This is an update of the post "I'm No Mathematician" in which I took issue with Antioch substantially and consistently overstating it's North American membership. Simple calculations showed that it was not possible that The Orthodox Church could have the 6 Million North American parishioners that Antioch claimed.
In the June 2009 issue of The Word magazine, the Antiochians have revised the numbers. In the section "Orthodox World" on page 58, under the heading "The Orthodox Church Today: New Research Reveals Some Not-So-Obvious Facts about American Orthodox Christianity", there is the statement,
"With its historical roots in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska, Orthodox Christianity in the USA today accounts for about 1,200,000-1,300,000 faithful worshiping in 2,200-2300 local parishes spread all across the nation."
So, it seems Antioch is getting closer to the correct mathematical truth of the size of the Orthodoxy membership, but this revised figure still gives each church an average of over 550 members. The article is still too generous and speculative to be accurate as illustrated by the fact that they don't seem to know whether there are 2200 or 2300 parishes. Where are the missing 100 parishes and why is there a question? Should not each jurisdiction know exactly how many parishes they have? In 2oo7, according to SCOBA, there was a combined total of only 1661 parishes in all of North America. Have 539 parishes been established in only two years?- Not likely. I have yet to have anyone dispute my math (though I am not a Mathematician) which concludes that there are closer to 415,250 Orthodox Christians of any jurisdiction in ALL of North America, and less than 50, 000 of those belonging to the Antiochian Diocese.
Is this erroneous reporting of the membership statistics a willful intent to deceive or the status quo of the perplexing pattern of cryptic actions emanating from the leadership of Metropolitan Philip? 6 million is admittedly more impressive than a 1/2 million. To admit that there are only a mere 1/2 million Orthodox in all of North America, would reveal the fact that Orthodoxy in North America is never listed as a major religion on the major independent charts and statistics. It is difficult to believe that the Antiochian Diocese needs the likes of lowly Bloggers to help them count, but whether it is willful deception or fuzzy math, neither is a good commentary on the Metropolitan's leadership. The fact is clear-The Status quo is on shaky ground.
With the seeming obliviousness of it leaders and the current threat of a split within the ranks of the Antiochian North American Diocese, partly due to the now officially rebuked, uncanonical, attempted power grab of Metropolitan Philip and his alleged refusal of an audit of the Diocesan accounts, there follows an obvious question:
Antioch, It's getting late. Do you know where your children are?
Antioch would be well ahead of the game if it simply knew how many children they have. It is way past time for accountability in the Antiochian Diocese. Perhaps with such accountability the the Antiochians will deal with the question as to why they are still in communion with the heretical Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who works daily to lead the Antiochians into the belly of the World Council of Churches stating that all religions are equal paths to God and with Antiochian Patriarch Ignatius who rebuffs the Councils of the Church by communing with Monophysites.
"May their days be few and another take their office."