Mark, are you not reporting on the Antiochian Archdiocese no more? There is talk your wings have been clipped.
(editor's note: I never had wings - most thought I had a tail, though. Aside from the usual boorish behaviour by the same people in a certain unnamed parish, which you can read about on other websites, is anything happening?)
Just a year ago, the Orthodox Parish in Puerto Rico was happily in ROCOR and began its Spanish language theological school under another name and under Metro. Hilarion. The school took off and quickly had enrollees from throughout Latin America. Now, it is seemingly under the Ecumenical Patriarch - and Archbishop Athenagoros of Mexico, Panama, etc. See new website for 'new' school:
The Guatemalan grab, if indeed this did happen, must have taken place shortly after Bishop Benjamin and Fr. Michael Oleksa's visit in January. This is a very Big political power grab here. Sad that good folks like those in Puerto Rico are getting caught up and used as players in a sad and very unchrist-like game. Lord haver mercy!
Vital to Please Post as 'Anonymous #3'
The "Power Grab" by Black Bart is on! SCOBA has become nothing more than an arm of Istanbul. + Philip cowers. + Jonah prays. All the others pretend all is normal. The Truth: Chambesy & the Episcopal Assembly is the biggest "Power Grab" Istanbul has ever attempted. Will the bishops of America "grow a pair" or sit idly by as the bishops did at the Council of Florence? The Laos will rebel and will reject a massive attempted take-over by "Black Bart." The fight has just begun!
Don't be hard on +MJ. This arrangement went down against the backdrop of the upcoming Episcopal Assembly and what kind of place the OCA might get at the table. I imagine it's a very precarious situation in which the OCA could have been squashed. It's also possible that the EP was already involved when Giron approached the OCA. I am specualting, here, but it's not hard to imagine that a lot was going on behind the scenes.
I would be shocked if 527,000 is an accurate number for the Giron group. Earlier reports indicated 50,000. Given the Orthodox propensity for inflating membership numbers by an order of magnitude, I figured that the real number was probably 5,000. How could 23 clergy possibly hold together a church of a half million souls? What "independent bishop" has ever attracted more than a few hundred?
In any event, there is now an emerging church of thousands of believers with many more possibly to follow, and they will need everyone's help to get off the ground, not just the EP.
Mark - your comment that "Bishop Basil was a key figure in the controversy that led most of the parishes, clergy and laity of the Sorouzh diocese into Constantinople’s Russian diocese in Western Europe three and a half years ago." is factually inaccurate. The former Bishop Basil took nothing like a majority of the old Sourozh into Amphipoiis with him. The Clergy split was almost exactly 50/50 and the overwhelming majority of the laity remained with Moscow. The membership of Amphipolis was/is around 300 souls, clergy and laity ,at tops. Those who did follow him are now in a very difficult position as they can't easily go back to Moscow and have no desire to be absorbed by the Greek Archdiocese of Thyatiera in the UK.
Maybe not half a million, but not zero either;
I'm frankly astonished, for several reasons. I wonder
if the Patriarch quite understands what he's getting
into; Orthodoxy hasn't had much contact with
Liberation Theology until now. It will be interesting
to see what happens.
For pictures of this group's facilities, see
(This is the Guatemala page of the Clerks of St.
Basil; perhaps they will take it down now.)
Mark, which parish are you referring to? We haven't heard a word about anything going on. Please fill us in if you know the details, as we all deserve to know if something bad is happening once again.
As for no new comments, it's possible that people have taken the Lenten season off, in order to find some restored peace after last year's fiasco. I, for one, have done the same, on the advice of my Spiritual Father, but I will be continuing my posting after Pascha. It has given me some time to reflect, to focus on Great Lent and to find some peace and joy, something we all need. This mess isn't going any where in the near future, so we can all resume things once we have celebrated the Resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, WHO loves us always, and WHO helps us to follow HIS WILL only.
Joyous Lenten Season to All of You
Mark, you mentioned information on other websites. What are those websites, and it sounds like you are hesitant to post anything new? Perhaps you can share with us what is going on. God bless you and keep you safe and well.
(Editor's note: Personally I enjoy reading
Read back a bit, and you can find all sorts of news.)
Concerning Guatemala, was there ever any real possibility for that group to join a U.S.-headquartered (and U.S.-dominated) jurisdiction, and still retain its credibility at home and elsewhere in Latin America? Joining up under the EP was the more practical move.
(Editor's note: They didn't think so last September when I spoke with Msg. Giron in New York. The fear then, as now, is that joining up under the EP will lead to inevitable hellenization, much as occured to a smaller group in Colombia recently. They had no such fears in joining the OCA. But Church politics, sorry, order, must take precedence. Because with tens of thousands waiting to join the Church, who sits where on the basis of dead empires is the most pressing question we have....)
Wish to have a better understanding of bishops, clergy. Chambesy and Episcopal Assemblies? Go here and listen to Fr. Hopko's explanation of the gospel from the 4th through the 5th Sunday of Great Lent. A great explanation of why what Istanbul is putting forth isn't what Christ preached!
I'd like to hear and understand more about Metropolitan Jonah's insistence on Washington and why the MC wouldn't go along with the bill.
It seems like everytime a Metropolitan gets his white hat in the OCA they come up with a new plan for a place to live.. From my perspective, I offer confusion and bewilderment as to how this relates to leading the church. This is in no way meant to berate Metropolitan Jonah: I simply don't understand what is right, expected, wise, or otherwise. And I'd err in favor of Metropolitan Jonah this time because he at least sounds like his title in his plan. Or maybe not cuz maybe his intention is to be uber-political?
The only example I have to go on is a Bishop who lived in apartment and priests who have lived in churches provided by parishes or supplementd by parishes.
There are some 600 members of the Deanery according to its electoral roll. Yes, it is small, but it is equivalent to the size of the Diocese of Sourozh as it was in the early 1990s under Metropolitan Anthony.
The Deanery is an integral part of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition under Archbishop Gabriel of Comana, the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriachate.