Comments Posted By Jacob
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An offense to be deposed? There was a clear paper trail of all monies collected and not yet distributed. No coverup no intent to say the funds were given when they were not. Should they have been distributed sooner, yes.
But here is what is given a pass in the OCA. You have a deacon who ran off and married another man and he is still serving. A bishop who was arrested and resisted arrest, soiled himself in the backseat of the police car, and other events while he was in Alaska, and he is still serving. A cleric in the Romanian diocese who divorced his wife after she found out of his secret lifestyle, yet he still serves. Or a cleric who announced to the world he is gay, divorced his wife, but he still serves. A bishop who took personal emails of a priest, yet he still serves.
Bishop Tikhon is spot on. The synod invited Kondratick to come and answer any question of him without counsel and the synod backed out. Why? This is the legacy of the OCA and the Orthodox world sees it on full display.
» Posted By Jacob On December 12, 2011 @ 9:12 am
Helga and George,
I am adding this to your comments so that a new thread can be started, if necessary.
This is going to sound harsh, but the truth often is harsh. The problem with the OCA synod is not Jonah it is Benjamin and Melchizedek. Benjamin is consumed with hatred for three people: Herman, Kondratick and Jonah. He stabbed all three in the back; the most ruthless act was against Herman. He confided in Herman that he would take over the SIC from Job and would make sure that Herman would stay as Metropolitan. He then promptly did everything he could to tie Herman to the Kondratick. Herman tried to save himself by cutting Kondratick loose, and then Herman got his when he was forced to retire.
Now, Jonah is the latest in the Benjamin scorched earth policy. When Seraphim dropped out of contention for Metropolitan in 2008, Benjamin was ready to step in. His only contender, he thought was Job. Benjamin knew that Job did not want to be Metropolitan, and as it turned out when the choice was between Job and Jonah, Job stepped aside when the synod was voting making Jonah the choice. Benjamin was upset thinking that he was the better choice.
This is the mentality of the synod now, to rid the OCA of Jonah because he is not like “the rest of us.” He is not an alley fighter he actually is a monk. Instead of surrounding him with people who can shore up his weak administrative skills (if they really exist) they surround him with people who work to expose his weak points and belittle him, even to the point of making him look like he is crazy. This is a sin and it is wrong.
Because Jonah has been painted into so many corners, forced to change his mind, some in high places have called him a liar – “he says one thing then does another.” One could say that it appears his yes sometimes is a no and his no sometimes becomes a yes, but to make an entire pathology out of this is a stretch but that is exactly what people like Stokoe and Hopko with Benjamin barking at synod meetings have projected. And the result of all of this is an OCA that is so weakened and embarrassing that the OCA bishop of Pittsburgh is ignored and not invited to the installation of Met. Savas. Not invited to the 65th birthday of Pat. Kirill. These are very serious signals and will only further marginalize the OCA when it comes to the local Episcopal Assemblies.
The OCA is now seen as a jurisdiction motivated by jealousy and backbiting, led by a Primate who is clueless and a synod that is totally dysfunctional. A dry drunk Benjamin, a bishop of Pittsburgh with a known impediment in how he was released in Greece to come back to the OCA, a bishop in Canada under suspension, two former Carpatho-Russian bishops who were told they would never succeed Met. Nicholas (not that they are bad guys) a bishop of Baltimore who lives in Florida who is trying to con the synod and the DOS into accepting him as their bishop, a former representative to the ROC who is now suspended, the former dean of the DC Cathedral and DOS chancellor who was hounded out of the OCA because he was a friend of Kondratick and called two bishops turds and worms, an OCA chancellor who was fired but is still getting paid $140K a year, and worst of all, a leadership that won’t let the First Hierarch lead.
This First Hierarch wants to take the OCA into the future, build upon her strengths, expand her monastic ranks and witness, minister more aggressively to youth and college students, draw moral lines in the sand so that our youth can have social standards guided by what our Lord and the Church defend, and be willing to try new things even at the risk of failing but not willing to let the status quo rule. And, for this, he is seen, as a threat, “gravely troubled” and the attempt to hound him out of office will continue.
For all of this, I mourn. I mourn the loss of the OCA’s vitality and vision. I mourn because there is still so much that is good in the OCA but if her leaders can’t set the example of love and forgiveness, or to be more precise, won’t follow the example of her First Hierarch who has consistently since his first day as Primate offered a model of love and forgiveness, the OCA suffers and continues to be led by agendas of power (Kishkovsky), settling scores (Benjamin and Melchizedek), all in a futile attempt to control outcomes to their own benefit.
