Wednesday, August 19. 2009
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I had heard that when members of the EOC came to the Antiochian Church, they were ignorant of many practices, but I had no idea that they were not required to commit to basic patterns such as Confession before Chrismation or ordaination as deacons or priests, and I'm wondering how many priests actually have spiritual fathers. I know for sure that one priest I am familiar with does NOT. What a travesty!!! The Metropolitan has been praised to the skies for allowing the EOC members to come into the Church, but it is obvious that he completely failed in pastoral duties to integrate them into Orthodox practices. I have heard it said that he was anxious to bring these people into the Church because they were known tithers. So was it money he was interested in or the salvation of souls? Good question to ponder. But my main point is that his reputation as the big leader and far seeing visionary has been vastly inflated.
#1 anon on 2009-08-19 12:57
Speaking of a lack of integrity amongst the clergy... The OSB has been out for a long time. I would like to know what the people who headed up the Orthodox Study Bible are doing with the money that is coming in from the sales, and I would like to know why the volunteers who worked on it have not received a Bible, which was promised them, nor even proper thanks for the thousands upon thousands of hours put into it. Seems to me that a workman would be worthy of his hire. Volunteering for this project, for a few hours is one thing, but when heart and soul, and countless hours; a greater cost than I can express; hard labor that was asked for by no less than the head editors was put into it, month after month and year after year, and nothing, not even a word of thanks? I've seen the Bible, and yes, my work is there. Yes, I'm hurt. Yes, I'm remaining anonymous.
#2 Anonymous on 2009-08-19 15:53
Well I guess philip wants to bring the Organ into the Antiochian Church like the Greeks.
Liturgy just doesn't sound as good without an organ.
I think the is the Holy Cross tradition is it not?
(editor's note: You think wrong. There is no organ used at Holy Cross.)
#3 Organ Lover on 2009-08-19 18:24
I understand your concern but remember the entire story, the EOC wouldn't be accepted to other jurisdictions so be thankful it happened. Forgive him for trying his best to bring you back to the Church. Truth.
#4 William on 2009-08-19 18:29
That's a very good point. Where is the money going? All more the reason for an audit.
I have also noticed a reoccurring theme of converts regret not being baptized into the Church, although I am aware that some Church Fathers condemned the practice of "rebaptizing" heretics: arians, gnostics etc.
As for me, I had to go through two months worth of catechisms taught by various priests, read Bishop Ware's book and a few others, and wait a year for christmation. I was raised novus ordo/vatican 2 catholic (yes there is a HUGE difference) and my novus ordo baptism was accepted. I honestly don't remember if I was given the option of an Orthodox baptism, or it was even mentioned. As I have to come to know more about our Church and her Traditions, I have come to regret it, especially after hearing my spiritual father (a hieromonk and abbot) in dinner conversation talk about how most if not all of the abbots in America would prefer their convert novices be baptized instead of chrismated.
For a difference between the two you can see it here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13716650/Comparison-of-Rites-of-Baptism.
I think we use the same rite of baptism in our WRITE vicarite as the pre-vatican 2 Rome did, the one from the famous scene in the movie The Godfather. I would've been happy to have had that one...minus the mobsters of course.
I'm sad too, because I've seen all this in my old church and I see it has either followed me here, or got here first. What really makes me sad is that my Archbishop whom I've never met calls me a "fundmentalist" because I do all the things he told me to do through his priests and in his little red prayer book. So does this mean I don't have to abstain, fast, say the Jesus prayer or daily prayers 3 times a day and before/after meals anymore? I could've stayed in the novus ordo church for that!
#5 Kevin Klein on 2009-08-19 20:12
The poor Khouriyeh's comment about the EOC really drives home the point that MP does what he does not for the glory of God but for his own glory. It was clear of course at the time that he also did it in order to "stick it" to the OCA and the Greeks. Some of us were fooled back then, but not now.
This was just another notch on MP's "legacy belt." How many average parishioners knew how bereft of Orthodox content the rush to bring the EOC was. Thank God it has borne fruit despite that, but how much potential fruit has rotted due to lack of watering and fertilizing? How much of it has never matured?
