Monday, March 23. 2009
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Excellent! Well written. Perhaps everyone should write to Damascus to voice their concerns. The people need to be heard as you are absolutely correct, the church is not the Archbishop alone! Nor the Bishops alone! Or the people alone! BUT ALL OF THEM WORKING TOGETHER(I BELIEVE THIS IS HOW METROPOLITAN PHILIP APTLY ARTICULATES HIS BELIEFES ON THE MATTER!)
#1 anonymous on 2009-03-23 14:33
NO this not the way Met P articulates his positions. As a checkers player he studies every move. Threatened by "diocese" bishops he would (and did!) reduce them to ceremonial visitors, thus alleviating himself from "such", especially in that he has no plans to ever retire! be assured of that!!
#1.1 Anonymous (mid west) on 2009-03-23 17:18
I find it interesting that there have been no further posts from clergy who have identified themselves by name as Antiochian Priests. WORD is out that they have been threatened. Is this true or do you have nothing else to say? If there are no further posts with names, outside those who are close to MP then we will know it to be true! I also heard other priests are being called and the sqeeze is on. How tragic that clergy live in fear of their supposed Father-in-Christ. Christ instructed Peter to feed HIS sheep, NOT BEAT HIS SHEEP!
#1.2 anonymously beaten down by a so-called shepherd on 2009-03-25 09:58
Dear whoever you are:
You sign a name full of pain, and with this message I send a prayer to God for your relief ... in this life and the next. May it be answered in full measure.
I don't think that qualifies you, however, and in point of fact probably ought to dis-qualify you, from anonymously posting here the rumors you have jheard about word being out, squeezes put on, and the like. If you have even heard enough such statements from sources that are reliable to qualify you make such generalizations.
This is a tough time. Some are no doubt afraid, others puzzled, others trying not to be distracted from Lent, still more whose plates are full of other matters or who do not feel called to interject themselves and their names into this public exchange in this forum because they believe they can better contribute to a positive outcome by means other than the public washing of laundry, still others who think the internet has as many minuses as it does pluses for discussions like this one. I could probably think of four or five more decent reasons ofr Antiochian clergy not to be named in the exchanges here at this time.
So in case I haven't made myself clear, I think your reasoning ("if we don't see more posts by name it means that people are being bullied into silence") is specious.
#1.2.1 Fr. George Washburn on 2009-03-25 20:57
The Head of all the Orthodox Churches in the United States of America is not in America, nor is He in another country. In fact, He's not even of this world.
Quotes from the Address of Metropolitan Philip at the Special Antiochian Archdiocese Convention July 16, 2004, Pittsburgh, Pa. (excerpted from the Word Magazine Sept 2004)
“Beloved in Christ:
Three years have elapsed since our first vote in Los Angeles. These three years have been marked by frustration, tension and disappointment. But our Church is a church of hope. In John 5:17, our Lord said: ‘My father is still working and I am working.’ If you are in Christ, you do not despair, you do not give up, and you do not surrender. Christ is working with us and will continue to work with us until the end of time. He is the foundation and head of the Church. In I Corinthians 3:11-13, St. Paul said: ‘For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, *wood, hay, straw – each man’s work will become manifest*; for the Day will disclose it, *because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.*’
The Orthodox Church of twenty-first century America is destined to chart its own course and shape its own future, despite the obstacles. We in the Antiochian Archdiocese have reached the point of no return. Our Mother Church of Antioch is very dear to us and we shall continue to do everything within our power to support our beloved Patriarch in all his endeavors. The founding of the University of Balamand by His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV is the greatest event which has happened in Antioch since the days of Peter and Paul. This Special Convention is a bright moment in our history. Let us seize this moment and appeal to our brothers and sisters of other jurisdictions to emulate our example and seize the moment. In II Corinthians 5:17, St. Paul said: ‘Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come.’ Today, I am overwhelmed by a sense of newness. This is a new era and a new day. Without the steadfastness and unity of our people which was magnificently demonstrated in Los Angeles and Miami, Florida, and by our hierarchs, clergy, Board of Trustees, parish councils and faithful throughout North America, this new day could never have been possible. I would be remiss if I do not express my gratitude to the Archdiocese department of legal affairs, especially Chancellor Robert Koory and Chancellor Charles Ajalat, for reviewing our constitution and proposing to us the necessary amendments…
I do not want you to be under the illusion that our task has been completely accomplished; we have just begun. The future of this Archdiocese is not fifty years from now; the future is now. With the new structure of our Archdiocese, the new future bishops, chanceries, organizations and department, we have much to be done. We cannot waste time. Thus, our work begins now. We must think and act, not only for the moment, but for generations to come.
In conclusion, I am reminded of the story of Marshall Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow to grow and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshall replied, ‘In this case, there is not time to waste, plant this morning.’ Today, in a world of fragmented Orthodoxy on this continent and abroad, we have no time to waste; let us plant our trees this morning. Thank you.”
