Saturday, November 6. 2010
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Yet another post concerning His Eminence. You are a glutton for punishment (but we appreciate it). No one seems to generate more controversy. How DO you keep up with reviewing all the comments?
(Editor's note: with difficulty. But thanks for caring....)
#1 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-11-06 10:10
According to the Toledo Blade,
"Metropolitan Philip said he sees no evidence of reports surfacing within the church of tension between immigrants and converts . . ."
In my opinion, the Metropolitan is entirely correct in this assessment.
The fault lines in the Midwest are not, I believe, between immigrants and converts. Those fault lines were already deep, long before the converts arrived.
Nobody, I suspect, perceives that circumstance more clearly than Metropolitan Philip, so much of whose early ministry was spent in striving to deal with that inherited problem.
Consequently, the Metropolitan was absolutely correct, also, to deny that "such tensions were partly to blame for Bishop Mark's downfall."
It would not have made much difference, I suspect, who was the bishop in the Midwest during the past half-decade. Any other bishop would have been faced with the same problems as Bishop Mark.
For that reason, let us all pray for the Metropolitan in his choice of our next bishop.
#2 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-06 10:17
Aside from the pick-and-choose attendance statistics of the annual meeting, what other metrics were used to evaluate +MARK's tenure? Isn't it incredible that he mentioned the poor attendance in Cincinnati? MP's own old-guard constituency torpedoed it with their threats upon the person of our bishop and their own boycott.
I don't see where parish life in the Midwest region suffered as result of +MARK's administration. In those cases where chronic graft and embezzlement are problems, he was trying to remediate those situations. Parish life and the establishment of missions in the diocese appear to be vibrant from where I sit.
To paraphrase the interview, he was a good student, he was a good deacon, a good priest and a good bishop.
So why exactly was MP so eager to get +MARK out of the way? Tell us father, as your postings appear to be that of an insider. What do you think of MP's action to remove a canonical bishop from his see without the convention of ecclesiastical court?
#2.1 MWP on 2010-11-08 05:27
"So why exactly was MP so eager to get +MARK out of the way? Tell us father, as your postings appear to be that of an insider."
First, I am hardly an "insider." As best I can, I pastor a modest parish in Chicago. That's it.
Second, the Metropolitan's reasons for the removal of Bishop Mark were clearly stated in his AFR interview with Kevin Allen.
I spoke with Kevin Allen and John Maddex in Nashville just days after the interview.
I can assure you: Kevin Allen believed the Metropolitan; John Maddex, who recorded the interview, also believed the Metropolitan.
I spoke with Bishop Mark two days later; Bishop Mark believed the Metropolitan.
Consequently, unless I misunderstand the situation, the only controversy about the Metropolitan's decision, right now, is between those who agree with the Metropolitan's reasons and those that don't.
As to his reasons, however, the Metropolitan could not have stated them more clearly.
Moreover, the Metropolitan's more recent interview with the Toledo Blade is entirely consistent with that interview on AFR.
#2.1.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-08 11:30
He added that "there have always been" auxiliary bishops in the church, and some biblical scholars view Timothy and Titus in the Bible as auxiliary bishops to St. Paul.
Wow is that intersting. In all my studies I have never run across a single biblical scholar that said something even remotely like that. But to be fair I have never read anything by Bp. Antoun.
I'd like to thank His Eminence for the ongoing clarifications in the Toledo Blade interview. What a wealth of information for our further commentary.
#3 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-06 10:52
"The earliest chorepiscopus of whom we have any knowledge was Zoticus, whom Eusebius designates as bishop of the village Cumana in Phrygia in the latter half of the second century." From "Chorepiscopi". Catholic Encyclopedia.
It's news to me, too, Kevin. What +Philip is referring to is quite a head-scratcher.
#3.1 Makarios on 2010-11-06 20:05
If +Philip is the only bishop who welcomes "converts" with open arms, how is it that a "convert" is now the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America? It seems His Eminence is somewhat out of touch with reality.
Then again, Antiochian finances may well be an "open book," but that book is locked away in a room where few are allowed to gaze at its pages. Most must settle for a "Readers' Digest version."
#4 Schema-monk on 2010-11-06 10:53
I have a nice, if possibly unrealistic, mental image. His Grace Bishop Joseph becomes Metropolitan, and, on his way to Englewood, opens the doors of his Los Angeles chancery, and tells His Grace Bishop Mark, "Welcome home."
#5 Anonymous on 2010-11-06 11:36
That is the most beautiful image that anyone can imagine at a time like this!
#5.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-06 18:58
Think again for Bishop Joseph well might outdo the Metr. in his decidely Old Country thinking. Traveling btoday in Damascus to further develop his image as atrue and worthy "son". After all, the Pat.'s God son, and do you THINK if three names were sent to the Synod - Bp J. would be ignored!
As many have said he was NOT elected by us only sent COD by the Pat. Actually, at first, to watch Met. P's actions. Where was he to defend Bp Mark? Think again ....
#5.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-06 19:46
"Old country" is not the problem. Send me a holy "old country" bishop anytime, rather then the "America=50's Episcopalian" one we have been subjected to......
#5.2.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-07 10:52
AS a member of the LA diocese I will change the locks!
#5.3 Anonymous on 2010-11-06 20:10
Go ahead and try to lock him out. But you can't lock everyone out. We are all over this country, immigrants, arab Americans and those who are new to the church. We are slowly but surely finding one another silently through the net. The days of corruption are over and
God will not be mocked. The mafia will be brought to it's knees and it will either be cleansed or thrown out of the church.
We have eyes and ears everywhere so there is no place to hide and you won't know who to trust.
#5.3.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-07 22:14
The only accurate thing Metropolitan Philip said in his latest interview with The Toledo Blade, is that "Bishop Mark is a very good bishop ... I remember him as a deacon and as a priest;, and he's very good, very good..."
At the same time, however, he bows to pressure from some powerful Arab priests (who don't like converts, especially bishop converts) and plays every political trick he has learned over the past 44 years to force this very good bishop of the Midwest Diocese to make a decision to leave the Antiochian church and join the Orthodox Church in America.
To justify what he had done, he says the Midwest Diocese is "deteriorating" because of declining attendance at annual Parish Life Conferences. He earlier complained that this year's summer conference, that attracted 400 people, didn't bring in enough money.
So, fire the bishop. Transfer the priests. Shake up the archdiocese.
In reality, three and four day parish life conferences can be expensive for families. All priests can't afford to attend each year, particularly in the Midwest which has been hit harder by the recession than other parts of the country.
So how is the metropolitan planning to "improve" attendance and "increase" profits at next year's conference in Cleveland?
It was learned at the recent Midwest Fall Gathering in Grand Rapids that +Philip will personally preside over the 2011 conference. He will require all priests to be there and to purchase a full book of tickets for all events, whether they can attend all events or not. Each priest will also be required to bring a certain number of paying parishioners to the conference. This will be a controlled event with the express purpose of proving that +Philip can get the job done, while +Mark could not. In fact, detailed plans for the 2011 conference were presented to the Fall Gathering as a "done deal," already approved well in advance by the metropolitan himself.