Those EOC priests who have gone on to truly embrace the spirituality of the Church have been marginalized and ostracized by MP and his favored ones.
#6 priest on 2009-08-19 20:29
The EOC leadership were deal-makers, for sure. Certainly the deal-making included money. Someone should ask Thomas Nelson Publishers CEO Michael Hyatt these questions about the cash... and the lack of gratitude. The EOC inner circle were complex individuals themselves. He is a parishioner at Holy Trinity in Franklin, Tennessee. Nelson sells the Orthodox Study Bible. He is a prolific blogger, so let the dialogue begin. http://michaelhyatt.com/
#7 Anon. on 2009-08-19 20:42
Many were present at reception of former EOC. Definitely HASTE with "multiple" clergy "laying of hands" Ordination. In-stead, as suggested to Met.P. to assign each parish for 6 mos to a neighbor Parish/Priest. Many "Protestant" ideas still in evidence.
Tithing example in evidence and the Met. never allowed a "# of souls per parish count", as he did with other parishes than the EOC.
As to the new Bible - what a measley $50. bible could not be given to those who labored? .... You will never know as no report or cost breakdown, how many printed, etc, in any report. Typical and well learned from the Met. and his "financial" cronies. Many have learned, "Don't expect much and you will not be disappointed!"
#8 Anonymous Priest on 2009-08-19 22:17
The OSB is copyrighted by St Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, so you could assume that the proceeds are being used for their programs. Why don't you just call them and nicely ask them if they maybe misplaced your address.
And btw, my guess is that the net proceeds are pretty meager.
#9 Michael Strelka on 2009-08-20 04:46
Did you see the email circulating from Troy, MI.
There area lot of red flags on this one.
Lord, have mercy. I feel badly for the people of Troy, MI.
Check out these wonderful articles on Church Finances from Church Mutual
We need monitoring and standardized practices.
#10 anonymous on 2009-08-20 08:34
Regarding the Orthodox Study Bible, the answers to the questions raised here were in part answered at the convention. I have no idea what promises were made to contributors in advance, and those commitments should certainly be honored, but practically speaking it's a published book like any other. A lot of the sales revenue stays with the publisher, Thomas Nelson. What money has come in to Orthodox circles has mostly, I believe, come in as sales to Conciliar Press, the distributor.
John Maddex, Conciliar's CEO, mentioned the large number of bibles sold in his convention presentation, and I'd guess those sales have helped keep Conciliar afloat because they're both a department of the Archdiocese and a media non-profit needing sales to operate, print catalogs and books, pay authors, and so on.
The financial report distributed at the convention states that the actual 2008 Archdiocese expenditures for Conciliar were $10,000. For the sake of comparison, the expenditures for The Word magazine were just under $300,000. IOW, the AOCA subsidizes The Word but not Conciliar, so the latter needs to sell books to stay in business.
#11 Not All Who Wander Are Lost on 2009-08-20 11:58
The inquiry is:
"The OSB has been out for a long time. I would like to know what the people who headed up the Orthodox Study Bible are doing with the money that is coming in from the sales"
I can speak to that:
The money goes to the publisher of the Orthodox Study Bible: Thomas Nelson Press.
Not one cent of this money goes to the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Those who sell the Orthodox Study receive a commission, of course, such as various stores and book outlets.
These include Conciliar Press (subsumed into Conciliar Media Ministries), which had the exclusive rights of sale for some period.
The money earned in this way is in the bank accounts of Conciliar Media Ministries, where it is being used to advance those ministries (such as Ancient Faith Radio). We are glad to account for every dime of it.
There is nothing secret about any of this. If one of you wants a copy of the most recent financial statement of Conciliar Media Ministries, just send me a note of request (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will see that you receive it.
#12 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-08-20 12:10
Speaking of the whole story: the reason the EOC wasn't accepted into other churches is because they demanded to be brought in as bishops and then as priests. And you have to admit that the concerns of the other hierarchs who did not accept them came to fruition (e.g., Ben Lomond).
The entire story of the EOC has never been, and never will be, told by +MP, Fr. Peter Gillquist and "the Archdiocese."
In any case, even Archdiocesan insiders are openly questioning whether or not the Archdiocese should have accepted the converts. My response: too late now. If you don't like it, start your own Archdiocese without them that will fail just as this one would have had we not accepted them.
