Breaking: Jonah Released!

Or so it is that Monomakhos has heard from various sources. Hopefully, this is correct. Ordinarily we don’t run with “word on the street” things unless it comes from more than two sources.

It has been known for some time that ROCOR has put in a formal request for His Beatitude to be released from the OCA. The Synod of the OCA waited until their recently concluded meeting to formalize the necessary arrangements.

More details will follow as they become available.

In the meantime, Glory to God!

Comments

  1. If this is true, Glory to God for all things.

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  2. I had seen it earlier but very frankly I was not sure that I should believe it or not. Hope and pray that it is true and that Metropolitan Jonah may get on with his life in peace doing what he does best…teaching the faith by word and deed.

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  3. Other Matthew says:

    It is true. God willing it will be finalized sometime this week. He will be received as a retired Metropolitan.

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  4. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    If this is true it is a watershed moment for American Orthodoxy. The EP would be very nervous if this has happened. Very, very nervous. Good for American Orthodoxy, not good for Constantionople. We should all stay tuned.

    Peter

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  5. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

    Didn’t they release His Grace, Bishop Nikolai (Soraich), to ROCOR as well? This, of course, releases the OCA from all and any financial obligation towards Metropolitan Jonah. I think he is a man of independent means anyhow, so this is not vital of course. He has really, to use his own language,”had it made” ever since he resigned, but it’s good if they got away from the almost terminal resentment of so many, including some contributors to Monomakhos!
    This is a step forward. Ever-memorable Bishop Basil Rodzianko was never accepted by ROCOR or anyone else after he bombed out so famously in the OCA’s Diocese of the West, but went on to build up a whole new persona and reputation in his post-retirement travels and residence near his relatives at St.John the Baptist ROCOR parish like Metropolitan Jonah who is living in all the comfort any Patriarch Kirill might find appropriate for him there. “Helga,” too, must be mightily relieved, if not ecstatic!.

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    • Other Matthew says:

      I haven’t the first idea who “Helga” is but yes, Bishop Nikolai has been released and accepted into ROCOR as well. As to what position he will hold, I don’t have the first idea, probably will still be considered a retired hirearch but still, I’m sure he will, like Metropolitan Jonah, be much happier in ROCOR.

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    • E. S. Winskill says:

      You Grace, can you please elaborate on your description of Bp. Basil Rodzianko “having bombed out so famously” as OCA bishop in SF? I know he wasn’t there long, and I’ve seen very non-specific statements as to why he departed (e.g. found “things that were not Orthodox” etc.), but never any actual descriptions, much less what qualified as “famously bombed out”.

      I only ask because my only encounter with Bp. Basil, at little Holy Trinity in Wilkeson Wa. in about 1981 made a great impact on me, and contributed in the (very) long run to sending me to Orthodoxy. His appearance, humility, and his short homily on the Transfiguration left we with this overriding impression: here is a true bishop of the Church of Christ!

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      • Other Matthew says:

        Bishop Tikhon is an angry and bitter man, you’re better off taking most things he says with a grain, or perhaps several pounds, of salt.

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      • E. S., I believe you can absolutely trust your instincts from your own experience with Bp. Basil (Rodzianko). Please don’t encourage and give weight to the words of a certain retired OCA Bishop, the character of many of whose comments on this blog speak for themselves for the discerning reader. Forgive me. It is not without reason that the Russian Orthodox who knew him well in his “retirement” from the OCA consider Bp. Basil a Saint (though, I don’t doubt he also had feet of clay and was a Saint-in-the-becoming earlier in life).

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    • dc visitor says:

      Some of the contributors to Monomakhos may also be contributors to Met Jonah since the settlement from the OCA brings him a princely $1000 per month. I believe he has his health insurance covered by OCA for another 18 months, after which he is on his own. He contributes to the care of his mother as well. This would make him a man of independent means? Vladyka, I think you may have been misinformed.

      Your comments about both Met. Jonah and Bishop Basil seem to have an inference that is less than charitable.

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      • Of course +Jonah is not a man of means-ridiculous! $1000.00 a month- I don’t think even covers the rent . . . but he is capable of working and can bring in enough if he has some freedom. However he needs to raise enough to buy land for a monastery which is costly. So if you want more Orthodox monastery’s in America, donate to his fund.

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      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

        dc visitor? I’m sure that if you check with many of the OCA clergy that are veterans of Bishop Basil’s incumbency as Bishop of San Francisco, they may enlighten you. One very popular anecdote revolves around a numbered “Ukaz” (one of many, many) establishing the proper location of a parish priest’s dog’s doghouse. I found a couple incidents to be of the type i imagine never happened ever anyplace else in the world. There was a Serbian Priest, Father Dragoliub Krapcevich, a graduate of the St. Sergius Academy, who transferred into the DOW because according to his Serbian Bishop he was to spiritual for parish life, and “we don’t need such “spiritual” (with emphasis) Priests. He was then assigned to the Bryte (West Sacramento) parish. Apparently, the parishioners agreed with the Serbian bishop, for a tremendous brouhaha, a long-lasting one, broke out in the parish, until Bishop Basil himself visited to intervene and address the problems. The event that precipitated his visit was that a parishioner had socked Father Dragoljub’s wife in the jaw so that she fell to the ground. Bishop Basil related that to us all at the ensuing Diocesan Council meeting. He said their actions were deplorable, and then he added, ‘But, you; know, she had it coming! She had a bad mouth!” How did Bishop Basil address the upheavals and disorder in that parish? He visited and served Divine Liturgy. He required that ALL parishioners go to Confession before the Liturgy. Immediately after Liturgy, when all had communed, he directed everyone to the parish hall next door and performed an exorcism over all of them. Imagine, exorcizing Orthodox Christians who had just gone to Confession and Communion!!!! Moreover, the exorcism involved them all facing West and SPITTING! dc visitor, my feeling on such matters was and is this: Why was Bishop Basil, like other hierarchs guilty of spritual offenses in the OCA, not tried and deposed, rather than allowed to retire (with the condition, of course, that he stay out of the DOW? Excuse me if you feel my expression “bombed out” wwas too extreme. I admit that there were other clergy and lay people, some active in the attacks against Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick that years later went after Bishop Basil from the start and for reprehensible reasons, but their shenigans are their own. They accused Bishop Basil of financial irregularities in England involving real estate. Never proved a thing.
        I still shudder when I think of those post-Communion exorcisms! I repeat, there is no reason to think that Bishop Basil was anything other than his followers consider him to be, after he no longer had anything to do with order or administration in the Church. He had a wonderfully aristocratic and kindly air, added to an attractive English accent, and had many anecdotes about prominent figures in the emigration—a real dispenser of Orthodox “lore.” But all his charisms on display in DC (and I doubt none of them) did not mean that he had showed an iota of any charism of leadership in ruling the DOW.
        Further, dc visitor you refer to “inferences.’ YOU are responsible for any inferences YOU draw from any of my words. YOUR inferences say nothing of any implications of mine. May I say that your remarks seem to IMPLY that the money to which you refer is Metropolitan Jonah’s sole means. This would mean that his late father came to DC as a pauper entirely dependent financially on Metropolitan Jonah, and who died leaving his wife and daughter also as paupers. Can you get a one bedroom or efficiency apartment in Northwest DC for $1000 a month? Who owns Metropolitan Jonah’s residence on Edmonds St.?
        I wish you’d let me know if you think what I’ve related is “uncharitable.” I admit it’s not sycophantic.

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        • Heracleides says:

          ‘…after he bombed out so famously in the OCA’s Diocese of the West…”

          I’m afraid you’ve confused Bishop Basil Rodzianko with yourself. Any other daft statements you’d care to contribute to this thread, your ‘grace’?

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        • You may be able to get an efficency for about $1000 a month in DC, then of course there is cost of living. This is not a cheap place to live.

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          • you know who says:

            Jonah would be eligable for health insurance on the exchanges, just like all other Americans who do not have health insurance. It is based on income so it would not break his bank, so to speak. Once he loses his insurance, he has a window of time to enroll online; he would not lose coverage.

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        • dc visitor says:

          I wish you’d let me know if you think what I’ve related is “uncharitable.” I admit it’s not sycophantic.

          You are quite right. Not sycophantic. Uncharitable does come to mind, but perhaps is not the word. Snarky, maybe? Gossipy? Perhaps jealous?

          [You do raise an interesting question however. The Orthodox have a service for exorcism? Aside from the process undergone by catechumens, I was unaware that the Orthodox did exorcisms. I don't think even the RCs do much of it anymore. I am intrigued. ( If you can refer me to any references on this I would be grateful.)]

          Much of the detail in your post – punches in the mouth and such, are just juicy details that have nothing to do with Bp Basil. And the “spiritual offenses?” 1) establishing location of dog house 2) Editorial comments on a Matuska’s “bad mouth” 3) an exorcism? I am no expert in canon law, but while these might seem eccentric, at what point do they rise to the level of needing a spiritual court? And even if they were true, did not this Bishop in retirement do a long ministry of Russian language teaching/ homilies broadcast in USSR that provided hope and spiritual nourishment? That was how I first heard about Bp Basil. A blessed ministry in retirement.

          Repentance and subsequent good works on Bp Basil’s part doesn’t count for much with you?

          As for Met Jonah, I believe he was financially assisting mother, father, and sister prior to the repose of the latter two. I would expect any big life insurance and or estate would go to his mother, not to him. Yet he helps her, from which I would infer no big windfall from the father. And while I don’t know the name of the owner of the Edmonds St residence, I heard he was a St Nicolas parishioner and may be helping Met Jonah by reducing the rent. +MJ, however, is not the owner.

          Numbers of others have helped +MJ after the OCA leadership treated him shabbily. Perhaps it reflects Christian compassion, or perhaps people are hungry for a shepherd. As you termed it, the STINKBOMB letter would make it very difficult for any person to get a teaching job, for example, in this economy.

          So people help. It’s a Christian thing.

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          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

            dc visitor. By speaking of the doghouse Ukaz I singled out one of a number of written Ukazes that His Grace ;promulgated with number and diocesan seal that could have been handled with a phone call. The multiplicity of such “Ukaz”s (I’m not being facetious or imaginative, the word “Ukaz #X” was written on all of them ), and their absolute triviality annoyed some of the American and Russian clergy; the Americans because of its foreignness and reference to secular regulations; the Russians because of its reference to the imperiousness of diocesan consistories in pre-revolutionary Russia. Do you understand that, dc visitor? if so then, let’s speak of the Bishop who said “She deserved it” about a Priest’s wife being knocked down by a blow from a parishioners fist. Do you find that acceptable? Should our Lord have said to the woman caught in adultery, “She deserved it”? You call Bishop Basil’s remark an “Editorial comment? ” I confess I don’t see that connecting to anybody’s “editorial comments,” ever.. And dc visitor,. I very carefully did not disparage Bishop Basil’s ministry at all after he left off trying to administer a diocese. When you say, ‘repentance and subsequent good works on Bishop Basil’s part doesn’t (sic) count with you,” why do you ask. i was very very careful NOT to judge Bishop Basil’s actions before or after he bombed out as ruling Bishop of the Diocese of the West. dc Visitor! He BOMBED OUT there. Of course his subsequent life uplifted and encouraged and impressed many. What in the world does that have to do with whether or not he bombed out before the period of those good works? Nowhere did allege that Bishop Basil had committed spiritual offenses… By the way, Bishop Basil and I were always on EXTREMELY good terms—in fact, the two or three times we met after he retired and after I became a Bishop, he thanked me “for all you’ve done to correct my mistakes in the Diocese.” As for the Edmunds Street residence, I was a parishioner and Deacon when the parish bought a large brick house near the Cathedral, and since Father Arkady and his wife did not want to move in there, I was asked to live there for security reasons, and did so until I was asked by Archpriest Dimitri Gisetti invited me to replace his protodeacon Grechishkin in Los Angeles. Perhaps yet another dwelling on Edmunds is the one in which Metropolitan Jonah lives, rather than in the one owned by the St. Nicholas corporation? I asked because Metropolitan Jonah was quoted as inviting people after a funeral, ‘to my house on Edmunds Street.”
            I’m amazed that anyone professing affection for Bishop Basil would ask if the exorcism he did was something that Orthodox do! Aside from the exorcism of catechumens before Baptism, I believe you’ll find that one or more services on Baptism are found in thisor that edition of The Priest’s Prayerbook, probably containing the well-known prayers of St. Basil the Great. Ask your parish priest. If he’s a graduate of a seminary and doesn’t know the answer, then ask a graduate of Holy Trinity Seminary which sometimes proves useful.
            By the way, I’ve never really felt jealousy, but I have no shortage of temptations!
            I mostly felt sorry for Bishop Basil. He was born with strikes against him, since his grandfather had been blamed and apparently never forgiven by the Russian bureaucrat-politicians that settled in Yugoslavia for having been instrumental in talking the last Anointed Emperor into laying down his sacred charge, so that Bishop Basil turned to a career in the Serbian, rather than Russian Church’s priesthood. Later, as a Serbian Priest in London, he lost his life’s companion prematurely. Some persons, whom I choose not to name, persuaded him to abandon his ministry in England and move to America to become a diocesan bishop. He didn’t ‘get back on the right track’ until he was relieved of any diocesan responsibilities, and he again became the intelligent, productive, and pious Priest he had always been. He was full of Orthodox lore and anecdotes and a MOST entertaining conversationalist. Absolutely charming!!! He was almost “right out of the movies,’ no? Memory eternal!

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            • DC Indexman says:

              Again in the interest of fighting for truth alone:

              I was a parishioner and Deacon when the parish bought a large brick house near the Cathedral, and since Father Arkady and his wife did not want to move in there, I was asked to live there for security reasons,,,,,Perhaps yet another dwelling on Edmunds is the one in which Metropolitan Jonah lives, rather than in the one owned by the St. Nicholas corporation? I asked because Metropolitan Jonah was quoted as inviting people after a funeral, ‘to my house on Edmunds Street.”

              The Cathedral in DC does own a house on Edmunds that is the Cathedral’s rectory. It is used by cathedral clergy only. Metropolitan Jonah rents and has rented for four years now, a privately owned home on the same street. Rental homes in the area go for $4,200 – 4,800 a month in rent. The owners of the home are not giving Met. Jonah any discounts.

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              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                DC Indexman is quite correct about this. The Metropolitan is renting the house between the Cathedral and the house on Edmunds the Cathedral parish owns.

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            • dc visitor says:

              Your Grace,

              I appreciate your explanations. Before reading your post, I had never heard of a Ukaz, and though it sounds official, I am still picking up the meaning from context. Is it only in the OCA that annoying Russian or American clergy might land you in a spiritual court?

              Your grace indicated above:

              Nowhere did (sic) allege that Bishop Basil had committed spiritual offenses…

              Your Grace, I was reacting to the snippet below, where you grouped Bp Basil with the other hierarchs guilty of spiritual offenses.

              Why was Bishop Basil, like other hierarchs guilty of spritual offenses in the OCA, not tried and deposed, rather than allowed to retire

              from your March 25, 2014 1:29pm post

              Actually, these incidents you describe are embarrassing mistakes and examples of poor judgement. I have examples of these in my own life, being a fallen sinner. My point, however, was that I didn’t believe that any of them rose to the level of violations of canon law requiring trial and deposition. (If that is the correct word?)

              You had your Air Force experience that helped prepare you for the episcopate’s “administrative” responsibilities. Many, dare I say most of the OCA Synod may not have equivalent life experiences. Yet some are forcibly retired while others rock on despite deposable offenses, not just bad judgement or inexperience.

              Glory to God that Bp Basil found his way and was able to serve God and His church, albeit not in his diocesan see. I pray that Met Jonah may have a rich and fruitful ministry in his ‘retirement,’ as well.

