The video that we see here below was publicly posted on 10/10/2015 on YouTube for the general public to see. It illustrates that the Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona has apparently violated the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese GENERAL REGULATIONS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF HOLY MONASTERIES IN THE GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA. (click to view them)
While Monasticism is an important part of Orthodox Spirituality, it is not the only place where holiness is found. It is also found in the local parish. Therefore it is important to have Monasteries that serve in conjunction with the parameters that they have said they would obey. Monasteries are to supplement the efforts of the parish, but not to serve and compete as parishes. This appears to be quite a profound and blatant disregard of the Regulations that violates one of the basic tenets of Monasticism. The rules that govern our Monasteries require that baptisms only occur there when there is a COMPELLING REASON DEEMED ACCEPTABLE BY THE LOCAL METROPOLITAN. Is it even possible to think of a compelling reason for there to be three different families having their baptisms at the same time and place? Our editors doubt it. Perhaps we will witness a new round of “Deny, Defend and Deflect”(click that title to read strategy) at work by our “leadership”. It is more likely that the Metropolitan in question had no prior knowledge of the baptisms. Is a disobedient Monastery a good example of humility and obedience to the ruling Hierarch and the GOA itself?
The video itself is a simple baptism with a few beautiful babies and beautiful music in a beautiful church at a Monastery. One may ask “what is wrong with that?” In and of itself there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that it seems that this violates the Monastery Regulations of the Archdiocese (The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) which is based out of New York, and not referring to the confusion that some have by using this term to refer to a “Metropolis” (formerly known as a Diocese)).
This video suggests that the Monastery has violated their agreement and obedience to these Regulations and the Hierarchs of the GOA themselves. Obedience is said to be a big-deal for Monasteries. To have one apparently openly violate this with impunity is also a big deal. That may be why this video was pulled off YouTube.