#13 An East Coast Priest on 2009-08-20 12:36
Now hold on just a minute, Anon.
Though making one's confession before receiving the sacrament of Chrismation seems to occur fairly frequently (as, after all, at my own request, I did), such a practice is questionable based on, at least, the narrow application of a fundamental provision of Orthodox life and discipline. That is, assuming that such "preparatory" confessions end in priestly absolution (thereby consummating the act as a sacrament), they are in conflict with the rule whereby only Orthodox Christians (excepting cases of non-Orthodox partners to mixed marriages) may receive any of the Church's sacraments. So, though the sealing by Chrismation of a neophyte's reception into the Orthodox Church may occur within minutes following a first confession, at the time a neophyte makes it (and thereby receives absolution), he or she isn't quite yet an Orthodox Christian, is he/she?
Furthermore, it's quite certain that those men of the E.O.C. who were installed as deacons and priests when their communities were admitted to the canonical Orthodox Church, were in fact duly ordained at the time.
Wondering how many priests have spiritual fathers? Perhaps more than a few do not. After all, Father Arseny (Soviet death camp confessor), himself a spiritual father to many, counseled the avoidance of entering into a Spiritual Child / Father relationship unless both the prospective "child" and "father" are convinced of being called to the relationship. So especially in cases of priests and deacons serving in areas of sparse Orthodox populations where priestly Spiritual Father prospects are few, it's to be expected that, their wishes notwithstanding, some priests are simply unable to find someone with whom they, together with the Holy Spirit, might find fruitful in service as a readily accessible spiritual father.
#14 Tod Mixson on 2009-08-20 13:07
i, too, am a translator. i will not be anonymous. I, too, have wondered why not so much as one letter of acknowledgement for my work has gone out.
I did it for the LORD. But it is unseemly not to receive any acknowledgement. I have chalked it up to bad manners.
C'est la vie moderne!
#15 Fr Patrick B. OGrady on 2009-08-20 13:41
There is no organ at Holy Cross, and I would appreciate it since we are Orthodox Brothers if you would refrain from making erroneous and common knowledge false statements
#16 Holy Cross Seminarian on 2009-08-20 16:19
THAT IS NOT EXACTLY TRUE - STAND NEAR THE CHANTER'S STAND AND YOU WILL BE "MOVED" BY THE I-SON MACHINE!!!!
#17 HC/HC alum. on 2009-08-20 18:50
The Mutual of Omaha article should be PRINTED in every parish newsletter.
There are many ways to "deceive" and "get your way". Take the magnificent swimming pool at the Englewood hdgtrs. Metropolitan Phillip "bragged" to my Uncle visiting yrs ago. "I paid for this with my own money not the Arch'd". Only later to learn he would get an obliging officer of the Board to recompense the Metropolitan for it. How clever and typical of many examples of Met. Phillip "planning". Who to analyze? Never appeared on any internal or Annual Arch'd financia report for that year or any year! "Do you think we are embezellers"?, he stated. No. just clever especially with NO AUDITS, thank you.
#18 Anonymous (Eastern States) on 2009-08-20 19:29
Fr. Peter Gillquist's book, 'Becoming Orthodox' left out an important chapter according to Fr. Thomas Hopko.
Before the EOC approached the Antiochians, they had approached the OCA!
Fr. Thomas told us that the OCA told them that they would consider receiving EOC clergy if they would spend a year at SVOTS in order to "learn to serve properly." I'm sure that the learning to "serve" included proper catechesis and confession.
The EOC "hierarchs" decided that the OCA's conditions were too onerous and then made their way to the AOCA.
The rest is history...
Haste makes waste.
#19 Anonymous on 2009-08-20 19:33
"He is a parishioner at Holy Trinity in Franklin, Tennessee.
CEO of Thomas Nelson. Michael Hyatt is a Deacon at Saint Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Franklin, TN
#20 Nathan Lee Lewis on 2009-08-20 19:47
Those EOC priests who have gone on to truly embrace the spirituality of the Church have been marginalized and ostracized by MP and his favored ones.
