Thursday, August 6. 2009
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This resignation is unfortunate. Mr Ajalat is an intelligent, far-seeing and very energetic person. I, personally, will miss the influence he has brought to bear on our Archdiocese.
It appears to me that the direction we are going is now crystal clear: the one remaining chancellor standing at the microphone and cutting off discussion.
There will be no significant change, only window-dressing, until new leadership is set (and then we must labor hard to see that a good forward movement is maintained; nothing is guaranteed in this life!)
Sic transit gloria mundi.
#1 anonymous antiochian priest on 2009-08-06 09:16
The credentials of our fabulous new Chancellor may come in handy around our Archdiocese, particularly his defense of "driving (or gambling) while intoxicated."
Too bad he only does medical malpractice and not ecclesiastical malpractice! We could use some help there.
#2 priest on 2009-08-06 10:12
Thank God, Charles has seen the light! This is a great blessing for his soul. How difficult it must have been to be working in the darkness and all the time compromising by calling it "light."
It is also a good sign that this smart man does not want to be associated with the Metropolitan when he comes tumbling down nor wants his professional career to be tarnished by association.
May God grant him good repentance and many years!
#3 Antiochian Priest on 2009-08-06 10:15
Ajalat is a very good guy. He has always supported + Philip unconditionally. It will be interesting to see who will have the ear of the Met. now and present a balanced view. In my opinion, the AOCA is retrenching and moving backwards.....How far backward do they want to roll this? No real autonomy; no autocephaly; just more of an Arab enclave!
#4 Anonymous on 2009-08-06 10:46
What a tremendous loss to the Antiochian Archdiocese. Sorry, but the new chancellor isn't even close to Charles Ajalat. Charles is one of the true unsung heroes in world Orthodoxy that has actually made a significant positive difference.
Thank you Charles for your untiring efforts for St. Vladimir's Seminary, the Antiochian Archdiocese, IOCC, and FOCUS North America.
#5 Anon. Antiochian on 2009-08-06 13:39
Charles was beginning to remind me of Gumby from *Saturday Night Live*.
Oh, no Mr Bill.
One may only stretch so far!
Thank God he came to his senses and realized MP has lost his.
#6 anonymous on 2009-08-06 14:58
We don't believe a great loss in the departure of the Chancellor. a very self-absorbed person who participated to some degree with the departed Bob Koory, resigned Chancellor also, in confronting Met. P. over the Diocese dilemma. Little loss and the new Chancellor is purely a Met. P. follower with little Constitutional/By Laws experience. Interesting "two letters" in 2 days for resignation?!
#7 Anonymous on 2009-08-06 16:10
I guess it's good if we're left with a Chancellor who is proficient in personal injury, criminal law, and felonies. Should be enough work to keep him busy.
#8 Gail Sheppard on 2009-08-06 17:37
I think a lot more people are leaving the Antiochian Archdiocese. I for one have started to attend the Greek Orthodox parish .I do not want any of my pledge going to Englewood or Damascas.
#9 Stephen on 2009-08-07 05:32
We encouraged you in Palm desert, we supported you as one who held ethics above politics, you were above reproach until now.
Now you leave us in the hands of a bully and a personal injury lawyer!!!
You have abandoned the call to protect the church, you involve yourself in evangelism but you forget the cross. Yes it is difficult, even frustrating to stand for truth when no one stands with you, ask Maximos the confessor but it is necessary.
There was a time we held you in high regard, higher than even our bishops, feeling at ease that at least you were there to bring balance to our Metropolitain's behavior. That there was someone to speak for truth and reason. We were at least comforted that at least one board of trustees member had integrity. At least one righteous man in Sodom. But alas you have abandoned the church when she needed you most.
You abandoned your cross.
God have mercy on us all.
#10 Delegate #1 on 2009-08-07 08:32
One cannot tell another how to live out his vocation and salvation.
#10.1 Rdr. John on 2009-08-08 11:23
His analysis with the former Chancellor B. Koory was to the point with Metro. Philip's denunciation! And B. Koory's resignation. Wonder why two letters to the Metro. What an egocentric letter from him. Many say neither will be missed and the new replacement not qualified. All on the paths of the Metro's power struggle. Perhaps the upcoming ?? battle in the Courts over the audit needed made the decision? Or the battle over sex offender Bishop? At least the OCA cleaned house and our Archdiocese has a long way to go !
#11 Anonymous on 2009-08-07 12:41
You know the saying: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Methinks that the former Chancellor figured out that he left the oven unattended far too long. I guess if +Philip gets burned, he can always use his new personal injury lawyer/deacon/chancellor to sue Charles for negligence (of course, Ajalat would ultimately fry Deacon Emile, but that's another chapter in a long story).
#12 James on 2009-08-07 14:05
As one who has known Charles Ajalat for a few years, I would like to say that those who know him can attest to his genuine love for Jesus Christ and His Church. I served for several years at St. Nicholas Cathedral where the Ajalat family attends, and I must say that Mr. Ajalat was always a kind, gracious and humble man. Even as the junior-most of the clergy there, he always treated me far better than I ever expected a man of his stature to. He was never arrogant, dismissive or condescending. He is a man who cares for people, regardless of their stature.
