Wednesday, July 22. 2009
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Dear Orthodox Faithful,
Christ is in our midst. He is and ever shall be.
As we gather together this week for our convention in Palm Springs, I want to wish all of you safe travels and a week of peace, joy, unity and truth.
For all of you attending our convention, please spread the word around to encourage everyone to participate in as many meetings as possible to learn about our past work and our future plans. Write down your questions, read your reports, ask your questions and listen carefully to the answers. Vote in the manner you think will benefit the entire Archdiocese. Do not be afraid to address your concerns or be intimidated by anyone's responses. It's important for all of us to accept responsibility for our Archdiocese and it's future. If we sit back and let someone else do all the work, we have no one to blame but ourselves when things go wrong. Get involved and be a part of the peaceful and faithful future of God's Holy Church.
Please also be very vigilant, observant and aware of your surroundings at the hotel site. We want everyone to feel safe and secure there. If at any time, you have safety issues, please do not be afraid to bring them to the attention of either the host parish or the security team.
May the Will of God direct our endeavors. Thank you ahead of time to St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church, Van Nuys, CA., our hosts, for all of your efforts to make our week special, filled with the peace and love of God.
St. Nicholas - L.A.
#1 Samia Habib on 2009-07-22 15:21
There were several times MP asked questions looking for a response, i.e., to the convert clergy "Are you happy being Antiochian?"
The question was followed by DEAD SILENCE!
Perhaps the clegy did not verbalize everything as much as some would like, but THEIR SILENCE SPOKE VOLUMES!
They are sick of the Balamand Glee Club and Corruption and LIES.
We are a Church!
Those who are REAL PRIESTS want to be in the ORTHODOX CHURCH not lackies ...
What will turn things around?
+MP & Bp Antoun's resignation.
#2 anonymous on 2009-07-22 16:02
Well, the bishops behaved pretty much as expected, didn't they? Bishop Antoun showing all his qualifications. Single, male. I guess anyone who recalls Ben Lomond can well imagine what it was like to get a phone call from him informing one of a transfer. I hope some long overdue apologies are soon issued to the St. Lawrence parish in Felton. let's hope tomorrow is just as warm for the episcopacy as today was.
#3 ba'ab on 2009-07-22 16:33
It sounds to me like these two discussions merely confirm what has been said on this web site already on numerous occasions. First there's the blame-everyone-else strategy (especially the Synod or other clergy); then +Philip tries to equate legal pardon with moral/spiritual fitness for ministry; and, lastly, we see the arrogant, condescending attitude toward anyone who dares question +Philip or his governing of the Archdiocese.
For +Antoun to treat Father Herbel the way he did is also uncalled for.
What we have is a whole team of modern-day Diotrephes wannabes. The sooner they're removed from their positions and replaced with some true shepherds, the better.
#4 Edmund on 2009-07-22 16:51
One way to make your voice heard: Join the Antiochian Orthodox Christians for Accountability Facebook group and tell others about it:
#5 David Feliciano on 2009-07-22 18:46
True shepards? If we had any, Met. Philip would have been removed long ago. Everyone of the current hierarchs, clergy, trustees, and faithful who knew of these outrages and allowed them to go on and on and on is complicit.
If the so-called local synod does not request the resignation of both Met. Philip and +Antoun and launch an audit as soon as possible, they are just as corrupt.
#6 Michael Bauman on 2009-07-22 18:57
I've heard nothing so far to change my mind that what is required for the decency and good order of the archdiocese and Orthodoxy is the retirement of MP and Demetri and possibly Antoun together with independent audits ... not merely a stalling promise in principle to think about audits at some future date, perhaps after all the bishops have reposed. I am saddened to hear that Bishop Joseph has reportedly backed MP on certain of his ridiculous claims at an earlier meeting.
#7 Monologistos on 2009-07-22 18:59
Having been raised in a priestly family of 9 generation I have witnessed real priest. All a real priests with individuality. I love the so called "balamand glee club" and am truly embarressed by clergy and laity disrespecting there years of service, ethnic background, and spirit. I suggest the younger generation not take their lifes work for granted. If I could be a priest I would be exactly like them but that's not Gods plan for me I have learned. I truly thank each and every clergy and hierarch that has really done Gods work and sacrificed there own families for the growth of Christs Church. I hope no one criticizes me for this but I will truly not be surprised. Good is always ignored by bad in an idealistic world. God have mercy on us.
#8 Phil Nasr on 2009-07-22 19:24
Must we REPEAT that Bp Joseph is priming himselof for future Met. of America! The Old Country knows it and WE know it. Godson of Pat. Ignatius IV, a fellow Damascene? Others will not have a chance. He has been two faced since he came (unelected) to us. 26 days in Damascus and represented Met. Philip. Face the facts, God help us?!
