Vicariate for Palestinian-Jordanian Communities in the USA
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The Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA is an administrative grouping formed in 2008 under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA). The Vicariate consists of parishes and monasteries formerly belonging to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America. The Vicariate is directly under the omophorion of the GOA archbishop rather than the local metropolis in which the communities find themselves.
Tensions existed between this group of parishes and monasteries while it was under the Jerusalem Patriarchate and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, as the latter claims that Jerusalem worked to pull parishioners away from Antiochian (and Greek) parishes and into its own jurisdiction. The Ben Lomond crisis of 1998, in which an Antiochian parish in California split into two factions, one of which eventually made its way into the Jerusalem Patriarchate (including the re-ordination of some of the clergy), further exacerbated these tensions.
As a result, as of May 2, 2003, American Antiochian clergy were forbidden by their primate, Metr. Philip (Saliba) of New York, from concelebrating or communing with American Jerusalem clergy (though not with clergy of the Jerusalem Patriarchate assigned to parishes in the Middle East). With the creation of the Vicariate, Metr. Philip again reiterated his 2003 archpastoral directive on August 7, 2008, lamenting the action of the Ecumenical Patriarchate taking in communities that had formed mainly by breaking from Antiochian parishes.
In addition, a number of priests of the Jerusalem Patriarchate refused to accept the decision creating a new vicariate, stating their preference to remain under Jerusalem (Kalmoukos, 2008).
On August 11, 2008 In letters to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Archbishop Demetrios the United States Orthodox Churches under the Jerusalem Patriarchate rejected the Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities that was forced on them. citation needed
- Archpastoral directive of Metr. Philip (Saliba) of New York, dated May 2, 2003.
- Archpastoral directive of Metr. Philip (Saliba) of New York, dated August 7, 2008.
- Decisions on Some Palestinian and Jordanian communities in the USA, from the GOA website (Aug. 5, 2008)
- Theodore Kalmoukos. Palestinian Priest Against New Vicariate. The National Herald, 15 August, 2008.
- No Communion for New Vicariate Clergy. The National Herald. August 22, 2008.