Although I am not at liberty to discuss the details, Mr. Ajalat has also practiced generosity and Christian almsgiving without the need to be recognized for his charity.
Whatever you may think of the present situation in the Archdiocese, I hope readers on this site will appreciate the fact that Charles Ajalat is a good man who has spent a great deal of his life laboring for the good of the Church, and by that I mean the entire Church, not just the Archdiocese.
He is a man who cares deeply for all Orthodox Christians.
He has carried out many difficult tasks for the people of the Archdiocese, and I believe he deserves a break from his duties as Chancellor. He also deserves our respect.
I'm sorry if this sounds a bit over-the-top, but I think with all the negative out there right now, it is important to emphasize, without exaggeration, the positive. Charles Ajalat has been a positive influence in my life in the Church, and I can only hope he will move on to a new stage of his ministry.
God grant him many years!
#13 Rev. George Aquaro on 2009-08-07 22:04
Many attend that same Cathedral but do not share your feelings! .....A good match with the Metropolitan. Took him long enough to resign after being denounced for an hour last May in PA. ...
#13.1 Anonymous L.A. on 2009-08-09 17:07
Questions for Charles: Why did you not resign when Bob Koory did? Why did you send two letters in two days when resigning? Why not make them public so that transparancy would "continue"? Did you advise paying taxes on salaries?
#14 Anonymous on 2009-08-08 05:34
Delegate #1--you mixed metaphors a little bit unfortunately. Please Recall that the Last honest man in Sodom was told by the Lord to get out, because he was going to destroy the city. To stay would not have been to abandon his "cross," it would have been to disobey God. May Charles never look back and become a pillar of salt!
#15 nobody in particular on 2009-08-09 05:03
Sorry for the confusion but Lot was the only righteous in Sodom, there ended that metaphor, abandonment of the cross happens when we choose not to forebear, not to be long suffering, not to bear injustices against us, it happens when we choose not to fight the good fight. Charles was needed on the board of trustees as a voice of reason and a defender of our status of self rule. Now with an ambulance chaser as chancellor (who by the way as counsel for the Archdiocese and a deacon has already compromised his position) things look grim for Archdiocesean reform. Perhaps MP was prophetic wen he claimed that things in this Archdiocese are solved with death. And don't forget he decides when that comes.
#15.1 Delegate #1 on 2009-08-09 17:48
Never have so many nattered on and on and said so little based on such foolish premises.
No real news around,but there will be soon.
You must know Stokoe, some legal heavy hitters are coming after you and for a number of reasons including quite a few falsely reported incidents and and your own collusion in fraud.
Looking forward to it!
(Editor's note: Once again, if I - in distinction to commentators on this site - have reported something falsely, please inform me of the error and I will correct it. I have said that from the beginning, and even done so in a few instances in the past 3.5 years. As for "collusion in fraud", that one is new.
Friends, once again we see the goal of such writers is not to discuss, not to reason together, nt to build accountability or transparency, but to instill fear. They would prefer a Church full of fear; for such are they used to, and such, rather than persuasion, is the means by which they seek to fulfill their goals. But Christ says, "Fear not." So, I will follow Christ in this regard. So, writer, you may indeed initiate your "fun" plans - but they have failed already, for no matter what happens, I will not be afraid. You may destroy me, and take from me all the possessions I have. But you will not have made me afraid - for one more powerful and real than you has told me not to be. And without fear, you are revealed neither to have the power that gives life, or makes it meaningful. You are revealed simply to be vindictive - for all your posturing.)
#16 SO MUCH FUN on 2009-08-09 11:44
Mark Stokoe wrote:
"You may destroy me, and take from me all the possessions I have. But you will not have made me afraid - for one more powerful and real than you has told me not to be."
Well said, Mark. Bravo.
SO MUCH FUN,
Interesting that you use all caps for your Internet name, just like the all caps guy--an equally deranged and deluded fellow, although I must admit your English is better. This sort of reminds me of the breadth of fresh air (language-wise) that the "Old Friend from Chicago Days" brought to 'The Antiochian" site: same kind of assurance, threats, and pitiful behavior. I am saddened that the supporters of +Philip are such a sorry lot; more thugs than anything else. In any case, if Mark Stokoe is dragged into courts, I am sure that many of his readers will support him. I will also tell you that in this country courts do not look favorably on frivolous law suits, particularly those involving the First Amendment.
#16.2 Carl on 2009-08-10 16:43
Enough posturing by +MP and his cronies!
I may not have become Orthodox 15 or so years ago if this nonsense was going on, because then my faith then was weaker. I pray for the souls of men who, like wolves, make of the church a place for their power and comfort while new converts look on confused and dissuaded from entering in.
We need washing. Sin must be put off from even our hierarchs in unambiguous repentance so that the gospel will not be hindered on American soil. Those who have pride of heritage, language, culture, office, and so on, are also to repent, for Christ alone is the ground and being of this, His body.
