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Author Topic: Antiochian Met. Phillip fires priest for wearing cassock  (Read 17205 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2010, 02:29:30 PM »

I have to confess that I feel that Fr David Moretti, Bishop Mark etc. are victims of a gangster coterie and felt this coterie are the whole cause of the bishop demotion issue in 2009 when participating in a thread back then. My paternal grandparents were cradle Syrian Orthodox & my grandfather was parish treasurer and a lay faction did not like the parish priest during World War 2 (in the USA) and harried him out of his parish. No moral issues were involved & there was a deep rift in the congregation & many ceased being Orthodox; my grandfather helped lead the group who wanted the priest maintained calling on then Metr. Antony Bashir but the issue was left to a lay vote and the priest & his supproters lost. I do recall finding icons packed away the priest gave my grandparents for their devotion to the church in 1943 & 1 year later they & others had left the church (although my grandmother later returned). I think there was gangsterism in both instances & will always be skeptical of hierarchs.
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« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2010, 03:01:05 PM »

In this mess, we should be clear about the following;

- Metropolitan Philip's stated reasons for firing Father David Moretti and dumping his wife and children onto the street are simply not true. In other words, the Metropolitan's letter contains untruths but I do not know if +Philip is lying (that is that he knows what he put signature to are untruths).  Father Moretti was indeed criticized for being out out of uniform but he immediately repented and restarted to wear the Roman Catholic/Anglican garb that the Metropolitan favors. I believe this happened while Bishop Mark was still the ruling bishop. Father Moretti also claims that he did not publicly disparage the Metropolitan. I believe him and I do not believe the Metropolitan who has been known to lie to his own Patriarch.

- Metropolitan Philip appears to be moving against those priests in the Toledo Diocese who had sided with Bishop Mark in trying to become better Orthodox (more prayer and services/less gambling and belly dancing). These good priests stood out as a silent but public rebuke to those priests who did not want to be led by a convert bishop (that is a non-Arab), who did want to follow common Orthodox praxis, and who did not want their crooked financial practices exposed. In any sane world, you would think that these bad shepherds, wolves in sheep's clothing, would be put out of business by the ecclesiastic or secular authorities. Not so in the Philip's Wonderland; these bad apples are +Philip's buddies, sychophants and financiers. So, +Philip is punishing Father Moretti, the priest being transferred from Sylvania, and may be even others, to placate those bad apples.

- In all of this rhubarb, we must not lose sight of the fact that +Philip is the arch-pastor of the two priests, their families and the affected parishes. He has failed to live up to the standards of a loving and just arch-pastor. He has revealed himself to be a vindictive, little man, a despot that would make a Medieval Pope proud. Actually, I must retract that last part; it is an insult to compare the Metropolitan to a Roman Pope, as I am afraid I have done too many times already. +Philip makes any Pope a virtuous and humble man in comparison.

As many times as he lied about having autocephaly or autonomy over the years, people should have learned long ago that Metropolitan Philip is a power-hungry liar and possibly a little insane.

Edited for the proper titles - Michał Kalina.
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« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2010, 03:04:50 PM »

guys lets not go down the ad hominem path. there are arguments and truth. besides the office is still Metropolitan even if we vehemently disagree with some decisions.

If people have been hurt there are avenues for this, please seek. the Church is for healing. Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2010, 03:46:13 PM »

guys lets not go down the ad hominem path. there are arguments and truth. besides the office is still Metropolitan even if we vehemently disagree with some decisions.

If people have been hurt there are avenues for this, please seek. the Church is for healing. Smiley

I do not think that anybody is using ad hominem arguments. We all have stated our reasons and reasoning for our conclusions. I do get you point about respecting the office and backing off from name calling though. I will henceforth limit myself to "Anaxios!"
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« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2010, 03:49:55 PM »

guys lets not go down the ad hominem path. there are arguments and truth. besides the office is still Metropolitan even if we vehemently disagree with some decisions.

If people have been hurt there are avenues for this, please seek. the Church is for healing. Smiley

I do not think that anybody is using ad hominem arguments. We all have stated our reasons and reasoning for our conclusions. I do get you point about respecting the office and backing off from name calling though. I will henceforth limit myself to "Anaxios!"

Please accept my apologies. It is I who has said quite enough! Smiley
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« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2010, 04:00:10 PM »

Some of the tags for this thread are a little extreme.
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« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2010, 04:08:53 PM »

Some of the tags for this thread are a little extreme.
Thanks for pointing that out. I am deleting them now...
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« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2010, 05:12:49 PM »

Some of the tags for this thread are a little extreme.

