Given that Antioch is very active in the Philippines, it is a wonder that their AWRV has not sought a canonical release for these two enthusiastic congregations to join them. Given the success of Hieromonk Michael in winning these souls for Orthodoxy, it is a pity that he is not enabled to spend time there catechizing and making Orthodox these congregations at least one of which I read somewhere was ex-Old Catholic or Independent Catholic.
Good news on another e-list from Bishop Jerome who writes:Do you know of the fate of the SPM Asian Missions in the Philippines who don't have a priest and I assume are reliant on the visitation of SPM clerics?
> The ROCOR WR in Britain has not been dissolved.
> I am hoping to visit the UK this year, and ordain
> someone to carry on the ministry.
To the best of my knowledge they have never been visited by Fr Michael or Fr Barry (and I do not think there are any other SPM clerics?)
With two parishes and around 250 souls they are the largest parishes in the ROCA's WR Vicariate.
These two parishes in the Antiochian Vicariate of Mindanao were gifted to the Russian Church Abroad by the Antiochian Archbishop Paul (Saliba.) He found that he could not cope with the huge numbers of WR converts in the Philippines. So the Russian Church simply benefited from the work already done by the Antiochians.
So did they choose ROCOR because it had a WR? If so, how were they received? have they had the sacraments since the Antiochians left them in the care of ROCOR? Did Vladyka Hilarion give responsibility to SPM to run these missions? One has to feel for them if they have had no ROCOR WR priests spending time - not just to give the Mysteries but to catechize, to support, to show Gospel love. One has to wonder, if they were/are priestless whether they would have been far better off in the Byzantine rite with on the ground Antiochian priests, established community etc? Orthodoxy is a precious gift - and to risk losing it because a community has no priest for presumably years now would just be terrible.
With SPM out of the picture in the Philippines, who will care for these missions for the Russian Western-rite Vicariate?