Friday, July 1. 2011
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The story of the rally in Livonia was depressing. The clergy should not be involved with rallies like this. No one wonder Bishop Mark couldn't wait to get out of there.
It was, however, nice to read that the OCA is coming to its senses with regard to picking a new rector for the cathedral in DC and a new chancellor. Now if they can only fix the problems in Alaska and take care of the Archbishop Seraphim matter there might be some peace and quiet for a while.
By the way, what has been the fate of Fr. Alexander Garklavs? The OCA website says that he is attached to the cathedral in DC. I can't imagine that he would want to serve there with the person who fired him and the fact that he lives on Long Island.
(Editor's note: At the request of the Synod Fr.Garklavs continues to assist as a consultant at the Chancery in Syosset. He is officially attached to the DC Cathedral because the Metropolitan transferred him there, for reasons that can only be guessed at. He does not serve there, but continues to serve in Syosset.
#1 Anon. on 2011-07-01 19:54
Why did the Synod decline to approve Archimandrite Juvenaly as a candidate for bishop in Alaska? Is there a reason? Looks as if the Alaskan diocese itself contains a lot of support for him.
(Editor's note: The Synod has made no public statement on the process in general or in this specific case. Anything more than this is pure speculation.)
#2 cate on 2011-07-02 10:58
As a lebanese American (Not from Michigan); I ahve no problem with Orthodox Clergy supporting PResident Assad.
First, In American we have Freedom to Speach and assembly, I belive there we exercising those rights. we may or not agree with them, but they should not be critized for exercise those rights.
And second, I thin k some historical content is needed. Why Iw ould agree Pesident Assad is a dictator and run his country with and iron fist, he is the best option for Syria. President is a member of a minorinity regligious group call Allouites (not sure on spelling), which is an offset of the Shi sect. The majority of Syrians are Souni. The Allouite support the rigths of minority religions and protect the Christian communities,w hich make up of 25% of teh syrian populiation. During the protests during Holy Week the PResidnet sent security forces to protect the PAtriach so they could hold Good Friday and Paschal services without being threatend.
Syria hold an improt role in the Middle east and buffer against religous undementalist and Isreal, if there would; ever be stability int eh region Syria would be one of the key players. Without Assad Syria would g to an extremist fundemental regime (m ost likely under the Moslem Brotherhood). PResident Assad is trying to stablize his countyr and protect the majority of his people. Unforntately he is using violance and several people are loosing their lives over it.
We as americans should nto ritzes their country goverment or Antiochian clergy forendorsing him.
I support PResent Assad who protect the Christian minorities is Syria and Levbanon.
The U.S. and EU should stay out of it.
Real son of Antioch
#3 Anonymous on 2011-07-02 14:07
Re events in Ukraine, readers might want to check articles on Portal-Credo.Ru (in Russian, but you could try a translation tool such as Google if you don't read Russian). Here's a link: http://portal-credo.ru/site/?act=topic&id=336. The heading for the material on this subject is: "Whose will Ukraine be? The Church and political events in Ukraine are not developing as was planned in Moscow, when Kirill became Patriarch and Yanokovich became President..."
It is been a very long time since I opened the OCA website. Now I remember why I stopped reading OCA news. I have always admired Mark and his reporting, but it was the reports I read and the corruption of priests and bishops which became too much for me. My entire adult life has been a learning experience of corruption, one church, one priest and one bishop at a time.
Now I read that the church members and priests in Livonia, have rallied in support of President Assad, as he slaughters his own people. Why am I not surprised? If you have ever received the Word Magazine, our Metropolitan has stood side by side with Assad in photos in the magazine. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, they might have appeared on the cover.
I will only say to the people and priests in Livonia and Detroit area, fix your own churches, clean the corruption from within.
#5 weary on 2011-07-04 04:20
Well said and extremely true.
#6 Happy on 2011-07-05 12:58
You make valid points.
However, one reason so many Arab-American christians in paricular the Clergy andsupport President Assad is that he protect the Christian minorities in Lebanon and Syria..
n the absense of Assad the Country woulkd be another Iran or Saudi arabia with Moslem fundementalist controling the government. I am not saying Assad has a democracy, eh is a dictator but the alternative is much woorst,s ometime we must pick the best of two evils, which I eblive Assad is the better choice.
Having said that I think Assad need to start real reforms, including an oepn press and freedom of speach, religiona nd assembly and show his people he want to reform his country.
On the subject of Clergy partaking in political rallys, while Is uypport their right to attend as individuals, its implies teh church endorsement by them being there in the clerical dress.
