Wednesday, December 9. 2009
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Fr Antypas is looking more and more like Mr Haney from Green Acres every day.
He wants to separate out the PARISH HALL legally for his son-in-law to manage under a separate company, which cannot be legally rented outside the parish.
A. Priests do not enter into legal contracts with their parishes
B. Why set up a separate coporation when city ordinances legally prohibit turning it int a commercial business.
C. Why pay his son-in-law to do something that a parish secretary may simply do by scheduling and processing checks (LEGALLY)
D. Why all this sham of a business? Because the faithful of St George never knewthey could not legally rent the Parish Hall to those outside the Church.
E. Fr Ayman has been running a CASH BUSINESS, where are the HALL RENTAL CONTRACTS AND THE BANK STATEMENTS?
G. Have not parishioners been asked to pay cash as well? Why? SALES TAX? NO SALES TAXES HAVE BEEN PAID.
Well Mr Haney, we are not buying it anymore!
#1 anonymous on 2009-12-09 17:12
I suggest that the Metropolitan and Bishops have a teleconference to discuss this. They shouldn't let this get blown out of proportion.
There is no reason that some simple minimum guidelines can't be established for a periodic (semi-annual) internal financial check-up by a separate committee. Maybe they can get a few CPA's in our archdiocese to work together to come up with an instruction sheet. (If a parish has the money for an external audit, then that exceed the minimum.)
#2 Anonymous on 2009-12-09 18:46
I don't know what good my commentary can bring the folks in Troy that a full blown investigation won't.
From my perspective, the Samras are nitpicking the rental issue. Not saying they aren't correct, but it would have been perhaps better to leverage the subject rather than letters to the neighbors. I can't imagine their frustration at the maligned treatment they've gotten from the priest and the Metropolitan, but there is little cause to further strap the finances. That being said, if Mr. S thinks funny business is what's hurt the churches finances, well, perhaps he is doing all he can to stop said.
When Metropolitans decide external audits are against Orthodoxy, you've found your despotic leader, and you've lost this accountant.
Glad I'm not directly involved, it is sad enough to hear about.
If someone did break the law at St. Georges, they should know the curtain has a rip that can't be hemmed.
#3 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-12-09 19:22
the good people in troy have tried everything short of turning it over to the feds, state and IRS
#4 anonymous on 2009-12-09 20:20
"Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. THOSE WHO SIN ARE TO BE REBUKED PUBLICLY, so that the others may take warning.
"I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to DO NOTHING OUT OF FAVORITISM"
I shudder to think of what would happen to the priests in most of our parishes were they found to have behaved in these ways. One can anticipate the words of the letter...
"For the sake of the Name of Christ and that of this God-Protected Archdiocese..."
Followed by the blunt announcement in the WORD,
_______ of _________ effective immediately
_______ of ___________effective immediately"
Need any more be said?
And Ba'ab, I love ya, but don't stop praying for our heirarchs! God is patient - just as he was patient with King Saul.
#5 Brian Van Sickle on 2009-12-09 20:52
I have been angry for so long about the state of affairs in this Archdiocese, but at last that anger is fading. I believe this sorry state of affairs will be resolved, probably by government authorities. In thinking about the past months, as someone, I think pointed out, it's all been related to Troy. It began because Fr. Antypas and a few others objected to Bishop Mark, and their friend the Metropolitan sought to get rid of him. The issue of finances and external audits also led back to Troy, and in this most recent series of events, the Metropolitan has sought to undermine Bishop Mark and embarrass him, all because of the situation at St. George in Troy. We must admit that Metropolitan Philip has been a loyal friend to his buddies in Michigan who increasingly have their backs to the wall in efforts to explain away wrongdoing.
By now, it all seems so unseemly and shabby and seedy. It is clear that bad mistakes have been made in the Troy parish, and nobody seems to know where the money has gone--hall rentals, housing for the elderly which should have been paid off years ago, shady characters like the Khalifes running the Parish Council, abuse of those who question the Priest.
Yes, there has been a lot to be angry about, but I now believe that all of this shall pass with time (hopefully sooner than later), as the Metropolitan will have to yield his power to a younger successor, the situation in Troy may well be solved by law enforcement agencies, and ultimately there will be accounting for funds in all Antiochian parishes.
So we all must hunker down, be loyal to our parishes, pray, and pray some more, and God's kingdom will prevail. It feels good to finally, finally have released this anger, perhaps simply come to a resignation, but yet, in this Advent season, I am finding peace in my heart.
#6 anon on 2009-12-10 13:02
Some people are more concened with the delivery of the message than the message itself!
The old addage once again proves true.
Shoot the messenger!
Fr Antypas & Fr Ayman have cause all this grief and George Samra is criticized for bringing their sins to the light.
What about the forged checks?
