Wednesday, August 25. 2010
Damascus has spoken, with a revealing Freudian slip in the last line of the text. Your comments are welcome.
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Ah....very nice, our primate working against his own church! Oh how he loves us!
#1 antionymous on 2010-08-25 12:59
Bishop Basil is to be in Constantinople a month from now to see the Ecumenical Patriarch. What does this mean? Will +Jonah open the OCA to disaffected Self Ruled North American Archdiocese "NOT"? At this moment, I plan to honor my commitment of giving through December 31, 2010. After that, if the situation stands as it does now, I will determine what is in the best interest of my family. There is no OCA in my area, so I may have to move an Anglican congregation until this corrupt administration passes. My family came to the US three generations ago from Turkey, but we are Americans looking for an American Orthodox Church. If Damascus has to curry favor with the Assad family, I can understand it, but I don't desire my tithes be a part of any tribute to corrupt, terrorist regimes. God help us all.
#1.1 Diogenes on 2010-08-26 06:15
With all respect, going tot he anglican Church is a Coward's response!
The Orthodox Church is govened by the Holy Synod and the Patriarch, they made a rulign if we agree with it or not is not the point we MUST adn SHOULD be obedient to the Church and the Holy Synod.
Regarding the letter of apperication by the PAtriarch to President Assad, I see no problem with that in fact under his leadership in Syria he have assisted the Church in its charities including him personally visiting several of our monasteries in Syria and with Patriarch Ignatius; no difference with oru MEtropolitan's visiting with the PResident of the U.S.
We sometime think too much as American's and not enough as ORthodox who MUST be obedient to all ORthodox Bishops.
(Editor's note: Ah, to compare the elected President of the United States to the unelected dictator of Syria (however nice a man Dr. Assad may be personally) is not acceptable. One is free to criticize Mr. Obama anywhere in the USA. I do not recommend criticizing Dr. Assad anywhere in Syria. THere is a profound difference, and if you are being duplicitious in attempting to equate the two leaders.)
#1.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 09:29
While I share your disgust, you cannot go apostate over it. It is a grave sin to abstain from the life of the Church that way.
No one says your tithe has to go to the Antiochians. If there are no other Orthodox around, at least stay at your parish for the sake of the Mysteries. Give your tithe to the OCA by donating online. Give to the IOCC. There are many worthy causes.
But no scandal is worth excommunicating yourself over. That doesn't hurt the church, that only hurts you and your family.
#1.1.2 Layman John on 2010-08-26 13:54
actually, it hurts the church to. because we love you.
#188.8.131.52 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 18:06
I understand your desire to assimilate, yet remain Christian. But please do not jump from fire to the frying pan. The "conservative" Anglicans are already ordaining women to the priesthood; they are heterodox.
This too will pass... and a hundred years from now your children/loved ones will be Orthodox.
#1.1.3 Aristobolus on 2010-08-26 15:53
>>"There is no OCA in my area, so I may have to move an Anglican congregation until this corrupt administration passes."
Not even speaking to the fact that you are leaving the Orthodox communion, do you honestly feel that the Anglican church is going to be so much better? When you say "Anglican" I assume that it means not "Episcopalian" -- and outside of the UK, doesn't that mean a small splinter group from the Episcopalian fold that is trying to stay close to what they think is right? I've been to such services and I really wish them well but that is a better option -- long term? The Episcopal-style communions are not immune to problems.
Have you truly exhausted all of the Orthodox options (even starting a mission)? Isn't it worth it?
#1.1.4 You really don't have to leave on 2010-08-26 17:42
They should remove the "self-ruled" from the title now. Truth in advertising and all.
Does anyone have a link to the Synodal decision granting self-rule to see how it compares to the language of this text?
#2 Quizzical on 2010-08-25 14:07
http://www.antiochian.org/news/Release20031020SelfRule.htm for self-rule proclamation.
#3 Anonymous on 2010-08-25 14:09
Your Patriarch and Holy Synod spoke that means sit down and Shut-up!
#4 Anonymous on 2010-08-25 14:09
Just as the church "sat down and shut-up" in response to Arianism, Iconoclasm and the false union of Ferra-Florence?
#4.1 antionymous on 2010-08-25 15:19
"Your Patriarch and Holy Synod spoke that means sit down and shut up!"
Uh, yeah. I think that's what someone told Mark of Ephesus after Florence.
#4.2 Sheesh on 2010-08-25 15:35
"Arabic Test" indeed. In exchange for total power over every diocese and bishop, His Eminence ties the Archdiocese explicitly and completely to the Patriarchate. In what sense will MP and his Auxiliaries comprise a synod? In what sense is the Archdiocese "self-ruling" (any more, or less that any other Archdiocese of the Patriarchate)?
(Editor's note: These are fair questions. Can an Archbishop have a "synod" with his auxiliaries? Has anybody ever heard of such a thing in the history of the Church?
As for "Self-Rule" I think the answer is much more clear. It now means nothing more than such a term does in any other Archdiocese of the Patriarchate. )
#5 life long member of the AOCA on 2010-08-25 14:15
I suggest visit the PAtriarch website: the doc is in arabic (use google transaltor): www.antiochpat.com
#6 Anonymous on 2010-08-25 14:22
Glorious news!!! I am thrilled and excited about this! May God Grant the Holy Synod and its members many many years! Historic, indeed!
#7 Anonymous on 2010-08-25 15:26
Well, that didn't last long. And Metropolitan Philip has sure changed his tune since his "self-rule at all costs, even if it means splitting with Damascus and taking my toys elsewhere" talk.
Forget the term "Self-Ruled." When are we going to be honest and stop using the term "Orthodox"? There's certainly nothing orthodox about the various ecclesiologies being bandied about by the Old World churches to buttress nostalgic imperialism and keep American dollars flowing back overseas these days.
Where's Jesus Christ in all of it?
#8 Gregory on 2010-08-25 15:48
I've had to keep pushing back my brain from looking forward to our Primate's passing. It's un-Christian, but so is solidifying deals with old country buddies like you would in a corporation instead of helping the Church grow.
At this point, the AOCANA is more converts than anything else, and the few remaining 'loyalists' to +Philip are outnumbered. This decision may very well cause an uprising against him. I welcome it.
#9 Disgusted on 2010-08-25 15:57
I agree that the decision is frustrating, but do you really want an "uprising" of converts? Do you know anything about the EOC?
I'm a convert myself. I understand the frustrations of the faithful Antiochians who have to deal with all of this. But we could all use a measure of humility, no? Could you at least consider the possibility that, as bad as things are now, an "uprising" headed by converts might end up being worse?
It seems like the idea of revolution is so deeply embedded into the American mindset that we can't help but bring it into the Church.
#9.1 Alexis on 2010-08-26 06:25
If you think it is only converts who are disgusted at this, you are mistaken. There are converts and cradles on both sides.
#9.1.1 A Midwest Observer on 2010-08-26 08:51
You should reconsider my response in light of the parent post. Please, re-read both carefully.
Though I don't doubt that this burns cradle and convert alike.
#184.108.40.206 Alexis on 2010-08-26 17:10
My point was that you took his numbers and emphasis on converts without question. So, my retort could be seen as applied to both of you, but I replied to you to continue the thread and because you accepted so willingly this notion of a convert uprising.
I am glad you're willing to acknowledge that there are converts and cradles on both sides because there are. Anyone who doesn't think so hasn't been paying attention.
People may raise the EOC, but most former EOCer's seem to be OK with the situation and at least several of them were ashamed of the few who spoke out last year, from what I know.
This decision has all kinds of people of all kinds of backgrounds on both sides.
Of course, there's also the question of whether something is inherently wrong because it is instigated by "converts," but I'll leave that one alone for now.
#220.127.116.11.1 A Midwest Observer on 2010-08-27 05:59
You are absolutely right.
The division is not between convert and arab, it is between tribal and non-tribal thinking.
There are many faithful and good Arab clergy and faithful in the AOCANA.
Even many immigrants who have vision for evangelism and growth in the new world. :-0
The problem is with A VERY FEW of the arab immigrant clergy and MP who think like the first century JEWS.
Actually, I should not demean the first century Jews who were at least desperate to keep their TRADITIONS, but thought Jewish exclusivity was part of the covenant!
If the Balamand Glee Club continues to rule there will be no place for non-Arabic speaking Arabs, or even Arabs who are not recent immigrants. There will be no room for those who marry outside the tribe.
Lord, have mercy.
The Patriarchate is circling the wagons and sending a clear message they have NO VISION FOR ORTHODOXY outside a TRIBAL EXPRESSION.
#18.104.22.168 anonymous on 2010-08-27 11:22
The actions of an “unholy synod” who have prostituted themselves for +Philip and his henchman +Joseph who has sold his soul to be heir.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
To those who are true to the holy gospel, “depart from that house…shake off the dust from your feet.”
#10 Rabbi on 2010-08-25 16:10
I have a very important question for the Patriarch, the Holy Synod and MP - exactly how much money was exchanged for the decision to demote our bishops once again?
And you, MP - you said you would fight to keep self rule. How much fighting did you do and with whom? You knew about this ahead of time, so did Bishop BASIL, who blew the whistle on you at Antiochian Village. You sat there and denied the whole issue, when you knew what was going to happen. How do you sleep at night?
MP gave his report. Was anyone on our side there to question, refute his words or explain the truth? Who knows? The photo shows Bishop JOSEPH there - why was he there? Did he have a chance to speak up on behalf of the Archdiocese with the truth, or did he just sit there in silence, as he has for the past 18 months, and allow this scene to be played out?
