The Clergy crisis, Orthodox Disunity, And An Inspiring Journey

SVOTS – 4/10/19

This has to be one of the best interviews I have read for a long time.

Alumnus and Seminary donor Fr. Seraphim Solof (’85) sat down with us and had a lot to say, some of it sobering, some of it hopeful, and some of it inspiring—and it’s all worth reading. Father Seraphim—whose wife, Khouria Marta is an alumna of St. Vladimir’s herself (’84)—speaks about the clergy crisis, Orthodox disunity, and his journey from being an agnostic in a reformed Jewish family to Orthodox Christian priesthood. Check it out on our website, here.

I’ll leave you with a quote from him I found particularly helpful for me personally, as I must confess I have been pretty pessimistic lately about the state of Orthodox unity. His words made me remember there is always hope and reminded me why I’m so thankful to be part of a place where pan- and inter-Orthodoxy are lived every day.

“Sadly, in recent years it seems that the Church is suffering from much of the same splintering and fragmentation that are afflicting the world at large. We are being torn apart along geopolitical lines at the international level, and that’s on top of the longstanding ethnic and jurisdictional divisions in this country. Yet there’s one place that still holds the vision of Orthodox unity and works to strengthen it in the face of so much pressure and so many temptations, and that is St. Vladimir’s Seminary. The Seminary’s vocation—baked into its DNA from the very beginning—is to teach us everything we need to know to be the Orthodox Church our own time and place, while keeping us from getting so lost in church politics and the externals of Orthodoxy that we lose sight of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

St. Vladimir’s has stayed true to this vision, resisting the temptation to idolize certain aspects of Church life such as jurisdiction, ethnicity, liturgical practice or language. Outstanding SVOTS teachers and pastors, both alumni and those on campus now, continue to be leading lights for our Church.”

Glory to God, and have a wonderful rest of your week!