The shadow of Stokoe is still casting a mournful fog over the OCA and I don’t think it can be lifted until Jonah is allowed to truly lead the OCA, to do what he think is right and supported by those who are called to work with him and thus for the entire Church. Lest we forget, the Church spoke in Seattle that it was not happy with how Jonah has been treated and how the Church has been run since 2006. Godly change can only come to the OCA, change that can be blessed by God when we are reconciled to one another, forgiving all by the Resurrection, coming together and working as one people. Jonah is the man who can bring us together because he has no desire to neither play silly Syosset games nor devise selfish agendas.
The question is, will he have a chance? Will the many who support his vision be allowed to forge it now so that the OCA has a chance to play a role for the mission of the Orthodox Faith in the future?
Monomahkos serves a purpose in the exchange of ideas and points of view. It is a dialogue not a monologue of one “Voice”. It presents to those behind the Byzantine walls of intrigue in the synod and Syosset an opportunity on a daily basis to catch an unfiltered and unmanufactured glimpse of what people yearn for in the OCA and how we as Orthodox Christians encounter our culture. We agree, we disagree, we get angry, we ask for forgiveness, we try not to lose hope, we persevere because we love Christ, the Orthodox Faith and for those of us in the OCA, our jurisdiction. But we also want to be full partners with our sister Orthodox Churches here in the USA and around the world and not an embarrassing obstacle. Co-workers and friends; brothers and sisters in the pews and in high places, led by our Metropolitan who is supported by his brothers on the synod and a staff in Syosset. That will now take a great deal more effort because of our recent history but it can only have a chance if Jonah has a chance to be the person the Holy Spirit blessed him to be as our First Hierarch.
Today many of the OCA bishops communed of the same Body and Blood of Christ at the Liturgy in New York City. May it be for their and our salvation and not unto condemnation.
» Posted By Jacob On December 10, 2011 @ 11:00 am
You are indeed correct regarding the conditions that the Garklavs family and them alone were to be the focus of the return of the Icon. Not the OCA, not the Metropolitan. This was also quite distasteful to the ROC, but they went along with it.
Yesterday Metropolitan Savas was enthroned as the new Metropolitan of the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh. Not one OCA bishop was present. How far the OCA has fallen since 2006. A clear signal appears to have been sent by the GOA/EP.
Stokoe/Wheeler sure knew how to tear things down but not how to rebuild. Benjamin is still gunning for Jonah as if that is the most important thing in the world and John Jillions is going to save the OCA? Amazing.
» Posted By Jacob On December 9, 2011 @ 12:58 pm
In memory of Andy Rooney, “Did you wonder why the SIC never bothered to track down an OCA appeal for the Tikhvin Icon?”
» Posted By Jacob On December 8, 2011 @ 12:32 pm
Monk James pointed to one of the “benefits” the Garklavs family received from the ROC for the return of the Tikhvin Icon, a dacha. Was that dacha given simply out of the kindness of the hearts of the Russian people?
Monk James did not mention the special OCA Appeal for the return of the Icon, monies that were never accounted for by the OCA. Why? Because the Garklavs family, in particular Alexander Garklavs insisted that the funds go directly to the Garklavs family. Thus there was no accounting for the funds.
How much was raised? What was the money used for? Well we know that the money was not used for transporting the entire Garklavs family over to Russia for the return of the Icon because the Russian government provided a private jet for the family to fly to Russia with the Icon. We also know they did not have to pay for anything once they were there, housing, meals, other gifts, including an automobile.
We also know that the fired and discredited Garklavs is still on the OCA payroll. Pretty good deal all around for the Garklavs family. Kudos, and thankfully the Wonderworking Icon of our Lady of Tikhvin is back where it belongs. Thanks be to God.
» Posted By Jacob On December 8, 2011 @ 7:31 am
Not trying to be coy. The return of the Tikhvin Icon is a story that will be told someday. Just mark it down, “to be continued.”
» Posted By Jacob On December 2, 2011 @ 11:32 pm
Well, lets put it this way, it wasn’t returned for nothing!
» Posted By Jacob On December 2, 2011 @ 6:30 pm
Truly a blessing to participate. Can you share the circumstances for the invitation by Ab. Kirill?