              It is very hard to know what constitutes ‘breaking the rules” in the OCA. Met Jonah was forbidden to name himself locum tenens. Met Tikhon just named himself locum tenens of Canada, in direct contravention of that rule. I guess that the OCA is just “the Church of what’s Happenin’ Now.” [HT Flip Wilson]

              P.S. If I understood my hosts in D.C. correctly, Met Jonah’s house is next door to the one owned by the Church.

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              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                dc visitor, you continue to press me on the topic of a spiritual court or trial. There were at least two senior Archpriests in the OCA that wrote to the Metropolitan and accused Bishop Basil of outright SACRILEGE in the exorcising of Orthodox people directly as they came from Communion of the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ. To have exorcised them BEFORE admitting them to the Chalice would have ‘meet and right,” I believe that some just thought that Bishop Basil had “lost it”, gone bonkers, or whatever, and therefore should not be tried. This idea, I believe, prevailed in Crestwood, where were located those who engineered His Grace’s immigration in the U.S. Perhaps a canonical trial would have been a better choice than retirement; after all, he might have ended up being exonerated. But he was given a choice. He took retirement.
                No one may be named a locum tenens of a vacant diocese without the approval of the Holy Synod. Metropolitan Tikhon committed no offense whatsoever in becoming locum tenens in Canada by decision of the Holy Synod.
                Here is what your ostensible neighbor, DC Indexman writes relative to your claim about Metropolitan Jonah’s residence: ” Metropolitan Jonah rents and has rented for four years now, a privately owned home on the same street. Rental homes in the area go for $4,200 – 4,800 a month in rent. The owners of the home are not giving Met. Jonah any discounts.”
                And Metropolitan Jonah and family have no substantial financial resources of their own? Just sayin’.

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                • Other Matthew says:

                  His father didn’t retire until he was well in his 80s and then only because his symptoms of dementia. Vladyka Jonah may have a little money but he is *not* a “man of means”. He is able to keep afloat and that’s about it.

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                • dc visitor says:

                  Your Grace,

                  You might be right, but when I see resolutions such as the one below, enforced against Met Jonah and ignored for Met Tikhon, it indicates a church uninterested in doing things in good order, but rather using one set of rules for the “in[power] crowd” and another set for anyone else.

                  Sodomy is ignored if it is “one of us,” but emails must be excoriated using the sexual misconduct policy, if the clergy is “not one of us.”

                  “MINUTES OF THE SPRING SESSION OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA, Diocese of the Midwest Chancery Chicago, Illinois” dated May 6, 2011 and available here (PDF).

                  Resolution 1 – LOCUM TENENCY

                  Be it resolved this day, May 3, 2011, by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting in the City of Chicago, IL, pertaining to Article VI, Section 8 of the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America which states “In the event of a vacancy in the office of diocesan bishop, a locum tenens, appointed by the Metropolitan, shall convoke and preside over the Diocesan Assembly whose sole purpose at this time shall be the election of a new diocesan bishop,” that the Metropolitan shall appoint a locum tenens from among the other hierarchs of the Synod and not himself, so as not to burden the Primate with supervision of multiple dioceses.

                  I have a heavy heart for the faithful of the OCA. You yourself have documented a number of other incidents where exceptions were made for cronies.

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                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                    “Other Matthew.” You wrote, “Vladyka Jonah may have a little money but he is *not* a “man of means”. He is able to keep afloat and that’s about it.”

                    I believe you are mistaken. Metropolitan Jonah has chosen to stay and rent a house in one of the highest rent districts in DC and in the world. It’s my conviction that such is possible only to a man of means. Get it?

                    i was born into a hourly wage-earning family in a near suburb of Detroit, not far from Eminem’s childhood home. After my paternal grandfather had disappeared, my father, the oldest of three children and the sole support of them and his mother, was in the 9th grade at that time, and had to drop out of school forever in order to support his family. I worked my way through college, which I began a year and half after graduating from high school when I had finally bussed enough lunch counters and stocked enough stockrooms in a department store to get through two years of college away from home. i returned to Detroit and took my junior year at Wayne State in Detroit, when a semester’s tuition was $125.00 and I was only able to take my senior year after enlisting in the Army for three years and getting the Korean War GI Bill. I find it somewhat offensive when some of Metropolitan Jonah’s supporters imply that he is poor. and in need of national fund-raising!
                    To be able to “just keep afloat” in NW DC is surely meant to be a humorous remark?
                    DC Visitor say I myself “have documented a number of other incidents where exceptions were made for cronies.’ Please, point out what “cronies” of MINE were the beneficiaries of any exceptions, OK? One Archbishop now asleep in the Lord was, indeed, a beneficiary of exceptions. After an episcopate in one diocese in which his periodic alcoholic blackouts and penchant for ‘letting his hair down through drinking with the presbytery” and even permitting himself to spread and massage shaving cream over the bare body of one of the priest’s sons, he was allowed to TRANSFER to another, larger and higher paying diocese near his natural home without anyone requiring “transparency and accountability from him or anyone else on that subject. Even one of the main advocates of that accountability and transparency NEVER demanded it of that hierarch, who saw him and blessed him to serve even on his diocesan council, though he was cohabiting in a quasi-marriage with another man.
                    Thank you for quoting a resolution of the Holy Synod relative to modifying the OCA Statute. I was not aware that Metropolitan Jonah had ever wanted to appoint himself locum tenens of a vacant diocese, but i AM aware that the Holy Synod, may over-ride that resolution and any other they see fit to override for the good of the Church and man’s salvation.
                    You refer to the “excoriation of emails.” What’s that about ?
                    The Holy Synod accepted the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah and convened an All-American Council at which they replaced Metropolitan Jonah with Metropolitan Tikhon canonically.
                    I too have a heavy heart for the OCA–The Holy Synod has YET to explain to the Orthodox Church in America how they could have elected a novice, tyro bishop to be the senior among them, one who would weakly resign (perhaps with some relief) soon after being installed, while they went on to attempt to blacken absolutely the reputation of Metropolitan Jonah through the notorious Stinkbomb letter, rather than admit, ‘We made a mistake.”
                    I note that Metropolitan Jonah is STILL IN THE OCA. Perhaps the OCA should consider that by keeping their hold on him, they may be depriving ROCOR faithful in Australia or England or wherever from having a hierarch of such international renown as their very own Bishop!

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        • Ladder of Divine Ascent says:

          ” Immediately after Liturgy, when all had communed, he directed everyone to the parish hall next door and performed an exorcism over all of them. Imagine, exorcizing Orthodox Christians who had just gone to Confession and Communion!!!! Moreover, the exorcism involved them all facing West and SPITTING!”

          Where’s the problem here? Don’t we have “exorcisms” that are just prayers for protection from demonic influence, and not JUST full blown “exorcisms” performed to kick out demons that have reached the point of outright possession, or near possession?

          The other prayers of exorcism, as recorded in the “Book of Needs”, are written primarily by two of the Fathers of the Church, St. Basil and St. Chrysostom. They are prayers for those who are afflicted by demons and sicknesses in general….

          Characteristic to exorcism prayers of St. Chrysostom is the mention of the works, passions and Resurrection of Christ, one by one, throughout the prayers, with the specific phrase, “Jesus Christ rebukes you, O Demon …”, repeated extensively throughout his prayers. Some of these exorcism prayers are lengthy, while others are short. There is also a prayer for the banishment of the “evil eye”. It also should be used with great care, since it sometimes is requested out of ignorance of the physical causes of illness, especially of circumstances unknown to the person. Therefore, it is better that prayers of healing rather than that for the “evil eye” be requested.

          These exorcism prayers were usually read for protection from affliction rather than after some demonic influence might have taken place.

          Also, what’s so shocking about spitting at Satan? I’m always disappointed when our parish priest doesn’t let the converfts actually spit in the church, just pretend to spit at Satan.

          Please tell me this doesn’t boil down to, “that guy really believed in the Jesus of Orthodoxy as recorded in the Bible, and therefore, [snicker, snicker], get this, [laugh], a literal Satan and literal Hell.”

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          • Rdr Thomas says:

            Spitting, chewing gum, etc., should not be done after receiving Holy Communion, for obvious reasons.

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            • Rdr Thomas says:

              I’m genuinely confused as to why this would get down-voted. Even Roman Catholics believe and teach this. Neither I nor Vladyka Tikhon are making this stuff up, and a quick Google search will confirm that this is a common teaching.

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          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

            “Ladder of Divine Ascent,” are you not aware that in many parishes mostly Greek, anyone who has received the Mysteries at Divine Liturgy is prohibited from kissing anything—not the Cross, not the Priest’s hand, not any icon or the Gospel Book until at least sundown because no one would risk leaving the slightest trace of Christ’s Body and Blood on the item they would kiss? To SPIT, even if on Satan< would be a much more horrifying thing to do for any believer. Are you a member of the
            Church? Do you believe that upon receiving the Holy Mysteries one may be inhabited by demons that need casting out?
            You seem to have a delusion; namely, that I oppose or argue against exorcism(s). What an idea! I've lost track of the number of exorcisms of catechuments before Baptism i myself have done! I hope you pseudonym does not indicate you are close to Metropolitan Jonah! You need catechization, badly!

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            • HUH?…Everywhere I go, people kiss the chalice after receiving communion. Same with the cross at the end of Liturgy. Now if that is a custom in Greek churches, so be it. But I wouldnt say its the norm for the OCA.

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              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                Robert, in Greek Orthodox parishes, kissing the Chalice, the Priest’s hand, or an Icon is usually strictly prohibited after Communion. You are quite right that the practice is allowed and even encouraged in Russian parishes….OCA parishes, etc. No one said it was the norm in the OCA. Did I not write: “in many parishes MOSTLY GREEK, anyone who has received the Mysteries at Divine Liturgy is prohibited from kissing anything—not the Cross, not the Priest’s hand, not any icon or the Gospel Book until at least sundown because no one would risk leaving the slightest trace of Christ’s Body and Blood on the item they would kiss? OCA and ROCOR communicants DO kiss the Chaliced and so do Priests and Deacons in the Altar after partaking from the Chalice. After that, as you know, the OCA and ROCOR parishes (but NOT Greek parishes) all provide wine and bread with which to,hopefully, remove all traces of the Mysteries from communicant’s mouths. Nevertheless, spitting often requires producing spittle through stimulation of the throat, ‘hawking up’. The whole idea of exorcising communicants who just communed, with or without spitting (in the given case, (Bishop Basil required spitting) seems sacrilegious indeed, AS IF ONE “HAD NOT PERCEIVED THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.’

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                • Other Matthew says:

                  Yeah that’s not true, I was in the GOA for 3 years and went to many different parishes and even spent some time at Holy Cross. Now if you mean Churches actually *in* Greece, I can’t speak to that. Keep giving us your “expert” opinions though, they make for amusing reading.

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                • Tom Kanelos says:

                  Your Grace, in most GOA parishes the chalice almost always not kissed, but I have seen it happen occasionally and it dos not seem to be prohibited. Also andithoron is usually offered to those who have received ostensibly top clear the mouth of remnants of the Holy Communion. It is also my experience that the when the andithoron is distributed at the end of liturgy by the priest, his hand is also kissed.

                  My mother taught us to never have gum on a day we receive Holy Communion nor do we spit. Actually she taught us it is impolite to spit at ANY time, but especially after receiving Holy Communion. :) I have taught my children the same.

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                • Vladyka is quite wrong about this stuff. In parts of Greece it is the custom to kiss the chalice. I’ve never been to a Greek parish where one does not kiss the priest’s hand at dismissal when receiving the antidoron. Even in parishes in the US where it is not the custom to kiss the chalice, it is usually permitted. Some Greek priests do not wish people to kiss the chalice because they are concerned about spilling the gifts, or at least that is the story they tell. However, Russians of course manage to do it at every single communion service without spilling a drop so it’s not rocket science.

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      • dc resident says:

        dc visitor, you are quite right. Met. Jonah’s financial reality is just as you described. His continuing pastoral work of services, retreats and Holy Scripture talks is without compensation. Without the help of friends and supporters, he would not be able to live on the OCA settlement. Your Grace, Bishop Tikhon, your scenario is misinformed.

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  6. Fr. Alexander Lebedeff says:

    One should not “jump the gun.”

    Metropolitan Jonah has NOT been granted a canonical release by the OCA.

    The Holy Synod of the OCA has made it clear that there are a lot of matters that still need to be discussed and certain conditions that have to be met before this can be resolved.

    The approval of His Holiness the Patriarch of Russia must also be obtained for this to occur.

    Bishop Nikolai (Soraich), on the other hand, HAS received a canonical release from the OCA, and his transfer has been approved by the Patriarch of Russia.

    Fr. Alexander Lebedeff

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    • Other Matthew says:

      With all due respect Father, your facts are a little off. His Holiness +KIRILL approved Metropolitan +JONAH’s transfer long ago and once Vladyka +JONAH agrees to the conditions set by the Synod (which are frankly utter nonsense but totally doable and he will agree to them) it will be finished. Look for the official announcement later in the week.

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    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

      Many thanks for the correction, Father Alexander! And many years to ROCOR and its Synod! Bishop Nikolai has always been the hardest working of all the Bishops in America, and his determined recovery from cancer has been truly wonderful to behold. And thank God.
      I’m surprised that Metropolitan Jonah’s partisans here DID “jump the gun”, apparently without checking with Metropolitan Jonah himself first!

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    • Catherine Jefferson says:

      Thank you for the information, Fr. Alexander. I hope that the OCA does release him soon, though. Every day he remains in the OCA at this point is another day for anger and resentment to fester over what happened. That’s not good — not for anybody.

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  7. M. Woerl says:

    May God grant peace to both! The last time ROCOR received a retired OCA hierarch was in 1972, when Archbishop Amvrossy (Merezhko, +1974) of blessed memory, was, in his own words, “I was compelled to beseech His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret that he accept me as a member of the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the true witness of the legacy of the martyred Patriarch Tikhon.”

    The history of both the North American Metropolia and its “successor,” the OCA, have been troubled by a seeming disregard for the truthful portrayal of many circumstances, as well as the penchant for certain “well known” clergy to ride roughshod over the Hierarchy. Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky, +1934), credited as the “founder” of the Metropolia, was a somewhat mercurial personality. Despite deliberate varnishing (perhaps a typo of the previous word with the “r” omitted might be more accurate) of the truth, primarily by Fathers Schmemann & Meyendorff, Met. Platon did abandon his diocese of Odessa, leaving Russia with his fellow “monarchist bishops” of ROCOR, of which he was a founding member, of which he submitted to the jurisdiction of until 1926. Yes, he was “appointed” to North America by Patriarch Tikhon, after requesting that ROCOR recommend and intercede to have that appointment made. He unleashed Aftimios Ofiesh on America with an “American Autocephalous Church,” for ALL “Americans,” except those under his jurisdiction … another “source” of OCA “theory,” the Paris group under Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky, +1946), most notable perhaps for its jurisdiction hopping, was also built on shaky ground, guided by Met. Evlogy’s entourage, and a group of philosophers exiled from the Soviet Union. While one could go on for weeks with the catalogue of embroidery, it is not difficult to see the “big picture.” At any rate, the dreams of what the Autocephaly would accomplish have turned out to be just that, dreams. Misguided, not very well thought out. As, evidently, the continuing dreams of an “Autocephalous American Church” in connection with the Assembly of Bishops, as, apparently, Bishop Savas Zembilis “let the cat out of the bag” concerning the Phanar’s plans for America …

    “26 … which built his house upon the sand:

    27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell …”

    The falling of this house may not be so “great” by the time it happens …

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    • Isa Almisry says:

      “As, evidently, the continuing dreams of an “Autocephalous American Church” in connection with the Assembly of Bishops, as, apparently, Bishop Savas Zembilis “let the cat out of the bag” concerning the Phanar’s plans for America”
      Only the totally blind are unaware of the Phanar’s plans for America. ROCOR said it isn’t going to implement those plans, what makes you think the OCA will?

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      • Disgusted With It says:

        “ROCOR said it isn’t going to implement those plans, what makes you think the OCA will?”

