Comments Posted By Jesse Cone
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Perhaps you have other suggestions of why Fr Hopko called him sick back in Feb/Mar 2011? I’m all ears.
Perhaps it has to do with whose advice +Jonah did/didn’t take.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 26, 2012 @ 1:02 pm
John, I think you nailed it.
I think, however, that you left out Bp. Basil (Radzianko) of blessed memory.
It was suggested earlier that the only play out of this for the Synod was to make +Jonah look crazy. This is exactly what it seems they’re doing. Apparently significant time at the DOS hang-out in Miami was spent on extolling this narrative. I heard the same thing from my priest after liturgy on Sunday. They are trashing his reputation.
Stankovich and I have been bantering about “systematic failure”. I’m wondering if that’s code for “bullying”.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 20, 2012 @ 3:50 am
He wasn’t ‘released’ or ‘defrocked’ only ‘suspended’.
Your semantics are hilarious. Never mind that defrocking someone who is not under your omophorion isn’t in line with P&Ps and can alienate your neighboring jurisdictions. Just defrock the guy! Everyone will thank you!
And never mind that the Synodal letter is wrong, dead wrong, in its central claims against their own former primate. I mean, it’s just an issue of paperwork really.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 19, 2012 @ 11:22 pm
In this tangled web of confusion, one thing has become clear: Harry admits Fr. Simeon was not accepted into the OCA and, therefore, the Synodal
smearletter was wrong.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 19, 2012 @ 9:57 pm
Nor is she the kind to be reckless. I would assume that this letter was crafted with a lawyer consulting and with its publication here being just one of means of trying to straighten this out.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 19, 2012 @ 9:37 pm
Stank, Oh Stank, you assume so much. If you want to dialog with others, you may want to find a way to meet on shared ground or at least be honest about yours.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 19, 2012 @ 5:47 pm
I have heard from multiple places that they are thinking early next year for an assembly to elect the next Metropolitan.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 18, 2012 @ 12:51 pm
“Church law calls for a new metropolitan to be elected within 90 days, but Possi said there were “many steps that must be taken” and indicated that it could be longer.”
Anyone know about this “Possi” character? Must be someone important and in the know for such a large and respected paper to go with it.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 18, 2012 @ 1:32 am
FYI, I went on OCA.org yesterday and went through all the “Pastoral Changes” docs they had going back to Feb ’10. (Fr. Simeon arrived in US in late January of ’10.)
There is one doc where the link is dead, but unless it is in there(!) there is no record of Fr. Simeon in the OCA’s official Pastoral Changes documentation going back to his arrival in the US.
That means there is also no record of him leaving the OCA last July.
It’s almost like he was never part of the OCA.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 17, 2012 @ 8:34 pm
That’s almost as funny as your work in “So I Married an Axe-Murderer”!
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 17, 2012 @ 6:28 pm
MM suggests to Rod,
Don’t allow Michalopulos to drag you down with him. You’ve been had. You and Jesse both. Admit it, and cut your losses while you still can.
I’m not sure what you mean by this. Rod has mentioned that+Jonah’s shine has pretty much disappeared from his eyes, and I’m currently of the mind that the way forward for the OCA meant someone other than +Jonah at the helm. (I go back and forth with this.) So has my estimation of the situation changed over the past year and a half? Yes.
However, I do not think that I’ve been had. I love HB and I want to see his ministry continue and flourish. I also want the truth to come out and I want to OCA to be a safe, God-fearing beacon of light to the world. Inasmuch as HB has failed in his responsibility, he should acknowledge it and repent. The same goes for me. And for Stokoe, Stanky, and everyone else I go toe-to-toe with. God willing we’ll all be communing together in the City of God, so we should desire and expect that even now.
My goal has never been, and can never be, to get the institution of the OCA to be the way I like it. The goal is for us to be, in our existence, a light in the darkness, not a stumbling block to those who seek the true faith, once delivered.
There are sides to this, and that is unfortunate. That’s why I objected to the “Team Jonah” label Stokoe created, and tried to find a middle ground with “Team Due-Process”. (Yeah, I know, it doesn’t have the same ring to it!) Rod, Jason and I didn’t start the sides, we just spoke up. I, for one, do not regret it.
I had hope for the Metropolinate ministry of +Jonah, but my hope is not in him.
So I don’t know what it means to “cut my losses while [I] still can”.
