Thursday, September 17. 2009
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this anonymous clergy member is nothing but a fool at best. show yourself, you dejected, miserable soul!!! You want to deal with Philip? Show yourself or better yet retreat to your previous "Christianity".
#1 Anonymous on 2009-09-17 12:23
What an ironically hypocritical response: "Show yourself or better yet retreat to your previous 'Christianity.', says this poster, who then signs him- or herself off as "Anonymous." Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
#1.1 David Barrett on 2009-09-17 13:38
I don't get what poster No. 1 is saying. Is he for +Philip? Is he against what the reflection said? What? That said, calling the anonymous priest who wrote the reflection names, without explaining why, is not helpful and turns the insults onto the poster himself.
BTW, I found the reflection to be a fascinating, if not deeply troubling, depiction of the Patriarchate. If true, it is even more imperative to establish a North American pan-Orthodox autocephalous church. May the Lord have mercy on us in the road ahead.
#1.2 Carl on 2009-09-17 17:23
I agree with you. If the Orthodox jurisdictions here in America are run or owned by any of the patriarchates in the Old World, what hope does the Orthodox Church here in America really have in forming its own identity and independence.
The War of Independence in America was won much more swiftly than the war of independence for each Orthodox jurisdication ino becoming self-ruling.
The Orthodox Church is based upon a hierarchical structure so this change to self governance for all of the jurisdictiona appears to be through great difficulty; some appear to not really want it, exactly because of this hierarchical nature of the Church.
"Give me liberty or Give me death" is not necessarily the cry we hear in our Orthodox America. There must be a desire to be self-governing.
#1.2.1 Patty Schellbach on 2009-09-20 14:28
Patty hit it directly on the head.
"If the Orthodox jurisdictions here in America are run or owned by any of the patriarchates in the Old World, . . ."
That statement crystallized for me the essence of the issue. Our current difficulties, in Church as in life, are focused around our need for ownership and control, instead of following the Gospel direction to relinquish all needs ("passions") to Christ.
Until the Church is run by Christ, by persons focused on Christ as their Master and sole reason for existence,
#220.127.116.11 Dn. Marty Watt on 2009-09-23 07:02
First of all, it is hypocritical to ask for his identity as you write in anonymously.
Secondly, address the issues not the person!! Your comments are ad hominem and off topic.
Thirdly, for years in the peace process in the middle east Harvard trained negotiators worked very hard to convert the medeterranean mind from person-centered to issue-centered. The former leads to lasting peace the latter to war.
And finally, there is no ego in the Kingdom! So lets stop blaming +PHILIP, Damascus, or their cronies, because if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem and this article falls into the trap of assigning blame to one particular Patriarchate.
Perhaps some of you may find interesting the following articles as we enter a new era of Orthodoxy.
#1.3 Delegate #1 on 2009-09-17 17:34
The above person posting says, "Show yourself or better yet retreat to your previous 'Christianity', then goes on to hypocritically sign him- or herself as "Anonymous." Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
#1.4 David Barrett on 2009-09-17 18:24
Dear #1 Anonymous:
May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, and lift up the Light of His Countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Your Brother in Him,
#1.5 Peter on 2009-09-18 08:07
Boy do you sound like a bitter minion of +Philip,are you by any chance a priest?I pray not!
#1.6 Abbuna Habib on 2009-09-19 09:58
Perhaps Peter was praying for him that his heart may be softened? No need to assume Peter was affirming his malice.
#1.6.1 Gabriel on 2009-09-20 15:31
Dear @1 Anonymous,
This priest who wrote this reflection is not a coward. He is simply protecting himself, his family and his parish from the revenge seeker in Englewood, and no, he probably doesn't want to deal with him. He's also doing the same thing you are - and it's okay for you to be anonymous, but not for him??? Sounds like a double standard to me. Make up your mind - should we or should we not reveal our identities? You can't have it both ways - you have to choose which side of the fence you want to sit on - the right or the left - just as the two thieves who were crucified with Christ. Let us all know when you've made your choice.
this is a lame article, Mark your disappointing us with these kind of repetitious articles that mean nothing. This priest should go back to his original church if that's the way he sees it. I guess cause he had his other "Employment" and now a Orthodox Priest he knows the way things are everywhere. He is an embarrassment to say it politely. I suggest he minds to his church and quit stirring up garbage. If you cant take the heat, get out the kitchen. Don't try to remodel it like the kitchen you had because you think you know how too.
#2 William on 2009-09-17 13:21
William, did he say anything factually incorrect?
#2.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-18 01:06
You have never posted anything on this forum that builds up and you have shown no signs of love towards fellow Orthodox Christians let alone towards you 'enemies'. Surely you have something to say that is meaningful, regarding the situation, that might help to restore trust in +MP. You and your cohorts are a big part of the problem; if you and your friends spoke to +MP and told the truth (be honest, there is a problem), perhaps his eminence might come to the realization that all is not well in the Antiochian branch of the Universal Church.
Here is what happens in the end to the various types of churches:
From the Book of the Apocalypse
3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
All of our various Orthodox assemblies fit in the above scriptures somewhere, but where, that is our decision. Have we left our first love, to love God with all of our heart, mind and being and do we love our neighbor as ourself, that is the ultimate question; if that love is in our life then we have fulfilled the law.
#2.2 Yanni on 2009-09-18 15:10
How am I the problem now. How is it that when I post something it is considered not relevant or compassionate..i have posted a few things offensive to some but believe me it is only offensive if you know your one of them because the old phrase is "the truth hurts"
or...my comments look stupid and not productive because it does NOT bash the Metropolitan or go along with this agenda of making mountains out of mole hills? I guess that is what I get.
Do you not realize that WE ALL are the problem because we will not move forward and stop commenting on this site. Actually it's the same 10-15 people so that percentage is pretty good on the general scale of the entire Orthodox population so I shouldn't even care anymore.
#2.2.1 William on 2009-09-21 07:05
Lack of love is the problem.
