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Author Topic: Antiochians Breaking UP?  (Read 3779 times) Average Rating: 0
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BasilCan
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« on: November 01, 2007, 10:57:13 PM »

I have heard and read various articles and statements by Met. PHILIP about the unity of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, including comments at the convention in Montreal and recently on the antiochian web site in his comments to the seminarians. What is he talking about? Some have said, this is a "jab" at Bishop JOSEPH who has a great site and has some liturgical directives that are different from the archdiocese. Bishop BASIL tried his own liturgical notes and directives and was told to stop by the MET. However, Bishop JOSEPH appears to be "different" in that he is Syrian American and has support not only of converts but of the Arabic faithful and also in Damascus. Does anyone wish to comment on this?

Basil
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 11:18:22 PM »

I have heard and read various articles and statements by Met. PHILIP about the unity of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, including comments at the convention in Montreal and recently on the antiochian web site in his comments to the seminarians. What is he talking about? Some have said, this is a "jab" at Bishop JOSEPH who has a great site and has some liturgical directives that are different from the archdiocese. Bishop BASIL tried his own liturgical notes and directives and was told to stop by the MET. However, Bishop JOSEPH appears to be "different" in that he is Syrian American and has support not only of converts but of the Arabic faithful and also in Damascus. Does anyone wish to comment on this?

Bishop +BASIL still does the Typicon notes every week for the cantors and readers of our diocese (Midwest and Mid-America) or at least he does through the protopsaltis of our diocese.  When Bishop +BASIL came for a visit last May, he talked about how the typicon notes from the archdiocese are not correct and why he undertook doing them.
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 11:26:57 PM »

I have heard and read various articles and statements by Met. PHILIP about the unity of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, including comments at the convention in Montreal and recently on the antiochian web site in his comments to the seminarians. What is he talking about? Some have said, this is a "jab" at Bishop JOSEPH who has a great site and has some liturgical directives that are different from the archdiocese. Bishop BASIL tried his own liturgical notes and directives and was told to stop by the MET. However, Bishop JOSEPH appears to be "different" in that he is Syrian American and has support not only of converts but of the Arabic faithful and also in Damascus. Does anyone wish to comment on this?

Basil

Like Met. PHILIP, Bishop Joseph is Lebanese-born. Bishop Joseph does have the support of the Arab and convert faithful in his diocese but so does Bishop Basil. I would think this support should be considered healthy. Bishop Joseph was the secretary for the synod in Antioch before being assigned to North America. My godfather believes he may be the next Metropolitan.
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 08:59:35 AM »

So, are these liturgical notes that Bishops BASIL and JOSEPH put out, really what the MET is talking about or is there something else going on here?

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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 11:36:24 AM »

So, are these liturgical notes that Bishops BASIL and JOSEPH put out, really what the MET is talking about or is there something else going on here?

Basil

As far as I know nothing is going on. All reports I have heard are the archdiocese is very united. You only have to look as far as the unanimous vote by the whole archdiocese to leave the NCC a few years ago at the convention for an example of our unity. That vote was an awesome feat condsidering the diversity of the AOCA clergy and lay members. Other jurisdictions are unable to muster that kind of unity among its members in order to leave the NCC. Met. PHilip has seen what has happened in other jurisdictions over the last few years with their disunity among synod members and laity alike. And for that reason, I  believe he wants to emphasize the importance of unity before he passes on.
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2007, 08:53:29 PM »

Other jurisdictions are unable to muster that kind of unity among its members in order to leave the NCC. Met. PHilip has seen what has happened in other jurisdictions over the last few years with their disunity among synod members and laity alike. And for that reason, I  believe he wants to emphasize the importance of unity before he passes on.

I'm not gona lie...that's pretty offensive.  I'm not really sure it's a contest. 
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2007, 10:12:12 PM »

I'm not gona lie...that's pretty offensive.  I'm not really sure it's a contest. 

Ditto. 

Tamara, 
You may not have intended it, but this is a classic example of the Antiochian triumphalness that irks many of us both on this board and elsewhere.  It is just pure conjecture and bragging.  Maybe it is more of a Lebanese or Syrian cultural way of speaking, but it is devoid of tact in common writing parlance.
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 12:24:48 AM »

Dear Serb and Elisha,

Look at the title of the thread..."Antiochians Breaking up?"

