Seeking the Episcopacy: Salvation not Reputation

In as much as the OCA is in the process of electing a new Metropolitan, we can consider the words of St. Gregory the Great (d. 604AD) about those who seek to become bishops.  Some according to St. Gregory seek the office of bishop for wrong reasons, looking not for their salvation but to enhance their reputation:

“Moreover, it should be noted that he said this at a time when whoever supervised the laity was the first to be led to the torments of martyrdom. Therefore, it was laudable in that era to seek the episcopate, when whoever held it would suffer severely. It is for this reason, then, that the office of the episcopate is defined as a ‘good work’ when it is said: ‘If one desires the episcopate, he desires a good work.’ Therefore, he who seeks not the good work of the ministry, but only the glory of honor, testifies against himself that he does not desire the office of a bishop. For a man does not love the sacred office, nor does he even understand it, if by craving a position of spiritual leadership he is nourished by the thought of subordinating others, rejoices at being praised, elates his heart by honor, or exalts in the abundance of his affluence.” (The Book of Pastoral Rule, pg. 41)

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One Response to Seeking the Episcopacy: Salvation not Reputation

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