Friday, November 12. 2010
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I feel bad for Metropolitan PHILIP because everyone else has caused him so much grief. People are calling him "Pope". Those people don't understand that as a Metropolitan he has the full right to clean house.
We have lay people thinking that disagree and don't see the big picture, they have personal vendettas against MP, and I pray for their souls because they are lost and poisoned by anger and delusion, much like the priest that had a prophet and a non-priest spiritual father in his church. (I didn't make this up, you can read that for yourself.).
Metropolitan PHILIP is the best there is and ever was. I pray he CONTINUES to clean house of all those that don't understand the fact that he is the Metropolitan and has every right to correct the errors of the last 7 years. God knows this holy man is doing what has to be done, even if it makes him look bad. He is taking the burden on his shoulders for cleaning up the Archdiocese, therefore I will CONTINUE to support this man.
God bless you Metropolitan PHILIP, we love you, and please do not listen to the minority on this website. You are in my prayers daily. Axios!
(Mark, can you post this please. Thank you).
#1 Happy on 2010-11-12 09:29
If MP is the best there is, and this is the best solution he can come up, considering how mature he is, then we are all in serious trouble. A young child could do better.
Stop paying, stop obeying, pray to God to stop MP, and get out while you can. God bless and protect and keep safe our clergy and laity...
I begin, by giving credit where it is due, were it not for Sayidna PHILIP's vision, the Self-Governing Archdiocese we enjoyed UNTIL the recent meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch, never would have happened. That being said, Sayidna is now reaping what he sowed. Just a few years ago, he presented us with a Self-governing Archdiocese, with actual Diocese in place of the Regions and Diocesan Bishops in place of the quasi-canonical auxiliaries. The Bishops were elected by the Patriarchal Holy Synod as "BISHOP of ..." not "AUXILIARY BISHOP of..." And the Archdiocese functioned as prescribed by the Apostolic Canons, specifically #34 which cautions bishops to do nothing EXTRAORDINARY without the consent of their metropolitan and the metropolitan to do nothing EXTRAORDINARY without the consent of his bishops: "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 [the metropolitan] 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." (the interpretation in the Pedalion - The Rudder: 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 province ought to know who is the chief among them1 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 tiling 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 in this way there will be concord and love, both between bishops and metropolitans and between clergymen and laymen. )
And the spirit of St. Ignatios' expostition of what it is to be a bishop: “ Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid." — Letter to the Smyrnaeans.
Now,that the bishops have had the gall to exercise the authority given them by the canons, Sayidna turns on his own creation and nearly erases what could have been a wondrous legacy by convincing the Holy Synod, the ultimate authority short of an Ecumenical Council, to remove all the substance of Self-governance and leave only the facade. The Dioceses are little more than regions again; the Local Synod, a consultative body with less power than SCOBA or the College of Cardinals to make any substantive decisions; and our bishops, demoted and cowed (save Sayidnas Basil and Alexander who reportedly stood up for Sayidna MARK). After fighting so hard to gain self-governance, the fact that Sayidna would turn on it so fiercely is what has shocked and dismayed many. Then to assert his authority, he has allowed a priest who has apparently admitted to forging check to remain in the priesthood; while dismissing a priest for wearing a cassock (I doubt many clergy in Antioch wear clergy suits). St. Tikhon gave his clergy the option- cassock or clergy suit, wearing the cassock in public is the norm in most of the Orthodox world. It has neither doctrinal nor dogmatic significance to warrant such action. Many in Orthodox world are probably shocked that the norm got a priest punished.
All of this is why Sayidna Philip, for all the good he has done, is now so disliked. When we gained Self-rule, it was like the crowning achievement of his efforts; what the OCA must have felt when they gained autocephaly. Now it feels like the poem Ozymandias by Shelley: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away.
#1.2 Former Antiochian Parishioner on 2010-11-13 00:06
We never had self rule. It was all a lie. Damascus always considered us only an eparchy of the patriarchate. An eparchy is the smallest unit of the whole which cannot be divided into dioceses. He needed to fool Americans into thinking we would govern ourselves but what he really wanted was the ability to have complete control of the church here for himself, hence the word "self" rule in the title. What a joke!
The only way to have real autonomy is to leave the Antiochian Archdiocese and join the OCA. The OCA isn't perfect but they aren't ruled by an ethnic clan leader.
EVeryone needs to get out of this corrupt archdiocese or at the very least, stop feeding the mafia. No more money!
#1.2.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-13 10:19
Congratulations!!! This is EXACTLY how the Hierarchy of Each Jurisdiction in America SHOULD operate.
And this is also how we hope the newly formed EA will operate as well. (No doubt, a subject for many future posts).
Unfortunately for the Faithful of the Archdiocese, this brotherly and collegial form of individual and shared responsibility is presently FOREIGN to the mind and spirit of His Supreme Beatitude Philip. (My friendly name for him, strongly ridiculed by his supporters).
It is time for the Faithful to rise up and overthrow His (Insert your title for him Here), your Metropolitan Philip.
Unfortunately, I have one question here. If the Auxiliary Bishops can neither question nor disagree with the King Archbishop, what voice do even the Bishops have when their people unite in requesting that +Philip be retired, or even deposed?
What do the Canons of the Church say in answer to this question?
Since some are clearly well read in canon law, (which I'm not), perhaps you could find the answer to this. For, it seems that it may be time to Depose his Eminence "For the Good of the Church".
One further question: The canons supposedly stipulate that in extraordinary situations, His All Holiness E.P. Bartholomew may intercede to restore order within a church.
If this is so, can even +Bartholomew 1st intervene to correct an ongoing internal administrative dispute? Or is his authority limited strictly to resolving the teaching of heresy?
Once again, I would appreciate an answer from one more familiar with the canons than I am.
All of you clearly saw what transpired within the O.C.A. when the people kept asking questions, until the appropriate answers were received.
Take like action, and your present scandalous problems SHALL be resolved quickly, so true Christian Order can be restored.
#1.2.2 Mark Sudia on 2010-11-13 12:08
Mark- you honestly make me sick with your posting of this reflection. you should be "ashamed". I thought this site was a source for news that was objective and fair. To make your headline an attack on metropolitan philip by a cowardly and weak anonymous person is disgusting. since when did you condone this kind of attack on an orthodox bishop? I understand it when you put up news and publish facts; but to post a derogatorymessage against the metropolitan or any other bishop as your HEADLINE clearly shows just where you and this site stands. I will not visit this trashy site in the future.
(Editor's note: Gee, that was quick slide; from news and facts to derogatory messages to trash in one sentence. Sorry to have disappointed, but I intend to allow a wide variety of opinions to be expressed. Disappointment is one them.)
#2 Jorez Sanchez, Novi, Michigan on 2010-11-12 09:30
Once again the jealousy continues to rear its ugly head. Why bother to mention Walid? What did he do? He didnt do anything to Bishop Mark! Bishop Mark wanted attention and wanted to draw negative attention to Walid! Walid is a good man with a heart of gold. These people are constantly jealous of this wonderful man. The message of metropolitan philip is simple: obey the directives, especially if you are a priest. the priests that were removed did not obey their bishop. this will not hold. unlike fr joseph antypas, these priests tried to undermine the metropolitan's authority. obey, plain and simple. you dont like it, you say?!?! THEN LEAVE!!!
#3 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 09:41
Anonymous writes, "Bishop Mark wanted attention and wanted to draw negative attention to Walid!"
This is calumny.
Metropolitan PHILIP made no such accusation against Bishop Mark, and you certainly have no business doing so.
#3.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-12 13:37
Metropolitan PHILIP made no such accusation against Bishop Mark, and you certainly have no business doing so.
