For context see the Metropolitan Joseph: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020-22 linked at the top of this page.
ADDENDUM 10/3/22: Within an hour of our publishing the following report, the petition was taken down. A diligent reader obtained the deleted petition in Google Cache: Home _ The Antiochian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West
Disgraced Former Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Early this morning, October 3, a website with the deceptive appearance of being the official organ of the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Diocese of Los Angeles and the West — Al-Zehlaoui’s own diocese as a diocesan bishop and for the duration of his metropolitanate — and created in 2005 with his “support, encouragement, and trust,” launched a petition to reverse Al-Zehlaoui’s retirement. The website legitimizes itself by claiming in December 2020 that it “finds new life on Antiochian.org and the Archdiocesan Facebook page” (where there is actually no trace of it).
It seems entirely plausible that Al-Zehlaoui himself is steering this shameless initiative. The Holy Synod of Antioch under the presidency of Patriarch John, the Temporary Operating Committee under the presidency of Bishop John, and the “independent investigating committee” of mysterious identity must include this new development in their deliberations on Al-Zehlaoui’s final fate.
Priests of the Archdiocese urge Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers to use the petition to register their support for Al-Zehlaoui’s permanent deposal from holy orders. To rephrase a popular fairy tale, the Metropolitan has no vestments.
In the meantime, the ongoing confusion generated in the minds of the faithful by Al-Zehlaoui’s continued presence on the Archdiocesan website and letterhead, the Diocesan website, and in liturgical commemorations (the latter of which some priests are refusing to do) must be laid to rest immediately. The swiftness with which the Patriarch bypassed the Holy Synod to accept Al-Zehlaoui’s resignation immediately — because of “the circumstances related to it” — makes the unconscionable delay in removing him from these online platforms, letterhead, and liturgical services a disgrace.