Gee - I wonder who the next Metropolitan will be - seems to me that's already been decided. This is a great tragedy today for our Archdiocese, a great disappointment, another betrayal by MP - AKA JUDAS - who sold us for how much? Judas sold Christ for 50 pieces of silver. I'm sure the price this time was much more.
ANAXIOS, ANAXIOS, ANAXIOS. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR LEAVING US IN THE HANDS OF THIS MONSTER.
WITHHOLD ALL MONEY TO ENGLEWOOD UNTIL HONESTY PREVAILS ONCE AGAIN.
Y'know I would have accepted Bp. Joseph as the next Metropolitan, but I feel like he was in on the betrayal.....
#11.1 antionymous on 2010-08-25 18:30
Once again, MP demonstrates that the Board of Trustees is assembled for fund raising purposes only.
Give me your money and keep your opinions to yourself.
Once again MP demonstrates the Canons mean nothing to him and the Holy Synod of damascus. *Absolutely nothing*.
Once again MP demonstrates that money buys power and influence.
Once again he demonstrates the constitution means nothing!
Once again he demonstrates the national convention and its resolutions mean absolutely nothing.
Send the red ribbons back. Quit the Order
Designate your funds to the local parish as restricted for a specific purpose.
Philip BETRAYED the archdiocese.
The Holy Synod betrayed us.
As MP stated at the episcopal assembly, why do we allow bishops who live thousands of miles away to make decissions for a people they do not know.
#12 anonymous on 2010-08-25 17:26
i couldnt be any happier about this news. i always thought that the way things were 7 years ago was perfect. it is such a blessing that the synod reversed this 7 year long mistake that was diocesean bishops.
#13 Anonymous on 2010-08-25 17:56
"Arabic Test", indeed. Only those who can read Arabic are allowed a voice. The rest of you are welcome to give us your money and do whatever we say!
Hey, didn't we establish back in the Fax of Englewood days that the Antiochian Patriarchate uses Arabic and French letterhead? Why is the new statement on letterhead similar to the forged fax rather than the legitimate one? It takes the same tack that the forged fax did, in that "Auxiliaries" is shoehorned into the Arabic text for the sake of the sad little white people. This document does not appear on the antiochpat.org website.
Either this is a forgery, or the entire Synod of Antioch has fallen into a damnable ecclesiological heresy.
I don't know much Arabic, but since the other common language of Syria is French, here's something that all of them will be able to understand: J'ACCUSE!
#14 Cordelia on 2010-08-25 18:08
With all respect Arabic is the official Language of the Holy Synod and the PAtriarchate. That is why all MEtropolitans in the Holy Synod must speak and read/write arabic - If you agree with it or npot in not the point.
I read the doccument by using Google transaltor and my limited knowledge of reading arabic.
You comments are typical of Americans (That is why when I travel I do not say I am American) - American feel there is no other language besides English, We have to accept the fact we are part of "Antiochia" Church - which is headquartered in Syria and its official language in arabic; in this country we are fortunate that our services are in english but official doc with the mother Church is in Arabic; Would anyone complain if it was the Vactan and it was in LAtin?
(Editor's note: I think you have missed the point, friend. I am not aware anyone was complaining about the language(s) the resolution appeared in. It was the content that many find unacceptable.)
#14.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 20:54
An eloquent, albeit disgusting, redefinition of the episcopacy. All the symbols of episcopal vestment that we so highly valued for the reality they represent are revealed as meaningless. But by golly they are pretty; aren't they? Our quasi-whatever-pretend bishops/archdiocesan executives should mail their meaningless staffs back to Syria from whence they came.
Oh...and MANY YEARS to you, Dr. Assad! Your training in the US has served you well.
#15 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-08-25 18:24
An expected Met. P. DISGRACE !! How much money did iit cost INDEED. Yes, a Synod will meet with Met P. in charge. He only wanted Bishops to cover church dedications, ordinations he did'nt want to attend, etc. CEREMONIAL we all agreed long ago. Indeed, shame on Damascus who have deouble tonqued us for years. Why was Bp Joseph there? The Godson of the Patriarch. Brought here to be Met. P's successor. What's new? Go along with it all as his followers will testify justifying to protect their own interests! SHAME on all of them. God bless Bishops Basil, Mark & Alexander. They will need much blessings! And all this in light of the so called Pan Orth, Conf ?? Long live to the Met. but we wish in far off Guatamela!
#15.1 Anonymous Antiochian Priest on 2010-08-25 23:07
all the jealous hippocrites that make comments on this site is also disgusting. one minute praise to philip the next you try to bring him down. he is your bishop and metropolitan and should show respect. his is a visionary and great leader, may God grant him many many many many many many many many many more years!!! and multiply that by a factor of 1000!
#16 Anonymous on 2010-08-25 18:43
Just say no. No, you don't go along with this political goofiness. May Christ our true God preserve and bless us one and all as we are once again reminded of our weaknesses and corruption.
#17 MWP on 2010-08-25 19:40
I'm sorry. I've read the above comments and I just don't understand something. I don't mean to be chronically pessimistic but were people thinking something different would happen? And then the accusations of the Patriarch, the Synod and ol' MP. I liked that "How do you sleep" -- it reminded me of the Lennon song.
Understand something -- all of these guys have been around for awhile. The situation now, no self-rule, one bishop with multiple auxiliaries, is just like it was when I arrived. I always assumed that "self-rule" meant we could rule ourselfs as long as it was only re-arranging the deck chairs -- when it came time to replace MP (and that would have been the real test) -- that decision would come from Damascus. There's nothing new.
As far as a popular uprising -- honestly what are you thinking? How do you hurt Englewood without hurting your parish? That's a fundamental fallacy of economic embargoes. I think these sorts of things will cause many to vote with their feet -- but that is going to be a very long and drawn-out process and it's not going to be because of one single cause. Frankly if I ever moved away geographically, an Antiochian parish would be one of my very last choices. That's just how I feel after a very long time. That doesn't mean I'm looking around tomorrow simply because of this.
#18 Just shakin' his head on 2010-08-25 20:24
Let us revolt!
Let us 'poor little people', including the clergy, leave and go under Metropolitan JONAH. Priest's loyalty canonically to PHILIP?
Who cares, it's now an uncanonical church, isn't it?
#19 Revolution on 2010-08-25 20:27
Actually, most all of the AOCANA priests care to remain in good canonical standing in the AOCANA no matter the cost. I see very precious few, if any, actually going to the OCA. Further, it would be difficult for them to do so. This also means that withholding money is deemed too difficult. My guess is that unless the voice from the laity becomes deafening, you're not likely to see much action. I could well be wrong, of course, but my guess is that you're hoping for something that isn't going to happen.
>>"Who cares, it's now an uncanonical church, isn't it?"
I don't believe we're the ones to decide that. If the other Patriarchates agree with this and the other jurisdictions in America assent to this, then what do you think we can do?
>>"Let us revolt!"
If by that you mean leave, then that is a decision many will think through but most will stay in their parishes because it is home.
You need to be careful with the "revolt" business. It reminds me of the Wizard of Id cartoon of very long ago:
"Sire, the peasants are revolting!"
Response: "They certainly are."
Let us not be revolting.
#19.2 Just shakin' his head on 2010-08-26 10:59
Well we've seen the knee jerk reactions from both sidea, and several that seemingly didn't involve the use of knees at all!
It will take a long time to see how this all plays out. Meanwhile I think we need to do a better job of acknowledging the complexities of administering a church such as the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. I have to respectfully disagree with those so ready to pronounce judgment on the issues and the many people who wrestle with resolving them.
We have some extremely worthy and able diocesans and must not see them hamstrung. We also have some major issues that seem wise to resolve as matters of uniform, Archdiocese-wide policy rather than piecemeal, and possibly inconsistent, standards and practices from diocese to diocese.
Churchmanship always requires time, patience, restraint and some knowledge of history. We mustn't think as sectarians or we will reap the fruit thereof, just as surely as a very different fruit grows where followers refuse to care about or critically examine the decisions of their superiors.
#20 Fr. George Washburn on 2010-08-25 23:29
As a gentle observer, a generally disinterested third here, I have to say the Metropolitan of the AOCA appears as a liar.
He seems like he is trying to protect something through schemes and lies that well may not be worth protecting if schemes and lies are the substance.
Didn't he just say this wasn't a topic on the agenda?
Come now, how many fools are there in Christ's church?
#20.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-08-26 13:57
Individuals can exercise their own self-rule by quitting St. Ignatius,cease from donating to your churches and Archdiocese,and stop attending conventions and meetings. I would suggest to join another Orthodox church, but finding one that is not corrupt would be difficult.
#21 cynic on 2010-08-26 02:58
There you have it. It's just as we long supposed.
I wonder, however, does Met. Philip realize that he is mortal and that within just a few years all of his machinations will come to nothing?
This is just temporary. Soon enough a leader who be elected who will actually have the best for the Church in mind.
#22 Sean O'Clare on 2010-08-26 06:59
And who that be?? BP Joseph--who was present for all this??
#22.1 Man in black on 2010-08-26 08:52
Bishop Joesph is a good man.
#22.1.1 Concerned but hopeful on 2010-08-26 15:46
Well, there you have it folks! This is all really very stupid. + Philip always has been "top dog" and this just reaffirms it. The buck stops with him and much of it goes to Syria. To all you converts, "Where's the American Church in all this?" You have been bamboozeled! And, + Joseph is already chosen as the next Met. Everyone knows + Basil should have been Met. years ago. Self-rule? What a joke! In reality; objectively; the Antiochian Archdiocese in N. Am. is nothing more than an arm of Syria. Think about that!
