Author Topic: Father John Mack  (Read 46806 times)

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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.

Offline AMM

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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
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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 »
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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. 

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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."