Monday, November 15. 2010
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(Editor's note: Since neither you, nor I, have any idea exactly to what Fr. Touma is speaking but only speculationat this point, how can you say, with any reasonableness, that the above is "absolutely false"? Are you suggesting there has never been any question about documents emanating from Damascus?( Because that would be absolutely false.... )
Fr. Touma's statement was newsworthy because he is a signficiant figure in the Levantine Church; one doubts he would make such charges lightly. If he has, then he should be reprimanded. If, on the other hand, he is able to explain his allegations.... The point is, before jumping the gun, why not wait and see what he says.)
#1 Happy on 2010-11-15 07:33
Happy, the above comment of yours confirms to me once and for all time that you are not to be taken seriously. In fact, I suspect you are simply a Trojan horse for Englewood. You certainly do not strike me as the 'convert' you claim to be (however, 'convict' is a distinct possibility considering the composition of Philip's entourage). If you are indeed one of Philip's many eyes-and-ears that doubtless monitor this website, please convey to the Despot my minimal sympathy for his future misfortunes as he is eventually held accountable either here or in the hereafter for his past and present (& most likely future) actions in inflicting harm on this Archdiocese (notice I did not say his Archdiocese). I now return you to your "clap-happy" schtick.
#1.1 Heracleides on 2010-11-15 14:17
Very funny, I'm glad you are reading my posts but again you are wrong. I am just trying to help tell the truth and stand up for the facts "so far" as they are given. This post says nothing. I am insulting in your claims however you think what you want to, just like every other tom dick and harry on this website.
That's like saying, Heracleides, you are the eyes and ears of those that want MP out. I am sure you do, which is sad because that would mean you don't know the facts.
Every story has two sides, it's sad not one side is ever positive on this website. I have not seen one reflection, nor story about the other view of this entire ordial. I am sure some have been submitted, but until I read a positive article from the other side of the isle i will continue posting in support of Metropolitan PHILIP. It is fair, that is why i believe this hole-heartedly is a leaned website (No offense Mark because I like observing and commenting, but it is leaned:)).
Thanks for your insults, I forgive you.
(Editor's note: If any have been submitted, its news to me. )
#1.1.1 Happy on 2010-11-15 16:04
You cannot credibly protest abuse by heaping abuse! Even if you were right in every point, you would be completely wrong by virtue of your lack of Christian civility. Apologize!
And no, I am neither a supporter of +Philip's actions nor a believer in his vision of "unity."
#1.1.2 Schema-monk on 2010-11-15 21:14
I will apologize for the tone that may have come out. However, if you read all these posts you will need everyone else to apologize for their ruthless attacks on Metropolitan PHILIP. Therefore how can you ask me to apologize only. I will just because of the point you brought up, but not because of the reason behind that point.
All in all, I am sorry if i was offensive in my tone.
Pray for me please in your next set of prayers (this is a serious request. Thank you.)
#18.104.22.168 Happy on 2010-11-16 07:45
#22.214.171.124.1 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2010-11-16 14:23
Dear Fellow Orthodox Christians
This is me Happy. I have come to the conclusion that we are all doing more harm for the Church then good. Yes we are debating, but having two factions (for & against) is not healthy.
In fact I am not Happy, I am truly sad by this. I am hurting because I am defending the man that has brought so much good for this church. I am sad because I do not want to see the pain and loneliness that this caused. Both sides are equally as destructive when expressing their thoughts. All of the clergy including MP and all bishops have suffered, been hurt, and probably take credit for this.
Even if they were Diocesan bishops, some may have dropped the ball causing diversity to increase, rather, then decrease. Or it could be both the bishop and priests together dropped the ball. Likewise, MP probably didn't know how to handle disunity and obviously all the bishops probably got upset, only natural I would guess. In turn, this is the result. I believe disunity is what caused this, along with the sins of man.
We all sin, we all live in a messed up world if we choose to see the mistakes of this world. I pray especially for myself and everyone on both sides to not write out of anger, but rather out of love.
I personally am sad because I have a difficult time. I love this church, I love His Eminence, I love Bishop Mark, I love practically everyone I meet. I speak from the heart too. Yes I gave my opinions, you know how I feel, but that caused absolutely no positive outcome. Likewise, most others don't either. It just brews a pot. This saddens me, those I upset, you know I would hug you with love, those I defend I would hug also with love, those I did not agree with...i still will hug with love.
We are all hurting each other. You will not read any more posts from me, as hard as it is to give up. It is better that way, for Christ doesn't want more evil from us who are actually trying to do right....on both sides.
With Christs love,
happy (Mark, this is me. I just want peace of mind)
#126.96.36.199.1.1 Happy on 2010-11-16 21:52
Thanks for this comment, Happy. You are absolutely right, and having been around both "sides" my greatest desire... and yes even the desire of the Metropolitan is unity, though I strongly disagree with his so-called discipline. It has done the opposite, and for this i continue to offer my prayers for our beloved archdiocese.
