Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Effect of Vagantes

The Athonite monks of Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery.

One of the laws of vagantes calling themselves "Orthodox" is that their misdeeds sully the reputation of genuine Orthodox. Take this item from the San Antonio Star-Express about Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery of Kendalia, Texas, all of whose current monks are former Athonites:

Founded in 1996, Holy Archangels is less known these days than the 25-year-old Christ of the Hills monastery 5 miles southwest of Blanco...

"People have always confused us with them, but we have no connection," said Father Dositheos, 38, the Canadian-born abbot of Holy Archangels. The two groups of monks wear similar black robes and have long beards.

Of course, Derek "Fr. Aidan" Keller helped muddy these waters, inviting people to visit his Pseudodox then-monastery, Christ-of-the-Hills in Blanco, and Holy Archangels, referring to the three in the same breath as the "Texan Thebaid." (Yes, despite ROCOR's having disowned Blanco after credible molestation charges had been levied.)
The Star-Express reporter seems to highlight the dangers of vagantes and the benefits of pastoral oversight. (I've added links):
The Blanco monks' only affiliation with any recognized ecclesiastical jurisdiction — the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia — lasted from 1991 to 1999...But Holy Archangels is affiliated with the 1.5 million-member Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the largest nationwide Orthodox jurisdiction in the United States. The Greek Orthodox Bishop of Denver, Metropolitan Isaiah, is its regional superior. [That would be "bishop"-BJ.]
The good news is Holy Archangels monastery is growing despite others' obfuscation. Though it has but eight monks at present, it is building a dormitory to house 50. And some might find this tidbit another reason to support it:
The monastery was formerly a Moslem center, with a large mosque and several other buildings. The mosque has been converted into the main church.
Finally, I loved this corker in the story from the monastery's loving archpastor, Met. ISAIAH:
Metropolitan Isaiah said early Greek immigrants in the United States didn't build monasteries because "they expected to make a quick fortune and return to the old country."
Kyrie eleison.



Blogger Angry Orthodox said...

This is the real Greek church right? I mean the canonical one.

4:50 PM  

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