Laurie Paffhausen, May Her Memory Be Eternal

I learned yesterday that Laurie Paffhausen, the sister of His Beatitude died peacefully in her sleep. She had been received into the Orthodox Church last week under the patronage of St Laura of Cordoba and received all attendant rites and prayers.

This essay however is not intended to be her obituary. Others who knew her will write about reminiscences as well they should. I never knew Laurie so I couldn’t do her justice. This essay instead is about the human cost that is exacted by mean men of no special accomplishment who cannot see the image of God in others. (And no, Syosset, I am not a shill for His Beatitude; anybody who knows me knows that I’m my own man. These are my words, although I do believe that I speak for many.)

Laurie first came to my attention sometime in March or April of 2011, right after the miserable coup against His Beatitude which in Santa Fe came to light. Someone on Monomakhos named “Madam” started commenting. It became apparent in short order that Madam was somebody close to Jonah. After about the sixth posting or so, she wrote something to this effect: “Yes, Jonah is my brother, my only brother.”

This hit me hard. This blog has always been about general topics and I’ve tried to keep things as lofty as possible. I don’t like personal attacks. In the case of the attempted coup against Jonah however, Madam’s words brought me down to earth. For once we weren’t talking about some airy concepts on how much power a synod should have vis-a-vis the Metropolitan or whether St Vladimir’s was going to be taken over by liberals; we were talking about real, flesh-and-blood human beings who are hurt when hit, bleed when cut, and cry when maligned.

Laurie’s words hit me close to home in another way as well. You see, I have two sisters and we’ve always been close but the three of us grew closer during our mother’s ten-year-long fight with cancer. We’ve been a source of comfort to each other since that day when our beloved mother died almost thirty years ago. And even though we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on everything, no one could say a bad word about one of us in the presence of the other two. Do so, and you’d get hurt. This is what family is all about I guess.

My point? The miscreants who rule in Syosset did much damage to the Paffhausen family. I know from others who were close to Jonah in Washington (as well as random emails from her), that all the terrible things that were done to Jonah or said about him were especially hurtful to Laurie and his parents. Like many middle-aged people she had some physical problems but she was OK for the most part, navigating through life on her own steam, being a paralegal and recently applying for a government job. With all the crap thrown at her brother though, her health took a decided turn for the worse these last three months. The stress was literally killing her.

The more that came out of Syosset, whether it was Fr John Jillion’s surreptitious visit to the Paffhausen family to fire their son and destroy his reputation in order to extort a resignation from him, or horrible comments from a Syosset administrator like “His Ineptitude,” or the defamatory letter from the Synod which accused him of sheltering a rapist, they all took their toll. I’m certain that His Beatitude’s critics don’t care — I seriously doubt they view him as a human being — but the damage they did to her is real nonetheless.

I can’t say whether she forgave them as she lay dying, I hope she did. She was certainly a better person than they — admittedly a painfully low bar — but you get the point. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what I believe or how they acted as God is the Eternal Judge. It’s some small comfort to me that I fervently believe that somebody who is innocent and who is hurt will be comforted by our Lord and Savior. I believe she’s in a better place, where there is neither sighing nor suffering.

Rest in peace Laurie. Pray for the rest of us who are still here and pray for the repentance of those who hurt you, your family, and our church.

Comments

  1. Ilya Zhitomirskiy says:

    Memory Eternal!
    It must be a terrible loss for Jonah, especially losing his sister AND family at the same time.
    God help His Beatitude Jonah, and let ROCOR officially accept him.

    • M.Vasiliou says:

      May her memory be eternal.

      And may the OCA Synod listen to Patriarch Kirill and be merciful to Met. Jonah and to his parents especially at this time of great sorrow.

  2. Dear George,

    I deeply appreciate your comments here. It’s never easy to write an essay about someone who has reposed; especially someone who has reposed in the midst of family tragedy.

    But I want to say, George, that the same could be said of everyone you write about here. Mark Stokoe has family (you’all used his Mother’s obituary?!?). Fr Ted has family. Frs Tosi and Jillions and so on and so forth have family as well. Do not they, also, deserve our consideration when we continually hold them up to the klieg lights of our imperiousness and unrelentingly criticise everything they do and say and think?

    You write: “The miscreants who rule in Syosset did much damage to the Paffhausen family” Haven’t you, and your commenters here, also done damage to them and whatever family they may have in characterising them as “miscreants” (and worse)? Or is this, somehow, justified in some twisted logic that claims it’s “okay” because of who they are; or what they’ve done; or whatever.

    I could continue, but I assume you get my drift. I understand this blog is important to you and your readership. I understand that the tenor of the writings here are what generates a certain traffic. But, at the end of the day, your essay, as kind and thoughtful as it is, has about it the taint of hypocrisy, George, for you write with one hand about Metropolitan Jonah and his Family, and with another, differing hand Syosset, “Stokoites”, and anyone else who doesn’t fit your particular agenda.

    I grieve for the loss of Laurie Paffhausen. Cancer is a rotten disease. My Father died of cancer in 1999. Just as my Mother died of heart by-pass that failed and my Spouse died of ALS (now there’s a rotten disease…). And Laurie died at a terrible time in the life of her family. (Or so those of us on the outside, looking in, tend to assume). But did she? She was blessed with a Christian end to her life. How often do we sincerely pray for this blessing? Would that we all should be so blessed! And her beloved Brother was with her always, watching over her in thought and in prayer. Would that we all have such a faithful pray-er when our time comes!

    George! Why not be part of the solution, instead of adding to the burden, the problem, the complaining and moaning?

    Memory Eternal, Laurie Paffhausen. We could do no more to honour you than to stop all this bickering and back-biting and come together in Christian love and just, simply, be kind to one another.

    O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the soul of Thy departed servant, Laurie, in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which she has committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.

    For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.

    • AG, when George Michalopulos destroys the lives of the Syosset employees and their families, you will have a point. Even moreso if they all happen to be innocent. Well, they are not innocent, nor has anything said here harmed anything more than, perhaps, their egos.

      The Paffhausens, on the other hand, had their lives viciously and deliberately destroyed, and only because their son/brother dared to do the job he had been elected to do.

      That said, I think this is neither the time nor the place to argue this. We need this place to grieve for Laurie and pray for her repose, and for the consolation of her parents and brother.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Thank you Helga for coming to my defense. Last I checked everybody in Syosset still has their jobs and a place to live.

        • Fr. George Washburn says:

          The person of whom I spoke in my response to AG now has neither home nor job, George.

          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            Please elaborate. To whom are you are you referring?

            • Fr. George Washburn says:

              Please get in touch privately through e-mail with your cell number, George, and we can begin to talk about it. I appreciate the promptness and sincerity of your replies.

              love,

              Fr. George

    • George Michalopulos says:

      AG, I would love to be part of the solution. However that presupposes that all participants act in good faith. At the very least play by the rules. We have documented many times how the goal posts were moved always to the detriment of His Beatitude.

      Ergo, there cannot be a solution.

    • Done With It says:

      AG, they trashed the man AG. Really trashed him. That can’t be hidden and everyone will remember it.

    • Fr. George Washburn says:

      I thought I was quitting this “place,” friends, but then I saw this piece by George and AG’s response.

      I could not agree more with the tone and content of AG’s message. For about 5 weeks this fall I ministered to one of the victims of the no doubt well-intentioned, but expedient and substantially misguided, rushes to judgment on this site, someone whose family is at a great remove from attacks here, but who himself has feelings and an aging body that has suffered from unfair accusation.

      I repeat: this site and the people who fuel it with us vs. them broadsides bereft of basic fact-checking have repeatedly done to people whose lives can be exploited to the disadvantage of central OCA leadership **exactly** what George now decries in those who hurt Met. Jonah and his family. There is indeed a severe human cost to people when public accusations are “spun” around the internet without sufficient justification. The fact that you believe the people you dislike have done the same or worse to others doesn’t justify doing it back to them, let alone someone who has never taken ANY hand in OCA politics. As the Prophet Nathan said to King David, George, “Thou art the man.”

      Right on AG, in both tone and content.

      love,

      Fr. George

      • Thank you for speaking out, Fr. George. A number of people here have been deluded into the notion that everyone in a particular category is the enemy. From the periphery of these events I have noticed a large number of people, including those among the names smeared on this website, prayerfully doing their best to serve Christ in extremely adverse conditions fomented by the real enemy. Sadly some of those conditions have been the result of actions of the Church. Sadly many more of those conditions have been the result of outright lies and fabrications spread on this website.

        Some people here have “greatly slandered” and hindered the work of those working in the trenches to correct the very problems being complained about. These attacks have rendered this site amazingly ineffective at advancing its goals, and very effective at draining resources that would otherwise have been directed toward goals you would seek. This is not to mention the collateral damage. It’s horrible to have the problems and victims in the first place, but to have the righteously indignant multiply the damage through fresh, indiscriminate attacks?! Lord, have mercy.

        Speaking the truth in love is of immense value to the Church, even and especially when it’s painful. Careless words are the enemy’s tool, and only destroy what’s good. If you’re on the side of the angels, and I think most everyone here means to be, please be above the level of the sin you criticize!

        I wish I could use my name, but the dynamic I’m describing makes it impossible for me to do so. I definitely must add and emphasize that I have done the same thing during this ordeal, and I’ve noticed the great benefit when I’ve spoken the truth in love, and the great destruction when I’ve repeated speculation and hearsay. I am no better, but rather am sharing what I have learned as I have struggled too.

        Please forgive me!

        With love in Christ,
        “Max”

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Speaking for myself, I’ve never believed that anybody is my “enemy.” That doesn’t mean that I can’t uphold the truth as I see it. If I believe that Syosset ousted Jonah in order to keep the modernist/ecumenist program set out for it by the NCC intact, that is an opinion which I have propagated and which I have strived to bring evidence forth. If I am wrong, please point out where I am wrong.

          If Fr X, Mr Y, or Dr Z believe that modernism/ecumenism is the way to go and we point out that they do so by looking at their various writings to that effect; or if Mrs A, Mr B, and Dn C actually participated in a provable conspiracy to oust Metropolitan Jonah, then we are not the “enemy” simply because we brought forth evidence to that effect either. That any of these people may view us as their enemies is their problem. What we have tried to do is show that there was a conspiracy against His Beatitude and that many of his critics continue to treat him and his family horribly.

          • George, some of what has gone up here, and probably the part that you and others have spent the most time and energy on, has been of enormous value. And I thank you for it.

            Then there’s the other stuff.

            • Max, I understand, but what part of “this is neither the time nor the place” don’t you, Fr. George, and AG understand?

          • lexcaritas says:

            Indeed, George. Now that we have a new Metropolitan in Tikon, I wonder that he and Syosett and the Synod haven’t acted post haste to implement the advice of ++KYRILL be releasing +JONAH so that he may serve Christ to the fullest of his ability in a new capacity and make the situation right by correcting the misinformation in the July 16 letter.

            Such an act of Christian charity and true leadership in Christ would do much to quell the discourangement and distrust of many, who are eager to give ++TIKHON a chance to succeed in his new primacy on the Synod.

            If they don’t release him to another jurisdiction, the OCA will need to provide for him financially and also provide a field for his labors and livelihood.

            lxc

            • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says:

              Actually, Bishop Benjamin of the OCA Diocese of the West has taken Jonah as a vicar. (The Diocese of the West is one of the most conservative OCA dioceses, at least liturgically.)

              • I don’t think so.

              • “Actually” Bishop Benjamin has not taken any such of +JONAH!

                To attempt to bind +JONAH under the thumbnail of his MOST ardent detractor and to give him far, far less than half of his pay, to require him to move his elderly parents across the country again, (as they absolutely need him for their care, especially upon the loss of their daughter) and to tell him he may serve only in one church (in Los Angeles) is degrading, contemptuous, and disrespectful. This is not a serious offer of reconciliation, nor a reasonable attempt to keep +JONAH in the OCA jurisdiction.

                …And this from those who were consciously and verbally offensive and insubordinate (myself witnessing slanderous and slurring terms applied to the Metropolitan by his ‘staff’) to their primate as he applied all he could to satisfy the needs of the office they elected him to – without any assistance whatsoever from those who were being paid to assist him. Less than that, there was interference and destruction of +JONAH’s efforts. This is all still so sickening as to make me ill at the sight of them!