+Philip's ministry has, unfortunately, changed into not much more than how many people attended, and how much money did we make, and how much power do I have. (And talking about money, despite his assertion to The Toledo Blade that ..."I am very, very convinced that everything in this archdiocese is like an open book," he has yet to open the books that show how much money goes to the old country each year.
After making an example out of +Mark, the metropolitan nailed his 18 Theses on each bishop's door, with threats of "more to come." He treats our bishops like liturgical clerks, and they won't stand up to him. (He can't fire all of you.) Then he fires a priest on the spot in Terre Haute, Ind., and tosses him out into the street, with no regard to the pastor or his family.
Our Lord Jesus Christ never fired an apostle. He never treated anyone with contempt or disrespect. Why is it that our metropolitan archbishop follows a different role model?
#5.4 Alexander Bordoni on 2010-11-06 20:55
I hope the good Midwestern priests take bullhorns to the conference. Just in case, you know, they ask a question and someone decides to turn off the microphone.
You're right - even Judas was treated more kindly by our Lord than Met. Philip has treated Bp. Mark. The traitorous apostle's despairing death was his own work.
#5.4.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-06 22:13
You are right, Cordelia. Jesus treated Judas more kindly than +Philip treats our bishops (especially +Mark) and many of our priests.
And you are right about the microphone, too. When +Philip runs conventions, he accepts no opposing views or difficult questions from delegates. It was that way at both the archdiocese convention in Montreal and the last national conventioin in Palm Springs. He had goons running around the convention floor snatching from delegate tables "unauthorized" printed material.
Delegates with opposing views were immediately shut down at the microphone, most notably a woman delegate who tried to speak in favor of an external audit of all archdiocese funds.
So it is reasonable to assume that +Philip will run next year's Midwest conference in Cleveland the same way.
That's really a kick in the pants to delegates who pay their own way for travel, lodging, meals and convention tickets, only to find that they are not allowed to freely express their views, unless they agree with +Philip.
#126.96.36.199 Alexander Bordoni on 2010-11-07 15:17
well written Alexander Bordoni.
#5.4.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 19:52
To the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Toledo and the MidWest,
I am very sorry for the trouble and trauma you have suffered at the hands of the dictator who resides in Englewood. I read your post about him making it clear that you must all come to the conference, buy ticket books, etc.
That's a lot of bull, and you need to ignore his directive. He can't force anyone to attend the conference or any other "social time." He can expect the clergy to attend clergy meetings, but that's where it stops. Since he doesn't have to worry about money, being the multi-millionaire that he claims to be, perhaps he will offer some of his millions to assist some of you in your expenses - ha ha ha. It will be a cold day in hell before that ever happens.
No one is obligated to attend the PLC. Some people go because they want to learn more, some want to have time with friends around the Diocese who are far away, and others participate in the business of the Diocese. It is all free will, and unless you are a delegate or a clergy who parish can afford to reimburse you, you are probably paying your own way. It's way too expensive in these fancy hotels, and nowadays, people are struggling to pay their monthly expenses. The PLC is a luxury that many can no longer afford, and MP has no business demanding that you be there and buy ticket books. He is so out of touch with reality that is is disgusting. He cares nothing for the families who have lost jobs, homes, and dont' know where the next meal will come from, if it comes.
Don't let him pressure you. Those of you who can afford and who want to attend, go ahead. If you can't afford it, or no longer have the desire to attend, forget about, and you don't have to make any excuses to anyone. It's not his business who attends, who doesn't and why?
Time for the dictator to leave town.
Did any antiochian diocesan conference have a thousand people?
Do they have the unemployment rates that cities in the Midwest have? NO!
+Philip is simply covering up his actions once again.
Back to the old addage, "*Shoot the messenger.*"
Bishop Mark began to report on the financial scandals within his diocese and attempted to implement financial controls beyond MP two signature on every check policy.
There is nothing like a smoke screen to distract attention away from what everyone should really be looking at, "Where is the MONEY?"
#5.4.4 anonymous on 2010-11-10 09:54
As my anglo-scottish grandmother would say ...Met Phillip is either mad or bad !
#6 STEPHEN on 2010-11-06 13:41
From The Blade article:
"But he said he felt compelled to act because of the "deteriorating situation" in the Midwest, evident by declining attendance at annual Parish Life Conferences."
I am a member at St. Elias, attend all liturgies, partake of communion regularly, attend vespers, have failed to attend morning prayers daily but do usually attend once a week. I would have loved to have attended the annual Parish Life Conference held in our area a few months ago, but my husband is retired and, even though we live in the area and would not need a hotel room nor travel expenses, I found the cost of the individual meetings to be exorbitant. Such an event as a conference should be a learning opportunity for all and not a fundraiser. Once I found out about the costs I totally lost interest as I felt money coming in was the object - not knowledge going out. People have enough expenses just getting there. I did attend the ladies luncheon.
The "deteriorating situation in the Midwest" has to do with the costs of existing and has nothing to do with BpMARK. Why doesn't Metropolitan Philip ask how many people in the diocese have had their earnings cut, perhaps then he'd get the idea of where many are. If he's so concerned about people not attending, why not put on the conferences free of charge to the people as this would put some of his personal money to use benefiting the people now.
#7 Carol Yonov on 2010-11-06 16:21
There was a $10 registration fee for the conference + $10 surcharge for anyone not buying tickets. Ticket prices were to pay for the social events or banquet, not to pay for the seminars, lectures, meetings, bible studies for church services.
#7.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-10 15:31
I love Sayidna Philip with all my heart and will forever support him and his decisions. He is a man of character and love and pray he continues to lead us all for many many years to come. Mark, you should kiss the ground he walks on, just as I do.
#8 Anonymous on 2010-11-06 17:28
Oh, come on.
You, anonymous, are sounding just like a moonstruck girl in eighth grade, seriously confusing infatuation with piety.
#8.1 Scott Walker on 2010-11-07 07:56
I think this may be one of the satire artists from theantiochian.com. Boy, do I miss that website.....
#8.1.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-07 10:57
You never know, it could be a real koolaid drinker or one his Saliba relatives.
The name Saliba is appropriate because Met. Phil has become a cross that all of us are bearing. Especially, the clergy, first Fr. Oliver Herbel then Bishop Mark, now Fr. David Moretti, and Fr. Paul Albert. And Fr. Elias was thrown out for voicing his opposition to Fr. David's dismissal.
#188.8.131.52 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-09 23:15
It is my sincere hope that attendance at the upcoming Parish Life Conference in the Midwest is WAY down this year.
#9 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-06 17:40
We should hold a rival conference across town....I bet we can make it more fun and cheap to. Rent out a firehall, and debke all night!
