For context see the Metropolitan Joseph: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020-22 linked at the top of this page. We note that the website of the Antiochian Archdiocese announced the former Metropolitan’s “retirement” almost six hours after Orthodoxy in Dialogue reported it. We are told that Orthodoxy in Dialogue has become the main source for updates and commentary on the scandal for clergy and laity alike.
We look forward to the expeditious removal of all images, hagiography, and writings of the “former Metropolitan” from the Archdiocese’s website.
ADDENDUM 10/18/22: Except for news reports involving his work and travels around the Archdiocese over the years, the former Metropolitan has vanished from the website of the Archdiocese some time today after we called for his removal therefrom.
His Grace Bishop John, chairman of the Temporary Operating Committee for the Oversight of the Archdiocesan Office, along with the committee members, writes:
Brother Bishops, reverend Clergy, and esteemed Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees,
Today, His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X of Antioch informed us that he and the Holy Synod of Antioch have accepted and ratified the retirement request of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, who is now retired with the title “Former Metropolitan.”
At the same meeting of the Holy Synod, the pending retirement request of His Grace Bishop BASIL was also approved.
Please find attached to this email three items in Arabic and English:
- the full statement of the Holy Synod of Antioch upon the conclusion of its meeting, (English) (البيان باللغة العربية)
- the statement regarding the retirement of Metropolitan JOSEPH, (English) (البيان باللغة العربية) and
- the statement regarding the retirement of Bishop BASIL. (English) (البيان باللغة العربية)
These statements will be posted on Antiochian.org and the Archdiocese’s Facebook and Instagram pages shortly.
His Beatitude has not yet appointed a Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese. Therefore, the Temporary Operating Committee will continue to administer the Archdiocesan Office until the Patriarchal Vicar assumes his role at the headquarters. For clergy in those dioceses with no auxiliary bishop (now including the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America), pastoral concerns should continue to be directed to His Grace Bishop JOHN through the Archdiocesan Office until the Patriarchal Vicar assumes his responsibilities.
The clergy will no longer commemorate Metropolitan JOSEPH or Bishop BASIL in the divine services. Rather, they will now commemorate Patriarch JOHN and the auxiliary bishop of their diocese (if they have one).
We thank you for your faithfulness, steadfastness, and love in this time of transition.
Bishop JOHN, Chairman, and the Temporary Operating Committee
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America