Author Topic: Father John Mack  (Read 46288 times)

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Offline Hesychios

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Father John Mack
« on: January 06, 2007, 01:22:42 PM »
It has just become apparent that father John Mack, author of 'Ascending the Heights' has become a Catholic. I had always assumed that he was an Antiochian, but he apparently left the OCA for the Ruthenian Catholics.

All I know is that he has not been pastoring the mission in Kansas City for a couple of months. Does anyone have further information on this? Did his family join him? Has he written on the subject?

Thanks
Michael, that sinner
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2007, 01:47:04 PM »
It has just become apparent that father John Mack, author of 'Ascending the Heights' has become a Catholic. I had always assumed that he was an Antiochian, but he apparently left the OCA for the Ruthenian Catholics.

All I know is that he has not been pastoring the mission in Kansas City for a couple of months. Does anyone have further information on this? Did his family join him? Has he written on the subject?

Thanks
Michael, that sinner

I heard a rumor that this was happening.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2007, 02:11:12 PM »
Interesting. I don't know of any information about his (apparent) conversion, sorry. I first came across him because his book/video tapes were what my wife and I used during pre-marital counselling. I remember sending back and forth an email or two over the years, though I got the distinct impression that some of my moronic online comments hadn't exactly put me in his good graces. In any event, I would be interested in hearing his thoughts on conversion, if that has indeed happened.

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2007, 02:55:36 PM »
I'm fairly certain he has indeed renounced his orders and left the church.  His former mission parish has a temporary administrator at this time.  We should be praying for his former parish as I'm sure many are probably feeling a sense of betrayel and that this is a trying time for them.  We should also pray for him and his family, as they have likely left the communion of the church.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2007, 02:06:51 AM »
It has just become apparent that father John Mack, author of 'Ascending the Heights' has become a Catholic. I had always assumed that he was an Antiochian, but he apparently left the OCA for the Ruthenian Catholics.

All I know is that he has not been pastoring the mission in Kansas City for a couple of months. Does anyone have further information on this? Did his family join him? Has he written on the subject?

Thanks
Michael, that sinner

He was an Antiochian originally and then I heard he had left for the OCA. But no one ever told me why. This is very interesting he has become Roman Catholic. This change kind of confirms to me a thought I had ever since I heard Fr. David Anderson became Roman Catholic.

Offline Elisha

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2007, 03:15:56 AM »
He was an Antiochian originally and then I heard he had left for the OCA. But no one ever told me why. This is very interesting he has become Roman Catholic. This change kind of confirms to me a thought I had ever since I heard Fr. David Anderson became Roman Catholic.

Except that Fr. David Anderson became Byzantine Catholic.  Yeah, I know, many would say, "Same thing."  Also, Fr. David Anderson left around 8 years ago.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2007, 09:48:53 AM »
It was reported at Byzcath.org that Fr. John Mack became Byzantine Catholic and was incardinated to the Eparchy of Van Nuys.
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 11:22:40 AM »
He was an Antiochian originally and then I heard he had left for the OCA. But no one ever told me why. This is very interesting he has become Roman Catholic. This change kind of confirms to me a thought I had ever since I heard Fr. David Anderson became Roman Catholic.

I think one of the main pitfalls of the convert experience, at least as far as I have observed, is that it may not stop.  I guess that's why there is a thread about the five year lifespan of converts, or something to that effect.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 11:45:31 AM by welkodox »

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 11:29:42 AM »
I guess it depends on your perspective.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 12:40:20 PM »
I think one of the main pitfalls of the convert experience, at least as far as I have observed, is that it may not stop.  I guess that's why there is a thread about the five year lifespan of converts, or something to that effect.

But Andrew, the very same thing can happen to someone who has had ancestors who have been Orthodox for 2000 years. Only God knows how many millions of Orthodox Christians have left Orthodoxy in North America since the beginning of the 20th century. Remember the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada story? They had close to 100,000 members in 1961 and now they only have 11,000 members. The attrition rate is phenomenal. When people lived in small Christian villages there usually wasn't an option to leave the faith. But Orthodoxy will always have to compete in the new world with a thousand other belief systems and secularism.

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 01:03:31 PM »
But Andrew, the very same thing can happen to someone who has had ancestors who have been Orthodox for 2000 years. Only God knows how many millions of Orthodox Christians have left Orthodoxy in North America since the beginning of the 20th century. Remember the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada story? They had close to 100,000 members in 1961 and now they only have 11,000 members. The attrition rate is phenomenal. When people lived in small Christian villages there usually wasn't an option to leave the faith. But Orthodoxy will always have to compete in the new world with a thousand other belief systems and secularism.

That's not quite what I'm talking about though.  I'm speaking more particularly of what I've seen in some people who find Orthodoxy to be "the answer" as adults, then turn around and find it wasn't and leave.  I also unfortunately personally knew a priest who fell and took his family with him.  I find that situation particularly hard to understand.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 01:03:52 PM by welkodox »

Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2007, 01:26:32 PM »
It is hard to understand why something like that would happen. But Satan will always tempt us to doubt... Maybe some are not prepared for the dynamic relationship of meeting God especially when He allows us to experience dry periods in our spiritual life. This could be the point when some give up the struggle. Living an Orthodox life is not easy. Some of my friends at church have told me they always felt like they were good Christians when they were evangelicals but now that they are Orthodox they feel like sinners and failures.

In regard to your priest friend...the priesthood offers an even tougher burden to carry. I have asked many priests how they carry on when they have been persecuted by their own people or have been tested in other ways. They have all given me the same answer...by the grace of God.

Offline Thomas

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 04:34:49 PM »
Father Deacon Lance,

I tried to find that info, where did you see it?

Thomas
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Offline Mo the Ethio

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2007, 08:46:41 PM »
Oh my Lord have mercy upon me and save me!!!
  Father Mack brought my family into the church. He was my priest ( in Lawrence ,KS.)
He remains and always will be my brother in Christ.
 I am deeply bitter about his departure from Orthodoxy as he was forced out of the church the details of which involve long standing vendetas from the Antiochions and pressure applied on the OCA by said Antiochions and has caused me to withdraw from regular church attendence.  It is a long and very sad story and a demonstration of why there will never be a United church in America.
 As my Greek friend said when I told him about Fr. John leaving the church  ..." This is a huge loss to the Orthodox faith."
  I was the Parish Council President when he resigned . What I state is fact as I saw it unfold.
I make no apologies for stating the truth . He was forced out .
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Offline aserb

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2007, 09:32:52 PM »
Mo

Care to elaborate?
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Offline BasilCan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2007, 10:35:23 PM »
Yes, Mo, please elaborate. See my section in "free for all" on Purges in the Antiochian archdiocese.

