Monday, December 13. 2010
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Putting + Mark in Dallas is WONDERFUL! This will be one of the best things that could happen to the OCA. A wonderful bishop who will do wonders in the DOS!
#1 Anonymous on 2010-12-13 20:33
Dear anonymous: Unless i misunderstood the Communique from Syosset, Bishop Mark is (presently) Bishop of Baltimore, and Auxiliary to H.B. Metropolitan Jonah.
However, that could change.
In fact, I just emailed a proposal to His Beatitude, in which I suggested the possibility of officially naming His Grace Bishop Mark Bishop of Baltimore and the Eastern United States.
In that case, (as i suggested), the new diocese would include Georgia, N & S Carolina, Virgina and West Virginia, and Maryland.
And His Grace would be Locum Tennens of the Diocese of the South.
Of course, that could go the other way as well. he might be elected Bishop of Dallas and the South, and become locum Tennens of the (as yet uncreated) Diocese of Baltimore and the Eastern United States.
Either way, the Reception of His Grace Bishop Mark into the O.C.A. is a blessing to us.
May we all give thanks for this blessing, and appreciate it fully, as a sign of God's divine providence.
#1.1 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-14 09:53
I fully agree with you that we need to split the DOS. However, I will suggest to +Jonah that he remain the locum tennens of the DOSE and +Mark become Biship of the DOSW
#1.1.1 Steve on 2010-12-14 13:35
Steve: That's fair, and all anyone can suggest or ask for. How H.B Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy synod respond is another matter.
Fervent prayer on the part of the Dioceses' faithful is certainly in order, as it is so God will guide all in the selection of their next bishop, when the tine is right.
#220.127.116.11 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-16 15:42
I'm not quite sure where you got the Diocese of the Southeast and Southwest from my post.
The new Diocese of the Eastern United States would cover Georgia,
N & S Carolina, Virgina and West Virginia, and Maryland.
The Diocese of the South would then be reduced to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas.
As for a "proposed " Diocese of the Southwest, the Map of the U.S. clearly shows that it would be part of the Diocese of The West, and would stretch from Seattle, Washington, to Arizona.
And if a Diocese of the Southwest is created at some as yet unforeseen future date, it would probably cover the half of the Western U.S. that includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.
At this time, a Diocese of Seattle and the West would make sense, since it would make His Grace Bishop Benjamin Bishop of San Francisco and California, and Temporary Administrator of the Diocese of Seattle and the West.
But that is for the H.G. Bishop Benjamin, the Faithful of the Diocese of the West, and Ultimately, the Holy Synod to decide.
I hope that H.B. Metropolitan Jonah will respond favorably to the possibility of splitting the Diocese of Dallas and the South in two, with H.G. Bishop Mark as Bishop of Dallas and the South, and Temporary Administrator of the Diocese of Baltimore and the Eastern United States.
#18.104.22.168 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-17 08:21
Where did you get the idea that there is a Diocese of Baltimore? Baltimore is the see of an auxiliary bishop to the Metropolitan. When Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) was consecrated, he was assigned the role of auxiliary to the Metropolitan and his see was Baltimore, since it is a principal city within the bounds of the Diocese of Washington.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah has spoken over the past year or more concerning his desire to expand the Diocese of Washington as one means of increasing the funding base for the diocese. The direction of expansion mentioned so far has been to the south, which would involve transferring area from the Diocese of the South to the Diocese of Washington.
Before the OCA Synod starts carving up the current dioceses of the OCA, I suggest they review the study of diocesan rationalization presented at the All-American Council at Pittsburgh in 1999, as well as review Professor David Ford's proposal for redrawing the diocesan boundaries for an OCA-Antiochian merger. (Why not see if there is an acceptable way to modify OCA diocesan boundaries that would reduce the future impact of establishing a unified Orthodox church in the U.S. and Canada?)
#22.214.171.124.1 Mark C. Phinney on 2010-12-18 12:19
Just imagine how much could be done with an expanded OCA Diocese of Washington (to include the "Southeast") that includes +Jonah, Fr Joseph Fester, and Bob Kondratick along with the (financially) strongest parishes of the current OCA Diocese of the South, with the exception of St Seraphim. It'd be the good old days all over again.
#126.96.36.199.1.1 John on 2010-12-20 09:41
As long as we're speculating on "new" dioceses, let's not forget that there is already a diocese in the mid Atlantic area - the Diocese of Washington that includes, presently, an extended metropolitan area around Washington, D.C. - including most of Maryland, northern Virginia, and southern Delaware. It could be extended to include all of Virginia, and North and South Carolina.
#188.8.131.52 Wiiliam Kosar on 2010-12-17 12:14
The OCA may just have a CATCH 22 knocking at their door this "Christmas" Season. Remember how the OCA faithful and the clergy reacted to the "Ordination" of the EOC, when they came into Orthodoxy? Well how will they react to the "Consacration" of + MARK ?
If they accept it, MP PHILIP will be happy and If they do not accept it, then maybe ROCOR may be happy. WHO WILL BE HAPPY THIS "CHRISTMAS" ? I wonder???
#2 Fr. Andrew Gall on 2010-12-13 21:19
+ Mark is already a bishop and won't be "re-consecrated." He will be installed as the Bishop of Dallas and from his track record, most believe he'll do a great job! The Arabs in Detroit deserve what they will get next. Gee, I only hope + Philip does the same to + Basil in Wichita. The OCA could use a GREAT leader!
#2.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-14 10:04
"The Arabs in Detroit deserve what they will get next."
This is a bit racist and regressive, is it not?
#2.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-14 13:28
His comment is not in the least racist. Those Arabs in Detroit, which have caused other pious Arabs to flee the parishes they were raised in, will feel the wrath of God.
Their time is coming to a close and they know it.
#184.108.40.206 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-12-15 20:59
The first line of your reply is a very bold statement. Your reputation is at stake.We'll remember who you are when you get more information and possibly eat your words. What was that name again? Anonymous, or John Doe ?
Many Tradisional Orthodox perfer to do things per manufacture's specifition,or "by the book". How about you?
The OCA will be right what ever they do or wrong whatever they do; but they'll have to think it over either way.
#2.1.2 Fr. Andrew Gall on 2010-12-14 20:15
Are you referring to Bishop Mark's "irregular" consecration in Damascus and caught candidly here on camera? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrLBGKwrt5o
#220.127.116.11 Allen Funt on 2010-12-21 20:27
YES. The comments under "Consecration and Vesting" speak for themself.
I really don't know how + MARK feels about this short-cut method now that it's over. I have seen him in photos with Bishops from many other jurisdictions, and they're serving together as if nothing is wrong. Yet, I'm sure someone somewhere may wonder if it was done by economia or a new inovation altogether.
I wish him God's blessings and lenth of days,
Will the OCA needs to fix this or not fix this?
Is it broken or not broken? May God help us all. It's a catch 22.
#18.104.22.168.1 Fr. Andrew Gall on 2010-12-27 00:38
Oh Really??? I thought the O.C.A. is trying to return to the canonical process of having the faithful elect their own bishops.
If H.G. Bishop Mark is simply installed as bishop of Dallas and the South without being canonically elected to the office, wouldn't this negate the concept of the Diocesan Faithful choosing their Archpastor?
Remember how Their Graces Bishops Melchisedek and Michael were elected recently. And how Bishop Elect Matthias was chosen?
Each was first CHOSEN by the Diocesan Faithful, and then CONFIRMED by the Holy Synod.
And since H.G. +Mark has already been chosen as Auxiliary to Met. Jonah, and WILL also Administer the Diocese of the South, why would reconsecration be necessary.
Granted, the reception of the A.E.O.M in 1987 was "unusual" due to the method used.
But, +Mark was canonically consecrated as a Bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese, after being canonically elected to his office.
He was not "self Consecrated", as some still claim that the late "Patriarch" Mstyslav was.
Therefore, such a waste of time even considering this question is truly ridiculous!!!
Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide all of the delegates who attend the next Diocesan Assembly in electing their next Bishop.
