This article appeared earlier today on the Dayton Daily News website under the headline Priest with Ties to Area Parish Suspended after Urging, Joining U.S. Capitol Protest.
An Orthodox priest affiliated with a Dayton-area parish has been suspended after he went to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 intending to “stop the steal” of the U.S. election and prevent Joseph R. Biden Jr. from becoming the 46th president of the United States.
The Rev. Mark Hodges, an archpriest attached to St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church in Greene County’s Sugarcreek Twp., was “suspended from all priestly functions” effective Jan 12, according to a short notation on the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest website.
“I disagree. I think it’s an unjust suspension,” Hodges told the Dayton Daily News this week.
Hodges, a Lima resident, said a three-month suspension was the direct result of his participation in the rally that saw the Capitol overrun by rioters attempting to halt a joint session of Congress from formally count Electoral College votes.
“My beloved bishop had questioned the wisdom of a priest attending,” he said. “I think part of the problem is I viewed that Stop the Steal rally as expressing extreme concern over voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election.”
Hodges said the call notifying him of the suspension came directly from Archbishop Paul Gassios, who leads the Diocese of the Midwest that includes 21 parishes in Ohio. Hodges said the archbishop could after three months extend the suspension, lift it or remove him from the priesthood.Read More