Monday, November 22. 2010
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I don't believe it 100% because there is no names, this is just hear say and since there is no proof of those that supposedly didn't sign it than I don't believe it. This is again only hearsay. Why didn't these people say something about it a few months ago? Everyone looks at the internet and sees what has happened and published. These people, if true, should have called it the next day it was published on the WORLD WIDE WEB.
That is the reason i don't believe it, it's been months and now someone is saying something? On top of that, no names? I know Fr. Touma is a very well respected individual however it appears questionable because of the time duration as well as no names give. Oh yes, also Bishop BASIL's close friend for 30 years+.
(Editor's note: Well, why doesn't someone just ask Metropolitan Georges Khodr if he signed the English translation as well? If he didn't, it would seem Fr. Touma's charge is accurate. As for the "distortion of meaning", well, that would be for the Synod of Antioch to speak to, publicly, on their own website, in English so as to remove all doubts. And that seems unlikely.....)
#1 Happy on 2010-11-22 07:48
OK...so nothing new...distortions, "mistranslations" ...all business as normal for the Archdiocese.
I have come to the conclusion that our leadership has forgotten the scriptural commands of servant leadership - we have become embroiled in parsing words and interpreting intent - we are lost.
Thank God He continues to work despite His people.
Oh and thank you +MP for your final gift to the Archdiocese, "Put not your trust in princes, in sons of man, in whom there is no help. When his breath departs he returns to his earth; on that very day his plans perish. Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God" Psalm 146
Glory to God for all things+
#2 Delegate #1 on 2010-11-22 08:22
Look, Met. Philip has ALWAYS had HIS way! "Money talks and no body walks!" The bishops in the Mideast know where their extra money comes from and they don't want to see that end. The Pat. of Damascus may head up the Synod, but Met. Philip is the puppeteer regarding the AOCA!
#3 Anonymous on 2010-11-22 08:47
Another day, another tabloid report against the metropolitan. Thanks Mark for providing me with another entertaining laugh. Hahaha. When people are bankrupt with ideas, they resort to anything. Hahaha.
#4 Anonymous on 2010-11-22 09:09
I understand what your saying. Technically speaking those may not be actually inked signatures and just prints stamped on the English Translation. But if the English Translation is meant the same as the Arabic I believe it is just a "Version" for us to read. As long as the Arabic one is legally signed than it is fair. Also if it is meant the same as the English translation, it is fair. Honestly, would you agree with that? However if it is meant differently it should have been called out months ago too, correct?
(editor's note: I think Fr. Toumas is saying the English version does not say the same as the Arabic, indeed it inverts the meaning. Secondly, no I do not agree that placing signatures on things people didn't sign, "even if they meant the same" is a legitimate thing to do. (Remind me not to buy a house, car or CD from you, Happy). Finally, I don't think the "statute of limitations" applies in the Church. "God doesn't count my sins I committed three months ago does he? Aw, come on. If he didn't catch me then, why should he make a fuss no, huh?" It took the OCA 15 years to uncover and unveil the misdeeds of the former administration - that didn't make them any less of misdeeds, however. )
#5 Happy to Mark on 2010-11-22 09:13
The original breathless announcement of the cryptic criticism was of much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
This, even moreso.
Sounds like minor semantic differences regarding a non-romance language translation to me - not an uncommon issue to arise.
(Editor's note: LOL. And tell me Michael, how much would it affect your business if someone were to affix your name to a translation you did not authorize that resulted in someone being dismissed? As for dismissing things churchly as " minor semanitc differences regarding non-romance language translations" that was, I believe, how some dismissed Arianism long ago. LOL.)
#6 Michael on 2010-11-22 09:15
Well, now it rests on the Patriarchate to clarify. I pray that they respond.
#7 M.A. on 2010-11-22 09:17
Yet another example of synod members best being compared to potted plants. It's a feature we notice across Orthodox synods affecting the USA. None of the members of the synod stand up and speak about what happened, or didn't happen at their meetings.
We should save a great deal of money if all the priests and all the synod members simply mailed in a rubber stamp with their name and the word 'yes' to all meetings. The results we get appear to be the same whether they attend or not--- they don't know or won't speak about what happened and whether or not what is said to have happened really did or not.
The OCA, the GOA, the EP, the AOA, Damascus. All the same.
As always, of course, please give generously.
