Tuesday, July 7. 2009
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To those who wish to anonymously issue slanderous and libelous remarks carelessly on the internet especially this particular website I say the following:
If one does not understand my silence, neither will they my words. (A saying for the desert fathers.)
As a previous writer wrote in another context, the new Trisagion is: shame, shame, shame on you.
Economos Antony Gabriel
#1 Economos Antony Gabriel on 2009-07-07 11:03
"He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart." Proverbs 11:29
I would say that +Phillip's AOCNA delegation to the Patriarch did their part in "troubling their house". Don't complain about the fallout now that you all have taken off your masks.
#2 fr.wylekiote on 2009-07-07 11:38
Fr. Antony Gabriel has a lot of nerve to say, "Shame" to the defenders of the Patriarch. He should be ashamed (and disciplined) for attempting to deceive the Patriarch, circumvent the Holy Synod, and defraud the Church. Of course, we all know he was only acting as an agent of Met Philip, as were Antypas and the Khalife and El Khoury. Shame on all of them. May God free the Archdiocese from such men.
#3 Ferris Haddad on 2009-07-07 11:55
Actually this does make sense, it saddens me but makes sense. Let those who administer the Gospel sort this out because I personally need to absorb it more. I have witnessed myself way too involved to change any decision except cause issues between commentators and raise blood pressure. I am sure many of us can say the same. So I pray that the Convention is handled in a loving way and a resolution can make our Archdiocese healed again. I have always been loyal to His Eminence, likewise to my local bishop, but we laity feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. What to do? Wait and pray and hope for the best.
#4 William on 2009-07-07 12:53
Thus speaks the Economic Bishop of Montreal
#5 Anonymous on 2009-07-07 13:09
I actually agree with you about the anonymous purveyors of slander, most of who seem to be in your camp. Mote in eye, meet log in eye.
Regarding slander as such, truth is the best defense. How about you and your friends follow John Lennon's advice and "just give me some truth/all I want is the truth."
As it is, Nikolai, Tikhon and Herman did not like this website, either.
A man, even an economos, is known by the company he keeps.
#6 Scott Walker on 2009-07-07 13:20
Father Antony...Thank you for your apology Holy Father..I forgive you and I urge you to make a confession about how you have enabled the metropolitan. He and you need to retire.
#7 Stephen on 2009-07-07 13:20
Dear Fr. Antony,
Just remember, none of this would have happened had it not been for the letter from the Gang of Four in Detroit. Honestly, abouna, I think most laity and clergy would have rolled their eyes and gone along with the decision. After all, we are used to the shifting sands.
But, those men chose to reveal their hatred and revel in their 'victory,' and that alienated a lot of people. The funny part is that those priests, just like you, Fr. Antony, have advised the Metropolitan right into this disaster.
You yourself encouraged His Eminence to push for autonomy/self-rule. You advised him into an uncanonical and indefensible position. Then you went and alienated the entire Holy Synod with your last escapade.
If you had been more silent, this Archdiocese would not be in the middle of this upheaval. If you had kept your mouth shut and not encouraged mistake after mistake, His Eminence would be presiding over another peaceful year in his ministry.
Fr. Antony, I blame you for all of this: the anonymous rancor, the websites, the fighting... you have caused it all because you gave bad advice to a powerful man.
Turn off your computer, and, for heaven's sake, stop calling Metropolitan Philip. You have harmed him enough already. While you are at it, make Shalhoub and Antypas do the same thing.
On second thought, you are doing such a fantastic job uniting the clergy and faithful against the Metropolitan... yeah, keep up the good work! Thank you for being, well.. you!
#8 anonymous Antiochian priest on 2009-07-07 17:25
I have two things to say:
1- This is an excellent article that best explains the complexities of the situation including the June 17th decision. The fact remains, however, that the Holy Synod refused to confirm OR deny Feb 24th. Until they do one or the other, there will continue to be varied interpretations and thus conflict.
I once again go back to my earlier comment that Feb 24th directly opposes June 17th and both cannot be considered "valid". DAMASCUS CANNOT AVOID THIS CONTRADICTION. If June 17th supersedes Feb 24th, then that needs to be defined- not alluded to or implied. Feb 24th needs to be addressed directly even if the Synod has to admit they made an error.