#18.104.22.168 Yanni on 2009-09-21 22:01
Save yourself, William. Stop posting on this site.
#22.214.171.124 Scott Walker on 2009-09-22 10:33
How does that help. I will if you will. And put that on the icon above and I will live up to it.
#126.96.36.199.1 William on 2009-09-22 13:53
you have said 6 months ago you would stop commenting. Thank God, your agenda to distract from the issues have consistently failed.
My advice to all who read the wonderful enlightening reflections on OCAnews is to simply ignore William as a dissimulator.
He kows exactly what is going on and is simply blowing smoke.
#188.8.131.52 anonymous on 2009-09-22 12:54
I believe we are all going to come to this sobering conclusion. There is no real hope for Orthodoxy in America until those truly non-paternal financial ties ( Don't kid yourselves they are nothing but ) with foreign despots, Greek, Russian or Syrian are severed.
I fail to see what spiritual and paternal benefits can be provided to us by foreign clerics who do not value the Holy Orthodox Faith with which they have been entrusted. Their cavalier and in some cases outright heretical views and behavior i.e. communing of the non-Orthodox and allowing their own flocks to be communed by schismatics and heretics should have all of us outraged and rightfully questioning their validity as shepherds.
I am going from being perturbed and perplexed to, you know for the sake of my own soul and those with whom I am entrusted it is time to flee this corrupt excuse of an orthodox jurisdiction.
#3 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-17 13:26
I think we are all aware that the Antiochian Archdiocese has a standing - albeit unspoken, publicly - of communing any and all Non-Chalcedonians at her altars.
This isn't a question of whether or not they, in fact, believe in the christology of Chalcedon, it is a question of conciliarity within the Church Universal. If it is so clear and obvious that we believe the same things then two things would have happened: the Non-Chalcedonians would have accepted Chalcedon and the other Ecumenical Councils (which they have decidedly not) and the Orthodox would have publicly declared intercommunion (which they have not; how quickly do you think we would all be excommunicated and cut off from the rest of the Church?). This is common policy also in the OCA and the GOA, too.
(Let's not even bring up questions regarding intercommunion practices between Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholic laity.)
Again, this isn't a question of whether we believe the same things - I pray to God that we do and that we are therefore already united in faith and our parallel Eucharists - but of whether we are willing to walk and act in the light rather than skulk around as we pursue our own willful, self-chosen Orthodoxies.
And, of course, this sort of laxity has been going on while the OCA/AOCNA/GOA had cordoned off ROCOR and while the GOA in Boston has broken communion with the OCA.
This is a lie. There is no such policy. It may be done by certain priests and even bishops, but a policy it is no! Get the facts, man.
#3.1.1 Eric Peterson on 2009-09-22 15:19
I pray that is the case. I have been told, explicitly, quite the opposite in at least three major jurisdictions.
The Church, of which Orthodoxy in America is a part, will survive even those ties, friend. It will survive everything, because it is Christ's body. He will not abandon his own body, miserable though it is.
#3.2 Anonymous on 2009-09-18 13:38
Show yourself or better yet retreat to your previous "Christianity".
Thanks for bringing the funny. I needed that.
#4 Christopher on 2009-09-17 13:56
You hide behind your words. Are you a Bishop or a priest hiding behind a bishop. We all have a right to express ourselves. Even if you are a Orothodox priest you need to show your self. We are asking for other clergy to be truthful.To be honest If you are a priest and you are expected to be respected THEN STEP UP TO THE PLATE.To me ,I have no right to say if you are wrong or right in what you say. But I can say you have no right to write the words you have written without Standing up and saying who you are.
#5 Kris, St. Elias Sylvania, Ohio on 2009-09-17 14:22
Thank you for a very interesting and thought provoking perspective on the problems in our church.
Just tell us please, who has the responsibility and the power to remove Met. Phil from office? Other than the Lord, of course!
Then one might ask the same question about the EP.
Whatever you do, please do NOT retreat to some other form of "Christianity." We need your voice, energy, wisdom and prayers.
#6 pelagiaeast on 2009-09-17 14:40
"this anonymous clergy member is nothing but a fool at best. show yourself, you dejected, miserable soul!!!"
This first response to an "clergy member" ironically comes from another anonymous person.
I have read this response several times, trying to find in it even a shred of elementary charity.
By God's grace and under the apostolic commission of Metropolitan PHILIP, I have baptized and/or chrismated hundreds of adult converts into the Antiochian Archdiocese over the past 20 years. This would not have happened if those converts had been exposed to the sort of obloquy and raw contempt contained in this response.
I wonder how much longer the Antiochian Archdiocese is going to thrive if this becomes the quality of our discourse.
#7 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-09-17 15:02
Forgive me, but is it beneficial for you to even be writing things on this site. It's a back and forth game unfortunately with no resolution. It's only one trying to prove the other wrong. There is no right or wrong, only difference of opinions. Some like old school and some don't. some blame Metro PHILIP and some don't even know what they are talking about when casting blame or whatever. Very sad all around. My heart goes to the Metropolitan personally and all subjected to the verbal abuse and degradation by supposed commentators.
My question to you is, after reading many good posts by you, why are you so interested in coming back and commenting? Are you looking for something that we all haven't seen in the last several months as a priest. Your a GREAT priest and I just was curious to see what you think since your posts are nutrally viewed. This is the way all of us should be in order to see clearly. Just like a pot of water and oil, when it stops being stired, the oil settles to the top and you can see clearly both sides of the situation. Comments are only stirring the pot.
I was just curious though to see what your take is on this and what YOU want to see done politically UNEDITED. Your doing a good job though being politically correct with your comments to say the least and many are good too, just I know you are carefully typing as many are as well. God bless and if you will post your honest opinion of your views that would be great for us readers.
FACT- POLITICS IS EVERYWHERE PEOPLE, get over it!
#7.1 William on 2009-09-18 07:11
You write like one of the politicians yourself. Funny how some people have nothing to say, so they spend their time striking out at those who do have something valuable to say such as this Antiochian clergyman. If you don't agree with him, then refute his points, pour your vitriol out on the message, not the person.