As a matetr of FYI - Fr. George is not syrian but LEbanese,a nd Fr. Antypas is syrian.
One proble, we have with this subject, we are belivignt he American Media which is agenda driven.
We shoudl all prey for a peaceful solution in syria.
#7 Anonymous on 2011-07-05 13:21
I would be very, very careful to talk about the Syrian situation without firsthand knowledge of the country. As with all foreign events, it seems, English-language news reports are heavily biased and dependent on unreliable reports. Suffice it to say, the kind of government that the protesters in Syria would ultimately want to see brought into being is not something that would be good for any Syrian, Christian or Muslim.
I think the best course of action is wait and see; and pray for a peaceful otucome.
#9 Anonymous on 2011-07-05 22:01
If the Antiochian Orthodox Christians in the Levonia area are concerned about protecting Orthodoxy in Syria (which I understand), then they should rally for the Coptics in Egypt, the Orthodox in Turkey, etc. The fate of Christians throughout the world are threatened by Islamic fundamentalists. Once again, clean the corruption in your churches first.
#10 weary on 2011-07-06 04:27
RE: Upcoming AOCANA Convention in Chicago
Last month the Archdiocese website posted an article on the upcoming nominations of two auxiliary bishops. Why are they only nominating two? With all the money MP bragged about having last year, unless he spent it, they should elect 3-4 bishops, fill the vacancies existing right now, and assign the others to help the larger Dicoeses. They can get some good training under some of the Bishops who are really swamped with a heavy workload. This point should be brought up at the general assembly meeting. It will be two years before the convention meets again, and anything can happen to any of the current Bishops in that time. I know there are only a few unmarried priests to choose from, but the nominations/elections should definitely be expanded to 4 new Bishops.
I was happy to see they published the names and bios of the potential candidates. This was very considerate to give people time to read about their backgrounds and make good choices. I have some concerns about them.
Archmandrite John Abadalah - He still has a 22 year old daughter living at home. Is she ready and financially able to live on her own? His first responsibility, especially after losing his wife not too long ago, is to make sure his adult children are all cared for. He will be very busy as a Bishop and not have as much time for them as he does now as a Priest.
Archmandrite Michel Bogos - It is my understanding that he resides in Canada, but has not been able to come to the U.S. yet for meetings, events, etc. for his Diocese because of his Visa status. Has this been resolved yet so that he can come and go as needed? Or will he become a Canadian Bishop along with or replacing Bishop ALEXANDER? If his Visa status is still the same, he won't be free to travel to important meetings and other events where his presence is mandatory.
Rev. Jeremy Davis - He has only been an assistant priest for 5 years. He has not been a pastor with full responsibilities. I think he needs more experience before being placed on the ballot for Bishop.
Archmandrite Daniel Keller - He is already 71 years old, and you never know what can happen to his health from now on. Do you want to elect a Bishop of that age and then have to replace him suddenly if his health deteriorates? This takes away the stability of his Diocese. Also he has had lots of transfers and positions. I wonder why he's been assigned to so many different parishes.
Archmandrite Nicholas Ozone - He's only been a pastor for 5 years. Again, I don't think this is enough time and experience for him to move up to a Bishop.
The other candidates seem to fit the qualifications. These are important elections, and will determine the future of the Archdiocese. It is vital that the delegates pose these questions prior to the election and request full discussion about each candidate. This is your time to speak up. I have nothing against any of these men. I have only met two of them over the years, and the rest I do not know. You just want to make sure that they are fully qualified and ready to assume all responsibilities with nothing standing in their way. That is how you fill a vacancy/train future Bishops appropriately.
Yes, it is a shame Bishop MARK couldn't wait to get out of there. That area in the Midwest has way too many old country people who thumb their noses at converts. You see it happening all over the country, and it is so sad. This is not Orthodox. Let us hope Bishop MARK is finding a true ministry and peace in the OCA.
Speaking of that Midwest Diocese, last month on the front page of the Archdiocese Website was featured a new book "Reflections on the Field of a Local Parish, written by none other than Fr. Joseph Antypas, another troublemaker in the Midwest. Was he reflecting the stuff going on in his own parish or other parishes? What does he know about any of the topics summarized online in the book? He who sucked up to MP in Palm Desert. He who allowed financial mismanagement at his parish in Troy, and then allowed the Board of Trustee Criminal to remain on his parish council. He who allowed filthy language and treatment at the meeting by that same person. He who forced his treasurer to leave the meeting, after the mismanagement came to light, and did not support him, but allowed him to be verbally abused and threatened by the criminal. He who forced the treasurer and a couple of other people on the council to resign, so that the misdeeds would be kept quiet (even though they were on the internet for everyone to read). He who received such a nice supportive statement from MP about his excellent work on this book. It's nice to know MP still has some devoted followers and friends left, though their value system leaves much to be desired.
