The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Interview with Archbishop Nikon of the Orthodox Church in America

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

AFR podcaster Fr. Josiah Trenham serves as a member of the Secretariat of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. He was commissioned by that body to conduct interviews with each of the Hierarchs in the Assembly of Bishops over the course of the next year.

Ancient Faith Radio and patristic nectar publicationspresent the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenam. Father Josiahis the pastor of Saint Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. Heis also the founder of patristic nectar publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishingthe spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. As amember of the Secretariat of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops of North and CentralAmerica, Father Josiah has been tasked to conduct interviews with each of the Orthodoxhierarchs of America over the course of the coming year. These interviews provide aforum for each Orthodox Bishop in America to share his understanding of, and visionfor the exciting work of the assembly of Orthodox bishops. These interviews of themore than fifty Orthodox Bishops will be available here at the arena on ancient faithradio, as well as directly at the website of the assembly of Canonical Orthodoxbishops at www dot assembly of bishops dot Org. That's www dot assemblee ofbishops dot Org. And now the interview. It is a great joy to beable to interview today His Eminence Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England andthe Albanian archdiocese for the OCA. His Eminence was born in Nineteen fortyfive in New York City to a devout Orthodox family and raised in the city. He was educated at St Vladimir Seminary, at Iona and Concordia College and atthe new school for Social Research and political science in New York City.In one thousand nine hundred and sixty seven, he married his childhood sweethearts Sarah,and was ordained to the DIAC and it and then to the holy priesthoodin nineteen sixty nine and has served for more than forty years and the SacredMinistry, serving as a pastor both in Michigan and in Massachusetts. Mob Tushka, Sarah reposed in the Lord in the year two thousand and, following herrepose, father was tantured as a monk at St Te Con's monastery and thenconsecrated to be Bishop, and he serves this day as the Archbishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian archdiocese. Thank you, your eminence, forconsenting to this interview it's my pleasure to be speaking with you and I thankyou very much that you're taking a time for this interview. The work ofvus Emily of bishops is very important and participation of by our brother hire rocksis also quite important. Your Eminence,...

...what you describe for our listeners yourperception of the ethos of the assembly of Bishops? What were your impressions ofthe meetings that you've attended? Well, I was quite impressed. I meanthe ethos of the Assembly is actually in working toward the perfection, working towardsestablishing a very viable, active Orthodox Church in America. Steepden missionary work,Steepden the responsibility of answering the call to baptize all nations and especially to bringChrist to many do not know him, to where there are so many thatare unchurched and unaware of the good knows of the Gospel. So that thisis what I believe the assembly of Bishops will address and has begin to address. Your Eminence, what, in your judgment, is the mandate for thefor the creation and existence of the assembly itself from the mother churches, andmany of us in America are familiar and have been for the last fifty yearswith Scoba. But how does the Assembly differ from Scoba? Well, Ithink the mandate that from the mother churches is is clear from their meeting inis a. It was interesting that there was only one bishop from America atAction Macay. But the mother churches, I believe, have have the blessingfor us to proceed. But establishing one church, one church here in America, at least illustratibly. The assembly differs, I believe, from Scoba. Infact, every bishop in America is a member of the assembly. Thiswas not the case with Scoba. I don't believe that we can achieve atrue understanding of each other as we know each other. So the difference fromscobeys that it was limited, that it was only the, I believe,the main higherarchs of the different jurisdictions that were on Scoba. As the assemblymeets now, all of us are there. All of us have an opportunity yetto meet each other and each other a little bit better. So fortunate, I believe, that we only have two or three days at a timeand then we have to return to our responsibilities. It would be good ifwe could spend more time with each other...

...and perhaps it spent some time ata honesty with each other. Are these ideas? Are eminants that that willbe or could be floated at the next assembly of bishops to do something withmore opportunity for deeper fellowship? I think if, when we get down tothe any pretty so to speak, we may move closer to each other ifwe break out into smaller workshop type groups. I don't anticipate that we would bespending time in honesty. I just don't anticipate that being a possibility.But to move to a closer to each other as as a group. Fortunately, what we have is the opportunity to meet with each other doing a lunchand dinner, depending on who you end up sitting with, but to bein a group of five thousand six and fifty seven bishops at one time,it's tough to build a close relationship. Yes, yes, indeed. Wellmade the Lord Open the door for that to happen. Your Eminence, inyour judgment, what is the most important work of the assembly? From thewebsite of the assembly and from some of the communications that have been issued,it's clear that the assembly is engaged in in a wide swath of ministry andmany committees. But what do you think is the most important? I believethat working as one cohesive group, that do you Orthodox Church would be seenas one church in America all right now, those are not familiar with the churchor say, see us simply as a conflomoration of ethnic churches. Wecould not really speak. It has one voice on social issues and I thinkthat this should be an important step that those are the outside see the OrthodoxChurch as one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in a country that is yearningand individuals that are yearning in Christ. They don't you don't know which churchto go to, not understanding that we are wanted Christ and want the theChalice, and this is my hope.

