Suspended for Internet Comment, Priest Is Dismissed From Antiochian Archdiocese
In a letter to Fr. Elias Yelovich, dated November 9th, Bishop Thomas of Charleston has informed the suspended priest that “it has been decided that you should be ...removed from the roster of clergy of this Archdiocese. This action is being taken with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, and is effective immediately.”
In the two page letter Bishop Thomas continued:
“The reasons for these actions are numerous. To name a few:
1. Your continued disobedience to directives passed on to you by my office, specifically those dealing with your own spirtual care, namely continuing against my direction to have a layman as your confessor.
2. Secondly, maintaining a parish council president who is not in good canonical standing with this Archdiocese. You have been sent a number of times a copy of the Priest’s Guide containing the model constitution for parishes, which indicates that council members must be in good canonical standing.
3. Proclaiming throughout your deanery that one of your parishoners is a “prophet” and accounting and proclaiming “miracles” without consulting the hierarchs of this Archdiocese.
Your recent postings to the website ocanews.org led us to interview you and investigate your activities. The investigation revealed that you had not changed any of the behaviors about which you had been warned. In addition to the serious items listed above, the disparaging remarks you posted about the Metropolitan on the Internet have contributed to our taking this action. Likening our Archbishop to a father who beats his children will never be tolerated. There are proper ways that we can disagree as brother clergy, and there are inappropriate ways. This one certainly was inappropriate.
As you know we have repeatedly asked you to conform to the practices of our Archdiocese and specifically to repudiate the remarks you posted on the Internet. Sadly, you have refused to work with us. This being the case we have no other recourse but to take this action.
We pray that you will come to repentance.
Yours in Christ,
+Bishop Thomas (signed)
Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS (Joseph)
Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic
cc: Most Rev. Metropolitan PHILIP