» Posted By Jacob On December 2, 2011 @ 10:30 am
Resurrecting the old canard (The Dallas Sermon) as the focal point of poor relations between the OCA and the GOA/EP is pure Kishkovsky talk. He has blathered this around the world to anyone who would listen, which is becoming a small circle since Santa Fe. If Jonah survives he should sack Kishkovsky and replace him with a bishop.
Relations with the EP actually took a major hit when Metropolitan Herman confronted the EP in Constantinople and asked him when the EP would recognize the OCA autocephaly? Anyone with half a brain knows that you don’t ask a question when you know the answer and Herman knew the answer, “Never.” Knowing that, why would he ask the question which only damaged a very cool but polite relationship? The moment the EP said, “Never” that nice boat ride on the Bosphorus turned into a trip on the Titanic for the OCA.
Jonah said what he said in Dallas and he also publicly apologized and that apology was accepted by the EP/GOA. People like Kishkovsky only bring up the speech in an effort to discredit Jonah. However the truth is that the OCA’s relationship with the GOA and the EP can improve dramatically (and the MP) with one action. If people are really concerned with improving the OCA’s working relationship with the EP/GOA/MP, then it would take one decision by the synod. Until that time, the EP and GOA will be cool if not cold toward the OCA and it does not matter to the Greeks who the OCA Metropolitan is.
Moscow is taking a “look and see” attitude toward the OCA. They have sent enough signals since Sante Fe that they are fed up with us. Sending Garklavs to Moscow to smoke out Archimandrite Zacchaeus was another dumb move since Garklavs is largely persona-non-gratis in Russia after he and his family took full advantage of the MP for the return of the Tikvin Icon.
Different day, same old problems for the OCA. Quite a legacy!
» Posted By Jacob On December 2, 2011 @ 9:22 am
What’s up with FOCUS?
» Posted By Jacob On December 1, 2011 @ 6:01 pm
I stand corrected on the points you mention. Your memory is better than mine on that period of time in the history of SVS and I completely forgot about the untimely repose of the Archimandrite.
Thank you for your kind correction!
» Posted By Jacob On November 30, 2011 @ 3:58 pm
What you write about the late Archbishop Job is a hard saying. Many inside and outside the Midwest diocese knew his weaknesses. We all are guilty in that he died in his sickness.
His sins were covered, especially by the former OCA Chancellor, Robert Kondratick, and please note, even in the midst of Job’s assault on Kondratick as the chairperson of the first SIC and who was scheduled to be the accuser of Kondratick in the spiritual court, Kondratick NEVER uttered a word about what he knew about Job. And, he never will. It will be up to others to do so. To his credit, Job recused himself from being the accuser because he knew he did not meet the standard for being an accuser (one who’s character was unimpeachable.)
The history of Job and the Midwest is complex as was his tenure in New England. There was no love lost between Bobosh and Stokoe for Job prior to the Kondratick affair. Job exiled Stokoe’s partner, Steve Brown when Brown, as a member of the Midwest Building Committee overseeing the renovation of the LaSalle Street property, questioned Job on how the Building Fund monies were being used. Brown ran afoul of Job and Fr. Zacchaeus, Job’s deacon and secretary at the time. For his efforts at questioning Job, Brown was removed or quit the Committee. Bobosh and Stokoe both considered Job a disappointment as a bishop until he found his voice over Kondratick. What is tragic is that they all knew of Job’s weaknesses, especially Zacchaeus. To my knowledge there was never an intervention with Job on the diocesan level. There may have been people who pleaded with Job to get help, but in the end he did not.
The OCA synod will never admit their culpability either in ignoring the many signs of Job’s sickness. They simply averted their eyes and let him sink deeper and deeper into depression, alcoholism and other distractions. It was a very tragic end to a life that was tortured in many ways. He hated being a bishop and tried to resign while he was the Bishop of New England. His “countdown to retirement” clock was well known in the Midwest.
The nearest thing to an intervention on the part of the Synod was the confrontation that Bp. Nikolai had with Ab. Job. Job admitted that he interfered into the internal affairs of another diocese. Nikolai wanted Job deposed for such a canonical offense. That incident provided a window for Job to get help, however the synod closed ranks and nothing ever came of that episode except that Nikolai and Job were asked to forgive each other and get along. They did, but Job never forgot that encounter and when Nikolai was on the ropes in Alaska Job let him twist in the wind as did the other members of the synod.
