Patriarch John Promises to Get to the Bottom of Issue


[gview file=””]


  1. If I’m not mistaken weren’t these allegations promoted by Orthodoxy in Dialogue?

    • Henry Bellman says

      Yes. Which is why Im highly skeptical. The slander they committed on Fr Josiah was monsterous. They’ve been known to spin up nonsense about many clerics slightly to the right of the bolsheviks.

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      No, this time, OiD’s role was just a third party who published the allegations later. The woman sent an e-mail to a bunch of archdiocesan higher-ups, and apparently later made that e-mail public and OiD picked up on it, or she contacted OiD later. The investigation was going to happen, OiD or not.

    • Petros, yes. They posted a screen shot of an alleged email from the (supposed) woman.

  2. Henry Bellman says

    To my knowledge, the original “information” came from OiD. So Im willing to give Met. Joseph a massive benefit of the doubt here.

    • Fr. Yanney says

      OID reported the allegations. OID is disreputable and agenda driven. But what he reported was info that was indeed sent to the Patriarch, the American bishops and the Antiochian board of trustees. OID did not make the allegation out of thin air.

      • OID is a trash blog. The goal of OID is to deconstruct Orthodox Christian theology. The author and his compadres will fail. They are dust in the wind.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I agree with you Jane.

          Even if the allegations are true(ish), we should have no truck with outfits like OiD. They fact that it might be right falls under the “stopped clock is right twice a day” cliche if you ask me.

        • Orthodoxy In Dialogue…?
          In dialogue with whom…?
          The mirror…?

    • Yes, however the woman’s account of history was directly emailed to many leaders within the Antiochian Archdiocese, and there are a lot of very specific names, dates, and locations mentioned. There is also the allegation that the Metropolitan cosigned on two houses with the woman (though, weirdly, under the name Bishop G. Joseph).

      If there is a concrete case to be made against these allegations, it needs to be made fast.

      [Editor Note: Since we already have a Basil on our Blog, would you please put a letter or number after your name so we’ don’t get you two confused? Thank you!]

      • Maybe someone “paid the woman” to send out the emails! Just sayin’ LGBQT is just one of many tactics the globalists are using to achieve their non achievable evil goals.

      • While I am inclined to believe Met. Joseph, I ran a Google search for “Bishop G. Joseph” and pretty quickly came up with two results:

        1. There is a home outside of LA jointly owned by “Bishop G. Joseph” and a woman.

        2. There is a Department of Defense webpage listing endorsements of a chaplaincy program, and the Antiochian Archdiocese is undersigned by “Bishop G. Joseph”.

        So if that is Met. Joseph’s legal name (which I’m sure the military would require to be used), that does tie him to the house and indicates this all may be real. Sadly.

        • Anon, I tried the same Google search and came up with neither of the sites you mentioned.
          May I ask you to tell us more specifically how you came to find them? Search terms, etc.

      • Yeah, obviously I don’t know anything about this case except what’s presented, but the woman’s letter is highly detailed. Also she closes with the “Serenity Prayer” which is used at almost all addiction and trauma recovery meetings – so if it’s real, and if she’s trying to get some recovery from her trauma, that does add a piece of authenticity.

        As a wise priest told me once, God commands us to deal with reality, with the world as it is, not as we wish it were.

        I pray that those entrusted with uncovering the truth do so, and if this woman has been harmed by clergy or sexual abuse, that she receives trauma recovery. I’d like to think that people aren’t naive enough to fall for sexual predators, but sometimes that happens.

        I do pray that Met. Joseph did not commit the acts that are alleged, but I also pray that if he did, we can deal with that reality as an American Church (including the implications of that reality) and not “pretend that he didn’t” because the truth is too painful.

        Catholics hid behind the “truth is too painful” slogan for years, and how many Catholics (mostly young men and boys) were sexually preyed upon because Roman Catholics could not deal with that reality.

        Real men, honest people, and churches with integrity face their demons and deal with them.

      • Now we have another Basil!

  3. Most HolyTheotokos intercede to God for us! Lord have mercy.

    • I do have some questions, becasue as an historian my mind is always in gear, please assist me here.

      1) Because Joseph fell on his sword for the Assembly of Bishops against the Greek archbishop – is this perhaps a “Greek Lightning” situation?

      2) It does remind me, in part, of the situation with Demetri some years ago or in the GOA with Anithimos many years ago.