Wondrous are the ways of the 'ordained young never married leadership'.
#8 Harry Coin on 2010-11-22 10:30
Ok. I know what you mean. However, my point is that we all get letters from significant individuals at one time in our lives that has a stamped signature on it because they could not sign the them. They gave permission to stamp the names on the letters. That is my point I am saying. If this is really an exact translation than to make it is just the same thing in a legible language. I'm not saying it is or isn't legit translation, but i am saying most important individuals do use stamps for legitimate things and are not considered "forges".
Also, your taking the extreme in a sense of buying cds, cars, etc from me. haha. I am not like that. It was the point of using stamps on certain things.
Only time will tell where this will go now.
(Editor's note: Happy, you still don't get it. The problem is not a "stamped" signature, it is that Fr. Touma is stating that the Metropolitan's told him they did not sign the document - and by infererence, did not agree to have their names "stamped" on it either. That is the problem, and it cannot be excused away. It can only be admitted, or denied. )
#9 Happy to Mark on 2010-11-22 10:36
Fear of Met. Philip is what keeps the patriarchate members from speaking out. The patriarchate members don't want the money they get from Met. Philip to be cut off because that is what our hierarch will do if those members speak out against him. Archmandrite Touma is the only brave figure in this whole story. He is a simple monk so he won't suffer from the wrath of our hierarch. So through Archmandrite Touma, they gingerly bring up these mistranslations and point out that the signatures were photographically added to the resolution. They don't accuse anyone in order to let us to figure it out on our own because we are Met. Philip's money supply.
But what the patriarchate members don't realize is Americans will just stop giving money to the archdiocese and will leave for other jurisdictions if the members don't take a more assertive role.
Either way, the synod in Damascus' money supply will be cut off so they just need to take a stand for justice and stop being so lukewarm on the issue.
Folks, if anything screams out for an end of governance from foreign patriarchates, this unending mistranslation drama is it.
I know, the OCA has accountability issues and they are still cleaning house, but guess what, all of the OCA resolutions are in English written by a synod who resides right here.
And if any of you EA supporters think it will be any different with the patriarch in Istanbul, think again. They issued their resolutions in Greek and French from Chambesy. Although, Chambesy is no more due to the Greek economic catastrophe. So the EA may now only be an impotent organization with no funding. And of course, SCOBA was eliminated to keep Orthodoxy unity from moving to quickly for the "mother" patriarchates taste. Yes, it is all becoming quite clear now.
Only God can save us.
#10 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-22 11:23
A few thoughts of words!
1. The signatures were electonically place ont he english transaltion and the english transaltion is not the same as the arabic. I am not an arabic scholar, but have a general undering of the language and from my udnewrstanding the two version are fairly accurate.
2. The individuals who transalated the nglish version and scholars in both languages and we haave to trust it.
3. If it was a forgery as fr. touma suggest some word would have been said before now. why have nopt Fr. Touma not mention this before nopw?
4. Fr. touma (who I know) have a hiodden agenda; a) he was at one time MEtropolitan of South LEbanopn (Sidon/.Tyre, and was demotted for issues of obedience with the PAtriarch, and b) He cannot be Bishop again, and C) He was educated at st. Vladimir's and is good friends with bishop BASIL.
ITs seems to me there some agenda's here. Fr. touma is not saying directly but wording it in a vague manner to let us imagination take us where its leads.
I think Fr. touma comments are not valid and need to eb taken more seriously
Wishign everyone a wonderful LEbanese Independce day today!
Real Son of Antioch
#11 Real Son fo Antioch on 2010-11-22 12:36
Yes, the absolute TRUTH, Harry! No end to ALL the foreign intriques until we GOVERN ourselves here in No. America!
Visitors to the Middle East say it is time for thye Patriarch to retire. (And take Met. Philip with him). Love of power, prestige and fundss prohibit this, unfortunately. In the RC church retirement at 75 and this should go for the Pope, many believe.
Live slowly, eat carefully, choose your agenda, WHY RETIRE?
God bless Fr. Touma, one of a kind. Yes, even supports the autocephaly of America (OCA). Yes, a St Vladimir's Graduate very articulate in many languages - especially the language of TRUTH and HONESTY!
#12 Anonymous on 2010-11-22 13:02
I would like to offer a helpful translation of Michael's comments above.
"The original breathless announcement of the cryptic criticism was of much auxiliary benefit to our God-protected Archdiocese.
