Comments Posted By Catherine
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Thank you SO much for posting this so we can see the great nobility of soul
of the First Hierarch who was actually selected by the clairvoyant —[understatement of the year !] —
St John Maximovitch.
This anecdote is well known but the full significance is not often realized.
That wasn’t JUST that St John was being humble in turning aside the nomination for Rocor’s
third First Hierarch position. St John and Archbishop Nikon were running neck and neck in the voting.
So St John resolved the impasse by going to then-Bp Philaret of Brisbane’s cell that evening
and speaking with him privately. In the morning, St John proposed to the venerable hierarchs gathered from all over the world that the youngest Bp, Philaret, be the next Metropolitan. [Youngest in terms of consecration, of course].
The suggestion was accepted. St John’s wisdom was borne out by the extraordinary 21 years or so of Met Philaret’s reign, the apogee of Rocor’s
years as an independent Church.
This document, by the way, was posted originally, I think, on the early Rocor Synod website, well before the event of 2007. I remember seeing this document along with a few other marvelous pieces of material by or about Met Philaret. Such as Archbishop Nathaniel of Vienna’s
incomparable reminiscences of their youthful days as monastics and hieromonks in Harbin and surrounding region in Manchuria before emigrating to Europe and Australia.
I’m going to reread this document.
Thanks again for posting it, Rocor Website !
» Posted By Catherine On January 27, 2013 @ 10:11 pm
It’s my understanding that St Seraphim would not have even been glorified then
had it not been for Tsar Nicholas and perhaps the Tsarina Alexandra pushing for that.
There are so many quirks involved in the very differing paths to glorification, yes,
that is for sure. No story is identical to another.
Even so, Met Philaret deserves ‘the fastest track’ possible, in my little opinion.
Think how wonderful it would be for those of his spiritual children who are still alive
to be either present or hear of the event.
Whereas if Rocor waits too long, these will have departed to the Lord.
Why gyp them ?!!
» Posted By Catherine On January 27, 2013 @ 10:02 pm
In the case of Metropolitan Philaret – all rules are irrelevant !
For any other holy figure, of course, 3 decades at minimum seems prudent to wait.
But not for Metropolitan Philaret, who is so OBVIOUSLY a Saint
that it’s just like St John Maximovitch.
Everyone is twiddling their thumbs waiting for the Synod to move on it
so that they can pray to SAINT Philaret [Vosnesensky] !
If Rocor-MP Synod is STILL hesitating, the reluctant members may
think what a boost it would be for Jordanville to have pilgrims coming there
and much written about Met Philaret and Holy Trinity Monastery…
new pupils would want to enter the seminary there…
good for EVERYBODY all the way around !
Even I would consider to attend the glorification. What I mean is, I didn’t plan to
travel ever again to New York, plus I hate the TSA business.
But I would think about attending. IF, of course, the decision is not procrastinated — especially not out of a servile fear of angering some wings of the Moscow Patriarchate….
It is an obvious and resounding : YES !
[There are even some UNKNOWN miracles attached to Met Philaret's extremely faithful
Protodeacon Nikita Chakirov. Not everyone was fond of the latter. But that may show
how very holy the Metropolitan was, that his closest attendant received some special grace
at his repose.]
Anyway, Maximus, 2013 IS the 28 th year after the repose of Met Philaret – notably
on the Feast of Archangel Michael !!! – surely a huge divine sign right there !
ALL factors point to the fact that it is HIGH TIME for the glorification to be approved
What about St Jonah of Manchuria ? He was glorified on the basis of ONE miracle.
There are volumes of evidence for the sanctity of Met Philaret of New York.
Think, too, how wonderful that would be to have a bona fide Saint on both coasts of the country ! Balanced and symmetrical, plus a boost for Rocor.
» Posted By Catherine On January 26, 2013 @ 9:48 pm
Regarding the FIRST post :
That is good to hear. I was wondering what was taking Rocor so long. Many other places have already
glorified Metropolitan Philaret.
It is QUITE embarrassing to Rocor that there has been almost no movement in this area all these years.
If you notice, his sermons are published only rarely [almost never on the main Rocor site] and other hierarchs who were supposedly pro-MP or more liberal, are much oftener featured in glossy accounts of their
lives or writings. Bp Mitrophan of Boston, for example…a MUCH lesser figure than the towering Metropolitan Philaret of Blessed Memory.
I have been pleased that the EAD site does mention him with a degree of respect. Probably because many of the clergy in the East would have known him or known those who remember him.
The truth is, though, that the previous Metropolitan Laurus seemed to be infuriated when Met Philaret’s relics were opened and revealed to be incorrupt. An ear-witness clergyman heard Met Laurus, in charge of the ceremony, rage :
“Put him BACK in the ground and let him rot like everyone else”
With that sort of attitude, along with a refusal to let anyone present venerate the relics before hastily sealing up the coffin, one can see the official attitude of the top ranked Rocor clergyman was quite hostile toward the virtuous saint, known for his courageous stance against all that was being promoted in The New Rocor…
I am glad if there will be prompt action taken in the case of Rocor’s
“Great Third” First Hierarch.
I don’t believe that Brother Jose should be glorified.
Regarding the second post, let me choke !
» Posted By Catherine On January 25, 2013 @ 10:11 pm
That’s important that the artcle came from The Telegraph
I don’t know why Mr T B. chose to post this particular version, but even the name seems
Cold War Update News …. !
