Friday, January 8, 2010

Holy Season Excommunications at Holy Ghost Orthodox Christian Church

Passion for our rich heritage filled with family and time honored traditions, all guided by our deep love for God, has always been at the heart of the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood. When our beloved and hallowed grounds of Phoenix Park came under attack, we knew that there was no other choice to make: Save the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood’s inheritance and preserve it for all future generations.

Yet, we knew that by stepping up to the plate and defending the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood from the lawsuit that was INITIATED by Holy Ghost Church, we faced the outcome that we had been threatened with at the start of this disagreement. We would be EXCOMMUNICATED from Holy Ghost Church and the Orthodox Diocese headed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

We waited, for months for this action to take place, steeling ourselves against the intense pain that our souls would feel as we were torn away from our beloved faith, spiritual families and actual family members. We couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to be denied the Sacraments of Holy Confession and Holy Communion. If we became gravely ill, we would not be able to receive the Sacrament of Holy Unction. If we died, we would not be buried from the church and into the resting grounds with our ancestors. But, no action was taken. Could it be, we wondered, that the church was willing to wait for the court to determine, again, who the land of the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood belonged to?

Perhaps there was compassion for the pain felt by three generations of families who struggled to save what their Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and Great-Great Grandparents had struggle to provide for these and the coming generations?
Compassion? Perhaps??

I attended our Christmas Day Celebration today at Holy Ghost Church. For the first time in my life, as far back as I can remember, I was not able to partake of the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am no longer permitted to receive my beloved Sacraments.

I have agreed to have my letter shared with the community to validate actions that have occurred. I requested the identities of the three additional members who received identical letters be withheld.

Christos Razdajetsja! Slavite Jeho!
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Helen Langner,
Director, Saint Nicholas Brotherhood of Phoenixville Pennsylvania

To view my letter of excommunication please visit:


Anonymous said...

What kind of church heirarchy and mentality superimposes a distinction between spiritual and political? Receiving the Holy Eucharist is a gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit and not by man, at the time of Baptism and Chrismation into the Orthodox Faith
and to deny these with a phone call and the stroke of a pen cries out to Heaven for Justice.

Anonymous said...

The strength and courage of this woman is a tribute to her ancesters that had the foresight to purchase and dedicate this church site for all generations. She is a true beacon of light in this dark cloud that has been cast by the new wannabee's that would hide the church behind rocks and rubble. Shine forth, brave lady!!!

Anonymous said...

They accuse YOU of making their church look bad? I think they do a great job all by themselves.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Get away from them and their pompous take on the message of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous!! I would love for the people of Phoenixville and Mont Clare and all nearby communities to rally around this group. We can find a way to help this St Nicholas Brotherhood group. How can the church hurt this lady like this? What did she do that was wrong? Isn't the constitution suppose to protect people who own land?

Anonymous said...

it was really hard for so many of us to see people that we have known for so many years being punished like this. An entire family that usually lines up for Communion didn't partake this time.
The people punished are good people. They are standing up for what is right. What happens to them affects us at the church too. We are afraid to let them know that we support them because we know we'll be next.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Brotherhood own the land? It seems I remember that the church moved from Mont Clare a long time ago due to a dispute over land. If so, can't they evict the tenant?

It is apparent that the particular clergy involved in this have really lost their way, and are not doing what they themselves pledged to do when they joined, which is tend to the spiritual needs of the congregation. It is obvious that the things of the earth, i.e. land and money, have taken over their souls.

Yet they have continued to mix the things of earth with the things of heaven, by using spiritual tools to elicit earthly profits. They should be ashamed.

I greatly admire the 3 people who have taken on this travesty. They have real courage. Right will win out. No one who looks at this situation objectively can see otherwise. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

to jan 9 9:49
it is sad you are afraid to stand by your fellow parishioners. if more people who felt as you do were able to stand up for what they believe this mess might have been resolved by now. what can they do? throw you ALL out? i doubt it!