Friday, June 19. 2009
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Unfortunately, I believe extremists on both sides have whipped up such a frenzy that doubt that whatever the Holy Synod does, this conflict will end. I do not like reading posts that question the integrity of my Metropolitan. Neither do I like reading posts that attack His Grace Bishop Basil. As a faithful Antiochian Orthodox Priest, I am loyal and faithful to both Metropolitan Philip, who has been my spiritual father for over 30 years, and Bishop Basil, who has heard my confession, and has given me comfort and advie for many years. Thus, I love both Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Basil. As a faithful Antiochian Orthodox Priest, I am also scandalized by the lack of respect by some of the Midwestern clergy for Bishop Mark. I am also saddened by the attacks on Bishop Demetri. I know Bishop Demetri quite well. I was his Deacon when he was a Priest in Cambridge and have worked with him on my projects. He is afflicted with a terrible disease, alcoholism. However, he is struggling to deal with it and deserves, not our criticism, but our love and support. I know that although I am not an alcoholic, I cannot in all honestly claim that I am without faults, Therefore, I do not consider myself in position to judge a man that I know to be a sincere, dedicated, and devout servant of Christ and His Holy Church. Regardless of what the Holy Synod has done, extremists from both sides must cease stirring up strife in the North American jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch. Our hierarchs are human and make mistakes. We all make mistakes. The Metropolitan and our local Bishops are still our hierarchs and deserve our love, support, and forgiveness when we feel that they have made a mistake. I realized a long time ago that because I have made mistakes when handling complex pastoral matters I am in no position to presume to judge our Metropolitan and Bishops. Even if we disagree with the Metropolitan or one of our local Bishops, they still deserve our respect and obedience because God has given the responsibility for shepherding the flock to them as successors to the Apostles. We can disagree on the details of the administration of the Archdiocese without the discussion being lowered to the trading of unsubstantiated accusations and insults by persons who refuse to identify themselves. As I have written all along regardless of how this matter is resolved, we must behave as Christians and be so concerned with our own personal sins that we have no time to judge others. Those Priests who fail to respect their local Bishop and who treat their brothers in the Priesthood as inferiors need to repent, learn humility, and beg forgiveness for all the division that they have caused. They owe all of us an apology for helping cause this conflict and division in our Archdiocese. Those who have criticized Metropolitan Philip should remember his many great accomplishments. Indeed, we have to determine about the exact authority of the local Bishops, because we have grown enough to need local Bishops largely because of the hard work and dedication of our beloved Metropolitan. Once again, regardless of how this turns out, if we are faithful to Christ, we will accept the outcome, lay aside all resentment and unite to serve Christ and Holy Orthodoyx.
Archpriest John W. Morris
#1 Fr. John W. Morris on 2009-06-19 10:15
You are correct in stating the Met. Philip is a problem, but so are foreign bishops. The troubles you outline with the OCA are problems which have been found with the Greeks and other Orthodox - it is human fallen nature.
Getting back to the real issues, yes, Met. Philip is a dictator and he should retire and Bp. Basil should become the new Met. However, any Orthodox Church in North America under the thumb of "foreign bishops" is NON-CANONICAL. The Orthodox Canons are clear; foreign bishops cannot rule over local churches - PERIOD. Furthermore, why do we in America need to be under a foreign bishop? WHY? What do they have to offer? They pontificate and take the money of Americans - why are they necessary? They aren't. The canonical vehicle for leaving foreign bishops is the OCA. According to Orthodox Canon Law, when an autocephalous church exists in a territory, all the Orthodox are to be organized under her omophor. The Greeks are and have been resisting this with all their might. Their recent attempt to have Istanbul representatives as "over-seeers" of all Orthodox Churches is another attempt to make Pat. Bartholomew an "Eastern Pope."
So, yes, + Philip must retire. His predecessor MUST be American born; Bp. Basil. And, the Antiochians and all other churches should cut their ties with any and all foreign bishops.
#2 Anonymous on 2009-06-19 10:27
There were some typos in the original anoymous 'Our Problem Is Not Foreign Bishops' posting. Here is the official version.
Part of Our Problem Is Foreign Bishops
Let me begin by saying that I am a strong advocate of Orthodox administrative unity in America. It is both uncanonical and impractical for us to be divided
into separate, overlapping jurisdictions. It is a problem that needs to be solved.
