Comments Posted By Anonymous
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Not true. Let me explain. Celibates & monastics were chosen as bishops ONLY out of “expediency.” Nothing in Orthodox theology requires us to have only celibates or monastics as bishops. Even + Iakavos wanted married bishops for the Greek Archdiocese. Whatever the Russians want to do has no bearing on the American Church. Practicality dictates that we return to married bishops and celibates. SVS & STOTS only teach what the Orthodox Church teaches and marriage is not an impediment for ANY clerical office, including the episcopate.
» Posted By Anonymous On April 17, 2013 @ 2:44 pm
Which came first: Met. Tikhon’s letter or this commentary in The Onion?
“And so, as we attempt to begin the healing process, let us not bicker over such trivial matters as the actual death toll and what exactly happened at yesterday’s bombing. After all, is it really important, in the aftermath of an event so disastrous and sad, to pick apart the so-called information surrounding this horrific situation and find out what actually happened?”
» Posted By Anonymous On April 17, 2013 @ 12:03 pm
Not true regarding Bp. Alexander. He was teaching at Marquette Univ. and had tenure. This is why, although he was asked more than once, he didn’t pursue the episcopate. Bp. Alexander is an EXCELLENT choice for the Diocese of the Midwest. He can easily juggle the OCA Bulgarian Diocese from Toledo and serve the Midwest. Don’t try to besmirch his reputation as BT has tried to do in the past. Bp. Alexander is par excellent.
» Posted By Anonymous On April 16, 2013 @ 7:58 am
No former Dean of SVS had this vision. What has been explored and should be returned to are Married Bishops. Married bishops are part of Orthodox Tradition and there is no reason “TODAY” to have only celibate or monastics as bishops. The Grace of the Holy Spirit is not enhanced via celibates or monastics.
» Posted By Anonymous On April 15, 2013 @ 4:27 pm
I’m very sure Fr. Schmemann never said, “Either you will have pews or you will have Orthodoxy, you cannot have both.” He didn’t think like this. Someone made this up and attributed it to him, I’m sure. The point is, Orthodoxy has nothing to do with EXTERNALS. In fact, Fr. Schmemann railed against those who “played church” with all kinds of externals trying to be Orthodox yet had no real understanding of Orthodoxy. You know, those who always want to wear kamalavkas, cassocks in public, long hair and long beards, insisting on women wear scarves and long dresses, pretend accents, throwing out pews, 3 hour services, etc. Pews or no pews does not make an Orthodox church.
» Posted By Anonymous On April 18, 2013 @ 7:26 am
Wasn’t it the accuser herself who leaked the texts? I would think she of all people would have a right to take her complaint public if she wished.
Helga, I do see your point. My point is that the texts were not solely hers. They also belong to two other people: her boyfriend and the bishop. The other concern I have is the assured confidentiality given to both parties. I wonder if the bishop had breached the confidentiality agreement of the complaint, what would be everyone’s reaction?
Looking at it from a different point of view, I ask your indulgence with a story. Quite a few years ago my son’s girlfriend got pregnant. She did not tell my son until after she had sought information from Planned Parenthood regarding an abortion. When she told my son, he immediately said that an abortion was not a necessary route, please marry him and they’d work out whatever needed to be done. He loved her. She loved him. She said no. She wanted a career not a child. She had already made up her mind by the time she told him. Buying into “it’s the woman’s choice”, he supported her decision to take the pill and aborted his child (my grandchild) into the toilet that night. He told me this story six months later while sobbing. He ended the relationship not soon after.
He believed and supported that belief that a woman has the right over her own body. Sadly, her right trumped his right (and strong desire) to have the child. Her choice trumped his choice. Her ‘rights’ trumped his ‘rights.’ Really?
For her when she flushed the toilet the issue was done and over. For him….well, he will carry he loss of his child forever.
Why am I telling this story? I acknowledge there is a wide difference between releasing texts and aborting a child, I maintain that the ‘rights’ of the one do not exclude the ‘rights’ of the other person in the issue. The complainant released those texts because they “were hers and it was her right.” What about the ‘rights’ of the bishop?
