Monday, November 1. 2010
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I am delighted by this news. The parishioners at our parish were elated when our priest read the metropolitan's letter. We couldnt be happier....bettter times, here we come!
#1 Anonymous on 2010-11-01 07:43
It should be rather clear to everyone that + Mark's removal is nothing more than a COVER-UP! All the phony excuses about attendees at the Midwest (drinking) Conventions is baloney! + Philip removed + Mark because + Mark insisted on "FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY." (Esp. in Detroit) Now, think about it; who would oppose this? Only those who could be criminally implicated!
#2 Anonymous on 2010-11-01 08:06
This is, I believe, a very objective report.
Published in the Toledo newspaper, it understandably takes a Toledo approach.
If the Toledo Blade were published in Detroit, I suspect, the report might have included some jucier bits.
#3 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2010-11-01 09:49
Isn't there enough here for an IRS audit of all those involved, prelates, dioceses and parishes? If so, this can be a tragic page in the history book? The lack of prudent financial accountability really concerns me.
Should the parishes and donors be giving the heirachs a W-9 Form when giving them money? I have great trepidation and concern for the well-being of the Diocese - what happens if there is a mass migration into the OCA?
The evangelicals continually talk about the end times coming, are these the end times of the archdiocese? I pray not, but we are here in America, as such we are Americans, and of course are bound by American law - so the old country ways are not legitimate here - am I not correct?
I see all of this as a very seriuos tragedy, and am very concerned for all involved.
#4 rjklancko on 2010-11-01 13:01
For the record the owner of the Toledo Blade is a support of Bishop MArk and parishioneer of st. elias Church in slyvania.
#5 Anonymous on 2010-11-01 13:39
Good point! After all, + Philip did say on his podcast that he had millions given to him as gifts. Gee, what an interesting way to launder money. He gets gifts, then distributes the money to who and how he wants. If you are in his graces, get a nice big bonus. Sounds like RSK to me!
#6 Anonymous on 2010-11-01 13:40
I hope many leave for the OCA. Antiochian Archdiocese ( eparchy )
is on it's way to a slow death.
Stop giving money to the millionaire bishop.
#7 Iskandra Tannoue on 2010-11-01 14:23
Once again, an "anonymous" person has published a lie about the +Mark case. For the record, the owner of the Toledo Blade lives in Pittsburgh, PA, is not Orthodox, and his name is John Block. The person to whom "anonymous" is erroneously claiming to be the owner of the paper, is Ron Royhab. He is the Executive Editor (Emeritus) of the Blade. I have noticed a clear and present consistency of these "anonymous" contributors. Almost all of them are wrong in what they are claiming to be the truth. I will sign my name, knowing that I will catch hell for saying anything. "The truth will set you free."
(Editor's Note: Thanks for the clarification. You will never "catch hell" for telling the truth. You receive the kingdom of heaven for doing so, for the truth sets you free. No one said the ride there would be pleasant through. Worthwhile, but not necessarily pleasant.)
#8 Ron Skulas on 2010-11-01 14:24
You all are just taking this wrong and looking for something there when most likely nothing is there. (not saying there isn't but just saying most likely)
Do I personally care if an ex-felon is a board member of a church. No because I believe he is a good person most likely just with a messed up history. Do you not realize you all are being hypocrites! A sin is a sin and we are all sinners. If you think for one second another ex-felon has never participated with the archdiocese before you are sadly mistaken. They are people who screwed up and thank God back in the church for correction and direction.
You are trying to now say this is a cover up? What a joke. You will never be satisfied, even if an external audit goes through successfully and maybe minor issues appear you will take full advantage of them.
Look at the recent OCA audit, does that look pretty? Mmm. Restricted areas they could not see. Big wip! Do I care, no...because I trust the donors and the administration with those funds.
Why don't you all focus on your own issues in the OCA and stop trying to mess AOCA up worse than it already is.
It's not bad anymore because MARK is gone. It can only get better now. But again, you want to dig for the truth...I hope you find it one day when you realize the truth is the fact that you wasted your time searching for nothing. If you prove me wrong than I will humbly apologies, accept the truth, and pray for understanding and forgiveness.
I'm sorry, I'm frustrated at this moment because it is beyond comprehension as to why you conspiracy theorists dwell on darkness...the same 10 people seem lost looking for nothing more than a false hope of illegal activity. Kevin Kirwan, Antionymous, Anon, a new guy named Mark F?, and a few others...oh yeah that Gail lady who no one wants to sign her petition. Give me a break.
His Eminence removed Mark because he was not fit for the diocese and caused it to crumble, enfluenced by Basil and causing the entire archdiocese to become seperated without one face (i.e. image). They were changing it so much, I'm surprised i didn't here them start to talk regularly with the words "Thou, Thy, Thine, etc..."
However, if you want to blame it on arab/convert reasoning too, well I don't blame you...it's much like the way I feel when people take Israels side of the debate I guess thinking they were right in stealing land and the Arabs always wrong. (this is an example of bigotry and emotionally offensive feelings).
Like the Jerry Springer, because that is about as ridiculous as this forum has gotten, i will leave you with my final thought...
If you think it is arab/convert issues...stick with that.
If you think it is financial issues due to the Famous Article by the Highly Popular Toledo Blade with a fan base of 1...stick with that.
If you think you have no clue, i suggest you just pray and go to church and not read this stuff else you will be brainwashed by these people spreading false facts, possibly on boths sides of the isle.
It's almost like looking for Bigfoot on this website, no offense Mark S. but that is the way it's become. A new headline changes these peoples opinions.
It's because of lack of uniformity and the dangers of these bishops becoming to big for their own vestments. Also it's not Pope PHILIP, it's Metropolitan PHILIP. That's how disillusioned you have become. I loved that one comment from that Catholic person saying they left Catholicism because it was too much "Order". What a typical western Christians answer (stating the facts).
Forgive me for being offensive but it is frustrating to read this garbage take another turn in the story...the very same turn that was the reason 10 months ago.
I thought it was because it was Bishop MARK was a convert? I guess I'm wrong, it's because these comments say it is because of financial issues and an ex-felon. Make up your minds and be consistent. Atleast the Metropolitan has been consistent and remained consistent in getting Bishop MARK out!
God bless everyone cause this site made me irate this afternoon.
Pray for me a sinner:)
(Editor's note: I am afraid you have left most of us confused. One thing that shines through is your frustration - but at whom, I am not sure - nor does it seem, are you. Best of luck, but if you think accountability is like looking for bigfoot, are you in for an unpleasant surprise!)
#9 Happy but frustrated again on 2010-11-01 14:43
I'm frustrated at this entire mess, sorry for going off. I just don't see anyone move on until we are one jurisdiction...maybe that's why Christ is allowing this...to get the ball ruling?
(Editor's note: You would not be the first to see the turmoils in American Orthodoxy as God stirring the pot, to see what rises... nor are you alone in being frustrated. But that is why God gives us friends - to vent without exploding, or scalding those around us. And you are among friends here, even if, like every family, we often disagree...)
#10 Happy at Mark on 2010-11-01 15:01
After 60 years anyone can save millions with no expenses. That is not a legitamite argument cause he has a few million. Its quite easy to do math. If people of the OCA know more than they should join AOCA and help us. Quite trying to market your jurisdiction like a happy meal.
(Editor's note: What planet, or rather, country do you live in? And to what Orthodox church do you belong? "Anyone can save a millions with no expenses?" I'd love to see that math, friend! And I don't think people in the OCA are trying to sell you a happy meal; they are trying to share their hard-won experience with many of these same problems, so that you don't have to go through the pain and trouble and years of turmoil we have just begun to emerge from... I'd love to see the AOCA and OCA merge someday - but freely, openly, transparently, with accountability and integrity, uniting towards a common goal, ( a more fully united autocephalous church in America) but not turning our backs towards anyone. Would Damascus welcome that? I think many in the Old World would, as a sign of their success. What do you think, Happy? What does the OCA need to do to make it more likely, rather than less?)
#11 Happy on 2010-11-01 15:23
Thanks for clarifying it, however I'm sure as an editor he knows this article was published and probably told them to write it, especially that way. Its looks like there is a conspiracy on the other end of the stick too.
(Editor's note: Obviously, you don't know David Yonke, who is a fine religion reporter - and hardly a tool of conspirators.)
