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Thank you, Fr. Andrew, for the nice report about the accommodations. I am not at all hoping for the discomfort of any, especially my bishop who is in attendance, and is not paid like a CEO (I know). I also know this is not always the case.

Orr, your questions are, as usual, spot on. Consider them added to the canon.

Unexcited (how I sympathize with your nomenclature), if you ever are awakened, you will find my parish in that apocalyptic rust belt merger.

Still, wake me up when they decide to merge all the churches in the cities in the rust belt river valleys...... Until then, it's just another photo opp...

It may well be the case that the hotel rooms were donated. The gentleman running the place certainly has a very Greek name.

As far as I can tell, there are no services being conducted here. Liturgy on Friday morning will be at the GOA cathedral in Manhattan.

Is there an easily accessible monastery in the US with facilities to house 50+ hierarchs and at least one staff person per bishop? St. Tikhon's, Jordanville and St. Anthony's could probably do it - but they are all far from accessible considering the requirements of air travel. SVS or Holy Cross could probably have hosted it, but that would cede too much to 'interested parties' - and that's probably why they ended up at a hotel.

I wouldn't be surprised if the hotel was donated or heavily discounted by the Helmsley organization due to a 'connection'. Compared to most of the US, just about all New York hotels are 'not cushy' and 'not modern' due to the cost of space in Manhattan. New York was chosen because they likely got deals on hotels, because so many of the bishops are already within driving distance, and because the HQs of so many of the jurisdictions are either in or near NYC (e.g., GOA, OCA, AOCANA, Moscow, Bucharest, Sofia) allowing for a daily commute if need be.

Still, the image of Church affairs being conducted in cushy corporate environs with make shift worship facilities rather than in truly religious or even academic surroundings always rubs me the wrong way (e.g., the OCA's All American Councils). But, hey, if you're going to pay bishops like they're executives and CEOs rather than as single monastics under obedience (leaving married priests with families making far less)... (cf. with Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's thoughts on episcopal pay in "This Holy Man").

The hotel is expensive, but not particularly cushy. There's also not much in the way of conference and meeting rooms. This is not a "modern" hotel.

How interested (and why) are certain governments in unification?

How can unification be used as 'soft power' by certain governments?

Who are the lost sheep, again?

"How important is the [EU] to [Turkey]? What does that have to do with this?" What do Greece and Cyprus think about this?

"How important is [Turkey] to [NATO and/or the EU]? What does that have to do with this?"

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