THE TWO DECISIONS CANNOT CO-EXIST AS OFFICIAL AND VALID DECISIONS.
Furthermore, why should we have to read between the lines and have all this interpretation? It only leads to more conflict in our church. Once again, in order to resolve this problem once and for all, Damascus must have a statement about Feb. 24th DIRECTLY, PLAINLY, and CLEARLY.
2- This comment is directed toward Fr Antony Gabriel. Why not address the accusations themselves on a point by point basis? You have just as much opportunity to state your argument and rebuttal. In fact, I am sure everyone here would like to hear your point of view and thoughts.
(Editor's note: Your supposed contradiction between February 24th and June 17th rests on one false assumption: that the word auxiliary exists in the former, but not in the latter. Does it exist in February 24th? It does only in the Archdiocese's translation - a translation offered by none other than Metropolitan Philip himself. Oops. In short, June 17th affirmed February 24th and expounded on it: and the word "auxiliary" is absent from both.)
#9 B on 2009-07-07 17:56
A HEART FELT THANK YOU not Retirement....
I have said this in another post and I will say it again...Fr. Antony Gabriel lives the Gospel and the fruits of his labor are shown by the parish of St. George, Montreal.
In over forty years of MINISTRY the parish has thrived like a fruitful vine. Outreach to the new immigrants and elderly, jobs for the unemployed, ministering to the sick and bereaved, educating the youth in the parish and university setting as a lecturer at McGill University on Orthodox spirituality. Standing room only at liturgical services. This is "living the beatitudes".
Gossip, innuendos, character assasination are downright mean. Sarcasm (Fr. Wylekiote?)and cynicism are witty...Everybody is a critic but walk in someone's shoes who has been a conduit for change and you will appreciate the sacrifice and hard work.
#10 George from Montreal on 2009-07-07 18:01
Barely on topic, what is an Economos? A treasurer? A penitentiary? Or? Thanks, Bill
#11 off2 on 2009-07-07 18:09
Fr. Antony (if you really are he),
Since your comment clearly doesn't apply to Mark Stokoe (he isn't publishing anything anonymously), how about if you give him an interview and set the record straight?
Also, I just looked at theantiochian to see if you also posted the same comment over there, since "Admin" is anonymously posting slanderous and libelous statements about Mark Stokoe, as well as several of our Diocesan Bishops. Sadly, I wasn't surprised there was not such a post from you.
By the way, nice job prooftexting the desert fathers. Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised, since it seems you like to play around with the text of documents.
#12 Jimmy the Greek on 2009-07-07 19:02
The present controversy in our Archdiocese can indeed stir the passions. I believe that everyone, clergy and laity alike, has the freedom and even the responsibility to speak the truth. But no matter what our opinion, let it be posted with proper respect. Whether signed or anonymous, let our comments be such that we would be willing (at least at some point) to say face to face. Otherwise, our "speech betrays us." (For myself I plead guilty.)
Fr. Michael Molloy
#13 Fr. Michael Molloy on 2009-07-07 21:28
"If one does not understand my silence, neither will they my words."
Oddly enough Fr. Antony Gabriel, I had no difficulty in understanding your wife and her detailed account of your shameful actions.
"Truly, no bad event has a worse repayment than in the case of a foolish mind that is not willing to rebuke and blame itself." (Another saying of the desert fathers.)
#14 Heracleides on 2009-07-07 23:10
As long as you maintained your silence, Fr. Antony, we could have hoped to understand it as the shame-filled silence of a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. By speaking out in sucha a manner, you have shown that you possess neither remorse nor conscience. Perhaps, instead of quoting the Desert Fathers, you should have remembered another quote: "Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it."
Sic semper tyrannis,
#15 Nemo on 2009-07-07 23:19
With respect to the Russian Church and its flock in Turkey, I wonder if the Patriarch of Moscow might grant them autocephaly? At least self-ruling autonomy; then he can get him some of them auxiliary bishops! He knows better than to issue documents in Arabic.
#16 ba'ab on 2009-07-07 23:37
It MUST REALLY be Fr. Antony as he signs his name with the honorary title of "Economos". Very interesting as it seems that his priesthood has been upstaged.