"This web site, even more so.
"It is the opinion of the Department that the referenced post is reasonable and necessary in order to maintain consistency in the administration of the Archdiocese. This determination shall be enthusiastically supported without question or reservation by all readers of ocanews.org.
"I affirm that this translated test [sic] is considered as the only reference.
#13 Anonymous on 2010-11-22 13:28
Right on the mark Harry!
Funny, the jurisdiction names change but the shenanigans are all the same.
Money is what they all want and if the lay people understood that we could end these problems quickly and without all the drama.
#14 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-22 13:53
This is not the first time that Metropolitan +Philip has modified a text coming from the Holy Synod of Antioch before presenting it to the faithful of the Archdiocese. The differences between the Constitution given the Self-Ruled Archdiocese by the Holy Synod of Antioch and that presented to the Archdiocesan Assembly for ratification are well-documented.
As a wrote to you on another thread (unless the the Real son of Antioch on that thread was a different person that you, Real Son fo [sic] Antioch), if your filial loyalty is really to Antioch, you should be concerned with Metropolitan +Philip's repeated disobedience to the Holy Synod in misrepresenting their decisions to us in America, especially those of us whose Arabic is limited to "yarub burham" and the Paschal greeting.
#15 DNY on 2010-11-22 14:29
#16 Happy on 2010-11-22 14:38
To the son of antioch, if you know arabic you would know that there is a difference in the translation. I tend to think that the fathers of the synod know about the translation problem and the signatures as they all check the internet. Why nothing has been said so far leads one to suspect that they approve of +Philip's agenda mainly to remove +Mark, the only convert bishop.
Shame, shame and shame.....
The question remains: what to do now? Commenting here may be therapeutic to some but will not resolve anything.
May God have mercy!
#17 Anonymous on 2010-11-22 15:00
Can ANYONE keep track of what's going on in the Church anymore: Damascus, Istanbul or otherwise? All we need now is altar girls, women reading epistles (oh wait, we already have that during "Antiochian Women's month-which my wife finds sexist), guitars, hippie music, new protestantized liturgy, joint services with schismatics and heretics (oh wait we already have that too) and we'll BE the Roman Novus Ordo church. There's a new study that says 1 in 5 people in America are mentally ill. Look no further than the Orthodox hierachy!
Righting the ship would require the forced retirements of several bishops, cutting off funding to foreign synods, external audits and a severe emphasis on aesthetics and Confession. But it wont happen because the vast majority of Orthodox IMHO are divided into two camps: those who don't know, and those who don't care.
The right Faith given to the wrong people?
#18 VSO on 2010-11-22 15:05
Keef halak? While you and your Lebanese friends do the dubkee today, be sure to tell them the money train from America is going to end soon so live it up while you can.
Laish? We Americans may be naive but we are not stupid. We know when we are being taken advantage of and we are done with all the lies coming from the middle east and Englewood.
Archmandrite Touma is our hero.
We are hearing from our friends who travel to the middle east that the patriarch is not well. Time for him to retire along with Met. Philip.
As Salam 'alaikoom, Iskandra
#19 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-22 16:02
Real Son of Antioch writes:
"ITs seems to me there some agenda's here. Fr. touma is not saying directly but wording it in a vague manner to let us imagination take us where its leads. "
Indeed, this seems to be the normative means of communication. Keep everyone guessing what is actually true so no one need take responsibility for the agenda of any.
One wonders if there is an Arabic word for "clarity" and, if so, how it would be translated. Experience tells me the official translation is "whatever I happen to want."
Those seeking transparency and accountability have realized half of their desire.
#20 Brian Van Sickle on 2010-11-22 16:41
I get really upset when we send these distant leaders money every month from the parish, for years and years. Then when it's time for the parish to turn 25 years old or 50 years or 75 years or 100 years...
... These 'loving fathers' require huge extra payments to attend and be present and celebrate with 'their parish'.
Then they protest how they are 'not hirelings'. Fooey. What father requires his children to pay him and provide fancy room service and cars and whatnot just to attend his own child's major milestone anniversary party?
Time to smell the bakalava, perogi, hummus, coffee, whatnot. These we have know nothing of what it means to be an actual father and they demonstrate it as they act in ways no father with love in his heart would ever dream.
As Always, Please, Give Generously.
