Spiritual Court


G.O.PAT.ANTIOCH.DAMAS. Fax.963-11-542440414 Jul ‘9S 17:45 P.01 Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch & all the East .July 14, 1998

To : The Accused Fr. Terry Somerville

From: Bishop George Abou Zakhem

Re : July 28, 1998 Hearing in the matter of Weldon Hardenbrook, et al.

Enclosed is the notice of Hearing. Please inform me by July 20, 1998, of the names of all persons who will be present at the hearing, and how much time you will need for your case.

Fox No.:00963-11-5424404- P.O. Box (9)- Damascus – SYRIA


G.O.PAT.ANTIOCH.DAMAS. Fax.963-11-542440414 Jul ‘9S 17:45 P.01 Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch & all the EastJuly l4, 1998To: Fr. Terry Somerville, Advocate for the accused and excommunicated Clergy and laity of St. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church, Ben Lomond California, U.S.A (Fax: 408-336-3648) or (Fax: 408-336-1820)From: The Clerical Disciplinary Appeals Council of the Patriarchate of Antioch – Syria – Damascus (Fax 963-11-542-4404)

Re: Appeal Hearing Request

You are asked to appear on July 28, 1998 at 10 A.M. Damascus time, at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Damascus – Syria to hear your appeal before the Clerical Disciplinary Appeal Council. In case you do not appear the Court will judge the matter.

Bishop George Abou Zakhem

(signed)

The Secretary of the council

June 22, 1998

To: The Clerical Disciplinary Appeals Council of the
Patriarchate of Antioch (FAX 963-11-542-44-04)
From: Fr. Terry Somerville, Advocate
for the accused and disciplined clergy of
Ss. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church,
Ben Lomond, California, U.S.A.
(FAX 408-336-3648) or (408-336-1820)
Re: Appeal Hearing Request

By this writing, we, the accused Presbyters, Deacons and laity of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Ben Lomond, California, formally request a hearing in order to appeal the verdicts and decisions of the Spiritual Court of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, received by each of the accused and dated June 15, 1998.

This hearing is requested pursuant to and in compliance with information received via fax dated May 12, 1998 to Fr. Terry Somerville from Very Rev. Fr. John Badeen re: Spiritual Court, “6. Within ten calendar days after the Metropolitan has sent the relevant party(ies) notice of such final action, the party(ies) sent such a notice has (have) a right of appeal in writing to the Clerical Disciplinary Appeals Council of the Patriarchate of Antioch and/or the Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, with a copy of such appeal to the Metropolitan.”

The reasons and justification for such an appeal are varied and diverse, and include but are not limited to the following: (more…)

before the Spiritual Court of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA May 26, 1998
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[Fr. John Hardenbrook]

Esteemed members of this spiritual court. I, Fr. John Weldon Hardenbrook, the laicized Archpriest of Ss. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church of Ben Lomond, California humbly present to you the defense for my actions and the actions of my fellow disciplined clergy.

I begin with some most serious questions: (more…)

at the Spiritual Court of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at
St. Nicholas Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA.
May 26, 1998
In the midst of all this, I found out that I had other things to deal with. I had a brain tumor and malignant cancer. If this Court were to meet another year or two from now, I probably would not be with you. I have no positioning to do. Life is short, and I want to speak nothing but the truth, as I see it, from my heart.

I do not think that I am above the bishops. I do not think that any of these men here think that they are above the bishops. We have never taken, from our perspective, issue with the authority of the bishops. This matter has been the way in which that authority has been exercised in matters that relate to us during the last three years.

I do not like standing before you and saying that Bishop JOSEPH has lied to us. Bishop JOSEPH has lied to us. I have witnessed it firsthand. And I cannot stand here, and because His Grace is His grace, pretend that it didn’t happen, because it did. (more…)

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…)