Friday, July 23. 2010
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When Metropolitan Philip says, "self-rule," he's talking about him "self."
#1 Gail Sheppard on 2010-07-23 14:07
I pray that the people of our American Antiochian church will just stop questioning everything that Metropolitan Philip says & does. I have a distant cousin whose a priest in Montreal and I recently asked him what was true and what isn't true. His reCfply - 'Dont ask questions that don't concern me.'
Let us leave him alone!
#1.1 Elouise Gabriel on 2010-07-24 17:29
Elouise, it is not our fault that we have to question everything MP does. He brought this upon himself, and he refuses to give up.... So yes, anything he says or does is up for question and fine scrutin.... I check his website daily, and I have found some really good things on there, and then some questionable things, not to mention seeing his pictures and his name plastered everywhere. I suggest everyone read www.antiochian.org on a daily basis.
Philip will be left alone when he's no longer occupying the office of metropolitan. Until then, his behavior is rightly subject to scrutiny.
#1.1.2 Calpurnia on 2010-07-28 21:20
Last night, Aug. 19, on the Archdiocese website, were reports from day 1 and 2 of the Holy Synod Meetings in Damascus, complete with photos. I printed them up before I went to sleep.
This morning those reports have been removed from the website. Gee - does anyone see a red flag happening again? According to the reports, MP gave a report on our Archdiocese. There were no specific details, so we have no way of knowing what he said and how much of it was the truth. At the end of the notes from day 2, there was the following paragraph:
" The Fathers affirmed, after careful and lengthy deliberation, that the bishops of the Archdiocese of North America are auxiliary bishops, raised by God and dependent upon the metropolitan who has complete authority over the entire archdiocese. This is on the basis of the study prepared by His Eminence Basil (Mansour) about the position of the bishop historically in the Ortodox Church."
Looks to me that the handwriting is back on the wall, over a year later, and that our Diocesan Bishops have once more been demoted. Gee - was that a random discussion, or was it preplanned, and who requested this to happen? Certainly not MP - he denied the rumors, so who could it be? Unless of course, he didn't tell the truth to his clergy at the Village.
Once again, we have been betrayed by MP and abandoned by the Patriarch and the Holy Synod of Antioch. Without another Bishop from our Archdiocese to have freedom to speak at the meeting, God only knows what MP told them. The Synod knew we were having trouble, and yet they made sure no one could step in and tell the truth.
I WONDER HOW MUCH THE CHECK WAS FOR THIS TIME.
Do some of you out there still trust and believe MP? Don't be fooled. I bet an audit will show how much money we lost in this deal. I call for the audit, independent audit, as it doesn't appear any other audit is taking place. We've been cheated once more folks. How long will this go on?
We actually should go for autocephaly. This way we have no ties to Damascus at all, and we can do things right and honest, without anyone telling us we can't. I think the OCA did the right thing, and they're looking mighty attractive right now. The Patriarch and the Holy Synod no longer care for us, only for our money, so we have no more allegiance to them. We must restore holiness and a healthy atmosphere in our Archdiocese, sooner rather than later.
Indeed, and all the "talk" has only affirmed that the Diocese "Bishops" are tied for any great decision making (clergy assignments especially) by the Met. Finaslly goiing to a Holy Synod meeting in Damascus after so many years is a ploy at best. Met. Philip will always be FOR Met. Philip.
#1.2 Anonymous Antiochian Priest on 2010-07-24 17:46
Thank you, anonymous Father, for speaking out for the right thing to be done. ....Yes, our "Diocesan" Bishops are not true Diocesans, as another Orthodox Priest told me recently. Even though they were restored on paper by conference call, they have no authority, and when they try to use that authority, they get mistreated and berated by their BOSS. Clergy assignments many times get changed in the summer, and we are in the heat of summer right now. Be careful all of you, our loving Fathers, as we don't want you to reveal your names so that MP can suddenly uproot you and your families and send you to new assignments. Don't fix what ain't broke....