        It seems to me that anything the OCA will or will not do in this regard is pretty irrelevant. They do NOT have a seat at the table as an Autocephalous Church. In regard to the upcoming Great Council, the OCA will continue to be seen as nothing more than a self-governing part of the Moscow Patriarchate. They will be told what to do by the assembly, at which they are more or less “guests,” and if they do not go along with it they will be cut off canonically. That is the reality of the situation that the OCA central administration does their best to hide.

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        • Timothy Wearing says:

          Dear Disgusting:

          With the current events in Russia and the world realizing that the ROC/ROCOR are really “arms” of Putin’s KGB govt, the OCA will continue to distance herself from Russia. As far as “Bart’s Big 2016 Party” is concerned, it won’t happen; esp. not in Istanbul on the grounds of Hagia Sophia. Istanbul didn’t recognize the Kiev/Rus autocephaly for 141 years and only after much gold & jewels were exchanged. The OCA won’t do this. The OCA’s autocephaly is real and Bart’s “formal” non-recognition is politically driven via the GOA in the U.S. It is only when the Orthodox in the U.S. really start to follow Orthodox Canon Law; that is, bishops (even Patriarchs) only have authority in their own territory and Russia, nor Damascus, nor Istanbul, etc. have no real authority in N. America, that unity will occur in the U.S. Until Bart’s Big Party, the ancient Patriarchs will continue to fight among themselves and the ROC will continue to reveal itself as a KGB stronghold. We are Orthodox Americans; keep your overseas bishops syphoning monies from Americans and placing foreign operatives here.

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          • Timothy,

            First of all, read a history book. The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and there is no longer a Committee for State Security (“KGB”). Now the security service is called the Federal Security Service. It is no longer the arm of a militantly atheistic regime. End of story.

            And, for the record, the ROCOR was much, much less inclined than the Metropolia/OCA to cooperate with the Soviet Union and the KGB dominated church there when it did exist.

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            • Abbouna Michel says:

              Right, and “W” looked into Putin’s eyes, heard the tearful tale of the cross that his mom hid and eventually gave to him, and “saw his soul.”

              Believer as I am in a theological anthropology that sees human nature as fundamentally good but flawed, I prefer the dictum, “Once a Chekisty, always a Chekisty!”

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              • “Abbouna”,

                I don’t believe we need to debate that W was not the brightest light in the firmament. As to Putin, it was common for grandmothers to have their grandchildren baptized in the Soviet Union. Very common. Old women could get away with more and be dismissed as harmless. They passed on the faith and this is quite well documented in works about life in the former Soviet Union.

                A security service is a security service. The point is that this one no longer operates in service of militant athiest socialists but theist mixed market capitalists. Now authoritarianism has always and will always be with us. For a single person, btw, it is “chekist, чекист”, not “chekisty, чекисты”, which is plural. And the Cheka was dissolved in 1929, 23 years before Putin’s birth.

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          • Engaged observer says:

            “With the current events in Russia and the world realizing that the ROC/ROCOR are really “arms” of Putin’s KGB govt”

            Please stop trying to scare people with ridiculousness like this.

            America and the West love to hate Russia — always have, and probably always will. It’s interesting, though, to note a contrast — in the cold war days of 30-60 years ago, America could claim the moral high ground in opposing Russia as an atheistic communist state. We in the West did not want to live in a godless, communist regime, and thus we protected ourselves from it and defeated communism and atheism in the former Soviet Union.

            Today, however, we seem to hate Russia simply because it’s a fun game of geopolitics. America and the West certainly cannot claim moral high ground any longer in the U.S. vs Russia game.

            Look at the double standards that we throw around and expect everyone in the world to ignore only because we said so. We happily bombed Serbia and made them give away Kosovo in the late 1990s. I’m not Serbian, but I’ve been told this was akin to the “international community” claiming that Massachusetts is not American and then the international community bombs the Northeastern USA until we relent and give away Massachusetts. Apparently, (because it makes our oil cheaper?) it’s OK to make the Serbs lose Kosovo but now when Russia takes back Crimea (which has historically been Russian but was given away to the Ukrainian SSR by Khrushchev’s signature in the 1950s), we choose to throw a hissy fit?

            I’m a born-and-raised American, but I’m getting tired of Western politicians’ selective hissy fits. It’s OK for Victoria Nuland to connive to get neo-Nazis in power in western Ukraine as long as they are in opposition to Russia? We in the West flip out when Russia wants to limit gay propaganda that is spread to its youth under 18, because our self-castrated Western culture has totally capitulated to an aggressively hateful homosexual political and medial elite, and we are now used to our teenagers “coming out” at age 13? And somehow we now think this is bad if a teenager can’t self-declare as gay before he or she can drive?

            Puh-leeze.

            The Kursk-root icon is visiting our ROCOR parish soon. I doubt there will be any KGB agents in tow, but I will let you know.

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  8. Ted Sobakanov says:

    Good, now Soraich can destroy diocese of ROCOR as he destroyed Alaska!

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  9. I Was There says:

    Knowing how the rumor mill works it is understandable that many people have their doubts; however, I attended the lecture and Lenten retreat offered by Met. Jonah this past Saturday at the ROCOR cathedral in DC. While giving the introduction, Fr. Victor Potapov opened by saying that a 2-page letter from Met. Tikhon had been received by Met. Hilarion granting a canonical release to Met. Jonah to go to the ROCOR. He then introduced Met. Jonah as “a bishop”, paused, and then corrected himself by adding “our bishop”. Later in a side conversation, Met. Jonah himself confirmed he had been released. I seriously doubt that either of them would make such statements in public unless it was a done deal.

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  10. I’m afraid that Fr. Alexander, and Bishop Tikhon, are mistaken.

    A very good friend of Metropolitan Jonah’s who saw him yesterday at the ROCOR Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, DC, told me yesterday that Metropolitan Jonah received word from Metropolitan Hilarion before the start of the Divine Liturgy that the ROCOR had agreed to receive him.

    I expect that until the ROCOR and OCA agree on the terms by which he will be received into the ROCOR (as a retired bishop as the OCA would prefer, or as an active bishop), the OCA and the ROCOR will not comment publicly.

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    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

      Your fear is unjustified. ‘Agreed to receive” is NOT ‘received.” Can’t you see that ROCOR’s agreement to receive is not receiving, but a reference to an event that has not taken place? Father Alexander indicated that certain conditions had not been met. Met by whom, Anthony? Metropolltan Jonah? The OCA’s Holy Synod? ROCOR?
      Your statement beginning, “I expect…” SHOWS that agreement on terms has NOT been met.
      I’m pretty sure that Metropolitan Hilarion would not receive a hierarch without a canonical release.

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      • Your Grace, I am not saying that he has been released already, but that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has already approved of the canonical release. I have heard this directly from people who spoke with Metropolitan Jonah today. He confirmed that His Holiness is on board. All that remains is for Metropolitan Jonah to agree to the OCA’s conditions (he will be received as a retired bishop and the OCA will no longer provide any financial pension or health insurance), and His Holiness is preparing to sign the necessary paperwork authorizing the transfer into ROCOR.

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        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

          Anthony, This is what you wrote: “I’m afraid that Fr. Alexander, and Bishop Tikhon, are mistaken. ”
          Please point out where Father Alexander and I are mistaken, ok?

          Father Alexander wrote;
          “Metropolitan Jonah has NOT been granted a canonical release by the OCA.
          The Holy Synod of the OCA has made it clear that there are a lot of matters that need to be discussed and certain conditions that have to be met before this can be resolved.”

          GET IT? Patriarch Kirill can give blessings until he’s blue in the face, but if the OCA Holy Synod’s conditions are not met, this means that Metropolitan Jonah goes nowhere.

          I’m pretty sure that after the affair of the (former) Priest, George Behazi, Metropolitan Hilarion will be extremely vigilant in receiving any petitioners from the OCA without a canonical release.

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          • Anthony says:

            I’m afraid that Your Grace is mistaken. The reverse is true:

            The OCA’s “Holy” Synod may resist Metropolitan Jonah’s release til its eminent members are “blue in the face”, but when Patriarch Kirill gives his blessing for it to take place, wiser men allow it to happen.

            When the Patriarch speaks, wise men listen.

            It is, after all, largely at the pleasure of this same Patriarch and his Synod that the OCA is even nominally recognised as autocephalous by the Moscow Patriarchate today. I say nominally because one would think the Mother Church, if truly recognising the autocephaly of the “Daughter”, would not operate parishes either directly (MP) or indirectly (ROCOR) on what the Mother, nominally, sees as the Daughter’s canonical territory.

            Wise men do not bite the hand that feeds them.

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      • Max the Church Mouse says:

        The OCA Synod agreed to release him on the condition that the ROCOR Synod treats him as badly as the OCA Synod has, restricting where he may live and what he may do.

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        • Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-16. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

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  11. With the death of Met. Philip and now Met. Jonah being received from the OCA by the Russian Church Abroad, the American church will be forever changed. This will be very interesting… not just to see things enfold this year but to look ahead to envision what the face of the American Orthodox Church will be in five years… with the loss of the nearly irreplaceable Met. Philip and the loss in another way of Met. Jonah…

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    • Timothy Wearing says:

      Here’s what the landscape of Orthodoxy in America will look like:

      —The Antiochians with massive immigration will revert to what they were in 1950. Their next Met will be an old country lackey. More re-trenching.
      —The OCA will grow as the only real American Orthodox Church.
      —The Greeks will continue to try to become an American Church alternative, but they will never get rid of their Greek ethnocentism and their youth will continue to flee.
      —ROCOR, connected to the MP, will flounder like flounders. Their insistence on “real traditional Orthodoxy” while an arm of the Putin govt, will continue to marginalize themselves.
      —No real administrative unity and + Bart will continue to be laughed at as the “Wizard of Oz,” the blow hard behind the curtain with no universal authority.
      —The MP and ROC will no longer be trusted. As an arm of Putin’s “Worldwide Control,” they will lose any credibility in America.

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        Mr Wearing, those are extremely rash predictions. As I am a member of the OCA I’d like to think that you are on to something regarding that jurisdiction but as of now, there has been no growth and much attrition.

        While I do believe that there will be a great influx of Arabs into the AOCNA, I believe that His Eminence has placed in charge some very good bishops who will follow his lead.

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        • The OCA is still growing in the Diocese of the South. …The parish here is thriving and may soon spin off a mission.

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          • John Panos says:

            Not for long, StephenD. Syosett is playing the South, dinking around about getting a bishop in, trying to make sure he is a loyal party member.

            Meanwhile, the South atrophies under their ‘chancellor’ who cares more about looking good in Syosett than for the people in missions.

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            • StephenD says:

              You are certainly correct…The people seem to be very happy with Father Gerasim but Syosett must think he may be a Holy Man like Archbishop Dmitri of Blessed Memory..We cannot have that!

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            • DOS Member says:

              John,

              I too am disgusted with the Syosset games and how the DOS is being played. Promises made, promises broken time after time from our diocesan chancellor. He won’t fight for the DOS against those who have allowed us to be without a bishop for over 5 years. That is a scandal and we are not doing as good as we did when Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory was our hierarch or even when Metropolitan Jonah was our Locum Tenens.

              I am afraid that we are going to get stuck, like Alaska and Eastern Pennsylvania with a one candidate, take him or leave him, “nomination” process when the Synod gets around to “vetting” a “suitable” candidate.

              Now that Bishop Mark is on the Synod, I am sure he won’t be in any hurry to help the DOS who he blames for his mistreatment. And, I don’t think our “chancellor” will stand up to any of them for the good of the DOS.

              It is high time that we are allowed to have multiple candidates to nominate from and I am not going to stand for another soviet balloting process that other OCA dioceses were forced to accept.

              PS. No Fr David Brum either, unless he wants to go to Seminary for three years like Fr Gerasim obediently accomplished. If the Diocese of the West wants him as their Auxiliary, good for them, but that does not mean he is now a candidate for the DOS. Are you listening Archbishop Benjamin? No more interference into the life of another diocese.

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              • Philippa.alan says:

                I am afraid that we are going to get stuck, like Alaska and Eastern Pennsylvania with a one candidate, take him or leave him, “nomination” process when the Synod gets around to “vetting” a “suitable” candidate.

                As well you should be afraid. Not only will the DOS get saddled with a bishop the Synod chooses, but so will any other Diocese lacking a bishop (read that as DOM too).

                Though Our Gracious and Merciful God never leaves us or abandons us, He does let us choose our own path when we reject His will. Out of humility and love, He will remain on the sidelines, not interfering but always ready to hear our cry for mercy and save us. As I said before, the Synod ignored the Holy Spirit at the election of Metropolitan Tikhon. The Synod is floating down the river in their canoe, paddling along oblivious to the rocks and great falls up ahead. The Holy Spirit is on the river bank calling to the Synod, but they ignore Him. He’ll let them go along their merry way, waiting and hoping for their repentance. Until that time, we will see men put on bishop’s thrones and in residences under the supposition of “trying them out to see if they play nice in the sandbox” without canoncial election so the Synod gets the type of “guy” they want to carry the party line.

                My 2 cents. YMMV.

                Lord have mercy.

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              • really? says:

                I fully agree with the statement of “DOS” with one exception. Although +Mark may blame the South for his “mistreatment,” there was no mistreatment of Bishop Mark by the South. On the contrary, he systematically savaged everyone beloved by the South, Fr. John, Fr Joe, Met. Jonah, and finally, Archbishop Dmitri. At each step, parishioners pleaded with him not to take the actions he took. Although under obedience to Met Jonah as auxillary bishop, he was not only disobedient to him, but colluded with those who sought to destroy him.

                And, repeating his behavior with +Phillip of blessed memory, +Mark turned and blamed those he attacked. And although payment was delayed, he has now received his 30 pieces.
                I pray for his repentance even as my own.

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            • Carl Kraeff says:

              Sorry you feel this way. I invite you to Holy Apostles Orthodox Church this Saturday for Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am to be concelebrated by Archimandrite Gerasim, Archpriest Marcus, Thomas, and others from the Carolinas Deanery of the Diocese of the South. Afterwards, we will have the opportunity to hear from Father Gerasim, whom we hope and pray will be our next arch-pastor. BTW, far from atrophying under Chancellor Father Marcus, the Diocesan missions are doing fine. If you have any information to the contrary, please contact Father Marcus or the relevant dean (hopefully along with an accompanying donation):

              Appalachian Deanery
              Priest David Arnold, Dean

              Dallas Deanery
              Archpriest Basil Zebrun, Interim Dean

              Carolinas Deanery
              Archpriest Thomas Moore, Dean

              Orlando Deanery
              Archpriest Ted Pisarchuk, Dean

              Atlanta Deanery
              Archpriest Alexander Fecanin, Dean

              Miami Deanery
              Priest Gleb McFatter, Dean

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              • Dear Mr. Kraeff,

                Sorry for what may be a stupid simple question. What is an “archpastor”? Are you hoping for monk Gerasim as a priest or as a bishop? Also, while we are asking you questions, co9uld you tell me which area defines the Appalachian Deanery?

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        • Antiochian Friend says:

          Expectations of massive Syrian immigration to the U.S. are likely overwrought, for two reasons:

          1) Christian leaders in Syria do not want their flocks to scatter into diaspora. They want peace and some measure of religious tolerance to be restored to their homeland, so that Christianity can remain a living presence and witness there.

