Monday, April 6. 2009
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I would like to correct one point in your letter concerning "Metropolitan Philip's Cathedral." As the dean of the Cathedral, let the record be set straight that we do indeed celebrate the feast days on their proper days. If you check our newsletter for the Great Fast, you will see we celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation with Great Vespers on March 24th and the Divine Liturgy on March 25th. Likewise, we will do the same with Ascension, the next major feast after Pascha. With all feasts, we celebrate either a vesperal-liturgy or vespers and liturgy, oftentimes with our sister parish in Brooklyn of St. Mary. Looking back, you will see the same with the Entrance of Christ into the Temple, Epiphany, etc. If there was a case whereby you saw otherwise, I offer one of two reasons, either the feast fell on a Monday and we could not have an evening liturgy or there was some other compelling reason.
--Fr. Thomas Zain
Dean, St. Nicholas Cathedral.
#1 Fr. Thomas Zain on 2009-04-06 06:06
From Fr Zain's comments we can learn two things. First, rather than "correcting" the priest of this article as he said he was going to do, he rather "confirmed" what the priest said, admitting in his last sentence that the Cathedral practice is to celebrate moveable feasts that fall on a Monday to a Sunday. Why not celebrate the feast on Monday morning, as prescribed by Archdiocesan edicts?
Second, following Fr Zain's advice, I attempted to check the Cathedral's newsletter on-line to verify what he said. The newsletter confirmed what Fr Zain said. However, poking around his Cathedral's website I noticed that the service schedule (http://www.stnicholascathedral.org/schedule.html) does not have anything about Great Vespers on Saturday evening. The Sunday bulletins on the same page as the newsletter for the Great Fast also show no evidence that the Cathedral has Saturday night Vespers. I could be wrong, but I believe we have also seen an edict from the Metropolitan stating that Saturday evening Vespers must be served in all parishes.
In both of these cases, it appears that the author of this reflection was correct in pointing out to Fr John Morris that some of the offenders against Archdiocesan edicts are the parishes and priests in +PHILIP's own diocese, even his own Cathedral.
Of course, I wouldn't want to give the impression that Fr Zain is alone in these practices. I checked the websites for several of the parishes in +PHILIP's own diocese and it appears that none of them have Great Vespers regularly on a Saturday evening.
#1.1 An East Coast Priest on 2009-04-06 13:12
In response to your response, it is forbidden by the Archdiocese to celebrate evening liturgies on Sunday. If I were to have a Monday morning liturgy in downtown Brooklyn with little or no parking (unless you want to pay a hefty fee for parking to the tune of $15 or $20), far from where most all of our parishioners live, unfortunately, I would be there along with the mice (or rather the rats)! I ask you, what is better for the rare occasions when a feast falls on a Monday? This is a local and particular logistical problem of living in New York and having a Cathedral parish disconnected from the local community. As for Great Vespers, they are served every Saturday at St. Mary in Bay Ridge Brooklyn for those who are able to make it and our people know about it (and by chance this is where even most of our parishioners live). For the record, we have a very full lenten and Holy Week cycle (I guess you didn't bother to check those), even more that what is "required" at the Cathedral and have increasingly done more over the years. Those who know me know I am by no means a "minimalist." You need only ask the countless seminarians that have served with and learned from me over the years or my former parishioners in Wilkes-Barre, PA where I was able to do much more liturgically.
Just understand that I am in a particular time and place that makes it very difficult to do more than we already do at this point in time. Hopefully, as time goes on, that will change as more people grow and possibly live closer to the Cathedral. In the meantime, please worry about your own parish rather than mine!
#1.1.1 Fr. Thomas Zain on 2009-04-06 15:18
I understand what you are saying, Fr. Thomas, and I was going to send another response to clarify one thing, but you beat me to the punch. I am not trying to pick on you specifically (or personally), and I apologize that it came across that way.
My point is simple: if the Metropolitan is going to issue edicts then he should ensure they are followed at his own cathedral. This is really his responsibility more than yours, it would seem.
This whole issue we are discussing reveals a much deeper issue, as your defense of your position makes clear. There are pastoral reasons for not following Archdiocesan edicts. But the Metropolitan does not seem to allow for this in situations outside his personal sphere of friends or confidantes. Therefore, many of us are frustrated that we are chastized for doing Scriptural verses between the antiphons or during the Alleluia verses. Is that really a big deal (i.e. is it worse than not having the prescribed services)? Is there not a pastoral reason to do this at times? Are there not pastoral reasons to do the Beatitudes on some occasions? But we have been 'banned' from doing so.
