Governance and Jurisdictional Unity Essays


Thoughtful and well written essays written by Orthodox clergy and laity alike about the pressing problems facing the American Orthodox Church.


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“Spiritual” Courts: An Unholy Joke

Source: The National Herald BY THEODORE KALMOUKOS Analysis I had written about the so-called “Spiritual” Courts some years ago. The reason that I decided to write about the issue once again is the recent case of Rev. James Dokos, who pled guilty to embezzling funds. And entered into a differed agreement with the authorities in order to avoid imprisonment. There are two types of “Spiritual” Courts. The First Degree, which is convened on the local level at the Metropolis and the … [Read more...]

Secret Letter from Metropolitan Iakovos

Friends, As promised, I am sending you a copy of the Motion filed by Dokos’s attorneys to file “under seal” a letter from Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. The contents of that letter remain secret and should be released to the public, now that there has been a disposition of the case.  Whatever the contents of that letter may be, it is obvious from the response of the State, and from the subsequent ruling of the Court denying the defense motion to dismiss the criminal charge on 1st Amendment … [Read more...]

Holy & Great Council: 10 Things You Need to Know

Source: Coffee with Sr Vassa A popular, catechetical program on Byzantine Liturgy and Theology, hosted by Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin, liturgiologist and Russian Orthodox nun in Vienna, Austria. This episode is on The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, coming up in June 2016. … [Read more...]


Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The year 2016 is a momentous, historic time for Orthodox Christianity throughout the world.  After 1,200 years, Orthodox Christianity is on the verge of a seminal event, a meeting of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, to be held in Crete, Greece, during the week of Pentecost this June. This event will provide a pivotal opportunity for hierarchs to officially recognize a unified American Orthodox Church which selects its own hierarchs. It is … [Read more...]

Needed: Greater Orthodox Unity, Fewer Power Plays

Source: The National Herald By Dennis Menos No amount of sugar coating can conceal the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is facing hard times. Its endeavor to resolve the major issues confronting the Church in the modern era by hosting a Holy and Great Council, is beginning to stall; and an old rival, the Patriarchate of Moscow, with designs of its own is challenging the existing order in the Orthodox East. The recent Synaxis of the 14 Primates of the Orthodox Church, held at … [Read more...]

Ownership by All, Control by None: A plan for a governing structure of the world-wide Orthodox Church

Source: Ancient Faith Radio February 2, 2016 Length: 27:26 At the dinner following the 33rd Annual Schmemann Lecture at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Dr. Charles Ajalat, the former chancellor for the Antiochian Archdiocese and the co-founder of International Orthodox Christian Charities, presented a plan for a governing structure of the world wide Orthodox Church. Also see transcript below. Earlier in the evening, Dr. Ajalat received an honorary doctorate in Canon Law. Here he is with … [Read more...]

Toward the Great and Holy Council: Retrieving a Culture of Conciliarity and Communion

Source: Ancient Faith Radio February 1, 2016 Length: 47:29 Archdeacon John Chryssavgis delivers the 33rd Annual Schmemann Lecture at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary. He is introduced by Fr. Alexander Rentel. CLICK HERE to listen to the interview. Transcript Fr. Alexander Rentel: Theologian and teacher, scholar and interpreter, servant of the Ecumenical Throne, and defender of God’s creation. In your theological scholarship, translating, interpreting, and presenting the … [Read more...]

On the Great Council of the Orthodox Church

Source: First Things by John Chryssavgis Already there is much talk about the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. Between now and June 19, 2016, when the council officially opens on the island of Crete, there will be many rumors and much spin. Some will be justified; like other patriarchal institutions, Orthodox Churches are not normally known for their transparency. However, other chatter will be less than helpful. What follow are some brief clarifications on basic questions … [Read more...]

The Case for Orthodox Christian Unity in the USA

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity OCL has expressed the need for Orthodox Unity in the USA for many years.  OCL has kept the issue clearly visible for your consideration.  Here are 2 worthy items on the subject from the OCL Archives.  Do Old World Patriarchs Really Want Orthodox Unity? Source: The National Herald By George D. Karcazes Special to The National Herald The letter that Archbishop Kyril, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the “Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia” … [Read more...]

Continue to Pray for the Unity of the Orthodox Church as the Patriarchs and Hierarchs Prepare for the Great and Holy Council in June 2016

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity A PRAYER FOR ORTHODOX UNITY (OCL Pamphlet on Unity and Self Governance, 2000) O All Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we your faithful children beseech you to forgive us the sin of divisiveness, which is rooted in our hearts, our dioceses and land. Implant in our lives the holy vine of unity which only you can bestow on those who have come together in your name. Enlighten us with your grace, so that we may come to the knowledge of your truth and … [Read more...]