That may be true but also remember the ones who eagerly advance his cult of personality and are rewarded with the crumbs that fall from his table. There are more than a few in that syncophatic circle.
#21 Kevin Kirwan on 2009-08-21 07:08
This is simply not true. I was ordained by Metropolitan Philip in 1987. I was required to confess before I was ordained. We took it VERY seriously.
In addition, our parish was put under the tutelage of a traditional parish for liturgical instruction. (We were 90% there, but had some things to learn.) Metropolitan Philip formed a Liturgical Commission, on which I served for several years. The purpose was to make sure that the EOC parishes were getting the resources and training they needed.
The priests and deacons I know all have spiritual fathers. I'm sure, like anything else, you'll find exceptions. But I don't think this is true in general.
As of Friday morning 8/21, the bible/volunteer issue, which I believe is a simple oversight, is now being addressed.
#23 Mickey Hodges on 2009-08-21 07:29
Let me ask the question this way: Were those who worked on it given anything in return, anything at all? The agreement at the beginning was that the work would be entirely volunteer and the volunteers would receive a Bible. But years of hard work put into it, work that was used, and not a word, not anything in return ain't right at all. I don't care what anybody says. A workman IS worthy of his hire in the real world. But ... this isn't the real world.
#24 Anonymous on 2009-08-21 09:05
When you say, " they demanded to be brought in as bishops " you are not accurate. I was a member of the OCA commission dealing with the EOC from day one and they never demanded to be accepted as bishops. Indeed, they knew what the "rules" were and they humbly accepted the Pauline principle "let everything be done decently and in order."
Fr Ted Wojcik
#25 V Rev Thaddeus Wojcik on 2009-08-21 09:06
I think, agree, and believe it was good to bring them in because many of them are wonderful and doing tremendous things. I think the Metropolitan did the very best he could. With so many individuals coming in on parish levels, the longer they would have waited the more frustrated some could have become and drifted away. It possibly happened anyways, but how can you preserve these parishes (families) if you take too long. I believe and am thankful for the Metropolitan for doing it how he did it. I know it could have been better but shall we criticize? If people are still holding grudges after so many years coming into Orthodoxy these individuals should have looked at the magnitude, timing, of the situation. How could you do it? There isn't even enough laity around some of those cities to be sponsors etc.
Also these individuals who are bitter about it should have forgiven and been then thankful over so many years. "Forgive us our trespasses as we FORGIVE those who trespass against us". Do you really think that Metropolitan PHILIP did it for anything but to help spread Orthodoxy, if so you are sadly mistaken. He did it for the Church. Believe me, i guarantee Jesus Christ will understand the situation and not hold His Eminence accountable due to sponsorship.
#26 William on 2009-08-21 09:16
Though +MP doesn't attend SVOTS board meetings, as VP we can assume he's kept in the loop: that he receives reports (including financials) and was aware of the proposal SVOTS put forth just last month to essentially take over STOTS (that incited the "denials" of STOTS administration, board and alumni and the statement of the OCA SOB -- who were apparently NOT in the loop!) So +MP's action re: seminarians may NOT have been as uniformed or merciless as some comments here suggest. The OCA house is simply not in order!
#27 Not a Syro-Byzantine Fan on 2009-08-21 10:48
Clarification: When I used the term, "spiritual father," I was talking about another priest to whom a priest could go to for Confession. I realize that it is hard to find a real spiritual father, especially in this country, but I believe that priests do need to go to Confession, just as laity do. And I believe that the Metropolitan and Bishops should help in procuring a Confessor for priests. I know that other jurisdictions do this.
And as to Confession before Chrismation, I have always thought that was the procedure. If I am wrong, where can I find the "correct" procedure, if you want to call it that?
#28 anon on 2009-08-21 10:48
I developed a hypothesis that the factor that contributes the most to embezzlement in churches is the mathematical/statistical phenomenon know in finance as fat-tailed structure. In simple terms the real probability of very large donations is much higher than a reasonable human being can expect. Hence, since we are not fully aware of it/don't expect it, it makes it easier to, at least partially, disappear. The fat-tail hypothesis is supported by data, the expectation hypothesis is induced.
#29 researcher on 2009-08-21 10:54
In the life confession, absolution is withheld (at least in my own experience) until the baptism/chrismation is performed, where the words of the rite call forth forgiveness.
