Sunday, November 14, 2010

Breaking News: Fr. Touma Reports that Part of the Holy Synod's Decision was Forged


This message was posted this morning on the website of the Holy Trinity Family monasteries:


The column "Dots on the Letters" will not appear this week in protest of the forgery of the Synod's recent decision about the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, unknown to most of the fathers of the Holy Synod. We ask our readers and our beloved in Christ to fast and pray for the preservation of our faithful brothers in that Archdiocese from the dangers and painful consequences resulting from the forgery.

Archimandrite Touma (Bitar)



In related news, see here.

24 comments:

John (Ad Orientem) said...

ANAXIOS!

Anonymous said...

Not seeing a translation anywhere.
Matthew the Penitent

Samn! said...

Matthew,


The pretty terse paragraph in this post here is the translation of Fr. Touma's statement.

DNY said...

Perhaps this is related to the mysteriously vanishing post on the Patriarchal website of the account of Day Two of the Holy Synod's meeting.

That was the day that North America was reportedly discussed and the decision in question reportedly taken.

Faithful readers of Samn!'s blog will recall that back in August, the account of day 2 was taken down from the Patriarchal website shortly after it was posted, and only the copy made on the Archdiocese of Tripoli's website remained online.

Anonymous said...

What is the usual content of "Dots on the Letters" and how would not posting it be a "protest"?

VSO said...

Which part was forged?

Samn! said...

Anon,

The usual content of the column is what I translate from Fr. Touma regularly on this blog. Just go through the archives.


VSO,

This is unclear from Fr. Touma's statement. I'm sure we'll be hearing more soon, though...

Kevin B said...

Samn,
What was the news story posted on the LA Diocese site? It seems to be down now.

Samn! said...

Kevin,


No, it's still up.... it's just the day-by-day account of the pilgrimage that Bishop Joseph is leading in Lebanon and Syria.

Anonymous said...

What's the significance of linking this w/ Bp Joseph's current visit.

Samn! said...

Anon,

Bishop Joseph has been meeting with almost every bishop on the Holy Synod. If these things are coming out now in Lebanon, then they're coming out in a context where Bishop Joseph is in conversation with the Syrian and Lebanese bishops. I have no idea if there is a causal relationship to the two events, but certainly now Bishop Joseph is able to explain what is going on in the US in person.... Usually, the lack of having regular in-person contacts between the Patriarchate and the North American Archdiocese has been fuel for misunderstandings. This time there's at least a chance that such won't be the case.

melxiopp said...

I hope this isn't an example of scapegoating, of trying to back-peddle from a highly divisive decision by falsely claiming forgery, mistaken translation, etc.

I hope this is not simply another example of behind the scenes intrigue. The fact that 'our side' might be ascendant is little comfort when such opaque dealings leave open the possibility that the 'other side' will simply rise again. Political might - and savvy - does not make right. That is replacing one centralized despot controlling everything here and all communication with Damascus with another, nicer despot who controls everything, too, is not a long-term solution. 'Strong man' leadership is not the only possibility.

Apophatically Speaking said...

I share your concern Melxiopp and your are 100% correct. We are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature. Nevertheless it is a somewhat encouraging sign that even bits and pieces such as we have here by Fr. Touma are being brought into the open.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Samn or someone in some journalistic/ecclesiatical position can get in touch with Archimandrite Touma and get some clarification- rumors and postings are starting to circulate on the net without much facts. From the website of the monasteries, it looks like they will take calls between 7am and 9am ET Tuesday-Saturday
+9616780043 or +9613812559 http://holytrinityfamily.org/contact.html
Given the clarification needed, I dont know if email will be much help.

Anonymous said...

It's not nice to delete posts. If you are not willing to face the reality of what some people really are, you shouldn't post such things. Unfortunately the reality is that the document was forged, involving members of the Holy Synod.

Samn! said...

Anon,

I only delete posts that are from anonymous commenters making vague and unsubstantiated accusations. If you have substantial evidence to add, please do.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I cannot leave my name or be bothered to make a fake one, but this does not mean I am not speaking the truth.

A falsified document was made with the full knowledge and authorization of the patriarch. It is linked to the news of day two of the synod being removed from the patriarchate website.

DNY said...

Does anyone know of any examples, besides the pdf now on the Archdiocesan website and the repudiated document from the last round, of Patriarchal documents in which the letterhead is in Arabic and English, rather than Arabic and French as would be normal in Syrian and Lebanon?

The pdf on the Archdiocesan website has an address footer in Arabic and French with the French in a san-serif typeface, while the header is in Arabic and English, with the English in a serif typeface (probably Times or Times New Roman).

This could, I suppose, signify nothing more than some misguided clerk either at the Patriarchate or the Archdiocese deciding to pretty the document up for the Anglophone faithful here in North America. Or, perhaps it signifies something else.

Anonymous said...

Samn, can you please tell us non-Arabic speakers which parts of this message were rendered in red, other than the signature? Is there any significance to this emphasis?

George said...

If it is yet another forgery the Holy Synod will have to take decisive action. The Archdiocese has been going through very difficult times. Many are so unhappy that they are leaving for other jurisdictions or withholding their money until this is all resolved. The longer this farce goes on the worse shape the Archdiocese will be in. Also the Patriarchate needs to get a working website the current one is dismal. They also may need to pay more attention to what is happening here and the only way to do that is if they know what is going on and hear from the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity. Just my 2 Cents as worthless as it is.

Samn! said...

Anon,

The part in red is simply "in protest of the forgery".


George,

I think that we are all learning the importance of communication! You don't know how much I wish there were other people making translations of Arab Orthodox materials! Once this controversy is over, I really hope that some aspects of this blog's work wind up being done by the Archdiocese's website.... they need an Arabic-speaker on their internet communications staff.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your tireless efforts... one question though, if auxiliaries is 'literally translating the plural adjective "musa3idun"' why is it in English on the official Arabic translation....
signed,
confused.

Samn! said...

Presumably to clarify things. There had been much discussion about whether musa3id meant 'auxiliary' or something more like 'assistant'. As we've seen, muddled technical terminology has been a major sub-plot to events in the Antiochian Archdiocese over the past year....

Your brother in Christ said...

I would like to humbly say to you that the REAL problem is not whether the Antiochian Orthodox bishops in North America are to be called 'Auxiliaries' or 'Assistants' to the Metropolitan but whether they can all find a way to get along and work together with Christian love, respect, and trust. Short of that, no decision or clarification from any Synod can help them out if they don't want to help themselves, and that's exactly what has been happening for the past 1.5 years! One even wonders how effective can Metropolitan Phillip and the other North American bishops be in shepherding and inspiring their flock if they continue to fight among each other like this! Can't they see the damage that has been happening to their credibility, their reputation, their ability to lead effectively, and ultimately the damage to the Church as a whole, the 'bride' that they are all supposed to be protecting? If our spiritual elite have reached such a deplorable situation in their relationship with one another, what's left for the rest of us who are struggling and trying to follow Christ and apply his teachings everywhere we go, be it at home, at school, at work, or in any other place? Didn't Christ say that only if we loved one another can we be called his disciples? Where are we from this? For this I say, yes the title of the bishops matters, the constitution and the bylaws of the Archdioceses, etc... but those things can only work assuming that there is mutual trust, harmony, and unity; and short of this, there is no hope for any solution from this world for this conflict. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"