You are right, of course, as any person with sanity and an IQ above 80 can see. Unfortunately, not enough in the Antiochian Archdiocese care and, what's more, you're a woman. As we noticed last year, Metropolitan Philip could care less about what you think. Oh, he may be falsely polite and call you "dear," as he did to a brave lady last year, but he will dismiss you nonetheless. Also, Metropolitan Philip himself is only half the problem. Metropolitan Philip is who he is and it seems to work for the Antiochians. Sychophants love him and most others either don't care or are too scared. Priests fear losing their housing allowance during retirement years or being indefinitely suspended, parishes fear losing their buildings if they quit supporting Metropolitan Philip financially, and others fear the kind of hard work it would take to right the ship. Of course, there are some who do care and are doing a "wait and see" approach, and circling their wagons, but one would hope for more from Christians. I sometimes wonder if Orthodox Christians like being pacifists when it comes to spiritual warfare.
#1.3 A Midwest Observer on 2010-07-26 09:55
Amazing how the embezzlements that have been revealed in the Midwest have been downplayed.
I heard St George Cathedral, Toledo lost a lot of money and MP wants it all kept quiet.
Also St George in Troy, MI is facing investigation by the state of Michigan. Perhaps Bishop Mark knows the Midwest much better than MP. Or maybe MP simply knows Mark is getting to close to the skeletons.
MP has a history of rewarding and protecting the guilty and punishing the messenger.
#1.3.1 anonymous clergy on 2010-08-02 19:20
I am not saying I wuold be any more courageous than the Antiochians who are afraid of Metropolitan Phillip--I suggest I'd be pretty far over to the meek end of the spectrum. But I can't help imagining this situation transposed to Apostolic times. The Church at Jerusalem wants all catechumens to be circumcised, but Paul wants no other test but faith. Nevertheless, he gives way to Jerusalem, because he's almost 60 and can't afford to lose his pension at this point. (He's already gotten screwed a number of times on his per diem.) Phillip is reluctant to baptize the eunuch, because he's about to become vested. Peter wants to go to Rome, but his housing allowance got cut after he was seen eating with Gentiles, and he wants to wait to sell his place in Capernaum until the real estate market picks up. You get the point. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." A civil service approach to one's vocation will never do.
#1.3.2 Morton on 2010-08-03 12:06
Gail ... I think you hit the nail right on the head. When I read the comments of the Metropolitan my first response was that 'as long as he is the autocratic dictator he will fight for 'self-rule''. What is saddest, in my mind, is that the clergy, priests and deacons, are so willing to go along with autocracy. But as long as the Metropolitan unilaterally controls their pensions and the pensions of former clergy then no one will fully disagree nor compromise their positions. It's all self-interest and not the interest of Christ nor His Church.
#1.4 Sean O'Clare on 2010-07-27 15:17
That is precisely what I was saying. How many clergy have actually stood up to Metropolitan Philip's misguidance? Few. How many uphold him in near idolatrous fashion? Too many....
#1.4.1 A Midwest Observer on 2010-07-31 22:38
it is not rumers jackass!!! here is the news from the synod...
Auxiliaries it is....and by they way you still a jackass...
#1.5 Met Philip Admirer on 2010-08-19 13:39
Is it better to be a jackass or a dog?
Why is it that Metropolitan Philip seems to be running a zoo?
#1.5.1 A Midwest Observer on 2010-08-26 09:31
It is important to note that Met. Philip is renown for playing Byzantine politics. He says one thing and does another. I don't believe he'd repeal any proclamation of "self-rule." After all, what self-rule? Aren't all bishops consecrated over-seas? Case-in-point, + Philip was very friendly with Fr. Schmemann and was his student, but would + Philip really move the Antiochian Arch. toward joining the OCA as he indicated? Byzantine politics!
#2 Anonymous on 2010-07-23 15:03
Sorry to say this, but where there's smoke, there's probably fire. Once again, we have Metropolitan Phlip up to something. The man has done tremendous things with the Antiochian Archdiocese in America and Canada. Most recently he stood up for Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA at the Episcopal Assembly in New York. But for all the good he has done, he seems to be constantly engaging in back room deals. I hope and pray that there truly is nothing to this recent rumor. And by the way, what ever happened to an audit of the entire Antiochian Archdiocese?
#3 Anon. on 2010-07-23 15:18
Well put, Gail! Himself rules all the other selves. What could be simpler? To object to this would be selfish.
#4 ba'ab on 2010-07-23 15:41
here we go again,,must be the heat or Met.Phillip thinks no one notices because of vacations etc,,I agree with Gail..Self rule = Met.Phillip rules. It will all collapse after he dies
#5 stephen on 2010-07-23 22:03
We go again and again - this will never end as long as MP rules with his iron fist instead of with a loving heart. The heat and vacations have nothing to do with this. He picks the right time to just attack again, and doesn't care who gets in the way. Gail is right again - smart lady. Self rule is self righteous rule in MP's mind - not the best thing for our archdiocese, and yes, even his legacy will collapse when he dies, a legacy that could have been so much better if he had stayed on the right path.