And may God's will be done at that time.
#2.2 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-16 16:11
#1 + MARK's Cononical Conseceration was also done by an unusual method.
#2 You stated that "some claim that Patriarch + MSTYSLAV was self consecrated." Please name just one--- Don't tap dance around--just name one. If you do find somebody, they would be wrong.
#3 Waste of time, Rediculous, even considering this question. Please do your homework first before you post.That way you'll know this this may be something to OH REALLY ...CONSIDER.
#2.2.1 Fr. Andrew Gall on 2010-12-19 21:13
Regardless of the irregularities in the Damascus consecrations, the ROCOR accepts Bishop Mark as a hierarch. He attended services celebrated by Metropolitan Laurus of thrice blessed memory west of metro Detroit a couple of years ago and then served as the representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch at Metropolitan Laurus' funeral in Jordanville alongside the representatives of the Russian and other Local Orthodox Churches. Interestingly enough, the representative of the American Orthodox Church was the only hierarch present not allowed to serve .
This is wonderful news indeed. His Grace Bishop MARK will be an asset to the Orthodox Church in America and a blessing to the faithful.
#3 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2010-12-13 21:22
This is hysterically funny...here is a man who insisted that he was not an auxiliary bishop in direct disobedience to His Beatitude, the Patriarch of Antioch, a successor to St. Peter the Apostle, and now he goes to the OCA, which was founded, not by an apostle, but by Schmemann, and guess what...he is an auxiliary bishop. What goes around comes around. Now he is the OCA's liability. Eventually the OCA Synod of Bishops will be forced to discipline him for disobedience like the Holy Synod of Antioch should have! The OCA has no hope of going anywhere until they stop electing and accepting convert bishops. The Church needs bishops who grew up in the Church and truly understand the Church as it was founded by our Lord, not what the Americans want the Church to be!
(Editor's note: You are mistaken in your analysis. Bishop Mark was a diocesan bishop who was forced to resign his See rather than accept an illegitimate transfer; he then was released to the OCA. He is not a retired bishop, so he must be assigned a See. So, former diocesan bishops are received into the OCA and assigned to auxiliary sees of the Metropolitan until such time as they become nominees and are elected to a diocesan See. In Bishop Mark's case, he was also made the administrator of the Diocese of the South - recognition of both his status and ministry skills. Most importantly, it shows the maturity of our hierarchs who have resolved a difficult situation without schism or ill will.)
#4 Anonymous on 2010-12-13 21:51
"The Church needs bishops who grew up in the Church and truly understand the Church as it was founded by our Lord, not what the Americans want the Church to be!"
Thank you for this clarification, friend. I have been suggesting for years that Saint Paul would have trouble getting accepted as a bishop in the Orthodox Church today.
He did not---you see--grow up in it.
#4.1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-12-14 14:58
As St Paul even said he labored more diligently than all the other disciples, but he was least of all.
St Paul was an Apostle of Apostles yet he was not one of the 12.
Certainly some would object about his qualifications as He was not part of the original twelve as was Judas.
#4.1.1 anonymous on 2010-12-15 19:24
I'm loving that you are engaged in the running commentary and debate on this site, exposing yourself to criticism but dropping in your thoughts. I wish more of our leading theologians were willing and able to do this.
#4.1.2 Jackson Downs on 2010-12-17 18:27
The last laugh will be on you and those of your ilk. Detroit is a dying
ethnic conclave.....I am sad for the parishes who will miss Bishop Mark but perhaps there will be some way for those parishes to one day join the OCA and leave an ethnic driven eparchy because we can't even call ourselves an archdiocese anymore. Your smugness in your ethnicity will not lead to your salvation.
Bishop Mark will pastor those in his care and I predict many new missions will spring up! Mustehek! Axios! He is worthy!
#4.2 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-12-14 18:11
Can you point out where in my post I said anything about ethnicity or referred to any ethnic background? I am born in America, I am an American, but I also grew up in the Church. There is a big difference. I am not saying our bishops needs to be "ethnic" or from overseas of anything like that. They need to be men who have lived their entire life in the Church and understand the Church, not from books, but from living the life of the Church. Too many converts carry the baggage of their former religion. While that is fine for parishioners and even in some cases the clergy, we cannot have bishops who want to call themselves "Orthodoxy", but still think in Protestant terms.
(Editor's note: Not all convert Bishops have been former Protestants, friend. Some were former Roman Catholics.....)
#4.2.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-15 10:08
So much for Sts. Paul, Ignatius, Martin of Tours and all those others who didn't grow up "in the Church". Come to think of it ALL of the Apostles entered as adults.
#22.214.171.124 VSO on 2010-12-15 11:25
Get over your fear of people who convert to our faith.
Believe me, many of our cradle Orthodox brethren are less
Orthodox in their outlook than many of those who convert.
No fasting required, no confession needed, nothing but showing up on Sunday and paying a monthly pledge is all that some priests and bishops require. Some don't even expect you to come to church every Sunday and you can still be a member of the parish council.
Get real. I have grown up with those who were born in the church.
There is alot of room for improvement buddy. Don't play these silly games with me. I have seen it ALL!
#126.96.36.199 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-12-15 18:22
Don't judge those who don't participate to your level. You are casting the bigger stone. A quiet parishioner who minds their own business and who goes to church only on Christmas and Easter is probably a better orthodox than someone who goes every Sunday and rambles their mouth and judging others for not going to church. Don't cast the first stone please
#188.8.131.52.1 Happy on 2010-12-27 10:32
I am an observer. I never claimed to be more holy or pious than my fellow cradle Orthodox cousins. I understand them quite well because that is who I am.
But if I recall correctly, you were not quite comfortable with those who held more tightly to Orthodox piety. Perhaps you need to evaluate your own opinions on those who are more fastidious in practicing the faith than you and I.
Happy New Year Happy,
Iskandra (your old pal)
#184.108.40.206.1.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2011-01-28 09:49
The Holy Apostles were converts.
#220.127.116.11 Anonymous on 2010-12-16 06:23
No, they weren't -- they were faithful Jews who followed their faith to its intended consummation. This is a big distinction. We Gentiles are the converts. Read the Holy Scripture.
#18.104.22.168.1 Rdr. John on 2010-12-17 13:05
Mr. Tannous, as one whose family has historically been an intimate part of the Detroit Orthodox community, I can second what you say. My own cousins who still have some contacts at one of those parishes says that affairs are abysmal there. The priest's son-in-law is going to St Elias in Toledo. Many who were in attendance only a little over a year ago are visiting OCA parishes. There are merely a fraction left who even attend Divine Liturgy. Giving is drastically down and only supported by one said and very infamous(I teach you a good lesson) person of whom most are aware. Further, in order not to go totally under, a major piece of real estate is being sold to at least pay the church note. Things are sad, but hopefully from the ashes will arise something good from God. I pray for the strong in the Lord.
#4.2.2 Dorothy Durany on 2010-12-16 13:35
I really feel empathy for the former members of the parishes in Detroit, who have had to leave their childhood spiritual homes because of the corruption going on there.
Hopefully soon, God will clean house in Detroit so all can return to their beloved parishes.
love, Iskandra (I am a woman )
#22.214.171.124 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-12-16 20:45
As the esteemed editor of this site noted Bp. Mark was received as an auxiliary bishop until he is canonically nominated and elected as a ruling diocesan bishop versus being a “mitered” sub-deacon as Metropolitan Philip insisted he be with other North American Antiochian bishops.
+Mark never disobeyed the Synod in Damascus (they abandoned Antioch centuries ago when their friends the Moslems chased them out). He simply refused to accept their non-canonical action of demoting enthroned diocesan bishops.
As I recall the OCA in part was established 40 years ago to bring indigenous people of this country into Orthodoxy, much like Sts. Cyril and Methodius did for the Slavs over a millennium ago. It took +Philip years later to discern the financial benefit of taking “tithing converts” into his archdiocese. Even as he proclaims he’s been the leading Orthodox hierarch in terms of embracing converts. Having had inside connections, I know the converts were wanted first and foremost for their money. Ugly facts but so very true.