It is NOT preposterous that agents are used by the MP inside foreign Orthodox circles.
Or, agents of influence. There are many gradations : I am not claiming that every priest in
a Russian jurisdiction has a secret KGB uniform with appropriate insignia under clerical vestments.
There are so many ways one can be a “useful idiot” for the wrong parties.
Look, Carl, even Rocor’s Fr Andrew Philips of the UK points out in his discussion of Orthodox Church politics in Europe that an MP clergyman in BERLIN was forced to work as a spy for the KGB.
If this most enthusiastic proponent of the MP-Rocor ‘union’ admits THAT, then we can safely assume that there ARE a galaxy of others through the 20th century when the US was Russia’s “MAIN ENEMY”.
Don’t forget that ! Every KGB officer and agent and even floorwasher had that drummed into his or her head !
Little has changed, just superficial points have.
You have to understand the Soviet mentality. Once they have some system set up, the whole thing keeps grinding away. They don’t suddenly say “This is ‘glasnost’ ! Let’s go have a picnic and forget all that
animosity”. AMERICANS, optimistic and often terribly naive and ignorant about how other countries think and operate, WOULD have that attitude.
So, Americans PROJECT their own child-like glee at the supposed burying of the axe [or of the hammer & sickle!] ONTO THEIR OPPONENTS.
Americans don’t even bother to STUDY history or learn even a thing about Russian culture, history, religion, anything.
So the glib pronouncements by American officials and others do not reflect reality.
They are for U.S. domestic consumption – at BEST.
Few Americans recognize that the sober, determined Russians [ no picnics need apply ] with a powerful Okhrana way back before the Cheka – NKVD – etc KGB – FSB – continue the same general structure and principles. Only the Soviet models were aimed at : THE WEST ! Whereas the Okhrana was focused on suppressing internal dissent against the Monarchy.
So we see the same naivete coloring the posts here.
I am not saying to NOT look at good in today’s Russia. If they ban gays from the entire country and exile them to another planet, that would be ideal. Look at the contrast in America, now a bastion of homosexual power. If KGB agents want to infiltrate, blackmail, discredit the gays here, I would welcome them to these shores.
I doubt that is what the FSB is after….
The actual goals in acquisition of intelligence can surely be updated as the decades go by, but military,
technological and economic intelligence remain I am sure the backbone of the KGB’s efforts here.
However, the METHODS put in place long ago do NOT change. Hence, the agents in cassocks
or helpful members of Parish Councils who suddenly appear out of the blue in a parish established
for 50 or 100 years in America and vote to send the deed for the valuable Church buildings and real estate over to Yasenevo.
Anyone tell me this has NOT happened ? It has. And it will MORE as the initial jitters felt by the Rocor flock are ridiculed and eventually calmed down by confidence-building measures. Such as Icons being sent from Russia to tour America and such supposedly ‘brotherly gestures’ to allay the justifiable fears of Rocor members.
Carl, if you read The Mitrokhin Archive, then that book says it all and provides the actual evidence.
Thanks for the warning about Mr Tb. I was assuming he was someone pro-OCA.
» Posted By Catherine On January 25, 2013 @ 9:57 pm
Exactly ! There are SO MANY examples like this that could be pulled up as evidence.
I am shocked at the low level of serious political awareness here. As though people
are so immersed in
1. [tiresome] OCA politics
2. American domestic politics
that they don’t even think of the bigger international picture. Nor do they want to learn anything of serious impact.
Most all the younger clergy think naively. If the clergy think that way, then how do they lead their parishioners into a shrewd observation of the longstanding realities of how the KGB works -?
How many readers even read the John Barron classic study, “KGB:
The Secret Work of Soviet Agents”, written way back ?
Or the stunning compendium, The Sword and The Shield – ?
That latter has some messages specifically about Soviet machinations INSIDE Orthodox jurisdictions, especially in Canada.
Those who wish to turn a blind eye to what is more important that all the little frivolities being discussed are welcome to do so. AT THEIR OWN RISK.
Why not READ and educate yourselves first, before lazily flinging out jeers ??
Why not also take a second to wonder WHY Metropolitan Philaret of New York, the staunch ANTI-Communist, was such an incredible bulwark of strength against the same MP and KGB which everyone here seems to yawn away about !
Why were his relics incorrupt ? See pics on the internet if you have any doubt.
Proponents of the MP and the MP-Rocor ‘union’ get embarrassed and
sweep any mention of Met Philaret under the carpet. He’s not convenient for “the new thought”.
I don’t know about the rest of this guy TB’s posts; at least on this topic, he is sharp as a tack.
My advice : stop mocking, start reading and learning.
» Posted By Catherine On January 24, 2013 @ 9:31 pm
Oh, thank you, PdnNJ, that’s the one ! I knew about her because I read her story in a book
of women’s conversions to Orthodoxy, then looked up on the internet to see what happened
to the vestment sewing business she was starting at the time the book was published a decade earlier.
I thought her work looked highly impressive. She has videos aplenty to introduce her
approach and show samples of vestments in Russian, Greek, or any style.
Amazingly, it seems she can specially create vestments modeled after those from any period of Orthodox history. She does a lot of research apparently to come up with beautiful motifs to use in the vestments.
Quite unique approach.
An inspiration for other sewing-oriented women, hopefully.
I am so glad to hear that you think she’s the best in the field.
I hope all the clergy would consider ordering from her.
» Posted By Catherine On January 28, 2013 @ 10:08 pm
That’s funny, ProPravoslavie ! Good description.