#12 Happy to Ron on 2010-11-01 15:29
If you prove me wrong than I will humbly apologies, accept the truth, and pray for understanding and forgiveness.
#2.1.1 Happy but frustrated again on 2010-11-01 14:43 (Reply)
A good Christian sentiment and one which I am sure all honest participants in this discussion will agree upon.
We only ask that our self admitted, Millionaire Metropolitan give an honest and independently verified accounting (as in extrenal audit) of Archdiocesan funds.
While the professed modesty of not even owning the jacket upon his back is worthy of all praise the other issue of thousands in cash stuffed envelopes and checks given directly to him is something of a contradiction in humility? His adamant unwillingness to give no one an account of this.. deeply troubling?
How about just keeping and even possessing all clothing no questions asked? Just let us know where all the millions are and how he got them? Where some of it already went? And where is the rest really and truly going?
For such a concession I say we throw in socks and extra t-shirts again no questions asked.
#13 Kevin Kirwan on 2010-11-01 16:15
Someone mentioned money laundering in one of the preceeding comments.
ALL, of the OCA and Antiochian Parishes should be investigated by the IRS... period!
#14 anon on 2010-11-01 16:29
I pray that Bishop Mark becomes the Bishop of the Diocese of the South inn the OCA...Can you imagine what an asset he will be esspecially now that we have men like Bishop Melchizadek on the Synod and people like Bishop Seraphim may soon be gone.
#15 STEPHEN on 2010-11-01 17:06
It's ironic (and speaks volumes) that you can't extend the same forgiveness and compassion to Bishop Mark that you do to a convicted criminal who still threatens people with harm, in writing, when they disagree on his take on church problems. Convicted felon or not, threatening to harm people isn't what the gospel of Jesus Christ calls the fruits of repentance.
#16 Stymied on 2010-11-01 17:27
Ron Royhab and his wife Roberta are staunch supporters of Bishop Mark. Roberta wrote a letter trying to get the metropolitan to keep mark in toledo. dont tell me for a minute that the editor in chief couldnt get his connections on the toledo blade to write a piece in his favor...please! Ron Skulas, dont be naive.
#17 Anonymous on 2010-11-01 17:33
"better times, here we come!"
Would you care to explain what you consider "better times"?
Is it that you would like liturgy to begin at 11am and last 30 minutes? no vespers? no special services? nothing to feel guilty about? Perhaps more parties? bingo?
I am curious why some of the "anonymous" people do go to church?
#18 Carol Yonov on 2010-11-01 17:42
#19 Anonymous on 2010-11-01 17:50
Several months ago, the one who signed his posts "O.F.F.C.D." said that he had found "another source of funding that none of us could touch." Perhaps "gifting" is the source of funding he was alluding to. I've often wondered if O.F.F.C.D. is Fr. Antony Gabriel because he is an "old friend from" Metropolitan Philip's "Chicago days." It would make sense for someone who is in charge of fund raising to talk about funding sources.
#20 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-01 19:10
Whatever you say Walid
#21 VSO on 2010-11-01 19:13
Once again, the "anonymous" writer has failed to read and respond to the facts--the real facts, of the situation. Ron Royhab, who for the purposes of full disclosure, is a friend of mine from my earlier days in Sylvania, is the Editor Emeritus. That means that he no longer works there at the Toledo Blade. He was also not the Editor in Chief, but rather the Executive Editor, so "anonymous" got that wrong also. To question both Ron's and David Yonke's integrity is beyond the pale. "Anonymous" should be ashamed for spreading falsehoods. I would ask "anonymous" to pray for the entire archdiocese, and come to the realization that this is an ugly stain on Orthodoxy, as it is yet another instance where people are getting into way of God's work being done. As a Subdeacon, I have brought several people into the Holy Orthodox Church, speaking to them of the faith in radiant terms, and now this unfortunate incident is what they are seeing. The catechumens that I am currently working with can only shake their heads and wonder if the faith that seek can be truly found in the human part of the Orthodox Church these days. In God there is perfection, not so in man. I urge everyone to put away the hate and the anger, and pray for a just and equitable resolution to this situation.
#22 Ron Skulas on 2010-11-01 19:32
Ron Royhab has not been the editor in chief for several months as he retired several months ago and is very busy these days enjoying his retirement. Others are signing their names, why aren't you?
#23 Carol Yonov on 2010-11-01 19:46
No no Mark, your wrong! I was at MacIvan's today, for lunch, and I bought my kids the OCA Happy Meal. Inside the box, was a little Herman Swaiko doll!
(Editor's Note: That's from the Episode VI collection: "Revenge of the Despots". It's the film where he tells Gregg Nescott : "Gregg, I am your father...." But then comes Episode VII "The Return of the Accountants", which ends happily with a clean audit and a large AAC, where the ghosts of Metropolitan's past celebrate with us...)
#24 no name on 2010-11-01 19:47
I was baptized as a baby in the Antiochian Orthodox church. My godfather was a former member of the BOT many years ago and did all he could to help met. Anthony Bashir. But he stayed as far away as he could from met. Philip. There are many old timers who know what met. Philip is really all about and share the same opinion. Those early days, when met. Philip was a deacon, people remember what happened.
The light will shine on all the misdeeds and there will be no where to hide.
#25 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-01 20:46
WARNING: ALL ANTIOCHIAN CLERGY
YOU MAY BE NEXT TO BE KICKED OUT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE
This is the latest story of Met Philip's continuing acts of ecclesial terrorism. More acts of terror are sure to come, so best to start keeping a tally now.
Fr David Moretti of St George's parish (notably, an old Arab immigrant parish of Bp Mark's former diocese) in Terre Haute, IN, is being released (read: kicked out) of the parish and the Antiochian Archdiocese altogether. He was informed that he has one month to pack up his family (he has a wife and young kids) and all of their belongings and get out of the parish's rectory. Though his letter of dismissal did not arrive in a Christmas card, he is being kicked out of his home during Advent, right after Thanksgiving. Nice.
His purported grave offense? He was supposedly in violation of the "dress code" of the Archdiocese. How so? What dress code? He wore an Orthodox cassock outside of the confines of the parish. It was supposedly for this that he was deemed in violation of the "dress code" and booted out of the Archdiocese entirely. What makes it worse is that he actually received a phone call from Met Philip's office giving him a directive that he must immediately cease from wearing a cassock outside of parish grounds, and he obediently complied with the directive, instead wearing a Protestant-style clergy shirt as he was commanded. However, he was nonetheless dismissed, citing his violation of the dress code as the reason.
Better send out the warning to all Antiochian clergy: They face being kicked out of the Archdiocese if they dare to wear a cassock off parish grounds!
Better yet, send out a message to all Antiochian clergy that they ALL should wear their cassocks off the parish grounds. The Godfather can't ax them all.
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY: SUPPORT THE MORETTI FAMILY. Fr David just lost his income and his home right before Christmas, and he has a wife and kids to take care of.
(Editor's note: OCANEWS.org has confirmed that this is indeed true, that Fr. Moretti has been removed from his parish, released from the Archdiocese, and for the reasons cited here. Fr. Paul Albert has been removed his parish of 20+ years near Toledo, and assigned to Terre Haute. According to sources close to Englewood, additional parish reassignments are to be announced throughout the Midwest by Englewood in the coming days.)
#26 Potential Convert Scandalized by Met Philip on 2010-11-01 21:18
The truth is that Met. Philip's days are numbered because of his age, and the Toledo Diocese will get a thorough scrubbing once the new metropolitan is in place. Frankly, Met's supporters do not have a candidate who will keep things as they are. Whether you pick Joseph or Basil or Alexander or someone from the old country (don't rule that out), none of them will permit the shenanigans of the Philip era to continue.
So, I recommend that the gloating over Mark continue, because all it does is reenforce to the rest of the Archdiocese how much the Midwest needs a flush out.
A friend told me he thinks Philip will last just long enough to watch the Toledo diocese go back into schism rather than grow with the rest of the Archdiocese. They have been the longest hold-outs to the liturgical renewal in the rest of the Archdiocese. Mark tried to move them forward, but they have resisted with all their might. In the end, Philip will see his greatest accomplishment go up in flames, because he didn't feed them. The rest of the Archdiocese has grown, and they are stuck in the past.
#27 anonymous on 2010-11-01 21:40
"However, if you want to blame it on arab/convert reasoning too, well I don't blame you...it's much like the way I feel when people take Israels side of the debate I guess thinking they were right in stealing land and the Arabs always wrong. (this is an example of bigotry and emotionally offensive feelings)."