#9.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-07 10:59
I hope you don't call yourself a "Christian", because a Christian wouldn't wish anything bad on anything or anyone.
#9.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 20:46
We also hope the Klu Klux Klan rally won't attract anyone. Its not a sin to wish the evil doesn't prosper.
#9.2.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-08 07:35
Hoping that people won't support an event to bolster someone's justification for dismissing an enthroned bishop is not un-Christian or "bad." It's not like I'm advocating that people push and shove or grab microphones or anything! Now THAT would be bad. Hmmm. . . by your definition, Metropolitan Philip is "bad" because he not only "wishes" bad things on people, he carries them out. Perhaps you should confront him about un-Christian behavior.
#9.2.2 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-08 10:59
You dont remember who the bishop of the midwest was before Bishop Mark? I wont say his name...the bishop who was caught on video in a casino sexually assaulting a woman by innappropriately touching her while he was drunk!!!! do you not remember this man?
....judgement day will be a miserable day...the fires of gehenna will burn eternally for these wolves that dress as sheep.
#10 terribly sad on 2010-11-06 17:56
He was visiting people, they took him there. They tempted him. He sinned, and repented. It is sad he did that with his position, but he has paid his price and now doing good work again at a different capacity. He is not the bishop anymore...move on.
#10.1 Happy on 2010-11-07 12:17
I agree with you happy. Bp. Demetri should not be an acting bishop, but he sinned and repented. Let's leave him alone....
#10.1.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-08 07:36
For someone who dislikes confusion so, he certainly has gone out of his way to create it.
#11 Mary Brigid on 2010-11-06 18:03
I would like to hear how Met. P. would defend his decision regarding Fr. Ephraim in Worcester, Ma?
#12 dizzy on 2010-11-07 04:04
What's the deal in Worcester, MA?
#12.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 07:18
I just read in the Word that a seminarian is in charge of the New England Cathedral? Whats up with that?
#12.1.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-07 11:00
Worcester's two priests have been recently lost to the Cathedral in Worcester under mysterious circumstances, and MP had a seminarian ordained to perform liturgy on Sunday. He can't serve the parish during the week since he is still going to classes at the seminary. Of course, MP hasn't seen fit to visit us at the Cathedral in Worcester to let us know what is going on ... so many priests to fire, and so little time.
#184.108.40.206 Disgusted in Worcester on 2010-11-08 07:56
Father Ephraim is a very beloved priest at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, MA. MP recently sent him a letter ordering him not to perform any priestly functions for any reason - with no explanation as to why. One of our dear parishioners was on his death bed last week and asked for Fr Ephraim, who didn't visit this poor man because it would have violated MP's directive. The gentleman passed away a day or so later.
Many Worcester parishioners are outraged at MP and have begun organizing to see what they can do to reverse this nonsense - including the withholding of Archdiocese dues and consideration of leaving the AOCA and joining the OCA.
#12.1.2 Disgusted in Worcester on 2010-11-07 20:52
Where's Fr. Michael Abdelahad?
#220.127.116.11 Antionymous on 2010-11-08 07:38
What happened to Fr. Michael Abdulahad - isn't he the Dean?
There are two deacons listed as the only clergy at the Cathedral on the St. George website. Isn't this the home of one of the Archdiocese Board members who was the subject of controversy last summer?
#18.104.22.168 Just Wondering on 2010-11-08 08:01
.... The Parish Council and MP need to speak to the people of St. George and come out with the truth once and for all!
#22.214.171.124.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-08 10:06
The Parish Council in Worcester has been threated by a few members or non-voting members of the council to keep their silence or they will be thrown off the board. Perhaps these few do not understand by keeping silent the parish roars with rumors and speculation. I would not be surprised if these few will try to threaten members of the parish into silence. Does any of this sound familiar? LET THE TRUTH ROAR THROUGHOUT THE CHURCHES. Sometimes silence is not golden.
#126.96.36.199.1.1 silence on 2010-11-08 11:56
the truth will come out and this one is pretty valid from what i have heard through the grape vine. Sometimes being on the board you must not speak until it is public and ok to speak to the community. have you not ever been a part of the board?
(Editor's note: Careful, Happy. Are you suggesting the others have not "been valid"? Oops. )
#188.8.131.52.1.1.1 Happy on 2010-11-09 07:27
No, I'm just saying it doesn't sound as canonically confusing. I hope that makes sense. I want to here what others say before I speak anything because I just heard through the grapevine. i don't know the specifics. I just have ears so it could be watered down by now or just a rumor.
#184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Happy on 2010-11-09 15:03
For the sake of the parishioners it would be good to get an ‘official’ explanation [story] out there ASAP. So far nothing public has been offered from anyone in authority with the exception of a general letter announcing the absence of the priests. The ongoing [at least four months now] conflict between the clergy and parishioners has left two priests on ‘leave of absence’ with severe restrictions as to their ministry, again, with no official statement or explanation. Certainly, this situation is ripe for rumors and stories and they’re now spreading from Worcester to Wallowa. Some of the rumors ain’t pretty – hopefully they are unfounded. Perhaps an invitation to a qualified outside professional mediator would be in order but at the very least a little more aggressive ‘damage control’ on the part of the parish leadership [elected or otherwise].
#18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Still Wondering on 2010-11-10 14:41
I will say this, his ultimatum led to is own absence.
#126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.1 Happy on 2010-11-12 11:19
parish council is run by Fawez EL Khouri. Met Philip has appointed(he is not elected by the parish) him a member of the Parish Council- contrary to our constitution
#184.108.40.206.1.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-09 05:13
So why don't you all boycott your own parish? There is no priest to harm.
STop giving money. Give the metropolitan an ultimatum.
The only words met. Phil underestands all begin with dollar signs.
Tell him no more money until Fawaz is permanently off the council.
shut off the source of his power.....no more money for the millionaire bishop!
#220.127.116.11.1.2.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-10 14:27
I understand that there are other very ill members of St George who are requesting a visit from Fr. Ephraim and he must refuse. I can not think of many things so sad as to have a sick, probably very scared person looking for comfort from a priest and that priest is unable to attend to their needs. Just awful. I say ENOUGH(KHALAS) Sayedna and please, I beg you to think of your people.
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2010-11-11 05:09
"To the presiding spirit of the church in Toledo write. I hold this against you. You have turned aside from your early love of Hofli's and Conventions. If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand." (Englewood Revelation 2:1-4)
#13 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-07 05:48
"Brothers, dress not as the Greek or the Russian, but as the Presbyterian, lest your grace be forfeit and you be cast out. But show instead love for your Elders, and by love I mean that sweet, sweet cash." (Hoosiers 7:3-11)
#13.1 Christopher on 2010-11-07 13:35
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.
(Editor's note: Lighten up. No one is changing prophecies - its analogical. And clever.. - and thought-provokoing.)