          2) The American political establishment will not permit a Syrian influx. Of all the countries that we have ruined over the past few decades, we have admitted large numbers of refugees only from Vietnam, and that was an unintended consequence of Watergate. No one thought President Ford was to blame for policy failure in Vietnam, so he suffered no loss of face from admitting the “boat people.” The nativist Republicans will oppose admitting Syrians because, well, they’re immigrants who don’t speak English as a first language and will compete with Americans for low-skilled jobs. The neo-cons will oppose granting asylum to Syrians on anti-terror grounds and because awareness of Arab Christianity might lead more American evangelicals to conform their foreign-policy views to their morality rather than to their eschatology. The left will oppose admitting Syrian Christians, because the left is trying to make the country and the world less Christian, and leaving Arab Christians in situ as sheep for the slaughter furthers that goal. The State Department received 20,000 asylum applications from Egyptian Copts during the Morsi regime. Almost all were denied. Syrians will fare no better. Most Syrians who come here as a consequence of the war are likely to be orphans adopted by non-Orthodox families, which obviously will have no effect on the demographics of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

          Canada may turn out to be a different story. Its immigration laws are friendlier, and it hasn’t staked its national pride on its meddling in the Syrian conflict. Many Syrians speak French, rather than English, as a second language, so refugees might acclimate better in Quebec anyway. The Archdiocese is quite capable of managing such a localized increase in its immigrant flock.

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      • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

        Lofty dreams indeed. Lofty dreams also tend to burst at the weakest point.

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      • Timothy,

        a. You are likely right about the Antiochians and immigration, though I wouldn’t be as rash as you, I assume some “retrenchment” will occur as a result of the immigration and the apparent unraveling of the project of American unity.

        b. There is no real American Orthodox Church. The OCA has a history and habit of thinking incompatible with that great project. It is more like the American CarpathoRus Orthodox Church. Its Americanizations, apart from language, are in reality modernisms, not Americanisms. It is easy to tell the difference. Just look at what the Orthodox did across cultural lines before the beginning of the 20th century. That is normative Orthodoxy. The OCA is losing people and parishes. It is impossible to document exactly the extent of this loss but one can perceive the loss of individuals and families anecdotally and the movement of parishes has been from OCA to ROCOR since the early 1980’s.

        c. You are probably right about the Greeks.

        d. ROCOR is growing moderately from everything I see and is simply not concerned with the perceptions that preoccupy American neo-conservatives and liberals. I do not see ROCOR either expanding greatly or contracting significantly in the foreseeable future. It will remain the Russian Orthodox Church here in America. The union with the ROC completely solidified its position.

        Others have remarked about this but it still bears mentioning: ROCOR and the MP were overjoyed to reunite regardless of secondary consequences. One consequence was the marginalization of the OCA. If the MP had been serious about maintaining the tomos granted by the KGB to the Metropolia, they would have insisted that ROCOR unite with the OCA. Actions speak louder than words, the rest is commentary. The MP is the only thing that really gives the OCA any gravitas at all. Only Moscow and those churches that were under the former Soviet Union recognize the OCA as autocephalous (sort of, but not really).

        e. I don’t see administrative unity either. I think the ROCOR, the Serbs, the Bulgarians, the Romanians and the Antiochians have made this clear. Much ado about nothing. And that is a good thing.

        f. Putin is not interested in worldwide control. The press in the West has done an atrocious job of reporting objectively about events in the Ukraine because of their political commitments. Ukraine will lose significant amounts of territory in its east and it will all blow over. If one was inclined to trust the ROC before, that will continue; if one was not, that too will continue. Some time ago I saw the neighbors of a Russian Orthodox Church in a nearby city curse a young woman leaving a service while she was loading her kids into their SUV. That element is always a problem, incorrigible and should be dismissed yet watched. It is always good to know what your enemies are up to.

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      • Your caustic description on the Antiochan Church is very saddening. As is your “Real Mericcan Orthodox” description of the OCA. The OCA has a life span of maybe 5-10 years. The Storheim civil suits and ensuing infighting at Syosset will destroy what is left of this crumbling edifice of Real Merrican Orthodoxy.
        I hope you find your way.

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        You’re onto something Peter. Let’s not forget the positive influences of the Athonite monasteries here in the US as well. From what I’ve been able to pick up, their witness has seemed to stop a lot of the worldliness of the GOA in its tracks.

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      • Michael Bauman says:

        Mr. Wearing: No on all counts. Go back to Lent, fast, pray give alms so that the fever in your brain may be quieted.

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      • I’ve noticed with some of the Greek Orthodox Education coming out recently that they often offer the best stuff. Full and historical. Not all watered down. And while I left the Greeks moons ago for an Orthodox Church that included English and converts, I still hold that some of the most reverent and serious Orthodox Christian are Greeks that I know.
        I’ve also heard that in the last 10-20 years that the percentage of converts to Greek is up-like 25%. SO Maybe something really is stirring the waters there.

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      • Ladder of Divine Ascent says:

        “The MP and ROC will no longer be trusted. As an arm of Putin’s “Worldwide Control,” they will lose any credibility in America.”

        There are two Americas, the healthy part, the ‘bitter clingers” with God and guns (and children, and converts and/or congregations), who at the very least, highly respect Putin and Russia. At the rate things are going, Obama might yet turn them all into Orthodox monarchists.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaL75qLJyUc

        Monarchy starts looking damn good when “government by the people, for the people” is a welfare/warfare police state composed of these people:

        http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/obama-admin-trots-out-angry-mom-push-obamacare

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  12. Tom Kanelos says:

    Peter Papoutsis, I fail to see why you would think this would have any negative impact on Constantinople? The truly odd thing in all of this is that it brings up the subject once again of the oddity of the OCA and ROCOR (since the ROCOR rapprochement with Moscow) both being in existence on the same soil. How can the MP truly recognize the autocephaly of the OCA and still encourage another jurisdiction on the canonical soil of a Church she herself granted autocephaly? Not mention the existence of Patriarchal parishes which were at one time commonly understood to be KGB nests but now really make even less sense.

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    • ” How can the MP truly recognize the autocephaly of the OCA and still encourage another jurisdiction on the canonical soil of a Church she herself granted autocephaly?”

      It doesn’t make any sense. They probably want the 3 to join and even join under the OCA but with the OCA being unable to deal reasonably with it’s many issues they can see that perhaps it’s not really ready for it’s autocephaly. It would be a great thing if they all came together, with a little house cleaning, but not with the OCA in charge.

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        This reminds me of something. Isn’t it sad that four years ago (almost to the day), the MP told ROCOR and MP parishes to commemorate the OCA’s Primate as “Metropolitan of All America and Canada” during the Great Litany?

        In other words, under Jonah, the OCA, the MP, and ROCOR were taking the first steps towards convergence. Now –nothing.

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        • That is just sad . . .

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          • ROCOR still does says:

            When the ROCOR choir at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, D.C. commemorates Metropolitan Jonah on the times he has been visiting, they have continued to commemorate him as “Metropolitan of All America and Canada”. They have not ever slipped in showing him respect. If he is indeed released, maybe he can look forward to a time in which he can concelebrate with clergy at St. Nicholas along with other ROCOR clergy.. I pray that whatever jurisdiction he is with, that his numerous gifts be used, just as I pray that the considerable translation gifts of Bishop Jerome of the ROCOR be used in his retirement. Orthodoxy stands to gain from their wisdom and efforts.

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        • Disgusted With It says:

          There is a convergence underway. Stay tuned in the next few months.

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        • Tom Kanelos says:

          George, Moscow has never had any intention of integrating ROCOR or the MP parishes into the OCA. ROCOR was Moscow’s way back to the table in the US. It is MP that we should worry about, not the EP.

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          • Other Matthew says:

            Says the Archon. We know you follow the party line Tom.

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          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            You really can’t say that, because the whole Tomos of Autocephaly was predicated on the fact that the OCA would serve as a stepping stone to an all-encompassing American autocephaly.

            Of course you’re right that ROCOR wasn’t part of that picture in 1970 but we shouldn’t forget the stated objective of ROCOR was to reintegrate back into Moscow once Bolshevism had been overthrown. It did that.

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            • Tom Kanelos says:

              George, your comment is more proof of my assertion that MP never had any intention of integrating ROCOR into the OCA. Why would it continue to have its own Patriarchal churches and now ROCOR churches on the canonical soil of a Church it granted autocephally? By accepting (as you say) ROCOR’s desire to re-unite with MP after the fall of communism, she has essentially repudiated the autocephally she granted. If I were in the OCA, I’d be upset by this. The introduction of yet another jurisdiction into the US while complaining about the imagined efforts of the EP to take over in the US is the height of hypocrisy on the part of the MP.

              This coupled with the behavior of the MP vis a vis Putin is proof positive that we have more to fear from the MP than the EP.

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              • George Michalopulos says:

                Tom, this is no “proof” at all. The reintegration of the three Russian-originated eparchies (OCA, ROCOR, and MP/USA) has always been part of the plan.

                I do agree with you however that with the reintegration of ROCOR into MP and the free hand that ROCOR has in establishing new parishes, Moscow has effectively “repudiated” the tomos of autocephaly. As to why the OCA is not “upset by this” I can only guess. My feeling is that there are two reasons:

                1. the OCA has long felt that it is not up to the task of serving as a spear-head for American unity, and

                2. certain agents within the OCA have been actively suborning the autocephaly of the OCA in favor or union with Constantinople.

                As to your assertion that the EP would be a more benign influence than the MP, that’s arguable on its merits. Let me offer my own opinion on this issue: if America were to come under the EP in some abstract way, you might have a point. Look at the Ukrainian and Carpatho-Russian eparchies of the EP here in North America. They are completely independent and segregated from the GOA. They suffer no interference at all from the GOA. That’s good.

                The problem however is that there is no way that the GOA would play by the same rules the EP uses with a truly territorially, diocesan American autonomous church. I wish I didn’t have to say this but it has become increasingly obvious to the non-GOA bishops of the EA that the present GOA bishops have no intention of respecting their claims, rubrics, or status. They certainly don’t recognize them as equals. I realize that Arb Demetrios Trakatellis of the OCA moved heaven and earth to make sure that the OCA was involved in the EA process and for this he needs to be commended but he’s only one man and the majority of other GOA bishops have little respect for the other jurisdictions. Even the idea of dividing America up into Provinces with attached dioceses (one of my ideas, only I called them Regional Archiepiscopal Districts) was for the purpose of subordinating a non-GOA diocese (say Wichita) to a GOA-dominated archdiocese (say Chicago) and making sure that the archdioceses are permanently manned by Greek-Americans.

                This would go on to bifurcate into a two-tier system of a Synod of bishops (everybody) and a “Holy Synod” made up mainly of GOA bishops. (Again, I suggested a permanent House of Bishops –everybody–and a Holy Synod made up of thirteen bishop which are drawn from a rotating roster of all bishops. Only the Archbishop of Washington would be the permanent presiding officer of the Holy Synod.)

                It became obvious to some of the non-GOA bishops after the second meeting that the Greeks had no intention of treating them seriously and after this fourth session, it’s unanimous among this contingent that the EA was nothing but a ruse. What alerted me to the speciousness of the EA was the fact the resignation of Fr Mark Arey from the priesthood. He told us in the OCL four years ago that if this wasn’t a serious enterprise, or if it was going to degenerate into another SCOBA, he’d be “outta here.” Well, he’s out, asking to be laicized.

                The numbers don’t lie: the high point of the EA was the first one. Ever since then fewer and fewer bishops have attended. In the end, a few of the ethnic bishops may remain just for the ride and the free food and lodging, since the Archons are paying for the shindig anyway.

                Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge because ROCOR pulled out (really, they did) and AOCNA now pulled out (officially).

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                • Isa Almisry says:

                  “What alerted me to the speciousness of the EA was the fact the resignation of Fr Mark Arey from the priesthood. He told us in the OCL four years ago that if this wasn’t a serious enterprise, or if it was going to degenerate into another SCOBA, he’d be “outta here.” Well, he’s out, asking to be laicized.”
                  What’s the story on that? When did that happen?

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                • Tom Kanelos says:

                  Well George, while there is no proof in the scientific sense, it is clear (apparently to both of us) that the MP has repudiated the autocephaly. Perhaps the only difference between our opinions is that you seem to believe that this is a more recent development and I believe it was the philosophy nearly from the start.

                  As far as the opinion you express as to the evolution of the EA, I can only say I see things differently. Perhaps a few GOA Metropolitans feel the way you believe they do, but I can assure you that not all do. Furthermore, and this is my opinion only, who else would have the resources to lead? In most all of the pan-jurisdictional cooperative efforts it is the GOA which does the heavy lifting and yet in spite of the countless displays of dedication shown by the GOA and most metropolises to such pan-jurisdictional efforts, it is also the GOA and the EP to take the blame for everything wrong in the US. It is unfortunate but true.

                  So, hopefully pride (on all sides) will ultimately fade away and we can get on to the business of administrative unity. Hopefully the animosity towards the GOA and EP will subside and we can work together. If not, then so be it. Time will take care of the problem, but that is not the best way to handle it.

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              • Isa Almisry says:

                “Why would it continue to have its own Patriarchal churches and now ROCOR churches on the canonical soil of a Church it granted autocephally?”

                Unlike the Phanar, Moscow lives in reality:

                1. The patriarchal parishes were allowed to remain under Moscow. Other than the metochion of St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC, Moscow didn’t insist on that. If Moscow had insisted on all parishes going into the OCA, many (as IIRC some later did) would just have gone over to ROCOR, then out of canonical communion.
                2. If Moscow insisted that ROCOR cede its North American parishes, including its headquarters, to the OCA, the Act of Canonical Communion would never have been signed, and the issue would remain mute, as ROCOR would be outside of canonical communion in North America.

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                • Tom Kanelos says:

                  I can assure you that the EP lives in reality as well, that is why it knows that an artificially forced administrative unity will not work at this time. It took years to create this anomalous situation and will take years to correct. I do wish the MP lived in reality at the time it granted autocephaly to a jurisdiction it never really had any intention of honoring.

                  The reality is, everyone knows why the Patriarchal parishes remained even after the autocephaly. And now pride stood in the way of ROCOR uniting with the OCA. MP played right into it all.

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        • ROCOR was exploring the possibility of closer ties to the OCA before the Jonah incident. As far as I know, there was never any serious discussion of merger though. The Act of Canonical Unity that united the ROCOR with the MP states that ROCOR’s synod must agree to any changes in diocesan structure. Thus Moscow could not force ROCOR to join OCA even if they wanted to.

          However, all that is ancient history after the Jonah debacle. ROCOR is not interested in any further schemes of union. Also, ROCOR has made clear in their last statement regarding the Assemblies that they need not be a cause for worry. They will politely cooperate but have no dog in the fight of the EP’s enterprise other than to insist on remaining on the sidelines, smiling, exchanging the kiss of peace, but essentially detached from the fun and games. I take them at their word, they just want to be left alone to care for their flock here in America. I think they understand how sausage and laws are made and would prefer to mind their own business.

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    • Tom Kanelos says:

      Peter, I too wish you and your family a blessed lent and a joyous celebration today of the Annunciation!

      I think your one point which may be in error is phrase “…with a mostly Greek Holy Synod in control…”. I do believe the EP wants to work towards an administrative unity in the US, but I see no evidence that there would be a Holy synod reflective of anything other than the reality of the jurisdictions in the US. That is, a synod made up of a mix of the hierarchs in the US.

      The problem is that many folks believe that there would be an effort by the EP to “Greekify” the Church in the US. This is not the case and the Carpatho Russians as well as the Ukrainians under the EP can testify that there has been no such effort. If we could only get past our irrational fears and pride, we could make much more progress. Now we have ROCOR whose very existence is an oddity, being obstructions, most likely by the instructions of Moscow. It is a shame. However, with regard to how this impacts our lives and our salvation, the answer is not at all. With regard to how this impacts our ability to reach out to be a witness to the Truth in our county,the answer is not at all.

      Our failures to grow and to spread in the US are OUR failures, not the various Mother Churches failures.

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  13. Michael Skoval says:

    does anyone know if the monks with him have also been released?

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  14. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any
    way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

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  15. I’m informed that Fr Alexander Atty, formerly of St Tikhon’s Seminary, has reposed.
    Pray for his soul and for his family.

