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Christ the Savior Brotherhood today


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#1 Guest_Christopher

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Posted 26 December 2003 - 12:17 PM

Is the Christ the Savior Brotherhood today anything but a convenient legal/business entity, or does it continue in its legacy as a spiritual community? It's seeming reticence to make a clean break with its past (the legacy of HOOM), and it's history of dubious affiliations are concerning.

How vital is it for priests to have beeen formed (which apparently many CSB/OCA priests have not been) in Orthodox seminaries?

I am not Orthodox, but desire to become a catechumen. It seems that CSB have a definite presence in my area (Portland) and I am seeking advice on how to approach the subject.

Thank you.


#2 Michael Perkins

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

No one had a response for this person?

I would also appreciate any information that could be provided. As this is still a concern to many.

#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:28 PM

There is some information (if somewhat dated) at OrthoWiki: Holy Order of MANS - OrthodoxWiki

If there is still such a corporate entity, it operates in a grey area outside the official Orthodox Church, and since its former members are in multiple jurisdictions, nobody really has authority to investigate in an official capacity, or at least they have a very powerful excuse not to.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain
Herman the POOH (Perpetual Order Of Honey-eaters)

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 27 August 2010 - 05:29 PM.


#4 Father David Moser

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:34 PM

First - please note that the original inquiry was back in 2003. A great deal has changed since that time

The CSB, as a para-church entity is virtually non-existent. I have no idea whether or not it still exists on paper. I met the former leader of the CSB, Vincent Rossi, not long ago and found him to be a truly dedicated and pious Orthodox Christian. We share a few acquaintances among former CSB/Order people and so it was fun to "catch up" as it were, however, again that group has moved on and is widely dispersed throughout the Orthodox world (Serbian patriarchate, OCA, ROCOR, Greeks, Antiochians, even some of the O/C Greek micro-jurisdictions) and no longer really recognizable as a separate entity. Like all adult converts, a lot of CSB/Order people brought some baggage of their former religion with them and so some "blanket statements" could be made, but over the years a lot of that baggage has been dropped and now "CSB" is just an historical factoid in someones bio and does not really denote anything else.

Fr David Moser

#5 Michael Perkins

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:00 PM

Thank you for responding Father, your blessing

I realized the date, that's why I asked how no one had a response. While a lot may have changed there is still a lot of mystery applied to the group, potentially reflecting the original Order's affinity for such mystery. As a member of one of these 'dispersed' parishes, there is a constant refusal to divulge any information about the group or its path to Orthodoxy. It is completely shrouded and inquiries dismissed. Meanwhile, members of the group meet annually as the St. Moses the Black Brotherhood, with a very distinct perspective that is maintained from the former days.

A parallel could be drawn to the Campus Crusade's path to Orthodoxy, who have a book widely available and endorsed as a missional tool. Whereas the CSB's conversion is only referenced in hushed tones. After six years of asking various people and being dismissed, I'm resorting to the internet for information, where already I've found sensationalist accounts steeped in conspiracy theory and slander. It's unfortunate when desiring some kind of safe harbor in The Church one can't get an answer.

That's why I resurrected the OP's thread. Forgive me if it was a mistake, if this could be better addressed privately I am more than willing to receive information that way.

#6 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:24 PM

However, there is a significant difference between the EOC and the CSB. The Evangelical Orthodox Church (originally formed by former members of Campus Crusade) was largely incorporated "en masse" into the Antiochian Archdiocese with a few noteable exceptions, while CSB members joined individually to various jurisdictions while possibly keeping in touch with each other. What is there to investigate and who should do it? Each individual was accepted by each parish separately and no differently than any other convert for that matter. I suppose, if one wants to work at it, some sort of conspiracy theory could be manufactured (many other CTs have been constructed of flimsier stuff), but how is this different than people coming from Protestantism or Catholicism, other than the original organization they came from having evaporated? (or did it? Enquiring minds want to know! OK, not really but see how easy it is to start a rumor?)

Herman, still a member of POOH

#7 Father David Moser

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:30 PM

Michael,

The path to Orthodoxy of the Order/CSB is not one I would suggest that anyone emulate as it is a great example of how God can take a mixture of great sin on the part of many people and turn it into a great blessing. Some of the events in the movement from cult member to Orthodox Christian for this group has been an extremely complex and multi-colored process. Some were slow to leave their old beliefs behind and so carried a lot of baggage a long way, some of the cult members were dysfunctional and in crisis when they came into the Order and so had their own personal demons to deal with as well as the conversion to Orthodoxy (and some had great difficulty with this as well)), some of the people that they encountered in their path were themselves completely caught up in their own sins and delusions and/or were outright dishonest. There is a lot there that is best left dead and buried. I can easily understand why some (maybe most) folks don't want to talk about the past but rather prefer to look to the future.