I doubt anything I have written would change anyone’s mind, but appreciate your indulgence Helga, George and other readers, for allowing them to be posted.
» Posted By Anonymous On February 21, 2013 @ 6:26 pm
George, yes I do agree that leaking those emails was wrong. Period.
» Posted By Anonymous On February 20, 2013 @ 7:35 pm
” In the issue of Bishop Matthias (whom I view as a traditionalist) I did not want to pile on regarding the leaked emails/texts. I could have ignored them. Instead I didn’t. Why? Because there would be no transparency or accountability. ”
And I will continue to repeat that these “leaked” texts were part of a guaranteed confidentiality to protect the accuser AND the accused. It is unconscionable that they were leaked and posted on the internet. I maintain that by leaking them, it makes any other person who wishes to make a confidential report of misconduct against anyone less likely to do so for fear of public humiliation/embarrassment, etc. – I don’t care who the accused or accuser is.
» Posted By Anonymous On February 19, 2013 @ 3:40 pm
“Even though this forum is “closed” I am not ethically bound to not publish the posts. I am not a member of that forum. The rule applies only to its members. ”
While this is true George, the person who forwarded the comments to you IS ethically bound to keep those comments confidential. He broke that confidentiality. You are guilty by being an accessory to the infraction, imho.
That being said, it was good of you to remove the comment of the priest who requested it of you. That doesn’t excuse you over all however.
» Posted By Anonymous On February 16, 2013 @ 7:32 am
Nikos, you are usually a lot sharper than this. The Bishop is to be blameless. Why foist a crippled Bishop on people who already have their hands full?
A very interesting test for that diocese. May God’s will be done.
Seriously? You guys are so quick to accept mediocrity and spiritualize it as virtue. No wonder this ship has so many leaks.
» Posted By Anonymous On November 16, 2012 @ 7:42 pm
Last Wednesday on the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated an early morning Liturgy. I was present along with a small, warm group of friends and supporters. It was a beautiful, very healing and uplifting Liturgy. Afterwards I asked if anything new or hopeful had come out of the Synod’s discussion on Monday, August 13. The bishops did not even consider the question of the Metropolitan’s financial support or a canonical release.
Why would the Synod or Chancery want to keep Metropolitan Jonah in the OCA when they do not want to pay him or retain him as a bishop? No one should be kept in that state of inertia or paralysis. No one who is so evidently and clearly sane should ever be told to check himself into a psychiatric facility- and for someone to be told this in such a way trivializes and mocks the complicated and painful ordeals of those who actually suffer from real impairments or illnesses. No one should be abused and slandered like this.
The lack of resolution and basic Christian compassion for the Metropolitan and his family is greatly distressing. No Orthodox Christians can rightfully treat their brother in this manner.
» Posted By Anonymous On August 20, 2012 @ 12:46 am
Kay your words really resonate with me! I saw the Metropolitan today, he celebrates weekly Liturgies for a small gathering of his friends, supporters and spiritual sons and daughters in a tiny chapel in DC. I conveyed- as everyone keeps saying to me- that there are so many people, like you and like me, who were inspired by him to choose to come into the Orthodox faith through the Orthodox Church in America!
Let’s all continue to pray for Metropolitan Jonah and for each other in this time of uncertainty!
» Posted By Anonymous On August 22, 2012 @ 2:12 pm
It is interesting to add that this year is the 200th anniversary of Fort Ross in California. On Saturday, August 25, there is to be a Divine Liturgy served at the chapel at Fort Ross. Originally, Metropolitan Jonah was to take part, but still scheduled are Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), who is the head of the External Relations Department for the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Justianian, Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR, Archbishop Kyrill, and Archbishop Benjamin, and probably other hierarchs. On Sunday, August 26, it had been planned that most of these hierarchs would be serving at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, because it is the oldest Orthodox parish in the United States. It is now been announced that Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the MP has cancelled his plans to serve at Holy Trinity Cathedral and will be serving at the local Patriarchal Church.