Wondrous are the Ways of the Ordained Young Never Married Bishops.
#21 Harry Coin on 2010-11-22 16:42
This is actually more in reply to Mark's comment within Happy's post #1.
I read the entire English translation of Fr. Touma's comments on Samn!'s blog (Notes on Arab Orthodoxy). I got the impression that Fr. Touma was saying that the members of the Holy Synod may not have actually signed ANY version of the decision-- neither English nor official Arabic. Perhaps Samn! can clarify.
#22 Catherine Steinhoff on 2010-11-22 18:35
Fr. Touma, posting in the comment section of Samn!'s translation of the most recent 'Points' article ( https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7687886961771238263&postID=5423125304930309591&isPopup=true ) informs us that he has slightly revised Samn!'s English translation and directs readers to the following link: http://www.holytrinityfamily.org/print/POL2010/Novembre21_E.pdf
Haven't yet done a side-by-side comparison of the initial and final translation to see what changes were made, but there you have it - a translation vetted by Fr. Touma himself.
#23 Jerry 'Isaac' Sanders on 2010-11-22 19:08
Real Son, you act like none of us "americans" are real sons/daughters of Antioch, that's insane. We are all from the same cloth, just because we were born here doesn't make us any less than you so you can stop your abuse.
Mark, I believe Fr. T to be correct, the "real sons of Antioch" are a bullying group, they need to be stopped, why hasn't anything been done about the people in Englewood? I'm curious as to why the Word is allowed to print lies like this. They also print that 2 priests took leaves of absence in MA, I believe that to be false as well. All these things need to be looked at, who here is willing to take on Englewood, MP, the Son's of Antioch as they call themselves, and anyone that is lying, stealing, cheating their way through this God fearing religious group called Orthodoxy. God is the only one we should fear NOT MP or anyone on his alleged board of directors, that have sanctions against non-felons, but they are still allowed to be on the board, Why, because of $$$$? This is a disgusting display and we should all hang out heads in shame to be willing participants.
#24 LB on 2010-11-22 19:18
To my brother "Real son of Antioch, El-Koury, Lebanon",
I don't want to dispute with you, but I just would like to make few corrections to the information you posted:
- You claimed that Fr. Touma was a bishop of South Lebanon and then got demoted for disobedience. For your information, Fr. Touma was never elevated and enthroned as Bishop of South Lebanon, and so he was never demoted. The correct information is that he was elected Bishop of South Lebanon in 1995 but he declined the post. I'd rather not speculate on why he did that, but to tell you the truth though, I'm glad he refused it. Since then, Bishop Elias Kfoury was elected to the Archdiocese of South Lebanon, and he has done a great job so far. In addition, Fr. Touma had the time and energy to focus on the 2 new monasteries that the Lord had founded through him in the early 90's in Douma, North Lebanon, as well as publish the first Arabic Orthodox Synaxarion of all the Saints, as well as another work entitled "The Forgotten Saints of the Antiochian Tradition", in addition to numerous books and articles that he had wrote. So in a way Fr. Touma's "disobedience" ended up being everyone's gain in South Lebanon, and the Antiochian Church worldwide (God works in mysterious ways, doesn't He?).
- Since you're not an Arabic scholar, as you said about yourself in the first paragraph, then why are you defending the way it was translated to English, and hinting towards a hidden agenda for Fr. Touma? I don't blame you though. I blame our Antiochian Synod that came up with confusing and conflicting decisions about this subject everytime they met since Feb 2009. I wish they took their time to study the subject at length, and spoke with the people that involved them, and then came up with a clear and binding decision without any ambiguity in both languages.
Again, I'm not tyring to dispute with you, but I'm just trying to clarify few things on this issue for you and other readers.
Your brother in Christ
(Editor's note: Thank you for the clarification.)
#25 Your brother in Christ on 2010-11-22 19:47
Real Son of Antioch - full of beans! Known for his predictable TYPOS! No, he lives in Van Nuys,CA. All his emails are distinquisable by his always spelling "ME...." whenever the first two letters of Metroplitan are written!
#26 Anonymous on 2010-11-22 21:00
"In confusion there is profit." Somebody profits from all this hubbub. Too bad it isn't the Church.
#27 Anon. on 2010-11-22 21:34
I don't know how "Real Son fo Antioch" El-Koury would be able to tell if the translations were the same. One is in English, a language he obviously doesn't speak (or spell).
