PATRIARCHAL VICAR: ANTIOCHIAN BISHOPS EXEMPT FROM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICIES & PROCEDURES

For context see the Metropolitan Joseph: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020-23 linked at the top of this page.

vicar

Metropolitan Antonios (El Souri)
Patriarchal Vicar to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

This brief report consists of a compilation of notes provided to Orthodoxy in Dialogue by various clergymen and laypersons of the Antiochian Archdiocese who attended Metropolitan Antonios’ meetings with parishes and deaneries and the recent Special Convention to nominate a new metropolitan for the Archdiocese. Metropolitan Antonios was appointed by Patriarch John of Antioch as patriarchal vicar to the Archdiocese during its transition to a new administration pursuant to the forced “retirement” of the adulterous and sexually predatory Joseph Al-Zehlaoui. It seems now that the Vicar’s assignment has more to do with damage control and PR for the Patriarchate and the Archdiocese than with actually pastoring the faithful, treating the clergy and laity as equal partners with the hierarchy in the good governance of the Church—as per the pre-Constantinian ecclesiological model—and bringing closure and resolution to the events leading up to this disastrous juncture in the Antiochian Church’s life.

Perhaps the most astounding item to come from the Vicar’s meetings was reported to us by a clergyman who writes: “Metropolitan Antonios clearly indicated that the Archdiocese sexual misconduct policy has no bearing on a bishop or metropolitan. The bishops are judged exclusively by the Holy Synod, and therefore the Archdiocese sexual misconduct policy has nothing to do with them.” When we asked said clergyman where “the Archdiocese sexual misconduct policy” can be found, he replied with a succinct “No idea.” This shockingly irresponsible, unpastoral, and possibly illegal lack of protocols for victims to report sexual abuse and misconduct at the hands of the Archdiocese’s hierarchs, clergy, employees, and volunteers stands in stark contrast to the admirable transparency of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Orthodox Church in America, as we reported earlier. Read More



RUSSIAN INVASION OF URKAINE ADDRESSED AT IOTA CONFERENCE by Meagan Saliashvili

This article appeared yesterday at Religion News Service. See source for additional photos from the conference.

Metropolitan Ambrosios (Zografos) speaks during the Mega Conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association meeting in Volos, Greece, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. Photo courtesy of IOTA

Metropolitan Ambrosios (Zografos) speaks during the Mega-Conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association meeting in Volos, Greece, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. Photo courtesy of IOTA

Nearly 400 Orthodox Christian theologians from 44 countries convened in the largest international conference of its kind in Greece on Thursday (Jan. 12) to discuss “Nicaea-sized” questions facing the Eastern Orthodox Church amid war and bitter division.

Some of the most contentious issues at the Mega-Conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association, meeting in Volos, have been exposed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which exacerbated a split between a newly independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Kyiv and the Russian Orthodox Church based in Moscow.

The conference’s keynote speaker, Metropolitan Ambrosios (Zografos) of Korea and Exarch of Japan, a bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, told the assembly Wednesday evening that the various branches of Orthodox Christianity had fomented a heresy by taking sides in the war, calling it “an unspeakable travesty” that as a result, “most Orthodox leaders have failed to condemn this diabolical war unequivocally. Read More


ONE YEAR LATER: IN MEMORY OF JIM FOREST by Volkert Volkersz

Remembering our friend and mentor, Jim Forest, with a song from the Sixties Peace Movement. Jim reposed in the Lord one year ago today. He touched many lives, including mine starting in 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War. He resurfaced in my life when I came into the Orthodox Church in 1999. May Jim’s memory be eternal.

GET TOGETHER

Love is but a song we sing,
Fear’s the way we die,
You can make the mountains ring,
Or make the Angels cry,
Though the bird is on the wing,
You may not know why. Read More