We will all get through this, the truth will come out, and we can all embrace one another. I don't doubt that things could have been handled differently by Bishop Mark, and I know without a doubt they could be handled differently by our Metropolitan +Philip.
I like you, long for unity, but sometimes it takes honest dialog, and yes I wish I could not post anonymously and unfortunately sense I can't it probably leads to some harsh words on my part and the parts of others.
I do pray that our diocesan Bishops will be restored to their proper place and that through our local Synod, true unity can be realized in the near future.
Happy, If I knew who you were I too, would give you a great big hug.
God's blessings to you!
#188.8.131.52.1.1.1 CJ7 on 2010-11-18 17:29
It is obvious that we cannot trust everything we read. Their has been fraudulant docs released from Engel wood once before why not again. I have more trust for the street person who says he will work for food than our present people on the Archdiosces board who continually support and engage in this sort of action.
We are simple people who pray, fast, and give thanks for our spiritual fathers. The pendulum swings both ways. I encourage all who feel that their hearts have been ripped out and stomped on to hold on and believe in what you know. The pendulum of truth will swing back and it will swipe the slate clean of all involved in this assult on the Orthodox faith as it was intended.
done for now.
#1.2 anonomous for now on 2010-11-21 18:24
Does this really surprise anyone in the AOCANA? Come on....how much more proof of corruption do we need....
It is time for an ORGANIZED effort to demand accountability!!! Starting with an Audit. Whatever the "chancellor" says there must be a firm resolution for this in Chicago.
Lets use the internet not just to complain but get Organised - any suggestions?
#2 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-15 08:02
No, it really doesn't surprise me at all. Our archdiocese is governed by convicts, thugs and mafiosos.
But their days are numbered and Archmandrite Touma will hopefully hasten that day.
#2.1 iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-15 15:46
facepalm Just *facepalm*....
Can we Arabic illiterates glean what portions of the page in question are possibly forged? I'm assuming it is the portions on Fr. Bitar's page that are in red to which he refers, but a neutral-party translation would be most helpful.
Blessed fast to all on the new calendar.
#3 Mary Brigid on 2010-11-15 08:26
The plot thickens!
#4 Michael on 2010-11-15 08:52
First off, can we collect the necessary funds to invite the entire Holy Synod of Antioch to America, as our guests for a week-end, so that they once & for all will verify that they unequivocally support our Archbishop. And at the same time, oh ye faithful out in the world of
Internet blogs.... Really? That's all I've got
to say.. 'Really?' Our Archbishop is a man,
a man who seriously works overtime & then some. Leave the guy alone. Haram already. While he could have chosen the easy road, he seriously gave his life to build what we have today.. And lately it seems that everyone wants to insult him, discredit his decisions, call for his retirement and more. Come on... If you read this Sayidna Philip, I'm truly sorry for the pain that the 'anonymous' people have cause you. When push comes to
shove, the 'little' people truly appreciate your hard work. Please as a true Christian leader, I hope you can
find it within your heart & spirit to stay strong. I realize how much pain has been inflicted upon you... When was the last time
that someone said 'hey Sayidna Philip, we truly thank you for all you've accomplished, for what you've strived
to get done, all through Christ blessing you. Finally, all
of you in cyber world... Obviously Jesus Christ is not
only pleased and satisfied, he will continue to
bless Sayidna Philip. While none of us are perfect,
as we say in Lebanon... Khah lass nah! Enough already...
#5 Douglas Hamatie - N.Y. N.Y. on 2010-11-15 09:31
Wish you could check with your Parish Priest (!) in Orlando, as to the inconsistency of the Archdiocese you laud - as to sincerity and trust? Your Archbishop has a leisurely planned (by the week) existence. Many of us seminarians (many Clergy now) know this for a fact when we gave time for cleanup/packing nbooks, etc. while at St. Vladimir's. Free lunch, yes, but living NOW in a "fear infested" Church - many wonder at their decisions. Many, many wish they were in the OCA had they KNOWN of the sad decisions, lack of an audit, indiscriminate removal of clergy and our one and only convert Bishop!
#5.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-15 12:07
Tell me something 'Anonymous' are you such a coward?
Remind me, you said the following : "Wish you could check with your Parish Priest (!) in Orlando, as to the inconsistency of the Archdiocese you laud - as to sincerity and trust? Your Archbishop has a leisurely planned (by the week) existence. Many of us seminarians (many Clergy now) know this for a fact when we gave time for cleanup/packing nbooks, etc. while at St. Vladimir's. Free lunch, yes, but living NOW in a "fear infested" Church"
Revisionist history aye... Is our church in Iran, Saudi or North Korea? Is our leader, do you wish to compare our Archbishop to the leaders of those countries? Wake up people- you moan, you groan,
you speak above of 'terrible conditions' - please
don't disrespect my father, whose my parish priest by suggesting that I should 'ask him about the archdiocese' I'm an adult, on my own, responsible for my words... my thoughts &
my postings... Our archdiocese is just fine. Our spiritual leader isn't the person you 'anonymous cowards' make
him out to be. I remember his help for our small parish in raising money to help us after our church was damaged during those
three terrible hurricanes a few years back. If your really a priest, use and seek wisdom. If you've got something to say, say it- but don't be nasty, insulting and hurtful and then hide behind a computer monitor. I'm glad your not my parish priest, although I am sure I know which priest you are.. My late grandmother originally from Brooklyn, used to say 'never trust a snake who doesn't have the guts to acknowledge themselves' believe this, if wrong has been done, call em out! But in this case, and regarding the last say 45 years, our Archbishop has done nothing but 'build, give, and love.' learn something aye!