Shame most Antiochians have lost their Aramaic language and ethnic identity to the extent that they consider themselves "Arabs." The Muslim Arabs are the invaders and stealers of the land from the Aramaic Christian native population. As far as the Israelis, a thief who robs another thief (Islam) who stole from the rightful owner (us) has the stronger title than the thief (Islam) he robbed.
#28 Stockholm Syndrome on 2010-11-01 22:32
In terms of succession planning, we really need to move away from the notion that the current and some future Metropolitan is rightly some kind autocrat ruling a pusillanimous, fearful and subservient synod, clergy, and laity. Rather, in orthodox tradition, the office of Metropolitan is conferred upon the bishop of the first see and he is the honorary chief of a synod of peers. The fact that the AA had evolved from having a single bishop-Metropolitan may create the illusion that autocracy is the norm in our ecclesiology, it is not. The same model applies to the patriarchies and their synods. Neither ought they rightly be autocratic pontiffs.
We need to keep the notion of "first among equals" in our sights. We need to reshape the notion of obedience to include the notion of responsibility. People ought not disconnect their brains and defer all responsibility to some autocrat ruler. The people have the responsibility to live out their faith in their lives and also to discern right from wrong. People do this anyway but usually it's too little, too late. Without consistent practice of such principals, we end up in crisis mode.
If we don't move toward a strong unified continental synod of real bishops whose loyalty is rightly to the people and clergy in North America, then we'll continue to struggle with interference from abroad for too far into the future. We'll continue to struggle with personality-based power plays at home.
#29 MWP on 2010-11-02 05:21
I do but he didn't want to move to the other diocese.
#30 Happy on 2010-11-02 05:29
You are absolutely correct.
The diocese was making progress, but the old guard who wants gambling and belly dancing instead of Vespers, Orthros and Liturgy seem to have gotten their way for the moment.
They need their exalted egos constantly stroked for running the Bingos and Texas Hold'ems
The door is now open to return to the ghetto clubs (I refuse to use the word church in this instance).
Well for those who want to be ORTHODOX there are CHURCH OPTIONS.
For those who want the GHETTO, you can now try to pay the bills on your $3.00 a week.
#31 anonymous clergyman on 2010-11-02 05:52
I agree w/ our editor Happy. Even though I disagree with you, you are my brother in Christ. Thanks for the effort to engage....
#32 Antionymous on 2010-11-02 06:41
Remember English logician, theologian and Franciscan friar Father William of Ockham (Ockham's Razor) lex parsimoniae - "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one." The principle of Occam's Razor recommends selecting the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions.
We know that +MP has "Millions" not having paid any tax and he has refused an audit even "drawing a line" where the internal one can not go. The answer is simple TAX EVASION!!!
Cuba Gooding Jr is not usually referenced in this forum but I cannot help myself: To +MP...."SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!"
#33 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-02 06:42
God knows I cannot and will not defend +PHILLIP’s actions, but those who wonder how a monk/bishop/Metropolitan can accumulate millions of dollars are apparently not aware of the letters of request that go out from his supporters on a regular basis on the occasion of his birthday, anniversary of ordination, anniversary of his elevation to Metropolitan, etc. These letters seek to raise funds in order to give the Metropolitan gifts of cash in very large amounts (often with goals of $100K).
I dare say there are many priests who ignore these letters and never mention them to their people.
#34 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-11-02 07:13
Some years ago, there was a very wise, old priest in the AOCA who was ordained under Met. Bashir. He loved Met. Antony who was a down-to-earth, lovable, mover and shaker among the Arab Orthodox. At that time, there were maybe 100 parishes in the AOCA and this was the 1960's. When he died and Met. Philip was elected (he was the priest in Cleveland, O.) everyone wondered what type of metropolitan this person would be. He began as being very dynamic and omnipresent. There was great hope for this new leader of the Arab Orthodox. Soon, however, Met. Philip wasn't satisfied with his headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. He began assessing all the churches to fund a new headquarters in Englewood, NJ in a neighborhood where only mansions were built. Met. Philip then began assessing parishes for this and that and there seemed to be no end. When a parish did not respond, the priest would receive a call from Met. Philip. "Look, we assessed your parish for XXXX and we have not received your payment. Father, either we receive your assessment or we will have to reconsider your leadership there." This wise, old priest remarked to many, "This new metropolitan is only interested in money. What kind of Archdiocese is he building?"
#35 Anonymous on 2010-11-02 07:48
Met. Philip would not dismiss a priest for just wearing a cassock in public; there is apparently more to this. We have the problem with more and more converts "playing" old country priest by wearing their cassock everywhere; growing long beards; wearing pony tails and stove-pipe hats. It could be very well that this priest thumbed his nose at + Philips' request. Orthodox FUNDAMENTALISM is back fueled by ROCOR types and converts who think "playing" old country priest in public is normal to American Orthodoxy.
(Editor's note: Amazing. On one hand you dismiss the reason given, and then complain that the reason cited for the dismissal is indeed a problem!)
#36 Anonymous on 2010-11-02 08:02
Is it really true that Fr Moretti was "removed" for wearing a cassock? Can someone verify this? This is doubly scandalous to me! Are priests also "removed" for growing beards? I am in utter disbelief!!! Why does +Philip insist on his priests wearing protestant wardrobe? I am trying really hard not to fall into despair....but it seems as though we have a Metropolitan who is out of control!!!!!
#37 Michael on 2010-11-02 08:09
It isn't "Protestant wardrobe." In any country where Orthodoxy infiltrated, it absorbed the culture it was in. In the Eastern countries, wearing an outer garb like a cassock, was and is normal. Go to the Mideast today. In the West, the suit was and is the acceptable garb. Even the sainted Met. Tikhon insisted that priests wear suits in public, shave and cut their hair. This resurgence of ORTHODOX FUNDAMENTALISM is not real Orthodoxy. It's what is referred to as, "Smells & Bells" without real depth. The Western world doesn't need convert priests parading around looking like Muslim clerics or strange characters belonging in the Mideast!
#38 Anonymous on 2010-11-02 08:47
Ron, thanks so much for correcting Ron Royhab's ex-title position.
#39 Carol Yonov on 2010-11-02 08:55
When I wrote my comment, I did not know about Fr. Moretti. I think that his treaatment is indicative that this is not an Arab-Convert battle as certain people claim, since the visiting clergy from Syria I've met all wear riassa and hats in public, even here.
When the "Toledo People" say "Arab," they mean a certain kind of not quite American yet not quite Arab. It is an in-between culture which is not part of the Archdiocese's real growth and so is becoming a shrinking minority. The bishops, even Met. Philip for the most part, know this is the case and have shifted their dioceses towards a more Traditional liturgical approach that appeals to converts and new immigrants alike.
I think met. Philip will likely do some symbolic moves to appease the Toledo crowd, then he will go back into his shell and continue to ignore all but his closest friends as before.
Let's not forget that the next metropolitan will get all of Philip's official powers to do with as he pleases, plus the full support of the Synod of Antioch. He will also have a lot of under-employed seminary grads to put in parishes where the old priest forgets who the new boss is.
The Toledo Ghetto will not last. The Holy Synod is aware of what is going on, and they will back the new metropolitan in changing everything. All we need to do is remain faithful and keep breathing.
(Editor's note: While I agree one must remain faithful, and keep breathing, I have to ask why you think the Synod in Damascus, which just gave ("uanimously", as the Metropolitan points out) +Philip carte blanche to do as he wills, will turn around and "back a new Metropolitan in changing everything"? On what do you base this rather large assumption? Moreover, what makes you think that a new Metropolitan will want to change anything, let alone everything? I would like to know the basis for these assumptions.)
#40 anonymous on 2010-11-02 09:03
Ah - so you've also noticed that the grammar, spelling, and syntax of Walid's written correspondence bears a striking resemblance to those emails submitted by Mr. Happy (as do the vast majority of the "anonymous" pro-Despot Philip comments). Truly a choir of one.