#3.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-12 13:37 (Reply)
The accusations actually made and the slanderous inferences already inferred are quite enough. No need to make His Eminence even more a reprehensible Heirarch than his own words and actions already have.
#3.1.1 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-12 17:51
Monday begins our Advent Season. It is hard to believe that next month is Christmas, and we wonder where the time goes.
I know everyone is in an uproar over the past few weeks as we watch the casualties of MP add up. It's mind boggling, it's disruptive, rude, upsetting, causing us sleepless nights, lack of concentration during the day and much anxiety.
I know that my Father Confessor will be sending me my instructions tonight for this season - be a nice person, say nothing bad about anyone involved in this mess and take a break from posting. And when I get that e-mail, it will move me to tears, because I know he is right, and that I really do need a break. That's because he is a good, pastoral father who cares for my salvation, and for all those of his flock that he watches over. Such a blessing he is. May God protect him from the harmful ways of the man in Englewood.
So I will listen to him and do as he says, as much as it tortures me to do so and refrain from posting. This way I can have more time to prepare for the Birth of our Lord, to do more charitable works, to spend time with my family and friends, and to destress myself. I hope many of you will do the same, so that we can truly enjoy this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, very special times that can be made better and more joyful and bring hope to others.
God bless all of you with peace, joy, health and safety during the next few weeks. I know we will rejoice in this season, and come back to this important work after we have refreshed and rejuvenated ourselves.
In anticipation - CHRIST IS BORN!! GLORIFY HIM!!
You are a COWARD IN THE FIRST DEGREE! Stop posting! Your as sick as Philip! Sorry for you!
#3.1.2 fr theodore on 2010-11-12 23:07
Father Theodore writes:
"You are a COWARD IN THE FIRST DEGREE! Stop posting! Your as sick as Philip! Sorry for you!"
Gosh, Father, I have apparently offended you. It pains me to think so.
I do hope your sorrow for me will include prayer for my improvement.
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2010-11-13 09:43
I did leave and I am glad of it. Similarly if you don't like the opinions here then you should change the channel. Here people are free to express their opinion unlike in the AOCA. I hope that many more will wake up now and vote with their feet also. If this style of unchristian behavior is what you like then revel in it but stop trying to shout down the people here who have a forum to speak their mind without retribution. Unfortunately because revenge is such a powerful cultural motivation in the tribe and because there are so many Walids in the AOCA who would willingly act on it; many of still have to be anonymous even after leaving.
#3.2 Former AOCA member on 2010-11-12 13:43
Hey white man, revenge is ALSO a powerful cultural motivation in your "tribe" too...hypocrite.
#3.2.1 Moses on 2010-11-12 17:44
Moses, with respect, kindly knock off the "white man" business.
Since this isn't television, you cannot possibly know anybody's skin color, and what does it matter, anyway?
#22.214.171.124 Scott Walker on 2010-11-13 08:49
"what does it matter anyway?": Ah yes, one of the first delusions of white privilege...
Where I come from, individuals who are cultural clones/mirrors of the colonizer, are, for all practical purposes, white...neo-colonial agents if you will...
I hope that clarifies it for you, settler boy...if not...I reallly don't care.
(Editors' note: Nothing like stereotyping, is there Moses? I mean, for all practical purposes....)
#126.96.36.199.1 Moses on 2010-11-13 18:47
Geez, native boy, I guess I'm put in my place.
My father used to get hacked off about how the English treated the Scots and the Irish (my tribe, along with the Norwegians). Dad never got over it. I hope that you do, someday. Life is too short to be pissed off all the time.
#188.8.131.52.1.1 Scott Walker on 2010-11-14 08:41
Yeah...sure. From the looks of things, and from the absolutely delusional responses from this crowd, "American" Orthodoxy is alive and well...so what are all of you settlers whining about? You got what you wanted (as per the usual). I, for one, want nothing to do with any of it. To the self-loathing cultural mirror (Lebanese?) person: trying to score points with them will get you nowhere in the final analysis...shucking and jiving is futile, and pathetic. White AMerican culture is also rotten to the core, by the way...my family and ancestors found that out the hard way when they were ethnically cleansed. Hey Scott, Custer Died for Your Sins big boy...
Moses the Tlingit
#184.108.40.206.1.2 Moses on 2010-11-14 19:22
ALL human cultures are rotten to the core, Moses.
That's why we're Christians, isn't it?
Peace to you this Advent season.
#220.127.116.11.1.2.1 Scott Walker on 2010-11-15 09:06
Attitudes like this is why folks like you never accepted that white convert Bishop Mark from the beginning, although he is a pious and good man.
#18.104.22.168.1.2.2 Kibee-on-my-mind on 2010-11-15 17:08
Pious like a pharisee, you mean.
In Western Christianity, the Pharisees won.
#22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Michael on 2010-11-16 09:11
I am not trying to score point with anyone. But I do know that women are treated like second class citizens in the middle east.
And the middle eastern men bring that mindset with them when they move here.
As a woman, I have experienced that sexist treatment by them.
That clannish, sexist culture is inferior and I want nothing to do with that mafia mentality.
Give me rule of law any day.
You many understand native American culture but you don't know a thing about middle eastern culture. My guess is the two cultures have very little in common unless you view your women as lesser beings.
#188.8.131.52.1.2.3 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-15 22:46
Moses is a Tlingit, a native Alaskan.
#184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Antionymous on 2010-11-16 09:38
...and here I was thinking that Moses was just another racist.
#18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-20 07:35
Hey non white man, arabs are caucasions too.
But their culture is corrupt.
They do not have rule of law in the middle east and have a clan mentality when dealing with their ideas of justice.
Women are not highly regarded and are expected to keep quiet and not ask the hard questions. When I asked a Detroit Arab Orthodox priest why he communed Episcopalians and Catholics in our parish, he told me to be quiet and mind my own business.
And Arabs can be more racist than your average "white" guy so get the facts before you attack.
#126.96.36.199 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-13 10:01
Anyone who thinks Sayidna/Vladyka MARK is out for his own glory or praise has his hierarchs mixed up, and clearly doesn't know His Grace. I personally witnessed him being publically berated by an arrogant, prideful fool, who was canonically, ecclesiologically, and morally out of line; His Grace, showed the patience of Job, as this idiot raged against him. He held no grudge, didn't fight fire with fire, he was -in the truest sense- Christ-like in his handling of the situation. All he was concerned with was the welfare of the diocese assigned him by God and the Holy Synod of Antioch which named him BISHOP OF TOLEDO AND THE MIDWEST (the term auxiliary bishop appears no where in the Pedalion). This he tried to carry out in accordance with Apostolic Canon 38, which charges the bishop to have care for not only the souls but also the property of the diocese. He is a meek, self-effacing, humble, and soft-spoken man. The OCA is blessed to have him, the AOCA is lessened for having rejected him.
#3.3 Former Antiochian Parishioner on 2010-11-12 23:20
Former Antiochian Parishioner writes:
"I personally witnessed [Bishop Mark] being publically berated by an arrogant, prideful fool, who was canonically, ecclesiologically, and morally out of line; His Grace, showed the patience of Job, as this idiot raged against him. He held no grudge, didn't fight fire with fire, he was -in the truest sense- Christ-like in his handling of the situation."
Actually, this unfortunate scene took place in more than one parish here in the Midwest
As I have already suggested on this blog site, Bishop Mark neither created nor nourished the spiritual problems inherited in a few congregations of the region.
