Talk:Orthodoxy in the Philippines

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=="clandestine and cultic"==
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This has been a pretty contentious article and discussion page, with lots of personal attacks and serious jurisdictional disputes. I'm really interested in a level-headed presenation of the facts of Orthodox church life on the ground here. These have been very hard to come by! It seems difficult to know who to trust in this particular situation. Ina ny case, for now, I propose we start here with a clean slate and see if we can make a better go of it a second time around. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk]) 21:32, December 17, 2007 (PST)
This language is pretty strong -- maybe it would be helpful to have more identification here -- what are these groups like, what are they called? "Clandestine and cultic" should have some documentation to fill it out, otherwise this language is just regarded as personal opinion. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk])
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=="clandestine and cultic"==
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Dear Father John,
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The online dictionary defined the word '''clandestine''' as "'''existing or operating in a way so as to ensure complete concealment and confidentiality'''" ([http://www.answers.com/topic/clandestine]). The American Heritage Dictionary defined the word '''cult''' as "a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or '''false''', with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. The followers of such a religion or sect.  Listed below are registered churches in the Philippines claiming to be "Orthodox". No other information can be obtained from the internet except the name of their church. I have talked with some members and clergymen of these "orthodox" groups years back while I was searchin for the true Orthodox Church and I found out that they professed the Hindu, Buddhist and "New Age" doctrine of Karma and '''Reincarnation'''. They also believed in "mediums" (i.e., Christ, God the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Theotokos, the Child Jesus etc. possesing their spiritual leaders (priests and bishops) thereby receiving from them the power to heal, prophesy etc.).
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1. ARCHBISHOP ISAAC NEE DANIEL L. GOROSPE EASTERN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC MISSION CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, INC. 
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2. ARCHBISHOP JAMES NEE LEON C. CACHERO JR. INTL. ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, INC. 
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3. ARCHBISHOP PATRIARCH ABRAHAM JOHN PAUL I NEE ARTEMIO FRANCISCO.
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4. PAULINO CANETE-PINERO D.D. OF THE ORTHODOX MISSIONARY FATHERS.
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5. BISHOP OF LOS BANOS OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH INC.
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6. BISHOP PRIMATE OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH INC.
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7. BISHOP UNITED ORTHODOX APOSTOLIC EASTERN CHURCH, INC.
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8. CONGREGATION OF ORTHODOX CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES INC. 
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9. DIOCESAN BISHOP OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CANONICAL DIOCESE OF THE PHILS. INC. 
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10. DIVINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST INC.
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11. FAR EAST ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH INC.
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12. GOVERNING HIERARCH OF THE ASIAN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH INC. 
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13. HOLY ORTHODOX CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST INC. 
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14. KATHOLIKOS ARCHIEREUS OF ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH ORD. IN PHILS. 
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15. ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICAS & ASIA INC.
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16. ORTHODOX CATHOLIC MISSION INCORPORATED 
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17. ORTHODOX CHURCH IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC. 
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18. PHIL. ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH INC.
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19. PHIL. PATRIARCH OF THE HOLY ORTHODOX CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST INC. 
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20. PRESIDING PRESBYTER OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN THE PHILS. INC. 
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21. PRIMATE OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH INC. 
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22. SAN AGUSTIN III (DASMARINAS CAVITE) RESIDENTS & MEMBERS OF INTL. ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS LORD. 
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23. SOVEREIGN ORDER OF THE ORTHODOX HOSPITALLERS OF ST. JOHN.
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24. ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH, INC. 
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25. UNITED ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD IN THE PHILS., INC.
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26. WESTERN AND EASTERN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH MISSIONARIES SOCIETY INC. 
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27. WESTERN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE PHILS., INC. 
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'''Source''': The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission
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[http://www.sec.gov.ph/]
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There are other unregistered clandestine and cultic "churches" claiming to be orthodox which are not included in the above list.
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Father, since you find the language "pretty strong" please provide a more appropriate alternative. Thank you very much. [[User:Filipino|Filipino]] 21:27, June 7, 2007 (PDT)
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::Thanks, Filipino - it's very interesting, if not helpful, to see all of those groups. Perhaps strong language is appropriate, but maybe they are not all clandestine or cultic according to your definitions? Definitely they breed confusion, and it can be good to identify groups to avoid. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk])
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::Dear Father John I already removed the "strong language". Thank you for your unbiased insight and kind remarks.