#41 Heracleides on 2010-11-02 09:12
First, I'm offended because I was called Walid. That is funny. Secondly, any person who deals with finance can easily save a few million over the course of 60 years. Let's average the Metropolitan made $40,000 over the course of 40 years. I'm averaging low because of the span of 40 years. That in itself is $1,600,000. If he reinvested this money into other forms of investment than he could earn interest too. He already confirmed he has a few million and he is leaving it with the Archdiocese after he passes away, what more do you want. It's his word. If he doesn't leave it behind than I will start to think otherwise but until then it is publicly addressed this money is going to the Archdiocese.
My name is not Walid too, it's Wall-E.
(Editor's note: While the math works, in a world of no expenses, personal or otherwise, it is not a world most of us live in. I wonder, for example, and by comparison, how many of the 5100 Roman Catholic bishops in the world are millionaires after 40 years of service? Or, for that matter, how many other Orthodox bishops in the US are?)
#42 Happy on 2010-11-02 09:30
For those of us outraged at Metrpolitan Philip's unseemly actions, we can contact the Patriarchate via the following means and rationally and clearly state our reasons vis a vis +Philip's actions.
Patriarchal Synod Secretary, Archmandrite Daoud Ibrahim: firstname.lastname@example.org His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatios IV: info@anti...ochpat.org; international fax: 011963115413133
I do not know what effect these communications will have, but certainly the volume of them will offer some clarity to the Synod, and no disrespect intended to the online petition which I supported, but they are probably of marginally more effect than that.
"If you think for one second another ex-felon has never participated with the archdiocese before you are sadly mistaken."
I'm sure everyone is just overjoyed.
#44 Michael Strelka on 2010-11-02 09:49
Maybe His Eminence is sick and tired of the hairy, smelly crowd. Why is the concept of clergy that are clean, pressed and presentable, an out of control moment for +Philip?
I'm sick of clergy looking like homeless terrorists representing out Church. This is America, we have standards.
(Editor's note: LOL! You know, over the years, I have worked in food banks and around tent cities and homeless shelters and not once, not once, in all that time have I seen anyone in a cassock. Moreover, the last time I saw any picutres of the 9/11 terrorists, not one was wearing a cassock. Empirically stated, perhaps our priests should begin to dress in cassocks so people would know they are not homeless, or terrorists! I mean it is the guys in pants and shirts who seem to live on the streets and blow things up....)
#45 no name on 2010-11-02 09:50
Absolutely (un)believable. So much for those here who are naive enough to believe that they, their priest, and parish can ride out Philip's Reign of Terror until the Despot commences his journey to receive his just reward in the afterlife. Without a doubt this is only the beginning of the bloodletting... I wonder how long until +Basil joins the ranks of those purged.
Mark - I hope you will give full coverage to this travesty rather than letting it remain buried in the comments section. My prayers to Fr. David and his family. If someone could please post an address, I would be more than blessed to send a monetary gift to this holy Priest and would encourage others to do so as well.
#46 Heracleides on 2010-11-02 09:52
For whatever it may be worth, Fr. Moretti was warned about this many times, not solely for wearing the cassock while outside the church (this is a decades-old dress code issue which is well known to all the Antiochian clergy) but also wearing the qaloosi (kalimavchion) and a pectoral cross (which is only worn by archpriests in the Antiochian tradition; Moretti is not an archpriest).
He has flouted this rule for years now, even since seminary, most especially by making widely public such an appearance via photographs on the Internet. This is no sudden revelation. He must have seen this coming.
While we may disagree that these should be the rules of the Archdiocese (I certainly think it's silly), this is nothing new, and the bishop is well within his rights to determine what his clergy are supposed to wear. This is not a dogmatic issue. The problem here ultimately is one of obedience. I think it would be very hard for a cleric insisting on dressing in a particular way in defiance of his bishop's repeated commands to claim to be obeying God rather than man.
Fr. Moretti chose to die on this hill. But was it worth it?
#47 Abd'al-MasiH on 2010-11-02 10:25
Why does he have to remain in your jurisdiction for you to forgive him (assuming he even needs forgiveness on this score--a big assumption in my book)? That makes no sense to me. Shouldn't we look kindly on bishops regardless of their jurisdiction or does personal loyalty trump that? If so, why? I cannot follow your reasoning here.
#48 A Midwest Observer on 2010-11-02 11:14
Out of control personally? Perhaps, but he's very much IN CONTROL of the archdiocese. So, either people accept that and lean over a barrel, or people leave or people work to remove him (not sure how that would go). Otherwise, this is what you have. The only difference between now and yesteryear is the internet makes it more difficult to hide misdeeds.
#49 A Midwest Observer on 2010-11-02 11:18
Could it be that Fr. David Moretti's real offense was posting on his facebook account pictures of Bishop Mark washing the feet of the clergy and laity at St. George Terre Haute and commenting on the servant-like qualities of our former bishop?
The truth is being revealed for all to see. This is a purge. The victims are decent, honest, Orthodox clergy who minister to the faithful and proclaim the Gospel, their families, and the Orthodox people who are, through them, trying to work out their salvation. All for the benefit of a few "business as usual" folks who are busy lining their pockets at the expense of the Church.
A wise woman told me once,"if you desire to follow Christ, you should expect to be persecuted." God will save this Church, of that I have eternal hope and no doubts whatsoever. Before there are more victims like Bishop Mark and Fr. David, we must stand up, open the curtains and let the antiseptic of sunlight stream in. Those things that are good and decent in our Archdiocese (and there are many!), and in the Orthodox Church will remain and be stronger for it. Those things that are evil, will be exposed and can be rooted out.
My prayers are with Fr. David and the entire Moretti family, and with all the faithful, priests and bishops in our Church.
Lord Have Mercy!
#50 David Najjar on 2010-11-02 11:53
Unless Mr. Kalife has acquired the services of a native-speaker of English as a copy-editor to review his posts to ocanews.org, I do not think that Happy is Walid Kalife. Samples of the esteemed Honorary Trustee's prose were widely available online during the last round of this controversy.
#51 DNY on 2010-11-02 11:55
Michael, what often are called -- with obvious disdain, I have to agree -- "dog collars" for a long time now are the expected norm for the majority of Orthodox clergymen in the U.S. Although proper Orthodox clerical garb should be the norm, lamentably it is not. We should support those who understand its significance and importance, but we also should continue to show respect for those who do not yet understand. Hard to remember sometimes; however, it is the priesthood gracing the man which I honor.
#52 Antonia on 2010-11-02 12:03
After 4 years of not playing chess our beloved chess master decides that it is his game and that it is time to play again - one last hurah before finally giving in to inevitable defeat. A Bishop sacrificed here...a knight moved there....and many sacrificial pawns along the way to ultimate world domination!!!!
#53 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-02 12:14
Still failing Orthodoxy 101? The basic unit of Orthodox ecclesiology is the Diocese. Not the Parish, not the Archdiocese, not the Metropolis, not even the Patriarchate.
The Bishop is the head of his local Church. Haven't you ever read St Ignatius of Antioch? Bishop Mark was the head of the Church of Toledo. Not Metropilitan Philip, who is now ecclesiastically rogue as far as I'm concerned.
#54 Michigander on 2010-11-02 13:20
This act of MP's has long been expected. He is a confused old man sick with Prelest. Pray for him. God may well use this sinful embarrassment to Orthodox ecclesiology to further Orthodox unity in America. I pray it is so. At one level, perhaps no true place is found on maps, but Damascus isn't Antioch. Christianity seems as challenged and sometimes compromised in Syria today as it was under Communism in Russia. MP styles himself as a worldly prince and in doing so comes to resemble The Prince, Macchiavelli.
Let us be clear ... in demoting diocesan bishops to little more than deacons in terms of authority, MP is attacking Orthodox worship. It is an act of iconoclasm not to mention poor scholarship of history. By his claim to define the diocesan bishops as mere auxiliaries, he is also wiping out the dioceses. If so, he is no longer archdiocesan but merely an overwrought diocesan bishop with delusions of Petrine glory. Prelest. Prelest. God forbid.
There is no humility in submitting to heresy. There is no obedience in submission to heretical teachings. I do not say MP is a heretic, I am not competent to make such a judgment. I say his decisions regarding this matter smack of heretical error and I will not receive them.
Regarding removing of priests who wear cassocks in the marketplace, one had better listen to the cock crowing three times for whether by intended cunning else outright denial of the yoke, insistence on this course is denial of Christ.
#55 Monologistos on 2010-11-02 13:34
For reading the postings I would disagree he was not removed for wearing a cassock, but rather di-obeying his MEtropolitan wishes for not wearing the Cassock outside the Church.
