Wednesday, June 24. 2009
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Does this mean that the Patriarch's signature on the first two documents was also forged?
#1 Karina Ross on 2009-06-24 05:49
Thank God the Patriarch has spoken in a timely, clear and effective manner. Now, the master of deceit “and his works and all his service and all his pride” must be exorcised from the administration of Christ’s Church.
God grant our Father Patriarch Ignatius many years!
#2 Anonymous on 2009-06-24 06:12
Unfortunately, the fact that the faithful of any archdiocese of Local Church find comfort -- even when realized -- in a foreign patriarchate just postpones what is truly necessary: an American Church where WE have to live with OUR choices for hierarchs. It IS and WILL BE harder, though better, to be locally faithful to Christ and His Church. We won't be able to say 'if ONLY the Tsar knew what was REALLY happening...'
#2.1 Anonymous on 2009-06-24 10:40
MP is looking to be DEPOSED by the Holy Synod.
Now he refuses to accept the DECISION of the HOLY SYNOD as it does not have the signatures of all the Metropolitans who were present.
Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.
If you sow to the flesh you will reap from the flesh.
If you so to the spirit you will from the spirit reap.
#2.2 betrayed by philip on 2009-06-24 15:15
After this disappointing, disgraceful display of deception, denial, and disinformation, I am dissatisfied and disgusted with the despot of our Archdiocese of North America. I have NO CONFIDENCE in His Eminence. I duly demand that Metropolitan Philip RESIGN ASAP. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!
#3 makarios on 2009-06-24 06:28
Naturally, the sycophants on the "other blog" are posting that our Bishops are still auxiliaries because the approved text says they are to "assist the Metropolitan."
#4 JPS on 2009-06-24 07:14
Hopefully, our faithful will realize the decision clarifies that our bishops are not auxiliary bishops, but Diocesan Bishops.
As all bishops are equal, no bishop is under another.
No bishop is accountable to only one bishop.
No bishop may be disciplined by one bishop or transferred.
They are not assistant bishops, but bishops who assist.
Bishops are members of a synod and are accountable one to another.
Thank God Papalism was addressed by the Holy Synod.
#4.1 anonymous on 2009-06-24 12:41
In the midst of this, no one thought it was odd that the AOCA and Metropolitan Philip himself allowed an independent quasi-anonymous Admin to be the Master of Ceremonies for the current crisis, under the banner of "Truth and Unity?" Of course not. But in the flow of the passions and even the sincere search for the truth, people were also treated to satirical flourishes which distracted them, myself included, until I realized quite clearly the whole thing was demonic. One did not have to be a staretsy to realize this...
The site was/is a test center for spin, damage control with THE MAIN PURPOSE OF DAMAGING THE REPUTATION OF 3 BISHOPS...though in moments of sham humility such CLEAR INTENTIONS WERE DENIED.
That is why, with the post on the Patriarchal website, theantiochian.com's Admin is now silent along with most of the cast of loyalist characters esp. the uintentionally satirical ones.
I must say this now: that Americans esp. new to Orthodoxy need to learn from this, even before the "resolution" of this crisis, which has of course actually worsened (before things get better?)
Innoculate yourself today against controlfreakery and personality cults and yes, even against "zeal." The degree to which ex-Protestant guilt has been played in the AOCA esp. as applied to the Canons is a necessary realization and step prior to to the true aquisition of an Orthodox mindset in America.
#5 Steve on 2009-06-24 07:47
"true acquisition of the Orthodox mindset"
May God help everyone to refrain from making cliche comments which make new members feel unOrthodox and unwelcome. These comments also contribute to "Protestant Guilt Syndrome".
#5.1 anonymous on 2009-06-24 09:17
I'm sorry you find "true acquisition of an Orthodox mindset" cliche. It is a cliche. But this "cliche" however would have challenged the powers that be in the AOCA sooner.
People were taken in by controlfreakery, a personality cult outlook and let me add to the list a fair share of hyperclericalism, threats, heavyhandedness, thuggery.
In fact, the fear of "being unOrthodox" got played by Metropolitan Philip and his loyalists to the hilt such that speaking out equaled "disobedient," "Protestant, " "UnOrthodox."
Moreover, with a charge of "fundamentalism" connected to applying the Canons...and by allowing, and let's speak frankly here, by allowing notions/practices and pieties to "still be practiced" here and there and maybe on the side, such as benign forms of "tongues" and walking around with "I am an Evangelical Orthodox Christian" there was a fair amount of "You ccan sort of do what you want, and then I'll do what I want.." And there was an appeal to even a degree of triumphalism in new converts?