That said, I am heartened when I read some comments on this website calling for the Antiochian Archdiocese free itself from "foreign bishops." These commentators often call for the Archdiocese to unilaterally declare itself independent of the Patriarchate of Antioch and join the OCA. They also want the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all other bishops not living in North America to, essentially, "leave us alone."
There are serious problems with those that object to this sort of mentality. First of all, they tend to assume that as our problems have resulted in stagnation and decline all these years nevertheless the involvement of foreign bishops where 'the decision making buck had stopped' shouldn't be viewed as the problem. And that while there is no guarantee the problems will be largely solved if we were free of such oversight, the canons of the church have been flouted for a long time in this regard and as such it is hard to complain we
don't grow as Orthodox as the leadership doesn't live the preaching.
The OCA is evidence that this is true. Had there been enough bishops each equal members of a synod to the point there would be too many for each to cover up for the misdoing of the other, the problems we see there and that we would see if
the others weren't too rich to cover up shenanigans would have resulted the bishops cleaning up problems.
Independent of foreign bishops, the OCA has had (and in some respects still has) the same sorts of problems that plague the other jurisdictions lust of power,
greed, moral flexibility, and a lack of transparency and accountability. It has taken many years and the concerted effort of many people to begin to fix these problems. All of which could have been avoided had the members of the synod been enough in number to avoid 'oligopoly'-- meaning that if there was misdoing each bishop would feel their own reputation and possibility for progress threatened and not put up with those creating a stain on the whole institution. As we are divided into so many so called 'jurisdictions' and 'eparchial synods' and soon 'conferences' none have the number necessary in one place to solve their own inner problems.
> The problem in the Antiochian Archdiocese is the Patriarch and the Holy Synod, and also that Metropolitan. Had local bishops had the ability to act on their own without those willing, according to accounts, to take bribes as +Philip has run the Archdiocese as his personal fiefdom for the past four
decades. He has, it has been alledged, hoarded unknown millions of dollars in unreported bank accounts, and he refuses to consent to an independent audit. He
has played fast-and-loose with Church Canons and the both the Holy Synod and the people of the Archdiocese have allowed manipulation as the local bishops had no
authority to correct matters due to ineffective and impotent foreign leadership.
He has threatened, bullied, and deceived, whatever is necessary to maintain his hold on power, and those overseas have done nothing, except now when they sense
the end is coming and they want to cement the money trail to themselves and control the locals from there.
+Philip wanted +Antoun to be made his auxiliary bishop back in the 1980s, and he threatened the Holy Synod to make it happen. How was that possible? The locals knew the authority rested overseas and those overseas allowed it occur. The
buck stops where the buck stops, Philip did what he did with the authority of those overseas, not the consent of the locals. He received the Evangelical Orthodox without properly catechizing them, which led directly to the Ben Lomond
fiasco in the late `90s. He misled the Holy Synod about Fr. Joseph Allen wanting to remarry and remain a priest. To this day, I don't know if the Holy Synod is aware of all the circumstances surrounding this case.
Self-rule, as good a concept as it may be, was the fruit of more Philippian deception. But it was accepted and upheld locally because of the authenticity of what is was described to be, it took its due life of its own and it outgrew the
deceptive pettiness that may have been the reason those overseas allowed it to occur, so as to gain relevance in decisions now being used to reduce local
possibilities. Rather than enter negotiations with the Holy Synod in a spirit of brotherly love and humility, +Philip demanded self-rule, threatening to take the Archdiocese into another jurisdiction if it was not granted. However those
abroad and here greeted the decision with great celbration and praise overwhelming the self-serving re-characterizations of hindsight. He manipulated official documents from the Holy Synod, misleading the people of the Archdiocese
and creating unnecessary tensions between the Old and New Worlds. Though those of the old world knew full well what they were doing and were entirely equal partners in the shenanigans knowing Philip's days were coming to a close. He
refused to accept the Holy Synod's very reasonable revisions to the new Archdiocese Constitution revisions they had every right to make, indeed as they should have done long ago when they could have engaged in the spirit of
Ligonier to avoid the fiasco caused by the Greek remanant in Turkey.
> +Philip has created a culture of fear within the Archdiocese. And for years the foreign synod did nothing. Behind a veneer of adulation (best exemplified by the Word Magazine), there is an ever-present fear of +Philip in the minds of most of his clergy. This arose as the foreign synod made certain the local
bishops sitting in a synod were powerless to improve matters, contrary to what the church teaches. They well remember how he retaliated against those few who dared speak up during the Fr. Joseph Allen scandal. They know that he is willing
to resort to drastic measures when pushed into a corner - such as when he forcibly removed all the Antiochian seminarians from St. Vladimir's when Fr.