#23 Any Moose on 2010-08-26 07:02
Well, now we know where thye Food for Hungry People fund monies went? Hearing Met Philip would FINALLY attend a Synod meeting in Damascus said it all! And with Bp Joseph with him! And sitting at the rt hand of the Pat. at the Synod meeting?! Are we stupid. Gbye Bishop Mark to be assignhed to Eagle River (so as to relieve Bp Joseph so can be prepare for the "future"? Widowed Fr Abdallah (Word Editor) to Toledo. All planned long ago! Where is the old AEOM (anyone) challenging such an uncanonical mess? Silenced aftet protesting Twice Married Joe Allen's fiasco! To be RULED by a Synod lso far away where most have never visited the USA (except for funds) and always experiencing envy for us. My people say cut off the funds. The Order meeting in Calif. had no qourom present for their meeting and admitted they are 25% down in annual membership. But our Met. has always been a true charmjer and has his golden boys ready to give give give. Sad state!
#23.1 Antiochian Priest Mid West DIOCESE (Toledo) on 2010-08-26 09:11
sadly, visiting metropolitans are always always pointed to the biggest and most ethnic churches.
Visiting Metropolitans do not know the church in North america because they were never encouraged to visit them.
Even when a group from the DIOCESE of WICHITA went last year to assist Metropolitan Saba with rebuilding churches, the hierarchs who met them were surprised that only one was a cradle orthodox (arab), the rest were CONVERTS. They have no frame of reference for converts in Damascus.
Afterall we are in 98% agreement with Islam, according to MP (we are not even in 10% agreement with the Holy Synod of Antioch.)
Antioch lost the heart and soul of the gospel under islam.
After watching this for a year and half, it is perfectly clear, the tribal leaders want to keep things tribal.
No matter the means, lying, cheating, stealing, forgery and bribes a tribal leader will stay on top
Look at the middle east --
No matter the professed politics of the country they all rule by tyrany.
MP should realize the moment he dies, as he chooses, all the bronze images will go on the trash heap.
The people rejoiced in Iraq to tiopple the images of Saddam Hussein.
The Patriarch and Holy Synod need to realize we do not respond well to terrorististic dictators.
#23.1.1 anonymous on 2010-08-26 14:22
terrorist? such a strong, and unnecessary word....a soft answer turns away wrath, a harsh one stirs up anger. proverbs my friend read it!! its your book! how about we all follow what this damn church teaches. how about we stop bashing each other like children, and how about we stop using excuses such as race for peoples actions. ... IT DOESNT MATTER THE RACE IT MATTERS THE PERSON!!!!!! i think the church had something to do with that when they opened it up to both jews and gentiles....although, i could be wrong, i could be just a dumb sand monkey. i was always taught that if you don't like a particular situation you are in you do one of two things, you either be productive and do something meaningful about it or you walk away. one thing you don't do is act like a high schooler and call the guy next to you caca-popo face, its just not what adults do. by the way, i hope ALL of you realize that this type of behavior really turns off people from any orthodox church, i know it has done just that for me!
#22.214.171.124 I'm not anonymous my name is michael on 2010-08-27 08:27
MP will certainly want to move Bishop Mark as he asks parish council to evaluate the financial controls.
Where is the supposed internal audit for the Archdiocese?
How many parishes have experienced embezzlements.
All the clergy in the midwest know about the secreatary at one Michigan parish who took the cash from the weekly offerings, $100,000.00
The clergy also know of an Iowa parish that got hit by the treasurer.
They also know of the NE Ohio parish that had an embezzlement by the treasurer of almost $165,000.00.
They know of the money laundering by the parish council in another Ohio parish where council members took the cash from the offering plates and put in a check for tax benefits.
The clergy are also aware Toledo Cathedral had $157,000.00 embezzled by the treasurer.
Metropolitan Philip wants all this kept quiet. Why?
Is he afraid other parishes will begin to ask about their own finacial practices?
The clergy are also aware that St George in Troy is being investigated by the State of Michigan for TAX Evasion in regards to their banquet hall. So far almost $100,000.00.
Need we mention also the city investigating them for selling liquor without a license?
Certainly we do not need a bishop in the midwest who wants to educate the faithful on protecting their donations from embezzlement.
Now where exactly does the Food for Hungry People Go?
Where is the money from St Ignatius?
St Ignatius would roll over in his grave knowing that his name was used to raise monies to DETHRONE BISHOPS and SEPERATE THEM FROM THEIR FLOCK. (:-(
#23.1.2 anonymous on 2010-08-27 14:03
Bravo every word the TRUTH without exaggeratuion. Shame on all who participated in this FARCE. Bp Joseph a disappointment? What did youy expect as he was SENT to us (with Bp Demetri) without our participating in an electionj (as prescribed) as with Met Anthony Bashir, Met Philip, Bp Antoon, Bp Basil and the Bps Mark, Thomas & Alexander that WE elected! Shame indeed! Funds other than to our local parish will be withheld or severely limited. That they understand!
#23.2 Parish Council member on 2010-08-26 09:18
Thats it! I now proclaim myself a member of the "Self-Ruled Diocese of LA and all the West!"
#23.3 antionymous on 2010-08-26 10:43
The Pope is dead! Long live the Pope!
#24 Anonymous Coward on 2010-08-26 07:12
in reality it is the OCA that is an uncanonical church. the antiochian church is a canonical church with the synod making a decision tht must be respected.
(Editor's note: Ah, since the Antiochian Synod is in full communion with the OCA, that would make the OCA canonical, no? Because otherwise, friend, you are suggesting that since the OCA is "uncanonical", Antioch must be as well....
#25 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 07:23
the oca is an uncanonical church. it is not recognized as an autocephalus church by its own mother church! Does the Greeks, Romanians, Antiochian Mother Churches, etc. recognize the OCA as autocephalus? I think not. it is not canonical. yes we are all orthodox in communiion with each other but to say the antiochians are uncanonical because of this decision is ludicrous at best.
(Editor's note: I have never spoken as to the canonicity of this decision. But you are mistaken when you assert the OCA is not canonical, or that its autocephaly is denied by its mother church, or even a majority of other Churches. The mother church of the OCA, the Russian Church, has repeatedly affirmed its autocephaly and canonicity. As have 1/3 of all the other Orthodox Churches. Not coincidentally, those churches are all Slavic, with the exception of Georgia. On the other hand, 1/3 of the Churches recognize the OCA as canonical, but not autocephalous. Not coincidentally, they are all Greek. That leaves 1/3 of the Churches that recognize the OCA's canonicity, but have never made an official statement about its autocephaly. Not coincidentally, they are neither Slavic nor Greek. That would include the Antiochian, Romanian, Albanian, etc. Hope that helps.)
#25.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 11:52
The churches that have "never made an official statement" on the OCA's autocephaly actually have -- by not adding it to their official diptychs when their primate serves the liturgy. This is an empirical fact. There's no need to make a "statement." It's been made by their lack of inclusion in the diptychs. There is no other measure.
#25.1.1 A Reader on 2010-08-26 14:21
Seriously, why not be Roman Catholic?
If it's a Pope you're after, there's a real one in Rome.
#26 Scott Walker on 2010-08-26 07:34
This may have more to do with the Episcopal Assembly than anything else. I have heard the Holy Synod in Damascus feels it was "bamboozeled" by Constantinople into signing the Chambesy accords (or so I was told by an informed bishop in the archdiocese) and now has serious signers remorse. Rather than get all crazy about this, we should wait and see. Prayer never hurts, either. There may be a strategy in this, although I do admit our archdiocese is not particulartly adept at public relations. Arab men making decision behind closed doors in Damascus, Syria about the fate of our archdiocese in the U.S. is not likely to "win hearts and minds". Praising Assad doesn't help either. We're Americans - don't you get it?
#27 Concerned but hoping for the best on 2010-08-26 07:36
i am ecstatic of this news and my heart rejoices!! it is finally time to put an end to all these diocesean bishops doing things the way they want without regard to the rest of the archdiocese. america is not a patriarchate and it is an archdiocese with one leader....may God grant him many years!!!
#28 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 07:36
I came to Orthodoxy over twenty years ago. There looked to be stability in doctrine, i.e, Trinitarian theology, pneumatology, christology and soteriology and most especially, I chose Orthodoxy's ECCLESIOLOGY over the lack of it in Protestantism and its distortion in Rome.
Sadly, after 21 years I see the Ancient Church of Antioch does not embrace the Ecclesiology of the Once Graet Patriarchate of Antioch.
Any first year seminarian would be failed for suggesting such an ecclesiology as the Synod of Damascus.
Perhaps they should just post a sign on the door saying Ecclessiology for Sale
What shame this must bring to the Holy Fathers who once defended the Orthodox Christian Faith in Antioch.
As Dr John Boojamra taught his students, however, Antioch tended to be the seedbed of heresy. If nothing changes, nothing changes. It still is the seedbed of heresy.
ALL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS ARE RESPONSBLE FOR THE ORTHODOX FAITH. WE DO NOT ACCEPT ROMAN ECCLESIOLOGY, EVEN IF IT IS PROMOTED BY ANTIOCH.
MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEIR WRETCHED SOULS.
I HAVE HAD WITH THIS ONGOING CORRUPTION. BETTER TO PRAY WITH THE MEEK AND HUMBLE SLAVS THAN WITH WEALTHY SYCHOPHANTS WHO THINK THE CHURCH IS ONE BIG HAFLI.
