The Rocor Website
- Christ is Risen!
I just wanted to respond to the comments about the ROCOR website. I too
have been disappointed by the Synod website and also wish that it would be
better; however I am surprised by some of the comments and comparisons,
which seem to be more of this world, then of the Other (which is where I
consider the Church to be.)
The Orthodox Church has existed for two millenia without websites; in fact
it has existed for the greater part of the two millenia with the better
part of the Faithful not having access to most of the written things we now
take for granted. The Bible was not translated into Russian until the mid
19th century and Orthodox prayer books, literature, newspapers and journals
probably appeared in Russia at the same with the spread of printing
presses. Unless the priest read his bishop's message from the amvon, most
pre-revolutionary Orthodox Faithful probably never even heard the message.
(I am not saying that this was a good thing, but just attempting to show
how the Faithful existed and perhaps we may have unrealistic expectations.)
The delay in English translations has always been a problem with ROCA
printed materials, though the perception that Russian speakers are somehow
"in the loop" (since Pascal and Nativity messages appear immediately in
Orthodox Russia) is a misnomer, since the number of subscribers to OR,
compared to the actual number of Russian speaking ROCA Faithful, is
pitifully low. (This is true even if you take into consideration that 2 or
3 people may read OR.) Sure, it is nice to read the Pascal message during
Bright Week, but it is a spiritual message, not a news items, so it should
have the same meaning whether you read it during Bright Week or during
At a St Herman's Syezd several years ago, Fr Gregory Naumenko presented a
wonderful lecture on the dangers of "information overload" and the
currently worldly desire to need to know everything yesterday. When I first
started working in 1988, there was one fax machine for our whole University
and to send a fax was a Big Thing! Now every department has one, if not two
fax machines, since everything has to be there ASAP.
I personally have felt that the best way to curtail rumors would be the
dissemination of the facts on the part of the bishops (which is not the
usual way of doing things in any Orthodox Church; or in other churches for
that matter). I feel that they have been doing a very good job since the
October 2000 sobor, though I would agree there has been little info in the
past few months and it is indeed hard to figure out who is with us and who
While the Internet can be a wonderful tool and there are many fantastic
Orthodox resources, sites etc, the comments
>A website must be like a book, if your church doesn't offer you materialsand
>for the benefit of your being. Then what kind of a church is that?
> They made up many excuses, all of which I don't buy. Many people wereare somewhat surprising. There are only so many things that a particular
> upset about that. Especially when the OCA, has had the courtesy of
> offering it's chief hierarch's sermon in many languages for the various
> people to read.
>I am at awe at the level of professionalism that your Church shows toward,
>not only the world, but also toward it's Orthodox flock. It makes other
>people want to visit your churches, by seeing the level of commitment to
>its faithful on something as simple as a website. It's just really
>great! I am really happy for you.
site can offer and even if a good Synodal webmaster is found, there is only
so much he or she can do. How many people who have so much constructive
criticism at the ready about the Synod website have contacted Fr Peter and
volunteered to help scan spiritual material or offer some other type of
assistance? It would be great if the Synod site could put up all the Works
of the Holy Fathers, Prologue, Lives of the Saints, Synod News, Orthodox
World News, the Calendar, all the tropars and kondaks in MP3 files etc, but
I do not believe it is possible or is it feasible. This why there are
search engines and links to other Orthodox sites. For international or
national news on the web, I have a whole host of various news sites that I
visit, I do not visit just one site. I do not expect to visit just one
If a glitzy website and the ability to read Metropolitan Theodius' Pasal
Message in numerous languages are really more important then the very
fundamental spiritual differences between the various Orthodox Churches,
then there really is not much else to be said.
At 04:25 PM 5/18/2002, you wrote:
>Dear all,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> I wanted to forward this email, it is an email regarding the OCA website
>and the ROCOR website. I was told by it's author, who will remain
>nameless, that he is fed up. He wasn't able to read a Paschal epistle
>of his chief hierarch for nearly two weeks after Pascha, when thanks to
>Holy Cross, it was finally available in English. It really is sad. I
>think something really must be done. A website must be like a book, if
>your church doesn't offer you materials for the benefit of your being.
