Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interview with Bishop Agapit on Australia

The Synod Abroad has just released an interview with Bishop Agapit (Gorachek) of Stuttgart on his recent visit to the Australian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. He has interesting reflections on the differences between the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany and Australia and on the decline in the number of parishioners in Australia in recent years. He blames this on the loss of the Russian language, making the interesting claim that "the English language is not one that lends itself to theology" (?).

Vladyka's perspective is one I've heard from multiple perspectives, with Slavonic, Greek, Gi'iz, and Syriac alternately being the answer to the seeker who wants to be 'truly Orthodox' :-). It's sad that we're so often unwilling to do the work to enculturate Orthodoxy in other cultures, choosing instead to leave everything frozen in time, whether in 14th century Ethiopia or 17th century Muscovy or whenever. Where would Slavonic be if Sts. Cyril and Methodius and their disciples hadn't committed themselves to enculturating Orthodoxy amongst the Slavs? Or Gi'iz without the work of the nine Roman Saints? Just more dead pagan languages.

The full interview with Vladyka Agapit can be found here.

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