#29 anonymous on 2010-08-26 09:32
You might be happy, but the situation is uncanonical.
#30 antionymous on 2010-08-26 10:42
"Further, the Holy Synod confirms and reaffirms that the Holy Synod, under the chairmanship of the Patriarch, is the final and supreme authority in all matters related to all Archdioceses of the Patriarchate of Antioch." False. The supreme authority, in case of desagreement inside the patriarchate of Antioch, is the holy synod of Constantinople. Antiochian bishops of america refusing to be reduces to the status of auxilliary bishops may make an appeal to the Primus inter pares, Bartholomaios 1.
#31 kolia on 2010-08-26 11:36
I'm afraid you are wrong! The Holy Synod of Antioch with it's Patriarch have the final say in matters regarding it's own churches. The Pat. of Istanbul (Constantinople) had the authority to solve disputes between "PATRIARCHS" when asked to intervene. + Bart has no business within the Church of Antioch (Damascus).
(Editor's note: No, if you read the canons of the ecumenical council you will clearly see that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the court of last instance for disputes involving bishops and their Synods. Black letter law. And one with much precedence. So, while Patriarchates may be autocephalous, the Ecumenical one still has this function.)
#31.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 13:19
The Holy Synod appears to know some ecclessiology by stating the Holy Synod is the Highest Authority in the Church under the Chairmanship of the Patriarch.
Why do they lack the VISION to recognize a similar structure in North America? The Local Synod chaired by the Metopolitan.
They subject North American Bishops to an abberent Ecclessioilogy that they themselves would not tolerate.
Do any of the metropolitans answer solely to the Patriarch? NO
No bishop in ORTHODOX ECCLSSIOLOGY is SUBJECT TO ANOTHER BISHOP.
A Bishop, be he Bishop, Metropolitan, Archbishop or Patriarch is subject to a Synod.
Apostolic CANON XXXIV from the Rudder
It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognize him as their head; and *to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval*: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own parish and by the territories under him.
But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all.
For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit; the Father, and the Son; and the Holy Spirit, (cc. VL VH ofthe lsi: cc. 11. Ill ofthe 2nd;~V. IH orthe 3rd;
c. XXVIII of Ole 4lh; cc. XXXVI. XXXIX of the Glh; c. IX antioch.)
Just as, when the head is unwell and fails to function properly, the other members of the body also are ill disposed or even utterly useless, so and in like manner it may be said that the one acting as head in the Church does not honor her fitly, all the rest of the body of the Church will be out of order and unable to function.
It is for this reason that the present Canon ordains that all bishops of every povince ought to know who is the chief among them i.e., the metropolitan; and ought to regard him as their head, and not to do anything unnecessary without consulting him, as respecting,
that is to say, anything that does not pertain to the parishes of their bishoprics, but, extending beyond these limits, have to do with the common condition of the whole province, as, for instance, do questions concerning the dogmas, matters involving adjustments and corrections of common mistakes, the installation and ordination of prelates, and other similar things. Instead, they are to meet with the metropolitan and confer with him in regard to such common matters, and decide in common_ on what appears to them the best thing to be done. Each of the bishops should do
by himself, without consulting his metropolitan, only those things that are confined to the limits and boundaries of his bishopric and to the territories
that are subject thereto. But just as bishops should do nothing of common interest without consulting the metropolitan, so and in_ like_ manner a metropolitan
ought not to do anything of such common interest alone and by himself without consulting all his bishops.
For this way there will be concord and love, both between bishops and metropolitans and between clergymen and laymen. The outcome of this concord and love will be that God the Father will be glorified through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who acquainted men with the name of His Father and laid down the law requiring love, when He said: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another" (John 13135). And He will be glorified in His Holy Spirit, which though Its grace has united us in one spiritual association. That is the same as saying that as a result of this concord the Holy Trinity-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-will be glorified, in accordance with the voice of the Gospel which says: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and may glorify your Father who is in heaven7'^( Matt. 5 : 16).
' Note that he one called the chief of the bishops is, according to c. VI of the Sardican, the bishop of the metropolis, and the exarch of the province, but. according to c. XXXIV and others of Carthage the chief. whereas; according to c. XLVI of the same, he is called he bishop of the first sea, while commonly he is called in most canons the metropolitan. The one who is the chief of the metropolitans is either he exarch of the administration, according to cc. IX and XVII of the 4111 and c, VI of the 2nd, or the patriarch; and see the second footnote to c. VI of the 1st. He is not called the exarch of priests or the high priest, according to c. XLVI of Carthage, because the patriarch bears the same logical relation and relative rank to the melropolilans as the metropolitan bears to the bishops. Accordingly, just as the metropolitan is the chief and head of the bishops, so too is the patriarch the chief
and head of the metropolitans. On this account the present Apostolical Canon is not to be understood as attaching more to the bishops in relation to the metropolitan than to the metropolitans to the patriarch, but as applying to both of them equally.
That is why John of Kitros says that if a metropolitan holds services in the bishopric of a bishop, he ought to do so onlv with the consent and permission of his bishop; in the diptychs, however he ought to mention the name of the patriarch, and not that of his bishop. since it is unbecoming for a higher functionary to mention the name of a lower one, according to Armenopoulos. Epitome of the Canons (epigraph 4)
Hence the bishops of Egypt too. when they attended the Fourth Council, followed the present Apostolical Canon, and did not say in regard to the present in their letter to Leo that without consulting the chief among them, i.e., the patriarch of Alexandria they had no permission to anything (Act 4 of the 4th: scc also c. XXX of the 4th.)
Absolutely amazing how the Canons provide for proper ORDER in the Church that there may be PEACE and CONCORD.
Small wonder the faithful are distraught when the Holy SYNOD violates the perogatives of their own BROTHER BISHOPS.
Where is the LOVE and CONCORD? How can there be when Bishops thousands of miles away demean our Bishops and deprive them of their CANONICAL PEROGATIVES IN VIOLATION OF THE SACRED CANONS every Bishop pledges to uphold.
#31.1.1 anonymous on 2010-08-28 19:55
As an Orthodox I read these comments and it seems to me like we are dealing at every level, either for or against this issue with people who like to play make believe.
#32 ANON on 2010-08-26 12:01
Well OK maybe the Metropolitan was a little disingenuous about this whole autonomy, diocesan bishop, then assistants, but not really bishops fiasco. But look at the upside. Now at least the Metropolitan can pursue full time other important matters.
Remember we have been promised real progress, transparency and truthfulness, regarding the finances of our God Protected Archdiocese.
No doubt the Commission headed by the #1 now absolutely official, Ceremonial, Assistant and and Stand-In, His portioned Grace Antoun will soon be reporting on this hand picked, blue ribbon commitee's work?
Hey, it's not as if we can be manipulated by deceit, underhandedness and fraud in every aspect of our chief shepherd's ecclesiatical service.
Whack!....thank you sir may we have another! Whack!....thank you sir may we have another......Whack!... thank you sir may we have another......
(editor's note: Kevin, you crack me up in a dark, black, sort of way. But not to worry. The next whack is one its way.)
#33 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-26 13:22
mark- thank you for welcoming my comments. i would like to lend my voice of support to the antiochian archdiocese and offer sincere congratulations to the holy synod and the patriarchate of antioch. i join many others in welcoming this resolution. i also would like to commend you on your article. It was, neither bias or disrespectful. i am sure that you were dissappointed with the decsion, but did not let that cloud your ability to report this wonderful news.
(Editor's note: Thanks. And to think, just a few months ago you wrote I was "nothing but a trouble maker and a plaque on our archdiocese...." )
#34 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 13:31
I would like to be the first one to "whack" kevin....
(Editor's note: Tsk. Tsk. I refer you to the previous commentators magnanamous post...)
#35 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 13:40
Please understand, first off there are no canons that state who has and has not the right to grant autocephaly. The OCA's autocephaly was granted by it's mother church - extremely logical. In fact, the OCA (Metropolia) approached Istanbul (Const.) first for autocephaly and were told, "Go get it from your Mother Church." (Not thinking it would ever happen). Anyway, the Church of Kiev/Rus after the Council of Florence (where Constantinople fell into heresy uniting with Rome) declared it's own autocephaly. Constantinople wouldn't recognize Russia's autocephaly for 150+ years - yet, Constantinople fell into heresy! Many autocephalous churches became autocephalous by announcing their own independence. The OCA, obtained it canonically from it's Mother Church. Why won't Istanbul formally recognize the OCA's autocephaly? Because then, canonically, the Greeks and all other Orthodox must then come under the OCA's authority. It's politics and Istanbul is wrong, dead wrong! This is why Istanbul wants these "Episcopal Assemblies," to grant or not grant autocephaly to whoever it wants; and yet, foreign bishops have NO authority in N. Am. - Canon Law!
#36 Any Mouse on 2010-08-26 13:43
Here is the draft new header for the antiochian.org website:
#37 New Header for the Website on 2010-08-26 13:48
#37.1 antionymous on 2010-08-26 18:06
...now to encourage some anonymous html hacker out there...
#37.1.1 Delegate#1 on 2010-08-27 15:15
"Canon 15 of Nicaea (325) read as follows: "On account of the great disturbance and the factions which are caused, it is decreed that the custom, if it is found to exist in some parts contrary to the canon, shall be totally suppressed, so that neither bishops nor presbyters nor deacons shall transfer from city to city.
