He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A More Mundane Criterion

Another interesting item from Och's blog concerns the report that the OCA's Met Jonah is talking to the Fort Worth ECUSA diocese, presumably about reception into Orthodoxy.

I'm a huge fan of the Anglicans. Their sensible outreach spirit has brought us such varied phenomena as the USA (Anglicans along with Protestants, Masons, and Deists) and Alcoholics Anonymous.

How shameful we Orthodox must feel at our own paltry outreach. Our excitable Greek and Slavic energies have been wasted in stupid quibblings. We can't even agree to pay our priests a living wage. We make a big show about Lenten repentance and what the Fathers think about whatnot, but kick the man who's commissioned to lead us to the Kingdom. We kick his family, too.

Met. Jonah's talks with the Anglicans are good news. Assuming there's some real conversion going on, the Met needs to get his numbers up to take on the Greeks about leadership in America. He needs also to show Moscow that he has the Right Stuff to lead a united Russian-legacy effort.

All of these issues are nice, but I'm especially joyful at the prospect of more formerly-Anglican converts filling Orthodox parish councils. The Anglicans are used to having priests, and they're used to paying them well. In fact, I would say that in my experience Anglican converts are the only converts that parishes should fight to get on their councils. Among the cradles on councils, my favorites are Syrians and Greeks, in that order. Those cradles are also worth fighting for.

We enter the Kingdom through our parishes. Let's take care of them.


Stella said...

All you care about is money.

Visibilium said...


Matter is Spirit-bearing. Get used to it.

I'm sure that your clergy thrive on air and pretzels.

Anonymous said...

I'm used to the state paying the priests. That's the traditional way.

Visibilium said...

Since St. Constantine, state-provided financial support for clergy has been seen as the norm, despite significant historical deviations from that norm.

The problem, however, is that America doesn't have a tradition of state-financed clergy. Certain states had established churches and some provided some kind of support for clergy, but such occurrences are generally looked upon as novelties.

Hypothetically speaking, if we consider the standard approach of the limited government advocates who would circumscribe governance to providing for external and internal security (military, police, courts), we have to ask if whether the maintenance of the basic value premises underlying the society is one of the state's security functions. If so, then state support for the Orthodox Church could be viable under even a minimum-government scheme.