Yeah, I thought so as well, though the only one I deleted was "heretic".
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« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2010, 06:03:26 PM »

Anaxios!
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« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2010, 10:10:01 PM »

I don't like it when my priest wears a suit with the collar. Why do we change to fit in with the Latins and Anglicans? I applaud the priest who wore the cassock.
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« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2010, 11:20:16 PM »

Yikes!  If we are going to have a Pope, let's have just one.  A bunch of "Popelettes" seems to be the worst of all worlds.

I think His Holiness the Pope of Rome would be a tad envious of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. The Pope of Rome only has the illusion of ultimate power. If he really had ultimate power, there would be a nice inquisition against clown masses and liturgical dance, or so I would hope.

Maybe he likes clowns? They make him laugh. he he.
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« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2010, 11:23:12 PM »

I believe this has a lot to do with a very misguided view on authority and obedience.

Especially since the 'directive' for Priests not to wear cassocks in public is what can be deemed outside of the Traditional measures of the Church. Personally, I don't have a problem Priests blending in and case can be made that it is more pastorally sound that they do. However, I highly doubt that the cassock was the real reason why His Eminence 'fired' Father David.

Forgive me for lengthening discussion on bad church politics, but how would he know that the priest wore a cassock in public? It seems that someone would have had to "report" on the priest for the Metr. to know about it.
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« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2010, 01:32:16 AM »

Unfortunately it seems to be like that. Disgruntled parishioners phoning the ruling bishop when they don't get their own way and the poor bishop needs support from parishioners for his medical insurance. Not easy being a hierarch, priest or pious layman.
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« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2010, 11:58:08 PM »

I think "Anaxios!" says it all to Metropolitan Philip.  He seems to have simply gone around the twist.
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« Reply #59 on: November 07, 2010, 07:56:31 AM »

"When people treat us unjustly, God justifies us." ~Elder Epiphanios of Athens +1989

"...take a look at two olive trees, one with leaves and the other without. Which one of the two do you prefer? The one with leaves or the one without leaves? Once when i was at the Kalyvi of the Holy Cross, I peeled the trunk of an olive tree and wrote, 'A priest without his cassock is without his virtue too.'..." ~ Elder Paisios of Mount Athos +1994

"The priest's cassock is the flag of the Church of our Christ:  for this reason we must try hard to honor it, we who wear it, with a holy life, so that those who don't wear it will honor and respect it." Elder Amphilochios of Patmos +1970

"I am proud of the cassock I wear and consider it more valuab;e and seemly than every other kind of garmet, even than the royal purple robes of kings. I consider myself unworthy to dress in such a modest, honorable and holy garb, which was honored by numberless monastic Saints, monk-martyrs, confessors, and Saints. I am saddened by and pity those clerics who reject the cassock and who shave their beards." ~Elder Philotheos of Paros +1980

"Priests shouldn't cut their hair. In Asia Minor, when priesys would comb their hair, they would put a white clth down and whatever strands of hair fell, they would gather, put them in a little bag, and when they died, they would bury it with them. Thus is because, when the Holy Spirit descends during ordination, the priest is sanctified; even his hair is sanctified." ~ Elder Iakovos of Evia +1967
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« Reply #60 on: November 07, 2010, 08:09:54 AM »

Why exactly does this thread have a thumbs up attached to it?
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« Reply #61 on: November 07, 2010, 11:05:44 AM »

Why exactly does this thread have a thumbs up attached to it?

That's a sarcastic thumb if i've ever seen one...
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« Reply #62 on: November 07, 2010, 11:26:24 AM »

Although this incident is outside my realm I must say I support the priest for wearing a cassock. Last week I saw a Coptic priest wearing a cassock at his son's soccer game, I had nothing but respect for him and wished that I had spoken to him, but was in transition between my granddaughters soccer games...
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« Reply #63 on: November 07, 2010, 08:44:46 PM »

Why exactly does this thread have a thumbs up attached to it?

I meant to do thumbs down, but once I noticed it was past time allowed for editing the post. :-(
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« Reply #64 on: November 07, 2010, 08:46:12 PM »

Why exactly does this thread have a thumbs up attached to it?