      3) If the allegations are true, who knew about them? It went on so long, there must be at least of few in the innercircle who were knowing. I say this because, as of yet, there has not been anyone coming forward and supporting Joseph.

      4) If there are othets who knew are they not as complicit of the allegations are true? Those who were involved with Demetri got off scott free. Transparency does seem to be a rare commodity.

      5) If the allegations are ture, if they are true, then how does this affect all of the sacraments that were performed? Here would be a person, who knowlingly transgressed and sinned, yet performed marriages, baptisms, ordinations, etc. Even had the boldness to approach the altar and consecrate Holy Communion while knowlingly sinning. Are not all of what has been done over these some 16 yers invalid, and are in need of being redone? If not have we not made a mockery of what we call Holy? What is the standard that needs to be applied to everyone equally? How are we acountable for our words and deeds?

      6) In no way am I supporting Orthodoxy in Dialog, and I understand their credibility, or lack there of, in the eyes of many. But as an engineer I am always seeking the root cause of a failure or potential failure. We always hope for the best and fear for the worst. That is why in the power generating industry we all carry a nickle in our pocket. When we are near a spinning turbine generator we, out of habit, take out the nickle and see if it will stand on its edge if placed on the generator shroud. This is a way to determine if there is an off balance in the spinnung turbine that can cause a catastrophic failure. It is a predictor of the worse possible case, but can also give reason for an orderly shutdown and remediation. I this particular case in question, my nickle is teetering back and forth. Too soon to predict the final outcome, but enough to cause possible conern and to start weighing the options and their possible effects.

      7) i fear that we are a situation where a person is asked ” are you still beating your dog?” there is no way of answering, especially with a yes or no and come out unscathed.

      we just do not need another scandal

      • Gail Sheppard says

        God’s grace isn’t impeded because of something the clergy did or didn’t do.

        • Yes. The idea that personal failings negate the validity of the Mysteries is a particularly Protestant idea. Only falling away from the faith, i.e., heresy, negates the validity of the Mysteries, that is, of the services performed by the clergy in question since they fell from the faith and not before.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Absolutely, Gail. The idea that the individual priest’s/bishop’s sanctity is what “moves” the Holy Spirit to act (i.e. impart His grace) is known as the heresy of Donatism. A heresy which St Augustine successfully defended against.

          As for the issue of personal morality itself, I can only give the example of St Basil the Great, who at one time in his life defrocked a priest because he had an affair with a woman. The priest in question lived a life of extreme repentance and some twenty years later, went to a funeral. Upon touching the bier, the dead man rose to life.

          Clearly, his sanctity was proof of God’s grace, as well as a manifestation of the former priest’s sanctity.

          After the hubbub died down, he petitioned the now-aged St Basil if he could be restored to holy orders. Basil said “no.” His sanctity and redemption were between him and God but the earlier affair was a public scandal.

          What mattered was not the earthly glory (i.e. return to the priesthood) but his redemption: though not returned to the priesthood, he is clearly in heaven.

        • But if it is done knowingly and the act is in controversy with the canons and teachings, how can one expect that God’s grace will be bestowed? Isn’t t the act barren such as if a non believer mimicked it? For by knowlingly forsaking the canons and teachings are you not placing yourself outside of the church’s embrace? So how can the Grace of God be bestowed on an invalid act performed by one knowlingly violating canons and teachings? Or are you saying that once you become part of the “sanctified brethren” you can do no wrong, because you are protected by the fraternity? I am confused as to where and how the line is drawn.

          • Antiochene Son says

            All clergy are sinners, rj. Some sins are public, others are private. In the priest’s silent prayers at the Liturgy he acknowledges his unworthiness.

            God’s grace still descends through the Sacraments, not for the sake of the priest or bishop, but for the sake of those to whom the Sacraments are distributed.

          • Because God works the sacraments despite the sinfulness of His ministers. If that weren’t the case, then we would have NO sacraments in the Church, because none are worthy, as every priest says at the Divine Liturgy.

            Do you think God would withdraw His grace and leave children unbaptized, marriages unsolemnized, and Eucharists unconsecrated for decades because a priest kept his double life well hidden? Absolutely not – that’s why the icon Christ the High Priest is at the top of the iconostasis, because He presides and makes up for what is lacking.