I LIKE enthronement.
Remember that in Old Russia, for example at Uspensky Sobor,
there was the Patriarch’s Mesto and the Tsar’s Mesto –
it give impression of a regal sense about a real Patriarch.
A Metropolitan is not so grand, but probably deserves better than to
be “installed” – like a defective car part being replaced at a local garage.
Catholics use the term Installation for Archbishops. It grates on my ear.
Enthronement would be far more suitable.
Elegant, tasteful vestments and miter are a MUST for ANY Orthodox hierarch.
No clashing colors..
No need to skimp or feel ashamed that one isn’t ‘democratic’ enough !
P.S. There is a matushka in the Antiochian church in – Portland ? – somewhere in Oregon
who makes supposedly beautiful vestments and mitres. Why not help a home-family business
rather than ordering from Sofrino ?!
Has anyone ordered from this Priest’s wife ?
» Posted By Catherine On January 27, 2013 @ 9:54 pm
Your question is a very good one; however, I don’t have an answer. What I have mentioned about the house and the housing allowance is in the report. Why the federal government chose not to prosecute I have no idea. This is probably a question for the former treasurer and/or the current treasurer.
» Posted By Catherine On October 12, 2012 @ 9:14 am
Thank you for the wonderful laugh! No, I am not a “Father” but I do speak to them occasionally. Maybe you know some of them? As to the picture you requested, I’m sure you would agree that it would be in very poor taste to publish a link to such filth. After all, we wouldn’t want any more clergyman to be tempted. However, if you are very interested in obtaining a copy (it sounds like you are), please request a copy from the former chancellor. I’m sure he would be delighted to send it to you. From your little message you seem to think I have some “inside knowledge.” My dear Vladyka, people talk. What I have posted is nothing but what has been told to me by a variety of people. If you have facts to dispute anything I have posted, please by all means show them to all of us.
With regard to the housing allowance, I think what you wrote is correct. But you left out a few minor details. In the case of your friend Rodion. I have heard that he lived in the house. Is that your understanding as well? I have heard that there was no mention on a 1099 or W2 of this particular house he was living in on Long Island, Is that your understanding as well? I am not a tax accountant but it would seem to little old me that this is called “double dipping.” Is that what you see or do you see it differently? My eyesight isn’t what it used to be but let’s see: (a) he lived in a house owned by the church that he did not pay for, and (b) he received a housing allowance to pay for a house that didn’t cost more than his utilities. Curious minds would like to know how that makes sense. Since you are such good friends with Rodion, you might also ask him some time when he is going to replenish the money he received from Beslan and 9/11 funds.
How is your own housing going? Your HVMLA web site took down the minutes from the parish council meetings. Too bad. It left off where someone was going to ask you to start paying rent. Did you correctly record the fair value of your home as compensation on your taxes? I’m sure you would agree that that would be the honest and ethical thing to do.
» Posted By Catherine On October 11, 2012 @ 6:46 pm
Thank you for publishing this information. For many of the people who have been requesting facts, well I think they got what they asked for. Bp. Mathias should be laicized in my opinion. His actions were completely out of line whether he was a deacon, priest or bishop. Alas, someone here will post about “forgiveness,” or “let’s wait for the facts to come out.” Already we have some idiot who posted that he/she wanted to know how the young woman dressed. Are you kidding? Please crawl back under the rock. And let us not forget the good old fallback lines like, “I was hacked,” or “someone is trying to frame me” (hmm… sounds a bit like the naked picture of Archimandrite Isidore who’s naked picture was found on a gay sex web site — but I digress). Well, if they believed Isidore that it was a “setup” and allowed him back, I’m sure the Holy Synod will fall all over themselves again and bring this creep back.
In the real world, this is called sexual harassment and people are terminated from their employment. And unless you are in a union, you will usually be terminated in a matter of days, not months. I would hope that the Orthodox Church would hold even higher standards for its bishops than IBM or HP would for their executives. But alas, this is the OCA.
» Posted By Catherine On October 10, 2012 @ 11:14 am
Dear Charles Demetrios,
Thank you for your post. Everything you said is true, but only to a point. When I was growing up, I heard a lot of terrible things in my church about the KGB. I heard about how the Soviet government deliberately tried to infiltrate churches in the former Soviet Union and that members of the clergy, including bishops were co-conspirators. I thought it was a bunch of garbage at the time. I thought that the priests and bishops who spoke about such things were completely out of their mind. Well, what do you know, history has proven that those old priests and bishops of my childhood were right.
If, as you said, it was a matter of foibles, I don’t think most people would really care much. But scandal after scandal in the OCA has revealed significantly deeper problems of theology, christology, eccelsiology, and soteriology. When priests and bishops conspire to throw their first hierarch out of the church, I think there is something seriously wrong. When a national church refuses to come come clean about the homosexual exploits of its most senior leaders, what does that say about leadership? When the places of spiritual formation such as monasteries begin to practice quack psychology instead of Orthodox theology, it’s just rotten to the core.
I know you and many others don’t want to believe that the OCA basically needs to start over with a whole new crew of bishops. Like my little KGB story, it’s easier to believe that none of this is true but unfortunately it is.
I applaud the efforts at the petition and I hope and pray that a few good people will go to Parma and protest peacefully inside and outside the church. People like Frs. Tosi and Jillions should not have the right to ram an election down anyone’s throats. Right now this just looks like a Soviet-style election.