                Turn all the thumbs down that you want – reconciliation requires repentance, or at the least a cease to the abuse, and there has been none of that!!!

                FYI: Syossot staff receive $80,000 to $120,000 annually for shoring up a crumbling mansion and jurisdiction.

          • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

            George, Speaking the truth “as you see it” differs greatly from how we have been instructed to behave: “speaking the truth in love.” Why… “. . . But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. . . .” Eph. 4:15.
            Really… we are – any of us – quite presumptuous when we take on an issue to speak with the power of the prophets like Nathan who pointed out King David’s sin. This is true even more, when we have not prayed carefully before we choose our words.
            George: Any one of us would have to be spiritually dead to suggest that everything you have written about Metropolitan Jonah’s experience comes from and is entirely guided by the Holy Spirit. So much of what you write comes from self-righteousness that it disturbs the hearts of the conscientious and darkens the hearts of the unwitting. At times, I repeat, “at times” the speculation is equal to gossip, calumny and slander. Without substantiated and verified facts, words are far from truth.

            In addition, we have not seen an interview by George or anyone else who directly quotes Fr. John Jillions, Archbishop Nathaniel, Fr. Alexander Garklavs, Archbishop Nikon, etc. outside of the official statements. Surely those sinful human beings like us, may have had at least a teeny bit of credibility when they made their decision to request the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. All errors and sins included: as much as would like to conclude thus… the removal of His Beatitude may not be exactly equal to the dethroning of St. Nektarios from his post by his jealous brother bishops and priests. If the long view of History proves these events to be much like St. Nektarios’ life experience, we have a great deal of hope in the abundance of grace to be poured out in the future. God knows. (;-) We do not.

            History becomes true and factual when all of the facts are presented from every perspective. Any History requires the selection of facts to be presented. A description if an event happening today most often is written from one perspective, regularly does not include all of the facts, and is far from the truth. So we get the “truth as I see it.” The latter, says Dr. Yuri Mulyk-Lutzyk is “not History but only his story“.
            As always it takes a “bigger man” to admit he makes mistakes than not to. Here the behavior of George Michalopulos is being pointed out. Probably all of us – me included – need to be humble enough to declare an error publicly when we have erred publicly. We must be fully aware that the “truth as I see it”, whether George or any of us present it, may in fact be tainted by the adversary, before we wait and see the fruit of what we have written. More simply: the “truth as I see it” is only what I see. What do I not see? Have I unearthed the full account from the opposing view? What other facts apply to this context? These need to be heartily, self-critically and considered, as objectively as possible, before I write on a controversial topic.

            Writing to stir controversy stands far away from declaring the truth to enlighten the universe. Writing about a topic with clarity must line up with our regular prayer “Take not your Holy Spirit from me.”
            Whenever possible writing must not simply grieve the Holy Spirit in us or other people. Even so, writing to shed light in a dark zone must be first preceded by patient discernment, then done consistently, clearly, and with moderation. Inner emotional attachments need to be discerned, uprooted, healed, and most preferably, permanently set aside, before and while writing. Balance is the Orthodox Way.

            Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 Let not our desire to reveal the truth have us devour others with our words.

            Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Philippians 4:5

        • Michael Bauman says:

          The atmosphere in the OCA since Stokoe took to the cyberwaves (and probably before) seems to me one in which the spiritually disturbed and un-Christian state of looking for a scapegoat holds great sway. It is an vicious and irrational state of the soul that masquerades as both rational and noble. It was described in another thread by Jmical: http://www.monomakhos.com/personal-moral-failings/#comment-42066

          Once this predator is released it is a tough thing to get it out until the whole flock has been ravaged. There seems to be a deep-seated need in everybody to find someone to blame during bad times. However, satisfying that need turns it into a passion: a passion that is particularly anti-Christian since He is the sacrifice for us, not the other way ’round.

          It seems rational because everybody has failings that can be pointed out and concentrated on so that it seems that they are unworthy.

          Surprise, all of us are unworthy of Christ’s love for us and the Church needs neither defense or purifying by our actions. Our souls need repentance. We need to forgive. We need to refuse to point fingers.

          That is the only thing that kills the scapregoating wolf. It does not matter if the failings are real, the trouble real even corrupt and evil. As long as sgwolf prowls the troubles will only deepen, linger and become increasingly likely to be terminal for our souls and the communities in which we live.

          Remember the parable of the unjust judge? Keep up the entreaties, but not the personal slanderings (even if they are true).

      • Rakhmet Podpizdunov says:

        Amin, father George!

        • You know, “Rakhmet”, you need to grow up, get your mind out of the gutter, and invent a new last name.

        • Dunya Huyesosova says:

          Rakhmet, are you serious?

          • And guess what, “Dunya H—“, you’re just as pathetic as “Rakhmet P—” (and “Denis R—” was). Here’s an idea: why don’t you get “serious” yourself?

          • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says:

            Is this a serious last name? This means dick-sucker, and I would suggest that you not post with that last name, because it is offensive to those who understand Russian. I also suspect that ***esosova and Pod****unov are the same person

            • Ilya. That person also posts sometimes as “rukobludov”. It’s too bad George doesn’t know Russian obscenities, or he’s catch these things and not let them through. it’s SVS alumni humor. People like Mark Stokoe and the rest of his cohorts, one or two of them actually hierarchs, are totally fascinated with that sort of thing and toilet humor in general. They kind of “blurt it out”
              There is a semi-offensive Russian idiom that, unfortunately, characterizes such an utterance; “Lyapnul kak v luzhu pyordnul.”

              • Inga Buferistaya says:

                I believe these are not real last names. It could be that these people (or this person) is (are) supporting Denis R—, as the use of his real name was banned a few weeks ago. Denis R— is actually a real person as is known in MP/OCA circles in Ohio.

    • Sean Richardson says:

      Thank you for your words and reminder that we are not only children of God but children of people. We are part of a family in Christ and we are part of a family that raised us and nurtured us. It is not God’s will that any of us should perish, but rather than we turn to God. Therefore, death is a sadness because what it leaves behind and what it cuts short. Thank you.

  3. Disgusted With It says:

    This reminds me too much of Bishop Innocent. The bishops go out to destroy a bishop and he ends up dead, stress being a major factor in his death. Now they went after another bishop, and his sister with medical problems takes a sudden turn for the worse and reposes. When will these bishops realize that their actions have consequences on real people, and when will they learn to be Christian?! It’s evil, plain and simple.

    • John Panos says:

      Of course it’s evil. Do you think one of them will repent? (that’s a rhetorical question)

      • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

        Of course they will repent. Is it for us to demand always that someone else’s repentance meets the standards you and I demand?

    • Eternal memory to +Bishop +Innocent! He was the first to expose what was going on in the OCA. Everything that he said was true and came to pass.

      When the Synod was going to depose him, God was merciful and took him to Himself before it happened. Maybe one day there will be an official apology made to his family and friends, and that a Panachida will be served at his grave by the current Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, along with +Theodosius and +Herman. We will all cry together and finally, finally some healing can happen.

      The current mess in the OCA all began with the persecution of this man while many just watched and said nothing. It will not end until they have cleared his name. There will be no closure until this wrong is corrected. +Innocent was not perfect, but neither are any of bishops. Providentially, Father George became +Innocent.

      A challenge to the Bishops, Father Kondratick and especially those who knew him like Bishop Michael of New Jersey and New York…you owe it to him, his family and friends to make this happen.

  4. Thank you, Laurie. May you rest with the saints, where all sickness, sorrow, and sighing have fled away. Pray for your parents, your brother, and all of us who remember your hard work for the truth. Memory eternal!

    • I asked if I could direct the choir for this funeral, and my request was declined. I brought Laurie to the hospital, I helped her mother Louise to visit her at the hospital, I worked with Metropolitan at St. Nicholas and resigned when he was persecuted. Why Father John Perich can’t bless me to conduct a funeral, if Metropolitan Jonah wants me to be in charge? This is beyond my ability to justify human’s actions…

      • Veronica, as much as I feel for you, this isn’t about you or even what Metropolitan Jonah would like to happen.
        They obviously want to make a statement that they have moved on and new people are in charge. I am actually surprised they are having the funeral there. I wouldn’t have chosen that particular church.
        Just be with the family and say good bye to Laurie, that is enough.

      • Disgusted With It says:

        Because the OCA leadership is petty and blind. You are the better person. Just continue to pray for those sad, sad little men.

      • I totally agree with you, Veronica. The family’s (+JONAH’s) wishes should have been honored. Fr. John has acted the boor and the fool. When God’s people act like this they profane His name. Israel of old paid the price for this? Why should it be different for us? The measure we use is the measure we get and one reaps what one sows. The wisdom of God is full of such warnings: pride cometh before the fall and a haughty spirit before destruction. It is programmed, as it were, into the world. My heart breaks and my eyes fill with tears as I witness the inhumanity of man to man and see that it is oft times as bad within what is supposed to be Christ’s Body as it is in the world. May he forgive us and give us the meekness to turn back to Him and amend our ways: to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him to Whom all thanks, honor and glory is most justly due, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Forgive me, a sinner,.

        lxc

      • Veronica, Please have mercy on us, and on yourself. Is it pleasing to God to complain online that you did not get what you wanted? Keep in mind, you may also feel the loss of serving there regularly in your previous ministry.

        Whatever the priest decides he decides. In liturgical practice our simple response to a decision made by the rector is to be: “As the rector wills.” “А ще зволить настоятель.” Many of us have wanted the rector in our parish do to one thing or another more than once that for some unexplained reason he did not do. Believe me I know how you feel. I’ve asked for many things the priest or rector would not do. As the person in authority he had full freedom to do as he discerned. When I was disappointed, I later realized it was some self will that needed to be shaped. It always, always was no big deal once I got over it. Humility normally is hard to accept. Humility comes into us counter to our will.

        Yet in our quiet, silent acceptance, we grow in grace. Complaining deprives us of the gift of grace God is more than ready to multiply in our souls. Again: This was learned by experience and grace often lost in error.

        These times when we are so close to a person we love dearly we want to do more out of love for her especially at a time like a funeral. Our grief, pain, loss and love make us very sensitive to any decision, event, surprise, disagreement and thus disappointment and pain intensify. In this case it appears you may be experiencing three losses: Laurie’s death, your ministry at St. Nicholas and Metropolitan Jonah’s leadership among us. Be gentle with yourself as the Holy Spirit relentlessly… is ever gentle with you.

        As a brother who loves Metropolitan Jonah I appreciate the love and devotion you showed to Laurie, her mother, His Beatitude and others. You took on the ministry of love so poignantly needed in these days of stress, anxiety, turmoil, accusation, frustration and murkiness. Certainly the LORD carried you through it all.
        “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,” 1 Corinthians 1:4-5

        May the LORD be with you as you grieve the loss of Laurie, your ministry, and the ministry of Metropolitan Jonah. May the Holy Trinity always surround and lift you moment by moment, day by day, week by week into the months and year to come. I do hope you have a pastor, or counselor and intimate supportive friends who will walk with you unconditionally through the stages and surprises of grieving before you. The LORD will carve new caverns in your heart for grace to increase. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

        • lexcaritas says:

          My brother, Timofiy, the counsel you give us and Veronica is, for the most part, quite helpful. However, this statement: <<Whatever the priest decides he decides. In liturgical practice our simple response to a decision made by the rector is to be: “As the rector wills.” cuts a very wide swathe and puts the priest himself in danger–for he is a human being subject to passons and sins and unjust choices just as we who enjoy the same royal priesthood. No doubt, ultimately, one is to accept the decision of the priest in charge. However, he has a duty to rule as Christ would and to do the will of Him who sent him. He is to be like the Good Shepherd Whom he is to imitate. Now, we as rational sheep also made in the image and likeness of Christ and baptized and chrismated into His Body and priesthood have a right, and thus sometimes a duty, to inquire as to the reasons for a given decision and a priest or anyone acting by authority vested in them from Above ought to be able to give the godly reasons for his decision, failing which one might well conclude that the decision is not, in fact, godly or wise and may, in fact, be ultra vires and is, therefore, in need of correction for the injustice done to others is equalled by the invisible spiritual damage suffered by the one who inflicts it. We are all familiar with Lev. 19:18 which instructs us to love our neighbour as ourself, and the verse immediatly preceding it says that we are to correct our brother and not suffer sin upon him. In the model of obedience as subservience that your propose, who will correct our priests and bishops and not suffer sin upon them when we know that the wages of sin are death and that they are at risk? May my son correct me when he sees me acting or speaking unworthy of Christ and may those in my spiritual care do likewise, and may we all come together to the knowledge of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

          lxc

          • To Tymofiy Hawrysh. All you want is silence.