          • Id suggest you read about the history of the Church dealing with Donatism. It should answer all of your questions.

            • it just seems that you all are justifying an act by someone who knowingly is sinning. and is purposefully not repenting and ceasing, so how can God look kindly this pers0n who is rejecting Him and His teachings? Why would God want to bless anything that a person who puts themselves out side of the church does? They are sinning on and on for many years, not repenting, and essentially creating a sham, and despoiling the significance and holiness of the sacraments they are performing, aren’t they? If what you are saying is true then no one needs to be concerned about sinning for then God will give them a pass no matter what. I do not see the justice nor the ethics in the interpretation being put forth. Where is our logic not meshing???

              • Nobody’s justifying anything or saying that he gets a pass, what we’re saying is that personal sins do not negate the sacraments. Christ works through the sinners, who will still be held to account for their sins on judgement day.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Somewhere in your rule book it should say something about following the directives of the patriarch.

              • What you are saying is that
                the faith of the faithful is negated
                by the sins of the unfaithful.

                I do not think Christ agrees;
                else what is his point here…?

                Mark 13:13
                …ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται.
                …he that remains to the end, he shall be saved.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  It’s the cuffs. The Church teaches that when they put on those cuffs, God is working through them.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Fortunately, God doesn’t see it that way and the clergy are well aware of their status as sinners. Otherwise, why would they say, “. . . be merciful unto me a sinner.” 3 times. –

      • I don’t have a dog…

  4. I question the source of the allegations, too. And if proven false, I’d look into suing Orthodoxy in Dialogue for yet again defaming good Orthodox clergy. And publicly excommunicating, if that hasn’t already been done. Enough is enough.

    • Update: I wrote the above comment while busy and not having time to actually go to OiD and look at the allegations. I just did, read the email from the woman, and also saw an article alleging she and the bishop co-own two houses together in CA and ID. Things do indeed look bad and I reserve my judgment until, hopefully, the truth comes out.

      If true, we can be thankful OiD published it. While sorry it only gives them fodder in their mission to weaken and change Orthodox moral teaching.

  5. curious that OiD publishes the email unredacted, with clear information that points to the person’s identity, including a signature. Anyone who is in the Antiochian Diocese of the West could figure it out. So much for their constant claim of “protecting identity”?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      There is no signature on the letter.

      • I agree, no handwritten signature. But the name typed at the end was clearly “Helen”. She also identified her daughter by name. She shared details that would clearly lead to her identification. If there were a genuine attempt to hide her identity, much of the copied email should have been redacted.

      • As Sam Goldwyn might have said:

        a letter unsigned
        is not worth the signature
        with which it is signed

  6. Anyone else find it coincidental the woman/complainant, happens to be a Greek woman and is just now coming forward (after 16 years) shortly after +Joseph penned some strongly worded letters to Elpidophoros and the EP, which effectively stopped them in their tracks (even if just temporarily) from doing what they want, when they want and how they want? The timing seems all too coincidental. Not to mention that letter she supposedly wrote seems… fishy.

    • Gail Sheppard says


      • No, Misha, I don’t find it coincidental.

        These rumors about Met. Joseph have been circulating for Y E A R S.

        Whether this woman did have a relationship with the Metropolitan remains to be seen, but I believe your insinuation is inaccurate and silly.

      • Maybe it’s where some of the gay baptism money went…

        Would honestly not put it past them.

      • Nick Shahood says

        Let’s set the record straight. She is not a Greek woman. She is a woman of Eastern European origins, reared in Johnstown, PA and was a Catholic nun for seven years before she married her husband and had four children.

        But, I hope the Antiochian INDEPENDENT investigation follows the money trail to know if it was a conspiracy with the GOA to dump Joseph.

  7. The letter from the woman looks to be genuine. This could get real ugly, real fast.

    • I beg to differ: the email lacks the tone of an ex-lover. The “audience” is not Met. Joseph: it is you and me, trying to convince us through overmuch detail that its narrative is true. (Studies show that liars often provide too many specifics.)
      The email offers a lot of (purportedly) mutually-known personal information (“as you know …”). There is no reason for including this if the point of the email is simply to communicate: “Leave me alone!” The sentences are too long, the tone is too preachy, and the language is jargon-filled and repetitive. Someone is trying too hard to convince, while writing to someone who would need no convincing, if the allegations are true.
      I am not saying that what it alleges is false, in whole or in part: I am saying that someone else (a priest? a lawyer?) wrote this for the woman to send. It almost reads like an opening statement in court.
      Please, let no one think that the Greeks have the only Archdiocese in America with Machiavellian priests! A couple of years ago, Met. Joseph crossed a couple of his heavy hitters who have connections to their Patriarchate. Those senior priests are just as capable of generating accusations as anyone in the New York City area would be.

