Voices from Russia

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Antiochan Orthodox Installing New Leader: North American Diocese Celebrates Its Roots

00 metropolitan joseph. 06.12.14

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No one under 50 can remember the last enthronement of a North American leader of the Antiochian Orthodox, a church with ancient roots in the Arab lands in and around Syria. However, today, they’ll experience it in Brooklyn in a service that’d formalise the election earlier this year of Archbishop Joseph al-Zehlaoui as the new metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Earlier this week, by phone, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna al-Yazigi of Antioch and all the East, who arrived from Syria earlier this week to preside at the ceremony, said, “This event means to us a lot… joy for the faithful in America and the homeland. We are one family”.

Even amidst the full pomp and splendour of the Orthodox liturgy at the Cathedral of St Nicholas in Brooklyn, worshipers will keep in mind their counterparts in and around Syria, where the self-styled Islamic State and other extremist militants target Christians and other religious minorities. Extremists kidnapped Patriarch Youhanna’s brother, also a bishop, with another bishop near Aleppo in Syria, almost two years ago. The Patriarch said, “It’s not so easy, but … despite all these difficulties and tragedies, we still hope”. His brother remains missing.

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA) has 266 parishes and missions, with an especially strong presence in Pennsylvania due to historic Arab Christian immigration here. St George Cathedral in Oakland PA is the centre of a diocese spanning five states. Antiochian Village, a summer camp and conference centre in Westmoreland County, is a regional hub of church activity. Fr Anthony Yazge, camp director at Antiochian Village, one of about half a dozen Pittsburgh-area priests headed to the enthronement, said, “[Metropolitan Joseph] is a very pious man who places great value in the youth of the Church. He’s not a person who’s going to take the easy way. He’s going to take the right way”.

Earlier this year, the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch elected Metropolitan Joseph to succeed Metropolitan Philip Saliba, who died at age 82 in March after a 48-year tenure in which he expanded the church’s appeal to converts and other Orthodox beyond his fellow Arab-Americans. The denomination reported having about 100,000 members and more than 400 clergy. Metropolitan Joseph, 64, was born and raised in Syria, where he began his ministry before working as a priest in Europe and later America. In 1991, he began a tenure as bishop and later archbishop of Los Angeles. He was one of three nominees to replace Metropolitan Philip.

In a phone interview, he said, “The enthronement isn’t only for me. It’s a blessing to the entire archdiocese and the entire Orthodox world”. He plans to continue his predecessor’s outreaches beyond the ethnic Arab community, continuing an emphasis on young people that’s always marked his ministry. He said, “The problem is, whether within the archdiocese or any other jurisdiction, we’re losing the new generation because we don’t have much for them”. He said it’s important to meet with and listen to young people regularly. He expects to be a regular visitor at Antiochian Village and elsewhere, saying, “I have a fancy office here (in New York), but you won’t find me in the office most of the time… I’ll be on the road”.

He said he’s on equal footing with the newest of converts, noting, “Even though I was born in the faith, I have to convert to the faith daily by practising the faith and doing virtuous and Christian actions”. Echoing the Patriarch’s concerns for Syria, he said that cousins have died and a young great-nephew suffered serious wounds in the fighting in his native land, observing, “Christians and Muslims lived side by side for all those years. Now, various factions are destroying Christianity. We’re between this and that.”

Patriarch Youhanna said that he has no word on the whereabouts of his brother, Bishop Boulos al-Yazigi, or fellow Bishop Youhanna Ibrahim following their kidnapping in April 2013 near Aleppo. The relatively sparse news reports on them give different accounts of which Islamic extremist group may be holding them. Patriarch Youhanna lamented how little attention their plight received in news or diplomatic circles, “We see an international silence about this matter, which is a shame for all the world when we speak about democracy and human rights”.

6 December 2014

Peter Smith

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2014/12/06/Antiochan-Orthodox-installing-new-leader/stories/201412060031

Editor:

Mollard is in Moscow. The OCA knew EONS ago about this event. No doubt, Mollard was going to be there. Note well that HH called Mollard in without any advanced warning. This means that HH is VERY concerned about something. This kerfuffle will affect future relations between the AOCANA and the OCA. Normally, HH would NOT call Mollard in at such a time… but something happened after the USA put its three carpetbaggers in the Uniate junta. I wouldn’t trust Peterson or Dahulich (both are going to the installation), but who else can the OCA send? Watch Dahulich schmooze with the radical konvertsy element in AOCANA (I don’t think that Dahulich really left the EP in his heart-of-hearts). If I were the Antiochians, I’d watch who he confabbed with… he’s capable of leading a bloc of parishes out of the OCA and AOCANA into Bart’s grasp. The OCA was abysmally stupid to have taken him in as a bishop. What’s done is done… it won’t be pretty in the end, I’ll wager. Watch events and watch Dahulich… he has the capacity to be another Rusantsov or Pashkovsky. We’ll regret having enabled him, I fear.

