Well, there you have it.

In big, bold, black and white letters on the Archdiocesan website:

October 27, 2010
To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
From: His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP
Re: Appointment of His Grace, Bishop THOMAS as Locum-Tenens of the Diocese

Beloved in the Lord:

Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you are in good health. As you are no doubt aware, our Local Synod of the Archdiocese met on Friday, October 22, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL. Among the things we discussed was the deteriorating situation in the diocese. As such, it was determined that the best thing was to transfer His Grace, Bishop MARK to the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest. A majority of the bishops of the synod agreed with the decision that this was in the best interest of the Archdiocese so that both the Diocese of Toledo and His Grace, Bishop MARK could have a fresh start. Citing health reasons, Bishop MARK said he could not live in that part of the country and subsequently requested to be released to the Orthodox Church in America. The synod agreed to his request and, at present, he is working out the details of his release with His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH. During this interim period, Bishop MARK asked to remain in the Toledo chancery until the end of the year. I agreed to this request and we will continue to pay Bishop MARK his stipend until the end of December.

Effective as of October 22, 2010 with Bishop MARK’s request to be released from the Church of Antioch, I appointed His Grace, Bishop THOMAS as the Locum Tenens of the Diocese. Bishop MARK will reside in the Toledo chancery as our guest until the end of the year, however, he will not be continuing his schedule of visits after this weekend (October 31, 20I0). If you had scheduled him to visit your parish and you have a major event or ordination planned in the coming months, you should immediately contact His Grace, Bishop THOMAS to see if he can make the visit or if other arrangements can be made until such time as a new bishop is elected and consecrated to serve the diocese, likely next summer. Likewise, effective immediately, only the Metropolitan is to be commemorated in the divine services in the Midwest unless Bishop THOMAS or another bishop is physically present in your church. This will remain in effect until a new auxiliary bishop is elected and appointed to oversee the diocese. Finally, I will preside at the 2011 Parish Life Conference in Cleveland, OH from June I5-I9 and expect full participation by all of the parishes. Please start planning from now.

Praying that this will mark a new beginning of healing and growth for the diocese, I remain,

Your Father in Christ,

Metropolitan PHILIP
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America
The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

cc: Auxiliary Bishops
Archdiocese Board of Trustees
All Parishes and Mission in the Archdiocese

This letter appears to refer to events and circumstances that should be widely understood in terms of the “fresh start” needed by all parties, and yet, my question still has not been answered with anything of substance. Please — I don’t care if it’s harsh, I don’t care if it’s angry, I don’t care if it’s accusatory, as long as it’s specific and substantive. I’m not going to judge you for your opinion; I want to understand your opinion — or at least know specifically what it is I don’t understand. I want to know why you think this has all been necessary. Really and truly, I want to know. So, anybody, really, take a shot. Please.

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2 Responses to “Well, there you have it.”


  1. 1 melxiopp 28 October 2010 at 8:19 am

    I hate to admit it, but something had to be done about the dissension that had grown in the Diocese of the Midwest. While divisions were not really there before, the divisions arose and inflamed and the most immediate, local cause had to be removed. The more distant, immediate cause should also be removed, but will likely be done so more quietly and perhaps even rightly balancing his decades of service as well as his obviously failing abilities to understand the situation at hand, to manage such a large Archdiocese, and to see how his loosey-goosey grasp of canon law and Tradition is not (or no longer) necessary for the growth of Orthodoxy in America – all this is especially difficult when you also have whispering voices skewing your perspective like so many sycophants and Iagos (yet another reason why a council of bishops is important.

    That isn’t to say Mark was the real cause of the dissension in the Midwest or the Archdiocese, that matters in Troy needed and still need to be dealt with, that MP should have kept his nose out of it (especially since Mark was simply requiring parishes to do what MP had said all parishes should do, but never actually required), that the Synod in Antioch was cowed into equivocation and submission who knows what reason (probably financial irregularities/illegalities together with buyers remorse regarding ‘self-rule’, Chambesy and the EA), that Apostolic Canon 34 was ignored, that the local Synod was gutted, that the Metropolitan has accorded himself power within the Archdiocese such that the most ultramontane could only dream of for the Pope of Rome, etc.


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Well, there you have it. « Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist -- Topsy.com Trackback on 27 October 2010 at 9:50 pm

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