I wrote in November that +Jonah is to be lauded because his humility shows us a spiritual way out of this mess; he may still be doing that.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 17, 2012 @ 4:01 pm
From reading the letter, which throws the kitchen sink at +Jonah, I am confident that if they had proof of this they would have included it.
It is no secret that, while +Jonah is fond of the DC Nuns, he was never much a fan of Fr. Simeon.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 17, 2012 @ 2:37 pm
Rod says he is
not willing to accept that based on the limited information we have now, and based on the fact that the Synod/Syosset is controlling the narrative.
I would add that I would be reluctant to take on face value such allegations when there are examples of grave inaccuracies. This is regardless of motive.
That Fr. Simeon was never accepted into the OCA is not a minor point, and one the Synodal letter got 100% wrong.
That Met. Jonah didn’t take responsibility for accidentally passing on information to opposing council is also dead wrong. If the responsibility they are asking him to take is for actions that he didn’t do, because their timeline/ facts are wrong, than he is to be commended. I, like Ryan, talked to HB shortly after the announcement of his resignation and the picture they paint of him was also dead wrong.
This, again, does not have to do with motives on the part of the Synod. It does have to do with key inaccuracies that give us cause not to trust that they have their ducks in a row. I am fond of +Nikon ever since he visited us during our dark hour in Dallas. I remember how lovingly the children responded to him after liturgy, and how their love lit up his face. But the fact of the matter is that his claim that no one in the current Synod met Fr. Gerasim is wrong. Surely he didn’t mean it literally, but the letter is consequential and must be phrased in a more clear and forthcoming manner. Again, motives aside, it leads to distrust.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 19, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
Numbers, as we all know, tell only part of the story. A two hundred person parish can make an enormous difference. To look at the Antiochian Archdiocese: look at the difference All Saints (Chicago) and St. Barnabas (Costa Mesa) have made nationally. The people in those parishes are involved in some of the most important ministries in North America, not to mention IOCC. I’m sure there are numerous examples of other decent sized, quality parishes out there, but in my experience it ‘s safe to say that these parishes are more important and influential than that average mega-church whose membership rivals that of the entire OCA.
I would hope the bishops would see the silver lining of all this internet activity. Most of the people I know who engage on Monomakhos deeply care about their prayer life and their parish. These aren’t people who love the soap opera, but rather grieve for it. The enthusiasm here can be harnessed and directed in the right direction: namely the spreading of the Gospel in words and action. For this the bishops should be excited.
Sadly, another function of Monomakhos has been that of a bit of a support group. Those of us who have been hurt, and who want to do what they can to protect their family from being hurt from within the Church, can commiserate and encourage each other to keep on seeking their salvation. We encountered trauma last year in Dallas, teaching me that there’s more to watch out for in a clergyman than financial and sexual misdeeds. The internet will host these voices of pain, for better or worse, and that will not stop when the cast of characters changes. This is a reality bishops and clergy will have to accept; their failures will be brought to life in a public ,and sometimes unfair, manner.
The light of Christ needs to extend into all we do, especially how we handle the hurts and pains we’ve received from those with whom we share the cup. How wonderful would it be for our bishops to demonstrate the way!
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 18, 2012 @ 4:39 pm
It seems that the retired bishop has been led down the garden path by a spectre he calls neuroscience.
It’s not that I don’t value the input of neuroscience, cognitive science, or philosophy of mind — I’ve studied each of them at University. That study helped me embrace the Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church. and its profound teachings on the human person.
The most disturbing and fundamental error popped up last year when he claimed on youtube that “you are your brain”. That’s not good science, philosophy, or theology.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On August 17, 2012 @ 2:07 am
Perhaps he did recommend him for service, but I believe all that has been claimed was that he “counseled” him towards service as a chaplain. I also believe he put him in touch with a recruiter, but that’s hardly a recommendation.
One can see how this can be misconstrued in any number of ways; say by Fr. Simeon himself who may have name-dropped in an effort to open doors for himself.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 17, 2012 @ 4:31 pm
That is contemptible — the idea that the US military ought to be a reform school for troubled priests.
This allegedly happened shortly after Fr Simeon’s arrival, when +Jonah didn’t know the full extent of his problems. It makes sense to see a monk, who is young and you suspect drinks, and think “I travel all the time, this is not the right fit for him.”
