Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fr. Fenton's Corrections

The once-and-future Fr. John W. Fenton sent these corrections to this story:

In an otherwise balanced story, it is regrettable that the article by David Crumm in today's Detroit Free Press gives a misleading picture of the main attraction of Orthodoxy. Crumm suggests that people are attracted by the outward trappings of incense and icons – as if these are allurements used by Orthodoxy. Speaking for myself, while these things are not unimportant and help convey the Faith, the main attraction has been the focus on the Lord's mercy, the unabashed declaration of the fullness of the Truth, and the deep integration between faith and life as this is expressed in the Church's liturgy.

In addition, in a sidebar entitled "What are the biggest Orthodox groups locally," it is regrettable that the large numbers of Middle Eastern Orthodox Christians and converts who attend Antiochian Orthodox churches in Detroit are omitted. This especially regrettable since two of the largest Orthodox parishes – St George in Troy and St Mary's in Livonia – are of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. In addition to these two congregations, St Mary's in Berkeley and the new founded Holy Incarnation in Taylor serve both people of Middle Eastern descent as well as converts from other ethnic backgrounds.

This omission seems to be unintentional since the photograph that accompanies the article is take at St George in Troy; the article references the fact that Orthodoxy in America traces to the Middle East; and the article specifically states that I have been "welcomed into the Antiochian Orthodox Church, which has roots in the 1st Century city of Antioch, where St. Peter is believed to have established a church. That ancient town is in Turkey and the church's worldwide headquarters is in Syria."

I hope that these regrettable omissions do not detract from the largely positive and complimentary message of the article.

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