But, a few points:

-Fr. David Anderson was Catholic, became Orthodox and after the whole bad Ben Lomand affair, became Catholic again.
-Fr. John Mack was an Anglican before, not Catholic

I was told Fr. John Mack was released to the OCA by Bishop BASIL of the Antiochians because he had become very prideful. Other Antiochian Bishops would have laicized him. Bp. Basil, gave him a way out. Sadly, after leaving the Antiochians he seemed to have fallen into oblivion (from a published book/article point of view). One does not become a Byzantine Catholic lightly, so what gives?

Basil

Offline Mo the Ethio

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2007, 11:15:15 PM »
Basil:
I saw that thread and thought about posting but withheld. I am going to irritate a lot of people on this forum ( as most of you know , I am the least articulate here and can`t spell to save my life) but .....
   High placed Antiochians in Wichita KS. (St. George`s) had issues with Fr.John dating back to his days as an Antiochian Priest. I am not famliar with the details, though I do know that his critics continued to conspire against him.
  So, I`m going to break it down.....The OCA is in a SEVERE financial crisis.....The Antiochians have money...LOTS of money.....in exchange for certain favors, the Antiochians donated a considerable amount of monetary support to the OCA......
 Father John was an awesome Priest and brilliant articlulater of the faith and did not deserve to be sacrificed by the by Met. Herman in order to save himself. For this reason alone, Met. Herman should resign.....oh yeah...there`s that money thing too :-X :'( ??? >:(
 
     
 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 12:26:17 AM by FrChris »
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2007, 12:11:13 AM »
Sounds a little like the Mafia.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2007, 12:11:22 AM by welkodox »

Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2007, 12:57:55 AM »
Basil:
I saw that thread and thought about posting but withheld. I am going to irritate a lot of people on this forum ( as most of you know , I am the least articulate here and can`t spell to save my life) but .....
   High placed Antiochians in Wichita KS. (St. George`s) had issues with Fr.John dating back to his days as an Antiochian Priest. I am not famliar with the details, though I do know that his critics continued to conspire against him.
  So, I`m going to break it down.....The OCA is in a SEVERE financial crisis.....The Antiochians have money...LOTS of money.....in exchange for certain favors, the Antiochians donated a considerable amount of monetary support to the OCA......
 Father John was an awesome Priest and brilliant articlulater of the faith and did not deserve to be sacrificed by the by Met. Herman in order to save himself. For this reason alone, Met. Herman should resign.....oh yeah...there`s that money thing too :-X :'( ??? >:(
 
     
 

Dear Mo,

Unless the Antiochians offered the OCA millions of dollars, if they did indeed offer Met. HERMAN any money, it couldn't be enough to cover the shortfall in the OCA. The whole budget for the Antiochian Archdiocese is only around $4-5 million dollars a year. Our archdiocese runs a very tight ship.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2007, 01:01:32 AM »
How much is the shortfall in the OCA? Is it really that bad?

Offline aserb

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2007, 01:04:28 AM »
Eh' kumere I gonna make you an offer you can't refuse.  :D
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2007, 01:10:10 AM »
How much is the shortfall in the OCA? Is it really that bad?

Unfortunately yes. Millions of dollars were lost over the years. But with leaders like Archbishop JOB, some courageous OCA priests, and some very talented folks in the laity, the OCA will recover.

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2007, 01:13:13 AM »
Dear Mo
don't let bitterness eat you up.
Fr. Mack went his own way, like the grown man that he is.
Many of our bishops and hierarchs are problematical at best. The most spiritual sometimes have the least influence, institutionally (but who knows what the Holy Spirit may accomplishing through them despite how things look outwardly). But generation, after generation, the Church survives.

The OCA scandal last year caused me much strife and a serious, serious look into the Roman Catholic Church.
I came real close to leaving, but I decided one conversion per decade was my limit (LOL!). And that was enough to calm me down and comfort me and I'm still here, with no plans to leave.

What is the old saying; We know who is in the Church, but we do not know who is outside the Church?
When these perplexing issues and circumstances come up, I take comfort in that. Ultimately, it is Christ's Church and bride, not ours.


Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2007, 01:18:49 AM »
How much is the shortfall in the OCA? Is it really that bad?

You can read the whole history here.  http://ocanews.org/ 

One thing that may very well happen is that other groups will seek to exploit the situation the OCA now finds itself in.  There's been a few signs that this is happening.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2007, 01:22:10 AM »
You can read the whole history here.  http://ocanews.org/ 

One thing that may very well happen is that other groups will seek to exploit the situation the OCA now finds itself in.  There's been a few signs that this is happening.

I'm sorry to hear this. I was familiar with the scandal, but I didn't know it had put the OCA in dire financial straits.

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2007, 01:25:46 AM »
I'm sorry to hear this. I was familiar with the scandal, but I didn't know it had put the OCA in dire financial straits.

A fair amount disappeared and the laity have a tendency to tighten the hold on the wallet when they feel like  what they are giving is going down the proverbial rathole.  Kind of a double whammy.

They are in a more generalized crisis though, one could say an identity crisis which the financial issues just brought to a head.  Some of the screeds by Fr. Hopko touch on that.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2007, 01:30:15 AM »
Quote
The OCA scandal last year caused me much strife and a serious, serious look into the Roman Catholic Church.

I'm glad you stayed, believe it or not. :) Fwiw, if I could add something that I'm sure pretty much everyone here already knows (but sometimes it's good to hear it again)... this stuff is nothing new, even in the 4th century (when the Church should have been triumphant) there were lots of issues. Gregory The Theologian complained that most priests were in the clergy for the wrong reasons. John Chrysostom complained that most bishops were not up to the job intellectually (and was later condemned and exiled, partly due to the activity of a person who would later be glorified as an Orthodox saint). Basil fought the political maneuver to divide his ecclesiastical territory, and had people consecrated even when they didn't really want to be. The Alexandrian Patriarchate tried to interfere with other sees, and sometimes succeeded. There were 2 (sometimes 3) people vying for the Antiochian bishopric, each of them supported by multiple saints. Anyway... things aren't that chaotic these days, right? :)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 01:31:00 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2007, 12:55:10 PM »
Thomas,

Looks like they took the thread down.  One of ours deacons in Kansas posted he was witness to Fr. John's reception.

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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2007, 01:17:01 PM »
Very sad.   I hope he's aware of what he's getting into.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 01:17:31 PM by welkodox »

Offline Bruno

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2007, 04:30:18 PM »
It is not a tragedy to return to full communion with the Catholic Church.  It is joy.

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2007, 04:58:34 PM »
Leaving the church is not a cause for joy.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2007, 05:08:41 PM »
It is not a tragedy to return to full communion with the Catholic Church.  It is joy.

We are the Catholic Church while you are not.  Do not come on our Orthodox Catholic forum and spout propaganda against the true Church.