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    • Eternal Memory! says:

      Eternal Memory to Father Alexander Atty. May his soul rest with the righteous in everlasting remembrance! He has struggled long and hard. May the angels trumpet his accomplishments in his struggle and may his family be comforted!

      Please, Basil, keep us all informed of his remembrance schedule.

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  16. Holy Synod releases Bishop Nikolai
    SYOSSET, NY [OCA]

    In response to a letter from the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia dated January 13, 2014 and after much prayerful deliberation, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has released His Grace, Bishop Nikolai [Soraich], Former Bishop of Sitka, from the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

    According to conditions outlined by ROCOR, Bishop Nikolai is released as a retired Bishop and will not have the right to participate in meetings of the ROCOR Hierarchical Synod and Sobor.

    Ok, so let me get this straight. ROCOR says to the OCA, “we will take Nikolai but he can’t participate on are Synod or Sobor? How stupid does the OCA think the average person is?

    It was the OCA that made the conditions not ROCOR. Why should ROCOR make any conditions? He will be their bishop and can do with him what they please.

    Can’t wait to see what conditions ROCOR will insist on in taking +Jonah?

    Honestly, the OCA is just hopeless.

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    • What I find curious is why the OCA should give a rat’s pattoutie whether +Nikolai (or presumably +Jonah) participates in a synod or sobor in some other jurisdiction or not. They are both retired hierarchs, brought to that state by vindictive cliques – so are these conditions designed to insure that the punishment continues?

      I don’t think that Archbishop Dmitri attended any of that after his retirement. I think he was glad of it.

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      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

        Misha. The Soviet Union collapsed for a variety of reasons, but underpinning all those reasons without exception was the information revolution, and the Soviet Union would have probably continued if it were not for that basic revolution.
        If you don’t KNOW that Marxism bases everything on economics, I feel bad for you. Have you READ Das Kapital (English; “Capital”)? Have you READ the Communist Manifesto? Have you READ LaSalle? Have your READ Lenin?

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        • Vladyka,

          My first BA before law school was in political science, if that gives you any indication. I’m also pursuing a graduate degree now for which I just did a paper on the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System.

          Yes, I know what I’m talking about.

          Regards,
          Misha

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          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

            Misha. I didn’t ask for any indication of anything. You made it up. . I note you didn’t answer even ONE of my questions. What is THAT an indication of? Are you unaware that there are absolutely stupid men and women with PhDs?
            Have you READ Das Kapital (English; “Capital”)? Have you READ the Communist Manifesto? Have you READ LaSalle? Have your READ Lenin?
            Whether you know what you talking about or not is a very minor mystery which you have not cleared up. It seems to me you lack a basic misunderstanding of Marxism. Surely no one teaching political science anywhere ever characterized state capitalism as a “situation!”

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            • The only one of the above I have not read is LaSalle. I’m answering out of courtesy but really I couldn’t give a rats tail whether you think I can even spell Marx.

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              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                What a relief! So you MUST know that state capitalism is not a situation! That’s progress!

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                • “That’s progress!”

                  Every political or economic arrangement could be described as a situation, much like German communism could be described as an “experiment” (as it was by my German professor long ago). Are we having another cranky spell, Vladyka?

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                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                    It’s April the 7th. Metropolitan Jonah has not been released by the OCA. Why does the headline of this thread STILL read: “Breaking: Jonah Released”?????
                    Or is that just one of those ‘realistic scenarios” that some “easily foresee?”

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                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                    Hi, Misha! State capitalism is not a situation, though ti could be called an experiment. But never a situation. I’m not cranky, I’m having another ROFLMAO moment. Calling German communism or any political system or economic system an experiment is clear and intelligent and, above all, makes sense in English or any other language You could call state capitalism an experiment, as the first person to announce the introduction of state capitalism into any economy, namely, V. Lenin, may very well have done. And state capitalism may have had an effect on many situations, but state capitalism itself is not a situation. Saying so reflects poorly on your many teachers.

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  17. Alexandr Snomovich says:

    More KGB operatives

    New hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church elected
    admin Mar 24th, 2014 // Comments are off for this post
    Moscow, March 20, 2014

    At the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, held on March 19, 2014, at St. Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow, new vicar bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia and the Latvian Orthodox Church were elected, reports press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

    Hearing the report of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, chairman of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church outside of Russia, with a petition to confirm election of Priest Nikolai Olkhovsky, cleric of the Eastern America Diocese, as Bishop of Manhattan, vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America, the Holy Synod passed a resolution to confirm the election of Father Nikolai as vicar bishop of ROCOR (minutes no. 10).
    The Synod has granted a petition of Metropolitan Alexander of Riga and All Latvia to appoint a vicar bishop for him by confirming election of the cleric of the Diocese of Riga Igumen John (Sichevsky) of Jelgava, vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Riga, at the Synod of the Latvian Orthodox Church on October 11, 2013 (minutes no. 13).
    By decision of the Holy Synod of March 12, 2013 (minutes no. 18) on the territory of the Krasnodar territory, the Diocese of Armavir was founded, and Metropolitan Isidor of Ekaterinodar and Kuban was appointed its acting bishop. At the present meeting the Synod elected Igumen Ignaty (Buzin), cleric of the Diocese of Tikhvin, as Bishop of Armavir and Labinsk (minutes no. 11).
    At the today’s meeting the Synod has also examined the question of substituting the vacant see of the Diocese of Kuznetsk, included in the Metropolitan See of Penza. The cleric of the Diocese of Penza Igumen Nestor (Lyuberansky) has been elected ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Kuznetsk (minutes no. 12).

    Source: http://www.pravmir.com/new-hierarchs-russian-orthodox-church-elected/#ixzz2wzRaIlSR

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    • Alexandr Snomovich, would you please accept the fact that the KGB no longer exists. It is now called the FSB. Some people just can’t let go of the cold war. ;)

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      • Alexandr Snomovich says:

        Anyway you cut it, these people are hard-Communists who use the Orthodox Church for their evil bidding. KGB/FSB doesn’t matter. They will destroy Russia and take the people back to 1950. Anyone have a bullet for Putin?

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      • The FSB is no more the KGB than is the CIA. Security services behave in similar fashions. The distinction is the objective which you are securing. The KGB was securing the Soviet communist state (militant atheists bent on world domination). The FSB is securing Russian national interests. Russia is now controlled by mixed-market capitalists who are quite favorably disposed toward the Church, not trying to destroy it from the outside and subvert it from within.

        Night and day.

        However, you should know that in a way calling the FSB the KGB is a compliment. KGB was the best intelligence service in the world in its day. Had us compromised completely. Files released in the 1990’s showed the extent of the infiltration and it was astonishing. Despite that fact, their economic system was so appallingly deficient that they could not continue.

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        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

          Now THAT’s What I call “Kool-Aid!” The KGB, lke the FSB, was securing Russian national interests. Also, one of its main and basic missions was physically guarding and patrolling the borders. Soviet Russia, like the USA, became increasingly paranoid about its borders!
          Saying that defeat in the Cold War was mainly due to an economic system is classically Marxist!!!
          One can almost hear the shades of Marx, Engels, LsSalle, Lenin, et al, proclaiming ‘It’s the economy, stupid,” along with Misha!

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          • Vladyka,

            You really have no earthly idea what you’re talking about, but I can’t bring myself to dislike you. You and Lev need handlers to monitor your rantings. The suggestion that attributing the failure of a Marxist-Leninist system to its tortured economic theory is itself a Marxist observation is quite entertaining.

            Keep ‘em coming, Vladyka! Old liberals are always . . . interesting.

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            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

              I’ve never asked you, Misha, to “like” me, and I don’t know why you would want to try to “dislike” me. I missed the concept or mention of “liking” in my reading of the KJV translation of the Holy Bible. Is it important?
              Further, Misha, I’ve never expected you to have any ‘earthly ideas” of anything at all!
              Who is “Lev?” Why would anyone, except a KGBist, want to monitor ANYTHING that I do or say?
              You mentioned a suggestion, but I don’t recognize it as a suggestion of mine at all! I suggested that the collapse of the USSR was due to many factors, the first of which was the information revolution.
              I would never ever say as you do that a theory causes the downfall of ANYTHING.
              I am happy to be recognized as a liberal, but I didn’t imagine this was a revelation. I’d never hide it.
              I don’t find myself interesting, but, as they say, “Jedem das Seine!”
              And I am indeed an old man of 81 years, but posts like yours make me feel at least 90.

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              • Vladyka,

                I didn’t say that I like you, I said that I can’t bring myself to dislike you. Not exactly the same thing. As to how old you feel, I hope nothing anyone says “makes” you feel older. Nothing “makes” me angry or feel older, One can choose to do so or not, consciously or unconsciously, in reaction to what others might say. It is also almost impossible to guilt me into or out of anything – the benefit of having been raised mostly by my mother and grandmother (a survival mechanism, of sorts).

                The caricature of the “old liberal” has become a standard over the last decade or so. As to “Lev”, of course I was referring to Lev Puhalo (aka “Archbishop Lazar”) who evidently was never validly ordained anything more than a deacon, and deposed from that, who was received by the OCA as a retired bishop for some unfathomable reason. Quirky little retirement community over there.

                I will say that I hope and pray that if I make it to 81 or 90 that I’m as spry and lucid in (electronic) conversation as you seem to be.

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                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  Oh, you mean Lev/Leo/Lazar/Robert Puhalo/Haler/Buehler ! I don’t really know him so much as know about him. I’m not sure I’ve ever agreed with any of his opinions published here or elsewhere, and I energetically opposed his reception into the OCA before the Holy Synod and never ever concurred in it. Why you attempted to associate me with him is something for which I can imagine no salutary or virtuous basis or Christian motivation..
                  You’re right, there are now (and always have been) caricatures of liberals. They are caricatures.
                  I don’t consider ‘Lev” to be a liberal at all. I don’t believe he adheres to any political stance except any one that would gain him some publicity. Kind of an ecclesiastical show-off.

                  I wasn’t at all sure WHY you felt you had to inform me (and others) that you couldn’t bring yourself to dislike me, but the whole idea is of no interest whatsoever. Nevertheless, anything is possible here on Monomakhos. Metropolitan Jonah’s release from the OCA was bruited here in banner headlines, but he hadn’t been released when it was bruited and he still hasn’t been released. Likewise there’s a “humor’ section at the top of the homepage wherein one may click on a Heracleides button and get nothing at all. Is that the humorous action? Is it like putting a dollar bill on the sidewalk attached to a thin, strong thread by which the incarnation of ‘humor’ can , from his hiding place, yank the dollar bill away from any innocent passerby that might see it and reach down to pick it up?

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Mr Smonovich, as a card-carrying member of the Right and unrepentant Cold Warrior, I am here to tell you that we won. The Evil Empire is dead, Communism only exists in the febrile minds of certain harmless academics, and we can go on with our lives.

      NATO should fold up its tent and we should come home. We have no business in Ukraine or anywhere in Europe whatsoever. To believe that Russia, with half our population, is a threat to our physical safety or that Putin wants to conquer us is nothing short of delusional. Let us retire the tired Hitler analogies (even Hitler didn’t want to conquer the US.)

      Outside of a few naval bases which are required to refuel our Navy, our only purpose now is to keep the sea-lanes open and free from piracy. We don’t need to spend more money than the next twenty-five nations combined on our military.

      We can demobilize gradually, how about stationing a brigade along the border and defending it from illegal invaders?

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      • Tom Kanelos says:

        George, you are correct in that we won the Cold War. But sadly, it appears as though Cold War II is beginning and a new evil empire is sprouting up only this time the former KGB has learned how to make the sign of the Cross and use it for his best interests.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Tom, the only reason there may be a Cold War II is because our Neocon overlords are needlessly provoking it. It’s not Russia which wants this fight.

          Let’s look, at the correlation of forces:

          1. USSR: a global empire of 350,000,000 people with the largest armed forces and nuclear arsenal in the world; Russia: 1/2 the population of the US with no intentions on conquering Western Europe (much less the US).

          2. USSR: governed by a globalist, hegemonic ideology which had active Fifth Columns in all the major institutions of the West; Russia? Only if you count oligarch’s bank accounts in the City of London, Zurich, and real estate in Miami.

          I’m sure we could add others to it.

          If we were smart we’d recognize them as a trading partner, acknowledge that they have their own version of the Monroe Doctrine, and leave them be. However our oligarchs incessantly beat the drums of war because their financial interests demand it. Ever since the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, the US has been caught in never-ending cycle of debt that forces us to go to war in order to pay back the private banking interests that loan money to the Federal Government by usury.

          There is no justification for any war –hot, cold or otherwise–with Russia. It would not be a cakewalk and unless we were serious about establishing an actual empire in which we could exploit their resources, we’d gain nothing from it.

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          • Neither the USA nor Russia can afford a Cold War II. The very prospect of it is madness and would distract both from the greater threat to our collective freedom, a resurgent Islam. The neo-cons in the US State Dept have a lot to answer for; history will not treat them kindly.

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        • Fr. Blues says:

          Tom, you are correct. There is a new evil empire and its name is United States of America.

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          • Tom Kanelos says:

            I am sure some people will feel that way, and during these past 5 years I have also been disappointed by some of the actions of our government. But we shall see to whom the world turns (as it has again and again in the past) when it is in need or when a great evil arises.

            I am indeed amazed how easily people are fooled by someone like Putin and how they are not concerned when the Church plays footsie with such characters.

            I guess time will tell.

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            • Other Matthew says:

              You mean the way your Patriarch does and has always with the Turks? People in glass houses and all that, Archon Kanelos.

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              • Tom Kanelos says:

                The fact that you think the EP is in cahoots with the Turkish govt to influence government actions is absolute proof you your ignorance with regard to the situation, coward Other Matthew.

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                • Other Matthew says:

                  Not a coward, sorry to disappoint, it’s just unlike you I’m not in a position where I can say whatever I want without Church related political consequences. I know Archons are untouchable by the competent ecclesiastical authorities, I’ve been around your types enough times to have seen that. I look forward to the day where being an Archon means exactly nothing in this country. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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      • Alexandr Snomovich says:

        George,
        You are blind. Putin and his cronies are those who were raised in the Soviet Union and long for it’s return. Since Communism couldn’t destroy the Church, Putin thought to use it to his advantage. The Soviet Union fell apart because it became bankrupt. Now with Russia’s new wealth from oil & gas, Putin wants the old Soviet Union back and will use the Orthodox Church to spread it’s operatives worldwide. The EU is very concerned and so is the U.S. So, Russia’s new wealth will be cut off. As Sen. McCain said, “Russia is a gas station posing as a country.” The U.S. will now export energy resources to the EU along with their own wind, solar and hydrogen to strangle Russia’s hold on the EU. Putin is stupid. His actions have set Russia and it’s people back by 50+ years. Russia will continue to be backward with more and more poor and the world will not soon trust Putin nor his ROC.

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        • Geo Michalopulos says:

          Even if what you say is true, how can Russia with a declining population bring off such a victory?

          As far as McCain’s characterization of Russia, has he ever bothered to get out of his limousine and walk through an American inner city? We’re talking Third World here.

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          • Francis Frost says:

            George:

            As you admit, you do not speak, nor do you understand the Russian language. You have never been to Russia. You have no family or connections there. Yet you claim to have better knowledge about Russia, than those who do so? Time to get real file mou!

            Your only source is regurgitated Kremlin generated propaganda.

            Facts are facts. Russia’s population is declining by roughly 800,000 souls per year due to low birth rates and excessive male mortality due to the rampant alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking and cardiovascular disease. The average Russian man is dead before the age of 60 !

            The past decade saw a minor reprieve in the birth rate due to a rebound baby boom due the improved birth rates during Gorbachov’s anti-alcohol campaign of the 1980’s.

            The upcoming cohort of child-bearing females was born in the 1990’s when Russia’s economy was in crisis and the birth rate was near zero. Low birth rate per female x a very small number of women of child-bearing potential equals disastrously low birth rates looking forward.

