An observant reader informed Orthodoxy in Dialogue yesterday afternoon that Father Mark Hodges has been removed from the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) clergy directory pursuant to our reporting (see the Mark Hodges: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020-21). You can see the H section of the directory here.
Later in the day yesterday, a parishioner from the Lima OH mission parish informed us in a letter to the editors that Hodges has been suspended—a decision delegated canonically to his diocesan bishop, Archbishop Paul (Gassios). We are deeply grateful to His Eminence for recognizing the gravity of the situation. (ADDENDUM: An hour or so after we published this report, another observant reader directed us to the formal notice of Hodges’ suspension on the diocesan website. He was suspended swiftly, only two days after our anonymous author’s open letter to the Archbishop.)
Yet another reader informs us of Hodges’ appalling record of pastoral malfeasance over two decades, which led from his being assigned to “attached”—to a parish where he has apparently been forbidden to attend since at least a year ago, so toxic was his presence there. This may explain how a priest found the time to spend the Feast of Theophany at a rally leading to violent insurrection against the US government.
We have invited the Archbishop and Father Paul Jannakos, diocesan chancellor, to issue a public statement on this very public matter.Read More
Editorial Note: The anonymous author of Open Letter: OCA Priest Participates in Trump Riot, Reported to FBI addresses this appeal directly to Father Hodges. Although this is not the main point of their appeal, we at Orthodoxy in Dialogue are chilled to the bone that Hodges attracts the sort of followers who would threaten violence against the persons and parishes of their brother and sister Orthodox Christians. We consider this fact alone as necessitating a formal ecclesiastical enquiry.
In this video, referenced in the appeal, Father Hodges first appears at the far right of the frame at about 0:11, comes into full view at 0:22, and assists a Mormon protestor in displaying a flag with a quote from the Book of Mormon beginning at 1:15. Note that he is not wearing a mask. (ADDENDUM 1/20/21: YouTube removed this video today for violating its terms of service.)
Dear Father Mark Hodges:
(This open appeal comes to you anonymously on purpose. Given that there have been threats on social media towards my fellow Orthodox over highlighting your presence at the Capitol Hill siege, I have every right to protect myself and my family from potential harm. If they can threaten harm on the parishes of my brothers and sisters in Christ, they can also come to mine.)
When the Capitol Hill siege took place on the Theophany of our Lord—a day in which Christ was baptized in the Jordan and the light of God shone down upon His Son—it was a stain upon a beautiful feast day in the Church. A feast day that many of us look forward to every year, and anticipate the blessings that come with receiving newly blessed holy water, or gathering at the nearby river to bless it as it flows through our city. A day that was also Christmas Eve for our Old Calendar brothers and sisters, yet could not be celebrated properly due to the unrest.Read More
Deadlines are fast approaching for the three ways in which Orthodox scholars can submit an abstract to present at the Spring Virtual Conference (May 14-16, 2021) of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion (SAR). The theme of this year’s conference is From Ethics to Politics.
If you wish to be considered for the Orthodox Christianity, Alterity, and Worldmaking panel being organized by Dr. Candace Lukasik and Dr. Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, see the description and instructions in the poster below. Note that the deadline for submitting your proposal and abstract for this panel is February 1.Read More