Sunday, October 24, 2010

Antiochian synod meets, Bp. Mark seeks entry into OCA

I waited to report on this news story until I had more to say. Below the official announcement is a letter reposted by the blog 150 knots of Bp. Mark speaking of the meeting's proceedings and his decision to seek release to the OCA. If you want some history on the Bp. Mark issue and the possible material to be covered in this meeting, I can recommend this article to start.

( - This weekend, the regular Fall meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will be held in Jacksonville, Florida. The Archdiocesan Synod will meet during the morning of Friday October 22, 2010. The Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will meet in their first session during the evening of Friday October 22, and will reconvene during the morning of Saturday October 23.

We ask all of the faithful for your fervent prayers for our hierarchs and the members of the Board of Trustees that their meetings will be greatly blessed.
And the letter...
Dear to God,

Beloved brethren, as there are many rumors floating around regarding the recent Synod Meeting in Jacksonville, FL; I feel it necessary to clarify a few points. Yes, our Bishops discussed at length my service in the Diocese of Toledo, after which, the decision of Metropolitan Philip was to move me to the North West.

As I already struggle with seasonal affective disorder, I felt a move to the NW would be a detriment to my health and asked for a release to the OCA no later than by the year’s end. This will allow me opportunity to discuss reception into the OCA with the OCA synod and begin the search for housing and pack.

His eminence metropolitan Philip was agreeable to this and I will continue to visit the parishes of the Diocese until I am released. At present, I am planning to go to the OCA’s synod meeting in Syosset, NY November 15-19. I ask your God-pleasing prayers for a productive Synod Meeting.

You will be receiving the new guidelines for the Hierarchs of the AOCANA shortly. Our respective Bishops will continue to be commemorated. Let us move forward in peace and brotherly love.

Yours in Christ,

+Bp Mark

Please remember our diocesan missions in your parish’s charitable giving. If there is a mission in your deanery support the pastor and his work as much as possible.

Your unworthy father in Christ,


Office of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest


  1. As I already struggle with seasonal affective disorder...

    Hello, Dallas! or, maybe 'hello, Ft. Worth' as auxiliary and long-term (then permanent) locum tenens.

    Bp Mark was a coconsecrator for Bp Michael of New York and he was prominently seen visiting ROCOR's monastery in WV, which is all good, but I can't help but think, "Great, just what the OCA needs: an Antiochian convert - even if he is 'one of the good ones' (whatever that means)." Perhaps enough of the glow around the semi-myth of Antiochian Archdiocese as missionary jurisdiction par excellence has faded in recent years to keep most of the idiosyncrasy (liturgical and otherwise) of the AOCA behind.

  2. Sad news for the Antiochians but possibly good news for the OCA. Personally, I have heard nothing but positive things about Bishop Mark as a Shepherd of Souls but know nothing about his issues with the Metropolitan.
    Perhaps Texas would be the best place for him healthwise.
    Many Years Bishop Mark!

  3. Yeah, there really are no "good ones." If he was so good, he never would have been Antiochian in the first place. Being in close proximity with an Antiochian convert is bad for one's Orthodox street cred. They're the only people we can get away with treating like second class citizens (which is *good* for one's Orthodox street cred). But they are so absorbed in conventions and speaking programs they have no idea (bless their hearts). Our parish has two water fountains: one for real Orthodox and one for Antiochians; just so they know their place.

  4. Our parish has two water fountains: one for real Orthodox and one for Antiochians

    Justin, you have discredited yourself more thoroughly with that comment than any n̶i̶g̶g̶e̶ Antiochian convert could have. I suggest you go read 1 Cor 3:4.

    Oh, and just so you know, there are a few Antiochian martyrs each year in the middle east. When's the last time anyone in your parish faced death for the sake of Christ?

  5. AC, I took his comment to be very tongue-in-cheek.

  6. I welcome AC's comment. Let's hope AC's reprimand will be taken to heart by those whose feelings toward Antiochians actually come close to my hyperbole.

  7. My apologies to Justin and Josephus Flavius. Since I'm an interloper here, I didn't know what kind of nuance Justin intended and so I reacted to the literal meaning. I'd just spent close to an hour reading and digesting the execrable news out of Jacksonville, which is why I was so quick to spew.

  8. Perhaps a lesson at least on the use and misuse of sarcasm, especially so soon after the heart is rent...

  9. No apology necessary, Anonymous. I have felt this way also, and it is I who should apologize since I caused the misunderstanding in the first place. Your feelings are probably justified since there are people whose feelings toward Antiochians are not far from this. An Antiochian surrounded by other Orthodox isn't a human in need of salvation, but rather a mere opportunity for one-upmanship. Some would rather feel triumph at rending someone's heart, instead of regret and sorrow.