Again, I apologize that you have been caught in the crossfire of this. I have nothing against you personally and I am very understanding of the reasons you gave for your practice. I am not trying to judge you personally, but point to a bigger issue. With that in mind, I would point out that this is my business as this whole issue affects every single parish in the Archdiocese.
#184.108.40.206 An East Coast Priest on 2009-04-06 19:03
p.s. There is no edict from the Archdiocese that says if a feast falls on a Monday, you must celebrate it on Monday morning, again, you are mistaken my brother. While I am in no way saying this is not preferred, given my personal logistical situation, it simply does not work here.
#1.1.2 Fr. Thomas Zain on 2009-04-06 15:24
These will be my last words regarding a feast that falls on a Monday; you can have the final response if you wish.
It is my understanding that there is an edict that says we must celebrate the feasts on their proper days and not on Sunday. If there is not an edict, that is at least the expectation, or at least what Bo said in his article that the Metropolitan desires.
There is also an edict or letter from the Metropolitan that says feast days may not be celebrated with a vesperal liturgy on Sunday evening because you cannot serve two liturgies in the same day at the same altar.
So while you may technically be correct, you can put the two edicts/expectations together and see that the expectation is you celebrate the feast on Monday. Again, I'm not trying to attack you personally on this issue. You have given good reasons for why you do what you do. You can reference my other response to see why I care about this and how it affects everyone when edicts are inconsistently applied.
#220.127.116.11 An East Coast Priest on 2009-04-06 19:12
Point well taken and understood and apology accepted! I just wanted it to be clear my particular situation and circumstance lest I be lumped in with those who don't care to do much liturgically or try to get away with even less than what is expected as a minimum. A blessed remainder of the fast!
#18.104.22.168 Fr. Thomas Zain on 2009-04-07 06:37
Thank you and blessed fast to you as well. I know of no one who would lump you in the category that you just mentioned (being liturgically lax), and you are obviously in a unique situation. Anyone who has been around the NYC area knows that it is a unique place in the US!!!
#22.214.171.124.1 An East Coast Priest on 2009-04-07 09:56
I think the most telling story is the signature at the end of the reflection.
It is clear that an Antiochian priest who begs to differ with the Metropolitan or his brothers is clearly in fear for his profession.
As often as we have decried and slammed the anonymous poster; the reasons are surely clear when it comes to anonymous clergy.
What a pathetic dungheap of brotherhood when you are only brothers if you agree with the decisions of the leader. Sounds more like a gang mentality to me. Not quite, though, they'd probably listen to a disagreement better than a Christian cleric.
No intent to stir the pot through my callous, but genuine third party outsider observations. But from this distance, the picture is pretty sad.
I am starting to believe, however, that the only true Orthodox Church in America goes by that name because the other churches are just puppets of other national jurisdictions. Call that tooting my own horn if you like, I call em like I see em.
(Editor's note: Dan, while one can appreciate your colorful language ( "dungheap"), please remember that it was not too long ago all the OCA priests on this site were anonymous as well. It took a few months, and a few orders to be silent, for some to begin to speak out with their names. Yes, the culture of fear dominates the AOCA today. It did in the OCA as well. We worked through it, and so too, one prays, will they. In the meantime, let us not be too proud about being the "OCA" quite yet. We still have a great ways to go before we are healed, and much to learn for other jurisdictions. )
#2 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-04-06 08:05
It is TRUE that many, many clergy do not serve sat. Vespers. Neither does the Metropolitan ever attend unless a clergyman includes a sat Vespers when he is present in a visiting community. Except when there is a dinner/anniversary at a hotel (sat nite sometimes with a dance)! His own Arch'd chapel is never used on a Sat when he is in residence. Except that is for once a year when the Seminarians are invited "in" for their annual gathering. ...
#2.1 Anonymous on 2009-04-06 13:36
Many Edicts of the Archdiocese Antiochian are not followed. A certain Mid West Priest had to have the Met.P. come to his observance in addition to Bishop mark for many reasons. The Priest never served Vespers or holy days - his parish church open only on Sunday except for Christmas and certain lenten and certain holy weekn services. I'm afraid many AOC clergy (even some who went to St V's) never enjoyed a real "liturgical" life. But, "the people don't come", I've heard. "When two or three are gathered in My Name....."!