It all depends on what the meaning of 'self' is and what the meaning of 'rule' is.
Given Met. Philip's history, this dispell's nothing in my mind.
Bp Basil I trust, Met. Philip I do not.
#6 Michael Bauman on 2010-07-24 09:54
Well we know his track record for telling the truth.
Joseph sure knows how to grand stand as well.
With MP fragile health why would he go to Damascus unless he wants something dearly?
His passions may get the best of him this time....
#7 anonymous on 2010-07-24 12:24
Yes, MP has a long track record, but it has nothing to do with the truth. It has to do with his image and his selfish needs, nothing to do with the best for our Archdiocese.
BJ also does what he wants when he wants. He can't decide which way to go, and word has it that he will be the next Metropolitan. Big mistake. We definitely need someone who is truly caring for his flock and who will lead us out of this mess and back to the right road. Bishops who can't make up their minds, who don't protect their flock and who are afraid to stand up to MP and the Holy Synod of Antioch, not to mention the BGC, have no right to remain as Bishops.
MP is risking everything to make sure his continued selfish desires are carried out. He doesn't even seem to care about his own health any more. That's easy for him to say, but when he's gone, the mess will be left for everyone to clean up, if that is possible.
If Glorious Leader told me that the sky was blue I'd still look up and check.
#8 Kevin Klein on 2010-07-24 13:37
Kevin, Glorious Leader is no longer. He used to be, and most of us respected him as our Metropolitan. No more - not after last year, not after all the secrets, and certainly not with the latest developments in this second year of strife. His days of glory are long gone, and he is the one who threw it all away. I wonder if it was really worth it to him?
Yes, if he told me the street was safe to cross, I wouldn't trust his judgement. I would look for myself. The sky will be blue once again, but it will take a lot of work to bring it back.
Metropolitan Philip was willing to defend self rule last year provided it include auxiliary bishops. Look at the record of +Philip’s contradictions that the Orthodox Attorneys website compiled last year during the height of the crisis. Why believe him now?
He would not be travelling to Damascus against medical advice without major hidden plans.
Also, why is Bp. Joseph just conveniently going to be in Damascus during the Synod meeting? All of the diocesan bishops should attend as Patriarch Ignatius advised them last year...
As an addendum, I found it interesting at last week’s clergy symposium that the room accommodations were made according to hierarchical seniority: Bp. Antoun, Fr. Anthony Gabriel (he of the June 2009 revised Patriarchal Synodal Resolution), Bp. Joseph, Bp. Basil, Bp. Thomas, Bp. Mark, Bp. Alexander. What does this say about who’s ahead of who?
God pity our old and failing metropolitan who cannot let go of his worldly power and lingering vendettas.
#9 Skeptical Antiochian Priest on 2010-07-24 18:44
Quick comment - Bishop JOSEPH is going to be in Damascus during the Holy Synod meeting? He's a member of the Local Synod, not the Holy Synod of Antioch. Will he be allowed to attend if MP goes? I also heard that Fr. Michel Najim will also be in the Middle East during the time of the meeting. Do you think all 3 of them will be allowed to attend the meeting, and for what purpose? Sounds fishy to me....
I pray that the truth will finally reveal itself.
Sayidna Philip, it's time to retire with class... The water calmed last July, the storm has finally arrived. Lord Have Mercy...
#10 Craig Stephens, St. George-Wichita on 2010-07-24 21:25
Let's think about this; Met Phil is going to the Holy Synod. He says he will fight to keep "self-rule." However, after much backroom dealings, perhaps there will be others in attendance that will vote to eliminate "self-rule" and Met Phil will return to the USA saying that he had nothing to do with it and that is was the will of the majority at the Holy Synod.
#11 weary on 2010-07-25 03:45
You pegged it perfectly. His appearance over there will be for show only, because all the leg work was probably done before he boarded the plane. The fat check from our Archdiocese will convince the Synod to revoke our self rule, and MP will come home smelling like roses. He'll never admit he engineered it all. Another form of deceit. When will the lies stop?
please respect yourself gail by showing respect to your metropolitan. no need for these kind of petty remarks. many years master.