As an American born “cradle” Orthodox, I would find #4 anonymous assertions hysterical if they did not tragically reflect the prevailing mentality of Philipville constituents.
#4.3 Former resident of Philipville on 2010-12-14 22:40
As a point of clarifiation a) Antioch was destroyed 500 years ago in an earthquake, so the PAtriarchate move to damacus, and uin facthere still is a growning Antiochian Community under the PAtriarch of Antioch Juridiction. Last Month His Grace Bishop JOSEPH visited it on his recent trip to the Middle East.
#4.3.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-15 14:59
Mark, you continue to amaze me at your ignorance. I challenge Bishop MARK, you or anyone else in the world to produce a praxis that was issued by the Holy Synod or by His Beatitude on behalf of the Synod that indicates that Bishop MARK was a ruling bishop. If he never received one, then he was never a ruling bishop, period.
How could the transfer be illegitimate if the Holy Synod specifically said that the metropolitan had that authority? Whether one agrees with it or not does not matter, the Holy Synod is the highest authority in the Church of Antioch.
For the record, I do not agree with a lot that has transpired in the archdiocese over the last two years, so please do not get me wrong, but disobedience to the Holy Synod of Bishops cannot be tolerated by anyone.
#4.4 Anonymous on 2010-12-14 23:21
Even a so-called Holy Synod may aposticize.
The so-called Holy Synod in Damascus has completely ignored the Holy Canons for which every Bishop much vow to uphold and submit to.
Perhaps, +Mark a convert proved more loyal to Orthodoxy, her eccelsiology, canons and tradition than those raised in the church.
#4.4.1 anonymous on 2010-12-15 19:13
I seem to recall a number of saints, whose sanctity is attested largely by the fact they disobeyed various Holy Synods which had fallen into heresy. St. Maximus the Confessor and St. Mark of Ephesus spring most readily to mind.
Certainly in normal times one obeys one's bishop, and if one is a bishop, one obeys one's Holy Synod. But normal times are predicated on bishops and Holy Synods acting in accord with Holy Tradition and the Holy Canons. A synod purporting to remove bishops from Diocese in which they were enthroned, without trial or consent, or overthrowing ordinary Orthodox ecclesiology to have bishops answerable to a bishop, not a synod of bishops, hardly seems in accord with Holy Tradition, and flatly violates a number of canons, some of Apostolic origin.
The only reason this controversy has happened at all is because a certain bishop was disobedient to the Holy Synod of Antioch when that synod was minded to establish an approximation to normal canonical order for the North American Archdiocese. That disobedient bishop was not Bishop +Mark, but Metropolitan +Philip, who presented to the Archdiocesan Assembly for ratification not the Self-Rule Constitution written by the Holy Synod, but a version edited (by himself or his staff one must suppose) to grant more prerogatives to the Metropolitan. Had the Self-Rule Constitution promulgated by the Holy Synod been ratified, there would have been no basis for +Philip wheedling reversals out of the Holy Synod, as, like the English (supposedly of equal force and validity to the Arabic) version of the Self-Rule Proclamation, the Constitution very plainly established diocesan bishops.
Our rites are not pantomime, but spiritual reality. When a bishop is enthroned in the cathedral of his diocese with words proclaiming him to be the bishop of that diocese, that liturgical act makes him the ruling bishop of the diocese. As someone else wrote, the Holy Synod is trying to unring a bell.
I pray Bishop +Mark will find a good home in the OCA and serve their faithful well--though as one stuck in the Archdiocese due to a quirk of geography, I would have been happier had he appealed to Constantinople.
#4.4.2 DNY on 2010-12-16 22:18
Dear anonymous: If HG. Bishop Mark never received a Praxis from either His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius, or from the Holy Synod of The Patriarchate of Antioch, formally naming him Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest; then precisely Whose fault is it that he was installed in Toledo as the Diocesan Bishop???
Doesn't this also suggest that +Philip lied to the people (Perish the Thought!), when he entrusted him with that position?
Of course, that would also suggest that +Philip knew while he was trumpeting the "Self Government" of the "His" Archdiocese, that that was essentially a crock of Bull. . . ???
Sadly, it seems that if +Philip were being considered to be one of Christ's disciples today, he wouldn't be recognized as "one in whom I find no Guile."
Could this be a solid argument for Bishops, (regardless of their position in the Hierarchy) being required to retire at 75???
#4.4.3 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-20 08:23
Get your facts right! Fr. Schmemann Did Not Found the O.C.A.! H e was one of the negotiators who met with representatives of the R.O.C., and participated in the meetings that led to the Metropolia changing it's name to the Orthodox Church in America, after autocephaly was granted in 1970.
Actually, it seems to me that the founders of the Legal entity called the Orthodox Church In America, were: (1) His Grace then Bishop Theodosius of Pittsburgh; who officially received the Tomos of Autocephaly on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Ireney; and the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Metropolia at the time.
2. The Bishops who invested His Eminence the Most Blessed Ireney with the Title of "Your Beatitude" in recognition of the newly received Self Headed status of the O.C.A.
And 3) The delegates to the First All American Council, (1970); who formally accepted Autocephaly into the life of the Church; and also "Legally" adopted the name "The Orthodox Church in America" as the name of the newly autocephalous church.
If I wanted to be more technical, (and I think I shall be), St. Herman of Alaska and the early missionaries were the earliest "founders" of the O.C.A., as they actually brought the faith to the new World. And then, there were Sts. Innocent, Tikhon and Iakov of Alaska, who ministered to the natives.
Although I do recall rumors from 1984 that Fr. Alexander was already being considered for glorification.
And I even heard the beginning of a "PROPOSED" Troparion to him:
"Blessed Alexander of Crestwood, enlightener of bishops of the Orthodox Church. . . "
Please don't misunderstand me here. I'm neither suggesting that Fr.Schmemann should or shouldn't be glorified one day.
These were"ONLY" rumors, and I didn't hear them more than once.
Of course I could go further, (which I shall), and say that God founded His Church in America through the labors of St. Herman, the early missionaries, the native Alaskans who accepted the faith, and later, the waves of immigrants that came from Russia and throughout Europe, who settled in the lower 48, and "Kept the faith" for we in the present day.
But that would probably be going too far. And I'd never do that!!!
#4.5 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-16 16:55
As Met.Phillip likes to say............. Bishop Mark...Welcome home!
#5 STEPHEN on 2010-12-14 00:06
I pray the OCA opens it's pockets more because I hope Bishop MARK doesn't starve in his new home. Sad he left but at the same time he did it to himself.
My understanding is OCA is a bit cheap when it comes to tithing and supporting their clergy. That is sad news because clergy should receive and deserve the best in all aspects of life for the hard work they do, yes they are examples but they should be compensated fairly....
#5.1 Happy on 2010-12-14 11:35
That sounds a little like sour grapes.
#5.1.1 Anonymous OCA member on 2010-12-14 14:13
You are once again tripping Mr. Clap-Happy. You might wish to recall that our multi-millionaire bishop, Philip, has made no provision whatsoever in providing a vested pension for our clergy unfortunate to be slav..., er, 'serving' under his increasingly spiritually bankrupt thumb. Ah, but that's an inconvenient truth you're atrophied conscience couldn't possibly deal with as you disparage our OCA brethren. Sad, but then what can one expect from a shill for Philip? (That was your cue to again plead your non-connection with the Despot ....
#5.1.2 Heracleides on 2010-12-14 17:01
I'm talking about the parishes as well paying their clergy a proper salary for someone with a Masters degree. If they sacrificed their life for the Lord and deal with all the tragedy in the world, the least a parish can do is give this man and his family a healthy normal standard of living. That is what i'm saying. I have heard too many times that OCA priests are the lowest paid, just because a parishioner doesn't make as much as a priest doesn't mean the priest shouldn't make that average salary. All I am saying is that they need to give and protect their spiritual fathers and hierarchs financially.