#2.2 Anonymous on 2009-04-06 13:48
If the service isn't offered, one can always accurately predict the attendance.
#2.2.1 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2009-04-07 07:14
"I am starting to believe, however, that the only true Orthodox Church in America goes by that name..."
Daniel, you should apologize for this statement and be more careful when talking about the "true Church" and what it is and what it isn't. Maybe this is not what you meant to say, I don't know, but lots of people read what is written here, and you have not chosen your words carefully.
#2.3 Anonymous on 2009-04-06 14:01
I completely disagree with Daniel Fall. The OCA is no better than the AOCA, as I stated on the previous thread
Perhaps some OCA priests are more vocal than they once where... but that's only because they don't fear The Wrath of Jonah as much as they did The Wrath of Herman (or God forbid, that of His Beatitude, the Most Wrathful Philip Saliba). But that's about where the superiority ends. The culture of silence is still in full effect in the OCA. Disagreement is not tolerated. Dissenters are shunned.
Herman may have been toppled, but that was only one dictator. The rest of the ruling 'pious elite' are still in power, still watching, and still taking notes on who is inside (or outside) the Circle of Trust.
And our Bishops are hardly fighting against this negative reality. In fact, they are reinforcing it. A few months ago, Jonah himself condemned the OCA's critics as being "self-righteous." Maybe that's why our seminarians are too fearful to speak on the record.
It was one thing for 70 Archpriests to stand up to their bishop. It's another thing for the laity - the OCA everyman - to stand up to their parish priest, or their coffee clotch, or their zealously pious friends - and tell them that something is wrong with our Church. That is the level where people get shut down, hurt, or estranged. That's where protection and support are needed.
When will it be time for the OCA to recognize that critics and dissenters are not evil? What about the examples of Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, John Kozey, or Mark Stokoe, who were once shunned as divisionists, but are now lauded as heros? Why do some among us not recognize them as the heroes they are? Have our bishops and administrators not learned anything?
I am still waiting to see some real "openness and accountability" in the OCA. Of course Fr. Pleska was elected by the Synod - how could he not have, after that media firestorm? I don't see that as any sign that 'the system is working.' There's still plenty that goes on secretly. The most I ever hear out of Syosset is "no comment." Why don't we get official responses to OCANews articles? Why are minutes from Diocesan Council meetings not public? Why can the Metropolitan Council meet in secret session? Why are Holy Synod Meetings, their agendas, and their proceedings completely NON-transparent (aside from the occasional tersely-worded statement)? Why aren't the Bishop's schedules public? Why don't we get some regular report on the activity of our salaried full-time administrators? I could go on... but the point is:
Why is there still so much secrecy? And, why are people willing to accept that there needs to be secrecy?
Seriously, I've seen more accountability and transparency - not to mention organizational creativity and fresh thinking - on the blogs of internet startups like Google and Facebook, or political campaigns, like BarackObama.com. Why is a Church (a communion of the faithful) being one-upp'd by corporations whose desire to communicate and create better consumer relationships is driven by profit - or by politicians, who just want to get elected?
I could offer a prescription, say that Met. Jonah must create a blog and post on it at least once a week. But shouldn't transparency be a natural result of our leaders' own desires to be in touch with their flock, and to be in touch as much as possible? In today's Twitterific, Facebooked, Web 2.0 world, there's no reason why Syosset needs to be a stonewall.
We need to start by reinvigorating OCA.org. There's some good content on there, but it's pretty hard to access, the site is generally hard to navigate, and sees updates pretty infrequently. Why not take advantage of RSS feeds, Social Networking plug-ins, forums, and more robust community photo albums? At least bring back the weekly "Recent Postings" summary. I wish some of that $1.9 Million loan had gone towards getting a leading design firm like Pentagram to redo the website. It could be an amazing asset to the Orthodox Church in America, but currently, it's not, and timid changes like the new UPS color scheme won't solve the problem.
Also, kudos to Ferris Haddad (#3) for his excellent indictment of blind obedience.
