Friday, November 6. 2009
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If the good people of Troy would ask for assistance from the government to make things right, they would get the help they need.
If they continue to let Fr Joseph, Fr Ayman, and the so-called parish council run rough-shod over them they could be in a bigger mess and lose everything.
#1 anonymous on 2009-11-06 13:24
I don't see how this situation can be fixed without the reassignments of both Fr. Joseph and Fr. Ayman, each to a different parish, preferably in different dioceses.
If the priests are culpable (a process would be necessary to make this determination) something stronger than reassignment would be important. Reassignment has been a problem in the Orthodox (and Catholic) Church. Priests get moved to a new parish and then do wrong again. Reassignment does not solve the problem, it simply spreads the problem around. It would be helpful, I think, for priests to know--beyond doubt, an article of faith--that if they significantly abuse the position and honor given to them (molesting altar boys, stealing church funds, groping a woman at the local casino, and the like), they will be reported to the civil authorities and be defrocked. If they exhibit true repentance (and once they are released from jail), perhaps they can return to life as a normal parishioner. But, one who has scandalized the church should not be returned to the priesthood. We need to protect the body of Christ: both the members of that body and its reputation.
#1.1 Probably best to be anonymous. on 2009-11-08 13:22
Sadly, it sounds like the parish council president is looking for a way to shove this back under the rug instead of looking for a way to resolve the problems. I don't see how this situation can be fixed without the reassignments of both Fr. Joseph and Fr. Ayman, each to a different parish, preferably in different dioceses.
Sic semper tyrannis,
#2 Nemo on 2009-11-06 13:59
Looks like the clique at St George's can't get their story straight. When someone starts lying it gets harder and harder for them to keep the story accurate.
This still sounds like a false flag operation to take the heat off Englewood.
Someone turn on the lights.
#3 Glad to not be Antiochian on 2009-11-06 14:12
With all respect, Fr Badeen letter did not say that the Money/Cd's are missing, but rather when he lft in 1985 they had that amount.
The funds could be used for renivations, repairs or something else. An audit could uncover the facts.
#3.1 Michael srour on 2009-11-08 18:04
Father Badeen's letter indicates that about $1,000,000 is missing. I wonder how much else is missing. Who is keeping the records.
Maybe the record keeper attended a conference put on by the OCA's former chief financial mover and shaker, a fellow named Bob.
#4 Yanni on 2009-11-06 14:16
Was not the bishop long ago promised clear access to all to the available records? Now we have a letters and accounts from two priests that cannot both be true.
Can the bishop do nothing in such a context and not be compared to a potted plant? Surely there is an obvious way to generate truth without imposing a solution.
#5 Harry Coin on 2009-11-06 15:08
Proper ecclesiology has nothing to do with this Harry. Think of how the mafia operates and it becomes more clear. The godfather calls all of the shots and anyone who says,"boo!" gets knocked off figuratively... Too much money is involved with this one.
The FBI and IRS need to be brought in to this parish to clean it up.
It is the only way. ...
#5.1 delegate #3 on 2009-11-11 10:16
FBI, IRS, investigative reporter, asap
#5.1.1 weary on 2009-11-12 06:49
Reminds me of what my Dad used to say: "Sounds like the jig is up!" He was a public school business administrator. Public schools have their problems, too. At least they come under the scrutiny of the Counties and States in which they function, in a much more predicable and usually more public way, forcing accountability. Not that it is any less difficult for the "whistle blower!"
#6 pelagiaeast on 2009-11-06 15:23
BM shows himself impotent and culpable in all this. Antypas (and Ayman too perhaps) should have been suspended as soon as credible evidence emerged supporting claims made by Samra. They weren't. If BM and the other bishops were real diocesan bishops, then things might've been different. Instead Samra and Thomas have been punished, and BM does nothing. This makes him just as guilty as Antypas.
#7 Anonymous on 2009-11-06 16:06
BM already gave Antypas and the council direction and MP intruded into the DIOCESE ONCE AGAIN and now takes responsibility for the matter.
Why did MP intrude?
Why does he want to keep this matter under wraps?
#7.1 anonymous on 2009-11-07 09:19
One other thing to add. Fr. John Badeen (a very good man) if I remember correctly) was at least at one time licensed as an attorney. He knew excactly what he was doing and saying when he wrote that letter.
And I'm sure he's prepared for any consequences that anyone may try to throw his way.
My profound respect to you George Samra for standing your ground being persistent in the truth and showing dignity in the face of irrational enemies bent on your destruction.