#13.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 20:51
Sick is what I saw in Palm Desert. People adoring Met. Phil as if he were a god. And anyone who tried to question him was shut out or literally pushed down to the ground by one of his thugs.
Our archdiocese is run by the mob.
#13.2.1 Iskandra tannous on 2010-11-08 07:44
"I am the only Orthodox bishop in America that has welcomed converts with open arms. ... I love converts because they are so pious. ..."
1. What is the probability that next MW bishop should be a convert also?
2. Pious = zealots who keep the church fasts (but atleast they donate well).
#14 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 06:50
We all have budgets and have to prioritize. I am trying year after year to get closer to tithing.
"because Toledo is within driving distance from throughout the diocese, which cuts convention expenses. "
Out of touch... With gas, hotel, food, and convention expenses, it will still be well in excess of $500 for my family. I am not saying the convention is bad, but it is not a priority in my budget. Should I cut back on my giving to the church to go to the convention?
I can guarantee that I won't be part of the tremendous crowd next year, I'll be eating perogi and halupki instead (translatation: under the jurisdiction of another Metropolitan).
#15 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 07:06
There is no defense for + Philip. He is as wrong as the day is long. Building on lies, lies & more lies. REMOVE HIM!!!
#16 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 07:23
I cannot speak for others, but my family tends not to frequent conferences that involve public death threats and armed police protection - even when we can otherwise afford to go.
Perhaps I missed something about Orthodox faith and ecclesiology in my catechism, but I have never heard of the worthiness of a bishop described in terms of attendance at conferences or his ability to raise funds. Nor have I ever heard of a bishop being deprived of his throne for reasons such as these.
On the other hand, I have read many accounts of preeminent bishops appealing to the rebellious flock of another bishop to submit themselves to the godly rule of their local bishop. But never have I read that the rebellious and unrepentant who threatened their local bishop were subsequently retained in positions of honor…until now.
If such is the new ‘Tradition’ I, for one, do not receive it.
#17 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-11-07 07:54
Conventions are relics from the past. We Arabs went to them to meet prospective mates. Originally, they were excuses to have Haflis and party.
Many young people got drunk and lost their virginity at these events. I remember rescuing one friend from a very drunk Arab american guy in the 1970s.
Over time the youth conventions became family events to raise money for the regions and national church. It also gave people an excuse to be seen and dress up in fancy clothes.
Now poor priests are forced to go to these archaic events and spend money on boring banquets and haflis. These dinosaur events need to go so churches have more money to give to the poor and create ministries within their parishes.
EVERYONE needs to boycott all conventions and conferences to stop the flow of money. Just say no. We all need to save our money during these recessionary times.
#17.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-08 15:56
You are disgusting with your posts. I have been going for over 35 years on/off even as a youth and I will say yes people did drink at these haflis but you are spearing this entire event as if it was for promiscuity. You should be ashamed of yourself.
We did go there to communicate with other Orthodox youth, adults, and clergy. We went there to be a part of a small community to share values and yes..to hopefully meet someone within the faith.
I'm guessing you probably never found someone there so you have a bitter taste in your mouth about it. That is just my guess.
However, do not shun this event and the convention. It is the only thing we have for Orthodox (Arab or not) to meet each other and it is the best place to meet each other. Hafli's have nothing to do with our faith, it is for us to socialize, get to know each other, etc.
If people do things that are offensive to you...you know what, they are adults and can make their own decisions. We don't have to agree with them and don't use them to trash talk these conventions. I hope your not in the AOCA anymore to be honest.
(Editor's note: Anyone who thinks these things don't happen at events where young adults are present is playing ostrich. It is not confined to the Archdicoese, this or the larger one, nor even the ethnic churches, or even those gatherings only in America. On this I speak from personal experience as the former Secretary General of the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth Organizations. The question is not whether it will happen, but whether the events at the gathering encourage, promote and facilitate it happening, or rather, sufficient alternatives are offered to keep them too busy, too exhausted, to make it easy. Let's more on...)
#17.1.1 Happy on 2010-11-09 08:09
LOL! Yeah, like I would have ever married one of those drunken fools.
No sweetie I found a nice man outside of the confines of the Antiocian Orthodox mafia. I was foolish enough to believe we were suppose to go to conferences to find Christ. And then a miracle occurred. Very pious Christians found us. They had a whole new vision of what a conference could be. When they put Christ at the center of the conferences a whole new vision of who we could be become as Orthodox CHristians became apparent to me.
Call me disgusting, unChristian, or whatever you want.
I could care less.
What have written is true. My close relation was one of the founders of SOYO so I know what I am talking about.
The truth hurts when I tell it like it was.
I also saw delegates being pushed to the ground in Palm Desert
#22.214.171.124 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-09 15:40
I am glad you found someone. That wasn't my point. the point i was making was the fact that this was all we had. I personally do not see anything wrong with the hafli's nor dances in general. I do not see anything wrong with having a drink with a fellow Orthodox at a convention as well. Didn't Christ allow us to celebrate in moderation?
Luke 12:19 "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry."
There is nothing wrong with having a drink at a convention if you are above the age of 21 and not a drunk and no your limits. I'm not saying everyone knows their limits but I am saying that with a clear mind many can enjoy a nice beverage and music during a social time in a mature manor. A few fools do not define the rest.
Palm Desert was a little odd because it was emotional, with that said I have to say it was still a great time.
#126.96.36.199.1 Happy on 2010-11-10 07:38
"You are disgusting with your posts. I have been going for over 35 years on/off even as a youth ... I'm guessing you probably never found someone there so you have a bitter taste in your mouth about it."
You're a hoot yourself. I'm just thinking of all things to be outraged over, and you're ready to jump through your computer monitor over priests wearing cassocks and Arab-American women suggesting that maybe the 1970's were not a highwater mark in the life of the Church.
A lot has happened in 35 years and your obsession over appearances and fitting in with the larger culture are misplaced.
#188.8.131.52 The Anti-Gnostic on 2010-11-09 16:41
I was disgusted and upset correct because that was the time we Orthodox had together. It was still full of Christ's love and service, yet also allowed us enjoy ourselves like human beings, individuals that we were.
I would not want to meet someone at a convention in a fake, false environment. At least it was honest in a sense that it had our Faith as the primary bond and goal, and we were also able to be ourselves and have a drink, dance and socialize in a "normal" social event. It would be completely abnormal and I would not have met anyone in true honesty if we were just sitting in a circle doing a ice breaker or bible circle.
I am sure your smarter than that to understand my point. You can bash me, call me a hoot or whatever but one thing is for certain is that if you disagree with me in this sense you are one of the few of the majority, which is fine. That is your opinion.
Mark S. was right on the money when he said it happens everywhere, but we are adults and want to be treated as adults. If people chose to do something, or behave in a ridiculous manor that is their opinion and right.