(editor's note: You go, girl! Whether one agrees or disagrees with the writer, it is this kind of passion and ideas that will move us forward. I have only two things to add: if I have been made a hero, someone needs to tell All Caps Guy. More seriously, the MC has a duty and right , as does the Synod, to meet in Executive Session sometimes when discussing legal or personnel issues.Those are are the only exceptions I would agree to, and the only time we do. I too find the silence from Syosset difficult to accept - especially when people are thirsting for news. I am told there will be more news about the recent Synod meeting posted before the end of the week. The point is, we have a long, long way to go. )
#2.4 Silenced on 2009-04-06 14:39
Sorry about being too colorful. Indeed, I never intended to suggest only the Antiochians felt the need for anonymity. The fact clergy feel the need for anonymity suggests the heap, sans some color. It is a huge disappointment to me personally to know that a Christian priest cannot be candid about things without fearing for his career. It adds to the concerns I have about the church being more bs than following and teaching Christian principles.
And to further clarify my other observations... the United States has over 300 million people and is geographically enormous compared to any of the countries within the Antiochian church. From a third party perspective, which is all I can offer; to suggest the US could be reduced to a single 'ruling' Bishop seems very odd.
#2.5 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-04-07 21:35
I agree wholeheartedly with the anonymous priest's reflection. I would like to hear some kind of rational, well-thought-out analysis that supports the Holy Synod's apparent decision.
Those of us who disagree with it can cite the canons, church history, past decisions of the Holy Synod, our Synod-granted Archdiocesan Constitution, and even Metropolitan Philip's own words in defense of our position. Those, like Fr. John Morris, who support Metropolitan Philip's interpretation can cite only "obedience."
This supposed decision, and Metropolitan Philip's regrettable interpretation of it, violate the spirit and the letter of the canons. Far from "normalizing" anything, they in reality are innovations which overthrow normative ecclesiology. Furthermore, if anyone wishes to advocate "obedience," must they not first practice it themselves? The Holy Synod and the Metropolitan must be obedient as well, to the ecclesiology bequeathed to us by our mother the Orthodox Church.
Can those who favor the decision provide arguments which address these issues?
#3 Ferris Haddad on 2009-04-06 12:49
RIDE ON, ferris. THEY CAN'T CHALLENGE YOU AS MOST ALL THE CLERGY ARE oBEDIENCE OR eLSE. oUR PRELATE HAS A MEMORY BETTER THAN ANY ELEPHANT.
#3.1 anonymous on 2009-04-06 15:37
p.p.s. You are all invited to Great Vespers at the Cathedral this Saturday at 3:00pm, already scheduled for weeks on our Holy Week Schedule! I look forward to seeing you all there! In fact, you are welcome to come to Orthros and Liturgy for St. Lazarus that morning and have lunch afterwards and then come back for vespers, my treat!
(Editor's note: Hey, Abouna, the only parish that gets to advertise services on this site is mine! I'll let this go as a public service announcement, but no more shameless marketing! )
#4 Fr. Thomas Zain on 2009-04-06 15:27
Hey thanks! I 'll even through in free parking!
#4.1 Fr. Thomas Zain on 2009-04-06 19:13
Just a note in reply to Fr Thomas Zain:
I don't think anyone was attacking you, Father. Rather, people seem to be pointing out that not even parishes close to Met Philip always follow his every command. I personally agree with your pastoral decision to move Monday feasts, but I don't think the WISDOM of that decision is precisely the issue.
#4.2 Ferris Haddad on 2009-04-06 19:51
Fr Zain who as the great Met P "sokesman" (or else no future!) Well knows very few Eastern Diocese (or is it region now?) do not serve Sat Vespers. And ONLY the liturgies for the 12 Feast Days. Also note, "SELF RULED ARCHDIOCESE" is MISSING from the Wichita Paschal Message. My how things change. All done to silence the now ceremonial only hierarchs,What a waste of time, energy, funds and EXUBERANCE for the short lived title. In truth the Archdiocese has ALWAYS been self-ruling as little reported to the Synod of Antioch. Except for money needed? All done in the absence of receiving AUTONOMY that Met P never had the courage to fight for! Forward march or is it to the rear march?
