April 19, 2014

Antiochian Orthodox Church Affirms Traditional Marriage

antiochian-logo-thumb

- A resolution affirming heterosexual marriage was passed unanimously at the Antiochian Convention in July of this year. I was present when the resolution came to the floor and would have tweaked it a bit by using the term "sex" instead of "gender" (the collapse of sex -- biological particularity -- into gender is one of the great confusions of our age); establishing the moral ground of natural marriage more firmly (the natural is never separated from the sacramental thus the moral validity of heterosexual marriage precedes the sacramental expression of it); avoiding the term "orientation" (it clouds theological notions of ontology) and a few other items. However, we were voting on a resolution, not a theological apologetic so I passed on the comments and voted yes. Resolution to Oppose the Recent United States Supreme Court Decision That Held the "Defense of Marriage Act" Unconstitutional Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese WHEREAS, on June 26, … [Read more...]

Metropolitan PHILIP Saliba – On the Record

Ossios Lukas (Venerable Luke) Monastery

Note October 14, 2010: A few days ago I posted this interview (a very good one, BTW), then took it down, but I am putting it back up but disabling comments. Why did I take it down? I took it down because Met. Philip, a flash-point in the blogosphere right now, is also my hierarch. On a personal level, the man has been very good to me, taking me in and going to bat for me when I was mistreated by another bishop. On a corporate level, I am aware of the complaints and while I think some of them need to get ironed out, some of them are too personal and distract from what I see as the larger problem at hand: a clash of Eastern and Western sensibility and culture that, 1) the OCA was forced to confront when the ties to the Mother Church was cut by the Bolsheviks in 1918, 2) the GOA refuses to confront by building a false mythology of primacy, 3) the AOA has moderated by essentially building two churches side by side but which are now rubbing up against each other. I am not, like some … [Read more...]

Bishop Thomas on the Manhattan Declaration

Bishop Thomas of Charleston (AOA)

Thomas, Bishop of Charleston/Oakland and Assistant to Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, posted an informational item on the Manhattan Declaration and included links to educational resources on the sanctity of life and marriage. Bishop Thomas encouraged his flock to share his message with parishioners in the diocese. Key paragraphs: 1. With regard to abortion, the Orthodox Church forbids it. We do everything we can to align ourselves with the mind and teachings of the Church. 2. With regard to marriage, we obviously only bless marriages between one man and one woman. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Having said this, it is also important for us to understand that the union between a man and a woman should exist within the Mystery of Holy Matrimony. 3. The Scripture clearly forbids homosexuality. It is not necessary for me to direct you … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy and Obama’s conscience clause

MAY_2009_WORD_

A friend sent me an email earlier today. Search Google, he said, with the terms conscience rule obama catholic bishops and conscience rule obama orthodox bishops and then compare the two. Not very impressive. (Actually, the AOI blog article on Abp. Demetrios' awkward praise of Pres. Obama ranks first in Google, but that's beside the point.) It got me to thinking. If there is ever a need for Orthodox unity, the time is now. The authority of the Orthodox moral tradition far exceeds our numbers, but that authority has to be exercised. As long as we remain disunited our voice is muted and the culture does not receive the direction it needs. The Catholic Bishops understand this, just as they understand that the life issues are a matter of not only personal life and death, but cultural life and death. That is why they are ready to use their authority to clarify these issues and, if necessary, offer moral resistance. It is time for us to step up too. Apart from the GOA, the … [Read more...]

Antiochian monasticism speaks to the current crisis…

From the Ochlophobist (one who has an aversion to crowds) website: The following is very important. It was written by Archim. Touma, who is said to be the most influential monastic under Antioch. He is Athonite in spirituality, he leads the most traditional monastery under the Holy Synod of Antioch, and he does not normally comment on ecclesio-political matters. Highlight: And what is to be said about the canonical disorders that we’re up to our ears in over there? The situation of all the Orthodox eparchies dependent on mother churches in North America is uncanonical. There is one Orthodox church in those lands whose situation is sound and canonical: the American Orthodox Church (OCA). This alone is independent and autocephalous and this is de-facto recognized by the other Orthodox eparchies. Its recognition, formal or implicit, by the eparchies depending on mother churches is clear and frank confirmation that the status of these eparchies is uncanonical and unsound. If … [Read more...]

‘deception, power-mongering, and even forgery’

It is now a police matter. David Yonke, religion editor at the Toledo Blade, has a very thorough report on the unjust and spectacularly un-Christian treatment Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Mark of Toledo has received at the hands of Walid Khalife, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who sent threatening emails to the bishop and other clergy. As if that weren't enough, Yonke adds this: Meanwhile, some Antiochian Orthodox parishioners are voicing concerns over the change in status of Bishop Demetri, the disgraced former bishop of Toledo. He was arrested in July, 2003, after grabbing a woman’s breast in a casino near Traverse City, Mich., and later was convicted on a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct. Metropolitan Philip ordered Bishop Demetri to undergo therapy for alcoholism, and the bishop later retired with restrictions barring him from ministry. The 60-year-old bishop, who is a registered sex offender in Florida, was listed in December as an auxiliary bishop under … [Read more...]