There is adifference, all Clergy must be obedient to their MEtropolitan and whenHis office called the priest and told him to do something and he disobeys he must accept the consquences of his action.
IT is sad that fr. david and his family have 30 days to get out of their house and finsd work. If it is a parish house would the new priest need to live there with his family?
Finally I have know David Morretti since he was a sub-deacon in california and I am surprise that he would disobey his Meropolitan!
#56 Anonymous on 2010-11-02 13:53
I've suggested it before and I'll suggest it again, until the clergy retirement fund of the AOCA is vested and every priest will receive their due retirement regardless of if or how much they kowtow to the Metropolitan (no matter who he is, this one, or the next) the clergy will live in fear to truly speak their mind ... and if they can't speak their mind, then there will always be a reluctance to speak the truth in parishes. Now THAT is a VERY sad case indeed, when clergy are muzzled and hogtied. I'm wondering, when will the clergy tell the Metropolitan "No!" ... if they all get together, he will be powerless to do anything other than to move forward or get out of the way. As long as the clergy refuse, then they are powerless and will move forward only a fraction as much as they could if they were truly free. Dare I say it ... "and they shall know the truth, and the truth will make them free"
#57 Sean O'Clare on 2010-11-02 15:50
Well, connect the dots. Fr. Paul Albert was pastor of St. Elias in Sylvania, OH. I don't know the number of supporters Bishop Mark had in that parish, but he often went to daily matins there when in town during the week.
Fr. Paul, apparent supporter of Bishop Mark, is yanked out of his parish of 20+ years, and sent to Terre Haute.
I hope Fr. David Moretti finds a home in the OCA.
It's a matter of fact that Antiochian clergy are going to be going elsewhere, probably the OCA, but it's just a matter of when and how many. But will there be parishes for them? To my knowledge there are no open parishes in the OCA Diocese of the Midwest, and, as a result, OCA priests are serving GOA parishes.
#58 Tradd on 2010-11-02 16:30
Well said, anonymous clergyman!
#59 Carol Yonov on 2010-11-02 17:26
Our prayers our with you in the struggle, from your brothers in the Serbian Church in the Americas.
#60 Matthew on 2010-11-02 18:29
This news of Fr. David and Fr. Paul has left me totally stunned this day. How very sad for all of us. Seems this is not the practice of religion - to be ruled by one man. The only man to rule is Christ and it seems He has been forgotten. Where will we go from here?
#61 Carol Yonov on 2010-11-02 19:18
I know Fr. Moretti and his family very well. They are good people who care so much for God and have devoted their lives so far to the Orthodox Church. Who cares what he wears off the church premises? Is he dressed like a beach bum? I've seen women, clergy wives and children, dressed in church like they belong on Hollywood and Vine in Southern California.
How dare MP remove Fr. Moretti because he doesn't like the way he dresses? Yes, MP, we question everything you do, because you are continuing to scar people very deeply with your stupidity and your lack of caring - you are no shepherd. You are the wolf chasing the sheep away. Fr. Moretti respects the modest look of a cassock, as one priest explained it recently to me, and our clergy have a very sacred look about them when they are dressed that way. To undo this young family and their future, a family who struggled thru the years of seminary on little income, and for what - to suddenly and without warning be turned out on the streets, while your bandits in Michigan and other places continue to lie, cheat and steal, as you have taught them and expected them to do so under your directives?
You really are making everyone very suspicious of you, and you are downright mean and vindictive - don't ever say you are not. You care nothing for no one but you and for that small group of followers who have been brainwashed into listening to you and believing you.
Will our local synod of disenthroned bishops stand for this new outrage? I certainly hope they are stronger than that and will make you stop your violent attacks on our peaceful lives - or the lives that used to be peaceful before your vengeful ways came to light.....
I was shocked to read about Frs. Moretti and Alberts. I have some friends in the diocese so I will confirm this information for myself. I don't believe that the cassock wearing is the complete story but interestingly enough, I know of a bit of a reverse situation that occurred in ROCOR about 20 years ago. The priest was assigned to a parish where it was extremely hot and he was photographed by someone without his cassock around the parish. The local bishop called him to his cathedral and made him publicly apologize for his actions. At least he wasn't forced out of the parish. And I thought the public apology was going way over the line.
If anyone knows more about the situation, I would for one would like to more about why the transfers are occurring.
#63 Anon. on 2010-11-02 19:46
wearing traditional orthodox clergy garments has nothing to do with fundamentalism, in fact , it helps missionary work, because it awakens people's curiosity to ask questions. who are you, what are you, what church is that etc. which then creates an opportunity to proclaim the good news of orthodoxy. besides, look around you, many people's outfits and appearances are far more "exotic". lots of people with long hear and beards. in my neighborhood is a 300+lbs young woman with a mohawk, nose ring and covered with crazy tatoos. the fities are over, everyone dresses the way they want.
#64 Anonymous on 2010-11-02 19:55
It seems we only make the news when there's something bad to report.
Prayers for Bishop Mark and Fr. David Moretti.
#65 Cordelia on 2010-11-02 21:14
I grew up in Terre Haute, and my family has been at St. George's for several years. I can confirm that according to the Metropolitan, Fr. David has been removed for "disobedience in following the directives I have set forth for liturgical dress and practice as well as public comments you have made disparaging me personally."
Two things of note. First, the issue regarding Fr. David's attire is not one of "liturgical dress and practice," it is one of precisely non-liturgical dress and practice. Second, and more important, is the fact that a little over a month ago, Fr. David received an ultimatum from Englewood, to cease wearing his cassock or to be terminated. He explicitly accepted the Metropolitan's demand, absurd though it was, and ceased wearing his cassock outside of church services. Nonetheless, he has now apparently been dismissed, at least in part, for this reason.
Also, for what it is worth, I can state with no reservations whatsoever that Fr. David showed the utmost restraint in refusing to make any public comments at all regarding the Metropolitan's recent inanity. What he has done is provide support to Bishop MARK, and as so many are finding, that is enough to bring down Philip's wrath.
It is embarrassingly clear that this action is simply an attempt to clean house of any clergy that were loyal to Bishop MARK, and who might have had the courage to call Philip's sin what it is. And sadly, Fr. David and his family will most certainly not be the last to pay this price for their faithfulness to Christ's Church.
#66 Philip Powell on 2010-11-02 22:14
If it was Walid he would be threatening me with bodily harm.
More likely, Happy is a member of the Glee club because he swears that Muslims have not been communed in Detroit.
Am I right Abouna? LOL!
Maybe not Muslims but Catholics, Maronites, and Protestants of various flavors.
I've seen it with my own eyes, priests from Detroit commune everyone.
No rules or order, come late to Divine liturgy, shake hands, chat while in the communion line, then stroll right up and commune, no problem, right
But heaven forbid we question Met. Philip, now that is disorder! ( sarcasm for those who are slow on the uptake )
#67 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-02 22:20
I'm not sure.....Happy seems a little more classy than Walid could pull off.....
#68 Antionymous on 2010-11-03 05:58
Poppycock! I have heard these justifications before and they do not hold water. Orthodox clergy coming into a protestant country do not suddenly dress like protestants (or wear worldly business suits). Can you show the directive where St Tikon mandates shaved faces and business suits?
Bells and whistles? I think not. It's called Holy Orthodoxy.
Someone in a prior message mentioned how the people are drawn to the traditionally dressed Orthodox clergy--over and above someone who stands there in a business suit or an Anglican collar. This Western worldly wardrobe is an innovation and it is predominant in the Antiochian Church do to +Philip's mandated "dress code". Ludicrous!!!
#69 Michael on 2010-11-03 06:04
WHAT is normal to American Orthodoxy? Dressing like a 1950s Episcopalian?
#70 Antionymous on 2010-11-03 06:05
. . . . . or could it rather be that he "liked" a very derogatory statement about his Metropolitan on the same Facebook account that someone else wrote. Check all your facts Mr. Judge.
#71 get the whole story before making comments . . . . . on 2010-11-03 06:13
SO, please tell me....WHAT does an American look like? Should our clergy look like cowboys/surfer dudes/Indian cab drivers/Native American farmers/Suburban Insurance Salesmen/ Buzz-cut policemen/hawaiian shirt clad Evangelical clergy
Even if you qualify your point that Orthodox clergy should look like "Western clergy," Which group of Western clergy are you talking about?