#4.3 Anonymous on 2009-04-06 20:16
Transferring the observance of a major feast falling on a Monday to Sunday seems to be common enough practice in other parts of the Antiochian Archdiocese. My old Antiochian Midwest Diocese parish did that. Drove me bats. I didn't encounter Great Vespers on Sunday evening/Monday morning Divine Liturgy on the actual feast until I joined the OCA. The Antiochians have some good things, but I've definitely encountered a fuller liturgical cycle in the OCA.
#5 Michele Hagerman on 2009-04-06 21:21
Transferring feast days is not a big deal. The Antiochians still celebrate vesperal liturgies on the evening before a major feast - it works in most places. People must remember that the liturgical celebration of a feast lasts for 8 days so celebrating that feast within the 8 day cycle can and should be done for expedience. If a parish can celebrate it on the prescribed day, wonderful. However, is it better to celebrate a feast when 100 people are in church or 2 people - including the priest?
The American Typicon is one of practicality, common sense and parish sensibilities.
#6 Anonymous on 2009-04-07 07:44
"Transferring" a feast and celebrating it with a vesperal liturgy the evening before are two different things. The Church celebrates most feasts for certain periods of time, you are correct. But it celebrates the feast itself on one liturgical day. Furthermore, unless a certain rank of feast falls on Sunday, the Church primarily celebrates the Resurrection each Sunday. So you don't just "transfer" a feast to a Sunday when there might be 200 people in church and then miss the celebration of the Resurrection.
Finally, you should keep in mind that the Church is not the parish. The parish church is part of the bigger Church. We celebrate the feasts as a Church. Granted, there are calendar issues (old vs new) that can break up the celebration of a feast between the US and Russia, for example, but the point is that each parish does not decide for itself on which day it should celebrate the feast.
#6.1 An East Coast Priest on 2009-04-07 10:37
Rather than reading Canon Law in one's spare time - may I respectfully suggest:
The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee
The meaning is very clear - nearly 2,000 years later.
Are those who faithfully attend Great Vespers each Saturday (etc.) better Orthodox Christians than those who either cannot or do not? Is that all it takes? I hardly think so.
Also - I have been blessed during my lifetime to have been a communicant in St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn for some years. More faithful and dedicated Orthodox Christians you could not find anywhere.
Until one understands the make-up of the parish (and its location a distance from many of them) and the ordeal of taking public transportation or paying for car service several times a week - and witnessing those elderly members who make every attempt to do just that no matter what the weather conditions may be............I would just say to those who worry about the spiritual lives of those in Metropolitan PHILIP's Cathedral:
Bah! Humbug! Do not judge others - just take care of yourselves. That should keep you busy enough.
#7 Laila K. Davis on 2009-04-07 07:52
Thanks for your response. I hope you have read my continued dialogue with Fr Thomas Zain. I have had an opportunity to clarify my own intent in this debate. Your response provides me another opportunity.
As you can see above, the issue that Fr Thomas and I have been discussing does not hinge on the spirituality of St Nicholas Cathedral parishioners. The issue hinges on the Metropolitan issuing edicts that are not followed, or more specifically, inconsistently applying the edicts that come from his office.
Many of us throughout the Archdiocese are tired of hearing the Metropolitan complain about 'liturgical disunity' because some of us find it pastorally beneficial to insert Scriptural verses between the antiphons at the liturgy. By doing so (and adding about 30 seconds to the Divine Liturgy service), the Metropolitan claims that we are creating liturgical disunity or diversity in the Archdiocese. My question is, are not some of his edicts (like edicts dealing with having a full liturgical cycle) of more importance? Why do we only hear about the edicts not being followed by those he does not know? We never hear him complain about parishes not offering the full cycle of services, and the vast majority of these parishes are either in his diocese or the priest is an old friend of Sayidna. Again, this is my 'beef' with the issue. I'm not trying to judge you or Fr Thomas or anyone else. I'm simply asking questions and making points.
To address some of the issues you raised: I have never said, nor do I think, that those who attend Vespers every Saturday evening are better Orthodox Christians than those who do not or cannot. In fact, I find it completely distracting and irrelevant to compare myself to any other person or Christian. With that in mind, I do know (and certainly the Church teaches) that I personally benefit from my regular attendance at divine services.
#7.1 An East Coast Priest on 2009-04-07 10:30
There are many instances of unusual "economia" in the Antiochean Archdiocese we have served. We know of first cousin marraiges, funerals in Church with cremation intended, non Christian witnesses (sponsors) for Baptisms and Weddings. It's Okay if you can influence the Metropolitan or some Priest looking for an exception.It about tore up our parish in the past. Just get your Order of St Ignatius members out in front when the leader arrives.
