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Joined: Apr 2012
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This is very sad news. Mgr Abrass is a fine scholar, though I know nothing of his reputation as a bishop.

One of the chief starting-points for the momentum behind the Zoghby Initiative was when Rome went over the heads of the Melkite Catholic Synod in order to force the retirement of Met Grégoire Haddad of Beirut in 1974. This led to a joint meeting with the synod of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, as a show of solidarity, and did a lot to strengthen the ties between the two churches.

While it may be, from what's been said above, that this is a rather more clear-cut scenario of a bishop needing to be removed, I think it's safe to say that the Melkite Church isn't nearly as interested in defending its independence and prerogatives as it was in decades past. It's very noteworthy that Rome didn't just remove a bishop, it also chose the temporary administrator for the diocese.

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Christ is in our midst!!

For me, this is a sad affair on the most important level--that of the man and that of his flock. The Enemy has taken down a bishop and scandalized the believers. All the rest, IMHO, is of secondary importance. How do we defend ourselves in the greater world in which we live when clergy fall, especially when we have put them on a pedestal for so long? How do we shore up the faint faith of many when they see this and assume that we stand for nothing if even the clergy do not live up to what we preach?

Let's step back and pray for Bishop Michel and his diocese. (Heavy sigh).

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Indeed. The autonomy of the Eastern Catholic Churches is an illusion. We are indeed Catholic in name only, and only are as Catholic insofar as we are "under" Rome. All this talk of equality is a lie. No wonder the Orthodox look down on Eastern Catholicism. They are removed enough from Rome's thumb to see the truth of it all.

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Originally Posted by Colin Sheehan
Indeed. The autonomy of the Eastern Catholic Churches is an illusion. We are indeed Catholic in name only, and only are as Catholic insofar as we are "under" Rome. All this talk of equality is a lie. No wonder the Orthodox look down on Eastern Catholicism. They are removed enough from Rome's thumb to see the truth of it all.
Colin,

The Church always has issues that need to be addressed. But why are you so bitter? The Lord is good and life in Him is good!

John

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