» Posted By anonymous On July 30, 2012 @ 3:06 am
Canon XVIII. Council of Chalcedon
The crime of conspiracy or banding together is utterly prohibited even by the secular law, and much more ought it to be forbidden in the Church of God. Therefore, if any, whether clergymen or monks, should be detected conspiring or banding together, or hatching plots against their bishops or fellow-clergy, they shall by all means be deposed from their own rank.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 24, 2012 @ 10:19 pm
Please note this was not posted on the official OCA FB page, but to “Orthodox Church in America – We demand accountability” and is based on Fr. Jillions’ description of the composition of the letter and the OCA’s own documents regarding the makeup of the Crisis Management Team. It may not be entirely accurate regarding the composition of the letter, but is a list of who the CMT is supposed to be.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 30, 2012 @ 11:08 am
I mis-wrote, it was six months. FJ definitely relayed +HB’s offer of a drink as a demonstration that +HB retained his sense of humor. And it was alcoholic beverage. While +HB apparently did have some issues around following through, consistency and confrontation, none of these would warrant any kind of in house “treatment”. While I think it is probably better for +HB that he no longer be Primate, it is not clear whether it is better for the OCA yet (though obviously better for the Synod). FJ did mention that one of the things the Bishops were frustrated with was having to spend so much time dealing with issues they thought the Metropolitan should be dealing with, but wanted to concentrate on their dioceses. IOW they didn’t want to BE a Synod, or at least not do what that entails. It would seem they invested an awful lot of authority and trust in both the Lesser Synod and MC.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 29, 2012 @ 8:59 am
IIRC, this was the evening of the day the Synod’s letter came out and there were rumours afloat (I thought THIS was the rumour mill, but I don’t recall reading this here) that the ROC was courting +HB or vice versa to set him up over the DOS as a separate Church or a Russian ambassador was at +HB’s residence, etc., etc. Apparently numerous bishops tried to get a hold of +HB, who had been away and the hotel he was in had no wifi and poor cell reception so no one could get in touch with him and they were in a panic (an interesting image, no?), so Fr. Jillions drove back down to +HB’s residence, where he found him having dinner with his parents and sister. +HB asked him to give them an hour, at which point Fr. Jillions waited outside in his car. After that, FJ asked +HB to write the second letter in support of the Synod.
IIRC, it was after the resignation letter was written that +HB made a humourous aside about a drink – though I think it was scotch and vodka and not bourbon and gin as FJ relays it, but I would have to go back an listen to the recording again. This could have happened after the second letter, but I think it was the resignation. FJ was relating that +HB seemed quite relieved after that (having emphatically rejected the six weeks of in house therapy, with which FJ was not happy and appears to have been more evidence of +HB’s intransigence to him). What is interesting is that FJ states he never saw and doesn’t know the contents of St. Luke’s initial evaluation of +HB, yet he seems convinced it was serious and appears disconcerted numerous times in the talks over +HB’s rejection of that assessment and the other Bishops’ evaluation of his “troubles”.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 28, 2012 @ 3:12 pm
If your assertion regarding f) is correct, then it was implicit and not explicit if Fr. Jillions’ account is comprehensive and accurate. Regarding his therapy, inferring from what Fr. Jillions said, the Synod was not happy that +HB did not acquiesce to the first recommendation of six weeks in house therapy and that weekly therapy was a “compromise”. The “inconsistency”, as I understand it, was both in +HB’s attendance at weekly sessions and in keeping the Synod updated with his “progress”. I agree with you regarding g) and h). Fr. Jillions mentioned that +HB was quite suprised that the Synod were displeased with his second letter (additional evidence, of course, that he is somehow “delusional” or in “denial” about his “problems”).