In regards to AOCA, likewise, the parishes need to tithe in order to at least give the priest a decent income to support his own family and health. I hate seeing starving priests when there are millionaires or well off individuals in the parish that would rather go out and blow it at a casino on vacation than put food on the table for a priest and his family. You understand my point. It's everywhere, however I heard OCA has it the hardest. That is all I am saying.
#126.96.36.199 Happy on 2010-12-15 10:31
"I hate seeing starving priests when there are millionaires or well off individuals in the parish that would rather go out and blow it at a casino on vacation than put food on the table for a priest and his family."
"Metropolitan PHILIP has a salary of his own, he can do what he wants with his personal salary. If he wanted to buy a condo, so be it. it is his money. Do we tell you where to spend yours? Do we ask you if you own a house and whose name is it. The people of your state wherever you live pay your salary, so should they have a say?
We have the right to spend money that we legally earned on whatever we decide and is no ones business, just like MP can do whatever he wants. If he wanted to own a gold plated jet and spend every penny on it because he always wanted one than so be it, it is his to do with what he wants."
Happy, can you reconcile these two comments?
#188.8.131.52.1 Anonymous OCA member on 2010-12-16 19:38
Is it only Metropolitan PHILIP's job to support our clergy, no...it's the parishes. He helps in many areas financially, especially in the past where no one has so yes I can defend this comment. You can not expect him to only give. He has the right to to buy a freaking house if he wants to, I pray everyone should be able to. That's like saying, since he is a Metropolitan he is not supposed to own a house? Come on and be sensible, a house is a place he can call his own home. I pray you can own a house, if you do...maybe you should sell it and give it to your priest for his salary.
Stop complaining about one man expecting him to save the entire worlds starving priest problem, he is a single man, worked many years harder than practically all of you put together and deserves to own 1 simple condominium if he wants. Be realistic, depriving him of his right to buy a house is ridiculous and that claim you all speak about is without merit.
#184.108.40.206.1.1 Happy on 2010-12-17 07:36
Happy, while the Holy Apostle tells us that the commandment not to muzzle an ox while it treads the grain applies to those who serve God and His Church, Metropolitan +Philip has created a problem for himself by his tax avoidance strategy of asserting himself to be a "corporation sole". That category is derived from English Common Law. (And, I must say, I find its application to an Orthodox bishop canonically dubious from the point of view of Orthodox ecclesiology, which, while it gives the goods of a diocese into the care of its bishop, also requires that bishops have stewards whose job it is to "see to it that the goods of the Church are not squandered, nor the priesthood brought into ill-repute"; while other canons draw a distinction between the goods of bishops, from which, for instance they are to provide for a wife who voluntarily embraced monasticism to allow her husbands' consecration, for the goods of the Church).
A "corporation sole" is a person who under the law is considered identical to his office (e.g. the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Mayor of London, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, the Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Australia, or in this case, the (Antiochian Orthodox) Metropolitan of All North America). Metropolitan +Philip avoids paying income tax by asserting that all income and moneys of which he has use belong to his office. Thus, all such moneys belong to the Archdiocese of which he is primate.
If he drew a salary, he might spend it as he wills. If all money he has use or control of, belongs to the Archdiocese (which is must if Metropolitan +Philip is not guilty of tax evasion), then paying for a condominium titled to his brother with such money is an abuse of his office. Of course, alternatively, perhaps he is not abusing his office, is using his own money as he sees fit and as is his right, and he is a tax cheat. Take your pick.
#220.127.116.11.1.1.1 DNY on 2010-12-17 17:22
"Is it only Metropolitan PHILIP's job to support our clergy, no...it's the parishes. He helps in many areas financially, especially in the past where no one has so yes I can defend this comment. You can not expect him to only give. He has the right to to buy a freaking house if he wants to, I pray everyone should be able to. That's like saying, since he is a Metropolitan he is not supposed to own a house? Come on and be sensible, a house is a place he can call his own home."
It isn't the job of the Metr. to pay his priests, even those without parishes? That must be more of the new Phillipite theology. The Metr. is supposed to be a monk and a living icon of Lord Jesus Christ (foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head) not a shaved multi-millionaire overlord. Why should the laity be expected to pay an extra dime out of pocket when the Metr. doesn't pay his employees a living wage to begin with?
#18.104.22.168.1.1.2 Sad on 2010-12-19 09:54
A little snipping from the sidelines, Happy? Don't get too cocky about how wonderful we treat our clergy. Many of our mission priests must hold a second job and most of the priests who are in mid-size parishes still need their wives' income to survive.
We are no where near the GOA in compensation.
Our bishops are not allowed to do any fundraising for themselves or for their budgets. All money must come from Met. Phil and he doesn't give them extravagant paychecks. But he has a condo in Florida that is paid for by the "archdiocese" (eparchy) even though it doesn't belong to the archdiocese. It is titled in one of his relative's names.
#5.1.3 Iskander Tannous on 2010-12-14 18:20
Metropolitan PHILIP has a salary of his own, he can do what he wants with his personal salary. If he wanted to buy a condo, so be it. it is his money. Do we tell you where to spend yours? Do we ask you if you own a house and whose name is it. The people of your state wherever you live pay your salary, so should they have a say?
We have the right to spend money that we legally earned on whatever we decide and is no ones business, just like MP can do whatever he wants. If he wanted to own a gold plated jet and spend every penny on it because he always wanted one than so be it, it is his to do with what he wants.
That is the lamest attack on him one can say, that's like saying a priest shouldn't drive a Mercedes, you know what, they can if they want to. That is their personal preference of cars. If you want to judge than you cast the bigger stone. If you can't afford a mercedes than that is your personal fault and that angst shouldn't be cast on a priest. Yes he is an example but if he wants to spend his own personal money of a sedan of his choice than he can, you don't know if he saved up for several years for it, or if he has invested his money smartly, or lived on bread and water for his life in order to finally buy that car.
People complain all the time when in fact priests should have decent salaries and are fully qualified and legally rightful to purchase whatever they choose without any guilt from anyone else. It's called America. If you can't afford it, I bet you can if you save up for it.
I'm sorry I'm angry, but it irritates me when people don't pay priests and clergy good enough, and also complain on what they buy with their own money.
#22.214.171.124 Happy on 2010-12-15 10:41
Happy, I think you are responding to criticism that hasn't been made. You made the point about hoping Bishop Mark doesn't starve in his new home because you have heard that OCA clergy don't get paid very well. Fine. Whether it is true or not, I don't personally know, but your point is taken nonetheless. Your second point, that clergy should be fairly compensated, particularly when they have families to support, is one that I don't think anyone disagrees with.
Iskander Tannous then rebuts your first point by mentioning that Antiochian priests are not all well compensated. Many mission priests have to have a second job to make ends meet and there has never been a pension system in the Archdiocese to help take care of our aging priests in their retirement years. Iskander contrasts this with Metropolitan Philip, a self-proclaimed millionaire being able to visit his condo in Florida that he says is paid for by the Archdiocese, although titled in his brother's name. Whether that is entirely factual, I do not know, but that is his point.
What we do know is this: 1) there is no pension system in the Antiochian Archdiocese; there is a system for a stipend of up to $800/month for a housing allowance for retired clergy, but this is not guaranteed; 2) Priests in the Antiochian Archdiocese are paid primarily, if not exclusively, by their parishes and certain parishes may be able to pay their priests better than other parishes due to pledges and tithes within the parish and a number of factors (as an aside, I'll give my opinion that given the 24/7 nature of the job and all the stressers that it entails, priests are vastly underpaid just like most police officers, firefighters, school teachers and other "service" professions); 3) Metropolitan Philip claims to be a millionaire, with at least a couple million dollars at his disposal; 4) Metropolitan Philip also claims to be impoverished, owning nothing, but rather all that he has is property of the Archdiocese, even down to his clothes; 5) No one knows for sure what Metropolitan Philip does or does not have because there has never been an audit of the Archdiocese finances; 6) The other bishops do not have provisions in the Archdiocese budget for any staff at all, sometimes depending on the generosity of individuals, parishes or their own pockets to hire and pay for support staff or anyone to help them with their adminstrative duties.