#30 Fr Basil Biberdorf on 2009-08-21 11:12
Glory to IC XC!
You wrote: That is, assuming that such "preparatory" confessions end in priestly absolution (thereby consummating the act as a sacrament), they are in conflict with the rule whereby only Orthodox Christians (excepting cases of non-Orthodox partners to mixed marriages) may receive any of the Church's sacraments. So, though the sealing by Chrismation of a neophyte's reception into the Orthodox Church may occur within minutes following a first confession, at the time a neophyte makes it (and thereby receives absolution), he or she isn't quite yet an Orthodox Christian, is he/she?
There are some issues I would like to address for the sake of clarification.
First, it depends on what one counts as a “sacrament” in the Orthodox Church. While it is common to refer to “The Seven Sacraments,” that is just a convention borrowed from the Roman Catholics. Through the centuries, various Orthodox listings of the sacraments have ranged from very few and restricted, to numerous and broad, depending on who wrote the list and why. Among the ones beyond the common Roman list of seven, are monastic tonsure, burial (funeral service), the Great Blessing of Waters, consecration of a church building, blessing of church bells (which are anointed with Holy Chrism), and so on. Certainly bells, buildings and water are not Orthodox Christians. Yet, if one wants to limit the list to what the Romans say, even Baptism — on everybody’s list as a sacrament — by definition, is to be administered exclusively to one who “isn't quite yet an Orthodox Christian.”
Also, catechumens are Orthodox Christians and members of the Church, even having a litany ensconced in the Liturgy for their sake, which also recognizes that they still have yet to enter into the full communion of the Church. Consider that if a man dies as a faithful catechumen, he is said to have fallen asleep in the Lord and is given an Orthodox funeral and burial.
And on the flip side, there are Orthodox Christians by baptism and Chrismation who, being excommunicated, may not participate in various sacraments.
I hope this helps broaden the issue for you, if not give immediate and plain clarification.
#31 Rev. Bartholomew Wojcik on 2009-08-21 18:06
While you have some good points, your comments miss the basic reality behind conversion to the Orthodox Church. The primary purpose of the period of catechism is purification, not even education. It is a time of repentance and spiritual formation. For this reason, in the early church catechumens had many confessions before baptism, along with exorcisms, and instruction.
As far as absolution before Chrismation, seems a little legalistic to me. So the choice is: either skip confession or do it after chrismation? As a priest I have found that confession must start as early as possible. Looking back, I can't imagine doing a first confession after bringing someone into the Church. This would have been a nightmare considering the sins people are bringing with them, especially if we are not going to baptize them "for the remission of sins."
The practice as I have seen it and used it is to do the absolution just prior to chrismation or baptism. But whatever the case, confessions need to be made before entrance into the Church with or without absolution.
Again, the period of preparation for the Church is about purification and God willing, illumination. This involves confession, repentance, understanding, prayer, exorcism, liturgical formation, formation in spiritual life, etc.
If know EOC priests who, unlike Dn. Michael Hyatt, were not given the opportunity for confession before becoming Orthodox. Nor were most lay people as I understand it.
However, for me, the real point is that if all things were done with Met. Philip's influence NO ONE would receive a real Orthodox catechism and formation in the Faith. That's because I'm not sure he knows what that truly is.
#32 priest on 2009-08-21 19:59
Is Prof Ketsesis still using that I-son Machine?....
#33 HC/HC alum. on 2009-08-21 20:33
What do you mean it's being addressed? Does this mean I finally get my Bible!? Don't bother.
(Editor's note: That is mean-spirited. If they keep their promise, albeit belatedly, rejoice you have helped them correct their mistake. In a world where there are few apologies, no repentence, etc., let us not ignore those who try, albeit belatedly.)
#34 Anonymous on 2009-08-21 21:30
There were obvious gaps in the training, etc. I attended vespers at an EOC/AOEM parish is S California in 1990. The priest didn't allow merre lay people to read "Glory to the Father...Amen." Only a priest was allowed to do that. For what reason, I have no idea. And only the priest was allowed to know what was in the parish checking accounts. In the early 90s, one of the EOC/AEOM "founders", when asked to serve as the only celebrant for liturgy at a parish where he was speaking, declined the offer because he said he hadn't really learned how to serve the liturgy yet. Those gaps still exist... and it is not a good thing.