Conventions of the past are summarized as this to me:
1. Christ and the Church which bonds us together
2. Meetings, Services, Learning New Things
3. Events and Meeting new people
3. Social Gatherings, hanging out in the lobby, going to the city, hanging out at the bar in the hotel or yes....hafli's/dances with alcholic bar because I am over 21 and legally have the right to not be a hypocrate and hide that I want to drink with a friend or friends my age.
#184.108.40.206.1 Happy on 2010-11-10 07:49
From a third party perspective, there seem to be an awfully lot of lies in the Metropolitan's effort to justify his actions.
Declining attendance...not economy related. Caused by the Bishop himself? Lack of inspiration?
Not the economy, heavens no. Worst unemployment since the 30s and the economy is no factor.
... How can you say he is a very, very good bishop on one hand and move him on another.. Credit him for poor oversight and say accounting isn't necessary, recognize theft, but ask for no legal recourse in the courts?
Only thing I can see is someone trying to cover up some cockroaches.
#18 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-11-07 08:00
Only God can judge +Philip and the holy scriptures are full of examples of the downfall of thieves and liars.
#19 Anonymous on 2010-11-07 11:05
I would not cross the street to attend the conference and have no intention of attending as long as bishops and priests are treated like subhumans by MP. In addition, I will be encouraging EVERYONE to stay away.
#20 Ivan HadEnough on 2010-11-07 17:00
Tell me what heresy did His Grace Mark introduce among the faithful of the Midwest? Did he commune non-Chalcedonians?This of course would merit one's removal.
Did he say that the Holy Orthodox Church worship's the same God as the Christ and Holy Trinity denying Muslim's? If so let him be anathema.
Or did someone guilty of such offenses act as judge of someone blameless?
Last time I checked the Holy Ecumenical Councils and their canons never mentioned poor attendance at a Regional Convention as an offense against God or His Church that merits the removal of a sitting Bishop.
Your Eminence, you profess love of converts please explain this to me. The increasingly least converted of those professing conversion. (To Antiochian Orthodoxy) so called.
#21 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-07 17:48
In Louisville there is a priest from the non-Chalcedonian tradition who serves there every Sunday. And several times a year he has a non-Chalcedonian service in the chapel at St Michael parish. To be fair, my understanding is that the Metropolitan has blessed this (the priest serving and the non-Chalcedonian Saturday liturgies) well before Bishop Mark's time.
(Editor's note: Well, thank God we are able to show a little hospitality to sister-churches, albeit still formally estranged, having received so much hospitality ourselves so often in the past from those whom we do nothing but criticize and denigrate. Philoxenia is a virtue.)
#21.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-09 14:57
I agree with you, Mark. But my point is in reference to the comment above mine. Bishop Mark did allow non-Chalcedonians to commune, and this is in large part considered acceptable throughout the Antiochian Patriarchate. I personally think it is a tragedy we have not formally reconciled.
This also speaks to a broader point that I see in these intense discussions. We have a tendency to completely vilify our opponent and make a saint of the leaders on the side we choose. We are all humans and we all have faults. Orthodoxy is not black and white, and decisions are not made in a box. Bishop Mark was not so overly "Orthodox" that he refused non-Chalcedonians.
According to Kevin Kirwan, Bishop Mark accepting non-Chalcedonians would justify his removal.
(Editor's note: It is the policy throughout much of the OCA, for example, and indeed in many parishes throughout the GOA I have visited, that non-chalcedonian lay people are communed if they participate in the life of the parish, through confession, etc., without further ado. If that is a reason for justifying his removal, we would lose a great number of priests and most bishops throughout America, and not a few beyond her boundaries....!
#21.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-09 20:54
Glory to Jesus Christ!
I know of archpriests who commune non-Chalcedonians. I am one of them. When a Coptic Christian came to St Stephen's years ago, I asked then-bishop JOB what to do, and his direction was to quietly allow him to come. His stated reason was (and I'm sorry I am not quoting him) that the rank and file are unaware of the theological issues dividing us (even Orthodox are largely unaware that they are not "monophysites," as we often label them), that he had no other place to go within about two hours' drive and he wasn't going anywhere else, and that he freely recites the Creed and has no problem with anything in our teaching, hymns, services, prayers, etc. (He didn't indicate even an awareness of our theological differences.) That particular man did not continue with us, but a bit later, when an Armenian man was dying in the hospital, I heard his confession, communed him and buried him, and I sought to get his family to church. And more recently, when an Ethiopian family came to Saint Stephen's, my obedient-to-my-then-archbishop response was to baptize their children, give them communion, and tell them to come to catechism and church school.
As Fr John Meyendorff (of blessed memory!) taught us in patristics at SVS, we hold the exact same faith. The major talks of the 60s-80s, sponsored by the WCC, confirmed this. An objective study into the non-Chalcedonians' modern statements and stands indicates this as well.
I realize that this is a difficult issue, with years of anathemas and genuine, theological problems to hammer out. I am not at all suggesting everyone automatically commune anybody. Our situation at St Stephen's is perhaps unique. But I am against simply perpetuating the ancient error that these genuine Christians are "monophysites," and I would like to see dialogue with the express purpose of reuniting with them officially --which will require BOTH "sides" to repent of various historical sins.
If our new bishop tells me not to, I of course will cease. But those who misuse the canons by legalistically quoting them as if they were universal scriptures for every man in every place and time, and simply impose 1550 year-old decisions upon us today without regard for the spirit of the canon, the circumstances of the canon, and the purpose of the canon in the eyes of our holy fathers who wrote it, then I they have a "guilty" party: me. If I need correction, I welcome it.
But I think this is a larger issue, and one which plagues us in the Orthodox Church. In my opinion, it is precisely the legalistic application of canons that not only misses their purpose, but sometimes winds up doing the opposite of what the canon was really for. Please let me be clear: I am not at all in favor of ignoring the canons (During the Joe Allen scandal, Saidna PHILIP used to say --and here I do quote: The canons (on clerical bigamy) are "outdated"; "We need to enter the twentieth century!"). No. The canons are our lifeline to wisdom and applying the scriptures to practical life and none of them are "outdated." We just need to dig deeper than legalism and follow what the canons are actually seeking to defend and teach in their own unique historical and cultural contexts.
Father Mark Hodges
If so many members of the Damascus Synod are really that old, it may be no wonder why they can't seem to remember their decisions and keep sending mixed messages and ignoring the Canons when it means big "donations" from the so-called Diaspora. Perhaps there should be mandatory retirement ages for Orthodox bishops like there are for Catholics (except for the Pope) given that there are too many hierarchs all over the world who just don't know when to quit? Power divided is power checked after all.
Glorious Leader is the only one who welcomed converts? That's news to OCA, Bulgarian Archdiocese and ROCOR which also has a WRITE Vicarite consiting almost entirely of adult converts.
If this is the Antiochian idea of Orthodoxy, I'd rather be a protestant.It's time for all the AOANA faithful to cut off their funding and vote with their feet (but they wont).