            Yet in our quiet, silent acceptance, we grow in grace.

            What hurt you the most in my letter, is that I spoke out online.

            Is it pleasing to God to complain online that you did not get what you wanted

            You are afraid of the internet, because you know that your actions are unjust. The Synod persecuted +Jonah, we need to “shut up and obey”. The same people killed poor Laurie by stress and false accusations of her innocent brother. Now, +Jonah wants me to be with him as a choir director. In this case, his will should be foremost, not the administrator’s. This is an insult, and it’s obvious. I accepted the will of the rector, but it is my right to speak about it online.

            • You are absolutely correct, dear Veronica.
              It simply would have been common courtesy to grant the wishes of the bereaved family. And you have every right to speak about it!

            • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

              Veronica, No… It appears that silence would have been wiser for you than writing in that instance. I apologize if your heart was affected wrongly by anything I wrote. My intention was to be accurate not hurtful. The rest of my response indicates that. All of the sentiments after the first point come from an authentic place of caring.
              You are hurting… It is obvious. God’s peace be with you.

              • Done With It says:

                Your intention was to silence Veronica. The rest is window dressing.

                • It was quite strange to be back there in the Cathedral after all the fire fall. But to be there with people who loved Laura, her parents and +Jonah was really wonderful. For me it didn’t matter where we gathered. We were morning many things all together. To see +Jonah serving the next day in that place was “as it should be” but for the failings of men . I came away after talking with many folks I haven’t seen in a while and being in that place- with a different direction. There was no way, considering where the OCA is currently at, to bring that well-spring of life that I know is waiting for the faithful about. It can only come about where the ground is ready. So Veronica, mourn. . . . then wipe your tears and let’s move on to tending the fields . . . . God has a lot for us to do. . . . .

                  • Defend the Faith says:

                    Collette,

                    It was good for you to be with so many of the “exiles” from SNC at Laurie’s funeral, especially with her family. I think, like you, it served as a closing curtain on what could have been and now what is and now it is time to move on and tend to what is needful, the care of our soul for the sake of our salvation.

                    You an so many others in DC and around the OCA have reached the same conclusion to move on and to let “the dead bury the dead.” No one forced the OCA to make the decisions it has made in recent years. They did it freely. So now we freely leave behind the result of those decisions to those who made them.

                    We did not leave the OCA. The OCA left us.

                    Glory to God for All Things!

                • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

                  Done, It appears you did not read the posting carefully. The intention was to correct her.

            • Gailina Sheppard says:

              I don’t think this T.H. was necessarily trying to silence you. I think he was trying to justify himself. It has been my experience that those who encourage others not to acknowledge their pain, are often the same people who INFLICT pain and expect others to “just get over it” so they can avoid the fallout. – The use of flowery language can be a sad attempt to drown out the noise of one’s conscience. The only true remedy is to confront what you’ve done no matter how painful.

          • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

            lexcaritas, That the priest be the good shepherd at all times and that he be open to correction are common sense. The Lord knows the numerous times I’ve corrected priests and bishops. When an error is made, as humans all need to actually accept correction with grace. Of course priests, like all of us, are “Mud made to become gods” St. Athanasius..

          • Archpeiest John Morris says:

            Actually if he is faithful to the Holy Tradition the Rector or as we call him Pastor does not have that much discretion over the liturgical life of the Church. No one can change the services or completely disregard the Typikon. The priest may decide what kind of incense to use, but he cannot do away with incense or decide for himself when he should cense or not cense. Ultimately, we are all, clergy and laity, subject to the demands of the Holy Tradition of the Church.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

            This is an example of the ubiquitous incorrect use of the phrase from the Typikon; “Ashche nastoyatel’ izvolit.” So many, even leading lights and teachers of our Church, the OCA, quote this saying from the Typikon as if it validates arbitrary decisions of a Rector/Priest. The Typikon NOWHERE authorizes a Rector or Priest to improvise anything. In fact, the only time that phrase is used, it goes on to say just WHAT it is that the Rector may do “if he wants to.’ That is the closest thing to allow a superior or rector ANY leeway, but it does not authorize creative solutions at all. When there is a customary, alternate, and ESTABLISHED alternative to this or that rubric, then “if the Superior wants” the Superior may choose that established alternative. NEVER, EVER may be “come up with a practical solution” NOT outlined in the Typikon. Never. Of course, the same teachers who throw that phrase around may do so, because (unlike Russian Priests trained in Russian seminaries) NONE of our so ‘advanced’ seminary graduates, whether Saint Vladimir’s, Saint Tikhon’s, Saint Herman’s, or even students of the Jesuit Archimandrite Robert Taft, the oracle of so many SVS graduates, has any access to the Typikon. It does not exist in English and that is the way the leading teachers and hierarchs of the OCA want it!
            OCA leades like to think the OCA’s schools are so far ahead of the Russian and Greek seminaries and academies. Nothing of the sort. The schismatic Greeks of Holy Transfiguration Monastery have produced a superbly translated Pentecostarion a Horologion, a Psalter, and a 12 volume Menaion, while the OCA has depended on “renditions’ of miscellanies from Otego, its music department, Novel Skete, and the British English Festal Menaion and Lenten Triodion of Bishop Kallistos..
            Yet, SVOTS and STOTS graduates pontificate easily on the Typikon using easily such quotes as “Ashche nastoyatel’ izvolit” when they’ve never seen the Typikon, let alone read it!

      • pelagiaeast says:

        Dear Veronica,
        Actually, you may have been done a favor. When I was younger, I was in our choir and sang many funerals. One thing I learned. It is very hard to sing and cry at the same time. Perhaps the Lord was pleased to have your tears this time.
        love,
        p

  5. It is a shame any of you blowhards are making comments. Shame on you.

    All that needs to be said is that I (we) send out love to her parents, and His Beatitude.

    Memory Eternal!

    She rests with the righteous and I will pray for her, and her family.

    Photius F.

    Emily, Vasilios, Sarah, Louis, Stavros, and Daniella.

  6. Memory eternal!

  7. I am almost afraid to ask this question. I assume that Metropolitan JONAH will be allowed to attend the service? Will he be able to play any role in the Divine Liturgy?

    • Terry, I should think so!

      I don’t know about whether he can or will play a role in the service.

      I am hoping that this development means the OCA administration has decided to be on their best behavior.

    • Done With It says:

      Good question. He is barred from service in the OCA. Does his banishment include the funeral of his sister?

      Synod/Syosset? Got any answers? Are you going to let him serve or is the entire family banished from the jurisdiction he once led?

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

      Very good question. I just can’t imagine that they would not let him attend. Nobody that I’ve been in touch with has indicated otherwise, so I imagine he will be there for the services.

      • I think Met. Jonah would be her next of kin and likely chose St. Nicholas, for whatever reason, and I don’t think he would have picked it if he thought there was a chance they wouldn’t let him through the door.

        I am not sure if the OCA will let him serve, or that he would want to if they did let him. I just hope everyone will concentrate on Laurie and paying their respects to her, and hopefully no one will make it any harder on the family than it has to be.

    • Geo Michalopulos says:

      Personally, I doubt it. I would love to be proven wrong however.

  8. macedonianreader says:

    Eternal memory!

  9. Gailina Sheppard says:

    I am so grieved by this news. I had thought she was getting better. – So much loss for this family. – Laurie is free of pain and was blessed with a Christian ending to her earthly life . . . Praise be to God for all things. May her precious memory be eternal.

  10. Memory eternal!

  11. Now, the OCA should either demote Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman, changing their titles to their “Eminences,” or restore Met. Jonah’s title to his “Beatitude.” They after all were retired for much more heinous acts than Met. Jonah ever was.

    • Yes.

      AG are the initials of a former chancellor that was berated here miserably.

      People speak of truth and honesty, but truth and honesty alone are not enough. Kindness is also essential and often lacking.

      I do not know the Paffhausen family, but I am sorry to hear about their loss.

      I have and continue to advocate for fair treatment for the former Metropolitan regardless of the manner in which he is defended. I do not wish to twist a knife on this thread, but berating everyone still in Long Island can’t be helping Jonah. The other former Metropolitans are worthy of comparison and I think if the Synod does this, they will wisely do the right thing regarding Jonah.

      And George, perhaps that can be another editorial. This one I will refrain from commenting on directly.

      Happy Thanksgiving to all of you…

    • “Lordsave” lied November 20th, 2012. He write these words; “Now, the OCA should either demote Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman, changing their titles to their “Eminences,” or restore Met. Jonah’s title to his “Beatitude.” They after all were retired for much more heinous acts than Met. Jonah ever was.”

      As a member of the Holy Synod at the time of Metropolitan Theodosius’s retirement, I can and do swear before Almighty God, on the Holy Cross and on the Holy Gospels, that Metropolitan Theodosius voluntarily retired due to repeated and multiple STROKES. He had been accused of nothing by anyone at all and some of us tried to persuade him to wait longer before retiring. He was NOT ‘retired for more heinous acts than Met. Jonah ever was;” in fact, he was not retired BY anyone at all, FOR any acts at all.. If he has been accused of heinous acts here or on another website, guilty of a most heinous willingness to level charges of immorality at anyone who rubs them the wrong way, or about whom backyard and restroom gossip is so temptingly delicious smelling that it can’t be resisted by some of weak conscience and perhaps weaker character, that tells us more about those who repeat those totally unsubstantiated tales than it does about His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius.
      The only acts that could have been considered “heinous crimes” ‘ committed by Metropolitan Herman were: (one) the dismissal of his Chancellor and the subsequent second punishment of the same, both actions for made-up crimes, and (two) his collusion with Archbishop Job of blessed memory in blessing the totally uncanonical act of a Deacon of his own Diocese, in writing directly to the ruling bishops of other dioceses in order to degrade certain instances, such as Metropolitan Theodosius and Father Rodion S. Kondratick, both of whom which had offended the pretensions and thwarted the intentions of the Deacon and his associates.
      I repeat, The cowardly anonymous “Lordsave” has uttered a most egregious lie here.
      He or she should take it back.

      • Heracleides says:

        Or so you say.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          So I swear, whoever you are, hiding safely behind the name “heracleides”, so I swear, on the Holy Gospels and the Life-Giving Cross.

      • Master bless! With the respect due to your office,

        I am alarmed.

        I apologize for making a false statement. Please allow me to correct myself. I did not realize their voluntary retirement. I am happy to learn that Met. Theodosius voluntarily retired. Of course, Met. Herman is retired. Naturally, they could not be retired for heinous acts if they weren’t forcibly retired. Thank you, Vladika, for clarifying.

        I should have said: after they retired, the SIC Report revealed that there were very questionable acts occurring in Syosset during their tenure.

        Your Grace said, “If he has been accused of heinous acts here or on another website…” But, I was not referring to accusations on websites. Rather, I was referring to statements in the SIC Report of August 2009, a report called for by Met. Herman and the Synod. In my opinion, many of the things revealed in the SIC Report were in fact heinous; the report indicated that various things were done by both Mets Theodosius and Herman. Perhaps the accusations of “websites’ are bunk and unfounded, but surely the SIC Report is not.

        I take issue at being accused of lying. To “lie” is to knowingly speak an untruth, which I did not do. Rather, I made a foolish mistake based on lack of information. I did not knowingly speak falsehood. Again, I did not realize Mets. Theodosius and Herman had voluntarily retired.

        I do know that there was a cloud of scandal surrounding their Beatitudes, their office, and thus the Church itself, since they were acting as Metropolitans at the time. (Whether the cloud of scandal was justified or not.) The Special Investigative Committee formed their report which was not entirely positive. The committee suggested the discipline of five people, including Mets Theodosius and Herman. Aren’t leaders responsible for the improprieties that occur under their leadership? I guess, my usage of the words “heinous acts” is open to opinion. But, in my opinion, any mode of operation that brings that kind of scandal on the Body of Christ is heinous.

