Monday, October 25, 2010

Englewood Locuta Est – Causa Finita Est

Asserting an absolute jurisdiction over other bishops that would quicken the pulse of the most die-hard ultramontanist; Metropolitan Philip has issued a decree effectively proclaiming one man rule over the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese in N. America and reducing the bishops of the AOANA to mitered altar boys. I confess to not being too up on the more arcane history of Orthodox ecclesiology, but if there is any precedent for this I am unaware of it.

The sheer scope and audacity of the decree is breathtaking. There is simply no way to describe this except as one of the most gross and flagrant abuses of power I can recall. Metropolitan Philip is not the Pope (though he clearly thinks otherwise). Orthodox bishops do not treat other bishops like this, even when they have serious disagreements. The time has come to cease mincing words. His Eminence must resign or be deposed.



DNY said...

I see you've adapted your honorific to +Philip's pretensions--His Beatitude is appropriate for a patriarch.

His Eminence must resign or be deposed.


John (Ad Orientem) said...

I stand corrected. I was thinking of Met. Jonah, who holds the honorific by virtue of being the head of a local church. I will correct the text.


Steve Hayes said...

It is, after all, an Archdiocese, and not a Church. Insread of the Metropolitan resigning, perhaps all the "auxiliary bishiops" should resign. If the Metropolitan wants to run the show on his own, then let him.

What is an "auxiliary bishop" anyway - is it similar to an Anglican "bishop suffragan"?

Fr. Andrew said...

FWIW, the record (as of now) includes no such issuance of a "decree." What was posted on the "OCA News" site is a leaked text. Do we know if it's the final revision? Do we know that it's authentic? It may well be those things, but as of this writing, at least, no decrees have been issued. The archdiocese has not actually put out any statements about the synod meeting at all other than a statement that it was scheduled.

All of the language of an "announcement" on the "OCA News" site is, at best, premature. To whom was it announced? Where? When? The answer: No one, nowhere, not yet.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I have to think this is a rear-guard action by +Philip and his cronies. There is another world outside the parishes in Englewood and Detroit-Toledo; the Antiochian Church is changing under their very feet.

Anonymous said...

"What was posted on the "OCA News" site is a leaked text."

(Yes, the sounds you hear are my eyeballs rolling on the floor.)

Most likely Philip's recent interview on Ancient Faith Radio was 'leaked' too... as I've no doubt that Philip's handlers' would like to edit that quite enlightening glimpse into the mental processes of a megalomaniac as well.

Nice try at damage control Fr., but I'm not buying it.

Fr. Andrew said...


I honestly have no idea what the actual announcement might be. Who knows? It might be the same, but with more. The point here is not spin or damage control but accuracy in actual reporting. What was posted on "OCA News" may well be the official statement, but we don't know that yet.

The archdiocese has as yet made no such announcement. Check for yourself. Surely you don't think that Englewood is now making its official decrees by means of the "OCA News" website, sending them to Mr. Stokoe before releasing them through official channels?

As for the interview on AFR, that really doesn't compare. That's clearly an authorized, official release that got its own entry on the archdiocesan website.

Jon Marc said...

Steve - Auxiliary bishops are consecrated bishops who are not, however, ruling or diocesan/archdiocesan/metropolitan bishops. (In the Chalcedonian use of Greek "corepiscopos.") In the Alexandrian Orthodox Church Bishops Gabriel of Mareotis and Niphon of Babylon would be examples of auxiliary bishops...

Anonymous said...

Fr. Andrew,

"official decrees" notwithstanding, the material revealed via OCA News was what was given to the 'bishops' at the synod meeting. That it has not yet been sanitized and released on Philip's website is immaterial - who cares. If what was given by Englewood to the regional 'bishops' was good enough for them, it is good enough for me in that it quite clearly reveals the whited sepulcher that is Englewood and the corrupted corpse that resides therein.

Fr. Yousuf said...

I can only second "anonymous". If there is not a certain finality to a document that was vetted and endorsed by the legal counsel and presented to the Eparchial Synod members during the meeting, what finality comes from the jurisdiction website? Are not the members of the Eparchial Synod at least as well to be informed as any of us who log onto ""? What, "conciliarity", for example, could come of the Met. and the web site team changing the document now?

I suspect a great deal of the negative response is to the whole tone and direction, not just to this or that clause or wording. No one with any knowledge of the chanceries of the auxiliaries of the Archdiocese have given the slightest hint that their graces received something other than that which Mark Stokoe posted.

Priest Yousuf Rassam
Tarzana, CA