#12 Anonymous on 2010-07-25 14:45
Initially, this sounds like a good thing! Unfortunately, with his track record, +Philip is quite infamous for speaking out of both sides of his mouth!! We will just have to wait and see what the final results are, and let us all pray that this announcement is what is really in his heart!!!
#13 David Barrett on 2010-07-25 18:37
What sounds like a good thing? The rumor that MP wants to revoke self rule or his denial that this plan exists? We know he will do what is best for him, and regardless of his flock, we will not be smiling when the announcement comes. There is nothing true in his heart - he continues to prove that over and over. I don't think we're going to be happy when the news finally does come out, and they have done a good job keeping it all under wraps.
Of course it's Gail or kevin kirwan who I guessed would be first to comment. haha. i'm so right.
#14 Whatever on 2010-07-26 06:28
It really doesn't matter who commented first on this breaking news. The point is everyone needs to share their comments and their frustrations at this continuing problem of MP not accepting Diocesan Bishops. The truth should be told this coming week when news comes back online, and then we'll know who did what to whom with whose help and who was honest and who was not. Gail and Kevin are very right to comment - don't hold back folks. Share anything you know with us - no matter how new or old it is - we don't all know things that others do, and the more we know, the more we will turn away from MP and question his every move. We have the right to know.
more haters for the metropolitan....what a shame that a man that gives his life for the church is talked about in this way. Gail, please leave constructive remarks. The comment above is rather inflammatory and rude. Let us have some respect for this man and the office he occupies.
#15 Anonymous on 2010-07-27 04:39
Dear Yenta Gail,
I see your back with your tired comments. Stop harranging poor Metro P. Why are you so cynical? Why don't you do something constructive with your life instead of defaming venerable hierarchs? Better yet join another Chrisitan denomination. I hear the Methodists and Presbyterians might need your biting sarcasm.
Bring the annonymous Antiochian priests and the others with you.
#15.1 Anonymous on 2010-07-27 10:54
WHAT RETIREMENT? We Ant. have NO retirement. Met. P. did'nt want one as the OCA & Greek Arch have? We have a HOUSING ALLOW> for $800. month. Try living on that plus S/Scty Met. P.!
The ALLOWANCE# is NOT vested and CAN be taken away at anytime (been done lots of times) by the Met. What a lie you have been fed!
Clergy at the recent Symposium (3 nearing retirement age) CANNOT retire for obvious reasons. What a FACADE Met. P. concocted. Why? So he would be a hero to the Pariswh Councils that would have to pay in (4 or 5%) to a real RETIREMENT!
#15.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-07-28 20:26
Please Anonymous ... just because a person has "given their life" for a cause doesn't mean that their cause is 100% worthy nor that they should be above disagreement. Met. Philip is, in his own way and functioning, an autocrat and he completely believes that his cause is ALWAYS right ... but not everyone else agrees in ALL of his programs or policies. Let people disagree. As they say, the bulwark of America and its form of democracy is the belief that 'intelligent people can disagree and still be friends'. I'll believe the Metropolitan truly cares about his clergy, for instance, when he vests their retirement so that NO ONE can take away what they have earned ... no one, and that means, not even the Metroplitan himself.
#15.2 Sean O'Clare on 2010-07-27 15:26
Why don't you practice what you preach, and show Gail and the rest of us some respect by having the guts to sign your name to your posts??
#15.3 David Barrett on 2010-07-27 18:19
kevin kirwan, mr. barrett, craig stephens and the likes show no class whatsoever in their bad-mouthing of our metropolitan. i do not like the self rule status and would like to see things go back to the way they were 10 years ago...it has done nothing but bring headache. learn to show respect for our metropolitan and control your mouths. self rule or not, i am ashamed of some of these disparging remarks.
#16 Anonymous on 2010-07-27 12:19
At least we have the courage, the openness, the forthrightness, and the honesty to sign our own names to our posts!!
#16.1 David Barrett on 2010-07-28 11:40
Bishop Basil is sounding the alarm. We have something to worry about or the question wouldn't have been asked.
#17 Gail Shepparrd on 2010-07-27 18:37
"..sounding the alarm.."if he were really alarmed he should show his face in Damascus at the Synodal meeting and stand up for the Truth-he is no better than +Philip by keeping his mouth shut.And I thought +Basil was a man of integrity!So much for knowing a man for 45 years.
