Friday, May 8. 2009
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This article is a good example of the kind of issues that we must continue to address. God Bless You Father!
#1 Sub-Deacon George (St. Elias Antiochian Cathedral - Ottawa) on 2009-05-08 14:20
My question is: will these questions and the many others raised, especially by priests in this Archdiocese, EVER be addressed and answered? If they are not, the Antiochian Orthodox Church in America will be seriously damaged. Why won't the Metropolitan respond, except in cryptic answers which are not really answers? Priests and laity in the Church deserve some explanations, even from, and especially by a hierarch. People are becoming to feel betrayed.
#2 anon on 2009-05-08 17:11
Read TIMELINE again if YOU want CLARITY ! We note the conceiving of a new pro Englewood website: htpp://theantiochian.com The reasoning is poor at best avoiding the real issues. Maybe written as a "defense" at the request of Met. Philip? He has many who "owe" him one for their position... Talk all one wants Orthodox Unity will never come but freedom from all foreign dependence. May we not read this 50 yrs from now but we wonder!
#3 Anonymous Priest on 2009-05-08 18:07
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!Article.
Very clear point by point!
As the Canons state the relationship of the Bishop to the Metropolitan is likened to the Metropolitan's relationship to the Patriarch.
If the old way of doing things does not work, to quote Metropolitan Philip and centralizing is bette, than he should be considered an auxiliary to the Patriarch.
Rome already thought of that didn't they?
MP will not give answers as he has no valid reasons.
He has violated the Canons by conspiring against his Bishops.
He has attempted to demote them without Canonical process another VIOLATION of the Canons.
He has attempted to intimidate them personally as well as through other means, i.e., Bp Antoun or through his mercenary priests. His old games of having someone else do the dirty work so as to distance himself from the matter.
He has VIOLATED our Constitution which he vehemently defended.
He divided the Archdiocese into Dioceses in accordance with the Holy Synod's decision in 2003, which he requested.
A Diocese requires a Diocesan Bishop to administer it and to be a father and shepherd to the faithful and to the clergy. A good shepherd knows his sheep and they know him.
How many of the clergy does MP actually know by name?
How many of the 250 parishes of the Archdiocese has he actually visited?
How many has he never visited? perhaps a dozen?
MP has betrayed the people of this Archdiocese and has completely and utterly lost credibility in their eyes.
If we asked for a vote of confindence he would be lucky to get 10%.
Thank you for a wonderful article. Let us pray for the Holy Synod to make the right decision. They can show us they are not what the Metropolitan has painted them as being.
#4 anon and anon on 2009-05-08 21:40
It seems to me that we should resist the urge to respond on the new Englewood controlled (seemingly) blog, as instead of dealing with substance (ie. what the canons say, what our constitution says, what Met. Philip has previously said, how Orthodox churches around the world are governed, the history of Orthodox ecclesiology, etc....) they want to play the game of "who is intimidating who."
Let's stick with discussing the facts of the crisis as they emerge, and let the alarmists carry on their ad hominem elswhere....
#5 Antionymous on 2009-05-09 04:28
The second article about Metropolitan Jonah shows once again that his vision is not necessarily in concert with many others within the OCA. He seems to be focused on "doing his own thing" rather than the position that he was actually elected to, i.e. Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada.
How many parishes has he visited in his own diocese?
How many names of parishioners does he know?
How many trips has he made to Canada?
By the way, there are around 25,000 paying members of the OCA not 100,000. Here's a radical idea: if there are 75,000 nominal Orthodox Christians in the OCA, let's start working on them entering fully into the faith. Bringing monks from other countries to America or Canada does not get to the heart of the problem. Why are 2/3rds of the OCA absent? Is it lack of leadership? Is it a lack of training?
His Beatitude's remarks are scary. I hope and pray that he will look within himself, his diocese(s), and his OCA. Like a family with conflict and turmoil, the solutions are more often found from within not from adding family members from without.
#6 Anon. on 2009-05-09 06:20
Christ is Risen!
I fear nothing or not much in our beloved archdiocese has or will change for the better in the near future. As an example look at our Archdiocese web-page....one of the main "mafia boys" is front and center. He is presented as the best we have to offer.
It appears that as far as Englewood is concerned the good ol days are still here and our situation is still the same. This is so very sad. We had the opportunity to be so much more.
It really is time to pray for mercy and guidance.
Sad Antiochian Priest
#7 Fr. Depressed on 2009-05-09 06:45
It's very clear - + Philip should retire by or at this upcoming Antiochian Convention. It is also clear the + Basil Essey should become the new Metropolitan by unanimous acclamation. Those opposing this would be the "old country" crew; Frs. Antipas and Nasr's; and others. Then, the AOCA Synod should address the Synod in Damascus reminding them of the AOCA's "autonomy" and informing them of the continued endeavor toward complete "autocephaly."
It's time to end all this foolishness. The canons are clear, "Local bishops have complete authority over local churches." All control by foreign bishops is non-canonical!
