Each local auxiliary bishop in the Antiochian group applies the norms that Met. Philip decrees to his own deanery. I am told that Bp Basil tells his priests they can wear cassocks and even kamilavki. Bp Joseph says no headwear whatsoever. Etc Etc.
The question remains: what are they going to do, send spies to get their priests? LOL
I think that it's silly myself. They are so concerned with looking American. They even make up stories about how cassocks are a "T----sh development" which is of course a total fantasy (priests in the Roman empire wore white cassocks, and only switched to black when the T----s invaded.) ----source, a wonderful book titled The Blessed Rasson
This is a major reason why I am considering the Greeks over the Antiochians: whereas I don't think cassock wearing is *the* major issue, when a jurisdiction goes out of its way to try and fit in, and goes so far as *banning* cassocks (I can accept the moderate practice of the OCA, where even though you see priests in that business suit thing, they are not FORCED to wear it if they don't want to, and where no one judges others for wearing one or the other) it makes me wonder where their priorities are.
It's a shame because I think the Antiochians are the only Orthodox group really doing a good job evangelizing large numbers of people, and I know that the Antiochian priests are usually the nicest, warmest people. Even Met. Philip is a very forgiving, nice man. He forgave a friend of mine who was a priest and left them for HOCNA, writing a nasty letter to Met. Philip and quiting. A year later he begged forgiveness and asked to be admitted even as a layman--Met. Philip made him a priest again. Another thing I like about the Antiochians is their willingness to explore second marriages of priests and married bishops. Yet I know if I joined them I would constantly feel out of sync with my bishop in areas of traditional discipline and that wouldn't be good.*
* (Some of you may be thinking "what?!" when you see me saying I support exploring married bishops but I am a stickler about cassocks. You probably either think a) that I am focused only on externals or b) you think I am just crazy.
My issue is this: there has always been flux in theology, debates, movements, etc. Married bishops and second marriages of priests is an issue I feel strongly about, especially after reading Vested in Grace
. However, the Church has always been strong on traditional fasting, traditional discipline, and traditional appearence of clergy. So I find myself very upset when I see clergy not doing such. I also find it a total loss of missionary opportunity. My priest wears his riassa constantly and he gets converts because of it).