So much for his 15 minutes of Glory! How the crow taste?
#2 Metropolitan Philip comments on 2009-03-23 20:30
And here lies the tragedy--we don't love and trust our Metropolitan or our Patriarch. It seems, however, that most of us love and trust our (former?) diocesan bishops.
Pray for them all. Seek the truth in love and peace. Fear not.
"Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered....."
#3 Michael Bauman on 2009-03-23 20:38
It is not TRUST, Michael. but DECEPTION in order the restore control!! And you know it! From DIOCESE Bishop to AUXILLIARY! As another has written only a CEREMONIAL representative and nothing more.
#3.1 Anonymous Priest on 2009-03-24 10:12
 "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" says the LORD.
 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: "You have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.
 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the LORD.
 The word of the LORD came to me:
 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ho, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep.
 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.
 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the wild beasts.
 My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.
 "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
 As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep;
 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
 Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
 "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
 And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the fountains, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
 I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.
 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.
 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice.
 "As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, rams and he-goats.
 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must foul the rest with your feet?
 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?
 "Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad,
 I will save my flock, they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
 "I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.
 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.
 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them; they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.
 And I will provide for them prosperous plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations.
 And they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD.
 And you are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord GOD."
#3.2 False Shepherds will be judged on 2009-03-25 10:11
In the absence of any meaningful communication from the Archdiocese, the big question continues to be, "Why?" Why did Metr. Philip feel the need to destroy with a single action much of what has been accomplished in this Archdiocese over the past decade? Why did Metr. Philip need to grievously insult our local bishops by not consulting with them about what was happening and then putting off meeting with them for two months after publicly humiliating them? At this point, we don't even know if he plans to explain his actions at the April meeting of the local synod or if he's just calling in his auxiliaries to inform them of their new assignments. Why does it appear that he is insistent on bring back Bp. Demetri in a substantive role?
Has Metr. Philip forgotten with whom he is dealing or has he just stopped caring? Many of us are in the Antiochian Archdiocese because we were betrayed by "bishops" in the Episcopal Church. Many of us willingly left behind buildings and property and even family and friends so that we could come into the Antiochian Archdiocese and live the Orthodox Faith. Must we now once again do the same, fleeing this time perhaps to the OCA?
Fr. Joe Allen wrote an autobiography of Metr. Philip called, Feed My Sheep, portraying Metr. Philip as a great shepherd. Why, now, does he decide to feed us only poison?
#4 Anonymous on 2009-03-24 13:35
The OCA scandals (there are more than one) have the potential of increasing the overall strength and ability of the OCA to withstand trial and tribulation. It depends on whether the Synod takes actions that mitigate the potential for similiar problems in future.
And thus, the OCA ultimately has the potential of being the BEST branch of Orthodoxy in America. A situation where foreign patriarchs have no impact on the behavior of the church. Like it'll secularize the church, baloney I say!
The opportunity is there for Metropolitan Jonah and the Synod to develop the OCA into a church that fits into the American culture. That is, one where decisions are made in a conciliar fashion, the people are represented fairly, and the state is disregarded for the most part.
How often has an Orthodox church had the opportunity for true self rule away from the government? NEVER.
No other group of Orthodox in America can possibly get as good a governance as what the OCA can provide.
The AOC is certainly getting that told to them today.
Wishing all the best for the OCA Synod. And expecting someday that the OCA doesn't have the GOA and the AOC to compete with..
#5 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-03-24 17:25
Well put, Daniel, and had Met P cast off his native ethnic ties there wouls be ONE OCA administratively united. But his connection with "home" won out in the end. Oh, how to cut the ties with each "Mother" Church. It's like saying, "Son, don't marry, stay home and be loyal to Mother forever". Good life for a celibate? Some connection. The GOA was sold down the "river" forever, eac Prelate content to die with their Crowns intact!
#5.1 Anonymous on 2009-03-24 22:14
Well said! Think about this - THE REASON WE DON'T HAVE ORTHODOX UNITY IN NORTH AMERICA IS BECAUSE OF THE BISHOPS! Now, REALLY think about this! It's absolutely true. Our hierarchs ask for "OBEDIENCE." They ask us all to "LISTEN TO US." They ask us to "DON'T FORGET YOUR ROOTS." They tell us "WE KNOW WHAT'S BEST." When in reality, these men, keep the Orthodox Church in North America terribly divided and sending huge amounts of $$$ overseas. WHY?
It's time to tell "despots" (Eis polla iete DESPOTA) like + Philip to retire or take a hike! OK, he did a great job - give him a dinner and get out! Let Orthodoxy finally progress and unite!
#5.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-03-26 07:48
IT IS TIME FOR MP TO RETIRE. Let him retire and let us have the dinner after a new Metropolitan is installed and the Diocesan Bishops restored. We could always ask MP to attend.
#6 ANONYMOUS on 2009-03-29 21:06
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