"If after this decision of this holy and great synod anyone shall attempt such a thing, or shall lend himself to such a proceeding, the arrangement shall be totally annulled, and he shall be restored to the church of which he was ordained bishop or presbyter or deacon."
The Council of Chalcedon, 126 years later, reiterated the teaching of Nicaea in its own canon 6: "In the matter of bishops or clerics who move from city to city, it has been decided that the canons issued by the holy fathers concerning them should retain their proper force."
These two canons, which have never been explicitly revoked, were consistently regarded as retaining "their proper force" as late as the year 897."
NOTHING CHANGES UNDER THE SUN!!
#38 Delegate #1 on 2010-08-26 13:51
In reading many comments regarding money passing hands at synod meeting, it occurred to me that if there was a full, outside audit of the Archdiocese, we could follow the money trail. Not saying that money passed hands, but if true, the Archdiocese Board should take some blame. Cynics believe that human conduct is motivated by self interest. Does this ring a bell?
#39 cynic on 2010-08-26 14:12
mark- dont get me wrong...i havent changed my tune. you are still a plague on the archdiocese; however, in this particular instance you wrote a wonderful article without bias. you are to be commended for that. period.
#40 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 15:01
There is only one plague from a third party perspective and it isn't outsiders.
I'll give you a clue, it is someone who has lied in the name of Christ.
#40.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-08-27 07:00
Are there rubrics for "auxilliary" bishops celebrating? I mean, that include the posture of grabbing their ankles during the whole of the services?
#41 ba'ab on 2010-08-26 15:52
This little "Anomymity Fest" has descended into a room of people groping and punching each other in the dark. I count about five proper names that are probably real humans who stand by their opinions.
And we see the celebrated appearance of such worthies as "Anonymous Priest" and "Anonymous Parish Council Member." whose opinions must be counted as significantly more important than those less credentialed "Merely Anonymous" posts.
(Never mind that I too could have posted as "Anonymous Priest of the blah-blah-blah" and seen it appear as such.)
My opinion on this whole thing? Don't really have one, since I am not a member of a parish of this jurisdiction. And I rightly assume that all the anonymous posters aren't members of it either.
I am, however, not at all certain why people who hope, generally, for a unified American Orthodox Church think that a self-governing Antiochian Archdiocese furthers that agenda. Such a thing certainly would have seemed to indicate a move toward American autonomy, but, barring a plan for all autonomous groups to coalesce, it's actually more confusing to have multiple independent groups on this continent.
In my graduate studies I did have a Protestant acquaintance who later, al-Hamdu lilahi, converted to Orthodoxy in that jurisdiction. I would be interested to know his take on these matters. He is a dear soul whom I loved and respected as a Protestant. The news of him and his whole family becoming Orthodox so surprised and delighted me. Praise God.
Interesting, Keith, that you feel the need to continue confronting anonymity here. Perhaps you should confront your own fellow parishioners at St Matthew in Columbia, MD who continue to ANONYMOUSLY publish a disgusting website in defense of the indefensible conduct of their priest (including the use of an anonymizer so that the owner/webmaster cannot be detected). Why won't they attach their names to their website, if they are speaking "the truth in Columbia, MD"?
#42.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 04:12
The Holy Synod called the bishops to be Diocesan Bishops.
Last I heard one must be an adult to be on the Holy Synod.
They knew exactly what they were doing 6 years ago when they called each of the new bishops to serve specific dioceses.
Patriarch Ignatius was against the self-rule as he knew MP lacked the capacity to allow for TRUE DIOCESAN BISHOPS.
Nevertheless, HE CONSECRATED THEM TO BE DIOCESAN BISHOPS almost 6 years ago.
The services were all recorded and each bishop was given copies of the dvds to distribute to friends and relatives.
Patriarch Ignatius placed the Mitres upon the heads and gave each bishop his staff and told them to rule their diocese with love.
MP then ENTHRONED the bishops and these were recorded events as well.
If the Holy Synod has members with dementia, perhaps they should be asked to step down, rather than ignoring the sacred canons they vowed to uphold by attempting to reduce our bishops to auxiliaries without their consent or a spiritual court in VIOLATION OF THE HOLY CANONS.
#43 anonymous cleryman on 2010-08-26 20:00
I rejoice in the decision and that all of you who do nothing but criticize and finger point now at least have something to complain about. I hope the "Old Guard" can emerge once again and bring love and acceptance back into The Church. The Orthodox faith should not be tainted with Protestantism. It should be led forth with the teachings of Jesus Christ - love thy neighbor, judge not lest you be judged, and love the Lord God with all our hearts, souls, and minds.
REJOICING WITH THE WONDERFUL NEWS!!!
#44 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 20:46
You are quite deceived WK, Who ever heard of a Diocese within and Archdiocese?
Antioch has turned Protestant! There is no need for the converts to leave.
#44.1 anonymous on 2010-08-30 21:14
But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things (Roman 15:25-28).
If St. PAul collected money for the Mother Church why should we be any different
#45 Anonymous on 2010-08-26 21:00
The Holy Synod of Antioch's decision regarding the status of bishops is actually great news on several fronts. First, whether one likes it or not, it is crystal clear where they stand. Time will tell if it is the right decision or not. Two, it is a great opportunity for the laity to demand concrete answers back from the bishops. If sufficient answers regarding what, exactly, constitues an American Orthodox Church are not give, the churches will probably realign under different jursidictions.
Personally, I think that the Holy Synod appears to have completely misunderstood the American Orthodox Churches under the care of the Antiochian Archdiocese. They have failed to see the development of basically, white-skinned, American-born individuals who fill the pews of almost every major Antiochian church in America. Yes, there are many individuals of Arab descent in the pews. but based upon the many churches I have visited over the past fifteen years, Arabs are no longer anywhere near the majority. In fact, I would conservatively estimate that they constitute no more than about a third of most parishes. So Metropolitan Phillip and Patriarch Ignatius, may have overplayed their hand.
People in America have a thirst for Orthodoxy, but it is definitely an American Orthodoxy. It is no longer a "pay and pray" Orthodoxy, mindlessly affirming every decision by every bishop. People demand accountability today. They want educated clergy, they want to know how their money is spent. They want to know that they have a voice in matters.
So I for one am glad that the Holy Synod did what they did and I welcome the collision course. It's about time that the old world had a shake up. How many millions of dollars have floated into the middle East from America through Metropolitan Phillip? Let's see what happens when the money spicket is turned off? Let's see what happens if a few influential parishes were to ask to leave the Antiochian Archdioces and be under the omophorion of another jurisdiction. Seems impossible? Ask the ROCOR Synod how painful it was to lose churches because of the reconciliation with Moscow. I can only take a guess that the problems in Ben Lomand, CA will seem like nothing if several large Antiochian parishes were to request a transfer to the OCA for example. Or better yet, how interesting it would be if Bishops Basil and Joseph were to petition to join the OCA and bring their parishes with them.
I'm sure to some this all sounds ridiculous. We'll see. Frankly, though, this is the kind of wake up call Antioch needs to receive. People in America vote with their feet. And if don't think so, do a little census count of the OCA before and after the scandal of the past few years. I hope and pray that the bishops will realize that the "axios" they hear at ordinations comes from the people, the Laos tou Theou. These are the average people who pay the salaries and benefits for things like Holy Synod meetings to take place at all.
#46 Anon. on 2010-08-26 22:00
Pleased so many are comfortable with the lies, distortions and eviul that came out of the Synod. What did the Met say at the Symposium last month when Bp Basil confronted him ?? All pre arranged. Money speaks. How I remember raising funds for the Pat. Balamond School 91992-30 only to see 1 MILLION GIVEN FOR AN ATHLETIC track! Way to go! And as to the "Conventions" noted, they are only a gathering for the most part of the family. Nothing more. Prescripted meetings. The Parish Priest asks who is going to (wherever) and has the $$$ for it all. NO official represented delegfates as in the GOA or OCA. Fun time with much adoiration of Met. Philip of course. As last desert Conv. swhowed we baked in the heat and listened to many deceptions. Liusten to the transcriptions still on Ancient Radio? A good proArab "club" as all converts (if honest) weill admit. Too many clergy close to retirement and many say to us, "Who cares!" Don't rock the ship and watch for your munificent $800. for life. "You can fool some ofr the people....."
#46.1 Anonymous Clergyman on 2010-08-27 08:57
Since the Archdiocese obviously has more bishops than it needs (one's more than enough, right?), does this mean that Bishop Mark is free to be transferred from the pseudo-Diocese of Toledo to the OCA's Diocese of Midwestern America? He would be a worthy successor of Archbishop Job!
#47 Jon Marc on 2010-08-26 23:09
Please don't taint the OCA with the presence of bishops who withhold the sanctity of the chalice with petty power plays. Start your own churches, but leave our churches that we built with love and fellowship for the Orthodox who treat each other with love and respect, not protestant judgements and followers who can't think for themselves. The love and fellowship have gone out of our churches and our faithful have been chastised and made to feel unwelcome because we have dared to disagree with the new (past 10 years) way of doing things.
I think the first requirement for a bishop should be looked at with closer scrutiny. I think the requirement to be unmarried has not proven to get the most worthy men. I don't know all the bishops, but for someone who has been a lifelong Orthodox Christian, it doesn't look like that's as important as someone who can lead with love and humility. Most of these bishops are missing the humility factor.
Priests that give a parishioner an empty spoon disgust me too. YOU ARE JUDGING!! Instead of talking with the person and treating them with the love of Jesus Christ, you are exCommunicating them. Many are over 75 years old and are very hurt by this practice. What is up with that all you supporters of a new orthodoxy??? I say if you want to start your own evangelical sect of orthodoxy, go ahead but start it from the ground up - not with our church buildings.
