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 publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenam. Father Josiah is the pastor of Saint Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of patristic nectar publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. As a member of the Secretariat of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops of North and Central America, Father Josiah has been tasked to conduct interviews with each of the Orthodox hierarchs of America over the course of the coming year. These interviews provide a forum for each Orthodox Bishop in America to share his understanding of, and vision for the exciting work of the assembly of Orthodox bishops. These interviews of the more than fifty Orthodox Bishops will be available here at the arena on ancient faith radio, as well as directly at the website of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops at www dot assembly of bishops dot Org. That's www dot assemblee of bishops dot Org. And now the interview. It is a great joy to be able to interview today His Eminence Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian archdiocese for the OCA. His Eminence was born in Nineteen forty five 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 at the 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 priesthood in nineteen sixty nine and has served for more than forty years and the Sacred Ministry, serving as a pastor both in Michigan and in Massachusetts. Mob Tushka, Sarah reposed in the Lord in the year two thousand and, following her repose, father was tantured as a monk at St Te Con's monastery and then consecrated to be Bishop, and he serves this day as the Archbishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian archdiocese. Thank you, your eminence, for consenting to this interview it's my pleasure to be speaking with you and I thank you very much that you're taking a time for this interview. The work of vus Emily of bishops is very important and participation of by our brother hire rocks is also quite important. Your Eminence,...

...what you describe for our listeners your perception of the ethos of the assembly of Bishops? What were your impressions of the meetings that you've attended? Well, I was quite impressed. I mean the ethos of the Assembly is actually in working toward the perfection, working towards establishing 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 bring Christ to many do not know him, to where there are so many that are unchurched and unaware of the good knows of the Gospel. So that this is what I believe the assembly of Bishops will address and has begin to address. Your Eminence, what, in your judgment, is the mandate for the for the creation and existence of the assembly itself from the mother churches, and many of us in America are familiar and have been for the last fifty years with Scoba. But how does the Assembly differ from Scoba? Well, I think the mandate that from the mother churches is is clear from their meeting in is a. It was interesting that there was only one bishop from America at Action Macay. But the mother churches, I believe, have have the blessing for us to proceed. But establishing one church, one church here in America, at least illustratibly. The assembly differs, I believe, from Scoba. In fact, every bishop in America is a member of the assembly. This was not the case with Scoba. I don't believe that we can achieve a true understanding of each other as we know each other. So the difference from scobeys that it was limited, that it was only the, I believe, the main higherarchs of the different jurisdictions that were on Scoba. As the assembly meets now, all of us are there. All of us have an opportunity yet to meet each other and each other a little bit better. So fortunate, I believe, that we only have two or three days at a time and then we have to return to our responsibilities. It would be good if we could spend more time with each other...

...and perhaps it spent some time at a honesty with each other. Are these ideas? Are eminants that that will be or could be floated at the next assembly of bishops to do something with more opportunity for deeper fellowship? I think if, when we get down to the any pretty so to speak, we may move closer to each other if we break out into smaller workshop type groups. I don't anticipate that we would be spending 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 lunch and dinner, depending on who you end up sitting with, but to be in a group of five thousand six and fifty seven bishops at one time, it's tough to build a close relationship. Yes, yes, indeed. Well made the Lord Open the door for that to happen. Your Eminence, in your judgment, what is the most important work of the assembly? From the website 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 and many committees. But what do you think is the most important? I believe that working as one cohesive group, that do you Orthodox Church would be seen as one church in America all right now, those are not familiar with the church or say, see us simply as a conflomoration of ethnic churches. We could not really speak. It has one voice on social issues and I think that this should be an important step that those are the outside see the Orthodox Church as one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in a country that is yearning and individuals that are yearning in Christ. They don't you don't know which church to go to, not understanding that we are wanted Christ and want the the Chalice, and this is my hope.

Your reminisce of that is that's the greatest work and the ambition of the assembly. What would be the greatest obstacle to accomplishing that? How would that not take place? I think that if we do, if many of our jurisdictions, they not have to support and blessing of their mother countries, that would be an obstacle. However, I do believe they have received the they have received the blessing simply by meeting and Champi say to speak of the Orthodox the ASPORA. If the United States we are 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 continue to me, we do not continue to exchange ideas, exchange and discuss differences of opinion and differences of vision the United States. We have to present you of the ducks church as one vision of reaching and spreading the good those of the Gospel. It's just the mandate of Christ, it's the mandate of the Holy Church. Your Eminence, unless I'm mistaken, you serve as a member of the committee for Military Chaplaincy. I'm wondering if you could share a little bit about that, that committee's work and what you may be doing on that committee. Visha, I say, at being a formal rain, gave a proprehensive report a relatively military chaplaincies. What is important for us in this Tom is that we understand that that there are other chaplaincies established, such as hospital chaplaincies 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 the military chapelains and it's important for us to understand that when we establish one endorsing agency 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 counter productive 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 there is also a deputy team of military chaplets that help maintain disappoint for our chaplets in the military. Nice. Your Eminence. Do you feel that the committee is off to a good start? Would are you feeling positive about the work of the committee itself? I very positive, but the work of the Committee and Bishop by saying because actually he made the report. He did a beautiful job. Contesting your eminence, what is it that the priests and the lay people who are trying to become informed about what what their bishops are doing in the assembly? How is it that the priests in the lay people can contribute to 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 should take the time to log on to the web page, because I think for the most part the courge and Laity don't know what we do when we discuss what is happening. I think it's difficult to ask them and expect them to support something that they know nothing about. So I am number one would be to lock up to the web page to see what we are doing, to see what the bishops of their respective diocese are working on, and in this way they can support not only with prayers but also a contributions, concentrating on the areas she's be concentrating on the areas that interest them, in interest the whole sorts. Not only that only with cash, but also to be informed enough to share with the Laity, in...

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

...wonderful? Your Eminence, do you have any last reflections for our listeners that you would like to mention before we finish our interview? I'll hope that the listeners D keep the assembly in their prayers, their individual hire rocks in their prayers, and I am very I am very optimistic about the work of the assembly. Although it might have been begun as a pretaste of a great council. Either it's as great council does not come to fruition. The assembly of bishops could continue and continue to to grow, 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 all of 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 very much for making the time and ask your blessing. Father certainly will have my blessings. And I think we do have to bear in mind that all of us are already want in Christ. I think that or our churches were established here 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 us and we are making the effort. This effort compact, sate and compacts the separation 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 for my diocese and for my church. Thank you your eminence, your prayers. Thank you, father. You've been listening to the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with father just Siah trenum. Father Josiah is the pastor of St Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside California. He is also the founder of Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing...

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

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