#17 Anonymous Priest on 2009-07-08 06:47
Oh, Very Rev. Economos - there are so many sayings I could use in response to yours; but the one which quickly comes to mind (and I will get to the point) is..."you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time".
I assure you that whenever we chant the Trisagion (Hilko arrangement) thoughts of your new suggested text AND of YOU will prevail......until, that is, you and your traveling companions explain your actions of the Seventeenth day of June in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand and Nine.
Then - and only then - will we experience even the faint hope of peace in our Archdiocese.
#18 Another interested KH on 2009-07-08 07:11
From Fr. Antony Gabriel:
If one does not understand my silence, neither will they my words. (A saying for the desert fathers.)
As a previous writer wrote in another context, the new Trisagion is: shame, shame, shame on you.............
Fr. Antony, your silence is a friend, your words most perplexing and those of your Khourie, plain damning. In other words, this could not have been a very good last couple weeks for you.
I hardly think you throwing out the thrice unholy shame bomb in anybody else's direction other than your own, makes much sense given your reported role in The Great Damascan Document Heist Caper? (Remember the source of that slander?)
#19 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-07-08 12:03
On another topic - did you see the OCA posted it's financial statement for the first quarter on its website? That leave of transparancy must make a few hearts leap. However, it also makes me very sad to see the church financially assaulted on a continuing basis. Isn't there something in the Bible about Christians not suing each other?
#20 Kathy Erickson on 2009-07-08 14:56
Does anyonw know the reason that Metropolitan Philip seems to have caused this difficulty in what looked like a great move to enthrone full bishops in the USA? It has caused a lifetime rift among our heirarchy I fear and to what purpose?
#21 Angus on 2009-07-08 16:55
Not one of the defenders of what happened in Damascus has been able to explain in any coherent way the series of events which occurred when the American priests and their entourage got the Patriarch to sign additional documents. What were they doing? Why were they doing this? Except for Lynn Gabriel's garbled explanation (something to the effect that it's the way things are done in the middle east), there simply has not been any kind of explanation. And that really doesn't explain anything
Why is Metropolitan Philip delaying? Surely he must know that the accepted document on the Patriarch's website has to be confirmed by himself, or else he is really in disobedience to the Patriarch. I just don't get it.
#22 anon on 2009-07-08 17:39
An economos is a steward. The 26th Canon of the Holy Ecumenical Council which gathered in Chalcedon provides that every bishop have a steward selected from among the clergy whose duty it is to "see to it that the goods of the Church are not squandered, nor the reproach brought upon the priesthood."
Unfortunately, the title has become a 'dignity' bestowed on senior priests like archpriest or archimandrite, rather than an active office. Either that, or Fr. Anthony is very remiss in his duties under Canon 26, as in the absence of an outside audit neither he nor any of the rest of us can be sure "the goods of the Church are not [being] squandered", and his assistance in conveying as an official decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch a document of murky provenance that did not reflect a decision of the Holy Synod has certainly brought reproach upon the priesthood.
Perhaps Fr. Anthony will be given the grace to repent of his part in this debacle, and in fruits worthy of repentance will take the canonical duty of an economos seriously and lead the charge for an independent audit of the Archdiocese's finances at the upcoming Archdiocesan Convention.
#23 Subdeacon David [Yetter] on 2009-07-08 18:35
What is this? My Big Fat Greek Wedding where all the men are named "Nick"? George from Brooklyn, George from Montreal, yada yada
Answer me this George, since when do "holy men" forge documents and aid and abet in bribery, nepotism and Borgian style canonical usurping?
#24 Kevin Klein on 2009-07-08 18:43
I am now satisfied.
#25 B on 2009-07-08 18:45
As Mark points out, and we all now know, thanks to the Arabic erudition of the commentator offering "A Hearty Thank You", the 24 Feb. decision of the Holy Synod did not reduce our bishops to Auxiliaries (musaa`idoon), rather it stated that all bishops in the Patriarchate of Antioch are "mu`aawinoon" (a word which has the sense of "helpers").
*All bishops*, the episcopate being one, as the 17 June decision reminds us, *all bishops*, that includes Metropolitans and the Patriarch. Thus the construction Met. Philip gave in his translation is not only a denial of the fundamental equality of all bishops, but prima facia absurd. The Holy Synod being composed largely of wise and holy men, it is incredible that even a faction of nine of its members would promulgate a document which is both an assault on Orthodox ecclesiology and absurd in its content.