I need to add, however, that Metropolitan Philip is also not responsible for this. The problem goes back further than Metropolitan Philip. In fact, one of the Metropolitan's first significant accomplishments was to heal an actual schism here in the Midwest.
No matter who is our next Bishop---indeed, no matter who is our next Metropolitan---certain parishes in the Midwest will still be obliged to come to grips with the unfortunate hostility, suspicion, and anger that this correspondent observed.
Thank God, this is not typical. The overwhelming majority of our parishes here in the Midwest are in much better shape.
#3.3.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-13 12:10
I'm glad you all read the message loud and clear. Unfortunately, the author is a complete fool. Just where did you get the idea tha demetri is coming back? When did that get announced? Why speculate? Why would Mark Stokoe publish such a stupid reflection as his main story for the day? Obviously there are hidden agendas. Good thing we have Sayidna Philip at the helm. Thank God for people like Walid who donate much of their time and money for causes for this archdiocese. I think it is silly to even mention Jamal Khalife. He isn't active in the archdiocese. He isn't close with the Bishop. The author must b a disgruntled person from Troy...
(Editor's note: Putting one reflection among three, after a news story, is hardly "headlining" it. The agenda here is hardly hidden, either. We publish news and opinions about events in Orthodox America. If you have a complaint, I would address it to the writer, and refute his facts, rather than screaming at his opinions.)
#4 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 09:56
I empathize wholeheartedly with you - I too am a son of Antioch and I have heard and seen much - my "rosy glasses" were smashed decades ago - as such I offer you this perspective.
Perhaps God through +Philip has given us the one thing that +Philip himself could not - a healthy distrust of Hierarchy and a real reason to put in checks and balances to authority and accountability.
I imagine that soon rather than later there may be clear requirements for a voting synod, possibly even diocesan representation on a real Metropolitan council, financial audits etc, maybe even a real ordination review board and a working Spiritual court - not the mom & pop shop we presently have. I do not know when but I know it is needed now more than ever.
Maybe God through +Philip, just like Balaam's animal is leading the way forward. As an added bonus +Philip has solidified Moretti's , Albert's and Yelovic place in the Real Kingdom.
I posted this in December and it may be appropriate to re post:
Dec/09 "The pious Bishop/priest provides no need for virtues but the impious the opportunity for witness. For they may take everything from us but they can never take our death!!!
As St Ignatius writes “Let me be food for the wild beasts, through whom I can reach God. I am God’s wheat, ground fine by the lion’s teeth to be made into the purest bread for Christ.” - St Ignatius of Antioch
Friends we are in a time of holy purification, the "God protected Archdiocese" is being purified by the very powers of God Himself, the sons of the Light are being revealed and so too the sons of darkness."
Do not despair, Ashamed but believe.
Glory to God for all Things!
- A son of Antioch (Who sees God's hand in all things for His glory)
PS: FYI read Fr Touma's article here:
#5 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-12 10:15
Fr. Touma (Bitar)'s sermon on "Why God Allows Wicked Bishops; or, The Mystery of Sin in of the Mystery of Salvation" is highly recommended.
The Arabic original can be found here:
For those who are unaware, Archimandrite Touma (Bitar) is the Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Silouan the Athonite in Douma, Lebanon.
He is not a crazy convert to be so easily dismissed by those who would turn the recent, ongoing scandals surrounding Metropolitan Philip into a cradle vs. convert or an Arab vs. American fight. This is about the authority and teaching of Orthodoxy, not the authority of Metropolitan Philip; this is about ecclesiology (who cares about canons and Tradition), financial misconduct (who cares as long as I have a job), megalomaniacal 'pastors' (who cares as long as it's 'them'), clerical and episcopal cowardice.
Is it coincidental that self-interest is so often masked by platitudes on humility, pride, prelest and obedience. Is it coincidental Metropolitan Philip is a stickler for Tradition and canons only when it's in his own self-interest?
I find it ironic that the local Church known for its lack of strict fidelity to the canons and Tradition all of a sudden decides akriveia is called for now when it's a question of the Metropolitan's personal authority and rights. That's what happens when unchecked, arbitrary economia is the norm and Metropolitan Philip and his whims are the standard of Orthodoxy (rather than Orthodoxy and Holy Tradition).
#5.1 melxiopp on 2010-11-12 15:15
The person writing this Reflection under the pseudonym "Ashamed" has done a great service to both the Antiochian Archdiocese and to all Orthodox Christians in America: He/She has stripped away the veil of denial and soberly shined the spotlight of reality on the situation, in the same manner that the man did in the parable in which he said, "The emperor has no clothes on!! He is naked!!!"
#6 David Barrett on 2010-11-12 10:23
On a previous comment board, it was recommended that to listen to Fr. Thomas Hopko's podcast named When Bishops Disappoint. I listened and highly recommend it to others.
I will miss my priest who was wrongfully treated, but the following helped me understand from Fr. Hopko's podcast: "The RSV says this: “For in the first place, when you assemble as Church, I hear that there are divisions among you and I partly believe it. For there must be factions among you—schisms, divisions—in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” "
Letters, outrage, etc haven't helped with MP. It seems like the only tool left are our prayers and widthholding money and (when possible going to another jurisdiction).
#7 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 10:25
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[b] with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“ For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[c]
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
#8 Macarius on 2010-11-12 11:49
I would leave, but I love my parish. I would leave for the OCA in a heartbeat if it wouldn't hurt the parish here.
#9 anonymous on 2010-11-12 12:35
If these previous post are any indication of the state of the Archdiocese, then the only logical conclusion is that the Antiochian Archdiocese is becoming a cult. In this new cult the Metropolitan is infallible, therefor must be obeyed without question. All dissent must be stamped no matter how ruthlessly, because any dissent may lead others to have original thoughts not approved by Philip, and then the whole house of cards will fall. People follow only out of fear or ignorance. In such a system the only people who can be trusted are sycophants. My advise get out before you've been programed, and an intervention, and deprograming are necessary.
#10 James on 2010-11-12 12:52
Just for clarity sake I'm referring to post 1, 2, and 3.
#10.1 James on 2010-11-12 13:59
Why don't you print all of my comments Mark? Why didn't you print that I believe the author of that reflection was xxxxx? You print the speculation of other posters as well as all the other trash with little regard to their names. You are a hipocrite.
(Editor's note: I do not publish things I know personally to be untrue. The person you mentioned was not the author, so your speculation (and gratuitous insult) were edited.
I am a hypocrite, however. It is one of the least of my many sins. (Damn, there I go again....)
#11 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 13:06
I like this web site for many reasons. One of them is that one of my previous hobbies of interest, Byzantine ecclesiastical intrigue, is being supplanted by a newly-developing hobby of interest, forensic lexicography.
Unfortunately, I have no way to verify my hypotheses, but it's still an interesting endeavor. I bet Mark Stokoe could write a best selling novel based on the commenting activity of this site. He could call it something like "The Florovsky Code."
Mark, you could team up with Kevin Kirwan. Kevin could write the comedic version, "A Confederacy of Despots." The two of you could go on the road. That would be a book tour to remember!
Please sign me up for your road crew if it ever happens.
I'm not going to sign my name. That way, after my comment posts, I'll be able to try to figure out who I am.
(Editor's note: Forensic Lexography. I love it. As for the title of my book, I have not decided on one yet, but I know the opening line. It begins:
"Happy Churches are all alike; every unhappy Church is unhappy in its own way..." )
#12 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 13:08
ROTFLMFHO!!!! Thanks for a great laugh!
#12.1 Mary Brigid on 2010-11-14 21:29
I have no doubt in the world that these comments come from that no good xxxxx. Nobody else would take the time to research into the xxxx familiy like xxxx. He is a dirty bastard. Mark, I am ashamed of you.
