Orthodox Christian Laity – March- April 2017
The Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) Board of Directors announces the adoption of the following Resolutions at its recently concluded Board Meeting, February 10-12, 2017:
“OCL respectfully calls upon the Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to enforce its own Regulations relating to the Monasteries operating under its auspices in the United States; that each Metropolitan who has monasteries within his Metropolis require full compliance by those monasteries with the letter and spirit of those Regulations; and, that all information concerning the operations of those monasteries, including but not limited to financial disclosures, be made public.
“OCL respectfully calls upon the Assembly of Bishops to request that all jurisdictions that have not yet done so adopt regulations regarding monasteries in the United States requiring transparency and accountability in financial reporting and Hierarchical oversight of theological teachings; that the Assembly encourage full compliance by those monasteries with the letter and spirit of those Regulations; and, that information relating to the well-being of the Church be made public.”
The Resolutions were adopted after the Board reviewed the provisions of the “General Regulations for the Establishment and Operation of Holy Monasteries in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America” [Protocol #95] issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on February 16, 2005. The Regulations are set forth in the Official Documents of the Archdiocese on the website of the Archdiocese (goarch.org).
Article 4 of the Regulations sets forth the “Rights and Duties of the Metropolitan” which include: “…the highest oversight” and “The auditing of the financial records of the Monastery.”
Article 14 requires the permission of the local Metropolitan for the construction of buildings.
Article 15 (b) requires Monasteries to “contribute financial assistance to the local Metropolis and the Archdiocese for the benefit of the Church and the community.” (c) requires every monastery to submit to the Metropolis a financial report for the previous year and a budget for the coming year.’ (e) requires each Monastery to judiciously maintain financial records “detailing the exact daily income and expenditures, as well as documents pertaining to their entities.”
Article 16 (d) states: “The Monastery Sanctuary is not a parish church. As such, the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage is fully prohibited in Monasteries of the Archdiocese…. In special cases, the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation may be conducted in the Monasteries, provided there is a compelling reason that is deemed acceptable by the local Metropolitan, who grants the requisite episcopal permission for the celebration of the Sacrament and issues the proper certificate. In any case, the registration of such Baptism and/or Chrismation shall be done in the official books of the parish to which the one baptized or chrismated (anointed) belongs.”
The OCL is a pan-Orthodox educational and advocacy ministry formed in 1987 whose purposes are:
“To advocate the restoration and strengthening of the historic role of the laity in the conciliar governance of the Orthodox Christian Church in the United States; to support the spiritual renewal and regeneration of the Orthodox Christian Church in the United States in its Apostolic Mission; to advocate and promote transparency and accountability in the governance of the Orthodox Christian Church in the United States; and to advocate and champion the establishment of an administratively and canonically unified self-governing autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church in the United States.”
OCL will hold its 30th Annual Conference in Chicago, October 27-29, 2017. For more information contact, George E. Matsoukas, Executive Director at (561) 585-0245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.