#5.1.1 Douglas Hamatie - N.Y. - N.Y. on 2010-11-15 18:00
Well this "snake" has used her name from day one, but it is your beloved metropolitan who delivered the vicious bite. You have NO idea how vindictive he can be unless you've been on the receiving end.
#184.108.40.206 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-16 10:53
Personal grudge from 2009?
#220.127.116.11.1 Happy on 2010-11-16 21:06
as we say in Lebanon... Khah lass nah! Enough already...
Then tell it to Fr. Touma in Lebanon, because he seems not to have had "enough already."
The Synod has issued some contradictory and opaque decisions since 2007-08, when this whole mess began brewing. It has required some frantic manuevering by +Philip, and I don't think his support is as unqualified as you say.
I don't think the people who set +Mark's deposition in motion have fully considered how things might end up. +Joseph (who would appear to be +Philip's likely successor) and his Syrian and Lebanese counterparts seem cut from a rather different cloth.
#5.2 The Anti-Gnostic on 2010-11-15 12:50
The irony of a holy monk pointing out the forgery of a metropolitan that abhors monasticism would be poetic justice.
A humble monk brings down the mighty and powerful.
Oh, Metropoliltan Phil is not going to happy having that written into his legacy....
#5.2.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-15 17:54
Had Metropolitan Philip retired back in April of 2009, his legacy would have remained in tact. Metropolitan Philip was warned and he ignored it. It is the "little people" who have had it "up to here" with him.
#5.3 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-15 16:28
Let me tell you how I feel, receiving a report like this:
It is the experience of a scientific anomaly, in which an unintended "discovery" urges the adoption of a new operating paradigm. The entire heuristic landscape changes. As Thomas Kuhn argued in his wonderful book on he subject, such experiences are the source of scientific revolutions.
At first, however, such discoveries are utterly bewildering. Most of us, right now, are bewildered, I suspect.
Father Touma's cryptic report is like a slap up-side the cheek: It is reasonable to inquire whether one is being insulted, or being restored from a coma.
It reads like a short bulletin from some obscure person named Christopher Columbus, claiming to have come upon a hitherto unknown island in his recent voyage.
I don't know Arabic, but I'm not sure it would help if I did!
I feel like we have been playing by the rules of what we thought was a normal baseball game. We have sent our batters dutifully to the plate; they have batted, they have bunted, they have stood up there for the count, they have taken their base on balls, and in a couple of cases they have struck out.
Finally, one of our men, as he starts running from second to third, is tackled by the short stop, at which point Franz Kafka rises to announce that the other team has possession of the ball, and it is first and ten, with five minutes left in the third quarter. We don't know whether to expect a double bogey or a TKO, but right now either seems possible.
Mercy, please, let's catch our breath. While this is getting sorted out, let's stay peaceful and pray for the Church.
#6 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-15 10:07
your comments are perhaps more cryptic than the present news story God bless you and our presbyters of our beloved Archdiocese!
Am I the only one who noticed in the "official Arabic translation" that the only word not in Arabic was the word auxiliaries... perhaps not making that official. Anyways, it made me laugh back in Sept. even if it has certainly caused some sorrow.
A blessed fast to everyone!!!
#6.1 CJ7 on 2010-11-15 12:37
Well, not to toot my own horn - or maybe just toot it a little - but I thought there was something phony about that decision way back when it came out. There are similarities between the forged fax from 2009 and this so-called Synodal decision.
How many times does a metropolitan have to forge Synodal decisions before he gets deposed?
(Editor's note: There is no evidence the Metropolitan himself forged anything. )
#7 Cordelia on 2010-11-15 10:37
If these documents are truly forgeries, do you really think Met. Philip's approval and/or cooperation wouldn't be part of it?
#7.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-15 14:50
This is disgusting. Everyone is monitoring this issue on this website and elsewhere. I hope you all are not ignorant in this regard.
FACT - If there was a forgery obviously it would have come to light in 1 day after posting publicly for the world to see!
This is a lie of lies, and a terrible attempt to make the Archdiocese look bad.
God bless this archdiocese and God protect it from those evil doers that are claiming false accusations. We all need prayers and God's mercy for peace of mind.