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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2007, 05:12:50 PM »
Isn't this "We are and you aren't!" type of exchange pointless and somewhat beneath all involved? Obviously, for those of us who are Catholics, Fr. Mack is coming home, for those of us who are Orthodox, he is either heading over to the sister's house or is abandoning the family altogether. Different perspectives. Hardly surprising.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 05:14:23 PM by lubeltri »

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2007, 05:22:21 PM »
Isn't this "We are and you aren't!" type of exchange pointless and somewhat beneath all involved? Obviously, for those of us who are Catholics, Fr. Mack is coming home, for those of us who are Orthodox, he is either heading over to the sister's house or is abandoning the family altogether. Different perspectives. Hardly surprising.

The fact remains that this is an Orthodox forum, and Bruno should not be posting things like this here.  There are any number of Roman Catholic fora where people can express their opinion about the joy of being in communion with Rome.  Orthodox need a place where they can feel safe to be themselves, to feel that they are at home. 
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2007, 05:26:58 PM »
I don't have anything against Catholics.  It just isn't good manners to post that in this thread.

To us it isn't a happy occassion.  The church in the big sense has lost a priest, and the church as in an individual parish has lost their leader and spiritual father.  I bet a lot of people are upset.  It's not a joyful event for us or them.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2007, 05:34:32 PM »
I don't have anything against Catholics.  It just isn't good manners to post that in this thread.

To us it isn't a happy occassion.  The church in the big sense has lost a priest, and the church as in an individual parish has lost their leader and spiritual father.  I bet a lot of people are upset.  It's not a joyful event for us or them.

And the fact that some view those losses as a cause for joy is concerning, as well.
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Offline frost

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2007, 08:50:39 PM »
Dear Mo:

I am very sorry about the difficulty and your fellow parishioners are going through. This too, shall pass in time. I have seen similar crises, unfortunately, more than once.

That being said, I believe that it is important to look at such situations factually and rationally; especially since there are such raw emotions involved. There are several points in your posting that I would like to address one at a time. You need not respond; but just think about them.

First, you stated that "the Antiochians" were carrying out a vendetta. That is a very broad statement that could be seen as an accusation against every member of the Antiochian Archdiocese. I belong to a parish in Oklahoma. I can guarantee you that I'm the only member of my parish who would even know who Fr Mack is;  and I've only seen him once from a distance !  Why would any of us have a reason for a "vendetta" ?  if you are going to make accusations, then you need to be more specific about who  you are accusing.

Second:  You stated that Fr John "resigned" from being your parish priest. You are new to the church and perhaps you don't understand the church's protocol. If a priest is to resign, he would submit that resignation to his bishop, not his parish council. What is more. a resignation is a *voluntary* act. Unless someone was holding a gun to his head, while he resigned; how can you say "he was forced out" ?  If the bishop wanted to remove Fr. John from your parish, the bishop would have sent you a letter stating so. Without a formal letter from your bishop removing Fr John from your parish, there is no reason that he was forced to leave. Even if he was removed from your parish, he would be free to serve in another parish as an Orthodox priest. Nowhere is there any indication that he was suspended or removed form the priesthood. How then, can you imply that he was *forced* to convert to the Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Church ?  The story just doen't make common sense.

Third: Please explain your accusation that the people in Wichita carried out a "vendetta" against Fr. John. I know those people. A "vendetta 'is so far out of their character as to be laughable, if it wasn't such an ugly thing to say. Bishop Basil is one of the most beloved bishops in America. He is known by all for his kindness, his love for all, his care for his flock and his priests. It is unusual for a priest to be given a canonical relaese to another jurisdicition. It is unheard of for a parish to be given such a release. The fact that Fr John and your entire parish *were * given such a release, hardly speaks to a "vendetta" .  Besides, if the Antiochains wanted to carry out a "vendetta" it would have been much easier to do so when Fr John was an Antiochian priest. The facts just don't add up.

Fourth: In a second posting you implied that someone in the Antiochian Archdiocese "paid" Metroplitan Herman to "force Fr John out". That is a pretty serious allegation to write publicly, and should not be made without factual evidence. You could be sued for slander !  Even so, the story doesnt make sense. The Orthodox Church in America is going through a serious financial scandal. It is public knowledge that the OCA's finances are under investigation by the FBI and the IRS. Do you really think that someone would be crazy enough to give or accept a bribe under the government's nose. Really !

I ask you to think these things over carefully and dispassionately. Often, there are circumstance in play that we are unaware of. Please keep an open mind.

About the church. I would like to ask you one thing. Did you join the church out of love for Fr John or love for Jesus Christ ? Fr John may be gone; but the Lord Jesus Christ is still there. Who are you avoiding by staying away ?   Think it over.  Best wishes.  You wil be in our prayers.

Francis Frost

Offline BasilCan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2007, 12:30:07 AM »
But, we still have not answered the question, why did Fr. John join the Ruthenian Catholics? Let's think about this.

1) He didn't do it for the money. He already left a good "gig" with the Antiochians. So. The Ruthenians don't pay well. If he needed money, he'd go back to the Antiochians or join the Greeks.

2) He didn't return to his tradition. He was Episcoplian, not Catholic before. So he wasn't returning home.

3) He didn't do it because he felt the OCA-Bulgarians weren't "traditional enough". As a parish in the rather small and obscure Bulgarian diocese of the OCA, he was on this own to do as he pleases. In other words, he wouldn't have been run out of town for wearing a cassock or having people follow a traditional orthodox life.

3) As further confirmation that "conservatism" and "traditionalism" wasn't an issue, he didn't join the ROCOR or other "traditionalist" groups such as the ROCA or one of the several Old Calendarist Greeks.

4) Catholics tend to do their due diligence and just don't take "anybody." So it couldn't be because there was some serious scandal, like adultery or theft etc.

5) Therefore, either he is a crazy man who has convinced the Eastern Rite Catholics he is "okay" or, more likely, he had a practical and theological reason to join the Eastern Catholics.

So, as an Orthodox, what were his reasons to convert to Eastern Catholicism?

Basil

Offline kelfar

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2007, 03:54:53 AM »
Greetings!


Everyone here is trying to solve a mystery.  If you need an answer then you should contact Fr. John Mack.  I am not sure why always we have to point a finger on the Antiochian church or other jurisdiction. Use your logic!
 
First, as an Antiochian Sub-Deacon, I have not heard from the Archdiocesan office that Fr. John Mack was suspended or excommunicated. Usually, the Word magazine publishes every month in the Archdiocesan office section if a clergyman has been Elevated, suspended or excommunicated.
Second, if I am truly Orthodox from my heart why should I leave to another religion!???
Third, I am sure that Fr. John has his reasons and they are very personal to him and his family.
Fourth, I am not sure why would the Antiochians pay the OCA $$$
Fifth, I trust Bp. BASIL and his zeal to Orthodoxy. He is loved by all the Orthodox here and there.

We should pray not judge!

