+Philip Opposes Audits, Re-ignites Debate Over Bishops Authority

December 8, 2009

An article on OCANews.org reviews stunning developments taking place this week: Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese is taking public and aggressive steps to scuttle Bishop Mark of Toledo’s attempts to implement audits and other controls to provide financial accountability.

The OCANews article summarizes the salient points (source), showing how +Philip:

  • Orders Parish Councils to “Disregard” All Directives Not Bearing His Signature
  • Labels +Mark’s Attempt to Implement Financial Controls “A Major Mistake”
  • Says External Audits At This Time “Not Prudent”

Mark Stokoe, the article’s author, begins his article with a review of recent events:

After a four-month truce Metropolitan Philip dramatically re-opened the battle over the authority of the diocesan bishops in the Antiochian Archdiocese by issuing a two page directive instructing parish councils to “…disregard any directives regarding new policies or procedures for your parishes you may have received or may receive in the future unless they are issued from my office under my signature”. The new, unexpected directive took clear aim at Bishop Mark of Toledo, complaining about “a directive… sent out by His Grace, Bishop MARK implementing a new financial system of checks and balances for our parishes in the Diocese of Toledo.” (Bishop Mark ordered the new financial system throughout parishes in his Midwest Diocese in response to revelations of financial misconduct, most recently in an Ohio parish, where alleged embezzlement had gone undetected for six years.) “Without weighing in on the merits or short-comings of the system outlined in these directives,” the Metropolitan explained, ” a major mistake was made with regard to policies and procedures in trying to implement this, or any new protocols in our one, united Archdiocese.” (source)

Read the full article here.

Given yesterday’s revelation of an FBI investigation into embezzlement of $1 Million in the Greek Orthodox Church, readers are left to wonder why +Phillip is so ardently opposed to transparency and accountability.

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