#7.1.1 Yanni on 2009-09-20 16:09
My guess is that this priest will be belittled for remaining anonymous. He will be belittled for not being 'culturally sensitive' and for (supposedly) hating Arabs and wishing for American supremacy. He will be called names and cursed.
But one thing that will not happen is for one person to point out a factual error in his article. What he says is true, but most of us Orthodox prefer to live in a dream world about the 'mother countries.' Most of us wish to dream that Orthodoxy is 'alive and well' elsewhere and we all just need to return to some good 'ol country piety.
Hats off to you, Antiochian Priest. You have said what so many have been thinking but not willing to say. You are living in the world of cold, hard reality. I, for one, understand why you did not use your name. Who would when everyone who uses a name or shows their face is excommunicated or kicked out of the Archdiocese?
Thank you for your wonderful contribution.
#8 An East Coast Priest on 2009-09-17 17:08
Excellent and VERY true! Good article but the cronies despise it, of course. Got a laugh from the "future faculty" that Metropolitan P. had meet with the ST V leadership. All politics, naturally. Metr P. always comes out on top! Been that way for decades. He gets what he wants. An Audit and Bp Demetri debacle true evidence. Little will change unless he departs. Glad the future Dean Joseph (the Twice Married) attended. He has not visited the school since his marraige. Their "station" (all his cronies) are dependent on him for their titles, standing and above all blind obedience!
Reread (all agree) with Abbot Touma's dissertation on POWER.
We hear a St V. grad, no less, who in his years in the USA. took in a lot.Go to NOTES ON ARAB ORTHODOXY. You'll never see it in the official AOC website, be assured! Already condemned b y the cronies, we're informed. The Wisconsin Priest who extalled the PS convention must have been in Starbucks as I was there with my people with a very different observation. .... What is in it for ME, the cry of the "day" !!
#8.1 Anonymous Priest Can Am) on 2009-09-19 10:34
I read this post with great interest. I, too, am a convert from another church and have been an Orthodox priest for almost 10 years. My entire Orthodox Christian life has been fostered and developed under the omophorion of Bishop Joseph of Los Angeles. From my understanding of him, and through him, my understanding of his Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius, I have found myself firmly established along the path of a deep Orthodox-Catholic faith. May this continue in my life!
The purpose of my post is not to challenge any specific claim of the anonymous clergyman here, but rather to offer a different perspective.
I was blessed to have a personal audience with His Beatitude in November 2008 when he was in Boston plugging Balamand University. His response to my brief account of my encounter with, and conversion to, the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church at first set me on my heels. He took up an attack on "idealism." At first, I thought he was striking out at my (and for many out there, our) insistent desire to find an ecclesiastical home for our souls and our loved ones. Was he questioning my conversion to Orthodoxy? It reminded me of what His Grace, Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware), said to me in 1995, when I asked him about leaving the ordained Protestant ministry and becoming Orthodox, to which he rejoined, "there is grace in the (name of protestant) church; you can stay there." (I became Orthodox in 1996).
In the end, I now understand what both of these hierarchs were saying. Orthodoxy as the very life of Christ does not prosyletize; it ennobles and forgives. Orthodoxy in essence is not an -ism to which we are pressing others to adopt; it is the demonstrated love and forgiveness of Christ to the world.
After my interview, I drew up a fictional epistle, based upon the Patriarch's responses to my question, what would he want my parish of converts to hear from him. You can read that epistle here, from my website: http://frpatrick.com/blog/?p=368
I offer these thoughts in the hope that something like a holy substratum beneath all our current discomfiture, the Holy Tradition Itself, would stand forth. I, like so many others, am deeply offended by the serious problems being exposed in our American Orthodoxy--in the Antiochian, the OCA, and indeed elsewhere yet unbroadcast. I trust the grace of the Holy Spirit to work to cleanse us of all immodesty, power-mongering, love of silver, and secular politics.
I am grateful to the Lord for the many ways we have of ferretting out wrong-doing, but I suspect that our idealism may in the end work as much damage as it seems to heal.
May we be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Kyrie eleison!
Father Patrick O'Grady,
Thank you for posting here - that in itself is comforting!
Would you please explain about the idealism as mentioned in the last paragraph? I does not make sense to me at all - it sounds like we are to drop our standards to accommodate business as usual. But i know this is not what you mean.
#9.1 Robert on 2009-09-18 14:43
Dear Fr. Patrick,
Thank you for your bravery in posting your comments with your name. Please be careful - those thugs know where you live, and they could come after you next. If anyone shows up - call the police immediately and then the FBI. Don't let them intimidate you or threaten you. You are a very kind and caring person who looks out for others. Please know that others are praying for your safety, as well....
What would you suggest we do? Are you advocating for an EOC-like church structure? Or should we seek refuge in the OCA?
My hunch is that you're correct about the Patriarch, but I'm not sure what we can do but jump ship.
#10 David Feliciano on 2009-09-17 18:32
BTW - I'm not saying anyone should jump ship, but I don't understand what you're advocating, if not a mass exodus.
#10.1 David Feliciano on 2009-09-17 20:12
Orthodox Christianity: the right Faith given to the wrong people.
#11 Kevin Klein on 2009-09-17 20:01
Actually, Fr Thomas Hopko should be referenced; a famous quotation of his.
#11.1 Delegate #1 on 2009-09-19 19:19
Not Fr Hopko but the departed late Dean of St Sophia in Los Angeles.
#11.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-21 23:29
I thought it was Meyendorff. If it was the Dean in LA, what was his name? It's a great quote.
A suggestion. Someone should create an on-line petition calling for a council of all American Orthodox in order to create a truly unified American Orthodox Church. If we could gather 10,000 or so faithful at someplace like Rives Junction, maybe the Bishops would get their act together.
Anyone interested, contact me. I own an advertising and marketing company and could take care of the website, etc. Anyone game to help me?
