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Switch to Forum Live View SCOBA: help or hindrance to Orthodox unity?
6 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2008 - 5:31PM #1
Huson
Posts: 44
Is the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) a help or a hindrance to the cause of Orthodox unity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico?

On the positive side, those jurisdictions that choose to can join together in cooperative efforts.  They can publish positions on moral and social issues to guide member Churches.  They can pool resources for education, missions, and benevolent works.

On the negative side:

1.  It perpetuates phyletism.  It accepts without question the various jurisdictions (Albanian, American, Antiochian, Bulgarian, Carpatho Russian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukranian) and makes no visible effort to bring these various Orthodox Churches properly together under one bishop.  In this lack of effort, it not only perpetuates phyletism, it institutionalizes it.

2.  It gives a false sense of unity because the organization is based on voluntary membership and not on the classic Orthodox model of one church per region.  Unity does require voluntary cooperation.  The tradition handed down, however, is cooperation within the one regional church, not cooperation between various jurisdictions within the same region.

3.  It has no authority to bind the Orthodox to any decision.  The writer of Hebrews said, “Obey your leaders and submit to them.”  SCOBA has no way to actually protect the faith.  They can recommend, they cannot command.   

4.  It actually excludes some Orthodox jurisdictions in the Americas.  The ROCOR is not a member.

5.  It causes believers to have to water down the faith, and specifically contradict Orthodox tradition.  The oft repeated mantra "The Orthodox don't have administrative unity, but they are united in the faith." is a heresy that may one day become doctrine because SCOBA gives the Orthodox a way to live this out and not have to be united.  Paul exhorted the Corinthians that they should all agree, and there should be no divisions among them.  No divisions.  What of an organization like SCOBA that institutionalizes division?

Your thoughts?

Huson
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2008 - 12:48AM #2
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,911
Don't fret so much.

Here (http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?l … 995&tla=en) is a promise to fix the problem.  See section 13(ii).

I am sure everything will be straightened out, with all deliberate speed, in a few decades, or so.
People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2008 - 9:13AM #3
anyuta64
Posts: 1,536
well, in my opinion many of the problems you list ARE problems, but not with SCOBA... the problems exist whether SCOBA does or not. they certainly are problems that we need to deal with, and SCOBA is one attemtp to deal with them (whether sucessfully or not is a different issue).

SCOBA is not the end point, it's simply a step on theright direction. it CANT have the kind of authority you suggest.  That would take forming a single jurisdictional entity.. somnething we all know is the right thing to do, but  if it were easy then SCOBA woudln't be necessary. it's a compromise.. somethng less than perfect, and the fact that it is less than perfect isn't a "con" to it's existance. 

not every juridscition CHOSE to be a member (ROCOR,, if I undersand correctly) isn't exclluded, it chose to withdraw, for whatever reason.. and that may change in the future).

In the end, the jurisdictions have to talk to each other, and make a concious effort to become one.  perhaps SCOBA hasn't done as much as it could to facilitate that process.

I do think SCOBA could do more. but I don't think tha'ts a con of it's existance, I think it's a flaw in it's operation, if you can see the distinction I'mtrying to make.  I see a con in existance as something which, no matter how good a job theorganization does, the very existance of the organization itself presents a negative. And I can only see one real con to the existance of SCOBA..one that exists with any "compromise" and that is that some people may become content with the comrpomise, and cease to strive for the true solution to the problem.
Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

NOTE: This post is a natural product. The sleight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual charicter and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2008 - 8:51PM #4
Huson
Posts: 44
[QUOTE=SeraphimR;955296]Don't fret so much.
I am sure everything will be straightened out, with all deliberate speed, in a few decades, or so.[/QUOTE]

Why, specifically, do you think it will take 20 more years?

Huson
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 2:47PM #5
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,911
[QUOTE=Huson;959168]Why, specifically, do you think it will take 20 more years?

Huson[/QUOTE]

Just a guess.  The wheels of Orthodoxy grind slowly ...
People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 10:49PM #6
Huson
Posts: 44
It seems that Japan is having the same jurisdictional issues as the Americas.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church in JAPAN

What other areas in "the diaspora" are experiencing phyletism?

Huson
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2008 - 5:48PM #7
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,911
[QUOTE=Huson;961757]It seems that Japan is having the same jurisdictional issues as the Americas.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church in JAPAN

What other areas in "the diaspora" are experiencing phyletism?

Huson[/QUOTE]

I understand that the situation in Australia is similar to that in the US.

As far as the unity of the faith is concerned, it is interesting to note that Australia has one Orthodox seminary which trains priests for all the jurisdictions.
People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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