(Editor's note: Once again, you are wrong. As someone else wrote today, take it outside, friend. )
#13 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 13:11
Oh man, Oh man...here comes the baptist bible verses.
I still can't believe how people don't see the big picture, it seems those he is cleaning out are those like you...the ones who criticize, speculate, make up false statements, making those transferred or removed look like saints amongst the saints in heaven. Give me a break all. You don't see the big picture here. Those who do not understand the simple rule of Hierarchy, Obedience to your priest, bishop, or metropolitan should be removed first and foremost. They seem like they are still catachumans.
God bless America, the whole world, and especially His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP in taking on such a bold, yet much needed act to preserve the church from becoming unaware of what hierarchy and obedience mean.
#14 Happy on 2010-11-12 13:21
Hey Happy if that is your real name. Have you heard the concept of conciliarity or sobornost? Blind obedience and despotic rule is called papal ecclesioiogy. Did you know that the Union Council of Florence, and Iconoclasm were both rejected by laity who refused to obey straying bishops? Perhaps it is you who need to go back to catechism.
#14.1 James on 2010-11-12 16:31
"Blind obedience and despotic rule is called papal ecclesioiogy."
Oh please. Can't y'all "discuss amongst yourselves" without always including an anti-"papal" jab somewhere along the line?
As a lifelong Catholic, I find the Orthodox caricature of my Church frankly laughable. I have never experienced the popes as "despotic rulers" and I certainly do not feel the slightest inclination toward "blind obedience." This is sheer caricature.
Moreover, the pope would never remotely dream of doing the things y'all describe Met. Phillip as doing. Not even tough guys like Gregory VII micro-managed to that extent. And the current pope certainly doesn't.
God bless y'all as you resolve these issues, but please leave us papists out of it.
#14.1.1 oh please on 2010-11-14 08:41
I think it is you, "oh please," who need a little bit of a course correction in your memory of history. In 1978, one of the first directives from the newly elected John Paul II had to do with priestly attire. The Pontiff liked his priests to look like priests, and he made it quite clear he wouldn't tolerate any back-sliding. Another directive had to do with priests who were involved in politics. They were to get out--immediately. Five-term Massachusetts Congressman Fr. Robert Drinan, SJ, had to give up his seat in 1980, very much to his regret--and to the regret of his constituents. And I believe you would see quite a bit of micromanagement going on in the curial dicasteries. ALL of that information is available to the pope, depending on his level of interest in the details. John XXIII and John Paul II were less interested; Pius XII, Paul VI, and Benedict XVI more so.
The Roman church resembles nothing so much as a traditional Latin (or perhaps Polish) family. The paterfamilias may be a benign dictator, along the lines of John XXIII; or he may be a true authoritarian, like John Paul II (who had no qualms at all about punishing dissidents). Of course, the supreme micromanager in the past 150 years was Pius IX--the one who brought us "papal infallibility."
I think it is actually quite astute to compare Metropolitan Phillip to the Roman model. Even at the level of diocesan ordinary, Roman Catholic bishops have quite a bit of leeway to govern autocratically. At the level of metropolitan archbishop, it seems almost the rule. Think of Cardinal Spellman of New York, Chicago's Cardinal Cody, or Los Angeles' supremely autocratic Cardinal McIntyre. Their priests took considerable care not to get on their bad sides! More recently, neither New York's current Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, nor his predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan, are regarded as conciliar bishops. So the fist is still iron, even if the glove is occasionally made of slighly more yielding stuff.
#188.8.131.52 Morton on 2010-11-15 14:11
You and Gerald Posner would get along famously: You both think alike!!
#14.2 David Barrett on 2010-11-12 16:36
Speaking of Obedience, who is +Philip obedient to?
The canons of the Church - NO (Allen, Maymon etc etc.)
The Holy Synod of Antioch - NO!
The Patriarch - NO!
The constitution of the United States - Hah!
The Tax Code - Whats that?
His spiritual Father - Thats a laugh!
His Local Synod - NOT ANYMORE
The board of Trustees - for $10,000 maybe a nod once in a while.
What about Holy Scripture, 1Peter 5:
"To the elders among you, Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers (Bishops)— not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away." - well I'll let God be the judge
I think the real sadness is that you have followed a mere man, and as someone once said you cannot serve two masters. Clearly your master is +Philip, well I am sure you will receive your reward - as for me I'll wait for the other Master.- in the real Kingdom.
#14.3 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-12 17:57
I do follow one man on earth, MP, cause he is my metropolitan. In his absence I will follow my Auxilary bishop, in his absence I will follow my priest, in his absence I will do my best always through prayer. All of these men, including myself follow Christ. There is nothing wrong with this method of obedience, else what is a leader of the church for? What is hierarchy for? I am sure Jesus Christ erl understand I'm following the Orthodox way. I believe bashing leadership, and thinking you have some kind of authority to put a stop on leadership is plain ignorant.
Seems like us true antiochians that know how it was and should be are far and few between on this website, with that said I know my posts frustrate those that read books and believe they are more capable to run a solid archdiocese.
I agree with everyone saying go to OCA, you people will feel at home. It will make this archdiocese and issue resolve faster than you think.
As to my bible verses comment, I meant it. I love the bible, but be realistic instead of tossing verses.
#14.3.1 Happy on 2010-11-13 12:28
I am beginning to see very clearly you haven't stepped out much into the real Orthodox world and have instead only been spoon fed Orthodox ecclesiology according to Met. Philip. I don't blame you for your small world view because I was in the same situation many years ago too. So let me explain what I have discovered.
First, one must remember, Christ is presented as the only highpriest (See Hebrews). Christ is the one who intercedes for us before the throne of the Father, who offers up a sacrifice once for all. By this act, the Old Testament priesthood is finished, or rather, it is perfectly fulfilled in the person of Christ, who remains our highpriest for all eternity. It is important to remember that the word, "priest" (hiereus) is never used in the New Testament for either bishop (episkopos = overseer) or presbyter (presbyteros = elder).
And so, when we were baptized as infants and chrismated into Holy Orthodoxy we both became members of the royal priesthood ("You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" 1 Pt 2:9). "We put on Christ" in our baptism and we share in His priesthood. And that role requires that we use all that God has given us to spread the Good News but also to use our intelligence. And because God has given us this responsibility we cannot blindly obey anyone, not a priest or a bishop or any one man. We can only follow Christ.
Read the short paragraph below by Professor Constantine Scouteris.
I have given you the link below if you wish to read the whole article.
Formation of the Laos in and for Community
By Professor Constantine Scouteris
School of Theology of the University of Athens
Priesthood as a diakonia within the ecclesial community and for the ecclesial community. It should be clarified that according to both the New Testament and the tradition of the Early Church, clergy and laity belong to the same body. Both, clergy and laity, are the "laos", the people of God. Ministers and laity indeed form "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Pet. 2: 9). Priesthood in no way is a ministry introducing division or classification within the ecclesial body. Between a priest and a lay person there is no legal distinction, but precisely what we may call charismatic distribution. As we read in 1 Corinthians (12: 4-6): "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministry, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all".
#184.108.40.206 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-13 22:50
I have, I studied beyond the front door of barnes and noble bookstore and internet blogs my friend.
Thank you for your advice but I am not a small world viewer, I'm a realist and it is sad that everyone is blaming MP for cleaning up this archdiocese. God bless MP with many years! AXIOS!
#220.127.116.11.1 Happy on 2010-11-15 07:39
Happy is ashamed of Ashamed and I am ashamed of Happy's attempt to shame Ashamed as if Ashamed has something to be ashamed about.
