Episcopal Celibacy and Residency

Author: Archpriest Theodore Bobosh
Date Published: 01/19/2010
Publication: Fr. Ted's Blog

As the OCA goes through its own vision, strategic planning and re-organization process, one of the questions it has to deal with is the metropolitan’s residence. The question arises because as of last year the metropolitan is the bishop of the Diocese of Washington, DC, while the OCA chancery headquarters are located in Syosset, NY, within the boundaries of the Diocese of NY/NJ. Bishops are by canon to live in their own dioceses. The residence that the OCA has for its metropolitan is in Syosset, NY, and so the issue has been raised as to having an official residence for the metropolitan in the DC area.

The process of discerning a location for the metropolitan’s residence has caused me to think about the fact that Orthodox bishops are canonically required to be celibate. Since celibacy is a church requirement for bishops, the question comes up as to what extent the church therefore has a responsibility in love to provide a residence for their bishops that is conducive to a celibate lifestyle and which does not enable the bishops to stray from their celibate lifestyles.

One of the things the Roman Catholics learned through their sexual misconduct scandal was that a warning sign of the clergy whose “celibacy was in trouble” (an RC euphemism for sexual misconduct) was that the clergy “disappeared” when not officially on duty