        My whole original point was about “titles,” and the lack of consistency regarding “titles.” After Mets. Theodosius and Herman retired, they retained the title “Beatitude, despite the what SIC Report said, and whether the scandals were true or not. Met. Jonah when he retired was “demoted” to “His Eminence.” This doesn’t make sense. I know this could be considered “no big deal,” or as “bishop’s business” but Met. Jonah’s mandatory title change could appear (and does) as mean spirited or as retaliation. Titles are matters of respect and honor. To change them without consistency (actually, inconsistency in general,) subjects us cowardly weak troglodytes to misunderstanding.

        In closing, Your Grace called me a coward for remaining anonymous. Well…what one man calls cowardice could be seen by others as intelligence.

        Master bless! Forgive.

        Lordsave

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          “Lordsave!”: The SIC report was created by Archbishop Benjamin’s chosen team, LONG after the retirement of Metropolitan Theodosius, who, “Lordsave,” did NOT retire under any cloud or in the face of any accusations of any kind. You write that you KNOW the contrary! (“I do know that there was a cloud of scandal surrounding their Beatitudes, their office , and thus the Church itself, since they were acting as Metropolitans at the time.”) There was NO SCANDAL surrounding Metropolitan Theodosius or the Church at the time of Metropolitan Theodosius’s voluntary retirement due to his having endured a succession of countless mini-strokes.
          Yes, Metropolitan Herman blessed the cloud of scandal which descended on the Church after Protodeacon Eric Wheeler published his illicit letter full of accusations of crimes, none of which has been brought before any court at all, any court competent to find someone guilty of crimes. Even the “court” that deposed Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick did not allow its proceedings to be recorded, and, prior to that, Metropolitan Herman, Archbishop Job, Archbishop Nathaniel, Bishop Seraphim and the rest (except Bishop Nikolai and me) PREVENTED Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick from giving voluntary testimony and submtting to an interrogation by the Holy Synod. They :Prevented it! THAT, “Lordsave” is a scandal “of the first water.”

          • Jonathan Johnston says:

            BT,

            You are so wrong I don’t know where to start. Both + Theodosius and RSK were involved with playing with the funds of the OCA. In fact, + Theodosius more so than RSK, but RSK took the full fall. + Theodosius fell back on the excuse of mini-strokes to retire. The legal powers told him, either he turn states evidence and retire or go to jail. RSK took the full fall. BT you have tried to mislead everyone time and time again about this unfortunate episode in the OCA’s history, but your account does not support any of the facts. Furthermore, Deacon Eric uncovered the misuse of OCA funds and told + Theodosius he could no longer serve as Treasurer with the fraud he uncovered. He was fired and the fit hit the shan. Now, is your support for RSK and + Theodosius based on all the money they filtered to you or what?

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

              Jonathan Johnstone, you don’t knwo where to start? Start where I was a member of the Holy Synod and you weren’t.
              I defy you to produce documentation for your accusation that Metropolitan Theodosius was “told” (whatever that means—no paperwork, maybe?) to “turn state’s evidence” before he had his strokes.
              You are spinning, spinning, spinning in my not-humble-at-all opinion.
              You’ve given us in this note not one verifable fact about what went on before Metropolitan Theodosius’s retirement. You drag the name of (Proto)deacon Eric Wheeler into your rant. You will find that a management study arranged with full public knowledge reported that some positions in the Chancery could be more feasibly and productively accomplished through outsourcing: that meant hiring a professional treasurer/accountant,, rather than clergy. The Protodeacon was informed of this and he was let go without prejudice or blame or financial indemnification. He never got over it, and thus began his vengeful alliance with Mark Stokoe (he was allowed to leave the chancery without further action, if he agreed to resign peacefully after some (too many!) people complained about his Castro and/or West Hollywood style as chairman of the OCA’s YOUTH Department!
              I think it’s slightly (?) irrational fo say in the same sentence that the Protodeacon told Metropolitan Theodosius that he could NO LONGER SERVE AS TREASURER and then was fired! Which was it?
              I’m eighty and I’ve never been litigious, but I suggest you NOT ever again refer so slimily to “all the money they filtered to you.”
              That is so totally in character with most of the opposition to and hatred of Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick! That parting question from you comes right out of the sewer.

              • Jonathan Johnston says:

                BT,

                The facts are that both + Theo and RSK were playing around with monies earmarked for the OCA. Not only charity monies, but monies from the “seed baron.” They set up “secret” bank accounts. Strykus made the deposits and withdrawals. This is fact. Much money made it’s way to Las Vegas where your buddy Soriach was. Also, monies made it’s way to Russia. You always seemed to love RSK, why? Dn. Eric did tell + Theo he could no longer protect their cover-up and was fired. + Herman took over as Treasurer to protect the situation, but the authorities were already investigating. Since both + Theo & RSK were the culprits, + Theo did turn states evidence to protect himself and his mini-strokes were an ideal reason to retire. RSK had destroyed many files and emails to cover his tracks, but not quite perfect enough. So, why you supported RSK so strongly in the past and continue to is conjecture. I know and God knows.

      • Jane Rachel says:

        I am grateful for what Bishop Tikhon has written here about His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius. Two photos of His Beatitude always come to mind whenever I remember him. The first is a photo that was taken just after the attack on the Twin Towers. Metropolitan Thedosius is finding his way along an avenue through the rubble and smoke. He is carrying an icon, which, I believe (if I remember correctly), survived when the OCA church located in the shadows of the Two Towers was destroyed. In the other photo, Metropolitan Theodosius is blessing an Altar. He is concentrating on the surface of the Altar and touching it with his hands as if nothing else in the world exists.

  12. I know I scolded you all for commenting, so first I must beg forgiveness of all you as I post below. This just made me so very upset. What a cold, unfeeling boiler plate letter, better to have sent none. These self-serving Bastards, if they felt love for His BEATITUDE, then the letter should have been private, and to the parents. This is perhaps the best example that these Bishops have no brains, no love, no manners and well, I guess the do have grace despite all that…..

    Earth to OCA Synod, your frauds and pretty stupid and rude people.

    **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****

    On behalf of the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon sent condolences to Metropolitan Jonah and his family. The text reads as follows.

    “Your Eminence, Metropolitan Jonah, Dear Brother in Christ,

    “It is with deep sadness, yet firm hope in the Resurrection, that we extend our heartfelt prayers and thoughts upon learning of the untimely repose of your sister, Laurie, on Sunday, November 18, 2012.

    “Surely the death of a sibling—especially one with whom one has a close bond—is always a tragedy. And yet, in the midst of mourning, we can take comfort in our Lord’s presence and promise of eternal life. Laurie’s recent reception into the Church also offers a measure of consolation, that indeed her soul abides “where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.”

    “Please be assured of our brotherly prayers for Laurie’s repose, as well as for the comfort of you and your parents, at this sorrowful time. May her memory be eternal, and may the Kingdom of God, yet to be fully revealed but already fully present in our midst, consume her—and all of us—as she passes ‘from life to life.’

    “Sincerely yours in the risen Christ,

    “+ Metropolitan Tikhon and the brothers of the Holy Synod with me.”

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Have these people no shame?

      • Carl Kraeff says:

        George–You seem to be eaten up with all sorts of bad feelings, even hatred. Do you need to join “Photius” in jumping the shark with your reaction to the statement of condolence from His Beatitude Tikhon to His Eminence Jonah?

        • George, I am very sorry, and you know that I have supported much of what you have written here, but it really does seem that your comments are becoming ever increasing angry and hostile. I hope you are doing ok and will pray for you tonight and for all tonight, especially for Laurie’s repose. May her memory be eternal!

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Thank you Ben. Sometimes my evil twin Skippy takes over the keyboard and writes in my name. Seriously though, we need to pray for each other and to learn to love one another. Otherwise we should just pack it in and play golf on Sundays.

            • I agree that the criticism of the letter itself is probably not warranted.

              If it weren’t for the recent abuse of Jonah, the letter would seem entirely appropriate. Jonah was a figurehead representing the whole church. So a letter to Jonah from the primate on behalf of the whole church is appropriate. But you do have a right to your own feelings, and I suppose expressing them honestly is better than not being able to express them. The real issue here though, is why Jonah has not been given this level of respect by his brother bishops throughout his episcopacy and primacy. I think that is why you are angry and legitimately so. But it might help to clarify that your anger is not so much with this letter as with prior abuses which make you believe this letter is insincere.

            • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

              Take good care of Skippy or he will control you George. 😉

      • lexcaritas says:

        My dear brothers Photius and George,

        Don’t overreact. What ++TIKHON and the Synod have written doesn’t seem objectionable to me. I would presume it was sent to +JONAH personally, and in private, also.

        Let’s hope that it is followed by public action to release him for future service in the Lord’s vineyard and with some provision for his own livelihood and care of his parents.

        Let’s not curse the darkness, but light at least one candle–if not more.

        lxc

        • Yes. Any and Every time the Holy Synod has issued a letter of condolence to ANYONE, it has been published. If the Chancery had NOT published this letter, there would have been an outcry at their not even having sent a ‘boiler plate’ letter on the occasion.
          I must say that I found the criticism of the quality of the letter as being “boiler-plate” is bizarre to the max.
          In my not humble at all opinion, it’s about time SOMETHING closer to “boiler-plate’ Orthodox language was published by the Holy Synod! “Boiler plate” is, in fact, long overdue. Read that STINKBOMB of a statement by the Holy Synod, composed partly by unbelievers, apparently, that seemed unaware of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, salvation, sin, redemption, etc., at all, but only with the public recital of unproved allegations of immoral and uncanonical acts by a Metropolitan!
          I think it’s horrible and my heart, therefore, goes out to Metropolitan Jonah, that the falling-asleep of his beloved sister is being used to express sentiments toward Metropolitan Tikhon that more closely resemble the outcries of a lynch mob than of those respectful of a family in mourning.

      • Perhaps they felt an expression of Christian love from the Church, and an episcopal recognition of the loss of a bishop’s loved one, was appropriate. Please explain what principle Metropolitan Tikhon should have followed to conclude that he should not permit his letter to Metropolitan Jonah to be published.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          The public profit of a man’s private grief is beneath white-trashery. Especially when they don’t mean a word of it and did everything possible to destroy a man and his family. The Commies who rule China are of a higher moral plane: when they execute a criminal they send the bill for the bullets to the man’s family. As such there is no pretense of remorse.

          • Publication of their letter to +JONAH was in very poor taste.

            But at this point, they are DAMNED IF THEY DO, DAMNED IF THEY DON’T. I would actually prefer they choose the “Don’t” option.

          • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

            Skippy must have written this one George: “The public profit of a man’s private grief is beneath white-trashery. Especially when they don’t mean a word of it and did everything possible to destroy a man and his family. The Commies who rule China are of a higher moral plane: when they execute a criminal they send the bill for the bullets to the man’s family. As such there is no pretense of remorse.”

            Come on, you are telling me they do not desire God’s peace in Metropolitan Jonah after the death of his sister. Counting the mistakes of the Synod of Bishops as worse than the multitudes of cruelties by the Commies who rule China is quite an aberration from the truth.

            George, Please choose your words with sobriety and clarity. As a human being made in the image and likeness of God, you are worth far more than how you demonstrate your character in the quote above. Have mercy on yourself and us before you type such words.

            As much as you hate what was done to Metropolitan Jonah… you will still need to forgive the guilty.
            Forgiveness is what I do for myself to be right with God and the Body of Christ. So it is clear George needs to do – for George’s sake – to be right with God and the Body of Christ.

            “Be kind to one another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:32

            • George Michalopulos says:

              It should have been done privately and not put out for public consumption. We can argue about that however. The proof will be in the pudding: how will Syosset treat Laurie’s survivors?

              • EXACTLY! You are so right, dear George! We’ll see what Syosset will do next. (And that letter was a cheap shot if I ever saw one.)
                And, BTW, I like Skippy and think that you might let him “come out to play” more often.

              • Indeed George! Integrity, sacredness, class, kindness, tact, duty — lost ideas . . .

        • Dear Max, This doesn’t require a principle but just good manners. A letter of condolence is not the moment for some glory grabbing( or press time for yourself). This most defiantly should have been private. Of course I don’t know if any of these people(the synod) were raised in the kind of home where this sort of thing was taught …….maybe not.

    • Where was this letter originally posted?

    • I hope that the gesture of sending the letter came from a good place. If so, they should follow this condolence letter with the necessary apologies and retractions.

