Tuesday, September 1. 2009
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Clarification, please. The checks with the reposed woman's name on them were old checks signed by her hand, or were new checks with her name forged on them?
Perhaps would make a difference in the eyes of the law.
#1 pelagiaeast on 2009-09-01 09:22
Yes, the illegality of forging signatures is an issue. Fr. Joseph Antypas might not get a arrested for shouting curses from the convention floor, but this one could get him into trouble. Did anyone record the meeting?
#1.1 Phileas on 2009-09-01 11:33
Has what the checks were for or who they were to been disclosed? One could make an argument that if the previous treasurer had a bunch of partially signed checks around that it was important to simply use them rather than account for destroyed checks (my wife likes all our check numbers in order, so...). However, checks made out to individuals (e.g., Khalife) or to organizations being questioned (e.g., St. George Towers) is one thing whereas checks to the electric company are another. The size of such checks would also be pertinent as relates to money laundering, kick backs, improper remuneration, etc.
It really does not make much of a difference. The purpose of having two signatures on check is to ensure that both parties are aware of the reasons for its being issued. Neither should sign it in blank. If the checks were signed before the woman died and were then issued after her death I believe they would technically not be valid. Of course if one hand produced both signatures, you have forgery.
That said, probably very few banks in this country are validating that the signatures on a two-signature check are either there or are valid. That means that in today's world there is NO SUBSTITUTE for regular AUDITS!
#1.3 Brad Miter on 2009-09-01 11:43
It would be prima facie evidence of wrong doing either way. If they were old checks that were signed by the deceased Treasurer, it would be misrepresenting the actual Treasurer. If they were new checks, enough said.
#1.4 Carl on 2009-09-01 14:15
The checks were not presigned as more current TREASURERS have signed since her repose.
Now the question is "How long has this been going on?"
The woman reposed at 92 two years ago.
Does anyone really believe that up until her repose she was still signing checks?
Now the church will need to get coipies of all checks not signed by a *living treasurer*.
Fr Joseph integrity and credibility is seriously injured by this very unnecessary behavior.
If he had Christian Humlity and publically asked the people for forgiveness and apologized to George Samra and David Thomas it would go a long way.
Secondly, if he stepped back and simply insisted upon a full and complete audit of all accounts associated with St George healing and reconciliation could begin.
#1.5 anonymous on 2009-09-03 11:46
If these reports are accurate, there are at least two serious violations in Troy:
First, the forging of checks.
Second, the use of the Sacrament of Confession to exercise political control over the parish.
The first of these is illegal and normally carries a prison sentence.
The second is sufficient grounds for unfrocking.
I hope neither of these things are true.
#2 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-09-01 10:11
Difficult. I fear that Fr. Joseph has little more regard for Bp. Mark’s authority than Mr. Khalife does. And the sad truth is, if it came down to a fight, Bp. Mark could only prevent Fr. Joseph serving with Met. Philip’s active support.
Control of property in the AOCANA needs to devolve from the archdiocese to the dioceses. The seminarian mess demonstrated what respect the Metropolitan has for the authority of the diocesans. As usual in this fallen world, he who has the gold makes the rules.
#2.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-03 05:37
"I fear that Fr. Joseph has little more regard for Bp. Mark’s authority than Mr. Khalife does."
There have been several strikes against Bishop Mark in the few (very few) dysfunctional parishes of this Diocese.
The chief of these is Bishop Mark's humility.
These folks are not accustomed to finding humility in bishops.
#2.1.1 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-09-03 12:28
Walid Khalife convicts himself with his own e-mail just as George Samra acquits himself with his. One need only compare the language of the two e-mails to see that it is Walid Khalife who should be excommunicated and not George Samra. My hope is that Bp. Mark will instruct Fr. Joseph to remove Walid Khalife from the parish council and, when he fails to do so out of a misguided loyalty towards Mr. Khalife, that Bp. Mark will then suspend Fr. Joseph for insubordination, thus allowing an interim pastor to begin both the audit and the healing process. If Metr. Philip attempts to interfere in that process, the Local Synod will then have the ammunition necessary to deal with Metr. Philip.
Sic semper tyrannis,
#3 Nemo on 2009-09-01 12:05
Instead, let us pray for repentance by all involved so that Satan does not rejoice at the falling of so many of God's children.
#3.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-02 23:41
How can we get +Philip's attention? ....
