I have no doubt that Met. +PHILIP will hold that the Holy Synod's recent decision is binding on the Archdiocese, but under which of the categories enumerated in
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.
does it fall?
As the old tabloid ad put it, "Enquiring minds want to know."
I seem to recall +PHILIP's supporters in the last round asserted that the distinction between diocesan and auxiliary bishops was a purely administrative one. I don't see "administration", "administrative matters", "internal organization of the local (or eparchal) synod", "relations among bishops in the Archdiocese" or anything else like it in that list.
The following email was sent out to all the clergy of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest by Walid Khalife before the Holy Synod meetings were over.
Yes this is Walid Khalife your favorite,
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.
So my dears, once again the Detroit boys cannot refrain from their rejoicing and thereby spilling the beans! *MPgothiswaywiththeHolySynod*.
Of course a few days later Walid sent another email with grammar and spelling above his ability stating the first email was not from him.
Given the numerous emails from last year one may easily see which one was written by him. Please someone show him how to use spell check.
Additionally, the Patrairchate put up daily blurbs of the days events. MP spoke about the North American Archdiocese and the Synod voted to make everyone auxiliaries.
Of course they took that down the next day as well and then rewrote the release to not so glaringly point the finger back at the source of their decision.
Englewood makes a great point. There was no talk whatsoever about self rule in this resolution. this is simply a resolution signed by ALL members of the synod. mark, you try to give the impression that votes were tilted in philip's favor...last i checked it was a unanimous decsion signed by all members...not a majority as you would have some to believe. it was a full unanimous decsion regarding bishop status. it said nothing about self rule... you are dead wrong in your analysis. then again, what would one expect from a blinded basilite?
A simple and honest question. Wouldn't the words "final" and "all" in the following sentence also apply to the process of electing Bishops and the Metropolitan (which is the whole meaning of "self-rule" as far as I can tell)? :"...is the final and supreme authority in all matters related to all Archdioceses of the Patriarchate of Antioch."
Not that I'm a lawyer and not that my spiritual life is profoundly impacted either way, but then what is/was so special about "self-rule" other than the title. Frankly, at the time, I thought it was simply given a title for how the Patriarchate was allowing the archdiocese to already -- for quite some time it seemed like Mt P was ruling as he saw fit.
I understand the clarification and also that when many of us heard "self-rule" we assumed it meant something quite different than it was. But what changes were truly affected by that ruling in 2003 -- or was it simply a title describing what was?
The longer you look at things like this the more you need to make a distinction between what was and what is. Once upon a time there was a Church that could produce St. John *Of Damascus*. That was a different planet. If you expect the current tribe to be anywhere in that Tradition you have rocks in your head. Having autopilot reverence for "Ancient Patriarchates" is like having reverence for 8th century medicine or 8th century physicians. There are occupants of about the same geography and none of the faith or learning that might have been there once. You have men whose chief accomplishment in life is to have stayed single and who have a guaranteed job for life as a result. Same is true of the OCA. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed. Also make sure there are as few people on hand when the bishop shows up. If this is successful enough they may even learn how to dress themselves.
Note that the document grangting self-rule does not actually define it in any concrete way. It is first of all a title, or as Fr. Kevorkian calls it, "status." Without having defined clearly the authority of AOCNA to administer its own episcopal structure, it should be clear that it does not in fact have that authority, or that self-rule does not ecompass that sphere. Thus, Fr. Kevorkian can say what sounds like a complete contradiction to those who believe autonomy is found in constitutions and structures:
"We would point out that even a church which had been granted autonomy by her Mother church would still be subject to the authority of the Holy Synod of the Mother church. The authority of the Mother Church would in no way detract from the ability of the local church to operate in an autonomous fashion."
Such an autonomy is severely limited to the point of being basically meaningless, except as a term of "status," for whatever that is worth.
May God grant us a unified church in America! Maranatha! Lord Come!
Kevorkian said nothing! The fact remains, all bishops of the Antiochian Arch. in America are consecrated overseas. + Philip still is in control, but once he either steps down or is no longer the Met., assuredly the Synod of Damascus will regain power over America. We are living in 1950!
I'm beginning to think that the hierarchy of the Antiochian Church, whether in this country or abroad, has lost its way, is changing its mind too often, and is unwilling to share its vision with any of its members.
A couple decades ago, with the addition of the Orthodox Evangelical Church, one could see a dynamic and vibrant Church with a clear vision for evangelization, growth and flexibility. What happened to those clergy and leaders in the Antiochian Church that made this happen? Where are they now? It seems they have either disappeared or the ones who have remained have lost their way.
Fr. George Kevorkian’s letter of clarification is nothing more than a simple assertion, with no additional explanation and no proof offered.
The original document granting self-rule (http://www.antiochian.org/news/Release20031020SelfRule.htm) should be read in full. It is a short document, and when you delete the portions that obviously no longer apply, it is very short indeed. Fr. George’s assertions notwithstanding, since 1) the provisions regarding the elevation of Auxiliary Bishops to the status of Diocesan Bishops has been overturned, 2) the commonly understood meaning of the term “Synod” based on Holy Tradition has been redefined to that of an Advisory Panel, 3) the list of limited circumstances under which the Synod of Antioch can unilaterally intervene in the affairs of the Archdiocese has been ignored, and 4) the Synod of Antioch doesn’t even refer to this document or offer reassurances that it is still valid, one can reasonably conclude that it has been revoked for all practical purposes. I would challenge Fr. George (or anyone else) to share an example of any way in which today’s “self-rule” differs at all from the situation immediately prior to the October 2003 document.
Poor Fr. Kevokian, who has lost is way, has become a puppet, and probably does not sleep well at night. "Doug" was a great guy, who took a job at the Archdiocese. I am not saying he sold his soul, but it is difficult to believe that he agrees with what goes on around him. If he does agree, he is not the person I remember.
"Evangelical Church, one could see a dynamic and vibrant Church with a clear vision for evangelization, growth and flexibility. What happened to those clergy and leaders in the Antiochian Church that made this happen?"
Stockholm Syndrome. Following the little attitude adjustment administered by His Eminence after the Fr. Joe Allen affair the boys from Goleta figured it out. It's go along to get along time.
I mean what could they do after publishing all those wonderful we found Orthodoxy and look at us now tomes?
So we Antiochians are back to being as compromised as the Russian church under communism. Our Lord is Truth ... liars make themselves the enemy of the Truth, the enemy of our Lord. What else are we to think given recent performances?
Councils have erred before ... I do not receive this latest self reversal of the Synod of Antioch. Impoverishing the apostolicity and catholicity of Holy Orthodoxy with Popes is not a teaching I will receive. It is *anathema*. We should better become Roman Catholics than dissolve bishops into glorified deacons for MP. There is no authority in local councils to redefine Orders. They fear losing the funding and power to an autocephalous church in America. Let's be clear about what their fear is and why the Synod has reversed itself and why Secretary Bishop Basil has been thrown under the bus by MP once again. If you do not love your flock, you cannot lead and we cannot hear. When I want an abusive father, I'll become a Muslim. Come Holy Spirit, renew your Church!