» Posted By Catherine On October 8, 2012 @ 4:25 pm
The conflict of interest in question is over Michael Herzog’s writing insurance and not recusing himself from voting and approving the same insurance when he was a member of the board of trustees at St. Tikhon’s seminary. The current dean, Fr. Alexander Atty brought it to the attention of the board and others and most of the people blew it off. What this has to do with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision I don’t know.
» Posted By Catherine On October 10, 2012 @ 10:32 pm
If you think that there are “proper procedures in place” with regard to sexual misconduct in the OCA you should see a psychologist as soon as possible. Are you a bishop in the OCA because your response seems to suggests it?
With respect, your response is EXACTLY why the OCA is crumbling!!! “Nothing to see here folks. We’ve got all the procedures in place.” Can you possibly be serious? Your response is as a friend of mine years ago described, “choking on a gnat and letting the the (pink) elephants walk by.”
By the way, in case anyone else wants to look it up, the 10th All-American Council you referenced occurred in 1959 — way to go updating the policies and procedures.
Let’s take a real life example. In the Antiochian Archdiocese, a priest named Silas Ruark was outed as a child molester by some of the children in his parish. He was deposed within a matter of hours. Would that have occurred in the OCA? Probably not according to the guidelines and statutes of the OCA. To the credit of Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese, he dealt with the matter immediately. He didn’t wait for his accusers to see whether his actions were or were not in keeping with the Holy Orthodox Church. He simply applied common sense.
Let’s take another real life example. How about Mark Forsberg, the former bishop of Boston in the OCA. The guy married another man!!! Yet why has the OCA never defrocked him? Please tell me you have some intelligent response for this one. Or better yet, how about Metropolitan Theodosius? Do you honestly believe is not gay?
You and others want to hide in your world that people like me are just stirring the pot or making false accusations. Sorry, I hate to tell you but I am telling the truth. If you want to really get ugly, I will present a whole list of people. The statute you cited is a joke and you know it. It certainly was not designed to be a joke but it is. How many people have been brought to a spiritual court for homosexuality in the OCA? I believe the answer is zero yet I just gave you two openly professing homosexuals.
Your response is not just insulting, it’s tragic.
» Posted By Catherine On October 3, 2012 @ 9:36 am
In my opinion it would be unwise not to show up to the sobor in Parma if you have the opportunity but do your homework now. Find out who your elected metropolitan council members and work with them now. I think it should be clear to anyone by now that the election of a new metropolitan is going to take place whether you like it or not and even if it’s a vote of two people present, it’s going to happen. The best that can be accomplished is to get a few points across. Here are just a few:
1. When is the OCA going to publicly state that homosexuality is not in concert with the teachings and beliefs of the Orthodox Christian faith?
2. Will all of the bishops affirm in writing that they are not homosexual and that the OCA as a matter of principle simply chooses not to ordain homosexual clergy?
3. When will the OCA formally resolve it’s issues with: (a) Archbishop Seraphim, (b) Bishop Matthias, (c) St. John’s Monastery, (d) Metropolitan Jonah, (e) Archimandrite Isidore, (f) Bishop Nicholai. And if it chooses not to resolve these issues, then isn’t it fair that the funding for the national church be curtailed until such time as they can indeed, sit down and resolve each and every one of them?
The OCA is not dead, it’s just in the ICU. It has a chance to partially recover but it’s never going to get there until it starts cleaning up the messes. It’s like a dog who has done his business in the kitchen. You can sit there and keep wiping it around hoping it’s going to clear itself up or you can get on your knees, take a deep breath and clean it up in one feel swoop. Seriously, how hard is it to resolve any one of the issues mentioned above? Here are my answers:
(a) Archbishop Seraphim — Either he is or is not guilty based on the evidence that exists. Have a spiritual court and be done with it.
(b) Bishop Matthias — Same thing.
(c) St. John’s monastery — same thing.
(d) Metropolitan Jonah – The OCA clearly screwed up. Give him a salary, pension and health insurance for the next 20 years and allow him to either go back to his old monastery or start a new one. Yes, this is expensive but it will cost the OCA significantly more if he sues them for defamation and wins. How would any of you like to google your name and have it come up with the word “rape” next to it? The OCA screwed this one up big time.
(e) Archimandrite Isidore — Spriitual court
(f) Bishop Nicholai — Spiritual court
And of course, there is still the ever-present problem of homosexuality in the OCA. Mark my words, until the OCA stops playing the touchy feely game of “it’s okay, they’re just struggling,” and not coming out with a clear condemnation, these problems are going to continue to occur. Why is it so hard to just draw one line in the sand and say something like, “We, the Orthodox Church in America do not feel that homosexuality is in concert with the teachings and beliefs of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith, and as a matter of principle we choose not to have bishops, priests and deacons who are homosexual?” You haven’t condemned anyone and you make your views pretty clear. See, it wasn’t so bad.
Pray, pray, pray!
» Posted By Catherine On October 1, 2012 @ 11:31 am
I have always appreciated your posts here and other places. I may not always agree but you certainly give everyone in cyberworld something to think about.