What is to be done? Are the Metropolitan's supporters (like Fr. Antipas and Walid) completely blinded by their unyielding support of the Leader? What can be done about duplicity and financial irregularities in the Church? Are laity and priests and bishops completely unable to act? Do we sit by and watch the disintegration of our beloved Church?
#4 anon on 2009-09-01 12:51
Yes,you can act!Get the civil authorities involved-I.R.S.,F.B.I.etc. and watch how THEY can act!It seems that the "Diocesan"Bishops are more afraid of +Philip then they are of God.What a sorry bunch!
#4.1 Abbuna Habib on 2009-09-04 18:45
I would like to commend in the strongest possible terms Mr. George Samra and Mr. Thomas for caring enough about our Church to put themselves through all of this aggravation at the hands of the Metropolitan's disciples.
If what is in the article is correct, it is the priest, not Mr. Samra, who owes Mr. Samra and the entire parish an apology before he enters the Church or takes communion again. Also, the Board of Trustees, or the parishioners at a parish meeting, should immediately preclude him from being able to sign checks, and should also remove him from any position of authority over the housing complex. Ditto for anyone who has a criminal record or issues threats.
Also, if the article is correct, it is imperative that an audit of the Church as well as the housing complex be performed.
Making these demands would be difficult for the sincere Christian members of the Church community because the qualities that make them good Christians include respect for the clergy and a non-confrontational demeanor. However, these are extraordinary circumstances, and therefore extraordinary measures are required. Another option would be to withhold any further contributions to the Church, and instead donate this money to a charity that deserves your hard-earned dollars.
#5 Disgusted Life-long Antiochian Christian on 2009-09-01 15:10
Walid Khaliffe is the gift that just keeps on giving. How do I get added to his massive email list? Stookey- if Khaliffe ever contacts you looking for some new people to add to his wacky email distribution list, feel free to give him mine.
#6 Reader Mo on 2009-09-01 16:42
"Walid Khaliffe is the gift that just keeps on giving. How do I get added to his massive email list? Stookey- if Khaliffe ever contacts you looking for some new people to add to his wacky email distribution list, feel free to give him mine."
Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
#6.1 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-09-02 19:04
Why would it make a difference? Once she passed away, she was no longer treasurer, probably even before that, and so her signature was no longer good on the checks. They should have destroyed those checks immediately, made sure her signature card was declared invalid and added on the card the name of the new treasurer. If someone forged her name, that has to be made public, and appropriate consequences for that person, regardless who he/she is. Either way, the checks should not have been written, cashed, deposited or used in any way. Someone committed a crime. That's what must be clarified.
You are absolutely correct.
He abused his pastoral office by uncanonically excommunicating George Samra and David Thomas.
He has made false accusations against these two good men.
Woe unto those who call evil good and good evil!
#7.1 anonymous on 2009-09-02 16:44
There is a wonderful assessment of the Crisis caused by Fr Joseph Antypas and Walid Khalife TROY, MI at
Hopefully, this crisis will be resolved by their removal and a complete audit of the church, banquet hall and towers.
The checkbook register for al need to be openned to the TREASURER --- GEORGE SAMRA.
#8 anonymous on 2009-09-02 13:18
What is telling to me is that Ms. Illhamie Hackem's children became so upset at Fr. Antypas' explanation of the use of these checks. Whether he forged the reposed woman's signature, or whether she had already signed some, her children believe that her name was used in a disrespectful manner. It would be interesting to learn more of the perspective of Ms. Hackem's children.
Even if Fr. Antypas did not forge Ms. Hackem's signature, the check itself is still a fraudulent imitation of a check showing the volitional signatures of two living persons and thus is still, in terms of the English language if not law, a forged document.
Fr. Patrick Reardon correctly explains forgery of a financial instrument can lead to prison.
Given our rich history of embracing and elevating convicted felons to positions of prestige in our Archdiocese this may be nothing but another underhanded machivellian attempt to receive a promotion?
As for Fr. Reardon's point about the sacrament of confession if abused by a priest is a defrocking offense? If that is true, and in the case of Fr. Joe's dealings with Mr. Samara and Mr. Thomas I believe it certainly appears to be, what do you think the chances of Metropolitan Philip doing anything about that would be?
I am of the persuasion a good felony rap or at least an indictment will do nothing other than further one's career in this our_________Protected Archdiocese.
