It’s safe to go back in the water again

(This brief blog likely will be of interest only to Orthodox readers.)

I had unsubscribed to the Ochlophobist blog for a while because he got off, it seemed to me, on an unedifying prolonged rant against the Antiochian Archdiocese. But I can report that it’s relatively safe to go back in the water again, and that this March 8 posting made me wince in a most edifying way. And of his past 25 blogs, the only one that poked at things Antiochian seemed fairly well-placed.

3 thoughts on “It’s safe to go back in the water again

  1. I am saddened that you consider the description of unedifying behavior
    at that Antiochian church meeting, as reported by George Samra, to
    be itself unedifying. would you have said the same thing about Our Lord
    Jesus Christ when He cleansed the Temple, or rebuked evil people on
    other occasions, in far more aggressive ways than George Samra did?

    I have recently acquired some interesting information about Met. Philip
    being involved in charities and so forth that network to Moslem extremist
    groups. and having made threats against the woman who brought this to
    his attention and to the attention of the FBI. someone told her also, to
    be careful she might be in physical danger, “because that is how Metropolitan
    Philip operates,” and sure enough there were intimidating breakins at her
    home and other little hints that add up to “I know where you live and I can
    get you at any time,” in the form of the visible presence of his agents.

    There is great risk of the sin of pride in clergy especially hierarchs, St. Paul
    warns against this as a reason not to advance a new convert into clergy,
    though it would apply anywhere. The warning not to accept accusations without
    two witnesses is certainly fulfilled when there are enough people complaining
    about Met. Philip and other clergy and management people.

    Centuries ago, some spiritual father warned monks not to associate with bishops.

    My own advice to a newcomer recently was, don’t trust priests, get the sacraments
    and get out. Of course there are many godly exceptions.

  2. I approved this comment with some reluctance, since it came so very long after the original posting and includes some fairly scandalous accusations. But it’s at least on point.

    If I thought Priests were untrustworthy, I don’t know that I could bear to remain in the Church. Of course, they’re human, with foibles and sins.

    But, Justina, you can trust the Church. I’m the Cantor in my Parish, and it’s a great blessing to steep in the teaching and piety of the Church by singing as many services as I can fit in. If by “get the sacraments and get out” you mean “come just in time for the Holy Mystery and then leave immediately,” you’re depriving yourself of much edification. If anything, I’d increase attendance at Vespers, Matins and Liturgy just to hear the trustworthy voice of the Church. Tune out the homily if you must.

    If Met. Philip’s actual behavior, and not some lurid misinterpretations of it, led you to such distrust, then His Eminence bears the heavy burden of having been a stumbling block. If it’s lurid misinterpretations, then some bloggers may have some things to answer for at the Last Judgment.

    Lord have mercy!

  3. Sorry for my bad phrasing, I meant, come for the whole service,
    get all the Church has to offer, but don’t cultivate any personal
    relationship beyond confession with the clergy, unless they are
    individually trustworthy, and be cagey in how you listen to some
    homilies that demand you be “non judgemental.”

    Trust no one but God. Everyone, one’s own self included, either
    has bad intentions, at one time or another, or mixed with good
    intentions, or bad judgement, sometimes both.

    The personal unholiness of a priest or bishop does not impact
    their sacramental competence for lack of a better term.

    frankly, I think that the uncanonical condition of the Church in
    the USA, multijurisdictional, is a blessing, because though a
    bad person can skip from one to another, so can a victim
    or target of oppression.

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