I meant to do thumbs down, but once I noticed it was past time allowed for editing the post. :-(

Ok, I was just confused by it, thank you for posting about it though.
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« Reply #65 on: November 07, 2010, 08:59:27 PM »

Metropolitan Phillip has certainly created an interesting position for himself: as the only "true" Bishop of the "diocese" of North America none of his "auxiliary bishops" can convene a council, but at the same time, as the Primate of an "autonomous" Church he also expects no input from the Patriarch of Antioch. He is neither answerable to a synod of other bishops equal to or even "below" him nor is he answerable to anyone "above" him. An entire autonomous Orthodox Church consisting of only one bishop is certainly an ecclesiastical oddity.

Since the elevation of new bishops requires the laying on of hands of three existing bishops where will the autonomous Antiochian Church in America turn to for the required other two bishops for future elevations? Indeed, if there is only one Antiochian "super-diocese" and hence only one Antiochian bishop in North America (all the other bishops being merely auxiliary, and thus not functioning as equal members of a synod of bishops) who will convene the synod when Metropolitan Phillip retires or departs this life?

The best possible response to all of this is to pray for Metropolitan Phillip and for all those who are being affected by any of the recent developments. Some may, and will, express their opinions. Some will call for action. That is natural and may turn out to be a good thing, but we must remember the power of prayer.
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« Reply #66 on: November 07, 2010, 09:05:15 PM »

Metropolitan Phillip has certainly created an interesting position for himself: as the only "true" Bishop of the "diocese" of North America none of his "auxiliary bishops" can convene a council, but at the same time, as the Primate of an "autonomous" Church he also expects no input from the Patriarch of Antioch. He is neither answerable to a synod of other bishops equal to or even "below" him nor is he answerable to anyone "above" him. An entire autonomous Orthodox Church consisting of only one bishop is certainly an ecclesiastical oddity.

Since the elevation of new bishops requires the laying on of hands of three existing bishops where will the autonomous Antiochian Church in America turn to for the required other two bishops for future elevations? Indeed, if there is only one Antiochian "super-diocese" and hence only one Antiochian bishop in North America (all the other bishops being merely auxiliary, and thus not functioning as equal members of a synod of bishops) who will convene the synod when Metropolitan Phillip retires or departs this life?

The best possible response to all of this is to pray for Metropolitan Phillip and for all those who are being affected by any of the recent developments. Some may, and will, express their opinions. Some will call for action. That is natural aecidnd may turn out to be a good thing, but we must remember the power of prayer.

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!
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« Reply #67 on: November 07, 2010, 09:15:20 PM »

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!

Nobody will.
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« Reply #68 on: November 07, 2010, 09:16:32 PM »

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!

Nobody will.

Why not?
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« Reply #69 on: November 07, 2010, 09:24:14 PM »

An awful lot seems to be happening very rapidly - I guess time will tell what the results will end up being.
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« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2010, 09:44:37 PM »

Metropolitan Phillip has certainly created an interesting position for himself: as the only "true" Bishop of the "diocese" of North America none of his "auxiliary bishops" can convene a council, but at the same time, as the Primate of an "autonomous" Church he also expects no input from the Patriarch of Antioch. He is neither answerable to a synod of other bishops equal to or even "below" him nor is he answerable to anyone "above" him. An entire autonomous Orthodox Church consisting of only one bishop is certainly an ecclesiastical oddity.

Since the elevation of new bishops requires the laying on of hands of three existing bishops where will the autonomous Antiochian Church in America turn to for the required other two bishops for future elevations? Indeed, if there is only one Antiochian "super-diocese" and hence only one Antiochian bishop in North America (all the other bishops being merely auxiliary, and thus not functioning as equal members of a synod of bishops) who will convene the synod when Metropolitan Phillip retires or departs this life?

The best possible response to all of this is to pray for Metropolitan Phillip and for all those who are being affected by any of the recent developments. Some may, and will, express their opinions. Some will call for action. That is natural aecidnd may turn out to be a good thing, but we must remember the power of prayer.

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!
I was just thinking that today. I really don't like these developments I'm seeing come from him and it makes me wonder if we are pushing for administrative Orthodox unity in America too fast. Meaning, what if we end up with someone like him (but at least he would be answerable to a synod)? I think the best advice that was given earlier is to pray for him. Perhaps, he will repent and/or step down.

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« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2010, 09:48:55 PM »

Don't worry, I doubt there's a single bishop outside of AOCA that thinks Met. Philip's model is an attractive one for Orthodox unity.
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« Reply #72 on: November 07, 2010, 09:54:53 PM »

Metropolitan Philip himself doesn't want administrative unity yet, citing worse problems in the GOA and OCA... ... ...

