John Couretas has an interesting post on the AOI blog “Greek lobby: Bartholomew leads U.S. church into ‘canonical normalization‘.” As always John is worth reading both for the facts of the matter and his analysis.
Reading the post, I had a thought or two of my own that I posted at AOI and thought I would share here as well.
While I’m willing to entertain the kind of primacy for the Ecumenical Patriarchate (EP) that some want him to have, it seems to me that assuming leadership in the “Diaspora” requires at least two things:
(1) Here in America tangibly demonstrate that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) can and will make room for non-Greek Orthodox Christian (both individually and as parishes). Yes, non-Greeks can, and do, join a GOA parish but those parish are (to a greater or lesser degree) always GREEK parishes. It is one thing to have separate ethnic dioceses (Ukrainian and Carpatho-Russian) as the EP here in America but it is another thing to integrate these other ethnic groups in to the GOA as equal members. The former is smacks of separate but equally; the latter will require the surrender of Greek ethnic identity as normative for the GOA.
(2) Claiming leadership in the Diaspora seems to me to require also the humble acceptance and acknowledgment that the EP is also responsible for the failures of the Diaspora. The EP can’t simply come in and take over without accepting responsibility for the mess made by neglect and/or mismanagement. Responsible leadership is more than simply declaring victory.
As always, your comments, questions and criticism are not only welcome, they are actively sought.