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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Return to the Orthodox Calendar and Traditions.

I see that the calendar has the same talismanic fascination for Orthodox traditionalists that Latin does for Roman traditionalists. If the OCA has the kind of problems indicated, it will take more than moving Nativity to 7 January to fix them.
Dear Stuart,

It is precisely those who reduce the Calendar question to the issue of celebrating Christmas on "7 January" who misunderstand the whole issue of the Calendar. The Calendar is an integrated whole of 365/6 days and how they interact with the Paschal Cycle with the Typikon that is the issue. The liturgical calendar is the way that we live our life in Christ in union with his body. The Nativity of Christ is not, and never has been, celebrated on the 7th of January. Those who think so, even if they call themselves "Old Calendarists" are far from the Orthodox Tradition. The fact that we celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos of the Most-Holy Mother of God tomorrow is just as important as the fact that we observe 25 December when you are observing the Synaxis of St John the Baptist.

Fr David Straut

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OK, we are getting off-topic here by bringing in issues that have nothing to do with the topic or the original post. If you would like to start another calendar thread which can go with all the others, please do so in the appropriate area of the forum. The same would go for issues regarding the OCA and the Moscow Patriachate vis-a-vis the tomos of autocephaly.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
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Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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Sorry Father Anthony!

I need to restrain myself when confronted with one of my pet peeves: the Christmas/January 7th thing. Let's stay on topic.

On the topic itself, I'm an observer rather than a participant. In The Russian Church Abroad, our Bishops are elected by our Council of Bishops, not by a Diocesan Assembly. So this whole process the the OCA Diocese of New York & New Jersey is something I can't identify with. I do think it important for our Bishops to be monastics.

Fr David Straut



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I do think it important for our Bishops to be monastics.

As do I. I think, though, for a lot of jurisdictions, including the Greek Catholic Churches in this country, it will be quite a while before the ideal matches the reality.

Let's also be frank and admit that the rules were bent frequently in the Old Country, with widowed priests taking monastic vows only at the last minute before ordination to bishop. There are also instances of married priests and their wives both taking monastic vows so that the husband could become eligible for the episcopate. And, of course, some of the greatest of the Orthodox bishops, like Photios the Great, weren't monastics or even clerics when they were selected for the episcopate. With Christ all things are possible. And Imperial patronage is almost as good.

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We can now listen to audio interviews with the three official candidates here [nynjoca.org].

I think all three candidates make a good impression. Fr. Michael Dahulich is obviously a fine scholar, but at times seems a bit vague. Fr. David Brum is the best speaker, but his comments seem a bit too bland at times. If I had a vote in this matter I would tend to go for Fr. David Mahaffey, who seems to be more clear about the need for change and reform than the other two candidates.

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Are they campaigning or something? Whatever happened to reticence?

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Are they campaigning or something? Whatever happened to reticence?
Exactly! But how can one have an election without somehow getting to know the candidates?

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I mean, this is America. How can you have an election without an election campaign? It's part of the culture.

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I say, vote for the guy who, when his name is raised, runs off to a cave in the desert somewhere and refuses to come out, and who must, literally, be dragged to his own ordination. Beware the guy who wants it badly enough to say so.

In World War II, Germany's highest award was the Knight's Cross, worn on a ribbon around the neck. Guys who too obviously were chasing after it were said to have "throat ache". It seems a Panagia can have the same effect.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
I say, vote for the guy who, when his name is raised, runs off to a cave in the desert somewhere and refuses to come out, and who must, literally, be dragged to his own ordination. Beware the guy who wants it badly enough to say so.
[...]
This is of course received wisdom. Beware the man who puts himself forward for episcopal office. I know a monastery which is jokingly and self-deprecatingly said to have more episcopal vocations than monastic ones... Perhaps a widowed priest would not be such a bad choice after all?

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Or a qualified single deacon, or a qualified lay monastic. Nothing says a bishop has to come from the ranks of the presbyterate, or even from the clergy itself.

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Actually the CCEO Canon 180 requires a bishop candidate to be at least 35, a presbyter for at least five years, not married, possess a doctorate or licentiate in some sacred science or at least be an expert in it in addition to good faith morals and reputation.


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The CCEO is not an Orthodox document...

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Originally Posted by StuartK
I say, vote for the guy who, when his name is raised, runs off to a cave in the desert somewhere and refuses to come out, and who must, literally, be dragged to his own ordination. Beware the guy who wants it badly enough to say so.

I've heard the same said by others. However, I've also read this:

"The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task." (1 Timothy 3:1, RSV--emphasis mine)

If someone can discern a vocation to the diaconate, the priesthood, or the monastic life, why can't an individual have a calling to the episcopacy?

Dave

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Stuart is right, I think.

Quote
Qualifications
a. The candidate for the office of diocesan bishop must satisfy all the requirements of the Holy Canons pertaining to this highest of all ecclesiastical offices. In addition, it is preferable that he have completed a course of study in a Graduate School of Orthodox Theology and that he be conversant in the English language.
b. If he is not already a bishop, he can be nominated only from among the monastic or celibate clergy or laymen;
c. If at the moment of his nomination he is a layman or a celibate or widowed priest, he shall pronounce at least the first monastic vows (rasophoria).
d. Diocesan bishops of the Orthodox Church in America shall not be candidates for nomination by the Diocesan Assembly of another diocese.
Source
Article VI, Section 9, of the Statute of the OCA [oca.org]

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