Your reminisce of that is that's thegreatest work and the ambition of the assembly. What would be the greatest obstacle toaccomplishing that? How would that not take place? I think that ifwe do, if many of our jurisdictions, they not have to support and blessingof their mother countries, that would be an obstacle. However, Ido believe they have received the they have received the blessing simply by meeting andChampi say to speak of the Orthodox the ASPORA. If the United States weare not seeing as one church, even by many of the mother countries,but he helps to go to the success would be if we do not continueto me, we do not continue to exchange ideas, exchange and discuss differencesof opinion and differences of vision the United States. We have to present youof the ducks church as one vision of reaching and spreading the good those ofthe Gospel. It's just the mandate of Christ, it's the mandate of theHoly Church. Your Eminence, unless I'm mistaken, you serve as a memberof the committee for Military Chaplaincy. I'm wondering if you could share a littlebit about that, that committee's work and what you may be doing on thatcommittee. Visha, I say, at being a formal rain, gave aproprehensive report a relatively military chaplaincies. What is important for us in this Tomis that we understand that that there are other chaplaincies established, such as hospitalchaplaincies and the like, and school chaplaincies and the like. What those are. The outside would do would look to who is the endorsing agency for themilitary chapelains and it's important for us to understand that when we establish one endorsingagency for the military chaplains in willing incomp this other chaplaincies, hospital chaplaincies,where sometimes women are given the title of...

...chaplain although they are not ordained,but for them to be endorsed by by different jurisdictions, I think is counterproductive to the works of the church. But military chapelaincies are very important.It's also important that discipline he maintained in the armed forces. Right now,the Orthodox Church of America we do have a teen of military chaplets and thereis also a deputy team of military chaplets that help maintain disappoint for our chapletsin the military. Nice. Your Eminence. Do you feel that the committee isoff to a good start? Would are you feeling positive about the workof the committee itself? I very positive, but the work of the Committee andBishop by saying because actually he made the report. He did a beautifuljob. Contesting your eminence, what is it that the priests and the laypeople who are trying to become informed about what what their bishops are doing inthe assembly? How is it that the priests in the lay people can contributeto this work of collaboration and to the establishment of one church in America.What can they do to support you? I think first of all they shouldtake the time to log on to the web page, because I think forthe most part the courge and Laity don't know what we do when we discusswhat is happening. I think it's difficult to ask them and expect them tosupport something that they know nothing about. So I am number one would beto lock up to the web page to see what we are doing, tosee what the bishops of their respective diocese are working on, and in thisway they can support not only with prayers but also a contributions, concentrating onthe areas she's be concentrating on the areas that interest them, in interest thewhole sorts. Not only that only with cash, but also to be informedenough to share with the Laity, in...

...their perspective congregations, what the Higherosof the United States are doing. Do you have a sense, your eminencein your own sphere, in your own diocese, that the priests and theLaity are interested in your role and in this collaborative work in general? Ibelieve the interest of peaks when I report to the respective diocese, that myassembly and on a daily basis. I don't think it's on their minds ona daily basis. Uh Huh. It's just that we have so much workto do. Our clergy are overworked. Their time is limited to their respectivecongregations, so that the areas of my reports different assemblies have to be sharedwith their communities and their parish annual leadings. I don't think it gets to thatlevel. That's the annual. Here you have a parish the works ofthe year. Assembly of Bishops is sarily not and again that I am forthe parish and I think with a few more meetings they will be Hu speakingof. Speaking of those, those meetings Are Eminence in the third meeting iscoming up of the assembly of bishops this September in Chicago, and I'm wonderingif you would speak with us just for a moment about the future or thethe final goal of the assembly, if you could look into the future andpredicts. You know how things are going. If they continue to go as they'regoing, what do you imagine the assembly to look like in ten yearsor thereafter? I see it so acid effort the part of the brothers ofthe city, perhaps all of the committees would have completed their work, andthat's the assembly actually what end up a gathering of the committees, are aconvention of the committee, so that the assembly will actually, you can referto it as a synopsis of the Church Ting together within ten years, maybe, hopefully less time. Wouldn't that be...

...wonderful? Your Eminence, do youhave any last reflections for our listeners that you would like to mention before wefinish our interview? I'll hope that the listeners D keep the assembly in theirprayers, their individual hire rocks in their prayers, and I am very Iam very optimistic about the work of the assembly. Although it might have beenbegun as a pretaste of a great council. Either it's as great council does notcome to fruition. The assembly of bishops could continue and continue to togrow, it's responsibility to grow and its influence on a continent. M Well, that would be wonderful and may God give you strength Your Eminence in allof your work in your capacity as a member of the assembly of Bishops.It was an honor to be able to interview you and I thank you verymuch for making the time and ask your blessing. Father certainly will have myblessings. And I think we do have to bear in mind that all ofus are already want in Christ. I think that or our churches were establishedhere in America, but they changers from a rowd separated us. Also,we have to bear advine that say never stops and his effort to separate usand we are making the effort. This effort compact, sate and compacts theseparation that has develop all of over fifty years in the Americas. Amen,thank you very much for this opportunity as to speak for the assembly and formy diocese and for my church. Thank you your eminence, your prayers.Thank you, father. You've been listening to the arena Sunday homilies and theologicalreflections with father just Siah trenum. Father Josiah is the pastor of St AndrewOrthodox Christian Church in Riverside California. He is also the founder of Patristic NectarPublications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing...

...the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachingof the Holy Fathers. As a member of the Secretariat of the assembly ofCanonical Orthodox bishops of North and Central America. Father Josiah has been tasked to conductinterviews with each of the Orthodox hierarchs of America over the course of thecoming year. These interviews provide a forum for each Orthodox Bishop in America toshare his understanding of, and vision for the exciting work of the assembly ofOrthodox bishops. These interviews of the more than fifty Orthodox Bishops will be availablehere at the arena, on ancient faith radio, as well as directly atthe website of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops at www dot assembly of bishopsdot Org. That's www dot assembly of bishops dot Org. Until next time,.

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