I find that title to be conjecture beyond common sense. The Antiochians did have their problems 10 years ago with the Ben Lomond affair and times were rough when our bishops were traveling from here to Damascus in order to secure the self-rule status but at the moment there are no major problems within the archdiocese. Times can change and problems will again be upon us but right now there is peace.

I am a little irked that BasilCan always seems to be looking for problems where there are none. As far as the NCC comment I made, I have seen various OCA and GOA writers lament the fact that their jurisdictions were unable to break free of the NCC so this is not my opinion. At the time the archdiocese cut the ties with the NCC, many articles were written by members of the OCA and GOA who wished to leave the NCC but were saddened by the lack of resolve within their jurisdictions to make it happen. 
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 12:38:36 AM »

Dear Serb and Elisha,

Look at the title of the thread..."Antiochians Breaking up?"

I find that title to be conjecture beyond common sense.

I do agree here though.  I was like, huh??
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 12:47:16 AM »

Dear Serb and Elisha,

Look at the title of the thread..."Antiochians Breaking up?"

I find that title to be conjecture beyond common sense. The Antiochians did have their problems 10 years ago with the Ben Lomond affair and times were rough when our bishops were traveling from here to Damascus in order to secure the self-rule status but at the moment there are no major problems within the archdiocese. Times can change and problems will again be upon us but right now there is peace.

I am a little irked that BasilCan always seems to be looking for problems where there are none. As far as the NCC comment I made, I have seen various OCA and GOA writers lament the fact that their jurisdictions were unable to break free of the NCC so this is not my opinion. At the time the archdiocese cut the ties with the NCC, many articles were written by members of the OCA and GOA who wished to leave the NCC but were saddened by the lack of resolve within their jurisdictions to make it happen. 
I understand what you're trying to say, but for the sake of discussing this issue with others not of your Antiochian jurisdiction, it might be better to let the OCA and GOA speak for themselves.  For "complaints" such as this to come from within the lamenting traditions has the appearance of humble acknowledgement of internal problems, but statements of this lament coming from outside, such as you representing the AOCA, does have the appearance of a triumphalistic boasting, even if you are just reading statements made by OCA and GOA writers.

I also agree that the rumor (gossip?) implied by this thread's title also has the appearance of an anti-AOCA prejudice and that the title should therefore be changed.  To what, though?
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 01:14:06 AM »

I would say that in general PetertheAleut's comments basically describe what I was going to say. 

I'm not really sure that it's a good thing to speak for other jurisdictions, even if you know their Patriarch intimately.  We can't speak for our entire church, just our personal experiences. 

I do see now though your defense of your church, which is definitely commendable. 

I have heard many Antiochian people praise their archdiocese from every angle.  It's almost as if they think it's perfect.  If that is the case for those people and others...well then we'd all be Antiochian.  But this is not the case...so maybe we should reminisce on that. 
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 01:20:55 AM »

Peter,

I am not sure what it should be titled. Frankly, I think the whole thread is purposeless. The belief that the Antiochians are breaking up because two bishops are using different typicons than the archdiocese tied in with Met. PHILIP's words of unity is really a stretch. I wouldn't be unhappy if the whole thread disappeared.

Dear Serb,

I do not believe the jurisdiction is perfect but I would be lying if I said I was an unhappy member. As I said before, at this time the archdiocese is experiencing a moment of peace and many Antiochians are enjoying that moment. We feel loved by our bishops and we love them in return. Our conventions are peaceful with nearly unanimous outcomes on major issues that our archdiocese faces.

sincerely, Tamara
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 08:33:08 AM »


Dear Serb,

I do not believe the jurisdiction is perfect but I would be lying if I said I was an unhappy member. As I said before, at this time the archdiocese is experiencing a moment of peace and many Antiochians are enjoying that moment. We feel loved by our bishops and we love them in return. Our conventions are peaceful with nearly unanimous outcomes on major issues that our archdiocese faces.

sincerely, Tamara

I can appreciate that.  I would never want to begrudge you your happiness. 