But I guess the most troubling comment is Happy's horrified "here comes the baptist bible verses" Dang them all to heck. Lot's of radical trouble making stuff can be found in the..what was that again? baptist bible?
We sure as heck don't need any silly Gospel guidance when there is a cleanup job that needs doing and a big picture that need's seeing. So far so good for those concerned about that stuff coming into play.
Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if His Eminence started letting...gasp... the teachings of Christ order his footsteps? I'm pretty sure given the events of the last year or so we won't have to face that kind of crisis.
#14.4 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-12 21:15
"Happy is ashamed of Ashamed and I am ashamed of Happy's attempt to shame Ashamed as if Ashamed has something to be ashamed about."
Cute, Kevin. This is the best one since that your blue paint remark. After this is over, let's you and me have a beer.
(Editor's note: Me too! Me too!)
#14.4.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-13 09:51
Only if it's a Guiness and nobody tells me dear wife.
#18.104.22.168 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-14 07:29
Ah...yes, that pesky Bible. What has that got to do with this? Those so-called 'Fathers' were always quoting from it, and everyone knows they were crazy 'fundamentalists.' Even Church history tells us that guy who claimed to be a 'son of Antioch,' John Chrysostom, was thrown out of the Church for being one of those people. He got what he deserved. He should have been obedient to the proper authorities. He wasn't. End of story. Take a lesson, people! When will you learn how the Church works?
We're not going to allow the canons, the Scriptures or anything else to impede the progress of our great God-protected archdiocese. Quote all you want. It means nothing to us.
Enough of this nonsense. Your Metropolitan has spoken!
#14.5 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-11-12 22:24
Please tell me that this was satirical? It wasn't clear. There are enough people on here spouting such stuff that it fits right in.
If it wasn't then friend you are mistaken. This Faith is the Tradition for which we fight.
#14.5.1 anonymous on 2010-11-13 14:33
I was always taught that Timothy and Titus were auxiliary bishops. Weren’t you? And like our dear brother Happy, I have always understood the parable of the rich fool to be the Scriptural justification for what those fundamentalists call extravagance: “And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” (Yes, Happy said that, and you can find it here on a previous thread.) This is the true Faith of Antioch. What sort of Baptist Bible nonsense is your priest teaching you?
We are the true sons of Antioch in this God-protected archdiocese run by our Metropolitan PHILLIP (may God grant him MANY, MANY years…and even MANY MORE!). He a great man who has done more for us than I can tell you. It is wonderful because you can place your life in his hands. All you need to know he will tell you. It is so much better now that he is back in control! There is real unity in the archdiocese again. I cannot tell you how happy I was to read those directives to implement the decision of the Holy Synod! Now things will finally be done right again because no one will dare to do anything without his approval. Those people who talk about the canons and the Bible will be silenced forever if they don’t obey. That’s how the Church is supposed to be run!
Satire? Oh no, not at all! Would that it was. It is the absurdity that is the fruit of ignorance.
#22.214.171.124 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-11-13 20:16
If I might divert your attention from venerating your icon of St. Philip for a moment and ask a quasi-serious question: Is there any evil (mis)deed perpetrated by Philip that you might actually find objectionable?
#14.6 Heracleides on 2010-11-13 08:17
I am going to gently explain to you that the books of the Bible were actually chosen by the fathers of the original church that you and I are members.
Therefore, there are no such verses called baptist Bible verses.
The scripture belongs to the Church and we stand up during Divine Liturgy when they are read to us.
#14.7 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-13 22:06
I am "ashamed" of "Ashamed". For him to think of himself as a son of antioch is crazy. I hate to say it, but I would consider him to be a son of a %^&%! Ludicrous! ....
#15 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 14:42
Well, there seems to be a family quarrel here among the Sons of Antioch.
Some seem to value ethnic customs more, others the ecclesiology the Holy Hieromartyr Ignatius, the Godbearer, Bishop of Antioch taught.
Some think Metropolitan +Philip is a shining example of the traditions of the Church of Antioch, others think that Archimandrite Touma is doing a better job in bringing them into the 21st century.
I'm just a poor convert of mixed Northern European extraction, but I must confess, when I sing "Son of Antioch" in the Troparion of St. Raphael of Brooklyn, I tend to think more about St. Ignatius as a spiritual forefather than of haflis and kibbee. (The latter of which, by the way, I've become quite fond of.) And I suspect, St. Ignatius and St. Raphael would be a bit more sympathetic to the positions of Archimandrite Touma than to those of our Metropolitan on matters ecclesiological and spiritual.
#15.1 DNY on 2010-11-12 18:52
The number of anonymous comments from Philip $upporters tells us something interesting: they know that the place of Philip is neither permanent nor secure.
There are difficult days ahead.
#16 another anonymous on 2010-11-12 16:36
I do not understand why most of the comments are so negative toward the author of "Ashamed." I think this person has fairly clearly outlined the situation in the archdiocese, and spoken for many of us who are mourning the decline of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
I love my local parish, and as a convert I never want to to be a church hopping person. But I know of no other way to express my dismay and heart break at the series of events caused by +MP. In earlier times, he could have gotten away with his arbitrary actions, but he can no longer hide his dictatorial commands because of the internet and instant communication. His time of glory has come to an end and instead of adulation, he faces feelings of contempt from members of the Church. Except for the faithful few who treat him like a demi-god, for most Chursh members his reign of threats and intimidation is over. It is ironic that he wants to give up the trappings of the old world and "modernize," but he seems to want to continue acting like a prince who must be obeyed, even when his commands are irrational and increasingly bizzare. He does need our prayers, but I cannot find any peace of mind, chafing under his imperial rule. So very sad.
#17 anon on 2010-11-12 18:23
I would ask all who read this site, especially those who support Met. +Philip's actions since the last dethronement controversy began, who can say with the Holy Apostle Paul, "being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure"? Met. +Philip, Fr. Antypas and the other priests in Michigan who wrote abusive letters and abusive faux apologies? or Bishop +Mark, Fr. David, and Fr. Elias?
Who follows Christ's directives concerning leadership: "He who would be first among you must first be the servant of all," "I have washed your feet, you ought wash one another's" ? Despite ample opportunity, none of the Metropolitan's supporters can quote the "disparaging remarks" supposedly posted by Fr. David Moretti on Facebook, so we are left with only his posting a picture of Bishop +Mark washing the feet of his priests as a basis for the charge.
(Will Metropolitan +Philip's liturgical reforms next extend beyond abbreviating the Divine Liturgy, directing that the closing of the Royal Doors found in the rubrics be ignored and the like to banning the Divine Liturgy with the Washing of Feet on Holy Thursday lest the reminder of Our Lord's humility in the person of a priest or other bishop be taken as disparaging his leadership?)
Who speaks plainly, keeping the commandment, "let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'"? The advocates of external audits? or our Metropolitan, who equivocates, telling the IRS that he owes no taxes because he is a "corporation sole", that his person is identical to his office as Metropolitan Archbishop so that the money he earns and holds is the Church's, but telling the faithful of the Archdiocese, that the money is his, and not the Church's? The advocates of canonical order? Or our Metropolitan who still speaks of "the Local Synod" even after he has declared all of our other bishops to be his auxiliaries?
Where, O supporters of Metropolitan Philip, in the Gospel can you find anything to justify any of his recent actions? Ah, "Spring cleaning": the cleansing of the Temple. . . oh, wait, scratch that, it was the moneychangers who were being driven out. . . we need rental fees on parish halls, paid in cash if possible, so we don't have to collect sales tax.