(Editor's note: Why would Fr. Touma, the abbot of an Antiochian monastery in Lebanon, •want• to make the Archdiocese look bad? Let us hear what he has to say before jumping one way or the other. However, I think everyone is agreed that asking God to protect the Archdiocese is a good thing.)
#8 Happy on 2010-11-15 10:56
I've been following recent developments in the Archdiocese of my baptism with horrified fascination. Lately church politics has felt much more like an episode of Jersey Shore than the proceedings of pious men trying to discern the will of God.
This latest moves MP's actions from malicious and venal to downright weird. I want very much to believe that he's a senile man who has simply lost his marbles and won't listen to reason. Why else would be spend a few short months destroying what he's spent his entire career fighting for? This alleged forgery calls that into question.
Whatever the case, our hierarchs, priests, and lay organizations have failed us in every possible way. They have not provided the necessary check on centralized ecclesiastical power. I think this bespeaks the schizophrenic relationship many of us Orthodox, particularly converts (and I speak as a convert here myself) have to power. Yes, we must learn to engaged our spiritual fathers in love, but, at the end of the day, we are not a cult. If something is absolutely coocoo, we have an obligation to call a spade a spade. It is the same culture of silence being advocated by some which is responsible for the long-standing toleration of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic church.
For anything to change here, as few good men will have to risk their careers. Priests, I understand you have a lot to loose by speaking out, but your flock needs you. If bishops will not encourage MP to retire, we need to petition Damascus to intervene. Things are now darker than for AOCANA than they ever were even in the darkest days of the OCA, my present jurisdiction. If the people of God continue to cower in humiliated silence, we stand to loose everything that we have struggle for by the grace of God in the upbuilding of the Church in North America. Let us pray for courage, conviction, grace, and love in order the accomplish what is necessary.
#9 Matt Gates on 2010-11-15 11:51
Innocent and good priests have been deposed or transferred in order to make an example of to the other priests who know what is going on isn't right. Remember, they don't have vested retirements...
We lay people need to stand up.
#9.1 Skyler on 2010-11-15 16:53
This entire drama resembles an episode of "The Twilight Zone".
Lord have mercy!
#10 Michael on 2010-11-15 12:39
"Most" is a huge word in Fr. Touma's announcement. If a man of good will on the synod knew of a forgery, wouldn't he immediately notify all of his peers? I have a hard time seeing Fr. Touma being mistaken about something so big. Assuming there is a forgery, the big question is whether the synod has the will to police and discipline its members and to post the authentic statement--in Arabic AND English, please God--and to insist it be adhered to. Time will tell.
#11 James P. on 2010-11-15 12:41
Mark- I thought you said that you dont publish things that arent proven to be correct. What the hell is this? Has OCANews turned out to be just another "tabloid junkie"? Do you so much want to write about the AOCANA that you resolve to print tabloid garbage? The world wide web is available for all to see. Dont you think that if these documents and signatures were all forgeries and it was placed on the antiochian archdiocese website that the patriarchate wouldve known about it? Stop the nonsense and return to reporting factual information if you please.
(Editor's note: My job is not to vet the news - it is to report it accurately. In this case a rather famous and signficant figure in the Lebanese church made some rather startling, if cryptic claims about the American Archdiocese. Do we just ignore it? Or, now that he has made the same, ask him for the details? He made the claim - not me. I just reported his claim, the same as if I would if some like Fr. Ephraim in the GOA, or Fr. Hopko in the OCA, or Metropolitan Jevtic in the Serbian Church made a claim like this. My standard is that I will not publish things I know personally to be untrue. In this case I have no idea whether what Fr. Touma claims is true or not. I am willing to hear him out. And if he can't back up his claim, well, then his credibility, not mine, is damaged. (But the reporter in me tells me somebody like him doesn't make such a claim unless he has his ducks in a row - like a witness or document. )
As for his claims specifically, he says: "...the forgery of the Synod's recent decision about the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, unknown to most of the fathers of the Holy Synod." Apparently, he is claiming that most of the bishops did not realize their decision had been forged. What he means by that, and who has come to a realization that their decision was forged ( or perhaps their signatures on a "unanimous" text?) we shall have to wait for the good Archimandrite, and the noble Samn! to translate for us all...)
#12 Anonymous on 2010-11-15 13:04
Anonymous wrote: "I thought you said that you dont publish things that arent proven to be correct."
What Mark said was: "I do not publish statement that I know to be untrue."
The mistake of Anonymous is a common one. Many of my logic students, in the old days, flunked the course for that sort of thing.
#12.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-15 16:04
I think we've been mistaken in one front. Christ built the AOC into what She was up until now - not any one Bishop. It was our best effort to work through Christ, in synergy with our Hierarchs. It is important to acknowledge Who is doing the work. Our Lord.
Perhaps, the recent "problems" in the AOC are a result of having forgotten Christ, and therefore they are coming, "mysteriously," unhindged?
Let's bring back Christ through prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and lovingly seeking accountability. And, let's do it as The Church.
#13 The Lorax on 2010-11-15 13:24
This is a lie of lies, and a terrible attempt to make the Archdiocese look bad.
