(My Central NJ) - It has been a few months since the untimely death of our beloved Father Michael S. Rosco. Various priests, among them Father Myron Zuder, Father Stephen Krivonak and Deacon Gregory have ably conducted Sunday services, unfortunately to more empty seats in the pews than ever. Church officers starting with Steve Gallant have performed very well.
Now we have been informed that a priest has been chosen for our parish, St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church. But no name has been mentioned. It is not in our best interest nor that of the diocese that the new priest will not be available until next Oct. 1. Apparently this is due to a shortage of priests in our diocese. No diocese I know of keeps priests on retainer - able to jump in and replace priests at the drop of a hat. To blame your diocese for not being able to immediately supply you with a priest while at the same time already having a priest and deacon step in to assist...
This is a good time for our diocese to come up with actions to improve our religion and its practices. First and foremost is the ordination of women as priests. For centuries they have been relegated to subordinate roles in the Orthodox and Catholic religions. Yet they possess qualities, especially compassion and devotion, often lacking in us males. This is your answer? To "improve" your religion by ordaining women. How about spearheading efforts to evangelize or working to improve fellowship? I'd also debate the "relegated"title. The treatment many priests receive at the hands of their parishioners doesn't much resemble a peerage.
The Jewish religion has ordained women as rabbis. The one in our city is a most worthy example. So are the various Protestant religions who have women clergy. Yes, indeed, dear friends, the time has come for women to be ordained on an equal footing with men. This may serve to rejuvenate our faiths. No, the equivalent of Protestant Jews have female rabbis. Orthodox Jews don't. Maybe he should look at the vitality of these non-traditional groups and see how "rejuvenating" innovation really is.
Another reform is to designate an auxiliary bishop to succeed the bishop in case the bishop dies or is incapacitated, similar to our government’s vice president. This would have eliminated the present chaos in St. John’s in Perth Amboy. How would an auxiliary bishop have resolved the "chaos" of being between priests? Would you have him celebrate the Liturgy for you until a priest can be installed in your parish?