Job may be one of the most tragic figures in recent OCA history. One can only wonder if Job was elected Metropolitan if he would have been asked to get an “evaluation”? It is a shame and a sin that he didn’t get help before his untimely demise.
Healing the hurt? Only the whole truth can heal the wounds. Sadly what we have had up to this point are only partial truths. There is more than enough blame to go around as we have failed each other but the truth can set the OCA free. The question becomes if, as Jack Nicholson uttered, “The truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Can we handle the whole truth? I think we know that the Pandora’s Box of truth has been opened and it is too late to close it.
So we either live in the land of our current partial truth and division or we finish this chapter in our history with what I would suggest is a “Reconciliation Commission” with the goal of healing the OCA and not prove who was right and who was wrong. The starting point is that we were all wrong, we all could have made better choices. We are each, “the chief among sinners.” The alternative is what we have now, a house divided and we know that we cannot long stand like this. We have a bishop on the synod right now who is almost a clone of Job, and yet, we allow him to live in his sickness, and no I am not speaking of Jonah, although he has set a standard for meekness and humility by going to the SLI.
We either come together and learn from the past, forgive one another and work with each other in a spirit of reconciliation or we will die alone in our sins having squandered the gift that was given to us.
» Posted By Jacob On November 30, 2011 @ 1:36 pm
Well, Carl, THAT is the most asinine statement that I have heard in a long time. Are you saying that we should just be quiet? That certainly isn’t in the spirit of Fr. Alexander. Isn’t transparency and accountability also about people speaking up and leaders listening?
“They?” I guess you don’t consider yourself a card-carrying member of BOLS? You also don’t follow your announced pledge to not post during the Fast. So much for acting outside the bounds of your own word.
» Posted By Jacob On November 30, 2011 @ 10:36 am
We will find out soon exactly the disposition of Jonah and just as importantly the disposition of the OCA. The image of St. Nektarios is an apt one. It seems like all the great bishop saints had to deal with agendas by those who desired “the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts” Mk. 12:39.
Jonah is not like the others. He may be stark raving mad for all I know based on his “evaluation” but he is not envious, nor does he wish ill of others. He may be as weak as a willow, bending way too much for the sake of the other and certainly at his own expense. He may be the worst administrator the OCA has ever had, but what is also true is that previous Metropolitans of the Metropolia and OCA were not stellar administrators, even going back to the saintly Leonty. He had Besermtney. Ireney had Pishtey, Theodosius had Kontratick, Herman had Kondratick, and a few other less memorable helpers. Who has Jonah had? A chancellor who was fired (still getting paid) who was proven to be stabbing Jonah in the back, an Interim Chancellor who was working for who? And, now, Jillions. Hired by the MC and “confirmed” by the Synod. Who does he work for?
No, being a lousy administrator is not why Jonah was sent to the SLI. You don’t send an administrative blunder bust to SLI. He will be tarred and feathered with whatever they can stick on him. They will make it out to be or it really is much more serious. But in the end the OCA will not be better for it. We will lose more credibility and we will be leaderless for the next three years with a series of Temporary Administrators (the a la Bekhish) plan all along.
There will be no winners only losers and the rank and file will be further disillusioned and good young men who might have been willing to go to seminary will think hard and long about being affiliated with the OCA.
And the answer to all of this? How about taking a good hard look at the last 10 years and stop being such an ugly mean-spirited church and rather work to be reconciled to one another. I don’t think the OCA can survive if it continues to listen to those who think it more important to have best practices at the expense of having a forgiving heart. Jonah projects that forgiving heart and that is why he is so dangerous to those who would rather destroy the OCA than seek the true medicine of salvation – forgiveness.
» Posted By Jacob On November 29, 2011 @ 1:09 pm
Stokoe is part of an elitist group that thinks Schmemann’s vision for the OCA was sidetracked prior to his untimely death when he was ousted by Bp. Peter and Nathaniel from his insider role of directing the OCA synod. Since that time the “golden age” of SVS in the 70′s and its close alliance with Syosset are likened to the “symphonia” between the Byzantine Church and State; however that was lost but finally now with Jillions as Chancellor, maybe a revival can occur?
SVS in the 60′s and 70′s until Schmemann’s death, was the unquestioned center of Orthodox life in the USA in education, publishing books in English, faculty fanning out across the world to project the OCA. Meyendorff’s untimely repose was another blow to the OCA and with Hopko replacing Meyendorff, he was simply a disaster and SVS has never really recovered.