We are all to be living icons of Christ, but most of all our bishops should be living icons of Christ, not merely being made in His image, but growing into His likeness. The longer Metropolitan Philip's archepiscopate continues, the more faded the likeness seems to become so that now some of us wonder if even the image is being effaced.
With God all things are posslble. Perhaps an angel will visit our Metropolitan in a dream and he will awake tomorrow, repenting of the harms the exercise of his archpastoral rights have caused, relinquish control of the millions of dollars to the succor of the poor (our retired priests and their widows first among them), reorder the Archdiocese according to the Holy Canons, help the Episcopal Assemblies order the Orthodox churches in the United States and Canada according to the Holy Canons, give himself over to strict asceticism and gain spiritual gifts of healing and prophecy so that when he reposes none will doubt his sanctity!
Or perhaps he be deposed or retired at the demand of the Holy Synod of Antioch or step down after losing an appeal to Constantinople by some aggrieved priest or bishop, and then live a long life of repentance far from power, authority, and control of wealth, perhaps in a monastery.
Or perhaps he will continue as he is--may God forbid it.
I wish Metropolitan +Philip many years, but only as Orthodox Christians all wish each other many years--many years to repent. Unless he presses the "reset button" of repentance, I do not wish him many years as our Archbishop.
#18 DNY on 2010-11-12 18:37
Many years to you, your Eminence! All the naysayers that comment on these posts with criticism are bankrupt with ideas. All they do is complain. The author of this reflection can bark at the ocean or the moon and it wouldn't matter. He has nothing to offer in his post except speculation, blame, and point fingers or draw up nonsense about Walid Khalife, Fr. Antypas, or His Eminence. Ashamed has reached rock bottom. Ashamed should be ashamed. Ashamed are all those reasonable people at his post.
#19 Anonymous on 2010-11-12 19:04
Why are you ashamed to state your name? I don't use my mine as I fear the Metropolitan, but whats your excuse?
#19.1 Antionymous on 2010-11-13 12:56
Lay off the anonymous supporters of the Metropolitan. The course of Byzantine politics seldom runs straight. A few Metropolitans in Lebanon and Syria repose or retire and are replaced by bishops whose spirituality and ecclesiology have been shaped by the monastic revival in the Patriarchate (the benefits of which, alas, Met. +Philip prevents us from sharing), and suddenly things are very different. Or the Chambesy process works and Metropolitan +Philip is suddenly just one of many bishops on the Holy Synod of a newly unified American Church, with his authority limited to some little diocese centered around Englewood, NJ (or maybe he'll prefer to be the Metropolitan of Troy, MI under those circumstances), and "anonymous" finds himself in the diocese of some Russian bishop who thinks Met. +Philip is a modernist and that the recent ruling out of Antioch was an affront to sobornosty and the Holy Canons.
His supporters naturally assume that all bishops are as ruthless, as given to nursing grudges, as their chieftain seems, and fear retribution of the same sort he is dealing out to those among the clergy too vocal in support of canonical order or financial accountability, or too friendly to Bishop +Mark, or whatever the next motive for arbitrary transfers and releases will be (never depositions or suspensions, since they could trigger and appeal to Constantinople), should the winds of ecclesiastical politics turn against them.
#19.1.1 DNY on 2010-11-14 10:33
The recent events since the Archdiocese Board meeting have been present will understanding:
1. Bishop - His grace Bishop which MEtropolitan mentioned iint he Interview to the Toledo Blade as an honorable Bishop. his assignment to the Toeldo diiocese was not the best assignment for His Grance, some may argue he was never given a chance to suceed. IT comes down to to point His grace decided to join the OCA, which he could not do without MEtropolitan PHILIP's blessing and he was offer a chance for a fresh start was he cose to joint he OCA - he made a choice to join the OCA.
2. fr. David Morretti, I agree it kind of odd for a Priest to eb release and not being attach to another jurisdiction. I am sure it was more to this than him wearing his cassock. Maybe he insulted Metropolitan PHILIP in another way, maybe he should send a letter of forgveness and he will take him back
3. Fr. Paul aLbertsa, a season priest of 20+ years. MAybe with the release of fr. david he needed a seasoned priest to will the opening in TH? nd Fr. Paul was a good choice. The assignment of clergy is at the discretion of the MEtropolitan - granted it is never easy for a parish but sometime, once vacancy causes several clergy to be re-assigned. This is at the sole discretion of the MEtropolitan and not he internet to second guess him!
4. Fr. Elias - I read his comments, while he made some interesting points his comemnts were not respctful to His MEtropolitan, and Bishop THOMAS and the MEtropolitan were int heir rights to ask for his to apologize and when he did not obey His Bishop and MEtropolitan they had every right to take action! Freedome of speach/press mean no goverment agency can make laws restricting freedom of speach , press or religion. A religious leader can instruct his clergy nto speak and as ORthodox clergyt hey should obey their metropolitan, he was suspended for not obeying his metropolitan request! He was within his right.
Finally, everyone here who have an axe to grind with MEtropolitan PHILIP note that he has done nothing that he did not have the authoirty dto do so, and maybe the actions of this website have cause soem of those actions, and MArk stokoe is part of the problem, by letting everyone to post comments, some of which insulting to various hierarch - I have no problem of being crictical of our leaders, but we need to do it with diginity, which people are not when you use the term "crazy Phil" that is an insult to his as MEtropolitan - which he have earned the title for 44 years.
A real Son of Antioch
#20 Member of AOCA on 2010-11-12 23:01
Well, I suppose each separate priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese could potentially each petition to be received into the OCA.
But I don't know the politics involved in that.
Any thoughts on this?
#21 Patty Schellbach on 2010-11-13 07:25
It is good to see a few people still support the Metropolitan's antics. It would be horrible for everyone to hate him and distrust him and be afraid of him if they disagreed with him on some things.
Key facts about cults from wikipedia:
1.People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations;
2.Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
3.They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
4.They get a new identity based on the group;
5.They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.
We don't want Orthodoxy to become a cult. Be grateful for OCANEWS.ORG, it stops #5, but don't you folks find it interesting how some leaders in the Orthodox world hate the dissemination of information and opinion here.
Good reflection by the son of Antioch, too bad he can't sign his name without fear or emotion distress (see #1 above).
I forgot my name, will someone please tell the editor for me so I can remember?
#22 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-11-13 08:12
Me thinks 'tis not a good ideer for all our blessed "converts" to leave the AOC. If they do, then the "Sons of Antioch" win. Besides, how will all of us born into the Church be converted back into the faith without the leadership of the "fundamentalists?"
Obedience? Sometimes true love in obedience means for your brother/sister to tell someone (even the higher ups), "sorry, but no. still love ya, but no."
There's nothing to fear - but to me it's obvious now that the administrative leader or THE TRUE AUTOCEPHALOUS Orthodox Church in North America is Met. Jonah, perhaps we Antiochians need to start treating him as such?
#23 The Lorax on 2010-11-13 09:33
The Light has been shining and the lesser light of human reason has also been growing and revealing something diseased in our midst. Besides those sad fellows who refer to God's children as dogs while giving praise to their earthly master MP, you who read here now have sufficient facts and sufficient contrast to understand rightly. That which was in darkness is being shouted from the housetops. The Lord has set a fire on the earth.
All of us need to continue to pray that we may better understand our minds illuminated by our Lord. It is for us to come through persecution into adulthood in the faith. MP did not bring harm by himself. Our childish immaturity has allowed and even encouraged his downfall. By downfall, I am not at all speaking to corrective, healing measures but to his current state which has been revealed. While it saddens me to see holy men such as Bishop Mark and these priests facing persecution (regardless of whether they are as bumbling as was the disciple Peter), I am more saddened for the families of the archdiocese that are not yet mature in their faith and for those who MIGHT have found the Church with us but who have been put off by scandal. I thank God we have a fast beginning soon.