My point is that "Orthodox mindset" was mostly a concern for Metroploitan Philip and his loyal supporters but in a surgical way, as a prn, for particular desired outcomes (ex. Ft. Allen)with primarily a concern for expediency and not with reference to the Tradition and the Canons...or let's be more direct, even basic standards of ethics, professionalism and decency.
No I am not talking about Old World and New World here, but what developes for those who truly repent and pray with open eyes as rational sheep...
Considering that Orthodoxy is much about the Royal Path the whole process is ongoing anyway, a lifetime. Fastrack solutions and shortcircuiting concepts do not apply when as in the icon of St. John the Ladder even those highest can tumble downwards with the demons.
#5.1.1 Steve on 2009-06-24 12:32
benign forms of "tongues"
#18.104.22.168 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-06-25 12:15
His Grace Bishop Basil sent a note to the faithful of his diocese with the appropriate links for the OFFICIAL ARABIC AND ENGLISH TEXTS of the Synodal Decision.
Dear to Christ, Fathers and Brothers:
Please be advised that both versions (Arabic and English) of the Holy Synod's June 17th Decision are now posted on the web site of the Patriarchate, and can be found on both the Arabic-language news page and the English-language news page.
May the Lord bless Metropolitans of the Holy Synod and His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV for revealing the scam perpetrated by Metropolitan Philip.
#5.2 Anonymous on 2009-06-24 09:57
The Holy Synod's FINAL Decision in English and Arabic have been sent out andposted on the Patriarchal Website.
Why does MP still have the forged copies on the Archdiocesan website?
Is he rejecting the authority of the Holy Synod?
Are they not the HIGHEST AUTHORITY in the CHURCH?
The forged documents on the Archdiocesan website only serve to DIVIDE the ARCHDIOCESE and DIOCESES.
Why does MP refuse to put up the OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS so that we may be UNIFIED?
#6 betrayed by philip on 2009-06-24 07:49
Well, it seems pretty clear, no diocese is independent. There is no "self-ruled AOCA." Further, that all bishops "assist" the Metropolitan and are equal.
It really is time for union with the OCA and become a full autocephalous church. Time for + Philip & + Antoun to retire and Bp. Basil to become head of the AOCA.
#7 Anonymous on 2009-06-24 08:16
This simply confirms that we must continue to move forward. We should be glad to see this, but yet saddened to know that the doctored documents were just that--evidence of tampering. Metropolitan Philip must go. His legacy is black enough.
#8 Phileas (From the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest) on 2009-06-24 08:31
Would someone please post a link to the statement being referred to above? Thank you
#9 Greg on 2009-06-24 09:11
With the Archdiocesan convention coming up, will anyone step up and request a vote of no-confidence in the Metropolitan? Such a move would send a clear message to Antioch that we are tired .... We need truth, we need caring pastors, we need financial accountability. How many foreign palms have been greased with our money....? How many more will be?
It is time for the lying and deceit to go. It is time for a leader who can truly represent Christ-like love and caring. Metropolitan Philip claims that the Feb 24th decision was to preserve unity in the church. He has done more to harm that than anyone. For the sake of the church and the people, whose souls he will have to answer for on judgment day, it is time for Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Antoun to retire.
#10 Alexei on 2009-06-24 10:41
Again, I say, based on the confirmation from Damascus of the valid version of what transpired (thus confirming the truthfulness of both +Bishop Basil and +Bishop Mark), it is time for +Philip to go the way of +Herman in the OCA: step down gracefully (retire) or be removed...
#11 David Barrett on 2009-06-24 10:59
Deception. Lies. Forged documents. Manuevering by (evil) alliances and underlings. Who needs to pay for movie tickets or cable tv when we can be so thoroughly scandalized by a Metropolitan of our own Orthodox Church? This is a truly sad day. And there is no spin by TheAntiochian.com sufficient to make this go away.
I hope that Pat. Ignatius deals with all the clergy involved in this fraud, sending a very clear message that enough really means enough!
#12 Another Anon on 2009-06-24 11:09
As of 3:00 p.m. Eastern time the Synodal Resolution with Englewood's "Filioque" continues to be posted on our Archdiocesan website.
I suspect they are awaiting for their own anonymous inside double secret source at the Patriarchate to give them instructions before they actually take His Beatitude's own official word on this.
This whole thing is now entering the Twilight Zone stage of weird.
#13 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-06-24 12:23
So the Patriarchate has make it clear, as some suspected, that two of the documents posted on the Archdiocese website are forgeries. These are the kind of machinations that one would expect from an Enron type scandal, not the kind that anyone would ever expect to come from the office of a ruling hierarch. It is time for this controversy to come to an end. So I will state publicly now what I wrote Metropolitan PHILIP three months ago: please consider retirement.