#17.1 Abuna Habib on 2010-08-03 18:27
I PRAY THAT GOD GRANTS YOU,SAYIDNA PHILIP, MANY, MANY, MANY MORE YEARS MASTER!! I say this despite the number of comments above that would object to this prayer.
#18 Anonymous on 2010-07-27 19:35
Maybe I am guilty of wishful thinking, but perhaps there is more going on than a power play by Met. Philip.
No matter what character flaws Met. Philip may have, he has always been a strong proponent of Orthodox Christian outreach and unity here in North America.
If we consider all that has transpired in the last year concerning the issues of Autonomy, Autocephaly, and Orthodox Christian unity in the West, perhaps we are on the brink of a breakthrough.
It has often been opined that the Antiochian's might join the OCA and expand the Autochephalous Orthodox Church in North America, but what if the OCA joins a truly Autonomous Antiochian Church to further the cause of Orthodox unity in North Americal.
If one considers all that has transpired in recent months, this possibility may be a path forward.
#19 Marc Trolinger on 2010-07-28 14:52
Yes, throwing away autocephaly and submitting to the Church of Antioch would definitely be a step forward for the Albanian, American, Bulgarian, Canadian, Georgian, Mexican, Romanian, and Russian Orthodox churches now part of the OCA...
#19.1 Jon Marc on 2010-07-29 10:58
The one holy catholic and apostolic Orthodox Church is not limited in scope to the Albanian, American, Bulgarian, Canadian, Georgian, Mexican, Romanian, and Russian components of the OCA. If you listen to Met. Jonah, you will have a better understanding of His vision for the Church in North America and how this vision can serve to bring us together as Orthodox Christians to serve the needs of all of those who are seeking the way that leads to truth and life.
#19.1.1 Marc Trolinger on 2010-07-29 16:56
All I've heard Vladyka Jonah say has been in the vein of giving up our 'limited recognition' autocephaly to join a broader, universally recognized autocephaly that would be acceptable to the phyletists in Constantinople. He said nothing about giving ourselves over to a foreign Orthodox Church, whether it be our mother Russian Orthodox Church or one of the other world Orthodox Churches.
My reference to the diversity of the OCA was only to highlight the ridiculousness of the idea that we should submit to the Church of Antioch (or any of the mono-ethnic Churches in the Balkans or the Middle East).
#184.108.40.206 Jon Marc on 2010-07-31 12:37
God's Church is not defined by national or ethnic components, but rather by those who share the faith of Abraham. The majority of Israelites failed to understand this at the time of our Lord's Incarnation, and sadly the majority of of New Israel, the Orthodox Christian Church, fail to understand this today.
Met. Johah does understand this, and has tried to impart this reality to those in North America who truly share the Holy Ancient Faith. Those who live in the secular world that do not understand the true nature and structure of the Church, will never be receptive to the "big picture."
#220.127.116.11.1 marc trolinger on 2010-08-04 18:15
Marc, you are dreaming. Metropolitan Philip has only used the "joining the OCA card" as a threat when Antioch does something he doesn't like. He used this threat back in 2003 when he got the Synod of Antioch to pass self-rule.
Keep in mind that this same Metropolitan Philip, in the summer or 2010 supposedly the champion of OCA autocephaly, was in the summer of 2009 the one threatening to start his own seminary and sending essentially all new students to Holy Cross (while threatening to move exisiting STS and SVS students there, as well). How quickly we forget!
Metropolitan Philip has long been the champion of Orthodox unity in America, but has done very little to actually see it accomplished. Even those times when he seemed to be helping the process (Ligonier), it was very much on his own terms. Now we have the Episcopal Assembly and a real shot at Orthodox unity and he was the only bishop who was cynical and sarcastic about it at the EA and afterwards.
Metropolitan Philip spoke about Orthodox unity in this country during the same session that Mark reported on him dispelling rumors. He essentially scoffed at the notion of there ever being Orthodox unity in this country. He also said quite clearly that he hopes there is never another Ecumenical Council because there is no Emperor to enforce the decisions. And he even noted--strangely--that the decision to move to the New Calendar was divisive, implying that it was the wrong decision. This despite the fact that he himself is a "New Calendarist" and has long been a critic of the Old Calendarist "fundamentalist" types.
