Ben Lomond Crisis

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The Ben Lomond Crisis was the result of a parish in California, formerly in the Evangelical Orthodox Church and then within the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, that split.

Timeline

  • 1987: Parish received into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, as part of the reception of the Evangelical Orthodox Church. They were placed in the Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission. This parish had 1500 parishioners (including 200 for Saturday evening Vespers), and had daily services (Vespers, Matins and Liturgy) [1].
  • 1992: In the aftermath of the Joseph Allen Affair, the Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission was dissolved, and the constituent parishes were integrated into the regional framework of the Archdiocese.[2]
  • 1995 Jan 25: Bp Joseph transferred to the Archdiocese of North America; assigned as the auxiliary bishop responsible for the region covering the Western United States.
  • 1996 Sep: Bp Joseph expressed his desire to reduce the number of clergy at that parish (then comprising 12 priests and 17 deacons), through transfers and laicisations, to a number more in keeping with standard practise. This was received negatively by parishioners[3].
Fr John Hardenbrook, during this period, was removed from his position as Dean of the Northern California Deanery. This was seen as retribution for the Phyletism or Freedom! article written in the parish newsletter, which declared the parish's right to choose from amongst various Orthodox musical traditions and liturgical practises.[4]
  • 1997 May: Bp Joseph issues directive that all formerly-EOC parishes (which included Ben Lomond) are to use the official Archdiocesan service books and the Archdiocesan music within two years, rather than music from many and varied sources.[5]
A majority of the parish responded negatively, compounding the negative reaction from the directive in regard to reducing clergy. A minority accused them of disloyalty to the bishops.[6]
A common practise at Ben Lomond was to seek spiritual direction, often from members of other Orthodox jurisdictions. In some cases, these directors were advising defiance of the bishops. A directive is also issued that asked clergy and laity to avoid placing themselves under spiritual directors who were not a part of the Antiochian Archdiocese.[7]
Sep: A truce was called.
  • 1998 Feb 6: Fr David Anderson was issued a transfer to Chicago. This was seen as an attack on parish life, as Fr David was one of the most popular priests in the parish; it was also seen as cold, due to Fr David caring, with the help of parisioners, for his invalid mother at the time. His appeal against the transfer was subsequently denied, and Fr David then applied for a release to the OCA.[8]
12: A letter was sent from a number of clergy of the parish, signed by 10 priests (out of 12) and 11 deacons (of 17), outlining the problems had with the hierarchy by the parish and why they lost their trust in the hierarchy. It asked for a release to the OCA. A petition was sent from the laity, with 60% of the laity signing their support for the clergy's letter.[9]
14: Metropolitan Philip responded with the laicisation of John Hardenbrook and David Anderson, by suspending the remaining clergy, and by ordering one of the non-signatory priests to change the locks on the church. [1] [10]
Metropolitan Philip responded with the laicisation of John Hardenbrook and David Anderson, by suspending the remaining clergy, and by ordering one of the non-signatory priests to change the locks on the church. [11]
The clergy and laity at odds with the Archdiocese began to attend St Nicholas Orthodox Church (OCA) in Saratoga, and petitioned to be entered into the OCA. St Nicholas Church begins an extra Sunday service to accomodate the sudden rise (approx. 300) in parishioners. The Ben Lomond group continued to regard themselves as a separate community, and was unresponsive to requests to fill out membership forms and otherwise become a part of St Nicholas - in response, Bp Tikhon of the West issued a directive that all must worship in the same Liturgy.
  • 1998 Aug 20: Having sued the Ben Lomond Parish Corporation for the property and assets of the parish, the Archdiocese was awarded both, which resulted in the closure of the parochial school (running for seven years).
  • 1999 Feb: Having been made clear that the OCA would not accept the suspended clergy, the parish sought ministrations from the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and began to serve at a chapel in Felton. Two priests from the original community have since been ordained, who serve the community at St Lawrence's Church and it's parochial school.
The departing clergy were considered persona non grata for many years, even after their excommunication ceased.
  • 2003 May 2: With the reception of clergy and parishes from the Antiochian Archdiocese, Metr. Philip issues a directive that no Antiochian clergy are to concelebrate with any Patriarchate of Jerusalem clergy that are assigned to parishes in America (without affecting concelebrations elsewhere).
  • 2006: 4 priests and 1 deacon return to the Antiochian Archdiocese. Any further suspended clergy remain in canonical limbo, being unreleased from the Antiochian Archdiocese.
  • 2008 Aug 7: With the establishment of the Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA, Metr Philip reissues the prohibition of Antiochian clergy concelebrating with clergy of this Vicariate.[12]


External links

References

  1. Phillip Charles Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States", in Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, Vol. 7, No. 2 (November 2003), pp. 5-23, published by University of California Press. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2003.7.2.5; accessed: 21-03-2018 23:11 UTC
  2. Anonymous, "The Myth Ends", on OCANews. http://www.ocanews.org/news/MythEnds11.17.10.html; accessed 23 March 2018.
  3. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  4. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  5. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  6. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  7. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  8. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  9. Lucas, 2003, "Enfants Terribles: The Challenge of Sectarian Converts to Ethnic Orthodox Churches in the United States"
  10. Metropolitan Philip, 1998, Archpastoral Directive. https://benlomond.wordpress.com/1998/02/14/archpastoral-directive-depositions; accessed 23 March 2018
  11. Metropolitan Philip, 1998, Archpastoral Directive. https://benlomond.wordpress.com/1998/02/14/archpastoral-directive-depositions; accessed 23 March 2018. [3]
  12. http://ww1.antiochian.org/node/18154; accessed 23 March 2013