#8 Happy on 2010-11-15 10:56 (Reply)
You don't even know what lie was supposedly lied about? Your frantic denunciation is therefore a little premature. You, like everyone else needs to wait and see what Fr. Touma is actually asserting before you frantically shake your fist and pound your feet in outraged indignation.
As far as this being a terrible attempt to make our Archdiocese look bad..well that particular Ginn is already out of the bottle.
Whatever Fr. Touma has now regarding forgeries, if true, won't sigificantly tarnish any further the less than stellar reputation of those heading our God protected archdiocese. It's almost become.. yeah..so what, tell us something we don't know.
#14 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-15 13:39
I respect you and Mark for saying wait and not being ugly like the other fellow. I will wait because the truth will be revealed. I'm just saddened why can't there be any positive posts and articles. It seems I and a few others on THIS website only are supporting MP. He is NOT doing anything he is not authorized to do.
(Editor's note: Well, that remains to be seen, doesn't it, depending on what Fr. Touma reveals?)
#14.1 Happy on 2010-11-15 17:00
"He is NOT doing anything he is not authorized to do."
That an action can be done does not mean that it should be done. Also, this caps a number of questionable events since 2008, with dissenting bishops meeting personally with the Patriarch and being assured of their diocesan status. Then there's the frantic visit by +Philip with his entourage shoving documents in front of the elderly Patriarch. Then we get a Synodal meeting and, lo and behold, +Philip is pleased to report that the bishops aren't really bishops but locums for the Met. So why the previous bragging about a "self-ruled" archdiocese in 2007? In 2010, he's engineered its reduction to an eparchy.
The bishops were consecrated and enthroned. Now we are told the rite of consecration did not invest the bishops with anything other than titles. But if the rite is real, that is, an investiture of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the apostolic succession, then +Philip and the Synod are trying to unring a bell, and a theologically very significant and substantive bell at that. And all because +Mark--placed in this hopeless situation--dared tell a few parishes to get their liturgical house in order. Arbitrary and capricious doesn't begin to cover what is going on here.
#14.1.1 The Anti-Gnostic on 2010-11-15 17:57
There are plenty of 'positive' things written and said about Met. Philip. Read the Word Magazine, or click over to antiochian.org. Never seen any criticism at all on either one of those sources. So, on the whole, OCANews provides a balance to the enforced adulation of 'official Archdiocesan sources.'
#14.1.2 anonymous on 2010-11-16 00:03
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
#15 Macarius on 2010-11-15 15:10
All this nonsense about what Damascus said or did not say, how and what translates from Arabic to/from English is the best argument for divorcing ourselves from the foreign, parasitic patriarchs. Other than Russia, what have any of the other patriarchates done for Orthodoxy in NA. other than accept our money? That is only thing I know of which does not get lost in translation. Why all of sudden an Episcopal Assembly when SCOBA has been around, active and successful for years other than it did not come from a Turkish patriarch.
#16 Bob on 2010-11-15 16:18
Best to cast aspersions accurately--it's the domestic archbishop in this narrative who has been at the center of scandal, not the foreign patriarch. In fact, if it turns out that the Holy Synod didn't say what we've been led to believe, it is the foreign patriarch/synod who have been protecting us from the domestic archbishop.
#16.1 Mordecai on 2010-11-16 07:56
What I find interesting is that though I am able to highlight and copy the text on the website where Fr. Touma posted his comments, the section, surrounded by a border, where these comments appear is an image; not text. I wonder where the image came from and where else it has appeared?
(Editor's note: Its a jpeg.)
#17 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-15 16:35
I get that, but don't you find it strange that a jpeg would appear on his blog? Why wouldn't he type the message?
(Editor's note: He wanted to prevent people from altering his words? That if people copied his message, it would appear as he wanted it ?
I mean, given that forgery is his concern....?)
#17.1 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-15 17:54
Am I the only one who finds it odd that in both the notorious "Fax of Englewood" in the last round of this debacle, and in the recent pdf posted on the Archdiocesan website, the name of the Patriarchate is given in Arabic and English, though the addresses at the bottom are given in Arabic and French?
In every other patriarchal document I've ever seen, the name of the Patriarchate is (like the addresses in the footer) in Arabic and French. Not only that, the serif font of the English doesn't match the sans-serif font of the French address, unlike when the address and name are both in French when the fonts match.
Now this may signify nothing more than some busy-body in the Archdiocesan office,or a courteous clerk in Damascus, aware of the paucity of Francophones in the U.S., deciding to cut and paste the name of the Patriarchate in English (and what appears to be Times or Times New Roman) over Franco-Arabic letterhead sent from Damascus for the benefit of us Anglophones among the American faithful.
It could, however, given Archimandrite Touma's protest, the vanishment of the account of day two of the Holy Synod's meeting from the Patriarchal website during the meeting, and the precedent of the undoubtedly false document with the same unusual characteristic during the last round, signify something else.