On the subject of Robert Kondratick, how can you defend someone who systematically received almost $10,000 per week (the limit under which the IRS would be notified) for years? Yes, he did not write the checks to ‘cash” and take them to the bank, but he certainly had his wife Betty and Fr. Stavros Strikis take them to the bank and bring back the cash — which was put into his hands. Do you think this is an appropriate way to handle funds for victims of 9/11? Certainly, one could make a point about the money that was given away in Russia. But that was paltry in comparison to the money given by Archer Daniels to the “Special Account.” What about the exhorbitant credit card charges of which Betty was a recipient? I seem to recall some very expense hair cuts that were charged to the OCA and the OCA never received any reimbursement. Or how about the creative accounting for a house on Long Island that the former chancellor never claimed as a housing allowance?
Sorry to say, I don’t agree with you on this one.
» Posted By Catherine On September 23, 2012 @ 8:27 pm
I wonder why this Bp. Matthias matter is taking so long. It seems like it should be a pretty easy thing to investigate, just read the emails. If he said something inappropriate shouldn’t that be fairly obvious? And if he did, isn’t also fairly obvious that it is completely inappropriate from an Orthodox Christian bishop? It would amusing to have countdown board that listed things like:
How many days until the investigation into Archbishop Seraphim is complete?
How many days until the investigation of Abbot Mel and the St. John’s monastery is complete?
How many days until the investigation of Bp. Matthias is complete?
How many days until the investigation of Fr. Wood is complete?
How many days until the investigation of the Fr. Valencia matter is complete?
And of course, how many days until the reinvestigation of Metropolitan Jonah and the retraction of the defamatory comments that he covered up an alleged rape?
I just read Fr. Jillions latest diary post and it strikes me as a bunch of dribble. Yes, things in the church will take longer to investigate than in the corporate world. But it is frankly insulting when matters are swept under the rug. That is exactly what happened with the Archbishop Seraphim matter. The synod of bishops, including Metropolitan Jonah, were more concerned with moving on then they were with doing an investigation and looking out for Archbishop Seraphim or for the alleged victims. Imagine if someone had actually put such a tote board together. So Fr. Jillions, no it is not alright to sleep on the job. Glad you enjoyed your holiday but is this all that you could say about the Bp. Matthias matter? First the spin doctors give out information that is completely false and then back it up with a cryptic note that a bishop has been placed on leave. When, exactly is this and every other scandal going to be investigated? Or are we going to bury this story like the OCA buried the Archbishop Seraphim story, the Abbott Mel story, the Fr. Wood story, the Fr. Valencia story, and the Metropolitan Jonah story?
Sadly, my cynical side says that Met. Jonah should just sue the OCA for defamation and put it out of its misery.
» Posted By Catherine On September 6, 2012 @ 12:38 pm
Fr. Patrick and lexcaritas,
I agree with your suggestions. Those who are sick and tired of all of these scandals should contact the local bishop of another jurisdiction such as ROCOR or the MP and ask to go directly under their omophorion.
» Posted By Catherine On August 30, 2012 @ 8:03 am
Thank you very much for bringing this forward. Apparently the folks in Syosset are incapable of making any kind of informative statement about this. Once again the OCA finds itself mired in another sexual misconduct matter. Let’s see there is: Archbishop Seraphim, the scandal at St. John’s monastery (which still hasn’t been fully investigated I might add), the now recently suspended bishop, three retired ex-metropolitans, one forcibly retired bishop from Alaska, and one openly gay retired bishop from Boston.
Before the All American Council where Metropolitan Jonah was elected, there was some discussion that all of the bishops should resign. I am now of the same opinion. There is unfortunately a point where buildings become uninhabitable if they have been so neglected that the roof is falling in or it is rotten with mold or vermin. It’s hard not to see that the OCA seems to have reached the point of uninhabitability.
I believe that those who really care about the OCA need to rebuild it from the ground up. Just like the monks who left Manton, I would suggest that every parish simply withdraw from the OCA. If there is enough support, bring Metropolitan Jonah out of retirement and make him the head of new jurisdiction in Dallas. The money to Syosset would just stop. All of the money going to pay for legal fees, communications directors who don’t do anything, a money pit of an estate in Long Island, etal. would just stop. Imagine the possibilities. The OCA has no power over any church. It doesn’t own the property. I’m not saying that it will be easy, but this is ridiculous and frankly heretical. The OCA has supported openly gay bishops, completely refused to investigate the alleged sexual misconduct of an archbishop, railroaded its metropolitan into retirement, allowed the abbott of a monastery to teach extremely questionable things and apparently openly promoted a former child molester to a postion of importance in a monastery that actively recruits young men. Lord have mercy!!!
» Posted By Catherine On August 29, 2012 @ 8:39 am
As a matter of fact I know Metropolitan Jonah quite well. I am simply trying to have a somewhat dispassionate opinion about everything. I think you have missed the point about my last post. Metropolitan Volodymir is loved and admired throughout all of Ukraine. I believe that Metropolitan is also loved throughout the United States and Canada. I have been highly critical of his administrative skills because, quite frankly, he has been atrocious at administration. Nonetheless he still has wonderful gifts and should have been allowed to use those gifts rather than be thrown to the curb. He could have actually been in a great leader of the OCA with the right support.
» Posted By Catherine On August 2, 2012 @ 5:43 pm
I am curious what your thoughts are on the report that is posted on the pokrov.org website. By the way, thank you for posting the video of the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy. Personally, I like to work with facts and in this case, it’s pretty clear that the OCA was snubbed at the Liturgy.
As to the posting on pokrov.org, my personal opinion is that it certainly makes Metropolitan Jonah look like an incompetent administrator but it is doesn’t seem to rise to the level where he should have been ousted. And as to the “rape” charge, there appears to be absolutely no basis in fact.
