It was announced this month that a new Bishop(John) was appointed for the Western rite, but bishop Basil was still our Bishop. no further explanation. Just curious, does anyone know how the division of responsibilty is going to be handled. It would make some sense to have someone in charge of standardizing Western Rite practices. Just curious
Here is a summary of what Bishop JOHN announced to the priests of the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate at the biennial Western Rite Vicariate Conference held August 7-10:
1. Metropolitan PHILIP is and remains the Bishop for the entire Archdiocese. All other bishops (or, in one case, archbishop) are "Auxiliary Bishops" who assist the Metropolitan with the administration of the Archdiocese.
2. Bishop JOHN is the Auxiliary Bishop assisting Metropolitan PHILIP with all Western Rite parishes in the Archdiocese. This means that all questions or issues in a Western Rite parish must be referred to Bishop JOHN. To say it another way, in all matters for which Western Rite priests or deacons are required in the Archdiocesan Clergy Guide to contact the Auxiliary Bishop, the Western Rite priest or deacon must contact Bishop JOHN. Or to say it yet another way, the Western Rite parishes have the exact same relationship to Bishop JOHN as the Byzantine parishes in Texas or Nebraska have to Bishop BASIL.
3. Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop JOHN want all Western Rite clergy and parishes to maintain their good relationships with the Byzantine Auxiliary Bishop, clergy and parishes in the local geographic dioceses. In other words, Western Rite priests may invite the local Byzantine Auxiliary Bishop to their parishes, Western Rite priests should attend deanery meetings and Western Rite parishioners are encourage to participate fully in the Parish Life Conferences.
4. In all liturgical services where appropriate, Western Rite priests are to commemorate Bishops in the following order: Metropolitan PHILIP, the Auxiliary Bishop of the local geographic diocese, and then the Auxiliary Bishop for the Western Rite.
Fr John W Fenton
Assistant to the Vicar General
Western Rite Vicariate
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America