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[[User:Filipino|Filipino]] 10:24, June 8, 2007 (PDT)
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If they are clandestine as you say "Filipino, then why are they listed with the Philippine Exchange Commission, have been recognized as religious entities by the Philippine government, and some of these groups are members of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. Please stop politicizing this entry. ---Marcus
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:The term "clandestine" has been removed. The groups are what they are - it isn't really of concern to us here. Marcus, can you provide any solid documentation related to the arrival of the Lebanese families you metioned in the 1800's? Thanks, — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk])
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== Antiochians in the Philippines ==
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It appears that there is some polemic here, with Marcus representing the Antiochian side and Filipino representing the Greek side. Both have provided different histories of the origins of Orthodoxy in the Philippines, which each seem to bolster jurisdictional claims.
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It's difficult for me to imagine that Antiochians aren't in communion with Greeks -- is this really the case? Was the deacon merely representing himself, or was he sent by his bishop?
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I can definitely see the canonical problems here, though. It may be helpful to keep in mind that these canonical issues persist throughout the "diaspora" - hence the historical interest in claiming first landing in the country. There is no doubt that these conflicts will remain with us for some time. My hope is that on the wiki we can seek to describe the situation as completely and dispassionately as possible, with attention to the historical circumstance and competing canonical claims. We are definitely biased towards the what we call "Mainstream Chalcedonian Orthodoxy", i.e. those churches in communion with the ancient patriarchates (with the exception of Rome), but I would prefer to remain as neutral as possible in the midst of inter-jurisdictional disputes such as this. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk]) 10:45, June 8, 2007 (PDT)
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Chris Gain is not a deacon within the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand or any Orthdox Church. His views do not represent the views of any canonical bishop in Australia --Marcus
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: I reverted the article to the previus revision as of 17:37, June 8, 2007 by Fr. John.  Marcus, please justify your act of deleting the reference to the first reception of Filipino Orthodox Christians in the Philippines and for removing the links to the canonical Orthodox Church in the Philippines. Likewise, Marcus, please cite your sources and historical documents to support your claim about the Lebanese and Syrian Christians in the Philippines. If you can provide evidence and documentation for this then reference to Lebanese and Syrian Christians as the "first" Orthodox Christians in the Philippines should be included in the article.
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[[User:Filipino|Filipino]] 20:31, June 8, 2007 (PDT)
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:Would you want the family names? The Syrian and Lebanese Consulates in Manila confirmed that after the opening of foreign trade, a number of Ottoman subjects from the Greater Syria province arrived in the Philippines including the Sa-id and Saliba (which became Filipino-nized into "Soliba") families. The Sa-id family has the records to show that their ancestors worked on British ships in the Philippines.
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Furthermore, I deleted the references because it is too politicized and shows blind papal-cesaerism, not to mention its highly inaccurate and anti-Arab. The Greek Orthodox Church in the Philippines can not call itself ''the'' Orthodox Church of the Philippines because it is not legally entitled to do so, check the SEC registration again. Nor does it have the canonical or moral authority to do so. According to the 1, 2, 3 Ecumenical Councils, Antioch is entitled to the jurisdictional territory of the "East" which means all of Asia and for this reason Antioch had parishes in China, Indonesia, and India as early as the 2nd century in the year of our Lord. It is also known that the Patriarchate of Moscow still considers the Philippines its missionary area because of its early presence here and also a major concern has arisen with the stories coming out of Indonesia about the Greek Orthodox Church and how 3/4 of the Indonesian Orthodox Christians are now under the omphorion of the ROCOR.
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However, all God-fearing Russian and Antiochian Orthodox in Australia share a general sorrow for what has happened in SE Asia after stories from Indonesia have emerged.
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Also if you would have taken the time to examine the SEC registration, you would have noticed that the registration of the Orthodox Church in the Philippines was a gift from Chris Gain to Patriarch Ignatius IV of (the City of God of) Antioch and All the East. That is why Chris Gain is mentioned in the paperwork. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese has nothing to do with gifts to the patriarchate and they would appreciate it if you would stop mentioning them in the article without their authorization. I would like to repeat that the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, and All Oceania has had nothing to do with Chris Gain nor with his Iglesia Ortodoxa ng Pilipinas. The Antiochian Archdiocese was as uninformed as was the Greek Metropolitanate of Hong Kong about this gift.
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May God grant you guidance and wisdom to refrain from attacking the ancient See of Antioch and for showing more discernment in your writing about Orthodoxy in the Philippines.
