+Mark Says Synod to Address
In a carefully worded statement to his diocesan clergy issued immediately upon his arrival at JFK in New York last night, Bishop Mark of Toledo neither confirmed nor denied earlier internet reports of the outcome of meetings held in Damascus this week. Rather, the Bishop, who refused to sign the April 24th Letter supporting the February 24th decision of the Synod of Antioch attempting to reduce the American Bishop from diocesan to auxiliary status, expressed his satisfaction that the Damascus meeting was “ blessed and productive”, that the Patriarch “has been keeping abreast of the concerns in North America”, and that the American Bishops had been “assured he (the Patriarch) will ask them (the Synod) to address our situation in a matter that is considerate of the concerns which have been voiced, much of which he was already aware of.” The Bishop did not elaborate further, requesting instead of his clergy that “As the Holy Synod will be meeting on June16th.... let us give opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work through our father-in-Christ and the members of the Holy Synod.”
The complete text follows:
“Dear to God,
Greeting in the name of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Though weary from the flight and shortness of the trip, their Graces Bp Antoun, Bp Basil and Bp Thomas and I had a most enjoyable trip. Bp Joseph travelled separately as it was more convenient from the West Coast. We had a blessed and productive meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV. His Beatitude has been keeping abreast of the concerns in North America and is frequently updated.
As the Holy Synod will be meeting on June 16th, we were assured he will ask them to address our situation in manner that is considerate of the concerns which have been voiced, much of which he was already aware of. Let us give opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work through our father-in-Christ and the members of the Holy Synod.
We were most blessed to have His Beatitude take time from his busy schedule to ‘invite’ our Bishops to discuss what is talking place. His warmth and candor was apparent to all. Certainly none could deny the sense of brotherly collegiality we experienced in his presence. May the Lord our God grant him good health many years.
I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at the upcoming Parish Life Conference in Cincinnati, OH.
Hopefully, I will be flying out of JFK yet this evening to Pittsburgh, PA. Have a blessed evening.
Yours in Christ,