I am finding it difficult to be surprised. We've already been through this. Can MP claim he has no control over his staff? No, it is either incompetence or ill will (or both). No doubt Fr. Toumas wishes to not make a public rebuke. Why is it OK (or relevant) for MP's minions to cite Bishop Basil all the time if someone disagrees with the latest outrage from MP? Bishop Basil is a holy bishop and a man of prayer. If he is a friend of Fr. Toumas, it is a positive reference. I know Bishop Basil to be a man who prays. That wealth surpasses MP's money even as the Kingdom of Heaven surpasses a platter of kibbi. Even a "Real Son of Antioch" cannot live on kibbi alone. I don't believe I've defended Bishop Basil before as I don't believe he requires any defense but I'm getting tired of hearing corrupted men poisoning the well.
We do not require translation to understand what MP has done. He has made an attack on the ecclesiology of the Church in his attempt to redefine the role of diocesan bishops that he might arrogate unto himself the love between the local bishop and his people. He is not wedded to every city ... he is wedded to his see. To the extent that he has no see, he is merely a clerk who has strayed (vagante). He has repeatedly misrepresented the intentions of the Holy Synod of Antioch in order to maintain and advance his personal power over others at the expense of *growth given by God*. He has hoarded up great wealth for himself and thereby made a scandal of his office. He has promulgated an atmosphere of fear among his priests ... he has taught people to lock their doors and fear their neighbors. He has asked that we praise him again and again. ....
Perhaps, given the praise and power and money heaped upon him, in his place I should have done worse (God forbid). Our task is not to judge MP but to rightly divide the word of truth and affix our own signatures to that good work. Our task is to discern between spirits. The touchstone for such discernment is always two things: humility and selfless love. The episcopal dignity is manifested not by wearing a crown or being one who tells men to go here or go there ... it is in the repentance of Peter. Where is the glory of our Lord better revealed than in the Extreme Humility?
It seems that God has hardened MP's heart so that he may not understand. That which is truly to be feared is to forget the Lord. It is a curse that is self -affixed and repeatedly affirmed by every untruth by which we live each day. In the end it is a kind of both atheism and apostasy. MP has shared self rule with us ... meaning rule by his self. He meant it for good, mostly. It is a damaged gift but it is fair in a way. He is giving us the exact same gift he gives himself.
#28 Monologistos on 2010-11-23 00:27
There is little reason to doubt the translation is skewered like shish-kabob. The dilemma however rests with the reality that the patriarch and numerous metropolitans of the synod are dependent on the financial support that +Philip provides. Additionally they are all subject to the immense pressure +Philip can exert on them through his close ties to the highest ranking political officials in Syria and Lebanon.
Ergo donít expect clarification from Damascus. The only effective response would be an exodus of laity financial support which his highly unlikely because the masses do not know or understand the gravity of the situation. Unfortunately the vast majority of people do not read OCA News. Are there any individuals out there who would be willing to put the money and time up to compile, print and mail a newsletter throughout the archdiocese? That is the only way the message could effectively circulate throughout the Antiochian communities in North America. A well informed laity would not likely continue support for the ill-begotten policies fostered by Englewood.
#29 Former Philipian on 2010-11-23 07:20
He did not modify anything.
#30 Happy on 2010-11-23 07:28
If you really believe it's because he was a convert he was removed, you are wrong. Also, don't use being a convert a way to justify him staying. That is wrong and doesn't even matter.
It was overall a lack of other things already stated 1,000 times.
(Editor's note: "Other things?" Like low parish life attendance? Really?)
#31 Happy on 2010-11-23 07:31
Regarding Fr. Touma, a friend knowledgeable of the Church of Antioch in the Levant has never heard that Fr. Touma is a former Metropolitan. In fact, it would be completely bizarre for a Bishop to be demoted to Archimandrite - defrocking from the episcopacy is a removal from Holy Orders entirely, i.e., a clergyman becomes a layman, or a simple monk if tonsured. This can be seen in the recent defrocking of Bishop Artemije, formerly of Raska-Prizren Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church; he is now referred to simply as Monk Artemije. If Fr. Touma had been 'demoted' from the episcopacy in Sidon he would not be an Archimandrite Priest, he would be a monk alone and ineligible for consecration or service as a bishop. My friend with experience in the region also states that if Fr. Touma had been Metropolitan of Sidon, then it is literally never talked about, by anyone, at all. In fact, he was talked about in the Lebanese press as being the candidate favored by Elias Audi for the metropolitan see of Tripoli, Koura and Dependencies - Arch. Ephraim (Kyriakos), then Abbot of Saint Michael Monastery in Baskinta, was consecrated to this see instead - so Fr. Touma is generally considered eligible to serve as a bishop (though as a 'long-shot' candidate due to how outspoken he is).
