How a Bishop Should Respond

In a previous post I mention the conflict between Bishop Tobin of Providence and Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island over the issue of abortion and Kennedy’s putative Catholic faith.

With thanks to Seraphim, who mentioned it in a comment and to Fr John Whiteford, from whose blog he got it, I refer you to Bishop Tobin’s direct response to Kennedy’s claim to Catholicism.

Our Orthodox bishop should take note. Won’t but should.

Making Contact

In following up my own responsibility to do the things I urged all Orthodox Christians to do in the previous blog post, namely, to write to all Orthodox Congresspersons who support the culture of death and reject the teaching of the Orthodox Church and to their respective bishops, I have come across an interesting stumbling block. Congresscreatures can be tricksy when trying to reach them by correspondence.

Some prefer email and others prefer postal mail. At least some will only get postal mail in their Washington office after it has been through a month-long irradiation process. Senator Snowe states this on her website. Others block email from non-constituents.

In terms of reaching them, it would certainly be most effective for them to hear from Orthodox Christians who also happen to be constituents. However, because they claim to be members of the Orthodox Church, they represent Orthodoxy in Congress whether they like it or not, and the best attempt should be made to remind them of that fact.

I’m going to have to do a little research tomorrow find out the most effect ways to correspond with each. On the other hand, the addresses for the respective hierarchs are more straightforward and as far as I know they don’t send their post to Ohio for irradiation. Though the addresses are easy enough to find on the internet, for your convenience I have included them below:

With regard to Senator Olympia Snowe and Rep. Niki Tsongas:
Metropolitan Methodius
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston
162 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02445
Tel: (617) 277-4742
Fax (617) 739-9229
email: metropolis@boston.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. John Sarbanes:
Metropolitan Evangelos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey
215 East Grove Street
Westfield, NJ 07090-1656
Tel: (908) 301-0500
Fax: (908) 301-1397
email: metropolis@nj.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. Zack Space:
Metropolitan Nicholas
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
2560 Crooks Road
Troy, MI 48084
Tel: (248) 823-2400
Fax: (248) 823-2401
Email: office@detroit.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. Dina Titus:
Metropolitan Gerasimos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
245 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel.: (415) 753-3075
Fax: (415) 753-1165
Email: metropolis@sanfran.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. Melissa Bean
Bishop Longin
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica – Midwestern America
P. O. Box 371
Grayslake, IL 60030
Tel: (847) 223-4300
Email: eparhija@newgracanica.com

Women Bishops May Be Beating Their Husbands

In an appropraite follow up to the previous blog post, the Ministry of Justice is reporting that the number of arrests for violence carried out by women has doubled since 2003. Violence now accounts for 35% of arrests and is the most common category of crime committed by women.

By these statistics, there are the equivalent of 240 violent attacks by women in the UK each day. But this really doesn’t tell the whole story, especially when it comes to domestic violence. According to a report prepared for GMTV,

British police attend 75,000 domestic violence cases a year where men are the victim although this could be at least half the real figure as surveys show 50% of men haven’t called the police when attacked, putting the figure to 150,000 a year or more.

Since there are no women bishops in the UK yet, we can’t ascribe any of these attacks to them.  After all, we are in a place where it is culturally acceptable for women to beat people.

In the US 3.2 million men each year are the victims of domestic violence. This sounds like it’s a place where it is culturally acceptable to beat your husband. Using the logic of Catherine Roskam, chances are there are some women bishops who beat their husbands.

Women in Pointy Hats

The principal beneficiary will be the Roman Catholic Church, but Orthodoxy in Britian may also benefit from the decision made by the Church of England House of Bishops. The bishops have decided that it is time for the purported consecration of women to join their number. At the same time, they have left opponents out in the cold.

Heretofore, those in the C of E who have faithfully received the sacraments from men of God were cared for under the shepherding guidance of “flying bishops” – officially known as episcopal visitors – authorised to cross diocesan boundaries to care for parishes objecting to women priests. If the General Synod approves the legislation, flying bishops will be no more and all of the Church of England will be ruled by women. For many Anglicans, any pretense of valid orders and valid sacraments will be gone.

As far as I’m concerned the C of E can do what it wants to do. I’m not opposed to women priestesses or bishopettes. As far as I’m concerned, just like any other Protestants they don’t have valid sacraments, so it doesn’t matter what they do. Since this new development will push more people out of the C of E, perhaps I should even view it as a positive development.

Being rather ecumenical as I am toward Rome, I’m not bothered that most of them will swim the Tiber. I know that most western Christians find Orthodoxy a difficult fit – something that I think is probably as much to do with the non-essential cultural and liturgical aspects of Orthodoxy as anything – but Rome has valid sacraments despite some theological deficiencies. Some, due in part to lingering anti-papal attitudes, will cross the Bosphorus instead.

The huge number of clergy threatening to defect to Rome will boost the declining numbers in vocations there. Perhaps this will enlighten the Holy Father to the possibility of extending the Eastern Catholic practice of married priests to the West as a normality rather than a concession to certain converted clergy. Thus, if played right, the knock-on effect of the Anglican decision could be quite significant. I’d still call it a long shot, though.

Even if they are only Protestant clergy, I still can’t get over the cringe factor of seeing a woman pose as a priest in a black shirt and white collar. No doubt I will double cringe at a woman in a cope and mitre.