#9 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-11-06 19:04
If it looks like a duck
Quacks like a duck
and smells like a duck
It must be a duck.
If it looks like skimming
Sounds like skimming
smells like skimming
Then it must be skimming.
The question now is who and how much and for how long.
We already know who has participated in the cover-up!
#10 anonymous on 2009-11-06 20:04
Way to Go Fr Badeen!!! .....woot!.... woot!
#11 Delegate #1 on 2009-11-06 20:22
Re: ". . . I will issue a general apology from all of us regarding certain actions we may have taken to the detriment of St George. . ."
A general apology? That's it? $1 million is missing, George Samra has been to hell and back and that's the best they can do? I honestly don't know how the parishioners of St. George (excluding the perpetrators) can stomach this.
#12 Gail Sheppard on 2009-11-06 21:04
Gail you are right. They should investigate with the authorities what taxes have been paid.
Sales tax could certainly be added to your list.
The State of Michigan would then assist in a complete Audit ....
#12.1 Anonymous on 2009-11-07 14:07
If they were in Kalifornia, they would have already been toast. The State Board of Equalization would have made sure of that, they want all of their money.
#12.1.1 Yanni on 2009-11-07 16:25
Taken at face value, these articles surely give the appearance that certain people in Troy have an awful lot to hide.
The author of Comment #1 is correct. Specifically, get the following people to follow-up on this stuff: The IRS, the Michigan state agency responsible for collecting state income tax and workman's compensation payments, and HUD. These people will begin asking questions, and won't respond kindly to getting brushed off like Mr. Samra has been.
Having an internal audit will accomplish nothing, just like putting Bishop Antoun in charge of an internal Archdiocese audit will accomplish nothing.
The President of the Parish Council is correct when he says he has contributed to the problem. He has done so by not insisting that Mr. Samra's questions and concerns be addressed fully. Furthermore, since he admits he is not a strong leader, he should resign as President immediately, since the last thing the parish needs is a weak leader who will just serve as a flunky for the priest.
Finally, if Bishop Mark doesn't step in and insist on an outside independent audit of the parish and the housing project, he will be showing his diocese that he doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to be a diocesan bishop, and should resign.
The leadership of this parish is a disgrace to christianity. If our Metropolitan continues to try to shield these people in light of these recent revelations, then this characterization is appropriate for him as well.
Once again, I take my hat off to Messrs. Samra and Thomas, who I hope will notify the authorities I have recommended, and let us know what happens.
#13 Disgusted Life-long Antiochian Orthodox Christian on 2009-11-06 22:18
Perhaps you should be calling for the resignation of those bishops who have demonstrated that they are nothing more than lackies and pupets?
MP has labored tirelessly to divide the Local Synod and the Holy Synod as well.
The divisions he has created paralizes the Synodal system and he continues to exercise his super-PAPAL intrusions into Diocesan Discipline.
#13.1 Anonymous on 2009-11-07 14:22
NOTE: Not a member of the Antiochian Archdiocese
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -- Edmund Burke
Where is Bishop Mark of Toledo? The behaviors revealed in the St. George parish are multiple scandals. Does not Bishop Mark have a pastoral duty to intervene and bring about "good order" in that parish to re-establish the reputation of God's Holy Church? Does not Bishop Mark have the episcopal authority and the support of the Orthodox canons to impose certain types of behavior on the members of St. George, both clergy and laity?
Lord have mercy on us, and may Your Holy Spirit guide and enlighten us.
#14 Mark C. Phinney on 2009-11-07 06:36
What a terrible state of affairs!!!
.... To use the Communion cup as punishment and threats against his parish members is a sin which should not be condoned.
The financial state of affairs at Troy is a scandal, and yet those who sought truth and tried to carry out their duties to the Parish are the ones who have been treated as pariahs and condemned. How can this Church survive under present leadership ...? They have violated their sacred trust as guardians of the Parish and its finances and yet the Metropolitan supports them. There is something terribly wrong with this scenario. This deep, deep scandal has gone beyond the confines of the Church and is affecting the entire archdiocese.
I commend Mr. Norgrove for making an effort to control the situation as the priest and his supporters have run amuck, and I know he has caught in a terrible position, where he is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn't. But the situation has now gone beyond his ability to control events. I pray that the people of Troy will come to their senses, demand a true external audit, (no more cover-ups). Perhaps they can serve as a good example for the Archdiocese, so that all scandal in our beloved Church can end.