#18 DNY on 2010-11-15 16:58
I noticed that when the Synodal "decision" came out in August, and I commented about it at the time. Glad to see I'm not the only crazy one.
Is this folie a deux, Stookey?
#18.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-15 21:21
It is also curious that in a document of such importance there are some major typos in the English text in the left hand column. There is a meaningless phrase "historicity of bishops". There is an unnecessary comma in "Furthermore, the Metropolitan, possesses" (sic). The “Arabic Test” is considered as the only reference. The place of signature is described as "St. Christopher Covenant". And so on.
This may all be the result of someone unfamiliar with legal documents in the English language attempting to translate a complex Arabic original. But look further; in the Arabic version the English word "Auxiliaries" seems not to be quite on the same line as the Arabic text. That might possibly suggest it was pasted in later, or it might be a peculiarity of the typeface used. Oddly, the word “Auxiliaries” (as a plural of the noun) does not appear in the English version, but there might be a linguistic explanation for that – I do not know Arabic.
#18.2 Mercian on 2010-11-16 05:03
"Auxiliaries" is in the plural because in Arabic adjectives agree for number, and so it's literally translating the plural adjective "musa3idun".
As the Arabic text (assuming that "test" is a clerical error) is said to be definitive, does that mean that the word in English "Auxiliaries" is not part of the decree?
#18.104.22.168 Mercian on 2010-11-17 01:24
This AOCA situation seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, not baby steps. It's hard to keep it all straight. I think it's time for you to put up a "Chronology of the Scandal" page like you did for the OCA scandal.
(Editor's note: Groan. How about someone else go through OCANews.org for the past 18 months and do so? I will be glad to edit and post it.)
#19 Stu on 2010-11-15 17:33
You're right Mark. You have done, and continue to do, enough good work. You don't have to be a church historian as well.
Speaking of church history though, and this present mess in the AOCA, I feel sad and elated at the same time. One commentator here said she had a "horrified fascination" watching these events unfold. I must admit I do too.
We read of the Church's long history of bishops gone wild with administrative and theological heresy and think of it as all in the past. We have all probably fantasized about going back in time and being present at one of the great Councils or some other tortuous turning point for the Church. Well, here we see history come alive … in our lifetimes!
Without doubt the grandiosity of Met. Phillip and the cowardice of the AOCA bishops and priests will not stand. We just need to see how the battle will be won, who the heroes and who the villains will be. It’s a grim tragedy to watch, but seeing the conclusion where Orthodoxy will separate the champs from the chumps will be worth it.
(Editor's note: All I ever wanted to be was a church historian. I never wanted to be a journalist. Ouch. )
#19.1 Stu on 2010-11-16 11:54
There is a pretty good chronology up on the Orthodox Attorneys website (orthodoxattorneys.org). It hasn't been updated in a while but it's still pretty comprehensive.
#19.2 Raphael on 2010-11-16 13:50
GO TO OCA, PLEASE GO . YOU ARE VENEMOUS. WE DONT WANT YOU , GET LOST YOU SONS OF JUDAS.
#20 NJS on 2010-11-15 20:42
"GO TO OCA, PLEASE GO".
Yes. Many are leaving.
"WE DONT WANT YOU"
Yes. +Mark and some good priests are feeling this also.
"GET LOST YOU SONS OF JUDAS".
Is this your idea of Christian neighborly love?
#20.1 Michael on 2010-11-16 08:19
Why should he go, because he reports the words of a loyal Son of Antioch, Fr. Touma? If you want him to ignore forgery then who is the real 'Judas'?
Stop the name calling and wait for the truth to come out and take your caps lock off.
#20.2 anonymous on 2010-11-16 08:23
Well, the all caps fellow has the same last initial of our presiding hierarch.
Could be a relative who is worried about the gravy train coming to an end?
Folks in the OCA would recognize this kind of poster.
#20.3 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-16 20:36
There comes a point a person feels like they really shouldn't read these church news websites without buying some popcorn with too much butter first and wondering whether the other kids left with you after watching the show or snuck across the hallway to watch 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' for the 102th time.
Nobody could make this stuff up. First we had 'as the feta crumbles', then we had 'as the onion peels' and now, what? 'As the dates muddle'?
Please Give Generously.
(Wondrous are the ways of the Ordained Young Never Married).
(Editor's note: ROTFL! Thanks, Harry.)
#21 Harry Coin on 2010-11-15 22:51
Glory to God for all things!
Because of all this controversy:
a. My Arabic is getting much better,
b. I now know that I can be convicted of a crime and still be a member of the Board of Trustees.
c. It's a business suit that really makes the priest
d. Financial audits in the church are both unnecessary and really expensive.
e. "Diocesan" means "Auxiliary" in the AOCA.
f. "Financial Accountability" means "exile" in the AOCA.
g. Nothing is going to change in the AOCA until a certain funeral occurs.