Happy, you got "angry", I presume because Iskander made remarks criticising Metropolitan Philip for behaving like a millionaire. Maybe Iskander and others do, but I would not begrudge the Metropolitan or any priest or bishop from doing with their money whatever they wanted. (God may care what they are doing with the "talents" to which they have been entrusted, but as long as they are not doing anything immoral or illegal with their paycheck proceeds, I don't.) Anyway, that's not the point Iskander was making. The point Iskander made, and the larger point many have tried to make is that either it IS his money and he should report it and pay taxes on it like any other clergyman, or it is NOT his money and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, clergy and laity have a right to know where it is, what is being done with it and ensure that it is being managed properly. One of the things that should be done with the Archdiocese funds is provide a respectful retirement for our elderly and disabled clergy and their widows. On this, perhaps we can all agree.
My prayers are with Bishop Mark as he begins this new chapter in his service to Christ's Holy Church. My prayers are also with those of us remaining in the Antiochian Archdiocese, that we may endure these trying times, learn from any mistakes made, and emerge from these trials with our faith intact and strengthened.
#126.96.36.199.1 David Najjar on 2010-12-16 14:58
Let me get this straight Mr. Happy... you are irritated "when people don't pay priests and clergy good enough, and also complain on what they buy with their own money."
So, Philip was 'paid' enough to purchase a Florida Condo (putting it in a name other than his own) but should have been 'paid' even more? Why? So he could buy a second Florida Condo??? I think you are slightly confused - Philip is more than adequately compensated for the little he actually does.
Odd that we didn't see your grave concern when your pal Philip kicked a priest and his family to the curb earlier this month. Seems your irritation is quite selective.
#188.8.131.52.2 Heracleides on 2010-12-16 17:31
Happy, Happy, Happy,
You make me very sad.
Must I remind you again?
Met. Philip purchased the condo, transferred ownership to family members and has always had the archdiocese make the mortgage payments. He has not used his salary.
If you go to this link: http://ocanews.org/news/AuditReportAOCA7.23.09.html
You will see a report that was handed out to those of us who were delegates at Palm Desert. It clearly shows that the archdiocese financial holdings are being handled improperly by our hierarch. Below is a sampling.
II. Issues Which Must be Dispelled
A. Condo in Florida
Title records show that, in the 1970s, Metropolitan Philip apparently purchased the property located at 3900 N Ocean Drive # 9F, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33308 and transferred it almost immediately to family members. Serious charges have been made that this condominium is simply titled in the names these family members to avoid it constituting a property of the Archdiocese under Metropolitan Philip’s “corporate sole” claim, but that the Archdiocese has always made the mortgage payments on the condominium. Such charges, if true, would constitute serious financial crimes under New York law and should be dispelled with an in-depth, independent, external audit before they do further damage to the reputation of the Archdiocese and Metropolitan Philip.
#184.108.40.206.3 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-12-16 23:07
If it's his money, tell him to pay taxes on it. - You can't keep saying he's entitled to his own money, when he tells the IRS it doesn't belong to him.
#220.127.116.11.4 Gail Sheppard on 2010-12-17 02:21
The parishes in the south have faithful that tithe and the parishes tithe to the diocese.
They are not cheap they are faithful to the teaching of scripture/
Unfortunately in the AOCA the majority of faithful give less than $300 a year.
Let's see what percentage of their income would that be?
If a person made $30,000 a year and actually gave $300 to the parish they would be generously contributing .01 % a year.
Sadly, many Orthodox give from their left-overs rather than as God has blessed them.
As the little bird one said cheap cheap cheap.
#5.1.4 anonymous on 2010-12-15 19:21
For the record, if you make $30,000 and you contribute $300, you aren't giving .01%, you are giving 1%.
#18.104.22.168 math correction on 2010-12-16 16:06
Your grasp of percentages is a bit off.
300 is 1% of 30,000, or .01 times 30,000.
.01% of 30,000 is 3.
"Percent" means "per hundred".
#22.214.171.124 DNY on 2010-12-16 21:48
Your math is wrong. $300 is 1% of $30,000; 0.01% of $30,000 is $3.
#126.96.36.199 Mark C. Phinney on 2010-12-17 05:14
Now there's a welcome for Bishop mark that would truly frost +Philip's cake!
It would be very interesting if Metropolitan Jonah used the "Welcome Home" beginning when H.G. Mark is installed in Baltimore.
#5.2 Mark Sudia on 2010-12-17 07:48
God works despite ourselves!!
This is good news for the Diocese of the South - +Mark is a godly man and graduate of St Vladimir's - he will do well following in +Dimitri's footsteps.
And as a note should the Episcopal assemble ever lead to anything tangible then he will be a great bishop for the Antiochians who are under +Basil now.
Glory to God for all things!
#6 Delegate #1 on 2010-12-14 07:53
I prayer and wish Bishop MARK good luck in His new assignment
#7 Anonymous on 2010-12-14 09:50
Sometimes it's the little things (and sometimes even the big things) that can make all the difference. I have never met +Mark, but I pray for him and his new flock ... and please, let's all be willing to give him a chance. He knows he will be under a bit of a microscope and people will watch to see how well or poorly he does. Let us pray that he does well, for the sake of Christ's Holy Church. I hope and pray also that we are not like those who Dostoevsky suggests when he writes "Everyone loves the downfall of a righteous man".
#8 Sean O'Clare on 2010-12-14 10:08
At long last Bishop Mark is assigned to a place where he will be loved and appreciated. God bless him!!! We will miss him in the Midwest, but at least he will be going to a place where he will be loved and appreciated for his piety and talents. He never had a chance in the midwest where unruly priests ridiculed him, talked incessantly about him behind his back and ignored his efforts to make sure that churches were keeping accurate financial accounts. We who knew him applauded his efforts and we are thankful for him.
#9 anon on 2010-12-14 10:41
Bishop Mark was a prayer answered when he came to the Midwest Diocese. May God continue to bless him and may the seeds of his ministry fall on furtile ground.
(Editor's note: Futile? Fertile? )
#9.1 A Former Member of the Antiochian Archdiocese on 2010-12-17 11:50
Sorry, I meant fertile.
#9.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-26 16:59
May God grant Bishop Mark many good years in his new endeavors. Godspeed and axios.
Fr John Chagnon
St. Paul, MN
Just don't send him to Alaska, please?
Thanks in Advance!
Moses the Tlingit
#11 Moses on 2010-12-14 12:09
Don't worry. As a member of the DOS, I anticipate that many people will give Bp. Mark an absolutely fair chance, and may well end up praying that he will be granted status as our bishop. We have been in limbo for far too long. Thus far, he seems potentially too good to let him slip away to Alaska.
#11.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-14 16:33
Bishop Mark already declined the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest of AOCNA, (This is the the Antiochian Diocese that covers Alaska and the Northwestern part of the US) officially citinghis health as the reason for the declination and his request for release to the OCA.
#11.1.1 Gunter on 2010-12-15 10:34
Alaska should be so fortunate.
Moses: if you were indeed representative of Alaskan Orthodoxy (and I know you are not), then none of you would be deserving of a bishop of +Mark's caliber. As it is, DOS is quite blessed. Axios +Mark
#11.2 Heracleides on 2010-12-14 17:15
You know I am not? How so? Most of the Alaska NATIVE faithful want to have a voice in the selection of the next Bishop, which we have been denied thus far by pretentious, white outsiders who think they know what is best for us. Go take a flying leap...and keep your neo-colonial BS to yourself. If you are Alaska Native, shame on you...another puppet and scout.
#11.2.1 Moses on 2010-12-17 13:44
Who of the NATIVE population in Alaska has the qualifications to be considered for the office of Bishop in Alaska? Not just that the man is single or a widower, but has demonstrated a calling by the diocese to such an office? If you are saying that the "white man" is keeping qualified "natives" from such consideration, that is quite a charge. Can you back it up with documented proof?
