No Means No!

I took a glance at my blog stats and noticed something about a post I made some time ago about Metropolitan Philip’s opinion of traditional clerical dress in the Orthodox Church (here). It was a link coming in from another blog. As coincidence would have it, not even five minutes I read the following:

11.3.10

+Philip Removes Orthodox Priest For Wearing Cassock

On the day the Archdiocesan website officially published the Metropolitan Philip’s October 22nd “Implementation” Order (read those 18 directives here or here), the Metropolitan dismissed Fr. David Moretti of Terre Haute IN from his parish, and the Archdiocese, ostensibly for disobedience, that is, wearing a traditional cassock rather than a clergy suit while in public. The letter announcing the Metropolitan’s decision was short and direct:

“To the Priest David Moretti:
It is with sadness of heart that I write to you today. Because of your disobedience in following the directives I have set forth for liturgical dress and practice as well as public comments you have made disparaging me personally, I am releasing you from your duties as pastor of St. George Church and as a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese effective December 1, 2010. Please plan to be out of the parish by that date.
In Christ,
+Metropolitan PHILIP”

Read the full story here.

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8 thoughts on “No Means No!

  1. After being released to the OCA, Fr. David Moretti was defrocked by the Holy Synod March 13, 2013.

  2. No, George, I didn’t miss the point of Fr David making critical remarks about his bishop, I just didn’t think it was fair to comment on something that I don’t know to be true. It is alleged that he made critical remarks. Church politics when it gets this far off base only demonstrates who is really “Lord” in this kind of situation.

    Lord have mercy.

  3. I believe that those who have commented on this fiasco are missing a critical point; namely, that Metropolitan Philip, in his letter to Fr. Moretti, states “as well as public comments you have made disparaging me personally.” In other words, it was not just because Fr. Moretti wore a cassock rather than a clergy suit while in public that he was fired, but also because of Fr. Moretti’s public comments that insulted Metropolitan Philip.

    In fact, I believe that Fr. Moretti’s comments that were insulting to Metropolitan Philip played a more crucial role in Fr. Moretti’s termination. Metropolitan Philip probably used the cassock-wearing as the reason for firing Fr. Moretti, because it is a more substantial and concrete reason to fire someone. To fire someone for negative comments he made about someone lacks substance and violates one’s right to freedom of speech.

  4. I don’t know the full story here and I don’t know anything about Fr. David. I do know one thing however, my bishop had a case some years back where he had every right to defrock a priest. His offense was not of a moral nature so it was nothing like that. It was more along the lines of him not obeying the bishop. But instead of defrocking him he let him go to another jurisdiction.

    After all, he said, the priest had six children and I had them in mind as well.

  5. A priest must obey his bishop; that’s part of his responsibility. It is a sorrowful thing for a priest to be removed from his ministry, whether deservedly or undeservedly. It’s nothing new in the Church that priests and bishops act unwisely and unjustly. After all, the Church is a hospital, and not only the patients, but sometimes the staff can come down with a fever.

    Lord have mercy.

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