+Jonah says we can unite only by casting off competing ecclesial thrones. No hierarch who fails to follow Christ --who Himself counted equality with God of no effect-- is worthy to lead the church at this time. Repentance and humility that can make a bishop holy also makes them leaders worth following. Nothing less is acceptable. Please, repent!
#17 MichaelPatrick on 2009-08-09 14:47
Shades of Sir Thomas Moore?
Where have all the advisers gone?
#18 Bernard in Boston on 2009-08-10 05:02
Funny, I have counted only about 20 different names on the comments since the convention. It's dying out because we know the truth. Another funny thing is that in the Orthodox Population, this minuet number of people thinking they know the truth and trying to expose it is really not bad statistically, however sometimes it only takes just one individual to ruin everything. You all seem to be trying your best whoever Anon and Anon and Anonymous, and randoms etc.
(Editor's note: The last time one person could ruin "everything" was Adam. Fortunately, it only took person to set it right again - Jesus. Burying your head in the sand to avoid unpleasant realities does not make you a follower of Jesus - it makes you an ostrich. Pull you head out of the ground, rise and follow Him. Then everything will be OK...)
#19 William and Anon on 2009-08-12 09:57
William (and Anon),
I think you misunderstand. Things have gotten quite because things have changed: no one any longer peddles the ecclesiological heresy that unity depends on having a super-bishop to whom bishops answer personally, our bishops are incontrovertibly bishops of their proper dioceses; a resolution was passed banning criminals and officers of criminal corporations from the Board of Trustees and Holy Synod; another resolution required that a committee be established to finalize the Archdiocesan Constitution in accord with the directives of the Holy Synod of Antioch and New York State law; and, while a resolution to demand an audit was voted down by the device of a voice vote, which disenfranchised every parish and priest who sent a proxy to the Convention, members of the Board of Trustees have privately expressed support for an audit to those who prepared the Report which the Convention's "Security" apparatus tried to suppress.
Folks have gone quiet because they are waiting, not because they know whatever truth you refer to. (At least regarding finances, we certainly don't know the truth--that will take an independent audit, which many of us hope the Board of Trustees will have the wisdom to order.) Much of the truth of what happened at the Convention--the attempts to suppress the well-reasoned report regarding the need for an audit, the adulation heaped on Met. Philip without giving the glory to God, the treatment of Sarah Hodges--make many of us profoundly uneasy, but it is a sort of unease that calls for prayer and waiting, not active resistance, as the attempt to dethrone our bishops did.
Quite frankly, I hope things remain quiet, that the constitutional committee gives us the Damascus Constitution unchanged except for minor accommodations to New York non-profit law, like paring the Board of Trustees down to thirteen; that the Board of Trustees orders an audit; that the Eparchal Holy Synod adjudicates the relationship of the Archdiocese with +Demitri in such a way that the Archdiocese is not exposed to liability and he can work out his repentance in peace; that Met. +Philip, whether presiding over the Archdiocese, or in retirement, will find the grace to no longer love the salutations of men, the best seats at banquets, and the like, to no longer claim as his personal accomplishment the works the Holy Spirit has done in the Archdiocese by the hands of thousands during his primacy so that he may repose as a paragon of all virtues, humility foremost; and that there will no longer be need for any of us to comment critically on the affairs of the Archdiocese.
I pray it will be so.
Wishing you a good conclusion to the Fast--struggle well--and a blessed Feast.
#20 Subdeacon David [Yetter] on 2009-08-12 23:15
Congratulations to Charles!
Anyone that knows Charles knows he has faults. He is egotistical and he interrupts endlessly. In the past, his charisma used to outweigh these faults. However, in the past few years he has become very bitter at life -- upset at everything. To Charles, I tell you it is not too late to change. Try to enjoy your retirement. Don't become a sour old man.
That being said, Charles has accomplished truly remarkable things in his life that should be appreciated by all in the church regardless of their position on any issue:
-- He founded IOCC, an organization that has provided literally hundreds of millions of dollars of charitable aid across the world.
-- He has done more for Orthodox Unity in American than any other person.
-- He has done more for self rule than any other individual.
-- He has personally donated millions of dollars to the church and numerous church charities without ever taking credit -- always making anonymous contributions. He is one of the most charitable members of our church that no one knows about.
-- He recently founded FOCUS, which will hopefully provide millions of dollars of domestic relief.
-- He has served as Chancellor for decades.
These are just a few of his accomplishments. Despite my personal feelings towards him, Charles is one of the most honest, hard working, and charitable indivduals our church has ever seen.
There are very few people that walk this planet that change the world by their actions. Charles is one of those rare people. He is a truly great man and we were lucky to have him as Chancellor.
I think he resignation is not a comment on anything other than the fact that he is smart enough to realize the next few years are going to be difficult ones for the church. He retired from his law practice and my understanding is that he did not have the energy to continue his service given the expected tumult.
Congratulations Charles. May God grant you many years.
#21 ... on 2009-08-16 09:29
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