Metropolitan of Antiochian Archdiocese retires amidst moral claims

Damascus, September 17, 2022     

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America retired from his position today amidst the investigation into serious moral claims made against him.

The Archdiocese published the relevant announcement from His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East today:

To our Beloved in the Lord, the Hierarchs, Priests, Deacons, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Spiritual Children of our Holy Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America,

I greet you in Christ, lifting up my prayers for your protection.

Further to my previous letters to you at this critical period in the life of the Archdiocese, I would like through the present letter to inform you of the following:

First, we have received from His Eminence, the Most Reverend JOSEPH Zehlaoui, Metropolitan of New York and Archbishop of all North America, his Retirement Letter from his position as Metropolitan of the Archdiocese.

Second, we will duly forward the letter of His Eminence to the Holy Synod to take the necessary actions accordingly.

Third, the immediate effect of the resignation of His Eminence the Metropolitan of the Archdiocese and the circumstances related to it necessitate from us, as patriarch, to take appropriate measures in order to ensure the proper care and administration of the Archdiocese, in preparation for the next phase. We will inform you of these measures in due course.

Fourth, we ask the Lord to give Metropolitan JOSEPH many years of good health, that he “may complete the remaining time of his life in peace and repentance,” in a manner well-pleasing to the Lord, and in His Grace.

Fifth, last but not least, I call upon you again to remain united in prayer, and we are with you in this before the Lord, asking for the wellbeing of the Archdiocese and of each and everyone member in it, both clergy and laity. We put our hope in the Lord, and He always does not disappoint those who rely on Him with faith.

With our Apostolic blessings.

Damascus, 17 September 2022.

Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

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Boulous Skaff 9/23/2022 5:18 pm
What the Antiochians should fear is what comes next. According to sources in Manhattan, a federal grand jury is set to proceed with an indictment against the former Archbishop Joseph, two unnamed individuals, and the archdiocese. Many, it would seem, missed the cats meow in all of this. The indictment dates back to suspicious and questionable occurrences dating back to a facility, a lodging facility that the Antiochians own in the state of Pennsylvania. The federal government has been investigating the national church and it’s no former leader as far back as 2018. Charges by the former facilities director of large taxes that went undisclosed had brought various allegations of wrongdoing. The story of the inappropriate sexual encounters it would seem is not the actual main story. Millions of dollars has been in the hands of the archbishop, rather passed from others via him via other places. A record exists that he recently gave five million dollars to the president of Syria from friends in Brazil. He had given in 2019 four million dollars to another politician via his criminally charged brother, a very questionable banker. No this is much deeper than any misfortunate discovery of immoral sexual misconduct.
Sara9/21/2022 9:54 pm
Innocent until proven guilty. Fabricated proof does not count. How many innocent souls have been accused in the US? Millions. Have you forgotten how the evil one fights the Church? It's leaders? Through dignity crimes. Let that sink in.
Carl Zellie 9/19/2022 5:56 am
Judge thou not, lest though be judged. Innocent until proven guilty. God forgives all, man forgives none due to hatred and jealousy of his fellow man. Lord have mercy on our souls ☦️☦️☦️ We pray for your our beloved Metropolitan Joseph! God bless you and protect you. If thou hast done anything wrong, God has forgiven you but not evil men. They will never forgive!
Nikolai9/18/2022 6:14 pm
Bishop Basil should have become Metropolitan after Met. Philip. Now, another foreign bishop will probably be forced upon the AOCA.
Johny Massih 9/18/2022 3:54 am
God is great
Rej9/18/2022 12:05 am
May the Lord bless Metropolitan JOSEPH and bless his ways. The evil will NOT win never ever. Lord have mercy!
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