BMD

Monday, 6 October 2014

6 October 2014. Maymon’s Latest Lunacy… Wants All Priests to Retire at 65

00 Train Wreck of the OCA. 23.09.12

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Mark Maymon is blundering from error to error… first, he wanted to shit on ethnic customs, then, he wanted to move (last that I heard, he was still in NEPA and oca.org reflects that), now, he wants to retire priests at 65, regardless of their physical and mental capacity. Will this be the typical Maymon Blunder, with a blustery “That’s not what I wanted to do?” This guy is clueless, but then again, he was a pet of the Fat One, and a proven disobedient nutcase in the Antiochians (he directly defied an order from Philip Saliba… the konvertsy ooh and aah over his “obedience”, which proves their mental incompetence for all the world to see). I see a pattern here… Maymon opens his piehole, gets his ideas shot down, and he slinks back into his hole, unchastened, until he comes up with another “idea”. Who voted for this asshat? NEPA used to be known for its solid good sense…

BMD

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

30 April 2014. If True, This is Disgusting… Maymon Spits On Our Heritage

bart in moscow 03 greeting

To spit on a parish’s customs… now, that’s BENEATH the salt

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One of the Cabinet wrote:

Someone on the OCA Metropolitan Council said that Mark Maymon told a parish not to greet him with bread and salt, as that’s not his custom. The people no longer matter.

Mark Maymon is a disobedient and opinionated parvenu who doesn’t belong as a ruling bishop. Do remember how he spat on the late Philip Saliba’s orders. He’s a nasty legacy of JP… he should never have become ruling bishop of a diocese heavy in old ethnic parishes. Let’s keep it simple… Maymon should realise that he’s the bishop of people who consider themselves Russian Orthodox or he should resign, if he doesn’t like our customs. Why did he settle amongst a group that’s primarily Russian in identity if he doesn’t like Russian culture and customs? This is truly too much. There is NO such thing as “American Orthodoxy”… a discarnate will o’ the wisp that doesn’t even go bump in the night. If he wants that, well, he should leave the Diocese of Eastern PA, as that’s full of old-time old-school Rusin parishes with real coalmine and steelmill roots. Some of the konvertsy are too much. They should realise that our customs aren’t up for negotiation. To them, we’re just ignorant little Slavs who’re to be condescended to by superior Anglo-Saxons, I guess. I have to walk away from this one… if he said such gnarly rubbish, Maymon deserves a Cossack horsewhipping…

BMD

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

29 March 2014. The Passing of Metropolitan Philip Saliba… the Coming of Metropolitan Joseph al-Zehlaoui… Is this the End of Angliochianism?

00 Metropolitan Philip Saliba. 29.03.14

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Here’s a report from the Cabinet:

There wasn’t much English at Metropolitan Philip’s funeral. The Arabs are taking the Church back. I also didn’t see Freddie M-G… hardly any of the white bread Angliochian converts were in evidence. It’s all going to unravel now that Metropolitan Philip is dead. Watch the Bishops all become Metropolitans and watch the converts lose their power.

It’s too soon to make statements, but it’s been clear for some time that Archbishop Joseph al-Zehlaoui was the anointed heir to Saliba (being godson of the previous Antiochian Patriarch, Ignatius Hazim, sure didn’t hurt him). Does this mean that the Toledo crowd will elbow out the konvertsy? You know who I’m talking about, the pro-Russian crowd around the late bishop Michael Shaheen (don’t diss Vladyki Michael’s memory in Toledo… it’s not healthy). When one sees how AOCANA poured cold water all over the so-called “Episcopal Assembly”, it’s a possibility.

Look for changes. Look for blood on the floor. Oh, yes, “Metropolitan” in the Middle East means a ruling bishop, so, if the AOCANA bishops take on that title, they’d be in sync with their Mother Church (“Archbishop” is what they call what we call a “Metropolitan”… go figure, that’s Orthodoxy for ya… if ya want consistency, go to the Westerns).

Pass the jug and the popcorn… the real show hasn’t begun yet…

BMD

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