Towards an Evangelical Image...?

[EDIT: The post linked to below is apparently no longer on Fr. Basil's blog]

"I don’t personally care whether our hierarchs are from this continent or not. Insisting that the bishops be from the “mother country” or from the United States and Canada are just different forms of the same over-emphasis on race. What we need are bishops and church leaders (ordained and lay) who see that what stands before us is about the Gospel and its proclamation to the people of this continent."

From Fr. Basil Biberdorf's reflection on the SVS Hellenism Symposium, HERE.

As I said in the comments, we are in the unique position of participating in a movement towards jurisdictional unity that, for once, is not only approved of by our patriarchs, but initiated by them for the express purpose of establishing an Orthodox-style episcopacy of one bishop/one city. I don’t care if we wind up with some of our hierarchs being from another continent, either; in fact, having some from other countries may help us get over some of our American exceptionalism. Having one bishop to answer to as the authority figure, however, is an important step towards presenting the Gospel which Fr. Basil mentions. This is not to say that any given bishop who governs his given region will do so evangelically or even competently (I pray they will), but it seems to me that putting such a plan in action is of great importance and the primary purpose of both the EA and Chambesy, and ultimately essential to proclaiming the Gospel in the first place, for it must be done "decently and in order," and this cannot be done to the full given our shattered ecclesiological image in this place at present.


James the Thickheaded said...

A corrollary would be that misgovernance bears no relation or attribution to nation of origin, and where we presume to all recognize the same spiritual origin seems to be completely irrelevant. The premise that anything other than a spirit of seeking the Kingdom is worth packing for the journey is irrelevant as well. Neither Hellenism, Russianism, Americanism or what have you has anything inherent in it which facilitates travel. Definitely come as you are... leave the rest at home.

David B said...

James -- amen. A march out of this world while marching further into it. A homeless people finding their homeland wherever the brethren born from another world gather in this one.