Hopko publicly disagreed with him. And how can anyone forget just a few years ago, when a naive delegate to the General Assembly suggested that the meeting
follow the standard Robert's Rules of Order? +Philip told the poor man that he was out of order, declaring, "I am Roberts." +Philip is obeyed not because he is
fully trusted, nor because he has earned obedience, but because he has proven, time and again, that any dissent will be met with an iron fist. An iron fist that was fully backed up by the Holy Synod in Damascus, Syria. The proper
location for the final responsibility in these matters. The location presently interfering to cement its control of those few in the future who will want to support overseas ethnic control over against local decisions and local growth.
Given that all this is the case, how can one argue that the problem is not "foreign bishops"? I will not, for the moment, speak about any foreign bishops other than the members of the Holy Synod of Antioch. The Metropolitans of that
Holy Synod have received the same cavalier treatment from +Philip that has become standard practice in the Archdiocese. And they too in their Byzantine style half-attended votes and engagements in word-smithing legalisms have played
their side of the game. They too have been bullied and engaged in the same by supporting the bully these many decades. Some of the weaker ones appear to have
been bribed but only some; the majority appear to be innocent, or not, who knows, they appear as they wish to appear.
More importantly, they all want to appear to have been deceived, wanting the people here in this day and age to presume +Philip can controlled virtually all communications between the Holy Synod and the Archdiocese, telephones, internet, faxes and visitors personal accounts they wish all to believe couldn't and didn't happen. To the point that they want us to think that even though they supported the one they would prefer to be the scapegoat bully all these years
they are innoced of knowledge of events, they do not know us at all, and we do not know them. They are the problem; They are the one who want us to think no communications are possible and they are innocent in allowing some sort of wedge to appear to have been between us and our Holy Synod. They and he enjoy the game of trying to seem innocent of driving a wedges, even as we speak, in the Holy
Synod itself they wish to appear innocent of the present power-grab as they wished to appear innocent of supporting the bully-- and failure to exercise their power to enable local bishops sitting in a local synod which is the content of
the faith they were given to foster and protect according to the Great Commission.
Yes, one day hopefully soon we will be a part of some sort of united American Orthodox Church. But let us be frank: that time is not yet, unless the Holy Synod hastens the day by handing down a canonical decision. There is much good that can come from closer relations with the Patriarchate of Antioch and all the other Patriarchates as a daughter national church in the USA as we have been here for so many decades upon decades if we do not take this step we will
be blocked from growth and indeed dwindle and die as bastions of ethnic bigotry proclaiming wholistic faith free of ethnic ownerships at the core. They, as Fr. Daniel Griffith said, have roots. And as all our grandparents here say we too
now have roots, roots that ought not be cut off by overseas shenanigans by remnant churches. They have a history that they can offer to us, and from which we have learned and now must take our own steps. We should not flippantly and
disrespectfully regard them with contempt, nor award them status and respect as being active in promoting local growth all these years over against the support of the one they now complain of. It is possible to simultaneously desire
American Orthodox unity and desire a closer relationship with the See of Antioch and the other sees, much as their own relationships as autocephalous churches.
#3 Harry Coin on 2009-06-19 10:30
This Reflection from "A Pragmatic Orthodox" is very astute in its assessment of +Metropolitan Philip and the devices and behaviors he has used over the decades to maintain his power base. However, current events go beyond the claim of the author that "+Philip has controlled virtually all communications between the Holy Synod and the Archdiocese, to the point that they do not know us at all, and we do not know them." Thanks to the visit a week or so ago by the various diocesan bishops (I refuse to refer to them as "auxiliaries") to Damascus to speak with +Patriarch Ignatius, with*out* the presence and interference of +Philip, this situation of the Synod in Damascus not knowing us (the Orthodox in America, particularly those in the AOCA) is now obsolete. Whether or not +Ignatius and the Synod in Damascus turn out to be part of the problem (along with +Philip) or part of the solution (along with the AOCA) will be determined by the results of their meeting this week. I agree with this author that we need to be cautious concerning knee-jerk reactions, assumptions, and judgments about these situations, and wait to see what transpires as we go along. May God grant the grace of His most Holy Spirit to inspire not only +Ignatius and the Synod in Damascus, but also +Philip (into repentance), the Synod of the AOCA, and all Orthodox in America to, as this author also hopes, work towards ecclesiastical and structural unity in America!