All bishops in the Patriarchate of Antioch are helpers makes sense, and is in accord with Holy Tradition. All bishops in the Patriarchate of Antioch are Auxiliaries is absurd and a denial of Holy Tradition.
The crisis arose not because a faction of the Holy Synod proposed a revision to the bylaws, but because Met. Philip chose to read that revision in a way that substitutes a papal model of authority for Orthodox ecclesiology, overthrows the Archidiocesan Constitution and arrogates to himself the role of super-bishop to whom other bishops are answerable. Whether the temptation to this ecclesiological heresy was presented by the 24 Feb. document arriving by fax, or had arisen earlier as a case of 'buyer's remorse' on +Philip's part at having a local Holy Synod to check his power over the Archdiocese, we will probably never know.
If both documents are read in their original Arabic (as it seems from commentators here and on other sites fluent in that language), and in the context of traditional Orthodox ecclesiology, there is no contradiction between them, nor do they have the effect +Philip and his sycophants purport.
#26 Subdeacon David [Yetter] on 2009-07-08 19:04
You make a good point about Feb 24 and June 17 being in direct conflict. However, I do not think it is actually necessary for February 24th to be directly addressed. In the history of canon law, when new canons are set down they rarely make reference to the previous canons that they are taking the place of. When two canons are in conflict, it is the most recent that stands.
Would it be great and edifying if Feb 24 was specifically repudiated? Yes! Is it necessary? NO.
#27 The Author of this Reflection on 2009-07-08 20:10
I don't know you from Adam, I heard nothing negative about you before this, and I've got nothing against you.
But I just as a "reason-endowed sheep" am deeply troubled by these differing documents. It really does seem as though the one Met. Philip got was "cooked up." I look at the sloppy, one-off version of the letterhead, the absence of other signed originals of it, and his request that it be ignored ....
You are asking for superhuman suspension of disbelief, and we normal folk aren't capable of it. Father, I take no pleasure in writing to your wife, as I did, that I cannot accept your or her word alone. But in an age where every month we read of clergy in high places who commit even carnal sins your silence isn't enough.
To prevent scandal as much as possible, St. Paul was willing to give up any rights he could claim by virtue of his long and great service. I ask you to exercise this same kenosis. Talk with us and Mr. Stokoe. Answer even hostile questions in humility and patience.
I know it is a lot to ask, but there is now no other way.
#28 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2009-07-09 03:18
They were not forgeries, they were signed and the Patriarch saw them as is. They were just probably different interpretations to get the point straight.
(editor's note: Nice try, but would you like to try to sell us a bridge in Brooklyn while you are at it? If they were authentic " different interpretations" why did the Patriarchate post that they "were not to be considered" when it posted the authentic decision? Why not then post all three, as did the Archdiocese? Unless, of course, they were not authentic, which would make them, uhm, forgeries of the authentic decision. Sorry, William, there is no way to wash the egg off the face of Englewood on this one. Better just to own up to the attempted deception.)
#29 William on 2009-07-09 06:18
If what you say is true, then perhaps we have another case of a possibly good man slipping into a very sad end to an otherwise outstanding career. Just like his beloved leader. There goes the legacy! Where goes his soul? Lord, have mercy.
#30 pelagiaeast on 2009-07-09 07:01
Oikonomou evolved from home owner to estate manager. Somebody who was responsible for all resources on the estate, a steward. Oikonomou was a medieval Eastern Roman title for somebody who was in charge of a project or institution.
As a result, Oikonomou has evolved from a manager of resources, to a manager of money, a treasurer.
#31 Heracleides on 2009-07-09 08:47
What does "leave of transparency" mean?
I was looking for the report on restricted assets, both temporary and permanent. I am not an accountant, but financials for not-for-profits normally are required to include those classes of asset, per FASB 117. (The rule also requires a statement of cash flows.) I believe they were included in other recent reports.
#32 Morton on 2009-07-09 09:05
"leave of transparency" is a typo. It should have said "level of transparency." Ooops!
#33 Kathy Erickson on 2009-07-09 15:10
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