I wonder what +Jonah would have done if he had certain facts in hand like: the man had been arrested for DUI, soiled himself, and taken a swing at the police. (An example that, by the way, does not come from the case of Fr. Simeon.)
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 17, 2012 @ 2:08 pm
The Synod has a recording of this conversation in which Jonah tried to pass the buck, and him refusing to take any initiative. Never in the conversation does he mention the OCA process of Sexual Misconduct, or refer the victim to to this process. Jonah’s actions were not only inept, but criminal.
I am happy to see that some of these blog-posters have now wised up. But for some of you, the fog does not seem to clear. Instead of accepting reality, you continue to say, “I can’t wait to see Jonah’s side of the story.” You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Innocent people have been hurt by his negligence. The Synod was gaining evidence little by little, and finally the most recent information was the nail in Jonah’s coffin.
I have met this Fr Symeon, and he is worse than Rasputin. Jonah brought him here, and Jonah is responsible for this man’s transgressions.
Well than that clears it up. ?
Doesn’t mention the policies in this recorded conversation? Passes the buck on a priest who wasn’t OCA?
Toby, care to tell me who initiated and sanctioned this investigation? Or does the Synod just spend its spare time digging into what HB might have done wrong with a priest that he “presumably” brought into the OCA?
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 16, 2012 @ 10:15 pm
It’s been over a year since Fr. Simeon’s misdoings blew up, and I don’t know of a shred of evidence that shows he was ever “adopted”. If a foster child acts up, and you feel threatens the safety of those you’re responsible for, don’t you end your foster care? That’s what +Jonah seemed to do well over a year ago.
My priest yesterday preached about how being “scandalized” can reveal sin within ourselves — something I’ve been taking seriously — and I wonder if that’s not something we ALL need to consider.
It would help me if the Synod would tell me what should have been done when in this case.
I can’t shake the feeling I’m supposed to associate my disgust with Fr Simeon (and Sandusky) with my feelings of Met. Jonah. But ultimately, disgust doesn’t show a way forward.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 16, 2012 @ 6:34 pm
Carl, they’re just now announcing they’re investigating a RAPE that they had all assumed happened last year. I doubt they launched an investigation that conclusively proved +Jonah purposefully leaked anything (because they’ve claimed the same erroneously before) but that’s a questions we can ask.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 16, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
Are you still on that? I would have thought you’d be claiming that “AG” was the dismissed Fr. Alexander Garklavs, who now works in the DOMW.
But that wouldn’t make a difference in how we’re to read what he says, right?
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 16, 2012 @ 6:00 pm
You did tell us!
However all the accusations in Bp Matthias’ letter were levied months before he became a bishop. It’s not me disputing the facts; they were disputed last year, and the Synod was unable/ unwilling to take action at that time. So why are the same disputed, incomplete facts being wielded effectively now?
My guess, and I’ve heard some things to suggest this, is that Fr Simeon resurfaced and did something else. But, if you can’t link his behavior to a cover up of +Jonah’s, it’s as germane as talking to a nun about biscuits.
Not mentioned in Bp Matthias’ letter is that +Jonah tried to get Fr. Simeon help, banned him from the DC property, and would not let him serve in the Archdiocese of Washington. Oh, and the military chaplaincy? My understanding is that that took place early in Fr. Simeon’s stay in DC and for the express reason that Met. Jonah thought he needed more discipline and supervision than he could offer as Metropolitan.
A further guess on my part is that the Garklavs emails (which HB has still NOT leaked, despite the continued accusations that he’s out for himself and leaking info!) show Fr. Garklavs was informed and consulted on the Fr. Simeon case.
So, Toby, while I appreciate +Matthias’ letter, suspicions and questions still remain unaddressed.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 16, 2012 @ 5:56 pm
I don’t believe any charges have been filed. Or according to one version, the crime was reported and later withdrawn.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 16, 2012 @ 5:24 pm
Fr. Justin et. all,
I believe the question to ask is whether or not a spiritual court was ever called regarding the Archdeacon.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 13, 2012 @ 9:23 pm
Besides the sermon in Dallas during his first year in the white hat, what glaring mistakes did +Jonah make? And considering the fact that he apologized to the EP, how is it that +Jonah is not responsive to correction? Considering the fact he agreed to an evaluation? Accepted responsibility for his role in the “administrative disaster” (which negatively affected the OCA how exactly?)?