#35 Another anonymous on 2009-08-22 06:15
Thank you for your interest in Conciliar Media Ministries and the Orthodox Study Bible. Conciliar continues to sell this helpful resource which was published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and we would be happy to provide sales and the related cost of goods information offsetting those sales to any who request it. Any other financial information is also available if requested. We are a department of the Antiochian Archdiocese but also a separate non-profit 501(c)3 with an independent board of directors. The financial transactions with the Antiochian Archdiocese have been as follows:
1. A monthly donation to us in the amount of $1250.
2. A loan in 2007 to take us through the lean summer months which was paid back from the proceeds of the sales of the OSB. On this point, we rely on donations virtually every year to complete our obligations. Right now, normal sales are simply not enough to operate in the black for the year. We have taken steps to improve that situation including the discontinuation of our magazines, staff reductions, and the pending sale of our Ben Lomond, CA facilities.
3. A designated gift from the Archdiocese of $25,000 for the evangelism project in Oklahoma City which was coordinated by Conciliar Media. These funds were simply passed through to the project.
The income and expenses of Ancient Faith Radio are separate from Conciliar Press where all donations are specifically designated and exclusively used for AFR. Ancient Faith Radio has received no financial support from the Archdiocese although an amount of $10,000 was requested in the new fiscal year beginning in 2010. AFR has also not received any funds from sales at Conciliar Press including the Orthodox Study Bible.
As it relates to volunteers who generously gave of their time to make the OSB possible, we will be communicating with our friends at St. Athanasius Academy to find out what has or has not been done for these individuals as well as what was promised to them. We would most happily provide them with a Bible once they are identified and we sincerely apologize if this important matter has been overlooked.
If you volunteered for this project and were promised a Bible and have not received one, please send me an email. Also, requests for any other information can be sent to jmaddex at conciliarmedia dot com.
Conciliar Media Ministries
#36 John Maddex on 2009-08-22 08:02
Okay, you are right, overall, that the Bibles should be sent out to the workers, and that since it was an oversight, it's a good thing. Sorry to sound mean-spirited. I meant that for me, don't bother to send me a Bible. Too much history, too much water has gone over the dam. Too little, too late. Besides, I have one. :>)
#37 Anonymous on 2009-08-22 09:06
The priest does not absolve a confessed penitent if he is being baptized. The Baptism itself is "unto the forgiveness of sins."
#38 Father Patrick Reardon on 2009-08-22 19:38
That's a "Mister Ison, Inc." Nicaea 325 Model with special sub-woofer tremello-enhanced "ancient of days" basso profundo add-on.
I recall the very pillars of the chapel resonated with its deep rich tones while the protopsalti professor and students floated on a melosmatic wave of spiritual peace, the very phronema of Orthodox tonality invading the bones of each seminarian in attendance!
#39 HC/HC alumut on 2009-08-23 04:32
thank you. please give my Bible to a needy recipient; i do not need it.
i would, however, treasure a simple letter thanking me and acknowledgeing the many hours of work which i poured into this effort.
you can respond to me off-net at email@example.com
#40 Fr Patrick B. OGrady on 2009-08-23 22:51
Met. Philip may get reports,etc. as to St Vladimir's where he is over n' over elected V.Pres. EVEN THOUGH he hasn't made ONE meeting since the Fr Joe Allen "mess". St Tikhon-St Vladimir's Seminary supposed "inter-actions" have NOTHING to do with the Met's "punishment" by not attending any Board meetings for many yars! He "never forgets", but dedicating an Auditorium in his name another matter. Or seeking to be an "expert" on Chalcedon 28 with a spec visit to the school, well "that's different"? All realize he has always been self serving,
#41 Anonymous (Eastern Diocese) on 2009-08-24 19:29
Dear Fr. Patrick,
In response to your letter posted on this website 8/2/09, I am in awe over some of the things you said. MP said he wanted everything to be public, transparent, and that we work in the light of the sun. Does squashing discussion on the need for an audit fit these ideas? Does pushing people out of the room and yanking away unknown documents fit? Does the rude and disrespectful behavior of the "inner circle" fit? Does his response to Sarah Hodge's motion to stop paying Bishop Demetri - "I don't want to vote on it" - fit?