But Glorious Leader was telling the truth about one thing: Bishop Mark was a very good bishop. OCA is getting a gem. And ROCOR has plenty more room for priests.
#22 VSO on 2010-11-07 19:47
so does HOCNA/GOC Metropolis of Portland
#22.1 John Peter Presson on 2010-11-08 09:24
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."
Apostasy is NOT the answer.
#22.1.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-08 10:48
Perhaps every bishop over 70 should have a psychiatriac examination to be evaluated for demetia or alzheimers.
#22.2 anonymous on 2010-11-08 15:26
In the case of a certain Despot, I think an exorcism might be more beneficial (and I am not being facetious).
#22.2.1 Heracleides on 2010-11-09 12:39
The latest response by Metro Phil regarding the midwest region is truly bizarre, especially as he blames Bishop Mark for the decline at Conventions. Attendance has been declining over the years for many reasons, and two years ago, the physical threats from one of the Metropolitan's board members at a Parish Life Conference did put a damper on events.
What Metro Phil doesn't comprehend is that these very expensive conventions no longer have the importance they once had when he was young, and people, especially young people would come to look for prospective mates, and Lebanese and other middle eastern members of the diaspora could have reunions. I can understand why they were important to those families. But as times have changed and more converts have entered the mix, and more assimilation has occurred, they are no longer crucial to the archdiocese. I've been to a convention in Chicago where the Metropolitan invited Jesse Jackson (OF ALL PEOPLE!!!), and attendees dressed up in their fancy clothes and paraded around, and there were dances and banquets. Priests wore cassocks (I guess they ripped them off when they went out into the streets). As a convert, I found it peculiar, but gradually came to understand the importance of these biennial meetings. The Church has changed, quickly, in the past few years. I have heard that 75 percent of the priests are converts who are basically ignored by the Metro. As for Bishop Mark, if those meetings in the midwest have declined, it is because the Metro's buddies around Detroit have sat on their hands and refused to go (so Bp. Mark could be blamed). It's just sick. For converts, it's hard to understand why thousands of dollars should be spent to send poor priests on pitiful salaries to these gatherings, and if they have attended them, they find it hard to understand exactly what the purpose of these meetings can be.
Antiochian Orthodoxy, especially in the midwest, is a two-tiered society where the Metropolitan's friends get special treatment and the rest are ignored. Poor Bishop Mark. As a convert, he tried to bring more services (shame on him!!) and played down the significance of ethnic fairs. Everyone knows that Toledo has terrible attendance at their services, and so he sneaked off to Sylvania and came to St. Michael's whenever he had a chance to get a little spiritual refreshment, and he was criticized and punished for his halting efforts to support the Faith. If any mistake was made, it was to throw him into this hotbed where he was destined to be criticized because he was not part of the tribe. But that was not his fault. He was assigned to that region and he tried to do his best, but was ridiculed by the pompous priests.
Meanwhile the convert priests cower in the corner, concerned for their parishes, their positions, their families. This archdiocese is truly sick. The Metropolitan may brag about allowing converts into HIS church, but converts, as far as he is concerned (except for a few "chosen" token showcase priests) are ignored, and convert piety is ridiculed behind their backs. The Metropolitan needs to be honest with himself. Converts are anxious to please, they love and admire their old country brothers, but will never be part of the tribe. People, especially priests and probably bishops are cowed, afraid and truly disheartened. The Metropolitan may want their financial support, but not their imput. He has resumed the position as dictator and is driving converts away from the Church. We are very sad.
#23 anon on 2010-11-08 04:45
"I've been to a convention in Chicago where the Metropolitan invited Jesse Jackson (OF ALL PEOPLE!!!), and attendees dressed up in their fancy clothes and paraded around, and there were dances and banquets."
I believe this is not true. It was my understanding, at the time, that Jesse Jackson asked to address the Convention and was refused.
Mr Jackson invited himself to the convention, walking in with his entourage during the final Divine Liturgy. The Metropolitan, in politeness, simply acknowledged the intruder's presence.
#23.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-08 08:43
"Mr Jackson invited himself to the convention, walking in with his entourage during the final Divine Liturgy. The Metropolitan, in politeness, simply acknowledged the intruder's presence."
I was not aware that Divine Liturgy was ever closed to anyone, except back in the old days of persecution and catechumens in the narthex. In this day and age, Jesse Jackson is as welcome to attend a Divine Liturgy as anyone else.
I should mention that Jesse Jackson was one of the few non-Orthodox figures in America to listen to the pleas of the Serbian Orthodox Church during the Kosovo War. He is NOT an "intruder".
#23.1.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-08 11:22
I do hope this defense of Jesse Jackson represents a trend.
If we can manage to change the current discussion to a conversation about Jesse Jackson, it would be a liberating experience for the whole archdiocese.
Most of us, one suspects, would have no trouble at all, telling Jesse Jackson where to get off.
Let us all look forward to more robust commentary on this thread.
(Editor's note: But not about Jesse Jackson. Take politics somewhere else, please. There is a whole world in which to comment and debate them, even in a Christian context. There are very few in which to discuss the matters we are discussing. The world does not need yet another political site, and we would be poorer, at least in my mind, were this one sidetracked. Thanks for your cooperation.)
#220.127.116.11 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-09 14:17
Um Mark, I think Fr. Patrick is being facetious....
(Editor's note: Right. Got it. And I was just using him to make a point I make about every year. No politics, please. Even funny ones.)
#18.104.22.168.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-09 15:12
The politics of the AOCA should be refused from this site too then? Let's just talk about the smell of different incense fragrances and your recommendations. lol.
(Editor's note: No, only national secular politics are frowned upon. Except, of course, if the reference is really witty and clever..... )
#22.214.171.124.1.1 Happy on 2010-11-10 10:59
I do not consider myself to be a Metropolitan Philip supporter, but I find your characterization here to be grossly misleading, in several areas.
First of all, most priests in the Antiochian Archdiocese should not be classified as "poor." Most of our parishes do a decent job compensating clergy. We could do a lot better in the area of clergy retirement and insurance, but in terms of straight-up salary we do a good job, finding ourselves somewhere between the Greeks and the OCA. Sure, there are exceptions, but these exceptions are primarily in small mission parishes, and I have never know any of our bishops to refuse to allow a priest to work a secular job if he needs more money.
Your portrait of the convert/cradle relations is also grossly exagerrated. I believe it is true that most convert priests will never attain the status in Metropolitan Philip's eye that an Arab priest could obtain. But I do not find that bothersome because Metropolitan Philip has good relations with many converts and bad relations with many cradle priests.
The real issue with Metropolitan Philip is whether you follow his basic ideology, which he sees as being 'simple' and anti-"fundamentalism." He does not like converts who come into the Church and look at him judgmentally as a 'modernist' or 'innovator.' Neither does he like the cradle clergy who view him that way.