Editor's note: A happy idea - but pointless, as who is against unity? I would rather see a petition of those against it and the their reasons why. That would be more revealing.
The lack of canonical unity in America is very simple: the people mostly don't care, the priests don't want to be disturbed, the bishops - the only ones who could actually do accomplish it in a series of phone calls - blame their reticence on the people and priests. Hogwash.
Our current lack of unity is about money - if it cost the each ancient Patriarchates a million dollars every year to keep their American colonies, rather than profit by them, you can bet with 1500 parishes, 75 bishops, 40 monasteries, three major seminaries, and 1.5 million members, America would have been on its own years ago, no matter our various ethnic heritages. And if you think I am wrong, have your Archdiocese send your Patriarchate a big old whooping bill instead of big old whooping checks every year - and see how long it takes. )
Mark, didn't know that was going to get your fired up! Then instead of a unity gathering, how about an accountability gathering, or a "who cares" gathering. Something tells me dissent needs to move from the internet to the streets or else all this effort will just come across as words, not deeds.
(Editor's note: Oh, that's not fired up at all. That was just a clarification of what I believe our situation to be. As for meetings, no need to re-invent the wheel. The OCL is having one soon. Check it out.)
It seems to me that reinventing the wheel is exactly what we need to do. How long have we been talking about unity? The bishops won't act until the people rise up, and when you go to the site for the OCL it sure seems like it is being controlled by the Bishops. I'm sure some resolution will be passed to appease the faithful, then what, another 30 years of nothing?
Let 10,000 people meet on a farm somewhere and vow to settle for nothing less than unity by withholding funds, you'll get more movement than a dozen OCL meetings. And you'll get movement fast. In my opinion.
While it would be silly to claim that the Orthodox Churches in Syria and Lebanon are perfect (and I am sympathetic to criticisms of their overly enthousiastic ecumenism, though I understand quite well what circumstances have caused this), there are many rather serious mischaracterizations of Orthodox life in the Middle East in this article.
--- A lack of missionary engagement? The author of this article is apparently unfamiliar with the Orthodox Youth Movement and it's seventy-year history of missionary and educational activity among Orthodox in Syria and Lebanon. More can be learned about their activities in Arabic, French, and English at http://www.mjoa.org . Adittionally, I know that at least the archdioceses of Beirut and Mount Lebanon offer regular adult education in church music and theology for interested adults at a fairly advanced level and that almost every Orthodox diocese operates at least a few primary and secondary schools that offer theological education for the young as part of their regular instruction. (Also, in addition to schools, Orthodox dioceses in the Middle East often operate hospitals and clinics, something else Orthodox in North America have been unable to organize).
----A lack of publications? While it's true that fewer Orthodox publications are made in Arabic every year than in English, (think of the difference both in the size of potential markets and the difference in resources!), there are quite a lot of Orthodox publications available in English- both original writings and translations from Greek, Russian, French, and English. If you look at an arabic online bookstore like Nil wa-Furat, the majority of Christian books available are from Orthodox publishers! Of course, none of the works published in Arabic are ever translated into English, so non-Arabophones don't have any access to them (a tragedy in the case of Fr. Touma Bitar's "Forgotten Saints in the Antiochian Heritage"), that's hardly the fault of Arab Orthodox in the Middle East... The Orthodox Youth Movement's publishing arm, Manshurat al-Nur publishes a wide variety of works on Orthodox topics--- including a number of prayerbooks which include vepsers, matins, and compline. Aditionally, both Balamand University and all the major monasteries also have publishing operations.
Monasteries. There are no Antiochian monasteries in North America. There are many in Lebanon and Syria, not a few of which were founded in the past thirty years. Monasteries such as Dayr el-Harf, Douma, and Hamatoura are important centers of evangelization and the spreading of Orthodox values in the region. Prominent monks such as Frs. Ephrem Kyriakos, Touma Bitar, Pandeleimon Farah, and Elia Morcos have independant voices with a great deal of moral weight among Arabic-speaking Orthodox and fulfill a role that is sorely missing among Antiochians in North America, especially at the moment. One can visit the website for Hamatoura at http://www.hamatoura.com and Douma at http://www.holytrinityfamily.org .
So, the Orthodox of Lebanon have had to live through civil war and the Orthodox of Syria, though currently well-protected by their government from Islamic opression, still have to deal with the bureaucracy and economic deprivation of a authoritarian, socialist state. Given those conditions, the revival of church life in those countries over the past two generations is nothing short of remarkable. The author of this article seems to see active church life and evangelism only through the lense of American Evangelicalism. The Middle East (and, really most of America) is a rather different world! The Antiochians in America would be vastly better off if they had a closer relationship to their mother, something +Phillip has done his best to prevent---- first and foremost this means bringing Antiochian monasticism to America, and this also means learning from and working with the Orthodox Youth Movement. At the very least it means taking the time to really learn about church life in the Middle East, its successes and failures, to come to love its traditions, and to be in communication with it at all levels- with its lay people, its priest and monks, and, of course, the Holy Synod.
Thank you for posting that. I have been considering how to reply to this reflection, which I think misses the point--a real, organic connection to the Patriarchate of Antioch, not primate-to-primate with all communications filtered through Englewood, but a real connection between the faithful from the respective Holy Synods down to the newest of newly illumined laymen on both sides of "the pond" would be a boon to both our Archdiocese and to all of the dioceses of the Patriarchate in the Old Country.
Have any other dioceses followed the lead of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America in establish a sister diocese program with one of the diocese in Lebanon or Syria? I think that program is a model for the future as a new way for the American Orthodox Church to relate to the ancient patriarchates and national churches in the Old World--not as vassals, or dependent children, but a younger, richer (in material terms) brother who provides for the needs of his elder sibling, while benefiting from his elder's depth of experience and wisdom. It provides a model for how the American Church can support the vitality of the ancient patriarchates and other national churches without needing to be subject to them. (Such a model is provided in Acts--the churches from whom St. Paul took up a collection "for the saints in Judea" were not subject to the Church of Jerusalem--but we seem to need a modern instance to remind us.)
