Posts Tagged ‘Metropolitan Philip’

Oh, Has It Been That Long?

November 15, 2010

Yes it has.  I didn’t know anyone read this blog until a parishioner and friend asked me this morning before Divine Liturgy when I was going to post again.   So at least one person noticed my long absence.  No excuse for not blogging – I just didn’t feel like it, so there.

Well, what shall I talk about?  Hmmm, Metropolitan Philip seems like too easy a target (but it sure is tempting).   How about some religious news of the weird – is or isn’t Naomi Campbell going to become Orthodox after she gets hitched  in the Temple of Luxor?  Guess if you’ve got money you can get married any darn place you like.  

Locally I was interested in the report of the Russian Church Outside of Russia accepting the Western-rite practicing parishes of the Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of America .   Never heard of ’em before this, which is surprising since their entire Texas presence is found in my home town of San Antonio not 5 miles from my front door.   It appears to be a small house church in a nondescript neighborhood on the northeast side of town.  I haven’t driven by yet, but did do the modern equivalent with a Google street view (forget the Germans and their privacy issues,  I love this feature).

In the big scheme of things, I don’t think this will change the course of Orthodoxy in America since all ten parishes of this group couldn’t possibly contain more than 1000 souls.   But hey, the soul of 1 or 1000 doesn’t matter to the Lord.  The angels rejoice when just one person is saved, and we should too.  Prayer for these folks is needed – they are coming out of the strange land of non-canonical Orthodoxy, bringing whatever baggage that might entail.  Making a switch like this can’t be easy or done overnight.   I’m reminded though that several of our strongest parish families came out of a local Old Catholic church many years ago.   We’re not talking huge numbers either but what a benefit their witness has been for our Church and Orthodoxy as a whole.

Metropolitan Philip’s Latest Poke at Orthodox Americans

August 15, 2009

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“Every thing that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘tis time to part.”     Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

There is a character and spirit which defines America and Americans, that imbues their souls, whether they are 6th generation or newly arrived.  It is a sense of self-determination, fairness and individuality.  Not content to blindly follow, they value the freedom to criticize and analyze without fear of censure or violence.   In our Orthodox ecclesiastical structures we do give up a certain amount of our independence, but it is a willing and sacrificial obedience to the teachings of Christ and his Holy Church.   In return we expect our hierarchs, chosen in concert with the Holy Spirit, to lead us without self-interest, malice or pride. 

Sadly, it now appears that Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese of America has stooped to extortion and heavy-handed vindictiveness to silence his critics and keep the sheep in line.  

It is absolutely shameful to see a spiritual leader act this way.    Is the Metropolitan willing to harm the Church and its inter-jurisdictional relations by playing tit-for-tat with the lives of poor seminarians who aren’t even involved in this affair?  Is the Metropolitan so afraid that the accusations of Mark Stokoe hit too close to home?   Is Metropolitan Philip willing to continue tarnishing  40 years of leadership with these Old School/Old World tactics?  What he continues to do is act like a petty tyrant lashing out at mosquitoes with a full military assault.  It displays paranoia and overblown pride.  The sheep won’t be quiet much longer.  As I’ve written before, the mood surrounding  the whole mess in the Antiochian leadership has the feeling of revolutionary discontent  to it.   Things will reach a tipping point from which there is no going back.

Metropolitan Philip, learn from the British.  They didn’t fare too much better when faced with American resolve.    (Read Metropolitan Philip’s explanation of the seminarians’ move here and make up your own mind whether this “explanation” sounds reasonable.)