I could go on and on with this issue, but will leave it at this for now. The issue is not convert vs. cradle, it is the mindset by which one lives and practices the faith that divides the Archdiocese.
In terms of PLCs and Conventions/Symposia, most parishes spend $3,000-$5,000 MAX sending their clergy to these. This is not unreasonable. Sure, people complain about the hotel rates often, but to get a hotel with big enough meeting space and/or in an attractive area (meaning somewhere like Chicago instead of somewhere like Sheboygan, WI--where it will cost you a bunch more to fly in there anyway) you are going to have to pay at least $125 per night or higher.
Essentially every parish/parish council complains about the cost of the Conventions, but they complain about spending a dime on anything. Unfortunately, the Orthodox are always concerned about spending anything. If they spent as much time worrying about increasing parish stewardship (not only financial stewardship, but a sense of belonging to the parish and taking accountability for its life) we would have an abundance. If most of our established, non-mission parishes had even 25% of their people give 5% of their income to the parish our coffers would be full. Instead, we have so many people in the 'dues' mindset that we have most people giving less than $2,000 per year to the parish. When that happens then you have to worry about every dime. If people were good stewards these Conventions would be a blip on our radar screen.
As for the poor, I am always interested in helping them and my own parish does a good job with this. Having little money is no excuse to not help the poor. It is very easy to begin and sustain a food pantry. The cost of purchasing non-perishable groceries is normally picked up by parishioners who desire to help, and this is never reflected in their pledges. It is also easy to volunteer at local charities, soup kitchens, etc. There is simply no excuse for any parish to not help the poor in some way.
Again, I am no Metropolitan Philip supporter. He has done a lot of things wrong and, frankly, should retire or be forced to retire. The damage he has done is irreparable. But, please, let's keep attention on the important matters. Getting rid of Conventions helps no one. Claiming that Metropolitan Philip doesn't care about converts doesn't help and is not true.
Let's focus on the issues: the demotion of bishops, the promotion of people with criminal backgrounds and connections, the maltreatment of priests who 'cross' him, and the lack of financial transparency.
#23.2 Antiochian Priest on 2010-11-09 15:20
You write, "In terms of PLCs and Conventions/Symposia, most parishes spend $3,000-$5,000 MAX sending their clergy to these. This is not unreasonable."
I gather you hale from a part of the country where Antiochian parishes are large and long-established. Much of the Archdiocese is in what for Holy Orthodoxy is the mission field, and even missions that have grown to parishes are often small enough that a needless expense of $3000 will break the annual budget, particularly if membership is down due to a few families moving away without being replaced or giving is down due to job losses among the faithful in a recession (a tithe of one's unemployment compensation is a good deal less than a tithe of a salary or of hourly wages with overtime, and parishioners will generally chose to pay their mortgage or rent ahead of tithing at all).
Quite frankly, it is unreasonable.
#23.2.1 DNY on 2010-11-09 20:45
Metropolitan Philip notes that "there have always been auxilliary bishops in the Church" --correct as that may be, what is canonically unprecedented is the elevation of auxilliary bishops to ruling bishops and then dethroning them to auxilliary status.
#24 John Peter Presson on 2010-11-08 08:23
Noting that he will turn 80 in June, the metropolitan said he wants to retire but the Holy Synod of Antioch rejected the request.
Would it be of help to his Eminence if a significant number of the beloved laity lobbied in behalf of his well desreved retirement?
P.S. Was this request in writing or was it merely mentioned over some cake and expresso's?
#25 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-08 11:54
Re: Worcester situation. The Worceter parish is now operating like the Synod in Damscus, and the Arhdiocese iln America. Trustees not standing up to what is right. Parish council in Worcester not standing up to the cabal that is running the church into the ground..... Convert ready to jump
#26 Daniel Bitar on 2010-11-08 13:56
"I am the only Orthodox bishop in America that has welcomed converts with open arms. You know that," he said.
Such a statement destroys what little is left of the metropolitan's credibility and maligns the other dozens of Orthodox bishops in North America. Does he really believe that, or was that statement a PR calculation? Either way, it's deeply alarming.
#27 James P. on 2010-11-08 16:19
He is talking about the EOC. He WAS the only Orthodox bishop who welcomed them with open arms. The rub is that he did it in a most un-Orthodox way. "And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true."
(Editor's note: That is not fully accurate. He was not the only Orthodox bishop who welcomed them with open arms. He was the only one who welcomed them on their terms. There is a big difference.)
#27.1 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-09 10:40
Point taken, however, I think we can both agree that the former EOC members believed he was the only one who welcomed them. They saw Metropolitan Philip as a true visionary and themselves as having a principal role in a historic event that would one day be extended to others through them. Pretty heady stuff. It must have seemed like the hand of God was on them. How can they be faulted for not knowing how un-Orthodox it was? They trusted Metropolitan Philip. I imagine speaking out against a man who was responsible for the single most important event in your life would be akin to turning on an army buddy who took a bullet for you. Some bonds transcend all, which is why I think we haven't heard from them. - One of the heads of the EOC was asked to give a blessing in front of a small group following a particularly uncomfortable meeting with Metropolitan Philip in early July of 2009. The man started to speak and broke down in tears. It was the most painful thing to watch. As much as I wish they WOULD speak out, I understand (I don't agree, but I understand) why they're not.
#27.1.1 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-09 16:35
One of the heads of the EOC was asked to give a blessing in front of a small group following a particularly uncomfortable meeting with Metropolitan Philip in early July of 2009. The man started to speak and broke down in tears.
This may seem harsh but I am still going to say it. Where is the man among them? I certainly do not judge the man who broke down and wept but where is the one willing to take on the hypocrite like another man in Antioch once did named Paul?
As a former presbyter in their group I can attest to the fact that they were never timid or particularly humble in the face of any difficulty. Ask one of them about their own spiritual court system? Judge Roy Bean or Met. Philip would be right at home.
I guess once they found what they considered legitimacy, shutting up and putting up became their modus operandi. Even a new found humility it seems. I just hope it's real.
Of course I like most can understand their self preservation mode I just can't respect or excuse it.
#27.1.2 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-10 15:02
I can't say that I respect it either, Kevin. Not after all this.
#126.96.36.199 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-10 16:39
Dear Fr. Reardon,
Thank you for the clarification about Jesse Jackson. I certainly do not mean to defame the Metropolitan for inviting Jackson if it is true that He simply pushed his way into the convention. I had not heard that story before, and the people I know were quite shocked to see him there.
#28 anon on 2010-11-08 17:42
A "good" priest - I have heard, over and over again, that a good priest must graduate from seminary. I am over 65 years' old, and must say that I have attended Orthodox churches that have had priests that did not attend seminary, or even go to college, and were wonderful. Some are no longer with us, but they cared for the members of their parish, visited the sick, and practiced what they preached. A seminarian degree does not necessarily made a good priest. So all of you who continue to say that a "good" priest must granduate from seminary, may want to rethink what makes a "good" priest.