How about Orthodox clerics in America staying somewhat consistent with Orthodox clerics around the world, allowing for some pastoral variance. You guys are the fundamentalists, insisting that our clergy MUST look like a Presbyterian bishop or something....
#72 Antionymous on 2010-11-03 06:17
With all due respect. That card has been played a few times, now. I suppose one can hope Americans could be like water on the rock of the Antiochian Patriarchate and slowly change the shape of things, but I would not expect it. Of course, if you have a few million to send over there, I've been told that might increase your chances. Personally, I don't know if that's true, but that is an option to explore, I suppose--outspend Metropolitan Philip in Syria.
#73 A Midwest Observer on 2010-11-03 06:21
Actually as of December 1st Fr Moretti will be officially homeless, cassock or not.
#74 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-03 07:11
Then fine, say that the reason he is being dismissed is insubordination. Why hide facts? Let all the facts be known! The truth will set us all free!
#75 David Najjar on 2010-11-03 07:21
Your absolutely correct. I am not Mr. Khaaaalife. I'm just a nobody church goer trying to make sense of it all while helping stir the pot, and make everyone else confused by our personal opinions, hypocritical attitudes, like the rest on this forum.
I apologize, my grammar may be messed up but that's because i am not the best at typing just like a particular bishop wasn't the best at administering to his diocese based on what i was seeing, reading, and hearing.
Here is a joke: "Why do you have to hate on us who can't type well? It's cause of Metropolitan PHILIP, right?".
To be fair, I have zero ties to anyone, but I am a supporter of our Beloved Metropolitan all the way because he is the only one who is not a fake over-zealous monastic that want's to run his archdiocese like a cult. He is a devote leader, I love his vision of uniformity just as it has been for as long as i can remember, and love how far it has come.
I was always against the 2003 decision and I am grateful it is corrected.
All in all, MP is a Bishop, my Bishop, and our Archbishop that I have no problem kissing his right hand. If this means I'm a "Glee Clubber" than so be it, that is the title you put on me. I'm again, just a nobody trying to express my opinion, frustration, and love for the church. Also, again, if you prove me otherwise I will accept, and humbly ask for forgiveness, until then Many Years to His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP!
#76 Happy on 2010-11-03 07:26
What is ludicrous are converts thinking that dressing like a monastic and parading around town in church garb is somehow Orthodox. It IS FUNDAMENTALISM! Let's all play Orthodox! Grow the hair, don't shave, wear old, torn & stained cassock everywhere and oh yes, don't shower! Those teaching this junk have no understanding of Orthodoxy. We found this previously in ROCOR, but it's spreading and represents superficial, holier than thou attitudes. These are pharisees dressed in long-flowing robes playing a part instead of being the part. An aberration of what Orthodox clergy should be in Western society - phonies!
#77 Anonymous on 2010-11-03 07:29
I take your point Mark, I work every Thursday at the Salvation Army and I felt bad after posting, that I may have disparaged the homeless by comparing them to our some of our play church clergy.
A shabby, dirty smelly priest in a cassock, suit or in a bath robe is not a witness, it is disgusting.
I want our clergy to look good, they represent us and our communities. I am not against cassocks, but neither am I against suits. Just be presentable., washed, hair and beard trimmed, clean and clean attire.
Dirty is not holy.
#78 no name on 2010-11-03 07:38
I have know Fr. David when he lived in calfornia, I served on oru PArish council with him. I am not surpirse that he would where a cassock in public, I am kind of surpirse that he would disobey Hs metropolitan.
The Metropolitan is withn his rights to transfer any Clergy at his discretion.
I wish Fr. david, and his family well. For clarification is he released to another Juriscition or not?
#79 Michael Srour on 2010-11-03 08:02
It's called a suit and collar.
It's been this way for the last 40 years in American, just until the last 8 years has people started to become holier than though, FOR ATTENTION, I guarantee that is why.
(editor's note: Why does wearing a cassock, or not, make one "holier than thou"? I suspect the cassock, or not, has little to do with it. On the other hand, as one who does marketing, why is attracting "attention" a bad thing for a church? You would prefer the kind of attention we are getting now? I have no opinion about cassocks or not, but I do grant that those who wear them get attention - just like the hare kirshnas in their bright orange robes got attention. Whether that is a good or bad thing is worthy of a discussion...)
#80 Happy on 2010-11-03 08:06
When did our Lord ever command us to be conformed to this world? Who cares what worldly people think of our clergy? Buddhist monks go around in orange robes, and I've never heard a single person mock their attire.
Self-hating egomania, that's all this is.
#81 Michigander on 2010-11-03 08:08
Well, if they shouldn't draw attention to themselves, our clergy should dress as the Evangelical ministers do...in a suit and tie or nowadays, casual clothes.
#82 Antionymous on 2010-11-03 09:40
You seem to be couching 'dirty/unwashed/smelly' with not trimming one's beard or cutting one's hair: this is confused. Have you encountered clergy in the world who refused to bathe? The assertion is absurd--no one has argued in favor of this.
One can maintain a traditional clerical appearance without being unwashed or having an offensive odor, you need to keep these issues distinct.
#83 Mordecai on 2010-11-03 10:41
You have no knowledge of Orthodox history or tradition. How very sad that you are so completely misinformed on so many issues.
#84 Michael on 2010-11-03 10:47
Suit and collar for the last 40 years.....
......cassocks for about the last 1700 years or so (early monasticism).
Perhaps +Philip is antagonistic toward monasticism? This would expalin much.
#85 Michael on 2010-11-03 10:54
On Fathers and Beatings
My father was a gentle man. This once seemed very strange to me, since he had been a drill sergeant in the Army and then became a blasting expert and foreman in a Bethlehem Steel quarry where we lived in Pennsylvania. But still, in spite of his ability to be tough, as he was with me and with my brother, the memory of him that still brings tears to our eyes is that of his gentleness. I loved him very much and still miss him each day, even though he has been gone now for over ten years.
One of the things he taught me was that a father must never beat his children. A father guides, helps, intercedes, pushes and pulls, teaches by example, suffers for, waits in patience, prays for and loves his children; but, a father never beats his children. Never. My father would not even have beaten the stray dog that once came into the yard and bit him. He would have seen that as beneath his humanity.
How distressed I am over this report about the action taken against Fr. David Moretti. I could care less about clerical shirts and cassocks. Why they should matter is a mystery to me. Only Christ and His love matters. Whether we look like Roman Catholics, old country Orthodox priests or Protestants of this or that variety is completely irrelevant to me. We are priests of Jesus Christ, period. We are to bear the wounds of His Precious Body. Has He not put us on? So when I hear that one of my brothers in the priesthood has apparently been beaten for wearing a cassock, or for that matter, for any reason that has to do with misperceived resistance to authority, I am once again horrified. I do not understand. As usual, I am confused beyond words.
“Does not authority within the Body denote pastoral care?” (asked rhetorically by our Parish Council Chair today) Does it not denote love, charity, guidance and the qualities of the Father of the Prodigal Son – patience – eternal patience and hope and faith in the Heavenly Father, on which all behavior should be modeled – on His humility, His extreme humility? Surely it does. What an embarrassment for us to read about these things – a beating to one of our brothers, who apparently complied with stated guidelines as told and then was beaten nevertheless.
The members of the Parish Council of my little mission have also read the account here on their own. We have voted to take our voluntary tithe (10 % skimmed of the top of all income to our parish) and offer it for the remaining months of this year to Fr. David to help him get things in order. It’s not much. As a mission parish, we have no legalistic obligation to send it into the Archdiocese. But we do have an obligation of love. And since love flows like water to the lowest point – to that point most needful – we allow it to flow this time to the family of one who has been beaten. May it help his family, and may his suffering bring glory to Christ!
So, brothers in the priesthood. Where are you? Remember that to go against conscience, as we have all heard from past formation, is “neither right nor safe.” To remain silent is to say much about whose will we actually do serve. As my father taught me, so I repeat to you once again in love: A father never, never beats his children. Never. Should that not be all the more true of a father in Christ?
Hardly know whether to guffaw or sigh at the ludicrous ideas alleged by "15 no name". Never, ever, in well past thirty years in the Church have I seen a traditionally-attired priest or bishop who came within 5,000 km. of looking like a terrorist, or of smelling bad.