And to all you ecclesistical America-firsters: the correct precedents to cite are not the American Revolution, but Russia, which established its autocephaly with facts on the ground while Constantinople was in thrall to the False Union of Florence/Ferrar, Greece, whose bishops proclaimed its own autocephalous national church almost immediately upon shaking off the Turkish Yoke, without waiting for permission from Constantinople, or, for that matter, any of the national churches in the Balkans.
God works in His own time, which doesn't usually fit our American 24-hour news-cycle impatience. Soon (here I imitate C.S. Lewis's leonine Christ-figure and call all times soon) either the Holy Spirit will blow through the local churches of the Old World and bring the realization that a united autocephalous American Orthodox Church related to them as a loving, wealthy, younger brother is in fact in the interest of Christ's Church worldwide, or the Holy Spirit will give our American hierarchs the courage to follow Russia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria and simply proclaim unity and autocephaly, and elect a patriarch. It may even happen soon enough that some of us reading this board will live to see it.
#13.1 Subdeacon David [Yetter] on 2009-09-23 21:03
I agree there are problems in Antioch, and that Father has correctly identified some of them. The inter-communion issue is a serious matter, but in other respects I think "The Real Problem" is not as grave as this article has depicted it.
The Orthodox Youth Movement (Mouvement de la Jeunesse Orthodox) in Lebanon is a grass-roots organization which has official approval. Activities vary from parish to parish, but they include studies of Scripture and the Fathers, outreach to the disadvantaged (the poor, the shut-ins, the elderly), spiritual retreats. The monasteries in Lebanon and Syria I visited often have youth groups staying the weekend. In fact, monastic life in Lebanon and Syria is growing, with old monasteries being revitalized and new ones established.
The Archdiocese of Aleppo has a very large publishing department - service books for ALL services are available in Arabic, many Akathist services to the saints, as well as a prayer book similar to the Holy Transfiguration book in English. I can't comment on how often these books are used, but they certainly exist. More than one parish I visited in Lebanon has the Arabic version of the Nassar five-pounder on the chanter's stand.
The episcopacy in the MIddle East is also more dynamic than the article suggests. Met. John Yazigi is certainly a wonderful bishop, but simply because he's got the highest profile doesn't exclude other men such as Met. Georges Khodr or Met. Saba Esper. I have met both men and so can speak from personal knowledge -- I'm sure there are other hierarchs in our Church who are equally gifted and diligent, and whose humility keeps them unknown outside of their own flocks.
#14 Anonymous Coward on 2009-09-18 06:46
show some roots!!! you all are nothing but misfits and dont deserve the blessings that we have in metropolitan philip and the holy synod. for all that dont appreciate, go and cast yourselves away. we dont throw our pearls to swine.
#15 Anonymous on 2009-09-18 07:57
We love you too! Thanks for being there!
#15.1 Antionymous on 2009-09-19 13:47
Practice what you preach Fr..... Cast yourself away!. Perhaps you could have a meaningful conversation with Wilson, your volley ball!
#15.2 Delegate #1 on 2009-09-20 14:42
Imagine the holy Apostles in their preaching launching an attack on the "idealism" of their Master's preaching on The Kingdom of God? Or any of our holy fathers telling the ordained ministers of the various sects and cults of their own day "there is grace in the (name of_____) church, you can stay there"?
I also understand what these heirarchs are saying when they say that "Orthodoxy as the very life of Christ does not prosyletize; it enobles and forgives" In essence they are reflecting even advocating an emasculated form of Christianity that bears little resemblance to the type proclaimed by our ancient fathers. They sought to convert (prosyletize if you prefer) and had little sympathy for those preaching apart from the Apostolic foundations.
While one can appreciate a call for love understanding and a keen focus without fanaticism, I cannot understand what this new age good vibe form of Christianity that seems to be layered throughout your letter is accomplishing.
#16 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-18 08:11
You misunderstand. It is precisely the apostolic method of evangelisation which I am speaking of: deeply personal and incarnational. We Americans, especially, are highly idealistic--this means that we tend to polarize everything into "my view PERFECT; everyone else somehow DEFECTIVE." We so easily enter into debates with words and fail to adequately meet the other person AS PERSON.
Electronic communications like this have their positive features, but this is not one of them.
Whoever you are, Kevin Kirwan, I should like to see your face, to engage you as a person, know your world and truly hear it and enter into it to wash your feet. Then, maybe, I can know what you MEAN when you say x, y, or z. In short, I must live with the people, I must love the people, whom I seek to win for Christ. Then, God helping, they can be raised up.
I am not competent to speak to the Middle East situation, as I have never spent time there. I suspect that there is a whole world of understanding to be grasped...
In conclusion, the issues of evangelisation, of converting, are deeply pastoral and in need of great care. The issues vary greatly, from one culture to another.
I couldn't care less about Phillip or any of the politics involved, but I would like to know if what this priest said in his article is true. Does the Pat. of Antioch really allow its people to receive communion in non-Orthodox Churches? If so, does anyone find this to be problematic?
#17 Anon. Seminarian on 2009-09-18 08:38
If you read the Balamand Agreement of the 1990s you will then know what the actual practice is in Lebanon. Although the document was never given official status by any group, it was basically a recognition of the facts on the ground. These facts have not changed, and given the inter-marriage between Orthodox and Catholic in Lebanon, it's not likely to change any time soon.
What I observed was not so much that Orthodox Christians were attending non-Orthodox services and seeking to be communed, but rather that Maronites were attending Orthodox services with their Orthodox family members and being communed. One parish priest told me that if he refused to commune Catholics, two-thirds of his parish would leave and go to the Catholic church. I think I managed to conceal my shock from him, but it seems that this is the practice in parishes. The situation in monasteries is different, thanks be to God.
#17.1 Anonymous Coward on 2009-09-19 07:46
Oh, to be young again.....!
#17.2 Delegate #1 on 2009-09-20 14:49
How does oneremove a corrupt hierarch when the Holy Synod fails to function properly, perhaps because of corruption or weakness?