#29 weary on 2010-11-09 05:29
In today's American society where the majority of people in parishes have college degrees and advanced degrees in some specialty, an educated priest is just the norm. A four year BA/BS degree followed by a 3 yr degree in Orthodox theology is basic today! Who wants a priest preaching about something he has no understanding of? A seminary degree is only the "basis" for a candidate for the priesthood and expected by ALL!
#29.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-09 11:38
I am not saying that a seminary education is not valuable,what I am saying is that it does not necessarily make a good priest. What makes you think that a priest who does not have an seminary degree, doesn't understand his religion? My example of the priest who may not have much formal education, was the most wonderful priest I have every had.
#29.1.1 weary on 2010-11-09 16:46
>>"A four year BA/BS degree followed by a 3 yr degree in Orthodox theology is basic today!"
That is an opinion and is not held by all!
>>"Who wants a priest preaching about something he has no understanding of?"
The question could well be asked -- "Who wants a priest preaching about something of which he has no understanding?" Of course, no one. But a) a priest who has not gone to seminary will, naturally need to study. And b) there is no guarantee that the seminary-graduate will understand all things or confine himself to what he truly knows.
#29.1.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-10 13:25
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
#30 Macarius on 2010-11-09 05:50
1) What's the story in Worcester, MA? What happened?
2) Why would anyone in the Midwest want to go to the AOCA Drinking Convention? You'll pay thousands for what? Heck, I'm going on a real vaca where I can relax. Who needs to be agitated by Crazy Phil? This is all non-sense and destroys the church.
#31 Anonymous on 2010-11-09 07:31
Metropolitan Philip notes that "there have always been auxilliary bishops in the Church" --correct as that may be,
Please don't give His Eminence the benefit of the doubt on this. He is just making it up as he goes along.
His weird assertion that "some scholars" believe that Titus and Timothy may have been auxillaries to St. Paul is patently ridiculous. And no it doesn't matter that the renowned Orthodox theologian and # 1 Auxillary Bp. Antoun was the academic source.
Despite his Eminences's attempt to equate himself with Paul who established Churches and in many cases appointed overseers (Bishops) he was not a Metropolitan Archbishop and Timothy and Titus were never his Ceremonial Assistants. Obviously His Eminence is completely unfamiliar with either the unique role of the Apostles or the development of Catholic ecclessiology.
Perhaps Fr. John Morris would care to..ahem.. correct His Eminence on this little academic exaggeration? Or must it be left up to uneducated and ignorant laymen? Now how embarrasing is that for our Archdiocese?
#32 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-09 07:52
Does this article by Fr. Touma (so graciously translated by Sam N), have any bearing:
#33 Antionymous on 2010-11-09 07:55
That is a wonderful article by Fr. Touma and quite obviously relevant. God give us faith to trust that He is, even now , realizing His good purposes for those in the Church who love Him, despite the seeming obstacles of wicked hierarchs and priests. Let us trust then that He will use this very evil against itself to advance the Kingdom, despite the painfulness of the process.
#33.1 Karen on 2010-11-10 12:24
Well the Midwest has been hard hit by job loss. Its odd that the Metropolitan says the parishes in the Midwest are declining. Well perhaps people are leaving these parishes because of the corruption and the Antiochian Archdiocese backstepping of "self-rule and bishops being reduced to auxiliary bishops."
Personally I believe the Metropolitan is upset because priests have spoken out about these issues. Perhaps Bishop Mark has been very outspoken also. The Metropolitan is not going to have anyone critize him. He (Metropolitan Philip) had rebuked Mark Stokoe for operating this internet site and tried to get him to back down by demanding Metropolitan Jonah "punish or silence him."
Woe to you who brings light to Metropolitan Philip's "financial mangement."
Well the people of the Antiochian Archdiocese, if you want "self-rule or automony, you won't get it from the Antiochiocan Church.
What will you do if you truly are upset and want a conciliar Orthodox Church with a true snyod of bishops? Unity is not through the EP of Constantiople--rather Instanbul, Turkey.
#34 anonymous on 2010-11-09 10:16
The midwest is deteriorating because convention attendance is low!!! Is he serious? Bishops are demoted. Priests are terminated for not dressing like Roman Catholics/Anglicans. People are silenced. No external audits. Everyone runs frightened of the hammer. I will be officially looking into moving myself and my family to the OCA. Enough is enough!
#35 Michael on 2010-11-10 10:40
Oh boy, Happy, the scripture you quoted is out of it's context. IF you read further it says:
"Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." But God said to him,'Fool! this night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
"So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Happy, the conferences I attended had underage drinking and other things going on that Christians are NEVER suppose to do.
God will not allow this type of behavior to continue. The greed and lust for power will be banished from the church. You are either with us or you are against us. There is no middle road because that road also leads straight to hell.
#36 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-10 14:49
I agree with what you say about the fact no drinking under 21 and that goes on, those under the legal age should have advisers and parents as well to tell them otherwise. However drinking a drink is not a sin. If it controls you it becomes a sin. That is why you should always be mindful if you do such things. Are you saying you do not drink wine or champagne even for example. If you do then you are being hypocritical. If you don't, then that is your choice but do not judge and say it is a sin when it is not. Even Jesus turned the water into wine, to celebrate. Miraculously the wine becomes the blood of Christ, so technically it is not wine no more but the point I'm trying to make is, alcoholic beverages are not bad or drinking is not a sin, as long as it is in moderation and not controlling of you.
#36.1 Happy on 2010-11-12 12:46
Am I the only one who finds it odd that Fr. Patrick Reardon is no longer signing comments with "Father" - especially when he did so not that long ago?
#37 Michele Hagerman on 2010-11-10 17:45
Oh, please, I normally use the nom de plume.
There is nothing "odd" about it.
#37.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-10 18:00
Having read all the comments here, I'm almost ashamed to call myself an Orthodox Christian. Such scandal makes me cautious as to which priests I can trust. Yet, I must confess that I left Protestant Evangelicalism for Orthodoxy because I saw the beauty in the Divine Liturgy, the honor given to the Saints and Martyrs, the practice of prayer and fasting, the deference shown toward the Early Church Fathers, and being able to participate in the life of the Church, namely, partaking of the Holy Mysteries.
It seems that history teaches us that often it is the simple laity humble priests that are the most faithful while those who hold great positions in the Church commit apostacy.
#38 Darlene on 2010-11-10 17:46
No on has any reason to be ashamed to be Orthodox or even Antiochian, for that matter. Is there no sin in the world anymore that we should not have wicked bishops along with holy ones? Please, read Fr. Touma's blog post. God is still in control. He is even closer now. We must cling to God and not be afraid. God will put all things to right in a marvelous and surprising way just like He has done with all the other countless and even more evil bishops and rulers in past centuries.
#39 Eric Peterson on 2010-11-12 12:19
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