#14 Fr. Michael Molloy on 2009-06-24 12:26
There's still one odd thing here- the paragraph affirming that nobody can split from an Archdiocese and form another Archdiocese. Did this strike anybody else as strange? Who ever wanted to do that? Why is that being addressed?
I have a theory: "somebody" told H.E. +IGNATIUS that there were American Bishops who were going to split from the Archdiocese and form their own Archdioceses. In response, H.E. issued the 02/24 statement demoting all non-Metropolitans, thus saving the unity of the Archdiocese. Does that make sense to anybody else? Of course, it's pure speculation without a shred of evidence, but it would explain why this seemingly unrelated paragraph is in there, and it would also explain why the mere existance of Diocesan Bishops could be considered a threat to unity...
#15 Rdr Mo on 2009-06-24 13:11
Just posted at the Archdiocesan website:
"It has been the tradition of the Holy Synod of Antioch that all official resolutions that have been duly adopted at a meeting of the Holy Synod are published with the signatures of the Patriarch, as well as all of the Metropolitans who were present at the meeting. In this way, the will of the Holy Synod is expressed in a most powerful way by the presence of all of the signatures of the attending hierarchs. The most recent example of this was the communication of the decision of February 24th, 2009, which was distributed with all of the signatures of the hierarchs who were in attendance (the Arabic version may be viewed here by way of example).
The Holy Synod of Antioch met from June 16 through 18, 2009, to consider the status of bishops across the See of Antioch and other matters. However, the Archdiocese has not received any document that contains the signatures of all of the hierarchs who were in attendance at that meeting. When we do receive such a document, we will publish it as the official decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch."
MP was willing to post his version of the document with only the Patriarch's signature. Now that the Patriarch has tendered his own, definitive version, MP is suddenly a stickler for details.
#16 Anon But Not For Long on 2009-06-24 13:22
Would it be too much to ask for the Patriarchate simply to say whether the bishops are diocesan bishops or not? The official text now put forth can be interpreted different ways. Does the Feb 24 decision still stand? Was it annulled?
By calling them "bishops who assist the metropolitan," does this mean "diocesan bishops" who assist the metropolitan (as it was before Feb 24), or does it mean simply a reaffirmation of Feb 24?
Why leave it so unclear? Have any of the bishops simply asked for this minor clarification? It seems to me that much of the mess would be cleared up if the Patriarch simply said yes or no to whether the bishops are "of a diocese" or not.
#17 thomas on 2009-06-24 13:34
All those of you worried about foreign Bishops: Get your mind around this.
The problem here is not a foreign Bishop. It is our American Bishop. Yeah, +Philip wasn't born here, so what? He's been in this country 50+ years.
The real problem is not foreign or domestic, the real problem is fidelity to the Gospel, to the office, and to the holy Tradition embodied in the scripture, Canons, and teaching of the Orthodox Church. Patriarch Ignatius is trying to enforce that, +Philip apparently not.
What we don't need is an American church cleansed of foreign bishops. What we need is bishops of whatever nationality willing to live and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as handed down by the Apostles through those foreign bishops to this very day.
Someone overseas is playing games. They are working on finding the truth as we speak. I wouldn't make 100% accusations just yet. Thank you.
#19 William on 2009-06-24 13:54
Good grief, William, the only games being played with the truth here are the product of the Metropolitan himself. Does it require the Patriarch flying over here and slapping you across the face personally before you can see that Phillip has crossed the line over into outright disobedience of his Hierarch? That he is not willing to obey, even as he demands that the other bishops obey him? Can you not see hypocrisy and special pleading, even if you trip over it?
#19.1 Scott Walker on 2009-06-24 20:29
I just read the most recent pronouncement from the antiochian.org website. This is outrageous. After posting false documents on the official website, it now says that nothing is official until a document is received with all synod signatures. Is +MP assuming that the official announcement on the patriarchal website is not valid?
This situation is only postponing the inevitable and making matters worse. Laity and priests of this archdiocese are confused, sorrowful, but also angry about this situation. I only hope that they will rise up and be counted at the July convention and let the byzantine politics of this Metropolitan end. He is skillful, and has done this before. It's time for him to leave, leave, leave.
#20 anon on 2009-06-24 13:59
(I think in my last post I used "H.E." for "His Eminence" when I meant to use "H.B." for "His Beatitude".)