Honestly, I wish there were something that Moscow could do, but how can a Tomos of Autocephally be rescinded? It would be like trying to rescind the emanscipation of a slave or taking back an automobile once ownership has been legally transferred. I think the OCA will (and is) dying a slow death, except for some pockets that will eventually find their ways into other Orthodox Churches. Perhaps this will be used by God to bring about a true American Church? Who knows. I am happy with my parish and priest, but am waiting with bated breath on who will be elected Bishop of the DOS.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 28, 2012 @ 2:58 pm
No, the recording is not accessible online. It was Fr. Jillions that presented the utlimatum to +HB upon the Lesser Synod’s recommendation to the entire Synod. Fr. Jillions stated that once the letter was drafted, it was sent to the entire Synod for their approval.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 28, 2012 @ 2:48 pm
I have listened to an audio recording of this talk and will give you my initial impressions. First, it appears that Fr. Jillions is absolutely sincere and the Synod sincerely believes it has taken the right action. While I found much of what was said couched to put the Synod in the best light, I did not perceive any prevarication in the talk. From the talk itself I learned a) that the bishops had issues with +HB Jonah practically from the start of his tenure; b) that even before officially accepting the job as Chancellor, Fr. Jillions talked with all the bishops about their “difficulties” with +HB prior to any talk he had with +HB himself, he shared this with +HB and once he officially accepted the job, he received +HB’s blessing to have “official” conversations with each bishop over their issues working with +HB (which strikes me as predispositioning him against +HB, having gone into jobs doing something similar); c) Fr. Jillions shared no real information on what the issues the bishops had/have with +HB other than to state they are “pastoral issues” and, from the context of their request he be evaluated at St. Luke’s (?), they required “therapy”; d) +HB’s “refusal” to “understand” (both words Fr. Jillions used) his problems were the bishops #1 issue with +HB and was perceived to be additional evidence of those “problems” – the facts that he did not want to go for evaluation, did not want six months of “in house” therapy, and did not consistently follow the weekly therapy were all evidence of his “problems”; e) by inference of all that was said, the Synods’ letter was produced by the MC’s Crisis Management Team over many hours of back and forth emails (the team apparently includes lawyers, psychiatrists, law enforcement officers, clergy and laymen – and Fr. Jillions confuses working with individual laypeople as working with “the laity”) and then submitted to the Synod for approval; the “complicated” issue with sexual abuse involving a Priest was listed as the second problem; f) the Lesser Synod offered +HB a choice – either agree to six months of in house therapy OR he must immediately resign – no “or else” was stipulated, but it seems strange to me since both choices required actions by +HB; what if he refused to do either? g) the Crisis Management Team was concerned over the rumours flying around the internet that the ROC was negotiating with +HB and Fr. Jillions went back to +HB to ask for another letter supporting the Synod; that letter presented the issues as a conflict of vision, which upset (my word, but I think appropriate) Fr. Jillions and the Synod since to them it represented +HB “not taking responsibility” for his “problems”; h) after that, the Synod issued it’s letter (that was “absolutely correct” though facts presented here contradict some of the facts in the letter and it certainly wasn’t crafted along an accurate timeline).
My reaction to all this? While I cannot know what the “issues” really are that the bishops found to be troubling in dealing with +HB, has there EVER been an individual evaluated for therapy who the evaluators concluded did not NEED therapy? And is there any question that the more one’s views and perceptions are cross cultural, the more therapists find that as evidence of the need for therapy? While I am pretty much convinced that +HB was NOT suited to be Metropolitan of the OCA, I come away from listening to that talk deeply troubled for the future of the OCA as a truly Orthodox institution. We are obviously being run by “professional clergy”, “pastors” if you wish, but “professionals” none the less who are deeply entrenched in all the biases that brings to the table. My impression is that the OCA is dominated at that level by “Northeastern establishment” types, by education, training and inclination. While Fr. Jillions spoke a great deal about +HB’s “self justification”, I wondered if he recognized the irony as he justified both himself and the Synod? Oh, and he does seem somewhat fixated on the “littleness” of the OCA, which he must have mentioned more than a dozen times.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 27, 2012 @ 7:52 am
I don’t have the evidence, but my understanding is that the Synod does.
I said it is a “persistent rumor”. And if true then Jonah potentially faces criminal liability.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 17, 2012 @ 11:50 am
The thing that bothers me the most about the letter is not so much what it says, but what it doesn’t say. It certainly doesn’t mention anything Met. Jonah did to get rid of this guy once he realized he was a problem.