I'm so glad his own Bishops disagree with him on this issue.
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« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2010, 11:48:12 PM »

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!

Nobody will.

Individual parishes, though, may start "voting" with their pocket books and lessen their "contributions" to Englewood.
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« Reply #74 on: November 08, 2010, 12:12:33 AM »

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!

Nobody will.

Individual parishes, though, may start "voting" with their pocket books and lessen their "contributions" to Englewood.

But doesn't the parish have to have permission from the bishop to move jurisdictions?
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« Reply #75 on: November 08, 2010, 08:12:41 AM »

Don't worry, I doubt there's a single bishop outside of AOCA that thinks Met. Philip's model is an attractive one for Orthodox unity.

I think the fact that no one has yet made a reply stating their support/defense of Metropolitan Phillip's actions reveals a lot too.

The interview of Metropolitan Phillip that was recently done on Ancient Faith Radio gives some good insight into the thought processes the Metropolitan is using in regards to all of the recent changes in AOCA. http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/metropolitan_philip_saliba_-_on_the_record I was very surprised by a lot of what I heard.
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« Reply #76 on: November 08, 2010, 03:28:35 PM »

Mp. Phillip: "If I transfer a bishop from one diocese to another, I will do that not out of vindictiveness, God forbid. I will transfer him for the well-being of this archdiocese."

Does anyone think that this recent transfer and firing was done "for the well-being of the archdiocese"?
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« Reply #77 on: November 08, 2010, 09:36:42 PM »

Mp. Phillip: "If I transfer a bishop from one diocese to another, I will do that not out of vindictiveness, God forbid. I will transfer him for the well-being of this archdiocese."

Does anyone think that this recent transfer and firing was done "for the well-being of the archdiocese"?

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« Reply #78 on: November 08, 2010, 09:39:23 PM »

Mp. Phillip: "If I transfer a bishop from one diocese to another, I will do that not out of vindictiveness, God forbid. I will transfer him for the well-being of this archdiocese."

Does anyone think that this recent transfer and firing was done "for the well-being of the archdiocese"?

I am in the Midwest, and I know people in the Northwest, and none of us think the attempted translation of Bp. Mark was "for the well-being of the archdiocese."  We think it the OCA's gain.
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« Reply #79 on: November 08, 2010, 09:43:32 PM »

Mp. Phillip: "If I transfer a bishop from one diocese to another, I will do that not out of vindictiveness, God forbid. I will transfer him for the well-being of this archdiocese."

Does anyone think that this recent transfer and firing was done "for the well-being of the archdiocese"?

"The Archdiocese- c'est moi!"

Very interesting quotation.
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« Reply #80 on: November 08, 2010, 09:48:44 PM »

Metropolitan Phillip has certainly created an interesting position for himself: as the only "true" Bishop of the "diocese" of North America none of his "auxiliary bishops" can convene a council, but at the same time, as the Primate of an "autonomous" Church he also expects no input from the Patriarch of Antioch. He is neither answerable to a synod of other bishops equal to or even "below" him nor is he answerable to anyone "above" him. An entire autonomous Orthodox Church consisting of only one bishop is certainly an ecclesiastical oddity.

Since the elevation of new bishops requires the laying on of hands of three existing bishops where will the autonomous Antiochian Church in America turn to for the required other two bishops for future elevations? Indeed, if there is only one Antiochian "super-diocese" and hence only one Antiochian bishop in North America (all the other bishops being merely auxiliary, and thus not functioning as equal members of a synod of bishops) who will convene the synod when Metropolitan Phillip retires or departs this life?

The best possible response to all of this is to pray for Metropolitan Phillip and for all those who are being affected by any of the recent developments. Some may, and will, express their opinions. Some will call for action. That is natural aecidnd may turn out to be a good thing, but we must remember the power of prayer.

All of the bishops of the AOCA should get together and decide to leave the AOCA and switch over to another Jurisdiction and leave Mp Phillip all by himself!
I was just thinking that today. I really don't like these developments I'm seeing come from him and it makes me wonder if we are pushing for administrative Orthodox unity in America too fast. Meaning, what if we end up with someone like him (but at least he would be answerable to a synod)? I think the best advice that was given earlier is to pray for him. Perhaps, he will repent and/or step down.

In Christ,
Andrew

The Patriarchates etc. have all had the Met. Philip's at the helm, so it's not a reason but an excuse not to have unity. The Patriarchs survived their Philips, we will survive ours. For one thing, a Holy Synod like the OCA could take care of a Met. Philip like it took care of Met. Herman, its autocephalous primate.