#15 anon on 2009-11-07 06:51
How can people blame Bishop Mark when it is clear that Metropolitan Phlip simply overrides any decision he makes. The fact is that until a reasonable hierarchical manual is in force and Bishop Mark has specifics he can call the Met on violating, there's not much he can do. Unless..... That is, unless he is bringing this matter (and no doubt others) to the attention of the Patriarchate and awaiting their action - which must come sooner or later.
#16 AnonyNotTakingSidesButPointingOut on 2009-11-07 15:28
NOTE: Not a member of the Antiochian Archdiocese
"How can people blame Bishop Mark when it is clear that Metropolitan Phlip simply overrides any decision he makes"? It's easy when: (a) Metropolitan Philip acts contrary to the Holy Canons; and (b) Bishop Mark has apparently violated his vows of consecration. (See pp. 327-328 of Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church, Sixth Edition, by Isabel Florence Hapgood -- and published by the AOCANA.)
According to the AOCANA web site, Metropolitan Philip is the hierarch of the Diocese of New York and Washington, DC; and Bishop Mark is the hierarch of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. The parish of St. George falls within the boundaries of the Midwest diocese, not the New York diocese. While Metropolitan Philip may choose to break the Holy Canons -- and imperil his hierarchical position -- Bishop Mark is not required to allow Metropolitan Philip to interfere with the affairs of Bishop Mark's diocese.
Some reader may counter with the argument that, since His Beatitude Philip is also the Metropolitan of All North America, every parish and institution on the territory of North America is subject to his rule. Can that reader, or anyone else, point me to the Ecumenical Council that repealed the Orthodox doctrine that each bishop is the equal of any other, no matter the hierarchal title assigned to each bishop? If Bishop Mark is true to his vows of consecration, he would accept the exceedingly difficult crosses of (a) intervening in the scandals of the parish of St. George to restore "good order", and(b) undertake the loving discipline of his brother hierarch and formally charge Metropolitan Philip with violating the Holy Canons.
Until the hierarchs of the AOCANA, as well as those of the OCA, stiffen their God-given backbones and take their vows of consecration seriously -- or honorably resign from the hierarchy -- each jurisdiction will continue suffer from the duplicity sown by false hierarchs.
#16.1 Anonymous on 2009-11-09 05:16
to the readers of OCAnews.org,
I inadvertently posted the above anonymously. Please forgive my unintended use of anonymity. When I post on this and other sites I want the readers to know which are my posts, so they may treat them appropriately.
#16.1.1 Mark C. Phinney on 2009-11-11 08:40
everything that fr badeen states in his letter is what fr. antypas stated already at our august meeting. fr. joseph told samra the same things. the letter does not state anything contradicting fr. antypas. samra's original claim was that there was 1 million dollars left for st. george church. fr. joseph said this was not touched by the church and belongs to the towers, a separate entitiy. its funny how now samra changes his words to agree with fr. antypas and our council. what a loser.
#17 Anonymous on 2009-11-07 21:21
Re: "everything that fr badeen states in his letter is what fr. antypas stated already at our august meeting. . . samra's original claim was that there was 1 million dollars left for st. george church. fr. joseph said this was not touched by the church and belongs to the towers, a separate entitiy. . ."
Then why did he call George Samra a liar? What was he lying about?
#17.1 Gail Sheppard on 2009-11-09 10:56
I am not sure of how much more evidence the good people of Troy need to turn this over to the Government, but forgery and Fr. Bedeen's letter is a good start. You know what a fine priest Fr. Bedeen is, and if he says he turned over $1M, then he did. If the people of Troy fear they will damage their church by reporting this, my message is...your church is damaged. Turn this over to an invesigative reporter and the FBI immediately. If you are afraid, which I can understand, do it anonymously. For the good of your church, and all Antiochians, act now.
#18 weary on 2009-11-08 05:21
To weary on:
It is a very sad truth that the parish in Troy is damaged, no matter how they look at it, and even sadder is our entire Archdiocese has been damaged, needlessly, by the selfish acts of a few people. This damage can't be swept under the rug any more - the rug is too bulky to walk on, and the damage won't go away by itself. It's time for all the people involved to wake up, realize what they have done, contact the proper authorities and do whatever they have to do to make it right and honest again. This won't be easy, and it will take time, and yes, loss of money, loss of clergy/laymen, with proper consequences. But it's the only way to stop this lie and start the healing process for everyone across the country, so that we can once again have a holy and healthy church. We cannot continue this charade, which grows worse each week and spreads like cancer. As Mr. Spock said long ago in one of the Star Trek Movies, when he sacrificed himself to save the rest of the crew on the Enterprise, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." It is time to fix what is wrong - we can all work together and make it happen, and those who have no desire to see the right thing done - goodbye - leave the church and leave us alone, and we'll fix the mess you made. And don't come back to bother us ever again, and that means everyone involved, from the top down. This is the only way - otherwise we will have nothing left to hold on to, and we need our holy church and holy faith.