In Christ,

Sub-Deacon, Karim El-Far.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 03:57:17 AM by kelfar »

Offline aserb

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2007, 09:16:31 AM »
Kel-Far

You believe everything your read?  Did you ever hear of disinformation or no information? You think repressive governments are the only domain of back door politics?
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2007, 09:18:25 AM »
Bruno,

Please remember we are guests at an Orthodox forum.  If this were a Catholic forum would you appreciate an Orthodox gloating about the conversion of a Catholic priest to Orthodoxy?  Would you not be distressed that a priest left your Church?

My apologies to my Orthodox brothers and sisters for Bruno's behavior.

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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2007, 11:38:13 AM »
Bruno,

Please remember we are guests at an Orthodox forum.  If this were a Catholic forum would you appreciate an Orthodox gloating about the conversion of a Catholic priest to Orthodoxy?  Would you not be distressed that a priest left your Church?

My apologies to my Orthodox brothers and sisters for Bruno's behavior.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Father Lance, you are a true Christian gentleman.
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2007, 12:03:23 PM »
Therefore, either he is a crazy man who has convinced the Eastern Rite Catholics he is "okay" or, more likely, he had a practical and theological reason to join the Eastern Catholics.

I would be willing to bet he changed his opinion about the Papacy.  I found a thread in another fora about his conversion and it said the following

"Fr. Mack was in multiple evangelical/reformed protestant denominations before becoming Antiochian Orthodox in 1994. At that time, he was in the Reformed Episcopal Church, not with the Evangelical Orthodox (who became Antiochian Orthodox in 1987). After serving in three separate Antiochian Orthodox missions from 1994 to 2002, he entered the OCA."

It seems like he's looking for something.  We'll see if he finds it.  The same thread confirmed (by a witness) that he was received in September and recently granted his faculties as a priest in the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys.  I would imagine they are looking for a place to put him now.  It would certainly be interesting if it was near his old parish.


Offline Ebor

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2007, 12:07:09 PM »
It would seem that Kelfar has the most reasonable suggestion: that of trying to ask Fr. John Mack what happened.  This would seem to be much better then imagining conspiracies and other kinds of skullduggery without much or any real data or fact.  It could be that he does not wish to speak of it,  or that it could be thought not most people's business to inquire.  I don't know, but it's just a thought.

Whatever the cause, it would not seem that it was a casual or easy thing.  There are many people's lives affected and much distress, I would think. I say this having been in the situation of  Episcopal priests change their Church affiliation and reading the, yes sometimes, gloating and smug self-praise by those belonging to the body they joined along with patronizing or uncharitable remarks about the Episcopal/Anglican Church.

Ebor
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2007, 12:12:06 PM »
It would certainly be interesting if it was near his old parish.

"Interesting" as in the old curse of "may you live in interesting times"?  :-\  It would be a painful and awkward "interesting" to say the least.  The people in the former Church are probably feeling very hurt and betrayed and angry.  It would not be a good idea at all for the new Church to send a recent clerical convert back to the same area.

I am speaking from some experiences, both casual and personal. 

Ebor
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2007, 12:28:27 PM »
Kel-Far

You believe everything your read?  Did you ever hear of disinformation or no information? You think repressive governments are the only domain of back door politics?

Dan,

The sub-deacon is correct. Fr.John was never suspended or excommunicated from the AOA. I asked people in my parish who knew him personally. They told me he transferred to the OCA but they did not tell me why. All suspensions, leave of absences, transfers, and excommunications etc. are posted in the WORD magazine. 


Offline Ebor

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2007, 12:36:41 PM »
Indeed, Kel-far is closer to the situation then many here. One wonders why his post should be called to question or discounted because it is not in agreement with some others.

  :-\

Ebor
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2007, 01:17:10 PM »
I would be willing to bet he changed his opinion about the Papacy. 

Well, that certainly is the big difference between Eastern Catholics and Orthodox.

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2007, 01:23:19 PM »
Not the Melkites.

Offline kelfar

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2007, 02:03:29 PM »
I agree: it is not our business to know why Fr. John left Orthodoxy to the Byzantine Catholic Church.

Again, all I know from a source that Fr. John Mack left for a PERSONAL reason.  However, I would not put my christian life on HOLD.


For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. (Mark 4:22) KJV
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32) KJV

In Christ,

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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2007, 03:13:35 PM »
"I would imagine they are looking for a place to put him now.  It would certainly be interesting if it was near his old parish."

If Fr. John was incardinated in the Eparchy of Van Nuys that is unlikely as Kansas is in the Eparchy of Parma. Denver is the closet parish in Van Nuys.

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Offline MarkosC

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2007, 12:29:35 AM »
A few comments.

First, even if all the complaints and problems listed for  OCA, the Antiochians, or whoever are true, as we all know there are scandals and problems of all sorts in the Catholic Church.  I don't believe anyone should switch jursidictions or faiths simply because there's a scandal close to home.  You might jump into the midst of another one elsewhere.

Second, I am sorry for the parish Fr. John used to administer.   I pray another priest will come to them soon. 

Third, I hope the reasons he converted were "the" real reasons to do so - that he does not believe "filioque", papal primacy, etc. as the present Cathecism of the Catholic Church explains are heresies and that SCOBA's positions on those subjects are incorrect enough that he's compelled to leave his bishop, his Church and the congregation entrusted to him.   

Fourth, I'm always a bit leery of anyone jumping faiths - and especially clergy.  Of course, if one has a conversion experience, one should convert.  But as a clergyman, I hope he pondered this very carefully, believes his reasons wholeheartedly, and won't jump again.   I hope his new bishop weighed the issue very carefully as well.   I also hope his work in his new vineyard will be very fruitful.   

Finally, in the end all the above is for God to decide on.  May He have mercy on Fr. John and all of us as well.     

Markos
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« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 12:32:38 AM by MarkosC »
O Lord although I desired to blot out
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And for the rest of my life to please Thee
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Yet doth the enemy lead me astray as he wareth
against my sould with his cunning

O Lord before I utterly perish do Thou save me!

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2007, 04:04:35 AM »
I also hope his work in his new vineyard will be very fruitful.   

Forgive me if this sounds harsh, but  IMO you should not be posting that wish here.  Really, you've been much more sensitive than this in your earlier posts.  Others have already posted here that we Orthodox are mourning his loss, and I don't think you should be wishing him all the best here in his new ministry.  There are other ways of saying that you wish the best for him without puttng it this way.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 04:15:59 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Aristibule

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2007, 06:11:52 PM »
Hi brother Francis  :)

I can verify what Francis Frost said - those folk aren't vengeful (Wichita or otherwise in the area.) I can also verify that Francis is truthful and charitable. A point though - The WORD or the AOAA would not report Fr. John Mack as being deposed or anything of the sort, as they reported years ago his release to the OCA. If anyone would report it, it would be the OCA. Write the Most Reverend KYRILL in Toledo, OH would be my suggestion. I am a little surprised by the whole affair though.

I must say, I do grieve for the mission he left behind. Most of those folk had no other geographical access to Orthodoxy, and their conversions were hard won. Hopefully they will find a replacement priest, or many will have to drive the long drive to other cities.