Orthodox clerical garb was settled by the Holy Church many, many years ago. The Church does not care about "high fashion", nor about blending into the "sheep-minded" crowd. Standard Orthodox clergy attire is not the same as that worn by Roman Catholics and Protestants. What they wear is fine for them; what we wear is correct for us. At least I can recognize a priest when I see him when he is properly clothed! In mixed-religion groups, it is impossible to tell. One can't detect whether it is safe to display appropriate good manners and ask a "dog collar" for his blessing.
Nothing in the preceding paragraph negates, nonetheless, what I posted yesterday about respecting the grace of the holy priesthood which rests upon a man, no matter what he is wearing. Believing in what is correct does not ever bestow license to treat an individual disdainfully. . . . Come to think of it, that principle of showing respect applies equally to all who denigrate Orthodox Christians for wearing traditional garb!
"This is America; we have standards." WOW! I could write a book about that joke! Standards vary wildly in this country.
#87 Antonia on 2010-11-03 11:58
Are you serious, 1700 years they wore cassocks?
You know my point, if you think these priests should dress like people from the 1700 or even better yet 125 ad, then they should walk around, not shave, where home made sandles, and use silver coins for currency, start fires with sticks of wood, write their sermons on parchment paper or stone tablets. etc. why do we not use those things, they used them for the last 1700 years...right?
It's called looking classy, not messy. They came up with tailors for a reason, same thing with the Gillette Fusion.
Think about it please.
If your argument is marketing, well, you have a lame point. That is called looking for attention and being different to make them look mysterious or something. It's a cassock, piece of cloth, nothing more nothing less, it is not meant to go to Disneyland in.
Then you know what, I say if priests want to wear cassocks, let them but they must also do one of two things: 1. Wear it at all times, even exercising at the gym (this will capture the funk). or 2. If you wear it, you must not use anything made from the last 300 years because that will give the full effect.
I may sound ridiculous but it is only fitting for the ridiculous comment of the last 1700 years. Good day.
#88 Happy on 2010-11-03 13:09
Wow! 40 years! That's Holy Tradition right there.
Has it ever occurred to you that outside America, even in modern countries like Russia, priests wear long beards and cassocks? And people are fine with it.
Why would we bend over backwards to falsely present ourselves to a culture that hates what we stand for, beard or no beard? If a person is so flaky that they're scared off by a cassock, they probably wouldn't be able to get through the Creed without vomiting.
It's more important to honor Church Tradition (of which beards and cassocks are part—note pretty much every icon of a male saint) than it is to toss out our Tradition in favor of comforting such ridicule-worthy superficial concerns.
#89 Michigander on 2010-11-03 13:11
And you obeyed metropolitan Philip by pushing delegates down to the ground in Palm Desert. ...
Folks, it is okay to threaten and hurt people in the Antiochian Archdiocese but heaven forbid a priest have a beard or wear a jibee round town. I mean seriously, what would people think of these strange looking clergy. Meanwhile, our fine upstanding, thugs are wonderful examples of Anitochian Orthodoxy for all the world to see.
It part of the rules of "order" in the mafia, er, I mean archdiocese.
#90 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-03 13:46
To answer your question, yes, I have encountered such clergy in the world, and in canonical jurisdictions.
#91 no name on 2010-11-03 13:54
If you don't like it, Carol, then leave. There's always the OCA. LOL!
#92 Anonymous on 2010-11-03 15:41
"It's called looking classy, not messy. They came up with tailors for a reason, same thing with the Gillette Fusion."
What an awful comment. Read about our beloved St. Nektarios, dying in poverty and terrible pain in a charity hospital. The shabby sweater they pulled off him healed a paralytic in the next bed, by the way.
I buy clothes off the rack and use whatever disposable razor is on sale. Am I classy enough for Orthodoxy?
Maybe if I wear a tone-on-tone shirt and a pinky ring?
#93 Doug on 2010-11-03 16:19
Do get it straight. It is NOT a pension. There is NONE. It is a $800. housing allowance that is of course, NOT vested! Other jurisdict56ions and most every Prot. have real PENSIONS. Chk with the local Greek or OCA clergy. I have researching for my parish council, as Vice Chrmn. Chk with the local Greek & OCA clergy. I DID! Three times plus what Met. Philip gives out. RATIONALE!? Dide not want to "burden" the Parish. Baah! God bless you Bp Mark, Fr Moretti, Fr Paul and the more to FOLLOW. Saint Raphael pray for us. Why the great Met. could'nt even appear at His Canonization in 2000 at St. Tikhon's. That after the Damascus Synod turned down participation! Good ole' OCA - handy when needed? Hold on to those Honorary Doctorates.
#94 Anonymous on 2010-11-03 23:11
The matter is simple but painful to both speak and to hear: without ascesis, there is no medicine for prelest. The Lord withholds judgment out of mercy. We are given today in order to repent that we might offer true worship: praise and thanksgiving. So ought we not punish one another as if we were the final sifter. A father who beats his spiritual sons will cause them to be unable to hear his voice. He has replaced chastisement for repentance with punishment ... it is anger and intemperance: the mark of Cain.
For every life, there is a limit. We are not given to pick the limits of our life like the heathen kings of old, saying I will die when I please. But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?
"And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest." St. Seraphim of Sarov
#95 Monologistos on 2010-11-03 23:45
Well, I have not, nor have I ever heard those who support a traditional appearance ever suggesting that clergy not bathe. As I said, these should be kept distinct.
#96 Mordecai on 2010-11-04 06:07
I have encountered many unkempt, unwashed laypeople. Let's stick to the point, which is that an irrational coupling of clothing dislikes with assumptions of [absent] hygiene was posted.
#97 Anonymous on 2010-11-04 06:17
I was giving an example. You know the point i was making, as harsh as it may sound. Most priests where suits, always wore suits in America. Your talking about assimilating to American culture right? Forgetting the old world ways right? Well wear a suit then! Don't wear a cassock like the "Old world", we are in America right? That's the argument everyone is saying?
As you all keep proclaiming, which is true, America has it's own culture and unfortunately for those cassock wearers, that means a suit and collar. So please, don't give this and toss innocent saints into this mix.
#98 Happy on 2010-11-04 06:46
No, that's not the argument everyone is saying. These are not "Arab" ways. They are ways of people from a particular time and place who missed the post-WW2 monastic revival in the Middle East which is now taking root in America after decades of neglect. You are swimming against a very powerful tide.
Incidentally, as an Anglo-American for generations back. I've never been offended by Orthodox cassocks, nor by the cassocks of High Church Catholic and Episcopal clergy. If you want coiffed preachers in tailored suits, there's always your local mega-church.
#99 Doug on 2010-11-04 07:51
I want to ask you a personal question, not trying to argue or be offensive by any means. But honestly, were you Orthodox and in the Antiochian Archdiocese before 2000? Did you attend any convention, national even, the only ones who wore something different than a traditional suit and collar were the Western Rite. They wore a slightly different type than the traditional suit and collar.
If you were before the year 2000 in the Antiochian Archdiocese you will know for a fact that this wasn't even a discussion until recently.
People looked up to the older priests, those who carried themselves with dignity. I'm not saying priests who were cassocks all day every day and even to sleep don't carry themselves well. They are most likely genuine priests and just stick out like a sore thumb, but a policy is a policy.
Just like any other policy, if it is not followed then you are testing your limits with authority to see how far you can go, unfortunately Fr. David sacrificed his entire family for the sake of defiance of authoritative policy. Metropolitan PHILIP has every right to release him from his duties, however I am sure he is probably going to be transferred someplace else within the archdiocese, it's probably just not known. It did not say, if I'm correct, that he was no longer a priest in the archdiocese...correct me if I'm wrong. (on this question:) )
In regards to the actual cassock wearing post, here is another example:
If you were a doctor with the white coat on, would you walk around all day everyday wearing that white coat. It's tradition to wear a white coat in the office right? Why not wear the white coat everywhere you go then. People will know your a doctor of some kind, what kind I'm not sure.
If you were a judge, it's tradition to wear you robe in the courtroom correct? Why not wear it all the time and everywhere outside the courtroom? It's tradition correct.
If you were a referee you would always where white and black stripes correct? It's tradition right? why not where those all thetime and everywhere off the field? It's tradition correct?