What about the ruse to hire Fr Ayman to rent a HALL THAT CANNOT BE RENTED?
What about the excommunicatuions?
What about the millions of dollars unaccounted for from St George Towers?
What about the external audits?
Where are the Contracts for the Banquet Hall and the Bank Statements?
Oh, yes, Fr Ayman runs a cash business that does not provide any records to the Church.
"Woe unto those who call good evil and evil good; darkness light and light darkness."
It is terribly perplexing that some people of Troy are more indulgent with all this scandalous behaviour from their priest, but indignant with George Samra for speaking the TRUTH.
#7 anonymous on 2009-12-10 13:42
Dear Brian, please remember what happened to Saul in the end. He went mad and tried to kill David, who eventually became king in his place. Let us not carry our analogies too far.
I certainly don't hope for the deposition of any priest or bishop or even of any metropolitan or patriarch, only that they all repent (commit metanoia on themselves by constantly turning to their Lord Jesus Christ, and away from anything that keeps them from Him). What we ask for ourselves whe must ask for all those we love, or are confused or even scandalized by.
#8 Rdr. James on 2009-12-10 15:14
To Antiochian Archdiocese Trustees Dr. Antony Bashir, Dr. Alan Matook and Dr. Joseph Samra, all of whom I know to be models of Christian decency:
When an Archdiocese Trustee gets up at Troy corporation meeting and declares that MP doesn't want any churches to be audited, it surely looks like a cover-up. As we know, appearances and fact can have the same negative impact on the Archdiocese, since if people believe fraud exists and is being covered up, it has an enormously corrosive effect on the good people of the Archdiocese and therefore on the Archdiocese itself. When taken along with all of the other things which have come to light over the past few months, it adds up to the strong perception that the Archdiocese is being run like a criminal enterprise, whether or not such is the case. And you as Trustees are perceived as being complicit in that enterprise, if for no other reason than your perceived indifference due to your apparent inaction.
So, gentlemen, look in the mirror and ask yourselves what you believe in and why you joined the Archdiocese Board of Trustees.
Then ask yourselves what Jesus would want you to do in this situation while His Church is being desecrated from within. Then think of how much our Church meant to your father and mother and what they would would want you to do.
May God bless you.
#9 Disgusted Life-Long Antiochian Orthodox Christian on 2009-12-10 19:19
this is all balooney and the samras are nitpicking at best. our church has done no wrong and we will continue to support our priest and council. good riddance to the samras....let them rot.
#10 Anonymous on 2009-12-11 08:51
Just over a year and a half ago the heat got turned up so high on Metropolitan Herman that he took a leave of absence and ultimately chose to retire. We can only hope and pray that Metropolitan PHILIP will see the light and ultimately decide that it is time to retire with some dignity.
It is quite clear that nothing is going to happen with regard to financial audits while Metropolitan PHILIP is the reigning hierarch of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Instead of the rallying cry for financial audits, (which apparently seem to be going nowhere), perhaps it is time to rally the cry of retire with some dignity.
#11 Anon. on 2009-12-11 13:14
My comment is simple: "Why is Metropolitan Philip looking more and more like someone who has an awful lot to hide himself?" The rough parallels to the OCA scandle are striking. A Metropolitain profits from conniving underlings who use every ruse available to cover their tracks. Not saying that's the case here, but sure looks and feels odd, doesn't it? Well, some sage advice from the Scriptures: "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap." Well, Metropolitan Philip that slighering sound in the background you hear are the sythes being sharpened. There are already two Metropolitan Archbishops in disgraced retirement...sure hope the final count isn't three.
#12 George Osborne on 2009-12-11 17:07
To the issue of the audit, external or internal, the audit is a must. If these churches are not deeded to the Archdiocese and the church holds their own deed then the Metropolitan has NO right to determine whether or not an audit should take place. If I'm wrong correct me.
If the churches are deeded to the Archdiocese then why wouldn't the Metropolitan want an audit just to make sure that each church is following the proper accounting protocol. If these churches are 501 C3, non-profit there are strict accounting protocols, checks and balances, etc... that must be followed in order to maintain non-profit status.
The Metropolitan MUST step up to the plate and give the Bishops and their respective diocese' the autonomy to... for the lack of a better term "take care of business". The trustees of each of these parishes has a fiduciary responsibility, first to God, then to their parishioners to make sure that the parish stays financially viable.
This era of "good ol' boy bookkeeping" must come to and end. If you are one of the Guilty perpetrators facilitating this evil (clergy included) I invite you to read the words of St. James -Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.-
As for the Metropolitan, "Your Beatitude, remember the guidelines laid down in the New Testament book of Titus for a Bishop or someone seeking said office...perhaps YOU should revisit it and refresh yourself, it seems some of the fruits are missing."
#13 E.A. Cisneros on 2009-12-11 17:49
I cannot believe anyone in good conscience can support St George in TROY, MI.