Drake Ari Adams
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Offline MarkosC

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2007, 07:37:52 PM »
Forgive me if this sounds harsh, but  IMO you should not be posting that wish here.  Really, you've been much more sensitive than this in your earlier posts.  Others have already posted here that we Orthodox are mourning his loss, and I don't think you should be wishing him all the best here in his new ministry.  There are other ways of saying that you wish the best for him without puttng it this way.

Pravoslavbob (and anyone else), apologies if that quote disturbs you.   That was not my intent, but I can see why it does and if I could edit the post I would say it "without putting it this way".  ;)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 07:39:17 PM by MarkosC »
O Lord although I desired to blot out
with my tears the handwriting of my many sins
And for the rest of my life to please Thee
through sincere repentance
Yet doth the enemy lead me astray as he wareth
against my sould with his cunning

O Lord before I utterly perish do Thou save me!

Offline Mo the Ethio

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2007, 12:46:46 AM »
I don`t have a lot of time at this moment but, for the record ( the former Father ) , John Mack is a lay-person in the Roman Catholic Church, not a Priest. I`ll respond to others later.
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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2007, 01:28:09 AM »
I personally didn't take the reference to him being fruitful in his new vineyard as a slam or gloating. But in light of Bruno's remarks I can see how it was taken that way.

I took it not that he meant may he be fruitful in a ministry to byzantine catholics (at the expense of Orthodox), but rather, my he be blessed and fruitful as a pastor to a different flock (albeit one that we Orthodox would differ with). I guess it depends on how you read it.

Anyway, now Mo mentions he is a former priest and now layperson. Maybe the burdens of ministry were too much for him. That, combined with a sort of "ancestral pull" to the West , if you are a convert who was serious about his faith even before becoming Orthodox (in that you had a stong religious experience and nurture in a branch of the Western church and generations within a particular western tradition). If so, I would predict one more switch, from eastern rite to western rite (I think the RCC allows one rite switch) on down the road.

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2007, 01:32:53 AM »
I just checked Conciliar Press and his books are still on sale there.

But this will probably be a serious drag on his writing career in the future.

Conciliar will probably not re-publish his works as they sell out of the current printing (my speculation, of course).

All in all, a sad episode for all involved. He, his family, his former parish and each of us need prayer.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 01:33:27 AM by BrotherAidan »

Offline BasilCan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2007, 06:10:00 PM »
If Fr. John Mack is now a layman, then his "conversion" makes sense. Most Orthodox do not look favourably on laicized priests - In fact, they are often ostracized by those in their faith.  Thus, if a priest has "had enough" and doesn't want to be a priest anymore, becoming a Byzantine Catholic is a good option. Think about it, you stay "Eastern" but you get away from the situation you were in before. Maybe, if we were a little more kind with our priests and allow them to become laymen again, without the shame or guilt, then maybe they would stay.

Basil

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2007, 10:23:11 PM »
Basilcan
those are interesting and well thought points

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2007, 01:15:34 AM »
I don`t have a lot of time at this moment but, for the record ( the former Father ) , John Mack is a lay-person in the Roman Catholic Church, not a Priest. I`ll respond to others later.
A note on the Catholic Answers Forum discussion on this topic (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=127731) indicates that Fr. Mack was received as a Byzantine Catholic back in September and recently granted "faculties" as a Byzantine Catholic priest. An earlier discussion on the Catholic Answers board (which was mysteriously deleted by the moderators) indicated that he was accepted into the Eparchy of Parma and would be starting a mission in his home in Lawrence, KS that would eventually be moved to Kansas City.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2007, 01:18:36 AM »
-Fr. John Mack was an Anglican before, not Catholic
Slight correction: He was in the Reformed Episcopal Church (which is not affiliated with the Anglican Communion) before becoming Orthodox in 1994.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2007, 01:20:33 AM »
If Fr. John Mack is now a layman, then his "conversion" makes sense. Most Orthodox do not look favourably on laicized priests - In fact, they are often ostracized by those in their faith.  Thus, if a priest has "had enough" and doesn't want to be a priest anymore, becoming a Byzantine Catholic is a good option. Think about it, you stay "Eastern" but you get away from the situation you were in before. Maybe, if we were a little more kind with our priests and allow them to become laymen again, without the shame or guilt, then maybe they would stay.

Basil

"get to stay eastern"? Is that really a concern for people?  To throw away Orthodoxy for some icons and incense?  A priest quitting the priesthood is a traumatic thing for everyone: himself, the wounded parish, the Church at large. it is only logical that it would cause an uproar.

I of course agree that we should be kinder to our priests.

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Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2007, 01:22:26 AM »
I was told Fr. John Mack was released to the OCA by Bishop BASIL of the Antiochians because he had become very prideful.

He had actually requested from Metropolitan PHILIP directly to be released to the OCA in 2002. Bishop Basil found out after the fact.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2007, 01:37:44 AM »
I would be willing to bet he changed his opinion about the Papacy.  I found a thread in another fora about his conversion and it said the following

"Fr. Mack was in multiple evangelical/reformed protestant denominations before becoming Antiochian Orthodox in 1994. At that time, he was in the Reformed Episcopal Church, not with the Evangelical Orthodox (who became Antiochian Orthodox in 1987). After serving in three separate Antiochian Orthodox missions from 1994 to 2002, he entered the OCA."

It seems like he's looking for something.  We'll see if he finds it.  The same thread confirmed (by a witness) that he was received in September and recently granted his faculties as a priest in the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys.  I would imagine they are looking for a place to put him now.  It would certainly be interesting if it was near his old parish.

The italicized quote is actually mine from that other fora. Just to emphasize the chronology here:

Before 1994: Was last in the Reformed Episcopal Church, but was in a number of other reformed/evangelical denominations before that.

1994-Early 1997: Enters the Antiochian Archdiocese, is ordained to the priesthood, founds St. Timothy Antiochian Orthodox Church in Fairfield, CA.

Early 1997-Summer 2001: Moves to Topeka, KS to serve SS Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church.

Summer 2001: Moves to Lawrence, KS to found a full-time campus ministry at the University of Kansas.

Summer of 2002: Requests release from Antiochian Archdiocese to join the Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA. Founds St. Sophia Orthodox Church in Lawrence, KS. This release is documented in The Word Magazine in 2002.

Summer 2002-Fall 2006: Pastor of St. Sophia Orthodox Church in Lawrence, KS.

Fall 2006: Leaves the Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA for the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma.