#4 David Barrett on 2009-06-19 11:06
I have one point of contention with the article. If the AOCA had declared autocephaly instead of "self-rule," then Metr. Philip would not have been able to use the Holy Synod of Antioch as he did in his attempt to demote his brother bishops. As the Chancellors' report demonstrated, it was improper of him to do so even under "self-rule."
The foreign bishops who are the real problem are not those of the Holy Synod of Antioch, but those of the Phanar. Without real flocks to care for, they have nothing better to do than to meddle in the affairs of other churches. How can the Ecumenical Patriarch claim the authority to evangelize in all the world if he refuses to step out from the front door of the Phanar and evangelize his own country? I'll start listening to Patr. Bartholomew again when he, a Turkish citizen who served in the Turkish military, starts reaching out to his fellow Turks and starts liturgizing in Turkish. Until then, he and his fellow Phariots are a sad excuse of an ethnarchy pining away for the "good old days" of the millet.
Sic semper tyrannis,
#5 Nemo on 2009-06-19 11:47
No news from Damascus yet?
#6 Antionymous on 2009-06-19 11:59
You are absolutely right, MP has taught us that the Old World holds us back. In fact it is not the Old World at all, but a mindset of being above Holy Tradition, the Holy Canons and the Holy Synod.
MP has had to answer to NO ONE! This must change NOW!
We need a complete and thorough OUTSIDE AUDIT. This will be embarassing for MP, as well as some members of the HOLY SYNOD. Nevertheless it must be done fo r the good of the CHURCH.
If there is CRIMINAL CONDUCT, let the GUILTY face the music.
#7 anonymous on 2009-06-19 12:00
I applaud the anonymous author of this reflection for picking up and pointing out a HUGE flaw in a lot of what gets written here: the entirely simplistic and stupidly ethnocentric idea that the "foreignness" of bishops is of real significance to this discussion. If there is anything that our country is known for worldwide (and ought to be known in Orthodox minds), it is the hubris that Americans are better at everything than anyone else.
Now I realize I have overstated that a bit, and none of our contributors has been so bold as to actually state and advocate such an idea. I DO mean to say that it is what we find very firmly between the lines of some of the more shallow criticisms being leveled around here.
Sure, an ignorant foreign bishop who took no account of cultural differences, or who viewed the world in exclusively ethnocentric terms, could make big mistakes. But we must also admit that a wise foreign bishop who grew up, and even still stands, outside the direct cultural milieu in which he lives, which he observes and must critique and deal with, might well be better positioned than a non-foreign one to detect and avoid the mistakes to which that society is susceptible.
So it is really not at all an automatic question of one's race or birthplace or mother tongue, but rather whether or not the man is wise and Spirit-guided enough to come from a culture and serve in another while avoiding the blind spots of both.
#8 Fr. George Washburn on 2009-06-19 12:37
"Meeting Ends: Statement Awaited"
OK, let's put this into perspective.
Metropolitan Philip has managed to cause division among:
1. The North American Bishops.
2. The Archdiocese Board of Trustees.
3. Clergy and laity of the Archdiocese.
4. The Holy Synod of Antioch.
5. Orthodox Christians, including hierarchs of others jurisdictions.
One doesn't need a psychoanalyst to determine who and what the source of disunity Metropolitan Philip indicated back in February was encroaching upon this archdiocese. He only need look in the mirror. If any of his priests would be the source of such division within their parish he would surely take harsh action.
His Eminence needs to realize it's time to "turn out the lights the party's over..."
God grant Patriarch Ignatius many years!
#9 Anonymous on 2009-06-19 13:19
I think it is rather silly to promote the value of foreign bishops when, at least for the AOCA, that has been the very system that gave us the reign of Metropolitan Philip, his basically unsupervised tenure punctuated with lavish gifts to his theoretical superiors, and the granting and rescission, to date, of independence et al. As for the Greeks, I repeat what I have said before and has been left unanswered: If the Church of Greece no longer wants to be under EP's authority why should we? I do agree that independence is no guarantee of competent governance (i.e. the OCA), especially where clericalism reigns supreme. But to think the solution to whatever ails us is more foreign control is to succumb to the ridiculous notion that our expression of Orthodoxy is somehow inferior or deficient when compared to other parts of the world.
If this continent, the stronghold of self-government in the world, can't govern itself ecclesiastically, perhaps we are all in the wrong pew.
#10 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2009-06-19 13:40
Is there a link available to the official statement as it was released in Arabic??