Most Antiochian's i've met are awesome people who love their church very much.  I think it's a great witness.  I also do think that we need to help each other get to that same point of happiness...eh...just a thought...
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 09:38:52 AM »

I usually stay quiet on the forum in aspects of the AOCA when I view the comments positive like  Tamara's, as I feel that  they are representative of the way most Antiochians feel about the Church.  Personally, I am very happy in AOCA after having been in both Greek and Russian jurisdictions. I have known some on this board who were unhappy in the AOCA and they were led into jurisdictions that have met their needs better and they are happier. Like Tamara, I have found  greater peace and happiness in my  affilitaion with the AOCA than in the other jurisdictions. As a convert it seems to be the best fit.

Our parish was founded by a Priest who was trained at St Peter and Pauls in Ben Lomand and serving in our Parish when the  tragedy struck there---there of course was a great sorrow for him as he witnessed the tearing apart of that parish that brought him into the Church, his daughter was there at the time, yet he remained in the AOCA and continued to bear witness to the importance of unity within the AOCA. He was a great witness for Christ in our Parish. He  led many into the faith and has gone on to larger parishes in the Archdiocese but still rmembered for his obedience and stalwart witness to unity of the Faith.

Since that time, the AOCA has gone past that struggle and gained self-ruling status from our Patriarch.  As many in all jursidictions in the US, we are sorrowful about the lack of unity among  the various jursidictions but I must admit, most Antiochians that I have met feel they are loved by their Bishops and love them in return whether they are convert or cradle middle-eastern believers. They are joyful with being in the AOCA, like Tamara, we often want to share that joy with other Orthodox not with a tone of "Antiochian triumphalness" but our of joy and happiness---we want everyone to feel the same joy we have at this time.

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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2007, 01:29:43 PM »

I can appreciate that.  I would never want to begrudge you your happiness. 

Most Antiochian's i've met are awesome people who love their church very much.  I think it's a great witness.  I also do think that we need to help each other get to that same point of happiness...eh...just a thought...

We are trying to share our peace and happiness out here. This weekend in Los Angeles will be the third meeting of the canonical Eastern Orthodox bishops on the west coast at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. These meetings were initiated through the hospitality of Bishop Joseph who welcomed each of the bishops into his home to pray in his chapel and to then have lunch with him. He sent these invitations after each of these new bishops was assigned to their respective diocese. He still regularly invites them over to his home when they are in town. I notice now that when he visits the SF bay area, Met. Gerasimos reciprocates and invites Bishop Joseph over for lunch.

This weekend is our Antiochian Diocesan women's retreat. Our speaker will be Fr. Thomas Hopko. Even though this retreat is officially a diocesan retreat we have welcomed ladies from the GOA, OCA, ROCOR and the Coptic Orthodox church to join us. We also have invited St. John's monastery (OCA) to bring their bookstore to our retreat so we can help support them. When an OCA parish heard we were bringing Fr. Thomas Hopko out for our retreat they asked us if they could invite Fr. Thomas to come to their parish the night the retreat was over. They are a tiny mission so they would have never been able to afford to fly him out on their own. So we worked with them and Fr. Thomas so they could have him come speak at their parish. Some of the ladies of this small mission asked for my advice in regard to planning this event and they asked me to advertise it for them too. I was more than happy to offer my advice and help in order to insure that they would have a successful event.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 01:31:56 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2007, 02:53:02 PM »

OK  I am going to add my two cents and take an opposite tack for a change. It appears to me the AOC is the only archdiocese in the US that is making a concerted effort to expand. I venture to say they have more missions and converts than all of the other dioceses combined.  Grant it other dioceses/jurisdictions also have missions, but have not, I assume, dedicted the money and manpower to grow on the scale that the AOC has. Some are constrained by size such as my jurisdiction ACROD which is probably the smallest. Others are constrained by other issues which I will not speculate on at this time.  And so, that said, the AOC gives the appearance, if not outright doing so, of being successful. What does that do? It shows up the other jurisdictions as maybe being non-evangelistic, parochial, old world - - - fill in the blank. So instead of getting together to fostre unity it is easier to throw stones and lambast the AOC. They have no monastaries, they're to lenient with baptism of converts and so on and so forth. And maybe even start a rumor or two (i.e. the AOC is splitting up).

Too bad Welkodox is not here any more to enter into the fray on this one.
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2007, 03:32:21 PM »

I just think that if we are going to write platitudes and positives of one archdiocese, we should do it for the others. 

I would call that courteous.  Obviously, this is a public forum and you are entitled to write whatever your heart desires. 