#47.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 05:59
I'm now in the OCA (Midwest), but Bp. Mark was my bishop when I was with the Antiochians. He and Bp Basil are the ONLY ones I trust to not pull any funny business. Withholding the chalice for spiteful reasons? Not Bp. Mark. Calling him a tyrant? Bite your tongue!
He's not Arab, he's a convert, and he apparently insists on parishes not being Sunday-only. Perhaps the retired OCA Bishop of Alaska, a thoroughly nasty piece of work from all reports, would be better suited for the folks who think Bp. Mark is a tyrant.
And to the poster who thinks Bp. Mark could replace Archbishop Job: I'm my parish's lay delegate to the Diocesan Assembly in October. Last I looked we've got three episcopal candidates already. And none of them are Antiochian.
#47.1.1 Michele Hagerman on 2010-08-27 20:23
Now that I am over my bout of "wishful thinking" regarding Met. Philip and his associates in Damascus, your point about excess bishops brings on another bout.
Pehaps there is room in the OCA for a Syrian Diocese to go along with the Bulgarian, Romanian, and Albanian Diocese. It would also be nice to have say, three, new candidate to add to those who already are, or will be considered for election to the vacant episcopal sees in the OCA.
Oh, never mind! That vision of "wishful thinking" has to much in common with those of Sts. Raphael and Tikhon.
#47.2 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 09:00
No need to be anonymous. I just pushed the submit button before adding my name to this post.
#47.2.1 Marc Trolinger on 2010-08-27 11:22
finally!!! the abuse of power by bishop basil and mark now can come to an end. thank God for the holy synod's work.
#48 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 04:54
I agree, Bishop Mark is a tyrant. Imagine asking parishes to serve Vespers and keep their finances in order. Why if that kind of stuff continues Orthodoxy may start to run rampant.
Fr John Chagnon
St. Elias Orthodox Church
Please forgive the sarcasm of my posting. I'm simply weary of people trying to slander a decent man and a good Bishop.
Fr John Chagnon
St. Elias Orthodox Church
Statements like this show ignorance and arrogance along with possibly being either a passive or active accessory to dark works. Accordingly such remarks are common for one who has a lot to gain or lose.
The overwhelming consensus of educated clergy and laity from all jurisdictions and ethnic background is that +Philip and +Ignatius have complete disregard for the holy canons. Obviously it doesn't matter to them, or else they wouldn't have done what they did. Even if the laity of the archdiocese do not insist on canonical correctness, the fact is indisputable that +Philip and +Ignatius have irreparably discredited their respective ministry. They will go down in history as mercenaries in the guise of hierarchs. Even the good things that were done under +Philip have now been revealed as disingenuous efforts whose primary purpose was to build up his bank accounts. Which we see by his thwarting a credible outside audit are accounts that he has felt free to unilaterally use as he desires. Much of this decision has to do with financial matters. Future income, past misappropriation of funds, alleged and in some cases verified larceny and support of dubious Middle Eastern political action groups. Many have been fooled over the years but the light is dawning to reveal their darkness.
#48.2 Rabbi on 2010-08-27 08:04
I have been disheartened by several disparaging comments made above about Bishop JOSEPH and his motives. In my experience he is personally a gentle man who has turned down several opportunities for personal aggrandizement for the sake of the Church. It seems to me that he takes a broad historical view of political change in the Church rather than focusing on immediate "revolutionary" changes. Sometimes change in the church has required dramatic stands, such as those made by Maximus the Confessor and Mark of Ephesus. Sometimes patiently enduring the cross of suffering from wrongdoers is God's calling, and the most righteous and effective path to change. It appears to me the latter is the course Bishop JOSEPH has chosen. Perhaps he is right and perhaps he is wrong. Perhaps some people believe he should make much stronger stands against wrongdoing than he has. I have no problem with anyone criticizing his approach. I do feel uncomfortable with people criticizing his motives, which only the clairvoyant among us can really know.
#49 Andrew Geleris on 2010-08-27 07:11
I heartily agree with Dr Geleris' post about impugning the motives of Bishop Joseph. My experiences with HG Joseph over 16 years have confirmed he is a good bishop, who loves Christ and the Church, his clergy and his flock.
#49.1 Kevin Allen on 2010-08-27 08:57
the abuse of power by bishop basil and mark now can come to an end. thank God for the holy synod's work.
#47 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 04:54
Finally, no more them thinking, their enthronements were actually real, or, anything more than an appointment to senior vice-president, under their CEO/CFO and at all times Eminence Philip. No telling what those two rascals were really up to?
Perhaps yet another Blue Ribbon Commission could be appointed ( Do I even need to say who should head it up?) to prepare revised materials and re-explain to the confounded poor laity how the Antiocian Archdiocese is governed in this post-Orthodox era under Met. Philip.
You know there are all kinds of confused converts as well as faith filled cradle Orthodox who came to believe and hold views regarding the episcopacy that are obviously and seriously outdated. You know, a Bishop is uh ... like a Bishop according to the Church's canons and Holy Tradition? "What a bunch maroons" we are, to quote Bugs Bunny.
Re-education seminars could be set up and the faithful could also be instructed to bring any confusing books or materials they may have deluded themselves with for proper disposal.
Nothing like the smell of old burning parchment in the new morning of hope and change.
#50 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-27 07:51
Hey how do you like that "hopey", "changey" stuff Kevin?
Pretty nifty footwork for the opening of football season.
Met.P : 21
Midwest Bishops : 0
#50.1 Vinnie on 2010-08-27 18:10
Met.P : 21
Midwest Bishops : 0
#49.1 Vinnie on 2010-08-27 18:10 (Reply)
Sorry Vinnie, your getting all hyped up over a meaningless pre-season game. Christ Himself will let us know when the real contest is over and announce the score. I wonder how many penalties are going to end up being assesed? I hope no one ends up getting thrown out.
#50.1.1 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-28 10:54
Please read the following blog [http://ochlophobist.blogspot.com/] which I believe gives a very fair and balanced -- and nuanced -- interpretation of the recent events. Also, everyone, please turn down the heated rhetoric. Such discussions only leave all of our souls open to sin. God is sovereign; the Metropolitan and the Holy Synod are our leaders, by the Grace of God; if sin has entered into the deliberations and actions of our leaders, then intercession on their behalf is the remedy. We must love our leaders, even if we believe that they have made errors. We must be humble and obedient to them, while praying for them and for our own sinfulness. Is the Arm of the LORD shortened? (Num 11:23) -- NO. We must be filled with godly love for our leaders; if we are, and our prayers are offered in that context, then the Holy Spirit shall cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But if we participate in the sin of judgmentalism, self-righteousness, or hatred, then we shall be self-condemned.
I am merely one small presbyter in Christ's Holy Church; and I do not have the stature that would allow me to make any comments beyond my own "garden" -- which is why I will post this anonymously. But I feel that I must speak out and ask for a spirit of true and abundant Christian agape to infuse the life of our Archdiocese and the content of our discussions.
May God have mercy on all of us, and upon our Antiochian Archdiocese.
#51 a convert to Holy Orthodoxy & presbyter in the AOCNA on 2010-08-27 08:51
Amen. Thank you for speaking the truth in love. These events greatly tempt our passions and then whatever actual damage due to others becomes our own. Thank you for seeking to stem the tide here. You remind me of my own weakness.
God bless, Nicole
#51.1 nicole on 2010-08-29 13:19
It is being said that Met Phil gave up self-rule in return for bishop status back to auxiliary. Met Phil has always done what he has wanted, in spit of the Patriach. So let's not forget, he gave up nothing and got exactly what he wanted.
#52 annon on 2010-08-27 09:37
God Bless our Auxilliary Bishops as they work for the better of the archdiocese under their point of reference, Archbishop Metropolitan PHILIP.
#53 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 10:12
Someone said, "The Holy Synod of Antioch's decision regarding the status of bishops is actually great news on several fronts. First, whether one likes it or not, it is crystal clear where they stand."
If only this were true. As someone else noted, our now auxiliary bishops were consecrated diocesean bishops. But then last year the bruhaha came to the forefront. The archdiocese even has a chronology of the events on its website(http://www.antiochian.org/node/18941) but has yet to add the latest resolution to the fray.
And the Patriarchate's website (http://antiochpat.org/english/news/news.php?newsid=118&PHPSESSID=ff98ae681e12c520f8d56461ad41f156) seems to imply that its June, 2009, decision was the "final" word on the matter. But it was not to be so.
To me, the whole situation is sad because it raises so many questions, some political and some theological. Plus, I believe it undermines the efforts of the Episcopal Assembly and the move toward a unified American Orthdox Church.
#54 Anonymous Antiochian Orthodox on 2010-08-27 10:41
I agree this may undermine the EA. For that I am thankful! I am not too optimistic of the EA and especially the agenda EP to take control of the American Church.
I agree this decission make the Holy Synod position on the EA quite clear and thank God for that!
I think of Virgil quote 'be wearry of Greeks offering Gifts' (not an exact quote)
(Editor's note: We will overlook the spelling. The actual quote goes like this: Virgil's Aeneid, Book 2.
"Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.")
#54.1 Anonymous on 2010-08-30 11:15
Here are some thoughts!