Yes I know Bp. Mark is supposed to be the Bishop of that Diocese but as we all know in actuality he remains a mere assistant and for all practical purposes is a non-entity as far as these folks are concerned.
#10 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-02 19:17
Sadly, no Bishop in the AOCA can do anything until they learn to support one another and behave as "TRUE DIOCESAN BISHOPS"
At present they resemble an eagle born in a hen house. The eagle clucked like a chicken and pecked at the ground like a chicken until it was finally thrown off the cliff by the farmer's son.
Then it learned to fly.
The bishops must begin to assert themselves whether MP likes it or not.
What can MP do if they assert their perogatives?
What can the Local Synod do if one of their own asserts his own perogatives?
A ROPE of many strands is not easily broken.
The Holy Synod of Antioch and the Patriarch have demonstrated weakness in dealing with MP.
Nevertheless, they will depose a bishop for behaving as a Bishop.
MP ONLY HAS THE AUTHORITY THE DIOCESAN BISHOPS ALLOW HIM TO HAVE.
#10.1 anonymous on 2009-09-03 12:11
Well, Met. Philip’s got the money, too. If Bp. Thomas had told his seminarian to stay right where he was at SVS, where would tuition have come from?
Again, the dioceses need to have their own, independently controlled, assets. Another change, perhaps, should be for distribution (or sudden revocation) of archdiocesan grants to require the blessing of the bishop in whose diocese the grantee resides.
#10.1.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-04 03:36
The more I read, the more discouraged I become about the leadership of our Archdiocese. Regardless of whether there is any intentional financial wrongdoing in this Troy affair, it is disgraceful on on more levels than I can count. From beginning to end, it is just...disgraceful. How long - and for what reason - will this be allowed to continue?
In the end, I fear it is all about money and the facade of power that flows from it. I, along with many others - I'm sure, would love to be proven wrong. But apparently the cost of offering the faithful some sense of reassurance and proper order in the Church is too high.
"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."
The question is when...and how.
#11 Brian Van Sickle on 2009-09-02 19:41
1. Has any bishop anywhere had anything to say about any of this?
2. To whom were the shenanigans checks made out?
3. How much money was transferred under shenanigans signatures?
#12 Harry Coin on 2009-09-03 09:02
We Antiochians need a few Greek-Americans like yourself right about now.
#12.1 Tamara on 2009-09-03 23:19
Seems no green grass anywhere in the Orthodox County.
Seriously, doesn't it creep anybody out that, so far I as I have been able to read no bishop anywhere has said anything about this even though it is all over the newspapers and internet? Each day nothing is said about shenanigans checks signed by priests makes me think the bishops of the AOA are not in fact full local bishops after all.
Why has not the amount of shenanigans money been published (or has it and I missed it?)
Who is it that received the shenanigans money? Has that been made known?
Until those things are public all the donors really can be sure of is donating beyond survival need is morally dubious.
#12.1.1 Harry Coin on 2009-09-04 12:35
I want a royalty on that word!!!
#22.214.171.124 Dean Calvert on 2009-09-06 14:43
I award you seventy times seven of what I earned to date from all the church related effort I've put in culminating in having 'shenanigans' be the right word to use.
Doing the math... let's see... carry the 3... Aha.
You owe me $490,000,000!
#126.96.36.199.1 Harry Coin on 2009-09-09 07:05
”makes me think the bishops of the AOA are not in fact full local bishops after all.”
Quite right, Harry: they will not be full local bishops in any practical sense until the matter of the “Hierarchical Manual” is settled in Orthodox fashion.
The decision from Damascus was a necessary foundation — Orthodox theory — but no more than this. Now comes the fight for Orthodox praxis. The words of St. Maximus remind us of the stakes: “Theology without praxis is the theology of demons.”
#188.8.131.52 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-06 16:20
Now it's an all new 'heirarchical manual' is it? So many people wanting to explain to those they would control what 'is' means.
We hear so much about 'seminary' and 'canons' and 'Gospel' and related. Not enough of a 'herirachical manual' there for bishops to be getting along with?
You watch -- all roads will lead to Damascus, then the EP and then Rome. Because those roads protect the jobs of people in high office who offer loyalty in exchange for keeping jobs despite having requirements they fail to meet.
#184.108.40.206.1 Harry Coin on 2009-09-09 07:01
Hey...i want a royalty on that word!!!
from the original "shenanigans"!!!
