From October 2-16 [New Style reckoning], His Beatitude Metropolitan John, being assisted by Hieromonk Enoch, made a trip to the southern portion of the island of Mindanao, Philippines, at the petition of a group seeking entrance into the Orthodox Church. The group had originally been composed of clergy and laity that years earlier had left the heterodox Aglipayan group [i.e. the equivalent of the Anglicans in the Philippines] and sought to become Orthodox; however, they became part of the non-canonical and schismatic-heterodox “Moscow Patriarchate”, believing it was part of the Church. After severe abuse and the near destruction of themselves in this institution, they left, and eventually contacted our Synod in North America. After discussions with them beginning earlier this year progressed, it was decided that only a trip to the Philippines to ascertain the state of things and to determine what to do in this extreme situation had to be undertaken.
The result was that upon arrival, and after having talked to the leaders and the people, the individuals were received by either Baptism or Chrismation from the so-called “Moscow Patriarchate”. At which point, certain men who had been leaders of the group were [i.e. had led the people into leaving the Aglipayans in the search for Orthodoxy], after discussions with them, given training and Holy Orders, in an exercise of economy [since the only alternative was continued lack of Mysteries with its inevitable spiritual destruction upon a mass amount of people]. His Beatitude Metropolitan John spent the next two weeks examining the candidates proffered, and teaching them; as the group had already studied True Orthodoxy and was seeking it, after renouncing the heterodox “Moscow Patriarchate”, there was a great deal to build upon.
During the visit His Beatitude Metropolitan John, along with his assistant Hieromonk Enoch, by personal encounter and and by being related accounts, discovered many of the horrific evils of the “Moscow Patriarchate” in the Philippines, and the lies and monstrous deeds of the graceless “Moscow Patriarchate” that nearly led a multitude of souls to perdition [already a large number had given up even trying to become Orthodox before the visit; as the visit was the last attempt by many of these individuals to try to find Orthodoxy].
Two of the priests, Fr. Peter and Fr. Andreas, were given the rank of archpresbyter [with permission to wear the mitre], and set over the new Deanery directly under the Metropolitan. Baptisms, Chrismations, and Marriage blessings were given to a large number of people coming from the “Moscow Patriarchate”, and visits were made to several sites to receive the people from the non-canonical heterodox “Moscow Patriarchate.” The newly ordained clergy will continue with receptions by Baptisms, etc. Future visits are being planned to send representatives of the Metropolitan to continue the work in the Philippines, ahead of another visit by His Beatitude. The mission is entirely Orthodox Western Rite. A full report on all the details will be forthcoming, explaining entirely the situation. Below are a few photos.