#8 Anonymous on 2009-05-09 07:12
I am really afraid that the questions will go unanswered unless one of our bishops or ordinary clergy is forced to appeal to Constantinople.
Quite frankly, I'd prefer to see Metropolitan Philip repent of his actions, even without answering the questions.
#9 Subdeacon David Yetter on 2009-05-09 07:15
However, this new website offers the chance to ask questions, to see if Englewood is open at all to transparency, especially in money matters, for the frustrations expressed on this website (Thank you, Mark) have opened up far more issues than the demotion of Bishops. In fact, they have raised issues about canons, schmanons. For if the Metropolitan is to be consistent and a good shepherd to his far flung sheep, he has to do more than bow to what he says are canons related to Auxiliary bishops when it suits his needs, and ignore them on other occasions. We shall see how it turns out, and discover whether or not it is a real forum, and not just a place for the central administration to pretend that "all is well."
#10 anon on 2009-05-09 08:06
Yes, they are immitating. In that way, they are being deceivers. The Evil One can only immitate God. There is an analogy here. The "pro-Englewood" clique can only immitate the internet reflections of many concerned AOCANA clergy and laity. it would have been better for the archdiocese if they had been willing to think and pray through this mess instead of doing as they are doing, but we didn't expect anything less, did we?
#11 Phileas on 2009-05-09 09:09
You are correct it is a place to track who is writing and from where. If the priests visit the other wbsite they do so at their own risk. Mark Stokoe has shown himself to be true and trustworthy. Quality article and anonymity is guaranteed.
Dissent on an AOCA website is not smart. Even Forrest Gump would know that.
#12 anon and anon on 2009-05-09 22:03
Indeed, He is Risen!
I share in your sadness in this current situation. However, as gloomy as it looks, I have a peace and trust that everything will work out for the best. We are going through some very dark and difficult times. I truly believe that the demons are dancing and celebrating as they stir up their strife against us. Let us not give them more opportunities to rob us of our peace! Perhaps Iím naÔve, but letís just put this whole situation into Godís hands and trust Him to exercise His will in this matter. I have asked all of my brothers and sisters before, and know I am humbly asking everyone once again, please join together in common prayer, asking that the Lordís will be done.
Father, please donít be depressed, give thanks to God and I believe that you will see Him do great wonders!
#13 A broken-hearted brother on 2009-05-10 01:18
I was wrong about the new website. I followed the comments there for one day, and the commentary and the comments are woefully inadequate and pitiful. It's as if every spiteful soul is there and anyone who dares to question its definition of obedience is pretty viciously attacked. There will be no room for any questioning. If this is a website set up to defend the Metropolitan, it will not succeed. Where will this controversy end? I predict that many will flee to the OCA and leave these like minded folks to their own devices with their slavish devotion to anything the Metropolitan should propose.
#14 anon on 2009-05-10 05:29
Speaking of the "other website," the one defending Met Philip's support of Antioch's edict, does anyone else find it odd that the people who berate those who post anonymously here would run a website for which no one takes responsibility by name? Who is behind it? Who is running it? Who is paying for it? What a group of hypocrites!
After one pass through the site, there is such a lack of real information, facts, and relevant theological material that the only thing left is the cult of personality. How sad, and useless to helping resolve the situation.
(editor's note: Yes, it is rather funny that after berating "anonymity", the website is listed at a fictious address in "Lebanon MS", on a non-existant "Monastic Road"! Actions speak louder than words, though, don't they?)
#15 Anonymous for a reason on 2009-05-10 14:27
This new website is very bad--nasty, incoherent, inarticulate, and whenever somebody who might know something dares to disagree, they are threatened. I sincerely hope that it is NOT sponsored by the Archdiocese. It's an embarrassment to the Church and to all AOCA members. We are grateful for this website. Keep up the good work.
#16 anon on 2009-05-10 14:56
Just thought you all would like to know that my comments on the "other site" were actually removed after they were initially posted - no response - just removed after about a day. Go Baathists!
#17 David Feliciano on 2009-05-10 15:55
I find theantiochian.com extremely funny....there are some talented satire artists on there!
#18 Antionymous on 2009-05-10 17:43
The "other" website is toxic. Four reasons exist: (1) for sycophants to spew forth their praises of Metropolitan Philip, (2) to tell Metropolitan Philip they are getting traffic and readership away from ocanews, (3) to trap people into posting and finding out who they are as a result (this is very dangerous), and (4) to snag innocent people into believing their "explanations."
Are you attracted by a lagoon of excrement? If so, head over there by all means. Just be careful, as you could get permanently stuck in it if you try to post, there. Contrary to common belief, there is no such thing as anonymous posting-- only adminstrators who don't blow people's covers. Stokoe has one of the best track records for confidentiality in the entire e-journalism industry. He's a proven commodity.
If you're clergy, do yourself a favor and don't even browse over there. If you're browsing and don't sing a troparion or two to +Philip on the site, you will be identified and your name will be mud. If you post a nastygram, you will be identified and your name will be mud. There's no upside in that site for anyone other than +Philip.