#188.8.131.52 Anonymous on 2010-12-20 13:32
The OCA has sent the guy they want to be the next Bishop of Alaska (GE) to SVS to get "edu-macated" before he is foisted on Alaska. Why can't they do the same for one of ours? Send one of our single and/or widowed guys to SVS! As far as a "calling" is concerned, that's a bit subjective, don't yah think? Us darkies are smarter than you think; the OCA has always treated Alaska like a colony. And lastly, come on now, oh foolish one...GE is a a buddy, a personal friend of the OCA good ol' boys, someone they can relate to...why would they want anyone else? And, it ain't your turn pilgrim, I have nothing else to say to you or your ilk.
#184.108.40.206.1 MOSES on 2010-12-20 17:16
In other words, Moses, you can't name one native Alaskan who is qualified. That is sad but the day will come when there is a native Alaskan, white or native who will lead that diocese. In the meantime, your racist comments and angry Palin-like approach just don't cut it!!!
#220.127.116.11.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-21 08:14
Actually, Moses' original post did not seem to mean that a bishop should be chosen from among them. He wrote: "Most of the Alaska NATIVE faithful want to have a voice in the selection of the next Bishop, which we have been denied thus far..." -- they want to have a say in the matter. Actually, that's what many people gripe about here.
#18.104.22.168.1.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-21 17:22
Moses--I remember your posts during the problem with +Nikolai. They came from the heart and very moving. On the other hand, I cannot say that you are doing your cause any good by your latest very bitter and rude posts. Can't you find it in your heart to tone it down a bit? Thanks and have a safe, health and blessed nativity and New Year. Carl
#22.214.171.124.1.2 Carl Kraeff on 2010-12-21 16:14
As Gus in My Big Fat Greek Wedding says, "It is YOUR LUCKY DAY to be baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church!"
Likewise, it would be Alaska's lucky day to have Bishop Mark for their bishop!
However, Bishop Mark has seasonal affective disorder, which means a climate where there is little sunlight in the winter would be bad for him. So, the Diocese of the South would probably be a better fit.
Anyway, Alaska already has a wonderful episcopal candidate already in Fr. Gerasim Eliel. They should hurry up and elect Fr. Gerasim, because he is awesome and will make a great bishop.
#11.3 Cordelia on 2010-12-16 10:28
Of course you must mean "Alaska already has a candidate picked out by the white OCA good ol' boys club to be foisted upon us in a truly old school colonial manner", right? of course you meant that!
#11.3.1 Moses on 2010-12-17 13:49
I can appreciate Moses' frustration. The Diocese of Alsaka has had two consecutive episcopal disasters forced (foisted) upon the faithful by the folks of the Lower 48. With that recent track record, one would hope that the Synod would consider allowing the Diocese to properly search for and select a bishop themselves.
What I found more disturbing, over the years I lived in the States, is that the OCA virtually institutionalizes episcopal neglect. Sees are left vacant for years. As someone noted on a comment on ocanews.com, the Diocese of the South is going on year three without an enthroned bishop. New England suffer what, 10 years without a ruling bishop? And, when THE Bishop of a diocese is unwilling (+Tikhon of the DOW, for example) or unable to tend to his entire flock, an extra bishop (as in auxiliary) is appointed. Without THE Bishop, there is no Church, and the definite article “THE” pertains only to an enthroned diocesan bishop. Yet, the OCA regularly leaves dioceses without a bishop for extended periods, or accepts an auxiliary as a substitute where THE Bishop cannot or will not perform the pastoral duties of this most critical office.
Instead of arguing all the various nuances of Orthodox polity, perhaps it’s time to get the basics of the Episcopacy correct. Leaving a diocesan see vacant for years is non Orthodox. Installing auxiliaries to act as proxy diocesan bishops is not Orthodox.
#126.96.36.199 Overseas Observer on 2010-12-24 00:55
Here we see one bishop 'released' by not a synod, but another bishop. More properly, we see he was received by a synod decision carried forth by that synod's designated leader.
A tip of the hat must go to the OCA.
#12 Harry Coin on 2010-12-14 12:40
Once again the Antiochian Patriarchate has shown their total disregard for Orthodox ecclesiology. They bowed to +Philip by abdicating their responsibility to release a bishop who was consecrated by the patriarch himself. Anyone need further evidence that money talks and righteousness takes a walk.
#12.1 Former Philipian on 2010-12-14 22:53
I thought the Local synod met in JAcksonville and voted?
I think there is a bigger issue we should ponder on!
1. Ultimately His grace Bishop MARK reqquested to join the OCA after the Local synod voted to transfer him to Dio. of Eagle river.
2. Holy Synod of Antioch doccument of August gva ethe Authority to Transfer Bishop MARK, if you think the decissionw as right or wrong the higest authority in the Holy Synod of Antioch made a decssion
3. Metropolitan PHILIP intent for transfering him to eagle river was to give hima fresh new start, Bishop MARK have that now in the OCA.
4. We are one Church with different Jurisdiction, we should not be bickering of trivia matters but rather try to eotk together for the future of ORthodoxy in the New World. Mabe with Bishop MArk in the OCA will bridge the gap between both jurisdiction
We should not have bad feelings toward any bishop is the devil at work, and harms the Church. we should work togetehr to have peace and harmony in our Church
#12.2 Life Long antiochian on 2010-12-15 18:39
The local bishops did not vote on Bp. Mark's transfer. +Philip listed the transfer on the agenda as a done deal. He only asked the bishops to give their opinion or comments. It's been related that the comments were generally vague (another cowardly act).
The synod in Damascus replied to the OCA that +Philip could release +Mark (they think that keeps blood off their hands).
#12.2.1 Former Philipian on 2010-12-17 06:00
Many blessed years +Mark. Axios!
#13 M. A. on 2010-12-14 13:02
Can +MARK receive a release from only +PHILLIP? Or does the Holy Synod of Antioch need to act?
#14 Mike on 2010-12-14 14:50
The last episode with "Crazy Phil" put all the Antiochian bishops in the U.S. under him. That's why he maneuvered it - to get rid of or move bishops.
#14.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-15 13:54
I hav eread many comments on the comments section ofyour website. We can respecfully aggree or disagree with other in a diginified manner, however recently I have noticed a negative tone to some of the comments which is not respectful to the Hierachy of the Church, when individuals state "cracy PHil..." show disrespect to the Title he represent. You can agree or disagree with any Hiarch however we should address them accordingly.
As editor of this website, I would appericate in the future you edit comments which are disrectful to the hierachy of the Church
These comments looks bad on the writer and on this website.
Wishing everyone a blessed Nativity!
(Editor's note: While I do not condone disrespect at any time or any place, it is an option provided for by God through free will, and this country, through free speech. I see no reason to dispute my Creator's decision, nor that of the Founding Fathers. We're all adults here, and I think we can handle satire, praise, insults, comedy, anger, affection, and the like when it comes to our ecclesiastical leaders. Ultimately, it goes back to the Third Commandment, which as a wise Rabbi once told me, was not written for children, but their parents. The commandment, he said, requires parents to be worthy of honor at all times, not children to honor the unworthy.
It is a perspective I have read in the Fathers of the Church as well, and one we would all do well to keep in mind. Feel free to disagree.)
#14.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-16 13:44
While he would usually be the last person I would look to for a confirmation of a theologoumenon (even though I remain a fan of his), the late George Carlin confirmed the point you made to 14.1.1: Anonymous regarding parents needing to be worthy of honor at all times (as you also stated is presented in various patristic writings). The comedian, in referencing Commandment # 3 ("Honor your father and mother") said that honor and respect must be earned, and that some parents are deserving of such, while others are not.
By the way, have a wonderful Christmas and a safe new year!!
#188.8.131.52 David Barrett on 2010-12-17 20:44
That's a laugh. When has the Synod of Antioch ever **acted**? Rather, Philip acts, and the Synod issues lawyerly statements, baffling in their ambiguity, to justify the action. The Synod of Antioch is "in charge" of Philip is roughly analagous to saying that the weatherman is in charge of delivering rainfall.