The only bio material anyone seems to have on Fr. Touma is that he went to St. Vladimir's Seminary in the 1970s before returning soon thereafter to the Levant where he served as a celibate parish priest for a long time in the Archdiocese of Mt. Lebanon; he was tonsured into monasticism in the early 1990s and he is currently the abbot (founder?) of the Holy Trinity 'Family' in Douma, Lebanon, two Orthodox Christian monastic communities in the Antiochian (Rum) Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Byblos & Botris (Mt. Lebanon) under Metropolitan George (Khodr) - the monasteries are dedicated to St. Silouan the Athonite (for men) and St. John the Baptist (for women, under Abbess Mariam).
#32 melxiopp on 2010-11-23 07:40
That is because the term "mother" church is a misnomer.
Our ecclesiology is a mess. A synod 6,000 miles away, living
in fear for their own existence, is a recipe for compromised
decisions and ambiguous behavior.
Local churches with local synods and bishops who know their people
is the norm.
But I know I am preaching to the choir right now.
Alllah Ma'aak, Iskandra
#33 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-23 08:02
Was Bishop MArk removed for being a convert or rather because of internal issues of his diocese.
Bishop MArk was not remived he was offer to move to the eagle river Diocese, he chose to join the OCA. that was his choice.
(Editor's note: You are wrong. According to the historical record, the Bishop was removed from the Midwest, and moved to the Northwest; these were not "options". He created option "B", leave for the OCA. Let's try to stick to the facts, rather than create ex post facto justifications.)
#34 Anonymous on 2010-11-23 08:25
Anonymous, which of the 2 states you live in? Just a wild guess it's in the Midwest. Small world.
#35 Anonymous on 2010-11-23 09:14
I thought I had read on another blog somewhere that the Illumined Heart radio show may be preparing for an upcoming interview with the Patriarch of Antioch. Perhaps some of these issues will be addressed?
#36 Brian on 2010-11-23 09:53
With all respect, the Real Son fo Antioch does not live in Van Nuys.
And since this website all for anonymous posting it is no one business where someone live, since several of you sign Anonymous. Its seems you may have a double standard.
Also Thank you for the clarification on fr. Touma. I have met both Fr. Touma and Metropolitan Elia Khoury and they are both excellent Churchmen serving the Church in LEbanon and with insight to the Church in LEbanona nd America.
Real son of Antioch
(Editor's note: People guess all the time. I am the only one who sees the IP addresses, and there are ways of remaining anonymous through those as well. So, relax everyone.)
#37 Anonymous on 2010-11-23 10:57
Mailing a newsletter would require a mailing list - something I imagine Philip & Thugs keep pretty secure - which is why I am going the pamphlet on the windshield route.
My thanks to those who have written ( email@example.com ) and requested a PDF of the first pamphlet for printing & distribution. For those who complain about laity stepping up and doing something concrete besides posting comments - email me and I'll send a copy your way.
If somebody would like to put together a timeline of Philip's idiotic actions, I'd be happy to format it for distribution (if not, I will do so myself).
#38 Anonymous on 2010-11-23 11:00
you are right on target, I heard about this right before summer started and agree that there has to be some kind of backroom deal, and that now the synod will "realize" what +Phillip is doing and "save" us all by reinstating the bishops as "throned". Anyways, I am actually surprised because +Basil and +Alexander were mentioned in the "cleaning up" process, but they seemed to have survived this for some reason I don't know why, actually +Basil was being talked about the worst which shocked me (I have never heard someone speak of a hierarch like this before, even +Phillip), and I have to stay anonymous (for now) to protect myself and my priest.