I pray for Met. Philip every day (and Bp. Mark; and Pope Theodore and Shedounah and Pat. Ignatius), as we all should.
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« Reply #81 on: November 08, 2010, 11:22:43 PM »

Mp. Phillip: "If I transfer a bishop from one diocese to another, I will do that not out of vindictiveness, God forbid. I will transfer him for the well-being of this archdiocese."

Does anyone think that this recent transfer and firing was done "for the well-being of the archdiocese"?

"The Archdiocese- c'est moi!"

My thoughts exactly.
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« Reply #82 on: November 08, 2010, 11:24:11 PM »

Mp. Phillip: "If I transfer a bishop from one diocese to another, I will do that not out of vindictiveness, God forbid. I will transfer him for the well-being of this archdiocese."

Does anyone think that this recent transfer and firing was done "for the well-being of the archdiocese"?

I am in the Midwest, and I know people in the Northwest, and none of us think the attempted translation of Bp. Mark was "for the well-being of the archdiocese."  We think it the OCA's gain.


I'm in the same boat, and I have the same opinion.
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« Reply #83 on: November 09, 2010, 09:20:28 AM »

I wonder if there are vested interests that would prefer a protracted implosion of the archdiocese as long as certain monetary concerns can perhaps be maintained. It may be better to resist the natural forces of change when a community is transplanted in another land, cannot sustain itself indefinitely & is uncomfortable with potential newcomers.
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« Reply #84 on: November 10, 2010, 12:16:27 PM »

Don't worry, I doubt there's a single bishop outside of AOCA that thinks Met. Philip's model is an attractive one for Orthodox unity.

I think the fact that no one has yet made a reply stating their support/defense of Metropolitan Phillip's actions reveals a lot too.

The interview of Metropolitan Phillip that was recently done on Ancient Faith Radio gives some good insight into the thought processes the Metropolitan is using in regards to all of the recent changes in AOCA. http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/metropolitan_philip_saliba_-_on_the_record I was very surprised by a lot of what I heard.


What were you surprised about? 
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« Reply #85 on: November 10, 2010, 03:09:47 PM »

Wow, the "purge" is on!

Mp. Philip has dismissed (and perhaps defrocking is in the works) yet another priest.  Fr. Elias Yelovich has been dismissed, allegedly for his comments here: http://ocanews.org/serendipity/index.php?/archives/563-+Philip-Silences-His-Bishops.html#comments  comment #93 (entitled in bold On our Legacy and the Reset Button: the Confessions of a Muddled Mission Priest) and http://ocanews.org/serendipity/index.php?/archives/565-Toledo-Blade-Story.html#comments comment #22 (entitled On Fathers and Beatings).

While Fr. Elias says much, there is, I am sure, much that has been left unsaid.  As always, there are at least 2 sides to every story, and not everyone always knows everything that transpires.  The Metropolitan appears to be acting in a somewhat Stalin-esque manner, and Fr. Elias appears to be being punished for disobeying him by speaking his conscience.  All very sad.  Very, very sad.

Fr. Elias was priest of a mission church in Maryland.  The church has been closed, at least until Divine Liturgy this Sunday.  It remains totally unclear at this point whether or not it will be permanently closed after that.  It has lost several members lately and, instead of growing, seems to be shrinking.
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« Reply #86 on: November 10, 2010, 03:39:17 PM »

That was a very sincere, and just plain GOOD statement by Father Elias. "Press the reset button" very true indeed.
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« Reply #87 on: November 10, 2010, 03:57:54 PM »

Glory be to Jesus Christ! I must confess that I really know little about the AOC or Metropolitan Philip as I have never lived in a community with an independent Arab Orthodox community. The local Arab Orthodox have been part of one of our community's  Hellenic Orthodox Churches apparently since its founding. The local Melkite Catholics were long since absorbed into the Roman churches or for many, the Episcopal church. (Interestintly enough, many Melkites were baptized at my church long ago when it was still Eastern Catholic.)

My son and his wife were affiliated with an Antiochian parish in Albany, NY when they lived there where they found the pastor and the small congregation welcoming, kind and honored that they choose to worship there with them.

I am writing in the hope that many of you from the AOC who despair and are in pain, regardless of whose 'side' you take can find some solace in my words.