#9 Anonymous on 2009-07-22 19:39
Interesting that Philip passes the buck on Bishop Demetrei to the patriarch! If this is true, one more reason to dump foreign patriarchs. If not, one more reason to dump the current bishops. If the patriarch can't be persuaded to accept his responsibility for Philip and Demetrei, well, just let common sense take its course. All three may have just given enough reason for reasonable people to walk away. Anaxios (x3).
#10 ba"ab on 2009-07-22 19:56
Bishop Demitri had a "schlocky" lawyer. If any wrong appeal was made, he did it.
All of you self righteous saints never had a rip roarin' drunk evening of good fun? A little "frat house" humor gone awry. Seriously, the guy is solid, balanced and intelligent. This "sex offender " stuff is way ove the top.
Did you know that if you are caught public urinating and are prosecuted you automatically have to register as a sex offender? I mean come on, this whole stuff is overkill. The guy is not a deviant or a psychopath. He is a prayerful guy who made a mistake. He has been put thru a painful 5 years, I think he suffered and repented sufficiently to lead the diocese of Mexico. I would personally love to see him back in Toledo where he belongs.
#11 Victor on 2009-07-22 20:07
Bishop Antoun has no business confronting Fr. Oliver Herbel. Fr. Herbal is an OCA priest on loan, who is serving in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest under Bishop Mark. But +Antoun has no regard for the diocesan bishops rule. He continues to be, as he has been for 26 years, a “loose canon” that Metropolitan Philip uses as his “bad cop.” ..... He has consistently talked down to the priests in a very abusive manner and has shown the same contempt to Bishop Mark. Along with his life-long buddy, +Philip, he also should be subjected to an audit, the results would surely be very revealing. The day can’t come too soon for him to retire to his “Mutron (Bishop) Antoun” apartment complex in Damascus.
#12 Disgusted Antiochian Priest on 2009-07-22 20:10
Who is Fr. Herbel? He is "on loan" from the OCA? He sounds like a plant from the left wing faction OCA.org. By all accounts, the guy was unruly and obnoxious and would not let any one else ask questions. This "wacko" dominated the meeting for 20 minutes and had to be firmly told that his time was up. How rude!!
How Bishop Antoun puts up with these bloviators is beyond me. For him to be that patient is a sign of a "true shepherd".
#13 Alex on 2009-07-22 20:21
Bishop Joseph was told at the Patriarchate to lay low and keep his mouth shut. Many see a new Phimi in his future.
#14 Anonymous on 2009-07-23 04:03
The healing to come requires fresh air and light now.
Fr John Chagnon
St. Elias Orthodox Church
In Toledo where he belongs? Sure. He can catch up old friends, maybe catch a show, plunk some quarters in the slots... Just like old times...
#16 Anonymous also on 2009-07-23 07:06
I have, indeed, had a few evenings of "a little frat house fun" and at one point or another been "rip-roaring drunk" (Ha! Just caught a typo: "...at one pint or another..." Freudian slip!"). Long ago and far away. Which is to say, I haven't been a priest my entire life.
I have never, however, done anything like this to anyone against his or her ('twould be "her" in my case) will, and, if I had, while I'd expect to be forgiven upon sincere repentance, would not expect to be serving in my present capacity.
#17 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2009-07-23 08:12
We now know all blame for the troubles bestting our Archdiocese, can be firmly placed upon the shoulders of The Holy Synod, His Beatitude, and one incompetent lawyer, that couldn't properly defend an innocent bishop who merely and quite innocently touched the back of a woman in a Casino......
Oh yeah and our own incompetent priests who have recommended to Bp. Antoun, theives, money launderers, suspected drug dealers ect. to serve as Trustee's. I am sure these unnamed priests also chose those same criminals to be a part of the Metropolitan's official entourage to Damascus. Boy these guys are in big trouble with Met. Philip now don't you think?
How comforting to have our Metropolitan and Bp. Antoun set the record straight and effectively clear themselves of any responsibility, so we can now get about the business of our newly and now more than ever unified Archdiocese.
#18 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-07-23 08:44
Your idea of what is acceptable behavior for a bishop on a rip-roaring night of good fun is quite different from St. Paul's, Victor. Consult the Pastoral Epistles to learn how a priest or a bishop is expected (and required) to behave.
#19 Scott Walker on 2009-07-23 09:22
Yo, Alex. Are you serious? Fr. Oliver is a hero for being willing to stand up and ask good questions. If you want obnoxious and rude, hang around MP for a little and you'll see and hear plenty from him.