There are three issues here we should consider: 1) If we acknowledge the Holy Synod of Antioch and Patriarch Ignatius IV as the supreme authority of the PAtriarchate, they we hhave accept the ruling at face value. I AM NOT SAYING WE HAVE TO LIKE IT, but accept their authority and the ruling was within their power. 2) Orthodoxy in North america have a paradox - are we ORthodox or Americans first? Our American mind have the idea of Democracy and we have a right to voice our opinion; this is not the case with regards to the ORthodox understanding the Church is run by the hierarchs not by the layity, we do have some input and local control but ultimately the church leaders make the decission and we need to accept it and move. I understand as was pointed out on other postings the saints of the Church stood up in oppostions to injustices and uncanonical reulings, however this is not a fair comparsion, since the Hoyl Synod of Antioch did not betray the teaching of the Church but rather just clarified previous decissions. One argument is this was the origional intent of the Holy Synod to have the MEtropolitan to oversee dioceans Bishops who are responsible to Him and together make up a local synod decission, but the MEtropolitan still retain control over the entire Archdiocese. I feel this ruling cclarify this position I do not think it was the intent to make each Bishop independent but ratehr responsible to the MEtropolitan.
And Finally, We must take in to consideration, Is venting postings on an internet website in the best interest int he Church or just make the sisuation worse. I support the right of free speach, but with free speach comes responsibility, whihch I do not see on this website. I support MArk stokoe for the right to post doccuments to inform the public about our Church, but I think allowing comments which at times are disrectful of oru Bishops, MEtropolitans and Patriarchs is counter productive to the well being of our Church. I ask everyone to take this in consideration before they make postings in the future.
On a personal note my opiniopn on the sisuation, I am not surprise with the Holy Synod response (I expected it), however how it practually applicated is between MEtropolitan PHILIP and the Diocean/Auxlary Bishops.
We shoudl all pray for their wisdom and guidence and not be so easily to critize without us being in their shoes!
Many year to all of our Bishops!
#55 Life Long Antiochian Orthodox on 2010-08-27 11:51
The laity has the responsibility to be the guardians of doctrine. The sacred canons were established to be the template for maintaining an ordered church that reflects godly precepts and Orthodox doctrine. Many of these hierarch and their favorite priests were nurtured in an environment of great Islamic influence. Hence they have lost complete fidelity to real Orthodox Christianity.
To remain silent in the face of sin is a greater sin. Being obedient to the whole of Christ’s body is more beneficial to our souls than submitting to sinful men who compromise the truth for their own motives.
Those behind this decision are shrewd businessman first and their business is creating an illusion to convince people they are servants of God who are working for their salvation. But their actions contradict the essence of their ecclesiastic office.
Don’t be naïve and hope for the best, many have been around and seen a lot for a very long time.
#55.1 Rabbi on 2010-08-27 14:16
Just for the record "Life Long Antiochian Orthodox" and I ("life long member of the AOCA") are two different persons. By the way, Life Long..., your arguments would be a bit more convincing if you would take a few seconds and do little spell checking (or maybe that wouldn't conform with the "Arabic Test"). I do agree that we should be praying for all of our bishops.
#55.2 life long member of the AOCA on 2010-08-27 14:18
"I understand as was pointed out on other postings the saints of the Church stood up in oppostions to injustices and uncanonical reulings, however this is not a fair comparsion, since the Hoyl Synod of Antioch did not betray the teaching of the Church but rather just clarified previous decissions."
You make absolutely no sense. This is an injustice and it is an uncanonical ruling.
They did betray the faith and they clarified their betrayal.
Read Canon 34 of the Apostolic Canons found on line at
Denial is not just a River in Egypt, habibi.
#55.3 anonymous on 2010-08-28 20:20
Wow, you guys are even more upset than I am. Upset? Yes. Surprised? No. So why did they bother consecrating these bishops as dioceans in the first place?
Ditto Fr. Chagnon. Oh yeah that Bp. Mark is so unfair and brutal. I mean he has the gall to expect Orthodox Christians to attend weekly Vespers; frequent Confession; observe the Fasts and Lents; not allow celebrities to autograph the Gospel book; only allow ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS to commune, and not allow schismatics and heretics even if they are Arabs; to not take money from felons who defraud charities and traffic drugs; for parishes to keep their finances open, honest and current, not to allow priests to remarry, not punish priests who rightly point out their bishops sins since it is in Glorious Leader's Red Prayer book that admonishing sinners is a work of mercy; not be a convicted sex offender AND a bishop and actually obey the Canons. That inglorious basterd! He's got some nerve that kaffir. sarcasm off
Seriously, you old guard in Michigan think he's bad? Try being under ROCOR or Met. Joseph of Bulgaria Arch. A righteous monk and Canon observing bishop who defrocked Fr. Simeon over something that happened 15 YEARS AGO IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION! Just think what he'd do to you!
If I were a conspiracy theorist...oh never mind. I'm outta here.
#56 Kevin Klein on 2010-08-27 11:53
Well, the winds of change are blowing. Someday soon we'll have a united Church in America, and maybe there'll be someone like Metr. Joseph as Bishop of Michigan. We can pray.
#56.1 Layman John on 2010-08-27 13:16
I think many people are missing a fact that has been in place all along. In the so-called "self-rule" agreement, point #7 is very clear:
7. Decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch
The decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch shall be binding on the Archdiocese on matters of doctrine, liturgy, sacraments, relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches and ecumenical policy with regard to other Christian and non-Christian bodies.
The "self-rule" was a sham all along. This point gave the Synod of Antioch the power to do this the entire time. That's why they were careful to preface their decision mentioning the report from a bishop about the role of bishops, etc. It makes it a "matter of doctrine" which, according to point #7, is in their power.
After you figure "matters of doctrine, liturgy, sacraments, relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches and ecumenical policy with regard to other Christian and non-Christian bodies", what's left? They can decide how much to pay the janitor? Or what food to serve at a parish dinner? Some "self-rule" it ever was! Didn't anybody else notice this in the beginning? I certainly wasn't surprised with this now.
#57 Anonymous on 2010-08-27 13:04
Now you bring up a curious point: under which of the enumerated types of decisions by the Holy Synod of Antioch, which are binding on the Archdiocese, does dethroning diocesan bishops and reducing them to auxiliaries fall?
"7. Decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch
The decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch shall be binding on the Archdiocese on matters of doctrine, liturgy, sacraments, relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches and ecumenical policy with regard to other Christian and non-Christian bodies."
Certainly not relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches or ecumenical policy. Doctrine? No--whether there is a real Bishop of Toledo isn't a doctrinal matter. Liturgy? No. Sacraments? Possibly by some stretch if one takes seriously the ancient analogy of the enthronement of a bishop as "marriage" to his diocese. but in that case the decision is so at odds with all of traditional Orthodox ecclesiology as to be plainly heretical.
Let us suppose for a moment that Antioch has not fallen into an ecclesiological heresy, meaning that the decision is not one about sacraments, and is purely administrative (something Met. +PHILIP's supporters have asserted about the distinction between diocesan and auxiliary bishops in the past.)
In that case, if, as Englewood asserts, Self-Rule is intact, then on a plain reading of the types of decisions from the Holy Synod of Antioch that are binding on the Archdiocese, this is not one of them.
(A note I will post this once only: in obedience to a directive from my diocesan bishop, Bishop +BASIL of Wichita, that those of us in minor orders no longer use our order as a title, as seems to be common in the Slavic churches, I will no longer sign my posts with "Subdeacon" before my name. I mention it this once lest the supporters of Met. +PHILIP have the wrong impression that I was disciplined for my outspoken criticism of his quasi-papal pretension by being removed from my lowly order.)
YOu mean a directive from your local auxiliary.
#57.1.1 antionymous on 2010-08-28 05:49
I was at Bishop +BASIL's enthronement. Bishop +BASIL has not been deposed by a spiritual court, nor to my knowledge has he accepted reassignment as an auxiliary bishop, so, under the holy canons, he is still my diocesan bishop, whatever others may hold.
Please understand I have no argument with the unnamed presbyter who warns us to love and pray for our leaders. A plea worthy of all acceptance. I do take issue however that the voices now being raised by the faithful are not God's doing and somehow conterproductive to His purpose. Who is to say they have not been prompted by the Holy Spirit in direct response to prayer?
It always amazes me how even well meaning clerics instictively flock together to solemnly and piously warn the faithful to bear the burdens they themselves are so unwilling to carry like humility, truthfulness, fidelity to Holy Tradition and integrity.
We are expected to accept without so much as a bleating whimper this goofy on again off again diocesan bishop drama. Embracing without question it's current version. After all, it is really what is good for us right? Why is it I doubt that not once was the discussion in Damascus concerned with what was best for the care and nurturing of the faithful in America? Because we all know that never ever was a motivating factor.
Better to have a pope in Englewood for his own sake than a true shepherd next door for ours, is the only rationale many of us poor souls see being played out. No it doesn't and never will, sit well.
While I will certainly agree that words full of grace and gentleness are always preferable they in some instances are just not possible when deceit and injustice reigns.
Is it any wonder that even the Prince of Peace seldom kept his when dealing with those who believed they were the keepers of God's laws?
#58 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-27 14:32
Very well said, Kevin.
I'm anxious to hear. Did you and your wife have a boy or a girl?
#58.1 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-08-27 18:26
My quiver is full. Six sons from 35 to 15. You must have me confused with someone else...I hope
#58.1.1 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-27 22:09
Perhaps me? We had a boy in March. Dan
#126.96.36.199 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-08-30 20:25
Should we send a copy of the Letters of St Ignatius to the Patriarch, perhaps he does not know about his writings?