What got cut on this original thread at the other fora was my commentary on this chronology. It's not because there's some big conspiracy on the part of the Antiochians or some big revelation of faith for him that he became Byzantine Catholic. The man simply has the compulsion to re-invent himself every 3-4 years, regardless of how it affects the spiritual lives of those he has served before. I'll be curious to see what ecclesial body/jurisdiction/denomination he will be in once 2010 gets here.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 01:46:38 AM by Corsair »

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2007, 10:30:32 AM »
A note on the Catholic Answers Forum discussion on this topic (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=127731) indicates that Fr. Mack was received as a Byzantine Catholic back in September and recently granted "faculties" as a Byzantine Catholic priest. An earlier discussion on the Catholic Answers board (which was mysteriously deleted by the moderators) indicated that he was accepted into the Eparchy of Parma and would be starting a mission in his home in Lawrence, KS that would eventually be moved to Kansas City.

Interesting, I had said earlier

It seems like he's looking for something.  We'll see if he finds it.  The same thread confirmed (by a witness) that he was received in September and recently granted his faculties as a priest in the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys.  I would imagine they are looking for a place to put him now.  It would certainly be interesting if it was near his old parish.

If it is Parma (and not Van Nuys), then the scenario in question would be applicable.  The only Ruthenian Church I know of in the area I believe meets in a Latin parish and is on the Missouri side of the border.  I have to believe some people are going to be rather annoyed if this scenario does in fact play out (and I can understand their frustration).

I also have to believe neither the AOA or OCA pushed the guy out.

Offline BasilCan

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2007, 09:44:41 AM »
So, it looks like I was wrong. That being, he just wants to be a layman.

But looking at Fr. John's past, what was the attraction of starting an OCA - Bulgarian mission? The mission was never for Bulgarian speaking people. Why not just join the OCA or Serbs or ROCOR or whatever. This I find interesting.

Also, does anyone know what happened to Frs.David Anderson (who became Byzantine Catholic a in the late 90's  and Fr. Titus Fulcher who became Melkite in 2004?

Basil

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2007, 10:33:22 AM »
Fr. David Anderson is a priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Nicholas of Chicago and is pastor of St. Peter Ukrainian Catholic Mission of Ukiah, CA.

Fr. Titus Fulcher is a priest of the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton and is administrator of the Melkite Catholic Community of Charleston, SC.
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Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2007, 02:11:30 PM »
But looking at Fr. John's past, what was the attraction of starting an OCA - Bulgarian mission? The mission was never for Bulgarian speaking people. Why not just join the OCA or Serbs or ROCOR or whatever. This I find interesting.

There are some Bulgarians in the Lawrence/Kansas City area, so it was probably the easiest to sell. It's probably also because he would be moving from under a bishop in Wichita, KS to a bishop in Pittsburgh, PA. Less chance of real oversight, which was probably a pesky issue for him when he was finishing up under Antioch.

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2007, 01:02:23 PM »
The newspaper of the Byzantine Eparchy of Parma has reported Mr. Mack has been received as a priest there, and will not be assigned to a parish but will serve as a supply priest.

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2007, 08:19:18 PM »
He posted his reasons today on Byzcath, though the thread has now "disappeared".  It was interesting, as are some of the other things he has said.  They were eerily reminiscent of things said by a former friend and priest who has left the church.

Quote
I'll be curious to see what ecclesial body/jurisdiction/denomination he will be in once 2010 gets here.

I don't think he will last with the Ruthenians, though one of my questions was why them at this juncture.  That question was answered however.

Offline Elisha

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2007, 08:31:57 PM »
So...are you willing to share?  Even a sanitized version?

Offline Friar Tuck

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2007, 10:05:23 PM »
He posted his reasons today on Byzcath, though the thread has now "disappeared".  It was interesting, as are some of the other things he has said.  They were eerily reminiscent of things said by a former friend and priest who has left the church.

I don't think he will last with the Ruthenians, though one of my questions was why them at this juncture.  That question was answered however.
Dear Welkodox,

Maybe you should have looked a little harder. It seems that either the moderator or administrator from ByzCath combined the posts with another thread of the same subject.
http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/218915#Post221829

Friar Tuck

Offline Elisha

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2007, 10:29:29 PM »
I'd have to say that his answer leaves a lot to be desired...basically doesn't say anything.  Whatever.

Offline Eleos

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2007, 11:01:29 PM »
It says that embracing orthodoxy failed to help him eliminate his "sectarian" attitude.  Perhaps Im reading too much into it, but it seems he, as a priest and example to the flock (especially being a published popular author to orthodox readers beyond his direct pastoral relationships), is making a statement that orthodoxy cannot help to eliminate sectarian attitudes deriving from previous protestant experience.  Instead, one must accept and embrace the requirements laid out by the papacy for communion with Rome to truly turn away from sectarianism.
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #75 on: January 30, 2007, 11:04:11 PM »
Dear Welkodox,

Maybe you should have looked a little harder. It seems that either the moderator or administrator from ByzCath combined the posts with another thread of the same subject.
http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/218915#Post221829

Friar Tuck

Oh good, I thought it had been deleted. 

Elisha, there ya' go.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #76 on: January 31, 2007, 08:22:51 PM »
It says that embracing orthodoxy failed to help him eliminate his "sectarian" attitude.  Perhaps Im reading too much into it, but it seems he, as a priest and example to the flock (especially being a published popular author to orthodox readers beyond his direct pastoral relationships), is making a statement that orthodoxy cannot help to eliminate sectarian attitudes deriving from previous protestant experience.  Instead, one must accept and embrace the requirements laid out by the papacy for communion with Rome to truly turn away from sectarianism.

I wonder if he has started scripting his reasons for leaving the Eparchy of Parma in 2010 (give or take a year or two) yet. Fr. Mack is a very intelligent, erudite man who can give very positive, persuasive statements as to why he moves on to his "latest and greatest" ecclesiastical adventure. In the past, the truth is that he's typically leaving a burning building and the pack of matches is in his pocket.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #77 on: January 31, 2007, 09:23:27 PM »
The snide remarks on this thread are getting tiresome.  It is wrong for Catholics to be triumphalistic, it is equally wrong for Orthodox to cry sour grapes or disparage the man.  If you can't wish him well, offer him your prayers, if you can't do that then you shouldn't say anything, that is how a Christian (of any Church)gentleman should conduct himself.  I suggest this thread be closed becasue it can't possibly go anywhere constructive or edifying.

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Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #78 on: January 31, 2007, 09:53:11 PM »
The snide remarks on this thread are getting tiresome.  It is wrong for Catholics to be triumphalistic, it is equally wrong for Orthodox to cry sour grapes or disparage the man.  If you can't wish him well, offer him your prayers, if you can't do that then you shouldn't say anything, that is how a Christian (of any Church)gentleman should conduct himself.  I suggest this thread be closed becasue it can't possibly go anywhere constructive or edifying.

It's not sour grapes to point out that the man changes his mind every few years and damages the spiritual lives of others, regardless of where he goes--Orthodox, Catholic, or otherwise. I pray for the faithful of the Eparchy of Parma because they don't deserve him and their bishop has been hoodwinked into taking him in as a priest. I'm also wondering how many of the Catholic faithful will be harmed by him over the next few years. He has left more than his share of broken spiritual lives in his wake, and, if history is any indication, he will do the same as a Byzantine Catholic.