Hoes does one remove a corrupt hierarch when the local synod is crippled, weak or impotent?
CUT OFF THE MONEY!
Hoes does a bishop remove corrupt clergy when undermined by other corrupt or impotent hierarchs of his own synod?
Begin a letter writing Campaign to the Patriarch, MP and your local Bishop and CUT OFF THE MONEY!
We all know who needs to go.
#18 anonymously another abdullah khoury on 2009-09-19 06:22
What is the reason the Patrairchate and Holy Synod have not disciplined MP?
Because they all benefit in some unheathy counter-productive way.
Isthis a left over from the millet system? ABSOLUTELY.
If they cannot get over it after more than a center it is time to get leadership that is less codependent.
Let us encourage the rest to enter into a good twelve step program.
#19 disfunctional orthodoxy 101 on 2009-09-19 06:36
Are the allegations true or false? Can't you show your love for us Americans, who believe in transperancy and accountability by giving us an audit? Will a loving father give his children a stone when they ask for bread?
#20 Antionymous on 2009-09-19 06:39
To "Antiochian Orthodox Priest"... you are not only reflecting ignorance in the Arabic Orthodox Church in the middle east but also you are betraying your priestly vows of humility and obedience, by insulting Orthodox Bishops.
I can not imagen how little is you knowledge and poor are your sources for you to write a statement like this: "Weekday services in English are available to those who want them as many parishes do, but they are impossible in Arabic because they have done so little. I have even heard of a priest in North America is translating into Arabic St. John Chrysostom for the first time". I can say the only mistake of +PHILIP is that he did not educate you well when he accepted you into his home. I have 2 suggestion for you...
1-Go back to school and learn more about Orthodoxy.
2-or Just go back to the "other Christianity" when you came from.
what a sham!!!
#21 Fr. Romanos on 2009-09-19 11:36
To "Fr.Romanos",I am a little confused by your coment"humility and obedience",do you mean these two virtues as they are "taught"by our +Philip,and by the "good"example that he has shown us for all these years?
#21.1 Abbuna Habib on 2009-09-20 16:50
"Just go back to the "other Christianity" when you came from.
what a sham!!"
We converts to the Orthodox Church have been hearing this sort of invitation quite a bit during 2009.
I don't believe Metropolitan PHILIP agrees with it. Two of every three Orthodox Christians in his Archdiocese are adult converts to the Orthodox Church. Four of every five priests under Metropolitan PHILIP's omophorion are adult converts to the Orthodox Church. Do you really want us all to "go back"?
I am very confident that this invitation to "go back" does not express the mind of Metropolitan PILIP.
Yet, here it is! And from an Orthodox priest, who has the nerve to tell another priest, "go back."
My disappointment with the direction of the Antiochian Archdiocese during 2009 is not really about its leadership, but its membership. The mind reels at the constant drumbeat of hatred and contempt coming from (apparently) life-long Orthodox laymen and a few clergy in our Archdiocese.
(I would like to believe these terrible comments come chiefly from a few parishes in northern Ohio and southern Michigan, but who knows?)
This kind of behavior, I'm afraid, will take its toll on our ability to evangelize in this country. We cannot invite others to join us without some assurance they will not, down the road, be told to "go back."
For this reason, it appears to me that this bad behavior by Orthodox laymen and some clergy may undermine the truly significant achievements recorded during the fruitful years of Metropolitan PHILIP's long ministry. Why would anyone wish such a thing?
I encourage everyone to think twice before writing something like "go back." For one thing, it is extremely unfair to the ministry and legacy of Metropolitan PHILIP.
#21.2 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-09-20 18:17
"I can say the only mistake of +PHILIP is that he did not educate you well when he accepted you into his home ."
And that pretty much sums up the problem.
#21.3 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-20 19:16
"I can say the only mistake of +PHILIP is that he did not educate you well when he accepted you into his home ."
Metropolitan PHILIP, when he did me the immense and undeserved kindness of receiving me into the Antiochian Archdiocese---an act for which I shall be grateful and loyal to him forever---had in hand my transcripts from St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary.
#21.3.1 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-09-24 07:58
This anonymous Antiochian Orthodox Priest is a jackass. He dose not know his head from his tail.
Mark! I know that you will not Publish this post, but that because you are also a jackass!
#22 Wow on 2009-09-19 11:41
Mark – there is nothing wrong with sharing personal experiences as I see it - but if an experience is indeed misleading, insufficient, and incorrect then it is your duty to validate them before posting them on your website. All that does it create confusion to something that is already confusing and it discredits your website. Sharing experiences are fine but if we give people the wrong image then we are to be responsible for that.
(Editor's note: He is not the first person, in my experience, to report such things. We will be offered an opposing view in the coming days. That is how discussion works.)
#22.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-20 21:34
When an act is determined or recognized as discretionary, that branch, department, or official has immunity for those actions, otherwise they would never make decisions for fear of adverse actions. ,
Mark, unfortunately articles like these really discredit your website. This article has an incorrect perception of the churches in the Middle East. These churches are far more advanced then us in Liturgical practice and participation. There is a great deal that our churches in American can learn from them and I pray that we do that instead of harming their and our reputations.
(editor's note: I am sorry you think that people discussing their personal experiences brings discredit to this site. If we cannot share we have experienced, what is the point? Feel free to disagree with his interpretation of his experience, and rebut it as misleading, insufficient, etc., if you can -but what is availed by just telling him to be quiet and denying what he says he experienced? Will that change his experience or interpretation of it? I think not. )
#23 Anonymous on 2009-09-19 13:52
Mark: I don't question his personal experience, such as with Arab immigrants in his flock — and the charges he makes on that basis are extremely important. I am particularly glad to see that there is finally some open talk (even if anonymous) about the Patriarchate's intercommunion with heterodox and how this affects us .