      A few final questions: If the metropolitan was going to use an alias on the deed to a property, why wouldn’t he choose an alias further from his actual name? It’s like playing hide-and-seek by ducking behind a sapling. This looks like someone else conjured up the alias years ago, put it on some deeds, and kept it as insurance, just in case the metropolitan stepped out of line.
      Why would someone who lives and works in Englewood, NJ want to co-own property in Idaho? Surely there are more convenient locations for a love shack.
      It does not add up.

      • Antiochene Son says

        Unfortunately there does seem to be publicly available corroborating evidence, see “Anon’s” post up-thread:

        • Yeah, I am not sold on the story that Anon found those sites via a Google search. Is it possible that someone is feeding those links to the blogosphere … someone who knows where to look because that someone is somehow responsible for those signatures?

          Clergyman use their legal names for legal documents like deeds, not their ordained name/title. No one would go through the hassle of changing his legal name with each ordination: Deacon G. Joseph, Presbyter G. Joseph, Bishop G. Joseph …. So that’s already fishy.

          Hierarchs sign a lot of documents. If Met. Joseph was in the habit of signing as “Bishop G. Joseph,” there should be a lot more instances turning up on the Internet, not just these obscure two or three. Also, hierarchs have so many things to sign, sometimes underlings sign things for them (like a piece of chaplaincy paperwork) without the bishop even seeing it. Lots of opportunities for mischief. Especially for a hierarch serving a diocese (like Antiochian Los Angeles) with long-entrenched power-priests with long tentacles.

          If a long-entrenched GOA power-priest could be the undoing of three archbishops, a couple of AOAA analogs could manage the same against a metropolitan who frustrated some design of theirs.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            This is proving to be a very messy situation.

          • Yeah, I am not sold on the story that Anon found those sites via a Google search.

            I’m all for conspiracy theories, but come on. Search it yourself:

            They’re on page 2 of the results. Not hard.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Just FYI I have dealt with this jurisdiction for 10 up-front-and-personal years. If these people on the board could make a buck with using some version of a hierarch’s name, a church’s 501C3 status, a house in his quasi name. . . you Greeks know what I’m talking about. . . they would do it as in the GOA.

              I’m not going to bother to research anything. The guy who collected donations for the poor and then sold them for a profit has smeared a metropolitan’s name using his own stationary to do it.

              No, the real problem is THEY run the Archdiocese. Old world politics at it’s best. They should have dealt with this when Met Philip was alive and well. But Philip would have lost his yes man.

              It’s very sad to learn that AFTER Metropolitan Joseph comes into his own and proves himself as hierarch, they have to move him out.

              But that’s the problem isn’t it? He’s breaking the mold. Can’t have that.


        • Gail Sheppard says

          Evidence of what?

          • Exactly. Why should we accept as fact that the co-owner “Bishop G. Joseph” is one and the same as Met. Joseph? Has he admitted to these co-ownerships?

            If it would be possible for him to use this alias on a legal document, why couldn’t some other person have just as easily assumed that alias … to hide his own shenanigans … while simultaneously sowing seeds of suspicion against an ecclesiastical rival?

            If someone is using an alias to purchase property, doesn’t it stand to reason that they would choose a name that isn’t suggestive of their real identity? Met. Joseph is not a stupid man. Even a stupid man would come up with a better fake name than “Bishop G. Joseph.”

        • If you actually do the digging, you will see that no verified sources on the internet list Bishop G Joseph as being on the deed. Other internet sources state that a bank owns the CA property, not a Helena or Bishop G Joseph. There is not enough verified information to know whether Bishop G Joseph co-owns property with this person, and, if Bishop G Joseph is even Met. Joseph. Hopefully the investigation will be able to verify if true or not, but let’s see some documents from official government sources instead of hearsay based on google searches that may or may not be true.

  8. Antiochene Son says

    Metropolitan Joseph sues defrocked gay man for slandering one of his Priests. (Also embarrasses Elpi for his ordination scandal on the heels of the gay baptism scandal.)