            In other words, in another 20 years Russia will have no young men to serve in the military. Russia’s non-Russian population will outnumber ethnic Russians, leading to civil war and the dissolution of the Russian Federation. Get it?

            Putin’s abuse of his neighbors and his flaunting of international law and Russia’s signed treaty obligations insures that when Russia faces an internal crisis, the Russian government will have no friends left. There will be ample political and legal precedent for the dissolution of the Russian Federation.

            What is more, Russia’s oil and natural gas output is already in decline. Putin spent 60 Billion USD building the North Stream pipeline to Germany although there is no gas to fill that pipeline! In another decade, Russia’s oil and gas fields will play out. Russia does not have access to the new exploration technology (hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling plus deep water Artic exploration) that would extend its resources. Without access to Western technology, Russia will go broke in just a few years.

            The problem here is that Putin has badly abused every oil company that undertook cooperation with Russia in the oil and natural gas field. British Petroleum was dispossessed of $100 Billion USD value when Putin nationalized Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos Oil. A civil suit against the Russian government over that seizure is currently proceeding in the European Courts. Dutch Royal Shell also has multi-billion dollar claims. Putin’s rhetorical demonization of those very firms that might prove to be Russia’s last chance to avoid economic disaster is both insipid and stupid.

            We are not living in the Middle Ages anymore. Racist nationalist rhetoric is not only despicable. It is self defeating in the long run.

            Putin is driving Russia off the cliff. You are perfectly welcome to cheer him on ala the “Thelma and Lousise” movie.

            The reality is that the end is death in both cases.

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            • George Michalopulos says:

              Francis, my critique is not one for Russian supremacy but American exceptionalism (to the extent that it even exists anymore). Part of American exceptionalism is the very real notion that we should honor the wishes of our Founding Fathers and not get entangled in foreign affairs. We have NO compelling interest in poking the Russian bear in the eyes. We have NO compelling interest in spilling our blood and treasure in order to make the world safe for sodomy. Etc.

              The Russians are big boys, they’ve got their own problems they can take care of them. We’ve got massive problems here as well. Bothered to take a look at our National Debt for example? (Although I will say with a renewed invigoration of Christianity they might have the leg up on us.)

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            • Jim of Olym says:

              Paraphrasing Francis Frost:

              The USA’s abuse of its neighbors and its flaunting of international law and America’s signed treaty obligations insures that when the USA faces an internal crisis, the American government will have no friends left. There will be ample political and legal precedent for the dissolution of the United States.

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        • Isa Almisry says:

          “The U.S. will now export energy resources to the EU along with their own wind, solar and hydrogen to strangle Russia’s hold on the EU. ”
          LOL.

          Depending on the weather for energy.

          The regime here closing down coal, fighting fracking, holding up refineries and exploration, blocking pipelines…..and we’re going to “export energy resources to the EU.”

          And Putin’s stupid.

          Meanwhile both Egypt and Syria have now turned to Russia, China is turning to Russian energy….

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          • Putin’s move into Crimea is rather simple. He needs a macho move to prove to the Russian people that he should be their President beyond current Russian Constitutional limits. I would not be surprised to see the Russian people (like Crimea) rise up and “grant” him a President for Life type coronation.

            An EU facing Ukraine that is prosperous will be the best retaliation against Russia. And that is Putin’s biggest fear. As for how this will shake out with the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine (MP) that could be the biggest blow to Russia because without the UOC (MP) the Russian Orthodox Church size is almost cut in half. Don’t underestimate Ukrainian nationalism, especially in reaction to Russia.

            Putin should be satisfied with gobbling up Crimea. Any further moves will not be so easy.

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          • Alexandr Snomovich says:

            Isa,
            The U.S. now exports as much NG to world markets per day as the EU uses per day. NG production in the U.S. will continue. The Ukraine (The Steppes) contain vast areas of NG and perfect as a massive wind farm. The EU will help develop this. However, the real big gorilla in the room is HYDROGEN. We now have the technology with solar for every household to produce their own hydrogen at home and use it for heating, cooling and cars at a very cheap cost. Big oil & gas want to hide this, but it’s here and oil & gasoline will go by the wayside. It’s a new energy world and Russia is still living in the 1940-50 era. Duraks.

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          • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

            Wait, what, you can import wind and solar energy across the ocean???

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        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

          Are we sure that it was Senator McCain and not Angela Merkel that made the remark about Russia being a gas station?

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  18. George,

    Those Marxist academics are not that harmless, I’m afraid. They educate the brightest youth of the West – our future leaders – and indoctrinate them with neo-Marxism which seeks to change the nature of our free and prosperous societies from within. Thus did the Left in the 1970s begin its “long march through the institutions” and the results among the first generation of graduates are plain to see, not least in President Obama.

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  19. cynthia curran says:

    And Putin’s stupid.

    Meanwhile both Egypt and Syria have now turned to Russia, China is turning to Russian energy….

    Rating: +6 (from 12 votes)
    I like Putin, he is a little bit of the stereotype of Byzantine.

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  20. Francis Frost says:

    The KGB is by no means gone, it has just changed its name and its tactics. The recent invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory has shown the Neo-Soviet Emperor’s true colors. We should take note that the current chest beating rallies have taken place at monuments to Lenin, with the participants carrying the Soviet red flag, and singing the Soviet national anthem. Read the following article from today’s Wall Street Journal. Note the highlighted areas.

    Putin is simply carrying out his stated goal of resurrecting the Soviet Empire. The fact that supposed Orthodox Christians are cheering him on is lamentable; but not surprising.

    Having escaped the Sodom of racist imperialism and atheistic totalitarianism, Russia has decided to turn back. As now all that remains is for Russia to be “turned to salt” like Lot’s wife, as the Blessed Mother Makaria warned us 25 years ago.

    And our Orthodox church, which aided and abetted this apostasy will too be punished. Having cast the “pearl of great value” – the true faith before the swine of godless imperialism, it only remains for those same swine to turn on the church and trample it under foot. This too, was foreseen by Russia’s own saints who warned us of these things.

    One again, as in Our Lord’s own time our people have ears, but do not hear, have eyes but do not see, have hearts; but refuse to repent.

    St Gabriel of Mtskheta warned us that the Anti-Christ was already on the earth, already at work. What else can we believe when we can see with our own eyes that Russia’s bishops publicly bless the war on innocent civilians and publicly bless the desecration and destruction of Orthodox temples?

    Lord have mercy!

    Putin’s Neo-Soviet Men
    The young Crimean bar hoppers singing the Soviet national anthem don’t know what they’re missing.

    By MATTHEW KAMINSKI CONNECT
    Updated March 26, 2014 6:49 p.m. ET
    Simferopol, Ukraine

    Late the other night at 7 Pyatnits (“7 Fridays”), one of a few fashionable restaurant bars in the Crimean capital, the Soviet joined in, formed a dancing circle and together sang out the last refrain, “O Party of Lenin, the strength of the people,/ To Communism’s triumph lead us on!”

    None of them looked old enough to remember the U.S.S.R. They wore casual clothes and carried smartphones. It’s safe to say their nostalgia wasn’t for class struggle or the Soviet lifestyle. This kind of nod to past Soviet glory is a favored way to express support for a revived Great Russian power in the future.

    It comes in various forms in Crimea, parts of Ukraine and Russia itself. There’s all the “U.S.S.R. lives!” graffiti, and repurposed Soviet flags and slogans. There’s the Kremlin’s obsessive anti-Americanism. The orange-and-black ribbons of St. George favored by Russian nationalists are most closely associated with Soviet victory over the Nazis. The war was used to legitimize Soviet rule, and Vladimir Putin has appropriated it for his attack on Ukraine’s supposedly illegitimate and Nazi government.

    The neo-Soviet man is the latest Putin avatar. In 1999, the obscure KGB colonel established his credentials for Russia’s presidency by waging war on the Chechens and improving the economy in the following decade. When he lost the educated middle classes of Moscow and St. Petersburg who demonstrated against a corrupt and authoritarian Kremlin in late 2011—and growth slowed to a trickle after so many years of theft and bad investment—out came an ultra-nationalist with Soviet imperial ambitions.

    Russians fiddled with press freedoms and political pluralism after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but that “didn’t work,” as the Russian writer and filmmaker Alexander Nevzorov put it this week, and the familiar “cocktail of patriotism, chauvinism, imperialism” goes down all too easily.

    In his speech annexing Ukraine’s Crimea last week, Mr. Putin added a pointed retro-Stalinist warning about “a fifth column, this disparate bunch of ‘national traitors’.” He’s signaling a worse purge to come after two years of unrelenting repression of dissent inside Russia—and a wider and ongoing conflict with Ukraine fought with higher natural gas prices, trade embargoes, KGB-style subversion and possibly tanks and soldiers. Mr. Putin has no good reason to stop with Crimea.

    Moscow liberals may groan, and tens of thousands of them did come out to protest against conflict with Ukraine, but the neo-Soviet revival has pushed support for Mr. Putin at home to 80%, up 11 points in a month, according to a Levada Center poll released on Wednesday. As intended, the invasion and war talk distracts from the bad Russian economy and hurts Ukraine’s chances of becoming a functioning (and Russian speaking!) democracy, the Kremlin’s worst nightmare next door.

    So Mr. Putin rages about Western decadence from Moscow, the Gomorrah of easy petro-millions and everything-for-sale mores. While Russian propaganda portrays Ukraine as a fascist threat, the Kremlin encourages neo-Nazi groups at home. The number of reported hate crimes in Russia is rising, hitting a peak last year.

    Insert: We know of two brazen murders by skinhead gangsters of Georgians on the streets in Moscow in broad daylight just among our own circle of friends. Racist crimes are routine in Russia. Recently a Russian woman referred derogatorily “to those blacks” in my own dining room in front of my family – not dreaming we might be counted among those “blacks” and take offense at the Russian version of the “N word”.

    Russian use the word “blacks” (chorniye or chornomaztsy) to refer derogatorily to those who look different, as in Caucasians or Asiatics

    “This is not even double standards. This is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow.” In his speech last week, Mr. Putin was riffing on the West’s “double standards” toward Kosovo and Crimea, but the self-analysis was strikingly apt. Or maybe they’ve not heard of Freudian projection at the Kremlin.

    The Putin ideologies are a unique “fusion of despotism and postmodernism, in which no truth is certain,” as Peter Pomerantsev has written, “a world of masks and poses, colorful but empty, with little at its core but power for power’s sake and the accumulation of vast wealth.”

    Neo-Sovietism offers up Russian jingoism stripped bare of Marxist internationalist pretenses, which scares its neighbors and could be used to further isolate a friendless Moscow in the region. The Kremlin elite’s unimaginable wealth and power offers another opportunity to end the Putin march.

    Will the neo-Soviet men in that Crimean bar truly sacrifice their material happiness and vacations abroad for a bunch of Kremlin “thieves and crooks” (to use dissident blogger Alexei Navalny’s famous phrase)? Will Moscow tycoons sit by as the ruble tumbles, the economy stalls and their access to bank accounts, yachts and schools for their kids in the West is endangered? Much harder sanctions than the European Union and America have so far proved willing to consider could test these propositions.

    There’s another familiar note from the past. Over the last four months, Kiev came to resemble Gdansk or Prague in 1989 or Lithuania’s rebellious capital Vilnius a few years later—the scene of a society coming of age, demanding a say over its own future, preferably in a free Europe. Then as now, standing in the way is a little man at the Kremlin desperate to hold on to the Soviet/Russian empire and his own throne.

    Mr. Kaminski is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.

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    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says:

      “Having escaped the Sodom of racist imperialism and atheistic totalitarianism, Russia has decided to turn back. As now all that remains is for Russia to be “turned to salt” like Lot’s wife, as the Blessed Mother Makaria warned us 25 years ago.”

      http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/06/concerning-book-beloved-sufferer-life.html

      When the text was first submitted to us, it was fairly short. Fr. Herman asked the auther if he could find more about her. He later sent what we published as the book. We later learned that he made up a lot of what he sent the second time, just to make us happy. We can no longer separate fact from fiction.

      In Christ,
      St. Herman Monastery

      Obviously, the KGB/ROCOR agents of the Neo-Soviet Tsar put the screws to the monks, so the secret doesn’t spill that they are about to be turned into salt!!!

      But, they’ve haven’t gotten to you, YET. Thank, goodness, we STILL have you, fighting the good fight, informing us about that Russian woman you had over to dinner, who said something maybe/kinda/sorta racist, which certainly proves how evil and racist Russians are, ALL of them, the government, the Church, the general population, in every era of history. No wonder “now all that remains is for Russia to be ‘turned to salt’ like Lot’s wife”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq1f3Hr03fQ

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  21. Alexandr Snomovich says:

    Nice post Francis Frost. Many reading here Russophiles who believe the American Church’s future is being connected to Moscow via ROCOR. They couldn’t be more wrong. Putin controls the ROC and ROCOR. Putin’s church is his way to spread Russian operatives around the world. The American Church needs none of this.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Unfortunately, the wild ravings against Putin and the supposed control of ROC/ROCOR by the KGB bespeak more of the agendas of the secularists than they address reality. To buy into the Neocon lie that neither Putin nor Russia are Christian is understandable if one is still wedded to the Cold War mentality. What’s depressing is that the Neocons aren’t lying to themselves, just their Christian Zionist dupes: they at least despise even the trappings of Christianity.

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      • Alexandr Snomovich says:

        George,
        Reality is that Putin is a KGB thug who is running Russia like the 1940’s. This is clear. The ROC can do nothing without Putin’s direction and approval. Not Neocon, Christian Zionist dupes nor any other of your illusions. The facts are clear. The ROC/ROCOR do not have any independence from a Putin who wants to have his people selectively placed in the church. This is clear to the FBI and CIA; why can’t you see it?

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Mr Snomovich, may I ask you if you’ve been to Russia lately? I have never been but I have a few friends (both Russian and American) who have and I can tell you from what they’ve reported to me, Russia is hardly reminiscent of anything like the old Soviet Union.

          1) The freedom to worship is unimpeded; 2) Homosexuality is legal; 3) Russia has had Playboy Magazine now for several years and four women who’ve posed for it are in the Duma; 4) the national income rate tops out at 13%; 5) the freedom of speech and to criticize the president is untrammeled, 6) there is a free flow of commerce; and 7) it is actively stopping the murder of Christians in other parts of the world. (I wish we could say the same thing.)

          Is it corrupt? Yes, but that is not the question. Your assertion was that it was Stalinesque. It most clearly is not.

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          • Dan Fall says:

            I think #5 is a bit off.

            There is a clear intermingling of church n government as displayed by the PR matter. I hesitate to mention it for thread creep, but the church failed to live up to its standards in my humble opinion.

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          • Alexandr Snomovich says:

            George,
            You are deluded. Russia is still the old Soviet Union with a facade. And, Russia is not stopping the murder of Christians anywhere. You fantasize. All the dead and displaced Syrians weren’t protected by Russia at all. Other than your #1, you are living in another reality.

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          • Abbouna Michel says:

            Sure, you can criticize the president: you just risk ending up in slam if you do! I’m not sure that you and I mean the same thing by “untrammeled.”

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  22. Francis Frost says:

    Boris Nemtsov: “the departure of 13,000 Ukrainian parishes from Moscow is now inevitable ! ”

    The Church’s geopolitical project ” Russian world ” has collapsed !

    Boris Nemtsov: “The departure of 13,000 Ukrainian parishes from Moscow now inevitable ! ”

    “Patriarch Kirill’s absence from Kremlin events connected with Crimea , as well as the Patriarchate leadership’s deathly silence on this topic indicates deep problems for the ROC in Ukraine.” This statement was made by the well-known politician, Boris Nemtsov, now a deputy of the Yaroslav Duma, as reported on the Nikinform webite on March 22nd.