The canons of Holy Orthodoxy have not gone missing. Holy Tradition has not been inadequate. Rather, we have been inadequate, to greater and lesser extents according to our gifts. Let us not forget that actions contrary to Holy Tradition, Scripture, canons and holy fathers have no place, no reality within the Church, which while in the world, transcends it. MP has no power to redefine enthroned diocesan bishops as something else. He may have earthly power at this time to act as if his word is Holy Tradition and for a time he may get his way on some things. Enthroned bishops cannot be un-throned by MPs fiat. They do not require re-throning. They require that we acknowledge and receive them. They require that we not receive false teachings. MP's moral failures and excesses shame us all. His prideful wrath and persecution of the saints is certainly regrettable. Perhaps these led to the overreach of attempting to change the ecclesiology of Holy Orthodoxy by an attack on Holy Orders which is an attack on icons. An attack on conciliarity is an attack on catholicity.
Do not misunderstand my concern: it is not the Lord's Body that requires defense ... it is God's children that need defending by the Church. (Fr. Elias was doing this work with those homeless persons. If the spirituality we saw seemed more Franciscan than Orthodox, I suggest we look to his bishops.) By playing this game with the meaning of "auxiliary", MP has not changed bishops into deacons but he has delineated for us once again the boundary of what is of the Church, qua Church, and what is not. It is heresy that casts out heretics ... we do not curse or cast out; rather we speak the truth. (Please pardon me, a miserable sinnner, from speaking for the laos - I should not do so but speak only by necessity.) This is something to remember when we might be tempted to look longingly at the "Pax Romana". Again, the Church is not changed into something else by false teachings ... but by our receiving them, we may thrust ourselves a bit further outside of Her. Because the church in Rome has offered up this strange fire that is "papal infallibility" and a primacy that replaces Our Lord in our midst - they are divided from us for a thousand years ... so consider such fruits. Finally, the prayer of our Lord that we might be one is not for our bishops alone, but also for those which shall believe on our Lord through their word. I suggest to you the icon of the repentance of Peter.
#24 Monologistos on 2010-11-13 10:52
What is wrong with you people? Don’t you understand that Metropolitan Philip has been and continues to be the greatest, most dynamic and charismatic Orthodox hierarch in North America, nay the entire the world?
No one else speaks and acts with his boldness and insight. He is a great leader because he knows that the people want strength and decisiveness. His priests and deacons, the ones who know him the best, give him the respect he has earned over the last forty years. Who has done more for Orthodox unity? Who but he knows the names and faces of each and every one of his priests? Who but he treats all of his priests as his sons, favoring no one, loving all equally? Who provides a better retirement plan for his clergy? Who empowers his lay people on every level and promotes harmony between the clergy and the laity more than he?
Who shows more respect for his Patriarch and fellow Metropolitans? Have you ever heard him speak ill of another bishop? Who shows more love and respect for his auxiliary bishops? Who is more like a humble and loving father to his priests, chastising and correcting them gently?
This is a man with no pretensions, living in simple home, dressing in humble business suits. He does not even own the shoes he wears. When he comes to a parish, he demands no fanfare, but comes as a humble servant. When he speaks to the people he rarely speaks about money or budgets, but rather encourages the faithful to prayer, worship and service to the poor.
Politics, whether of the Church or of the world, are foreign to him. He only thinks about the salvation of his clergy and people.
If everyone would simply open the pages of the Word magazine, and read about this venerable, spiritual giant of our times, then they would realize how delusional is the criticism of this great man.
May God grant him continued good health for many years because I tell you we will weep, yes indeed we will weep bitter tears when he is gone.
Some of us are weeping already.
#25 Heracleum mantegazzianium on 2010-11-13 11:35
Excellent satire (intended or not). To bad Happy will not see it as such but rather as an affirmation of his misplaced puppy-love.
#25.1 Heracleides on 2010-11-13 19:30
Your witty irony slays me
#25.2 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-13 21:55
Is this a joke? There are so many outrageous statements in this post, but I don't want to have all the fun so I'll just focus on one: "Politics, whether of the Church or of the world, are foreign to him."
The author told us to open the pages of the Word magazine, so let's open the December 2004 issue and begin on page 5. Oops! There's Metropolitan Philip chatting it up with President Bashar Al-Assad and President Emile Lahoud. On the next page, we see the name of President Elias Herawi. General Muhamad Naseef and General Ghazi Kanaan are mentioned. On page 7, it says Metropolitan Philip's discussion with Lahoud focused on Security Council Resolution #1559, whatever that is, and Lahoud "thanked His Eminence for the creative role the Archdiocese plays in the political life of the United States of America." Later on, he visits Deputy Prime Minister Issam Faris. - Nope, no indication of political interests The Word!!!
Did you catch MP's article on Kosovo?
Or on Iraq?
Or his letter to Condoleezza Rice?
Or his "Torture is a Moral Issue" endorsement?
Or the September 27, 1999 letter to President Clinton urging an end to the Iraqi embargo?
Or his Campaign to Promote Energy Conservation and Climate Protection?
I could go on, but you get the point. Politics is a passion of Metropolitan Philip's. - The rest of what Giant Hogweed says is equally ridiculous.
#25.3 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-14 01:17
All great men are misunderstood. Metropolitan Philip tries to minister to these political leaders in order to lead them to the truth.
He is the only bishop in the Church not stuck in the past. Almost single-handed, he has redefined what it means to be autonomous. Depending on what is needed, an archdiocese can be autonomous (self-ruled) with diocesan bishops are consecrated and/or enthroned to their sees but have little or no authority in their own dioceses, or an archdiocese can be autonomous (self-ruled) with auxiliary bishops who may be (with blessing of Metropolitan Philip) remembered liturgically as if they were ruling diocesan bishops and constitute a local synod with the Metropolitan having the final say on all decisions. Either way we are self-ruled, it just depends on what Metropolitan Philip discerns is best for the Archdiocese. The Church needs flexibility in its polity and Metropolitan Philip is the only bishop who is wise enough and brave enough to realize this and act accordingly! Long may he live.
#25.3.1 Heracleum M on 2010-11-15 15:34
Classic! I love this!
#25.4 Antionymous on 2010-11-14 15:56
I have no problem of being crictical of our leaders, but we need to do it with diginity, which people are not when you use the term "crazy Phil" that is an insult to his as MEtropolitan - which he have earned the title for 44 years.
A real Son of Antioch
#20 Member of AOCA on 2010-11-12 23:01 (Reply)
"Crazy Phil" That is not in good taste, unneccessary and wrong.
Now as for ME-tropolitan? I like it. Has a descriptive clarity that rings true. And yes he has definitely earned it. Several million times over, so we are told.
#26 Anonymous on 2010-11-13 18:19
Sorry about not entering my name in the above post. I must have gotten distracted before sending. I don't want some Met. Philip apologist to get blamed for this. So many are named Anonymous.
