Friday, April 24, 2009

Thinking About the Church in America

Over the next few days, I want to reflect with you on the current controversy facing the Orthodox Church here in America. The flash point of this has been the very public exchange of views over the last few weeks between Metropolitan JONAH, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and various representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In what follows I argue that these differences point to more fundamentally cultural, pastoral and psychological challenges facing not only Orthodox Christians but American Christianity in general (and insofar as American culture has come to dominate in many parts of the world, this is not simply an American or Christian problem.)
Beginning today, I will offer a serious of reflections that I hope will provide if not solutions, at least a general frame of reference for discussion and debate as well discern together what God would have for His Church here in America. The topics are, in order:
  1. The Anthropology of Suffering
  2. American Religious Culture
  3. The Ascetical Ideal
  4. The Psychology Roots of Jurisdictionalism
I will post today a reflection on suffering.
As always, your comments, questions and criticisms are not only welcome, they are actively sought.
In Christ,
+Fr Gregory

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