#22 Anon. on 2010-11-16 08:10
GO TO OCA, PLEASE GO . YOU ARE VENEMOUS. WE DONT WANT YOU , GET LOST YOU SONS OF JUDAS.
#20 NJS on 2010-11-15 20:42 (Reply)
If you are perturbed and agitated by those who question the heirarchial sanity or competence of the Metropolitan you must be pleased to know that his actions are probably in and of themselves sending many to the OCA.
If you would care to expedite the exodus perhaps you could petition His Eminence to perform some sort of mass excommunication or exile for all dissidents?
More and more of those rascals seem to be signing their names and should be easy enough for the office of the Inquisition to track down.
But of course such an action would not cause any real misery to these laymen like it does to the clergy he targets. So where is the fun in that for him?
#23 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-16 08:14
Here's my take - Maymon got exactly what he wanted - the 10% of the Archdiocese that are wannabe monastics stirred up. Tose wannabe monastics are truly the most prideful Pharisaic figures of our time - looking down their noses at those of us of the laity who aren't inclined to show up to every service to lick the boots of those who want to stand and rail "you suck" from the altar.
Next time you wannabe monks look at somebody and say "don't like the way she's dressed" or go to a funeral and snort "he didn't come around her too much, why is he getting an Orthodox funeral", just realize that those of us who attend, contribute and aren't so overtly devout notice your nastiness.
Sign me as somebody who isn't so much emotionally invested in Philip as I am really scornful of Maymon.
#24 Michael on 2010-11-16 09:38
Have you forgotten what our fathers told us?
عَوَاطِفُهُمْ مُتَحَجِّرَةٌ لاَ تُشْفِقُ. أَفْوَاهُهُمْ تَنْطِقُ بِالْكِبْرِيَاءِ.
When you speak in this manner, you make all of us look bad.
Whether you like him or not, Bishop Mark is a Bishop of the Church of Antioch. He is still under the responsibility of Metropolitan Philip. He is still a member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees.
Our Metropolitan affirmed with his own hand that the nature of all Bishops (that includes Metropolitans) is the same. How dare you speak of a Bishop in such a manner!
When you shout insults at him, you insult all of us. He is a Bishop of the Church... the Church of which you are a part. You insult yourself and all those you love.
When you speak in such a mean manner, you confirm all the worst that those who judge you think of you. You erase all doubt in their minds that you are primitive, vulgar and out of control. Such language brings disrepute on the Archdiocese and all of us who are (or were) proud to be Antiochians.
I am ashamed of what we have become, if all this coarse language and crudeness reflects our spiritual condition. Are these fruits of the Spirit?
As I read these comments, I have come to realize the profound alienation and pain experienced by so many of our members, regardless of which 'side' they are on.
Orthodoxy is not a label, not a cassock or a suit, beard or clean-shaven. It is not the privilege by birth-right or by over-education. It is the Faith upon which the universe is built, and it is so much bigger than such small pursuits as petty insults.
All of us need to knock it off and wait to see what is really going on. Yes, I 'tune in' here to find out what the latest news is. I have also tried to bring reconciliation through understanding, but I am beginning to wonder now if it is all too late and everyone is just spoiling for a fight.
I'm turning off my office computer and going for a little walk. I recommend it for everyone.
Fr. George Aquaro
#24.1 <username> on 2010-11-16 19:52
Meh. Pardon my less than reverential attitude toward him. As a dirty, filthy, sinful layman, I may not be as accustomed to making pretty, church-y sounds when criticizing another, so my manner of speaking may be somewhat more blunt than tender ears are used to.
Anyway Maymon's Pentecostalist roots never really did leave him, and I'll predict that he'll go about two years before he wears out his welcome in OCA.
Also, I'm speaking of him about as derisively as his champions seem to like to do about Philip, albeit without the prettified stuff.
#24.1.1 Michael on 2010-11-17 10:30
If I recall, the Pharisee was the one who was calling out the sinner. Yours is the only post here that is stirring the pot among laypeople, so it would seem you are the Pharisee.
And if actually coming to church is monastic, you might want to tell St Chrysostom, who held laypeople to a heck of a higher standard than just showing up... But I suppose reading the Fathers is too monastic for you as well.
While you're at it, tell Protestants who don't even believe in monasticism to stop being monks. Lots of them go to church twice on Sundays. Not to show off, but because they want to worship God the best way they know how.
Or just cut the pride and stop making nonsensical attacks on people who love God more than anything else, like He told us to.
#24.2 Michigander on 2010-11-17 00:44
I am one of those people who tries to attend every service. I like to dress appropriately for Church. I prefer to see Orthodox clergy with beards and cassocks. I suppose I am one of those prideful pharisaic wannabe monks.