#12.2 Dean Calvert on 2009-09-05 22:18
I agree wholeheartedly, Shame on the Diocesan Assistants to the Metropolitan!
You stay hunkered down protecting what? If you love the Church somebody, anybody stand up and be a man and take a public stand against the injustice, corruption and immorality in our midst. Damn the consequences if you truly seek the Kingdom of Christ.
Either that or never again speak to us regarding the saints we are to revere and emulate.
Yes you seem to be filling the role of Assistants to the Metropolitan even as you effectively deny your greater responsibility and duty not only to your pretend dioceses but the Church Universal.
#13 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-03 17:53
You speak as though Bp. Mark is afraid to act now lest he jeopardize his personal fortunes. I think that uncharitable in the extreme. It is more likely that he does not act now lest he jeopardize the success of the undertaking altogether — not to mention success in any future such conflicts.
When Damascus dealt Met. Philip his setback, we knew that the battle was barely won — that the real fight over Church life would be the Hierarchical Manual. The diocesans will have seen, or heard tell of, the contents of the latest draft. Far worse than the present inaction would be for Bp. Mark or others to act and for Met. Philip to then succeed in invalidating their decisions. The precedent — and the infernal sense of triumph it would instill in the inner-circle clergy — would be disastrous. Of what worth would any of the diocesan’s decisions be after that?
If I were Bp. Mark, I would make sure I had the full support of the Patriarch at least before trying to act. And I would be creating a trail of correspondence with Met. Philip insisting on the urgency of the situation. The longer matters are left to an inactive metropolitan, the stronger becomes the case for full diocesan authority. Let all the diocesans see in full color the impotent humiliation that awaits them under any anti-canonical power-stealing scheme they might be asked to accept.
Mr. Samara has shown that he will not be crushed by persecution: the passage of time only wins him further heavenly crowns. “In your patience possess ye your souls” — advice for all of us, I believe.
#13.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-06 16:04
Wait until the revised Hierarchical Manual becomes public... The only bishop who is happy with it is +Antoun. This document should be distributed to everyone (especially the Holy Synod of Antioch - but make sure the translation is accomplished by Muslims to be sure there are no 'corrections').
#14 Shaking my head in incredulity on 2009-09-04 04:09
There is allready a "Manual"for bishops,and it is called "Canons and traditions of the Orthodox Church,along with Holy Scripture"This so called "Manual"is beeing writen(according to +Philips instructions) by a bishop who is a convicted sex offender?What bishop in his right mind is going to accept such a "Manual"..?
#14.1 Abbuna Habib on 2009-09-08 19:59
When does the "Synod" meet again?
#15 Antionymous on 2009-09-04 07:56
Definition: Synod - Those that "Sit & Nod"
New Motion for the Archdiocese General Convention:
1) That we change the official name of the Archdiocese to the Antinomian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
...oh see that it has already been passed.....
#15.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-04 09:08
Antinomian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Brilliant! Walid Khalife will be handing out gold key chains at the next Archdiocesan Convention with the newly engraved correction.
#16 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-04 19:43
Are we sure that the silence/inactivity of the diocesan bishops constitutes cowardice?
Maybe they know something we don't. Maybe they're waiting until +PHILIP and his friends give them enough rope to hang them with. It may be that the bishops are preparing to take action but saying anything publicly right now would be unwise.
After all, Teddy Roosevelt did advise to speak softly and carry a big stick. It does seem to be a powerful combination.
#17 Edmund on 2009-09-08 13:22
The bishops do carry a big stick-its called a "Pastoral Staff"that is given to each bishop at his cosecration to "defend his flock and correct his trouble makers" but it seems that some of these bishops have chosen "not to remember" this fact.
#17.1 Abbuna Habib on 2009-09-08 19:47
The newly commisioned.. er..demoted "Assistants" to The Metropolitan have no stick and cannot even be heard muttering anything even softly.
Just look at the situation in Troy. Bp. Mark is publically ridiculed by Walid Khalife and ignored as a non-entity by Fr. Joseph. The subsequent non-interfernce or better yet non-shepherding by Bp. Mark does not indicate anything other than the episcopal de-masculation accomplished by the met. Philip of the newly demoted Assistants.
Perhaps it is finally time for our Church heirarchy to find it's roots once again established in Holy Tradition rather than the long dead politics of Byzantium.
#18 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-09 09:13
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