Correct. The letter very kindly does not mention the persistent rumor that the Metropolitan advised Fr. Simeon to flee the country to avoid prosecution.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 17, 2012 @ 11:27 am
… erm … Hagia Sophia had an organ…
» Posted By Anonymous On July 15, 2012 @ 4:13 pm
H&O, I know enough about the situation between Jonah and the Synod to know that this is not a simple story about Good Guy vs Bad Guys. The OCA Truth blog is gone, but they published leaked e-mails between insiders plotting a long time ago to get rid of Jonah. I truly don’t know why they hate him so much, even despite his well-known problems, which he has admitted. With everything that the OCA has been through in the recent past, leading up to Jonah’s election, what in the world does the Synod think it’s doing getting rid of Jonah like this, a week after cancelling the Diocese of the South’s election, and then telling everybody to shut up and trust that the bishops, who know more than everybody else does, have acted properly?
Why believe them? I would like to believe them, because they are bishops, but too much has come out to make that possible. Maybe they did the right thing. What they did was a shocking thing, though, and they owe the Church an explanation. If the problems with Jonah had gotten so bad that it required an attack like this on him, then I can’t figure out why it all has to be kept quiet and swept under the rug. The Synod’s actions in the past make me very skeptical. This whole thing stinks. For all I know, Jonah ought to be gone, but just because the Synod says it does not make me believe it.
Honestly, please help me understand why you think the Synod deserves the benefit of the doubt here, and doesn’t owe the rest of us an explanation for its actions against Jonah. I’m not looking for a fight. I really am having trouble understanding this.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 11, 2012 @ 2:29 pm
I think you are being silly Nikos. It is very common for employers to not allow former employees who have been asked to leave to return to the workplace. It is called ‘risk management’. This situation is the same. Jonah is free to worship at any other church and for his sake, let’s hope he does so. To put some spin on it is silly.
» Posted By anonymous On July 10, 2012 @ 4:32 am
That monastary is now closed; Jonah cannot go there.
» Posted By anonymous On July 9, 2012 @ 6:07 pm
In regard to Carl Kraeff’s note about Archbishop Nikon’s email to his priests, I’m told Archbishop Nathaniel sent an almost identical email to his priests, complete with quote from Fr Jillion’s email to the Synod. Looks like these bishops are all using the same playbook today. Just as sincere as usual too. What a joke.
» Posted By Anonymous On July 9, 2012 @ 3:02 pm
What about clergy? (specifically readers or sub-deacons) What would be out options to opt out in conscience? Request a transfer to another jurisdiction?
» Posted By Anonymous On July 9, 2012 @ 8:47 am
Here is a transcript of the relevant questions from the last AAC. Uppercase letters are used to reflect the speaker’s emphasis…
Maureen Jury – St Seraphim’s Cathedral: “I don’t think it is a mistake that we are talking about the household of faith, and the family analogy. I certainly think that it is clear that His Beatitude has owned just about everything that he could own here in terms of some of the problems. But I think we also know that 3 years ago there were other problems. And taking taking this family analogy, you can’t just point to one person in the family and say ‘This is the scapegoat. This is the person who’s done… who has the problem, and when they fix it everything will be fine.’ So my question to the synod is: we’ve all heard that you think what His Beatitude is doing is a wonderful thing. My question is: what is it that you will be doing to fix this broken trust on both sides, to fix the problems which I think pre-dated His Beatitude, and also what do you think that we as the faithful can do to contribute to that? But I am really interested in what you folks are interested in doing there. Thank you.”