    Same defrocked gay man, having been convicted in court for slander, publishes and heavily promotes a questionable letter accusing Metropolitan Joseph of illicit stuff.

    Curious. ?

    As my grandmother used to say, “Consider the source.”

    • Fr Jeremiah says

      The Metropolitan did not sue Sanfillipo nor have anything to do with the lawsuit, except for blessing Fr Josiah to proceed with it.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Father Jeremiah is correct. We don’t want this story to be any stranger than it already is.

  9. Just reviewed the blog: Orthodoxy in Dialogue
    Best to pull their 990 tax returns and examine every donation given to them. Also check out each name! Lol! Check their campaign donation page. They said their campaign donations have been “suspended.”

    Hmm. Then they direct the reader to donate to some site thqt helps illegals cross the US border.

    Looks pretty shady. Run….fast from this site…aimed at dismantling Orthodox Christian theology.

  10. Whiskey Six says

    The real question here is how much money Joseph can gather on his behalf to be sent to the patriarch to stay in power? Will his money people come through for him or will they be sending checks on another bishops behalf to put someone else in charge? Joseph lived by the baksheesh his fate will be determined by it as well.

  11. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    Things I trust more than Orthodoxy in Dialogue:

    Mexican tap water
    Bernie Madoff investing my life savings
    a three-dollar bill
    a cheap insurance policy
    gas station sushi
    a five-year-old with a loaded handgun
    CNN’s journalistic integrity
    an email from a Nigerian prince
    financial advice from a horoscope
    Merrick Garland with a search warrant

  12. Different topic: I read that Mikhail Gorbachev has died at age 91. He did much in the 1980s to bring down the Communist yoke. Glory to God! I had read years ago that some parishioners affiliated with the St John the Baptist ROCOR Cathedral in D.C. did much of the on-the-spot translating during the USA-USSR back and forth Ronald Reagan/Gorbachev discussions during the 1980s.

    Does anyone know if he was a practicing Orthodox Christian? Will he be having an Orthodox funeral in Russia?

    • He was a committed socialist to his dying day. Good riddance. His weakness and incompetence invited the coup which Yeltsin used to kill the beast. But he is not particularly respected either in Russia. He is blamed for the economic debacle of the 1990’s after the collapse of the SU.

    • Gorbachev was an avowed atheist and clarified this some time in the 90s after he visited the tomb of Francis of Assisi.

    • ‘ Does anyone know if he was a practicing Orthodox
      Christian? Will he be having an Orthodox funeral in Russia?


      ” …in 2006, [Gorbachev] expressed his continued belief in Lenin’s ideas: “I trusted him then and I still do”. He claimed that “the essence of Lenin” was a desire to develop “the living creative activity of the masses”. Taubman believed that Gorbachev identified with Lenin on a psychological level. …

      Gorbachev was baptized Russian Orthodox and when he was growing up, his grandparents had been practising Christians. In 2008, there was some press speculation that he was a practising Christian after he visited the tomb of St Francis of Assisi, to which he publicly clarified that he was an atheist. ”

      If the above held true at his death,
      I would expect a secular funeral.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Interesting question. Russians identify with being Orthodox, when it has nothing to do with the Church.

        • He seems to have been an Orthodox Leninist…

          • “Bolshevik Pravoslav”

            (Hello Monomakhos, great site btw!)

          • Small “o” orthodox Leninist. He apostatized long ago and never recanted. Gorbachev was a weak, delusional leader. He remained a convinced socialist but believed that one could tame Bolshevism with openness and a type of economic restructuring substituting leasing for private property. It went nowhere, predictably, except that it encouraged popular criticism of the government.

            However, one of the structural reforms implemented during this period hastened the demise of the Soviet Union. Though the politburo of the USSR was still completely controlled by the CPSU, the parliaments of the respective republics were allowed to entertain and seat candidates of other parties. This moved the locus of government legitimacy to the level of the republics. That was the key to killing the Soviet beast. When the hardliners staged a coup against Gorby, trapping him at his dacha and seizing power, the head of the Russian Republic, Boris Yeltsin, saved his butt. But Russians are not creatures of process. They all know where the real power resides based on public activity. He whose commands are obeyed in public is in charge.