If you were secretly the Chuck E Cheese Mascot. You would wear the Chuck E Cheese Mouse outfit all day at work right? Why not wear it outside in public? It's the tradition of Chuck E Cheese's Corporate policy correct? The only benefit to this one is, it is free advertising and a priest is not a Chuck E Cheese Mascot, nor is a pizzeria a church.
I enjoy debating, this is nothing personal, just debating.
(Editor's note: No, this is very personal: a man has lost his job, and in this case his home, and a career in the Archdiocese. It is not "just a debate", but concerns not only an individual, but an entire parish, who have had their spiritual father taken from them for, according to the letter, the clothes he once wore. This is where
" a policy is a policy" becomes insufficient as a justification because it ignores the human cost and suffering "just policy, ma'am" enjoins. Does one, as a Christian, have the "right" to cause suffering, even if one has a right to create "policy"? What would Jesus say to that?)
#100 Happy on 2010-11-04 10:22
You are a hoot! Do you not understand? Cassocks are the Orthodox norm. Monkey suits and dog collars are aped from the Roman Catholics and protestants. One must wonder why you are so maliciously against the cassock.
#101 Michael on 2010-11-04 12:25
The GOA will take them because they have a priest shortage. The salary and benefits are much better than the AOCA.
#102 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-04 14:19
As I stated in another comment elsewhere on this site, isn't it a bit hypocritical for +Philip to resort to "hair splitting" by yanking priests and their families out of parishes for wearing their cassocks too much, but look the other way when people like "Father" Joe Allen is allowed to remain a priest after remarrying and, worse yet, stay as the pastor in the parish where his second wife's ex-husband and children still worship??? In psychological circles, this is known as "deflection," whereby someone doesn't want to focus on the real problem at hand (internal and spiritual), so they "deflect" by calling attention to meaningless externals (wearing cassocks or suits with clergy collars or suits without clergy collars)!! Again, it reminds me of our Lord's critique of the scribes and Pharisees (whom, again, He constantly referred to as "hypocrites"), when he said they were like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appeared beautifully, but inwardly they were full of dead men's bones!!! (Matthew 23:27) These words of our Savior are as pertinent for us today in the 21st century as they were when spoken in the 1st century!!
#103 David Barrett on 2010-11-04 14:35
If adapting to the collar and suit is real Orthodoxy, why has our archdiocese produced so little in the way of spiritual books? Why do our converts have to go to other jurisdictions to learn what to read? The most spiritual writings we have are still in Arabic, produce by Lebanese monasteries: Why is a convert translating them for us? Why not our own Archdiocese? I found the following quotes on the internet. It seemed appropriate to the conversation:
"Even issues of order and clerical appearance are decided according to what pleases the eyes of people who spend their off hours in “country club casual”. But this is the west, riassas and jibbis will alienate Americans. They will think we are Muslims or something. No, these are unfounded excuses. Americans are more sophisticated than that. Believe me- the culture that gave you hippies, punk rockers, and cowboys can handle seeing a priest in a riassa.
"Those who want all priests to wear the black business suit are under the false impression their sensitivities are universal. That opinion originates from one socio-economic group, mainly upper middle class baby-boomers, who want their preferences applied everywhere."
"allow riassas and pew-free parishes and you will see a far greater interest in the Church by Gen X and Gen Y. We shouldn’t constrain our practice according to the visual comforts of a few who have never stepped out of their narrow, upper middle class community."
"The Orthodox in my local neighborhood spend their week interfacing with lesbians, neo-pagans, atheists, and assorted ethnicities whose only knowledge of the Church comes from the Da Vinci Code and Shelby Spong. That’s what life is like for those of us who can’t afford to attend a resort hotel convention.
"Give me one priest with beard and rasso, and I will take him to parts of America where he will attract the lost like moths to a flame."
The real tragedy in all of this with the antiochians: a "father" who must contrive a structure (18 points) within his archdiocese that demands obedience, for fear of being destroyed. This is the same kind of thinking as in the West which breeds an attitude towards a god whom is at costs feared as the ultimate and eternal punisher of the soul and body for our sins.
Where is the love?
How blessed are we laity who have come to know in many of our priests and bishops a different approach: to compel through a loving humility which inspires in us our willing obedience and cooperation; we have had a taste of being a family in Christ.
Imagine then for a minute our future clergy formed in the "house" of these 18 points?
Then decide: can you visualize this kind of minister with your children? Or theirs?
#105 sad child on 2010-11-04 18:45
You are fortunate. My father was an abuser who beat and whipped me, who threw me off chairs, into walls, and laughed when I would cry. He single-handedly taught me to be tougher than him, to never let anyone see me cry, to wall my heart off away from pain. My loving husband overcame those walls enough for me to learn to trust him; and in the last 7 years, I finally got to where I could trust someone who was called "Father" by me, in the person of my late priest, Fr. Matthew of blessed memory. He was like your father (he was even a Marine! LOL!) but he was gentle and didn't "beat" his spiritual children.
I will never again go back to being "beaten" and abused. God does not expect it, and I will not tolerate it. ANAXIOS to Philip; memory eternal, Fr. Matthew.
#106 Mary Brigid on 2010-11-04 20:58
If you work for a company and have a family, disobey policy, you get canned.
Do the people above them want to see that persons entire family in shambles, most likely not unless you were just cold-blooded, but this is the truth else people wouldn't get fired. It happens every day in the real world, what are you thinking? Just because he is a priest, does not make it OK if it is repetitive.
I am not belittling the reprecussions, but i can not believe how you think it is ok to defy repetitively a policy whether it be a church or business. If you drive super fast and get tickets, you get your license revoked eventually. Imagine if you only have that method of transportation and you were the only one to drive in that family. You think the government would say, "Well, you have a family and your the only one who can drive so we will just ignore your fines and laws you broke."
I'm sure i could have typed that analogy out better but you get my point. Believe me, I'm sorry this priest is removed, but I also believe he will be transfered someplace. It didn't say he was not a priest no more. Maybe they are doing their behind the scenes transfers or something, who knows?
I'm not a cruel individual, i'm looking at this from a realistic point of view in everyday life, not an idealistic view.
(editor's note: First, he was released from the Archdiocese, so no, he will not be getting a parish anywhere in the Archdiocese. If he can find another jurisdiction willing to take him, he may serve again. If not, not. Secondly, if our policies and actions are no better or different than those of any secular corporation, we had better pack it in. We offer our "employees" less money, less opportunity, no pensions, and difficult working conditions. If we can't treat them with respect, at the very least, such that one's career and "job" are not predicated on whim, or dress codes, but vocation and ministry, what have we to offer anybody, let alone the world? I am not defending either clerical suits or cassocks - but the debate is ludicrious and reveals the absurdity of our church life that such a discussion even rises to the level of debate in such a suffering world and sick society. )
#107 Happy on 2010-11-05 06:40
"Swear allegiance to the flag
Whatever flag they offer
Never hint at what you really feel
Teach the children quietly
For some day sons and daughters
Will rise up and fight while we stood still"
(Mike and the Mechanics, "Silent Running")
It will have to suffice for now, Fr. Elias. Now is neither the time nor the day.
#108 Anonymous XIV on 2010-11-08 05:29
+Mark and other clergy released for such petty issues would be welcomed by The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America (THEOCACNA) which is a canonically Chartered Orthodox Church whose 1927 short name, now used by many independent groups who would claim to be who they are not, is American Orthodox Catholic Church (as shown in out 1927 Charter written by the Metropolia). We were incorporated in 1928 and continue today.
I'm sure there is much grinning in the choir loft at St. Elias. For 20 years the Sylvania mafiosos have tried to oust Fr. Paul. Each time +PHILIP deferred to the local bishop--DEMETRI, then MARK. As for his transfer to Terre Haute, I find it interesting since he is known for wearing a cassock himself and being very traditional. Maybe he'll be a good fit and much happier there. Having worked closely with Fr. Paul years ago, I would say he has a "Russian soul". The old-timers at St. Elias didn't like him because he wanted the parish to be Orthodox. He confronted the country club mentality. He expected parish council members and sunday school teachers to go to Confession and Communion regularly. I wish him well in his new assignment.
#110 MisterCorduroy on 2010-11-15 09:33
Dear Mr. "Delighted by the News" or shall I say Mr. "Big Giver",
Shame on you telling Carol to go to the OCA "LOL". I will delight in you doing all the work at St. Elias that does. I hearby nominate you to wash all the dishes at church in her place.
#111 Anonymous on 2010-11-15 20:36
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