#21 Rdr Mo on 2009-06-24 14:30
Check out the Antiochian Archdiocesan website! Now what? We are told that we must wait for a document that is forthcoming from Damascus which has the signature of all the hierarchs who attended the recent meeting. When the Archdiocese receives this document, THEY will publish it as the "official" document which will give us the "official" outcome of the meeting June 16-18. I guess the Patriarch did not put it clearly enough in his communication to our Bishops here.
As the saying goes....you won't hit bottom until you put down the shovel!
#22 anon- on 2009-06-24 15:09
Just when I thought it was time when the ‘fat lady sings’ – the AOCA website now posts a statement requiring signatures from the Synod members before considering the Damascus Web documents as ‘official’. How do like them apples?
It’s amazing that a relatively minor rowel over the title and role of a bishop serving within an Archdiocese of a Patriarchate can so rapidly disintegrate into an open internet revolt that threatens the stability of the whole institution. People who were originally upset that their beloved bishop was no longer commemorated at divine services are now calling for financial transparency, independent audits, voting against the proposed budget at the convention, refusing to accept the official financial report, questioning department reports and budgets, resigning from the ‘Order’, withholding of funds and mass defection to other jurisdictions. They will not be quickly satisfied.
A controversy over the interpretation and definition of a bishops’ role within an Archdiocese headed by an Archbishop has become a ‘free-for-all’ replete with personal attacks on character and motive. A cast of characters has emerged who will forevermore be regarded with tremendous suspicion if not outright disdain by many. It will be revealing how these folks are regarded at Desert Springs. A charismatic leader has lost considerable credibility and the institution he so passionately crafted over several decades is threatened with self destruction. The ‘teflon mutran’ is now the ‘naked emperor’ and his cadre of devotees is vilified.
An outfit of 30 some thousand members can hardly afford turmoil on so large a scale. Faith in the institution has been compromised as trust in the leader has eroded. The real tragedy may be that all this could have been avoided given some basic skills of communication and management motivated by a sense of integrity and honesty – that lacking anything can be expected. The U. S. Meteorological Service predicts a ‘snow storm’ in the desert the third week of July. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.
#23 Bernard in Boston on 2009-06-24 15:51
I suggest you read the writings of Met. George of Mount Lebanon regarding the Self-Rule declaration, and praising its restoration of the normal order of the Church.
This is not a 'minor row' over titles. It is a conflict over the nature of the episcopate, and with it the nature of the Church. (Remember your St. Ignatius: "Where the bishop is, there is the catholic Church".) As I have written before, the arguments that 'unity' requires a super-bishop to whom other bishops answer, rather than answering to their Holy Synod, evinced by Met. Philip and his supporters, are the arguments the Latins set forth for the Roman Papacy, writ small.
As if in parody of that tragedy, the Fax of Englewood replaces the Donation of Constantine.
What is needed is not managerial and communication skills but fidelity to the Gospel as it has been lived in the Church, or, to put it another way, to Holy Tradition.
#23.1 Subdeacon David [Yetter] on 2009-06-25 08:28
These matters have gone far enough. If the organization of the Archdiocese is anything other than a helpless anachronism, it should handle this problem of retiring MP before the convention. If we truly have no option but be led by MP, given all these now very public antics and many other matters such as fiscal discipline that have not yet been examined in the light of day, we deserve to be dissolved for this church would therefore lack fundamental organizational integrity.
#24 Monologistos on 2009-06-24 19:18
Let us pray that our Patriarch lives through these evil days.
#25 Monologistos on 2009-06-24 19:21
If +MP defrocked and deposed priests in retaliation to their dissent for his allowing Fr. Allen to marry a divorcee, what did Patriarch Ignatius do about it, if anything? Why has +MP seemingly been allowed to railroad with impunity those who oppose him? I'm so disheartened by this mess. What can your average layperson do besides pray for a resolution to this debacle?
#26 New convert on 2009-06-26 13:58
Alas, the Patriarch was stymied by Met Philip's continous INSISTENCE before the Synod over the Fr Jos. (Twice Married) Allen mess. Finally, Met P. said, "It's been done!" The Synod & Pat. have always been timid before Met. P. Wake up Money willalways TALK !
#26.1 Anonymous Priest on 2009-06-26 19:13
Yes, I thought that from the beginning...+MP told HB that American Bishops were trying to become their own "Archdiocese" and that this is what precipitated the Feb. 24 decision. I heard talk like this several years ago about one bishop coming from sources close to +MP - i.e. he is trying be his own Archdiocese -- because he had the nerve to put liturgical services on his diocesan website and ask for small monthly donations from parishes to the diocese since he had no money for an assistant, etc.
P.S. Might make a good Seinfeld episode (?)
#27 A Priest on 2009-06-27 10:48
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