What it boils down to: Metropolitan Philip goes with whatever way the wind blows to benefit himself.
The saddest part is that the Metropolitan seems to have sharply dropped off intellectually. He has moments where he is very sharp, but by far most of the time he labors to even read a speech. He is not near as dynamic or charismatic (though he still can put on a good smile once in a while).
Many of us priests have concluded that Metropolitan Philip is now being controlled by the so-called "Glee Club." The Metropolitan used to be able to filter out some of their devious ways, but now he seems to be taken captive by them. I, along with many, hope that this trip is to announce his retirement.
#20 Antiochian Priest on 2010-07-28 20:59
Although I am often guilty of wishful thinking, I am no dreamer.
Your reflections and concerns are very powerful and are supported by the weight of much evidence. However, Met. Philip is a complex individual just like you and me.
#20.1 Marc Trolinger on 2010-07-29 17:01
Hopefully the Metropolitans in Damascus remember the many years he has misrepresented their decisions.
Have our faithful forgotten as well.
#20.2 anonymous clergy on 2010-08-02 19:11
This antiochian priest that wrote the above should be defrocked. You disgust me with your comments and aren't worthy to be called a priest. You will be retired long before our metropolitan, especially if you sign your name, coward.
#21 Sam Sayegh on 2010-07-29 19:30
Metropolitan Philip is the one who should be defrocked, not the brave priests who speak out against him.
At best, Metropolitan Philip should reap what he's sown and "enjoy" the same kind of impoverished retirement he gives to his priests, with even that meager livelihood in the hands of someone who will withdraw it in an instant if MP dares to displease him. Sic semper tyrannis!
#21.1 Cordelia on 2010-07-30 07:07
I have a very interesting comment. Does anyone have an opinion as
to why Fr. Anthony Gabriel raises money for the archdiocese and takes a commission of nearly 6% ? If say, I donate $100,000 to the archdiocese, Fr. Anthony takes $6,000 of it. I think
this is very wrong. It looks very bad that a priest is raising money for the archdiocese and keeping a percentage of the peoples gift. This is a fact. Metropolitan Philip isn't the only one who has a lot of explaining to do... When my husbands brother died unexpectedly and he donated a large gift to the church,
did Fr. Gabriel keep a part of it?
#22 Sophia Abou-Haider, (Montreal) on 2010-07-29 20:47
First off, you have to be SURE about what you state. Paying a fund raiser on commission is a good way to get them to produce, however, I don't know if what you state about Fr. Anthony is true. Please check your facts and/or sources!
(editor's note: Actually, the practice is frowned upon by all professional non-profit fund raising organizations.)
#22.1 Anonymous on 2010-07-30 07:01
Dear Sophia (made up name) Haider,
Get your facts straight. Fr. Antony has a special mission raising funds for the Antiochian Village to help those children ineed and to improve the facilities of this wonderful camp. Your facts are made up and askew.
100% of all donations made to the Archdiocese go to the Archdiocese Treasury to be distributed to worthy charitable cause. There is no skimming of 6% from these donations.
Sami Abu Masuri
#22.2 Anonymous on 2010-07-30 07:11
Until your archdiocese has an independent, external audit, you have no detailed knowledge of where the money is going.
#22.2.1 A Midwest Observer on 2010-08-02 12:45
Say what you want about how my Metropolitan does things but he is my metropolitan and I support him 100%
He has done many great things both for the archdiocese and for my family and I am so glad to have him as my leader and Bishop.
#23 Jacob on 2010-07-29 21:09
Jacob, you can only say that because you are not ready to retire and you haven't yet fully realized that Met. Philip has total control over your retirement funds (if you are a priest, which you may or may not be). He has granted total retirement to priests who would have been defrocked and sent away in humiliation yet denied retirement to priests who have done more for Orthodoxy than any other priests in the history of Orthodoxy in the United States.
Please don't say how much he has done for your family, it is only temporary. You truly don't know what he will do with a priest and his life after he retires, until you have lived it. I know too many retired priests who are suffering too much because of the punishment the Metropolitan has given out, without cause. And I know too many priests who have been rewarded, again, without cause (and yes, I can name names).
#23.1 Sean O'Clare on 2010-07-30 17:08
Amen to you jacob and to all those that have clarified the lies concerning fr. anthony. it turns my stomach how so many could willfully create stories to cause damage and yet call themselves christians. clearly your goal of destruction will not come to fruition.