Some here, however, attest that the author is wrong as regards, for example, the translation of the services into Arabic. Is post #13 correct about the Archdiocese of Aleppo? I have no Arab-speakers at hand to give them a call; but perhaps you do. If the author really is wrong, a retraction or clarification is in order from him; or from you if he is is now unreachable.
Moreover such a basic apparent error does make me doubt his other non-eyewitness claims. This, for example, is an extraordinarily serious accusation: "[Met. John John (Yazigi)] was booted out of the Middle East to Western Europe because he was rocking the boat and openly rallying young people to their Faith." The author makes no claim to knowing this from personal experience. (Moreover, does he speak Arabic? If not, how could he personally know the secret machinations of the Patriarchate?)
To so traduce the entire Holy Synod without a shred of evidence before the public is irresponsible — isn't it?
It is common for defenders of OCA News — such as myself — to make a distinction between what is said in the forum here and what you formally publish and give prominence to. Important parts of this reflection appear to be more appropriate to the forum — if that — than the front page.
#23.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-20 19:44
Re: "The lack of canonical unity in America is very simple: the people mostly don't care..."
Agreed that some people don't care, but some people care enough (some would argue "too much") about the content and practice of the Orthodox Christian faith too want to water it down, to get it down to the least common denominator or to minimalize it in the name of "unity."
Can "administrative unity" paper over all our differences in say, the Church Calendar vs. the New Calendar or the reception of converts, monasticism vs. antimonasticism, ecumenism or the love and loyalty that many Orthodox Christians have for their elders in the so-called Old Country?
I think all of those jurisidictions who have a desire for American Administrative Unity should just put up or shut up. OCA, AOCA, etc. get to it!
But please leave the rest of us out of your worldly schemes.
Please. "Administrative unity" that way that the OCA and its sympathizers sell it comes across as pure ambition, a naked power grab in no small way powered by a sense of American Exceptionalism bordering on phyletism.
#24 Anonymous on 2009-09-19 17:26
1) "Church Calendar vs. the New Calendar " - a ridiculous argument. There is no need to follow an old, archaic calendar that has no theological reason for following.
2) "reception of converts" - rebaptism is not an Orthodox option. Chrismation of Trinitarians.
3) "monasticism vs. antimonasticism" - again, ridiculous. Monasticism is a calling and not for all.
4) "ecumenism " - another ridiculous argument. No canonical Orthodox jurisdiction is in communion with non-Orthodox.
Your post is filled with ROCOR type issues which maybe 2% of all Orthodox consider real issues!
#24.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-20 17:10
This is the sort of attitude that will prevent rather than advance unity — that is, an attitude of utter contempt.
Also, not a little ignorance:
1) "Church Calendar vs. the New Calendar " The larger problem is the manner of its original institution. Reconciliation will not come until the bad motives for this are frankly admitted. Also, note that New Calendar Orthodox are the worldwide minority .
2) "rebaptism is not an Orthodox option." Really? Tell that to Mount Athos — which is under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch, if you are not aware. "Re-baptism" is certainly an Orthodox "option." As regards the concept of "options" generally, you may wish to learn about the principle of economia.
Moreover, an increasing number of "Trinitarian baptisms" are done in denominations in which doctrines like the Divinity of Christ are treated as charming bits of religious mythology, and whose clergy do not reliably use the Trinitarian formula. It is past time to consider narrowing our application of economia in this matter.
3) "'monasticism vs. antimonasticism' - again, ridiculous." No, it isn't. There are clergy — and, yes, I have met them — who think that monasticism is outdated and not a calling for anybody . There is a reason the GOA had essentially zero monasticism until it was air-dropped on them in the nineties. There is a reason that the AOCA has essentially zero monasticism now. (Hint: it isn't a lack of money.)
4) "'ecumenism' - another ridiculous argument. No canonical Orthodox jurisdiction is in communion with non-Orthodox."
Did you happen to read this reflection? There is de-facto communion with Non-Chalcedonians even in many American parishes; and in the ME this is even more widespread and includes Catholics. This is not sloppiness but proceeds from false theological bases of the sort that were codified at Balamand.
Nor is the issue of ecumenism limited to intercommunion. Our endless dances with the leftist, doctrinally vapid NCC and WCC (among others) are a disgrace that wastes time and resources that should be spent on discussion with serious Non-Orthodox.
If this is the attitude that "traditionalist" unity skeptics are met with, there will be no reason for anyone with a minority concern to consider unity.
(And, for the record, my parish is of the New Calendar, major jurisdiction variety.)
#24.1.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-09-21 23:28
1) Church Calendar issue is certainly tragic. An early 20th century Mason/Ecumenical Patriarch takes it upon himself like a medieval pope to break the liturgical unity of the Orthodox Church without consensus and you call the Old Calendarists as having no theological reasoning for their continued objections?
2.) Reception into The Church can only be by Baptism. Read, "I Confess One Baptism" by Fr. George Metallinos, D Th., Ph. D. Adjunct Professor, University of Athens. You may come away with a different perspective on what that means and how the church historically dealt with reception of conversts from various sects or schismatics.
3.) Monasticism is certainly not a call for all and if you are in the AOC, not a call for any except for a nun or two that Met. Philip keeps a close eye on in his own back yard. The other exception is Bp. Basil.
4.) Our very own AOC communes those who stand still in defiant opposition to Chalcedon. Just semantics of course and our present day heirarchs are much better equipped to undersatnd these nuanced things than our ancient fathers I guess?
#24.1.2 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-22 07:29
With sadness, I must thank you for making my case for me so eloquently.
How can there be "unity" when there are so many unbelievers, who in the name of "American Orthodoxy" disparage what is good and holy within the Church?
St. Paul said: "Be ye not unequally yoked," and further "come out from among them, and be ye separate."
There are Orthodox Christians who will not lay down their faith before the idol of "Administrative Unity."
#24.1.3 Anonymous on 2009-09-22 18:40
Does the Pat. of Antioch really allow its people to receive communion in non-Orthodox Churches? If so, does anyone find this to be problematic?