As for being snide or sour grapes or other motivations, I find it odd that someone says they became Byzantine Catholic to get over their "sectarian" spirit, but goes on to snipe at the Orthodox Western Rite elsewhere on the same forum:

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Board=1&Number=220857&Searchpage=2&Main=16863&Words=PrJ&topic=0&Search=true#Post220857

I post what I post because I think it is constructive to warn others about this dangerous man who seems to be very adept at avoiding being laicized.

Offline dantxny

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #79 on: January 31, 2007, 10:39:21 PM »
I am only speaking from what I have observed so far, but I see no triumphalism here.  Rather, some people are upset (as they have a right to be) and others are curious at a man that has changed sects.  Quite often.  Some are saddened as they may have put their trust in him, others are pondering it psycologically, while others are just adding their two copecks.  In the fact that it is talking about what seems to be a common trait of once people change sects once, they do it again and repeatedly.  In this, I think the conversation is quite constructive.  If others, though, do see otherwise, please pm or let us know, pubically or privately, and we (the moderating board) will take it under consideration. 

Daniel
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Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #80 on: January 31, 2007, 11:01:38 PM »
That is an interesting point.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #81 on: January 31, 2007, 11:03:45 PM »
This kind of ugly carping reminds me of the treatment Rod Dreyer received from some people when he decided to move East. I think it's justified to question the jumping from church to church (Dreyer is also a good example of this), but the kind of attacks on his character seem to me unwarranted, unless Fr. Mack has done something more than change churches. If so, might someone enlighten me here?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 11:10:31 PM by lubeltri »

Offline AMM

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #82 on: January 31, 2007, 11:13:09 PM »
This kind of ugly carping and vitriol reminds me of the treatment Rod Dreyer received from some people when he decided to move East.

Looks like I'm just going to have to disagree again (although I'm not familiar with the situation of which you speak of Rod Dreyer).

This thread in my opinion earlier was probably coming close to deserving an early demise with some of the statements about the Antiochians.  Luckily it came back from there.  The fact is the person in question was a figure of some note within Orthodoxy.  He wrote materials many people are familiar with.  When people ask why a noted writer and priest has left the church and renounced his orders, one answer could simply be "we wish him the best" and tell them to read his comments saying he had to jump ship to escape "sectarianism".  However what it seems to me that has suffered through all of this is the spiritual well being of those were supposed to be served, and I think they deserve to understand what brought all of this about.

Nobody is trashing Catholics and beating their chest in Orthodox triumphalism.  There's no carping and no vitriol here.  People want to understand why, and they deserve to hear the full story.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #83 on: January 31, 2007, 11:20:28 PM »
I certainly feel bad for his former parishioners, but must we begrudge Fr. Mack for acting on his conscience? How would his parishioners benefit if he no longer believed in Orthodoxy but still shepherded them out of a feeling of obligation?

I mean, what has he done other than decide to change churches? Did he change churches because he committed misconduct and wanted to avoid punishment? If that were so, then I would certainly understand (and pray for his new flock).

Offline dantxny

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #84 on: January 31, 2007, 11:36:59 PM »
I don't really think that is the major issue.  There are two things why this is getting notice
1.) He had prominence in the Orthodox scholarly world (bad example, but like a priestly Scott Hanh or someone switching).
2.) We are not begrudging him for acting on his concious.  Rather, this is the fourth group he has been in within a realtivily short time.  This is not normal, and does possibly suggest that something else is at work.  That is we're the discussion is going.  Not insulting him.  In fact, I'd argue that y'all are doing more to bring him up.  Rather, the issue is of priests switching groups like underwear. 
"If you give the average Frenchman a choice between a reforming president who would plug the country's huge deficit and a good cheese, he would probably opt for the cheese." - Stephen Clarke
I think the French may be on to something here.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #85 on: January 31, 2007, 11:38:07 PM »
This kind of ugly carping reminds me of the treatment Rod Dreyer received from some people when he decided to move East. I think it's justified to question the jumping from church to church (Dreyer is also a good example of this), but the kind of attacks on his character seem to me unwarranted, unless Fr. Mack has done something more than change churches. If so, might someone enlighten me here?

His most notable troublemaking in one of his former parishes was a "geronda complex," insisting that he was the "spiritual father" of each parishioner, that they owed absolute obedience to him in all matters, and running the place like a monastery.

In some cases, people who didn't go along with him were told they were risking the perils of Hell for their disobedience. He even publicly preached that between offending God and offending one's "spiritual father" (himself), it was better to offend God. Some people ate this stuff up. Many more walked away from the parish. He's simply dysfunctional and abusive in his pastoral relationships.

By the time the powers that be actually started looking into things, he had moved on, his many published books, speaking engagements, and Orthodox celebrity in hand.

Offline Friar Tuck

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #86 on: January 31, 2007, 11:46:38 PM »
His most notable troublemaking in one of his former parishes was a "geronda complex," insisting that he was the "spiritual father" of each parishioner, that they owed absolute obedience to him in all matters, and running the place like a monastery.

In some cases, people who didn't go along with him were told they were risking the perils of Hell for their disobedience. He even publicly preached that between offending God and offending one's "spiritual father" (himself), it was better to offend God. Some people ate this stuff up. Many more walked away from the parish. He's simply dysfunctional and abusive in his pastoral relationships.

By the time the powers that be actually started looking into things, he had moved on, his many published books, speaking engagements, and Orthodox celebrity in hand.

Dear Corsair,

First, I do not condone the actions of Father Mack, and do find it alarming that hierarchs have allowed this to occur in such a short period of time without any concern on thier part for eithr Father Mack or his flocks.

Now for the point of my post, I do find that your comments there can be quite damaging. though I have known father mack by acquaintance, and yes he did appeared to be a married monk in appearance, such statements are very incredible. Is there any way to back this up by either his old bulletins or writing? I know I for one would feel more comfortable if it could be substantiated.

Friar Tuck

Offline GiC

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2007, 11:47:36 PM »
In some cases, people who didn't go along with him were told they were risking the perils of Hell for their disobedience. He even publicly preached that between offending God and offending one's "spiritual father" (himself), it was better to offend God. Some people ate this stuff up. Many more walked away from the parish. He's simply dysfunctional and abusive in his pastoral relationships.

The fool who believed him is as much at fault as the man who preached this nonsense.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2007, 11:57:07 PM »
Now for the point of my post, I do find that your comments there can be quite damaging. though I have known father mack by acquaintance, and yes he did appeared to be a married monk in appearance, such statements are very incredible. Is there any way to back this up by either his old bulletins or writing? I know I for one would feel more comfortable if it could be substantiated.

And that is the crux of my posts. He is very charming and captivating to those whom have a passing acquaintance to him, but it is quite another matter to be under his pastoral care as a parishioner. His "geronda complex" can be documented by former parishioners (I have seen such documents).