(Editor's note: There is nothing as yet to link to. When the Statement is released as many links as possible will be posted.)
#11 Name on 2009-06-19 13:44
I will extend the term "Foreign" to include bishops in general who are very distant. Not just ancient patriarchates who are completely irrelevant to anything that happens in the US. I think it's sensible to expect the bishop who is remembered in the liturgy to be in the same time zone as his flock. Period. Every patriarch flunks this test, even Moscow has too many bodies for one man. He is very posessive over any desire for getting out from under the Russian imperial demographics. Similarly every other Orthodox bishop is handcuffed to Byzantine or Ottoman demographics down to the clothes worn today.
As George Castanza once said on Seinfeld, what really attracted him to "Latvian Orthodoxy" was "The hats!". Lose the hats, gentlemen.
Some years ago a wise bishop (foreign) wrote to an OCA diocese that was considering a particular candidate for bishop. He said he would personally not consider being a bishop in a country unless he had first lived there for 10 years. The diocese ignored his warnings and selected a diasaster. There are mostly disasters when this advice is ignored, and it is always ignored and so you have the disasterous situation of today. Homegrown disasters are not unknown, but the ones you can evade simply by following the residency suggestions are particularly maddening. A bishop in a crumbling Byzantine/Ottoman slum dictating to another continent might as well be on another planet. Ditto for the ones named for uninhabited Byzantine/Ottoman ruins.
#12 ba"ab on 2009-06-19 14:17
With all due respect, Met. PHILIP has been around just a bit too long in his position....over 40 years. So perhaps it's time to step aside and let a younger bishop take his place? Open the books and let everyone see the truth. Then, let the healing begin. (Lord have mercy!)
#13 Michael Boris, Esquire on 2009-06-19 17:14
Has the commentator missed the clear fact that +Philip is a foreign bishop? Born, raised and appointed without any roots in this country to speak of.
#14 Michael Bauman on 2009-06-19 17:41
How much coolaid did you drink?
Yes, we are to be forgiving of those who repent.
What will you do if a FULL AUDIT reveals years of WALKING IN SIN at the expense of the faithful of this Archdiocese and the many priests who have served in it.
Have you forgotten your brother vlergy who were punished mercilessly during the Joe allen affair
Yes we all have our sins and many of us are broken over our own sinfulness, but do we seek to destroy those around us who simply disagree with us?
Lord have mercy! You may candy coat D-Con but it will still kill.
Have you forgotten how Fr John Namee was treated?
Or the seminarian clergy who were suspended over te Joe Allen *affair*. Perhaps they do not matter, as their suspension did not adversely affect you.
We must remember if one member suffers we all suffer. Members of the body have suffered at the hands of an abusive father .
Perhaps you have Stockholm Syndrome I do not. I refuse to be abused or to protect those who abuse.
The operative word is REPENTANCE. Yes the theif on the cross REPENTED.
What will MP do? Will he submit to the Holy Synod?
Will the payments for VOTES stop?
Will he continue to protect disobedient priests and interfere in the Dioceses?
#15 anon an anon on 2009-06-19 20:26
"But we must also admit that a wise foreign bishop who grew up, and even still stands, outside the direct cultural milieu in which he lives, which he observes and must critique and deal with, might well be better positioned than a non-foreign one to detect and avoid the mistakes to which that society is susceptible."
Care to speculate if the reverse will ever be true?
What are the odds that any of us will live long enough to see a wise, American born, ethnically non-Arab bishop, sitting on the Throne of Antioch???
#16 Heracleides on 2009-06-19 20:48
Michael raises an interesting point. What is Metr. Philip's immigration status? Did he ever become an American citizen? What about Bps. Antoun and Joseph? As a registered sex offender, why has neither the US nor Mexico seen fit to deport Bp. Demetri?
(editor's note; You have misread his point - it was not questioning the Metropolitan's current status, but his status when he was appointed a Bishop here in the 1960's. In fact though, the Metropolitan, had been in this country for many years before becoming a bishop.His biography is available on www.antiochian.org.)
#17 Nemo on 2009-06-19 22:37
It isn't safe for Fr. John Morris to be honesst. We need an new Metropolitan and an open audit of the books.
let the laypeople handdle this as we have little to lose..just get out of our way
#18 Stephen on 2009-06-20 04:44
SYNOD OF ANTIOCH DECISION
It took 4 days to come up with this? PATHETIC!
The collective body of hierarchs could not come up with a definitive statement not open to interpretation. Sadly this is the leadership the church in America is subject.
