Talk:Orthodox Church in America

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I think it's a little late for a name change, but we'll see what Syosset does! Fr. John

Yeah, exactly. I figured it was worth a mention since one of the OCA's bishops was saying this, but I've not yet seen anything from Syosset about this. --Rdr. Andrew 21:19, 20 Apr 2005 (CDT)

Diocesan changes

Reflected the merger of Washington with New York and New Jersey and the retirement of Archbishop Peter. Perhaps someone better at Wiki programming can review to make certain I didn't make any mistakes? The source is as follows, read down after the selection of Archimandrite Alejo as bisop-elect of the Mexican Exarchate:

Ed Unneland 17:54, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Eastern Pennsylania

Here's the source for the news of the election of Bishop Tikhon (Mollard):

Ed Unneland 03:50 , 30 May 2005 (UTC)


The citation from the statute is correct in terms of the official name, but the same statute also makes reference to the Orthodox Church in America without capitalizing the "t" in "the".[1]

Honestly, I think that Bp. Tikhon is out on his own on this one. --[[User:ASDamick|—Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!)]] 15:17, 1 Jun 2005 (CDT)

I think we should revise this name stuff. I can't think of exactly how to word it at this moment, but as things stand they really seem to give to much weight to the one time flurry of discussion about TOCA. AFAICT It's really gone nowhere. Fr. John
It does at least seem that the OCA's Diocese of the West is using it on its official website[2][3] and those of parishes[4]. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 04:54, November 20, 2005 (CST)

Wow. That's amazing. I'm speechless. Fr. John

Sorry, Bishop Tikhon, but I think TOCA is not right. Oh, and if you look in your browser's "Title Bar," on any of his Diocse's pages, it says "...Diocese of the West, Orthodox Church in America." Plus, why are they and not (or Also, for example, think of the New York Times. In their masthead and other fun places, you'll see The capitalized, but I don't think they literally consider themselves "The New York Times" or TNYT, merely "the New York Times" or NYT. (Hmm, why not go for broke and go with "THE Orthodox Church in America." I'm sure hilarity will ensue.) -HiFiGuy 00:02, July 26, 2006 (CDT)

Well all I have to say is that you don't put "the", "and", "of", and etc... into an acronym --AKCGY 16:01, December 10, 2006 (PST)

Autocephaly/Autonomy in 1924

The implication in the timeline, that the OCA proclaimed its "Autocephaly/Autonomy" in 1924, is a bit misleading. Although it is true that the Metropolia "broke administrative ties" with Moscow at this time, this by no means implies that they were proclaiming ecclesiastical autocephaly or autonomy. Those actions were intended as a temporary reaction to the turmoil in Russia, not a permament and canonically binding ecclesiastical declaration. The OCA's present status was not a unilateral declaration, as most of the more recent autocephalies were, rather was negotiated with the Patriarchate of Moscow prior to the official declaration in April of 1970 by the Church of Russia.

--Vallens 00:13, 25 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Quite true. Fixed. I kept the 1924 date with a note about "temporary self-government," as it historically was from that date that the Metropolia was de facto self-governing. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 06:55, 25 Jun 2005 (EDT)


This is a very small deal, but if I remember correctly, the chancery is actually located in Oyster Bay Cove -- Syosset is just the mailing address (zip code). Fr. John

But everyone seems to call it "Syosset." I've also heard the opposite, that it's actually in Syosset, but the mailing address is in Oyster Bay Cove! Either way, "Syosset" seems to be the term that folks use. (I of course don't actually care either way.) —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 14:25, August 10, 2006 (CDT)
The mailing address is definitely Syosset. This is pretty common in NY - the zip you write on the letter is the zip for the local post office, which isn't always the same as the town. — FrJohn (talk)

Dead links

FYI - It seems that links 2 and 3 in the "Growth and membership figures" section are no longer functional. --cholmes75 09:28, December 14, 2006 (PST)

Excellent point. Someone should fix that. I went to the main page of the second website (a Catholic one, as far as I can tell) and didn't manage to find a similar link. Anyone more techo savvy who can help? Gabriela 20:44, December 14, 2006 (PST)

Bp. Benjamin

Has Bp. Benjamin yet been enthroned? I noticed the recent edit and have wondered whether it was premature. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 15:19, March 30, 2007 (PDT)

New link?

Disturbed by the addition of a link in here.

I am not a member of the OCA and I am therefore unaware of any present controversy or crisis, and there's no mention of it that I can find in the main article.

And yet the article now links to a website that mysteriously seeks financial gain to undermine authority at the upper levels, and the owners of that website refuse to identify themselves.

I'm not comfortable with that.

If someone with more awareness thinks it appropriate to discuss the controversy in the main article, the presence of the link might be justifiable. But I lean towards thinking that an ongoing and unresolved internal controversy is irrelevant to the discussion *until* it is resolved (in order to maintain neutral-POV), and that the link itself confuses ME and--because of its unverifiability and divisiveness--by its mere presence implies a non-neutral POV on the part of the individual who added it.

I will not remove the link myself since I am not an expert on the situation, but I am curious about a quick and non-divisive response (preferably publicly, here) so that we might understand better why the link is there. I have much less problem with it if there's a sensible, neutral justification for it.

This is, of course, merely my 2¢, but when adjusted for inflation, might be considered worth a few cents more?