      I am not sure what should be overtly offensive about the content of the letter, unless it was delivered taped to a rock and hurled through the living-room window. The letter did come from people who caused Laurie a lot of pain, but it would have been worse not to acknowledge her.

      But the best thing to do would have been never to have caused the pain to begin with.

  13. OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says:

    Our heartfelt condolences to His Beatitude and his family.

    George, (or anyone) if you know of an appropriate way for us to send a personal note or card of condolence to His Beatitude and family I would appreciate a response in private if that is more appropriate.

    May Laurie’s memory be eternal!

    Guidon & Christine Westover
    guy.westover@gmail.com

  14. Lola J. Lee Beno says:

    I would like to report briefly – I was there at the service tonight. Met. Jonah was indeed there, and there was a good number of people singing in the choir. Quite a turnout of people who were able to come tonight. I believe there were about 8 or 9 priests present.

    After the service, one of the priests gave an eulogy, and then Met. Jonah thanked everyone for coming and spoke lovingly of his sister. He gave each of us his blessing as we went up to kiss Laurie goodbye.

    I will strive to be there tomorrow morning if my foot lets me.

    • Pravoslavnie says:

      I too was at her funeral Tuesday night, and it was very clear that Laurie Paffhausen was well loved, touched many people’s lives, and will be greatly missed. Her funeral was served by eight priests and one Protodeacon with the service led by Fr. George Kohkno of St. Nicholas. Metropolitan Jonah was in attendance with both his parents, but he did not serve. Lay people attending represented several local parishes from across different jurisdictions.

  15. In my own estimation, for me, a true monk would not have accepted the call to be Metropolitan when he had participated in the debacle that led to the downfall of his predecessor.

    • So . . . read much?

    • What are you trying to do, Jeff, start a new rumor? His BEATITUDE, Jonah, had nothing to do with the “downfall” of his predecessor. When that occurred, he was busy being a very busy abbot of a monastery. The “downfall” was brought about by others.

    • Jeff, are you talking about +Tikhon?

      • Yes. I wrote that comment because someone wrote that Met. +Tikhon was a true monk. In my humble opinion a “true” monk would have been loyal to his Metropolitan and would not have participated in the debacle of his predecessor nor would have stood for election in what every one knows was a sham election.

        But that is my opinion. . Maybe I am too much of an idealist. But in the face of what has been labeled evil, he has been silent.

        • Monk James says:

          Jeff says (November 24, 2012 at 10:25 am):

          Yes. I wrote that comment because someone wrote that Met. +Tikhon was a true monk. In my humble opinion a “true” monk would have been loyal to his Metropolitan and would not have participated in the debacle of his predecessor nor would have stood for election in what every one knows was a sham election.

          But that is my opinion. . Maybe I am too much of an idealist. But in the face of what has been labeled evil, he has been silent.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          It’s NEVER a good thing to be silent in the presence of evil. Still, it’s the Lord God Who knowa how it will all work out.

          Some monks, maybe like Met. Tikhon, have the kharisma of silent witness, and even that counts for something, depending on the situation. Some monks, maybe like me, have the kharisma of making noise.

          Monks are monks, but we’re not all stamped out in the same shape as by a cookie cutter, and it’s at least a little bit wrong for the laity to have opinions about monastic behavior, short of our teaching heresy or being grossly immoral — which has happened, but not recently, at least not obviously, here in America.

          If some of my monastic sisters and brothers have failed in their commitments, I’m pretty much unaware of it, with a very few exceptions.

          Widowed priests and other bishops forced to accept monastic tonsure as a step in their ecclesial cursus honorum are another matter, and that’s a problem we need to address.

  16. The attack on Metropolitan Jonah by the forces of evil is insidious. May God grant His daughter, Laurie, a beautiful peace after all she endured for the sake of her brother.

    Here is a church that her brother, James Paffhausen, embraced with all his soul. He went to Russia to become a monk at Valaam. With Bishop Tikhon’s blessing, he assembled a group of monastics in Point Reyes and then Manton, as an OCA Monastery. He taught, traveled, and brought Orthodoxy to many, many people. And then the persecution began. Laurie saw her brother mercilessly hounded for almost four years. It broke her heart.

    Imagine being next to your brother, at a dinner with parishioners, and Fr. John Jillions arrives at your home to tell your brother he must resign “or else”. Imagine seeing that look on your brother’s face–that look of pain, of frustration, and then of acquiesence. He had done his best, had tried his hardest, but it wasn’t good enough.d You watch as the church your brother loves turns against him. But your brother continues to believe, to have hope, to pray without ceasing.

    Is it not a mystery–an unfathomable mystery–that Laurie, after she watched her brother endure two years of mistreatment at the hands of the OCA–became Orthodox upon her death bed? What was it that she saw in the Faith? How could she overlook all the pain that the OCA had caused her sibling, and join that same church? It is a beautiful and unfathomable mystery.

  17. For everyone’s information, this thread pops up when Laurie’s name is searched for on Google and other search engines.

    While Met. Jonah is a public figure, she is not. George may not agree judging by how he moderates the comments, but I feel Laurie deserves better than to have her memory mixed up in all these OCA politics. She did a lot for us just with her occasional comments here, plus her hard work helping her brother. I am grieving for her, and I have a hard time reading all this stuff in a thread that I would rather have been about her.

    Please keep that in mind when you make comments in this thread.

    • Dear Helga,

      Bless your sweet, caring and right praising (Pravo – Slavni / Orthodox) heart. Want to report that I got my prayer wrist rope back, thanks to you, in time for the funeral. You were missed but with us in spirit at the cathedral and at the burial.

      • URright, thank you. I’m glad you got your prayer rope back so quickly.

        I wish I could have been there for Laurie’s funeral, but it was not possible. On Tuesday night I prayed along with the Panikhida, from home. I will have to pay my respects to Laurie personally in the future.

  18. Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

    Thank You, O Lord!

    Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann celebrated the divine liturgy for the last time on Thanksgiving Day, 1983. This was particularly appropriate since Father Alexander had devoted his whole life to teaching,
    writing and preaching about the Eucharist; for the word Eucharist in Greek means thanksgiving. At the conclusion of the liturgy, Father Alexander took from his pocket a short written sermon, in the form of a
    prayer, which he proceeded to read. This was a strange occurrence since Father never wrote his liturgical homilies, but delivered them extemporaneously. These were his words, which proved to be the last ever spoken by him from the ambo in Church. Fr. Alexander was dying of cancer and fell asleep in the Lord on
    Dec. 13, 1983.

    Thank You, O Lord!

    Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the “one thing needed;” Your eternal Kingdom.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.

    Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

    Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

    Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

    Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

    Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.

  19. The MC (Metropolitan Council) exists since the 1920s, Colette. If Fr. Alexander S. was born then, he was just a toddler. When the former ruling Archbishop of the Aleutians and Alaska, Archbishop Platon, (Rozhdestvensky) returned to America as a Metropolitan (after leaving he had been the Exarch of the Georgian Church, had been one of the members of the Presidium of the All-Russian Council of 1917–), in accordance with the usage of the times, the Eparchial (or as we would now say “Diocesan”) Council of the Church here in America found it appropriate to rename the Diocesan Council as “Mitropolichii Soviet”, or “The Metropolitan’s Council.” Someone translated, or, rather, mistranslated that as “Metropolitan Council”. Similarly, cathedral choirs in a Metropolitan’s Cathedral in Russia are called “Mitropolichii Chor” (Metropolitan’s Choir).

  20. Mr Paine,

    Fair warning to you, IP addresses don’t lie. We know your location, what city you are in and it won’t be difficult to track you down. You either cease and desist with the lies you are posting about Robert Kondratick or face the consequences. It is up to you NC.

    • M. Stankovich says:

      Mr. Michalopulos, you have censored me for even joking about such a matter, and yet you allow some punk-ass clown to literally threaten a guest on your site. That is outrageous.

      To you IP, I say you had best be gone and fast because I will hunt you down like the dog you are. If you had his IP you’d would have contacted him yourself, not here, you simpleton. I will /b/ you from here to Philadelphia and wrap your Xmas gifts in your DMV records & tax returns. Cease and desist me, you punk. Fair warning to you: We are listening. We are relentless. We don’t forget.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        I thought you better than to ally yourself with the likes of Diogenes/Paine. I’ve always felt he had Kondratick Derangement Syndrome but I worry about your sanity as well. If anything, what you and his ilk are doing is justifying what the Phanar has always said about the OCA: that it’s not spiritually mature enough for autocephaly. As you know, I have fought this battle tooth-and-nail for several years and as a Greek-American have suffered immensely for it. Unfortunately, your splenetic language puts those of us who uphold the OCA at a decided disadvantage in this matter.

        • M. Stankovich says:

          Mr. Michalopulos,

          I am not exactly sure that your comment directly above is intended for me, but if that is the case, let me again clarify something for you: you have a cast of characters here – in my mind, some inspiring, some not so much – and you will tolerate them as you will. Never have I disrespected you as other than a most gracious and patient host. As recently as this morning, I receive “messages” from some of your more arrogant, entitled customers directing me to “cease & desist.” I considered responding to the latest “order,” but chose rather to rely on your reputation. Mr. Michalopulos, trusting that, while you and I have had significant disagreement, you know that I am expressing my opinion(s) in good faith. Thus, I determined, again, that in your house, I am beholden to your prerogative and to no one else.

          For the record, Mr. Michalopulos, I have no clue who these characters posting might be. I align myself with no one and I resent your ignorant statement. Forty years I have fought, Mr. Michalopulos. Forty years. From the day the Tomos was read I have been faithful and you will not lecture me regarding maturity and justification. My faith and hope are unmoved despite your “several” years of conjecture, misrepresentation, and judgment. It is a new day. The Church has acted as One, “by the wisdom of men and the Grace of the Holy Spirit.” There is so much much you do not know, and so much you do not need to know. It is time to move on. We have gleaned every lesson to be had from our trash, and the Just Judge has promised to right every wrong.

          Any church dependent on the “restoration” of Robert Kondratick & Jonah Paufhausen for its “healing” is not just “immature,” it is doomed. No one is so significant, and no living being is so “symbolic” of injustice. Golden calves. Or, you can get your ticket on the bus to ROCOR, where after a full liturgical year of Church Slavonic – which even the Russians do not understand – and the Old Calendar, you’ll be back. As St. Chrysostom so boldly stated, the Jews wandered forty years in the desert, but fear not, for you are no longer led by Moses, but by Jesus Christ.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Sir, your reasoned critiques falls apart immediately in your last paragraph. I know precious little about the ministry of Fr Kondratick but your assertion that Jonah’s “restoration” would spell “doom” for the OCA is fabulous (and I mean that in a negative sense). I have given you much space to state your arguments and have tried to give you every benefit of every doubt. I’ve tried mightily to believe that there is no hatred in your heart towards His Beatitude but you have now tossed these doubts out the window. It is clear you are a hater.

            Still, I believe in the First Amendment. If you want to keep writing on this blog you may do so. I will grant you the same courtesy as I do Diogenes/Paine for the simple reason that like him, you serve as a useful barometer and I can set my sights accordingly.

            In the final analysis, I see that there is much bad blood between the likes of Syosset and the upholders of Orthodox traditionalism. It grieves me to say this but outside real repentance, such negativity can only be cured by the extinction of the OCA. In one paragraph, you have justified the claims of Istanbul, which has long maintained that America is not spiritually mature enough for autocephaly. That’s a shame because now our future is yoked to the Phanar. Please convey to your overlords in Syosset a miserly “job well done.”

            • Thomas Paine says:

              George,

              With respect, you’re crazy. The OCA isn’t doomed and is doing just fine, now. + Jonah will go on somewhere; RSK is basking in the sun; the Phanar continues to think Byzantium still exists and + Bart is king of all the Orthodox; Moscow wallows in it’s corruption trying to spread Russian influence all over the world; ROCOR is still dillusional; the Antiochians still think Syria with Assad will rise again while the country crumbles and the Greeks believe Christ was from Athens. As an American, I’ll stick with a church still believing and striving toward a real American church. Now, to get rid of those stupid stove-top hats; write an American Typikon that makes sense; quit referring to the bishops as “despots” but “episcopos,” cut the hair and shave the beards; use the cassocks only in church; etc. Time for the American church to BE an American church; not Russian, Greek, Syrian or other.

