Fwd: Philip Removes Orthodox Priest For Wearing Cassock
+Philip Removes Orthodox Priest For
On the day the Archdiocesan website officially published the
Metropolitan Philip's October 22nd "Implementation" Order (read those
or<http://www.antiochian.org> 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.
Fr. Moretti received a previous warning that his practice of wearing
a cassock in public, apart from liturgical duties, was not
acceptable. According to parishoners, Fr. Moretti then stopped
wearing his cassock in public, and adopted the required attire more
than a month ago.
As for the second reason given by the Metropolitan, the making of
public disparaging remarks concerning the Metropolitan, Fr. Moretti
has denied the accusation. He certainly made none yesterday. In a
parish bulletin to his community announcing the Metropolitan's
decision, published yesterday, Fr. Moretti wrote:
"Dear to Christ, the community under the protection of our beloved
The news of my release seems to be "out" and making the rounds.
Rather than there be multiple stories with little truth to them, I
wanted everyone to be able to read the words, verbatim, that
Metropolitan PHILIP sent to me. Your continued prayers for our
hierarchs, especially Metropolitan PHILIP are NECESSARY now more than
ever. Any and all responses must be done in love. We cannot be true
witnesses to Christ and not weigh our motives against what would be
pleasing to our Lord! Please know that we trusted our lives to God
coming here to Terre Haute and we know full-well that He has not
abandoned us, nor will He. Do your best to be stalwart in your prayer
and make whatever response you may have to this a BLESSING and not
divisive or vindictive."
A second priest, Fr. Paul Alberts, was transferred from his parish of
20+ years in Sylvania, Ohio, near Toledo, without warning yesterday,
to replace Fr. Moretti. Not conincidentally perhaps, both priests
were associated with Bishop Mark of Toledo, who was dismissed from
his See by the Metropolitan earlier this week. According to locals
Bishop Mark frequently attended daily Matins at Sylvania, while Fr.
Moretti had posted photos and comments concerning Bishop Mark's visit
to his parish during Great Lent 2010 where he washed the feet of
parishoners on Great and Holy Thursday.