#24 Anonymous on 2010-07-30 12:42
Besides Metropolitan Philip, Bishop Joseph and Father Gabriel, who is going to the Holy Synod meeting? Do we know when they will be leaving?
#25 gail sheppard on 2010-07-30 18:05
Sami, I have met Sophia, she is an actual living, breathing, human being... AND..... Fr. Anthony does take a 'cut' 'percentage' and or commission of everything that he raises for the archdiocese. Call it what you want, the man takes a share ! Take your personal feelings and check them at the door. Facts are facts. He is a priest, a highly respected senior priest who goes around seeking very large donors and gifts for the archdiocese on the national level. BUT.... BUT.... BUT.... don't be fooled and don't confuse the facts, that he does take approximately almost 6 percent off the top of every gift, TAX FREE! And if for a second you don't believe me, and if you need to continue to defend the poor and innocent victims of our national church, at least defend them when they are being attacked, and DON'T defend them when they are doing wrong.
CALL ANYONE ON THE ARCHDIOCESE BOARD, they will CONFIRM that this priest is a 'contracted commission employee'
Is he doing wrong? OH YES HE IS...... I attend a very old and small parish in Texas, and if our priest 'sought' to get a large gift for our parish and 'kept' a percentage, he'd be out. Out like a dog. Am I comparing Fr. Anthony or any priest to a dog? No I am not... But, the days of pretending that 'kharah' isn't going on in every way, those days are over.
Many people are deeply divided in this archdiocese, because many many people have been getting away with a lot of things for a long time. Thank you Mark Stokoe for not taking Metropolitan Philip's threats to heart. Thank you to say three of our Bishops for standing up for whats right and not for what they have been told. Mainly thank you to a few select individuals who aren't afraid anymore. Fr. Gabriel keeps his share. ...
Let us open an inquiry as to what a poor decision it was to grant Fr. Gabriel the right to keep approximately 6 percent of all he raises tax free. And speaking of inquiries, aren't we all still waiting for this infamous budget report of the last 45 years. Folks, it's not coming, the infamouse budget report. It isnt coming because it was advised that it would be very 'dangerous and risky' to create such a report.
Sami, do you want to reply that I am 'not real'. I am real Sami, and I personally don't care if you are or you aren't....
LET THE TRUTH COME OUT PEOPLE......
NO COMMISSION's for Fr. Anthony Gabriel
NO MORE LIES regarding the last two years
AND REVEAL THE TRUTH about our money.... PLAIN AND SIMPLE
It is our money after all isn't it?
Your collections, your fundraisers, St. Ignatius, it all comes from we, the local people.
#26 Anonymous.... (for a reason) on 2010-07-30 20:58
Let's give His Eminence the benefit of the doubt. If however upon his return from Damascus a whole bunch of diocesan episcopal gear shows up on e-bay we'll all know we got sucker punched...again.
It also might not be a bad idea to employ the services of some sort of forensics expert in document forgeries to examine any letters, decree's ect. that may be posted on the Archdiocesan website following this get together.
Other than that, I say we trust him...somewhat, sort of.
#27 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-07-31 21:28
It's a shame that so many who post here "filter" the issues within the Antiochian archdiocese through an evaluation based more on the cult of personality. It is a profound waste of the precious gift of life which God has granted us to squander it on personal judgments of the individual(s) in the current limelight; good, bad, or otherwise. If Church history reveals anything, it is simply this: the memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise, and the collective mind of the Church quickly discerns of those who seek to guide and direct Her progress with worldly, materialistic, or passionate minds to be numbered among the unjustified.
Not all who "populate" our churches are here for the right reasons. The wheat and the tares will continue to grow together. Our challenge is to remember that the Divine Judge will at His Harvest rightly assign each of us to the final destination of our own devices.
Where lies our hope; and where must we concentrate our life and focus?
By the grace of God and through the Lord's visitation upon His Vineyard, we continue to see the fresh new green leaves appearing on the vine (thank God for His pruning!). Little by little we will continue to see more of our faithful "reborn in the Holy Spirit" who require of their clergy a higher standard and practice within parish life, and within the archdiocese. This energy will greatly influence our future for the Good. This is enough for now.
I, for one, would greatly appreciate hearing more from Orthodox Christians who are less motivated by fear and gossip, who have something godly to share regarding our deeper hopes, prayers, and longing for our beloved Lord through our life in His Church.
