The second change occurred just last week, and it likely has Fr. Matthew spinning in his grave. It seems that our archdiocese's years of work to become "self-ruled" has been thrown away...or taken away, take your pick...in the Patriarchal Synod's decisions last week. Our bishops are now only auxiliary bishops. EVERYTHING, dioceses and bishops, is completely under the
So if the Metropolitan moves a bishop who has been enthroned in a diocese (think of your wedding day, you've already said "I do" and cut the cake and had the honeymoon and bought the house....) he is essentially divorcing a bishop by force and then forcing him into ANOTHER marriage with someone else. It. Doesn't. Work. That. Way. No more than he could tell Rich to leave me and go marry some other woman! I know, I know...Rome has done that for years. That's their model, and I'm not going to comment on it. It is NOT, however, how the Orthodox church does things for an enthroned bishop.
There are such things as "titular" bishops, bishops who are "in charge" of a place that has basically no churches in it. Every bishop has to be bishop of someWHERE, and the titular thing enables a bishop to serve...oh wait...as an auxiliary bishop! But an enthroned bishop, which includes all of the bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, just can't be jerked around from place to place.
Even Patriarchal Synods get it wrong. We don't believe in episcopal infallibility, unless you're talking about the ecumenical councils. This needs to be set right, and it needs to be done yesterday.
Fr. Matthew was a good and faithful servant of God and His Church, and he worked hard to fix the mess that the Metropolitan made the last time he tried to do this. It is a sad thing that he can no longer be here to do it again; but we pray for his intercession before the throne of God to set this right.
To read more about this Charlie Foxtrot, go to http://www.ocanews.org/news/DiocesesSuppressed8.25.10.html