#39 Double 0 Antiochian on 2010-11-23 22:12
I cannot continue to read the comments in the AOC regarding "converts" and the men of middle east background and "discrimination" from MP. I am the first of a later long line of converts from the Missouri Synod Lutherans. From my ordination in 1960 by Metropolitan Antony and combined 25 years of service under Sayedna Philip, I truly never experienced any discrimination against me as a convert. Neither Metropolitan showed any disfavor to me because of my background at all. In fact Met. Philip often "favored" me at conventions and other gatherings over some of the "cradle" clergy.
Futhermore, I was the host priest of St. George, Chicago for the first of the Clergy Symposia, in 1980,1982, and in 1984 before they were moved to the "Village." All of the clergy had nothing but the utmost respect and kindness toward me in all of these gatherings. [Including those from one of the midwestern states.] Met. Philip and my sponsor, the late Protosyngellos Ellis Khouri were very pastoral and especially sensitive to me in the many surgeries that I underwent while at St. George in the mid eighties. Their kindness and concern often as I've mentioned exceeded that which was received by the cradle priests. I still pray for Sayedna Philip, a friend since 1960, and my Metropolitan since 1966. I trust in his confidence in our Lord as His servant, and would never doubt His dedication to Our Lord and the Antiochian Archdiocese.
These are the words of an "old man" now, but still a pastor nearly 11years of the GO parish of Price, Utah, where likewise in our Metropolis has there ever been any discrimination against me as a non Greek.
I read this site regulary and my heart goes out to the many who contribute, but I cannot remain still from my own perspective. I hope Mark you will print this.
I want to confirm what has been pointed out already: Fr Touma was elected to the see of South Lebanon but declined.
He had always been touted as a bishop in waiting, yet he consistently rejected that suggestion and stated that he did not desire the position. I guess that he confirmed his sincerity when we declined to accept his election.
#41 Elias on 2010-11-24 03:42
Sorry first time user so i'm not sure where this ends up, but i can just add my info which is 100% certified - a document was signed by all the synod, then a different text was transposed with the signatures on the first document, in order to create a fake declaration. THank the patriarch for giving permission for it.
How do i know? i have ears to hear with and eyes that see.
#42 Marie on 2010-11-24 05:08
Others have mentioned that participation in the Parish Life Conference in Metropolitan Philip's own northeastern diocese was equally low.
I'm sure any number of reasons can be found in Metropolitan Philip's own diocese (and others) to justify his removal based on the grounds he provided for the removal of Bishop Mark (and Fr. David Moretti). Financial impropriety, division, disobedience, etc.
"With what measure ye mete, it shall be meted to you".
#43 melxiopp on 2010-11-24 08:03
It was stated that Fr. Touma was "elected Bishop of South Lebanon in 1995 but he declined the post. I'd rather not speculate on why he did that...". It should be noted that the recently elected Metropolitan of Tripoli, Ephraim (Kyriakos), former Abbot of Saint Michael's Monastery in Baskinta, declined election to the episcopacy twice before finally accepting consecration earlier in 2009. I have been told refusing episcopal election has been a common practice in that generation of Lebanese monastics.
This, again, raises questions regarding the role of the monastic revival in the Church of Antioch, a revival the North American Archdiocese has missed out on due to Metropolitan Philip himself having missed it. In addition, His Eminence seems to represent a certain 'faction' within the Church of Antioch that is perhaps less 'spiritual' in its view of the Orthodox Church, Her Traditions and their place in Rum / Syro-Lebanese society than the more ancient, Traditional form of the Faith represented by Met. Ephrem, Arch. Touma, etc.
#44 melxiopp on 2010-11-24 08:17
The right faith was given to all the people. It just happened that it started in the Middle East were Jesus was born.
Those who governed it in human form have done an amazing job so far and we should be blessed for it in every way possible, some here in the USA are actually trying to water it down in some ways.
However we are mostly trying to be more responsible in our faith like the earlier church in prayer, fasting, and strictness which is actually a good thing. Those who wish to participate to that level is awesome, those that done...it's still awesome, to each their own. We shall not judge based on how pious one is. We are all true believers and express it individually to our own level acceptable to us for different reasons i.e. time, mental focus, etc.
We need that, rather than watering it down to women priests, etc. like the other faiths. I'm not judging their faith because they can be better christians than us, but in terms of actual "religion" it is not the "right" way, or "orthodox" way.
There used to be women priests in the early church called priestesses if i'm correct but that was for a certain time and circumstance. That was discontinued, however this is another topic all together.