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--Marcus
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:It seems to me that we should keep the reference in to the Lebenese families. Not sure why it is so contentious. Certainly, any canonical claims cannot merely rest on the "a few families from someplace arrived here first" argument. It's an interesting historical tidbit, anyway.
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:About the other matters, I kindly request that you both refrain from personal attacks and from attributing bad motives to one another, at least here. These are difficult issues, and it's a difficult time in church history (can't think of one that wasn't...). Ultimately, the bishops must work these things out. Honestly, I think that all of these "it's my territory" claims are doomed to failure in the so-called diaspora. The world has changed - increased mobility of peoples and other forces of globalization means that traditionally Orthodox peoples, each with their own histories, find themselves in far corners of the earth. Naturally, they bring their heritage -- and their hierarchy -- with them when there is no established and deeply rooted Orthodox church body in the region. The various jurisdictions will simply have to learn to live with each other under these new circumstances, observing and preserving carefully the bonds of communion which tie us together. I am sympathetic with the desire for canonical order that I see reflected in Filipino's statements, as well as the desire for an authentically indigenous Orthodoxy I see in Marcus' comments. It seems to me that these issues won't be really worked out unless there is a functioning primacy according to Orthodox canonical tradition, that bears the interests of the whole deeply in its heart. We may all dream of such a day, but it doesn't appear that this will happen anytime soon.
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:I want to emphasize once again that the role of OrthodoxWiki is not to take a side in these debates, but to honestly reflect the situation as clearly as possibly, avoiding gossip, speculation, and slander. The articles should reflect ''who'' says ''what'', ''where'', ''when'' and (to the degree it can be ascertained) ''why''. This may not solve anything -- but that's not the purpose here. I hope this approach will be of service to people trying to figure these things out on all sides.
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:May God bless us and have mercy on all of His struggling children! — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk])
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:: Dear Father John, I totally agree with you. Truly, any canonical claims cannot merely rest on the "a few families from some place arrived here first" argument. Sadly, it is a well known fact that those who deny the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the diaspora are mostly those who belong from the uncanonical group of eastern orthodoxy. Again, thank you very much for your valuable insight. Marcus, can you tell us more about the "Orthodox Church in the Philippines" which is registered at the Philippine SEC as the "'''Iglesia Orthodoxa ng Pilipinas'''". Its website does not indicate any address in the Philippines and abroad. Is it under the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch? In the year 2007 Antiochian Archbishop's Report Fr. Deacon Chris Gain's name is listed as one of the Deacons under the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia (pls. see  [http://www.antiochian.org.au/content/view/615/22/ Archbishop's Report.])His name is also listed at number 14 under "Clergy no longer with the Archdiocese". You wrote that "Chris Gain is not a deacon within the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand '''or any Orthdox Church'''" but the February 06, 2007 ([http://www.antiochian.org.au/content/view/602/0/ Antiochian Archdiocese News.])wrote: "With the written blessing of Metropolitan Archbishop Paul, Father Deacon Christopher was released from the Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand this day '''to assist the Patriarchate located in Damascus, Syria'''." But you said Chris Gain is not a deacon in "any other Orthodox Church". And why did you refer to Fr. Deacon Chris Gain  simply as "Chris Gain"?  I hope you can shed more light on this. Thank you. [[User:Filipino|Filipino]] 04:09, June 9, 2007 (PDT)
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==Deleted Reference to Fr. Deacon Chris Gain and his church==
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Marcus, could you please justify the reason why edited your previous post and deleted reference to Fr. Deacon Chris Gain? Let me quote here the deleted portion (emphasis and italics mine):
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"Also if you would have taken the time to examine the SEC registration since you specifically mention it, you would have noticed that '''the registration of the Orthodox Church in the Philippines was a gift from Chris Gain to Patriarch Ignatius IV of (the City of God of) Antioch and All the East'''. That is why '''Chris Gain''' is mentioned in the paperwork. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese has nothing to do with gifts to the patriarchate and they would appreciate it if you would stop mentioning them in the article without their authorization. ''I would like to repeat that the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, and All Oceania '''has had nothing to do with Chris Gain nor with his Iglesia Ortodoxa ng Pilipinas'''.'' The Antiochian Archdiocese was as '''uninformed''' as was the Greek Metropolitanate of Hong Kong about this gift and the Archdiocese only found out about this recently." -Marcus    -(Pls see: [http://orthodoxwiki.org/index.php?title=Talk:Orthodoxy_in_the_Philippines&diff=52668&oldid=52663 Talk Page Revisions])
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I guess the reason for your deletion is that you just made this all up (except of course for the fact that the the Metropolitan in Hong Kong and the local Orthodox Clergy in the Philippines were '''not informed''' by Fr. Deacon Chris Gain when he "clandestinely" registered his ''"Iglesia Orthodoxa ng Pilipinas"'' or Orthodox Church of the Philippines at the Philippine SEC in Manila last December 2006. I used the strong word "clandestinely registered" because of the fact that Fr. Deacon Chris Gain did not inform anyone at the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong including the local Filipino Orthodox clergy in the Philippines as you yourself affirmed. You also alleged that the Antiochian Archdiocese in Australia was also "'''uninformed'''" and worse, the Antiochian Archbishop "only found out about this recently", hence, if this allegation of yours is true, this only serves to confirm without any reason of a doubt the '''clandestine''' manner by which Fr. Deacon Chris Gain registered and established this ''"Iglesia Orthodoxa ng Pilipinas".'' As for the questionable canonicity of this clandestinely established church, the ''"Iglesia Orthodoxa ng Pilipinas",'' this is clearly demonstrated based on your revelations.