#14.2 Steve Knowlton on 2010-12-15 14:29
For all intents and purposes, Philip is the Synod of Damascus (I refuse to dignify it as Antioch any longer). Philip has acted, hence, the puppet Synod has acted (Photoshop is such a useful tool - Despots of old should have had it so easy). End of story, nothing to see here... move along.
#14.3 Heracleides on 2010-12-15 16:19
Met. Phillip cannot canonically release any of the bishops withoyut prior permission of the Holy Synod to do so. He received this authority from the Holy Synod of Antioch in exchange for something they wanted. Watch what happens in the new year.
#14.4 anonymous on 2010-12-15 20:06
Oh, we know what's coming.
#14.4.1 Gail sheppard on 2010-12-17 02:25
Yes, but...and yes, but...
#14.5 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-12-15 20:33
There was a time for the Synod of Antioch to act, when they could have put a stop to Met. Philip's pretensions of power. They have chosen, either through their decision or by failing to condemn a forgery of it, to abandon their God-given authority.
I'm glad Bishop Mark has escaped, and hope that all God-fearing people in the Antiochian Archdiocese will soon follow him.
#14.6 Cordelia on 2010-12-16 10:17
Most under +Philip know why Bsp Mark got the boot and it had nothing to do with +Philip converting all his diocese Bishops to auxiliaries (does Orthodoxy really have auxiliaries?) There are a couple of parishes who were under him which have very shady finances.... amongst other improprieties so Bsp Mark did the wise thing, he called for external audits. ( I would have thought you in the OCA would understand the wisdom in that.) But guess who does not want any audits and it does not take a genius to figure out why! +Philip is surrounded by his old cronies that think the Archdiocese is their private fiefdom and financial transparency is the last thing they want.
#15 Bob on 2010-12-15 11:58
As I recall, Metropolitan Philip said something very telling during Bishop Mark's call for financial transparency. He said to ignore the directives because he had total confidence in . . . blah, blah, blah. - BTW, aren't bishops prohibited from interfering in the affairs of other bishop's dioceses??? Guess not. - MP reiterated his promise that if an external audit were done at the Archdiocese, he would see to it that audits were performed in the parishes. In other words, "Protect me or your @#$ is grass." Seems to have resonated with some of our more "persuasive" Board members. (Perhaps "motivated" is a better word.) - God bless, Bishop Mark. I'm glad he made it out.
#15.1 Gail Sheppard on 2010-12-20 19:07
Strange. I thought the bishops, auxiliary or not, are part of the episcopal body in which they were aggregated when they were elected and consecrated. This body is chaired by the Patriarch, primus inter pares in his own jurisdiction. It would have seemed normal that Met. Jonah receive the dimissorial letter concerning Bishop Marc, from the synod headed by the patriarch of Antioch. But, in the theological and canonical incertainty of our times, I may be wrong.
#16 Iago on 2010-12-16 05:39
For the record, I do not agree with a lot that has transpired in the archdiocese over the last two years, so please do not get me wrong, but disobedience to the Holy Synod of Bishops cannot be tolerated by anyone.
#4.4 Anonymous on 2010-12-14 23:21 (Reply)
Uh.. for the record. How many times has our own devout and obedient son of Antioch Met. Philip threatened, disobeyed, ignored or feigned illness when summoned by The Holy Synod in Damascus and even bragged about it? For the record of course.
#17 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-12-16 12:37
Many of the comments in this thread are very revealing, and I hope that Metropolitan Philip and/or his cronies are reading very carefully because the opinions of his leadership and underhanded actions are well understood, not only by people in the archdiocese, but also by Orthodox in America at large. His credibility has been completely undermined by his actions and the number of his inner circle continues to shrink. One can only hope that the archdiocese can be saved from his actions over the past two years. It has been an unbelievable and very sorrowful time.
#18 anon on 2010-12-16 20:42
Despots rarely give serious attention to the concerns of those beneath them. Unless of course a coup is in the air. In the Church such rebellion hardly ever occurs and most, Lords, Masters and Eminences understand this all to well. The more wicked and outrageous of their ilk may even refer to those expressing concerns as barking dogs?
Most of the beneath one's (fortunately for them) believe the gospels and take seriously the teachings of Christ forgiving and praying for the wicked taskmasters who periodically assume leadeship roles in Christ's Vineyard. I wish I had their pure heart and faith.
#18.1 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-12-18 17:07
I read many cmments on bioth side of the issue. I think for the PEACE OF THE WHOLE CHURCH! We should look at this issue in this content:
a. Bishop MArk request to join the OCA, and was officially release and accepted!
b. Some people int hat diocese wanted Bishop MArk out of Toledo they got their wish
It is tragic the whole thing happens, however we should all move on for the healing to occur!
#19 Move on! on 2010-12-17 10:48
I hav eread many comments on the comments section ofyour website. We can respecfully aggree or disagree with other in a diginified manner, however recently I have noticed a negative tone to some of the comments which is not respectful to the Hierachy of the Church, when individuals state "cracy PHil..." show disrespect to the Title he represent. You can agree or disagree with any Hiarch however we should address them accordingly.
#14.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-12-16 13:44 (Reply)
An interesting comment. As long as we are concerning ourselves with proper salutations or titles of respect ect I would also suggest we reconsider the current in play innappropiate... "addressings" Of course I mean those frowned upon by Christ Himself Matt 23:1-12
I can hardly imagine Christ in light of His own clear irritation with certain protocols employed by the Pharaisee's seeing much harm in a few of us penning mild criticisms about certain cleric's, who it seem's have grown rather fond of titles like, Master, Lord, Holiness, Eminence ect. You know some of them it appear's have actually begun believing they are Masters, Lords and most astoundingly given their behavior..holy?
In fact, I think if we truly began to address our clerical brethern with Gospel proprieties, who knows? Maybe the temptations we heap upon them with every greeting would diminish and their horrific struggles with prelest subside to more manageable levels?
#20 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-12-17 14:35
Excellent point; I am not referring to title but common respect to the person in the position.
I find it insulting for comments when individual use disrespectful terms to describe the hierarchy, i.e. "Crazy Phil"; "Philip is the Antichristr", etc. these terms show no respect and how can we take their comments serious if they do not respect the Church and its Prelates!
#20.1 Move on on 2010-12-21 14:13
All of us (and as difficult as this is to say for me) even Metropolitans are made in the image of God. We no doubt run a grave risk forgetting this.
I do not believe for a moment Met. Philip is crazy or even the Anti-christ. Anyone with an ounce of biblical sense knows that has to be either Cher or Justin Bieber.
So I agree let there be no more name calling. Commentary on the factual behavior of our Church leadership is ugly enough.
#20.1.1 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-12-22 07:56
I will probably draw the ire of many by what I will write, but what I write is not meant to offend, it is simply an idea that I have had. I ask any who read it and become offended by it to remember that a sinful and unworthy layman has written it and therefore, be cheritable in your responses. Thank you.
I think that priests shouldn't get paid, or at least all of them shouldn't get paid a full time salary. This is only possible if we totaly re-think the the position of the priest within the parish community. Correct me if I am wrong, but today, priests are more or less the central spiritual figures in our parishes. In most cases there is only one priests and he (and his wife and children) carry the heavy burden of being the model family. Also, for the most part priests are dependant on the parish for their lively hood. Any way, many already know all of this and much more. Let me just skip to my idea.
Look at the monasteries:
1. priest monks (notice how there are usually two or three or more) are not just priests. They are often cooks, tailors, bee keepers, gardeners, guest masters, etc. Just because they are priests, does not mean that they cannot engage in manual labor. In my experience, it is rare (if not non-existant) the priest monk who is only "priestly" or in the words of Po "mystical and kung fuey).
2. The priest monks don't serve at every single service. Sometimes they don't even go to church. They are on a rotation so that they can fulfil their other non-priestly duties. This doesn't sound all "holy" and "mystical", but that's the way it is.