The audience is out there for this type of good "news". Let's hear more from you.
#28 A servant of God striving for a more transparent soul on 2010-08-01 18:30
Good comment! I'll take you up on that.
Despite some long overdue disillusionment over the fact that all men -including Orthodox Christians - are sinners, our parish has experienced an awaking to the deeper reality of the Faith and has joyfully received quite a number of newly baptized, converts received through chrismation, and yet more serious Inquirers.
Scandals come and go, but the Church of Christ remains.
#28.1 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-08-06 18:48
I have been in sales for over 35 years and I know an opportunity when I see it.
If the Antiochian Archdiocese would hand over to me their mailing and donor list I would be willing to take a measley, paltry and downright miniscule 4% commission on all funds raised for the Archdiocese. That's an extra $100,000 in their pockets on the first $5,000,000 I bring in.
Now unless Fr. Anthony is kicking back some commish we don't know about?... that ain't chump change for the Archdiocese. How many little winter time get-aways to Florida or Vegas would that cover?
I'll also lay a great foundation for the future instituting among other things, The Jr. Order of St. George. We'll get our most precious commodity our ambitious youth, future business leaders and hard working wage earners eager to receive medals and recognition in our official publications. (I've got two or three other great fundraisers but ya gotta show me the green first)
Uh now just in case I don't get this gig I'm still expecting a cut off this Jr. St. George idea.
#29 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-05 11:28
Please folks leave fr. Antony alone. he does get 4% on top of his full salary and benefits but he also gets the dough for +Philip. Let's focus on the metropolitan's trip to the holy synod. Very reliable sources connected to the patriarchate confirm that he is lobbying the metropolitans to demote our bishops to auxiliaries. He has not learned anything from last year.He can't wait to get rid of bishop Mark and Alexander will probably be next and God knows who else. Pray for this archdiocese and the salvation of the church in NA.
#30 fr. thoroughgood on 2010-08-07 08:07
Here we go Mark as some of us expected.
The following unconfirmed report posted on the net and corroborated by some inside sources.
"They (the holy synod) then listened to a report from His Eminence Metropolitan Phillip (Saliba), metropolitan of the Archdiocese of North America, about the state of the archdiocese and aspects of the apostolic and pastoral work there, where His Eminence explained the development of the archdiocese in all fields.
The Fathers affirmed, after careful and lengthy deliberation, that the bishops of the Archdiocese of North America are auxiliary bishops, raised up by God and dependent upon the metropolitan who has complete authority over the entire archdiocese. This is on the basis of the study prepared by His Eminence Basil (Mansour) about the position of the bishop historically in the Orthodox Church"
Plus this email from our old friend Walid Khalife:
Yes this from your favorite, Walid Khalife:
"I just wanted to drop you this fast message from my fortune teller who came to me and told me that we are back to the Auxiliaries Bishops Era again. The Synod in Syria decided that our beshops are Auxiliaries...Yes Mt. Philip again proved that he is the boss may God grant him many many years."
Mark, many hope that you have it within you to do as you did last year and convey the truth. Otherwise, I fear all past efforts will be for naught.
#31 disgusted antiochian priest on 2010-08-19 15:13
Log on to www.antiochianladiocese.org and read the Thought for the Day for 8-19-10. It says it all about justice vs. injustice and what we are dealing with in our Archdiocese. It also shows how fragile injustice truly is and the trouble that follows it. Is this what we Orthodox faithful want - no way......
Do you have any info on what happened in the synodal meeting in Syria? There was an announcement on the patriarchate's webpage that said that the antiochian bishops were in fact auxiliaries. However, today it is no longer there.
#33 GH on 2010-08-21 22:35
Ah, we see now what happened in Damascus, and it ain't pretty.
Self rule we got. But we can't complain, it is what we deserve.
#34 Robert on 2010-08-23 20:44
So MP lied to his clergy at the village. Do they still feel relieved at their so-called safe "self rule" status? I don't. I knew he was up to no good, but him to sit there, deny, lie and convince some of you that all was well - he really scraped the bottom of the barrel.
I hope all of you are now convinced, with the final word posted today, that MP is fighting for his own selfish rule, and not fighting for anything else. Get it thru your heads - he cares nothing for any of us. We're on our own, with no support. Kind of like being in a row boat with no paddles. I don't feel safe, and neither should you.
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