The Byzantine way, again, PATHETIC!
This will resolve nothing since surely there will be one explanation by Metropolitan Philip and another by the bishops who are equal among all hierarchs.
Again yet again, PATHETIC!
Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee hear me O Lord!
#19 Anonymous on 2009-06-20 07:44
I don't think the author missed that fact at all. I think what the author is saying is that when we in America complain about having "foreign" bishops (as Metropolitan JONAH stated directly and I've heard many people say), we're missing the point. The problem with Metropolitan PHILIP is not where he was born, but the way he has ruled the Antiochian Archdiocese. As the author of the article points out, there are numerous problems with the way he has ruled the Antiochian Archdiocese, and not a single one of them pertains to his personal national origin.
I would like to point out that the bishops who have ravaged and raped the American church, Bp. NIKOLAI and Mets. THEODOSIUS and HERMAN, were all born in America. (I don't mean to pick on the OCA, these three just popped into my head.)
On the other hand, holy hierarchs of America, Met. ANTONY (Bashir), Abp. IAKOVOS (Coucouzis), and Ss. Innocent of Alaska and Raphael of Brooklyn, were all born overseas, in Lebanon, Turkey, and Russia.
I'm not saying American bishops are inherently holy or that foreign-born bishops will solve all our problems. We know Metropolitan JONAH is a wonderful American-born bishop and Metropolitan PHILIP is a not-completely-perfect foreign-born bishop. But we need to free ourselves from being distracted by a bishop's national origin and focus on the real problem, which are bishops who rule their dioceses like their own personal fiefdom instead of with the love of Christ, as the article author pointed out.
#20 Cordelia on 2009-06-20 09:38
Fr. John, it is clear that you have not suffered personally the persecution that many in the Archdiocese have been subjected to courtesy of +Phillip. While I understand the warning not to judge, please heed your own words - not judging those who dare speak out with opposing views. If you have not walked in the shoes of those who have been "cast out", or otherwise punished, you cannot understand the pain that they may have suffered - supposedly at the hand of their leading "spiritual father".
Sadly, this is an infection that has lain deep within the archdiocese, and has gone on for years. The fact that is has finally been diagnosed is something that we must rejoice in, using it as a chance to move forward - past the fear and intimidation, and on to a faith that is loving and accepting.
#21 KhouriaM on 2009-06-20 12:02
Cordelia, Straight on.
Generalizations go unexamined. Now WE'RE going to get it right?
In the case of the AOCA which too many people are relating to the OCA, I don't think "withholding funds" is called for but an actual walkout. This is NOT simply an issue of Met. Philip...
No need to "provoke a conversion" a popular notion in the AOCA, but something like "shake the dust from your shoes."
Laypeople do not "belong" to jurisdictions nor or they under "obedience."
#22 Steve on 2009-06-20 12:02
Read it again, and read it in conjunction with +Mark's letter. The statement is actually quite clear: a bishop is a bishop is a bishop. The Diocesan Bishops of an Archdiocese assist their first among equals, the Metropolitan, and the Metropolitan in his turn represents the Archdiocese on the Holy Synod. All quite proper and canonical.
Now, with this context, let us look at the message the last two sentences of the statement are drafted to deliver:
No one Diocese is the Archdiocese. In other words, neither the Metropolitan's Diocese nor any other individual Diocese is the Archdiocese, and only the Holy Synod of Antioch can establish an Archdiocese.
Which is to say, "In case you're getting any ideas, +Metropolitan, remember that WE decide what constitutes the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, not you."
The statement is subtle, short, and diplomatic. But make no mistake: they brought the hammer down.
The only foreign bishop sthat a real problem at present are the ones that are here
Perhaps we should aks what the return policy is!
Hopefully, it is not No Deposit, No Return.
#24 anon and anon on 2009-06-20 20:51
Don't know if this guestion is appropriate under SHARE YOUR COMMENTS, but it appears the OCA no longer provides for answering guestions as in the past: Given that Met. Jonah_during an interview several months ago _ stated that the OCA had membership of 1,000,000 and 60% were converts,what was the membership of the METROPOLIA at the time of autocephaly in 1970?
(editor's note: Officially the answer may be found in the Yearbook of American Churches, available online in their historic register. Check out 1971. I have not seen it, but my guess is 1,000,000, because it is always been listed at, or just over 1,000,000. It has never changed.)
#25 Andrew Fedetz on 2009-06-21 19:11
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