I started this blog with the intention of never commenting on the current controversy in the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. In fact, for geographical reasons I’ve never been a member of that diocese and so it’s hardly my place. The purpose of this blog is to increase awareness of the Arab heritage of the Orthodox Church among English speakers and hopefully to encourage love for our Arabic-speaking brethren in Christ. That said, I ran across the following comments by Archimandrite Touma (Bitar), abbot of the monastery of Saint Silouan at Douma and author of Forgotten Saints in the Antiochian Heritage, about the ecclesiological controversy which has lately flared up in the Church of Antioch. As readers of this blog might guess, I have great respect for Fr. Touma. His thoughts on the current crisis were posted on his website on July 12, and I have yet to find any notice of them on the anglophone Orthodox web. Since his words need to be heard, I will post my own translation of them here. Please, if anyone has any corrections to the translation, let me know in the comment box.
It’s well worth the read, and he addresses not only the scandal, but the OCA, and Orthodox unity in America.