            This came to the fore during late August, 1991, after the failed coup attempt when Yeltsin took the stage at a party function while Gorbachev was speaking and ordered him to read a particular paper. Gorbachev knew what he was doing and tried to deflect, but Yeltsin insisted, “Read it now.”

            And he did.

            And thus ended the Soviet Union. The rest of it was a matter of dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t’s.

            Yeltsin brought down the Soviet Union. It is a pity that he was incompetent to transform the economy and international posture of the RF, but bravery can only take you so far. He lacked the necessary distrust of the West to lead the country to rehabilitation. Nonetheless, he had the sense to put Putin in charge who had the right stuff. Neither Gorby nor Boris are well remembered among Russians. But this attempt to rehabilitate Gorby is pure bs.

      • (Snark on overdrive)

        Well, Gorbachev was baptized Orthodox. And his grandparents were Orthodox. One may assume, then, that given a large enough stole fee, a certain American Greek Archbishop would be happy to fly over and provide him with an Orthodox funeral.

        Oh wait…no, he was Russian, the overriding disqualifier.

  13. Hmm. Very strange happening on OID

    All those “patrons” gave to a fundraiser called:
    Angels Unawares. This fundraiser campaign has been suspended according to OID! See statement in small print on the Patron page.

    There is no mention how much $ was collected for RAICES non profit! Why?

    Also check out the OID patroon page. The author claims he is in need of $ aid.

    As for the email from the “woman,” – oh what malarkey how devastated she is. Pure baloney! Egad!

  14. Very sad to read this if it is true. But Patriarch John seems like a good and Godly man and I trust he will do the right think for his flock. I wish we Greeks had someone of his caliber and holiness at the rudder. We have Black Bart and Effeminate Elpi. Lord have mercy!

  15. I have had it! says

    The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese is an absolute catastrophe. I believe the woman and the content of her email. Also, I don’t think anyone would write an article like that with those allegations without having concrete evidence. This scandal is going to lead to more sex scandals within the Antiochian Archdiocese. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is having its own sex scandals as well.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I’m not so sure.

    • “I don’t think anyone would write an article like that
      with those allegations without having concrete evidence.”

      What? Like the concrete evidence to support
      the allegations against Fr Josiah Trenham?
      If I am not mistaken, it all dissolved in court…

      If people were not prone to making false allegations,
      we would have needed no commandment against them…

    • Why do you say the Archdiocese is a catastrophe? Genuine question. I’m in the Antiochian jurisdiction, though not involved enough to hear “talk,” would really like to know why you say that. Not for the purpose of gossip, but for transparency. Secrecy only enables destruction of souls. I learned that during my many years in the Catholic Church, so have good reason to want to know what’s going on here.

    • I do not believe the email the “woman” wrote.
      She did not sign her full name?

      She had 4 kids. She knew better than to mess around on her spouse. She is not 10 years old. She is looking to cash in. Follow the money. And who cares about her affair anyway? She sins by sending emails around. Take up the case with the archdiocese. This is about destroying Orthodox theology by by LGBQT political pacs for the benefit of elites! These lovers using their digestive tract for “love.” Follow the money.

  16. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    > I don’t think anyone would write an article like that with those allegations without having concrete evidence.

    ***giggle*** ***snort***

    Someone hasn’t been paying attention to the mainstream media lately.

    Scripture requires establishing truth on the basis of two or three witnesses. There is one unsubstantiated accusation.

    On the other hand, if I can create reality from a single unsupported statement, then I choose to award myself a Nobel Prize in Chemistry!

    …or should I say, “I identify as a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry”.? Gotta use the approved groupthink language. It’s tough though – the rules change every day.

  17. Henry Bellman says

    Although Im withholding judgement in this matter, the true motives of “Orthodoxy” in dialogue seem to be laid bare. They updated the site with a series of questions from “the readers”. I find the last question particularly telling:

    “Tell us again why monogamous, faithful gay couples have no place at the Lord’s Table?”

    Motives matter. Just because a liar tells the truth on something, it doesnt mean they’re honest. Lets not deceive ourselves into thinking “Orthodoxy” in Monologue’s motives are pure. They’re not.

  18. The Ecclesiastical New Year, September 1, 2022

    To be read from the pulpit and printed in the bulletin.

    Brother Hierarchs, reverend Clergy, and beloved Faithful in Christ,

    Greetings and blessings to all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we celebrate the beginning of the new ecclesiastical year!