Meanwhile, the world is a different place now and there are many new Orthodox centers with the fall of the Iron Curtain. The hegemony on Orthodox academia that SVS once enjoyed no longer exists and the demise of the OCA in recent years with their propensity to “shoot their wounded” has done nothing to promote any OCA legacy. We appear to be exactly what critics of the OCA have always said, an immature church which was not ready to be self-governing and that Russian made a mistake in 1970.
I would suggest that the latest chapter in this saga will be written shortly and we will again prove our critics correct. However, the elitist go blithely along thinking they still have all the answers (listen to Hopko) and the OCA will prevail as the catalyst for what world wide Orthodox must look like.
This arrogance was on display in Seattle but the rank and file have had a belly full and sent a message at the AAC that things are far from ok. Trying to tug on the emotional heartstrings of the gathered by presenting a video of Matushka Schmemann was a sad attempt to gin up an imaginary base.
I will simply add that the OCA has been infested with pro-gay clergy and bishops for decades, maybe another sad legacy of the untimely repose of Fr. Schmemann who gave no quarter for such men. Maybe it was better he left us when he did or else he might be considered a conservative right wing homophobic gay bashing cretan.
» Posted By Jacob On November 29, 2011 @ 12:00 pm
Hopko was a willing accomplice in all of this. He knew exactly what he was doing. Hopko’s credibility suffered, but it also suffered when he was removed as dean of SVS for his poor judgement and terrible administrative abilities. He displayed an angry bitter part of his personality on that first Monday of Lent epistle and he revealed an even deeper contempt for anyone who would dare to question the legacy of his father-in-law and his vision for the OCA. Truth be told those days were long gone before this past year and it is those who consider Fr. Alexander has the alpha and omega of the OCA, frozen in time, never to be questioned, as the real agents against the OCA to moving forward. Jonah never has been a blind servant to Schmemann’s legacy, thus on outsider to those in power.
Why is it that only a small portion of Fr. Alexander’s diary was printed in English whereas the Russian version portrays an honest picture of Fr. Alexander that is not always pretty? Fr. Schmemann’s hagiographers (Hopko, Garklavs, Stokoe, Stankovich, Arida, Vinodradov, Bobosh, Jillions, Tkachuk) prefer to keep their memory of him alive for us rather than present a more accurate portrayal. Those who have read the Russian version of his dairy know him more accurately in the flesh. It is honest because it is his own words.
No, Hopko’s fingerprints are all over the Jonah take down and he will have to answer for that someday.
» Posted By Jacob On November 29, 2011 @ 11:26 am
Ian, et. al.,
There was only one reason for Jonah to be checked into the SLI and that was to “get something” anything on him so that the Synod could then say with clean hands, “see, there was something wrong with Jonah and therefore he has to go.”
That was the game plan then (see above links) and it continues to be the game plan today. Jonah is skating on the thinnest ice yet. The synod meets around Dec. 9. I would not be surprised if they want to make his evaluation public. Of course the only way that could be done is if Jonah signed a disclosure agreement prior to entering SLI saying that his results could be made public. If he did, then they synod, at least, could know his results. As for the rest of the Church, I guess that depends. We will know soon enough.
I think they have Jonah clearly in their sites and they are going to take him down. Nothing has changed since Santa Fe. What that means for the OCA? I am afraid nothing good.
As for OCAN shutting down, actually when that happened and the timing of it, I concluded that Jonah was finished. Now, Stokoe can have plausible deniability since the take down will be after OCAN went down. I took OCAN going down as a very bad signal for Jonah. As it were Stokoe’s “work here was done” and he got his man.
One can expect that whatever comes out the synod will be bad for Jonah. He is going to be put in the worst possible light. They have not gone through all of this so that they can say, “Never mind. Jonah is fine.” The OCA synod never works that way. They always have to cover their assets and they will this time too.
The worst days for the OCA are not behind us but still ahead and it could be very ugly.
» Posted By Jacob On November 29, 2011 @ 10:55 am
Michael Moore rages against the 1% ers who, in his estimation, do not pay enough in taxes. He is willing to pay more in taxes, I don’t know if he pays above what he is required to by the IRS, supposedly we all can give the US Government a tip if we want to. So M.M. has a big house, he makes a lot of money, conservatives should not have a problem with that, they want everyone to be rich. What Moore is not happy about (most recently) is how fat cats play the inside game and stick it to others.