Yes, he did have the openness to allow Ancient Faith Radio to broadcast, but it created so much openness that people not in attendance were able to hear and witness everything that went on - the good and the bad. So there was no way that people or MP could then say, this didn't really happen the way people said so. People aren't just drawing their own conclusions. They're facing the reality that the general assembly was a bust and a great disappointment.
People who have not been happy with MP for many months now, and even before then, have every right to call for his resignation and to say what's on their mind. He brought all of this upon us, forced his ideas and his power to resolve his own selfish ways, and then he balks when people oppose him? Now he has to face the consequences of his own actions.
You obviously object to people who post anonymously, and maybe you have done so also, as I am doing. We all know the track record of MP and his vengeance in the past, especially against his clergy if they even dare to say anything against him or even ask a simple question. Since the convention, his vengeance has continued to play out in the recent transferring of 3 new seminarians to a new place to study, including the family of one who's wife was about to give birth. How cruel could he be? How low could he stoop to take this out on his seminarians? Would you post with your name if you were challenging him?
Most of your comments posted have been in favor of MP - probably 98%, if not 100. Have you forgotten how he treated his 2 chancellors after their opinion report? They stood by him and the Archdiocese for over 20 years, and yet when asked to do their jobs, he proceeded to rip them apart in front of the entire Board of Trustees. Consequently we lost both of them and their years of experience. Did even one member of the BOT stand up when MP asked who of them requested the report? From what was reported, not a one. These men, Orthodox Christians, good family men, responsible and licensed lawyers, did the right thing, and where did it get them? On his bad list - which is something no clergyman should ever have, and who wants to be on his good list when he abuses people so badly. You have to realize that if you ever posted anything challenging or negative towards MP, he would be the first person to go after you, hunt you down, demote you and treat you badly, and you know that is the honest truth. That is why people do this under other names, or anonymous, as they don't want to experience any further abuse from our "chief shepherd". They're smart people and know the right thing to do.
As for the restoration of our bishops, that remains to be seen. We all know this was done in time for the convention to make himself look good, and that the wording was a big deal. Let's see what happens if one of them challenges him - let's see if they truly have the Diocesan spirit and authority to do the right thing for all of us? Or are they merely "Assistants" to the Metropolitan?
No appropriate place in the Convention schedule for a motion to restore Bishop Demetri to active ministery? If people really wanted this to happen, they would have found the place for it.
The audit was an attack on the entire finances of the Archdiocese, not just on MP. If he truly works in the light of the sun, then he would have allowed everyone to speak, uninterrupted, and he ultimately would agree to an audit. What is he hiding, or what do you know that he is hiding?
You are right about one thing. The issue of the audit will come up again and again until the right thing is done. If there is nothing to hide, then no one should be hiding from an audit.
I would like to offer a defense of Fr. Reardon. In my opinion, he has tried to be the voice of moderation in this struggle. While he has defended (sort of) the Metropolitan and his difficult role as Leader, he has also been critical of things that have gone on in the Archdiocese. He applauded the recording of the Convention (which may have revealed more about the problems in the Archdiocese than +Philip could ever have imagined--the raucous behavior, intolerance, pretense of ignorance when the question of the audit was raised, the dismissal of questions about Bishop Dimetri, the tolerance of jeering and bad behavior on the part of his supporters), he has staunchly defended Bishop Mark, and was quite frank in stating that a priest (such as we find in Troy) using his priestly authority to excommunicate those who meekly question him, should be defrocked.
Frankly, I know that the majority of priests are appalled by much of the behavior they have witnessed in the past six months or so, but they have not spoken up. I can understand their fears and reluctance to do so, but it seems to me that there is some safety in numbers, and that a united opposition to what we have seen could have some effect. Meanwhile, Fr. Reardon has suffered from abuse from Walid, and I think he has been unafraid of retaliation. He deserves to be commended for his efforts. God bless him.
#43 anon on 2009-09-04 07:03
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