Retired Antiochian Metropolitan Joseph pens farewell address to Archdiocese

Englewood, New Jersey, October 27, 2022

Photo: Photo: In a farewell address published yesterday, Metropolitan Joseph, the recently retired former head of the Archdiocese of North America of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, calls on the faithful to continue their life in the Church and states that he faithfully fulfilled the duties of his office.

Met. Joseph, who served as head of the Archdiocese from 2014, submitted his letter of resignation on September 17 after a woman came forth with claims that she had been romantically involved with him for many years. His resignation was formally accepted by the Antiochian Holy Synod earlier this month.

In a statement published on Monday, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch announced the appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios (El Souri) of Zahle, Baalbek, and Dependencies, as Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese of New York and All North America. His duties are to manage the affairs of the Archdiocese and oversee the process of nominating a new Metropolitan.

“I now greet you publicly for the last time. Recognizing that this is not a spiritual retirement, we continue to train spiritually throughout our lives for God's pleasure comforted in the knowledge that He never wastes His creation,” the retired hierarch writes in his farewell address.

Although the recent period in the life of the Archdiocese has been “dark, full of uncertainty and confusion … comfort, direction and light” have also come from the celebration of recent Church feasts.

“Today as I contemplate how a father can possibly leave his children, when the need to comfort and console you is at the forefront of my mind, I find that my words are inadequate. There is only One Word for all of us, it is the Word of God,” Met. Joseph writes.

In reviewing the promises made at his enthronement in 2014, to preach the Gospel in America and to, among other things, “bring the spiritual, ethical, and moral authority of the Church of Ss. Peter and Paul,” Met. Joseph writes: “I firmly believe that by God’s hand and your prayers, I have fulfilled my promises and more.”

And addressing the clergy of the Archdiocese, the Metropolitan beseeches them “to not rush to any judgment.”

“My hope is that you will show yourselves to be faithful servants of Christ and His holy Church and grateful for all our blessings. Let us never stop living the life we’ve been gifted, renewing ourselves, examining ourselves, fasting, praying, repenting, confessing, partaking of the Sacraments. and when we fall, beginning again,” the Metropolitan exhorts.

Read his full address on the site of the North American Archdiocese.

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