#7.1.1 Anonymous Ladies Guild Officer on 2009-04-07 14:41
I have just read through these responses and am amazed at the time and effort afforded matters of liturgical practice and not a whisper about the scandelous charge of communing Muslims at the Antiochian House of Study and allowing the non-baptized to receive if they are the spouse of an Orthodox Christian?
If there is even a shred of evidence to support such charges...well let's just say liturgical abnormalities and Philip's conduct regarding the structuring of the Archdiocese seem inconsequential.
I notice no one disputed the charge and if it is true every Orthodox believer in the AOC should flee the Jurisdiction if such activity is not immediately corrected.
(Editor's note: That is a bit dramatic, don't you think? How about the issue is openly discussed, first, and then people make a decision on what they need to do, if anything. )
#8 Kevin on 2009-04-07 08:04
I have to agree, that the communing of unbaptized Muslims constitutes a most serious breach of Church order. It shows lack of understanding of the very essence of the Church and Her Sacraments, a disdain for the Holy Mysteries, a betrayal of the Faith...and for what? Not guarding the chalice in this way constitutes grounds for deposition from the priesthood.
The charge that Muslims have been communed in the AOC has been raised by more than one source. Is there any evidence to believe it, or is it malicious slander or mere idle rumor? Is the charge true? It is a serious charge that should be of concern to all Orthodox Christians.
Those who make such charges had best have good evidence to support them, for to make such charges without evidence on the basis of hearsay or rumor constitutes a grave slander and a bearing of false witness.
If the charges are true, the abuse needs to be corrected, and soon.
Fr. Justin Frederick
St. Maximus, Denton TX
#8.1 Fr. Justin Frederick on 2009-04-07 11:09
You notice I said if it is true and if true not corrected. There would be nothing either dramatic or unusual about leaving a jurisdiction for not censuring and stopping such a practice.
I eagerly await someone in the know saying it just ain't so.
#9 Kevin on 2009-04-07 09:18
The Antiochian parish in which I was chrismated in 1984 not only has Great Vespers every Saturday evening, but Matins every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, and Vespers every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
Yes, well, it helps when Fr. Alexander Atty is the priest, Clay.
#10.1 Anonymous Antiochian Convert on 2009-04-07 20:45
Malicious slander or this Jurisdictions real scandal? I hope it is the former and I remain eager to be assured these allegations are baseless. I must admit the fact that no one seems to be rushing forward with outraged denials is a little disconcerting.
#11 Kevin on 2009-04-07 13:23
I have friends who have witnessed this, but I couldn't give first hand testimony. The communion of the non-baptized seems to be centralized in the Midwest-- which explains, perhaps, why those like Antypas and others of the Balamand Glee Club don't care for Bishop MARK.
All of this is an outrage and terrible to even have to bring up, but it is evidence that the Metropolitan is incredibly capricious-- the only unifying theory on his actions is that he wants to have things his own way when he wants them.
I think this latest outrage that is so well detailed by the Association of Orthodox Attorneys indicates that people have had enough. Things will go ill for him, I believe, if he does not step back from such actions. He should step down before he is deposed. May God guide his steps.
#11.1 Silouan James on 2009-04-08 13:12
If any priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese or any other Orthodox jurisdiction gave the Mysteries to Muslims, he is wrong and should be disciplined. I once served a parish that had a woman who had married a Muslim. She and her family appealed to the Metropolitan but she was still denied Communion. Thus, I know from personal experience that the official policy of the Antiochian Archdiocese is that Muslims, and other non Orthodox may not recevie the Eucharist. The official policy of our Archdiocese is to serve Great Vespers on Saturday evening and to celebrate feast days on the feast day. The only problem comes when the feast day falls on a Monday because you cannot celebrate two liturgies in the same 24 hour period. One can find abuses in every jurisdiciton. To characterize all Antiochian clergy by the failure of some to do what is right is unfair. I do not marry first cousins, give communion to non Orthodox. I serve a full set of feast, Lenten and Holy Week services and teach my people to fast. Every other priest in our Archdiocese that I know does the same.
Archpriest John W. Morris
#12 Archpriest John Morris on 2009-04-08 15:43
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