but al, with all due respect - this robbing is just what has happened - based on historical figures we should be tens of millions in the usa but we are barely 800,000 ( take 2000 parishes and assume an average of 250 souild per parish and you get 500,000, 800,000 gives an unbelievable 400 souls - average - which i truly doubt) we have abd are loosing our youth to the non orthodox churches - whyu - becauise we have lost our relevancy to them - our clergy - look like kooks long hair, rubber banded pony tails, black cassocks with archaic looking vestments, ethnocentric parishes, wierd music and chanting -archaic and convoluted wording/verbiage - it is not what today's society is all about and is far from being american - but the externalities must be preserved - why not simpler vestments, why not modern music, why not clean up the language - we are loosing our youth by droves - I knowmof 3 churches that have 10% of the parishioners that they had 40 years ago.
we spend too much time perpeturating tradition instead perpeturating the faith. perhaps our future in america is the western rite - which proves that the eastern orthdox faith need not be expressed in an estern rite mode - it is tragic but the eastern rite as practiced today just does not allow todays youth to embrace it
i know that my words are stong, but we just do not realize that we are our own worst enemy - if we weren't our churches would be jam packed on sunday - look at the recent studies out of the patriarch athenagoras institute in berkely - we grow by immigration -mif we do grow and not by converts nor retention of our youth.
in business if your model of operation is not successful, yuou need to reinvent yourself - we need to do this in america - but alas our feet are stuck in the concrete of the past - it is in God's hands to show our leaders the way and to enable them to morph into what will work here