AOCA Verdict: Invalid, Inapplicable, Inconsistent, Ill-Advised

HT: Orthodox Christians for Accountability (Initial summary written by Mark Stokoe of Orthodox Christians for Accountability and edited by AOI.) In a 15-page opinion offered to Metropolitan Philip, the Local Synod and the Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Archdiocese, dated May 13th, the Chancellors of the Archdiocese Robert Koory and Charles Ajalat shredded both the February 24th decision of the Synod of Antioch and the April 24th decision of the Local Synod as "invalid", "inapplicable" "inconsistent" and "ill-advised:" ...the February 24th decision is not a valid decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch. Moreover, even if were, it would have no effect on our Archdiocese since it wasn’t intend to apply to our Archdiocese and if it was intended, it would not apply because it is inconsistent with, negates, and would violate the irrevocable Resolution on Self-Rule, the Archdiocese Constitution and the Archdiocese Articles of … [Read more...]

Church on Sunday?

A well-written, thoughtful, and thoroughly engaging article on what American Orthodoxy increasingly looks like. He looks like a regular young guy — maybe late 20s or early 30s. Head shaved to mask a receding hairline, a black goatee to offset the baldness, the gold rim of his glasses glinting beneath his dark brows. A regular guy, except maybe for his robe. Though it has the sheen of satin, it does not drape or hang; it holds its shape, stiffly framing the man beneath. Though mostly creamy white, the robe beams with patterns of yellow gold. (If we were not in church, the fabric would seem ostentatious, guilty of Louis XVI excess.) And over the robe, a stole, equally stiff and resplendent, making an X across his belly. The resulting look is old-fashioned in the extreme, reminding me of nothing so much as the priestly robes worn by long-ago Jewish characters in the Jesus movies. Yet here it is on a Sunday in 2009, on a young guy, in a brick chapel set amid the more ordinary opulence … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Philip: Paschal Greetings

Paschal Greetings of Metropolitan PHILIP “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to His own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) “O Christ Saviour, we were but yesterday buried with Thee, and we shall rise with Thee in Thy Resurrection. We were but yesterday crucified with Thee: glorify us with Thee in Thy kingdom.” (Verse from the Third Ode of the Paschal Canon) Beloved Hierarchs, Clergy, Trustees, Parish Council Members, and All Faithful of our God-Protected Archdiocese: Christ is Risen! … [Read more...]

Transcription of Met. Jonah’s Speech on Orthodoxy Unity in America

Metropolitan Jonah

Sermon delivered at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, Texas on April 5, 2009. It is a great joy to see everybody here this evening from so many different communities, from different traditions. Orthodoxy is a celebration of diversity in unity, and unity in diversity. Our unity is in our one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our one Orthodox faith and our one commitment to living the truth, to living as Christians. Not to live according the spirit of the world, not to live according to our passions, not to live according to the desires that flit by through our minds and lead us into all sorts of trouble, but to live the truth, to live Orthodox. And, our diversity is something we celebrate, not a diversity of lifestyles, but a diversity that reflects the whole spectrum of our community, people of all races, people of all colors, people from a multitude of different ethnic backgrounds. … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah to Old World bishops: Hands Off the American Church!

In a stinging rebuke to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America issued a call for a unified American Church and rejected any path to unity that would mean "we surrender the freedom we have embraced as American Orthodox Christians to a patriarchate still under Islamic domination." The video here records his sermon on April 5 at Pan-Orthodox vespers at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. Although he did not mention him by name, the Metropolitan was responding to a speech given March 16 at Holy Cross School of Theology by the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, chief secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In the speech, Fr. Lambriniadis was critical of calls for unity by both the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese and OCA and asserted that "submission to the First Throne of the Church, that is, to the Ecumenical Patriarchate" is the proper mode of unity for American Orthodox Christians. To such a … [Read more...]

Met. Philip offers background on new Archpastoral Directive

Metropolitan Philip, the head of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America, issued a statement today explaining some of the background to the Archpastoral Directive of March 3. The letter follows: Beloved Hierarchs and Clergy, Members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese, Parish Councils and Faithful of this God-Protected Archdiocese: Greetings and blessings during this Holy Lenten Season! There have been some questions raised regarding the February 24th decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch which addressed the status of bishops across the entire See of Antioch. The purpose of this letter is to try to answer these questions so that confusion may be avoided. The first question deals with whether or not I am supportive of the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch which was taken on February 24, 2009. I am supportive of this decision, for a simple reason. I am convinced that the institutional structure of our Archdiocese here requires it at this time. One of the … [Read more...]