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OCANews: "The Varangian Solution?"

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    http://www.ocanews.org/news/VarangianSolution11.3.08.html (Editor s note: The promotion of the candidacy of Russian Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) as the next
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2008

      (Editor's note: The promotion of the candidacy of Russian Bishop
      Hilarion (Alfeyev) as the next Metropolitan of the OCA calls to mind
      the situation in 9th century in the lands now known as Russia.
      According to ancient lore the Slavs invited the Varangians to lead
      them, as they had no good leaders themselves.... Below are three
      reflections on the upcoming election, as well as a news article from
      the Russian describing the candidacy.)

      The Varangian Solution?
      The following article, here translated from the Russian by Nina
      Dimas, appeared on four websites tied to the Church of Russia. The
      article reads:

      "Clerics of the Orthodox Church in America propose Bishop Hilarion
      (Alfeev) of Vienna to be the head of their Church
      Oct. 30, 2008
      In an open letter addressed to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church
      in America, Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko proposed Bishop Hilarion
      (Alfeev) of Vienna and Austria, to be the head of the Orthodox Church
      in America (OCA)(here)

      Such a possibility, of course, "would require Bishop Hilarion's
      agreement to be considered as a candidate for election, and the
      permission of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate allowing him
      to do so", notes the Protopresbyter.
      A well-known theologian, dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological
      Academy in New York from 1992 to 2002, author of the
      book "Fundamentals of Orthodoxy", Fr. Thomas believes that the Holy
      Synod of the Orthodox Church in America must turn to Bishop Hilarion
      and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church with a
      corresponding request. "It might be what the present moment requires
      from us", - concludes the author of the letter.
      Previously a similar letter was addressed to the delegates of the
      upcoming All-American Council by Archpriest Andrew Moore, priest-in-
      charge of the Church of the Holy Apostle Thomas in Springfield,
      Missouri: "We must have a Metropolitan who is a proven gentle
      shepherd but capable of leadership even when Christ-like action is
      not popular. ... I ask each and every priest and parish
      representative to prayerfully reflect and vote in the first round
      without fluctuations in the hope that Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) was
      as follows Metropolitan Orthodox Church in America ".
      "We need to pray and cry out to Holy God that the Moscow Patriarchate
      will let him come to serve us. And, that we let him know by our
      prayers that he is needed here", - concludes the priest.
      Fr. Andrew's letter created a lively discussion on the site "Orthodox
      Christians for Accountability". In particular, Priest John Scollard
      of the OCA's Albanian diocese believes that before voting in favor of
      Bishop Hilarion, one must consult with Bishop Basil (Osborne), who
      left the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in 2006. (here)

      On her part, a laywoman from New York, Rebecca Matovich believes
      that "There is simply no other way to interpret the election of an
      ROC bishop as Metropolitan than as a move toward being re-united with
      Moscow". (here)

      The same internet site published a letter in support of the candidacy
      of Bishop Hilarion. One was signed by Archimandrite Jonah
      (Paffhauzen), whose episcopal consecration is set for November 1; by
      Marquette University professor, Hieromonk Alexander (Golitsyn); and
      by the Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, Archpriest Michael Dahulich."
       (Editor's note: The article's claim that there was a letter signed
      by Frs. Jonah, Dahulich and Golitzyn is wrong. The comment to OCANews
      happened to list their names as other possible candidates; the author
      misread the list of candidates as their signatures. (here)
       The article continues:
      "Another letter, signed by Father John Peck, says: "Bishop Hilarion
      would be an excellent candidate ... If Moscow will release him to
      lead us, what might better strengthen the ties between various
      Russian Orthodox churches  and even the various jurisdictions in
      The election of the head of the Orthodox Church in America will take
      place at the All-American Council which opens in Pittsburgh on
      November 11."
      You can find this article in its Russian original at
      - Mark Stokoe

      --- End forwarded message ---
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