    The transition from one year to the next is a moment to take stock and renew our perspective. It prompts us to reflect on things we might be taking for granted and to make resolutions to remedy this neglect. Just as the world does this at the start of the civil new year (January 1), so might we do the same at the start of our ecclesiastical new year today.

    Last year at about this time, I asked you to reflect on the place of our youth in our parishes and archdiocese. Unfortunately, this was a subject many of us had previously taken for granted. However, after putting our heads together and putting our shoulders to the wheel, our engagement with young people is making great advances, and momentum is building toward even greater progress in the future.

    Now, as another year begins, I want to draw your attention toward another often-neglected subject: vocations, particularly the calling to priestly ministry. Sometimes it seems like people think priests grow on trees or hatch from eggs in some distant fairyland. Their priest is always there for them, and when he is transferred or retires, the metropolitan sends them a new one. In many parishes, few people imagine that one of their boys might end up in this role. Unfortunately, in some parishes or families, young men might even be discouraged from following this path. Yet we always expect that the priest will be there when we need him.

    Brothers and sisters in Christ, priests come from parishes and families. They are called by God and nurtured in this calling by those around them. We all have a role to play in raising them up.

    Beyond this one calling, there are many other vital callings in the Church: deacons, monastics, chaplains, youth directors, pastoral assistants, musicians, administrators, iconographers, healers, caregivers, and the like. In fact, each of us is called by God and empowered by His Spirit to serve the Church and the wider world in some way, as St. Paul tells us in his epistles. Within the Body of the Church, we are Christ’s hands, feet, and mouth—each receiving from Him some part to play in the salvation of the world. But fulfilling that calling is up to us, and it is up to each of us to help one another discern and prepare for those callings.

    Throughout the next twelve months, I urge all of you to focus on fulfilling and supporting vocations in the Church. First, I encourage each of you to pray regularly concerning the need for priests, deacons, and other vocations in the Church, following the exhortation of our Lord: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few; therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest that He might send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38). Pray also that the Lord would help you follow His calling in your life and enable you to see and support the callings of your friends and family members in the Church.

    Second, I urge our priests and parishes to discuss the subject of vocations in homilies, classes, written articles, and retreats throughout the coming year, teaching our faithful how to discern their vocations and how to support the vocations of others within the Church—especially the calling to priestly ministry. For our part, the archdiocese will be providing some resources for this effort over the coming months. To start with, the upcoming issue of The Word will feature interviews with several of our seminarians, in which they describe their paths toward finding and following their own vocations. I encourage you to read these stories and consider how God is leading you toward your own particular service in the Church.

    Finally, I ask you to support (in particular) those men among your friends and family in whose lives you see the calling and gifts of priestly ministry. Too often, our young men have been steered away from this beautiful ministry toward practical professions, for the sake of their financial success. There is nothing wrong with those professions, but the men whom God is calling to the priesthood can find an even higher and more lasting success there—a heavenly reward. Let us support them wholeheartedly in this aspiration.

    Brothers and sisters in Christ, let each one of us devote ourselves with utmost fervor to serving God and cooperating with His great work of salvation in this world. Although He is almighty, He calls us to work alongside Him—not because He lacks anything in Himself, but because He wants to share with us the joy of bringing light into this dark world. He is calling us. Do you hear Him? How will you respond?

    With fervent prayers for all of you and all our parishes, I remain,

    Yours in Christ,
    Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America

  19. It seems that a very important question is why did the woman tell her story NOW
    and thus (potentially)damage the Antiochian Church and benefit others?
    There may be many parameters in this story.
    Assuming a big IF the story is true: One of these parameters is how bad is fornication by unmarried clergy compared to the same sin done by a married priest or even a married layman. If memory serves, St.Chrysostom or another Church Father has said that fornication or adultery committed by a married man or married clergyman is MORE severe because there is no need for it, as there is the wife.
    I am not in the least trying to justify the bishop IF the story is true.
    What I am trying to say is “Can you imagine how some married sinners in the congregation may have done this sin with other women although they have a wife. Ok, they have confessed this and they are forgiven. And the friends in the congregation know this, but it is ok, BUT, if the unmarried bishop does the same sin because he cannot withstand the continuous and strong temptation, then this is the end of …. God’s Church QED?” I think something is missing in the discussion…