If anyone saw the 60 Minutes opening episode last week (this is 60 Minutes Overtime synopsis not the full story. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388042n&tag=component.1 )
how our lawmakers LEGALLY take inside financial information, liberals and conservatives – Pelosi and Boehner, and use it to make millions in personal trading profits, it would make you sick. That is the type of immoral activity, oh, yes it is legal, but is it moral, behavior that makes people like M.M. stand up and shout so loud. OCA application – Maymon, emails, legal, moral?
» Posted By Jacob On November 17, 2011 @ 2:41 pm
You could have stopped, as far as I am concerned after you mentioned St. Anthony’s Monastery. You need not go on and on. What goes on at the Ephramite monasteries is not representative of Orthodoxy in this land, especially at St. Anthony’s. That is representative of a type of Orthodoxy, being transplanted here that gives little credence to a local Orthodox expression of the faith, rather an attempt at transplanting a narrow type of greek Orthodoxy, from a particular strain of monastic greek Orthodoxy and projecting it as the only greek Orthodoxy, or even more troublesome the ONLY TRUE Orthodoxy that exists.
But please, don’t think the Ephraimites speak for all Orthodox in this land. They do not. Heck, Elder Ephraim doesn’t even speak for all the Greeks, and certainly not the GOA.
God give you peace.
» Posted By Jacob On November 17, 2011 @ 7:42 pm
The OCA is an Autocephalous Church. If it were Autonomous, we would not be going through all this baloney. Our Mother Church would have stepped in long ago and brought order.
IF (and I think very likely) Jonah is ousted, then the Locum Tenens appointed by the Synod would serve in the place of the Metropolitan, if invited. I doubt he would be by ROCOR.
That is the proper protocol.
» Posted By Jacob On November 17, 2011 @ 2:20 pm
Bishop Basil was indeed forced into retirement in the early 1980′s I think in 84. Interestingly enough during that time Mark Stokoe was working for Bp. Basil in his San Francisco chancery office. Theodosius, Kishkovsky, Hubiak and Bishop Kyrill of Pittsburgh were all in on Basil’s ouster. It was this same procedure that was resurrected by Kishkovsky to Garklavs in their early 2011 attempts to oust Jonah using the Rodzianko method.
As far as it being part of a “gay cabal” there is no credible evidence to support that and it would be a bit too much to simply link that to Bishop Basil’s forced retirement simply because Stokoe was working in the San Francisco chancery office at the time. A more willing participant inside the San Francisco chancery office at that time was the late Fr. Michael Prokurat who’s issues with Rodzianko were well know at the time.
Today, what is not conjecture but proven fact based on what Jonah found out from Garklavs emails is that Kishkovsky reminded Garklavs about the Rozianko method as the way to get to Jonah by psychologically discrediting him. This was proven when Garklavs’ oca.org emails (lawfully secured by Jonah) provided the smoking gun evidence that did in Garklavs. Even the synod could not ignore such a blatant attack on the Primate. But, in hindsight, the Synod did not go far enough. They should have also relieved Kishkovsky of his position. But that would have removed one of the chief inside and experienced architects of OCA bishop removal services and the Synod, especially Benjamin and Mel. could not afford the removal of their inside man. The fact that Bradley is in almost daily contact with Kishovsky also did not and still does not bode well for Jonah.
So in 1984 they branded Bishop Basil “gravely troubled”, he who was truly a spiritual man but a luddite when it came to diocesan administrative matters. Sound familiar?
At the moment, the key player in all of this is Moscow. The OCA (Kishkovsky) must convince Moscow that Jonah is unfit to serve. He has been trying all year. Moscow does not respect Kishkovsky nor do they care for his constant attempts to belittle Jonah. Note well that during Kishkovsky’s last visit to Moscow (to deal with the Zacchaeus affair) he met with no high-ranking official of the ROC. However that never stops the true puppet master of the OCA. He has been working non-stop and is working even today to make sure that Jonah checks into St. Luke’s as Metropolitan but as a result of his evaluation will be the retired Metropolitan.
Keep this in mind – any negative evaluation assessment of Jonah – sorry kids, that is why St. Luke’s was chosen by Kishkovsky and Bradley, they both know that St. Luke’s will find something wrong with Jonah. St. Luke’s is not in the business of dealing with fit for duty clergy but bringing in troubled clerics and “rehabilitating” them. Jonah’s “evaluation” will forever be on his record and it will be used as a stick to beat him. Even if he is evaluated as being an administrative luddite, it will be enough to make the case against Jonah.