These are not schismatic questions, nor the questions of a +Jonah-can-do-no-wrong-er, just enduring questions about that particular narrative we’ve heard seen peddled around.
I would submit the most embarrassing thing +Jonah ever did for the OCA was accept responsibility for any kind of “disaster” and agree to seek the help the bishops urged him. It publicly put him, and thus the rest of the OCA leadership, in an unnecessary untenable position. That was, I think, the most visible mistake in judgement he made.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 15, 2012 @ 5:03 pm
Toby says that +Jonah is stubborn and uncooperative:
As recalcitrant as he’s been in the past when challenged by the Synod, do you really think he would step down and sign this letter of resignation unless the Synod had major cause?
I am so glad you said this, because now I can ask you to show me how this has been evidenced. This is part of the narrative we all should inspect closely, because it’s a shocking claim!
Is it a recalcitrant Metropolitan that allows for the Chicago “policies” to be established, when he could have walked out and ended the meeting? The one who complied with the demands set before him at the AAC? The one who insisted on his pick of Chancellor, and instead was given Fr. Jillions? The one who gets his travel budget “approved” by the Synod? Publicly?
What in the past year suggests that +Jonah wasn’t the paradigmatic team player for the Synod? In fact, it’s probably easier to argue the opposite; that he was too focused on trying to smooth over the ruffled feathers.
I’m just waiting for another similar claim from the same ilk of narrative: that +Jonah has an ego. That way I can talk about how we’ve moved from AFR’s “Conversations with Met. Jonah” to the “Chancellor’s Diary”.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 14, 2012 @ 3:13 am
Has anyone considered for a moment that this is not some enormous conspiracy in which every bishop (except Jonah) is in on?
Yes. Labeling those of us with concerns “conspiracy theorists” is a straw man and makes us feel dismissed. That’s not the way forward; no matter how wrong we may be.
The facts will eventually come out.
We are all hopeful of this. If +Jonah did something criminal, let it be taken care of by the appropriate authorities. If he did something uncanonical they should have called a spiritual court and deposed him, according to the cannons. Again: not Team Jonah, Team Due Process.
But we have seen, time and time again, contempt and finger-pointing at a Metropolitan who brings some real talents to the table. His talents are not ancillary either: how many times have people described how wonderfully pastoral, humble, and what a great teacher and speaker he is?
We heard for years about how nasty a character Robert Kondratick is (though I’ve never heard about participation in orgies before today!) and how his “criminal” behavior got him defrocked. Yet, the authorities did not charge him. I don’t know the man, and I don’t really care about whether or not he was guilty. It just seems fishy (as well as the strange case of Bp. Basil (Rodzianko) of blessed memory) and now we’re seeing some of those same scenarios played out again.
I’m sure you can understand why the masses are skeptical here that this verbiage about legal and police investigations (that somehow you can tell us is there but can’t tell us what it is) might not be above board.
As to your narrative and “facts”, you are both not all wrong, nor are you all right. The claim of $120k was made about the main staff in Syosset; Frs Jillions, Tosi. Look at the sex czar position(s)! I believe all of those positions made more than the Metropolitan.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 14, 2012 @ 2:13 am
Your narrative suggests how it is a meeting of the Lessor Synod would result in the entire Synod’s “unanimous request” for retirement.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 13, 2012 @ 1:20 am
if, perchance, M. Stankovich is not part of a canonical Orthodox Church one wonders what professional psychological program failed, and who didn’t listen and obey the professional directives that would have brought about peace and harmony to systemic failure!
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 12, 2012 @ 10:08 pm
Back To Stats Page
Not many people other than you seem to believe that the outcome of St. Luke’s was likely to fix the problem. My understanding of the week-long program is that two other people engage in limited sessions. It seems doubtful to expect that a couple of hours of work of three of our bishops (if you count HB), with discussion centered around only one of them is likely to fix the systemic problems of the Synod and Syosset.
Not to mention the dubious origins of the evaluation anyway.
You seem to be the only one to think so strongly: the program FAILED because institutional and interpersonal harmony wasn’t reached. But you may assume so if you want. We’ve heard it, no need to keep repeating.
As to evidence: there’s evidence. It may not be conclusive, but it sure is suggestive of what people are saying. And that, dear Stanko, is what I believe you are missing.
» Posted By Jesse Cone On July 12, 2012 @ 9:08 pm