#26.1 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-13 19:58
I'm not particularly concerned about titles but about what the practical implications are for us. OK, it seems that MP was playing the Holy Synod of Antioch falsely, trading on ambiguities and lying to them, frankly, in order to gain "self-rule". He jokes that he pulled a fast one, saying the patriarch didn't like the term "Autonomous" so MP substituted "Self-Rule", chortling to himself that it means the same thing. Let us assume that the Holy Synod of Antioch was incapable of understanding this duplicity or the consequences. If so, it makes them incompetent to have any jurisdiction over North America. If not, it embroils them in the same passive-aggressive manipulations that have characterized MP's sensibilities. I'm not an Arab but I give Arabs more credit, based on the fact that a great many of our Arabic brothers were fully capable of understanding the nuances involved and behaving out of love. I give Arabs more credit than to ascribe as a uniquely Arab characteristic what is no more than passive-aggressive dysfunction. It might be a distinction between tribal morality seen in the cleverness of King David contrasting with more highly organized societies ... but sociological explanations are not adequate to our need.
So if it is not simply a racial or tribal dysfunction (simultaneously stereotyped and enabled) and not simply total incompetence, it starts to seem like it is a particular dysfunction of the individuals involved. Without knowing more of the Holy Synod, it is impossible for me to determine if dysfunction crosses over into corruption but it there is if nothing else an appearance of corruption in the actions of MP for which he bears the primary responsibility, abetted by corrupted men.
We should not be simple-minded so much that we are blinded by a shell-game, a diversion. So what if Bishop Mark was at times bumbling (I do not say I know particulars but I know every man bumbles)? So what if Fr. Elias was a bit "out there"? So what if cassocks were worn in public at any point? Attacking the messenger may be a typical strategy in the intentional antagonism of our court systems. It doesn't make for a logical argument but poisoning the well makes for purely manipulative persuasion. It doesn't represent how Christians should treat one another and it certainly is a poor example of pastoral care for those so attacked. And it is simply bad behavior (bullying and scapegoating). The model of the abusive, arbitrary male more common to third world cultures isn't something to be emulated or condoned. Our Lord did not act that way ... childish and irrational, as a petty tyrant. The closest example that springs to mind is that of a drunken father who terrorizes his wife and children.
These actions against our bishop and priests are fearful. MP has wrought fear throughout the archdiocese. Bullying is a fearful behavior. Why MP has cause to be so fearful is a valid question. IMHO, it indicates he should be removed from authority in the most pastoral way possible, but quickly, not only to avoid further harm to others but because by his actions, he has made himself unable to lead. We should love MP as we would any other child of God but the vast majority of his priests (and possibly/probably even bishops) dislike him and do not trust him. Why should they? He has proven himself untrustworthy by his own testimony and by his actions. He has made it impossible for our hearts to respond to his call without ambivalence ... if there were to be a crisis, we would first have to consult ourselves before harkening to his voice. Let's hope the next inevitable crisis allows that luxury. Our current crisis also risks letting the opportunity of proper preparation slip away before the ecumenical synod in 2013 ... something MP seems set on sabotaging.
Office does not always indicate knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Recognition of this reality brought Bishop Anthony to the feet of a lay monk with a grade school education, the staretz Silouan of Mt. Athos. Recognition of this reality on our parts requires some maturity in the faith. All that is gold does not glitter. Episcopal dignity without humility is fool's gold.
#26.2 Monologistos on 2010-11-14 11:24
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
#27 Macarius on 2010-11-14 06:26
I think that concerned members of the AOANA who believe the reality that Met. Philip has demonstrated horrible leadership and judgment in the Archdiocese as of late need to come up with a better plan rather than simply waiting until God takes the Metropolitan to the next world. Many Orthodox bishops live and remain bishops well into their 90s. Does anyone think that another 10-15 years of this is good for the Archdiocese or for Orthodoxy or for Orthodox mission in America?
Prayers are of course needed and important. But as Fr Tom Hopko said, often times our prayers serve to guide us as to how we must act.
My 2 cents is that simply waiting until Met. Philip passes to the next life is a terrible idea, really requires no effort at all, and shows the Metropolitan that he is correct in that most of the Archdiocese is happy with his leadership. But if this is how the AOANA decides to proceed, then be prepared for potentially many more years of this.
A concerned fellow Orthodox Christian (OCA)
#28 Gregg Gerasimon on 2010-11-14 11:40
Baltimore, MD (AOCC) — The not-for-profit organization American Orthodox Canonical Corrections (AOCC) has expanded its distribution of emergency aid to despot-ravaged areas of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. While depositions, demotions and pointless re-assignments are receding in many areas of the archdiocese, the devastation caused to parishes, clergy and laity, especially in the Midwest, has left many people without adequate access to the holy mysteries, divine services and Christian fellowship. Aid provided by AOCC has focused on spiritual inoculation, especially against the threat of more punishments handed down by the hierarchy. The restoration of ecclesiastical order, transparency and credibility are the long term goals.
Many weary and wounded refugees from the battered archdiocese are seeking immediate succor and shelter within the overlapping diocese of the OCA. Whether or not they will be be able or willing to return to their beloved parochial homes remains to be determined. It is rumored that attempts to negotiate repatriations, much less reparations, have not been well received.
"It was with great sadness that we learned of the harm done to clergy and laity in the archdiocese" remarked National Katakakadesot association President Sfyrilato Egklimaties. "Our support through contributions via the AOCC demonstrates the generosity and will of our chapters throughout the country to assist the victims there."
You can help the victims of ecclesiastical disasters around the continent such as the recent outburst of tyranny and the chronic fiscal obfuscation in the AOCANA, by making a financial gift to the AOCC Emergency Relief Fund which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit www.AmericanOrthodoxCanonicalCorrections.org,
AOCC was founded in 2001 in the wake of the great "Spyrirdonic Castastrophe" of the late 1990s as the unofficial canonical aid and watchdog agency of the Orthodox Church providing relief and recovery programs in the 66 (more or less) coincidental and nominally Orthodox diocese throughout the United States and Canada.
#29 MWP on 2010-11-14 13:06
Speaking of Obedience, who is +Philip obedient to?
The canons of the Church - NO (Allen, Maymon etc etc.)
The Holy Synod of Antioch - NO!
The Patriarch - NO!
The constitution of the United States - Hah!
The Tax Code - Whats that?
His spiritual Father - Thats a laugh!
His Local Synod - NOT ANYMORE
#14.3 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-12 17:57 (Reply)
Imagine Dana Garvey from the old Saturday Night Live suddenly appearing dressed as the Church Lady, and saying "ah yes...hmmm now let me see?...who could it be?.. hmmm,.. could it be?....could it be?... _!!! echo echo echo
Starts with an S and ends with an N and no Happy, it isn't the Son of Man, or Susan Sarandon, and that's my last clue.
(Editor's note: The Sandman? Spiderman? How many guesses do we get?)
#30 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-14 14:07
Cleptocracy, taken from the recent Romanian article, is particularly applicable to the Antiochian situation. Until annual external audits verify otherwise, firing/transferring bishops and priests (and soon parishioners?) who request accountability contributes to an all-around suspicious climate. Not sure what the ecclesiastical variation of the word would be, but thefreedictionary.com defines kleptocracy as "a term applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power at the expense of the population... A kleptocratic government creates projects and programs at a policy level which serve the primary purpose of funneling money out of the treasury and into the pockets of the executive with little if any regard for the logic, viability or necessity of those projects." Prove otherwise with a GAAP external audit.
#31 Anon on 2010-11-14 16:31
Did you see this?
Name withheld to protect my priest.
(Editor's note: Yes. Thanks!)
#32 Name withheld on 2010-11-15 00:41
I know that my Father Confessor will be sending me my instructions tonight for this season - be a nice person, say nothing bad about anyone involved in this mess and take a break from posting.
I, certainly am not saying don't listen to your confessor father. But I know a certain Galilean who right during Holy Week physically drove from His Father's House those who were making it a den of thieves. He was well known for only doing those things which were pleasing to His Father.
#33 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-16 14:41
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