If you want to know more about who Fr. Oliver is - and he is definitely not some plant - check out this post on the Ochlophobist's website:
"Fr. Oliver has told me since before he went to St. Vlad's (he is my godfather and the godfather of my second daughter and we have been friends since our Minnesota days some years ago) that he had in his heart to return to his native land (The Dakotas and northern Minnesota) and be a missionary priest there. Instead of chasing around the country to pursue an academic career (which he could easily have done with his academic credentials, PhD in history from SLU), he did what he had set out to do. It turned out that the AOANA was beginning work in Fargo, and +Job graciously loaned one of his best young priests to +Mark."
"Fr. Oliver's family lives a life that bishops like +Antoun know nothing of - austerity, real stewardship, counting pennies, wise financial decisions made because you have no other choice. In other words, a life not unlike that of many of our priests. When something breaks in Fr. Oliver's house he fixes it. I have helped change the oil in his car with him. If his freezer is full of meat, it is because of his wife's parent's farm or because God provided at successful pheasant hunts or fishing trips. The man's work ethic is extraordinary. He works relentlessly for his family and the Church he serves. For this Fr. Oliver gets no secret condos or casino trips (not that he would ever set foot in a casino - except perhaps if there were a fire inside and he was trying to save folks) or even the golden key chains Walid pays for that they give out to the Detroit folks at +Philipfests. But, of course, he does not ask for those things, or want them."
#20 Jimmy the Greek on 2009-07-23 09:36
In case you don't visit "The Voice of Truth and Unity" I wanted you to see this. This is the latest that +Phillip's supporters are up to:
Old friend from chicago days says:
July 22, 2009 at 4:53 am
There are quite a few posters out there who get asblolutely no attention in real life,. as well they should not.
How pathetic to spend your whole lives writing childish ditties that no 12-year-old would claim and anonymously hoping for the destruction of men whose hem your not fit to touch.
You can always leave and find a jurisdiction where the not yet registered sex offenders predelictions are for the younger more vulnerable opposite sex.
Difficult to know when and where the agents will be looking after the past two months. Remember, those of you who know who you are, you will have brought it all on yourselves.
The rest of us merely paid for the private detectives.
I have enjoyed watching the net narrow.
Easy does it, boys!
Fortify your glass houses.
This begs the question - who is being investigated?
1. Any non-supporter of MP?
2. Other jurisdictions so MP can blackmail them if they accept defecting parishes.
Both ideas have been put forward. I believe both.
This is not a church any more. This is a disgrace!!
#21 Steve on 2009-07-23 09:57
How on Earth is OCAnews "left wing"?? By all accounts, the Metropolitan was evading questions that needed to be answered and Fr. Oliver was courageously refusing to accept the evasions. God bless him for his virtuous stand in defense of this archdiocese. And what do you mean by Bishop Antoun "putting up" with priests like Fr. Oliver? Apparently the good bishop berated him, wagged his finger, and poked him in the chest. I suppose if your definition of "putting up" with someone is "not calling in the good ol' boys to break that someone's knee caps", then yes, Bishop Antoun has showed remarkable restraint.
(Editor's note: The writer did not refer to the left wing of OCANEWS.org, whatever that is ( my left hand?), he reffered to "OCA.org's left wing". He was speaking of Fr. Jarmus, I imagine. You know how "liberal" those Canadians are....)
#22 Sigemund on 2009-07-23 10:05
One's geneology has nothing to do with it, othe than perhaps greater condemnation to one who shouldknow better.
Read the geneolog of Christ. A Harlot, an adulterer, a prostitute, etc.
Each one has to accept the faith of the fathers and make it their own.
Sadly, for some it has been simply the FAMILY BUSINESS
#23 anonymous on 2009-07-24 08:01
With respect to Bishop Demetri, Victor writes:
"I would personally love to see him back in Toledo where he belongs."
Respectfully, Victor, I don't think you would love it.
How many pastors in the Diocese of Toledo are prepared, do you think, to welcome a registered sex offender to their parishes for a pastoral visit?
And when you start your count, please, be careful not to include the pastor of All Saints in Chicago among them.
No, the price to the Archdiocese would be VERY high, and I am confident our Metropolitan has the good sense to know Bishop Demetri's return would destroy the Archdiocese.
Folks have been accusing Metropolitan Philip of all sorts of personal failings lately. "Dumb as a doornail" --- significantly --- is not one of them.
#24 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-07-25 11:14
I wonder if the Patriarch knew about +Demetri's criminal record when (if?) he suggested that he serve in Mexico. Perhaps someone with connections should see that +IGNATIUS reads the police report.
#25 Anonymous Coward on 2009-07-26 19:05
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