    Noting that for the first time in history, the Patriarch of the ROC was not present at the presidential address to the Federal Assembly on March 18th, Nemtsov believes: “Kirill understands that Putin’s Crimean adventure is fraught with danger for the departure (defection) of the UOC Moscow Patriarchate from under Moscow’s influence . But Kirill cannot speak out publicly against the Kremlin’s actions. The departure (defection) of 13,000 Ukrainian parishes from the Moscow Patriarchate is now inevitable.

    Not only will all the citizens of Russia have to pay for the authorities’ madness; but the Russian Orthodox Church will have to do so as well”

    Original on Nikinform.com (in Russian)

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Possibly, or the Russians can just wait out this situation and watch Ukraine under its putschist regime continue to spin out of control. Indicators on the ground in Ukraine are not good. Did you see how many Ukrainian soldiers joined the Russian military in the Crimea? Looks like they’re going to get paid for the first time in months.

      Just curious, how many of those 13,000 parishes are in the eastern third of the country, the one which is agitating for more inclusion with Russia?

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  23. Daniel E Fall says:

    There was no place to put a reply to Fr. Webster’s comments re: gay marriage in a previous thread. The comments, which use quotes from others, suggest a moral imperative against evil is what makes a conservative Christian position against homosexuality, for lack of a better word, okay.

    I think it is important to reflect that same notion has been used nearly every single time civil rights have been addressed here in America, let alone other places.

    The nationalism in Germany was established as a force against evil border countries. The KKK – against the evils of social equality. I’m sure if we look; even anti-woman’s suffrage would have suggested the same concept.

    I’m sorry to say it, but the argument that one’s position is a position of sheer good versus evil has generally been the invalid argument. And it is really baseless.

    And my views on gay marriage are libertarian to the max, so don’t accuse me of supporting it. I’m just calling out what I see as a very weak minded concept published by a cleric of the church.

    The other problem with the concept is it easily collapses to “I’m good”-“you’re evil”. I’m feels very good about herself indeed.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Dan, the trouble is that your “libertarian” ideas aren’t being reciprocated by the sodomist-nuptials crowd. If they were, I’d be right there standing in the barricades with you since my default economic position is libertarianism.

      Instead, the Brownshirts are doing everything in their power to force their agenda on those of us who would rather look the other way when it comes to matters of adult sexuality.

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      • Nate Trost says:

        You, George Michalopulos, are a fine person to talk about agendas in this regard, let us unpack this statement in particular:

        those of us who would rather look the other way when it comes to matters of adult sexuality.

        Except, let us be clear, you are not ‘looking the other way’ or ‘live and let live’, you are pursuing an agenda of classification and discrimination based on your own moral precepts. I can respect that even if I may disagree with it, what I can not respect is a denial that you are in fact engaging in such.

        And, due to recent changes in the laws of many parts of this land, is this trivially easy to demonstrate. I have several homosexual friends and acquaintances who have taken advantage of changes in the law to formally enter into a same-sex legal marriage with their partner. This is not a hypothetical, this is not even an anecdote, these are real people. I won’t use real names, for obvious reasons, but let me just rename one couple for the purposes of this discussion Mr. Red and Mr Blue.

        Now, from your moral and religious worldview, you may not view Mr. Red and Mr. Blue’s relationship as a ‘marriage’ or even a moral relationship. This does not change the fact that legally, they are now in a formally recognized civil relationship that conveys certain rights and obligations on par with the ones you have with your own spouse.

        Mr. Red and Mr. Blue have no intention or interest in changing or stripping away the legal rights they now share with you from you. But is the converse true? Can you honestly state before God and man, and all before you in this little venue of yours, that given your moral convictions, if a piece of paper were put before you that would undo the legislation that granted those rights to Mr. A and Mr B, that you would not sign it?

        This is as simple a hypothetical question as it gets, involving consequences for real people, would you sign, yes or no?

        From where I sit, it seems you presume to call Mr. Red and Mr. Blue. ‘brownshirts’ or ‘the sodomist nuptials crowd’ for having the temerity to care that you, George Michalopulos, given his druthers would obliterate their legal rights in the name of “being able to look the other way when it comes to matters of adult sexuality?”

        Perhaps you should change the headline of your blog from “One Who Fights Alone” to “George Michalopulos’s America: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, As Long As He Approves”

        To recap, Mr. Michalopulos, the pen is in your hand, the legislation undoing the legal recognition of Mr. Red and Mr. Blue relationship as a civil marriage equal to your own is in front of you. Do you sign? It is a simple yes or no question.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          I beg to differ: Traditionalist Christians such as myself have almost always chosen to ignore matters of adult sexuality. Especially since sincere Christians know the burdens placed on ordinary fallen persons are often heavy. Homosexuals who discreetly engaged in their private pleasures were never hounded by the state even though laws against sodomy were on the books of every state of the Union.

          Why so many of us are exercised by those who wish to redefine marriage, we ask the next logical question (to which we have never received an answer): why not polygamy, which is really grounded in nature? Why not polyamory?

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          OK, let’s play the Diversity and Tolerance Sweepstakes: how about this for Tolerance?

          http://www.vdare.com/posts/gay-mccarthyism-notches-another-victim

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          • Nate Trost says:

            OK, let’s play the Diversity and Tolerance Sweepstakes: how about this for Tolerance?

            http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-reverses-decision-gay-same-sex-marriage.html

            It’s a fun game!

            I can’t help but note that the whole Eich kerfluffle has gotten no small amount of coverage and conversation in the mainstream tech press over the past several days, there are literally dozens of solid choices for links to summarize the situation you could have picked. You go with a vdare link. Speaks volumes.

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            • George Michalopulos says:

              Nate, that’s called freedom of religion. An ecclesial body gets to set the standards of who/whom it will hire or not hire.

              My point was that Brendan Eich was drummed out by those who preach Tolerance and Diversity. Now we know that they never had any intention of doing so. They are truly brownshirted fascists.

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              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                GEORGE MICHALOPULOS: This appeared on the OCA homepage today:
                “In response to recent questions and comments that have been directed to the Orthodox Church in America by the media, victim advocates and members of the Church with regard to Archbishop Seraphim [Storheim], the following clarifications are in order.

                The Holy Synod of Bishops, at its spring session held at the OCA Chancery March 18-21, 2014, retired Archbishop Seraphim as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Canada, effective immediately.
                In a Statement issued by the Holy Synod, dated March 21, 2014, communicating this and related decisions, it was noted that “the Synodal Commission is directed to complete its investigation from an internal Church perspective as part of the ongoing canonical process that will lead to the convening of a Spiritual Court.” That is, while the Holy Synod has within its competency the ability to remove a bishop from an assignment, as was done in this instance, deposition from Holy Orders requires that a Spiritual Court be convened for the purpose of rendering a decision on said deposition.
                Pending the Holy Synod’s receipt of the final report from the Synodal Commission and the transcripts from the criminal trial, a Spiritual Court will be convened. The Church’s canonical tradition clearly requires that, in the case of a bishop, the court must consist of twelve bishops. Given that Archbishop Seraphim cannot travel outside of Canada, the Spiritual Court proceedings will of necessity be held in Canada. The OCA is bound to follow all canonical procedures, and has drawn upon experts to guide the Church through this process. Furthermore, such a process would be insisted upon by the other sister Orthodox Churches as the canonical norm. [It must be noted that the OCA has never been confronted with the possible deposition of a bishop since it was granted autocephalous status in 1970.]
                As further testimony to the above decisions and in accordance with canon law, the Holy Synod Statement further declared the See of Ottawa vacant, appointing His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, as Locum Tenens of the See of Ottawa and Canada. His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Quebec City, will continue to serve as Archdiocesan Administrator. “In due time,” the Statement reads, “a Special Archdiocesan Assembly will be convened for the purpose of nominating a new ruling bishop.

                Until such time as a Spiritual Court can be convened, as noted in the Holy Synod’s statement, Archbishop Seraphim is restricted to the Chapel of Saint Silouan, Spencerville, Ontario, and Holy Trinity Church, Edmonton, Alberta, and “must follow all restrictions placed upon him by the Canadian authorities as he awaits sentencing following his conviction on January 24, 2014 on one count of sexual assault.” Not only is this consistent with the Canadian authorities’ decision, but inasmuch as he is restricted to the chapel in Ottawa [Spencerville] and the church in Edmonton, the Holy Synod in fact has tightened these restrictions.

                Finally, the Statement in no way indicates or implies that the Holy Synod refuses to depose Archbishop Seraphim. To the contrary, as noted above, it clearly states that a Spiritual Court will indeed be convened, as required by canon law as well as the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America.

                Official updates will be provided as they become available.”

                Not quite as confused as the Stinkbomb letter, but close. “From an internal Church PERSPECTIVE”!!!!!!!!
                Poor Kafka had only an inkling!

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                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  Well, in announcing that THEY retired HIM, in other words, deposed him from a position from which he had not resigned, and based it on his bad conduct, they have already pulled the rug out from under any spiritual court that would try him for the same offense. it’s called ‘double jeopardy.” They should have obtained a resignation or petition from Archbishop Seraphim first before unseating him from his episcopal cathedra.
                  They miss having a consultant who knows Orthodox canon law, like ever-memorable Archbishop Peter or Archpriest David Brum
                  Sometimes I think the motto of the OCA has become, “Slap-Dash is OK!”
                  Oh well, they gave the bum’s rush to a Chancellor for bad (or unitelligible) bookkeeping, did they not? (he was too much of a softy in the management of Fr. S. Strikis).

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              • Nate Trost says:

                I’m not sure you grasp that playing a “Freedom of religion!” outrage/victim card is irrelevant here: neither of these situations had anything to do with government. And then with this statement, you take the gun of your argument, point it at your own head and pull the trigger:

                An ecclesial body gets to set the standards of who/whom it will hire or not hire.

                The entire point of the story is the World Vision made a policy change. And was then basically forced to revoke it due to backlash from people and organizations that support it. Mozilla appointed Eich as CEO, and he felt compelled to resign due to backlash from people and organizations that support it.

                Except, of course, there is a wee bit of a difference in stakes here: in the case of Mozilla, we are talking about the public perception of a non-profit organization that develops one of several free web browser programs for surfing the Internet.

                In the case of World Vision, we have the threat of withheld financial support with a material effect upon the lives of millions of children in poverty or near-poverty around the globe.

                So, by the calibration of your bombastic, overheated, demonizing rhetorical scale, if threatening to stop using Firefox and download Google Chrome makes one a literal brownshirted facist, then what would you call people willing to let poor children die of cholera over a matter of principle in rebuking an organization that would dare extend spousal benefits to same-sex partners?

                My point was that Brendan Eich was drummed out by those who preach Tolerance and Diversity.

                We disagree here, as those in the ‘anti-liberal left’ do not, in fact preach Tolerance and Diversity. They have their own agendas and preferential hierarchies. But neither are they the entirety of the Left, any more than your own viewpoints on things such as economics, politics, social justice or race represent the entirety of the Orthodox Church.

                The irony of course is that the people at those extremes are always a net drag on their causes. The double irony is you don’t seem to have the capacity to realize that you are the polar opposite of that extreme and thus facilitate the growth of a cause you detest. Let me give you a protip: when someone looks at photos of the waves of initial same-sex marriages, and then looks at the rhetoric you write on your blog, with the ‘homosexual jihadists, sodomist nuptuals and brownshirted fascists’, they aren’t going to come away with the impression that the newlyweds are going to put a cross armband on you. Whether or not they might be more inclined to suspect you’d put a pink triangle armband on them is left as an exercise for the reader.

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          • Longue Carabine says:

            Well, we ruled the lowlands, too. And the high seas, for that matter!

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  24. Alexandr Snomovich says:

    George,
    You are certainly an apologist for ROCOR and the ROC. You certainly can’t be OCA nor Antiochian. Putin has shown his true colors and “HIS” church goes directly through his office. No REAL American should have anything to do with the ROC/ROCOR. Let + Jonah go play “Russian Bishop” with ROCOR and take his orders from Putin. The REAL American Church doesn’t go through Moscow, Istanbul, Damascus or any other foreign power.

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    • There is no American Church. It is a myth perpetuated by pea brains like you Snomovich who try and use race and ethnic background as pejoratives. It is because of such thinking that the OCA is so puny and ineffective. It is no more or no less Orthodox than any other jurisdiction here in faith, but It is not the American Church, just a small jurisdiction, shrinking in number and impact. The OCA is a failed experiment. If it wants to make believe that it is something that it is not and that makes the dwindling number of people like you who support it feel justified, God bless you but don’t try and discredit other REAL Americans who are members of Orthodox Churches here who have no issue with their legitimacy nor recognition in the Orthodox world.

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    • Jesse Cone says:

      Alexandr claims,

      “No REAL American should have anything to do with the ROC/ROCOR…[t]he REAL American Church doesn’t go through Moscow, Istanbul, Damascus or any other foreign power.”

      It strikes me as funny that you want to talk about “real” churches in terms of jurisdictions and foreign involvement. First of all, as I am sure you’ll agree, what makes a church real is a very different question than what makes a certain jurisdiction better than another. Inasmuch as we are canonically one, our parish is made real by the presence of the Bridegroom.

      But lest I lose sight of your point re: “real” jurisdictions vs. “phony” ones for the sake of semantics, I’d like to make two points. First, our canonical unity requires dealing with foreign autocephalus Churches; and their political climates are burdens we must bear as brothers. To deny or run away from this is to be schismatic–something about which the OCA might soon find out. This is complicated, messy, and sometimes shameful, but it is reality. Remember, who called the council of Nicea?

      My second point is perhaps more along the lines you are thinking. What would you call a jurisdiction desperately trying to be relevant? (“OCA Represented at Funeral of Met. PHILIP” they feel the need to affirm to us.) a jurisdiction whose central administration may have to move to part time? whose presence or absence from the North American Assembly of Bishops is irrelevant? who make and ignore laws and statutes according to personalities and whims? (How’s the locum tenens going Met. Tikhon?) whose reputation for pettiness and vindictive backstabbing chases them around more than the lawsuits they continually to fend off? On a more personal note: I have been lied to and attacked by politicking clergy of the OCA–some of whom are bishops–in an manner obviously opposite from the pastoral care one should expect. I have a great deal of respect for many of the OCA clergy, but after watching myself, my family, and my dear friends suffer at the hands of those central to this jurisdiction I have one piece of advice to people dealing with the OCA: watch your back.

      Does that sound like a “real” jurisdiction to you? Do the goings on in Crimea trump an archpastor’s spiritual responsibility? Is the political more real than the spiritual?

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      • Isa Almisry says:

        “whose presence or absence from the North American Assembly of Bishops is irrelevant”
        as has become apparent – although many of us saw it from the start – only the presence of absence of the Greek bishops has any relevance for the Phanar’s shindig.

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        • Jesse Cone says:

          I would argue that the Antiochians’ presence, or absence as the case may be, is a what really matters.

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          • You know what would be truly hilarious? If practically everybody besides the OCA and GOARCH dropped out of the Assembly. ROCOR is no longer a potential merge, nor is Antioch, Bulgaria, Serbia or (if the tea leaves are correct) Romania. Some of these will of course continue to attend but as its relevance diminishes, so will attendance.

            I would love to be a fly on the wall if it were to come down to the Greeks and the OCA! I mean, those are the two largest jurisdictions in the country. Have you ever wondered what happens when a Mormon knocks on the door of a Jehovah’s Witness?

            I have a perverse sense of humor, I know.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Actually, I am in the OCA. I believe based on the best historical evidence that the precursor to the OCA was the continuation of the original Russian Mission to North America and that because of that fact, North America was the canonical territory of the ROC.

      I also believe that the OCA is genuinely autocephalous and that its autocephaly cannot be rescinded. As far as I am aware, all of the above statements are inarguable.

      What is also inarguable is that barring a public repentance, the OCA is well on its way to continued decline.