This is reality: Bp. Mark cannot intervene because the Metropolitan won’t allow it. The local synod will not support Bp. Mark’s canonical right to act (they are variably in collusion with the Metropolitan, intimidated by him or looking out for their future best interest). The Metropolitan holds all the power because he controls all the money. The patriarchate will not get directly involved in any of the scandals in North America because it’s “not their way” and because they have been beneficiaries of the financial “ways” of the Metropolitan. For Trekkies it’s known as the kobayashi maru.
#19 Priest Dunsel on 2009-11-08 05:56
Sadly, I think you may be right in this instance.
Pray for our Bishops... All of them, be they here in America or across the oceans...
#19.1 R. Daystrom on 2009-11-09 16:52
I would like to make an appeal to Bp. Mark. Your Grace say something!
While I can understand the seeming untenable position you are in, you are in it. You are no matter what the current momentary trouble you are a canonically enthroned Diocesan Bishop. I know that you object to the Metropolitan's coercive and uncanonical seizing of Episcopal prerogatives belonging to yourself and the other demoted and demeaned equally enthroned Diocesan Bishop's so I ask you, where have you been?
One of your priest's publically excommunicates a faithful steward (George Samara) for?...being a faithful steward. A "public excommunication" who enthroned him? That priest and his priest son in-law continue to accuse and abuse this man in a very public fashion accusing him falsely it is now shown by Fr. Badeen's notarized letter to that parish and you say nothing? You do not use the authority...the responsibility of your office to publically step in and do what you should do while damning if neccessary the consequences of your required action?
Come to the rescue of the innocent your Grace.
#20 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-11-08 12:38
Your Grace, St. Ambrose once said: “Not only for every idle word must man give an account, but for every idle silence.” It is high time that you stand up, speak the truth, and confront the impostors and abusers who are attacking those trying to ask for truth, justice, and accountability.
I respect the arguments of those who are urging Bishop Mark to take some bold action befitting a diocesan bishop. On the other hand, this issue may well be a trap for Bishop Mark; any overt action that he takes may be used as a reason for Metropolitan Philip to do something hurtful and harmful to Bishop Mark and his loyal priests. Just a thought.
#21 Carl on 2009-11-09 08:35
That is true, but then that's the cross he may have to bear. As Orthodox Christians we follow Him who warned us that:
"Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also." (John 15:20-24)
He who hates the truth, whether in or outside the Church, in finances, business, politics, family, etc., by extension hates He who said: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
At this point we do not know what Bishoip Mark has done or is doing,do we?
Do we know what he has said to his brother bishops about this situatuion?
Do we know what he discussed with the Patriarch in June?
Does anyone have copies of correspondene with MP or his brother bishops, canonists, attorneys, etc?
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word fitly spoken.
From the book of Proverbs one of the distinctions between knowledge and wisdom is timing.
Timing is everything.
Let us pray for our Bishops to ACT with wisdom and love.
#21.1.1 anonymous on 2009-11-13 09:16
The exodus from Troy has continued.
They are in financial trouble? WHY?
Records were supposed to be openned according to Fr Joseph?
Where are they?
Whatever takes place from this point forward the ENTIRE PARISH COUNCIL IS LIABLE and THE PARISH MAY REASONABLY SEEK DAMAGES AGAINST THEM_.
*The question is will the damages awarded save them from backtaxes, penalties and legal fees.
OH, YES MP HAS SIGNED ON TO THIS ONE SO THEY MAY SEEK DAMAGES AGAINST HIM AS WELL. THAT IS A MUCH LARGER PURSE.
Now does the rest of the archdiocese want to pick up the BILLl for every crony of MP whom he defends to the detriment of the parish and the archdiocese?
This is simply a MICROCOSM OF THE ARCHDIOCESE.
Do the Board of Trustees want o pick up the BILL for Malfesience?
WE need real BIshops with backbone.
Perhaps we need to get rid of the notion of a Board of Trustees altogether, as they have proved they are completely useless.
#22 anonymous on 2009-11-13 09:08
Well, it seems that Sayidna Mark has spoken, acted, and resonded to the situation. Now let's see who jumps to follow his instructions and who either ignores them entirely or has the Metropolitan "opt them out" of the discipline.
#23 HereWeGo! on 2009-11-20 15:30
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