It’s a really simple question.

And yet, it is one that no one has seen fit to answer. So, I’ll post it here and see if anybody can tell me.

What did Bp. MARK do wrong?

I’m asking honestly. I’m not looking for a fight. I’m looking to understand what it is I don’t understand.

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7 Responses to “It’s a really simple question.”


  1. 1 LFOD 25 October 2010 at 11:05 pm

    He did nothing more than try to do the right thing. When a convicted heroin dealer is on the board of the Antiochian church and is allowed to stay because he comes from the Metropolitan’s same area of the middle east, and someone like Bishop Mark is kicked out for trying to be a good shephard, a little logic will lead you to the truth quickly.

    It’s sad, but for the foreseeable future, much of American Orthodoxy will be run as an ethnic gang. Those are strong words, and it would be easy to discount them as cynicism. Unfortunately, the evidence of the last few days and the last twenty years would say they are true.

    God have mercy on all of us.

    • 2 Richard Barrett 25 October 2010 at 11:16 pm

      OK — is there really nobody who agrees with what has transpired who will explain their position to somebody who is willing to hear them out? Seriously?

  2. 3 Ole Kern 26 October 2010 at 12:42 am

    Based on comments you have already read elsewhere, I think the best you will read is: “He was divisive and caused trouble.” or “He acted like a Protestant convert.” or something else.

    I hope to be proved wrong, but even then, I doubt I would agree.

    Lord Have Mercy on us all.

  3. 4 Jonathan D. Jacobs 26 October 2010 at 9:14 am

    Here’s the best I can do: +Mark mistook himself for a metropolitan, when he is an auxiliary to the metropolitan. He took matters into his own hands when it was not his right to do so. He attempted to transfer a priest, when only the metropolitan can transfer priests. He attempted to legislate financial norms, when only the metropolitan can do so. And so on.

    In other words, he took himself to be a diocesan bishop on the model of the OCA, when he was in fact a “diocesan bishop” on the model of Antioch, i.e., not a diocesan bishop but an auxiliary bishop.

    As I said, that’s the best I can do.

    • 5 Richard Barrett 26 October 2010 at 10:16 am

      Okay; it’s a start. I wasn’t aware of a case where Bp. MARK tried to transfer a priest and was blocked from doing so (I assume you’re not talking about the Henke matter); I am aware of an instance where he refused to transfer a priest despite the insistence of a couple of people in the mission who were well-connected in the Archdiocese. Met. PHILIP’s rewriting of the rulebook took that particular case out of his hands, and I’m guessing the one to which you allude as well.

      So, if I take that answer at face value, it leads to two follow-up questions:

      1) Were the trappings of a “OCA-style” diocesan bishop that were visible in 2004, such as enthronements, by-laws, etc. intended to be legal fictions? Or did the people writing and doing these things assume that everybody understood that there was a difference between a diocesan bishop and a “diocesan bishop” and that it didn’t need to be spelled out?
      2) If so, would somebody more, shall we say, “culturally Antiochian” than Bp. MARK have understood those things without needing them spelled out?

  4. 6 melxiopp 26 October 2010 at 12:23 pm

    It seems as if obedience was only ever to the Metropolitan. Some did not like what their bishop told them to do, so they went over his head. When the bishop (and the Synod) wouldn’t do as the Metropolitan said, he realized he’d given away too much power – probably not realizing the bishops were thinking of themselves as and had been canonically enthroned as full, regular diocesan bishops (known as Metropolitans in the Church of Antioch). In fact, they seem to have been asking to be exempted from Bp Mark’s attempts to unify the practice of the Diocese of the Midwest – they just didn’t like what that was.

    The 18 points remind me of a power mad pre-teen writing rules for his tree house. (It’s actually embarrassing, but that’s what you get when you name an ambulance chaser lackey as your legal counsel/chancellor.) The thing no one in support of this centralization of power seems to have thought of is what happens if/when a Metropolitan they disagree with is named.


  1. 1 Well, there you have it. « Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist Trackback on 27 October 2010 at 8:26 pm

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