It's amazing how one person who has conducted such shoddiness in his ministry can receive so many kudos. Perhaps we should all rush to the bookstores to buy this book and read it - NOT. Better to find a reputable charity to donate money to. Stay tuned in Chicago for all of you delegates to see what Fr. Antypas pulls this time. That should make internet headlines.
On May 12, 2011, most parishes had an archpastoral directive inserted into their bulletins. It was from MP, another one of his directives, instead of an invitation, to the faithful to attend another Archdiocese Convention. A directive is an order, not a very friendly way to encourage people to participate. Will this man ever learn better manners and people skills after all these years living here?
The Marriott Hotel in downtown Chicago is on Magnificent Mile, which sounds like a very fancy hotel, priced at over $200 a night. I know they need a large place to accommodate everyone, and yes, there are many people who can afford to attend. But what about those coming from far away, plane tickets, lodging, meals, events, etc. and with families, or worse, having to leave family home because they can't afford it. What about the smaller parishes that just don't have the money to send their clergy and delegates? Is their a fund that can help them out? It's easy for MP to say you are "required to send your delegates", but where does all of this money come from? Is he going to help everyone get there with his excess money? It's a good idea - something for him to think about.
They claim everyone is invited to participate in the departmental work, as they need the talent and advice of everyone, so why do they verbally abuse people, shut off the microphones, boo and otherwise mistreat people, and then wonder why people refuse to attend and be mistreated that way. That doesn't sound like they want to hear the advice of anyone.
"Each parish must exercise its full rights by sending its full complement of delegates." Again, what about those parishes who cannot afford to do so? Are they allowed votes by proxy or do they lose out because they have no money for such extravagance? Will the profits of this expensive week in that hot and muggy city be partially used for charity or to help some of the smaller parishes who are truly struggling? Or is this just another big fundraiser for the AOCANA which refuses to properly audit the books so the faithful know where the money goes?
As for the requirements of the 3 extra charity trays being fulfilled, are you sure all parishes are doing that and sending in every penny that is collected in good faith for those charities? If not, they don't get to have seated, voting delegates - right? Someone should be checking up to make sure no money is being held back by some parishes.
The sacred duty of every parish to send delegates is a great concept, but if they have no money, what do they do? Will that parish be punished or the priest removed if they don't?
People are urged to send immediately generous ads to the souveneir journal. In the economic times we live in, you expect everything, plus a generous ad. Really, the 10 points of this "directive" are way out of line with what the average person can afford right now, and it's about time the AOCANA looks at this financial situation and considers other avenues to gather people together. People are trying to pay their mortgages and put food on the table so they don't become homeless or starve. Let's think about them instead of all of these demands.
"Bring your entire family, including your children, and enjoy a beautiful week of worship, work and true Christian fellowship." Why would any true Orthodox parents, who see the reality of the AOCANA, bring their children to be exposed to everything going on? Is that what you want to teach them - pushing, shoving, lying, cheating and dismissing motions that are made on the floor - all from so-called faithful clergy and laity? That's not a lesson that should be passed on to the next generation. They don't need to be corrupted.
To all of you contemplating attending - keep these words and ideas in mind and be aware of all that goes on this time. These are issues that must be addressed to avoid future catastrophes and extravagant spending of money that will disappear without a trace.
Good luck and have fun.
To say that Fr George is Lebanese and Fr Antypas is Syrian, sums up what is wrong with the Archdiocese and its' churches. I find little comfort that one is Syrian and one is Lebanese. The only people that seem to care, are the people from the Middle East. Most of us, born in America from a Middle East background, say that we are Americans. I am proud that my grandparents came from Syria and Lebanon, but find it difficult to understand what is so important about the village you came from, the country you came from, etc. What is important is where you reside now.
#14 weary on 2011-07-11 03:41
I feel sorry for you...where do you want it, at a Motel 8 and in a rural town with nothing but trees. Let those that are blessed with the ability to go go. Those that can't, well i'm not sure what to say except maybe save up for the following in 2013 starting today if you really want to go. Maybe that is tough to say, but be realistic when you think of having a National Archdiocese Convention with thousands of people, you need a big city full of entertainment for the families too. These are peoples vacations once a year! Save up next time.
#15 Happy on 2011-07-15 11:48
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