Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

8 October 2014. Cabinet Vox Pop on Gassios

01 woman on phone


A Cabineteer from that neck o’ the woods wrote me:

I think Gassios will be a good fit for the Midwest as he’s a native Midwesterner. He has a self-deprecating sense of humour (I’ve heard him refer to himself as “that dumpy Greek”) and he drives a newer, but modest car (Ford Fiesta). Then, he’s short, so the car fits him. He actually has experience with konvertsy… he was the priest at St Thomas the Apostle in Kokomo IN for more than a decade (assigned there not long after the parish became Orthodox, I believe). I’ve read some of what he faced trying to get them to “convert” to standard Orthodox practices. Gassios might be Greek, but he’s cradle. That’s important for stability. He’s been in the OCA since the mid-80s, that’s long enough for him to get an idea of the OCA. Most importantly, he held regular jobs (he was a social worker) before he went to seminary (he was in his late 30s). Therefore, he knows what it’s like to be an Average Working Joe; he’s not someone who’s been a priest for years in a parish, not working like a “normal” person. He didn’t want anyone to nominate him to be bishop again; he wanted to retire to a monastery. He doesn’t want to be a bishop. Moriak did.

Your rant about OCA priests wearing Uniate (Greek-style) vestments hit a nerve with me. I’ve seen priests with no connection to Dahulich or the Uniate lovers wear Greek-style vestments. I’ve seen multiple priests buy NEW vestments in this style. I have absolutely no idea why. Did you know that the ACROD priests are pretty much ordered to wear Greek-style vestments? Someone told me this before Metropolitan Nicholas died.

Amen… I won’t add anything on Gassios… I never met him, so, I don’t know, so, I can’t have an opinion on him. However, everyone who knows him says, “Give him a chance… he’s not a bad guy”. As for Greek vestments… if you want to wear them, be honest, and leave Russian Orthodoxy (OCA/ROCOR/MP)… we have our own style, hallowed by tradition. There is no such thing as “generic Orthodox”… that’s that.



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