News From Around the Church World
October 28, 2016
By His Eminence Archbishop Timothy Kjera
[Sharon PA] His Beatitude Metropolitan Stephen, in his desire to reunite canonical independent clergy tracing their orders to His Beatitude Metropolitan Timotheos Vilathi or Metropolitan Jules Ferrette or other independent jurisdictions recognized by the Church, is inviting such clergy to consider entering dialogue with the Syriac-Greek Antiochene Holy Metropolis. Dialogue does not infer any "communion" with our Church, it merely means that there is mutual interest in another jurisdiction. It is such dialogue that often leads to "communion" or "union" with our Primatial See.
According to Chorbishop Haralambos Winger, "the Primatial See of St Peter Apostle has approved the establishment of ordinariates within the Primatial See and Archdiocese to accommodate those incardinating bodies wishing to maintain certain customs within our jurisdiction. An ordinariate is similar to a diocese or eparchy but is one allowed to use a custom or customs not universally a part of the common body or the universal usage of the Church. " According to Archbishop Timothy Kjera, "His Beatitude made it very clear in his meeting on this matter that those coming to us for jurisdictional union, or other sincere reasons, and who now profess beliefs that are alien to us or unacceptable to the universal Church, shall be asked to recant any of their errors in faith and make the necessary changes in their beliefs that conform to those of Oriental Orthodox Catholic Christianity and this Primatial Archdiocese. The Church has long known that there are many "game players" who like to be BINOs "bishops in name only" with many juristictions having more than ten other bishops with them and one or two priests serving all of the bishops. There will be no acceptance of women priests or bishops! This is not what we are inviting to the table unless they are seeking "union" and willing to recant any deviations from ecclesiastical history. We will not take any clergy who have been known and found guilty of being "charlatans" or "vagantes" into the Holy See. It is our desire to work with such uncanonical actions or beliefs if they are sincere, but they must be willing to regularize any deficiencies and/or unacceptable customs or heretical beliefs, and they must make right any beliefs they have that are against Orthodox Catholic doctrines, customs, dogmas, teachings, and beliefs. As the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Holy Metropolis, "I stand firm with His Beatitude in these issues."
We know that there are others who claim to be "Orthodox Christian" or even descendants from the apostolic successions of honor, e.g. Metropolitan Timotheos Vilathi, Archbishop Jules Ferrante, and some others, but many are not because of broken lines of succession or multiple consecrations by many bishops of various groups, or because they simply did not have the verifying documentation. The archives that exist within the Church have numerous entries about the schismatic and heretical groups that call themselves "Orthodox Christian", and often "Orthodox - Old Catholic." We know one notorious group in California who has been in and out of the canonical Church over different twenty-one times. Our Primate also implemented a new policy concerning such bishops or dioceses that wish to be in communion with the Primatial Archdiocese and journey with us back to the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch from where we came. This Archdiocese has maintained the original foundation established by His Beatitude Metropolitan Timotheos Vilathi without deviation as intended by His Holiness Ignatius Peter III of the Holy See of Antioch in 1892.
Concerning bishops coming with parishes, clergy, and faithful, there is an option of patrimony for those wishing union. Patrimony was approved by the Primatial See and is the blessing from our Primate to establish a particular rite that meets theological requirements within our Primatial See and Archdiocese "Personal Ordinariates" for other ecclesial heritages that wish to enter full communion with the Syriac-Greek Antiochian Orthodox Catholic Church, while maintaining certain non-conflicting but important elements of their spiritual and liturgical backgrounds. Equivalent to a diocese, they become an "ordinariate" composed of parishes, monastic communities (approved by the Primate)), and individuals of another ecclesiastical heritage gathered around its Bishop Ordinary, but with fidelity to the Primatial See and Holy Metropolis. The Ordinary serves under the direct authority of the Primate, in partnership with the Primatial Archdiocese and as a member of the Syriac-Greek Antiochene Synod of Bishops, to build the Church through a mutual mission and ministry while retaining elements of their heritage. According to His Beatitude, the members of an Ordinariate include: "those faithful of every category or state of life, who, belong to another heritage or rite, in full communion with the Syriac-Greek Antiochian Orthodox Catholic Church and its Primatial See, and who have received the sacraments of initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate itself, or who are chrismated and received into the Ordinariate."