#16 Anon. Seminarian on 2009-09-18 08:38 (Reply)
This most certainly was problematic for our true fathers in the Faith and would be far more serious an issue in their minds than the financial shenanigans the AOC seems embroiled in.
I believe that anyone preparing themselves for the holy priesthood in the Antiochian Archdiocese should take a good hard look at these sorts of heterodox practices before ordination.
I myself am more disheartened by bishops who believe they can dispense with a holy ecumenical council (Chalcedon).
Human failings and personal sin is one thing but betraying the Faith seems a far more serious transgression.
#25 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-19 18:13
This anonymous Antiochian Orthodox Priest is a jackass. He dose not know his head from his tail.
Mark! I know that you will not Publish this post, but that because you are also a jackass!
#21 Wow on 2009-09-19 11:41 (Reply)
Dear Wow....Wow! Do yourself a favor the next time you post something like this. Refrain from signing "In Christ" you are certainly in something but don't put the blame on Him.
#26 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-09-20 16:26
Dear Mr. Wow,
I guess Mark Stokoe fooled you and printed your comment anyway - good job Mark. How can you use "jackass" and "In Christ" in the same message? You are either one or the other - I don't think you can be both. However, Christ did come riding into Jerusalem on the back of an ass, so perhaps there is something to be said for that. Christ loved all that was created by His Father - even animals - and you should learn to do the same. Mark has done nothing wrong, and he's not the one out there seeking revenge on people and sending unwelcome visitors to people's homes at all hours of the day and night. Let's remember who the real criminal is and all that he has done to us, but as he says, in the name of God - what a joke.
Isn't it poignant that a 'Christian' (judging by the "In Christ" phrase) calls two people jackasses... in the Name of the Lord! Even the reflector he's commenting on didn't do that to those he criticized.
Maybe we need a new bumpersticker- "Jesus loves Jackasses, too."
That should keep 'Wow' thinking for a while. Then again maybe not.
Does Jesus love dogs? +PHILIP has a lot in his pound from what I hear.
#27 anonymous on 2009-09-20 17:22
>>"Maybe we need a new bumpersticker- "Jesus loves Jackasses, too.""
"... and it's proven by His love for me and you."
-quoting a song by Daniel Amos from long ago...
#27.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-21 23:44
I am relieved to hear that it is Catholics who are being communed. I had assumed the post was referring to Muslim spouses (as reported several times in previous comments).
#28 David Feliciano on 2009-09-20 19:29
I have heard these things from immigrants from the Middle East, as well as from a convert who recently visited the Holy Synod in Damascus. Orthodoxy's renaissance and future is in Russia and North America, not in Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch or Jerusalem. These patriarchates represent our noble past, not our future. I find it interesting that so few people seem to know that a "sea change" in Orthodox governance and ecclesiology is coming. It is called IV CHAMBESY. Our concern here will no longer be Antioch, because a new Church order is coming! Read the IV CHAMBESY documents on the GoArch website!
#29 Kevin Allen on 2009-09-21 17:31
You've been very open about posting all along, since this mess began, and you are also very brave to use your name. Remember that they know where you live - they've put the pressure on your clergy. ....be careful. You have many fine things to say, and that will only attract the attention of MP ....We need strong people like you to help make our Archdiocese holy and healthy again.
With due respect, we don't need Chambesy to tell us what to do in North America....the Church Fathers and the canons tell us all we need to know...the church is local...these unheard of reporting relationships - back to patriarchates thousands of miles away are unheard of in Orthodox history...they are an anomaly.
It's time to simply return to Orthodox governance...to the practices of the Church of the First 15 centuries. Our Church Fathers were geniuses...they set up a local, territorial system that any modern American businessman instantly recognizes as a geographic franchise system.
It was setup in this way to specifically prohibit the problems we are having in all the jurisdictions which report back to Old World patriarchates...corruption, misapplication of resources, election of unqualified episcopal candidates etc etc etc.
Locally elected bishops, sitting in synod...that's where our safety lies...and with the participation of the laity in the election process.
It is not perfect, as the recent OCA problems certainly prove. However, it's the only system with the ability to correct itself...something neither the GOA, nor the AOCA have the power to do.
Our Church Fathers were geniuses...we simply need to follow the governance processes they left to us...and get rid of these anomalies.
#29.2 Anonymous on 2009-09-21 21:43
Chambesy is just another attempt for Istanbul (Constantinople) to try and control ALL of Orthodoxy. The Greeks have always viewed themselves as "THE" Orthodox and everyone else pay homage to them. + Bartholomew wants to control North America so bad, but he cannot. He can try and re-write history and canon law , but he won't be able to. The Russians will only cooperate so far. Chalcedon 28 is a lie and the Byzantine Empire is dead! America already has a canonical, autocephalous church and it's not going away!
#29.3 Anonymous on 2009-09-22 05:41
I remember that it has been suggested several times that the Patriarchate of Istambul (whoops! Constantinople) move to New York. But evidently the Holy Synod is happy there.
#29.3.1 Anonymous on 2009-09-22 13:56
As to calling people 'jackasses':
I own two really big Mammoth jackasses. In some ways they are smarter than many people I've met. They won't do anything they haven't been trained to do. They won't cross water unless they are sure that it isn't too deep, they won't cross a bridge unless they are sure it will support their weight, etc.
So Our Blessed Lord was right when he came to Jeruselem riding a donkey. And people who refer to other people as 'jackasses', obviously never met a real jackass.
#30 Anonymous on 2009-09-22 13:46
As it seems to me (and I certainly don't know everything), MP has been actively hostile and scornful of monasticism ... and for that matter, asceticism. That is why he is beset with prelest and why the archdiocese is made to suffer his arrogance. What monastic would put himself under MP's jurisdiction? He would make these entertainers for children at his summer camp. Various opportunities wait only for MP to depart from office.
The idea that brown nosing those above us in the hierarchy and kicking the dog below us is in any way "humility" is ridiculous ignorance. That isn't humility but merely a fascist personality trading in humiliation of self and others.
#31 Monologistos on 2009-09-27 17:38
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