Bishop Benjamin: “I think you would be incredibly surprised to find out the unity that there is on the synod and that the dysfunction that His Beatitude spoke of with regard to the previous synod really doesn’t exist between the members of the synod right now. The synod is remarkably united, walking in one step right now. I work within the synod. I work with these gentlemen. I’m at the meetings. YOU’RE NOT. I don’t know how you know our relations are dysfunctional. I don’t think they are. We have definitely had some situations where the Metropolitan is here and the rest of the synod is over there. But there is an incredible amount of oneness of mind and we are dedicated to working them through. And I would say that the relationship with the Metropolitan Council is one also that has transformed in the past three years as well. There is a much stronger unity between the Metropolitan Council and the synod of bishops. We have a lot to do. It’s very, very difficult. And we’re working those problems through. And there is some stuff that we just have to work through. But I assure you that the bishops are quite united on what we need to do and our ability to work them through. Sometimes some of us get ideas, that just aren’t going to work. And the other bishops have to tell the other ones that it’s just not going to work. That’s just how you work things out in a collegial way. So thank you.”
Fr Chad Hatfield, St Vladimir’s Seminary: “I think all of us that are priests and pastors here know that in any kind of dysfunctional family, the therapy involves everyone in the family. I commend His Beatitude for being willing to undergo a psychological workup to assist in the dysfunction. My question is: is the rest of the family willing to do the same?” *applause*
Bishop Matthias: “Once again I think that what His Grace, Bishop Benjamin, said is that you don’t know what is going on within the synod. And it is not that we are putting the blame on one person. We all play a part in that. And one of the things that is going to take place is that two other bishops will be going with His Beatitude for the help that we may all receive help from. We have to learn a lot about each other. We have to learn about ourselves. And as I said earlier before: we’re all broken; we all have our dysfunction; we all have our difficulties. But I think the whole family is working together, supporting one another and supporting His Beatitude. But, you know, the path has to be taken by all of us. And unfortunately, also as I said earlier, His Beatitude was put in this position. And it’s a difficult position. And he is the leader. He is the head of the synod. And to be first, you have to be last. And that applies to all of us. That is why I feel that he has expressed great courage in doing what he’s doing. And if there is no problem that exists that can be fixed then we have to look at ourselves as well. We are working together. We enjoy each others’ company. We tell jokes and we also fight. And that is the reality. But that is a good thing. And it is something that I feel the sense that we are growing together more and more. We’re spending more time with each other individually. And we’re getting to know one another individually. We are a young synod. Some of us know each other better than others. But we are working together as a family. And we all own whatever is taking place for the whole church.”
Bishop Benjamin: “Let me just say one other thing. If I can use an analogy, when there is alcoholism in the family (let’s say that dad’s an alcoholic), the entire family is affected. And the solution to that familiy becoming whole requires everyone in that family working together; and in different ways, because everyone in the family is affected in a different manner. And I think that is very much the case here. Fr Chad, you were in Alaska. You experienced some of the dysfunction we had in that family. And it didn’t require everyone in Alaska going to get the same kind of therapy. But we’re still dealing with the fallout from that as a church. And we probably will, as families with alcohol or other kinds of substance abuse… I mean there is still the Alanon sort of recovery thing that has to go for the entire family. And I think in the synod it’s kind of analogous. But we definitely have a leadership issue in the synod. And it is a LEADERSHIP issue. And His Beatitude has taken the big step… of stepping out… to find out… if the difficulty lies with himself and if there is some help that is available. If not, we are going to have to take other steps as a synod to resolve them. But it is a kind of dysfunction that affects the whole synod. It not only affects us, brothers and sisters, it affects YOU. It affects YOU. It affects the dysfunction in your parishes. It affects the conversations in this hall. It flows up and down throughout the church. And we are committed to stand with the Metropolitan to do WHATEVER it is to resolve our issues. But they’re OUR issues. They’re not yours. They’re ours. And dad and the leadership of the family is going to do what it takes to take care of it. And then we hope to involve you in the restoration and wellness that all of us need to take as a church.”
» Posted By Anonymous On July 9, 2012 @ 1:35 am
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Can u please explain what this means….lol
[...] one of their heads. Why ROCOR-MP is in communion with them I don’t know.☆ ☆ ☆5) Constantinople Finally Does the Right Thinghttp://www.monomakhos.com/constantinople-finally-does-the-right-thing/By George Michalopulos on [...]
» Posted By Anonymous On April 5, 2012 @ 8:11 am