If this is not the case, then all Kishkovsky and the Synod need do is make a public statement NOW that they will support His Beatitude and work with him when he resumes his duties as Primate of the OCA. That they have no intention of retiring him. Quite a simple statement, it can be crafted by the end of today if they want to, but given the Synod has said nothing, no statement one way or another about Jonah being in St. Luke’s this week, it seems pretty clear that Jonah is on his own and he will be left twisting in the wind.
I do hope I am wrong, but we have seen this before in the OCA. I truly look forward to be proven totally wrong by the facts and the results of Jonah’s stay at St. Luke’s. If I am not proven wrong, I hope Moscow stands firm against such goings on. Could they already be sending a signal through ROCOR about the December 10 concelebration with Hilarion and Jonah in NYC? They could also just be covering their assets though!
Pass the jug (credit to Stan). Life in the OCA is never dull, that is, what is left of it!
» Posted By Jacob On November 16, 2011 @ 10:42 am
Sounds like Stanky should just peddle his piddle on his own website and stop trying to use this website to drive eyeballs to his.
» Posted By Jacob On November 15, 2011 @ 9:05 pm
I find it interesting that if a bishop freely enters retirement and then asks to be reinstated to the active episcopate, that a certain synod would recognize his first free request but would not entertain his second free request. Makes you wonder what Benjamin is afraid of and what he is trying to keep the lid on.
» Posted By Jacob On November 22, 2011 @ 1:08 pm
This is Benjamin to a tee. He is a textbook DRY DRUNK and he has inflicted his emotionalism on the DOW causing clergy to go underground to stay out of his line of fine. You don’t confront Benjamin if you are a cleric. Otherwise he will make your life miserable. Clergy in the DOW see the way that Bishop Tikhon has been treated in retirement by Benjamin and they know that if they run afoul of Benjamin they will get the Tikhon treatment.
Can you imagine a bishop overreacting to the point of sending an email to the former bishop of the West prior to the Seattle Council telling him, actually lying, by saying that retired bishops have ALWAYS sat with all retired clergy at the AAC (thus he will not sit at the main dias). That was a bold faced misstatement since retired bishops ALWAYS sat at the main dais. But this is an example of the extreme that Benjamin is willing to take to humiliate another bishop.
Benjamin never misses a chance to humiliate Tikhon and Nikolai with his clergy and just as bad diocesan laity. His regular M.O is to attach seemingly disproportionate intensity of feeling to an ordinary insignificant event, as stated above.
It is amazing to me the other members of the Synod act like a bunch of scared little children when facing the Dry Drunk Bullying tactics of Benjamin. But, then again, they can see that he is willing to do what he has done to Jonah to act out his unbalanced behavior.
A rather toxic brew and a Dry Drunk is stirring the drink.
» Posted By Jacob On November 22, 2011 @ 9:07 am
Just thought of something else…….
What about the SLI comes back to Jonah and says,
“Jonah, the only thing wrong with you is that you let loud mouths in your organization walk all over you. Sure, being a monk and turning the other cheek and all that is fine and good, but unless you strap on a pair and start standing up for yourself, you are going to be walked all over likes these two bishops sitting here with us now. So our advice to you is when needed, in God’s love and mercy, the next time a guy like Benjamin tries to bully you, tell him to stick it where the sun don’t shine.”
“That is our oral exit interview evaluation and recommendation. We will produce the elegant, written report, using proper psychological phraseology within two weeks.”
“Go in peace, brother, and don’t let the bastards get you down.”
» Posted By Jacob On November 18, 2011 @ 9:38 am
Today, Met. Jonah will be given his “oral evaluation” by the staff of SLI. This oral evaluation will be in the presence of Bps. Michael and Tikhon, representatives of the organization that referred Jonah to the SLI. In the oral evaluation, which will be followed up by a written evaluation within two weeks, the staff at SLI will share with Jonah and the Synod representatives their findings on Jonah and if he presents any issues.
SLI will tell Jonah and the Synod representatives that he needs further in-house help, is free to leave presenting no major issues but some minor ones that can be followed up, or that he is a fit as a fiddle, as much as anyone of us are, needing no more help.
