at the Spiritual Court of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA. May 26, 1998

The purpose of this Court today, as I understand, is to fairly and objectively investigate the charges brought against 20 priests and deacons.

Not stopping at mere investigation, the chairpersons assembled here are to make a recommendation, as I believe, to our Bishop Metropolitan Philip concerning, I quote here, “our future as Orthodox Christians”, with punishments as severe as being laicized or, even worse, excommunication as options for disciplinary action?

Would we the charged want either of those as our future as Orthodox Christians? I think I can speak for all of us in saying no, we don’t. But a lesson must be learned here, right?

Yes, a lesson must be learned here, but now I ask you a rhetorical question, and I think it’s a good question. Why has God permitted this to happen? Is it only to teach these 20 clergymen a lesson on the penalties of the alleged disobedience? What are the other lessons to be learned here? Who else is God speaking to? I wonder if Bishop Joseph has any lessons to learn from all this. I wonder if Metropolitan Philip has any lessons to learn from all this. (more…)