              • Disgusted With It says:

                “…write an American Typikon that makes sense…”

                Isn’t that what the OCA has? I mean, it’s the Russian Typikon in the English language, but that IS the OCA.

                Why is it an overwhelming trend that many of those who cry loudest for an “American” church tend to also be those who have serious moral failings, especially when it comes to homosexual issues? Maybe the hope to remove everything from the “old country” including those bothersome “old country” values? Just a thought.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                  Just how would an “American” Typikon differ from one of the two versions of the Typikon now used by thje Orthodox Church, the Typikon of St. Sabba or the Typikon of the Great Church of Constantinople? If you want an English translation of the Typikon if the Great Church with notes on how it differs from the Typikon of St. Saba go to http://almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf

                  • An “American church”, would be a lowest-common-denominator organization, with content, beliefs, and practices selected to please/placate the greatest number of people. Some people will consider that a good thing, others will not. The proposition is difficult to effect, owing to our diversity of language, practice, and — yes — belief. This does not even begin to address the problems of pride and power struggles which would accompany the efforts made.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      An American Orthodox Church would not change a single teaching of the Orthodox Church or we would no longer be Orthodox. We already share the same doctrine despite relatively minor liturgical differences. There would be no such thing as American Orthodox doctrine. There is only Orthodox doctrine. We must teach the same thing that they teach in Moscow, Athens or Damascus. Nor would there be such a thing as an American version of the Divine Liturgy and the other services of the Church. We must preserve without change what we have inherited from our Orthodox Holy Tradition. However, American Church would have to preserve the various national customs of the various groups that make up American Orthodoxy. I certainly do not want to give up my Antiochian customs, but do not expect those who follow Russian customs to give up their customs. We can do what we Antiochians do by using both Russian music and Byzantine chant. As long as it is a legitimate Orthodox custom, a united American Orthodox Church will have to accommodate it. We could come up with common translations of the most commonly used prayer like the Trisagion Prayers, the Our Father and the Creed, however even that presents a problem because some of us are too used to King James English to change to the modern English used by some Orthodox. Modern English lacks the beauty of the more traditional language. There is a Greek term for worship which means something like fitting for God. The language of our worship must be fitting for God. Calling God “You” sticks in my throat. A united American Orthodox Church will also have to minister to the immigrants by using Greek, Slavonic, Arabic or some other national language in a parish with a high number of immigrants, and all English in a parish like mine where with everyone speaks English as their daily language.

                    • P.S. I do not at all mean that there should not be a unified church for our country, just as there is for other countries. Rather, I don’t close my eyes to the realities of how difficult it will be to achieve one. Human nature and behaviour are what they are. If a single jurisdiction cannot even govern itself cleanly and Christianly, it is doubtful that multiple jurisdictions easily can achieve consensus and harmony within the confines of a single jurisdiction.

                    • Michael Bauman says:

                      Antonia, is that because we Americans are simply unworthy of the Church or because the Church is unable to be who She is?

              • Thank you, Mr. Paine, for a very clear exposition of the Orthodox American-exceptionalist faith.

              • Thomas Paine says:

                Old Milwaukee is brewed by the Pabst Brewing Company, which sold itself to C. Dean Metropoulos — described by The New York Times as “a veteran food executive known for corporate turnarounds” — in 2010.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                  As a lover of beer and home brewer, I am curious why you posted this about the Pabst Brewing company.

                  • Father John,

                    Here are some ways that beer can affect diabetes.

                    Perhaps eating “lots of meat” during the fast can counteract the deleterious effects of beer intake in your case, but still, it’s best to be watchful of your carb intake: complex, simple and alcoholic.

                    * While moderate amounts of alcohol can cause blood sugar to rise, excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level — sometimes causing it to drop into dangerous levels.

                    * Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar.

                    * Alcohol stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control.

                    * Alcohol can interfere with the positive effects of oral diabetes medicines or insulin.

                    * Alcohol may increase triglyceride levels.

                    * Alcohol may increase blood pressure.

                    * Alcohol can cause flushing, nausea, increased heart rate, and slurred speech.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      I only drink in moderation. No more than two an evening. Actually my doctor told me to drink at least one beer every day because beer helps control cholesterol.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      I admit that I feel guilty eating meat during the Fast, but after collapsing and being hospitalized due to my hypoglycemia last summer, I plan to follow my doctor’s advice to eat meat during the Christmas Fast especially since I am also recovering from a total knee replacement last month. As a kind of fast, I have given up drinking beer during the fast. The calendars tell us to give up wine, but do not mention beer. I find that curious since they had beer when these rules were developed. Later after I have had time to consult a dietician I hope to be able to modify my diet to at least exclude meat during the fasts.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      I am not diabetic, so I am not sure how beer effects my hypoglycemia. I consulted my Father Confessor, His Grace Bishop Basil who responded that I should follow the directions of my physician. I still feel funny, because for 32 years, I have preached about the importance of fasting especially from meat during the fasts, and now have to eat meat during the fast to keep my blood sugar in order. I admit that I feel a lot better during this fast than I used to. I used to get very weak and tired and could hardly function during the fasts.

                  • Fr John,
                    Ales I presume?
                    How do you find home brewing in the heat and humidity of Mississippi’s summer?
                    Or do you only brew during the cooler months?

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      You are correct. I brew using ale yeast cannot brew using a lager yeast. Ale can be brewed at room temperature, while a lager requires cooler temperatures. Even in the winter the room that I use is heated, so I cannot use a true lager yeast. However, using the right combination of hops and malt you can get a taste that is very close to a lager.

              • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says:

                Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
                Mr. Payne, with respect for your role in the American Revolution if not your anti-Christian advocacy there, I’d agree that your comments seem to evidence a sense of American exceptionalism, even a bit of ethnophlytism about being “American” in a quasi-WASP way.
                Given that our Church (assuming that you in your anonymity are in the OCA too) also includes peoples in very different political and cultural traditions in Canada and Latin American, your remarks also seems exclusive on a very practical level in our continent/hemisphere (or “turtle island” as some native cultures called it).
                Orthodoxy is a cosmopolitan tradition.
                The effects of introducing too many exceptional Americanisms of a particular time period and as defined by a particular social/ethnic class can be limiting, especially given the particular excesses of mainstream U.S. culture with its consumerism, technocracy, and corporatism.
                For example, the OCA is exceptional among local Orthodox churches in the world in its governance structure, yet so far the track record is not so exceptional.
                Meanwhile we’re also part of a bigger non-canonical governance situation of overlapping Holy Synods in the same territory.
                We’ll need in our region to keep negotiating and engaging in a loving and humble way with diverse “ethnic” jurisdictions with ties around the world and farther back into our shared Orthodox heritage, a centuries-old living tradition, not traditionalism bound too closely with a particular moment in time of a particular culture, even that of the U.S. as much as we can love her patriotically.
                Please pray for me a sinner,
                Kentigern

                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Prof. Siewers,

                  Bravo.

                  Metropolitan Philip Saliba told the Evangelical converts that their mission was to “bring America to Orthodoxy,” the implication being that they will gladly bear the onus of accommodating our “living” Tradition because “in my Father’s house are many rooms.” (Jn. 14:2). I would only add that at the time of the Tomos of Autocephaly, the Russian Orthodox Church was in no position to directly assist a fledgling OCA. Perhaps it is now time to call upon them.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                    I think that the emphasis should be on “bring America to Orthodoxy.” His Eminence did not say “bring Orthodoxy to America.” As one who was entrusted with instructing the Evangelicals as they prepared for their reception into the Church, my instructions were to teach them how to serve following out Antiochian customs without change. The only change that is justified in bring Orthodoxy to America is that we must use English. Except for that there must be no difference in how we do the services from our Orthodox traditions. We do not need a Vatican II style revision of our services.

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Wow, Fr. John. I wish I had said that. Wait! I did say that, directly above you and two days earlier. But thank you for correcting my statement misquoting Met. Philip. Wait! I didn’t misquote Met. Philip. I don’t know exactly whom you were correcting. You might want to consider cutting back on the analgesics a bit…

                    • Stankovich, Fr. John was not correcting you, nor was he trying to. He said that to draw attention to Metropolitan Philip’s emphasis in the quotation, he wasn’t accusing you of getting the quotation wrong to begin with.

                      I notice you haven’t yet offered a “Memory Eternal” for Laurie.

                  • The best form of assistance to a fledging OCA at this point would be to withdraw the Tomos. It would also be giant leap in advancing the cause of canonical unity.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                Do not be so sure about what the Antiochians think about Assad. The Church has been very careful to not take sides or make any statements that could come back to cause us problems. In fact, the rules of the Patriarchate of Antioch forbid a Bishop from being a member of any political party. It is true that the major fear of the Orthodox in Syria is the growth of radical Islam. Assad stood against radical Islam and allowed the Church freedom unknown in most other majority Muslim countries. The Orthodox in Syria have seen what has happened to the Christians in Iraq and what is happening in Egypt and fear a radical Islamic government. In Homs and other places the opposition to Assad is radical Muslim and has already begun persecution of Christians. The opponents of Assad fire on his supporters from Christian neighborhoods so that the supporters of Assad will shell Christian homes. I have no doubt that most Orthodox in Syria would prefer a free society with complete freedom of religion. However, to the Muslims majority rule means Islamic domination of society and a legal system that treats non-Muslims as second class citizens. What scares them is the possibility that when the dust settles, they will be living under radical Muslim domination and Sharia law.

                • In other words, Fr John, “better the devil you know”.

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    It is much more complicated than that. To live in relative safety, risk martyrdom or leave their ancestral homeland. Which would you pick from the arrogant safety of your overstuffed arm chair?
                    ,

              • Seraphim98 says:

                Hmmm. This American wants the cassocks in or out of church, the uncut hair, the beards, and the stovepipe hats…I’m cool with Master instead of Despota.

                I’m surprised you didn’t call for an end to vestments entirely…just a nice suit and tie. Then we could really look the part.

                Visually your vision of an American Church is not appealing in the least.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                  No one wants to do away with vestments. Wearing the proper vestments is part of the Holy Tradition of the Church. An Orthodox Church without vestments would not be an Orthodox Church. Last Sunday, I went to the Divine Liturgy for the first time since my operation. I am not yet ready to serve, but I was really moved by how beautiful the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is complete with vestments. There are some things that cannot be changed, the Divine Liturgy complete with chanting, vestments and incense is the essence of Orthodoxy and cannot change. There are specific rubrics in the Liturgikon and other service books of the Church that specify which vestments are to be worn for every service. The liturgical texts express our Orthodox Faith. Wearing the right vestment is part of the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church. There may be minor differences among the various national Church such as the Antiochian custom of going all the way around the Temple during the Great Entrance, and the Russian custom of not going all the way around the Temple, but these are minor differences and we both use the same text for the Divine Liturgy.
                  However, I fail to see the theological significance of not cutting one’s hair or beard waring a cassock to the grocery store or wearing a certain kind of hat. (I understand that in the Russian tradition different hats signify different ranks of clergy). I would not presume to judge a priest who wears a cassock at a place where I would not, but do not think that my commitment to Orthodoxy should be judged because I do not wear my cassock outside of the Church. These are not of the same level of importance as wearing the proper vestments for a service. Wearing the proper vestments is essential, what I wear at home or when I go to the grocery store of whether or not I get a hair cut or trim my beard is not an essential.

                  • Seraphim98 says:

                    Fr. Bless,

                    One of my first lessons in the Orthodox faith came from my godmother who taught me to treat blessed things with care. She picked up every loose thread that fell from my baptismal garment, which had been blessed, put them in a little baggie and charged me not to lose them. I still have them with other items in a special box. It is my understanding that the reason a priest’s hair is not cut is that it has received the anointing of ordination. It is blessed and it is better not to cut it. I have read of little old matushkas who carefully gather every stray hair in her husband’s comb or hair brush and saved them to be buried with him when the day came. There are some I know that pooh pooh such things as being so minor as not to really matter…a half step above what are dismissed as ya-yaisms. But I find that sort of reverence and care in small things indicative of the reverence and care given to greater things. Faithful in little, faithful in much, as it were.