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Everyone should also know  Fr. Deacon Chris and his Filipino contacts in the Philippines also clandestinely registered the "'''GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST, INC'''. " in the Philippine SEC last December 2006 (pls. see  [http://iregister.sec.gov.ph/MainServlet Philippine Securities and Echange Commission.]).  Now my question Marcus, was His Beatitude Ignatius IV Patriarch of Antioch informed beforehand by Fr. Deacon Chris Gain and by the Antiochian Archbishop of Australia of the registration of the '''GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST, INC ''' or was he also '''"uninformed"'''? If the Patriarch of Antioch himself  was '''uninformed''' so who gave Fr. Deacon Chris Gain  authorization and blessing to register and establish the "'''GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST, INC'''. " and the "Iglesia Orthodoxa ng Pilipinas"?  Now the doubtful and questionable canonicity of both entities becomes more apparent  because of your revelations here at Wikipedia Talk Page. Our readers should thank you for these information.
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Surprisingly, you even strongly declared that the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese in Australia has nothing to do, not only with these questionable entities but also with its founder when you wrote: '''I would like to repeat that the Antiochian Archdiocese of
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Australia, New Zealand, and All Oceania has had nothing to do with Chris Gain nor with his Iglesia Ortodoxa ng Pilipinas'''. - Marcus 
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You have a lot of explaining to do Marcus. So why did you deleted all these  information in your previous post?  Was it because they are merely allegations based on speculations? Or you just made it all up?  I have reasons to believe that it could be both. Please answer also my questions about the ''Iglesia Orthodoxa sa Pilipinas'' in my previous post.  I would also advice you to be extra careful with what you post here in Wikepedia. I observed that many of them are purely speculations and mostly allegations or totally unsupported claims (please review my first edits in the Orthodoxy in the Philippines article you wrote). Thank you. --[[User:Filipino|Filipino]] 03:34, June 10, 2007 (PDT)
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Dear Filipino,
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As stated before by Father John, you should refrain from personal attacks. This Orthodox wikipedia is not the forum to discuss matters that you raised. Furthermore, I also would remind you that Antioch and Istanbul are two separate independent churches and you are under the spiritual jurisdiction of Constantinople. Therefore, you as a layman and as someone from outside of the Antiochian jurisdiction, should also refrain from commenting on internal matters and problems with the Antiochian church and making such lamentable comments on Orthodox wikipedia because that is not the proper forum to do so. If Constantinople is concerned about this matter with "Iglesia Orthodoxa..." then its canonical hierarchs should write to the canonical hierarchs of Antioch. This is not a lay concern and I stand by what I have already stated. I do not need to elaborate anything more because we are not even in the same jurisdiction and for me to state anything further would be gossip. I will not engage in gossip and once again I am not the spokesperson for the Archdiocese. 
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It is very unbecoming of Orthodox Christians to attack other Orthodox Christians in this type of forum.
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--Marcus
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Latest revision as of 22:32, December 17, 2007

This has been a pretty contentious article and discussion page, with lots of personal attacks and serious jurisdictional disputes. I'm really interested in a level-headed presenation of the facts of Orthodox church life on the ground here. These have been very hard to come by! It seems difficult to know who to trust in this particular situation. Ina ny case, for now, I propose we start here with a clean slate and see if we can make a better go of it a second time around. — FrJohn (talk) 21:32, December 17, 2007 (PST)

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