What, in my opinion, would have been a much fairer way to handle this would have been for the Holy Synod to insist that he delegate the administrative responsibilities to someone like Bishop Michael. Clearly, his ouster could have been avoided. His Beatitude used some bad judgment in certain administrative matters, but so did a lot of other people. Think about it for a couple of minutes: Metropolitan Jonah was not the only clergyman around this priest. Why didn’t any one of the other priests at the cathedral say or do anything? Don’t they have some responsibility in this as well? What happened to his administration? Reading through the timelines, it almost appears that his administration and perhaps the other bishops let this happen. Common sense would dictate that if you saw someone with a very serious problem (whether you saw someone with a psychological disorder, administrative ineptitude, or whatever) you would intervene and help them immediately. You wouldn’t just dig your head into the sand and wait for something bad to happen (which appears to have been the case here).
The video you posted is a shining example of what I am saying here. Where was Metropolitan Vladimir? In a wheelchair and can barely speak! Does anyone in their right mind actually think that he is “administering” the entire country of Ukraine? Of course not, there are other people behind the scenes helping him. Basically Metropolitan Jonah was like Metropolitan Vladimir. And instead of helping the poor man they threw him to the curb. Nice church.
» Posted By Catherine On August 2, 2012 @ 9:21 am
For all of you who are bloviating about the new position, I believe that it is actually the position that belonged to Helen Detke. Helen worked at the chancery for many years and was responsible for keeping track of all of the appeals, helping with the metropolitan’s and the chancellor’s correspondence, answering phones and greeting guests, and many other duties. For the record, it was the former Metropolitan Jonah who ridiculously chose his cell attendant, Brother Gregory, a young man of approximately 25 years old to be his original church secretary. Brother Gregory had absolutely no experience in administration and spent most of his time galavanting around with the former metropolitan. And as we can all see, this created unbelievable chaos because there was no one to take the former metropolitan’s phone calls, answer messages, or write correspondence.
For all of the obvious experts on this site who know what the chancery needs, I suggest you go and visit the chancery before you conclude what the church does or does not need. For the record, back in around 2006/2007 Deacon John Zarras and a team of other people was assigned the task of reviewing every position at the chancery and eliminate every one that was not essential. Helen Detke’s position was not eliminated because it was deemed essential. Now the chancery is simply trying to replace a vacant position and people on this site are opining with certainty that they “know” that the position is not necessary or can be combined with the duties of other staff members.
For the experts that believe that the chancery is becoming “too corporate,” who exactly do you think is supposed to write the thank you letter to the little old lady who sends $10 to the church? Who exactly is supposed to go to the post office and get the mail? Who exactly, is supposed to take the phone call from the angry dentist who wants to call and complain? Who exactly is supposed to open the door and turn the lights on when, God forbid, a hierarch from another jurisdiction might actually want to visit the OCA? Who, exactly, is supposed to get in touch with the metropolitan (who might or might not be in Washington) to tell him that a tragedy has occurred? Who, exactly is supposed to coordinate, faxes, emails, letters, and face to face meeting with church departments, clergy, and the faithful of the OCA who would dare to contact the central administration of the church?
» Posted By Catherine On July 25, 2012 @ 9:20 am
I respectfully have to disagree with you. The role of metropolitan is not to fly around and do whatever he feels is correct. His role is to help speak for the church as a whole. Perhaps you are not aware of Metropolitan Jonah’s unapproved trips over the past several years. He cost the OCA many thousands of dollars in unapproved travel expenses. But more importantly he was a constant strain on all of the other bishops because he wouldn’t sit still and continued to speak off the cuff. He was neither a child nor a prisoner as you have suggested; he was, however, the head of an autocephalous church and that means working with your brother bishops — which he refused to do. If he really felt that he was a prisoner and was being treated as a child, it was of his own making. Again, perhaps you are not aware of the history over the past several years but there have been numerous “interventions” to try and get Metropolitan Jonah to stay with the program.
You mentioned an honest environment in your post. Okay, let’s talk brutal honesty: who exactly do you see as being dishonest in this? Which bishop or member of the metropolitan council do you see as being dishonest? From my vantage point I see a church trying to prop up a loose canon who arrogantly refused to listen to the people around him. No, it wasn’t malicious. In fact, it was downright kind to let him continue to parade around and wast resources like moving to Washington just so that he could play the role big cheese in Washington. By the way, how did he do in Washington? How about that big expansion plan at the cathedral? Did it happen? No. What happened to a permanent dean? Sorry, that didn’t happen either? How are his plans to build a monastery in Washington? I’m sorry, that died on the vine as well. How much did the OCA faithful pay for people like Frs. Jillions and Tosi to run to Washington? Zero? I don’t think so.
On one point I will agree with you, the OCA chose him and there is no going back. He rightfully deserves some financial compensation. He uprooted his life and tried to dedicate himself to the role of metropolitan and he deserves some fair compensation. He is not eligible for a full pension in the OCA as far as I know and even if he was, it would be a paltry sum.
It does, however, still amaze me that Metropolitan Jonah did what he did. He had one of the greatest positions one could ask for in the church. He could have done an Archbishop Peter and simply hunkered down and done nothing for a few more years and yet he threw it all away. Even if he hated everyone on the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council, he could have sat politely and nodded through every meeting and then gone off and served Liturgy at his cathedral. And yet he threw it all away. Hmmm ….