As many of you know, my father was an ACROD priest for over sixty five years, literally spanning its history from his Seminary days through the present days. The posts that I read about the current troubles within the Antiochian Church remind me far too much of the struggles my father and ACROD endured in its formative years.  Returning to Orthodoxy out of a bitter split within the Greek Catholic Church, the founders of ACROD were determined not to repeat the types of jurisdiction shopping, division and ultimately schism that seemed to plague the Orthodox churches of our family members who came into the faith in earlier decades.

Despite their good intentions, the early years were both promising and bitter. Christ the Saviour Seminary thrived after a few years producing several generations of pastors and at least six Orthodox Bishops. New parishes were established, both from the ruins of fractured Greek Catholic communities and in the suburbs and the means to preserve the Rusyn traditions that were beloved to its people began to develop. Today we are not ethno-centered but for the most part not 'anti-ethnic', we are predominately English in our liturgical practices. Over time, most, if not all of of the Latinizations that crept into our practices during the centuries of the Unia have fallen to the side as we have fully embraced Orthodoxy.

Despite all, there were factions of parishes, jealous and disloyal priests and others who seemed always to be discontented. A large number of parishes under their pastors' direction chose to leave and join the Metropolia in the years following World War 2. Even the cathedral parish of the late Metropolitan Orestes in Connecticut was rendered asunder and split into three parts just years after it was constructed. The larger part joined the Metropolia, only to return after thirty some years over the calendar issue; the second was highly congregationalist in nature and left upon the selection of a successor Bishop to the Metropolitan only to join the UOC and return to ACROD after forty some years and the third, tiny church remained constant throughout. (I should note that the original church was retained by the Greek Catholics after years of bitter litigation and is located in the suburbs today.)
 
Indeed the very survival of the diocese was at risk as Metropolitan Orestes aged and the issue of succession was debated and played out for several years. During that time many parishes and priests were even approached by the Greek Catholics with 'promises' that they could return to the Eastern Catholic church without sacrificing married priests, congregational control etc... In other words, a new and 'improved' Unia was informally offered. Suffice it to say, no one took that bait!

As the years went by, a number of parishes and priests came and went, but the core remained loyal and committed to the future. In the mid-1960's a convert from Eastern Catholicism was elected Bishop. A forceful personality with whom many did not mesh well with, but a talented leader none the less, the late Bishop John did much to win the confidence of his priests and parishes and went on to found and build Camp Nazareth in Mercer, PA at a time when much larger jurisdictions were just starting to consider such ministries.

When Bishop John died suddenly in the prime of life, another crisis erupted. A tightly contested Sobor/Council was held and a new Bishop was chosen. That was Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos who has been our bishop these past twenty six years. Not all were pleased with his election, but his quiet, pastoral style of leadership allowed the Camp to flourish, a beautiful new Chancery building to be constructed adjacent to the Cathedral and a wooden-style Church of SS. Cyril and Methodius to be built at the Camp. Many missions have been established in the mid-Atlantic region under his protection.

His efforts to help heal the bitter divide within the Rusyn community both here and in Slovakia has won him respect from both Orthodox and Eastern Catholics alike.

Still, not all were, or are, happy. (The same can often be said for priests and their relationships with their congregations. The impact of Protestant based congregationalism continues to haunt most of us American Orthodox through the present times and sometimes drive the decisions of priests and bishops as well as the laity.)

As I grew older, I realized that my father was not always pleased with the directions taken by his superiors and even his hierarchs. Yet in spite of that, those who knew him will confirm that he had the respect and admiration of all in the diocese. He never went 'public' with his issues, but quietly, and without rancor, worked from within for change

Father Elias' words saddened me as they reminded me of much of what I have experienced at various times in my life as it applies to the Church. Yet, I could not help but think of my father's words. He firmly believed that God's will ultimately would prevail and  his ultimate loyalty was to the Church - a concept that went beyond any particular congregation or particular Dean or even any particular Bishop.

Many times that loyalty was tested over the years, but as he would remind me, all of us were tested - from the Lord in the desert for forty days to the apostles, including Peter during the passion. People come and people go, against all of that the Church will endure. I realize that the conscience of some may lead them down another path and that they must do what their conscience drives them to do.

In closing, I guess that I just wanted to let those suffering through this painful period, regardless of their allegience,  know that there really is nothing new under this sun and that better days do indeed lie ahead.

Let us keep our Antiochian brothers and sisters, their bishops, monastics, clergy and laity alike in our prayers.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 04:12:42 PM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #88 on: November 10, 2010, 04:09:19 PM »

This is starting to get sick... Angry
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« Reply #89 on: November 10, 2010, 04:32:50 PM »

podkarpatska - thank you for your post.
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