                    As for cassock, there is a very good reason I prefer to see our deacons and priests wearing them except where it would be physically dangerous to do so (like around farm machinery). There is no mistaking an Orthodox priest or deacon in a cassock for a Lutheran, an Episcopalian, or a Roman Catholic. I know at a glance they are Orthodox and that I can approach them to ask for their blessing or prayers. I get that the type of garment that a cassock is may be a bit physically awkward to wear is some limited circumstances, but until they make a distinctively Orthodox short garment to wear with pants cassocks are what we have. To me seeing a priest in a cassock is not far removed from seeing an icon or an Orthodox cross. They remind me of who I am and how I am to live in this world. And because I know, especially in the South wearing a cassock can draw some odd looks, it reminds me to be prayerful for the priest who so flout fashion, and who let the cassock be a tool in the service of humility in their own lives.

                    For me to see a priest in a cassock is a joy, and a number of the priests I know who do wear cassocks most of the time have told me the opportunities it has given to share the faith in some small measure with those were just so curious they had to ask.

                    So, I agree, it’s not not good to judge those who don’t wear cassocks or cut their hair or reduce their beards to a soul patch (that one’s hard though), but on the other hand I am of the opinion that every priest who wishes to embrace these forms of traditional Orthodox clerical dress should be encouraged….as I said, to folks like me to see the cassocks and beards, and the hair is every bit as much a blessing as the sight of a beautiful icon. It is a silent visual testimony to the faith that is sadly under appreciated in our age.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      I have been Orthodox during most of my life, graduated from Holy Cross and have been an Orthodox Priest for over 32 years. This is the first time that I have heard that the strands of a Priest’s hair should be kept the way that we keep something that has been blessed. It is a pious custom, but is not universal within Orthodoxy.
                      I completely agree that it would be wrong for me to judge a brother Priest for wearing a cassock where I would not wear one or by the length of his hair or beard. However, I also believe that I should not be judged because I only wear a cassock at Church or some other appropriate place, get a hair cut every few weeks, and trim my beard so that it does not itch. Each Priest must follow the instructions of his Bishop on such matters.
                      We need to emphasize what unites us which is our Holy Orthodox Faith. To quote Benjamin Franklin after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together or we shall all hang separately.” We live in a society that is hostile towards our Faith. I assure you that the secularists could care less what we wear or how long our beards and hair are. They disdain and some even hate us because we reject same-sex marriage, women’s ordination and abortion, not because of our outward appearance. Some people hate us because we believe in God. Our secular society is becoming increasingly hostile to any traditional expression of Christianity.

                  • There he goes again, opposing an idea which NO ONE has advocated!
                    ” I would not presume to judge a priest who wears a cassock at a place where I would not, but do not think that my commitment to Orthodoxy should be judged because I do not wear my cassock outside of the Church.”
                    Who the hell has been judging him or any priest, or his and any priest’s commitment to Orthodoxy, by whether or not he wears a cassock outside the Church? He is making it up!
                    Is it that he himself feels guilty because he himself is really not that confident about his own habits? There’s no need to be so infernally self-conscious, no matter how customary being self-conscious may be in some circles.
                    I know that if I’d start going to the barber and getting haircuts, I would have to decrease my monthly donations to one or more of my favorite charities by at least twenty dollars, and that I’d have to spend a whole lot more of my time looking at myself in mirrors both at home and at the barber and discussing how I look with the barber. I don’t have to buy razors or razor blades or shaving cream or after-shave.
                    But I’m not like one of those over-ceremonious types who always parts his hair in the middle so that others might be reminded of the two natures of Christ. If a bunch of hierarchs appear to be an extremely nervous, self-conscious crowd of men who don’t know where to look and instead of praying toward the Altar have to keep looking at or avoiding the gaze of those relaxing in the spectators’ seats. I’ve never beheld a Near-Oriental Christian funeral before, live or onTV, and now i know what it’s like. Not at all like the Orthodox Liturgy in the Gaza Strip that was shown recently on YouTube: those Greek Orthodox Christians all stood reverently and frequently crossed themselves and seemed to be participants, rather than spectators, so i know that not ALL Orientals are so “ad hoc” in their worship!
                    Patriarch Bartholomew seems to be completely composed and avoiding even a glance at his surroundings. When he gets back home, perhaps he’ll take measures to insure that when HE is buried everything will be as edifying and thoughtfully organized as possible. So then, “all things” and not just the “essentials” will be “done decently and in order.”

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      Your Grace:

                      Ironically, I just returned from getting a hair cut. You and other have certainly judged me and other Orthodox clergy who cut their hair and trim their beards and do not wear our cassocks outside of the Church. You just did it in the post to which I am responding.
                      I have always tried to be respectful of you, because you are a retired Orthodox Bishop, but this time you have gone too far. How dare you criticize the clergy and the way they conducted the services for our Patriarch in Beirut. I watched the Divine Liturgy and except for a few relatively minor differences such
                      1. Our Altar servers always wear a stiharion.
                      2. We only use the fans during the Great Entrance, never during the Little Entrance.
                      3. When a Bishop is present a Priest never gives the Blessings, the Bishop does.
                      Except for these relatively minor differences it was just like the Divine Liturgy that I serve in my parish every week. When you watch the Divine Liturgy, even on a video, your attention should be on the Divine Liturgy, not looking for something to criticize. If you are worried about how long the beard or hair of the clergy in Beirut is, you priorities are all wrong. You are right, the Mediterranean expression of Orthodoxy is more relaxed and less formal than the Russian form. However, both forms are Orthodox. You criticisms of the Liturgy in Beirut are an example of the judgmental superior attitude that I find so offensive. I thought that the service was reverent and well performed, especially the choir singing genuine Byzantine chant. Who are you to presume to judge the way other Orthodox celebrate the Divine Liturgy especially when it is celebrated in the Patriarchate founded by Sts. Peter and Paul?

                    • Michael Bauman says:

                      Who the hell has been judging him or any priest, or his and any priest’s commitment to Orthodoxy, by whether or not he wears a cassock outside the Church? He is making it up!

                      Your Grace:

                      Lot’s of folks most from Slavic or Slavic related jurisdictions. And I’m sure you know that.

                      I know that if I’d start going to the barber and getting haircuts,

                      It was Peter, the not-so-great, who forced the Russian clergy to cut their hair to their great displeasure and you know that too, but who really cares. I gave up worrying about hear length when I got over the sixties. However, it is more traditional to wear longer hair.

                      You seem to want both sides of the street. All I can say is, “Help him!, help him! Help who?. Help the bombadier! I am the bombadier. Help him!”

                      From “Catch-22”

                    • Reverend Morris asks me, “Who are you to presume to judge the way other Orthodox celebrate the Divine Liturgy especially when it is celebrated in the Patriarchate founded by Sts. Peter and Paul?”
                      Who am I? An Orthodox hierarch and a free individual human being.
                      The Holy Foremost Apostles, Peter and Paul FOUNDED NO PATRIARCHATES WHATSOEVER!
                      Perhaps they never ever the word “Patriarchate.’
                      I, Father Morris, am not only an Orthodox hierarch and a free individual human being, i belong to a Church founded by JESUS CHRIST. If others want to claim they belong to Cephas or Paul or Apollos,that’s their decision.
                      Shouldn’t there be a fund at Englewood to finance a monument in Antakya which will say on it ‘This monument is erected by the members of the American Antiochian Self-Governing Archdiocese to mark the place where WE were first called Christians”?

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      In response to Bishop Tikhon below.

                      If you want to know why Orthodoxy in this country is divided, you only need to read the posts of Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald. What on earth would motivate any Antiochian to want to unite with a group that elects a man to the episcopate who constantly criticizes us and our practices? I personally cannot accept the petty obsession for unimportant externals and who is so arrogant that makes him think that he is so superior that he can publicly criticize the way the Divine Liturgy is served in any other Orthodox Church, especially one that traces its origins back to the Apostles Peter and Paul.
                      I am proud of our Antiochian heritage, and am not quite ready to give up our relationship with Antioch, especially to unite with a those who look down upon us as being not quite as Orthodox as they are. I certainly do not want to submit to the kind of Orthodoxy represented by Bishop Tikhon and those like him because it is corrupted by legalism and a basically Western approach to worship. That kind of petty obsession with details produces not sound spirituality, but the kind of spiritual pride that is manifested by his contempt for anyone who does not agree with him on every issue.
                      I can only hope that Bishop Tikhon represents only himself and a very small segment of the OCA.

                      The Very Rev. John W. Morris Ph.D.

            • oliver douglas says:

              The First Amendment applies only to government action. This is a private site. You, the moderator, have an absolute right to delete, edit or otherwise deal with anything anyone tries to post here. It is your choice exclusively.

              • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                This is in response to Michael above.I’m not aware that Tsar Peter forced clergy to cut their hair.He did impose a beard tax on laity,leading many,especially Old Believers,to believe he was the Antichrist or a forerunner of the same.
                I believe he WANTED Orthodox clerics to be short-haired and clean shaven and to dress like Lutheran pastors,but he wasn’t able to pull that one off.What he did do;besides abolishing the Patriarchate,was to remove the bishop’s throne from the church.That’s why in the Russian tradition,the bishop presides from the center of the church at the staro of liturgy,rather than from the side-throne,which is done to this day in those churches following Greek practice.

                • The Russian Bishops stand in the center of the temple until the Entrance into the Altar, showing that the Liturgy up until then took place OUTSIDE the temple and on the way to the temple. The antiphons were sung as they proceeded to the temple, and they would stop a couple times and a ‘Little” litany would be sung before proceeding. The only REAL episcopal throne in an Orthodox temple is against the Eastern wall in the Altar, and it’s called, in the Divine Liturgy, “the Throne on high,” Before the Bishop leaves the west side, front, of the Altar Table, the Deacon asks him to bless the throne on high (gornyj prestol; ano kathedran) and the bishop blesses and the goes there in order to give The Peace. Then he sits on his Aoostolic Throne (just as teachers in the lands where the Church was founded always sat as they taught, while the students stood around about them) while the Apostolic reading is done. in America, in some jurisdictions, the Faithful take the opportunity (i.e., pews) to sit down too (After all, in Protestant and other European classrooms the pupils sit while the teacher stands, no?) That elaborate throne, often with a semi-baldachine over it, like a ceremonial parasol over some African dignitaries, comes from the Imperial Throne of the Basileus, from where the Empeor would “preside’ as it were, in Constantinopolitan churches or, later, in Trebizond or Thessalonika. When the Turks conquered conquered the Empire, the Pa;triarchs began to use the Imperial Throne as their own; after all, the Sultan gave them practically royal power over the empire’s Greek Christians! The side-throne as you call it, Father was never found in any Russian Churches except as a singular and deliberate attempt at copying the later, corrupted usage of the Greeks. if you can point us to just one example of such a throne in a Russian church built after the Russian autocephaly, that would be helpful. I can’t, frankly, imagine a Russian Bishop not facing the East when praying.

                  • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                    Master,Bless! It’s possible,Your Grace,that I was misinformed.My source of information was a Greek Old Calender priest.His claim was that Tsar Peter had that throne taken out of the churches because he didn’t want anyone else besides himself sitting on a throne.
                    We do have a throne off to the side in our Serbian church here in Ecorse.However,we always have moved it to the center of the church when Bishop Longin visits.If Your Grace visits Detroit in the near future,with Bishop Longin giving his assent,we would be glad to have Your Grace on that throne!

                    • Thanks, Father Andrei!
                      In MY dsy, the two main Serbian Churches were in Detroit itself: one was called ‘Gracanica, the the other “Lazarica” if I remember correctly. Gracinica was on East Grand Boulevard? Which of those Churches is in Ecorse, now? If you’ve ever visited the ROCOR Holy Assumption Csthedral on Livernois in Ferndale you might be interested to know that my home was in that very block, on West Lewiston, a little over half a block west of Livernois and the Assumption Church.
                      I’ve never met Vladyka Longin, but a Serbian parishioner of ours (Montenegrin), Draginja Surbatovich, spoke of him very favorably when he first visited St. Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra.

