The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


05 March 2016

Who is my "Spiritual Father"?

updated May 15, 2016

If you are a member of a parish, your spiritual father is your parish priest by default.  Only under special circumstances is your "spiritual father" someone other than your parish priest.

Your parish priest is responsible for your catechism, but he might delegate all or part of it to somebody else.  He will hear your pre-baptismal confession and your confessions after baptism.  He will bless you to receive Communion in another parish when you are traveling or out of town.

It is fine to refer to your parish priest as "my priest".   Actually, I really mostly only hear people in world orthodoxy using the term "spiritual father".  And it seems they often make more of it than they should, making him some kind of "elder" or something, or going "under obedience" to him, maybe with or maybe without his liking.

If your parish priest wants you to get a blessing for things like to buy a car or change jobs, then something is wrong... get out of there.

It can be a very bad situation when a member of a parish has a "spiritual father" in a monastery.  In world orthodoxy we see this horror with a lot of laymen who visit the "Elder" Ephraim monasteries.

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