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      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

        George, despite the headline here, Metropolitan Jonah has not been released by the OCA.

        and in your slanted ;poll at the top of the homepage, why did you limit the choices to those three men? It leads to a very predictable and skewed result. If you mention Archbishop Iakovos and Metropolitan Philip, how could you leave out Metropolitan Leonty. And how about Father George Florovsky, if if comes down to Priests—
        What about St. Herman? St. Alexis (Toth) ? Fathers Romanides and Meyendorff? And, as long as I’m mentining the homepage, what is it with the Heracleides button which leads nowhere for many months now/?

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  25. Francis Frost says:

    George wrote:

    Mr Snomovich, may I ask you if you’ve been to Russia lately? I have never been but I have a few friends (both Russian and American) who have and I can tell you from what they’ve reported to me, Russia is hardly reminiscent of anything like the old Soviet Union.
    1) The freedom to worship is unimpeded; 2) Homosexuality is legal; 3) Russia has had Playboy Magazine now for several years and four women who’ve posed for it are in the Duma; 4) the national income rate tops out at 13%; 5) the freedom of speech and to criticize the president is untrammeled, 6) there is a free flow of commerce; and 7) it is actively stopping the murder of Christians in other parts of the world. (I wish we could say the same thing.)
    Is it corrupt? Yes, but that is not the question. Your assertion was that it was Stalinesque.

    Wrong, wrong wrong.

    1. Freedom to worship does not exist within the dioceses of the Georgian Orthodox church occupied by the Russian military and the Moscow Patriarchate! Only the followers of the self ordained Abkhaz Orthodox bishop or the followers of the de-frocked, rebel schismatic Vissarion apliaa are allowed to worship. This same Apliaa drove out the last legitimate Orthodox clergy the assistance of the Russian military forces.

    Reports of the persecution of the legitimate Georgian Orthodox church by the schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” and its sponsors may be read at the Forum 18 Religious Freedom web-site:

    http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1183

    http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1118

    http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?query=&religion=all&country=25

    During the genocidal campaign of 1992, Hieromonk Andrea Kurashvili and the Subdeacon Giorgi Adua ,who were restorers and guardians of the Shrine of the Repose of St John Chrysostom, were brutally tortured and martyred. You may read the their Life and Martyrdom on the Mystagogy web-site at:

    http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2012/01/hieromonk-andrew-new-martyr-of-comana.html
    2 Good thing since the MP’s own most renowned theologian declares that at least a third of the MP bishops are gay, and there are rampant abuses of the seminarians by the higher clergy.

    3. Russia has Playboy? Bravo, Molodets! BTW Russian television also invented “The Naked News”, the nightly news combined with striptease. And you call the “West” degenerate ? ! ? !!!

    4. Low taxes? Sounds very Republican to me. So what?

    5. Over 300 dead journalists and independent reporters would beg to differ. Google Anna Politkovskaya or Natalia Estemirova, both gunned down for reporting the truth about the Putin regime. This past month, the Dozhd (Rain) network the last independent TV network and Ekho Moskvi the last independent radio network were taken over by the government. The government run media are broadcasting racist belligerent hysterical rants like the threat to turn North America into radioactive dust.

    6. Russian just ranked next to Zimbabwe (174th) in Transparency International’s list of open versus corrupt governments.

    7. Russia protecting Christians. That would be funny if the truth was not so tragic. Tell that lie to the survivors of the bombing raids in Gori, or the civilians hunted down like animals in occupied Samechablo.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/5956499/South-Ossetia-one-year-on-Georgians-wait-in-fear-for-Russians-to-return.html

    Related photo album is at:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/5955829/Georgia-one-year-on.html

    You know George, sometimes I can’t tell whether you are preternaturally stupid and gullible, or whether you are simply a willing supporter of evil.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Well, I’m neither stupid nor gullible but I may be a fool for allowing you to spread your vitriol on this website. Rest assured, I will continue to do so if for no other reason than it keeps me honest regarding my own belief in American exceptionalism.

      (#7): the Christians of Syria definitely do believe that Russia has protected them from further genocide. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you take up this point with Arab-Americans in your jurisdiction.

      (#4): “Low taxes, so what?” Are you kidding? Don’t you understand that punitive levels of taxation are signs of servitude? How can a man be free if he’s a wage slave? (Please re-think that one again, it’s Econ 101.)

      (3): Yeah, Russia has Playboy. The USSR did not. The USSR jailed homosexuals as well. I’m not saying girlie magazines are the apogee of freedom of the press, I was just trying to show how insane it is to believe that Putin = Lenin.

      (#6): Just above Zimbabwe. Are you sure about that? The EU placed Ukraine in the bottom of European countries regarding corruption. Russia is above Ukraine, probably a little below New Jersey.

      (#2): so being a gay bishop is a bad thing? Great you feel that way. Could I enlist you in helping me to stop the continued homosexualization of the American Orthodox episcopate?

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      BTW, can you provide the link for the source that 1/3 of Russian bishops are sodomites?

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  26. Francis Frost says:

    Ladder of Divine Ascent wrote:

    When the text was first submitted to us, it was fairly short. Fr. Herman asked the author if he could find more about her. He later sent what we published as the book. We later learned that he made up a lot of what he sent the second time, just to make us happy. We can no longer separate fact from fiction.
    In Christ,
St. Herman Monastery

    How interesting! For the past 20 years you have kept the secret that you had published falsehoods in the hagiography of Blessed Makaria?

    But now, you conveniently remember that you have published such falsehoods and have failed to correct the record over these past two decades ?

    Please pardon my skepticism. I prefer to believe Blessed Matushka Makaria rather than you, since you are by your own admission a purveyor of falsehoods !

    In any case I thank you for demonstrating the extent to which Putin’s “power vertical” has infiltrated the life of the Orthodox Church in this land.

    Not content with silencing journalists, now Putin wants to silence the saints !

    “For this is a disobedient people, false children, children who are unwilling to hear the law of God. They say to the prophets, ‘Do not report to us’ and to those who see visions, ‘Do not speak to us; but speak and declare to us another deception. Turn us aside from this way, remove this path from us, and take away from us the Holy One of Israel.’ Therefore, thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel: “Because you disobeyed these words, and hoped in falsehoods and grumbled and were confident in this respect: therefore this sin shall be to you like a wall ready to fall, when a strong city is taken, whose fall is immediately present.” Isaiah 30:10

    May the Almighty Lord, who is Himself the Truth, the Way and the Life rescue his Holy Church from all evil and evil doers; “For the mouths of liars will be stopped” Psalm 63:11

    Arise O God and judge the earth, for you have an inheritance from among all the nations!

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  27. cynthia curran says:

    Mr Smonovich, as a card-carrying member of the Right and unrepentant Cold Warrior, I am here to tell you that we won. The Evil Empire is dead, Communism only exists in the febrile minds of certain harmless academics, and we can go on with our lives

    True, the state running the whole economy doesn’t work. It might run some of the economy and have slower growth rates but the total state control is out. It doesn’t fit human history.

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  28. cynthia curran says:

    At worst Putin is the stereotype Byzantine emperor that murdered a few rivals to keep in power.

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  29. George Osborne says:

    Just a few comments about all of the discussions above. It would behoove many who have commented here to read a good history of the reign of Peter I “the Great.” Almost all of what we think of as modern Russia is a direct result of Peter’s reforms and long-term vision for Russia. For example, the Crimea. Historically, the issue with Crimea is not it “Russianness”, it is simply that Russia has always lacked a strategic warm water naval port. The wars of expansion in the late 1700’s in the Black Sea region (Azoz) was always to secure a Russian naval presence in the Mediterran Sea. It amazes me that with all of the discussion laterly in the media, no commentator has seized on the strategic and historical significance of the Russian naval base there as a major issue in this crisis.

    Secondly, I tend to be amused with the discussions of GOA / AOCNA / OCA / ROCOR / MP, etc. The old world folks think in terms of decades and centuries, not a few years. Does anyone really think that the AOCNA or ROCOR would not return to the Assembly if the politics changed a bit? ROCOR and Antioch’s statements were political posturing in the best tradition of byzantine nature of the church. Points were being made. No irretrevible stakes were being pounded into the dirt. A signal was being sent to the planners of the 2016 Great Synod that they better count their chickens one more time when it comes to a settlement of NA Orthodoxy, that’s all. Only the folks in the OCA and our general convert community seek some kind of instant gratification in decision making and the creation of long-term binding commitments. The old world Churches don’t think that way. In my more conspiratorial moments, I think the autocephaly of 1971 was just a grand set-up whose denourement is just getting ready to go on stage.

    Sorry if I rambled. Lack of good single malt Scotch emotional stablizing agents during Lent!

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  30. March 22:

    “Breaking : Jonah Released ! Or so it is that Monomakhos has heard from various sources. Hopefully, this is correct. Ordinarily we don’t run with “word on the street” things unless it comes from more than two sources.”

    It would be prudent to go back to your policy of using reliable sources to confirm stories before you run them. There was clearly no “breaking” story on March 22, because now it’s April 8 and not a whisper about this from any official source (OCA or ROCOR) . For a story of this significance your “Hopefully this is correct” caveat didn’t really cover it .

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    • colette says:

      Yep, let’s just wait until all the “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” crossed.

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      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

        Colette, “until the “I”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed” WHERE? There is no release document at all! Get it? it’s now the TENTH (10) of April.
        The OCA has NOT released Metropolitan Jonah.
        I agree with David: there never was any “breaking story” of Jonah’s release.
        Colette, if you took a pregnancy test and it came back positive, you wouldn’t write “Breaking: Colette had a baby” would you?
        I apologize deeply in advance to all those readers who are offended by my use of the word pregnancy which is, no doubt, inappropriate for a hierarch of my venerable stature.
        Go ahead, exceed my automatic acquisition of six or or so Thumbs-downs that go with my name on a post.

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        • Church Nerd says:

          The real breaking news was that the OCA Synod surprised both MJ and ROCOR by attaching punishing conditions to his release, after leading him and them to believe that an agreement on his release had already been reached and only needed formal approval.

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          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

            WHO, ‘Church Nerd” (whoever that is), LED, according to your declaration, both Metropolitan Jonah and ROCOR “to believe that an agreement on his release had already been reached and only needed formal approval”? According to what information has been made available, NO ONE from the OCA Holy Synod made any announcements or predictions relative to Metropolitan Jonah’s being granted a release (even tentatively).
            Incidentally, it’s now OLD NEWS that the OCA has not released Metropolitan Jonah.

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          • Yes I know. Every minute they can beat him with a stick they take.
            Usually when you announce to the world that you will release a person when asked for, you release them and let the grownups who ask for him decide where and what they want to do with him. But apparently release doesn’t mean release. . . . lawyer speak. . . .

            All the same just wait.

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            • George Michalopulos says:

              What a marvelous Christian witness. Now I know why it’s called “the holy synod of bishops” and not “the synod of holy bishops.”

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              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                OK, George. I’ll bite. WHY is it called “the holy synod of bishops?” You mean they are holy collectively or as a group but not individually?
                Where did you come up with your original idea of “the synod of holy bishops? ” Has such ever existed anywhere?

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              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                Peter A. Papoutsis. So the wheel is being reinvented yet AGAIN? Well, everyone admits that the Greeks won’t accept any translation of anything Greek by anyone but a Greek.
                And… the RSV?!?!?!?
                Wasn’t it T.S. Eliot who said the KJV was created at a time when even a committee could produce good English? I don’t think anyone even pretends that the RSV is in high quality English. Admittedly, the N.T. Greek is “koine”or “pidgin” Greek, so if the English there is mediocre, there’s no loss in the area of euphony or careful language in general..

                A few born Germans, a few born Poles, a born Russian or two, and a few born Japanese have created beautiful English prose and/or poetry, But I don’t think any Greeks have ever managed to produce anything edible in English, yet they now want to give us an English Bible and Liturgy? Oh my.

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                • Longue Carabine says:

                  Complete disagreement with His Grace re the RSV. 180%. Which would no doubt be the consensus with regard to its English. If this new one is RSV-based, it will be good.

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                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  Why didn’t you say that in the first place, Peter? You misled me into thinking you posted something here for discussion. I discussed your posting, and you responded by wishing me a good night, in the morning of the Saturday of the Raising of Lazarus I suppose the optimum response of an adult to inappropriate behavior should be silence, so I’ll thank you for anything worthwhile you may have posted here and, rather than comment on any of your future postings, I’ll maintain a silence appropriate to them.

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            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

              collette, are you speaking of Bishop Nikolai? I don’t recall anyone making any announcement by the Holy Synod of the OCA to the world or to MIngo Junction, Ohio,that it would release Metropolitan Jonah when asked for.

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  31. Reader Nicholas says:

    Uhm, I’m thinking somebody at the top should have seen this as a possibility. Could the OCA be open to a lawsuit as a result?
    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20140419/NEWS/304190028/Albany-man-arrested-multiple-sex-abuse-charges

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Good question. How much are we paying the Sex Czarina?

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    • Melanie Jula Sakoda says:

      You’re asking the wrong question. Archimandrite Isidore Brittain’s unfitness for service was raised by the SMPAC in February of 2011.

      http://www.pokrov.org/wp-content/uploads/SMPAC-2011-2-10.pdf

      The right question is why your hierarchs allowed him to continue serving in the Corvallis parish while suspended, and why it took them more than 3 years to finally remove him from the priesthood, as St. Anne’s rector reportedly said occurred last week.

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      • DOW Refugee says:

        George’s question is indeed the right question–one among many that should be asked, including yours.

        So, Fr. Isidore, after being exposed as drunk and gay, moved from Alaska to Australia and was suspended by Metropolitan Herman. When Metropolitan Jonah was elevated, he stated that it would be highly unlikely for Fr. Isidore to ever be restored to active priestly service. After time passed, the suspended Fr. Isidore came back to America and was then released to Archbishop Benjamin in the DOW and settled into a parish in Oregon, where he has been since–presumably still drunk and gay.

        Metropolitan Jonah was removed two years ago as primate of the OCA. A new hierarchy was installed. A costly legal team was put on the books. A sex czarina was put in an office at the Chancery. The new Chancellor Jillions has written that most of his time these past two years has been spent reviewing sexual misconduct cases. Do you not think in the past two years that the Synod, the Sex Czarina, the Chancellor, the Counsel–you name it–has not reviewed Fr. Isidore’s case–ESPECIALLY since the way Met. Jonah supposedly mishandled Fr. Isidore’s case was one of the primary reasons they got rid of him?

        If Fr. Isidore was such a problem for smpac to the point that Met. Jonah was removed because of Fr. Isidore, then why hasn’t anyone in the OCA done anything about Fr. Isidore for the past two years?

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          DOW refugee, you raise excellent points. I have a quibble with one of your arguments in the third paragraph: I, for one, do not believe that Chancellor Jillions and the Sex Czarina “reviewed” Fr Isidore’s case. Otherwise, they would have removed him forthwith.

          What do I believe happened? They may have started to but then they got the word from SF to leave it alone, or they simply believed that because he was in the West that it shouldn’t be reviewed. Why? Was this because he was protected in some way by Benjamin? Possibly, more likely however in reviewing his case it would bring up the original speciousness of the SMPAC report. I.E., if the SMPAC was true (even if cherry-picked) then why wasn’t he removed then? The reason was because Syosset was never in the business of removing predators, homosexuals, or drunkards but only in removing reformers.

          I believe in the end, we will find out that miscreants are not a threat to the First Families because they can be controlled. Reformers, like Jonah, are wild cards essentially, who have the capability of breaking up cartels.

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        • StephenD says:

          Why did Met.Jonah serve with Father Isidore at the parish in Oregon.?

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        It was indeed raised by SMPAC, the problem is that some of the authors of the SMPAC report are not above reproach themselves. As we can see from the aftermath, the entire SMPAC report was nothing but a cherry-picked ruse to use as a cudgel. There was very little good faith about it.

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  32. Robert Simpson says:

    I wonder if this is going to revive those stories of the kiddie porn that was found on Archbishop Benjamin’s hard drive years ago?

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