It could be that the Synod realizes, (and in no small part to the coverage that Monomahkos has given this topic), that Jonah has to stay as Metropolitan because the downside is too great and too risky for the OCA. At least one bishop is convinced of this (it isn’t Benjamin). If Jonah is not deemed “gravely troubled” by SLI, the Synod will need to back off their hyper-micromanaging of his Primacy. This might be the way for the Synod to save face too. They thought Jonah was nutso, he agreed to see if he is nutso (again), SLI came up with something – anything – so the Synod saves face, Jonah wins by being obedient (subservient) to the Synod, and the rest of us in the OCA are treated to another lesson in Byzantine Dancing with the Synod Stars!
Well, let’s see how long we have to wait for an officially crafted statement on oca.org. Bad news travels on the bullet train while good news takes the local!
» Posted By Jacob On November 18, 2011 @ 9:13 am
I confess that my pessimism is based on a reading of the history of the OCA and using it as a predictor of future events. But at least there are lots of people around the world watching very closely what is going with Jonah.
» Posted By Jacob On November 17, 2011 @ 5:29 pm
The culture of the OCA Synod does go back decades and its sins continue to hound them. That is the natty thing about sin, its repercussions cause reactions.
Jonah was not (and I speak in the past tense because I think he is finished) not in the same mold as the other members of the Synod. A Metropolitan comes through the ranks. A Metropolitan needs to be “inculcated” into the ways of the brotherhood. The expectation being that the group will replicate itself. A gene pool of mediocrity.
However Jonah brought a new and different approach because of his lack of “inculcating.” He had a fresh candor which we had not seen in previous Metropolitans. He was willing to throw a stink bomb to shake things up. Were such stink bombs prudent? Maybe, maybe not, but the establishment sure didn’t like it. Kishkovsky immediately after the Dallas speech started his campaign against Jonah. Why? Because Jonah was not like the rest of the inculcated ones. He was different. He was hard to control. You see, Syosset has always been about controlling outcomes. Jonah made such goals, or even such a goal in question.
Jonah next mistake was that he looked forward to working with his brothers. He wanted to gather more frequently. He started retreats with his brothers, working in venues outside the normal Syosset routine. He assumed that because his brothers were monks, they would want to gather as a brotherhood of monk, like an abbot with his brother monks. Of course, this is not exactly the same, but the spirit of brotherhood is not different, especially if we remember that these bishops are supposed to be monks. But meeting together, discussing personal spiritual matters within the “safety” of the brotherhood, that was a bit too much for some members of the Synod.
Jonah assumed cooperation way too much with his brothers and maybe they assumed that he would be just like Theodosius and Herman, they were there, but not too engaged, they were interested but would not take too much interest in what was going on in another diocese. That Jonah would know his role, just like Theodosius and Herman knew their role.
However, Jonah not having the time to be inculcated in the “ways of the force” ran afoul quickly because he was not like the others. But isn’t that what we found so refreshing in him? Not bound by the past? I mean, we wanted a new type of Metropolitan, a new start and it was obvious in Pittsburgh that when the rest of the bishops didn’t speak up and let the new kid talk, he was breaking with convention from the start. We liked it. We sensed it would not be like the old days. But what we did not appreciate would be the push back by those who were and are wedded to the past, who see Jonah as different, unpredictable, maybe even “gravely troubled.” Job was supposed to be the next Metropolitan. He had earned his chance as a good soldier and he could and would be easily managed. He was the perfect successor to Herman. But the Church wanted to break with the past, and we did.
Oh well, I fully expect that the Jonah “experiment” will be over soon and the OCA will safely be in the hands of those who have been well trained in the secret handshake of the brotherhood. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. It certainly has been that way in the OCA since 1970. That is our legacy.
» Posted By Jacob On November 17, 2011 @ 4:35 pm
ROCOR was willing to be separate from the MP when they felt it was necessary. They were willing to be alone (sans Serbia) because they had the courage of their convictions. It is not the preferred path, but when it is the only path left, it is followed. The very fact that Paul had to write what he wrote to the Church in Corinth indicates that such splits were part of the life of the Church from the get go.
Let us pray that the OCA Synod will itself not be of one household or another but the one household of Christ as brothers bearing one another’s burden helping one who is weaker so that they all may become stronger in Christ. But, if the OCA throws another bishop under the bus, another Metropolitan, it will only play into the hands of those who are convinced that the OCA “experiment” was a failure.
» Posted By Jacob On November 17, 2011 @ 1:21 pm
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It is so simple when we just stop to listen. Maybe Jonah has much better hearing than others? Certainly better than me.
» Posted By Jacob On November 11, 2011 @ 6:16 pm