#19 Anon on 2009-05-10 17:56
i happen to agree with those that post on theantiochian.com website. it doesnt seem to have the negative spin that comes from this site toward the metropolitan, nor does it have people viciously attacking and back-stabbing one another like this one does. if you want clarification of the truth, that is the place to go.
mark, i would suggest that you read a little of what is posted there so that your own commentaries are bit more objective. thanks
(editor's note: I have read it since it began, and will shortly be doing an article on all the new websites relating to the crisis.)
#20 Anonymous on 2009-05-10 20:51
Non sequitur re: Met Jonah. Perhaps you are posting to the wrong article.
"How many parishes has he visited in his own diocese?"
I don't know how many in the past 5 months. You must know since you asked your springing question. So answer the question for all of us and not let the accusation hang in the wind.
"How many names of parishioners does he know?"
Gee whiz, how many would you know if you were in his surprising situation. He had spent most of the past 10 years in the west. Unless he were another Theodore Roosevelt, he probably needs a little more time. Not everyone has the photographic memory of yourself.
"How many trips has he made to Canada?"
LOL. How many has he made to Mexico or even Alaska? He has been in his position for less than 6 months. I'm simply stumped by your out-of-left-field questions. I realize that Met Jonah has been thrust into the whirlwind of Obamamania, but please don't put some random "hundred days" simplicism on him that has been bestowed on our presidents. Not everything can be solved in 3 months.
#21 R Stevenson on 2009-05-11 00:58
The new website devoted to Met. Philip and the decision of The Holy Synod has been described as inarticulate, nasty and incoherent. After my own perusal of this site I would merely comment that these descriptions are inadequate in their criticisms and generous in their appraisals.
I would encourage everyone here to go see for and evaluate the content for themselves.
#22 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-05-11 07:34
sound just like this website! right stokeeee!
#23 Anonymous on 2009-05-11 08:24
Theantiochian.com website doesnít have a negative spin? Are we looking at the same website? If they donít agree with you, they will either attack you or your post will be deleted. I know of this by firsthand experience! And to all of those who post that priests who oppose the February 24th decision should avoid that website, I agree 100%. Whenever you make a post you are giving them your IP address, unless you use an anonymous proxy server. Stay with OCANews.org to get good information and to be able to post safely.
#24 Anonymous on 2009-05-11 16:29
Thank you for the tip. I just took a trip over there, and I was awed by the level of vitriol (not to mention the blatant hypocrisy without a shred of insight). Thankfully, the Antiochian Archdiocese has a post there disavowing any sponsorship of the site.
#25 Brian on 2009-05-11 17:45
Actually the sum total of the postings at thantiochian.com is better than most here are making out.
Someone writing under the screen name Carl has been doing a manful job of arguing traditional Orthodox ecclesiology. Alas, the official voice of the site, posting under the screen name admin either suffers from complete noetic tone-deafness and ignorance of Orthodox history or is feigning staggering stupidity.
I posted a few critiques, including characterizing one of admin's editorials as giving a clear statement of the ecclesiological heresy underlying the debacle. admin didn't seem to have even gotten the point.
Folks might want to stop by and vote in their poll. It would be amusing if the poll ended up in favor of retaining diocesan bishops. Of course, like all internet polls, both sides can manipulate it.
#26 Subdeacon David Yetter on 2009-05-11 22:13
Christ is Risen
I decided long ago not to post on this website, but I must break my rule for the sake of a question, not a comment.
Where do you find this website? I've hated the Archdiocesan website for years due to its utter incoherence and sure enough, after searching for this blog, I can't seem to find it.
Pls post a link, Mark.
(The Archdiocese's official website is at www.Antiochian.org
The anonymous website supporting the Metropolitan's position is at
The anonymous website supporting the diocesan bishops is at
#27 Anonymous Antiochian on 2009-05-12 04:55
Or do like I do.....browse and post from the public library. The only problem is the librarian isn't too please with my fits of rolliiung on the floor hysterical laughter....."SubBishop Mark?" That was classic..... ( Although very sad....humor is my coping mechanism.....)
#28 Antionymous on 2009-05-12 05:29
Are we sure this site isn't being run by the guys over at the onion dome?
#29 Antionymous on 2009-05-12 05:34
You are absolutely correct. Not only has MP's credibility been seriously damaged, but that of the Patriarch and the Holy Synod.
Hopefully, the Holy Synod will gather as usual before Pentecost and correct this tragic situation in a manner consistent with the Holy Canons which they vowed to uphold. This will rebuild the confidence of the faithful in the good will of the Holy Synod and His Beatitude.
If they uphold the decision of Feb 24 in violation of the Holy Canons their credibility will be completely eroded.
Hopefully the guilty will not continue to be rewarded for their sinful misdeeds and the innocent punished
Let us pray for our beloved hierarchs and for the Holy Synod.
In the meantime keep writing the Archdiocese and witholding the money for the Order of st Ignatius. The financial impact will eventually communicate the laity's dissatisfaction with +MP and his friends in Detroit, OK City, and Montreal.
#30 anonymous on 2009-05-12 11:24
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