Antiochian convention nominates candidates for Metropolitan

Dallas, January 16, 2023

Met. Antonios of Zahle presided over the convention. Photo: Met. Antonios of Zahle presided over the convention. Photo:     

A special convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America gathered in Dallas on Friday to nominate candidates for the Metropolitan throne.

The proceedings were presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios of Zahle, who was appointed Patriarchal Vicar specifically to guide the North American Archdiocese in the process of choosing a successor to Metropolitan Joseph, who resigned in September after serious moral claims against him came to light.

Choosing from among nine candidates, the hundreds of clerical and lay delegates nominated His Grace Bishop John Abdalah, His Grace Bishop Nicholas Ozone, and His Eminence Metropolitan Saba Isper, the Archdiocese reports.

The three names will be sent to the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Patriarchate to choose the next metropolitan at a forthcoming session.

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Antiochene Son1/16/2023 9:54 pm
Met. Antonios was also nominated as a fourth candidate by acclamation in a voice vote, but he insisted he has no desire to leave Zahle, and as Patriarchal Vicar he struck any mention of the vote from the record. It seems he has been well received in the Archdiocese. Another note from someone on the ground: Met. Antonios hosted a lengthy Q&A session at the convention, and one questioner mentioned being a convert. The Metropolitan said, "I have heard this phrase so many times, 'as a convert.' Conversion is the process of joining the Church, it is not a permanent identity." He has been stressing the oneness of the Church, without these artificial internal divisions, and that is a good thing.
Editor1/16/2023 8:58 pm
Carlos: The first Orthodox bishop to rule a diocese in the United States was from the Russian Orthodox Church, because of its original Alaska diocese. As Orthodox immigrants from other countries began to stream into the U.S., they received priestly ordinations and support from the Russian Church. Eventually, however, immigrant communities grew so large that they wanted bishops from their own home countries. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia also played a role in this, since support was no longer coming from the Russian Tsar. The OCA is now the only completely America-based Orthodox Church, having been granted autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church in the late 20th century. However, you will find American converts in every jurisdiction now. So, that is the situation today, though to non-Orthodox it looks irregular (it is perhaps irregular, but it is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.)
Carlos1/16/2023 7:02 pm
I am not orthodox, can someone explain to me why Antioch maintains a separate jurisdiction from the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the OCA? Do all Orthodox churches have their own archdiocese in America?
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