Obviously there is a cover-up ad MP demonstrates a large degree of Complicity by denigrating the Diocesan Bishops to protect his friend.
I cannot beieve anyone would continue to support the Order of St Ignatius or to wear the cross. Given the treachery of MP... by allowing two men to be excommunicated for seeking TRUTH and protecting someone who hides the truth.
Mr Samra should simply turn the whole matter over to the State of Michigan forSales Tax, the IRS and the FBI and be done with it before it destroys his own soul as well.
I would shake the dust from my feet from Troy and the AOCA until there is a general housecleaning...
#14 anonymous on 2009-12-20 22:01
"Let them rot?" What you seem to fail to understand is that the unchristian attitudes of all the Antypas supporters is only fueling the belief that "something is rotten in Denmark."
I pray that Fr. Joseph and all of you repent and forgive before you partake of Christ's body and blood on the feast of his coming into the world. You very soul is at stake.
#15 antionymous on 2009-12-21 09:55
There are always the tares in the church; I believe that Sergii Fudel calls it the 'dark double'. The mess in Troy indicates that nothing has changed since the thief, Judas, robbed the purse of the apostolic band. In the end these lovers of lucre will have to answer to the ultimate judge.
In looking at the situation, it is hard to believe that some of these miscreants actually think that they are Christians. Then again, maybe they don't believe in a final judgment. Hmmm . . .
Oh well, I have to be concerned with my own sin, that is enough to think about. And, of course, prayer is the best answer to the problem in Troy.
#16 Glad to not be Antiochian on 2009-12-21 21:30
I am very behind in comments and other correspondence, but this is in reply to the A Reply by Fr. Washburn, dated 11-22-09.
Fr. George, I've read so many of your postings, and you seem to be siding with MP all the time. You praise him, no matter how abusive he gets, you say we have to obey him, no matter how dishonest he gets. What hold does he have on you? After the mess in Ben Lomond, you of all people should be fighting for truth, honesty and holiness in our church.
I understand what you are saying about the original purpose of this website, and yes, the information on it has expanded to other jurisdictions, not just the OCA. I'm sure Mark can revise his statement to be more generic to all jurisdictions, because it seems that whatever happens in one, adversely affects the other, even though we are all separate from one another. Without unity within one jurisdiction, the others will never achieve the great unity that we all pray for. It also seems that many problems in one jurisdiction are ultimately happening it others, just like the TV Soap Operas - they have the same story lines with minor adjustments. That's pretty sad to think of our Archdiocese in terms of Soap Operas, but it is a fact we have to face.
However, the need to revise the purpose of this website has nothing to do with the reality of the serious mess we are in in the AOCANA, plus other jurisdictions that are either still involved in messes or have yet to be. The trouble is still there, and it doesn't matter on what forum it comes to light. This doesn't excuse your need to close your eyes and act this way just because the website purpose needs revisions. That minor task can be handled, but we'll still be suffering and troubled by all that goes on. Don't use Mark, his website and his original purpose as an excuse to ignore or pretend that the trouble we have is not there, because it is, and we can thank MP for that, especially his latest attack earlier this month on Bishop MARK. MP continues to stoop as low as he can, and he is the originator and participator in all of the troubles we are having all across the Archdiocese, along with his INNER CIRCLE of clergy and laity.
When I read your comments and letters, I sometimes wonder if you have things to hide, and that is why you support MP, no matter what he does. It's never too late to come clean, straighten out the mess, and come over to the side of truth and honesty. You will be commended and praised for being so honest and forthright.
Yes we are venting our emotions, Fr. George, because this has been such a traumatic time that goes on and on and doesn't get better. We have to vent, share our thoughts and our frustrations with others - otherwise it will literally eat us alive. We can't keep this pain and suffering bottled up inside, at least people who have real feelings can't. It's not healthy for us.
Public criticism can be positive and negative, but it must be done in order to convey our displeasure and shock at the things allowed to take place without repercussions. Otherwise people in high places will think all is well, we are happy and joyful and that we think nothing of the illegal, unethical, unchristian and dishonest things going on. We will all be called to answer on judgement day - especially those of us who knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it.
As for the Damascus decision made in June, that is clearly a joke also, as is the "telephone conference call" between MP and our local synod just days before Palm Desert. MP has shown time and time again, and with his attack on Bishop MARK, that our Bishops's authority means nothing to him, that he will continue to undermine them to protect his hidden lies and deceit, and for whatever reason, Patriarch Ignatius and the Holy Synod of Antioch are doing nothing to fix this mess. There are many hidden things that even we don't know about. I shake my head daily and say, what are we going to do about this? AND I JUST DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER.
I hope someone out there does, as time is wearing thin, and we are getting deeper and deeper in this muck.
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