Offline Tamara

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #89 on: February 01, 2007, 12:17:33 AM »
Corsair, Andrew and others,

The "Geronda complex" was the same problem this other Antiochian priest had who has made his way through the various jurisdictions. I didn't want to mention it in my previous message because I don't know Fr. John Mack. Orthodoxy may attract men who like to have this kind of power over others.
I agree with GIC that each person should take responsibility for themselves but sometimes when you have people who are new to the faith and do not understand free will from a truly Orthodox perspective then these trusting folks are at risk for being spiritually abused. I have friends who have been abused spiritually by these false "gerondas."  

Offline GiC

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #90 on: February 01, 2007, 12:21:46 AM »
GiC, bishops have to consider there are people in all states.  Some are not adults, and children suffer equally in situations like this.  Ultimately bishops should do their utmost to protect their flocks, because the trust between a parishioner and a priest is great.  None of that obviates personal responsibility.

I think you misunderstand what I am saying...I agree that the bishops acted appropriately...but the parishioners who went along with this guy should not be viewed as victims, but rather as fellow conspirators.

Offline Mo the Ethio

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #91 on: February 01, 2007, 01:15:28 AM »
GiC, bishops have to consider there are people in all states.  Some are not adults, and children suffer equally in situations like this.  Ultimately bishops should do their utmost to protect their flocks, because the trust between a parishioner and a priest is great.  None of that obviates personal responsibility.

-----

One thing I think that is worth considering are two posts made at the start of the thread by a self-stated parishioner of the mission

My comment was it sounds like the OCA and Antiochians are like the Mafia.  Either that is the case, or some terribly misleading ideas were floating around.  I'm assuming the person in question got these ideas from somewhere.  Balance this forced out/vendetta statement with the "just leaving cause of sectarianism/following conscience" thing.    Then take in to account what Corsair is saying.
  People:
I stand by my previous posts. I know what I witnessed. That being said, Corsair...is it proper to slander the man?
Did you attend St.Sofia? Do you know him personally? 
 I do know him as an brilliant articlulater of the Orthodoxy who converted many , many into the true faith.
You (Corsair ) insinuate a cultish demenor about Fr. John.  You should be prepared to prodoce any documents you claim to have seen to support your case. As a former parishioner and Parish Council President under Fr. John,  I am shocked by your monsterous libel.
 It sickens me that we spend so much time gossiping about the man`s short comings instead of lamenting the loss of a great teacher of the faith. We all fall short ...yes even our Priests.
 IF YOU WANT A PERFECT PRIEST................BECOME ROMAN CATHOLIC....
"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."
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Offline Eleos

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #92 on: February 01, 2007, 01:18:32 AM »
John Mack is a self-admitted "sectarian", why are we praising his conscience?  Isnt it by his own admission broken? The bishops (including both Catholic and Orthodox) that keep upholding his priesthood are not paying attention to this.  There is always someone who will capitalize on the prestige of others if they get a chance.  This is called opportunism.  Great for business, brutally vicious in spiritual matters.  

The most loving thing that you can do for John Mack is ignore him.  Especially any claims he has to authority as a teacher, confessor, spiritual director, prophet or scholar.  He is too smart and clever for his own good.  I say these things not because I am angry or judge him, but to warn people to not get caught up in any emotional reaction they've had to his presence or writings in the past.  This is a good opportunity to detach from false teaching and see how easy it is to be caught up in the excitement of cults of personality (and observe it continuing on in BCC)

That being said, I wish him and his family well.  

And last but not least, noone should listen to me because I have no authority just opinions!  Use your own mind, reason and conscience to make your own decisions.  Seek spiritual counsel (from those with sound orthodoxy, not John Mack).
"The Unity of the Church, as Your Holinesses well know it, is the will of God and ought to be an inspiring example to all men. It should always be a help and not a hindrance to the unity of men of different religions."-Emperor Haile Selassie To the Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches 1965

Offline Mo the Ethio

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #93 on: February 01, 2007, 01:27:16 AM »
What is the deal with all these newbies coming in here to slam on John Mack?
It PISSES me off that Orthodox people are so judgemental of our own and everyone else.
WHERE IS THE LOVE?????????????????????????????????????????????

 Perhaps Mat 777 had a valid point ..................
« Last Edit: February 01, 2007, 01:38:20 AM by Mo the Ethio »
"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."
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Offline Eleos

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #94 on: February 01, 2007, 01:58:32 AM »
Oh is this a club where people who don't have the time to post 250+ messages don't have the right to speak their mind?

You're the newb.

Why is this man still a priest?  He calls himself a sectarian.  Im only listening to what the man says.  I realize your emotional about it because you have a relationship with him.  And that's actually expected and commendable within a christian context.  I don't blame you for being upset about the situation.  One thing though, he is not "our own" because he has judged orthodoxy as not being capable of healing his affliction.  Is it wrong for me as an orthodox christian to take issue with that?
"The Unity of the Church, as Your Holinesses well know it, is the will of God and ought to be an inspiring example to all men. It should always be a help and not a hindrance to the unity of men of different religions."-Emperor Haile Selassie To the Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches 1965

Offline Corsair

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #95 on: February 01, 2007, 02:29:47 AM »
  People:
I stand by my previous posts. I know what I witnessed. That being said, Corsair...is it proper to slander the man?
Did you attend St.Sofia? Do you know him personally? 
 I do know him as an brilliant articlulater of the Orthodoxy who converted many , many into the true faith.
You (Corsair ) insinuate a cultish demenor about Fr. John.  You should be prepared to prodoce any documents you claim to have seen to support your case. As a former parishioner and Parish Council President under Fr. John,  I am shocked by your monsterous libel.
 It sickens me that we spend so much time gossiping about the man`s short comings instead of lamenting the loss of a great teacher of the faith. We all fall short ...yes even our Priests.
 IF YOU WANT A PERFECT PRIEST................BECOME ROMAN CATHOLIC....

I stand by my statements based on my own FIRSTHAND experience and I know what I witnessed. It is not libel or slander or gossip to warn others that a priest has spiritually abused his parishioners based on FIRSTHAND experience.

Your experience may have been nothing but positive with Fr. Mack, but my experience was that he hurt a LOT of people and that his ecclesiastical hopping about is more about what is expedient for himself than anything else.

It's not about picking on his "shortcomings," but rather pointing out, regardless of his personal charisma and ability to teach, that he is unfit to be a priest in the care of others' souls.

Offline dantxny

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Re: Father John Mack
« Reply #96 on: February 01, 2007, 03:22:15 AM »
Okay, this thread is getting nasty and being reduced to name calling and is closed.  However, a new thread in FFA with many posts from here will be opened and we can continue the discussion on priesthood requirements.

Daniel
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"If you give the average Frenchman a choice between a reforming president who would plug the country's huge deficit and a good cheese, he would probably opt for the cheese." - Stephen Clarke
I think the French may be on to something here.