» Posted By Catherine On July 13, 2012 @ 9:12 am
I would suggest that you speak with Mark Stokoe directly and I’m sure he will say the same things that I am saying. Yes, officially the members of the metropolitan council will probably not voice an opinion; however, in all seriousness just call up a few of them and ask them. I don’t think you will find any that feel that Metropolitan Jonah was doing anything close to an acceptable job as metropolitan.
As I have said in the past, Metropolitan Jonah is a nice man and it looks like he was a pretty good abbot of a small monastery. Perhaps he should return to something like this. He has professed a desire to see monasticism grow in America. Well now’s his chance to shine. Which, by the way, is why I am so critical of his resignation. Okay, call it as it is, he was forced to resign. Come on, for God’s sake he was the head of an autocephalous church. Did he have to muddy the waters with references to his family? How about a few more references to God? It looks like it was extremely hurried and I for one wish that he had given it a great deal of thought. Clearly the tension level with the Holy Synod was rising. If only he had seen that he could do more good by working with the people he now thinks are his enemies than ignoring them or completely dismissing them. Oh well. In a few year’s time, no one is going to give Metropolitan Jonah another thought. I could be wrong, but I’d put his chances at being Archbishop of Dallas and the South at slim and none. He’s “retired” according to the official website.
Let us at least agree to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the election of the next metropolitan.
» Posted By Catherine On July 12, 2012 @ 8:30 pm
I don’t disagree with anyone that Fr. Kishkovsky is trying to put spin on Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation however I wonder why so many people who post on this site don’t use a bit more common sense when it comes to dissecting what, exactly, brought about this decision. Let’s look at some of the arguments that have been posited:
1. Metropolitan Jonah was too conservative. The last time I checked, the metropolitan serves in concert with his other bishops. I know and have met some of them and the synod has several very conservative bishops. Wouldn’t they logically stand up in support of a conservative metropolitan? However, it is now argued that these conservative bishops turned and went against their own principles just to get rid of Metropolitan Jonah. Huh? That doesn’t make any sense.
2. Metropolitan Jonah was thrown out by a cabal of people. The last time I checked, the holy synod is made up of bishops elected by each diocese. Are you really saying that the good people in New York elected a monster? How about Pennsylvania? How about Chicago? And the last time I checked parishes in each diocese elect representatives to the metropolitan council. Are these evil people as well? And then there is the chancery. Are Frs. Jillions and Tosi, the same people who help administer the affairs of the OCA and All-American Council, evil-minded when it comes to the Metropolitan Jonah? When you start putting names to this, the arguments of an evil cabal become absurd. In fact, I would love to see every person who feels that Metropolitan Jonah was slighted in any way would attach a name to their comments. Who, exactly, do you think is against Metropolitan Jonah?
3. Metropolitan Jonah wouldn’t “play ball” with the other members of the Holy Synod. I think you can say with relative certainty that not every decision in the holy synod meetings is unanimous. This is probably the one area that has some merit. The critical point, though, is how you define “play ball.” From my perspective it appears that despite the fact the Metropolitan Jonah had disagreements with the holy synod, he just turned right around after the meetings and did whatever the heck he felt like. Can you imagine if the president of the United States did that? How long would he last if he had a cabinet meeting, came to a consensus with his staff, and then turned right around did the exact opposite on national tv? Someone posted about “sobornost.” The last time I checked one of the definitions is “conciliarity.” Isn’t that how the mind of the church is supposed to work? i grant you that metropolitan Jonah put himself out in the public eye on various issues but he also positioned himself, and here I think is the critical distinction, with various political factions. Like the president of the United States, you don’t exactly have a personal view anymore. As metropolitan his role is to speak for the entire OCA, including the positions of the holy synod and the metropolitan council. That’s sobornost. It is not to go walking down the halls of congress and expressing views or signing onto political documents because they things he personally believes in. Think just about the world council of churches. It continues to be brought up at All American Councils whether or not the OCA should participate? Why? Because the church as a whole wishes to decide the matter. We don’t have one diocese participating and another opting out.
4. The “administration” is just mean-spirited and wanted to get rid of Metropolitan Jonah. Part of this is covered in point two above, however I believe it should be thought through as well. Metropolitan Jonah took it upon himself to terminate Fr. Garklavs, the former Chancellor. He was clearly involved with the hiring of the new Chancellor. Metropolitan Jonah was involved with the election of at least three new bishops and presumably got to know most everyone on the metropolitan council. You mean to tell me that all of these people have it in for Metropolitan Jonah or could the real reason be that they are the only real living people who have actually had to work with him? How many of you fine people in cyberworld ever worked with him? Do you really know what it’s like to work with him on a daily basis or are you just a pundit? The act speaks for itself: the people who worked with him the longest are the people who suggested that he was not the right person for the position, i.e. the good people who you elected as your representatives. I would suggest instead of tieing up the phone lines to Syosset, try calling your metropolitan council members or your local bishop and ask them why he was asked to resign.
» Posted By Catherine On July 12, 2012 @ 9:28 am
The bishops, the Chancellor and the Metropolitan Council, i.e. all of those entrusted to help build up the church, are all saying the same thing and you simply won’t accept it: Metropolitan Jonah was acting in ways that were destroying the church.
Reading this dribble about how he was forced about because of his conservative views is ridiculous. He was forced out because he was incompetent at the job of metropolitan. Just read the Chancellor’s recent blog. As kindly as he could, he is trying to tell everyone that there were serious deficiencies in Metropolitan Jonah’s handling of the position of Metropolitan.