#24.3 M.A. on 2010-11-17 06:21
Perhaps we all bare some responsibility for creating a culture of hierarchical luxury and immunity. For years we've developed a strange systems where the "servants of God's servants" are permitted to have millions in personal assets, are kept in luxury hotels by the faithful when they travel and are everywhere entertained with expensive catered banquets, and given unchecked authority. Some of them chide the working class faithful for passing on Parish Life Conference that occur in rented Hyatts and Mariots costing hundreds of dollar per night. We have condoned and fostered this for so long, turned so far away from the Gospel of simplicity, poverty, humility and sacrifice, adorned our churches with gold and forgotten the poor. This regrettable debacle is one of our own making.
Holy Theotokos, who gave birth to the Author of Life in a barn, intercede for us sinners!
#25 Matt Gates on 2010-11-16 11:08
You know, when the wrathful sons of Antioch offend against those I love, it never occurs to me to desire their excommunication, call them dogs or Sons of Judas. When these froth-at-the-mouth rantings are posted, I am a bit saddened but no longer shocked. These angry people are our brothers in the faith. However, to these angry men, let me apologize if, for my part, I have taunted or goaded such a response. Do not allow it whatever I say! I apologize when that slips into my intent. I ask you, Happy, NJS and others ... do not lose yourselves in angry retribution. The truth will come out.
If you wish to defend MP, do it calmly ... there is a cultural divide here. In American culture, if you lose yourself in an angry outburst, you have already lost. Shouting is only seen a a sign of weakness, anger as indication of a weak cause. You should understand these things so that you do not become only a caricature. These expressions of indignation are consistent within your circle but they are being communicated here as weakness if not downright proof of a weak mind.
Nobody sees himself as others do. I can imagine that I speak as a pompous ass, certain of my own virtue and the lack of virtue in some others ... but I am not so persuaded by those hints at self-awareness as to remain silent rather than to speak. You do not see yourselves as you are seen communicating within the American narrative. Trust me, it isn't helping your cause. You do realize that we are not waiting for Metropolitan Philip to die, yes? No, we are not. No one can tell the hour or the day and we cannot wait until the Archdiocese is in complete ruin ... that would be sinful. That is no threat, understand. No harm but only help is even contemplated. Only MP seeks to employ a solution in the form of a straight jacket and a gag.
Furthermore, we grow increasingly united in identifying with those whom MP has transferred or fired without transfer. Do you wish all of us excommunicated? I do not ask you to be reasonable according to my idea of that ... I ask you to at least be smart. Be a worthy adversary and not buffoons lest the people call you another Rabadash the Ridiculous. No doubt you can be scary and you can hurt us ... is that where you want to go with this?
#26 Monologistos on 2010-11-16 13:10
Wow. Fr. Touma hasn't even said what was forged and by whom and we already got so many comments! May I point out just two things to all of Glorious Leader's peeps?
1)Fr. Touma has yet to say what parts were forged and by whom? I'm beginning to think it's much ado about nothing...until I hear otherwise.
2) It is precisely due to Glorious Leader's actions and those of the Tribe that are inspiring people (white and arab) to leave for OCA and ROCOR. It's clear that AOANA is a rich arab club as evidenced by the $100 a ticket hafli, the $50 a plate dinners and these Conventions in luxury towns. I'd rather spend a weekend at a dirt poor monastery eating vegatables and doing the Hours (and frequently do), Christ was born in a stable after all.
@ Kevin Kirwan
By the words of Mel Brooks, "The Inquisition, whadda show!"
#27 VSO on 2010-11-16 13:37
"...that are inspiring people (white and arab)..."
You know, I have often suspected that the kind of convert that people have in mind, and therefore the kind they cater to, when speaking of "making America Orthodox" and the like are not African-Americans, Mexicans, or Vietnamese, but rather white suburbanites -- yet I had never seen a statement so close to my suspicions as the above. For this, I thank the author.
#27.1 ejv on 2010-11-16 20:42
To those who keep posting for people to go to the OCA rather than clean up the kha'ra in the AOCA: Haram!
#28 Anon. on 2010-11-16 17:45
Can someone please explain to me...PLEASE..... just what exactly does all of this have to do with the fact that Christ Is Risen? Anyone?
If all of this is an example of the followers of Christ , if this is how Christianity is represented, then can there be any wonder as to why there are atheists in this world?????
#29 Sophia Weisheit on 2010-11-17 06:40
Excommunication is not in the power of this person any longer. An office does not dictage this, his former boss does through actions that are unworthy of one to be a christian. Not one who displeases a ruler. If this was done infront of 10,000 people I wouldn't give it any more credance to it than the forcast for the weather being wrong. Generally speaking I believe speaking your mind in this country is still legal, disagreeing with insensible behavior, rash and vindictviness behavior dosen't elevate you to any paticualr level. It indeed lessens who you are and what you represent.
#30 anonymous for now on 2010-11-21 18:33
How can we as a Religious group demand, yes demand that we clean house and fly right. I know so many people who could be on the Archdioscese board. Soon as a nation of Orthodoxy we will not settle for this anymore. I feel the pot ready to boil over and the reaffirmation of the true faith will be practiced and admistired over properly so once again we can be at peace. The time is near so get ready people.
#31 anoymous for now on 2010-11-21 18:40
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