The Board of Directors of St. Vladimir’s Seminary and, especially, its President, Father Chad Hatfield, must be commended for their constant labor to make the ends meet and thus to maintain the seminary. We must remember, however, that their seminary belongs at large to the American “eleven jurisdictions” and to the world Orthodox who entrust their students to it, and, last, but not least, to the entire Orthodox Church in America. So, it is perfectly natural to decide the seminary’s future in a conciliar manner. The most natural venue would be the OCA’s forthcoming Twentieth All-American Council this summer. There are reasons to believe that relocating this seminary might be a wrong move. After all, the seminary’s history and geography are tied to its mission.
Since the time of Einstein, physicists have known that time and space are a continuum. The Orthodox have figured this out from another angle, aware that their geography is firmly tangled with their history. Otherwise, how can we explain that the Greek Patriarch has remained in Istanbul as the head of a community consisting now of a few thousand “turkified” Greeks, while maintaining the title of the Patriarch of Constantinople? It is well known that his main flock abides in America. Why not then relocate his see from the environment so unfriendly to the Orthodox Christians to the well-disposed US southern states, let us say to New Orleans, where the first Greek parish, Holy Trinity, had emerged, upon which the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed its jurisdiction in the US? So far, the Ecumenical Patriarch has not considered this option. The symbolism of locality develops gradually, as a fruit of history, but once it develops, it starts shaping history itself.
This is also true about St. Vladimir’s Seminary.Continue reading