(Editor's note; No, Happy, there were never women priests in the early Church. There were female deacons. )
#45 Happy on 2010-11-24 08:54
I meant deaconess. My apologies. I wrote it wrong. But their duties were limited under circumstances, correct?
Thanks for the correction. I meant deaconess. I feel really dumb. lol.
(Editor's note: We all make mistakes. As for limited duties, by today's standards, yes. They do not appear to have served liturgically as do deacons today. On the other hand, today's deacons rarely "serve the saints" in coordinating welfare services....)
#46 Happy on 2010-11-24 09:19
This further supports my earlier assumption as to who Anonymous is.
I will say this, we all love you though
#47 Happy on 2010-11-24 09:24
Dear Fr. Athanasios, I think you have not met the metropolitan Philip we know. You have not heard how negative and critical he has become, both in person and in public. You remember the metropolitan from the time when he was charming, kind and sensitive. You remember a metropolitan who would never announce to a room full of his clergy that he had $15-20 million in previously-undisclosed bonds that he was unwilling to provide them a pension from. You remember a metropolitan who never would have compared his clergy to dogs. You remember a metropolitan who never would have allowed his clergy to publicly criticize a bishop of Antioch in a public letter.
Some of us remember the man you describe, but time has washed that man away and left us with the new reality. It is tragic but the comments you see and the man you remember are realy two different people.
#48 anonymous on 2010-11-24 10:43
It is my understanding that a time line IS being put together and should be made available shortly.
#49 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-24 12:00
As an Arab American and Orthodox Christian I find some of the sie bar coments on this website quite offensive. I have read several time about comments referisng to Middle eastern food in a negative not to mention disrefectful comments on some of the Bishop and Metropolitan of the the Antiochian Archdioces of Norht american.
If this website want any creditabilty, I SUGGEST the following:
1. All individuals who make posting refer from negative ethnic comments - sicne they could offend someone of that ethnic group
2. When you refer to any Orhtodox Bishop show the respect in words that he deserve as a Icon of christ. Referring to MEtropolitan Philip as "Crazy Phil" or " He is evil and must retrtire" is derespectful and further inflame asisuation and give your comments no creditabality.
We can respectfully disagree but od by keep our self respect!
Wishing everyone a wonderful thanksgiving and praying for the unity fo our faith in North america
(Editor's note: Thanks for the suggestions. I too find many of the comments offensive. However, the only way people are going to learn how to communicate better is through example and practice. This is one of the only possibilities for people to express themselves openly, for those opportunities do not exist in most of our parishes, and few of our larger gatherings. In the climate of fear and distrust we currently experience, it is one of the only ways to judge the mood of the people - a valuable barometer, even in non-democratically structured institutions such as our Church. Sometimes, friend, the mood is angry and ugly. It is better we learn of that, hear that, than ignore it. I am not advocating either anger, nor ugliness, but it exists. As for credibility, if you judge this site by the comments posted here, its like judging a building, or the business inside, because someone had some graffiti scrawled on its walls. I am not responsible for it, and neither endorse it or agree with it. I allow it because it too is news, in the sense of a barometer, as I mentioned above. Oftentimes people are able to add to the news in comments as well.
So, in the end, judge the site by the stories I post, and the information I share - not what a distinct minority may or may not opine about.)
#50 Anonymous on 2010-11-26 21:49
You are seriously upset about comments like "skewered like a shish kabob," but you had no problem at all with Metropolitan Philip referring to his priests as "dogs" in Palm Desert?
Folks, this is the mentality you are dealing with on the Met. Philip side.
Offense will be taken if you take the name of "kibee" or "laham mishway"
in vain. ROFLMHO
#51 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-27 09:26
As a point of Reference there are about 50 communities in the Toledo diocese and 10 community in the Worcester Diocese and the Charleston/New Dioceses (combinded) about 45. It is no wonder these diocese will get smaller numbers since they have less parishes, not to mention Toildeo have some of the larger parishes in the archdiocese.
#52 Anonymous on 2010-11-27 11:04
"...we are mostly trying to be more responsible in our faith like the earlier church in prayer, fasting, and strictness which is actually a good thing."
This is a very interesting comment, but I'm not entirely sure I understand what you're trying to say. Do you mind expanding on what you mean by "more responsible," and for that matter "the earlier church"?
Two priests did take leave in Worcester. One requested it, and the other was asked to leave
#54 cynic on 2010-11-30 14:45
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