Hi Jeff - I agree with you here, especially that "an ongoing and unresolved internal controversy is irrelevant to the discussion *until* it is resolved (in order to maintain neutral-POV)", and I've removed the link in question. This has come up on this page before. Things seem to be changing day by day. It seems better to wait until things settle down a bit before trying to capture any of it here. We're trying to be an encyclopedia rather than a gossip column. This doesn't preclude any mention of current events or of unpleasant realities, but it's a fine line. An "encyclopedia" article can easily be pushed off balance by giving too much focus to a particular controversy, such that it overwhelms the more basic information. Once things are resolved and emotions cool down a bit, it might be good to have a separate article giving an overview and history of these issues. I don't think it's time for that, though. Thanks, — FrJohn (talk)

Growth and membership figures???

Estimates range from 28K to 2M.... this range is so odd that means the entire OCA could either populate the entire city of Houston, or alternately could squeeze into Madison Square Garden for a concert together provided the stage was small, and children sat on laps?

To then go onto say, after having cast doubts on the veracity of the range of numbers to conclude: "Despite these sobering figures, however, the OCA's dioceses of the West and South, as well as many parishes in other dioceses, have reported steady growth." Two questions immediately come to mind - how are those diocesan numbers to be trusted, and does that supposed growth demonstrating parish population shift or members new to the OCA altogether?

Right now these numbers are so conflicted someone needs to do some more research...—The preceding unsigned comment was added by ASimpleSinner (talkcontribs) .

That is true. All we have on OrthodoxWiki are citations of numbers given elsewhere. We try to represent the range as much as possible from official and/or credible sources. Whether we can trust the official numbers or not is a difficult question. Since OrthodoxWiki is mainly an encyclopedia rather than a journal of original research, we generally rely on others' research. Perhaps you might like to research the question and publish the results, which could then be cited on OrthodoxWiki. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 07:41, August 15, 2007 (PDT)


I don't understand how the article can at once, in the beginning, objectively claim that the OCA is an autocephalous church, while in seeming contradiction a few sentences later recognize that most of the autocephalous churches of the Communion do not recognize the OCA's autocephaly.

Isn't this a clear self-contradiction?

If Orthodox Wiki is to represent the common view of the Church at broad, should not the first sentence about the OCA being autocephalous be removed?Deusveritasest 08:13, May 24, 2008 (UTC)

I see no inconsistentcy. There is a difference between being autocephalous and having that autocephaly universally recognized. Moreover, there is no "common view" of the Church around the world. The article on Responses to OCA autocephaly gives details as to those Churches that recognize the OCA's autocephaly (five autocephalous Churches), those who have not recognized but also have not objected (four auotepehlaous Churches), and those who object (five autocephalous Churches). (I am not, BTW, a priest in the OCA.) --Fr Lev 13:14, May 24, 2008 (UTC)
I really don't understand. How can we on this objective level say that the OCA is autocephalous if the majority of the Orthodox churches do not recognize this statement? Deusveritasest 09:47, May 27, 2008 (UTC)
Well, because they are autocephalous (i.e. elect own head of Church). The recognition of that is, really, neither here nor there: because they elect their own head, they are autocephalous. The recognition of their autocephaly is a separate matter. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 10:53, May 27, 2008 (UTC)
So then what does it even mean for a church to not recognize the autocephaly of the OCA? Does this actually indicate that they view the nature of the Church differently, for example viewing the OCA as an autonomous jurisdiction of the Russian Church? Or do these churches actually recognize that the OCA functions as an autocephalous body, and rather their unrecognition means something different? Deusveritasest 21:20, April 29, 2009 (UTC)

As to the majority of Orthodox Churches not accepting, this is somewhat misleading. If one numerates the autocephalous Churches as individual bodies, five of them (35.7%) accept it, four of them (28.6%) take no position, and five of them (35.7%) reject it. In other words, an equal number of Churches have accepted it as have rejected it.

We might also numerate the Churches by their respective memberships. Using membership figures from a Greek source, Bishop Kallistos Ware’s The Orthodox Church, the Churches that formally accept the OCA’s autocephaly have a combined membership of between 63.85-98.85 million (either 60 or 70%); those that have neither accepted nor rejected, 25.96 million (25 o5 19%); and those that formally reject the OCA’s autocephaly, 15.86 million (either 15 or 11%). The variation depends upon whether one takes the smaller or larger figure for the Russian Church. --Fr Lev 02:34, May 28, 2008 (UTC)


I removed the paragraph devoted to the idiosyncratic view of one retired OCA bishop. --Fr Lev 13:10, May 24, 2008 (UTC)

I concur, Father Lev. the paragraph has bothered me for some time. Wsk 14:20, May 24, 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I think I was probably the one who originally put that bit in there, as it was causing a small bit of stir at the time (can't remember when that was), but of course has turned out to be pretty minor in retrospect. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:44, May 29, 2008 (UTC)

Metropolitan's style

I know that at some point the metropolitans of the OCA used the style "Metropolitan of North America and Canada" (which is of course something of a geographic oddity), since (I believe) it was complained about by people like Schmemann. Does anyone have a citation for this? It seems to have been revisioned (so to speak) from the official website. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:16, January 31, 2009 (UTC)

Addendum: I found one data point on this: In Serafim Surrency's The Quest for Orthodox Church Unity in America (p. 36), he lists the signature of Metr. Platon in 1927 on the document that established the American Orthodox Catholic Church as "Metropolitan of North America and Canada."
Anyone know at what point this style ceased to be used? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 14:09, January 31, 2009 (UTC)
This doesn't answer your question, but it adds more information about the use in a title of the expression "North America and Canada". In OCA's book Orthodox America 1974 - 1976 there is a copy in the appendix of the parish listing from the American Orthodox Messenger of 1918. The title of this listing is The Orthodox Diocese of North America and Canada. So, the expression was in use at least as early as 1918. The parish listing shows His Grace, Evdokim as Archbishop of Aleutian Islands and North America. I could not find any other reference of the expression in the book.Wsk 19:35, January 31, 2009 (UTC)