>Then what kind of a church is that? I realize the Church Abroad is
>struggling at the moment, but that is no excuse for it's leaders to
>forget about the faithful who remain. The OCA has learned this, so have
>the Greeks. Perhaps the Russian Church Abroad should learn this as
>well? The website is in shambles, and very much out of date. It is May
>and hasn't been updated since February. No one has any idea of what is
>going on in the Church. And when people bring this up, I have noticed
>that the priests get upset. People rely heavily on e-mail lists and
>yahoo groups to find out any kind of information, and most of the time
>it is just plain ole' gossip, not information, and not beneficial.
>People are even going to the ROCiE website for information, which is not
>good. By not properly informing your flock you are unintentionally
>leading them away. They will look at one thing on their website, and
>then look at another, and another, and they may start believing some of
>the things that they include on their website. I am not intentionally
>trying to upset anyone, I am only speaking what is being spoken by the
>MANY faithful. I was told that the clergy did bring this up at an
>earlier meeting, and that Bishop Kyril of West America, placed a Fr.
>Peter Perekrestov in charge of it. To find a designer and to figure the
>costs. But I was also told by that same Fr. Peter, that he is going to
>try it himself first, to save on costs I assume.
>The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is a worldwide church and
>organization with faithful on every populated continent, who speak a
>wide variety of languages. From French to Polish, English to Georgian.
>So if it is going to design for itself a website, it should be big and
>easily maneuverable. A website is like a worldwide electronic book and
>people who see the level of comittment made on a website, will believe
>it to be the case with the rest of its organization. A properly run
>website is a properly run organization. Various studies have shown that
>a company that has an eye pleasing website, will gain in growth and
>revenue. QVC showed a dramatic increase in revenue when they overhauled
>their website. It is the same with a Church or a non-profit website.
>Not just from a business point of view, spiritually speaking it should
>offer its flock resources in their own language. Not just in Russian!
>And it should be centralized. And they should look at the GOArch and
>the OCA websites as examples of quality work. A template that should be
>followed! As we say in advertising, if it works then copy it!
>Here is the e-mail that was sent to the OCA Communications Department
>chief, who are in charge of the website team:
>Christ is Risen!
>I just wanted to comment on the NEW OCA Website, and all I can say is
>"Thank GOD" for the OCA website. I am a Reader of the Russian Orthodox
>Church Abroad and may I say, the OCA website is a life-saver. I am very
>happy the OCA cares enough about it's Orthodox faithful to offer so much
>information.... it just shows that you care, I am very pleased. At the
>same time, I am also very much disappointed in our Church Abroad and
>it's lack of support for its flock. They didn't even have the courtesy
>to translate Met. Laurus' Paschal Epistle into english for we many
>Orthodox who don't understand Russian. They made up many excuses, all
>of which I don't buy. Many people were upset about that. Especially
>when the OCA, has had the courtesy of offering it's chief hierarch's
>sermon in many languages for the various people to read.
>I am at awe at the level of professionalism that your Church shows
>toward, not only the world, but also toward it's Orthodox flock. It
>makes other people want to visit your churches, by seeing the level of
>commitment to its faithful on something as simple as a website. It's
>just really great! I am really happy for you.
>Honestly, if I didn't love my parish so much, I would start an OCA
>mission here in ****** (deleted). But that's just between you and me..
>It's just really great, I am so happy. I look forward to seeing what
>you will offer next.
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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- I have kind of a silly question. I haven't been able
to gather much information regarding the Church's
stance(or lack thereof) towards tattoos. If anyone has
any info, insights, stories, etc. regarding
tattoos(particularly Christian oriented tattoos)
within the church it would be much appreciated. Are
there any known priests with tattoos?
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