Perhaps the other members of the Holy Synod would welcome them as nice additions to their own Libraries.
Apparently they have no clue as too how much they have disgraced the Patriachate before the ENTIRE ORTHODOC WORLD not to mention the ROMAN CATHOLICS and PROTESTANTS.
Our ECCLESSIOLOGY was one of our draws for those looking for stability in Christian Doctrine.
Now we reveal that we are unstable and that ECCLESSIOLOGIES CAN BE BOUGHT AND SOLD.
Do the members of the Holy Synod take Paypal?
#59 anonymous on 2010-08-27 15:16
Pore thaings, the website still says "Self Ruled", with the Arabic/English decree right below. Couldn't make it up. Neither could they.
#60 ba"ab on 2010-08-27 15:53
I know this is a far-fetched idea, but do you suppose the Holy Synod is setting Metropolitan Philip up by seemingly giving him what he wants with the intention of doing a 180? Note that they say: "Further, the Holy Synod confirms and reaffirms that the Holy Synod, under the chairmanship of the Patriarch, is the final and supreme authority in all matters related to all Archdioceses of the Patriarchate of Antioch." Perhaps if our "self-rule" status were revoked (or at least compromised), they could step in and do something to get rid of him. In a way, our self-rule status works against us, because the Holy Synod doesn't have the right to intervene in administrative matters. Were they to have complete authority, and were MP to acknowledge that on our behalf, they could more easily get rid of him.
#61 Gail Sheppard on 2010-08-28 17:16
When you " Converts " were lost in the wilderness, the Greeks woudent take you in, the Russians wouldent take you in , But we the stupidly trusting ANTIOCHIANS opened our doors and accepted you to join our family. After you got comfortable in our house, you now want to strip us of our heretage, of our link to the pride of belonging to the Church of ANTIOCH . WHAT CHUTZPA. IF WHAT YOU WANT IS AN AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, GO TO : OCA :WE OPENED OUR DOOR TO LET YOU IN , THE DOOR IS OPEN AND YOU CAN LEAVE. WE ARE ARAB ORTHODOX , JUST LIKE THE GREEKS ARE GREEK ORTHODOX AND THE RUSSIANS ARE RUSSEN ORTHODOX, THE RUMANIANS ARE RUMANIAN ORTHODX, YOU WANT TO BE AMERICAN ORTHODOX, JOIN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF AMERICA,.
#62 NABIL on 2010-08-28 20:41
I think Nabil is right, and I commend him for his honesty. All this convert play-acting within AOANA has been a hoax, and nothing but our dollars were ever really welcome. What happened to those people saying, “Just wait – things will clear up. We’re working on it behind the scenes.” Whatever came of that? Nothing. Now we can stay and reconcile ourselves to being victimized and manipulated, or we can leave. Clearly, MP and his cronies are liars, shysters and criminals who run the church as if it were their own personal bank account and fiefdom – and perhaps that’s what it is, if we’re to judge by its fruit.
#62.1 Convert of 7 Years on 2010-08-30 15:00
None of my Arab-American brothers and sisters at Saint Elias in Austin Texas ever said or wrote anything like you just did. I am extremely disappointed that you and many other supporters of Metropolitan Phillip have made this tragedy into an Arab versus non-Arab issue. We are all Orthodox first, for crying out aloud! It make help you if you could read the Holy Scripture and understand that there are no Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, Russians, Arabs, or Americans in the Body of Christ--just disciples of the Lord who happen to live in one country or another. When Jesus condemned those who would choose their own family over Him, how much more would he condemn those who chose their ethnicity. It is indeed a sad and shameful episode in the history of the Holy Church that this has come to pass.
#62.2 Carl Kraeff on 2010-08-30 15:37
No, we non-Arabs are not required to practice Christianity within any particular so-called jurisdiction whether or not it is supposedly ethnically aligned or exclusive. Our dear Metropolitan Phillip himself told you to tear down those ethnic ghettos long ago. Do you want to be Arab orthodox more so than being the orthodox catholic church of Antioch? Then you are the one who has a problem, not those who were welcomed into the fold and who have faithfully and often selflessly supported it. You want to kick me out? Then give me a full refund! If that's the score then you should never have taken a nickel from me.
#62.3 MWP on 2010-08-30 16:03
Once again, what we are seeing is a clash of cultures.
Throughout the middle east there are various dictatorships, regardless of what they call themselves.
They rule by shear force of will and on a tribal model. Those within the tribe pay bribes to stay in power and collect bribes from those entrusted to them by the dictator.
The masses simply bow down and show respect out of FEAR.
Apathy prevails, because no matter who replaces the current dicator and no matter his expressed politics and promises, his rule will be the same, Authoritarian.
Those of this mindset do not comprehend democracy, much less making decisions based upon PRINCIPLES, for get Canons altogether.
The Facade of Ecclessiology and Canons and Tradition for for the masses.
What matters is the power holder continue to protect one another and their interests and keep the money flowing their direction.
No appeal to damascus will ever bear fruit as the Canons and Holy Tradition mean absolutely NOTHING to THEM.
The modus operandi is Bribes, LIES, Deciet, Betrayal and murder of any potential challenger or adversary in middle eastern politics.
#63 anonymous on 2010-08-29 04:04
I think this particular "culture war" reaction to what is going on is a temptation which needs to be resisted. There is no culture which is free of corruption and the will to power, though the forms might differ a little. Also, I have met many fine Christians of differing Arab national descent (as well as Syrian, Coptic, Serb, Russian, Ukraininan, Romanian and Eritrean) who have taught this Anglo convert sinner how a pious life ought to be manifested and have been a model for entering very naturally into the rhythm of Church life. I have spoken with Arab and Arab-American Christians who are equally saddened and angered by what is transpiring-- though, to be quite frank, I don't talk about it so much anymore. No fruit came of it (but then, that is not surprising as my own motives are surely very mixed). In short, to paint with this very broad brush making these dubious culture analyses is inaccurate and surely very unfair to many of our brothers in the Lord. Phyletism is heresy no matter who practices it. Forgive me.
#63.1 Brian on 2010-08-30 18:33
I think there are issues that are intertwne that needs to be address:
I Holy Synod Decission
The Holy Synod of Antioch made a ruling which effects the entire Patriarchate of Antioch, with regards to Diocean bishops who are under a MEtropolitan; practually speaking it only effect North America. the Holy Synod acted within their rights, and made a logical decission. If all Metropolitans sits on the Holy Synod all Bishops under heach Metropolitan are ultimately responsible to that Metropolitan. The Metropolitan have the authority and right to manage his Entire archdicoese including within each diocese. If he want to transfer diocese Bishop to another Diocese he should have this right as well. I eblive this was the origional intent but not writen down in 2003, so the Holy Synod clarified it in its recent ruling.
II Self rule Status
The decission not the Feburary 2009 ruling never implied they were revoking the self Rule status, but it was assume that self Rule Status goes hand in hand with Diocean Bishops. In fact we still have the right to Elect our own Diocean Bishops rather than waiting for Antioch to elect our Bishops for us (which was the case for Bishop BASIL, Demetri and when they sent us Bishop JOSEPH). In fact since we nominate and elect our Diocese Bishop we do have local control of our Archdiocese, hense we have Self Rule
I belive this is an issue for ALL of our Bishops to work out among themselves, without all of us addign our two cents. All fo oru Bishops are devout and dedicated and we to have ffaith in all of them, and should pray for their guidence and Wisdom
#64 Member of the Diocese of Los Angeles on 2010-08-30 09:45
I'm struggling to understand: what was the point of all those enthronements? In the biographies of the antiochian hierarchs one clearly sees that a consequence of "Self-Rule" were ruling bishops:
"His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP and the General Assembly of the Antiochian Archdiocese petitioned the Patriarchate of Antioch for “Self-Rule” status. When this degree was awarded, the seven geographic regions became dioceses, each being provided with a ruling diocesan bishop. Naturally, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH was chosen for the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West. " [from the LA website as of this morning].
Now, I'm wondering what sense it makes to have a "Local Synod" of Auxilliaries? That's not a "synod", it's just a staff meeting.
#65 Steve Knowlton on 2010-08-30 10:57
"Just a staff meeting!" I'd be laughing, if I weren't crying. You ask, "What was the point?" The rationale given back in June of 2002 was the "distance of the Archdiocese from the Mother Church." It was also the "identification with the civilization of North America," the "growth in the parishes," but mostly the "fact that there were already five bishops who govern the pastoral needs of the Antiochian Church in North America." None of these things ever matter to Metropolitan Philip, because though nothing has changed, he changed. The trouble is you can't put the genie back in the bottle. He will find that things will not go back to normal. He will not be received as warmly as he once was. If not greeted with outright hostility, there will be silence when he enters a room. He forfeited his legacy; and I suspect few will forgive or forget it.
#65.1 Gail Sheppard on 2010-08-30 21:07
Like ba"ab so adeptly divined a while back, "Self Rule" is still very much a reality in this Our God protected Archdiocese. We just failed to understand and rightfully appreciate whose "Self" was being referred to.
In case there were any lingering doubts, or better yet, hopes for Ecclesiastical integrity, those can now be dispensed with, thanks to The Holy...(dang it's hard to use that work without a little gag reflex) Synod.
#66 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-08-30 19:06
A very important document on this issue has just been posted in English over at the Arab Orthodoxy blog. This is the study by Bp Basil that served as the basis for the Synod decision. It reveals many important assumptions and understandings.
#67 Anonymous on 2010-09-02 11:30
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