I just hope you see where i'm comming from... 
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2007, 11:21:45 PM »

I wouldn't be unhappy if the whole thread disappeared.

I'm sure that if you would have stopped after sentence #2 or 3 of your response, then the thread would have indeed disappeared into oblivion.
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2007, 12:53:53 PM »

I just think that if we are going to write platitudes and positives of one archdiocese, we should do it for the others. 

I would call that courteous.  Obviously, this is a public forum and you are entitled to write whatever your heart desires. 

I just hope you see where i'm comming from... 

Dear Serb,

No one is stopping you. If you wish to write positive things about the jurisdiction you are in please do.

 Smiley Tamara
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2007, 01:53:02 PM »

Actually:

It might be neat to provide a short bio for all the jurisdictions on this site. It will help converts decide what churhc to seek out.

 Undecided
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2007, 02:04:23 PM »

Neat was not the word I would have used... Wink

Dear Serb,

No one is stopping you. If you wish to write positive things about the jurisdiction you are in please do.

 Smiley Tamara

LOL!  Awesome idea.  Maybe I should have thought of it too...i'm such a fool.  thanks! 
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2007, 06:21:33 PM »

Neat was not the word I would have used... Wink

LOL!  Awesome idea.  Maybe I should have thought of it too...i'm such a fool.  thanks! 

Shukran ('you are welcome' in Arabic)

You are so funny....the kids must love you at camp!  Cheesy
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2007, 06:28:38 PM »

Ahhh..everyone's kissed and made up and floating on that euphoric Walton Mountain feeling... Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2007, 07:20:59 PM »

Ahhh..everyone's kissed and made up and floating on that euphoric Walton Mountain feeling... Cheesy

We Arab Antiochians know how to make everyone feel at peace again  Wink....oops better be careful or somebody is going to accuse me of Arab  bravado or jurisdictional triumphantlism or ego ethnocentrism, or some other -ism I haven't thought about yet.... laugh laugh laugh

Sorry....sometimes I can't help but tease...its in my DNA  Wink Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2007, 07:41:33 PM »

I started this forum in response to comments made my Metropolitan PHILIP in person (at the convention) and in written public statements. If I'm wrong, and I hope I am, I am wrong. However, there must be something that is getting at Met. PHILIP's goat. Either these are "pre-emptive" comments, or he is lamenting some of the freedom his new Bishop's have taken upon themselves or there is some pressure from Damascus to break up the archdiocese like the Greeks did.

As I said, I may be out to lunch. Having put in what may be the last comment on this issue, I would be fine if we "locked 'er up!"

Basil
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« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2007, 10:23:39 PM »

Why when we can just continue the banter. 

Tamara, you should have left the Arab comments above, then we all could have landed on the entry you would have created...lol. 

Thanks for the compliment.  I do have a special place in my heart for camps. 

Thanks again.  I think we all learned a valuable lesson. 
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2007, 04:01:56 AM »

I started this forum in response to comments made my Metropolitan PHILIP in person (at the convention) and in written public statements. If I'm wrong, and I hope I am, I am wrong. However, there must be something that is getting at Met. PHILIP's goat. Either these are "pre-emptive" comments, or he is lamenting some of the freedom his new Bishop's have taken upon themselves or there is some pressure from Damascus to break up the archdiocese like the Greeks did.
Or else it might just be something over which you would do best to not be concerned. Wink
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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2007, 06:21:58 PM »

I split observer's question about monasteries in the Antiochian Archdiocese into its own thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13296.0.html
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« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2007, 12:25:36 AM »

I asked this once before and got a sort of "no comment" answer.
What is the Ben Lomand affair? If it is something people don't want to re-hash publicly, could someone PM me to explain?
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« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2007, 12:33:13 AM »


Too bad Welkodox is not here any more to enter into the fray on this one.

What happened to Welkodox?
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« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2007, 12:40:07 AM »

I asked this once before and got a sort of "no comment" answer.
What is the Ben Lomand affair? If it is something people don't want to re-hash publicly, could someone PM me to explain? 

I don't know exactly what happened, but the following is a link to the Directive of Metropolitan PHILIP in response to whatever happened.  In it is a good deal of information.

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/encyclicals/antioch/philip_saliba/philip_directive_feb1998.htm
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« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2007, 12:56:32 AM »

Cleveland
Thx!
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