Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) Bishop G. Joseph
Your Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH:
The following inconvenient questions come from a multitude of Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers around the planet who feel that the time for silence and secrecy is over. (We do mean “around the planet”: the number of readers from Syria, Lebanon, the UAE, Qatar, and Jordan has shot through the roof these past four days.)
- When, and for what purpose, did you change your name legally to “Bishop G. Joseph”? This is the name that appears in your publicly accessible online real estate records.
- How many homes and other properties do you actually own, either as sole proprietor or jointly with one or another married woman? How many millions of dollars are they currently worth?
- Where did you, a monk vowed to poverty (forget about chastity), obtain the funds to purchase these properties? Were church funds embezzled for this purpose or did you acquire the money through other means?
- How many women have you bedded with your predatory charms, whether simultaneously or serially? Did you allow each of them to believe she was your one and only? How many marriages and families have you destroyed, or are you presently destroying with these lurid revelations?
- What is the name and address of the law firm investigating the allegations against you? Who retained their services? The Archdiocese? The Board of Trustees? The Patriarchate? You personally? Who is paying their fees? Is the aim of the investigation to prove your innocence or to get to the full, unvarnished truth of the matter?
- Have you, until now, paid off the Patriarchate for its complicit silence? It seems beyond belief that the activities in question have been well known in certain church circles for years in the US but not in Damascus.
- Why does your response to Orthodoxy in Dialogue on your Archdiocese’s website refer to “an accusation (of a violation of the Church canons)” when almost two decades of adultery and home-wrecking would have been more to the point? Besides, any professional having a sexual relationship with a client or charge (teacher-student, doctor-patient, therapist-client, etc.) would have his license to practice summarily revoked by the profession’s governing body.
- Why have you requested prayers only for yourself, and not for your accusers?
- Tell us again why monogamous, faithful gay couples have no place at the Lord’s Table?
It seems certain that more questions will surface in the coming days.
Sincerely in Christ,
The Readers of Orthodoxy in Dialogue