Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) and Archpriest Josiah Trenham of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
A highly placed source within the administration of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese—who requests to remain anonymous for obvious reasons—informs us of a Covid outbreak at St. Andrew’s Church in Riverside CA. In addition to numerous parishioners, Josiah Trenham himself and one of his deacons have tested positive.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers will recall our “You Are Not Worthy. Not Now. Not Ever.” Some Positive Movement on the Josiah Trenham File of April 5, 2020 and Josiah Trenham and “Civil Disobedience” of May 26, 2020, both of which attest to Trenham’s appalling disregard for the health and well-being not only of his God-entrusted flock, but even of his own wife and children. (See Growing Up a Trenham for how he treats his children.)
What we did not know until today is that, on July 14, 2020, Metropolitan Joseph addressed a shocking letter to the California clergy of the Antiochian Archdiocese in which he not merely allows, but commands, disobedience to the directives of the governor and public health authorities of California. He writes:
We received word of the truly regrettable decision by the governor of California to close churches in the wake of the surge of coronavirus cases.
All parishes in California may continue to fill up to 25% of the seating capacity of the nave.
No parish, however, has my blessing to close completely.
[See the full text of Metropolitan Joseph’s letter here. It has been provided by the same source referenced above.]
May Christ the Physician of our souls and bodies, through the prayers of His Most-Pure Mother and of the Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, grant health and full recovery to the members of St. Andrew’s Church.
May He bring Metropolitan Joseph and Josiah Trenham to their knees in repentance for failing their God-entrusted flock, endangering their lives, and tempting God (cf. Mt 4:5-7) at the expense of those who should have been able to trust them.