His Beatitude recently stated: "It is our mission, and one that would be pleasing to Christ, that we all be one, and at this time to initiate dialogue with other jurisdictions (and individuals) that might be interested in union with us and our reunification dialogue with the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch. It is unfathomable how so many would rather remain independent from canonicity rather than become part of canonicity where they stand in apostolic lines which are honored and respected by others. So many independent clergy have been misled in thinking that they are canonical even though they are broken apart from those who are. True Orthodoxy does not have women priests and bishops. We pray for their return." In our investigation of the many schismatic groups that have sprung up since 1932 (and those before), it is evident that there are some who are making an effort to maintain the true Orthodox Catholic Christian faith and its theology and Holy Traditions. However, there are others who are non-canonical or illicit, or who are heretical in their beliefs, and unless they resolve the impediments that keep them from union, the petition process would be fruitless. Those interested are asked to contact the Primatial Archdiocese at or by postal mail to St Nicholas Center, 456 Nimick Street, Sharon PA 16146. This revision became effective on November 5, 2016 until January 31, 2017.
PRIMATE REQUESTS CLERGY AND SEMINARIANS TO OPEN U.S. MISSIONS SOON
His Beatitude Metropolitan Stephen has requested that all seminarians and newly ordained clergy of the Primatial Archdiocese throughout the world begin to submit plans to the Holy Metropolis for forming mission parishes in their respective localities.
Eaton Connecticut under the administration of Reverend Deacon James J Stuck is planning to make visitations to local hospitals and nursing homes to visit the infirmed and elderly in order to make the new mission known. In addition, he will be looking for a place to open St Thomas the Apostle Parish. His wife. Diakonissa Joanna Janet Stuck, will be assisting Deacon James in the formation of St Thomas Mission Parish in Eaton Connecticut, and in other evangelical ministries. Diakonissa Johanna is a practicing theocentric counselor and reflexologist.
Largo Florida, under the patronal name of St Michael & All Archangels and administered by Seminarian Michael Bohon who will be ordained to the subdiaconate and diaconate later this next year (2017). It is his desire to begin reaching out to the institutionalized, the unchurched, the lapsed, and the sick and the suffering. It is expected that a domestic chapel will soon open until an appropriate site can be located for the mission parish.
ST EPHREM MISSION TO OPEN IN DALEVILLE ALABAMA
[Daleville AL] Father John Giddings who entered the incardination process in our Church, about a year ago, was admitted to our jurisdiction after a few delays on September 21, 2015. He will be assigned to establish a mission parish in Daleville Alabama under the patronal name of St Ephrem. Father has been in dialogue with the Primatial Archdiocese for over a year and has always expressed himself as a dedicate and sincere person. His Eminence Archbishop Timothy recommended the approval of Father John to His Beatitude which was accepted. St Ephrem's will become the first parish in Alabama of our jurisdiction since the closing of St George the Martyr Parish in Huntsville Alabama in 1999 due to the passing away of its pastor, and having no successor priest at that time.
HOLY APOSTLES MISSION PARISH NEEDS YOUR HELP
[Kenya] Seminarian Matthew Fred Onwonga of Nyamarambe Kisi Kenya is administrator of Holy Apostles of Christ Mission that has approximately 70 members all of whom have converted to the Syriac-Greek Antiochian Orthodox Catholic Church from the Protestant Evangelical Church. The parish is working hard with limited income to continue building their parish church. Your donation will help them purchase the many building materials and sacred utensils needed, and to purchase educational materials for the children and adults, and so much more. We are hoping that those reading this will make a donation to help build for Christ. The chrismation of all the faithful will be handled by His Excellency Archbishop Anthony Akinnugba, Primatial Legate for Africa, later this year. Please make your donation out to "EOCC" and note it for Holy Apostles of Christ Mission of Kenya and mail to the OCH address on heading of this newsletter. Please - do not pass by this "cry for help."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted by: Rev. Steven D. Martin
National Council of Churches Welcomes US Abstention
WASHINGTON: The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA adds its voice to the chorus of those thanking President Obama and Ambassador Samantha Power for their action today in support of normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba. For the first time in 25 years, the US abstained on a U.N. resolution condemning the U.S. embargo against Cuba, a resolution that has been presented annually. "This abstention is yet another signal that the United States is ready to normalize relations with Cuba," said NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler. "We receive this news with gratitude and celebrate with our counterpart, the Cuban Council of Churches. The next step is for the US Congress to lift the blockade against Cuba." The NCC, along with the Cuban Council of Churches, has worked for decades to bring an end to the embargo. We join together in celebrating this symbolic, but important step that comes on the heels of the lowering of other trade restrictions. We continue to call on Congress to end the embargo which has lasted over half a century. Editor's Note: Our Syriac-Greek Antiochene Primatial Archdiocese and Holy Metropolis have been estranged from our clergy and laity in Cuba officially since 1996. Since that time our communications with each other have been very minimal with a few and non-existent with many others.