» Posted By Catherine On July 11, 2012 @ 9:15 am
You absolutely correct!!! Jonah’s family is none of my business nor your business! Mentioning his family in a letter that would clearly go out to all the faithful was disgusting. His lack of follow-through with Archbishop Seraphim when he knew about the allegations at the time of his election was disgusting. His removal of Archpriest Garklavs without any consultation and authority was disgusting. His meddling into the Kondratick matter was disgusting. His insulting comments to the ecumenical patriarch were disgusting. His handling of the situation at the podvorie in Moscow was disgusting.
You may not believe it but while I didn’t think he was the right candidate for metropolitan at his election I was truly willing to give it a shot like most everyone else. It is not personal that I and the holy synod of the OCA and its administration think he needed to go. However, he alone is the one who is making it personal.
» Posted By Catherine On July 10, 2012 @ 9:04 am
What a wonderful day! Despite all of the detractors, the OCA finally got its act together. The Holy Synod acted with purpose and finally canned the former Metropolitan Jonah. Sorry, but I for one never drank the kool-aid that Jonah was the great saviour of the OCA. He is a nice enough person but his actions over the past few years have shown him to be completely inept at administration. He shot from the hip too many times and followed through with almost nothing. I was there in Pittsburgh when he was elected and to his credit he spoke quite eloquently. But that is not how to elect a metropolitan.
What is the OCA Holy Synod today? Come on folks, look at the roster: Bishop Michael did a great job with St. Tikhon’s seminary. Is he the enemy? What about Bishop Melchizedek or Bishop Matthias? Are they the enemies? I don’t think so. They are intelligent, rational men who finally had enough of the shenanigans of the man in white. Let’s see, new Holy Synod, new Chancellor and new Metropolitan Council members. Where does the conspiracy theory end? They all had it in for Jonah? Come on, get real.
And how about that resignation letter, huh? For the record, Jonah was the head of a small monastery in California. Would that same monastery be responsible for supporting Jonah’s parents and his sister? I don’t think so. The same could be said for every priest and bishop in the OCA. Perhaps it’s because Jonah cost the OCA so much money having to pay out settlements to the likes of Kondratick and Garklavs that he feels he should put his hand out. By the way folks, not to be a sourpuss but Jonah’s father had a real-estate business by Jonah’s own admission. You mean to say that his father made no provisions for retirement and now it’s the OCA’s responsibility? Just asking the hard questions. And what about his unemployed legal secretary sister (You remember her don’t you? She’s the one he tried to get a job in Syosset when he was first elected). Is she not capable of working? By the way, he brought her into this not me. I personally would have have left her out of the public.
Jonah is clearly positioning himself to be the next bishop of Dallas. He wants to go where everyone knows him and loves him.And of course, since he was the bishop of Fr. Worth for what 10 days, everyone knows exactly what they would be getting with him. Unfortunately, I think that he has destroyed his relationship with the Holy Synod to such a point that being a diocesan bishop seems out of the question. Well if it comes to pass that he gets the chance to be bishop of Dallas and the South, you heard it here first, “We told you so.”
The OCA is going to survive, and quite honestly it’s going to come out of this stronger. It has a number of great men who have assumed the role of bishop in the last few years. It has cleaned house of crooks like Kondratick and removed bishops like Swaiko and Nicholai. In fact, the financial position of the OCA hasn’t been this strong in years. Sorry to all you naysayers, the OCA is here to stay. The OCA Holy Synod acted with a bit of heavy hand this past week but they did the right thing.
Glory to God for all things!
» Posted By Catherine On July 9, 2012 @ 11:21 pm
While I completely disagree with your analysis of the “sex czar,” I do agree that the OCA system of governance is completely broken. Have you or others considered breaking away from the OCA? There are, of course, other jurisdictions. When ROCOR reconciled with the Moscow Patriarchate, there were a number of parishes that chose not to go with them. I wonder if now is the time to seriously consider using the power of the internet to start a kind of grass roots change. This keystone cops approach to the administration in Syosset could stop. The bleeding of parishes for frivolous and unnecessary departments could also stop. Imagine how strong a new OCA could be if it had just the Diocese of the South as its main base. Certainly Metropolitan Jonah could be brought back to head it up and there quite a number of disgruntled OCA parishioners that would probably support such a move. The OCA does not legally own most of the church properties in the OCA. They are owned by the individual parishes who chose to be under the tax i.d. number of the OCA. The only real loss would be that the the churches might lose their not-for-profit status for a while (which seems to be a pretty small thing in comparison to all of the issues).
This may sound crazy but it’s obviously not as difficult as it might seem. Sometimes we just have to say, “No. Enough is enough.” I am not trying to be an anarchist but watching the continual implosion of the OCA just doesn’t seem to be a very productive use of time and resources.
» Posted By Catherine On August 8, 2012 @ 9:31 am
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I have not always agreed with you, more often agreeing with Helga or George, but in this matter I think you are correct. While Mike Myers’ accusatory tone suggests more malice than inquistiveness, some of the responses have been just plain embarrassing.
The defensiveness that has led to statements such as “If he can get Russians to worship in Russian, who cares if he makes millions selling cigarettes!” is most unfortunate.
Patriarch Kirill apparently (I say since I don’t know that much about him) has both virtues and faults. No surprise. Please folks, stop letting yourselves be baited by Mike Myers.
» Posted By Catherine On December 15, 2011 @ 12:56 pm