Unless you are a priest with pastoral care responsibilities which necessitate a knowledge of a person's past sins, it is best I think, to let it be and take these people (as we should with all men) at face value, as they present today and not try to evaluate them based on what they once were.

Fr David Moser

PS. Regarding the parallel that "could be drawn" between CSB and the EOC - having been personally involved in aspects of both "conversions" (I was a clergyman at the time and had contact with inquiries from both groups - and observed/participated in their coming to Orthodoxy), I would say that there are some similarities (e.g. both groups brought a lot of baggage that they had a hard time giving up) but they are not really parallel situations and one can't make inferences about one experience from the experience of the other.

#8 Jason Hunt

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:58 AM

However, there is a significant difference between the EOC and the CSB. The Evangelical Orthodox Church (originally formed by former members of Campus Crusade) was largely incorporated "en masse" into the Antiochian Archdiocese with a few noteable exceptions, while CSB members joined individually to various jurisdictions while possibly keeping in touch with each other.


I think this is an important point. The EOC, since they were received "en masse" into the Antiochian Archdiocese have influenced that Archdiocese in a quite noticeable and discernible fashion. I cannot say the same regarding the CSB's reception into Orthodoxy. Often when I have listened to one or more former leaders of the EOC, I get the sense that I am listening to a Protestant Evangelical, whereas I have not listened to a former CSB member and thought, "yep, that sounds like a HOOMIE". There have been cases where I have thought that a certain priest seems very pious and very solidly Orthodox, and then later found out that he was former CSB. If one reads Platina's Orthodox Word publication at a certain date, when it was mostly in the hands of former CSB members of the monastery, perhaps one can notice a certain CSB flavor, for instance in the use of the word "mystic" or "mysticism" when referring to Orthodox saints and elders, a term which one almost never encounters in Orthodox literature. The Orthodox Word no longer has this flavor and I cannot point today to any other organization or publication that does have this noticeable "CSB flavor".

Aside from being received "en masse", another very important distinctive of the EOC is that entire EOC churches with their EOC priest suddenly became Orthodox "overnight", as it were. When whole parishes remain intact under their former leader and the conversion process is so expedited, it is certainly more likely for that parish to retain much of its former flavor and phronema. As far as I know, the HOOM/CSB did not have a "parish structure" and I do not think any HOOM leaders were made Orthodox priests "overnight" as was done, more or less, in the EOC. Someone may correct me if I am wrong on this point. The structure or organization that did exist in HOOM seems to have been mostly dissolved.

Last Sunday I met a man who told me that he and his wife were part of HOOM/CSB and were received into Orthodoxy in California a number of years ago, having been catechized by Fr. Herman of Platina. He explained to me that when HOOM members were received into Orthodoxy, they all went into different jurisdictions and the CSB as an organization then lost its significance. In other words, once they were Orthodox and in Orthodox churches, Orthodoxy was what was most important for them, and their former HOOM affiliation ceased to be a meaningful basis for continued association.

In Christ,

Jason

#9 Euphrosyne Marie

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 06:17 PM

As a former member of a parish that had its origins in CSB and HOOM, my SF being a former member of the group, I have had many questions about that history, which he has always answered very openly, without any air of mystery or mysticism, and was very honest about the strange beliefs and mistakes of their past. CSB is still an organization of sorts, committed to missionary work; they offer grants to certain ventures (a youth group who planned a pilgrimage is one example I know of) and, I believe, publishing (they publish Road to Emmaus magazine); they also own various properties as a not-for-profit. I have not asked to know much more than is necessary, because its truly none of my business and has no bearing on my spiritual life. I do treasure the HOOM/CSB background of the church inasmuch as it has contributed to the striving, committed, semi-monastic, ascetic and close-knit community life within which my Orthodox life began to develop. I began in an Antiochian parish as a catechumen and was baptised in the Bulgarian church (a "brotherhood" church as they are commonly referred to) and I see all of it as truly beneficial to my spiritual life and, in visiting/attending other churches (I am now in a ROCOR church since I have moved), I have never found anything amiss in my spiritual direction that has needed correction that would be a result of being part of a "brotherhood" parish (but plenty of my own failings!).

I found this article helpful in discussing the journey/existence today of HOOM/CSB. They definitely went through some dark places to reach true Orthodoxy, but, then, I believe we all have and will continue to go through dark places on the journey to our own truly "Orthodox" selves. God grant that we make it there!

http://groups.yahoo....ia/message/1914 - published in Again, a periodical of Conciliar Press




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