Fr. Alexander's military analogy does not hold up. He wrote:
"If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff (sic) to appear the next
day in Washington for a meeting--I have no option to decline."
The reality is that if the Chairman of the JCS ordered an officer to
report to him in Washington the next day, transportation would be
expeditiously provided to the aforementioned officer.
I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just read
the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
(though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither is
Fr. Alexander). In fact, I live in Georgia, which according to Fr.
Alexander's bizarre post (31183) on Paradosis qualifies me as
tatooed (sic) rock-music-loving red-neck cracker
" This must be because I disagree with him.
I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered to
the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why does
Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?
"In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is
one of the most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially
for junior officers, since they are required to set a good example
for their troops."
You are mistaken in writing this statement Father. I wonder have you
ever served in the military? Judging by your age, you would have
been subject to the draft during the Vietnam War.
The most serious offenses in the military are murder, rape and
robbery. Anyone who commits these offenses will certainly be tried
by a general court martial (the highest level court to try
offenses). On the other hand, the punishment for disobeying a
superior officer can range from verbal reprimand, to non-judicial
punishment (Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), to a
lesser court martial.
"Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military
organization, since it goes against the entire concept of a
hierarchical structure--the chain of command, which requires
obedience to orders and strict discipline."
Fr. Alexander implies that the French clergy are mutinous. Does he
really think that their offense is so great that they should be
executed? After all, a capital offense is one in which the death
penalty may be imposed. Please explain your thoughts here Father.
Or is this just another case of you overstating your position?
--- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
> This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can
> The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**.
> This means that the lower clergy are under obedience and subject to
> discipline of their hierarchical superiors.
> If your superiors summon you to a meeting, be it in another city or
> If I were working as a manager at IBM in Los Angeles, and received
> directive from the Chairman of IBM to appear at a meeting in
Seattle in two
> days--I would have to be there.
> If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the
> Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff to appear the next day in
> for a meeting--I have no option to decline.
> As a priest of the Russian Church Abroad, if I receive a directive
> Ruling Bishop, or from the Synod of Bishops, to appear in such and
> place at such and such a time--I would be there,come what may.
> Again, this is so simple, it hardly needs to be explained.
> In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is one
> most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially for junior
> officers, since they are required to set a good example for their
> Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military
> it goes against the entire concept of a hierarchical structure--the
> of command, which requires obedience to orders and strict
> The Church is no different.
> Priests are like officers in a military organization. Although our
> is not against flesh and blood, but against the demonic powers, we
> still all "warriors" in the army of God, as are the heavenly
> have a very clear hierarchical structure, with Archangel Michael--
> Archistratig--Archstrategos--Taxiarch--Commander in Chief of the
> So, the willful disobedience of the European clergy to respond to a
> of the Holy Synod of the Church Abroad, to which they had given an
> obedience and loyalty, is a gross violation of ecclesiastical
> for which they must suffer the consequences.
> Next point.
> Serge calls the suspensions a "sentence," and complains about the
> of these clergy being sentenced in absentia, without being heard or
> canonically tried.
> This is absolutely incorrect.
> A bishop, upon hearing of misbehavior by a clergyman, has the
> and, in fact, the responsibility to suspend that clergyman--without
> hearing or ecclesiastical trial.
> This is normal in most other fields.
> A policeman suspected of acting improperly can and would be
> his superiors--prior to a hearing.
> A teacher suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended
> superiors--prior to a hearing.
> In the Church--it is the same.
> The clergyman (like the policeman or the teacher) has the right to
> formal hearing on the matter, or one can be scheduled by his
> However, during the time of the suspension, prior to a hearing (or
> trial)--the person in question is **suspended**--and forbidden to
> his normal duties. A policeman under suspension must turn in his
> gun, for example, and is forbidden to perform police work.
> A clergyman under suspension must hang up his epitrachelion and may
> perform any services as a clergyman--not even give a blessing.
> Those are the rules.
> And the rules also state that if a clergyman while under suspension
> to perform any services as a clergyman--then he is subject to
> deposition from clerical orders--without any hearing or trial.
> All he has to do is perform a service or simply give a blessing--
> once--and he is out.
> So, the question is--did the European clergy who were disobedient
> hierarchical authorities and spurned a summons to a meeting with
> First Hierarch and Secretary of the Synod, ignore the suspension
> them, not just by their Ruling Bishop--who has the authority on his
> suspend any priest in his diocese--but by the entire Hierarchical
> and did they continue to serve?
> If the answer is yes, then they were rightfully and canonically
> even without a hearing or ecclesiastical trial.
> With love in Christ,
> Prot. Alexander Lebedeff