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      St. Lazarus Cathedral is referred to as Ravanica, and it was where I was baptized by Father Miodrag D. Mijatovich, a personal friend of my father. Funny, I don’t recall…

                    • I don’t know Serbian, and I don’t profess to know accurately the Serbian nomenclature for the Detroit parishes…For some reason, that church on the East Side, I think it was East Grand Boulevard, not a long way from the old Russian All Saints Cathedral on Hendrie, is remembered by me as Gracanica or something like that…Of course, my eighty-year old brain may be shell-shocked by the latest example of the mental health professional’s garbage-mouthing in sympathy with the Deaconette. One likes to say “Old Fool” and the other, “You jackasses.” I bet they are sometimes incontinent, too.Why not? It’d be totally consistent with the maturity of their writing here. I wonder which of them will be the first to say, ‘Oh, pooh-pooh on YOU?” Geniuses!!!! Intellectual LIGHTS of the Orthodox Church!
                      I’ve never missed the sandbox or the playground, but these characters obviously do.

                • Archpriest John Morris says:

                  Actually most of the time, Antiochian Bishops also preside over the Divine Liturgy from a portable throne placed in the middle of the solea and enter the Altar at the Little Entrance. They take Kairon during the Matins and then enter the Altar where they vest. They come out of the Altar with the clergy and begin the chanting of the Great Doxology of Matins. The senior priest receives his blessing and then enters the Altar for, “Blessed is the Kingdom..:” the rest of the clergy enter the Altar according to seniority, if there are many priests, one group enters during the First Antiphon and the final group enters during the third Antiphon. Some Bishops, like Bishop Basil, simply stand in the center of the Solea. It is also possible for a Bishop to preside from the throne, which is placed on he right side of the nave near the chanter’s stand. Apparently the throne on the right side of the Nave came from the monastic practice because the monks have seats or stalls with a small fold down seat along both sides of the Nave. The stall for the Bishop was more elaborate than the stalls for the monks. An Antiochian Bishop always presides over Vespers from the side throne. In some Churches and a Cathedral there is also a throne behind the Holy Table, in the High Place with seats by each side for the clergy that the Bishop uses during the Epistle. This is the historic place for the Bishop’s throne. It is interesting that the Ecumenical Patriarch does not sit on his throne on the feast of St. John Chrysostom. Instead an icon of St. John is placed on the throne and the Patriarch uses a smaller throne placed on a lower level in front of the main Bishop’s throne. It is customary for the deacon who chants the Gospel to stand on the first step of the Bishop’s throne in the Nave. This apparently came about because one Bishop had a very low voice and the deacon would repeat what the Bishop read from the Gospel.

          • Disgusted With It says:

            “There is so much much you do not know, and so much you do not need to know.”

            Wasn’t that the mentality that got the RC’s in trouble, as well as various Orthodox jurisdictions to a certain extent? “Allegations? Don’t ask questions. You don’t need to know about such things. There’s nothing to see here. Please move along.”

            Asking reasonable questions and expecting reasonable answers is a good thing. I find it troubling that so many times this process of questions and answers is not applied fairly to all parties, especially in the OCA.

            • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

              To Bishop Tikhon above,
              Master ,Bless! St.Lazarus church,still in Detroit is called “Ravanica” as Mr.Stankovich pointed out.It is located on Van Dyke and Outer Drive.The second church,which was south of Ravanica on Van Dyke is St.Petka,known as Vratnica.It has relocated to Troy.
              The parish I service in Ecorse is Holy Ascension .It was founded in 1959.It was the only pre-schism Serbian parish to follow Bishop Dionisije in the 60’s.Now,of course,the schism has been healed.The church known as “Gracanica” is across the river in Windsor,Ontario.
              I was Rector of the Russian Assumption Cathedral,now in your old neighborhood in Ferndale from 1990-2006.Perhaps Your Grace woud be able to visit there as well?

              • Oh thanks. I’m always getting Outer Drive, East and West, and Grand Boulevard, East and West, mixed up….and Oakman with both on the West side! I have a photo of the Serbian Church on the East side that I took along with a picture of every Orthodox Church in Detroit, back in the late 50s. I lost a lot of them, but I’ve still got the Serbian one, St. Constantine & Helen (then fairly new) St. Nicholas Greek, St. Simon’s Romanian on East Seven Mile nearer Woodward than Epiphany Lutheran Church, where I used to attend almost more often than my home Lutheran church in Ferndale. Who was the Russian Priest at Assumption over on Hubbell during the 60s? My roommate at SVS, James LeBeau, from down river Detroit somewhere, was received into the Orthodox Church by that Priest, and I attended there a couple times before that.
                The Iconostasis was beautiful and farily new: I was told it was made in Chili. Did that make the move to Ferndale? Assumption’s original building was a landmark piece of Russian architecture, and it was on the East Side. I came across a booklet about it in the Detroit Public Library where I did my term-paper my senior year on comparing the Orthodox and Anglican communions. I was told that that gem burnt down due to the oversight of the Priest at the time, who either left the burners burning on his gas stove or left a lampada burning, I don’t remember which. I believe there was for a short period a Bishop of Detroit and Cleveland whose church that was…was it a Gennady or a Gerasim,….i can’t remember. Also in the Detroit Library was one of the original pamphlets, in English, that was given out to foreign guests at the Chrismation of Empress-to-be Alexandra Fydorovna! if I do go back there one last time, to Detroit, I’ll be sure to drop in at the Assumption Cathedral. You know, when I lived there, it was a Christian Science church. I suppose the pretty little St. Luke Episcopal Church is still across Lewiston from it.

          • Monk James says:

            M. Stankovich says (December 4, 2012 at 1:43 am, among other things, some less helpful than others):

            …Any church dependent on the “restoration” of Robert Kondratick & Jonah Paufhausen for its “healing” is not just “immature,” it is doomed. No one is so significant, and no living being is so “symbolic” of injustice…..

            __________________________________________________________

            It’s true no one of us mere mortals is so significant that our individual rise or fall would signal the rise or fall of an entire church, but then it’s not about these two individuals. Thinking that it IS about only Fr Robert Kondratick or Met. Jonah is an exercise in what must be the 21st century’s greatest vice, the sin of ‘self referentialism’, a subspecies of narcissism, even if it merely describes someone other than ourselves.

            No, the moral disease which will bring down the OCA or any ostensibly christian group is demonstrated and diagnosed by the way in which that group corporately TREATS individuals. Conceptually, emotionally, spiritually, how far away are we from prechristian cultures who killed their wounded and sacrificed their children? In other words, it’s not about the individuals, but about the way individuals are scapegoated and scourged and crucified by their ‘christian’ companions.

            The shameful, sinful way in which our OCA has treated MetJ and FrRK are our american Gabbatha and Golgotha. May our Lord Jesus Christ forgive us even as He forgave those who rashly cried for the guilt of spilling His precious blood to be on not only their own hands but on the hands of their descendants.

            Forgiveness, though, should eventuate in repentance and self-amendment. Of course, forgiveness isn’t contingent on repentence — but it’s wonderful when they’re reciprocal.

            So, yes, I regret to reiterate that I’m still morally certain that our OCA will not begin to be healed unless and until FrRK is reinstated as an OCA priest in good standing.

          • M. Stankovich! Stop and think a minute. it is not that Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick is so important, but that JUSTICE and VIRTUE in the restoration of him to the Priesthood is important. OF COURSE, no person is “that important.’ It is the now chronic FLOUTING of Orthodoxy through injustice and false witness that will bring down the OCA.
            You wrote this; “No one is so significant, and no living being is so “symbolic” of injustice.” Who disagrees with that?
            INJUSTICE is significant and destructive, whether it is perpetrated on a saint or evil person.
            One need not like Metropolitan Jonah or Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick at all to see that they both were unjustly and wickedly treated by those called to uphold virtue.
            it’s as if some group of men and women are teasing God!
            If the members of the Holy Synod that spoke evil of Metropoltan Jonah and who said he was an incompetent disaster who could not be trusted are to be believed, is it not THEY who elected him that should themselves resign? If what they claim is true, are they not guilty, since they elected him?’ They surely don’t want to say, “The devil made me do it,” do they?

  21. Ilya Zhitomirskiy says:

    Thank God that ROCOR treats His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,D.C., Metropolitan of All America and Canada as a brother bishop, exactly the way they treat their own bishops. I have seen him attending services at St.John the Baptist Cathedral and he also served there on their parish feast day. I am a parishioner of St. Nicholas Cathedral, OCA, in Washington DC, but am contemplating moving to ROCOR, because I am disgusted with the way His Beatitude was slandered.
    Anyway, Vechnaya Pamyat’ to Laura Paffhausen, and God help her brother.

  22. Ilya Zhitomirskiy says:

    Thank God that ROCOR treats His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,D.C., Metropolitan of All America and Canada as a brother bishop, exactly the way they treat their own bishops. I have seen him attending services at St.John the Baptist Cathedral and he also served there on their parish feast day. I am a parishioner of St. Nicholas Cathedral, OCA, in Washington DC, but am contemplating moving to ROCOR, because I am disgusted with the way His Beatitude was slandered.
    Anyway, Vechnaya Pamyat’ to Laura Paffhausen, and God help her brother.

  23. Ivan Bacalo says:

    It is very interesting that no one came out and tell the truth from the scandalls of the Orthodox Circus in America.You have to know that the white hat twincle tose is the one who had a boy in Seatle, whom he told who he is and he took a nice picture of him naked and on a monthly basis was sent to the head office asking for thousands of dollars or the picture go public, Is the holy truth. The check was made up just cash and after coming back the check at the motto was printed different resolution. Who has connection with the FBI you can find out the truth what the gangsters are keeping away from you. Wake up evry one just you have to know that they are lying because they all are part of the system.

  24. Eternal memory to +Bishop +Innocent! He was the first to expose what was going on in the OCA. Everything that he said was true and came to pass.

    When the Synod was going to depose him, God was merciful and took him to Himself before it happened. Maybe one day there will be an official apology made to his family and friends, and that a Panachida will be served at his grave by the current Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, along with +Theodosius and +Herman. We will all cry together and finally, finally some healing can happen.

    The current mess in the OCA all began with the persecution of this man, while many just watched and said nothing. It will not end until they have cleared his name. There will be no closure until this wrong is corrected. +Innocent was not perfect, but neither are any of the bishops. Providentially, Father George became +Innocent.

    A challenge to the Bishops, Father Kondratick and especially those who knew him like Bishop Michael of New Jersey and New York…you owe it to him, his family and friends to make this happen.

  25. Would head of the OCA Representation Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr in Moscow be a good reassignment for Met. Jonah?

  26. Nick Katich says:

    May Laurie’s Memory be Eternal.

    Having said that, have any of you paused to reflect (and because the posts are too long to digest, forgive me if I am in error) that the Patriarch of Bulgaria has just reposed in the Lord, as has the Patriarch of Antioch? Are you all suffering from obessive/compulsive disorder in the hopes that you will bring about the demise of the OCA? As if the same ol’, same ol’ anonymous posters will make a difference. If you don’t like the OCA, go somewhere else and take your venom with you. Personally, I don’t give a damn what you say and a fair number of you are not in the OCA to begin with. This blog is about ego and nothing more. And you feed that ego. I recall when the host had nothing good to say about super bishops and spoke true ecclesiology. But, something happened on the Road to Ninevah where Jonah became the all and end all and his ecclesiology Then the host did a 180 turn.

    Keep feeding his ego if you want. Perhaps you all should check in to an evaluation/rehab facility yourselves. Not the one in DC run by the Catholics. I have a better idea. Go to confession. Take your blog posts with you. Lay them on the icon of the Pantocrator. Shed a few tears in humility before the Pantocrator and get yourselves healed from your obessive//compulsive internet rants.

    Look the Pantocrator in the face and say, “Lord, I will sin no more”.

    Then get off this stupid site.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Nick, just because people are exercized because of a grave, canonical injustice has been perpetrated does not mean that they don’t go to Confession. I don’t know if you’re still a member of the OCL but nobody gave them that advice when they set up shop to agitate for the righting of a canonical wrong here in North America.

      • Nick Katich says:

        George: I didn’t imply that they forego confession. I state that they do not confess the stuff they post here. If they did, they would be confessing a sin, which they would hopefully stop doing here. So, one can only conclude that the venom spouting from their mouth is not considered by them a sin. I guess I now see the error of my ways in toying with universalism. Nyssa and Orgien never foresaw the internet or Monomakhos.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Nick, some people are aghast at the presence of injustice. Others are apathetic. I’m aghast so are many others who have commented on this blog. If you’re hunky-dory with the sinful methods used to defenestrate Jonah, I guess that’s your choice.