3. Few priest monks are spiritual fathers. Only the more experienced and "spiritually advanced" are given a blessing to hear confession. These priests carry a much heavier burden as they are responsible for leading their children in the way of the Lord through direct instruction. They don't choose to become spiritual fathers, rather, the brethren and those in authority choose them (ideally).
What I propose is that there be at least 2 to 3 (four would be ideal) priests per parish. They should be seminary educated of course. They should be allowed and encouraged to hold regular jobs, like the rest of the parish. They should not be allowed to hear confession. Only the more advanced and experienced (preferably those that are beyond the age of child reering and are in the evening or twilight of their lives) should be given a blessing to perform that sacred duty. They should be on a regular liturgical rotation so that they can be with their families in the congregation (especially if they have young children). This is no way diminishes the importance or glory of the priesthood. It does however diminish the importance and centrality of the individual priest. He is simply another servant.
In very large parishes I can see the need for a full time priest to take care of many of the pastoral needs of the church. Still, a large body of priest can help alleviate and spread the work load around. In smaller parishes, I think 2 or 3 priests can comfortably divide up the pastoral and liturgical responsibilites so that they can still hold a full time job. This would require a great deal of communication and humility between the priests. It also means having a strong parish council to steer the parish, especially in the day to day "business" of the parish.
However, as things stand now, priests are the spokes of the parish. Nothing is done without their approval or blessing. They make decision, big and little, for the parish, many times without the concent or knowlege of the parish. They may not be bad decisions, but those decision should all be brought before the laity. Priests are the spiritual fathers of their parishes, whether they are ready or not. This website has ample proof of the danger of this practice.
That's it. That's my idea.
#21 An Idea on 2010-12-22 21:30
A man assumes the massive debt burden of receiving a degree from an Orthodox Christian seminary, receives the grace of ordination to the priesthood . . . then receives no salary ???
The writer did not "draw any ire" from me -- just wide-eyed staring at so naive a proposal.
Only a "doddering old man" possibly in ill-health qualifies to hear confessions? Pulleeze !
#21.1 Antonia on 2011-01-26 08:14
Thanks for replying. You bring up a good point about the debt. I think it very good for him and his family to receive assistance in this area. If a family uproots goes to seminary to serve the Church, let the church pay the cost of that education.
The confessor need not be in the later stages of Alzheimer's. "For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years; but understanding is gray hair for anyone, and a blameless life is ripe old age."
A diploma from a seminary does not automatically make a young man fit to listen to the sins and burdens of his fellow man. Yet that is precisely what is happening, in essence. A young man graduates from seminary, he is placed in a parish, and begins listening to confession and giving out spiritual advise. This is a very bad practice. Let a man prove his metal first.
#21.1.1 nobody on 2011-01-26 16:10
Dear Mr./Mrs. "Nobody",
Please excuse that I quote you: "For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years; BUT UNDERSTANDING IS GRAY HAIR FOR ANYONE, AND A BLAMELESS LIFE IS RIPE OLD AGE."
God bestows gifts on whom He wills, regardless of age. Over the past 30+ years, I have received the most insightful, soul-aiding, helpful guidance during confession from priests who were of my own age, or younger. This is NOT because they were younger, but is because God worked through these men. Hence I quoted your own post.
I did wonder, however, whether you come from a Greek Orthodox background. I have heard that, in Greece, not every priest is granted the task of hearing confessions. A more knowledgeable poster might correct that thought, if needed.
That a monastery and a family-filled parish constitute different models needs scant explanation.
In your point (3), I see you confusing the concept of a confessor with that of a spiritual father. Sometimes ones spiritual father (if one even has such) is the same as ones confessor. Sometimes one priest is the spiritual father, and another priest is the confessor. Again, I have been told that this relates, in general, to "Byzantine" versus "Slavic" Orthodox practice.
I live in a diocese which could be considered "the poverty diocese". Men come here because they want to serve the Church as priests. They do not come here to get rich! That most of these men must hold additional jobs, and/or that their wives are forced to leave the home in order to work, just so that the family can tread water financially, is very, very sad. Yes, I know that in times past the priest often was "one from the crowd of villagers", tending his own goats and crops alongside those of his parishioners.
Lacking a seminary education (which is, in itself, only a very small part of what constitutes an effective and worthy priest or deacon), I can go only from memory again with this next. A priest who does not serve the Liturgy normally stands within the altar anyway. (unless there is a reason prohibiting him from so doing) He is not "out on the floor" with his family. The clergy ARE men "set apart". It definitely would diminish (via external appearance, at least) their authority and (oh! inept word next) "specialness" to see priests hushing their toddlers. A true priest knows, and demonstrates via his demeanor, speech, and actions, that he is "just another servant" of our Lord.
In general, I feel that I sense (from your original post) a desire to separate the clergy from the "running of a parish". Such artificial division can lead to some shameful decisions and actions. I need not fill up this post with true-life examples encountered over the years! Similarly, I need not -- and, obviously, should not -- cite true-life examples of clergy who do not get along with each other when jointly placed in a working environment. Imagine the never-failing saintliness required to have two to four priests (your suggestion) working as a happy team in EVERY parish!
You asked that readers reflect on your thoughts, then respond respectfully. I own that I inclined toward sarcasm in my previous post, and apologize for that. In this post, however, I write without any sarcasm, and hope that you will accept my reply as respectful.
#184.108.40.206 Antonia on 2011-01-27 07:54
I, too, have an idea:
Electricians should go to graduate school and earn a master's degree, like the other professional vocations.
There should be three or four electricians in a neighborhood, so they can share the work load, when appliances break down and houses need new wiring. They should practice electrical work on the side, so they don't need a salary. They should earn their living by other jobs, such as working in a car wash or something else productive like that.
This will require, of course, that electricians practice a higher form of humility and service. They should be on a regular electrical rotation so that they can be with their families in the neighborhood (especially if they have young children). This is no way diminishes the importance or glory of the electrical profession. It does however diminish the importance and centrality of the electrician. He is simply another servant.
I also don't think electricians should be paid for their work; they should do it gratis and for the love of the people they serve.
Also, not all electricians should be allowed to work on special appliances; only those who have doctorates and have been doing electricity for many years. These should be past child-rearing age, so they have greater wisdom.
However, as things stand now, electricians are the spokes of the neighborhood. No houses can be wired without their approval or blessing. They make decision, big and little, for the neighborhood, many times without the concent (sic) or knowlege of the neighborhood. They may not be bad decisions, but those decision should all be brought before the local non-electricians. As things are, electricians, once they receive their license, simply go out and do what they do; the other neighbors are not consulted about it. This is wrong. This website has ample proof of the danger of this practice.
(Editor's note: LOL! )
#21.2 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2011-01-26 10:48
professional vocation. That's the modern priesthood in a nutshell.
#21.2.1 nobody on 2011-01-26 15:25
Haha! A very clever parody, Reverend Fr. Patrick. But, when or if you have an opportunity, please address the points I brought up in my post. If it must be in the form of parody, very well, so be it. It's a good reminder to my self not to take my idea too seriously.
#21.2.2 Nobody on 2011-01-26 15:55
"please address the points I brought up in my post"
Not the right venue, I think.
#220.127.116.11 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2011-01-26 20:05
If this is the Church, then it's not Christian anymore
#22 Nicholas on 2010-12-25 16:29
I agree 'cracy' or 'crazy' phil isn't right.
Lying, crazy Phil is more appropriate and I will stand by the statement based on prior specific comments I've made.
Poor fellow has lied publicly and has lost the respect a hierarch ought be due.
#23 Daniel E Fall on 2011-01-25 17:25
With all respect, you can respectfully disagree how we should show respect to ALL Hierarchs, Clergy and Lay-people. Your lack fo respect for the Hierarchs proves to me you really do not understand the Orthorodox Church
#23.1 Anonymous on 2011-01-27 10:39
Well done, Reverend Father Patrick.
#24 Nobody on 2011-01-27 13:41
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